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Blog posts November 2016

Sales are finished,,,,,,,,,,

November 29, 2016

Greetings!!

My combo sales are finished as of yesterday at 5pm central time.  Did you forget to take advantage of the offers?  Time is running out!!  Don't miss out on the next one!!  Keep checking the blog for the coupon code and information.  My last day to take orders for Christmas delivery will be Dec. 12th.  

Until next time,,,,,,,

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End of the week brain dump,,,,,,,,

November 26, 2016

Greetings!!

Wow, I forgot to write my end of the week post yesterday so here I am a day late,,,,, again, LOL.  First, before I forget, don't forget to Shop Small today.  Small businesses really need that boost whether they have a brick and mortar shop or an online one.

     

I have been working on two things this week.  Crocheting hats and my Parker House Pottery web site.  Both are coming along very well.  I can't wait to unveil the new web site to you after Christmas.  (If I can wait that long, LOL).  I really like the idea of separating the ceramics and pottery from the other crafts.  After all, the ceramics and pottery really is the main focus and the other crafts were just to generate some cash flow and to keep my hands busy, LOL.  I absolutely hate sitting and doing nothing.  I always have to keep my hands and my mind busy.

Anyhow, the other thing I have decided to do is to completely close down the off site shops and just sell on my web sites.  I have set up to be able to use either PayPal or Square for payment options as well as accepting personal checks, money orders or of course cash if you are local.  I have also set up to be able to have exact shipping costs when I invoice you.  So, no more guess work!!

​Here's how it will work.  You will be able to view all the items I have available for sale either on this site for crafts or on the Parker House Pottery site for ceramics and pottery.  Then just fill out the order form and hit submit.  I will receive an email with your order immediately and be in contact with you.  On the order form you have payment options and can click on what you prefer.  I will then pack your order and weigh the package for shipping.  I use only USPS and typically ship priority mail.  I find they have the best rates and service available.  I can get the shipping costs from the USPS web site and include those in the invoice.  Also if you live in Illinois I will have to add Illinois state sales tax.  Once I have gathered all the information I will send you an invoice.  If you selected PayPal as your preferred method of payment the invoice will come from PayPal.  If you selected Square it will come from Square.  Both are secure payment sites.  All other methods the invoice will come directly from me.  Once you have made payment and it has cleared the payment center or the bank I will ship your order.  Please note, if you pay by check it can  take up to 10 days to clear the bank once it is deposited so that would hold up your shipment a while.  Please do not send cash in the mail!!  The cash option is only for local buyers who will pick up their order.  Once your order is shipped I will email you and give you a tracking number as well as expected day of delivery.  If you have any special requests for delivery please include that on your order form.  For example: if you do not want it left at the door if you are not home, please say so.  Or if you prefer them to go to your back door, please say so on your order form.  That information can be added when I purchase the postage tag.

I know, that seems like a lot of information but it is not really.  It will be very easy to follow what to do on the form.

​Yes!!  I am very excited!!  I have so many plans for my future and the future of my little businesses!!  Thanks so much to all my family and friends for your encouragement and support!!  

Until next time,,,,,,,

 

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Sale, sale, sale,,,,,,,,,

November 21, 2016

Greetings!!

In my Friday post I told you I would be running a sale from Wednesday 9am to Cyber Monday at 5pm central time and you would need a coupon code for check out.  Today is the day I will post it.

I decided to make it one long sale rather than a day here or there for your convenience.  This week we have my birthday on Wednesday.  Thanksgiving on Thursday, Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday and then Cyber Monday.  That is a lot going on in the small business world.  Plus many communities are having Christmas Parades during that time also. So I decided it would be better to let you decide when it is best for you to shop.

At my Etsy.com shop I am offering a 10% discount with free shipping!  You will need to use coupon code HAPPY10 at the check out.  This coupon is only valid from 9am central time, Wednesday the 23rd to 5pm central time on Monday the 28th and only at my etsy.com shop.  You can click on the tab above to be taken directly to my etsy shop.

At my shophandmade.com shop there are already several items at 20% off and you do not need to have a coupon code.  There is $5.00 shipping fees per order at the shophandmade.com shop so you decide which offer works better for you.  Just click on the tab above to go directly to my shophandmade.com shop.

The last day I will accept orders at either shop for Christmas delivery is December 12th to insure it has time to get to wherever it is going in the US. And please don't forget I am offering drop shipping at no additional charge so that you can get your gifts to your loved ones in time for Christmas.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me.  Just click on the tab above that says email to get started. 

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End of the week brain dump,,,,,,,,

November 18, 2016

Greetings!!

It's that time again when all the garbage that filled my brain during the week gets dumped out.  Admittedly, it is not all garbage but actually a mixture, LOL.  Anyway, I have had a lot going on with the new box of yarn I received earlier in the week.  Most of it is wound into balls and ready for me to start crocheting and that is just what I plan to do today.  :-)

I have been studying the statistics between the two shops I currently have and truthfully, I am not liking what I am seeing at etsy.com.  Etsy.com seems to be more and more about how much money etsy can make and less about what the individual businesses can make.  I realize some are well established and doing great.  But the majority are not.  It takes a lot of money to sell on etsy.  Oh, I know the listing fees sound really good, just 20 cents for 3 months per item.  And if that were all it took for people to find you, that would be extremely reasonable.  But it is not.

If you want to be featured on the front page of etsy, you have to pay for it.  If you want people to find you in searches on the front page or near the top, it is going to cost you.  Etsy wants you to buy Google Ads and other services to promote your business.  Most small time home crafters just starting out do not have that extra money to spend.  It can add up in a very short period of time.  Putting every extra penny I have into making more products to sell, I just don't have that extra money.  As it is, running extra sales and offering free shipping is really stretching me thin, but you have to give a little to hopefully gain a lot.

​At shophandmade.com things are free.  There is no listing fee.  There are no advertising fees to get featured on the front page.  You need to be in your shop several times a week updating it and adding new items and then will often be featured on the front page of their site.  The down side is they are relatively new.  They are not well known yet.  And they are not as huge as etsy which in my opinion is a plus in some ways but also a minus.  Everyone has heard of etsy, but conversely very few have heard of shophandmade.com.

​As you well know, there is good and bad in everything.  So I have weighed the pros and cons of each against my personal preferences and needs and have decided that after the holidays I will be closing my etsy shop and going to shophandmade.com.  I would prefer to grow with them.  They charge no fees at all, not even when I sell something.  I know someday that will change, after they are established better but hopefully I too will be established better by then.

There are several other selling sites available online.  I have been checking them out and might try one or two of them at some point in the future.

The other thing I have decided to do after doing a great deal of studying is split my shop into two.  One will be strictly for the ceramics and pottery, Parker House Pottery.  The other will remain Candle Hill Farms but it will be for all the other crafts I like to do.  It seems having them all under one name is just not how things are done today.  Business sure is different than it used to be and I feel like I am starting from day one learning all over again.

Wednesday the 23rd is my birthday and so I have decided to start my holiday sales a little early and will be running a sale from 9am central time Wednesday until 5pm central time the following Monday, which is Cyber Monday.  You will need a coupon code to get your discount at check out.  It will be posted here on Monday.  This will be for the etsy shop only.  I already have several items on sale at the shop handmade location.

I hope you have a great weekend!!  Don't forget to check back on Monday for your coupon code.  This will be the only place it will be posted!

Until next time,,,,,

 

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Busy, busy,,,,,,,,,,

November 17, 2016

Greetings!!

Well you know me, I like to keep busy and so, busy I have been.

I found I really like making the hat and scarves and so I ordered more yarn so I can make a few sets to list on one of my shops.  Yes, if you did not know, I am listed in two shops right now, etsy and  at shophandmade.com.  (this will change after the first of the year but I will get into that more in another post).

          

My box of yarn arrived the other day and I think I have picked out some wonderful colors to work with.  I spent yesterday winding yarn into balls and got about half way through the box.  I hope to finish that up today so tomorrow I can start crocheting more hats and scarves.  I take the time to wind it into balls for two reasons.  First, it lets me make sure there are no huge tangled messes in the middle of the skein which would be a problem in the middle of a crochet project.  Second, the crocheting goes by much faster and easier if the yarn is in a ball and then placed in one of the yarn bowls that I also sell in my shops. A little prep work saves a lot of time in the long run and that saves money.

Because I have problems with my knee I pick and choose each trip to the shop in the basement carefully as my knee doesn't always want to go up and down stairs easily.  But I did manage to get down there the other day and work on the snowmen salt and pepper shakers.

Just a little touching up and then they will be on the glaze table to get clear glazed and then into the kiln.  I would have preferred to have them finished by now but that just did not work out.  They will be worth the wait though.  :-)

​Next week will be a busy week.  My birthday is Wednesday, Thanksgiving is Thursday and I will be running sales from Wednesday on through to "Cyber Monday".  Keep an eye on this site for details.  I already have some items on 20% off at my shop handmade.com shop so click on the tab at the top of this page to go directly to my shop and check it out.

​Stop back tomorrow for a post about the pros and cons of both etsy.com and shophandmade.com and a bit about my future plans because of the good and bad in both.

Until next time,,,,,,,

 

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A day late,,,,,,,,,,,

November 12, 2016

Greetings!!

I am a day late.  I usually try to do a post on Fridays but this was a crazy week and I am a day late.

​Well, last Monday I twisted my right knee again.  It seems once you have an injury it is very easy to re-injure it and I did.  No, I was not rushing around, climbing, jumping or doing anything out of the ordinary.  I was just changing my clothes actually and stepped wrong while pulling up my pants and wham-o pop went the knee and I was down for the count.

I have been barely able to walk all week.  I did not dare try to go down stairs to the shop and work on ceramics and pottery for fear my knee would not hold me on the stairs.  In fact, sad to say, I was not even able to go vote on Tuesday. I could not go down the stairs here to get out to the car and I could not have gotten up the stairs at the polling place to vote.  Needless to say, I am disappointed.  I have not missed voting in many elections and this one was extra important.

​Well, you know me, I just can't sit still and do nothing so I did some computer work.  I am still saving files to thumb drives even though I have and external hard drive for back up I am still saving things down to the thumb drives.  I had over 1000 photos on my computer I wanted sorted onto the thumb drives and I have a few thousand files to save yet of genealogy documents that I have saved over the last couple of years.  So much stuff my computer is beginning to run a little slower.  They told me I could not fill this computer up,  yeah right!!  LOL  They don't know me, ha!

The other thing I did was crochet.  I made a hat and scarf set and another hat.  Just a simple pattern I made up as I went along that can be adjusted and modified whenever I want.

          

They are made with extra thick yarn, one size will fit most.  Machine wash, tumble dry on low setting.  These hats and scarves will keep you toasty warm in the most frigid temperatures because of their extra thickness.  They are nice and soft too.  I enjoyed making these so much I order some yarn in a variety of colors to make more, LOL.  Watch for these coming soon in my shop.

Today I am going to try to navigate the stairs to get down into the shop.  I would like to get those snow men salt and pepper shakers ready for the glazing table and get a few other things decorative painted today if all goes well.  My knee is still sore but hopefully strong enough to handle the stairs.

Until next time,,,,,,,,,,

 

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This and that,,,,,,,

November 7, 2016

Greetings!!

I thought I would share with you a few things I have been working on this last week or so.  First, I am trying to perfect my clay stamps I am making out of polymer clay.  Some look pretty good while others still need a bit of fine tuning.

My clay stamps are made from polymer clay and can be used on pottery, ceramic, polymer clay even cake and cookies decorating.  These are getting ready to go into the toaster oven to be baked into a hard object ready to use.

          

I actually made 11 stamps so far, this is just a sampling.  I rolled out some pottery clay and stamped it so you could see what it would look like on a piece.  Not only will I be using these stamps on some of my pottery but I will also be selling the stamps as well.  So look for those to show up in my etsy shop soon.

I also went digging into my mill end fabric stash to look for more fabric for making rag rugs in the near future.  I forgot I had some of these.  They will work into very pretty rugs I think.

     

     

I like them all but I think the last one is my favorite.  They all need to be cut down into strips about 2' wide first and that is a time consuming job.  Mill end fabric is different than the fabric you buy in a craft dept or fabric shop.  This is the ends of huge bolts that were cut off when they were making sheets or draperies.  It is sold by the pound not by the yard.  There could be 20 yards or more on a bolt.  Imagine a huge saw just cutting off the end of a large bolt of fabric and that is exactly what this is.

And last but not least I am trying to get some glazing going again so I can get a load in the kiln soon.  Unfortunately, normal household duties are in the way just a bit.  I have apples to can before they go bad and that will keep me from the shop for a couple of days.  But then I should be able to get back on track and stay there, LOL.

Snow men salt and pepper shaker sets.  I have 6 sets I am working on and hope to get them over to the glaze table this week.

Just a reminder we are offering Free shipping through Dec 31st at the etsy shop, also free drop shipping is available.  My next sale will be on Nov 23rd, my birthday.  One day only take 20% off your order.  You will need to use a coupon code at check out to get your discount so be watching for that.  Then black Friday through Cyber Monday I will be running a special as well.  Watch for more into on that.  December 10th would be my great-great-grandfather Benjamin Burlin Parker's birthday and I will be running a special to celebrate.  So keep your eyes open for the upcoming sales and coupon codes!!  I will not take any more orders after Dec12th for Christmas Delivery to make sure I can get everything shipped and delivered on time.

Until next time,,,,,,,,

 

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***ANNOUNCEMENTS***

November 2, 2016

Greetings!!

I have a few announcements today.  First, free shipping continues at my etsy shop, yayyyy!!  Second,  I am now offering free drop shipping!!  So if you have that out of state loved one you need to buy for you don' t need to worry if you can get it there on time, I will drop ship your order for you.  Just email me that you need your order dropped shipped, who and where you want it sent and as long as it is in the USA I will ship it for you.

But wait, there's more!!  LOL  I will include a Christmas Card with the order you are sending as a gift.  And if you want a personal note from you included just write out your note, scan it and include it with the email telling me to drop ship and I will print out your note and include it in the card in the package.  All at no extra charge to you!!

YES!!  That's right, you did not read that wrong!  FREE shipping,  FREE drop shipping,  FREE gift card and FREE personal note from you to your recipient just for shopping at Candle Hill Farms.  Now who can ask for a better deal than that?

 Just a few simple rules on my shipping policies.  I ship only in the USA.  I ship using only the United States Postal Service.  I include insurance and a tracking number and will email you the tracking number once the package is shipped.  I typically ship within 3 to 5 business days and sometimes quicker.  You can expect your package to typically arrive within 2 to 4 business days depending on where you are located.  The absolute last day I will accept orders for Christmas delivery is December 12th, noon central time.  After which I will not be accepting any new orders until after the first of the year.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at  alice@candlehillfarms.com or just click on the Email tab above for email to open up for you.

Until next time,,,,,,,,

 

 

 

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