We are the world's worst fabri - holics. We cannot resist buying fabric even though we already have enough to supply a fabric store for years. We are currently interviewing therapists to help us with this problem but we really need someone who understands and enables us. Want to apply for the job?
As anyone who has viewed our Etsy Store can attest, Karen and I are not the best photographers. In fact, some might say that our abilities in photography suck, big time! It is not from lack of effort on our part. We earnestly try each and every time to take a fabulous picture only to find that the item is not clearly displayed, the colors are awful, the lighting is terrible and the background overpowers the item. I really think it is an age thing. People who were born after 1975 and upwards seem to have been born with this built-in tech-savvy ability that us oldie-olsters lack. It really is not fair. But, we are not going to let our inability get us down! We are going to continue to try and take sophisticated pictures that rival anything in Martha Stewart's magazine. But, in the meantime, those of you who do look at our shop, please use that imagination of yours to embellish each item displayed in our shop and know that it is way prettier in person than that little square photo displays!
I was checking around in the original paintings aisle of etsy as I am apt to do on a lovely morning like todays and I happened to run across the Whimsical Art World of Renie Britenbucher. I am now in heaven. I love her paintings! They make me happy looking at them. She uses bright, vibrant colors in her Tuscan landscapes, which are my personal favorite. Never been there but she makes me want to go! Her prints and original paintings are a very reasonable price and make having a statement painting affordable. Her shop is located at http://www.etsy.com/shop/reniebritenbucher. Check it out!
I am a procrastinator. In fact, I am supposed to be on day 4 of the 30 day challenge and I have only listened to day 1 and part of day 2. Actually, I haven't heard the video on procrastination yet - I've been putting it off! But, in my defense (whine, whine), it is very hard to sit in front of my computer and listen to Ed Dale talk (or whoever the day's dude is) when I would rather be creating something! Plus, most of it is directed at people who don't know what they want to do and need to find a niche for themselves. Since we already have one, this does not really apply. Also, alot of stuff about search engine optimization and all these extra add-ons you need to have to do that and I really feel that they don't apply to us. We are on google analytics, facebook, twitter and I will join delicious (nag, nag, nag). It seems like so much WORK just to get the information about who is looking at your site and it doesn't seem to help you get any more people TO look, so I don't see the point. Sorry Ed! But I will keep listening, just on the off chance I hear something that will help us. I do think their idea of keeping a notebook to write ideas in with you all the time is a good one. In fact, I located an old notebook and I plan to carry it around with me! (OK, all you cynics, I know you are thinking "We'll see how long that lasts!") I get no respect! I'll let you know when I have caught up on my challenges!
Okay, I have always been a little vain about my feet because they are small. I wear a size 5 (and believe me, that is the only thing that is small on my body besides another area above the waist that should not be small) but today I wish I had size 8 feet. These shoes are the reason. They are chartreuse green and if that is not reason enough to think they are awesome there is the circuit board pattern all over them. And I am not remotely nerd-like (at least not with regards to my computer expertise!) Crafttastrophe makes hand painted, one of a kind shoes and they are spectacular! I have to say that up until a few years ago, I did not feel the pull of fabulous shoes. Probably because no one makes them in my size! But I have since seen the light and now there is nothing more rewarding for me than finding a great pair of shoes in my size. I have even been known to buy a pair in a 5.5 if I like them enough! If you prefer your shoes to be easy on your legs, Crafttastrophe has some one of a kind flats and sneakers too. Check them out at http://www.etsy.com/shop/Crafttastrophe.
We are branching out from our bags and Karen's beautiful art creations. We have started making tiered skirts for little girls! And, if the cards are in our favor, we will make them for ladies also! We also are making retro style aprons which we will be adding soon. We realize that we need to diversify in order to satisfy our audience and, hopefully, garner us some new followers! Hopefully, you will all like our new items!
Is that the cutest baby ever? And the cutest baby hat too? I gotta say, TrickyKnits, Anne Geddes got nothin' on you! How did you get that baby to stay so beautifully posed? That picture shows off that cute hat to perfection. Check out TrickyKnits other items at http://www.etsy.com/shop/TrickyKnits. I wish these beautiful necessities had been around when my sons were babies. I especially love the Upsy Daisy Baby Hammock - it just looks so comfy and cozy. And the baby obviously enjoys it! These items are beautiful and functional. Amazing! There are so many talented people on Etsy.
I love this coat! It is by MaionFashionDesign on Etsy. I saw it on the front page and I went to her store to check it out. She is Croatian and she doesn't just design coats, she designs dresses and jewelry too. Beautiful stuff, Maion! I love watching Project Runway and seeing all the innovative designs. I have to say, Maion's is better than anything I have seen on the show yet. http://www.etsy.com/shop/MaionFashionDesign
As Tina knows, it was a banner year for me in 2009. And not in a good way! My husband of 20 years broke my heart by leaving me in June of 2009. However, I have since recovered and am looking forward to this year as a new beginning with our shop. Tina and I have started showing new items and my most favorite thing - the thing that gives me the most joy is that I am painting again and they are small wonders to me that make me happy. Because they are small (bookmarks and cards) they don't take much time and I am all about instant gratification! And (for those that are interested) all hope is not lost on the marriage front. I am allowing him slowly back into my life and we will see how it goes. Stay tuned!
I absolutely love these shoes by NicoDesigns, the featured seller this month! I actually commented on them when they showed up on a Found Handmade treasury too! Not only do they look comfy and cozy but they are cute as a button with the little rose embellishment. You can find them here http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32259350. But that isn't all you can find at NicoDesigns. Not by a long shot. There are beautiful purses and totes and the most adorable pin cushions ever. Good luck with your shop Nico!
Okay, well I am getting somewhat discouraged by our lack of sale on our bags despite the fact that i think they are adorable. Therefore, I am trying to branch out into the apron arena. Loaded with patterns (and heaven knows i have the fabric), i set out to make my first apron. While it looks very cute off; the pattern must have been cut for someone with either an extremely long neck, or an enormous bust-line, (neither of which i have). Therefore, i have to figure out what adjustment i need to make for the strap that goes around the neck so i can make one that will actually sell! Why do pattern people do that? It's like when someone gives you a recipe and leaves a key ingredient out! Oh well, i am determine to find out the answer so we can launch ourselves into "Apron World"!
There are two things that strike fear in my heart; plumbing problems and car problems. In fact, a dear friend of mine and i agreed that the main reason to get married would be to have a husband to deal with these issues. Sadly, my husband is very good at relegating the problems back to me. The kitchen sink has reared its ugly head and backed up, thus causing the washing machine to overflow. I called the plumber who ran his little "snake machine" only to find that the plug was still there. Today he is running some other expensive machine through the pipes, but he has warned us that he thinks the pipe has deteriorated to the point of non-existence. We are now talking about jackhammers destroying whatever potion of my house that sits over the disgusting pipe. Dollar bill signs are dancing before my eyes. Also, with no washing machine, i am facing going to the laundry mat with tons of clothes to wash.. the picture doesn't get much grimmer as far as i am concerned. So are the joys of house ownership!
Yes, I decided I could not start the New Year with the closet from hell hanging over my head. So I tackled it today. However, the closet from hell beat me! I took everything out and reorganized it. I tossed stuff I was never going to use again and I even put my idea sketches/pictures in a binder so the papers wouldn't just be shoved anywhere. Pretty impressive, no? Not when you realize I did not even attempt to condense/organize the dresser from hell that is IN the closet from hell. This dresser has every craft project that I started and didn't finish. It has pipe cleaners, old Christmas cards, Counted Cross Stitch patterns and materials, trim of all kinds, pins, pens, pencils, and anything else you can possibly think of in it. It is a NIGHTMARE! So I guess that is what I will be working on tomorrow. The deal with myself was, no fun stuff (like making bookmarks, cards and purses) until the closet is done. I guess I could let myself off on a technicality but it kind of feels like one of those things that is going to be so rewarding when it is done. I think. But maybe not. We'll see what I decide tomorrow!
I am all about the marketing right now. My friend Judy turned me on to guerrilla marketing. I had never heard of it so (of course) I googled it using "gorilla marketing" cause that's what it sounded like over the phone! At least I can laugh at my own cluelessness! Anyways, kudos to Judy for that. So yesterday I printed up some cute bookmarks that had our website on them, snuck into the library and planted them in library books! I felt like a criminal! Especially when 3 library ladies appeared to be following me from aisle to aisle (I realized later it was not a subversive plot to remove my bookmarks - they were just shelving books...). I am planning on going again tomorrow. So many books, so little time.
My New Years resolution is to really work on expanding our business. My greatest accomplishment would be for Tina to make enough money at this side job for her to quit her day job. Hey, I dream BIG! Tina is the dearest person in the world and if she sometimes gets overwhelmed with the challenges in her life, she's entitled. Trust me.
So one of the gorilla, I mean, guerrilla sites said that you need to use your friends as advertisement because they come cheap. I called my friend Brenda (who is a teacher) and asked her to set some of the website bookmarks in the library of her school. She was happy to do it and she offered to set them out in the teacher's lounge too - something I hadn't thought of. Tina is usually the idea person, not me.
Anyway, I will blog about how it goes. If even 1% of the library bookmarks yield a visit, I am sure we will get some new customers, because our stuff is awesome!
This has been a very difficult day. Too much together time with my daughter (24 mentally disabled). I have already broken my New Year's resolution to try and be kinder and more patient with her. I have had way too many fights with my husband over this "Season of Joy", and i feel so separated from my boys who i try to spare from "life with Molly" as best i can. My husband has had many fun days with the boys over the weekend doing boy stuff. They golf, i don't.. i can't foresake them time to be with dad golfing. Hey, i should be thrilled that they are doing something so very innocent. But i do resent that i am not even asked to be included. I am no saint. Life with a mentally challenged child is not what you see in the movies. It's very hard work and sometimes it can get to you. Sorry, i will be better tomorrow.
New Year's Resolution... try and write on blog more. I am going to make another new purse today, and then try and cut out a blouse to sew. I love sewing clothes because i feel it really is my own creation that nobody else has. Very satisfying! But before the fun, i must start de-Christmasing the house. Every year it is the same; i feel like i just got the stupid stuff up and now i have to put it away. And why is it that men don't contribute to the chore at all? They like the decorations all up, but think that a magic elf must come and put it all up and take it all down! This elf is sick of the job! Anyway, another New Year's resolution, remember life is short and try and enjoy everyday... live with less regrets. Also lose weight, exercise more and spend less.... the standing resolutions that make the top ten year in and year out!
We met each other when our boys were in elementary school and discovered that we both had an insane addiction to fabric! As years went by and the material mounted, we decided to put our sewing skills and abundance of material to work and we started making reversible market totes. This has now expanded to children's clothing, aprons and hats. Karen has also now expanded to creating greeting cards from her personal artwork, which is amazing.