Welcome to the fifteenth issue of the Carolyn Hasenfratz Design and Carolyn's Stamp Store email newsletter.
Holiday Gift Suggestions
I love this time of year because I get to use my creativity to make things for the people on my gift list. I think it's a lot healthier for me and the recipients and better for the environment and our economy than hanging around in crowded stores buying plastic stuff that's made in other countries and might not even be safe. I hope the recipients agree! I give a lot of consumable gifts because most of the people I know have a lot of stuff and consumable gifts won't take up room after they're consumed. Following are some ideas for things you can make from my various web sites including some suggestions for packaging. Festive presentation can really make or break a gift!
If you're not feeling creative enough or lack the time to make gifts, you might consider buying from local artisans to help economically support people in your own community. Buying handmade is also a great way to make sure your gift is memorable and unusual!
Want even more creative ideas? Check out the following link sections on my art and craft web site,
The Lime Green News.
Webinar Resources Launches Mobile Christmas Storybook
by Mark Rice of Webinar Resources
Webinar Resources has been developing applications around mobile content this year. We have further developed embedded Brainshark presentations, QR code applications, short URL sites and other mobile apps.
We decided to put these technologies together this holiday season and launch the first children's personalized web storybook that blends the paper and digital world into an adventure for children.
The web storybook, "Santa Claus and the Lost Dog", is part fiction and part true. The featured dog in the story, Bella, is a Great White Pyrenees that I was lucky enough to pick up as a rescue dog. I was told to get bread on Craigslist by my wife and came back with a purebred.
Mobile Device Apps - Make the Outdoors More Fun and Bring New Customers to Your Business
I have been more involved in outdoor activities during the past several months than I have been for some time. We here in Missouri are blessed with an abundance of stunning natural beauty to enjoy. Winter might seem like a strange time to be talking about outdoor activities - I'm no fan of cold weather and it takes extra motivation for me to get outdoors in winter. But when I do make the effort I'm always glad I did. Winter landscapes have their own kind of beauty, the colors are more subtle but the combination of misty grayish/purple bare trees, coppery fallen leaves, understory vegetation that keeps it colors longer, dried plants with interesting forms and those little bits of green that remain in sheltered spots can be quite stunning. The sky is often breathtaking and the light is great for photography. If you're dressed and hydrated properly, you can be more comfortable than on a sweltering summer day, and there are fewer or no bugs to deal with. Physical exertion does help to dispel the winter gloom that I'm sometimes prone too.
In Vol 3 No 1 of this newsletter I wrote about Letterboxing, an activity that involves using clues to hunt for boxes that contain rubber stamps which you stamp in a journal that you bring with you, and in return stamping your stamp in the box's logbook. Most but not all letterboxes are outdoors. You can use Letterboxing web sites to do research in advance on an area that you are going to be traveling to get information on what boxes you want to hunt for and what kinds of activities such as hiking or cycling you want to do to get to get to the vicinity. In case you haven't had a chance to plan that far ahead, there is an app for iPhone and iPod Touch that will allow you to find boxes near your current location on the fly. It's called Clue Tracker and if you want more information about it the web site is http://cluetracker.pearlcrescent.com.
A wider range of mobile devices support another application I've been enjoying a lot lately. It's called Foursquare and it combines social networking with geography. To use Foursquare, you arrive at a location, perhaps a store, a landmark or some other distinct place and let the application search for places near you. If you cannot find your location listed, you can add it. Whenever you are at this location, you check in. If you are the person who has checked in the most in the last 60 days, you are known as the Mayor. Some businesses give their Mayors special privileges or deals. You earn points and badges over time and if you want you can share your checkins with your friends on Facebook and Twitter as well as on Foursquare. You can leave tips about places to let people know what is good there, or what to avoid.
This probably sounds like a fairly silly and frivolous activity, but I like it a lot for a couple of reasons. For one thing it makes running errands, an activity I usually find boring, a lot more fun. It also encourages me to visit places repeatedly that are good for my quality of life such as Weight Watchers meetings and places to get exercise because my friends can see that I've been there - it's a subtle way to be accountable to my peers.
If Foursquare sounds interesting to you, go to http://foursquare.com for more information. And if you're a business owner who wants to attract walk-in customers, I recommend you read the information on http://foursquare.com/businesses - you will learn how Foursquare can help you obtain behavioral information about your customers, reward and encourage customer loyalty and attract new patrons with special deals and prizes. Many people enjoy location-based activities and more and more potential customers are carrying around mobile devices that allow to you reach them in exciting new ways.
Carolyn's Stamp Store Has It's First Ever Sale!
Just in time for holiday craft projects, 58 items in the Carolyn's Stamp Store Catalog have been marked down 20-50%! Go to the Specials page for some great deals. Sale prices are good until December 24, 2010.
Carolyn's Stamp Store Adds New Products to Catalog
Here is a selection of new products that have been added to Carolyn's Stamp Store since the last newsletter:
Featured Project from Carolyn's Stamp Store:
Inchies Holiday Card Holder Garland
On one occasion I was looking online for rubber stamping project ideas to see if there were any ideas for using inchies. I saw an inchies garland that someone made that I really liked, and decided to make my own version with spiral ornament hangars attached to use as clips for displaying holiday cards. It looks great hanging over a doorway.
Click here for Inchies Holiday Card Holder Garland.
Until next time,
If you would like to add yourself to the list to receive future issues of this newsletter, please fill out the short form below. Thank you!
Previous Newsletter Issues:
Volume 1, Number 1 - Carolyn joins Webinar Resources
Volume 1, Number 2 - Ferguson Artisan Fair, SIUE Alumni Art Show
Volume 1, Number 3 - New Client Web Site Launched, Rubber Stamp Winner, Rubber Stamped Pillow Box Tutorial, Some Favorite Recipes
Volume 1, Number 4 - Upcoming Show Opening at Art St. Louis, Carolyn's "State of Your Web Site" Address
Volume 1, Number 5 - I Have Entered the Blogosphere, Does Banner Advertising Still Work?, Featured Craft Project: Petroglyph Card
Volume 1, Number 6 - Fall Art Walk, My Entry Into Social Media, Connections '08, Take One a Day For a Healthy Web Site, Featured Craft Project: Rubber Stamped Floral Mosaic Card
Volume 2, Number 1 - New Route 66 Association of Missouri Blog, Discovery Light, How to Install Google Sitemaps on Your Web Site, Show Off Your Art and Craft Projects, Carolyn's Stamp Store Wholesale Pricing, Featured Craft Project: Rubber Stamped Muslin Bag
Volume 2, Number 2 - The Green Issue, Content is Valuable: Repurpose It With Technology, What if you could choose to pay less?, Online Forms: Green, with Benefits, Featured Craft Project: Recycled Car Seat Bead Earrings
Volume 2, Number 3 - Send a Free Personalized Father's Day eCard, Software is Knowledge: Organize Your Collection, Carolyn's Stamp Store is on Facebook and Amazon.com, New Products Added to Carolyn's Stamp Store,
Featured Craft Project from Carolyn's Stamp Store: Retro Interlocking Card
Volume 2, Number 4 - Make this Holiday Personal, Get Your Emails Delivered, Finding Shows for Exhibiting Your Art and Crafts, New Recipes Added to Melt and Pour Soap Recipe Web Page, Carolyn's Stamp Store Adds New Designs to Catalog, New Addition to Pattern Library, Featured Project from Carolyn's Stamp Store: Thank You Card
Volume 2, Number 5 - Webinar Wednesdays 1st Edition, "Help! I'm using so many applications I'm losing track of them all!", Tidbits from Carolyn's Inbox, Create an Indoor Water Garden, Carolyn's Stamp Store Adds New Products to Catalog, Featured Project from Carolyn's Stamp Store: Convertible Necklaces
Volume 2, Number 6 - Webinar Wednesdays 4th Edition, Tidbits from Carolyn's Inbox, New Client Web Site Launched, Three Route 66 Web Sites Relaunched, Money Saving Ideas for Budget Conscious Crafters
Volume 3, Number 1 - Come See Me at Crestwood Court This Saturday, Who is in control of your online reputation?, Strategic Use of Social Network Applications, Route 66 Association of Missouri 21st Annual Motor Tour, The last thing I need is another hobby - so why am I starting a new one?, Featured Project from Carolyn's Stamp Store: Small Journal With Pockets
Volume 3, Number 2 - Send a free Halloween eCard!, Design Influences Perception, Social Network Applications Cater to Deep Human Urges, Two Friends With New Ventures, Upcoming Webinar: Living in the Multi-Channel Mix, Upcoming Route 66 Association of Missouri Events, Featured Project from Carolyn's Stamp Store:
Card With Squares