Monday, December 21, 2009

Warm Fuzzies

Many think about extending themselves at this time of year when in actuality it should be 365 days a year. I try to do my thing personally and professionally and it came back to me last week. I was browsing Zibbet and noticed some interesting crochet patterns and you know I've been trying my hand at crochet so I purchased one. It turns out this seller,Stitchin' Designs, was at that minute setting up her shop so I was thrilled to welcome her with a sale. I tried the pattern and realized I was a tad off....okay, alot off, and so I e-mailed a question. Not only did she answer promptly but sent me two more patterns to try for FREE!!!! How cool is that? Check out Stitchin' Designs for some cool patterns, helpful advice and great service.
Meanwhile, I made these, not Stitchin's pattern though. They are very warm and snuggly. The brown are for women with the buttons, for men without. The multicolored ones are extra long for warmth up the arm.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Sales Curse

A few months after I started on Etsy, I decided to post a shadow box I had made which had been hanging in my bedroom. I actually put a fairly high price on it, not being well versed in the art yet. Literally 15 minutes later it sold. Hmmmmmmmm.... I went out, bought the materials for 2-3 more, made them, posted them and there they sat.
Last year I saw something in a catalog I thought I could reproduce better. I did. It enabled me to use the vast majority of mini chairs that I had collected. The finished product elicited raves from family and friends so I posted them. Have you guessed yet? They sat.
I have made dozens of magnetic bookmarks which sell in real life 10 to 1 as opposed to online. Why?
Today I posted a pair of handwarmers made from an upcycled sweater with crochet experiment for me. One hour later they sold. So the questions I make more? Or do I not press my luck?!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Okay, so today is November 29th and the month is over and I've been gone from my blog for 22 days. Where was I? Fortunately I had a veritable blitz of special orders that kept me knitting and sewing. I mean, over 9 knitted pieces and 6 embroidery. Wonderful! If not for them, the month, sales wise would have been uneventful. Etsy is getting heavier and deeper and so hard to be seen. I love Zibbet for it's freshness and clean appearance. I'm keeping both going for now. We'll see if anything happens tomorrow, Cyber Monday. I along with a bazillion others have a sale going but who knows? I think my prices are so reasonable,if not cheap, a sale can hurt. We'll see.
So to all my bloggy friends, hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and your holiday season is productive, fruitful and calm.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Art & Craft Fairs

I have close friends who are dealers of antiques that are quite pricey by most standards. I have been privy to their ups and downs for years and I ache for them when a show is a bust & applaud with them when they have success. The hauling of heavy goods, the endurance of long hours, the muddy field or the cold concrete floors have been chapters in their lives forever. Irregular, unpredictable, and very hard work.
For the rare times I do shows, I think of them & I ache more for them with the preparation, the set-up, the anxiety, the boredom, the cost and on and on. I don't think the general public appreciates the before,during and after effort that is necessary for craft fairs and shows.
I did a local show today and was quite pleased with the results though we are exhausted. It's nice to know that some really care about my work & that their purchase of it supports my dream. To them I say "THANK YOU".
For those that say "Oh, now I know what to do with Grandma's buttons" or "How cute, how clever, I'll have to try that at home" , I say be my guest, do it, try it and call me when you're trying to sell it and I'll come look, and touch, and measure and comment under my breath "Hmph, I could do that".

Monday, October 26, 2009

Stash Scarf

The other day one of my yarn bins flipped over and spilled the neatly placed contents...ugh! A tangled mess. I decided to grab a few balls and see what type of scarf to create. I had the beginnings of a pattern but really winged it by just picking out the largest balls in 4 coordinating colors. It's knit lengthwise so it was about 150 stitches on large needles but only 10 rows so it didn't take all that long. It came in measuring almost 6 feet. Very soft!

Oh, and yes, I still have the crud...cannot shake it. Any suggestions other than shooting myself will be gratefully considered!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Road Trip

We were worried about our NY trip since we were exposed to the H1N1 flu even though we got 10 day doses of Tamiflu. I kept starting to feel sick but it never came. Despite awful, cold, rainy weather we did have fun until the next to last leg home. A five hour stretch took 8 hours and 12 minutes but who's counting......ugh!
Anyway, we got home Saturday afternoon to a fairly clean house, loads of laundry, 5 special order requests AND disease... I am sicker than I've been in years. Better not start the special orders in case I infect them! It's not the flu, just a first class, miserable cold/sinus number and I plan on staying close to my pillow all day tomorrow.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Indie Smiles is a neat website run by 2 terrific gals who love to promote independent artists and crafters. To quote them "Indiesmiles is a one stop shopping source of online Indie shops at a discount! Here, you can discover new and emerging talent while shopping around for that perfect gift or unique item for yourself WHILE finding the best indie deals out there."
I was involved with them awhile back in a coupon promotion and now I'm a columnist! I think I've been selling online long enough to offer a bit of wisdom/advice. I certainly read alot, trying to learn more about the web. My first article is Packaging On A Dime and it's all about well, packaging! It was funny because before actual submission, I had to cut the number of words as I had too many. When it was edited what they put in was what I cut! So I guess Sue, El and I are on the same page. Also visit riricreations -her photo accompanies the article.
But before you go look at these my first sale on Zibbet!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

It's Done!!!!

Back on August 20th, I wrote about my attempt at a crocheted afghan. I finished! It is larger than I first planned and naturally took more yarn than I anticipated and in fact, I have 2 odd squares left over. It's been complete for about a week now so one month doesn't seem like too terribly long. I did not repeat a color either in the vertical or horizontal row so that took some planning. I actually think the piecing together took as long as the crocheting but I am pleased and so is DH. It is really for his chair IF and when it ever gets cold. An afghan in South Carolina does seem a bit odd but we do have a day or two of chilly weather so now we're ready!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Double Duty

I went up to the studio to find a button for a coffee cup cuff (say that 3 times fast!) that I just finished crocheting. After I found the perfect one, and vintage at that, I had alot to carry downstairs so I absent mindedly put the cuff on my wrist. Hmmmm!!! Looked pretty darn good and even DH noticed. So the coffee cup cuff is now also a wrist cuff. I'm sure I'm not the first to discover this phenomenon-I'm getting carried away- but I think it's pretty cool~put the cuff on your coffee and when you're finished drinking, then wear it. Just don't throw it away!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Keep 'em comin'!!!!

End of a great week~sales wise. A few on etsy, re-order from a store and 4 semi-biggies in real life. My question, nagging do you sell something online that is "so much better in person"? If I hear that one more time....aarrrgghhh!
It's particularly regarding my magnetic bookmarks. Everyone who sees them in person flips for them and it can almost be said that they're selling like hotcakes-offline. Online, my one sale, and yes, it was huge, but still only amounts to one sale. I have a friend coming on Monday who wants a dozen, 12, after I gifted one to her. Well, I'll keep plugging and hope that next week is equal to this week.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A New Item

A few weeks ago I was lurking in the etsy forums and a shop owner, RareDaisyJewelry was asking about promo matchbook pads. I 'aggressively' convoed her and subsequently she ordered 25 pads and stickers and was thrilled with the order. She suggested I sell them in my shop. Well, I do have a ton of paper so I made up some more and listed them. I have sold them offline and continue to do so and now they're up for grabs on etsy. And who bought one of the batches today? RareDaisyJewelry!!!
Thank you, RareDaisyJewelry, for the orders and giving me a push in another direction and lightening my paper load! Visit her shop~beautiful designs!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I have been on ETSY for almost 3 years and have never been a featured seller or on the front page. But Zibbet likes me, they really like me (Thank you Sally Field!)
Look here for my clock in the middle and then scoll down. Whoo Hoo!!! Doing a happy cha-cha-cha! I ♥ Zibbet! By the way, if you join Zibbet and mention my name we both benefit. It is a great site.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Just opened a shop on a new site called Zibbet.
Wish I could spread my body as thin as I'm spreading my name/buttons/knitting/clocks etc. But I thought I'd give this a try. Clean, easy to work with and the owners actually respond to questions within 24 hours. Even though I'm staying, I'm just not so thrilled with etsy lately. Bad vibes and so much attitude. For $.20 people just want the moon and back! Go peddle your things on the street!
Anyway, I have gotten a nice order from a shop in town and another wants a meeting so as I'm crossing my fingers as I'm gluing and laminating. Except for a big special order, my magnetic bookmarks are not selling online. Off-line, I'm blowing them out. I don't know why since touch and texture aren't a factor. Who knows? Maybe people who shop on line don't read? Well, they're missing out on alot!!! Here are a few.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Needle Arts

I can knit. I'm not an expert but maybe an advanced intermediate. I do needlepoint & bargello and I must say I do it well! I can embroider. I can sew a hem and attach a button. I even know how (or knew how)to do tatting and hoop lace. But crochet is old/new to me. My maternal grandmother crocheted with a needle as fine as a hair and thread the same but crocheting was never my thing. I can do the stitches but cannot follow/read directions. Under expert instruction I was able to create many pieces eons ago but with no one around these days I'm left to my own devices. I bought a book called "Crochet for Kids" and it is a huge help so I've ventured into a few pieces and am generally pleased. Now I have embarked on an afghan for my home, not for sale. It took 4 tries to get the squares correct and I am enjoying the portability of it. I'm not sure of the best way to put it together but I have time to seek out help. I have about 20 more squares to complete and I will show it off IF I like it. If not, well, anyone who needs a dog blanket may apply!
Here is a trio of my basic stitch endeavors.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Beach

I grew up one street off a beautiful beach in the New York City area. I spent tons of great summers as an adult on Cape Cod in Massachussetts. I moved to South Carolina, 4+ hours from the beach with my DH who doesn't give a hoot about sand between his toes. How did this happen?! Last week, we went to visit friends who live outside of Hilton Head and we finally got to the beach. Honestly,after 2 1/2 hours I was ready to leave since I'm not used to it and it was 96 BUT it was fabulous. I had to take a picture to prove I was there! Those are my feet below and our friends above. And yes, I did knit on the beach! It was glorious....♥

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wild and Wacky Week

Last week will hopefully never be repeated! It started with having the majority of the indoor spaces of my house being painted. It was exhausting taking everything down and stashing it out of the painter's way. They were good and clean and neat but then everything (almost) had to be put back. It does look beautiful & we're happy with our color choices.
Saturday I did a show with another etsy seller, LOLSoaps. So in between the painting I attempted to get ready. We met at 7AM (which meant leaving home at 6!), set up and fried! It was a mere 96degrees and after about 11AM there was no shade nearby. According to people who have attended or worked this show in the past, it was dead. Neither of us made a sale until about 1:30. Ashley made a few more but it was awful. At around 3:45 we started to pack it in and yours truly had a bit of a meltdown. I felt like my legs wouldn't work. A kind gentleman got me an icy water and I sat in the EMTs cart which was shaded for a bit until my legs felt sturdy again. Ashley and her DH loaded my car for which I am so grateful. I made it home fine but was tired beyond belief. I will never do an outdoor show during summer in South Carolina again! I did everything right (my clothes,drinking,eating,etc.) but 96? The only saving grace that we all appreciated? I brought my water spray bottle. Thank goodness for small squirts!
The picture shows my cloths with a bar of Ashley's soap....smells delicious but I can't use it until I finish taking more pix. Check her out!

Monday, July 6, 2009


There was a post on the etsy forums asking how many sales you had in June. Some complained about 18 being so low, some grateful for 2. It made me stop and think and note my own. Last June I had 5 on etsy. This year I had six. Bigger in price and larger in number. And fortunately, I did have a bunch offline. It made me stop and think about this business and being careful about your wishes. Would I like more? Yup! Could I handle more? Yup! Are my comparatively lower numbers a sign I should stop....nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I'm gonna eat some worms? Not yet. Basically, the question is...why am I (you) doing this? For me....
I love to create.
I love the process.
I love the planning.
I love the validation when a sale is made.
I love the raw material that morphs into something new.
I love the activity.
I love the stimulation.
I love the joy given to others.
Enough reasons to continue? I think so! I think it's beneficial to step back every now and then and evaluate. Is this enough or is there something or somewhere else your energies may be directed? And if you have any reasons like mine, you just keep on pluggin'!
And on that note here's a new item!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Independence Day

***Happy July 4th-have a great weekend and be safe!***

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I know in my last post I was a little down and closed my ArtFire shop. So what did I go and do? Opened a new Etsy shop....! Etsy is still the leader among the handmade buying and selling venues and I do have some loyalty to the site. My own shop, All About The Buttons, has been a positive experience but I felt the shop was becoming a bit too eclectic. Everything was tied together by buttons but clocks and knitted items were beginning to clash. My new shop is All About The Fiber and while things will have buttons, this will only include things made with fiber...yarn and ribbons specifically.
Many thanks to MoxieRings for my banner. I am slowly moving things over to the new shop...what a tedious process! For awhile there will be crossover items but by the end of July I hope to have it completed. Please visit!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Stops and Starts...or Life!

Do you have periods where you can't get started creatively and then times where you can't stop the ideas? I do!
Do you have stagnant periods with selling and then 3 big sales in 2 days? I do!
Does it seem sometimes all around you are negative? Uh huh!
It's the stops and starts, ups and downs and often negative energies that are so nerve wracking with online selling. I decided to make some changes to get a bit of control of my online presence so I closed my ArtFire shop & will stay with ETSY and the 2 free sites (free so far) Made It Myself and SilkFair. I've been listing more at all 3 venues and trying to stay away from the negativity on ETSY forums. Why must people always seek out problems? On ETSY they seem so eager to not suggest but TELL admin what to do. There's little gratitude for the opportunity that ETSY provides and constant requests for more and more. I've never entered those negative posts but have lurked. There are many valid points but I prefer to focus on the positive instead. Does ETSY make mistakes? Absolutely. Do I know better? Absolutely not.
In dropping ArtFire and giving more attention to Made It Myself, I discovered a wonderful, POSITIVE group called They are fun, positive, supportive, creative and a smile inducing group. The group starters do nothing but promote everyone and stay uplifting. A refreshing change!
Around all of us the world is in turmoil. I prefer to keep my little corner as positive as possible. I know many will agree.
And on that note would someone PLEASE take me to the beach?????

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I received a sweet surprise the other day from PassionForBeads in the form of a blog award,off to the right. The cyber world is so filled with wonderful members!It is now my responsibility to pass out some awards of my own while also recognizing not just great blogs but wonderful people.
Visit these bloggers/artists...
Calabash Creations
Pam Warden Art
My Bella Colle
Those Greathouse Women

Friday, May 29, 2009

Button Up

I just had a wonderful write up on SilkFair titled "Button Up" which is ironic since I almost named my company that!

Button up

Now for some sales!!!
Newest here-I'm on a barrette roll!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Where have I been?

Apparently there has been an issue with Blogspot and the followers widget that was on the side. It was preventing me from entering my own blog for over a week...arghhh!
I had to remove it in order to log in so followers...sorry!
Anyway, many of you know I have 2 'perfect' grandsons and the crazy time we had when they stayed with us for a week...see post 2 or 3 down. What you don't know is that they don't call me Grandma or Nana or Meemaw....totally my name alone, they call me Baba. It was my son's way of being fresh when he was little and knowing if he said "Barbra" to me his life would be shortened! Anyway, I love having a special meaningful name for them. Imagine my joy upon seeing this on etsy:

Besides my being a purse-aholic, I also LOVE coffee and my kitchen has a coffee theme so combining all those loves in one bag? Priceless! Here's the other side:

This was made by Sasaki Creations by the talented and wonderful etsy seller, Barbara Sasaki. We had great communication about the bag and it arrived in record time. It is so beautiful with a great lining and a multitude of pockets. You will not be disappointed with a purchase from Barb. I feel like I bought it from a friend....go visit
Sasaki Creations.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Free Business Cards...

Check out the business card giveaway post here.
It is for 500 business cards for FREE!!! Great offer from 10oneworld.

I'd love to win since I'm tired of my cards. I went to Moo and even with a 1/2 off on the 2nd 100 mini cards I was reluctant to spend $ I getting cheap in my old age? Cautious? In fact I made this collage in Picasa thinking I'd use it on a card.

I'd rather spread $37 around on etsy!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I know it's been awhile but much has been crazy here and now hopefully calming down. We had a yard/garage sale today and of course, it rained on and off so we're a little soggy but lighter in 'stuff'.
I've been making alot of the magnetic bookmarks and became very frustrated along the way. The laminating film I've been using sometimes bubbles, sometimes not. I can't figure it out to see if there's a common reason but problem solved.
I did have a wonderful order for them from an avid etsy buyer.
She purchased several and then ordered more.They are a gift for the members of her team for a Susan G. Komen walk. How sweet and wonderful that she's doing that!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The boys are home....

We made it! I'm not going to say it was all peaches and cream but it was mostly wonderful. They are very active, very scheduled and it was a complete turn around to our laid back, relaxing life style. I barely had time to read the newspaper (did I miss anything?) and had to squeeze in showers at odd times but we created many memories and established deeper connections. The parents' flights were uneventful (not like their departures) and they arrived home on time, though exhausted. We spent the better part of the next day cleaning. Should I describe the condition of the bathroom used by 2 little boys?...nah! But all is pretty much back to 'our' usual. I wouldn't have traded it for the world. After all, that's why we moved here.
How can you get upset with faces like these?!...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Seven Days

It is gorgeous outside today and DH and I went for a ride to a part of town we never knew and learn. We had lunch out and now I'm ready to nap. It's been a busy couple of weeks with holidays and company and appointments. Now we must rest up for next week's invasion! We are having the boys for a whole week, SEVEN DAYS, but who's counting? They are so well behaved alone and such terrors together we will need all the energy we can muster. With school and Little League and soccer and gymnastics we will really have an action packed SEVEN DAYS, but who's counting?! When your children are grown and out of the house your pace is altered dramatically....easygoing, relaxed and spur of the moment or not. With kids, know! We've only had them for 2 days straight so this will be interesting. I've tried to get ahead on etsy stuff and promos so I can devote all my waking hours to them for all SEVEN DAYS! The little one loves my yarn and takes all the balls out of the nearest basket to 'wrap' the house. The buttons tend to get a bit scattered. The big one is better at entertaining himself and is actually quite helpful but SEVEN DAYS can be a long time. And of course I am worried a bit about the adults as they will be out of the country and don't speak the language. And as you may have guessed, they will be gone for SEVEN DAYS.
So you may not hear from me for awhile as I may be tied up (by the little one and the yarn) and just a bit busy for.....7 days!