Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Custom Orders

I received a convo (conversation) on Etsy over the weekend. The individual wanted to know if my Wooden Handle Handbag Purple Dots handbag was available in another fabric choice.
I responded yes, and asked her what she had in mind, if there was a particular color, etc and her response was, "Not really. I was just curious about what options are available. I'd love to see pictures of the choices."

Pictures of the fabric choices? I have fabric all over my Studio, but pictures of the fabric swatches? Should I send her an email with a hundred fabric choices? I thought about including something on Etsy, but I am limited to 5 photos with each item listing. So obviously that silly idea will not work.

So this has me thinking about how to include a custom order option with the different fabric choices with each listing.

So how will I do this...perhaps a page on this very blog with pictures of fabric swatches and its item name and number. I thought that a customer could then enter their choices during the order process in the message box during the checkout. Perhaps that is a bit too confusing for a customer...

There is always the idea of creating a website again, but I really don't want to go down that avenue.

What to do, what to do...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fabric Madness

Ever wonder what 30lbs of fabric would look like? Well here it is...

I don't know what happened. I think it started when I signed up for a mini show in November, called the Mall in the Hall and then a friend with an Amazon Seller's account offered to sell my bags via her site. However, her only condition is that I have a dozen bags of the same bag in stock and ready to ship. Next Fabric.com sent me a 25% off my order coupon and they were having a big sale. At that point I think I may have blacked out because the next thing I knew, UPS was at my door with a large box and rolls of fabric.

Hmmm, now that I am thinking about it, I wonder how many pounds of fabric I had in my studio prior to this shipment and where am I going to put it all...it's madness.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

Today I received a nice email from a fellow blogger that she had nominated me for a "One Lovely Blog Award."

I am touched and honored and a big thanks to Julie's Bits for the nod. When you get a chance, please visit Julie's shop, Julie's Sparkly Bits where she has a lovely collection of handcrafted Victorian themed pieces and vintage items. Just lovely indeed.

To read about the nomination, please read about it on Julie's blog.

Spoiled Puppy

My husband tells me that sometimes he thinks that I love my dog more than I love him. Sometimes I think he may be right... Take for example, my husband's recent request for Apple muffins which lead to baking, but not to make him muffins...

Last year when searching for a dog biscuit recipe I stumbled upon a great dog treat recipes website and signed up for their newsletter. There is a great recipe for Apple Biscuits that my dog loves, but this time I substituted chopped apple with apple sauce. Because the sauce adds more liquid to the recipe, it requires some additional flour, which I added until the dough was stiff. Also my apple sauce was already sweetened so I omitted the brown sugar:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 apple - chopped or grated
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3/8 cup water

Preheat oven to 350, spray cookie sheet with vegetable oil spray (I use parchment paper). I use my Kitchen Aid, first combine all dry items and then add the liquid items and sugar. Lightly dust work surface with flour and roll dough out to 7/8" thickness. Cut with cookie cutters of desired shape and size.

Bake in preheated oven 35 to 40 minutes. Turn off oven, leave door closed 1 hour to crisp treats.

Remove treats from oven.

Store baked treats in airtight container or zip lock bag and place in refrigerator or freezer.

One happy Puppy!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Getting Older

It happened last week. My frequent headaches and my doctor's advice that I should get my eyesight check landed a visit to the Optometrist. I remembered that I had received a post card stating it was time for my annual eye exam (I've worn reading glass since I was 32). Well, it turns out that they mailed out that post card two years ago, so I haven't had an exam in three years.

Good News: My Eye health is great.
Bad News: "Your vision has changed and I am going to write you a prescription for progressive lenses."

The horror...so as I said, it's been a week and I have come to terms with the fact that progressive lenses is a nice word for bifocals. I got a call Thursday evening that the lenses were ready, but I haven't picked them up yet, (so perhaps I haven't come to terms...lol). Anyway I now have a couple pairs of out of prescription lenses which got me thinking about what to do with them. I remember hearing about donating your glasses, so I did what everyone does when they have a question. I googled it and found two possibilities:

New Eyes for the Needy

Lions Club International

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Yesterday's Experiment

Last week I participated in a few of the virtual labs on the subject of photography. There were lots of tips on camera settings (I will not use the flash, I will not use the flash) as well as some awesome tips of that Photo Shop program that I only utilize 1% of its capabilities.

So, I had posted a new handbag last week,

Wood Handle Handbag in Garden Maze Linen Red

and after hearing the phase (Don't settle for bad photo!) I purchased white fleece fabric for a background, I dragged out the tripod, waited for the morning sun, turned off the flash and took about 200 photos.

After about an hour of trying to figure out that magic wand feature, I have the following before and after photos to share...

In my Before Photo, (on the left) I can now see graininess and too much shadow on the background, (and yes I did settle on the photo)...

....and on the right, the After Photo, which I think came out sharper and I like the way it looks as if its floating:

I noticed that after I changed the photos that I saw the number of views increase...not a lot, but it was a few more hits after a few days with zero views.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I have been hanging out in the Etsy Forums lately and read a post on packaging presentation. Normally, when I mail out a sold item, I typically place the jewelry in a tiny plastic zip-lock, wrap it in bubble wrap, place invoice and the item in a padded envelope and ship it. Several sellers wrote about how they wrap their items in tissue and ribbons, others thought it was extra work for nothing, etc. This got me thinking about the last two items I had order, (fabric) and both companies mailed my fabric tied with ribbons into a cute fabric bundle. One even included free fabric swatches...

So I decided to try it out and mailed out my last two items (pair of earrings & a handbag) wrapped in tissue and bright ribbon and wrote a "Thank-you" on the invoice.

What do you think, is this extra step worth it?

Now a word from one of my many distractions...

It's Hockey Season!

The picture to the left is a general view of the match during the NHL Premiere Helsinki series match between the Florida Panthers and the Chicago Blackhawks at the Hartwall Areena on October 2, 2009 in Helsinki, Finland.

And, if I can just add that my Panthers came from behind scored a tie goal, went into overtime and won in the Shootout baby....

The Panthers and the Blackhawks face off again today 12:00pm EST if anyone wants to catch the game.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New Item in Shop

Since I sold a fat quarter handbag the other day, I added a new one to the shop, Wood Handle Handbag - Maze in Linen Red.

It's a great small handbag with wooden handles in a fabulous cotton print from Amy Butler's Midwest Modern Collection, "Garden Maze in Linen Red." The color palette consists of reds, pinks, blue and yellow and is lined with a coordinating pink cotton fabric. The interior has a large split pocket, a great place to keep your blackberry, cellphone, i-phone, keys or other important items as well as a magnetic snap to keep your items secure. The bag was constructed with a 2" inch gusset, interfacing and a plastic bottom to help maintain its shape and is finished with light brown wooden handles.

Approximate bag measurements:
Length: 9 1/4"
Top Width: 10"
Bottom Width: 12"
Handles: 3 1/4 x 5 1/2"
Overall length: 12 1/2"