Friday, April 10, 2015

Blog and Buy Sale Celebrates Spring

Poppy Patch Pillow

The Blog and Buy Sale Spring Wish List is out - and I'm on it!

I recently discovered Blog and Buy Sale, a London-based site that showcases artists and product makers selling their craft online. Each quarter Blog and Buy Sale compiles a curated Wish List, and I'm pleased they selected three of my products - my Poppy Patch Pillow (above), Guinea Pig Print, and Pink Llama iPhone 6 Case - to be included in the Spring Wish List. It's great to be featured alongside so many talented designers!

Here's a sampling of some of the lovely items you'll find there. I did a little checking and it looks like most products can be shipped internationally:

Clare Gage Patchwork Vase

Patchwork Vase by Clare Gage. A pretty porcelain vase combining ceramics with a playful contrast of fabric textures. How great would this look on the shelf, with or without flowers?

Rich Little Things The Feather

The Feather from Rich Little Things. A hand-finished print of an original papercut design. I'm always bringing home stray feathers I find. I love how the intricacy of this print so artfully conveys their beauty.

littlebirdy designs Marble Bird's Egg Tile

Bird’s Egg Marble Tile Magnet by littlebirdy designs. What says springtime better than a tiny bird and egg? The subtlety of this little watercolor illustration on textured marble is super sweet.

Spring garden cuff by Claire Gent.  A delightful spring scene you can wear on your wrist! The hand dyed aluminum cuff features a photo-inspired silhouette design.

Now that you've had a sneak peak, hop over to Blog and Buy Sale and find your favorites. The Spring Wish List will be available to view through May 19th.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Naming a Zazzle Store

I recently opened a store on Zazzle. I'd read up a little bit on Zazzle and thought I'd done my homework before diving in. Now that I've fumbled around a bit, I thought I'd share some things I've discovered.

My first obstacle was what to name the store. My own name is difficult to remember and harder to spell. I hoped someone browsing through the marketplace might notice my username and be able to find me again by searching. After much brainstorming (and an inexplicable stubbornness about including the word 'plum,' I decided on the short and quirky name 'Some Plum.' For my username, I omitted the space between the words to get SomePlum, which automatically became my store url. The username and url can't be changed after signing up, but I was satisfied my store name, username, and url coordinated perfectly.

Unfortunately, I've since noticed that actual store names aren't always searchable on Zazzle.  Typing 'Some Plum' into the search bar only brought up a bunch of plum colored products. Just by adding a space between the two words, they become too generic. Typing my username 'SomePlum' (no space) successfully brought up my products, but what if the natural tendency is to include the space between words?

I partially solved this problem by including my store name at the end of all my product descriptions. I hoped this would amount to background noise that would be skimmed over, but still give search engines something to pick up. Now searching Some Plum turns up some of my products. If I had it to do over again, I'd choose a unique ONE WORD name that could double as both my username and store name (good examples of this are the stores Stuccoloco and Scruffshop, two stores I referred back to occasionally while setting up my shop - for the simple reason that I remembered the names and easily found them again).

So, I may not have blazed the easiest trail to my store, but it will be interesting to discover other ways to leave breadcrumbs. If you have experience with Zazzle as a buyer or seller, I'd be interested in your thoughts on the significance of store names.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Lizard's Tail by Bish Denham

Here's a cover illustration I did for a recently published book by Bish Denham. I've worked with Bish before and love reading her blog for tales of her childhood days in the Virgin Islands. Both her previous book Anansi and Company and A Lizard's Tail are infused with island flavor. While working on the illustrations for Anansi, I enjoyed becoming more familiar with the rich folklore and language of the Caribbean. The new middle grade fiction story, A Lizard's Tail, provides gorgeous imagery of the islands as a backdrop for a quick-paced adventure story. A Lizard's Tail is available here on Amazon.