28 Jul 2010

Monthly Artisan Craft Fair

I'll be selling tomorrow at a great craft fair in the Milk Market, the Monthly Artisan Craft Fair. The organisation for this has been shopped outside of the regular organizers and it looks like Christine has done an amazing job. All the market stalls are full, and there is loads of talent coming form all around Ireland. Some of the readers of Etsy Ireland might recognise people like Bonzie, Stradbally Jewellery, and Feltfieltrofilc, as they are fellow team members. Check out her website for a full list of traders, or join her facebook fanpage here.
Christine has organised an amazing array of entertainment for the entire day, from a harpist, live blues, and then trad, between 2.00-3.30pm there will be entertainment for the kids too with face painting and puppetry.
If the punters turn up it is set to be an amazing day, a fair that I will happily take part in on a monthly basis. It's a stunning venue, with great facilities so it makes sense that it should be a resounding success.

Trading times: 12-7pm
Date: Thursday July 29th

Pictures Courtesy of Bock the Robber

27 Jul 2010

Working on a New Line: iPhone Cases

For ages I've wanted to make accessories for guys, but I couldn't figure out what to make for a brief while I made t-shirts but the work that went into them was not feasible in the end. It was while I was reading ByAmors piece on revamping your shop during the Summer months I saw the link to the merchandising desk on Etsy. Here they talk about specific trends, and advice people to use this quieter time to start a new line of products. It was when I read about the growing trend in gadget accessories that a bell rung in my head. I love making detailed felt designs, and it would give me the scope to work on stuff for guys and girls. So after doing a bit of research on sizes, and prices being charged for them I made my first one, the apple tree here. It was so much fun to make as the ideas for the images are only limited by my imagination. In the few days that I've been working on them I've made 10 of them, and I've even listed them already in my Etsy shop. I've gotten really good feedback about them on facebook and I have an order for one already.
I've decided to push the idea of doing custom order ones, so you can get an image tailor made for you. For example my friend Rebecca has ordered a rainbow to match her LuckyRainbowDesigns business name. I think it would make a cool present for someone if you got something custom made for them, either to do with an in joke a hobby/occupation.
I've three markets coming up this weekend, at the moment I'm working hard on building up a good selection of cases to choose from. I'm charging 20 euro($26) with free shipping worldwide, I think when people see the level of work and detail that has gone into them they will understand the price, especially since they are entirely hand stitched.

Ps: I was reading a post about reverse applique on Grannymars blog last week and I promised myself I would give it a shot. I used this method while making the tape cassette in conjunction with regular applique. I love the results, but boy was it extra work!! Thanks grannymar for the great how-to, I'll definitely be using it again as it looks so pretty.

25 Jul 2010

Treasury Bonanza

I've been featured in 5 treasuries this week on Etsy. It seems to happen in fits and spurts, for weeks there could be nothing, and then suddenly a flood of them. I'm really chuffed with these ones, as I found loads of new shops with amazing items. I'm really trying to be very good and save up for my button press machine, but I'm very nearly there. So a shopping spree might have to occur soon to reward myself for all my hard work at being frugal.

And to return all this kindness of people putting me in their treasuries I made this sparkly blue one during the week. For about half a day it was on the first page of treasuries which was pretty exciting, it's definitely the best reaction I've ever gotten! It's also great because the items are all from Etsy Ireland Team members

24 Jul 2010

Saturday's Deadly Things

I'm having an Irish themed deadly choices today, all these pieces come from Etsy Ireland team members. Now that I don't have the pressure of having to organise things for the team it's really nice to just potter around the lovely selection of work at my leisure. At well over 180 members it's great to see the variety of work that we have now.

23 Jul 2010

The Urge to Shop

Yes yes I know i shouldn't be buying more supplies when I'm trying to cut down on the amount of stuff I have in the studio, but I just couldn't help myself. I'm like on of those designer shoe junkies, I walk into a supplies store and I want/need to have everything! I restrained myself and only bought one pack of paper, one which I bought before and I've pretty much run out of. I also got these buy 2 get 1 free canvases, for when I get the urge to do some more painting.

Lastly I bought these address labels for my return address stamp, I've tried stamping it on my padded envelopes and it doesn't really work. I should have measured the stamp as the stickers are too small to fit the button picture, but at least the address fits. As with all my other stamps I got it from Jlmould, I had gotten so sick of writing my return address on things I bought this stamp while I was ordering the large ones for my paper bags.

22 Jul 2010

New Order for Boutique: Part 2

Last week I showed you a couple of pieces that I'm working for for the boutique in Inistioge in Kilkenny. Betwwen markets, my sister being in hospital for her new baby, and the Etsy Ireland meeting I didn't get as much made as I wanted last week, at the moment I'm really in need of an eighth and ninth day in the week! But I did get these pieces made. I've been really enjoying making dresses recently and also working with 'clashing' patterned fabrics. A look that I've always loved, and which is very 'in' this season.
The tartan dress has been embellished with the material from a skirt and a shirt, all in complimentary tartan/striped blues and greys. This is the first time that I've made a rosette in this way and I'm really happy with how it turned out. The second piece has been customised with some vintage fabric that a friend gave to me, I think it's for making cushions and curtains. It's beautiful quality with wonderful patterns of birds and flowers on it. I made a band that goes around the waist, and a large tie for the back from two different patterned materials. I was very tempted to keep this dress for myself, but I need to be disciplined and send it off to the shop.

21 Jul 2010

Children's Illustration: Part 2

My last post on childrens illustration seemed to be popular so I thought I would show you one of the very first books that I fell in love with. I was about 7 years old and my mother gave me and my sister money to walk down to the local book shop and pick something that we wanted to buy for ourselves. This is one of my first memories of buying something with my own money without one of my parents being there, and it was a big deal to me. Even at this stage I was already a book nerd, as my mother had made us members of the library from the age of 4. I was getting to that age that picture books were a bit frowned on as I should be reading things a bit more advanced, but when I found Tales of Enchantment by Eric Kincaid I completely fell in love with it. The pictures covered the entire page, every part of it full of delicious details and mini stories. As I child I read and reread to book endlessly, and in my teens I tried to copy the illustrations, teaching myself how to draw and shade. The fact the the book is in perfect condition over 20 years later is a testament to how much I loved it. It's lovely to think that such an important possession came out of the simple act of my mother handing me a fiver.

20 Jul 2010

Retail Therapy: Nautical Button Bracelet

At the weekend we had a Etsy Ireland getaway in Limerick, more of that later though. I just had to show you this to die for bracelet that I bought off team member Beth from Magpie and Button. I've been drooling over this piece online for about 3 months, I love the nautical colours and it totally fits in with my current gra for all things 1950's pin-up sailor. But I'm not really a bracelet person which is what kept putting me off buying it. I'm not one for picking out parts of me that I hate, (self loathing takes too much damned energy for my liking!) but I've never liked my wrists so I've never been a bracelet person even though I LOVE jewellery. But as soon as I tried it on I knew I had to buy it, I'm so mad about it. Later on that night after a good few pints in was nearly shoving it in peoples faces showing them how lovely it was! The really nice part is that lots of the buttons come from my own shop as Beth is one of my most regular customers, so it feels more personal.

Now that I know her bracelets really suit me this may be the start of an unstoppable addiction, my two loves collide: buttons and jewellery. Go check out her shop and her lovely blog.

17 Jul 2010

Deadly Things: Part 3

Most people have no clue that I'm originally from Dublin until now and then the word deadly pops out of my mouth, for anyone reading this outside of Ireland, that means great or cool, not lethal as most people would assume. So here is another list of deadly things (two in one week, I must be full of love for the world!!).
Green Saffron: I had the most amazing curry yesterday at the market, and it only cost me a fiver. I trade right across from the Green Saffron stall every Friday, and the smell of the spices is simply intoxicating. Eventually my grumbling tummy got the better of me and I indulged in a yummy curry, and I really can't believe how amazing it tasted. It was spicy but fruity at the same time, will loads of layers of taste. Someone said to me that they should video how happy I looked when eating it because it would make a perfect ad. Arun also sells his curry frozen so you can bring it home, 'dinner for 2 for a tenner, the best curry you will ever eat'. Mostly when people have a sales pitch like that they are fudging the truth a bit, in this case he is really right.

Lucky Rainbow Designs: My friend Rebecca listed this amazing card in her shop yesterday, and I literally had a squee moment when I saw it, it is so adorable. Rebecca buys lots of supplies off me, and those pins and buttons you see here were bought from my shop. It's so nice to see my supplies being made into something so super cute. Also I was with Rebecca when she bought this paper when we went to Cork for the Etsy Ireland meeting, it's really cool to see what she has done with it.
Sales: My Etsy shops have been really quiet over the past two months or so. It's because I haven't been putting much time into them because I've been working frantically trying to keep up with the new markets, Roisins shop, and the BPLO album cover. There just wasn't time left in the day to do anything with new listings or promoting. Then out of the blue this week I've gotten lots of sales, I got a sale nearly every day, and then yesterday I woke up to find I sold 5 things!! I was so delighted both for the money and also the sense of pride. At the moment I'm trying really hard to save up money to buy my button press machine so the extra sales have been a great help. I've no idea what brought the extra traffic this week, but I'm grateful to whatever it was.

Early Nights: I've always been a night owl, and I let this habit get particularly bad in college when I lived with an insomniac. We used to stay up til 5 in the morning chatting/watching the discovery channel/playing computer games. It was loads of fun, and I continued doing this kind of thing for years, but I knew it wouldn't last forever, I would eventually have to grow up. Over the past 2 years I've really tried to get to get to bed regularly by 1 or 2 am, and it's really helped being consistent about it. Recently my decision to give up caffeine was the last factor that really helped me have a more normal sleeping pattern. Last night I actually went to bed at 11pm, I think this is the earliest I've gone to bed in about 10 years, bar being sick/jet lagged. It was really lovely, and I woke up early feeling great and full of energy. I don't think I would be able to do it all the time, but I might make an extra effort to do it once a week and see how it goes.

16 Jul 2010

The 'C' Word in July

I showed you my wip box before in this post,that I bring it to the market on Fridays and Sundays. Things down there have been pretty quiet lately so I've gotten lots of felt brooches made while I was working at the stall. It's really good to know that I have a stock pile of them made. They sell really well as gifts, especially at Christmas, and that's when I'm insanely busy and don't have time to make them. I know it's mad to be mentioning the 'C' word in July, but I've started making stock in August before and still been swamped come Nov/Dec.

To see lots more of my brooches go to my facebook album here.

15 Jul 2010

It's All, like, Connected Dude

As anyone who runs an Etsy shop knows balancing creating and listing is very time consuming. Add to that the time put into running a blog and a twitter/fanpage and all those minutes/hours take away from your time creating work. That's why I was so delighted recently when I found a few applications that helped me link it all together. Firstly I found Networked Blogs on facebook, which automatically posts a link on my fanpage everytime I publish a new blog post. About a moth later I found their option to also post my blog posts on my twitter account. This has definitely increased my readership and makes me wish I knew about this a year ago!!Last week I found the final element, an application that publishes my fanpage updates to my twitter, which is ideal as I put in much more work into my fanpage than my twitter. It means I can pretty much leave my twitter account alone for a while if I'm really busy but my updates are still fairly regular. All I have to do now is figure out how to get more fans and followers!! When I think back to when I started I really didn't have much clue, I let myself stumble along for too long not knowing much, I really should have put in some research and figured this all out ages ago.

To anyone thinking about setting up a fanpage I would really recommend it, as I hit a completely different audience that my blog readers. It seems like everyone is on it these days and it's a very easy and free way of communicating with your customers. I have just over 670 fans in the space of a few months, it involved a little bit of work every day, but nothing majorly time consuming like a blog.

Deadly Things :Children's Special

To celebrate my big sister currently being in labour with her first baby I thought I would show a few of my favourites from the children's section on Etsy. I want to buy them all, and I really want to buy the lego crayons and keep them, I think John would love them too.

14 Jul 2010

Children's Illustration:Part 1

I don't think I've ever mentioned here my love for childrens illustration. For a couple of years I was obsessed with the idea of becoming an illustrator. I spent my third year in college writing my dissertation on it, and made it my main project too. I built up a fairly large kids book collection(well large for someone in their 20's with no kids) and still to this day love spending a couple of hours in O'Mahonys browsing through the kiddies section. My friend John Galvin gave me this beautiful book, Duck Death and the Tulip as a belated birthday present the other day. I love the style of drawing and the darkness of the subject matter. Now that I think of it I might do a few posts about my favourite books in my collection.

13 Jul 2010

New Order for Boutique

I've been working on a new order of clothes for Roisin Boutique in Inistioge. It's been a while since I made some clothes so it was nice to get back to it. Here is a sneaky peek at two pieces that I've finished. I'm glad I remembered to take some pictures, as the last few orders I sent off I totally forgot.

12 Jul 2010

New Supplies and Custom Orders

As I mentioned before we went to see Twilight the other night, while I was out in the Crescent Shopping Centre I popped into the art and hobby shop. Usually they have lots of lovely paper but I was a little disappointed to see their tiny selection. It's like there is a city wide nice paper ban going on at the moment. While I was there I did see these two nice packs though, even though I'm don't really need any paper at the moment I picked them up anyhow. They were pretty reasonable at about 14 quid for the pair of them. I'm a sucker for nice paper and I feel compelled to buy any pretty ones I see, it's like buttons, or material! I'm some strange female anomaly, I can walk past designer shoes or dresses, but when it comes to lovely supplies I can't resist myself.
At the weekend I also got a couple of custom orders done. Val from Vals Kitchen asked me to make a bee brooch for her, which was loads of fun to make. I spent a while sketching on paper first so I could get the shape of it right. Also Magatha-Mag is an avid archer and she asked me to make a target brooch for her. I think this works really well as it looks almost Modrian-esque in it's minimalism, but to archery people it's a fun in joke. I have another order to do this week which is a cheese slice brooch for one of my fellow stall holders, I think she is going to wear it as part of a uniform, which I think is adorable!
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