Monday, May 2, 2011

Shame on ME!

I feel like a bad friend or something... I have been so neglectful. I was just shocked that my last post was not even this Year. SO Happy New Year-- wait Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Valentine's Day, Happy Presidents' Day, Happy St. Patricks Day, Happy Easter... sure I forgot one but Happy Happy and hope it has been a great first half a year. During this time a lot has happened here- not much worth updating except we moved and my kids are doing Great!!! Almost summer and already getting HOT here in South Georgia. Also of course I have a new hobby that I had just started last year and now totally lovin' it... I have discovered the wonderful bliss that is polymer clay. It is my kinda craft- you can work with it, leave it out and come back later. I work in batches and have already a Pile to list. I have sold lots of pieces locally and several online already. Oh that is right- I know one other new update- I am not exclusively on Artfire! I love Artfire! I am not going to get into it is better than or any of that nonsense- it just works better for me. I find it a better fit. I hope that you will take a peek at my Artfire Studio which is much like my life and tons of projects- a WIP (work in progress). Like I mentioned I have a ton to list and constantly am working on something- wait that should be several things. If you are a seller and looking for a friendly place to sell that is always one set price-be sure to check out Artfire- use this link to get your 3rd month FREE!
Alright I promise not to be gone 6 months before my next post. I will be back this week!! Here are a few pictures of my new obsession- I mean Hobby =)

Happy Crafting Y'all!

Here is a quick peek inside my Artfire Studio

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside....

I'm excited for a couple reasons....
Finally we are getting some cooler weather here in Georgia... welcomed cooler weather (least for a minute, then we will all forget how HOT the dog days of summer were and start complaining about the cold- never fails). I am loving it, even though it brings me more pain... I love sweaters, jeans, hoodies, scarves (Yes I am determined to ROCK many scarves this winter- be on the look out), bon fires, and that something I can explain that makes already great coffee even better in the evening. I am busy making hats, both to sell and that brings me to what I am even more excited about then cooler weather...
BOOGALOO.... born October 25, 2010, My beautiful little cousin blessed our family (and the World) with "Boogaloo". I am busy making hats for him, the ideas spin around in my head faster then my hook with go. He is already the most adorable baby I have ever seen since mine own boys... I am not joking... Here take a peek for yourself.
Told ya!. Before Boogaloo was born I crocheted him a couple beanies hats, a few cotton washcloths, a baby blanket. I thought they were super cute and when I gave them to my cousin at her baby shower she seemed to really like them. Here is a quick photo I took before running out the door (probably late) to the shower.

But the icing on that cake was how I was absolutely delighted and so proud when I saw a picture of Boogaloo in the off white (natural) colored beanie (100% cotton)... OMGOSH words fail me... here is the picture so you can see for yourself.

I have several hats listed here in my etsy shop, but the cotton boy beanies are $12. I also get many request for the camouflage beanies- which I can not find a cotton - only an acrylic (which washes up nicely). I made Boogaloo a camo one, but lots of people buy them for babies born to Military parents or parents who like to hunt (usually the dads, but here in GA that could be the mom too). I also have a pink camo for the girls.

I am happy to make up one for your new little bundle of joy or expected bundle of joy. And oh how much JOY they bring... Thanks BOOGALOO for reminding me! I LOVE YOU! Can't wait for his first Christmas or the Turkey Hat I am making him (that's right, Boogaloo as a Turkey = Priceless and CUTE!... pictures sure to come). I didn't know how to crochet (or blog) when my twins where babies, and it is kinda hard to get my boys, now 8, to wear the pumpkin or turkey hats (now I didn't say I wasn't gonna try)... so I am delighted that I know how to crochet now that Boogaloo is here (not to mention have the time since I am not constantly feeding and changing diapers.)

Alright Y'all.... Rock on.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Earring Cards

Like most good ideas- this came from my own personal need. I made a bunch of earrings up to sell at my shop and needed a way to display them that was attractive, eye catching, kept them organized, could be done by me, and cost effective.
Here is what I came up with.

The red ones on top I made larger and decided that they were too big but still think they will work for certain items. I also even used it for a necklace display.
I can make them any size you want... then you just take an exacto knife and make slits exactly where you want them depending on what you are using them for. Like the earring I make two small parallel slits but for the necklaces I make the slits on the side so that I can slide the necklace in the slits to keep it displayed nicely. (See top picture- last bottom teal card on left- necklace displayed on earring cards). I have not yet listed any so if you are interested leave a comment or contact me on Facebook. I can make as many or as few as you need. Right now I have the shiny foil like card-stock and a few patterns and textured ones. This is still a new idea I am tossing around- I know I will continue to make them and use them, immediately people started going up to them. The top picture is the display in my little shop, he one on the particle board table was me putting them on the cards- not my display (my husband was commented that was the first thing he noticed and it is ugly).
More boot camp catch up soon.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Holiday Success Boot Camp Catch-Up Week 2 & Week 3

I'm here, I'm here. I feel like I am always playing catch-up lately. I planned on participating in the Holiday Success Boot Camp weekly but well my best intentions feel through. I still am totally interested in improving and love learning about selling on etsy so instead of giving up since I am behind... I am gonna catch-up. I notice that not all the tasks are things I need to do or apply to me, and some I am happy to see I have already implemented so hopefully catching up will not be that hard.

Some of the assignments have to do with marketing and planning - so for now I will just say if I was able to complete the task, not so much go over all I did on it.

Week 2

*Read article - completed

*Make list of most popular items - completed

*Brainstorm new products that you will be offering this season- LOL... I am ALWAYS brainstorming this one, and since I am an admitted craft addict- sometimes even if I don't already make it, I think "Oh I could do this....". I have however made a short list of items I am going to get started on for this holiday season that will be new to my shop. So - completed

*Find boot camp buddy... hmmm anyone need a boot camp buddy? Still looking. Sent an invite to someone I found in forum so might have one- always happy to have more than one if someone is still looking or deciding to join late =)

*Post in week 2 forum thread - complete

Week 3

*Read article - completed

*Consider ways items can be personalized - thinking

*Fill in the Blank : get something done you have been putting off. I actually DID do this today... I made some iPhone/phone covers over 3 months ago one day when I was in a small project, which equals instant gratification, mood. I got almost all of them listed today. I still want to continue to list, for I have so many completed items already that I could list 5 a day a month straight and not be caught up... but am determined to try. Thing is I also continue to make new stuff! - completed

*Six Secrets Success Exercise- Wow, this article is just what I needed- really, I went to read it just so I could write my "completed" but this hit home. EXACTLY- I am going to be just who I am, and continue to surround myself with GOOD PEOPLE and trust my gut more. This article is worth the 5 minutes to read if no matter if you are doing the boot camp or not Six Success Secrets With The When I Grow Up Coach - completed

*Check in with buddy- working on that (read week 2 buddy assignment)

*Get Head Start on Your Holiday Stock - I actually dug out some patterns week (ok honestly I am moving and going through paperwork and found them and then put them aside to start making for the holidays- lol). I am going to be working on projects this weekend. - Started

*Post in week 3 forum thread - completed

I am going to do the rest of my catching in the morning. Going to wrap this up and spend a bit expanding on a few of these- like personalization ideas and narrowing down exactly what I want to make for the holidays- first to sell online and second to sell locally (then to make as gifts).

Above is a peek of one of the iPhone Cozies I listed today... listing is HERE

Love that is says "PASSION" -amen to that... exactly what hit home in the "Secrets" post... PASSION is key to success.. PASSION for what you do, PASSION for being of service to others, PASSION for life!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Treasuries Always an Honor

Being included in a treasury by a fellow etsian is ALWAYS an Honor!
I have been so fortunate in this last 2 weeks or so to have my items featured in some absolutely beautiful treasuries! I would love for you to check them out- they are filled with gorgeous and unique items. I love that people create treasuries with different ideas and thoughts in mind- some a color, others an emotions or a feeling. I love to look at the group as a whole and the titles of the treasuries- it often gives you an inside peek about the creator.
Here they are
Just Jewellery- Red a beautiful collection of red items
SIGH a treasury created around a feeling the creator was having of sadness and hope combined
Eclectic Earthy a gorgeous collection that spans from browns to oranges
Coveting Green Green Green
Cool Blue! A treasury made up of the creator Facebook friends
Orange Glow Warms My Soul name sums it up perfectly

I must admit I have not made a treasury but I am going to put that on my to do list for this weekend- especially now that we do not have to fight to get one. I am honored to be featured- always honored, each and every time! Thanks to all that have ever included any of my items in their treasury.
Here is the most recent one my items were featured in~ Enjoy!

'Orange Glow Warms My Soul' by soulenergy

It's been raining for two days, and I needed something to cheer me up on this gray Monday! These wonderful artists have done it for me. Enjoy, and have a great week!

October Sky - 5x7 Fine ...

BURNING GLOW Amber Oran...

Celestial Beings large ...

Sun Rings

Fern Poetry (Sepia) 5X7

UpCycled ReCycled Repur...

Sun and Moon Mason Jar ...

Red Daisy Glow 5x5 Digi...

Shades of Orange-Mosaic...

Halloween bottlecap nec...

Pumpkin Solar Lights ,U...

Pumpkin Bokeh - 8x8 Fin...

Abstract Outsider Art F...

Sunset Silhouette - 5x7...

Vintage Harvest - Fine ...

Halloween Lanterns

Generated using Treasury HTML code generator by Whale Shark Websites.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Week 1 Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp

I am excited to be participating in the Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp. Each week there will be tasks (aka homework) to complete to get the participant's etsy shops ready for the holidays. I am planning on posting here on my blog each week- telling about my completed assignments and also hoping others will join in and we can encourage each other along.
This is week one (which started on Thursday and new weeks will start on Thursday) and the first thing to do is that the pledge- so here is mine~

I, __Meredith "craftyGAgal" Crosby __, pledge to participate in the Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp to the best of my abilities. I vow to check in every week, do my homework and support my fellow Holiday Boot Campers. I will read the weekly newsletters and blog posts, check in on the weekly forum thread, read the weekly blog post, check off the checklists and salute the mascot. I promise to share what I've learned with those who need it, support my fellow Etsy indiepreneurs and, most of all, have a positive and persistent attitude. I understand that together we can spread theword about our handmade and vintage goods, making this holiday season a more unique and meaningful one to gift givers and give-ees everywhere!

Next I was to vote for a mascot for the boot camp out of these choices here. I voted for the camo monkey since it is crochet- which I love to do and the boot camp is kinda like a military thing and I thought the camo fit!

I am proud to say that the next task I had already implemented a while ago and it really is a valuable tool- Google Analytics. Even if you are not participating in the boot camp I highly recommend setting up your google analytics to track your etsy shop. You can see where your visitors are coming from, how long they are staying, what are most popular pages, which promotions or marketing techniques you are using are working and which are not and much more. I LOVE google analytics.

Lastly, besides posting in forum and encouraging others, is to come up with a "Holiday Mission Statement". In the assignment is says this Holiday Mission Statement is defined as:
"Why are you working your butt off this season? What is your motivation?"

My Holiday Mission Statement is as follows

"To use my hands and heart to make and sell handmade items at affordable prices to make people smile. I plan to work hard to not only sell to financially help my family but to also bring joy to others when they receive a handmade items made by me- either from someone else or as a special gift of love to them self. I also will continue to craft because it is the best means of dealing with my chronic pain, it is an outlet for my emotion, it keeps my mind busy and makes me feel useful. I will look for opportunities to "give back" and preform acts of kindness this holiday season."

I know maybe this is not exactly what they had in mind- think it was supposed to be more business oriented but that is a Holiday Mission Statement I feel good about. Yes making money is nice; in fact at this time financially in my family with my husband being in the struggling construction industry, it is more than nice, it is a necessity; but I never craft with the thought of making money- I do craft with the thought of making someone smile or feel loved. This I am perfectly ok with. I also am a firm believer in being kind and thoughtful pays off- in more ways then one.

I would love to know of any other etsians joining in the Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp! Please be sure to leave a comment if you are and if you are blogging about it so I can support you!

I am off now to comment on the forum- the last actual task.

Speaking of boot-camp and the camo monkey- here is a camo baby hat I make that I think is so cute, I have everyone from hunters to military families love and purchase this hat

Friday, September 24, 2010

My New Obsession ~ Polymer Clay

I totally admit that I am a craft junkie! I love all crafts and forms of art. I also admit that when I get into something - I go all in. Enter polymer clay.... Oh yeah, I love it. There are so many things I love about it. I love the instant gratification. Some crafts I do such as crocheting or cross stitching- you sometimes work hours before a project even begins to resemble anything, let alone what it is eventually going to be. I also love the fact that I can walk away from a polymer clay project and come back to it without worrying about the clay drying out, just pick up where I left off (I do cover it with a paper or something to keep dust particles off- it would surprise you the stuff that can land on your clay if left out too long). I love that polymer clay can be abstract. It is much like painting- you can make a certain object or just something that is pretty. I love that I can make my own beads or pendants to then use in other jewelry projects- just taking the "handmade" one step further. Polymer clay projects and techniques are endless- I get lost in links and tutorials on different sites about polymer clay and before you know it hours have passed.

So there you have it- I admit it- I am addicted to polymer clay. I have several finished necklaces and pendants that I will be listing in my etsy shop. I can't wait to show everyone and get some feedback.

Also I am sorry for not being around- I am back into a routine now that the kids are back in school and we are moved... this last year has been a rough one but I am emerging stronger and even more determine to reach my goals. I am back for good and look forward to connecting with old friends again, along with meeting new ones!

Here is a sneak peak - I am listing this polymer pendant on a handmade necklace today... I layered many colored- textured with a stamp, and then sliced aways raised pieces of the design to reveal the colors underneath-



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