Saturday, November 29, 2008

Shop, Save & Earn

I have belonged to this fabulous site for about 2 years now. When I first joined it was very basic and I notified a friend of mine who joined. A referral type system thingy. I also tried shopping but they were just getting started and the stores were far and few between. Since then I've stopped by every so often because each month PayPal was sending me an e-mail of earnings from that site.

Today I'm ready to do some Christmas shopping. I can tell you I'm not really excited about it because I still have this post traumatic stress condition from years past when we went into significant debt just to buy for everyone. I've scoured the newspapers for their big sales but I hate crowds so I'm not going out. So the next big thing is the Internet.

As I started on my shopping excursion I stopped by my PayPal account to check on what was happening there. Those of you who don't have one click on my PayPal thingy in the upper right hand side of this blog. You can't go wrong.

Low and behold what should I find but a nice deposit from my BigCrumbs!

I started wondering how I was doing over there so I checked it out. Wow has it changed and I really need to be more attentive. As of this posting I have been to BigDog and purchased two shirts for $14.99. One of those buy one get one free. Shipping is free for orders over $100. Mine was only $4.99 and it is UPS!

You can set up your account with favorite stores. Mine were very few because as I said before the site wasn't very big when I started. However now it seems that every store is there.

I'd like to continue with this post later and let you know how I do. Had to get it out early as many of the stores are still offering specials through tomorrow.

Can't hurt to check it out.

Have a Firecrackin great time Shopping, Saving and Earning!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

First New Year's Resolution

Incentives are coming fast and furious at my Firecrackinmama's Zazzle. A few months ago volume bonuses were offered. Now for 2009 I could become a Pro Seller. Wow, the pressure is on.

When the volume bonuses were offered I didn't think I'd have a chance to take advantage of it but low and behold I've been in on it for 3 months now. Happiness is that there are people out there who do like my work, as strange as it is.

A Pro Seller however is quite different and I'm not sure how that will work out for me. I keep reminding myself that I do this certainly for the money but more because it's fun and something non stressful. If I sell, I sell.

I already find the marketing can become stressful as there are new offers almost on a daily basis and tons of kind people who want you to become part of their sites in advertising. I certainly do appreciate the many offers but I'm lucky if I can get my Blog out and perhaps upload a few new designs for products each day let alone get all the good deals out there.

I guess I'll make my first New Year's Resolution: Start posting the offers.

Free shipping on postage orders

One or more qualifying sheets of postage (sheets of 20) must be purchased to qualify for the free shipping offer. The coupon code STMPHOLIDAYS must be entered during checkout to receive the offer. The free shipping offer is for standard shipping to U.S. addresses only. Shipping charges will apply to orders being shipped on an expedited basis or outside the U.S. Offer is valid from October 27, 2008 through December 31, 2008 at 11:59 pm PST. Your order must be placed during that time to qualify for this special offer. This promotional offer may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or discount offers. Offer applicable only to orders where Standard or Basic shipping is offered. (Some oversized and high volume orders are too large for these services.)

I sold this stamp and purchased it myself for my Firecrackinmama's 2nd Online Christmas Party postcards. Once you click on the stamp you can select any value to suit your mailing needs and buying in bulk saves you dollars as well.

See more at Firecrackinmam's Postage and FCM_Christmas Postage

40% off calendars

40% off calendars discount is applied to orders of one or more qualifying calendars and applies to the price of the product, not to shipping, taxes, and other charges. The coupon code CALENDARSAVE must be entered during checkout to receive the offer. Offer is valid from October 1, 2008 through December 15, 2008 at 11:59pm PST. Your order must be placed during that time to qualify for this special promotional pricing offer. This promotional offer may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or discount offers.

Firecrackinmama offers unique and various style calendars:

Here is a sample of a 12 month calendar. For a complete view stop by Firecrackinmama's Calendars.

Each 12 month calendar has a beautiful thematic image for each month. I have until Sunday to decide which one I'm going to purchase this year for myself.

Since the quality of the 12 month calendars is so good I decided to make a more functional mouse pad. Notice now that the mouse pad is no longer just for the mouse but now you can use the daily calendar to keep track of vacation and weekends and of course special events. I use a marker to circle important dates. After all it is only for one year.

The quality of the greeting cards here is outstanding. I've purchase quite a few and with the special sales still in effect I plan to purchase my calendar cards for friends, family and loved ones. Once I've customized/personalized the card by adding text or a different image inside the card I'll send it on. The recipient now has a very unique greeting and can separate the front of the card and frame it for easy use.

I would be lost without my full year poster calendar. The months do not deter from the beautiful image. These are great for businesses to give to their customers.

So if you want to see more stop on by Firecrackinama's Calendars.

50% off Greeting Cards

50% off cards discount is applied to orders of one or more qualifying cards and applies to the price of the product, not to shipping, taxes, and other charges. The coupon code ZAZZLECARD50 must be entered during checkout to receive the offer. Offer is valid from November 26, 2008 through December 6, 2008 at 11:59pm PST. Your order must be placed during that time to qualify for this special promotional pricing offer. This promotional offer may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or discount offers.

Again I have to emphasize the quality of cards at Zazzle is outstanding. One of my favorite things is to make invitations and insert the inside of the card with the necessary info. You can choose between the regular 5"x7" cards or the invitation size of 4"x6". The cards can be customized/personalized. I'm very happy that my customers have liked and purchased these cards.

I like to think outside the box too. There are so many cards and it seems I do have them all over the place. Perhaps my Second New Year's Resolution should be to organize my cards and perhaps my gallery in a better fashion.

50% off Business Cards

50% off business cards discount is applied to orders of 1 or more qualifying business cards or chubby cards and applies to the price of the product, not to shipping, taxes, and other charges. The coupon code BIZCARDSAVER must be entered during checkout to receive the offer. Offer is valid from October 1, 2008 through December 15, 2008 at 11:59pm PST. Your order must be placed during that time to qualify for this special promotional pricing offer. This promotional offer may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or discount offers.

Business cards sell themselves and most of the times the customer wants to do their own. Well you can.

Another item in which you can choose your own sizes, paper and fonts. Great way to get your business name out there.

However I again was thinking out of the box and created gift tags from what they call their profile cards.

Christmas Tree Christmas Tag Card profilecard
Christmas Tree Christmas Tag Card by Firecrackinmama

There are thousand of items to choose from but if you really want to do your own thing and create your own, go ahead and have some Firecrackin good times. Just click on Create Your Own Gifts!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

It's Thanksgiving

For years I never liked Thanksgiving but within the past five years I have really grown to like it. It's strange which holidays you select to be your favorite. Christmas and New Year's Eve are my favorite. Although I love the Fourth of July. My husband and youngest daughter love Thanksgiving. I believe my oldest daughter's favorite holiday is Ground Hog's Day with Christmas coming in second. My son, hmmm... he likes all the ones that have good food but if I had to take a guess I'd say his favorite is Christmas.

We're supposed to give Thanks on this special day. I know I'm thankful for many things. I also know that sometimes you don't know what you have until it's gone and you've forgotten to be thankful. Many people today are in that boat. I always call it a learning lesson. Maybe that's where they got the new term of "Lifelong Learning".

I want to keep this on a light note though. On my way home yesterday I stopped to get my turkey.

Money is tight so it's at least a fresh turkey. :) I'm thankful for our turkey. I kept it in the cooler out on the deck because there wasn't any room for it in the refrigerator. It made it through the night without some strange creature stealing it. I always think of Christmas Story with Ralphy and Randy.

I guess there is only one way to put this Thanksgiving - Memorable.

You know you want to have a clean house for your guests. Well the only guest we were having is my mother but I still like a clean house. Many posts ago I mentioned that my husband is selling telephone systems for small businesses that is really cool. So that I could get a full understanding of the way it works he installed the system in our home. We now have to dial 9 plus the number - hmmm...

Anyhow we still had this white phone connected but no one was using it and my feeling was that it was getting in the way. So in the course of dusting I asked him if it was a necessity and his reply being no led to me removing it. Now to many that's no big deal. Shortly after I started disconnecting it, and I might add that it was a willing participant in this ordeal, the phone in the other room rang. My daughter's friend had called shortly before my task so I thought it was her calling again. However the conversation was a bit weird.

Upon conclusion of that phone call my daughter called into me asking if I had dialed 911. The call was from a 911 operator because of a 911 hangup. In the course of the conversation with the 911 operator and a police officer she had tried to explain that I was disconnecting a telephone and must have accidentally pushed quick dial. They really didn't care a police officer was headed our way.

Very embarrassing. However the officer was very handsome and appeared to be around my daughter's age. So being a holiday we did invite him to dinner. He graciously declined.

Other then that little bit of excitement dinner went off fine and we spent the evening watching the Eagles win at last!!

It's not too late to get a very special Season's Greeting card, gift and entertainment all in one. Check it out. Football fans will love it.

This is probably one of my best products that I sell locally. Within the stadium are 15 Santa hidden amongst the fans. One of my friends is a barber and puts his board up every year. He runs a 50-50 with half of the proceeds going to a charity. Another friend has requested a new board for her holiday guest. I now have 5 different boards.

Well I hope everyone else had a Firecrackin Great Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Never Thought They Would Sell

When I first started my Firecrackinmama's Zazzle my website was called Photofunonline where my by line was "Use Your Photos Don't Abuse Them". I was clueless but it was fun. Not too long after I had made a sale at Firecrackinmama's Zazzle and followed site meter for a while I found more traffic going to my Zazzle store and more keyword searches on engines for Firecrackinmama. So I deleted Photofunonline and opened I continue to use my by line however added that "Every Picture Has A Story".

So I was thinking out of the box and just having some good old fashion fun with our photos. My husband would silently laugh and wonder why in the world I would offer some of the items for sale. I'm even amazed that these have sold. I liked them and I guess some others have too. Perhaps it's because you can alter the items by adding your own text. Personalizing things has much more meaning to the recipient.

This is the most recent unusual card that sold. We took our three kids on a cruise to celebrate our 35th Wedding Anniversary. They had friends that also joined us on the cruise which made the whole event a wonderful memory. As you can see white water rafting was offered as an excursion. Only my son had ever been on such a ride and he even commented that this one in Costa Rica was much rougher then the one he had been on. We were told that this was a mild ride. I think they classified it as a "2" or whatever. However, our guide Alex said it ran a "3-4". All I remember was Alex telling me to hold on and paddle. I kept wondering how do I hold on and paddle. In short it was a wonderful excursion and we all still talk about it when we get together.

Believe it or not someone other then me bought this holiday card last year. Chrysie has an unbelievable personality and I thought this would be a perfect way of showing her off. The bar was located in Costa Maya. I say "was" as it was destroyed by Hurricane Dean shortly after we left port. It was in an ideal location on the beach with it's small restaurant across from it where my daughter and I had gone after our high speed boat excursion. I needed a drink after her many attempts to kill me with her driving.

Since I had finally found a way to make digital Christmas lights, I felt that a Chevy Chase Christmas was appropriate for this bar and of course for Chrysie's Mexican hat. The hat by the way was extracted from my daughter's head as she posed for a picture in Disney World. The puppies are Chrysie when she was little. Believe it or not we only had one picture of her as a puppy. Wow!

Again I guess the option of inserting text and your own message was something that drew this customer to the card.

This collage was designed from photos of that same trip to Majahual and our high speed boat excursion. I just wanted to prove that I did live through it. My daughter and I were enjoying our lunch at restaurant across from the above bar and these were things we could see just from that seat. The guides had gone across to a Palm tree next to the bar and snagged some coconuts. They split them open for us and we enjoyed them. The building at the top of the card is the hotel on the beach. It only cost $35.00/night.

Maybe the customer had been to the same place. However I had another customer purchase 10 of these cards.

Yes, someone bought this postcard. We had gone on a 4 wheeler excursion to this remote beach area and this is what we saw first. I couldn't resist.

Perhaps one of the most unusual sales is this one:

Chrysie loves the water and whenever she has a chance to go swimming, she swims underwater, thus the name Scuba Dog. I was playing around one morning with the Sting Ray underwater photo. I think I cleaned it up as best I could. Then I wanted to demonstrate how shallow the water was by placing the boat above. Well, one thing led to another and this is what I designed.

Someone else in the world enjoyed my card. I would love to know what they did with it.

The holidays are always a fun time to develop new and unusual images. I'm getting better at manipulating the photos and making an entirely new image.

Last year someone at Greeting Cards Universe requested Christmas cards with an Angus cow in it. I developed one and then at Zazzle I developed a sticker to match the card. This year the sticker seems to be pretty popular.

Perhaps one of my greatest surprises was selling my LA 2009 twelve month calendar. The photos presented are from a touris'ts view and one shot I love is the Rent A Horse month. My daughter lives in Burbank not too far from the Equestrian Club. I went for a walk back into the area and found a building that actually advertised "Rent A Horse". A bit further down the road I found two horses tied to a post waiting for their riders. So I extracted one and put it in front of the Rent A Horse Building. I thought only in LA.

This is one of my favorite calendars this year. I just might buy it myself.

However the best of sales seems to have come from the most unlikely place.

My Create Your Own products. Thank you to all who have been adventurous enough to design your own gifts. I only wish I could have seen how they were customized.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"Keeping Up With The Jones'"

You know that old saying "Keeping up with the Jones'". I never knew why they chose the name Jones'. Maybe my grandparents knew a family called Jones and they were always buying something new. Anyhow no matter what name you may choose, some one is always trying to catch up to some one else.

My title should be "Keeping Up With My Sites". Do you know this morning I finally took some time to browse through the Famous Brands section. Wow! I have certainly been missing out on these items.

Mickey (Mickey & Friends) shirt
Mickey (Mickey & Friends) by Disney

There are tons of different Disney characters on tees, mousepads, mugs and of course you can order a print. You can find a sampling of some of the famous brands at Firecrackinmama's Famous Brands.

So if you want to impress family, friends or loved ones with a customized famous tee at an inexpensive price, you've found your place.

Zazzle has developed many partnerships. The ones I take seriously are the ones that allow gallery owners to promote and make a few pennies from helping out. Disney as always is a wonderful company that helps everyone out. I'm bias of course because I grew up with Mickey and the original Mousekateers.

One of my favorites as a teacher though are the Smilelies from Smileycentral. These stickers are great for kids and just as a joke for adults. Since it is almost the Season of Seasons I thought this sticker would be great for school teachers.

Or you can always make your own stickers!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Big Day In A Small Life

I have a small life anymore and I'm quite happy with it. I can't tell whether the happiness comes from getting fat sitting in front of a computer when I should be exercising or that I have finally just become happy with myself and my life. Whatever it is here's a drink to it!

With holidays coming quickly that's about as close as I can come to having a drink cause nothin will get done if I indulge. But I love this apron simply because I find myself wearing old clothes when I entertain while everyone else is dressed to the nines so now there's no excuse not to look good.

I don't like parties unless I'm hosting them. I must be socially maladjusted as I like people, like to talk to them but I just don't like parties. I am so afraid an invitation like this might come in the mail.
Decorated Wreath Invitation card
Decorated Wreath Invitation by FCM_Christmas

My husband would insist that we attend but I don't want to. So in protest I'd probably dress like this.

Christmas Candy Cane Shoes kedsshoe
Christmas Candy Cane Shoes by AuntBetsy

One of the highlights of the holiday season is Rum Cake Saturday which usually falls on the weekend before December 23. Yep, one of my favorite holidays! Back in the old days when my husband was a supervisor, or some such thing where people worked under him, he needed a holiday gift for them. I had been making Rum Cakes for all my colleagues so he thought it might be nice to make them for his. Oh, I remember that first year so well. My mother helped me make 125 Rum Cakes and wrap them with a ribbon.

This became a tradition and people expected their Rum Cakes whether they were still working with us or not.

One of the funniest years was when I was working in Galloway Township. I had made close to 50 Rum Cakes just for that gang. At the time I was driving my husband's mid life crisis car, a Buick Reatta. What a great car and could it go, particularly on the AC Expressway. Sometime I tell you about how I had a police escort down the AC everyday, but not right now. Anyhow as I was taking this 1 hour ride, I could smell the Rum growing stronger every mile and of course I was following my police cruiser. By the time I got to the toll booth the cruiser would peel off and I'd pay my toll. No Easy whatever that's called. Obviously I still don't have one. I lowered the window to hand the toll guy my mone, he took one step back and yelled, Wow!" I slipped him a Rum cake with the money and he became my friend forever.

I've been doing this now for over 25 years and everyone always wants a cake from the last batch. Hmmm... I wonder why? And they always tell everyone not to eat and drive after having one of my Rum cakes. Even I do that now.

You know when you put so much work into making everyone happy but suffer yourself so much the next day, something has definitely got to be wrong with your thinking habits. Age has tempered my indulgence when making these delicious morsels. Mmmmmm...

I guess the most ironic part is that my husband has his own business in which he is the only employee and I have a job in which I don't have more then 10 colleagues that I would give a Rum cake. So last year I thought I was off the hook for making dozens of Rum cakes - NOT. My kids now request them for their colleagues so I guess we'll be having another Rum Cake Saturday this year too. :)

Presentation of gifts has always been important to me as well. Since I had so many cakes we used to use carry all bags with handles. However when I started at Zazzle last year I bought myself this to carry my cakes.

I thought I was the only clever one - NOT!


Rum cakes are expensive by the way and the holidays are stressful. We don't do as much as we used to. Wisdom does come with age. When the kids were young and we were buying for half the people who lived in NJ it would take us the whole year to get out of debt in order to start all over again. Then half the people we bought for never used what we bought them, re-gifted the items or threw them out. Really irritated me. Of course there are those who have everything and you just don't know what to buy.

Well the Internet and my Firecrackinmama's Zazzle has taken care of many of those problems. All the way from making my own greeting cards, which we never sent until last year, to creating more meaningful gifts.

I'm not good at making t-shirts but I've found others who are and many who want to create their own. And now not only can people shop for unique and custom designed items that can't be found in stores but they can create and design their own calendars, neckties, Keds, canvas bags, skateboards, aprons, mousepads, posters and so much more at:

So by now anyone reading this is wondering just what is so Big in my day in a Small life. Well it's because today I mail out my postcards to people across the country inviting them to Firecrackinmama's 2nd Online Christmas Party! Just click on the invitation below and you can come too!

Samples of items from a few distinguished galleries are available for you to see. Just click on the same invitation as above on that page and you'll be able to view their flash panels chock full of neat and unusual gifts for really any occasion but mainly thinking about the holidays.

These postcards reach thousands of people on their short journey to the specific person thus inviting those who see them as well. What even makes the invitations more special is that each has a matching postage stamp saying I really think you are special.

Although the one below is for $.42 you can change the amount by simply clicking on customize and make it $.27 for postcards or increase it for other size mail. Really a Firecrackin neat thing!

So, yep, this is certainly A Big Day In A Small Life for me!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Time Is Running Out!

Only 37 days until Christmas and I've been spending most of my time encouraging everyone else to get on line and buy, buy, and buy - my stuff of course.

I remember how I got started. I was surfing the net to design and create my own things. Oh, I love what others are capable of doing with their artistic skills but I had some photos that I wanted to use. Once I started there was no stopping.

So for all you out there looking to create your own - be my guest!

If you need a preview of what some of the talented artists, photographers and graphic designers have available - check this invitation out!

For those of you who want to get a flash view of the many talented artists, photographers and graphic designers-check this out!

As for me, this weekend is design and Christmas shop for my family after all check out the deals below>

Zazzle: Free Shipping on orders of $45 or more. CODE: HOLIDAYSHIPS Ends: 12/5

Now you can't beat that.

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!

Boom! Boom!! Boom!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Create Your Own For the Holidays

Or you can customize/personalize something you find.

I don't know about the rest of the world but I do know that money is tight around our house this year for the holidays. I keep hearing the entire world is in a mess and recession is on the tip of everyone's tongue. Well, you couldn't tell it from the malls, WallMart or Target.

For money being so scarce I can only say I've never seen so many people shopping. I hate going out shopping but during the past few weeks I've had to make the road trip to debt. That's because I'm a last minute shopper and didn't allow enough time to go on the Internet and let my fingers do the walking.

However WAKE-UP WORLD and don't do the same thing I did by procrastinating. Think ahead and shop early ONLINE!!!

This year Firecrackinmama's Second Online Party provides a sneak peak at FCM's Christmas and then a closer look at all the galleries through their Flash Panels of neat gifts and ideas at FCMParty. Everything or almost everything can be customized or personalized. Talent is endless as well as great gift ideas.

However if you are brave and adventurous you can design and create your own gifts!

Follow along here.
Christmas Cocktail Ornament photosculpture
Christmas Cocktail Ornament by totallypainted

The above item will be cut out just as it is designed. It is really an ornament, wall hanging or a neat gift tag if you sign it on the back. Better yet you can specify whether you would like to have this design as a pin, keychain, magnet or sculpture. Really, really a unique idea with hundreds of different designs to choose from or design your own!

Below are typical ornaments. They are flat but beautiful. I've purchased them and the recipients have been extremely happy with their gifts.

Christmas Tree Snow Globe Ornament photosculpture
Christmas Tree Snow Globe Ornament by FCM_Christmas

To have any of the sports ornaments customized/personalized contact Firecrackinmama.

To customize the following ornament, just follow the directions and upload one of your own photos.

When ordering as magnets please be aware that a magnetic strip is added to the back. The back is not an entire magnet. I was a bit surprised by that when I purchased this last year.

So I changed it into a wall hanging.

Remember to Use Your Pictures - Don't Abuse Them by hiding them in albums, boxes or lost files on your computer.

Also: One picture is worth a million words!

Have a Firecrackin Good Day!