Monday, May 26, 2008

Relax, there is SPACE for everyone...

In light of recent, um, heated debates on Etsy regarding whether there is a place for vintage and supplies right alongside handmade goods, I made this treasury - featuring handmade, vintage, AND supplies!

Treasuries are so much fun to put together! I wish it wasn't so hard to get one! Don't know what a treasury is? Click here.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

{ / > HTML What????

If this is your first visit, then you may not notice.... However, if you've been here before, I sure hope you notice the HOURS of work I put in today figuring out how to make my blog 3 columns! Yippee! I've always wanted a blog with 3 columns. That, and a nanny.

So, what do you think? Was it worth my time? I definitely exercised my brain today. My mom says that will make me younger. Do I want to be younger? Maybe.

I found some great help and even a tutorial (or two) on bloggerbuster. Click here for the post on how to make your blog 3 columns. It was fairly simple...

Stay tuned - maybe someday I'll get even fancier. I didn't even know what a favicon was until today. You don't know, either? Here.

I've become an occasional blogger again...

I don't know, sometimes I just don't feel like blogging! I get into this great rhythm, then I don't post for a few days and it's SO hard to get back into it! Why is that?

Anyway, I've been on a sort of supply kick as of late. I came into this great stash of clay shoe beads that are just adorable (thanks mom). I'd love to see what people can do with them!

Also this week, I'm working on a pig and cow design (two designs, not a 'pig cow' LOL) for the I Spy Bags. I know I should be working on building inventory, but it is so much more fun to design something new, don't you agree?! Plus, I have to stay on top of my game and ahead of my competition! I Spy Bags are popping up everywhere I look these days :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Creative Slump?

Yeah, that would be me. Not just a creative slump, just in a slow funk right now when it comes to the business. The weather outside is so amazing right now! I just can't be spending all my time inside at the sewing machine, can I? The past few days I have been outside working on the yard, the landscaping, trying to remove the past 20 years of neglect that the previous owners so lovingly left for us to repair...

I'm in a state of mind to just rip everything out and start from scratch. But, no, I think that would make the house look awfully naked this winter! Since this is our first spring and summer in our new house, I have been trying to let things come up as they will - you never know what perennials will be rearing their pretty heads, and it would be a shame to lose them just because I'm impatient.

However, spring yielded not a single daffodil or tulip. It appears as though the previous owners did nothing short of mowing the lawn. I think there is more grass at this point in the flower beds than anything else.

It's an adventure, if nothing else!

Last fall, as part of our entire house renovation (before we moved in), we ripped out the old sidewalk and put in a new one. We have yet to fill in around the walk with dirt, let alone any plants. Our front flower beds look like a construction zone! We're hoping to at least get some fill dirt, top soil, and mulch in there over the next week or so. Then at least it will look somewhat presentable to any summer visitors we might have.

House renovations are soooooo slow, aren't they?

Sorry - no pictures in this post.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Gearing up for sales

Well, I've been crazy busy trying to stock up on supplies and get ready for the (hopefully) mad rush of sales I'm going to get this fall *smile*. Today alone I cut out almost 100 (yikes!) flying saucers. Call it a green fleece invasion...

My mom was visiting over the past few days, and we did a lot! On Tuesday we left the kids with the sitter, and set out to follow a lead from a friend on a fabulous wholesale craft store. Wow! We found it! Talk about a hole-in-the-wall! It was a gold-mine, though, and I was able to really stock up on little doodads for my I Spy Bag innards. It was a fun place to navigate - the next time I go I'm taking my camera. There are literally aisles and aisles of stacked up ribbon, and I couldn't help but think to myself "this would make a really cool picture." You don't often see ribbon stacked like that anymore, usually it's just lined up along shelf. Very cool this place was. We spent hours going up and down every aisle seeking out the best bargains and unique finds.

On the design front, mom just returned from Key West again, and brought some brand new cat paintings. We turned a few into stickers, but I forgot to add her little signature mark, so they aren't up on the site yet. I need to do some tweaking, reprint them, photograph them, THEN I promise they will be for sale! (I'm talking to you, mom)!

She also returned with some fabulous artifact finds, and she helped me photograph them all before she left on Wednesday. Here are a few, some of which are featured in treasuries on Etsy right now! Way to go!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I made the front page of Etsy! (I think)

Well, I was chatting about how proud I was of getting 500 hearts in the Etsy forums last night. It was getting late, and I went to bed. I got up this morning and had a ton of sales! I was like "wow, what happened?" I didn't think too much of it - I did, afterall, list a big group of new bags yesterday. Well, I checked on my thread in the forums, and lo and behold, someone said something like "yeah, I hearted you when I saw you on the front page today." I was like, O.M.G. I cannot believe I was on the front page and DIDN'T EVEN KNOW IT! Sheesh. I *think* it was my rocketship bag that was on since it has like 31 individual hearts now or something.

Perhaps I could start a blog that was like an archive of the front page. I would have to publicize it a lot to get others to help me capture screen shots all day (and night). Hmm.... Something to think about. I sure wish there was someplace I could get a shot of *me* on the front page... Anyone?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Woke up to a nice feature!

And I don't mean my face LOL!

A little while ago, another Etsy seller asked me if I would do a short interview with her for her blog, and I obliged. She has written a very lovely little article about me. And I've had a few sales already today, so maybe she had something to do with it?! Thanks so much to Ronalyn for putting together such a well-written ditty about Those Greathouse Women. You can read the full article here. And as a big thank you, maybe you could visit her shop, too!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sweet Endicia

Who knew that my life could be so easy? Well, at least part of it... Endicia is the best thing that has happened to me since... well, since Real Simple contacted me and said they wanted samples. Who knew that shipping could be so easy?

At first I wondered why anyone would pay $9.95/ month for shipping services, when Paypal does it for free. One night, as I was complaining about shipping woes on the Etsy forums, I learned that if I had a shipping service (Endicia,, and others), that I would be able to print first class international postage from my computer (which paypal does not offer, and click-n-ship via the USPS website does not offer). I was elated! I would never have to go to the post office again!

A note on post offices: in the small town where my mom lives, there is a sweet little post office with a nice clerk that knows my mom by name and is always very polite. It is not an unpleasant experience to visit the post office for her. Me, on the other hand... it is a nightmare. There are never less than 20 people in line, the employees are rude, short (and I don't mean physically), and worst of all they are inconsistent. I literally HATE going to my post office.

On this particular night, I had had a horrible experience (yet again) with the post office, and I started thinking that $9.95 a month really wasn't so bad even if it only saved me one trip to the PO a month. Then I talked to my mom, she talked some sense into me (at the time I only shipped about once a week international first class). Well, I hit a few days of Aussies and New Zealanders shopping me up, and I was like - this is it! I'm signing up. I can't take it anymore!

So, first I did a little Pay-It-Forward, and posted in the forums that I wanted to sign up and the first person to convo me with their acct number would get a referral. I read on Endicia's website that if you referred someone, then you got a free month. So I thought I'd let a fellow Etsian reap the benefits.

So, I signed up. It was SO easy, like one step or something. It took about 30 seconds. I used my Paypal credit card to buy some postage (so it comes right out of my Paypal account), and instantly I was ready to print. There is some software to download (which was very fast, too), and you can add your company name and logo or whatever. The best part is, you can pick whatever size/shape label you want and you can customize what it says, what font you want to use, how big and everything! And the best part? I get a free month trial (well, not just me, everyone does).

I went to print my first label, and about fell out of my chair when I realized how easy and fast it was. I just have to highlight my address from my Etsy receipt, copy it, then when I click in the address box in Endicia, it automatically pastes it there (it's smart like that). It automatically checks the address against the USPS database for errors, corrects it, adds the 4 digit zip after the regular zip, adds it to your address book, and puts it on your label in the format you specified. Then you just double click on the postage area, and use drop down menus to say how much it weighs, and the postage is automatically calculated right then. One day if I get a digital scale with a USB port, I won't even have to do this step - it will automatically weigh it for me, enter the info in, and calculate it.

*sigh* it just doesn't get any easier than this - where you counting the number of clicks? Just a handful. Just a handful of clicks and my label is printed. And it has my logo on it. And it looks great. And I can do this for any type of shipping - international or otherwise. It will even print the customs form for me. Awesome. yes. Finally, a wonderful business tool!

If you want to join, just shoot me an email and I'll send you my account number for a referral *wink*