Posts Tagged ‘etsy’

Today I feel like an idiot.

 That’s pretty much it. Here’s the back-story:

A few years ago, five maybe, my sister Deb gave me this incredible vintage black silk ‘party’ dress. She got it from a friend, and I don’t know where it came from before that. I totally love it.  But.  It didn’t really fit. My shoulders are straight and broad, and it wouldn’t lay properly. I was sort of choking when it was all zipped up and fastened. I didn’t want to alter it, as there is a sort of a flat neckband, piped around the edges, that made it prohibitive to do so.  So many other pretty details , and a sewn in underskirt made of stiff pellon material.
I’ve decided to clear a few things out, and since the dress didn’t really fit, I decided to sell it. I did my research on both ebay and etsy, and decided on the latter. So today, I photographed it on the dressform, made notes about construction details and measurements. I went ahead and listed it, then………………..it hit me. I had to go in and edit the listing with new pics and change the description a bit to reflect my insight.
Every time I had tried it on, I mistakenly assumed that it zipped up the back.  But it didn’t. I had it on backwards!  
So, I tried it on – the correct way – and amazingly it fit !!(I was afraid I would break the fine little zipper though, as I should be 10 pounds lighter for it to be wearable). I’ve never known of anything other than a housecoat from that era that had a front zipper. Its hard especially a fancy dress. I’ll leave it listed for a week or two, and if it doesn’t sell, then I guess I need to get busy losing ten pounds. Does anyone know of a good waist reducer? I might just need it. 

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the direct approach

 It’s time for me to work. Not just the usual day to day work, but the sort of work that earns money.
I did finish all of my CA client’s clothes and ship them off last week ( hooray!).  Then I made a several yoga mat bags ( someone else in my class asked me to make one for them ).
Is there something wrong with me that I feel like celebrating by doing some personal sewing?

I’ve been struggling to make sales on etsy, with not too much success. It seems like there is a ton of stuff you need to do to keep your items in view – refreshing the listings on a weekly or even daily basis(!) which is not only annoying, but the cost of that could add up in short order. I started with Artfire, but that’s been a bigger bust. I like the idea of having a site similar to etsy but with flat fees, but every time I’ve looked around there I’ve been unimpressed. I’ve given it more than a year, but still it just isn’t going in a good direction as a site in general, so it’s time to cut the cord. 
I’m considering taking out a small ad in the paper for custom sewing/alterations, but ………..
I get comments on things that I make regularly, so the other day I thought I’d finally make some business cards to hand out. I tried my hand with some of those that you self-print since I had them here from a long time ago. If I decide that they’re exactly what I want I’ll have some printed; for now making 60 or so is just fine.
You have to remember that I’m not the graphic designer that my sister is.   I sew.   And working in Word is not in my comfort zone. Here’s what I came up with:    

I’m going with a simple and to the point message here. I may revise it a bit ( removing the underline on the title word), but for now I’m happy with it. Any feedback is welcomed. I think I’ll drop a few off at both of the quilt shops here, as I know there are always people who come in asking for someone to sew. I’ve given a few out already, so we’ll see if this gets me anywhere.  I figure that I can continue to make new things for the etsy shop and try to understand how that whole thing works.  

When I was thinking about a direct approach, I remembered something from a long time ago. I was a teenager, waiting to be seen by my doctor. The receptionist and the doctor were having a discussion about his listing in the phone book, and he thought it would seem unethical to have his name listed in boldface type in the white pages – and a yellow pages ad was out of the question! 

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 One of the things that I love about sewing, or creating anything in general, is that it puts my brain into motion. The more you do, the more ideas that come. I’ve been working on a list of things to put into my etsy shop, and the list keeps growing. No sooner do I start down one path, begin one project, then I get an idea for something else that seems like a ‘must do’.

So far, the list is sort of like this:

dresses / clothes sewn from vintage patterns ( mostly ’50s )and changed / updated a little –  using modern fabrics 
do I even think about using some of my treasured vintage fabric?

aprons; I have some ideas that I’ve not seen out there at this point

baby quilts – I do have two listed to date

appliqued wall pictures  and patterns to make them

lingirie – slips and stuff out of some of the silks that I have

little origami fabric kimonos – I’ve gotten several listed, and some over on ArtFire as well

soy candles using the cut down wine bottles

bags and accessories

children’s clothes

dog stuff  

housewares – napkins, dish towels, placemats

I’ve been looking through boxes and boxes and boxes of fabrics ( god knows I have them ), and with each box I open there is at least one piece in that’s the perfect thing to make *________* with. Which leads me to the pattern drawers, and searching for the right pattern. I make notes, pull the items out and set them to one side. Repeat. repeat. repeat. It seems like what I’m creating is piles of projects, and I don’t know where to begin. No sooner do I decide on one thing, I get the perfect idea for another.  My brain feels really scrambled and confused right about now. 
And I know this sounds really crazy, but what I want to do is go to a fabric store and wander about. It’s a really calming thing for me to do. Things there are usually in some sort of order, and it’s just in my comfort zone. All of the textures and colors is just good for me. If only there was a good store within an hour’s drive.
In truth there are a couple little things I need so, I sort of have to, but I’ll have to settle for what’s in Astoria, which is not much. 

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week one

 We’ve had a pretty good first week with Richard. Today is the first day of school, and the bus picked him up not quite at our door, but the end of the street. And it wasn’t raining. I’m anxious to see how it went. 
There’s been a lot of getting used to how things work for him in our house. And, it’s been a long time since we’ve had a teenager around. He seems to be a good kid, just lacking in social skills mostly. He and grandpa have been working on things in the shop; he couldn’t wait to cut down some bottles for the candle making. With each one he came an showed me how nicely they turned out. Cute. 

Ethan and Sarah gave us Ticket to Ride for Christmas and we’ve played it nearly every night. It’s both challenging and fun for all of us ( though I think I’ve only won once. Unlike Scrabble, at which I usually do really good at for some odd reason.). Now of course, there’s murmuring about getting one of the other versions. 

Saturday was the big beach cleanup here. We had a beautiful sunny day, and there were lots of folks doing their part picking up bits of trash. The Richards drove down with shovels to dig out the remainder of the big box
  that floated in last year. Someone broke up most of it months ago, but the bottom and all of the wire and rebar was still there, buried by the sand. With the winter storms, it had become re – exposed, and was a big hazard. So, they drove down, dug it loose around the edges, then a tow truck came and picked it up and drug it away. 

Now that Richard is in school, I have my days back. I want to get a bunch of sewing started / done.
The list is growing, and I have a ton of ideas of things to put up on etsy. I got a few of the little kimonos listed on there over the past couple days; my plan is to list a few things each day, which should drive traffic to the shop.
I’m torn between making a variety of things – from decorative, to useful, to wearable or trying to hone in on one type of thing. But what? How do I know what may or may not sell unless I have a variety. Richard says to put some of everything out there and see what moves, which will guide me to the thing to focus on. Seems like, since I feel so scattered with it all.  

But for right now the sun is out, and I feel like I should attack the filthy windows. I know in a day or so they’ll look awful again, but……

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crafty stuff

I used to despise the word ‘crafty’.If someone told me I was ‘so crafty’ it would feel like an insult, as it conjured up visions of senior bazaars full of crocheted acrylic baby things and the like. Thank goodness that word has been reinvented in the past few years.
This year for Christmas I decided to try a new craft. Like I needed something else to learn. But, we were amassing a lot of wine and liquor bottles that Richard was cutting down, for vases mostly. I decided to make some into candles. Container candles, out of soy wax. It was pretty easy, and I love to try my hand at a new thing. We gave several away as gifts, and now are collecting bottles all over again to make more, which I’ll list in the etsy shop. Here’s some of the finished products:
   A few were left with the labels intact, or that had silk screened labels, and the rest I made a simple wrap out of silk. 

I also made a few aprons – this is what I’m calling the "clean and simple reversible bistro apron"
 which reverses to this     

and this one:

 which reverses to this: 

I also made a whole bunch of little kimonos and gave them to my sister – these are modeled after some origami ones but I made mine out of silk and brocade that I had in my stash. Here are a couple:
They are about 7" tall. They could be ornaments, or set into a shadowbox frame.
I’ve cut out several more, and will put them in the etsy shop as well.

Next week I should have time to sew; we finished moving / cleaning things out in the den to make it over from the storage area to a guest room. Little Richard arrives in just over a week, and I think we’re mostly ready. Richard put new lighting in both the den and the ( old guest room ) and little Richard’s room. I only  need to get a couple more under bed boxes to stow some clothes out of the  closet in, so he’ll have room for his own things. 

Company’s coming – this weekend it will be Ryan and his girlfriend. Unfortunately it is supposed to continue to rain in buckets full for the next couple of days. foo.


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company’s coming

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow! I’m so excited that Lauri and Aidan are coming – what a great Christmas present. Richard will drive into Portland and pick them up in the morning. Me, I’ll be here getting the last of things ready.
With Ryan here last weekend, and Gretchen and Tom on the heels of his leaving, it’s been sort of a company blitz around here.

Today and tomorrow I plan on finishing up some sewing. That and making a trip to Astoria for yet a few more items. Richard has some shop things to work on for Christmas. And I have only one package to mail for Christmas this year – hooray!

The weather has warmed up considerably – it should be in the mid-fifties today. Who cares if it’s raining off and on, so long as it’s not freezing.

Two weeks ago I finally got some things listed on etsy, and one of my items sold! Just one little elf ornament, but it’s a beginning. Hooray! So, it’s off to the post office for me. Enough of this goofing around online.

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 We are being beaten down by…………….squirrels. Yup, those “rats with good PR” are taking their toll on the both of us. And Sunny. They are in the floor joists, between the upstairs and downstairs, alongside all of the heating ductwork.  This week, Richard has torn apart the wall in the laundry room to replace the dryer vent that they chewed through when we blocked their access from the outside for two days. We since opened it back up for them to leave. 
After searching online every which way I could think of, all I came up with regarding erradicating squirrels from your house was: 
squirrels in the house are very destructive, and you need to make sure they don’t get in.  Yeah, thanks for that.  Nothing that tells you what to do to get them out!   My neighbor swears by one of those ‘tickers’ – an ultrasonic thing that plugs into the wall and sends a noise throughout the house via the wiring that makes small rodents and bugs want to vacate. I have my doubts, but out of desperation we bought one nonetheless.  (Also today a crew from the power company was here to do the final replacement of an outside wire – where we lost power a couple weeks back- that they said squirrels may have chewed through, and one of those guys swore by it too – so maybe it might just work ) I will say that within a half an hour after plugging that thing into the wall on Tuesday, the formerly mostly silent little creatures have become really animated and it sounds like they’re holding the olympics in there – and moving it from one spot to another.  The package, along with the two reccomenders, say it takes a couple of weeks until they are gone. I only hope they don’t take my sanity with them.
The main little guy runs along the deck, pausing to have a staredown with us on his way by- or maybe he’s just flipping us off. I guess we’ll get a trap, but I’m aftaid that since there’s only one that we’ve actually seen, it seems that if we trap him, the rest of them might die in the house. What to do??? And because I’m on the topic of critters: we also had a bear or something ransack our trash yesterday ( mostly a lot of insulation that the damn squirrels had made a mess of out of the laundry room wall), and I discovered a growing ( about 10″ ) wasps’ hive on the eve of Richard’s shop. great.

On a positive note, the weather here has finally warmed up to skirt wearing temperatures – in the low 70s. Is Summer really going to arrive after all? I am for it.

Aside from that, I am in the process of starting up an Etsy shop – I’ll be putting a bunch of stuff (beads,  jewelry, and handmade things ) that I have sitting here, as well as adding to it with some new things. If anyone has any experience and wants to offer input, I’m all ears.


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