Monday, March 31, 2008

Havent posted in awhile

Truth is I have been busy updating the http://hollyberrycorner.comsite for my wife. I hope to post on a more regular basis..

Monday, February 25, 2008

What You Don't Know About Primitive Rugs May Surprise You!

What do you know about Primitive Rugs in America?

Primitive rugs were introduced in America by sailors and European settlers who were familiar with the art of making hooked rugs. The exact time and place of origin of primitive rugs is not known, though various sources attribute their origin to ancient Chinese, Egyptian, and Nordic civilizations. Some scholars even hold that the art of hooking rugs may be as old as prehistoric times. The art is not lost, though it is not common to find, unless you are looking for a particular park or area that hosts a day or historic crafts, such as hooking.

Primitive Rugs in America

In America, the oldest rugs were the hooked rugs that are dated back to the eighteenth century and are now preserved in museums. Rags and leftover fabrics were the main kind of materials for making these primitive rugs. Their use is supposed not to have been limited to bed only but also on tables and other furniture items, before they were used for adorning the floor. By the mid 19th century, making hooked rugs had become a popular business in America, especially in New England and along the Canadian coastal areas. If you read a novel from the era, you will probably see this mentioned as a past-time of the women of that time.

Styles in Primitive Rugs

Hooked primitive rugs vary in their styles, decorative designs, and the degree of artistic imagination. Patterns of flowers are one of the most popular decorative themes used by the early rug-makers. The individual designs vary from simple blossoms to complex patterns of extended bouquets. Also in vogue at those times were depiction of animals, natural scenic views, and scenes from daily life. Sailors and women living in coastal areas were especially doting on creating marine designs on rugs as is the case today when you walk into a coastal town or shop. If you choose such a theme, it is easy to decorate quickly by visiting such venues as these.

The Popularity of Hooked Rugs

There is historical evidence that the early hooked rugs were very popular among lovers of folk art. Commercial production of these hooked rugs started at around the mid 19th century at which time the designs of Edward Frost went hit among a large number of rug-customers. The originality of Frost's primitive rugs was not excelled by the later rugs made for commercial sale. Even today, hooked rugs made in some parts of the country, or those imported from abroad, are in big demand.

Buying Primitive Rugs

The historical significance and originality of design make old hooked rugs a choice item for many enthusiasts of old art. This does not mean that these rugs are very rare; they can be found in many shops throughout the country. The buyer should, however, carefully inspect the rug's condition, its design, and the soundness of its construction. Old rugs showing a minor degree of damage can be repaired cheap but those having more than one damaged spot may cost a lot since repair of old rugs costs more than usual repairs.

Change of Pace

I haven't posted in a couple weeks, thinking of where I want to take this blog... I could post on SEO related tips forever but it doesn't make for fun reading. So I am changing it up, and I am going to start posting some different articles.. Some mine.. some from other experts in related fields.. Let me know what you think..

The First Post is

Top Ten ways to NOT Make Money at Craft Shows by Diane Palmer

I have been involved with crafts shows for a long time, and have been on both sides of the table... as a vendor and as a customer.. Here is a list of the top ten "money losing" tricks.:

1) Lay out your crafts on a table without any thought of display, look grumpy, set up your chair behind the table and read a book. Better yet, don't even pay attention to your potential customers.

2) Eat a large onion laden cheese burger, that is bigger than you mouth, have it loaded with ketchup and mustard, and let everyone know you are eating it!, then try and explain your crafts while people are backing away from you! (why do they always sell cheese burgers at craft shows???)

3) Dress like you just rolled out of a barn, look crusty, and act as if you would rather be somewhere else... anywhere else. Total lack of interest always attracts customers...NOT!

4) Take absolutely no interest in setup... Take your table and jam it right up to the aisle as close as you can, and then lay all your crafts out in a single file. or better yet, pile them in a pile.. or in bins... ignoring all that free space behind you where you could have spent the money on shelves and displayed your products nicely.

5) Do not smile, at all, look totally peeved that you were dragged out of bed for this weekend, and you and your crafts look like it. Show a total lack of interest when a potential customers stops to look or asks a question, better yet, wander off and chit chat with other vendors.

6) Make sure your crafts are put together literally the night before, and are about to fall apart, and then stick a high price tag on them. After all no one will notice right?

7) Thinking this craft business is a great money maker, and pricing your crafts as if people should bless you for making them.. and then look totally crusty by the end of the day when people are not buying.

8) Make sure and have NO small change, or bags, that way you won't have to get up and complete the sale.

9) Make crafts that you do not like making, or don't know how to make properly, do not explain them to anyone. Show no passion in your work or display, let everyone know, you are there for the money only.

10) Explain to people that you are on the verge of welfare, and need this money, and produce stick it notes for your business cards..

Don't laugh... everyone of these things has happened at shows I have visited or shows that I have been in. I was actually set up beside someone who told me she hates crafts, but figured it was easy money... guess what?.. Her sales were non-existent.

Smile, show some passion in your work.. be confident in your work, and the best way to do that is to create a craft you are passionate about. Something you would make, even if you were not selling it. Look proud to be there... after all you worked hard all year for this show!

Find out what your passion is, in the craft world, this makes all the difference, and it shows in your work.

Set up a pretend display at home, I know this sounds like a lot of work, but on setup day, there will be panic all around you, and if you pack your things away in some sort of system, you will then unpack them in a calm manner. You can even do a drawing of your setup that you did at home, and follow it. You will be distracted by other vendors, especially those wanderers who spent 5 minutes setting up...so its best if you are practiced.

Find something you like to do, and do it. There are many ebooks on line now, that you can buy today and be learning the craft tonight, these are written by passionate people. Give that a try or take a class... just find something you like and your craft shows will make you some money. learn a new craft and get passionate

Friday, February 8, 2008

Counting on your Hosting.

Until very recently the hosting service for the Primitive Crossroads network of domains, never really concerned me. Our pages come up, we can easily make edits to them... thats all I cared about.. Life was bliss..

Thats till we needed something more than a static page, within our network we needed shopping carts, image gallery's, dynamic displayed content, and a host of other features. All of the features were offered through our current hosting, and I just needed to turn them on.

Thats when all heck broke loose,and we have been struggling to keep up. To make a long story short, until last night we had lost the ability to make even a simple edit to the current pages our websites. This is a nightmare for a site that has edits daily, or in our case multiple times per day. I have 7 websites to maintain, I require...nay demand, that everything work as I need it to. Thats what I am paying a small fortune for, "Top of the line, Quality Hosting Service". If there is a problem with the service I expect them to resolve it and to do so with the utmost urgency.

This is not an unreasonable demand.

My regular job is in tech support, I am a network engineer by trade. I work for a small company that handles the computer networks for about 1400 clients, so I know what its like to be in their shoes. I also am no "noob" when it comes to anything in the computer world, or dealing with tech support.

That all being said I am fairly livid, as I type this. When the websites went unresponsive, and we were in no longer in our control, I went into geek mode and started to troubleshoot our problems. When I had exhausted all options available to me, I called tech support at our Hosting service and started to go over the problem in detail with the tech on the phone. In short order we had went beyond his ability to help and I moved up the tech ladder, and our case was escalated. This is fairly normal, I am used to having to work my way through 3 levels of support before my problems are resolved.

3 days, multiple hours spent calling long distance later, and I get told that since they cant reproduce the errors in house, they refuse to help me any further. They agree that the problem isn't on my end, but at the same time they cant help me. They suggest that I get another hosting solution, if I don't like their answer, but don't call back. Either live with it and suffer or go away...

This is not an acceptable answer dang it.. I got changes to websites to make. So I remove all the features they installed to our account and Walla, we can make edits..However we cant expand our current sites and offer more feature rich content to the end users either. But at least I can upload pictures to snagit , Add members to the directory at Primitive Crossroads, and fix a nagging paypal shopping cart problem at Hollyberry....

I also go on the quest for the BEST service I can find.. and I believe I have found it. The folks over at bluehost are amazing, the service is cheaper and they offer a host of features and advanced content that makes my inner geek all warm and fuzzy feeling..

So if you are unhappy with your service, need advanced services, or even basic ones (like free built in shopping carts, forms..etc) then check them out.. The domain transfer process is simple and they are fanatical about tech support and keeping your sites running..



Bluehost.com Web Hosting $6.95

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Boost your site through linking

Most everyone is aware these days that exchanging links can boost your search engine results, but I have found in the crafting world this most consists of exchanging links with other craft sites, often competing store fronts..

First Off here are things NOT to do..
  • Dont buy links ~ Google no no.. Yes it can be done without being caught, but whats the point..
  • Dont put more than 50 outbound links per page on the links part of your website,make additional pages. Only link with partners that do the same. The "Quality" of the link is just if not more important that the quantity.
  • DONT EVER go out and get a ton of links at once.. Again Quality is important here. Having 10000 links is a good thing, unless you get them in short order, then it appears to be link buying and can get you Sandbagged.

Second Things I would avoid
  • Directories with Dynamically created pages. Dynamic pages or links that are stored in a database cant be actively read by the spiders, hence no value.. This is more important with website directories, and is the guiding reason why we hand edit everything at Primitive Crossroads.
  • If you must use a Banner ad in your links pages.. then they MUST have the alt text field filled out, or the link has little to no value. I would avoid linking partners that dont have this info..
And 3rd.. some innovative ways to get more links..

  • Blog, Blog, Blog..... did I mention blog.. make a sig line with your URL in it.. (I am guilty of not doing this myself)
  • Comment on blogs.... with your sig line containing your URL.
  • Online press releases..
  • Submit/publish an article online.. again include your url..
  • Join and online community and talk.. be active.
  • look for places with High Quality links (http://primitivecrossroads.com for example)
  • Deep Linking ~ Link to pages deep in your site.
  • Keep at it.. Set a goal, even if its only 5 links per month, you will see your importance and rank within the search engines rise..


Hope you enjoyed this topic.. If you have any questions or comments, email me. yancy@primitivecrossroads.com

Yancy of PrimitiveCrossroads.com


Monday, February 4, 2008

Snagit-online

Mandie of lifeinthecraftlanewithmandie.blogspot.com just launched her new site over at snagit-online.com Please take the time to visit, her site. The site is full with all of her 100% clipart she creates for the readers of her blog.

Meanwhile, I am heading into the office early today to see if things are dried out, or if its still flooded.

Yancy
http://primitivecrossroads.com

Friday, February 1, 2008

No Update Today

I walked into my office today and it was flooded, the people that live the apt upstairs above our building decided that the drain spouts didnt need to be connected to the pipe that leads the run off away from the building, because it interferes with their walking path they have through the alley.

So they unhooked it,and the water coming from the drain spouts now just flows down the alley and into my office.. My computers are destroyed, and I am running a shop vac to dry the carpet enough to walk on it.

Thank god my laptop never leaves my side :)

Yancy of PrimXroads