30 September 2011

Shawl Pin by Ingo Jewelry

This gorgeous shawl pin was made by Ingo Jewelry. I love the swirls and the colours - beautiful! And it would also work wonderfully as a hair pin!

I just LOVE the combination of copper and the aqua bead - it's timeless!

This particular pin was made with 14 gauge solid copper wire that was hammered for mo style and durability and adorned with aqua blue Czech glass bead. It comes with a swirly pin stick to secure the pin on your garment or your hair. It was tumbled, oxidized and hand polished for more depth and style.

The pin is 2 3/4"(7.0cm) long and 1"(2.5cm) across in total. The pin stick is 3 1/2"(9.0cm) in length in total.

For $28.00, you get a gorgeous, multi-purpose piece of art!

About the artist: Hailing from Toronto (only 40 minutes away!), Inna Gorstein quickly became addicted to jewelry design and creating her pieces. She found that simple beading did not satisfy her thirst to create, so she searched for another outlet. She happened upon a wire wrapping jewelry design book 'Bead on a wire' by Sharilyn Miller and the rest, as they say, is history.

I especially admire how Inna doesn't like to waste effort and materials. She says that "there are many times when I create a new design as a result of an unsuccessful or scrapped idea, and many of those “salvaged” pieces become my favorites."

Ingo Jewelry also sells earrings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, and more.

You can also find Ingo Jewelry on facebook and her blog.

Trees Hide

A PomPom Hat

I really admire the people who photograph small children for their items - and get really great pictures. I took 17 pictures of Isabel with this hat on, and I'm still not very happy with the results. I know that the lighting wasn't all that great, but Isabel wouldn't sit still at all! These are the only two pictures that weren't completely blurry - and they're still not that great. Anyways.

I made this hat for Isabel this winter. It is pretty snug, so I don't know if I'll be able to actually use it, since her head is bound to get bigger before the really cold weather comes. But that's okay, since I'm not all that pleased with it.

This pompom is supposed to be really big. And it is! I wrapped the yarn around 50 times (which gives me 200 strings to the pompom), but it still wasn't full enough. I probably should have done it with thicker yarn, which would fill it out quite a bit better. I like the hat itself, but just not the pompom.

I've been really busy working on cards and journals for this weekend's show. I've also been packing and shipping orders that have been coming in. All in all, a busy week! I've got some baskets that I'm going to be using for the table at the show for the journals, and I printed off some really great price tags at my mom's place (since we only have black ink in our printer, and I needed colour). They work really well with my branding (they look like my business cards!). And I'm using different levels, so there is more height to my table.

When they were printed, however, the words don't really pop very well, so this is what I'm going to print off for the next show:

That way, people can see the words really easily, even from a distance.

I don't have access to the awesome shelf I had before for the punch art pictures, so I have to figure something else out for that. I have an idea, but I'm not completely sure if it will work very well. I can't wait to get the table set up, though, so I can document it! I'll post pictures next week.

I forgot last week to post more banners that I've made. I made a new one for For Any Occasion, which I am VERY happy with. It's full of my best sellers:

Green Garland also is using the banner I made for her shop:

I've also made these two, but I don't know if they are going to use them or not:

I've also been busy this week making a new monthly newsletter! I've always wanted to do one, but was not really sure how. So this week I bit the bullet and hunkered down to figure out how to make one. I can't figure out how to link to it, since I'm sending it from an external source, and inserting the HTML code into this blog post doesn't work (I've tried). So if you're interested in reading my monthly newsletter, email me with the word "subscribe" in the subject line, and I'll add you to the list!

If you're wondering what the newsletter is about, here are the deets:

featured item
upcoming shows
tip about relevancy for Etsy sellers

And that's it! It's a pretty short newsletter, but I didn't want it to be too long.

That's all for this week! It really was a busy week! But productive. :)

Trees Hide

29 September 2011

BESTeam Features

As part of my BESTeam commitment, once per week I will be posting short features of three of the fabulous shops and talented artisans who comprise the team.  What is BESTeam?  It's The Boosting Etsy Shops Team!  Our goal is to give support and help promote each others' Etsy shops through blogging, facebook and other social networks.  If you are an Etsy shopowner and are interested in learning more about BESTeam, please visit the team page on Etsy or have a look at the BESTeam blog.

GMaellen - Etsy Shop | Blog | Twitter

Ellen crochets beautiful works of art, such as bookmarks, nesting bowls, dishcloths, and many more! Always creating, Ellen enjoys designing and making items that are beautiful and functional. It took me a while to figure out which was my favourite! But I absolutely LOVE the colours in this rug! It would go wonderfully on the landing on the second floor of my house! Really, it would! 

Absolutely Kismet - Etsy Shop | Blog | Facebook

I've been familiar with Absolutely Kismet for a while now, since I've seen her posting in the forums every now and then. Hailing from South Dakota, Absolutely Kismet has an ever-evolving style. Her favourite thing about creating is being able to individualize anything, and she does wonders with these wine glass markers! With these, you can inform her of what letters you want, and you will never get your wine glasses mixed up again!

JayneMarie - Etsy Shop | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Jayne Marie's style of jewellery is simple, yet stunning. She designs and creates her pieces as unique and one-of-a-kind. If you are looking for a special piece for someone on your Christmas list, you may find what you're looking for here! And if you can't decide on what to get, you can purchase gift certificates! This is my favourite piece:


Trees Hide

28 September 2011

Weekend Alone

That's right. I spent the weekend alone. with my children. So technically, it wasn't completely alone. Jeffery was gone on a men's retreat with other men from our church. They go up every year. He left at 6:00 a.m. on Friday. To go golfing in Peterborough.

Every night that Jeff was gone, Alexander seemed to think it was okay to get up at 3:00 a.m. and sleep with mommy. That was sort of annoying, having to get up to put him back in bed. But I did fairly well - going to bed at around 10:30 p.m. both nights. Good for me.

I decided on the weekend that I was done with breastfeeding. I had been weaning Isabel for a few weeks, and I was only breastfeeding her in the evening when she was done her bottle - she had always seemed to want more. So I gave her half a bottle right after supper, and gave her a regular bottle at bedtime, and she hasn't needed more, and has slept through the night! So I'm done breastfeeding. I gotta tell you - it was nice to finally go to bed without a bra on. The freedom! lol

On Monday, I went to the Literacy Centre with the kids. Alexander and Isabel are getting more and more used to being there, and they really enjoy it. Isabel found herself in the mirror at school, and everyone was "ooh"ing and "ahh"ing over that. Ms. Nicole took some pictures too.

Alexander discovered what a snail looks like outside its shell. Ms. Nicole brought a snail to school, and she was showing everyone how it moves and how slimy it is. I was trying to get Alexander to touch the antennae, so they would recoil, but he wouldn't. Actually, I couldn't even touch the snail because one of the students told me I couldn't. So that was that.

On Tuesday, Nancy J. picked me and the kids up, and we headed up the "mountain" (escarpment, really) to the church building for some mom time. I don't know if we've put a name to it yet (we should really do that!), but every other Tuesday, moms with young children can come up to our church building to spend some time together, connecting with other adult conversation, watching the kids play together. Sort of like a huge play date.

Ken, Anne, Ethan and Moriah are doing well. Ethan and Moriah are still in NICU for feeding; we're hoping they will come home soon. Both babies are doing very well other than that. They are both very strong. They are really such miracles, and I can't wait for them to be able to go home!

It was funny, though. On Sunday, we were over at my parents' place after church. Ken and Anne came by after feeding the babies at the hospital. When they saw Isabel, they were like, "Wow, she's so big!" Compared to 4lb and 5lb babies, yeah a 24 lb infant/toddler would be big! And my mom grunted when she picked Isabel up, being used to such lighter babies. lol

This morning, I discovered that I used the last size 6 diaper we had in the house. GAH! So right after school, Alexander, Isabel and I walked over to the store and got the diapers. I was saved! lol  It would have been a great time to start toilet training, but, as I have said before, Alexander is just not ready. at all. I just have to be patient - which, as I tell Alexander every day, is waiting without whining. lol

Anyhoo, that's all for this week!

Trees Hide

26 September 2011

Featured Artist - vinylclockwork

This artist has got to be one of the more creative I've featured so far. Based out of Riverside, CA, vinylclockworks designs and creates clocks out of unused (and would-be thrown away) vinyl records! AMAZING!!!

Isn't that so creative? I want to get one, but I think, with the overabundance of clocks already in our house, my husband would protest. But I'm sure I can find a spot somewhere...

You can find vinylclockworks on etsyfacebook, twitter, myspace, and blog.

Trees Hide

23 September 2011

Wow, What a Week!

I said last week that I had to get my butt into gear and list Christmas cards in my etsy shop. Well, I certainly did that! I listed almost 20 Christmas cards! I know that doesn't sound like much now, but after making them, photographing them, editing the photographs, then writing descriptions, title, tags, etc., - it takes a LOT of time! So I'm pleased with my progress so far. I have many more ideas to use for Christmas items - not just cards - but I'm missing a few key materials. So I have to order them!

Karen R. came over on Wednesday with some leather. I showed her how to make a journal. It was nice to be able to sit and chat with Karen; we usually only get a passing greeting in church on Sundays.

I've also been binding like crazy! I've made so many more leather journals - and I still have so much more to make!! What is a good number for craft shows? I had a number in my head, but when I reached that number, it doesn't look like enough. So I'm hoping to double the number of journals I have ready. In a week. ha! My children would need to have 3 hour naps every day, and go to bed at 6:00 p.m. in order for me to get that many journals made! So I'll just make as many as I can. :)

I mentioned on my twitter account (yes, I'm now a twit, thanks to YBYB's Janee), that I was making a winter hat. I wanted one with lots of character; a hat that no one would forget. I ended up with this. lol

I wanted to put a pompom on the top, but with the point, it would look funny. I know I'm not the best model, but I think it's awesome. The hat is long enough in the back to keep the back of your neck warm. And I think the braids are just AWESOME!!! Just as funky as I thought they would look. I will make another one with a HUGE pompom on the top of the hat, but I haven't decided what I wanted the bottom to look like yet. Or what colour to use. I'll probably have that figured out by the end of the day.

And my business cards came in on Wednesday! Aren't they beautiful??!? I think they are great - exactly how I imagined they would be! I can't wait to show them off in person - they are much more beautiful that way!

That's all, folks!

Trees Hide

22 September 2011

Three Steps to Creative Branding

Here is an interesting article from Andrea Fuentes Designs. Andrea attended one of the "Hello Etsy" conferences, where there was collective crafting (jealous!) and workshops.

You can go here to read her entire blog post. If you don't want to read the entire article, here is a summary:

Reflect - Make it about you. Answer these questions:
Why are you doing this?
What do you stand for?
Who do you want to stand with?
What do you project?
Who are you?
Why are you unique?
What is your essence?
Is it real?
Refine - Run with it.
Repeat - Be consistent. Drive your brand through everything.

These are things I know I have to work on. For example, my answer to the question "Who are you"? is "a housewife and stay at home mom." I should get cracking on these answers!

Trees Hide