Team Finds: Celebrate Women's History Month...

    By buying handmade by women from our team shops for the awesome women in your life!

See links to the shops below.

Don't Be Obtuse

Obtuse:

anot pointed or acuteblunt

(1) of an angleexceeding 90 degrees but less than 180 degrees  (2) having an obtuse angle obtuse triangle

This was the title of yesterday's Etsy Finds newsletter. Not wanting to appear obtuse, our team members have plenty of products that will keep you sharp.

Tiny Triangle Ring by Virginie Millefiori

This ring actually appeared in yesterday's newsletter. (Congrats Virginie!) It's a supercute ring that you can order in any size, color, and finish designed by Virginie Millefiori.

Diamond Shaped Headband by Brooklyn Owl

Diamonds and sparkles are a girls best friend. This headband handmade by Brooklyn Owl is also available as a fascinator in different colors.

Small Verdigri Geometric Framework House by 2of2

Lots of angles on this one. A tiny 3D line drawing crafted from precision cut birch by the brother-sister team Dan and Mer Dundin of 2of2

Geometric String Art Design, Blue and Green Hyperbolas by Koto Designs

And finally, some hyperbolas created using blue and green embroidery thread by Koto Designs.

For more local geometric angles, shop here.

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I'm Going On A Picnic . . .

. . .and I'm bringing:

Now that it is slowly getting warmer and our winter weary bones are craving the sun, it's time to get ready for picnic season. Here are some picnic inspired doodads designed by the members of our team and curated in a treasury by Sheryl of Life is Balance.

Before you go on a picnic you need to be properly accessorized:

Green Floral Necklace by Wandering Laur

Maybe finish off your ensemble with a hat:

Sunhat by Rocks and Salt

Of course you need a pillow to rest your sun-deprived head:

Bicycle Picnic Pillow by Eye Heart Us

For more picnic inspiration check out Sheryl's treasury:

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The Extraordinary Buying Public

On January 15th, in a posting on whether crafters are better suited to wholesale or retail sales, Melissa of Prariefunk posed a question on this blog taken from www.craftsreport.com, written by Loretta Radeschi: “Do you enjoy meeting the buying public?” 

I talk a lot with customers and that’s something I would miss if Wink and Flip were primarily wholesale. My daughter often sells at weekend markets and I accompany her. I ask our customers what they do for a living, where they live, what the ones who are students are studying. Girls who come in pairs are the most fun, since they are often on an outing, a shopping safari. When they safari, you become part of the hunt.

“Who was your favorite customer today?” my daughter and I ask each other at the end of a market day. This is a regular practice that came about as a way to vent the frustration that anyone who works with the general public sometimes feels. A “favorite” customer is usually a euphemism for one that made you want to tear your hair out. Normally, it might be someone who picked up nearly every piece of jewelry on the table, didn’t buy anything, and didn’t entertain us. (Oh yes, our customers are tremendously entertaining.) I actually think customers don’t realize that every piece they touch has to be “fixed” by one of us so the table always looks perfect.  I don’t mind re-merchandising the table; I do it without thinking. I just mind when someone absentmindedly and compulsively touches ten to 15 pieces, and then walks away.

I’ve never found our experience as bad as David Gallant, the customer service rep for Canada’s tax agency that created a lightly filtered interactive point-and-click game about annoying customers called “I Get This Call Every Day.” As he says in his description of the game, “you can lose politely, or lose spectacularly” but you just can’t win. Anyone who sells has had those days dealing with the general public.

In nine years only two customers really stand apart from the crowd. One was a woman at the Hester Street Fair who lived nearby and visited pretty regularly. She was known to spend nearly $100 each time she visited, and I wish I could tell you that was all she was known for.

One week she came to the table with a delicate 30” chain necklace studded with crystals that she had purchased from us a month or two earlier. It was in a ball.

“How did this happen?” I asked. She said it was due to normal wear, but of course that wasn’t true. It looked as though it had been swimming at the bottom of her purse for the past few weeks. I untangled the necklace and gave it back to her with a smile. Two weeks later she was back again, same thing. But when she came a month later, with the poor necklace so knotted up, no one could work on it, we told her it would take some time to fix and she should come back to pick it up next Saturday. She couldn’t return the following week, so she took the piece with her and I never saw her again.

I asked my friend Jesse of Brooklyn Taco what he thought was going on, and his idea was she needed attention. “Do you think she comes home and her husband rips off her clothes before making passionate love, the necklace goes flying into the corner, where her cat plays with it until it resembles a bird’s nest, and then she brings back to us?” He thought that was very funny.

The other outstanding customer was a woman in her early 30s, dressed in business clothes, with a manicure. She walked up to our booth at Union Square and told us she had a necklace she purchased from us that summer and would like it restrung. She took a small plastic bag out of her purse and immediately we recognized the pieces of the necklace as one that my daughter sold.

I walked out from behind the counter. “Let’s step over here,” I told her and moved out of our booth. I wanted to keep her away from the other customers because I really wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out. “Can I take a look at the necklace?” I asked.

I turned the bag over in my hand, and shot a look at my daughter. It was pieces and beads and string. Our policy is that sales are final and we don’t give refunds, but I told her: “We’ll be happy to replace this piece with one in black because we no longer sell this color. It was a summer color.” I tried not to give away what I was thinking. I was thinking that I wanted to give this woman whatever she wanted so she would leave as soon as possible.

“I really loved this one. Can’t you fix it?” she asked very nicely. This was the real tip off. The necklace looked as though it had been tossed into the bottom of a sailboat, a sailboat that took on water, more than 30 days earlier. Once a light brown, it was now moldy.

“You really can’t wear this anymore,” I said softly. “I can give you a refund, or you can have the same necklace in black, which would you prefer?”

She left with the black necklace, but she wasn't happy. She really wanted her necklace fixed. My daughter and I talked about what happened for a good half hour after she left. She looked so average. You could see she really loved the necklace and wanted to wear it again. What she could not see is that she was asking us to repair something that was, literally, refuse.

What’s really amazing is that in nine years, there are only two of these stories to tell. Despite both of these experiences, I really do enjoy meeting the buying public, the ordinary and the extraordinary. 

Wink and Flip / wink and flip

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Crafty Inspirations

Before I started crafting, I frequently visited craft shows to marvel at things that I thought I could never create. Fast forward years later, I am actually making and selling handmade soaps in my etsy shop Nordea Soaperie!

I always wonder what drives a person to choose their craft, and what inspires them to create on a daily basis. I know that I am inspired by my love of food...as strange as that sounds. I LOVE food, and I love to cook. Making soap is simply following a recipe, and I am always thinking of different ways to incorporate food and beverages into my soaping projects. Many of my more popular soaps include fruit purees or liquids like aloe juice and beer.

I asked another member of the EtsyNY team what inspired their crafty creations, and Alison from Koto Designs gave me the following answer:

"I would say that I'm inspired by what I encounter in my day-to-day life. I always have an eye out for anything with a simple geometry that would translate well into embroidery. For example, my brother is a huge bike fanatic and for his birthday I made him a card featuring his super customized bike. I made another (more generic) version for my etsy shop for all the bike lovers out there."

To see the beautiful work from many more members of the EtsyNY team, make sure you come to the annual Holiday Handmade Cavalcade which will be a two-day event kicking off the Holiday shopping season! This show will feature artisans from all over the tri-state area. Don't forget to mark your calendars, December 1 & 2 in Brooklyn, NY....Hope to see you there!

-Nordea

nordeasoaperie

Christmas in July

In the 1940 screwball comedy "Christmas in July" Jimmy MacDonald mistakenly believes to have won $25,000 in a contest. He goes on to spend these alleged winnings on a shopping spree with his girlfriend buying presents for their family and friends. "It's like Christmas in July" Jimmy's girlfriend Betty sighs. If you are in the mood for a little Christmas, check out some of the seasonal offerings of Etsy NY artists that you can get right now:

Christmas Mistletoe To Go
Hook and Matter's Christmas Mistletoe is too pretty to just come out for the holidays. Wear it this summer and kiss your unsuspecting beach crush under the mistletoe.

Winter Holiday Felt Jumper
This adorable keepsake jumper created by Heart Felt 4 Kids will definitely put you and your one-, two-, three- or four-year old in the mood for the holiday season. After all, December is just a few month's off.

Partridge in a Pear Tree
A Partridge in a Pear Tree is always seasonally appropriate. The delicate illustrations that Jessica Boehman creates for her shop Hans My Hedgehog evoke a whimsical magic that will make the perfect addition to your home.

And finally, to put you into the proper mood for a shopping spree, here is a scene out of Christmas in July.

Happy Holidays


Simone
groundsel.etsy.com

Rain, Rain Go Away

I Love To Walk In The Rain by My Zoetrope
It's pouring today in New York City, but rather than curl up and hide from the weather, I thought I'd let it inspire me. Here are some rain themed items that may cheer you up a bit. How about a cute onesie by Big Bridge Studios in a rainy winter day blue and gray?

Gotham Bird Baby Onesie

I wouldn't mind a shower of these beauties designed by Fernando Jewelry:

Spring Rain Citrine Earrings

Stay dry with this cloche by Ellis Designs:

Women's Water Resistant Striped Cloche

Spend the day catching up on some correspondence with Tamara Garvey's Rainy Day Elephants:

Rainy Day Elephant Note Cards



And here is Gene Kelly, wishing you a happy rainy Friday:


Simone
groundsel.etsy.com
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My Favorite Things: Craft Catalogs


People (such as myself) like to complain about junk mail. And with good reason.

It is so disappointing to come home, open my mailbox, and spend the elevator ride to my apartment shifting through cable offers that don't apply to me, high school alumni solicitations (hello, that's what Facebook is for!), magazine renewals, and let's not forget the miracle formula that will improve my eyesight. I have no idea how I got on that list.



Oh, but the excitement, the pleasure a new catalog brings! Instantly I forget the Iowa City Regional Bank credit card offer with 0% interest for the first month only, and am instead transported to the life I wish I had. Imagine it...endless hours and resources to pursue every idea, every craft I'm intrigued by, until it either consumes me or some other idea takes its place. Also, each idea would be wildly successful and make a million dollars.

As a jewelry designer, most of the catalogs I get have to do with specific tools and trade. My favorites, like the annual Rio Grande catalog, I savor. I still have copies from 2007, 2008, and 2009, marked with post-its and dog-eared page corners. Unfortunately, I took the 2010 on vacation to FL and left it at the house where I was staying. I do expect to get it back.



The Fire Mountain Gem catalog is a heady alternative to TV for a perfect post-a-long-day-at-work zone out. I especially love the pictures of real people who work for the company, posing with their creations. If you spend enough to get the 1,000+ page catalog, expect to lose a day or two thumbing through it.


Then there's the Blick Art Materials and Studio catalogs. Every year they come up with themes and request submissions from artists and students. I still have the one from 2009; it reminds me of my dorky college days. Not only are the covers artistic, but the catalog itself evokes wandering through a well-curated but packed attic. There are items you'd never expect to find, laid out in an old-school, small-type, this-is-the-only-catalog-you'll-ever-need kinda way. Eventually someone will find a SKU for the Lost City of Atlantis in a Blick catalog. It could happen.


The truth is that I order a lot of my supplies online, with occasional forays into local stores. However, I still love getting paper catalogs. For starters, nothing beats the ol' Post-It system (I borrow mine from the office, but yay for the Staples catalog!) for bookmarking things you need, want, dream about, will never get but like to pretend you will. Also, stuff disappears from the web all the time and the catalog is a permanent record -- not just for future shopping lists -- but also of what I was into at any given moment. It's fun to flip through old catalogs and review what I dog-eared in 2005. Some things I've forgotten -- like my thankfully brief but unfortunate conviction that pipe-cleaner hair clips were the next big thing, don't ask -- and sometimes I'm surprised at how consistent my interests have been over the years.

And finally, whatever you're into, there's a catalog for it. How awesome is that?


Do you have any favorite catalogs? Come on, spill...


Sue De
etsy.com/shop/persuede
made for you

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At Home With The {NewNew}

Glass Tile Magnets, set of 4
$6.00 at PurtyBird.

Home Sweet Home Wood Coasters
$28.00 at Peppersprouts.

Vintage Pillow with Eco Insert
$40 at LeisureSociety.

Sterling Silver Tiny(er) House Necklace
$70 at JDavisStudio.

Easy Bake Oven Cupcakes, 1 dozen
$24 at TheChocolateMuffin.

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Save the Date! April 24th is the Spring Handmade Cavalcade!


Shop Sustainably this Earth Day with the {New New} at the Spring Handmade Cavalcade.

 This spring, make eco-conscious shopping and gift-giving a part of your Earth Day tradition. Join the independent artists and makers of the {New New} at the second annual Spring Handmade Cavalcade, where local designers and makers will feature the best of their handmade collections.

Why Earth Day? Because {NewNew} member artists care about New York and its sustainability.  To reduce waste, {NewNew} member artists use little packaging, recycle and upcycle materials, and create and sell locally.  At the Spring Handmade Cavalcade, you will find a variety of these sustainable goods including housewares made from post-consumer waste, jewelry made with recycled metals, and much, much more.


The Spring Handmade Cavalcade will take place on April 24th, from 10am - 5pm at Berry Park, 4 Berry Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Be among the first 100 people to arrive and receive a free, limited-edition goody bag full of wonderful eco-inspired giveaways.

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{New New} ECO TIP #1 - When shopping, skip the plastic bag and use a tote bag instead.  You can make your own tote bag using an old t-shirt.  For this and other DIY tips on how to recycle, upcycle and reuse items to create new treasures and live more sustainably, come back for more tips and ideas!



The Spring Handmade Cavalcade is proudly sponsored by Etsy, Lion Brand Yarn, and Swap-Bot.

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A {NewNew} vendor eco-story from:
Groundsel refashions unloved textiles and plastics to infuse them with a different identity. Her products include recycled tie bags, fused plastic purses, and felted sweater bags and accessories.  This year, Groundsel is excited to introduce embellished messenger bags made out of recycled cotton.
To see more vendors, visit handmadecavalcade.com