This is the first year since moving to Los Angeles that we are not traveling back east for Christmas. As great as it was to spend time in New York with friends in family, being away also caused me to miss out on most of the Christmas Sales, as my shop would close before the holiday shopping rush began. This year we are staying local by going up to Big Bear Lake, allowing me to stay open the entire time.
This presents a new challenge however. I've never actually needed to stock and prep work for the busy season. However I am so excited that my brain is constantly coming up with new and fun ideas to introduce to my customers. One of the items, is this Button Yarn Bowl. It's not just cute, it's adorable! And what crafter wouldn't love a bowl covered in buttons! My other idea in progress are pottery pieces covered in Henna designs. It's really time consuming and difficult at first, but the results are so worth the trouble. The idea came from when I planned a baby shower for my sister a few months ago and booked a henna girl to do henna designs for all the guests. Once I saw the process and how henna's color and texture resembled clay slip, I knew I had to try this on pottery. While henna eventually dries and flakes away, leaving behind a brown design, the slip stays on the pot adding a great textural element. So far I've been throwing small dishes and plates and using these lotus like designs on a flat surface. This week I will be moving to cups and vases.
It feels great when your creative juices are flowing and your mind is always coming up with new interesting ideas. This is the state of mind I am currently in. Every day, I seem to want to make something new. Maybe I can try this, or what if I do that? One of those fun ideas became this yarn bowl. The idea is to have the bowl look like the ball of yarn that's in it. Pretty simple huh? Well not only does it look pretty, it is also very light, since so much of the clay is carved away to create the exterior texture. I named it "Heart Yarn" because, well let's face it, what knitter doesn't?
So I have to be honest, I did not get into the whole "circle" thing at first, and it took me a little while to embrace it. Once I did however, I really enjoyed all the new "clicks" I was a part of. Recently I've been getting denied access to add more people to my "circle" if you will as it is "bursting at the seams!" Really?
Am I so unpopular that I cannot and should not add more people to be friends with? I've done some research to find out that my circle limit will be expanded once more people add me to their circle and so I sit and wait to be allowed to become clicky with more Etsy folk. I have to say, this is hurting my self esteem. Etsy's solution is to "remove folks from your circle to make room for more" . So now I cant help but think that with every circle lost, that person is removing me to make room for a much cooler person.
This whole thing is making me feel like a redheaded stepchild. There I blogged about it!
Every year, the Etsy Mud Team has a mug swap. Where all the team members randomly exchange a mug they made, for a mug made by another team member. Even though this swap takes place at the same time every year, for some reason it takes me by surprise and I always miss it. This year I am on the ball and have my mug ready! I am very proud to swap this prefect little mug and hope it goes to a faminine cat lover. As much as I love my mug, I find it kind of humorous to imagine a man using it. You can find other great mug entries here.
I really had to push myself this past month to keep a steady work schedule. Despite Finn becoming really active, I have been working and making stuff during every nap and free moment I can get. As a result, I am firing my kiln for the first time in months and it's stuffed!
I've had many new and intesting ideas, experimenting with colored porcelain as well as decals and cannot wait to see and show you the results in another post. I've also had a chance to finally develop letters to be used for personalized items like mugs and vases for names and monograms.
Having been so busy (and lazy) my studio became absolutely dingy. I've finally had to force myself to get down and dirty. It took me 3 1/2 hours of scrubbing on hands and knees to clean about a 5'x5' space, after which I was so exhausted I could not continue.
This is a small part of what I have to tackle tomorrow....ehhhhhh.....
So while I've been kicking back being a mom, I've began to notice a shift...an Etsy shift. Even though my pottery production has now taken a back seat to mommyhood I still check on my Etsy shop and some of my favorite categories daily. I couldn't help but notice the number of vintage shops and vintage items that now seem to pop up more than ever on the front page as well as Storque articles and the Etsy Finds emails. This caused me to stop and think about what this may mean for us handmade folks and the site in general. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge vintage fan. I've scored a gorgeous mink stowe and some magazines from a couple of my favorite vintage Etsy shops. However, I can't help but feel overwhelmed by the presence of craft supplies and 1950's kitsch as I browse Etsy's pages. Part of what attracted me to Etsy was that it sold handmade! It somehow made it a special place so very different from EBay! It wasn't a place for everyone, but rather a group of people that could "create". Now I know that vintage shop owners may read this and say I am only complaining because I sell handmade, and that would be true to a point. I am not saying there should be no vintage or supplies on Etsy, just not sure I like the site moving in a different direction. After all, it's not "Etsy, where you buy and sell handmade" only any longer.I am not really sure where I am headed with this, other than that I would like to know what others out there may think.