Thursday, November 30, 2006

Avoiding the Mall is a good thing!

There’s a great seasonal ad by Dell computer where a man is ordering a computer from his recliner at home and while he’s on the phone the chair moves around a store full of tired and irate people, past signs that say items are sold out, etc.

That’s why online shopping is so great! They don’t have space problems for their inventory so they don’t run out! And they usually have a much larger variety then most stores. CafePress also has a 30-day unconditional guarantee.

And you can stay in your pajamas!

So now that you are in the mood, here’s another shop with a huge Christmas gift section:

Holiday Uniques

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Getting back into the swing of it.

I’m still trying to get caught up from being out of town for 5 days. (Actually, who am I kidding? I wasn’t caught up before I left!)

But, I have 2 newspaper articles to write, one I just finished and I had about 550 forum posts to read, expired ads to re-submit or renew, a couple more custom designs to add to my store, a couple more sales to celebrate (!) my AdWords to monitor,(it’s up to $4.27 so far!) And I’ve only made a dent in my emails.

So it goes…


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas Shopping

My store is feeling a little of the Christmas shopping spirit! The day before we left town for Thanksgiving I had an order for 8 photo mugs, an “I’d Give Up Chocolate, but I’m no Quitter” long sleeve t-shirt, a “No Whining” button and then a lady from Oregon called me to ask how to put a picture from her son’s wedding on postage stamps.

She said she had heard a TV ad about I really should have asked her how she got from that to my phone number, but I was so excited I didn’t. (Note to remember that for next time!)

She sent a really pretty picture over, my husband sized it for me and I had it on stamps in my custom section in minutes. I emailed her and she ordered 3 sheets! That was fun!

Then when we returned from vacation I sold 2 rectangular magnets with the chocolate theme and a “No Sugar” mug. I thought the mug was cute if you drink your coffee black!

I’m enjoying this season!

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Monday, November 27, 2006


I love art! I only wish I had more walls! Maybe that’s why I have so much fun with my t-shirt, calendar, mug, mouse pad, etc. etc. store.

I do want to share a beautiful Art store studioArmen

I told the artist and owner, Armen Kojoyian that these are my colors. I have a white living room with desert color accents and any of his paintings would look just perfect in my house!

You can order these in a variety of sizes and as posters too.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

2007 Pet Calendars

I will be out of town over the Thanksgiving holiday and not posting until next Monday. Here are some really fun pet calendars to keep you busy browsing through while I’m gone! Remember these are all on sale for 20% off through December 3rd!

Dog Calendars

Cat Calendars

Horse Calendars

Rabbit Calendars

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Calendars on Sale

All CafePress stores have their calendars on sale from November 20th until December 3rd. The discount is 20%

This past month I picked out my favorite calendars and blogged about them. Here are the posts to see the best calendars I found: have fun shopping!

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Google AdWords

I signed up for Google Maps and when they mailed me a confirmation, it included a $25.00 free Google Advertising credit.

Normally I wouldn’t have tried AdWords because the profit I make per t-shirt is small. (And t-shirts are my biggest profit!)

I thought I might as well try the credit though. I must say their customer service is excellent. I sent two different emails during the set up process and both were answered very fast and very well.

I really didn’t want to go over the free credit amount so I left the window open the whole first day, thinking when it got close to $25.00 I would cancel.

4 days later I am at $1.76! (I do pause it at night just in case I get a run on clicks while I’m asleep!)

Apparently my ad has been displayed over 3500 times…and only clicked on 9 times!

So much for Click Fraud!

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

CafePress. A great group of people!

I’m always fascinated by the bits of information I pick up about other CafePress storeowners through the forums, their stores and blogs.

Sometimes the forums get heated because it’s a pretty opinionated bunch! Most often the people are funny and fun, lending a bit of humor to others as a way to reach out and touch.

They are also incredibly willing to help each other. Mainly with sharing information, but sometimes more. Earlier this week Rachael Tallamy threw an offer out on a forum. She said she would design a graphic for anyone’s store free of charge as her way of saying Merry Christmas to the group! She had an example in the forum of a banner she had made for her store, and it was beautiful.

I asked her if she would make a smaller banner for me for the holidays. She created a perfect match to my shop and I immediately put it up instead of my logo to “decorate” my shop for Christmas.

I love the way it looks! View here

Then I went to Rachael’s shop and was blown away! She is an artist whose areas of expertise are: digital paintings, photo art and manipulations, photo restoration, graphic design, traditional art and graphite. I wanted to show you a couple of her posters and send out a link to her beautiful site: Rachael Tallamy

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Friday, November 17, 2006

New Stuff!

I skipped a day updating this blog, but I’m really only about 12 hours behind!

Yesterday I did 2 things to my store that weren’t even on my list when I turned on my computer and they ended up taking me most of the day.

I added a section called “Mug ShotsMugs shots are the perfect gift! Fun for the giver and receiver! Great for Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, housewarming presents, bridal showers and wedding presents. Send us your favorite photo and we'll put it on our ceramic mugs. Every member of the family will know which mug is theirs!
So of course I had to look through a lot of my pictures and pick some to put on mugs as examples.

Next I added a new design called Computer Slang, which I love!
If you are like me, you can't keep all the computer acronyms, definitions, slang terms and jargon straight. givitup has created a "cheat sheet" for you to wear while working on the computer (just look down at your shirt! It's upside down for a reason!) Or if it's in the wash that day you can always check your mug or mouse pad!
I have both the upside version for clothes and the right side up version for mugs, mouse pads and calendars.

These 2 new sections can be found under “Truly Unique Gifts” either in the list on the left sidebar or at the bottom of my storefront.


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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Gifts from the Heart

Here are some wonderful ideas from a CafePress storeowner, SagArt, for those special people in your life. These gifts will be cherished by the receiver! Every one of them can be made using CafePress products, but personalized for a one of a kind gift.

For the parents or Grandparents of a child

You don’t have to be a Pulitzer Price writer to do this one. Take a fairy tale and rewrite it to include you and the child in the story and put it in one of CafePress’s books. Include some photos of you and the child to illustrate the book, and then design a special full colored cover. It will become the most cherished book the child owns and a bedtime story filled with love.

Send your love where it is most needed

SagArt got this idea from a savvy customer. Her customer has a son in Iraq and she was going to collect pictures and personal messages of love and support for her son from family and friends; combine them into a CafePress book and send it to him as not only as a Christmas gift, but as a way to remind her son how much he is loved and how proud of him they all were. What a wonderful and touching gift to get!

Good Taste Gift

Combine all those special secret family recipes that your family loves (that we all have written on scraps of paper in our recipe box) and combine them in a CafePress book for your older or married children. They will love it!

Note Cards

Even for the most difficult to buy for, personalize note cards to fit the lifestyle and personality of a friend or family member. (Note: our cards come in packs of 6 and you can send us photographs or your designs or choose one of ours.)

Framed Prints

Put together a vintage (sepia toned) collage of family pictures combined with some great vintage art for a gorgeous framed print for someone’s home. Grandparents love this so much!


Create and personalized a journal as a dairy for a young lady. Create and personalize a journal for a new baby to record the memories of the first year of life in for the new mother and father.

Keepsake Tile Boxes

Take the birth announcement of a child and replicate it on a Keepsake Tile box to hold all those tiny things we need for a baby. It’s a very special gift the parents will love and the baby will treasure, as he/she grows older.


Take the square magnets or button magnets and design one for each month reflecting the holiday of that month in the design for a 12 piece set of beautiful magnets that will be used year after year to accessorize any room in a home or office. You can also personalize them for special family member’s birthdays or anniversaries for each month, and/or with the family name on them. You can even list all monthly family birthdays on a rectangular magnet and switch them out each month. Women love these!

Bachelor Party T-shirts

For someone getting married, you can design a t-shirt or sweatshirt that states: “I the undersigned do agree that what happens at the bachelor / bachelorette party, stays at the bachelor / bachelorette party!” Then wrap it up with a laundry pen or Sharpie to be used by all at the scene of the crime to sign the shirt, and give it as a special and unusual gift that will be remembered.

I’d like to thank SagArt for letting me share her ideas. Visit her Christmas Closet Here for more ideas and to shop for your loved ones.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Some days you get less done then others.

My sister-in-law sent me an email with a photo of her 3 kids in their Halloween costumes around midnight last night. I started playing around with it on different products! There went an hour! But, it is fun to see what looks like what!

Today I planned on spending most of the day out in the yard because it’s suppose to rain tomorrow. I pulled up the CafePress forums and clicked on “new since last visit”… 548 posts! Of course I don’t read them all, but there were so many good ones today! It seemed like every time I finished a page there would be 50 new posts.I replied to about 7 myself!

Anyway - 3 hours later and a small list of ideas I want to try from other shop owner’s suggestions, I did manage to head outside.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

42 Days until Christmas!

Time is flying by! We need to wrap up our shopping so we can start enjoying the season!

Luckily this next store is big enough you should be able to finish off your list. Especially if you like CUTE!


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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Baby’s first Christmas?

This next shop is huge. It has something for everyone. But, I remember my baby’s first Christmas. It was all about seeing it through her eyes. So, look at these first, then start clicking around the store to shop for the rest of your list.

Shirt gift shop

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Have fun with postage stamps!

Now that you’ve got your cards written and your tree up - (you have, haven’t you?) In case you couldn’t pass up one of the cards that doesn’t have a matching stamp:Northern Perspectives Gift Shop has an absolutely beautiful selection. (As well as many other wonderful Christmas gift ideas!)

Northern Perspectives

And custom postage stamps make great Christmas gifts for just about anyone! Send me a photo of your family or children and I’ll put them on a sheet of stamps for Grandma. Or a great summer photo would be a fun memory for the student away at college. If you are a business sending out Christmas cards to clients we can put your logo on. Newlyweds? How about a stamp with your wedding picture? The envelope becomes a present all by itself!

Visit to get started.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Christmas cards with matching postage stamps

One more shop of Christmas cards! (You guys know how hard it is for me to stop!) But, this one is so cute – it has postage stamps that match the cards!!

And don’t forget the cards are on sale 25% off through November 19th.

Lesruba Designs

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Christmas Ornaments 25% off

I’ve been doing your Christmas ornament shopping for you and look what cute ones I’ve found!

Snowangel from snowman QuinGem's Creations

Seasons Greetings from Lesruba designs

3 Wise men from Scarebaby

And don’t forget all ornaments and cards are on sale in all 3 shops through November 19th!

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More Beautiful Christmas Cards

Jqdesigns has a wonderful selection of Christmas cards and they are all 25% until November 19th. So leave your car in the garage, put on your jammies and pick out the perfect card to send your friends and loved ones right now!



Tuesday, November 07, 2006

This business has its ups and downs

I had planned on showing a few more election sites tonight. (I hope you voted today – I did.)
But, the past few days of working on my store have been so frustrating I thought they could give you a realistic picture of running your own online store!

2 days ago when I was adding all the Christmas pictures to this blog, Blogger decided to act up. It uploaded the first 2 pictures fine, but I couldn’t get it to take the next two. After trying over and over and refreshing again and again I decided to put the pictures into photobucket and upload them from there. They moved over alright – dragging half of the title underneath up and in between the pictures.

So I messed with that for about 30 minutes. When I finally got the title back where it belonged the pictures were quite a bit closer then the pictures above were, which didn’t look good at all.

After much trial and error and another hour I had everything on the way I wanted it and held my breath while I hit “post.” Normally posting something I’ve already written takes about 10 minutes.

Some days are just like that.

Then for the past 2 days my image basket in the back end of my store has been full of red Xs where images should be. CafePress was aware of it and working on the problem. However when I discovered it, I was in the middle of submitting classified ads and every other picture I uploaded was a red X. So I would have to choose a different picture. This not only took about twice as long as usual, it changed the look of the ad I wanted.

I suppose in both cases I could have saved those tasks for sometime later on, but my list is too long to put things off.

2 good things happened in the middle of the mess: I sold another Amazing Grace t-shirt and The Small Business Brief Newsletter told about my store as a place to shop for Christmas gifts!


Monday, November 06, 2006


I’m going to take a short break from Christmas preparations to remind everyone that the Election is tomorrow! So get out and vote!



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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Christmas Sale on Ornaments and Christmas Cards!

CafePress is really in the Christmas mood! They just announced a 25% off sale on ornaments and greeting cards between November 6th – 19th. So tonight I ‘ll share some great shops for both products.

Stainglass Ornaments

The above shop has a selection of collectible ornaments incorporating colorful images of vintage stained glass and angels. And although they do make great Christmas ornaments they will look beautiful all year round. Many of them would make nice gifts for Christenings, Baptisms, First Communions and birthdays or just as tokens of love and friendship.


This shop carries Santa ornaments, snowman ornaments, Christmas Angel ornaments and more. These beautiful holiday keepsakes also make great office holiday gifts or stocking stuffers.

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Holiday Uniques

The above store has a section full of unique richly detailed Christmas Cards and Postcards. Everything from whimsical to elegant. These cards are available with the option to add customization.

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This store has some really unusual cards!

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Early Christmas for CafePress Shopowners!

You would have thought it was Christmas morning if you had been reading the CafePress forums today. Overnight CP quietly loaded new products for us to sell that everyone has wanted for a long time. No fanfare – the first shopowner up discovered them like a present under the tree and the news spread like wildfire!

Thousands of shopowners will be spending their weekend creating new designs and loading them on to:

1) Dark tees: Navy and Military Green
2) Women's long sleeve tees: black, brown, white
3) Men's Long Sleeve Dark tees: Black, Navy, Ash Gray
4) Women's Tee Dark: Black


Thursday, November 02, 2006

There always turkey a second day!

Just one more Thanksgiving shop. Poor little holiday gets so squeezed between Halloween and Christmas! I thought this turkey was really cute on the greeting cards and wouldn’t an apron be a wonderful hostess gift?

Thanksgiving Turkey

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Thanksgiving Store

Boy, no sooner is the Halloween costume put away then it’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving!

Here’s a shop that has lots of Thanksgiving items, both funny and serious.


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