Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Hudson Valley Etsy hopes everyone has a great and fulfilling Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Craft Display Changes

A Crafter and her Display

Over the years, my display has changed and changed again.  I made mistakes and discovered the sort of things one has to take into account when selling at craft fairs or on the street or in every kind of weather.  I tried to make a playful, attractive display at first, with these really fun jewelry carousels made from dowels and old candelabra and candle holders.  My fanciest beads were displayed in a mosaic frame. At my first street fair I was selling lampwork glass bead necklaces and my daughter had started a business of selling button hairbands.  We had a flimsy cheap tent that threatened to blow away with the slightest breeze, and it wasn't exactly waterproof as well.  There were some thrilling moments as we hung onto the tent and tried to talk to customers at the same time.
Grandma holding down the fort in the background.  Daughter off looking for food.  This was a family enterprise.
In the next few months, I made more carousels and put the button hairbands into glass fish bowls.  It just so happened that it  rained at every outdoor fair I went to for an entire year.  The cheap tent bought the farm by the second Spring Crafts in Chelsea when I loaned it to Lauren of Paperelle, not long after this picture was taken. I had bought a heavier one, but even this one couldn't withstand the gusts of 21st Street, so  I took it down before it broke as well.  Now people tend to not even bring tents to Crafts in Chelsea.
Nothing like untangling 25 sterling silver necklaces from a fallen carousel.
Then I decided I wanted to apply to slightly higher end craft fairs, which meant one needed a good picture of one's display.  My reaction was to make my display even fancier, with shelves covered in beadboard panels, and this was the picture I used for my applications.  Obviously this was only for an indoor show.
I love the wacky candelabra, but they belong in a store display.
But I was still doing some street fairs, and using my carousels, so I screwed the carousels to a wooden plank, decorated in mosaics, and clamped it to the table.  That took care of the falling over in wind.  But I didn't like having to set up the frames to display my longer, fancier necklaces, and thought I might try a single board with easel style framing behind it, which also clamped to the table.  After one show I decided this was too heavy and just didn't show my work to advantage.  It was better to show jewelry in smaller sections rather than on one huge board.  I was also inspired at this time to make some sea monsters with their own lamp work eyes and pocket mouths.
This board will probably find a future as a mirror.  Really nice mosaic border of sea glass and broken china.
In 2012 I brought my crafts out to Hyannis, out on Cape Cod.  I did very well out there but oh the days were hot and long.  And I really missed having my etsy team around.  I simplified the beadboard panels to attach to a raised six foot table, and bought some cheap book shelves from Target to display my prints.  The shelves are pretty flimsy, and less than two feet wide.  I put weights on the bottom shelf to keep them upright.  I finally got a banner to hang behind me, and found a cute vintage aqua and cream table cloth for my display.
I have these great rocks with furrows cut into them to hold my prints.
The next year I went in for making a lot of monsters!  And bunting, which I hung from fiberglass safety poles from Home Depot.
Anyone remember the bunting post I made last year?  Here's how they look on the street!
A day later, this was the display up in Beacon with the Hudson Valley Etsy Team.  The crowd was light due to the heat wave we were going through but I still made money with the jewelry.  I'd pretty much had enough with trying to stand my frame displays up, so I let them lie flat on the tables and they did fine.  Customers didn't seem to mind.  No more risers, either.  All of these displays were made with the thought in mind that I would have a car and would be driving to the fair site.  Weight was not an issue.
I like the sea shell tablecloths I made, but the shells are very large and bold.
My basement is crowded with displays I've made and had to abandon.  But now I'm looking at doing some fairs where I will not be driving, I'll be taking public transportation.  Time to really lighten up!  I want everything, product and display and selling paraphernalia, to fit into a backpack, rolling cart, or luggage.  It would be fun to fly to other cities and try out the craft fairs there, and having a light and flexible display would be great.

I hope this post will give my fellow crafters some ideas for their own displays, and give fair warning to others about what not to do!  I'll make another post about my new light display in the future.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Where To Find The Hudson Valley Etsy Team This Weekend

...And so the Holiday season begins! And how about starting it with a bang?!

For one we have the Holiday Bazaar at the VFW Washingtonville Post 8691 in Washingtonville, NY, this Saturday, November 22, from 10-4. Hudson Valley Etsy Team member The Potpourri Room will be there.
The Potpourri Room
The Potpourri Room
This weekend, Saturday November 22 and Sunday November 23, will be the 2nd annual Hudson Valley Hullabaloo. After an exciting start last year the Hullabaloo is expanded to the whole weekend and new location, the Andy Murphy Midtown Neighborhood Center right on Broadway in the middle of Kingston, NY. There are many super-talented crafters and makers in the lineup, plus there will be no shortage of fun with photo booths, a DIY table, food trucks and all kinds of other fun. Hours are Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 11-5.

The Hudson Valley Etsy Team members selling their creations there are:
Pulp Sushi
Knot by Gran'ma
Hudson Naturals
Pulp Sushi
Pulp Sushi
Knot by Gran'ma
Knot by Gran'ma
Hudson Naturals
Hudson Naturals
Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thanksgiving Survival Kit

Who doesn't love Thanksgiving and all the yummy food we can indulge in? But if you're the one preparing the meal, it can maybe want to make you pull your hair out.  Have no fear!  We have for you the "Thanksgiving Survival Kit"!

Thanksgiving Survival Kit
Click the image to check out the treasury on Etsy and remember to just relax and take a breath.  :) 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Getting a Handle on Shipping Supplies

My methods for packing, shipping and tracking inventory has evolved in the 12 years I've been selling online. I put care into packing and shipping my orders, I want buyers to feel like they're receiving a gift when the mail arrives, but it's a time consuming task requiring organization and precision. Below are five of my favorite supplies and services I use to streamline tedious task of getting my orders packed up and shipped out.

Dymo Label Printer

This was a fairly big purchase since it's a bit of a luxury item, but I'm so glad I made the investment. It saves me ink toner, paper and time. The only ongoing cost is for blank labels, which you can buy from Amazon ($13.99 for 220 labels). Why do I love this label maker so much? I can print my Etsy order labels directly from my Etsy dashboard and immediately stick it on the padded envelope. No more cutting out the paper and taping it down. I also use the printer for Ebay and Yerdle labels.


I love EcoEnclose! Made in the USA, they provide recyclable, biodegradable and compostable packing materials - and all of there products are designed to encourage re-use before being recycled. One of my favorite products include the 100% Recycled Poly Mailer, which are made from 100% recycled content and have a dual adhesive strip, which allows reuse prior to being recycled. I also use the 100% Recycled Flap & Seal Bags  - now I have way less guilt when I place my products in a plastic bag and then place it inside a poly padded envelope. There customer service is also really great.


Sometimes I don't have time to go the eco-friendly route and I just need boxes, and I need them tomorrow because I didn't plan ahead. Uline will arrive next day, prices are great, and they have everything under the sun when it comes to shipping supplies. The cons? You have to buy in bulk (requires storage) and they have very few options for those of us looking to reduce our carbon footprint.


I'm constantly trying to perfect the ultimate storage solutions for everything in my small house. Shipping supplies tend to take up a lot of storage space and they're not necessarily things you want on display (although you can find lots of pretty solutions on Pinterest). But mostly you just don't want to be wasting time hunting down your packing tape and scissors. 

I've found that the simplest way to organize is to have "shipping & handling only" supplies and to keep those all in one basket or shelf. I have tape, scissors, cards that can only be used for shipping - no stealing those scissors to open a bag of frozen corn. I keep one shelf above my desk stocked with envelopes and one drawer filled with my poly bags and hang tags. If I buy in bulk I keep most of it in my attic and just fill my shelves/drawers when I run low.

Do you have any tips for making an office run more efficiently? Please share, we'd love to hear them!

Ryan from WickedMint

Monday, November 10, 2014

In My Studio: How to make a Family Photo Wall

After a wonderful summer family photo shoot I finally got around to hanging some of the photos along with some old favorites. I thought I would share with you how I went about doing it and the final results.

1) Firstly I looked at the space which I wanted to hang the photos and decided I wanted to hang nine photos in a square formation.

2) Next I looked through my files of pictures and made a selection of photos I liked. I made a folder of possible photos to use.

3) I then looked at the shortlisted folder to see if there was a common color running throughout the collection. Selecting a common color such as this will make for a more cohesive collection and more pleasing results. Looking at my folder of photos I saw that a common color shared by some of the photos was red. The photos that did not have any red in I decided to print out in black and white instead.

Grid marked on a piece of paper
4) I wanted to frame the pictures in very simply clip frames which do not have a border. I ordered these from Quadro Frames which offered a good range of sizes, I went for a pack of 10 x10 inch frames.

5) I downloaded my selected photos onto Mpix as this website offered 10 x 10 as a standard size. I cropped the photos to become squares during the ordering process. For the photos I would be printing in color I selected the Fuji Pearl finish which gives the pictures a gorgeous pearlised sheen. I selected black and white for the photos which did not fit into my color story.

Grid taped to the wall in the correct position
6) After receiving my frames and photos in the mail and putting them together I then marked a grid on a large piece of paper. This grid showed each frame in an exact square formation with the same width between each photo.

7) I taped this on the wall ensuring that the top line was exactly horizontal using a spirit level. I then hammered in the picture hooks through the paper.

8) When all the tacks were in place I ripped the paper off and hung the pictures up.

9) I moved them around and tried different orders before I settled on the final layout:

I was very pleased with the results and wondering which wall to tackle next.......

Good Luck and Good Making!

Sarah Omura
So Handmade

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Where To Find The Hudson Valley Etsy Team This Weekend

Hi everyone,

We got a couple of awesome events for you this weekend!

Elena Rosenberg will be making her premiere at the prestigious Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show in Philadelphia, PA. The show is open now through Sunday, November 9. For the exact hours check here
Elena Rosenberg
Elena Rosenberg
Frau Lämmli and Cynla will be selling their creations a little closer to home, at the Chappaqua Craft and Gift Fair,  this Saturday, November 8, from 10AM-4PM. It is located at the Robert E Bell Middle School in Chappaqua, NY, across the street from the train station.

Frau Lämmli
Frau Lämmli

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Meet our new members! Fall edition

As the seasons change, we welcome new members to our lovely team.  I hope you enjoy their work and stop by their shops to say hello!  Maybe even start a bit of holiday shopping. Every local purchase really counts!

Planet Love Card - As long as I'm on this planet, I will love you by Cynla 

Cindy LaColla of Cynla hails from Beacon, NY.  Her shop is full of lovely and whimsical cards with the illustrations being made from a combination of hand drawing, traditional painting, and digital work.  She also pulls inspiration from her partial Japanese heritage.  Just gorgeous!  Welcome to the team.

Handmade Sterling Silver and Amazonite Dangle Earrings by apogeejewelry

Heather Sorrell artist of apogeejewelry works in the delicious town of Sugar Loaf, NY.  This shop is full of silver and gold jewelry with some gorgeous stones thrown in.  I adore all the textures she uses and wish I could buy them all for myself!  Thanks for joining.

Avocado Oil Soap with Lemon by HudsonNaturals

Christina Silvestris of Gardiner, NY runs HudsonNaturals, a shop full of soaps!  All of her soaps and other body products are made with natural materials and avocado oil.  All of her creations sound like they would taste delicious, and I'm sure they smell that way. She even has beer soap!  Nice to meet you.

HAMAKO - Mobile or Garland- Soft Green Yellow Blue Neutral by GINandRUMMYstudio

Shannon Anastasia, the artist behind GINandRUMMYstudio, folds in Highland Falls, NY.  Her shop is full of sweet and colorful paper crane mobiles and other paper goods.  Although they seem to be marketed for kids, I'd certainly hang one in my room!  Hope you like it here.

Yellow Star Pillow - Plush Felt Toy / Childrens Pillow by QuarterLifeLuck

Kim L. runs QuarterLifeLuck while based in Windham, NY.  This shop is full of super cute fabric goodies ranging from cup cozies and banners to the sweetest stuffed pillows.  I'm a huge fan off all the colors she uses, but how can I decide between all the wonderful fall cup cozies! - I'll just have to get them all.  Good to see you here.

Vegan Clutch Purse from John Met Betty

Last we have John Met Betty from Croton-on-Hudson featuring fun retro style accessories designed with unique vintage fabrics and buttons dating from the 1950's to 1970's.

That's all I have for you this season, I hope you'll check out some of these new members and their shops to give them some love, And remember, when you shop local, you're helping your neighbors follow their dreams! 


Monday, November 3, 2014

Support Sinterklaas!

 As crafters, we have all begun preparation for the holiday celebrations.  One of my favorite celebrations in the Hudson Valley is Sinterklaas!  The Sinterklaas Festival is a day of performances and crafts around Rhinebeck followed by a spectacular parade with giant puppets, costumes and talent.  This month there are many ways to support this creative event.

Thursday, November 6, 2014 - Friday, December 5, 2014 
Sinterklaas Celebration space
The Celebration Space is at the Primrose Hill School (former site of Country Comfort Furniture), 6571 Springbrook Ave. (Route 9 N), across from the DC Fairgrounds! Rhinebeck, NY.
Community workshop space puppet making and Crowns & Branches
This event is spectacular for the kids. It's full of supplies to make a magical crown or branch to have for the parade.
Get the details

Sunday, November 9, 2014 
21 Platt Ave, Rhinebeck 
This is a great event for the ladies,  I have gotten some great clothes from this event.  It is full of great people, food and free mini makeovers from Face Stockholm!
Get the Details!

Sunday, November 23, 2014
80 Market Street, Rhinebeck 
This benefit for Sinterklaas is full of great crafts from the Hudson Valley! I just don't need to say anymore!
Get the Details!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

18B East Market St.(845.516.5123)
Free Crown-making Workshop for kids accompanied by an adult. 
Fiberflame is wonderful for the kids to try out all kinds of craft.
Get the Details!

Come out and buy or make something to support Sinterklaas!