Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Memory Jolt

Its hot hot hot in upstate NY.  I personally hate the heat.  Makes me irritable and anxious.  So I have been spending some time doing a lot of nothing, since its just way to hot to exert any energy doing anything. So  I was looking around on Etsy and I came across some vintage McCalls patterns from 1960. 

In the sixties and seventies my mom worked for McCalls and she drew the front of the patterns as well as the pattern detail on the back from home.  As I looked at the pattern I could see that it was my moms.  Her style of drawing and the memory of her sitting at her desk in the basement under a huge overhead light creating the pattern images came flooding back to me.

I remembered that my mom would  travel into NYC from our home in Queens each Monday to pick up her work for the week and return her completed sketches  from the previous week.  In the summer it was always fun to go into the city with her and be part of the hustle a bustle of the McCalls office.  We would always do lunch afterwards going to Chock Full Of Nuts where we would sit at the counter and at the end our meal we would each get the most delicious crispy donuts. 

It may be way too hot outside but my heart feels the warmth of memories with my mom.

Mary Ann

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Etsy Shop Promoting Wow, Exhausting And Confusing

On November 7, of last year I opened my Etsy shop. When I started it I had no idea what I was doing and and 8 months later I am not sure if I know much more.  Before I started, in the fairy tale world in my brain I saw people clamoring to buy my things.  It stressed me to think about how I would ever keep up.  I read tons of online information so I could get ready for the onslaught of buyers that I knew were coming my way. I bought boxes, tissue paper, bubble wrap and padded envelopes in bulk.  I wanted to be ready to send out my items seconds after the purchase was made.

November 26 was my first purchase.  OMG I was elated. This is it, I hit the big time. Let the buying frenzy begin.   So it was only for $10.00 but it was a start and I was sure I was on my way to greatness.  After all I was selling stuff that no other living soul had ever created.  They were my designs. Who wouldn't love them? I was sure that at some point Angelina Jolie or Mariah Carey would be logging onto my site, love everything so much they would buy something and pass my Etsy store onto Cher and Demi.   Yeah right!!!!!!

So my next purchase was on Nov 30 another $10.00 whoo hoo.  I was raking in the dough.  Well not really if you count Etsy's percentage, shipping and paying to have my items seen more in searches on Etsy.  So I was actually loosing money but I was having fun, wasn't I?

I continued to have a few sales here and there but no one was rushing to clean me out.  So now its been awhile and my expectations have diminished.  No more dreams of having my pictures used on HGTV, no more fantasies of seeing one of my necklaces on Barbara Walters as she sits with Whoopie on the View but I still plug away hoping upon hope that my sales will pick up.

Just recently I joined a few teams on Etsy.  I have learned that being on a team helps you promote your Etsy store by promoting others, they in turn promote you.  One team Christmas in July team (CIJ) is running a campaign now until July 21.  They recently had a CIJ Duo Blitz where I had  to make three treasury's (a group of items from other Etsy stores from the CSI team) and in turn a fellow team member would add my item to theirs.  Others will see them and bingo tons of sales.  Hmmmmm, not so much.

From joining the teams my site has had lots of viewing.  In just the last few days I have had 315 views and 153 favorites.  Before joining the teams my numbers were a fraction of that.  The word on the street is that the favorites get you the exposure you need to sell.  So I am hopeful that thing will pick up.

So if you have a second come join the fun on Facebook  and Etsy by searching CIJ or Christmas in July.

It just all seems like tons of work but I guess it will be worth it when I make my first million.

Mary Ann

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tribute To Good Friends

Monthly, seven of us who have worked together try and connect for dinner.  Sometimes only five can make it or three and often no one since we all live really busy lives, but last night was special.  Our friend Nita just got a new great job offer and all seven of us rallied to celebrate Nita's great success.

I have known Pat, Chris, Pam and Eleanor  for over twenty years, working with them at previous companies. Patty and Nita I have known  for about twelve years. The one thing we all have in common is that we lived the hell of many system conversions.  For those of who have never been involved in a company system conversion it requires long exhausting hours of meeting and testing and more testing and then retesting, always trying to race to the go live date.  You either get really close to each other through it all or hate each other.  We have been lucky enough to really like each other and stayed friends even after the conversion horror.

Pat is the drama queen of the group.  She always has an issue. She has fallen numerous times, thankfully never getting really hurt,  She ran over her glasses with her car.  Lost her skirt in a car wash (how does that happen?) and went on vacation got her sandal caught in her gas pedal and drove into a convenient store taking out the ATM machine but thankfully no humans.  YIKES!!!!  Now whenever any of us hear of a similar news story we check to make sure she was nowhere in the vicinity at the time.

Chris she is my Reality TV friend.  We both love similar shows and can laugh and laugh over really not much of anything.  She is silly and goofy and fun but through it all,  I always know she is there for me and I hope she knows that I am also there for her.

Pam I met forever ago.  She was so young just starting out, trying to juggle work and motherhood.  She is still trying to juggle both worlds.  She is a great co worker, smart and reliable and a great dedicated mom.  She makes it work.  I am so proud of how far she has come and all her accomplishment.  Pam and I have had tons of fun traveling together on business a number of times.  I once offered to carry her pocketbook for her and then I left it somewhere.  We eventually found it and thankfully she has not held my stupidity against me.  Now that's a friend.

Eleanor is the sweetest, dearest. person that I have ever met.  She is good and kind and always has a positive attitude. In all the years that I have known her I have rarely seen her angry or upset.  I often kid her that her always, looking for a silver lining attitude gets on my nerves, but the fact is, that just being around her makes me a better person.

Patty is a great friend to all.  She is so caring to everyone she knows.  Always going out of her way to help others.  She is a wonderful daughter, sister, and aunt to her two nephews never missing any of their games.  She is there to cheer them on, always.  Patty does the same for all of us she cheers us on and inspires us.

Nita the lady of the hour.  Nita is a hard worker who even when she is knee deep in her own hell she will come to your aid without being asked.  She is smart and kind and knowledgeable and a great mother, daughter, sister and friend.  I wish her much success on her next stage in life.

From left to right standing,  Eleanor, Nita, Pam, seated. me, Chris, Pat, Patty

Each one of these ladies are very special to me and I am so lucky to be able to call them my friends

Mary Ann

Monday, July 1, 2013

On A Purse Frenzy

Wow the weather here in upstate NY is rough today  Looks like cloudy, hot, humid and chance all week of rain.  Honestly for me sometimes the rain gives me a break to stay inside and create new things for our upcoming Round Lake Craft Fair.

I had so much fun designing and producing my purse key chains  I decided to do some gift tags inspired by my new favorite thing purses.  I cut out some oval tags using my cricut machine and enhanced them with purses that I also cut from cricut.  I enhanced them with some other colors, a little embellishment and bingo my tags have arrived.

Set of four purse tags

My biggest challenge when I make things is picking the colors

They look cute on this gift bag.
Mary Ann