Sunday, 18 October 2009

A new ami and some purchases

I finished this guy up a couple of weeks ago, took photos of him last week, and finally managed to list him here tonight. Hardly an efficient operation. I think he's pretty damn cute though - I'm not sure I want him to sell. He might be more at home at my cubicle at work making sure that I get my work done instead... He'll be the last full size amigurumi that I'll be making for a while I think. I've got a whole bunch of supplies in and even a couple of finished minis that I'll try to photograph this week if I get some good light. I'm pretty excited about having new designs in to list - I feel all productive :)

Monday, 12 October 2009

It's been a long long time

It really has been a long long time since I last posted. Probably a year or so. But no, I didn't disappear off the face of the planet. And yes, it seems that not a gazillion things changed in the world of online crafting whilst I was on hiatus either. Maybe I'm wrong there. Part of me hopes so, in that things are lots better and easier, and part of me hopes no, because I was just getting everything figured out!!

So, I sto
pped making things and keeping my hands busy because the rest of my life got too busy instead. I moved to New York from Scotland, and that was quite a big deal. I moved because of work, which incidentally has gotten a lot harder as I have risen the corporate ladder. I live in Chelsea for the moment with my husband. Yep, that's another change right there. I got married in January in NYC City Hall. I then had another white wedding party in Belfast with my friends and family in June, and a third and final celebration in Jerusalem with my husband's friends and family in September. So I spent 9 months of the last year getting married, and I didn't even dream of a big wedding as a little girl! So that was rather time consuming. I also got the most adorable, adorable puppy in July called, well, Moose. He is a Cavalier King Charles and I am sure I'll feature pictures of him on the blog in due time. As a puppy he made doing anything quietly rather impossible, but he's now 5 months, and has settled down in the lovely dog that sleeps on your feet and looks at you with big big brown eyes all the time. Actually, he's feeling a bit pathetic at the moment as he's lost his baby canine teeth and can't really bite on things, so he's not feeling much of a doggie. They'll grow back, but he thinks that right now they won't. Poor Moose!

So, for nearly a year I haven't really made anything. Well, I started a lot of things for myself, rather than Etsy, as I didn't really feel like having the pressure of production hanging over me. And then I realized that I didn't have to actually have the pressure of making things for others if I didn't want to on Etsy. There is a lot of talk of business vs hobby on Etsy all the time. I very much respect those who want to use online marketplaces as true businesses, thinking about customer, demand, costs, overheads etc. That is great - it is truly wonderful that the internet allows people to do that. However, it's not for me. I realised that I enjoy the process of making stuff a lot, but I do not have the time or the inclination right now to spend hours thinking about SEO campaigns, keywords, and ensuring my stock levels are appropriate. So, I reconciled myself to the fact that Moose and Bear will never really be super successful. And that's okay with me. As long as I can use it to challenge myself to grow creatively and occasionally get rid of an overstock of cute little softie critter then that is probably the best I can hope for.

In the meantime, I have listed a new ACEO that I finished back in, eeeek, December. I really love cross stitch, maybe more than all the other forms of embroidery. There is something so wonderfully uniform about the perfect squares. It is such a clean beautiful stitching type. If I can find a bunch of frames at a flea market over the next couple of weeks then I can see myself doing a line of cross stitch products.

I actually have found quite a lot of things that were finished late last year that I will be tidying up and photographing over the next couple of weeks. I've also been thinking about and developing a new product line of very cute miniature crochet cell phone charms. I adore making these, not least because they are super portable. I've ordered a bunch of cell phone charm straps, and as soon as they arrive then I'll be able to start listing. Exciting times!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Frantic Stressing!

I've had a bit of a crazy crazy week. The company that I work for got taken over on Wednesday, which I thought would mean all doom and gloom. However, on Thursday I got a call from my boss asking me to go to New York for 2 weeks next Wednesday. Or rather, this Wednesday, which gave me less than a week to get everything I needed to get sorted right. So I've been freaking just a little. I'm naturally crazy excited, and it's going to be amazing and really hard work, but in between I wanted to get lots of Moose and Bear things finished off. And also planning what I'm going to do whilst I'm away. When I used to travel all the time for work, making stuff in hotel rooms was a real time for getting heaps of things made. But this time, I'm in New York - hello!!! But then again, I also want to see if I can pick up some cool crafty stuff, alongside the heaps of clothes, shoes, books, and other things that have crept onto my shopping list - I will be a veritable "two bag Brit"!!

Also, I was planning on taking some embroidery and crochet on the plane, but I don't know if a needle and a crochet hook will make it through security. Anyone any experience of Heathrow Terminal 5 on this?

In the meantime, I listed little Nico and this cute teacup online, and have taken pictures of the cross stitch ACEO that I made a couple of weeks ago. I haven't listed it yet though. Cross stitch was the very first thing I learnt to do, from my grandmother, and I to this day find it incredibly rewarding to do. I am naturally a big fan of the subversive stitching genre, but apart from that, can't find much use for it in my life. Having said that, I do think that this ACEO is pretty cool, so I'm really hoping that someone snaps it up!

I also found out today that my amigurumi pills have been featured on the sweetfigments blog - yeh!! I love that place, so that made me really happy!

Friday, 12 September 2008

WIPs no more!

Sorry for the lack of posting this week. I have to admit that the main reason is that for the first half of the week I was doing very little in the way of making stuff. Shame on me!

However, that all changed as on Thursday night my boyfriend was out the whole night, which left me free to do whatever I wanted, which in my mind is "make a mess whilst making stuff for Moose and Bear". And that's what I did. I started up making a new turquoise and sky blue striped elephant, which should be finished soon. I also finished up the little dude in the picture - he is so adorable. I actually started him last Friday, but then put him in my WIP bag. I haven't got a name for him yet, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments. He didn't sit in my WIP bag as long as a cute little blue tea cup which I also just got finished up, and a cake as well. The cake, embarrassingly enough, I started way back in June. I like the cake, but don't love it - I think if I really want to get into make fabulous amigurumi cakes (and I'm tempted, because I do think that they can look amazing), I'll need to invest in some cotton yarn, and maybe a smaller hook as well. These ones are made with acrylic, as all my amis are, and it just doesn't have that lux shiny, slightly stiff factor that I'd like. Plus, it needs to be stiffer to hold its shape. I've been thinking about playing around with crocheting using a tiny hook and some embroidery floss to make some cell phone charms, but that would be a pretty expensive way to go, and no one wants to pay a lot for their cell phone charm! I could use some fine cotton yarn, technically, I'm not allowed any more yarn buying for quite some time, as my yarn stash is well and truly out of hand. Well, I don't think it's too bad, but my lovely boyfriend has put his foot down. No more felt, no more yarn, until I've busted down at least half of my stash.

Talking of felt, I hadn't really played around with my felt for quite some time, but I got a request to do some consignment with my felt cupcake keyrings, so I made up a bunch of six last night, which was very pleasant. I also made a few badges last week, including the "I heart geeks" one which is below. It has really made me want to get back into making things with felt. Right now, it's felt and button badges that I love the look of. I have a smallish jar of buttons to work with, but I'd love to find a really good button supplier. Right now, I buy most of my buttons from Ribbon Moon, who provide really great service, and are fairly cheap. The only problem is that buying buttons online isn't perfect - sometimes it's hard to imagine the difference between 6mm and 8mm, and the colours don't get a fair representation. The only button places that I have been to so far in Edinburgh are John Lewis and Jenners, both of which are pricey, to say the least. Maybe I'll tootle over to Glasgow someday and do some investigating. Glasgow usually has everything that Edinburgh does not!
I also finished off another toadstool - they are so Nintendo-esque! I have started doing all my amigurumis with yarn eyes, to make them safe for all ages. It can take a while to get right though. I have just finished a tea-cup where the eyes aren't quite perfect, but after my tenth attempt, I decided to settle for "good enough!". What a productive few days then! I reckon I have about six things to list, which means is good for the next week then. I am however, running out of WIPs to cheat on, so need to start making some new new stuff.

Friday, 5 September 2008

A whole day at home

I was feeling pretty horrible last night, so decided to call in sick to work. I still feel rough (snuffly, sniffly, grumpy, and cold), but better than yesterday. And I don't feel too guilty since it was going to be a slow day at work anyway - honestly, who does anything on a Friday anyways?

Well, you can get a lot done when you are at home wrapped in blankets though. I finished off a new amigurumi design. This guy has got to be one of my all time favourites. Firstly, I love cream - it's so much more luxurious than straight white. So, the colours are great. I have a real soft spot for the simplicity of him as well, like the simple circles for nose and ears. But the best part is that I tried something new for eyes. Normally I use safety eyes, and I hate them. I'm just not that happy about how safe they actually are, they are a pain to get in, and quite often mine don't lie flush enough with my amis (this isn't a problem with the 4mm ones, but the 7mm ones are a nightmare!!). So, this time, instead of using any plastic at all, I did some french knots for the eyes - I think it worked amazingly well!!! I had to go look up a tutorial for french knots online (god bless internet video) because it had been years since I had done one, but I feel happy that I have a cute little amigurumi with sweet eyes that are safe for all ages. The only problem I have with him (he's called Jaime by the way) is that he isn't really any particular animal or monster or anything - he's just cute. And that makes him quite difficult to tag!!

My boyfriend also left me with the task of making a "sexy geek" keyring. Well, I somehow didn't. But I did manage to embroider a couple of badges. I didn't get a chance to take pictures of them, because the light is now fading (September, and it's freezing. Ori told me he wasn't sure if he could survive another Scottish winter - I feel the same sometimes). But you can see pictures of them in this picture of my stuff everywhere this afternoon. The light isn't wonderful, so it's not a great picture, but I think that the moral of the story is that I am not a tidy worker. Oh dear.

Something that I mentioned back in June, but hasn't really come up again since I restarted blogging is that I have a second shop on Etsy, PinkiePixie, where I sell scrabble tile pendants. There's an EtsyMini of it on the sidebar. I set it up in June whilst I was stranded in Belfast craftless, and it seemed like a good idea. I do absolutely no promotion on it, aside from trying to remember to renew items every so often. I know that there are scrabble tile pendant makes who sell 30 or more pendants a day, and of course I'm nowhere near that. But it does tick over nicely, and this week I've had to send out 3 packets of six tiles each, so that feels pretty good. Right now I'm all out of supplies though (well, bails) so I've decided that I can't buy anymore bails until I have reduced the number of items in my store to below 50 (right now it's at 55). I haven't factored Pinkie Pixie into my Christmas planning at all yet. Maybe I should, given it's doing actually okay.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

New supplies, new embroidery, and a bit of a surprise

I don't normally get sick, but today I've sneezed ten times, and am feeling grumpy and snuffly, so I think I might be. It must be karma for the email rant I sent to my American friend about the fact that the NHS is amazing and universal health is a human right - now I'm being sent to test it! Anyway, that wasn't what this blog post was supposed to be about!

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I had had a consignment deal go bad. I didn't mention who the consignment is with (although if you go back to February 08 in this blog you could find out...), because I couldn't decide on the karma on it. I also randomly decided to deposit their returned cheque in the bank again, figuring it couldn't hurt. It had last bounced on 31st July. Well, this is a bit odd, because it appears that this time around, the cheque has cleared. So, now I am in a quandry. I'm definitely not going to do any more business with them, as it's a bit of a farce, but do I name and shame or not? Hmmm.

Anyways, onto much more exciting things. I finished this pretty little girl up last Friday, but it has taken until today until there was good enough light to take pictures of her. I really love th colour of her coat, and how the raindrops ended up quite randomly. I'm not a hundred percent sure about the flowers though. I wish I was this cute as a little girl, but I have to admit to never having quite got the hang of using an umbrella, and even to this day, I rarely use one. Some basic skills seem to have passed me by!

Look at this lovely ribbon! I received it today from Sarah at Paper and String. Sarah keeps the most fabulous stuff, and is also really talented at making loveliness from felt too. I haven't ordered anything from her in ages, but now that I've received this litle bounty pack, I have a feeling I'll be back. I am supposed to be cutting back on supplies, but sometimes you just can't help yourself!!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

August Round Up

I was over at Tizzalicious's blog, and came across a great post on how her August was, so I thought I would blatantly borrow the idea. Don't worry, I asked her first!

Books I finished:

1. The Looming Tower - Lawrence Wright

Yes that's right. I finished just one book this month. But it was a big, important book. Pulitzer Prize winning, difficult, and well worth putting the effort in. I did get a big box from Amazon last Friday with heaps of books for me to get into.

Movies I watched:

Man, I never kept track of this, so not a hope of writing a comprehensive list. Right now, I'm obsessing on Season 3 of the West Wing - does that count? The movie that had most impact on me was the Lives of Others - amazing, beautiful, tragic, and wonderful.

Annoyance of the month: Can't decide between the constant rain, or the craziness of the tourist season during Edinburgh Festival.
TV Show of the month: Duh. Old West Wing, as previously mentioned. I'm not very good at real tv, I have to admit.
Highlight of the month: So many, most of them alcohol fuelled, to be honest, thanks to the festival, the amazing comedy, La Clique, and my birthday.
Drink of the month: PIMMS!!!! So much Pimms, so little August.
Nice surprise of the month: My boyfriend getting me a random dress from French Connection just because. What a sweetie.
Accomplishment of the month: Blogging again. And also selling again on Etsy.

Items sold on Etsy: 9 (that's a whole 8 more than July!)

I've also had a couple of sales and custom orders in the last few days, so hopefully September will be even better.

Goals for September:

Items sold on Etsy:
Items sold on DaWanda: 2
Blogs posts: at least 3 a week.