Saturday, June 30, 2007

bye bye June drip drip

Bye bye June 2007, officially more than a half less than sunny than usual!
Where is my summer??
Anyway, I'm seeing June out with a bang. It's Canada Day tomorrow so there will be fireworks galore round here. I'm currently on a post-migraine high (you know, that great burst of euphoric energy that happens when you finally recover) from yesterday's whammy - no vision loss this time whoopee! Instead I got unending vomitting lapsing into dry heaving on top of my pounding headache. And it all came on while in Vancouver with the wee guy, en route to handing in the next batch of ebb and flo goodies to consign (more on this later if i remember). So thus incapacitated I locked the wee guy in the car, heaved outside and called the hubby to come rescue us. He arrived as fast as his colleague could legally drive him there (bless you Kevin) and then drove me, wailing and puking, all the way back to PoMo. What fun!
This morning I woke up 4 pounds lighter (yay the "Oh puke your gutts up over 12 hours" diet really works - note: i am not making light of or endorsing bulimia here), a bit woozy and definitely achy to find a gorgeous thank you email from my custom seaglass necklace customer (including a cute pic of her and her dog, both wearing their ebb and flo goodies - more on that later), an email to say the cufflinks order has arrived at last (oh thank goodness) and a new treasury with my mermaid necklace in it! Thankyou westernartglass!!

Friday, June 29, 2007

almost a week without blogging???

OMG! Almost a week without blogging - well, I have been busy I guess.

Monday; The cufflink order went out (hopefully it will arrive at its destination today so I can quit the worry stuff, plus preparing for wire crochet class and making stuff to consign

Tuesday; a blur but I think the wee guy and I packed in some play activity or other, plus preparing for wire crochet class and making stuff to consign
Wednesday; a dead-loss as the car was in for a service which means wee guy and I were stranded at the bottom of the mountain car-less for a few hours, plus preparing for wire crochet class and making stuff to consign

Thursday; my student for the wire crochet class didn't turn up (so therefore I didn't get paid) but I spent a great morning with Serena and Rachel at Beadworks teaching them to crochet and running thru my class routine with them

Friday: today I have to deliver some sea glass necklaces, a package of handmade earwires and deliver some goodies to a store I consign at in Vancouver. Oh and I need to buy more sterling silver wire from Mountain Gems and pick up a ceramic bowl the wee guy decorated for Aunty B (who arrives in a week!!!)

.... and as the icing on the cake my mermaid necklace and ceramic pendant (expired today rats!) appear in two treasuries - big thanks to curbsidetreasure and tnkerr for excellent lists.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

it's a handmade life

fyi: Etsy is a fabulous source of handcrafted jewelry findings.

This amazing treasury by kathiparker (who also supplies handcrafted findings) includes my sample pack of sterling silver earwires. Each pair is handmade, the ends filed to smooth them and then tumble polished in stainless steel shot to harden and polish them.

See here for a listing in sterling silver and here for brass.

Friday, June 22, 2007

another Vancouver Etsy chicks coffee and yack session

We'll be meeting again for coffee and crafty chat at The Grind on Main on Sunday July 8th at around 2pm.
(We need men too).

Maybe I should clarify the above, male Etsy people are invited too (buyers and sellers).

Stay tuned to this thread for further details and for news of an upcoming contest/challenge when someone thinks of it!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Every so often I get an email update from Edie Hats on Granville Island in Vancouver. Usually I read, become excited at the thought of finding that signature hat then forget about it in the daily mundane whirl of mum-of-a-preschooler, wife-of-a-corporate-executive life.

However, this time I think I am 'in lerv' - click on the above pic for the link to buy I dare you. I have a real weakness for dancing shoes and the red flamenco pair above are seriously pushing all my buttons. Luckily I have a birthday coming up (well, August) but I am about to forget my nothing over $50 (doesn't seem so important to put the CAD after it now snigger) rule for my cheapskate wardrobe.

Dammit I deserve a hot, sexy pair of dancing shoes! They are totally wrong, impractical and a colour which will go with absolutely not one thing in aforementioned wardrobe (since it comprises exclusively of dowdy child-proof mummy uniform-type rags plus an occasional unflattering slinky number for that mythical date night I have heard of in parenting classes (obviously not the same classes my partner was taking or maybe I'm just aurally challenged)).

But in my dreams ...........

Monday, June 18, 2007

wire crochet enthusiasts - attention please!

I will be teaching a class in wire crochet at Beadworks in Port Moody (yay).

time: 10am to 12 noon

when: Thursday, 28th June

place: 253 Newport Drive in Newport Village, Port Moody

cost: $30, including some materials

It is suitable for beginners and also for those familiar with yarn crochet. We'll be covering basic stitches, adding beads and crocheting a piece or two. At the end of the class I'm hoping you will have your own bracelet or cuff to take away.

Call Beadworks Port Moody 604 468 8769 to register.

more dates coming in July

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Fathers' Day

.. and a happy fathers' day out there to my dad (who now has a huge box of chocs to snaffle thru) (mum, please help him so he doesn't explode) and to the father of my son (thanks for the best mothers' day present ever!!)
Anyways, I'm also in a treasury list today. This one, in honour of her man, is by LEquipeBoutique on Etsy who makes super-adorable baby gear. If only I had been able to buy this amazing clutch I would have been saved the decidedly non-stylish alternative of a ziplock to carry my diaper stuff. I was never a holdall-size diaper bag type of mummy - I just wanted something small and convenient to grab when the wee guy and I left the house in the morning. This would have fitted the bill!
PS: I need someone to get pregnant so I can gift them this lovely blanket.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

i like the new treasury

I sold the original jasper cufflinks and then relisted them for a custom make. Many thanks to quiltedblessings, part of the Etsymoms street team, for including them in her awesome treasury list.

Check out the blog ring link to the left to track down other awesome Etsymoms.

Treasury, Jared's baby, is new, improved, faster, whizzier and bigger but sadly this morning I can't get in to view it (need to clear my cache or summat).

where have all the flowers gone?

Sadly, Etsy has been a depressing place for a lot of the last week. Listings were not showing up in the correct places at the correct times thus denying sellers their brief snatch of Etsy fame. As per usual information from Etsycentral was slow in coming or just absent or not timely so sellers continued to list and then complain. Calls for information on site status are becoming commonplace in the forum but sadly seem to go unheeded.

Then there was Etsy's second birthday party in the middle of this whole mess ...... great timing and I felt rather sorry for the partygoers whooping it up when there was such dissarray and frustration in the forums.

.... and to cap it all off there was also another round of mutings.

Mutings are used by Etsy to reprimand bad forum behaviour according to the Do's and Don'ts, the Terms of Use or the constitution depending on what the infraction is deemed to be. A seller's posting privileges in the forums are suspended for an amount of time and their avatar is blanked (read more here). Yesterday's post in the blog was about one such muting, where one seller was attacked by another, basically for being a victim. The 'victim' was the one that ended up muted!

KarmaRox created a Treasury list in honour of the occasion.

I'm posting late at night as usual (when I get some time to myself) and I'm too tired to write coherently or with family-friendly language so I'll let the treasury list do the talking for me.

and my current avatar ....

Friday, June 15, 2007

Another muting ....

Originally uploaded by thekateblack.
Please click thru on the above pic to find the story and then check out here for some background

I'm posting and running so i'll get back to this one ASAP.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

new Etsy treasury - testing testing testing

Etsy is currently testing a new treasury set up. Today there were 400 treasury lists running (when the site wasn't down that is).

ebb and flo had two items featured in treasury lists from cupperbeads and sillyshaley.
Cupperbeads featured Happy Fathers' Day picks and sillyshaley showcased some truly awesome sea glass treasures on Etsy.

Thank you!
PS: If I hadn't been featured in at least one out of the 400 lists I think I might have been very upset.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

off the cuff ....

(from the left)
row1: blue skyline and white quartz, blackstone and turquoise/dichroic fused glass from thecraftykind
row 2: fusedglass cabs from willowglass, sea glass and lampwork beads from rufusandroxy
row 3: amber, picasso jasper and white quartz, and fused glass cabs custom made by willowglass

Almost ready to put this little collection to bed!
Most of these pairs of cufflinks are for a wholesale order being readied for sending out next week. All of the order and most of the pairs above are in sterling silver and this has been the biggest project I have ever undertaken using this medium. Until now I've been serving my apprenticeship in silver-plated wire (the non-tarnish version of which I love for wire crochet since it stays shiney for longer and I haven't yet worked out whether or not it will tumble polish).
Cufflinks have been selling steadily in my Etsy shop and sell occasionally at craft fairs. I started making them after my husband suggested some gorgeous willowglass cabs would make great cufflinks. After I figured out how to wire them into a cufflnk setting and test drove them for durability they became a fixed item in my Etsy shop. Recently the sterling silver sample sets have found their way onto Mintd. Sea glass also makes great cufflinks and I have enough genuine scottish chunks for both white and seafoam/aqua.
Cufflinks are pretty old fashioned these days but can still give a suit an extra formal kick in the cuffs! Jazzy or classic, I'm sure they are here to stay in a few discerning gents' wardrobes.
... and you know where to buy them now!

Monday, June 11, 2007

that treasury stuff again!

The gorgeous SandraEileen has not only started her own street team on Etsy (ho ho) but included me as both a team member, despite my smoking butt avatar, and as part of her latest treasury list. She's pulled together a marvellously coordinated list of items from her adoring team members.

All I can say is rock on Etsy's newest street team - let's start the yahoo group and seriously overload our email inboxes with waaaaaay too much inconsequential crap every 5 seconds.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Flor de PET (PET Bottle's flower)

Cool tutorial from one of my flickr contacts, about making flowers from pop bottles.

Once you've looked at the tutorial try scrolling thru the rest of the collection to see some wonderful works of recycled/upcycled art.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

ebb and flo on mintd

.. and a quick shout out to mintd, a new online selling site for handmade goods. I've been on mintd for about a month so far and the format is improving slowly with new servers, etc

I like it, it's clean and relatively uncluttered. I've yet to make a sale but I haven't been promoting very much. So far I've got the sterling silver/art brooches/lampwork cufflinks on sale there but I'm still trying to work out what my niche will be.

I'm planning on spreading my products among eCrater, mintd and Etsy but haven't yet worked out what is going where as I'd like to have a clearly defined shop on each with no overlap in products. I also want to spread out a bit and not keep all my eggs in one basket - although Etsy is a great holding site for showcasing products I have serious misgivings about its suitability as a selling venue in itself. I'm also not convinced about its administration right now as new whizz bang features get rolled out to the detriment of base line standards like a decent search function. Things hopefully can only improve but it is pushing me further down the road to independent selling which is probably a good thing in the long run.

Stay tuned .....

lies, damn lies and statistics ...

Maybe you already know about my gripes with the Etsy showcase system? or maybe you don't but here is not where you are going to find out about all that jazz!
Showcase 101
For $7 USD sellers on Etsy can buy one day of advertising on the front page in which to 'showcase' their products. The link banner sits imediately under the masthead on the frontpage .... and this is the only link to it.
NB: There is no external advertising, although initially this was not the case and it linked thru from some reputable (crafting) and some dubious (male-oriented) external sites.
Now for $7 USD you can list or renew 35 items in your shop, spacing them out could give you daily exposure for a whole month and keep your shop to the top of the main category listings. So this is what I decided to do for May and here is what I found!
ebb and flo shop activity stats for May 2007
33 items listed or renewed
32 new hearts
3 custom orders placed (one of which was declined by me due to time constraints but it translated into a sale for a smaller number of items)
4 sales (plus one more as a custom item was picked up June 1st, possibly one more sale on June 1st)
I made 3 purchases of supplies for a wholesale order and posted in 149 forum threads (however I didn't get banned, muted or warned during this time either!)
Was it worth it?
yes, my sales rate and shop exposure (hearts) both increased, and I didn't have to hang around on the forums ad nauseam
Compared with other (unplanned) "promotional stunt" it was less stressful and more productive (and would have earned Etsy a lot more revenue if autobilling was working)
Think about how stupid the average person is; now realise half of them are dumber than that. - George Carlin

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

blowing my own trumpet ..... again!

ebb and flo sea glass in another two treasuries!!

big thanks to cooldad and pumpkinpieloft(awesome sea glass-inspired list) for including my pieces

...and a big thank you to quirke for saving and sending me screen shot of the cooldad treasury

I'm still superchuffed to be included in a treasury - the magic never fades.
ebb and flo by pomo mama design click to shop pomo mama design online!