Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Moon Premier...

So my friend Alisa and I ventured out Thursday night to see the premier of New Moon. When we got there we decided to buy tickets to see Twilight as well in lue of waiting in line of 2 1/2 hours. We got great seats, had a blast re-watching the first movie, and got to keep our seats for New Moon while everyone else scrambled to find somewhere to squeeze in! I think I sat on the edge of my seat through the entire movie. I've always been Team Edward, and when I read the books, New Moon was the hardest for me to read. Even now, when I re-read them, I usually read the first 3 chapters then skip to the end were they get back together. So I didn't think I'd like having to sit through New Moon. But it was so well made, and Taylor Latner did such a good job as Jacob, that I really enjoyed the whole movie. It was happy, sad, emotional, action packed and full of suspense. They did a perfect job capturing Bella's numbness and desperation. I only wish that the end had been longer. My favorite part of the book was that it took Bella so long to figure out that Edward wasn't a dream and that she wasn't crazy. I wish they had done more with that scene in the movie. But I love how they ended it with suspense, and I'm sure I'll be back in June for the premier of Eclipse.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Baby Frosting

Featured Handmade Seller: Baby Frosting
Looking for the perfect gift for the new little one in your life? or have a friend who's expecting? I got to meet the maker of these adorable burppies and bibs on a trip out to California last week. They are sooo cute. With literally dozens of designs to choose from, there is bound to be something you'll love. The fabric styles are so cute, and the backings are equally as nice. Definately worth the price.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Flutterknits Coupon!

So I finally took the time to add a few things to my artfire studio page, and as a promo I am offering a $10 off coupon to my blog readers. So If you are a big fan of the twilight movies or books and have been waiting to get bella's mittens, now's you chance to save!

SAVE $ 10.00
On Order Total
(orders above $30.00)
Use Coupon Code:
during checkout.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ghost Owls- Delux Banner Set by muskmallowdesigns on Etsy

Ghost Owls- Delux Banner Set by muskmallowdesigns on Etsy

I've had graphics on the brain the last few days, and just had to get this set out of my system. So here's the deluxe etsy shop banner set to match the graphic I posted last night. Hope you like it!

Get the whole set- delux banners and avitars halloween addition for your etsy shop. Features three lovable retro ghost owls standing guard over your shop.

Three Ghost Owls by muskmallowdesigns on Etsy

Three Ghost Owls by muskmallowdesigns on Etsy

Spooky, fun retro Halloween graphic is perfect for you website or blog. Want to use it as a theme for you party? contact muskmallowdesigns.etsy.com for more details. (via Musk Mallow Designs)


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Busy Fall is finally here...

So I'm starting to feel the pressure that always comes with fall. I got a great response to my Bella's Mitten Pre-order stint in my etsy shop. I'm also trying to get caught up with fall apparel orders for local consignment shops. And of course in the back of my mind I keep reminding myself that Christmas will be here before I know it. With all that in mind, you'd think I'd be busy trying to crank out as much as I can, but instead, as always, I've been designing. For some reason I always design my favorite work when I should be busy doing something else!
So, what I've been working on is a new fall cabled cowl, and invitation designs for my girlfriends bridal shower.
I'll post pictures of both when they're finished.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bella's Mitten Pattern is Here!

So after a long weekend of math and fighting with the cable chart generater, I finished my pattern at the beginning of this week. Then it was off to my test knitters. I foolishly thought I had it working pretty well, and was sure they wouldn't come up with anything... But I was wrong. So I spent most of the lst few days revising the sizing and charts down to perfection. I am now quite confident that its all in working order! So I've posted it on etsy, ravelry and here for download. I've offered it on etsy of $6 since its not an instant download, or here on the blog for $10 which is an instant download.
I hope you enjoy it, and if you do, leave me a comment or two of how they turn out for you.

















Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My First Blog Feature!!!

So yesterday I reached 35 sales in my etsy shop, and today I am excited to announce my first blog feature! Check out this great site, etsy by numbers, and the article that she posted on my popular Bella's Mittens.
http://etsybynumbers.blogspot.com/2009/08/unearthed_12.html

Today is knitting club at the library, so I'm off to share the wonderful news and see if I can't round up volunteers to test knit the pattern so I can post it as well!
Jamie

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

35 Sales on Etsy!!!

I am proud to announce that Today I reach 35 sales and 99 hearts for my knits shop on Esty! Thanks so much to everyone who has been supporting me this year. I've never made so many mittens in my life, and it's been so much fun; what a wild ride! I never thought it would be so exciting selling online, but I've sent my mittens all over the world now, and still get that peng of pride every time I go to the post office with my little brown box!
Thanks!
Jamie

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Blog Banner Giveaway Winners!

To officially start off the opening of my graphics shop Musk Mallow Designs, I held a blog banner give away in the forums on etsy last wednesday night! Here are the winners:

Check them out, and make sure to visit the blogs and etsy stores of all the winners, they have some really great stores, and interesting reads!

Bare Moose:
www.baremoose.etsy.com for beautiful jewelry!
www.baremoose.blogspot.com for great how-to craft articles! (thanks for the mini etsy promo)!




Interesting Lee:
www.interestinglee.etsy.com shop opened this week, stop by and show some love!
www.interestinglee.blogspot.com her blog chronicles her journey selling on etsy. (thanks for the link)!


Lil' Miss Polkadot:
www.lilmisspolkadot.etsy.com cutest whimsical paintings and gifts
www.lilmisspolkadot.blogspot.com feature items, giveaways and her process
(Thanks for the mini etsy feature)!


Natties Place:
www.nattiesplace.etsy.com adorable little girls hair clips and accessories!
www.nattiesplace2008.blogspot.com great featured products from her shop and insperations from home. (Thanks for the Promo)!

Jwels of India:
www.jewelsofindia.etsy.com colorful, beautiful jewelry and accessories
www.callmestylista.blogspot.com great style articals and etsy shop features.

Pieces Of Me:
www.piecesofmependants.esty.com adorable scrabble tile pendants
www.indiecraftcorner.blogspot.com features and giveaways for etsy shops! (thanks for the add)!


If you would like a custom banner for you etsy shop, blog or website, please visit me at www.muskmallowdesigns.etsy.com for a variety of custom graphic options!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Earring Tag/ Business Card Layout- 3 designs by muskmallowdesigns on Etsy

Earring Tag/ Business Card Layout- 3 designs by muskmallowdesigns on Etsy

Great new fall business card or earring tag design. Available in 3 great color combo's and customizble to your name and info. Files e-mailed to you are ready to print! just $10.00 for front and back of all 3 colors!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pink and White Wax Flower Earrings by fboriginals on Etsy

Pink and White Wax Flower Earrings by fboriginals on Etsy

Pick of the day- Wednesday-7/1/09:
Wax Flower Earrings- Cute little clusters for glass flowers wrapped in grey sterling. Very chic yet simple for summer. $15.00


Friday, June 26, 2009

Banners

The other day I was board, and wanted to do some banner designs, so I offered the first 10 people, who critiqued a fellow shop, the chance to get a new banner for their etsy store. So, thanks to everyone for participating, and here's what I came up with:























Thursday, June 25, 2009

Promo for the market I sell with...

I thought this was so cool when I found it... This is a short clip about the nomadic market that I sell with sometimes in Pittsburgh. It's very indie and hip and always draws a great crowd. They do several markets throughout the year in different locations around the city. If you live in Pittsburgh you should definitly come check it out!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Product photography for new Etsians

I recently did a few banners pro-bono for an etsy forum critiquing new esty stores, and I got a few questions back about product photography. I have in no way perfected the art of product photography, but I have learned a few things that you might find helpful if your just starting out.
Sooo, here was my responce to that question:

As for the photography, it's a lot of trial and error, but a few tips I have learned are:
*to always take your pictures outside (cloudy days are best- if it's really sunny, use a sheet to shade your photo area- or use a cardboard box to build a lightbox- see below).

*For up close pictures, always use the macro setting- looks like a little flower.

*Always use a plain white background (white paper works great for this- fabric can show the grain of the material. If your using props, then you place the props and your product onto the white background- it helps keep the photo lighter.

*Always edit your pictures befor posting them- www.picnik.com is a great free site to help you lighten and increase contrast of photos, will even let you crop and re-size them. *Use your funnest picture for the gallery picture (the first picture). This will be the one people see when searching for you. It should be easily identifiable and not have to many small details. (a lot of people who sell sewn items like to roll the fabric or fold it several times then take an upclose picture of the rolls or folds and use that as their gallery picture- it makes an interesting picture and shows off the fabric pattern and color in a 3 dimentional way)!
Examples:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vt_related_1&listing_id=16654109http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=22112487http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=15373295

There are many different tutorials on how to build a lightbox, but here's a fairly good one that uses foam board- either way works pretty well- http://jyoseph.com/diy-light-box-for-product-photography/

If you have any other advice you've learned along the way, please feel free to add it to what I have here!
Thanks, Jamie

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yellow Daisy Earrings by fboriginals on Etsy

Yellow Daisy Earrings by fboriginals on Etsy

Pick of the Day: Tuesday, 6/23/09: Yellow Daisy Earrings- Small simple splash of color for summer or anytime.
Cute and flirty- $10.00


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Handmade Jewelry on Etsy - Muscari Earrings by fboriginals

Handmade Jewelry on Etsy - Muscari Earrings by fboriginals

Tuesday 6/9/09: Pick of the day- Muscari Earrings- Designed after my favorite spring flower, these earrings are delicate and flirty, but the color is vivid and sure to be noticed!
Made from czech glass abd brass. $15.00


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Handmade Jewelry on Etsy - Peach Blossom Necklace by fboriginals

Handmade Jewelry on Etsy - Peach Blossom Necklace by fboriginals

Sunday 6/7/09- Feature of the day:
Peach Blossom Necklace- czech glass flowers are hand wrapped
with brass chain and sparrow charm. $35.00


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Handmade Jewelry on Etsy - Caribbian Treasure Necklace by fboriginals

Handmade Jewelry on Etsy - Caribbian Treasure Necklace by fboriginals

Wednesday 6/3/09- Pick of the Day: Caribbian Treasure Necklace. Perfect beach jewelry goes great with a v-neck or bakini. Made from brass and fresh water pearl- $40.00jewelry, necklace, brass, pearl, summer, beach, vacation, gift, caribbian (via fboriginals)

Handmade Jewelry on Etsy - Delphinium Earrings by fboriginals

Handmade Jewelry on Etsy - Delphinium Earrings by fboriginals

Sunday 5/31/09- pick of the day: Blue Delphinium earrings- czech glass flowers wrapped in blackened sterling silver- only $15.00

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=25797164


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wedding season is coming!

Like me, do you know someone who is getting married this year? Or maybe you are? I would like to share a few great finds from etsy.com this morning. I know when I was getting married almost 5 years ago know, that I wanted a unique look for my special day- I ended up making a lot of things myself because I couldn't find anything from the stores that was unique! Not anymore though- now brides have so many options and the handmade market is bursting at the seems with great customizable and unique wedding accessories. So take a look at these finds and more, then forward them to a friend who's getting married!

Check out the entire list here: www.etsy.com/wedding_gift_guides
or click on s few of the examples below!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Craft show displays

Ever time I go to a craft show anymore I see an ocean of jewelry vendors. Many of them have beautiful time consuming intricate work, but because their displays leave something to be desired, no one stops to look.
I would like to walk anyone who's curious, through how to set up an eye catching display. And trust me, I've done a few no-no's myself over the last few years and I can tell you what works and what doesn't.

First, when thinking about your display area, keep in mind how mush space you will actually have to work with. Measure it out at home and do a mock set up, chances are a 6 foot table is a lot smaller than it sounds.

Second, your need to cover your tables. I prefer tables that are covered all the way to the ground so you cannot see the legs (and storage boxes) underneath. Along with this, a great way to raise you table so that your items are closer to your customers prying eyes is to get small flower pots, turn them upside down and place them under the table legs. If you do this, you must make sure your table cloth covers them:)

Third, keep your table light and bright. You can use black displays if your jewelry will still show up well on them, but think about using a lighter colored table cloth- if everything is black and you sell copper jewelry- your customer will not notice your jewelry. Think about contrast! And whenever possible, get electricity so that you can put lights on your jewelry- this will show off the details and make everything sparkle!

Forth, keep it simple silly. I always have so many new pieces that I am excited to show off, that sometimes I forget that I need to be "showcasing" each piece for my customer. They do not want to pay top dollar if they have to "root through" your pieces to find the one they want. This means that less is more. Take your top 6 to 12 favorite necklaces and display them gallery style. The more you frame them, spot light them and show them off, the easier it is for your customer to find what they want. You may even convince them the want something they didn't even know they needed.

Fifth, Think dimensionally. Displays are more exciting when they are three dimensional. Add some height in the form of a back board or screen, or add some old crates or boxes to cover and place things on top of. A nice rule of thumb is to have three different heights on the table, then place your display items on those risers.

Sixth, Promote. When you do a show, your primary goal is sales, but do not forget that you have an open audience to promote to. After all it is a "show." Soooo, keep plenty of flyers, business cards and handouts handy. Another great idea is to print out "mini- catalogs" and hand them out to customers who stop to look but do not buy. On mine, I use pre-perforated postcard printer paper, print an image on each of the four front and back squares, fold it in half and separate the top two from the bottom two. Presto and instant 4 page mini picture book with my info on the back that I can hand out to anyone who comes by. Best of all- its super cheep and I can make more any time (and its easy to change and update).

Seventh- Branding a name for yourself. People shop handmade because they appreciate the artists work, so let them know about you and your process. Put up a sign that introduces you to them and tells a little about your inspiration, how you got started or your process for creating. Put your name and logo on the sign. Put the same logo and name on your banner, business cards, post cards, flyers, catalogs, get them made into stickers and put the stickers on your bags and boxes. Why? because it will help people remember you, and at the next show they'll look for the girl with the green and cream booth with the little owl logo! because they remember how much they liked your stuff.

Eighth- Keep you back stock, packaging and register area simple, neat and clean. Chances are that if your in a small area you will not be able to keep this area completely hidden, so customers will see it! and they shouldn't see a half eaten donut sitting on top of your cash box:) Plus, it's good practice in general for if you get a busy rush to be able to handle each customer with efficiency, and you'll be happy later when you find you kept good receipts of the day.

Ninth- Remember that whatever you bring with you, you have to carry, set up and break down. I always try to make sure that I can carry all of my supplies myself because I cannot guarantee that I'll be able to get a helper for the day. This also helps me think about how long it well take me to set up and break down. Many shoppers come early, so the faster you can get there and set up the better!

Tenth- Enjoy yourself! You must look like your having a good time! No one wants to stop at a grouchy booth. Sometimes this can be the biggest challenge as customers can be hard to deal with and we don't always get the sales that we wanted. But remaining friendly, happy and helpful will benefit your name and your sales! (PS. its easier to great people if your standing- so push the chair in for the day and wear your comfy shoes).

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Today I stoped at my favorite Park to listen to the Robins and take a few spring pictures.









Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hawk Mountain

So my favorite thing about spring is the budding tree's, plants and showing of wildlife. Last week I had the pleasure of taking a trip out to hawk mountain in Central PA. I had a great time hiking around and decided that I would do a new spring line inspired by birds and the colors of the spring landscape. So, while I listed to spring showers tap on my window I'm contemplating what medium to use to make my new birds. I'm not an avid wood carver, but It is crossing my mind. I love working with sterling, but the idea of wawing something that intricate seems daunting. What about sewn?? maybe- and it would allow for more color?!? well, I'll have to try a few and see whitch comes out best.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Going, going, gone!

So for the last month I've been out of my mind making the worlds softest, cutest mittens designed to look like the one Bella Swan wore int the movie "Twilight." In all I've hand knitted 9 pairs of gray mittens and shipped them all over the country!

So if your a HUGE Twilight fan, and your wondering were you can get you mittens, check out my newest listing at: flutterknits.etsy.com

Need mittens in "Tween" sizes, look for my new smaller sizes listings for the same pattern of my Bella's Mittens.

Jamie

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Knitting frenzy...

So its been really cold in the North East this January, andI've spent a good bit of time inside knitting. Here are some of the things I have been working on:
Bella's Mittens $50 (Wool Blend)

Miitens in progress

Fingerless Cable Gloves $40

Corcheted Victorian Gauntlets $45
Cabled Glittens $65

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Plastic Bag Wallet

I've been tweeted to post some pictures of this project, so I figured if I was going to post, I'd explain what I did as well.

1. I start out with my left over plastic shopping bags from my latest trip to the store:
2. Then I cut the handles off:
3. and then the bottom:

4. now I have a big circle:
5. I cut down the middle to create one long plastic sheet:
6. I then fold it in half twice to get 4 layers, then its upstares to the ironing board:
7. I set the iron on acrylic (I found anything hotter melts the plastic through):

8. It doesn't take more then a quick touch to start melting away:
(test a small peice first to see how long it takes)
9. As the plastic melts it fuses the layers together and melts them into one:

10. Once the plastic melts leave it to cool for a minute and it will be very easy to cut!
11. Once you have a desired thickness and size, cut out the pieces you will need for your project:
(In my case, 2 of the same size rectangles for the wallet and one extra for the flap)
12. You may have to try a few time to get the desired effect, as holes occur if you aren't careful!
13. Depending on the number of layers, and the heat setting, you can achieve different thicknesses and sizes as shown here: (hint: they started out the same size!)
15. If done lightly, the fused sheet should still be very flexable but thick and sturdy and hard to tear through:
16. After cutting my two rectangles, I sew along 3 sides with a streat stitch on my sewing machine. I then attach a plastic button with embrodery thread:
17. For the button hole, I simply cut out the hole, the plastic is thick enough that it won't tear through:
19. and add the strap with an X stitch in the back:

20. The best part is that the bag has instructions to recycle on it, I place that part prominently on the back:
I have lots of ideas of things that I could make this way! If you come up with any, I'd love to hear them, And I'll share mine when I do.
Happy Crafting,
Jamie