Tag Archives: inspiration

Cutie Patootie Kitty Collar

On a day when I had 5 billion things on my to-do list,  inspiration hit me.

And it started at Hobby Lobby.

{Surprised?}

In the Easter section, I found this adorable animal pearl “necklace” adorned with 2 pastel pink bows. I laughed at the thought of actually buying it – but it was just $2…so I plopped it in the cart.

When I got home, I glanced at the lengthy to-do list {with the kitty necklace in hand} as I searched for my lovely 14 year old black and white cat named “Inkin.” Once I found her snoozing on the bed, I switched out her teal diamondy collar with my new ultra girly find.

And giggled. The two pink bows looked like a bit too much – and a bit tooooo girlishly girly.

I picked up Inkin, showed my husband her necklace. He laughed.  After the chuckles subsided he agreed that the two pink bows were a little much. So I took off a cheery green ribbon from a wrapped gift for a special someone {gasp} and replaced the pink bows with the modernly hued apple green bow.

{Side note: Inkin was  wearing her new accessory as I replaced the ribbons. She was chilling on the couch’s arm rest.}

Still giggling at how ridiculous it was for Inkin to have a “pearl necklace” I saw that something was missing. Another dash of color, texture, visual interest…maybe a red button {naww to Christmasy}…or a gold one! {nope..too…neutral}…how about a 4-holed vintage teal button? Yes, of course!

At this time, Inkin was still sitting on the couch’s arm rest. And she stayed there {while still wearing her necklace} as I sewed on the teal button.

Adorable!

{Once the button was attached, Inkin did a great job modeling her cutie patootie kitty collar. }

Moral of the story: even when the to-do list is long, don’t completely ignore a burst of inspiration.

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Filed under {Inspiration and Creations}

Welcome to My Studio!

If I could handpick items from Etsy to customize my crafty studio… it would look something like this….. Bright, bold, colorful, unique, happy!

Check out this link to see the entire treasury! 🙂

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Filed under {Treasury}

Blog Feature: Kolibri Boutique

Tell us a bit about you and what led you to selling jewelry.

I am a work at home mom that loves being crafty. I have been married for almost   and have 2 children: a 4 year old girl and an almost 2 year old boy. My favorite thing to do is create! I started crafting in high school by making scrapbooks, sewing or repurposing clothes, and painting. About a year ago I took to jewelry making after reading through a scrapbooking magazine. I thought it was a craft that could not only be for me but I could share it with family. After a few months of creating jewelry, I decided that I would share it with everyone else and open an Etsy shop. Not long after that I got the chance to set up a booth at a local farmer’s market.  I try to continuously improve my craft and I am always looking for new techniques to learn.

How would you describe Kolibri Boutique’s jewelry?
I like to think the jewelry that I make is whimsical, unique and eclectic because I do a little bit of everything. I try not to make things you’d see just anywhere. There just isn’tany fun in wearing the same thing everyone else does.

Spring 2011

Spring 2011

Tell us about your beautiful Etsy shop.
I opened my shop so that I could share a hobby that I love with everyone. Some of my favorite materials to use are semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals, fresh waterpearls, wood, and copper, stainless, or brass wires. I offer free shipping on all orders no matter the size. I like to keep my pricing budget friendly and occasionally I run some pretty awesome sales!

What is your favorite piece of jewelry that you’ve created? What made it so special?

It’s hard to pin down one item that I love that I have created. I love them all. If I have to choose one I’d say that I love the Turquoise pendant that I designed for my Aunt. This necklace was one of my first custom orders.

tear drop necklace

tear drop necklace

tear drop necklace

tear drop necklace

Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration a lot in music. I love listening to Indie Folk singers/bands. Some of the music I listen to the most while creating is Ray Lamontagne, Ben Harper, or Wakey Wakey. I also find inspiration in the past. Growing up my Mom and Dad would tell me I was born 30 years too late. I have grown up loving the 50-60’s eras and still do love them.
The name is so unique. Is there a story behind this pretty name?
Unfortunately there is no exciting or inspiring story to go with the name, although it did end up being whimsical and unique. Both my husband and I picked out the name for my shop. I made a small list of my favorite things: butterflies, hummingbirds, different flowers, etc. After finding out the Greek, and French spelling of each thing I had listed we went with “Kolibri”, which in French means “hummingbird.”

Visit her fabulous Etsy shop!: www.galeamanda.etsy.com

“Like” her beautiful jewelry on Facebook!: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kolibri-Boutique/102358423143455

Like blog features? Check out these:

McPeek Smith Photography

Rooney Photography

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Filed under {Blog Feature}, {Inspiration and Creations}

Packaging for Etsy

Fellow Etsy sellers, this may be something you’ve pondered: “how can I creatively and inexpensively package an item for shipment once it’s been purchased?”

{To those who are not Etsy sellers, welcome to the inside scoop on being an Etsy seller! We strive to do our very creative best  for wonderful people just like you! }

As an Etsy seller, Etsy encourages us to package things creatively – that’s one of the big things about Etsy: creativity.

As an Etsy buyer, I would rather not pay extra for spiffy packaging {and I have heard oh so many Etsy buyers say the same thing}. I mean, I think cute packaging is adorable and all and definitely gives an “Ooolala” moment when unwrapping, but I’m on a tight budget {aren’t we all these days?} and as a buyer I would rather put that extra $2 toward something else. {Like my piggy bank for Starbucks.}

So there we have it, encouragement from Etsy to be creative when packaging our darling items  and then the desire to please the lovely customer who would rather not pay extra moola for extra cutesy packaging. What is the solution? Creativity and resourcefulness, my dear Watson!

To share a bit of my own experience with wrapping, I’ve attached some photos here:

Packaging with tissue paper:

Packaging with tissue paper, spiffy string and freebie

Packaging with tissue paper, spiffy string and freebie

{Please pardon the not so good lighting. This photo was not taken in a photo tent. Learn more about taking good pictures here.}

This card was wrapped in white tissue paper and tied with colorful string that coordinates with the card. As I tied the string, I tucked in some cutie patootie tags I had been working on. When I sent this package, Valentine’s Day was around the corner and I wanted to surprise my lovely buyer with a Valentiney item that was sweet and interesting like the blue and red “I love you” tags.  Tissue paper is light! Colorful fun string is light and pretty! This packaged item fit nicely into a cozy plastic bubble mailer envelope.

Packaging with a twist:

"enjoy" flash card

"enjoy" flash card

This is a vintage first grade flash card {50-60 years old}. The thick card stock has been scored for easy bending.

flash card packaging

flash card packaging

Using a decorative corner paper punch, this flash card now has a bit more personality. Etsy sellers: always include a thank you note and one or two business cards.

close up of flash card packaging

close up of flash card packaging

Carrying the nature feel of the card and the monochromatic browns of the packaging, I chose a simple twine string to fasten the flash card around the lovely sunflower card. A small metal eyelet adds a finishing touch of sophistication and professionalism to this packaging. This packaged set of sunflower cards fit nicely into a plastic bubble mailer envelope.

For more ideas and how-to’s on Etsy packaging, check out these spiffy links:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/etsypackaging/

http://etsylabslibrary.blogspot.com/2007/08/lovely-packaging.html

http://handmademarketing.org/etsy-shop-branding-handmade-promotion-packaging/

http://duhbe.com/blog/tag/etsy-packaging/

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Filed under {Attn Fellow Crafters}, {Inspiration and Creations}

Texture

Fellow crafters, do you ever find yourself in a crafting rut? “I’m running out of ideas…what should I create now that’s new and different?…I want to think out of the box, but which way do I turn?”

I too get stuck in ruts at times. Turn to the Elements of Art, fellow wonderer.  I’ll be touching on texture in this particular post.

Adding texture to handmade paper goods is always a nice touch. Texture adds interest and a touch of the unexpected.

Cardboard Banner

Cardboard Banner

Polyester Thread & Textured Papers

Polyester Thread & Textured Papers

Green Thread

Green Thread

Many Tiny Dots Glued Onto Card

Many Tiny Dots Glued Onto Card

Fabric & Thread

Fabric & Thread

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Filed under {Attn Fellow Crafters}, {Inspiration and Creations}

Need a Gift?

Etsy has this very spiffy gift finding tool. {Even more spiffy since Valentine’s Day is around the corner!}

First, go here.

Then, select a Facebook friend from the link provided or click “Preview Gift Ideas” and they will bring up a list of “personalities” that your friend or family member may have.

Note from Etsy: "What happens when you connect to Facebook?"

Don’t worry, we’ll be cool.

  • Your personal Etsy data will never be shared with Facebook.
  • We will not post to your Facebook Wall unless you ask us to.
  • We will not attempt to contact your friends on Facebook.
  • You can disconnect from Facebook any time.

After you select a facebook friend or “personality,” Etsy will pull up gift ideas based on their facebook profile.

Tada! Super easy! 🙂 Have fun gift shopping!

Shopping on Etsy

Shopping on Etsy

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Filed under Valentine's Day, {Christmas Time}, {Holiday Fun}

Photographing Items for Etsy

Dear lovely fellow Etsy sellers and Etsy lovers,

Some of you may or may not be aware that a lot of effort goes into creating an item and then selling it on Etsy:

Pricing (don’t forget the cost of supplies, time spent to create the item, paypal fees, Etsy fees), title, description, tags, photography, and marketing. When an item is sold, creatively package the item, address the package, drive to the post office and send off the special item. Don’t forget to balance the checkbook!

Whew! Long process as you can see, but it’s great being part of a crafty community such as Etsy and sharing my work with others.

This particular blog post is to tackle a certain woe of selling items on Etsy – great photos. Taking fabbity-fab fabulous photos for an Etsy shop is extremely important.  {I touched on this topic a bit here.} What is an important factor to having amazing photos? Proper lighting.

I’ve tried to take photos of my items  next to a desk lamp. Ehh, light too yellow. Or next to an open window full of natural light – much much better, except cloudy days were definitely not welcoming if it was a photography day. I needed something more controlled than natural light, more pure and diffused than a desk lamp. Taking photos and then trying to edit away the darkness and blurriness was getting a bit old. No joke, it would take me an hour + to set up, photograph, edit, re-photograph, edit, maybe take additional pictures, then edit them some more until I was decently content with 5 good photos (each Etsy listing has room for 5 photos). I needed a photo tent to save my sanity, time and to ward off any impending grey hairs.

You can make your own light box/photo tent, you know, for less than a few pretty pennies depending on what you have laying around your house or garage.  Take a peek at this link here. I put a photo tent on my Christmas list and was thrilled to receive one very similar to this one.  This contraption gives a crisp white background, purifies the light’s color, diffuses the light. Perfect size. Folds into a circle that fits into a bag. Perfect for an apartment and easy to transport and store (much easier to move  and less fragile than a home made photo tent – especially important for me since my hubby and I will be moving this summer). Since I now have a fabulous photo tent to take pictures of my little masterpieces, it now takes less than ten minutes to photograph and edit photos for Etsy.

Fellow Etsy sellers, that is my advice for you today: if you’re frustrated with taking pictures for your Etsy shop, look into making or purchasing a photo tent/light box. {Ahh another extra tidbit…..check out picnik.com for editing your photos. It’s fast, easy and free!}

Take a look at the following pictures and the difference between them:

Photo taken without photo tent:

 

Without Photo Tent

Without Photo Tent


With photo tent:

 

With Photo Tent

With Photo Tent


See the difference? Do you have any photography tips or hints? Please share in the comment section! 🙂

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Filed under {Attn Fellow Crafters}, {Inspiration and Creations}, {Photography}