Wednesday, 26 November 2014

It's a Cracker

This in an unashamedly festive post today (yes I know it is not even December yet) and while I'm being unashamed, it's a bit self promotional too! I made this sparkly pair of crackers a couple of weeks ago as a special end of term project for my weekly machine embroidery class... but I shall come to these in a little while...
 
 
 As a self employed artist/embroidery tutor marketing and promotion are just as important as actually doing and making stuff. At times I stuggle just to keep up with the game never mind staying ahead of it but I do quite like using Facebook because it is a great way of sharing images and it is pretty much instant, unlike writing a blog post which takes a bit of planning.

 
I'm aware it's not everyones cup of tea but used carefully it can be a great way of getting stuff out there. Facebook users will know that there are personal pages or profiles where you can have "friends". I have one of these and although I never put very much personal stuff on there I do still limit my friends to people I actually know or have met... so please don't take it personally if you have ever sent me a friend request that I have ignored! But there are also business pages where you have "likes" and these are open for anyone to like... and I have one of these too!

 
What is a mystery to me is how some artists have thousands of "likes" or followers and others, like me, not so many. So I tried a bit of a promotion last week and put some of these cracker photos on my page with an offer of a giveaway to one of my page likers... plus a request that if people felt like it they could share it on their pages too. Hooray... overnight I gained about 50 new followers (or likes).

 
Yesterday my class finished their crackers...

 
And the results were absolutely stunning... all so shiny and sparkly...

 
And all so different... don't you just love these pastel colours?

 
And so I put up these photos on Facebok yesterday with a reminder that I would be giving a cracker away on 1st December, and again overnight as if by magic, my likes increased from 875 to 920.
 
 
And I got to thinking how excited I would be if my "likes" actually reached 1000 by 1st December, so I'm letting you, my blog readers know. All you have to do is click on the link on my sidebar that says "Like my Facebook Page" and you could stand a chance of winning one of these sparkly decorative crackers pictured below... it might only be a 1 in 1000 chance but but you have to be in to win! And remember... do feel free to share!

 
And for those of you not on Facebook or not lucky enough to win I was also thinking of writing up a tutorial for making these and possibly selling the PDF in my Etsy shop*... just in time for Christmas. What do you think? Worth the effort?

 
And while I'm feeling festive... the first batch of mince pies were made yesterday. A little reward for those clever students for making such beautiful crackers! Would it be nice if I could share a mincepie with you too for reading this far!
 
* In response to Erica's comment - yes, several years ago there was an article on making crackers in Stitch magazine by Carol Colman  which gave me the idea for making crackers but  I have devised the method for making these myself. Any tutorial would be my own work.

21 comments:

  1. I would definitely love to know how to make those Gina. They would make fabulous tree ornaments or gifts for others. I have been wondering how you make them, ever since I first saw them on facebook. So in answer to your question, yes I would be interested in a pdf of how to make them.

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  2. I'd want to look at those gorgeous crackers all year round - not just at Christmas. You must be so proud of your students and they must be thrilled with the results of their work.
    I must confess I don't understand the workings of Facebook. My daughter fixed me up on it and I just have fun looking and sometimes liking and commenting.

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  3. Such pretty and unusual crackers. A cracking idea!!!

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  4. I've been admiring them and wondered how you made them, too. Super stuff.

    Getting FB likers is an uphill struggle. Mysteriously I sometimes get a whole batch of new ones when I haven't done anything at all!

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  5. The crackers look absolutely wonderful, all different and beautifully made. Great idea to feature them on Facebook. And of course the mince pies look good too!

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  6. I think it is a great idea to put the C cracker pattern in your Etsy shop. I have read the bigger and denser the network you build up and the more you share your work the more you will become known. Don't make apologies for using Facebook. Use it as a tool.
    Go for it.

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  7. I feel like this is a blog for me, given my Phacebook Phobia. Anyway, I did look at your page, and although I can't 'like' I do like, and a tutorial would be splendid.
    Well, Get on with it then, it's not like you've got anything else to do ....... xx

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  8. The crackers look amazing. I'm following you on facebook, to me it sounds like you have loads of followers. Art-e-facts only has 170 likes. It's been like that for ages & I haven't a clue how to get more. Probably need friends to share it but don't like to ask. Getting on better with twitter.

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  9. Stunning crackers Gina, I saw them on my blog feed and just knew that you had made them. Your students are so clever too.

    I shall go and find your FB page but, since we do not celebrate Christmas, no need to put me in the draw.

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  10. I don't usually like xmas things, but the crackers are lovely. I'm already a 'liker' on FB x

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  11. Hi Gina - I did follow you on Facebook but last week decided to cancel my Facebook account (for many reasons). I am one of a few people I know who have done that lately. I love the Christmas crackers. I seem to remember, way back, that there was a tutorial for them in Stitch magazine? Have I got that right?

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  12. Wow the crackers are amazing, I especially love that dark green one!:)
    I already follow you from both my personal and business page Gina and I agree Facebook can be a good promotional tool However there has been a lot of grumbling lately on there as FB have been hiding posts from likers especially if words such as 'sale', 'promotion','Etsy', 'Market night' are used, they obviously want us all to start paying for those things. As you know I had my bunny sale this week and I have received messages from some people saying they never saw my post about it. Having said all that it has been good in getting my 'girls' out there.
    After that epistle I would love a mince pie! :)
    V x

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  13. Gina, yes to the crackers PDF and yes yo the mince pie recipe. Both are lovely. Thank you.

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  14. Me too for the PDF. Well done for the increase in likers.

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  15. I think these crackers are stunning Gina and I would definitely like to know how to make them.

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  16. I never got around to making the other crackers and the magazine has long gone - I thought it may have been you who did the ones in Stitch; I just love yours and would be interested in buying the .pdf pattern Gina.

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  17. The crackers are so gorgeous and I'll definitely join the queue in buying the PDF if you get around to it. I didn't see them on FB but I rarely go on there any more.

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  18. Those crackers really are stunning and I'm sure lots of people would be very interested to have a go at making them. I've only ever attempted making crackers (not even half as beautiful as yours) once. I was at university and my friend bought me a kit as an early Christmas present. My dad helped me make them but, however hard we tried, we just couldn't manage to stop the little gifts from falling out. You can guess where they ended up!

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  19. they are gorgeous Gina and I would definitely love a tutorial in your Etsy shop.

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  20. And here you are still in November with over 1000! Well done. (I liked your page some time ago). I'm struggling to reach 500 likes but I probably don't do enough to promote my page.

    Love the crackers!

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  21. These are the most beautiful crackers I have ever seen!! Such gorgeous colours and trimmings. I hope the little prizes inside are just as nice ;) Good luck on reaching 1000 likes! Your mince pies look yummy too. Wendy x

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