Monday, October 7, 2013

This past weekend I was lucky enough to visit the Fall Home Show in Toronto.  (Thanks to tickets from SNLCreations on Etsy - visit her shop here https://www.etsy.com/shop/SNLCreations).  One of her items was featured in a booth sponsored by Etsy.  I was excited to see her item and visit the show.

I don't want to sound like a snob but I was quite disappointed with Etsy booth and the show in general.  It was held in the Better Living Center which is an old an tired building and the show was significantly smaller than others I have been to.  I was able to see all the booths in just over 1 hour, and that includes stopping and talking to some of the vendors.

On to the main reason for my post, the Etsy Canada booth.  The booth was off to one side and I suspect many people missed it as it wasn't in a main aisle.  You would have had to go looking for the display or covered every single inch of the show floorspace to find it (Strike #1).  

This is the view as I approached the display

Just off to the far right you an see someone seated who I assumed was manning the booth.  She was busy texting on her phone and did not speak to me at all during my time there.  (Strike #2).  The display looked quite homey and nice but I don't quite understand how it encouraged people to shop on Etsy.  There is no website link, nothing to tell you that all these wonderful items are from on-line seller.

The item I was in search of was in the corner on the ladder (sorry, I'll work on getting the photo right way around)
Each item had a number beside it.  Umm, but what does that number mean?  Oh wait, you had to go to the bookshelf at the left and dig out one of those little orange booklets (Strike #3).  That was the where you could learn about the shop that made a particular item.  The booklets were not prominently displayed nor were they very well produced (in my opinion).

Finally let me show you the wonderful work of SNLCreations

Stunning right?  I know the maker (and I suspect all other Etsy members who were chosen for this event) were very excited to have their item showcased.  Sadly I don't expect any of the shops will see increased view or sales from it.

I hope Etsy tries again to showcase the artisans of Etsy, but I hope they get some marketing and merchandising advise before they do.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I think I must have blinked and missed the summer.  Can it be September already?  Back to school and cooler autumn temperatures have begun.  

A new season must mean time to refresh...my brain!  With the sucesss of my Etsy shop, MagpieSue and have been thinking about reviving my creative side.  Ideas swirl in my head at night keeping me awake and I figure the only way to quash them is to put them into action.  I hope to open a second Etsy shop to offer gift ideas in time for the upcoming holiday season.

Here are a couple of ideas that I've been playing around with.  Sorry, the photos are a bit rough and not very polished but I wanted to get some feedback from you with your thoughts.

Coaster - set of 4


Switch plate and Outlet cover - Winnie the Pooh




Wine bottle Gift Bags - set of 2





(Sorry about the sideways photos, I was in a hurry and didn't have time to figure out how to fix that)

So, what do you think?  Any suggestions on pricing?

MagpieSue

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I hate to admit it, but its true.  I'm a shop-o-holic combined with being a wee bit of a hoarder.  Never know when you'll need whatever it was that was on sale last month or a few years ago...whatever, does it matter?  

I love a sale and my favourite price is FREE.  If there is a free sample, even if it is something I don't use or want, I order it.  The hubby also loves to bring me the small size bathroom items from his business trips.  Not sure, but this may have led to my hoarding issues.

I once heard an organizational expert, Peter Walsh I believe, say that "you can go broke saving money"  I'm beginning to think it might be true.  How many bottles of body wash does a family need?  Don't answer that!

Here is the top of my linen closet before


A quick trip to Walmart for some plastic containers and some serious decisions about wants vs. needs.  I was able to let of 'things' by packing them into a shoebox and setting them aside to donate.  We have a local youth shelter in the area and they love getting individual sizes of personal care items so giving things away wasn't really so hard.  

After a couple of hours and some time with my label maker (a bit anal I know, but it works for me), here are the new and improved shelves.



So what is on your list to get organized?  I think there are some kitchen cupboards calling out to me next.

MagpieSue

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Something New for my Etsy Shop

Always striving to find new and interesting items to list.  Whether searching at garage sales, estate sales or thrift shops there are treasures abounding.  My latest find was a 1923 Century magazine.  It was in poor condition and really not worth trying to sell.  However, not one to give up I decided that the many advertisements found inside might be of interest to buyers.  So a new venture unfolded!  I have listed a few to test the waters and see how the marketplace responds

Hamilton Watch & Sta Lokt Cuff Links, vintage 1923 advertisement





Tuesday, January 29, 2013

And now for something completely different

Let me interrupt this blog about myself and my vintage finds for something completely different.

I have never been much of a dolly domestic and I don't expect that Martha Stewart will be calling me anytime soon for cooking, cleaning or decorating advice.  That being said, something has been bothering me for a couple of months now.  Last year a bought a single, high end, decorative pillow for the bed that complemented my neutral tan duvet cover.  It provided a quick way to add a bit of pizzazz to the bedroom (don't go there!).  Now my decorating is basic but I do have a summer and a winter duvet cover.  The light tan color for spring/summer and a navy blue for fall/winter.  After putting the new duvet cover on I continued to add the decorative pillow when making the bed.  I knew it didn't look right but I have trouble paying the high price that stores around here ask for the pillows I like.


See?  Nice pillow that simply doesn't really work.  When my daughter was little I managed to sew some clothes for her, nothing fancy but they turned out OK. I once managed to make her a dress, a skirt and vest all from a pink dotted Swiss bridesmaid dress (sadly the dress lasted longer than the marriage did!).  Anyway, back to my seemingly foolish endeavor.   I had some navy pinstripe material in the basement (dreams of a nice pencil skirt or or a shift dress) that I thought would work.  Dusted off the sewing machine and searched the internet for simple envelope pillow cover instructions.  How hard could it be to remember how to sew straight seams?  Turns out, not that hard at all.  Take a look and let me know what you think?  I think it looks way better.  Best of all the other pillow is inside the cover so when the season changes I just take off the blue cover, wash, iron and store!


Sunday, December 2, 2012


So how does a simple girl like me wind up selling on Etsy?  I blame my father.  Let me backtrack a bit here for you.  He grew up during the depression so, to him, everything  had value.  He rarely threw anything out, I suppose he made re-using and re-cycling popular before it hit the mainstream market.  Yet despite the fact his VCR always blinked 12:00 he was able to successfully sell stamps (his hobby and passion) on-line.  He started me on Ebay many years ago with some success.  I figured if he could do it then so could I!

Fast forward about 10 years and to a time when my mother-in-law needed to go into a nursing home.  I inherited her fairly large “eclectic” jewelry collection.  Since, like my father, I couldn’t just throw it out (and I certainly wasn’t going to use any of it myself)  I needed to find a way to share these “treasures” with others.  Ebay wasn’t going to work for this venture so I needed to look for something else.  ETSY!  When I joined, Etsy had recently begun to allow Vintage items.  Ah ha!  Just what I needed.

Many of my early sales were accidents, since I was just learning the ropes I had very little idea of what I was doing.  Tagging, descriptions, titles, good photos – I knew nothing of these.  What I quickly learned, however, is what a wonderful co-operative  community Etsy was.  People helped me, often without even asking. 

Here are a few of my first sales






Since that time I have learned a lot about vintage jewelry and it has led me to seek out new items to learn about and offer for sale.  It has been quite an enjoyable journey which I hope to continue on.