Monthly Archives: June 2014

Moving to My Own Dot Com

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So I decided to move my blog, Over the past month and a half I have posted 17 articles here on WordPress.com and now I feel that it is time to move this blog to a domain of it’s own.

WordPress dot com was a great place to get started and to play around with while deciding if I was going to keep up my blog. but when I started weighing my options it came clear that getting my own domain and hosting package was the way to go.

Wordpress Graph

 

So it was clear, setting up my own hosting package was the thing to do financially. Alright, now the next thing,  how important is a name? Sure I wanted EstatesInTime, but what about the extension? Right now there is somewhere around 400 different extensions on the market. While a large number of these have restrictions, quiet a few of them might be cool to use with a blog. Blog.info, Blog.buzz, Blog.cool, or even Blog.guru, over the last few years there has been an explosion of new domain extensions released, some of them unbelievably expensive.

But which one is best and why? What was the first thing you thought of when I mentioned moving my blog? Was it EstatesInTime.com? Dot com is the oldest, most respected, and easiest remembered extension even to this day. That in itself tells me I should want the .com extension, And still another reason is that many of today’s browsers search for dot com by default. These two reasons gives the dot com more value than any other extension, and while I have no plans to sale my domain name, if in the future I should decide to, owning the .com gives me far more resale potential than any other one would.

So I know the name I want, EstatesInTime.com, next I needed to figure out where I was going to buy the name and host my blog. There are numerous hosting companies out there.

This list is in alphabetical order and is not intended as a review or endorsement.


Need more affordable hosting? Great plans ON OFFER! Free domains & more included.Need more affordable hosting? Great plans ON OFFER! Free domains & more included.
 One year for $0.99 a month then $5.99 per month. 20 MySQL 5 Databases (1 Gb each), 100 Gb of Web Storage, Unlimited Traffic, 1 Free Domain Name, and Georedundancy.

WordPress Hosting  First month $12.49, renews for $24.99 per month, 100 million visits per month, 2 Gb of Ram, 30 Gb Web Storage, Manage 5 WordPress sites, on 1 IP Address, 1 Free Domain Name, Enhanced Control Panel, and 24/7 Support.

Dreamhost Web Hosting $8.95 per month,  Unlimited Traffic, Unlimited Web Storage, and Unlimited MySQL 5 Databases.

GoDaddy.com...helping small businesses get bigger!  One year for $1.00 a month then renews at $6.99 per month, 25000 visits per month, 100 Gb of Web Storage, Free Domain Name, Nightly Backups, Redundant firewalls, malware scanning and DDoS protection, 24/7 Support and and Free Google Ad, Bing Ad, Facebook ad and Fotolia Photo Credits.

Professional Hosting from Just Host $4.95/month - Unlimited disk space and transfers and host unlimited domains  A special deal of $3.50 per month if you signup for 48 months, Free Domain Name, Unlimited Web Storage, 24/7 Support, Free Script Library, and Unlimited Email accounts.

While all of these offers seem pretty good, I chose to go with Go Daddy, mostly because of past history and being happy with the service I had received before.

Once I got my Domain name (www.estatesintime.com) and had my site setup, it was time to transfer my archived post over to the new site. Doing this was amazingly simple.  Having never done this before a 5 minute phone call to Go Daddy support was all it took. The Support Tech I reached (Jason) walked me through 4 easy steps.

  • Open my WordPress.com assount.
  • Then on the Dashboard under Tools, Click Export   (This downloaded all of my files to my computer)
  • Open my new Hosted WordPress dot Com
  • Then on that Dashboard under Tools, Click Import   (This ask me for the file I has just downloaded and I was done).

The next thing I wanted out of my own Blog site was a way to embed my Etsy Shop into my blog, At this point in time I wasn’t really interested with keeping up with the inventory in two stores, especially two stores tying to sell the same things. Plus the idea of dealing with my own shopping cart didn’t sound like a whole lot of fun to me.

After an evening of digging around and playing with different codes I found on my favorite cheat sheet W3schools  I came across a plugin from Fairground Media, Etsypro. This was an easy fix to my problems and I was able to get my shop set up in just a couple hours.

I was able to re-size my thumbnails so that they what worked with the theme I had selected for my blog and I was able to install different pages for each of the selection pages of my Etsy Shop.

The one thing I haven’t gotten around to yet, is working with the SEO on my new Blog page. Which brings me to one more product I would like to mention, I Business Promoter. I have used this software to get into the first page of search pages on Google, MSN, Bing, and Yahoo many times in the past.

Each one of these search engines have their own algorithms which makes it extremely hard to figure out how to perform well on all of them, yet this tool is the only software on the market which offers a money back guarantee. If you use this software and don’t get into the top 10 they refund your money!

So I guess I’ve reached the end of this long post tonight, and I hope you find some of this information useful, But don’t forget this is my last post here on estatesintime.wordpress.com So bookmark the new website for Estates In Time, and don’t forget to re-subscribe so you will continue to get updates sent to your email.

Thank you for reading my blog.

 

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Mystic Legends of the Jewels We Wear

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Myths and legends have been passed down and written about the powers of gemstones dating back to the beginning of recorded history. Amazing tales of folklore through every culture and every civilization. Still even more is unknown and lost to time.

Quartz tools and crystals were unearthed with the discovery of Peking Man in the early 1900’s, dating man’s use of crystals back 750,000 years.

Worn by Babylonians, the agate was believed to ward off danger and to be a stone of strength. Often worn on breastplates of armor to give warriors strength and make them victorious in battle.

Emotionally, agate was said to provide courage, emotional strength, and self-confidence, Lessening  feelings of envy by grounding the emotions and dispelling fears. Because of the harmonizing values and its ability to remove resentments and bitterness, the Sardoynx agate was also considered to be an excellent stone which helped to heal and improve relationships.

Sardoynx Belt buckle

A story has been told that the Greek God of grapes and wine, Dionysus was n love with Artemis, the Goddess of the moon, forests, animals, and women in childbirth. Yet she had no desires for his affections. It was told that in a fit of anger Dionysus decided to release his tigers upon the first maiden he met, Amethyst a young girl on her way to worship Artemis. Just as the tigers pounced, before they reached the young maiden Artemis turned Amethyst into a pure clear crystal to protect her from the savage beasts. Realizing his error and in remorse for the damages he had caused it was told that Dionysus anointed the crystalized maiden with the last of his wine giving Amethyst its rich purple glow.

Amethyst Engagement Ring Of the many powers associated with Amethyst, protection against  intoxication is one to widest beliefs. A stone of clarity, and protection from thieves it was also known to protect travelers along their journey.

The Greek Goddess of love, Aphrodite was said to have ridden the ocean waves upon an Abalone shell. The shell was often used to empower love spells. Said to protect its wearer from negative energies, the Abalone shell has been used by cultures ranging from ancient Egyptians, through the Middle Ages of Europe, to the tribes of Native Americans. A protector against anger, depression, fear, and sadness the Abalone shell is said to enlighten creative energies for the person wearing or carrying it.

Abalone Shell Belt buckle

Although little has been written down about the true history of Native Americans there is one haunting tail of the Apache Tear.  A stone said to bring light to that which is hidden from the conscious mind, to purify the soul by replacing negative thoughts with positive attitudes. The Apache Tear was also thought to stimulate success and to release pain and loss to allow the bearer to continue on with life.

The legend of the Apache Tear holds that a tribe of Pinal Apaches had made numerous raids upon settlements around Arizona. Trailed by the military, the tribe was attacked at sunrise killing two-thirds of the tribe in the first volley. Retreating to the cliffs edge the remaining warriors chose death by their own hands rather than to die by the guns of the white man. For years afterwards the bleached bones of these Apache were found wedged into the crevices of the treacherous Big Pacacho cliffs.

In the story of the Apache Tears, the wives and lovers of those who died that morning gathered some distance away, were the sands were white and pure and for a moon they wept over their dead. It is said that their sorrow was so great that the Great Father imbedded their tears into small black stones which when held up to light revels the tears of the Apache women who cried for their lost lovers.  

Apache Tear Neckless

Many more stories and legends abound over the crystals and jewels we wear, far to many to write about in this short blog. But each has its own legend in folklore which adds to the mystery and beauty of the jewels we wear.

Feel free to follow my blog and to stop by my shop Estates In Time. Also don’t forget to visit my Facebook page.

Let’s Talk About Color

Colors

 


 

So just what is your favorite color? If I had to guess I would bet you just thought of the color blue. If I ask you which color you thought of when I mentioned love, or anger, or even danger I’m sure you would say red. What if I ask you to describe the environment or wealth as a color, green, right? 

Colors have a way of invoking emotions in each one of us. Often without us even realizing it.

Warning Color

Which color grabs your eye first in the picture above? There’s a reason warning signs along the road are yellow. Governments and businesses have been using colors to get our attentions and to spike our emotions throughout time.

Think about it, what are the colors used in the signage and advertisements of most fast food restaurants? Red and yellow right? What about companies that want to invoke feelings of trust, stability, or peacefulness?

Companies such as American Express, Forbes, and Princess Cruises use the color blue to give us these feelings.

Colors have been researched and found to have so much effect on our subconscious that sports teams have been known to paint the locker rooms used by visiting teams a bright pink due to its ability to drain players of their competitive energy and its calming effect.

So how can you use this information to help you with marketing your products?

First you need to think about your target audience. Different cultures perceive colors in different ways, western cultures associate black with death and morning, while eastern cultures the color white has these meanings.

Children are drawn to bright, bold primary colors, yet if you are marketing these products to their grandparents you might choose more subtle blues or greens to solicit trust or feelings of a fresh new product.

Below are some general associations western cultures have to colors.

Red – excitement, strength, passion, speed, and danger.

 Blue – trust, belonging, reliability, and coolness.

Yellow – happiness, sunshine, cheer, and warmth.

Orange – playfulness, vibrant, and warmth.

Green – nature, fresh, cool, growth, and abundance.

Purple – spiritual, royalty, and dignity.

Pink – softness, sweetness, nurturing and security.

White – purity, cleanliness, and mildness.

Black – mystery, sophistication, and elegance.

Colors and color combinations can greatly effect customers buying habits. Shades of red to orange, black, and royal blue tends to attract impulse shoppers. While pink, baby blue, and navy seems to attract a smarter, more budget minded customer.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my latest post, and it helps with your marketing success. Feel free to stop by my facebook page and visit my vintage shop  Estates In Time.

Touring America, From the Backseat of a Nova

Road Trip


 

It was 1964, I was 5 and I was going to met a real cowboy. At least that’s how I remember it. Mom and Dad had just bought a new 1965 Chevy II Nova Super Sport and we were driving to California.

My parents had been talking about this trip for a little over a year, Mom had a sister that lived in San Francisco she wanted to visit, and Dad’s brother lived in Phoenix, Arizona. All I cared about was meeting a cowboy like John Wayne, or the Lone Ranger.

It was one of the last years before interstate highways. Route 66 was still America’s Main Street, but the writing was on the wall for many of the roadside attractions and small businesses, which are now memories.

Some of the details are foggy now, 40 some years later. I don’t remember much about the first part of the trip at all. Nothing is really that exciting about restaurants or motels to a 5 year old kid. But when it came to the sights of the wild west and my chance to meet that cowboy, that’s the part of the trip I remember.

Riding through the Petrified Forest was the first thing that put me to awe. Seeing what looked like giant trees laying on their sides, but they weren’t trees. No, instead they were rocks. Growing up in the mountains of North Carolina I knew what a big tree looked like, but here was rocks that looked like some of the fallen trees from back home.
Petrified forest

And it was right in the middle of a place called the Painted Desert. I couldn’t believe all the colors I was seeing, it really did look like someone had taken a big paint brush and painted everything as far as you could see.

Painted Desert

Every where I looked there was something that amazed me. I could just imagine Indians over each hill and wagon trains around every turn. I just knew it wouldn’t be long before I met my cowboy.

Yep, to me Arizona was the wild west back then, the giant Saguaro Cactus, passing through small towns claiming populations of 7 with buildings built only on one side of the road. I remember riding through ghost towns, sitting in the back seat of that Nova trying to get a glimpse of a ghost peering out of the old run down buildings. It was like watching one of my favorite westerns and I was expected to see a shootout at the OK Corral at any moment.

When we got to my Uncles house in Phoenix we had been on the road for what seemed like ages. The grownups were talking about the places to visit and things to see, but I was just glad to be out of that car. It had been a week since we left home and I was ready to play.

It wasn’t long though before my Uncle had us back in the car. First we headed to northern Arizona to visit a place I’ll never forget, Montezuma Castle. The sight of those adobe buildings built into the side of a cliff has stuck with me my whole life. Sometimes I believe that seeing that place and hearing the mysteries behind it at such a young age is why I enjoy history so much even today.

Montezuma Castle

Then we traveled on northward to probably the most famous tourist site in Arizona, The Grand Canyon. I remember begging my parents to go on the mule ride into the canyon, but my Mom wasn’t having any part of that.

Grand Canyon

Finally after almost another week riding around northern Arizona we were back in Phoenix at my Uncles house, and I was ready for a few days out of the car. Not only that, but I still had not met my cowboy. I had worn my black cowboy hat and my 6 shooter cap pistols every where we went, but I was starting to think I was the only cowboy in Arizona and I wasn’t a real cowboy!

But that was soon to change. the next adventure my Uncle had planned for us was to head south to a small town named Tombstone.  We were going to visit the Boothill Graveyard.

Boothill Graveyard

Now I was tired of riding in that car, and I had no idea what could be so much fun about going to see a graveyard.

It wasn’t until we pulled into Tombstone I started to understand. There it was the OK Corral I had finally made it to a wild west town and I was going to meet my cowboy!

Everywhere I looked was cowboys and reminders of the old west, even the buildings were right out of my favorite westerns. Walking through the graveyard I made my Mom read me each one of the grave markers, I was so excited to be there and to see everything.

Boothill

Then it happened, we were having lunch at a restaurant in Tombstone, I was wearing my black cowboy hat along with my six-shooter cap pistols, when our waitress asked a local to come over to our table. Wearing his black cowboy hat, I’ll never forget that man looking down at me and saying “There’s not enough room in this town for two black hats!”

I had finally met my cowboy, and he was calling me out!

My parents had taken many road trips during my young life. We had taken weekend trips through the mountains into Tennessee, rode the Blue Ridge Parkway, and traveled down to Florida, but this was the adventure of a lifetime for me. After all, I got to meet a cowboy!

And lived to tell about it!

Taking a Good Picture and Making it Better

Best Picture Layout

 

Every day on Etsy someone says something about working on their pictures, but what does that all mean? Sure they need to be in focus, nothings worst than a blurry photo, or one that is too dark, or too yellow. Then, there’s the ones where the background is so busy that the product which is for sale gets lost. There’s also a lot of debate over all white backgrounds or color. Each one of these points are very important, if any of them are neglected you have a bad picture and until you have that straight nothing will make it any better.

But, what if you have a good picture? It’s in great focus, nice and bright and you can see the textures of your product popping out on the screen. Is there anything you can do to make that picture better?

Take a quick look back up at the picture on the top of this blog, don’t worry about studying it, just a quick glance. What is the first letter you noticed? The “B” right? The blue color of the letter doesn’t really pop out against the blue sky, but it’s still the first thing you noticed.

It’s what photographer’s refer to as the “Golden Mean”. Because of the way our minds are hard-wired to view images we automatically scan them in certain ways.

golden means

 We instinctively focus in the area where the blocks are smallest first, then scan the rest of the image, much in the fashion of a 9 laying on its side.

While it’s hard to imagine a complex drawing in our minds, such as the one above, when taking a picture. There is an easier way. Imagine the view finder of your camera divided into a Tic-Tac-Toe board.

Tic-tac-toe

Then aligning the objects of interest long the intersecting lines, with the image taking up the lower 2/3rd of the photograph.

Ratio’s also play an important part of good photography. The magic ratio number is 1.618. By dividing the largest side of a photo by the shortest side we come up with the photo’s ratio, and for some reason a picture which has the ratio of 1.618 and follows the golden means rule is more appealing to the viewer.

Below is four images of the same picture croped and resized in different ratios. Which one appeals most to you?

A photo                   B photo

C Photo                    D Photo

If you choose “D” you wouldn’t be alone, The “D” photo is sized to have the 1.618 ratio, with the two buttles aligned on the tic-tac-toe intersecting lines. This photo also has the tallest buttle aligned so that it does not extend into the upper 1/3rd of the photo.

I hope this helps you to understand ways to made a good photo better, and thank you for reading my blog.

Feel free to visit Estates In Time on Etsy, or stop by the Estates In Time Facebook Page  

 

From Knockoff to a Symbol of Wealth.

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I doubt there is a person out there who hasn’t plucked a piece of candy from a dish, smelled a rose in a vase, or admired a Cameo made from a creamy white glass known as Milk Glass. As I was growing up every relative I remember had a few pieces displayed in their kitchen or living room. A favorite collectible in the 50’s and 60’s, not many homes were decorated without it.

First produced in Italy during the 1500’s it was know as Opal Glass and was considered to be a knockoff off during that era. First made as a poor man’s porcelain, the white color was produced by adding tin or bone ash to the molten glass.  Cheap, inexpensive beginnings which grew into a status symbol for the wealth by the later parts of the 19th century. The intricate designs, often hand painted or trimmed in lavish colors during these gilded years.

Yet as the Depression of 1930’s hit the quality of glass began to wain, and the delicate expensive designs gave way to a more affordable hobnail decoration, which is still popular into the present,

It was also during this period, the early years of the 20th century that this creamy white glass started to be known as Milk glass.

As the troubling years began to ease and the 40’s started, companies such as Fenton began introducing colors to milk glass.

fen1                 fen2

And once again the quality and popularity of the glass rose, becoming one of the most sought after collectibles by ladies of the mid 1900’s. Even today this centuries old design can be found decorating homes with its simple elegant charm.

Today’s collectors of this style of glass can find many Vintage Shops around Etsy with wide varieties of plates, bowls, figurines and jewelry made from Milk Glass.

fen3                milk j

mgv

 

 

The Build of a Facebook Fan Page

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Although I’m not a big fan of Facebook, I decided to give it a chance again and build a Fan Page for Estates In Time. Personally I feel the changes made to the Social Media giant back in 2012 which made every page generic, with no way to set up a landing page greatly hurt the chances for small businesses to stand out in the crowd. This plus the practice of throttling news feeds posted by page owners who do not place paid advertisements.

Prior to 2012 page owners were able to use apps  such as Static HTML to create custom tabs with calls to action, then direct each new visitor to those tabs on their first visit, I always felt this let the pages which used the option stand out, it made the pages fun and interesting to visit. A couple that use to do a good job with this that really stands out in my memory were “Coors Light” and “Corona”,

Their pages were always fun to visit, with cool games, interesting facts, and great give away contest. But, anyway I came here to write about the building of my new Fan page, not to rant about Facebook or to reminisce about the past.

Today, even though I can’t set the page up to take visitors to my tabs automatically, writing a custom tab which offers something of value to my visitors was important to me. I wanted to give the public a reason to like my page.

By using the Static HTML + iframes app which has a built in fan gate, I was able to give the tab two different looks.

First with a call to action, offering discount codes to used in my Etsy Store and the chance to enter contest that I plan to run later on, for Liking My Page.

The second look to the tap, for people who have Liked My Page, displays my discount codes, RSS feeds from my Blog and past tweets from Twitter, Also later when I run contest, I plan to use these pages to give more to my fans.

Although I have done a fair amount of HTML coding, it’s not something I use everyday so often I need reminders or sort of a cheat sheet to get things right. The best online tutorial I’ve found for programming languages is w3schools. Even for someone who doesn’t know programming, this site does a good job of helping you understand the process.

If you would like t check out the way I set up the Estates In Time Fan Page, feel free to visit and be sure to Like it t get in on the fun.