Category Archives: Business Savvy

I’m learning bunches at Lynda.com – you can too

I love learning things. I have loved it all my life. I was the kind of kid who liked going to school for the thrill of learning new things.

Lynda.com Online Training is one of my favorite places to continue to learn. They do say continuing to learn keeps you young, right? I mostly focus on the computer software and internet marketing tools I use, or want to use, in my business HeartStrings FiberArts. But even after 3 years with them, I am still amazed at how much more they offer! I bet you can find lots there that would appeal to you, too.

I wanted to give you a glimpse into the class I am taking now — Photoshop Color Correction: Fundamentals.

The following free sample lesson is titled “No such thing as color images”. Take a look — Continue reading I’m learning bunches at Lynda.com – you can too

Jewel Tone Finesse by Colinton

A collection of 9 jewel tone dyed colors of Colinton’s distinctively silky Australian mohair yarn launched in June 2012, bringing the Colinton Color Finesse collection to 18 colors + natural pearl white.

Not to be outdone by their first Color Finesse sample card (left) for the collection of classic hand-dyed colors launched in January 2012, owner Brandyn designed fans of colors for the sample card of their newest collection (right). Isn’t it pretty? I love the artistic thought behind the laying out of the card (and appreciate the work involved in making up beautiful sample cards like this!) — it is another keeper.

Colinton Sample Cards
Colinton Color Finesse Sample Cards

All 19 colors are available in all 3 yarn weights. Wholesale inquiries to Colinton Angoras. Stockists of Colinton yarns and kits.

So what’s your favorite color???

COLOR FINESSE CLASSIC (to left). The original 9 classic colors plus Natural Pearl released at January 2012 TNNA.

  • Natural Pearl
  • Mocha
  • Amethyst
  • Brick
  • Dusty Rose
  • Honey
  • Dove
  • Pacific
  • Marine
  • Moss

COLOR FINESSE AUTUMN (to right). 9 new jewel tone colors released at June 2012 TNNA.

  • Shiraz
  • Sienna
  • Terracotta
  • Ink
  • Charcoal
  • Orchid
  • Silver
  • Mallard
  • Slate

HeartStrings patterns for Colinton yarns (also available as kits through Colinton).

  • White Lotus Lace Stole (shown in the background of the photo above with the sample cards; this stole would be lovely in Dusty Rose or Orchid and carry along the theme of lotus flowers)
  • A Touch of Beaded Class (I’d love to make this in the Silver color; I think it would be really rich looking and go with everything!)
  • Coronet Collaret (any color to go with a favorite top in your wardrobe that you want to dress up with a bit of lace — can go either way for casual to dressy)

Ravelry currency conversion for Paypal payments

Fans all over the world can conveniently purchase my HeartStrings downloadable patterns from Ravelry using Paypal. Convenient currency conversion allows you to see the price in your own currency before buying.

Since I am a U.S. business, my patterns are priced on Ravelry in US$’s. Even if you are not familiar with conversion rates into your own currency, Ravelry’s Super-Star-Programmer Casey has made this easy for all of us!

Did you know that if you have your country location in your Ravelry profile, it will show you the price conversion in your currency? For example, if you are in UK and look at a pattern priced in US$’s, you can see the conversion into pounds right below it. There’s no extra work on your part when paying either, because PayPal takes care of all that automatically for you.

Here is a visual example of the way that Ravelry shows the currency conversion on a pattern page. I highlighted the area that shows the price conversion into pounds so it will be easier for you to see and know where to look. Of course, if you are in another country other than the UK., then the conversion shown would be in your currency for your country. (But remember, you have to have the Country set in your Ravelry profile so that you get the conversion.)

Ravelry currency conversion for Paypal payments
Ravelry currency conversion for HeartStrings patterns purchased with Paypal - Try it out!

Check your Ravelry profile now and update if necessary so that you can take advantage of this neat Ravelry feature. Then try it out on some of my HeartStrings/Jackie E-S patterns in the Ravelry store.

Business Savvy :: Planning an event?

Planning an event with HeartStrings patterns? Let me help you talk it up on my social media networks, fan groups, and newsletter.

As mentioned in my post a couple of weeks ago You Talk, I Listen, much of my Designing Day is filled with activities that are not strictly knitting design. A growing focus of mine has been to offer “hang outs” for fans of HeartStrings on some of the popular social media sites.

I’m still learning how to most  effectively use these sites and their tools, but one thing is clear … I am happy to help any of you, my cherished HeartStrings dealers and fans, to promote your event or special announcements. It’s something that will be beneficial to us both, and takes hardly any effort, and won’t cost you a thing.

Let me know, and I’ll get the word out via my newsletter (nearly 10,000 active subscribers with an open and click rate that is phenomenally high), Facebook network (1700+ fans and growing), via Twitter, etc. You can also post your own HeartStrings-related announcements on the HeartStrings FiberArts Facebook page and in the Jackie E-S / HeartStrings Fan Group on Ravelry, too.

Why not take benefit of this now? Are you ready to get the buzz going? Looking forward to hearing from you and what you have planned.

Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer
HeartStrings FiberArts
Knitting Patterns for Wearable Art in Timeless Styles

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Postal changes :: It’s not all bad news

uspslogoYou are probably already aware of the postal changes going into effect January 22, 2012. Most changes will mean a postage increase on orders that businesses mail. The good news is that there is one class of service routinely used by shops mailing HeartStrings pattern orders for which the overall cost will decrease.

As of January 22, 2012, USPS Delivery Confirmation will be free on first class domestic packages with electronic bar code. This commercial-based pricing will now be called “First-Class Package Service”. The maximum weight is 13 ounces (which can accommodate nearly any order placed for HeartStrings patterns on Shopatron). That means you save $.19 off the price you’ve been paying for electronic delivery confirmation tracking (or even more if you had not yet switched to electronic bar coding, which will now be required on all packages).

Of course, it isn’t a full $.19 savings, because that is offset by the base USPS price increase. For first class packages (e.g. HeartStrings patterns shipped in #5 bubble envelopes), it still works out to a net savings of $.11.

Yay! Every few pennies saved here and there is good, right?

Endicia.com has a good explanation on the details of the new USPS features and prices going into effect January 22, 2012. I can also recommend the free webinar that Endicia.com is putting on to explain the changes as it affects businesses. The schedule is in the left-hand side bar at the Endicia site here.