Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring has Sprung!

The sun is shining and we are looking at record setting high temperatures for this upcoming Easter weekend! I think I might take part of the day off and take the little man to the park this afternoon, but before that I wanted to share some springtime beauties from some wonderful artisans. Enjoy!

Mom Bookmark
Pink and Green Fresh Water Pearl Chandelier Earrings
Medium Wallet - Chinese Lanterns

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mama's Dress-up Beads

Do you ever sit at the computer with a listing ready to go and draw a blank as to what to name it? I have had this beautiful necklace completed for awhile but a name didn't jump out at me. I decided to get it loaded up on the computer in hopes that the listing gods would be on my side and I would be suddenly inspired. Lo and behold a tiny voice whispered "Mama's Beads". I looked down to see my toddler pointing at the screen and smiling and I perfect! Since this style of necklace is a little fancier I thought that Mama needed some Dress-up Beads for a night on the town or lunching with the gals! Inspiration sometimes comes when you least expect it!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Bit About Amethyst

I had so much fun with Tidbits About Turquoise that I thought I would share another stone with you. Here are some bits about amethyst for you to enjoy:

*February's birthstone
*Said to assist with stopping addictions (Funny, I have plenty of amethyst beads and yet they don't seem to be helping with my bead addiction!)
*Assists with meditation and psychic awareness
*Suggested that amethyst helps with headaches and other pain

Do you know any other bits about amethyst or have an amethyst or purple creation to share?
Any ideas as to which Bits you would like to learn about next?

Starting the day with some SUNSHINE!

What a nice surprise to wake up to this morning! I was thrilled to find that Josee Lafond Design nominated me for the Sunshine Award!
This award is given to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blog world. So sweet!
The rules for accepting the award are:
1. Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
2. Pass the award to 12 bloggers.
3. Link the nominies within your post.
4. Let Them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.
5.Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

Here are my nominees:

1. Audrey's Country Crafts
2. Christie Cottage
3. Fools and Jewels
4. ARE Jewellery
5. H is for Handmade
6. The Floundering SAHM
7. She's Batty Designs
8. Graphic Design by Tara
9. Bumbleberries Boutique
10. In Pursuit
11. One 2 Try
12. A Single Mom & A Teenaged Girl

I hope that you will check out these blogs for great tips on crafting, business, parenthood and more! Have a favorite blog you would like to share? Feel free to post in the comments...I've got a fresh cup of coffee and would love to do some reading!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Let the Sun Shine In Bookmark

Ever since I was a little girl I have been addicted to bookmarks! I remember being so excited for the bookfair at school and spent ages wading through the bookmarks in search of one that was just perfect. I'm still addicted to bookmarks (although I don't get as much time to read with a little one as I'd like) and I'm even more addicted to making them! I recently listed this sun charm bookmark in my Artfire studio.

Now that the little guy and I are FINALLY getting over this terrible cold I'm hoping to kick it into overdrive and get my shops loaded up!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Featured Artist~ Saffery Moore

What would you like people to know about you as a person?
My name is Rachelle Luitjens and I am a Canadian (North Vancouver-born) living who has been living in the US for the past 6 years. We moved here when my husband (Nathan) took a pastoral job in Iowa. After not being able to work legally for someone else 5 years (immigration laws), I decided to start my own business doing what I love to do! I work in my "spare" time which I take in little bits because I have 3 boys ages 5, 3, and 2 who keep me very busy.

Tell me a bit about your art and your products? What inspires you?
I love bags and purses - I used to walk through stores just eyeing them, wishing I could buy more. So now, I make my own instead - which is so much more fun because I can choose whatever fabric I feel like using at the time. I tend to gravitate toward bright colours because they just make me happy. And I have a pile of fabric just waiting and calling my name in my "workshop" right now (that's what my 3 year old calls my sewing room!).

Little Leopard Handbag

Most of the baby and child items I started making out of necessity with 3 little boys around, and found that others liked my stuff (which is always nice!). The change pad is my favourite creation because it has made my life so much easier - I hate having to take a full diaper bag everywhere I go! I made my first puppet theatre in order to channel some of the creative energy of my kids into something fun for me as well, and now I'm trying to figure out what themes I should use on the fronts of the theatres to stock my store!

I guess you could say that my kiddos are my inspiration for a lot of my items.

all-in-one baby change pad / diaper bag

How do you share your creations? Where can we find you?
I share my creations on both my blog and on facebook. My blog address is and my facebook fan page is I also have a flickr page at

And of course I sell them in my etsy store at

What is your most important lesson since starting your craft/business?
Patience, patience, and patience! I get really excited when I get an order, especially when I get more than one order at a time, but then I get frustrated when things slow down again. I've heard others say that it takes time to become established on etsy and to be patient with sales, so that's what I'm focusing on right now.

Some fun tidbits:
-Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?
definitely coffee - I just bought myself a Saeco Aroma Espresso Machine last month and have been making myself at least 2-3 Americanos a day! (and yes, I'm a little bit jittery :))
-Your favourite candy?
dark chocolate - I could eat it all day (while I drink my coffee)
-Your favourite colour? I've always like blue, any shade!
-Your favourite movie?
well... that would necessitate actually getting out to the movies for "grown up" shows which hasn't happened in a while! But if I were to choose an all-time favourite it would probably be Fried Green Tomatoes. I could watch that movie any day.
-If I were to catch you grooving it would be to this song….
almost any country song, but probably something by Brooks and Dunn - who I get to go see in Vancouver in May!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Promoting your craft business- Marketing Calendar

Do you ever turn on the computer with the intention of doing a little promotion only to find that hours have gone by while you got sucked into the forums, started browsing shops or have checked your craftcult stats 100 times? One of the most useful tips that I have read is to create a marketing calendar. It is a great way to keep yourself focused and after some time you will begin to see some trends between your promotional efforts and shop traffic/sales.

All you need is a calendar. The large desk calendars work great if you have the space but any size will do. For every day you will write down if you posted in the forums (and how many times), blogged, tweeted, facebooked, social networked in some other way, sent out a newsletter, etc. You can also add your shop/item hearts and sales to the list. Then take coloured pencils or highlighters and assign a colour to each listing. After awhile you will be able to see at a glance where you are concentrating your efforts (and hopefully whatever colour you assigned to sales is also appearing with some frequency!)

How do you focus your promotional efforts? What tricks have worked for you to keep you focused?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tidbits about Turquoise!

Turquoise is always a hot colour for spring and one of my personal fav's! It is said to have healing properties and the ablility to detoxify and create balance. For the artistic soul it is also said to assist with creativity and communication skills (maybe you should be wearing turquoise when trying to write your product descriptions!)

This fabulous piece named the Virginia bracelet was created by In Pursuit. Be sure to stop by her studio for a great assortment of jewelry in every colour!

Know any other tidbits about turquoise? What are some of your favourite colours for spring?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Autumn Cascade Necklace

I created the original Autumn Cascade Necklace for a girl I work with at the restaurant. When she was first describing to me what she wanted I wasn't sure how the design would turn out but I loved it so much I created another version!
This version of the Autumn Cascade Necklace features beautiful antique bronze and sparkling olive green together in a cascading dangle. This necklace is quite long which makes it great to wear over sweaters or add that extra something special to an evening outfit. I have decided to do one for every season so stay tuned for more designs!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This One is for all the Mommies!

I decided to do a more personal post today. As any mother knows each day brings new joys and experiences (and some not so joyous moments as well). Here are some of the things that I have learned in the past 19 months:

#10) I can really rock a ponytail, it's my permanent hairstyle these days.

#9) I can sing the theme song to a variety of cartoons but couldn't even tell you what song is number one on the radio right now.

#8) A "hot meal" is something that is not enjoyed by mothers of infants and toddlers

#7) There are no days off....ever. Weekends are just a time when there are more people around to interupt your routine.

#6) Showers are not a right...they are a privilege....especially if one occurs before noon.

#5) Personal space....remember that?

#4) That my child took half my brains with him when he left my body. I swear I used to be much smarter!

#3) Some days there just isn't enough coffee!

#2) Being a mother is the HARDEST job I have ever had in my life!

#1) I wouldn't change it for the world! (although a morning sleep in wouldn't hurt)

Hope these little tidbits made you smile! Please feel free to share yours!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March Break Activities in the area!

Can you believe that it is March Break already? I don't have any school aged children yet but March break always seems to be the turning point...the point where you know that summer is on the horizon. It is also a great time for fun activities for kids of all ages.

The little guy and I are going to check out Lindsay Springfest which runs from March 16-20, 11am-7pm. From what I can gather from the website it is sort of like a mini fair and since Tuesday is supposed to be GORGEOUS I thought it would be fun to go and play for the day.

There are also oodles of fun activities going on at the Lindsay Public Library. For the crafty sort be sure to check out Thursday activity Art Creations for the opportunity to learn and explore the world of quilt making!

I'm sure there are many more exciting events happening around town so take some time to enjoy! If you know of any events in the area please feel free to share them in the comments sections or if you aren't from the area what are your plans for March/Spring break?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Easter Banner Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Audrey's Country Crafts, winner of our Easter Banner Giveaway. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to comment and stay tuned next month for another fun giveaway!

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Experience at the Indoor Yard Sale

If you have never had the opportunity to do a "live" show it can be a very fun experience. I have been blessed to gain a wealth of knowledge and experience in the craft show circuit from my mom who has been a part of the scene for as long as I can remember. I have written previous posts on mom's jewelry blog about the subject that you can find here and here.

For this particular show I took a different mindset. Events put on by the local newspaper are always well attended but since this was classified as a "yard sale" I put my thinking cap on. There will be specific organizations/groups in your own community whose events usually draw a good amount of attendees, whether through support of the organization or just good advertising/promotion of the event. I decided to take supplies from Rouge River Beads since locally they can be hard to come by. I also took a selection of handmade items but tried to keep them in the $5-$10 range as I felt people would be looking for a deal. Then I decided to try and bring as much traffic directly to me as I could. Here's how I did that:
*I put the event in our online shop's announcement AND included it in our newsletter for March
*Placed an online classified ad in our area in the craft and hobbies section. Title was simply Need Beads? with details of the event in the body
*Blogged about the event then listed it on my blog's sidebar for a month
*For handmade-I made coupons for a FREE pair of earrings and handed them out to the girls I work with at the restaurant. They had to come and see me at the show in order to receive their earrings (a pair picked by me and packaged up pretty with a thank you note). I did the same for my local Facebook friends

I'm definately glad that I put the extra work into promoting the event and got to meet some great new people and see some old friends. I hope that this post helps those of you looking to venture into the "live" market! If you have any questions you are welcome to leave a comment or email me directly

Don't forget...only two days left to win this great Easter banner for your shop!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Kawartha Lakes Indoor Yard Sale!

Thanks so much to all those who stopped by our booth at the Moose Lodge in Lindsay yesterday. It was great to meet so many people and share crafty knowledge, area happenings and more!

As I mentioned to many of you I hope to grow this blog to better serve the handmade market in the Lindsay and Peterborough area so if you are a local artisan or shop please don't hesitate to contact me for an interview, list your classes/meetings or workshops for free and please let me know of any handmade happenings in the area. I'm also looking for some crafty tips to share with readers! You can reach me at

For those readers who have been thinking about delving into the craft show/fair scene themselves stay tuned tomorrow for some tips and tricks!

Happy Crafting!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Follow! So much fun!

I found so many new and interesting blogs the last time I participated in Friday Follow I couldn't wait to participate again:)

Welcome to the eighth Friday Follow celebration hosted by One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades! We invite you to join us every Friday to get more blog followers and to follow other interesting blogs. It is all about sharing and having fun.

Join in the fun!:
•* Link up your blog name and URL using the MckLinky below. Only need to add on one blog to be seen on all the blog hops.
•* Follow the Friday Follow hostesses listed in the first 3 slots.
•* Follow as many blogs as you like
•* Comment on the blogs telling them you're from Friday Follow
•* Follow back when you get a new follower through Friday Follow
The Blog Hop is the same at each of our three hosts blogs so you do not have to add your blog at each site. Just one - but you can follow each blog. Follow a few or follow them all.

The list is new each week. The links do not carry over. Please link up each week for new participants to find your blogs. The list is only open to add your blog links on Fridays. It will be visible all week to visit the blogs listed.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Easter Banner Giveaway!

I had such a great time with my last banner giveaway that I thought it was time for another one!
One lucky reader will receive this Easter themed banner, sized to fit your Etsy or Artfire Studio with your shop name added. All you have to do to enter is either become a follower of this blog or follow me on twitter. Yep, that simple. Be sure to leave a comment below letting me know and if you follow both you get two entries! Already a follower? Never fear you can still enter. Just leave a comment reminding me and you are also entered to win. Hurry....giveaway ends at noon EST. March 10th. The banner will be emailed directly to you so you can add some love to your shop for Easter.

Good luck!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Featured Artist~ Derniere Fois

Be sure to stop by featured artist Derniere Fois for a great selection of knitwear and accessories!

What would you like people to know about you as a person?
My name is Fernanda Figueroa, I'm 24 and I live in Guelph, Ontario. I am a photographer who's almost out of school and is in love with film.
I love knitting, crochetting and making jewelry. My new favourite material is polymer clay.
I absolutely love fashion magazines and I'm obsessed with the 20's and 30's (I firmly believe I was born in the wrong decade), from the clothes to the music to the general lifestyle, I love everything about it!

Pink Spiral Scarf

Tell me a bit about your art and your products? What inspires you?
I make knitwear and accessories. I've been knitting for a while now, the jewelry making is brand new. I had always wanted to make pendants because I'm the kind of person who has something very specific in mind when shopping, and I would get disappointed to see that I couldn't find what I was looking for. However, I thought I needed a big factory to make my own stuff.. that is until I discovered the wonders of polymer clay!
For inspiration I go to fashion magazines, websites like Etsy and Not Couture and also art exhibitions and craft shows. I also get inspiration from books (I love Gregory Maguire!) and fairy tales.

How do you share your creations? Where can find you?
I have a website, as well as a facebook page where I share images with my fans (I usually upload images there before I put the listings up on etsy, so it's like a special preview!), you can also order through the page/website if you don't have an etsy account.
As for my photography, I have a website where you can see my work and get prints!

What is your most important lesson since starting your craft/ business?
It would have to be not to give up easily. It's really hard to start your own business, some people won't like your stuff or just won't buy it.. but it's really important not to get discouraged and just keep trying and do your best. I've tried contacting stores everywhere to carry my lines and very few have responded, I try to not let it get to me, it's been a hard lesson to learn! But the business has been picking up lately, and that makes me want to keep going.

Rainy Cloud Scrabble Tile Ring

Some fun tidbits:
Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?
Oh, boy. I honestly drink A LOT of all three. I drink coffee in the mornings, tea in the afternoon and hot chocolate when I can't sleep (which is often).
-Your favourite candy?
Dark chocolate, absolutely dark chocolate.
-Your favourite colour?
I enjoy most colours, but lately I've been favouring grey. It goes with everything!
-Your favourite movie?
I can't ever pick favourites in this department. But I love old movies, Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Day, Huphrey Bogart.. now THOSE were actors!
-If I were to catch you grooving it would be to this song….
It would definitely be jazz. Probably Louis Armstrong or Louis Prima.