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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Progress Update - August

 August started off with a bit of a nightmare as some scumbag tried to break into my car by removing the barrel from my passenger lock. Would have been too expensive to try and replace it so King Neil had to stop it from working altogether then block it up. Then my brakes needed replacing and my sump went. So all in all car's cost me £250 this month!!!
On the plus side, sold one of my wall hangings to a returning customer. Personalised it for her sisters wedding, bought a nice box, filled it with tissue paper and wrapped it up in ribbon looked lovely.

As you may know, I've decided not to do any craft fairs until it starts getting closer to Christmas (more on that later). So this month I've made the most of my time and done some non related business stuff:
  • 14th August - Zumbathon
This was all in aid of Douglas McMillan. It was a sponsored Zumbathon trying to break the world record at the same time. So after 90 mins of zumba-ing we then got onto trying to break the world record. Still don't know if we did it but here some photos if you want to have a nosey!

  • 28th - 29th August - 24 hours in Chester
Booked this ages ago, thought we'd go away somewhere during the bank holiday so we went to Chester. Was only there for 24 hours but had a brilliant time. Was really nice to just get away, be out of the house and together. We'd also had lunch the day before with good friends and godchildren which was lovely. All in all a brilliant bank holiday weekend.
Anyway back to business!

Had an order for a personalised christening card - had a bit of a creative block for a bit but think it's come out quite nicely

Evans Dream Dress liked my facebook page and as I always do, I popped over to return the like and just said that I have some wedding gifts and cards and she very kindly offered to tag my page in one of her albums and do some shout outs for me. How nice is that?
I seriously suggest you go look at her facebook page too as the dresses are just AMAZING and she does made to measure dresses based on any design / photo you can give to her!

Did have a massive stumbling block in August though, managed to get suspended from using my facebook properly as it deemed me to be spamming! 15 days of only being able to update my own page, like other peoples but not communicate with anyone has been really tough, especially as I've had some fab new items become available after some inspiration!

Wedding bunting: This proper freaked King Neil out I must say but after he'd started breathing again even he said how nice it was!


Christmas letters from santa: These are available to pre-order now with x3 different delivery dates. Already sold two and had enquiries for a load more


Letters from the tooth fairy: Same as the santa letters but from the tooth fairy just £2.50 each delivered


Santa window signs: Perfect for people with no garden or who just want a nice personalised window decoration £5 each


Baby grow t shirt transfers: Started off with a few designs to give people the jist and this is one that was ordered (she's always called her daughter little miss pockets)

And finally did a big order for Catherine's son's Ben and Holly Little Kingdom themed birthday party:



Every birthday boy needs invitations

Birthday bunting


And these are a brilliant idea! Tag's that tie onto a balloon for a balloon race.

Kind of stealing that idea for some marketing over the next few weeks so watch out for that!
Talking of the next few weeks going to be rather busy!
5th September - Babysitting mine and Neil's godchildren for the day all by myself
12th - 14th September - Away with work in Plymouth
16th September - Well earned rest from work and catching up before...
17th September - Helping friends move house
18th September - Craft Fair
19th September - Back in Plymouth for the day

Then some point in October it's going to be my goddaughter's christening not only am I going to have to do a speech (eek) but I'm also making a giant christening cupcake! Claire of Over The Rainbow Cake Creations has very kindly offered to help me decorate it as she's a lovely local lady who also promotes my products on a local wanted, for sale and free group that she administers!

So yes that's it for now, busy busy busy as ever :)

Monday, 29 August 2011

Bank holiday brilliance

Hope you all enjoyed your bank holiday weekends :)

We've had a lovely few days. On Saturday we went to lunch with best friends and godchildren - last minute arranged thing but fab afternoon. Can't tell you how much I love spending time with the girls and their mum and dad. Something quite amazing about being called Aunty Tasha!

Then yesterday we took a 24 hour trip to Chester. Funny really as we didn't do much we couldn't do at home, although we did go to Cheshire Oaks which was a nice change.

Was really nice to get away from everything for a bit though, no work no business, just me and King Neil = bliss!

Back to it this afternoon though as I had my first big order to complete. Catherine ordered x20 birthday invitations
Birthday bunting - apologies for the rubbish photos sun wasn't playing ball!


And luggage style tags to attach to balloons for a balloon race


These tags for the balloons got me thinking...I have no money for marketing or PR but balloons are cheap enough and I think I have some somewhere. Could create my own tags with facebook, twitter and email address on saying get in touch for your free gift if you find this balloon. Something to think about although not for a few weeks yet got loads going on.

Next Monday I'm babysitting the godchildren then the following Monday - Wednesday I'm in Plymouth with work. The Saturday following that I'm helping with a move, Sunday I'm at a craft fair and the Monday I'm back in Plymouth for the day again!

Busy busy busy as always, just the way I like it.

Just as a side note a few things coming up over the next few weeks or so...

  • Limited supply Christmas bunting
  • Christmas card designs
  • Limited supply Halloween bunting
That's it for now peeps, have fun :)

Friday, 26 August 2011

Castle reviews

Here are the reviews I've received so far, thought I'd share them with you :)

Gayle Scarratt
"" Don't know where to begin speechless....From enquiry to delivery... Can not fault a thing... Fantastic communication...Fantastic Quality... Captured the occassion perfectly... and arrive three days after I ordered... Such hard work and pride that shows in the product thank you for a very special card which could never be replaced xxxxx ♥♥♥♥♥
6th August

Leanne Bennett
"" absolutely fantastic, great quality, lovely attention to detail, girls loved their cards xx will defo buy from again xxx thanks so much huni
21st July

Lynne Ford
"" Just got to say a massive THANK YOU for the brilliant 50th birthday card. Steve is a massive Sheffield Wednesday fan - as are all his family - and the card now stands in the middle taking pride of place among all other cards. The personalisation is brilliant and I'm sure this is one card he'll save after the others are discarded.

Thanks so much once again! Lynne.
2nd June

Abespoketouch
"" Beautiful new baby boy card, exactly what i was looking out for! Came super fast in the post too, she must have worked so hard and quickly for me to have gotten it so soon! Thanks so much! Really worth 5*'s x
22nd June

Jadey Frame
"" i chose to have godmother cards made up as i thought it was a lovely gesture and way of asking. They were lovely cards really pleased with them and have just ordered the godfather ones. Excellent service and quality thank you x
21st June

Ellie Kealey
"" I have had 5 wonderful items from Jeeberella's, 3 personalised cards made for my niece, nephew and godson as they all became big brothers and sisters which were each individually stunning... And, as a gift, I received a personalised frame and gorgeous card for my daughter on her recent christening. Everything she makes is 100% fabulous quality and the effort she puts in just makes everything that bit more special. I'd recommend Jeeberella's to anyone!!!!! Keep up the good work xxx
17th June

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Christmas santa letter offer...

I finally got the remaining bits and peices I needed to finish off my letters from Santa today and must admit I am quite impressed with the results


So each A6 letter is personalised with:
  • Name of the child
  • Age of the child
  • Home town of the child
  • Name of best friend
Santa is then handstamped using red ink and I write Santa in red ink underneath.

Then the letter is put into a very festive red envelope with some lovely red santa and star confetti for an extra special touch.

They're really simple to order too, just drop me an email to: jeeberellascraftcastle@gmail.com and I'll send you back an order form.

Letters are:
£3 for 1
£5 for 2
£8 for 3

And you can choose from 3 delivery dates:
Week commencing 21st November
Week commencing 28th November
Week commencing 5th December
 Now here comes the special offer part...

I've been told by a few people that they know other parents will love these as they haven't seen them before so my offer is this:

For everyone who offers to receive a sample and take it into their children's school / nursery / children's centre / anywhere else where there are an ample supply of parents I'll send one free letter to your child week commencing the 28th November!

Anyone who wants to take me up on this offer should email me @ jeeberellascraftcastle@gmail.com where I can send you an order form. This order form is for your free letter as well as the sample I'll send out. The order form has some instructions on how everyone can order their own santa letter. Simply take the order form and the sample into designated parent zone and share with other parents.

There's no obligation to get a set amount of orders in I'd just like you to share it with as many people as you think you be interested :)

If you've got any questions about this offer please let me know, it might sound too good to be true but you really are getting something for free as I think the letters will sell themselves once people see them!

xxx

Get tweet tweeting and more!

Yet another blog from the castle, I'm on a roll just lately.

This blog is a few things I've picked up on lately, hope you enjoy :)



This is more advice than anything else, but I do get ever so slightly alarmed when I see business pages updating facebook, twitter, folksy and their websites with the fact that they're going on holiday. You wouldn't put an ad in the local paper saying you were going on holiday and leaving your house unattended for X amount of days. But you may as well so when you're putting it online especially as if you're selling online by law you have to provide your postal address. You never know whose looking at your info and that kind of info in the wrong hands can be terrible!
Just a word of caution that's all, tell people when you're back and apologise when you're back if you've had enquiries!


After receiving my facebook suspension for supposed spamming I've been using twitter a lot more and realised there are huge benefits to it as the concept for networking is really the same as facebook!

Now if like me you don't know where to start with it here's what I've learnt the last week!

Facebook and Twitter link

It's not for everyone, but I've linked my facebook page to my twitter account. Saves me a lot of time and a lot less duplication of effort. Here's how you do it:

  • Log into your page
  • Click on edit page
  • Click on resources on the left
  • There should be a "Link your page to twitter" option
  • It then asks you to log in as your personal profile
  • You choose whichever options you want i.e. status, events, photos etc
  • These options can be changed at any time just access it in the same way
Trending

I wondered what on earth trending was but in a nut shell it's anything that starts with #

People can then search for tweets that contact whatever words they're after.

Just lately I've been doing a lot of wedding stuff so I've been #wedding and #bride in a lot of my tweets.

If you want to see what the latest trends log into twitter and on the right hand side of the home page about half way down it shows you the most popular words that are trending.

During the riots a few weeks ago, you can imagine what the top trends were!

Experiment with your trending words, you never know what people may be looking for!

Following vs mentioning

It's really easy to follow people on twitter, you just click the little button and wait for it to go green. Simples!

I've now made a concious effort to make sure I do what I do on facebook and stop by and say Hi.

Next to the follow button is a button with an outline with an option to mention them too.

Of course you only have your 160 characters but there's a lot you can say and make it personal. There's something lovely about having a mention where it's obvious the person has taken time to have a look at what you're all about first!

Retweets

I discovered the other day that people had been retweeting my tweets without me knowing!

Retweeting is just as easy as tweeting itself. If you see a tweet you think is cool or would like to share just click the retweet button underneath.

To see if people have been retweeting your tweets just click on the retweets button on the what's happening page and have a nosey and return the retweet maybe?

The thought of blogging can be pretty scary, I know I put it off for ages as I wasn't sure where to start. Now look at me :)

Blogger seems to be very popular as it's so easy to use, personalised, update, share and like blogs. Once you've written a blogger blog you can like it to both your personal and business page :)

I'm no blogger expert but don't think about blog content too much just go with the flow. Got something to say, then say it!

I originally set my blogger account up to blog about my monthly progress updates but now I love it and use it whenever I feel the need to! It's great as all your blogs are on one web link so people can easily flick through your previous ones too!

Also a great way to tell people about things that are coming up, new product ranges that are now available and special offers :)

Well that's me done for one blog, hope it helps someone...anyone teehee

xxxxx

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Castle products: Wedding theme

Evening all,

I've gone a bit wedding mad the last few days so thought I'd run with it and do a wedding themed blog with all of my items suitable for a wedding for all brides to be out there as well as people after something a bit different as a present!

Thought I'd take you through via the logical order...

Before we even get to the wedding itself though how about sending some lovely postcards asking those special people in your life to be your maid of honour and bridesmaids. Very special and thoughtful way of doing it as they can keep the postcards as a momento. Priced from £2 - £3 each

 
For the wedding day itself...the latest in the collection is the heart shaped wedding bunting which is personalised with photos of the happy couple and colour themed based on the wedding colour scheme. Beautiful addition to any wedding and very versatile; can be hung up on any window ior wall, or attached to a table cloth (thinking top table, buffet or cake table) using safety pins. £11 plus P&P

Also available with the more traditional bunting triangles for £7
Also looking at designs for hen party's and "Will you marry me" in the above two ranges as well as christenings and any age birthday :)

If you're attending a wedding you're also going to need a card and present...
This lovely card comes in A6 size (£2.50) or A5 size (£3.50). Personalised with the names of the happy couple and a wedding cake which comes in orange, yellow, blue, purple or green
If you've already bought a gift or are have chosen a gift of money then these wall hangings are a great idea for something a little extra. Personalised with their newly married name and the date they were married this can be displayed all year round in any room for £4!

And then there's these very unique and personal day you were married keepsakes which can be sold as seen and you choose your own frame or can be laminated and hung up with twine. Each keepsake is specific to the couple and the date they were married. Perfect momento of their very special day as it includes details of their wedding as well as events that happened on the same day and their star sign compatibility. Can also be sent as an anniversary present and can be displayed all year round in any room. £5 for A4 printed on lovely cream linen paper.

Your bridesmaids and maid of honour play a very important role on your big day so why not reward them with their very own thank you keepsake. Can be sent either on the wedding or afterwards so that you can include a photo of them on your big day! Just £5 for an A4 either sheet to be framed in your own frame or laminted.

Lovely poem too
The same poem as above can also be sent as a lovely fridge magnet too. Personalised with their name at the top and just a bit smaller than A5 size for £3.75 each or discounts for more than one purchase

That's everything in the wedding range for now. If you have any ideas on wedding themed items you'd like to see drop me an email or come and visit me on Facebook

Friday, 19 August 2011

What's in a name...

Two blogs in one night, I'm spoiling you!

I've been asked a few times where I got the name Jeeberella from so thought it was a story worth sharing...

When I was 14 I needed a name for the MTV2 forum

And I just so happened to watching The Simpsons

I also just so happened to be watching the episode where Homer becomes a missionary accidentally but her refers to Jesus as Jebus.
I don't know why but I loved the fact he said Jebus so I decided on the name: female_jebus


As I started to use the forums more people shortened it to Jeeby. I can't remember which sister said it, but at the time they were aged 4 and 6 and one of them said princesserella so I combined the two and Jeeberella was born!

This stuck and had been my email address and nickname for the last 11 years!!!!!

When I set up the business I was making cards so I started out with Tasha's Crafty Cards but realised there was nothing special about it and as I wanted to branch out into other things I wanted something completely unique.

Naturally, I thought about how to use Jeeberella and eventually Jeeberella's Craft Castle was born!

Best bit is if you google Jeeberella, all of the 5,000+ results are me in one shape or form!

So there you have it, that's the story behind my business name. Feel free to share your business name stories as a comment below :)

Introducing...monthly castle offers!


Evening All! The castle has been up and running for 6 months now and thought it was about time I started to introduce monthly offers.

I've decided on monthly as due to the nature of my products customers are more likely to want something during the month rather than a week.

So...all products ordered from today until the 30th September will receive...*DRUM ROLL PLEASE*


The offer will then change each month from the 1st of the month which I'll blog about as well as advertising it on my faceook page!

Simple as that really...enjoy and happy shopping :)

***Terms and conditions***
Discount only applies to the products and not postage
The discount will be applied on the PayPal invoice automatically
This discount only applies to items purchased via facebook / email where I can send a PayPal invoice
Letters from Santa are excluded from this offer

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Christmas is Coming.....

I'm so tired but I've been so excited that I've got to blog about it!

Only at the weekend I was saying that I'd seen a load of Christmas stuff popping up on facebook, folksy and wowthankyou but I thought it was a bit too early to be thinking about it...turns out I was very very wrong!

Yesterday Claire of Over the rainbow cake creations emailed me to ask about letters to Santa as she'd wanted some for her two girls for a while but had never seen them anywhere. So I agreed to put a design together for her and to show her to see what she thought. Turns out it was the start of something totally amazing!

Not only did Claire like it, she asked to order some, advertised it on her personal status, her page's status and then in a local wanted, for sale or free group. Due to such great advertising on Claire's part I've had so much interest tonight that I've had to put together a process, an order form and a spreadsheet to record everything on!



I've already sent over 5 order forms for over 15 orders and received x2 orders back!

If anyone's interested then here's how you can get yours:
  • Email jeeberellascraftcastle@gmail.com requesting an order form
  • I'll respond with said order form
  • Simply fill in one form per order (i.e. per letter) with your preferred postal date
  • I'll confirm receipt of the order and send you a PayPal invoice. You don't need to have a PayPal account to pay via Paypal but you can always pay via postal order if you prefer
  • I store all the details centrally and design all the postcards as the orders come in
  • When it comes to your preferred postal date the postcards will be sent out directly to your little ones!
If you want to take a look at them and get some further details then here's the link to my Christmas album on facebook where you'll also find some designs for personalised window signs that are hung up using twine and suction cups for people who don't have gardens or want to spruce up their windows this christmas!



Going to have a cup of tea now and ty to get an early night following this evening's excitement!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Facebook networking

Evening all!

I've been unfortunate enough to have my facebook page suspended for 15 days due to spamming. Now I've never had a problem with spreading the castle over networking pages before but it seems Facebook have changed the parameters for what they consider spamming. I can still use my page, like other pages and comment on things on my page but I can't write on anyone elses.

So I thought I'd just share some advice as well as sharing a list of networking pages that people may find useful:
  • Send in the troops
  • OurLocalCrafts
  • An interview with
  • Rainbow Studios Small Business Network
  • Showcase Me
  • Fan Page Promote
  • Pass the Page Parcel UK & IRE
  • Pop round for a cuppa
  • Addicted to networking
  • The crafty network
  • Crafty networking
  • We love networking
  • The page postman
  • Fanpage party
  • Handmade for you UK
  • UK handmade craft pages
  • Handmade Crafts Directory (UK)
  • 360 shout outs
  • Captain shout-out
  • Promote my fan page
  • Oh yeah shout outs
If you have anymore that I don't know about just let me know and I'll add them on.

Just a few tips to think about when you're using this list to network and get your business page out there:
  • Make your "advert" as that's essentially what it is, a bit different. Leave links to your blogs, online shops, photo albums as well as telling people in a short and sweet way what you do and what you offer. If you have a special offer on, make sure you tell people about it too!
  • Don't copy and paste the same message onto lots of pages in a short space of time. Facebook think it's spamming. So always manually type the message in.
  • Be very careful with these silent tagging status games, liking too many pages in a short space of time can also be seen as spamming.
  • Also be careful when marching on pages that you're not doing them too quickly, especially if you've joined late and are catching up.
  • If in doubt, leave 15 - 20 mins between each "group" of posts. I'd suggest doing 5 at a time just to be on the safe side. I've been doing what I've been doing since February and it's never been a problem, facebook must have changed their parameters for spamming so be careful peeps!
PS. For anyone that doesn't know what silent tagging here goes: A business page invites people to comment below their status by tagging their business page using the @ symbol then typing their business name. If you hover over that "tag" you can then like that page without having to visit it. The problem with this is that you can like a lot of pages in such a short time that facebook again thinks you're being too active / spamming!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Friday Folksy and Food!

Evening all, hope all is well. Not sure what weather's been like this week for you, but it's been grey, wet and windy here booo!

Fingers crossed for a nice weekend as I'm taking party in a Zumbathon for charity on Sunday. Raising money for Douglas MacMillan hospice while trying to break the world record for the most people doing Zumba for 30 mins! If you want further info then click here  click the Douglas MacMillan Hospice website hereor to spare a few pennies to sponsor me then take a peek at my justgiving page.

I decided to take a look at my Folksy shop last night. I haven't had a great deal of success with Folksy (4 orders since February but only 2 of them have paid and received their items) so I've been concentrating on my facebook page as I've now got juts over 800 likers and can engage with people much easier than I can on Folksy.

Nonetheless, I've updated my shop with some of my different products as a starter for 10, could you take a look and let me know what you think?

I'm leaving everything on there until they run out but am going to not re-list some of the items as they're either not relevant anymore or things have improved significantly since I first advertised them.
Once my Folksy shop is sorted I'll then have Folksy and WowThankYou shop's online which will hopefully grab people's attention.

On a separate note, I'm wondering how I get more people to follow the blog. Is it because the content isn't very exciting? Do I blog too often / not enough? Feedback would be greatly appreciated, want to make sure I'm giving out relevant info but not being too samey / boring at the same time!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend I'm off now to have a yummy kind of salad for tea om nom!

Peace out xxxxx

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Grr and argh!

Unless you've been hiding in a cardboard box for the last week, you'll all have seen the riots in London spreading across the country and while it luckily hasn't affected me directly I can't help but feel angry about it.

As most of you know, I work full time as well as running the castle and my employer have offices in Manchester and people who work in the Arndale Centre. Must say Iwas in disbelief as I watched it all unfold there last night as I was only there on Monday and walked past a lot of the scenes that were broadcast on sky news!

While it's a massive inconvenience to the bigger stores like jessops, foot asylum, miss selfridge they can at least afford to rectify the damage. I was so angry for all those family run businesses that have been affected, especially in London. People have to work so hard to make a business work, something I probably didn't appreciate until I started my own 7 months ago. And for it all to be gone overnight due to teenage thugs is just heartbreaking, especially as insurance doesn't cover you for "acts of god" which is what this mindless violence is classed as.

I guess I'm just really disappointed that people, and I say people but despite perception it's not just teenagers that are at the root of this, feel justified in what they're doing and by their attitudes towards it. Maybe I expect too much of people but on the flip side the reaction from local communities has made me very proud to be British. And I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of our police force. Staffordshire Police have been regularly updating their facebook and twitter accounts to reassure people the our county is safe, they've deployed extra police as a precaution and dealt with people who were using social media to try and encourage violence to take place.

So despite all the bad stuffg, it's really highlighted to me how communities can pull together when they need to and that our police force do everything they cna to protect us :)

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Aaaaand...relax

Tonight's the first night in ages where I haven't had any business work to do and I'm relishing it!

I've got no orders to do (just two to pop in envelopes and post out tomorrow), I'm all up to date with my finances / receipts / spreadsheet. I've done some networking earlier this evening and now I'm just chilling with a cup of tea!



Did reach 800 facebook likers tonight which is AMAZING so decided to offer a 10% discount on any orders placed within the next 7 days to celebrate! Castle has lots of offer so please so take a look around my facebook page or my WowThankYou shop

On the not so good side, I'm on day 2 of my diet and have realised I can't last all day without carbs so going to have to do some jiggery pokery with my calories. I'm determined to lose some weight but the change in diet / eating habits could explain why I'm feeling ever so tired last few days.
I love my food and not just the typical naughty stuff like cake, chocolate and sweets but bread, I LOVE bread. A nice crusty loaf smothered in butter mmmm....
Anyways must stop thinking about food. Hope you enjoyed my mini blog.

Much love from the castle :)