crafty

Have You Seen the Bride? Katie and Jesse’s Wedding

My friends Katie and Jesse got married and I got to make a few things for their wedding. Man, was it fun. It started with a sash for her wedding dress and moved on to jewelry for the brides maids, jewelry and adorable hair doo-dads for the bride and finally included their cake and petit fours for the guests. It was a really fun wedding to be a part of and everything looked amazing.

All the photography in this post is by The Image Is Found Photography.

Red Poppies Clutch and Matching Bird’s Nest Pendant

One of my favorite commissions yet is this adorable clutch purse made from bright red poppy fabric and lined with plush wine velvet.

The black wooden handles are something I’ve never done before but I hope to do again, as they are fun. The lovely lady who commissioned the piece wanted some sparkle, so I added the beaded fringe.

It has a magnetic closure. I didn’t intend it to be, but it’s almost reversible: poofy and fun on one side and plush and sleek on the other.

She also wanted a matching Bird’s Nest Pendant, so we went with red and greens in Czech glass against silver plated metal.

I Made Curtains and Recovered the Ottoman

The curtains have a body of very thin muslin to let in a ton of light. We only have windows on one side of our condo which creates a real lighting problem. It gets very dark towards the back end and our previous curtains were so thick that it just felt like a cave in here. I really wanted more light to come in, hence the thin fabric. It was also only 1.99$ a yard, plus I had a 50% off coupon, so score! 12 yards cost me 12 dollars.

The top part of the curtains are a reversible silk I’ve been carrying around in my stash for about 5 years. Silk isn’t really fun to sew with. I’m still finding strands of fray all over the house, but I really love the contrast of fabric type with the muslin and it looks pretty even from the outside balcony.

I used basic bias tape for the rod straps. It saved me a lot of time and headache that would have come from trying to get 25 strips of silk to play nice and I think it matches the roughness of the muslin. I made five of these panels.

Recovering the ottoman took about an hour. The fabric was a steal at 75% off. It was a full yard for about 12$ and I’ve got some left over for something else fun.

Tasseled Mobile

When my daughter was here for the summer, we had to come up with a creative way to give her her own space. Our 1bed/bath condo is not exactly roomy, if you know what I mean. (And I mean if you turn around and stretch out your arms you will punch someone.) (Not really.) (Well, maybe.)

Instead of a solid room divider, which I was afraid would make our small space feel even smaller, I decided to create a paper mobile set with medium-heavy sheets in great designs. I hung them over a bookcase we floated in the middle of the living room to create a bedroom wall for her.

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The great thing about having them each hang individually, is I have total control over how close they are to each other and how long they hang from the celling. The sturdy packaging string is knotted onto clear pushpins directly into the celling. And the tassels make me smile every time I look at them. I keep the fan on just to see them all dance together.

I love them so much, I decided to make a few extra for the store. You can see the color schemes below. I hope you love them as much as me!

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I Made You Some Earrings

Would you like to see them? Or maybe buy some? I tried to keep them inexpensive because I know things are tight for everyone right now. This way you could have a little something pretty and I can pay a little pretty electric bill. Win win! (Thanks for making the store, Joe!)

I made two pairs of each kind. After that, they are gone, baby, gone.

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Do We Need Another Online Marketplace?

UPDATED – The marketplace is taking shape, changes to the model are being made including no listing or sales fees. Take a look here at the new DandyGoods site and leave a comment on this post to further the conversation.

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I’ve been an Etsy seller for years. I’ve had limited success. I think they have a pretty site and have become better over time at making each shop more customizable by the seller. I also feel like they are so large now that my items get lost immediately after uploading and aren’t ever featured in a way that would encourage sales. Their fees are reasonable. They’ve provided a spot to place my things. They include vintage and some reselling of items that I’m simply not interested in and those items often get in the way of my searching. I have a hard time finding things I’m looking for. They do allow a semi-customizable widget you can place on your own site.

I’ve recently looked at Zibbit, Artfire and Cargoh. All have a few things to recommend them, but for the most part, I’m not excited about any of them because of design issues, marketability, ease of customization, total exclusivity, bad customer service and more. And none offer a barter group, as far as I know, but I haven’t researched that yet.

You know me, I’m always looking for a good project. I tried to do a barter site a few years ago using Ning, which wasn’t customizable to the point of people actually being able to use it the way I wanted or they needed. But, I think I’m ready to try again.

Here is what I think I want and I’d LOVE to get input from all of you interested.

A semi-curated handmade marketplace and barter site that lists and offers crafts, jewelry, art, patterns/How-tos, supplies. NO vintage, reselling

Various account levels including

-Limited free account with small listing and transaction fees (includes barter/trading group)
-A few intermediary accounts which have monthly/yearly fees and include some site targeted marketing at different levels
-A robust all-pro package which includes targeted advertising on other large sites and a fully customizable store including code which can be used anywhere else on the web, i.e. your own website

I think the site should have

-Very clear categories and search system, easy to navigate
-A Curated Market done by approval of site editor which includes interviews with sellers
-A barter area
-Swap Groups
-Easy shopping cart and purchase system

To keep the site from getting too big and turning into the same problem, I’m wondering if all sellers should be approved based on quality of items and photos.

I’d love to hear what you think works and doesn’t work with the existing marketplace site. Please no site bashing, just good discussion.

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