Saturday, March 29, 2008

Etsy Extras

I'm discovering alot of fun site features and helpful etsy sites. I also learned that only days after I spent all that time editing my listings one by one to add international shipping, etsy added batch editing for shipping. Would've been nice to have a week ago, but it'll be very useful in the future, especially with the usps shipping changes on their way. has a fun feature, and rather useful for someone like myself who is still on dial up. It's called the Heart-o-matic. All you have to do is search for your shop and the heart-o-matic comes up with a list that shows each of your items, how many times it's been viewed and how many hearts it has. This is saving me checking hearts one item at a time. Now what I do is look at the heart-o-matic then I can just check the items that have new hearts. Heart-o-matic me baby!
Ahhh! I just went to etsytools to look at their other features and discovered they're closing the site! Thanks alot to the mean people who are forcing them out. This was their announcement:

It is with a heavy heart that I announce today that Etsytools will be closing in two weeks time. It's something we've been talking about for a little while now, but today the camel's back was finally broken.

I will never understand why so many people think the world owes them. I get dozens of emails every day from people who think I could do better, and I should do better because they say so. I should be more professional, I should respond quicker, I should offer more features, less features, better features. I should pay hundreds of dollars for a server that is lightening fast so you don't have to wait 10 seconds for the charts to load. I've been called every name under the sun, I've been threatened with legal
action, and today I received a death threat. A f****ing death threat!

I recognise that for every jealous idiot there are a dozen wonderful etsians out there, but I just don't care anymore. I used to love the community but it has changed so much lately I don't even recognise it. I don't have any faith in
Etsy anymore, and I'm tired of hacking away at this website just to be humiliated and mocked on the forums. There are people who will be jumping for joy to see this website close, and I'm glad to finally have satisfied the f***wits. Leave me alone now.

Anyone who purchased advertising in the past week or so will be refunded. Everyone who purchased before that should use their impressions before we close the site on March 31st, or contact me and we'll sort something out.

Thank you to everyone who has offered their support and encouragement over the past 8 months. I'm sorry to those who are disappointed, but there's just so much more to life than Etsy. If anyone wants me, I'll be at St Kilda Beach.

What is wrong with people these days! It's a free and helpful site and if they don't like it why don't they just not use it, why all the anger. This kind of thing just makes me sick.

It looks like a form of the Heart-o-matic will still exist at but as far as I can tell it's just hearts for your entire shop not item by item. Ok, I was thinking this would be a fun post but this mean people stuff has gotten me down, it's the reason I avoid the news in all forms, this mean 'ole world just drains me. Maybe I'll find some fun stuff later.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I've Gone International

NOTE: My shop The Beehive is now Papercut Kitchen! Please visit my shop Papercut Kitchen by clicking here.

I've been wanting to add international shipping to my shop forever but just haven't found the time to do it. Now that I'm having trouble finding time to craft and I've been doing more playing on the computer I decided it was time to dive in. I got to use the new postal scale I got for Christmas and hauled all my items and packaging out to start the process. Doing it all with a dial up connection was a hastle. I got on and played around with numbers and different countries so that I could add just Canada and Everywhere Else, but wanted to try and make sure a miscalculation of Everywhere Else didn't end up sinking me. I think I found amounts that would cover the main places. As long as someone from a strangely expensive country doesn't buy something I think I'm covered. It took me two days to get it set up but now I have international shipping on everything!

Now I'm waiting for my first international sale so I can see how it goes. Alot goes into shipping international it seems, customs forms and such, but I know it's just a matter of doing and learning as I go. Etsy does have a nice feature where you can save shipping profiles, that way when I list items in the future all I have to do is pick the profile that most fits the item and it loads the info for me. Setting up the profiles takes some time but it's well worth it. I think it's exciting to think that my things could start ending up all over the world, heck I've been excited that they're making it all over the country!

Thinking of going international yourself? These links may give you some helpful info, oh and don't forget, usps is upping their shipping prices and changing the way they price shipments starting May 12, 2008, stock up on your Forever stamps while you can get them at the current price!

usps price and services changes homepage
usps index of countries where you can find shipping rules and regs for specific countries
EtsyWiki customs information
Etsy forums are also extremely helpful, especially now that they have made their forum search functional. Go to the forums and do a search for "international shipping" and you will find lots of helpful information on how to go international and learn through others' experiences.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Magical Origami Jumping Frogs

When I received my AREtsy recycled swap gift (a very cute apron made by Julie Anne of Diamondmeenuh with one of her husband's button up shirts) there was an extra surprise for the boys, a ton of brightly colored origami jumping frogs complete with diorama frog habitat! She told me this little concoction had saved her many times in her daycare job by entertaining little ones forever. I got the gift and immediately went out of town so the magic toy was set aside for later. This turned out to be a wonderful turn of events because about a week later we were all back home and I was getting sick. With no hubby I was wondering what the heck I was going to do with my wild children when (picture heavenly ahhhing and soft inexplicable lighting) I remembered Julie Anne's gift! It was a life saver and entertained the boys long enough for me to get a good rest and the second wind I needed to be able to feed them and put them to bed. Thanks Julie Anne!

The boys show off their favorite frogs.

Lil' Spitfire is trying to figure out what the heck a diorama is and how to get in on the action.

Mr. Golden Curls tells little bro all about frogs.

Monday, March 17, 2008

One AREtsian Gal's Trash is Another's Treasure

I hope it is anyway! I recently joined a swap, my first one ever, and it was alot of fun. The rules for this swap were to make something, a nice something, by recycling, reusing, and repurposing. I was so pleased with what I made I was tempted to keep it for myself.

The low down: This is a mini album made with paper lunch bag pages bound with an old shoelace and a cardboard cover upholstered with my old belt and beloved cords. Inside are bottle cap flowers and can tab embellishments and my favorite feature, tags made of old postcards! I was so excited about this simple idea, postcards are the original journaling spot. I also threw in a few can tab snakes for her kiddos.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Weekend Feature: paynesgrey

The last few weeks I was in need of some cuteness and this week I'm back to brooding and meloncholy. In honor of this mood shift I am very excited to be featuring my first artist! Diana Crites is a painter who sells her work at Talking to Diana and reading her blog, a muted pallette, has made me miss painting and think that maybe it is possible for me to find the time to put a little art back into my life. Click on her images to go to the etsy listing and be sure to read her interview below, she's one cool kitty and I had fun discovering we have alot in common.

Delve, an oil painting by Diana Crites.

You can view her new promotional bookmarks featuring this painting, and maybe even earn one of your very own by visiting her blog!

As much as I enjoy Diana's paintings I absolutely fell in love with two pen and ink drawings she has listed in her shop. They feature macabre images inspired by old poems that wreak of fear-tactic parenting. She has the entire poems in her listings (just click on the image) and are certainly worth the read. For those of you not click happy here's an excerpt of each.

Snip-snip by Diana Crites

The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb by Heinrich Hoffman

But mind now, Conrad, what I say,
Don't suck your thumb while I'm away.
The great tall tailor always comes
To little boys that suck their thumbs.

Snip! Snap! Snip! the scissors go;
And Conrad cries out - Oh! Oh! Oh!
Snip! Snap! Snip! They go so fast;
That both his thumbs are off at last.
Mamma comes home; there Conrad stands,
And looks quite sad, and shows his hands;-
"Ah!" said Mamma "I knew he'd come
To naughty little Suck-a-Thumb."

Matches by Diana Crites

The Dreadful Story of Pauline and the Matches by Heinrich Hoffman

But Pauline would not take advice,
She lit a match, it was so nice!
It crackled so, it burned so clear,-
Exactly like the picture here.
She jumped for joy and ran about,
And was too pleased to put it out.

Now see! oh! see, what a dreadful thing
The fire has caught her apron-string;
Her apron burns, her arms, her hair;
She burns all over, everywhere.

So she was burnt with all her clothes,
And arms and hands, and eyes and nose;
Till she had nothing more to lose
Except her little scarlet shoes;
And nothing else but these was found
Among her ashes on the ground.

Diana's Interview

You can read Diana's artist statement here.

What do you do for a living in the daytime?

I am a fulltime stay-at-home mom to two young boys, aged 2.5 and 1 year. In my copious spare time, I'm a frustrated artist. In my previous life, before children, I was a professional graphic designer and eventually art director for a big Fortune 500 corporation. After the dotcom crash in '00, I left the corporate world to create a successful consulting business. I was able to retire last year to raise my boys full-time. I am absolutely loving it and find this job infinitely more challenging and more rewarding than anything previous. I just wish it came with coffee breaks. :)

Tell us a little about your etsy self

I opened my Etsy shop in January. My goal at the time was merely to take a bold step and get my work "out there." I had also hoped to spur myself onward to create new art and take risks, creatively. It worked. Every superfluous moment I have I'm busy producing; I'm working on projects I've only daydreamed about before. I credit the majority of it to being in the midst of an intensely creative, brave, prolific community of artists and artisans. You can't help but be caught up in it, and it's great.

What advice do you have for people trying to sell their art?

I have two pieces of advice for those trying to sell their art. The first is the most important:1) Be true to your vision. I think, as an artist, it's incredibly important to be true to your vision. It's so easy to get lost, especially when you add a commercial aspect to it. In my opinion, the thing that is the most valuable is one's unique voice. If you spend too much time and attention trying to capture popular color palettes or subject matter, you begin to get clouded. Your perspective, your individual tone, is the most valuable asset you have as an artist. 2) Find your audience. You have an audience. It's just a matter of finding them. I think the Internet is an invaluable resource for artists; disseminating your art globally is a good thing. Creating an art blog is seemingly an essential first step, then linking backwards from all the forums, social networking sites, photo sharing sites, etc. will introduce your artwork broadly. Join forums and artist communities and seek opinions on who your art appeals to. Then go directly to the source, whenever possible, and avoid losing your hard-earned pennies to commission. It's too easy to be a starving artist.

All images were used with the permission of Diana Crites

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Mr. John Steinbeck Everybody

So, the other day I was tagged (the blogging equivalent of an email forward for those of you, like myself, who are ignorant in the way of the blog) for the first time. I've seen some tell-us-about-yourself tags but I thought this was a cool one: find the nearest book with atleast 123 pages, find the 5th sentence and post the next three. The closest book was a dictionary so I'll spare you that. The next one was East of Eden by John Steinbeck and it is one of my all time favorite books.

"I don't want to go to California."
"You are my wife," he said softly "I want you to come with me."
She was silent and did not speak of it again.

After doing this one I'm now a little obsessed with this excercise. I keep walking over to the bookshelf to see what other books have to say on page 123. I'm finding that alot of my favorite books sound horribly boring in this context and more than one sounded incredibly vulger, though I know the books on a whole aren't. And some of the worst books I've ever read sounded like literary masterpieces, full of sage wisdom, atleast through those brief three sentences. As interesting as this all has been, just like the forwards I receive in my email, I will not be passing this on.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Weekend Feature: thetinyfig

This week I discovered The Tiny Fig. I think I'm in need of cuteness because this shop is full of polymer objects that are sweet as pie. Connie makes everything from cell phone charms to jewelry and each item is pinch your cheeks cute! Click on a pic to see her etsy listing or visit her at You can also find her at her blog, or view her Flikr photos here. Read The Tiny Fig interview below.

Bread Buddy Phone Charms

Timmy The Pirate Necklace

Happy Blue Cloud Brooch

All photos used with the permission of The Tiny Fig

What do you do for a living in the daytime?

Etsy is my day job and I love it.

Tell us a little about your etsy self

I am an Etsy addict and not ashamed to admit it! I am always in the forums some where giving advice, seeking advice or just chatting. I've met really great bunch of sellers and learned lots and LOTS of things from them about business and crafting. Being able to run my own shop really excites me I love coming up with fun ways to get my shop out there and share my learning experiences with others. Some days, I think that the whole business operation excites me more than the crafting does!

Tell us a little about your non-etsy self

Hmm.. I'm not very good at talking about myself but here goes. I'm 21 and I live in beautiful Vancouver, B.C. where there are beaches and mountains. Aren't we lucky? I have a 3 year old dog (pomeranian cross poodle) named Suki that I love to death. I love watching movies, cooking and just hanging out with my friends. I am currently taking the semester off school but I'm working on getting my degree in Marketing or Accounting or maybe both ;) I have a love for graphic arts (shhh.. it's a secret). I love to doodle. I wish I could sing. I really REALLY can't draw. I heart my nintendo ds. I dream of owning my own retail store one day. I love watching hockey games. I love guitar heroes even though I'm terrible! HAHA this is all so random!

What do you make and why did you start making it?

I just got bored during the summer and started crafting. Lots of things strike my interest and I dab at this and that until I find something I really like. Working with polymer clay is really relaxing for me. It's a lot of fun experimenting with different techniques and seeing what I can create with it.

How did you discover etsy and how long have you been selling on etsy?

I discovered Etsy from a blog. I don't really remember which one exactly but I fell in love with Etsy at first sight. I've been on Etsy for almost 6 months now.

I noticed you’ve made quite a few sales in a short time on etsy, any selling secrets you’d like to divulge?

There are no secrets. I do a lot of promotion off Etsy. It's about finding what's right for you. Before you go promoting you have to determine who your target market is and consider how someone like them would think. It's also about finding a good logo and creating a strong brand for yourself. For me I have my winking bread as my avatar and even though I changed my shop name people still recognize me for who I am because of it.

Where did you come up with your shop name?

Recently, I changed my name for business purposes and some sellers on Etsy helped me come up with it. It was lots of fun! I originally wanted to name the shop Figments but it was already taken so we came up with a few variations, I did a poll on my blog and we ended up with The Tiny Fig. Fig being short for figments. I love it. Everyone in the forums refers to me as "tiny" and it's funny because I really am a tiny girl.

What inspires you?

The question should be what doesn't inspire me! I get inspired mostly by yummy food I eat, things I see during my daily activities, or things people say to me. I get a lot of suggestions from people about things I should make and eventually I do get around to making them.What advice do you have for people trying to sell their crafts?Don't give up! People who are just starting off always expect that their shop will take off and get hundreds of sales. It takes A LOT of work to promote a shop. I spend countless hours everyday just doing this. When the sales aren't coming in you have to be creative and think of new ways to attract customers. No one can buy from your shop if you don't tell them about it.