Thursday, May 31, 2007

Your Tips in Action!

Thanks to everyone for your tips for on-line selling! One of the best tips was to name products creatively. I took that tip to heart and named my new passport wallet "Spumoni Ice Cream." I don't know if this is creative or merely goofy, but I thought I'd give creative naming a go. Here are some photos:

Monday, May 28, 2007

Another Crafty Saturday

This Crafty Saturday display is courtesy of my oldest daughter.

My kidlings spend a fair amount of time in my sewing studio rummaging through my big box of scraps. This Fairy Quilt is the latest result of their fabric forays. I love seeing bits and pieces of my bags in their creations. I'm also pleased that the kidlings like to sew - hopefully I'm following my mother's example and giving them a love of crafting!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Before and After

Over the past few days, I've been struck by the truth of the oft-repeated mantra of Etsy sellers: "It's all about the photos."

Some of the very first things I listed on Etsy expired and I decided to reshoot them before relisting them. While I'm no whiz at photography or computer graphics, I think my skills have improved.



It's the same card holder taken with the same camera, just better lighting, composition and Photoshopping. This little holder languished in my shop for 7 months with the "Before" photos and then sold in a little over a week with the "After" photos.

What Etsy truisms have you found to be...well..true?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm Not Worthy

As I've mentioned before, I love when one of my things gets selected for an Etsy Treasury. Today I found the little gold star next to a treasury by bellarosebyliz that literally made me say "Wow" in that whistling way I usually reserve for well-made handbags or impossibly cute shoes.

I'm amazed that my little wristlet is in the company of such lovely works of art. Some of my favorite bloggers are in this treasury, too! stephaniegibson, who created the Long Peach Necklace has a very fun blog, Adornments and Distractions. And I've long admired both gemmafactrix's Walking Spanish Earrings and her blog, Love, Gemma.

Aren't Etsy Treasuries the best?

ps This treasury made the Etsy's Front Page!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Crafty Saturday

This was a weekend full of birthday parties. One had a fairy theme so the kidlings and I decided to make a crown of flowers as a gift. After they picked out lots of pretty silk flowers, I gathered the necessary supplies:

Although they seem weak and ineffective when you want to hang up any clothing of substance, wire hangers are actually quite strong and wily. I cut off the hook part and managed to form a very crude circle. Then I wrapped the flowers around the wire with floral tape:

Here are some things I learned (other than the inherent stubbornness of wire hangers):
a) use a smaller gauge wire
b) cut the stems of the flowers longer than you think you'll need
c) wrap the stems with green electrical tape which is much stronger than floral tape.

I'm fairly happy with the final crown, which will hopefully survive life in the dress-up-box for longer than a few wearings.

And having 2 daughters leads me to believe that fairy parties are not a thing of my past and I'll get to use my new-found knowledge in the near future.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Five Senses (and Selling)

A few weekends ago, a friend invited me to bring my wares to a Mother's Day home show. I had a lovely time and learned a lot, especially seeing my purses in action. I watched as ladies stroked, scrutinized and swung my purses over their shoulders. Being primarily an on-line seller, I rarely get to see people interact with my products. The home show gave me a much better idea of which fabrics work (and which don't!). While selling on-line appeals to my shy and retiring nature, I miss sharing with customers the tactile joy I get from textiles. (I often stop friends on the street and ask them if I can feel their clothes...I've learned to do this tactfully through much trial and error.) It would be great if selling on-line could appeal to all five senses instead of just one. Smell-o-vision for everybody!

Another highlight of the evening was an order for a handbag/wallet set from my most excellent hostess. Here's a photo of the complete set:

I'm especially pleased with the button decoration - my embroidery skills are usually rather dull.

Note to self: ask Bill Gates about Smell-o-vision and the interweb at next neighborhood bbq.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Randomness of Others

I was recently tagged by the adorable megslemonade for another round of "Seven Random Things about Me." Although my life is rife with randomness, I've already played once and how interesting can my eccentricities be? Instead, I'm listing random things I've enjoyed from other people's lists.

1. Adornments and Distractions
"I hate taking my kids to the pool in the summer, but I feel like it is my duty as a mother to take them. If you survived childhood summers without going to the pool, please let me know. It would be quite a load off."

2. All Things Littleput
"I have eaten Alpaca, it was yummy and sad all at the same time."

3. Blissful
"My favorite coins are dimes -- so slim and sublime."

4. Jenn Maruska Design
"I once sent an email to my husband's boss asking that my husband be excused from attending a Sexual Harassment Awareness meeting at his job. I told him that he was already a good sexual harasser and I needed a rest."

5. Love, Gemma
"I have exactly two pairs of matching socks....all bought within the last three months."

Mill Girl
"For being so realistic and cynical, I have no trouble believing my horoscope.

7. Pepperina Press
"I hate the lame Disney-fied Winnie-the-Pooh with a fiery passion. It is very bad for the image of the real Pooh, who is a very earnest character."

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Musings on Motherhood

Happy Mother’s Day! As I’m getting ready to go out and celebrate the day, I’ve been pondering motherhood. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Things I learned from my mother
(photo circa 1968)

-Crafting is a vital part of life.
My mom taught me to incorporate crafting into my everyday life. She is amazingly talented and in my lifetime has successfully mastered sewing, knitting, tolling, quilling, embroidery, crewel-work, line-drawing, rug hooking and quilting.

-Listen with attention and compassion.
As a kid I noticed that everybody wanted to talk to my mom because of her great capacity to truly listen and care about people.

-Aways take oranges when you visit someone for the first time.
Especially if they are Chinese. My mom worked diligently to teach my sister and me good manners. I don’t always behave properly, but that’s due to my failings and not my mother’s.

Things I’ve learned as a mother

-It’s true. The laundry is not going to do itself.

-Hugs and kisses from my daughters make inevitable stickiness worthwhile.

-Mothering has made me a better (albeit sometimes grumpier) person.

Things I hope to teach my children

-It’s better to be kind than nice.

-It’s better to be stylish than fashionable.

-That they are wonderful, special and incredibly important people. But not more so than anybody else.

I hope everybody has a lovely Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I'm in print!

Several months ago, Adorn Magazine contacted me to design a Passport Wallet for them and today my issue hit the newsstands!

Images from Adorn Magazine, Summer '07 Issue

My work has been in print once before

Image from

but this is the first time I've been hired to design something outside my Etsy world!

ps Adorn is offering a great subscription offer to Etsy members! Check it out!

pps I'll be adding some Passport Wallets to my Etsy shop very soon!

01/05/09 UPDATE

Sadly, Adorn Magazine has folded, so I typed up the instructions for this passport wallet and made them available here:

Passport Wallet Instructions

The pattern templates are still available on the Adorn website here:

Please let me know if you have any questions or problems. Thanks!!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

My Quest for Tidy

I am on a quest to tidy my space. I love the sense of calm a well-ordered area gives me and yet I’m not neat by nature. I’ve been on the prowl to find tips to help me in my quest and yesterday I found a wonderful link on folding fabric. It inspired me to spend a couple hours refolding my fabrics and untangling my interfacing.

Here is before:

Here is after:

And this project only cost me a trip to the fabric store to dig around their recycling bin for cardboard bolt cores.

Let me know if you have any tidy tips to share with me – I desperately need them!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Happy May Day!

I’ve always loved May Day. First, it reminds me of my childhood, when my mother, sister and I would make little baskets of flowers to leave on the front steps of our favorite neighbors. I also love May Day because some say that in ancient Greece, they celebrated the goddess Maia (hey, that’s me!) on May 1. My parents thought they made up my name when they gave it to me, but I’m fine with being named after a Pleiades. I didn’t have time to make up any little bouquets with my daughters this year so all I can offer in celebration is a new wristlet wallet that has lots of pretty flowers. Any suggestions for a name for it?