Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Seriously freaky stuff

Two nights ago, I was lying in bed, half asleep, and thinking all these illusive fluid thoughts you think as your mind gradually slips into the first stage of sleep when suddenly my eyes opened - I saw an image of a polymer clay Flutterbutt ring, it was there as clear as the computer screen is in front of me now.

This, of course, ruined my sleep. I turned on the light and created a reminder on my cell phone so I can go back to sleep without getting out of bed. There was no need to do that, since the first thought on my mind the next morning was "I didn't touch my Fimo in over a year, I wonder if it is not too dry to work with".

Well, I am afraid it wasn't. Last night I stayed up, even though I was very tired, and made three samples. One is too horrid to show a living creature. The second was strange, and I turned it into a brooch.


The last one was even stranger, and I made a Fluttering out of it.


I am not sure what to do with these. My mom says no one in their right mind would wear such a jewel, which must mean there is a huge market out there waiting for more Flutterings!


So, what do you think?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Updated shipping

Last night I worked on updating my shipping prices for both Raisinlike and Ribbonzella. With the latest increase in shipping process and decrease in US Dollar, it was due.

For two hours (two hours!!) I summarized new shipping costs in tables, converted to Dollars (with the kind help of Google), weighed my items, created new shipping profiles and batch updated shipping on both my shops.

So now, my shipping is not only updated - It is also cheaper for many items.

I created my new profiles based on weight and packing material (box, envelope, or bundle) and invested a lot of thought (and calculations, which I hate) on the secondary shipping costs.

Also, before I only had Israel and Everywhere Else, and now I have separate shipping each of the four shipping rates of the Israeli Post Service, plus shipping to Israel. Everywhere Else is now based on the highest rate, so if you are from an unstated country, you can convo me to ask for specific shipping rate to your country (or better, I can refund people for shipping differences, that is always good for service!).

So there you have it, buying at my shops just became even more worthwhile! Who would have thought?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Meet the Artist - With Sadik

On this weekend's Meet the Artist I would like to introduce you to a gifted jewelry maker from Turkey - Sadik from FIGistanbul.

Sadik makes bold, colorful, and highly detailed jewelry, which captured my eye a while ago. I fell in love with his earrings (I am into bold earrings now days) and his bird earrings were on my wish list for a while. Now that they are here - I have to tell you, they are absolutely sticking. People notice them immediately and fall in love with them just like I have. And now you can fall in love too!

Tell my readers a bit about yourself

I have always loved jewelry - especially ethnic earrings - as women have managed to use and wear almost any material as earrings to adorn themselves for some thousand years, which again I believe is the most important type of jewelry among all. And the first thing I look at at a woman is her earlobes :-)

When and how did you begin to make jewelry? Is this your only creative medium?

I started making jewelry 5 years ago and I also have a liking for ethnic fabrics and embroideries.

Where do you sell your art? Is this your day job?

This is my day job. Besides Etsy, I sell my jewelry at 2 other art and jewelry stores in Istanbul.

Could you tell us about your creative process? Where do you find your inspiration, where you go to look for embellishments, and so on.

My greatest inspiration is the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul as it is full of all kinds of beautiful jewelry,textiles and other crafts with its 4000 stores. I visit the Grand Bazaar at least 3 times a week to inhale that atmosphere.

A classic Chinese silver neck ornament of Miao tribe,
which Sadik have always loved and is inspired by

Do you have any tips you would like to share with other Etsy sellers regarding photography, marketing, customer service, and so on?

I recommend all Etsy sellers to exhibit their items as much as possible with detailed pictures.

What is your favorite item of all times?

My favorite item is my Large Spade Earring - both the original that I have in my collection and the ones I replicate. It embodies the spirit of ethnic, ancient, and modern at the same time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Common courtesy, Etsy style

Boy, I am furious. Full of rage. As I already wrote before, I am bombarded by non payers and approaches that end up in disappointment. I just canceled another sale on Etsy 2 minutes ago..

Look, I myself approach sellers about trades and sales that don't eventually come through. Everybody does. The question is how you turn people down. So instead of sitting here enjoying my heartburn and expecting a heart attack at my tender age, I decided to share my view on how to treat sellers and approaches with courtesy even when you are not interested in further communication.
  1. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you
    This is indeed the golden rule. Calm down, and think how you would like to be treated if you were the sender of the undesired offer, then proceed to step 2.
  2. Always write a short and polite reply
    Never leave a message unanswered, it can really hurt the sender. Got a trade offer from a shop you are not interested in? Send a nice reply saying "no thank you". Got a convo telling you you are in a treasury? Thank the sender. Got an offer you are not interested in? Reply and say "thank you, but I am unable to accept at this time". Remember, nobody can read your mind or guess you taste, even with the best intentions. So be nice to people who took the time to tell you they appreciate you. You don't have to get into debates, or promise things you don't mean. Just..
  3. Say what you mean (and don't say it mean)
    Never leave people hanging. If you asked for an offer for a custom listing, and didn't like what the seller suggested, just tell them so politely and thank them for their time. If you asked to reserve and item, and find you cannot afford to buy it this month - let the buyer know ASAP so they can release the item for other potential customers. If you are not interested in a trade, just say no. You don't have to say "your shop is so ugly I couldn't find anything I want". Just say "thank you, but I am unable to accept at this time" (I repeat this phrase, make it your mantra).
I think that's about it. See? I managed to turn my disappointment and rage to something positive. I would love to hear what you have to add to this list.

And now if you excuse me, I have to start smoking.

Freddie the hand operated Foamie

New links on the blog

Before I go to bed, here are a couple of new links for you guys:
  • My new website
    Is finally up!! It is still under construction, and the Hebrew section is not up yet. I love it still!

  • Free eCards
    I designed these almost 10 years ago and honestly, I forgot they exist.. Found them while Googling myself tonight. They are lots of fun!
My biggest fan

Monday, July 20, 2009

Meme Longstocking

I wanted to share my lovely new stockings, which I showed on Wardrobe Remix tonight. My venture of inspiring plus size ladies to dress their age and spirit continues. Black tents - out, colorful fitted outfits - in.

Skip and hop
Something happened to my cell camera focus. I need to fix that.

Earrings - Evanrhett on Etsy.
Shoes - Cheap shoe shop in the city center.
Skirt - Muff.
Blouse - Vintage Evans (belongs to my mom)
Stockings - We Love color (why the triple heck can't a girl buy colorful plus size stockings in Israel?!)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

An amazing sale and an amazing rant

This has been one annoying weekend. Yes, I did manage to catch up on a lot of sleeping (one Gerard Butler dream included, which is always nice) but apart for that I got about 5% of my to do list completed, not to mention the fact I worked 8 hours on cleaning my studio yesterday producing 4 full garbage bags and muscle cramps in my thighs and back, but the damn room is still so messy you can hardly see the floor or the desktop. It drives me nuts, and I didn't even start rearranging my bedroom. No, I am not pleased at all.

On top of that, I tried making a little Trudie video but each and every take turned out crooked, with Trudie at the very edge of the frame. This is the best one, God help me.

In short I am pissed, but what else is new? That stomach flu I had a few weeks ago messed up my entire hormonal system, and I am in constant PMS for weeks now. Too much information? Well, I am also annoyed by the lack of sales on my shop, or rather - the odd concentration of non-paid orders by Israeli and US customers. I am starting to get paranoid about this. I don't know what's worse - having no sales at all, or having many hopes of sales but no payments (not to worry, I don't start work or send anything before being paid - but it is still disappointing and upsetting). The total sum of the non paid for orders is over 200$!!

In desperate hope of reviving my shop a bit, I am throwing a big Flutterbutt sale this weekend: All Flutterbutts are 20% off till Monday the 20th.

Come to think of it, the 20th is my dad's birthday - All the more reason to be pissed (he died 6 years ago). And my mom has a gangrene in her jaw thanks to one of the anti-cancer drugs she is taking. In short - I am not happy at all.

I am not very good at the marketing bit on this post am I? The words "sale" and "gangrene" don't work so well together. I better stop typing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New ad on Craftcult and marketing stuff

I just added this ad on Craftfult (if you don't know their Etsy Heartomatic, get acquainted with it now). What do you think? Would you click it?

New Craftcult ad

I am experimenting in niche oriented promotion, although I am not sure doing it this late and this tired is such a bright idea.. Who do you think my target crowd, or niche is? Please don't say kids, I don't create for kids. Apart for that - I am open to anything: nurses, teens, salty cheese, software engineers, anything.

I am also looking for blogs to be featured in, so if you have any suggestions - do share.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's new pussycat?

I spent the last two hours handling Etsy Israel Team issues, blog and new member requests and am incredibly tired (well, it's after 1am). Bit before I head to bed - here's a short shop update.

I added some destash polymer clay beads (handmade by me, of course) to my Ye Ole Crafty Stuff section.

Flowers and pals (millefiori beads destash)

By the way, my brother is very pleased with his birthday gift, and trust me when I say he is a tough man to buy for. Slam dunk!! And now, I'm off to bed where I shall rest my pretty little head.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

You don't say!

Each year I have the same trouble, trying to come up with a birthday gift for my brother. This year he will be 39, and I needed something special (after all, if he is 39 God only knows how old I am getting). Much to my surprise, it ended up being incredibly easy this year.

Well, every Israeli around my age knows this opening theme:

According to Wiki, Kishkashta is a "talking cactus" (the cactus is the iconic nickname for the native Israeli, prickly on the outside and sweet within). There isn't an Israeli child, who grew up in the 70's, who didn't suckle from his thorny breasts, so to speak. That is why, when I saw this article, I just knew I have to order one for my brother's birthday. Today, after about a week of waiting, I went to pick them up from the lovely and smiley Hadar, who is the artist behind this ingenious item.

What a (prickly) pair!

I tried (and will continue) to convince Hadar to open an Etsy shop for her amazing crochet. I am not sure if there is a huge ready made international market for Kishkashtas, but I am positive that once they see his cute face they will want to have one. Plus, she makes other wonderful designs, like this commercial she made for the Israeli telecommunications provider Bezeq

I hope she will come around eventually, and open a shop. In the meanwhile, you can contact her via her Facebook.

Thank God I planned ahead and ordered one for myself as well
or else Eran would not be getting a gift this year

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The little black book of style

Lately, I have been addressing the issue of style. I have always been a fashionista, but lately I started sensing I am wearing jeans day in and day out. That is completely uncalled for, I decided, and so I skipped to Amazon and ordered Nina Garcia's Little black book of style, to see how I can revive my old sense of je ne sais qui.
Well, I have to say I was rather disappointed by the book. It has lovely illustrations, and has a great vibe to it, but the actual advice says two main things:
  1. Always wear 4 Inch high heels (the only exception is if you are going to an airport where you may be forced to run to catch a plane).
  2. Never buy the IT bag.
Well, I never wear high heels (I buy them, but never wear them) and I don't usually buy the IT bag or IT anything. Took me well over a year to buy an owl necklace, and even that was by chance and not planned, so there. The last half of the book is filled with boring interviews with people whose advice I could do without (sigh).

I also watched a Trinny and Susannah show, where they showed different body types, and found out I am a cello (woohoo!), which is the chubbier version of an hour glass. So I deiced it's time to take out all of those belts I own and never use, and start accentuating my relatively thin waist.

Wardrobe remix
This is what I wore to work today

I even decided to join wardrobe remix, though I am still to get into the game. I hope to post some cool pics and maybe inspire some nice full figure ladies to dress in anything but a black tent, like many plus size shops (at least, Israeli ones) try to convince us is proper.

On top of that, I added some vintage jewels and accessories to my Etsy shop. They are not my usual type of listings, but I would love to find a good home for these items previously owned by the ladies of my family (obviously, I kept my favorites for myself).

Vintage stylish hatted lady long necklace

Romantic vintage tapestry purse

Here are some sources of inspiration, for all you beautiful women of size, enjoy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

בקשה לעזרה מקוראיי בעברית

חלק מכם יודעים שביליתי זמן רב בחודשים האחרונים בכתיבת מדריכים בעברית על הצטרפות ומכירה ב-Etsy. מאחר והיו לי כמה ימי מחלה (ארורים) השבוע, השלמתי סוף סוף את המדריך המתקדם שלי והוספתי אותו לחנות, וגם חבילת "כל מה שרצית לדעת על Etsy ולא היה לך את מי לשאול בעברית" שכוללת את כל המדריכים שכתבתי עד כה (טכניים ותאורטיים).

אני אודה מאד לכל מי שיוכל לקחת כמה דקות ולבחון את הפריטים האלה בחנות שלי ולתת לי פידבק - על התאור, על התמונות אם יש צורך כל מה שעולה לכם בראש ויעול לשפר את המכירה שלהם. זכרו שהמדריכים מיועדים לאנשים שחלקם אינם עדין משתמשים ב-Etsy ורובם יקנו את המדריך אופליין ולא בחנות.

בנוגע למחיר - מאחר וכתיבת המדריכים ארכה שבועות, ראיתי לנכון לתמחר אותם לפי המחיר שהייתי לוקחת בימים שהייתי מעבירה שעורים פרטיים לפתיחת חנות (70 ש"ח לשעה). זה נראה לי הוגן, ביחס למחירי הקורסים שקיימים בשוק היוםבנושא (הקורס הזה, למשל, עולה יותר מאלף ש"ח לארבעה מפגשים) והעובדה שהחומר המסוכם בחבילה הכוללת היה דורש מפגשי לימוד רבים. מי שלא מסכים, נא יאמר לי.


How to create a long section name in your Etsy shop

I just posted this in the Etsy Israel Hebrew blog, and thought I should share with my English readers as well!

רוצים עוד טיפים וטריקים לחנות שלכם? תוכלו למצוא את המדריך המתקדם ל-Etsy בעברית בחנות שלי. חדש חדיש ומחודש!

So.. A few days ago, I came about this beautiful shop and found it has the longest section names. I just had to find out how he did that, and convoed him immediately complimenting him on his new shop and bagging him to share the secret, which he did!

So, in order to create a long section name:
  1. Make sure you have a free space for a new section (remember - you have a 10 sections limit on Etsy). If necessary, delete one of your existing sections. It will not delete the items, and you will you able to assign them to a new section later.
  2. Create or edit an item you would like to assign to the new section. Proceed to Step 3 of editing.
  3. Click "Add to a new section".
  4. Enter you new loooong name in the "Section Title" field (no special chars though).
  5. Click the button and continue editing the item till you are finished.
  6. This is it! You just created a new section with a nonstandard loooong name.
You may now repeat this with other sections. Remember to assign items to the sections once you are done!