Choices and Challenges

Wow, October already?  I kind of feel like I blinked and September was gone.

I was much busier in September than I had originally planned to be.  I ended up vending at an event every weekend, and two of those events were in my top three sales events for this year.  Awesome!  But it’s a lot of work to set up every weekend, and as amazing as my husband is, dragging him out of the house early every Saturday isn’t quite fair to him.  So the first choice my title is referencing is that I have decided to take October off from live events.  This should give me some time to concentrate on organizing the studio and getting new things up online in my Etsy shop (finally!)

This leads me to choice #2: deciding what order to put things up in my shop.  I sort my jewelry into various themes for my displays at live events, but I’m redoing what I’ll be taking to indoor shows this winter, so I decided I’d just start with one theme and list everything in that display, then move on to the next.  I asked people to complete a poll for me, choosing their top three themes.  Looks like I’ll be starting with Toys, Games, Fantasy & Geekery.  There are a lot of ties for the other themes, so if you haven’t taken it yet, you can still do so here.  When I get done with the first theme, I’ll see what has the second most votes.

I’ve already decided to limit the events I’ll do this holiday season, and I’ll be getting my applications out over the next week or so.  Right now, it looks like I’ll be doing only one, maybe two shows each month in November, December, and January.  My next choice involves what exactly I’m going to take to indoor events.  I got my outdoor setup pretty well figured out by the end of the season (you can check out the pics of a couple of events on my Flickr) but indoors is a whole different ballgame.  For one, I’ve been used to having a 10×10 foot space, while the indoor events I’m planning offer 6×8 or 8×8 foot spaces.  I also won’t have my tent frame to hang stuff from, so I need to find new ways to display some of my items.  So I’ll be limiting my products to some specific categories, and pointing people to go online and check out my Etsy shop.

Now, I have some choices to make for my Etsy shop, too.  I’ve been renewing items after they expire, mostly because I haven’t been able to list new things.  I’ve been thinking about no longer renewing items and instead posting them in my online store, which totally needs some attention and products.  I noticed that a bunch of my Christmas-themed items end on December 14th, and it seems rather silly to me to renew those for another four months that close to Christmas, so as of December 15th, I will no longer be renewing expired listings on Etsy.

So that’s a look into the future, but what about October?  I’ve got a few things planned…

If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve probably seen my Item of the Day posts.  For October, rather than just picking a random item to be featured, I’ve decided to go with a theme… or rather, three themes, so you’ll be getting three items each day.

  • Pink Item of the Day – By now, everyone is pretty well aware that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  What you might not be aware of is that my own family, like so many others, has been touched by this disease.  We lost my Aunt Linda in 2002.  Her children started Play for the Cure Oregon in her honor.  This month, I will be showcasing one pink item every day, and I will donate 10% of sales from any item with pink in it to the Linda L. Vladyka Breast Wellness Foundation.
  • Rainbow Item of the Day – You also might not be aware that October is LBGT History Month, too.  I’ve been pretty vocal in my support of LGBT rights and marriage equality, and I look forward to every National Coming Out Day (October 11) as I tear up watching all the love and support for myself and so many of my friends.  So I’ll be showcasing one rainbow item every day, and I will donate 10% of sales from any rainbow item to the It Gets Better Project.
  • Halloween Item of the Day – My favorite holiday is Halloween, and it being the last day of October, it’s perfect (in my not so humble opinion) to celebrate it all month!  My Halloween Item of the Day will feature items that can be used for costumes as well as all the “scary” icons of Halloween: bats, spiders, skulls, and a little bit of Cthulhu thrown in.  I can’t think of any Halloween themed charities, but that leads me to another choice I recently made…

I have decided that any time my monthly product sales reaches $500, I will donate 10% to charity or an IndieGoGo campaign I feel deserves it.  And speaking of IndieGoGo campaigns, a friend of mine is doing one right now that only has a few days left, so if you could help him out, I’d greatly appreciate it!  They’re a long ways from their goal, and I’ve already donated all I could (though if I get a TON of sales in the next couple days, maybe I can do more).

And now, Challenges.  I’ve decided to use October to challenge myself.  Since it’s the tenth month and 10 is one of my favorite numbers, I’ve decided to work on “Ten Things” challenges.  Some of these will be accomplished in one day, some will take several.  Some are baby steps and others are more intensive.  My goal is to complete at least ten of them by the end of October.  They’ll be things like “Create Ten New Products” and “List Ten New Items” as well as “Organize Ten Areas” and “Read Ten Marketing Articles.”  I’ll be blogging about these as I get them completed, so that’s another challenge, “Blog About Ten ‘Ten Things’ Challenges.”

But the biggest challenge is going to be “Less Talk, More Action” so I better stop writing and get to doing, yes? 🙂

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Tu-Tu Additions: Some New Takes On an Old Product

A conversation about my Long Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt inspired me to create some new versions, so this is how I spent my Sunday.  We had talked about two changes: 1) making it shorter in the front, and 2) making a more “tattered” look.  My tu-tus are made with strips of tulle, so I took 1/3 of the strips it takes to make a long tu-tu and cut them in half to make the shorter part.  This results in a slightly fuller skirt, as there are more strips attached to the waistband.  Here is an even high-low tu-tu tulle skirt:

High-Low Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Front View

High-Low Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Front View

Basically, you have my Regular Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt in the front, and the long one in the back.  Since this uses the same amount of materials that the long one does, I’ll be charging the same amount, so if you want to order one like this before I get a new listing up, just order the Long Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt and include a note in the comments that you want the High-Low version.

Here’s a side view:

High-Low Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Side View

High-Low Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Side View

And here’s the back view:

High-Low Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Back View

High-Low Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Back View

For the more “tattered” look, I took the shorter strips for the front, and instead of folding them exactly in half before attaching them to the waistband, I folded them haphazardly at some random point, so each piece ended up with two different lengths.  It turned out like this:

High-Low Tattered Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Front View

High-Low Tattered Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Front View

Since this one also uses the same amount of materials as the Long Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt, you can order that one and just put a note in the comments section that you want the High-Low Tattered version.  I really love how this color combination turned out.  This is technically a three-color skirt, I just used the same turquoise for two of the colors, so there’s twice as much of it as there is of the mint green.  I think it ended up with a gorgeous water-effect look!

Here is the side view:

High-Low Tattered Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Side View

High-Low Tattered Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Side View

And here is the back view:

High-Low Tattered Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Back View

High-Low Tattered Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Back View

Then, just because I wanted to see how the skirt would look overall with the tattered effect, I made a Regular Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt and applied the same haphazard technique all the way around.  This is what I ended up with:

Regular Tattered Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Front View

Regular Tattered Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Front View

And the side view:

Regular Tattered Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Side View

Regular Tattered Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Side View

And the back view:

Regular Tattered Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Back View

Regular Tattered Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt Back View

This version uses the same amount of materials as the Regular Tu-Tu Tulle Skirt, so if you want to order a tattered version, just order the regular one and put a note in the comments that you’d like the tattered version instead.

Eventually, I’ll get separate listings up for these versions, but I’ll need to get more pictures first.  I just wanted to get these posted so you could see what I came up with!

These would be great for several different Halloween costumes, but please remember that I need 1-2 weeks for processing and it could take another week to get to you in the mail (longer if you live outside the United States) so order early!  And if you do order one, post a pic on my Facebook page so we can all see the full costume. 🙂

Five X Fifty: Day 3 – Pins

I know, I know, I am woefully behind on my daily new products.  Take the brain-deadness after the craft fair last Saturday, add in issues getting any kind of a clear picture of my products, and then the rather sudden onset of winter and the cold chasing me from my freezing studio, and here we are with nearly a week since my last new product post.  Sigh.

But I’ve still been making things!  And I have the pictures for days three, four and five done, so it’s just a matter of getting the listings up on Etsy and making the posts here.  Days six and seven are awaiting their chance in front of the camera, and day eight (which should be today) is sitting by the sewing machine, upset with me that I ran off to run errands this morning rather than finish it.  Or I have a couple other ideas that I might be able to finish up by tomorrow for days eight, nine, and maybe even ten and eleven.  I have no shortage of ideas, but that pesky time thing keeps getting away from me!

So anyway, without further ado, let me get to Day 3, and the new Pins I have made and listed on Etsy.  I actually have six pins I just listed, so you get a bonus one!

I decided to go ahead and put up the backlog of the Halloween themed pins I had, because Halloween should totally be celebrated year around, and these spider and bat pins are just too adorable!

Cute Black Spider Pin by Rewondered D225P-00003 - $5.95

Cute Black Spider Pin by Rewondered D225P-00003 – $5.95

Cute Black Bat Pin by Rewondered D225P-00004 - $5.95

Cute Black Bat Pin by Rewondered D225P-00004 – $5.95

Cute Black Vampire Bat Pin by Rewondered D225P-00005 - $5.95

Cute Black Vampire Bat Pin by Rewondered D225P-00005 – $5.95

Yay!  I love Halloween.  But alas, as much as it pains me to do so before Thanksgiving is over, I must start thinking about Christmas.  These little snow-covered birdhouse pins are kind of Christmasy…

Green Birdhouse with Yellow Star, Red Trim and Snow Pin by Rewondered D225P-00007 - $4.95

Green Birdhouse with Yellow Star, Red Trim and Snow Pin by Rewondered D225P-00007 – $4.95

 Green and Red Checkerboard Birdhouse Covered In Snow Pin by Rewondered D225P-00008 - $4.95

Green and Red Checkerboard Birdhouse Covered In Snow Pin by Rewondered D225P-00008 – $4.95

And last but certainly not least, my favorite, this Silver Master Key… wish I could get more of these charms to make more of these pins, but six is all I have.

Fancy Silver Master Key Pin by Rewondered D225P-00006 - $8.95

Fancy Silver Master Key Pin by Rewondered D225P-00006 – $8.95

I have a bunch more pins available at the craft fairs (and of the two items I sold at the last one, one was a pin).  I’ve been working on a few “make as you wait” items and some display items for custom orders, so hopefully those will help me get a few more sales at the next fair.  I think I also need to talk up my IndieGoGo campaign a bit more.  My gogofactor was up this week, and I thank all of you who have helped to spread the word, and ask that you keep sharing it with as many people as you can.  I’ve moved up to page three of the Fashion campaigns, that’s pretty cool!

Also, don’t forget that the Real World Hero auction ends this Saturday, November 10th, so get over there and bid on the Comic Captions Straitjacket Hoodie and HERO T-shirt that I made especially for Real World Hero!
Join the RealWorldHero.com Donation Drive!

 

I’ll keep working on the backlog of new product listings and posts, but it will probably be next week before I get caught up.  You can see a sneak preview though by checking out the Gallery on my IndieGoGo campaign. 🙂

Five By Five Halloween Sampler

  • Five By Five = five new listings by five o’clock

This Halloween edition of Five By Five gives you a sneak peak at some of the new products I’m making for the craft fairs I’ll be selling at in November and December.  You’ll be seeing five more examples of these five types of products in my upcoming 50 New Products In 50 Days, as I mentioned in my last post about my creative commitments for November.

In an effort to reduce my massive button collection, I’ve created a ton of new items that will make great stocking stuffers and inexpensive gifts.  All of today’s new products feature buttons or flatbacks, and this is just the tip of the iceberg!

First up we have hair elastics, or pony tail holders.  Look for more of these on November 1st!  This pair features white skull and crossbones buttons on black elastic bands.

Skull and Crossbones Hair Elastics Ponytail Holders by Rewondered D202E-00001

Skull and Crossbones Hair Elastics Ponytail Holders by Rewondered D202E-00001

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Next, I’ve created some fun post back earrings.  Look for more of these on November 2nd!  This pair features spooky ghosts and are chunky but lightweight.

Ghost Post Back Earrings by Rewondered D225E-55501

Ghost Post Back Earrings by Rewondered D225E-55501

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And where do you find ghosts?  In haunted houses, of course!  Here’s a Haunted House pin, and I’ll have more pins for you on November 3rd.

Haunted House Pin by Rewondered D225P-00002

Haunted House Pin by Rewondered D225P-00002

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That old house is probably crawling with spiders, but I bet they’re not as cute as this spider ring!  Look for more adorable rings on November 4th.

Black Spider Ring with Adjustable Band by Rewondered D225R-00001

Black Spider Ring with Adjustable Band by Rewondered D225R-00001

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Other creatures you might find in an old boarded-up house like that is bats.  Check out these adorable bat snap barrettes and look for more snap barrettes on November 5th!

Black Bat Snap Barrettes by Rewondered D202B-00002

Black Bat Snap Barrettes by Rewondered D202B-00002

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And there we have it!  A sneak peak at some new products, some adorable Halloween themed items, and a plan for posting more new items.  Wow, look at me go!

And just because my life isn’t complicated enough, I’m considering adding another IndieGoGo campaign to the mix, incorporating the 50 New Products In 50 Days and raising funds so I can continue to make more samples and expand my product lines even further.  Which means I will discontinue my offers for $210 worth of Rewondered products for only $50 and the Half-Price $20 Rewondered Gift Certificate for only $10, so if you want those, better jump on them!

Speaking of jumping, I better hop to it and get back to MAKING ALL THE THINGS!!!  😀

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