Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Mama Bear, Papa Bear & Little Baby Bear

I've loved the classic story of the bear family that is invaded by a little girl since I was a little golden haired girl.  As an adult, I'm not sure what the moral of the story is.  Bears with a fine home should lock their door when they leave? Watch out for Bears if you're a little girl? 

Goldylocks at the Bears Door

If Goldy was my child I would like Mama Bear to call me to let me know she's safe and ask me to pick her up.  You can bet Goldy would be compeled to deliver a heartfelt apology to the Bears and her pocket money for some time would be used to get Baby Bear a new chair.  I would have to apologize to the Bears for my lack in supervising Goldy.  Hopefully they would be understanding and Mama Bear and I could have lunch.  Once-Upon-A-Time may have been simpler.

Bear House

I think I like best the idea of a pretty cottage in the woods.  In that spirit I designed this set and it's in my Etsy shop now.  This is the 2nd version of this design.  One of the BestLoved Grandbabys got the first.  I am incapable of making the same thing twice so both are completly unique. 
Interior of Bears House

Fully Furnished with chairs and beds fit for each bear family member.  A table (with lacy tablecloth) and a large, medium size and small bowl of porridge. 

Porridge in Mama's Best Bowls

A chair for each family memeber

Decorating in small scale is just as much fun as decorating a people size house.  Only cheaper.

Goldilocks Tries Papa Bears Chair

Pretty Beds Upstairs

I'd move in!  At least I'd explore it if I came on this cottage in the woods. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Best Loved Child Site & Shop Improvement

There is nothing like getting some sales to get me motivated. I've been doing alot of reading on Search Engine Optomtimization (SEO). This is a scary bunch of words that just means that I'm trying to get my little Etsy store and thus my Arks & Stuff seen by folks that might want to buy them. As a result of this I've taken the advice of the sage experts and done the following:

1. Changed my Etsy Shop Title. I'm still Best Loved Child but the Shop title is the first line after the banner and is what Google and others use in their searches. Mine now reads "Wooden Noah's Ark Sets, Handpainted Decor".  Before it was something fluffy and irrelavant- even I can't remember what it was.

2. Changed all my listing titles. All the Ark stuff listings start with "Wooden Noah's Ark" then tell exactly what the item is.

If you're like the me I was yesterday you are saying "?" or "Who Cares" or other things less flattering. But as a result (This is the Big TA-DA) If you open our best friend Google and type in "Wooden Noah's Ark Set" I'm on the first page. (You have to do "Set", without it I'm MIA. Working on it.) On Etsy if you search Noah's Ark my listings appear easily. Big improvement. I was so excited I called the BL Hubby.  He was properly proud.

I also had an Etsy Showcase today and I wanted to feature my Wooden Noah's Ark Basic Set but  I needed new pictures as I had sold the other Basic Set.  I've been struggling with my photos.  I've never been great with the camera (always wanted to be).  The BL Kids have been some of the least photographed children in America.  Back to research.  Etsy had a blog post that was full of pointers (and made me feel better as some Etsy pros showed their early "bad" pics).  

One of the suggestions was that natural light was the best light for your photos.  Natural light is a problem for me.  When I say I live in the woods, I mean my  house is on a lot with literally a forest of trees.  It gets pretty dark in the summer with all the leaves, etc.  BL Hubby had built me some screens and some clamp on and overhead lights that I've been using but my pictures kept comming out dark - even with computer editing.  I tried to take a pic of my set-up last night but the pictures were so dark you can't see anything.  This morning I had good light from my east kitchen window so I set up my background screens and went to work.  I've been using a white cloth background but it often looks gray.  Looking at my fabric stash I chose a couple and snapped away. The how-to articles were also enlightening as to EV and White balance.  Mine were set completly wrong so I played around with them.  See what you think.
Noah's Ark original dark picture
 Original Photo- This was the 2nd set of pic I'd done. I still wasn't happy with it.

Noah's Ark green backgroundNoah's Ark blue cloud background
This morning's Pics.  Here I used two different fabric backgrounds.  Looking here I like the green one the best but I used the blue clouds in my listing. Got me so delighted I took some more angles. 

Noah on Ark with doveThis view I used for the listing.
Noah's Ark SetThis I used to redo the blog heading and I made some business cards.
Improvement is slow and hard won! Is there such a thing as a personal trainer for the camera?