December 20, 2006

early blog-iversary!

Wow, I started this blog a year ago tomorrow! I don't usually remember things like this... my car turned over 100,000 miles a few weeks ago- I knew it was going to happen, but forgot to look at the odometer till it was on 100,002- that's just how these things go with me!! I know this post is a day early, but tomorrow is going to be crazy... I'm going to work at 5 am, leaving at 1:30 pm, driving home, where we will load up the car and then head up to the airport (which is very close to where I work!) to catch our flight to Chicago. ( I just had a Freudian slip there, I think... instead of flight, I started typing fRight... I sure hope the airport won't be a fright!)

Tom is taking Sedona to the kennel tomorrow, since he has the day off, and we have a sitter coming to the house to check on Cleo while we're gone. And of course, I'll call a couple times to check on them both! Hopefully they'll do okay- this is the longest we've left them- Sedona should have a good time at the kennel; they also have doggie day care, so she'll get to socialize with the other dogs a couple of days, too. Cleo is going to have the house to herself, so we'll see what happens- I have a feeling she'll just curl up and sleep on her cushion, even though the dreaded dog will be gone!

I haven't been a good blogger lately, either. It's been two weeks since my last post- the time is going so fast, though- it seems like Halloween was only last week! We finally had some of the work done on the house for the "2-month walkthrough" that we did at least a month or more ago... we kept having to reschedule, because Tom needed to be here, and kept getting sent out of town. There were a few minor things, like a ceiling light fixture that wasn't installed correctly, a crack in one of the toilets, a bathtub that only had scalding hot water, stuff like that. Really nothing major, thank goodness. The only down side is, the appliance guy came to look at the stove (the top is uneven- it sort of "sags" in towards the middle, so you can't make a round pancake or fried egg) and he said "that's just the way they're designed" which we both think is a load of hogwash!!! He did order a new top for it, so we'll see. Not that I'm a great chef, I'm not by any stretch of the imagination, so I need all the help I can get!

Well, here's to documenting an eventful year in the desert (although somewhat sporadically at times) and hopefully a smoother one to come!

December 04, 2006

etsy update

The crafting is over- for a bit, anyway- all the free sample/giveaway items are on their way to Steamboat Springs, CO, to be divvied up amongst the swap participants. This is for what Etsy calls a "Street Team" which is a grass-roots way to "get the word out" about Etsy in general, and these shops in particular. So, my samples will be divided up and sent to other members of my Street Team, to be handed out as advertising for my shop, and I will do the same for them. We'll see if it works!

This team is called "Old World Shoppes" and was formed as a group of crafters to "promote traditional values and standards in their craftwork. Let us take you back to simpler times with our Etsy shops that honor the past- an old-fashioned marketplace with sundries and goods ranging from needlework to vintage keepsakes to decor items for today's homemaker. Find self-representing artisans that use traditional methods alongside clever crafters that capture nostalgia and deliver quality! We come together for you in the Old World Shoppes. " There are people who do woodworking, quilting, needlework, knitting... more traditional types of crafts; I don't fit exactly into that, but I definitely go in for the nostalgia and hand-crafted aspect of things...

Etsy has thousands of members, both sellers and buyers, but it's still not very well known... plus, it doesn't have near the advertising budget that Ebay or do. So, the challenge is, how to get people to it, and to a particular shop?? Street Teams are one way, so people can promote the site, themselves, and each other. There are teams based on geographic location, craft/art form (jewelry, for example), and genre (such as Goth/Dark Arts-type stuff- skulls & crossbones, lots of black, etc). Etsy also has some pretty cool search features based on materials used and tags- these things get loaded in when you add an item for sale. A shopper can search on a word like "glitter" or "red" and it will find all the items that the sellers have tagged with those particular categories. You can also shop by geographic location, colors, etc. (I'm sure there are more ways to search, I just don't look at the site like a buyer would very often). The site is getting a few mentions in newspapers, radio, and on-line, also- it's a much more "independent" type of shopping experience than a local store or mall, as everything is either handcrafted, vintage, or art/craft supplies, and you're buying directly from the maker, as opposed to buying something in a chain store at the mall.

There are sellers who craft/make art for a living, all the way to people like me, who craft as a hobby after their "real" job... and, you can find pretty much anything you can think of: re-purposed clothing (jeans made into a shoulder bag, or felted wool items made from a Goodwill sweater), hand-dyed yarn, handmade knitting needles, handcrafted furniture, all sorts of jewelry, fine art (huge paintings, both in dimensions and in price), handprinted books and "zines" (independently produced magazines), and all different kinds of gifty-type things and home decor items, just to name a few.

It's a pretty neat site, and I can spend lots of time there, just browsing and clicking thru from one page to the next- hopefully lots of other people do, too, and hopefully I can continue to work on putting together an "image" for my shop and its contents that will catch their eye, and their buying power!

For now, though, I think I need to focus on making our Christmas cards and the swap ATCs for December. (then, get back to crafting, and hopefully some sales from my shop!) The November cards I received back are all gorgeous works of art!! It's amazing what people manage to do with them, even though the size is only 2.5 x 3.5 inches! I'll post pics of them after I get them scanned...

December 03, 2006

Sunday evening crafting

Handcut tags embellished with a small iris-folded log cabin square, mother-of-pearl buttons, and vintage rick-rack. Just a little Sunday evening crafting! In other news, the heat is back on here- it's still getting down in the 30s at night (BRRR!), though it's getting into the 50s-60s during the day.

December 02, 2006

just a test

to see if changing the time zone worked correctly- the last post said it was posted at 5:12 am!!! Still, it is 6:12 am- what the heck am I doing, up at 6 am on a Saturday?? Back to bed!!!

craft-fest continued...

loading pictures with Blogger is so annoying, sometimes! Here's a closeup of the sunflower on the yellow bookmarks, colored with pencils. I need to work a little on my shading and blending, but they are definitely vibrant, just like the real thing!

December 01, 2006

Friday night craft-fest

More like afternoon, running into night... bookmarks and mini cards (3 x 3 in.) for an advertising swap with some other etsy sellers. These things will be free giveaways when they sell an item, so my shop will get additional exposure and advertising. I'll also be sent some things from other sellers, to include with my sales. That's the plan, anyway! The theory is, quick, lightweight things that will be easy to include in a package. I managed the lightweight part... nothing is ever quick when I'm designing something from scratch! Plus, somehow I managed to run out of glue stick, so I had to use white glue- needless to say, I'm going out tomorrow to buy more glue stick!! I like it- it sticks pretty well, and it's tons easier to use than "real" glue!
A detail from one of the mini cards- the butterfly was heat embossed, then cut out.

The two bookmark designs...

The two mini cards...