Friday, March 21, 2008

My "Official" Clumsy Crafting Day

"Ma'am, put the glue gun down and step away from the paper."

No, there is no "crafting police," but sometimes I think there should be, if only to save me from myself.

Less than an hour into my workday, and I was feeling as if I'd acquired the crafting equivalent of "two left feet." You know, when I'm more likely to glue my arm to my ankle than to attach the crane to the desired spot on the work-in-progress.

I did glue my fingers together. Twice. Hot glue and unprotected skin do not work well together.

Every mistake I made, I only made worse when I tried to fix it.

So, it's time to change gears. Work on something else. But not on my picture frames. Oh, no. Bad idea.

Power tools (aka my router) plus today's clumsy mode could result in blood. And a trip to the emergency room.

Definitely not good.

So I'm thinking today will have to be a bookkeeping plus internet promotion and advertising type of work day. After all, I can't hurt myself or anyone else by just sifting through receipts and sitting in front of a computer.

Or can I?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Do What Scares You

I've admitted several times that I was intimidated by MySpace. It always struck me as a type of exclusive club where you had to know everything about it before joining, but the only way to learn was to join. And I have to admit, seeing some of the wild messages friends and family have received on their pages definitely scared me. (Um, who in their right mind offers to send naked photos of themselves to someone they don't know? Especially to a married man whose space is covered with photos of his wedding?)

However, I've always heard of Etsy sellers using MySpace to promote their shops and find new customers. Yes, some of them had some pretty wild "message" stories, too, but it was beginning to seem like the good might outweigh the bad. But it was a forum post created by BattleMaiden-- who has an Etsy shop for her fantasy illustrations -- on how to use MySpace as a marketing tool that finally gave me the push I needed to take the leap into that world. It was very detailed on exactly how to get started, something I definitely needed to keep me from feeling quite so lost there.

So, a little over a week ago, I created a MySpace page. I quickly found how easy it is to get wrapped up in the little details, plus it's just as distracting as some of the Etsy forums can be. It's easy to get sucked into just checking out page after page... So I had to put a definite limit on my MySpace time, otherwise I'd never have any new work to show off there and in my Etsy shop!

The first two days, I spent about 2 hours each. Most of that was figuring out what background I wanted, as well as uploading pictures and my Etsy Mini (similar to what I have here on my blog, showing the latest items from my shop.) Almost every day since I've set aside at least an hour to join groups and search for people who I want to add. I try not to do this randomly, I choose people who have an interest in my type of work and/or are local business I'd like to network with. Especially wedding businesses. I wanted to focus more on weddings this year, and less on craft fairs.

Only time will tell if the decision to jump into MySpace was the right one . . .

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Whale Tail and a Monster Thread

Whale Tail ACEO
Originally uploaded by origami3d_cranes
One of the things I've always loved best about Etsy (besides having the things I make seen all over the world) is the community in the forums. Yes, like any forum, it can get nasty at times, but for the most part, it's supportive and entertaining.

One particular forum thread I have been participating in started on January 26th of this year, and yes, it's still going strong. It was supposed to be a discussion among ACEO artists about what sells on Etsy, but has since evolved into a place to ask for advice or critiques on anything related to ACEOs, as well as to show off our latest creations, and for motivation among its members. There are now nearly 300 forum pages to this thread. A monster, indeed...

It was this thread that renewed my interest in creating ACEOs. The first result was my new ACEO title "Whale Tail." The second was that I finally finished one of my long overdue shadowbox frames for ACEOs.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, ACEO stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals. The only requirement is that they be limited in size to 2-1/2 inches by 3-1/2 inches. They originally evolved out of Artist Trading Cards(ATC) -- cards that artists would trade amongst themselves like baseball cards. But when, due to request from non-artists, people began selling them, the term ACEO was coined to differentiate them from the ones that were strictly for trade.

So, what else will that monster thread inspire me to produce? And just how long can it become? We'll just have to wait and see...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I'm in a Treasury!

Woohoo! And I've finally learned how to take a screen-shot of a web page, too.

Big thanks to birose, one of the terrific Big Island based members of the Hawaii street team. There's a lot of beautiful things in this treasury, and I'm definitely flattered to be a part of it -- that's one of my bridal bouquets in the third row.

The Treasury is one of the cool features on Etsy. It's a place where members can create lists of their favorite items. Often, the curator of the particular Treasury will choose the items by theme -- in this case, by color. I've also seen them done by medium(art), inspired by famous -- or infamous! -- people, by members of the many Street Teams on Etsy to showcase members of their team. The possibilities are nearly as endless as the virtual line of people waiting to make one. They're supposed to be limited to only 333 lists, but if a whole bunch of people pounce on an open slot at exactly the same moment, the number of lists often shoots up much, much higher. Especially since a Treasury is how the Etsy admin find the items featured on the home page... they will choose a list that catches their eyes, and it will be on the "front page," giving great exposure to both the artists featured as well as the curator of the list.