Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Favorite Earrings

More Christmas gifts I bought on Etsy. Some green earrings (similar to these red ones) from Beadstylin went to my sister who loves them. These are even more gorgeous in person than they are in Jeannie's excellent photos. Her shipping was lightning fast too. While I was there, I bought a black pair for myself, my new faves. The pink ones from NicholasandFelice are dainty and perfect for my daughter. They came in a gift box with ribbon, which I really appreciate too. When I ordered, I asked them to remove a couple of the links so they would be shorter for my 8 year old, which they did with no problem. I love Etsy for the personalized service you can get by buying directly from the artists. I also purchased a hammered wire ornament from them (that will be a later post.) The quality was such that I can confidently recommend these silver and pearl earrings.

How I spent yesterday afternoon

At Heartbeat Quilting. My daughter came with me and was extremely helpful. (She inspired the silly pose...or maybe I should blame it on my ponytail...Note to self - do NOT pose as a little teapot, you will not like the results...Note to self - check left boob for thread - Oh, I have some there now...) I wanted a picture of both of us, but we worked until closing time. My goal in the New Year is to have duffles ready to ship and not do as many made to order. (Honestly, I didn't even decorate my own Christmas tree this year because I was too busy sewing duffles. I vow not to repeat that next year.) Of the six I quilted yesterday, three are already sold. I can hardly wait to show up at the quilt shop with an actual quilt instead of duffles - I do have a great one in the works...better get back to it now.

Monday, December 28, 2009

New favorite Tees

Kicking off a series of posts on the great things I bought for gifts this year on Etsy. First the shirts. The mushroom tee is my 15 year old's new favorite shirt. It is incredibly soft, and the printing is excellent. You can't even feel the ink, which makes me wonder if they are using direct to garment technology. The colors are gorgeous. I highly recommend CritterJitters tees. My 11 year old asked for a tuxedo for Christmas. He loves the actual tux jacket we got him, as well as this tee. It's a fun design, well made and priced right. You can find it in pink as well over at DirtyRagz. Did you find any new loves in your gift giving this year? Do tell.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
Six duffles from my own pattern. They are off to become Christmas presents for some very lucky bridesmaids. Wedding colors pink and green. I can just see them all traveling together. P.S. My fingers are sore from stitching up the insides. I finally learned how to use a thimble though!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shop Online Local Spokane

Thought you might like to snatch up some of these lovelies to round out your Christmas shopping. I just did!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Traditions

Cookie pan by Wilton found at JoAnn's note to self: buy another one. We have baked both gingerbread and scotch shortbread in this pan, and I love it. Just roll the dough into balls and press into the forms and bake. These few were overdone, so that is why they were left to photograph. There is a whole baking isle at JoAnn's that I never took seriously, but I would rank this pan up there with William Sonoma products. Obviously, we are not the cookie artisans we aspire to be. Just take a look at how the experts do it at Gingerbread Street. The photo below is their Gingerbread Bears cookie/ornament. How cute are those? Gabrielle had to make a list of Christmas traditions for class, and our family came up embarrassingly short. (Mommies tradition is to sew like crazy, buy lots of handmade gifts, and beg for help with the housework.) Cookies seemed like a simple tradition to add. My friend Allison reminded me that I had participated in a cookie exchange one Christmas long ago. I felt a little like Scrooge (see the Muppet Christmas Carol if you haven't - Michael Cain is my all time favorite Scrooge) seeing myself as a young person with nothing better to do than make a dozen dozens of cookies. Actually it was so relaxing to let go of work for a while and enjoy making cookies with my daughter. We will be doing more of that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Shop Local

1900 Gestalt, one of my new favorite places to shop in Spokane. Located at 114 West Pacific. Passing this on. Great affordable unique ornaments. I loaded up the other day to start the kids collections this Christmas. Now I'll have to go back and pick up one more at 25% off. This is a great home decor shop, and downstairs is Buttercuppity, Spokane's best kept secret for great fabrics by Amy Butler and gang at incredible prices. More about Buttercuppity after I dig out from under Christmas...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thank you KnotOriginal

I don't post it here everytime I am on Etsy's landing page. It is a pretty big deal though, and something we all strive for. My pattern made it there last night for about 3 minutes and 3 people bought it. As soon as it was purchased, it got replaced by an alternate. I wish I had upped the quantity of patterns in that listing. I wonder how many I could have sold if it had stayed up there for the full hour?
If you are still Christmas shopping, check out KnotOriginal, Sharon is in Gig Harbor and she is a talented and creative knitter, as well as an excellent treasury maker.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Art Opening

I know this is short notice, but if you are in the Spokane area, I wanted to invite you to my friend Kathleen Cavender's art show. She is an internationally renowned oil painter, and I am very excited to be attending the opening tomorrow night at the Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur D'Alene.
Here is the link to the details.

Photo and Story

Photos and short stories to go with them. Love at first sight. Check it out. Subscribe. Participate.

Monday, November 23, 2009

New batch of luggage tags

I had not made any of these since I first wrote the luggage tag pattern a few months ago, so I had to pull up the pattern and refer to it. It may seem funny to write a review of my own pattern, but I am going to do it anyway. It has been a very popular pattern, so I do think people are telling one another. They just haven't done so on a blog that I am aware of. This pattern is so easy to follow and every detail is well illustrated. It is a really fun project. I have to say I am proud of myself.

I also pulled up the Easy frame bag pattern to make one of those, and it came together quicker and easier than I remembered. Maybe I am braver about the glueing part now than I was a year ago. If you have ever wanted to try your hand at making a frame purse, I recommend you start with my fun and easy pattern. I wish the light had been better the other day, but I had to get this in the mail to Sandie right away. Here is the picture anyway.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fingerprint Friday

Originally uploaded by studiocherie
I have a print of this photo in my kitchen with this passage below it: Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
The Sphinx Moth is amazing. I watched a huge green worm, about the size of my finger, bury itself in the dirt. Over the course of a few days, it became mummified, glowing like lava inside a glossy, dark shell. It emerged a strange new creature, completely changed. I believe that, like that worm, we have no idea what we could be if we buried ourselves and let God do His work.
For more perspectives on the fingerprints of God, or to join in the group, visit PamperingBeki and check out the links.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Food Bank Challenge

I saw a news report recently that showed a couple at the food bank. A couple who used to give to the food bank were now in need of it themselves. The husband had been out of work for about 9 months. It made me think I should be doing more than giving when the boyscouts come by and ask, or when the school holds a food drive. Here is what I have started doing, and I want to challenge you to join in. When I do my grocery shopping now, and buy extras of some of the same things that we eat, I have the grocery clerk bag them separately and I ask them to give it to the food bank. I am doing this just a little bit with each grocery trip, and wanting to make it a habit. Do you think more about ways to help the needy this time of year? Chicken soup charm found at CharmedbyKaren

Monday, November 16, 2009

My to-do list is relatively small so far this week. Put out 3 patterns - I do have 3 new ones on the cusp of publishing. Make and send one brides bag. Make and send one frame purse. Seems kind of small, which makes me think I have some time leftover to blog.
If you are in the US and you like fabric, do check out Hawthorn Threads this week. They are having a giveaway you can enter here by signing up for their email newsletter. Charlie was sweet enough to address one of the comments that came out of my first post about their shop in an email to me, and I think it is useful for many of us. He said:
First off - thanks for your blog post on us! In response to the first commenter ... I agree with you, customer appreciation discounts work well with a supply shop that has repeat customers, but not for shops where a large majority are first-time buyers. What shops like this could do, is send along a coupon in their package for their next order.

A small idea, but a very good one! Thank you, Charlie.

On Friday, I plan to do a Fingerprint Friday blogpost. If you want to learn about it, and possibly participate in the project, check out one of my favorite bloggers and photographers' Fingerprint Friday post.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Book is Here!

The Book is Here!
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
We interrupt this slip cover to bring you 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse. I feel like Steve Martin in The Jerk. I am somebody! Look my name is in this book! This is a fantastic coffee table book. My kids are home from school and pouring over it right now. It is a real conversation piece. This will make a great Christmas gift for all of the creative people on your list. Thank you Garth Johnson, for including me in this amazing compilation. Back to my sewing now, I promise.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Engage in Creativity

A look into the machinations of my cluttered mind...One of my favorite things about Etsy is the gift guides. When they announced the rustic redux gift guide a couple months ago, I started wondering how I could use burlap in an attractive way. I love the visual texture of it, but not the feel, so pillows were out. Seating was not an option. With burlap in the back of my mind, rolling around like a couple of raccoons fighting in a sack, I thought maybe I'll get some of that Joel Dewberry wood grain fabric instead. I could do anything with that. With Joel Dewberry ordered and on the way, I bought a couple of storage ottomans to cover in the wood grain fabric. That will be my rustic contribution, and the burlap will have to wait for inspiration to strike. Then inspiration struck. I sketched and visualized putting together a cathedral-quilt-look table runner. The fact that I could also put it out as a pattern, which I would not do with an ottoman, was too compelling for me. The ottomen will have to wait. I did a wood grain version and a burlap version. I have a couple more in process along with the pattern. It really is a fun project.
I aspired to be in the rustic redux gift guide because I fell in love with the idea of it. The love of the idea pushed me to create something new. Creating something new made other things late, but I have to live with that. (I need a sweatshop staff! I would keep them busy too!)
I am not in that gift guide, but the wood grain table runner made it into this voter. If you like it, you can cast a vote for it by logging into your Etsy account, clicking the button below the picture, and clicking on the vote now button at the bottom. Placing high in the vote would get the runner into the members choice gift guide. That's a good one to watch too.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Community Engaging

I hope you think about giving to the needy this time of year. My daughter and I recently attended an event to kick off a great community project called Project Beauty Share. There are homeless women in our city (yours too I am betting) who need basics like tooth brushes and shampoo. I discovered that the shelters appreciate womens clothing donations of nice things they can wear to a job interview. I always gave away clothes to Goodwill and never thought about giving them to a place that can use them directly. Donating to the food bank is easy. You buy extra at the grocery store and put it in the donation bin. Do that at least. If you are ready to take another step, find the womens shelters in your area and donate what they need directly to them. Here is a link at the project beauty share site that shows the Spokane charities and some drop off sites.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Engaging descriptions

My fifteen year old and I stumbled upon ememem as we were using Etsy's Shop Local tool to shop Ireland - local in our hearts. She caught me with a photo of a cute kitten, and she sunk the hook deeper with each and every story she tells. This young woman has kissed the Blarney Stone. I love it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Word of the Week Engaging

Lindsay and Charlie had a great little fabric shop on Etsy. I bought from them a few times. I was happy to get an email from them announcing their new online fabric shop. Since I was already a customer, they even created an account for me to save me time. Their email and their site is an object lesson in effectively engaging the customer.
The email is packed full of action points - five different links to engage with their new site. All great reasons and incentives to do so. First, a general site link- okay, I'm curious. Then, an "activate your account" link- tempting, I probably will. It is my account after all. Third time's a charm, they clinched it for me with the "tiered pricing" link - I am definitely clicking on this one. "Shop by color" was the next link - oh, goody! A "share your handmade creations" link - Does it get any better than this? It's Friday night. I take this email of of my "to-do on Monday" list. I can't wait to click, I have to do it now! Lindsay and Charlie know their customers and created a shop that fully engages us. I shared some photos on their site, ordered 6 yards of fabric at great prices, and had a lot of fun exploring. I think you will love the shop too. Hawthorne Threads. Thank you Lindsay and Charlie - for the lesson and thanks for a great new shopping place.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Right now at work

Originally uploaded by studiocherie
This chaise is the reason why my next three patterns are not out. Or is it that my next three patterns are the reason why the chaise is not out? This is what I am doing today - finishing the muslin covering for this rebuilt chaise. I should be able to get started on the slip cover for it too. Tomorrow I will have to take a break from it and do some shipping and some prep for the duffles I will be making this week. I will also be getting a new cushion cut for it. Since it is taking up the lions share of my livingroom, I am motivated to finish. My customer has been so patient. I know she misses her favorite piece of furniture though.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Get Featured Hint, Hint

Etsy says jump, you say how high? I mean this in a positive way. Etsy tells us what they want to feature and how they want to do it. We just need to stay plugged-in to the Storque, read and respond. Here is your next high priority assignment straight from the horses mouth (or maybe it's more of a squirrels mouth.) 2 words: Self Portrait. Now here are some tools you can use to accomplish this effectively - in a way Etsy can use. Read the original article in the Storque. I read it as a cry for help from Vanessa for more people to put themselves in the picture. Look at the archive of featured sellers, and take note of the self portraits you like the most. Join the EtsyOpenStudios Flickr group, and add your portrait (in your work space) there. Now you know Etsy Admin will see it because they approve every photo that gets posted there.

Some notes on my photo in case you need more tips. What did not work:

1. I tried taking it myself with the timer on my camera, but I could tell from my expression that nobody was there. Maybe that makes me a bad actress. (No maybe. I am a bad actress. I learned that at the U of W School of Drama. I also learned that some people happen to like bad acting. That is another story.)

2. I tried it without makeup and wearing my reading glasses - like I really am, everyday. I felt that in those photos, the glasses were a barrier between myself and the viewer. I did not like that feeling.

3. I tried photographing myself actually working, but those didn't really seem to tell the story.

What did work for me:

1. A person behind the camera. In this case it was Rory, and he knows how to get a genuine expression out of me.

2. Styling the shot. Moving stuff in the background a little so there were no purple scissors sticking out of my head. (I guess we are okay with the white ones and the orange.) Styling the foreground to make it interesting and not distracting. Turning the sewing machine at an angle that I would not actually use, but puts it more in the photo.

I think the first impression of the portrait is that I am there working, but if you examine it closely, you will see that the angles are staged.

3. Make up and hair, like I want to make a good first impression with someone who really matters to me.

I know it can be a daunting process and time consuming, but doesn't your business deserve it? I look at the hundreds of photos in the OpenStudios group and think of how many of those would be absolutely captivating, if only the person were in them. Show yourself to me. I will be watching the Flickr group too. I can't wait to see you in your studio!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What is in your window?

As I drove by a downtown boutique this morning, something frilly caught my eye. I drive by there every morning, and I always look. Sometimes I wonder why they chose that black dress. Sometimes I am disappointed that they haven't changed their display. This morning, when I found it attractive, it hit me. The featured items in my shop need to be changed daily! Maybe the black dress is their best seller, but having it in the window every morning doesn't draw me in. How many people have not come in to my online shop because I didn't catch them at the window? How many people have wondered why I haven't changed my window? I love it when I find something simple I can do to move forward and make my shop better. Don't you?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shop Local

There is a feature on Etsy that I love to use, especially when I have waited until the last minute to buy a gift. It works from wherever you are. Shop Local. Here is a sample of what I found in my town this morning.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Swiss Army School of Design

A comfortable design
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
From the person (me) whos favorite line from a movie is "I never look back, Darling. It detracts from the now." It's a little surprising that this old Swiss Army design has me so captivated. We took it out on Indian Painted Rock trail on Saturday morning for a photo shoot, and I fell in love at first hike. So sturdy and comfortable. Like a good piece of furniture, or my favorite jeans and sweatshirt. So what if the early frost destroyed our usual glorious Fall color, we still have the smell of the pine woods, and my new favorite bag is grey.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Table Runner

Table Runner
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
This was a lot of fun to make, thanks to Wanda at Heartbeat Quilting who has an "accu-cut" die cut set up. In an hour, you can cut enough circles to make 3 or 4 of these table runners. My new favorite thing seems to be circles. Watch for another of these in red suede and burlap.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Photo Styling 101

If you play that little game where you circle the differences in the pictures, you will probably learn what you can from this little post. Seriously, I did not do this on purpose. The shot on the left was my hero shot for about 18 hours. After I posted it, I went to bed and it hit me. If that is my "woodland whimsy" case, why did I photograph it with the cookbook? That one belongs with the gnomes. I was also bothered by the angle of the tablecloth. I was in complete denial about the wrinkles. The lighting for the shot on the left was done by bouncing some beautiful golden afternoon light from the window onto the subject with a reflector. At the time, I thought the lighting was great. For the second shot, I took my whole set up outside in the morning in the shade. As you can see, the ambient light in the shade is better than the best light inside. The reading glasses did darken up a bit when I took them outside, but I think they are not so dark that they look like sunglasses. Next time I will have a clear lens pair to use. Rory thinks the plaid is too busy and he would have styled it with a solid tablecloth. I like the warmth of it and the Autumnal sense of it, like brown leaves on the ground.
Oh, and there is still time to comment on my previous post. I think I will be giving a few prizes for the great comments there, so don't worry if you think your comment can't top something that someone else has already posted. You might pick up a great idea by reading them. I genuinely want to know what you are making for gifts this year.

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Pattern and a Surprise Gift

I don't usually announce every new item in my shop here on the blog. I am announcing this one because I think there were a couple of you looking forward to the duffle pattern, and it took me longer than I thought to publish it. So here is the link to the duffle PDF pattern. There is at least one more new pattern coming this month. It will be a fun, crafty, gift item with not much sewing. I may announce that one too just because it is such a different project. Hope everyone has started thinking about crafting for the Holiday Season, I sure have. Feel free to post in the comments the thing you are most excited to make as a gift this year, and I will send a fun, surprise gift to my favorite commenter. I will post a comment when I have picked someone.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Save Money with Weekend Deals

Every single weekend discounts abound on Etsy. I found myself buying a little Christmas present for my mom last weekend because the deal was just too good to pass up. If you are committed to saving money on Christmas presents this year, and maintaining your reputation for thoughtful and unique gifts, following the weekend deals could be a good shopping strategy. If you are really ambitious, shop this forum thread where sellers have posted their deals. If you like to window shop, check out the gift guide of deals. If you have had your eye on something of mine, everything is 15% off this weekend. For all of these deals, you have to enter "weekend deals" in your message to seller at checkout, then we refund your percentage off via paypal.
Feel free to use the comments to post a link if your shop is having a sale too.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Eye Candy and Earthiness

I fell in love with the Etsy Rustic Gift Guide and have been dreaming of the irresitible things I am going to make out of burlap ever since. Meanwhile, I am making a lot of bridal and formal clutches, and the duffle pattern is almost ready. Speaking of earthy, rugged, rustic (wasn't I?) check out the vintage French military bag I found - see my shop- first item. And as we say at our house: Je t'aime...Ferme ta bouche.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Winners are...

The three winners of a free PDF pattern were chosen at and they are: Kimmy Anne (I will have to find out what pattern she wants) Swaddle Babies who wants the clutch pattern, and Jen who will also be receiving the clutch pattern. Congratulations, ladies!

I appreciate all of your input. I am working on the duffle pattern now.
I have an interesting sketch done of the vendor apron, but that will take a while to get from sketch to prototype, to finished product, to pattern. I think you will like it once it happens though.
For my friend Ginny, I do have some gifts for boys in mind and your artists bag will be a great one, eventually.
All of my pillows are currently in process for patterns, including the ones you mentioned.
The sling style backpack is in process as well.
You all have wonderful ideas that have got me thinking... and making new things. Thank you!

Any of you who entered but did not win are welcome to click on my PDF pattern section and buy one pattern and receive a second one (equal or lesser value) free as a thank you for entering. Just tell me in the notes to seller what your choice is for the free PDF.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Time to vote me onto Martha for reals

Etsy announced in the Storque that it is time for people to go and vote for their favorite entries in the Martha Stewart Weddings craft contest. As far as I can tell, it is a rating system, so you can vote for more than one person, just rate the items up to 5 stars. I was thrilled to discover today that the bride who ordered the peacock clutches that I entered commented on my entry! If you go there to rate my entry, you can read her comment. You will have to sign up for the site in order to rate the entries, but I found that very easy to do, and you can opt out of the mailings, etc. so there will be no repercussions. Here is the direct link to my entry on the Martha Stewart Weddings site.

After School Snack

The other day I made these jello parfaits and spead a blanket in the back yard for a little after school picnic with the kids. It was wonderful to stop working for a while, step outside the house, and relax with the kids, giving them my full attention and listening to them as they recounted their school day. It set a harmonic tone for the afternoon and evening, and was well worth the 15 minutes of prep and half an hour of break time. Gabrielle and I were so full from our treat that after the boys had wandered off, she and I lay on the blanket holding hands and staring at the sky. In that blissful state, we watched some baloons floating higher and higher and wondered, from where had they escaped?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Terms of Engagement, Rules of Endearment

Custom Silhouette Couple Portrait by jennyleefowler

A question I dwell on: Can I engage my audience in a meaningful way? Since the rise of social media, business has become all about the conversations we have with one another. In the last several days, I have come across three very effective examples of successful engagement. Read it and reap.
tote by HautTotes

HautTotes uses Twitter to make sales in the wake of a widely tweeted giveaway.
Some of us would have settled for the resulting followers from such a stunt, but Mellissa had higher expectations and greater results.
Read her forum post on how she did it.
In light of her successful promotion, I have upped the ante on my current giveaway and am offering 2 patterns for the price of 1 to anyone who enters.

sheet of digital images by Piddix

Piddix is one of the top shops on Etsy.
Corinna details for us in this forum post how she answered the questions: Who are you? and How can I serve you?
I highly recommend her course of action. Personally, I am taking my time putting this one together. Now that I have a year of selling patterns under my belt, I want to hit the target with the questions I ask so it is more than a fishing expedition. I think Corinna used the information she gleaned very well. What a great example for us all.

If you sell high-end items, you may need to get creative in what you choose to giveaway.
This is where scoutie girl can help get the ideas flowing. Her giveaway is a couple of craft magazines, but she takes it beyond and engages the entrants by asking them to promote their own work in their entries. Tara knows her audience, Etsy sellers, and knows how to help them, promotion. I entered her giveaway and found myself promoted on her blog. Now she has another loyal reader (me) who will continue to engage in conversation with her on Facebook and on her blog. So while we tweet and facebook and blog, let us also engage and listen to our friends and follwers. It just happens to be good business.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

reaching inside

reaching inside
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
I am grateful to have a talented husband to make photographs for me. I also adore my semi-patient children. In this shot, Gabrielle held the light reflector relatively still and Caleb was making a (very shakey) video of the photo shoot. As soon as we released them from their duties, they found some squirrels actively nesting which was vastly more interesting to them than launching a new product.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Win a Free PDF Sewing Pattern

This giveaway it open to anyone in the world with an email address. Three winners will be chosen by random from entries. Here is what you have to do. Visit my shop and browse by category, then come back here and leave a comment to tell me what you would like to see me make into a PDF pattern. It does not have to be something I already sell in my shop. It could be something you've always wanted to make and you want to have access to an affordable pattern for it. When you leave your comment, let me know which pattern you want for a prize. It can be anything from this section of my shop. Also leave me your email address, so I know where to send the prize! The winners will be announced here on September 16th. Get an extra entry by sharing this giveaway on Twitter or by sharing it with a sewing group in person or online. Just leave a second comment telling me where and how you shared it. Now, for all of the entrants who do not win a free pattern, I will send you 2 patterns for the price of 1, anytime from now through the 22nd. Just mention blog in your notes to seller and tell me what you want for your free PDF on the buy one get one offer. Thanks for all of your great feedback so far.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This is why I am on Facebook

You don't get this kind of personal content elsewhere. My dear, beautiful, and fabulous friend, Kathleen, posted this on facebook. A friend of hers got arrested while helping the homeless. I am passing it on here because I think a lot of you will love it like I do. This is why I am on Facebook.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Story of My Life

Umekoji dancers
Originally uploaded by MShades
Sometimes we have experiences that tell our story in a nutshell. When I was attending the University of Washington School of Drama, I auditioned for a musical. The director had a group of us lined up as in this photo for the dance portion of the audition. The music began and the choreographer directed. I found the group a bit constraining, so I stepped out of the line and asked the director if I could have a little more room. I was asked to leave. I guess I just have to be different. I still think I would have been great.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Jewelry Design Contest

l o t u s necklace by Rachel323 aka mylittlesunshine
How would you like your jewelry design to be worn on the people's choice awards show?
A contest for jewelry designers. From the looks of it, also a contest for jewelry designer wanna be's. This cut and paste contest has some cool prizes. Check out this video of jewelry designer, Kendra Scott talking about the contest and how to enter.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Crafting with Randi

On Tuesday, we managed to squeeze in one last fun outing before school started (today.) Gabrielle and I visited the very talented Randi Zangar at her home where she taught us how to recycle paper scraps into new handmade paper. Here is G and R, making paper. There will be a big post about Randi coming up here soon because she is one to watch and I want to show you why.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More Treasury Tips

raspberry sorbet shrug
Sharon is one of the most popular front page treasury curators on Etsy, click here for the proof. I asked her to share tips, and got this completely humble response. It's so wonderful, I just decided to get out of the way and print it here for you to read...along with a couple of shots from her shop, KnotOriginal.
Tea Party size 6x girls shrug

Hi Cherie,
For the most part I think it's just luck. I always start with 4 sellers that have featured me in treasuries, on their blogs, or who have helped me in the forums. After finding a commonality among their items I choose 4 of my etsy friends to feature. By this point I can see a theme emerging and do a tag search for for the last 4 spots. I only feature items that I truly like and would buy if I had disposable income and when I do tag searches I'm very specific in order to narrow my search. For example, if the 1st 8 items were cream and dark brown, I would search "ivory and espresso" or some equally obscure combination. I don't think there are any all-purpose tips other than to just create treasuries that you really like, I've found that the less I pay attention to what others suggest(even admin), the more success I have.

p.s. It doesn't hurt that I think whoever chooses the 4am fp slot has a crush on me!!!
take care,
Thank you, Sharon!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Helping the undiscovered

The treasury I made yesterday morning was on Etsy's landing page this afternoon. I am excited about that for a few reasons. Half of the shops represented in it are either undiscovered or underdiscovered, having zero or very few Etsy sales. I am happy to give those talented artisans a little boost. Secondly, it tells me, yes, Etsy does look at my treasuries and consider them for the front page. Thirdly, it gives me hope that what goes around with come around too. Did I say that right? Six of the sellers featured are very active treasury curators as well. (Four from the treasury team.) When one of us helps another get FP exposure, we usually try to return the favor.

So all of this sort of adds up to a formula for creating successful treasuries:
1)Find some popular curators by going to the craftcult vault and taking note of FP list curators. Include a few of those people in your treasury.
2) Try to find some new shops to include as well by checking out Etsy's pounce feature, or just searching for items you are looking for and clicking on outstanding photos with sellers you have never heard of.
3) Use Etsy's merchandising guide to help you with the theme. This treasury was named September Honeymoon. Use a theme and name that might catch Admin's attention by going with their trends.

Do click on the treasury and through to the items to find out which shops are new. You may be surprised.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pillow Fight

Pillow Fight
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
Rory woke up this morning saying TGIF. I love every day of the week because I have so much fun at my work. I really wish I could manufacture fun jobs for all of the people in my life. Caleb took the photo. Maybe he will have his day as an Etsy front page photographer the way Christian did on this page. I believe all three of my kids will grow up to be business owners and fab photographers like their mom and dad.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Slipcovered Office Chair

Turning a drab office chair into a thing of beauty is such a joy. I will slipcover anything that holds still long enough.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Handmade leaf

Handmade leaf
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
I came across this leaf while I was cleaning my studio. I forget why I made it. It made me feel good to know that I can produce something pretty cool right out of my imagination. I think I will finish it and turn it into a brooch. Maybe I will do some more of these. I feel fall in the air.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Closer look

Closer look
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
I said a while back I had some bridal party bags coming up that I thought I'd enter in the Martha Stewart wedding contest. I think this is the shot. I absolutely love how these turned out, and am so grateful to Kristel in Florida for having a teal, bronze, and peacock themed wedding. I never would have found this fabric, if Kristel had not given me the theme and colors to search. I think this goes in the customers have great ideas category. Sets like this are one of the things I love about offering made to order and customizable products on Etsy!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

sparrow on shoulder

sparrow on shoulder
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
Monday morning around 6:30,downtown Spokane is pretty quiet. Great morning for a photoshoot. I was happy to catch the sparrow too.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I was with some good friends last night who didn't know that Etsy is a great place to buy and sell vintage. This post is for you. Maybe it will get you started. Several of these sellers are here in Spokane. Ragnazidnar uses vintage books to create hard back journals like the one I use. FortheLoveofPete uses vintage barkcloth in some of her bags. The rest of these are straight vintage finds. I think denisebrain, jessjamesjake, and bythewayside are among the best on Etsy at photographing their goods. You can click on any of these items to be taken to the item and the shop. I am sure you will find your own favorites as you browse Etsy's vintage category. I recently found some gorgeous vintage luggage that I will be featuring in my shop soon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Video Tutorial

My first how to video. Making your own reusable vinyl packaging for a set of A2 size greeting cards. This is a really simple project, and I hope that comes through in the video. I guess I am not a natural because it took 4 takes to get this. I would love to read your comments. I do plan on doing more of these, and I promise they will get better. I have 2 words for myself next time: tripod and hair stylist.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Customers Have Great Ideas

The long adjustable strap was a recent customer request on one of my compact travel change pad bags. I love it. Smart customers who know what they want are one of the reasons I am head over heels about Etsy.

Friday, July 10, 2009

12 seconds...

in a photobooth with Rory. What a great idea these guys had for a party rental business. Rory was eating Ben and Jerry's ice cream. When I showed the kids, they saw that the hats we picked match their favorite LEGOs. Rory is Johnny Thunder and I am an army guy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Vanessa's Wedding

Etsy's blog, the Storque, has featured some great wedding articles. This one takes the cake. Vanessa, the editor of the Storque, has published an article about her own wedding that includes great pointers for those of us looking to serve brides with what we make. Much to my delight, and this will not surprise you, it also includes a link to a contest that Martha Stewart is running now! Can some of you help me out with this by commenting here about which item I should enter in the contest? I am wondering if I should enter my set of bridesmaids clutches or the yellow one with the vintage pin. Martha is looking for a craft to feature on her show, and since I sell the pattern to make these clutches, I think it's a great entry. My quandary is that in the last 6 weeks, I have sold three sets of clutches that look just like the set in the photo, plus another set in a different fabric that I have yet to make and photograph, so I know it is popular with modern brides. I think the yellow one might appeal to Martha's own style though, even though it has not been as popular on Etsy. Let me complicate it for you now. The set I will be completing this week is in a gorgeous new fabric that has peacocks and lacy designs in teal and bronze and green. maybe I should wait and enter that set? I will post a photo when I get them done. Now I have got to go sew. Please let me know what you think and if you are going to enter anything in the contest.

Monday, July 6, 2009

WhimSylove - I love

Even more than her shop which I really do love, I love the blog. Beware! It is chock full of fun tutorials for great projects to do with your kids. Her latest entry shows how she did a themed birthday party to the max. I find it inspirational and humbling. (Nikki makes me look like a lazy blogger.) Here is the team blog post I did on her this morning, in which Nikki also gives some great advice and is so sweetly relate-able. I would love it if you let me know if you discovered WhimSYlove here, and how you feel about Nikki's blog.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

SEO made simple

While the photographer and creator of this wonderful collage made a great thing out of garbage, I think many of us are making garbage out of a great thing with our Search Engine Optimization (SEO.)

It has been a hot topic on Etsy lately, so I wanted to post something simple and helpful for you. The best comprehensive resource I have found is Dan Theis' free E-book. I got it and signed up for his newsletter. Honestly, I don't have too much time to spend on it. What I have done so far is to search a few of my main keywords using the link he suggests, Seeing the results, I changed my shop title and announcement a little to try some more effective keywords in there than what I was using.

In Etsy's blog, The Storque, you will find an article on SEO, but as of this morning, it is out of date. Hopefully they will be giving us an update pronto. We can learn from experts about optimizing our shops, but Etsy will have to be working with us for any of our efforts to be effective. Dan's info will be of higher use to you on your blogs and stand alone websites.

After Etsy does the SEO expert work they say is in process, then I am hoping we will be able to optimize our own Etsy shops.

Another great site I found where you can analyze your current SEO is at

Hope this helps a little.