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!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Earring Model Needed

I was thinking as I was looking at other crafters pictures that I need an earring model. I am surely not going to be the model - ummm...really, no. lol. I thought about making my boyfriend do it, but I don't think he would #1 and #2, how appealing is an earring with a guy wearing it? Not really. My sister had initially volunteered to do it when she was visiting, but I wasn't seller ready for her and now she's back in Hawaii and I'm here in Oregon. That is an awesome camera if I could get her picture from here and I dont' trust her to take pictures that I would like. (Sometimes I think I'm a control freak). I've been debating other options and Javier mentioned that his niece might do it. She's only 14 but she might be a great option for some of the earrings I have. I asked her and she agreed. I told her that we'd take her out to dinner as payment and she chose....Jack in the Box. Lol. Hired. I told her that she should have a sign that says "Will work for food."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ebay - Free Today 150 Auction Listings

Today Ebay is offering 150 free Auction-Style listings on top of the regular 50 free auction-style listings a month. Need to buckle down and get to it.

Ebay has actually been pretty successful for me as far as making actual sales. I usually list about 8 listings a month and of those 8, sell 1-3 earrings. That's not bad considering I have 150+ items on Etsy and sales are super sloooooow. It's ok, I'm being positive and working at getting my items listed, seen and sold.

Wish me luck, I'll be Ebaying for hours trying to list my items. :sigh: No rest for the wicked.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another Artfire Collection

I made it into another Artfire Collection. Yay for me. Lol.


Come and check it out. It is a collection of new members to Artfire.

Tutorial - Ribbon Necklace

Tutorial Time - and no, still not my own but one that I am surely gonna try in the next 2 weeks. I think it's super cute! The tutorial is inspired by a super expensive Ann Taylor necklace. And you know us crafters, if we can make something compatible at a fraction of the price and still look FAB then we're all over it.

The tutorial can be found here:

I'll post pictures of how my attempt works. Hopefully it'll be as pretty as these!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Artfire Treasury Feature

I was featured in an Artfire Treasury today. Please come check it out!


It's a rainy day collection featuring the earrings above.

Dipperly and StoreEnvy

One of my first emails on Artfire was from a lady who said she liked my stuff and that I should sign up on Dipperly.com which is similar to Etsy. Of course I google searched Dipperly and discovered that they are really really brand new. I think they launched on 9/1/11 and were offering specials to the first 1000 people to sign up with them. I took a look at the website and they really are brand new. There were only 10 entries in the jewelry section (which is the most saturated area of the handcrafted market). I registered, because you never know what being one of the first will get you, but I wasn't able to list anything even if I had wanted to. For some reason it didn't allow me to. The way they are supposed to work is like Artfire where you pay a monthly fee. I think the fee is only $6.00 or so. There was nothing mentioned when I signed up and I couldn't find any information about it on the website. I'll be a little patient as they are brand spankin' new, but hopefully they get all that stuff resolved. Here is a little article I found about the new startup.

The website can be accessed at:

In the Artfire forums, I also came across some commenting on a website called StoreEnvy. Apparently, it is also somewhat similar to Artfire and Etsy in that each seller has their own storefront and can post items to sell. Not all items have to be handmade as they give you an area where you can enter a UPC symbol. Apparently, there is no charge to selling your items on StoreEnvy. One of the commentors in the Artfire forum mentioned that it appears the demographic on StoreEnvy is late teens - 20somethings. I think that is a perfect demographic for my stuff as it appeals to women of that age and is affordable. I did sign up there but did not have a chance yet to explore so I will most likely post more information as I find out about it.

The StoreEnvy website can be accessed at:

I don't want to spread myself too thin with 2 stores already with Etsy and Artfire, but I am also trying to find the best online market for myself so if StoreEnvy is free, there is no harm in trying it out. I just need to find some Etsy or Artfire store that sells time...or sleep. Lol.

Monday, September 5, 2011

First Impressions of Artfire

Wow, my first impressions of Artfire are pretty great! They provide you with a 45 day guide on how to be successful on Artfire, so of couse, like the nerd I am, I am trying to keep up with the instructional guide. One of the instructions on Day 8 says to post in the forums. In Etsy, I've always been hesitant to post in the forums because those people are intimidating! Really, I read through them sometime and some of the things that people say are, well, mean. lol. I know, I'm such a wimp because I don't want someone to be a meanie to me, but well, I don't. If I'm not being an as* to them, why should they be one to me. I mean, the golden rule of life is still in effect last time I checked.

Anywho, I had gone through some of the forum postings at Artfire and they have a specific section for newbies like me. I read some intros that people made about themselves and felt confident enough to post a new thread about myself. And you know what? Those people were soooo nice! I mean, they were helpful, even in their critiques which I greatly appreciated. There is a way to tell someone that something they are doing is wrong or sucks. You don't say, hey newbie, your stuff sucks. You compliment on what you like and give advice on how to improve something you thing needs changing, which again, I totally appreciate. There were alot of well-wishers and positive vibes and I really enjoyed that. I even got a compliment on the banner I use in my shop (which is the picture in this blog). Made me feel really good about myself. Yes, I'm pretty low maintenance that banner comments make me feel good. lol.

So far, Artfire totally rocks!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Crafting Runs in the Family

I come from an extremely talented and craft-oriented family. My grandmother weaves lauhala hats (hats made from the pandanus tree - both the hats above are my grandmother's work). She's been a weaver for as long as I can remember and her mother (my great-grandmother) was also a weaver. She's passed her love for weaving to an uncle of mines. Now HE is a crafting freak. He weaves, makes earrings, is a pro at making flower arrangements (he gets alot of work for making memorial wreaths/christmas wreaths) and is a scrapbooking/cardmaking addict. I have another uncle who makes these amazing feather leis (the top picture). All of this stuff is VERY popular in Hawaii.

My skills doesn't even compare to theirs...BUT...they are all significantly older than me. Lol. I kid, hopefully one day I can live up to their craft expectations. Just have to keep on crafting!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hello Artfire.com

I've been doing a ton of research on improving my online promoting as well as trying to take the appropriate steps to be successful. While on my search, I came across a website called Artfire which is similar to Etsy in it is an online marketplace where crafters and craft suppliers (and I think Vintage sellers) can sell their items. I had never previously heard of Artfire and although I have only started selling on Etsy, I think I made my first Etsy purchase 4 or 5 years ago. Gosh, I can't even remember.

These are the things I learned in my research on Artfire:

- Artfire is fairly new, in that they seemed to have started around 2008
- Artfire's pricing works a little different - at least for listing. You pay a monthly fee (right now it's around $12.00/month) for unlimited listings.
- A buyer doesn't have to be a member to buy, they can just buy from your shop directly.
- Paypal isn't the only online payment option, you can also use Google Checkout, Amazon
- Items posted on Artfire become available in Google Shopping

All this I learned before actually going to the website. I decided to go over to the website to check it out. Right now (as of August 2011) you can have a promotional 1 month membership for free and if you do not notify them that you do not want to be a seller within a month, then the credit card you provide will be billed the monthly fee after 30 days. It appears that before (back in 2008 and 2009) they offered 2 different types of memberships. A "Basic" membership and a "Pro" membership. A basic membership used to be free and you had to pay for a Pro membership, which would entitle you to utilize many of the tools that Artfire provides which helps to get your shop more visible on the web. I don't think they offer the basic membership anymore (or I didn't see an area for types of membership). I decided to sign up, for at least 30 days and see what happens. You know, the "No Harm, No Foul" rule in effect.

I will keep you posted on how it goes as with the Etsy shop. My first impression though, on trying to establish my shop is that it is definitely not Etsy with a different name. It's definitely different - not bad or good yet - just different. It'll take some adjusting but hopefully it's a success. I have the 2 shops open for now, let's see if I can keep up!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Facebook Fan Pages - Thumbs Up

I was initially very hesitant to start a Facebook Fan Page. Partially because I was being lazy and felt I spent enough time FB'ing on my own personal page and the other part because I didn't know who I would get to be my fan. lol. I didn't want to harass the hell out of my family & friends. But, I sucked it up and opened the page. If you're reading this, stop by and "like" my page if you have a chance. My facebook page is...guess...yup..."mssylsstuff". Genius right?

So, I posted some pictures of earrings and just sent 1 or 2 invites a day. I don't have a ton of fans but some of my F&F (Friends & Family) responded and I got some likes, which made me feel good. I'll admit it. But then I connected with a family friend (who happened to be an old teacher of all my siblings) and she expressed an interest in many of my paper earrings. I told her to go and check out my Etsy page and lo' and behold, she made a purchase...of 7 earrings! Yay Facebook fan pages, you rock! She said that she'll probably be looking for some Christmas gift purchases later in the year so I have to say, all my initial hesitations were for naught.

So, I still send out 1 or 2 invites a day, because it doesn't cost me anything and minimal time. I'd have to say it takes less of a commitment than this blog. Although, I do love blogging, because it's like keeping a diary, and although no one else may read this, it is definitely a tension reliever and for some reasons, I always feel like I have something to say! Imagine if you ever met me in person...your poor ears.