Monday, June 25, 2012

Perfect Timing

Ever wonder why we stress so much about time? I mean we learn in the Scriptures how time is measured differently to Heavenly Father than it is to us. Some of us know this is true when we get these amazing patriarchal blessings and then get frustrated when the blessings don't come into our lives for years or even in this lifetime.

This past Sunday I woke up an hour after I should have been at church. When I asked my daughter why she didn't wake me up, she said she had but I told her I wasn't going, that I was too tired. (I don't remember any of that conversation.) After getting my slew of kids together we raced off to church for the last hour and a half.

Although the Relief Society lesson was that we need not let our fears keep us from sharing the Gospel with others, the lesson I learned was to have faith in Heavenly Father to know there are reasons for being late, sometimes ones we never know about. After church we stayed for a baptism, and it was tough on my two year old. I know there would have been no way we could have stayed if we had gotten to church on time.

One time I took the Greyhound cross country and the whole trip was one big frustration, with waits as long as 8 hours.  During our journey, we got stuck in the traffic of a major accident where an oil truck had exploded and killed those nearby. If we had been on time we would have been caught in that terrible tragedy. After seeing that happen, it really calmed me down and I felt a humble gratitude to Heavenly Father for knowing and having the perfect time schedule to keep me and my children safe.

This week, after struggling for two years to come up with a design I love for my website, I finally was able to create it. It all happened because I had an unhappy customer who had bought one of my workshops and didn't see any of the templates that she liked that were for free in a certain design. So instead of getting frustrated at her moans, groans, and negative complaints, I set out to design it for her free of charge because I knew she was on a set income. And boy has it blessed my life! I even came up with a beautiful redesign for my spiritual strength page with wonderful quotes to boot. If you get a chance check it out at

I have a testimony that we are always on course as long as we strive to keep Heavenly Father the center of our thoughts and actions. May we always find the way to stay focused on that instead of any set time is my prayer for us!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Bible Videos

As many alread know, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has been releasing new Bible videos since Christmas of 2011. I am so amazed at how well these movies are made. They portray the sacred events of the New Testament so simply, but yet so powerfully.

Many members saw the videos played in the 2011 First Presidency Christmas Devotional when they were released. However, lots of movies have been made since then that haven't been advertised quite as well. So, I just wanted to use this post to get the word out there that tons of new movies have been made, and they can all be viewed for free at OR

I highly encourage you to check out the website. All the movies use dialogue left as close to the King James Version of the Bible as possible. The graphics are amazing, and really help the stories come alive. These movies would be an excellent addition to Family Home Evening or scripture study. Here is one of my favorites. In this film, the story of the woman who touched the hem of Christ's clothing and was heald from her "issue of blood" is portrayed. I hope you enjoy it.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to Be Featured in Treasuries

Would you like to be featured in many treasuries, especially in those with high views? Here are some tips to increase your chances of that happening:
  1. The better quality photos you have, the more likely you are to be featured in a treasury and the more likely people will view the treasury.
  2. The more shop items you have, the more likely you will be featured in a treasury.
  3. Increase your circle. Many Etsians make treasuries using shop items from their circle of friends. And if you feature your friends and favorite shops in a treasury, they are more likely to return the favor.
  4. Join a treasury or promotion team. Teams often make treasuries featuring their members, as our team does, and some require that you comment on treasuries posted before yours in discussion threads. They also have other categorized threads for you to post your items, making it easier for members to find things to put in their treasuries (our team does that too!).
  5. Promote treasuries you are featured in. Heart it, comment and say thanks, and share it with your teams. I know I'm more likely to refeature a seller who appreciates my treasury than one who does not, no matter how awesome their shop is or how many circles they are in.
Happy treasury making!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Nearer, My God, to Thee

One of my favorite songs is "Nearer, My God, to Thee." It holds such a powerful message. I love the humility that it shows in praising our Father in Heaven.

For centuries, this song has been cherished my many people who desire to live their lives in a way that is pleasing to God. According to, It was written by Sarah Flower Adams. Along with her Sister, Eliza, she composed many different songs. Here's the rest of the story.

One day [Sarah and Eliza's] Pastor, the Rev. William Johnson Fox, asked these two exceptional sisters if they would aid him in the preparation of a new hymnal he was compiling for the congregation. The two sisters soon became busily involved and committed to this project. Together, they contributed thirteen texts and sixty-two new tunes.

One day the two sisters were busily involved with their pastor in completing the final details for the new hymnal soon to be published, The pastor remarked that he wished he could find a hymn to conclude a sermon he was preparing on the account of Jacob and Esau as recorded in Genesis 28: 10-22. Sister Eliza interrupted enthusiastically, “Sarah, now there’s a excellent idea for a new hymn for our hymnal. Why don’t you write your own hymn about Jacob’s dream?”

“Splendid!” replied the pleased pastor. Later that day, after spending much time in studying the Genesis account, and feeling the dramatic movement of this Old Testament narrative, Sarah began to write. Soon she had versified the complete Biblical story in the five stanzas still in use today.

The text for this hymn is based on Genesis 28 and the dream that Jacob had in the desert when he was fleeing as a fugitive from his home and his brother Esau. Upon awakening from his dream and seeking the ascending and descending angels, Jacob called the place “Bethel” - “The House of God.”

With this account in mind, let us consider part of Jacob's account in regards to his dream. In Genesis, chapter  verse 15, it reads: "And, behold, aI am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bbring thee again into this cland; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of."

Jacob was in distress. He was returning to the land of his Father without knowing what was going to happen to him and his family. As far as he knew, his brother, Esau, was planning to kill him. Jacob must have been terrified. However, knowing that the Lord had commanded him to return, he went forward with faith. How at peace Jacob must have felt as he heard those words or reassurance and love.

In our lives, there are many days when we too go through hard things. I know that as we turn to God and strive to live "nearer to Him", he truly won't leave us alone. He will keep His promises to us, stand by us, and never forsake us. He is standing waiting to put His arms around us and lead us safely home. All we have to do is turn to him.

In closing, I'd like to share the words of the hymn we have discussed.

Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee!
E’en though it be a cross
That raiseth me.
Still all my song shall be
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee!

Though like the wanderer,
The sun gone down,
Darkness be over me,
My rest a stone,
Yet in my dreams I’d be
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee!

There let the way appear,
Steps unto heav’n;
All that thou sendest me,
In mercy giv’n;
Angels to beckon me
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee!

Then with my waking thoughts
Bright with thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs
Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee!

Or if, on joyful wing
Cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot,
Upward I fly,
Still all my song shall be
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Featured Member: Sal from Simply Sal Boutique

This week's featured member is Sal from Simply Sal Boutique. She participates in the team forums and writes for our blog on Fridays. Here is a little more about her in her own words.

I got started on Etsy last December when I was trying to earn enough money for a better camera. I wanted to sell some of my photos and hair clips online. A friend in my ward had told me about Etsy a few months prior, so I decided to look into it further. After researching many websites, I chose Etsy because it provided a venue in which I could sell my work online without a lot of upfront fees.

I have been doing photography for about 2 years. Photography helps me see things from a new point of view and realize the details in the wonderful earth we have to live in. My favorite things to photograph are flowers, animals/bugs, and temples. Through my experience in natural photography, I have learned that indeed "all things testify of Him." Each detail in nature truly is a witness of God's love for us. Through photgraphing temples, I have learned that the temple is a happy place where we receive the light of Christ more fully in our lives. Because of this, I try to include light as a key aspect in all my temple pictures.

The gospel greatly influences my work. I strongly believe that all things testify of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I try to portray that through my photographs. I also love creating Young Women value bows because they hold such deep meaning. I hope that my creations help to share the gospel and remind others of God's love for them.

Check out her shop for more amazing photography, lesson handouts, and Young Women's values hair clips.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Keeping a Journal Is Possible

This past Sunday's sacrament meeting topic was on temples. But as I listened to the speakers, I got a whole different message.

The first speaker was a 12-year-old deacon, and he started off saying,"You're probably wondering, 'What can a 12-year-old teach me about the temple?!' " The congregation chuckled. But he followed with,  "I hope by the end of my talk you will think differently." And he proceeded to give accounts of how he came to love the temple, after entering it only 2 times.

Then the temple president's wife spoke, followed by the temple president. All three speakers gave humbled talks of service in the temple, but I noticed that each talk taught me how the speaker had taken action on the simple teachings of the Church--such as daily personal prayer, journal writing, and family prayer--and had used them to gain guidance in the temple during trying times. These actions seemed to be in just about every other sentence in each of the talks.

I thought to myself, It seems to be that those who follow these simple actions are the ones who carry the Spirit most with them. I don't know about you, but I find being able to journal daily difficult. Then in Relief Society a sister shared that she started looking at the difficult moments in her life and wondered how she could sanctify them and make them holy. And that's when I realized that journaling wouldn't be so difficult if I recorded those moments that caused me stress and I asked for Heavenly Father's help on how to make them holy.
I know doing this simple step on a daily basis will bring me closer to Him and the purpose I came to earth to complete. As I go to the temple not only to do ordinance work but also to seek for answers to my questions in my journals, I know I will recognize the answers when they come, because I always remember things better when I write them down.

I believe that this life really is suppose to be a lot simpler than we make it, and hopefully I can establish these habits so that it will stretch my time, like paying tithing stretches my income. If you have any tips for ways you have found this to work for you, please do take a moment to share them!

Thanks for reading, and may your week be one that is full of inspiration!

Happy creating!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Etsy Talk: Tagging Listings

The majority of your shop traffic comes from searches, either within Etsy or through another search engine, like Google. Therefore, it is vital you properly and optimally tag your listings. Here are some tips to help you:

Use all 13 tags! The more tags you have, the more likely someone will find your items.

Use two- or three-word tags. One-word tags are too broad; any more than four are too specific and probably won't fit in the 20-character limit. Describe the:

item: crocheted baby hat, beach photography
color(s): pink (generic), magenta (specific), black and white
shape: geometric, round, abstract
material: wooden, felted wool
size: 2x4 inches, 5 mm (always include metric to bring in international buyers), XL, 3-6 months
era (for vintage): Sixties, Victorian
brand (for vintage and commercial supplies): Disney, Studio G
use: embellishment, home decor
recipient: toddler girl, men's, dog

Try different word combinations and synonyms. For example, here are the tags for my most-viewed item: vintage owl, vintage figurines, owl figurines, vintage owl figurine, brown owl, ceramic owl, vintage 70s, vintage seventies.

Check your spelling. However, if your item is commonly misspelled, then including the misspelling in your tags may be a good idea.

Review your shop stats. See what words are bringing people to your shop. Change tags that are not bringing in views.

Use Etsy's search box for ideas. Start typing and see what word combinations show up to get an idea of popular searches.

Follow Etsy's rules of tagging. Read them here for more tips and dos and dont's.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Featured Member: Leisa from Can Do Stitching

I chose to feature Leisa from Can Do Stitching because she is a stellar member! She participates in the discussions, makes lots of treasuries featuring other team members, and comments on treasuries featuring her items. Here is a little more about her in her own words:

For as long as I can remember I have always enjoyed crafting, including scrapbooking, sewing and stitching. I really was very young when my mom let us get out the fabric, thread, and buttons. It has always been a part of my life.

I had started another blog years ago to share another love of mine of decorating cakes. I call it "Can Do Cakes" because it is something I feel like I can do! My mom saw an article about Etsy and suggested I put some of my handmade items that she has seen me make on an Etsy shop to sell. With eight kids, I liked the idea of making some extra money! So, when I finally made the decision to start an Etsy shop I thought I would match the name to my cake blog, thus "Can Do Stitching." And it has grown to include the teaching part that lets kids know that they also "can do stitching!"

The gospel influences everything I do. Etsy is no exception. I am often inspired with a new idea that I want to create. I love quotes and reminders around my home that help me remember what is truly important, so I am inspired by our church leaders and scriptures a lot! When my oldest left for college, it was really calming for me to stitch "I can do hard things"! When she saw it on my Etsy shop she wanted one, too! So, now I know that she has my stitching with her even though she is far from me!

I really like the scripture from Proverbs, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart". Sometimes that's all a mom has! Etsy, to me, is more than making money. It is an outlet to create and share!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Share the Gospel by Reading the Book of Mormon in Public

This Sunday was Stake Conference. It was mostly about the challenge the stake president had given us to read the Book of Mormon by June. Many bore their testimonies on the difference they felt in their families as they did this. I'm sure you have probably heard testimonies that were similar to most of the ones borne today. But let me share one with you that might actually help you to make the Book of Mormon one that you personalize on the outside as well as inside its pages. 
This one sister said that the gospel was her passion. She had spiral bound and laminated a regular copy of the Book of Mormon which she took everywhere. She said she traveled by plane 15 times in a 10-month period and each time she would take her book out to read it. Others could look at it and start conversations with her about it. She shared how she connected with them by always showing interest in their lives as well and would find a way to answer their questions so as to show them how the book could give them strength in their personal lives. She advised us that we needed to change our prayers from finding someone to share the book with to being given the wisdom to know how to answer their questions, because we members are now the talk of the times since the Church has had so much attention drawn to it in the media.

Sharing the gospel has been on my mind for some time. I made a page on my website that I called My Spiritual Strength. I used to have it on my regular toolbar, but since I have been redoing my website over the last week or so, I only have it listed on my Connect Page because I want only those who are really interested to find it so that it is not exposed to ridicule. If you'd like to take a look at it you can find it at

I'm open to suggestions on how I can better share this info with others. Also, please comment on how you have found it easiest to share with others about the Book of Mormon and other gospel-sharing techniques you have found to be useful in fulfilling this scared duty of sharing the gospel with others.

May Heavenly Father bless us all in our efforts to move His work forward, no matter how big or small they may be, is my prayer. Have a very blessed week andmay all your efforts prosper!

Take care,

Friday, June 1, 2012


As Etsy sellers, many of us spend a lot of time creating things. Those who sell crafts make wonderful creations from everything from yarn, to buttons, to fabric, and in between. Vintage and supply sellers create as well by writing descriptions for their listings, designing their webpage, etc. There truly are so many ways that we create every single day. I love this movie made from one of President Uchtdorf’s talks.

This is my favorite quote from the video:

“The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Happiness, Your Heritage,” Nov. 2008 general conference)

I have felt this in my life so much. The more I make time for the Lord and His work, the more I am able to develop my talents. I am thankful for the opportunity Etsy gives us to share what we create with others. However, sometimes I find myself so caught up in Etsy that I forget to make time for the most important things. Even though Etsy is lots of fun, it does have a way of monopolizing lives. As we balance our time, remember to heed the promptings of the Spirit, and put God first in all that we do, I know we will be blessed with an even greater capacity to create and with greater success in all aspects of our lives.