Sunday, May 30, 2010

in desperate need of cowgirl boots

back view
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
Unhappy with my choice of foot wear for the photo shoot, Rory chose to hide my feet (and the bottom of the skirt that is finished to sweetly) with lupin and tall grass. I never needed cowgirl boots before. I never had such a kickin' patchwork skirt either.
The project quilting challenge for this week was "road trip." I thought - great! I 'll make a duffle. Then I read, you must use12 fabrics on the top of your quilt. A patchwork duffle sounded great, but I didn't think I would have time to complete it. Then I received an email from one of my customers who had just completed a patchwork duffle from my pattern. It was gorgeous, but I still did not have time. I started the patchwork anyway, not sure what it was going to be. Then I thought how super a comfortable skirt would be for a road trip. I could look great and be comfy for hours on end. Thank you, Kim, for putting on the challenges. I am so glad I made this for myself. My daughter wants one too. Click on the flickr link to see the reverse side. (It is reversible for a completely different look.) I will do more photos when we have time. I was in a rush to enter the contest in time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Adding Value

I started this topic on Etsy's forum and got some wonderful ideas I want to share.

You start with a great product. I am assuming you use quality materials, so that is not an added value. Offering to customize can add value, PrettyLittlePearl offers to monogram aprons for free. Gift boxes are an added value especially for jewelry. Here is a short list of jewelry sellers that I know of who package in gift boxes: TheApple, NataliaRaya, NicholasandFelice, Lv2Cr8. If you are a blog reader and a jewelry maker who also ships in gift boxes, please leave a comment below to add your name to the list.

When I ordered hair accessories from DahliasForMe, I was pleasantly surprised to find them in a gift box. Here are a few more hair accessory sellers who gift box your purchase: CLineCreations, and MilkMoneyShop. SentimentalStones takes it a step further by offering the gift boxes for sale in her shop and letting people know they get them free with purchase of her magnets and marble coasters. I think that is brilliant! As I was browsing, I noticed that MilkMoneyShop has another added value that she could make more use of and that is she mentions in her listings that the hair accessories can double as brooches. If you have a product with more than one use, that is definately added value. Just be sure to include instructions with the item on how to use it that way.

Speaking of instructions, they can add value too. Xoelle includes instructions for how to tie her bow ties- great! Bijoutery includes care instructions and a polishing cloth with purchases from her shop. Another shop that adds value with a polishing cloth is CoolBeans717, her elecronics cases come with a cloth to keep that ipod clean. I love those ideas of a little something that can be used with your product. I recently added inserts to my luggage tags. They are moo cards with a travel related print on one side and lines for name, address, etc on the other. I am hoping the customers will keep and use the card. I did not want to sew my tag onto that item, so my branding is on the insert. Another adding value idea that is not packaging is small shower scrunchies included with large soap orders. That one comes from the super popular soap seller ABreathofFrenchAir. Jill2Day does something I want to start doing. She packages her sweaters inside reusable cloth bags. I think my bags should come in a dust bag.

Then there are the artsy is an idea that I am sure keeps people coming back to Etsy for more Stokedone adds stories to the back of his artwork and related art original drawings on the packages he sends. How awesome is that? Some artists and photographers (like YannPendaries, CoriD, and ToxicGuineaPigs) include a free postcard print with every purchase. ParkersPrints got creative and added label stickers and seals to her greeting cards. Now she can go wild with the papers she chooses for the envelopes.
If the forum list of ideas grows, I will do another post here. Maybe this gave you some ideas for your own shop, if so, please post here in the comments or on the Etsy Forum link at the top of this article. I would love to hear about it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

One-Yard Wonders 2

Slipcovered Chair 1
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
I wanted to do one last (better) photoshoot with this slipcover before sending it on to the One-Yard Wonders ladies for its inclusion in their next book. When it is published, I will put a link up for it. Meanwhile, I will link to the first edition as soon as I can snatch a few moments to make that happen. I wrote up the instructions for how to cover any simple chair like this one, and now it is available in PDF format. Rory took the photos, I love them all. You can see the other shots on Flickr by clicking the photo. Makes me want to do more chairs. They make such great photo subjects. There are a number of photo groups on Flickr devoted to chairs.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Binder Cover for KimsCraftyApple

I entered a contest. Can you believe it? I know you can. If you have a minute, you like to look at quilted stuff, you would like to win a prize, or just because you want to show me a little love, please head here and vote for me! I love you! I appreciate you. I really do. If you like to quilt, join us next week for another challenge at KimsCraftyApple Project Quilting.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Teach your girls to quilt

Houndstooth Quilt 1
Originally uploaded by KimsCraftyApple
No offence, gentlemen. A couple of things have come together in my mind as this week has unfolded. The first part was getting a message from Laurie Wisbrun asking me if she could use photos of the reading glasses case she just bought from me in her upcoming book. YES. Laurie is the fabric designer also known as ScarletFig. I have loved her work via Spoonflower for a while now. The second part has been evolving as I have been working on some quilting projects this week. It's the idea that when we cut up fabrics and stitch them together again, we are designing a new fabric. That idea really hit home last night when I got the email with the link to this quilt top pieced from my houndstooth quilt pattern. Kim used hand dyed fabrics and so many colors, the quilt just twinkles! I never would have thought of a colorful houndstooth, but Kim did. I think this is a brilliant fabric design. Excellent work, Kim. Thanks so much for sharing. I think when we teach our girls how to quilt, we are opening up all kinds of design possibilities for them. I've said this before too - quilting will improve your other sewing. Find a local quilting class, like this one at Buttercuppity, and sign her up!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Involuntary Accupuncture

Lacework Duffle
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
Finishing up this bag today, I nicked my wrist slightly with the point of my scissors. Irritating. My skin is so tough now, I don't even bleed hardly ever at all on the stuff I make. (I should use that in my product descriptions shouldn't I?) No blood was shed in the making of this item...Later on, I grabbed the fabric right on a pin and pricked the center of my thumb - I mean I GRABBED and the pin STUCK ME. I felt an electrical impulse go straight from the prick to my medula oblongata and something inside me was released. Thank you doctor, that's just what I needed. Involuntary accupuncture. Man, that was good.

Friday, May 7, 2010

New Pattern cover shot

New Pattern cover shot
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
Figured I better post here that the clutch and cases pattern is updated. I have it on my to-do list to email everyone who has purchased this pattern and offer the new one for the price difference of $3. It is a little ways down on the list though... Maybe some of you will see it here. What is new? You can now print all three sizes at home - no enlarging. I have also updated the instructions to be the most current way I am making these which is easier and faster than the original - I like the results better too. I added some notes on fabric choice too. If you have already purchased the pattern, and you want the updated copy, just paypal me $3 with a note that it is for the updated clutch and cases pattern, and I will get it right off to you. If you have not purchased yet, the updated pattern is now the only clutch and case pattern in my shop - it's $9.99. These are fun to make and so useful!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cherie and the kids

Cherie and the kids
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
As we approached the river gorge, I asked "who knows what river we are about to cross?" Caleb piped up "the Hudson?" Haha, "no." Gabrielle's guess: "Mississippi." So much for the impact of singing "Roll on Columbia, Roll on" forty million times in public school. The wild horse monument in Vantage, Washington marks our halfway point on our trips to Seattle. We spent a fun hour there last weekend. Click on the flickr link to see a few more shots of us with these spectacular sculptures.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Join the quilting fun

My friend Kim had such a fun idea I had to join in. If you sew, I hope you will join us too. She is calling it Project Quilting. Based on her love of Project Runway, there are challenges and everyone comes up with their own interpretation of it. I was blown away by the entries in her first round, so I just had to whip something up for the second round. Honestly, this is the first competition I have entered where I am not planning to win. If you check it out, you will see my unfinished project there. If you happen to vote for me, you must know the bag will be super cute when it's done. It's going to be something like these I made last spring - I thought it was time I did something with burlap again.