Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Shutesbury Cream Pie Cakes

The last week has been a fairly productive one for me and my shop. I have been adding new items to the store (almost) everyday! It feels good to be active in it again. It's truly amazing how many more hits my shop gets when I am listing things regularly. On that note though, the amount of jewelry on etsy is overwhelming. Generally when I list a new non-jewelry item it may get 10 hits in its first few hours. But when I list a new jewelry item it may sit for a few days before anyone clicks on it. And I have a suspicious feeling that the clicks I get on jewelry items are from people that I know (not that that is a bad thing or anything... I'm just saying that you could drown in jewelry on etsy). Sometimes I am truly amazed that I have sold any jewelry on Etsy at all!

Speaking of jewelry, there is a new product being introduced to my line of crafty crafts... Adjustable leaf necklaces are now available! And they're unisex! Check them out!


And then there were cupcakes. I made vegan "Boston vs. Brooklyn Cream Pie Cupcakes" this weekend and they were spectacular! Although, I like to think of them more as Shutesbury vs. Amherst Cream Pie Cupcakes (that's more my world). Out of the dozen or so recipes that I've tried out of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, these may make the top 3 or 4. It's amazing how close you can get to a cream custard with NO dairy! Check out how scrumptious they look... I'm in love with them.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's my party...

This week marked one more of my adventurous rotations around the sun. 27 times I've propelled myself alongside this planet through space. It's kinda funny when you think about it like that. Anyways, I got all excited about running a Birthday Sale in my shop... I have some new items listed and was hoping maybe I might pick up a small amount of traffic via the Birthday Search on Etsy. The Birthday Search just happens to be one of my favorite search engines on Etsy. I don't know why. I guess I'm sort of obsessed with making a big deal out of birthdays. So on Tuesday (my birthday) I got up early and posted that there was a 20% off sale in my shop. Just for fun, I decided to look for my avatar in the birthday search. But it wasn't there! So I double checked that my birthday was viewable in my public profile (which it was), and then I sent an email to Etsy Support explaining my predicament. I recieved a very nice email in response that explained that the system only looks for birthdays once a day and that my avatar must have been skipped somehow. So I changed my birthday to the 18th to try and run my sale a day late and on the 18th my avatar didn't show up either! I've notified Etsy about this again and they said that they would be looking into it. I should note that although I am very disapointed that my b-day got skipped by the search engine, I am once again incredibly impressed with Etsy Support. They are prompt, friendly, polite, and they do a great job at generally answering my questions. For that, I thank you Etsy. So if anyone reading this is interested in making a purchase in my store, I would be happy to extend my 20% off sale until the end of February. Just put "BIRTHDAY BLOG" in the message to seller and wait for a revised invoice before sending your money via paypal. Hooray! And Happy Birthday ME!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Heart Shaped Felt

Happy Valentine's Day! I made this little felt heart magnet about two weeks ago to give my hands something new and exciting to work on. I forgot how soothing hand-stitching can be!

~Spread LOVE~

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Whole Lotta Love

I've been crafting like mad and I have SOOO much stuff to list on etsy. It's a little overwhelming. I really don't like the picture taking process and it ends up holding me up in my shop all the time. BUT, the time has come for me to step it up a little. I lost one of my jobs recently and although it was very part time, I made really good money. I am now facing the fact that my monthly income has almost been cut in half. It's not the end of the world or anything... I've gotten pretty good at getting by on very little. But if there were ever a time to try and get my sales going on etsy, this would be it. So, if all goes as planned, in the next few weeks there will be lots of new items listed in my shop... I have 15 T-totes (new & improved!), over a dozen new wallets, tons of new Reflection Drop Earrings, Pressed Leaf Earrings, and I even have recently started making unisex Pressed Leaf Necklaces! I will also be making a second attempt at selling 1" button sets. I have a ridiculous number of pictures to take. So in honor of Valentine's Day, I will be giving my shop a whole lotta love this weekend.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

New T-Totes in '09

Yesterday I finally got a chance to try out my new idea with the T-totes. They are the tote bags that I make from old T-shirts. They were inspired by the book Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt. The author, Megan Nicolay, was my softball coach for a travel team that I played on in high school. Her younger sister Sophie was on the team too and their dad was the assistant coach. I think one of the projects in the book uses a t-shirt from a softball tournament we played in. The Nicolay's are the nicest people in the world and I am ecstatically excited about Megan's success... It couldn't have happened to a better or harder working person! Three years after the book came out I am still talking about it and finding it on end caps in book stores all over the place. Anyways... back to my T-totes... I had been making the straps on them out of t-shirt material with a strip of stabilizer in them. But that meant that the straps were pretty thick, which is good for strength but bad for my serger. When I would serge around them on the inside, I would get to the spot where the straps were and I would have to stop because the stitches wouldn't connect. I would go back with my sewing machine and straight stitch over it and then zigzag stitch below that for reinforcement. The inside of the bags didn't look as finished as I would have liked and the straps were taking me WAY too long to make. T-shirt material, aka jersey knit, is very stretchy and can be uber annoying to sew. I had made a large batch of T-totes about a year ago, maybe 25 of them, and then I never made anymore after that. There are only 2 left. I have about 75 t-shirts in my studio space that I have been collecting at thrift stores but I haven't been able to bring myself to make any more because the straps have seemed so daunting. But I have come up with a solution to this strap problem! I have ordered some cotton webbing (basically its a woven cotten strap... think of the stuff cotton belts are made of). Now, I will just be using the webbing as the straps for the bags. It sews onto the t-material so easily and my serger can go over them without any problem! And, whats even more exciting about all of this is that I think the bags can probably take a heavier load now; they seem sturdier! These bags have been a popular item for Moon & Sundries and I am excited to make lots of them for the 2009 season.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Posted Pics

I have finally gotten around to posting my pictures from the Bizarrest Little Snowflake Bazaar, which is an annual craft show that I put on in December. Every year the event features 12-15 local artisans as well as local musicians, which has included Rusty Belle since its inception. The Bizarrest Little Snowflake Bazaar is a fairly small gathering of artistic minds... the space does not allow for any more vendors. I've considered moving the show to a larger space but I am in love with the beautiful stained glass and warm cozy feeling that the Unitarian Meetinghouse provides. Maybe it's just time to start planning a second show... perhaps an outdoor event?