Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Craftfest this weekend !

Hi there

Somehow I've got myself involved in the virtual craftfest this weekend and it sounds fun fun fun !

It's being run by CreativeConnections - The crafters network and they have lined up 175 virtual shops for this weekends fest. It will be a frenzy of beautiful hand made items , chit chat and advise.


If you want to see what I'm up to , then take a look at my page http://creative-connections.ning.com/profile/TheFeminineTouch

Creativeconnections is here - http://creative-connections.ning.com/

Nearer the time (only 3 days away) they will be publishing our craftfest albums so you can browse at your leisure

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Progress , Photos and Sales !

Sorry , its been a while since I last spoke to you all.  It was then that I was a bit disappointed with Etsy , thinking that recent changes to the system had meant that sales were no longer coming my way from the US.  I decided that I would make a concerted effort with Etsy whilst looking at other options for selling my hand made goods.  
Other options have included trying to sell my goods at a craft fair, whilst this was unsuccessful (see http://bloglaunchfemininetouch.blogspot.com/2011/07/thefemininetouch-1st-craft-fair.html) I did learn lots and lots about craft fair selling. It’s totally a different game to on-line selling but has many similarities too. Presentation is the main thing, and that will be what I concentrate on when doing my next craft fair in November.  I have already got my eye on house-hold things that I can present my hand made items in / on.
I have also taken a look at some of the other on-line shops selling hand made items and I have listed 5 of my bags on the “Big Cartel”. http://thefemininetouch.bigcartel.com/ 5 items can be listed for free. Listing an item on the “Big Cartel” is just like listing on Etsy, exactly the same information is asked for. The only drawback in taking the free option is only 1 photo can be displayed per item.  Since listing my 5 bags I have limited views of them , but with no way of promoting its just a matter of leaving them there and seeing what happens.
As for Etsy itself, I have concentrated on trying to make my items more appealing to everyone.  Thinking that if my items are more appealing , then they will be featured in more treasuries , get more hearts and then potentially end up on the Front Page in the FP treasury and taste tests.
I believe I now have retaken photo’s of maybe 90% of my items , transforming dull grey shots into colourful bright and crisp shots. 
Examples are all over my shop - http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheFeminineTouch?ref=si_shop .
I’m no expert but I believe with a bit of trial and error I have improved my photographs 100%.  I have looked at what gets on the Front page now and tried to mimic the same in terms of crispness , brightness and interest.
And has it made any difference ?, I personally think so , 5 of my items have been on the Front Page during the last few weeks and whilst this has not brought any direct sales it has brought me many hearts , and what do hearts mean ? they mean more chances to be in the taste tests and with the recent Etsy changes in using Relevancy as the default , it means that my items are becoming more relevant to the potential buyers.
Am I happy once again ? Yes – 5 brilliant sales in August – That’s what its all about.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

TheFeminineTouch 1st craft fair

I have just completed my 1st craft fair at our local garden centre. Every few months they open the centre to around 20 craft stalls taking a "deposit" of £5 to secure the stall. The fair is open 4 hours , just enough time and cheap enough (free) for me to get a feel for how a craft fair would work for me.  They madly advertise the fair on posters and in local schools. I had found the fair on the Internet , so I knew that it had been well advertised.

In preparation for the fair I created some new cheaper items for my shop.

A range of new knitted hand warmers , I thought would do the trick.

I spent the day before pricing up all my accessories and making sure I had writing pads, scissors , bags, tape etc all at hand for the day. I used the list that my Craft Britannia friends had given me to ensure a successful craft fair.

This morning I was confident and felt self assured. Nothing could go wrong . Everything was in the car ready . Lunch and drinks were packed . I was dressed casually but prettily with one of my new brooches pinned on to my lovely feminine top (one with 2 big pockets to hold all my change etc). I felt good.

I arrived at the garden centre and made 4 trips back and forth between the car and the stall and then I realised my mistake !

Where do I put all this stuff on this little 6 foot stall. I had made the mistake of bringing everything I had crafted for the last 8 months and expected it to look oh so pretty on the table in front of me. I looked around me and saw some beautiful stalls, set out so professionally. Next to me was a stall with a smart box full of knitted phone cases , half a dozen lovely hand knitted bags and 5 knitted toys. You could easily see what she was selling and you could easily appreciate what she had.

And what did I do ..............I put every single item on to the stall , thinking that someone out there would be able to pick out something that they liked from this jumble of a stall. I knew no better.

Well I do now. I did get some people interested in some items , I did talk about recycling , knitting on big needles and how I had just learnt to crochet. I felt confident in talking about these things. A handful asked if they could have a business card (probably so that they could view items in a more professional setting). I hung ruffle scarves around my neck and wore one of the messenger bags so that they could see my goods.

But.....................not one sale.

So what did I get out of today?

1. I was confident and realised it was OK to talk about my craft

2. That I needed to plan my stall layout, find something to hang my scarves on , put my brooches in , hand my bags on etc

3. Not put all my items on the stall, pick items appropriate to the event

4. Wear my items (and I don't mean just at the craft fair). I really enjoyed doing this

5. I found out that there was another craft fair at the garden centre in November just in time for Xmas

6. I had 2 opportunities to join other craft fairs in the village. Yes I was head hunted.

7. This is all a learning curve and just to enjoy it.

Hope you enjoyed my day too.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Big Knitting - Guess what it will be

For my birthday at the beginning of June I received some very large knitting needles 25mm diameter , which is over twice the size of any needles I had in my tube of knitting needles ! Wow I thought , I should really be able to create some monstrous creations in record time now. 

Of course in reality this never happened. Big knitting needles have their own problems and there is no way that you can go at any speed.  You have to have lots of space as it is impossible to tuck the needles under your arm pits as you do with ordinary sized needles. I took over the 3 seater settee when using mine. 

Casting on and doing the 1st row is probably the most difficult and then once you have got over that you are on your way.

My 1st item is on Etsy , unfinished !! I created a sort of guessing game to try and get people interested and to try and get some hearts on the item before it was actually finished. Here it is- http://www.etsy.com/listing/76119823/big-recycled-red-chunky-cashmere-knitted . Please heart if you want to see the finished result.
Big Recycled Red Chunky Cashmere knitted on BIG needles. What am I going to be Big Recycled Red Chunky Cashmere knitted on BIG needles. What am I going to be Big Recycled Red Chunky Cashmere knitted on BIG needles. What am I going to be
The FeminineTouch has started knitting me in this gorgeous recycled cashmere yarm , so thick and beautiful you wouldn't believe it.

She is knitting me using a pair of enormous knitting needles with a 25mm diameter , so big that you can only fit around 30 stitches on it!

Notice the 20p piece in the photo , WOW ! I'm going to be truly BIG !

She needs to find some chunky recycled buttons or beads for fringing to enhance me even further , and in the meantime she is going to keep you (and me) guessing as what my role in my new life is going to be.

If you want to see how I turn out , then please "heart" me , so you can keep track of me

Please do not purchase me yet , I'm not ready and the price and shipping costs have not been worked out correctly

TheFeminineTouch tells me she intends knitting more accessories with her enormous knitting needles so you need to keep an eye on her too.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A strategy to increase Etsy views

I said in my most recent blog that I was going to come up with a strategy to try and increase my views in the US; as given that 70% of people using Etsy are from the US and Canada it was reasonable to think that views from there should well exceed those that my shop gets from the UK.

I decided to take a 4 pronged approach to this.

The 1st approach was targeted at the US and Canada market. I knew that views on items increased dramatically when an item was renewed and so I decided that I needed to pick a prime time for renewing my items. A time when lots of people from the US and Canada would be using Etsy. I did a bit of research and found out that 80% of the US and Canada people were from eastern and central areas  (this equates to 57% of Etsy).  It is thought that in general people browse Etsy mostly in the evenings  from early evening to midnight , peaking between 8:00pm and 10:00pm. Those people that are on a mission to buy will do this mid morning between 9:00am and 1:00pm.  Further  research told me that eastern and central US  were 5 and 6 hours behind UK time. So if I could coordinate some listings around their peak time of browsing and shopping then in theory  I should have some wonderful viewing stats. 

I spent a week from the 8th June re-listing 3 items during the late evenings between 10:00pm and 1:00am, hitting US and Canada from early evening onwards.  I can honestly report that I did NOT see the usually increase in views after I re-listed any item. It was like my new listings were invisible to the US and Canada market. I soon gave up on this.

My 2nd approach was to try and get to the bottom of why my re-listed items seem to not exist in the US and Canada. I have been involved in numerous forum threads on Etsy trying to understand this. I’m hoping this strategy of getting involved and trying to get Etsy to understand that their software changes might be causing this, will pay off. 

My 3rd approach was targeted at everyone that uses Etsy. I decided that my photographs were the key thing for people to decide whether they even liked my item never mind wanted to buy it.  I watched Etsy videos on how to take good photos and the kind of photos that need to be included on each listing. I’m not saying that I have followed their advice to the letter but I’m sure my photographs have improved. I have purchased a mannequin to display my scarves and I have taken “situation” photographs to try and show the accessory off.  In a few weeks time I plan to use my daughters rented property to display some of my homeware items. Her house is full of white walls , dark wooden floors and great big beams , ideal for photo shoots.


And here is some other useful info





 Here are some of my before and after photo's. Look how the scraves look llike scarves now.





And then some of my "situation" photos - I call them "abandonment"






My 4th approach was to somehow get UK people to know about Etsy , come to the site and buy from us.  More of that in my next blog posting.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Etsy viewing stats by country

Hi everyone

There have been lots of discussions on Etsy about sales decreasing or near enough disappearing over the last few months. I have been one of those culprits that has been joining the Etsy forums trying to find out from Etsy if the recent changes to Etsy (regional front pages or the Taste Test) has been making the difference.  We may never know the answer !!



   I  decided to do a bit of digging around to find what was happening with my shop views , so I could come up with a strategy to make some improvements to views and then sales. I have used GA to plot my views over the last 5 months on a graph. As you can see above the USA and the UK are fighting for a lead in the viewing stakes. Which at 1st I thought was really good,  but then I got thinking.  70% of Etsy are in the USA and Canada , so why aren't the views for them really high. And the other point was , I was promoting and promoting like mad , chatting on UK forums , taking part in UK BNR's and this was getting me lots of views (about the same as those I get from the USA).  So , If could do the same with US Etsians my views should go sky high. 

The graph also shows the blip in views somewhere in March / April. Does this correspond with the changes to Etsy I wonder. With a little more digging I'm sure I can find out exactly when those views dipped.

Watch out for my next post. I will be telling you my plans for increasing those US views.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Business cards to promote my shop

Remember a while ago I talked about how I could promote my shop outside those people that sell and shop on Etsy anyway. I have been checking via Google analytics to see whether the search engines are bringing in extra visitors and yes they are , but not as many as I would like. Now I have got into twitter I am trying to promote through there and Facebook as well. 

But I really need to tackle the people I see everyday , that are not aware of Etsy and don't even know that lovely hand made items are even available on the Internet.

So I am having some business cards made up and thought you would be interested in a sneak preview. I am using these 2 sets of photos on the back of the business cards so that interested shoppers can see the range of items I sell. I intend to take them with me on my little jaunts round the country in my motorhome. I do feel more comfortable talking to people I don't know yet about my shop rather than my friends and family. Strange I know....














DayZeeLoveDesigns http://www.etsy.com/people/DayzeeLoveDesigns will be making up the order in the next few days once I have designed a logo for my shop to go on the front of the business cards.

I am really pleased with the result and will be looking forward to them arriving in the post.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Custom Order - v shaped orthopedic cushion / pillow cover

Morning everyone


I mentioned the custom order in a recent post. Well it's finished now and I thought you may be interested in the finished result. 

Also I would like some comments from you all as to whether you think it's something I should be adding to my shop. Maybe giving the customers a choice of fabrics and colour of yarn.

Also , whilst I was knitting it , I was concience of keeping the shaping as simple as possible because then I could write this up as a pattern to sell on-line. Again , if you could leave a comment if you have had experience of making and selling pdf patterns it would be much appreciated.

Anyway to get back to the main point , below are some piccies taken of the finished cushion.

A close up of the knitted side of the pillow

The other side

In situ

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Book shelf plan

Book shelf plan

I decided this morning that I need to get organised before I do any more crafting or even decorating.

This should take my mind of crafting for a little while, even though it is related (organising my crafts sounds wicked) and should get me in the mood for sorting my house out (mentioned in my previous post) .  I’m also rubbish at doing any paperwork , paying bills etc, although some how they always get paid and on time.  I feel that it is something I don’t do very well. 

So I went and bought myself a bookcase (well it’s a CD / DVD case really) and came up with a plan.

  1. Put next to the desk / near electric points
  2. Work books / physiological books  / crafting books – organise
  3. Desk light – get bulb, place on top of bookshelf
  4. Electronic photo-frame – set up
  5. Use sticky labels – so know where to put things back when I move them
  6. Boxes to keep odds and end in (for crafts working on now?) – label
  7. Organise letters/ bills – those read / those not read / those that require some work to – in / out / pending
  8. Organise desk drawers & label
  9. Magazines – where do these go?
  10. Stuff in files – organise / sort out – where do these go?
  11. Stuff in filing cabinet – can I sort out so can replace with coffee table?
  12. And then ............ & only then create something handmade to go on my bookcase (pinched this idea off one my followers - thanks Joy)
Can you all make sure I stick to the plan , especially number 12 please.

So here is my bookcase now , lets see what it is like in a few days

Is crafting and trying to sell on Etsy addictive?

I talked one day about whether Etsy BNR’s (Buy Next Round – I think it stands for) were addictive or not . I think I came to the conclusion that they were.
But now, wondering whether the whole crafting thing and trying to sell on Etsy is in itself addictive . Yes the whole thing!!
You see , since I started crafting again (after many years not doing it) and trying to sell on Etsy I’ve let the whole house go to wrack and ruin. Normally during the winter months I get decorating (and I do love doing it) and I know now that the hallway and staircase is in need of some tender loving. The walls were painted a loving light blue a few years back , they now look a shady grey . I stencilled a gold architectural border and now it looks rather naff. The coat hook’s are hanging off the wall cos I put up the wrong size (obviously need a much bigger one) and the wooden floor in the hallway , which I lovingly sanded needs a right good varnish.
And that’s only the start of it, the settees in the back lounge come dining room are broken (its really painful now to sit on them) so I need to buy new ones and that means re-decorating, the garden fences all need re-painting as well as the whole garden needing a tidy up.
The bathroom needs a new carpet in it (we never did like that dark brown one I put in) and the walls and ceiling could do with a lick of paint.

So……………...do I force myself to stop crafting and Etsying for a while and do some sorting out of the house!

Please tell me what to do ! I’m addicted to crafting at the moment and can’t see a way out !

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

To tweet or not to tweet that is the question

I'm not one for chit chat , gossip telling or anything like that so I had been keeping myself away from twitter as I felt that it wasn't for me. Happy to blog about subject areas close to my heart and see if I can get anyone else interested too. That is fun :) (Yes I enjoy talking to you all), but chatting was a bit of a No No for me.

Anyway I started hearing stories of people having over 3,000 followers and getting some sales that way. And because I want some sales (I wouldn't have a shop if I didn't want sales) I have decided to succumb.

At this moment in time I have over 20 followers and having been on twitter just over a day. Most of these are my CraftBritannia friends and then just a few are some weirdo people who I don't think will have any interests in what I sell. Mmmmmm weird.

I intend to chat (Yes this will be out of my comfort zone) whenever I can , without boring everyone to death with listings from my shop.

I would like to use it to get ideas from you people as to what I should be making , tips on your favourite colours and yarns, what knitting stitches you prefer etc. You know what I like and love to make , its all there in my shop - but is that what the public want?

If anyone , has any ideas as to how I can increase my followers, please let me know. It might be just one of those things that will happen gradually without me having to really do much (except chat) but if there is something else I need to do , then tell me please.

Obviously if you are reading this , then I'm hoping as a matter of course you will follow me and tweet this as well !

Saturday, 16 April 2011

The wonders of crochet

I mentioned in my last blog post , how I had been on a creative knitting workshop weekend and it had turned into a wonderful weekend where I learnt to crochet.

Well I have been practising some more during this week and I'm here to show you my creativity. It's big! so watch out!
 This was made using double strands of Rowan Big Wool. Somehow I am going to create 1 huge cushion and have this motif on the front of it.

 More circles , stars and squares , again made out of Rowan Big Wool. Not too worried about any unevenness , because once I felt this wonderful wool they all disappear!

And here's the felted result. Really looking forward to posting these on Etsy, see what feedback I get.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Creativity in crochet

Went shopping this lunch time for some new tools for my craft. Yes bought a couple of crochet hooks !

I'm a knitter than can now crochet.

Always wanted to do it , I've tried following patterns and watching videos on the Internet but never got it. I've always been envious of those little pretty flowers and elegant table mats and always wondered whether I would ever get to a stage in my life where I could make them myself. Well I'm there now !

And how did I do it? you ask. I attended a lovely "creative knitting" workshop last weekend and spent all the weekend near enough having 1:1 tuition. I have crocheted 1 massive motive on size 15mm hooks (the creative knitting was all about making large things using chunky wool on large needles or hooks) and I have learnt how to read patterns.

And now I am at home , having purchased size 3.5 and 5mm hooks and wonder how I'm going to do it. A small delicate flower sounds so fragile after I've been crocheting with those massive size 15mm hooks.

Stay in touch..............I'll let you know

Monday, 4 April 2011

Testing the Etsy treasury point scoring

Hia


Remember a while ago I let you know about some interesting information I had found out about how treasuries get HOT ! . Here it is if you can't remember - http://bloglaunchfemininetouch.blogspot.com/2011/02/etsy-treasury-point-scoring.html#comments

Well , with my Craft Brittania friends http://craftbritannia.blogspot.com/ we tried the theory out last weekend. A group of us got together and picked some of our best items to include in 3 spring themed treasuries. Kitzie made some lovely treasuries for us and then we clicked , commented and viewed each others treasuries. We read the rules and knew that it was no use commenting on our own treasuries , we had to comment on the ones we were not featured in. And guess what  - I think it worked. 

Within 5 hours we had one of the treasuries as hot as you can get and the other two were only a little way behind.

So was this a fluke , or was it because we were taking note of the information I supplied. 


I'm hoping that I can get some comments from you all as to what you think? Did you take note of the information? Did you click , view and comment on the other treasuries?

Please leave your comments

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Etsy Euroweek 2011 - A few shops from the UK

Thought I would leave the United Kingdom to the very end of my quest to promote European shops during Euroweek.

Featuring Peg Bessie - http://www.etsy.com/shop/PegBessie


My name is Rachel Bessey, I am a self-employed artist, I trade on Etsy under the name of Peg Bessie as my Great Grandmother was a peg maker and this nick-name has carried down the generations.
I split my time between Norfolk in England and a commune in Andalucia, Spain. I live close to nature in both countries where the peace and colours of nature help me indulge my work.
I work with a variety of materials and styles as I like to keep things exciting! so in store you will find Ceramic sculptures, recycled art plates, digital prints, paintings, jewellery and always other new and unexpected items. If I were to sum up my style I would say colour, pattern and humour are key to my work. Its about fun, escapism and not taking life too seriously!

Featuring Lucyloucreations - http://www.etsy.com/shop/lucyloucreations



My name is Lucy I live in a little market town called Penistone on the pennines in South Yorkshire, England. I love unusual fabrics. I'm a fabric addict and collect fabrics from all over the world. I make accessories from my fabric finds. I was brought up with sewing and learnt from a young age as my mum made all my clothes as a child and sewing is like second nature and I adore every second.

I live quite close to Barnsley which has a language all of its own.. for example:
Hey up = Hello
Ah tha gooin on? = How are you?
I ent sin thee fer ages = I haven't seen you for sometime
What thy onervbart thee? = I'm sorry, I don't understand

Etsy Euroweek 2011 - A shop from Latvia

Requests are coming in thick and fast to be featured in these blog posting to celebrate Euroweek on Etsy.

Today I am featuring Rita who owns a shop called Alatvian http://www.etsy.com/shop/alatvian. These are her words:-


I'm Rita from Latvia living and creating in a small village next to the Baltic sea.

As far, as I can remember, I have always been busy creating with every material I got in my hands. But my greatest love goes to wearable creations, especially - to all kinds of textiles and stones. It started with knitting. My mom taught me at very young age, and has never stopped. I've tried loads of different techniques and materials until now and still love to learn something new and to help others to do so, too.





Formally educated as a Germanist, I had my career as a German teacher and translator, but it crashed with the wold's economy. I still do translations, when I get any, as I can't live with my two younger children from selling my finds and creations for now and I like to translate and help people to understand each other. I teach crafts to children and adults, whenever there is somebody willing to learn. :)

I'm thankful to have found Etsy and excited about the truly international and loving community there, especially the fabulous European Street Team! 



My first on-line shop there was opened 2 years ago. For now there are 3 of them www.etsy.com/shop/alatvian www.etsy.com/shop/alatsupplies www.etsy.com/shop/alatceramics. Now I'm closing the ceramics shop and moving the rest of my ceramics to the two others, as every day on this planet has got only 24 hours and I have to set some priorities.

Many thanks to TheFeminineTouch - Her shop for featuring me in her blog and to all of you for reading about me!

Namaste

Etsy Euroweek 2011 - An Italian shop

Here we are , yet another shop from my favourite European country - Italy :) and Roma is such a lovely city , so romantic.

I bijoux dello Stregatto is the name of the shop - http://www.etsy.com/shop/bijouxdellostregatto

Hi!

My name is Priscilla, I’m from Rome where I live with my husband, my daughter and my cat.

The name of my shop is “I bijoux dello Stregatto” . Probably you are asking yourself why, and who is Stregatto?
Stregatto in italian is Cheshire cat of "Alice in Wonderland". I love cats, and I think that they are really magic!

But don’t worry: I also love all other animals!

I take inspiration from everything around me. I look to the past (I love the vintage style so much!), to nature, and I think that we must listen to our mood too.

I've loved to be crafty since I was a little child.

There are so many things I like to do with my hands... but there is so little time to make them!

I love crocheting, knitting and cross stitching. 

Jewelry is my passion though.



I create and sell one of a kind or limited edition jewelry. I don’t like to make massive production: I think that every woman is unique and so must be her jewels.

I love to use crystal beads, pearls, charms, silver....and I love to experiment with new techniques. I think that there is a jewel for every mood and I can wear little earrings or enormous ones...it all depends on my mood!

I also love to collect jewelry, especially American vintage jewelry.

I am a stay at home mom and I work in the morning or late in the evening, in a smoke free space. My table is in front of the window and while I’m working I can see the trees around me.

I opened my shop on Etsy on 2008 and I love so this community so much.

I have many friends here, from every country of the world: I think that this is really exciting!

I love my work so much!

"The jewelry of the Cheshire Cat"

Etsy Euroweek 2011 - A shop from Slovenia


This is such a cute shop , I can't resist promoting it as part of Euroweek 2011.



Hi! 

My name is Tina and I'm 24 years old. I live in Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia where I study fashion & textile design. I also love graphic design and illustration.

I have been crafting since I was a little girl. My mom was always supporting me so I was able to try anything that I found interesting to do. It started with drawing and paper crafting then I fell in love with modelling using polymer clay... One day I decided to learn how to sew (I was "sew" lucky that my mom had a machine), and here I am - sewing and stuffing toys; I love it! 




I'm crazy about colours and I can't imagine a day without them.
I find inspiration in things that make me happy... Beautiful sunny days, shining stars, fresh snow, cute little puppies, smiles on people's faces...



FizziMizzi toys are insanely soft, each and one of them is made with enormous amounts of love and with attention to details in mind. You can choose your favorite one or you can make a custom order of toy in your favorite color, material, shape and size. In my shop you will find a perfect gift for any child or for the kid in all of us!

Etsy Euroweek 2011 - A shop from Poland

This my last day !

Well it certainly has been an interesting week. We have travelled throughout Europe and visited over 20 unique shops and had a little peek into the lives of the shop owners. 

Today I'm featuring a shop from Poland - Amadeitknits - http://www.etsy.com/shop/amadeitknits


My name is Aga and I'm the person behind www.amadeitknits.etsy.com.

I'm a knitter and my adventure with yarn started when I was a little girl. I was surrounded with amazing and talented women who made magic with needles. One of them knitted some clothes for my dolls, and then I just knew I had to learn how to make such beautiful things myself. And the minute I took the needles into my hands, I was hooked.

Now I knit mostly accessories - and that's what you'll find in my shop. My recent addiction is lace shawls. I'm having lots of fun making them, and I believe every woman should have at least one. I love yarns that are so light that they seem almost weightless. For me they are the ultimate definition of small luxury:)




I blog about my projects here:
amadeitknits.blogspot.com
and tweet about the shop here:
twitter.com/AmadeitKnits

I live in Łódź (say "would you" very fast, and the sounds responding to the first six letters will give you the right pronunciation:)), Poland, a city which has always been famous for its textile industry. We call it "the city of four cultures" - Polish, Jewish, Russian and German - as it reflects our multicultural history. 



It's a fantastic source of inspiration for many artists. Our Art Academy has great departments of fashion design, textile and jewelry; our Film School gave the world many talented movie makers. We have countless architectural treasuries - small palaces and huge factories built in the 19th and early 20th century. Today these factories, once alive with the clatter of looms, have been turned into museums or shopping and entertainment centers (I highly recommend Manufaktura /www.manufaktura.com/ - a magnificent example of modern use for industrial architecture).

Recently my city has become the host of Łódź Fashion Week – hopefully one day this event will be as huge as the ones held in the fashion capitals of the world. And maybe I’ll see you there?

Friday, 25 March 2011

Etsy Euroweek - A shop from Italy

Hi

Another shop to promote as part of Etsy Euroweek 2011.  This is the 2nd shop from Italy that I am featuring. I love Italy myself having worked near Milan (just outside Cuneo) for 6 months more than 30 years ago! The Italian language makes me melt , it so sultry and sexy.

Anyway , back to the shop , it's called CloudNumberNine http://www.etsy.com/shop/CloudNumberNine

This is Sylivia's story

My name is Silvia and I'm 21 years old. I live in the north of Italy, in Milan, the Fashion Capital! I really love my country and it gaves me the right inspiration for my art jewelry. I completed high school three years ago and I went up to the chemistry's university 'till I realised that I need a life without schedules and rules.

I have always done creative things since I was young, every year my mum and I make a lot of new christmas' decoration and she teach me the cross-stitching and other tecnique.



I fell in love with beads and beadwoven jewelry only few years ago, and I opened my shop to share my love for hand-stiched art with seeds beads. This is very facinating area and I want to share it all over the world!

In my shop you can find different kind of jewelry made with heart, I love every single pieces that I make, and of course I always use high quality supplies.



I also join the "Artist Aid for Japan" causes: in my shop there are some special listing, all their proceeds will go to the American Red Cross to aid the victims of the Japanese Tsunami.

My shop: www.etsy.com/shop/CloudNumberNine
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CloudNumberNineHandmade
Twitter: twitter.com/CloudNineShop

Etsy Euroweek 2011 - A shop from Ireland

To celebrate coming nearly to the end of my promotion of European countries I am going to cover a lovely island near the United kingdom (my own home country).

That is Ireland and a shop called Balanced - http://www.etsy.com/shop/Balanced

My name is Rachel Walsh. I am the owner/creator/maker behind balanced, jewellery and home decor. I specialize in bead-woven metal pieces, but I offer other things as well. 

I create from my home studio in Dublin, Ireland where I am inspired constantly by my surroundings. I am originally from California, US, but I have lived here in Ireland for a little over 5 years now.




Most of my items are original one of a kinds and all are lovingly hand crafted.
I have been beading/making jewellery for over ten years and I take great pride in my work.

I love and support the handmade movement, 100%.

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about me and my work!
:)

Etsy Euroweek 2011 - a shop from the Netherlands

I'm getting nearer and nearer to the end of the week when I will stop promoting European shops for Euroweek. It's been such a thrill to read all the stores , such wonderful places and shops :)

Today it's the turn of Missnatch - http://www.etsy.com/shop/missnatch


Hi crafters!

My name is Nathalia and I'm 36 years old. I was born in Bandung and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, currently residing in Deventer, the Netherlands with my lovely husband. I moved to Holland 1.5 years ago following my husband who's been here for ages.


 

Living in the new country with a new language is a bit challenging. After 3 months in Holland, which I can consider as a long break after my super busy time in my previous work, I started looking for something I could make myself. I bought a few things in local hobby shop and that's the start of my online shop at Etsy. www.etsy.com/shop/missnatch?ref=si_shop. It’s like a dream came true to have my own art & craft business. And I thank God for that.

 www.etsy.com/shop/missnatch?ref=si_shop
TWITTER: twitter.com/#!/missnatch
FLICKR: www.flickr.com/photos/missnatch
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/pages/missNatch-my-Little-world/191170753088

I love art and games since I was a kid. LEGO was my first building block that triggered my creativity. Since those days I’ve never stopped thinking to create things. I love bright colors and cute stuffs too. My mom filled in a great part of my artistic side. She can cook, draw, craft, knit and sew. I still remember how my mom taught me to color my coloring book and glued my art homework neatly. It has to be on its place right. No wonder I’ve got good grades in most of my art classes, but not in other classes haha.

I make cake topper from polymer clay for birthdays, weddings and other festive events. I have so many cute things in my mind but I don’t have time to make those at the moment, so busy with many custom orders. My ideas come from anywhere. I sketched my ideas on my ideas book and keep on drawing with the hope that someday I will put them in my shop.

I’m happy with what I’m doing now. I’m so blessed surrounded with so many talented artists like you all. Well, hope you like my shop and this short story.

Never stop learning and keep on crafting!

SHOP:

Etsy Euroweek 2011 - Another shop from Sweden

Hi

A few more days to go in my quest to promote all 50 European countries as part of Euroweek. This morning is the turn of yet another shop from Sweden - Lottalosten http://www.etsy.com/shop/lottalosten

I'm Lotta Losten and i live in Gothenburg, Sweden.

I got in to jewelry making about six years ago. I was studying theatre and my dream had always been to work as an actress. At my school there were also art classes. The pupils there had lovely art shows and I always felt a bit jealous of them. When they made something they could keep it that way forever. When you have a play it's new every time you go on stage. I love that about theatre but I really longed for something more lasting.


All I had to work with at home was a copper wire. And a piece of chrystal from an old chandelier. I wanted to make a leaf, with veins. And maybe the chrystal could be a tiny droplet on the leaf.


And that was my first earring.


I love how copper wire can transform into anything if you use your imagiination.
The things I can do today is so much more advanced than the ones I first did. That's really beautiful to me: That process when your hands learn more and more just by doing. Imagine what I can do in ten years!


I take a lot of pride in my work and the fact that all my designs are my own. No one has taught me how to do this, it's just me, my fingers and my brain. All my jewelry is made entirely by hand and every single piece is unique.




I still love the theatre and I'm hoping that I one day can combine my love for making jewelry, my acting and maybe even photography. That would be the best job ever!



During Euro week I offer a 10% discount off all items in my Etsy shop!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Etsy Euroweek 2011 - Another shop from Hungary

I have come across another Hungarian shop during Euroweek that I want to promote. The shop is called  Fibrillaria - http://www.etsy.com/shop/Fibrillaria selling lovely handspun organic yarns - Wow , just what I need !

This is their story
Our names are Cheryl and Roland Magyar and we live on an organic farm that we call Echo Tanya in Ópusztaszer, Hungary. We process the wool of the native Hungarian Racka sheep, a lovely coarse long-wool breed that we are trying to introduce to the world of fiber artists, both within the country and abroad. For the time being, we are processing the wool of local farmers, until the day we finally are able to afford our own flock - the pasture is ready and waiting!
It is very important for us to have as minimal an impact on the environment as possible. All the fiber we process is done without the use of electricity, in essence it is done by hand - everything from washing with the water heated up on our wood stove, to picking, carding, spinning, weaving and felting. It is a beautiful event to turn a raw fleece into a work of art!

Etsy Euroweek 20110 - A day in the life of......

I am still promoting Europena Etsy shops this week as part of Euroweek.

Today we are going to look into the life of the owner of SilkStory http://www.etsy.com/shop/silkstory a shop based in Lithuania. Please take a look at the items in her shop , you'll be amazed!

Morning 8am - I wake up and that is the first thing I see – the view from my window. It’s springtime officially now, yet the view tells me that there’s still some waiting I need to do. At least it’s warm inside my flat, and thus I rush to the shower thinking that in a few month’s time I’ll see beautiful sunny mornings through my window every day.



8.30am – Coffee time. It’s time to drink a cup of coffee and think about the new day and all the things I have to do and those that I might do (if I get some time). One teaspoon of sugar, and maybe a piece of bread or a tiny sweet biscuit – that’s a combination for a good start of the day! And so in half an hour I’m ready to do some serious work. 

8.40am – Breakfast. As I said, some bread will always make a day brighter. Especially when it’s soft and fresh!  and some eggs, too. I feel much better after breakfast. 

9am – Work begins. That is my studio room, and the tools that I use (I made them myself after constant dissatisfaction with the ones I bought). I make sure I get enough light whenever I paint, so my big window always helps.

10am – Still working. Well, actually I don’t know whether I can really call it ‘work’, because I enjoy it very much and it keeps me relaxed and dreamy. I am very concentrated when I work, but at the same time, I am calm and thoughtful. I hardly ever know what my imagination will produce until I finish the painting. Let’s see what happens this time... 

11am – The painting is now coming to life. A magic lizard has inhabited the silk scarf. 


My muse. Knutas, the cat, always stays close to me when I paint so that he could witness new silk stories with his critical eye. Of course, he always brings me inspiration. 


3pm – The scarf is finished, I am ironing it and contemplating the first half of the day. I think the colours are really lovely and dreamy, and I am quite happy with my day’s work. What do you think?

3.30pm – I hang the scarf next to the window so that I could see the afternoon light playing in its crinkles... I just like the effect of light and the see-through silk. I look at it for a few minutes and imagine the summer breeze blowing into my room through an open window. I know I need to be patient, and that summer will definitely be here in two month’s time, so I smile and continue with my day’s work. 

4pm – Dinner time! I cook for my family and try and make the dinner as healthy as possible. I choose the organic products and I put some honey (which I brought from the countryside) on the table for dessert. 


Dinner table looks colourful – I do like colours in everything! They just make your life beautiful, I believe. 

4.30pm – My family is having dinner together. I really value those precious moments, which are always nice, fun (we all share a good sense of humour!) and peaceful. 

The cat seems to be hungry too. He knows where I hide his food and he tries to take some. Of course, I will give some food to him (despite the fact that he has had some already!) because, as I said, it’s family dinner and he’s a part of the family too. 

5.30pm – The evening falls upon my little town and I go for a walk to meditate and to think about the day. It’s Friday after all, and I know that the weekend starts tomorrow. I’m thinking about all the things I could do...I look for inspiration in the faces of people that I pass by, I try to absorb all the colours of the evening in this early spring. It’s a little cold, I walk faster than I would if it was summer, but my walk is nonetheless pleasant and full of ideas. There are some stories that try to get told and I keep them in my head until I reach home and then I put them on the paper. I will paint and let them inhabit new silk scarves tomorrow morning. 

Thank you for spending a day with me and my stories. Stay warm and peaceful.

Zita."


Quick View of Woolly Goodies available on my web site

Quick View of Woolly Goodies available on my web site
Click on photo above to see detail / to purchase

Thanks for reading.... but don't stop yet, take a read at old blog posts or other blogs I like below