Tuesday, 24 November 2009

My First Etsy Critique - Pass the Parcel

Ok, so here it is, my first Etsy store review. Before I start I just want to say that what I’m writing is just my opinion. You may love what I hate or hate what I love. That is your opinion and hey if it bothers you that much get your own frikkin blog.

Teri at Pass the Parcel was very brave and has become my first victim, erm I mean subject. So for starters I like the store design. Both avatar and banner are simple and pretty. The shop announcement is no nonsense which I also like because honestly I’m not a big fan of having to scroll past paragraphs of gumph before I even get to the products. A bit of advice I would give is with regard to tagging. Searches include title and tags, therefore, if it says earrings in the title it is a waste of tag to use it again. For these products specifically I would include the words indy, indie (UK and US spell this differently), girly and possibly boho and hippy. Now on to photos. These are bright and make the products look lovely. The only doubt I had was with the product itself. I genuinely couldn’t decide whether I liked them or not. It isn’t the sort of thing that I would purchase for myself and initially I just could not get past the idea that these earrings reminded me of a blanket my grandma once had. Woolly earrings I thought. No, it just doesn’t work. But then I looked again and again and there is something appealing about them that I can’t quite put my finger on. I particularly like these gold and twist earrings, probably more than the others because they steer away from that blanket squares look. I love that the beading used has been upcycled from other jewellery and that Teri makes gift boxes by hand to send your earrings in for free. The more and more I looked at these earrings the more and more I liked them.

Personally I’d like to see Teri add more of the twist designs and expand away from just earrings. I’d also like to encourage her to try different media for her jewellery and have even presumptuously added a link to a book on crocheting wire jewellery at the bottom of this entry. On the whole though I would have to give this store a thumbs up and encourage you to have a look yourselves. I personally love crochet and this gal is proving that it isn’t just about dodgy granny blankets and boring babies hats. Price wise I’m inclined to say that they are a little on the high side based on how long I imagine they take and cost to make and this is really the only down side for me. Although a nice and original product I could also say that about many other pairs of earrings on Etsy that are half the price. I know that this is always a bone of contention with Etsy sellers and people selling craft on the whole but I think there is a tendency sometimes to over price. In the Uk these would be roughly £12 and that would just be more than I, personally, would be willing to pay. As a seller I would rather sell regularly at a slightly lower price than rarely at an inflated price but that’s just me.

I’d like to thank Teri soooo much for letting me critique her store. If you fancy having your store put under the microscope by moi then drop me a line at cherry_pie_punk@yahoo.co.uk. Now go check out http://www.passtheparcel.etsy.com/ for yourself.


This time maybe????

Well it has been 5 months since my last blog but I doubt you're surprised. Afterall I'm not generally that great at blogging am I?? The thing is I really like blogging. Or rather I really like waffling on about complete nonsense and quite enjoy the idea that perhaps someone is actually listening. I so desperately want to promise you that I will blog regularly but I feel it would probably be as genuine as my little girls promises every night at bed time that she will tidy her room the next day. Sure at the time she means it, but then she comes in from school and iCarly or SpongeBob Squarepants is on and it all goes out the window.

Anyway, perhaps this time I will stick to it because my plan is to do some Crimbo gift reviews of Etsy stores. Who knows, maybe Erin will even get in tonight and tidy her room!!!

Friday, 12 June 2009

Things You Neeeeed - Vintage

Soooo, I promised regular blog entries and true to my word here I am with a brand new blog merely days after my last one!!! This is part of my "Things You Need" series. This week I'm focusing on some of the frikkin awesome vintage finds to be had on Etsy. I have tried to cover a range of styles and price ranges but basically its just a bunch of stuff that I think is pretty super.

If you haven't heard of Shrinkle then where the hell have you been?? This pink waist cincher she has for sale is perfect for all you barbie gals out there.

I love all things with a nautical edge and this pin up dress is classic and totally fabulous. BillieGoatVintage has some really amazes pieces. If you love vintage you should definately check out this store.

This next piece is from the gorgeous Zwzzy. Her Etsy store is full of the sweetest, girliest vintage finds you've ever seen. Get ready for summer with this super cute pink swimsuit (yes I am quite a fan of all things pink).

This final item is absolutely stunning. If you have some cash to splash then I can't think of anything better to splash out on than this dress.

Well thats it for now but I shall be back soon with more ways for you to fritter away your hard earned spondoolies!!!

Monday, 8 June 2009

The state of things to come (hopefully)

Ok, so perhaps you follow my blog or perhaps you're just a beard loving ebay hater who stumbled across it randomly. Either way you may have noticed that I have been somewhat inconsistent with my entries. This, however, is not really my fault. I have a problem you see. An illness if you will. I am a sufferer of H.I.D, or Haphazord Inconsistency Disorder!! "Wait one minute" I hear the medically trained out there cry. "That isn't a real disorder". And at this point I must hold my hands up and confess. H.I.D isn't a real illness, but it is something I have suffered from my whole life. Oh, and before the judgemental of you out there go getting on my case and saying I'm just lazy let me explain a bit more about what I mean.

I am far from lazy. I have a hundred different ideas a day and a hundred different things to do. The problem is that I lack the order and discipline to commit to one thing at a time and get it finished. It isn't so much that I have a short attention span it is just that I want to get each and every one of those hundred things all done at once. But over the last couple of months I have been making a conscious effort to remedy this. I have been self employed for over two years now but I feel that my lack of focus and discipline is holding my business back. I am nowhere near reaching my potential. Step one was to order my life changing organisation book. I hopped on over to Etsy and using the Alchemy tool I requested that someone make me said book. One woman rose to the challenge spectacularly http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6205625. I don't think she actually lists journals in this shop at the minute but if it sounds like something you might need (I swear I take mine everywhere and couldn't live without it) then message her for sure!!! Personalised for my needs this book has helped me make a start on setting realistic goals each day rather than making a ridiculously long to do list and feeling deflated when I barely managed to cross any of the things off it.

Step two has been to organise my work space. I am not a tidy person by nature. Again, moving from one task to another often leaves rooms looking like they have been visited by a tasmanian devil (the Warner Brothers kind!!!). I'm currently working on this but as it stands the floor in my work room is extremely visible, hurrah!!!

Step three is to start actioning all the things that I have been "meaning to do" for, in some cases over a year. These include:
- starting a store making Blythe clothes
- selling wholesale make up
- getting my drivers license
-getting more tattoos (my sleeve seriously needs finishing)
-expanding my jewellery line
-start my English Literature degree
AND maintaining my blog, twitter and flickr sites regularly and effectively.

Unlike some people I don't have these sites purely for the purposes of promotion. I enjoy maintaining them and lets be honest, if done correctly and wih the right content then they can be a great promotion tool. Sooooo, with that in mind my new and improved regularly updated blog should be winging your way soon to include such gems as Ladies night (a make up tutorial and recommended cocktail), Things You Need (fairly self explanatory) and Antics (just me waffling on about things I've been doing). Oh and every so often I might just throw in something about sewing, ahem!!!!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

God Damn Ebay

Are you a diyer?? Do you remember the good old days of selling on Ebay??? Back when you could actually sell something and not feel like you were being anally violated. Ok, firstly, I know there are those of you out there thinking "ewww Clare do you have to be so graphic" and secondly I know there are those of you out there thinking "well actually Clare if I enjoyed the Ebay experience as much as a good anal violation then I'd be a happy camper" but basically my point here is that Ebay used to be a generally good experience and now it can only be described as a big pile of crap!!!

I'm not sure anyone actually reads this but I do love a good vent and, hell, I need to vent. Ebay have suspended my account for four weeks pending a review. If after this four week period my selling statistics have improved then I may have my selling privileges reinstated. Of course, how the frikkin heck I'm supposed to improve my selling statistics when I'm unable to sell is a mystery as yet unsolved. Sure I have a few outstanding transactions but is it beyond the realms of possibility that those buyers wont leave feedback??? Err NO!!!

Well, perhaps I deserve it you might say. Well let us review the system that led to my suspension in the first place. The ever so awesome star rating system. If any of your ratings fall below a 4.1 then whammo, bye bye selling rights. However, I sell alot of things overseas. Soooo, say for example you buy something from me and I post it within a couple of days (and can I just say here that I do mention in my listings that item will be sent out within 7 days of payment being made). The postal service then take two weeks to deliver said item overseas because sometimes they don't like to rush themselves. You receive the item and on doing so go in to leave me feedback. Now when it comes to delivery time you see the stars and 5 stars equals very quickly. You know I am overseas but nonetheless have waited two weeks so instead of leaving 5 stars you opt for 4 stars which equals quickly. Not very quickly, but quickly just the same. Inadvertantly, thanks to Ebay you have now potentially damaged my business, taken away my rights to sell on Ebay. If I can't sell things I can't pay the rent. I can't buy food for myself and my little girl. Do you see what you've done?!? We're on the streets damn it. We're starving. What the hell were you thinking you horrible mean bastard?!? Why would you do this to me. You've ruined my life!!!!

Ok, so it seems extreme, but nowhere do ebay write as you go to innocently leave feedback which you think is fair and most likely accurate that anything less than five stars is essentially making you say that you don't think this seller is fit to be selling or making a living!!! Oh and lets just focus on the buyer for a second shall we. If you are a buyer who doesn't bother to pay or leaves unfair feedback what can the seller do? What course of action can they take? Is there a buyer star system? NO THERE BLOODY WELL ISN'T. Ebay have taken away even that small seller right.

All I can say is thank heavens for Etsy. I've been a big fan of Etsy for several years now. It is my main selling forum and, sure, I get the odd awkward customer. Things still occasionally get lost in the post but Etsy don't crucify me for it . Thank you Etsy (incidentally if you look to your right there is a convenient link to my etsy store). I will also be selling my make up on bigcartel www.cherrypiepunk.bigcartel.com. Screw you Ebay!!!!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Hairy men are the way forward!!!

Look I'm blogging again and it hasn't even been three months, woot!!! Anyway, todays blog, as you may have deduced from the title, is devoted to men with much hair protruding from their faces. This is a new obsession of mine but I think I may have the cause for said obsession. I am 31, and no, this does not mean that I myself have started growing a beard. However, through no conscious effort on my part I always seem to date men (or perhaps boys would be a better description) younger than me. My current beau is 24 and the previous fling was with a 20 year old (eek it looks worse written down!!!). They are fun and have yet to develop bald patches or paunches but sometimes when you are dancing away to a tune and you realise that you brought it on vinyl when it was originally released whilst their favourite tune at the time no doubt involved farm animals it can make you cringe. I can only imagine that the new obsession stems from a deep rooted desire to converse with a man capable of growing a full beard if he so wished. I also blame the series Men in Trees. James Tupper (pictured above for your viewing pleasure) is hawt!!!!

Facial hair, it seems, can give a man appeal, where perhaps otherwise there would be none. Hugh Jackman, on a normal Hugh Jackman day holds no interest for me AT ALL!!! However, give that man some wicked sideburns ala Wolverine (making him workout and putting him in a tight vest probably doesn't hurt either) and hey presto he becomes a frikkin 10!!!! With this in mind I have produced some pretty awesome Wolverine undies as pictured below (oh yeah there's a product plug).

It turns out that I'm not the only one giving some love to Wolverine either. I have chosen a few select kick ass pieces from fellow sellers on Etsy including some more traditional Wolverine images. Click on the pictures to go check em out. They are all products that you should sink your claws into. Ha ha sorry but I do love a cheesy pun!!!!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Consistency is not my strong point!!!

Well more than three months since my last blog. I kinda suck huh!!! 2009 has been packed with drama so I probably should have been blogging away to my hearts content. There has been bitching and fights and family feuds and drinking and gigs and eating of pie. The mini adventures I'd promised myself didn't get very far and my 365 days of craft didn't work out too well either. I'm gonna hold my hands in the air and say I've been crap but with the first third of the year drawing to a close maybe I can pull something exciting out of the bag.

Oooh, I have been slightly productive in one area of my life and have lost nearly a stone and begun exercising regularly. Today I've slipped a little by eating a whole trifle but generally I've kicked ass. Cross training to Pink is the way to go ladies. In glorious parallel to this my ex boyfriends new girlfriend who I frankly do not like even a teensy bit has been piling weight on like a Christmas turkey. This fills me with joy and whilst the admission of this may may you think less of me I challenge any gal out there to hand on heart say she wouldn't feel the same. Besides in addition to being a big ol fatty ugly pants she isn't a very nice person either so there (oh the maturity)!!!

I swear there is nothing like a good ol bitch to chirp you up no end. I'm off to do a bit of sewing now. I've been revamping an eighties bridal corset today and hope to get it listed on Etsy later. Heck, who knows I may even blog again before July and post some pictures too!!!