Saturday, January 31, 2015

30 JAN 2015 :: Sharing some of my favorite crafted items from Etsy

This new effort in blogging is creating learning challenges for me...but I hope to find a way through as quickly as possible.  After a long week of trying to find a topic for this post, I will share some of my recent favorite item on Etsy, tell you how to find them, and share why I chose them.

Below is one item I hearted today as I was searching for a topic for this blog post.  It is from the Etsy shop titled :  Debra's Divine Designs.  She takes the wings of real butterflies and incorporates them into her jewelry designs.  The blue button that holds this wrap bracelet closed is the butterfly component.  What I liked about this listing is the great photo presentation, the faceted beads which are identified as smoky crystals, and the brown strands connecting everything together (which is noted as "distressed brown leather cord" in the description.  The additional photos only make it look even better.  In online selling, photos are everything.

Another item I discovered in my search for today's blog post is the stained glass box below.  Wendy Joy is the listed crafter at W Joy Designs.  She makes a variety of items, including other stained glass objects, jewelry, mosaics, and candles.  I originally went to her shop because of a sun catcher I noticed somewhere.  (I am thinking of my own kind of window elements and am trying to find a price range for this kind of product.)   I was greatly impressed with the box and the bright color.   It seemed like a wonderful item to possess -- and to hide personal treasures in.

Below is another item I really liked at the Etsy shop called Whispering Metalworks where Kelly Houle is listed as the shop crafter.  I am very fond of recycled creations, and the craft world is beginning to make amazing things out of wood, cloth, metal, glass, and other recyclable materials. I am  always looking for the best ones.

Creating new objects with old silverware is a developing craft.  I have seen all kinds of kitchen metal made into wind chimes, and now I have discovered a very talented person who makes forks into shapes that look good and are useful.  This business card holder is very unique looking and makes me smile.  It reminds me of an octopus with the wavy tines.  I love it! 

If you follow the link to her shop, you will be able to see many other items made with knives, forks, and spoons.

Finally, for today, I wanted to share a painted cup because of the design, which I think looks like a wolf.  Against the black of the cup, the design stands out.  This item is from the shop Jasmine's Treasures LLC, where Renee Stewart is listed as the shop owner, but the About page shares that it is a mother-daughter (and granddaughter) enterprise.  It makes me think of endangered animals and groups that protect animals, but you can make an order to have your pet painted on a cup for yourself if you want.

Creative talent is varied and diverse...varied by the craft, diverse in how the craft/talent is applied.  I am always inspired when I explore the shops at Etsy.  I hope you enjoyed this small sample.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

23 JAN 2015 :: Etsy shops

Since Etsy is a website for those who create art, jewelry, clothing, food, and other handcrafted items, it will be one of my frequent post topics.  I thought I may as well highlight some of the ways Etsy helps crafters to sell their products.  If you want to explore Etsy on your own, you can use the search box on the main page  ( ) to find the listings that are available using the terms you choose to find your desired item.

In this blog post, I will be providing links to my shop pages as examples of the main sales and marketing presentations Etsy includes.  There are many parts of an Etsy shop that can be accessed by the public.  You will be able to follow more links from my pages to reach other shops and products.  I hope you will be as amazed by the talent at Etsy as I was. 

I officially signed up with Etsy as a sales opportunity at the end of May 2014.   My time since signing up has been busy learning how it works, and trying to plan what to do as 2015 unfolds.  I don't have many listing right now, I am working on building up my shop.

Commerce sites on the internet offer a variety of resources for their sellers.  Etsy offers a number of blogs that share information on developing your shop, seller forums to connect with other sellers, and teams for sellers to gather in smaller groups with similar interests.  There are also paid advertising opportunities to try.  These activities help sellers reach each other as well as the public.

How well you will sell on Etsy, and how quickly, can depend on a lot of different things, including what you sell and how you market it.  Everyone has to learn how to reach their customers, but helping each other to sell their products is also part of the process at Etsy.

One of the shared selling strategies at Etsy
is marking individual items or shops as your favorite.

These can be collected as categories like food, jewelry, crochet, kitchen, vintage.  You decide what categories of products are important to you.  My categories are changing, but the main ones are similar to the crafts I want to make and sell.  They help me to see what the competition is, what prices are like, what is selling, how to find the shop again, and other important information.  The favorite process also helps to market other seller's products (and yours).

You can see my favorite page here ::

Another way to let others know which Etsy products you like best is a "Treasury."  Treasuries are a special grouping of 16 listing photos with links to the item and to the shop.  Each photo includes the listing price or a note that it has sold.  Treasuries change as items are sold, as shops go on vacation, as listings are eliminated.

Etsy is going through a lot of changes it seems. I don't know what it was like before I became a seller, but it seems that when you link to a shop, it takes you to what is called the "Profile" page.

My profile page is  here ::

You can see the Profile page offers links to the shop owners favorite listings and favorite shops, their Treasuries, teams they belong to, some of their shop listings and a link to their shop page, plus a description they have created to tell you about themselves.  You can see why Etsy has created this page as the first link to a seller... it lets you decide what you want to discover about the shop and the seller/s from this one page.

There are other links to explore on the shop's main page.  I love the About page because it is the personal story about the owner and what they make. It allows photos, rotating photos, to see what a seller wants to share about their craft or shop. If I had partners, employees, or a manufacturer for any of my items, they would be listed on the About page.

You can see my About page here ::

Connecting to social media and creating a blog that links to your Etsy shop are also efforts to reach customers.  Over the course of time, sellers are able to reach different kinds of people who may want to purchase their items for sale.  Etsy currently lets you connect with Facebook and Twitter on the main shop page, but is increasing its social media on the listings pages with Pinterest and Tumblr. I assume more links to social media will be available in the future. The About page also includes the opportunity to link to the sellers blog.

Try to explore the links to my shop and other Etsy sellers. 
I hope to share some of these shops more deeply in future blog posts. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

16 JAN 2015 :: Wall sculpting - amazing art

I was looking at a Facebook site today and I noticed a video link about making artistic designs directly on a wall. The title talked about wallboard designs and I couldn't figure out how that could be done to create the scene in the photo... a beautiful mountain scene with evergreens, rocks, and some kind of large fish I thought.

When I followed the link it went to a You Tube video demonstrating how the scene was created by the artist (Bernie Mitchell). The links are below for you to explore. I will try to add photos before I post.

At You Tube I notices a number of other videos to see... and that they were posted as far back as 2009. I had no idea this decorating option existed.

I hope this was OK to do, but I uploaded this photo from Bernie Mitchell's Facebook page. It is a great sample of what this blog is about. Isn't it amazing to see this kind of sculpture on a wall.

This is the link to this photo ::

If you follow the ART RELIEF link you will find a short presentation of a variety of designs, some created to look like abstract framed art. I liked the first design, which looks like some kind of wave, and the second design that looks like a giant tulip or rose on a special wall. You will have to explore these designs links for yourself.

I added the Randy Detjen links because they were also on You Tube and offer another look into the creation of these art works in a home.

I hope you are as amazed as I am to see this opportunity and the talent that makes it.  I liked the idea of creating these designs for regular framing... and thought of shadow boxes that are deep and would protect these designs a little better.

I wondered what kind of design I would like to have in my home, and what room it would be best in. I always loved the world maps on walls that I have seen...but they were in marble. I can't remember the name of the store that had them, but it was an educational toys store. I'm not sure where I would put that size of a map, but if I had my own library, it might be on a wall there.

What would you like to see in your home?


link to demonstration video with Bernie Mitchell
from mid 2012

link to Bernie Mitchell's Facebook page


You Tube link to
Art Relief   --  from 2011


2009 interview with Randy Detjen showing some of his work

What A Relief  -  Randy Detjen  --  business page with videos about how he makes his artworks.

Friday, January 09, 2015

9 JAN 2015 :: First post :: What Crafts Mean to Me

Crafts... It's hard for me to define what crafting means to me.  As an Etsy seller now, I am rediscovering how many crafts I really like to do... and seeing what others in the world are doing.

When I was a child, I remember the ads in magazines asking you to draw the picture and send it in for an "evaluation" of your talent.  :-)   I think I sent in at least one of those.  I tend to favor pencil drawing, black and white contrasts, and want to learn to do watercolor better.  I think of beads as a form of art and have always wanted to make art pieces with beads. I hope to extend my art approach into fabrics and mixed media.

I remember exploring photography and ceramics in high school, but can't remember what else I did in those years. Photography has always remained high on my list of artistic efforts to improve on and incorporate into my writings and designs.  I haven't decided where I want to take ceramics and kiln work, possibly exploring glasswork projects.

Knitting was part of my life in my youth, then I switched to crochet, mostly doing baby blankets and small projects. In time I explored smaller threads. It was a challenge to learn to do doily shapes. At one point I purchased a small table loom. Now I want to some day try a full loom, or explore small hand loom projects.

After discovering the exotic threads that are available in specialty yarn shops, I hope to accomplish some yarn projects in the future. And, if I ever get my dream of a farm/ranch, creating my own yarn supplies and looms is on the list of things to do.

Sewing has been in my life since my youth -- I use to design my own clothes, and thought about a career in fashion design. It is still part of my goals, but I plan to focus more on small projects.

When I got to the University of Oregon, I explored beginning jewelry making and fell in love with the process. 

Advertising and marketing are topics that have always interested me. I was raised in the Hollywood area. It's hard to get away from it in that part of the country.  I love a good ad, hate the abuse of consumers.

Now that I am older and encountering larger health issues, how much I can achieve is a big question, but working at home is going to be the better part of my challenges.

With this blog, I want to share my discovery process and links to great crafts and craft topics I find. I don't have any definite restriction, just all things craft.

I hope we all find a great future together.