Sunday, December 30, 2007

Closing out 2007...


So we say goodbye to 2007 tonight. It was a fun year, I started my online shop in August and followed up shortly after with my blog. Now there are picture hosting sites, clubs, craft sites, etc etc. It really is amazing that I can remember all of them... well almost all of them.


We had fun doing craft shows this year. The sales weren't exactly what we expected, but they weren't bad either. I'm analyzing the shows with my s/o and beginning to plan out next year's shows already. I'd like to add 1 or 2 more to a few of the shows that had quite a bit of traffic. A few of the shows, I applied late for, didn't get the best location and I think I can do better next year with earlier applications. A few other shows, I'll have to think twice about, especially when there seems to be a better opportunity elsewhere. I'd like to do about 7 shows between October and mid-December, along with 1 or 2 Spring shows. I'd consider a summer show, but my location and summertime usually means the beach unless the weather is bad.


Etsy.com proved to be a nice find. I was able to sell more than I expected (but my expectations weren't very high) and my last creation sold today. I listed it in the early afternoon, noticed it had 19 views almost immediately and then I received the email, my piece sold less than 30 minutes after it was listed! Very cool and I wish I had a similar one, as it picked up a few hearts before it sold.


My shop, CreationsByRobin, is one of the 40 featured shops in volume 2 of the Handbook to Handmade. I'm not sure what pictures are being used (I haven't heard anything back yet and probably won't for a few more days) I'd love to have one of my creations on the cover page- I think 10-12 pictures are used for the cover- and I'm excited to see how it comes out!


2007 was a lot of fun, I made so many new friends through Etsy.com and I'm sooo looking forward to 2008 and everything it will bring. To all my friends and readers of this blog, I'd like to wish each and everyone of you a healthy and safe New Year!

Happy New Year!


til next year...

R

Thursday, December 27, 2007

On my New Year's agenda....

Hi all! I hope everyone had a great holiday.
I'm still on "holiday" so to speak. I haven't added much to my ETSY shop, nor have I done much promoting lately. Of course, that's going to change.
I have a few items that weren't listed late in the holiday season that will be listed in the next few days, along with a few scarves that haven't made their appearance in my shop as of yet.

I've taken a bit of a break since the holiday rush wound down. Between trying to catch-up with holiday shopping, wrapping presents and making holiday desserts and meals, I've been very busy catching up on custom orders that were placed as presents for loved ones. Par for the course, I caught a bad cold/flu which knocked me out for nearly a week and it was followed up with my youngest son getting it, along w/ an ear infection the week before Christmas ( and my sweetie had a milder case-- he stayed home to take care of our son-- for Christmas)

Right now, I'm catching up with some work and finalizing my pictures and write-up for the Craft Book I'm going to be in (my sweetie bought a spot in the next Timothy Adam's issue) which of course, I didn't know about much before Christmas, while I was sick and still had so much to do.... lol

My New Years resolution is to try to do a feature on a crafter/supplier at least once every 2 weeks and to add a blog entry every other day (if not more often). I also hope to visit more blogs each week and update this blog to include the links to some of my favorite sellers and their shops.

If I don't get back here before the end of the year... May you have a healthy, prosperous and happy 2008!

til next time...
R

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

5 shopping days until Christmas, Etsy and international shipping

Wow, the shopping season is about to come to a close. Etsy has added a link for buyers who may still be looking for a last minute gift... "shopping local", which is a good idea. But for myself, Thursday orders will need to ship Priority Mail to NJ, eastern PA, Delaware and the southern most parts of NY to have any chance of getting there in time for Christmas.
Many of my customers this year on ETSY have been on the west coast and I can no longer be 100% certain a package shipped at this point will reach them in time.

So, my ETSY shop has gone international! I shipped this year to Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and most recently to Ireland.
It's time to get the boys a world map, so they can track all countries that Mommy has shipped to! They think it's so cool and I'm happy they like to be involved (they really helped a lot at my last craft show, with the set-up and breakdown of the table and my 4 yo handed out business cards like they were candy... who's gonna refuse a cute 4 yo ...LOL)

So as my 5th month on Etsy is slowly coming to a close (well it'll be 5 full months on Jan 6th) my December wasn't bad, though I did expect a bit better, but with 12 sales ( and 2 being custom sales, that received terrific feedback write ups!) I really can't complain. The December craft shows were okay and overall I did much better than I ever expected I'd do when I started this whole little business. I still have 12 more days before the end of the month and there may still be a few more sales!

I just found out that my sweetie bought a spot in a Craft Book featuring 20 or so crafters. The spot is 2 pages and I need to submit 4 pictures and a small writeup (between a couple of sentences and a paragraph) Many of my nicest pieces of beach glass jewelry are long gone and so are my nicest hand-painted pendants ( I gave them as presents to friends for the holidays) and I have to come up with 4 awesome pictures over the next few days...yikes.
Luckily I still have some of the photos of a few sold items, and I guess if push comes to shove, I can still submit those.... I wish he would have discussed this with me first...LOL-- I should complain- I'm lucky my family supports me in this endeavor.

Well, in case I don't make it back to my blog in the next few days...
A MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY HOLIDAY to all!!!

til next time...
R

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The holiday craft season is drawing to a close

With only a dozen more shopping days until Christmas, the holiday selling season is quickly coming to a close for everyone, including us crafters. With the late sales I had in November,the momentum continued into December and we had a better than expected month.
Of course I'd like to see a few more of my creations find new homes in time for the holidays. In the meantime, I won't be listing to many new items over the next few weeks, as I'm finishing up a few new creations that I hope to have ready to show on this blog in the New Year.

Also, I hope to do a weekly feature of a seller of supplier starting right after the holidays.

til next time...
R

http://mylot.com/creationsbyrobin

Monday, December 10, 2007

Falling in Love with a Creation


For those that have read my blog before, you already know of my love for Beach Glass and more specifically Cobalt Blue beach glass. I had a cobalt blue necklace in my shop for about a month and it had a bunch of views and even a few hearts, but no takers. I really wanted to keep it, but since the cobalt gem wasn't one of my personal finds (purchased from a co-founder of the North American Sea Glass Association) I promised myself I'd try to sell it.

I even bought a new camera (finally) and took new pictures of the piece and re-listed it on ETSY and again, lots of views, a few more hearts, but no one looking to pull the trigger and buy it. Craft show after craft show, lots of compliments and lots of beach glass lovers ooh-ing andahh-ing but no takers.

Until this past Friday night's craft show. I marked it down a bit because this show was a Santa's Secret Workshop and it was really a lot of 12 yo and unders looking to buy Christmas presents for teachers, parents, family members, etc. So about half way through the night this young boy, maybe 8 or 9 years old comes up to the table with his Mom and while I'm chatting with her, her son is looking at some of my jewelry, beach glass pieces included. After a few minutes they stroll on to the next table.

About 10 or 15 minutes later, back he comes with his Mom and strides right up to the beach glass, points out the Cobalt piece and says she'll love it. This sweet little boy is buying the necklace for his older sister (says the Mom, who looked so very proud of her son) who loves the color blue and enjoys walking on the beach looking for beach glass... and she has never found a piece of blue.

As sad as I was to see the necklace leave, I wish I could be a fly on the wall on Christmas morning when his older sister opens this treasure and knowing it was picked out by her brother, makes the story all the better.

I hope she thinks of him every time she wears the necklace with her 1st piece of blue beach glass and I'm so happy to know the sweet story that went along with the purchase. Just seeing the looks on both the little boy's face and the proud look on his Mom's face, I know this creation has gone to a good home.

Now if I can just falling in love with my beach glass creations....


til next time...

R

Sunday, December 9, 2007

When a favorite item sells....


For those that have read my blog before, you already know of my love for Beach Glass and more specifically Cobalt Blue beach glass. I had a cobalt blue necklace in my shop for about a month and it had a bunch of views and even a few hearts, but no takers. I really wanted to keep it, but since the cobalt gem wasn't one of my personal finds (purchased from a co-founder of the North American Sea Glass Association) I promised myself I'd try to sell it.
I even bought a new camera (finally) and took new pictures of the piece and re-listed it on ETSY and again, lots of views, a few more hearts, but no one looking to pull the trigger and buy it. Craft show after craft show, lots of compliments and lots of beach glass lovers ooh-ing and
ahh-ing but no takers.
Until this past Friday night's craft show. I marked it down a bit because this show was a Santa's Secret Workshop and it was really a lot of 12 yo and unders looking to buy Christmas presents for teachers, parents, family members, etc.
So about half way through the night this young boy, maybe 8 or 9 years old comes up to the table with his Mom and while I'm chatting with her, her son is looking at some of my jewelry, beach glass pieces included. After a few minutes they stroll on to the next table. About 10 or 15 minutes later, back he comes with his Mom and strides right up to the beach glass, points out the Cobalt piece and says she'll love it.
This sweet little boy is buying the necklace for his older sister (says the Mom, who looked so very proud of her son) who loves the color blue and enjoys walking on the beach looking for beach glass... and she has never found a piece of blue.
As sad as I was to see the necklace leave, I wish I could be a fly on the wall on Christmas morning when his older sister opens this treasure and knowing it was picked out by her brother, makes the story all the better.
I hope she thinks of him every time she wears the necklace with her 1st piece of blue beach glass and I'm so happy that the story that goes with it is so sweet. Just seeing the looks on both the little boy's face and the proud look on his Mom's face, I know this creation has gone to a good home.
Now if I can just falling in love with my beach glass creations....

til next time...
R

Saturday, December 8, 2007

16 Shopping days until Christmas.... craft shows, etsy, etc

Wow, the holiday season is seriously upon and I'm only about 50% finished with my holiday shopping. I know that some people still have a ways to go before they're finished, but at this time of the year, I'm usually just looking for 1 or 2 presents and my boys are always finished (with the exception of some of their stocking stuffer gifts)

Well, my craft show schedule for the holiday season has come to a close. The 2-day show was pretty good, with Friday night being the better of the 2 days. The Saturday show was a bit over-shadowed by a bigger show at the Seaport and a smaller Church Bazaar only 2 or 3 blocks away.
I had originally picked the Seaport show as my final show of the season, but their website was vague on table info and it's an outdoor show, under tents. At $100 for a spot, adverse weather would've drove the people to the other shows in town and I didn't want to risk that kind of money on the chance of bad weather.
But no complaints. Next year if everything is scheduled on the same days, I may only do the Friday night show and take my creations to another local show for Saturday ( or maybe I'll tell my hubby, he's going to run one show on Saturday and I'll do a different show!)

Knock on wood (as I knock on hubby's head) but Etsy continues to remain somewhat busy. I picked up another custom order tonight from my shop and every couple days, I've received a small order or 2, so we've made a few trips to the PO this month (and hopefully we need to make a bunch more before the end of the month)
I continue to ship internationally, this past week saw packages to both the United Kingdom and Australia ship from the post office. My sons are very interested in the international shipping and I think we're going to buy them a decent-sized world map and let them mark off with push pins, where Mommy's packages are going.

Okay, it's off to bed. I have a small knit showing tomorrow and a couple small jewelry showings this week. In both cases I have to travel 25+ miles, so I hope I'm not wasting a lot of time... time I could be spending finishing my holiday shopping.

til next time...
R

PS- This coming week, if I have the time, I plan on featuring a yarn shop, Catalina Yarns and hopefully a seller the following week.
Tomorrow's blog--- my Cobalt pendant/necklace is around someone's neck & it's not mine : (

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Blog Love 12/4 Money Fairy, Craft Show Nov recap




It's been a few days since my last post. I'll start with the November recap. After a pretty good October, I thought November was going to get very hectic, but instead it started off barely crawling. My 1st sale for the month was on 11/12. I can probably attribute the slow sales to concentrating on a late Oct show and multiple November shows. I wasn't listing a lot of new items on Etsy, so my shop became a bit stale.


Despite listing and promoting heavily near the end of the month, the shop didn't do much until a handful of orders at the end of the month. My shop lost it's momentum from October and was lost in a sea of new shops, so many new items and extremely heavy promoting on ETSY.


The momentum from the end of the month has carried over into early December and hopefully there's many more trips to the Post Office in the next couple of weeks.




Money Fairies- This was a little contest on Etsy, where a group of members decided to list and post their Money Fairy creations. I made both an ornament and a pendant/necklace and placed them on Etsy very early Sunday morning. By noon on Sunday they had both sold (to the same buyer) and I bought a little one for myself and if she makes to me in time, I'll bring her to my craft show with me this weekend.


P.S. -there wasn't a winner for this contest, but I guess anyone who sold their Money fairy and everyone who purchased one will be winners when she starts bringing the money to their shops!

The pictures of the Money Fairies I created are at the top of my blog.




Craft Show- I have what appears to be my final craft show of 2007 this weekend in Little Egg Harbor. The show is sponsored by the PTA and is a Santa's Secret Workshop. It will be held at the Intermediate School on Frog Pond Rd and has been heavily attended in past years. Many students come to the show (with their parents) to look for gifts for teachers & parents along with the public that also attend looking for gifts and decorative items. The show begins on Friday at 4:30pm - 8:30 pm and again Saturday morning from 10:00am - 2:00pm.


If you're in the area, stop in and look for my table. I'd love meeting Etsy members and anyone who follows my blog!




til next time...


R

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Craft Shows, custom orders and knitting....




Last night's craft show wasn't really a very good one. Despite a pretty good job of promoting by the organizers, the turnout was pretty weak. I made more than my table fees, which is a lot more than some of the vendors did, so I really shouldn't complain. But in the scheme of things, I probably won't return again next year.


Last night I did hear about a few horror story shows recently and it seems like the economy might be taking it's toll on the public's discretionary spending and gift budgets. I had tons of compliments about my creations, but many people seemed to be just viewing. I did hand out a lot of business cards, so hopefully they'll remember me when it comes to a last minute gift or stocking-stuffer items.


Next up, (hopefully) is the LEH Secret Santa's Workshop 2 day show next weekend. I still haven't heard anything one way or the other about the show and I kind of expected to be included since the show is sponsored by the PTA (and both my sweetie and I are members), but I've emailed with questions and have yet to receive a response. Hmmm




I still have a few custom orders to fill and the custom order for personalized ornaments and pendants will end on December 7th (it may last a couple days later, if I'm all caught up, but no later than 12/10)


I'm still knitting like a crazy-lady, as my scarves continue to sell. I want to thank my good friend Christine for sending me a few skeins of wonderfully soft yarn. The colors are brilliant and I can't wait to use them in a creation. I'm very tempted to treat myself with a new scarf (more than tempted...LOL) Thank you so much to Christine and Catalina for these beautiful yarns!!




Til next time....


R

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Okay, let's try this again. Last night's blog about searching for beach glass resulted in disaster. Between trying to get a couple crafts prepped and my 4 yo waking up crying from a nightmare and the blog was supposed to be saved for proof-reading.
Now let's try to make sense of it all...


On another note, a few months ago I did a Beach Glass 101 blog and later had an article published on the internet about beach glass. Last weekend, during the New moon, the moon was at it's closest point to earth during the month and the tides were extremely strong. The moon caused the tides to push the waves farther up the beach during high tide than usual and pulled the water back much farther than usual during low tide. The result was a great deal of ocean debris was left behind for those willing to search through the piles of shell fragments, while braving the very cold mornings and windy, chilly afternoons. I went with my 2 sons in the afternoon on Weds and we found the beaches filled with fisherman, trying to land a large striper bass (this is close to the end of the striper bass run and the area's contests are coming to a close) We found the beach littered with shells and shell fragments (not to mention the garbage left behind by a few fisherman who obviously don't care much about the environment... hopefully they wasted their time on the beach and caught nothing but colds...LOL) but we found only a couple pieces of beach glass worth keeping. We arrived too late for low tide and probably to late in the afternoon, as it was tough to spot beach glass with the sun going down. I returned by myself on Saturday, the day of the New Moon, and went to my secret spot which has yielded some rare colors in the past and hoped to have more luck. It started off slowly, as the beach where a couple of beautiful gems were found this past Sept was totally void of beach glass. I continued to the North and came up with very little luck, only a couple of common browns and they weren't even very nice. For some reason I turned to the South and doubled-back and I found huge deposits of shells with beach glass mixed in. There wasn't anything special about these pieces, as they were mostly browns, with a couple of nice greens mixed in along with the occasional whites. A few pieces were really chunky and well-rounded, with a couple pieces being jewelry quality. I also found a few very nice shells that were intact and not often found on the beach in this condition, along with a small piece of Amethyst beach glass. In all, about 30-35 pieces that were worth taking home and I only covered 2 or 3 blocks worth of beach in 2 hours. The ocean debris was that dense!
The entire family came back with me Saturday afternoon, but we went to another spot and again found little worth keeping, before heading back to my secret spot. I spent most of the time trying out my new camera and taking some of the beach glass jewelry pieces you see in my Etsy mini to the right, while my sweetie and the boys looked for beach glass (well the boys spent much time playing with someone's dog that was out for a stroll w/ her owner) We only had a very small handful on keepers, mostly browns again. Saturday night the moon looked HUGE in the sky and I hoped for a better Sunday.
Because Saturday morning was so bitterly cold, I waited until about 10am to hit my favorite spot... again.The New Moon didn't disappoint me and I travelled over the same few blocks I covered the day before and this morning's beachcombing prove fruitful again...I found a decent number of greens, browns and whites, along with 2 chunky pieces of Cobalt Blue and both pieces were found within a block of where I found my 1st two pieces of Cobalt earlier this summer! A stroll along the edge of the ocean on the way back, just as the tides were receding (much further out than I can ever recall seeing) turned up a couple more chunky browns and 3 large pieces...2 partial bottle necks and a large brown piece that is "L" shaped and very thick. One of the pieces is a white-ish, green-ish piece that may have been a coke bottle, the other was a green bottle neck piece. So, in addition to some more cool shells, a few of which will possibly be used in a jewelry piece, I added the 3 large pieces and 26 smaller for the day... and all in the same 2 or 3 blocks that I searched for about 2 hours the day before!!
I can't wait for the Moon to help my beachcombing again!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Craft Show schedule and Beachcombing during the New Moon

Eagleswood, NJ- Friday 11/30- 6:00pm - 10pm at the Eagleswood Firehouse. Admission is free and Santa will be making an appearance from 6-8.
My shop will be mostly inactive for this show and I'll be placing whatever is left back in shop on Saturday morning, along with a few new items.

Little Egg Harbor, NJ 12/ 7 Santa's Secret Workshop- 4:30pm - 8: 30pm at the Little Egg Harbor Middle School on Frog Pond Rd. Sponsered by the LEH PTA

LEH 12/8 Santa's Secret Wksp 10am - 2 pm
This show is always very well attended by students and their parents, along with the teachers.
My entire shop will most likely be closed for the 2 day event. Whatever I have remaining will go back into my shop Saturday night when it reopens.


On another note, a few months ago I did Beach Glass 101 blog and later had an article published on the internet about beach glass. Last weekend, during the New moon, the moon was at it's closest point to earth during the month and the tides were extremely strong.
With moon pushed the waves farther up the beach during high tide than usual and pulled the water back much farther than usual during low tide.
The result was a great deal of ocean debris was left behind for those willing to search through the piles of shell fragments, while braving the very cold mornings and windy, chilly afternoons.

I went with my 2 sons in the afternoon on Weds and we found the beaches filled with fisherman, trying to land a large striper bass (this is close to the end of the striper bass run and the area's contests are coming to a close) We found the beach littered with shells and shell fragments (not to mention the garbage left behind by a few fisherman who obviously don't care much about the environment... hopefully they wasted their time on the beach and caught colds...LOL) but we found only a couple pieces of beach glass worth keeping. We arrived to much past low tide and probably to late in the afternoon, as it was tough to spot beach glass with the sun going down.

I returned by myself on Saturday, the day of the New Moon, and went to my secret spot which has yielded some rare colors in the past and hoped to have more luck.
It started off slowly, as the beach where a couple of beautiful gems were found this past Sept was totally void of beach glass. I continued to the North and came up with very little luck, only a couple of common browns and they weren't even very nice.
For some reason I turned to the South and doubled-back and I found huge deposits of shells with beach glass mixed in. There wasn't much special about these pieces, as they were mostly browns, with a couple of nice greens mixed in along with the occasional whites. A few pieces were really chunky and well-rounded, with a couple pieces being jewelry quality. I also found a few very nice shells that were intact and not often found on the beach in this condition, along with a small piece of Amethyst beach glass. In all, about 30-35 pieces that were worth taking home and I only covered 2 or 3 blocks worth of beach in 2 hours. The ocean debris was that dense!
The entire family came back with me Saturday afternoon, but we went to another spot and again found little worth keeping, before heading back to my secret spot. I spent most of the time trying out my new camera and taking some of the beach glass jewelry pieces you see in my Etsy mini to the right, while my sweetie and the boys looked for beach glass (well the boys spent much time playing with some one's dog that was out for a stroll w/ her owner) We only had a very small handful on keepers, mostly browns again.
Saturday night the moon looked HUGE in the sky and I hoped for a better Sunday. because Saturday morning was so bitterly cold, I waited until about 10am to hit my favorite spot... again.
The New Moon didn't disappoint me and I travelled over the same few blocks I covered the day before and this morning's beachcombing prove fruitful again...

I found a decent number of greens, browns and whites, along with 2 chunky pieces of Cobalt Blue and both pieces were found within a block of where I found my 1st two pieces of Cobalt earlier this summer! A stroll along the edge of the ocean on the way back, just as the tides were receding (much further out than I can ever recall seeing) turned up a couple more chunky browns and 3 large pieces...2 partial bottle necks and a large brown piece that is "L" shaped and very thick. One of the pieces is a white-ish, green-ish piece that may have been a coke bottle, the other was a green bottle neck piece. So, in addition to some more cool shells, a few of which will possibly be used in a jewelry piece, I added the 3 large pieces and 26 smaller for the day... and all in the same 2 or 3 blocks that I searched for about 2 hours the day before!!
I can't wait for the Moon to help my beachcombing again!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Less than 30 days until Christmas... Craft Show updates

Thanksgiving has come and gone and now we're rapidly heading towards December. Less than 30 shopping days until Christmas and I'm about 35% finished shopping for everyone. Okay enough dreary news... on to the good stuff.

Etsy has remained slow, though I did make a sale since my last blog update. It was to a member of the Yuwie site I blogged about a month ago. (it's like myspace, but you can make money by viewing pages...lol, I'm on a 5 year plan before I extract my 1st check) A new online friend bought a pair of earrings, so the extra work I put in at the site has started to pay off and since I'll be shipping her earrings tomorrow, hopefully she'll love them (don't you always keep your fingers crossed that the buyer loves your item when they have it in their hands?) and post about the great earrings she bought from ETSY. Hopefully, we'll get even more customers shopping at the site!
Speaking of ETSY... my sweetie and I invested in a camera...finally! I'm still in the process of photgraphing the entire shop and editing the pictures, but take a look at the difference! It was well worth the money.

Craft Shows-

Nov 30- Eagleswood, NJ Firehouse 6pm -10pm Free admission.

Dec 7- Little Egg Harbor, NJ- Middle school (directions to follow this week) 4:30pm- 8:30pm
Dec 8- LEH Middle School 10am- 2pm- The 2 shows are sponsered by the PTA and are very well attended.

til next time!
R

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Etsy and craft show catchup

Wow, I can't believe there's only 4 more days to Thanksgiving! It seems like it was only a couple of weeks ago that I was walking on the beach looking for beach glass on Labor Day weekend. But here we are, already in the middle of November, celebrating my now 11 yo's birthday and the realization that Christmas is almost a month a way is becoming reality (thankfully I have a lot of possible Xmas gifts hearted in my faves on ETSY or I'd really be sweating.

Okay an Etsy update, still stuck on 2 sales for the month on the ETSY site and unfortunately, the items that were getting the most views and hearts from the Etsy community sold in this weekend's craft show.
The craft show from this weekend was okay for me, I sold a few items, mostly inexpensive earrings and cell-phone charms and a couple of new items that hadn't made it into my ETSY shop. A couple of my most viewed pendants have found new homes, including my snowflake pendant (which had become a favorite item used in other member's treasuries) and the Black & White Paisley.
Many of the vendors/crafters complained about the lack of customers and some were packing up as early as 1:00 despite the show running until 3:00. I did okay considering and I handed out a lot of business cards and answered lots of questions about buying online, so I hope to possibly see a couple more sales from this show. There were a few other shows this weekend, both within 20-30 minutes of the show and this may have been part of the reason the show was slow (honestly, I didn't think it was that bad...I've done slower shows) but it might be because my tables were busy quite often.
The show was in Manahawkin and it's not their biggest show of the holiday season, but I'd consider doing the show again. It wasn't a waste of time for me and it may bring repeat customers and some new ones to my Etsy shop. Hopefully after buying from me, they'll also find some of your shops too (notice how I say "after buying from me"...lol )

So, I have a lot of listing to do this week, building my shop back up to the usual level since it was down to only 23 items after sales and items that I dropped from my listings.

til next time...
R

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Craft Show this weekend!!

I'm getting everything prepared for this weekend's craft show. It'll be in Manahawkin , NJ just off Rt9 at the middle school. The show has been well attended in the past and the weather is supposed to clear up in time for the show. If anyone reading is in the Manahawkin area and may be attending the show, stop by and say HI!

It's a rainy, raw day in Central NJ today and I'm dreading a trip to AC Moore's , Michael's and Home Depot. I need to pick up a 2nd table for my spot at the show this week. I have 8 ft tables, but I can't use two 8 ft tables and need to pick up a 6 footer. Home depot has one that seems sturdy enough to display my scarves and the table folds in half making it easy for me to bring to shows using a luggage carrier. Maybe I'll ask my sweetie to run up there to HD tonight after dinner and pick it up for me ; ). That would allow m to go to the craft stores on my lunch hour to pick up the items I need to complete my in-progress projects... sounds like a plan!!

I can't believe it's a week until Thanksgiving... Christmas is just around the corner and I've done almost zero Christmas shopping and I'm usually 75% done at this time! This weekend is shot, show on Saturday, followed by a B-Day party for the Nov birthdays in our families and on Sunday, my oldest turns 11 (wow, where did the years go) and we're taking a him and a few of his friends to the movies and out for pizza & having a couple more relatives over Sunday nite for dinner and cake.
Looks like I'll be battling the crowds next weekend (if I choose not to take a table at a craft show on Saturday) and head off to the stores to get my boys a few gifts for Xmas. I have a Friday night show on the 11/30, a possible show on 12/1 and I'm in a 2-day show on 12/7 & 8.

I guess I could get all the shopping done in the last 2 weeks, right?

til next time...
R

Monday, November 12, 2007

Catching up on Etsy, Craft shows and a mid-November report

I hate when I don't a chance to blog more than once a week, but my boys had 2 days off from school last week and we had bunk-beds delivered for them, so there was a big clean-up project in their bedroom. Yesterday, we had a baby-shower for my sister-in-law and this week I have to prepare for the upcoming craft show on Saturday 11/17 in Manahawkin. Hopefully this won't be my only chance to blog this week.

So let's start off with Etsy... The amount of stores opening seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, with over 93,000 shops open (I'm not sure if all shops have items listed) and it appears that many of the shops are listing and promoting their items in the forums. The promotion forum has been moving quickly and I've noticed that a promotion is lasting on the 1st page for only about 1 minute, not really much time for the buyers to see your items. Promoting is a necessary evil on Etsy and while it's more "miss" than "hit", it's something that every new shop (and semi-new) must do to attract buyers to their shops.
After a very good October, I was a bit nervous about November. I wasn't sure I could keep up with the sales on Etsy while doing a couple of big craft shows and continue to keep my inventory levels where I think I need them to be.
October sales on ETSY were very good and I reached and surpassed what I thought was a lofty goal for the month. My craft show at the end of the month was okay, but the items I did sell were those I had in my Etsy shop, creating more work for November. I didn't need to worry much however... I went the first 11 days of the month w/o a sale in my shop. It did give me the chance to build up my inventory and get my shop back up to my desired # of listings (between 35-40) and still have time for my family and the bunk-bed project (and it was a project... I can't believe the amount of junk my 10 yo was able to hide in his room...LOL)
I did make my 1st sale of the month earlier this morning, after doing some promoting before work. One of the 4 items I promoted sold and the buyer went to my shop and purchased a 2nd item. So we started out this week nicely... I just love having a some positive momentum going into a craft show!
Which brings me to this weekend's craft show... Manahawkin, NJ. The show is usually a big one, with very good vendors ( they only accept handmade vendors) and the turnout is usually good. It's a Saturday show running from 10-3 and easy to find. Route 9, minutes south of Toms River and just north of Rt 72 ( the highway that leads to Long Beach Island) Come on out , if you're in the area and stop by my table to say HI!!

So with 42 shopping days before Christmas, I have a couple shows this month and hopefully at least one in early December. I finally broke the zero for November sales today and here's hoping that trend continues!
I'm looking for an ETSY shop to feature in this spot next week, once I catch my breath. If any one's interested, leave me a comment and I'll pick out the shop in the next few days.

Back to promoting and then on to my crafting when I get home from the JOB...
til next time-
R

Monday, November 5, 2007

Less than 50 shopping days to XMAS... how have your sales been?


With only about 7 weeks left to shop for the holiday's, it seems that Etsy has been bombarded with sellers promoting their items and the buyers must feel a bit overwhelmed. I added about 7 items over the weekend and only 1 or 2 received more than 10 views in it's first 30 minutes of listing. Normally my new items receive nearly 20 views in that 30 minutes and worse case, they receive at least 10. I had 3 listings receive 5 or less views over the weekend and even with promoting the new items in the forums, they struggled to get to 10 views.

Thankfully I have to finish up a couple of custom orders and work on increasing a few sections of my craft show inventory or I'd be very slow right now.

I guess it 's back to the promoting forum for awhile tonight, while I try to finish the scarf I've been knitting this weekend.


So how is everyone else's sales? Is it slower than you expected or has your pre-holiday sales been what you expected?


Til next time...

R
PS- this is a piece of beach glass that I made into a pendant/necklace. My camera is on it's way out and the wire wrapping is a bit blurry, but this cobalt blue piece of beach glass is fantastic in the sunlight. A definite attention-grabber!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

An ETSY review of October

When I first started my shop on ETSY, I had hoped for a sale or two. My shop opened in early August and my inital items were scarves. Now there's truly little chance of selling a scarf in 95 degree weather, but with 4 month listings, I was looking more towards Autumn and Winter with the listings.
My 1st month on Etsy, I sold a couple pairs of earrings and I set goals to double sales for the following month. In September I found my items receiving many more views and after a couple of quick sales, things quieted down. I did hit my goal to double my August sales, making 5 September sales and once again I was looking for the same goal... double my September sales.
Like September, October started quickly, slowed in the middle third of the month. The slowdown was mostly my fault. I spent more time preparing for a craft show and didn't put many new items into my shop. Once I realized that sales had slowed and placed new items in my shop, sales increased and we finished the month with a flourish, easily making my October goal.
Overall my crafts did fairly well in October. The 2 shows I did were both moderately successful, I sold a few items and I believe I've built up a bit of a following, while promoting my ETSY shop and the ETSY site (along with a few ETSY sellers!) I made a few small private sales in the last few weeks, so my "hobby" is keeping me busy replenishing my stock.
I'm currently about a dozen items short in my ETSY shop (between craft show sales, shop sales & Halloween items that are being deleted) so I'll be adding more items on ETSY over the next few days, while gearing up for my next show. I'm still looking to add a show, hopefully next weekend. I do have shows book on 11/17 and 11/30 and I wouldn't mind a 12/1 or 12/2 show.

So that's my October review. I'm further along than I really expected (I guess I didn't want to be disappointed if my creations weren't accepted publicly) and I'm really happy I'll have the opportunity to make sales on ETSY after the holidays.

If you haven't read my published article about ETSY titled "Move over Ebay, make room for ETSY" please click on the link and check it out.
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/424772/move_over_ebay_make_room_for_etsy.html

Please feel free to comment and rate my article. I'd love to know what my fellow crafters think.

Til next time...
R

Monday, October 29, 2007

How does "real" Autumn weather affect your sales?

After a longer than usual "Indian" summer (is Indian-summer even politically correct??) central NJ has had in between weather for a couple of weeks....weather bordering on Indian summer and fall and now, finally, the Autumn weather has arrived. It's been chilly at night and much cooler during the days. It's been tough to get my sons to give up wearing shorts and short-sleeved shirts to school and we've quickly gone from summer clothes to sweatshirts and jackets.

When I 1st started my shop with Etsy, I had quite a few scarfs. I started my shop with about a half dozen scarfs and a few simple pieces of jewelry. Not understanding how Etsy really works, I thought listing scarves in August would be a good idea, as they'd be able to sit in my shop for 4 months and they'd be listed for the holiday season. Obviously, 90 degree+ heat doesn't sell scarves in August (no matter what price you sell them for..LOL)
But over the last week, with the cold snap we've been waiting for has arrived and not only are the scarves selling, but also anything holiday. 2 weeks ago I don't think I could have sold a scarf at 75% off and anything Christmas-y was barely getting views. Bring in a bit of cold weather and every one's thought process gets right into winter/holiday mode.
I found this funny when over the weekend at a show, I sold a scarf to a customer at full price. She had attended my last show also, look at the same scarf at 40% off 3 weeks earlier, but in 85 degree weather but wouldn't buy it. She raved about it and how she had to have it, but backed off even when she realized it was on sale. Maybe she thought winter was stopping by this year, or she didn't want to be seen buying a scarf in 85 degree weather? And maybe I had the same thought, since I had the scarf on sale in early October....

The cold weather and Autumn's arrival has sparked the sales in my shop, has your shop been busier lately because of Autumn's late arrival??

Til next time ...
R

PS- If you haven't read my Etsy article that was published on the internet, the link is in my previous blog, Please check it out and let me know what you think. I also have a beach glass article link a blog a few days further back. If you're into beach glass, you may find it an interesting look at the how's and why's of beachglass!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Craft Show today!!

My Etsy shop is de-activated for the day, but will be back online Sunday evening.
I'm doing a craft show in Lacey Township, NJ later this am. The show begins at 10:00 am and is one of the better attended shows in the Ocean County are. If you're anywhere near exit 70 on the Garden St Pkwy, come on over to the High School. There are always lots of great crafters... get started on your Holiday shopping.
I'll be somewhere in section G, stop by and say hello!

I wrote an article about Etsy and it was published on the internet earlier this week. It's called "Move over Ebay, make room for ETSY" Here's a link to the article... if you get a chance, give it a read and maybe a comment or rating!

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/424772/move_over_ebay_make_room_for_etsy.html

Til next time...
R

Friday, October 26, 2007

My article about ETSY was published !!

I recently wrote an article about how Etsy has taken over Ebay's marketshare when it comes to handmade items (I've notice alot of little ads when I'm on Ebay about "sell your crafts on Ebay", so I guess they've also noticed the drop-off)
If you get a chance, click on the link and check it out...feel free to comment/rate the article and pass the link along to anyone who you think would enjoy it.


www.associatedcontent.com/article/424772/move_over_ebay_make_room_for_etsy.html



I also wrote this article about my favorite pastime when at the beach... hunting for beach glass...

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/418088/beach_glass_trash_or_an_antique_gem.html


Thanks for taking a look!

R

Halloween, weekend craft show, beachglass

Wow, I just can't believe it's 5 days to Halloween. I guess that's what happens when warm, sunny weather extends the summer into mid-October. Now with the cold rainy weather, the fact that the Holidays are no longer creeping up, but they're right around the corner, scares me a bit.
At this point of the fall, I used to always be about 1/3 of the way done with my holiday shopping and I haven't purchased one gift yet. It's time to get crackin'... At least I have a lot of items "hearted" at Etsy and that will cover a few people on my shopping list.

I'm still waiting for confirmation on this weekend's craft show. I'm 99% sure I'll have a table (since they cashed my check), but I don't have any other info about where the table is located, etc, etc. It's a large show and I can't imagine they will try to sort it out on the day of the show.

So here's the location..... Lacey Township High School, this Sunday. It's my favorite show to attend as a customer and the one I really wanted to do as a vendor. The weather is supposed to be nice (finally!!) sunny and cool and hopefully the attendance is the same as previous years. So if you're in NJ and around Ocean Co, stop at the Lacey Township HS and come visit. I'll be there....somewhere. Stop by and say Hi!, I love meeting my fellow estians.

I will be rolling out my beach glass jewelry at this show. I think it came out very well and there's a few pieces I'd love to keep for myself (but I promised my sweetie I'd only keep one or 2 for me). I'd love to put them on Etsy, but so far the pictures have been very unflattering and don't show off the beach glass. Quite a few of these pieces really sparkle in the light, especially when outdoors. Hopefully I can take a couple of good pictures this weekend of the beach glass jewelry. I'd like to put a couple pieces on Etsy after this weekend and I'll post one or 2 of them here later tonight or in tomorrow's blog.

If you're interested in reading the article I had published about Beach Glass, check my previous blog for the link.

Til next time....
R

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Beach Glass- Trash or Gem?

Wow, 2 entries on the blog in less than 24 hours? I'm turning into a blogging fool...

About a month ago, I blogged about Beach Glass. I called it beach glass 101 and it was well received. Since I'm making quite a few jewelry pieces that include beach glass, I thought I'd share an article I had published on another site.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/418088/beach_glass_trash_or_an_antique_gem.html

It's a bit more informative than my earlier blog, feel free to leave comments or rate my article.

Til next time...
R

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

New items, more custom work ....


As you can see from my last entry, I've finished a couple of my beach glass creations and this bracelet is one that I really, really love (did I mention I love it?) and don't want to place on ETSY or offer at this weekend's show... well hopefully I'll be doing the show.

I have picked out a really nice piece of beach glass and I'll be making myself a pendant with it as soon as I can take a breath.


Today, I wore another one of the poly clay pendant/necklaces that I made for myself and for the 2nd straight day, I received a custom order ( 2 pendants in time for Xmas gifts, Monday I may have received another pendant order and I'll be showing some of my items to her tomorrow or Thurs) I was a bit leery about doing custom work and thought doing custom pendants at my craft show tables could be popular. I haven't even showed anyone my pendants with using prints of my children or the Grand Canyon. I'm starting to get a bit nervous I won't be able to offer the custom work on ETSY. It's exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time, as I don't want to be delivering items past the last week of November. I guess I'll have time to sleep after the holidays when the shows and custom work slows down... LOL


Okay, my November 17th show looks to be confirmed (I received an email letting me know that a week b4 the show I'll receive the table #) I guess that means I'm in. This show was #2 on my list as "want to do shows". I start posting date and locations on my blog and on my Etsy shop site as it gets closer to the date.


I'd like to do a quick interview of an Etsy member, maybe starting off with a NJ street team member, or maybe one of my favorite Etsy sellers outside of NJ. Maybe I can do 1 every week for a couple weeks leading up to the holidays.


Til next time...

R

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wow, where did October go!


It seems like Labor Day weekend just ended and the boys just started school and here we are in the last full week of October. My holiday ornaments are coming along nicely, as are the holiday pendants. I completed a few more beach glass pendants yesterday (cobalt blue and gray... gray has a large bubble, which usually indicates an older piece of glass... this piece of beach glass may be 100 years old! The cobalt blue is really pretty in the sunlight.) I'll probably begin listing the beach glass pieces on Etsy after this coming weekend.

My plans are to offer custom pendants and ornaments on a limited basis during the holiday season. With a clear picture, I can scan and shrink the photo to fit my pendants/ornaments and have them the customers hand in plenty of time for the holidays. I've received a couple inquiries already and I'll be offering this service at craft shows, so it could be a limited offer... we'll see. My "experiments" look so much better in person than in the scans, so I'm really happy how they've turned out.

I hope to be hearing a "yes" in the next day or two from this weekend's craft show. Either way I'll be there, as a vendor or a customer... but I'm sooo wanting to be behind a table instead of walking in front of them!

I'll post more info if/when it comes through!


Til next time....

R

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Grand Canyon


Here's the project I mentioned in the blog below.

Autumn, Holidays, crafting project and shows

Halloween is rapidly approaching and I'm crossing my fingers that I may get a show for this coming weekend. It's the show I so wanted to do, but heard it had been filled. Last week I heard there may be a few more openings (there were a few tables last yr that were not very prepared... low stock and not much of a display and apparently the mgrs of the show didn't want this again this yr) and I sent in an application after my sweetie spoke with them. I included a few pictures of my table display and some of my items, along with my business card. I've always received compliments about my table displays at the shows I've done, so I'm hoping I receive word early this week.
My holiday line is coming around and I put a couple items on ETSY last night, to see how they would do. One item sold within hours (WOOHOO- thanks Capturing Life!) and the other pendant is featured in my shop and should be on the right border of this blog, in my ETSY mini. I've been experimenting with some prints of my personal photos on pendants and ornaments made from polymer clay and I finally found the right combo of clay, paper and finish (the above picture is the Grand Canyon and I'm going to make it an ornament. I also have a couple pictures of lighthouses, sunrises and the beach, along with decorative Holiday prints. My family members will be receiving ornaments with pictures of my 2 boys and I may offer to do some custom jobs at upcoming shows (and maybe at ETSY, if time allows) for personalized ornaments.

My Yuwie crafters group is now up to 13 members and I received another message from a "friend" that they visited my ETSY shop and they said they'll be signing up, looking for Xmas gifts. Hopefully they stop by my shop for a couple of those gifts : )
If you'd like to join the club, you can join by using this invite.
http://r.yuwie.com/creationsbyr The site is free and resembles myspace (but w/o the spam) but you may find that everyone wants you to be their "friend". It's a good thing, as you get paid for page views and another place for me to advertise my Etsy shop. I spend about 20 minutes a day there, accepting all my friend requests and I've viewed about 1,900 pages (I guess repeat views on pages count) It may take me awhile to earn enough to request a cash out, but it's totally free, so what the heck (especially if it results in a sale or 2)

Sorry, the picture of the Grand Canyon item isn't coming up, the blog site is having difficulties with the upload section of the site. I'll try again later.

Til next time...
R

Thursday, October 18, 2007

This is just like Myspace, but you get paid...

Earlier this week I blogged about joining a site call Yuwie. The site is very similar to myspace, without all the spam nonsense and stalkers. Apparently you can do everything you do on myspace and you get paid for page views (no not a lot, but what the heck, if it takes me 6 months to reach the minimum amount before getting a check, why not) I joined a knit club on the site with the word Etsy in the tag. The club hasn't had any posts this week, so I posted to see who from the club is on Etsy.
I also started a crafters club earlier today and I'll see how many people join. I used Etsy as the 2nd tag, so maybe I find some fellow etsians on the site. So far, spending about 60 minutes a day (usually a bit less) I've already qualified for earning money for the month and I've only been on the site 6 days (I think?)
But the best part is, I included my Etsy address in my profile and I've received 2 compliments from "friends" who looked at my shop and liked what they saw. Hopefully they'll sign up and make a few purchases from someone at ETSY (neither of them ever heard about Etsy before)
If you are interested in this Yuwie site, go back 2 or 3 entries, there's a link to the site that you can use for an intro. (even though it's free to join, you need an invite to do so)

I'm busy making my holiday items. I have a decent supply of Christmas ornaments ready and I should be placing a couple on Etsy over the next few days. My show schedule is starting to fill up and I might be getting a table at one of the better shows in Ocean Co the weekend before Halloween. The show often turns away vendors, but they must have had a cancellation or 2, because they are again looking for someone and hopefully it'll be me.
My November is nearly booked and I'm just waiting on one show... my application is in... should I be accepted for this show, my November will be full!!

Okay, time to finish a scarf and then hopefully tonight, my sweetie will take his son's out to a school function so I can finish my ornaments in peace. Hopefully : )

Til next time...
R

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Down to one pair of the Skull Earrings!

Just like that, a pair of the skull earrings have been purchased. So I am down to just one pair!!
1st Halloween order gets these scary skull earrings for free!
See the blog from earlier today for details!

Halloween is quickly approaching and Autumn swings into gear...


Despite another 70+ degree day at the Jersey shore, the leaves on the trees continue to change colors and they are beginning to fall. The acorns seem much larger than the previous few years and hopefully that means we might get at least a little bit of snow this winter ( we had about 4 inches last winter : (- what a shame for the kids!)

I have only 2 possible shows to choose from before Halloween and I would really like to do 1 of them and I'm not all that thrilled about the other because it's a short 4 hour show in the evening, starting at 6 pm and it's on the same weekend as one of the biggest festivals in this area... the Cranberry Festival. The Cranberry festival is just mobbed and people come from all over the area for it. It's not uncommon to see cars with license plates from New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware... and lots of them. You often have to park about 1 mile from the festival and walk down the narrow roads, which is always fun with small children. But it really is worth the hike. I would love to have a display at this festival, but felt I wasn't going to be ready to do a festival of this size just yet. I'd really like to give it a shot for next year (and maybe I can share a space with one of my fellow NJ street team members)


So that brings me to the question of what to do with all my remaining Halloween items? It's really not that much, but I just found a couple pairs of skull earrings in my holiday decorations bin. I thought, perhaps I'd make sale through my blog, one that's not available on ETSY. I have 2 remaining Halloween items in my shop on ETSY. Both items have been reduced in price by 25% and I'm offering FREE Shipping on either item (the items are the Silly Skeleton Pendant/necklace and a set of 6 Halloween magnets... both are featured items and you can see them in my Etsy mini on the side panel) If you buy either of these items, along with the 25% off and the Free Shipping, I'll add the Skull earrings for FREE. I had been selling these earrings for $6 at the shows and had they gone on ETSY, I would've listed them for $5. So hurry, there are only 2 pairs left... 1st come 1st serve. Get these in time for your Halloween parties!


Til next time...

R

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Slow Crafting week, No shows...

So there was no craft show on the schedule for this week. I spent the day with my sweetie and our boys, going to an Irish Festival. It was fun, all the vendors seemed to have many of the same items, though we did pick up a Irish Christmas tree ornament for the boys to give their Grandmother on her birthday next month.
I had a small private showing of some new jewelry on Sunday that resulted in a couple sales, nothing major, but a sale is a sale and you just never know when word of mouth can lead to more customers. Etsy seemed much slower this week (as far as views went) I thought I promoted a bit heavier than in weeks past, but the views seemed to be down. I did have a lot of members "heart" me as a seller this past week, but I didn't think the buyers-only (the buyers that don't also have a shop) were really there. Perhaps I wasn't active when they were viewing.
I did have a multiple item sale from a local person who may have picked up my business card from last week's show. She bought 2 small items 1 day and came right back to buy another 2 the next day. I was a bit worried because she had zero feedback and was paying by money order, but the MO was in my hands 2 days later and now I hopefully have a another regular ETSY customer.

I read in one of the ETSY forums about one of the regs forming an ETSY club on this pay for view site, so I looked into it. It's one of those sites where you get paid for each page view you make (and probably for every time someone views your pages), so I joined since it was for free. As usual with these type of sites, you need to ask people to make you a "friend" and more importantly you need to make referrals. It's really like myspace, except you get paid to chat, surf, blog and post pictures. I'm in the ETSY knit club and I'm thinking about starting an Etsy crafting club. If you're looking to make money on the Internet, don't want to invest a single penny and have about 20 minutes a few times a week to surf, then maybe you'd like to check this out.... http://r.yuwie.com/creationsbyr

If you do sign up, let me know if you'd be interested in joining a Crafters on Etsy club. I don't know what qualifications you need to have to start (and I'm very new) but I'd love to get an Etsy club going where we could trade craft secrets, show info, Etsy tips, etc.

Til next time....
R

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Autumn weather finally reaches the Northeast

Finally, the summer-like weather has pushed out and more seasonable temps have moved in. The leaves in the trees are still mostly green, but the tops of the trees are showing some color change. The acorns look to be much bigger than the last few years and hopefully, it's Mother Nature's way of taking care of the squirrels when it's going to be a bad winter.
At the show I did last weekend, there were a couple of crafters with knitted items and we all had a lot of people looking at the scarves, it was kind of tough for anyone to even think about spending money on a knitted scarf when it felt like it was 90 degrees.
I don't know how other sellers of knitted items are doing on Etsy or the craft shows, but this weather had me working on other projects instead of gearing up for Autumn and Winter.
My pendants seem to be doing well, I have a custom order to make 2 pendants that have already sold thru my Etsy shop and another custom order that includes a few pieces of jewelry and a hand-painted pendant. I'm tempted to do some custom work as gifts for the holidays, but I'm leery about losing the creative control and getting swamped by orders and not having enough to inventory for my future shows.
Speaking of craft shows, I'm looking to grab a table in about 2 weeks for a Saturday evening show and I'd like to see about sneaking in a show for the 1st weekend in November, before my 2 bigger shows in the middle and end of November. I have 1 scheduled for December and I'd like to try for a 2nd, but it's going to be tough inventory wise.
I'm still working on my beach glass items and should have a couple more pieces ready for my next show.
Til next time...
R

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Weekend Update... craft show results & projects in the works


Well, the 1st craft show of the fall season went well for me. The show really wasn't a craft show, but a Fall Festival, which included antique cars, pony rides and games for children, pie eating contests, etc. There was approx 20 crafters/vendors with tables and I has a lot of visitors to my table and I handed out about 100 business cards for my ETSY shop, along with about 25 flyers of business cards of various ETSY shops.

The weather wasn't very conducive to selling scarves (mid 80s and VERY humid)but my cell phone charms and earrings sold well. I made back the table money and basically paid for all my "show" supplies (bags, receipt book, table displays etc) 4 of my ETSY shop items sold at the show and along with the 3 sales the shop made late in the week, my shop is a bit depleted. I did add a pair of seashell earrings earlier today and I have a bunch of items ready to go on ETSY, but right now I'm working on getting my beach glass items put together.

I did have a pair of beach glass earrings at the show, along with a beach glass pendant and both were looked at many times, but it really wasn't the type of show where folks were shelling out a lot of money for jewelry.

The show was a lot of fun, as my sons were able to be there the entire time, so I did get to spend the a large part of the day with them and they had a blast. All in all, a good day.


Like I mentioned earlier, the beach glass project is underway. The earrings are Amethyst and approx the size of a nickel. They sparkle in the sunlight and caught the eye of some of the vendors and many of the customers that came to my table. As soon as I can capture a picture that shows them a little better, I'll place them in my ETSY store. I did scan them, but the scan dulls the colors. I'm extremely happy with the way this 1st beach glass item turned out and at $22 for the pair, I think they'll find a new home pretty soon. The picture above is the scan from the earrings... they look so dull compared to how they looked at the outdoor show. Hopefully, I'll have a sunny day soon to take a few outdoor pictures of the beach glass items.


The late hours all week long paid off with a good week on ETSY and a decent show. I'm taking the next couple of days off to rest up, restock the supplies and my ETSY shop and look for another craft show between now and the show I have planned in mid-November.

Til next time...

R


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Craft updates- show info and new items!




Hi all, it's been a few days since my last blog entry. First off... I'm only a few days out from my 1st fall craft show of the season. The fall shows are usually the best in central NJ, as the lure of the ocean and boardwalk has diminished. Fall festival shows are usually well attended in these parts. Local decoy shows and flea markets are often mobbed and when there's activities for children (like at the festival this weekend) and decent weather the place gets mobbed with folks.


Mother Nature looks like she'll cooperate this Saturday. The show is the Eagleswood Fall Festival in Ocean Co, NJ. and there is something for every member of the family! If you're in the area, stop by my table (CreationsByRobin) and say HI!!




Okay, I know I've been talking about making my beach glass creations and now that the pre-drilled pieces have arrived, I've been slow to get started on them. I'm still knitting scarves during my lunch-break (when I don't need to run to Michael's or AC Moore for supplies) and I've just love creating poly clay pendants at night.


When I haven't been concentrating on completing unfinished projects, I've been making pendants. I've put a couple in my ETSY shop and they've picked up quite a few views, almost immediately. I have a couple more I'll be adding to my shop over the next couple of days, mostly Halloween, and the bulk of the pendants will list after this weekend's show.


I've included a picture of a few of the pendants that aren't yet in my ETSY shop as a preview. These all have a sheer ribbon necklace or silver chain attached and I'll also offer pendants with or w/o chains (chains and ribbons extra). I also have made sets of magnets with similar prints. Seasonal trees, animals, flowers and Halloween all come in packs of 6 magnets and I have magnets that are perfect for Mom's that have young school students, with colorful happy faces and little sayings, such as "you did it" & "well done" & "good effort" to hang up those great test grades and class work. Great for teachers and even better for the proud child to see their hard work displayed on the fridge.

Yes, I've been busy and so many of these items, along with over 100 pieces of jewelry and at least a dozen more scarves have yet to make it to my ETSY shop.

And I promise to make those beach glass creations real soon. ; )

Til next time...

R

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Last weekend before my 1st Fall show...


I usually try to add something new to my inventory before each new craft show. For next week's show, I've added magnets and poly clay decorations and pendants to my table. I made Autumn-ish, and Halloween type magnets for this show and I'll be adding some Christmas magnets shortly (hopefully in time for this show) The Poly clay has been something I've put off for awhile and decided to try them for this show also. The pendants came out much better than expected, especially the etched pendants! I'm still in the process of creating my poly clay decorations and I'll probably concentrate my efforts to mostly Christmas, but I do have a few Halloween decorations finished.

My table display is finished, though I didn't create anything special. The display is tall enough to be spotted from a few tables away and not cluttered too much that customers may miss seeing something on the table.

If you are going to be anywhere near central NJ on Oct 6 and want to attend the festival, leave me a message and I can email/or list directions to the festival. Families are welcome, as there will something for everyone... from antique car displays to pony rides, games and food for the children. And of course, the craft/art tables for the women.
I tried to add an image of some of the unfinished magnets... slightly out of focus, but these are the tree magnets.


Til next time...


R

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Back to School Night Surprise

Last night was Back to School night for my 10yo son. While listening to his teacher explain what they would be covering during the school year, I noticed she had a very pretty glass-bead necklace on. I made a motion to my sweetie about her necklace and of course he was totally clueless (of course!) She also had a beautiful beaded bracelet and very pretty earrings on.
Most of the parents left after the session, probably heading to another child's classroom for another meeting and we waited until the few remaining parents chatted briefly with the teacher before approaching her.
Of course, I just had to ask her about her wonderful jewelry and yes, she makes it herself and has been doing it for many years. She wears her wares to school and the other teachers and school personnel end up ordering custom made items from her.
I just had to ask her if she heard of ETSY and she looked at my like I spoke a strange language. We spoke about ETSY for about 10 minutes and she became very excited about the prospects of selling her items online, took my card and said she'd be looking into it.
It would've been great to have met a potential customer and perhaps make a future sale or 2, but it was a lot of fun promoting ETSY to a very talented jewelry maker. I have the feeling this talented crafter will be joining the selling ranks at ETSY in the very near future!

Til next time...
R

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A review of September

So far in the month of September, I was able to get my inventory up to my show numbers. We've added magnets and clay decorations (along with a few clay pendants) to the mix and I should have decent quantities of both for the upcoming shows by the end of this month.
I'm still plotting out my table display for the 1st show and will do a "dry-run" of the table this weekend.

Our sales on ETSY have picked up in Sept, as compared to our 1st month on the site. We only had 2 sales in a very slow August. This month , I've noticed increased views on many of the items and last night I made my 5th sale of the month. My autumn leaves earrings are finding a new home... they were my most viewed item, with over 115 views and 3 hearts... they're very pretty earrings and were used a couple of times in treasuries by fellow ETSIANS.
Our 5 sales were all earrings, nothing very expensive, but right now I'm just trying to establish myself on ETSY and every sale is a step in the right direction. When I take into consideration that I've really been focusing on the upcoming craft shows, I think I've had a really good month on ETSY and I'm looking to keep that momentum going by promoting a bit harder now that I can shift some focus away from show preparations for a week or so.

With almost 5 days remaining, Sept has been a pretty good month for Creations By Robin and I hope it continues!

Til next time...
R

Monday, September 24, 2007

September rapidly coming to a close...

Wow, this month is flying. Between my 1st (and hopefully last) bout with diverticulitis, back to school for the boys and trying to catch-up at work after my vacation, this month has been a blur. I'm 12 days out from my 1st fall craft show. I'm in pretty good shape with my hand-made jewelry and I think the only pieces I'll be making are my beach glass creations... yes the beach glass has arrived and I'm still plotting out what I'm going to make with the pieces. Hopefully, they won't be too pretty and I want to keep them all for me!!
I bought a few skeins of yarn in each of the last 2 weeks and I've been knitting quite often... a few more scarves and I'll be at my minimum inventory level for a show. Over the next dozen days I should be able to knit 4-5 more scarves with ease. I'll be adding some holiday decorations, including a few candles that my sons made (with some help by Daddy).

The show is put on by the Eagleswood Historical Society Inc. and it's their 11th annual country fair. The show will be held on October 6th ( rain date 10/7) in the Township Building parking lot (corner of Railroad Ave & Division St) from 9am to 3pm. Besides the crafters area, there will be antique cars on display, pony rides for the kiddies, food, games and contests. A great little fair that the children can come to and you can still visit the craft tables. Stop by our table and say hi, if you get the chance!

Til next time!
R

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Catching up on the week

Once again the days slipped away and it's been nearly a week since my last entry. In my last entry I blogged about going to a couple of craft shows on Sunday. One wasn't really a craft show...there were a few crafters there, but it was mostly antique dealers and folks with spots trying to sell the contents of people's basements.
The craft show I attended was okay. There was a very good turnout and the show had vendors both outside of the building and on all 3 floors of the building. The show was held in an adult community (a 55 and over golf community) and I guess it was in the community center. The building is full of motel-like rooms and these rooms are used for visitors (I guess if the house is too small for visitors to stay, rather than go to a motel, they stay in the rooms at the center... they are very nice and quite large) The problem with the show was the vendor's weren't allowed to use the rooms for the show. Instead the vendors had tables along the wall in the hallway and the crafter had a chair to sit in alongside the table. When customers stopped at a table (or a vendor needed to get an item from storage--under the table) it left very little room to get past and with the size of the turnout, it was a major problem. The line for the tiny elevator was crazy and taking the stairs put you at the far end of the hallway, where you found a line of people waiting to get thru the crowds that were already at the tables.
Needless to say, I heard a lot of grumbling from many of the senior citizens about not being able to move, having to take the stairs and life in general. We didn't (yes I braved the show w/ my sweetie and our boys) get to see 2 of the 3 floors and breezed thru the bottom floor where there were only 2 crafters with very large items (one that I've purchased from last yr... wood picture frames-customized with names, very friendly people selling great items...I'll see them later at another show when there's much more room)
My disappointment from not being accepted as a vendor quickly faded once I saw the set-up. A few of the hand-made jewelry vendors had some nice stuff, but VERY pricey and about 60% of the "beachglass jewelry" wasn't beachglass, but craftglass.
I don't know how the folks inside did as far as sales went, but the half dozen or so that had spaces outside looked to have alot of potential customers at their tables, where they could browse w/o getting bumped by people trying to get by.
Overall, the prices seemed way to high for the items, but I guess the upper-class type golfing community had something to do with the pricing. Many items paled in comparison to crafters on ETSY in both quality and price. I only found a few tables that had business cards and none that I saw had an ETSY shop.
I'm thankful I didn't get a table, as I'd grade this show below average, as the customers couldn't get to many of the tables because of the cramped area. A lot of money stayed in the pockets of the customers on this day... hopefully, these customers will come to the show in 2 weeks at a neighboring town.

As far as ETSY... I only placed a few items in my shop over the last week, as I've concentrated on getting inventory made for upcoming shows (I'll announce the shows as they get closer) I'll be placing a few items in my shop over the next few days.
Okay enough keyboarding and more knitting!
Til next time...
R

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Weekend catch-up

I'm going to a few craft shows this morning before heading up to my in-laws for the football games. The 1st show starts at 11:00 am (?) and it's a show I applied for, but because I sold hand-made jewelry (along w/ scarves, hats, holiday decorations and candles) they didn't accept my application. Apparently, they already had 4 jewelry vendors. I'm interested in seeing just how big or small this show is.
The 2nd show is on LBI and despite starting earlier in the morning like most show do, I didn't feel like driving all over the place today. By the time I get to the show I'm interested in seeing, it will be well under way.
Yesterday I made a few more pieces of jewelry and one was put in my ETSY shop (see the mini-etsy link and check out my Grand Canyon bracelet) One or 2 of the other pieces will go into my ETSY shop also, to replace the 2 pieces that sold on Fridays night, with the balance of the jewelry going into my show inventory.
I'm hoping to find something that sparks some creative juices, either in designing some new piece or maybe an idea that improves my table display.... something that stands out and draws potential customers to my table from across the room.
Oh well, a girl dream, can't she?
Off to the shows.... til next time....
R

Friday, September 14, 2007

Beach Glass 101

Okay, so I'm back at my full-time gig and trying to play catch-up from many days of inactivity from my illness this past week. I had a couple of days at the end of my absence from work to sit and create a decent amount of pieces, organize my supplies and I even snuck out to AC Moore's for about an hour to pick up some more yarn (on sale!!)
And now I have come down with a cold. UGGGH!

But I digress. Those that have read my blog recently have probably read a little about my beach glass obsession. To me, there's nothing more enjoyable than walking on the beach and coming across one of these brilliant gems lying among the shells or seaweed. A few years ago, I had no competition in my search. But now however, there are many people who are searching for them.

So what is Beach Glass?
Beach glass or sea glass are bottles that were lost in shipwrecks or discarded as trash (yes they're also known as trash-glass) that have gone through a natural tumbling process in the ocean. During this tumbling process which breaks up these bottles or large pieces of glass into much smaller "shards", the salt water hydrates the glass and the lime and soda are leeched out. This process gives the glass a frosty, crystal-like appearance. In sunlight, many of these pieces will appear brilliant and often sparkle brightly, making them highly sought after gems.

The amount of folks hunting these gems has grown significantly over the last few years and coupled with dwindling supplies ( the introduction of plastics into society in the 1960s has meant fewer glass bottles) has increased the value of beach glass and some colors are highly sought after by both collectors and crafters. Which brings us to...

Buying beach glass
My opinion on this subject is to know your source. As beach glass becomes harder to find, there will be some folks who will unknowingly (and of course knowingly) peddle "craft glass" as beach glass. Unfortunately, as the glass continues climb in value, there will be folks who try to take advantage of uneducated buyers.
So what then is craft glass? Sea glass or artificial sea glass is basically factory made pieces of glass - often run through a rock tumbler and sometimes given an acid bath (which is very toxic if not rinsed properly afterwards!) The pieces are made from sheets of glass or bottles and quite often when you see a large collection of craft glass, the colors and shapes/sizes will look similar.

I've recently stated I plan to make a few pieces of jewelry using beach glass. I've also stated that I have a hard time using my "finds" for anything other than displays. So I went and purchased some pre-drilled pieces from one of the impeccable sources of beach glass... Mr Charles Peden, co-founder and former President of the NASGA (North American Sea Glass Association) and I will using these gems for to make beach glass jewelry
For anyone interested in more information about these gems go to -http://www.seaglassassociation.com/index.htm

I'm excitedly awaiting my delivery of beach glass and I'm hoping I'll be able to part with at least a few of the creations (I know I'll have to keep something pretty for myself...after all, it's good advertising for me to wear one of my own pieces or 3)

Class dismissed...lol
R

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Finally feeling a little better!

We'll the antibiotics took awhile to do their job, but I'm feeling so much better the last 2 days (about 80%, which is sooo much better than the 20% I felt like over the weekend)
I actually accomplished a lot today. I finished 7 pieces of jewelry, organized all my new jewelry supplies (shhh, I went to AC Moore for an hour to buy some jewelry/yarn supplies on sale).
Last night I took pictures of the scarves I finished - one went on ETSY yesterday and made about a dozen cell phone charms for my upcoming craft shows. If I could only take the next 2 days off from work, I'd be all caught up with my fall inventory!

For the next couple of days, I'll do some knitting and my boys and I (hopefully ALL my boys- my sweetie and not me) will do some candle-making tomorrow night while I watch TV...ummm, knit...LOL. This weekend I'm going to visit a couple of local cradt shows before heading up to join my sweetie's family at their yard sale (I'm sure I'll be rushing to get there..lol)
I have a bunch of supplies I'm waiting on, including a nice supply of beach glass for jewelry creations. I don't know if I'll be placing these items on ETSY or not, but I'll try to post some photos when I finish them.

Tomorrow- I think I'll do a beach glass 101 and explain why it's not always a good idea to buy "beach/sea glass jewelry" without knowing the seller.

Til tomorrow, hopefully
R

Monday, September 10, 2007

When you least expect it

So, yesterday I was feeling pretty awful. Very sluggish, especially after taking my meds. I didn't get much accomplished on Sunday, at least not as much as I had planned to work on.
I was wiped out last night and went to bed after we got the boys settled for the night. I wasn't in bed more than 20 minutes when my sweetie came in to let me know that I had an email from ETSY saying 2 pairs of my earrings had sold. YAY!! I was off and on the computer yesterday when I felt up to it, but I really didn't do much promoting this weekend (the buyer had hearted one of the items earlier this week) and I haven't placed a new item in my shop in about a week. So the sale came as a very nice surprise.

I felt okay for awhile today and was able to finish a scarf and get the order packed up ( my sweetie took it to the post office for me) and I finished organizing my jewelry supplies. I also bought some jewelry supplies and that will be the topic for my Tuesday blog, so we'll end here.
Goodbye Sweet Pea Green and Simply Red earrings, I hope you enjoy your new home!

R

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Good Day/Bad Day


I felt pretty good yesterday and knitted a couple of scarves. (I had my 1st bout of diverticulitous [sp?] on Thursday) Today I started getting my earrings prepared for an upcoming craft show and spending about 30 minutes on ETSY, I ran out of gas. Totally out of energy... for the whole day. Uggghh

So after thinking I was turning the corner and had planned on getting a bunch of jewelry done today, I made nothing and now I'm about 5 days behind where I wanted to be at this point for my shows. To make matters worse, I haven't put a new item on ETSY in 4 or 5 days.


Maybe this picture will help me feel a little better....


R

Saturday, September 8, 2007

What a difference a day makes...


...and some strong antibiotics. I'm feeling quite a bit better today, still not nearly 100%, but I did knit for about 40 minutes before feeling a little uncomfortable. I was also able to promote on ETSY for awhile and even update this blog. Hopefully I'll feel okay to finish up a few pieces of jewelry tonight and make a bunch of cell phone charms for my upcoming craft shows. The cell phone charms are awesome stocking-stuffers and they seem to do real well at the shows, as opposed to selling at ETSY. The charms in my ETSY shop have picked up a few views over the last couple days, so maybe the buyers are beginning to look for XMAS items.

My son gave one to his teacher last year for Christmas and she told me she's received alot of compliments and helps her locate her phone in her messy purse.

Well, time to lay down for a bit... the antibiotics are kicking in.

R


PS- the picture is from the beach w/ my sons and nephew. Too funny!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Another lost day...


Ugggh.... went to bed Weds night with a cramp in my side. I thought it may have been a gas bubble. I laid and finally feel asleep, but woke up with the same pain. My side hurt to touch and was very sore. I thought maybe I strained a stomach muscle while swimming in the ocean or running around on the beach with my 2 boys and my nephew. Went to work and it hurt even more... after about an hour they sent me to the hospital, where I found out I have an intestinal infection (diverticulitis sp)

I thought I had been eating very healthy over the long weekend, but apparently the seeds from all the tomatoes, plums, grapes etc all found their way into a little "pouch" in my intestine, stayed there and eventually became infected.

Soooo, another lost day (or 2) from crafting, which really sux because I'm less than a month out from my 1st fall craft show and I didn't really accomplish much over the weekend. I was able to start a scarf last night, but found it hard to sit in the same spot comfortably and I only finished about a 3rd of the scarf.

I really need this pain to lessen soon, so I can get a couple of new things on ETSY and keep plugging along on my inventories. I'm off to take my antibiotics and lay down for a half hour. I'm praying I'll feel a bit better and can accomplish anything when I get up.


At least the picture of my smiling little men make feel a bit better!
R

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Catching up

Just a brief entry to catch up on things...

I spent a few days with my family at the beach. LBI wasn't really that crowded for th Labor Day weekend and by Labor Day the crowds really thinned out. Tues & Weds found the beaches nearly empty and the traffic in Loveladies was almost non-existant.
Which was fine by me. I did have to work but the boys and my sweetie stayed on the island a couple of days and I met them after work. I didn get a brief photo op each morning during the sunrise and found some awesome beachglass that I probably would've missed if the crowds were there... 2 decent size pieces of cobalt blue and 1 smaller size piece of red or pink, (it's either light red or very dark pink...looked red in the sunlight) along with a handful of greens, amber/browns and white. At some point, I'll make a necklace or maybe earrings with a few of the more common pieces, but I want to keep most of them for me...LOL!

As far as the crafting goes... I'm knitting another scarf, building up jewelry supplies and inventories for the upcoming fall shows. I'll probably also delve a bit into some Halloween decorations and my oldest son wants to make holiday-themed candles (we'll see how motivated he is when it comes to giving up a Saturday or 3 to make product...LOL)
I'll be adding another scarf or 2 to my ETSY shop over the next few days, along with a few more pieces of jewelry. Hopefully sales start to pick up very soon.
Til next time...
R