Web Tips: Social Media

Marketing a business or product is much different these days with the wide range of online social media platforms available. We have always had some sort of social marketing, whether it’s sending a postcard or flyer via snail mail or socializing about our favorite product or businesses via word of mouth through phones and even radio. The biggest thing that has changed the way we market products, businesses and even ourselves is through the world wide web.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and texting are just a few of the ways we connect with each other today and market the products and businesses we wish to promote. Instead of picking up the phone to talk, we now send a simple text message through our mobile devices. Instead of clipping ideas and the things we like from magazines, we pin the pictures and links to Pinterest.  Communicating with our friends and business associates, we give status updates on Facebook.  And giving a quick shout out and link to people we have things in common with to let them know what to check out through a link or comment, we tweet it on Twitter.

All these ways are quick and easy and gives us the 4-1-1 of all the information that we need, want, and even don’t want to know about.  They are great ways to help market your business with little to no cost out of your pocket… just takes a little time to get them setup and you will be on your way to communicating with people, just like you, all over the world.


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Alma Allen and Barb Adams: Blackbird Designs

With a name like Blackbird Designs, it’s not surprising that Barb Adams and Alma Allen find inspiration in nature. That’s just where they found the source of their designs for Meadow, their newest line of fabric for Moda.“We’re both gardeners, and we like to bring the outdoors in,” says Alma.

In colors of “earth, sky, wildflowers, and grass,” Meadow reflects the hues and the creatures found outdoors—the plants, animals, and even insects whose presence in a meadow indicates its vitality.

Though they’re nature buffs, Barb and Alma first met indoors, in a Kansas City quilt shop, when Barb took a quilting class from Alma. “Alma had this way, she was so encouraging, fun, and provided a lot of inspiration,” says Barb. “I was hooked.”

And it was clear to Alma that Barb needed little instruction. “In a three-session class, Barb would finish her quilt by the second class,” Alma says. “And her color choices are so wonderfully dramatic.” In 1999, the women started designing quilts together.

“A business partnership is a little like a marriage,” says Alma. “You don’t know who you get until you go through stressful times, like tight deadlines. We have traveled the world together and get along really well.”

Not long after they joined forces, the pair started designing rug-hooking and cross-stitch patterns. “We enjoy the peacefulness of handwork,” says Barb. “It’s so versatile and easy to take with you.”

They especially enjoy bringing that love of handwork to others. “When you see someone else really love it, you know you’ve given them a hobby they can enjoy for the rest of their life,” says Barb. “That’s so satisfying.”

It’s not just working, traveling, and teaching together that bring satisfaction to the Blackbird Designs team. Their partnership with Moda has been a pleasure, too.

“There are a lot of people with ideas, but they don’t bring them to action,” says Barb. “Moda turns their ideas into actions within hours. They’re a very creative company.”

And speaking of turning ideas into actions, the crickets and bees that inspired Meadow fabric also inspired Alma to take action and try something new: beekeeping. She recently added two hives and 20,000 bees to her backyard.

“I’ve had shelters for solitary, feral bees in my backyard but I noticed you just don’t see bees like you used to, so I decided to give honeybees a try,” she says. “Now it seems I’m outside checking on them once an hour!”

For more about Blackbird Designs (and Alma’s bees) visit their blog One Stitch at a Time

Web Tips: Google Reader

Just like many of us, you may love to read and learn new things from your favorite websites in blogland. The only problem is that it can take hours to literally visit all your favorite blogs and try to remember all the wonderful places you like to visit. That is why we love Google Reader. It allows you to store all your favorite blogs and websites into one single place. You can organize, read, share, and much more all from this one location. Best of all… it is FREE!
All the websites and blogs you add to your Google Reader account are instantly updated through RSS feeds. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS feeds are a way for websites to distribute new content as it becomes available. As you read a post it is automatically marked that you have read it so you can spend more time reading the articles you have not read yet.

Google also has many videos and online tutorials on Using Google Reader and How to get Started.

You can also check out the tips and tricks Google Reader has to offer on their blog.

Spring Flowers

We decided to welcome in Spring with Clovers fun Kanzashi Flower Makers! 
Our lovely Debbi Duckworth (aka- Ducky) whipped up this adorable little project in an afternoon. 
She used Presencia Pearl Cotton for the embroidered flower stems, a blue Moda cross weave for the background fabric and a variety of buttons to accompany the Kanzashi flowers.   
The Clover Kanzashi flower templates come in 3 different styles and 2 different sizes each. 
The flower on the left is the Kanzashi Gathered Flower, the middle flower is the Kanzashi Pointed Flower and the flower on the right is the Kanzashi Round Flower.
Here is a little how-to-video to show you how simple these flowers are…

What will you make with these pretty little flowers?