A Crafter's Crazy Life

This blog is dedicated to all things crafty. I recently started an Etsy shop and I am definitely getting an education on selling online, promoting and just how creative minds and hands can be. So this blog is a little about the thrills and frustrations as I take this journey and some extremely cool things that I find along the way. Wish me luck!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fabric Bracelet Tutorial

These fabric bracelets are too absolutely cute for words and the writer of this blog really does make it seem super easy...so I tried it myself!  These are actually really easy to do and I loved the way that these bracelets came out.  I used scrap material at first and used multiple things for the "core" of the bracelet. 

I tried cord - which gave a very flexible bracelet but not as cute as these ones pictured.  (These are NOT the bracelets I made by the way...these are the bracelets pictured for the tutorial, hers looks way better than mines.)  My second effort was using those thin metal bracelets that you can get from places like Claire's where you can get 10-12 in a set.  I actually purchased some off Ebay.  These actually made a great core for the bracelets but you have to have fairly small hands to fit it into the bracelet once the fabric is added.  I then tried these plastic/paper bracelets that I found in a clearance bin at Walgreen's.  Again, these made a great core for the bracelets but I had the same issue with these fitting over my hand and onto my wrist.  I would like to try blank wooden bangles and use either paper or fabric to cover them, but I just haven't found any real cost effective options to sample with.

Once I find the perfect combination for me...I will definitely post pictures of those!

The tutorial can be found here == > Mary Janes and Galoshes Fabric Bracelet Tutorial

I hope you find it as easy and awesome as I did.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Time to Catch Up

Wow, it's been quite a while since I've posted anything.  Life has been busy, busy, busy.  Let's see, for a short recap from the last time...moved to a different city in Oregon with my in-laws to help them out with their mortgage, opened a 2nd Etsy shop for supplies, expanded my shop offerings and changed jobs (within the same company but to a different location).

To expand on my short recap, I had to put my shop on vacation for a couple months.  Trying to consolidate all my things into a much smaller space definitely took some work.  I was worried that being out for a couple of months last year would really hurt my shop but things have actually taken off.  I expanded into a bunch of other types of products although earrings are still the bulk of my shop.  Some of my new products...

To add to all these new products, I opened a new store.  I started buying my beads and supplies wholesale and realized that my shop was doing well...but not THAT well.  LOL.

If you are in need of any supplies, come and check out my supply/destash shop === > MSSYLSSTASH

I am hoping that this will be the beginning of a new routine of posting for me!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Concentrating on Etsy

I decided to shutdown my Artfire shop. It works well for alot of people, and I think if I were able to take more time for my Artfire shop, it would have been more successful but since the bulk of my sales were coming from Etsy, I decided to focus on Etsy instead and I may consider going back to Artfire if I find myself with loads more time.
Ebay does seem to be doing well with sales when I do post something but at a considerably lesser rate so I don't list items as often. I will probably list items that I am looking to clear out.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Introducing New Bracelets

I've been thinking a while how I could create a beautiful bracelet using mostly paper. There are many decoupage or paper bead tutorials available out there but it didn't really fit what I was looking for. I've tried making paper beads and it takes a much more talented and patient person than I am so I gave up there. I didn't want to use blank wooden bangles because people have varying wrist sizes and I felt that I would have to have tons of blank bangle stock to fulfill orders for people with all those varying wrist sizes so I kind of used those tutorials and made it my own. The base of the bracelets are 2 layers of chipboard and then once the bracelets are glued and varnished, the final product is quite sturdy yet malleable at the same time.

I'm loving it and have been rocking mines on the weekends.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sales, Sales, Sales

Sales were booming pre-Black Friday. I was beyond excited over the amount of Etsy sales that I had the 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. My boyfriend probably thought I was a psycho because I couldn't contain my excitement. Hey, I'm not a Etsy Super Seller (yet) so any sale is something to get excitable about. I'm almost at 50 sales. There were some bumps with the sales I made. One customer didn't get her item for nearly a week - which I did send her another pair of earrings and of course, 2 days later she got the original box. I have some awesome customers though, she offered to return any duplicates. I appreciated her offer but let her keep both because she was so nice about communicating with me. Another customer got charged an additional $0.83 by the post office so I refunded her the amount which she was very cool about. I even got 2 repeat customers.

Also, I sent my sister some earrings to sell at a craft fair at her work...and she sold 107 pairs of earrings. Now I really need to send her a great Christmas gift. She deserves it for working the sales of those earrings.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Where Can I Get a Great Business Card?

Although I make and print my own business cards, not everybody knows how to use photoshop or illustrator. I was cruising around the Etsy forums and came across a post about business cards and the importance of having one (and as evidenced in my previous post about the need to have business cards with you wherever and whenever). I have taken my own advice and been carrying the cards around with me. I also read about another good idea. If you are somewhere that has an open bulletin board, you can post your card on the board. Doesn't hurt or cost anything.

On to the real topic of this post. The best places (I've found) to get a great and inexpensive business card.

Most people already know about vistaprint. They do mucho advertising and they do have a free business card offer. You do have to use one of their 45 templates if you want the free card, but the templates are actually quite nice. If you opt to use one of their templates - you can get 250 cards free. The only downside is that the free cards take forever to get to you like 3 weeks or something. You can pay to upgrade your shipping to get it sooner. If you do not want to use the free business card templates, their fees for printing are not that expensive and they have literally thousands of templates to choose from.

You're thinking...FedEx? Really? Well, FedEx bought Kinko's a couple years back and they offer all the things that Kinko's used to. You can go to the FedEx website and go to the FedEx Office tab and create your card from there. They have a QuickCard option that will allow you to get your card within 24 hours and you can pick it up from the FedEx Office location nearest to you. The quickcard options are pretty minimal. You can use one of the fancier templates (which looks like the templates from VistaPrint) and it takes about 2 weeks to get your cards back. Black and white card pricing starts at 18.99 for 100 and $28.99 for 100 color cards. If you order more than 100 cards, the charge for each additional 100 is pretty nominal ($2.50 for black and white and $5.00 for color I think).

Currently, moo is my favorite business card website. They have much different template options than the 2 previously mentioned ones and their prices seem totally reasonable. I haven't ordered from them but have heard tons of people rave about them in the Etsy forums. I am really liking their mini cards options (it's about half the size of regular business cards) and the designs they have available are stunning. They also have a "Printfinity" option which allows you to have every single card in your stack with a different picture on it. Now that is very cool and innovative. Works well for people that want alot of variety in their business card options. I think it's a great idea. Even if you could have 10 different designs in a stack, that would be awesome.

If I see any other awesome options, I will keep you all posted. Remember, business cards are mucho importanto to help promo your business.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wire Wrapped Ring Tutorial

I've always wanted to learn wire wrapping, and I've read a gajillion tutorials about them but have yet to have a successful effort. I have been using wire that is softer than recommended because...uh my wire wrapping skills and tools are kind of sucky. lol.

I did come across this awesome wire wrapped ring tutorial that seemed very simple and had step by step photos. For some reason, I have an aversion to video tutorials although I have watched some.

This one seems to be the easiest for me to follow through. When I make one that's worthy of posting, I'll be sure to post a pic. I know, I always say that, but well, when Etsy or Artfire starts selling those "time" things that I talked about previously, then maybe I'll have more time to dedicate to actually doing tutorials instead of just reading them. Lol.