Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Crafty ADD Weeks 21 - 30

I've had so much fun doing my Crafty ADD posts! And one of my favorite posts of all is when I get to the end of a 10 week (approx) stretch and look back with a slide show on all I've done. It's a lot of fun to revisit my projects, frustrations, and triumphs. I hope you have fun looking at the slide show as well :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Crafty ADD #30

I know - I went two weeks with out an update, but life's been such that I wasn't getting too much done so it's not too much of a loss :P


I'm never doing this blanket again! I figured it out, the squares are so small that I'm having to tie in twice as many ends as I did when I did the first baby blanket. I do NOT like tying in ends! LOL Oh well. It's going to be pretty - so that's something at least :)

Cross Stitch

Book mark's finished! Well, ok, so in that photo it hasn't be cut out and backed yet, but Mom does that part for me (interfacing hates me) so I took a snap shot before I sent it her way :)

I'm making something for me this time! Can you tell what that is in the center? I'll give you a hint, it's an animal :P
I finished my "no thought" necklace - but not my butterfly! Hoping to finish that tonight :) I've got a lot of projects I need to get going on - so I really need to finish it up!

Here's a snap shot of my first paper beads! This is after they've been rolled, and coated with one coat of glue. They still need to have a finishing spray put on them, but it's been raining and I need to have the hubby do that outside. Once their completely done I'll start listing them online and do a post all about how I made them!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pro and Cons

Whenever you have a big decision to make it's a good idea to look at the Pro's vs the Con's. Right now, my big decision is what I'm going to do with my Artfire account. Will I keep my pro account? Or will I go basic?

The reason I'm even asking this question is that I haven't made very many sales on Artfire. It's been great when I have a commission from a friend, but other than that, there have been very few sales. Here are my thoughts...

Pros: (for staying Pro)
- No additional costs for listing or check out fees
- I'm locked in at a certain monthly fee. That won't change as long as I'm pro.
- I can issue gift certs and coupons
- I have studio categories
- My work is in more than one on-line venue
- Teams (I'll write more about that later)
- No extraneous advertising

Cons: (for staying Pro)
- A monthly fee that I'm often not earning enough to cover (from this site at least) IE - the site isn't really paying for itself as of right now.

Pros: (for going Basic)
- I'll still have no additional costs for listing or check out fees
- No monthly fee to worry about paying
- I'll still have my work in more than one online venue

Cons: (for going Basic)
- If I ever want to go Pro again I'll have to pay more per month
- No gift certs or coupons available
- No studio categories
- No teams (negligible)
- Advertising in my shop that I didn't place there.

Can you see why I'm having a hard time deciding what I want to do? There are some pretty important factors on each Pros list and each Cons list! My biggest concern is the monthly fee. Since I've signed up there have been some months I've more than covered the monthly fee with my sales, but there have been many more where the monthly fee is coming out of my sales from other locations.

However - I'm headed into the busy season with a full summer of Saturday Markets (I'm signed up for 12 weeks), so I can probably afford to keep paying the fee for awhile to give me more time to work on the shop.

I'm also concerned about losing the studio categories if I go basic. I know as a shopper I like being able to click on a category to narrow my search and I'd hate to take that away from my shop. I also don't know how I feel about them placing advertising in my shop if it's a basic account. If you have a basic Artfire account I'd love to know how that part of it is working out for you!

Teams...I listed it on the pros and cons but it's not a very big factor. I really don't like the way Artfire has the communication set up for teams and there's only one team I'd really miss....and I think I'd manage to still be a part of them any way if I wanted to :P

Right now I'm leaning towards staying Pro - but if sales don't pick up in that store soon (by the end of summer maybe?) I'll go Basic.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Markets, Paper, and Parrots....oh my!

Do you see this lovely space with a small park and great retail shops? That's where I'm going to be doing a Saturday Market this summer! I'm VERY excited! We had a meeting this morning to talk over details and it went very well. We voted on making a couple changes that make me really happy, and we got to pick our booth spaces. I've got a primo space and I'm very happy about that!

I'm also happy that it's SUNNY out today and I think I may even have gotten a wee bit of color as we sat outside and talked. Which, after two years of being sick, is nice.

Paper...I stopped at a Garage sale on the way home today and picked up four pieces of scrapping paper for a good price. I'm going to use them in making paper beads - and the money was going to charity! Oh, and the promised post about the paper making bead process should come along some time next week... I still have to buy the stuff for the very final step. It's been a busy week!

And yes, my blog title does say "Parrots!" It would be more accurate to say Parrot. As I was driving through town today I saw a man walking on the side of the road with a full sized macaw parrot. It was gorgeous and it was VERY distracting.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Necklace Discoveries

One of the current Blog Fire Carnival Themes is "Wow Necklaces" and that tickles me because I was planning on writing a post about necklaces today anyway! I chose to show of my recent creation "Spring Bubbles" because I got a TON of positive feedback, and that makes me say Wow!

The reason I'm thinking about Necklaces today is that I'm in the process of going through my inventory and getting prepared for the summer bazaar season. One step in getting ready was to reorganize how I kept my necklaces. I had been keeping them in a clear plastic box separated by layers of construction paper. I would put two or three necklaces per sheet of paper and at first that worked. Eventually, though, my inventory just grew too large. It was awkward, things began to get tangled, and it was frustrating looking through it for a specific necklace.

Today I finally pulled out some snack bags and put all my necklaces in those. This will make it much easier to find the necklaces, and no tangling! I didn't have enough of the little baggies in my drawer, so I took a walk down the hill to the little grocery store to pick up more. It's a beautiful day out today!

I was rather surprised at what I found when I counted up my necklaces after they were in bags. After all, counting was a cumbersome process before! I have 40 necklaces in my inventory between my two stores. I think that's a good start for the summer bazaar season - how about you?

Oh yes - and for anybody who read yesterday's post, this means I have one thing crossed off the list :D

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I Shouldn't Complain....

I've had a lot of things on my mind that I want to work on for my store(s), especially with Saturday Market season coming up! Only problem has been that they've all been in my mind, and I haven't written anything down. This produces a irrational panic and feeling of being completely overwhelmed because I don't really know what needs to get done! So this evening I finally sat down and made a list.

I'm still a little overwhelmed.

Right now there are 7 things on that list, several of which are going to take me a good amount of time. I used the sticky notes feature on my desktop to create my list so it's easy to find, easy to add to, and easy to delete from. I think that's one reason I hadn't written things down before, it's going to take a least a couple of weeks to get through it all (with the way my health goes) and that's a long time for me to keep a piece of paper without losing it!

So here I am, a little overwhelmed, but feeling focused and ready to get started on my projects :) And I really shouldn't complain - because this is what it means to be building a small business!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Catching Up Once Again :)

Well everything has been a little sporadic from me lately do to the medication withdrawals and the migraines from 'em...but here are my latest listings from etsy and artfire! Tell me which one is your fav and I'll give you an extra entry into my top commentators contest!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Crafty ADD #29

Last week was a mixed bag for me. I did really good the first half of the week, and then I had a really massive migraine that laid me out flat for three days. Despite that...I actually have a lot to show off! So let's dive in :)


Don't know WHY that picture turned out so...yellow. Oh well. I finished the core part of the second strip. Next I need to tie in all the ends and do the border!

Cross Stitch

It's almost done! I just need to fill in the blue on the bottom symbol. Another hours worth maybe?


I'm making paper beads! This is the very first set I made, and as you can see, I did NOT do well on some of them. This is definitely a skill with a learning curve to it! I have since made three more sets in different colors and done a little bit better each time. I didn't get a picture of those for you though. Ooops! I'll do a post just about my new paper beads where I explain the process a little bit more and you'll see the rest of them then :)

I whipped these up early last week. They are now in my consignment shop. :)

Didn't make much progress on this necklace because I spent most of my time working on my other beady project. Which is fine - because this one will be sitting there waiting for when I need something that doesn't take a lot of thought!

This is my current favorite beady project - and it's for ME! I'm using a pattern from this month's Bead and Button magazine and I can hardly wait to see it all done! I love butterfly's :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fairy Tale

This month's Etsy Bead Weavers challenge was A Fairy Tale - and I so wanted to participate! It just wasn't meant to be with how crazy last month was. Oh well, I love fairy tales and I'm sure I'll end up with some fairy tale pieces eventually anyway! Go vote for YOUR favorite at the team blog!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Prizes from OWOH

Ok - I know I'm incredibly late in putting up pictures of my One World One Heart prizes, but hey, better late than never right???

I actually won three prizes. But the third is something we are still collaborating on so I don't have any pictures of it to show off yet :)

I won this cute little blouse from Celia. You can find her blog here. I'm giving it to my niece...now I need to get it to her before she's to big for it!

I won the Kraft-i Roller from Jenn of Just Jenn Designs - and they are really affordable if your interested in buying one yourself! This is a tool for making paper beads, and I'm really excited to play with it! She even e-mailed me a free pdf with instructions on what to do. Isn't that sweet?

It might be a bit before I actually get around to making my own beads - you know me and procrastination - but I'll blog about it when I do!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Crafty ADD #28

Wow - It's been two and a half weeks since I've done an ADD post - if that's not confirmation that I've been pretty out of it, I don't know what is! I got a wee bit done in that time though...


The first strip is complete and I've gotten a start on the second. Waaaaay behind on this project!


The quote reads "Nothing is hopeless, we must hope for everything." It's just cut off by the embroidery hoop :P And it's by Madeleine L'Engle. I'm getting close on this one! Which is good - cuz it's a present :P Well that, and the next project is for ME and I want to start on it.


Another ring! I really need to get these posted on-line huh? I'm feeling pretty sick today, but I'm going to try to get at least one ring on-line by the end of the day. We'll see how I do...

This hemp necklace started out with a plan for different beads, and then I discovered that the beads didn't have a wide enough diameter! So I went shuffling through my boxes and found these beads that I'd totally forgotten about! I think they go perfect with the white hemp.

And this is my current project. I started it because it's basically "mindless" and all the other projects I have in my head right now take thought, and I just haven't had the brains to work on them lately!

The good news is I seem to be getting back into the swing of things, even though I'm still not feeling good, so hopefully this will be a more productive week on many different fronts :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Uncontrolled Chaos

What kind of artist are you? Are you the kind who is constantly getting caught up in inspiration and often forget to put things away so your area is a bit messy? Or maybe it's what other people would find messy because that's where your best inspiration comes from? Or maybe your the kind of artist who can't work unless everything is in it's proper place? Or maybe you fit into another category entirely!

I think there are a lot of stereotypes about artists. One of them is that we tend to be a bit particular about our workspace. If someone tries to "clean" it for us (or sometimes even if WE clean it) we'll end up frantic because we can't find anything any more. Or if your one of the one's who has to have everything in a particular place, if someone moves one of your tools your going to be very frustrated.

Granted, those are stereotypes, not all artists are like that, at least I assume so.

I fall into the category of the messy artist. For me it's a combination of factors. For one, I like to have my things around me in easy reach. So if I know I'm going to use something again soon I tend not to put it away. I also tend to be easily distracted. I might have the best intentions to clean something up - but then I get an idea, or an e-mail, or my hubby comes home, or I realize I'm hungry, or any number of things and what I had planned gets forgotten.

Knowing this about myself I try to make myself put away the remnants of one project before I start another, but I'm not always successful. And, honestly, I'm the most comfortable when theirs a bit of controlled chaos around me.

Unfortunately lately things have gotten to the point where they are definitely UNcontrolled chaos, and it's driving me nuts. There have been a lot of factors, depression, migraines, and not being home because my best friend was in town. Never the less, it needs to be clean! I can't get anything done any more. So that's my major crafty goal right now - to bring my crafty space back to a place where I can craft again. I'll let you know how it goes :) I have yet another migraine today, but I'm managing to work on things (like this blog post) in short bursts.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Busy, Busy

It's been another busy week and I honestly haven't gotten much crafty stuff done! I've been too tired or not home or whatever. The side-effects from the medication withdrawals are getting better though! So my sincere hope is that I'll be back to more of a "normal" schedule sometimes in the next few days :)

On of the reasons I've been so busy is because my best friend has been home for a visit, and I don't get to see her very often! She means a lot to me and I've been wearing myself out spending time with her. That's a good thing though! And well worth it :) In fact, she's coming over tonight for a movie night. I'm trying to get a few things (blogs mostly, and a little organizational stuff) before she gets here and then my plan is to crochet while we watch tv! I'm way behind on my baby blanket.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Congrats to February's Winners!

It's March - and you know what that means - it's time to announce the winners for this month!

Just a reminder of how this works: I track every comment that I receive on my blog. Then, at the end of the month, the top three commentators win prizes! Whoever wins one month is not eligible the next month to win, so sometimes it's not actually the top commentator who wins that month, because I want to give everyone a chance!

Whenever I put up a collection of my latest works promoted I give people a chance to earn extra entry's towards my commentators contest. Those extra entries are in parenthesis. And now for our winners!

1. Beaded Tail 13 (2)

2. Memories for Life 9 (1)

3. Tilt Creations 7

Now here's a few things from their shops!

And now for the fun numbers :)

Top Commentator: This Month - 13 Last Month - 15
Total Commentators: This Month 203 - Last Month - 142
Total Comments: This Month - 256- Last Month - 201

Now last months and this months numbers are totally inflated. I was part of two events that brought me extra readers during this time. First I participated in One World One Heart, and then the Bead Soup Blog party. Both were a lot of fun, and I wish I had more time to get to all the blogs because I missed quite a few of them! Oh well. There's always next time around.

I'm just hoping that this month I can blog consistently, and maybe even visit some other blogs! Trying to get off this medication is kicking my tail - and making it hard to get anything done! I have soooo many blogs and different things I'd visit if I had more energy!