Saturday, July 31, 2010

final cat away from home picture, the dunes, progress

Boba climbed into the TV cabinet last night.  Of course I took a picture of him.

I met up with a good college friend today.  We visited our undergrad campus in the morning and went to the dunes for the afternoon.   I took tons of pictures of the campus when I was there last summer so I didn't take any more today.  I did take pictures at the dunes, though.

Also, as promised, when I got back tonight, I took a picture of the earrings that I've been working on this week.

Last couple hours of the Christmas in July sale are going on right now!  You can view all of my sale items here.  If I stay motivated tonight, I'll change everything over for my August sale before I head to bed tonight.

Friday, July 30, 2010

final Christmas in July promo

Tomorrow is the last day for all 2010 Christmas in July sales on Etsy.  You can view all of my sales items here.  My sale prices will apply until midnight EST tomorrow.  Here are a few other Etsy sale items that I think that you should also check out.

Dandelion Yellow and Green Hollow Bangle by sagescupboard

SALE Pink Vines Mini Note Set by rubyrockwell

Sale - The Shopper - Pink Polka Dot by CecilandCo


FREE SHIPPING SALE THEORY OF RELATIVITY 9 Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads by CheckowayGlass

Calliope - Clear, Lime Green, and Gold Wire Wrapped Ring - Christmas in July Sale - Free Shipping by DesignsbyELR

4 Pack All Natural Essential Oil Soap Bars - Christmas in July - Stock up and save for a Limited Time by ElegantRoseBoutique

cat away from home

My mom is taking care of my brother's girlfriend's cat for a couple months while her parents move and she finishes her master's degree out of the country.  Boba (like Boba Fett from Star Wars) has been helping me on the computer while I've been here.  I was playing with some of the light levels on my camera while he was helping.  These pictures are still a little bit yellow but the balance is decent.

Many of you already know that cats are some of the best helpers ever.  I also took a few pictures in the city yesterday while we were hanging out in Millennium Park with my aunt and uncle.

I've been working a new pair of earrings while I've been here.  I may take a progress shot at some point that I can post before I head home.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Since I'm here and most likely won't have any new progress pictures or new listings until I'm back in Iowa, I thought that this would be as good a time as any to do a Chicago Etsy feature.  I can't believe that I haven't before.  Enjoy!

Glass pendant - Chicago World's Fair by AxisMundiDesigns

Little Chicago White Sox Fan - Onesie - Burp Cloth - Cloth Shoes - with Sox Logo by MimiMakesMemories

Chicago photo collage Tile Coasters Set of 4 by madcanvases

Chicago, IL - Black Jet Set Journal and 4 Area Code Notes by jetsetpaper

The Green Mill and Conversation - 5x7 50mm Film Photographic Signed Print by helenesmith

Basketball TIME by IMOTIME

Chicago Skyline from the Modern Wing, 2009 by cevphoto

John Deere feature

I've been meaning to post this for a while.  This is in honor of living in Iowa. :) Now is as good a time as any!  Enjoy!

John Deere Full Apron by annabelsaprons

Ruffled Hem Pink Shoulder Tie Children Dress - Size 1T, 2T, 3T by purpleblossoms

Mossy Oak Camo and Pink John Deere Purse Wallet 3 pc Set by purse4you

Darling John Deere Pink and Green Patchwork Tunic Peasant Dress.  Get a matching twirl skirt or pillow case by DoubleLoveDesigns

John Deere tie hat by whipNspurDesign

Pink John Deere Set by BabyGirlBug

John Deere Tractor Custom Photo Birthday Invitation for any age - Digital File - Printable Invite by MommiesInk

JOHN DEERE PRINT POTHOLDERS set of 2 by craftysandy

There are many many more awesome John Deere items on Etsy!  I may have to do a part II feature sometime. :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

first PDF pattern for sale, treasury features

As promised, I listed my first PDF beading pattern tonight.  You can purchase the Skinny Wrapped Peyote Cuff pattern by clicking on the name or on the picture below.

I had fun at the Flame II class at Beadology this afternoon.  I did a lot better than I thought I would, considering that I haven't practiced at all since the first class nearly a month ago.  We'll see if I still think that tomorrow when I pick up my finished beads haha, but it was a good time.  I will post pictures of my finished beads like I did last time.

The Christmas in July treasury craziness continued today.  I found my Christmas in July items in two more treasuries.  amybunz16 included my Christmas button charm bracelet in her Christmas in July treasury.
You can view this treasury by CLICKING HERE.

LovelyTiffy included my skinny raspberry square stitch bracelet in her Christmas in July treasury.
You can view this treasury live by CLICKING HERE.

Both of these treasuries were curated by Etsy buyers.  It's neat to see people who support the site through their sales are also promoting it through their treasuries!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

treasury feature, August EBW Challenge piece, light box up and running

I think that this week I've set a record for the number of new treasuries that I'm included in during one week!  Chris Maj (beadn4fun) included my green button embellished right angle bracelet in her "Bead" the Heat treasury tonight.  16 beautiful EBW items that are on sale for Christmas in July.

You can view this treasury live by CLICKING HERE.

As promised, I listed my August EBW Challenge Gold and Silver piece tonight.  It's my gold and silver wrapped skinny peyote cuff.  I've had this idea for quite a while.  This challenge was the perfect opportunity to finally make it happen.  It also pushed me to create my skinny wrapped peyote cuff pattern that I'll be listing tomorrow.

I really love the button on this cuff.  My mom gave me a stash of vintage buttons for Christmas that she'd purchased in bulk from a fabric store, which included a large number of metal buttons.  This is only the second one that I've used so far.  There will be more of them in my pieces in the future.  You can search "ebwc" on Etsy for more challenge entries that have already come in.  I'll post more about the challenge as voting approaches.

I got my light box up and running today.  I'm really pleased of how well everything is working so far!  I  followed the instructions from this DIY tutorial on the web site.  The only things that I did differently are that are used two lights instead of one (on the recommendations of many Etsy blogs/forum posts about light boxes) and that I used Ott lightbulbs (on the recommendation from this Etsy forum post).  For those who are interested in doing this themselves, here's my breakdown of the materials/costs:
-1 large cardboard box (I had this at home because I don't throw out boxes when we'll almost definitely be moving within the next 2 years, otherwise you can probably get one from work)
-white poster board (I already had this at home from my craft fair sign project, but poster board is less than $1 a sheet at Wal-Mart or Target)
-white fabric (I spent $2 on a 100% cotton fat quarter at Jo-Ann Fabrics, but I know that many of you probably have this already...FYI the fat quarter was almost the perfect amount for my box)
-2 desk lamps (I got mine for $10 each at Target, make sure that you get lamps that will accommodate 60W bulbs...a lot of desk lamps are only 40W)
-2 Ott bulbs (I got this kind of bulb at Lowe's for $5 each)
I also used scissors (both paper and fabric), masking tape, and a ruler, all of which I already had at home.  I did not use a knife or glue like the web site tutorial suggests, but you can certainly use these materials if you choose.  The only other thing that I purchased is my tripod, which was this tripod from Target for $15.  It had by far the best reviews out of all of the cheap tripods (under $30) that I browsed this week.  No, it would not be conducive for professional shooting or extended outdoor shooting, particular in areas with uneven footing, but for limited indoor shooting, it's great.

So as you can see, the costs were pretty minimal.  Here it is all set up.  I ran a power strip over to the desk so the desk lamps could reach.  I weighed the bases of the lamps down so that they could angle down this far.  Jake has pretty much moved his main painting area to the living room so I should be able to leave my box set up on this desk in our second bedroom.

I did a small shooting session when I got everything up and running to make sure that it works.  I used a single page from a version of Fur Elise that I got free from Dover online last year.  It doesn't look as classy as my Chopin book, but until I run off some single pages from Chopin (the large book doesn't fit when it's open in the box), it will work.  You get a sneak preview of my newest button bracelet here.

I shot a handful of of pictures with white backgrounds, too.  It doesn't really feel like me haha, but I am pleased with how it looks.  Maybe I'll get used to it as I get more comfortable with the box and the tripod.  As I wrote earlier today, I'm definitely not giving up the music background, but I might experiment with 1-2 white background shots for a listing.

Jake got excited about the light box and had me photograph a few of his Warhammer models.  I had the lights aimed more directly overhead when I started, then switched to the side angle that you see above.  These couple shots are from the side angle.  The detail is much better.  The top of the models, especially the faces, got lost in the dark (even with editing), when the light came from overhead.

My crafty work also inspired Jake to work on his next storage box for his models that he's had the materials for for quite a while.  This was another great DIY tutorial that we found online a few years ago.  This is Jake's third DIY box.

treasury features

Thank you so much to everyone who left me comments last night and this morning about my pictures!  I really appreciate your positive feedback.  I am definitely not giving up on Etsy or on my music background.  I have still had a great summer with my jewelry and hope that things will continue to improve, especially on Etsy, as the holidays get closer.

I will post more about the light box and today's other happenings later.  For now, I want to post the two newest treasuries that I'm in.

Christy (PurseWorks) included my black and white button charm bracelet in her A Change of Seasons treasury.
You can view this treasury live by CLICKING HERE.

wildangelkuri included my Christmas right angle bangle in her It's beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas treasury.  I had no idea that the Christmas in July sale would generate this many treasuries!
You can view this treasury live by CLICKING HERE.

Friday, July 23, 2010

new listing, getting ready to make a light box, open to suggestions

I listed my lime green beaded leaf earrings tonight.  They will be my final Christmas in July sale item for this year.  They're only $8.50 until the end of the month!  This will be the last time that I have this many items on sale for quite a while so take advantage of it while you can.

I bought supplies for a photo light box today.  As you probably already know, I prefer to take pictures outside in natural light.  However, I live in the midwest, and from mid-August-May, I'm out of the house from at least 7:00AM-4:30PM most weekdays.  Even when the weather is cooperative, this schedule doesn't leave a lot of opportunities for taking pictures in natural light.  I have scraped by taking pictures in sunlight when I can on the weekends the last couple years, but I would like to do something a little more consistent this year.  I'll post progress and feedback on the light box.

I'm also toying with the idea of experimenting with some plain white or gray backgrounds.  I've created my signature look with the sheet music background.  I've gotten a lot of positive feedback on that both here and at my shows this summer.  However, it is not the plain, teetering just on the edge of overexposed look that seems to sell well on Etsy.  I don't know that I'm ready to scrap my whole look, but I'm also ready to scream in frustration over not having more sales on Etsy.  Improving my music background photos and doing more to promote my site this summer (more blogging, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) has increased my Etsy views and hearts.  But it hasn't increased my sales.  So I'm open to suggestions.

Tomorrow I'm listing my August EBW Challenge entry piece.  Sunday I'm listing my first pattern.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

back in stock, treasury features

I've completed a new button bracelet every day this week.  I'm planning to work on a few pairs of button earrings like these next.  I uploaded pictures for one of the bracelets today: black and white button charm bracelet. I've sold two versions of it.  Here's hoping that someone out there wants this third one!

I don't know why the background on these pictures tinted so heavily red.  At least the clarity is pretty good.  As it is with the majority of my button bracelets, I had fun mixing new and vintage buttons for this bracelet.

I'm planning to list new items over the next few days so stay tuned. :)

Two of my items were included in new treasuries today.  StrandsofPearl included my Christmas button charm bracelet in her BUTTONS treasury.
You can view this treasury by CLICKING HERE.

scarycute included my tri-green button charm bracelet in her Christmas in July SALES!!! treasury.
You can view this treasury live by CLICKING HERE.