Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I'm looking forward to receiving Michael Palmer's newest book, Oath of Office,  to read and review as one of my next book projects. I can hardly wait as he is one of my favorite authors! You can pre-order the book now at Amazon. It is being released on February 14th.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The sewing project in Limpio Paraguay

No this post is not about a book review although I am excited that a Best selling author has asked me to read and review his book that is coming out in February. He is shipping it to me next week, so I'm really looking forward to that as he is one of my favorite authors.

What I write about today is a duplicate of my sewing blog post. Even if you aren't interested in sewing, this is a worthy project that needs attention.

Throughout our life, we have always given a portion of our earnings back to charitable causes whether to our church or other worthwhile needs. I'm sure those of you that have been reading my sewing blog for a while know that I love helping assist in needed causes, such as the Project Linus quilts I make and the Little Dresses for Africa. These I do personally in between my own sewing projects. I feel so grateful for what I've been given in sewing machines, fabric and notions that I want to give back in tangible ways. We have wanted to find a charity that would be a good fit for our store, Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts, to help support. We wanted especially to find a charity that was sewing related, helping women to learn sewing and help them to earn a living to help support their families in a respectable manner. We wanted a charity that the buyers of our goods would appreciate that a portion of their purchases would be going to help other women in their sewing endeavors. After some studying and searching via the Internet, we found the perfect charity in a recent copy of The Quilter magazine.

We will now be sending a portion of the proceeds of our pattern sales monthly to "The Sewing Project in Limpio/Paraguay". This project is run in Paraguay by Albert and Sylvia Hill. Sylvia was asked to teach women how to sew and over the years this project has blossomed. The better seamstresses are now learning how to produce Fair Trade goods to sell to help support themselves. The women are growing in self esteem and now have a way to sew and make gifts for their families as well as earning much needed income. This is a worthwhile project that helps impoverished women to be able to start their own businesses. We are very excited to partner with this project. Your purchases will help provide needed funding. You can learn more about this project here:

You can also make your own personal donations to the Sewing project by way of fabric, notions, sewing machines, and money. Some of the women need bus fare just to get to the sewing classes and money is needed to help pay for more sewing teachers as the project grows. They also are very much in need of those who can help to sell and distribute their Fair Trade articles that the women produce. You can send monetary donations and find out more about the project at The Sewing Project in Limpio Paraguay . To enquire about the project write to the following address or to send a donation make the check payable to: "The Project for the People of Paraguay - sewing project!” Send the check, enquiries or donations to: PPP P.O. Box 251 Avon, Minnesota 56310. You will get a receipt for your donation. Thank you for your help in this cause in what ever way you can. This group also would appreciate prayers if you are so inclined.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey

Yet another review from a book received from the Amazon Vine program. It seemed like for a while I was only getting the dreariest, dark, depressing books that I could barely finish. This one however was different and I did enjoy it although the author is not in the same league as Charlotte Bronte.

Introducing The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey

If you love the novel Jane Eyre then you should probably love or at least enjoy this book as it is a modernized Jane Eyre story. Some incidents in the book are almost identical to what happens in Jane Eyre and others are only reminiscent. If you have never read Jane Eyre, you should still enjoy this book. It was so nice to read a novel that has a happy ending just like Jane Eyre did! I’ve had way too many books that were dark dreary books come my way lately that left me feeling depressed. So I was glad to have a happy book even though many of the events in the book are sad.

I had received a Jane Eyre DVD starring Timothy Dalton as a birthday present that unfortunately had glitches in it so I had to exchange it. This meant that when my new copy came, I had to run it to see if the new DVD ran correctly. So while reading the modern day Jane Eyre novel (The Flight of Gemma Hardy) I was seeing the Jane Eyre story unfold before my eyes and actually was reading the same part of the novel that was being shown on the screen. Rather an interesting experience. For those of you that aren’t acquainted with this particular piece of literature and don’t want to track down a copy of Jane Eyre to read, the DVD will give you a fairly good idea of the novel, although no movie can replace reading ever!

Instead of gothic England, this book took place in the 1960's, so obviously some of the previous scenes were impossible to capture in the new book. Also, how does one rewrite a top of the line novel like Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights or Jane Austen's novels? But, Margot Livesey did her best and shows, along with Charlotte Bronte, that when one has no money and has no friends, no matter what the era, you are sure to have trouble getting by in life.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Creating social fans

After posting the review about Off the Hook Marketing, which heavily emphasizes content and reader participation, etc. I found this blog entry at Biz Ladies called Creating Fans from Scratch. Not all the suggestions would probably go along with all the book's ideas, but many would help you get ideas flowing on how to get that content and participation in your blogs and social media that is so necessary to great blogs, websites and social media and to help bring in the money you may be looking for.. All great advice, now all I ask is some more time in my day and the physical well-being to do what needs to be done!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You

Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You by Jeff Molander

In the world of books on how to sell on line, I have noticed many books make big promises but fail to deliver. In this book however, not only does the author take a different approach and thought pattern to using social media to sell on line, he also gives logical and practical examples. He gives urls to sites that show what he is talking about so that you can see how the different people took action to build their companies and make money via social media. After reading this book, not only was I full of new ideas for our home based on line business, but with the need to do homework. That homework consists of going to those many websites that he referenced in the book, reading the various blogs, websites, Facebook posts, and then studying their techniques so that I can truly understand all of what he was talking about and also to glean more ideas to put into practice. I have lots of work to do. I can say though, I took just one of the ideas that popped into my head while reading the book and applied it and got positive comments in return. Suddenly by customers were communicating with me in a way they never had before! Amazing! Of course, the whole idea is to make money, but I wasn’t even sure that my customers read anything I wrote. Now at least I know that some are paying attention and that more will as I continue to develop the concept that I am working on which will make customers want to buy from me instead of someone else.

We have been selling at various sites over the last ten years and one of the biggest problems I found to marketing and promoting our products was just exactly how to draw people into our store by way of our blog, Facebook posts or website content. What kind of content should we be using? The author makes it very clear what types of content to be using and what types of things to avoid, such as sending emails marketing a company on a daily basis which I think most of us hate. After a while that company’s e-mail heads to the junk/blocked box instead of the in-box.

If there was one bone that I had to pick with the author, it was in his use of the word ‘sexy’ in referring things like software and cell phones (at least 9 times that I counted in the book). I don’t know when our society started using the word ‘sexy’ to be a descriptive word for inanimate objects that by their very nature have nothing ‘sexy’ about them. There are so many other words that could and should have been substituted such as: captivating, fascinating, enthralling, educational, etc. Check out a Thesaurus and find some words that are more descriptive of what you are trying to say.

All in all a great book for trying to understand what you should be doing as a business person when faced with social media. This book does not help beginners learn how to start a business page on Facebook or start a blog, but it does help you to understand the types of content and information you should be posting.

You can visit the author at his website or at his blog where you can get a lot more good information about using social media to sell.