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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Boys and Girls of Every Age...

... wouldn't you like to see something strange?

In case I haven't mentioned it recently Halloween is my favorite holiday. And since this year is quite different for me {no tick or treaters, no party, no costume} I thought I'd put together a little make believe dinner party of where I'd like to be. And you're all invited!



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Also, I thought I'd share with you a cake a made for a Halloween 4 years ago while we were still in college. It's not a very good photo but I was so proud of this cake. Plus a very blurry and completely ridiculous photo of me dressed as Hermione. Oh college.


HAPPY HALLOWEEN MY FRIENDS!

Featured Artist::: VillaFane

The Beard and I were watching videos on Devour the other night when we came across this super cool video about VillaFane Studio's pumpkin art at the New York Botanical Garden. It's so crazy and elaborate I couldn't even believe it!

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Here's the video:::


           

Isn't that amazing? Here are some of their other pumpkins:::











{{{Source}}}

You wanna know the best part? I know one of these guys! The Beard and I went to high school with Trevor. We actually had Art class together senior year. He's a really cool guy and a super talented artist - obviously.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday Treasury


{{{Sorry I had to sensor this one.... it was just too much. I've still got the crawlies from the others}}}







{{{Note::: Please remember these treasuries were not created by me. They were curated by other fabulous Etsy sellers.}}}

Wine Country Weddings Magazine


I'm so so excited to show you this New Years Eve shoot from Wine Country Weddings Magazine featuring decor from Yellow Bird + Yellow Beard! I was so honored to work with these ladies. Isn't the styling divine!?







{{{All images from Wine Country Weddings Magazine}}}

Thank you so much Autumn and the rest of the team for including me!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Winners!

Hello Friends, here are the winners for last weeks giveaways!


The winner of the Wassupbrothers giveaway is:::


The winner of the Nicole.AP giveaway is::: 



The winner of the Minnie Grace giveaway is::: 



Hope all my East Coast buddies are doing alright today!


My Week In Instagrams

We've got a full load of photos again this week folks! I hope you're prepared!






I keep promising photos from Beacon Hill but I just haven't had time to edit them yet. Soon, I promise!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Advertise


Interested in sponsoring Yellow Bird + Yellow Beard in November or December? Check out my ad packages here or email me at janee.lookerse@gmail.com. Prices are going up in the new year so get them while they're hot!


Bloglovin'

Hey Y'all,

If you wouldn't mind... come on over HERE and follow me on Bloglovin'! If you use Bloglovin' that is.



Saturday, October 27, 2012

Interview With Lisa

Good Evening!

Quite a few of your have been asking me similar questions recently so I thought I'd do my best to answer all of you at once. Recently I did an interview with Lisa from Market Your Creativity that answers most of those questions so I'm going to re-post the interview here in case you missed it the first time around.

Plus, I'm going to share some photos of my work space in our new apartment! If you want to compare it to our old studio you can check out the posts here and here.

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Which idea came first–the blog or the Etsy shop?

Actually they were basically simultaneous. I started making garlands for myself and my friends the same week I opened my Etsy shop. The motivation behind them went hand-in-hand and I knew from the beginning that I couldn’t succeed at one without the other. Both the items I make and my blog serve as a creative outlet and social enterprise for me. I love every aspect of it.



Is Yellow Bird + Yellow Beard (the overall brand) a full-time creative career for you?

Yes! I’ve been extremely blessed in this area. I was laid off my previous job several months after I started Yellow Bird + Yellow Beard and my husband’s job combined with the meager income I had from my shop was enough to keep us afloat. Now that YB+YB has grown it’s helping pay the bills while The Beard goes to Grad School. One of the biggest reasons YB+YB has grown so quickly is because I’ve been able to commit myself to it full-time. It’s my biggest dream that by the time The Beard graduates from Grad School YB+YB will be large enough to completely support us financially.



I read your first blog post ever, dated January 31, 2011. In it, you stated that you planned to blog every weekday morning. Looking through your archives, it seems like you’ve kept up with that promise pretty well! How do you come up with so many new ideas?

Well… I suppose that’s a multifaceted answer. First and foremost my weekly series posts give me the mental break I need to come up with new ideas for the “free” days. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays always have a series post which make them “easier” days because the content is mostly external. Other series have come and gone, sometimes I struggle with having too many series going at once and not enough free form posting. Also, my friends and sponsors are always welcome to guest posts on my blog and they do so frequently. That definitely ads to the fresh creativity. The other biggest contributors to coming up with new content all the time are my husband and his abundance of creative juices and my desperate desire to provide my readers with worth-while material. I do my best to have high-caliber posts consisting of great photos and interesting {or at least funny} writing.



Please describe your “zone.” Where do you create and what’s the atmosphere like when you’re working?

Well my “zone” has changed several times since starting YB+YB. When I first started I was a nanny full-time, which meant I would write in the mornings while the little man ate breakfast and played. After I was laid off I worked in our home studio. We used to live in a two bedroom apartment where we had converted the second bedroom into an art studio for the two of us. You can see photos of what it looked like HERE and HERE. It was dark and messy and poorly arranged and I hated it, but that had as much to do with where we lived as it did with the room itself. Now that we’ve moved to Boston we live in a VERY tiny one bedroom apartment where are living room, dining room {a.k.a. the couch} and my workspace are all combined {see attached photos}. We are lucky we don’t have to try to fit The Beard’s art supplies in there too! However, the atmosphere in our new apartment more than makes up for the lack of space. My area is right under our three bay windows so it’s always full of glorious light. I used to have to go outside and set up this crazy contraption to photograph my items, now I can do it at my desk. Hallelujah! Plus I’ll admit, it’s really nice having the TV in the same room so that The Beard and I are able to be in the same room even if I have to work late. To make this answer even longer, as far as mood goes when I work, I mostly work in silence. No joke. I love it when it’s quiet. Luna {my bird} sits on my desk with me pretty much all day and he is quite the chatty Cathy so silence here is a relative term. It’s only really silent when he’s napping. Other than his talking and warbling though we listen to music occasionally but that’s it.



This next question is inspired by your “interrogations”. :) What is your favorite item in your shop and why?

Hahaha… You use my own weapons against me? That’s really a good/difficult question {not to pat myself on the back or anything}. I think my favorite items to make are my garlands because they’re the easiest to make. But when I don’t factor in the time it takes to manufacture the items my plush animals are pretty high up on the list of favorites. Speaking of my plush animals, The Beard has designed the patterns for all of them {with several more on the way!}, isn’t he the best?



What has been your best marketing strategy for Yellow Bird + Yellow Beard?

Honestly having the blog to advertise the shop and the shop to give additional content to the blog has made an enormous difference. My blog has been in the top 5 traffic sources for my shop from the very beginning. But as far as advertising for the brand as a whole goes, taking the time to visit other people’s blogs and comment / emailing people to make new friends has been my biggest success. I love the fact that I’ve become good friends with people in Germany, Alaska, Australia, Canada, and my own city all through my business.



What has been your biggest waste of time or money in business?

That’s a hard question too. I’ve been pretty frugal with my money as far as advertising goes. But I think the best advice I can give is, when advertising with other websites or blog, be certain that the audience of the person you’re advertising with is the same audience you are trying to attract. Advertising with the wrong person/business can be a complete waste of money. And to speak to time-wasting – I’d say that the amount of people who don’t actually read the details in my shop listings also cost me quite a bit of time. There’s not much I can do about that, other than to make sure my listings are clear and complete.


What is the best tip you could offer to someone just opening shop on Etsy and looking for their first sale?

PHOTOS. GOOD PHOTOS. Etsy has bajillions of items. The number one way you are going to make yourself stand out in the crowd is with your product photos. When you’re scrolling through listings what stands out isn’t the price or name of your shop, it’s the photos you see. Obviously you need to have an interesting and desirable product. And obviously you need to make sure your products are high quality. But don’t even bother opening your shop until you’re confident that your photos are going to catch people’s eyes. Also, treasuries. Create Etsy treasuries. It’s a fabulous way of meeting other sellers and introducing yourself to the community.


Well I hope that was fun and helpful for you my friends! Do you guys think I should make an "official" FAQ page?