Monday, September 29, 2008

Etsy at the Market: Ann Arbor, MI

Originally uploaded by chicalookate

This Sunday, October 4th in Ann Arbor Michigan. The micetsy team and local artists will be at Kerrytown Market. If you are in the area, come on by and shop with us!

Visit some micetsy team shops & glimpse what may be there:

AllThingsGrow Beadbug


chicalookate ElleMBee Enamored

eve vandalsen (evestarfire)

FiberToDyeFor GazedUponGlass

Hfoco KPGlassJewelry1 Lara&Me LilPeanutDesigns MarcyAnna

MartaEnglandDesigns Mimi&Boo MindsEyeCards M'Lou is Pink

QuenchEssentials Siouxsane StefanieWithLuv StoriesDivinations

SugarCreekStuff susanvancamp thejunebride

here's some more on etsy... wee ones little things

La Femme Monkita Facets by Kathryn dangargyle IslandGirlBags

Read the article in The Ann Arbor Chronicle

etsymom team promo

I joined in on my first promo thread at etsy, but I didn't even include me...I guess I just want to get all of mine out there and don't know which one to start with, oh well.

But I couldn't not promote these cute Halloween goodies:

I always get a new frame for each years costume...craftgirlalli has a nice one:
and when you can't wear the costume to school, try boygirboygirldesign's shoes:
and don't forget the trick-or-treat bag, oursideofthemountain has a few, here's a cute skull one:
While you are there - look around - there are tons of great Handmade Halloween finds

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Explosion of purse parts

This is what my cutting table looked like might not be able to tell, but there are 6 purses here. Somedays I just feel like I never get ahead. Granted, it could be because I often take them apart after I am done to tweak something. Like with these, well, 5 of them anyway.

I suppose if I hadn't spent the last two weeks taking new photos (which STILL aren't right) and on this computer (yeah, why am I still here?)...well, I'd have more done. I did finish the chili pepper one though :)

I really need to step things up. Not because they are flying off the shelves...well, one fell off to my aunt - does that count? But because I want to get all the purses on paper into fabric form. I have drafted about 25 designs and transformed only ...(let's see...rachelle, theresa, oval, eve twist, envelope, backpack, diaper bag...) that'd be 7. So, only 18 to go. Woo Hoo :}

I plan to have updates here to keep myself in check.
  • Tonight's goal: finish the 3 totes.
  • Tomorrow - off because I will be sewing for my son's
    marching band - same with Wednesday.
  • Tuesday: finsh the muted mint green striped Rachelle
  • Thursday: rework the blue paisley (upper right of pic)
    this was it originally >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Why change it you ask? The inside pocket was messed up & I didn't like the way the vinyl strap tabs ended up.
    Told you I keep tweaking :0

So, wish me luck. Let's see if my focus stays. Better yet, let's see if my toddler-in-training (potty training that is) lets me keep it focused.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Intro to series: From needle and thread to "business as..."

Ok - so the title isn't incredibly inspired. But the process was. To those around me - my husband, my parents and friends - I made a swift transition from sewing to business. In my eyes, it was much slower. It was full of reading, sketching, drafting, cutting and sewing.

The books were invaluable. I spent most of my schooling in the sciences, so I am used to research. I found a few good books full of even better advice and guidance.

I don't know how many parts will be in this series, I am not even sure if it will have an ending. One thing I do know, is that it will be full of everything I have learned and used to make the transition to business owner. If there is an ending, it will hopefully be with my success.

To get you started, here is a list of the books I found most useful:
  • Craft Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby Into a Business by Meg Mateo Ilasco
  • The Crafter's Guide to Pricing by Dan Ramsey
  • Start Up: Start Your Own Arts and Crafts Business by the Entrepreneur Press
  • How to Show and Sell Your Crafts by Kathryn Caputo
  • Crafter's Internet Handbook by Genevieve Crabe

There are 4 others I will be looking at soon. Once I have gone through them, I will let you know how they compare. In other words - if it's just more of the same or not.

The forums at both etsy and craftster are chock full of pricing concerns. I will start this series with that, by comparing the pricing techniques used by these books and show you how I reached my own method.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My best friend

Need I say more? I just redid quite a few totes. Why? Well, once you get a few under your belt, they tend to look better. And, well, I just can't let the earlier ones not be as well liked by me as the newer goodies. - ha! get it! ... Rip Rip Rip... Now the only question is - Do I discount them since they have been "upgraded"? Naw - upgrade is better right? Although for seasonal purposes they may be...tune in & we'll see...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pics Pics Pics - what a pain

I understand that photos are extremely important when it comes to selling online. I also realize there are many different opinions on just how "professional" looking they should be. One camp thinks that since they are handmade, the pics shouldn't look like they were shot by a leading professional in a high end studio. The other side thinks they need to in order to compete and also because handmade is actually better than mass produced.
Many sellers strive for that magazine perfect look for their photos, other's want one-click snapshot style, and the rest are somewhat midway. I am midway, but my desire runs towards the higher end.
I recently retook my pictures, not once, not twice...but three times! Granted, not every bag was taken each time. I tried inside with a black backdrop...the feedback I got on that was not too positive.
The next set was still inside, but using a white backdrop and 'floor'. These turned out a bit too yellow. I know why now - I used my art canvases - not strictly white.
So, in the end, my best pictures were outside. Here in Michigan, that is not always an easy feat. Luckily it was sunny and warm (too warm!) last weekend and with the help of my mom (thanks mom!) - I got lots of pics - in the hundreds.

Of course, I have been at the computer non-stop for the past 3 days cropping, white balancing (is that a word?), and whatever else to make them look better without changing the way they actually look.

Now I need to list! list! list!
Here's a sneek peek:

Monday, September 22, 2008


I woke up this morning. Took my youngest to preschool. Came home. Went online. Checked e-mail and blog reader....And found me!! On the etsymoms blog they have been showing treasuries curated by etsymom members (which feature, yup, you guessed it, etsymoms). And as I scrolled down...I thought I came across my own blog or something because there in front of me was my green and black/white dot tote. I had to look twice. How cool is that! I am so excited. Can you tell? Now I have to go over to the forums and check to see if it's acceptable to convo the treasury owner for a thanks... Thanks CraftGirlAlli !!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

DIY Ferndale Funky Art Fair

Ferndale Funky Art Fair - this weekend. It was HOT outside! But lots of goodies to behold! I thought I would share...they are worth the look...

FHS Marching Band

FHS Marching Band
Originally uploaded by mamaloco29
My son has his first marching band competition today! I am so excited for him. He is a pre-frosh and plays mellophone. I just saw him in action last night at the football game - I can see why they won state finals the last four years in a row!
I will post some pics after the competition. The one here is from the last Memorial Day parade (before he was in it).
Wish him luck!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I have always been a fan of Joss Whedon - from Buffy to Angel to Firefly. And now I get to craft some! Craftster has a swap starting based on the tv series Firefly and its movie Serenity. In the questionnaire we were asked what our favorite quote was. Well, I have a ton! So I thought I would list them here. And I invite any other fans to add some of their faves too.

...from episode 1/2 "Serenity"
Mal: If anyone gets nosey, you know, just shoot 'em
Zoe: Shoot 'em?
Mal: Politely

Wash: Didn't she shoot you one time?
Mal: Everyone's makin' a fuss.

Mal to Shepherd: How come you're flyin' around with us Brigands? I mean, shouldn't you be off bringin' religiosity to the fuzzy wuzzies or some such?

...episode "Bushwacked"
Wash: Oh no, we're all doomed! Who's flying this thing? Oh yeah, I am.

...episode "Shindig"
Zoe: Planet's comin' up a mite fast
Wash: That's just 'cuz I'm goin' down too quick. Likely crash and kill us all.
Mal: Well, when that happens, let me know.

Kaylee: Yessir Cap'n Tightpants

Wash: Here lies my beloved Zoe, my autumn flower. Somewhat less attractive now that she's all corpsified and gross.

Mal: With a Swhat? (for those who don't know, that swhat would be a sword)

...episode "Safe"
Wash: We should start dealing in those black market beagles.

...episode "Mrs. Reynolds"
Mal to Saffron: Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back.

Shepherd: If you take sexual advantage of her, you're going to burn in a special level of Hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk in the theater.

Mal: Jayne - go play with the rainstick.

Mal: But she was naked - and all articulate.

...episode "Jaynestown"
Kaylee: Bye now - have good sex.

Shepherd: You don't fix the Bible.
River: It's broken - it doesn't make sense.

Mal: It's my estimation that everyman there ever been a statue made of him was one kind of son of a bitch or another. It ain't about you Jayne - it's about what they need.
Jayne: Don't make no sense.

...episode "Out of Gas"
Mal: OK - I need that in captain dummy speak Kaylee.

Wash: So very sorry sir! I guess the news that we're all going to be purple and bloated and fetal in a few hours has made me a little snippy!

...episode: "Trash"
Mal to Saffron/Bridgette/Yolanda: I hate to bring up our imminent arrest during your crazy time, but we gotta go.

River to Jayne: Also - I can kill you with my brain.

...episode "The Message"
Simon: This may come as a shock, but I am actually not very good at talking to girls.
Zoe: Why - is there someone you are good at talking to?

Wash: Wow, that's grotesque - oh, and look, there's something in a jar.

Mal to Tracey: You wanna explain why you got yourself all corpsified and mailed to me?

Mal: Attention crew - sit down and hang on to somethin'.

...episode "Heart of Gold"
Mal: This distress wouldn't happen to be taking place in someone's pants would it?

Mal: They're whores.
Jayne: I'm in.

Mal: Lady, you are my kind of stupid.

Kaylee: Cap'n seem funny to you at breakfast?
Wash: We all know I'm the funny one. episode: Objects in Space"
Mal: We're deep in space - the corner of No and Where.

Zoe: Either blow us all up or rub soup in our hair.
Wash: I hope it's the soup thing, it's always a hoot and we don't all die from it.

Jayne: What - she killed 'em with mathematics. What else could it 'ave been?

Wash: Psychic? That sounds like something outta science fiction.
Zoe: We live on a spaceship dear.
Wash: So?

Simon: Well - my sister's a ship. We had a complicated childhood.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My little haven

Well - this is what happens when you have a 1300 sq ft house. Your sewing space ends up smack dab in the middle of the family room.
Looks like I need to empty the waste bin too.

It is actually nice because this way I can maybe, kinda, on a good day, get some work done while the toddler is toddling.

That cutting table off to the sides opens up rather nicely...although, at my height, it could stand to be a few inches taller. Gets the job done though.
My fabric bin is actually a garbage bin from Target (shhh, don't tell anyone)...and NO, it
was never used for anything else, sheesh!
As you can see, I have a few bags I just finished. When I run out of room on my 3 post wood hanger thingy (yes, I am very technical), I just start hanging on the curtain rod. It does keep things neatly out of the way.
My sewing machine is there on the table...I realize you may have missed it. It is a Pfaff Hobby 1040 that I got about 10 years ago at the Sewing Expo in Novi, MI. It was a birthday (and Christmas) gift from my mom. Go mom!
The first thing I sewed was my son's Robin Hood costume. He looked so cute! see...

He is now 13...and 5'6". I don't think he wants a costume anymore. Good thing we have a spare - lol! The 3 year old, well, he wants to be a princess. I finally get to dress a little girl - kind of. Be sure to check back for pics if he still wants to be that in a month.

For now, I just need to get my (not so) little butt off this chair, away from the computer, and towards my haven. Unless I fall asleep on the way.

Thanks for joining me - hope to have you here again - and hope I'll be back soon too :)
note to self: check to see if there is a spell check here for all my typos! oh, there it is - :)
Well - This is my first post ever. So, hi.
This blog attempt will be a bit of a mishmash...My primary thought for all this is for my new crafting business TiLT creations. There is no way I can stick to just one you will soon see. So expect to see tid bits about my family, other craft adventures, funny things I saw or heard recently, shopping finds, and whatever else pops into my head and needs to be let out.

I just opened shop at etsy, so you will hear a bit about that. On the sides of my page you can find links to some of my favorite shops, shops of Team etsymom (of which I am a proud new member) and Team micetsy (Michigan Indie Crafters on to come).

So sit back and enjoy (hopefully)...and if not - keep it to yourself! or at least tell me so I can fix it :D