Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Featured Etsy Seller-- Debbie Gootter Designs

Debbie is a faithful blog reader and commenter of mine, and she has a wonderful Etsy shop! I love two-toned jewelry, as well as simple metals.

What is your shop name and URL?
Debbie Gootter Designs

-Tell me two (or more!) interesting things about you. (Hobbies, achievements, favorite something-or-other, family situation, jobs, etc)
Jewelry is my business and my hobby but I also like to paint, cross-stitch and decorate. I am currently working full time in my jewelry business. My favorite color is green although you wouldn't know it by looking at my designs since I use mostly metal and clear stones.

-What do you sell in your Etsy shop?
I sell sterling silver and 14kt gold fill wire wrapped jewelry (necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings). I sometimes wrap wire over hand formed and hammered frames. I add a little bit of sparkle with the sparing use of gemstones and Swarovski crystal.

-To which Etsy Street Teams do you belong (if any)? None

-What inspires your creations?
I am inspired by modern design- circles- symmetry- textures and the different ways that I can play various colors and finishes of metal off of each other. I am inspired to be creative with the use of wire and bring it together in a clean, modern, balanced and cohesive design without soldering. I also find inspiration in other jewelry artists.

-Tell me a bit about your creative process and/or how you learned to do what you do.
My process usually starts with a question. What would be perfect with this outfit? How can I make this design better? What if I try this new technique? In an attempt to answer these questions I usually make a rough sketch or I am already working with a piece and decide to immediatly incorporate the new idea. I must have a block of time set aside to get in my "creative zone". I put some of the possible materials in front of me that might work with the design and play with them before I do any cutting or wrapping. Once I have a clear way in which to proceed I choose the stone (if any), cut all the pieces of wire that I need, and hammer any pieces that need to be hammered. I then put the whole thing together. I usually have to alter my original idea in some way or take the whole thing apart and start over. I try not to get frustrated by this part of the process- I know that it is trial and error but I so hate to waste wire! Once the stuff gets wrapped and worked it becomes hard and brittle and usually can't be used again.

-What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)?
Right now the tangle necklace is my favorite.

-Why is it your favorite? (Please provide a link)
It embodies what I am trying to create in my jewelry- casual elegance - and it incorporates gold, shiny silver and oxidized silver.

-What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
Funny- obessive/compulsive- creative

-What do you like about Etsy?
I don't sell alot of jewelry on Etsy because it has just gotten so big! One thing that I do like about it is that there is a great sense of community there. Etsy has become the nucleus of the crafting and arts community. Nearly all people that I connect with in the arts and crafts world outside of Etsy have a shop on Etsy. The forums are more alive there than any other forum that I have found on the internet. This allows you to interact, get help and be of help in real time.

-What makes your shop unique?
My shop is unique because I focus on wire wrapped and hammered jewelry in mixed metals- it's like a niche inside of a niche.

-What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?
My advice is to set up your shop and take advantage of Etsy resources and community. Many successful Etsians promote their shops outside of Etsy- through Flickr, Facebook, MySpace, blogs, giveaways, advertising and being active in other craft and business communities. I actually had a girl who I met in the forums convo me and ask me "How do people sell stuff on this site?" I replied with the same answer that I gave you above which is essentially, that you have to bring in your own business. You also have to love what you do- if you are looking to throw some stuff together and put it on Etsy in the hopes of making a quick buck the statistics are against you- there is alot of work that goes into it before you see results.

-Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations (please include a link)?
Blog- there you can find my links to Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Twitter, IndiePublic, Talent Database and LinkedIn- I love new friends and followers! I am also setting up my own website

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Planning my posts by scheduling them!

I've just now discovered how to schedule my posts on here, so that I can actually do them ahead of time. This works perfectly w/ the little one because I can do them while she's asleep, then tell Blogger when to post them. I love technology when it makes life easier. :)

Don't worry, I have posts scheduled for every day I'm on vacation next week, so you won't have to miss me or wonder if I dropped off of the face of the earth. LOL

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Little Peek into my Workshop

I'm very lucky to have a handy husband who actually loves "projects" where he can build things. After finding a ridiculous $1000+desk and table in the Pottery Barn catalog, he built me my work table. It has 9 cubbies on each side, room underneath the middle to store my scrapping bags, etc., and a large workspace on top. He also built the pegboard shelving and my L-shaped computer desk and shelves above. It's so nice now that I finally cleaned it recently and can find everything again! LOL My desk is being taken over by craft show items and a few custom orders right now ,but you get the idea.

Monday, October 27, 2008

New Toys -- Grrrrr!!!!

Let me start off by saying that I am a pretty patient person, and I do consider myself to be smarter than the average bear in regards to most things. Now, the story...

Other scrapbookers and cardmakers have been raving about ATG guns (adhesive guns) for a year or two now. I kept using my regular adhesives despite hearing how much money you save by using the ATG because you use less adhesive each time plus each refill holds so much more than other types. Well, I broke down and spent the $50ish bucks to buy the adhesive gun plus a few refills. It really is an investment to buy this ATG gun at $50ish bucks for adhesive, but I'm confident I'll save money in the long run on adhesive.

I've been playing with this thing for an hour now, and I'm just now starting to feel somewhat confident with it. I've broken the tape roll twice now and had to rethread it, had gummy adhesive on my hands and everywhere but the paper a few times, etc. I read it had a learning curve, but good lord, it's an absolute pain in the butt until you get the hang of it.

I'm feeling much better now. Anyone else have any pain in the butt stories about a new toy that you were really excited about?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Digital Holiday Cards and More!

I've dabbled in digital scrapbooking for awhile now, so I thought I'd offer some digital holiday cards this season at a portfolio building price in my Etsy shop! You get unlimited revisions until it's exactly how you've envisioned it, then I email you the file to print at the photo place of your choice. Inside of the card is your choice of greeting or note in the same color and font as the front. Need photo cards, invites, etc? More digital designs coming soon!

A few more holiday cards...

I've got some ideas in my head for a few more, but here's the latest round. I love this new FaLaLa paper from Making Memories! It's a little distressed and features great colors and patterns to mix up. Just two different variations below on the same style--bow on top or button. I'm more of a button girl, but the button card will cost more to ship since it won't fit through the flat mail machine. :(

Let me know what you think, especially those of you who like more modern cards. I need some feedback on my holiday cards, please. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Friday Feature--A Window Into Whimsy!

I know I'm a tad early, but I want to make sure that it's up early in the morning on Friday. :) I hope to continue to feature Etsy sellers each week, and I hope you enjoy meeting new shops. If you'd like to be featured, please email or convo me and let me know.

Meet Karin:

-What is your shop name and URL?

-Tell me two (or more!) interesting things about you. (Hobbies, achievements, favorite something-or-other, family situation, jobs, etc)
I was never very "crafty" or "artsy" growing up. Most of the people that have an etsy shop will tell you that they knew they started crafting when they were very young. I was always AMAZED by artists, and longed to be "one of them", but never thought I had a knack for it. When I met my now husband of almost 11 years, he encouraged me, showed me a few 'tricks' and I was amazed by how creative I could be. Now I am called an 'artisan' at local markets, and it always makes me smile.

-What do you sell in your Etsy shop?
Handcrafted purses, key fobs, and mixed media art

-To which Etsy Street Teams do you belong (if any)?
Etsy West Michigan (search etsywmi for great handmade items from the mitten!)

-What inspires your creations?
Color. I love color. It always amazes me how color can set a mood. It can soothe, excite, or frustrate. That amazes me.

-Tell me a bit about your creative process and/or how you learned to do what you do.
I am self taught at everything I make. I love to fiddle with new projects, and truly enjoy the creative process. I don't tend to like sewing patterns...I would rather figure it out myself. Usually, when I would like to try something new, I sit with my good friend Kerri, and she throws ideas out to me, and I brainstorm and decide which things to do, and how to make it my own. I owe most of the inspiration for my Mixed Media Family Tree to her. She rocks. :)

-What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)?

I love my Mixed Media Family Tree. It feels like true art to me. It is 100% made by me. No one else designed the fabric, (like with purses). I didn't use a punch, or a stencil. And I find that amazing, and wonderful.

-Why is it your favorite? (Please provide a link)

-What do you like about Etsy?
Finding other amazing artists who love to create as much as I do. Many of the people around me think I am crazy to own a sewing machine...just buy the item already made! But I love the handmade aspect, and love that with Etsy it is feasible to find something handmade for every single person on my Christmas List, even my 9 year old nephew. :)

-What makes your shop unique?
I love to put 'off' colors with one another. A lot of times, I choose a coordinating color that someone else might not choose.

-What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?
Don't give up. :) It will take a bit of time, and a lot of energy, but it is worth it!

-Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations (please include a link)?
I have a blog at It is a little bit of this and that. Sometimes it's about my kids, sometimes my hubby, and sometimes my business. It is always about things that are important to me. :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

EtsyMom Super Giveaway in November!

The Etsymom SUPERGIVEAWAY is coming! The Etsymom Street Team is prepping for the holidays by taking the time-honored tradition of gift-giving to another level! Riding the wave of unity, harmony and excitement inspired by the Etsymom Trunk Show in September, our team tossed around a few ideas about our next team event. A little idea of having a giveway, where Moms would donate an item to be given away each day of November on our blog has morphed into a SUPER GIVEAWAY!! When the call for volunteers went out we had an overwhelming response of over 60 shops willing to donate a $10.00 in value item to this cause. Two winners will be randomly chosen everday to receive one of over 50 prizes. Donations will range from an assortment of hand embroidery, vintage finds, hair clippies, baby accessories, papercrafts, earthenware pottery and more. Perfect for gift-giving! There is a little bit of everything, so whether you like trendy, shabby chic, traditional or retro styles, you're sure to find something! Don't miss this ONLINE EXTRAVAGANZA. Visit us here beginning November 1st for giveaway rules and deadlines!

My day is November 2nd in the Super Giveaway, so I'll post this again closer to that date and throughout November. Go EtsyMoms!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Trying to get some things for men ready...

I keep seeing requests for gifts for the hubby, boyfriend, brother, etc. in Etsy's alchemy section, so I've decided to come up with a few items for men to include in my shop. They've been pretty left out until this point. I think that I'm primarily going to focus on ceramic coaster sets for them (Texas Hold 'Em, Poker, football/ other sports, dogs, etc.) for now at least. I can also do any major sports team, too. Any other ideas?

Monday, October 20, 2008

The first of the new holiday/ Christmas card designs!

I'm hoping to post at least a few each day this week. My brother and future SIL are getting married in December and using ivory/ gold/ deep red for their wedding colors. I made their bridal shower invites and thank you cards in ivory cardstock w/ gold snowflakes, and those cards have inspired these new holiday cards. I think they're beautiful! Because they're handmade, I can change the colors, the greeting (if you'd prefer something other than "Peace on Earth"), from ivory to white cardstock, etc. Envelopes are handstamped to match the cards. Stamps are from Stampin' Up, Close to my Heart, and Rubber Stampede. I'm going to try for some better pictures during naptime today.

I've been tagged!

Here are the rules and my 7 facts!
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

My 7 facts:
1. I have degrees in Psychology and Education.
2. I was a 5th grade teacher before staying at home w/ my little girl. Now I can't imagine going into work every day!
3. I absolutely love fall and winter, and I can't stand summer. It's so humid here!
4. I can't stand even the smell of coffee, and I hate to kiss my hubby after he's had coffee to drink. Yuck!
5. I don't like the smell of vanilla, but my favorite candle and soap scent is warm vanilla sugar.
6. I have 2 cats, and I'm definitely not a dog person.
7. I've only lived in Ohio but never thought I'd live here as an adult. I'd love to live in either Arizona or on the east coast. I love Massachussetts!

Now to tag 7 people who I don't think have already done this. I have no idea, so I'm sorry if you've already been tagged! I'll try and add more to this list later.

Sarah --
Karin --
Tiffany --

Sunday, October 19, 2008

More new designs coming soon!

I finally finished all of the custom orders and just have to finish my future SIL's bridal shower thank you cards today, so she can write in them tomorrow and get these mailed.

Thank you so much to everyone who voted in the poll! Look for some modern holiday card designs coming soon! I'd love to know what "other" could be, as I noticed someone picked that. Any thoughts?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Featured Seller Segment--Coming Soon!

I'd like to start using Fridays to feature other Etsy sellers on my blog. I love to read these features on other blogs and have learned about several new Etsy sellers and their shops through these features. If you'd like to be featured, either post here or email me your info., and I'll add you to my list. Then, I'll send you the questions as it gets closer to your Friday. I truly believe that in the handmade movement, we have to work together and help each other out. :)

Don't forget to vote in my poll to the right and/ or leave comments on holiday cards for me below if you haven't already! I love to get new ideas and feedback from my blog readers. You're the best!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Holiday and Christmas Cards Coming Soon!

I'm working on several designs for holiday/ Christmas cards this year. Yes, I know it's not even Halloween yet, and I do still have some Halloween and Thanksgiving cards on hand. However, I'd love to get several orders for holiday cards this year. :) Gotta be optimistic, right?

Right now, I'm planning to do sets of:
--gold snowflakes on cream w/ "Peace on Earth"
--snowflakes/ general snowmen
--traditional red/ green Christmas tree or Santa cards
--more modern cards w/ funky holiday paper
--more kid-type cards w/ kid-friendly holiday papers

Please vote in the poll to the right to give me some feedback. Pictures will be coming soon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Reality TV--I can't wait until the Project Runway Finale!

I'm seriously addicted to reality tv, not sure what that says about me. I'm now dvr'ing and watching....Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, and Project Runway on top of my normal shows. I can't watch them all, so I'm way behind on my DVR watching.

Anyone else out there really excited about tonight's Project Runway finale? I'm torn between Leanne and Kato (sp?). I love the fact that Leanne seems so detail oriented and is also an Etsy seller. She seems very down to earth and has beautiful designs. I also love the fact that Kato is true to her heritage and is trying to set a great example for her little girl. Can't wait to find out tonight!

Anyone else addicted? What are your predictions? My prediction is Leanne!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lots of updated pictures from the recent craft show and my scraproom!

As promised, here are some pictures of my scrapbook room/ office/ playroom all cleaned up and organized! I've also included some of my recent craft show on Saturday. Enjoy!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Our house!

After getting ready for the big craft show on Saturday, we had a crazy week last week. We found out on Friday we would have a house showing today from 2-3. I figured that would still give me enough time to do the show on Saturday, then clean, organize, etc. the rest of the weekend. We found out yesterday that we were having a second showing today from 10-11! 2 showings in one day after a few months of nothing?

We've lived here 8 years and tried to sell 5 years ago w/ no luck. The market is awful, but we're really hoping that this means our luck might be turning around. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Win a Free Handbag on Handbag Planet

If you love free stuff (or need a holiday gift for the diva on your list), go to the new handbag planet site. To celebrate their launch they are giving away a FREE handbag every hour for 24 hours!!!

Good luck! Maybe one of us will win!

Saturday Night Special!

--Free shipping on any orders over $15!
--Save $2 on all coaster sets, so ceramic coasters are $10 and dry erase sets are $8 tonight only!
--Use code "SNS" in notes to seller!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Features

Cancer awareness is a cause that's very important to me, as cancer has impacted my family's life considerably the past few years. I've recently lost both an Aunt and Uncle to Cancer, and I'm currently offering 2 sets of breast cancer awareness and survivor ceramic coasters in my shop. For each set sold, I will donate $3 to the Stephanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research (through the James Cancer Center where both my Aunt and Uncle were treated).

These coasters were featured in several spots today as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Sassa's Etsy Treasury:
Craftsy- Homecrafted is Love:
Ilashgirls Etsy Holiday Gift Guide-Breast Cancer Awareness:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

She liked it!! She really liked it!!

My dry erase tile set has been featured on Christopher and Tia's blog after they won my giveaway a few weeks ago. It's always nice to find someone who loves something you made and wants to tell the world about it!

Here's the feature on her blog:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Living Green

I hosted my first house party today after applying and being selected at for a Better Homes and Gardens/ GreenWorks Living Green party. This got me thinking about what I currently do and would like to change to live a greener lifestyle. I found a few new things on Etsy that I'd love to get to help me!

Soap, lotions, body products from Etsy Seller Farmsteadorganics:

All are made w/ goats milk and she uses environmentally friendly packaging.

I also found some reusable vinyl "ziploc" bags on Etsy, but I can't find them now! Will keep looking and post w/ updates later today. :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Very Productive Naptime!

So the little one has had a rough time napping the last week or so because of teething and getting her incisors in on top. However, today is a good nap day!

So far, I've...
--sealed 3 sets of coasters
--added cork to the back of several sets
--completely made and finished 4 Christmas clipboards
--painted the coasters to add to the clipboards to make them countdown calendars
--posted 2 different spots to advertise for this weekend's craft show
--answered a few convo's on Etsy

and I'm still going! After yesterday's stress and not getting much time last night to work, I really needed a good naptime to work today. :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Getting Everything Done

I'm feeling a tad stressed at the moment between custom orders, getting ready for a huge craft show this weekend, and my real job of taking care of our almost 20 month old daughter. I know that this is an issue that lots of stay-at-home-Moms and most people who have their own small business deal with on a daily basis.

I try to make realistic checklists of what I need to get done each day as well as a few things I'd like to get done if I have extra time. I also try to group items together. Ex) make lots of coasters at once, make like cards or tags at once, etc.

What do you do to keep yourself on track while attempting to get everything done that you need to each day? Let's help each other out!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday Night Special!

SNS Special for 10/4/08:
*** Spend $15 US dollars or more and receive FREE shipping! Worldwide!
*** Spend $30 or more and receive FREE shipping and a FREE card!
Please put "SNS" in the notes to seller and wait to pay. I'll send you a revised invoice. :)

Great way to stock up for the holidays!

Friday, October 3, 2008

New Business Sets!

After working on several custom hangtag and price tag sets this week, I came up with this new set for my shop. It's 25 custom hangtags, price tags, and 3x3 mini notecards for your shop in your choice of colors and images. I can cut most things w/ my Cricut, so there are tons of choices available! These would make great gift cards and gift tags, too.

The larger one in the picture is a different color just to show you a larger size option.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nothing exciting here today to report

I'm just finishing up bridal shower invites from my future SIL's shower on the 18th, working on custom orders, running errands, and enjoying the beautiful fall day here in Ohio. This is my favorite season, and I'm so excited to get my sweaters out. I swear that jeans and sweaters/ fleece sweatshirts are a perfect outfit that I could wear everyday.

Not sure I'll get everything done today, but we're going to try. :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

It's My 1 Year Etsy-versary!

I joined Etsy last October 1st as a trial to just see if I could really sell my handmade items. I set up my shop, added a few items, then left it. I didn't really know what else to do on Etsy to drive traffic to my shop. My items sat in my shop until April when I finally got my first sale. Since then, I discovered Alchemy, the Forums, the Storque, etc., and my sales have steadily increased. I'm so glad that I took that initial plunge last fall!

To celebrate my Etsy-versary, I'm having a one day sale, and it's a big one! Take 20% off today only w/ code "one year" in the notes to seller. Enjoy! It's a great way to stock up on Christmas gifts or that special item you've had your eye on. Custom orders included if they're placed today.

Thanks again for helping me and supporting me throughout this last year! My Etsy friends are the best!