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Yesterday, I met up with Joan of Fiori Fine Silver for lunch and to talk Etsy. We had a mission–it was time for Joan to list her first item on Etsy. Not that I needed an excuse to go out to lunch and talk crafty business. Those are two of my favorite things anyway.

I met Joan last month at a show at Ci|Creative. Talking about art and craft and the business of selling handmade, we immediately connected. Since Joan had not yet made the leap to Etsy, we agreed to get together and talk through the process. At lunch, she showed me some of her lovely jewelry pieces, we talked about the design process, and ultimately, we created a listing for a very pretty pair of fine silver hoop earrings. Joan creates unique textures on her pieces that I just love. These particular earrings have a leaf and vine pattern, but wait until she gets a few more listed! Each piece is different and lovely. Joan is still in the beginning phases of stocking and decorating her Etsy shop, but do stop by for a peek! Joan also wrote about our lunch date, and she talks more about her process creating the hoop earrings on her blog.

One of the things I have wanted to work on for awhile now has been to expand my circle of real-life creative friends. Having been a student for so long, I wasn’t surrounded by a lot of people who share my creative interests. And although I love connecting with the creative community online, it’s nice to see a real face every now and then. It can be hard to find other artists sometimes, though, especially when you’re a little shy, so the going has been slow. But lunch with Joan was one step forward, and I’m started to connect with other local artists, too.

I’m not sure if it’s just me that struggles to connect with other creative people in real life, so I’d love to hear your take on this. Do you have a real life creative community or friendships, or do the people around you not really understand that crafty stuff you do? Are you taking steps to forge new relationships with like-minded people? Let me know!

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Six More Weeks

Groundhog from Eric Bégin’s Flickr Stream

It’s Groundhog Day, and Punxsutawny Phil saw his shadow. So that means, supposedly, that we’ve got six more weeks of winter. The view out my window of gray skies and piles of old snow seems to agree with Phil. Although I do love sweaters, I do not really love the cold, so I’m not very thrilled about this.

I think I can count on one hand the number of days I’ve seen the sun in the past month, and all these cloudy gray days are starting to exhaust me. Truly, days like this make me want to crawl under the covers and hibernate. So in defiance of Phil and the weather, I want to focus on bright, cheerful things that can bring a little light and energy into the next six weeks. Here are some great Etsy finds that can help me do just that:

1. Oak Tree Necklace by Lulubugjewelry 2. Happy Garden Hair Pins by MiaBeads
3. Forsythia Tote Bag by Cicada Studio 4. Small Zipper Pouch by Oktak
5. Marmalade Posy Bracelet by Jacarandadesigns 6. Sun-Kissed Citrus Cotton Crochet Dishcloths by Buyhand
7. Lemon Sugar Lip Balm by FlourishBathBody 8. Accent Pillow – Starburst Pleat by Yorktownroad

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New Magnet Sets in the Shop

Tonight I added some new sets of button magnets to the Etsy shop. Each set contains five magnets covered with either matching or coordinating fabric. They’re cute and practical. These are the types of magnets I use in my own kitchen, so I know that they’re strong and will last. We tend to use magnets to hold up more than one thing at a time around here, and these ones are up to the challenge!

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Fancy Schmancy Holiday Shoppe Review

Anodyne Design at the Fancy Schmancy Holiday Shoppe

Last Saturday was the Fancy Schmancy Holiday Shoppe. The place was packed with vendors! I didn’t count, but I’m told there were over 40 of us squeezed in there. Space was tight, but I definitely preferred being close together rather than very spread out, as it was at the last Fancy Schmancy event. That may be a difference in philosophy, but as a shopper, I would like to have all the vendors in relatively the same spot, so I can be sure I don’t miss any. I had a chance to check out many of the booths at the beginning of the show, and there was a great variety of jewelers, knitters and felters, sewing, woodwork,  painting, and paper art. There were also vendors like Tupperware and Mary Kay, but I liked that they had a separate space from the handmade vendors.

With so many great artists, I thought for sure this would be a well-attended event. It’s mid-November and people are starting to think of holiday gifts. Unfortunately, the event was a lot slower than I, and many others, expected. It seemed like a lot of the shopping was going on between vendors. I did get to see one of my favorite customers from the Farmer’s Market, so that made me happy. Although sales weren’t as strong as I liked, I’m still calling this a successful event primarily because of the networking I was able to do. I saw some familiar craft show friends (Janet of Q Luvs Ya Baby! and John, who makes beautiful wood fishing lures and was my neighbor at the Farmer’s Market) and got to know a few other crafters, including Amanda of YellowDragonfly Designs. I was also able to use the time to make a bunch of new Little Hootie Owls and some pretty flower brooches.

Towards the end of the show I ended up trading with Amanda for this gorgeous necklace she custom made for me based on a pair of earrings she had for sale.

YellowDragonfly Designs custom handmade necklace.

This was definitely one of the highlights of my day. I love how it sparkles in the light, and the sterling silver chain is definitely a lot nicer than some jewelry makers use. If you aren’t already familiar with Amanda’s work, definitely check it out on Etsy.  And it’s even prettier in person!

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Psst… A little note about a deal.

Everyday Wallet in Pinwheels

I just thought you might want to know about an opportunity to save a little cash. Anodyne Design is 2 sales away from 100 on Etsy right now. I’m offering 25% off your total sale price if you get to me to 100 (which means, either buy 2 items, or wait and hope someone else buys 1 before you buy.) The catch is that you either have to be a fan of Anodyne Design on Facebook (see that little box to the left?) or following me on Twitter, and you have to leave a note in the “notes to seller” saying either “Facebook” or “Twitter” (which one is your call, but it would probably make most sense if you chose based on which way you’re hooked up with Anodyne Design.)

I’ve added a bunch of new items to the shop over the past week, including wristlets, everyday wallets, card wallets, and new upcycled eco card wallets, so there’s lots to choose from.

It’s probably in your best interest to fan or follow me anyway, so you’ll be notified of future deals (like the giveaway that’s coming up for Facebook fans once I reach 100 fans). I don’t know about you, but I love a deal.

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An Adorable Mushroomy Business Card Holder

Mushroomy Business Card Holder from Ginpins

I can’t stop smiling every time I look at this adorable business card holder. Three tiny mushrooms on a mossy green stand. Even the undersides of the mushrooms are perfect, with tiny gills. I just love it.

I needed a nice way to display my business cards at the farmer’s market, because I noticed that people either didn’t seem to see them or were afraid to take them when I simply set them on the table. I’m hoping that when they see them standing up behind these super cute mushrooms they’ll feel more comfortable taking one. And even if that isn’t the case, I don’t care, because I love these mushrooms so much.

The business card holder came from Ginny at Ginpins. She was very friendly and shipped the same day I ordered, which was awesome. She’s got all sorts of beautiful ceramic goodness in her shop. You really should check it out. If I wore earrings, I know I’d have to get a pair of hers… but which ones, tiny flowers or tiny mushrooms?

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New Mini Fabric Covered Journals

Fabric Journal Cover in Retro Kitty

I put the finishing touches on a batch of 10 new fabric journal covers today, and have started adding them to the shop. I love all the different fabric, and I changed up the decorative stitching on the covers to better coordinate with the accent fabrics. I especially love the scalloped edges I used on a few (and it felt good to use a mostly neglected feature on my sewing machine!) I will be adding more of these little lovelies to the shop throughout the week.

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Refreshing Lemonade

Wouldn’t a nice, cool glass of lemonade just be wonderful right now? Of course, when wouldn’t a glass of lemonade be wonderful? Homemade lemonade, with lots of sugar, is one of my favorite summer treats. So how perfect that I found out my Lemonade wristlet was including in a lemon-flavored themed treasury today. Look at all that cheery lemony goodness!

Lemony Treasury

If that’s got you thirsty, check out this recipe for perfect lemonade, or bake up some pink lemonade cupcakes!

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Heart-o-Tron 3000

hearts.jpgI know a lot of Etsy sellers are already familiar with the Heart-o-Tron 3000. I’ve known about it and forgotten it and recently rediscovered it, now that I’m listing new items in the shop again. Whether it’s brand new to you or something you’ve known about for awhile and forgotten about, the Heart-o-Tron 3000 is worth checking out. It provides a quick way to check how many hearts your Etsy shop has. You can also easily see how many hearts your individual items have, who left those hearts, and how many views each item averages per heart. Definitely faster than going through your shop item by item.

Do you know of any other cool unofficial Etsy tools? Share them here!