Saturday, January 31, 2009

Featured Artist of the Week!

If you haven't checked out The Spotted Box blog this week, I have been the Featured Artist for this week. Yippee!!

Right above my post is a giveaway for free lotion. Now you have to go and check it out. :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday's Featured Etsy Seller--GiDu!!

I'm a few hours late in posting this today, but Friday's Featured Etsy Seller is GiDu! She has really cute cards, wedding invites and save the date cards, pendants, and more. I personally love her Save the Date cards, but don't know of anyone getting married soon. Check out her Friday Happy Hour Special!

SPECIALS - Friday Happy Hour************************************Every Friday, from 4pm to 8pm (Central Time) all items are 20% off! All buyers must write "Happy Hour" in their Notes to Seller at checkout! What a great deal!

What is your shop name and URL?
- My shop's name is GiDu and the URL is

Tell me two (or more!) interesting things about you. (Hobbies, achievements, favorite something-or-other, family situation, jobs, etc)
- I am an experienced full time graphic designer with a passion for creating arts and crafts. I love trying new crafts and I find myself dabbling in a kinds of things. I am a self taught knitter.

What do you sell in your Etsy shop?
- I sell a variety of items - jewelry, paper crafts, designs for wedding invitations.

To which Etsy Street Teams do you belong (if any)?
- I don't belong to any Street Teams at the moment.

What inspires your creations?
- I get inspired by my daily graphic design work, checking out people's blogs, reading craft books. I really love to see what other people are creating. I am always scoping out my surroundings for interesting design.

-What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)?
- My favorite item in my shop has to be my soldered pendants. They are so customizable and cute, they are my favorites. They can be vintage looking or modern, depending on the style. I have made a few for myself with old photos of my grandmother when she was young, on her wedding day. I love them.

What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
- Fun, Artistic, Determined

What do you like about Etsy?
- I love etsy because I love to be part of a community of artists. I think it's a wonderful way to get your work out online and it's a great resource.

What makes your shop unique?
- My shop is unique because I handmake everything myself. I am not selling mass produced items and I take a lot of care in the creation. I think that customer service is really important in running my shop.

What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?
- Have a blog or other website outside of etsy. It's a great way to promote. I have my etsy mini on my website and my blog so that if a customer wants to purchase an item, it goes right to the etsy shop. I also think its good to promote often and relist items as much as possible.

Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations (please include a link)?
- I have my own website (which I designed myself!): and I also have a blog:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Does anyone do home shows?

I was approached at a craft show last year by another vendor there who thought my items would do really well at a home show/ party. At that point, I hadn't really considered that avenue at all because of my daughter's age and husband's work schedule. Well, I've noticed a few Etsy shops lately that have information about their party plans, hosting an online party, etc. in their shop announcements. Apparently, guests at their "virtual party" would all have a special party code to enter in when they purchase, all sales count towards the hostess' show, then the hostess earns something (free items, free shipping, 1/2 price items, etc.). It sounds like a normal party plan show, only online. I think Tupperware or someone else does this, too.

Now the questions--Do any of you do anything like this? Does it work? Is it more for local people who know you or do you have online people have shows from a distance? What are the drawbacks?

I must say that I'm really interested in this idea. Maybe I'll convo some Etsy sellers and try to find out more.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Need a New Shop Banner, Avatar, PW ad, etc.?

Maybe you've noticed my new blog banner or the new shop banner and avatar set in my Etsy shop. I've been working with Etsy seller and fellow EtsyMom SugarElli of

She is fabulous to work with and really patient if you're not quite sure what you want. She helped me brainstorm some ideas, tried various ideas of mine to see if I liked the look, etc. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a new banner, avatar, animated ad, etc. for their shops. She also does digital birth announcements, invitations, and nursery prints!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The January Spotted Box Rocked!

I gave a short description last month, but here it is again. The Spotted Box is a box of family-oriented, eco-friendly samples from independent crafters, all packaged together and sent directly to you! Designed with the young family in mind, these handmade samples are focused on children and their mothers. It rocks!

I've sent in 60 samples for the last two months, so I received my own box in the mail both months. It has been fabulous! My almost 2-yr. old daughter now looks forward to the box and gets excited to go through it with me each time. This time, she really scored w/ 2 bags of handmade playdough from (her personal favorites) and several barrettes and hair clips. I'll include a few pictures and a description of as many things as I can find. Our box gets spread out quickly--even my husband found something this month!
Here it goes:
--2 samples of homemade playdough (orange and green) plus coupons from (will use)
--$5 gift certificate from The Melting Pot Candle Co. (already used)
--2 $5 gift certificates from (still looking through shop, but will use these, too)
--$5 gift certificate from (still looking through this shop)
--Black Pearl Pepper Seeds from (husband already claimed these to grow)
--cookie from (already gone, yum!)
--Drawstring bag from (daughter already stole and plays with this one, too)
--handpainted infant tshirt from (gave this to a friend with a newborn son--this tshirt was adorable!)
--"Love" felt hair clip from (daughter wears this already)
--hair clip from (she's got this one, too)
--barrette from (too big for her fine hair, but she likes it)
--bath salts from (definitely will use, smells great!)
--Apple Jack and Peel laundry detergent from Jenny's Simply Clean (will use this one)
--eco-friendly lavendar dryer sachet from (smell is a little strong for me, but we'll use it somewhere)
--Peppermint diaper Pail Freshner from (will definitely use this one!)
--all purpose cleaner from (will use)
--2 cards from (not my personal style of messages, but I have a few friends who will appreciate them, will use)
--stitch marker from (will look for someone to pass this one along to as I personally won't be able to use it)
--reversable potholder/ hotpad knitting pattern from (will look for someone to pass this one along to)
--zipper pull from (will use)
--lip balm from (will use)
--earrings from (will definitely wear these!)
--catnip toy from (the two cats both claimed this one early on and love it!)
--cloth wipe from (daughter uses this for her dolls)

Love, love, love The Spotted Box and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to try out some new eco-friendly items for themselves or their family!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday's Featured Etsy Seller--Ears!

I love to shop and help a cause, and this Etsy seller is donating 10% of sales through January to The Global Fund (, which is a nonprofit organization that is working to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria throughout the world. You'll find many earrings and bags, many with an ethnic feel. Make sure you read down below and check out her favorite earrings. They're amazing! Enjoy!

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)
1. I have a degree in art history, but have a terrible memory for dates, names, and facts in general (what was I thinking!). I eventually found myself with a career in museum education, which I LOVE!2. I consider myself to be a traveler, and I've taken a dip in both sides of the Atlantic (from beaches in the US and in Cameroon and Europe), but I've never seen the Pacific, or travelled anywhere in the US that is west of Pittsburgh, PA for that matter. I need to work on this!

-What do you sell in your Etsy shop?
Beautiful things for your EARS! I also have some fun totes that I make, which don't really work with the title, but I'm a craftaholic and just can't stop creating. I’m sure there will be more fun things to come in time.

-To which Etsy Street Teams do you belong (if any)?
None yet. I have been on Etsy since April 2008, but I'm just recently starting to promote and get involved in the Etsy community.

-What inspires your creations?
COLOR. I love bright bold (sometimes obnoxious) colors. Patterns are a big draw for me too. African fabrics encompass both of these things, and I use them a lot for my bags and also use them as design inspiration.

-Tell me a bit about your creative process and/or how you learned to do what you do.
My mother loves to make jewelry as a hobby, and she is skilled in everything from weaving to basket making to macramé. I sucked it all up when I was younger and always wanted to learn new crafts. I started playing around with her jewelry supply box once and fell in love with making earrings. It seemed so simple to me; make two pretty things out of just about anything, and then stick an earring hook on them! Tada! Necklaces and bracelets always frustrated me with all the hooks and clean finishing of the ends, so I stuck with earrings.The ironic part is that I was always afraid to get my ears pierced, so when I started making earrings about 5 years ago, I didn’t even have pierced ears. My sister took me to get them done on my 21st birthday. When I’m making earrings I will use all kinds of materials. I’ve made earrings out of ribbons, macramé, buttons, and more. Whatever combinations of textures, colors, and patterns appeal to me, that is what becomes an earring.

-What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)?
I have a new pair of earrings that I made with some great metal pieces I got from another Etsy shop,

-Why is it your favorite? (Please provide a link)
The textures and the shapes are what I love about these. They are a little more subtle with the only bright color being the turquoise bead, but I just think the shape is fun and the layers are what make them really interesting. Having such flat metal pieces to work with, I was able to layer horizontally, instead of the usual vertical layering that is possible when using a headpin.

-What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
Curious, Resourceful, Easygoing

-What do you like about Etsy?
The sharing. It is just such a wonderful community, and so many people are willing to help others.

-What makes your shop unique?
I think that my products have an artistic flair that some other craft items don’t. I was trained in fine art since I was very young, so I approach my work with an understanding of balance and composition and it has always made people look at my products and notice those features. Plus, I am not afraid of color and love to make bold decisions with my work.

-What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?
Make sure you are a part of the community. It makes the whole process so much more interesting and educational. There are so many people who want to know more about you and teach you more about what they do, so be sure to connect in one way or another.

-Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations (please include a link)? That is my website. It has more information about my printmaking work, which I don’t sell on Etsy, and about my studio, classes I teach, events, etc.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The excitement around this historic day

I try to focus on my business on this blog, but I do post personal items from time-to-time. I'm just so proud and excited about today's inauguration events. I really feel hopeful that the time has come for change and that Obama (and his administration) can make it happen. Just like the excitement I felt on election night, I'm sure I'll be up watching tv all day/ night again today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Birthday or Party Banners, Anyone?

As part of my new birthday/ party supplies line, I'm creating custom birthday, party, or holiday banners. These are perfect for birthdays, retirement, anniversaries, baby or bridal showers, etc., and you can customize the colors/ patterns/ personalize the name, etc. I can also create holiday banners to spell out "Love," "Happy Valentine's Day," etc. These are double matted to add durability. I'm offering a special portfolio building special to my blog readers through this Wednesday!

You can get a custom banner for only $10 through this Wednesday, just use the code "blog" in the notes to seller. I'd love to create a special banner for your next party or holiday!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday's Featured Etsy Seller--LilyQueen!!

Another great jewelry seller, recently featured in a few of Etsy's gift guides! All of the earrings in her shop are only $10 each right now!! Add her to your favorites because she may soon broaden her shop to include candles, etc. There's even a petrified dinosaur bone stone ring. How cool is that?

-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 have three adorable ferrets, Lilly (whom I named my shop after), Diesel, and Hunter. Lilly has already mastered the art of escaping her cage. I used to make soy candles and horribly miss it; I’m going to try my hand at bath and body items next. I used to make teeth out of clay for a dentist and I took a cheesy a photography class at an after school program and wont throw out my pointless certificate.

-What do you sell in your Etsy shop?
Jewelry right now, may switch over to bath & body items or just make a completely different story to carry those items.

-To which Etsy Street Teams do you belong (if any)?
CT Etsy Street Team

-What inspires your creations?
Everything and anything. Sometimes I make a story before I make the item or sometimes it gets a story while being made. My Brownie bracelet was thought of after I made it and my recently sold Honey Pot Bracelet was named and thought of before I even started.

-Tell me a bit about your creative process and/or how you learned to do what you do.
Crafting has always been my thing; I just keep bouncing from one type to another. I learned whatever I know by trial and error and reading up about it online. Plus I always thing, when you craft something by hand, there’s no right or wrong way to do something.

-What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)?
My Lilly Pad ring, recently sold as well.

-Why is it your favorite? (Please provide a link)
I hand crafted it out of sterling silver; everything was made by me, except obviously the SILVER and the BEACH GLASS. Plus, I made it just as I would like it, so when I sold it, I sold my favorite piece, and I promised myself not to make another one because I don’t want to duplicate my rings.

-What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
Quiet, creative, anxious

-What do you like about Etsy?
What’s not to love, it’s a great site, I never would have been able to sell the amount of pieces I have without etsy.
-What makes your shop unique?
Everyone’s shop is unique to them; no one else can exactly duplicate something you make. Its like finger prints, some may be similar but no two are identical.

-What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?
PERFECT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY. Just think, people cannot touch, smell, or put on your item, besides the quality of the item, the only other way you have to convince people to buy it is with your photos.

-Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations (please include a link)?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Spotted Box is on Sale Now!!!

I'll be in The Spotted Box for the next few months, and it is a fabulous way to try ecofriendly samples for Moms and babies. To read more about The Spotted Box, go to

To buy your own Spotted Box, go to . Mini boxes are only $7 each plus shipping!!

Snowed in!

I haven't blogged for a few days because there's not a whole lot to talk about right now. I will have some cute new notecards and items created with The Green Stack by DCWV. I love that there are now more recycled patterned paper options for us scrappers, and they're really cute!

Anyways, I'm just working on finishing a few things, trying to stay warm w/ the frigid wind chills that are coming and the 7 inches of snow yesterday, and playing with my ridiculously energetic almost two-year-old!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Card winners!!

I really appreciate the voting and comments that I received on the birthday card samples. Here are the winners of the free cards:

Cupcake card winner Poshmomma:
Here are your random numbers:4
Timestamp: 2009-01-13 01:48:06 UTC

Pink/ Green card winner The Point:
Here are your random numbers:2
Timestamp: 2009-01-13 01:49:06 UTC

Please convo or email me w /your choice of sentiment on the card. Thanks!

Paris Bridal Shower Invite

Saturday, January 10, 2009

If you haven't already voted, please vote! ------->

It looks like the cupcake card is going to win big! I actually came up with another cupcake design, too, so I may use that one. We'll see, but yay for cupcakes!

If you want the pink/ green one to win, please vote and help me decide the theme/ style for my daughter's upcoming 2nd birthday.

P.S. Both sets, along with coordinating party decor, with be available for sale through my Etsy shop. The pink/ brown cupcake items are starting to arrive there as we speak. I couldn't contain my excitement over new items that I love!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday's Featured Etsy Seller--AutumnRussell!!

Here's my first Friday's Featured Etsy Seller of 2009--AutumnRussell! If you like fashion and art, this shop has some amazing art pieces. Check it out!

-What is your shop name and URL
My shop name is Autumn Russell, and my website is

I am a mom to 4 girls, one set of twins! who has an obsession with Cotton Fabric! And who aims to launch a line of lovely somethings soon!I am a self taught Artist and Fashion Designer who's sole purpose is to create Original lovely works of Art and Fashion for those that are passionate about having in their possession, One of a kind Originals.

I love anything that is healthy for the mind body and soul:) And that means Fresh Air, Laughter,Organic food, Exercise, Positive books, Classical music and creating great memories with family and friends! I confess I have a weakness for Organic Bath products and Lovely Scented Candles!I won Designer of the year in 2004 in AZ out of 50 something Designers.

I don't belong to a Etsy team yet, Ive been invited, does that count?

My inspiration comes from Life, My darling girls, Moods, Emotions, Nature and of course Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly are favs.

I'll have these moments where my imagination goes crazy with all these ideas and I'm on a high trying to get them all down on paper before the moment of inspiration flys away!

My Mom taught me how to sew when very young and since then I have grown to love anything creative! I found my niche sketching I simply Love to create an idea on paper, Then seeing it come to life is amazing! I have a vivid imagination so my ideas come very quickly, almost too fast! I am very fond of Architectual Design and Home Decor, Textile Design etc! If I had the Time I would be accomplished in all of this and more! Maybe some day:)

My favorite Item in my shop that is currently for sale is,

and my favorite item that sold is,

The Butterfly is my favorite because it expresses so much detail and delicate beauty. I spent some time creating this piece and I really love how it turned out!

Three words to describe myself? hmmm.. Creative, Intuitive,Lovely:)

What do I like about Etsy? Wow, I not only like Etsy I LOVE Etsy! Number one, The complete sense of Friendliness I feel here, The customer support is fabulous, Everybody is so willing to help you all the time! It isn't cold or tacky, Very Clean and easy to use and not expensive. I could go on and on why I am so impressed with Etsy but for the most part its the Group of lovely people here! The Talent is astonishing, It's a great feeling to have it all in one place with so many brilliant people altogether!
My shop is Especially Unique because I only make and sell Originals. Nothing's ever the same.Each item has their sense of self and individuality. I love knowing that I have in my possession something that no one other has!

My advice for others selling on Etsy is this, Don't sell yourself short just because you're dying for a Sale! KNOW your WORTH and price it as such. I see too many talented Artists here that underprice their wares thinking they will get more sales, when in reality it only makes their product look cheap and less desirable.

I currently sell on no other site than Etsy. Being a very busy Mom, I keep very busy here, much less elsewhere.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Last Birthday Invite Sample---> Please Vote

Here's sample #3, the final sample. Personally, it's my least favorite of the three, but I like the look of a library card style card/ invite with a pull-out card every once in awhile. I'll keep the voting open until Sunday morning, then I need to get busy creating invites and decorations!

Please vote and help me decide. Here are all 3 samples:

My coasters are now on sale at Posh and Prim Boutique!

You may remember me posting shabby chic/ girly coaster set photos awhile back and asking for feedback. Well, they're officially for sale now exclusively at Posh and Prim Boutique!! I will only do these particular designs through this site, and with shipping only being $2.99 there for any size order, you could really stock up on ceramic coasters and get a great deal with combined shipping!
Here's the blog post that tells about my coasters:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sample #2 of my daughter's birthday invites

Today, I decided to play with pink/ green, and while it's not quite as "polished" of a look at the other sample, I really think it kind of has a Pottery Barn Kids feel to it, which I love. It has 3 layers of girly patterned paper. Let me know what you think! Someone will win one of these with your choice of saying (happy birthday, thank you, etc.)
I think it may be missing something. I like the clean lines, but I may ink the edges of the white or add something like a button, etc.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sample #1 of my daughter's birthday invites

I'm playing around with a few theme ideas for my daughter's upcoming 2nd birthday. I typically make all of the invites, some type of "favor" for the grandparents, uncle, and aunt, and a party banner. Right now, I'm thinking of doing either polka dots or cupcakes as the main theme w/ some Dora mixed in. She likes all 3 so I think I'll be safe, and the only Dora things are going to be the cake and her birthday shirt at this point. I can only do so much Dora.

Anyways, let me know your thoughts on sample #1. I really like pink/ green and pink/ brown combinations, and I really like how this one turned out. Ignore the adhesive spots please. :) Also, it didn't pick up really well, but the white cardstock says "Our Sweetie Turns 2!"
As an incentive to help me out, one lucky commenter will receive a cupcake card w/ your choice of saying on the white cardstock (Happy Birthday, etc.)!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Discovered something new!

I will admit that while I consider myself to be somewhat tech-savvy, I hate playing around with my digital camera. I finally discovered the macro setting today after my friend told me I could improve my photos that way w/ close up shots and more detail. After playing around for a few minutes, it really did improve my photos of my new items and even shows the texture on the cardstock! I'm planning to retake several photos in my shop for the new sales year.

Here's my newest listing w/ Valentine's Day gift tags (or scrapbooking embellishments, journal spots, etc.):

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009 Resolutions/ Goals

I've decided to call them goals this year instead of resolutions, and my business ones are ready to go and be tracked. I'm all about making charts, lists, etc. and keeping track of my items. :)

1. Update regularly, at least 3x per week, on Etsy, Twitter, and my Blog.
2. Continue to look for new avenues to sell my work, both online and locally.
3. Get 1-2 wholesale accounts set up/ sold
4. Keep a good record of my expenses/ profits this year and stay better organized.
5. Track my goals weekly to see where I'm at, adjust promoting etc., when necessary
6. Fill out paperwork to become a "legal" business and not merely a hobby.

Those are the main ones. Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I'm still working on my 2009 goals (I'll just break them if I call them resolutions--LOL), but I still wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a happy new year! I hope this year brings you what you desire, be that good health, money, etc.