Since I started making my upcycled cuff bracelets, I’ve kept my eye open on other ways to repurpose sleeve cuffs. I really love the simplicity of this project! Just cut off the cuff, fold in half, stitch up the sides, use the buttons for the closure and voila, a mini pouch! Cute, right? The full (and ├╝ber simple) tutorial can be found on the Family Chic blog. Perfect to slip a little cash in when you go for a walk or keep your lip balm from getting lost in the depths of your purse. Also like Camilla’s suggestion for using it as a rosary holder (made me think of you, mom).

A little revamping

The notion of giving my Etsy shop a face-lift has been brewing in my mind for quite some time now. Of course, having a wee little man in the house has made it a goal that can only be achieved with small steps, slowly, over many weeks (or realistically, months). And the re-vamping has gone through a few stages already. First off, I knew that I wanted to re-photograph my small coin purselettes in a way that made them stand out a bit more, added some interest and spoke to my craftiness. I tried photographing several with buttons as a prop on a light wood background. The results were good, but it still didn’t help me achieve the desired effect. I simply couldn’t avoid it any longer and decided to re-photograph everything on a white (or nearly white) background.

Small Purselettes: Before

Small Purselettes: After

You can see the difference in the before and after screen shots. The first shot shows the “before” which includes the mix of photos, some on wood grain with buttons, some on a blue background, and the most recent on white. I decided to stick with the button props, but go with the white background and the final look can be in the second screen shot. I’m enjoying the consistency, the unique look that the buttons provide, and now, finally, my items can be more easily included in treasuries. My products have been featured in plenty of treasuries, but often only particular items & I’m hoping that the white background helps. Indeed, I think it already has, although I haven’t had time to dig through my shop stats lately.

The long term plan is to continue re-photographing each item onto a white background, especially my striped purses, which see very little treasury action, although they often get favored by Etsy shoppers. The newest addition to the shop, the upcycled cuff bracelets, have already been shot on a white background and I was even able to model some of them. Interestingly enough, the cuffs that are on a model get way more views than those that I just shot by themselves. Guess I’ll just have to add it to the list of things to do more of.

Besides re-vamping the look of things, I’m also doing quite a bit with the title and tags on each item. Our Etsy Alberta Team has started doing critiques of listings, and I was fortunate to be included in the first week. I was given some great tips and am now slowly starting to apply those to all of my listings. Again, though, it’s a slow process.

What do you think of the new photos? Do you like the use of buttons as a prop? Do you think the coin purses look a bit more interesting? This whole Etsy thing is still such a learning process, although a fun one! I’ll try to keep you up-to-date on my re-vamping progress over the coming weeks.

First Blogoversary!

Felt cupcake with chalk candleYes, it truly has been one full year since I started writing on this here little blog of mine. It honestly has not been a hardship to keep up with it, but rather a joy to share all the small things and big things that have passed into my life, all the new discoveries and learning experiences, the many, many changes that every life undergoes, and all the wonderful people I’ve met along the way. A roller coaster at times, true. But can I just say how nice it’s been to share that roller coaster with others?

So how do you measure the success of a blog? Is it in the number of followers or unique visitors? Is it how frequently you post? It is based on how much it gets shared around through other social media and linked back to by other sites? I know that there are entire articles and books written on such things (I’ve read them in an attempt to learn the secret behind successful blogs). Personally I suppose it is a combination of many aspects, but the most important seems to be just in how much a blogger enjoys blogging. Simple right. Readers know when you aren’t being authentic. So I hope, that if I’ve achieved anything with this blog, it’s that I showed my true colours through each and every post. 365 days and 140 posts later… a small glimpse of this world through my eyes. Stick around for the continuing saga…

What better way to celebrate a blogoversary, than with a GIVEAWAY?!? My first, in fact. To be entered, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post indicating your favorite Bubblegum Sass product. Easy-peasy! Comments will closed on Monday, Sept. 5 by 8pm MST. A winner will be chosen and announced here next Tuesday. So what’s up for grabs? Your choice of one of my pretty little coin purselettes, perfect for holding bits & bobs in your purse or as a simple camera case or even as a gift card holder. The full selection of these little purselettes can be seen here.

****Contest Closed****

The winner is Joanna!! Congrats Jo! And thank you so much to everyone who participated! Looking forward to doing more of these giveaways and contests in the near future, so keep your eyes open.

Treasury Love

Still not back to much of my self these days. I’ve almost lost my voice, which is not usual for me. Lots of sleep and hot water with lemon and honey. Also might try making these if I can summon up enough energy, honey-lemon throat lozenges. Once again a simple post to share in an effort to save some energy. This time, an uber yummy treasury!

This and that

Day of the Dead coin pursesMy days have been filled with exactly that the past week or so. Feel like I am twirling around a bit going in several directions. There has been crafting in preparation for this weekend, sewing up things for coming babelettes, trying to complete inventory on all the yarn (up to 36 garbage bags in the basement) and getting it organized for people to browse through, quality time with family, giving the sewing room a good cleaning, listing items on Etsy, email, email, email… oh and trying to determine what other craft shows I will sell at in the coming months. I’m also going to start adding in some quiet time absorbing the sun as the week goes on. It’s no wonder the weeks fly by.

Looking forward to this weekend! Two fun things planned. One, attending my friend’s baby shower, which will be lovely. Two, we are going to a double-header roller derby game with my family for my brother’s birthday. Not only that, but I will be “hocking my wares” as it were. I booked in as a vendor at a couple of the games. I’ve got a couple new items including the floral scrap hair combs, postcards, and these simplified coin purselettes (no buttons or embellishments on them, just colourful Day of the Dead fabric).

Hope the rest of your week is filled with lots of this and that!

Doilies, buttons, and corduroy, oh my!

Small Corduroy PurselettesOne of the things I have truly enjoyed about being able to focus a great deal more on my craft business, has been having the time to play and design. When I was working a full-time job and squeezing my crafting time into every possible hour in the evenings and weekends, I found that I did less playing and experimenting. If I had an hour or two in the evening, I preferred to use that time actually making something, rather than brainstorming ways to change the design, try new materials, and push things further. One of my university professors always said that a completed piece of art only comes into being after it has been pushed to exhaustion.

I still haven’t done quite as much experimenting and playing as I would like, but even being able to do some has got my creative juices flowing more freely. My small purselettes had started to become a bit too repetitive for my liking, and it was with great enthusiasm that I dove into exploring some new options. They are such a versatile product. Keeping the same basic shape and size, they are easy to be creative with, simply by changing the type of fabric used and tapping into the seemingly endless embellishment choices. Small changes, but satisfying none the less.

So here’s a sneak peak at some of the new purselettes that will be available at Market Collective sale next weekend. The colours seem so very autumny now that I’ve photographed them, but rest assured, there are some lovely springy ones waiting to be assembled.