Friday, December 24, 2010

My little Kat

Another person who inspires my beaded designs is my 8 year old.  I'll call her Kat.  Kat likes to draw princesses with long hair that cover one eye.  Kat is very possessive with her drawings and requires that I get her permission before I duplicate any of her work.  She also instructed me to give her credit whenever I use her work. 

Kat's princess drawing.

Transformed into a seed bead charm.


Thank you Kat.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

About K - the designer

I have a jewelry designer of sorts...she inspires me with her drawings that I turn into beaded creations. 

K is 11 years old.  She likes to draw, read and write (see her blog at http://waveclan1.blogspot.com/).  She loves animals, especially cats.  K likes all things bright and colorful.  Here is her owl drawing.



Transformed into a beaded charm.

Stay tuned for more K designs.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jingle All The Way

My Christmas Tree Seed Bead Bracelet is featured in a Treasury created by Brazen Design Group.



Enjoy a 20% discount on your first order when you become a fan of Brazen Design Group on Facebook. The coupon code is listed on the discussion board in Facebook.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Marvelous Mustache

Did you know mustaches are a fashion trend...actually, it's an artsy trend according to an Etsy Storque article I just pulled up.  I thought it would be fun to work on my own mustache (not a real one on my face).  Here it is...


Have a great day!




Monday, December 6, 2010

Santa Seed Bead Charms

Here is a set of cute handmade beaded charms I just completed.  The Santa design is a pattern I found online, created by Jennifer Creasey.  These Santa charms make a great accessory for the holidays and keeps you in a jolly spirit year round. Use charms for cell phones, bags, backpacks, key rings and more...




Find it here on Etsy and get 15% off using the coupon code 15OFF.





Sunday, November 28, 2010

Raggedy Christmas Wreath

It's time to decorate for Christmas!  Here is a simple Christmas wreath tutorial.  The cost is minimal and the entire project will take less than an 1 hour to complete.   The final product is a funky, raggedy wreath that has a very cute handmade look to it.  It's a great appreciation gift to give to teachers, friends and family members especially if your child has a hand in making this holiday project.


You will need:

Wooden Embroidery Hoop.  I used one with a 5" diameter.  Take it apart.  Each side will make 1 wreath.


Embroidery Ring

Fabric in your choice of colors that you will tear into strips about 1.5" wide and cut into lengths of 5.5" and one longer piece (any color) about 12" long.   It doesn't need to be perfect in size.  I used red, checkered red, white and gold fabric. 


Fabric Strips
 
Step 1:  Tie your fabric strips onto your ring.  It doesn't matter where you start but try to alternate the colors.  Continue to tie around the entire hoop, leaving a small space to tie a loop for hanging.


Tie Strips to Ring

Step 2:  When you're nearly done with filling up your ring with your fabric strips, loop the longer piece of fabric onto you ring.  This will be used to hang your wreath.  Continue to tie more fabric pieces onto your ring until it is completely covered.  (I hid the knotted part of my long hanger piece near the hoop base.)


Make a Hanger

Step 3: Optional - trim the fabric on your wreath if you want a more "structured" look.
Step 4:  Hang your wreath.


Completed Wreath
 This is how the back of the wreath looks like.

Back View

Happy Holidays! 








Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Simple Baby Pink Bracelet with Heart Charm

I just added this baby pink beaded bracelet to my Etsy shop.  It comes with a removable matching heart charm. 


The bracelet measures 7 inches in length (about 18 cm) with the silver plated spring clasp.  A fun gift for the young and young at heart. Great bracelet for layering with other bracelets from my shop.

Come and see my other items at Handmade Cute on Etsy and remember to stop by for the November 26 Black Friday Sale.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

More Etsy Journey-ing

Thank you everyone who entered my first giveaway contest.  Eclairre (cute name) was announced the winner and she has already received her prize - the spiral rope bracelet.  I'm happy to say that Eclairre emailed me to say that she is very pleased with her prize.  

The contest was a lot of fun and it did bring more visitors to my blog and shop.  I think having my post featured on the Etsy Giveaways and By Hand Giveaways blogs helped to get the word out.  I was shivering in my seat thinking I would not get any contest participants but I am happy with the 9 entries I did receive.  

Here are my questions about this experience:  
  • Why did I get visitors to my post yet the visitor chose not to enter the contest when winning was sooo easy?
    • Is it because my product is undesirable?
    • Is it too much work to enter? (but then other sites using the same entry methods get tons of  entries.)
    • Is it a security/privacy issue?
    • Some other reason?
If you have any thoughts/answers/advice for me, I'd love to hear from you.  Think I'll go work on a bracelet now.  Here is my latest on Etsy.

Spiral Rope Bracelet, Turquoise/Black


.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Color Puce, An Etsy Treasury

What color is puce? 
Puce is a color that ranges from reddish-brown to purplish-brown or sometimes described as grayish-crimson.  

Puce, as a name, does not sound very pretty but look at the beautiful collection of art I discovered on Etsy using the color puce!

The Color Puce

Come check out the other elegant designs in the warm color of puce here on Etsy Treasuries.

Thank you to the following artists:

OhMay Designs
delightworthyn
Kokosh Knitting
free hippie
Motley Muse
Life in Sugar Hollow
Photowork by Dawn
Knot Original
CC Star
Ayca
The Screaming Needle
wapa
 
 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quickie Child's Apron

For the child who wants to help out in the kitchen or dress up, here's a tutorial on how to quickly make a child's apron.  An old pillowcase can be repurposed and made into a cute apron. This craft project required only a little sewing and the finished apron looks like this.

Quickie Pillowcase Apron
Step 1:
You will need to gather an old pillowcase, sew a strap for the waist and two smaller shoulder straps to go around the neck. You can use ribbons, cords or sew your own straps.
Step 2:
Sew the shorter straps onto the top corners of the pillowcase (on the seamed side not on the open side where you would slide your pillow into the case).  These are the neck straps.  For the waist strap, stitch the longer piece onto the pillowcase - just enough so it holds the waist strap into place.  The waist strap should be placed closer towards the top because you need room for pockets.

Adding straps onto the pillowcase.
 Step 3:
Fold the bottom of the pillowcase up to make pockets.  Pin into place then sew the edges to make the pocket.  Sew two straight stitches up through the big pocket  (like shown in the image below).  This will keep your pocket from drooping while creating handy pocket dividers.  By using the opened side of the pillowcase (rather than the seamed side) to make the pockets, you'll notice that compartments have doubled for more pocket space.  Decorate, embellish...have fun.

Your repurposed pillowcase - now an apron!
You've completed your child size apron made from an old pillowcase!

I added one of my frayed flowers by the shoulder. 

You'll notice that the apron has a loose, cowl neck fit around the neck.  If you would like a tigher fit, just knot the corners by the shoulder straps.

Another collar variation would be to sew a panel at the top where you could make a drawstring collar that would gather around your neck.

This apron would be a great gift if you use a pretty pillowcase.  You could add a recipe in the pocket along with fun kitchen tools.

I hope enjoyed this easy craft tutorial!

Ongoing giveaway contest. Submit an entry.
***

Friday, November 12, 2010

Joy of Crafting

What is the best thing that happened to you this week?

I made a new friend.  While doing what I normally do in my day, I met a mom and instantly we realized that we had a lot in common.  We decided to get together and chat...Starbucks Coffee, an Oat Cake and great conversation.  I'm glad there are so many nice people in this world!

Leilani at the Movies
Speaking of nice people, I was very, very suprised when I received a box in the mail from Joy from the Joy of Crafting blog.  My family hosted Flat Leilani during the summer as part of a JOC project.  We were already rewarded by bringing Leilani around on our activities but Joy also sent me these goodies.
Cute Stickers

Little Bird Project Book

Stamps, Ribbons and Photo Frame to Decorate

Colored Masking Tape

Bead Storage Box and Creative Captions

Have a wonderful weekend and thank you so much!

Current giveaway link: Enter to win!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Frayed Flowers Tutorial

I have this frayed flower listed on Etsy but you can make your own in just a few steps.

Frayed Flowers Hair Clip
  1. Using a cup as a template, I traced the rim on my fabric.
  2. I cut it out.
  3. By freehand, I cut the fabric in a continuing spiral pattern - thicker on the outer ring and getting smaller as you near the center. 
  4. Using a straight stitch, sew the spiral near the edges where you just cut. I started from the inside and moved out.
  5. Gather along the stitch and arrange into a flower pattern.
  6. Sew a bead or button in the center of the flower.
  7. Finally, using a glue gun, I glued the flower to the snap pin.  (Make sure your flower does not fray from the center out by making sure you glue close to the edge where you sewed.)
All done.

Remember to enter the Spiral Rope Bracelet Giveaway!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Please Enter for a Chance to Win...

Okay folks...here goes!  My first Handmade Cute Craft Giveaway! 

The prize is...



A cute, handmade Lemon-Lime Spiral Rope bracelet.  I love this piece for its bright, fresh colors.  It's tart, sassy and sweet all at the same time. 

This bracelet was carefully weaved by hand using the spiral rope stitch method.  Many tiny size 8, Japanese Toho seed beads were used to create this piece.  The total length of the bracelet is 7.25 inches.  Fasten the bracelet to your wrist with the pretty silver plated toggle clasp.  A yellow heart charm finishes off the look.

Rules:

1. Contest dates (Hawaii time - Time Converter)
Monday, November 8, 2010 at 7:00:00 AM
Monday, November 15, 2010 at 7:00:00 AM
2. Open to adults 18 and over from US.
3. Winner will be chosen by Random.org.
4. Winner will be announced Tuesday, November 16 and will have 3 days to claim prize via email.

How to Enter:  (Leave a separate comment for each entry).

1. Leave a comment below for one entry.
2. Follow HandmadeCute on Twitter. Leave a comment and your Twitter ID please.  1 additional entry ~ optional,
3. Share this on Twitter then leave a comment with your tweet link. 1 additional entry ~ optional.
4. Share this on Facebook and leave a comment with your link.  1 additional entry ~ optional.
5. Share this on your personal blog and leave a comment with your link.  1 additional entry ~ optional.
Okay, that's it!  Good luck and tell your friends about this giveaway.

More information and photos for this bracelet are available in my Etsy shop.

Thanks so much!


 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Giveaway

Hello Everyone!

For those who are following my blog, you may know that I am trying to "get serious" about my crafting and selling on Etsy.  Some days I'm more serious than others...whew! seriousness is hard work! I noticed all the people having fun with "giveaways" and I'm into fun so as soon as I can work out the details, I'm going to give it a shot.

This is what I learned about giveaways.
  • Sponsoring a giveaway is a wonderful way to promote and get new traffic to your site.
  • Give away something of value that represents your style.
  • Your giveaway item should be attractive as if you are selling it.
  • Don't make it hard for the readers to win your item.
  • Don't drag out the qualifying period.
  • Be clear about the rules.
  • Don't annoy your readers/followers by constantly harping them about your giveaway.
  • Reach out to other networks that promote giveaways.
  • Host your giveaway on another blog that has more traffic than your own blog.
  • Treat your winner like a customer and follow through.
I found great information on meylah.  Come back for my Giveaway.  Thanks!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Knots in Her Hair

Easy to make but very cute hair clips!


I got a scrap piece of fabric and cut it into two 3" x 3" squares.
I rolled it up.
Tied each one into loose knots.
Used my glue gun to stick it onto snap hair clips.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Photography

I've been dilly-dallying, trying to not think about this section called "Item Photography" in the Etsy Success for Beginners Sellers guide because I need serious improvement in this area.

There are so many "how-to" photography articles and I get overwhelmed by the details.  Things to consider are...
  • Lighting.  What I remember about this is - natural lighting is best.
  • Background.  I experiment but try to stick with white because when I'm adjusting the image on my photo software, I know my background should be white.  If it turns purple, I know I'm waaaayyyy off from my item's real color.
  • Close-Ups.  I know I should be using macro mode.
  • Angles.  I know taking shots from different angles creates a something that is more interesting.
  • Cropping.  I know nothing.
  • Grouping.  Just put 'em all together right?
  • Additional Photos.  The customer needs to know what he/she is buying so the additional photos should give an idea of size, texture, smell...  I definitely need improvement in this area. 
  • Upselling.  Is there something else in my store that will go good with this purchase?  Hmmm...I mention getting a gift box.  I'm sure I can work on this part while actually having fun.
  • Editing.  Need help.  The article mentions Piknic, Picasa and Gimp.  I've tried Piknic and Picasa.  Maybe I can learn Gimp.
I like to blame my ugly photos on my modest point and shoot camera.  Should I invest in a camera that is more "professional"?  Well, I will work on my photography techniques and let you know if I was able to follow these tips and make any improvements on my photos.

More on this topic:
Beginning of Success...I hope!
It's All in the Name
Shop Set Up

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Happy Halloween Treasury

I feel soo honored that My Hobby Shop felt my little pumpkin charm was up to snuff to be placed in his Happy Halloween Treasury (and right next to the a magnificent Day of the Dead, Paper Mache Mask!).

pumpkin charm 2

This is a wonderful Treasury with the magic and bewitchery of Halloween.  You may also be inclined to visit My Hobby Shop's Etsy store to see the array of glamourous merchandise.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Candy Corn Bird

I've been missing my blog this week and haven't had time to create anything new for my shop but this was my latest creation - a little beaded bird charm in candy corn colors.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Shop Set Up

I'm proceeding to the next part of the Etsy's beginner's guide called Shop Set Up.  This part tells you about registering account, creating a profile bio and the necessities to get started.  Here is my bio...

if just for today
cow are purple, pigs do fly
come imagine with me

One day I will find a way to make all the images in my mind find its way into my creations. My mind moves faster than hands and my days move quickly into night...read more
On to...Banners
My banner should be professional and give my customers a sense of my shop.   Here is my banner:


This is my newest banner (taking away the "+" that I felt was unnecessary and discussed earlier).  It does represent my shop by showing a product that I made it gives buyers a feel of what I sell. My banner is not professionally made and maybe one day I will be able to afford a professional.  How can I improve my banner?  Do you have any suggestions?

Avatars - should be well lit, well cropped, show something interesting.

This is my Avatar.  Avatars are used for community spaces and is an advertisement for your shop while you're on the go.  Once again I'm am using my bunny earrings with my bright yellow background.  It represents my shop well but should I get rid of the wording and use just the image?

Shipping and shipping profiles - set 'em up in your shop.

There are many times when I really, really want to buy a product online and then I see "does not ship to Hawaii".  What a major bummer! Other times, my shopping decision is based on the price of shipping...too high, no buy!  In my shop, I ship only to the US, Canada and UK.  Furthermore, the cost of shipping may make up more than 50% of my product price. If I was shopping from my own site, these things would scare me away unless these costs could be offset in some other way.  Therefore, I sometimes combine my pieces into sets to make the "value of product to shipping price" more reasonable.  I also offer free shipping when customers buy 5 or more items from my shop.

To determine postage price, I went to the USPS online postage calculator and weighed my items.  I categorized them into shipping profiles. 

Conclusion:
I did what I was told to do but maybe I can get into the next Etsy virtual lab discussion and have an evaluation made on my banner, avatar and shipping issue. 

My Etsy Journey Posts:
* Beginning of Success...I hope!
* It's All in the Name