Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A slight change of focus...

This blog will always feature news about my Etsy Shop, but, it is also going to start being a whole lot more. I get questions from other stitchers about how to make their work better, or how to find this item or that chart. There are also a ton of websites out there that promise free charts but take your identity instead. I am also noticing a lot of needlework shops disappearing. So...

Shop news... I added a bunch of magnets about 10 days ago, and am finishing off the stitching for another group. This group will be a bit smaller, but will include one of my favorite designs - a wizard.

This is just a rough teaser of him. He still has to be washed, blocked and finished. He was originally a Christmas ornament, but he would be so cute hanging year round. Watch for him to make his shop debut very soon. While he can be finished as a magnet, he is best at his job of just hanging around from a golden cord. His wand will also be topped by a crystal.

My Etsy Shop is also now a part of the Finland Handcrafter's Team. This is a phenomenal group of artisans based in Finland that do a wide range of handwork - fine jewelry, knit goods, accessories for your home, and so very much more. I am amazed at these people, and will start showing off their shops in the next few posts. So that this blog doesn't get so cluttered (and off-topic), you can read about my finds at Handcrafted Joy

But first, why Etsy? From my standpoint (the crafter), it offers a nice platform to display my work for sale. They do take a small commission as well as a nominal listing fee, but I don't have to pay for my hosting. I get nice statistics as well. For you shoppers, you really win out on this. PayPal is the preferred method of payment, which means you shop securely without ever having to give out your payment information. I don't get your credit card or banking information ever. You also have PayPal's shopper's guarantees behind you- If you don't get your item or it isn't as I described it, you do have recourse and it is even better than using your bank card. Etsy has thousands of shops offering an incredible range of items - high fashion, accessories, home decor, craft supplies, gifts, and just about everything else you can possibly imagine. Items that say they are handmade are just that - handmade by me (or the artisan/shopowner) and not purchased from China. 

So, so yourself a favor and check out Etsy or my new blog. Easter is coming up, so you can always just search for Easter and enjoy the outstanding selection of goodies to tempt you. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Finally, an update and new goodies going up!

Sorry it has been so long between posts. I have been busy stitching and looking for materials here in Western Finland. Stitchers (and really all crafters!) please don't ever take your local suppliers for granted. You don't realize how easy they make it for you to craft until you no longer have access to them.

Take simple stranded cotton floss, like DMC. In the states, you can find this almost everywhere. Wal-Mart carried it until a couple of years ago when they decided it wasn't a big enough profit-maker for them. Just about every town has a Michael's, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's, or other major craft chain nearby. Don't ignore those awesome full-service needlework stores either!! I was so used to being able to just drive about 10 minutes to get my DMC floss. Well, guess what... that isn't possible here in Finland.

Finland is a small country of about 5-1/2 million. It has a strong tradition of handwork. Everywhere I go, I see lots and lots of yarn. I just don't see embroidery floss. We live about 4 hours north of the capital, out in a small area called Eura. I was complaining to my husband about my dwindling DMC stash, and he suggested we try the local fabric store. "What? They have one in this small town?" Yeah... and it is pretty good too. Problem is, no DMC floss. They carry a brand called Mayflower from Denmark. Okay. The price is reasonable and I can match the colors. Then he got to thinking - what about the yarn store in town. Great. Nice store, but only Anchor floss. So, one day last week, we went into Rauma - about 45 minute drive from our home. The yarn store there carries DMC but not all the colors. I did locate sources for fabrics, so that is great. I have both DMC and Anchor threads, so I will make out. Still... it has taken a bite out of my stitching time. We went through the same thing with the small magnets that I use. Even getting a new glue gun was a half-day search to find a store that carried it. I have just learned to keep my eyes open and to always ask. You never know what you will find where.

So, now.. on to the good news. I have 9 Wittys going on to Etsy:

These are all on soft blue 18 count fabric. I may have more of this fabric, but will probably have to order it. I have hundreds of these sayings, so if I have not stitched your favorite, I can easily do so. I also managed to find all of the finishing materials I needed for my Cutouts:

These are all stitched on 18 count cotton Aida fabric, and then treated with a finisher that seals the stitches. I then trim them close to the stitching line. Everything but the gumball machine is backed with the black pindot fabric. The angel and gumball machine have a beige muslin backing so that it doesn't show through. The angel is not a refrigerator magnet - she can be hung anywhere from the golden cord that she holds in her hands. She can also be stitched in any color you wish. The two coins are included for reference - a 2 euro coin and US quarter from left to right.

So... I promise it won't be so long between updates. Remember to visit the shop!! Even if you don't buy anything, you are allowed to like it.

Thanks for stopping by!