Monday, December 27, 2010

Welburn Gourd Farm Sale

Welburn Gourd Farm is having a 60-70% off gourd sale. In person you get 70% off and online you get 60% off. They have some great deals on quality gourds and happen to be our gourd supplier. The first 100 orders get a free set of pigment powders. I'm not sure if they reached 100 yet but you can check them out online at:

Happy after Christmas shopping everyone!

HUGE After Christmas Sale in our Etsy Shop.

We lowered the prices of all our gourd art by 20%-30% off plus free shipping on most gourds! Some jewelry has been marked down.
Visit our shop:

For a limited time our how to guide Stained Glass Barrette Tutorial is only $3!!

We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. Our TV broke so we spent Christmas playing cards and board games, it was a blast!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Hello everyone!
After Christmas we will be launching a HUGE sale on our Etsy site! Also our coupon code is still good until Dec. 30th. Code: sandyclaws
Prepare to find some amazing deals at:

We hope you have a fun holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Maximize your shop's potential

We're finding through experience how to get attention to our etsy store and our items. Here are some things we have learned. 

I need to mention we have had our shop up for less than a month and have only had 6 sales so we are by no means experts. This blog post is just to let you know what we have learned and maybe you can benefit from it or give us some helpful tips. 

How to get a lot of traffic to your etsy shop site fast:
Tweet it. We made a twitter account. Every time we post a new item we tweet a link to it and within a minute the number of views goes up by about 10-20. Are these views from potential buyers? Who knows. But we feel that people viewing our items can't possibly be bad. Keep in mind we only have about 100 followers and even when we had much less we still would get that little burst of views. 
Our twitter:!/Desert2Forest We follow everyone who follows us. 

How to get traffic to your store consistantly: 
One thing we have learned is the importance of good tags. Good tags will get people to find your item when they do a search. Its hard to know what to put for tags sometimes. We start to type in something like "peacock" and the drop down list of suggestions will include things like "peacock eye earrings" so we'll use that since it is most likely a common search phrase. 
Very important: Use all 14 tags! 

How to stay on the top of the search list:
We don't really know anything about that SEO stuff and have no e-commerce experience. In studying up on how to be good etsy sellers we've read of different things for staying on the top of the search results lists including renewing items regularly to keep them at the top of the list until they sale but that could get expensive. Our strategy is to post a new item or two to the store everyday. If we have a lot to get up there we'll do two a day otherwise just 1 item a day. We figure that will keep something from our shop toward the top of search results at all times. We also like to mix it up like putting one piece of art and one pair of earrings up each day. Since those items have different tags and will come up on different search list that will increase our chances of getting customers to find our goods. 

Having merchandise for every budget:
We can have merchandise ranging from $5 to $150 because we just happen to make all sorts of things but this may not be practical for everyone. Our profits are usually very low because the items that do sale are our cheaper things but we figure at least they are selling and we are making some money. Hopefully some of our big items will occasionally sale and help us really prosper. 
If you do a lot of pricey fine art type things and experience slow sales something to consider is making tutorials, PDF tutorials, how to guides or videos to sell. These are very low cost to make and can be sold repeatedly. Also many people who come into your shop may be other vendors who are wondering how much to price their merchandise or are just checking out the competition. Having a tutorial up for sale might be something they are interested in buying. If something is only $5 people are more likely to buy it. 

There are ways to advertise that cost money but we don't do those things so we really can't help you much there. You could do PPC or pay per click advertising where you only pay if people click your ads. Etsy also will promote your store for something like $7 a day. Something to consider if you think the money you make will be worth it. I guess it wouldn't hurt to try once at any rate. 

Social Media Networking:
We do some of this but we really don't know how much it is helping our shop. We have a facebook page but without promoting it its sort of useless at the moment.
You can promote a facebook page through them with the PPC thing.
We also use Twitter which seems much more lively. 
And of course we have this blog. We don't use myspace because its weird. Dumb excuse, I know. We really don't know what else to do for social networking and would love any tips you could provide. 

I hope this is helpful. If you have any suggestions for us we would be so happy to hear them. Contact us anytime through comments or by e-mail: Desert2ForestArt at gmail dot com

Thanks for reading. Good luck!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Jewelry in the Shop

We're going to start posting a couple pieces of jewelry in the shop everyday!

Here are some of the new necklaces.

$10 fused glass. 

$5 each pick your color.


Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Even More Peacock Feather Earrings

We've made a few more pairs of peacock feather earrings that will all be posted in the shop shortly:

If you would like multiple pairs we can offer reduced shipping! 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More Peacock Feather Earrings

Our earrings have been a huge hit so we have another pair available in the store!

We'll keep making more until we run out of feathers which will definitely be soon! Get them while you can!

Don't forget the coupon code! Good until Dec. 30 use "sandyclaws" at checkout for 10% off. 

Happy Holidays!! 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stained Glass Barrette PDF Tutorial

Our Stained Glass Barrette PDF Tutorial is finally up for sale:
9 easy to follow steps with 23 helpful pictures.

If you do stained glass work this is a must have full of helpful tips to make it turn out perfect.

Only 5$

If you do not do stained glass art but would like a barrette you can purchase one here:
or request custom colors by e-mail:

Thanks for reading!

Some of the supplies needed for stained glass work at the lowest amazon prices: 


Stained Glass Patterns

We'll be working on creating Stained Glass Tutorials in Adobe Illustrator. If anyone has any ideas for themes please leave a comment below. If you are interested in purchasing a pattern PDF book please e-mail us with the types of sizes and styles you would like. We'll be creating an "Abstract" book in 8x10s and it should be available soon on our etsy store. Very exciting!

Thanks for reading.
Desert2ForestArt at

Sunday, December 12, 2010

You Follow Me I Follow You

I just wanted to make this clear to all my readers. If you follow my blog, twitter, or facebook page I will return the favor.

Please e-mail me at: Desert2ForestArt at gmail dot com with links to your pages so I can follow them.

If you follow me on twitter I will follow you back within a day.

If you follow my page on facebook e-mail me with a page you would like me to follow.

I would especially like to help out other small businesses and artists get some attention.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow me at:!/Desert2Forest

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Gifts Discount

Go to our shop anytime between Dec. 10 - Dec. 30 and use the coupon code SANDYCLAWS at checkout! 
Shop now and receive your order by Christmas. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sold Gallery Part 2

Stained Glass Art
Design by Olivia Anderson
Crafted by Deborah Anderson
This is a one of a kind and cannot be reproduced. We can however make something similar on request. A new custom design just for you. 

Bear Gourd Art by Deborah Anderson

Bear Rock Art by Deborah Anderson
The bear design is carved into a rock. 

Snake Rock Art by Deborah Anderson
Snake design is carved into a rock. 

Click images for full size. 

All of these items will be made on request. For price quotes and shipping costs please e-mail us at: 
Desert2ForestArt at gmail dot com

Thanks for viewing! 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

PDF Tutorials

Well our PDF tutorial is created. Unfortunately it is too big to be e-mailed. We got it down from 50MB to 22MB but it needs to be 10 to fit in an e-mail. I've tried everything. Lowering the resolution, taking out images and nothing seems to make a significant difference. Is there another way I could allow people to download it? Or a way to make it fit in an e-mail.

We were making the PDF tutorial in PhotoShop and even tried to use Word. We have Word 2003 though so we can't convert it to a PDF as far as I know.

Well off to work looking stuff up to try to figure this out.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Officially Ready for Business

We are officially ready for business well sorta. We have some of our boxes and our postal scale now so we are ready to start shipping out orders left and right. The only thing we are still waiting on is a printer! So its off to staples over and over to print out thank you letters and address labels.

Ohh how much easier it would be to have a printer. This is the one we are getting. Good price, I think.

This just arrived. Very happy with it so far. Saved so much money going through Amazon rather than the postal site. Plus who doesn't love free shipping?

Thanks for reading. Off to work!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sold Out!

We made 8 pairs of peacock earring and after just a day they all sold out! We actually only made 6 but we got a  message with a request for 8 so we made more updated our listing and we will be shipping it off tomorrow! Very exciting. We will be making more peacock earrings asap to restock!

So after 7 days of opening our store we sold a total of 9 items. We're off to a good start!

Next step will be to get a business licence. We would like to buy supplies at wholesale prices. There are already some things we are running out of and need to restock. Like beads and peacock feathers. We are hoping to start selling supplies on our site.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sold Gallery Part 1

Here is some of the things we have sold:

Sold at the Peddlers Fair. Dragonfly gourd bowl $20. 

Walnut Shell Pine Needle Basket. Sold on Etsy. $25

Peacock Feathers Earrings. 4 Sold on Etsy $5 each. 

Different style Peacock Feather Earrings. 4 sold on Etsy $5 each.

We DO accept special requests.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday!

For three days the Welburn Gourd farm is having a 15% off sale. We took advantage of this sale to get the 3d sander.

Also this is a good time to note that the 15th Annual Gourd Art Festival will be the final show by the Welburn Gourd farm. For more info:

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, November 28, 2010


Well we meant to get that stained glass barrette tutorial up on Etsy today but got busy making peacock feather earrings instead. We have 6 pairs made and 2 up on Etsy. Once they sell we will put up more!
It is SO HARD to photograph peacock feathers! We use the natural sunlight outside and place them on contruction paper. If anyone has any tips please oh please share them =)
On another note when I try to view blogger stats it says I need to reload. Don't know why. I guess blogger stats isn't working?

Join us on Twitter:!/Desert2Forest

Great holiday gift at only $5!

Tomorrow is my daughter's birthday! We'll be busy, but we'll try to get that tutorial up!


At the peddlers fair we sold peacock feathers. Now we are selling Peacock Feather Earrings! Only $5 a pair. The peacock has to earn his keep around here. The food cost adds up. We adopted the poor little guy from a neighbor after their other peacocks beat him up. He only sheds his gorgeous feathers once a year.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Photographing Shiny Art

We had a hard time photographing the gourds to make them look nice. The shiny ones were the hardest. There was so much glare and lighting issues. I found a link to a tutorial from the forum for gourd photographing. Tutorial:

It had a lot of helpful tips. The one I'm anxious to try out is using hairspray on shiny gourds to make it more dull and easy to photograph.

Hopefully my gourd photos start looking better! Wish me luck =)


Cheaper than hairspray, but hey I already have hairspray.

This stuff by Krylon apparently works too and its removable like hair spray.

The holidays are coming the holidays are coming!

Hopefully businesses will boom during the holiday time! All businesses not just mine. =P

We're currently working on a new gourd art. It has pine cone and pine needle design burned into it and pine needle basketry on the top. Its almost done! We'll be posting it on Etsy with free shipping.

Tomorrow we plan to make a PDF tutorial. How to Make a Stained Glass Barrett. It will be for sale on Etsy for $5.The barrettes are gorgeous and unique. The barrette made in the tutorial will also be for sale.

We have an Astore now! Our store by amazon is located on the bottom of this blog or at:
The main categories at the bottom have some of our art related faves. Great deals on gourd art materials, gourd seeds, paints, business supplies, office supplies, tools and much more. So if you are looking for some awesome gifts (for yourself... and ya other people too) at low Amazon prices check it out. 

I'll be looking for someone's astore to be shopping from for holiday gifts this year. I also like to help out small businesses and people who work from home. Shopping from an astore is probably the easiest way to! Link me your astore in the comments so I can check it out! 

Shopping yesterday during Black Friday sure was... fun... The night before we compared the sale prices from the sale papers we got to the prices on Amazon. We found that amazon was the same price or cheaper and we were able to scratch most of the items and stores off our list. There was still some stuff to go to the stores for. I don't like buying clothing online and I'm getting my daughter bedding for Christmas this year so we went to JCPenny to pick that out. We were not impressed at all with the sale prices in the stores. However JCPenny did give us some free stuff! So that was nice. We received a cute little free gift as we entered the store and a bottle of water and candy canes while waiting in line at the register. We also got free scissors when we entered JoAnns. We didn't get why everyone was lined up outside but we went ahead and lined up. Good thing we did then too. The people right behind us were the last to get the scissors. When I heard someone in line talking about the free scissors I thought they would be funky but its actually good quality. Even though we had gotten to the store at 4 AM it was already very crowded! Best Buy was TOO crowded. It was like Disney Land on a Saturday before the recession started. It was too hard to look at anything so we just left. 

We agreed not to do that again next year. It was nice to see so many people out shopping though. Last year at Black Friday it was pretty dead. We did go later in the day last year though. 

Hope you guys had a fun Black Friday =)


Friday, November 26, 2010

Learning How to Run a Small Business

So far my journey has been fun but I could use a lot of help. If anyone has any tips or tricks for selling on Etsy or how to promote an online store for free or very cheap I would be super appreciative.

I read that you can get more traffic to your sites using social networking. I've made accounts on almost all of the popular sites like Facebook and Twitter. I've got this blog (obviously) but what now? How do I bring traffic to my social network pages and this blog in order to promote my store?

I was also wondering what kind of success other people have on Etsy.

The fun stuff. Purchased a postal scale from Amazon. I was looking at one on the United States Postal site but it was $40 and only went up to 10 or 13lbs. Found one on amazon for $22 and it goes up to 75lbs.
Here it is:

It had a lot of 5 star reviews so I'm really excited to get it! Its going to make calculating shipping cost so much easier! I can also print postage on the postal site and have them come and pick up the package all from my home!

I found the scale I wanted very quickly. The slow part was finding something else to buy to get the total to $25 for the Free Super Saver shipping. I ended up choosing this gourd art book: The Complete Book of Gourd Craft: 22 Projects. I hope its good! If anyone knows any really good gourd books please leave a comment! I'm always looking for great books on gourds and pine needle baskets. There is so much you can learn from books!

Here is that book in case you want to check it out!

I love to share deals I find with others and I hope eventually I'll have some readers telling me about some good deals they came across!

I would really love to start networking hopefully soon I figure out this blogging thing! Haha

Also I ordered some free priority boxes from the postal site. Not the flat rate ones, wow those are expensive to mail! But the free boxes are nice! I don't mind paying a tiny bit more to send priority over parcel post if my customers can get their package sooner. Good customer service is so important! Small family businesses like mine thrive off of word of mouth!

Thanks for reading.  


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Our First Sale!

Our first official sale on Etsy happened less than 24 hours after we opened the store! We didn't expect it to happen so fast. After running around like chickens with our unprepared heads cut off we found a box and took the package to the post office. I hope our 1st customer receives the package soon and loves their new pine needle basket! We're going to have to get crackin' making more art and putting more things in the store.

Our new items:
This gorgeous stained glass angel $50
The English Gentleman Painted Gourd $5
This cute Dog Painted Gourd $5
The Little Old Lady Gourd The perfect gift for the little old lady in your life at only $5.

The Shy Angel Stained Glass Suncatcher
If our stained glass is successful we'll have much more to offer!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Free Shipping

In preparation to open our Etsy store we researched shipping prices. There is a nifty tool on the postal site that lets you calculate and print postage. We checked the price to mail one gourd to California and to Maine. The price varied from $5 to $35 for the two destinations. We have no idea which state our buyers will happen to be located in. Instead of trying to find a shipping price to help us cover that cost we decided to just offer free shipping! Everyone loves free shipping. Our pine needle baskets which cost $5+ to ship we will only charge $3 for shipping. Our little way of appreciating your business!

Our Etsy Store:
Follow us on facebook:

Our First Post Ever!

We are completely new to blogging so bear with us! Desert to Forest Art Gallery features mostly Gourd Art and Pine Needle Baskets. We are a mother-daughter team hoping to sell our work and the work of our good friend Jeannie. The purpose of our blog is to promote our Etsy store, share tips and tricks with others artists, provide tutorials to our readers and discuss different art tools.

Once we reach a certain number of followers here or "likes" on our Facebook page we will be offering coupon codes usable at our Etsy store, so keep an eye out for that!

We hope you enjoy our art!