Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday's News! Year-End Sale!

Hi All,
I don't have much time to write today, but I wanted to let you know what's going on in the shop. I'm having a year end sale going on now. There are fresh reductions and some of what's already reduced is on a "Last Chance" offer.

Stay safe and have a wonderful New Years celebration!

Xo

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Interview with a Seller: Cindy Bone!

Hi All!

Well, I'm feeling a bit better and have some time to post this! One of the most lovely women I have had the privilidge to meet in my online adventures has been Cindy Bone. She's such a creative soul and really a delight. Here's her interview!

1. What’s your name and shop name and what do you do? I have 2 shops: Bonewear has vintage decorator items, vintage jewelry, and some handcrafted jewelry; CowgirlRocks has Southwest/Cowgirl style jewelry.

2. Where are you located? The great state of Texas

3. What’s the favorite part of your craft? I love making the rounds of estate sales looking for new and exciting vintage pieces for my shop; in jewelry making the creating process and all that it entails is thrilling, but I have to admit the best part is hearing how much a buyer loves a piece they've purchased-everyone can use an ego boost lol!

4. How long have you been crafting? As far back as I can remember-I have crayon drawings my mother saved when I was 4! I took every art class in school I could, learned knitting, crocheting, and sewing from my mother, grandmother and 4-H; I always had several craft projects going even when I was in the US Navy!

5. What’s your favorite thing to make? Gifts of all kinds for my friends and family-things they love.



6. What kind of camera do you use to shoot? An Olympus FE-280 8.0 megapixel with super-macro. It's better than the Kodak Easyshare I was using, but I'd like one that's better with shake reduction-I'm not too steady lol!



7. Who or what models your items? I have a mannequin torso and mannequin hands to model the jewelry; wish I had a person to model for me, but everyone is so busy!



8. What's the most rewarding part of running your own business? Being able to contribute to the household income is very important to me-since I was disabled in a car accident in 2003 I haven't been able to work outside the home. Selling on Etsy has given me some of my independance and self-confidence back-a must for a healthy psyche.



9. What's the most challenging part of running your own business? Promoting myself is difficult for me-I'm not sure of what to do, and since I'm pretty shy and not socially active it's hard to put myself out there.



10. On average, how many things do you create per week? It depends on what's going on-when I'm in a zone I can get several pieces a day done; sometimes though it's hard to get the creative muses going! It's matter of making a workable schedule and sticking to it...I'm getting better at it lol!



11. What inspires you? nature, music, family, friends...it's everything around me everywhere all the time. I never know when or where an idea is going to come to me-I carry a sketchbook in my purse and have them all over the house, just in case I need to jot something down. My memory isn't what it used to be, lol-if I don't do that chances are I'll forget!



12. Take me thru your creative process. I'll start thinking about what I could do with a certain bead or beads, sketch something out-or if I'm in my workroom, start laying out the materials. I may start with some inexpensive wire to try an idea out with, then move on to sterling or gold-filled wire. It's a trial an error process; the more I work at it, the fewer errors and more successes I have.



13. What is your best advice to blossoming crafters? Don't be afraid to ask the experienced sellers questions-most of them don't mind sharing what they've learned with you. Etsy has a lot of great information to share also, take the time to do the research and take the classes. Just remember it takes time to build a business-don't give up!

Thanks for the interview Cindy, it's nice to read some great advice!

Find Cindy's shop Bonewear here and her other shop CowgirlRocks here.

That's all for now ladies, thanks for reading!
Xo

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

General Update

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all had a great holiday and were able to spend some quality time with family and friends. I have been deathly ill with 'the crud' and have been spending most of my time sleeping (thus the lack of daily postings) since my last posting.  But I still enjoyed time with my family over the holiday.

In the meantime, I've been working on a valentine for a very special someone. :) I hope to duplicate the style so that I can provide my customers with similar valentines this year.

I've been able to edit and post some photos of products that I took before I became ill. I'm planning to shoot the rest of my items and update the listings as soon as I start to feel better.

I suppose that's all for now.

Take care everyone!
Xo

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Interview with a Seller

Welcome Back.

I have been working with my seamstress Dawn since August of 2010. She's made some wonderful items for me and I've been so happy with her work that I decided to interview her for my blog. So, here  we go.


1. What’s your name and shop name and what do you do?
My name is Dawn and my shop is Eleen Fashions though I goofed and used my nickname when setting up my store. I create and or recreate dress from all eras. I am vintage inspired and most of my orders reflect that.

2. Where are you located?
In the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon about 40 minutes from Portland.

3. What’s the favorite part of your craft?
Good response from my customers. I love when they love their dresses!

4. How long have you been crafting?
I’ve been an artist all my life. I have been selling seriously for the past 2 years.


5. What’s your favorite thing to make?
Wedding gowns

6. What kind of camera do you use to shoot?
Samsung L730


7. Who or what models your items?
I model them myself, my sister and mom and also when I’m lucky a customer will send me pictures and allow me to use them. I will be working with a photographer in Sweden next year for some professional pictures.


8. What's the most rewarding part of running your own business?
Doing what I love. Not everyone gets the opportunity to fulfill their dreams.


9. What's the most challenging part of running your own business?
Meeting deadlines, I get so stressed. The worst part is the wait to see if my customer liked the outcome and if it fit!

10. On average, how many things do you create per week?
I try for three dresses a week. Sometimes in the case of a wedding gown I can only get two done. I wish I could do more as I have to turn down orders that have certain deadlines because I can only do so many dresses in a month.

11. What inspires you?
My family inspires me as do my customers. I love to look at vintage clothing, patterns and icons for inspiration too.


12. Take me thru your creative process.
It really depends on my order. Usually a customer sends me a picture or description of what they are looking for. I then think about the pieces and shapes to recreate it. If it is really complicated I will start with muslin. For my own designs I usually either sketch something up or I will just use my imagination. It is like a blank piece of paper, then you start to draw and it comes to life. That is how I think of my dresses.

13. What is your best advice to blossoming crafters?
It is easy to get discouraged especially when sales are down. Don’t give up! Keep pushing yourself to create. The big part of crafting, art or design is the need to create so don’t stop just because you are not selling you will find improvements with each creation too. On down times promote more or study up on your field for new techniques.
 
What great advice, Dawn! I really can't wait to see/try on my latest order from you!! I encourage you all to visit Dawn's shop here.
 
Don't forget to follow here, here, and here.
Cheers!
Xo

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New in my Studio

Happy Holidays!

New in my studio this week is Valentines Day cards. I produced several over the last couple of days, two of which are in my shop already. The third I am still working on.
It's going to be so cute! Really, I can't wait to see how this one turns out. I LOVE to make Valentines Day cards (which is kind of ironic because I really detest the holiday!) and I love this new stamp set (Raychel) I got from Kraftin' Kimmie, so we'll see! Maybe my little hedgie will sneak in for an appearance as well!


Also, I've ordered some new colors for my copic markers that have come. Here they are!


And here's the whole collection thus far!


I seem to be gathering more and more flesh/E tones. Finding that perfect skin tone has proven to be a rather challenging task!

I also made a couple tag sets last night. They turned out well, but some need more work. Here's what I have so far. 







More interesting additions soon to be added to the shop, so make sure to check back.

Follow me on twitter, flickr and of course, this blog! :)

Xo

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Hello Everybody!
Well, for you last-minute shoppers (*ahem* myself included) here's a list of some great handmade products that's sure to get you a smile during the holidays. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

New In My Shop

Hi Everyone!

I'm so glad you could join me again for another post! I've been busily working on my shop over the weekend. I made a cute little glitter dancing card, featuring Craftin' Kimmie's "Monique" stamp and sentiment.

I even used a new technique for this card! To get the texture on the lower scalloped circle I first inked some bubble wrap and pressed that into the paper. The produced image is that of the mirrored bubble wrap. I liked the look of this because it was consistent with the sparkle dots on the brown background paper and it mirrored these dots in a larger fashion.

Also, if you follow my flickr account then you know that I made two stampings of Monique, one darker image in black with the darker indigo blues, and one stamped in blue and colored in lighter blues. I used the darker image for this particular card and added yellow sparkles to her cane and her top hat for more contrast. Then I added the same gold sparkles to each scallop on the scalloped lower circle. (I think next time I will use ribbon.)

I also made this sweet, simple 5x7 card to the right which features a prominent chipboard flower. I love this polka dotted paper and paired it with a simple grey background to let it shine.

A nice option because of it's simplicity. I really enjoy how the papers pair with the chipboard piece.


That's it for over the weekend. I'm sad to say that, as busy as I was, I really didn't get a lot accomplished! LOL

Xo

Friday, December 17, 2010

Interview with a Seller - NeverTooOld

Welcome Back All,
My flow for my blogs got a little messed up so today's post is not Links and Promos, which is usually the case, but an Interview with a Seller instead. I hope you enjoy! I sat down with a friend and fellow seller on Etsy to interview him.

1. What’s your name and shop name and what do you do?

Dave Vasquez, shop name "NeverTooOld", I'm an antique and vintage junq' picker and sell vintagicities.


2. Where are you located?
In the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon.


3. What’s the favorite part of your craft?
Finding that one of a kind item that no other vintage vendor has.

4. How long have you been crafting?
I've been doing this for over 25 years, as a business 15 years.

5. What’s your favorite thing to make?
My fave's gotta be vintage toys, any vintage toy. Oh and games! hehe.


6. What kind of camera do you use to shoot?
I use a GE A1251 12.2 megapixel digital camera that I can't hold steady, lol.


7. Who or what models your items?
I use no models, just stand alone items, my personal opinion, I think models take away from the actual item, especially if they're gorgeous, male or female, lol. Thank gawd for the peeps who disagree with me and use them!

8. What's the most rewarding part of running your own business?
Freedom to do as I choose, please, never having to deal with any of those pencil necked poindexters watchin my every move.

9. What's the most challenging part of running your own business?
The computer, without it, I'm lost, when it goes down is the worst, maintaining it and the software I use is about the most challenging, aside from finding the GOODS to make a business.

10. On average, how many things do you create per week?
It varies so dramatically, I buy several items a week, but sellings another story. Overall I'd say I sell 1 item a week, but holiday months are the best and thats when I really hunker down and try to list the most.

11. What inspires you?
People, the diversity, the personalities, much like vintagicities, each with it's own unique characteristic.


12. Take me thru your creative process.
Be it a garage sale, estate sale, thrift store, dumpster (no, I don't really dumpster dive, but if I were to see something potentially rewarding, perhaps I may?) I love to do the quick scan, then come back around and look in boxes, under tables, etc. While most people pass the boxes of clutter, I delve into em as I never know what I'll find, yet somehow manage to come across something exciting and unique.

13. What is your best advice to blossoming crafters?
Dig, search those boxes I just mentioned, haggle pricing, don't be afraid to offer as the worst one can say is NO (sometimes quite loudly I might add), be patient, be courteous, no one likes those pushy, rude, obnoxious estate salers. Most of all, research what you have a passion for so that you can convey that to your buyers.

I can't tell ya what an honor it is for me to have had you choose to do an interview. You've always been a sweet gal!! Thanks soo much.

Find Dave's shop, NeverTooOld, here.

Thanks, NeverTooOld!
Xo

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Quickie: Kenny K!

Hi All,
Well today's post is a little late, but better late than never! Below is my first Kenny K image card. I decided to go simple with this one because it was my first time using the kenny k images and I wanted to just play, so there's not much going on here. Ultimately I liked how this turned out. There's a lot of depth to the image. What do you think?
Xo

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

In My Studio

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for joining me again today. I wanted to share with you some photos of what is happening in my studio lately, but alas. I do not have anything that I am currently working on in my studio. So...no photo for you!

I'm also thinking ahead about a month. It's time to start thinking about Valentines Day and designs, so you will start to see more V-Day designs as we move out of the holiday rush and push past New Years.

Xo

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Great Gift Ideas

Welcome!

It's Tuesday again and it's a cold but beautiful one here in Seattle. I thought I'd share with you some great ideas I have for gifts. Today's theme is Peacocks.


That's it! Don't forget to follow this blog, favorite me on flickr and facebook.
Xo

Monday, December 13, 2010

New in my Shop

Happy Monday All!
Well, even if Monday is not your favorite day of the week, at least you have new things in my shop to look forward to! Over the weekend I've been a busy bee. Below are photos of new items in my shop.




Don't forget to subscribe! Follow me on twitter and facebook too! :D
Xo

Friday, December 10, 2010

Links and Promos

Hi All.
Another Friday! Here's the links and promos.

Its a digi day over at SNR and Digital Delights has a freebie here


Birds has a candle here

E.T. has another wordart her

Xo

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Invterview With Jocelyn, owner of Flowerleaf.

Welcome Back!

I recently sat down with one of my friends who is also a crafter to interview her.  Jocelyn runs her shop, Flowerleaf, and can be found here. Jocelyn is one of the most successful artists on Etsy that I know of and has over 100 sales in her shop.  Her feedback is cosistantly positive and she provides the highest in customer service, which is why I was courious to pick her brain! Let's begin!


1. What’s your name and shop name and what do you do?

My name is Jocelyn, Flowerleaf is my Etsy shop name, and I am currently not working, but working on art and jewelry and hoping to move into a career as a freelance artist.

2. Where are you located?

I live in California's central valley where we can drop down a little below freezing in the winter and see triple digits in the summer - fun, huh?

3. What’s the favorite part of your craft?

I just love creating things in general. I am pretty eclectic so one minute I will be drawing and the next minute working on a new ring or necklace. I love so many different types of media and love putting different colors, shapes, and textures together. It makes me happy.

4. How long have you been crafting?

I have been doing art since I could pick up a crayon, but I have only been making jewelry (more seriously) for about 2 years.
5. What’s your favorite thing to make?

I love drawing, painting, and I love making jewelry. I seem to make more necklaces than anything else, but I am really loving making the Scrabble tile rings lately.

6. What kind of camera do you use to shoot?

I use a Panasonic Lumix DMC- TZ3 - a point and shoot, but it'll do for now.

7. Who models your items?

My little sister Kimberly models my items. she has her own shop on Etsy as well and can be found here.
8. What's the most rewarding part of running your own business?
Just knowing that people enjoy the things I create and that there are people all over the world wearing something from my shop is pretty rewarding. That and just seeing one of my pieces all finished.

9. What's the most challenging part of running your own business?

The most challenging part is to remind myself to trust my instincts and to also remember that there will always be times where I am just not motivated to create something, but I just need to make myself do it. I also need to get more organized. I have organized chaos going on at the moment.

10. On average, how many things do you create per week?

I would say I create about 4-5 new items per week, maybe more. Maybe I need to start keeping track...

11. What inspires you?

Everything that is colorful and striking and beautiful inspires me. Nature, people, music, so many things.

12. Take me thru your creative process.

There's really not much of a process that goes on. I pretty much tell myself I am going to start creating and I just go from there until I feel I am done. If I am not happy with the results I will either try to improve it, or scrap it and start over.

13. What is your best advice to blossoming crafters?

My best advice is this:

Do what you love and remember you're doing what you love, so have fun.

Don't second guess yourself.

Work hard.

Be patient even when things may not be working out at first and to not give up.

Always be willing to take criticism and to be learning new things all the time.

Thanks for that creative input Jocelyn, and thank you for letting me interview you for this week's post.

Here is Jocelyn's shop.
Don't forget to follow this blog, follow Jocelyn's blog and check back often for updates.

Xo

VNO and Preparations

Hi All,


A lot has been going on in my studio over the past week. I’ve been invited to participate in “Village Night Out”, in which a collection of shops open their doors and there is live music and sales and food, etc. It’s a nice atmosphere and I’ve done VNO before. It’s something I enjoy, so I’ve been preparing my stock for this event over the past week, mostly focusing on holiday cards and going through my items to make sure packaging and pricing is set. Since I didn't want to bore you with these details I didn't take any pictures for today's post. Heartbreaking, I know. ;) I’m planning on making several sets of tags (of which I will be sure to take pictures of) as well and putting on a store-wide sale. So that’s what’s going on!
Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog and follow me on FB for special savings and coupons. FB
Twitter: Tweet
Till next time!

Xo

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Great Gift Ideas

Welcome.

I know you'll be excited to see all the beautiful items I've picked for today's blog post. I love Tuesdays, it really lets the great crafters of Etsy shine. Anyways, I've picked some items that would be great for gifts.

I've also updated the photographs of the items I've been working on. I added holly and ribbon to this card:


 

That's all for today! Make sure to follow this blog, follow me on facebook here and follow my twitter here!
Xo

Monday, December 6, 2010

New in my Shop

Happy Monday All!


I hope you all had a fun and safe weekend. My weekend mainly consisted of finishing work on my final for school and mounting stamps. I *did* have a chance to make a couple simple cards on Sunday.


This fun little window card of Christmas Clara was a trial run for a new idea I have. I like the depth that the shadowing pigment allows for the details in this card. I also like the layered windows. The next time I make this card I believe I will use acetate between the layers and an accordion fold on the sides.


This second card was a card I've been working on for about a week. It turned out pretty simple, and I forgot to add a paper I had planned on, but I like it all the same. I hope you do too! It's Christmas, with a country flair! (I added a holly leaf with berries to the corner of the “seasons greetings”.)



 I also made a simple two-pack of cute square holiday greeting cards; and I’m working on a four pack as well. I’m also playing and beginning to coordinate a “Red Queen” theme card, shown here:







And here's the simple four pack I started. It's not quite finished!


 


Well, that's it for today my lovelies. Watch for these listings in the shop!

Xo

Friday, December 3, 2010

Links and Promos

Hi All,

So today is Friday which means its Links and Promos day! So here's what's going on.

Kenny K has a new freebie download available for digis here

Bombshell Betty is offering 30% off on her shop with coupon today here  - Bombshell Betty is also having some giveaways on her blog here.

Do it with digi's - Today see's the launch with some very special candy. There are THREE prizes to give away and to be in with a chance of winning here.

Starting today! Donna at Bearly Mine Designs has a sale from Friday 3th to Monday 6th.
Buy 3 or more Christmas Digi sets and get the new Christmas insert Digi set for free. Her blog is here

That's it for today guys. Don't forget to subscribe, follow, and favorite my etsy shop. You can also facebook fan me here for all the latest news on my shop - AND 10% off!

Shop: here
Flickr: here
Twitter: Etsy Ketsy

Xo

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happenings and Going-Ons


Welcome Back!

Yesterday was rockin', I just got to let you know. ;) My Kraftin' Kimmie stamps finally came - I waited and waited and waited and waited for them, and *FINALLY* they showed up. Overall the shipping time was pretty standard, but I was so looking forward to these stamps it was just taking forEVER, it seemed.

Anyways, I promptly spread them out on my bed and Oscar decided to help. (He's a very good helper.)

I decided to stamp with Christmas Clara because I"m working on holiday cards right now for  a customer who ordered them. This is the beginning of that particular Christmas card, but I think it's going to be too big for this particular order - the order is for minis.



Here's how the minis looked before finishing.  I added a menora to the card on the left and a dradel to the card on the right.


I've also added a simple sparrow necklace to my store.



That's all for today, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Studio pictures and Notes

Hi All,
So nice of you to join me. The past couple of days in my studio I have been just playing and having a great time! I've been playing with my bombshells and using my country western pinups for the first time. I love how they turned out!

I'm still working on this one:

We'll see how it turns out! I love the blue floral paper, it's so beautiful. The only other card I've used that particular designer paper for is a Hawaiian themed thank you five pack, which turned out adorable as well. I should really make those Mahalo Cards again soon!



***


I also sold several of my cards yesterday to a boutique/spa in town called Vixen Day Spa. It's such a fun little boutique day spa! They carry upscale items for the fashion-concious woman, and I love their spa services!!! Check it out if you're in the area.

I'm having some problems uploading some photos for you to see of the holiday cards I'm making for them, but if you're interested to see them, click here.

Thanks guys! Don't forget to favorite me on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RachaelsHandmadeDesigns

Follow me on twitter: EtsyKetsy

Follow me on flickr: Etsy Ketsy.

Cheers!

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