Tuesday, November 23, 2010

what is etsy anyway?

When people ask me where I sell my crafts I say, very excitedly, Etsy!  Often times, I have further explaining to do.  If you are not familiar with Etsy, now is your time to become acquainted...especially with the holiday season upon us!  Etsy is "the worlds most vibrant handmade marketplace"...their words, not mine, but when I was looking for a perfect description I went to one of the hosting site's pages and found that sentence, and I couldn't agree more!  Etsy is an online web hosting place where any artist or crafter can create a website for free and sell their work.  The site charges a small listing fee and a small percentage of your sales (like ebay), but it is a safe and secure way to sell your artwork and craft wares among other talented artists.  Now Etsy is a very large "community".  There are blogs, teams, chat rooms, virtual labs, forums and treasury listings (curated lists of sellers goods).  Etsy also has "featured sellers" where you can learn a lot about how to make your Etsy shop most profitable.  It definitely takes time, dedication and work...just like running any other small business or website.  

I first started my Etsy site when I was in graduate school for art education.  I needed an outlet, something to do that was fun and creative, while I was reading and writing papers all the time.  I started making vintage bottle cap pendants.  I even did a home jewelry party for someone local who saw my work at a craft fair!  After a while I grew tired of making the same things over and over, so I remembered my friend Hosanna who I worked with at Martha Stewart TV, had developed a needle felted acorn segment for a television.  She gave me a pin for Christmas, which I still wear.  I decided to make some of the felted acorn pins like she made and try selling them on Etsy.  This year, I am still making felted acorns, but I turned them into ornaments which people seem to love.  I also created some other pins which I have been needle felting.  I like to try different ideas and and always experiment with new mediums.  I have the materials for a photo transfer on fabric sitting in a box under my desk....I just need to find the time to get to it!  Here is a what Etsy calls an "Etsy mini"...it shows a sample of what is on your site...

Giving (and getting) handmade gifts at the holidays is so rewarding. I am also participating in a few artisan sales and events. If you are in the tri-state area, be sure to check them out! The Putnam Arts Council is having their 16th Annual Juried Craft Showcase and Sale from Nov 27 - Dec 19. If you are in Hoboken, NJ on Dec 13, be sure to stop by Lua for Shop til You Drop from 7 - 10 pm! And of course, if you plan to go to either of these events, I'd love to know...happy handmade shopping ♥

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Acorns, Acorns, and more Acorns!

acorn cookies by Sweet Dani B

While I am busy collecting and crafting with acorns, my BFF Daniele (Sweet Dani B, as she is known in "the business") is busy, well, making edible acorns!  She is among other things, a cookie decorator extraordinaire!  Check out her latest blog post about making these adorable acorn cookies.  There are step by step instructions.  Let me know if you give it a try.  Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away!  

Wouldn't these make sweet placecards, favors, or even look just fabulous on your dessert table?!  

Acorn caps drying from my last walk in the reservation...
might as well eat a cookie while I wait :)

Enjoy ♥

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Getting Organized

I can be very organized.  Can...being the operative word.  In the past, I have best used my organizational skills professionally.  I love to have everything over organized; really I feel it's the only way to work and jobs just get done better that way.  When I am at home however, I tend to forget some of my own advise and slightly fall down on the job.  I have been crafting a lot lately.  I do not have a studio at the moment, however I do have a large dining room table that serves as a great work space (I only need to move off when we are entertaining).  With the holidays approaching, I have been very busy making items for my Etsy site, as well as a few craft sales.  It has been great, but my supplies are getting a little out of hand.  This weekend I took some time to straighten up and put to use my organizational skills.  Now that I look back at how messy, disorganized, and chaotic my workspace was, I have no idea how I was getting anything accomplished.  A clean, tidy, and organized space not only looks good, but it makes working much more efficient and pleasurable.  

Acorn Tops - I sorted through them and removed the ones that were not best for the crafts I am working on at the moment (I saved them for use on other projects).  I also made a separate container with ones that were smaller,  this way like size caps are kept together.
Felted Balls - Arranged by color scheme and size
Wool Roving - Separated by colors in low baskets to be easily viewed
Product for Etsy - Items listed, to be listed, special orders, etc.  This can get very confusing.  I have each item layed out with a notation and try to make shipments as soon as possible!
Needle Felted Pins - New products I am developing!