Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pottery Class

I thought I'd finally take the chance to let you know how Pottery Class turned out! My husband and I signed up to take a community education class for throwing pottery. I have to say, it was something we both enjoyed a lot! The class was about 3 weeks long, one evening a week, and then we went back to pick up the completed pots after they had been fired. Once we had thrown several pots and were satisfied, we let them dry to leather-hard, and then cleaned up some of the edges. At this stage, we also were able to draw on the pots with a special type of glaze (I'm sorry, I don't remember what it was called). The pots were then bisque dried, and we went back to glaze the whole thing. After they had been fired again, we could pick up our brand new pottery! The picture shown is my first attempt; frankly, I think it may also have been my best! Due to unforeseen circumstances, this pot was accidentally bisque-fired before it could could be drawn on. The other pot that does have drawing on it is still waiting to be fired, so I'll post a picture of that when I get it back. In the mean time - keep learning and have fun!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Has it really been that long since my last post?? Ouch! Anyway, I wanted to make a quick note on choices. As you know, I make wine glass charms. I usually make complete sets to sell, but something I tried over the summer was the "make your own set" concept. I thought for a long time about how to make it translate from a Market situation where customers can handle and really see the charms, to Etsy, where they can only see what I show them.

Ideally, I would offer two types of make your sets. I'd like to offer one page of all the different charms offered, and one page of the types of rings (different colors/beads on the rings). While I'd still like to try this eventually, it's a bit more organization than want, plus I don't keep every charm I have in stock; I often just buy what looks neat at that time, which usually means one or two of lots of different charms.

What I've come up with looks amateurish, and I dislike that part of it, but it ultimately gets my point across. I've created lots of singular charms, and numbered them. When a set sells, I replace those numbers with something the same or different, depending what I have available. Here's an example of it looks like:

I don't like the way it looks with the handwritten numbers, but I'm willing to use the format until I know whether people are even interested in this concept.

Has anyone else offered this type of choice for products? The downfall is that buyers may not remember to list the numbers they want to buy, but the upside is there might be more buyers because they can choose. I guess I'll have to wait and see what happens! Let me know what's worked for you.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


There has been some talk in the forums recently about including a "freebie" in with the purchase a buyer has made. I thought I'd include my 2 cents!

I think free gifts are tricky. I've received several with things I've ordered, both on Etsy and through other sites, and here's what I know as a buyer: There's always a nice little "aw...!" moment when I find a free gift, but then I think, what am I going to do with this? Often the gift is not related to my order at all, but something in the same selling genre, and while it is neat, it doesn't serve much purpose. This is especially true in my genre of Jewelry. Unless the gift is for a repeat buyer you know, or surprise matching earrings for a necklace ordered, you don't really know the buyer's style. Perhaps he/she is buying a gift and so the item is not indicative of what he/she would ever actually wear.

Also keep in mind never to send food or something overly scented (i.e. something that makes everything in the package smell like that) as a gift. In today's world, there are so many allergies that it's not worth the risk. Even if someone ordered food from you, that doesn't mean he/she can eat everything in your shop.

The best free gift I've received was when I ordered one item in several different colors/patterns/etc. and my gift was an additional item of what I had ordered but in a color/pattern that I hadn't.

My closing thought? If you want to give a free gift, that's great, but make it directly related to what the person actually ordered, or it may end up in the trash or Goodwill bin.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Quick Note!

Hi! I just thought I'd share a quick "yay" moment! I'm featured in a blog this morning by Girl in Gear Studio! You can read the article HERE. While you're there, check out some of her other features; Girl in Gear has completely redone her website and has a great mix of Etsy shop owner features in addition to her own beautiful work.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Earring Display at a Market

I think I've mentioned that I've done a Saturday Market locally. It's a small affair, but then, I don't have a huge inventory! I wanted to make a lot of simple earrings to take, but I didn't want to invest in fancy earring holders, yet. Some of the earrings are on Etsy, but some aren't photographing well and may never make it online.

To display the earrings at Market, I decided to make my own display case. I went to a big name sporting goods store and bought a box meant to hold fishing tackle. Then I bought some pretty felt, cut to size, glued in, and BOOM! A display case I can close! The earrings will stay in their individual boxes, and if a pair is purchased, I have mini-plastic jewelry zip bags. I tape the price of the earrings into the lid, so when it's open people can easily see how much everything is without having to ask; it also saves me the time of tagging each pair!

I got the idea from a mini-tackle box jewelry travel case I've had for years. Once the felting square bug hit me, though, there was no turning back! I also made some jewelry travel cases similar to what I already owned and put them in my Etsy shop. Now you know!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Give your buyer a reason

You can put lots of different kinds of information in your Item Description. The first sentence or two should of course be descriptive, as in color, size, components, etc. After all that, however, is an important paragraph many people neglect.


That's right. Sometimes people buy things with no obvious purpose for absolutely no reason, but unless you are in that kind of specialized market (gag gifts for instance?) don't risk not telling potential buyers all the awesome things to do with your product. When I list something like wine glass charms, such as the one to the left in one of my Eclectic Wine Charm sets, I spell it out. This seems obvious, but a reaction I get frequently is, "Oh, how cute, but I don't drink wine."

So, I spell out the uses. "These look great on coffee mugs if you're having friends over for a brunch or tea!" or "Even if you're only having water or sparkling cider, these charms will make it a party!" and "Kids love choosing a charm that will be 'theirs'! In the bustle of changing places at the dinner table, don't lose your glass!"

Now think about what you sell. Do you make little dodads out of clay? Turn them into charms and encourage people to go beyond necklaces to make cell phone fobs or cute zipper pulls. Use the Comments to post what you make, and I'll try to come up with an alternative use!

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Venture: Metal Stamping

I've been thinking for a while that metal stamping would be a really fun way to expand my skills, so for my birthday, my parents gave me a Stamping on Metal Starter Kit, from Beaducation. To the left is a picture of the letters and numbers that come included.

I started out with the plain disk on the left, punched a hole using the metal hole puncher included, taped where I wanted my bottom edge to be, and, well, here's the final result:

I think it's not bad for a first try! I'm sure my second attempt will have the spacing a little bit better, and perhaps the "heart" will be facing the right direction. :) Don't worry, Mom, I'll perfect it before I start making Christmas presents, because you know everyone will be getting dogtags! lol. Just kidding. Probably.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Make your own pendant!

In my last post, I mentioned that I found some smooth sea worn stones when I went to the Pacific coast in Oregon. Well, I went to my local craft store to find some bails to glue to the back to make pendants, and I thought I'd share what I found!

To the right, you can see a piece of light green sea glass that my sister found (I'm so jealous!). I bought a traditional bail and glued it to the back using Bead Fix, which is a wonder-worker. (Side bar, I use Bead Fix in the place of Super Glue for
almost everything.)

This bail worked great. It glued on with no mess and has a large enough hole that a regular sized chain will comfortably fit through. However, the bail came in a package of one, and was more then I want to spend if I want, say ten or twenty bails.

Here's a solution I found:

They are technically called "dot dangles", but they looked enough like bails that I thought I would give them a try, since one package of 22 equaled about two of the official bail, though the dots are smaller. Here is the result on the left. The holes are a bit smaller, but I fixed that by adding jump rings, and you can't really tell.

Although the swirl pattern is prettier, I decided to use that as the adhesive side because I thought the glue would do better against it. I was pleased to see how strong it was.

Below you can see how the official bail on the glass and the dot dangle on the rock look from the front. About the same, I think!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Recently, I was asked to do a custom order to be finished by late July. I readily agreed, thinking I had 2 weeks to work on the order before going on vacation for 2 weeks. How could I so miscalculate? I got home, checked the calendar, and realized I had 1 week, which is plenty of time to make the order, but the problem is, I don't have the charms she wants! I ordered some right away, but it was too late to get out on Saturday and, being a federal holiday weekend, there wasn't mail on Monday.

My dilemma: do I hope and pray the charms come in the mail by Friday, or bite the bullet and buy the charms twice, which means driving an hour to the nearest major craft store that sells charms? I think I'm going to have to buy them twice and either hope I can use the unused set on another project or return the craft store charms if the others come in time.

Take a lesson from me: check your calendar before making promises! All told, though, I'm super happy to do the order and excited she liked my work enough to want a custom order, and I guess any excuse to go to the "big city" isn't so bad. :) It just means I can hit a book store, too!

Featured Listing

The word "featured" can mean several different things on Etsy. You can be featured on the front page in either a Treasury or in an interview below the front page Treasury as a Featured Seller. You can also feature items in your shop, and that is what I'm going to talk about today. You can choose three items which will be "featured" in your shop, which will show up in a row between your shop announcement and your listings. These items will still appear in your listings, they will just be emphasized at the top, also.

When you log in to Your Etsy, the opening page is your Currently for Sale list. Notice to the right hand side of each listing is the outline of a star. Decide which five pictures are your best, or which items are for sale, or which you really want to make sure anyone coming into your shop will see (only three will be featured, but you want some backups in case one or two sell). Click the star of these items and the star will become greenish/yellow.

Now, on the left hand side underneath Currently for Sale is Featured Listings. Click here.

You can decide which listings you want to be featured by using the up and down buttons/arrows to the right of each listing. The top three will be featured, the rest will be back ups in the order they are in top to bottom. You may have as many back ups as you want, but I would have at least two. You never know when you'll get lucky and make a bunch of sales at once!

If you ask for advice in the forums and haven't filled in your Featured Listing section, people will probably tell you to do this. It's just a nice way to show buyers your nicest things at once.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shop Announcement

I've only been on Etsy for a little over a month, but I've learned a few things. The first is that it's really important to have a good shop announcement. There is a lot of debate about whether a short one or a long one is better. I think shorter and to the point is better. You should be able to see just the tip of your three Feature pictures (more on that later). Instead of one long paragraph, it is also nice to have two shorter ones. It helps keep the interest a little better.

The first sentence of your shop announcement can make it into Google search, so be specific here about what you do/sell. You can give a little bit of personality, but keep it mostly professional, meaning not too many fancy icons/hearts/stars/exclamation points. Instead of giving all your shop policies, I think a line reminding customers to read your policies before buying is fine. They still may not read the policies, but it's enough to cover you if they complain they didn't know you only ship on Saturdays.

Finally: USE CORRECT GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION EVERYWHERE! And use all-caps sparingly. :)

To fill in your Shop Announcement, go to Your Etsy and click on Appearance (on the left hand side). Shop Announcements will be the third section down to fill in.

First Post

Well, obviously this is the first post to Absolutely Kismet. The idea is to blog a bit about my Etsy shop,, and then about whatever else I think is relevant. So for the sake of checking everything out to see if it works, here I go!
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