Posted on Jan, 12. 2010 Category questions from you Tags
Q: What was your favorite Christmas gift this year? (From Susannah)
A: I got a lot of really thoughtful stuff this year. My grandma got me an adorable Shinzi Katoh poster I wanted for Alice’s room, and my mom got us a sweet front door mat that says “Lasertron”–I thought that was funny. My in-laws sent us a digital picture frame that was pre-loaded with lots of old family pictures from Dave’s side that I hadn’t seen before. And my cousin Katie in Florida (who made that wrapping paper in the photo above–amazing, right?!) picked out a little box full of buttons for me. I’ll have to send her something!
Q: What’s your favorite pen or marker?
A: I only use Stabilo Fineliners or Pen 68s. They are the prettiest pens, I’ve found that they last a long time, and they come in EVERY color. Before that I was a Sharpie person, but I like Stabilo better! Und auch cool, sind sie in Deutschland hergestellt.
Q: What are some things that a lot of blogs do “wrong,” in your opinion? What are some good rules of thumb for those of us who want more traffic and reader participation? (from Christine)
A: Well, I’m not the expert on increasing website traffic and I don’t purport to receive more than the average blog, but here are a few things that come to mind:
…If you want your readers to engage with you more through comments or other communication channels, I think they respond better when there is an incentive. You don’t have to be giving something away–it could just be a moment of your professional expertise, a response to a comment, or an opportunity to talk about themselves. Open yourself to reader suggestions. Ask for advice. Reader surveys are also a great tool to gauge reader participation and find out what your fans like, dislike, and want more of!
…And since I mentioned giveaways, keep them simple. Readers do not want to jump through hoops to receive a giveaway item. A recent trend I am noticing is bloggers asking entrants to retweet something, become a facebook fan, leave a specific type of comment, or sign up for some kind of newsletter in order to be entered into the drawing–and sometimes all of the above! There are so many websites doing simple, easy-to-enter giveaways, that you aren’t creating any meaningful publicity by making it hard to enter. You just end up annoying the people you’re trying to hook.
…Finally, from reading a lot of comments and a lot of forums, I think many bloggers put too much pressure on themselves to become the next big thing. To become the next celebrity blogger with a book deal and advertisers banging down your door. Readers like honesty and sincerity. Just write. Just share.
Q: What’s the best part about living in omaha? (From Michele)
A: There is actually a cute website, I Live in Omaha, where people from the area can submit reasons why they love living here. One of my favorite answers was, “I live in Omaha because I like being in the middle of things–namely, this country.”
Right now I love Omaha because of this sign, placed at the busy intersection of 72nd and Dodge by design company Secret Penguin:
Q: Do you ever think about traveling and teaching craft courses? (From MerryWA)
A: Yes! I would love to! That’s the kind of thing that, at this moment, I know nothing about. I need to take a weekend sometime and learn about how other artists do that.
Q: What are you reading? (from Annabella)
A: Right now, Lula Magazine. It’s a beautiful magazine with few ads and lots of fashion, photoshoots, creative typography, and gorgeous layouts. Karen Elson is on the cover of this issue and now I’m convinced that I want to dye my hair red.
I’m totally afraid to dye my hair! I wish I was brave–it’s only hair. But I like my hair color now. Do you dye your hair? What color?
Posted on Jan, 11. 2010 Category in the studio Tags
Edit: As of now, I’m in third place now for the Shorty Awards! You guys are amazing!
This week, the Winter edition of the Dana Review was released and I am featured in an interview about using social media to grow your small business. Soon it should be available on Dana’s website as a .pdf, but until then you can click these links to see high-quality scans (courtesy of my proud mama!).
They didn’t print it there, but the photo credit goes to Lilia Ahner, an amazing wedding photographer from San Francisco.
Also, thanks to everyone who has nominated me for a Shorty Award in design! I got a few tweets that I had been nominated and I was totally surprised. If you want to cast a vote for me, click here to go to my page and retweet the nomination with your own thoughts. I’d really appreciate it–this is a cool contest with lots of great nominees to check out in all categories!
Briefly, here are the rules and guidelines for voting (from the Shorty Awards website)
…To vote, send a tweet like this: “I nominate @lasertron for a Shorty Award in #design because… (add reason here).” You can do this on Twitter.com, with any Twitter client, or using the voting box on my nominee page.
…You can also send shorter votes like this: “#shortyawards @lasertron #design” (add quick reason here). This shorter format is helpful if you want to vote from a party, on the road, in a meeting, or on a boat
…Be as creative as you want with the reason
…A tweet that does not give a reason for the nomination will not be counted
…Voters must be active Twitter users prior to the start of the competition. Votes originating from new Twitter accounts or accounts used mainly for Shorty Awards voting will automatically be disqualified and will not count toward the rankings
…Votes must appear publicly. Votes from private Twitter accounts will not be counted.
The winner gets to go to New York to accept the award. I’m not sure I really have earned it, but I’m definitely gonna go for it!!
This week I’m going to record a video tutorial for a cute Valentine’s Day project (can you believe that’s already the next holiday?) and start several bridal orders for this year. I was hoping to get everything for the whole year done before May, but we’ll see. It’s so hard for me to say no sometimes.
Posted on Jan, 10. 2010 Category in my closet Tags
It’s -15Â° F in Omaha today and I am dealing with this by wearing a shirt printed like a beach towel.
Physically, I feel like I really popped out this week!
We went to The Mart today and bought our first dining room table. Dave didn’t think we needed one (“We eat on the coffee table!”) but I am excited for the possibilities and potential it holds…dinner parties…lan parties and games…play-doh…forts…and all the pretty place settings we can have.
Tunic: unsure…the tag didn’t have a name but it’s from Anthro
Necklace: Erickson Beamon for Target
Shoes: trusty old Merona boots–I have worn these in seven countries over five years!
Coat: Liz Lange for Target
This outfit is also on Polyvore.