Saturday, October 31, 2009

My New Widget/Gadget

HI everyone! Came across this upside down sleeping kitty, and thought I'd add it for laughs. And I just added this new widget/gadget (what's the difference? Too technical I'm sure) at the left, to count my visitors. I'm pretty excited about it. I'm hoping I'll be able to lure advertisers to my blog because of all the traffic - hahaha. Thanks for looking, and please fell free to comment and check out my shop. I'm busy sewing on my (sigh) beautiful powerful brand new Brother machine, as used in Project Runway. Does anyone else watch PR? I'm disappointed with this season, but still watch faithfully- it's as addictive as pistachio nuts.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Made by Melissa

I recently was accepted by the Etsy Bloggers Team - very cool and I thank them very much. As a team member one of my responsiblities is to blog about another team member, who is the current "featured artist of the month". October's featured artist is Made by Melissa. You can see her shop at She opened her shop in 2006 and has over 300 sales and 100% positive feedback. Way to go Melissa! She makes lovely jewelry and crocheted pieces. I know it's a little late, but she has some pretty cool Halloween items, including earrings and pendants. Here are a few things that I liked. Check out her store and find what you like!

I am still struggling with the technicalities of blogging, like how the heck do I upload Melissa's pictures to my blog? Soooo frustrating. Please copy the links below to view my favorites things in her shop, and I'm very sorry for the inconvenience.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I'm dating myself here, but do you remember a good old song by Chuck Berry about turning in his broken-down raggedy Ford for a new Cadillac? I think the song was titled "No Money Down". That's how I feel about my new Brother sewing machine. I couldn't get a trade-in for my Kenmore, but I do now have a beautiful new Cadillac - a Brother Pacesetter 3700, on sale. It is gorgeous, so smooth and powerful. The threading and bobbin are a little different from what I'm used to, but as my father says "If all else fails follow directions", so I did, and made some cute little coasters. See the saga below:







All in all, the adventure was successful and the mission accomplished. I now feel I have a professional machine that won't give me trouble, and I can make more beautiful things to sell.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Insights Into a Buyer

In my never-ending quest for sales, I went on the hunt for an actual etsy buyer and found muffin104, AKA Michelle, who very nicely agreed to be queried regarding her purchasing habits. She responded with details and allowed me to publish her interview on this, my blog. I edited it a little for brevity, and now present to you my readers, Insights Into a Buyer.

How did you hear about Etsy?
I first learned about Etsy via flickr. I was searching for some images of vintage jewelry and dresses. Some of my search results came from Etsy folks who had posted photos of their items on flickr. They had links to their Etsy stores, and I followed them, and discovered this wonderful place that I never knew existed.

What draws you to a particular shop?
When I browse Etsy, I usually do it with something specific in mind. For instance, I might be looking for earrings that use a certain color or texture of beads, or I’d like a home product that smells like cedar, or a light blue toile tablecloth. I focus on the tags of the sellers to find what I'm looking for, so the more exhaustive your descriptive tags, the more people are apt to be able to find you.

(Look, look, a light blue toile tablecloth!!!!!)

How often do you surf Etsy?
Three or four times a day, for 15 or 20 minutes at a time. But, if I’m really looking for something in particular, I might leave the site up on my laptop at home, and jump on and off all evening.

What do you buy, and why?
So far, I’ve purchased mostly jewelry, with a few t-shirts and “for-the-home” items sprinkled in. The jewelry items were things I purchased for myself, because I work in a very visible job, and I wanted to spruce up my look a little bit. I’m pretty much the anti-Christ of “fashion”, but I do enjoy necklaces and earrings that are eclectic, one-of-a-kind, and beautiful.

How much do you spend? What’s your budget?
When I buy jewelry on Etsy, I try not to exceed $30 for a pair of earrings or a necklace. With handsewn items, of course, I expect to pay more, especially if a higher quality fabric is used.

Do you buy from the same seller? Do you go back to that same store to see new listings?
If I order something from an artist, and I’m pleased with the results – they’ve probably gained a customer for life. In fact, there’s one woman in Belgium from whom I’ve purchased so many things, I think I’m helping to pay her mortgage! I also tend to stash lots of items from sellers that I like in my “faves” bin. I may not be able to purchase them right away, but even if someone else buys them, I still have the “favorite” as a reminder, and I can go back to a seller later and ask if they have, or can make, another similar item.

Have you ever been burned by a sale, had to deal with an unpleasant seller?
No, thank goodness. I’ve been disappointed with items that I received, but I told the sellers, and they offered to make the situation right. Etsy isn’t eBay – I don’t think it’s prone to unscrupulous sellers who prowl the internet, looking to defraud customers with knock-off Prada bags. If you’re an arch villain, there are probably quicker, easier ways to make a buck than making sub-standard hand-knitted scarves.

Any advice for new Etsy buyers?
Well, a couple of things … #1 be patient and keep your perspective. While some Etsy artists make their livelihood from their sales, others have second- or “day” jobs. Before you lash out at a seller, consider a few things – it’s a blouse or a piece of jewelry, not blood plasma. Even if it’s a wedding item, if you’ve ordered within a reasonable amount of time, you should be fine. Most Etsy items are handmade, and require some skill and creativity. If you’re really feeling antsy, just contact the seller via “conversations” and ask for a status update.
#2 I’m thinking specifically of American buyers here, but I suppose this applies to everyone – don’t be afraid to purchase from artists outside the U.S./your home country. Check feedback, make sure you’re familiar with delivery policies, but don’t deny yourself the pleasure of some truly beautiful items because of an international transaction.

I like this woman's attitude - "there are probably quicker, easier ways to make a buck than making sub-standard hand-knitted scarves"; "it’s a blouse or a piece of jewelry, not blood plasma". Also, I like her advise: "don’t be afraid to purchase from artists outside the U.S./your home country"; "the more exhaustive your descriptive tags, the more people are apt to be able to find you" and my personal favorite "If I order something from an artist, and I’m pleased with the results – they’ve probably gained a customer for life", and that is what we are looking for, yes? A loyal return customer who will recommend your goods to her friends and family, and help build our businesses. You can go to muffin104's etsy site and click on her Favorites to see the kinds of things she buys, and the kinds of shops she supports.

Thank you so much Michlle for your advise and insights into an acutal etsy buyer!

Friday, October 9, 2009


I did a crafts show on Thursday Oct 8, called the 9th Annual Women's Expo, held at a library in Centereach, on Long Island. Boy, did I have fun! Boy, was it exhausting! This was my first show, so I was nervous and spent a long time thinking about my set-up, and preparing for the event. To display my larger pieces, like the bedspreads, I bought a laundry drying rack so I could drape them without taking up a lot of table space.


I arrived in good time. There were volunteers who helped unload my car and take my stuff to my space - I know! I think I was spoiled! I know this won't happen often. The Expo provided tables and plastic sheets to cover, and I started setting up.

This is my display. I draped one toile tablecloth over the front edge of the table to hide stuff under the table, and to catch eyes and show what my goods were about, and then arranged my items artistically, playing off colors and textures to maximize their effect.


MAY I HELP YOU? I sold this piece. Yippee!



I did pretty well, sold several tablecloths, 2 mats, all the lavendar sachets and an apron. Made enough to cover the entry fee, plus a modest profit. I made new friends, and was invited to a couple of other shows. It was a great learning experience as well. I need more items for $30 - that seemed to be the high price point. And, I need a LOT of aprons. All the ladies of a "certain age" loved the one and only blue toile apron I had, and wanted other colors. The apron was my first sale. I have plenty of toile and other cotton prints, and must start sewing again to replenish my inventory. WHAT A GREAT TIME I HAD!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Heart and Mind: TREAURY

My Heart and Mind: TREAURY


A really nice etsian is helping promote us crafters with low sales, and included me in her latest treasury at Thank you Goblet! Please look and comment, thank you very much.
This is what is featured:

Sunday, October 4, 2009


It is DONE! Thank goodness, the blue floral bedspread is complete and gorgeous if I do say so myself (blush). I relisted it on etsy, with new photos.

My machine is back from the shop, and I'm still not happy with it. I bought an inexpensive Kenmore model about 2 years ago, not knowing how serious I was about sewing. Now that I'm relying on my products to support me and pay my bills, my machine is critical, and I believe I need to buy a professional model. I watch Project Runway, and notice all their machines are Brother models. The problem with my Kenmore is that there I am, sewing along, and suddenly BAM! the thread spool sort of jumps and I have a tangle of threads in shuttle race. Harumph. Why does it do that? Does anyone else know what I'm talking about? It's a serious pain in the neck and slows me right down to zero while I take the shuttle apart and put it back together. Argh. So frustrating.

I'd really appreciate anyone's advise in this matter. Can you recommend a different machine? Or can you tell me what I'm doing wrong so this will stop happening to me? Thanks a lot for any and all input - I will be reading all comments, eagerly seeking solutions.