Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wishing you a Very Happy Thanksgiving :D

Just popping in before heading out of town in the morning for Thanksgiving festivities. I really do have so much to be thankful for. My life, God, my family and friends, and so much more. I hope that you will have the chance to ponder on what you are blessed with (whether you be American or not), and I wish you the best!

Tough Etsy Decisions

I was hoping that sales would pick up more around the holidays. I'm glad to say that I've pretty much put my spending on supplies at a halt because I'm investing myself into the ground :( I'm going to need to cut back on production. I hope to sell off a lot of items at a jewelry party I'm throwing in a week and a half but so far the guest list is looking slim. I'm trying to stay optimistic though! I decided today to not list some cards I spent hours making and instead using them for family and friends. I spent lots of time during a road trip early in October to hand wire-wrap some Christmas tree ornaments and then affixed them to Christmas cards I made. I just don't think they would sell for how much I value my time and creativity at, so I will let my loved ones enjoy them instead :D I've been going through a lot of refining lately-which I'm sure is natural as you mature in business. I started my etsy shop just over 4 months ago and will admit that I'm glad some listings expired because they just didn't look good. I am deconstructing, saving beads and other materials, and using them in a much better way now :D

Well anyway, I really need to get to bed because I have an early morning. Just some soul searching going on here. Here are some pictures of some of the cards with ornaments that I would have listed....

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Wonderful World of PLARN :D

So as usual, I see something new and bam-here I am making plarn :D I myself don't have the patience or skill to crochet or knit, but I know how to make plarn-which is yarn made out of plastic. It's a great way to be earth friendly, or just have fun turning trash into treasure. I've just listed my first supply or plarn in my Crafting4Causes shop. This particular ball of white, red, and green plarn is made from bags we've collected from shopping at our closest grocery store. I've got some other color mixes in the works. If you would like to try your hand at making something with this neat 2-ply plarn, I am offering 50% off the sales price off this item for blog followers. You must include a message about this blog in your notes when purchasing to get the refund.

And as for some cool ideas for plarn, here are some awesome examples of what you can make. There's a lot more variety of items you can find on Etsy by searching "plarn" but these are some of my favorites :D

Found Here by: recycyledbyme

Found Here by: Crochooley

Found Here by: blueskybags

Found Here by: blueskybags

Found Here by: Saribellum

Found Here by: blueskybags

Found Here by: blueskybags

Found Here by: debs1967

Found Here by: summersgabby

Found Here by: Crochooley

Found Here by: brij21

Friday, November 20, 2009

PoshWashSoap-This Week's Friday Feature

My apologies for not posting a Friday Feature last week-I was under the weather but now I'm up and ready to feature PoshWashSoap! PoshWashSoap has contributed items to my charity Crafting4Causes shop, these items are hidden in each of the mystery grab bags such as this one.

While browsing through her shop, my taste buds loved what I saw! Such great scents added to the products, and such great colors as well! I guess you can see by my picks that I like citrus, but she has lots of other items out there, and not just soaps-all sorts of beauty products to select from.

You can read in detail about her journey to learning to make bath and body products in her bio. She first started making them in an attempt to help both her son and herself with their sensitive skin and she's seen that the natural products she produces and sells make all the difference. In addition to being great for your body, she even has a number of vegan-friendly items.

She states: "My eyeshadow, bronzer, blush & veil are all formulated from pure minerals, and are free of bismuth, talc, cornstarch, fragrance and oils.

It's perfect for those with sensitive skin, acne, allergies or rosacea."

With such reasonable prices, I would definitely say it's worth a try, especially during these winter months that can be so harsh on skin!

So once again, please come check out PoshWashSoap by clicking on the name and add her to your list of favorites!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Let's Get Down To Business-A Lesson in Goal Setting

"I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don't set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life". M. Russell Ballard

I've learned for myself that goal setting is vital to business (and life!) If you are driving on the the road without a destination, you will never make it anywhere meaningful! I realized that I really needed to apply this principle to my etsy shop.

I keep finding myself unhappy with how few sales I get (If you look at my shop you will see 61 sales since July, but really not even a third of those are true sales-most were trades) How can I really be happy or disappointed though if I don't have anything to compare it to?

Here are some vital points to goal setting:
#1 Focus on the most important (and sometimes weakest) areas for your particular business

#2 Be specific and realistic, but set goals that will make you stretch.

#3set daily, weekly, monthly, and perhaps even yearly goals.

#4 Make plans to accomplish your goals.

#5 Measure your progress and make adjustments as needed.

#1 Take a minute to evaluate where you can improve. (for myself) what is the most important or weakest part to my shop? I think advertising is the most needful, as well as consistent listings-I have a hard time getting myself to take pictures and list when I'd rather spend time creating and they'd magically sell themselves!

#2 & 3 Be specific and realistic eh? What kinds of goals should you set? Good ideas are: time spent marketing, time creating products, time/amount of listings made daily/weekly, and sales goals. If you don't set a goal you will never know how well you are doing! Making 2 sales this month might make you feel good, but next month you may get impatient and wonder what's wrong with you. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A GOAL IN MIND THEN YOU CAN'T TRULY VALIDATE FEELINGS OF SUCCESS OR FAILURE! Set numerical goals and then make plans to achieve them. Stretch yourself but don't make them so hard that you get down on yourself. Try to be better tomorrow than you were today :D

#4 I plan to save up money to fly back to Poland where I spent a year and a half-to visit some friends and take in some sights. I am currently penniless, but heck, I have a goal right? Having a goal set means it will somehow happen right? I think we all know the answer to that! If I don't set up an account to save money and plan on a dollar amount to put into that fund each month, I will never make it there! Just like with Etsy-having 1,000 sales a month is a superb goal, but if you don't back it up with an advertising plan, then you're going nowhere fast!

#5 Constantly re-evaluate. Don't get in a rut. Maybe what worked for you a few months ago doesn't work as well now.

I hope this has helped some of you put things in perspective-I know it has helped me loads!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Disbelief-A High Compliment

I wore a new pendant that I made this week to work and I got SOOOO many compliments over it-I love it! It's one of my Tree of Life Pendants with green leaves. I even stopped by my local bead shop (where I originally purchased the green beads) and both employees I talked to loved it. After stating that I made it (and actually with their beads) one of the employees looked closer and said "Really? You actually made that?" I'm still smiling :D Yes ma'am, I made it :D

I love this new technique so much that I've gone wild, used up all my green beads and even bought some to make my mom a "Family Tree" with our gemstone colors. Here's a couple of what I have made so far >>>

Also, while I was learning how to make the Tree of Life pendants, I learned how to make birds nest wire-wrapped charms that can be attached to a ring or earrings. I've done both :D And as it is I was out of golden hooks so, as it's been said before: Necessity is the mother of creation. I taught myself to make ear hooks, which turns out it isn't too hard once you have the technique down and the proper tools. I'm also including a cute button ring I made-I'm ordering some buttons and plan to make oodles of them :D

And lastly-I've reached an important etsy mark-I've been on long enough to have items expire! That means 4 whole months! I decided when I started my shops that items that don't sell by expiration will either have 3 things done to them: 1. Re-list (if I like them enough) 2.Keep for myself or 3.List discounted in my charity shop. Maybe I'll do a giveaway sometime too? Anyway-I have a whole bunch of items that I want to clear out of my shop, most expiring Saturday so I've discounted them all in a special discount section in my shop. Most items are only $5.00! And a great deal is>>>>>>>>>>>> buy 2, get 1 free AND free shipping (when purchasing 2 items from the sales section). Please go check them out :D And stay tuned tomorrow for our weekly Friday Feature!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Souper Saturday a Big Hit! (and I'm in a treasury :)

It's been a crazy busy weekend-but a great one! I helped organize an event with the girls in my church that we called "Souper Saturday". We met up and had various craft stations-with some soup to snack, casual atmosphere, plenty of mingling, and a few neat crafts-it was a big hit that put a smile on my face :D

I had some of my jewelry out for fun show and offered to fix broken jewelry (providing I knew how) and taught everyone that wanted to how to make simple dangle earrings. It was a blast. Other stations included making tile coasters with pictures the girls brought, making flower hair clips and pretty fridge magnets. One girl that has beauty training gave some tips and waxed eyebrows :D It was so fun that many of us stayed there twice as long as planned and could've had fun there much longer :P Here are some fun pictures.

And lastly-someone was nice enough to compile a treasury on etsy featuring an item from different shops that are participating in the Secret Santa game that I organized :D Come check it out :D

Friday, November 6, 2009

Oh my! Is it Friday? Time for a FRIDAY FEATURE!

This week's Friday Feature is TheSupplyHouse. I just finished listing their donation to the Crafting4Causes shop-some beautiful bicone beads found here.

This shop has not only a beautiful selection of beads, but some adorable drawstring bags and matchbook notebooks. It's the perfect location to get those little extras that make purchases so special.

The shop is actually a team effort run by mother and daughter (how fun!) About it they say:
"All of the sewing is done by Laurene (mom) as well as most of the papercraft. Adia is responsible for more of the "business side" of things as well as helping her Mom pick out what kinds of fabrics and papers to use. The beads are mostly destash items from their ever growing collection."

They also have another shop - please stop by and see what they have to offer-I highly recommend them!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm sorry, did I just drool on your listing?!

You know how you sometimes happen to come across an item and you just want to scream like a little kid "I WANT IT!" Well that's what I thought when I saw these 2 jewelry chests below. They are so stunning and are sure to be great investment/heirloom pieces. Check out the shop they come from here:
Unfortunately no luck with a full time job here and I probably spend too much money on etsy (and not getting any sales for quite some time :(....) That's the irony right? Spend too much money making jewelry for myself (and to sell) so I have to stick with my childhood jewelry box that overflows all over my dresser :P *Someday*

By the way, speaking of making myself too much jewelry...I was at the bead store picking out "a few" beads for some earrings I'm going to show people to make at our church's craft activity this Saturday and I came across the most adorable sterling silver chain which I knew NEEDED to be paired with some charms I've had for years. Then came a few Svarowskis...and it's beautiful :D I'll take some pictures soon and post them! I'm not usually a charm bracelet kinda girl but I'll be wearing this one with pride!

And lastly, I'd like to introduce you to my sister-in-law's new shop! It's called She loves origami and showed me some great stuff she's making for her new shop. These are pictures of her first 4 items listed. Please go check out her shop and show her some love! She's a busy busy mom of 2 active kids-an infant and toddler-so she might not list new things daily but I'm glad she's joined the fun of etsy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


The great news is I just totalled up and donated October's sales from the Crafting4Causes shop to the Shriner's Hospital for Children. We made $26.78! (I rounded it up to $27.00) That's definitely the highest given to a good cause so far! Thank you to all those who have donated as well as those who have purchased from the shop and those who have helped spread the word. This month all proceeds will go to a program called SNAP-it provides energy assistance during the cold winter months for those who are struggling to pay heating bills. For more information their website is on the announcements in my shop.

As for my JollyJennifer shop...things have been slow. No sales in ages and I haven't been listing many things. I've been busy between Halloween and organizing a Secret Santa for 30+ etsy forum users :D But I think (and hope) things will slow down so I can create and list more! And since I finally have the family computer up and running I can take more care of my shop and this blog. More great stuff to come, but I need to jet. Thank you to everyone who reads my blog-it means a lot to me :D

Proof of donation (click on picture for larger view):

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trick or Treat Winner :D

The random winner of the giveaway of the Christmas tags and $5.00 in my shop is....ALTEREDBEAUTY! Congrats :D