Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good call lindsay!

As part of my "let's rock etsy for 2010" goals, I did the mad scientists of etsy (msoe) team's january "valentine's day" challenge (just in time too!). Since I'm not a big fan of feb.14, I opted to go for that love robot coffee sleeve I've been promising to craft up for lindsay for ages now (seriously - ages - read this post). Because even if I'm not the love-y type, I do enjoy robots and tea! The verdict? Amazing! Take a look:

I'm really happy with how it turned out and the snap closure is much easier than my original "have to hand sew shut" design. And best of all? It totally sold within 20 minutes of posting it! Lindsay - you're genius! I guess once I finish up the other three projects I'm crafting on I'll have to attempt mass production of these suckers! Hooray!

In other news - high five me! I managed to do a blog post for every day of january! I think this will be like most people's new years resolutions and start off strong followed by dwindling epic fail. Yup. We'll see...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pom Pom-tastic

Because clearly I haven't posted enough tutorials about pom poms (link, link, link), here's another one! Claire from poopscape projects shows us that you don't need a green thumb to bring some whimsy and flowery goodness into your decor!

Those multicoloured ones are calling to me! I think it's safe to say I'm destine to be a crazy old cat/pom pom spinstery lady one day...potentially soon even. Yup. I really love pom poms...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Find: iKtizo

This week's find combines a few of my favourite things! Geekiness + adorableness + polymer clay! Hooray! IKtizo's shop is worth checking out. Quite obviously the cutest little polymer clay star trek charms etsy has to offer!! I'm particularly won over by the endearing vulcan/human qualities of spock:

I mean look at those eyebrows and flawless sculpting skills! If spock isn't your thing, not to worry, she's got the whole federation starfleet as well as some other masterfully geeky characters! Reasonably priced too! Happy Friday! Live long and prosper!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


After reaching (what I would like to consider) landmark 250 sales I started peeking around my etsy stats. One thing I'm particularly excited about? How many people heart my shop!

How awesome is it that 641 people call me a favourite? Nothing like a little ego stroking to cheer up a thursday! Lovely! Thanks everyone :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It wasn't just me

Remember that time I was gushing about the tutorial that showed you how to organize your scarves using shower rings? (No? here's the link). Well I actually got around to doing it! Hooray! Photographic evidence:

I tried to take lindsay's advice on using a hoop to hook the shower rings to and am pleased with how it turned out! I certainly think it's more aesthetically pleasing than the original tutorial but unfortunately after compiling this storage system realized that I have more than 12 scarves (I did two hoops with 6 rings on each). Leslie suggested I pair down on the scarf collection but let's be realistic - as if that's going to happen! I think I'll just keep my favourite dozen out and store the rest in the closet. Plus I figure I'll have to change it up with the seasons regardless. What do you think?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Good idea

Once again Alli of one pearl button shares a fabulous tutorial I'm dying to try out!

Best thing about this one? It lets me use up my numerous scraps of yarn and is crafty/trendy/awesome/super useful! Plus it just involves a simple chain stitch! Triple win! Because I am very much of those people with a monstrously large head that plastic headbands don't really work on, I'm hoping this one will fit comfortably all day and tame my extra coarse thick red tresses. We'll see...I'll be sure to post a picture if I ever find time to do this one too...

Monday, January 25, 2010

More mail!

Remember how my mom won that giveaway of ink and buttons a while back (which, p.s. I totally signed her up for)? Well it arrived! And she should totally give it to me! Haha! Take a look:

What a super awesome brooch! And in a neat little cotton bag too! And better yet? The entertainment of percy (el gato diablo) trying to sneakily catch the first glimpse.

Stinkums - sorry dude but your lack of opposable thumbs gives me the clear advantage. You can have the box though...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I need to learn how to knit...

Thanks to the lovely networking skills of twitter (where I was followed by YesJessEtsy - who I then followed after seeing her tweets and cool shop) - I discovered this amazing mitten pattern! Talk about adorable and awesome:

Turns out this is modified from this original pattern - but not like it really matters anyways because I don't know how to knit...or have time to knit...minor details...

ps. For all you hardcore blog followers - this is the second time I've been craving ample knitting skills (recall this?). Maybe a third project will inspire me to learn for real this time...

pps. Due to the loyal blog following skills of my sis - I sneaked her this tutorial in advance and the result? Adorable mittens!!! I'm sure she will be sending my way!! Right Leslie?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Even more features!

Once again I have the lovely pleasure of being featured in someone blog! This time my custom magnet sets where included in the masonry's post about non traditional valentines day gifts. Cheesy? Yes. But fun nonetheless! Berkley Illustration was even included in the list and we all recall how much I love them! I'm also rather fond of the idea of not overly commercialized lovey valentines, since I am really not fond of valentines all...

However, if you are fond of singles awareness day (that dreaded feb. 14th) then you should probably check out this awesome tutorial over at poppytalk! Combining two things I love - gift wrapping and polymer clay! Hooray!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Find: milkylane

This last week I've been rather ill with a mysterious spout of vomit-y-ness. And not that unpleasant vomiting where you throw up and feel a little bit better afterwords, but the type where you get sick and remain feeling sick...for what feels like forever. After being reunited with some mint tea and sushi I attempted, I came across this fantastic print by milkylane, which seems all too suiting to my week. Behold:

I think this would be fantastic hanging above a sink or in a bathroom, but in all honestly, I'm not quite at the stage where I see the humor in how miserable I've been feeling yet. Soon though. I figured this post is a good sign...

I am really quite fond of many of milkylane's charmingly odd pieces (ex. a cat's nightmare, godess, and we ate owl family) and I think her Frenchness just adds to the appeal. Who doesn't love someone who describes themselves as someone who "loves seahorses, men that look like cats, and sleeping"? Obviously not me...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Auntie Leslie's Idea

So back in 2005 I got my first cell phone when I moved to kelowna. Soon after that I made my first cell phone case, which I lovingly crocheted to look like a super gimpy cat (very similar to this, but white - which *fun fact* just so happens to be the very first thing I sold on my etsy shop!). Well five years later, my parents attempt to get with the times and my mom finally gets a cell phone for xmas - to which I whip out my ancient (quite loved and worn) gimpy cat cozy to lend her until she makes one of her own. Well my aunt leslie was apparently impressed with my crafting/wants to be supportive and gave me some money to make a similar one for her to mail out when I'm finished. Well she isn't really the "gimpy cat" type (but really - besides me and my mom who is?) so I made a dog instead. He's still pretty gimpy though...

I am a little impressed with my ability to whip up something when I'm completely patternless, especially since it is somewhat more complex than his aged kitty ancestor...well the blue was a little tricky anyways. But he is pretty darned cute! Hopefully he fits my aunt's cell phone and she is pleased with her custom purchase! What do you think?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


At long last my spur of the moment etsy purchase has arrived! A gorgeous ruffle clutch from made by hank. This is one lady's shop that is in high demand. Seriously. I've discovered that if you ever want to purchase an item you need to keep an eye on her blog. She'll post when she's listing new items in the shop at which point you can sneak your way in there to snafooze what you'd like! She's also an etsy featured seller! And to top it all off she wonderfully packages her sales (which I've photographed the first one is her picture...but the other ones document my clutch opening):

I can't wait to nonchalantly work this into my wardrobe. Because, you know, I'm cool like that...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More winnings!

Signing up for etsy related giveaways has certainly paid off. If you recall I was lucky enough to win this mega giveaway at rikrak studio and by pressuring my mom to enter ink and button's giveaway she was lucky enough to win a darling flower brooch! Sweet! Well this time I won an adorable apple cozy from UnravelMe's shop! Proof once again that networking and etsy chat rooms are a fantastic way to spend many hours of my day! Hooray! Take a look at the cozy I chose:

I'm in love with the cute wooden button and little green leaf and I think the red colour is classic. Plus this will actually be really useful for me since I seem to always have a royal gala rolling around in my bag getting bruised before my work breaks! I recommend taking a peek at all of UnravelMe's crocheted cozies available in her shop! And an added bonus for me? Extra excitement added to the "waiting for post" game! Awesome!

Oh! And in other news - I got featured on another etsy blog! This time Parami Panda Crochet included me in her list of etsians she'd love to carry in her theoretical shop! Take a look :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Kittens inspired by kittens!

If you haven't seen this video before, you should probably watch it now. Other etsyians are blogging about it too (link)! Ridiculously cute kittens and ridiculously random little kid statements for each one! Best of all? I was lucky enough to receive a "kittens inspired by kittens custom 2010 calendar" from quinn! (Conveniently going with the kittens theme of my xmas presents this year). Now I get to enjoy fuzzy kitty adorableness each and ever day with their own hilarious quote for each month. Take a glimpse at what I get to enjoy all January:

So cute! And if you're interested in seeing the rest of the calender you'll have to be patient...didn't you know it's bad luck to turn ahead your calendar?

ps. Woo! 100th post!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pocket Mirrors?

So I've been having this idea float around in my head for quite some time now but what is your opinion on pocket mirrors? If you don't know what I'm talking about (although I'm sure you can figure it out) they are sort of like big pinback buttons....except instead of being 1" around they are 2.25"...and instead of having a pin on the back they have a mirror (surprise surprise). I happen to have two and think they are the handiest things ever! (especially at work after a break when I want to check if there's anything in my teeth). I even made a cute little pinking sheered felt cover for mine so it stays clean and scratch free! Lovely!

So what's the question you ask? Why am I wasting your time reading this blog post when I've clearly already decided pocket mirrors are great and there is much better and cooler things you could be doing with your time?! Well I'd love to know your opinion! What do you think about a line of geeky scientific culture made pocket mirrors? Do you think endeavoring into the world of pocket mirrors would be worth while? Would you ever contemplate purchasing one? And (most importantly) what adorable wide set eye smile images do you think would be best? Would their popularity be the same as buttons? I mean there is an entire 1.25" more of diameter to play around with - maybe I'd have to come up with bigger designs? Or just stick with a button design in a bigger form? Oh the questions!

So Please! Enlighten me with your thoughts! I certainly just did a whole bunch of rambling/thinking out loud :) Now it's your turn...

Oh! P.S. My darling Newton finger puppet made it in a sciencey etsy treasury! Woo!

Click on the picture above and show it some comment love - but only for a limited time! The treasury expires on monday night

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Magnet time!

Due to the overwhelming success of my first dabble in magnets, I've decided to offer all of my button sets in magnet form! Now available in my shop!

Ok...that's sort of a lie..they weren't that successful...I just found some magnets that work on my 1" buttons - but same thing right? Because not everyone likes wearing pins, but everyone has a fridge (and if you don't you probably wouldn't be interested in getting these magnets anyways)! Hurray! Magnets for all!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Find: Jewelweeds

This week's find celebrates my love for linen! Thanks to the fantastic email shopping etsy provides with my daily fix of "etsy finds", I've come across the lovely screen printed nature inspired linen goodness of jewelweeds! I instantly fell in love with all of Julia White's items especially her needle cases, like the one below:

I think another big part of why I love her shop is her fantastic pictures! Great items and wonderful pictures are hard not to fall for - heck! etsy even fell for her work and made her a featured seller! And just in case you haven't seen enough of her linen wonders, here's a few more I've been drooling over:

And in case this isn't overly obvious already - these friday finds make great gift guides too! *hint hint*. hahaha....ha....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why yes! Yetis do exist!

The yeti definitely exists on etsy - and Cathie U at always fresh design did a blog post to prove it! Bonus? My adorable thumbs up yeti pins where featured in the bunch! Here's a few of her picks:

Oh yeti - I love you <3.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What's in my bag?

During my daily "I'm addicted to the internet" readings, I came across this wonderful post by the freckled nest! Nothing better than volunteered snooping on the eternal question of "what's in your bag?" and lovingly composed as well! I soon realized once I came across this post at katie cupcake and this post at tea time that sharing your bag contents must be the cool new thing to do! So I'll hop along the trend train and share mine with you as well. Behold - my monstrously large bag jim bought me many years ago:

I thought about changing my purse before doing this post, but let's be realistic. I like using this bag in the winter because it allows me to tote around large amounts of crap. I also really like the tweedy geekiness of it. Oh, and it has pink lining. An added bonus. So let's take a peek inside:

Wow! I told you I carried a lot of crap...but it's useful crap! Plus you get the super fun "search & find" goodness of trying to figure out what each thing is. So I'll resort to pure kate style, and put it in a list for you.

Here we go - my bag contents include:
  • deliciously warm mec mittens
  • keys (with sweet bonspeil key fob)
  • calender from the dentist that I collaged with pictures
  • gum, kleenex, and tea
  • sweet cow case lindsay got me from england
  • ipod touch (listening to Hannah Georgas for the last 4 days)
  • olive body butter
  • giant pill case
  • felt yeti finger puppet/ornament (I didn't know was in my bag - that is from two years ago)
  • rolled up reusable shopping bag
  • all of my button sets I sell on etsy (never know when someone will want to see them!)
  • cell phone
  • wallet I should probably retire. I bought it back when I lived in nelson..but the little skulls are just so cute...
  • espe pouch leslie gave me
  • assorted lip balms
  • mini floss! (thanks fraser)
  • tea tree wipes
  • "She had no intention of suffering alone" pocket mirror (thanks les!)
  • ear plugs. Why yes. I am an old lady - but those come in handy!
  • pink flowery pencil case
  • post its
  • black sharpie pen (my fav) and brown sharpie-esque pen
  • my sketching journal. I might blog about this one's pretty cool...
*Whew* Next time you're out and about thinking, "hey, I could really use _____". Know that I probably have something like it in my purse. And for all you extra credit non-stealthy purse peeking ninjas - there is even a flickr group dedicated to this! Wonderful! So what's in your bag?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Is it just me?

Is it just me or is this seem like a really good idea?

There's even a tutorial and everything over at instructables! Perhaps I'm just thrilled with the idea of my excessively massive collection of clothing (and scarves) to be neatly organized. Or more importantly to be out of "kitty eating" range!! (Don't mock - he's eaten off bits off two of my scarves already). I think if I ever do manage to get to this project (which is currently on the bottom of a very long to do list), I'll skip the white chain for a cheaper more neutral alternative...hmm...any thoughts?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Adventures in Flickr

Way back when I started my etsy shop (in the ancient times of october 2008), I was super keen on making the best shop I could! And although not much has changed in that respect, I did have the opportunity to have my shop critiqued by some etsy admins in one of their virtual labs. They were full of lovely tips and tidbits to help get my shop and sales rolling like posting often, brightening photos, using loads of tags, and inviting buyers into my life and crafty process through things like twitter, blogging, and flickr. So I did just that - I worked on my listed items and (eventually) set up accounts on sites outside of etsy to work on my engagement marketing! I set up a flickr account around the same time I started joining some etsy teams and then later on gave birth to this blog and created a twitter profile and facebook fan page. And then I pretty much forgot entirely about my flickr account except once in a blue moon when I'd post a new product I'd

Well, I'm determined to remove my flickr account from that rock I covered it with and to kick off its wonderful rebirth I'm blogging about it! Hooray! My flickr account! And my most favourite thing about flickr? Flickr groups! Huge collaborations of people with similar interests sharing their pictures together. How lovely! Groups I'm in love with being a part of include craft:, mad scientists of etsy, and cuteable. I'm not so secretly hoping that one day I'll get featured on since I'm part of their group, but since that is outrageously improbable, I've been extra pleased with my yeti cards feature on cuteable a few weeks back! And since checking out my pictures I have on there I just noticed that my dear thumbs up yeti button set got featured there like two months ago! Wow! Flickr is great!

And if I haven't already convinced you of flickr's wonderfulness yet, there is one group I just found out about that is awesome beyond belief! I found out about this one amidst my daily read of the indiefixx blog (which, if you hadn't heard, spurred my entire desire to start with etsy like three years ago). It's called indie cats and is for crafty people who like cats, like indiefixx, and enjoy taking/sharing pictures of their cats! Haha! Perfect for me and evil kitty Percy! Oh Flickr. You're so great...and even greater now that you are a new source of cute kitten pictures. (I'm so predictable). So to end my ramble you can get stared down by Percy with this picture I took this morning...enjoy:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Adventures in Photoshop

As I mentioned in my last post, I've recently acquired photoshop and have been spending quite a bit of time playing around with some button design files I have. So what did my hours of late night slaving over a hot computer result in? A new twitter background:

Not too bad for a first attempt if you ask me...but this is coming from someone whose idea of "photo editing" involved ms paint and word. What do you think?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Button Brainstorm!

Do you like winning? I do! Great! So now's the time to throw on your thinking cap and help me brainstorm some fantastic new pinback button designs! Best of all? If your design idea is chosen you'll receive the adorable new set free of charge! Woohoo!

Let's start off our thinking process by taking a quick trip back down button memory lane and gain some knowledge on what sort of designs I'm most interested in! And since I now possess the wonderful editing abilities of photoshop (thanks neal), I've been able to touch up my old designs (with some help from fraser) and compile them in one massive jpeg for you to ogle! Hooray!

Overload of cuteness! And super geeky cuteness at that!! But even though I love all my designs equally - the public certainly does not, and I pretty much stink at guessing which designs will sell the best (just like I mentioned here). I've tallied up my latest buttons sales and of the 170 sets I've set loose on the world this is how they rank:

1) hot sellers: mustache kitties, microbes, and dinosaurs! Yay!

2) medium sellers: love robots (quickly rising on the charts with valentine's days), and scientists (which might also be rising...if I wasn't sold out of them...)

3) mild sellers: woodland creatures, thumbs up yetis, and sea creatures. *I still love you guys!*

(Oh, I've also got my little pink promo pin in the corner up there - but I don't sell him. He's just a bonus for special buyers.)

So what have I learned from all this? Not much. I still have no clue what designs are best but I certainly have fun creating and selling them anyways! And as an added bonus (for you and me) you have the opportunity to suggest ideas for button sets! Not that the opportunity wasn't there before... now I'm just offering extra encouragement with free pins to design winners! Woo! Plus I'll even give you a list of what I'm sort of looking for to increase your chances!

I like button designs that:
  • are geeky! The geekier the better even!
  • I'm actually able to draw (I have a degree in science...not fine art...)
  • look good in 1" button form (not too overly complicated - and can fit in a circle)
  • have an underlying science theme. I am "scientific culture" after all - keep that in mind.
  • are ascetically pleasing and awesome
  • will keep up with the sweet etsy trends for spring/summer/2010
  • can be anthropomorphic and adorable! (Not actually that difficult - tutorial here)
  • are great in a set of three (I'd love to know what each of the pins in the set would be too!)
  • make you want to buy and wear them!!! (that is the plan after all...)
So I know trying to hit all of those list points is a little over achiever-y (not to discourage or anything) but just keep them in mind when you're submitting button set design ideas. So get brainstorming and commenting!!! Good luck!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Find: Quoteskine

Pretty much the coolest idea in journals ever. All the awesomeness of moleskines (which jim always raves about) with some quirky sketching on top! Below is my personal favourite I caught via a link from on of my daily read blogs pikaland. Take a look:

Oh Regina Spektor. *sigh* I totally recommend checking out all of the quoteskine designs at Lee Crutchley's site. So good!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Moment #3

My most favourite thing about selling my crafted geeky items is when I see people enjoying them! Much like moment #1, and moment #2 - behold - moment # 3:

This is from the same wonderful buyer who provided the pic for moment #2 (Thanks again stelei!!). Seeing my button design enjoyment pretty much feels like the most epically amazing high five ever!! Wishing everyone a hand stingingly good thursday!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

El Gato Diablo

As I've mentioned a few times before (i.e. here, here, and here), Percy is one heck of an evil cat. Adorable? You bet! But very much satan spawn. He'll win you over with his overwhelming cuteness (especially that fuzzy kitty tummy) then sneak attack in an unstoppable hissing batting claw-y tornado. I'm fairly sure one of his favourite past times is getting conveniently right in the way of my etsy photo shoots too. Not that he is all bad - just bad to a few people...and strangers...and males...and probably 90% of the people who come into this household...but still... he is awfully adorable. So adorable in fact that my mom likes to take loads of pictures of him and send them to everyone in our family. One person in particular being my sister - who doesn't really know what she's supposed to do with all these pictures since stinkums doesn't really like her anyways.

Well, this past xmas I bought my sister these cool magnets that are shaped like speech bubbles that you can write on with dry erase marker to creatively (and wittily) jazz up your fridge with. They were so cool in fact that I got them way back in September when I went on my second excursion to Victoria! Best of all they give purpose to all those Percy photos!!! What a great combo: evil kitty pics + sweet write on magnets = pure awesome. Take a look:

and my personal fav:

Hahaha - yup, still think they're hilarious. How about you?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Engagement Marketing Podcast

So as you all probably know, I am very much addicted to the internet. I spend hours every morning (and evening usually) surfing through hundreds of pages looking for juicy articles to feed on. Well one such article (ok - podcast) struck me today and I found it interesting enough to share with everyone! It is all about how the internet has revolutionized marketing and how the key to success in this day and age is to form "personal relationships" with people (since the number one thing the internet lacks is human attention). Perhaps a little too much business scheming for many of you blog readers, but if you are into making it as a crafty business it may be worth a listen. Click on the picture to link:

One of the most important lessons I got out of this was that you shouldn't use your blog/facebook/twitter as broadcast marketing (because you'll just annoy the crap out of everyone) and instead should be all about pleasing your audience first and foremost. Talk about topics that bring interest and inspiration to you blog readers and mention your business less frequently (and when you do mention it, do it in an exciting and interesting way)! Makes sense to me!

Ok, so I just reread what I've written on this post so far I'm pretty sure it confirms what a huge geek I am. This totally feels like a highschool english assignment where you have to listen to something and report back on what you learned from it. Who does those sorts of things for fun? Apparently me.

But after all of this podcast reporting business, I am left with a few questions for you. What sort of things do you find most interesting? What would you like to see more of in my blog? What posts can I share with you that will leave you thinking, "hey - that was totally worth that minute and a half of reading time!"? I know I'm drawn to some set things (loads of pictures, neat links, tutorials, cuteness, and dry wit) but what blog-y things please you most? Inquiring minds (well mind) would be really interested to hear! And since one thing I clearly do not lack is an opinion, perhaps you are all the same way....

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy Bday Newton!

So my sister just informed me that it's Sir Isaac Newton's birthday (which I promptly double checked) and thought I should post about! Especially since I sold my last set of famous scientist finger puppets today to a lovely etsy chatter (which I feel obligated to make more sets of - even though they are painfully time consuming). Oh Newton.

He was one heck of a scientist too! Seriously. He did it all - universal gravitation, laws of motion, classic mechanics, reflecting telescope, angular momentum, and the groundwork for differential and integral calculus! Way to go man! And all with that dreamy Micheal Bolton fashion hair style! Perhaps I should listen to my sister more often...but then again she also suggested I change my blog name to "scientific culture and leslie". So maybe not...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Crafty Bandwagon of 2009

A while back I signed up to receive daily "etsy finds" emails that showcase hot trends and items in the etsy world. It's a great way to see the best of etsy in a comfortable "handmade internet shopping" form. Well, recently I got one such email featuring the big crafty trends of 2009! And the verdict? I'm apparently a total sell out. Behold:

Trend #1: Woodland creatures

To be completely honest here - I did know I was following a trend with this one... (remember?)

Trend #2: Plaid

Nothing says "summer fun" quite like a plaid potluck!! That's me on the left hand side rocking the plaid trio of patterns

Trend #3: Mustaches

At least with this one I wasn't really sure how popular they would be (link).

Honorable mention Trend #4: Vampires. Have you seen how pale I am? Just saying...

So all this time I totally felt like I was ahead of the times but apparently the reality is that I'm just ahead of the mainstream non-etsy/Kamloops trends. Alas. Oh well, maybe I'll be super ahead of the times this year for real.