Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thank a Teacher

Next week teachers will be in the spotlight with National Teacher Appreciation Day and Teacher Appreciation Week. Teacher Appreciation Day is the Tuesday of the first full week in May. For 2016, that makes May 3 Teacher Appreciation Day during Teacher Appreciation Week (May 2-6). These are unofficial national holidays but you will find many PTA's doing a variety of things next week to thank school teachers and let them know they are appreciated. If your child is in school, contact that school's PTA and ask if you can help with their teacher appreciation plans. You can also have your child(ren) write a thank you note to their teacher(s) or send your child to school with a small thoughtful gift such as a bookmark.

Teachers aren't always found in schools. Think extra curricular activities like music lessons, art lessons, Little League and other sports and many other learning opportunities. Having a teacher that you want to say thank you to is also not only the purview of the young. If you have a current or past teacher that has made a difference in your life, reach out to them and say thanks. Let them know if they helped you get through a course that was a struggle for you or if they inspired you so much with their subject matter that it became your life's work. Teachers often have a passion for what they do, but a pat on the back will go a long way to make their day and keep them passionate.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Earth Day 2016

Celebrate Earth Day on Friday, April 22 or at an Earth Day event that continues through the weekend such as Earth Day Texas at Fair Park in Dallas, TX. Earth Day Texas focuses on environmental awareness and education and is an annual forum for sharing the latest initiatives, discoveries, research, innovations, policies, products, and corporate practices that are reshaping our world.

Earth Day was founded in 1970 by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson, of Wisconsin, as a national “teach-in” day, according to the Earth Day Network. Nelson wrote about the origins of Earth Day on Envirolink, "I announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and invited everyone to participate. The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters, and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air – and they did so with spectacular exuberance."

What will you do to celebrate the Earth? Many people plant trees, participate in clean up projects, go on a nature hike or take inventory of how they can reduce their carbon footprint. Whether it is big or small, I hope you have a fabulous time contemplating or being out in our wonderful natural world and doing your bit to safeguard our environment. I created a photographic art image of a tree spirit who emerged during winter storm Jonas, in honor of the other living creatures sharing planet earth with us.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Etsy Shops Get a Makeover

This past week Etsy completed its rollout of its new shop design. The new design relies more on scrolling than links to related pages to surface pertinent information about a shop.

As a shop owner I had the option of using my old banner, making a larger cover photo or going without a visual at the top of my shop landing page. I chose to go with the new cover photo option. My cover photo for my EDCCollective shop is likely temporary. I used the photo that I created my old banner from and cropped it for the new cover photo aspect ratio. (See old banner above.) At some point when I have the time I expect I will set up a photo shoot using my current inventory to make a new one. Until then I am happy with the new cover photo (seen below). What do you think? For my EclecticSkeptic shop I made a collage of representative items from that shop for my new cover photo.

Other changes include larger product images at three across instead of four on our shop home page. Some of the information was brought out of the side bar on the left and added higher up on the page. We also got five more shop sections that we can add to the sidebar, hooray! This will help customers focus in on specific items they are looking for when they are not just browsing an entire shop. I have already added a few more sections to my EclecticSkeptic shop.

There is definitely a learning curve for shop owners as they manage the new layout and some things are not as easy to do in one's shop as in the old view. Etsy has promised they are working on enhancements based on feedback. Overall, I am getting used to it and am hopeful that Etsy's testing that showed the redesign was good for shoppers proves to be accurate. I have not shopped the new view yet. If you have, I'd love to hear what you find to be good or needs improvement from a shopper's point of view.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Thanks for the Treasuries - March 2016

One Etsy shop owner and one Etsy team let me know they had featured one or more of my items in a treasury during March. Three March Etsy treasuries, that treasury makers let me know about, included one of my creations. You can see a collage below of my items from EDCCollective and EclecticSkeptic that were featured during March. (Click on the collage to see a larger view.)

I really appreciate being featured by the treasury makers. To thank them, I have listed below a link to the Etsy seller that let me know they had featured one or more of my items, as well as an item from their shop that I like. In addition you will see information about the TexasFriendsTeam that also featured an item of mine.

Enjoy window shopping and please click on the links of anything that catches your eye.

This shop owner turns graphics into button dangle earrings, hair clips, keychains and more.

Past, present and future Texans are welcome and encouraged to join this team. The only real rules of the group are to promote friendly, The TX Way, and be respectful to all who participate.