Thursday, September 30, 2010

When It Rains... It Pours

When it rains, it pours.  This is true literally and figuratively right now for Yours Truly.  After a terrible drought over the summer, the skies have opened up and a week-long monsoon has begun.  And doesn't it always seem in life that when you're busy you're VERY VERY busy, and when you're not busy you're VERY VERY not busy?  That's the way it is for me anyway.

I'm still pretty new at this whole "living on planet earth and being human" thing.  I'm constantly trying to identify patterns in the rhythm and the flow of life that might help me navigate through it.  Unfortunately, I'm working on a very complex set of variables with a very limited evaluative tool - my brain.

How much of life is just a projection or a loosely strung together set of assumptions about cause and effect?  This is a matter for scientists, psychologists, theologians, mathematicians and sophomoric lyricists, and I don't feel I have the internal resources to fully commit to an objective test evaluating my "truths" about reality.  So, like most of us, I basically have to just muddle through it and occasionally catch snatches of order in the chaos and HOPE that they are "true".  Being fairly clueless in that regard can lead me into the gnarled, dusty road of common superstition and other unscientific methods I use to try to game the system.  But if I look at it objectively - the fact is that there are too many variables that are totally out of my realm of control in order for anything I do to make much of a difference.  This is especially true when it comes to selling my wares on Etsy.

Therefore, I will stick to a truism that SEEMS to be true for me today.

When it rains, it pours!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Chat With Abunchofscrap!

Abunchofscrap was kind enough to take part in my seller interview series, and share her experiences with us!  She is a paper-crafter with skills AND style!

1) How long have you been selling on Etsy, and what products did you start out with? Have those products changed over time? 

Started a year and one month ago but Etsy changed it for some reason last month my anniversary date. Always scrapbooking products. I have had to change my fav. thing to do, which was layouts to things that sell, now i sell lots of tags.

2) What made you to decide to sell what you sell? 

I started selling scrapbooking layouts around 11 years ago when my first son was born. I was home and bord to death. I started out at Ebay. I did that until I went back to the working field. Years past but I didn't post much on Ebay but, had a few regualar clients that I did albums for (still have them). A year ago I decided that I needed to make the most of all the products I had and the really start to let my creative juices flow. I wanted to share more than my talents but to create for others life time memories by selling my scrapbooking layouts. Thus, Etsy became my main store and now I have found the best people and shops ever.

3) You've had a great deal of success selling on Etsy, what's your number one hint or bit of advice you'd give a newbie?

create create create. Don't let slow times make you stop creating what you want. When you have something special, others will notice with a bit of marketing you will make it happen.

4) What do you like most about selling on Etsy?

The thing I love the most is to see all the creative talented people out there sharing and trying to become noticed. Expression is so powerful and when we do it through art it is the most wonderful thing.

5) What do you like least about selling on Etsy?

The least thing I like about Etsy is those who make comments about others in a negitive way. This is usually only done in forums or chat but is sometimes reflected in feedback section. Negitive energy is not good for buisness.

6) Do you market your Etsy shop elsewhere online? If so, where, and why?

I want to be sucessful and make more money. I would love to help support our household income. So, I have recently started to utilize the internet by creating a blog, twitter, and joining some clubs like TSU (treasure seekers unit), spottedcanary, and splitcoaststampers. In the future I will probably open my own web site but for now I need to focus on getting more traffic into my Etsy shop.

7) How do you come up with ideas for your creations?

Nature, Friends, Family, Life basically sums up my inspiration

8) What is your favorite item (in your shop)?

I don't really have a fav item in my shop. I love them all. I don't list things that I don't love. If I create something that is OK then I don't post it. I either throw it out or use it for something else.

9) What is your take on "relisting"?

You have to do it you can't just sit on items and hope that people will go to page 500 to see your items.

Zebra print purse GIFT CARD HOLDER! 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Adventures with Craft-Related Injuries

Well I experienced my first *real* craft-related injury last week!  No, not the usual needle stab wounds to my fingers, sitting on my pin cushion, or slipping on a pile of scraps.  This time I had a brush with carpal tunnel!  All of the tendons from my wrist almost down to my elbow were so sore I couldn't do anything with my right hand for several days!  It was all the cutting involved in making several fabric flowers for my shop, as well as the hand-sewing.  I tried several remedies and checked with my trusty chat friends on how to address the problem.

One of the most successful treatments was wrapping the affected area in a "moist heat" producing heating pad - the one I normally use when I twist my ankle (a common occurrence).  I also tried splinting my wrist to limit movement.  It didn't really do anything other than abate my symptoms during the time it was immobile.

One of my jewelry designer friends told me about a therapy he swears by - contrast baths.  It involves 2 buckets of water, one as hot as you can stand, and one as cold as you can stand.  Dip the affected arm in the hot one first, wait, and then in the cold.  Repeat as necessary.  He tells me it feels "wonderful" but it sounds like some kind of torture to me!

I suffered with this injury for more than 3 days.  The symptoms finally began to disappear after a few treatments with the heating pad, a hefty dose of anti-inflamatories, and gently massaging the tendons on the rounded corner of my desk for about 4 hours!  The next day it was much better.  I'm happy to report that I've regained function in my right arm again!  yay!  Next time I will take precautions before I go on a cutting binge!  Feel free to share your experiences and remedies related to craft induced injuries!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mirror Mirror on the Wall - I AM My Mother After ALL!

I turned 27 years old in July and I must say I never gave much thought to the common stereotype of women turning into their mothers when they grow up.  I'm sure there have been times when I swore I'd never become mine...  But lo and BEHOLD!  I have more in common with my mother than ever!  I look like her and I've picked up most of her odd habits!  I have no idea how this transformation is taking place!  I always considered myself a unique individual, but I am becoming MINI MOM!  Why?  What is it about women that makes them become little clones of their mothers?!  It seems miraculous and strange to me!

There are still things we do not share in common.  My love of crafting is a prime example.  My mother is not a creative person, and has no interest in anything that requires a design sense or fine motor skills.  And she isn't very much like her OWN mother... so what gives?  I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror today and I thought it was my mommy!  haha!  Anyone care to share your theories about how and why this so often happens?  It's pretty fascinating!!


Friday, September 3, 2010


I am coming off of one big mistake in my Etsy selling experience.  I thought I would share it with you.

Just because I had a relatively good month in July, I expected to have an even better August.  (No, not so much.)  Since re-listing often worked for me in July - I went crazy with it in August.  When it wasn't working I increased my relisting habits, hoping to compensate for lack of sales.  Ultimate result?  My Etsy bill this month is SIX TIMES what I made from sales.  oops.

Let this be a lesson to you.

I'm going through an Etsy-induced depression right now.  When so much of your hopes and energies are being poured into it, it can be a real problem when things don't go so well.  I'm sure this is a common experience.  One thing I have been hoping to try is posting a page on Squidoo, and other free websites, to give my shop a slightly higher profile.  Spread those seeds, ladies and gentlemen!  And since investing money into my shop has not yielded the best results, I will be looking for FREE avenues to promote my products and my presence on Etsy!  So stay tuned to learn about my experiences with free sites and such!