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Tag Archives: Etsy

A new project on canvas

Awhile ago I bought a bunch of canvases and they have been sitting in my craft room ever since. This past weekend I spent it inside since I wasn’t feeling too well so I wanted to try something new. I thought, why not try making a canvas?

The first one I did was made from a stencil and some distress ink. It came out really well, except for the fact that the ink never really dries. I went to put my hand on the canvas and my thumb prints were in some of the ink. So, I needed another idea. I tried the same stencil with some dark blue paint, but the paint seeped under the stencil. I decided to just paint the whole background dark blue.

It took several coats and while I was waiting for it to dry, I went to go look for a quote to put on it. I have been pinning inspirational quotes for awhile on Pinterest so I knew I would find something there. And I did!

Here are pictures of the canvases:

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Hopefully I will be making more of these to sell on Etsy. I really liked making them. Let me know what you think.

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Etsy – http://www.etsy.com/shop/scrapsecrets

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Custom Design Baby Boy Card

The other day, one of my friends asked me to make her a custom order. I made a card from her in the past and she loved it so I was so happy to be able to make another one for her. A friend of hers had a baby and she wanted a baby card. No problem!

The story is a mix of emotions because this family went through a terrible tragedy almost two years ago. And in one of those Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon type stories, I was introduced to this family but not only my friend from work, but a friend from high school as well. I actually donated cards to a fundraiser for Hayden’s Heart a little over a year ago since the story is such an amazing one. I can’t imagine what the family went through and for them to be able to turn the tragedy around and help other families facing a similar heart affliction is absolutely amazing. (You can read all about their story at  www.haydensheart.org or https://www.facebook.com/haydensheartfoundation)

I wanted to make an extra special card for them. So, my friend Marie and I talked about concepts and I told her I had something I thought would work! I used the Baby Steps Cricut cartridge to cut out the baby boy sleeping on the moon. I used the Rock Princess Cricut cartridge to cut out the phrase Little Angel with a halo. I showed her the cutout and she asked if it was possible to add a whisp of orange hair to the baby. I used the hair from another cut from Baby Steps and just glued it under his hat. The “Little Angel” phrase was cut out in orange as an homage to Hayden – kind of like he was looking down on his brother from heaven!

To create the background piece, I used some dark blue card stock for the night sky. I took my Martha Stewart stars punch that is square and allows you to punch the design at any place on the paper to create a star filled sky. Then I took a piece of white card stock and sprayed it with some clear shimmer mist so that when I placed it behind the starry background, the stars would sparkle! (You can see this better in person – it was tough to capture in the photograph.) 

All the layers were glued together and placed on a 5 x 7 card base. The inside reads “Welcome Sweet Baby Boy” from a Simon Says Stamp exclusive stamp set. It was stamped in Hero Arts Shadow ink in Navy. (I didn’t get a picture of the inside before I sent it). 

Here is what the card looks like:

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Thank you so much for stopping by! Feel free to leave comments or questions and subscribe. I love to hear what you have to say. 

YouTube – Chelebelle1120

Etsy – http://www.etsy.com/shop/scrapsecrets

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Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scrapsecrets/268068073266999?ref=hl

Twitter – scrapsecrets

New Idea by Accident

Yesterday I was in AC Moore, looking at the $2 discount stamp bin when a woman came over and asked for my help. She was making invitations for two different occasions (a tea party for adults and a youth event for teenage girls). She had three stamps in her hands and wanted to know which one I thought would be best for her to buy for both invitations. We got to talking and I gave her some ideas of doing invitations differently than what she had in mind. She said I knew you knew what you were doing when I saw you digging through that bin! I told her that this is what I did for a side business and she asked for my card. (Note to self – start keeping some business cards on you at ALL times!!)

Unfortunately I didn’t have any on me, but we were in a craft store with paper and markers around. I used a sheet of paper that they have to test markers and gave her my info. This exchange gave me an idea – if I could give her different ideas to make invitations, why shouldn’t I make some and add them to my shop? So last night, I did a mock up for a tea party invitation. I think that it came out really cute. Here it is – what do you think?

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It will have a matching envelope. I am using the We R Memory Keepers Punch Board to create one. I will probably add a little something to it as well – something tea party themed and maybe even some of that same background paper to make it all cohesive. I’m excited about all of these new ideas. Stay tuned for more. I plan on working on some gift tags – maybe some to go along with the invitations….. : ) 

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave comments or questions and subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel! Be sure to check out my Etsy store for all the new designs I will have coming. 

Michele

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New Business Ideas

Since sales on Etsy are slow and shows this time of year aren’t as well attended as the fall, I am trying to find other avenues for my business. I have a couple of ideas to add to Etsy, but I also have one that has nothing to do with Etsy. I need some feedback from all of you who read this blog. Ahhh – Market Research! I feel like I’m back in my marketing classes in grad school!

First I’ll do my Etsy ideas. For all my teacher friend, I was thinking about selling bulletin board designs. Maybe apples for the beginning of the year so that the teachers can write all the kids’ names and then other designs for different times of the year. Maybe snowflakes for winter and then flowers for spring? I was thinking of making them in packs of 25 with the option of adding additional ones for a small fee. I also was thinking of adding a personalization option – I would add the kids’ names for a small fee too. Not sure if that is practical or not. Thoughts?

My next idea for Etsy is to add scrapbook pages. They will be pre-made and either sold as a package or individually. These will be easier since I have done tons of scrapbook pages – I just have to pick a couple of occasions and then pricing. (You can see I have done my research – lol. I actually just started thinking about some of these options!) Again – thoughts?

I have a couple of other things in the works, but I’ll save them for another post! As far as the true new business idea, if you follow me on Facebook, you already know what it is! I want to expand and do a mobile part to my business. I’d like to do birthday parties where the kids come and make something. So far my ideas are to either have all of the attendees make a scrapbook page for the birthday girl (or boy) and then she (or he) will have a unique gift from all of their friends. They pages don’t have to be filled with pictures (although they can be added later). The kids can also make cards or paper dolls that look like them. All of these decisions would be made in advance so that I would know what to cut and bring. It also depends on the ages of the attendees how detailed I could get with their projects. 

So, does anyone have any suggestions or comments on any of my ideas? Good? Bad? Not thought out enough? (I know the answer to that one ha). Feel free to leave comments and suggestions below. I welcome all (constructive) criticism as well as ideas!

Thanks for stopping by!

Michele

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New Year, New Projects

Well, Happy 2014 everyone! I hope that this year is a great one. Last year was a tough one for my family. We lost three family members in less than three weeks, right before the holidays. There were also some more personal losses I suffered this year, but I am hoping that 2014 is a turnaround year!

Especially professionally. I have been struggling with work since I came back from being on disability. I just don’t seem to have the passion for it and I long to be home, creating things for my other business. But since I can’t live off of what I make from there, I need to try to rekindle some fondness for my job before I become completely miserable. 

Which is why I have been working so hard on coming up with new designs and new ideas for Etsy! I started making cards and other projects to submit to magazines and now I just need to photograph them and actually send them in. I wish I should show them to you because they are different from what I normally do, but the rules say it can’t be shown anywhere else. That is, until it is accepted. (If it is accepted?) 

I am also working on some baby albums for my Etsy shop. I searched Etsy this morning to see what was available and I couldn’t find anything like what I wanted to make. This can either be good because I could fill a void or it could be terrible because no one wants them! But, instead of doubting myself, I am going to go ahead and make it and see what happens. Who know – it could be a hit! 

Another project I want to add are tags. I made some for a baby shower and some for Christmas. I would love to be able to sell some for party or wedding favors, either as a thank you or with the bride and groom’s initials or themed items on there. I made the ones for my sister’s shower and I think they came out really cute! (Not that I am biased or anything!) 

So, with a long To-Do List and a great iTunes playlist to keep me occupied, I am off to make some new things for my shop. I hope to be able to post pictures soon of the new projects. Then again, you could always go over to my shop and check them out : ) (Shameless plug, I know!) 

Michele

Busy Busy!

I know I’ve been neglecting my blog. And to my readers, I have to say I’m sorry! But I am back. I started working a couple of weeks ago after being off for a very long time and I am trying to get back into a routine. I think I finally have one, so you should start hearing more from me!

So what’s new? I am working on a couple of custom orders. I am doing some party favor tags and guest book items for a baby shower. I also got a custom request for a new home card with some coordinating gift cards. The last thing I have been trying to work on are things for my craft show. I am participating in the same show that I did last year (my first ever!) and this year it’s a two day show. I am super excited, but also nervous. I am working on my set up and creating some new items so that I have more to sell this year.

With all that being said, I have had to neglect things like my blog. But, if you ever want to catch up with me, I also do some videos on YouTube, so feel free to check me out over there. It’s mostly hauls and some small projects. I need to learn how to be more efficient with my time and maybe I can balance everything. Or, there just needs to be more hours in the day!

Hopefully I will be back soon with some new projects that I have created. I do want to write a blog on the custom orders I created and show you guys the pictures. I also will be back with a post about the craft fair. I will post pictures of my booth and I would love some feedback and suggestions. It’s tough to come up with some creative display ideas!

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave comments or questions and subscribe. Here are the other places you can find me:

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/chelebelle1120

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Etsy – http://www.etsy.com/shop/scrapsecrets

Finding Your Voice (in life as well as crafting!)

My family is rarely in the same quarters for extended lengths of time. So, this weekend, when several of us were, I got an interesting perspective on the dynamic of the household. There always seemed to be one (or two) voices that were heard the most while the others seemed to struggle to be heard. And those roles rarely changed. Once in awhile a loud voice would take a break for a second and a quieter voice could be heard. But, the opinion of the quieter was usually squashed when the louder one was done taking a breath. 

You can also compare it to presence. Why is it that  a group of people can be in the same room and one gets noticed and others get “forgotten” or overlooked”? Do they have a certain quality that outshines (or is louder) than the others? Or do they just command a room when they walk into it? Do they need to be heard and seen while others take a backseat to them? And how do you make a switch from one group to the other?

This doesn’t just apply to people in life. This can apply to the craft world. How does one Etsy shop get noticed above all the rest? Where does their voice come from? Is it flash and attitude that get them noticed? How does the artist create that persona for their shop?

Lately with all of the fierce competition on Etsy, it is tough to get noticed. But there always seems to be those few competitive shops that drive most of your category’s business. Sure you can look at how they took their pictures, what they used as tags, the quality of materials used, etc but how can you copy that special something that they have? Does it come from artist confidence?

All too often, we are too close to our pieces to write about them objectively. We downplay how difficult it was to make the piece. We price them at barely breaking even amounts because we think no one will pay THAT much for the item. We see them through the eyes of a jewelry or card maker and not a consumer. We can’t seem to get descriptions that capture the true essence of our products. Or we have a great idea of how to draw in a customer with a description and then when it comes time to write them, the words don’t come or somehow they seem silly. 

Maybe this isn’t everyone. Maybe this is just me. However, I don’t think that is the case. At dinner the other night with several other women who sell on Etsy, we discussed this issue. We all found it rather difficult to make our products sound as awesome as they are. And that is the truth – they all are amazing items! But somehow, when it comes to conveying that awesomeness to the consumer, we all get stuck. We become the quiet voice, allowing the louder one(s) to outshine us. 

I think that with time comes confidence. The more shows you do, the better you know your audience. The more sales you get from Etsy, the more you will understand what keyboards to use and how to take pictures. However, to do well at shows and to increase sales, you have to find your crafty voice. And that is tough to do! In life, as well as crafts, some just seem to be born with that voice. The rest of us, well, we just have to work on it!