February 25, 2007

just something I've learned... too late.

Never play ball with a dog right after she eats her dinner.

Sedona eats really fast, so we've been putting two tennis balls in her food bowl to slow her down somewhat. It kind of works, although we still don't hear much chewing and she eats in about 30 seconds flat. Then, she brings the tennis ball over and wants you to play with her- usually we take it away from her, but tonight, I did. My mistake. I got her going with a good game of catch (she's a wonderful catcher, doing all sorts of twists and leaps into the air to catch the ball), and then, wouldn't you know it, up came most of her dinner.

So, up went the tennis ball onto the counter. Thank goodness for carpet cleaner spray!

Tom left this morning for the east coast, with the new systems installer- just a quick trip to Philadelphia for some training, then drive to New York for a computer upgrade. Hopefully (depending on the weather!) they will be back Tuesday night, just in time for a day trip on Wednesday to California.

So, this afternoon I took a drive to one of my favorite stamping stores, Ink It! in Gilbert, AZ. Alas, but it's closing... the owner is closing to redesign the space into an art gallery that will open this fall. So, right now everything is on sale- 30% this week, 40% next, and 50% the week after. I got a few things (pics later- unfortunately Tom has the camera with him), and may go back in a couple days to check it out again.

February 22, 2007

Random pictures

These are a few random pictures from the last few days...
Everything we read about Shelties before we got Sedona said "they like to be with their people" which is true. Sedona really likes to be where we are. Occasionally, she even likes to be ON her people! She laid on top of Tom like a cat would (only much heavier!), for quite a while. When I took the picture, he said "wait, I think I blinked!" but there's really too much hair in the way to tell... LOL!!!

A bookmark I made for a possible custom order. Floral paper with a stamped butterfly on 3D foam tape.

Close-up of the butterfly; after stamping, I added some glittery details to it.

Three tags I made for promo trades. You trade your promotional item (or business cards can be traded, too) with someone else; when I get orders I'll put their promo item in with it; when they get orders, they'll put one of mine in with theirs. (2 x 3.5 in. tags with punched details)

Another bookmark- Easter and pastel plaid this time with three stamped images- flower, bunny, and egg. All three of the stamped images also have glitter details.

great exposure for Etsy on CBS!


This is a direct link to a bit of video from CBS Channel 2 in New York; it aired today during their morning program... great bit of press! (Click on the video at upper right that says "Artist Marketplace" to watch the video.) It shows screen shots of the site, they interview one of the co-founders (he's so young! makes me feel old, anyway...) and a couple Etsy artisans, and it shows the newly finishedstudio space "EtsyLabs" at their office headquarters in New York. EtsyLabs is a "real" space with equipment and supplies; crafters can go there and use the space and equipment for a nominal fee, and they also will host classes for the general public. Alas, AZ is too far away for that.

February 20, 2007

shop announcement

so, I've decided to stage my first Etsy shop promotion:

2/19/07 news: FREE SHIPPING SPECIAL!!!


In honor of my third anniversary, and also because I like the number 3, I'm offering free shipping on any orders of three or more items purchased from now thru March 3rd. Please add "3rd special" in the notes to the seller when you check out, and wait for me to send you an adjusted invoice before paying.

We'll see how it goes. I'm also writing an e-mail announcement about Etsy (and my shop, too...) to send out soon. It's such a cool site, and I think most people would rather buy a handcrafted item or gift than a "big-box store" one, but they can't shop there if they don't know about it, right?

My latest creation for sale in my shop is this embroidered flower basket card. I saw a project similar to this in one of the Martha Stewart magazines I bought at the used book sale; that one used flower-shaped buttons ... since I don't have any of those, I used some flowers and metal eyelets from my SB supply stash.

The sewing wasn't too hard, and I even wove the threads together in the basket for an extra detail. I like how it turned out, and the aqua, fuchsia, rose and light blue is a nice combination, I think. I stitched it up during the Nascar race on Sunday, although I did have to set it down to watch the extra-thrilling ending! (bummer about Mark Martin, though- he was robbed!)

February 15, 2007

EtsyGreetings update

Wow, three posts from me in one day- am I sick or something?? HA HA HA! It may last, it may not... we'll see! One of the ways that people connect on Etsy is thru Street Teams- groups of sellers with something in common- geographical location, type of item, etc. click here to see a new blog for EtsyGreetings, a new Street Team for greeting card sellers. We're just starting out, but hopefully this will be a way to promote handcrafted greeting cardson Etsy, and get us all some new business! The blog was put together by the owner of Lucky Duck Designs, another card seller. It has links to all the shops involved- you should check some of them out! (Including Crimson Cat Paper Arts, of course- LOL!) (and I just figured out how to insert a hyperlink instead of just pasting the web address... irritating to do, but: yay! it looks better!)

a Valentine's surprise...

from my wonderful Thomas- it's been almost three years, but he can still surprise me! Our anniversary is in a couple weeks, so we weren't planning anything big for Valentine's Day... but, he did anyway! I usually step outside the building and call him during my lunch break at work... I called him, like usual, he answered, and we had the usual "how was your morning?" conversation... then, he commented on seeing a plane fly overhead- I looked up, and sure enough, a FedEx plane had just taken off (I work very near the airport). It took me a second; I really had to think "how could he see that plane when he's 15 miles away at his office??" then I realized he was sitting in his car in the parking lot right across from me! He brought me this beautiful bouquet of flowers, and a wonderful mid-day, mid-week surprise!

used book sale bounty!

Last weekend I spent Saturday at the state fairgrounds in Phoenix at the VNSA booksale (Volunteer NonProfit Service Association). According to their website, it is the largest charity used book sale in the country. The books are donated and sorted all year long and are sold to raise money for non-profit agencies in the community. I think I read about it in the paper; I was intrigued when I saw "over 600,000 books" would be for sale. I left late in the morning, and spent a horrendous amount of time in traffic (over an hour longer than it should have been) because they were doing some sort of repairs on the interstate- four lanes of traffic down to one- on a Saturday! Traffic was backed up for at least 10 miles... I finally got off the interstate and drove thru Phoenix to get there around 1:30 pm, and shopped till about 5:30, a half hour before closing. I could have spent all day there, easy- I've never seen so many books in one place, it was overwhelming! They had shopping carts, and some people had them heaped full of books!!! This is my bounty- I was judicious, and only picked what would fit into my tote bag. It got heavy, too, because the world atlas (bottom of pile) was the first book I chose! Most of these things were $1 or less; the atlas will be used for cards or envelopes (it's a bit out of date, being published in 1964). The Martha Stewart mags were 60 cents each... yes, I used to subscribe, and I kept lots of them, but got rid of them somewhere along the way. These two have some good projects in. I found the Lord of the Rings (3 books in 1 volume) for $5, the Hobbit for $1... two hardcover craft books for $1 each, and two cross-stitch leaflets, both for $1.60. All together, my stack of books was under $15- a pretty good haul! The wall hanging is from a Thimbleberries quilting book titled Christmas Cottage- do you have that one, Mom?? The Victorian paper dolls are out of a Martha magazine, and the last pic is of the two X-stitch leaflets- one is herbs, and the other is samplers- 10 Inspirational Samplers, all for $1. I probably won't ever stitch an entire sampler, but there are some really nice motifs that I can use. The other craft book I bought is all projects using felt; I already have quite a few projects in mind from it... I spent most of my time in the home decorating, cookbook, and classics sections... didn't really even shop in fiction, music, DVDs/CDs, reference, science, or children's books... I'll know better next year and get there earlier! Maybe I'll save up to fill a shopping cart- but of course, then I'd have to find someplace to put them all!

February 13, 2007

paper and thread...

A set of three cross-stitched flower cards. I got inspired to break out the perforated paper and embroidery floss after finding these patterns in a really old craft magazine Mom mailed to me. I used to do so much cross-stitching; before this, I don't even remember the last time I did it. It's pretty fun, and easy to do in the evening- one eye on the TV, one eye on the chart! They're for sale in my shop, separately or I could sell them as a set. I think they'd make beautiful Easter or Mother's Day cards... but then again, my Mom sends me embroidered cards all the time, so maybe I'm biased! This one was sort of an experiment- I didn't have an iris-folding pattern for it, so I just made it up as I went along. I thought the folds of the paper would sort of mimic the ribs of the cactus. It's not this washed out in real life, although it does need a little something- perhaps some dark blue inking along the edge of the background?? I also just threw in the top edge corner punch detail at the last minute, and I think that added a nice touch. It's also for sale in my shop; I added a section titled "Southwest Inspired" for some of the cards and home decor items that I have in my head inspired by the desert... a hummingbird iris-folded card and a wool felt candle mat are next!

February 07, 2007

very small update & a sneak peek- edited

This is Dallas Arcand, who was last year's World Hoop Dance Champion. We only saw the first day of the competition, so I don't know yet who became this year's champion. I'm still working on cropping the pics, but I wanted to mention that I got rid of my picturetrail account, and now have a flickr account for photo sharing. (I'll add a link to it in the sidebar, too.)
Edit 02/13/07: the Hoop Dance pictures have all been cropped and added to my Flickr page- just click on the link at the right ----> that says "my flickr page" and once you're there, click on the box that says Hoop Dance Competition to see the pics. Mom and Dad, I hope they aren't too huge for your dial-up connection to handle! If they are, let me know and I can hopefully re-size them again for you. I'm still working on the museum pics... of course, you can see the museum in person when you come to visit this fall!!!