Monday, July 18, 2016

LTC Archived: Please Visit Printaphoria & Creative Living

Dear Followers:
This site is now for re-direction and archived.
  Please visit my new site


Living To Create becomes The Creative Seller


  Seeing Your Products With Fresh Eyes, Learning New Projects & Techniques, And Better Marketing Of Who You Are Can Lead To More Sales

   Handmade sellers, self-taught artists, freelance designers, self-published writers, and other creative independents, learn ways to improve your marketing strategy and capitalize on your skills, talk about your creative pursuits and expand your horizons at

   Printaphoria & Creative Living 

  Over 50,000 views since 2004,

first as

Holland Paper & Decor Art,


Living To Create,


The Creative Seller 

and now

  Printaphoria & Creative Living 

Thank you for visiting over the years!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Rarely A Morning Without Product Photography

New Line Exquisite Little Tags 4Pk Multi Event
Photographing my first pack of 4 Events tags to list today. This is a good place to shoot because of the large window. You can see that I use several lamps. I also have the ceiling light on. The light to the left is a torchiere floor lamp, so I have the top light on too. It's a 3-way and I have it at the highest setting. The middle lamp is a tabletop Ott light, which provides true-color lighting. I have been using Styrofoam sheets as a base, because they are so white, and show off my products so well. They also provide some texture to the background, adding interest to an otherwise flat white surface.
Artsy Craftery Design Studio 4Pk of tags for a variety of events.

I have space now to create a light box out of a cardboard box and white paper, but haven't gotten around to it. Sometimes, I also go outside to photograph, but it's better not to do so in sunlight. Low sunlight or overcast days are suggested by photography professionals, but I don't like photographing in that type of light. It would probably be good to use a flash in those cases.

Product photography; the dreaded and hated task! I do enjoy it though, which is why I take too many photos for my listings. I've got to settle on 4-5 standard photographic arrangements, so that I can salvage a few more minutes of time to create. The work of the creative weary never ends; and neither does the satisfaction!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

New General Listing Site: has extensive categories for handmades listings.

EcommerceBytes' newsletter shared a sponsor that is a new listing site called Vangoe: the art of online selling. It's not a site dedicated to handmades, but open to all products, even cars and trucks. They claim to feature a fair feedback system, free re-listing of up to 52 items (above that there must be a fee to relist), and a whopping 14 payment methods.

Click the BUY button and be served a plethora of categories, including 36 under Arts & Crafts. That is really great, and encourages me to list there. There is also a separate Arts category, as well as Aviation, Bulk Items and eBay Imported Items. Interesting! The FVF is 5%, except for a small number of categories, which have a higher fee and/or a flat listing fee.

Going to bookmark this site for consideration.

Thursday, April 28, 2016 Now Requires Facebook Registration

In an attempt to reduce fraud at their listing site, now requires that visitors join through a Facebook account. They explain it this way in their FAQs, "In an effort to improve the protection of our users from scammers and to weed out the people who are not actually intending to buy or sell, we do not allow anonymous users. Facebook helps us to identify real users who are real people." Facebook login is required for selling and shopping. 

The site was made over a year or so ago, after I closed my short-running shop there. They encourage selling geared towards your local market, though you can also list items to ship. Listing is free and there are no stats.


Monday, April 25, 2016

ArtYah ~Vs~ Aftcra

Looking forward to opening a new shop, Paper Nirvana, at ArtYah. Been looking at another handmades venue, Aftcra, for a couple of years now, but it does not have a community forum. ArtYah has one at G+. This is a great feature that I always appreciate.  It's one of the reasons that I like​ so much.

Aftcra has a feature to fav and wishlist products, and ArtYah allows watching a product. Neither offer faving/connecting to shops though. Etsy and Artfire still offer this fast-disappearing venue feature.

Searching For Norma's Shop: First I typed in Norma's and another shop, Natural something, came up. Then I searched Normas and this came up: From there I went to her shop.

I like that shop policies at ArtYah open in a popup window. One thing I don't like is that from the product page it seems a little difficult to find the shop/gallery name to click on to see all of a shop's products (unless I'm missing something). From product page I don't see the shop banner/avatar anywhere. Instead, there is a colored tab beside the "Listing Details" tab.

Visitors are used to seeing at least the shop avatar on each product page. Makes it easy to click to go to shop home, and it's an obvious reminder of which shop you are browsing. This is an important branding feature. Also, the shop name on the tab is all run in together AND in lowercase, such as with Norma's gallery, normasbathandbody's Gallery. When I went to review Norma's feedback, there was no link on the page to return to her shop home. I had to use the browser back arrow. These little annoyances won't stop me from opening shop though. I DO need to send them as suggestions to admin.

Don't forget that all products listed at Aftcra must be priced at $10 or higher. This venue inspires developing product packs versus single-product listings; especially for paper-crafted handmades.

Friday, April 22, 2016

No Shop Headers At Scott's Marketplace :(

I know the product is the most important thing, but my shop banner is a major part of my brand. If I'm going to invest time to list, I want my banner in place.The main thing that I don't like about Scott's is that they do not offer the feature of adding a shop banner/header. Sellers are allowed a small shop avatar with the shop name text beside it. It's really small; only enough room for a couple of initials or one simple motif. I wrote and asked about a header, and they said maybe in the future they will offer that feature.

I like the simple layout, abundant white space, good search feature and ease in visiting other shops. No stats though, that I can see, but I don't have a membership so can't see an admin panel.  Saving the link for future possibilities. Michelle T. from admin was quick to get back with me when I asked my question. Great first impression, Scott's!

Here's one nice shop, Ross Creations in Burlington, NC. Nice bookmarks and other personal accessories. Finally, a shop with an avatar! I must have looked at at least 6 shops before I found one that is taking advantage of this promotion opportunity. So many with the ugly, well not really ugly, but you know what I mean, stock avatar.



Monday, April 18, 2016

Estrina: New Selling Venue Requires Euro Pricing

This new handmades selling venue,, reminds me somewhat of Ezebee. On the marketplace page you see mostly products from overseas, with prices in euros (EUR). Unlike Ezebee's set up though, Estrina, based out of Barcelona, Spain, requires that all text be in English, but all prices must be in euros. The euro is the 2nd most traded currency in the world, after the U.S. dollar.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Create Success Through Innovation And Creative Marketing

Through innovation, sisters Andrea and Natalia Tovar have addressed a niche market where they can sell $9+ bags of canine treats.  Names such as chicken cordon bleu and Truffle mac and cheese rival delicious-sounding people foods. Bocce's Bakery makes all-natural, preservative and chemical free biscuits, in delectable flavors. These human-grade dog food treats are regularly eaten by the staff for testing and quality control. 

Bocce's Basics is their newest treat: "all with less than 4 ingredients. All-Natural, USA, Wheat-Free, Single Protein, Human-Grade. Over 100 biscuits in each box" (Bocce's). The company has sold about "8 million" (CBS) dog biscuits, which possibly makes it a million dollar-grossing company. I couldn't find out how many biscuits average each 8 oz. classic bag, but estimated about 25. In addition to all-natural and wheat-free doggie cuisine, another focus is pet food that helps control weight.

One way to be successful: develop and creatively-market an innovative product. Notice the basic box design, white with gray horizontal lines and an arch-top peek window. Isn't that reminiscent of a classic, white backyard dog house? Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn't it?

Bocce's Bakery: Our Story
CBS Sunday Morning: Taking the dog biscuit taste test.