Friday, May 29, 2009

I left my shoes out in the rain.

Yes, I left my shoes out in the rain last night. My 10 year old perfectly worn in garden shoes. And it wasn't because I had forgotten to bring them in before it rained. I wish that were the case. No, my favorite shoes were left outside in a pouring rain thunderstorm all afternoon because I was afraid of this....

Tiny little harmless gartner snake peaking his head out of the patio steps all day yesterday. Every time I looked at him I shuddered.  He'd leave for awhile, and then I'd glance over and he would pop his little head up again.  There he was scratching his head on the stones, basking in the sun.  He was pretty comfortable in that little crack and I admit I was afraid to grab my shoes sitting 4 inches from his head. He probably was more afraid of me than I was of him. I realize that. But I was afraid and it bothered me that I was. I'm not a girly girl, this snake should not bother me. But he did. So to redeem myself, I spent the evening compiling a list of non-girly girl things that I do or have done.
  1. The star tipped screwdriver?  It's called a Phillips head.  I know this.  I always call it a Phillips head. 
  2. I took wood shop in middle school on my own free will.  There was only one other girl in the class with me.  I admit I may have chosen this elective in order to meet boys, but I did take the class.
  3. I have put down mulch in my entire garden.  On my own.  20 yards of mulch, thank you very much, and I've done it 5 times now.
  4. I have assembled a gas grill.  Start to finish.  And yes, it worked when I was done.
  5. I own a contractor grade drill and I use it.  Everyone should own a power drill.  I also own 3 electric sanders.
  6. I know what a stud is and I know how to find one.
  7. I have removed a dead bird from a backyard pond.
  8. I can fill my own car with windshield wiper fluid. 
  9. I know what a triple double is.
  10. I know you tighten a screw to the right.  I don't need to say "righty tighty, lefty loosy" in my head to remember this.

Yes, I remain afraid of snakes.  And yes, I will be buying new garden shoes, my old ones are soaked.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My First Front Page

Yesterday turned out to be a very exciting day for me.  Frankly, it was a day I was beginning to believe would never happen.  After nearly 9 months of setting up shop on Etsy, I made it to the front page for the very first time.   
Started as a pretty normal day.  We were heading out of town to my family's annual Memorial Day picnic in Erie, Pennsylvania.  I checked my stats online and headed out for a quick grocery store run with my little guy.  We were gone long enough to get stuck in a parade route (happens to me every year, you would think I would learn the route by now) and buy 3 bags of candy.  Return home and I have enough time to obsessively check my stats one more time.  I check my views at Craftcult and suddenly in the time I've been at the grocery store 1/2  mile down the road, I have 30 brand new hearts.  I reload the page thinking there has clearly been an error.  Still 30 new hearts.  Realizing I must have entered someone else's shop name, I retype and reload the page.  30 new hearts.  Puzzling.  Suddenly it all clicks, I made it to the front page.  Go to the front page--nope, not there.  Maybe I missed it...what's the name of the site where you find out if you've been in a treasury?  Craftcult?  Do they have a link?  Yes, they do. I enter my name and sure enough, I MADE THE FRONT PAGE.  So freaking exciting I can't catch my breath.  And it's really a pretty treasury, too.  My head is spinning.  I made the front page.   Pretty cool. 

So here's what I learned from my first official "made it to the front page of Etsy" experience.
  1. The treasury I was in hit Etsy's front page at 10:00 a.m. est on Monday, Memorial Day morning.  Curious if the holiday was a good thing or a bad thing.  Wonder about the time of day as well. 
  2. From what I can gather, it had 30 minutes of air time.
  3. I received 30 shop hearts in this time.  That's one heart per minute.
  4. The item featured in the treasury (wedding reception rock poster guest book) received 25 hearts, several other items in my shop received hearts as well during this time.
  5. I had 3 times the amount of traffic in my shop yesterday than my busiest recorded day ever on Google Analytics.
  6. 314 hits to my shop during the 10:00-10:30 a.m. time
  7. Traffic came from 30 countries.  The most hits from any single city?  New York.  14 visitors from the Big Apple during my front page exposure.
  8. Most important stat of all?  To me it's sales.  Not one sale yesterday, but many conversations that I hope will result in sales in the next few days.
So all in all, an interesting day.  If nothing else, it answered the "wonder what it's like to be on the front page" mystery.  

Lastly, I do have to give a shout out to the wonderful designer that created the lovely treasury I was included in.  Petits Metier is her shop. Hope you'll visit.  While you're there be sure to check out her adorable crocheted owl camera case.  Too stinking cute!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Currently Blooming In My Garden

Last magnolia bloom of the season. 
Can you spot the tiny little bee on this allium?
Flowers from the one azalea that I didn't manage to kill.
Dutch Iris
Dianthus are just beginning to open.
I love all the little petals that make up this huge snowball viburnum.
My entire yard is filled with the scent of this lilac bush.  Wish it bloomed all year long.
Moved all the creeping phlox last season.  Happy to see this candy striped variety doing well.
Clematis winding its way through a climbing rose bush.
As proof that my garden is not perfect.  Dandelion, the one plant that the deer never seem to eat.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Wedding Witness List

So excited to have this new wedding poster in the shop.  Just finished it up yesterday and couldn't be happier with the way it turned out.  How cute will this look when filled in with all your guests signatures?  What a lovely keepsake and a fun work of art.  Hope you like it!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Caught You Peaking

Here's a fact about me:  I am obsessed with Google Analytics.  Love checking my daily traffic,  scoping out which cities seem to give me the most attention, discovering blogs that have written about me, noting keywords people use to find my site (found me through "cheap sinks" last week, still baffled over that search).  I have found it to be an absolutely invaluable tool.  So much so, that when I made the decision to start a blog, I chose Blogger because it was (in my opinion) the most compatible with Google Analytics.

So I start the blog.  And then I obsess over the blog in Google Analytics.  For days I have been checking and for days the number of visitors has remained the same.  A big old goose egg.   Zilch, zero, nada.   Yesterday, I make my daily check and I can't believe my eyes, there is a number 2.  Of course, I check right away to see where they came from and how long they stayed on the site.  Answer by the way: Durham and Singapore.  Time visited: back to the big old goose egg.  Don't know how they found me, clearly a mistake, but for one split unrecordable nano second: I caught them peaking.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Flat Stanley Goes to Sweeties

Our family is currently entertaining a special out of town guest.  My nephew's Flat Stanley will be staying with us until the end of May.  As good hosts, we are to take our two-dimensional friend to some of our favorite places and document his travels.  Our first stop was a no brainer--B.A. Sweetie's Candy Company or as we call it "Sweeties".  Sweeties is an open to the public candy warehouse and as you can imagine--this place is a kid's dream come true.  But you'll also see lots of happy adults rediscovering candy from their childhood (over and over you hear "I didn't know they still made those!").  Favorite discovery this time--chocolate Smarties.  Anyways, it was a great weekend adventure.  I think Flat Stanley had a fabulous time as well.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mikety Moe's Birthday Cookies

This is how I spent two entire days of my life last week.  In the event you don't have a 5 year old, this is Patrick, SpongeBob Squarepants sidekick on the hit Nickelodeon cartoon.  As you can see, photos are provided, recipe and directions are not.  If you are crazy enough to bake these cookies, I am happy to publish more specific instructions.