Thursday, October 30, 2008


Over the last few weeks I've been doing lots of research into promotion techniques and other things that take up a LOT of time on-line.  Most recently, obviously, I've been working on my time management series.  It's made me realize a few things.

1. I'm good at being organized - but I've gotten out of the habit.
2. I've been thinking for a long time that I want to get more woven items in my shop - but I haven't spent much time at it lately!

The result? I'm working hard on getting on top of my personal time management skills - which I'll talk about more in my next post on the subject :P I'm also setting a goal to create and post one woven item a week. It can be in any of the styles that I know, earrings, necklace, or bracelet, but one a week! That really should be doable if I make sure to spend sometime weaving every day :) This weeks woven piece? A little something in pink and brown...I've named her Amelia. Go to the listing to read more of her story!

I'm also feeling the love this week! My friend at TiLT Creations has me as the featured seller on her treasury blog! Make sure you go and check it out :) I was also given the Uber Amazing Blog Award by Kat at Candles and Crafts and the Butterfly award by Kay at Kay's K9's! Thanks you guys, I feel very honored :)

Now technically, I'm supposed to pass these on, but I've participated in away to many of these recently so I'm not going to this time, but I do appreciate receiving them!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Time Managment - One Approach

Chocolates Daily Planner by edesse designs

If you've read any of my blogs on promotion techniques then you know that there are a LOT of things that you could be doing, right now, to promote your on-line business. Actually, you don't have to have read any of my blogs, your probably well aware with out them! Each of these promotions techniques has positives and negatives associated with them, but the one thing they all have in common is that they take TIME.  Time is precious. We only have so many hours in the day and in this internet world it's real easy to look up at the clock and realize an entire afternoon (or night!) has gone by with out realizing it!  So what's a business-savvy artist to do? Or maybe more importantly, what's an ARTIST to do? We're not always known for being the most business-minded people, after all, we're right brain thinkers! We're known for our intuitive leaps, impulsiveness, and above all, creativity. Unfortunately the reality of trying to make money off your art is that, well, sometimes we have to anchor our right brain thinking a little and venture into the world of the left brain people. I hope the following ideas help you to do that :)

The credit for this idea goes entirely to my friend Jenny of GoGoKioko :) About a week and a half ago I started a thread in the etsy forums discussing different promotion techniques. I had done my first blog post on the topic and wanted more input! So the research began.

Jenny was one of the very first people to reply and she shared with us that she has an actual promotions schedule! I LOVE the idea :) Here's what Jenny's looks like:

"I am working on not promoting willy nilly. I have a promotion schedule-
Monday- Flickr, blog, entrecard
Tues- Indypublic, Deviantart, Project Wonderful
Wed- Blog, research new promoting opportunities, entrecard
Thurs-Deviantart, Project Wonderful, update Craigslist
Fri- Blog, Flickr, entrecard, research new

I also Twitter and post on the forums (though I don't really consider either promoting, just enjoyable!)"

I'm working on figuring out my promotions schedule. I'm thinking that it's going to take awhile for me to really get it cemented, but I'm going to work on it! As I continue to update in my promotions series I'll occasionally revisit this topic and let you guys know how my schedule is developing :) Right now my schedule looks like this:

Daily activities: Responding to e-mail and messages, keeping up with my various team forum threads, Entrecard drops, post to my treasury blog, post in this blog, create, and list when I have new items! I also respond to any thing quick on project wonderful, I don't really do daily management, but if I have an ad pending I pop over quick enough to respond to it.  I also twitter through out the day, but that's kind of for fun and I only keep up with the tweets when I have time.  More info on these daily activities will be forth coming in my promotion series :)

Non-Daily Activities:
Monday: Manage Project Wonderful ads.
Friday: Post artist interview in this blog, e-mail next weeks interviewee, set up article to also post to Skwiggazine. Read Skwiggazine :P Run promo thread for teambdc.
Saturday: Update Flickr. Talk in the Etsy Forums.
Sunday: Talk in the Etsy Forums.

Right now my activities are weekend heavy because the week itself is pretty full with the rest of life. Plus I'm adding activities in as I have a chance to research them :P I tend take the time talk in the forums mostly on the weekends because that's when there seems to be the most activity and when I seem to find the threads that are the most interesting :P Technically I'm always in them with the team threads though...

Ok, so by now you may be thinking "that's fantastic for you and Jenny, but what about me?" Good question! Remember how I said yesterday that each person is different? That concept is highly applicable here! I know Jenny manages her business around being the Mom of two wonderful, active, boys. I don't have kids to worry about, and I don't have an out of the home job like many people either. What works for her, or for me, may not work for you with your full time job, or fussy little baby. Here's some ideas to get you started on tweaking your OWN daily schedule :)

1. Write down a list of everything that you currently do to promote your shop. Having troubles thinking of what your doing? Check out this post for a list of ideas :)

2. Break up your list. Separate it into items that you think are important to do daily and items that you can do maybe only a few times a week.  Carefully evaluate each item on your list as you do so.  Some of them you may be able kind of split up. A good example of that would be how I manage my project wonderful advertising. I'll go to the site to respond to any e-mail notifications of ads pending on a daily basis, but I only actually go fiddle with my ads and campaigns once a week. 

3. Don't forget the rest of your life! Your not just an artist and etsy shop , your a mom/wife/daughter/husband/son/employee/whatever! Make a list of the REST of the things in your life that you need to get done.  Both daily and things that are done weekly.

4. Compare your promotions list and your "life" list.

5. Meld the two. Don't forget to leave time to actual create and time to relax and have fun!

6. Keep the list somewhere that works for you. One idea would be to post the daily items next to your computer or work area so your daily reminded of them, and then put the "day dependent" items down in your planner.

Whew - anyone else tired? Me too! Don't worry - only one more step to go!

7. Above all, be flexible! Go back and re-evaluate your plan periodically. What's working for you? What's NOT working for you? Add things, cross things out, don't be afraid to try a new plan!

Oh yes - and I mention planners? Planners are a great thing to keep but they don't work for everyone! I use my planner for keeping track of dates and dead-lines and then use to-do lists to break down each day a little farther. Speaking of which - tomorrow's topic is on to-do lists! You didn't think I was going to go off on that tangent today did you? I could, but I think I've probably given you more than enough to think about for one day ;)

Thank you Dream Mist Crafts!

I'm quickly falling in love with Twitter - why? Because it's like having my finger on the pulse of what's going on! More on that later...

Because of Twitter I learned that Dorothy, the artist behind Dream Mist Crafts, was looking for different artists to feature on her blog. I sent her an e-mail, and woke up this morning to find myself featured on her blog! Go give the post some loving if you have the time :)

And go check out Dorothy's shop! Here's my favorite item from her shop :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Time Management - A First Quick Look

As I've been talking to people about different promoting techniques for their shop, the one thing I hear over and over again in one form or another is, "how on earth am I supposed to balance all this promoting to get my name out there and still find time to create?" I think that's great question and one that should be addressed before I spend any more time talking about how to promote your shop! We all have busy schedules, for one reason or another, and learning to manage our time well will do a lot to lower our stress loads and increase our productivity!

I have so many things I want to talk about that this is going to be a little series in and of it's own. Look at is a foundation piece for the series on promotion that I've been starting. Also, as I get farther into that series I'll end up revisiting this topic a time or two to let you know how my ideas are developing!

A few things that I think are really important to say right off the bat are these:

1. Every person is different. I'm going to try to include a lot of different ideas and quotes in here because what works fantastic for one person might not work so well for another because of personalities, life situations, or even the craft it's related too!

2. Prioritize. No matter what system you end up using to manage your time, it's really important to make sure you know what's most important and what you can let slide.

3. Forgive yourself and be flexible. You know, sometimes things happen and you just can't stick to your original plan. That's ok! If your prioritizing well then hopefully you won't find your self in to much of a bind. Be ready to adjust your day's schedule, and your week's, for those unexpected events that come up in your life.

4. Don't forget time for fun. This is important in any well-adjusted persons life, but I think in some ways it's even more so in an artists life! Why? Because your work will often be directly affected by your emotional state and your stress level. Treat yourself right, give yourself some time for fun and relaxation, and your creativity will flourish as a result.

Coming up tomorrow: Time Management - One Approach

Have YOU commented on my forum thread yet? I would love your input! I'm gathering feedback about time management techniques. Who knows? You might even end up in one of these blog posts! Check it out at:

Morning World!

Sadly, I didn't blog yesterday, but I'm not going to apologize for it! Why? Well, I had a rather busy day yesterday and my plan was to come home from running errands and blog then. Instead, I came home and my hubby and I watched a movie, and Chuck, and cuddled all evening! We needed that snuggle time so I don't feel guilty for abandoning the etsy/blogging/internet world for awhile!

My treasury closes just before 10, my time, this morning, and I'm pretty much figuring that there won't be any more sales in it at this point - so here's my closing picture of it!

I didn't get much crafting done yesterday. I spent maybe an hour weaving on a pink and brown bracelet that I hope to have finished and listed in the next day or two depending on how the rest of life is going. I'm also hoping to finally have the time to write my blog on time management :P Go check out this thread that I've started on the topic and give me your two cents! Who knows, YOU might make it into my next blog post!

Last, but not least, here's my newest creation that I posted up Sunday night:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

In Thanks :)

I like to feature other sellers in this blog, and I like to feature items that I've bought, well today it's time for a new type of feature! Today I feature one of MY buyers! Why? Well first of all, this gal is just plain awesome. :) Second of all, she deserves it! Third, I can blog about what I want to now can't I?

Her name is Annie and her shop is AnnieKints :) Yes, that's spelled funky, it was a typo when she first set up the shop and she's kept it and it certainly sets her apart! Annie is a fun and caring lady that I first met through the Eastern Washington Etsy Team that I was a part of before my recent move back to the West Side.  Last night she made her 4th set of purchases from me! Including custom orders! I've had a lot of fun working with her and it's been great to have a chance to great items specifically to please a certain customer. 

When she made her purchase last night Annie was buying into the BNR that I have running in the etsy treasury right now. This is an on-going BNR that I've been running whenever I can snag a treasury, but this has been the most successful round yet! Annie has certainly helped with that, not only did she buy from me, when she was bought from she turned right around and bought in again! Woohoo!  Here's what the BNR looked like at the beginning of this round:

7 sales later this is what it currently looks like!

Now what would a thanks to a buyer, who's also a seller on etsy, be if I didn't show case some of her work? Well it would just be silly that's what it would be! I'm featuring all pink items from her shop because now, through the end of October, all items from her October PINK sale will result in a 30% donation to the Susan G. Komen Fund! So go shop, raise support, and get some lovely items to keep you warm this winter :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Imagine My Surprise

I was doing my normal entrecard drops this morning and following my normal routine.  I try not to simply "drop and run," there are some blogs that I end up doing that too, but I do try t to read anything that's remotely interesting to me and leave comments when and where I can.  Starts building relationships you know? 

Well imagine my surprise when I stopped at Michon Jewelry's Blog and saw MY NAME! I was amazed! The artist, Leah, had read my blog about promotion and wrote her own blog post in response!  It was really cool to see the research and work I've been doing inspire someone else to think and to blog. 

I've really enjoyed starting this series, and I have a lot more I want to do! It's great to read the comments and responses that I'm getting from all of you.  I may not respond to each and everyone, but I'm loving it!

Here's a couple of my favorites from her shop :)

I love this ring!

Ocean Bracelet

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday's Featured Artist - BF BEADS!

This week instead of doing my normal interview - I'm going to showcase our Etsy Bloggers Team featured artist! This fantastic artist is behind both the shop BFbeads AND Mama's Magic Studio - and does fantastic work in both her shops! And if you want to find out more about the artist herself - go check out her blog!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What am I doing?

I was all getting ready to start blogging about specific techniques for promotion, and then I realized something, I never actually shared which techniques I'm currently using! So I modified the list, re-wrote it some, and wrote whether or not the activities listed are one's that I'm currently participating in or not.

I've also decided before I start reviewing different techniques I'm going to talk a little bit about time management and planning. So look for that blog to come soon!

Things done on Etsy itself:
Talking in the forums Yes
Listing/Re-listing Yes
Treasuries Yes
Teams yes

Advertising Sites and Venues:
Project Wonderful Ads Yes
Entrecard Yes
Craigslist Yes
ebay No

Web-sites and Networking:
Technorati No
Flickr sort of?
Indypublic No
Deviantart No
Twitter No
Myspace No
Facebook No
Facebook Ad. No
Facebook Blog Network No
weloveetsy No
Marmalade Pink No
Ning networks No
Trunkt No
YouTube Yes
Personal Web-sites No
GoogleBase sort of?
Blogcatalog No No no no
indie5collective no
stumbleupon no
indiecollective no
mybloglog no
ping-o-matic no
merchantcircle no
peganpacks no

Random on-line techniques:
Newsletter no
Include your etsy link in forum sigs. yes
Particpate in promotions yes
Become featured on blogs. yes
Include your etsy link in your e-mail sig. yes.

Blogging!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes :)

Off-line Promoting Techniques:
Carry and pass out business cards and flyers. yes
Wearing/carrying items you make. yes
Sell in locally in shops or markets. not right now
Participate in local special events. No
posting advertisements at trade shows. no
Promotional buttons No
Having your work showcased at the library or elsewhere No
Donating No
Snail-mail post cards. No
Promotional Magnets No
Signs on the side of the car. No
Promotional book marks in book stores. No
Ad space in programs (like theater) no

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Results - and the start to the Journey!

Well it's been a few days since my last post because I ended up having a pretty bad weekend - but I'm still alive and kicking so I'll rejoice in that and move on!

If you follow my blog you know I've been thinking a lot about how to promote myself and my blog. I even did a survey of sorts on Etsy! This is the final results - keep in mind I had 57 people comment on the thread - but a lot of them didn't contribute. I didn't do a final count on how many people did versus who didn't.

Etsy-related promotion:

Talking in the Forums: 7
Listing/Re-listing : 8
Treasuries: 3
Teams: 13
Sneakattacks: 1

Networking Sites:
Flickr: 14
Indypublic: 2
Deviantart: 2
Twitter: 4
Myspace: 5
Facebook: 8
Facebook Ad: 1
Facebook Blog Network: 1
Weloveetsy: 3
Marmalade pink: 1
Ning networks: 2
Trunkt: 1
Random other networks: 1

Advertising Sites/Venues:
Project Wonderful Ads: 4
Entrecard: 5
Craigslist: 1

Newsletter: 2
YouTube: 2
Personal Website: 5
GoogleBase: 2
Blogcatalog: 2 1
Various Forums with an etsy link in sig: 2
Participate in Promotions: 2
Become featured on Blogs: 2 1
E-mail Signiture: 3 2
Indie5Collective: 1
Stumpleupon: 2
E-bay: 1
Indiecollective: 1
Mybloglog: 1
Ping-o-matic: 1
Merchantcircle: 1
PaganPacks: 1

Off-line Promoting:
Carry and Pass Out Business Cards and flyers: 12
Wearing/carrying things they make: 9
Sell in Shops, local, or shows: 6
Participate in special events: 1
Posting advertisements at trade shows: 1
Slipping Business cards into books at the library: 1
Buttons: 1
Talking to the person in charge of exhibits at the library and showcase your work: 1
Donating: 3
Snail-mail postcards: 1
Magnets : 1
Signs on the side of the car: 1
Promo bookmarks left in book shops: 1
Ad space in programs (like theater): 1


I'll be mixing in posts reviewing different techniques mentioned here in the list - and possibly new one's as well! I invite you to come alone on my journey with me, give me your thoughts and ideas, and lets see what we can all do to improve our businesses!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thoughts on Promotion

If you read my blog post yesterday with guest writer babbleandblush then you already know I've been doing a lot of thought about promoting my business. I'm at a point where I have a pretty good inventory in my shop (109 items) so, while I I want to continue to create and add to that, I feel like I can also spend some time focusing on getting my name out there and building a customer base.

This is also on my mind because of the current economic state. As a person, it can be frightening, as a small business owner, it's depressing. The way I look at it I can react to the current economic situation in two ways. One, I can whine about the lack of sales in my shop right now and the fact that people have less money to spend right now. Or Two, I can do something about it.

I've decided to do something about it. Now, obviously, I can't go out there and just magically create sales. It doesn't work like that. And, as babbleandbush pointed out in yesterday's post, you need to find a productive balance between creativity and promoting. Sure, sometimes you can go out there and spend a day on the couch and drum up a bunch of sales that day. It's not fool proof though, and most of us can't live on our couches! Especially not and continue to create. So I've decided to get some research done.

As a start to this research I started a thread in the etsy forums asking what people do to promote themselves and their stores. Please go visit it and add you input! I'm still gathering data and I'd like as much input as I can possibly get! I'll be sharing my findings through this blog, so please tell your friends and help me get as much data together as I possibly can!

After one evening of chatting and talking to people this is the information I've gathered. Sorry if it's not all 100% in the right categories - some of these things I know nothing about!

Etsy-related promotion:

Talking in the Forums: 7
Listing/Re-listing : 8
Treasuries: 3
Teams: 12
Sneakattacks: 1

Networking Sites:
Flickr: 12
Indypublic: 2
Deviantart: 1
Twitter: 4
Myspace: 4
Facebook: 7
Facebook Ad: 1
Facebook Blog Network: 1
Weloveetsy: 3
Marmalade pink: 1
Ning networks: 1
Trunkt: 1
Random other networks: 1

Advertising Sites/Venues:
Project Wonderful Ads: 4
Entrecard: 5
Craigslist: 1

Newsletter: 2
YouTube: 2
Personal Website: 4
GoogleBase: 2
Blogcatalog: 2 1
Various Forums with an etsy link in sig: 1
Participate in Promotions: 2
Become featured on Blogs: 2 1
E-mail Signiture: 3 2
Indie5Collective: 1
Stumpleupon: 2
E-bay: 1
Indiecollective: 1
Mybloglog: 1
Ping-o-matic: 1

Off-line Promoting:
Carry and Pass Out Business Cards and flyers: 9
Wearing/carrying things they make: 8
Sell in Shops, local, or shows: 5
Participate in special events: 1
Posting advertisements at trade shows: 1
Slipping Business cards into books at the library: 1
Buttons: 1
Talking to the person in charge of exhibits at the library and showcase your work: 1
Donating: 3
Snail-mail postcards: 1
Magnets : 1


Again, I'm trying to collect as much data as possible, so please stop by my thread! Also, feel free to send me a message through my shop if you want to chat more, I love to talk!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Riding the Etsy Roller Coaster

Today we have a guest author on my blog! I met Babble and Blush last week when she started a thread in the etsy forums about how she made 6 sales in one day. I was, of course, intrigued! So I started chit-chatting in the thread, talking to B&B and finding out what the news was all about. I loved reading what she had to say so much that I decided to ask her to write about her experience last weekend for my blog. Enjoy reading it!

Earlier this week I wrote about how I made 6 sales in one day in my online Etsy shop ( ). Basically I camped out on the couch for most of the day in my pajamas and fuzzy socks determined to figure out the secret to making a sale on Etsy. My sales have been pitifully sporadic and I realized that
at this pace I was never going to be a top seller (or even make enough money for my weekly pig out session at Taco Bell). I therefore decided to try and step up my game. My strategy was to get myself out there as much as possible. I figured the more I was "seen" by potential buyers, the more I might sell. I spent the day (literally 8 am to 4 pm) doing
the following constructive things:

1) renewed items that were fixing to expire
2) posted new pictures in flickr groups
3) posted in the forums
4) made a treasury
5) commented on other treasuries
6) listed new items (every few hours)
7) posted in critiques and promotions

and the following non-constructive things:

1) Warned husband to "step off" so I could continue my all day obsession with Etsy
2) Lurked in a self-destructive, argumentative, downward rage spiral of a thread where I marveled at how many Etsians possess the ability to hurl an insult for no apparent reason while at the same time trying to convince you that they are only trying to help you

At 4 pm I shut down my computer and hoped for at least one sale. When I got back
on Etsy around 7:30 pm I had made 6 sales totaling about $125.00! Great right? .... well yes, but then reality hit me. Is this really what it takes to make a lot of sales on Etsy? No one could do this on a daily basis! When would you create and list new items? Package and ship orders? Promote outside Etsy? Sleep?

As I sit here eating my Steak Grilled Stuff Burrito (payed for with my hard earned couch
sitting money) I think about the ups and downs of selling on Etsy. Part of me wishes selling online was easier. The other part wonders if it was easy, would I appreciate it? Who knows. I would like to think that selling a large amount without promoting so much would be great. But thinking about it too much only manages to give me a headache.

So will I try it again? Maybe (especially if I am craving some pintos and cheese). But realistically, I still think I need to discover a much more time efficient way to increase the sales in my shop. So here I sit, busy brainstorming again to see if I can figure out this crazy
roller coaster called Etsy. If I figure out the secret I will be sure to share it with you but in the meantime I only have one question:

My sofa or yours?

Don't forget to check out her shop!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Contest Time Baby!

Who doesn't love contests? I know I do! I'm always entering them as I stumble around blogs - and one of these days I'm sure I'll even win! Fun huh?

Well, right now I'm participating in a blog contest! How does it work? Go to this blog post and go through the list of blogs you'll find there. You will need to find the 10 OrnaMonkey contest bugs and correctly identify them before October 31st! Here, I'll even help you out, here's the first one!

Here's some more info about these wonderful items! Written by the creator herself :)

"OrnaMonkeys are monkey ornaments made from felt to resemble real
species of monkeys. One monkey is released each month. Each species is
chosen for its charismatic face, interesting social habits or other
oddities which make the species unique among primates. Each monkey is
collectible and comes with a dated bio-blurb about the species and its
conservation status. The felt is eco-spun felt that is 100%
post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.

The Monkey of the Month
Club gives people a different OrnaMonkey each month for a year.
Membership spaces become available in November and are offered at a
discount. Each member who signs up before December 31 will receive
twelve 2009 OrnaMonkeys for only $99 plus S&H ($168 if purc
individually), a savings of more than 40%. Species to be included are:
lemurs, macaques, marmosets, langurs, tamarins, titi monkeys and more.
The shipping and handling fee covers the cost of shipping all 12
monkeys ($2 per monkey).

The OrnaMonkeys are a fun way to learn
more about the beautiful diversity of primates from a real
primatologist - me! In 2007 I earned a PhD in evolutionary psychology.
My research focused on mutual grooming among primates and I've taught
classes in comparative primate behavior at various universities in the
U.S. I love teaching people about primates and these little guys allow
me to reach an audience outside of a university setting."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tired and Busy

Sorry about not blogging much in the last few days.  I've been pretty tired from dealing with non-etsy life, and so I haven't had much energy to spend on writing or anything else!  I haven't been able to get to much done as far as creation goes either.  I do have a woven bracelet in brown and pink that I think you'll love and a special order that I can't wait to show off! Hopefully I'll return to normal bloggy life tomorrow :D

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm a Pretty Butterfly!

I LOVE butterfly's :) In Spanish they are called "mariposas" and it's one of my favorite words in the Spanish language.  One time when I was Mexico once we took a horse ride out to a gorgeous waterfall and there were hundreds of giant, white, butterfly's all over! They call them "servilletas" which means napkins. That's what they looked like! Giant, lacy, flying napkins.  I was enthralled :)

All this because the lovely BeadedTail nominated me for this blog award:

Look - it even has purple! Tailored made for me eh? Here's the rules of the game:

~ Put the logo on your blog.
~ Add a link to the person who awarded you.
~ Nominate 10 other blogs.
~ Add links to those blogs on yours.
~ Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

Now I don't know that I'll get 10 but here's some of my favorite blogs :)


Ok - so that's only 5 - but I know a LOT of people have been tagged in various tagging games lately and I'm tired - sorry!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Relaxation and Therapy :)

Our current etsy bloggers blog carnival is about:

1). Work: Blog about anything to do with your work (past, present or future) which is outside of Etsy.


2). Relax: Blog about what you do to relax.

I'm going to talk a little bit about both because they are rather intertwined in my life right now.  Do to severe asthma and other health problems I'm currently unable to hold a normal job.  We're looking for alternative sources of work that I could do, but for now my work is helping my husband with his job search, handling our paperwork, and keeping the house clean when I'm breathing well enough to move around.  That and running my etsy store!  I do consider this a job and I push myself hard to focus on promoting and growing my shop every day.  I take it very seriously because I know that if there's any hope of this business ever making enough to help with the bills I'm going to have to work at it!  And, we don't know at this point how much or if my health will improve, it would be really nice if the business picked up :)  Not counting on it yet - but dreaming and pushing for sure!

The jewelry business is also what I do to relax though! When I need a break from dealing with insurance companies and other paperwork that gives me a headache - I turn to the etsy forums, entrecard, and creating jewelry.  I love chit-chatting with everyone :)  Not only does it build connections that can potential lead to sells (that's my hard-nosed business woman side talking) I love the relationships that I've formed! The ladies on etsy are some of the best out there and I've really found a lot of support through them :)

Creating the jewelry itself is my ultimate relaxer and therapy.  I started up this business originally to try to support my "habit" (I sound like a druggy!).  When I started getting sick last Winter I was forced to start a life-style of sitting still - a lot.  You can't move around much when you spend hours struggling to breathe!  And I'm one of those weird people who's asthma attacks can last for hours - even all day sometimes.  So, to combat the cabin fever I was getting, I started working on learning to do the bead-weaving better.  As I cranked out more pieces, and began to work on my other jewelry mediums again, the business was born! 

So there you have it, Jewelry is my work and my relaxation therapy all in one :) Some times it's a lot of work, other times its a lot of relaxation, but I love it all the time!

Friday's Featured Artist - SeamsVictorian

This week's interview is the lovely Leanna of SeamsVictorian! I had the privilege of seeing her work in person when we both attended the First Annual Ellensburg Craft Fair - and her work is even more incredible in person than the photos manage to convey! 

1. Tell us your story, what got you started sewing? And what made you take the step to selling on-line?

I got started sewing in junior high school with the required Home Ec
class. I found it intriguing and decided to delve into it a little
more. The first thing I made on my own was a dress with a pinafore. My
two older sisters thought I did a bad job on it and took it apart to
remake it. That didn't sit well with me and I decided that no one would
ever think my sewing was bad again. As I grew up, I found that my body
shape wasn't conducive to store bought clothing. So I had to improvise.
I took apart a pair of store bought jeans and made a pattern that would
fit me. From there, I began to create patterns for all kinds of things.

I started doing custom sewing for people when I was 17. After 30
years, I decided it was time to do what I wanted to do, design clothing
and sell it. I heard about Etsy and decided that was a good place to

2. Do you make any other crafts?

Whenever I see a new craft, something inside tells me I must try it! I
love to crochet, do machine embroidery, woodworking, and jewelry to
name a few. There are so many other things I want to try, now I just
need the time!

3. What's your favorite piece you have up on etsy right now?

My favorite piece on Etsy would be the dress I call "Shalimar".  I love things that are one of a kind. This dress is definitely that!

4. Where do you do your work and what do you listen to while you work?

I have a room designated for my sewing and crafting. I have recently
found that it is not near big enough! Once the kids move out, I am sure
my space will increase dramatically. I listen to my favorite CD's or
the radio while I work. The day seems to fly by when I'm listening to

5. I know this can be a hard question to answer, but what inspires you?

I am inspired by beautiful things! I love to see pictures of antique
clothing and architecture. People used to take such great care in
making beautiful things. I would like to be known for doing that in
today's modern times. I love heavily detailed things and I think people
appreciate it when something has been thought out and crafted well.

6. Tell us one random thing about yourself!

When I am not sewing, I am probably working on a car, building
something, canning food, or cutting someone's hair! I am admittedly a

And now for a few of my favorite pieces by Leanna!

How can you help but love this corset?

I love the idea behind this!

And I just love this purple purse!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Washington State Friendship Box

I just wanted to let you all know about a fun opportunity that I've gotten to be a part of! The Washington State Friendship Box is a pretty box FULL of fun samples and products from artisans and crafters in my home state of Washington! I'm good friends with the gal who set this up and had the privilage of being one of the people that she bounced ideas off of while she was creating this :) It's only $16 and you not only get a pair of earrings from me, you get tons of other fun stuff!

Make sure when you visit the site that you check out the guest book - if you sign it you'll be entered to win a FREE box! Woohoo!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rosita's Coffee House

"I can see this necklace around the neck of a gorgeous Colombian girl
named Rosita. She works long hours in a coffee house, but she still
loves coffee so much that she even wears jewelry pieces that reflect
that love!"

The process of creation is something that varies from piece to piece.  Some come together in seconds, others take days and days of thought and playing. This was one of those pieces that took a looooong time to create.

It all started when I saw the pendant for sale at the First Ellensburg Craft Fair.  I had a booth next to GoGoKioko and I was dying to buy the pendant!  I couldn't really afford to at the time, but Jenny and I talked a lot that day, and when I contacted her to see if she wanted to trade for it, she agreed! She got a lovely pair of earrings and I got this to die for pendant!  But what was I going to do with it?  That was last August.

In wandering around etsy I had seen some beads that looked like coffee beans, and I decided I wanted to get some!  That took time, money, and a few conversations with the great artist behind crazyladybeads and I had them! 

Great, I had a wonderful pendant, some awesome beads, now what?

The necklace sat in the back of my mind for a long time.  A few weeks ago I decided that it would be perfect to use wood beads with the whole coffee theme, but at the time I had a bunch of projects going so I filed the idea away for when I had the time. 

Two nights ago I was trying to go to sleep, and again the coffee necklace came to mind.  The final pieces fell into place in my mind and I knew that this piece was finally ready to be born.  Last night I laid it all out and looked as good laid out in the real beads as it had in my head!

I think the wood beads are perfect for this piece because it highlights a South American feel to it.  That's why I've named the piece Rosita's Coffee House.  So sip your coffee, and enjoy :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Morning's Musings

Part of being a business man/woman is always looking for new ways to expand and grow your business.  That means different things for different businesses, and it's an entirely different world when you sell on the internet versus when you simply sell in a b&m (brick and morter, ie., regular store).  Then to add to the complexity, many businesses these days sell both in b&m settings (or fairs and markets) as well as on-line!  It's a lot to keep track of.  Especially if your starting your business on the side. 

I've been very fortunate to start my business during a time in my life when I'm not working.  Unfortunately that's because I have health problems  Life's been busy enough lately between my health problems and my recent move that it's difficult at times to keep up with it all! I'm working on it though :)

Yesterday I signed up for a new service to help grow traffic to my blog, and hopefully from there to my shop. works on a principal similar to the old-fashioned business card system, only modernized for today's technology! You place a widget on your blog (mine's on the right side) and other people come by and "drop" their little advertisement on your blog.  You can be found through searches and, while some will simply drop and run, odds are that some people will notice what you wrote and actually stop long enough to read!

As I started yesterday I just randomly found a bunch of blogs to stop in on.  I didn't do much more other than make sure their content wasn't objectionable.  Many (maybe all) of them returned the favor and "dropped" in on me!

Entrecard has this great feature where you can see who's stopped in on you, and then go drop in on them.  You can sort by either all of the people who've dropped in, or just the one's you haven't dropped in on that day. 

This morning I went through and stopped in on all the blogs that had visited mine.  I didn't read all of them, but I did read a lot of them! Some quite simply didn't interest me, but many of them we're pretty cool :)

I found a quote on this site that I really loved. She didn't remember who the author of the quote was, but it says, "Trust the process, it's larger than you."  Many times in the creation of art we start out with a plan in mind, often though, you don't end up where you thought you would! It's part of the fun, the magic, of creation.  Some days it feels like your only a small part of the process and the piece simply creates itself.  Other days it's lots and lots of work, but when the magic happens, there's no mistaking it :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

On the Cover!

I'm really excited today because I'm on the cover of Skwigga-zine Magazine!  They are doing a special, month long, series where they highlight different jewelry artists.  As a result - I'll be featured several times! Woohoo! They are having each artist write their own blog post and then the simply put it to the front.  For today's I featured this bracelet:

Why? Because I love the pattern and I LoVE the colors! I AM a purple freak after all :P

I also talked about the pieces I have for sale to raise breast cancer awareness and featured several of them.  BTW - if your interested - the total to donate is now up to $3.20 :D Not a lot I know, but it's a start!  And we're only 6 days in after all.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Reporting in...

At last nights meeting Mom only got a chance to talk to one lady - BUT - that one lady ordered three bracelets for herself! I just need to shorten them because she has tiny wrists :) Not a big deal.  Except for one tiny little fact.  I committed the beader's cardinal sin - I ran out of wire! Oh noes! Actually, it's not that big of a deal.  I wouldn't be able to connect with her until the middle of next week anyway and I should have a chance to get to the store long before then to pick up what I need.  The other good news is that my Mom is at a Women's Retreat this weekend and she took the rest of that batch of bracelets I had made with her! So who knows what might come of that?

So what happens when I run out of stringing wire? I start thinking of projects that require it of course!  Actually I have several other projects to work on as well - so I really should be content - but of course I want what I can't have.  My husband calls me impatient - I don't know why that would be!

Today's Product Highlight:

One of the things I want to work on with this blog is talking more about the pieces that I produce themselves.  I see this blog, indeed this business, as a work in progress and I think this is one area I could do a lot better at!  So I'm going to try and highlight different pieces, maybe not daily, but at least much more frequently :)

I started working with Memory Wire earlier this summer.  I was instantly thrilled!  It's been a great seller so far in the markets - but it hasn't seemed to have the same appeal on etsy yet.  I don't know if that's just because Etsy is slow right now, or if these are simply great impulse buys.  Either way, I enjoy making them,  so I keep working with them!

As I explain in my Memory Wire listings: "Memory wire has the fun property of being super-strong, and springing right back into shape! As a result, this bracelet will fit most wrists comfortably. It also creates the fun "multi-strand look" that is so popular these days!"

I posted up three more of these fun bracelets today.  They are all very
simple - but I'll probably doing some fancier (and more expensive)
one's in time for Christmas!  Here's just one of the one's I posted
tonight, to see the rest check out this section of my shop :)


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mother's Are Awesome

I've mentioned this project in the forum threads recently, so I decided to blog about it as well!  You see, my Mom is just plain awesome.  Why? Because not only is she buying from me, but she's going to try and sell for me this week too!  Oh - and before I go on and explain that - my mother in law is awesome too - she bought a necklace from me this week!  You may remember my candy and lace necklace, well she's now the proud owner of it :)

My Mom is going on a mission trip to Nicaragua next month and decided she wanted to order some bracelets from me to give to the interpretors as gifts.  As we talked about it I asked her if she'd be willing to pitch the idea to some of the other people going on the team - and she was enthusiastic about it!  So, tonight, when she goes to her meeting, she'll be taking along the 10 bracelets pictured below to see if anyone wants to buy them :) I'm really excited! I'll let you know how it goes :)

Thinking Pink

I talked yesterday about what I was doing in my shop to "think pink."  Well - little did I know I would be expanding on that last night!  As I announced what I was doing, and talked with others about what they were doing, I was lead to the site "Pink for October." They encourage and support people in turning their web-sites pink, even if just a little bit, in an effort to raise Breast Cancer Awareness this month! I eagerly signed up :)

Next, a friend who's avatar I had admired led me to Mana Moon Studios, the wonderful graphic artist who had created her avatar and banner.  She has a whole section on GOING PINK and I quickly found a banner and avatar set I like and purchased them!  The fun thing is a I sold a pair of earrings this morning that exactly paid for my purchase too :) Isn't it great when things work out like that?  You'll see both the avatar and banner in my shop and here on this blog!

I also listed a whole bunch of new pink items yesterday.  This one is my favorite:

But so far this one has received the most response:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness and Rose Works Jewelry

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and all over the country, people are doing their part to support this cause.  While I've never personally been affected by breast cancer in my family or closest friends, I have met people over the years who have been, and I know as a woman I too am always at risk. 

So what does that mean for my business and what does it mean for my customers?

During the month of October all sales in my shop will result in an automatic 10% (before shipping and handling) donation to the Susan G. Komen Fund.  Also, check out my Breast Cancer Awareness section, any items purchased from this section (before s&h) will result in a 25% donation!  I have a lot more to put up in the shop - so check back frequently as the month goes on!

Want to know how the donations are going? Check my shop announcement! I'll keep a running total of all monies being donated - and that includes from any sales I make outside of the shop.  Current total - $0.50 - which I know isn't a lot, but it's a START! It's only day one after all :)

Just in case your interested - here's a graph I got off of the Susan G. Komen Fund web-site on how the money is used :)