Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday Link List: the advertising edition

 Happy New Year's Eve!

Thus far I have not done a lot of paid advertising for my Etsy shop or blog.  I am planning to start doing more in 2012 and have been rounding up advertising links for a while.  I have mainly focused on blog advertising.  If anyone of you have had good (or bad) experiences advertising on any blogs (whether or not they are on this list) or any other sites, such as Craftopolis, Craftcult, etc., please share those experiences in the comments.

One of the ways that you can help me advertise is my purchasing from my Etsy shop and/or buying an advertising spot on my blog.  Those funds help me purchase ads.  An additional way to help me advertise is to trade an ad spot with me.  If you offer advertising on your blog and want to exchange ads, let me know.  I am always willing to consider this.

As I know there are at least a few other readers looking for new advertisement opportunities for the new year, I thought I'd share my advertising findings thus far.  There are many many blogs out there that offer advertising, but these are some of my favorites.  Also, many of them are aimed at crafting/DIY/handmade so they are a good fit for many of my readers.  The costs for these ad opportunities vary widely with everything from $1 per month to over $300 per month.  There is something for just about every budget.

I've linked the advertisement info for each blog.  Click the links to see prices and contact information.

See you in 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

celebrating 5 years of marriage

Today is my 5 year wedding anniversary.  I've known Jake since I was 16.  We've been together almost 10 years and have been married 5 of those years.  Getting married is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  Jake is my best friend, and I'm very fortunate to call him my husband, too.  We have been through a lot during the last 10 years, but it's been worth it.  I hope that we have many more years together.

I thought that you'd enjoy seeing a few older pictures of us before I show you my new ring.  The earliest digital pictures I have of us are from late 2005 and I didn't scan anything older so these pictures are mostly 2006-2010.  Please don't leave me any comments about how we look really young and/or we look way too young to have been married for 5 years.  It isn't appropriate or original and just don't need to be said here.  Thanks.  Enjoy!

Christmas with my in-laws (Christmas 2005)

formal dinner night on an Alaskan cruise (June 2006)

 wedding reception with two of Jake's good undergrad friends (December 29, 2006)

 on our honeymoon, at the Benihana's in the Hilton complex in Oahu (New Year's Day, 2007)

Jake's undergrad graduation (May 2007)

my little sister-in-law's 8th grade graduation (June 2007)

Iowa State Fair (August 2007)

Mexico/Honduras cruise (late December 2007/early January 2008)

Minneapolis, MN (August 2008)

my cousin's wedding (May 2009)

a good friend's wedding (May 2010)

Match Day (St. Patrick's Day 2011)

Jake's med school graduation (May 13, 2011)

my little sister-in-law's HS graduation (June 2011)

(For anyone wondering where the photos of my graduations are, I didn't attend my undergrad or master's program graduations for various reasons.)

Most of you already know that we have done a lot of neat things since we moved to Milwaukee, but I don't have very many pictures from events that include both of us.  I'll have to work on that!

Of course I had to include a photo of our little Angel, too.  She's 16 years old.  She lived with my in-laws for 10 years and then moved in with me right after I finished undergrad.  She's been with us through a lot, too.

As many of you know, what I really wanted for our 5th wedding anniversary was a ring.  After a lot of searching and much debate about what kind of metal I wanted (you really don't want to know how long I've been working on this little project), I finally settled on this ring from Madelynn of onegarnetgirl.  She did such an amazing job with it.  I could not be more happy with my decision and with her work.  If you're thinking about ordering metal gemstone jewelry, please consider her shop.  You will not be disappointed.  Click to see the larger photos.

Thanks for taking this personal trip with me today.  Stay tuned tomorrow for our regularly scheduled programming.

I included this post in Erika's It's a Wrap Link Party - Happy New Year!.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 family gift reveal

In addition to making part of my BBA Secret Santa gift this year, I also made several gifts for my family and purchased other handmade items for gifts.  Even when I'm not making all of the gifts myself, I still enjoy giving handmade gifts when I can.

I ordered several laser engraved wooden picture frames from Edi of memoriesforlifesb.  I got the idea to make a custom college frame for my little sister-in-law (who just started college this fall) a while back and then more recently decided to order a couple more frames, too.  I came up with the concept/wording for all of these, but Edi put everything together.  I knew that Edi was going to do an excellent job, but I was still wowed by how professional these are.  Thank you Edi!

As mentioned earlier this week, I ordered a bunch of tea from Tim of teaman.  I only took this picture of Karen's tea, but I ordered enough for four more people, too.

I traded with Yvonne of yjja123 way back in the summer for a couple of her pendants.  Yep, she was way ahead on her Christmas shopping!  I've traded with Yvonne the past couple years as well and have kept both of my pendants.  This year it was time to give them to others.  I put this first one on a simple chain for my little sister-in-law.

Whenever I think of colors that I want to use for my brother's girlfriend, my mind always goes to rainbow.  Do you remember my button necklace from last year?  I knew that I wanted to give her this second pendant and knew that I also wanted to make her a herringbone wrap bracelet/necklace.  It wasn't until I had my color palette ready that I decided they belonged together.  I included a chain with a jump ring on the end so she can wear the pendant or any of her other charms without the beaded rope.  You can check out a close up photo of this pendant from the transaction since I didn't take one myself.

I have been having fun with my new charms and pendants and wanted to include a couple more for her, too.  She's a singer so that the music note charm is pretty self-explanatory.  I could have easily left it at these two charms/pendants but I decided to make a Star Wars one, too, just for fun.  She's a huge Star Wars fan.  I knew that she'd get a kick out of this.  I also know that there is a huge amount of glare on that pendant.  My listing photos for these new charm sets will not look like that.  But you can get the idea here.

Remember my Chai mix from my final 2011 show?  I got some for my brother and his girlfriend, too.  Again, unfortunately this lovely business does not have a web site or I would share it with you.

I'm sure that it's not a surprise that one of my favorite gifts to get is crafting supplies.  I love to buy crafting supplies for other people, too.  I always enjoy picking out fabric for my mom.

Also on the supply end of my present giving, a lot of people were very intrigued about what was in the huge Amazon box that I received at the beginning of the month.  I ordered two cutting mats: one for me for my paper crafts and a new portable sized one for my mom for her quilting and other fabric projects.
Amazon carries Alvin brand mats, which are supposed to be some of the best on the market.

I used this post for Michelle's Delicately Constructed Friday 12/30/11.