Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Pinterest is so much fun!

If you haven't heard about Pinterest or already joined- you should. It is really fun and is a great way to promote your shop or anything you do. My sister got me hooked several months ago, and when I say "hooked" I mean it!  Just get ready to spend hours looking around when you join. I think the first day, I spent nearly the entire day going from one person's boards to another. If you need an invite (which you have to have to join), just email me at bethsgreatgraphics@gmail.com
and I will be happy to send you one.

You can make your own boards- basically an online bulletin board of things you like, you can repin from what others have on their boards or when you see something out on the web you like, instead of bookmarking it, you can PIN it- and then it is right there for you to see. I have boards for things I want to do to my house-on my "When I win the lottery" board, great quotes, fashion, crafts, recipes, etc...here are some of my favorite things I have pinned.

on my "Words of Wisdom" board

this is SO true
from my friend Michele's Etsy store

and then there is this- I would so love to have some of these made!

On my "Party On" board

what a cute idea for a birthday party,
and oh yeah, how great would some of my graphics be to make these!!!


on my "Chilling Outside" board

I don't really see this happening, but wouldn't it be fun!!!


from my "Great Things to Buy" board

okay, so I am terrible, but what can I say- I want this!!!


from my "When I Win the Lottery" board

Yeah, then I can buy stuff to fill up this closet!


I also have a "Shameless Self Promotion" board where I put some of my graphics, but Pinterest frowns on using them for only that, so I just sneak some in every now and then. 

Pinterest is great fun, a HUGE time suck, and I have as much time thinking up what I want to say in the captions as I do pinning things. If you haven't already joined, you should- it is the fastest growing site out there- so send me an email if you need an invite- and then I can start pinning some of your stuff!

Thanks again to all of you for making my first year on Etsy so wonderful! Don't forget my website has instant downloads- so you don't have to wait on me if you need your files right away!

gotta go pin some more stuff!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

One Year Anniversary

Great Graphics has a birthday!!!

On January 17th last year, on a lark, I posted my first digital graphics on Etsy. I had started looking around in December to find something to do besides be on the computer working on my husband's website all the time. I like to knit- so I thought maybe I will knit some scarves and sell them on Etsy- um NO, too many people sell them too cheaply (just my opinion), so I wasn't going there- and then I stumbled on digital graphics.

Now let me say, I have been doing graphics for YEARS, and here, falling in my lap, could it be??? the perfect job?  I had visions of drawing and painting all day and just posting them up on Etsy and possibly selling a few. Jokingly as I said in my last post I set my goal for 5000 by the end of my first year. This really was a JOKE!

Well in a lot of ways it IS the perfect job for me. I can be at home in my pajamas all day (like today), if I want to- I get to create what I want, when I want- and I hit my 5000 mark BEFORE my first year.  The down side for me is that I am still on the computer most of the day- but hell, I have reconciled myself to that for the most part. I have bought some great new toys, a Wacom Inkling Pen, so I can draw on paper again, and then it goes straight into my computer- a new Mac laptop to partner with my Big Mama Mac.
I used some of the money I made to enclose my garage for my new studio- which is heavenly divine!

Most importantly, I have met- or I should say- have come to know some of the most talented, funny, wonderful people from all over the world!  I have great customers in Australia-and all over Europe, and even some countries I can't pronounce. I have become friends with a bunch of great people here in the states, some I talk to on the phone, some just through email, but I adore you ALL!

Anniversary Sale!!!

So to celebrate my one year anniversary, I am having a sale- Buy One, Get One- you know the drill, buy the ones you want on my website or Etsy store- but DON'T buy the freebies- just email me and use "anniversary sale" for the code word and tell me which ones you want for free. BE sweet and choose freebies that are of equal or lesser value of the ones you bought- hey, I have a new screened porch I want to build this year :)  You may get as many freebies as you want- to match the ones you buy. 

NOW, to make it more interesting- if you buy 10 or more- for every set over 10 you buy- you get TWO free- and I know what some of you are thinking, but believe me, every time I have one of these sales, I have a ton of people that buy more than 10 at a time.  Because this is going to tax my brain- this sale runs for ONLY 24 hours- starting at 12 midnight Central Time tonight until 12 midnight tomorrow night...January 17th only.  Don't be emailing me telling me you have to have your colon cleansed or you just got a manicure and typing is going to mess up your nails- I have given in before and let people buy them a day or two later...but that just seems unfair and could turn into a nightmare one day. So, it's just tomorrow!!!

So, start your shopping- and have fun, I have posted some new sets in the last few days- just remember DO NOT BUY your freebies- because then i will get pissed off because I have to do all those paypal returns, and Etsy returns and I don't even begin to know how to do that on my website, because...well...I don't DO returns :)  

Thank you ALL for making my first year so fun, for helping me learn the ropes, for being supportive, for listening to me scream and rant about some really stupid questions I have gotten, for assuring me when the copycats started copying me, that my stuff was really better, for giving me some fabulous ideas for sets to add, and most of all for always making me look so good with the things you make using the graphics.  You are a bunch of talented people and I am so happy I know you!!!!

If you want your graphics right away- use the website- because they download instantly there-otherwise, if you order before about 8 in the morning, I will be asleep-but during the day I will be around and happy to send as fast as I can...so thanks again for all the support and wonderful friendship!!!

I really do love you guys....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

It's a New Year!

It's a New Year!

Well one of the things I wanted to do for the new year was to post on my blog more. I don't know why I have such an aversion to doing it. For anyone that knows me- it is not that I lack for things to say, because I normally don't shut up.

I think that what holds me back is I fear that I may bore my followers. Not with the wonderful things that I share from the customers that make fantastic things with my graphics (which is why that is usually ALL I post), but mainly anything else I may have to say.  Also, because for some odd reason I feel the need to be "professional" about all this.

Well, not anymore!  I have decided that I am going to post here, just the way I talk and say the things I feel and yes, every now and then there may be a dirty word slung here or there, not to offend, but sometimes I just can't help myself. So, all that being said, you have been warned- here goes.....

This is the cutest calendar EVER!  Made by Michele with a single L
click the picture or the link to see more by Michele in her Etsy shop, she has the CUTEST cards, calendars, and tons of other stuff, all with these amazing gals on them.
 I wish I could say I did the graphics, but they are all hers- LOVE the gals.
My favorite quote in the calendar is 

"Old aunts used to come up to me at weddings, poking me in the ribs and cackling, telling me,
"You're next".  They stopped after I started doing the same thing to them at funerals"

The Number ONE Thing for this year

I posted my first graphics on Etsy on January 17th last year, and as a JOKE, I wrote down that day, that I wanted to sell 5000 sets by my first anniversary. Well, considering at the time, I had 36 sets, it was a joke- but what the hell, why not.  Well as of today- 3 days before my 1 year anniversary- I have sold 5147 sets on Etsy, I opened a store on another venue which will remain nameless as I don't want another link going in their direction- 418 and I also started my own website which as of today I have sold almost 300 sets. 

Now I have always believed that if you BELIEVE you can do something- you can. And I know a lot of people think it is a bunch of hooey, telling your subconscious what you want, etc... but I know it works. 
It has worked for me in the past- even when I didn't know I was doing it- and then I read some things about it and actively started doing it and it works...it always works. Now that is not to say that I tell myself I am going to win the lottery and that will work...we don't even have a lottery in Alabama, and I would have to buy a ticket...ya know.

But I wrote down the number 5000 and it happened. I find if I write down the things I want to accomplish it makes my subconscious pay more attention, because if it was just listening to all I said, it would explode.  I do believe though you should SAY positive things- not just think them, because then it is "out there".  So I try, I really try to say positive things to myself and others. I believe that if you constantly are saying "I can't do that", "I will never have...." then that is a self fulfilling prophecy.
The words "I can't do that" or "I don't know how to do that" have never sprung from my lips- EXCEPT in the case where someone asked me to do something I DID NOT WANT to do. Then it works GREAT!

I just has never occurred to me that if there was something I wanted to do, that I couldn't do it. I mean, when I was younger, I would check out books from the library if I wanted to learn to do something, or read the encyclopedia- for anyone reading this under 30- the library is a place that has a bunch of books- and encyclopedias- well they were books that had information- like Wikipedia now- except that they were not editable. And now with the internet- ANYTHING you want to learn to do you can. Not only can you find the information and read it...you most likely can find a YouTube video and learn by watching. 

So, goal ONE- STAY POSITIVE!  I am going to write down all the things I want to do this year- and let my subconscious MAKE me do them. 

I told you I talk too much, this is already too long, so I post a goal a day- until I have bored you all to tears and but stay tuned, because I am still going to post amazing things that my customers and some other very talented people make on here too.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Leaving ArtFire

My Farewell to ArtFire

I know many of you that follow me are on Etsy and some from ArtFire, some are on both. I have decided to close my ArtFire shop because of several reasons. I posted on the forums in AF last night my reasons, and I have really struggled with this decision. I was such a fan of AF when I joined, but all the things I was such a cheerleader for have changed. I posted in this blog how fabulous it was- I have removed that post. 

My post was moved to the darkest hole on AF so many will not see it- for those of you who don't go in the forums or shop with me on AF, here is my post so you can read it.

A Sad Departure

Tony, when I first came to ArtFire, I was THRILLED with everything. I loved the price- $9.95 a month and that was a bargain compared to the over $300 I pay every month on Etsy- for sales and reposting. I ventured warily into the forums one day to ask a question and you actually answered it- I was floored- I really couldn't believe that the COO of the company would take the time to actually answer a question from a seller. Needless to say, I was a huge fan- I even encouraged several of my friends on Etsy to get an AF shop- and they did. I have been nothing but a rah-rah for AF.  However, I do take issue with how things have been recently.

Here is my problem and my thoughts about the Assurance Program.

1) it is not really an option. Option by definition is: "the power or right of choosing"  You have taken   
     away the "right" of choosing by imposing the following:
                         " 7)  If I have a fixed rate and opt out what will be the impact?

A) You will not have the assurance graphic and message about this assurance displayed on your shop and items.

B) A radio button will be provided to shoppers so they can "show only items backed by ArtFire assurance"  this will limit returns on all shopping pages.

C) The email regarding the sale will have a line at the bottom similar to "This seller offers independent return and warranty policies.""

This is not the same kind of "option" that I am used to. My bank gives me the "option" of overdraft protection. However, if I choose not to have that option, they do not tack on additional caveats, such as "If you do not choose to have overdraft protection, you will no longer be able to use online banking". The option to have overdraft protection is just that- an option, not tied to anything else.

If a seller chooses to opt-out, I do believe and others have stated this as well, that it makes us look like some kind of sketchy seller because we don't have the big "AF stamp of approval" and it would seem to me, it should make buyers wonder WHY this seller or that one DOESN'T have it. They have no way of knowing we opted out of something- to them we just look sketchy.

And personally I think adding on the additional "punishment" of being left out of searches is ridiculous. One has nothing to do with the other- and yes, I know you said they have the option to search "free shipping" or "mature content" but I do not think this is even on the same level with those- this is just a strong arm tactic on your part to try and make everyone stay opted-in.

As sellers, and I think most of us are this way, we bend over backwards for our customers. We go out of our way to please them, help them and make them happy. Why??? Because we take pride in our work, we take pride in what we create and if we DON'T make our customers happy, we are smart enough to know that pretty soon we won't have any customers.

This program is totally redundant on so many levels. Most sellers have their own policies and as I already said, do almost anything to make a customer happy.  If a customer can't be pleased, then they have the right to go to Paypal, and have them dispute it for them.  And anyone that pays for something using a credit card can certainly dispute a transaction. So why when there are already so many levels of protection for a buyer do we need another one- we don't.

Honestly, and I am not the only one that thinks this, as I have seen it all over the forums, it seems to me this is just a way to raise capital, albeit not the smartest way.  I bet if you had approached your sellers and said, "hey guys, we need to raise some capital because we have some great new ideas and things we would like to implement to help you sell more, etc….that those of us who are in a position to help, would have been more than happy to accommodate.  I, for one would have- I would have said- "sure, I'll pay $25 a month, I would love to make ArtFire grow and be bigger and better." I mean this sincerely, I have had over 400 sales here since beginning in April, I was a HAPPY seller!  In comparison to what I pay on Etsy every month, $25 would have still been a great value.

But you didn't. Instead you decided to try this tactic. Which as far as I can tell from most of the comments I have read- and believe me I have spent a lot of my time reading them, the majority of people have some sort of problem with the Assurance program. 

Since I am pretty sure this will be my last post- as I will probably be muted or have my shop closed, I also want to say a few other things. (it is terrible that I even feel this way, worried that because I am disagreeing with you, I will never be able to voice my opinion again, but from what I have seen recently, I have no reason to think otherwise.)

As for the behavior lately in the forums:  When I first joined and ventured into the forums, everyone was so kind, helpful and courteous. I never witnessed any of the back-biting, profane remarks and outright hatefulness that has filled them lately.

When I saw that for the first time in the fall - I left the forums for several months, I didn't even read anything. I was very disappointed.  I am even more disappointed now, as it seems that some are able to get away with any sort of behavior and others are muted or are threatened to have their shops closed.  How is it that someone can respectfully disagree with you and they get muted or threatened and someone else can spew venom at another seller by telling them to "fucking go" and then telling the REST of us- if we don't like the language,  "blow me"?  REALLY??? You let someone say this to another seller and you do nothing. Yet several people I know that RESPECTFULLY  disagreed with you no longer have a voice. amazing.

My great disappointment:

Tony, the way you come across sometimes and the way you talk down to some of your sellers on occasion makes me think that you consider us a bunch of hobbyists, sitting around our houses, glueing sequins onto things and that we have no business sense at all.

I owned an invitation/stationery manufacturing business for 7 years, until I sold it 3 years ago. I had employees, I had over 100 dealers nationwide selling my invitations. The only reason I sold it was sheer exhaustion- I worked 16-18 hour days 7 days a week for 7 years.  I worked that hard because I wanted it to be a success and it was a HUGE success!  I KNOW what it takes to run a business, I did the accounting, I did the designing, I did the marketing- I had employees, overhead and inventory. I am not some ditsy housewife that has no concept of business principles.  I am sure most of the people that sell their things on here do too. No one likes to be talked down to in the condescending manner that you use sometimes, like we are a bunch of morons who you believe can't understand basic business and financial principles and that you wish we would just go glue our sequins and leave you alone.

I am so sad how this has turned out- my husband even remarked that he couldn't believe it, because for months when he came home all I did was talk about how great ArtFire was. And it WAS- it was before all the hatefulness in the forums, before you decided that we were all so beneath you that we weren't worth listening to anymore. 

The way I think you would like things to work reminds me of the "Charge of  the Light Brigade"  where the soldiers blindly rode into death following their leader- even though they knew he was making a mistake

"Their's not to make reply,
 Their's not to reason why,
 Their's but to do and die:
 Into the Valley of Death
 Rode the six hundred."

Well I for one, will not be foliowing you into the valley.  I wish you all great success, I hope you grow and flourish, but I can't stay under the circumstances and am truly sad to leave.  I wish things could have been different.


I will be putting all my time and energy into my website and blog and Etsy store from now on!
thanks for being my customers, my friends and I hope we all have a wonderful and prosperous 2012! 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I apologize for the repeat posts

and I promised I wouldn't fill your inbox!

I apologize for all the OLD posts you are either getting or will be getting from my blog. I went on yesterday to edit all my posts to remove my ArtFire links, as I am leaving ArtFire and very disappointed in the way they have decided to conduct business recently. I thought I was just saving my changes, but apparently, it is resending all the blog posts....so please don't hate me, just delete them all- and don't opt out of getting my blog either- because I have some great plans for some fun stuff this year- part of my New Year's resolution!

Again, I apologize, I am a blog idiot!