Monday, March 29, 2010

Handmade Shop of the Week: KnittinK

AB of KnittinK has been supplying handmade yarns for fiber lovers everywhere since the Summer of 2008. Her handspun and handdyed yarns are whymsically named and seriously gorgeous.

Why did you decide to open your handmade shop?
Originally a knitter, I fell in love with fiber, became wholeheartedly addicted, and started spinning my twisted little heart out. I opened a seller account once I knew I'd call myself KnittinK, and originally thought I'd have screenprinted tshirts and handknit items. That was before my stash was taken over by fiber, rather than finished yarns. :)

Has your inventory changed much since you first opened?
Not so much, then again, I'm still a fledgling shop in a lot of ways. I still have the same vision, which is to produce bizarre and interesting yarns based on comic books, general geekery (LOTR, video games), and 80s cartoons.

Who are the majority of your customers? How did they find you?
So far, my customers have been my friends, former co-workers, followers on twitter, and a couple of ravelers. I think twitter and ravelry have been mainly responsible for my customers, though I've got a few hearts from flickr as well.

What inspires you to create?
When I start up the dyebath, I do google image searches on characters I like, or sometimes just phrases. I also like to take photographs of action figures at my local comic book shop, Comicazi in Davis Square, and make lists of what I think would be compelling. I really like the concept of pitting characters against each other, particularly when they're not from the same "universe". Like "Firestorm vs. Phoenix", Firestorm's a DC Comics character, while Phoenix is the better known, Jean Grey of Marvel comics.

What is your favorite item in your shop currently? Your most popular item?
Spring at Rivendell has the most hearts right now, but Green Arrow is my favorite.

What has been your greatest resource to make your shop successful?
So far, I'd have to say Twitter and Ravelery. Both communities have great people, with fantastic resources. In addition to that, I'd say, simply meeting people, and having my card handy has been very helpful as well.

Any changes coming to your shop in the future? Why yes, as a matter of fact. More fibers! In the coming months (Feb-March), I'll have some mohair, BFL, vegan fibers, bamboo, tencel blends, etc. In addition, I'll be posting yarns as they correspond to movie releases (HINT: Iron Man 2 and Tim Burton's Alice, for a start!)

How else can we find you online? Any team affiliations?
You can find me on ravelry, flickr and twitter as: KnittinKbyAB. I'm not yet on any etsy street teams, but I'm hoping to do a Phat Fiber box by Spring at the latest (that depends on what shows I do locally this year).

CHECK OUT THIS DEAL! Any sales up to and including #25 will be entered in a random drawing for a gift certificate of $15 if they enter "I read TraceyKnits' blog" in the message to seller.

Interested in being shop of the week? email me for information

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How to make recycled art postcards

Postcards are a great way to promote your etsy site. Many etsians have them printed using images from their shops. You can include them in your orders when you send them out or hand them out at craft fairs instead of business cards. They are not terribly expensive but they are little more then a business card in most cases.

These cards are miniature works of art! You can give them away and be sure that they will be kept and displayed or mailed out to someone special. And every single one of them will have you shop info on it to remind them of how talented you are.

recycled thin cardboard box (like a cereal box)
scissor, x-acto knife, or paper trimmer
glue, mod podge, or varnish medium
good size flat paint brush
scraps of decorative paper
pen or marker

pick out a nice clean box with thin cardboard
rip it along seam so you can get the most cards from the box possible
measure out as many cards as you can size 4.25"x6", this is a standard size postcard and will be accepted by the post office for postcard rate
brush glue across the colorful side of the cardboard and paste paper to it, leaving brown side blank
make sure to put a layer of glue on top of your design to seal it
flip the card over and draw lines with a ruler for the address, then be sure to put your shop name and address in fine print (but still legible) across the bottom.

Not only are these good for promoting your shop, they are good for the earth! Be sure to post a link to pics of your creative designs.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Handmade Shop of the Week: Mommy's Dream Creations

Cindy Wilson, Mommy's Dream Creations, has been selling her glassware on etsy since October, 2009, but longer at craft fairs around NJ. She adds beautiful imagery to glassware that can be used everyday or for special occasions.

Why did you decide to open your handmade shop?
I have been selling my glassware and ornaments at craft shows for three years and wanted to branch out to the internet. I heard about Etsy from one of my fellow crafters and once I saw the site, I was hooked!

Has your inventory changed much since you first opened?
My inventory hasn't changed much, but I'm still a new store. I'm in the process of working on new designs for this spring. I am currently using a paint that is very transparent (think suncatchers) and it has proved to be amazing for the butterflies I'm painting!

Who are the majority of your customers? How did they find you?
The majority of my customers are other amazing Etsians! I think in the beginning most customers found me by a keyword search so taking time to be accurate and creative in my tags and item descriptions was really important.

What inspires you to create?
My inspiration comes from what I can see. Beauty is all around us and sometimes we get so busy that we forget to stop and just look around. Life is just too short to forget to look for the details.

What is your favorite item in your shop currently? Your most popular item?
I guess my favorite item would probably be what I am currently working on--which would be designs with butterflies like the Monarch Butterflies Wine Glasses. I also like snowmen and I always have the most fun painting scenes with them as with Snowman Warming by an Open Fire Hand-painted Glass Ornament
My most popular item is a set of glasses that has a garland of shells painted around the entire glass. The design is painted in neutral colors (with a bit of peach), but I have had requests to make it more playful with shades of blue. I love custom orders! Shell Garland Wine Glasses
What has been your greatest resource to make your shop successful?
My greatest resource has been to constantly put God in first place in everything I do, followed by making sure that each piece is the best I can do. I won't offer something that I wouldn't be proud to put on my own table. After that, it all depends on whether my designs are what the customer is looking for!

Any changes coming to your shop in the future?
Just new items as the year goes on! I will be trying my hand at different glass items (picture frames, styles of glass) as well as seeing what I can do with wood and fabric. I like the idea of people being able to use and wear my art!

How else can we find you online? Any team affiliations?
My Facebook page: Mommy's Dream
My blog: Mommy's Dream Blog
SHE Team (Schooling at Home Etsians tag: sheteam)
CAST (Christian Artist Street Team tag: castteam)
EtsyNJ Team (tag: etsynj team)

LETS DO A GIVEAWAY! I would like to do a giveaway for a custom set of four wine glasses. You choose any design in my shop and pick the colors that will match your home! If you really like a current design, I will add something to it that will not be added to any other set, so it will always be one of a kind. Giveaway ends April 5th, 2010.

One entry for each of the following options:

1. Heart my shop ( Mommy's Dream ) If you already heart the shop, heart an item and let me know which one!

2. Become a fan on my Facebook page ( Mommy's Dream on facebook ) or if you're already a fan, mention my shop (and link) on your page. Pick an item to highlight! Be sure to include a link to this site ( ) as a "thank you" as well.

3. Post about my shop on your blog and be sure to let me know about it! Please be sure to mention this site in your blog as well ( ).

4. Talk about the shop on Twitter, MySpace, and any other forum you are on, as well as a shout-out to this site ( ).

5. TWO TIMES THE LOVE...make any purchase at my shop and I will double your entries!

Interested in being Handmade Shop of the Week? Email me for more information.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tracey Knits A New Banner

I was having this great discussion about branding with a friend last night. Things like who you are and what people to remember about what you sell.

I have established that I am Tracey (pretty clear in the name) but I dont think the fact that I knit has much to do with the products I create or the people who buy them. On the whole, my work is knit, yes, but it is also sports related. I started my line with golf club covers, and this winter I added a very successful line of football helmet hats. The people who buy from me chose the item because of their love of a team, not knit or handmade items. At least that is my interpretation based on sales.

SOOOO..... here is the POSSIBLE new version of my banner. My old banner is at the top of this blog for you to compare. I want opinions people! Do you think it is better/worse/no different? let me know!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Handmade Shop of the Week: Klose Knit

Eileen Skocdopole, KloseKnit, has been making Knitting/ Clothing/ Accessories since August of 2009. She is a master of making the basics fashionable, as seen with her houndstooth cowls and no-roll scarves.

Why did you decide to open your handmade shop?
I heard that Etsy was a great community, and I was impressed with the theme. And I thought, hey, give it a try!

Has your inventory changed much since you first opened?
Not much, I have added combos of hats and scarfs along with individual listings

Who are the majority of your customers? How did they find you?
I have invested a bit in showcase spots, and I truly think they have generated the most sales. Secondly would be word-of-mouth and family.

What inspires you to create?
I keep my eyes peeled for styles and adapt them to what I know about knitting and the style I knit in (the round)

What is your favorite item in your shop currently? Your most popular item?
I am loving my hounds tooth cowl, the green and white one. My most popular item is my "No Hat Head Hat"

What has been your greatest resource to make your shop successful?
patience and an optimistic outlook!! And a digital camera.

Any changes coming to your shop in the future?
Yes. I am going to offer more neutral boleros. And the rest is top secret. ;-)

How else can we find you online? Any team affiliations?
I have a twitter account to advertise new listings, and specials at
I also am a proud and happy member of the Etsy Knitters Team. And when I come across knitters whose work really speaks to me, I invite them to this great group!

Enter the Giveaway! New subscribers to my blog at will be entered into a contest to win a great free gift! Along with free shipping and inside updates to BOTH of my shop's specials and discounted proto-types.

And every 25th new commenter will also get a free gift! This giveaway will end April 15th.

Interested in being Handmade Shop of the Week? Email me for more information.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Making a removable laptop decal

i just got a new macbook and since it is still in good condition I am not ready to put a permanent sticker across the front. I know they make window clings and magnets but I really wanted something personal that I could not find in a shop. Having one made for you online can cost more then $30! For a sticker!!!

So I did a little online research and you can buy inkjet printable window cling paper. It costs $12.99 at Staples where I found it for 10 sheets, but it is 8.5x11 and you can make any design you want. Compared to $30 it seems pretty reasonable.

I am going to combine the two images shown to make a cool new sticker for my laptop. Both are my original illustrations so it will be good advertising too.

inkjet printable window cling paper
inkjet printer
scrap paper
ruler (to measure the surface you are making it for)

1) In your favorite design program, create an image that you want to adhere to your laptop
2) take measurements of the surface and make sure what you have created will cover it. Re-size to fit
3) be sure to print it on the scrap paper first to make sure it looks just like you want
4) print your final version and slap it on your laptop.

Here is my final design, I call it "Peace, Love and Apple"

Monday, March 8, 2010

Handmade Shop of the Week: The Enchanted Cupboard

Beccijo, of The Enchanted Cupboard, is the creator of wooden toys, dolls, minutures, and wedding cake toppers. She has been filling her shop with these simple pleasures since Oct. 08, 2008. Hard work and great ideas have brought her to the etsy front page as well as nick's parent's choice.

Why did you decide to open your handmade shop?
I wanted a creative outlet. Something that belonged to me. A place to share my art of toy making!

Has your inventory changed much since you first opened?
I had a few other items in the begining but the dolls have taken over.

Who are the majority of your customers? How did they find you?
Mom's wanting great toys that are natural. Toys that are good for the imagination and inspire!

What inspires you to create?
My kids and my imagination. Inside I never grew up!

What is your favorite item in your shop currently? Your most popular item?
My Mushroom Stacker is my favorite right now but the fairies are diffrent little girls in my life (some are no longer little but are mommies themselves but to me they will always be my little girls). My big sellers lately have been Fairy Kitchen Set and Fairy Doll Acorn Stacker

What has been your greatest resource to make your shop successful?
Research and understanding marketing. Seeking help when I needed it. Reinvesting my profits back into my shop for more supplies or advertising.

Any changes coming to your shop in the future?
Always more designs, more playboxes but also some limited addition items. All coming out this Spring, it seems the right time to launch new things.

How else can we find you online? Any team affiliations?
EtsyNJ Team,
NaturalKids Team, I am the Team Leader
Child's Play Market (1KM), I am the Market Manager

Seen on Etsy Front Page
Woodland Fairy Forest Accessory Set
Here in Fairyland the woods are full of Pretty little mushrooms and rich with little trees. The fairies have collected a few just for you. This forest accessory set is a lovely addition to any fairy playset or all on their own. Each set is hand painted. This set is for 3 mushrooms and two pine trees.

Here is how to enter: 1) comment on this article below 2) share this article on facebook/twitter 3) heart her shop and or your favorite item 4) blog about her shop and/or this giveaway

Interested in being Handmade Shop of the Week? Email me for more information.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sew Easy Labels

As you may or may not know, I will be selling my hand-knit golf club covers in a New Jersey store called Jersey Made in just a matter of weeks. In order to promote my brand, I decided to sew in labels to each one of my items available in the shop. In the past I have ordered labels from other etsians; not terribly expensive, but not my personal design either. So here is a way to DIY these sew in labels:

printable fabric (I used June Taylor Colorfast in White, available at Jo-ann fabric)
inkjet printer
microsoft word
scrap paper

these are instructions using microsoft word;
Click on Format and scroll down to document
change the width of you borders to the minimum allowed by your printer; mine is .6"
click on table and insert a table with 4 columns
fill in the information you wish to have in your first box
make sure to center the text vertically and horizontally in the box
copy and paste your final version across the row
then do the same for additional rows the length of the page
I was able to make 64 labels on one sheet this way

make sure to print a sample sheet
cut out your label and see if the size fits nicely where you would like it
when you have gotten the final version, print on your fabric
follow the instructions for making it washable on the package
cut out your little tags with enough room to sew them on
AND that is it! soooo easy.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Handmade Shop of the Week: ThreePeats Jewelry

Suzanne Lamberg, of Threepeats Jewelry, has been creating handmade jewelry for her shop since January 2007. She works often with recycled materials to make beautiful new things to adorn necks and ears.

I started creating my unique necklaces for myself, friends and family. When strangers started asking me to make them one I decided to open an online shop. Since I had discovered etsy as a buyer, it was the natural place for me to start selling.
I have added several new necklace designs and incorporated new materials such as vintage ribbon and lace and recycled t-shirt yarn and felt beads. I also started creating earrings at one customer’s request.
The majority of my customers seem to be young women, especially college students (I often ship to dorms!). I promote the shop on facebook and twitter where many customers seem to be hear about my work.
I have many inspirations. The materials themselves, especially the vintage beads and chain, speak to me. I also am inspired by people, places I’ve travelled to and music.
Right now, the favorite group of items in my shop are the T-shirt Yarn Necklaces. They are soft around the neck and lightweight. I’m all for comfortable, affordable jewelry.
I think personal connections ( as much as possible in the virtual world) have helped to make my shop successful. I create treasuries, respond to convos, twitter and blog about other peoples’ work. A new style of necklaces (shorter) I’m working on now came from ideas given to me by several prospective buyers. As an online buyer, I also know how important fast shipping is. I make sure all items purchased from me are shipped within 48 hours (easy to do if you live in NYC:))

I write two blogs, one about my jewelry ( ) and one about life in NYC ( ) People can follow me on Facebook @ and/or twitter @ I am also a member of the very active Etsy Twitter Team whose blog can be found @

LETS DO A GIVEAWAY! Threepeats is happy to offer the item of his/her choice from her etsy shop to one lucky winner! You recieve one entry into the drawing for each of the folowing actions: 1) Comment here on your favorite item in her shop 2) Tweet/Facebook about her shop and/or this amazing giveaway 3) become her fan on facebook and follow her on twitter 4) Heart her shop and/or your favorite item 5) Blog about it or find someother way to share your love of Threepeats with the world. Contest ends March 8, 2010

Interested in becoming Handmade Shop of the week? Email me for more information.