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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

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Recent Etsy Purchase - A Vintage Item

I just purchased these orange shoes from Skin & Wood Vintage(www.etsy.com/shop/skinandwood) and I must say I was truly impressed with the entire experience.

I placed my order on Friday morning, Pacific Standard Time, and by that evening already had confirmation from PayPal that the package had shipped.  It showed up in my mail on Tuesday!  How ridiculously fast was that shipping!  Granted Skin & Wood is not that far from me, however, I was greatly impressed with the speed in which she sent the item out.

It was also wrapped up perfectly.  Each shoe was wrapped in tissue paper and then together they were wrapped in brown paper and tied with a light blue ribbon.  A red tag was also there with a friendly thank you note for my purchase.

While I know deep down that I'm the one who made the purchase it did feel a lot like I was opening a present which was awesome!!

They fit perfectly and they match an orange dress I just bought recently at Banana Republic which makes them even better. 

I would definitely recommend Skin & Wood Vintage and will definitely order from them again!

xoxo,
Stitchy

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Original Little Spool Girl

Meet Emma.  This is the original Little Spool Girl.  So here's a great history on how Stitchy Impression's Little Spool Girls came to be. 

A very long time ago, my mother started making some odds and ends crafts to sell in a consignment store.  My dad made a few items also and the things they made were: small wooden footstools, fabric teddy bears and various other things.  My mom then got the idea to make wooden spool dolls for sale.  Her very first one was Emma (pictured).  Emma was officially born on April 14, 1993 and my mom let me have her.  Unlike today's Little Spool Girls Emma's head is considerably smaller, she sits on a small wooden square instead of a heart, she does not have wooden balls for her hands and feet, and her face is different then the Little Spool Girls currently have.

The dolls were a big hit locally.  In fact, Mom even made some for her friends and everyone enjoyed them very much.  Unfortunately, the consignment store didn't last very long and for several years there were no spool dolls made.

Then, in the summer of 2004 my family decided it would be fun to take a road trip to Canada.  As a way to make some extra cash for the trip my mom, my sister, and I started making various things to sell at the local farmer's market which was only a block away from our house.  My sister made jewelry and me and mom started making the spool dolls again.  At the time we condensed "spool dolls" to "spoodles" and they were a hit again.  We actually had more custom requests then we did for the ones that we had made. 

That summer I also worked in a dry cleaners and my boss was also kind enough to allow me to sell the dolls there as well.

By 2005, however, we'd already gone to Canada and I got engaged so that summer was spent on wedding preparations and not on Little Spool Girls.

In 2010, my friend Maria and I were planning on having a booth at the Scottish Games here in Bakersfield.  (As a side note Maria is Scottish and lived there for several years).  I started working away on making Scottish themed spool dolls.  Unfortunately, our plans fell through and I now have about 20 Little Spool Girls with Scottish names and wearing plaid dresses. 

The Little Spool Girls have again now reappeared in my shop - Stitchy Impressions.  Each one is a one of a kind original and are made with very special care.  In light of this I also now include a certificate of authenticity for each one also.  So here's hoping they find their popularity again.

Check out the current ones in my Etsy and 1000 Markets Shops.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Welcome Message - A Time of Firsts


Greetings from sunny Bakersfield! And welcome to the new blog of Stitchy Impressions. We are a wonderful little shop of handmade goodies.


A little about us (or me I should say):

-Stitchy Impressions was officially founded in 2010 however I have many years of experience in crafting.

-We specialize in crocheted and knitted items and jewelry and the occasional unique vintage item that comes our way. (And I do mean unique - currently you will find at stitchyimpressions.etsy.com a lovely pair of vintage maxi pads).

-We are also coming out with a line of spool dolls that we hope will become highly collectible.


How it got started:

It was a sunny day in the small town of Coalinga. I was about 8 years old at the time, my sister was 10, and she didn't want to play with me. In my boredom I went and started pestering my mom who was crocheting at the time. She sat me down with a pink skein of yarn and a brass colored size H Boye crochet hook and that is how I learned to make a granny square. After my first square was made I went through mom's yarn stash and made a giant granny square blanket (pictured) which I still have and the rest is history! I still have the crochet hook too.
My intention now with this blog is obviously going to be shameless shop promotion but also will include product updates, shop announcements, product reviews (I do enjoy ordering from other Etsy and 1000 Markets shops) and anything else that pops into my mind.
Sit back, enjoy a hopefully good and mildly entertaining read, and feel free to offer any comments, suggestions, etc.