Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Customer Appreciation Inspires New Listings

A while back I posted about a wedding invitation replication that I had done. I really liked the design I came up with too :) Recently I had a request for a fall invitation. I showed the replicated invitation to the bride-to-be and she loved it!

I was so excited when she emailed me these lovely photos she had taken of her invitation! The fall leaves are just beautiful with the invitation! This actually has me rethinking some of my photography as well!

And since the invitation turned out so well, I decided to add a matching guest book to my shop as well! I just love this new design and I'm glad I had the opportunity to create the replication as it stretched my design ideas and gave me new inspiration!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Earrings Are Listed!

I want to thank all my readers who gave gave input on my questions and concerns about listing my new line of jewelry. I was going to wait and list the earrings and pendants at the same time, but I'm waiting on new cords and chains to arrive, so I figured I might as well start listing my earrings :)

Engraved Hearts
So far I have 4 pair listed and I plan on adding about 1-2 new pairs per day. So far I have a set of Butterflies, Feathers, Round Hearts and Flowers. I started with my personal favorites :)
I've also been working on making some more magnets, key chains, wine charms and other small items I've been making with all this leftover wood I have accumulating! I like to be resourceful and use every bit I can, so I'm using my creativity to come up with new ideas to add to the shop!

Let me know what you think of the new earrings!
 And let me know if you have any ideas for new items I can make with small pieces of wood...I'm always looking for more ideas :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Treasury Thanks

Welcome to another edition of my Treasury Thanks! Each week I like to thank my treasury curators from the past week by featuring their treasuries as well as an item from their shop. Please help me in thanking them by clicking on their treasuries and checking out their shops :)

Eugenie of MulberryWhisper featured my Large Peacock Guest Book in her White Days Treasury! Eugenie's Bobbin Lace Collar would fit perfectly in this beautiful treasury!

Athena of LalalitaBodyCo featured my Wooden Anniversary Card in her I Love You Treasury! And speaking of love...I'm in love with this Red Velvet Cake Lip Balm!!!

Linda B of lindab142 featured my Sports Team Beer Mugs in her Holiday Shopping Treasury! Linda has tons of great holiday items in her shop including these adorable Christmas Tree Earrings!

Antiquity Travelers featured my Engraved Baby Album in their Aegean Blue Treasury! I was immediately drawn to these Mediterranean Blue Earrings in AntiquityTraveler's shop!

Kristen of BabyGeneration featured my Carved Tree Guest Book in her Trees Treasury! Kristen's shop is adorable and this Rocking Horse Baby's First Ornament would be so cute on the tree of a new mother and father!

Deb of storybeader featured my Woodland Baby Shower Guest Book in her Leaves are falling Treasury! The colors in Deb's Art Journal remind me of Fall!

  Thank you again to all my curators! You've made my week!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Features - Pet Costumes

Halloween is just around the corner! And Etsy has so many awesome and unique costumes for everyone from kids to adults and even for pets! I had so much fun looking at all the furbaby costumes! Wonder if I could convince Harley to wear one of these :)

 by hatz4brats  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Etsy Shipping Rocks!

On Tuesday I talked about how I finally signed up for Direct Checkout (DC) with Etsy. I was hesitant at first, but am loving it so far. One of the best things I found so far is the shipping labels! You don't have to be signed up for DC to use Etsy's shipping labels, but until I signed up, I was doing things the way I had always known how...through Paypal.

Well, yesterday I shipped my first item that was paid for using DC. At first I thought it was a pain because I was already logged into my Paypal account, but their purchase wasn't there. So I was forced to use Etsy's shipping. Boy am I glad I did!

First, I must say that I love that the labels have Etsy printed on them :) Paypal's labels say eBay on them and I've always hated that.
Second...I can now print First Class International shipping labels ONLINE! This was seriously the highlight of my week...maybe my whole month! I make so many trips to the post office because of international packages.Now that I can print them online, my awesome mailman will pick them up for me...woohoo!

There were only two things that I found to be a draw back to printing labels with Etsy, both of which are only minor issues. At first, I couldn't find where to print my label. It told me it was paid for, but brought me back to the invoice page. I'm used to Paypal's popup window showing my label. After I scrolled down the page, I easily found the link and was on my way. No biggie, but I thought I'd let others know who are new to Etsy labels.
The second issue was having to pay my bill before I could print my label. I originally thought I would have to pay my bill each time it reached $25, but I was happy to find out I didn't have to pay my bill until it reached $100. (I think this is different for every seller based on their activity.) It's nearing the end of the month, so my bill was getting high. Most of the time this won't be an issue.

Have you used Etsy's shipping labels yet? What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Etsy Introduces Gift Cards

I've been on the fence about joining Etsy's Direct Checkout since it started. I love Paypal and can easily manage my finances through them. But when Etsy announced that they are adding Gift Cards, I knew it was time to take the plunge! 

Etsy Gift Cards can be used in any US store that offers Direct Checkout. They work much like a mall gift certificate where you can use it in any participating shop in the mall. They are great for gift-giving and perfect for the up-coming holidays! Buy a few as gifts and your friends and family can choose their own cool handmade items!

So, why did it take me so long to offer Direct Checkout? Well, as I mentioned, I love Paypal and adding another payment option means a little more work come tax time. I'll have to pull data from two sites now. But it means another payment option for my customers, which is always good.
Also, when Direct Checkout first started, you didn't receive your money until the item shipped. This was a problem since I do so much custom work. A set of invitations might take 3-4 weeks by the time I get supplies and get the order completed. I don't like that Etsy holds that money until the item ships. (With Paypal you get your money the minute your customer pays.) Etsy recently changed this policy and the money will now be available within 24 hours of payment. This was the only way I was willing to offer Direct Checkout.

There are still a few things I don't like about Direct Checkout. If a customer pays with DC, you have to print your label through Etsy. Otherwise you can use Click-n-Ship or Ship Now through Paypal, but you have to retype the data (and take a chance of making a mistake!). Your shipping cost gets added to your Etsy bill instead of being paid every time you ship something (like it would with Paypal). I was also told that your bill can't be above $25 in order to ship an item. I haven't tried it yet, but if this is true, this will mean I'm going to have to pay my bill each time I want to ship something. I can easily have $25 worth of shipping costs in one day.

All in all, I like that Etsy is offering Gift Cards and if that means offering Direct Checkout, then I feel it is worth it to offer this to my customers. I hope this is a great success for the holidays!

 How about you, are you offering Direct Checkout? What do you think about the new Gift Cards?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Show Review

I had another great show this weekend! In fact is was my best show of the year! I can't tell you how happy that makes me :)

This is the 4th show I've taken my jewelry to and the third different set up I've tried for displaying it. I think I'm getting close to finding a lasting display. At my last show I tried a picture frame with mesh, but didn't like how it was see through and my pieces didn't stand out. I was really at a loss of what to try next when I remembered we had some old DVD organizers. They worked great!

I remade my earring cards so they had a back flap instead of just a single piece of paper. They folded over the "shelves" just great! I had room for three of these so I used one for necklaces, one for earrings and one for my new fabric jewelry. Then I laid out some necklaces on the table as well. I liked this set up pretty well. And I sold a few of each style except the fabric ones.

Here is the rest of my table set up. I also have my wooden display that holds all my scrapbooks over the left of my tables. These booths are strangely shaped. They are 5' deep by 8' long and I had two spaces. The 16' length is great, but being back to back with someone and only having 5' each is a little tough. Luckily I had a great vendor behind me and we made it work well and got to chat quite a bit at the end. I forgot to take a photo of her booth, but you can check out her Hippie Headbands on Etsy!

There are several reasons this show was such a success:
1. It's the 53rd annual show. People already have this show on their calendar to attend next year!
 2. This show is huge! There are 5 buildings full of vendors and shuttle buses taking shoppers from one location to the next!
3. It's very well organized and very well advertised. Two key aspects of a craft show.
4. I sell a variety of items. And that's what I sold...a little of this a little of that, a good mix of everything I have.
5. It's local. The vendor behind me traveled about 3 hours to come to the show. She mentioned that I knew almost everyone who walked by. This helps because then you can strike up a conversation and as you're talking, other people listen and see what you're describing. They get interested and others's a fun chain effect :) I do several shows where I'm not local, so I definitely see the difference.

I just have two shows left and both are smaller local shows. One is a new event and another is an annual event. I hope everyone participating in fall shows is having great success!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Treasury Thanks

Welcome to another edition of my Treasury Thanks! Each week I like to thank my treasury curators from the past week by featuring their treasuries as well as an item from their shop. Please help me in thanking them by clicking on their treasuries and checking out their shops :)

And LeAnn of pasqueflower featured my Woodland Baby Shower Guest Book in her Autumn Hues Treasury! If you're looking to spruce up your home this fall, LeAnn's Autumn Foliage Accent Pillow Cover 16 x 16 Fall Colors would be so pretty!

 Thank you so much ladies for featuring my work! I'm loving all the fall treasuries!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Features - Fly Me Away

As I mentioned in Tuesday's blog post, my boyfriend's cousin is getting married in Mexico in December. What I didn't mention is that Jesse and I get to go along!!!
We finally got signed up for our passports on Monday, so I've been on the lookout for a cute passport cover to go along with it :)

Here are my top four picks...

 by bambina 

 by owlsay 

Which one is your favorite?
Got any travel plans lined up? 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sports Team Coasters

I had one of those "Why didn't I think of this sooner" moments this past week! I've been making sports team coasters for my local shows and they've sold rather well every time I've taken them. And I've gotten a few custom orders at shows for different teams I don't have on hand. Why haven't I thought to add these to my Etsy Shop?!?

So yesterday afternoon, I did just that. My sports team beer mugs have done well on Etsy and I'm hoping these coasters will do well too :) They'd make great guy gifts!

One of my recent custom requests included two different teams with "Divided We Stand" on the coaster holder. I thought this was a fun option to add, so I put a note in my listing that I can customize the coasters even further with a special request like this.

Have you made/listed something before and wondered why you hadn't done it sooner! I hope I'm getting these listed at the perfect time with football in full swing :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tropical Wedding Gifts

Yesterday I showed you the tag I made for a bridal shower gift. Today I wanted to show you the cool gifts I made for the soon-to-be bride and groom.

My boyfriend's cousin is getting married in Mexico and I wanted to make her and her fiance some fun gifts that would help them remember their special day and trip. I first made them this picture frame. I engraved a palm tree and starfish along with their names and wedding information. Everyone at the shower loved it!

The night before the shower I had another great idea! So first thing Saturday morning I went to work on this fun little ornament! The bride's last name is Palmquist and her nickname has always been "Palmtree". And since they're getting married in Mexico...what better gift to give :)
I had a lot of fun creating this ornament! I personalized it on the front and back and hung it from the front of the present along with the gift tag.

 Of course the couple was registered at a some stores, but I just can't pass up an opportunity to make something special for people I love :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Playing with Fabrics

About a month ago I was the lucky winner at Duni's blog! She was so kind to offer a 20euro gift certificate to her Fabric Shoppe! As most of my readers know, I'm no seamstress. But even for someone who works mainly with wood, glass and paper, these fabrics were such a delight! I had such a hard time deciding which fabrics to choose!

Duni wrapped my fabrics up like a pretty package complete with a sweet note and even a surprise...the pretty pink pencil :) What was inside was even better! Fabrics in pink, teal and aqua...some of my favorite colors!

I waited a while to blog about my winnings because I wanted the chance to make some fun projects with the fabrics first. The first thing that came to mind was jewelry! I made a matching necklace and earring set out of the pretty pink fabric. I cut a small piece of fabric and glued it too some wood with Mod Podge. I then cut the circles with my laser. Next I tried a couple different techniques to finish the pieces. I first tried a gel medium, but wasn't happy with the results since I wanted just the top and sides coated...turned into a bit of a mess! So I went with another coat of Mod Podge. Sealed them well and gave them a nice finish. The back side still has a wood finish.

I went to a bridal shower over the weekend and needed a card to go with my gift. I remembered this really cool technique that Nancy had shown on her blog with fabric and paper. Of course Nancy's tags turned out way better than mine, but I still had fun making this tag :) I decided to hand stitch this one since it would be quicker to do it by hand than relearn how to use my sewing machine! But if I ever make more...I'll use the machine! It was a couple flaws, but it's still "sew cute"!
(I'll show you the cool gifts I made for the shower tomorrow!)

 Thanks so much Duni for the lovely fabrics! I'm having fun with them and can't wait to find more projects to use them for!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Treasury Thanks

Welcome to another edition of my Treasury Thanks! Each week I like to thank my treasury curators from the past week by featuring their treasuries as well as an item from their shop. Please help me in thanking them by clicking on their treasuries and checking out their shops :)

Kathy of tapestry316 featured my Woodland Baby Shower Guest Book in her Crisp cool mornings and crunchy leaves falling - Welcome to Fall Treasury! Kathy's beautiful horse paintings are great for any season! Her painting of Crystal is one of my favorites :)

Irene of dimdi also featured my Woodland Baby Shower Guest Book in her woodland party Treasury! And I must way that this might just be the cutest treasury ever! And if you like the woodland theme...Irene's shop is the place to go! Her shop is full of beautiful watercolors like this Squirrel!

 Thank you for featuring my work made my week!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Features - Stress Relief

If you read my post on Monday, you know last weekend was a little crazy and stressful! And this week has been a little bit the same! Thank goodness things have seemed to calm down :)
I thought today's features would be the perfect way to show you how I destress when things get hectic.

I'm a sucker for a hot relaxing bath! We don't have a hot tub, so it's the next best thing :)
And this sign says it all! 

And I love to unwind with a nice glass of wine :) These glasses would make my wine taste even better!

The smells of lavender and vanilla are two of my favorites and are both calming scents. This lotion is perfect for after a bath!

And what better way to unwind than with great music! Certain songs can take my mind off everything!


How do you unwind?
I hope everyone has a stress-free weeknend :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...