Etsomnia™ 106: Derp-Fest 2016

Just for fun! Enjoy and follow her!

My OBT

The twins looked at each other in horror. She wanted to put her feet WHERE?!?

Et·som·ni·a (/etˈsämnēə/), noun, 1. a sleep disorder caused by obsessive Etsy browsing. 2. the surprising arrival of weird handmade merchandise ordered when one is only half conscious. (True story.)

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Labor Day

This weekend is Labor Day weekend and I’ve mostly been taking it easy. How about you? I had lunch today with my kids and then went swimming at my brother’s house. Lots of fun! Tomorrow it’s back to work.

Aside from taking it easy, I’ve been working on my next little endeavor. I’m going to start making t-shirts. Some of them will be for charity. The first one I have on my shop is for the JDRF One Walk. 50% of the proceeds will go to JDRF. My great-nephew has Type 1 and they do this walk every year. I’m doing the shirts for them this year! I’m so excited about it, plus, I had been considering getting into making t-shirts to sell as well. We’ll see how it goes!

My sister, and I are trying to come up with something to put on a shirt to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. Our mother had early onset Alzheimer’s and passed away when I was 21. Obviously, that’s a cause close to our hearts. Another one on my list is the Adult Congenital Heart Association.

Anyway, the heat press is on order, the space is ready for it. I’ll place the order for the shirts and vinyl as soon as they place their orders on Etsy. This is the ‘small business’ lesson for this post. Always get money up front. Even if it’s family that you’re doing the work for. Not to be mean, of course, but when you’re in business for yourself, you can’t take a risk by putting out money ahead of time. When I get to the point where I have money in the bank from the business, then I’ll keep some inventory of shirts and vinyl on hand. I’m not there yet.

Well, this is a short post, I know, but it’s been a busy weekend, for sure! I’ll be back in the swing of things tomorrow and hopefully posting in the next day or so!

Have a great week! I hope it’s a short week for you, too!

~Nancy20160607_143753656_iOS

 

To the Family Go the Prototypes

Hi guys! This afternoon I started working on some Christmas ornaments. I have them all designed in my head so it was time to build ‘prototypes’. I’m not going to sell anything on my shop that I am not comfortable making. I want everyone to get a good product. As close to perfect as possible.

So, to that end, it was time to break out the Christmas ornaments and get started! Ornaments, check. Glue, check. Glitter, check. Paint, check. Headache…on order.

First of all, let me tell you that glitter and I have a love hate relationship. I love the look of it. Especially at Christmas! It’s perfect! The more glittery the better. I have green, red, white, silver, gold. I’m ready. I could look at it all day. It’s beautiful! I love it as much as my grandson does! G loves a good glitter project! But then…

There’s the hate part. Glitter is insideous. That may be strong language but it’s kinda true. It starts out pretty and innocent. It sticks right where you want it to (glue needed). How beautiful! But then….(again)…

You move. There’s glitter. You move again. How’d it get THERE? Look down at the cat. How did he get glitter on his nose? He wasn’t even in the room! Oh my gosh, there’s glitter on Spiderman! It must have jumped off the table-or did it get caught in his web? Anyway, suffice it to say we may have some sparkly dinners coming up. Maybe I should call them ‘glamourous’. Yeah, that works.

Then the glue. I used spray craft glue and sprayed it inside the ornament. First off, that stuff has FUMES. I had forgotten that. Anyway, it seemed to be a great idea until it puddled in the bottom of the ornament. It got all over inside but there was that puddle. I swirled it around for a few minutes and thought I had it spred well, so I poured in the glitter. Guess what. There’s a clump of green glitter in the bottom. The puddle came back.

Next up, pink paint for a ‘baby’s first Christmas ornament’. This didn’t go too badly. I squirted paint in and swirled and swirled and shook and shook. It covered halfway decent. Then I tried a brush. That worked great for the bottom of the ornament but I still had some pretty big spots to cover. I squirted in more paint and swirled some more. I still ended up with a couple empty spots. See the pictures.

What I learned from this is…with the glue, swirl a little more and let it dry a little more before using glitter. I may also try liquid glue. With the paint…I think a little bit of water will thin it enough to spread easier.

The title of this blog? Well, what do I do with these prototypes? Use vinyl or embellishments to cover this clump or that empty spot and give them to family and close friends! They love me no matter what! Buyers might not!

Don’t forget to visit and favorite my shop so you can see all the new items over the next several weeks and months! Follow me on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest and sign up for my newsletter so we can stay in touch!

 

~Nancy

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Subscribe to the newsletter!

Subscribe

So, today we’re going to talk about building an email list for your blog! I’m sure you’ve seen the pop-up inviting you to subscribe to my newsletter when you come to my site. This is one (and the best) way to build your email list! Why do you want one? Well, I’ll tell you!

Having a list of subscribers gives you a list of people who are interested in what you have to say or sell. You can direct sales right to them, keep them up to date on what’s going on, and give sneak previews of what’s to come! In turn, that will increase your sales or site traffic! Any good tutorial or blog on ‘how to grow your blog’ will tell you, contact is everything. EVERY. THING.And the best way to do that is to build an email list and keep in CONTACT with your followers…but never ever spam them or overwhelm them.(I’ll talk about that in a minute)  I know many of you get my blog in your email everytime I post and I thank you for that! But, just like me, you want your followers to be engaged with you.

Part of blogging…a big part, actually, is building community around a common interest. The blogging community is generally a fun and welcoming place. I’ve gotten to know a few bloggers that I follow and I feel like I know a few that follow me. One good way is through commenting, of course. I love getting comments on here, so don’t be shy! The more you get to know your followers, the more likely they are to share your blog or shop with their friends! That sounds good to me! And even better is that through commenting, your followers can get to know each other. Community!

Part of community is staying in touch through a newsletter. Mine comes out once a month. Around the first of the month. Included are tutorials for some of the crafts in my Etsy shop, blogging and small business tips, answers to questions you may have, as well as a coupon code from time to time! Also, in the September and October newsletters there will be sneak peeks of my fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas items! AND….a chance to pre-order some of them….PLUS…the only chance to get some of them personalized!

See what I did there? I’m giving you, my followers, perks for signing up! That helps get subscribers, which builds community, which is what we want in the first place. I will let you know right here that the FASTEST way to lose subscribers is to spam them or constantly send nonsense. I promise you that my newsletter is all you’re signing up for UNLESS there is a major product release or a special sale. Those won’t happen often. Most of your email from me will be the newsletter, unless of course you ask me something 😉

We’ll talk more about email lists and newsletters again in future posts. In the meantime…..

Refresh this page and sign up in the pop up! If that doesn’t work, use the contact me form!

Thanks!

~ Nancy

Organizing the craft room

Hi there! I’ve had a little time this week to get my craft area set up a little more. Organize it, I should say. It’s not there yet but it’s much better. Yesterday I bought a white 5 shelf bookcase with 4 cubbies in the bottom. That took me about 2 hours to put together. No big mistakes and no cuss words, so I’d say that went well!

I moved toys from a ‘toybox’ (storage bin) to a cabinet all their own; put the items I have finished and listed on Etsy up on the top shelf of the new bookcase; found new homes for some tools and various other things as well. I still have ‘blanks’ to put away. Good times!

I also designed the shirt for G to have his picture taken in each year. It has Class of 2029 (oy vey) on the front, and his name and room for handprints for each year on the back. I need to pick up heat transfer vinyl for that tomorrow. I was at the craft store today and it didn’t cross my mind. Until I was almost home. Isn’t that always the way?

So, organizing. I love to organize things.I have to say that the disarray in my dining / toy / craft area has been a bee in my bonnet for a while! I’m feeling much better about it. Like I said, it’s not there yet, but one step at a time. I’m trying to keep my teeny, but alive and slowly growing, business organized, too. And it is growing. I’ve had a LOT more views on here and especially on my Etsy site lately. I’m thrilled about that! It’s not stagnant, so that means it’s growing! Yay! I signed up for the free trial on crafybase.com to see how that goes. It’s basically an inventory and financials tracking system for craft businesses. I’ll let you know how that works out. As I have mentined in the past, I schedule my pins for Pinterest through Tailwind and that has helped me so much! I can sit here and watch TV and find pins I like or whatever and schedule them and not have to think about them again. I love it! I need to start scheduling Facebook as well. Honestly, I have no excuse there. I can schedule as I write! It’s right there! Oh well. I always plan to write 2 or 3 blogs ahead as well, but I’m not to that yet either! I’ll get there, too!

I guess I still have some work to do! To that end, I’m going to go take pictures of my new listings! I hope to have them online tonight!

Thanks for stopping by! Don’t forget to follow, pin, like, etc! I’ll be looking for you! Oh! And sign up for my newsletter! I’ll send you a coupon for 10% off anything in my shop and the newsletter will have lots of valuable blog and Etsy tips!

Catch you later!

~Nancy20160703_233934203_iOS

Time flies when you’re having the time of your life!

Warning…sappy post ahead…

As I said in my last post, I’m on vacation from my ‘day job’ this week. It’s only Tuesday and I have my whole house cleaned and 4 new products to list on the shop! Tomorrow is my day with my grandson so I doubt I’ll get a lot else done. He’s 5. He takes all of my attention.

He’s growing too fast

My boy starts kindergarten next week and I swear it seems like he was just born. I know, that was nearly 6 years ago, grandma. It’s like I blinked and he’s off to school. I have to say, I’m the luckiest grandma on earth. Seriously. His parents have always made a point to include us grandparents in every aspect of his life. I’ve seen him at least once a week, if not more, ever since he was born, unless they were on vacation. But they always made it up to me with a sleepover or an extra day if I miss a day with him.

G and I are very close. I hope and pray we always are. I’ve always had so much fun with him! In the past 5 years I’ve been a Power Ranger, a Superhero, a Paw Patrol pup, Super Why, a princess, a villian, an innocent victim in Joker’s evil schemes, a construction worker with Bob the Builder, etc. You get the idea! I’ve watched TV shows that I watched when his dad and uncle Alex were little. Great memories to share with him!

He loves to do crafts with me. We’re going to a craft store tomorrow and I told his mommy to remind me to get glitter. She warned he’d want to help. I advised her we’d do the glitter clear out in the back of my back yard. I’m not sure that’ll work tomorrow though. The yard is pretty wet right now. Oh well, a little glitter in the living room. I’m ok with that. More memories for grandma.

Cherishing every second

I know he’s not going off to college. He’s just starting kindergarten for heaven’s sake. But this is the first part of going off on his own. Know what I mean? I’m tearing up typing this. It just seems to go quickly.

I’ve always cherished every second I have with him. I really have. I’m grandma so I know how fast kids grow up. I know what an incredible gift it is to get to be a grandma who lives nearby and is a part of his life.

While I told you guys some of the fun games we play, role playing and such, he also is really into video games. No surprise. Most kids his age are! My boys both were from the time they were little. He likes to play a fairly new game I got for him, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Of course he likes me to play with him. It’s fun to have him telling me what to do next. I think I laugh more than anything!

Of all those things we love to do, do you want to know what might be my favorite? He plays on the iPad and I mess around on the computer or my phone while we lay on my bed and talk. Yep. Just hanging out with him. Just talking. Being together.

I know the games and role playing will fade as he ages. The crafts will, too. But I sure hope he knows he can always come to Mucka’s house and just hang out and talk. I’m always here!

Thanks for walking with me today!

Nancy

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Side Hustle

Side hustle doing your own thing

Notice how the penguin is off on his own, doing his own thing? The others are back there, just doing whatever it is penguins do. (Oh, yes, I like to go to the zoo with my grandson so there will be animal pictures on this blog from time to time.) Sometimes its good to go off and do your own thing. I have a full time job. I love it. I really do! Its not exciting, but I work with great people and I enjoy the work. But in spite of how much I love that job, I wanted to do something just for me. Something on my own. All mine. Extra. No pressure to pay the bills, just something fun.

That is a side hustle. Doing something you like that’ll earn you money, but maybe not to pay all the bills. At least not at first. But it’s fun. That’s the main thing. I love making crafts. It’s so much fun to create something. I never thought anyone would be interested in buying things I made…but… Etsy is there for exactly that reason. As you saw with the ‘guest post’ from My OBT, people sell all sorts of things on there! So, now it’s my turn! I’m still getting my footing, of course, but the journey is fun!

I first learned of a ‘side hustle’ when I read the book “Do Over” by Jon Acuff. (that’s not an affiliate link-just a recommendation) Do Over talks about doing what you love for a living. And yes,  you often have to start off with it being a side hustle. Actually, Jon talks about hustle a lot and has influenced me a great deal in this endeavor.

Build a plan, I’ve talked about that before. Stick to it. Before you know it, you’ll be doing what you love. This is ‘hustle’. The stick to it part. As I’ve said, as long as I have things down on paper (yes, paper) I get things done. I’m on ‘vacation’ from my ‘day job’ this week. One full day I’ll spend with my grandson. A lot of the rest of the time will be working on my side hustle! I’m so looking forward to it! Expect to see new products, PinsTweets, and Facebook posts in the next several days!

So, what is it that you want to do ‘on the side’? Sit down and make a plan to do it! I tell you, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done!

Do the hustle!

~Nancy

 

Etsomnia™ 101: Deep Pockets

I enjoyed this post so much I just had to share it with you! Enjoy! I’ll be back with an original post tomorrow. But this is awesome….you should follow her, too!

My OBT

$250,000. Million dollar tee. I guess it must be on clearance. $250,000. Million dollar tee. I guess it must be on clearance.

Et·som·ni·a (/etˈsämnēə/), noun, 1. a sleep disorder caused by obsessive Etsy browsing. 2. the surprising arrival of weird handmade merchandise ordered when one is only half conscious. (True story.)

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Blogging, planning…oh, and crafting

Sunday was such a fun day! I was busy all day long. I worked on the blog, I spent hours on Pinterest, I signed up for Mail Chimp (I’m sure you saw that…please subscribe! There are benefits!) and planned out the week. I did a lot to help my business grow. It was a day well spent.

Monday I worked at my full time job then added a coupon code to my Etsy shop. From there I set up an email campaign with Mail Chimp. Subscribers now get the coupon code. I did some research and some reading. I read about ways to grow my blog, get traffic to my shop, get more followers on Pinterest, how to make money on Twitter. I even scheduled pins with Tailwind. I was putting in some time to be sure my new little business was going to succeed! I was tired when I went to bed last night. Then it hit me.

I was doing all of these things. All good things. All necessary to grow the business. But I hadn’t created anything in days! I had lost sight of why I was doing all of this! Yes, I want to blog. I love blogging. I love doing all the business stuff. But, a couple of months ago my 5 year old grandson asked me what my dream was. What I really wanted to do. “Sell my crafts on Etsy. That’s what I’d like to do” is how I answered him. He said “Then do it, Mucka! You can do it! All you need is confidence!” Out of the mouths of babes, right?

Today after work I went to the grocery and came home and sat at my computer designing some stencils. I took those stencils and etched some vases. You’ll see those on my Etsy shop in the next couple days!

I feel so much better. I learned that I need to stay focused on my main goal. All the other things were created to support the first. If I don’t do the thing I love, “make pretty things” then there will be nothing to sell on Etsy, will there??

So, added to my calendar each week will be big blocks of crafting time. It’s all about focus and balance. Make sure when you’re working on your blog, or shop, or whatever it may be, that you take time to do what got you into that in the first place! Keep a firm grasp on the roots. You have to have those to grow your business, too!

Happily crafty,

Nancy

Focus

Reasons to set up shop on Etsy

Etsy shop screen grab

 

As promised, we’re going to talk about Etsy today. I love Etsy. I have since the moment I heard of it. I’m pretty sure my daughter-in-law is the one who told me about it. She’s very crafty! She has an ongoing list of ‘favorite items’ so I always have somewhere to find gifts for her. I love that! What a cool idea! Well, I got on there and started looking around. Wow! You can find just about anything you want on there! It’s awesome! That’s just from a buyer’s perspective. But, from a SELLER’S perspective…it’s possibly even better!

How could it be better? Well, in 2014 Etsy had a revenue of $195.6 million. That means it’s a HUGE draw. That’s just what Etsy made. They charge us as sellers 20 cents per listing and 3.5% of the sales price. To  me, that’s a small price to pay to sit at home and sell my crafts (or vintage items or supplies…all three are ok on Etsy) to people from all around the world. I don’t have to lug them to craft shows if I don’t want to. Etsy handles the transaction. I just make the items and ship them. But if Etsy made that much, stop and think (and do the math if you like) about how much sellers made! Wowzers! The sky truly is the limit. You’ll need to do the marketing, of course, but just being on there gives you a better chance than going it alone. At least until you get established.

I’m just going to tick off a few facts about selling on Etsy:

  • It’s a very large, successful marketplace, as I mentioned above.
  • Etsy provides a lot of support to their sellers in the way of a seller’s handbook, ‘steps to success’, email updates and tips, forums to connect with other sellers.
  • They encourage sellers to support one another, it’s a community (one of my favorite things)
  • A very easy to use mobile app “Sell on Etsy” which they now have for the iPad as well.
  • Intuitive, user friendly seller interface that walks you all the way through shipping.
  • Oh, did I mention shipping? Discounted shipping!

Those are just a few things to help you make up your mind if you’re on the fence. If you do start a shop, or have one now, please let me know! I’d love to ‘favorite’ your shop!

Note: This blog may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. I will always only have links to products/companies I use and would recommend to you!

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to visit my shop and my Facebook page as well as hang out with me on Pinterest!

Nancy