Showing posts with label etsy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label etsy. Show all posts

11 March 2013

Etsy Love: Goody Jar

I am not the only avid Etsy shopper in my family. My eight-year-old daughter has bought a handful of items (with her own allowance!) from wonderful Etsy sellers in the past year or two.

She immediately fell in love with these "sweeties" from the GoodyJar when I showed her a photo. (Yes, I am such an enabler!) She didn't have enough money saved up at the time, so she had to wait a few weeks.

via GoodyJar

Every few days, she would mention how much she wanted them and take a peek online to see them.

When we finally ordered them, the shop just so happened to be offering Free Shipping for the sweeties! So I guess it was a good idea to wait ;) I also wrote a short note to Robin of GoodyJar to tell her how much my daughter was loving her items and couldn't wait to receive them. She replied quickly, saying that she would include a special gift for Sofia!

A few short days later, we got a sweet package.

Sofia opens the sweetly packaged items as Zara watches on. Washi tape and hand-drawn word art? What's not to love?!

The extra-special free gift just for Sofia came in a polka-dot glassine envelope! So unique and that extra something that made Sofia extra happy ;)

Cuddling her sweeties. I think she likes them!

I'm so happy Sofia loves handmade crafts as much as I do. And even happier that she is more than willing to save her own allowance money to buy the items she falls in love with. (Sofia has her eye on this item next.)


Check out the GoodyJar shop here.
Or Robin's beautiful blog.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

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08 February 2013

Etsy Love: Bluebird Lab

Long before I opened my Etsy shop for business, I was (and still am) an Etsy buyer. I love Etsy!

I often turn to Etsy for my felt supplies, vintage items, gifts for my family and friends and yes, those just for me items.I'd love to share some of my favorite shops and purchases with you!

Because I know how much creativity, time and attention to detail goes into each item sold - from the photographs you see in the shop to the packaging - I am delighted when I receive an item that is lovingly made and packaged.

I fell in love with this geometric wooden necklace from BlueBirdLab. It is colorful, light and boho. The natural mix of wood and leather cording appealed to me. I was intrigued by the packaging as well. The triangle stamps not only stand for BlueBird, but echo the geometric motif in Juste's jewelry! The simple packaging (kraft paper bag, with a strip of stamped paper and "thank you" tag) was stylish and unique. I love it!

When I wore it to a recent craft conference, I got several compliments on it. The shape and feel of the wooden beads are very tactile. I found myself playing with beads while I wore them (kinda like worry stones on a string!). And it added some needed pops of color to my outfit.

There are several other color variations on this necklace in her shop. Loving this one and this as well!

via BlueBirdLab

She also has some newer designs using brass elements. Lovely!

via BlueBirdLab

You can read more about BlueBirdLab here. Or visit her blog or Facebook page.

I hope you enjoyed this post!  I love the Etsy community and enjoy supporting my fellow creatives whenever I can. I plan on posting more about my Etsy finds and loves in the future, so please stay tuned!

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09 October 2012

I got schooled at School House Craft!

One of the classroom at School House Craft. Love the framed blackboard and bulletin board.

I am not the most outgoing person in the world.

So when I first heard about School House Craft last year at Urban Craft Uprising, I immediately loved the idea of it. Learning all about opening and running an indie craft business? Organized by Andrea Porter, wife of Matthew Porter, whose work I'm a big fan of (and have several pieces)?! Being around other crafters? The conference was even being held in an old brick and mortar school. Sounded awesome!

But actually going was a different story. So I let it pass me by. My Etsy shop was barely off the ground at the time, I told myself. It's too expensive. I won't know anyone. These excuses got the better of me.

Fast forward one year.

Catshy Crafts has been up and running for about a year. I've slowly increased in sales and views. I had a public viewing of my work. My work has been featured in a national magazine and a popular blog.

Again, I began to hear the buzz about the conference. But the same excuses cropped up. Before I knew it, the early deadline to get discounted tickets passed. Now, if I buy tickets I'd feel bad for missing the discount. I won't know anyone. I'm not good enough. Etc. Etc. (Yup, I'm real good with coming up with excuses!)

May the crafts gods be ever in your favor.

But it seemed like the crafty gods and goddesses were conspiring against me (or for me - depending on how you look at it.)

Even with my social anxiety, I was seriously considering attending ONE class from the conference. $30 for one class. In and out. And none of the dreaded small talk between classes or finding some one to eat with at lunch. One class I could handle. It was also a class I knew would come in handy come November (more on that in another post!).

But just a few days before the conference was to start, I got word of Groupon deal - about 50% off tickets to.....Wait for it...... School House Craft. Way better than the early bird special. $45 for a one-day ticket. So, for just $15 more than I was going to pay for a single class, I could get the whole day of classes PLUS lunch and snacks. (And I even got $5 more off the deal because I had Groupon Bucks!).

So, it was a done deal. I signed up for a full day of classes.

From the mouths of babes

During the days before the conference, I had a case of "first-day-of-school jitters". Luckily, I have a very supportive daughter who gave me some words of wisdom.

You see, my daughter started a new school this year. She was worried about not knowing anyone at her new school and leaving her old ones behind. When I told her I was nervous about going to "my school", she said: That's how I felt when I was going to my new school! But don't worry, you'll make friends!"

I loved that the conference took place in an actual school house! :) Photographs of previous classes lined the halls.

Name Dropping Time

I met super-nice folks like UC organizer, Kristen Rask and School House Craft organizer, Andrea Porter.
I sat at the morning round table discussion with Stephen and Shauna. I chatted with sisters, Molly and Emily. I met Marlo (oops I called her Marla!). I even snagged a spot in her small object photography workshop at the last minute.

I re-connected with a couple of people I had met before (at an EtsyRain meet-up), Amy (who also happened to be my daughter's art teacher last year) and Kelly, who was at the Joy Guild booth where we made our own name tags.

I made a fabric yo-yo for my name tag :) The necklace is by BlueBird Lab.

I also managed to overcome my fear of small talk and introduce myself to people. Asked a few questions.
Suggested topic of a morning round table ("good booth displays at craft show"). Raised my hand in class.
Exchanged business cards. Got some amazing feedback on my shop.

View from the 3rd floor of the Phinney Neighborhood Center.

Class is in Session

I also learned so much from the talks I attended.

My first class was "Craft Show Vending - A to Z" with Kristin Rask and Moxie. (They posted a PDF of their talk here.) Not only did I get a run-down on craft shows, but I got excited (and slightly freaked out) about participating in my very first craft show in November.

One particular nugget of wisdom that hit close to home was from Moxie. When they were talking about the reasons for doing a craft show (it's not all about the money), she shared that she herself is an introvert. And even though the experience is exhausting and tiring and draining, it was worth it at the end of the day. For the contacts made, the relationships formed, the experience of being with other crafty people.

And yes, that is how I felt about going to School House Craft!

What a big step this was for me. Not just going to the conference and confronting my fears (which of course was huge for me - I am an extreme introvert!). But taking a step towards meeting "my people". The crafty folks who love to make things, and obsess over their photos and item descriptions, who get elated when a sale comes in. Or when they get a new Facebook Fan. And above all, love handmade.

One of the classrooms of School House Craft. Love the hardwood floors, built-in cabinets and blackboard.

Celebrating Success May Be the Key to Success

That was the name of the next class taught by Emira Mears, author of blog and book The Boss of You

She talked about the reasons why we need to share our successes with our friends and family and community at large. To celebrate every milestone so that we can see how far we've come.

It may feel like we're tooting our own horn, but it is actually something we need to do more of.
She even gave us the opportunity to do so in class. Taking her words to heart, I shared some of my own good news with the class. (re: my recent publication). It did feel good to a) contribute to the conversation b) get some slaps on the back for my accomplishment.

One of the many photos hanging in the halls. Looks like balloon day at the school house!

Small Object Photography

For the next session, I was going to see Stephen and Shauna's talk on collaborating (because I would love  to collaborate with other blogs and shops in the future!), but at the last minute decided to ask Marlo if she had a free spot in her small object photography workshop. I was kinda craving a more intimate session and one-on-one feedback on my shop.

We took turns looking at our Etsy shops, specifically the photos of our items. When we got to me, I was shocked that Marlo had nothing to criticize! So, we essentially "skipped" me. Her positive comments to me were a huge boost to my confidence -- definitely a moment to remember. My Sally Fields moment, if you will. ("You really like me!")

But I still learned some useful tips and techniques for photographing smaller object like jewelry and pieces with reflective surfaces. And got to chat more with my friend, Amy.

Marlo demonstrating how to photograph small objects.

After this class was over, I grabbed some of the after-school snacks (s'mores cookies and Theo's chocolates) and headed home to my family. It was quite a day!

What's Next?

Knowing that there are great resources out there for Etsy-preneurs and creatives like School House Craft is amazing! I just have to give myself that push to get out the door to connect with people in person. Maybe a Crafty Meet-up here or an Art Opening there.  And definitely the next School House Craft!

See you next year!

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04 October 2012

Happy 100 Sales! Thank You So Much!

This little hoop is my 100th sale!

When I opened Catshy Crafts over a year ago, I never thought I'd reach 100 sales. Seriously, it seemed like such an impossible number at the time. My first sale came several months after I opened up shop. The customer was a friend of mine. I hand-delivered her wreath.

From there, it took about 11 months to make 99 more.

Here's A Breakdown

Most of my customers are in the U.S. but I've also shipped orders to Canada, Great Britain, Germany and Singapore.

By far, most of my orders have been embroidery hoop art. The most popular being my personalized oval one with the felt banner. An item I first made for my two daughters.

My most popular wreath is the one that still hangs on my front door. And the one that my very first customer ordered.

I've had slow times without any sales. And super-busy times with a long list of orders waiting to be filled.
I've had super-productive times with my creative mojo flowing and not-so-productive times.

But through it all, I've enjoyed running Catshy Crafts.

Every hoop I made was a labor of love.
Every wreath I wrapped.
Every felt flower I cut and sewed together.

I've discovered my passion for felt.
For embroidery. For the good ole needle and thread.
For wooden embroidery hoops.

It's been a wonderful ride so far and I am excited to see where it takes me next!

Thank You!

As a special thank you to my customers and followers, I'd love to share the love!

Use coupon code "happy100" at check-out and you will get 20% of your next purchase. This offer expires Friday, October 19, but you can use it as many times as you want until then.

Thanks for stopping by today!

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20 September 2012

New in the Shop: Personalized Banner Wreath (Zara's Birthday Wreath)

Happy Birthday Zara

Way back in June, I created this yarn-wrapped wreath for my daughter, Zara's third birthday party decor. I knew it would be purple (she helped me pick out the yarn at Joann's). For the flower embellishments I knew I wanted pink. But not a bubblegum pink. Or a ballet pink. I settled on this marvelous mauve and added a touch of soft grey for a sophisticated feel.

To make it even more personalized for the birthday girl, I wanted to add her name on a banner. At first I was going to use felt for the flags or maybe even paper, but I happened to be going through my scrapbooking supplies and found these mini canvas triangle pennant flags. They have these silver-tone eyelets for easy threading and are a breeze to embroider each letter of her name.

Mix it Up!

I love the mixture of textures: the cozy yarn, and felt next to the rougher texture and frayed textured of the canvas flags.  Add some purple baker's twine and vintage style buttons and I'm in heaven!

For the flower embellishments, I changed it up from my other wreaths. I used one of each color in a loopy flower, scalloped rose, straight-edge rose and pinked-edge rose. The leaves are also a bit different. I notched the leaves. A subtle difference, but there it is.

Birthday Decor

And this is how I displayed the wreath - along with a felt banner (that usually hangs in my scraproom), a yarn-wrapped letter Z (that I made for her birthday last year), the month-to-month photo collage (a photo from every month in her life), her felt birthday crown (also from last year), a yarn wrapped embroidery hoop/wreath with a felt bow (coming to the shop soon!), a Z pendant (from her grandparents) and a few birthday cards (her older sister (who is my model for the wreath) made the large one!)

Order Your Own Personalized Wreath!

You can order your own yarn-wrapped wreath with the word of your choice (2-4 letters) embroidered on the canvas banner. It could be a name or a word like "home" or "love" or "joy".

You can follow my lead, and  use it for your special birthday girl's party decor. After the party's over, hang in it on her bedroom door or wall as a name plaque.

If you choose a non-name word (like love or home), you can hang your custom-made wreath on your front door or on a wall inside your home. Your home will be a little bit cozier with this hand-crafted wreath! It also makes a wonderful housewarming gift, birthday present or thank you gift.

I hope you enjoyed this look at my latest wreath. Thanks for stopping by today!

p.s. I just sent out my Fall 2012 Catshy Crafts Newsletter. It contains a special exclusive subscriber offer, so in case you're not on the subscriber list you can sign up here.

p.p.s. And if you enjoyed this blog post and/or this new wreath, please share! Pin it. Facebook it. Tweet it. I would so appreciate it :)

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10 September 2012

New in the Shop: Monogram Embroidery Hoop Art with Felt Flowers and Leaves

Fall is almost here. The weather is cooling off. Some of the leaves on my maple tree are already turning colors. Back-to-school activities are in full swing.

To celebrate the colors of autumn, I created a new embroidery hoop art. This little guy incorporates the colors of fall in marigold, strawberry red and goldenrod in my signature hand-cut and hand-sewn felt flowers with soft grey felt leaves framing them.

For an unexpected pop of color, I hand-cut my initial "C" (it can stand for Cathy or Catshy! ;)  in a bright, saturated peacock teal and hand-appliqued it to a textured background of 100% tea-stained Irish linen. Crimson red stitches round out the smoothly sanded, 5-inch wooden embroidery hoop.

This monogram hoop art has dimension and texture and makes any space a little cozier and more personalized!  When you order, you can specify any single letter. I will hand-cut the letter in felt in a chunky font. Lowercase or uppercase can be requested. Otherwise, I will choose the case that looks cuter to me :). Each hoop is custom-made for you so please allow up to two weeks for completion of your hoop art.

Numbers are also available upon request. How fun would this hoop art be to celebrate a special birthday for a little one! Can you say awesome photography prop?

You could even buy more than one hoop art to spell out a name or word of choosing! Or two hoops for a the initials of the bride and groom. The ideas are endless!  PLEASE SPECIFY WHEN YOU ORDER IF YOU HAVE DEADLINE (birthday, wedding, anniversary) etc. and I'll do my best to accommodate you. Priority shipping is also available upon request.

To order your own monogrammed hoop, please go to my shop at Etsy.

Thanks for taking a look!

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02 September 2012

Custom-Made: Ombre Aqua + Green Felt Flower Wreath

I love a good challenge.

So when one of my repeat customers sent me an image of this ombre ruffled shower curtain that she just bought and asked me to create a wreath inspired by it, I was definitely up for the challenge!

via Anthropologie

Picking materials

The first step was to choose the yarn color and felt colors. Luckily I've been amassing dozens of colors of wool-blend felt (Thank you Etsy!) so I already had the perfect colors in my felt stash. I sent the photo to my customer and she loved what I had hand-picked.

Making the felt flowers and leaves

My favorite part of the entire process is creating the felt flowers and leaves. I don't use a pattern or make any measurements, so every flower is unique. I make at least a few of each flower variety in a couple different sizes. And several double-layered leaves.

Assembling the wreath

The next step is to arrange the felt pieces on the wreath. In keeping with the ombre style, I decided to start with the fern green leaves then move to the lightest aqua, moving into the peacock and teal. If there are any "bald" spots I will make more flowers or leaves to fill it out.

I am really happy the way this wreath turned out! Thanks Anthea for working with me to create this custom wreath for you.

If you would like to order a custom wreath, I'd love to work with you! And if you love the wreath shown in this blog post, I can re-create it for you as well. Please send me a message through Etsy (or leave a comment here) and we can discuss details.

Thanks for stopping by!

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27 August 2012

On the Etsy Blog: Packaging Inspiration

I love packaging.

A few weeks ago, there was a thread in the Etsy seller forum calling for packaging tips and photos for an upcoming blog post. I submitted a few photos to the Flickr pool and crossed my fingers.

Turns out one of my photos was included in the article!

To make these tags, I first designed them in Photoshop using one of my favorite fonts ever. Printed them on kraft cardstock (from the scrapbooking section of the crafts store) and then used a paper punch. The punch has three different sizes of label/ticket shapes. I mostly use the large size and the middle size. As you can see here, I use them as labels on my hoops and wreaths and goodie bags I include with every purchase.

There were so many lovely packaging ideas shared in the article.  You can check it out here. Or go to the Etsy Packaging Flickr Pool.

Happy packaging!

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