Friday, March 27, 2009

Delinquent, Again!

Friday Night, 11:12 p.m.

Well, I did it again. Two weeks in a row, neglecting to post my Thursday Night Picks timely. But I'm back, albeit late....

Shop update--71 sales!

And more shop talk: I had an order come in this past week for 11 wet bags and some fabric. Yes, 11 bags from a single order! I'd like to share a photo of the bags packaged up and ready to ship (with my personalized stamp, of course!):

Moving on. Since I'll be starting to list my jewelry soon (hopefully...I need to learn how to navigate the manual settings on my camera) I have been thinking about what kind of image I want to project in my shop. In my baby business, my logo and lettering were in soothing sage green and grey. Appropriate, I think, for the baby biz. For my jewelry, I wanted to do something different.

So--I decided on orange. Orange, you ask? OK, then, let's call it tangerine. Tangerine and espresso. I realize that in the order of things, this is probably not the most pressing issue facing me as I try to brand my shop. one ever called me a business genius.

Off to the craft store I go. I find the perfect color cardstock in 12"x12" sheets and buy 5 sheets. Then, I get a stamp pad in chocolate brown. At home, I cut cards the size of business cards (2" x 3 1/2") to use as calling cards, thank you cards, cards, of course! One sheet yielded me 15 business sized cards! Then, I hand-stamped the cards with my customized stamp.

Which brings me to my (now delinquent) "Thursday Night Pick"--my one scrapbooking tool that I cannot do without, the tool that I probably get the most use out of.....

My Marvy Uchida "Corner Punch"! This little punch costs about $7 but can give your projects, cards, etc. a beautiful finish. I love how the rounded edges look so....polished.

Here is a photo of my beloved Marvy Corner Punch:

And, here is a photo of my cards, complete with rounded edges, ready for business!

No, the stamping is not perfect. And the cards are not exactly uniform and the same size. But, hey, this is all about being handmade, right?

I'm sure hoping I get some orders for my jewelry. My second "pick" for the week are plain Kraft boxes that I found on ETSY. This listing was just what I was looking for, a lot
in a relatively small quantity (25). I couldn't find them locally at all, and other places online, although cheaper by the piece, required a minimum order of 100 pieces. That would be way bullish of me, to order 100, wouldn't it??? I plan on packaging my jewelry orders in these boxes, after I customize them with my shop name.

Here is a photo of the boxes that I ordered from "notablenotions":

Next on my agenda: finding unique (and hopefully economical!) ways to display my jewelry for my ETSY listings. Thanks for visiting and check back in for more updates!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sticker Mania!

Monday night, 9:33 p.m.

Surprisingly, I am finding some quiet time on a Monday night (it's usually so hectic!) to blog. It's been on my mind because I was supposed to post my "Thursday Night Picks" this past Friday, and well, never got around to it.

Just an update about my ETSY store my last post, I had 45 sales. Four days later, I now have 62 sales!!! As promised, I am having a celebratory sale....see my shop for details!

Another update...I received my custom stamp from a fellow Etsian from Hawaii, "foryoo". I'm going to use some leftover 2" round labels as seals for my packaging, stamped with my shop name. The stamp came packaged beautifully, in protective bubble wrap. After anxiously opening my package, here is what awaited me:

And, here is a photo of the stamped labels. I stamped them in lime green and in black. I think I prefer the contrast of the black better....

I've used them on a few orders that came in over the weekend, and I think it adds so much to the look and presentation!

So, continuing on with the paper theme, I've decided that my "Thursday Night Picks" from last week are for paper goods (and paper-related goods) that I'm going to use for my shop.

Confession: I am a Wal-Mart regular. There is always something to buy at Wal-Mart, whether it be necessity or...not so necessary. While browsing around the Internet, I'd seen many shops selling pretty stickers and I thought--(like crafters do), hey, I can do that myself! So, down the scrapbooking aisle at Wal-Mart I go. And, I find the Xyron 1.5" create-a-sticker (TM) doodad for $9.08. What a bargain for the hundreds of stickers I'll be making!

So, the Xyron is one of my picks--I've pictured it with some pretty scrapbooking paper from s.e.i. that I had lying around.

For those of you who don't know, here's how it works:

1. Put any cutout (1.5" maximum size) into the opening at the top of the "X".
2. Pull the tape at the bottom.
3. When you see your cutout, tear the tape.
4. Rub the film around the edges of your cutout. Peel the film off, and you've got your sticker!

It's super easy...literally, a 5-year old can do it--my son did!

And then, of course, you can't make your stickers without pretty paper. I found some beautiful Amy Butler paper from "paperpeddler" on Etsy (of course!). I've used Amy Butler fabrics in my baby line and have kept every single scrap piece of fabric. I cannot bring myself to part with even the teeniest piece of her fabrics....I always think that I can make something beautiful with it (when I have the time, of course!).

Here is a photo of the paper that I purchased on Etsy--also a "Thursday Night pick":

When I receive the paper, I'll be going sticker happy!

Thanks for tuning in. I'll be back in a few days--good night!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

So the Story Goes...

Thursday night, 11:53 p.m.

I'm going to back up a little. By now, you have probably surmised that at one point in time, I had a crafting business in which I made baby apparel and accessories. Before my sewing frenzy began, Luna let me buy a Bernina sewing machine. Not the top of the line embroidery/sewing machine combo, but the top of the line regular machine. It was pricey (compared to other brands you can find for a few hundred) but, oh, how I loved it! Every night after my 3-year old went to bed, there I was, at the sewing machine.....

But after making about 100 burp cloths, 200 wet bags, countless appliqued onesies, baby blankets and changing mats, Bernina and I had a bit of a falling out. Since we moved (in October of 2008), she has been recessed in my sewing machine cabinet and has not made a single appearance out to date!

After making all that inventory, I exhibited my line at the local "Baby Expo". It was great, there were tons of people, but it was expensive and I was pregnant!!! I wanted to share with you a photo of my booth at the local expo:

I had a successful show, but I was absolutely exhausted at the end of those two days and feeling sick (morning sickness). And that was when Bernina officially went into hiatus.

Then, many months later, I wandered into a local bead store and the rest, as they say, is history. I fell in love with beads, wire, chain....

Which brings us up to date. Since I had some leftover inventory from when Bernina and I were still friends, I opened my ETSY shop, where I am liquidating my current inventory:

So far, my sales from my ETSY shop have been great--since last Thursday (when I had 27 sales), I now log in at 45 sales! When I sell my 50th item, I think I'll have a celebratory sale!

Since my inventory is quickly being whittled down, I've devoted some time to think about the style and image I want for my jewelry shop. As you recall, I wanted to "brand" my store (which currently has no real brand or identity). Last week I ordered a custom stamp with my shop name on it. I didn't receive the actual stamp yet, but I'll show you the proof of the image so you can get a little preview....

I'm so happy with the way it looks and can't wait to get it--I have a stamp pad ready and waiting!

Well, I have some ideas for my Thursday night picks, but I'm going to defer my picks until tomorrow. I'm planning to go to the craft store to pick them up. (I know my 6 followers are so disappointed). Check back in!

Good night!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday Night Picks, 3rd ed.

Thursday night, 11:13 p.m.

Obviously, I haven't been very good at updating my blog more than once a week. But here I am, on my third Thursday night after starting my's quiet, everyone is asleep, and so here I go!

As you know, I recently opened my ETSY shop online. I have been admiring ETSY from afar for a while, and decided to finally take the plunge to sell in late February of this year. My ultimate goal--to sell my jewelry. However, my store, for the time being, is dedicated to liquidating my current inventory of baby stuff (onesies, burp cloths, supplies, fabric, etc). I'm happy to report that to date I have had 27 sales!!!!!

If you take a look at my shop, it has a pretty basic set-up. No frills, no bells and whistles. When I had my baby biz (under a different name), I had business cards, postcards, a custom-designed website, personalized stickers...

I don't have any of that right now for my ETSY shop. I am waiting to clear out my current inventory before creating my business identity as a jewelry seller. But in the meantime, I would like at least something to give out to my customers with my ETSY shop name....

....Which brings me to the current edition of "Thursday Night Picks". Since I have a bunch of blank 2" round white stickers, I'd like to embellish them with my shop name ("liko18"). I found some very cool custom stamps, and guess what? The seller ("foryoo") is from Honolulu too!

So, for my Thursday Night pick, I found this listing for a custom stamp in the following design:

I am going to place an order (tonight!) to customize the stamp with my shop name and website address. In my next post (hopefully I'll have received the stamp by then) I'll post photos of the stamp image and my 2" round stickers. And keep reading, folks, as I get my shop branded and ready to present my jewelry! I want to have a few listed in time for Mother's Day shopping....

Good night, all!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thursday Night Picks, 2nd ed.

Thursday night, 11:55 p.m.

OK, so I lied. I said I'd be back over the weekend, and well, life got in the way of blogging, so here I week later.

Earlier this evening I had dinner with some old high school friends. We've heard, from different sources, that our 20th class reunion (gasp!) is fast approaching. In Sin City, no less! Interestingly, I was perusing my high school website (I didn't even know we had one until recently) and was looking over the photos from the last reunion (which I didn't attend)--and didn't recognize a single soul. How can this be?

So, polling the was revealed that none of us actually plan on flying to Las Vegas to attend this reunion. But, just for fun, I've decided to dedicate this edition of "Thursday night picks" to:

"What to wear to your next class reunion"

Of course, all items courtesy of Etsy artisans.

Working backwards... My #3 pick:

Everyone needs a little sparkle, and this beautiful, yet simple bangle bracelet would work with a pair of jeans as well as with a party dress.

#2: Then, of course, you need the perfect clutch. This piece will up the "wow" factor in any outfit.

And...a real show-stopper...if you can pull it off, why not?

A tutu dress in electric blue.... I knew instantly that it had to be my #1 pick for the week.

Well, (smile), I think that is quite enough window shopping for one night. Thanks for checking in for another edition of Thursday night picks! Good night!