make an easy dot canvas {a tutorial}

canvas art

canvas art

 

Canvas art is a definite obsession love of mine (see here for lots of proof of that)–it’s easy, it’s versatile, and the finished product always looks much more expensive than the price of the few materials it took to create it. Today’s canvas creations are no exception I wanted to replace the three prints we have hanging on our dining room wall, and these square canvas pieces were a perfect fit.

easy canvas art

You just need canvas(es), paint and a pencil! I liked the look of these square 12×12 canvases, and I chose an array of blue and green paints for this project.

Step 1: Since I wanted my paint to be a circular shape, I traced a large circle on each canvas. I decided on a palette for each canvas (one of dark blues, one of light blues, and one of greens), and used my pencil eraser to start stamping.

make canvas art

 

Step 2: Keep going–you’re getting there! I love how the shades of blue mixed and blended with each other; I purposely didn’t wash the eraser between colors to get this effect.

canvas art

 

Continue until you get to the edges of your circle (or whichever shape you chose), let dry and hang!

 

painted canvas

canvas art

 

 

 

canvas art

 

Thanks for reading!

    


three spring cleaning tasks for the kitchen

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PalmoliveMultiSurface #CollectiveBias

spring cleaning

 

Spring is here in full swing (finally!), which means that it’s time to tackle spring cleaning! Don’t fret, though, today, I’m taking you through three simple, yet effective, spring cleaning tasks focusing on the most used (and often germiest) room in the house–the kitchen! With only a sponge, water, and my new spring cleaning friend, Palmolive® Multi Surface, your kitchen will be sparkling clean in under an hour! So what kitchen cleaning tasks are on my list? Read on…

spring cleaning kitchen

First up, fill your sink with hot water, and squeeze in a couple drops of Palmolive® Multi Surface-which can be used on kitchen surfaces as well as dishes, and, most importantly, kills 99.9% of bacteria it comes in contact with.

palmolive

1) First up on my list of must-do kitchen spring cleaning tasks? Your cabinets AND cabinet hardware. Think about it, next to your counters, these items are the most hard-working, and often most neglected, parts of your kitchen. Wipe down your cabinets (inside, too, if you’re feeling extra motivated), and your cabinet hardware with your Palmolive® Multi Surface/water mixture.

kitchen cleaning

2) Next, use your sponge to wipe down your often-neglected appliances. This includes your microwave, stove, refrigerator, stand-mixer, dishwasher, etc. Don’t forget the handles!

palmolive

3) It’s backsplash time! No matter what your backsplash material, chances are, it could use a good wipe down. Use your Palmolive® Multi Surface and scrub your backsplash until it shines.

That’s it! Your kitchen is ready for spring! It feels good to get things done, and that is doubly true for spring cleaning tasks.

To get your own sparkle on with the help of Palmolive® Multi Surface, just head to Wal-Mart! If you’re a visual learner like me, see below to see exactly where to find this go-to kitchen cleaner…

unnamed (9) copy

I’ve shared my must-do spring cleaning tasks…what’s on your list?

Thanks for reading!

    


5 ways to monetize your blog

monetize blog

Blog Monetization. It’s a mouthful, and can be a bit of a minefield if you don’t know where to start. I started my own blog about 5 years ago to help support my Etsy shop and it’s evolved into place for me to share home decor, crafts, and inspiration for living life creatively. I began monetizing my blog about three ago and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made! The question I’m asked most often, by people new to blogging, is HOW can they make money blogging. I’ve decided to share my top 5 tips here, so read on for more…

1) First up, ad networks. Ad networks are one of the most popular ways to generate income for your blog. An ad network is a company that connects advertisers to web sites that want to host advertisements. Most ad networks work off a CPM model, meaning, “cost per thousand” impressions.  For example, if your ads get approx. 1000 clicks per day, and the “cost per thousand” is $3, you’ll make approximately $3/day. There are many,many different ad networks out there, with varying rates ranging from pennies/CPM on up. When considering an ad network, you first want to make sure the network’s ads fit in with the style and goal of your website.

One of the most common ad networks out there is google adsense. Google adsense displays ads on your site based on your sites content and geographical location. They have a wide variety of ad sizes to choose from and you can easily filter your ads to avoid unwanted ads, or those of your competitors.

BlogHer is a second ad network, and one that I am considering adding to my own site. You can make more with BlogHer than with Google Adsense, but you do have to apply and be accepted before you can begin showing their ads. To join the BlogHer network, though, you have to obey their editorial guidelines, which includes not being paid to endorse a product. These guidelines might not be in line with the goals of your blog. Also good to note, BlogHer pays per impression, not per click of the ad, so the more people visit your site, the more money you will make.

work-station-straight-on-view

2) Offering up ad space on my sidebar is probably my favorite form of revenue. Basically, companies who want to advertise with you pay a certain fee. This is usually charged per month, and a lot of time discounts are offered for multiple months. Do realize, that you probably will not accept every company that may want to advertise with you. Sidebar advertisers have a fairly prominent place on your blog, and new visitors to your blog are going to judge your blog partly by the companies that are sponsoring you. Above all, you want the goods and services your sponsors offer to be relevant to your readership.

The first question you may have will probably be about what to charge your sponsors.  On average, you should be charging approximately $1 per every 1000 page views your blog gets per month. So, if your blog receives 10000 page views/month, you can charge about $10/month. This is just an estimate, though, more important than page views is demand. If you are charging $10 and you have more interest than space, than you may need to increase your rates. If you are charging $10 and can’t fill your slots, you may need to reduce your rates. There are other factors that go into what you charge: size of ad, placement of ad and duration of sponsorship are two other factors to consider.

awhCbhLqRceCdjcPQUnn_IMG_0249

3) Another way to generate revenue for your blog is through sponsored posts and giveaway posts. In each, a company pays a set fee for you to create a post promoting their product or service. When deciding whether to work with a company, you first want to make sure that whatever they’re offering is relevant to your readership. There is a certain amount of respect between bloggers and their readers; writing a post promoting  a product you dislike, or that goes against the goals and style of your blog will only hurt that trust. Again, authenticity is key; make sure any post your write reflects you, your values, and is in line with the goals of your blog.

What to charge companies for sponsored posts and giveaway posts varies greatly. Take into account demand, your blog’s traffic, and the time involved in writing a great post when coming up with your fee. Lastly, decide what you will offer in addition to your post. A facebook or twitter mention? Some other social media promotion? Decide in advance and be clear about what you are offering when talking to potential companies.

4) Affiliate ads are another way to generate income for your site. Basically, you place relevant ads on your site, and receive a commission whenever someone clicks on your ad and makes a purchase. There are many affiliate ad networks out there, including Parent Media Group, whose focus is on products for families, Commission Junction, which boasts a wide variety of products and services to promote , and the well-known Amazon Affiliate Program, which is one of the most popular, and easiest to use, programs out there.

5) As you can imagine, there are other ways for your blog to generate income that I have not mentioned here. Ebooks, whether it’s being an affiliate for ones that are relevant to your site or writing your own,  paid speaking engagements, or  offering a service or creating a product that meets the needs of your readership are other ways to generate income.

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 11.04.22 AM

I’ve shared a lot of resources with you today, but also want to share my top tip for generating revenue for your blog. Potential advertisers are looking for, among other things, a blog with a very professional look and feel. This includes not just the look of your blog, but also the reliability of your hosting service. No one wants to advertise on a blog that often is down or unavailable. Your hosting service is a small detail that can make a huge difference. Since the start of my blog, I’ve used HostGator and have been very happy with the service.

Some of the perks of HostGator include:

  • 24/7 live support via chat, phone, and email – you’re not alone. We’re here to help.
  • One click WordPress installs – no messy downloading and uploading of files.
  • One click and start easy to use website builder – drag and drop tools that make building a site super simple.
  • Design services – don’t want to build your site? Let our pros do it for you.
  • Marketing services (SEO and PPC) – want to generate traffic? Our in house experts want to help.
  • Domains – HostGator is your one-stop-shop for domains!

Click here to learn more about HostGator or to sign up for 30% off hosting services!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.