Friday, February 27, 2015

What's New In February

It's the last day of February and many of us on the team were cooped up in our homes letting our creative juices flow!  Today we want to share some of our new items added to our shop in February.
Agate Necklace from Pulp Sushi

Beard Oil from Hudson Naturals

White and Silver Leather Owl Mask from Dara Gallery

Monster Tooth Pillows from So Handmade

Organic Cotton Long Scarf from Huzzah! Handmade

Ugly 70s Mug from Hester Studio
Silver Heart Felt Cup Sleeve from Quarter Life Luck

Polymer Clay and Mix Stone Necklace from Melissa Anne Designs

There is a lot more where that came from. You can see our full list of February new items on our Etsy page.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ephemera: Something Meant to be Discarded

I am intrigued by the old, the 'antique', the cast away. 
Items that show the signs of use, whether gently or greatly.

Lately it's been paper ephemera and old worn out books.
I have been using bits and fragments of these in my art.

My collection keeps growing,

an autograph book belonging to 8th grade Anna. Page after page
of little ditties that for her were a sweet memory of school friends.

Well worn readers, spelling and astronomy books. I imagine them being used year after year.

Chemistry notes from 1941...

and my prized possession  a ledger book from the 1800's.

I love to bring these items out to use in ways that never would have been imagined when they were first used.

In my curiosity boxes I try to present these lost bits and fragments of life in an artful way.
Here my newly created fabric bird, is living with pages from old books, 
game pieces, old stamps and nature items, in a box made from a found drawer.

Recycled, up-cycled, re-purposed.
Hopefully not to be discarded too soon!

Sue DiGilio

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Where To Find the Hudson Valley Etsy Team This Weekend

While craft fair season is still a couple of months away we do have one date for you this weekend. It's not in the Hudson Valley but why not travel on South searching for warmth?
Elena Rosenberg will be participating in the prestigious American Craft Council Show in Baltimore, MD this weekend. The show is open Friday, February 20, through Sunday, February 22.
Elena is known for her inventive, luxurious and colorful knits, that are made from the finest yarns available.
Elena Rosenberg
Elena Rosenberg
Elena Rosenberg
Elena Rosenberg
Elena Rosenberg
Happy shopping!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

We wanted to celebrate Valentine's Day a day early on the blog by sharing a couple of Valentine's theme Etsy treasuries featuring items from our members.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Valentine's Day: Free Printable

Happy Valentine's Day
from the 
Hudson Valley Etsy Team

Print out borderless on 8.5x11" card stock, makes two per sheet, use invitation envelopes 4.57x5.75" 

Visit our VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT GUIDE for more great gift ideas!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Is Your Bowl Empty or Full?

Throughout the year, many of you probably get so many requests: to donate an item for a gift basket, an auction, a charity event or Fundraiser. Of course, we are not in business to give away everything we make, but often, a cause will speak to our hearts and we feel impelled to give.

There is a nationwide organization Empty Bowls through which potters across the country make bowls and then sell them at events to raise money for the hungry in their communities. Sometimes the bowls come with soup (for a $10 or $15 donation). Sometimes they are sold through Silent Auction. Some events have performances and music; others are quieter affairs.

When you are an artisan and do much of your work isolated in your studio, it’s so easy to get tunnel vision. But if we have a gift and a passion and can afford to do so, I believe there is nothing as rewarding as giving back to the community that sustains you.

I’ve been a part of Empty Bowls in Warwick, NY for the last several years, and when the date for this year’s event was announced, I was already feeling on overload from having committed to so many other things, and trying to keep up with stocking the stores I am in, getting ready for shows, updating my Etsy site….writing blogs…you know, the familiar gamut.

Yet there was no question in my mind that I had to make time to start making bowls because the effect of “giving” in my experience has always been life giving. It sustains me, it cleanses my soul, it makes me happy. So if there is an organization that speaks to you and makes your heart leap a little, I encourage you to make the time to get involved. I promise you that the energy you will get will be immeasurably more than you expend and will spark your creative juices in new ways.

Roberta - RG Clay Creations

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

In My Studio: Packaging

Lovely packaged set of cards from Cynla Cards and Design

During the holiday season I was lucky enough to get out to a few craft fairs. Looking around at the merchandise on offer I noticed some really interesting ways that vendors had packaged their wares. One company used wooden thread spools on which to wind bracelets and wooden rulers to hang necklaces. These beautifully and uniquely packaged items were by far more appealing to me as a customer and got me thinking about the ways I too could package my products more successfully. By spending a little more time and money on the end product could have a big difference in profits at the end of the day.
Great packaging can:
  1. Get your products 'noticed' in a sea of vendors at a craft fair or in the Etsy search pages.
  2. Increase the perceived value of your products, enabling you to increase your profits
  3. Be informative- giving the customer info about the product and your company for potential future orders.
  4. Make your line of products more cohesive
  5. Elevate your brand and make it memorable
Great packaging boxes from The Pudgy Rabbit

In order to achieve this the packaging should:
  1. Be thought of as an integral part of the product and not just an afterthought.
  2. It should reflect or complement your brand, your ethos and your style
  3. Be easily replicated for future items
  4. Affordable
  5. Not too time consuming
  6. As green as possible
Some different ideas for creating your own unique, eye catching and memorable packaging could include making your own stamps or block prints, printed materials, stickers, fabric bags and ribbons or even including a small 'freebie' with your product.

I posted on this blog a little while ago a tutorial to make your own fabric labels. This technique could be applied to making your own packaging ribbon and labels. Click this link to access the tutorial.

My own SO Handmade fabric labels
Taking all of the above into account I set about packaging some play mats I had just made.  I used leftover scraps of fabrics I had to make them and then added some printed labels. I also used vintage buttons to finish the effect.

I was very happy with the result and think they look really effective. I hope to add the same pizzazz to the rest of my collection in the future.

Lego/ small toy play mat from SO Handmade

Good luck and Good Making!
Good things come in small packages!
Sarah Omura - SO Handmade

Monday, February 2, 2015

Photographing My Etsy Items

One of my goals this year is to revamp all my photos in my Etsy Store.
I started with my new listings of my 5x5 art squares:

This is a wall in my studio that I hung a white washed shelf on. I chose white/neutral items for this shot to accessorize the art.

Same shelf with vintage glass, I wanted to focus on the blue in this series.

This was all shot with my 'vintage' Canon Power Shot A530 which is only 5.0 mega pixels.
It is all depending on a sunny day and between the hours of 11:00am and 2:00pm otherwise the light isn't there. The only bright enough light available to me in the late afternoon or early evening are the fluorescent lights that are on one side of my studio.

I asked for this light box for Christmas and my son kindly purchased it for me. It is very reasonably priced and nice and compact.

So this evening in order to get this posted I played with it for a bit....taking the photos with my phone.

The room is very dark as you can see.

The two side lamps came with the photo box and I added the clip on one above.

The photo on the left is under the fluorescent lights and the one on the right is in the photo booth.
The glare off the glass is much softer and the overall color is softer and more true.

Again the photo on the left of the vintage Valentine is under the fluorescent lighting and on the right the photo booth. Again the photo booth one has a truer color and softer appearance.

Now I do realize that comparing the two light sources is like comparing apples and oranges, but as far as making a photo shoot more available to me in the evening or on a cloudy day is the benefit for me.

I am excited to start playing around with the photo booth and revamping my store.

Susan - Digilio Designs