Thursday, July 29, 2010

Music To Craft To

I like to have music on when I make jewelry or other crafts.  Recently I have been searching for some new music, and last night came upon Will Stratton's new album, New Vanguard Blues.  I am in LOVE with this album, every song on it is beautiful.  After downloading it I was listening to it in the background and realized it deserved my full attention.  I turned the lights down, lay on the couch and listened to the whole thing from start to finish.  It has been a long time since I've been moved enough by an album to just sit still and listen.  Will Stratton is offering it for download online for only $8, and you can listen to every song before you decide to purchase.

Other favorites to craft to:

Hoping that brings you a little inspiration :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jewelry, Purse and Organic Kid's Clothing Party in L.A.

As I have mentioned, moving my dog/best-friend-ever Kenzo to New Zealand is costing me a small fortune.  A friend suggested I hold a "jewelry party" to try and make some more sales/fundraise.  Just the thought of it made me uncomfortable -- inviting my friends over to try and get them to part with their hard-earned cash?  I shuddered at the thought of them feeling obligated to buy something.  Still, with the next round of vet visits and payment to the pet exporters looming, I decided to suck it up and do it.

I put it up as a private event on Facebook and invited about 20 women I know.  Then, the same friend (she's full of good ideas) suggested I join forces with another friend of hers that sells purses and gifts through the 31 Gifts line.  I also thought of Norma from the Flying Lessons e-course who I met on the weekend, who had mentioned that she had some stock of her awesome organic kids apparel that she wanted to shift.

So it became an event!  It's now going to be held at a business location in Woodland Hills, next Wednesday July 28th at 6.30pm.  There will be wine and appetizers, yum :) If you're in the L.A. area and available, we'd love to see you!  Please check out the event page on Facebook and RSVP.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Flying Lessons Meet Up

On Saturday I was fortunate enough to meet up with three of my classmates from Kelly Rae Roberts' Flying Lessons e-course: Kathryn, Norma, and Monica.  We spent two hours at a cafe and talked about everything creative under the sun!

Kathryn Hansen coordinated our meeting.  Kathryn is an incredible artist and is moving into photography.  You can see some of her work on her website.

Norma launched herself into the creative world by making hand-dyed, organic kids shirts. These shirts are super cute and have great messages on them (and inside them!)  Norma has a great website you can check out here.

Monica is a creative whirlwind, or as she calls herself, The Creative Beast!  Monica has lots of exciting projects going on that she blogs about here.

It was so great to meet up with these inspiring women.  Artistically, Kathryn's work just blows me away.  The way Norma got herself into the creative business world through her own hard work and figuring things out is so inspiring and motivating to me.  And Monica is a fountain of knowledge about creative people and opportunities and really puts herself out into the creative world, attributes I really admire and hope to emulate.  Thanks for the wonderful time and conversation ladies!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Adding Facebook and Twitter Share Buttons To Your Blog

 I just did this, as you can see below each post, yay!  Here are the tutorials from Blogger Sentral where I found out how to do it if you would like to do it for your blog.  Easy peasy.

Adding a Facebook share button

Adding a Twitter share button


Monday, July 12, 2010

Top 10 Craft Business Blog Posts

I love reading blogs about the ins and outs of handmade craft businesses and lifestyle.  Here are my top 10 current favorite posts (in no particular order).  Enjoy!

1.  Disposable Culture & Our Fear of Commitment on Scoutie Girl 

2.  Growing Your Business Beyond Etsy on Crafting an MBA

3.  How to Use Etsy as a Launch Pad on Crafting an MBA

4.  Getting Paid Partially in Time on Craftypod

5.  Starting Your Own Etsy Business Part 3 on Design*Sponge

6.  Setting Big Picture Goals on Crafting an MBA

7.  Blog Comments: Part Deux on

8.  Starting Small, Growing Slowly on Modish Biz Tips

9.  Everything You Need to Know About Running a Giveaway on Your Blog:  Part One on Handmade Spark (and Part 2)

10.  Etsy Seller Makes $4000 at Home Art Show on Handmade Spark -- what a brilliant idea this is, I'm thinking of approaching some of my local Flying Lessons e-course classmates about trying this.

Do you have any favorite crafty biz blog posts you'd like to share? I'd love to see them!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How I package my jewelry

Since I was packing up an Etsy order tonight, I thought I'd take some pictures of the process and show you the way I send out my jewelry. I've had a few nice compliments on it, though I imagine this is something that will change and evolve over time. There are so many great threads in the Etsy forums about packaging, the options are endless.

First, I pull out a page from this book, that I bought from a secondhand store. At first, it felt a bit sacrilegious to tear pages out of a poetry book, but I've desensitized to it by now...

Then, I fold the page into a little origami envelope:

Which I learned to do from this video: 

Then I put each piece of jewelry into its own plastic bag, unfold the envelope, and put a business card and the jewelry inside:

I then fold the envelopes back up, and seal the backs with an Art & Clasp label:

The finishing touch is a birds-egg blue ribbon, tied in a bow:

Finally, for mailing, I put them in bubble mailers, with an Art & Clasp address label (blurred out for the photo!):

That's it! Doesn't take long, now that I've mastered the envelope folding.  Fairly cost-efficient too!  How do you package your wares?

A Beautiful Video -- PS22 sings Phoenix

I've lost count of how many times I've watched this video, but it still brings happy tears to my eyes:

Friday, July 2, 2010

How I decorated my Planner Pad

Inspired as usual by Kimberly Wilson, and prompted by my increasing pile of goal lists and to-do lists and post-it notes, I ordered myself a Planner Pad.

Planner Pads generally arrive looking like this:

Not so exciting...

But there is plenty of inspiration to pretty them up a bit, which is what I spent this evening doing, resulting in this (in the background are fabric circles cut out for hair flowers to be made this weekend):

You might recognize the images along the top and bottom -- those are the ones I use in my necklaces!

Do you use a planner?  How have you prettied it up?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cassie Boorn's Twenty-Something Self Letters Project - Must Read for All Women!

Heart in the sidewalk outside my local CVS Pharmacy.

I heard Cassie Boorn being interviewed on NPR yesterday.  Cassie is 22 years old and sent a call out into the blogosphere asking women to write letters to their 20-something selves to help her in her own search for wisdom as a young woman and a mother.  The responses are incredible.  All women need to read these and think about this for themselves.  Pass it on!

Networking for Women

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Val Gals Networking Dinner.  This is a monthly event for women that meets in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles (hence the "Val Gals").  The dinners are held at restaurants and organized by Katy Tafoya, whom I met at Kimberly Wilson's book-signing on Friday.  Anyone (female) is welcome to attend, Valley resident or not, entrepreneur or not.

This was the first networking-type event I've attended and it was quite enjoyable, even though socializing with strangers is not always my favorite thing to do!  I handed out a stack of business cards, met website/graphic designer and a massage therapist (two professionals I've been thinking about searching for), and gave a business card for my day-job company to a psychology major looking for a job.  I brought a friend with me who is currently a stay-at-home mom, and she met a woman who owns a nanny agency.  Another woman at the table found a potential job lead for her husband.  Everyone was very sweet and open and the conversation was flowing.

If you are a female entrepreneur, I highly suggest you check out events like this in your area.  And if you're in L.A. and would like to come to the July event, let me know and I can pass on the information!