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Monday, May 18, 2015

create... rainbow gift wrap

 tutorial and photography by Helen Louise Wilkinson | Blossom & Cat
 
 

you will need...

+ butchers paper
+ sponge brushes
+ watercolour paint
+ water

 
 
 
 
 



1. Lay out a sheet of butchers paper on a clean flat surface. Using a wide sponge brush gently wet the paper with clean water. The paper should be wet but not saturated. The wetter the paper the more your colours will run into each other.
2. Use a narrow sponge or large soft paint brush to paint stripes or patterns onto the paper. The colours are so lovely as they blend into each other.
3. Allow to dry.




Use the handmade Rainbow Paper to wrap up your gift, finish with some coloured raffia and fancy tape.
 
Tadaa!
 












This tutorial first appeared in issue 15 of tickle the imagination magazine.

Issue 15 is filled with lovely ideas and inspiration for handcrafted celebrations! Print and digital copies available to purchase at www.tickletheimagination.com.au/issues/issue15.php

Copyright 2014 all rights reserved.



Sunday, May 17, 2015

corn & celery fritters

I'm always looking for creative ways to get vegies into my kids diet, so for lunch today I made these yummy corn and celery fritters - my three gobbled them all up and asked for more!
 
 

(makes 12 fritters)

ingredients...
+ 3 corn cobs
+ 3 celery sticks
+ 2 eggs
+ 1/2 cup milk
+ 1 teaspoon ground paprika
+ 1 teaspoon all purpose seasoning
+ 1 cup self raising flour
+ canola or olive oil
+ coriander leaves
+ sweet chilli sauce (to serve)

directions...
1. remove husks and cut corn kernels from the cob and chop celery into small pieces (cubes approx. 1cm) and place into a bowl
2. sprinkle corn mixture with paprika and all purpose seasoning
3. break eggs into corn mixture and combine well
4. add milk to corn mixture and mix well
5. sift flour into another bowl and create a well in the centre. Add the corn mixture to the flour and combine well.
6. cover the base of a frypan with oil and heat on high. Spoon dessert spoons full of mixture into the pan and fry each side until golden.
7. finish with coriander leaves and a sprinkle of ground paprika and serve with sweet chilli sauce

enjoy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Art of Writing Engaging Product Descriptions

...and why it matters.

words by By Jingo

One of the things that small, boutique business owners frequently tell us is that they struggle with writing compelling product descriptions. They know that a good description has the ability to convert a potential customer into a buying (and even loyal) one, but they’re not quite sure what to do or how to do it.

We thought we could explore this further and hopefully offer some useful suggestions on how to write some bad-ass product descriptions for your business.

We’ve noticed that the most common approach is to describe the facts (or the ‘features’, as advertising folks refer to it). For example, say you sell kitchenware and you’re wanting to describe a tablecloth from your range of kitchen accessories. Usually people will say something like this:

“Table cloth with pink and red retro-floral print, authentic vintage material, easy to clean, measuring 120cm x 120cm. Suitable for small table. $39.95”

While this tells the customer the obvious features of the product, it does very little to convey the benefits. It doesn’t say anything that would leave a lasting impression.

The features of a product are like the brass tacks – what the product can do, its dimensions, its specifics. You know, the necessary (but not terribly exciting) stuff. The benefits, on the other hand, are where you can let your creativity do the heavy lifting. Here you can communicate just what the product can accomplish for your customer on a personal and emotional level. What does it give them? How does it add to their lives?

Take this example where we’ve combined the features from the original description with some sweet benefits.

“Woo your guests with this pink and red retro floral tablecloth, made from genuine vintage fabric and designed to enhance any table setting. Whether it’s for a vintage themed party, or for a casual afternoon tea with friends, this tablecloth makes sure your cupcakes are sitting pretty. Only $39.95 for 120cm x 120cm of seriously swoon-worthy table covering.”

The main thing is not the ‘what’ but the ‘why’. Not the ‘how’ but the ‘how come.’ How does this product value-add to the customer’s life? After all, the customer doesn’t care about the tablecloth as much as s/he cares about the memories it will make and how incredible it will look on Instagram.

To further make our point, when people buy an Apple product they’re not just buying a high-tech, sleek looking device. They’re buying into a world of creativity and possibility. They’re saying, “This product connects me to a brood of other creatives and innovators – with whom I share similar values and lifestyles.” 

With every product description, try and tap into, and reinforce, your broader brand message. If you don’t know what a brand personality is and why you need one – read our blog,What’s a brand personality and why the heck do you need one.” 

We recently did a range of new product descriptions for a local menswear brand ‘Leo and Spargo’.

If you don’t know about them, the menfolk in your life are missing out big-time! Do check ‘em out later.

Here is an example of a product and how we chose to describe it.


SAVE YOUR BREATH T-SHIRT

“Mark Twain famously said, ‘Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference’. It’s in this spirit that we bring you our Save Your Breath tee. It’s a reminder to remain calm, keep your sanity, and a warning for would-be windbags. Save your breath for breathin’ — and for cooling your porridge.”

You’ll notice that we said very little about the actual facts of the tee. Sure, “available in white or navy and features a vintage inspired, hand-drawn type logo. Lightweight, 100% cotton t-shirt.” etc. will be included in the final description, but we didn’t front-end load it with these features. Instead, we decided to focus on the meaning that the audience will emotionally connect with — using a bit of humour throughout. What’s more, all the descriptions tie back to the overarching brand story of Leo & Spargo. For more examples of product descriptions visit www.leoandspargo.com

The other thing to notice is the succinct nature of the description.

Back to the tablecloth example. Why don’t you try writing your own description – using the said tablecloth as your guide? Remember to strike a balance between features & benefits, the larger brand message, and of course the lifestyle of your consumer.

The key is to not overegg the pudding. Keep your descriptions short, punchy and to the point.



If you’d like to discuss how By Jingo can help you with product descriptions, or anything that involves words — let us know, we’re happy to chat.

Contact Details...
By Jingo
0417 121 282
Email: hello@byjingocopywriting.com.au
Website: http://byjingocopywriting.com.au/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/byjingocopywriting?ref=hl

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

{handcraft a business} build a business - built just for you

- words by Elle Roberts -

As the online, crafty, creative world grows there is more and more information out there about what you should and should not being doing to run a successful business. This is fantastically exciting!

However, there is a downside to all the hype. There are so many advice givers now telling you the right and wrong way to run a business.

While a lot of this advice is helpful and even true in a general sense, it doesn’t make it all true for you and your business.

You might read somewhere that the best way to grow a successful profitable business is to focus on wholesale accounts. If your pricing and processes are set up correctly, then it is pretty guaranteed that this is the most efficient way to build your business.

Thing is though, we don’t all want to be the next Carmen’s Kitchen. Sure the story of a mum making tasting treats at her kitchen table and turning it into a multi million-dollar business is exciting, you might even find it inspiring, and if that’s what you want to achieve with your business I say “You go Girl!”.

But maybe, just maybe, you don’t want to create a story like that for yourself. Maybe for you, success is contributing a few hundred dollars a fortnight out of your business into the family accounts. Perhaps you are more focused on raising your kids, supporting your family in other ways and the business is a part time gig.
 

If wholesale accounts don’t feel good to you, don’t pursue them. If you read somewhere you need an email list to have a successful business but the thought of it makes you want to pry your own eyes out, then don’t start an email list.

Build a business that is right for you and decide for yourself what your version of success looks like.

The best way to do this is to work out what your idea of an ideal business looks like. You can’t work towards a goal if you haven’t defined it.





+ What work/products/services do you enjoy working on the most?

+ What kind of timetable do you have in an ideal world, how many hours a day would you work and when?

+ What support would have in this ideal business, someone to do your books or manage your admin? Perhaps someone to help with production?

+ How much money would you like to be taking out of your business each year or each month?

+ What kind of training, courses, classes or other personal development would you like to be able to pay for through the business?

There are many more questions you can ask yourself. The clearer you can be with your goals, the more powerful the process will be.

Once you have a picture of your idea of a perfect business you can start building a road map to get you to that ideal place from where you are currently.

Embrace the amazing wealth of information that is now available for creative business owners, it is an exciting and inspiring time! But do not let anyone tell you what your business should look like.


 

Elle Roberts, multi passionate creative, business coach and marketing strategist, dreamer, writer, speaker and more who loves working with other creatives in the development of their business and the pursuit of their dreams. www.elleroberts.me

Elle is also the founder of The Artful Business Conference www.artfulbusinesscommunity.com/

Friday, March 20, 2015

happy happiness day!

It's international happiness day!!
 
And I wanted to share a little printable to help celebrate!
 
 
You might remember this little cutie from the cover of issue 11 of tickle the imagination magazine?
 
 
I hope you have a super happy day!!
 
#InternationalDayOfHappiness
 
ps the adorable mushroom print to the left is by the very clever Miss Minzy xx
 

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