Thursday, January 22, 2009

Outstanding Etsian #1

I'm in love with a pendant.



If I had a love in my life, I would tell him I wanted this for Valentine's Day. It's 25.00 and you can find it and other amazing things in WireGirl's store. I think I love the pendant because it's so simple but so graceful looking. It reminds me of the Party Tree in The Shire.

Good gracious, I am a nerd.

I'll stop salivating over jewelry now, and focus on another task at hand- updating WarmandHappy's Myspace site. I know Myspace is pretty dead now and all the cool kids are on Facebook, but until I get more items in my shop (everytime I have more than 14 items, I end up selling a couple) I don't want to move to Facebook just yet.

I'm having trouble finding a background that doesn't look like it was created specifically for an angry 14 year old girl, so I may be working on that profile for a while. If you're still a Myspace user, feel free to add me as a friend. I'm nice. I don't bite. And I can hook you up with warm and happy items.

C'mon, life doesn't get any easier than that.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Personality, Productivity, and Prayers

Ahhh, what a week it's been. I've been up to my ears in work, but that's exactly how I like it! Does that make me a Type A personality? We bandy around that term all the time, but what exactly does it mean?




From the bastion of all things TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY TRUE AND RESEARCHED*, Wikipedia:



"Type A individuals can be described as impatient, excessively
time-conscious, insecure about their status, highly competitive, hostile and
aggressive, and incapable of relaxation.



They are often high achieving workaholics who multitask, drive
themselves with deadlines, and are unhappy about the smallest of delays.
Because
of these characteristics, Type A individuals are often described as
"stress
junkies." Type B individuals, in contrast, are described as patient,
relaxed,
and easy-going.
There is also a Type AB mixed profile for
people who cannot be clearly categorized
."




*not true or carefully researched

Riiight. I'm pretty sure that most people would fall into that Type AB category, really. Anyway, I'm definitely not a Type A.


...but I have been very focused and business-y lately. The hard work does indeed pay off, as I made two sales this week, getting me closer to that goal I made in my Crafty Resolutions. I also learned that my "Rosie" scarf is by far my best selling product though my "Peasy" scarves get a lot more views and hearts. Does the three dollars make that much of a difference between the two? I personally like the Peasy line of scarflettes a bit better.


I also knitted up a massive cowl scarf (pics to come). It was my first time completely making up a lace pattern, and while it's very simple, you can definitely see I was "winging it". I like it though, so I plan to wear it through the spring months and such.


Now, it's off to work (the "real" job) and to find a way to make business cards.


Also, on a more personal note: In reference to a previous post about my lovely, vivacious, and talented crafty Grandma who is in the hospital- she is still with us. She is still in the hospital, but has been recovering, albeit slowly from her physical trials. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Free Facebook Advertising is my Friend!

I'd been thinking of ways to help to advertise my little shop for the past few days. Don't get me wrong- I'm still trying to find my niche and improve my techniques, so I don't expect or necessarily desire a sale every day, but I do want to make WarmandHappy more visible and well... visitable.


So I decided to take out an ad on Facebook. I know I always see ads in the margins for extremely random products, so I figured my ads may fit right in. They're running right now, and so far I've gotten a lot of visits, and a lot of visibility. Best of all, I got this for FREE.


See, after making my ad, I went to the checkout page, and before entering in my payment information, I saw there was a box for a "coupon code". I didn't even know Facebook HAD coupons- but I decided to go on my trusty RetailmeNot.com and look up the site. Lo and behold, Facebook is running a campaign that gives you 25 dollars in free advertising!


In the grand scheme of things, this isn't much, but it's an easy way to see how the service works. You can also apparently sign up with Visa's Business program and get 100 dollars in free Facebook advertising, but I didn't try that (they had some suspicious "legalese" that I'd have to wade through before clicking "Accept"), so I won't endorse it.




In any case, I'm pretty stoked about this option, though I probably won't continue with it after my freebie is done. I simply don't have the money in the bank to do that sort of thing. Perhaps when my shop is a bit more established, I'll spring for advertising again!



...ooh, I wonder if myspace has a similar deal. I'm off to find out!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Arrrrr! Give me ye napkins!



I just made these- they're pirate themed napkin rings and I think they're really adorable and pretty fierce. I love 'em! I'm thinking of making some red and gold ones (non-pirate like, they'll have jeweled embellishments) a bit later.

Unfinished Business!

It's amazing what one little lifestyle change can do. I quit smoking for good on January 4th, and since then, my creativity and productivity have gone up exponentially! In truth, I was a "light smoker" (less than 5 cigs per day, if that), but I'd been that way for about 3 or 4 years and was ruining my body, and as it turns out- my mental and emotional state had been affected by being shackled to this habit. So now I'm happy and proud of myself, and thus my work has improved. Not braggin', just notin'.



In any case, I went to Big Lots about two weeks ago and stumbled upon this beautiful Lion Brand Landscapes yarn in Spring Desert for just $1.50. Unfortunately, some zealous knitter had cleaned them out of their stock, so I could only get my hands on one measly skein. I considered making something small from this, but I really wanted to do a stitch that shows off the beauty of this yarn. After a couple of days of experimenting on the needles, I eventually turned to loom knitting. I'm going to make a cowl/tube scarf from this stuff, but I've run out of yarn- so I'm letting this one sit around until I can find yarn in that color again. I love looking at it though. It's all Easter-y and fun.

*sigh*

Oh well- it gives me time to choose my Etsian of the Week!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

All My Circuits!


A very cute, and possibly effective idea from TheBuzz over at Etsy. I may need ol' Doc's help eventually, but for now I'm content with just feeling my way through and enjoying myself while making handmade items without a lot of pressure to sell, sell, sell.



Today (well, Saturday) was spent indoors deconstructing a laptop computer and experimenting with polymer clay. I've had two dead laptops sitting in my living room for some time now, and I removed their hard drives long ago, but was just planning to send the computers to be recycled. After staring long and hard at one of them, I decided to try and "upcycle" its parts, and use them for various purposes. The main purposes I've found have been kitschy nerd jewelry. Most of my friends would squee over a gift like that, and since those are usually the people I make things for- I think this is a worthwhile project. I found some nice ideas after a brief Google search, and have been working to make the jewelry more wearable and less campy. I want to make something that looking like you bought it- not that you got bored and decided rip apart your expensive home electronics. So all in all, I think that's a worthy WIP of the week.


Etsy-wise, I got busy this evening and listed a couple of scarflettes I made during the holiday break. One is a blue version of my popular item "Rosie", and the other is the oft looked at but never purchased "Peasy" in purple. I also decided to experiment with having a proper sale, and knocked 10 bucks off of my labour of love, "Air Envy" and $5.00 off of the "Confetti" scarf.

Okay, enough procrastinating. Back to dealing with this clay and these circuit boards... and seeing what kind of fun can be created!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sewing Machine VICTORY! (maybe)

I did it! I found a sewing machine at my favorite thrift shop- Value Village in Marietta, GA. Unfortunately it is missing its power cord, so my victory may be very short lived if ebay can't bail me out of this. Either way, it was only 15 dollars and it appears to be in pretty good shape.



Squee!


I also bought a bunch of albums to liven up the look of my "music space" (it's just the area of my apartment where I keep my various instruments and practice/record). Back in college I started my album cover wallpaper plan, and got one entire wall filled- and then had to donate or recycle most of the albums upon moving out because I just didn't have the storage space. So sad. Now I'm re-using that idea, but on a much smaller scale. We'll see how that turns out.




Now off to see if ebay will save me.

UPDATE: Ebay came through! I found a power cord. We're in business!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

With Apologies and Longing

I haven't posted in several days, and for that I am deeply ashamed. I've been sick with a really nasty and evil cold, and haven't touched a knitting needle or a crochet hook during that time. Ahhhh, the chest congestion.

In any case, I've had some pretty cool ideas for future crafts, and most involve a sewing machine. I ended up returning that horrible "Stitch Sew Quick". It just didn't seem worth it in the end, and I can think of a better use for $15.97.

...like saving up for a proper sewing machine.

Today I felt slightly better, so I went skulking around thrift stores, looking for cheap sewing machines. I found some beautiful antique models (one was only 25 bucks!) but I'm worried about being able to fix it up properly and also being able to work with those old parts. I would love to have a lovely bronze colored Singer sitting on a table in my home- but sadly I just don't have that kind of room in my tiny one bedroom loft, and I don't have the expertise to make the beautiful old machine functional.

So what I need is this:


However, I've made a pact with myself to not make any remotely expensive ($100+) purchases until my credit card is completely paid off, my trip abroad is booked for the Spring, and I've bought a new desktop computer (for music making and minor gaming purposes).

*sigh*

In the meantime, here are a few of the patterns I plan to tackle as soon as I get my machine:

Yoga Pants: this is a pattern for them, but I plan to make my own pattern from tracing my old yoga pants and making a few sizing adjustments.

Computer Keyboard Wallet: This is amazing. It's not a sewing pattern, but I feel I MUST make this for the next geeky man in my life.

Cassette Tape Business Card Holder: I. Love. This. I recently bought a couple of old Berlin tapes off of ebay (I'm a bit young to have a lot of cassettes) and used one to make a faux USB mixtape for my friend. I'll use the other one to hold my etsy cards!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Frustration in the Palm of Your Hand

So I decided to make the transition from Knitting Diva to Savvy Seamstress by purchasing a sewing machine today. Unfortunately, most sewing machines are a bit too expensive for my meager crafting budget, and they take up a lot of room in my small apartment.


Enter the "Stitch Sew Quick". Aside from the incredibly unfortunate name, I thought this could be the answer to my crafting prayers. It's a sewing machine, but it's small, lightweight, and I don't have to worry about being out of tons of money when I eventually get bored with it and let it collect dust in the downstairs closet.


Also, I'm a total product junkie and this is kinda cute.





This is why I really should always read product reviews before purchasing things. Especially small, cute things. According to one review the little device has the capability of actually going mad and turning on itself and the operator. Well, I've no idea what that could mean, but it sounds frightening and Terminator II-esque.


So I haven't opened the box just yet. I went out for a while with my friends tonight, then came home and procrastinated for a bit online, and now-- it may be time for me to give this a shot. I won't post pics of my mutilated hands, I promise, but I may post some shots of mutilated bed sheets.


Wish me luck!

Crafting Some Resolutions

I know, I know. Every year we all make a few (or many) New Year's resolutions and then break them magnificently within a matter of months. Seeing as some shrinks are saying resolutions are actually harmful, I considered skipping that plan this year- but old habits die hard.

My Crafty Resolve:

-Complete one afghan/blanket while reducing yarn stash by at least 1/2 of the massive basket in my living room.

-Buy a sewing machine and make PJ's for friends/buyers out of sweet vintage fabric that's been hiding in my closet for months.

-10 Etsy sales (I know that doesn't seem like much, but given the economy, I'm setting my sights low!)

I think these are all attainable, healthy goals and I'm stoked to begin. I really can't wait to start on the pajama pants! I have some great ideas for the design that could make them both comfy and fashionable.

Because that's how I roll- comfortably and fashionably.