Monday, 28 February 2011
The winner is APRILISFOREVER
The photography in each of the products chosen was stunning giving the treasury great overall visual appeal. I also really liked the colour choice and thought it summed up Spring nicely.
The challenge theme for next week is 'Think Pink!'
Saturday, 26 February 2011
Friday, 25 February 2011
Thursday, 24 February 2011
This shows you how I make my lovely ceramic wedding favours.
Clay, any kind but white earthenware picks up the detail nicely.
Access to a kiln
Ribbon for decoration
The clay has to be wedged to get rid of air bubbles. This is a strenuous activity that involves much throwing and cutting of the wet clay until no more air bubbles are visible.
Then the clay must be rolled out so it is an even depth all over. I use two guide sticks of even depth wood.
Tthe decoration is rolled onto the clay. In the picture this is some antique lace that I love the pattern of.
You need to leave the cut outs until they are leather hard. This is the stage in the drying process that you can carefully handle the clay without affecting the shape too much.
Press some letter blocks into the shapes to spell out your personal message. At this stage I sometimes add little clay butterflies or other details in a contrasting clay.
Drill a hole in the top of the heart and cut off any excess clay around the hole.
Each piece has to be fired twice. The first time is called the biscuit firing and matures the clay to a permanent state. I biscuit fire my ceramics to 1100 degrees (cone 02) to fully mature the clay but usually 1000 would be enough. I tend to stack the kiln to bursting on the first firing for reasons of economy.
I hand paint each piece with a low firing earthenware glaze in a semi transparent colour. Any other glaze might obscure the lettering on the favour. Sometimes I paint the favour and then wash off the glaze leaving just the lettering and decoration glazed for a different effect.
The second firing is to mature the glaze and turn it from its powdery consistency into its glossy, glass like state. I fire my kiln to 1020 degrees (cone 5) for a glaze firing. This time the kiln has to be more carefully stacked with the favours lifted from the shelves on tripods to stop them sticking and no two pieces touching each other
This is my favourite bit! It's so exciting to open the kiln after the glaze firing and see all your work transformed and jewel like. Don't be over eager to open the kiln too soon. Let the work cool as much as you can to avoid crackling the glaze from thermal shock (take it from one who knows).
When the work has cooled it just needs finishing.
Cut two pieces of ribbon. One about 40cm and one about 20cm. Use one as the hanging ribbon and the shorter one as the bow (tie the bow away from you, it comes out neater for some reason).
Trim the edges of the ribbon to look good and there you have it.
So, a BNR is basically a treasury that has been created with the sole purpose of driving sales.
The BNR starts with 16 products from 16 different shops (how the first 16 are chosen depends on who is running the BNR) everyone sets their own rules such as minimum spend amount etc.
Here is a screenshot from our last BNR, the title describes the status of the BNR, in this case it was 'MOVED' as we had moved it to another location but usually it will state 'OPEN' or 'CLOSED' it then says how many sales their have been so far, so you can get an idea of how busy it is. (please click on the images to make them larger)
is just a standard web page you will need to refresh the page Each BNR is run by a curator, they are there to manage the sales that are taking place. As a BNRregularly to read new comments.
People chat and have conversations in the comments underneath a BNR, the more comments the higher up the popularity scale the BNR gets and the more chance you have of other people finding it.
The shops that are pictured in the BNR are the ones you can buy from, you don't just have to buy the item shown but can buy anything from their shop as long as it is over the minimum amount specified.
When you have found something you would like to buy you request that shop from the curator, then wait for them to give you the go ahead. This is to ensure that someone else isn't already in the process of buying from them. See the image below:
Once you receive the go ahead from the curator you can purchase the item. Once you have made your purchase, you need to click on 'Your Account' then 'Your Purchases' then click on the title of the item you have just bought, it will display a page like the one below:
The red arrow points to your transaction ID link, you need to copy this and paste it into the comment box in the BNR so the curator knows you have completed the purchase.
Then your shop will replace the one you have just bought from. Simple! :)
It's a great way to boost your sales and stock up on Birthday presents for the coming months.
Hope you will all join us at this months BNR running from Friday 25th - Sunday 27th Feb.
You can check our Twitter, Facebook and Forum pages for the link on Friday from 7pm.
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
I'm Kim and I live in a remote moorland cottage in North Yorkshire; a while back a friend called it Witchmountain - I'm not sure if it was complimentary but it stuck!
When did you establish your business?
I first joined Etsy as a buyer in 2007 but as I was still a penniless student I didn't have the right kind of credit card to sign up a seller! Eventually with an updated card and my shiny new degree I opened my shop at the end of 2008. My first sale was in February 2009.
What prompted you to start your own business?
My college course had guided us in the direction of studio work and freelance design but I always knew that because of my location and personal circumstances I would have to make use of the internet as much as possible.
When did you first start working in your chosen discipline?
I have always made things; tiny books for my dolls house when I was a child, painted tobacco tins to sell at Glastonbury in my hippy heyday and handmade cards during the dark days of the Enterprise Allowance Scheme! In my 30's I was encouraged to do my degree in Textiles and Surface Design at CCAD where I learned new print and design techniques which I combined with stitch. I now make a variety of work but I think I have developed a distinctive style which unites everything from a £12 brooch to a £250 framed piece.
What inspires you?
I am really inspired by where I live and also general ideas of The North. I have a personal obsession with bears (a long story), dark forests and northern myths which might also explain why I love the writing of Tove Jansson.
How did you hear about Etsy?
From my good friend Helen who had been trading for years and doing very well with her handmade hats www.helenhats.etsy.com and more recently her beautiful sea glass jewellery and supplies www.tidelinedesigns.etsy.com
What do you like about being part of Etsy?At the moment I'm liking the "Circles" and Activity Feed features which seem to make you more visible, although this isn't necessarily translated in to sales.
How did you feel when you made your first sale on Etsy?
It’s always fantastic when somebody wants to spend money on something you've made! My first sale was to a college friend so it was even more exciting when I made my first sale to a stranger...and in a foreign country. More sales would be nice though!
My friend Helen once told me that the thing about Etsy was that many of the people who use it tend to be "makers" themselves, which is why she started selling things others might want to use in their work- perhaps consider producing kits?
Would you like to offer the British Sellers on Etsy Blog readers a
I have created a 20% discount coupon code for readers of this post, just type in WITCHMOUNTAIN2 at the checkout. thank you and good luck x
Where can we find you?
Etsy shop link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/KimTillyer
Monday, 21 February 2011
There were no takers on this weeks treasury challenge so this week I went through the treasuries recently posted and this one really caught my eye. I loved the theme the products chosen and the way they were blended together to create a visually stunning treasury.
The theme for this weeks treasury challenge is 'Spring means to me...."
Your treasury could be featured here, complete your treasury for this weeks theme and post it in the thread below:
Saturday, 19 February 2011
Friday, 18 February 2011
Thursday, 17 February 2011
What does it mean to follow someone? This basically means you will be able to see their 'Tweets' (status updates) and respond to them if you wish. You generally follow someone who you think you might be interested in, like the British Etsy Team for example
How to search for people or topics of interest.
The best way to get followers (people who follow your tweets) is to start following other people with similar interests and get tweeting. If you use certain keywords like knitting for example put a # before it.
The hashtag is a way to determine a search term. People will often save searches of phrases that they are interested in. For example the British Etsy team use the #uketsy search tag, we ask our followers to use this tag at the end of their post.
You will see from the picture above I have typed #uketsy into the search bar, the results are shown as Tweets (people who have used that term in their tweet) Tweets with links (as it suggests) Tweets near you (if you've specified your location ie UK then it will tell you other UK users who have recently used that search term in their tweets) and People (if you had typed in someones name you would check this tag to find them and follow them)
You will also notice the option to 'save this search' by saving the search you can keep track on all the people using that search term. So we have saved the #uketsy search to enable us to see which of our followers use it, we then retweet those posts. Whats a retweet? Don't worry more on that next time.
If you look at the first picture you will see the 'Searches' tab, all of your saved searches are kept here, you could have as many as you like for example #knitting #crochet etc depending on what you were interested in.
By using the # with keywords it allows other people searching that term to find you and follow you if they wish, this helps to build up your follower base.
It's also a good way of connecting with others, I've seen Twitter book groups, who determine a # search term they all save the search term and that way can keep up with all of the posts to do with the group and current discussion.
NEXT TIME..... Retweets and @Mentions
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
- Do research on similar shops, not to copy them but to find what is unique about your work, your USP (Unique Selling Point) then promote that.
- Read all the ‘How to do it’ bits - advice is at hand so ask your fellow Etsians.
- Put in a good selection of work and keep adding - have stock ready to go.
- Be professional - this is a business I hope to make a living from and it needs to be worked on
- Make up trial parcels so you can work out weight and price then charge the actual postage. Postage costs are expensive - you're not a benevolent fund
- Be realistic with your pricing then add on a bit for your time. If you undercharge to start with it's hard to put your prices up later Bear in mind that galleries will charge you up to 60% etc plus materials and taxes.
Monday, 14 February 2011
The treasury challenge theme this week was "Other Half, for Valentine's I would like..."
The winner is sdjjewellery!
Her treasury is a feast for the eyes, subtle use of purple and lilac throughout and some beautiful products selected. Well done!
If you would like to see the other treasuries that took part in the treasury challenge then click HERE
If you would like to know how to make a Treasury see our previous blog post.
This weeks treasury challenge is FURRY FRIENDS, post your treasuries in the Treasury Team Challenge thread, the rules are posted their too. The winner will be posted next Monday.
Sunday, 13 February 2011
we hit 1000 members!!
As you can imagine - we are all incredibly excited about this here on the blog - especially Chiara from CLS Craft Creations, our team captain!
So please take a moment to look through the members pages and forums to get to know everyone!
Here's whats been going on this week:
- Craftbirdcat interviewed our team captain Chiara on her blog - so if you want to know more about the team, check it out here
- The treasury challenge is back! With the chance to have your treasury featured on this very blog! Read more about it here.
- Two team members - Mundane and Beauteous and Black Cactus in London - have been featured on the front page this week! Well done!
- After the success of the teams last BNR we are having another one this month! See more details here on how to take part!
- Its been our first full week blogging! Have you read all the posts? We have amazing features such as Etsy Newbie featuring Sandra June Sculptures, waiting for their first sale featuring Gail Griggs, a wonderful 'how to make a treasury' tutorial and lots more!
We're hoping to really develop the blog further as the team grows, so if you have any requests for how to features, expert advice, or if you want to put yourself forward for any of the features please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org - we'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
See you next week!