Monday, August 31, 2009

where did the summer go?

I can't believe that it's August 31 already. I'm in serious denial that the summer is coming to an end. It doesn't help that we have had an unusually cool summer here in Toronto which means I feel like I haven't had a summer at all. Humph.

Usually, I love the fall because it means I get to wear cute jackets and light sweaters, and of course, the leaves turn a stunning array of colours. Now that I'm all grown-up, it also means I don't really dread the return to school like I used to.

But, the start of fall also means that winter is just around the corner. And I'm seriously not ready for that yet.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

pandacub wants...apples

I don't know why, but autumn always makes me think of apples. Crisp, juicy apples. Or apple pie. mmmmm....

Wait, I just noticed that I seem to do a lot of features on food! haha!

Left to right:

Top Row:
1. Appreciate Your Teachers Sugar Cookies, $15.00 by sugarcookiecouture
2. The Little Apple Tree Soap, $5.50 by sunbasilgarden
3. Scrabble Tile Pendant - Twilight Bite, $5.95 by ThePendantFactory

Middle row:
4. Reusable Cloth Sandwich Bag -- Fresh Red Apple, $6.00 by RosyUndPosy
5. Fresh apples - Canvas pouch, $18.00 by Happybee
6. Gus, $19.00 by flowerhead

Bottom row:
7. Granny Smith, $9.00 by BRadleyBB
8. Adorable Apple Cozy, Hand-Crocheted, $8.50 by UnravelMe
9. The Purist's Caramel Apple, $7.00 by sugarsmitten

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

2009 kids trunk show at the workroom

I had such a blast this past Sunday at the 2nd annual Kids Trunk Show at the workroom in Toronto. I met some lovely new local crafters and picked up a few treasures as well.

pupa pupa

I ended the day making two new friends who came home with me! :) Aren't they adorable? I received a super-soft sock monkey from Operation Sock Monkey and a very sweet skunk from pupa pupa. (I'll be doing a feature on both of them later in September).

For more great photos from the event, check out the workroom's Flickr set of the Kids Trunk Show!

Monday, August 24, 2009


I love coffee. I love the smell, the taste, the way it wakes me up in the morning. I love my Tim Horton's, my Starbucks and my Illy. I love it hot, cold, as ice cream, as candy. Yep, I'm definitely obsessed with coffee.

Glad to see I'm not the only one!

Left to right:

Top row:
1. Java Latte Coffee Soap, $5.00 by sunbasilgarden
2. Antiqued Brass Coffee Cup Necklace, $6.90 by bunnylogic
3. Death Before Decaf 1 inch pinback button, $1.25 by brainscan

Middle row:
4. caffeine necklace - an elegant representation of your favorite molecule, $85.00 by molecularmuse
5. I Heart Coffee - Art Print, $20.00 by MintPaperie
6. Coffee Corset - Disco Dots in Blue and Aqua, $12.00 by jenngee

Bottom row:
7. Coffee Time in Turquoise Zipper pouch, $7.00 by MadameCupcake
8. Ring - Tiny Little Spot of Coffee , $8.00 by dirtroadsouth
9. Coffee Mug and Bean Set of Hand Carved Mini Rubber Stamps, $5.00 by cupcaketree

Thursday, August 20, 2009

one-year Etsy-versary Giveaway!

I can't believe that pandacub is one-year old today! When I opened up shop I wasn't sure what was going to happen and now, 365 days later, I'm at 291 sales, with one craft show under my belt (and another one this weekend) and being sold in 3 retail shops! I'm stunned!

And very, VERY thankful to my lovely customers, supportive Etsy friends, lovely Etsy teammates and encouraging shop owners. A big shout-out to my amazing sister and patient husband, who both have to deal with my questions, weird crafty ideas, marketing comments and general Etsy-obsession.

Since my shop is kind of empty at the moment because a lot of my inventory is being prepped for the Kids Trunk Show this weekend, there won't be any in-shop promotions just yet. But I am having a GIVEAWAY!

This time, I'm giving away five prizes! Yes FIVE!
- one winner will receive a $30 shop credit to spend on anything at pandacub
- four other winners will receive a $10 shop credit to spend on anything at pandacub

Here's how to enter:
Visit my shop, pandacub, then come back here and tell me what your favorite thing in the shop is! Just leave it in a comment on this post.

Want extra entries? (you must complete the first entry above before doing these)
- 1 extra entry: Follow this blog. Leave a comment telling me that you've become a Follower or that you were already a Follower
- 1 extra entry: Follow me on Twitter (pandacubcafe). Leave a comment telling me that you've become a Follower or that you were already a Follower
- 5 extra entries: Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post. Leave a comment here and include the URL where I can see your post
- 10 extra entries: Buy anything from my pandacub shop. Come back and leave a comment letting me know what you bought and your Etsy username

Remember to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!

- This contest will end at midnight (EST) on Monday, September 14, 2009.
- Winner is chosen randomly using a Random Number Generator.
- Winner will be announced on this blog shortly after the contest closes.
- This giveaway is open worldwide.


more info on the Kids Trunk Show

If you're in the Toronto area this Sunday, don't forget to swing by the workroom to say hi and pick up some pandacub goodies in person! Plus, meet some other very lovely local crafters! And who can say no to free snacks and iced teas?!

See you there!

(Click on the image to get the full-size version)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

pandacub wants...bacon

Nothing says breakfast to me like bacon (and hash browns, and pork sausages, and panckes...) Hmmmmmm...

Anyhow, the smell of bacon sizzling on a pan on a Saturday morning is awesome. I wasn't too surprised that there were a lot of crafty things inspired by the yummy bacon on Etsy, but still...there were A LOT of items!

By the way, chocolate-covered BACON??? How in the sweet-world have I not tried this yet?

Left to right:

Top row:
1. The Bacon Box, $16.95 by lucachocolate
2. Happy Bacon Buddies - handcrafted clay jewelry set, $12.00 by closetoyourheart
3. King Of Meats Print 5x5, $10.00 by waterbears

Middle row:
4. Yummy Bacon Necklace polymer clay, $20.00 by MistyAurora
5. bacon lover greeting card, $3.00 by willotoons
6. Dancing Bacon Magnet, $1.25 by KungFuCowgirl

Bottom row:
7. Tastes Like Bacon, $32.00 by diffractionfiber
8. 4 slices of bacon - vegan soap, $4.00 by DirtyAssSoaps
9. hand painted silk bacon scarf, $57.00 by crrysstall

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

pancakes. delicious, delicious pancakes...

I took on glance at this new-fangled gizmo and burst into giggles. And then, after I read someone's comment about mounting this machine on wheels, I pictured this thing chugging down the street, leaving a trail of perfectly formed pancakes, and I burst into another set of giggles.

The ChefStack is the world's first automatic pancake machine and produces 97% fat free pancakes at a rate of up to 200 per hour in 3 different sizes! The size of a microwave oven, this little cooking gadget makes pancakes from batter that's sealed in a packaging specifically designed for the machine.

For a split second of insanity, I actually wondered how much it would cost to buy one of these machines. Then I saw the price tag ($3,500 USD) and came back to the reality that I would be making my pancakes the old fashioned way (pour batter on griddle, wait for bubbles to appear, flip, repeat; my output rate is about 4 pancakes every 10 minutes - if you're lucky).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

pandacub travels to...Aotearoa (New Zealand)

The lovely thesewphist left a comment that pandacub travels should visit New Zealand, also known as Aotearoa in the Maori language. Aotearoa roughly translates into "the land of the long white cloud" - how beautiful is that? With that stunning image in mind, plus the fact that my favourite movies of all time (the Lord of the Rings trilogy) was filmed here, how could I resist?

So here are some lovely Etsy items inspired by New Zealand and others from New Zealand-based sellers.

Left to right:
Top row:
1. Statue Fine Art Print (8x10), $18.00 by fotogeeni
2. Vintage Map of New Zealand - Square Resin Pendant Necklace, $13.00 by urbanbead
3. New Zealand Coin Ring 1965 Sixpence on an adjustable ring Be Different, $10.00 by Kiwialan

Middle row:
4. Pair of pure linen tea towels, $35.00 by shakyisles
5. Blue Silk Lucy Handbag, $50.00 by thesewphist
6. Duck Ripple New Zealand Photograph, $20.00 by NewCreatioNZ

Bottom row:
7. Dandelion Ring in Sterling Silver, $125.00 by ashhilton
8. Spirits Bay New Zealand, $12.00 by WelcomeWoodsWorkshop
9. New Zealand vintage Early 60's Map Lover's EcoBangle(TM), $25.00 by EcoBangle

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

hey Toronto! come shop pandacub in person!

Kids Trunk Show 2009

I'm very excited to be taking part in the second annual Kids Trunk Show at the workroom, which will feature some very lovely local crafty vendors selling children's clothing, accessories and toys.

There will be also be lots of goodies and rummage items for adults who are young at heart (I'm hoping to pick up a few goodies myself!). And for the kids, there will also be cupcake decorating and button making activities in the back garden.

If you're in the Toronto area, I'd love for you to come by and say hi! Don't be shy - introduce yourself! There will be lots of pandacub goodies for sale, much of which you won't find in my Etsy shop.

When: Sunday, August 23, 2009, 12 pm - 5 pm
Where: the workroom, 1340 Queen Street West (@ Brock), Toronto

For more info and to check out the list of awesome vendors and see some photos, check out this Flickr page.

pandacub postcards

In preparation for the upcoming Trunk Show and also as a promotional item, I decided to get some postcards. Normally I use business cards, but I think that postcards might be more eye-catching for in-person sales.

I LOVE the way they came out - what do you think?

Monday, August 10, 2009

why you should shop at pandacub this weekend...

Have you had your eye on something in pandacub? Just waiting for a good excuse to fill up the cart?

Well, this is as good a time as any! This weekend (August 14-16), I'm offering free worldwide shipping on everything in my shop! Shipping will already be adjusted, so just add your items to your cart and checkout.

Also, another good reason to pick up those things you've been eyeing - starting August 17, I'll be preparing for the Kids Trunk Show at the workroom (more details in a future blog post) so I'll be removing things from my shop in order to prepare them for sale at the Show. If they sell out at the Show, then you may not see them again in shop!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

pandacub travels to...London, England

I've always dreamed of going to London. I waited years and years and finally, in July 2006, I went there with my husband. What was a slight infatuation became a full-fledged love affair. It's the most amazing place and I can't wait to go there again (and again and again!)!

Left to right:

Top row:
1. London-boxed set of 10 note cards, $8.00 by milktoasty
2. Tower Bridge - London - 8X10 Signed Print, $20.00 by Paolosprints
3. Keep Calm and Carry On -- STEEL GRAY 16 x 20, $15.00 by pressureless

Middle row:
4. The Virgin Queen 4x6 inch Reproduction Print, $5.00 by MarkSatchwillArt (I have a complete set of prints featuring Henry VIII and his queens from Mark and they are stunning!)
5. LONDON CALLING British phone booth bracelet, $16.00 by insanejellyfish (I've wanted this bracelet forEVER)
6. Union Flag Love Heart, $25.00 by ilovehearts

Botton row:
7. London Underground, $15.00 by JennyLoveJewelry
8. LONDON Underground Tube Stations Art Print 8x8, $13.00 by scarletbeautiful
9. Hamlet Print - Shakespeare lllustration, $25.00 by immortallongings (Elizabeth is SUPER talented - I bought one of her leatherbound journals and it's even more beautiful in person)

Where should pandacub travel to next? Leave me your suggestions in the comments!

Friday, August 7, 2009

renew, re-list, repeat...

Early in July, I decided to embark on a crazy experiment to see if reneweing/listing hourly made any difference to my Etsy shop. After a few hiccups, I think I have some real results.

Note: As each shop is different and may have other factors affecting it (outside advertising), please take these experiements and results with a grain of salt

Here are some intro facts:
- I did a mix of renewing stil-current items, re-listing expired items and listing new items
- I did one item approximately every hour from 8am to midnight (EST - I'm in Toronto, Canada)
- I always ran the experiments for 2 days, and always on a Wednesday-Thursday

Experiment 1 - July 8-9
What happened: This was my starting, uncontrolled experiment as I did it on a whim and didn't really think it through, but it was fun. The numbers are skewed because I had also posted that I was doing this experiment on the Etsy forums and my blog so there was extra traffic generated by this (and also by some nice Etsians who Tweeted about my experiment). Anyhow, I relisted/renewed/listed one item approximately every hour

- 526 new item views
- 15 new shop hearts
- 1 sale during the 2-day period

Experiment 2 - July 22-23
What happened: I relisted/renewed/listed one item approximately every hour, but this time I didn't tell anyone on the Etsy forums, blogs, twitter or anywhere that I was doing it.

- 329 new item views
- 10 new shop hearts

Experiment 3 - July 29-30
What happened: I didn't relist/renew/list any items for the 2-day period. I also didn't mention anything in my blog or Etsy forums.

- 134 new item views
- 4 new shop hearts

So....what do you think? Obviously, there are a million other factors that can contribute to a shop's views and hearts, and this doesn't factor in the sales I got after each experiment since I can't say if they were a direct result or not, but in terms of exposure, it certainly looks like I drew more traffic into my shop during the days that I put more items into it.

Some of the comments I got when I first started doing this was that it was going to be expensive, but I don't think it is. I don't pay for advertising anywhere, so $0.20 a listing is really part of "doing business" and the cost never entered into my mind at all. My items don't cost very much so no one can say that I can afford it easily, but it's definitely part of my marketing strategy. All the other promotion I do is free, so this seems a small price to pay to bring more browsers (and potential shoppers) to pandacub.

Comments? Opinons?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

treasury: life's a beach

I can't BELIEVE I managed to snag a treasury on Etsy! Getting one of these things are rarer than blue moons! But anyhow, I was scrambling for a theme and decided on beaches. Why not? It's pretty much where I wish I was right now instead of where I actually am.

If you want to go see the real thing or check out some of the items I featured, click here. Hurry! This treasury expires early in the morning or Saturday, August 8!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

pandacub wants...fake cakes and cookies

I have a weird fascination with fake food (something I share with my sister). Perhaps it stems from my love of food in general. There are some really talented people on Etsy cooking up some fantastic-looking food! Some are very realistic looking and others are just plain cute!

Left to right:
Top row:
1. 4" Tall Wedding Cake Candy Set Miniature Fake Food for Bleuette Dolls and Display, $39.99 by dolliesalamode
2. 1 scoop Ice cream Pin - Strawberry cheese cake, $8.50 by sweetsdeco
3. Oreos - organic vegan soap, $10.00 by DirtyAssSoaps

Middle row:
4. BAKERY SWEETS - Cinnamon Rolls, Sugar Cookies, Sprinkles, Spatula, Hot Pad, and Baking Sheet (Patterns and Instructions), $6.00 by buggabugs
5. Petit Mini Cake Assortment Brooch Pin, $18.00 by CuteAbility
6. Adorable Set of 4 Felt Animal Cracker Cookies - Wonderful Gift Idea, $8.00 by DaisyDaydreams

Bottom row:
7. Felt Heart-Shaped Cakes - VALENTINES (Patterns and Instructions via Email), $5.00 by umecrafts
8. French macaron - charm - custom color, $4.00 by coffishop
9. Felt Cake Rolls, $3.00 by TimeToPlay

pandacub wants and pandacub travels...

I've seen so many lovely treasuries and features on other blogs that I decided to start a couple of new features inspired by them.

First: "pandacub wants..." - all the things I'd buy on Etsy if money was no object! These are just some of the lovely things that have caught my eye while spending many happy hours browsing around Etsy.

Second: "pandacub travels..." - a treasury of Etsy items inspired by global cities. Want me to build a "pandacub travels" feature on a certain city? Leave me a comment!

I hope you find some new favourites among them!