30 June 2011

How to Keep on Track with Your Writing Campaign

This is a guest post by Brandon of Boomajoom.com

1. Set Aside Time
Be disciplined is hardly an earth-shattering concept, but it's still the most important thing you can do. Set aside at least a half hour at a time where you either write or sit there staring at the wall. The discipline comes into play when you don't allow yourself to get up or do other things. The boredom comes into play when after a few minutes of staring at the wall you decide you might as well write something.

Small segments of time work best, just as focusing on small segments of writing helps you push out larger pieces. This, I feel, is the main reason we have chapters and paragraphs in books. Trying to write a paragraph is easy. Tying a few paragraphs into a chapter, that's not so hard. Then once you have a few chapters, you find yourself sitting there with a book. Sometimes small steps are all we can afford to focus on.

Photo: Leo Reynolds

2. Keep a Calendar
Similar in type to setting aside time, keeping a calendar ensures that you have enough time to set aside. Further, this will help put you on a regular publishing schedule, which your readers and Google will appreciate. If you're writing because it helps your business, then a calendar will help keep you sane. 

It's important to figure out your goals when writing, but it's pointless to always think about them when putting together individual articles. If you're trying to rank in a competitive market, you will get discouraged trying to find that guaranteed way to rank with each article. Business is about marginal improvements made over a long period of time. Determine your goals, what you need to do to get there, and then forget about it while you work on each step.

3. Write Something Controversial
Write something that will make people cringe, something that you hold a strong opinion about. Generally when we are passionate about a subject, it's easy to write about. We become wrapped up in the argument and lose track of time. Not only will writing something controversial help you publish more, but it will set you apart from the crowd. A lot of people say "write something controversial" as if that statement alone was controversial. Try to pepper your writing with something bold on occasion, like I try to do on my blog.

Photo: kanelstrand

4. Write Something Funny 
People in business are usually a bunch of nervous ninnies. Everything is so impersonal and plastic, it's gross sometimes. While there's definitely a time and place for a serious discussion of a particular issue, I think people need to loosen up. 

For example, I recently wrote an article on my site about the SEO genius that is Charlie Sheen (he's all over page one on Google for "winning"). I also poked fun at the Internet marketing industry since we continue to publish articles that we don't actually follow - write quality content, pay it forward, write something funny, etc. When push comes to shove, hardly anybody is actually doing that. So start.

5. Find a Sponsor
AA is a great program. After 23 minutes of sobriety myself, the program works wonders. In all seriousness, AA introduces a sense of accountability into its members by partnering them with someone they trust who they will depend on for emotional support through the recovery process. While procrastination is not nearly as serious an addiction as alcoholism (and does not interfere with your ability to operate heavy machinery), it's still something far easier to cope with in private than if you have to discuss it with someone. Find a confidant who will hold you accountable when you fail to meet personal deadlines. This will do wonders in keeping you on track in your writing goals.

Have I missed anything? Is the unadultered combination of booze and winning all you need to meet tough writing deadlines? Leave me a comment and let me know your secrets.

This article was written by Brandon, the owner of Boomajoom.com which provides SEO services to San Jose area customers. One such client is Susan Goulding, a Tracy CA realtor. The opinions, however, remain the author's own.

29 June 2011

A Poetic Giveaway with Red or Gray Art

The giveaway is now closed. Thank you all for participating! The winner is announced at the end of this post.

Poetry is one of my driving forces. I must admit that I find it everywhere, not only in words. When I "met" Elaine from Red or Gray Art I felt excited and uplifted by the air around her and couldn't wait to present her poetic soul to you!

Today I am so honored to involve you in a lovely giveaway sponsored by Red or Gray Art! Elaine is generously offering a gift certificate for her etsy store worth $20! 

Once you win, you will be able to choose between any of the many intricate and truly amazing items. I promise you, you will love every single thing Elaine has created!


1. Heart Red or Gray Art on etsy and write that you did in the comments - 1 entry

You must complete the mandatory entry before doing the optional. Also, leave a separate comment for each of the following:

2. Share with us your favorite poem - 1 entry
3. Like Red or Gray Art on Facebook and leave a comment here (If you are already following, just say so in the comments) - 1 entry
4. Follow Kanelstrand Organic Living publicly via Google Friend Connect - 1 entry
5. Post on Facebook about the giveaway - 1 entry 

6. Traditionally, all of you, who commented under Elaine's interview (before the beginning of the giveaway) will get one more entry (just add a comment saying that you have commented on the interview)!

  • It is possible to have up to 5 entries (6 for the readers who have already commented on Elaine's interview).
  • You must leave a way for me to contact you if you win (have your email address listed in your profile, post your email address with your comment, email me or convo me in etsy).
  • The deadline to enter is Friday, July 8, 2011 at 23:00 CET.
  • This giveaway is open worldwide! 
Comment date stamps must be recorded by 23:00 CET on Friday, July 8, 2011 to be eligible. The winner's name will be drawn via random.org and will be announced shortly after in this post, so make sure you check back to see if you won!
Good luck!

* * * * * * * * * * 

And, the winner of the poetic giveaway is...
We will be contacting you soon!

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28 June 2011

Why Guest Blogging Is a Win-Win Situation

To be successful online we all try to market our brands in the most prolific manner and are always on the lookout for productive ways to advertise and get seen. And advertising can be done in many subtle ways without annoying our readers.
Photo: Will Lion

Guest blogging is one of the most cherished (and rightfully so) ways of popularizing ourselves and our brands, regardless of which side of the fence we are at - the guest blogger's or the host's. If you have noticed, the most successful blogs on the net regularly invite guest bloggers. I also love my experience as a guest blogger and as a host equally well and here are some of the reasons why:

From the guest blogger's point of view: 

Get backlinks
It is considered good manners when you are invited to guest blog to be allowed to add a link to your blog/website/etsy store and this is great because it is a wonderful way to create backlinks and make your blog's rating higher. By writing a guest post you get the chance to have a permanent link pointing back to your own blog!

Show yourself in a different light
Guest writing for another blog makes your brain change the frequency it works on and you may come up with great new approaches or themes. This will ultimately have a great effect on the development of your writing style, and it can lead to amazing new personal discoveries! 

Get quality traffic
When you offer your expertise to a new readership you get not only exposure but new fans as well! People are naturally curious and if you manage to catch their attention, many of them will click on your link to find out more about your knowledge and interests. What better way to gain even more followers!

Spread the word
When you guest post you take advantage not only of the readership but also of the distribution network of the host and your article may get quite popular. Consider the host's Twitter and facebook followers and you will get a rough idea how many people you didn't know will be able to read your words and probably re-distribute them!
Photo: swisscan

From the host blogger's point of view 
Break the routine
As much as your readers love you, they would appreciate a new "voice". Opening up for guest bloggers will allow you to make a change in your blogging routine and maybe even give you new ideas. It will also provide you with time to work on your SEO or anything else you deem valuable for your blog.

Get fresh content
A guest blogger will offer a different perspective on a theme you and your readers are passionate about. This will inevitable raise the interest towards your blog and very soon you will be able to see a change in your Stats.

Have new conversation points
By inviting guest bloggers to your blog you offer your readers diversity and new themes. What is more, a guest writer can have a slightly different point of view which will invariable sparkle discussions and will liven up your blog.

Gain new readership
Guest bloggers are also social! They would love to brag about their latest article, published on your blog, thus creating more links for you and bringing more traffic your way. They will also mention their post on their own blogs, so this is a wonderful way to attract new followers and backlinks.

Original content
A very important aspect for both guest bloggers and blog hosts is publishing original content. Many people are willing to copy and paste a previously published article on your blog but  since February 2011 Google stopped indexing duplicate information. You can read Google's point of view and reasons why they consider duplicate content spam here.

Want to know more? Read all articles in the How to Blog Like a Pro series.

27 June 2011

A Portrait of The Artist: Red or Gray Art

Today, in A Portrait of The Artist, I am so happy to introduce Elaine Kean - a redhead with a touch of gray hair and this is where her store name comes from. In her stylish etsy store you will find radiant home decoration items created out of repurposed stone, cloth, paper and wood. Looking at her blog, you can tell right away that Elaine is a poet and a tender soul that can enrich your spiritual experience with a magic wand!

When did you first feel the need to be eco-friendly and how does this affect your daily life, apart from your creativity?
I was raised in an eco friendly home and over the years I have incorporated recycling into every day life. As an adult our wild garden has been a source of amazement over the many seasons we have lived in our home and raised our two daughters. I make use of a composter for all natural scraps from the kitchen which eventually makes its way back into the soil. Recent additions to the backyard include a rain barrel to capture and re use rainwater in the garden as well.

How long have you been creating before you started your etsy shop? How did you set your mind on creating eco-friendly items?
I have always been a “creative” person. My mother was an artist , my father a musician both instilling in me a love for all mediums. My etsy shop began as my children got older and I found more time for that creative spark that I used every day in the raising of my children , to come through in new artistic ways.

Eco friendly art is such a wonderful challenge, making a piece out of something else is really satisfying, I like the “story” behind each piece. As far as repurposing in my shop... not a scrap of paper or bit of cloth is thrown away... I make use of pieces in the wrapping of orders, happily use them on cards, in collages and whatever the next idea may be.

Ivory wrapped sienna and grey stones

For your works you use repurposed stone, wood, paper and cloth! Which one is your favorite material to work with?
Oh I am enjoying working with the stones at the moment. The feel of them in your hand, the weight and smoothness is very calming to me, the natural colors and shapes are inspiring! I relish finding just the right word to incorporate into a piece. These stone collages began just as the tragedy in Japan happened and my first few that I created were part of an artists group that donated all proceeds to the “Save the Children” fund.

But then to create paper cards is another special love of mine, such a dying art to hand write letters. I so enjoy creating a blank card knowing it will some day travel to someone who will hold it in their hand, reading words of encouragement, news, or just a hello…

You are a music & movement teacher for young children. Share with us how is the interaction with young children charging you and can we find traces of it in your art?
I love my job each day and find such energy and spontaneity in playing with children who in turn love you and think you are cool!! The children in my classes remind me that everything is possible and we are all unique in our gifts as well.

My art is pretty much a result of the quiet I enjoy when I am home from the business of a music classroom… so in a funny way it is an opposite reaction to my work at the school.

Painted heart organic

You mention your mother’s words in your blog, saying that nature holds a special place in all types of art. Do you believe that love and appreciation to nature are innate or they are nurtured?
Nurtured by example I think. Someone who uses nature in their art is such an inspiration to me, I am drawn to a natural palette. My mother created in all mediums and one was making pine needle baskets. The memories of her hand picking needles from the ground is forever ingrained in my thoughts of her. Being able to see a place for a raveling snip of cloth, humble twig or smooth stone in a piece of art is because of the way she was in my life! 

We are loving the poetics in all your photographs, yet you state that you are using a very simple camera. Can you lead us through the process of photographing your creations?
I use a point and shoot Nikon, no fancy lens or lighting. I always try to use places in my home that have natural light, picking the right time of day, simple backdrops, many times snapping many photos for a few usable ones. I enjoy the process of capturing images and of course feel like it is an art form of its own. I use images on my blog as the main part of a post, I am not a writer and felt from the beginning of my blog three years ago I would only use simple photos to create a gentle mood there.

Mobile paper bird
It seems that you are collaborating successfully in a number of creative fields. For your works you often use materials from other etsy shops and you contribute to several blogs. What is the secret behind a fruitful and inspiring collaboration?  
My blog has been a joy and I feel like I have made many online friends because of it. It has been my goal and practice over the years to show a genuine interest in the blogs that I visit by leaving comments. I usually create a project to be involved in, usually posting on separate blogs other than my main one.

For example, last year it was a black and white daily photoblog, in 2009 I took photos from my kitchen table by a window. This year I had a commitment to include links back to blog posts from a new space each week that touched me. I am enjoying this each Friday by displaying one of my trademark simple bird and include a word or phrase. It really can be a community of friends if you communicate with each other and enjoy the talent of so many bloggers!!

Follow along with Elaine from Red or Gray Art:
Etsy Store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/redorgrayart
Blog: http://www.redorgray.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RedorGrayArt

You can check out previous editions of A Portrait of The Artist here

26 June 2011

Weekend DIY: 7 Projects With Magazines

Subscribe to Kanelstrand to get updates on more eco DIY projects.
With time I tend to accumulate tens of magazines on my shelves and the thought of throwing the piles away makes me feel like a complete waster. So, you can imagine how glad I was to find these impressive projects to reuse old magazines. I hope you will find them equally useful! 

1. Magazine stool
2. Recycled paper bead bracelet
3. Magazine jewelry
4. Coiled paper basket
5. Recycled magazines basket
6. From magazines to a picture
7. Turn your magazines into a bookshelf

25 June 2011

Right Now

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Right Now - a quiet moment of contemplation; a retreat from the noise of the keyboard. A single photo and no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple moment that I would like to savor quietly and remember.

If you are inspired to do the same, leave a link to your Right Now photo in the comments for all to see and enjoy.

Have a cozy weekend!
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23 June 2011

Sankthans - A Midsummer's Night Celebration

Can you imagine a night in which the coast is all lit with huge bonfires that can be seen from far out at sea? That is how tonight usually looks like! In Norway we celebrate summer solstice on June 23 - a magical night also known as Sankthans or Jonsok (John's wake). The tradition comes from pre-Christian folklore, but it, as well as many others, was adopted by the church in the 1st Century, when Christianity became the official state religion.

In Southern Norway, where I live, people gather together and celebrate around huge bonfires while others sail around in their boats anchoring on little islands and setting up their own bonfires, which complement the beacons along the coast. A sight never to be forgotten!
Photo: kanelstrand

The whole night is lively and festive, lit by the colors of a never-ending sunset and the flames along the coast. Traditionally, it is believed that this is a time when the normal laws that govern the world of brightness and the world of twilight are suspended, it is a time when trees speak, trolls and goblins run in the forests and the "little people" come out of hiding and goof around with mortals, playing pranks and stealing food...

I took the above photo 2 years ago, when the weather was magnificent, so wish me luck tonight as well, and if your wishes work, I will show you even more beauty from this year's celebration!

22 June 2011

A Stylish Giveaway with Betsy & Bess

Thank you all, the giveaway is now closed, the winner is announced at the end of this post!

Can you believe that June is ending already! How about we finish this month with a stylish giveaway, sponsored by an etsy artist I and many of you admire - the talented Elizabeth from Betsy & Bess!

The eye catching eco-friendly handbags, purses and accessories you will find in the Betsy & Bess etsy store all come out of repurposed and upcycled materials and attract not only with their beautiful forms but also with the idea of being produced with the environment in mind. Read more about Elizabeth and her repurposing ways in her interview, part of A Portrait of The Artist Project on Kanelstrand.

Today, my dear eco-minded Kanelstrand readers I envy you because you have the chance to win this cute and stylish leaf print handbag by Betsy & Bess, worth $57!

Honestly, being a handbag aficionado, I have a hard time picking just one favorite, I am in love with them all! But look at the summery leaf pattern of this one, and the fresh delicate lining; and how about the big button inside, simply delicious!

The rules are simple as usual, and you need to complete the two mandatory entries in order to continue with the rest for a higher chance to win!

1. Heart Betsy & Bess on etsy then come back here and tell us you did - 1 entry
2. Say what method you use to subscribe to Kanelstrand Organic Living - 1 entry

You must complete the mandatory entries before doing the optional. Also, don't forget to leave a separate comment for each one:

3. Like Betsy & Bess on Facebook and leave a comment here (If you are already following, just say so in the comments) - 1 entry
4. Follow betsyandbess and kanelstrand on Twitter - 1 entry
5. Tweet about the giveaway - 1 entry 
You can use my tweet if you like: Stylish #eco-friendly #giveaway @kanelstrand! #Win a $57 #eco #handbag by @betsyandbess at http://goo.gl/KBnNO
6. Post on Facebook about the giveaway - 1 entry 

7. Traditionally, all of you, who commented under Elizabeth's interview in April will get one more entry in the giveaway!

  • It is possible to have up to 6 entries (7 for the readers who have already commented on Elizabeth's interview).
  • You must leave a way for me to contact you if you win (have your email address listed in your profile, post your email address with your comment, email me or convo me in etsy).
  • The deadline to enter is Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 23:00 CET.
  • This giveaway is open Worldwide!

Comment date stamps must be recorded by 23:00 CET on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 to be eligible. The winner's name will be drawn via random.org and will be announced shortly after in this post, so make sure you check back to see if you won!

Best of luck, everyone!

* * * * * * * * * * 

So, the winner of the stylish giveaway is...

I would love to see photos of you with that awesome handbag! 

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20 June 2011

New Ad Opportunities for July

I have a confession to make - I love my sponsors! I love their products, the way they present them and their generosity in offering my readers amazing discounts! I am so delighted with the lovely collaborations and the creative support they are offering! I am truly amazed with the fast development of Kanelstrand Organic Living, the lovely friends I've made through it and the inspiring community we are building together, thank you!

With the summer heat come a lot new opportunities and craves, so it is a wonderful time to continue growing your business. I hope that it will be a great opportunity to showcase your exciting work as independent artists or bloggers to like-minded people looking for beautiful goods made with love in a style fitting their philosophy of life. 

This is our bunny Muffin, who is already quite deep into summer beach adventures.

With the incredible growth in readership of the Kanelstrand blog advertising will surely put you in the spotlight and increase the visibility of your indie business or blog!

So, I am offering a few new ad spots for July, all at affordable prices, starting at $15!

If you would like to advertise with Kanelstrand Organic Living, I would love to have you! You will get a welcome post, the option to share a coupon code to your stores and much more, Twitter and Facebook exposure included.

Please click here for rates, blog stats and more information, and if you have any questions, do not be shy and ask, I am open to your creative ideas!

19 June 2011

Weekend DIY: 3 Projects With Mason Jars

Subscribe to Kanelstrand to get updates on more eco DIY projects.
Don't you just love it when you find a way to reuse something as good and old as a glass jar? I only recently learned that the Mason jar was invented and patented in 1858. What a long life! 

Today I have 3 lovely projects for repurposing glass jars, all coming from fellow bloggers. Enjoy!

1. Mason jars storage by Liz Marie
2. Glass jars turned vintage by Kristin
3. Spray painted Mason jars by Larissa

17 June 2011

8040 Minutes Live in Norway

Do you want to see Norway but cannot travel right now? Now you can watch the live broadcast which began yesterday, June 16 and will continue non stop to June 22. Since we started watching the Hurtigruten voyage, it has proven to be the most spectacular thing we have ever seen on TV! 
Photo: http://www.hurtigruten.com/

Hurtigruten actually means "Express Route" and is a passenger and freight line along the western and northern coast of Norway, tracing its origins more than one hundred years back, established to improve communications along Norway's long, jagged coastline. It sails from Bergen to Kirkenes and back for 11 days. The Hurtigruten covers almost the entire length of the country - a trip that has been described as the "World's Most Beautiful Sea Voyage.
Photo: oddbjorn

And now you can also follow it live here (with a map of the route and the current position of the ship) thanks to the Norwegian Public Service broadcaster NRK! This is the longest live coverage in the history of television (not counting Big Brother). We have been literally watching day and night, almost no sleep because, really... how can you miss the midnight sun and the breathtaking coastline of Norway seen from a ship! You can also download it later or enjoy the Hurtigruten photos in Flickr because NRK has made everything, even the article about the event available with a Creative Commons license.

The HDTV signal from the several cameras onboard is transmitted to NRK via satellite. Since the HDTV signal is enormous there is just one live stream from the boat, so what we are seeing is the produced programme, interspersed with cutaways to different cameras, interviews and archive footage, but at every of the 34 ports along the route, the TV crew is dropping off disks with uninterrupted footage from the forward facing main camera, which will be available for download continuously as quick as possible via BitTorrent.

To tell you the truth, I even think we are seeing more than if we were actually there right now. Around towns there are always small boats with people waving to the ship and the cameras, the cameras are zooming on different details along the coast, oh what an experience!
Photo: domestictimes

So, I would be very pleased to share this voyage with you, my friends, let's spend a long weekend together and admire the wild coastal beauty of Norway!

15 June 2011

A Very Happee Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you all for participating, the winner will be announced at the end of this post.  

I love positive people because they always manage to energize me and transfer their excitement to everyone. Today is one of those days, when you meet such a person. I am extremely happee to offer you participation in an amazing giveaway sponsored by a fellow photographer!

In her etsy store Happee Monkee, Mable Tan offers glossy postcards and unique still life, landscape, food and travel photography, with the hope that they bring to you and your home joy and happiness. Her photos are printed on premium photo paper at a professional lab. 

Mable spends most of her time traveling with her husband. She has visited some of the most extraordinary places in the world - Japan, Paris, Sweden, Norway, Latvia, Moscow, Germany and many, many more.

The photos you will see in the Happee Monkee store are about comfort food, about the buzz when we see a beautiful place, about flowers and animals that give us the fuzzies. In Mable's own words: "I want a photo to say: `I would like to be there and have a jolly good time.' I also want to tell everyone to dream of the extraordinary. There's so much in the world to see and do."

Mable's excitement and joy transferred to you, didn't it! Today, she is giving away one gift certificate worth $30 to one of you, travelers, explorers and joyful people! With it you can choose photos or cards from her Happee Monkee etsy store that will brighten up your face every time you see them!

  • Heart Mable's Happee Monkee etsy store and post a comment here about your favorite moment in life (e.g. watching a rainbow, dancing in the rain, eating a cupcake) - 1 entry
  • Post a comment, saying which method you use to subscribe to Kanelstrand Organic Living (If you're a new reader, just make sure to follow/subscribe first using Google Friend Connect or a reader) - 1 entry 

You must complete the two mandatory entries before doing the optional. Also, leave a separate comment for each one. You can gain one additional entry for each of the following:
  • Purchase something from Happee Monkee's etsy store (Use the coupon BEHAPPEE2011 to get 10% off on any item in the shop) - 1 entry
  • Like Happee Monkee on Facebook and leave a comment here (If you are already following, just say so in the comments) - 1 entry
  • Follow both Happee Monkee and kanelstrand on twitter (leave a comment) - 1 entry
  • Tweet about the giveaway and leave a comment here - 1 entry - You can use my tweet if you like: A very happee #photo #giveaway @kanelstrand! #Win a $30 #gift certificate by @happeemonkee at http://goo.gl/bA6KM

  • It is possible to have up to 6 entries.
  • You must leave a way for me to contact you if you win (have your email address listed in your profile, post your email address with your comment, email me or convo me in etsy).
  • The deadline to enter is Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 23:00 CET.
  • This giveaway is open Worldwide! 
Comment date stamps must be recorded by 23:00 CET on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 to be eligible. The winner's name will be drawn via random.org and will be announced shortly after in this post, so make sure you check back to see if you won!

To wish you good luck, I will post Mable's favorite quote: To attract something you want, become as joyful as you think that thing would make you. The joy, not the thing, is the point.

* * * * * * * * * * 

And the winner of this week's happee giveaway is...


Isn't it amazing how the prizes always miraculously go to the people who would really appreciate them!

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    14 June 2011

    15 Places to Find Free Photos For Your Blog

    Maintaining an impressive blog which attracts many followers inevitably has to do not only with the content but with the illustration as well. We humans, are visual creatures and having that in mind, the smart blogger should take care to provide an additional reason for her readers to keep coming back!

    I recently talked about how important eye candy is in creating quality blog posts and in attracting more traffic to your blog. If your photo archive doesn't cover the theme of your latest blog post, you can find photos and illustrations shared freely on the Internet. Believe it or not, a lot of photographers and graphic designers are not driven by money. They want to share their work with the world, under specific conditions, which almost always include being credited for their work.

    Below I have listed in alphabetical order 15 sources of quality free photos and images on the Internet. Whatever source you decide to use, ALWAYS credit the artist, link back to them and, when possible, send a link. This is the best and easiest way to thank someone who has been so generous as to offer her creative work to you for free. By taking the time to be courteous and polite you will allow the artist to link back to your site and not only to show potential customers how her work has been used but to direct even more traffic to your blog! 

    Creative Commons

    Creative Commons helps you search through Google Images, Flickr, etc. to find free photos. It offers you to search according to your need - for commercial purposes or to modify and build on the photo. I often use photos whose modification is allowed and add a little something from me, like change the hue or brightness, or crop the image the way it suits me. But be careful because you should always verify that the work is actually under a CC license by following the link of the photo displayed. 


    EveryStockPhoto is a search engine for free photos that come from numerous Internet sources and are license-specific, currently searching through more than 10 million of photos. You can view a photo's license by clicking on the license icon, below and left of photos. Membership is free and allows you to rate, tag, collect and comment on photos. 

    In Flickr there are always plenty of images available for free use. To search for them, in "Everyone's Uploads" you need to type in your keyword and under "Advanced search" you will have to click on "". Of course, it would be good taste to link back to the original image. I usually do that in the caption of the photo.


    FreeDigitalPhotos.net offers free images for use in corporate and personal projects. Downloading is made easy by instant download and lack of registration requirement.

    You need to credit the person who created the image and instructions for publishing credits can be found to the right of every image. If you don't want to do that, you can purchase a license, starting at just $3 per image.


    FreeFoto.com is made up of more than 130 000 images organized in sections and categories.According to  the site, it is the largest collection of free photographs on the Internet.

    The easy to navigate site offers images that are free for online use, with higher quality versions available for sale. FreeFoto.com also features exclusive images found nowhere else on the web with new pictures being added every week. It is required that you link back and attribute the images you use. 


    You can search the site by keywords in various fields and you can download files in two different ways, as a .jpeg file or as a .zip file. The first option is suitable if you wish to open the image or media file in your browser for viewing, but also for saving it on your hard drive. The zip download is better if the image or media file is very large and you wish to save it on your hard drive. However, this option requires that you have a zip extractor program available.


    FromOldBooks is run by Liam Quin, who says he owns a lot of old and antiquarian books with really neat pictures in them. He says: "I thought it was a shame that no one but me could see them, so I started putting them online." 

    On his website you will find over 3,000 high-resolution free images scanned from more than 180 different old or rare books, with extracts. The author of the site requires that you let him know if you use any of the pictures by linking back and sending him a link of your post.

    ImageBase is a collection of high quality photos of nature, people, cities, and objects taken by David Niblack. The site clearly states that all images are 100 percent free to use. You can use the images on the website for whatever you want, personal, commercial or non-profit use for free. They are licensed under the "Attribution (by)" Creative Commons License.  In short, you are free to distribute and modify the files, commercial or otherwise, as long as you attribute its author (David Niblack).


    PDPhoto.org is a repository for free public domain photos. As the owner of the site puts it: "Unless something is clearly marked as being copyrighted, you can assume it is free to use. But if you intend to use an image you find here for commercial use, please be aware that standards for such use are higher."

    If you use pictures from the site, PDPhoto requires you to put the text "Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org", link back and/or give credit to the author. Anyway, the owner continues: "But you don't have to. Feel free to leave a message in the comment area for the image you're using if it's something you can link to. The pictures are free for you to use and you should feel good about doing so."


    Pixel Perfect offers more than 7 000 photos and 3D graphics by 13 000 photographers. You can rate and see how many times an image has been viewed. You can download and use photos as long as you credit the author and keep them for non-commercial use.

    Photo Rogue
    Photo Rogue is a non-profit web site whose main goal is to increase the amount of free visual media on the Internet. Currently they offer about 700 photos organized in 94 albums

    The cool addition to Photo Rogue is that you can even request a picture and volunteer photographers will go out and attempt to take it. It's entirely free, although the owners of the site cannot guarantee that your request will ever be filled.


    Here you will find over 25 000 free amazing photos for personal and non-commercial use by various photographers, both professional and amateur.
    You can rate photos, see their EXIF, see the date they were taken and much more.


    One of the best resources of free images online, launched in 2001 as an alternative for expensive stock photography. The site has developed a lot and currently offers about 400 000 high quality photos from amateur photographers from around the world. The photographers establish the use terms, and most images are available for immediate reuse.


    Here you can find free photos categorized by color! Of course, you may not redistribute them to any other websites or offline buyers because they are still the intellectual property of their owners who have given you permission to use them in your designs, art, personal and professional projects, or even as your desktop backgrounds. No signup is required to download photos from the site.


    Woophy is a Dutch website offering almost 1 million free photos from around the world for non commercial use. You can search by city, highest-rated photos, country, category keywords, or member to find photos. The categories are animals, culture, landmarks and buildings, nature, objects, and people.

    Want to know more? Read all articles in the How to Blog Like a Pro series.

    Where do you find your photos and images? Is there any other website you use which you don't see in the list?

    13 June 2011

    A Portrait of The Artist: Jazzies & Lilies

    A Portrait of The Artist is presenting Glenn Ricasa - a self taught jewelry designer in the Bay Area of California. With a dream to start her own business with designs handmade by her, she decided to create Jazzies & Lilies Designs in 2009, named after her daughter Jasmine, the Jazz Dancer, and her favorite flowers, Stargazer Lilies.

    a Lil’Jazz, also named after Jasmine, is her first line of jewelry, which features a range of designs to fit any personality from a funky, chic look to a sophisticated style. Glenn invests a lot of time and dedication towards her passion to have her customers feel fabulous and beautiful accessorizing with a Lil’Jazz.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself. How is your family supporting you in your handmade business?
    I am a stay at home mother of an 8 year old daughter hoping to have more children one day. I love to travel and spend quality time with my husband and daughter, go shopping with my sisters and mother, and eat out at different restaurants. 

    My family is very supportive in different ways. My mother, my teenage niece and sisters give me design critiques and quality assurance advice. My father and husband would send out my packages if needed. But most of all, my husband has provided me the opportunity to stay at home to live out my dreams while he works. I am truly grateful for all of their support!  
    a Lil' Best Friends
    How did you start making jewelry?
    One day I went to the mall and  saw a piece of jewelry that I wanted to buy, but it was too expensive. I told my husband that I was just going to make my own jewelry. I wanted to prove to him that I was capable of making jewelry, and I did by making my first Wire Wrapped Pearl Ring. I showed it to the rest of my family, and they were very excited about it. My sister decided to sell my jewelry at her school at an affordable price, and it was quite a hit. That's when I decided that I need to open a shop on Etsy.

    What is your greatest inspiration? Can you introduce us to your creative process?
    My inspiration for my Jewelry Designs is my love for Fashion! Every time I go to the mall, look through fashion magazines or just think about fashion, I get a whole lot of ideas rushing through my mind. I don't draw pictures, and I rarely write down my ideas. I just create them by hand from the image I've designed in my mind. This is why my designs are unique and one of a kind. Since my designs are all handmade, not one piece of jewelry will be the exact same.
    a Lil' Believe in Music

    How long after you came up with the idea for your jewelry did you set up an etsy shop?
    I signed up for an etsy shop, but it took me almost a year to start listing items. I really needed a confidence booster and the motivation to do so, and that's when I started a blog on Tumblr. The support from my followers and other bloggers, who featured my items, gave me the confidence that I needed to start selling my designs at my shop. Last month, I reached over 100 sales! It's quite a milestone for my business.

    How is your work eco-friendly? Do you put efforts to be sustainable?
    I use copper wire, metal wire and metal chains that are all recyclable. All my shipping supplies as well are either from recyclable material and/or recyclable. I always make sure my wires or any materials that aren't being used anymore are being recycled.

    For my future business in clothing, I plan on using old clothes and upcycle it into new clothes just like I do with some of my jewelry designs. I use old jewelry to create new jewelry, three in particular that are listed at my shop, a Lil' Silver Roses Two Finger Ring, Bracelet, and Necklace Designs.
    a Lil' Infinite Love

    Where do you see yourself creatively in 5 years?
    In the future, I plan to open my own boutique in the Bay Area of California. I will definitely have an Accessories Line and a Clothing Line within Jazzies & Lilies Designs. Additionally, I will continue to expand my a Lil'Jazz Jewelry Line.

    What is your current favorite item from another etsy seller?
    I love Fashion, especially clothing. So right now my favorite would have to be this dress. I actually favorite her shop! Love mostly all her dresses! It's very inspiring and I would love to one day sew my own clothes and later on sell my handmade clothes as well.

    Follow along with Glenn from Jazzies & Lilies

    Etsy Shop: http://www.jazziesandlilies.etsy.com
    Blog: http://aliljazz.tumblr.com

    You can check out other editions of A Portrait of The Artist here