My Etsy Shop!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Need Your Input

Hi Blog friends! I need your help on something-consider it market research :). I am thinking of setting up an Etsy shop in which I can sell some of the things I make. If you do not know what Etsy is, go look and then come back--I will wait :)

Ok, now that you are back, what do you think? I was thinking of listing items like the following (click the links to see photos, some you need to scroll down to see):
-monogrammed towels like the one I made here or burp cloths, customized
-jewelry like washer necklaces that can be personalized, bracelets, earrings, brooches, etc.
-coin/make-up bags, like these zipper pouches
-smaller hand knits like headbands, mittens, ornaments, scarves, children's clothes, possibly some shawls, etc (the larger things like blankets or sweaters would be really difficult as they take a good bit of time and the materials cost a lot and so I am thinking that while I am capable of making them, not too many folks are willing to pay like $200+ for a sweater that I would need to charge to recoup the cost of materials and time, you know?)
-hand-made children's games like the ones in this post
-hand-painted monogrammed tile coasters (oops, I made these for Christmas gifts but didn't take a picture--use your imagination and make them fabulous in your mind :) )
-pillows, made customized for the buyer if desired
-appliqued totes/bibs/tees with various cute silhouette designs (sort of like this one my friend Dawn made me with Africa, hearts, birds, dinosaurs, etc-the sky is the limit on this one!!)

There are a million ideas running through my head for other items, too. The main purpose of this shop would be to finish paying for our adoption and after that to fund future adoptions, whether ours or someone else's. If God is done growing our family, I would love to give $ from the shop to our church's new adoption ministry to help others answer God's call on their hearts. Anyway, all of that aside, my question for you is this: would you buy these types of things? Are they things you could see yourself purchasing for yourself or as a gift for someone else? I don't want to set up a supply where there is no demand:) If you feel like you could see yourself being potentially interested in any of these types of items, could you tell me in the comments? I am NOT asking you to buy anything or commit to anything AT ALL, just getting a feel for the potential success I would have. If you are a blog lurker, can you come out of lurking just to let me know what you think of this shop idea? Your feedback is very valuable to me!! Thanks in advance!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How You Can Help (and you CAN!!!)

Feel like you cannot do anything? You can give to the work Compassion is doing after the Haiti earthquake.

Feel like you are too far away? Compassion is already there hard at work as Compassion sponsors and donors serve more than 65, 000 children in Haiti, at least a third of them in the areas hardest hit. Because Compassion International ministers through local churches in the country to meet the needs of that church's neighbors, and because these church partners are respected aid workers in their communities, Compassion is uniquely positioned to meet and assess the needs of these children and their families quickly. THEY ARE ALREADY THERE and their office is still standing-Hallelujah!!

Feel like it would be too hard to figure out what charity might be ethical, responsible and wonder what they are doing with your donation? Here is how Compassion International uses their funds in general and here is how they will be using them for relief for the Haiti earthquake:

• $35 helps provide a relief pack filled with enough food and water to sustain a family for one week.
• $70 gift helps care for their needs for two weeks.
• $105 helps provide relief packs filled with enough food and water to sustain two families for two weeks.
• $210 gift helps care for two families' needs.
• $525 helps provide relief packs filled with enough food and water to sustain 10 families for two weeks.
• $1,050 gift helps care for 10 families' needs.
• $1,500 helps rebuild a home.
• $2,100 helps supply 20 families with the basics for three weeks.

(Due to the high number of responses it may take longer than normal to process your transaction.)
Here is a link to information to make sure the charity to which you donate is real and doing what they say they are doing with your money. Sadly, sickos out there use things like this to scam people-make sure you are not one of them!!
Feel like it is too difficult or would be time consuming? Simply text "disaster" to 90999 to donate $10 to the work Compassion is doing and the charge will show on your next phone bill. Yes, it really is THAT easy. If you don't text or feel like that is out of your comfort zone, you can go HERE to donate to Compassion, as well.
If you have ever been to this blog before, you know I am a huge fan of Compassion International and I believe they are truly the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting world. However, if you are unfamiliar with their work and would just feel better doing so, you may also text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate to the Red Cross (or go to the website) or also donate through Samaritan's Purse.
We CAN do something and we SHOULD. Can you fathom what it would mean if everyone just gave $10? WOW. just WOW. I think I need to go send a text....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Christmas Gifties Part 2

Sorry it took me forever to get to the rest of the gifties I made for Christmas, but at least I am getting it posted before next Christ mas, haha! Life just sometimes is a little nutso with 4 kids so posts sometimes are easy and sometimes like moving a mountain! Without further ado, I give you the next batch of handmade gifts of 2009:
This is a little travel tic-tac-toe board I made for my niece. The base for it is a placemat I bought at Target. I then used a satin stitch to make the pink grid on the mat. I sewed a small zipper pouch out of some stash fabric and a zipper I had and then sewed it to the mat also. I made markers that were turquoise on one side and white on the other (I made 9 total) and those hide out in the zippy pouch when not in use. Finally, I sewed a ribbon to the edge of the mat so that it could be rolled up and tied closed for on the go tic tac toe! It is perfect to grab and bring along for car trips, waiting at restaurants, waiting at the doctor's office, whatever. And for the same reasons, I made the gift below, Story Dice:
I read about these online in several places and absolutely loved the idea! I was going to make the pictures by stamping them, but this site provided the graphics, already sized and everything, so I for once took the "easy way out" and used them. I purchased the wooden cubes at Michael's and sanded the edges to round them a bit like real dice and to help them roll easier. I then Mod Podged the images onto the dice and put another couple coats on to seal them and then made a cute little zipper pouch to tote them in. Here are the directions I included:

"The goal of this game is to roll as many of the dice as you would like. Then create a story, tall tale, poem, or song using the pictures you roll. You can also roll the dice and create a piece of art that incorporates all the pictures. The only limit is your imagination!"

This gift was a huge hit with all the kids-I am thinking of making a set for our girls, as well. And they can even be used for little kids by asking "what picture is that?", etc. They are limitless!

My next niece is a very tactile learner and she has a high need to touch and interact with things in order to learn. So I made her a set of bean bags out of different fabrics with different textures. Each bag has a letter of her name on it, capital on one side and lowercase on the other-she is in Kindergarten so it will help her recognize and spell her name as well as allow her to make up new words out of the letters if she wants to. And just thrown them around and hit her brothers or whatever, too. Can't be all learning all the time, right?? :) I got the idea here:

For my sister, I made this little meal plan menu thingy--I printed a blank calendar on a transparency and then cut a cute piece of scrapbook to go behind and put it all in a regular wooden picture frame that I painted red. The paper had to not be too busy of a pattern such that it obscured the calendar-that was a little harder to find than I thought it would be!! But it can even be changed out seasonally or with decor so the sky is the limit on this. Then she can use a dry erase marker to write the month's meals on the glass and just erase and re-use it each month, easy peasy! (I saw where you can also make the calendar out of vinyl with a fancy pants cricut machine for you scrapbook folks, which I am not) I also added a pretty ribbon to hang it, but I did that after I took the picture so use your imagination :)

And finally, every year my girls and I make an ornament to give to friends and family. I saw this here and knew that was our ornament this year!! It turned out so cute! LOVE IT!

Can you stand the cuteness? (and the blurriness? sorry!!)

handprint with chubby fingers into snowmen=CUTEVILLE! plus a fun memory of the size of a little one's hand that year :). Bought the plain glass ornaments at Michael's of course and then just used white paint for the handprints and then paint pens for the details.

So there you have it! The wrap up of handmade gifts this year! Thanks for bearing with me!! I am working on a few other projects now and maybe one day I will finish them and post them. Of course one day I may also finish my laundry and the dishes too, but I am not feeling real hopeful....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Before And After

One year ago today, we went to dinner to celebrate our referral call and we took the flash drive filled with her pictures (the thing in my hand with the cord hanging down)to dinner with us so we could hop over to the store right after and print all 34 of them out....Tonight, exactly one year later, we went to the very same restaurant, but we needed one more seat and we left the flash drive at home in favor of the 3D version...

What a year it has been!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What I Did On My Christmas Vacation

Ok, first off-I got tagged for a neat award/blog meme thing from Maria, but I could not copy and paste the words and stuff and so I was too lazy to re-type it all and go back and forth so go read hers, think "oh, she's cool!" and then imagine great answers full of neat little tidbits of info about me, 'k?

Anyway, over the next couple of days I will share some of the bajillion Christmas gifts I made this year. I LOVED making so much stuff this year as creating makes me feel happy, but it left me no time for much else, which is honestly ok. I needed the computer break and just the time making and creating, sometimes side by side with my girls which was even better-it is restorative for me....well, except when it doesn't go well and then it is just frustrating and sweary but we will not get in to that business....

First up is the knitted teacher gifts:
Peekaboo Mittens (which I love and want some for me!!)

Next is the Branching Out scarf made out of a silk/wool combo yarn, mmmmmm, yummy:

Here we have a batch of treasure stones I made for my nephew:

He loves to do those kits where you can dig/scrape out something like a dinosaur skeleton with mini archaeologist tools. So, when I found a recipe to make the stones, I was excited! I hid a bunch of money in the stones, using "regular" coins, and then also some fun ones like a silver dollar, 50 cent piece, and even a paper dollar that I rolled up tiny and fit into a section of a straw so it wouldn't get messed up by the wet "dough" of the rocks before I baked them. They were SO easy and fun to make and I kept giggling while making them saying "look! they look JUST LIKE ROCKS!" I packaged them in a landscaping bucket filled with moss and included "instructions" one the side of the bucket. I am happy to report that he loved them, which makes me SO happy! They could be made for a party treasure hunt with a prize for each kiddo inside, be "fairy stones" with some added glitter and/or paint, Easter egg hunt if you shape them more egg-ish, the possibilities are endless!!

Finally, for this post, these are a few washer necklaces I made:

These are made with fender washers you can buy at any hardware or home improvement store. You can search for them on the web and find tons of instructions/variations on these-this is just how I chose to do mine. A few I covered with scrapbook paper and clear glaze, but they were really fussy and more of them didn't turn out well than ones that did so that was kind of annoying. I preferred the ones I hand-stamped as I could make them personal for the recipient as I did in the picture above-those are the names of the recipient's children. I ordered a set of steel letter stamps from Harbor Freight and used them to personalize the necklaces. These are not hard to make, well, unless you are a moron and cannot seem to hold the letters the correct way and repeatedly mess up the same thing over and over by stamping a letter sideways/upside down and then it might start to get teensy bit sweary, as previously mentioned-all hypothetically of course. You need a heavy hammer, a hard surface like a concrete basement floor, and a sharpie to blacken the letters. If you want more specific instructions, let me know and I can share with you how I did it. It was a really lot of fun (except for the sweary parts). I didn't manage to take pictures of some of the ones I added beads/charms to, but they were pretty cool, too. I am really not bragging or trying to toot my own horn, for reals-I am just as surprised as anyone when stuff I make turns out decently!!! Of course, I am honestly never really satisfied with anything I make either and will endlessly fool with and fret over it, noticing every little flaw. But, I really do love to make stuff and I have finally come to the conclusion that I was created to create-it is the thing that gets me so excited! I like to create most for others, it is like my gift to me to make gifts for others. So, basically, I am selfish!! haha!

I will have one more post of stuff I inflicted upon, um I mean, created, for others in the next couple days. If you made any gifts, leave a comment and email me pictures!! I love to see others' stuff and be inspired!!