Monday, March 30, 2015

I Thought I was Too Savvy To Get Scammed

I pride myself on being pretty savvy. Hey, I grew up in New York City, went to college at 16 and have traveled the world. I thought I could see through all the ruses but here I am, shamefacedly confessing to the fact that I got scammed. I’m telling this story in hopes it will save some of my fellow small business owners from falling prey.

I got an email from a gentleman from Singapore who asked if my business took Credit Cards. There were three specific products he wanted produced in bulk. The order totaled over 100 pieces. It all sounded legit; particularly because of the specificity of his order. However, I called Square, who processes my Credit Card transactions and asked about any precautions I should take before putting this order through. I was told to just make sure my account was Credited with the funds and as long as they notified me that the funds were in my account, there should not be any problem. Sadly, that was not the case.

I worked for two weeks to fill the order. I had already been paid upfront. Still, there was a nagging anxiety about the transaction.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Now at ArtsWestchester

We are excited to announce the opening of the new SHOP at ArtsWestchester in White Plains!  Curated by Elena Rosenberg of Elena Rosenberg Wearable Fiber Art, the SHOP at ArtsWestchester carries handmade art and crafts by New York area artists and makers, including many from the Hudson Valley Etsy Team. 

An extension of the beautiful gallery space at 31 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains, the shop and gallery are open Tuesday - Saturday, 12-5pm.

There will be trunk shows/demos in connection with the SHOP at ArtsWestchester on the following dates:

Cindy of Cynla on 4/18 12pm - 4pm
Sue Digilio of Digilio Designs on 4/25 12 pm - 4pm
Elena Rosenberg on 5/2 12pm - 4pm

Click after the jump to see more images of this beautiful new space!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Spring Green Is Here

Not to get too ahead of ourselves with the warmer temperatures we've been having in Hudson Valley but we are antsy to see some GREEN! Click the below image to check out one of our latest team Etsy treasuries curated by Hester from Hester Studio.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Decluttering and destashing with Yerdle

I've been meaning to mention this app called Yerdle (they have a website, but you need the mobile app to actually post and buy). 

I've been using it since the summer of 2014 and it's been such an awesome way to get rid of stuff in my house and my studio - including fabric, ribbon, product I tried but didn't sell. I've also gotten rid of a lot of weird things like used make up, a bra and lots of kid toys. In return I was given credits and was able to use those credits to "win" a lot of awesome things like shoes for my daughter, a duvet cover, and a Patagonia fleece.

The app doesn't use money in transactions unless you need to buy extra credits to make a purchase (they call it "winning" an item). Otherwise you give away your own items, get credits, and then use credits to win new items. 
When you sign up you get 250 credits to start. The way they convert credits to dollars on the site is a little weird so just be careful of that (10 credits = $1). They convert it to dollars to help people recognize the value of things, but it's a little misleading sometimes. 

Shipping is paid by the person who wins an item  (flat fees of $4, $5, $6). As a the person giving away an item, when someone wins something from you it's your job to print the label generated by Yerdle and drop it off at UPS.

Want to sign up and try it out? 

Just got to the website for a link to the app, or from your phone click on this link:

Ryan - WickedMint

Friday, March 6, 2015

Knit Me, I'm Irish - St. Patrick's Day getaway!

Grab your knitting needles, the Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast and the Cornwall Yarn Shop are marking St. Patrick’s Day by offering guests a chance to knit their very own Irish scarf using Irish yarn at the historic Irish inn throughout the month of March. “We’re excited to offer guests such a unique Irish experience in our newly opened ‘Great Room,’” said Dena Finneran, who co-owns the inn with her husband, John. “When we heard Gail specializes in traditional yarns, including traditional Aran yarn.

“This is a new approach for us,” said Gail Parrinello, owner of the nearby Cornwall Yarn Shop. “We usually teach at our store, it’ll be great fun to knit in the inn’s ‘Great Room’ with a roaring fire in the background.” The class is open to intermediate knitters, those who’ve already mastered the basics. Attendees will learn to knit an Irish Cable Scarf using traditional Irish stitches from Gail or her assistant, Meghan.

The Cornwall Yarn Shop hosts Sit and Knit, I Heart Crochet, and various other classes and events at its shop at 227 Main Street in Cornwall from mid-week through weekend.

The Irish scarf knitting classes will be held at the Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast at 25 Orrs Mills Road, Salisbury Mills and will take place on a single Monday in March, based on availability. On Mondays March 2, March 9March 16 and March 23rd 2015 the class runs from 2-4 pm; on Monday, March 30th 2015, class runs from 7-9 pm.

The hands-on experience is available to guests through the “Knit Me I’m Irish package” but the class itself is open to the public independently with a $40 fee plus tax, which includes supplies. Knitters may return on a following week for a recurring fee.

The Knit Me I’m Irish package includes:

  • -3-night stay at the Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast for the price of a 2-night stay (i.e. one night free!) 
  • -Admission and all supplies for two to the Irish scarf knitting class 
  • -Complimentary three course gourmet breakfasts 
  • -Free WiFi at the inn so you can show off your new creations 
  • -If your partner isn’t interested in knitting, they could always join others who will be watching the basketball tournament games on the 75” 4KHDTV 
  • Package starts at  $530 per couple plus tax; the Knit Me I’m Irishpackage is available Sunday - Tuesdays in March 2015. 

About Caldwell House
The Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast was once a refuge to an Irish family fleeing the British during the 1798 Irish Rebellion. The Caldwells, including a dozen children, crossed the Atlantic to arrive in New York City in the early 1800s. They later scrounged to amass 50-acres of land in Salisbury Mills and began to recreate the estate they had left behind in Ireland. Over time and generations, the buildings were sold off. Innkeepers John and Dena Finneran have been steadily reclaiming the buildings, once again piecing history back together.

Today the Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast is a multi-award winning member of the prestigious Select Registry© and Diamond Collection© groups of Luxury Inns. Located in the heart of the Hudson Valley - just 60 minutes from NYC – and close to the United States Military Academy at West Point, the Storm King Arts Center, Brotherhood Winery (and many of the Shawangunk Wine Trail Wineries), and the Woodbury Premium Outlet Mall. Some of the Hudson Valley’s most beautiful hiking/biking trails are within walking or easy driving distance. Built in 1802, this historic inn is full of many original features, antiques and original paintings, as well as modern amenities. Each guest room includes its own private full bath (several with Jacuzzi tub for two), “Smart HDTVs” with Netflix/Hulu, free Wi-Fi Internet access, individual room temperature controls, iPads, round the clock coffee, tea, and snacks, and much more.

The Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast is located at 25 Orrs Mills Road, Salisbury Mills, NY 12577. To make a reservation call 845-496-2954 or visit Also at:

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Crafting and Snacking Round-Up

It's been a long, cold, snowy winter and I'm personally in a cold weather funk. One way to get the creative juices flowing is to break out the crafting supplies and try out some new ideas - along with some delicious snacks.

Here is a round-up of some fun St. Patrick's Day crafts and snacks.

1. Lucky Penny Letters

photo credit Made by Marzipan

This copper-colored LUCKY sign is something you could keep up all year, but it's also a great leprechaun St. Patrick's Day decoration.  It just uses paper mache letters, pennies, paint and glue.

Full tutorial here at Made by Marzipan

2. Pot o' Gold Cereal Snack

photo credit Yummy Healthy Easy.

Similar to Chex Mix, but sweet and made with Lucky Charms!

Full recipe here at Yummy Healthy Easy.

3. Shamrock Shoes

photo credit by Andres Hurtado / Magic of Ireland
Go thrifting (or maybe dig through your grandfather's closet) and find an old pair of "leprechaun" shoes. Pots of clover can be bought at a garden store, or easily grown yourself (germination is just a few days) and plopped into the shoes. Only catch? Clover needs warmth so this decoration will have to stay indoors if it's still cold where you live. 

photo credit The Parsley Thief
Beer and cheese. A match made in heaven. This dip has just a few ingredients and can be made in your food processor. It only calls for 1/4 cup of Guinness beer so, sorry, you'll have to finish off the bottle so nothing goes to waste.

Full recipe here at The Parsley Thief

Ryan - Lil' Mint and WickedMint

Monday, March 2, 2015

In My Studio: Creative Block

Creative block is that awful feeling when you just can't get into your groove, your studio gets you down and  your ideas dry up. I periodically suffer from this malady and have found some great ways to help me out of the funk.

  1. Make a story board. Rip out pictures you like from magazines and brochures. Stick them down on a large piece of paper.

  2. Take a creative field trip. Go visit a museum, gallery, ikea! Or take a class. Seeing what is happening in the outside world might help spark an idea

  3. Look at the forecasting reports and see what colors and imagery will be on trend for the following season.

  4. Clean up and organize your studio, a long forgotten scrap of fabric or sketch you put away might spark a great new idea. And a clean and organized studio will give you the space you need to create when the ideas start coming.
    A page from an old sketch book might spark an idea

  5. Talk to store owners where you sell your products. What has been selling well and is there anything customers have been asking for. Look at comments you have received at craft fairs or conversations on Etsy. Customers sometimes give us great ideas for new products.

  6. Listen: I have recently found some great podcasts that have really inspired me and given me a lot of good tips for running a small craft business. The best of these is called 'Elise gets Crafty'

  7. Silence: Great ideas come sometimes from giving yourself a little distance and space from your studio. Take a walk, a yoga class, go skiing whatever you enjoy and just let your mind relax and see where it wanders.

"Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it." Bob Dylan

Good Luck and Good Making!
So Handmade