Monday, March 30, 2009

Down Time

In my down time, away from the computer, I like to crochet. At least in the winter I do, I love making afghans in the winter, they keep me warm as I'm making them! I learned how to crochet when I was about 8 or 9, my Mom taught me. I'm no ace when it comes to the craft, but I can make slippers and the occasional afghan. Above is a mini granny square afghan that I've been working on for the past two winters.

I'm working at putting together my last row right now. then I just have tuck in the edge strings and give the whole thing a pretty edge, and then she's done! It's 14 squares by 20 squares and will fit a full sized bed.

I love this afghan, it turned out more beautiful that I thought it would. Now, I'm trying to decide whether to try to sell it or just keep it? After so much time into this, it's hard to part with it, it's kinda like my baby! What would you do?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Little Something from My Favorites

It may just be the hippie in me responding to this pendant's name, but I sure never tire of looking at it. This Green Apple Rhiannon Pendant, was created by Ralph of unkamengifts, and is named after the famous Fleetwood Mac song. This great design mingles subtle chainmaille with captivating spheres of Apple Green Cat's Eye Beads. They form an endless circle which is suspended from a silver plated ring.

It can be custom made in various colors, crystals or stones and different colored metals, too. Or, simply look thru unkamengifts fabulous shop to find this design already made up in other colors and even as earrings. BUT if you do, I'm warning you, you'll find bunches of other things you'll fall in love with!

Unkamengifts is presently featured in H20's Ongoing BNR Treasury.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

If Ever Asked...

If ever asked what my favorite art print that I have in my shops, I would have to say it is this one, this Architectonic. I created this when I was in school for graphic design. Our assignment was to take our cameras into downtown Bay City, MI and take different architectural shots. when we got back the next day we began the creation process, and this is what I came up with.

You can see by some of the images below, just some of the images that went into the making of this piece. The largest one, the doorway to the old train depot was my starting point. I doubled up the palladian window at the top of the door and it became my template. The bottom row of images shows you the process of making patterns from one image, and this filled up only one part of the palladian window. A lot of time went into making this piece. It is available in both my Etsy shop and my ArtFire studio as an 11x14, but can be ordered in various sizes. 11x14 Architectonic Print / ACEO Architectonic

Friday, March 27, 2009

How I Got to Here

When I first started on Etsy four months ago, I contacted another Etsian, getartnow, who I discovered actually lives where I do, Port Huron, Michigan. I wanted to know where he got his art prints done and he gave me that information along with some other good advice. He said, "Etsy doesn't really advertise, if you want your shop to be successful, YOU have to be the one to promote it."

Promote it? How the heck do I do that? Well, at the time, I really didn't think too much more about it. I had items to list, a banner & avatar to create and all the other exciting things that go along with setting up shop.

It was sometime during this time that I discovered BNRs. BNRs, for those who do not know are Buy-and-Replace treasuries, treasuries that you can buy into to. You simply visit the shops featured, buy something from one of them, and your shop replaces theirs. While buying in to various BNRs, I got familiar with several good folks. There is one wonderful lady, wimsy, who invited me to join a great forum thread, Goshen's Game Round BNR , started by another wonderful lady, Goshengirl. This thread became home to me quickly. What a friendly, welcoming, supporting group that hang out there! Many of these fine people host most of the BNRs you find in the main treasury at any given time.

It was a couple months later, a sweet girl Amee, of Amee's Adornments convoed me, saying she loved my shop and she invited me to join the More Meaningful Gifts forum. This thread was created by Dorana who is just this little dynamo! We all sit back and wonder how she juggles all the things she does! It was here in this forum that I started learning about various ways to promote my shop, not by somebody telling me, "You should do this", but by learning by example as these smart women go about actually promoting their shops on a daily basis and sharing their knowledge.

Since joining this MMG, without even realizing it, I've learned how to set up an Etsy mini on Facebook, started an ArtFire Shop, learned about Google Analytics, set up a business page on Facebook, joined my Handmade Registry AND became a moderator, learned to Twitter, started this Blog, and more.

In addition to creating and running MMG, Dorana created the myHandmadeRegistry website. This is a great site where folks can go on and create a wishlist for handmade items, a registry just like at Target or Macy's, only handmade items. I help moderate the Etsy University & Handmade Handbook groups. These are both learning groups, you'll find a lot of good advice, tips, links etc. to help you out with your handmade business.

In addition, Dorana has been setting up informative guest speakers on mRH. Last week we had a teleconference with JS Perkins, who has been a Life and Business Development Coach for nearly two decades. She coaches many individuals that are seeking to change their lives for the better and realize their maximum potential. In coming weeks, we will be having guests who will help us other important aspects of running a handmade business.

Well, I didn't mean to ramble on so, but I wanted to make sure I gave kudos to those individuals and groups who have helped me thus far. I have more to accomplish, and even more to learn but I'm always ready! You can find me daily posting on both of the forums I've listed above. I thank all of you in both threads for the love, support and knowledge you have shared so warmly with me. I love you all!!!


PS. Tomorrow, pictures....I promise!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Very First Post...My Very First Blog

What do I write about??? I have a million ideas going thru my mind right now about what I want to do with this blog. First, I want this to become a place where you all will be able to learn a few things about me that you never knew before.

I also want to use this space to feature some of the oustanding handmade artists that I have come across since joining Etsy 4 months ago. I have made some wonderful friends, you'll probably see a lot of them, but you'll also get a look at some great products and shops that I have found by just searching thru different shops.

I am a natural born teacher (in fact I start actually teaching this May at our local college), so I will be posting tutorials, tips, links, ideas that I hope you will find of interest. Oh, and I love to cook, not like some high falootin' chef, but real homecookin' kinda stuff AND I'm damn good at it! So don't be surprised if you see an occasional recipe.

There's more, but it will unfold as I get it more together here. I hope you will enjoy this blog, as much as I think I am going to enjoy having it! Please, feel free to leave me comments, tips and ideas as I'm setting up. I'm feeling awkward and clumsy right now, I can use some help!