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.