Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We're Moving, AGAIN...

If you recall, my first post mentioned the number of homes we have had during our 60 years together. Well, as our 'kids' say, "You have been in this house for five years; it is time for a move." It is true. We are downsizing again and moving to a very nice apartment, as opposed to maintaining a house and yard at our age.

Our shop, Fashion Frills, will close for an extended vacation on June 30. If you are on our mail list, you will be one of the first to know when we open again. There is a chance we will retire...but I have tried that before and find I prefer being busy and involved. Of course our first great-grandchild will arrive in September...it's a boy. Our apartment will be very close to their home (another reason for the move).

I know prints on silks have been popular for years, but I have found a new interest in this craft. I love finding wonderful prints to prepare for silk (or cotton). So watch for this collection to expand when I open the shop again.

I will try to be more prompt in keeping this blog going. You can reach me this way, if you wish.

Have a great Summer!

Monday, June 15, 2009

'Yesterday's Project' Sold Quickly

Two of my 'Creative Collections' sold today. This always pleases me, as I know they will be pleased with the elegant materials included in the collections. I love finding and buying lovely supplies to use in the collections.

Last week I bought a signed vintage postcard to use in making lovely silk images. I do hope it arrives tomorrow. I will post it as soon as it gets here and I get it scanned.

This 'Creative Collection' makes me think it would be the perfect materials to make a small accent pillow for the new bride.

It is good to make pretty things in today's turmoil..."whatsoever thing is good, think on these things..."

My Jim's birthday is Thursday. He will be 83 and we will have a family dinner at our grandson's home. His bride is a wonderful cook. Hard to believe we will have our 60th anniversary this year!

More next time...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yesterday's Project

My favorite project these days...combining pieces of my best products into one lovely package. I almost lost my breath when I saw the fabulous silk print I received from my friend, Linda. The image is 4x6 with ample seam allowance. The May Arts ribbons are just lovely...and I finished it off with multiple embellishments from my friend, Carole.
This is the eleventh collection I have put together and many more to come. Each is one-of-a-kind.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Marketing Crafts In Our Economy

Sales are down. What to do!! These are words we are hearing over and over as we join others in marketing in todays economy. I am digging deep into my years of marketing in corporate marketing and trying to adapt these to small on-line shops. Here are ideas that come to mind.

  1. Find new ways to advertise. Advertising is the natural answer to increased sales. More prospects do tend to convert to more sales. Inexpensive ads on blogs, banners on other websites, etc. These are the least expensive. Space ads in magazines are expensive, but more effective.

  2. Increase your mailing list by using an independent mailing company like Constant Contact. This company serves over 250,000 small companies in their routine email newsletter mailing. This is most important if you shop is an Etsy shop as you cannot create your own mailing list from their shops. Hopefully you have built a mailing list from past customers.

  3. Money is tight...but try to add a new product line for a more exciting advertising campaign.

  4. SALES! Look closely at your products to determine the actual cost to you. A 50% return on your money is a good rule of thumb for sale prices. This means an item that cost you $10 would be on sale for $15. Just do not have a sale every week. This is not a good marketing practice.

My brain is tired now. If this gave you even one idea...I am pleased.

Have a good day....please become a 'Follower' on this blog.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Collection: Oriental Prints on Silk

How time goes when there are so many interesting projects you want to get your hands into!! Today, I am taking time to put a few of a new oriental prints collection in my online shop. And, at the same time I am printing them on silk with my HP InkJet printer. They are lovely.

My friend, Linda, is sending me some wonderful Vintage Prints on Silk - this will be a task I will love...as I am an antique lover (that's right either way you take it..)

Most of my time the past two weeks has been getting the house into 'pristine' condition (not easy). We decided we have reached the age to no longer maintain a house, so we have selected a very comfortable apartment near our daughter and grandchildren. mmmm...wonder how I will ever move all of my craft inventory!!

That's it for today. Must stop to add more to my shop.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Creative Collection Kits

Creative Collection I

This kit sold as it 'hit the shop.' Combinations of off-white krinkled satin, an 8.5"x11" silk image, yards of lovely ribbon, tea dyed embroidered net lace, a venise tri-color trim, beads, charms and a portrait cabachon.

We are now up to Creative Collection VIII, with two available in the shop. One will be shown below. And, I await shipments with materials for my 'Oriental Creative Collections.'

Creative Collection VIII

This collection is now available in my shop. You will get the following:

1 Fat Quarter Hand-Dyed Rayon
1 Vintage Silk Image 1893 Calendar
1yd Elegant Varigated Ribbon
1yd Elegant Checked Ribbon
1yd Elegant Varigated Sheer
1yd Elegant Striped Sheer Ribbon
3 Miniature Brass Heart Charms
1 Glass Heart Charm

Have a great day and remember what Memorial Day is all about. My Jim served in the Navy during World War II.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Home Number 12

I chose to share this home in Bedford, Massachusetts as it was our home during an import phase of family life. Our three children, David, Marsha and Monty, graduated high school in Bedford. All were very active in the excellent music programs in the school. Jim and I enjoyed the concerts, musicals and band performances.

As Monty (youngest) entered his senior year, the household grew...and grew. David was enrolled in the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Marsha, husband and first grandchild, Micah, were with us. A friend, Celeste, lived in the little attic bedroom (called the prophet's room) and friends just came and went as they pleased. The house is lovingly known as 'The Mudge' and is most famous for the extensive Thanksgiving feasts for students and friends.

Now, to the business at hand...

My introduction to the crafting world was after I retired from the electronics field. I became Director of Marketing for Carole Cree - my dearest friend and owner of a wonderful online shop, Flights of Fancy. Carole carries most outstanding trims and embellishments and finds fabulous collections to add.

Being a stranger to a needle, Carole suggested I start with something easy, like ribbon brooches. I must have made HUNDREDS. I hope to add some images to the sidebar of this blog.

I must stop as my Jim is standing at the door - looking at his watch.
Have a good day!