Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Get Ready... Get Set....


Starting Friday, November 28 ("Black Friday") through Monday, December 1 ("Cyber Monday") I am running a store-wide sale in my Etsy shop. The sale is part of a large promotion headed by EtsyBloggers. There are over 50 Etsy shops taking part in one way or another. Visit here for a list of the shops.

So here's the lowdown on the sale:

Buy 1 item - get 10% off
Buy 2 items - get 15% off
Buy 3 or more items - get 20% off
In addition, I am offering free shipping for all orders of $75 or more

Have you been looking at something special in my shop? Now's the time to buy!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Time for a Winner!

I'm a day late in selecting and publishing a winner for my EtsyGreetings Blog Carnival Giveaway, but I know you're aware that there have been other things on my mind.

Anyway, I'd like to thank everyone who commented -- I had the best time reading your comments! They were very interesting.... and educational. I had thought there might be more of a "favorite" item in the shop, but your interests and choices were pretty varied.

I often wonder if my shop is too disjointed -- that I have too many different sorts of things for sale. And I really love it when a shop has a cohesive look to it. But, unfortunately, that's just not how I work. I need to make lots of different things -- it's what makes me happy. And, in the long run, that's one of the main reasons I have the shop. It funds my art/craft addiction, but even more than that, it gives me an outlet for the artwork that something inside of me compels me to produce. And makes me happy.

I've been thinking about opening a new shop, probably to house the hand carved rubber stamps that I make. And that would help a bit. But it wouldn't solve the problem. I can't open 4 or 6 or 8 different shops!

I have hopes that Etsy will someday (soon?) offer more options on how to organize a shop. At this point you can put items in "Sections," but the initial view of the shop shows everything in basically a hodge-podge fashion. You have the option of sorting by price or when the item was posted, but no other way. I'd love to be able to move the items around to make the shop make sense organizationally and to be more pleasing to the eye.

Anyway.... back to the giveaway! I let make the decision.......

..... and the winner is..... #11! (Lana) Congratulations, Lana! I'll be contacting you to get your address. And thanks to everyone who took the time to enter!

Here is your sequence:

  • 11
  • 2
  • 18
  • 13
  • 25
  • 6
  • 3
  • 21
  • 26
  • 28
  • 4
  • 9
  • 16
  • 29
  • 19
  • 24
  • 17
  • 12
  • 14
  • 7
  • 5
  • 10
  • 23
  • 15
  • 22
  • 1
  • 20
  • 8
  • 27

Timestamp: 2008-11-26 00:49:38 UTC

Manic Monday #143

Do you ever talk to yourself out loud? What do you talk about?
Sadly, all the time. I talk to myself in the car and occasionally find that I'm talking to myself in shops. Generally I just make observations out loud rather than keeping them in my head... (although I usually say them quietly)

What stresses you out?
Problems that I can't fix. Things that aren't working properly that I can't control. Short deadlines for something that won't be done in time. Lately I find that I get stress headaches quite easily. If I'm under deep stress, you can be guaranteed that I'll have a stress headache. It's quite different from my usual headaches (sinus related). It feels like a clamp tightening around my head, and sometimes at the back of my neck. What a lovely thing to develop.... sheesh!

What are your secret talents?
Cooking. Organization. Taking charge of things and seeing them through to completion.

I'm not sure these are secrets. I guess it depends on what part of my life you know me from whether they're a secret or not.

Monday, November 24, 2008

R.I.P. Ella Mae

My dear mother-in-law passed away last night after a long battle with cancer.

Born into a large Norwegian farm family in a small town in North Dakota, she was was one of the strongest women I've ever known. Smart and independent, she had a wicked dry sense of humor that I see (and enjoy) in her son and her grandson.

At these times you want to look at the good side of things, and right now they're pretty easy to find. She was a lovely woman, gracious and considerate, raising my husband to be silly and tender and loving.

Cancer can be horribly nasty, but blessedly she was spared from some of its nastiest parts. It certainly wasn't an easy time, but she was able to stay in her home (by herself) until just a few weeks ago. Once she moved out, we planned to share her between Bob's sister's home and ours. She never got that far. She started declining pretty much right away until she finally slipped away last night. It was exactly what she wanted -- quick and without pain and barely a burden on anyone around her.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My New Favorite Shopping Bag

A few weeks ago I was pleased to find out that I had won a giveaway through Funky Finds. The prize? A made-to-order shopping bag from InkaFinland. She has shops with Funky Finds and Etsy.

Some of you may know that I'm a huge fan of reusable shopping bags. My lifetime total of morsbags is currently 31 (although I've given almost all of them away). So, yep, I know my shopping bags. And this one is exceptional.

The fabric is lovely, cotton probably, and fine, strong, and smooth. The "shopping list" that is stamped on the outside of the bag is made to order. Mine reads:
soy milk
ice cream
positive thinking
more chocolate

I mostly went with the list she had on the bag shown in her Funky Finds shop, but with a few individual changes. And I opted "in" for her to add a string of vintage-looking black buttons along the top.

I gave it a test-drive today. It was perfect. Useful and stylish. What more could I ask for? Thanks InkaFinland!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

EtsyBloggers: Blog Carnival

As part of my membership in EtsyBloggers (an Etsy street team), I am asked to blog twice a month about specific topics. The current topic is:

How are you going to prepare your business for the holiday rush?

Honestly, I'm not sure how much "rush" I'll see. :) Sales in my Etsy shop have gone up a bit lately and I hope to see them continue like this. However, I probably won't ever really feel rushed. (It would be very fun to have that problem.)

That being said, here's what I've been doing in preparation for the holiday season....

* Adding more merchandise to the shop. I'm currently up to 83 items for sale. And I'll like to make (and then add) a few more each week as we get closer to Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice.

* I added another colorway for one of my favorite items -- the "Gather 'Round The Aluminum Tree" Christmas/winter cards. I love this combination of aqua and lime/chartreuse.

* I'll be participating in a big sale through the EtsyBloggers team. So if you've been thinking about making a purchase, you might want to wait a week or so. The sale will run from Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) through Cyber Monday (December 1). Stay tuned for more details!

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's Carnival Time!

The EtsyGreetings street team is holding a Blog Carnival this week. Visit their blog to find out about 15 (or more) giveaways. Sign up to win!

Winemakerssister Giveaway

To participate in my giveaway, just take a look at my Etsy shop. Pick an item that you'd like to add to your own gift list, or one that would be perfect for someone on your list. Comment on it below.

Simple as that. I'll run this through Monday, November 24. At that time, I'll put all the names in a hat and draw out the winner.

The winner gets a 4-pack of my Gnome notecards.

One entry per person. Spread the word!

Manic Monday #142

Do you believe people are basically good?
Yes. Although, sadly, I do believe that there are a few people who are fundamentally evil.

If you could change the custom of shaking hands, what would you replace it with?Hugs. I grew up in a household without much hugging. I wish I was better at hugging without having to think about it. ........Or how about spontaneous homemade cookie exchanges? :) (The world would probably be a much happier place!)

What is something that you enjoy that is a chore for most other people? Weeding. I love to weed the garden... although I often don't have enough time to keep it up-to-date. I love the look of a freshly weeded bed.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"With A Little Help From My Friends..."

I created this treasury last night with art from some friends on Etsy. It's always interesting to see how it evolves. I generally start out with a general idea of color and style, but it often takes on a life of its own.

It was amazing to see this treasury take shape. I started with an idea of light blue and red (after choosing thelittlereddoor's piece) and that ended up being perfect. The nice thing was that it also took on a nice whimsical feel to it.

The only sad thing was that I didn't have enough room for everyone that I wanted to include.

I just love the look of this... and each individual component!

To visit the shops:

Not shown:

500 Hearts

I hadn't checked my "hearts" (a listing of people who have added my shop to their Favorites) in a little while... and yet something made me do it just now. I'm currently at 503 hearts -- I hit the 500 mark yesterday!

I know it's not a lot compared with some sellers, but it's very fun to hit this milestone. Thanks, everyone!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just Listed in the Etsy Shop

I spend a good chunk of time yesterday making these rubber stamps and listing everything in the Etsy shop. Listing things takes quite a bit of time -- taking photographs, tweaking them in Photoshop, writing the description, writing the listing.... I often wonder how some shops can do so many one-of-a-kind items.

I love the rubber stamps! It seems like they'd be great used on correspondence, packages, recipe cards.... wherever. A fun way to state your priorities. :)

The new drawstring bag is also celebrating cupcakes. I made one to angel someone in the Starbucks & Yarn Swap -- she loves cupcakes, aqua, pink. So it seemed logical to make another for the shop. It's lovely cotton fabric designed by Martha Neigly and then lined with turquoise linen. It would make a fun handbag or a great knitting bag.

I did these journals years ago for an art fair -- probably one of the last times I did the Ann Arbor Art Fair. I did a whole bunch of them and recently found the ones that were left. Thought I'd put them in the shop and get them out to folks who would use them.

So that's what's new in!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I was just tagged by throughtherainbow. Here's the lowdown:

THE RULES: *Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog. *Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.*Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their name as well as links to their blog. *Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I'm supposed to be on vacation this week, but have worked part of the day on Saturday, Sunday, and today. They're starting to make jokes at work about me flying back and forth to the Caribbean.
2. I never had a cat as a child but now I can't live without them.
3. One of the things I had to have when we built our house was a soaking bathtub. You can fill it with water almost up to your neck.
4. I'm currently felting a totebag I knit as a Christmas gift for my sister. It's agitating in the washer as I type.
5. I've been a vegetarian all my adult life (since I was in college).
6. My two favorite sweet flavors are chocolate and maple.
7. My goal this week is to clean my art room. It hasn't happened yet.

Time to tag some others.... I think I'll visit some blogs owned by my new EtsyBloggers comrades:

Lucky Ladybug Designs
Beaded Tail
RoseWorks Jewelry
Homemade Originals
Mies Mama
Dorset Hill Beads
Unique Commodities

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Secret Pal Revealed

After spending much of the summer receiving fabulous packages from my SP12 Secret Pal, her final package arrived on Saturday. Since it was such an insane day (5 buses totaling about 260 people in addition to the usual customers), it's taken me a little while to get a photo to share.

But take a look at the great loot! You can tell she had fun gathering goodies for me.

My Secret Pal, Lynda, drives a truck with her husband. She spends most of the time on the road. (What a great opportunity to knit, knit, knit!) I suspect she picked things up for me along the way. Isn't that wonderful?

I had a great time unpacking everything. She had wrapped all the goodies so it was like Christmas In a Box. She did a great job! The yarn is a gorgeous brick red. She suggests I use it to knit a Lucy Bag, a bag I've wanted to knit for a while. Sounds like a good idea!

I'm drinking tea from the big, gorgeous Starbucks mug right now. And look at all the other goodies: a handknit wine cozy, a cute sheep ornament, a candle holder and votives, lots of pretty little bits of paper..... thanks so much, Lynda. You've been a wonderful spoiler!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Often when you make a purchase from an Etsy seller, they send you a little extra something to thank you for your patronage. Perhaps the most creative langniappe* comes from storybeader. With every purchase from her shop, Deb promises to send a haiku written specifically for that piece. How wonderful and creative is that?

Deb, and her Etsy shop, storybeader, is the focus of November's EtsyBloggers' Featured Artist.

Deb's work has a lush, Southwest flavor. Lots of turquoise. Fetishes. Native American images. It's not surprising to find that she lives in Oklahoma. Her work speaks of the land and people of the Great Plains.

About her haikus, she writes:
"I'm a frustrated writer who likes to put words and colors together to make wearable art. How do you wear words, you ask? I suppose my haiki poems can float around in your brain as you sashay down the lane, wearing one of my necklaces."

What a great idea for a gift! A beautiful necklace and a one-of-a-kind haiku written especially for it.

*langniappe: from the Louisiana French for a little something extra. The idea behind a baker's dozen.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I just joined EtsyBloggers. It's a very active Etsy Street Team -- I've encountered their members all over the place lately. There are a number of members involved with the Sneak Attack, etc.

I also figured it would help me (um, make that "make me") blog regularly. I'm one of those people who does better with structure.

They require that you participate several times per month. First with a bi-monthly topic (see below), and second with a post on their featured member (soon to come).

So... plunging in... the current topic is: What Am I Working On?

I'm always working on a lot of things. When I was a child it drove my mother crazy that I would focus on one thing then dart off to another leaving the first thing hanging. Now that I'm an adult, it's called "creative" (well, when it's not being called "messy"). I eventually get most things completed, and I have a much better time doing them if I'm not forced to stick with them non-stop from beginning to end.

That being said, one of the things I want to create very soon is a line of one-of-a-kind gnome stuffies. I really like little gnomes and don't know of anyone else on Etsy doing something like this.

I'd like to make them pretty much completely from felt I've made from recycled wool. So I've been felting skirts and coats and blankets and sweaters that I've picked up at jumble sales. The beard is knitted from eyelash yarn. I never thought I'd touch the stuff again but it makes the perfect beard.

I made one a few months ago as a swap gift. It took a while to make it, but I loved it when it was done. And, honestly, that's the main reason I make things -- to have fun doing it.