Thursday, October 29, 2009
So I might as well admit it: I'm a little bit of a Bernina Snob.
Yes, I've used other sewing machines, but Bernina is definitely my favorite. When we were first married and I was getting ready to buy my own machine, I considered buying a cheaper brand, (with the knowledge that I'd replace it with a Bernina a few years down the road). However we were given some money for our wedding and the Bernina was on an after-Christmas sale, so we went ahead and got it. I've never regretted it--that machine earned back every penny within the year.
Why am I so stuck on Berninas? Well, first of all, they're Swiss. Yeah, those guys that are famous for making good watches? they also make really good sewing machines. My mother's Bernina is over 25 years old and going strong. My grandmother finally replaced her Bernina after 45 years--not because it was dead, but because one piece needed to be replaced and they no longer made the piece! In other words, these machines, though expensive, are a good investment. Berninas are also work horses. I've worked in two professional costume shops and one bridal shop, and all three used Berninas. For someone who just does a little sewing, a cheaper brand will probably suffice; but for someone who sews professionally, Berninas are where it's at!
When I was comparison shopping for sergers, a shop owner told me this: "I repair all kinds of machines, but I only sell Berninas, and you know why? Because I almost never have to see them for repairs!"
Now do you wanna see my sweet machines?
This is my sewing machine: The Bernina 1008. It's the most simple (and, at $600, the least expensive) of the Bernina machines. I prefer a simpler machine because they are easier to understand and less likely to break down. It's got a buttonhole-helper and 24 stitches--who really needs more than that?!
This is my serger: The Bernina 700D. It too is a simple, manual machine--no computerized junk. The more automatic parts there are, the more there is to malfunction, and sergers are finiky creatures to begin with. So I keep it simple. (I would not have purchased a serger on my own, although I do find them nice, but they are expensive and not really necessary...I do use mine, but there are other ways to do things, you know? Anyway, I got this one through my employer--at a discount--because they required me to have one in order to sew for them.)
Friday, September 25, 2009
Now you can donate CLOTH pads to girls in Africa! Of course some areas do not have sufficient water available to be able to wash the pads, so the organization does their research and only donates pads in areas where there is an adequate water supply.
LilBees is joining with many other etsians in donating to G4G, and now you can participate! For every pad you purchase to donate, I will not only ship it directly, I will also give you 10% off any other item in my shop. Karma really does come back around!
G4G also accepts monetary donations (information is available on their site).
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
And remember that the first person to buy a full-size bar of LilBees soap from Heathen's Hearth on etsy will receive a $10 gift certificate to LilBees...just convo me with the link to the transaction report and let me know what you want from my shop! (The soap is not quite ready to be listed yet I guess, but I will post as soon as it is!)
Monday, August 31, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Last winter I discovered HeathensHearth when I met one of the shopkeepers in an etsy chatroom (I actually still don't know whether it was Amy or Misty!) and we worked out a special order for some soaps which I gave as Christmas gifts. I ♥ their soap, so a few months later I tried out their body frosting (lotions) and I ♥ those. With the body frosting they included a sample of their sugar scrub and (shocker) I ♥ it as well. I loved it all so much that I even did a giveaway (featuring HH) on my blog this summer when I celebrated my birthday.
But the best is yet to come!
You see, last March Amy and Misty came up with a brilliant idea. They started "Etsy Inspirations" which is a line of soaps inspired by other etsians (or their shops). There's a woody one inspired by a woodworker, a neopolitan-ice-cream one inspired by a sweet shoppe, and so on. They had so much fun with it that they held a contest to choose a few final shops upon which to base a soap...and (you've guessed it) yours truly was one of the winners! Ironically all this happened just before I moved, so my soap got put on hold for the summer. However, we're all up and rolling again, and the LilBees Etsy Inspirations soap will be released next Tuesday (Aug 25). To celebrate, I am doing two things:
1--I have made a special order of 25 sample-size LilBees soaps, so starting with the official release next week, my first 25 orders at LilBees will each receive a free soap in with their order (and I'm telling you, this is awesome soap!)
2--The first person to purchase a full-size bar of LilBees soap from HeathensHearth will get a $10 gift certificate to LilBees (just send me a convo with a link to the transaction page and let me know what you want!)
I'll post again next week with a photo of the finished product, but I thought I'd let you know in advance what is coming.
And since I know you're curious, I'll tell you what the soap will be like! It's honey-scented, layered in black and yellow (of course), and has a honeycomb pattern in the top. (The sample sizes won't have the honeycomb due to their being smaller...but they'll still be striped!)
Saturday, May 16, 2009
This summer I am moving, and all my stock and supplies will be in storage for a couple of months. However a friend of mine has been thinking about starting up an etsy shop, so we talked and she is going to try out etsy via my shop this summer. (She has been on Hyena Cart for a while, but is new to etsy.) This means that LilBees will not be empty this summer, but it will have her StarDust Creations diapers instead of my LilBees ones. She makes adorable diapers, including some with embroidery! All the diapers shown in this post are her work:
I will be checking in periodically and can still respond to questions about my products or about orders for when I return, but Tiffani also has full access to the shop, so you can convo her about anything regarding her stock. All of her products will be in their own section, so that even when I get back it will be easy to tell what is whose. ☺
(I will be re-stocking my own diapers, pads, wetbags, etc when I get settled into my new home in mid-August. BrightBlack will be empty until that time.)
Friday, May 15, 2009
Today I want to show off the shop of a friend of mine: Baby Frog Boutique
She is just starting off on etsy, but she crochets darling little hats and booties, as well as making 'frog legs' baby leggings. I'm already negotiating a trade with her, and I hope you'll be interested in checking out her shop too! (By the way, when she says baby frogs, she's not just being cute...her last name is actually Frogly. And as for babies, well, she has had three so far, and is now expecting twins!)
Thursday, April 23, 2009
About a year ago I posted here about my new Good Nights deluxe fitted nighttime diapers. I sold several that spring, but then got busy and haven't sewn up any more in quite a while. Well, with our nighttime theme of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star this month, I knew this was my chance to get them back in the shop. It may be the end of the month, but they are finally here!
It may look like a fairly normal fitted diaper, but look again! The attached doubler makes it extremely absorbent yet keeps it trim, and now that I have a snap press, I'm offering these diapers (and most others) with your choice of touchtape (velcro) or snaps! And, since they fall into the theme of the month (for one more week!) purchase a Good Nights diaper and get a 25% discount on your second item!
Finally, listen to what the customers are saying about LilBees Good Nights!
"Wow! Baby wears these all night long, with no leaks (he often leaks by morning in other diapers). He is quite comfortable too. I'm impressed--they're worth every penny!"Come visit LilBees for all in ones, OOAK (one-of-a-kind) designer fitteds, and Good Nights nighttime diapers!
"My son could soak through anything, and I was using so many inserts and doublers that the resulting enormous diaper looked terribly uncomfortable...the first night he used one of these he didn't even get the outside layer wet. I am so impressed, I don't know how I lived without it!"
Also, coming next month, StarDustCreations embroidered diapers (I'll post more about those as it gets closer!)
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
My sister and her husband both served as missionaries in Brazil (in fact, that's where they met) so when I heard that they were expecting their second child, well, an idea came to me that I just had to follow up on. My friend Sherry at DeebleDdo did the embroidery for me, and I made a pair of matching diapers for big brother and little sister.
Friday, April 17, 2009
A couple of weeks ago I posted about a giveaway from one of my etsy teams...well, this week it's the other half of the giveaway: this one geared to moms with babies (whereas the last one was geared toward older kids).
Nursing pads (from me!), a nursing necklace, a diaper bag, a Guatemalan sling, a soft jingle-belly ball, a large playsilk, organic garden seeds, soothing foot soak...
click the photo to go enter (you can get one entry just for commenting on the post, and additional ones for posting about it on your blog!)
The giveaway is open until the end of the month.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Welcome to the April 13, 2009 edition of etsybloggers.
Athena Workman presents April 10th Etsybloggers Blog Carnival: Green, Baby, Green! posted at the weblog of artist athena workman.
wearewedges presents Etsy Bloggers Blog Carnival: A little bit of green posted at WE ARE WEDGES.
Now let's go visit our teammates blogs and read this edition of the EtsyBloggers Blog Carnival!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I'm so excited, this is my first time hosting a blog carnival--yep, that means I thought of the topics, so even though I've been morning sick and not posting much, you betcha I'm gonna manage to get this post written!!!
Since April 22 is Earth Day... Let's Go Green!
1) What is green in your shop? (this can be something literally green in color, or something eco-friendly) -OR-
2) What do you do (or what can you do!) to make your etsy business or home a little bit greener?
I'm going to touch on both topics actually.
I carry a lot of eco-friendly products!
Another thing I do is that I use mostly recycled packaging for my products. Fabric goods are not fragile, so I don't need to pad them very much. I also prefer to avoid boxes because they are heavier to mail (since my products are lightweight, I was literally paying to ship the box, not the product!). I often re-use envelopes that I have received items in, but I also use plain brown packing paper, as well as cereal boxes turned inside out. I decorate my packages with some awesome rubber stamps that I also got on etsy, and they are green and cute! Recycling saves me on packaging costs, and using the lightweight options of paper or cereal boxes saves on shipping costs, all of which translates to low shipping costs for my customers as well. ☺
Honestly, all the products that I sell (the diapers, menstrual pads, gift bags, etc) are things that I used for my family before I ever thought of selling them. So yeah, I guess we're a bunch of hippies out here. On the other hand, it's so economical to be green, and if being green can save some green, doesn't it sound like something we should all try?!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Everybody loves free, right?! Well, during the month April, The MDC Moms team is holding a Spring Fling double giveaway--during the first half of the month we have a gift basket full of goodies for moms and bigger kids, and during the second half of the month there will be a basket geared towards moms and babies. You can even enter both giveaways if you want! And with imagination-friendly toys, earth-friendly housegoods, jewelry, and bath goods, why would you not want to enter?! (The full list of the first basket's contents is here, as well as complete directions for how to enter. My own contribution will be in the mama/baby basket, which debuts mid-month.)
Here is a sneak peek of some of the goodies in the first basket...
YOU CANNOT ENTER FROM THIS POST! (That's why comments are turned off!) You have to go over to the MDC team blog and enter there. You get one entry just for commenting there on the post, more entries if you'll blog about us, and more and more entries for every purchase from a participating shop. So no purchase is necessary, but it sure can boost your chances of winning
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Spirals are a common symbol for the sun, as well as for eternity, the cycles of life, or the passage of time. The idea for this treasury actually came to me 3 months ago at Winter Solstice, but I was doing other things and so the spiral treasury got pushed back to Equinox. The timing feels appropriate up here in Alaska though, because we are just now beginning to see the first hints of spring. The long dark of winter has gone, and the long light of summer is coming.
Triple spirals, also called triskele, are common in ancient Celtic designs, and are thought to represent a variety of things, including fertility (the months of pregnancy), the three realms (land, sea, sky), and several tri-fold Gods/Goddesses.
(the listing is actually for the pattern, but the picture was too pretty to pass up)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Of course it's important to have a good product, and good photos can be very helpful in guiding potential customers to your shop, but another thing that grabs buyers' attention is a catchy title.
A year or so ago I made this diaper.
All black, inside, outside, velcro, etc...all black. I could have posted it as a "black diaper" but instead I posted it as a "Ninja Diaper" and what do you know, it got a LOT of views and sold quite quickly.
Recently I've been posting a lot of animal-print fabrics for my "It's a Jungle Out There" collection. I could use titles like "Green Monkey Print Cloth Diaper" or "Leopard Print Diaper" but instead I'm using "Sweet Little Monkey" and "Tarzan Tushie" because they are more catchy. (C'mon, you know you want to see the Tarzan diaper, don't you?!)
A few weeks ago I posted about MagdaleneJewels and her valentines collection. She did a valentines collection with lots of red and hearts, but instead of naming things "Red Heart Necklace" or "Valentines Bracelet" she gave them names like "Juliet Necklace" or "Venus Bracelet." Much catchier, aren't they?
Have you ever seen a title that when you saw it you just had to go look at the listing? What was it? What are some of the best titles you've thought of in your own shop?
Friday, March 13, 2009
This month's featured EtsyBlogger is Nora of DesignByNora. She blogs here.
I actually found Nora when I was a brand new member of the team. I was browsing through listings with the team tag (just trying to get to know my new teammates) and I stumbled across Nora's little flower stud earrings.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I love skirts, but not all skirts. I like them long, and I like them full. Here are few I've drooled over lately: enough variety to keep me skirted in every season!
Now if only I could afford them all!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I mentioned that leopard print inspires me....
So I switched the machine to black thread yesterday and look at what I've just listed!
All of them are part of my "It's a Jungle Out There" promotion for March: Buy any item from the themed section (including all those shown above), and get 25% off another item in the store. See shop announcement for details.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Aside from actually creating the product, writing item descriptions can be one of the most time-consuming parts of being a seller on Etsy. This is a tip that won't work for everyone, but if you list a lot of similar items then take note!
I sell a lot of things that are similar. For example, I sell lots of cloth diapers--the diapers come in different sizes and fabrics, but every medium diaper has the same measurements as every other medium diaper, the washing instructions for one knitted hat are the same as the next, and the properties of cotton velour are the same whether I use it on a diaper or a menstrual pad. My teams are the same, no matter which item I'm listing (and I always try to list my my teams at the end of the description for the sake of searches).
SO, I write up the description in a word document, and then I just copy and paste the parts I need for each listing. It saves me a lot of time when making listings. Click, click, click, and voila, the description is written and ready to go.
The only thing that is faster is when I use the 'relist' feature to list a new item that is very similar to an old item. I can make little edits to the title or description, but then I only have to change a few tags rather than re-typing all of them, and then just change out the photos. Easy peasy!
I don't pretend to be an expert on anything, but if there is an etsy-related topic that you are curious about or would like a tip on, please let me know in the comments and I will try to address it in a future tuesday tip!
Monday, March 9, 2009
Well, I've been nominated for this twice now, so I guess I'd best get on the ball about it, eh?
TiLT and Heathen's Hearth both nominated me as a "creative blogger" (yeah, one who just can't stand the misspelling, being a former English teacher and all) ☺
The amusing thing is that each tag came with different rules. One said I should just tag 7 new people, but the other said to list 7 of my favorite things and then tag 7 people...well, as usual, I'm going to do this my own way.
SO, I'm going to list off 7 things the feed my creative inspiration!
- My family. So much of what I create is developed because I see a need and then make something to fill it...and then I end up making more to sell.
- A love of pretty things. I know it's just a diaper, but it might as well look good, right?
- Leopard Print. Need we say more?!
- Getting orders in the mail. Whether it's new fabric or something I purchased from another crafter, seeing new stuff always gets me in a crafty mood.
- My customers. Every time someone tells me they love what I made, it inspires me to go make more.
- The income. Sorry if that's lame, but honestly every time I make a sale I think whoa, that was fun, I want to do that again!
- My teams. I love browsing through the blogs or shops of my teammates and seeing the awesome things they have made.
If you like doing this kind of thing, consider yourself tagged, please! I have no idea which of my friends have already been tagged on this, and I'm not going to name folks who aren't going to want to do it, so if you don't want to do it, you are not tagged, but if you DO like memes, then by all means, I tag YOU!!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Ms Moo of SpottedCowSoaps (a fellow EtsyBlogger) is expecting her first grandchild any day now, so she made a baby-themed treasury this morning, and I'm in it! yay!!
You can click here to see it.
(The red diaper in the bottom right corner is mine)
Saturday, March 7, 2009
It's EtsyBlogger carnival time again!
Here is the topic for this month:
We are already on March!! What have you accomplished this year in real life or on Etsy?? Have you followed your New Year's resolutions? What are your plans for the rest of 2009?
(My goals are listed there on the left sidebar)
Well, I got the new designs for my shop banners and blog, woohoo! I love them so much! And PolkaDotPixels was SO great to work with. When I was struggling with figuring out how to do the text for all my little sidebar bees, she offered to just do it for me! I gratefully accepted (although I insisted on paying her for it) and I just get all happy inside every time I see my awesome blog!
My goal of making/posting two items every week has been a little sporadic...I've made enough items total to match the weeks in the year, but there was one week that I posted a dozen things and other weeks I haven't done any... I've had several large custom orders though so if I count those in them I'm doing a bit better.
I'm off to a good start on introducing new products, and if my sales thus far are indicative of how the year will go, then I think I'm set for earning more than last year. ☺
Something I had not specifically made a plan of, but which is going well (so far) is that I joined entrecard. It's certainly brought a lot of traffic to my site, and while I don't know yet if any of my sales are a direct product of it, it has been a lot of fun.
As for my ongoing plans, well, we will be moving this summer, so I'll have to take at least a couple of weeks off for that, and I've just learned that I'm expecting a baby in November, so I probably won't be getting in on any holiday selling this year. Between those two things, my main goals are to use up stock/materials that I have on hand (so that I don't have to pack as much stuff when we move), and also to try take full advantage of sales and promotions that my teams are doing early in the year, so that I can make sales now and it will be ok to close for a while when I take my maternity leave!
Friday, March 6, 2009
This morning I sewed up a pair of these little newborn diapers to go along with the EtsyClothDiaper team's "It's a Jungle Out There" theme for March.
This afternoon I listed them in my shop.
Tonight they were sold, just like that (along with another diaper duo!)
Wow, I wish more items sold that fast!
I have a few other themed items in stock, and there are a dozen more on my sewing desk just waiting for me to finish them up and get them listed. Buy any item from the theme of the month section in my shop and get another item (equal or lessor value) for 25% off! The themes change monthly, so get them while the getting's hot! (click on the pictures below to see the listings)