amandajocrafts

November 29, 2012

On Supporting Handmade.

Oh Christmas!

I’m not one for getting swept up in the commercialism of the season, but boy oh boy do I love giving gifts! You heard me right–my favorite part of gifting is not the receiving, but the look of delight on someone’s face at Christmas that lets me know I got them just the right thing. It’s all about making people happy 🙂

This Christmas, as I’ve done for the past couple of years now, I’m doing my best to gift handmade and support small businesses. Of course, I definitely bought stuff (with coupons!) from big stores (Kohls and I are best buds), but at the same time, I’m making a concentrated effort to support handmade whenever possible!

It’s definitely worth paying the little extra to know that not only are you making the day of the person to whom you are giving the gift, but you’re also making the day of that seller! (Do you know how excited I get when I sell an item? Really? There’s typically some jumping involved :))

So, let me know below if you’re planning on supporting handmade this season, through Etsy or craft fairs or wherever, and I’ll get you started with some of my favorites. (That I didn’t get for other people, don’t want to spoil any surprises!) If you like any of them, just click on the picture to send you there!

Hair Pin Buttons by Chatterblossom

Autumn Pillow by NeedlesnPinsStitchery

Hobbiton Necklace by PrettyLittleCharmsUK

Country Button Earrings by ciaralg

“I Like Big Books” Tote by PamelaFugateDesigns

How have you supported handmade this holiday season?

November 27, 2012

On Pieces of Elise’s.

Well, last weekend, my fiance and I were watching Singing in the Rain, and as usual, I couldn’t get enough of the old-style singing and dancing. They just don’t make movies like they used to!

Thankfully, I’m not the only one who thinks so! Elise, the creator and mastermind behind Pieces of Elise’s, makes darling paper dolls from the “good old days,” like Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. (Why don’t men know how to dance anymore?!)

However, she doesn’t stop there!

Pieces of Elise’s is a virtual treasure trove of fun drawings in Elise’s own unique style, craftily re-made into paper dolls, magnets, stickers, puppets, and custom drawings, not to mention jewelry and masks.

I can relate to Elise quite rapidly; like me, she’s an office administrator by day and an Etsyian by night and weekends (and any other time she can slip it in there)! It takes great dedication to maintain a shop while having a day job, and it’s great to see her persevering with such fun, interesting creations!

In order to make it all work, she schedules her Etsy time, “tweaking things, adding products, answering conversations, a couple of times a week, mainly on my days off.” She even has her mom get in on the fun by messaging clients and creating forms. Says Elise, “She’s a real lifesaver!”

When asked, Elise said her favorite item in her shop is her “portrait of a lady with big hair :)” This drawing is so expressively done, and so full of confidence and vigor in both the figure and in Elise’s own pencil strokes, that it’s not hard to see why this is a favorite!

However, her favorite items to make in her shop are her articulated paper dolls. She likes “that they are movable and interactive. They appeal to kids and adults. The classic Hollywood articulated paper dolls I make can be posed and are cool miniatures of the actual celebrities.” Most importantly, “I just love drawing people and I feel like I’m bringing something to life.”

With options from Adele to Alfred Hitchcock, these are truly unique creations that I can honestly say I haven’t seen before. What a great idea for a gift–especially since her dolls cover such a wide range of pop culture references. And, if there’s something you want in particular, she always does custom orders!

(I just love the way she drew his face–it’s exactly the expression I picture him to have.)

It’s clear that Elise is talented, and it seems that it runs in the family. “I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. My mom was a graphic artist and studied abroad during college in Italy. She spent time drawing with my brother and I when we were little and it became something we both loved to do.” That passion stuck with her as she grew older. “When I went to high school I took three art classes: pottery, art, and jewelry class. I liked them all, but I think drawing always came easiest to me.”

Of course, I have to finish up by asking her where she sees her shop heading in the months and years to come. In the short term, she plans to keep right on trucking along: adding items, doing custom orders, and having fun with her shop. For the long term, she wants to spread the word about her shop, quit her day job, and be an artist!

So, if you’re interested in some Pieces of Elise’s, head on over to her shop. You can also check out her blog for some personal pieces of Elise, as well!

November 20, 2012

On A Sale.

What do you get when you add:

A teddy bear

Plus a little octopus

And a dash of winter warmth

All wrapped around some crocheted loving?

Well, you get amandajocrafts’ annual Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale!

Between Friday, November 23 and Monday, November 26, use coupon code FRIDAYMONDAY at amandajocrafts for 15% off your total order.

This is a great chance to get some serious Christmas shopping done! Who doesn’t need a scarf, or some gloves, or an adorable doll or teddy bear for Christmas or Hanukkah?! Come and plan out your order on amandajocrafts.

November 12, 2012

On Some Fingerless Gloves.

Gotta share a quick one 🙂

I just listed my first pair of fingerless gloves at my Etsy store, and I couldn’t be more excited about them. I made a pair for myself last week (in pink, a made-to-order set in that color will be showing up later this week in the shop!) and have been wearing them to work ever since–they’re great to type with, they keep my hands nice and toasty, and I love the dexterity!

I wanted something that was both super warm and cozy and something that looks delicate and classy, and maybe a little Victorian–so both bulk and delicacy (I wanted it all, basically :)) Well, I worked with it for a bit and finally came up with a pattern that I think satisfies both!

Also, I just wanted to mention how excited I am by the photgraphy of these gloves–don’t they look great?! I owe the photo to my fiance, because my hands were in the gloves!

If you have a moment, come and check them out here!

November 7, 2012

On Really Awesome Shoes.

Filed under: Uncategorized — amandajocrafts @ 8:37 pm

Folks, just wanted to shoot out a quick post to the world to let you know about this awesome giveaway for some ADORABLE 1920’s style shoes. American Duchess is providing a wonderful opportunity to channel Downton Abbey (a personal favorite of mine!) with this beauts 🙂

 

On amandajocrafts going on sale.

I’m not really much for sales–I pay myself a fair wage for my work, and do the best I can with that; there isn’t a lot of wiggle room.

However, my Etsy shop does have a sale once a year for Black Friday/Cyber Monday 🙂

Come on over to amandajocrafts between Friday, November 23 and Monday, November 26 for 15% off your purchase–just use the code FRIDAYMONDAY. It’s a great chance to get the cute stuffed animal for your favorite nephew, the classy (and warm!) scarf for your sister, or the unique thingling for your best friend.

Why not get some Christmas shopping out of the way and support handmade!

How can you resist this face? 🙂

November 6, 2012

On If the Customer *Really* Wants Crochet.

I was handed a nice little epiphany yesterday, courtesy of my friends on the Etsy Success team.

As you probably know, I’ve started creating scarves and cowls for my Etsy shop. I was (and am) really excited about adding this new element to my shop, and since I assumed “tis the season,” I expected them to be searched for with regularity.

One of the “offenders” :).

However, in the two weeks since I’ve listed the first scarf, it’s only come up in search once. I was floored–after all the work and understanding I now have about the tagging/SEO system for Etsy, I really thought I had done so efficiently for the scarf.

After a quick question out into Etsy Success team, I received the most fascinating answer: no one is searching for “crochet.”

This whole time, I’ve been thinking like the seller, not the buyer. I’ve been thinking about how it’s made, not by what people are looking for. It’s kind of like searching the internet for glassware with the word “lehr” (the oven that’s used to heat it) rather than “glassware.” Oh.

If people are looking for something like my scarves, they’re searching for “women’s fashion scarves” or “red winter scarf” or “dressy women’s scarf,” not the way in which it was made.

Hopefully some title change will bring some views to this beaut!

So, I’ve now updated my titles and tags to reflect this little epiphany, and I’ll keep you posted on the results!

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