Monday, June 30, 2008

It's a limo

of a light switch cover! Over the weekend we got a request for this one. Had to make a special shopping trip to get the supplies, but I wanted to get out anyway. It was a good excuse.

I worked on it this morning. Our guests are still here. He was busy mowing our lawn (he insisted on doing it. They don't have any grass and he loves lawn mowers. How could I say no?) while she caught up with her e-mail and such. I got the winning end of the deal, project done and grass mowed!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Today we're just

hanging out with our friends from AZ! They'll be in MN for two weeks. It'll be a grand ole time! able mabel takes the back burner for a bit, although I'll still try get something listed everyday.

Have a fun weekend!

Friday, June 27, 2008

This week I ventured

into the world of Etsy Chat Rooms. I've always perused the forums and decided it was time to branch out. Needless to say, it right up my alley, definitely more fast paced than the forums! As we're shooting the breeze, we can put up little pictures along one side of the screen that shows different listings for other shops. Wow, are there some cool, cool things out there! (I already knew that, but....)

Here is one shop I can across that I absolutely fell in love with!

This picture makes me smile everytime I see it. I started thinking about where in my house I could put it. I'm thinking that I should do a set of framed pictures (3 or 5 or something like that) somewhere. Maybe by my phone on my kitchen desk, above the peninsula? In one of my bathrooms, laundry room? I just don't know! I'm also debating whether do to black and white or color; all the same print or each one different....This is so typical of me to hem and haw and then never do anything. This time I'm determined to do something, somewhere!

I found this in opticalphotography's shop.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

When life gives you lemons....

make jewelry. Wait! That doesn't quite sound right, but that's what we did!

Last night we were suppose to have our first project night at JB's house for our church's Christmas sale. Not one person showed up.

The solution: We made some jewelry for able mabel and feasted on fresh strawberry shortcake! (I told you she wields a mean whisk and rolling pin!) We started with pieces that would match our summer wardrobes. That way if they don't sell, we can wear them. (we're smarter than we look!) As we were madly stringing beads, I told JB that it felt good to get the "able mabel hunch" going again. It's been a while since we've made anything for able mabel.

Today I got two of them photographed before I ran out of camera battery. I'm still doing the ole hem-and-haw about using JB to model them or not. She has a graceful neck ;) so that's not the issue...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wanna see what

I bought yesterday? I am soooo excited!

It's 20 - 3" squares of fabric. I found them in starlitnest's shop. It's considered a grab bag and no two bags are the same. I ordered up two of them. I'm not really worried about what I'll end up with (as in liking all the fabrics) since everything in her shop is designer fabric. If I like these two grab bags, then I'll probably be ordering more!
I am going to use one to make myself a patchwork belt. I have a few blahish outfits for summer and a fun belt will really dress them up. I've been wanting to make one for a while but I don't have a stack of fabric sitting around and we've been going thru JB's stash fairly quickly. The squares are absolutely perfect since I don't want to have to buy yards of fabric. As I was hoping out of the shower today, I realized that I could use some cloth napkins I have in my pantry for the back of the belt, as long as the color are close. You see, my curtains in my bathroom (up on the second floor) are just two cloth napkins hanging from a curtain rod. They were a pack of four and since I've only used two so far...
We'll see how this belt goes. Who knows, if it goes okay, maybe I'll make some for our shop.
I'd tell you what I'm going to do with the other bag of scraps but then I'd have to.....well, you know. I'll let you know as soon as they're completed and listed in our shop. Again, the grab bag is absolutely perfect for this project!

Monday, June 23, 2008

A few shots from

last week's imprompto session with the little darling...

All done on this bib...

Peek-a-boo anyone? I never did get her to cooperate for this blanket so it's not yet listed. We'll try again later this week.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Speak Softly

and carry a big......whisk? Is that how that saying goes?
Project Wonderful update:
Our first campaign ended this morning....we ran out of money. Being that it was our first campaign, I only committed $5 to it because I wanted to see how it went. It was a total experiment.
Two things I learned:
  • Only run one ad during a campaign. This time I had three different ones running. All three ads showed up at the same time on a few of the sites. What a waste of money!
  • Only run the ads at specific times during the day. I left it wide open for some reason. Probably not a good idea.

We did have 33 clicks (that means 33 people clicked on our ad and it brought them to our shop). That's 33 more people that hadn't know we existed that now know about us. Whether they still remember us, is a whole 'nother deal.

I'll probably run a few more campaigns and see how they go. A campaign is when you let Project Wonderful do the bidding for you. You set the specifications and they do the rest. Otherwise you can pick and choose indiviual sites you'd like to place your ad on and bid on each one separately. I still haven't decided which is the best way yet.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I couldn't resist...

putting this picture into our listing for this sweet adorable (oh wait! those words are used to describe the model) bib! I know it's not very professional but still....
I also do realize that the green cup doesn't quite go but what can I say...we're dreaming of Christmas around here (just kidding!)!

Our latest adventure...

is Project Wonderful! Project Wonderful is an advertising site. You create ads and then bid on different sites you'd like your ad to appear. Advertising space can start as low as $0.00. It all depends on who's bidding and how many bids there are.

Sister K came up with a few simple ads for us to use. They couldn't be too detailed since the space that we'll be bidding on is fairly small.

We currently have three ads running. One on another Etsy seller's blog and the other two of different sites. I'm hoping to use Project Wonderful as a way to reach customers outside of Etsy. More customers is always a good thing!

I'm thinking I'll also sign Mom up for it. Katie did create one ad for her but I think I'm going to have her change it to say "Fine Doll Art" instead of "Sarah Niemela".

If we ever get to the point of having our own website, or if we decide to have advertising on our blog...we can use Project Wonderful for that too. I'm excited to see where this will lead us and what results we'll see from it!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bloom gets a

facelift. Here's the first try (actually that is the second try)...

followed by the third try. Let's hope it what she's looking for. I do like the look of the latest attempt better. I think it's more of what she was picturing. It's fairly close to the original sign we have listed.

She wants it for her sister-in-law to display on her kitchen counter. The reason we first went with the frame is so it can stand on it's own. I did suggest to her today that she could buy one of those little decorative counter top easels (kind of like a cookbook holder) and set it on there since these wood ones aren't "self-standing".

able mabel started a new exciting adventure last night. I'll blog about it more later when I have pictures to share! Can you stand the suspense?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

able mabel took a little

vacation this weekend. We had our 2nd annual family camping trip this past weekend. The weather was awesome...the bugs weren't. It's always fun to get away. Most of our family made it except for sister K, sister C (who is in California for the summer) and sister JH and her family. Our mother and father (who is anti-camping) even made it. They stayed in the Bed and Breakfast but visited us at the campground.

Now it's back to reality. The clean up, laundry, etc. Ughhh!!

The "bloom" pictures I had blogged about earlier are still needing some tweaking. Hoping we get it right this time. JB is here now working on them.

Supper time awaits! Be good everyone!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Listed to Sold....

in 10 minutes! It's a record for us! Our fastest sale previously had been about two hours. I listed this tote yesterday evening. I then got up to start supper. I came back after about 15 minutes to check how many views it had (just a funny little quirk I have). It was awesome to see that it had sold!!!

It's gotta be that model. She's just a natural poser, very photogenic! ;)

This was suppose to be the last sewing project with this fabric, but a friend of ours had a piece of it. Being that it's such a great seller, we'll probably make some more things out of it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I finally...

broke down and bought a light box! Shocking huh?! I did follow instructions that are all over the web about making your own...It just didn't cut it. I used tissue paper (probably my first mistake) for the outsides. My pictures had a yellow glow and it was too flimsy to carry around. Suprise, ripped the first time I used it. I also didn't have the right lights. I need something that will collapse for easy storage and will be semi-destructive. Also all the instructions I found included how to change your photos in Photoshop to get the yellow glow from the lights out of your pictures. Slight problem...El-Cheapo here doesn't have Photoshop yet. I asked this seller what type of lights she uses with it and I'm also hoping I can use it outside on a bright sunny day, since natural light is always best.

Oh...I tried bringing my "hillybilly light box" outside today since it's gorgeous out. It rattled all around because it was so windy out. Grrr...

I figure I spend so much time taking pictures, only to have them not turn out right, that I could fork out a little bit of cash for a decent light box. I think I got a pretty good deal on this one though.

In other able mabel news....JB came over today to model for me. JH had dropped off some stuff last night for me to list. Here's some pictures from today (I lay claim to the little girl in the smock, JH made the smock though, along with everything else pictured.) I'll wait until I get my light box before taking pictures of the rest of the stuff she brought over.

Monday, June 9, 2008

It's Monday

the first "official" day of summer vacation. All the kids will now be underfoot for the summer. That means I need to get organized with both my house and able mabel.

First order of business is driving more business to our store. I found some great advice on the forums today. I think I'll try to implement them over the course of the next few weeks. Some ideas swirling thru my head...past customer discounts, referral discounts, sale weeks, etc.

Sister JH is coming over this afternoon and is bringing over some of her stuff for Etsy. I'll take pictures and start listing them this evening, if I have time. Her stuff is so darling and fun!

We have a new ad campaign starting with EtsyFame tomorrow. Last time we participated in the ads, we had an awesome week of sales!

Time to get behind the camera and snap some pictures of the stuff we worked on last week!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Custom orders

can be so much fun...but at the same time a little stressful. Are you making what they're they're picturing in their head? Most of all, will they like it!
Here is our latest order...

We're still waiting to hear if she likes them or not. (I literally just sent her pictures) If not, we'll just list them in our shop. No biggie!

One of the fun parts is hearing why they want us to make something for them. The opera singer in New York for example. I mean, how cool is that! A writer from New York...Amazing!! It makes this "business" so exciting!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's your daughter's birthday...

and what are your going to do with a bunch a girls running around your house?


How about a Scrabble tile kit from Annie Howes? (the one shown here is the basic kit, you can also get the deluxe kit)

Seriously, it's the perfect thing to do when you have a group of girls hanging around. Give it as a gift (birthdays, Christmas, just because, etc). At $10 a pop, you can't go wrong! Heck, at that price, keep it for yourself! Just think, five pendants for $10 (that's $2 a piece, for those who are slow at math)!!

She also sells keychain rings it you'd prefer it that way.

Fun, fun, fun!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

For real this time...

I keep talking about it but so far it hasn't happened.

I have two kids napping and two kids playing. I've exercised, gone to my second grader's class ice cream social and now I'm seriously going to go downstairs and organize our work area. (we won't talk about my laundry piles or my weekly household cleaning. Unfortunately, they never go away. They wait very patiently for me to get to them.)

We have not worked on any new paper projects for a while. Last week we did a few bags at JB's house, but my basement is so out of control, it's impossible to work down there. I wouldn't even dare to post a picture of it.

Over the weekend, we received not one, but two custom orders!! (pause to holler at my three year old to get her older sister's clod-hoppers off. She's attempting to ride her bike with shoes that are literally three sizes too big for her. What's this world coming to, anyway?) Super awesome! Tomorrow we'll work on those. But in order to work on them, we need to have space to work. That means clearing off piles of stuff off the table. It'll feel so good to get some organization down there, finally!!

Tomorrow, being that JB will already be over here and depending on the weather, I may have her model some of the bags we finished. I like to have a model for them so it's easier to visualize the true scale of the bag.

I'm off to organize! My sleeves are rolled up (oh wait, I have short sleeves on) and I'm ready to dig in!