Thursday, December 31, 2009

Kreativ Blogger award

What a refreshing way to start the new year, with a Kreativ Blogger award!

It was presented to me by Foxy G. Knits, an etsyblogger who's all about knitting and writing! She's an active blogger, who takes the time to feature other artisans on her blog. And if this cold weather is getting you down, you need to stop by her Etsy shop, and get a shawl or wrap - her designs and colors are so unique!

With the award comes a few responsibilities....

Here are the rules for the award acceptance:
(1) Thank the person giving the awards
(2) Copy awards to your blog
(3) Place a link to their blog
(4) Name 7 things people don’t know about you
(5) Nominate 7 bloggers
(6) Place a link to those bloggers
(7) Leave a comment on their blogs letting them know of their awards

Seven things you probably didn't know about me:
1. I wanted to grow up and be a reporter
2. I used to be left-handed, and now I'm right-handed
3. I've been at the same job for 23 years!
4. I own a 1995 GMC Sonoma truck, extended cab
5. I listen to classical music and love the ballet
6. I was on the high school swim team
7. I walk barefoot as much as possible

OK bloggers, I know a lot of people feel these awards are like chain letters, but I take them seriously... at times. So don't hate me, this is a compliment. Here goes...

My 7 nominees for the award:
1. Coffee Pot People
2. The Hungarian Chick
3. The Photographic Aspect
4. The Junk Drawer
5. First Door on the Left
6. A Keeper's Jackpot
7. Traveling Suitcase

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

almost wordless wednesday - blizzard

It snowed so hard on Christmas Eve,
our screened-in porch got covered with snow!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Book review - The House at Sugar Beach

This is a fascinating memoir by Helene Cooper, a girl born in Liberia, who escapes her homeland to come to the United States as a young teenage. Helene’s family are called “Congo People,” the privileged descendants of freed American slaves, who founded Liberia in 1822. Her adopted sister, Eunice, is native, or “Country People,” and joins the Cooper family as a young girl when her mother gives her up in hopes she will find a better life. Living under the same roof, the girls become the closest of friends, like ordinary pre-teens... before the government upheaval occurs.

Cooper not only tells stories of her youth, but explains the history of her home, especially the politics that surrounded her childhood. She divides the book into two parts, Liberia and America. In Liberia, she lives with her family in a 22-room mansion on Sugar Beach, goes to a private school and knows many men in her family who hold high positions in the government. After the coup in 1980, she arrives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her mother and younger sister. Later, she moves to Greensville, North Carolina, and lives with her father. When she graduates from high school, she enters journalism school at Chapel Hill. I won’t go into too many details, because I don’t want to ruin the story for those who want to read the book.

One thing I kept wondered about was how Helene was going to follow her dreams and be a foreign correspondent, with all the legal implications of being a Liberian resident. She doesn’t go into too much detail about the trials of citizenship, but does tells a story about becoming an U.S. citizen on May 13, 1997.

When I started the book, I had a hard time reading her "Liberian English" and thought it was unnecessary. Halfway through, though, the rhythm of the Liberian voices grew easier to understand, and by the end of the book, I understood her reasoning behind the language she used. What a wonderful story - I highly recommend it!

To learn more about Helene Cooper, listen to an interview she did with Tavis Smiley on Sept. 24, 2008.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Internet Artisan Interview - JN Originals

I've gotten to know this next artisan through the etsybloggers team and our weekly team thread. But I had no idea Judy, from JN Originals, was so involved in Etsy. She belongs to three street teams: the etsybloggers, bbest, and one from her home state of Iowa. Judy also has three shops and two blogs, which must keep her very busy. I love her banners and shop names, don't you? Read on, and see all the creative things she's up to!

  • What's the name of your business/shop?

I sell fiber arts-produced goods in JN Originals , and paper arts-produced items in Mister PenQuin , although there is sometimes some crossover.




I also have a destash shop called 2nd Chance Treasures .

  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
Although I don’t have a registered domain, I do have a couple of blogs. Word Walks, my personal writing space, is where I reflect, dream and talk about inspiration. Word Walks meanders in much the same way that a “walkabout” in Australia does, except that the journey takes place in words, not on foot. Spark Lines features Etsy artists whose work I admire, as well as discussions related to creative expression.

  • What type of handmade products do you sell?
When I first opened my first shop, JN Originals, I wasn’t sure what it would grow up to be. I only knew that I like to play with color, texture and pattern, and that this was likely to be reflected in the shop. Over time, I learned that I also like to produce items that are functional. One day I looked at JN Originals and realized that nearly everything in the shop consisted of crocheted or felted wool items: Java Jackets (coffee cup sleeves), needle books, Treasure Books (felted wool multi-purpose books with pages for photos or ACEOs, business, Moo or credit cards, and a pocket page for a special treasure), spa cloths, flower brooches, scarves and scarflettes, and felted wool bags and pouches.


But I am also passionate about working with paper (and fabric), so I needed a home for those items; that’s how Mister PenQuin was born. If you visit the shop, you’ll see that the items there connect words, images and self-expression: bookmarks, sewing notebooks, note card sets, brag books, and altered clipboards. Eventually the shop will also include journals and padfolios. Mister PenQuin is still a work-in-progress, as it was just opened this past September. My husband’s doodling was the inspiration for the shop name. When we were first married, he was stationed on the West coast as a Naval Weapons Officer, and was often away in the Pacific while I stayed home. His letters to me were always signed with a penguin wearing a top hat whom he called “Mister PenQuin.” Just as the shop has a connection between words and images, so does this character.

  • Show us a piece you recently finished.



  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
I’m not one of those people who works on one project at a time. If you visit my sewing room or paper studio, and look about, you’ll see all kinds of UFOs (UnFinished Objects). Dolly, my dress form, is wearing a half-finished apron. On top of the sewing machine cabinet is a journal cover, waiting to be satin-stitched. The drawer in the paper studio contains date books waiting to be assembled with my Bind-It-All. I never run out of ideas, just time, so I keep a notebook where I jot these down. That notebook contains ideas for a fourth shop, likely for fabric products.

  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?
Marketing is always a challenge, mainly because of the time it takes. But without it, there’s not much point in selling. I use social networks like Facebook and Twitter to announce new items, as well as Stylehive and Kaboodle. Because you can feed photos from Flickr into your Facebook account, that provides a way for potential buyers to see what will appear in your shop soon. Blogging, of course, is a way for your readers to get to know you and trust you, and may lead (indirectly) to sales, so I keep two personal blogs, and write for the BBEST (Boomers and Beyond Etsy Street Team) team blog as well. High-quality photos are critical in all of these areas, so I am always happy to learn about a better way to take good ones. The avatars in my shops are related to the shop banners. JN Originals products nearly always include a flower somewhere, so the avatar is a flower. And the avatar for Mister PenQuin is predictable: a penguin wearing a top hat! When you purchase an item from me, I include a couple of handmade magnets with these avatars.

  • If you have a website or blog, tell us about your favorite widget.
Since I love to surf the Web, the widget I enjoy the most is LinkWithin , which lists three clickable blog links (with photos) beneath each post in a particular blog. This is a wonderful way to explore related content.

  • Which online selling vendors do you use? What do you like best about each one?
I only sell handmade goods on Etsy, since it is gaining visibility as one of the biggest (if not the biggest) handmade goods marketplaces. I appreciate the street team support that has helped me get my feet off the ground. In addition, when you have three shops and are thinking about a fourth, it makes it easier to manage them when they are consolidated in one online location. When I buy my packaging supplies, I keep all three shops in mind and purchase what I can online; this saves costs because you can buy in bulk. I purchase bubble mailers from PaperMart.com, and resealable cellophane bags from CreativeGiftPackaging.com. Both offer reasonable prices and quantities, and ship quickly.

  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!
While my time to chat is limited, I do visit with others in Etsy’s forums, particularly with team members. And I enjoy doing the same on Facebook and Twitter. It is always a challenge, however, to balance social networking with marketing and creative time.

  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?
Don’t let your love of the creative process overrun your pocket book. Shop creatively for quality materials at a reasonable price, and then price your items in relationship to that very real cost. At the same time, don’t be afraid to charge for quality craftsmanship. Do what you do best, and do it well, then charge for it. Don’t compare your work to others’ work.

  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?
I compute the actual cost of products, packaging and fees, and double that for my price.

  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.
I use my son’s bedroom as my paper studio, since he vacated it after graduating from college this past June, and relocating to Chicago. His desk is my paper crafting space, and his bookcase and dresser holds my supplies and tools. See this blog post for photos of my paper studio.


My sewing room, which is the size of a child’s small nursery, is where I do machine and hand sewing, as well as most of my writing. I have a wonderful old Parsons cabinet for my sewing machine, and my computer lives on top of a Mission-style writing desk. (See this blog post for photos of my sewing room




  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
I’m satisfied with the sections I have developed in JN Originals, but would like to expand my felted bag line. Currently I am adding detachable handles to my Rebecca Bags to satisfy users who want handles, and users who want clutches. This way they can have both! I would also like to add Margarete Bags to the shop, which essentially are felted wool bags with handles that are big enough to carry a magazine. At this time next year, I hope that Mister PenQuin will be filled with brag books, notebooks, journals, padfolios, and box books or albums. The ideas just keep coming.

  • OK, the storybeader's turn. My favorite?
I just love Judy's sewing books. Yes, you all know I love anything "book" but these are great for the seamstress, who are involved in multiple projects. The perfect gift - I wish I saw these before December. This is my favorite one:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

almost wordless wednesday - lesperancetile

This was on my twitter a few weeks back.
Thought it was appropriate for the Holidays -
not sure if it's still for sale.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December Featured Etsyblogger - CalKat

What a cute name - CalKat. These are two artisans on Etsy, whose shop was chosen this month to be featured. I decided to look around, and see what struck my fancy.... Whenever I see more than one person in a shop, I always wonder how they get along. Are they related? Do they use different techniques and materials? Or can you even tell?

Actually, their blog advertises four different shops. In their CalKat shop, they sells one-of-a-kind jewelry. And there's quite a variety! Their favorite materials are sterling silver, gemstones, and Swarovski srystals. Here are some of my favorites:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

There's something about Christmas ornaments

I hear the greatest stories about children making ornaments for their Christmas tree, and see friend's trees, laden with handmade designs. I don't remember this as a kid, making ornaments. Snowflakes, yes; ornaments, no. We didn't have a tree in our house to decorate, maybe that's why. I do remember putting peanut butter on pine cones and stringing popcorn for the birds.

When I got married, I thought, wouldn't it be neat, to get a special ornament each year. And I have been collecting them every since. Over the past few years, I've been getting nice ones, that sing and move. This year, I didn't want to spend a lot of money, but I had to look. Yesterday I was out shopping, and went by my favorite Hallmark store, to see if there were any cute ones left. After all, it IS the last weekend before Christmas.

And wouldn't you know it, an Ireland: Doorways Around the World. There was just one on display, and I couldn't find the box. Just then, a nice woman came up and asked me if I needed some help. "I'd really like this one, if you have the box." She got it for me. I think it was just waiting for me.

Just a door, to remind me of the fabulous trip I took with my family.

Can you guess what my first ornament looked like? Click here

Friday, December 18, 2009

Internet Artisan Interview - Locust Street

Kristy is a newbie to Etsy and selling online, and she has some terrific pieces. Her handmade journals are so very unique, I just don’t understand why she’s so surprised with all her sales! You need to go by her blog and say hello, too. She is currently donating some of the sales to missionary friends in Guatemala. Just write their name, "The Amands” in the buyer’s notes section, when you purchase one of her journals before January 1st, and she will give 40% of the sale to their cause. What a great idea, eh?


  • What's the name of your business/shop?

Locust Street


  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
Locustst.etsy.com
Locust-street.blogspot.com
Facebook—Locust Street


  • What type of handmade products do you sell?
Right now I am making handmade journals. The covers are paper grocery bags that I doodle on or collage on, ink, then cover with packing tape. The insides are recycled paper… paper that’s plain, stamped, inked, doodled on, old envelopes, postcards, random papers, maps, pictures etc all hand cut and bound with metal wire. They’re smaller in size… about the size of an old postcard. 5 1/2"x 4"

I am also working on some Christmas Banners. As soon as I finish my next batch of journals I will be working on the banners more.


  • Show us a piece you recently finished


I tend to work in batches. I am knee deep in creating 30 more mixed art journals at the moment. The very last things I’ve finished are these love-note-pads found on my etsy site. [she sold this one, but Etsy shows some similar items





  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
Here is one the banners… I’m still working on the prototype. There are some MAJOR changes that I’ll be doing… but this is the relative idea..


  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?
I haven’t advertised much yet. I am waiting to build up more stock. I will be pushing my facebook fan site more, spending more renewing items on etsy and participating more on others blogs.


  • If you have a website or blog, tell us about your favorite widget.
My etsy mini for sure!


  • Which online selling vendors do you use? What do you like best about each one?
I just use etsy right now. I just opened it at the end of Sept ’09 and will probably just stick with them so I don’t have to do a lot of separate advertising.


  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!
I have a facebook fan site. I run special sales just for them. I will be working on upping my fans once I finish my next set of journals.


  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?
Do be afraid to let people know what you do (both online and day to day)… you never know who will be your next costumer! And fight the urge to give friends and family large discounts on the products you’re selling!


  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?

Wow. I wish I knew. When I started making my journals I was afraid to price them more than a few bucks… I had no confidence in myself. But they take SO long to make... so I researched it a bit and realized that I have to respect my product and myself. I took my journals to a small community event to sell for the first time and priced them over twice as much as I was originally thinking… and they sold well! I got so many compliments and could have sold more if I had lowered the price, but at the end of the day I would have had the same amount of money and close to no product left! Seeing the public’s reaction helped me have confidence in my art. I am very tempted to drop my prices a little bit… but I keep going back to how much time it takes to make… almost every page needs to be either hand cut, or decorated and then punched for binding. And my prices now have to reflect the fact that I am also selling some of the journals on consignment. My pricing is not scientific… it’s more of a gut feeling as to how much I need to get for them to make it worthwhile… it comes to a point where I would rather give them as gifts to dear friends then to make so little off of them.


  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.
Sometimes I work on a typing table next to my computer… this was my actual workspace for my first set a journals… chaos sometimes helps me feel like I don’t have to reach perfection. Other times I haul everything up to the kitchen table.


  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
I am in my first month with this and never imagined that I would already have a few etsy sales, be selling in an actual shop and being interviewed for a blog! I think I’ve already passed my one year goal! I would love to come up with a few more different products… some that were a little faster to create... and keep finding stores to sell them to. I am also starting to think about doing a few craft fairs. I’m excited what this year has in store!

OK, it’s storybeader’s turn to pick a favorite.
Kristy is a real soul sister, loving many of the things that I hold dear: books, notetaking and recycling. Love the color of this little journal - you need to look at the images in her Etsy shop, to understand how her mind works! They’re terrific!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Etsybloggers Carnival - Dec. 18, 2009

Thanks, LindaB, for hosting this week's etsybloggers carnival. I thought you gave us an interesting choice to write about:
1. Holidays - Christmas, Hanukkah & Others, what was your favorite gift received? Was it handmade?
2. What are your favorite color combinations? What do you create using those colors?

I would have written about color, since it's one of my favorite aspects of art. But a favorite gift? That's an easy one, and very personal! A good combination for a carnival that's due tomorrow!

My favorite gift was a ring DH bought me, the second year we were together. Oh, I've received a lot of great presents from my family, but this was different. My previous boyfriend, who I lived with for about 15 years, never bought me presents. And then getting married to DH, and receiving such a feminine item, was really thrilling!

It's gold (and I usually wear silver jewelry) with emeralds and diamonds. I love it, and wear it all the time.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

What's Happening in OKC this week

Oklahoma Criminal Justice Symposium, to be held Dec 15-18,2009 at the
Oklahoma State Capitol, Senate Chamber, hosted by Senator Constance Johnson & Representative Sue Tibbs.

Topics to be discussed:
Sentencing Reform;
Expungement;
Barriers to Reintegration;
Removing governor from parole process;
Actual innocence project;
Abolishing death penalty

Meetings open to the public! times: 9am-12n & 1:30-4:30pm
call 405-21-5531 for more information
if you are concerned about the Oklahoma prison system ...come to these meetings!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Internet Artisan Interview - Linda B's Beaded Jewelry

Linda has a load of small jewelry items that are so very simple and sweet. And it's perfect timing to show everyone her Judaica items, with the first night of Chanukah starting tonight. Linda is the Team Captain of the EtsyChai team, and a member of three other etsy teams: EtsyTwitter, EtsyBloggers and EtsyBead. She has a site on 1000markets, and is a member of two marketplaces there. Not only does she work fulltime; she's an active tweeter and blog poster. So stop by her blog, and see what she's all about!

  • What's the name of your business/shop?

http://lindab142.etsy.com

  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
Blog: http://linorstorecom.blogspot.com
Website: http://LinorStore.com
  • What type of handmade products do you sell?
I create handbeaded jewelry, keychains, bookmarks, car jewelry, stamped paper greeting cards, candles

  • Show us a piece you recently finished

Blue beaded wire kippah for Jewish women
  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
You can see pics on my blog on Sun. post

  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?
I tweet for some advertising, belong to some Etsy teams, and write press releases. You can see my avatars at my shop and blog.
  • If you have a website or blog, tell us about your favorite widget.
On Blogspot, my favorite widget is the Share application that allows me to post to Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.


  • Which online selling venues do you use? What do you like best about each one?


Yes, I have my Website, which needs updating at http://LinorStore.com,
http://linorstore.1000markets.com
http://lindab142.artfire.com (temporarily).

I also have photos at http://yourhandmade.ning.com/profile/LindaBlatchford63 and http://facebook.com/linorstore


  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!
I love tweetdeck and am on the EtsyTwitter team.

  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?
If you blog, promote other shops on your blog and in the forums.

  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?
I take the cost times x factor depending on the complexity of the item and listing costs, etc.
  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.
I have to get more pics, but my blog from Sun. has a couple of projects underway.
  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
I get inspired when the muse strikes. I'm not sure where or what I'll be creating in a year, but maybe working with wirewrap techniques. I'm self taught, but for that, I may need a little help. My plans are to increase my exposure offline and online and to find a niche market offering unique designs from my visions.
  • OK, it's the storybeader's turn to pick a favorite.
I really like Linda's Hanukkah Jewish Charm Bracelet. It's so versatile - it would look great with jeans, or you can be dressed up. Great prices, too.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

almost wordless wednesday - green datebook

She placed the quilt on
The couch to snuggle in, while
Her man was away.

- storybeader


Friday, December 4, 2009

Internet Artisan Interview - Custom Designs by Nancy

Nancy's use of materials are commonplace, but her fabrics are truly beautiful. She sent me some photos of items that are not in her Etsy shop, but you will have the address to visit her there. These would make fantastic gifts for the lady of the house, who enjoys cooking and decorating.

  • What's the name of your business/shop?
The official name of my shop is Custom Designs by Nancy. I know, not the most original or creative name but it just stuck in my head.

  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
My shop site is on etsy at http://customdesigns4ubynan.etsy.com, and I blog on blogger at http://customdesigns4ubynan-myheartandmind.blogspot.com.

  • What type of handmade products do you sell?

At my last job I had access to many different fantastic beautiful fabrics that I just couldn’t say NO to. I started collecting the left-overs and bolt ends, bought a sewing machine and voila! Here I am being interviewed! I used to sew my clothes when I was in high school, and now I sew tablecloths, bedspreads, pillows, and other goods. Because the size of my fabrics may only be about 1-yard lengths I piece together similar or complimentary fabrics to create a larger piece that is unique. I cannot duplicate the exact piece, but I can make lots of similar pieces, as you can see in my toile tablecloths. I have the same Laura Ashley toile in different colors and dye-lots, and different cloth weights and textures, so I can really play with them. The great thing about the toiles is I can cut out the different scenes and make individual placemats, which can also be folded into napkins. I can sell these at a much lower price point than the tablecloths, and I’m hoping because they are versatile and less expensive they will become a best-seller. The toiles also make great colorful aprons, where I can show off the entire toile in one piece.

The silk I use is also in limited quantities so again I piece together complimentary colors and textures to create bedspreads and pillows. I really enjoy the creativity, and let the fabrics speak to me to make something wonderful. I use a simple log cabin style to piece the fabrics together, as the finished product will be enough to catch the eye without being “busy” with a complicated piecing. Also, because the cost of the materials is nominal, what I’m selling is my labor and artistry, and I need to keep that affordable.

  • Show us a piece you recently finished

  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
My favorite piece is always the one I’m working on, no matter how simple or complicated. Right now I am concentrating on placemats/napkins, and aprons. I recently did a crafts fair and the one and only apron I had was the first sale. All the ladies loved that blue toile apron and wanted it in different colors and patterns. If I had had more I could have sold them, I’m sure. And they loved my toile tablecloths, but they were too expensive. $30 was the high selling price point, which is why I am working on simpler pieces that I can actually sell. It’s all very well to make beautiful $300 bedspreads, but if no-one buys them I’m not making an income. And I truly do enjoy sewing, so even a $10 apron has my love and joy sewn into it as if it were a huge gorgeous bedspread. Now that I know my price point, I know I can meet it and make more sales. I will be making more lavender sachets, and will be making potholder trivets to match the aprons. I have TONS toiles, and can have fun with them.

  • If you have a website or blog, tell us about your favorite widget.
On my own blogspot all my widgets are my favorites. I love to see who’s following me, I love to see My Favorite Things changing, and I really enjoy the phases of the earth and moon, and the NASA shot of the day. I should blog more often. I am working on an interview with an etsian buyer. We all want to sell our goods on etsy, so talking to an actual buyer and discussing how she selects a shop and product will be very interesting to a lot of other etsians, and hopefully will draw more people to my blog and shop.

  • Which online selling vendors do you use? What do you like best about each one?
Honestly, I find etsy, blogging and sewing to take up so much time I don’t have the time and/or energy to sell on another website. I recently did my first ever crafts fair, where I did pretty darn well, so I am researching near-by fairs and in-person selling venues. People come to fairs to purchase, and I think touching, feeling and seeing goods live and in person is the best way to promote my store and products.

  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!
I do facebook, and leave comments on people’s treasuries and their blogs, and invite everyone to read mine and leave comments and follow if they wish. Since I was laid off from my full-time job in January 2009 I have basically become a full-time etsian. I’m on the promotion forum daily. I remember reading one person’s interview where she said “Not a day goes by that I don’t promote myself” so that’s what I do. I was recently inducted into the etsy bloggers, and am looking forward to participating in that activity.

  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?
I wish I had a good business tip. Would someone please give me a good business tip? I read the business forum and follow their advice, and recommend others do so. I’m sorry that’s the best I can come up with, but this is a learning experience for me, too. I buy from other etsy sellers and promote them in my listings and on my blog, and let them know about it. Also, I hired an etsy graphic designer to design my avatar and banner, and business cards, and hired another etsy vendor to print them. I am pleased with the results, and slowly but surely I’m building awareness and a following, but it takes time, time, time and constant effort.

I have 5 sales on etsy, and one of those was a trade. I asked another seller with hundreds of sales how she did it, and she just said she promoted like crazy, blogged and participated in every activity, so that is what I am doing. I am hoping with the holiday season fast approaching more buyers will actually purchase. I LOVE waking up to an email from etsy and paypal saying an article was bought and paid for. I always – all 5 times! – send a little something extra, usually tea from one of my favorite etsians, Teaman, but for my last sale – one of my toile tablecloths! – I included 4 matching placemats/napkins. That was per the advice from the business forum; give the customer more than they ask for, so I guess that’s my business tip.

  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.


  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
I can see myself doing this for a very long time. I love to sew and be creative, and am thrilled with sales and feedback. I want a real studio space NOT in my studio apartment, and am looking forward to my business taking wings and flying! Flying! Flying!

  • OK, the storybeader's turn!
I think Nancy's pillows are beautiful. I couldn't pick a favorite, but not to worry! Here's a variety from her shop. This "item" is from her buy three pillows, at a discounted price. Sweet!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Etsybloggers Carnival - Dec. 4, 2009

This year, Chanukah falls on December 12th. Our family always celebrates the holiday by lighting the menorah for eight nights and saying the blessing, one additional candle each night. I found some beautiful memorahs on Etsy, and I thought I'd share them with everyone.

For those of you who don't know, Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is the Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. It starts on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, and may occur from late November to late December on the Gregorian calendar.

Another custom that is followed is the eating of fried foods. This was very unusual when I was growing up - my mother never fried food! The story goes that a small flask of pure olive oil was discovered by the Jewish High Priest. This oil was only supposed to last one day, and instead it lasted eight. Accordingly, potato pancakes, known as latkes in Yiddish, are traditionally associated with Chanukah, as they are prepared by frying in oil. We also ate our latkes with sour cream and applesauce (I liked applesauce.)

There are various songs that are sung at Chanukah, and games played. This memorah (below) is made with dreidels, which are four-sided spinning tops. Each side is imprinted with a Hebrew letter. These letters are an acronym for the Hebrew words נס גדול היה שם (Nes Gadol Haya Sham, "A great miracle happened there"), referring to the miracle of the oil that took place.

Thank you ArtOnTheAvenue and Limoryaron for the use of your artwork.
Happy Chanukah!
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