Monday, September 28, 2009

Autumn Wrist Warmers

It's wrist warmer season! Time to bust out some fun new applique designs.
"An Apple A Day".......

I should have made more than one pair of these, but it's hard to tell how much you'll like a new design or not.

Solid green and solid black are selling well so far.

First "Leaf" of the season. Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

English Tea and Viking Chain

English Tea Set is my latest design. I like the off-set feature, so they are different on each side.
Flower Tea Cup, Flower Tea Pot. I was tempted to sell them as a set......

I would like charm lovers to be able to wear their charms on a necklace. The one necklace I had in the shop was rather dear, so I've been searching for something more affordable. I bought one of these handmade Viking style chains for myself and just love it. It's made by basically hand knitting the wire, then drawing it down through wooden "drawplates" with a smaller and smaller diameter, until the little loops of wire are fine and smooth.

I've been wearing mine for three months now and adore it. I can wear pendants as well as my charm beads! 15" which is about collar bone length. If you are interested in a longer style, let me know.

I'm also going to carry a really simple silicone rubber necklace. It's fun and inexpensive. May also be a nice accompaniment to a gift bead.

These will all be in the shop in the next few days.

The Season for Spooky

Good morning!
I'm getting back into the fall studio routine now that the little ones are in school and soccer.

Halloween, and Dia De Los Muertos are great holidays for inspiring creativity. I took great delight in creating two 8" Vampire Bunnies. This time I hand embroidered their faces. New coffee cozies include Calavera, seen here, and Sugar Skulls.

Skulls have gone from being "morbid" imagery, to "punk", they have followed the upsurge in pirate popularity, and have recently established themselves as cute and decorate motifs for children's clothing and cotton prints. My skull fabric collection keeps growing!

I also have a good sized collection of Zodiac fabric. I loved using the cute prints used to make set
of Zodiac pouches (one seen iin this treasury).

Happy week to everyone!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Corker Knitting

I'm having fun with my new "corker" that I found at Michael's. Lyon's brand yarn co makes these cute ones. You push the starter tail through, and wind the yarn around the four pegs, then start knitting. I'm using a toothpick to lift the loops over the peg. It makes a knitted cord - can you see it starting for form out the bottom there?

Did you ever knit with these as a kid? It's also called spool knitting. We used to race to see who's snake was the longest by the end of recess. We used them to make belts, straps for bags, snakes of course, dolls, doll clothes, and rugs- a million things.

Yours may have been a simple wooden spool with four pegs. Or loops like these. Or maybe you got a Knitty Nancy for Christmas! I'd be so jealous if you STILL had it too!

I'm going to see if my kids will give it a go. I noticed my fourth grader's class list included cross stitch fabric and crochet hook. I'm brushing up on my crochet and knitting skills so I can go help. I'm not a huge knitter but it's really fun once in awhile. I came up with a project I can work on while at soccer practice with the kids.

What can grown ups do with the corker??
Crafty Stylish has three projects: A flower brooch, pen cozy (can you resist that?), and bracelet. You'll find other projects listed under, "knitting corker" and "spool knitting".

Travel, food, hobbies, oh my!

I'm so excited about all the new designs that have come in this week!

Food, hobbies and travel? Those are some of life's great joys. Let's celebrate- European bead charm bracelet style.

Sushi Tray charm bead.
My family loves Sushi Station, where we sit at the bar, watching the chefs prepare all the yummy sushi, and place it on the conveyor belt for us to choose. The kids know all their favorites and are willing to try anything new. Here's one for all us Sushi lovers!

For musicians, music lovers, dancers, this little boom box charm bead with get your groove on.

Lucky Sapphire Dice charm bead.
Feeling lucky? Maybe you'd like to have this sparkly sapphire and ruby cz to remind you. What do you feel lucky about in life? Or do you need a little extra luck? Bling bling.

Lil Camper charm bead.
I designed this European charm bead camper after the tiniest of Airstream style campers. It's so cute, I just wanna eat it, or go traveling!!!
Food, hobbies and travel? Those are some of life's great joys. I hope you get a kick out of my new designs debuting this week.

Important News: Please shop the "sold" section. WHAT? Yes, let me clarify: as it is my mission to keep bringing the latest, greatest, newest choice of designs into the shop, I can't possibly contain all my designs at once. I pick up a few of each new design as it comes out, and when those are sold, I move onto the next new set. BUT most of the designs are continuously available behind the scenes. So, please feel free to ask for things that have sold recently. I can either get them for you right away, or put you on a waiting list. My production team has made changes that get the "refills" to us sooner, so the wait won't be long in most cases.

Coming soon: my English garden tea set, and Irish pot of gold.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Into the Forest

Fall is in the air here in Oregon, though the days are still quite warm. I'm back in the studio full time, ready to stock my shops with goodness and bliss. I have basically taken the past six weeks off for summer with the kids, gardening, camping, canning, swimming, then end of summer de-clutter for home and yard. I see the studio needs that TLC too. It's easy to be a pack rat when one is a designer/crafter/artist because "I will use that one day" is probably true.... however if one can't get into her studio due to all the goodies stored there..... lol. It's not that bad. yet.

Check out this gorgeous etsy treasury. My gnome ornaments are everywhere this season, but haven't sold one pair yet. It's funny that my Bliss Forest shop (gnomes, bunnies, woodland plush) get tons of visits and press, but not many sales. I hope people will be returning for holiday gifting. Ninja Bunnies are the current selling item in BlissForest.

Here's a question: Do you think it a good idea if I were to offer Gnome prints for people to embroider or paint, and sew their own ornaments? It would be the gnome set, printed on cotton, with instruction/inspiration sheet?

Here's to Autumn (clinking coffee cups).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Google Analytics Anyone? Tip for Etsy shop keeps

If you use Google Analytics you will love this tip. How do you know WHEN people visit your etsy site (or blog or whatever you are tracking)? What time of day your fans are out there? It's been hiding in your Google Analytics all along.

Go to your left side bar and click "Visitor Trending"
Under that you click "visitor"
Then look to the right ....... around the charts you'll see a wee little clock. Click clock.

The big reveal to a bar graph showing what times of day are MORE popular viewing for your shop and your customers! Ta da! Those will be the best time to post new items, or relist. This is handy information.

Do you ever wonder if re-listing really truly brings in the visitors?

Next to the clock is the button to see which days they visit more often. I can tell right off, that my two days to relist and add new items are the most popular days- by far. Ok. Learn from the bar graph, Girl.

There's so much IN the Google Analytics, we can all use a good tip. One lesson at a time. :-)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Harvest Season

We were planning a five day trip to Waldo lake with the new Kayak, BUT a big weather front is coming in. All the packing and planning is a ton of work, but being there is glorious. Darn. And the kids start school next week. On the other hand, it's good to be home too. LOOK at that bounty from the garden! Food needs preserving, cooking, baking and eating.

The Butterfly Tree is growing and blooming nicely. I was trying to capture the portraits of two little orange butterflies in this photo, but they were shy.

Have a look at THIS furry string bean I found in the garden!

Poppy Kitten.

Ok ok ok, I finally decided to be a "grown up" at least a little. We installed a stand up freezer in the garage, and I bought a full canning set up. This is our first batch of plums and pears. Looks like I need to pack the plums a little more firmly. We opened a mixed batch to test. Delish! I like the super light syrup with very little sugar.