Sunday, March 15, 2009

EtsyConnection March 13, 2009

March 13, 2009 EtsyConnection
Editor's thank you

Thanks to all of you who have given such encouraging and positive feedback with regard to this newsletter. It's a lot of fun to publish, especially searching Etsy for artists to feature. I see so much that I really if I would only win the lottery!

The best thing we can all do is pass the newsletter on and keep Etsy's reach stretching farther and farther.

I'm always looking for artists to feature; if you or someone you know is interested shoot me an email. Make sure to include the URL to your Etsy shop.
Can your craft business support a family? Part 1

Today, as people face job losses, salary cuts, or other economic woes, it's worth examining whether or not you can do something extraordinary: make a living and support your family solely by the efforts of your home craft business. It sounds like a fantasy-but can it become a reality? Yes and no. There is something like 115,000 craftspeople in the United States (numbers vary from 106,000 to 126,000), and 22 percent of them are entirely supported by their craft business. Yes, that fantasy can become a reality. The benefits of supporting your family from a home craft business are enormous. No commute. Flexible hours. Creative freedom. No bosses. No office politics. More time with family. The list goes on and on. "Successful" for the purposes of this article means that a business is capable of generating the primary income for a family. I am going to set an arbitrary income of $2,000 per month (after business expenses) as the definition of "successful," knowing full well that most folks need a higher income than that to get by.
Patent protection for your craft

For many people in the crafts industry, patent protection can provide a viable means of protecting the rights to designs and methods of making craft. In many respects, copyright registration is the ideal means of protecting your designs from being "knocked off." Unfortunately, this is not available for many kinds of craft because copyright protection does not extend to functional features of crafts or the methods of making them. Thus if your crafts are primarily utilitarian objects, or if you want to protect a particular method of making an object, you will most likely have to obtain a patent to protect against copying. Is your craft eligible?

A fun assortment of handbags, aprons, and jewelry KarenShaw
Stargazer Studios combines the talents of Marcia Shaw and her daughter Karen Shaw Suriner. Inspired by a mix of bohemian creativity and old-fashioned practicality, together they proudly continue a family tradition of fibercraft.

Marcia got her start over forty years ago, when American crafts were gaining strength and direction from a growing cultural inclination toward the handmade and organic. Her work in the 60s and 70s with weaving/natural dye pioneer Susan Neal inspired a lifetime of sewing and design, specializing in handcrafted fabrics like handwoven chenille and handpainted silk. Marcia is also skilled in quilting, embroidery, knitting, crochet, dyeing, and spinning.

Karen's maternal grandmother taught her to weave during a high school summer vacation, and she's been doing it for the fifteen years since. She refined her weaving skills as an apprentice to master handweaver Cynthia Krause, and currently weaves for Camille Benjamin Designs in addition to her work for Stargazer Studios. Inheriting a small collection of vintage beads as a child ignited in Karen a lifelong passion for beadwork and beads both old and new. She also writes Web articles about crafts, style, and running a home-based business.

The first Stargazer Studios handbags were inspired by a desire to use small pieces of high-end fabrics in a way that was affordable and could be enjoyed on a daily basis. They were so well received (and fun to make) that the Stargazer team continued refining the design into the classically pleasing shape you see today. That same form-meets-function philosophy also inspired their line of handcrafted aprons, and a line of tote/shopping bags to be debuted soon.

Marcia and Karen Shaw - Cotton and Bamboo Handbag

Marcia and Karen Shaw - Gingham Apron with Cherries

Marcia and Karen Shaw - Champagne and Gold Tapestry Handbag

Marcia and Karen Shaw - Houndstooth Wool Handbag

Marcia and Karen Shaw - Champagne Pearl and Black Bead Earring and Necklace Set

Greener, cheaper: 'Make your own' movement rising

Maybe it's the economy. Or the fact that fewer can afford a brand-new Prius. The trend, in any case, is upon us: do-it-yourself green living. Soap, candles, purses, T-shirts: each week, the green-minded gather at the Road Less Traveled store in Santa Ana, Calif., for classes on fashioning a variety of common household products from environmentally friendly materials - items that might otherwise require a hunting expedition through the aisles of Wal-Mart. "Part of the green movement is making things yourself," says Delilah Snell, the store's owner. "Repurposed used items, collages, pillow cases, aprons, transformed tees. We teach people how to make their own fashions." And while the trend has been growing for the past few years, Snell said the recent economic downturn, which also is keeping people at home, might be fueling greater interest. "Craft mafias" and online sites like Etsy, a forum for buying and selling handmade items, have caught fire in recent years, says Victor Domine, spokesman for the Craft and Hobby Association - so much so that the group hosted a green-themed trade show in Anaheim, Calif., in January.
How to make a duct tape corsage and flowers

I didn't want to buy in to the wasteful "buy, wear for a few hours, throw away" corsage culture, so I decided to make a more economical, longer lasting, and greener alternative. This instructable will teach you how to make duct tape flowers and then use those flowers to make a corsage. The flowers and corsage will last forever and are waterproof, recyclable, hypo-allergenic, and just plain cool! They are also cheaper than a normal corsage and don't require a trip to the florist.

Funky recycled jewelry JacobFaussetBioPic
I was raised by a construction family, building new homes. Each year the homes were bigger, fancier, and further out in the country. I saw urban sprawl at it's best or worst. As a child I wondered what keeps this going, where do the people come from to buy these big homes? And where is their old house? Where does all the money come from? Now we all know as the economy spirals into a receding hole.

With most new construction at a stand still, presently, I own and operate a business that manages bank owned or foreclosed properties. That involves re-keying houses, re-glazing broken windows or fixing kicked in doors, all things that a vacant property needs. At times though a total clean out is called for. In a given month I can accumulate over 5,000 pounds of garbage needing to be hauled to a landfill. (And I am a very small operation). Every ounce of metal I separate to be recycled. All electronics, like computers, faxes, etc., are taken apart and recycled if not in useable shape. It is very surprising what people will work so hard to attain, only to abuse and leave for someone else to clean up. I try my best to lessen the impact on our world and our community.

As for my creations and art: I have always been fascinated by the Earth's environmental harmony, being able to recycle all it's own wastes. As humans we have a harder time. So I use found or discarded items to create art. From a painting made from linen a friend gave me and paint from a foreclosed home, to jewelry made from used electronics or found x-rays. I hope you enjoy what I'm able to use and create.

Jacob Fausset - Orbital Upcycled Copper Computer Board Necklace

Jacob Fausset - Twisted Upcycled Copper Computer Board Earrings

Jacob Fausset - Gossip Girl Cell Phone Copper Earrings

JacobFaussetGossip Girl Cell Phone Copper Earrings
Jacob Fausset - Remote Control Copper Circuit Board Earrings

Jacob Fausset - X Ray Earrings

Etsy tests PayPal billing

Etsy is beta testing functionality that allows sellers to pay their Etsy bills via PayPal. As a recent survey revealed, international sellers overwhelmingly prefer PayPal as a method of payment. In addition, the Etsy marketplace for handmade and vintage goods said its branding has been incorporated into the PayPal checkout pages linked from Etsy: "Now, when a buyer is sent to PayPal from Etsy during the Etsy checkout process, the Etsy logo will be visible at the top of the pages where the payment is made. We think this will help lessen the confusion experienced by some new buyers on Etsy, as we've seen in user testing, research, survey results and feedback from the community."
Five companies that are re-inventing media

Have you noticed all the amazing great fantastic things that are happening in the media business? Seriously. There's a spirit of reinvention and change that has some of the best media start-ups energized and optimistic about the future. In order to find the optimism, think broadly about what media is becoming, not what it was, or even what it is today. In fact - a quick look at the six companies I'm going to share with you in this post suggests that we're moving toward an era of unprecedented opportunity and growth for media. I'd propose that the five phenomenon to watch as truly new media evolves are:

Inventive, creative centerpieces RachelSchroederBioPic
I am a stay-at-home mom of two small children. I love doing crafts because it allows me to be creative. I also love all handmade items because they have such a personal touch to them. I started making paper cakes when I was asked to be in charge of the party favors and centerpieces for my father-in-law's surprise birthday party. It just really blossomed from there; after the party I was getting calls asking for cakes. I really enjoy making them because there are so many possibilities!

Managing my Etsy shop and my website is a dream come true! I enjoy it so much! I would like to expand the products in my shop once my children are of school age. Currently my working hours are after my children are asleep. I am hopeful to have many creative and productive years ahead. :)

Rachel Schroeder - Princess Birthday Party Centerpiece

Rachel Schroeder - White and Pink Wedding Cake Centerpiece

Rachel Schroeder - Bridal Shower Centerpiece

Rachel Schroeder - Baby Shower Centerpiece

Rachel Schroeder - Centerpiece Drizzle


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