Friday, May 30, 2008
Ta DA! My doodles!
Didnt you know? I can tell you what will be all the rage! :)
Here is a concept for a sheep brooch.
It will be refined as felt always makes the final piece look so different. But its an idea. A boxy body of wool and a black face with two little black feet showing at the bottom. We will see how it comes out!
Which came first the chicken or the moose?
I was thinking of making the chicken very egg shaped like my Walrus Finger Puppets.
The moose I wanted to make the horns out of the stiffened felt so they are more durable. Same thing with the dangly-doo on the top of the chickens head.
Please excuse the bad photos - the Moose and Chicken were on yellow paper taken with the camera phone and the sheep is on a sticky note. Hehee.
I also intend to make more cows. The cows are one of my more intricate designs so I hadnt made many of them. I sold several last year off of etsy that were gift card holders.
A photo of those can be seen at the bottom of my blog.
Eureka! I have it!
Since my goal of last month to list 30 new items was woefully pathetically missed... I shall dumb it down a bit for myself to 20 items. I feel I can make that happen unless I come back from the craft show with nothing.......well now, that would be nice.
I also would like to start looking ahead to the holiday season as this will be my first Christmas with Red Marionette and would like to start setting aside a little as a stash to break out for the busier times.
Promote, Promote, Promote. Please sir, may I have some more?
Since I dont have much control over Sales and Hearts directly, I would put those on a Wish List.
I would like 15 sales in June. (Not including the craft show)
And would like to make it to 375 Etsy Hearts. :) Just to make sure new people keep seeing my stuff.
I think thats a good chunk of realism to start with, dont you?
Make it to 325 Hearts on Etsy.com - I am happy and thankful to say I blew past that number at 339 so far and there are a few days left! :)
List 30 New Items to Sell - I didnt get to list this many, unfortunately. It looks like I only added about 15 items this month. I had plenty of items made, never got to list them.
Rock the Craft Show I have at the end of May - Well its TECHNICALLY June 1st... so I am counting it in May and June :) Ill let you know how this goes this weekend.
Finish up 20 of my Totes and Clutches - This I feel I did very well. I made over 15 Totes and 5+ clutches so I feel I have met this goal even though in my head I wanted at least 5 more. They are all cut out, it just gets to a point where sitting at the machine isnt appealing.
Make my new brooch designs - I introduced Whale brooches. Thats about as far as this one went, but its still new!
Keep Promoting my fanny off! - I have swapped cards this month with some pretty high stakes sellers on Etsy for advertising, I have also kept up with blogging, flickr and other misc sites. I also try to talk to a lot of people outside of Etsy about my stuff. My mother and Soon-to-be Mother in Law have also been tooting my horn to everyone that will listen.
All in all I feel I had a very successful month! Yay!
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Last night I started making my first stuffed animals out of regular cotton fabrics (not felt or fleece, like all of my other ones)
So it has been a learning process to achieve the look I want with a different kind of fabric.
Okay, so I cheated a bit and their eyes and noses are still felt. Their bodies will now be durable like a pillow (hopefully, if I get it correct) Thats what Prototypes are for, right?
I am making a pink corduroy bear, a black bat and a yellow owl.
The biggest challenge I was expecting was the bat wings to not come out durable and bendy enough to be moved around, pulled on or flapped.
Thank goodness for Wonder-Under. I am relying heavily on that product for a lot of things now. I cut two sides to the wings, ironed on wonder under and then stitched and turned right side out, and ironed again. Now the wings are a thicker layer of cotton fabric and still bendy. Brilliant!
I am keeping the faces felt as I feel that it keeps it the same look as the pieces I have already. I did put wonder under on the eyes and noses so they stay better to the fabric, then stitched them around the edges. As usual for large items I am using a combination of hand stitching and machine stitching.
I think in the future I will try to find some more sturdy fabrics with fun textures. Dont get me wrong, I think the ones I am making now will be great, but I would like to explore options for other variations on large stuffed animals.
Ill try to take some photos of work in progress tonight.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Her sewing machine didnt want to work either! I was shocked. I think I realized its the fabric. The corduroy fabric I am stitching is heavier and harder to stitch in straight lines when its doubled or tripled over, so I finally gave up. I hadnt even gotten to the body of the bag - it was just the straps that were causing me to throw a temper tantrum like a four year old.
I am kind of disappointed as it is a deep red small wale corduroy with a brown teddy bear appliqued on the front. It was the only bear tote I was going to make.
BUT... I know when to walk away. I can always come back to it later. And make the straps out of a matching red fabric just NOT the corduroy.
I decided on a little last minute project for the show on Sunday, instead.
I would like to try making larger stuffed animals and make them out of fabrics that are not felt. I am curious to see how they would be received. I will still make their faces out of felt, but I have some heavier fun fabrics that I would like to make their bodies.
I am going to try to cut out a prototype tonight for a Bat, An Owl and a Bear.
I know the bat is a little early for halloween but one of the FEST members suggested it, so I might as well try it, right?
The stuffed animals I have now are about 9 inches tall. I was thinking of going to a 14 to 16" tall. Depends on how it looks when I get going with it.
Now I am ready to go home and work on these things! :)
Ill post photos when they are made!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I come to my "day job" and it is a slow time right now, that makes me have the doldrums.
Thinking about what I could be working on at home. Ideas that have yet to come to fruition due to lack of time outside of the "day job"....
Ah... to imagine life where I wouldnt have to work a job where someone else is my boss.
I see people talking about their "real job" and their "hobby".
Yes, what I make is my hobby. It is my creative outlet. I just so happen to get paid to make things, so it turns into a "Side Job".
Confusion elminiated. :)
I have refered to it as a part time job that I wish I could turn into my full time job. Mayhaps someday things will change enough to do that.
I would be a fool to leave my job right now with the security, benefits and salary.
I had to walk away.
Yep, time to take it to the sewing machine doctor.
Pratice Pratice Pratice.
I also think hand stitching adds some personality to pieces as well. I tried machine stitching some of my finger puppets and I hated how it looked. It lost a lot of the life the stitches add. It accentuates certain areas, gives it a more handmade look that I think make them as special as they are.
So lets hope my $20.00 garage sale Singer machine doesnt need to go to sewing machine heaven and it can be fixed with a small adjustment.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
No, No, No.
I received an email of a customer saying she never received her package. I mailed it out April 4th and the poor dear waited and waited and finally emailed! That's like over 6 weeks ago! Yikes!
Of course it was a smaller item (as most of my items are) and it went first class mail which has no tracking.
All is not lost, (heh, get it?) because I can send her another one or refund her. It was not a one of a kind item, it was from my supplies shop...but it still irks me that when you pay for a service and it doesn't make it. I am very lucky that out of my 50+ sales between two shops this is the first incidence this has happened, that I have been informed of.
Heres to mail carriers around the world that take care to hand deliver our many mail packages every day.
1 in 50 isnt bad odds, eh?
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I have some Sneak Peeks for you of the tote bags and purses I am creating for the St. Petersburg Craft Emergency benefitting the Red Cross on June 1st!
I finished these three bags last night. They arent even for sale yet (Although if you really want one, just let me know, hehee)
This one is a messenger-tote. The handle is long enough it can be hung across your body.
It has the "Pandora" fabric on the inside. I call it pandora because of the old Myth of Pandoras box, you open the bag and see all of these little eyes and teeth smiling back at you.
My prototype sold rather quickly on etsy.com If you want to see it, it is here:
The photo doesnt do this one justice.
This is a bright festively colored diagonal stripe with yellow fabric with white polka-dot lining. The straps are bright yellow fabric on one side and stripe fabric on the other. This has two handles for use as a tote bag/market bag. This is my favorite out of all of them. I have not been able to find this fabric since I purchased enough to make one tote. My mistake. :(
Isnt my Red IKEA swivelly adjustable chair neato? hehe.
This is a purse I had created using fabric I found at the salvation army. It is so soft and almost a polyblend...It has a light blue polyester lining. A dark blue fleece octo is hand stitched to the outside.
All of my appliques on the bags are now also attached with wonder-under which is an iron on applique material, it will help it wear better!
I should finish up plenty more totes and clutches this weekend. I have some totes and clutches in the works with bears, bats and apes!
And for an extra special super mario bonus - I will be making alphabet plaques with little painted animals on them (in my style of animal) later this summer. I have a zoo of animal concepts just not all of them lend themselves well to felt and appliques. So that is a super early sneak peek.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I did it!
Finally, I know.
I now have International Shipping on Red Marionette!
Of course, any shipping overages of 1.00 dollar or more will be refunded through paypal.
How exciting! I like the idea that not only will my creatures get to travel overseas (which I have yet to do myself) but that they will be given a loving home in a new country!
Sharing my little happy thoughts with you all!
Thanks for reading!
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Here are some photos taken tonight of stuff on the worktable!
The Bat and the Orange Octo will end up being tote bags.
The frog fabric is my #*$&@ Bag
I think it needs to be called an Expletive Pocket.... is that too big of a word for a bag like this? Do you all like calling them #*$&@ or Expletive? Or Just a plain Boo-Boo Bag?
It is a pocket you use to hold a ziploc bag of ice for when you thump your knee on the tabletop...or any other "boo-boo" you may have.
I came up with this cause it never fails I knock my shin on something (normally followed by a hiss or an expletive) and need to wrap a ziploc of ice in a kitchen towel or something and worried that it will slip out or sweat on things. This way its in the pocket and cant go anywhere but where you put it! :)
Brooches that are now also pendants, waiting for a listing on etsy.com or the craft show in two weeks, whichever comes first.
All in all I have about 25 tote bags and 10 clutches, 12 boo-boo bags and several pin cushions have been my projects for this weekend. So we will see how much progress I make in the next two weeks before the show.
Thanks for looking!
Friday, May 16, 2008
The ad went up on April 30th and I only saw it the other day. So I emailed and waited - all the while biting my nails and telling myself it was already gone.
I got it this morning! It is large and striking and just fits perfectly the whimsical feel of my booth!
I now have a 10x10 space to work in instead of a table space.
I have graduated to the big players!
Here is the photo from their ad. I will have my own photos up soon!
Im like a little kid at christmas. And let me tell you, this is my christmas present to myself. :)
I have always said that putting your goals up for others to see keep you more accountable. Whether its weight loss, cleaning your house or being a super-dooper crafter, I think knowing where you stand with your progress and giving yourself something to achieve with a goal helps all of us.
I regularly post on DelightfullySimple's or HomeOfTheGrumbles thread in the mornings where she asks "what you are doing to be positive today?" And I think that gives me the right mindset. Also I think utilizing my blog so you all can hold me accountable for my goals as well :) Who wants to be goal-police? hehe.
Here is my positive posts and goals for today.
- I am one sale away from making my goal for April. The sales fairy has been very good to me. (Promoting and sending out business cards everywhere I go seems to be working)
- I decided to sign up for Craft Emergency that benefits the Red Cross and raises Hurricane Awareness on June 1st (start of hurricane season - See post before this one)...So that postpones redecorating the craft room.
- I started appliques last night on the tote bags and clutches I am making and intend to try to finish at least 16 Totes and 10 clutches, 10 pin cushions and 6 boo-boo bags in the next two weeks. Considering I have a day job that extends past 40 hours a week on a regular basis, thats a high goal for me! But I like challenges!
- I am also reworking my display on my craft booth table so I may better display all of the little items I have alongside the larger ones now. I also have to label with prices all of my stock for the show.
I intend to make little "nests" for the finger puppets and gift card holders to sit in. That way you can see all of the owls in one "nest" all of the bears in another "nest"... I think with so much stuff it will be cleaner looking.
To make the nests I will be using cut down cardboard boxes spray painted and decopage'd with colorful polkadots, etc.... and shredded paper in the bottom. Yikes, that doesnt sound pretty when I say it that way. Erm. Well trust me, it will be cute.
I also purchased some of the cardboard-like hat boxes from Michaels that you can decorate any way you like. So I had some round nests in there too.
Not that I thought anything was wrong with my booth before
See here: http://redmarionette.blogspot.com/2008/03/mega-craft-zilla-booth.html
But with new items and different things I think it will look nice.
I will have to do a trial run of course and I will surely post photos!
Alright off to the day job! Everyone have a wonderful Friday!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
(Which is a whole different drama in itself, some other FEST members are having problems getting their money refunded too.... kinda scammy if you ask me, but until it is resolved, if it gets resolved, I will keep positive about it)
I was on our FEST chat last night and the members convinced me to sign up for Craft Emergency in St. Petersburg, FL for June 1st!
It is a benefit for the Red Cross and Hurricane Awareness. Seems to be pretty cool!
If any of you are local to the area, Please come out and say Hi! I love meeting people face to face!
So I will be attending a craft show in two-ish weeks afterall...
Instead of redecorating I need to kick it back into gear to make product for the show! Yikes!
Busy, Busy Kelli all of a sudden!
I had completed most of the round of finger puppets I intended to for the other show. As well as brooches/pendants. Now on to the Bags and clutches... starting those tonight! SO glad I have memorial day off as I will need that extra day to make stuff!
Sunday June 1st I will have my shop on Etsy cleaned out to take the product to the show. Please dont be alarmed.... What I dont sell will be back on the site Sunday Evening, I promise! :)
Wish me luck!
Monday, May 12, 2008
Without a craft show to go to at the end of this month I decided to bump up the redecorating of the sunroom / craft room. I visited IKEA this weekend and bought a great workstation that has a wonderful large worksurface. I have an old tv stand with shelves in it that I tucked under it for shelf space. (Dont throw away what you can use!) Even though the workstation is a blonde wood and the tv stand was a dark brown, I dont think it matters really. It is useful and that counts for a lot.
I also bought a bright red wheely chair and funky floor mat for the chair. I couldnt resist some leafy curtains that are the basis for the color combos in the room. White background and various shades of green outline leaves on the curtains.
This coming weekend we are intending to paint the walls light limey green and then keep red accents where I can.
I love seeing peoples work areas so I will definitely let you all see mine soon!
On another note:
I have been working diligently on the batch of brooches and finger puppets. I have been hand stitching a lot and to show some new stuff I posted please visit my etsy shop. http://www.redmarionette.etsy.com/
A lot of finger puppets I am making are still the same big eyes but some of them have facial expressions now as well. I unveiled a new whale brooch design this weekend.
My new brooches/pins are now pendants as well! You can hang them from a ribbon or chain to wear as well as use them as a pin! I thought the multi-use would be so much more helpful! So there you go!
Friday, May 9, 2008
I was really looking forward to it.
It has been rescheduled for September... so... kinda bad for me but GOOD for all of you!
I have a lot of product I have been working on and should have a lot of it completed soon. Which at least I can say it was a good motivator to get a lot made.
Things happen for a reason.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I want to thank everyone who supports my craft and my work. I like being updated on happenings and things regarding blogs I watch so heres my little update for you all!
I know I havent listed anything in a while in my shop. If you hadnt noticed, good! :)
Making the type of stuff I make, I find its easier to cut, sew, etc in batches.
The downside to that is that listing often happens in batches.
I want you all to know I am in the works of all of the ideas I discuss on here.
The tote bags, the finger puppets with more expressions, brooches, more Sneak Bots - Robots in Disguise, and boo-boo bags.
I promise they are all coming soon!
Also, Please keep in mind I do have a two day craft Show at the end of May. With much thought and inner-arguing I will be listing most of my items inactive for that two day duration so that I may take some of my listed items to the sale. It will be May 31st and June 1st.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
For those of you that read my blog I wanted to give a little heads up about a Saturday Night Special on etsy.com
My Saturday Night Special is 20% off your order
and if you order 50.00 or more you get 30% off!!
This is before shipping.
Thanks greatly for looking!!
Thursday, May 1, 2008
I am not ill in any serious way.
I have a roof over my head.
I have a very good job, that pays well and supports my hobbies and crafts outside of work.
I have a wonderful family, friends and significant other.
I have people who give positive feedback and reinforcement for my art.
I am very fortunate in life.
I know we all complain about jobs, politics, economics, family, hours in the day, bosses, and various other niggling annoyances... but in the grand scheme of things, where do you fall?
I think we all need to have days where we stop and say a little silent "thank you" to the universe for what we DO have in life.