Tuesday, December 30, 2008

it's all about the food

I love the holidays - time off from work, spending time with the family, gifts, and of course, the food. I love good food and the holidays are no exception.

My mom doesn't really like making turkey, so she opted for prime rib and lobster (one lobster each!) for our Christmas dinner. No complaints here! My husband, who's a really good cook, did the meat while my mom did the lobster and everything came out REALLY yummy.

Check out the photos (haha, now that I have a new camera, this blog is going to be chock full of photos!)...

The meat and lobsters prior to cooking:



and, the obligatory "after" photos:



Monday, December 29, 2008

pandacub's exclusive loyalty program - get free stuff!

New for 2009 - pandacub's "Frequent Buyers" program! Are you as excited about this as I am (probably not, but you will be!)?

To celebrate the new year, I'm launching a fun little program to reward my loyal customers.

Every time you reach 10 items purchased from my Etsy shop, pandacub, you get your choice of a free pair of bobby pins, hair clips or ponytail holders!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How does it work?

1. Make your purchases from pandacub as normal
2. I'll keep track of your purchases
3. Once you reach 10 items purchased (it can be any combination - ie, 10 purchases of 1 item each, 1 purchase of 10 items, it doesn't matter) I will send a special "thank you" card along with your most recent purchase that has a special code just for you
4. The code is valid for ONE free pair of bobby pins OR hair clips OR ponytail holders of your choice and includes free shipping! Just return to my Etsy shop, pick your free item and "purchase" it (but you don't have to pay for it!) and remember to use your code in the "Notes to Seller" section

Is there a limit to how many free items I can get through this program?
No! Once you hit 10 items purchased and get your free item, I start counting your total again, which means every time you hit 10 items purchased, you get free stuff!

What if I've made purchases in the past, before I found out about this great program?
No worries - I'm going back and making sure all my past customers get to take advantage too. If you have made any purchases in 2008 from pandacub, those purchases count towards your total, so you may already be on your way to free things!

Other things you should know about this program:
- The free item does not count towards your total items purchased
- Transactions are tallied by Etsy account, so if you purchase from two different Etsy accounts, your totals will not combined
- You will receive your free item code with every 10th item purchase
- Each code is specific to your Etsy account and cannot be transferred to another person/Etsy buyer
- Each code is only valid for one item and cannot be used more than once

Still have questions about this program and how it works? Email me at pandacub.etsy@gmail.com!

Friday, December 26, 2008

yay for my new digital camera!

I'm very excited to share that my parents got me one of the things I've been wanting for a very long time - a new digital camera! It's a Olympus Stylus 1010 and is a sleek black little camera with 10 megapixel capabilities and an optical zoom of 7x! :D

This is great new for my blog as it means (hopefully) that I'll be able to put more photos on the blog soon!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Just wanted to take this opportunity in between family events to wish all my friends out there a wonderful Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

yay! new fabric!

I just got some new fabric - eek! Isn't it the cutest! I'm going to be able to make some REALLY cute accessories with this batch! I can't wait! :D

Thursday, December 18, 2008

it's going to be a white christmas, me thinks

The latest "long-term" forecast from The Weather Network web site (which I check more often that I will admit)...looks like we're going to be getting a lot of snow in the next few days here in Toronto (to add to the 7 cm we had yesterday), so unless there's a freak warm spell, I think we're definitely going to have a white Christmas this year.


I love white, fluffy snow. I DON'T love going to work in the snow, especially when it's not white and fluffy, but wet, grey, slushy, icy, sleety and messy. In other words, how snow looks in Toronto about 5 minutes after the snowfall. :(

I know that most crafters would be taking advantage of the weather and cozy-ing up at home to work on their craft projects, or do a little baking, but since I have don't have any days off except weekends, Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, all I have to look forward to right now is the long commute in the snow. Yuck.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

my lonely mitten

I hate the cubicle life. And my cubicle is GREY, so it's extra gloomy. I guess I shouldn't complain since I have a bank of windows to stare out of, but still...

In a desperate bid to embed some holiday cheer into my drab little cubicle, I hung up this adorable little mitten that I got from a co-worker. She gave me a Starbucks coffee card and this is their gift card "holder". So much cuter than a regular envelope. I may have to go buy another gift card for myself just so that I have a pair! LOL!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

re-discovering the crafty life

When I started out this little blog, the idea was to promote my new Etsy Shop, pandacub, and to share some of the other great crafty things I've discovered on Etsy.

But the more time I spent on Etsy, and the more wonderfully talented people I met, I realized that I wanted to share more than just "Etsy-ness". I wanted to share other fun things that were happening in my life. As my sister and husband often complain, I change hobbies every month or so and although I've tried to get better at sticking to one hobby for longer periods of time, I'm enjoying re-discovering all these fun crafts!

I'm still loving my little fabric buttons, but something I've ALWAYS wanted to do was make my own buttons. The pin kind with fun sayings and cute graphics. When I first started thinking of ideas for my Etsy shop, I had wanted to do buttons, but the button machine is uber-expensive and I just couldn't justify it, so I looked into other areas.

Now, my mind has been wandering back to button machines again and trying to figure out how I could finance one of my own... ;)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: lluviadesigns

Featured Etsian: lluviadesigns
Shop link: lluviadesigns.etsy.com

FLORECITA ROCKERA necklace (by lluviadesigns)

Give us the basics:

My name is Jenn George Burt, but I'm better known as JennGee to other lluviadesigns (lluvia means rain in spanish), i'm in west covina, california, but no one has ever heard of it, so i say i'm in l.a. (i grew up in l.a. and still miss it very much!). i make what i call "unwearable" jewelry. by the time i feel it's complete, it's usually huge and way out of hand.

What’s your favourite smell?
cilantro and wet clay

How long have you been doing your craft?
i've been making jewelry for over 20 years.

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
i look at magazines, strands of beads, my garden, and other etsians, or course for inspiration. most of the time i just have to peruse through my large bead collection and the beads alone inspire me.

HIBISCUS repurposed necklace (by lluviadesigns)

What do you like least about your craft?
i hate selling the stuff. i hate waiting for new beads to arrive at my doorstep.

What’s a normal day for you?
i get up around 6:30 am, have coffee, check email, make a to-do list (i'm very disorganized), take a hike or walk with my dog, do "house" stuff, make some jewelry, list some stuff on etsy. right now i have the luxury of only working part time and being able to take 3 hour walks with my dog and make jewelry all day in my pajamas if i want to.

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
list a lot of stuff, like always try to have A LOT of items in your shop, advertise outside of etsy, spend time in the forums getting to know the AWESOME people you're sharing this space with. i've met some great people both online and in person through etsy.

How do you discover new things on Etsy?
i pounce! i love pouncing and pounce every day, just to see what and who is new.

red bamboo CORAL freeform sticks (by lluviadesigns)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

restocking....

I had a great time at the Holiday Trunk Show and sold quite a bit of my accessories.

The most popular item of the day HAD to be my Robot magnets. I made these cute magnets especially for the show, but I ran out of buttons so I could only bring a limited number of sets with me. Well, they were snapped up quite quickly and I think I was out of them within the first hour of the show.


So I'm definitely going to be making lots of these and stocking my Etsy shop - watch for them soon!

Also, I went a little crazy today and bought 10 fabric prints. I restocked some of the robot fabric, but also bought lots of adorable new prints, including honeybees, sailor boys, owls and daschunds. I can't wait to start creating new buttons!

Of course, that means I need to re-stock on blank buttons. It seems I'm ALWAYS running out of blank buttons!

Monday, December 8, 2008

the holiday trunk show at the workroom

As you all may know (since I've talked about nothing else on this blog lately), I took part in my first ever Trunk Show yesterday! It was held at "the workroom", a lovely fabric/supply shop that also holds craft classes and rents space/machines by the hour - a great little hub of craftiness in Toronto!

I had less than 2 weeks to prepare for the show, so I was definitely busy! I created new packaging for my products (which I love so much, I'll be using this method permanently from now on), prepped an old, beat-up case, printed business cards, etc, etc. Check out my display, all set up!


And yes, I was drooling at all the pretty fabric the workroom had for sale (you can see some of it in the background of my display!)

I wasn't the only one preparing for the show! My amazing sister, Suziesaurus, came along to support me and handmade me this beautiful mini "apron" - it had pockets for a pen, my phone, a little notepad and all my change!


It was busy from open to close and I not only had a fun day, I met lots of other great local crafters, including the talents behind Karissa Cove, Operation Sock Monkey, Dear Sukie, pupa pupa, lines by davis and many others (which you'll probably see show up on this blog sooner or later. )


Special thanks again to Karyn from the workroom, for giving me this amazing opportunity to sell in-person for the first time and to meet such a wonderful and supportive group of people!

images: all images taken by and belong to Suziesaurus

the paper place chiyogami giveaway


I have a bit of an obsession when it comes to fabric, and sometimes that obsession teeters into the "paper" section as well. There are some ultra gorgeous paper prints out there and as always, the Japanese are way ahead of the curve. Beautiful Chiyogami papers inspire even the most un-crafty people to dream of great excuses to buy the papers.

Well, what if you could WIN your own supply? The awesom shop, The Paper Place, is running The Great Chiyogami Giveaway! From now until December 31, 2008 you have the chance to win a sheet of EVERY SINGLE Chiyogami pattern then sell - that's 637 patterns in all (that's almost $2000 CAD in cool paper!) How's THAT for inspiration?

I'm definitely entering! Click to The Paper Place for your own chance at this amazing prize!

Friday, December 5, 2008

busy little pandacub...

I've been remiss about posting on the blog this past week, but it's because I've been super busy trying to get ready for the Holiday Trunk Show at the workroom! As I mentioned, it's my first time selling in person, I'm not only nervous and anxious and excited, I'm also woefully unprepared and have been running around buying receipt books, a little calculator, labels, making up business cards, price signs, etc, whew!

So, if you're in Toronto, please come by and say hi (see my previous post for all the details) as I would love to meet you!

Monday, December 1, 2008

pandacub's first show!

I'm so excited! As mentioned in a previous post, I'll be "peddling my wares" at the workroom's Holiday Trunk Show. If you live in the Toronto area, or happen to be there on the right date, I'd love to meet you! There will be some free snacks, great vendors selling lovely handmade items, lots of crafty people having a fun time, and did I mention free snacks??! :D

Check out this flickr page for all the info, including a list of vendors and photos of the pretty things you can buy. I've already spotted a few things to get for myself - I can't wait!
http://flickr.com/photos/theworkroom/sets/72157610132688481/

Click on the flyer to get a larger version that you can actually read! LOL


It's going to be my first time selling "in-person" so I'm both excited and nervous. Those butterflies are starting to swarm in my tummy! I've been a busy little panda, putting together packages and getting other business-related things together (receipts, business cards, change, etc).

Hope to see you all there!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: IllusionFusion

Featured Etsian: IllusionFusion
Shop link: IllusionFusion.etsy.com

Give us the basics:

My shop is called IllusionFusion. I work out of my home studio in Hampton, VA making art glass. Items range from housewares and dinnerware, to jewelry and accessories.

What’s your favourite smell?
My favorite smell in the whole world is honeysuckle.

How long have you been doing your craft?
I’ve been working in glass for the last 27 years. My art is self taught.

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
Inspiration is easy. Look around and you’ll find it everywhere - outdoors, in the kitchen, color combinations. My kids give me the most inspiration because they think outside of the box more easily than I do. If I get stuck, I just hand my boys the art box and watch them work.

What do you like least about your craft?
It really bothers me when I’m on the last of a series of 5 firings and something happens to ruin the piece. Each firing takes between 9 and 12 hours, plus any of the handworking done between each step. After investing that much time in something, it’s absolutely heartbreaking to see it destroyed.

What’s a normal day for you?
I get up about 6:30am, feed the children and get them dressed. The oldest catches the bus to school and I drop the youngest at the sitter. I work 8-9 hours at my day job where I check in with Etsy frequently, answering convos and participating in the forums. After work I pick up the youngest and head home to cook dinner. We eat dinner as a family, then I supervise homework, baths and bedtime stories. House chores take over from about 8-9 pm and then I can spend time packing products, checking on Etsy, and either working in the studio or listing until 11pm or so. Now that it’s cooler, I’ll probably start running again which means getting up about 4:45am. Early, but it’s worth it!

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
Learn everything you can about Etsy before you open your shop. Read the TOS, ask questions in the forums and learn the ropes before you ever sign up as a seller. Make sure you have a business plan and a great product. When you open your shop, market yourself on and off Etsy. Tell your friends, pass out business cards and get the word out. Most of all, have fun and don’t expect to be an overnight success!

How do you discover new things on Etsy?
I adore the Pounce feature and probably spend almost as much time on there as I do in the forums. I also click on other seller’s shops in the forums and have found tons of wonderful things to buy just by typing in random words in the search box.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Free Shipping Promotion

It's the super-crazy shopping frenzy known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

Pandacub is offering free worldwide shipping on all its items! Sale starts at 8am Nov 28 and ends at midnight on Dec. 1.

So quick! Take advantage of this great deal and pick up some cute hair accessories for yourself or stocking stuffers and gifts!

See my shop for more details!

pandacub.etsy.com

Thursday, November 27, 2008

my first trunk show

I'm so excited! I've been invited to take part in a Trunk Show at "the workroom" in downtown Toronto. This is my first in-person selling experience, so I'm both excited and nervous and it seems like I have a million things to do before the show, which is less than TWO weeks away!

Currently I'm working on new packaging for all my items, so watch for photos of those soon!

For those of you that live in Toronto and want to come by and check things out, here are the details:

Date: Sunday, December 7, 2008
Time: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: the workroom
Street: 1340 Queen Street West, Toronto

There will be 13 lovely vendors all selling their handmade treasures, so please come by and say hi!

Monday, November 24, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: magicbeanbuyer

Featured Etsian: magicbeanbuyer
Shop link: magicbeanbuyer.etsy.com

Strawberry Creme Doughnut Pendant (by magicbeanbuyer)

Give us the basics:

magicbeanbuyer - Delaware, USA - I make miniature figurines and accessories. Mostly polymer clay, and mostly food related...because food is awesome!

What’s your favourite smell?
Bounce Fabric Softener. I could sit in the aisle at the store forever just smelling the box. I looooove clean laundry smell.

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
My inspiration comes mostly from food. There's just so many kinds. The colors and textures. And they all have different meanings to different people. Plus, I love cute things. Have you ever come across a cupcake that wasn't cute?

The Wedding Couple in Blue (by magicbeanbuyer)

What do you like least about your craft?
The waiting! With my Plinis I have to wait and wait and wait between coats of paint and varnish. I think I could get a lot more done if they dried faster. I have a fan, that helps a lot, but there's still a lot of waiting

What’s a normal day for you?
I get up in the morning and check my email for anything time sensitive, then leave for my "9 to 5" job. On my breaks I'll browse the Etsy forums and answer convos if I have enough time. If I'm feeling fancy I'll renew an item or bid on some Project Wonderful ad space. Mostly I waste time in the forums though. I get home and pack up any orders I've received. Then spend the rest of the evening either taking and editing photos, painting, blogging and/or answering more convos and emails and of course playing Rock Band. Somewhere in there I manage to make dinner, feed the cats and clean up the apartment too. There's never enough time in the day for everything!

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
Don't underprice your work. Really take the time to research and determine how much your items are worth - how much time goes into them, the cost of your materials, listing fees, etc etc. I'm not a pro, but I have learned a ton since starting out. I look back on my first few sales and can't believe I ever made any sort of profit. If you're looking towards selling for more than a hobby it's definately very important, as I've learned.

How do you discover new things on Etsy?
In the forums I click on the avatars of people that I find nice/interesting/thoughtful. I also find many great things by looking at the treasuries.

Black Kitteh (by magicbeanbuyer)

Friday, November 21, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: soapdeli

Featured Etsian: soapdeli
Shop link: soapdeli.etsy.com

Pomegranate Soap with Shea Butter (by soapdeli)

Give us the basics:

Roanoke, VA. I make yummy scented shea butter soaps, goat milk lotions, milk bath and foot cream.

What’s your favourite smell?
Definitely pomegranate.

How long have you been doing your craft?
I've been making soap since 2001 and everything else since 2006.

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
I'm definitely inspired by scents. Anything that smells fabulous I just have to make. I scent all of my soaps so you can smell them from the time you get in the shower to when you get out. You'll notice a light fragrance on your skin after you bathe.

Raspberry and Vanilla Soap for Extra Dry Skin with Shea and Cocoa Butters (by soapdeli)

What do you like least about your craft?
I have to say the one thing I detest about soapmaking is lining the molds. It's tedious.

What’s a normal day for you?
On days I stay home I usually check and mail orders, chat in the forums and list goodies til around 12pm. I break for lunch then I'll wrap and label soaps, unmold my soaps from the day before and then make three new batches of soap. Then dinner. Then I'll either spend a little time on etsy and if there's nothing I must do - like clean house, soccer practice, etc. I'll make lotions, creams or milk baths. I go to the local city market at least three days a week. On those days I'm on the market by 9am and I usually pack around 3:30pm or 4pm. Later on Saturdays. Then I come home, check etsy and relax for the evening.

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
Promote, promote, promote. Also, don't expect to get 100% unless you are giving 100%. Nothing is going to be handed to you. You must work for it.

How do you discover new things on Etsy?
I like to visit shops with neat avatars that I find in the forums. I also browse treasuries and occasionally I use pounce.

Lemon and Lavender Honey and Goat Milk Lotion with Shea Butter and Aloe (by soapdeli)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: wendyconradart

Featured Etsian: wendyconradart
Shop link: wendyconradart.etsy.com

New Orleans - Travel Block Series (by wendyconradart)

Give us the basics:

wendyconradart; blairsville georgia; original paintings, photography, & handmade goodies

What’s your favourite smell?
the smell of the air after a fresh rain

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
I am mostly inspired by nature and using ordinary things in unexpected ways.

Branchy Tree Blank Note Card Set (by wendyconradart)

What do you like least about your craft?
I would definitely have to say the ironing. I hate to iron.

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
Definitely do your research! Read up on Storque articles, spend time reading answers to forum questions, and get to know successful etsians and their stories. As you go along and learn, make the necessary changes to your shop and policies. Most of all, BE PATIENT!

How do you discover new things on Etsy?
Sometimes front page, sometimes in chat rooms, sometimes from visiting shops who have hearted my shop. There's always something wonderful to discover!

Love Letters Triptych- Hearts Painting and Poetry (by wendyconradart)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: plumstars

Featured Etsian: plumstars
Shop link: plumstars.etsy.com

Give us the basics:

I am located in Santa Clarita, CA, which is Southern California. I make gift tags, notecards and all paper fun!

What’s your favourite smell?
My favorite smells are fresh laundry, new falling rain and the ocean.

How long have you been doing your craft?
On etsy I have been selling since the middle of August 2008. A friend of mine referred me to Etsy and I just jumped right in! I have been scrapbooking and making paper crafts since I was in middle school, so that's almost 15 years.

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
I'm inspired to craft when the mood strikes. If I see a beautiful item I'd like to incorporate into my items, then I'm on it. New paper, stamps and punches also help since I can't wait to try out new things!

What do you like least about your craft?
The thing I like least about my craft is not having enough time to do it! For me its just a fun side hobby, so my free time is spent with it, instead of devoting all my time. If only there were more hours in the day...

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
I would say that getting your name out on the forums, in chat and in a blog are great ways to promote your shop when first starting out. Also, get a trade or two in so you get feedback and hopefully some repeat customers too :)

How do you discover new things on Etsy?
I love to find new things through pounce and even just watching new items listed on the front page. There are so many shops on Etsy that everyday I see something new!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

cats everywhere!

I absolutely adore cats. I have had a huge love of cats and kittens since I was really, really young and now I've finally added some cats to my shop!

Some are really pretty and others are whimsical - which ones do you like best?


top row: princess kitten; purring harmony
bottom row: hi kitten; here kitty kitty
(by pandacub)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: JoannaGoldman

Featured Etsian: JoannaGoldman
Shop link: JoannaGoldman.etsy.com

Give us the basics:

I'm in Montreal, Canada, and i specialize in all things cute!

What’s your favourite smell?
Coconut bodybutter from The Body Shop. I seriously can never get enough of it!

Set of 7 Mini Greeting Cards with Hand Made Envelopes (by JoannaGoldman)

How long have you been doing your craft?
I've been drawing all my life, but selling for a couple years.

What’s a normal day for you?
I wake up, take the train to my day job (Motion Graphics/ Visual Effects Artist), get to my desk, have my tea, browse Etsy for a bit, do some work, doodle while my work is rendering, go home and turn my doodles into pieces that I eventually list on Etsy! Then I go to bed! :)

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
Try not to get discouraged too easily. Selling your art is hard work, but worth it in the end.

How do you discover new things on Etsy?
Treasuries and pounce are my favorite browsing methods right now.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lest We Forget...

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

— Lt.-Col. John McCrae

On this Remembrance / Veteran's Day, let's all take a moment to remember...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: AMomentAMemory28

Featured Etsian: AMomentAMemory28
Shop link: AMomentAMemory28.etsy.com

Plantable Card 4 1/2 x 6 (by AMomentAMemory28)

Give us the basics:

I live on the shores of Lake Erie in good old NY state. I do photography. I make plantable ACEOs (Art Cards, Editions and Originals) and plantable greeting cards, as well as printed greeting cards - all using prints of my
photographs.

What’s your favourite smell?
Sugar cookies just after you take them out of the oven!

How long have you been doing your craft?
I have been taking photographs since I was old enough to have a camera, though only professionally (ie getting paid for my work, lol) for the past year.

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
My biggest inspirations are my family and faith, foremost, but I am constantly being inspired by nature and the world around me as well. There is so much beauty all around us. I love the adventure and challenge of capturing shots that evoke long lost memories in others.

Photographer wise, I have been very inspired by couragemylove.etsy.com and jaredks.etsy.com. Both of them have a phenomenal talent for taking ordinary moments and capturing the extraordinary uniqueness and beauty in those moments. Couragemylove is very whimsical and when you look at her photographs, you feel like you are transcending the humdrum of the world and entering a place of daydreams. JaredKS's photographs are just sheer magic. He can take an ordinary bird bath or dandelion and capture it in a light or angle that makes it appear so surreal and lovely you would think at first glance it was a painting!

4x6 photograph print (by AMomentAMemory28)

What do you like least about your craft?
My least favorite things are trying to decide what pictures to sell in my shop and use for cards and ACEOs. My hubby helps me with choosing because two heads always seem to be better than one. I don't love cutting the plantable paper because it is very tedious, but I love making the cards themselves.

What’s a normal day for you?
There is no normal in this house with 3 cats and 3 daughters, lol! Most days are up at 7 or 7:30 am, get my oldest off to school and the other 2 fed and dressed. Then I check emails and work on any cards or ACEOs I am making. After lunch, we head off to shoot pics with the 2 little ones. Later, I pick up my oldest from school and we go to the park or beach for more pictures and adventures. Then its dinner, baths, and bed. Once the kids go to bed, I put pictures on the computer, go through them, crop, etc. I respond to emails and prepare any orders that need to be shipped the next day. These days, I go to bed between 12am and 1am.

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
I would tell all new etsy sellers several things that others have told me and I have found to be very helpful. First and foremost, don't ever forget why you started crafting. It is very easy to get caught up in the business aspects of selling. Hold on to, and utilize, that passion and inspiration - it will keep you going and help you to always strive to better yourself and your items. Secondly, I would say always have fun with your work. Always challenge yourself to try new things. Work hard, stay focused, and NEVER give up! Don't forget to enjoy the quiet times of business and use them to be creative. Lastly, PROMOTE, promote, promote - on and off etsy.

How do you discover new things on Etsy?
I do searches, I view treasuries, I participate in teams and the forums. My biggest method of discovery has been my custom orders. I have had some awesome customers sending me requests for very cool and new items to make. I love the custom order feature and wish more people would use it. I never grow tired of going out and spending hours or days shooting a shot to use for a custom card. It keeps me on my toes for sure!

5x7 Greeting Card (by AMomentAMemory28)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: LynnsBeadsNThings

Featured Etsian: LynnsBeadsNThings
Shop link: LynnsBeadsNThings.etsy.com

Graduated Green Turquoise (by LynnsBeadsNThings)

Give us the basics:

Hi, I'm Lynn of Lynn's Beads 'N' Things. I'm a California girl, born and raised and a self admitted bead addict! I make jewelry using mostly Semi Precious Stones and Freshwater Pearls. I also make cards using real flowers and leaves pressed and laminated for lasting beauty.

What’s your favourite smell?
My Favorite smell is fresh baked bread.

How long have you been doing your craft?
I have been making jewelry since I was a teenager when my mother took me to my first bead shop. I was instantly hooked! I currently sell my craft at a local Art Gallery as well as Etsy.

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
I am inspired by the beautiful colors and creations of God.

Pearls With Aqua Quartz and Aquamarine (by LynnsBeadsNThings)

What do you like least about your craft?
The thing I like least about my craft is when things don't go right!

What’s a normal day for you?
A normal day for me is going to work at my "real job". I mostly do my crafting on the week ends and sometimes in the evenings.

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
My advice to new Etsy sellers is to frequent the Forums &/or chat rooms for visibility which is how I discover new things on Etsy and get discovered myself.

Vintage Glass with Pearls (by LynnsBeadsNThings)

Friday, November 7, 2008

ponies for the grown-ups too!

An Etsy forum reminded me that adults wear pony-tails too (I know I do!) so I was inspired to start thinking of a line of hair accessories with a more "grown-up" flair and I think there's some great ideas coming out.

Check out this gorgeous dark blue pattern I turned into ponytail elastics!

flowers in the dusk (by pandacub)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: stelmadesigns

Featured Etsian: stelmadesigns
Shop link: stelmadesigns.etsy.com

KAIKALA Necklace With Abalone Pendant And Vintage Ocean Pearl Shell Buttons (by stelmadesigns)

Give us the basics:

Stelma Designs, We live in the Great Northwest in Sammamish, Washington very close to Seattle.

What’s your favourite smell?
My daughters heads, really! A close second would be the smell outside after a rain.

How long have you been doing your craft?
I have always been an artist, but making necklaces and jewelry from vintage and antique buttons started about 16 years ago while I was living in Chicago and came upon several large tins of antique buttons at a thrift shop. I found buttons dating to the civil war and began stringing them and just have kept at it!

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
I'm inspired by all the endless possibilities that come to my mind thinking of past era's and who wore these buttons and I think of the fact that women were the ones who sewed all these tiny buttons onto articles of clothing. I think vintage and antique buttons of shell, abalone, and bone are simply beautiful and I just keep thinking of new designs I have yet to make. It's all up in my head.

Dramatically Long Flapper Necklace of Vintage Buttons (by stelmadesigns)

What do you like least about your craft?
I love it all; the time it takes to string all the buttons is relaxing and meanwhile my mind is thinking up new designs.

What’s a normal day for you?
Well, I'm a Mom of two young daughters who, by the way also sell things in our shop, so they come first. I do a lot of things for myself however such as exercise, I belly dance and I have a large sometimes overwhelming organic garden with perennials as well as veggies, fruit trees and berries. We have eight chickens, three dogs, one cat and a mean love bird. Also, a wonderful husband who thinks I spend too much time with etsy, and shoot, I've just started!

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
Well, since I'm just starting out myself, I can only say to be positive and make sure you have nice photos. clear descriptions, all shop policies and bio filled out and when in doubt, go to the forums because you will learn so much there and all the other etsy members are just great.

How do you discover new things on Etsy?
I like the front page but I have found things to buy after seeing shops while in the forums and also looking at the favorites of shop owners I like.

Leucosia Siren Necklace of Antique Buttons (by Leucosia Siren Necklace of Antique Buttons)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: VivaceCrafts

Featured Etsian: VivaceCrafts
Shop link: VivaceCrafts.etsy.com

Give us the basics:

My Etsy name is "VivaceCrafts". I'm from Wisconsin, woot! I make nerdy jewelry and accessories. Mainly the items are off-the-beaten-path and geeky but they are still feminine and pretty (at least to me!). Resin is my favorite medium :)

What’s your favourite smell?
My favorite smell is definitely freshly baked lasagna!

How long have you been doing your craft?
I've been specializing in resin jewelry since about May, constantly changing and perfecting my methods for different styles. I've been making jewelry since I was in highschool. I've been a fan of crafting overall, though, since I was a little girl.

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
My parents are definitely my "who"s. My mom always supports my pieces and gives me her honest opinion. My dad finds broken computer parts for me to use as well as packaging materials. They are amazing! My studies in the sciences are the "what" for my craft...I'm such a nerd.

What do you like least about your craft?
Oh man, for the resin it's definitely the smell!

What’s a normal day for you?
A normal day for me is a rather crazy one! Since I'm a college student I wake up at like 7:30, check my email to see if I got sale or a message. I'm in class pretty much all day and then I scoot over to my part-time job. I come home at about seven. Crafting is definitely my creative outlet. I spend about an hour or more to make new items and work on promoting my Etsy store. Eventually I have to do all my homework (which takes hours), practice my violin (I'm in a cool, folk band) and then go to sleep.

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
Keep with it and involve your friends and family. My friends love to look at everything and they really appreciate getting freebies. My family thinks it's neat and tries to help promote with their friends. Definitely keep with it, too! Don't give up and be original.

How do you discover new things on Etsy?
I am always browsing through the categories. I love to look at stuff I can't make... like knitting and papercrafts. I'd like to give a shout out to ahetland.etsy.com here! She makes AMAZING cards!

Friday, October 31, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: yonpli

Featured Etsian: yonpli
Shop link: yonpli.etsy.com

Pain, Abstract Nude, Mosaic Art (by yonpli)

Give us the basics:

Yonpli
Baltimore MD (USA)
I make mosaics - anything from wall art to jewelry to home decor.

What’s your favourite smell?
I love the scent of flowers, especially those with a thick, heavy, slight sweet scent.

How long have you been doing your craft?
I've been mosaicing for a couple years now.

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
I love the work of Sonia King. Her work is so innovative and visually stunning.

Red Statement, Mosaic Pendant (by yonpli)

What do you like least about your craft?
That's easy - cleaning up from grouting!

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
Do what you love, but do it with business sense. For instance I love making mosaics, but didn't start creating lower price points mosaics until recently. These lower price point mosaics have started to bring in sales and views.

How do you discover new things on Etsy?
Sometimes I find things through the treasury and sometimes I just browse different categories and sub-categories.

By Any Other Name, Mosaic Box (by yonpli)

Happy Halloween!

BOO! How are you celebrating this spooky holiday?

Since I don't have kids, I won't be taking anyone out to trick-or-treat, but I love seeing some of the kids on my street in their little costumes - they're so cute!

I did get my share of candy today at the office though as we had a Halloween party so part of me did feel like a kid again.

How did you celebrate?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: jenngee

Featured Etsian: jenngee
Shop link: jenngee.etsy.com

Coffee Corset - Disco Dots in Blue and Aqua (by jenngee)

Give us the basics:

My name is Jenn George Burt, but I'm better known as JennGee to other Etsyians. I live and work in Raleigh, NC and the most popular thing that I make and sell is my world famous Coffee Corset.

What’s your favourite smell?
What else? Fresh brewed coffee!

How long have you been doing your craft?
I've been sewing since I was big enough to hold a needle and thread. I've been using a sewing machine since the mid 90's when I had a roommate who was a design school student. I fell in love with her sewing machine and had to have one of my own. The rest is history.

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
It is more of a need than an inspiration. If I don't make things on a regular basis I go a little crazy.

Coffee Corset - Red Stone Wall (by jenngee)

What do you like least about your craft?
I would definitely have to say the ironing. I hate to iron.

What’s a normal day for you?
Get up around 10, take the dog out, make coffee, check my email and answer anything urgent, package up anything that needs to be shipped, get another cup of coffee, answer the rest of my email (I'm an online math teacher so there is always a lot of email), take a shower, go to the post office, run any necessary errands, return home and check email again, sew, email, sew, email, sew, email ... until my husband gets home ... make/eat dinner, watch television, tuck in the hubby around 9pm, sew/email cycle until 2 or 3 am.

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
Don't expect immediate results, but DO expect to succeed. If you go in with the attitude that it isn't ever going to work for you then you are probably right. DO spend lots of time in the forums (and not just in the promo and etc. sections!) - there is much to learn and that is honestly the best place to figure out what you need to do to get where you want to be. The bonus is that you are getting free publicity just for being in the forums. Most of my first sales were from people who I talked to in the forums.

How do you discover new things on Etsy?
In the forums I click on the avatars of people that I find nice/interesting/thoughtful. I also find many great things by looking at the treasuries.

Coffee Corset - Jingle My Candy Cane (by jenngee)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

tweet, tweet

For those of you who want to know what I'm up to when I'm not blogging, you can now follow me on Twitter!

Check me out!

http://twitter.com/pandacubcafe

Or, you can check this blog for updates (I've added my Twitter updates in the left side-bar.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

my best seller...

Happy Monday everyone! As anyone who knows me can tell you, I'm NOT a Monday person, but I've decided to make the best of it.

Pandacub has officially been open for just over 2 months now and I'm already at 33 sales! I never thought that it would be going so well after such a short span of time and want to give a huge thanks and virtual hug to all my customers, Etsy friends, and blog-readers for your support. :)

To celebrate, I'm posting a photo of my current best-seller. this cute little deer - part of my In the Forest bobby pin set. I like this pattern so much I've bought the same fabric with 2 other background colours (blue and pink) and will start posting those soon!

In the Forest (by pandacub)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: MeaCulpaBodyandBath

Featured Etsian: MeaCulpaBodyandBath
Shop link: MeaCulpaBodyandBath.etsy.com

Give us the basics:
My stores name is Mea Culpa Bath and Body. I am located in Metro Detroit, Michigan. I like making massage oils, aromatherapy things, shampoos, lotions, body sprays, conditioners, shower gels....anything to do with oils..lol. I usually use therapeutic essential oils, but sometimes make something only for the smell with the fragrant ones.

What’s your favourite smell?
Ummmm.....only one? The sandalwood essential oil has me. It really does.Also the Rose Morroc Absolute...wow, breath taking...Champa too...wow I cant stop...lol

How long have you been doing your craft?
Does it mean if you are a newbie your things are not as good? I don't think so. I have been doing this only for a couple of months, though.

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
Just the aroma when I open my box with oils gives me inspiration. Also, I love finding use for the oils in homeopathy, helping people to heal naturally - that motivates me.

What do you like least about your craft?
Ohhhhh...the headaches I get from working on new scents for too long.

What’s a normal day for you?
Long, long days...getting my 6 year old ready for school, taking care of the 3 year old at home, 2 dogs and a husband. And in the meantime I get to squeeze in working on my craft, networking on the internet. It gets overwhelming, but I am not complaining.

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
I wish I could. I am just starting out myself. The only thing I can say - don't ever give up! Always have a vision in your mind that you have made it. Never doubt yourself.

Friday, October 24, 2008

mmmm...cupcakes!

I just got this adorable new fabric covered with cupcakes and I wasn't sure which ones to use for a magnet set, so I put them all up! It's like going into a cupcake bakery and being able to choose your five favourite cupcakes to take home with you! :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: HomemadeZen

Featured Etsian: HomemadeZen
Shop link: HomemadeZen.etsy.com

Give us the basics:

Etsy Name: HomemadeZen
Location: Baldwinsville NY (just outside of Syracuse NY)
What I make: I design and crochet cute stuff toys for everyone!

What’s your favourite smell?
I have a lot of favourites, but my current favourite is lavender.

How long have you been doing your craft?
I've been crocheting since I was a little girl, and finally got into Etsy earlier this year.

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
I like crocheting because it's a way for me to relax and be creative. I can get inspiration from anywhere but I tend to like creating things that are cute and adorable.

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
Take lots of good pictures and be patient. It's something that I'm still working on too...

How do you discover new things on Etsy?
I found a lot of new things from treasuries and also from chatting with other Etsy people on forms and chats. I've also found a lot of great shops by joining an Etsy team too!


Monday, October 20, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: LaurenAlexander

Featured Etsian: LaurenAlexander
Shop link: LaurenAlexander.etsy.com

Give us the basics:

My name is Lauren Alexander and my shop is www.laurenalexander.etsy.com. I live in Overland Park, KS which is just outside Kansas City. I am a painter with a passion for creating colorful whimsical watercolors.

What’s your favourite smell?
My favorite smell is fresh baked cookies. I'm a sugar-holic so anything fresh baked is about my favorite thing!

How long have you been doing your craft?
I have always painted for as long as I can remember but I have been making and selling paintings on Etsy for two years. I started making ACEOs and that is what really gave me my start.

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
I am inspired by all forms of art. I LOVE music, movies, great stories, and all things creative.

What's a normal day for you?
A normal day for me right now consists of waking up early, working on my shop, going to work as an art teacher, and then coming home and working on my shop. Occasionally I find time for a nap and dinner too!

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
My advice for Etsy sellers is to take yourself seriously. Take your business seriously. Provide the most excellent customer service you can. And DEFINATELY get to know the Etsy community. Make friends, support each other, and always work really hard to build professional relationships.


Friday, October 17, 2008

hooray for weekends!

I've been having a great week. Not only has the pandacub shop reached 20 sales in less than two months, with FIVE sales happening in the last 48 hours (WOW!), but it was a short work week (Monday was the Thanksgiving holiday here in Canada).

Things will be a little quiet on the pandacub front today and tomorrow. Today is my hubby's birthday so we'll be celebrating with a nice dinner (mmm, ribs!) later this evening and then tomorrow we're heading out for a daytrip with our friends to visit a few wineries and enjoy the fall weather.

In the meantime, I hope everyone else is going to have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

in the cafe spotlight: MimisCrafts

Featured Etsian: MimisCrafts
Shop link: MimisCrafts.etsy.com

Penguin Bell Pull Applique Wall Hanging Quilt (by MimisCrafts)

Give us the basics:

Mimi's Crafts, Titusville, FL, I make quilts, bag, totes, table runners, jackets, things made from fabric.

What’s your favourite smell?
Coffee...I just love to smell ground coffee.

How long have you been doing your craft?
I've been sewing as long as I can remember. My mother sewed and I would watch and ask questions. Then she let me sew with needle and thread. When she let me use her machine I was so excited. I'm age 53, soon to be 54, that will give you an idea of how many years. I started working in a quilt shop about 6 years ago. That when the fabric bug got me. It's been down hill ever since. I could sew everyday for the rest of my years and never use all my fabric.

Who/What inspires you in your craft?
That would be my mother. She does such wonderful work. The only thing I do better than her is quilt and knit.

Sweet Dreams Baby Embroidery Quilt (by MimisCrafts)

What do you like least about your craft?
The clean up. I make such a mess when I work.

What advice would you give Etsy sellers just starting out?
I'm a newbie myself, but I would say be patient. That not one of my traits so it's been hard for me.

How do you discover new things on Etsy?
You need to take the time to read the forum. It's very time consuming but very important.

Dorothy Bag and Clutch (by MimisCrafts)