Showing posts with label etsy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label etsy. Show all posts

January 15, 2014

I've Been Away....

It's been a while, internet!  How's it hangin?  I've been preoccupied and haven't given my blog much love, but I will try to put more of an effort in to keeping this updated.  I really do love what I've set up here and want to keep it going.
Well, the last post I made was about my changing craft space.  Here is a video of the finished product!

December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas/Plans for the New Year

Merry Christmas to everyone!

I'd like to give special thanks to all those that have purchased from me for gifts this year.  December has been phenomenal!!!  I never anticipated the number of orders I've received this month.  I am truly surprised and I need to give a HUGE thanks to Etsy and my customers!  You guys RULE!

For the new year, I plan on forming an LLC and continuing and gearing up what I started this year.  Once the company name is "official" and registered I will update everyone.  Since I just had more business cards made (doh!), it will be "Aquarian Mind (Something Something), LLC"....we still have to figure out the something something.  It needs to encompass all that I do and sell:  vintage, kids jewelry, adults jewelry, misc stuff on Ebay...  We're still thinking on it.

For tonight though, I plan on being with my wonderful family.  And probably watching a few hours of the yule log fire on TV.  It will be a welcome and much needed break from packing orders, making jewelry and other general craziness  :)

December 4, 2012

Now Shipping to Canada & Australia!

I hope to add more countries in the future, but as of right now, I've added Canada and Australia as ship to destinations. The thought of customs forms is far scarier than they actually are! Unless I have major problems with damage or loss, I hope to be able to ship just about anywhere in the coming months.

Treasuries Featuring AquarianMind74

I haven't updated in a while....some recent treasuries!

November 23, 2012

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale

I'm running a sale in my Etsy shop for 15% off plus a free gift!

Link to my shop!  AquarianMind74 on Etsy

The free gifts are pretty glass bead bracelets in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes.  I will send one for each item bought!  Offer is valid through Monday 11/26/12.

November 19, 2012

Adding to My Kids Line

Clip on earrings for girls with resin flowers have been a popular thing in my Etsy shop as of late.  Who knew they'd be so popular?  I certainly didn't think so, but I'm glad they are!  So I'm starting to add to the clip on inventory with more of 'em.  The style I'm adding will be able to have dangling charms, beads, pearls ....whatever I can find that is cute!  Watch for these in the coming week.  I'm planning on also doing some with Christmas beads!

In Case You Didn't Know...

Definitely not new news, but they had new badges, so what the hey :)

November 15, 2012

New YouTube Video

I don't know if it is 100% true or not, but I read somewhere that YouTube is one of the most used search engines, second only to Google.  Wow!  Now I understand why businesses do videos!  I decided to hop on the bandwagon too.   The above is my very first attempt at making any sort of video.  Don't laugh ;)

October 24, 2012

First Wanelo Sale!

This morning I'm celebrating the first sale I've made from direct traffic from Wanelo! I have thought that Pinterest would be the site pointing people my way, but it turns out all I usually get re-pinned over there is recipes! Wanelo is definitely geared more to the shopper and Pinterest more to the DIY/thrifty types. Well, at least that's what the users have decided anyway. I try to put at least a few of my new items over there a couple times a month. Although it seems like I've been doing the Etsy thing forever, it has only been since February. I have to say I'm pleased with where I am and hope it keeps ramping up! Jewelry is a hard thing to sell on Etsy as there are approx. 3.4 million pieces other crafters/designers are trying to sell! If you keep that in mind, I'm honored anyone has found my items, AND thought enough of them to buy them. I've come to find the best things you can do over there are: knowing and implementing good SEO to every item, and, promote, Promote, PROMOTE! Here is a link to my profile on Wanelo. Check out the site if you haven't already. It's nearly as addictive as Pinterest!


September 19, 2012

Lots in the Works!

I'm stocked up on supplies and ready to go!  Up next is Christmas jewelry and little girls birthday party favor jewelry.  The beads are so fun that I don't know where to start!

Also in works - plenty more vintage jewelry I will be listing for sale on Etsy.  I have found just how much I love Bell Copper Trading Post jewelry, and collect it whenever I can.  I'm going to have a hard time parting with it, and I know my mother-in-law has her eye on one of my rings too.

I have so many ideas for fun pendants, doll jewelry and hair clips that I will have to shelf until I have several pieces of Christmas jewelry done and listed....there just aren't enough hours in the day!  And here I thought I'd have nothing but time being "retired"!  So not true!  Between keeping up with the house, Listia and Etsy I am actually working full time again.

Here is a link to a VERY nice, excellent vintage condition Krementz set in original packaging on Etsy.  It is even more beautiful in person!  Check it out if you'd like to add it to your collection!

July 26, 2012

My Secrets to Good Etsy Product Photos

When I started my Etsy shop, I thought "I'm a pretty decent photographer, these product photos should be a breeze!"  I've shot weddings, nature, wildlife, concerts and countless other subjects with ease!  Well, needless to say, I was wrong.

I have a  Canon Rebel XT DSLR, which I love dearly.  I was a user of the film version of the same camera for years.  So, I got my trusty camera ready, got my backdrops all set up, found the perfect light and started snapping away!  I thought it went great....until I downloaded the pics to my laptop.  The depth of field was all wrong and I couldn't get in close enough to show all the details I felt I needed to show on my jewelry and still be in focus.  Damn, I was convinced I was pretty good at photography!  Well, I still think I am, but now I know a lot more about product photography.  Jewelry photography in particular.

What I really needed was a macro lens for my DSLR.  Great.  LOTS of money I didn't have to spend!  Well, lots for the one I wanted anyway.  So after searching through Etsy forums to see what others were using, I decided to purchase a point-and-shoot with a macro setting.  I ended up spending about $120 and settled on an Olympus Stylus.  I could have bought a cheap manual focus macro lens for about $100, but this way, I also have a camera that can easily fit in my purse for events that don't require great photos or a lot of messing around with settings.

Let me tell you what I love about my Olympus for jewelry photos:

Super Macro- Most point-and-shoots have a macro setting for getting in close on flowers and other things. Super macro gets you close enough to focus in on the bug on the flower! The lens on this camera can nearly be touching your subject and still focus in on it. Perfect for showing tons of detail.

Image Stabilization - This feature helps with camera shake that could make your picture blurry. I see it kick on when I'm in lower light situations. Since I shoot my jewelry pictures in natural light with the flash turned off, this is pretty beneficial to me.

Exposure Compensation - Like I mentioned, I shoot in natural light. This can be tricky. I have shot some pieces of mine in direct sunlight (shadows too harsh), under a shade tree (inconsistent light), and near a large, bright window. Without using exposure compensation near my window, I had to edit all my photos to lighten them. Editing can be time consuming and may leave the colors looking different from reality, which adds even more time for correcting the photos. On this camera, you even get a preview on the screen as to how the different exposure settings will look. This is an enormous timesaver and makes the chore of listing my items a little...ok, a LOT less painful. Download and they are ready for listing!

Here are some examples of"progression".
Holy harsh shadows Batman!  Not to mention this was taken outside in 20 degree Wisconsin weather.

Taken outdoors and not really in focus.

Yep...not in focus and a ray of sunshine on lower right.

Getting a little better, but way too dark.

Ok, starting to get worthy of posting on Etsy.  I taped up waxed paper on the window to diffuse the direct sunlight.

Nice close-up, horrible background.

Making progress on backgrounds!  Inconsistent light (under a shade tree).

A little better!

Finally!  This what I was aiming for!

Experimenting with depth of field.

Experimenting with angles.

Love this one.  Great lighting and great representation of the actual colors of the earrings.

Close-up to show detail.

Experimenting with late day sunlight.  I had to remove  a lot of yellow...the dreaded editing.

Love the gleam on this copper bracelet.

Hundreds of photos and experimenting with cameras, lighting, backgrounds and arrangements later, I'm very pleased with the results.  

July 23, 2012

First Custom Order

Just today, I sent off my first custom bridal party order for earrings on Etsy.  The woman who ordered came to me wanting to know if I could make one of my designs with different color pearls.  OF COURSE I will do that! How already done, she was very specific about the colors to use (Swarovski Lavender and Night Blue!), AND she paid before I started!  I wouldn't mind a few of those orders a week.

July 10, 2012

Goodbye, Artfire....

As much as I hate to give up on things, I have shut down my Artfire shop.  I tried for 3 months, and got plenty of views (2300+), but no sales.  I did an experiment that sealed Artfire's fate in my eyes.  I did a huge push on it and did a lot of back linking for several days.  I got significant traffic from Stumbleupon.  Great!  Except I noticed when I DIDN'T spend 2 hours a day (or more) promoting and back linking, I got very few incoming URL's. The next thing that sealed their fate was not seeing my listings in Google searches as I had previously.  This was apparently due to a Google update.

I actually LOVED Artfire's interface and seller's tools.  Etsy could learn a thing or two from these guys.  It's hard to drop something you've stuck so much time into, but the monthly cost and work to keep it going made me feel as though I was just spinning my wheels and not actually going anywhere.  So, I'm dedicating my time to the shops that actually make sales for me:  Etsy, Yardsellr and Listia.

Goodbye, Artfire.  It wasn't you, it was me ;)

May 12, 2012

Back to the Good Stuff

As you can see below, I have been busy the last couple of days!  I am in the midst of a 4 day "sanity" break from my job.  Yup.  A break to bead, catch up on yard work and most importantly, RELAX!

My messy desk!

All the half-started things I got to finish!

May 2, 2012

I made a collection for Mother's Day....mothers of all kinds :)

April 22, 2012

Special Limited Time Offer I have the blog, the Artfire and Etsy shops, and coming soon, a Facebook page.

Let's see if any of its working.  For 60 days, I'm offering a discount 25% off ANY item in my Artfire or Etsy shops.  One per person in each shop.  Use coupon code YOUFOUNDME in either shop.

I hope to see some lookers!  Below is a link to Artfire....use the shop link above for Etsy.

SAVE 25% Off All Items
Use Coupon Code:
during checkout.

April 15, 2012

The Search for Inspirado - Kid's Jewelry

When going through therapy several years ago, I discovered my "inner child".  Sounds hokey and cliche doesn't it?  Well, if you had some rough spots early in life, and have had the opportunity to have a good therapist, you might recognize the extraordinary value of this the way I did.  Basically, the idea of the "inner child" exercises we did was....well it's tough to explain....but imagine yourself now, as an adult, meeting yourself as a child.  Now imagine yourself befriending that child when they feel most vulnerable/scared/alone, and helping them to trust that you will keep them safe and feeling loved.  And not for a while, but committing to it forever - essentially becoming the parent and sense of security you desperately needed at that period of time.  And, in turn, becoming responsible and taking ownership for how you feel right now as an adult. It's a real mindfuck if you can make this happen.

I'm sure you're wondering, "what the shit does this have to do with beading??!!".  Well, let me explain.  Part of my therapy homework was to buy myself something I always wanted as a child but never got.  I bought myself a Cabbage Patch doll.  Yep.  A doll.  I never had one, but always wanted one.  This doll is still in my bedroom over seven years later as a reminder to be kind to myself, and that I am worth enough to have some of the things I want.  So you're still wondering what this has to do with beading and my inspirations?  Well, it's simple.  I was inspired to make girl's jewelry because it spoke to me as I was when I was a small kid.  I make things for kids that I would have wanted at that age.  By making kid's jewelry, I allow myself to be girly - which I do NOT do as an adult in any other facet of my life and barely did as a kid.

So now you know.  I'm not sure why I felt the need to vomit this out on my blog.  I guess because I want to be more confident in things I do/in life?  Let more people into my bubble?  Doesn't every human want to be understood?

The kid's jewelry I'm making now is very special to me.  It's nothing too complicated or incredibly unique, but it is exactly what I would have wanted as a little girl.  I hope someone can help their little girl feel precious and beautiful when they wear it.  If that happens just once, my work here is done.

April 14, 2012

Getting back to myself (If I ever really knew who she was)

How does one center themselves? Get back to their fucking happy place? Feel content?  I'm struggling with this. Always have. With my life essentially being half over, it has been striking me that there is no better time than now to figure this out. Is this my mid-life crisis? Does everyone feel this way?

38 years old and not a clue where to start, but I’m going to start trying things that challenge me.  And, well, make me smile. Specifically, beading and making jewelry. I know, I know, that reminds you of this:
But I’m actually being dead serious.

When looking for a "self management" topic for a work meeting (long story...), I came across the concept of "flow".
…Finding Flow contends that we often walk through our days unaware and out of touch with our emotional lives. Our inattention makes us constantly bounce between two extremes: during much of the day we live filled with the anxiety and pressures of our work and obligations, while during our leisure moments, we tend to live in passive boredom. The key, according to Csikszentmihalyi, is to challenge ourselves with tasks requiring a high degree of skill and commitment. Instead of watching television, play the piano. Transform a routine task by taking a different approach. In short, learn the joy of complete engagement. Though they appear simple, the lessons in Finding Flow are life-altering.
The quote above is about a book is called Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  I have not read this yet (put it in the queue!), but the idea seems pretty simple.  Get lost in doing something creative, and most importantly, something you love and crave to know more about.  I’ve been trying really hard to incorporate this into my life. Make it worth waking up for. Is it working? Well I still can't be 100% sure, but one thing I do know....I have shit-tons of jewelry.