Thursday, March 31, 2011

Selling Myself

So, I listed items on Etsy, now what?  Once upon a time I had listed these very same items on Ebay, clearly they never sold.  Then I get frustrated...  There are SO many people selling similar items.  My pricing is right in the middle, so that's where my products stay.  It's not FAIR that other people are setting up their items the way they do, it's like CHEATING!!!  Some people post an item for $1, but it's really only to chose the fabric for an item you pay more for.  Or, they tag their item for a section that has nothing to do with what I am trying to sell, but there it is, on the same selling page as my items. 
But really I think I have been cheating myself.
I listed items on Etsy the same week as a friend of mine.  We sell completely different items.  I updated my blog, I created a business page on facebook, I thought I was doing the right thing to promote my stuff.  Within a few days I had a couple dozen people view my items.  Within a few days, my friend had sold an item, internationally.  I am very happy for her, ecstatic even!  We're not best-buds from forever ago, but I think I've been pretty supportive, I hope so, she does some adorable stuff, and I truly wish her all the best.  I even try to promote her stuff when I can, but especially when I see another friend that I think might like what she does.  And that is where I realized I was missing something.  I have a feeling that she actually did her homework about this online selling game...  I had not even started.
So, what do I do?  I checked out the Etsy site and found a whole section on how to sell on Etsy.  It's amazing how much information there is!  How to set up your shop, how to advertise, how to connect with people, and so much more about finances and keeping up momentum!  I have now started my homework.
I understand it's about selling myself, little pieces of me, but now it's more about getting myself connected.
We live in this amazing new world that has grown and shrunk at the same time with one little invention called "the Internet."  In a second you are transported to another place, another space, and you have to find your connection, it's not difficult, but you just have to do it.
So that is where I am.  I am doing my homework, learning how to sell myself and learning to connect to people that I may never meet in person.

If you would like to see the items my friend sells on Etsy, please visit http://www.etsy.com/shop/JuBeMeDesigns

And don't forget to help me connect!!!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/stuffnjunkbyheidi
facebook

Monday, March 21, 2011

Today I am missing my best friend...

Eleven years ago today, I lost my best friend.  If he were here today he would tell you that he must not have been my "best" friend, or I wouldn't have lost him!  He may not have been the perfect husband, he may not have been the perfect dad, but he was perfect in my eyes, and will be all my life.
He was my favorite person.  Not because he would take us to McDonald's, or Baskin Robbins, or because he always had a brand-new five dollar bill waiting for us in his wallet.  He could make you feel like you were the most important person in the world just by looking at you.  He never took my crap.  He told me dirty jokes, and he cursed when he worked on his boat or car.  He was a recovering alcoholic, he was Catholic, and he loved to sing, although his sister later revealed that he may not have been very good at the singing.
And I just miss him.
I knew the day I said goodbye in the hospital that I would never see him again.  I just knew.  Even though the doctors said he was doing better the day before.  I just knew him.  I will never not miss him.
I believe that when someone passes away, a little piece of them can still live on as long as there is someone that loves them to continue their memory.  If you are reading this, I am passing a piece of him on to you.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I never learned to iron...

I actually wrote this December 7, 2005.  I wanted to re-visit it...

Ok, so I know I have a lot of random thoughts, but this one really got me thinking the other day.
I was in my sewing room (this doesn't happen very often) and I was using the iron I got as a wedding gift.  I love this iron!  The filling portion actually comes away from the unit so you can fill it while the iron is still on in the other room!  It doesn't spit or sputter very often which is great when you are working with fabrics that you don't want white deposits on, or fabrics that will get ruined by water.
Ok, so back to the sewing room...  I have been trying to get smaller projects done, like some of my doll panels.  No pattern needed, how hard can that be???  I spent the day before washing and drying all the fabric, folded it nicely, but knew I would need to iron out the wrinkles.  Wow, did I get frustrated.  My iron has the setting printed on it, it even tells you the settings for the fabric types!!!  All my fabric was cotton, so I turn it to the cotton setting (the highest setting there is), I wait until I feel like the iron is as hot as it's gonna get, and I start pluggin' away.
This is where my random thoughts come in.  I start getting very frustrated because no matter how much steam I use, no matter how slow I move the iron, no matter how many times I go over the same spot, the fabric never looses all the wrinkles!  Yes, it looks much better than before I started, but it doesn't look like it just came off the bolt.  So I start thinking, I must be doing something wrong.  No one taught me how to iron!  In school, they teach you the inner workings of frogs, the square root of 5,836, and useful words like "quagmire" and "onomatopoeia" (that's Danny's favorite!!!), but no one teaches you how to iron, not even in my sewing class!!!
At home, mom never sat me down and said, "Today we are going to learn to use the iron."  I didn't even learn to sew except by just doing it!  So, how do we know how to iron?  The instructions that come with the iron, which I actually have, don't tell you much.  When did this ancient art begin?  Who decided to put a hot piece of metal on cloth to make it look nice?  When and why did they add water/steam?  What is the function of "fabric stiffener" and when is this necessary to use?  How do I get the freaking minuscule wrinkles out of the fabric!?!?
Ok, so that is my random thought for the week.  Slightly more interesting than the day I pondered how doors are made, and much less confusing than the Chinese/Italian restaurant that made me laugh so hard I nearly wet myself, but challenging none the less.
Now that you have gotten a glimpse of the slightly disturbed mind of Heidi, I hope you still feel warm and fuzzy thoughts of me.
Hope everyone has a terrific Holiday season!!!
February 21, 2011, update...
So, eventually I purchased a "better" iron...  I put the money out and bought myself a (pink) Rowenta iron, which after some research is a really good iron, but PINK!!!  I also added some silver ironing board fabric to my ironing board which helps keep the heat and steam in.  Up until my mom used the iron I was having some really good results.  Of course AFTER mom used it, it now has some glue-like stuff on it...  
In retrospect ironing has changed me.  When I worked at the bridal shop, I came in with the attitude that ironing was a chore.  And a chore I despised.  I used a steamer at the shop, and ironing seemed like even MORE of a chore...  The steamer works so fast!  I have since learned the skill of treating ironing like a relaxation technique.  "How" do you ask?  Simple...  I don't do it very often.  When I do I think about the fabric, how it is being manipulated, how I want it to look.  I think about the quiet, the steam, the heat of the iron.  I take my time over each spot.  I wouldn't say it's my favorite thing to do every day, I still only buy wash-and-wear clothes, but I have to admit, with the right equipment, ironing has become less of a challenge...