A Moment Of Gratitude – A Celebrate The Small Things Blog Post

It is time again to join Lexa Cain for her weekly blog hop “Celebrate The Small Things” You can join this ever-growing list of gratitude practitioners there. Remember, when you look close enough, you will always find something to be grateful for.

This week I am grateful that our move is now in it’s final stages, and we are actually getting on the road on Tuesday. I am looking forward to finally moving out of here, and toward the West, something we all have been looking forward to for a while now. Las Vegas, here we come!

I am grateful that I am getting better at moving efficiently and in a more organized manner. This will come in handy in the near future again, our stay in Las Vegas is limited to about 6 months. So, basically as soon as we unpacked, we are going to re-pack. I better have that down to a science by then!

I am grateful that I have chosen to take the next few days off, and that I am flexible enough to do so. It is so much harder when your schedule is dictated by a typical job. I am glad that I am in charge of my own schedule.

I am grateful that found some baby pictures of my daughter, I did not remember we had. Somehow they got mixed in with some tax papers (I don’t know how that happened), but they are adorable, and put a smile on my face. I can’t wait to tease her with them later on today.

Speaking of pictures, going through all of our stuff, I also came across my own basic training pictures. Now there is something to scare the kids with. Is it a bad thing to be grateful for having been hurt bad enough in basic training to receive a medical discharge? Well, I am, because it brought me to this time and place, something that might have never happened would I have actually been physically able to stay. I guess it is possible to be grateful for torn ligaments and improper medical treatment after all. Was not that much fun when it happened, though.

What are you grateful for this week? I hope you take the time to write a blog post, and join the hop, or create a list in your journal. Gratitude is a practice that should be held sacred by everyone, no matter which spiritual background or the lack thereof  one comes from.

Have a great weekend!

Claudia

P.S. I will not be a part of next weeks hop. Monday will be the last day I will be on this blog until end of June. See you in July!

The Girl – A Five Sentence Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: The Girl

The spunk in her eyes surprised me.
I thought the torture he had put her through would have already taken all of her will, broken her and made her a heap of injured flesh, but instead she looked at me as if she was about to take me on, with the determination to win.
I suppressed my smile, and the flicker of pride, to look professional, after all, our cover could not be blown.
How otherwise would I be able to save her from the monster, in whom’s hands she had fallen?
I reached out toward her, half expecting a move back, but also ready for her to attack, while I whispered, “Let me get you out of this hell.”

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

This post was inspired by this week’s Five Sentence Flash Fiction writing prompt “Spunk”, by Lillie McFerrin. Find out what others wrote this week here

Find your art on Redbubble

Responsibilities – A Haiku

obligatory
smiles make my face hurt, soul break
swaying with the wind

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

The above poster ” Autumn Tree”  is by Purple And Sparkle and available on Zazzle here.

A Dash Of Color – Our Very Own Pillow Collection

Over the last few weeks, we have been enjoying the creation of our own designs just as much as the promoting and assisting of other Print On Demand Artist. Today, I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight my favorite pillow designs we created exclusively for Avalon Media.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed designing them for you!

And as always, please support independent artists! Thank you!

5 Quick Tips For New Print On Demand Artists

Beginner's Tips for Print On Demand Artists

Getting started on Print on Demand sites, like RedBubble or Zazzle, can be overwhelming. To ensure a smooth start, I have compiled five quick tips that can assist you on your journey of selling your art online via these platforms.

1. Use strategic listing titles
A Day in the sun might sound poetic, but does not describe your art very well – instead go for something like “A Watercolor rendition of a family relaxing in a park”. Does not sound that good, but it gets the point across.

2. Use the hashtags.
Make them relevant, but make them thorough – the more, the better. In Zazzle use your most descriptive to the point tags first – the first ten are considered your power tags.

3. Make sure your designs fit properly.
Zazzle has a great little tool, that allows you to see if your design is big enough to fit properly – this is especially important with items such as pillows. In RedBubble, you can adjust the design in the individual product category. Use it. What might look good on a pillow, might not look that good at the same size a cell phone cover.

4. Write clear, and informative products descriptions that include keywords.
Be precise, to the point, but try to convey the product in a way that someone who can  not see a picture of it, would understand the basic idea of what it is about. Include the customizable options, and size options (if applicable) in your description as well. For example “Customizable to fit a variety of cell phone covers for you newest phone, to include the iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S6, and more”

5. Tell your story!
Make sure you have a compelling profile, that includes a little personal information and how you came to be an artist. Talk about your passions. The more you care about your art, and voice that, the more your customers will care about it too. Make it personal.

Wishing you the best success on your journey as a print on demand artist!

Monday Motivation – 5 Quotes To Inspire

I always enjoy positive quotes for a quick pick me up, or a way to get me back on track, when I am feeling overwhelmed. Quotes seem to hold within them wisdom I sometimes can not conjure, and it feels good knowing there is a resource always available that I can fall back on. I have collected five quote posters for you, that can – if you allow them to – do the same for you. A positive way to start the week!

Wishing you a wonderful and productive week!
Claudia
As always, please support independent artists! Thank you

Stop That Re-Pin! 4 Things You Should Consider Before Hitting That Pin Button

4 Things You Should Consider Before Hitting That Re-pin Button

Whether you are a Print On Demand Artist, a writer or have your own business, the power of owning a Pinterest Business Account is great and should be utilized to its fullest potential by everyone. But because it is easy to fall into the trap of spamming your followers, you have to have a certain level of other pins on your boards that are not advertising your products or services. One of many ways to so is to repin what other people have posted.

Cute dresses from LuLu*s!!!

However, repinning a great infographic without too much thought can be counter-productive. Here are four points you should consider when repinning content to your Pinterest business account (or any Pinterest account):

1. Read the comments to the pin thoroughly. Just because the information is great, does not mean that the pinner’s thoughts on the subject matter fit your needs, the needs of your audience, or are views you want to convey. Better yet, change the description of the pin completely, and include your own information on it.

2. Check the link. A great graphic or image does not make a great re-pin. Make sure the pin does not lead to some questionable content or is a dead link.

3. Get rid off hashtags. While hashtags are wonderful for facebook, twitter, Instagram and a host of other places, Pinterest is not one of them. Get rid of all the cluttering hashtags before re-pinning the pin.

4. Keep your followers in mind. Consider if the majority of your followers of this board would benefit from the content you are about to re-pin. If it is only of  interest to you or is only re-pinned to not look spammy, don’t bother. Every pin you share should have a purpose and bring value to your followers. No exceptions.

Happy re-pinning!

Claudia

P.S. Check out my free Editorial Calender And Marketing Planner – read about it, and download it here! 

 

Coffee, Cake and Movies – A Weekend Coffee Share Blog Post

If you would sit here with me for a cup of coffee, I would first of all offer you some homemade German cake. There is no way to have a proper “Kaffeeklatsch” or a coffee get-together without proper cake. Of course, I baked that from scratch, and, of course, there will be enough for you to take some home with you.

But I would also talk to you about two movies I watched this week, both of them taking me by surprise.

American Sniper - Movie Poster

American Sniper – Movie Poster

The first one was “American Sniper” a movie I wanted to refuse to see because of it political ties, something I wanted nothing to do with. I did not even want to be a part of the discussion – which is rare for me. But my husband wanted to watch it on his day off, so I decided to watch it with him, and was very much surprised how much I liked it, simply because I allowed myself to get into the story, and temporarily forgot about all of the other fuss. From a film standpoint, it is a very good movie.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Movie Poster

Guardians Of The Galaxy Movie Poster

The second movie I would tell you about would be “Guardians of The Galaxy”. Like the movie before I was avoiding to watch it, because I was not sure how in the world this concept would translate on the screen. Something told me that this movie was not a good idea. But I was hoping for the best because after all I am a Marvel fan, and Marvel knows how to make movies – at least most of the time.  I should have listened to myself. I would tell you, that I felt like calling Marvel, asking for my 2 1/2 hours back, a time that I felt was wasted by bad acting, and horrible jokes.

I would end our “Kaffeeklatsch” by inviting you back next week, promising you I will bake something different, equally delightful. And maybe you could tell me about the movies you were inspired to watch (or should not have watched).

Blessings!
Claudia

Community, Creativity And The Return Of A Cat – A Celebrate The Small Things Blog Post

Thank you card

Thank You Card
http://goo.gl/acFKYs

 

Another week has passed and it is again time for Celebrate the Small Things, with Lexa Cain, our wonderful blog hop host, who kindly takes her time to keep us all in check.

As every week (or at least that is the goal), I post what I am grateful for. And as usual, considering how busy we all are as a family, there is plenty to be grateful for.

I am grateful that I have had the chance to connect with some more RedBubble creators and co-created a few collaborative boards to highlight all of our creative endeavors. It is fun to work together with independent artists, and this is just another way, I am grateful that I can contribute to their success. And learn from them in the process.

I am grateful that the weather has found its usual rhythm of morning sunshine and afternoon rain. At least this way I can count on the weather somewhat, and adjust both dog walks and outings accordingly. I will miss the rain once we moved to Las Vegas, but I will not miss the mosquitos.

I am grateful that one of our neighbors has found her cat again, who had gotten out by accident. A skittish cat, and an indoor one to boot, this cat would not have done well on her own. I am glad she is home safe with her family.

I am grateful that I have had a chance to work on my own creative projects, even if it was only for a little while. I need creativity like breathing, so a day without making, or writing something is just not a day that goes well for me. Most of the days though, despite the busyness of all of the other things going on around us, I find the time. I have to make time.

What are you grateful for this week? Make sure you stop by Lexa Cain’s blog and check out all of the other wonderful people who participate in this blog hop.

Blessings

Claudia

 

 

40 Hashtags Every Writer Artist and Creative Should Know And Use

40 Hashtags Every Writer, Creative and Artist Should Know And Use

The power of the hashtag is undeniable and constant. May it be to make it easier to find your projects on places like Medium and Wanelo, or the most commonly used hashtags on Twitter, which can make or break your visibility. But which hashtags are the most effective to use for a creative person to get noticed? I have compiled a list of popular, often used hashtags you should use and check out often:

For Writers:

#amwriting

#amediting

#WordCount

#AuthorLife

#writingtip

#writetip

#Ebooks

#AskAgent

#AskAuthor

#AuthorLife

For Visual Artists, Graphic Designers, and Print On Demand Folks

#GraphicDesign

#FineArt

#Design

#artwork

#illustration

#DigitalArt

For Photography 

#photography

#photog

#Foto

#picturesoftheday

#travel

#picture

#photographer

For Bloggers

#Blog

#Blogs

#Bloggers

#MondayBlogs

#Blogging

#Blogpost

#bloggingtips

#problogging

#lbloggers (lifestyle bloggers)

#Bbloggers (beauty bloggers)

#FBloggers (fashion bloggers)

Day Specific Hashtags:

#MondayBlogs

#TopTenTuesday

#WWWblogs (Women Writer’s Wednesday)

#ArchiveDay (Saturday – for sharing your older posts)

#WeekendBlogHop

#SundayBlogShare

I highly recommend that you print out this list, and utilize these hashtags in your postings, but also get actively involved in the communication around these hashtags.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on Marketing for Creatives.

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