Friday, January 30, 2009

Send Myself to You

1) My new computer has a webcam.
2) I sent five packages today.
I made a video about my packaging process. It took much longer than planned, but I'm happy with it, even though I'm fairly awkward and it's far from perfect.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

They like me! They really like me!

In the last 48 hours, I've sold five cards to four people. Three poop cards, two "olive ewe" cards. Holy crap. I'm not featured anywhere on Etsy or Etsy Greetings, so where the hell is all this coming from? It's pretty exciting. Am I being secret whatevered? It's like as soon as I re-list the cards, they sell again. I guess now's the time to buy valentines and people seem to like mine. And/or because I keep re-listing them, they're at the top of the pile and my prices are low enough now that they've become impulse items. Either way, sweet. Now if I can just figure out what I'm doing wrong with my camera and get some non-terrible photos of all my other valentines, I'll really be in business.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Obama-rama-ding-dong: Plush Like Me

It's Obama fever., the no shame celebrity gossip site, named Barack Obama 2008 Celebrity of the Year. No amount of sax playing on Arsenio and Oval Office shtupping could have earned Bill Clinton this kind of politician-as-celebrity status. Hell, the Reagans started their careers as actors, yet Nancy's outfits failed to inspire national trends. You can say it's the 24-hour news cycle or idiot bloggers with nothing better to do, but Jackie O and the Kennedys managed similar feats of political celibrigodliness back when black and white televisions still outsold color sets and stations signed off at midnight. And I seem to remember something about one of the Founding Fathers' wives bringing Parisian fashion to the consciousness of the American elite.

I'm not going to analyze why people go gaga over some politicians and don't give a crap about others. Instead, I'm giving in and looking at what the Obamas tell me is cool. After all, I actually like the Obamas. I voted for Barack in the primary and the general election. I voted for Rahm Emanuel however many times he was up for reelection while I lived in his district in Chicago. I like what Barack is doing politically, I think Michelle dresses like a stylish human being instead of the freaky robot crap the other First Ladies of my lifetime have opted for, and the kids are cute. They're like a step up from kittens or that piglet who wears galoshes. Chelsea Clinton entered the white house as an awkward 12 in braces. Not so cute. But a couple of overdressed little Lincolns? Adorable.

So enough introductory yapping. Here's my point: From now until the inauguration, I'm going to explore some of the trends the Obamas are setting, or at least fanning. Today: Ugly Dolls.

A week and a half ago, Sasha Obama went to her first day at her new school in DC with Babo's Bird the Ugly Doll hanging from her backpack. The media went ape, and Ugly Dolls flew off the shelves. Even grownups, like the Daily Beast's Kathleen Parker went out and bought herself Ugly Doll keychain Icebat to hang off her purse.

At age 26 (for some reason I always think I'm 27...), I finally know the formula to be "cool" in elementary school: get the exact same Ugly Doll as Sasha Obama. Only the Alphas are allowed to get the ones that are different and have it still be cool. Otherwise, you just got the wrong one. The Alphas can do what Kathleen Parker did and opt for a slightly different Ugly - Trunko, perhaps - but nothing that strays too far from the norm. Uglyworm may be your true favorite, but carry him and risk taunts like "is that even really an Ugly Doll?" and "What's with the giant green sperm?" You'd be amazed how many kids know the phrase "cum dumpster" by the time they're 10.

BUT! At age 26, I am (for all intents and purposes) a GROWN UP now! The world is a much bigger place. For whatever reason, I've always found Ugly Dolls fairly appealing, and strange plush in general tends to make me very happy. So! they may not be Ugly Dolls, but "cool" or "Alpha" or "Epsilon," here are some of my absolute favorite stuffed oddities:

Perfect Children. "Animals that must be believed to be seen."

This whole shop makes me happy. It's one of the first places I go online when I'm feeling sad and fussy. The descriptions of the items are as fantastic as the creatures themselves. One of my BFFs actually got me Gravitron last year and I love him very much. He's extremely well made and has that strange but lovable quality that makes this whole category of plush so appealing.

She specializes in bunnies that say things like swear words or "cake" or "herpes" or "omg." She has literally hundreds of them and has sold over a thousand.

Spiderbite. Nightmare journals.

I don't know what it is with "spider____" Etsy shops, but that's besides the point. The point: furry snuggly monsters that are journals! Yes, these are awesome. If I wasn't on a journal diet (I have so many effing blank blank books right now it's sick) I would totally get myself one.


I first encountered this world of fabulous at the DIY trunk show. They're weird little plush things that come with smaller weird little plush things. Some of them are eating their babies, others are more like wack-a-mole if the moles were coming out of a giant mommy mole pillow. Perhaps some day I'll use them to replace my couch cushions.

Just poke through the Etsy plush category or the Plush Team's blog for awhile. There's all sorts of fabulous stuff to be found. Who knows, maybe you can be as cool as Sasha Obama.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


My little brother decided he's going to come up with a better business model for me if possible. I know there are better options than my current slightly-more-than-half-assed Etsy selling and occasional live craft shows model. I should be going to salons and spas and boutiques and coffee shops and the locally owned card and paper stores around Chicago and selling there. I should be sending things out to the big craft/style bloggers (Dooce is #1 on my list).

I need to find a way to make my recycled wallpaper envelopes faster (if my cousin isn't going to make me metal templates soon, it's time to find a Plan B) so I can charge the best price for making the most money instead of having my annoying prohibitive bottom price where it's not worth my making them if I'm not charging more than at least $1+ a piece and can't really do huge bulk orders with any sort of speed.

Instead of all these things being vague "need tos" and "shoulds," I am officially declaring them goals for 2009. Hear that, self? GOALS. Set them up, knock them down, become awesome greeting card maven of the universe.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Doggy Style

I guess I don't have to retake the photos of the thank you cards from the last post since they sold tonight. Woot. I should be taking pictures of all the other envelopes I have floating around here instead. Shelley (my friend's dog who has been staying with my while my friend is in South America) did not like my last photo shoot because I wasn't paying attention to her. She plopped down her toy and camped out on the lightbox light extension cords and looked sad. Obviously, I had to take her picture:

While I'm now at the point where I can't list any more card sets until I photo more card sets, it's not like I haven't been productive. I'm working on a dog sweater a friend of mine bought for her boyfriend's birthday that she wants shipped off to him by next week, so I've been knitting my brains out. The pattern is supposed to be a hybrid of the Israeli and Japanese flags, except with the Israeli flag's colors reversed so it's not mostly white. Quick terrible photo of my progress taken right now in my lap at my computer:

Shouldn't be much longer now. I got a lot done on the bus ride downtown today, more done while I waited at the DMV, and the rest has been during instant Netflix TV episodes of Weeds, 30 Rock, and Miami Vice. Think any of that gets infused into the knit?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Thank You!

Now that everybody's gotten all of their various holiday presents and spent at least half their gift cards, it's time to show your gratitude. EtsyGreetings is having a promotion for sets of thank you cards with free domestic shipping. There's some really gorgeous stuff on there, so check it out.

I'm participating, too, so if you've been eyeballing my "Tank Ewe Berry Match" cards or any of my wallpaper envelope thank yous, now's the time.

I'm trying to list more of the bigger-than-business-cards-but-smaller-than-regular-cards wallpaper envelope ones. I took about a gazillion photos and finally got them onto my new computer, but I'm not very happy with how they turned out so I may retake them all. I need to date a photographer.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My SARS does not want to get better, but it's giving me an excuse to sit in bed knitting my brother's girlfriend's belated Christmas fingerless mittens while watching instant Netflix and snuggling two dogs. And really, what's better than life with a dog for each hand?