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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Featured Shop - Nadelwerk Unique Handcrafts

Hello world!!  Stitchy is pleased to bring you a review of Etsy Seller Nadelwerk Unique Handcrafts.

Nadelwerk sells great pincushions but what Stitchy really appreciates about this are the hand made sewing pins that Nadelwerk offers.

These pins are absolutely beautiful and very, very unique.  Included are everything from the beautiful flowers pictured to happy faces, roses, calla lillies, hearts, toadstools, and more!

These pins are a definite treat and can "cutify" any pincushion. 

Nadelwerk is located in Hillsboro, Oregon and according to her Etsy bio she started making her pincusions while looking for a gift for her mother who had taught her to sew.   Be sure to stop by and view Nadelwerk's fantastic Pins and Pincushions!

xoxo,
Stitchy

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's Been About a Month Now on Artfire

So here are Stitchy's thoughts and opinions on the Artfire set up.  Stitchy's going to view this whole thing as a product review so those of you who have Etsy shops but are not on Artfire yet may benefit from a bit of insight from a new user.

Lets start off with the Pros before we get to the Cons:

1.  Artfire has almost as much traffic as Etsy has so it is growing considerably.
2.  Paid membership accounts have the option of setting  their shop colors as well as getting up to 99 shop categories to organize their products.
3.  Everything is added to Google Base within minutes of posting. I'm sure all of us on Etsy are familiar with the whole "Syndication" situation and how long that takes.
4.  Even free members can have as many items as they want in their shops.
5.  You have the option of your Collections being reviewed to be featured for the front page and emails. 
6.  You have the ability to embed widgets of your collections.  Going to try one for this week's :-) The Etsy Treasury widget is made by a third party.

Now for the Cons:

1.  Basic members show up last in searches as opposed to the paid members who will show up first.  This con was blown out of the water yesterday however when I was making this week's Collection and found one of my own items among the Pro Seller's items.  Thank you Artfire!
2.  The main con is just the frustration of not having access to everything without the Pro Membership.
3.  The membership itself is also a con.  It's quite the Catch-22 in that they want you to pay a monthly fee which will help you make sales, however, how can you pay a fee without funds from sales??


So I hope you've enjoyed this review of Artfire and for those of you out there considering another venue to sell, Artfire overall is a great choice.

xoxo,
Stitchy

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Items at Stitchy Impressions

Greetings from Sunny Bakersfield!  Stitchy would like to take the time this week to mention some new items to keep an eye out for coming to Stitchy Impressions

After taking a brief hiatus from crocheting to focus on knitting, Stitchy is back with some new crocheted items and a new line.  The newest items, seen here to the left, are actually a line of washcloths.  Why washcloths and who in their right mind would use a washcloth made from yarn? 

Good questions.

For starters there are many many uses for a washcloth from bath time to dish washing.  Secondly, they are actually very eco-friendly in that they are machine washable and reusable and made from very durable yarn.  And thirdly, if you were going to buy someone a gift and you were going to get them towels and washcloths, wouldnt hand made washcloths be nice? Stitchy thinks so too which is why the Grand Washcloths are starting to slowly make their way into Stitchy Impressions!


Also coming into the shop are some awesome hair scruchies designed and made by Stitchy's sister.  These will be sold in pairs so that pig tails will make much better sense.  They will also be known as Curly Ques.  Importantly, these are also machine washable and there are two sizes as well as many different colors so be sure to keep an eye out for more. 

There are also a whole passle of keychains making their way into Stitchy's shop as well.  At this time, there are currently two up, but many more are just waiting to be added.

Also coming soon will be some very unique and very vintage silverware.  However, time has tarnished them so once they are cleaned and polished they will make their appearance. 

On an interesting side note - if something is only mildly tarnished rubbing white toothpaste on the item works wonders.  You can also make a paste out of baking soda and water that should work well also.  These are some very useful and money saving home remedies for your tarnished silver, however, if it's a large peice or very very tarnished then the store bought cleaners will likely be best.

And here is a peak at this past week's Treasury and Collection:


Until next week...

xoxo,
Stitchy

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Featured Artist - Bagatelles & Co

Greetings from Sunny Bakersfield!  This week Stitchy would love to feature Etsy Seller Bagatelles & Co.  Lately Stitchy's been in the market for a small old fashioned coin purse and was absolutely delighted to find Bagatelles

Bagatelles has been an Etsy seller since 2009 and is from London.  Not only does this shop include some beautiful hand made coin purses and handbags but all of the 127 items are beautifully photographed.

Be sure to check out Bagatelles' Etsy Profile for an interesting read on how Bagatelles came to be!

And now after this breif review of another wonderful Etsy shop here is our last week's kitchen themed Etsy treasury!




And also as an added treat, here is the Stitchy Impressions November 2010 Catalogue!  Complete with all the BRAND NEW items for November 2010!  http://etsycatalog.com/etsyimages/StitchyImpressions/StitchyImpressions.pdf

xoxo,
Stitchy

Saturday, November 27, 2010

And the Contest Winner Is...

So Stitchy will have a short blog this week.  Everything's been throw off schedule with time off over the holiday weekend and all so there's just a couple of things Stitchy would like to say.

First of all Stitchy is proud to announce that she now has a Stitchy Impressions Facebook Fan Page! Check it out for new updates on Etsy, Artfire, as well as to sign up for our mailing list!

The other big news of the day is that Stitchy would like to announce the winner of her contest!


Drum Roll Please ...

And the winner is Carlos (a dear friend of Stitchy's) with his suggestion: Naked Sheep!

So coming out pretty soon will be Stitchy Impressions' new line of hand spun yarn titled:  Naked Sheep: Handspun Yarn by Stitchy Impressions

Love it!!

Here's a shot of  this past week's Clock themed Treasury!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Another New Venue

Greetings from Sunny Bakersfield!!  Stitchy has some sad news to report this week. On Tuesday Winkelf went down and what was thought at first to be a temporary system hiccup turned out to be much more.  Apparently, the web hosting company on who's servers Winkelf was residing, unexpected shut down without notifying any of their customers.  Because of this, Samantha, the totally nice owner of Winkelf was unable to back up any of the Winkelf files.  Winkelf is completely gone now.  Totally obliterated.  So in light of this, Stitchy bit the bullet and is now a member of ArtFire.  However, Stitchy is glad that she had not yet ordered new business cards.

Same rules apply, the items seen on Winkelf will slowly start trickling into Artfire.  Stitchy's not to keen on Artfire yet, while it does have a lot of the same features on Etsy, unless she pays for a monthly membership Stitchy wont have access to all of the features.  Stitchy would rather have the Etsy set up where you pay a small fee per listing but have access to everything. 

On the plus side, Artfire is one of the larger handmade selling venues so Stitchy hopes it all works out in the end.  That and sometimes they will have membership sales so at some point Stitchy may consider doing the paid membership if the price was right.

You can now find Stitchy Impressions at http://stitchyimpressions.artfire.com/.

Our contest for naming Stitchy's new line of yarn is still ongoing.  Here are the rules again if anyone needs a refresher:

1. You can submit as many entries as you like for the name of Stitchy's yarn line. Submissions will need to be posted in the comments section for this blog post. Stitchy would also appreciate it if you signed up for her newsletter over on the right.


2. The name for the line of yarn would preferrably incorporate some form of Stitchy Impressions.


3. If the same name is submitted more then once, the person who submitted it first would be credited with that name. This is important especially if the name is the one selected as the winner.


4. Submissions will be accepted until November 26, 2010. After that Stitchy will need some time to decide which name works best. The winner will be announced at the begining of December.


The winner will receive 50% off any one item of their choice from Stitchy Impressions!! As an added bonus, if the winner has an Etsy shop, Stitchy will also do a Featured Seller review of the shop in this blog and market it in her Newsletter.
 
And now for this past week's Doll themed Treasury
 

xoxo,
Stitchy

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Contest at Stitchy Impressions

This week's post is a very short discussion on the importance of branding.  As some of you may have noticed, Stitchy Impressions uses the colors brown, lime green, and white to represent her brand.

Branding is very important for customers to remember who you are.  For example, if someone orders a package from a company who's company colors are brown, lime green, and white but the packaging that the item comes in is hot pink, what exactly would the customer recall about the company?

Included in this would also be any line that a company comes up with.  It should be tied in to the company branding some how.

In light of this Stitchy has a special announcement.  Very soon she will be releasing a new line of hand spun yarns.  However, Stitchy has run into a tiny problem - What on earth shall the line be called?  That's where the contest comes in, Stitchy needs some help naming her new line of yarns.

Contest Rules:

1.  You can submit as many entries as you like for the name of Stitchy's yarn line.  Submissions will need to be posted in the comments section for this blog post.  Stitchy would also appreciate it if you signed up for her newsletter over on the right.

2.  The name for the line of yarn would preferrably incorporate some form of Stitchy Impressions.

3.  If the same name is submitted more then once, the person who submitted it first would be credited with that name.  This is important especially if the name is the one selected as the winner.

4.  Submissions will be accepted until November 26, 2010.  After that Stitchy will need some time to decide which name works best.  The winner will be announced at the begining of December.

The winner will receive 50% off any one item of their choice from Stitchy Impressions!!  As an added bonus, if the winner has an Etsy shop, Stitchy will also do a Featured Seller review of the shop in this blog and market it in her Newsletter.

And here's this past week's Board Game Treasury!




xoxo,
Stitchy

Friday, November 5, 2010

Etsy Featured Artist - Petal Mix

Greetings everyone!  This week Stitchy is featuring Etsy seller - Petal Mix.  Stitchy has always been a fan of this artist and is definitely pleased to get to share this unique art with all you.

Petal Mix specializes in hair accessories made in the Japanes art ofTsunami Kanzashi.  Petal Mix uses high quality silks imported from Japan as well as other high quality fabrics in her work.

Here's a little history on this style of art. Kanzashi first appeared during the Jamon period in Japan's history and is used in traditional Japanese hairstyles.  Over the years traditional hairstyles of Japan have changed considerably and Kanzashi are now primarily used for hairstyles in Shinto weddings and by Geishas. 

Petal Mix has a wide variety of brooches, headbands and hair clips.  All of her items are custom made and each a very high quality of hand crafting. 

If you get a chance, stop by Petal Mix and have a look at her gorgeous garden of flowers.

Here's this past week's Pottery themed Treasury:

Thanks for stopping by!  Next week's Treasury will be an interesting collection based around Board Games!!

xoxo,
Stitchy

Friday, October 29, 2010

Stitchy Impressions' Work Space

Hello World!  This week's blog post is a little rundown of where it all happens.  Where all of the creativity comes in and awesome things are made.  This is the room where Stitchy does all of her crafting.  That's right!  The nerve center of Stitchy Impressions!

It's also Stitchy's office for her other business, but it's much more fun to talk about the creative business. 

This totally awesome room is where Stitchy has everything she needs for her work day and if it had a mini fridge, she would never have to leave it.  The large armoir on the left was originally for a television but is now full, completely full, of everything imaginable including: scrapbooking supplies, fabric, patterns, oh and yes, every single item so far listed on Etsy and the items soon to be listed on Etsy.

Stitchy is also very proud of the two bookcases in her office which she cleared completely of books and uses for the vast collection of yarn!.

Stitchy would also like to take the time to give honorable mention to Mr. Stitchy who came up with the layout of Stitchy Impressions' Head Quarters, known around here as The Office.

One important thing to keep in mind about your crafting space, and what Stitchy has completely take to heart is that it is a place you should not only have organized, but have arranged so that you want to spend time there.  That is true of how Stitchy organized her Office.  For example:  the bright orange blob on Stitchy's desk is actually a hat, but most importantly it is a hat being worn by Stitchy's very first teddy bear, Honey Bear.  Not pictured is a wooden board on the wall that Stitchy's dad carved her name into a long long time ago as well.  On the back desk there's a small rag doll in a pink dress that Stitchy's grandma, Esther, gave her a long time ago and just many other memories that make the Office a pleasant place to be. 

And believe it or not, despite the messy look of the place, the office is actually organized completely!

Here's now a shot of this past week's Treasury with the theme of Buttons!




Next week please stay tuned for another great Featured Artist of Etsy!

xoxo,
Stitchy

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Etsy Featured Artist - N'Ice Hair Pieces and Accessories

This week Stitchy's Featured Artist article will be a little different.  Instead of an interview, Stitchy would like to just give a little rundown on one of her favorite Etsy shops.

This week's featured artist is N'Ice Hair Pieces and Accessories.  Lately Stitchy has been a very big fan of hair accessories.  Not so much head bands or classic scrunchies but little hair floral hair clips and jeweled bobby pins, so Stitchy was very excited to find N'Ice.

The biggest thing that Stitchy appreciates about this particular shop is that N'Ice offers a very fair price on the items she sells.  Many other shops out there who sell similar items have much higher prices, however, don't most people appreciate a bargain?  Stitchy sure does which makes N'Ice stand out from the rest!

Another big thing about N'Ice is that they also offer their great items as supplies.   Meaning that if you dont necessarily want to buy a clip or a headband, you can buy what you need to make your own, including some lovely Felf Flower Buds.  Stitchy hopes someday soon to buy a set.

Please be sure to stop by this fantastic Etsy shop and view some great items!

Stitchy would also like to take the time to apologize for not having this blog post up yesterday as usual.  She would like to also take the time to blame a nation wide phone and internet service provider for this incident and also to take the time to thank Brighthouse for setting up internet again much faster then the afore mentioned provider would have.  Stitchy refuses to wait 5 business days for her internet to be up and running!

Also please be sure to stop by this past week's Treasury called Fall Leaves:




xoxo,
Stitchy

Friday, October 15, 2010

The 2010 Coalinga Fest!

Hello world!  Stitchy just got back from the 2010 Coalinga Fest in Coalinga California.  Because Stitchy was all wound up over it, she did not think to get a picture of her booth, so you get to view a random shot of Simon the God of Hairdos.

And now down to business.  The Coalinga Fest was a great success.  Stitchy Impressions shared a booth with Maria of Ta Muid Beo (http://tamuidbeo.etsy.com/) and between the two the booth looked great!  Stitchy was also joined by her Mom, sister, and dear Auntie and Maria brought her uncle.  Our booth was located directly in front of the Chamber of Commerce office in Coalinga and the only downside was that we were blocked on one side by an Afflack booth, however, the Afflack people were friendly.  On an interesting note, the booth was in sight of the house Maria's grandmother used to live in.

Stitchy was also happy to see family friend Gloria and her son Dominick running a shaved ice and churro booth. 

There were many great craft vendors, good food, and great bands. 

Stitchy was a little dissappointed that there was no time to take in the sights and sounds of Coalinga.  Overall, the city of Coalinga has no tourism to speak of, however, Stitchy grew up there and can always find something to see or do.  She would have greatly appreciated going on a little drive, visiting the High School, seeing if the old Baker House was still nice, and getting a tri-tip sandwich from the Campus Drive-In, but alas time did not allow for it.

Stitchy was however very glad to run into a few people she hadn't seen in a long time which made the day extra special.

And now here's a great look at this past week's Treasury:



It can also be viewed here in full:  http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4cb248bbb3b06d910cfcf2ae/whats-bugging-you?index=1

Stitchy will be back next week with a brand new interview!

Stay tuned!

xoxo,
Stitchy

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Lost Spool Girls of Coalinga

Greetings all!  Stitchy realizes that you are all expecting an interview this week, but due to preparations for the 2010 Coalingafest in Coalinga California, Stitchy didnt have a chance to get it together for an interview this week.  Next week will be a recap of Coalinga fest as well, but the week after that we promise to find a great seller to feature!

Now for the story of the Lost Spool Girls of Coalinga.  Stitchy's sure that you've all read her original blogpost on how the Spool Girls came about, but if you happened to miss that particular posting then a quick rundown is in order:   Stitchy's mom used to make them and in 2004, before Stitchy even became Stitchy, the Spool Girls (under the name Spoodles) were made for the Coalinga Farmers Market that happened every Tuesday evening during the summer months.

Now you're all up to speed on the origin of the Spool Girls. 

Our story of the Lost Spool Girls begins in 2004 during this time of the Farmer's Market.  Stitchy and her mom and her sister had worked tirelessly all summer long on the Spool Girls and on jewelry items but at last summer ended and there were a few left over Spool Girls.  By a few we mean about 40 some odd Little Spool Girls. 

A local shop owner had offered to sell them on consignment for us and we happily lent them to her for her shop.  Interestingly, what was ridiculously popular at the Farmer's Market was not so popular in a store and Amy's Place (which is a really nice little shop to stop by if you are ever in Coalinga) asked us to come and get them.

So there Stitchy and her family were, with 40 Spool Girls, and not much else to do with them.  At this point in time Etsy had not even been born yet and in early 2005 Stitchy became engaged and that summer was spent planning a wedding and not at the Farmer's Market.

And there it was.  The decision was made to take the 40 Little Spool Girls to the Thrift Store.  What happened to them from there, we will never know.  Stitchy moved to Bakersfield after the wedding and Stitchy's mom, who is still a happy resident of Coalinga and who occasionally frequents the Thrift Store, never once saw the Spool Girls there.  Not once.

What happened to them?  Were they tossed?  Did a nice employee of the Thrift Store keep them?  Were they put out for sale and all snatched up so quickly that Stitchy's mom never saw them there?  The world may never know which is why those 40 have become the Lost Spool Girls of Coalinga.

Tomorro Stitchy will be in Coalinga for the 2010 Coalingafest as stated earlier.  Stitchy's booth will be on the street right between the Chamber offices and the Optometrist's office.  Please stop by and next week Stitchy will have pictures and full details of how the day went!

Also be sure to stop by and see this past week's Hot Chocolate themed Treasury! http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4ca6930e63448eefd08b96c7/warm-and-cozy?index=1


And last week we shared a picture with you of Stitchy's beloved pets for no particular reason.  So this week's no particular reason photo is one that Stitchy took on August 27, 2010 while visiting her dear friends in Victorville California.  For those of you who have not been to Victorville before it is in the desert.  This is a photo that Stitchy took from the window of the Marriot Hotel that she stayed in:



xoxo,
Stitchy

Friday, October 1, 2010

A New Venue

Hello All!  This week Stitchy has a new and very exciting announcement to make.

As some of you out there, especially in the Etsy world, may already know 1000 Markets has been sold to Bonanza and is no longer in existence. 

Stitchy has always appreciated having two seperate venues for selling and still will continue to do so.  After spending some time updating listings from 1000 Markets that transferred over to the Bonanza site, Stitchy was a little unhappy with the format.  It is also her opinion that if you are going to sell handmade and vintage items then you should stay on a venue that allows for that.  It's hard to compete in an Ebay style layout against name and designer brands so after doing much research Stitchy Impressions is proud to announce that we can now also be found at WinkElf.

What is WinkElf?  WinkElf is a venue much like Etsy that focuses on the buying and selling of handmade goods, vintage finds, and much needed supplies.

What will Stitchy have at WinkElf?  Stitchy will have most of her handmade items available also at the WinkElf shop.  If she can make an item once, Stitchy can make the exact same thing again in case the once-in-a-blue-moon chance of two people buying the exact same item actually occurs. 

What will Stitchy not have at WinkElf? Vintage items.  We simply can't replicate those.

While Stitchy's main focus will remain Etsy, WinkElf does offer some fantastic options that simply are not offered on Etsy:

1.  Scheduling:  It is actually possible on WinkElf to create a posting and then set a specific time for it to go live.  This can be especially handy if you know you will be unavailable one day, but still want to list an item.

2.  Multiple payment options:  PayPal, Google Checkout, and money orders are always popular methods, but they've got payment gateways Stitchy ain't even heard of!

3.  Batch photo uploading:  Trust us, it's even easier then the setup Etsy has and that's saying a lot.

4.  Auto-renewal on expired listings:  Listings on WinkElf expire every 30 days, however, they will automatically relist for you up to 12 times which is very convenient.

5.  Pre-populated listings:  Selling similar items? Have it automatically populate your listings for you.

6.  Listing emails:  When a seller lists an item they receive an email which includes practically enough information to make it worthwhile to print up and post somewhere around town as an advertisement flier.

7.  The ability to blog:  Much like the feature 1000 Markets had, WinkElf allows you to have your own blog attached to your WinkElf shop.

8.  The WinkElf email:  For a small fee, you can actually have your message sent to yourshopnamehere@winkelf.com. That's right.  If you like to have your shop emails all in one spot you can with WinkElf.

Currently their widget feature is being revamped so it may be a while before the WinkElf Widget (much like the Etsy Mini) shows up.  Interestingly, views have been slightly higher for individual items then on Etsy lately, however, September has always been a big month for Etsy and everyone is vying for attention.

So now, it will be possible to visit http://stitchyimpressions.winkelf.com/ to see our totally fantastic items there as well.


So this has been Stitchy great new announcement!  Here's also a link to this week's Icecream themed Treasury - it's just too yummy not to have it here:  http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4c9e4679d6248eef304ade1a/at-the-icecream-parlor?index=0


Stitchy will also leave you with a completely unrelated picture taken earlier this week by Mr. Stitchy of Simon The God of Hair-dos (yes that's his full name, but around here we call him Simon) and Miss Bell:



xoxo,
Stitchy

Friday, September 24, 2010

Featured Shop - Pattycake's Plunder

Greetings all!  Stitchy apologizes first off for the late, late posting of this blog.  Usually is us up on Friday mornings at 7am sharp but Stitchy had a busy week.

This week's blogpost is a special one.  So far our regular featured Etsy sellers have been some great handmade shops as well as a fantast bead supply store, but this is our first ever feature of a vintage seller.

Today's information is posted in a non interview form but just as informative.  Please be sure to take the time especially to go over a very enlightening section regarding vintage items for sale in general as well as some helpful tips from an experienced Etsy seller.


And now a word from Pattycake's Plunder:

I use to own an antique mall and an antique shop in Albany Oregon. I quickly learned about the antique and collectible business. I spent many hours studying and doing research on my items in my shops. Once I bought my first couple pieces of vintage jewelry I was hooked. The bling blinded my brain and I could see nothing in my future but sparkle.

I traded all my collectibles reference books on antiques for vintage jewelry reference books. I opened an online shop at Rubylane.com while I operated my shops and soon found I was making more money there. I later closed my shops due to lack of foot traffic in our small local town. Though I was doing very well on Rubylane I left their online shop because it was costing me too much in fees. I then continuted to do shows and I opened shops at Cyberattic.com ,Tias.com. and at that time Etsy was just starting out.

I opened my shop in July 2008 but I did not list my first item until Sept 2008. My first sale on Etsy was rather quick. I was very impressed with Etsy. I opened my shop just in time for the Christmas rush.

I did so well that I opened a second shop called The Pickers so I would have a place to sell my low end jewelry. I continue to keep my high end jewelry at Pattycakes Pluder and my low end vintage jewelry at Pickers shop.

Then one day I came across a huge estate where I purchased 50 lbs of vintage earrings. Thats when I opened June Cleavers Jewelry Box and I sell only vintage earrings there. As to date I have sold over $5,000.00 worth of just earrings at just $10.00 a pair.

Last March I opened my fourth Etsy shop called Hollywood Rings and I sell vintage rings. It has been very sucessfull to date.

I truly believe that doing my research and studing vintage and antique jewelry have been the best thing I have ever done and I still continue to do my research today. One can never learn enough about vintage jewelry. Having knowledge about your merchandise is key to getting your items sold and having your customers trust what you say in your descriptions. Excellent photos is also must in selling on Etsy.

I try to list new items daily to keep my customers interested in coming back. I also do relisting thru out the day to bring them to my shops as well. I do not advertise on facebook, twitter or any other revenues. I focus on my Etsy shops daily and by doing so it creates sales for me.

One of the things that really upsets me now is seeing so many other Etsy sellers now selling vintage jewelry online that have not a clue as to what they are selling. They just know by seeing other vintage jewelry shops doing so well that they want to get on the band wagon so they jump in with both feet and start selling vintage jewelry. I see many jewelery items being sold on Etsy that is in fact not vintage at all. I see items being sold as vintage Native American jewelry that are new pieces from Tibet or China. I see jewelry items in poor condition being sold with high dollar prices because the sellers simply did not do their homework. Its really saddens me to see this happening on Etsy. I would love to see Etsy hire staff members that specialize in vintage and vintage jewelry to help keep this from happening to the site.

My best advice to anyone wanting to sell vintage or vintage jewelry on Etsy is to please take the time to do your research on your items. Give clear accurate descriptions and take great photos. Most of all be professional in your packaging. Buyers really appreciate the time you time make sure their items get to them quickly and are packaged correctly. I wish I had started selling vintage jewelry online long before I opened my antique shops years ago. Its a great place to sell, the staff is helpful and professional. Please take the time to click on my shops links and have a look around. I provide FREE Worldwide shipping on all jewelry items. http://www.pattycakesplunder.etsy.com/, http://www.thepickers.etsy.com/, http://www.junecleavers.etsy.com/ and http://www.hollywoodrings.etsy.com/


This has been another great inteview of an Etsy seller and I must say we are very honored to be able interview such an experienced seller.  Thank you Pattycake's Plunder for taking the time to provide us with some awesome information!

Coming up on October 9th, 2010 Stitchy Impressions is still expecting to be at the 2010 Coalingafest in Coalinga California!  Hope to see you all there!

Also be sure to keep an eye out for yet another new line of pincushions!

xoxo,
Stitchy

Friday, September 17, 2010

Finished Projects

This week Stitchy is very proud to show off some great projects that she's recently finished.  Some of these projects will be appearing at Stitchy Impressions' Etsy shop and others are for Stitchy's own personal use.

First up is this adorable hat that Stitchy plans on using for everyday come winter time.  Excuse the badness of the photo please, have you ever tried taking a picture of yourself?


Kinda cute huh? Trust Stitchy when she says it looks better in real life.  The pattern was called Hannelore by Amy Duncan and can be purchased through http://www.knitpicks.com/.  Ms. Duncan can also be found on http://www.ravelry.com/.  The pattern was easy to follow and included both a graph and written instructions which was really nice and very much appreciated.

The next item(s) that Stitchy has recently completed were a few pincushions that she made up on a whim for the upcoming Coalingafest Car Show.  What pincushions have to do with cars, we'll never know, but they should look pretty cute in a basket at Stitchy's booth.  Here is the very first one:



And it's two sided, but not all the pincushions are.  Currently there are 5 but only 2 are appearing so far in Stitchy Impressions' Etsy shop.

The next thing Stitchy has created and is uber excited to present to the world made it's debut at Stitchy Impressions on Thursday the 16th and it is this totally awesome felted hand bag:


See how lovely it is!  The flowers are also pins so you can mix and match, etc.  While the purse is for sale and has the flowers included, there are no current plans to include the flowers for sale seperately at anytime.  They'll likely be free gifts with your purchase or accessories for things like these. 

Thanks for stopping by this week for another great read and for ooing and awing over Stitchy's recent projects!

xoxo,
Stitchy

Friday, September 10, 2010

Etsy Featured Artist - Feather Crochet

This week Stitchy had the pleasure of interviewing Etsy Seller Feather Crochet (http://feathercrochet.etsy.com/)  Feather Crochet specializes in some great and unique crocheted items for the home, for kids, and for adults!

On to the interview!

Stitchy: Some basic information, how long have you been at your craft and what originally brought you to Etsy?


Feather Crochet: I’ve been crocheting for over 30 years now. After much encouragement from friends and family I decided to try and sell some of the items I had made. I was surprised at how well I did. Many of the people who bought from me asked if I had a website that they could share with friends. At the time I didn’t. Then I found Etsy.


Stitchy: Where do you find your inspiration for your creations?


Feather Crochet: My first creations were afghans for family members. Later, after having two girls and being surprised at the cost of Barbie and baby doll clothes, I began designing my own outfits for their toys. Now I crochet whatever catches my eye. I also like to be challenged by other people’s imaginations. There’s nothing I like better then when someone asks, “Do you think you could make….” That’s always fun.


Stitchy: Who has been your biggest supporter and is there anything you'd like to be able to say to this person?


Feather Crochet: Definitely my family. My grandmother taught me how to crochet and for that I will be forever grateful. If it weren’t for the rest of my family’s encouragement I don’t think I would have continued to grow as I have. I thank them all for their love and support.


Stitchy:  As an artist, what are your favorite types of materials to use and where are your favorite places to go to get these items?


Feather Crochet: I love all yarn. I’ve just begun to work with eco-friendly yarns and I love them. I’m always hunting the web for yarns on sale and new types of yarn.


Stitchy: How was your experience with your very first sale on Etsy?


Feather Crochet: I became an Etsy member almost a year ago. It took me 8 months to work up the courage to actually list items and open my shop. I had my first sale the day after I opened. I couldn’t believe it! It was very exciting. Every time I get a sale it’s as exciting as the first. It’s such an incredible feeling to know people like what I’ve made.


Stitchy:  Do you also participate in local venues like craft fairs, and if you do what are some suggestions that help make that a success?


Feather Crochet: I enjoy participating in local craft shows and meeting people face to face. I always make sure I have a large selection of the things I make and let people know that I’m willing to work with them on made to order items.

Stitchy: What is the one thing that you don't have, but would love to have that would greatly assist you in your creations?


Feather Crochet:  More sales so I can buy more yarn! LOL.


Stitchy: What is your most favorite item in your shop and what makes it so special to you?


Feather Crochet: I don’t know if it’s my “most favorite” but the blue American Girl dress with matching tam is one of them. One of the reasons why is because it reminds me of a similar dress I had at one of my craft shows.

For over an hour I watched this little girl come over to my booth and look at the dress. She would touch it, smile at me, and then walk away only to return later and do the same thing. I asked her if she liked the dress. She explained to me that she had a doll at home that she loved very much and she thought the dress was very beautiful. She didn’t have any money and her mom was busy buying Christmas presents for other family members. She later brought her mom over and showed her the dress. Her mom agreed that it was a beautiful dress but that she had already gotten her presents for the little girl. When they left I wrapped the dress up and had my mom watch my booth. I found the little girl and her mom as they were leaving. I gave the girl the dress and told her “Merry Christmas”. Now I smile whenever I make a new dress, hoping it will end up on a much loved doll.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/54191556/cornflower-blue-american-doll-dress?ref=v1_other_2


Stitchy:  What do you feel are your best marketing tools?


Feather Crochet: Being a “newbie” I’m still trying to find my niche. I’m trying everything at the moment: business cards, Twitter, word of mouth and can often be found in the chat rooms between projects.


Stitchy:  What suggestions would you offer to brand new Etsy sellers?


Feather Crochet:  I’m still new myself but I believe that with work and perseverance any shop on Etsy has great potential.
 
 
What a great interview!  Please be sure to stop by and check out Feather Crochet's shop and her beautiful items!


Next week's article will be a feature on some upcoming items for Stitchy's shop as well as some bragging on recently completed projects!

On October 9th Stitchy could possibly be at (it's not set in stone yet, but Stitchy turned the application in) Coalingafest in Coalinga, CA!  Hope to see you all there!

xoxo,
Stitchy

Friday, September 3, 2010

Stitchy Impressions' New Line

It's finally here!!  The new line from Stitchy Impressions!

And it is called:  xoxo, Stitchy.

And now for the explanation as to what this line is for, and the only times the xoxo, Stitchy tag (pictured) will ever be seen.

This is Stitchy's gift line.  That's right.  None of the xoxo, Stitchy items will ever be sold.  These are items that Stitchy will make for people as gifts as well as items Stitchy chooses to keep for herself.

In a 100 years from now when your grandchildren are out shopping and stumble across an xoxo, Stitchy item at an antique store or thrift shop they will know that it was an item that was never commercially sold but something sweet that Stitchy made for someone she loves.  Pictured here is the very first item of the xoxo, Stitchy line.

This was an adorable felted hand bag that Stitchy made for her dear aunt, Robin.  It was made from a lovely maroon shade of Cascade 220 and includes 14 crochet flowers and thick lining made from upholstery fabric.  Robin loved it!

This is also a finished item bragging moment as a lot of effort went in to this item and it came out perfectly! 

On a side note, a similar item will soon appear in Stitchy Impressions on Etsy.  One of which is currently in the works as we speak from a beautiful neutral shade called Almond in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes.

So there you have it - Stitchy's new line available for only a select few of Stitchy's closest friends and loved ones.  Keep in mind though that a lot of love and care go in to every item that Stitchy makes, these however are just extra special for the reason that they won't be sold online or on consignment anywhere.

Stay tuned for next weeks exciting post which will be another interview of a fantastic Etsy store!  Also coming up will be a new Treasury for the week as well.  This will be able to be viewed by signing up for Stitchy's mailing list on the right!

xoxo,
Stitchy

Friday, August 27, 2010

Etsy Featured Artist - The Dreamery Photography With a Vision



Hello all out there in craftland!  This week Stitchy sat down for a fantastic interview with Naimah from The Dreamery - Photography With a Vision (http://dreameryphotography.etsy.com/)
Pictured here is Stitchy's favorite photography of Naimah's called Hills of Green.  

Now for the interview!


Stitchy:  Some basic information, how long have you been at your craft and what originally brought you to Etsy?


Naimah: I have been working with photography since my sophomore year of high school. I was actually taking a course in photography. It was so much fun but very hard because we were using manual, film cameras, not digital. Our teacher wouldn't allow for digital cameras because he wanted us to get used to learn the functionality of our cameras and how to take the perfect picture by hand--not with state-of-the-art technology. We also developed our own film by hand which was an amazing experience in itself. Unfortunately, after the class was over, I didn't continue photography until now. I have been using digital cameras ever since but I have found a deep appreciation for those using manual, film cameras.

When I first met Etsy, I was 12 years old. I was interested in web design and coding and traveled the web to find people much like me who shared the same passion. I cam across a website that linked to etsy and when I clicked on it, I saw this cluster of handmade goods that, for a 12 year old, was fascinating, yet confusing. So, I told my sister about it and she too thought it was nice but did not know how to use it--mind you, she was 13 at the time. Years later, at age 20, my sister returned to etsy, and began her online business called Flowers From Fatima (http://flowersfromfatima.etsy.com/), where she sells floral hair accessories. She inspired me to begin my craft, which at first was graphic and web design, but now is photography. I have enjoyed every moment of it.

 
Stitchy: Where do you find your inspiration for your creations?


Naimah: My inspiration comes from nature. I love the way things in life are viewed naturally. I like the way the petals on a flower fall and the vibrant and fresh colors of fresh produce at a grocery store appeals to all of our senses. All those experiences are involved in my work and I want my customers to know that the moment they click into my shop. I am not just some ordinary photography shop--I awaken the senses and offer photography with a vision.


StitchyWho has been your biggest supporter and is there anything you'd like to be able to say to this person?


Naimah:  My mother. My mother has encouraged me to stay away from the idea that "this is just a hobby". She wanted me to know that this IS a hobby but even more than that. This is a lifestyle. Do what you love and love what you do. It makes no sense to commit yourself to finding a "real" job while trying to make more money on the side from a hobby. That's too hard. Instead, immerse yourself in your loves because it isn't a job that gets people money--it's a deep satisfaction and love for what they do, a deep wanting to be involved in their passion, that sends prosperity their way. To my mother I want to say thank you and your inspiration and endless support has not only made me a better photographer, but a more confident and understanding human being.


Stitchy:  How was your experience with your very first sale on Etsy?


Naimah:  Believe it or not, my very first sale happened the day I opened my photography shop. I was so exited! It made me so confident in my skill as a photographer and made me realize that my work does have potential to be a success.


Stitchy:  What is the one thing that you don't have, but would love to have that would greatly assist you in your creations?


Naimah:  A more profesional digital camera. I always wanted a DLSR camera that takes great macro shots--but I have no funds to purchase this. I was so surprised at the quality of my photos from my small sony camera at the moment. It does such a great job and I love it but I think having a more professional camera would greatly assist my photography.


Stitchy: What is your most favorite item in your shop and what makes it so special to you?

NaimahMy most favorite item in my shop are my Fresh Bell Peppers!


http://www.etsy.com/listing/52198942/8x10-fresh-bell-peppers-photo

This photo is so special to me because of the vibrant and mouth-watering colors! All of my customers say that it makes them want salsa. It makes me so proud that they feel this way--that from ONE photo you can feel so many emotions and senses come alive. It was such a beautiful photo that most of my customers could relate to. It embodies my motto--photography with a vision.

 
Stitchy:  What do you feel are your best marketing tools?

Naimah:  I have a website (http://dreameryphotography.com/ ) where I WILL be posting my blog eventually and I have a twitter account as well (http://twitter.com/dreameryphoto ) where I constantly update my customers on my whereabouts as well as on any shop updates. I feel like the best marketing tool thus far is my twitter account--as I do not have my blog up yet. It will be up soon. Look forward to it! Follow me on twitter for updates!

Stitchy:  What suggestions would you offer to brand new Etsy sellers?


Naimah:  It's funny because I was actually offering critiques to various shops in the forums (http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6594760 ) where I gave FULL critiques of shops for free! :) A suggestion I would offer is: Don't look at Etsy as a "get rich quick" method. I am serious. You don't understand how many people go in the chat rooms and forums complaining that they haven't made a sale when they haven't even began promoting themselves! There are so many steps to becoming successful. When you are new to crafting, it will seem like it's costly and that there will be no return for you, but there is. You are in the learning process. Take this time to learn about different forms of promotion, making friends, and lastly making money. The odd thing is, it isn't the bigger orders that get you rich fast. It's the combination of many small orders that make you a profit. Think of the Dollar Tree. $1 for every single item. Again, many small orders can make you more of a profit th an one person buying your whole store. Besides, which do you think is more likely anyway?


This has been such a wonderful interview with a great young artist!  Naimah's eye for beauty and photography is indeed great and her photos truly show her unique personality. 

Keep up the good work Naimah!

Next week's blogpost will be a 2 part article.  Primarily it'll be a new segment called Stitchy Brags, where Stitchy gets to showcase finished projects, however, this time it's even extra special because it is also the first in Stitchy's new line!

Until next time ...

xoxo,
Stitchy




Friday, August 20, 2010

Book Review - Knitted Lace of Estonia: Techniques, Patterns, and Traditions

Greetings from Stitchy Impressions!

Recently I purchased the book Knitted Lace of Estonia: Techniques, Patterns, and Traditions written by Nancy Bush.  And I must say it is a great read!

Much like our previously reviewed book, Selbuvotter: Biography of a Knitting Tradition, this book also begins with a history of this unique and absolutely beautiful style of knitting.  Including an interesting andecdote about how a heart shaped pattern earned it's name Greta Garbo after the famous actress.

The book is also chalk full of old pictures as well as interesting information regarding scarf and shawl production during the days when Estonia was under Soviet control.

The next section of the book features techniques, stitch instructions, and blocking instructions as well as instuctions on grafting, casting on, and binding off.

The next section is my favorite however.  The next section is the patterns.  I've started making a pattern called "Peacock Tail and Leaf Scarf" (pictured) using Mango Moon Capelli yarn in Sage.  The yarn I'm using doesn't allow much for seeing the pattern but will when it's blocked.  The instuctions on the pattern are clear and concise and the grid used for the lace pattern is very simple and easy to follow.  A lot easier then I originally thought in fact.  I was nervous to make the 7-stitch nupp that was required for the scarf, but again, the ease and clarity of the instructions soon set my mind at ease and I'm making good progress in this beautifully detailed pattern.

The last section of the book shows individual lace patterns that are not incorporated into any of the patterns but easily can be for creating your own shawls and scarves.

Overall this book is a fantastic read and a perfect addition to your crafting library!

xoxo,
Stitchy

Friday, August 13, 2010

Featured Shop - The Bead Closet

Greetings from sunny Bakersfield!  Today Stitchy brings you a great interview of another fantastic Etsy seller!  Today's featured shop is none other then The Bead Closet and true to her name Bridget sells beads!! 

While we have so far tended to interview Etsy artisans and talk about their creations, it's high time that we give a big "Thank You" to those who supply the beads and findings without which there would be no beautiful jewelry items to buy. 

And so without any further ado, here is the interview:

Stitchy:  Some basic information, how long have you been finding and selling beads and what originally brought you to Etsy?


The Bead Closet:  Hello! My name is Bridget, and I manage The Bead Closet, a jewelry supply shop, based out of the New Jersey/New York area, on etsy.com. I like to think of TBC as a ,"bead boutique," in the sense that my shop is not stuffed to the brim with hundreds of thousands of pieces, but rather a collection of the pieces I have found to be the most exquisite, and riveting of their kind. I have been scoping out beads for some time now. I spent my high school summers assisting my jeweler cousin in finding beads, clasps, caps, pendants, etc. to be incorporated into her designs. I was introduced to Etsy last year when a friend of mine purchased a gorgeous anchor necklace. I took a look at the site, and the rest is history!



Stitchy: Where do you find your inspiration for the products you pick to sell?


The Bead Closet: When it comes to inspiration, I am constantly examining shops of Etsy jewelry makers, and others who bring beads, etc. into their products. I like to get a sense of what the clientele finds interesting, and mix that with my own taste to decide upon the perfect pieces to bring into my shop. I also encourage buyers to request custom orders, so they know they always have a place to turn to when in need of that specific item that they just HAVE to have to make their project a whole.



Stitchy: Who has been your biggest supporter and is there anything you'd like to be able to say to this person?


The Bead Closet: Every person who has ever clicked, "beadcloset," is an enormous supporter of mine. To be able to get my name out there, and have it be accepted is extremely supportive, and rewarding. I know I'm sounding like some sort of pop-sensation, or human rights activist, not an online jewelry supplier, but I can't help it! There are a few special Etsians I would like to mention, however. First of all, http://stitchyimpressions.etsy.com/ has been crucial in helping me become known. My first buyer, http://daniellesjewelry.etsy.com/, for taking a chance and purchasing from a little supplier with no sales, no feedback, nada, and of course, my close Etsy friends, http://erynlovely.etsy.com/, http://lisadonnelly.etsy.com/, http://alaroycreature.etsy.com/, http://bertlene123.etsy.com/, and http://ferncuriosities.etsy.com/. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart! (There's the Academy Award winner in me coming out!)



Stitchy: As an artist, what are your favorite types of beads?


The Bead Closet: When it comes to my favorite types of beads, I tend to take a liking to the gemstones and resins. I love the natural essence present in them, and their appearance once they are compiled into a beautiful product.



Stitchy:  How was your experience with your very first sale on Etsy?


The Bead Closet: Ah! My first etsy sale! When I began using Etsy a couple of weeks ago, I was so paranoid of linking my bank account to Paypal, so for the first day or two, I only accepted checks/money orders. Big mistake! So when someone (http://daniellesjewelry.etsy.com/) took a liking to my Antique Brass Flower Caps, it was either get Paypal (and fast!) or die, (or you know, just lose a sale.). I took the leap of faith, frantically sprinting to Paypal, setting up an account, and receiving my first payment! It was completely worth it after that, and a big load has been lifted off my shoulders when it comes to payment.



Stitchy: Do you also participate in local venues like craft fairs, and if you do what are some suggestions that help make that a success?


The Bead Closet:  I have not taken part in any craft/supply fairs as of now, however, I have been on the look-out for venues in my area. I'm sure it would be a great experience, and a chance for me to try out some face-to-face business.



Stitchy: What is the one thing that you don't have, but would love to have that would greatly assist you in your shop?


The Bead Closet: There are an inordinate amount of items I would love to have for my shop, mostly items retaining to branding. One thing I am dying to have are personalized address labels. Right now, I use some I got when I was a kid, and cut off my name so it seems more professional. I think a nice elegant stamp, or some sort of design with, "The Bead Closet," and my address printed on it would improve my shop, and I could save the, "address label cutting," step during my packaging process.



Stitchy:  What is your most favorite item in your shop and what makes it so special to you?


The Bead Closet:  I would have to say one of my most prized shop items, that it will be bittersweet when it is sold, are the 6mm Czech Fire Polish Milky Pink beads, (http://www.etsy.com/listing/52529816/6mm-czech-fire-polish-milky-pink-beads ). This is the very first item that was added when The Bead Closet opened, and it just can't seem to find a home. I think they are some of the most beautiful beads I have ever laid my eyes on, and my cousin used to love to work with them during her amateur jewelry-making days. They are so simple, yet, can add so much to one piece with their presence. Help them find a home!



Stitchy:  What do you feel are your best marketing tools?


The Bead Closet:  The chat rooms have done wonders for me in terms of marketing tools! I have not only found supportive friends, it is almost as if you are a little town shop, with the same reliable people running in and out, buying, promoting, etc. for you. I do use facebook to market: (http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bead-Closet/146577112026403?ref=ts ) as well as twitter: www.twitter.com/thebeadcloset , but they do not seem to have done as much for me, at least, not for the time being.



Stitchy:  What suggestions would you offer to brand new Etsy sellers?


The Bead Seller:  Although I'm still pretty new myself, to those of you just joining etsy, remember, communication is everything! It's not only important to communicate with your buyer, so they don't feel in the dark, but as you start out, be sure you're taling to people, getting your name out there. I wouldn't spend money on a showcase just yet, instead, see if you can get into some treasuries, (in my opinion, better advertisement than a showcase, especially if you're lucky enough to get on the homepage!), make use of the forums and chat rooms, and keep your show coherent and clean! Just be patient, and soon enough, a sale will come in. Your sales will become more frequent as the number of sales and feedback you have increase.




What a fantastic interview!!  Please be sure to check out The Bead Closet the next time you're looking for something wonderful and unique to make your jewelry designs one of a kind!


xoxo,
Stitchy

Friday, August 6, 2010

Book Review - Selbuvotter: Biography of a Knitting Tradition

A while back I bought this absolutely wonderful book called Selbuvotter: Biography of a Knitting Tradition by Terri Shea and I must say that it was completely worth the cost.

I had started noticing Norwegian mitten patterns online when I was first learning to knit, but being new to knitting I was very unsure about wanting to even attempt these mittens. 

In doing some more research however I found out about this book and even better then that, I found it on knitpicks.com which I had just recently discovered around the same time so I ordered it. 

The book begins with a detailed history of how these mittens started in Norway by two sisters, how they expanded to quite the cottage industry, as well as many other facts that make them so special.  I was particularly intrigued by how the tops of the mittens and of each finger on the gloves comes to a point instead of being rounded like one would expect.  I also was able to learn about the different types of designs and how they were incorporated into the peices.  It was an interesting read.

After the history of the the mittens and their invention comes 30 patterns the majority of which were based off of actual historic peices from the original creators that are now in museums.  The one pictured is what I am currently working on and it is the very first pattern in the book.  I hope I have it completed in time for winter!  Unfortunately the adult ADD may prevent that but here's hoping!

I also did create and already complete a pair of mittens in lime green and brown.  Again they were based off of a museum peice and included the name "Esther" in the decoration. 

Being so new to knitting and having a tendency to make things harder then necessary, I had a difficult time at first.  However, the instructions were pretty clear and I was able to make the mittens without any issues.  I was so happy that the mittens turned out that I then started these blue and white gloves and am happy how they are turning out as well.  I even went so far as to go out and buy a notebook of graph paper so I can make my own designs.

I would highly recommend to any knew knitter who happens to come across this book to definitely begin with mittens first and then graduate to gloves once you get used to the technique.

Overall - this is a fantastic book that definitely should belong in every knitter's library!  Be sure to have a look the next time you come across it and I can guarentee that you will fall in love with these designs.

xoxo,
Stitchy

Friday, July 30, 2010

Featured Artist - Peridot Snow Designs

Good day to all of you out there in Craftland!  Stitchy of Stitchy Impressions has discovered a lovely Etsy shop that all of you should see! The shop is called Peridot Snow Designs and is run by a wonderful artist named Kara.  Kara's specializes in beautiful and earthy jewelry and is definitely worth taking a look at.

Below is our interview with Kara:

Stitchy:  Some basic information, how long have you been at your craft and what originally brought you to Etsy?
Kara:  My name is Kara and I'm 22 years old and my birthday is August 26th. I started showing some interest in Jewelry making back before I was 16, and I remember getting a beading magazine for my 16th birthday (which I still have) and I have been creating pieces of jewelry since then. At that time I knew nothing so I have become to know the jewelry terms and techniques much more but still need much more practice! I stumbled upon etsy one day and checked it out and thought hmm I'd love to have a shop there someday and months later http://www.peridotsnow.etsy.com/  was formed!

Stitchy:  Where do you find your inspiration for your creations?
Kara:  I am inspired many times by art, nature, fashion, and interior design. I get color ideas from all these places and blogs always seem to inspire me late at night.

Stitchy:  Who has been your biggest supporter and is there anything you'd like to be able to say to this person?
Kara:  My biggest supporters have always been my mom and sister, they are always encouraging me. I love them dearly for understanding my passion and love for creating.

Stitchy:  As an artist, what are your favorite types of materials to use and where are your favorite places to go to get these items?
Kara:  Glass Beads are my favorite, all shapes and sizes! I shop online a lot, but I also enjoy going to A.C. Moore (craft supply shop)

Stitchy:  How was your experience with your very first sale on Etsy?
Kara:  My very first sale was a dear friend, and I was so thankful for the sale but when I got my first sale from a stranger it was so exciting!

Stitchy:  Do you also participate in local venues like craft fairs, and if you do what are some suggestions that help make that a success?
Kara:  I have not participated in any local fairs/shows but hope to in the future.

Stitchy:  What is the one thing that you don't have, but would love to have that would greatly assist you in your creations?
Kara:  bead stoppers, as crazy is it sounds I don't have any yet and that will be a great help to those beads that easily slide off and fly everywhere! I'm sure their are many other things I'd like that would greatly help, like new tools!

Stitchy:  What is your most favorite item in your shop and what makes it so special to you?
Kara:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/48517956/coffee-necklace  when making this with help from a friend we raved about how we wanted to keep it for ourselves! Fall is my favorite season and I think this would go lovely with a fall outfit.

Stitchy:  What do you feel are your best marketing tools?
Kara:  I have a blog-- http://www.peridotsnowdesigns.blogspot.com/  but the blog hasn't been as successful as my facebook fanpage www.facebook.com/peridotsnow  but the most successful for me has been word of mouth...I have great friends that share their pieces with family members which then get me other sales!

Stitchy:  What suggestions would you offer to brand new Etsy sellers?
Kara:  Stay positive, have good prices, and keep at it. Everything takes time, and building a great online shop will take sometime. I'm pretty new myself and I'm still constantly working on bettering things.


Kara is a wonderful seller and it was such a great interview!  Be sure to stop by http://peridotsnow.etsy.com/ and check out some awesome jewelry items!

xoxo,
Stitchy

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Do You Suffer from Second Sock Syndrome?

First of all, to find out if you suffer from Second Sock Syndrome you must first know what it is and what the symptoms of it are.

Definition of Second Sock Syndrome - The inability to complete creating (whether sewing, knitting, or crocheting) a full pair of socks, gloves, etc.

Symptoms:
1.  A sense of pride at completing the first sock or glove followed by a strong desire to begin a new project and not complete the second sock or glove.
2.  Feelings of boredom when beginning the second item.
3.  Conveniently running out of supplies for the second sock but not ever restocking the items you need to finish.


We all suffer from Second Sock Syndrome.  Just admit it.  You can do it.  Admitting there's a problem is the first step to solving it and moving on with your life. 

Now that you've admitted it, you now get to hear of a terrible experience that can result from leaving Second Sock Syndrom untreated.

About 4 years ago now, I had dug out all of my crocheting supplies after a hiatus from crafting.  I had a beautiful varigated yarn from Red Heart called Blueberry Pie and a very pretty solid shade of blue also from Red Heart called Windsor blue and I thought: "These would make some pretty slippers!" So I scoured the internet for a pattern.

I ended up finding a very cute pattern for ballet slippers that had some very nice ridges on the sole of the slipper and work began. 

I completed the first one (pictured above).  I was so proud.  I should it to the hubby who thought it was cute.  I took a picture of it on my phone and sent it to my mom.  It was great!

Then I got distracted by a pattern for a purse and took a 'break' from the slippers.

A year later we moved to a new apartment and I found that first slipper and I thought it was time to finish the pair.  But to my dismay I discovered the pattern was lost.  I found the pattern for the purse that distracted me, but the slipper pattern was lost.

I searched the internet again but never could find that pattern, the whole while the evil purse pattern taunted me.

I tried to make the second slipper without the pattern which would have worked out had I remembered what the size was for the crochet hook. 

So now here I am with one warm slipper and one cold foot.

Don't end up like me! 

Tips to combat Second Sock Syndrome:
1.  Ignore the feelings of pride after that first sock and immediately start the second one.
2.  Find some two-at-a-time sock patterns.
3.  If you have to gloat about that first sock, then set aside some specific time to work on that second one until it is finished.
4.  If you absolutely must start something else - put the pattern in a spot where you will be able to find it again and make sure you at least do that right away.
5.  Start using that first one becuase you'll look dumb in one slipper and will be forced to make that second one to avoid ridicule and public shame.

And if anyone out there knows the location of that slipper pattern I started with, make me happy and tell me where it is so I know longer have just the one slipper.  I still have the yarn and cant even bring myself to use it because it's there to finish the slipper!  (seriously, like I can't just buy more)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What Mr. Lucky Did

There's no good reason that the picture that is the picture for this post is here. It's primarily because I wouldnt know even how to go about finding a royalty free photo of Cary Grant. Now you're probably wondering why. So here's the story...


Lately, my husband and I have taken to recording a lot of old Cary Grant movies and watching them when we have a chance. The other night we watched one called "Mr. Lucky" from 1943. It was about a gambler (played by Cary Grant) who was trying to avoid the draft. In his attempt to leave the country to avoid fighting in the war he assumed another identity so that he could raise money to get a boat and leave the country. He decides to swindle a charity.

He first approaches them to see if he could run some gambling tables at a ball they were having and he was told no. To win them over however he signs up to do work with them. The woman in charge of the charity was on to him though and in an attempt to embarrass him she had him KNIT for the war effort!!

That's right! Cary Grant, a non Namby-Pamby tough guy, knitted in a movie!! He actually knitted too! It wasn't faked, he did it!!

I was stunned! And that wasnt the only scene he knitted in either. Knitting came up several times in the course of the movie, including his driver showing the other gangsters how to knit also.

So here's a big ol' thumbs up to a great actor!! Oh, and it was a great movie to by the way, check it out if you're in the mood for an interesting story and a good laugh.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Featured Artist - Only One Hand Knit Collectibles


I discovered this absolutely lovely little shop in the Etsy forums earlier this week and am proud to present Only One Hand Knit Collectibles as my very first Featured Artist.

Below is a fantastic interview with Bonnie, Only One's proprietor and the creator of some very unique toys.  Pictured is my personal favorite - Miss Birdie.  You'll find out in the interview that Bonnie and I have that in common - Miss Birdie is awesome!

Bonnie makes a wide variety of custom knit toys that are an absolute pleasure to see.  She is a very creative and talented artist.


And now, off to the Interview!

Stitchy: Some basic information, how long have you been at your craft and what originally brought you to Etsy?


Bonnie:  I have been knitting and making dolls since I was very young. I only recently decided to sell my creations, and Etsy seemed like the ideal way for me to do that. So many people from all around the world can see my toys, and I love how easy it is.



Stitchy:  Where do you find your inspiration for your creations?

Bonnie:  I’m a new mom, so my 7 month old daughter is my biggest inspiration. She has a lot of toys, so I tend to make fun toys with cute names that I think are unique.



Stitchy: Who has been your biggest supporter and is there anything you'd like to be able to say to this person?

Bonnie:  My biggest supporters are my family, especially my husband. He puts up with little bits of yarn all over the house and has helped me organize my supplies. He is also the one who I bounce my ideas off of, which is a big help too.



Stitchy:  As an artist, what are your favorite types of materials to use and where are your favorite places to go to get these items?

Bonnie:  I love using yarn in beautiful or fun colours and textures. I have bins full of yarn that I’ve collected over the years, and I like rummaging though them every so often to re-discover what I have.



Stitchy:  How was your experience with your very first sale on Etsy?

Bonnie:  I was over the moon! I think I told every one I know about it. Shortly after my first sale, I got my second, and I was just as excited!



Stitchy:  Do you also participate in local venues like craft fairs, and if you do what are some suggestions that help make that a success?

Bonnie:  So far, I haven’t done any craft fairs, but I might do one this fall. Besides Etsy, I also sell my toys in two boutiques - one near me in Burlington, Ontario, and one in New York City.



Stitchy: What is the one thing that you don't have, but would love to have that would greatly assist you in your creations?

Bonnie:  Time! I have so many ideas and projects in my mind that I want to do.  I usually knit during my daughter’s naptime, but I’m going back to work in September, so I’ll have to find time on the weekends to work on my toys.



Stitchy: What is your most favorite item in your shop and what makes it so special to you?
Bonnie:  My favorite item has to be Miss Birdie. http://www.etsy.com/listing/49667316/handmade-knitted-bird-miss-birdie

After I designed and created her, I decided that I wanted to share her with the world, so the next day I set up my Etsy shop! And I love her little poem too.



Stitchy: What do you feel are your best marketing tools?

Bonnie:  Facebook and word of mouth have been my best marketing tools so far.



Stitchy:  What suggestions would you offer to brand new Etsy sellers?

Bonnie:  I’m a new Etsy seller myself, so I still have a lot to learn. I found that going on the Etsy forums helped me figure out many things. Some more experienced Etsy sellers told me to spend some time making your banner and avatar reflect your shop, and try to renew a few items each day.



Such a great interview!  It was a pleasure to get to know a fellow Etsian!  Please be sure to check out Bonnie's Only One shop at http://bgordon2.etsy.com/ for further information and to see some wonderfully artistic toys!

xoxo,
Stitchy