Omg! I’ve spotted the extremely rare “Sunday evening post”!

For a while I was banning myself from blogging on the weekends. It worked for me, but this blog isn’t only about me, is it? It’s also about you, my wonderful, loyal readers. So, I’ll try to be better about writing on weekends. Not a whole lot happens on the weekends for me; it’s essentially just me, my cat, a cup of cold coffee, and my knitting. This weekend wasn’t a whole lot different, but I did do a lot of work on the pictures for my shop. It was exhausting, actually, so I guess that’s why I didn’t finish the project completely. In fact it’s only about halfway done, even with a full 8 hours of work put into it yesterday. Before I finish, though, I’d like some input. I don’t really trust the Etsy forums; there is as much bad advice as there is good.

Ok, random interjection here. What the hell is going on with my Pandora lately? I just logged on, and there are all these random stations that I know I didn’t program in. Like, who is Valencia? And, since I have no idea who they are, why would I listen to them? This started a few weeks ago, I think, with a pop-punk station which I’ve since deleted. But more keep showing up! Please tell me I’m not crazy and this is happening to other people as well. I mean, I guess it could be my roommate just messing with me, but he isn’t usually that type of person. Hmm, it’s a mystery…

So anyway… To the right you see what my pics used to look like. Before this I was using the carpet in my bedroom as a background, but I kept getting this awful glare in the corner, and my back was starting to hurt from all the stooping I was doing. Just so you know, on a good day off, I can make 3 or 4 sets of these, so that was a lot of picture taking. So I moved them up to a white end table in the bedroom, and since the table had these weird marks on them, I put a white sheet down. Ok, so there’s the resulting picture. Not bad, right? But not great either, at least in my mind.

A lot of the other coaster sellers were using a different layout for their front picture, which looks more like the one to the right. So I decided, ok, it’s a bit more interesting, I’ll try it like that. I like it better than the other layout. So I took pictures of all my coasters with this layout, which meant taking two or three pics of each set, meaning about 45 pics since I have 15 sets of coasters. That took a long ass time, but after all was said and done, I was much happier with my pics. But, I’m not going to buy my own coasters, obviously. So I posed the question to the Etsy Success forums; were these pics better than my old pics? Were they more likely to get these things bought?

Well, the people on the Etsy Success boards are very supportive, but sadly, not very helpful. I got a whole bunch of, “oh dear your background is very wrinkled, you should go out and buy a lightbox”. I’m not interested in going out to buy a lightbox. Number one, I don’t have a whole lot of money. Number two, I can think of much better ways to spend said money. Number three, I think pictures taken in a lightbox look boring. No offense to people who use a lightbox; it just isn’t my style. I also got people who thought I should use fotofuze. I think pictures that use fotofuze look terrible and washed out, so I certainly wasn’t going to do that to my items. All I really wanted to know was which layout was better, and I got all these criticisms of my background. Ooooook, y’all win. I decided that I’d wake up the next morning, finish the scarf I was working on (to the left, you all get the sneak peek, as it’s not listed yet but I looooove it), and then iron the damn sheet.

Turns out I suck with an iron. I will never be a housewife. There goes another career path that I’m not cut out for, I guess. Plus I’m very happy to let my wonderful roommate do all the housework, cooking, etc. while I am busy making stuff for my shop. But I digress; the ironing turned out to be the easiest part of the whole adventure. I spent a whole 8 hours taking pictures of about half of my items (20 plus whatever is in my drafts), then editing those pictures because the light in my room was terrible, then posting the pictures to etsy. The end result is what you see to the right. I was so proud of my efforts that I once again, having not learned from the first several times, posted them on the Etsy Success boards. Guess what? I still need a lightbox. I still need to use fotofuze. I still need to blah blah blah blah because nothing is ever good enough!

But I’m not writing this to share my opinions with you. I want your opinions! Know this, though; I’m not going to buy a lightbox, I’m never going to run my pics through fotofuze, and I’m not running to Staples for a piece of posterboard. Seriously, compare the three pics above and tell me which is better all you want, but please leave it at that. I know a lot of people use lightboxes, but they do so for views, and I’ve never been hurting in that area. I had 250 yesterday, and even with no promoting whatsoever today, I have over 100. I think that’s pretty damn good for a weekend. And besides that, I end up in five or six treasuries a day, so that’s not my issue either. I need sales, and if you think the second picture is going to give me more sales than the first or third, I’d like to know that. It’d break my heart because I spent so much time on the third pictures, but have at it, I’ll be fine.

And while you’re doing that, think of me, poor little me, up to my neck in yarn attempting to organize my craft room/roomies bedroom. Because someday, somehow, I’ll have a craft room that looks like this:


I have a cheerio stuck in my cleavage

Yes, really. TMI? I don’t care. I’m trying to figure out how to get it out without my cubemate noticing. I probably should stop eating cheerios while hunched over my desk staring at funny pictures on the internet. They’re just so damn delicious! They aren’t even real cheerios, they’re this organic something or other that tastes oddly like very yummy cardboard. Definitely not in a bad way. And I’m pretty sure that they have a metric ass-ton of fiber in them. They’re only three points for a whole cup of them, so it’s really a win-win for everyone involved! And when I say everyone, I mean me, of course. They do have kind of a weird aftertaste, and they definitely taste a bit funky after a sip of coffee, but whatever, it’s food. I’ve always hated those little kids who come into the restaurant and throw cheerios everywhere, but now I get it. Sorry, little kids who I’ve given my best death stare! I totally understand you now!

I have so done this before.

Roomie and I went craft shopping last night, because I needed to find cellophane bags to put the magnets that I have yet to make in. Damn AC Moore, they were having a yarn sale. I cannot resist a good yarn sale, especially when everything, including Pirouette and Sashay is 30 percent off. I have a problem, that’s my conclusion after this latest shopping trip. I have a yarn addiction. My sage of a roommate says that admitting it is the first step; he’s so smart! I’ve never had a problem admitting it, but when I go to a craft store for something that costs two dollars and emerge with 90+ dollars worth of yarn, it scares me a little. What am I going to do with all that yarn? It’s not like I bought stuff that I don’t have a use for; it’s all for specific projects. The problem is, I will never, not ever in my lifetime even if I was to have a normal life span which I probably won’t, be able to use all the yarn I own. Never. There is simply too much of it. And when it comes to yarn sales, I have zero willpower to not take advantage of them. The other problem is, all of that yarn lives in roomie’s bedroom. It used to be the craft room before he moved in, and he allowed me to keep all my craft supplies in the corner. I can’t even get to the corner now, there’s too much stuff there. I’m going to eventually sort everything out, but I’m not really sure where to start at this point.

I got that doctor’s note, and gave it to my boss at the restaurant. I didn’t really sit down and talk to her about it, but that’s probably for the best. I probably would have threatened her with a lawsuit. Why, you may be asking? Because she scheduled me for only Saturday this week, which I’ve now got a doctor’s note saying I can’t work. So if she takes me off that shift, I won’t have any shifts this week. I would be very tempted to assume that no shifts means she’s “letting me go”, and to start filing for unemployment. She doesn’t want to pay me unemployment, which is why she’s only scheduling me for one shift a week; she is trying to make me quit. Uh huh, not gonna work. If she wants me gone, she’s going to have to find a damn good reason to fire me. It’s certainly not going to be performance related. Also, I’m pretty sure I’m covered under the DDA (disability discrimination act). If I were her, I’d want to keep me as happy, and healthy, as possible to avoid a lawsuit. Especially since she knows my little sister is a lawyer.

Anyway, onto happier things. I’ve been really bad about linking to other blogs in this thing lately. So I’m thinking of sharing at least one link everyday that I find useful, interesting, funny, or otherwise entertaining. What do you think? Not that I really care; it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want with it, damnit. Onward (and have a very happy Wednesday, all :))!

Wednesday Web Gem!
OMG I need to do this right now!!!
-This blog by “Jeeze Julia” on pantry organization is GREAT. I love, love, love mason jars, and there are thousands of uses for them. This is just one, but it really does make me want to run, not walk, to AC Moore and buy as many mason jars as I can, and then run, not walk, all the way home to organize my pantry. That in itself is a feat; I don’t even go in there if I can help it. That little corner of my home could probably qualify for FEMA assistance all by itself. Damn this being an adult thing, and damn working for a living, I want to clean my pantry!!

Feature Fridays: Introducing Mary Ann from Ovation Studio!

It may surprise you to know that I own a sewing machine. I don’t sew, at least not well, but I try. Or I stare at my sewing machine and start to have a panic attack. The thing intimidates the bejeezus out of me. My fabric scissors scare me more, but the sewing machine is a close second in my list of the most terrifying things ever. It’s not like yarn; you can mess up with yarn, decide to start over, and that’s ok because you really can’t ruin yarn. Even decoupaging doesn’t scare me like sewing. But anyway, we aren’t here to talk about my fears… Let’s talk about someone who actually can sew!

This Feature Friday we meet Mary Ann of Ovation Studio. She makes the cutest little coin purses and zipper pouches I’ve ever seen! Funny story actually; before I had decided that she would be this week’s feature, I was shopping around for a notions case, and I happened to bookmark her shop as one to keep in mind. But there I go talking about myself again. Let’s get to know Mary Ann a bit better, shall we?

What is your name/shop name?
Mary Ann: My name is Mary Ann and I live with my husband Cameron. He inspired me to name my shop “Ovation Studio”. When I told him I was thinking of starting a business to use up some of my fabric stash, he gave me a standing ovation!

I’m a quilter and long time sewer, so I have shelves and shelves of fabrics. It is so hard to throw out even the smallest piece. And like so many crafters, my supplies seem to spill over into most rooms in the house.

You might notice by my spelling that I am Canadian and often add an extra ‘o’ or ‘u’ to some of my words.

What types of items do you sell?
Mary Ann: I sell affordable, well made coin purses, pencil cases, lanyards and padded zipper pouches. They are perfect to carry money, ID, keys, phone, IPod, camera, cosmetics or small electronics. I have 3 or 4 of them in my large purse at all times filled with one thing or another.

I’ve recently introduced lanyards at the request of a few nurse and teacher friends.
I wear one around my neck with a small pair of scissors and a seam ripper attached, when I’m sewing.

How long have you been selling on Etsy?
Mary Ann: I opened my shop mid November, 2011 – just 4 months ago. I am really pleased with how well it is doing and with all the wonderful customers and people I’ve met. It amazes me that I’m sending my little pouches to all parts of the world, Australia, Brazil, Norway…to name a few.

How did you get started with your craft?
Mary Ann: I learned to sew in grade nine and it quickly became a way of life. If I wanted a new dress for the school dance, I had to make it. Christmas presents came in the form of piles of fabric.

Later I became a Home Economics teacher and taught others to sew. After staying home with my 3 children and then some retraining, I returned to teaching and became a Specialist Teacher of the Blind. It has been very rewarding.

What else do you do when not working on your shop? Anything else would you like the blog readers to know about you?
Mary Ann: When I’m not busy with my shop, I’m walking, volunteering, reading, spending time at the cottage or “gameing”. Every second week I meet up with friends for an evening of board games and a glass of wine. We have a hoot!

My favourite activity is spending time with my family – hubby, 2 sons, 1 daughter, 2 little granddaughters and 1 wee grandson. Life is good.

Where do you get your inspiration? Both for your craft and life in general?
Mary Ann: My inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. I have many more ideas that I have time, and I’m always making lists of what I want to make next.

There are so many fabulous fabric designers, prints and colours that I’ll never run out of ideas.
Honestly, she inspires me to try sewing again. Or stare at my sewing machine until I give up and buy something from her shop. 😛 Go check out her fabulous selection of adorable pouches at Ovation Studio!

*If you are interested in being next week’s featured seller, please send me a message through my Etsy profile, or by email at Enjoy your Friday everyone!