Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fabulous Feature- Cats Paw Artifacts

I'm pleased to bring you an interview with the creator of Cats Paw Artifacts. After you read this great interview with Judy Richards, make sure you pop over to her shop to check out her wonderful collection of one of a kind jewelry, beads and other sassiness.

Where do you find inspiration?
In nature, around the house, I have 2 cats, I also love abstraction

How/Why did you decide to get into the business of making things?
I've always been heading toward the creative - this is where I've ended up. I was a theatre major in college and a graphic designer.

What do you consider to be the hardest part of selling on Etsy?
It's hard to stand out amidst the huge number of people who sell on Etsy

What is your favorite part of selling on Etsy?
Fixed prices are more attractive to customers and you can easily have a sale. Also the quality of work is pretty high on etsy.

What is your most effective marketing tip?
I think Craftopolis is a good venue to advertise with.

Is there anything you would like to share about yourself?
I make lampwork beads, pmc3 pendants - fine silver, and jewelry unique, one of a kind.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Homemade Lightbox Tutorial

A lightbox is an important tool when photographing items to post for sale online. A lightbox allows you to uniformly illuminate an item. Because the light is diffused through tissue paper, it doesn't create bright spots and allows you to bring all of the little details out clearly. These instructions explain how to make one using things you have at home and you will have professional looking images in no time. It is so easy, you will wish you would have done it sooner.

For another fabulous photography tutorial, this article covers basic photogrpahy tips.

1. Find a box. The only size requirement is that it be appropriate for the size of items that you plan to photograph.

2. Secure the bottom with masking or packing tape. I'm using masking tape because packing tape is a commodity in my house with all the shipping that I do. Draw a line about one inch inside of the edge of the box on four sides.

3. Cut along the line that you drew. You can use a box cutter but I found that scissors worked just fine for me.

4. I laid a piece of paper in the bottom of mine because I was going to lay fabric inside my finished box.

5. Cover the cutout areas with tissue paper. Now you can add lighting to the outside of the tissued areas. Any lights will work- I have used desk lamps or aquarium lamps.

Check out the results- pretty shnazzy huh?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Paradise Sunrise Lip Balm- A Review

I recently purchased a stick of the Vanilla Buttercream Lip Smoothie from Paradise Sunrise and received a stick of the Chocolate Mint also. And wanted to share my experience with you.

My first impression was that they both smelled good enough to eat. Seriously. The Vanilla Buttercream smells like vanilla frosting and the Chocolate Mint smelled just like Andes mints (which I'm completely addicted to- ask Olive Garden). I have found myself opening the tubes just to smell them.

Once I got past sniffing them and put them on, I was in heaven. They glide on so smooth and leave my lips feeling fabulous and moisturized. They don't leave my lips feeling oily or stickly like some lip balms do. And, the moisture lasts and lasts. Sometimes, I open the tube out of habit - or because I'm smelling it- and realize that it isn't time to reapply.
Lastly, I love that I know what each of the ingredients are. There is nothing that I can't pronounce on the label. The ingredients on my Vanilla Buttercream is: Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Beeswax, Flavor Oil and Mica Powder. Yep, thats it.
I will confess that I am usually a Chap Stick kind of girl but Paradise Sunrise has converted me. My new Paradise Sunrise lip balm is superior in every way. So, hop over to Paradise Sunrise and stock up before the chapping cold winter gets here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Music To My Ears

Music says that which can't be said on that which it is impossible to be silent. Ah- that is why I am pleased to do a music themed blog feature this week. I love music! Its important to me- it pulses through my veins. If I'm sad, it can make me happy, if I'm mad it can make me madder :) These gorgeous Etsy items below make me happy. If you see something you love, make sure you pop over to Etsy to check out the artist and what else they have to offer.

An INCREDIBLE print of a guitar. The angle that the picture is perfect. There is a limited edition of 25 prints.

I adore Janis joplin- her bluesy wailing ballads really speak to me. This is a fabulous pendant with a fabulous quote. This is surely on my Christmas list!


This onesie is completely adorable. It would make a great baby shower or Christmas gift.

My walls (or yours) would look so fabulous with this music note decal. You can select the color when you order.

A bowl made from a Van Morrison Tupelo Honey record. Although I love listening to music on vinyls, this is a great alternative!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sometimes you're up but then sometimes....

Sometimes you're up and sometimes you're down. I was feeling slightly discouraged the other day about my business. I don't usually get beaten down, but the lack of sales was getting to me. Then, I had a convo from a fabulous photographer who purchased two sets of blocks. Yeah- it was a complete pick me up. The point is not to let yourself get discouraged- if you love what you do your passion comes through and the buzz will hopefully spread! Lifting my glass to a great Christmas season!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sneaky Sneaky

Its almost like this new Twitter Mom's blog contest was made for me (you can check it out and enter the contest yourself here). Twiter Moms and Horizon Little Blends want to know how moms sneak fruits and veggies into their toddler's diet.
As anyone who knows me knows, I am very health conscience. This means that I not only have to sneak yummy fruits and vegetables into our kids' diets but also into my boyfriend's diet. To successfully keep everyone on board with eating healthy, I have to be creative. Some of my tried and true methods:
  • Shred carrots and put them in meatloaf, hamburger patties
  • Instead of meat or sausage in tomato sauce, I add squash, onion, chunks of tomato
  • Stir Fry with lots of vegetables
  • Add lots of vegetables into casseroles and lasagna
  • Let the kids pick the fruits and vegetables that they want. Kids are more likely to eat them if they are involved in choosing.
  • Let them help cook. Kids will be so proud of what they made that the usually eat it up
  • Smoothies are an easy and fun way to get everyone involved in eating fruit
  • Ranch dressing goes a long way with vegetables!
  • Add peanut butter or cheese to celery (yummy)
  • Add bananas to cereal, pancake mix, peanut butter sandwiches

What are some ways you sneak in food? Include your blog post here when you enter this Twitter Mom's contest!


Wanted to let ya'll know that I just marked some hair goodies for clearance. They are all half price! Check it out at half price, free shipping http://tinyurl.com/mxez54. What a deal :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tag Finder Hurrah

Now that I have a pretty good listing of items in my shop, I have kind of gotten lazy about listing new items. Although I have items that I could list, it is sometimes easier just to renew current items-sigh. That is until I ready about the Tag Finder on Craft Weasel.
This tag finder is fantastic and SO easy. All I do is copy and paste the title of my item into the Tag Finder and it brings up a list of related tags that exist in Etsy. In most instances when I have used it, the list of related tags is EXTENSIVE. Some of the tags don't fit my item but many do and it also gets the wheels turning and helps me to keep thinking out of the box. Craft Weasel Tag Finder also provides some interesting statistics about the item that you searched like the price of similar items on Etsy, how many views the items get per day, etc.
Make your life easier, check it out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Craft Show Extravaganza

I'm doing my FIRST craft show in November and am COMPLETELY excited because I think people will be all geared up for Christmas and will be as excited about my toys and other goodies as I am. I'm trying to keep myself organized and productive so, I made a list of things I want to accomplish in Excel and have seperated it into phases.
  • Phase I- Things I can make that I already have materials for or need only a little something.
  • Phase II- Things I have some things for but need a lot of materials
  • Phase III- I need all materials and these projects are very time consuming

I'm hoping that my phases are helping me to keep focused and not feel overwhelmed. What other ways can I stay organized during craft show prep? What other things should I consider when getting ready?

Monday, September 14, 2009

5 Fall Fashion Must Haves

When TwitterMoms announced the Share Your 5 Fall Fashion Must Haves & Get $25! contest to celebrate Shop Smart Look Fab's mall event. I was more than interested, I was completely excited. Since moving to South Texas, I open the autumn season in with open arms. The coolness in the air is perfect for camping and you can get out your warm clothes. Here are my favorite Fall Fashion finds from Etsy! As always, if you see something you love, you can click on the picture to go straight to the item or click on the link in the description to go into the Shop Home.

1. Sassy Hat
This newsboy hat in chocolate brown will be perfect for keeping your head warm when the cooler weather blows in.
Simply J Crochet

2. A purse in the colors of the season
This incredible chocolate brown clutch features beautifully embroidered peacock feathers in gold.
Clutch That

3. A Fabulous Scarf
I adore the versatility of a scarf. You can wrap it around your neck, your waist, your head. You can tie it or leave it lose. This great jersey scarf features a funky tree.
Aspen Wear

4. Warm Jacket
I'm in love with this military styled purple jacket. It is structured enough to be versatile from dress up to dress down but is bubbly enough for you to feel gorgeous in.
Love Karla K

5. Jewelry in Warm Tones
How incredible is this necklace? I mean really. It is like a work of art with its perfectly coordinated strands of beads and fibers and leaf clasp. The leaf clasp could also serve as a beautiful fall focal.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Stickers from scratch

Quite literally. I wanted to share with you the wonderful tutorial I read yesterday about making stickers with things you probably have lying around your house. Check it out here. After your stickers are made you can moisten them and use them as you wish! Not only would they be fabulous for packaging your handmade goodies but they would also be great for lots of kids crafts. Share your ways to use them! I'm feeling inspired :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Surprising Experience with Vista Print

Vista Print too good to be true marketing and frequent negative reviews in the Etsy forums, I was scared. I was scared to get something of poor quality, scared to have something with their name all over it- scared. I got advice, I looked at other websites who print business cards. But I couldn't escape all of that free stuff. So, in the end I ordered a TON of free stuff from Vista Print and opted for the slowest shipping offering. I ordered the following:

500 Premium Business Cards
10 Large Magnets
3 Pens
1 Wall Calendar
10 Large Calendar Magnet
200 Postcards
2 Small Stamp
140 Address Labels
25 Small Business Magnets

And only paid shipping! Wow! It was about $25.00 for shipping which I think is a wonderful deal considering all that I ordered.

I ordered them on 8/29 and received them today- Which was only one week. I was completely impressed when i opened the box. They are GORGEOUS and there aren't ads on them. I'm thrilled with my decision to try them! Check them out! I think you just ensure you don't click on any ads you aren't interested in then.

Please note that this review is based upon my personal experience and is no way impacted by the company mentioned. In the case of all my reviews, the company has no idea that I am reviewing them.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Recycling is Good!!

I'm often impressed by the fabulously creative things that people make on Etsy. So today, I am featuring some of my favorite eco friendly goods. As always, if you see something you love, click on the picture or the shop like to support these incredible artists.

These funky swirly sun earrings are awesome and made from recycled Coca-Cola cans. Brought to us by FunkyRecycling, who has an extensive list of adorable recycled goods- including pendants, earrings, magnets and much much more.


An AWESOME Jimi Hendrix collage piece. This is actually made with little pieces of magazine clippings and sealed with Modge Podge. This was created by Revamped Art.

My mouth dropped when i found out that this gorgeous cuff is made out of an industrial cardboard tube. I had NO idea that cardboard could be so classy!! Created by ButternutSquash

ImoTime makes hands down the strangest collection of clocks I have EVER been witness to. This clock is made with a men's restroom sign- seriously. You have to check out the entire assortment.

This great wallet is actually made from a vintage tie and an old wool suit! This is a completely unique alternative to the boring black or brown wallets but it still masculine. Check more out at PrixPrix

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Think outside of the box promoting

I have been working to research and implement great promotions for my Etsy stores. I have ordered some fabulous business cards but wanted to do something to make my shop unique and memorable. I found this adorable project online and think that it is fantastic!
My mind started spinning with ideas when I found this little bee clothespins project. I think that they would be cute to use them to clip business cards to send to buyers or in promotional bags. I am also going to do my first craft show in November and thought it would be cute to have baskets with price tags clipped with the bee.

1. Paint a clothes pin with yellow pain. I painted one side yellow.

2. Then I painted strips of black over the yellow.

3. While the paint dried, I cut about an inch off of a 4 cup coffee filter

3. Pinch the coffee filter in the middle to make the wings.

4. I opened the end of the clothes pin and put the wings between the wood and the spring.

5. Here is the finished product. You could paint a little face on it, add googly eyes or make antennas out of pipe cleaners. I like mine simple for my project.

Cute, right! And they were so easy and so cheap. What kinds of promoting do you use? What can you repurpose to work for your shop?? At busybeekidscrafts.com the have many crafts using clothespins- including an alligator that is easy and adorable.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I should mention

The pictures of jewelry that I was taking were for my second Etsy shop- Lolalita's Treasury. My grandma on my dad's side is Lola (Lola Fern to be exact) and on my mom's side my grandma is Carmelita- hence- Lolalita. It is my more elegant and beautiful crafts. So, hop over to Etsy and check it out. Let me know what you think. While you are there, if you see something you love- remember that there is a Free Shipping sale going on through September 15th to celebrate the grand opening. As i build my shop, I am adding things every day. I forgot how much work this all is. Making the beautiful jewelry, taking the frustrating pictures, writing store policies, creating a banner, creating descriptions, determining tags- whew- I'm getting tired just thinking about it. OH and don't get me started on promoting. If you want to see some more detail on any jewelry below- click on the picture and it will jump you to the listing.

Shameless Self Promotion