Thursday, December 11, 2014

Some new wintery items are up.

I am so excited that these are looking as cute as they are.  I know cold weather makes me excited to see all of the bright red poinsettias around.

 These are nice and puffy and to me look more like a poinsettia.

I was showing someone the two of them and though I personally like the wider earring more, she really liked the thinner one more.  I like giving people a lot of options.

There are some snowflakes in the works, so make sure to stay tuned for those!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

It doesn't hurt so much when you just sit down and do it.

I kept putting off so many things that last night I just made something.  I didn't think about it too much to worry about that people might like or not like, I just made something and timed it.  I think I needed this because I tried to make a sample for the crochet bracelet and the beads are not taking up as much space as I had assumed.
This means that I can hold my arm to the side and drop the bracelet onto my wrist.  It usually twirls and falls right back off right after that.  I am hoping that it will fit someone's wrist since it have to push it halfway up my forearm to get it to stay on.  If I need to label some as 'large' and some as 'small' I think I will be alright with that.  I was really hoping for a more 'one size fits most' thing, but that isn't working out for me right now. 

Making knotted bracelets like this feel like they take longer than they really do.  I'm feeling there will be more of these made.  Once the awkward beginning part is done then it becomes pretty portable.

I am still on the hunt for good beads for the Poinsettia earrings and I still need to try out the fabric flower pattern to make some Poinsettia hair clips.  I mentioned that I'm not good working on things to match the season, right?  I think because it is cold out that I just want to head somewhere warm.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Not Enough Hours in the Day!

I know a lot of people say that, but I'm really feeling it lately.  I have so many things I want to make to list, but I don't seem to be able to find the time for some of them.  I also sometimes have a problem making things that are seasonally appropriate.  It seems all I want to make things for is the holiday or season that has just passed.  That is not very helpful.

I have a lot of things planned for my Etsy shop, but what I really need to do is to sit down and get some stuff done.  One of the problems is that when I make something new is that I also need to keep track of time when I am working on them.  That is helpful so I will know how much to charge for time.  I know that there is a great debate when it comes to charging for time but I won't go into all of that here.
It makes it take longer for me to make some of those new things because I also like to keep notes of how long each step takes me. This is something I do in case I don't need to do one of the steps or in case I find something else to use that cuts down on the time.  I've also had timers reset themselves before when I would keep stopping and starting them.  Some of the things I have planned will also take a while to create.
I am not sure if I want to crochet or do some hand weaving when I am making my beaded bracelets.  I got some blank C shaped bracelet bases that I plan on covering.  It was interesting trying to find something to use for these.  A lot of people just join the ends of their beaded tubes to make them into bangles.  This would work fine if someone could try it on and make sure it fits, but it is a bit more tricky when dealing with people on the internet and not being able to easily fix a problem.  I tried asking people to measure their hand for me but that doesn't always work out.
I'm also going to be trying different ways of finishing the ends of the tubes I will be making.  The plan had to be to use bead caps to cover any parts that might be showing that aren't the best, but the ones I purchased don't fit onto the bracelet blank.  Another idea for the bracelets was to use Memory wire in the center, but that would just make making each on take that much longer.

Though speaking of memory wire, I do have some plans involving that.  As I posted a few months ago, I want to make some more Kukui nut bracelets.  I still have to time myself though.  I also have to go back and try and calculate the price of materials.  This will be interesting since I can't just go to the store to get some more, but it seems kind of ridiculous to try and factor in the price of a ticket to Hawai'i.  As much as I would love to be able to take a trip over "just to buy supplies" I'm sure no one out there wants to fund that for me.

I am also on the lookout for some beads I can use to make some crochet Poinsettia earrings.  They will be similar to the cherry blossom ones I had made in the spring.  The original plan had been to get the gold hoops and gold earring finds, but I can't find the gold hoops.  All the silver beads I have seen in the store look very cheap to me, so it wasn't so easy as to just make everything I had planned to be gold into silver.
There are also plans on messing around with thinner thread and the clear beads to make some snowflakes.  That will take a bit longer to test out different stitches and bead combinations.

So many words, so little production.  I really need to work on that.

Friday, November 21, 2014

My head is filled with flowers!

I have been having an interesting predicament lately.  I have been thinking that I should be working on some more bracelets and some fall or winter crochet earrings.  However the things that have been catching my eye are fabrics that would make fabric flowers.  While I do love making them, there are about a billion on Etsy.  There are also a good chunk of them that are listed below what I would be selling them for.
This is getting in the way of me making other things.  So instead of trying to just ignore that I want to make some fabric flowers, I am trying to figure out how to make mine more exciting.  I'm feeling some bead dangles on some very skinny chains.  I just have to figure out how to attach it in a way that will let it hang in either direction.

After I get that out of my system I am going to be making two beaded bracelets in two ways.  I will then be putting a poll on the FaceBook fan page to see if there is one people like better.  Though knowing me I will want to make more of both.

Stay tuned to see those!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Some not so new ideas.

I've decided to revisit the idea of these Kukui nut bracelets.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to make them to order or try for some sort of resizeable version.  I tried the kind where you pull the strings and it either tightens or loosens it, but I felt like that was putting more wear and tear on the string than was worth it.  I couldn't seem to get the ends of the made to order version with either a toggle clasp or a magnetic clasp either.

This is what I have liked best so far.  The future ones will not have as much of an overlap as this one.  Though it is a little big on wrists like mine, on most it should work very well.

I also have some new stitch markers listed as of today.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

This is never a good sign.

I finally got beads to make the stitch markers I have been wanting to make for a while.
Though I even measured the inner circle, the 5mm beads I got were still too big.  I decided to go with some of the ones I already owned.

(sorry for the large image)
As you can see in the image above, all of the shiny golden colored finish has completely come off of the decorative head pin.  While it is a small thing and most people wouldn't notice, I think I would feel guilty for selling this the way it is.  I also would not want to sell it at a discount rate, so I'm not sure what to do.  Though the fact that they won't really come in contact with someone's skin for very long doesn't worry me, but the fact that they will get bumped around a lot and more of the coating might come off does.
I've sent an e-mail to the company, but who knows what they are going to say.  I don't have the receipt from when I bought them, since I was pretty sure I was not going to be taking them back.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Back home.

I'm back home again.  This means that the shop is back out of vacation mode.
I was hoping to find some cool things to work with while I was in Germany, but that didn't happen.  I saw a few things but ran into some problems: 1) It was tourist trap stuff, so not materials to work with, and not cheap; 2) All the craft shops we found were closed when we would have been able to go to them.

Oh well, I had fun.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Slowly filling up the store.

While I have not met my goal of adding some things every few days, I am still adding new items to the store.  The one problem I seem to be running into now is finding things to list.  I made a ton of those earrings and listed a lot of them, but I don't want to have my shop be 90% very similar earrings, 10% random other things.  I want some sort of balance.  Right now I have about 4 card holders, 4 tissue covers, and 5 pairs of earrings.  I think that is pretty good and I should start adding new things.  I have made two sets of stitch markers and I have plans for more.

Yellow Owls with green beads.

Yellow Owls with blue beads.

Good news time!  Though the button thing I mention late last year seems to be on a hold, she is still interested.  I will have all the supply to make them once we both can get everything in order.  Not sure when this will be, but it is good to stay positive.  I also sold a pair of my cherry blossom earrings!  I am super happy about that.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Earring mania!

I seem to have a small obsession.  Not sure if I am calling it small because I don't want to admit how often I think about making these or if it is because the finished project is on the small side.
Crocheting flower themed earrings with beads is a lot more fun than I thought it would be.  This very moment I have made about 8 pairs and I have 6 of them listed.  While I still really like making them, I feel that my shop needs some more verity.  Right now I only have a few pocket tissue covers, a few bi-fold wallets/card holders, and a bunch of cute earrings.
I was thinking of making some knotted bracelets, but I'm worried that they will take more time to make than people are willing to pay for.  I will just have to do a test piece and see what happens.
Sorry for the short update, but I'm distracted by all the tiny crochet flowers dancing around my head.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Can't Do Worse Than Before...

What is that you see on the side there? Could that be items for sale?! I do believe that they are!
I finally figured out what was keeping me distracted and off-track.  I kept fearing failure.  I couldn't fail if I didn't try.  Then I remembered something important.  The last time I tried to sell items, there would be months and months where I would list things, but I wouldn't sell any of them.  There is no way I could do worse than that.
So even though I had put aside days in past weeks to list thing, I did not.  I even tried to set aside days just to work on descriptions.  That also didn't happen.
I was having the problem of not knowing what I wanted to do today, so I decided to push myself to get this going.  The listing interface has changed a lot since I used it last.  I like this new one more.  I also like that you can copy a listing.  Before you had to have one listing open in edit mode while you made the other that was similar.
I also did not list many things at once because of something I read a while ago.  One of the successful Etsy users posted some tips and tricks.  I wish I remember who it was, but it was probably over half a year ago that I read it.  They said that instead of uploading a lot of things at once and letting them sit, to upload a few things at a time.  This way it is more likely that someone will notice something your listed in the "Recently Listed Items" area and take a look when they might not have searched for that type of item.  Listing a few items at a time also gives more time for me to make things so there won't be long times where I don't list anything at all.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Still nothing on the side bar? I think I know why.

I have been wonder and pondering over a problem I have noticed that I have.  I keep thinking of wonderful things to make for my Etsy shop, I have all the materials to make the things, and I have the technical skills to do everything.  Sounds great right?  It sounds like I should have lots of things listed on my shop that people would love to look at, right? 
So why is my shop still in vacation mode with nothing sitting in it?
I think I have it figured out.  I keep feeling like I don't have enough things to list.  I think this is because I have a new idea, I make one item, then move on again.  I need to focus more.  I need to take that one idea and make a few of them.  Then I can have some to list and then I can move on to the next idea if I wanted to.  This way I won't have a ton of single samples sitting around taking up space and not helping me.  No one wants to buy something they don't know they can. 
Who knows, I might have made the perfect ~insert item~ that someone was just thinking about the other day.  If they did a search for it, they wouldn't find it because it is just sitting in my living room.
So my new goal is to take some pictures of the things I have made and go back to some of the older "new" ideas and get a few more of those made.
It feels good to have solid goals and a good plan.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

This time I mean it!

Yesterday I noticed that on my schedule for my "day job" I only work 2 days next week.  I knew it was a sign!  It also snowed a ton last night and I got a snow-day today.  Another sign in my eyes.
Last night I spent some time and worked on a style I liked better for the pocket tissue covers.  I also made a style that takes a lot longer to make and is harder for people to get the tissues into and out of.  I think that one won't be made more than once.

Here is a picture of the original style on the top and the newer one on the bottom.  I like how the lining is showing.  What is the point of picking out a fun lining if it is kept a secret?  I think I am going to make that border a bit bigger on future ones.

This is the one that will be one of a kind.  It looks pretty cool and you wouldn't think it would be much harder to make, but for some reason it was a pain.  I don't know if it was just because it was the first time I made it or something else.  But like I said before, it also makes getting the tissues in and out a pain.  I don't think people want to work for them when they need a tissue.

Because people like cat pictures.  Here is my boss telling me I'm not doing it right and to work harder. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I think I'm finally getting back on track.

I know last year this place was a ghost town, but I know that was my own fault.  I had a lot of ideas and projects I wanted to get going on.  Too many in fact.  I couldn't decide which was more important than the others and didn't really start anything.
This year I plan on being more focused. I already got the last payment and dropped off all of the extra things to the Accessory Lady.  Here is a link to her main page.  We talked how I would get to show off the things I helped make and decided linking would work out best for both of us.  I helped on the Sanaa(mixed media flower), Fedha(gem scoop), Yulu(mixed media bow), Zizi(asymmetrical flower), Roka(metal mesh shoe bib), Ari(asymmetrical pleated ankle cuff), and Ngoma(feather cuff).  I know those are the only designs listed now, but she mentioned new designs that she was thinking of starting in the spring.  She mentioned us working together again, I'm hesitant.  It was nice at first, but a little rushed and frantic near the end.

I have been thinking of new ways to make the kanzashi flowers I really love making.  They are fine as they are for the most part, but I've been watching a lot of TV where they add sparkle and gems to everything and I want to add some to the flowers.  I found a trim I had bought a really long time ago that would work perfectly.  I had only bought a bit of it, since at that time I had no idea what I was going to do with it.  Big mistake.  I can't get more from the store I got it from because I bought it when it was on clearance.  I've tried looking online, but it seems it doesn't really exist.  I might have thought I dreamed it up if I still didn't have some.
Since that wasn't working, I'm trying other things.  So far my ideas of bright ribbon are working out for me.  Here is my newest problem with them.  I want to be able to list and sell them on Etsy, but I'm not sure how to make mine stand-out in the search.  They will look different if people actually see them and click on the listing, but I'm worried they won't get that far.  Even if you type in "ribbon kanzashi" you still get over 900 results. "Bling kanzashi" gets you only 65 results, so if I stick with sparkly ribbon that might work out for me.
The picture of my first finished one is coming soon.  The glue on the ribbon is drying as we speak.