Sunday, April 4, 2010

For My Fellow Etsy Artists

I did it! I did the Etsy Virtual Lab on Thursday night for the very first time and it was a lot of fun! Here's my de-brief - some editorial, some not.

Here's the link to the Lab I attended!/event.php?eid=109669322390415&ref=mf which was an educational panel in their Speaker Series.

Panel guests were:

Kari Chapin, author of The Handmade Marketplace, and she brought four of the book's crafty contributors with her.

I, of course, ran out to Books & Co. to buy the book immediately, which I'm really enjoying!

  • 130 people were there in person
  • About 100 were there in the virtual meeting room - people from ALL over the WORLD, which was really cool.
  • I "chatted" with someone from Africa and Australia.
  • Also made new etsy friends from other states, plus one from Akron, Ohio. It was cool how people were searching for people from their own state.
  • The chat room was I think my favorite part of the experience. Got some great tips, new people hearted me and I hearted new shops, too. Also, I am now following a new blog - a jewelry artist with beautiful work that I found inspiring.
  • My main take-away from the panel discussion was about your Creative Collective, which Kari talks about in her book. Your Creative Collective can help you get through "creative blocks" which we all have, and also provide counsel and fellowship. Just kind of gave me a nod to all my creative friends that I depend on so much.
  • Another discussion that was a very hot and heavy one was "under-pricing". Etsy artists feel very strongly that when you under-price your hand-made items, you are cheapening our craft and all of our businesses' integrity. Please keep that in mind when you are pricing your items.
  • Throughout the hour that I was on-line with them, they posted three polls and then they posted the results, which was interesting. I didn't take very good notes on this, though, because my brain was swimming already with the chat room and the panel discussion. I do remember two of the questions they asked - 1. Do you have a Creative Collective? 2. Do you sell what you make?
  • Issues with technology - sound especially - made it hard to follow and was distracting. Plus the annoying guests who very rudely complained about the issues were even more distracting :)
  • While I may have not received much help from the panel, it was still an exciting experience.

I recommend checking out the Etsy information page for Virtual Labs before attending one. It shows a sample of when a visitor from People StyleWatch magazine was broadcast - way cool! It also shows samples of what the virtual room looks like and instructions for how you use all the buttons. :)

And that's my debrief!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Vintage Button Necklaces

Like most artists, I find inspiration in everyday activities. My most recent inspiration came in the form of a magazine photo while catching up on Hollywood gossip in the waiting room of a doctor's office.

Kim Kardashian was sporting a fabulous vintage necklace made out of chain, chain and more chain. I liked it and gave it a moment's thought, but inpiration didn't hit until I was asleep that night... Do others realize inspiration while dreaming???

I woke up with my vision and went right to work. My lovely collection of vintage buttons are now adorning chain necklaces, one of which is modeled here by my lovely daughter, Stephanie.

While I haven't yet posted them on, I've made seven of these beauties and I'm sure they will find their way to etsy soon.