Friday, August 15, 2008


August 2008 Issue 8

“EtsyMom Team” Tag
By Brandy of Wyles Style

Hey Moms! Just a quick note to remind you to change your item tags from “EtsyMom” to “EtsyMom Team” if you haven’t already. Etsy Admin recommends adding the “team” to cut down on tag abuse and to clearly mark you as a team member, so from now on, “EtsyMom Team” is the official EtsyMom tag.

Spice Up Your School Supplies
By Imogene of Inoedesign

Summer is almost over and I am sure that all of us have tons to do to get ready for school. Some of us cannot wait for all the fun activities to begin! We thought it would be fun to browse some of our own shops for back to school items, so I did a couple searches and reached out to a couple EtsyMoms for some help.

With the stores being swamped, it would be so nice to network with each other and get some good ideas for a grand kick off for the new school year. We have started a thread at the EtsyMom forum for members to promote back to school items from their own shops. I myself have a one year old, and that is why I need your help with the thread. My little one, James, has three programs between the church and our local YMCA that will start this fall. So, all of our preparations may be a bit different, but all similar.

Here are a couple EtsyMoms that have come up with some great ideas for items that can really add that sparkle we need to get children excited about school.

Of course, we want them all looking their best to impress the teachers and other children! You can visit Cutie Pie Clips to find one EtsyMom who is even running a back to school special. Caroline started making these clips for her little girls and has had wonderful success on Etsy. I love all of her options and we hope that you will too! Here is a little note that I received from her on how she started and why her clips have been such a success.

"I have two little girls and after a while it became a little expensive to buy cute clips and bows for the both of them. So I purchased a simple set of instructions on how to make the baby bows. After a while I wanted to make different unique clips. So I searched and searched for appliqués and different ribbon. Now I make all kinds of embellished clips which I love. I also stay at home so for a little extra cash I started to sell on Etsy."

We all can use these fun books that this mom, over at EenieMeenie, came up with to help keep track of all the keepsakes your little ones will bring home all year long. Here is a little note from her on how she started.

“When I was a little girl, my Mom and I sat down each year and I would write in my "school memory" book. One day, we found it in with my memorabilia and had so much fun reading about my teachers, friends, what I wanted to be when I grew up, etc. I started to search for the perfect book that I could use for my children someday. All I found were obnoxious pictures of apples, chalkboards, pencils, etc. I absolutely love old children's school books from the 40s,50s, and 60s and the simple "dick & jane-like" illustrations . I thought- why not just make a book using the images and any other ephemera items I might find? There began my search. I scoured flea markets, school rummages & estate sales, my grandmother's attic, etc. For the last 5 years I have managed to find some amazing images and have now started to incorporate them into the design of the keepsake you see on the site. I love to use the images and keep the pages retro in design and simple to inspire someone else's imagination and creativity.”

At my shop, Inoedesign, we have some wonderful bags that can be used for those of us in preschool. I had a problem with wanting to make sure that any caregiver could find my child’s bag when needed. My mother has been making these bags for years mainly as diaper bags. They are great and even have the perfect pocket for the sippy cup! You can see the name a mile away and they are a bit different. The only problem that I have had is that everyone loves them so much, they have them made and the wall of hooks for bags has become decorated with my mother’s bags. Take a look and I hope you enjoy!

Cheers and we wish you all the most fun getting ready and please visit the thread and promote your ideas and products for getting ready for school!

Are you Freezing to the Fullest?
By Rachel of Ethereal Rhapsody

As we look forward towards the Fall and cooler days ahead, I thought I’d take a step back from Etsy and EtsyMom per se and go back into the heart of our homes where, as Etsy Moms, we take care and maintain our households. Going back into our kitchen, small or large as it may be, and revisit what you "make" and more importantly store for your household. I've done some digging and came across some interesting information. How do you take care and use your freezer?

Now there are recipes galore on the internet for freezing meals and saving cooking time. This is not what this article is about. What I hope however, is that this article will have you thinking and rethinking on how efficiently you maintain and use your freezer. And hopefully some of these ideas will help you think outside your typical freezer uses.

First of all, maintenance. Remember to check that your temperature is -18 = or 0 F. If you need a practical way to check this, put a freezer thermometer found at hardware stores between 2 frozen food containers. Also good to know is that a full freezer runs the compressor less often and stays colder longer (very nice in case of a blackout) For standing freezers, know that the shelves on the doors are a little warmer than the actual interior. This is great for bread, coffee and even milk if you time it properly.

Cleaning, if and when we get to the task of defrosting our freezer (yes, I haven't done so in awhile myself) a no-brainer but a thick towel at the bottom of the freezer will catch the dripping water and make cleanup easier. If you're really on the ball, apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly to the walls to keep frost from sticking next time round.

Now to some unique uses (at least to me) I have not tried all of these out so take these ideas with some caution in mind. Meaning try it out if you have the stuff on hand but not on your really expensive heirloom stuff unless you're sure it works for you.

Freeze candlesticks and accessories that get dripping wax on their surfaces. Caution, if made of metal, ensure that the object is one metal and not many as different metals expand/contract at different speeds. The idea is that you'll be able to pick off the wax much more easily after frozen. Also, if you place candles themselves in the freezer for at least 2 hours before burning them, apparently you'll get them to burn longer.

Popcorn. Store unpopped popcorn in the freezer to eliminate the ones that won't pop. The ones that you usually find sitting at the bottom of your popcorn bowl wouldn't have been there if you had stored the unpopped bag in the freezer.

Got a burned-on mess in a pot and some space in your freezer? Stick it in the freezer and it will be easier to clean after a couple of hrs as burned food is easier to remove after it is frozen and you'll be able to save your favorite pot more easily.

Got a smelly plastic container that's new but smells like last Thurday's fish? Or a musty smelling book. Erhm, yeah I'm told sticking them in the freezer overnight will make them fresh again by morning and that this works for any small object...again see the caution for items with metals.

Lastly here's my favorite: Photos that have been stuck together by water. Water spilled on the photos and now they are stuck together. Had that happen to you? Especially ones that you don't have digital files on and will be "gone forever"? Well before you start heart-wrenchingly trying to gingerly pry them apart. Stick them in the freezer for about 20 minutes, then use a butter knife to separate them carefully. If they don't come apart freely, stick them back in the freezer longer. This should work for stamps and envelopes.

By Allison of CraftGirlAlli

The Spotlight Section is designated for any and all EtsyMoms that have been featured during the month. The feature could be anywhere, whether it is another Etsymom’s blog, or any blog for that matter, a local news paper, treasuries, etc.
If you want to draw more attention to your shop, make sure you send in your spotlight moments! If you don’t let me know, then I can’t post it on here! We need more people to share their spotlight moments!

Allison from CraftGirlAlli featured the following moms on her blog:
Prettybowtique, Glasshousejewelry, Mediumstomasses, Seahorsedesigns, Beadgenie
And also, SilviaVictory.

Happyathomehandmade was featured on BFbeads blog! She did such a great job & it was a lot of fun! Thank you, BFbeads!

Craftgirlalli was featured on Cinnamon & Spice Crafts blog as the Etsymom of the week (Etsy mini was posted during the week of 7/14/08).

TScrapper was featured on two blogs recently! CoolCraftyMom and All About Etsy

**We Are EtsyMoms Supporting EtsyMoms**
Also, make sure you check out the EtsyMom Weekly promo threads in the Etsy Forums. Many EtsyMoms are featured in these threads every week! There is a new thread posted every Wednesday. Everyone is encouraged to participate in promoting! Help us help each other!
Week of July 16th, Week of July 23rd, Week of July 30th, Week of August 7, Week of August 13

The above mentioned EtsyMoms were featured somewhere during the month of July. For next month’s Spotlight Section, please contact Allison at or look for the thread in the Etsymoms Promotions section.

By Melynda Of AngelHearts

My Featured Interview this month is with Paula of Paula's Petal Pastries. She has a fresh new shop that features original decorative products for weddings or any special occassion. Paula faces some of the same issues we all face as fellow moms and shop owners and has her own way of overcoming challenges that I hope we all can learn from.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your family:

"I am 28, mom to 3 year old Jake, and wife of 32 year old Chuck. I am blessed with a wonderful life that allows me to stay at home and raise my son. We've been married for 4 years in September and reside in the St. Louis area. I love the arts and have always been creative. I spent the first half of my life dancing. I minored in dance in college and taught Ballet and Hip Hop after graduation. Once I got engaged, this new creative person came to the surface. I wanted to create my own wedding organizer, my centerpieces, and anything I could get my hands on! After the purchase of our first home, I realized I had a knack for flower arranging and design."

Now tell us about your Etsy shop:

"Paula's Petal Pastries is 4 months young and offers unique centerpieces, favors, gifts, and decor. I was introduced to etsy by a good friend. I couldn't believe I had never heard of etsy before! My favorite item that I sell would be my Hanging Monogram. It can be used for decor at a wedding, child's room, your your home. I have found myself struggling a bit with setting aside "etsy" time from "mommy" and "family" time, but I'm still a work in progress and love this new journey!"

Explain the process of getting your business from point A.Creative Thought to point B. The Customer:

"I see visions in my head (my husband thinks I'm crazy) and I try and bring it to life. Sometimes it is really easy and other times it's through trial and error. I always try to make it affordable, which can be challenging. I sometimes look back at things I have made and wondered what was going through my head that I thought that looked good, haha!I run my business strictly from home. I have thought about marketing to local brides so I could be involved in the day of the wedding, but most of that work is on the weekends which I would rather not do. I might be designing centerpieces and other decor for a charity ball next spring and I would most likely be involved in delivery and same day preparation. I like being involved on that level only occasionally! Even though I don't meet with brides face to face, I still can work on custom designs through email. We just email pictures back and forth until a decision is made!"

So you do most of your work in the convenience and luxury of your own home? How do you get everything done between your family, home and business?

"I have learned that I absolutely cannot do any work while my son is awake. Even checking my business email or working on small projects. He gets frustrated that I'm not paying attention to him and I get frustrated because I can't focus on my work. When he's awake he's my main focus and when he's asleep Paula's Petal Pastries is my main focus (sometimes laundry gets my focus...but I usually try and ignore it!) I get up early, work during naptime, and stay up late. I utilize the time he's at Pre-school and rely on my husband when I need some extra work time. My biggest challenge is "me" time. I don't relax during naptime or when he goes to bed early at night anymore. I'm always working. When I'm in a period of no sales I actually enjoy it and don't get stressed about it because another sale is always close behind!"

What's your best advice to our Etsymom team?

"As mom's we are always taking care of everyone else, but when we need help we shouldn't feel bad about asking for it. The only way I can juggle all of the above is by having support from my friends and family. My husband will take our son off my hands right when he walks through the door from work if I need him to. I have called my good friend Kim and asked if she can watch Jake for a couple of hours so I can get an order filled. My mom and grandma are always a phone call away, too! Without their support I would not be able to do what I do. So if you are finding yourself stressed out with kids, cooking, cleaning, and business work ASK FOR HELP! When I close my eyes at night I dream of making enough money to pay someone else to clean my house and do my laundry so I can concentrate on just my family and my business, but until then I'll continue asking for help :)"

Thanks so much to Paula for sharing her life and experiences with us! It's always great to see how we all evolve from our desires to create!

By Sarah of Scrapadot

Happy Birthday to these EtsyMoms who celebrate their birthday in August!
1st: tammy76
2nd: CraftingontheCourt
6th: polkadotmarket
7th: ellisbean
8th: magpiesnest

Welcome to the 101 new EtsyMoms who joined in July!