Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I found most of this on Monday when I was completely zonked with a migraine. Now I have a medium migraine right as it's time to post the treasury.

I'm also interested in the treasury naming process. I was really tempted to use the word "testicle" in my treasury title to get people's attention, but then I thought some of those featured might not be thrilled to be under such a heading. With over 900 treasuries currently up on Etsy, we'll see if anybody looks at mine, anyway.

White Point Vessel by upintheairsomewhere
Vase with Texture Overlay in Black and White by marymeestudio
Atomic Bowl. red by elementalclaystudio
Small Curvy Vase with Green Accent by kimwestad
dancing cruet set by annaspots
Porcelain Tippy Toe Bowl, Peacock Blue by carolbarclay
Chopped Baby Box by SusanKiffinDavidson
Coral Anemone Vase by janellesonger
9 oz bowl honey bee (black) by CircaCeramics
Sex Pot Mug by pinkkiss
Pet Bowl Set in Magenta by MSPottery
Tilt-A-World Forest Animal Dish by fruitiflypie

Thursday, September 18, 2008


New advertising toy/addiction thing:

Screw the traffic exchanges. Those were random everybodies randomly clicking random crap. LinkReferral is a traffic exchange, too, but it includes a reviews section where you can give feedback to the creators of other sites and they can leave you feedback as well. There's a whole complex points system based on how many reviews you submit a day (up to five for credit, more credit for better reviews) and how many sites you just view a day (up to 30) and then you can mark a site a day as a "favorite" and post in the "forum" as well, and all these things that push your site higher on their list for other people to look at.

And all of this would still be lame and sucky if, for some random reason, a huge number of Etsyians are all on the site. Shopping: jewelry/crafts. More than anything, LinkReferral has become my new way of poking through shops that I otherwise might never have found. Plus, I like critiquing, but not so much the critiques forum on Etsy, where you wade through too many "I just listed this item. What do you think?" (thinly veiled promo) posts and generic effusive comments and "rate the avatar above you" threads where the same person has posted every other slot for 16 pages. So a few thoughtful reviews in the name of "credit" on LinkReferral suits me fine.

And they have porn. You can get the exact same credit for going to the porn sites and rating them as you can going to Etsy sites. I only went surfing through these once (ok, so I'm back on there now that I'm writing this blog post) and found a lot of dead links (which I dutifully reported), but there was definitely some hardcore gay male action to be found including a very well built man swimming around a pool and jerking off to sleezy music. My straight male friend who was sitting beside me (the one who had egged me on to "check out the adult section!" in the first place) gaped at the screen flabergasted and speechless. I win.
Masturbation muscles counted towards my 30 hits for the day

*The AMAZING clay beefcake image is a magnet by bencandance and for sale at

Monday, September 15, 2008

Etsy Site Outage Today

Ok, who the hell is Chad? Wasn't he responsible for all that trouble down in Florida during the 2000 elections? If so, what the hell is he doing working for Etsy?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sweet Mother of/at Renegade!

and Father, too.

The Renegade craft fair is a big deal in Craftland. Started in Chicago in 2003, blah blah blah, now also in Brooklyn and San Francisco and four times a year in each place (I think). Here's their website for all the accurate primary-source information your heart desires.

I didn't feel ready as a vendor to apply in time for this one, but I wasn't about to miss going.

Car's still in the shop. Raining like the dickens (whatever way the dickens rains) all weekend. Wicker Park is half wayish between my apartment and my parents' house, so I thought it would be a lovely thing to do with them if we could meet there. But since I'm still automobilicly impaired, they agreed to pick me up from my acupuncture appointment, which was at least 20 minutes closer to Renegade than my apartment.

I called them after I finished getting poked. It was still very cold and wet outside, and they had apparently decided to go shopping for stools for their new kitchen this morning in the exact opposite direction from their house, Renegade (farther), my acupuncturist (even farther) and my apartment (farthest). They were caught in traffic still closer to the stool store than anything else so after much discussion and debate over the various routes and possibilities afforded to me by public transportation, my mom told me to go eat lunch somewhere and they'd come and get me.

I did and they did.

To be honest, it took a few more frazzled phone calls from them, but they found me and we found Renegade.


  • ■ Meeting the human behind my first ever Etsy purchase (I only bought six and gave them as presents, but she doesn't have six as an option right now)
  • ■ Seeing Betsy (aka Foxglove Accessories) for the first time since she got back from her honeymoon and meeting Mr. Betsy.
  • ■ Seeing the other "core" members of the Chicago Style Crafters who were there, in action: PixelParty and Cookoorikoo (another Mr. and Mrs. pair, but without a neighboring tent, they were having a hellish time with wind and rain and a persistently un-Velcro-ing tent side), Something Beautiful's warm-smelling if not warm-temperatured space, Donovan Beeson/16 Sparrows looking put together yet sarcastic as always, a probably cranky but definitely smiling CrankyPickle, and I barely snuck in a friendly hello to CircaCeramics as they seemed to sell things as fast as they could wrap them.
  • ■ My dad insisting we come see this shirt he really liked, then him buying it for me. I really like it, too. All graphic and branchy, and then there's the monkey! I was just thinking the other day that my long-sleeved shirt wardrobe sucks. Now it is one shirt less-sucky.
  • ■ Meeting Daniellexo from Etsy. I have no idea what I thought she'd look like, but I was surprised somehow that her particular face went with her particular person. Not in a bad way or anything, more like when you first see and hear Kevin Clash and find out he's Elmo.
    So Danielle, if you're reading this, I just called you Elmo. You gonna take that?
  • ■ Seeing things in person that I recognized from Etsy (MikeandMary and RainyPrints come to mind)
  • ■ Being totally awkward and weird as I said, "Oh! You know Diana Baumbach!" to the proprietors of Tugboat Printshop. Backstory: when I first began my Etsy obsession, my "BFF" from elementary school (Diana) mentioned she had friends on there and sent me their link: So when I was walking by their booth, I stopped and made a dork of myself. Go me.
  • ■ A few other noteworthy booths from which I made sure to get cards:
    foldedpigs. Fabulous dinnerware with brains, hearts, roaches, etc. Delicious. My mom was really tempted to get a roachy serving bowl for Thanksgiving, but our usual Thanksgiving guests are a bit on the conservative side for that. Pity.
    up in the air somewhere. Really great ceramic semi-functional sculptury design pieces. I want someone I visit a lot to own them and display them in an appropriately design-conscious environment. That person will never be me.
    huzzah! Video game nerd t-shirs in their most brilliant and pure form. I have to get The Blueprint T-shirt for my friend for Christmas. It's just too perfect and too him.
    Pink Kiss. Again with the clay, but these are more "pottery" and much prettier with words and images that look almost like they transferred when wet paper was left sitting on the piece before it dried. I liked the look and I liked a lot of the readable text and the unreadable text, too. I like text as art. Suck it.
I need to get my application together for Holiday Renegade. Sell my snarky card crap and dog sweaters in December. That would be swell.

Wow. I've completely degenerated into sleepyhead stooopid mode since I started writing this post. Think I can get images on here before I pass out and electrocute myself by drooling on the keyboard?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Swimming in the Data Pool

Ok, it's mini-pricing lesson time, but this one will be very mini and very simple, to be expanded later possibly by request and/or payment, as I'm looking for ways to make more money and I see how much the few people selling spreadsheets are making on Etsy and I think that I need to start tapping that market, too, but in the places it's clearly not even being tapped.

Mini-lesson of the day:
Pool your data.

This goes well as a pun with my one-of-a-kind hand-sewn fish swimsuit seller, so let's go back to her. It turns out, she's not the only one on Etsy selling fish swimsuits. Of course, no one else's fish swimsuits are exactly like her fish swimsuits, but there's a school of sellers around and they've even started a team called Team Swimmy Suit. They want to pool their data because some girl with a blog told them that was a good idea, but they don't know what this means or how to do it.

Here's how to do it.

Make a spreadsheet. Google Docs is wonderful for this because you can create a single online spreadsheet that everybody is allowed to edit, either by invitation only or by making it open access.
On that spreadsheet, you want to make places to enter the date the item sold, the price for which the item sold (how you want to deal with shipping is up to you, but I like to give it its own column), and the very general type of item. (Oh, dear lord, she made an example!) For fish bathing suits, the team might decide to split it up into small, medium, and large with columns for one-piece versus two-piece and extra places to check-off special characteristics that might effect the price, like custom, recycled, or jewel-encrusted. (Team SwimmySuit example. No, I really didn't have time for this.)

Then, you want as many people as possible to fill in as many sales as possible. The more data you have, the better your pricing info will be. Lucky for everybody, it doesn't matter if you haven't been keeping track of your sales thus far, since Etsy does it for you on your sold orders page. In theory, everything you need to fill out a spreadsheet should be there: date sold, price (with shipping separate), and what the thing was.

When you have a lot of data, it's time to analyze. It's up to you what constitutes a lot...How frequently do these items sell and how many people sell them and how wide is the range of what's out there? Fish bathing suits may be less common than felted boogers may be less common than beaded earrings. You know your craft. Just keep collecting data after you've started analyzing, too.
Hopefully, someone on your team has taken stats 101. If not, find out if someone on your team is sleeping with someone who has taken stats 101, or is the parent of someone who has taken stats 101. If that, too fails, pay someone like me to do it.

The easiest and most useful stuff for you to learn from the little exercise is how many fish swimsuits sold over time for each price range. That's the info you can then use to decide where to price your own items at the real true "bestish" pricing point, or at least the closest thing you're ever going to get to it.
You'll also want to pull out of your data pool analysis whether or not your extra column check boxes had any effect on the price. There's shmancy stats things you can do involving "r squared" and other crap, or you can just tell the spreadsheet software to do certain things if a column has a certain answer in it and see if the final totals change (which is why I no longer remember any formulas I learned in stats or econometrics).
A good stats-knowing person will look at the data in a whole bunch of different ways and see what sorts of other useful things pop out, too. Holiday trends, time trends, if a certain user's items always sell for significantly more or less than other people's and taking them out makes the rest of the numbers make more sense, etc. I'm too ADDesque to do this crap all the time, but I do find it interesting in short spurts.

In the end, even with all this wonderful information, your pricing will still be up to you. It will never be perfect and will more likely be a range than a number, plus people may hold onto "people pay more for recycled fish swimsuits" like a superstition even if the data proves otherwise. But if you make something even vaguely homogeneous with a team, jump into the pool. It can't hurt.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Change my banner?

Do I need to change my Etsy shop banner? I've gotten feedback here and there about it needing to change and maybe incorporating some of my cards into it. I don't really want to lose the branding of my scissors thing, but when enough people make the suggestion, I start taking it seriously. My banner originally didn't have the sheep, but enough people told me to tie it in better with my shop that I thought that was a simple idea that kept the rest of the look I liked.
Original banner:Banner with sheep (currently in my shop):Do I give up on the scissors and go for something that's entirely my card photos and my name?Or how about something completely different, like the googly background I created for my blog? This is just a rough version:
And of course, it has to go with my shop. I can't make decisions anymore. My life is so hard.