Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Heart Custom Orders

Every new custom request gives me a chance to explore with colors, textures, and designs that I may not otherwise try. I finished this custom lidded project keeper last night, and I am SO happy with the way it turned out. You can view more photos of this one HERE if you'd like.

Have you had any new or different custom project requests lately?
Please leave a comment and share!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Makeover Monday: Earth-y Delight

What do a Laura Ashley pillowcase and a men's plaid flannel shirt have in common? No, that's not the opening of a bad joke...the answer: this woodsy wonder of a table coaster!

Happy Makeover Monday!
What are you and your crafty self up to this fine day?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spread the Etsy Love

Did you know that there is a shop on Etsy that is run by Etsy, featuring handmade Etsy products? When you are as fanatic about your Etsy love as I am, etsylabs.etsy.com is a dream come true! It took me awhile to discover this little gem, so I thought I'd better pass it on in case you haven't heard of it either!

According to the shop's profile: "Etsy Labs is the gooey nougat center of the Etsy Executive Offices. We're located at 325 Gold Street on the 3rd Floor in Brooklyn, NY. When you buy Etsy Merchandise from the Labs shop, money from the sales go directly back into marketing and promoting the site. Thanks for helping to support Etsy!"

They currently have stickers, bumper stickers, t-shirts, scarves, gift wrap, bibs, and gift tags for sale...but a peek at the sold items (all 2,756 of them!) will show you all of the super cool items that they have offered in the past.

If you haven't added this shop to your favorites, go do it now! Check back often to see updated merchandise- you have to be quick, because they sell out of some things lightning fast. The t-shirt pictured is my latest Etsy purchase and I can't wait to get it!

A great way to advertise your shop is to use/wear/work on your own products in public as often as possible...an even better way to do it? Use/wear/work on your products in public while wearing an ETSY t-shirt :)
Have you made a purchase from Etsylabs, or attended a class? Leave a comment and share!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pinch Me!

One cold and dreary morning in early February, I was lurking around in the Etsy forums...reading posts about how to grow your business, reach your target market, bring business to your shop, etc. I typically avoid thinking about such things in relation to myself and my shop; I've done OK with people finding me, and I'm one of those anxious, fear the unknown sort of people. Or I used to be!

On a whim, I googled home decor blogs. I thought maybe I could find a high-traffic blog and pay for an ad slot as a small step in a bigger direction. I found several, of course, but the one that jumped out at me the most was thedecoratingdiva.com. Before I could think about it too much and chicken out, I sent them a short message introducing myself and my shop and asking for info regarding a potential site/product review. I logged off expecting nothing, but pleased with my itty bitty step.

Fast forward a month and a half. On Monday the 23rd I was flipping through my email, and clicked on my junk mail folder (which I almost never do). Inside that folder was a return message from the decoratingdiva! The message was sent on March 19th, and said that they would like to include one of my rugs in an upcoming article...I just had to have certain information sent to them by 3/23. THREE TWENTY-THREE????!!!! Had I missed the boat?

I sent a reply right away, and asked if I could send the info by that evening. The answer was yes! So, info was gathered and sent, and I sat on pins and needles waiting for the article to come out. What would it say? How would my rug fit into the picture?

On Friday, March 27th, the site was updated with the new article. I almost passed out when I saw the title: Top 12 Stylish Eco-Friendly Rugs - 2009! My big ole rug is #5 on the list; someone pinch me!

The moral of this fairy tale: don't let fear of rejection stop you from exploring new avenues. Do you have a success story too? Please leave a comment and share...you may inspire someone to greatness!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Treasured Treasuries

My "sunny side up" nested bowls are currently featured in two gorgeous Etsy treasuries!
The first one, entitled "BANANABERRY SMOOTHIE", is curated by EllaScottJewels. It has only one more day to be appreciated, so please click on the photo above and leave a comment!

This stunner, "violet and green", is curated by ArzuMusa and it has 2 more days left to be enjoyed. Clicking on the photo will take you directly to the treasury where you can leave a compliment for the creator!
Thank you EllaScottJewels and ArzuMusa for choosing to include my item in your collections!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

And in the Sky...

...rainbows danced!

Only one more phase of the project to complete! Well, two if you count writing the description for the listing. Almost there, in any case; she will be 3 feet wide when finished! Let me know what you think of the new burst of color...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Homespun Oasis

I am featured here today! Click on the picture above to check out the review :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And then...

...Mother Earth was surrounded by deep periwinkle blue skies and cotton puff clouds...

My Earth Day rag rug is now almost 2 feet across! Would you believe that the "blue skies" fabric is a soft old flannel sheet printed with fluffy white clouds? As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be the next phase in my project. Stay tuned for the next part of the "message"... I should have it ready by the end of the week!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cute Fix

Happy Monday! In case you happen to be dragging after the weekend, I thought I'd post a little pick me up just for you! This is from my stash of extra vintage wrapping paper...aren't these pups just the most adorable things you've seen today? Can't beat the colors, either. They just don't make wrapping paper the way they used to...*sigh*. Have a great day :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday's Secondhand Score

It was about 6 months ago that an ugly crash sounded from my bathroom; hubby had somehow knocked our pottery soap dish to the floor. Horrors! While I could have replaced it a million times over by now, I just wasn't moved to do so. Until Friday, when I rested my eyes on this sweet little guy! Vintage Avon (1971).... wish I had looked so good when I was 38 years old. I'm pretty sure I gave out an audible "hoot hoot" right there in the Salvation Army. Hey, it wouldn't be the first time! Have you had any fab thrift finds lately? Do share!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Before and After

OK, I admit it. I'm a sucker for a makeover. I mean a BIG sucker. Oh yeah- The Biggest Loser, The Swan (remember that one?), What Not To Wear, Extreme Home Makeover...I've seen them all. I realized yesterday that this may be the draw of fabric crochet for me.
Every single time I crochet with a new fabric, it is like a before and after. Sometimes I am surprised, sometimes disappointed, sometimes elated....but no matter what, I am always amazed. Wondering what a particular fabric will look like once cut and crocheted drives me up and down secondhand aisles like a bloodhound on the trail of America's most wanted criminal.
The item above is one of my favorite new "afters"! I so love the way these colors work together that I can't seem to stop making this bowl taller and taller. I think I will make it a clutter keeper. Lid or no lid? That is the question!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Earth Day Challenge: Part 3

I've often wondered how large an item I would have if I crocheted an entire sheet. This lovely vintage Vera sheet by Burlington measured 72 x 104 (inches) before hemming; the round rag rug you see in the photos measures almost 18" across!
I considered leaving it as is for my team challenge project, and marketing it as a large table coaster/rug or even a pet food bowl mat. That just isn't special enough, though, so I'm going bigger. I've had a brainstorm (look out!), and plan to make this a "message mat" for a totally unique and ultracool "green minded" rag rug. Stay tuned for updates! Tree huggers unite!
Do you have a favorite eco-friendly project or product to share?
All tips and comments are welcome!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Button Binge

I have been on a serious spending spree, gathering up vintage buttons like candy! These gorgeous kiwi swirls came from brizelsupplies ; I highly recommend the products and customer service in this fabulous shop! Nicole has her own handcrafted items for sale on Etsy, too. You can check those out by clicking HERE.

Are these vintage aqua teardrop buttons to die for, or what? These arrived quickly and well-wrapped from sewingvineyard. There are LOTS of unique vintage goodies in that shop, so do stop by if you need a little retail therapy or just a jaunt down memory lane!


What supplies have you been gathering these days?
Share your latest and greatest finds, please!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Halfway Celebration

Usually, I don't like to do anything halfway. But, today I am celebrating the halfway done-ness of *the rug*. She is 5 feet wide!! I have run out of good space with natural light in my home for pictures, so today I carried my babe to the church where my daughter attends preschool. She looked sooooooo beautiful in the entry way with the stained glass windows all around. See more pictures by clicking HERE.

In the spirit of whooping it up, I thought I would share some interesting "halfway" info with you!
For instance, did you know there was a city named Halfway, Oregon (pop. 337)? Or how about the Massachusetts chain restaurant The Halfway Cafe? Heard of The Halfway Lake Resort in Newberry, Michigan? Or, my personal favorite, Halfway Home...a series on Comedy Central which explores the exploits of 5 ex-cons in a halfway house?

Hey, guess what? It's Wednesday...we're halfway through the work week! Are you halfway there with any of your projects? Please leave a comment and share your state of mid~ness!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sample Box Promo Packs

The Etsyfriends Team is trying something new with the Earth Day challenge prizes. 10 winners will each receive a sample box that is full of handmade goodies from all of the participants on the team! I finished my treats up this week, and here is a little preview.

Each little bestickered (yep, I just made that word up) glassine bag contains an upcycled magnet & "tag" with a sosorosey moo card. It's all tied up with a little pink ribbon, of course!


Have you made promo packs? I'd love to hear what others have made; please leave a comment and share!

Monday, March 16, 2009

I've Put a Lid On It!

Here she is, Miss Neutral 2009! She's all topped off and ready to head to Arizona, where she will reign supreme over the end table and contain all manner of dog sweater crocheting supplies.
Take a peek at more pictures HERE!
Farewell, lidded project keeper...may you bring happiness and love to your new home :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Totally Terrific Tags

I've never been one of those matchy matchy people in my everyday attire. You know the ones whose hairbow matches their socks? And shirt and pants and purse and belt and shoelaces and, presumably, panties? Arguably, though, denim matches everything, and if so, I always match. But I digress.

There is something to be said for being completely coordinated in your packaging, and thanks to Jessi at jessijewels.etsy.com, I have finally reached that pinnacle. These are my gorgeous new product tags, and I can't tell you how pleased I am with the way they turned out. Not only do they match my stickers, return addy labels, and thank you notes, but they will save me scads of time and make my packages look the best they have ever looked!

If your packaging and/or branding needs an overhaul, run, don't walk, to this shop right here, right now! You will be SO glad you did.

What do you do to make your products and packages shine? Please leave a comment and share your tips!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Another Inexplicable Obsession: Vera

No, not the waitress from Mel's Diner. That really WOULD be inexplicable, wouldn't it? This Vera is Vera Neumann, the first VERA of design fame, the Amy Butler of the 60s. Much like the vintage pink towels I shared with you in a previous post, I am unable to NOT purchase these old Vera items when I cross their path. I have no idea why. Well, yes I do...they make me happy!

(Read more about VERA by clicking HERE).

Have you ever bought something just because it made you happy?
Leave a comment and share so that I feel a little less crazy :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'll Be the Judge of That!

A little ducky told me that Lark Books is holding a special contest in conjunction with the release of the Craft Challenge: Pillowcase book! Not only that, but as a designer for the book, I have been asked to be a judge. Me, a judge!! I'm thrilled to continue to have a part in this awesome publishing adventure. Click on their little mascot icon at the top of this post to get full contest details. Three lucky winners will receive the Craft Challenge: Pillowcase book along with 9 (count 'em...NINE!) more of Lark's newest "indie-wonderful" craft books. What in the world are you waiting for? Grab that pillowcase and get crafting!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's Out, and I'm In!

For best results, this post should be read with the song "What a Feeling" playing in your head. I apologize in advance if it stays there all day!

Craft Challenge: Pillowcase has hit the shelves! My good friend Karen from RunsWithScissors4 actually made a special trip to Barnes and Noble just to find this book. She not only purchased it, but she also sent me photos of all of "my" pages. Wasn't that sweet?


My copy arrived on my doorstep yesterday. As you can see, I'm not on the cover. Not the front cover, anyway. There is actually a mention of my project on the back cover, though! The book is broken up into three sections; wear, show and live. I'm in the "live" section (page 100). My large bowl has been dubbed "Dream Catcher" and wow, the pictures are just amazing!

At the risk of sounding like a gigantic geek, I will share with you that I just keep opening the book to my section and staring at it- with a huge smile on my face. I have briefly contemplated carrying my copy around so that I can show my pages to anyone who glances in my general direction. I mean, jeez, I can't just put it on a shelf and forget about it, right?


I am thrilled to do the happy dance with my family and friends, but I admit, there is the teeniest dream that Oprah or Martha or Rachael will spy the book and just *have* to visit my shop- they'll order custom rugs and bowls for their many homes and invite me to be on their show for a fabric crochet segment. Am I carrying the fantasy a little far? Perhaps. OK, probably. But, there you have it...What A Feeling! What are you celebrating today?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Whoa, That Thing Is HUGE!

I thought that title might get some attention! It's what my husband said last night when he walked into the room as I was putting the last round on this 18" wide, 6" high project keeper.


I LOVE the way this turned out, and look forward to making her lid this week. I'll show one last photo with the lid before I wrap her up and send her off to her new home :)

What are you working on these days? Leave a comment and tell us all about it!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

How The Rag Rug Grows

It was just about a month ago when my friend Amanda at SygnetCreations sent me a message that someone had put in an alchemy request for a 5 foot wide, round rag rug. I went ahead and put in a bid, but did not hold my breath since I had to charge more than the person was wanting to spend and would not be able to have the rug ready by the date requested.
To my surprise and delight, my bid was accepted! Once the particulars were worked out, my customer got back in touch with me a few days later...she had remeasured the space, and now wanted the rug to be 7 feet wide! Running the numbers, I realized that the new size rug was about double the area of the 5 foot rug...it was going to cost twice as much and be twice as large.
The new price was accepted, and work began. The biggest initial challenge was picking out enough of the right fabrics in the customer's color choices.
Once the fabrics were approved, I got to work!
I work on this rug every single night. We have developed quite a relationship! I absolutely love her, and enjoy every second of watching her grow.
She is 4 feet wide now, and seems so big...I can't believe that she isn't even halfway finished!
I have high hopes of completing this project by Easter.
What do you think, can I do it?
The moral of the story, alchemy requests on Etsy can work!
Have you put in a bid or a request? I'd love to hear your success story!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Earth Day Challenge: Step Two

Well- it may not look like it, but my project is really coming along! I often "cut as I go" on fabric crochet projects, but for this one I decided to treat myself and cut it all ahead of time. I am LOVING the electric scissors my hubby bought me for Christmas! Now, I just need to find the time to get hooking on this fabric...stay tuned :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I've Been Spotted!

On a whim, I submitted one of my items to IndieSpotting the other day. Today, I got an email saying that my find has been "spotted"! I'm not quite sure what it all means, except maybe some publicity...well that, AND I feel kind of famous :)

There's my upcycled tray, right up there! If you'd like to check out the site and even submit an item of your own, click right HERE. Good luck!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Large Lidded Project Keeper Update

The 18" wide neutral project keeper is coming along nicely! This photo was taken at 17", but it is currently 18" wide and almost 2" tall. Using all neutral colors has forced me to really work hard to get different patterns in there to add interest; I'm enjoying the challenge!
Every time I work on one of these large items, I am struck by the different personalities that each one has. All of the quirks and traits are determined by the way the different fabrics meld together, the way the textures and colors complement one another, the way the stitches come easily or are more "sticky"...crocheting with fabric is ALWAYS an adventure!
Can you guess how many stitches are in one 18" round?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Earth Day Challenge Fabric

My Etsyfriends team is hosting another challenge event for Earth Day, and I am planning a special something with this vintage sheet. Care to guess what I'll be creating?
*Stay tuned to this blog for challenge details...there will be voting and prizes!!!*