Monday, November 10, 2008

Sweet Figments Blog Giveaway

We're hosting a giveaway this month and is a massive one! We've got 30 amazing prizes to giveaway. So let's get started shall we?

TO ENTER:This is a little different than our usual giveaways but I thought it would be fun since most of us will be shopping for holiday gifts anyways. Browse through our wonderful list of giveaway contributors, find shops or items you like and write about them on your blog, Myspace, Ning site or any other type of post that you can link to. Then, come back and leave us a comment with your contact info (email address) and a link to the blog post and tell us who you blogged about. I will post up reminders daily so you don't forget! BUT, if you are busy or you miss a day or two you can blog about up to 2 shops per day.

GENERAL GUIDELINES:♥ If you blog about more than 1 shop per day you will have to post up seperate comments for each individual shop you blogged about for it to count. For example if you posted about 2 shops the first comment would say "I blogged about shop1 -" and the second comment would say I blogged about shop2 -♥ Enter once for each shop! That's up to 30 times! 30 chances to win!♥ Interenational residents can enter too!♥ Contest starts Oct 31st and ends December 4th at 11:59pm (GMT)♥ Winners will be drawn using a random number generator and a winners list will be posted on Dec 8th. Be sure to check back to claim your prize.

BLOG IDEAS:Here are some fun topics and ideas for you to blog about!♥ Blog about your favorite item from a shop along with a photo and link to the shop♥ Pick something that reminds you of a story from your life and tell us about it♥ Post about who you would buy a gift for from a shop♥ Pretend to be a critic and review a shop♥ Create a questionaire for a shop owner to fill out♥ Choose 4 items from the shop that you think work together as a group (by colour, pattern etc.) ♥ Post about your wishlist from one of the shop♥ Tell us why you like the shop♥ Pick an item from X shop as great gift idea for "Dad" or "Grandma" or one of those hard-to-buy-for-people♥ get a shop owner to fill out a meme♥ If you are a past customer of one of these shops tell us about your experience shopping with them

♥ Fruit Variety Candle Gift Set from Moodwax, $26
♥ 15 oz. palm/beeswax blend pillar scented in our Cinnamon Spice essential oil blend from BeSem Natural Scents, $20
♥ Ice Crystal Resin Necklace from PennyDogAccessories, $24
♥ Xmas Dancer Gift Set from kittyhawke, $95
♥ Snow Bunny washi covered notebook and a Japanese fabric badge set from Asking For Trouble, $21
♥ Fabric Shopping Bag and Earrings from avocadocreations, $28
♥ Desert Dreams Hairsticks from stringmealong, $15
♥ Rose Quartz and Leather Earrings from HeartofaCowgirl, $16.95
♥ Handbound Leather Journal (7x4, 300 pgs) from myhandboundbooks, $30
♥ STUD from museacdonline, $18.50
♥ Silver plated Marsa Ring ,Two Beaded beads and Polymer Clay Flower Pillow Bead from dicopebisuteria, $24
♥ Island Vibe burp cloth from SnugBugClothing, $22
♥ Red Hum Love - Original Scratchboard from TidbitsandBits, $25
♥ Pink and Green box from gmistudio, $15
♥ Limited Edition Cloud Print Wristlet from TheTinyFig, $28
♥ Evergreen Earrings from GenuineArticle, $35
♥ Your choice of any pewter pendant from 2monkees, $15
♥ For the Birds - Felted Birdhouse Ornament in Pinks & Browns from thatissocute, $15
♥ Black and White Floral Bangle from tooaquarius, $25
♥ Orbitals 3-strand Wire Crochet Bracelet 'mod dots' in purple from pomomamadesign, $25
♥ Marbled Earth Earrings from chendric, $18
♥ Sweet Tooth Gift Set from threeofwands, $26.75
♥ Loves Me, Loves Me Knot from xiztance, $40
♥ Lucky Fishpond Necklace from majentadesigns, $15
♥ Hazy Raindrop Earrings from zahour, $35
♥ Shark Attack Dog Leash from Organidog, $15
♥ Sterling Silver Drip Necklace from BeadsInTheBelfry, $25
♥ A Little Black Box from littleblackboxes, $23
♥ Falling Leaves - Hand Spun Merino Wool from jilldrapermakesstuff, $20
♥ Custom Gift Set (Scrub, Butter, and Perfume) in White Gift Box with Ribbon from thegardenbath, $25

Good luck to all and Happy Blogging!

Monday, October 27, 2008

DancingElfDesigns - Unplugged!!!

Oh my gosh, you guys are gonna love this weeks interview!!! It is with an awesome lady who owns Dancing Elf Designs, And the best part - She designs and makes tutus!!!! How adorable is that? And they really are just gorgeous - if you have never seen a handmade tutu, you are in for a real treat. So be sure to check out her lovely shop and her beautiful tutus.

1.Which part of your work do you most enjoy? Which part do you find hardest?

The best part of my work is the end product. I'm never more excited then when I've just finished a tutu creation! I always have to go straight upstairs and show it to my husband, he's a great sport about telling me how much he likes it!

The hardest part is finding the time to get a full set made up without feeling guilty about the time away from my daughter and husband. I wish I could speed up my process, but that would mean losing quality and I just can't have that!

2.Where do you get your inspiration?

My inspiration usually comes from the color combinations that I will see anywhere and everywhere. I especially love to look at silk flower colors. 9 times out of 10, I'll find a flower(s) that I like and then I'll build the tutu colors around the colors in the flowers.

3.What is your favorite item that you have purchased on Etsy?

My most favorite purchase on etsy...that is REALLY tough! I think my utmost favorite purchase was with AmberSky, ...a pair of GORGEOUS earrings that I have worn everyday since I bought them!

4.If I could sell one item from my shop today, it would be...

I would LOVE to sell "The Vineyard" from my shop! Its full of plums, cranberry, and glimmery purple, not to mention beautiful flowers all over it! It has TONS of views, and I've had lots of people tell me it's their favorite, but the right person hasn't come along to purchase it yet :(
5.If I had enough money to pick one item on my wish list from any shop on Etsy to buy, it would be...

I LOVE this skirt...I have no idea where I would wear it, but it has been a favorite from day one on etsy! Its the colors I love and it's just different enough for me to dream of!

6.What is the best advice you have ever received?

Hmmmm, the best advice was "promote, promote, promote!" When I was a little discouraged and hopped on the forums for advice this is what I heard and so I put a little extra effort and time into promoting and it has worked out really well for me!

7.What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?

If you want to sell, you need to have a product that people really want. I was selling for at least 6 mo. in my hometown before I even thought seriously about etsy. I wanted to be sure people were happy with my creations and were willing to help promote me by telling friends and family about my business. When business picked up, this told me that I was then ready for Etsy. I didn't enter into having an online shop lightly, I want to sell something that customers are going to love and appreciate! Just like anytime you are selling, make sure you have a product people WANT and if the people you know are keeping you busy with purchases, then you're ready for Etsy!

8.How do you promote your work?

Purchasing is a big helper! Of course I'm a shopaholic anyway, but when you purchase something from someone else, they of course look at your shop. You never know if they may be a potential buyer! I of course purchase a couple of showcase spots a month and that helps a lot. But one of my biggest promoters is taking my tutu work with me wherever I go! I gave away 5 business cards just yesterday at Emma's dance class because people saw that I was making something and then wanted to know more! (sneaky, sneaky) I will also dress Emma up in a tutu occasionally to go to church, weddings, birthday parties, etc. :)

9.Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I'm a 5th grade teacher in East Tennessee. I have been a teacher for 6 years now...3 years full-time. School keeps me really busy, like I said before, I have a hard time juggling the full-time job and part-time job of tutu-making! I'm also a Mother and wife and we all know what kind of job that is!

10.What led you to start selling on Etsy?

I kept hearing this hummm around the crafty circles of the place online called Etsy. I got on and was hooked right off the bat! Etsy is my favorite website and not just because I have a shop on it, but because I love the handmade items and the community!

11.How would you describe your shop?

Fairy-like of course! I love the antique prints of flower I tend to go for those types of names when naming my tutus. I also like to use colors that aren't the typical ones you would find when you think "tutu". That makes my tutus more likely to be worn by fairies!

12.Are you working on anything new right now or is there a craft you would like to learn?

I was recently accepted to be a vendor on!! I'm really excited about it and therefore I have been creating a dessert/candy line of tutus. I am testing out one on my etsy shop right now called "Strawberries N' Cream". I have a ton of ideas like, cotton candy, brownie delight, cherry pie, key lime pie...and if I say anymore I might make you hungry! :)

On a personal note - This is my darling 3 year old in her Dancing Elf Designs tutu. She is very excited to be a fairy for Halloween so a big thank you to for making her little dreams come true!!!
*Picture of tutu courtesy of The Abbey
**Picture of designer courtesy of Dancing Elf Designs*

***A big "Thank you" to Aevan for the use of her awesome and insightful interview questions!!! Check out her Etsy shop here: or check out her own seller interviews on her blog:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

KreationsbyKiki - Unplugged!!!

This past week I met an awesome lady with a cutie shop and had the pleasure of interviewing her. Her name is Christy (a.k.a. Kiki) and she is the owner of Kreations by Kiki ( ) - a cute scrapbook/paper arts shop on fabulous Etsy. I love her Halloween scrapbook - it is just too cute, but she has items for all paper lovers. So read the interview, check out her shop and get to know another fabulous seller.

1. Which part of your work do you most enjoy? Which part do you find hardest?

The part that most enjoy is the part where I get to kick back and relax and create something nice that I know that someone will enjoy. My life is very hectic and my paper arts are, as I refer to them, my “Calgon.” The part that I find the most difficult is locating the items that I have envisioned. I have been doing paper crafts and scrapbooking for about 10 years now, so, as you can imagine, I have quite the stash of goodies. Sometimes it takes me longer to round up the supplies that I would like to work with, than it does to actually complete the project.

2. Where do you get your inspiration?

Anywhere and everywhere. It could be a t.v. commercial, a magazine, something my kids say, something I see at the store.

3. What is your favorite item that you have purchased on Etsy?

I have only received one item that I purchased and it was stickers. I did just make a purchase today that I am very excited about….I got some cool new alphabet rubber stamp sets from DribsNDrabs. I love her shop! I am very, very new to Etsy. I just joined September 16th. I found Etsy while searching for alternative sales forums, (other than Ebay) for my crafts. Thanks to Google search engine, here I am and I love it. Etsy is such a friendly community.

4. If I could sell one item from my shop today, it would be...

I think that it would definitely have to be my Halloween Chipboard Album. I spent so much time on this album making it something that people could enjoy for years to come. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be at all upset to keep the album, but I thought that would be a great item to introduce my work to Etsians. So, I have been a little surprised that it is still on the “virtual shelf.” I even had it on sale for $17, for awhile. Since then, I have returned the price of the album to the original cost of $20.

5. If I had enough money to pick one item on my wish list from any shop on Etsy to buy, it would be...

The “Custom Engraved Elegant Sterling Silver Guitar Pick by AndrosCreations ( ). My fiance’, Scott Gehrett, just released a new album called VII Sins, which is also available on Etsy.

6. What is the best advice you have ever received?

Oh gosh, I don’t know. Everyone has been so friendly and helpful. When I first set up my shop, I posted a critique request in the help forum and so many people looked at my shop and told me things that I should do, or fix. It was awesome!!! People are just so helpful here on Etsy!!!

7. What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?

Well, first and foremost, I think the best advice that I could give is to get involved in the forums, at least for the first little while. Let people know who you are and what you have available. When you list new items in your shop, find a link that they fit into and post them. Take the time to chat with other sellers. I have found that other sellers are also, BUYERS, and it’s worth the time to get to know them. They’re all so nice.

8. How do you promote your work?

Honestly, I haven’t gotten around, too much, to promoting my work, yet, outside of Etsy. I do have a website,, but I haven’t taken the time to get it up to par, yet. I also have a myspace site that is dedicated to my crafting, It’s basically my Etsy Mini Shop so hopefully more people will find out about Etsy. It’s too great of a place not to share, even if people aren’t in the market for my items.

9. Apart from creating things, what do you do?

Gosh! A LOT!!! I am a mommy of two wonderful kids, a 10-year-old son and an 8-year-old daughter. I am full time dispatcher for a heating and air company and I am full time college student, in my sophomore year. I am working toward obtaining a double Bachelor’s degree, in Management and Human Resources. It’s a struggle to keep up with it all, but I love it. But, now you understand, maybe a little better, why I need my craft as a “take me away.” :0)

10 .What led you to start selling on Etsy?

I have sold on Ebay off and on for years. It has changed a lot over the last several years, however, while I was taking a break to get other things in my life situated. I wanted to have some forum for my crafts, so I went searching and when I saw Etsy, I fell in love and thought, “why not?!” Since opening on September 16th, I have had 8 sales, so I am very pleased with my decision.

11. How would you describe your shop?

I would describe it as cute and cheerful and anything that you can possibly think of that is made of paper, you will probably find there. If it’s not there, yet, just give me a little time. I love custom orders, too, though, so I do encourage anyone who likes my work, but doesn’t see what they would like to have, to send me a convo and I will accommodate any order.

12. Are you working on anything new right now or is there a craft you would like to learn?

Right now I am working on Halloween cards. I have a custom order for some that I need to get finished. I am also working on a wedding keepsake piece that will make a beautiful gift for someone and I’m working on a Christmas mini album. Generally, I have several projects going, so if I feel like switching, I do. I like being able to mix things up a little.

*Picture courtesy of Kreations by Kik*

*A big "Thank you" to Aevan for the use of her awesome and insightful interview questions!!! Check out her Etsy shop here: or check out her own seller interviews on her blog:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

BrendasBeadsandMore - Unplugged!!!

This past week, I have had the pleasure of speaking with The wonderful Brenda from Brendas Beads and More, She is so fantastic and it was wonderful doing an interview with her. Don't forget to read the next post down and find out all about her 'Be A Star' pendant.

1.Which part of your work do you most enjoy? Which part do you find hardest?

I’m pretty new to metalwork, but I think my favorite part is cutting a design out of the metal and shaping it to match up to my drawing or picture. I like the feel of the metal in I my hands as it heats up when I’m working it. I end up concentrating so much on the work that time just slips on by.The hardest part for me is taking the pictures. I just can’t seem to find the background or get the lighting right to make awesome pictures. My husband thinks I need a new camera, so maybe I’ll get one for Christmas.

2.Where do you get your inspiration?

Sometimes an idea will just pop into my head when I see a particular shape that I like or an item like a flower or building. Lately, I have wanted to make small flowers. I would like to try to make a daffodil but I still have a lot more to learn about metalworking and soldering.

3.What is your favorite item that you have purchased on Etsy?

I actually have two favorites. I got the cutest little wristlet with little kitty cats on it from - It was sooo cute, but it is missing. I will have to ask her if she can make me another one. The other is my banner and business cards from - She did such a fantastic job and I actually get a lot of compliments about them.

4.If I could sell one item from my shop today, it would be...

I would love to see the Silver Star with multi-colored gemstones sell. My pictures do not do it justice. I’m actually very proud of that piece because I was able to set all 6 of those gemstones all by myself.

5.If I had enough money to pick one item on my wish list from any shop on Etsy to buy, it would be...

If I had the money, I would definitely ask nimbusnovem, , if she could etch a picture of my kitty cat on marble. She does the most beautiful pictures of animals and people.

6.What is the best advice you have ever received?

Spend about 15 minutes a day posting in forums or chat to help promote your shop and allow people to get to know you. And go to Alchemy and request a Banner and Avatar. I have done those and I think it helps. Not only do people get to know me, but I have learned so much about art and the people behind it. I have also recently joined EtsyRain Team and hope to be meeting some of the members this weekend.

7.What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?

Have patience, be confident in your work, and promote.

8.How do you promote your work?

I talk in Forums a bit. I participate in a BNR – More Meaningful Gifts. The group in this BNR are fabulous people and it’s almost like a family. They share lots of ideas and tips and are very positive people. Instead of posting only about our own items, we promote each others shops. We learn quite a bit from each other.I also do LinkReferral and respond to people looking for items to feature in their blogs. Because I don’t do booths myself, I will send samples to someone else who is doing one. And I leave my business card on bulletin boards that allow posting whenever I go out. I always carry small sample bags with me to hand out in case someone asks me about the jewelry I am wearing. Because my funds are limited right now, I try to find the free or inexpensive things I can do to promote.

9.Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I recently started working part time at home doing transcription work. I also read a lot. I’m kind of a book worm. I love scary movies, and my favorite TV shows are Project Runway and Ghost Hunters.

10.What led you to start selling on Etsy?

I was selling on Ebay for a while. Then I heard about Etsy at a Marketing Class I took at Danaca Design Studio in Seattle. So I made the switch and recently closed my Ebay store. Etsy is way better.

11.How would you describe your shop?

Since I don’t have a particular style, I tend to make whatever comes to mind. So I have a variety of items listed in my shop such as bookmarks, wine glass rings, and eyeglass chains in addition to the jewelry items. And I occasionally make cards. My jewelry is mostly beaded, but I now have 4 pieces listed that are metal worked.

12.Are you working on anything new right now or is there a craft you would like to learn?

I have been working on a Teardrop pendant which is actually done. But I can’t decide on the type of chain to put with it. The perfect leaf fell off a tree right in front of me today. I know it’s been done before, but not by me. So I am planning a new leaf pin, maybe in silver and gold.

Thanks to Brendas Beads and More for this awesome interview!!!

*Picture courtesy of Brendas Beads and More*

*A big "Thank you" to Aevan for the use of her awesome and insightful interview questions!!! Check out her Etsy shop here: or check out her own seller interviews on her blog:

Be A Star - Deconstructed!!!

I do not have the pleasure of owning one of BrendasBeadsandMore's items, , so I am not able to do a product review, but she was kind enough to walk us through her creative process and the making of her gorgeous 'Be a star - Sterling silver star pendant with multicolored gemstones.' So for the first time ever on this diva's blog, I am offering you a new format - a deconstruction. So here is the artist, in her own words, sharing her process with you!!!


Be A Star

The idea came from a test copy that was being used when setting up new copy machines at the place I used to work at. The Technician had these neat shapes on paper and he let me have a couple copies. I loved the star shape so I modified it a bit. I used 20 gauge sterling silver and hammered the texture onto it and then cut out the shape. This was also the first time I have ever hammered a texture on something. It was fun and noisy. Since I had made most of it at the studio, everyone thought I was making some kind of weapon jewelry at first because my points were super sharp, you know, like the stars a Ninja would throw. (In fact, I am drawing out a line of weapon jewelry now because of that.) I made the sharp points rounded by filing and sanding and then soldered on the bezels and bail. I then set my gemstones. I’m quite proud of this piece because I was able to set all of the stones by myself without any help. Lastly, I polished by hand and added a chain.
~~Thank you so much Brenda, for sharing that with us!!! I think the pendant turned out beautifully. It is absolutely stunning!!!
*Picture courtesy of Brendas Beads and More.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Young Soap - Unplugged!!!

I have had so much fun speaking with youngsoap for this interview and I have also had the honor and pleasure of personally working with youngsoap on product placement in some upcoming goodie bags!!! And now I am so excited to share this interiew with you!!!

1.Which part of your work do you most enjoy? Which part do you find hardest?

What I most enjoy is difficult to answer since I like so much of what I do... I think I would have to say designing recipes. I love getting an inspiration from a scent blend idea or a new ingredient I read about or a suggestion from a customer and then formulating a recipe to go perfectly with it. (Lavender & Vanilla w/ Goat's Milk & Lemongrass & Eucalyptus are two of my new ones!) What I find hardest is an easier question... balancing my time! I constantly feel behind on EVERYTHING. :-)

2.Where do you get your inspiration?

I get inspiration from loads of places, and I use it from wherever it comes. Lots of times people give me scent blends that they want, and I work with those. Sometimes I read about an ingredient I hadn't heard of, and I make up a recipe to use it and complement its best properties. Sometimes I start from scratch and play around. Sometimes I read dermatology books and try to combine ingredients good for certain skin types. Sometimes I read ideas from other soapers in a forum I belong to. Sometimes I order an ingredient on sale from one of my suppliers and decide when I get it what it would go well with... really inspiration is endless in soap making because there is SO MUCH you can do with it. And I like it that way. :-)

3.What is your favorite item that you have purchased on Etsy?

I haven't been on etsy very long, and I have only purchased 2 items, and since I haven't received either yet, it's hard to say which is my favorite. But I had a custom stamp done from Tommie77, and some thank you cards from CardsandNotes, - I'm greatly looking forward to both.

4.If I could sell one item from my shop today, it would be...

If I could sell one item in my shop today, it would be one of the variety packs, and the buyer would, for at least one of the bars, tell me a little about their skin and let me help pick them some soap. I LOVE interaction. :-)

5.If I had enough money to pick one item on my wish list from any shop on Etsy to buy, it would be...

Again, I haven't been on etsy very long, so I haven't browsed a lot of shops. But I am OBSESSED with DollCloset. And my favorite outfit is definitely But I don't have a doll or a daughter, so it's a little silly. Maybe for my niece at Christmas? :-)(I actually wrote a blog about this predicament.)

6.What is the best advice you have ever received?

Best advice I've been given... Do you mean etsy advice? I had some people on a BNR that I'm on talk through the whole shipping prices dilemma with me, and that was really helpful to learn how they handle it. But if you mean advice in general, I think I might say something my mentor told me once: "It's foolish to get upset with people for the things they DON'T do, especially if they're not aware they should be doing them." I get fantastic advice all the time, but I know I come back to this a lot.

7.What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?

To new artists, my first advice would be to take everything I say with a grain of salt because I'm a newbie too! :-) Then my next advice would be to play their own game. There are so many artists - TALENTED artists - on etsy, and it can be intimidating, and it can be tempting to compare sales or pictures or ideas and to figure out what you SHOULD be doing. And while it's great to get ideas and use them to improve, it seems to me that what makes your product most unique is YOU. So you should cater to your own strengths and play your own game... and then my third piece of advice would be to remind the new artist to take what I just said with a grain of salt. :-)

8.How do you promote your work?

So far most of our promotion is local and not web-based. My husband and I sell at farmer's markets every weekend, and we try to make a presence at craft shows that we think will be effective. Every bar of soap comes with a card that gives description and ingredients and doubles as a business card, so if our customer never sees us at market again, they contact us and see our web store. As far as online marketing, I just resurrected my blog ( ), but I have hardly posted and really haven't figured out yet exactly what role it will play. Also I am just beginning to toy with other ideas of marketing my etsy shop. Etsy for me was secondary to local markets and meant to be a support of sorts for them, so marketing my store there on its own is a new concept that I still need to (and want to!) explore.

9.Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I work at a radio ministry (NOT a weird one). I ride my bike wherever I can instead of driving. I listen to Harry Potter books on CD. I play with my two dachshunds, Dora & Winston. I rub my husband's back and really enjoy spending time with him. I rest one day a week. But honestly... the things I DON'T do might be more telling. :-) It seems my to-do list never empties.

10.What led you to start selling on Etsy?

I heard about etsy from a girl who came to the Orlando Farmer's Market one time and made these fabulous pillowcase shirts. I wish I could find her on here! Anyway, since our soap is obviously a consumable and since it's fantastic, we get a LOT of our business from repeat customers. So my goal was to be online in 2008 sometime so that we would be able to keep customers who love our soap but are not local. Etsy was a wonderful way to establish our first web presence since it didn't require the time or money that an independent site would require.

11.How would you describe your shop?

I would describe my shop as a place that sells absolutely amazing soap that is 100% natural, unique, and original... and I really believe that. Our soap is fantastic.

12.Are you working on anything new right now or is there a craft you would like to learn?

I would like to learn to make soda and to make paper. But I'm not seeing the time for learning those at any point in the near future. They're on my bucket list. :-)
*picture shown is courtesy of Young Soap*
A big "Thank you" to Aevan for the use of her awesome and insightful interview questions!!! Check out her Etsy shop here: or check out her own seller interviews on her blog:

Dead Sea Mud Bar - Review!!!

This week I am reviewing the Dead Sea Mud Bar from Young Soap,

I received my soap just a few days after placing my order from youngsoap. They also sent samples for goodie bags, but everything was in great condition when it arrived - no melting or broken pieces. They included info cards on each scent/type of soap that also do double duty as business cards!!!

Look/Feel of Item Upon Opening:
This soap really does look like a bar of mud, but a nice one at least!!! It's very simple looking, it has a neutral color and a clean scent. This bar comes in a good size, which I was really happy about - They even state in the description that the buyer will get at LEAST 5 ounces. Wow!!!

Look/Feel of Item Upon Use:
This bar uses beautifully. It doesn't dissolve in the shower to half the size you started with, which means that you get to use every bit of the bar that you paid for!!! As far as cleansing your skin is concerned, this bar is amazing. It has a fantastic lather, a wonderful scent and it really does deep clean your skin!!! It is also incredibly moisturizing. I have horrible, dry skin and this left even me feeling super soft. Plus the clean, unisex scent is perfect for you, your guy, or your best girlfriend.

My Favorite Thing About the Item:
I love how soft my skin is after showering with this awesome mud bar!!!

My Least Favorite Thing About the Item:
It made me a little sticky while showering, but as soon as I dried off that 'sticky' feeling disappeared and I was left with super soft skin!!!

Would I Recommend This Item?
Without a doubt, YES!!!

Price/Purchase Info:
Dead Sea Mud Bar, $7.50 from Young Soap,

*picture shown of the dead sea mud bar courtesy of youngsoap

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Abbey - Unplugged!!!

It's interview time!!! My first seller interview/product review will be posted THIS WEEKEND!!! I know that you guys are really excited to start learning about awesome products and wonderful sellers, so your wait is almost over!!! The only thing is - I'm all about the 'never have someone do something that you wouldn't do yourself.' So, I am going to bite the bullet and answer the interview questions myself.... So you guys get to pick my brain first, then score the scoop on other talented etsians...

Here goes...

1.Which part of your work do you most enjoy? Which part do you find hardest?

I enjoy designing my jewelry. Sometimes I'll be in the middle of something non-art related, and a design will just come to me. At that point, I'm gone - I have to stop what I am doing and sketch out my idea. I love seeing my thoughts drawn out on paper. I think the hardest part for me, is just finding the right balance between home life and work life. When you work in your home, it's very easy to let the two overlap each other, but at some point you have to set those boundaries.

2.Where do you get your inspiration?

I find inspiration in a lot of things. Right now I am very big on the 4 seasons and have different jewelry collections based on each one (Spring Renewal, Endless Summer, Autumn Splendor and Winter Fantasy). I also believe in giving to others and designed a jewelry collection with proceeds going to domestic violence prevention. The inspiration for that collection came from a lot of different things: past personal experience, an art card created by the wonderful etsians nadine and kathleen, , and a bible verse that helped me in my own situation - " bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes...and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair..." Isaiah 61:3

3.What is your favorite item that you have purchased on Etsy?

My favorite item is the 'I am my only hope' necklace from lionessden, . I suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of my second child. It took 3 different doctors 6 months to diagnose me, by that point it was so severe that I took matters into my own hands and was able to get the treatment I needed. And now, almost 4 years later, I can look back on that and say that if I hadn't done something about it, who knows where I would be in my life right now. I bought this necklace for my girlfriend that suffers from depression and is suicidal. I gave it to her and said, "Look, you are the only person that can save you. We can help you, and we can be here for you, but you have to want to be here, you have to want to be alive."

4.If I could sell one item from my shop today, it would be...

My 'Breast Blossom earrings for a cure', . I made them for the September Challenge and the proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research.

5.If I had enough money to pick one item on my wish list from any shop on Etsy to buy, it would be...

The cassette tape necklace from goblingblinggo, !!! I have been drooling over this thing since I joined Etsy!!! It is amazing!!!

6.What is the best advice you have ever received?

The best non-etsy advice I received was from my mom. When I was dating my now husband, she told me not to marry him just because I loved him, but to marry him if I could be committed to him. Love is just a feeling and as such, it is often fleeting, but when you commit yourself to someone, you are choosing to love them, even if at times the 'feeling' is not there. Almost 5 years later, our marriage is going strong. It's not perfect by any means, but we aren't afraid. We never have to hide anything from each other, we can argue and fight truthfully, sometimes almost painfully, we can be separated for days, months and even years (yay Army, Hooah!!! lol) and not worry about infidelity, because it is not being in love that keeps us together (although that part is nice), it is our genuine commitment to each other.

The best business advice I received was from my dad (he owns his own business). He told me, "Kiddo, you're not just selling stuff, you're selling you." And he's right. As artists/artisans, we create who we are. When you sell something to someone, you aren't just selling stuff, you are selling a piece of what makes you 'you.' So get to know your customers, talk with them, develop relationships with them, afterall, you are selling your creation, your idea, your talent, your love of whatever it is that you do!!!

7.What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?

Your online customers don't get to meet you face to face, so customer service online needs to be more prominent than that in a B&M store. Answer your convo's in a timely manner, check up on customers, deliver the items when you say you will and be sure to follow-up. Don't forget to leave feedback!!!

8.How do you promote your work?

I'm on Craigslist, I have a window cling on my car (lol), I try to talk to as many people as possible, I pass out business cards, I do give aways, I send out promos, I am starting to do craft fairs and shows, I am doing the Little Black Box in December!!! I just try to get my name out there as much as possible. Oh, and if you ever want to read it, I have a blog too ;)

9.Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I have 3 kids, all 5 and under - so most of my time is spent mothering. Other than that, I love to read. I read anything I can get my hands on - newspapers, books, magazines - if someone recommends an article or anything, I will find it and read it!!! I started and instructed an independent open color guard before we moved, so to keep my skills sharp I continue to practice between a few hours a day to a few hours a week (depending on time), I also write and design color guard shows to any songs that catch my attention. I'm also a writer and jot down anything that comes to mind, I'm currently writing a book and trying to get my poetry published. I went to school for a journalism degree, so I guess it just comes naturally to me. I also have OCD (lol, I know), so I spend a lot of time organizing and re-organizing my house!!!

10.What led you to start selling on Etsy?

I found Esty when I googled an item I was interested in purchasing. The very first listing was for MaryMo's etsy shop, . I had never even heard of Etsy before that!!! I have been making crafts, jewelry, clothing, etc, for years, sewing since elementary school. I also had been making items for my family and friends for awhile. I liked the look and idea of Etsy, so I decided that it would just be the logical next step in my life.

11.How would you describe your shop?

My shop is. To me, it just 'is.' It is what I love to make, which is luxe jewelry and gorgeous accessories. I would also describe my shop as an ever changing extension of myself. I am always changing and striving to do and be better. My shop image and items change with me. Today I am sewing makeup bags, tomorrow I might make wallet chains, and the day after? Who knows!!! I like to keep my items fun, practical, and just plain brilliant!!!

12.Are you working on anything new right now or is there a craft you would like to learn?

Right now I am trying to get ready for my FIRST craft show (yay), so I am producing a lot of my pocket mirror pouches, but I am also making new items that won't be available in my etsy shop yet, like tote bags, makeup bags and clutches. As far as something I would like to learn - I really would love to learn how to bind books. I think that beautifully hand bound books are just gorgeous and luxurious!!!

~Well, there you have it!!! A little about me, my life and what it is that makes me tick... If you ever want to know anything else, just ask!!!

A big "Thank you" to Aevan for the use of her awesome and insightful interview questions!!! Check out her Etsy shop here: or check out her own seller interviews on her blog:

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Want To Promote YOUR Shop!!!

Hello all!!!

I am so excited to say that I am doing my first craft show in October!!! I have been wanting to do this for awhile, so I am really looking forward to this.

I am putting together some fantastic goodie bags and would love for you all to be a part of it. Unlike a typical craft show - where people go specifically to see/buy these items, I will be showing at our county's Harvest Festival - So this is a chance to get your items seen by people who would normally not know about the wonderful world of handmade goods. Your item(s) might just be the one to turn these people into handmade loving buyers!!!

As this is my first show, I don't want to get too bogged down - so I am looking to do anywhere from 5-20 goodie bags. If this is something that interests you, please post here, post in the etsy thread or send me an etsy convo.

Any amount of promos that you would like to send is fine by me!!!

Thank you all and I hope to help get your shop name out to the lovely folks in my neck of the woods!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Handmade Halloween Costume Giveaway!!!

Ok, so I normally make my kids' Halloween costumes, but due to bedrest, I just don't think I will be able to this year. So.... I am going to live vicariously through my fellow etsians and blog readers!!!

From now until Saturday, October 18th - post pictures of your handmade Halloween costumes IN THIS THREAD (can be adult, kid, pet, etc).

The winner will be randomly chosen on Sunday, October 19th (basically my 5 and 3 year olds will choose which picture they like the best). At that time I will convo the winner to let them know and also post the winner (with pictures) on my blog and on this thread.

On Sunday, October 19th, I will also post a new thread with the blog giveaway for November!!!

*October's blog giveaway is a cute clutch!!!

Product Reviewers Wanted!!! This Means YOU!!!

I am looking for people to review some of my products.

To include, but not limited to Jewelry items - necklaces, earrings, bracelets, etc; Bags - clutches, catch alls, pocket mirror pouches, etc; Accessories - hair combs, chignons, etc.

All you would need to do is use the item and write a review.

Here's how it would work:
1. I will send you the item free of charge
2. You use the item consistently for a weeks time.
3. You then write a review* of the item and post the review and a picture of the item on your blog.

*This is your review and your words, but I would like it to have as much detail as possible. From delivery and aesthetic of packaging, to price (you don't pay the price, but I will let you know the sale price of the item), to the look and feel of the item (even weight if necessary, ie - earrings while worn), any comments received, etc...

4. I would then post YOUR review on my blog as well

As I am trying to promote my items and my very young etsy shop (1 month here!!!), I would prefer to use people who have higher blog traffic.

If you are genuinely interested in reviewing my products (and not just looking for free stuff), post in this etsy thread or feel free to send me an etsy convo, or even leave me a comment here on my blog. You are more than welcome to tell me which type of item you are interested in, but I will choose which product to send you.

I am wanting to do these product reviews every few weeks/once a month - so if you are not chosen this time - you are more than welcome and encouraged to stay in touch and come back when I post the next review thread!!

Thank you!!! :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Irony equals Destiny?

Wow, how ironic that my first blog has me actually drowning in fabric? I am currently trying to get 150+ pocket mirror pouches ready for the December Little Black Box and I am so overwhelmed. I have already chosen the fabric, so now I am at the cutting stage - which is not too bad... Except for the fact that I was put on partial bedrest due to an (as of yet) undiagnosable back problem. So my home studio is littered with 600 tiny fabric squares, not to meantion all of the fabric for my shop items. I think that I will go crazy if I am not able to get up and finish these things!!! I can not stand to leave projects undone for so long. And don't get me wrong, I know that I have plenty of time before these are due to go in the LBB, but seriously.... At this point - I just want to get back to creating!!! As most of us who are designers or artists or crafters will tell you - creating and making something new is part of what drives us as human beings. And to be without that ability for so long (this is week 3 for me being on partial bedrest....grrrr.....) - it just sucks some of who you are out of you.

On the plus side though, it is giving me a chance to connect with other creative aspects of my psyche. I have taken up drawing again (which I used to do all the time, I even got a scholarship in 8th grade to attened college art classes along with my regular school work). I am hardcore stuck on watercolor drawings right now. I am also creating some ACEOs, which I have never made before. So I am going back to my roots and looking to the future all at the same time. I'm kind of excited to see where all of this will take me. Regardless of anything that comes of this, I am happy that I am able to take this particular situation and turn it around for some good.

Thanks for reading my first blog entry. I hope you will stick around and see what becomes of me and my craft!!! Keep your chin up - and whatever you do, don't let yourself drown in all that fabric!!!