Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Talk to Me Tuesdays! - The Humble Seamstress

Stitch Silly: Tell me a little about yourself.

The Humble Seamstress: I'm a retired R.N. Supervisor & PA. Real Estate Broker/Appraiser.

SS: How did you get started with Etsy? 

THS: My niece, in Florida, stumbled across it & told her mom, my sister, to call me & tell me about it.

SS: What is your favorite part of being your own boss?

THS: There is not enough space on the Net! LOL! Both Nursing & Real Estate are very "dealing w/the public" professions & being by myself is great! No! I don't get lonely! LOL!

SS: What are your 2 favorite products in your shop?

THS: My Nurse dolls and my ""Pretty in Plus" clothing line.

SS: What is your greatest success since joining Etsy?

THS: Not what I expected, but selling sewing & craft supplies & Vinage! ALL of it my own things!

SS: What do you most want to improve?

THS: Besides sales in this shop? LOL! I need to figure out FB & how to get my website set up! Did I mention my degree is in Nursing, NOT computer science! LOL

SS: What is your ultimate goal for your Etsy shop?

THS: I will close the general crafts & the sewing supply shops, &, most likely the Vintage shop, when I sell off my destash inventory. I want to make a success of this shop! 

SS: How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

THS: Licks? No no, you bite right in!


Monday, August 29, 2011

We Survived!

This weekend we had a visit from Hurricane Irene.  Personally I couldn't stop singing the song, "Come on Eileen" the whole time (substituting Eileen with Irene, of course).  The Washington metro didn't end up getting hit to bad, just a bad rain storm really for us.   

I was able to get to Jo Ann Fabrics to get some new supplies for some up coming projects and to finish a few that I haven't been able to get to yet.  I was also able to photograph my latest product, a new crib sheet.  Yes, this one fits too!  I forgot my memory card so I'll have to upload it tonight.  I made some great progress on my boppy cover as well even though my son didn't want to sleep much on Saturday.  Keep your eyes peeled for the boppy to come out this week some time!

Those of you on the East coast, how did you fair in the storm?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Photography Lessons

I have noticed a common theme in a lot of my interviews.  It appears that many of you are looking to improve your photography.  I am not a photography expert, but I have friends who are.  So today, we have our first guest post discussion photography.  Max is a local photographer in the Washington, DC area specializing in military retirement photography.

Modern digital photography is one of the great benefits to come out of the digital revolution – new cameras and equipment are always being developed and photo editing software programs allow the user to create virtually anything they can imagine.  The downside to all this is that, like with any other digital product, it becomes difficult to determine exactly what your requirements are as far as equipment.  Part of the lure of photography has always been the technical specifications of the equipment, e.g. the quality of the lens, film speed, flash output, etc., but digital photography adds to that list of concerns with questions such as, ‘how many megapixels do I need?’, ‘how many modes should my camera have,’ etc.  We naturally tend to assume that more is better, so we invest large amounts of money into new equipment in the hope that more megapixels will equal better photos.  Sadly, this is not the case, and many budding photographers fall victim to this thinking and spend more money than they need to only to find that their photos have not improved.  The reality is that, despite all the advances in equipment, the basics of what makes a great photograph have not changed and it’s possible, perhaps easier, to achieve professional quality photos without the latest and greatest camera on the market.  In this post I will introduce you to the basics of photography and show you how the quality of your photographs is largely independent of the quality of the equipment.

There are two aspects of a photograph that determine its overall quality:  Lighting and composition.  Composition is largely a matter of preference, although there are certain basic guidelines, and will be discussed in a future post.  In order to understand lighting you need to understand how your camera works.  All cameras, no matter how fancy or expensive they are, boil down to three things:  Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO (also known as film speed).  

Shutter speed is the amount of time you are exposing your film (or digital sensor) to light.  Typical cameras have a shutter speed range between 1/5000 of a second (very fast) to 30 seconds (very slow).  The longer the shutter is open, the more the film is exposed to light and the brighter your picture will be.  The trade-off is that lower shutter speed tends to result in blurry photos, especially if the subject of your picture is in motion.  

Here the shutter speed is set for 2 seconds, much too slow to capture a moving baby, as evidenced by the resulting blurriness of both baby and mom

The same picture but taken with a shutter speed of 1/200 of a second.  Mom and baby are both nice and crisp

The general rule of thumb for determining the minimum shutter speed you can use before blurring occurs is to take your lens length and convert it to a fraction of 1 over the lens length.  E.g. if you are using a zoom lens set at 200mm, any shutter speed less than 1/200th will be blurry.  

Aperture refers to the size of the opening through which light passes on its way from the lens to the film.  Typical cameras have a range from 3.5mm to 26mm.  The smaller the number (which is inversely proportional to the actual size of the opening, i.e a smaller number equals a bigger opening) the more light is let in.  The trade-off is more light equals less area in focus.  This is because aperture controls the depth of field, which is the amount of the photo that the lens is able to bring into focus.  A high aperture like 3.5mm means a more shallow depth of field, i.e. not as much of the photo will be in focus, and a low aperture like 26mm means a deep depth of field, i.e. more of the photo will be in focus.  

A high aperture of 3.6 blurs the background

A low aperture of 25 allows the background to be more in focus
If you are taking a picture of a landscape and you want as much of the scene to be in focus as possible, use a low aperture.   If you are taking a portrait type picture and you want only the subject to be in focus, use a high aperture.  

ISO can be thought of as referring to how quickly your film is capable of absorbing the light – think of ISO as ‘light monsters;’ the more monsters there are, the faster they can gobble up the light.  ISOs typically range from 100 (slow) to 800 (fast) but modern digital cameras can artificially go much higher.  A higher ISO means your film will absorb the light more quickly, meaning you can use a higher shutter speed or lower aperture.  The downside to increasing the ISO is that as you get into the higher numbers you start to introduce ‘noise’ into your pictures.  ISO is generally the least understood part of lighting so for beginners your best bet is to set the ISO to a nice middle number like 400 and call it a day. 

Shutter speed, aperture, and ISO are the three key elements of proper lighting and you’ll notice that not once during my explanations did I mention megapixels, number of shooting modes, or any of the other bells and whistles that drive up the price of a camera.  By better understanding these three elements and how they interact with each other, the better you will understand how your camera works, especially in regards to the pre-programmed modes that you find on modern digital cameras.  Next post I’ll discuss some of these modes and how you can use them to improve both your understanding of proper lighting as well as the overall quality of your photographs.     

I don't know about you, but I learned quite a bit from Max.  I especially liked the technical details dumbed down for those of us who aren't as technical in the field, like light monsters I can get behind those!  
If you are interested in seeing some great photography, please stop over to Maxell Photography DCAlso, if this was helpful to you please let me know and we can continue additional guest posts.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Image Provided by: Food, Faith & Design
I've been struggling with what to do next to try to build Stitch Silly.  I know I need to increase my inventory, which while is a primary focus, I know I need to get on the horn and really start marketing more.  But there in lies my conundrum.  Do I start marketing more before I build up my inventory more or do I just suck it up and start marking more before I increase my inventory.  I'm afraid that if I do the former, Stitch Silly will not be taken seriously and will suffer as a result.  At least that is the mentality I've been taken.

I've approached a consignment shop and currently in negotiations with them, for them to sell some of my products, which I'm super excited about.  But before I make any other marketing investments, I've told myself that I will double my for sale inventory.  This shouldn't be too hard, as I currently have 4 unfinished products.  My crib sheet turned boppy cover, another crib sheet (pray this one works!), some bibs that I just need to get more thread for, and finally a baby blanket I've been knitting.  That gets me a third of the way to my goal, I just need to find the time to get them done.  I pray that in the next week or two I will have a flurry of products to post.  Don't worry, I'll keep you posted!

What goals have you set for yourself recently?  Do you think I have my thought process backwards?  What's your recommendation, inventory or market?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Product Update

Last week I mentioned to keep your eyes out for a new crib sheet.  Well there won't be a new crib sheet for a while.  When I went to confirm fit and to photograph my latest product I found out that I had made my seems too big and the sheet wouldn't fit!  I was so upset.  I sat down and starting to try to fix it.  In the process, I ripped a huge hole in the corner of the crib sheet.  Not exactly the best place to get a whole.

After pouting for a few minutes I quickly jumped up to look in my scrap fabric collection.  I managed to figure out that I had enough fabric to make a patchwork boppy cover.  One side is going to be about 7in squares of another fabric I have left over and the other side will be some fabric from my lost crib sheet.  This is my first patchwork attempt so I hope it turns out OK.  The past few mornings before heading into the office I have been carefully cutting down the fabric and pinning the patchwork together.  I have a few more pins to do then I will sew the patchwork together.  Next, I will cut out the pattern for both the patchwork side and the solid side.  Then, I hope, it's just like any other boppy cover that I've made. 

Fingers crossed I will have this ready for the weekend! 

In other news, in case you live under a rock, here in the Washington, DC metro area we had quite an event yesterday.  A 5.9 earthquake rocked the region, reaching down to Charleston and up to Rhode Island and as far west as Chicago.  It was quite a surprise, especially since earthquakes are not common here on the east coast.  I hope everyone is OK, here as Stitch Silly, we are going on as if nothing happened!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Talk to Me Tuesdays! - LuLu Lux Designs

Today we are interviewing LuLu Lux Designs.  She makes some beautiful jewelry with some very unique ideas.  I can't wait to see what she has to say, so let's get started shall we?

Stitch Silly: How did you get started with Etsy?

Lulu Lux Designs: I was making jewelry for family and friends for years prior to opening a shop on Etsy, and one day, one of my Mother's coworkers told her how beautiful she thought my line was and that it would fit in well with Etsy. That night, I checked it out and fell in love instantly!

SS:What is your favorite part of being your own boss?

LLD:My favorite part of being my own boss is setting my own hours, so I can spend quality time with my son! I love what I do as a Jewelry Designer, but my time with my son is my number one priority and I am happy and grateful that I have the ability to be my own boss.  

SS:What are your 2 favorite products in yous shop?

LLD: My silk wrap bracelets are my number one favorite! I love, love the look and uniqueness of them and the fact that you are not going to see these everywhere because they are truly unique pieces. My close second favorite would be one of my pearl and chain mix necklaces! I love the look of them and they can be worn with any outfit!  

SS: What is your greatest success since joining Etsy?  

LLD: For me, it would be all the love and "favorites" that I have received. I can not begin to tell you how great of a feeling it is to have not only fellow jewelry designers and crafters love your work, but also customers and everyday people. Seeing how much others love your work, really puts a pep in your step! Having others enjoy and love my work is a greater success to me than millions of sales.  

SS: What do you most want to improve?  

LLD: Photos! Pictures are such a big thing when it comes to purchasing online, and I feel as though some pictures do not do the item justice. 

SS:What is your ultimate goal for your Etsy shop?

LLD: My ultimate goal for my Etsy Shop would be to be gain exposure, and hopefully one day expand and see my items hanging in Brick and Mortar stores. It has always been a dream of mine to see items I have hand made, in retail stores or even better, worn on happy customers. 

SS: How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

LLD: If I'm eating it, 3. I always want to get to the good stuff right away, but I know good and yummy things take time.

Want to see more products by Lulu Lux Designs?  You can find her at:  www.etsy.com/shop/lululuxdesigns

Would you like to be featured on Stitch Silly?  Contact us for an interview. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

New Product Alert

Well soon anyways.  Yesterday I finished my most recent crib sheet.  Today when I get home from my regular job, I will photograph it and list it this evening.  Wahoo for new products.  In the mean time, my mom finished her plarn tote and finally sent me pictures of her finished product.  I think it turned out super cute.  

The one on the right is our inspiration and the one on the left is my mom's creation.

A close up of her handles

Let's see what's inside

Pretty good looking tote!

Mine is going to be even bigger, perfect for a beach bag tote.  I'm also thinking of doing a little something different for the handles, but haven't completely decided what yet.  We'll see what I decide on when I get to that point.  The current height of my tote is about 8 or 9 inches high and I think mine will be about 14 or 15 inches high.  At this point is my focus on this has lessened on this as I've decided to put a large focus on really increasing my inventory and therefore increasing my visibility on Etsy and through other avenues.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ask the Readers

For some reason my Facebook followers are not very active in active participation so I'm trying to turn that around.  So as a first attempt I asked for their ideas on some new product offerings by Stitch Silly.  Surprisingly I got a response for some fall gloves.  That's something that is definitely doable. 

I'm spending the next couple days figuring out options then it will be off to the store to get my materials.  While I'm there I'd like to pick up a few other things for other products.  I have lots of ideas in the works to increase my product inventory, but I really would like to hear from you my readers.  What are you interested in seeing as a product on Stitch Silly?

More boppy covers? Crib sheets? Blankets? Something completely new like the gloves?  Here's your chance people, make your voice heard!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just Another Joy

in owning my own business.  This is my passion.  I love to create products and I honestly want to grow this business into something real, so I'm trying to do my best to follow the rules.  Well just when I thought I was all set and following the rules I found out that I missed a few steps.  Ack!  I'm now a nervous wreck and frantically trying to understand this new wrinkle. 

I thought that by applying for my Virginia Sales and Use Tax I was also obtaining a business license.  Not so much!  How did I figure this out?  I was looking for fun activities to do with my son over the weekend on our city's website and saw some information about starting your small business.  I clicked the link and come to find out I only did part of the step in my registration.  I read over the documentation and was still confused if I really needed a license.  I got the impression that I didn't need one since currently my gross sales are under $10,000.  After a call to the county clerks office, nope I still need to apply for a license.  There's a fee associated with filing the paperwork, which I'm not excited about paying, but if I'm to do this right, I might as well go all in. 

I now have the paperwork required and will print it all out today and mail it in with my check this week.  I'm just a little bummed out right now, I don't like missing things.  It's little things like that can be a de-motivator at times.  What's my lesson from this?  Make sure you check with your state and your county/city for business requirements. 

What did you forget or think you understood and didn't as you were starting out?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Talk to me Tuesdays! - Ilzes Creations

Today we are featuring Ilze's Creations.  I just love her felt flowers, especially the spikey ones.  I'm really enjoying these interviews, I'm learning so much about my fellow Etsians and getting some great ideas for future blog posts.  Let's see what Ilze's Creations has to say today.

Stitch Silly: Tell me a little about yourself.

Ilzes Creations: My name is Ilze. I live in Latvia. With years I learned and improved different crafting techniques. For now as last I learned felting and I really like it because felting is very multi functional. I'm offering felt flower brooches, felt hair accessories, iphone cases, felt bead necklaces, crochet hats and other felt, crochet and knitted accessories.

SS: How did you get started with Etsy?

IC:  I was inspired to join Etsy after I created shop banners for people that I know in real life.

SS:  What is your favorite part of being your own boss?

IC:  I am handmade artist myself and I tray to support other people who are making crafts with they own hands, because it is important for people to support each other even in small things. Handmade items have so much more value than manufactured items. With "value" I mean soul. Behind each handmade item is real person with his/her story, hopes and dreams. I personally don't feel need for expensive, brand items, or something that is in style now. I search for something that I would personally like to wear, to think and to do!
Felted iPhone Case

SS:  What are your 2 favorite products in yous shop?

IC: I love this black felt iphone case with white daisy. It is quite usefull item, because it keeps phone safe from scratches and also looks good!  http://www.etsy.com/listing/76419406/felt-case-in-black-color-with-white

Also I love felt flower brooch accessories, because they can change and make more expressive any clothing, but because of color and many different usability I especially like this bright pink felt rose. It is great not only because it is pink, but also it can be worn as different accessory - necklace, hair accessory or even just tied to bag.  http://www.etsy.com/listing/75440288/felt-flower-felted-pink-rose-hair

SS:  What is your greatest success since joining Etsy?

IC:  My greatest success is that I have become more free in communication with other people over internet. Foreign language barrier always scared me, I want to pass my thoughts and ideas to others in most understandable way.

SS:  What do you most want to improve?

IC:  I want to improve my artist skills. I want to paint again. Painting is quite long process, there for I hesitate to start it again, but it is great way how to learn to feel the colors and they combinations, also it teaches composition and how to pass mood and atmosphere.

SS: What is your ultimate goal for your Etsy shop?

Felt Flower Accessory
IC:  My goal is to make more beautiful felt and crochet items for my Etsy shop!

SS:  How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

IC:  Some will get tired and drop it even they didn't reach the middle! Others will do it very long, with small portions! Some may stick it in mouth and wont let go no matter what! Maybe someone will get huge rock, drop it on totsie pop just breaking it and in that way will get till middle sooner than others! Doesn't matter how how you do it, but do it in your own original way and even it is an art to drop that totsie pop with your own style!

So you want to see more great things from Ilzes Creations?  Stop by their shop sites.
Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ilzescreations/
Blog:  http://ilzescreations.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 15, 2011


I signed up for Pinterest last week and have been slowly figuring it out.  At first it was a little confusing to get into, but the more I play with it the more I like it.  How an I using it, you ask?

Well great question.  I didn't set up a specific Stitch Silly account, instead I just have a Stitch Silly/Craft board on my personal account.  What I'm figuring out is Pinterest is really filling a void for me that I've been missing.  That is it holds links to all sorts of things I find interesting, but they don't stay organized very well in just my "Bookmarks" on my web browser or maintain the cloud like efforts I try to keep.

As you may recall I took a training course a few months ago to understand the Getting Things Done (GTD), a theory developed by David Allen.  After playing with Pinterest quite a bit, I feel as though this site is made by people who are adopters of GTD.

For those of you not familiar with Pinterest, the site allows your to create many boards for you to pin images, and therefore links, of a specific purpose to.  For instance, some of my boards include, books to read, recipes, and health and fitness.  As I find things that interest me in a particular subject area, I pin them to that board for either later reading, action, or just to share with others.  Mostly I have populated my recipes board for new idea for a quick and easy dinner. 

This relates to GTD as the philosophy that David Allen teaches is to categorize your actions based on where you are the time you have to dedicate to that particular task.  I view the boards as just another way to maintain that next action list, ideas for rainy days, or just as reference material.  I think I'll be increasing my use in Pinterest.

I definitely recommend checking it out.  For those of you on Pinterest, what's your favorite part of it?  Share your ideas below!

Friday, August 12, 2011

World Economy

It's been a rough road for most of us in the stock markets for the past week or two.  I have heard talk about the potential for a double dip recession to just plain uncertainty in the economies of the world, in particular the U.S. economy.  It's a tough pill to swallow. 

How is all this turmoil going to effect us as small business owners? Reading over multiple economic articles from publications such as Reuters, Financial Times, and the like the general consensus is that the U.S. economy is not growing at the rate people would like it to.  On top of that the European Union has it's own share of difficulties with France as the latest to top peoples radar.  As a result, I believe people are going to be wary about spending copious amounts of money for some time. 

For those of us on Etsy, in particular the Etsy Success team, there are threads all over the place asking if it is just them or if others are having a lull in sales.  Stitch Silly itself is still under a year old so we have not seen the full season cycle yet for me to expertly say that this time of year is always slow, though that is what seasoned Etsians are saying. 

So what's my plan?  Stitch Silly plans to stick it through and to continue to provide quality products to its customers.  We're growing, we're improving our brand, and most importantly, we're having fun.  We're working expand our target markets and will continue to grow. 

What are you plans right now?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Knitting Update

 I've been slowing working on another baby blanket recently, but given my recent excitement over plarn I had put the blanket away. Well my mother-in-law emailed me looking for a baby blanket for a colleague.  I sent her off these pictures as all as some other options, so we'll see what comes of it.

I may be putting away the plarn and picking up the knitting needles again either to start a new project or to finish this one.  We'll see what today brings.  I think this is by far my favorite part of Stitch Silly, the custom order part.  I love talking with my customers to see what excites them and then making their vision come to life.  The down side is that it keeps me from creating new products to list in my shop.  I think I'll take the guaranteed sale over the potential sale. 

Up close and personal with the pattern
Another look at the pattern
Here's the big picture

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Talk to Me Tuesdays! - Wood Home Accents

Last week I showed you a great sketch artist, this week we're going to another extreme of a phenomenal wood worker.  People who are able to create with wood always amaze me in their talent.  Wood Home Accents makes some incredible pieces. Here is his story.

Stitch Silly:Tell me a little about yourself.

Wood Home Accents: Retired sales and marketing. Been doing woodworking almost all my life, even when I was a kid.
Ulu Chopping Bowl and Knife Set

SS: How did you get started with Etsy?

WHA: Ran across Etsy while surfing the web for sites to sell products.

SS: What is your favorite part of being your own boss?

 WHA: I love the freedom to create and make things to suit my taste, and take the time to make my products excellent. No boss and no schedule to deal with. The only person I have to please is me and my customer.

SS: What are your 2 favorite products in your shop?

WHA: My two favorite items listed is the Ulu bowl set, and the multi colored woods salad of fruit bowl.

SS: What is your greatest success since joining Etsy?

WHA: First month on Etsy had a customer from Singapore order two of the more expensive items, Cocobolo serving tray and a tea light set, and gave me raving reviews and feedback.

SS: What do you most want to improve?

WHA: Don't really know what I want to improve, I take such pains with my work already.

SS: What is your ultimate goal for your Etsy shop?

WHA:  My goal for my shop is to develop a small parttime business. I don't want to get too big or too busy.

Multi Colors Woods Bowl
SS: How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

WHA: For me I do a totsi pop in one bite.

How can we reach you if we want to see more of your stuff?
On Etsy of course!  WoodHomeAccents.etsy.com

Monday, August 8, 2011

Current Fabric

You asked for it!  This weekend I was able to get some photographs of my current unmade fabric inventory.  So here they are.  Both are images of blue fabric (entertaining I know) that will be eventually be turned into crib sheets.  In addition to my future crib sheets, I also posted my most recent product to Etsy!  It is a beautiful floral bloom boppy cover.  When you're done examining the fabric swatches, stop over and check out my latest product. 

Light Blue Future Crib Sheet
I started the pinning process for the light blue crib sheet this morning.  I should have the corners sewn tonight then the long tedious task of creating the pocket for the elastic starts.  I'm getting to be pretty good with my crib sheets so hopefully this one won't take me too long! 

Blueberry Future Crib Sheet

On a completely different note, I am about half way done with my plarn bag I am creating.  It's now 7in. tall and I think I will make it just about 14in. tall when it is complete.  It will be the perfect beach bag.  On the down side, I'm running out of white and green plarn!  I may have to switch to white and black...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Wahoo Sewing Machine Fixed!

Whew...I had a big sigh of relief, thankfully I had another needle in my supply case so I quickly switched out my needle yesterday and was off to the races.  Unfortunately, my son had other ideas in mind so my productivity has not been as high.  No complaints here though, he is my number one priority!  I'm also being realistic here.  I know the shop still is lacking in inventory, but I'm trying to make progress on a daily basis.  Yes, I would love to be able to post a new listing daily, but when push comes to shove my family is always first and that's a decision I'm comfortable making.  I'll finish up the boppy cover and get some great photos out of it then it's off to my next project.  All in due time.

This boppy cover has been interesting to make.  I usually don't use flannel for my boppy covers for fear that it may make mommy or baby to hot.  With fall and winter approaching I wanted to give it a try.  There is nothing worse that a new mom trying to figure out the whole breast feeding thing and freezing her butt off doing it!  Boppies are also useful for more than just assisting with breastfeeding so those little ones can always use some extra soft and cuddly fabric to snuggle up to. 

Note to self, I really should get better about taking pictures of my fabric inventory to post.  I'll just add that to my list of things to do. 

What's on your list today?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I was sewing right a long last night on my floral boppy cover when BAM! I ran into the metal end of the zipper and bent my needle!  It was late, I didn't want to sit down and figure out if I had a replacement needle in my supply set or even to change it.  I was pretty bummed because I thought I would finish the boppy cover last night photograph it this afternoon and post it tonight.  Not so much! 

In the mean time, here are some pictures of the plarn bag I am currently working on.  For just learning how to crochet, I think it's looking pretty good!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Talk to me Tuesdays! - Portraits and Projects

Today we are featuring Portraits and Projects from Etsy.  This lady has some talent!  I consider myself artistic, but am pretty much incapable of drawing sketches.  Not so much for today's featured artist.  Let's hear her story.

Stitch Silly: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Portraits and Projects: I LOVE to draw! I've had a passion for it since I was very little. At the age of 2, my mom would catch me drawing on my walls during what was supposed to be "nap time". I guess that's where it all started. I started doing portrait commissions right out of high-school (I enjoyed that very much). The only formal training I've had was a correspondence course through the Minneapolis School of Art. I just got married this past April, and am experiencing the joys of being a "newlywed". My other hobbies include- photography, baking/cooking, and playing the piano.

SS: How did you get started with Etsy?

PaP: I actually opened a shop a few years back. I did a lot of research and reading, promoting, etc., but nothing really happened, so I closed up shop. My husband recently encouraged me to re-open a new shop, and so the beginning of Portraits And Projects began. I have only been open for a couple of months, so I'm still getting used to everything. I have made a sale, though (to Australia, none-the-less)! That was very exciting :)

SS: What is your favorite part of being your own boss?

PaP: I can make my own schedule and do things in my own time. I am a pretty organized and driven individual, so things always get done.

SS: What are your 2 favorite products in your shop?

PaP: I'd have to say the Audrey Hepburn drawing, and the engagement/bridal portrait commission

SS: What is your greatest success since joining Etsy?

PaP: As I said, I am still fairly new. My greatest success was that first sale to Australia! I sold an original drawing of Frank Sinatra.

SS: What do you most want to improve?

PaP: My promotion and sales.. I could use a lot more of both!

SS: What is your ultimate goal for your Etsy shop?

PaP: To get my name out there, and to make sales!

SS: How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

PaP: one, two, three… three according to Mr. Owl :)

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Rested and Refreshed

After a wonderful week away with the family, I am now digging out of emails on multiple accounts.  It was a wonderful week that gave me lots of great product ideas.  As you may have seen, I have a new obsession, PLARN!  I was trying to let my mom focus on making a plarn beach bag, but I couldn't resist.  I stopped the baby blanket I am knitting and taught myself how to crochet and started my own beach bag.

Crocheting was a lot easier than I had anticipated to pick up.  I'm not very far yet, but now that I'm back I'm trying to force myself into working mostly on projects to sell.  Last night I went to finish up some burp cloths only to realize that I'm out of thread.  Total bust! 

Instead I pinned out a boppy cover that is up next in the sewing world, while I wait for a chance to get to the store to get more thread.  Tonight's project is to cut and start sewing it.  I've done a few covers now so it probably won't take me too long to do, it's just a matter of sitting down to do it.  I am also going to try to take a few pictures of my plarn bag in progress.  My husband keeps touching as I am working and doesn't believe that it's just upcycled grocery bags. 

Also, after weeks and weeks of being told that an order form for my nap blankets was going to go out at my son's daycare, I finally stuffed the cubbies myself right before I left.  Hopefully something will come of them, only time will tell.
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