A Moment Of Gratitude – A Celebrate The Small Things Blog Post

It is time again to join Lexa Cain for her weekly blog hop “Celebrate The Small Things” You can join this ever-growing list of gratitude practitioners there. Remember, when you look close enough, you will always find something to be grateful for.

This week I am grateful that our move is now in it’s final stages, and we are actually getting on the road on Tuesday. I am looking forward to finally moving out of here, and toward the West, something we all have been looking forward to for a while now. Las Vegas, here we come!

I am grateful that I am getting better at moving efficiently and in a more organized manner. This will come in handy in the near future again, our stay in Las Vegas is limited to about 6 months. So, basically as soon as we unpacked, we are going to re-pack. I better have that down to a science by then!

I am grateful that I have chosen to take the next few days off, and that I am flexible enough to do so. It is so much harder when your schedule is dictated by a typical job. I am glad that I am in charge of my own schedule.

I am grateful that found some baby pictures of my daughter, I did not remember we had. Somehow they got mixed in with some tax papers (I don’t know how that happened), but they are adorable, and put a smile on my face. I can’t wait to tease her with them later on today.

Speaking of pictures, going through all of our stuff, I also came across my own basic training pictures. Now there is something to scare the kids with. Is it a bad thing to be grateful for having been hurt bad enough in basic training to receive a medical discharge? Well, I am, because it brought me to this time and place, something that might have never happened would I have actually been physically able to stay. I guess it is possible to be grateful for torn ligaments and improper medical treatment after all. Was not that much fun when it happened, though.

What are you grateful for this week? I hope you take the time to write a blog post, and join the hop, or create a list in your journal. Gratitude is a practice that should be held sacred by everyone, no matter which spiritual background or the lack thereof  one comes from.

Have a great weekend!

Claudia

P.S. I will not be a part of next weeks hop. Monday will be the last day I will be on this blog until end of June. See you in July!

The Girl – A Five Sentence Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: The Girl

The spunk in her eyes surprised me.
I thought the torture he had put her through would have already taken all of her will, broken her and made her a heap of injured flesh, but instead she looked at me as if she was about to take me on, with the determination to win.
I suppressed my smile, and the flicker of pride, to look professional, after all, our cover could not be blown.
How otherwise would I be able to save her from the monster, in whom’s hands she had fallen?
I reached out toward her, half expecting a move back, but also ready for her to attack, while I whispered, “Let me get you out of this hell.”

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

This post was inspired by this week’s Five Sentence Flash Fiction writing prompt “Spunk”, by Lillie McFerrin. Find out what others wrote this week here

Find your art on Redbubble

A Dash Of Color – Our Very Own Pillow Collection

Over the last few weeks, we have been enjoying the creation of our own designs just as much as the promoting and assisting of other Print On Demand Artist. Today, I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight my favorite pillow designs we created exclusively for Avalon Media.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed designing them for you!

And as always, please support independent artists! Thank you!

5 Quick Tips For New Print On Demand Artists

Beginner's Tips for Print On Demand Artists

Getting started on Print on Demand sites, like RedBubble or Zazzle, can be overwhelming. To ensure a smooth start, I have compiled five quick tips that can assist you on your journey of selling your art online via these platforms.

1. Use strategic listing titles
A Day in the sun might sound poetic, but does not describe your art very well – instead go for something like “A Watercolor rendition of a family relaxing in a park”. Does not sound that good, but it gets the point across.

2. Use the hashtags.
Make them relevant, but make them thorough – the more, the better. In Zazzle use your most descriptive to the point tags first – the first ten are considered your power tags.

3. Make sure your designs fit properly.
Zazzle has a great little tool, that allows you to see if your design is big enough to fit properly – this is especially important with items such as pillows. In RedBubble, you can adjust the design in the individual product category. Use it. What might look good on a pillow, might not look that good at the same size a cell phone cover.

4. Write clear, and informative products descriptions that include keywords.
Be precise, to the point, but try to convey the product in a way that someone who can  not see a picture of it, would understand the basic idea of what it is about. Include the customizable options, and size options (if applicable) in your description as well. For example “Customizable to fit a variety of cell phone covers for you newest phone, to include the iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S6, and more”

5. Tell your story!
Make sure you have a compelling profile, that includes a little personal information and how you came to be an artist. Talk about your passions. The more you care about your art, and voice that, the more your customers will care about it too. Make it personal.

Wishing you the best success on your journey as a print on demand artist!

Monday Motivation – 5 Quotes To Inspire

I always enjoy positive quotes for a quick pick me up, or a way to get me back on track, when I am feeling overwhelmed. Quotes seem to hold within them wisdom I sometimes can not conjure, and it feels good knowing there is a resource always available that I can fall back on. I have collected five quote posters for you, that can – if you allow them to – do the same for you. A positive way to start the week!

Wishing you a wonderful and productive week!
Claudia
As always, please support independent artists! Thank you

Stop That Re-Pin! 4 Things You Should Consider Before Hitting That Pin Button

4 Things You Should Consider Before Hitting That Re-pin Button

Whether you are a Print On Demand Artist, a writer or have your own business, the power of owning a Pinterest Business Account is great and should be utilized to its fullest potential by everyone. But because it is easy to fall in the trap of spamming your followers, you have to have a certain level of other pins on your boards that are not advertising your products or services. One of many ways to so is to repin what other people have posted.

However, repinning a great infographic without too much thought can be counter-productive. Here are four points you should consider when repinning content to your Pinterest business account (or any Pinterest account):

1. Read the comments to the pin thoroughly. Just because the information is great, does not mean that the pinner’s thoughts on the subject matter fit your needs, the needs of your audience, or are views you want to convey. Better yet, change the description of the pin completely, and include your own information on it.

2. Check the link. A great graphic or image does not make a great re-pin. Make sure the pin does not lead to some questionable content or is a dead link.

3. Get rid off hashtags. While hashtags are wonderful for facebook, twitter, Instagram and a host of other places, Pinterest is not one of them. Get rid of all the cluttering hashtags before re-pinning the pin.

4. Keep your followers in mind. Consider if the majority of your followers of this board would benefit from the content you are about to re-pin. If it is only interest to you or is only re-pinned to not look spammy, don’t bother. Every pin you share should have a purpose and bring value to your followers. No exceptions.

Happy re-pinning!

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