Sunday, April 27, 2008

This Week in Macaroni

Is it THURSDAY already?!?! If yes, this means several things to me. One, that the system has failed me (only slightly - who could have foreseen this many forces coming together at once to sabatoge my otherwise perfect time-management strategy). Two, that Lost is on tonight. Sweet... And three, that it is now May, and I did not manage to wrap up several outstanding April things over here in the weblog. I had hoped to reach 50 total sales in April, and as of this writing, I'm at 65. Woohoo! But with several of those sales custom orders and two custom wedding invitations in the works, I've been spending MUCH more time in my designing headspace than in my blogging headspace. Alrighty then, no worries. We can take care of that right here, right now, huh? First let's take a look at what's going on this week in the land of Macaroni.

The fun stuff first. I'M HAVING A HUMONGOUS SALE! Ok, not humongous, but still significant (as in, you should head over and save right now). As part of EtsyGreetings Gradation Promo, in the month of May, I'm offering a "Buy 3, Get 1" special on everything in the store. So grab the cards that you need for the special grads in your life and stock up while you're there for holidays and birthdays to come. Not a bad deal, right? And it includes notecard sets, so order your fave four and get one of them for nada.

Next, this week the EtsyGreetings Wedding Challenge entries are in and voting is underway. This cross-team challenge involved designing a (paper) piece for a particular couple planning to get married next year. The wedding theme is "Japanese meets retro" and the colors are Tiffany blue, red and black. Since the couple has already ordered wedding invitations, I designed a simple but fun invitation for either an engagement party or couples shower. Here 'tis:

You can vote for your favorite entry at through May 6th. The winning entries from the paper, fiber and jewelry categories will be featured on Wedding Bee.

Possibly my most egregious error this week was not completing my piece on EtsyBloggers' Featured Blogger for April, StormyDesigns. I won't pretend like I had a big long wonderful feature all keyed up and ready to go, 'cause I didn't. As I said before, the blog is definitely the first thing to go when the orders come rolling in. But I do want to give Stormy a big shout-out and to say that I am completely in awe of what this woman can do with polymer clay. Her "creatures" are amazing too, but I'm particularly fond of her simpler pieces, like this vase:

Fellow EtsyBloggers, please accept my apologies. I promise to feature our May blogger in MAY. And I'm doing my best to participate in this week's blog carnival, but I'm not making any promises...

A couple of cool things on the horizon to tell you about. My beloved EtsyFAME, a collective of talented moms from the FAM (Fabulous Artistic Moms) street team has launched its first major off-Etsy advertising campaign this week. Through the power of cooperative marketing, we'll be reaching literally thousands of brand new web-surfing women and (hopefully!) bringing them into our shops. I can't wait to report back on what impact it has on our traffic and sales. Many thanks to Annie of Annie Howes Keepsakes for her amazing work designing the site and pulling this whole thing together.

Also, please head back over in the next couple of days to check out my interview with Hilary Hitchcock of Hilary Hitchcock Photography, a fellow Midwesterner with an eye for nostalgia. Til then...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Take Ten Tuesday!

Waaaaaaaahoooooooo! It's T10T! That's right, the FAM Etsy Street Team is having another fabulous promotion and this time it's take 10% (or whatever!) off in any of our participating shops! Beginning at 5:00 pm EST (through midnight Pacific time) on April 22, 2008 the FAM Street Team of Etsy will hold it's first team-wide sale. Each store will have it's own twist on the sale, so please be sure you understand the store's policy when shopping. In addition to the sale, some of our shop owners have hidden a little T10T secret in some of our listings! Come join us on the Etsy "Etc." forum for clues on where to find our hidden secrets! The item that has T10T hidden in either the text or image will be Super Reduced! Please check with the store owner on their Secret special specifics. Join us on the forums tonight and get in on the fun!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Between the Bull Rushes - Love at First Sight

As we've discussed, I try not to spend too much time under the "Buy" tab on Etsy - too dangerous. But, on occasion, I do venture out into the Etsy-verse to check out illustrations. We all know I'm a sucker for images of little girls ("Oh, REALLY?" you're thinking, "I totally didn't notice that EVERY SINGLE ONE of your features includes a photo or illustration of a small female child." I know, I know - I should branch out.), but Primped Paperie's imagery gave me that special warm feeling inside that only comes along when I find something truly special (see also my Audrey post).

I love the colors in "Between the Bull Rushes." Isn't she fabulous? From Primped Paperie's bio: "I find inspiration in so many things, If my work makes you giggle, cry, or hug your post man for no apparent reason, then my job is complete!"

You know, I do feel like hugging someone! The mail doesn't come til later - do you thing the trash collector would be open to getting cozy?

Perhaps we are kindred spirits because we both had Holly Hobbie lunchboxes as kids, but Primped Paperie's shop is filled with imagery that gets me right in the gut. "A Chance Encounter" is another of my faves. She's just beautiful. See lots more at Primped Paperie's shop and blog.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Welcome to Trunkt...

Very quietly, and with very little fanfare, I applied (for the second time) for a portfolio on Tuesday night. If you read my first post, you know that the first time I applied, I was rejected in under an hour. It stung, but ever since, I've been working hard to make improvements to my shop, to develop a more cohesive brand, and to generally be more of a "grown up" with regard to my business. And I'm pleased with the results. Of course, there is always more to do. (For example, my banner apparently has nothing to do with my product. Ok, I have absorbed that piece of critique, and am ready to do something about it.... just as soon as I can find another spare FIVE HOURS, 'cause I swear that's how long the original took!) But, in general, I feel good about what I have to offer. I have nice photos and professional listings. I make a quality product with a unique look and feel. My orders are shipped promptly and packaged professionally. And maybe, just maybe, I'm finally ahead of the game when it comes to supplies. As I stood over a stack of outgoing card orders Tuesday, it occurred to me that I just might be ready to try Trunkt again. I spent a few minutes in Photoshop during Idol, uploaded all the necessary stuff (some of my very favorite designs), took a deep breath, and went to bed. Here's one of the pics I submitted:

Trunkt is kind of a big deal in the Etsy community. Sellers want to be there because a) it's a cool site, b) it's supposed to link big important people like retailers and sales reps with little ole designers like me, and c) it's juried, meaning that you can't just purchase a portfolio - you have to be selected. Before I applied the first time, after hearing about trunkt from a fellow Dallas "progressive parent", funkychicboutique, I scoured the Etsy forums for the low-down. Largely, those posting were annoyed about being turned down or ecstatic about being accepted. I really didn't learn much other than the fact that the trunkt community seems to be comprised of super talented, professional, successful artists and designers, of which, of course, we all want to be.
The rejection didn't come within the first few hours - that was good, at least. But I was fairly sure it was coming... That's why it was such a surprise this morning when I opened Outlook to find this:
Who knows what will come of it... maybe nothing, and that's ok. But, when you put yourself on the line and you're hanging out there feeling naked and vulnerable, it sure is nice to have a complete stranger say, "Hey, you. You do decent work. Come on in." And if I happen to get a nice wholesale offer out of the whole thing? Well, let's just say, I won't complain.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Even More Goodness for Mom

Whew! I may not have been blogging much lately, but I surely have been making things. The Mother's Day promotion has given me a great excuse to focus less on graphic design for a while and spend more time working with my hands. Here are my latest offerings for Mom:

On another note, business is great! I have several custom stationery orders in the works and two invitation projects. I feel good about my inventory, but I have a looooooong list of improvements I'd love to make to the shop and some of my older designs. Yeah, right... and exactly when do I think I'll find the time for that? I'll have to consult the system...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hooray for Mom! EtsyGreetings Mother's Day Promo is Underway

I'm so proud to be part of such an amazingly talented group of paper artists as the EtsyGreetings street team. April 9th marks the start of the EtsyGreetings Mother's Day promo, and our shops are absolutely filled with beautiful ways to let Mom know how you feel about her on her special day. This year, we want to give Hallmark a run for their money. If you care enough to send the very best, send handmade. As an incentive, all participating EtsyGreetings shops are offering free secondary shipping on Mother's Day cards. That means your Mother's Day card ships free if purchased with another item from the same shop. Macaroni and Glue is taking it one step further - for the duration of the promotion, I'm offering free secondary shipping on ALL individual greeting cards and notecards and have any notecard set gift-wrapped for FREE through April 23rd. I'm adding new cards for mom every day, but here are a few of my initial offerings:

And don't forget that a boxed set of notecards is the perfect gift for a special mom. My pretty butterfly cards or vintage print flat cards are just the thing to make Mom smile. Don't forget to ask for complimentary gift-wrap!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

**UPDATE** Operation Tightie Whitie

Success! Somebody crown me - I'm the queen of all tricksters!

On Monday, I picked up three pairs of my husband's favorite underwear..... in size small. My husband is 6 feet tall and not particularly petite. I washed and dried them twice. Tuesday morning, just before heading out to my daughter's preschool class, I replaced my husband's regular underwear with the smaller pairs. Underneath the stack, I ever-so-lovingly placed a little note which read, "APRIL FOOL'S, SUCKA!"

While out and about with my 2-year-old, I waited for the call. When it finally came, I couldn't contain myself. "Ha! I got you!" My husband, always a good sport, admitted that yes, he'd been had. Apparently, he tried on all three pairs (they only made it to his knees) before he saw the note. "You really got me, honey," he said, before heading off to work, leaving me to bask in my April Fool's Day glory.

When I got home, there was a note on my counter. "It's ON," it said. "Yeah, right," I thought. "By the time he gets home, he'll have forgotten all about it." My daughter announced that she was ready for lunch, so I grabbed an apple and went to the sink to rinse it off. That's when it hit me. The WATER, I mean. Massive quantities of water, suddenly dripping from my hair and soaking the front of my t-shirt. I was so stunned that it took a good ten seconds to realize what he'd done. The sprayer handle.... taped. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! He's gonna GET it next year.