I did it!

Yesterday I blogged about willing my camera to me. And yesterday it arrived in the mail! *beams*

I do expect there to be a huge learning curve. Our point-and-shoot, which shall be kept for the moment at least, for Bro2 to tinker with more in depth, doesn't begin to compare. So much fun! I'm lovin' it.

Post Picture: The light fixture in the hallway of our house.


Weekend Blurble- Almost here

Yarn from the Westie!
Originally uploaded by becca.elpy
Almost here, almost there...depends on where you're going, I guess.

I hope everyone's having a good holiday season. My Christmas was very nice. I'm getting a new camera! A Canon DSLR. It's on back-order because my dad had to get a black body. All the ones we've seen in stores had black bodies, he said. hehe. I'm willing it to me. C'mon camera!

Post Picture: Yarn from WickedWestie an old Etsy friend...Etsy friend of old. She'd been globe-trotting and I caught her between trips. The white-ish ones are bamboo!


Merry Christmas

I should have been wrapping presents last night. It has turned into something of a tradition, now that we're (the brothers and I) are older and helpful, to wrap presents on Christmas Eve. All of them, each sequestered in some part of the house, snatching bits of paper and ribbon.

Instead, I willed the presents to wrap themselves and played for you a little song. Sorry for the horrible lighting. New camera, present from the parents, is on back-order. (excitement!) Regular blogging shall resume later next week.




Originally uploaded by becca.elpy
It snowed a little much, yesterday. They banned semi-trucks from the road. My friend and I went to that party, more like a small gathering...not at all a party in the TV sense. It was fun, five of us playing cards eating lasagna and brownies, swapping Christmas tradition stories, and petting the 'lion' cat. Found out I'm broccoli. (long story) :)
I'm glad I went.

Post Picture: The snow, the next day...when the roads were somewhat clear.


By Its Cover- Stupid and Contagious pt.2

By Its Cover is my completely independent 2-part book review column. Selections are made based entirely on the book's cover. I'm testing the old saying in my quest to find new authors.

Title: Stupid and Contagious
Author: Caprice Crane

Part One

I finished this blindingly fast, as is often the case with chick lit books. They're heavy on conversation- short, quippy/quirky dialogue that's a breeze to read. At points it was laugh-out-loud funny.

There were two main characters, a guy and a girl. Yeah, you can see where this is going. It's told in a kinda past/present first-person narrative, usually in alternating chapters. I think this was a risk because first person is such an intimate way of telling a story. The cover says the girl, named Heaven, is the 'sexy heroine'. But I think the guy, a late-twenty-something aspiring inventor/record producer named Brady, completely upstages her. He's a more full-drawn character, for as deep as chick-lit gets. Or perhaps it was my budding entrepreneur-ness that connected, in the reader-ly way, with his trying, failing and flailing.

There is a good deal of language in this. Call me a prude, (and a frequent reader of old British classics) but I felt I should let you know. Some of the plot points felt contrived or forced page-eaters that could have been left out- the original firing of Heaven, the Kurt Cobain gun incident. And the ending could have been a little less fairy-tale if only one of the two things happening. Rarely in life do you get it all. But I guess we read books, fiction books, to escape life.


Hi says I

It's cold again. New England is suffering from hot flashes. It's confusing, but any time it's above 40 in December, you won't hear me complaining. (I know, my SW friends are screaming at me. hey, 40+ is nice.)

Tomorrow I have a christmas party to go to. This is odd. The mental shift from teenager to adult it taking a long time with me for some reason. I'm not sure why. The idea of being invited by myself to a christmas party...I mean, it's not a birthday party. I'm thinking about it too much. It's with some old friends, people I kinda fell out of touch with when our little group disbanded...you know how it is. Should be interesting.

My SPT. I'm wearing a faux garland scarf...faux because it's not really pine and it's not really a scarf. It's prickly, though...in it's faux-ness. Also an angel ornament I made a creative eon ago. After the 'shoot' her head fell off.



along the way- packaged
Originally uploaded by becca.elpy
Woke up to a sale notification email. Checking my shop, I was down 3 items. Of course, that warranted a happy dance in the chair...more like a wiggle. Two of the Post Office guys stopped by my table at the October fair. One bought a set of magnets then, the other took a business card. I didn't think anymore about it.

He was the buyer today. Three pairs of earrings. Made my December! I wiffed this year in the promotions department, so focused I was on getting through the two shows. This was lovely.

Post Picture: Old and new packaging. The one of the right is more time-consuming, probably only by a few seconds, but when you're rushing...it makes a difference. I'll still use it on occasion. The other is an address label and one piece of ribbon. So much easier but still nice.

Seller Tips- Indie Smiles

I'm an indie-preneur, a micro-business owner constantly looking for ways to promote my work. I started this column, Seller Tips, to help me keep track of my findings and to pass them on to you.

[what's it called] Indie Smiles
[where'd you find it] Twitter
['splain it please] "Indiesmiles is a one stop shopping source of online Indie shops at a discount!"

Getting your shop sales and other promotions is now a little easier. Attracting notice to your shop specials can be a little tricky on crafty forums. Indie Smiles is a coupond directory. Started by El and Sue, friends and indiepreneurs themselves. For a small, bi-weekly fee, indies can post deals going on in their shops at the moment.

Several advertising options are available.


Along the way- maven.me

along the way- maven.me
Originally uploaded by becca.elpy
So, I'm a thisnext maven, meaning i get a little sticker on my avatar. They sent me a welcome pack, with these m&m's in it and some other stuff in it. The UPS people bashed them up pretty good...and may have stolen stuff out of the envelope, but they're still tasty.


Weekend Blurble 12.15- Jingling

This weekend was quick. It was over almost before it started. Woke up happy today. Guess 'cause I slept well after staying up for long parts of the night for several consecutive days last week, reading (finished the BIC book, but I'm holding the review for a few days) and talking to an Etsy friend online. My eyes were having hard time...seeing. Yeah, there's always a trade-off.

Oven's on the fritz so holiday baking isn't happening for the most part. We hope to get it fixed this week. I'm looking forward to the new year more so than Christmas. I have things I want to do, and projects to tackle. 2008 was good...I hope next year is even better.


By Its Cover- Stupid And Contagious pt. 1

By Its Cover is my completely independent 2-part book review column. Selections are made based entirely on the book's cover. I'm testing the old saying in my quest to find new authors.

title: Stupid and Contagious
author: Caprice Crane

This is probably a chick lit book. On opening the front cover I was greeted with the chick-lit library book smell: dozens of perfumes from previous readers blended together into an almost noxious fume. (that is not a knock on the book itself.)

I was hooked by the first paragraph- and the cover- and stayed up late zipping through the first 30 pages or so. It's proving an easy read so far. After the pseudo-philosophical historical conundrum that was the last book I slogged through for BIC, I needed something like this.

Hope to post a full review in a week or so.


Ornament Sale

Originally uploaded by lpdesigns
All ornaments are currently 20% off. Yay!

It's cold and rainy here. I've gotten some shopping done. I've also hung some art and things on the walls in my bedroom/studio. (not as glamorous as it sounds.) It felt good and will hopefully help me get more organized. I have a decent amount of wallspace and after my room redecoration, I didn't have much anymore.

I'm becoming a new more grown-up me.

Post Picture: My personal favorite ornament design. On sale now!


Zephyr- Hey-oh!

I'm here.
Betwixt and between...faking being busy.

Hopefully, I'll get back into the swing of blogging soon.


Handmade for Kids and the US Government

A repost I wrote for the CT team blog.

I recently became aware of something that will be in effect as of February 10, 2009 barring something unforeseen and will affect the business of countless Etsy sellers and small businesses.

This summer, H.R 4040, put forth by the CPSC, was signed into law. It aims to get hazardous chemicals out of children's toys, clothes, furniture, etc. (There some exclusions, but it's not very clear to me.) This sounds good. It requires that ALL, products marketed to or intended for children 12 and under be tested. The cost of the tests, which would have to be done for each product type/model (every blue ball, red ball, green barrette, orange barrette) could easily reach into the thousands of dollars. The supplier's test will not suffice. The end manufacturer will be responsible for obtaining their own certification.

Etsy canNOT help here. They are a venue, with sellers from around the globe. We are individually responsible for following our country's guidelines as is stated in their terms of use. (see section 5- Restricted Activities then #5 in that list.)

Attention can and must be brought to this, to the effect it will have on sellers on Etsy, eBay and beyond or independently and therefore our already struggling economy. It is possible it will can even affect the sale of such items at thrift stores and garage sales.

There are several links that I have found helpful. You will find them below. Please, even if you are not a maker of items specifically for children, I hope you will take some time to look this over and pass it along. We need to work together on this.

    Etsy Thread about the CPSC Deadline alot of my links are from there.
    National Bankruptcy Day- this is sort of new with not a lot of info, but there are links for contacting your congressman. On the Etsy thread, they suggest handwriting the letter instead of email since snail mail will more likely get read for security reasons.
    Petition against H.R. 4040 You can e-sign this even if you aren't a children's item seller. Be sure to pass it on.
    Rick Woldenberg’s speech at the CPSC conference- Links to the 3-part Youtube videos where Woldenberg speaks about the impact this will have on his company. He is not a small business, but the quickness and all-encompassing nature of this act has even big business worried.
    H.R. 4040- PDF The act in its entirety.
    Ask a Question of the CPSC- The site says: "Everyone is encouraged to submit questions. They will be very helpful to CPSC staff in developing general guidance on the new Act and Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) pages on specific issues".
    Updated:Etsyan Grecowoodcrafting's explanation in plain English, it's a worthwhile read.

So if anyone has any ideas on how to get the word out, about what this bill, as it stands now, will do to small businesses and craftspeople, feel free to post, comment. I'm not exactly sure how to proceed. Feel free to repost this info on your blog(s), Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, etc. Maybe get it out to the news media, with emphasis on small business. At its core, I think the bill means well. I'm completely for protecting kids. But I think this act will harm kids, with all the parents whose livelihoods will be at risk.

Thanks for reading this. It's long but important.



Once upon a time, I had a job, a regular job. It wasn't glamorous, but it was something to do between school and homework. Things got worse at the job. I stayed. They fired people I liked working with for unfair reasons. I stayed. They changed managers. I stayed. They changed policies. I stayed. I found proof that they wanted to get rid of me, but I was a good worker, came in on time, worked hard...firing me would look suspicious. Still, I stayed.

Eventually they made on change too many for the little band of workers that had gotten hired with me. One by one they left, most to the same company that opened a new branch in the area. I stayed there too long. But the time I finally left, I'd lost touch with everyone I'd really worked with, who could help me get a new job. It was weird, rough...and why I started selling on Etsy.

I'm able, today, unfortunately to see some parallels between that situation and my relationship with Etsy. They say those who don't learn from history repeat. I've learned my lesson.

Will I leave? Not all at once, at least. But things have changed, my ideas have changed. It's weird, rough. Like that job, I like the other sellers I've worked with and gotten to know. But do I want to be the last one there, the only who remembers how it used to be? There's wrong nothing with hope. But sometimes, you just have to let go.

Post Picture: A pic a took a year or so ago, of my neighbor's tree, the last leaf that autumn.


Feature- Beacon Bookmarks

When I did the Made for You Showcase, they gave me one of the swag bags that were given to shoppers. It was packed with goodies from local businesses and craft sellers. One such item was a small bookmark from Beacon Bookmarks. I looked them up on Etsy and absolutely loved what I saw.

Their bookmarks are wooden, stamped with a funky little image, initial or short phrase, and "Unlike using paper or receipts, they won't get lost in the pages!" (direct quote from their home page...how did they know I did that.)

I hope you'll check them out.

Post Picture: Flower bookmark listing photo.


Something New- Seller Tips

For a while, I've wanted to bring in outside info and products to my blog to add variety and value. The idea was further encourage in a tweet-chat I had yesterday with a follower/followee, Mark, who works in social media. So today, I'm going to start something new, tentatively and prosaically called Seller Tips. (sometimes, my creativity just hits a wall) I'm looking for ways to build my business. The good ones, I'll pass along to you. Here we go:

I'm an indie-preneur, a micro-business owner constantly looking for ways to promote my work. I started this column, Seller Tips, to help me keep track of my findings and to pass them on to you.

[what's it called] Buyer's Market Blog- 100 Small Actions
[where'd you find it] Twitter
['splain it please] The Buyer's Market is a twice-annual wholesale show for crafters/designers from around the country. Recently, on their blog, they began a list of seemingly little things a craft business owner can do to build his or her business.

The most recent tips were: #11- Joined LinkedIn and #12- Write a note (handwritten) to a past customer. They give a short blurb with each suggestion, explaining the benefits of it and how much time you could/should invest doing it. No one will be able to do all 100. The key is to pick the ones that will work (in more than one sense of the word) for you.

Now, I'm a columnist! hehe
Hope you find it useful.


December and [nautico]

If I were more organized and " 'bout it, 'bout it" as someone I knew used to say, this monthly posts would actually appear monthly and would contain a list of goals I have for the month, how I fared on last month's, etc. Maybe that can be a goal for next year.

Oh, I held a Canon Rebel EOS x(?)i d-slr yesterday. Fell. In. Love. I will own one one day. I hope. I hope.

Post Picture: New necklace in the shop, Nautico, to match the earrings.


1000 Markets

1000 Markets

There has been a spate of new sites to sell handmade items. At first they were Etsy look-alikes or had a sort of cheesy-feeling. Recently they've been pretty chic, picking up on backend issues that Etsy for some reason, has refused to address. I've registered on many of these sites, mainly to hold my name.

One such is site is 1000 Markets. While I don't really want to invest in setting up sites in a kabillion places I liked the feel of this one.

Right now, it's a water-down version of my Etsy shop, things that are easy to recreate. I don't think I'll leave Etsy. I've been there for almost 3 years and seen it through a lot. I'm just looking to diversify, make my products available to more people.