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Buy Handmade…

That. Is. All.

Photo Editing 101 (Using a really easy online tool)

I’m a massive believer in the fact that a good photo of your product will go some extremely serious lengths in helping to sell an item when using the Internet to market and sell your goods. Just like presentation in a physical shop appeals to a buyer, or how you’ve often seen a plate of food coming past in a restuarant and ordered that exact dish because of how it was presented – it’s exactly the same in the online world.

There are of course many things to take into consideration when taking photos – I’m no expert in this field, but it doesn’t take rocket science to know how important good light is (so we can see the product you are shooting), the actual content of the photo (having it as the main feature is pretty important) and how an uncluttered photo can help. (I can’t stand it when a photo of a product is taken on a busy background, and you end up having to search for the product on sale!)

Drum roll… bring on PicMonkey – your ever so easy, ever so fun and ever so a little addictive photo editing tool, that really should be a no brainer to bookmark and use as one of the tools to promote your handmade products more effectively.

Using PicMonkey, it’s really quite quick and easy to brighten, lighten, add text, crop, add borders, use different filters (ie, make it look like a really old photo for example)  and generally make your photos look great. Best of all, it’s still free!

Other benefits of PicMonkey are the easy ability to watermark your photos of your products, so that no matter where your images of your products end up – you can always reference them back to your website, blog or Jamtin listing by creating a watermark over the products. See a nice and simple tutorial on how to do this here from LeHigh Valley Momma.

PicMonkey’s latest feature is creating collages, just like this one… you have to agree that they do make such a difference in the presentation. Another great feature from PicMonkey is the templates they offer – my favourite is the Facebook timeline image… for those of you with Facebook pages for your businesses, this could be a fun place to start?

There really are so many tutorials on the internet on how to use PicMonkey, like this one for example, but I would suggest that you monkey on over to their site, upload a photo from your computer and start playing with the various filters, adding text, lighting options etc… you can mess anything up, there’s always an undo button and you’ll be amazing at how easy it all is…

One, two, three… GO

To live a creative life…

Happy Spring Day

(Pots and pot hangers for Spring – from Happiness Is)

Aren’t these ice cubes perfect for Spring! (Image from Flickr)

Happy Spring Day everyone…

(Image Source)

Competition Winner

And the winner of our competition is Christy Judd Ovenstone – one of our Facebook fans.

Thanks to everyone for joining our fan page, or emailing & tweeting about Jamtin. Also a big thank you to Shoesting Scrapbooking for sponsoring the prize!

“Thank you so much for my wonderful prize.  I received it today and it is so full of wonderful surprises. Much appreciated,  Regards Christy”

Category: Jamtin stuff  2 Comments

Competition Time!

I am very excited to let you all know that we are running a competition with an amazing prize that has been sponsored by Shoestring Scrapbooking.

The prize – valued at R530.00 consists of ALL of the following:

1 X KI Memories Icicles Sand Alphabet R90
1 X Heidi Swapp Clear Corner Stamps R42
1 X Dimensional Glitter Stickers R16
1 X 3D Frame Set R45
1 X Heidi Swapp Journaling Spots R30
1 X Metal Charms R35
1 X Orchid Dimensional Stickers R18
1 X Sunflower 3D Stickers R18
1 X Soft Spoken Embellishments R42
1 X Scrapbooking Rub-Ons R25
1 X Buttons R24
1 X Handmade Stickers R16
1 X Decorative Embellishents R20
1 X 3D Gel Stickers R16
1 X Negative Strip R15
2 X Small Stamp Pads R20
1 X Glitter Peel Off Stickers R18
5 X Paper R10
10 X Cut Out Frame Sheets 12 by 12 R30

So…. for all you scrapbooking enthusiasts (and for everyone else, this will make an amazing Christmas present for the scrapbooker in your life – and yes, we’ve all got one!) all you need to do is either

1) Become a fan on our facebook page

or

2) Follow us on Twitter and retweet our competition announcement

or

3) or for every 5 people you tell about Jamtin (cc jude@jamtin.co.za) you’ll also be entered. (and we promise we won’t spam your friends!)

Go on – enter, it’ll take 2 minutes, and the prize is great…  Once you’re done, don’t forget to check out the Shoestring Scrapbooking blog.

Category: Jamtin stuff  4 Comments

Ever missed a deadline?

Like not posting enough blog posts, or getting a newsletter out on time… oh well, I’d better be careful…

missed deadline

Category: Jamtin stuff  2 Comments

Jamtin update

I may, unofficially, be the worlds worst blogger and not quite sure how a whole month goes by with not even one single post! Sorry jamtinners, I’m a shocker. Hopefully I can make up for the lack of posts by giving you an update of where we are with Jamtin and introduce you to a handful of our listers. I can’t help but get a smile on my face when I see the listers who have joined, and have to admit that each and every day I am completely bowled over by the creativity that surrounds us, and the beautiful things at are being made right here under our noses… Anyway, I can’t list them all, but here’s a start!

A blog post from Sarah at Babazeka mentioning Jamtin has just left me feeling on top of the world – it’s amazing what positive feedback can do for someone, and can’t thank you enough for a) their blog post today and the advice they shared with me some while back and b) for giving back so massively to the community and providing such an awesome socially aware online store. It’s a site I personally love, so please do pop over to take a look!

Wish I was still living in Joburg, ok, not really, but that statement is true for the purpose of being able to attend a class at the COOK Culinary and Craft Studio who puts a whole new spin on entertaining, with sizzling cooking and table styling workshops unlike any other. The focus at the studio is on quick and easy cooking, table, flower décor and easy-make crafts. I have to admit, the food looks amazing and makes my mouth water, but it’s the beautiful table decorations and gifts they make that makes my heart beat a little faster.

Next up is a concept that I think is beautiful- I guess I’m a sucker for anything to do with kids and/or handmade things – so when I came across Heckle and Boo who turn a child’s artwork into a soft toy – well, that was me in my element.

Also got to love these felt brooches, amongst other beautiful creatures that Marisa Girardi Presents has on her listing.

Think that’s it for now, after all that talk of making things I need to make a cup of tea!

Don’t forget to become a fan of ours on facebook, or follow us on Twitter – I promise I’m a lot better at both those than I am at blogging

Happy making until next time…

Jamtin Craft Days

A little while back, well, it was some time ago actually as it was before our big move, I held a Jamtin craft day. No great shakes, just some friends who came to our house bearing glue, paint, beads, mosaic tiles, imagination, snacks and wine. There was nothing formal arranged – just the invitation to come and share the morning / lunch / afternoon with the girls, and what a great day it was. I told people that I’d be ready from about 11am onwards and I think the last person left at about 6 that evening, and probably only because we had dinner planned out with some friends that night.

So here’s my advise – so many people I speak to have been meaning to do this for a while – just do it. You don’t have to have the best studio space, or be an expert on crafting – we all just clubbed together, shared ideas and by the end of the day we had some great projects – both completed and some works in progress. It did help that I had a craft cupboard close at hand with a few items that we could use, but I’m 100% sure that I’m not the only one with a craft cupboard filled with all sorts of very important useless stuff.

Do it now – send an email out to 10 mates and book a Jamtin day! We’d love to hear back from you – feel free to send through any pics as well, or load them onto the Jamtin page on facebook – here are some from ours…

Knit a square and make a cold child warm

I came across the Knit a Square and make a cold child warm website today and definately think it’s a great cause to support – not only are you helping keep a child warm by knitting squares to make up bigger blankets but you get to do good by crafting! Now I’m by no means a knitter, but always love trying out new crafts (and there’s even a how to knit tutorial here! and I’m sure with a tiny bit of help I’ll be able to knit a square!

Come on everyone – let’s get everyone involved – what better way to spend those winter evenings in front of the TV, knowing that your squares will make sucha difference. I’d love to hear from anyone who takes this project on!

Category: Jamtin stuff  2 Comments