Sunday, September 25, 2011

Selling Jams & Jellies

Thought I better update so people don't think I disappeared. My friend and I got a wild hair to sell our jams and jellies at a local festival so we have been cooking like crazy all week! I am happy to say that our jams were a huge hit! Who knew?

The wine jellies were a huge hit as were the hot pepper jellies. I have to say though it was a huge amount of work with setting up at 9 am and working till 7 p.m. Lots of fun though!

I will upload pictures hopefully later.

I am really lucky to live in a cottage law state so that allows us to sell some homemade foods. For anyone else interested check out your state laws and see if you have a cottage law. Most of them are very similar outlining what you can and cannot sell made from your home kitchen. And like Ohio, most stipulate you can only see these foods in your own state.

My daughter's wedding is also this week so we will be out of town Thursday thru Sunday. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gourd Craft Patterns

I have received a couple emails of people wanting to buy my gourd patterns. Apparently Ebay no longer allows instant download sales. I had no idea!

I currently have 3 gourd craft patterns for sale. All patterns come with line drawings, color picture, materials list and tips. Each pattern is $7.00. You can send payment to paypal using  As soon as I receive payment I will email the pattern. These were my top sellers at craft shows. Remember since these take a little longer to paint and are unusual you can get higher prices! Do not undersell them. You can also leave out some of the details if making a lot of these to sell. If you are making them as gifts I say paint in all the details!

Gourd Snowwoman Pattern

Ghost Gourd Pattern

Easter Bunny Gourd Pattern

This picture wont post for some reason so here is a link to the picture

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Making Money from Homemade Food & Cottage Laws

My family and friends know I started canning fruit and my famous spaghetti sauce last fall. To me it is so relaxing and fun. I love peeling the fruit, cooking it and having the house smell wonderful all day. Last year I tried my own spiced peach recipe as you can no longer buy them in most stores. As a kid we always had spiced peaches for Thanksgiving and Christmas so I had to make them.

This year I got my peaches and then had trouble locating my canning supplies. By the time I got them the peaches were too ripe to can. So a friend suggested I make preserves instead. So I did. And the results are mouth watering. Then my friend came over and showed me how to do some really neat preserves like Blackberry pepperflake.  This stuff is rapidly disappearing!

My friends family had previously owned a restaurant where they sold homemade jelly and preserves. While we were canning she kept saying what a shame it was we couldn't restart it.

So I investigated and was shocked to find out that Ohio is a cottage food state. That means that we can make jelly, jam, popcorn, granola bars etc and non perishable baked goods without a license.  The biggest catch is we can only sell it in the state of Ohio. I immediately called my friend and she was estatic. Even though she has always lived in Ohio she had no idea it was a cottage food state. Currently there are 24 states that have similar cottage food laws. However there are explicit rules on what is prohibited such as salsa, vegetables or anything that is low acid.

With the holidays approaching I think its a good time to try it out and see how it goes. The great thing about a home food business is the start up cost is very low.  For the cost of some fruit, sugar, jars and pectin we can give it a go.

I am hoping to try some new recipes this weekend. I am lucky that I live close to an orchard that has the best apples, pears, peaches, figs etc.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Something Different! Working with Threadless (T-shirt design and Slogans)

This sounds really fun! Have you ever thought you had a great T-shirt design or brilliant slogan? Now you can get paid for it.

The t-shirt design pays the following if yours is picked:

  • $2,000 in cash
  • $500 Threadless Gift Certificate (can be redeemed for $200 cash)
  • $500 in cash each time your design is reprinted
Slogans pay $500.00 if yours is picked. ($400.00 cash $100.00 certificate) and then $100.00 every time your slogan is printed.

Once you submit a design or slogan the community votes on them to pick the next t-shirts and slogans. I have a slogan in mind I am going to submit.

You do have to spend a few minutes voting for other slogans and t-shirt designs to participate

As usual if you decide to join heres my referral link :)

Once you sign up you can get your own link to get points to use toward free t-shirts etc.

Vote for my slogan!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Demand Studios Writer Evaluation Program or WEP Strikes Again

Sadly another round of writer's at Demand Studios got notice that they were put into WEP or Writers Evaluation Program today. I also noticed that some just special titles taken away. I would really hate to lose my Chron and Money articles as the $25.00 is nice pay.

Seems like the house cleaning of letting writers go is on-going. Many of us thought they were done after the last round about a month ago, but apparently we were all wrong. They do seem to come in waves or groups though as you can tell from the people posting that it isn't just one or two here and there.

Everyday I fear I will get the dreaded email. It seems to me the harder I try; the more my grammar score drops. My research score is never an issue and hovers around 4.3-4.5. But my grammar score has dropped to an all time low of 3.6. Not good.

Since DMS will not really tell writers how they choose who goes into the WEP program, everyone just keeps guessing. (just vague innuendo about scores and percentages) For sure if you have high scores and a low re-write/rejection percentage, you probably have nothing to worry about. But if you are like me and  have a low percentage, good research score, but a crummy grammar score; you could be in trouble. 

Reading the DMS forum is getting too depressing. Problem is if you don't go to the forum you miss a lot of updates.

I wish DMS would just treat the writers with a little more respect and give us a firm outline of how this is done. They also should consider that someone that has written hundreds of articles, cannot bring their score up quickly since it is all done on percentages.

The ever changing guidelines don't help either. The new guidelines say passive voice is okay when needed, but just try doing it and see what you score drops to. I don't buy it for a second. 

I do have other places I write content for (and that are way more fun like Yahoo/AC) but they do not have nearly the income potential of DMS. I guess all I can do is my best and if I get let go, life will go on and move forward. They can't take away my birthday!

I do wonder if DMS ever considers what all of these WEP rounds have done to writer morale there. Or maybe they just don't care. Every time I go to my DMS work desk I inwardly cringe and my stress level shoots sky high.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Save Money with

With the holidays fast approaching (UGH!) I wanted to post about   I posted this on my pony forum last year and got reamed by some friends for not showing it to them before the holidays.

When you shop on Ebates you get cash back from every participating store. I got some really good cash rebates from JC Penny last year for doing my Christmas shopping on

The rebate amounts range from 2 to 5 percent back of the total you spend. So it adds up pretty quick when you are Christmas shopping.

My friend Fran uses it all year long and just told me that Bath & Body is on there now too.

You just sign up for an account (and you get $5.00 for signing up) and then just shop as normal. Their page tells you what percentages your favorite stores are offering on a given day. For example if you want to shop at you just click on the Walmart icon and it takes you to the Walmart website. But it keeps tracking the order through ebates so that you get your cash rebate.

I will warn you that it takes a couple days for your first order to credit to your ebate account but it always does. Everyone I have referred there gets their rebates.

As usual if you decide to try it please use my referral link

Blog Brightening picture! This is what we have to look forward to lol

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Update on Cloudcrowd 2

Cloudcrowd finally posted some work that you don't have to test for. I decided to try it as I have so many friends raving about it.

It is pretty simple work once you get the hang of it. All you do is click links and review the site using the guidelines they give you. For example determine whether the site is a product, category, information etc site. Count the pictures, count the videos, etc.

It only pays 11 cents per site that you review. Some can be done in just a few seconds while others can take up to 10 mins. Not going to get you rich for sure but will give you some pocket money.

I did notice someone rejected one of mine so I guess I won't get paid for that one.

Im still trying to figure out this whole cloudcrowd work so I will keep updating.

If you want to give it a try please use my referral link 

Demand Studios Title Dumps!

Woohoo! Maybe the Demand Studios drought is over? I sure hope so. They have been dumping great titles all weekend. I am trying to unfreeze myself from the DS standstill I have been in ever since the latest round of writers being let go.

There really seems to be no rhyme or reason to the Demand Studios scorecard, but I have to get over it and just write. My income has really suffered this month. While I love writing at Yahoo/AC, the income potential of Demand Studios is just not there.

I posted about my DS woes on the DS forum and someone gave me this link to check over your work

I am going to try it later today.

I have written for DS for 16 months and never seen so much score card craziness as there is right now. I am approved for higher paying articles as I normally have very high scores. But the last 60 days as seen my grammar score plummet to scary levels. Hopefully I can get it back up.

If you haven't logged into Demand Studios lately, its probably worth logging in and seeing the new titles.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Working with

Got a hot tip that this website is looking for freelance researchers, writers and editors. From their website:

"Are you the kind of person who spends 25 hours researching toasters before buying one? If so, we’re looking for someone like you to join our team of freelance writers."

I do not know the exact amount they pay but was told its higher than average.

For their application and more info

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Making Money From Home Blogging

It was just so obvious that I missed posting about it. Last night a friend emailed me and asked me about the ads on my blog such as how did they get there, did I make money from them?

For those of us that have been on the internet forever, its the simple things we forget. We assume that everyone knows what google adsense is when actually a lot of people new to this may not know.

I started this blog truly to help other people struggling with the economy and finding jobs. And again because I am lazy and got tired of typing the same thing over and over.

Now having said that, I also put google ads on this blog and hooked some ads here. Have I made a killing in two weeks off this blog? No way!!Have made a couple bucks? Sure. But to really make money off a blog you have to have a huge number of hits and clicks. I have neither. But heck who knows, maybe someday this blog will take off and make money. Maybe it wont. Either way I am good as I love to write and mix my love of writing, ponies and family.

Speaking of ponies, here's a beautiful watercolor of Feature that my friend Abby did. Abby should start a blog about her art, family and horses. Hint hint. If you want a portrait done of your horse/pony/dog/cat see Abby's website at

If you start a blog be sure to sign up for Google Adsense. Blogger makes it really easy to apply if you do not have a Google Adsense account. Just start your blog, make about 10 posts and apply for Google Adsense.

However, be warned that Google is very picky and if they think you are gaming their system you will be banned for life. Everyday on the forums there are people screaming that their blog was taken down and their Google Adsense account terminated. You cannot spam people and you can never ever ask people to click on your ads. Doing this will get you a life time ban from Google.

Remember you have to have a real blog first and foremost. People have to connect with you and feel that you are a real person. Not a spammer trying to make them buy something or click something. You also have to stick with it and blog. I cannot tell you how many blogs I have started over the years and then abandoned them. Seems to be a blogger curse that many of us struggle with. I am determined to keep this one going as the feedback has been great. I get a lot of private comments and that keeps me going.

Having a blog is cathartic for me. I get to write whatever I want. After a full day of writing for DMS or YahooAC etc it is such a freeing feeling to come here and just write and not worry about editors etc. Unlike Facebook I don't have to worry about word count limits etc.

And ultimately I do hope it helps other people to make some income from home.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Neat Google Keyword Search Tool

For those that write for Yahoo/AC and other places where you write your own titles. Using this Google tool can be a big help.

Google Insight Tool

You can put any keyword in and see how many are searching for it. Or just look at their main results and you can see what is trending upward etc. This can be a huge help in getting views for your Yahoo articles just by picking the right keywords to put in your title.

I know a lot of the newer writers at Yahoo don't understand that keyword is the main dictator of whether your article will get views. If no one is searching or you don't have relevant keywords in the title, your page views generally go no where.

The other day I took a glance through Yahoo and Google hot trends for searches. Noticed right off the bat that Sjorgen's Syndrome as hitting like crazy due to Venus Williams pulling out of the US open due to having Sjorgen's. So I quickly wrote an article on Sjorgen's Syndrome (symptoms etc) just to test the keyword theory. I had previously read about this disease as it is commonly seen in RA patients and my hubby has RA. I published this article on Yahoo as Display Only knowing that there was not enough time to wait for it to be reviewed for upfront pay. For many of these keywords you have to strike while the iron is hot.

To date this week this is my highest page view article on Yahoo/AC. So yes the theory works.  It literally PAYS to know what is trending in Yahoo and Google search!

Working with

The holiday weekend is over and I am back! Hope everyone had a great holiday.

A couple years ago I signed up to write for  Seed is the content and photo generator for AOL. Previously their articles paid a very good rate. Most were from $20. for short articles to 350.00 for feature articles.

I tried writing for AOL kids pets channels. I wrote about 10 titles that were in their list and the directions said to write to a young audience.  AOL titles are very specific like "Top 5 ways to care for your cat" etc. I thought mine were pretty good but all 10 were rejected. And it took almost a month to get the rejection. Most of the articles I took and published on Yahoo/AC so at least it wasn't a total waste.

I do know people that got published there for some of the higher paying articles. is more like gravy money. They never have a lot of consistent titles so it would be hard to make a steady income there. When I checked this morning they had zero available work so not sure what is going on. Their blog hasn't been updated since May of this year. Strange.

They used to pay pretty good for good clear digital photographs but I didn't see any assignments there either. For sure its worth checking.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My E-books are Finally Kindle Books!

I had to post as I am so excited. After all of these months all 3 of my miniature horse e-books are finally converted and on live. Woohooo. Happy dance!!!

Like a proud momma I have to show a link
I really wish Amazon would give you one transfer to your own kindle to make sure your book converts correctly. I am still a little worried about that even though the free preview looks fine. 

It was a long  hard road but I finally made it. And for once I actually stuck to one of my New Years goals and that was to get my own e-books on

I am one happy lady!

Friday, September 2, 2011

This Blog Now Has Its Own Domain!

I decided this morning to upgrade this blog it its own domain name. My thought is this winter when I have more time I may make this a whole website and have people show their work, get guest articles etc. It may happen or it may not.

The old link will forward to the domain but if you want to re-bookmark it

Since I did that I am having issues signing into my own blog, but hopefully it will work itself out.

Blog brightening picture! Baxters Black Fashionista and her little man. Now lovingly owned by Lori Luther and Karen Craven. I so love this picture!

I have been researching some exciting new work from home opportunities but will have to wait to blog those. Today is hubbys birthday and I have company coming in town.

Please feel free to ask questions on any of the previous links I have given. Some have emailed me questions (and thats fine!) But I am thinking if you post your questions in comments on the blog, it may help someone who is too shy to post.

If you have tried any other previous free lance work, be sure and leave a comment on whether you like it, don't like it etc.

Most of all have a wonderful holiday weekend!!!! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Publishing Your Own E-book Part Two

When I left off I finally had my three e-books in PDF format but not Kindle. I have been selling them on my own website and marketed through banners on different horse forums, facebook, twitter. Sales were good the first two weeks but have now slowed down. Reviews have been very good so that makes me happy.

I am hoping to get some print ads in association magazines. This is the time consuming part of self-publishing. You must promote and market your own books.  I have to say though, having worked with traditional publishers in the past, the good far outweighs the bad!

I am going to list some links here to help people get started converting their book to an e-book.

Amazons Page of Tips This page is Amazon's tips to Kindle publishing.

Amazon Converters  This page has some of the newest Amazon Kindle converters. This was not available when I started. This gives the download link to mobipocket creator and instructions. Warning: it is not as easy as they make it sound! Again if you can afford it, skip the headache and pay someone. Especially if your ebook like mine has a lot of images.

Kindle Help Forums  This link is to the forums where you can get help publishing your kindle, marketing etc.

When I decided to sell them in PDF format on my own website, I had to find a download software. This enables people to get the book as soon as they pay. This way they aren't waiting for me to email the book to them and I think its much more professional. I wasted 8 hours trying to figure out how to implement Paypals free download software. Do not bother with Paypal unless you are an HTML expert.

Thankfully someone on Demand Studios forum told me about E-junkie. I was leery at first but I have to say I am thrilled with E-junkie. For $5.00 a month I get to use their download software on my website. Its very easy to use and makes neat reports etc. If you decide to use E-junkie please use my referral link below :)You can also affiliate with other ebook sellers and sell their books on your website.
E-junkie Shopping Cart and Digital Delivery

As of this morning I finally got all 3 of my e-books loaded on as Kindle books! I am so excited but a little scared. You really do not know how your kindle book looks until its live and  you buy your own book. One of mine has gone live and I already found errors so I just republished it this morning. Ugh. I am really hoping the other two publish without errors. Once you republish it takes another 24 hours to go live. Once they are all 3 live I will give a link to them.

Next I am going to try to conquer Nook and Smashwords. I have tried to upload my books to Smashwords with zero success. I made a Nook publishing account and got a cryptic email to call them before they would approve my account. Problem is no one at Nook ever answers the phone or calls back.

Like I said this is an ongoing journey. I just wish I had started this blog when I first started as I know I am forgetting a lot. That could be on purpose LOL. I have learned so much the last 4 months about publishing, formatting, converting, promoting. I think my head is going to explode.

Kay's Crochet Mystery Boxes/Bags Update

We have been getting a lot of questions on our Mystery boxes so here you go! First some have asked why we are now shipping in bags. USPS...