Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Favorites

I've decided to add another regular feature to my blog here, and that is 'Friday Favorites'...I may share about a specific shop/crafter, or showcase several items within a I'm posting the etsymini of my current favorites! I will most likely continue to promote other people on other days too, but even if I don't do much else in a week, you can always count on something on Friday!

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday Tip: Blog Your Etsy

In the interest of adding some regularity, I've decided to make my Tips for Etsians into Tuesday other words, I'll be posting a tip (almost) every Tuesday. So you can plan on them! Also, if there's a topic you'd like me to address, please leave a comment and I'll get right on it. ☺

A lot of etsians want to utilize blogging as a way to promote their shops, but once they start the blog, they're not sure what to do next!

The Storque recently posted an article called "Etsy's Guide to Blogging." Whether you have a family-centered blog with occasional etsy mentions, or you have a shop-oriented blog (or both) this article has some great tips for things to make your blog interesting and how to use it for effective promotion of your shop. It's full of suggestions and ideas from a variety of etsians.

Here are a few specific tips:

  • Keep your design simple, functional, and user-friendly (that has been my main goal with the setup of this blog--how am I doing?!) Remember that fancy widgets or a complex layout may take a long time to load for viewers with slower connection speeds, and if they can't load your page, they're not likely to visit again!
  • Post regularly--consider having regular series' such as my "Tuesday Tips" or Stormy Designs' "Friday's Featured Crafter."
  • Join the EtsyBloggers Team--they do a lot of cross-promoting and blog carnivals, as well as things like featuring each member's etsy mini on the team blog on the member's birthday.
  • Post about other Etsians and their shops--it keeps your blog more diverse and interesting, and the good karma comes around!
  • Link to other Etsian's blogs.
  • Blog about what inspires you, your creative process, or do a little 'get to know me' from time to time.
  • Be interactive--post polls or ask questions.
  • Use a lot of photos.
  • Make sure to have your etsy mini posted on your blog!
  • Visit other blogs and leave comments--genuine comments. Most people will come back and visit you when you do. ☺

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Extreme Makeover: Diaper Edition

Once upon a time a young mother bought some side-snapping fitted diapers for her baby. He wore them for many months before outgrowing them. Then his younger sister wore them for many more months, as did the next sister after that. By this time the diapers were quite worn. The mother was done having children, so she didn't need diapers anymore, but her friend had babies so she offered the diapers to her friend.

The friend was me. I was happy to have some side-snapping diapers because my little one had recently figured out how to open velcro, drop his diaper, and streak through the house. I didn't have a snap-press of my own yet (although I've recently ordered one!), so I wanted to find a way to keep these diapers around for a while. These threadbare diapers had a great design, but the outer fabric was literally falling apart, so I decided to give them a makeover.
(old diaper, new diaper!)
Viola, I still have my side-snappers (and I kept the core of the diaper, which was working just fine) I just added new layers on the inside (powderdry) and outside (flannel) to restore the comfort of a new diaper.
I love them! And they'll last through another kid or two.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Eenie Beanie Advocacy Tees

I recently came across these darling advocacy tee shirts at EenieBeanieThreads and I just had to share. There are a variety of baby and toddler tee-shirts that say things like "cloth on my bum and mama's milk in my tum" or "Don't like me nursing in public? Put a blanket over your head!" There is even a little girl's shirt that says "future breastfeeding mom."

Buy Handmade

EenieBeanieThreads is a fellow member of the EtsyClothDiapers team.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm featured!

I recently joined the EtsyBloggers Street Team. One of the requirements of team membership is to blog about each other. It's a great idea really--a bunch of people who blog about our crafts banding together to blog about each other too! Anyway, Stormy Designs has a blog that gets a lot of traffic (woo!) and Stormy has chosen to feature another etsian each Friday, as well as post their etsy mini on the blog for a week. This week it's me!! Follow the link to go read my interview!

Monday, October 13, 2008

CaryYork Birth Art

I was introduced to a delightful little etsy shop recently: CaryYork: Celebrating Life's Sacred Journeys You can also see her work at
Cary's shop features original artwork (in several mediums) that embraces and celebrates birth, breastfeeding, and motherhood in general. The art is available as prints, or in 'altar kits' with a small stand and a tea light so that the art can be put on display in an inspirational way. She is an etsy newbie, and I was so moved by the art that I just had to share. (When you go visit, be aware that several of the pieces are nudes. I think they are tasteful, but if that bothers you, now you know.)
The piece below, "Waterbirth" is my favorite.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Appreciation Photos

When I started out I knew little about how to be a good etsy seller--or a good etsy buyer... Of course I knew to make a good product and ship it promptly, but there are many other little things that a person can do to improve the etsy experience.

Something sitting on a shelf or laid out on a table is nice to photograph, but let's admit, we like to see the outfit on a body, or the item in use. Of course, I don't think I should have my baby model all the diapers before I sell them, so I don't, but I sure do appreciate when someone leaves me an appreciation photo of their baby in one of my diapers! It gives other buyers a chance to see how my diaper style looks and fits when in use. It also makes me feel really good. :)
I make an effort now to send an appreciation photo whenever I can, so that the seller can see how I appreciate my item(s), and so that future buyers can see what the 'real thing' looks like.
If you'd like to see the ones I've left for other sellers, visit the 'feedback left for others' section of either of my shops, and next to the item listing photo, it shows a second picture--that's the appreciation photo. :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Stand up to your Letdown!

I'm a breastfeeding mother with a heavy letdown. I had to nurse my baby sitting up for the first 4 months because I had so much milk it choked him if I laid him down. I tried several nursing pads and everything soaked through the moment I started nursing on the other side. So I did what I always do in these situations: I figured out what I wanted and made it myself!

Voila, PUL-backed nursing pads that can actually stand up to my letdown!
They come with a variety of print and solid flannels on the side facing you, but have discreet white PUL on the outside.

Even for those mothers with average letdown, these make great nighttime pads.

I also have fleece-backed pads for lighter protection.
All my nursing pads come in sets of 4 (two pairs) and I can mix and match types if you prefer. Come visit LilBees to see my full selection!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Knitted tampons?

I'm thinking of developing a line of knitted washable tampons. The design would be something like this (only knitted instead of crochet). They would be machine washable.
I would sell them in sets of 6 probably, for around $20... (that would vary by the materials cost).
I am considering cotton, hemp, and bamboo. All are natural and absorbent fibers, and are washable. Any could be obtained in organic form, as well as dyed or undyed. My question is which fibers my potential customers might prefer...

  • cotton is definitely the cheapest
  • hemp is naturally anti-microbial, and is eco-friendly (whether organic or not), it is very sturdy, and starts out soft but some reports say it gets rougher with time and washing
  • bamboo is amazingly soft, eco-friendly, but so far as I know it isn't as hearty as cotton or hemp

  • organic fibers of course have fewer chemicals, and many people consider them safer, but they are expensive, and may be difficult to find certain blends
  • regular (non-organic) fibers are much cheaper and easier to find

  • undyed yarn has been handled less than dyed yarn of course, and has fewer chemicals in it
  • dyed yarn (especially darker colors) would hide potential stains, as well as giving the option to have a rainbow of tampons, or of having one color for regular tampons and another for super

Sunday, October 5, 2008

October Featured EtsyBlogger

I've recently joined the EtsyBlogger street team. As part of the team, I join in promoting fellow team members each month. This month's featured EtsyBlogger is BabyFriendlyBeads. Her shop is abbreviated "BF Beads" which of course makes me think of "breastfeeding beads" appropriate too, as she offers a wide selection of stylish nursing necklaces!

She also has a shop full of other jewelry (not specifically baby-appropriate) at Mama's Magic. In that shop she has such fun items as her 'fraternal earrings' which are "like fraternal twins--not identical, but definitely a pair"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.
As the mother of three angel babies, I feel strongly about this cause.
During the month of October, 10% off all sales from both of my shops (LilBees and BrightBlack) will be donated to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, a non-profit organization that provides free remembrance photos for families of angels.
I hope you will join me in supporting this group and their awesome organization.

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