Thursday, December 30, 2010

BESTeam Feature: Turquoise Angels

This week's feature is tutu cute. (I know, bad pun.) But it is a cute shop. Meet the mother-daughter team of Turquoise Angels. If you know a little girl, you probably know a little girl who enjoys twirling around in a tutu. It is the perfect princess accessory, or, if your little girl is like I was, it can double as "long hair" when worn on your head, a fort ceiling when stretched between two chairs, or "the lake" when set on the living room floor.
The colors are as sunny as the smiles, like this Morning Glory Hand Tied Tutu, $26.00, shown above. It makes a great pair with the Chicken Little Petti Tutu, $26.00, shown below.
This picture below is as cute as the Dream Angel Tutu Flower Girl Dress, $60.00, that is offered in the shop.
You know what they say, "If you give a mouse a tutu, she'll want a hair ribbon to go with it."

Turquoise Angels will be back in the shop on January 4!

In the meantime, you can follow the blog.

Friday, December 24, 2010

BESTeam Feature: m.sartin design

It's cold at my parents' this week, and the feature this week is a cozy retreat from the icy winds. Meet Mindy Sartin of m.sartin design, a native of the west coast and crochet extraordinaire. She has a natural knack for color and texture and an arts degree to back up her talent. Everything in her shop is functional and beautiful, and if you don't see what you want, she does custom orders as well. Buying for a friend but don't know what to get? Give a gift certificate!
I adore the colors in the shop. This grass green appears in a few items, such as this Cowl, pictured above, currents on sale for $55.00. For those of you looking for a less conventional item to keep your neck warm in the colder weather, check out the Cream Neck Cuff, $25.00, shown below.
I keep returning to look at the Grass Green Fingerless Mittens, $45.00, shown below. They are super soft, and super stylish.
I didn't even know there was such a thing as bamboo yarn, but Mindy's Chocolate Bamboo Scarf, $70.00, is a one-of-a-kind example of all the different uses for natural materials.
New parents are always in need of new items to keep baby warm in the winter. How about the Yummy Baby Hat, $40.00, pictured below? You can order a custom fit for your little one, and it is sure to be soft and warm for the holidays and beyond.
Winter is here! Visit m.sartin design to stay warm!

For more, follow Mindy on her blog.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A short note and brief reminder:

I cannot believe people are still ordering Christmas gifts!  Of course, I say that as I load my family's gifts into the kiln to be fired.

Those of you still planning to order from me, Monday is your deadline!

Happy crafting!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

BESTeam Feature: Our Home to Yours

This week's feature is a mother and daughter team from North Carolina: Our Home to Yours.  The talented pair have a family history with the arts, pursuing arts education as well as using crafts as a stress reliever in a house full of children.  It is clear from browsing their shop that they are passionate about many different art forms.
Many of the pieces currently in the shop are knitted scarves and hats for the colder season, and for a limited time, they are offering the Child Size Scarf and Mitten Set pictured above for $18.75.  But they don't stop at yarn.  Quilling is all the rage in the crafting world right now, and the White Quilled Wedding Invitation Border, $25.00, shown below, would make an elegant finish for a keepsake for any new bride and groom.
With classic design comes a nod to the originals, and the shop has many vintage pieces to choose from as well such as the Vintage Crochet Collar, $10.00, pictured below.
I have yet to work with leather, but Our Home to Yours has a tempting selection of swatches reasonable prices.  Ten 4x5 Dark Burgundy Leather Swatches are only $5.50.
Whether you are looking to buy handmade or make your own this holiday season, Our Home to Yours has quite a selection to choose from!

For more, check out their blog.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A little holiday craziness...

I have been working hard on a custom planner (thus I have neglected my blog and all things non-order related, not that I'm making excuses), and I finished it last night!  I promise to post pictures, but considering how little sleep I've had (why am I awake right now?!), I'll save them for later.

I thought I was all caught up, and then I got two more orders.  Which is wonderful!  But slightly nutty.

Happy holidays!

Friday, December 10, 2010

BESTeam Feature: Gilliauna

A northern neighbor, Bits 'n Beads by Gilliauna is based in Seattle and Vancouver, BC.  I was overwhelmed by how many beautiful pieces in the shop!  The items are made primarily with beading, but they are by no means a one-note shop.  You name it, they've made it in a variety of colors and designs.  And for those of you just developing your own shops, check out the great product photography here!

Many of the pieces are made with reclaimed or vintage beads as well.  Reduce, reuse, recycle, right?  Be environmentally responsible and support recyclers this new year!  The shop also has a layaway payment plan option for those of you who find yourself a little lighter in your pockets this holiday season.

I love the beaded bookmarks, like this Beaded Shopaholic Bookmark - Black Purse with Red Beads for $16.00 shown below.  It's perfect for the avid reader or avid book buyer.
I see earrings all over etsy, but a good pair of beaded hoops, like these Beaded Handmade Hoop Earrings - Whisper, $24.00, are hard to find.  
Necklaces and chokers are available in all colors of the rainbow.  This Summer Blooms Choker, $20.00, will warm any cold day and bring a smile to your face.
Nowadays we are all bogged down by ID badges and bus passes, so why not wear those cumbersome tags in style with this Mustard Yellow Handmade Beaded Lanyard, $37.00.  If you don't like yellow, there are many other colors and styles to choose from.
This Holy Rosary Handcrafted in Blue Ceramic and Pearls, $150.00, is absolutely beautiful.
Spend a while browsing the shop!

Can't get enough?  You can follow Gilliauna's blog, facebook, twitter, flickr, deviantArt, or tumblr accounts.

Friday, December 3, 2010

NEW for 2011

Now that November has settled down considerably, I'm filling orders for the holidays.  Custom orders will be on a case-by-case basis after December 15th, and all orders need to be placed before December 20 to be shipped before Christmas.  I will be out of town from the 22nd until the 29th, and then covering the pottery studio through January 2, so my business will essentially be closed for the duration of those two weeks.

I am sitting down with some serious business plans and goals for 2011, now that I have been open a few months and am starting to get a hang of this whole "owning a business" thing.  I am excited about starting some new projects, and I am feeling more organized and ready for a clean slate for my bookkeeping.

Maybe it's still a little early for New Year's resolutions, but here are a few things to look forward to in the coming weeks:

What began as a project for a custom order is turning into an item I would like very much to have in my shop.  The down side is that I may not finish publication before the first of the year.  I may be able to adapt it to be a fill-in-the-date planner for those of you who still would like to order one after January.

That's all I'm going to say, except that I am REALLY excited.

I really enjoy painting picture frames, and I am finally in a financial position to buy the supplies to make them.

I hope you are as excited about the new year as I am!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

BESTeam Feature: Ardent Reverie

This week's shop is run by two sisters in San Diego.  Ardent Reverie has a wide collection of accessories for every occasion.  And I assure you, Melanie and Meghan are not afraid of color!
You will stand out in the crowd in this L'amour Beanie, $8.00, pictured above.  Chic, rich, and practical, it is a great way to add a splash of color to your wardrobe.  For those feeling bold, give a nod to the Jazz Age by donning this Bella Moss Feather Clip, $13.00, shown below.
I am crazy about stripes, personally, and the Wrap Around Me Scarf, $18.00, shown below does not disappoint.  It will go with any ensemble, giving that extra punch to any outfit.  It is wide enough and long enough to be worn many different ways, changing your look throughout the day with just one piece.
Emilie's Garden Flower Clip, $17.00, pictured below, is an elegant touch to a night on the town.  Purple is "in" this season, and you can be ahead of the trend in style with flowers in your hair.
For something a little more personal, use the design of this Off With Her Head Necklace, $18.00, shown below, and request a customized pendant.
Accessorize your holiday season!

For more, check out their website.  It's one of my favorites that I have seen!  You might even recognize someone on their blog this week...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

This is a reminder that all paper items in my shop have free shipping through Monday.  And, yes, Internationals, I'll even ship free to you.  

Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

BESTeam Feature: Hipchic Designs

Cynde of Hipchic Designs is a mother and avid sewer from Grant, Alabama.  As a fellow southern girl (though I may live in Portland now), I love her patchwork designs in colorful, light fabrics.  How could you not love this Whimsical Christmas Patchwork Skirt shown above, $36.00, or the Do Polka Dotted Hens Lay Polka Dotted Eggs? skirt shown below, $25.00.  I love her titles almost as much as I love her clothes!
This is fashion for the bold, artistic child who wants to make a statement.  Your daughter, your sister, your niece, or your friend will enjoy the Extra Twirl Swing Skirt shown below for $20.00.  She can spin, and the skirt spins with her.
The weather is getting colder, and Cynde has hats, like this Simple Elegance in Brown, $18.00, for the chilly winter days.

Her work makes me smile, and I hope it makes you smile as well!

Want more?  Follow Cynde on her blog, Hipchic Designs.  Be sure to check out her tutorials!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Crises averted...

The past few weeks have been insane, and I have spent much of my time out of town.  Now I'm back, just in time for a very busy Thanksgiving, and an even busier shopping weekend.  Even if my Etsy shop doesn't get the traffic I hope it will, I anticipate the pottery studio will be swamped.

For those of you who follow my blog and my facebook and my twitter, I will tell you now that all orders placed between Friday, November 26 and Monday, November 29, will have free shipping on all paper items.  Unfortunately, I cannot extend the offer to include pottery, but for those of you looking for a journal, order this weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving, to those of you who will celebrate it.  I know I'm looking forward to our cheesecake!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

BESTeam Feature: Mya Bruce Designs

Make a special occasion even more so by ordering a custom designed announcement or invitation, $15.00, from Mya Bruce Designs.  Based in Arizona, this shop has plenty of customizable options for designs that you can print from your own computer, so you can print as many as you need without worrying about leaving someone off the mailing list.  I particularly love the Elephant and Polka Dots Baby Announcement, $15.00, pictured below. 
For the person who has everything, consider giving a Photo Collage, $15.00, this holiday season.  Not only will your photographs be arranged to suit the theme, but the photos themselves are altered to make a cohesive picture, with just the look and feel you need.
Don't forget to say Thank You, $15.00, with a personalized card.  Not only will you show your appreciation, but you can spread a few smiles in the process.

Thanks to Mya Bruce Designs!  

For more, you can like the shop on facebook!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday Treasury: UNLOCKED

Because I have a million other things to do, I made a treasury.
SteamCon, the steampunk convention, is in Seattle next weekend, and my roommate and I are going.  She's making all the amazing costumes, and I'm looking at pictures online for inspiration.  

Speaking of treasuries, how are all you cool people linking back to the items from the treasury picture?  I had to take a screen shot and crop it to even get the treasury to show up in the blog!  I feel so technologically challenged some days...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

BESTeam Feature: Sandy's Handmade Soaps & Things

This week's team shop is Sandy's Handmade Soaps & Things.  Based out of Connecticut, this New England shop is stocked with the perfect items for pampering yourself.  Indulge in one of her "melt and pour" or cold process soaps, both beautiful and stimulating for the senses.  The Lavender, Oatmeal, & Honey bar for only $5.95 is the perfect way to finish of a long day, cleansing your pores and your spirit with soothing scents.

The Brown Sugar Scrub Soap, pictured above, $4.95, looks good enough to eat.  Acting like a pumice stone, it is made to gently exfoliate on one side and moisturize on the other.  Or try a Lavender Bath Bomb, pictured below, $5.95, to add a little color to your bathroom until you're ready for a soak in the tub.

ABOVE: Knitted Sock Monkey, $25.00.

For the children-at-heart, try a classic sock monkey or Harry Potter inspired stitch markers.  Brighten your sitting room and your knitting projects!

Take a break and stop by Sandy's Handmade Soaps & Things!

For more about Sandy and her shop, visit her blog!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Business Notes: Short and Sweet

I am getting real custom orders from real people I don't know!  Exciting!  It's a great feeling to build business relationships with people all over the globe.  It does, however, remind me that I do indeed own my own business.

That's really amazing!  I am one of the Small Business Owners of America!

Which means that when it is time to do my taxes...  

So before the holiday season hits and hopefully we are all swamped with orders, let me pose a question:  How do you deal with your finances?  Do you have Quicktime?  Do you hire a CPA?  Or are you just really organized and great at math?

Have a crafty weekend!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Finishing orders for the week.

My goal for the day is to finish two of the three orders I have in progress.  The coptic stitch journals should be done in the next hour.  The kits I need to buy needles for and make the instruction cards.  The lined journal (components pictured above) is sewn, but I have a few things to get before I can finish putting it together.  This will be my first journal with lines and pockets!  I'm pleased with how the picture turned out as well.  

In order to prepare for the holidays, I will probably re-photograph many of the items in my shop.  I am also working on a few examples of customized coaster sets, to be listed soon.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

BESTeam Feature: love, elycia

Self- proclaimed engineer-turned-crafter Elycia is my feature for the week.  I have to say that her shop is perfect for my NaNoWriMo mindset.  Elycia's shop, love, elycia, is whimsical, fun, and full of character.  She even includes original drawings of her muses.

Elycia's shop is a comfortable mix of vintage and handmade items.  Recognize the one below?  It's her Say Anything - CUSTOM Word Bubble Headband for $12.00 that was featured on the front page.  Make a statement, and be cute while you do it.

For those of you who love vintage, the vintage clothing is just as much fun as the handmade pieces.  I particularly like the dress pictured above, Frills and Lines, for $30.00.  I find it rare to stumble upon great vintage pieces at that price.  And who loves the roller-skates in the photo?  I know I do.

Let's be serious for a moment.  Elycia is participating in a cool event this November--Movember.  Movember is that time of year when men around the globe are encouraged to grow mustaches to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer.  Ladies, don't feel left out: You, too, can rock the 'stache this November, and a portion of your mustache sales will go towards Prostate Cancer Canada.

I love a good crafter supporting a good cause!  I wish I were technically advanced enough to put a little heart here for you, Elycia.

For more, find Elycia on facebook, twitter, or follow her super cute blog.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Treasury Tuesday

When Rita sent me a message this morning telling me she had included my journal in her treasury, she wrote, "Let's pay it forward and share it with others!"  That got me thinking.  I may not have many sales under my belt, but I have been fortunate to have many supporters of my shop--friends, family, and kind strangers who feature me in treasuries and on their blogs.

The theme for today's treasury is "Pay It Forward."  Let's all take a moment to appreciate the people who appreciate us.

Monday, November 1, 2010


One of my primary missions with my Etsy shop is to encourage creativity.  This month is my favorite time of year for imagination.  Something exciting is happening all over the world this November: NaNoWriMo.

For those of you unfamiliar with the acronym, National Novel Writing Month is the time of year when thousands of writers worldwide aim to write (at least) 50,000 words in 30 days.  I'm doing it, and you can follow my progress on my (other) blog, How to Survive Writing a First Draft.  This will be my fourth year of writing madness, and I have a story I'm itching to write, so hopefully it will be a successful month.  I highly recommend participating.  Busy?  Even better!  I look forward to setting aside the hour or two for myself every morning to work on my book.  A cup of coffee, a bagel, and a blank page.

For those of you also participating (and I'm using the honor system--you don't have to send me a Word document of your novel), I'm offering 10% off all journals in my shop for NaNo participants during the month of November.  Just convo me with "NaNo" as the subject line.  If you sponsor my writing with as little as $5, you get the Good Citizen's Discount of 10% as well, and you get the satisfaction of knowing you helped a good cause.

Happy writing!

Friday, October 29, 2010

NEW! Customize Your Own Journal!

There's a new option in my shop to request a custom journal!

I enjoy making personalized journals for my customers.  Most of the orders I have filled thus far are from friends and family, but I have enjoyed tailoring each journal to fit each individual's needs.  And though the listing is specifically for a hardcover casebound journal, I also make softcover casebound, softcover coptic stitch, and you-tell-me-what-you-want-and-I'll-see-what-I-can-do.  The more creative the request, the more I enjoy my assignment.  I love a challenge!

Since I opened the shop in June, my sales have primarily been customized items.

My mother was my first request (Thanks, Mom!), asking for two journals (for her and her friend) with a photo collage of their trip to Alaska on the front cover.  She emailed me a series of photographs from the trip, and I chose the best six for each cover, printed the collages on bookcloth, and bound the two journals.  These two were my first attempts at printing on bookcloth, so there were a few mishaps with the printer and more than a few choice words muttered when the finally-printed-perfectly cover slipped in glue and had to be redone.  

It was worth the heartache to see my mother's expression when she opened the package.

My second assignment was a Miss Piggy Fan Journal for a friend of mine.  She is a muppet enthusiast and educator, diving into her own business venture with Sock Drawer Puppets.  How many variations on pink can one journal accommodate?  A pink spine, pink endpages, pink bookmark, and a photo collage of Miss Piggy's evolution may have sparked the pink striped journals that I made a week later.

Then there was the trade, of course, which is pictured at the top, and now I have an order to fill for a friend and his business partners.

It's a great feeling to know that my journals are part of a new business venture or a trip around the world.  One went with a college freshman to her first year at school.  One is full of sketches from a musician.  Tell me your story, and I'll make you a journal.

Visit the listing here in the shop, or convo me for more information.

I begin construction of all custom items the day payment goes through. Please allow 3-5 work days for construction time. Shipment time varies based on location, but most orders should arrive within 2 weeks of purchase.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

BESTeam Feature: You Are My Sunshine

I have been a little lax in my blogging this week, but not for lack of material.

I joined the BESTeam (Boosting Etsy Sales Team) this week, so each week I will be featuring a different member of the team on my blog.  I have spent the last few days looking at shops, hearting shops, liking shops on facebook, following people on twitter...  I am proud to be a member of this talented group!

Nina, owner of You Are My Sunshine, based out of Florida, has over 300 items to choose, and all are simply beautiful.  Most of the items in her handmade shop can be worn, and many are made from recycled items.  

Above: Opera Glass Recycled Vintage Poker Chip Pendant, $10.00.  Visit it in the shop.

The pieces that first caught my eye were her series of pendants made from recycled WWII-era poker chips and dictionary pages.  Naturally, as a word fiend, I was drawn to the text and illustration.  Her inventive combination of a game piece and a printed page create a polished, creative pendant, perfect for a Scrabble party or a night on the town.

Right: Fabric Floral Brooch Pin Orchard Blue with Feathers No.1, $14.00.  Visit it in the shop.

Another prominent item in the shop is one of Nina's many hand-crafted fabric flowers.  These lovely brooches are made from recycled fabrics, each one unique.  The one seen here to the right is constructed from a reclaimed prom gown.  The end result is pure elegance.  For brides, have your borrowed and blue in one complete package!

Above: Splendid Lady in Blue Locket Necklace, $15.00.  Visit it in the shop.  
Below: Vintage F. Deckel Munchen Compur Camera, $60.00.  Visit it in the vintage shop.

For the vintage enthusiasts, Nina has a selection of vintage items in You Are My Sunshine, including the stunning cameo pictured above.  For more from her collection of vintage treasures, check out her vintage shop: My Sunshine Vintage.  There you will find cameras, kitchenware, and other nifty trinkets.

Keep up the great work, Nina!

For more, find Nina on facebook, twitter, flickr, or follow her blog.