I just love craft cult and its heartomatic features, and I love the new redesign. There's something fascinating about all those viewing and hearting statistics, and its a good way to see when you're getting some buzz, the viewing numbers suddenly start to move fast.
The one thing though I've always wished it could do is this: search Etsy's treasuries for me and tell me if I'm in them. Craftopolis not only does this, it links to the treasury and in another feature estimates how soon a space in the two treasuries will open up, the main one and treasurywest.
Oh and it also tells you if you feature in a gift guide. I never seem to make it into them though, but this certainly makes it a million times easier to check. Quick! Go and see if you're in a treasury now :-)
OK, I'm going to do it! I bought a rotary cutter, a special quilting ruler and a BIG quick unpick! I also got a beginners quilting book which shows the right way to fold and cut, how to press, how to join, what equipment to use. I couldn't seem to find this beginner's info online in such detail so its been fascinating.
And what a fabulous excuse to buy lots of little pieces of fabric! That's the secret, isn' it! I've already ordered two lots from different places online! I better stop now and use what I have.
My plan is a very simple square design with lots of white. I've seen some lovely ones online.
I am finally an official member of the DUST or Down Under Street Team on Etsy, a special Street Team for Australian Etsiers. Such a nice bunch. I've been meaning to join for a while. Love this cute flyer by little mo and friends.
You may have noticed that I've changed my blog layout and added an extra column. For anyone who is interested in doing the same I used these instructions which were very simple and easy to follow.
You have to edit the html in your blogger template, which I did with my heart in my mouth! In case of disaster though I saved my blog first by exporting and downloading it.
While I was fiddling I made a new banner for the longer length (using a sneak peek of my idea for a new Spoonflower fabric design, a Ruby Slippers repeat) and some new type. I'm experimenting with a new logo, I'm not sure if I like it better but its fun to try.
Now I've changed my layout it's really interesting to look around and notice what others have done with theirs. Some of my favourites in blogger format are fine little day and craft pudding and gennine's art blog which are personalised and have a definite 'house style'.
p.s. if it looks half finished that's because it is, the design and the blog layout :-) Both need tweaking.
I got so excited yesterday when I passed the 300 sales mark on Etsy! In the evening I was spoilt and made the front page again in this beautiful treasury by Lucie of Summersville who was recently the featured seller on Etsy with her beautiful, detailed screenprinted fabrics. That's all :-) just wanted to share it with you. I haven't forgotten my promise to write up some Spoonflower tips. Looks like it might be next week though. Happy weekend if I don't make it back here.
I used to think when things went quiet in my Etsy shop that I would never sell another thing! I was very lucky early on, I was featured on Decor8 and the front page of Etsy in my first fortnight. What a thrill! When all that attention went away I was sure I'd fluked my 15 minutes of fame and shouldn't expect another sale ever.
By now I'm used to the rhythms of selling, and I quite appreciate the ebb and flow that seems to go with online life. I like the sudden bursts of attention, they are always a delightful surprise. For example I love the thrill of turning to Etsy's front page and seeing one of my images styled so beautifully with other fabulous things. Or reading a blog and seeing some praise of my little wares.
But I also savour the quiet times now I know they won't last forever. I like the time to catch my breath and make plans for the future, stock up on packaging, order new labels and do all my other jobs.
How do you other Etsy/online sellers feel, do you like the changes in tempo?
p.s. Three front pages this month, two this week. All beautiful, and all lovely surprises!
Last Wednesday night I dragged J along with me to an "Openhaus" at Screenhaus screenprinters. Steve from Screenhaus sent me an invitation last month to come to one of their new open nights:
"... designed for designers, production managers, cutters, makers, upholsterers and students - we aim to open the door for anyone interested in printing yardage - showing everything from design, film, screens to actual print demonstrations."
It was really interesting, we got to see most of the process including the actual printing at the end (sorry about the photo quality, taken on my phone). Steve and others were really nice and approachable and answered every question. And we got a goody bag at the end.
This is one of the only places in Sydney left where small players can get yardage printed. And if you are interested in attending (they had wine and sushi!) it is a really interesting night. I recommend it. (And J was fascinated, he loved it :-)
My printed fabric arrived yesterday from Spoonflower (after a minor hiccup, quickly and happily corrected - originally they sent me swatches instead of fat quarters).
The blue on the first batch, the swatches, was a bit faded and I was worried about my colours. The lovely Stephen was kind enough to include a printed colour palette swatch with these for future reference. I needn't have worried though because when the quarters came they were perfect. All the colours printed true as you can see if you compare them with the artwork below (which actually looks more faded here than in photoshop!).
So, next week, as promised, I'll post a tutorial on how to prepare artwork for Spoonflower specifications. Its actually quite simple once you get your head around it and how much fun - seeing your own work as fabric! Speaking of which tomorrow I'll tell you about last night's visit to Screenhaus, a local fabric screenprinter's open house. Really interesting. Hopefully I've got a couple of dodgy photos on my phone.
Home, eventually, after a delayed flight, a bit of turbulence and 15 minutes in a holding pattern. Aaaagh, get me off this plane I just want to see my people! I haven't talked much about it here, but last September my Dad had a massive stroke, he's in care still and my Mum is driving every day from her rural property to visit him. She and my Dad have been amazing - strong and brave in the face of such tragedy. And so have my brother and sister, I am so proud of my family.
So that's why I went up there, on my own, and its thanks to my beautiful husband that I can go and help (this was my third solo trip since the stroke).
J keeps it all together and manages the family, the dog and the crazy business while I'm away (not Flower Press, that other crazy business that earns our living). And he does it cheerfully.
I came home last night to a clean house, flowers by my bed and pea and pumpkin risotto with home made chicken stock. Isn't he special!
Driving home the other night I came over the hill to see the distant hills turning pink and blue in the twilight and the setting orange sun hitting my favourite pink grasses and lighting them neon. Its almost magic how beautiful it is around here. Even after all this time I am constantly delighted.
The lovely Candace from Sparkle Power is holding a giveway with five different prizes and winners! And I'm so delighted that she wanted to include my Green Filigree cotton tea towel as one of the prizes. Here's a taste of the other beautiful objects you can win from My Fine Garden and Michelle Swafford Pottery. Go and enter now, don't walk, Run :-) p.s. I must go away more often, I always seem to hit the front page when I do (widget on right) I love the sentiment of the card bottom left!
My mum's birthday today. Really wet again here but at lunch time a break in the rain meant my (lovely) friend Clancy and I got to walk up the drive to the letter box without getting wet.
Later this little friend visited. I looked her up, she's an emerald dove. In another light that wing is pure emerald green but I like this shot with all the lovely brown and russet hues. I set her free outside and was a bit surprised when she walked away!
Did I mention I love roses? Here's some more gratuitous rose photos. My favourite, grown from a cutting from mother in law's garden. She doesn't know its name but I think its a David Austin. A difficult colour to capture, more a plummy red. I'm away for the week so this is my first attempt at leaving a post to publish while I'm away. Fingers crossed.