Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Good, The Bad And The Etsy

In October of 2007 I was hitching a ride down the virtual highway on a turnip truck, when I fell off and landed on the front page of Etsy. I remember being utterly enthralled with it. An entire site devoted to shops for people who make things! How fabulous is that!? I looked at the site quite a bit, there was so much to offer. So many pretty pictures of amazing things people were making. I signed up right away but I didn't open a shop. I noticed that most things were on the lower end of the price scale and I was doing pretty well on ebay at that point. For some inexplicable reason I thought it would be a conflict of interest to sell there as well.

A few months went by and ebay decided to change their policies and pricing. A lot of people were unhappy with the new changes and chose to leave the site. That combined with a personal problem I was having with a scam artist that they couldn't have cared less about caused me to leave as well. So I went that same day and set up my shop on Etsy thinking this was going to be great! I noticed there weren't a lot of bear artists selling there yet, but I knew they would come in time. As time went on they did come.

After setting up my shop...nothing happened. I thought that was rather odd, but I figured people couldn't find me there yet. So I waited...nothing happened. More bear artists came and a team was set up dedicated to us, and I thought NOW people will start finding out that we are there! They will start to be comfortable with higher priced things for sale since Etsy was growing and more types of people were selling their wares. Nothing happened, but not just for me. Nothing happened for most of the bear artists. Not even bear artists who have shops that sell out the minute they do a personal website update.

We set about trying to get a category for ourselves because there really wasn't an appropriate place for us. We were finally given a sub category under the dolls and miniatures section. Sadly there is no indication from looking at the front page that we are there. But we are! We moved our stuff to the new category full of hope. In the interim I bought two main showcase spots, started going into the forums to use the promotions section, using twitter for promotions, and pretty much doing everything I could to get not only attention for my own work...but the work of all bear artists on Etsy. I even changed my photos two times, because on some level I was certain I was doing something wrong. Nothing happened.

I finally decided to really make a concerted effort to find out why we weren't selling. After doing the showcase spots I discovered no one sells very well by buying them. This is probably because they are only accessed by a small unobtrusive link on the front page. So I started studying the people who are successful, the way Etsy promotes people in the Storque, the treasuries that make the front page, the gift guides, etc. Slowly but surely I started noticing things. Many of the kinds of things Etsy tends to promote are hip and trendy and aimed at younger buyers. Ok...there is nothing wrong with that, but not every buyer on Etsy is going to have those tastes. They don't really feature as broad of selection in their promotional venues as they could. I have never once seen an artist teddy bear featured on the front page. There may have been, but I have never seen one. I look at the front page a few times a day since I am doing this research.

They have about six types of items that they have made into stars. Everyone says that the treasuries are controlled by the users and not the site, but a lot of people caught on pretty quick and started including those six types of items in their treasuries in the hopes of getting their treasury to the front page. It's working because I never, EVER see a treasury on the front page that doesn't include at least one of those six types of items. So this all became very interesting to me. I have been watching for about two and a half months now. But I still wasn't certain the lack of promotional love and being buried in the doll category was what was keeping bear artists from selling on there.

At long last, today I have hit upon that answer due to many posts in a thread made in the forums. Apparently the media touts Etsy as being a place to get a good deal. They have been compared to an online flea market, a bargain basement, and worst of all...a place where you can buy fine handmade goods for less than Walmart prices!!! Etsy has done nothing to dispel that notion, in fact they have embraced it and perpetuated that idea. This weekend they have given promotional space to people who have discounted their items by having sales or free shipping. They created a sense of peer pressure for sellers to discount already fair or even low prices in order to get featured. They had hundreds of people signing up to do sales in hopes of getting some exposure because they can't get it from Etsy any other way, and then they only featured a couple dozen who chose to take the biggest discounts. While I don't believe that was their intention, I also don't believe they stepped back to look at the big picture and the future ramifications of that type of thinking.

Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having an occasional sale. I chose to do it this weekend as well. It had nothing to do with Etsy and more to do with with rewarding people with a little break in prices who chose to stay safely in their homes on the busiest shopping days of the year. But if you are someone who is already making very little if any profit on your work and you discount 30% you are not only cheating yourself, you are under cutting and cheating every other seller out there who feels they have to compete. That didn't really happen with bears because sales aren't really something that has ever been the custom in the bear world. But I saw it happen to many other types of vendors. The next time they choose to have people sign up in order to get featured I am sure people will offer even bigger discounts to the point of taking a loss on their items in order to get that coveted exposure.

There was a time in this country when people took pride in their skills at making things. As a bear artist I still take pride in being able to make something that I know will last, that I have put my heart and soul into and that is unique and special in a way that can't be bought at department stores. The cost of supplies for making a bear are not cheap, they are also very labor intensive. My prices are very fair for what I make and you get what you pay for. Sadly artisans with that mindset are not being recognized by Etsy. All the bargain basement hype is detrimental to us all.

I fully understand that Etsy is a business and they want to make money and have a slick looking homepage to draw shoppers in. There is nothing wrong with that. But their mission statement is to provide a place where people can make a living selling handmade. I don't know why they aren't supporting their own concept by taking their promotional efforts in a different direction, or at very least many directions to support all types of artists and crafters, professionals and hobbyists alike. They never seem to focus on the fact that handmade items are usually unique and well crafted by people who put a great deal of time and hard work into their creations rather than saying that handmade is a bargain that can be had for a song. I am not going to close down my Etsy shop because I have already paid for an ad coming out on the 8th on Craft Cult. I am not saying that my lack of sales are completely their fault, I am sure part of the fault still lies with my shop in some way. Nor am I quite ready to give up on them because I hope maybe they will figure this out and do something about it. However, I am going to stop wasting so much of my time and effort to support them if they don't want to return to the favor to so many of us.

It makes me very sad that such a wonderful concept got so far off track. I could easily make one of those six items they love so much, and I am sure I could make a lot of sales if I sold them cheaply. But that isn't what I am about. I have worked too long and too hard to devalue my skill set or my work.

Edit: I wanted to add the link to the article and a thought to this. We are given the choice as to how we run our business, we are given a choice whether we want to sell on Etsy or not. We have not been given a choice as a majority on how we want Etsy to promote the arts and crafts industry as a collective. That is a very large issue we have no control over unless we make our wishes known to them by speaking out.

Article Link

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stopping To Think

As you know from my previous post I am running a sale this weekend. Many people in the arts business are. I was in the Etsy forums last night and there was much discussion about how much people are selling by running these sales. The answer was not much, followed by the perfunctory comment that the economy is bad. They keep saying on the news that the economy is bad and affecting sales this year in the major department stores. But I started really thinking about this. They say every year on the news that sales are down from the previous year. But yet a lot of companies are thriving. Besides, when has the news ever been that reliable of a source for the truth? Sure some stores have gone out of business but in my opinion it was because you could always get the same stuff from some of their competitors for less, like Linen's & Things for instance. They never really sold anything that spectacular and their prices were always above other stores. I think they would have gone out of business anyway.

Our gas has dropped by more than a $1.00 per gallon. I don't know a single person that has been laid off or taken a pay cut. I know there are people who have, I just don't know any of them. But people get laid off and take pay cuts all the time, even when the economy is good. Groceries are coming down from over inflated prices. I haven't seen any significant increases in my bills.

So all this makes me the economy really that bad? Or is it a simple case of two things...prices got inflated very quickly because of gas hikes but they are coming back down to normal now. Secondly...maybe people think the economy is bad because everyone keeps parroting what everyone else is saying about the economy being bad and we are all buying into that perception?

I was saying it too for a while, but really nothing in my life has been that greatly affected. There is nothing wrong with saving for a rainy day, but if we all stop buying things the economy really will crumble.

Food for thought...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Website, Lollishops & Etsy...Oh My!

I have updated my website for Christmas, you can have a look here:

Lollishops will be opening today, and it's fabulous! You can look at that here:


In the spirit of Christmas giving, I am having a sale this weekend on Etsy, which is the first sale I have ever had in 28 years, so take advantage of it while you can! It might be another 28 years before I have another one! (I will honor the sale price if you purchase directly from my website as well, just put "blog" in the e-mail header.) If you would like to purchase anything please send me a convo and I will adjust the listing price for you here:

Etsy Shop

Thanks a lot, hugs, Kelly

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I would like to wish everyone, their families and friends a lovely Thanksgiving!

Human Nature

Lets suppose for a moment that it's 4500 years in the future. Lets also suppose that all written records have been obliterated. Archaeologists stumble upon Mt. Rushmore. What would they think? Would they think that the four presidents were gods we worshipped? Would they think it was a place of rituals or burials of important people. Perhaps they would think the presidents noses pointed at water sources or were a way to keep time.

I love ancient history, but I always find it fascinating that archaeologists go straight to one of the mentioned formulas above. I was just reading an article on Stone Henge. As usual the theories for it's use were a giant calendar, a place of worship, a burial ground or a place for ritual sacrifice. While I am sure that's very possible, I have to wonder why no one considers that maybe it was just art...or a market place. Maybe it was an entertainment center with plays or parties. Something deep in the recesses of my Celtic soul tells me they haven't found the right answer yet.

While I realize that religion played a much larger part in ancient cultures than it does today, human nature doesn't change that much. We have always had a sense of humor, something that is rarely depicted in pop culture. But I am pretty sure neolithic people enjoyed a joke as much then as we do now. We have always loved, art, entertainment and gathering together for a merry making.

There is the argument that there are a lot of burial sites around Stone Henge...ok but think about current culture. We bury people in organized cemeteries, but some people choose to do some pretty outlandish things with their remains. We like having a testament to our lives and we choose to express those as uniquely as we can.

I don't need to know what Stone Henge was used for, I can simply revel in the fact that our ancestors went to great lengths to build it and that in itself is a testament to the human spirit!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

~*~ Snow Queen Bearbit ~*~

I am having fun with these little funny bears, and I added a new one to Etsy. You can visit her here:

Click to see the Snow Queen

Monday, November 24, 2008

Split Personality?

I have noticed as I go along that many people do two blogs, one for work and a separate one as their diary of sorts with personal things. I find that kind of interesting. I guess it never would have occurred to me to do that. I do have another blog, but it's only for featuring other artists a few times a week.

Way back when I started blogging I never thought anyone would read it anyway and I used it to say whatever was on my mind or whatever happened to me at any given time. I posted pics of my work because it was a good way to keep a record in case I forgot to write anything down.

Low and behold right out of the gate people did start reading it. As soon as I discovered this I began to wonder what my obligation was? Did they want to know me as a complete person with many moods, just to see pics of my latest works, or did they want to read only the good stuff and buy into some type of fantasy people sometimes have about artists? Was my blog just for me to exercise things from my brain, write it all unvarnished or did I have a commitment to my readers to only write the happy?

The truth is, I still struggle with this question sometimes. But along the way I found a formula that works for me. I don't know if anyone agrees with it, but that's ok. I figured that if someone only wants to see the new things I made they will just look at the pictures and aren't going to take time to read my usually wordy posts anyway. I could have chosen to just post the good things that happen, or dress things up to create a fantasy world where nothing ever goes wrong, but I chose not to do that either. I used to follow a blog that posted like that and I had to stop reading it, it was clearly contrived and I couldn't take the sugar rush. Overall I am a pretty happy, positive person, but I am a real person too. I go through times that are rough, most artists do. I prefer to read about real live 3 dimensional people, so I post like one.

Now you may not agree with me, and I am in no way saying to do otherwise is wrong. Ultimately our blogs are ours to do with as we see fit. Some people don't want to share their lives and others need a fantasy for a variety of reasons. It's up the reader if they want to come along for the ride. Some people buy a season pass, others take it for a whirl now and again, and still others just peek through the fence to see what it looks like.

I truly appreciate everyone who takes time out of their busy schedules to stop by, regardless how often, for how long or if it's to just to take a look at pics. I hope I never let anyone down by what they read, of course sometimes our words are misread or misunderstood or people just flat out disagree, so it happens. I do believe that people feel a certain comfort in knowing that more people have the kind of concerns they have and sometimes you can get together and brainstorm towards a common solution. I am always thrilled when someone is inspired by what I have written. I combine posts about work and real life because work is part of my real life. I guess blogging is kind of like doesn't come with a manual and we just do the best we can!

~*~ Smidgen Bearbit ~*~

I just wanted to make something sweet and simple. Smidgen is on Etsy, you can visit her here:

Link to visit Smidgen

Saturday, November 22, 2008

~*~ First Frost ~*~

I just made a fun little retro inspired Christmas piece and listed it on Etsy, it will also be on my website tomorrow. You can visit it here:

Click Here

Irony And Compassion

I am sitting here working on a fun little tree and deer vignette tonight and while I was waiting for the stain the base to dry I hopped onto one of the handmade sites forum to do the gab and get seen gig for a few minutes. I stumbled upon a thread a person had made to complain about people who complain. (Yes that is ironic isn't it!)

I read through part of it and posted a few replies trying to reason with her to give people the benefit of the doubt which fell on deaf ears or in the case of reading...deaf eyes I guess. I said it doesn't really bother me when people complain especially about lack of sales because I know they usually have a deeper reason behind those complaints over face value. We are all feeling a bit of a money crunch this year, and it's really effecting people who want to buy Christmas presents and do frivolous things like eat or pay the power bill. So it's easy to get frustrated and wonder why someone is doing better than you are when you know you have been working hard.

After I left the thread I was still thinking about it a bit. One of the main reasons that people don't sell well is because of the photographs of their items. But the truth is some people are just not born photographers. Or in me for instance...we have old cameras and haven't been able to buy a new one that takes sharper pics. Refer back to those frivolous things we spend our money on like food and heat. Not only that but when it comes to the handmade world things rise and fall in popularity and sometimes people aren't in the right niche at the right time. But the one thing that struck me through out all the posts people made in the never seemed to occur to any of them to try to HELP the people who were complaining. All too often when people complain over something it's a cry for help that they don't know how to ask for.

Last night I saw another thread that a woman posted about wanting to make a blog chronicling her journey of being mentally handicapped and still being a successful business person. She wanted to know if people thought it was a good idea. I told her I thought it was a great idea, she could be an inspiration to many others and go a long way towards being accepted as a serious business woman. But most of the people in the thread said no don't do it, it's too controversial and people won't buy from you if they know this about you! Seriously that requires a few more exclamation marks!!!! Why on earth would someone not purchase something based on that? She is a human being like any other. For her it's not a controversial topic, it's a fact of her life. We all have our burdens to bear, they simply come in different forms. I looked to see what she was making, she had some amazing jewelry.

Sometimes I think we live in an odd world that has too much irony and not enough compassion.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Things That Go Bump In Your Head

I don't keep the same hours most of the rest of the world keeps. Even as a baby I didn't like to sleep at night from what my Mother tells me. The problem with being on a different schedule than everyone else is that people make noise around the neighborhood or you have to get up to be somewhere during those daylight hours so I don't always get as much sleep as I should.

This week has been like that, so last night about 9:30 it caught up with me and I laid down for a nap. I fell asleep almost instantly which also is out of character because I have chronic insomnia and it takes me about an hour to go to sleep. I had the oddest dream.

From all the dreams I can recollect I have never had one quite like this one. The dream started out in my Grandmother's attic room but it wasn't decorated the same as hers was. I remember there being distince peach and taupe colors. There were three beds and I laid down on the biggest, most comfortable looking of the the three that had a quilt and a pillow with a lacy pillow case to have a nap. Now I know what you're this isn't a Goldilocks with the bears thing. My husband laid down to nap with me but he fell asleep right away and didn't wake up during anything that happened within the landscape of the dream. While still in the dream I was awakened in the dark by a noise. I couldn't see anything and for whatever reason I didn't turn on the light. I could hear all kinds of odd noises like people were moving around and whispering to one another but I couldn't really tell who they were, how many or what they were doing or saying. I felt a vague sense of danger and fear, but nothing ever really happened.

Then my dog decided he had to go outside and woke me up, so I never finished the dream. I am sure it's symbolic of something, but I can't quite figure out what. The thing I found most odd about it was the fact that since my mind created the dream, shouldn't I have known what was going on in the dark?

I am sure that it wasn't representative of concerns that people were talking about me behind my back because I have never really cared if people talk about me or not. I am also very much in control of what I do, so I don't think it was concerns over not knowing what I am doing in some repsect.

If anyone has anything insightful to shed light on this (pun intended) I would be interested in hearing it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Can't See The Forest For The Trees

Every Sunday I enjoy looking through the ads in the paper. Last Sunday the Kohls flier had some bottle bush trees on sale for half price. I really REALLY love bottle brush trees.

It all started because I had a collection of snowmen. I would put them all on my mantle downstairs at Christmas time. I had some old bottle brush trees that were the right size to compliment my snowmen so I rolled them in crystal glitter and added them to the mantle one year. Each year I would find the trees here and there and add to my collection. Eventually I decided I loved the trees more than the snowmen. The trees became the focus and snowmen are now the accents. I also use a lot of them in my Christmas pieces.

I really wanted the trees from Kohls, but I was afraid if I went into the store I would get swept up in the shoes and jewelry and sweaters...oh my! I didn't want to spend terribly much this week, so I decided to order them from their website instead. They had three sizes in two colors. The smallest cost 3.50 and the largest 7.00. So I ordered several small ones, a few medium and two large. It didn't tell the size on the website but I figured for the price they couldn't be very big...not more than 2-6 inches.

Today I got a confirmation that my order was about to be shipped. Then I got another confirmation...and another! I was concerned something had gone wrong because the site had frozen up when I placed the order. I was afraid I was getting a triplicate order and maybe even charged three times. I called customer service and got this very funny guy. We laughed quite a bit over the course of the conversation, and he checked to see what was going on. He said finally that the reason I got three shipping notices was because the order was split into three boxes! I was very surprised that my little trees were coming in so many boxes. As it turns out...they are 11", 14" and 18" tall! I about croaked, I am going to have an entire forest when they arrive!

I guess the moral of this story is always find out how big the items you are ordering are before you order them! After having a "down" kind of day, this was the first part of a really great ending to the day.

The second part was my other blog. I was all set to feature someone but they didn't get pictures to me today, so I needed someone rather fast to write about. I made a thread on Etsy asking for anyone who wanted to be featured. I was surprised that it took a little bit to have anyone respond, but the first person who responded turned out to be perfect. I only started this blog this week but so far the happiness people have gotten from what I write about them gives me that warm fuzzy feeling inside. It really is better to give than to receive. Even if you can't see it right away because you're surrounded by a forest of trees! *giggles*

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Caught In The Web

I am usually pretty optimistic, but I have to tell you my enthusiasm is flagging today. Not a single woo has passed these lips! I think I am suffering from internet burn out. Trying to run a business on the web is exhausting. It's very competitive because every creative person has an outlet now to display and sell their items. While I think that's great, and wish we had that option decades ago...trying to stand out from the crowd is time consuming.

The self promotion is never ending. If you are on Etsy you need to chat in the forums so that people see you, include you in treasuries and get to know you. Twitter is another good tool, but you need to find a balance between personal tweets and posting links so as to maintain good etiquette and not turn people off by posting nothing but links. I remove people from my following list who do that because I like a little personal interaction along with the sales pitches.

I currently have items for sale on my website, Etsy, Dawanda, Bearpile and very soon... Lollishops. All those shops have to be maintained. On top of that The Lollishops Guild, Mohair Divas, Toy Collector, my blog, Plumdrop and Flickr have to be updated every time I have new pictures of items...*collapses on the floor*

On top of the time and cost of supplies to make my pieces, I have to spend hours setting up displays to take photos, take the photos themselves, crop the photos and adjust the color to display the item as close as possible to real life, upload the photos to the endless sites I am on, announce the photos and then if the item sells I have to package it up safely, drive to the post office and usually wait an hour in line to mail it. (And people wonder why artists charge so much for shipping.)

The end result of all this extra work is that I have quite a few less hours a a week to devote to making new things, spending time with my loved ones, reading, cleaning and workin the flab off my backside from sitting in the computer chair.

IT'S MADNESS I TELL YOU! *giggles* The truth is all this effort isn't producing satisfying returns like shows used to. So in order to maintain my sanity and be able to fit in my chair, I have made a very big decision. I think I am going to start spending the money to advertise in magazines after the first of the year. I am getting a new snazzy camera for Christmas so I will be able to take even better pictures! Advertising is very expensive, but it reaches a huge audience and I think in the long run it will save my sanity.

Every time that I have advertised in the past I have generated really great sales. I should have just kept doing it. This time however, I am going to invest in some main stream publications as well as the bear publications. So watch for those ads, I will keep you updated on when they will be coming out and where. And keep in mind that when I start to do this, it may become difficult to get my work. So if you have been thinking about getting one of my things for yourself as a little present, now might be the time.

~*~ Rich Chocolate Velvet Rose Presentation Box ~*~

I was very busy last night working on this little box! You can see it on Etsy by clicking the link below:

Click Here

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


So tonight I discovered that I am a woo girl. I didn't realize there was a specific name for it, and apparently it's not something people look particularily favorably on. The truth is I have been a woo girl for a long time, but it's not something most people know. I confess, I can get pretty enthusiasic at any given time and shout out a well placed "woo", I do own a pink cowboy hat, and I have been known to wear Ugg boots with shorts or a slip nightgown. So yes, I have hit the triple crown of woo-ness! I am even married to a yeah dude.

But I don't think there is anything wrong with self expression and enthusiasm. In fact the new blog I have started is sort of my way of giving a big woo to all the talented people I run across while strollin down the virtual highway. I am having so much fun with it already and I have only featured two people. It's almost more fun to write about other people and why I like their stuff than it is to write about myself...I said almost. I am a Leo and we are known to be slightly vain. *Grins cheekily* But we are always generous to a fault, and I can tell you it is definitely more rewarding to write about others.

So the next time you see a woo girl in the wild, treat her kindly...she is just expressing her joy to be alive. Maybe she will include you in that joy!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Rose By Any Other Name

Sometimes life works in very mysterious ways. Yesterday I completed the set up of my new blog The Rose Colored Monocle. I set it up because I wanted to feature other artist's work. I put out a call to several places on the net for people who might like to be featured. I decided to leave it up to fate and the first person to respond would be my first feature. Amy from The B-Line was the first person to answer. She makes lovely jewelry and things, but the thing that really caught my attention was some rose rings. I love rose rings and have been trying to find one that would fit over my large Irish peasant stock bones! So I went to bed thinking I would call the first post "A Rose By Any Other Name."

Now here is where it gets weird...I woke up and had a conversation on Etsy from JulieChristie who makes lovely glass items. (Go check her out!) She featured Little Garbanzo in a treasury in Treasury West on Etsy named of all things...A Rose By Any Other Name Is Still A Rose! I guess that's proof positive that what you do in this world does come back to you...sometimes very fast, and in ways that make you hum the Twilight Zone Theme! Go check out the treasury, it's beautiful, and don't forget to visit the links above to see Julie's work and my new blog!

Click here to visit the treasury

~*~ Catch A Falling Star ~*~

I managed to make something sort of unique. I love the whole idea behind star jars and I have recently become fascinated with terrariums. So I combined the idea. The moss in this jar is not alive however, it's preserved so there is no care required!

I have it listed on Etsy, click below to visit it:

Click here

Thursday, November 13, 2008

~ Glitter Star Christmas Ornaments ~*~

I love those glittery silver star ornaments, so I made a whole bunch!

They are on etsy if you would like to visit them:

Click here

~*~ Little Garbanzo ~*~

I just added a new bear to Etsy. He will also be on my website a little later. If you would like to visit him, click the link below:

Click here

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Price Of Publicity

This afternoon when I logged in, I had a ton of E-mails like usual. Several of them were to announce new followers on Twitter. The name of one of them was rather shocking, so I went to look at them and see what exactly they were about. It was someone actively hunting down people and slamming the items people make. (I am not going to say their name because I don't believe they deserve views.) I blocked them immediately.

Someone posted a thread about this in the forums. While many people were disgusted, many many others stated that even negative publicity is good publicity and said there was nothing that could be done about it so why not enjoy it. I have to admit I was kind of shocked by their reaction. More shocked in fact than by the person who made the account with the sole purpose of making others look bad. Why would you want your business to be associated with this type of thing? The person who started the thread on the forum was outraged in the first post and by page 18 thought it was a good thing. I am glad I stand by my convictions a little more strongly.

Why are we so permissive of bad behavior? Even more disturbing, why do we encourage it? How can anyone really believe that bad publicity is good? There is so much hate in the world already, do we really need to perpetuate and applaud it? Sure I understand that it means people will look at their items. But do we really want people looking at them in the same way they would a side show exhibit?

Some people even submitted their items to the twitterer. Over the years I have made a couple bears that simply did not turn out, but they didn't see the light of day either. I am not in the business of selling bad products. When you're an artist you aren't going to turn out something perfectly wonderful every single time. As consumers we aren't going to love everything everyone makes. But to go out of your way to make people feel bad when it takes courage just to put yourself out there is mind boggling to me. To make yourself look bad is even more mind boggling. Why would I buy from you if you tell me you think your stuff is ugly? Maybe people do it as reverse psychology or maybe they just want the shock value. I just know that if you don't believe in your own work, I certainly won't.

Negative publicity can be extremely hurtful. People tend to believe what they read. I remember a while back Jennifer Love Hewitt was called fat by the tabloids. She is a size 4 at the most. How can that be fat? So many people parroted what they heard or read about her that she made a long post defending herself over it. It made me really sad that she felt a need to do that. She is a beautiful girl, a thin girl. I should be so lucky to look that good! But that type of publicity clearly had a detrimental effect on her personal outlook. Now I suppose it could be argued that she is insecure and should have tougher skin because of the business she is in, etc. But how would we feel to read something negative about ourselves or our work? Very few people can say that it wouldn't bother them on some level and wonder why they were targeted. While I wouldn't lose any sleep over it, I would still feel a little hurt because I am human. We all are. We live on a very small isolated planet, if we don't take care of each other...who will? So if you're out to make someone look bad, negate their business in some way, or supporting someone who does...all I have to say is think about what you are really doing! You never know when you will be the next victim!

Someone once told me that all things people do stem from one of two things, love or fear. I have come to understand over the years that is true. Are people so afraid of competition and their own inadequacies that they need to be hurtful and support those who are?

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Yesterday I made a post in the Lollishops Guild blog about gratitude, but I realize a lot of you don't have access to that, so I thought I would make a similar post here on the same subject. I think that many women who had successful businesses before they moved to the internet feel the same way I did judging by the amount of mail I received over that post.

When I moved the business to the net a year ago I went through an interesting series of emotions. Bear shows has begun to die off due to difficulties and expenses of travel, and the ease of getting what people want at the click of a button. First I thought wow this is going to be great, I can make a customers can find me and it will be so much easier than going to shows. I made my website and nothing happened. I added all the search engines I could and still nothing. I decided to try ebay and bears sold, but for ridiculously low prices. I was tired of giving my work away and I became disgusted with ebay so I quit using them.

I went through some issues with people mentioned in the last post and it really took it's toll on my usual positive attitude. I began to think the internet was my enemy. I looked upon it as something to be conquered and it was a struggle each day. I went through a dark period for a couple months where I couldn't even create much of anything because of all that had happened.

One morning I woke up and I realized the Internet is something to be grateful for. It's filled with lovely creative people, ideas, pictures, words and infinite possibilities. How could those kinds of things be my enemy? I made a shop on etsy, and I applied for Lollishops, I've made Mohair Divas and look what my positive thinking has brought me to.

In the US we have Thanksgiving coming up. It's a time when we should express our gratitude for what we have. But I think we shouldn't wait for one day a year to do that, or have to live in a specific country. I think we should be grateful and positive for the things we are given every day. I know that's hard sometimes and I am not Miss Merry Sunshine every single day, so don't think that. *winks* But I do try to push those feelings aside when something negative arises.

I am grateful this year for so many things, I don't want to wait for November 27th to express that gratitude. I have always been grateful for what I have in this world. I am married to a wonderful man that I wouldn't trade for anything, I have family and friends and pets. A nice house, my health and I don't want for anything. In fact I am rather spoiled. But I am also grateful that the internet has become my friend. I have been pushed outside my comfort zone a few times and taken on challenges I might not have in the past. It has also allowed me to meet so many wonderful people lately, and to share what I have with them the way they have shared with me.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Thousand Words

Several events today led me to making this post. I was going to post about something else actually, but I decided I wanted to post about this instead.

Every nano second on the internet a thousand words are posted, some are good and some aren't. Words are energy we expell into the universe and as we have learned in basic physics energy gathers more energy as it travels along it's path. Energy cannot be destroyed so once you put it out there, it's out there forever.

Karma is an idea that what you do in this life will come back on you in the next. But recently the concept of karma has metamorphed more into a "you reap what you sow" concept and that it will come back on you in this life. I don't profess to know when it comes back but I am quite certain that what you do does return to you at some point.

When I got into my car there was a song playing on a CD that I have called "A Thousand Words." It's about a bad relationship, but I think many of the phrases in the song could easily be applied to the internet. My husband is always fond of telling me that my hard work in all my internet venues will pay off sales wise, like it used to at shows. He also said some day people will see me for the person I really am in those same venues. My husband was right. In the same vein, a friend of mine today said; "Everything said in darkness comes to will be your turn to see favor."

But I think my turn has already come. For a long time I was considered a trouble maker in certain areas by a handful of people. I always left feeling bad for expressing a different point of view or standing by my convictions. But after a friend of mine came to me today to tell me about something that occurred that upset her in this same area, I realized that maybe I wasn't the cause of the problems. From what I learned today, my absence hasn't stopped it either. I run my social network; Mohair Divas, I belong to the Lollishops Guild with nearly a thousand members where I am an active paticipant, I moderate on two sites one of which has 30,000 members, and I belong to an Etsy team. There hasn't been one ounce of drama on any of those sites from anyone, including me. Hmmm, interesting.

Recently we had a contest on Lollishops to win a spot in beta testing by bringing in new members. I immediately went and posted the link in the Etsy Team blog so anyone who hadn't heard about it could apply. Someone pointed out that was really nice of me to bring my own competitors to the site. I don't look at it that way, I look at it like the more the merrier. As it turned out I won a spot. I really hadn't even imagined that I would win because there are so many people who were trying to win and they had more contacts than I. But I just wanted to share the link so people could have a chance to sell on this great new site. Imagine my surprise when I woke up to a PM this morning saying I won! I could't have done it with without the bear artists who applied. They didn't have to say I was the one who referred them, but they took the time to do it.

What is all this random posting leading to you ask? Well I had a sort of an epiphany...the internet is a pretty good place when you go to the right areas, the people on the internet are pretty nice, and I am pretty nice too. The only people who seem to cause problems are the ones who are too busy using a thousand words to tell others how to behave instead of tending their own garden so to speak.

I feel very blessed and happy to know the people I do now. So in a round about way this was my way of thanking everyone in my sphere on the internet. You make me happy and restore my faith that the virtual world is a good place. Hugs to you all!


I signed up for Twitter a few weeks ago. I try to make posts every now and then but I have no idea what I am doing. They call it micro-blogging but I prefer regular blogging where I can formulate an entire thought. (Or at least try!) It always makes me feel as if I have tourettes of the fingers to just blurt random things out. I post occasional links to new items, but mostly I just make comments about whatever I am doin at any given time I think to post. I don't really think anyone wants to read it, but I keep getting E-mails informing me that people are following me. I have no idea how they find me, or why they want to follow me but I guess it's flattering. Sometimes I like to read it because I find it sort of fascinating to know that a complete stranger I really have no concept of is making cupcakes or drying the mud off of their dog.

I always follow everyone in return who follows me because I think it's only fair, but I don't like the people who tend to do nothing but post links. I always end up removing them. I think it's fun to see what they have made every once in a while but if they don't post anything personal, off they go. I wonder if that makes me a bad person? Sometimes I think the internet has made the world we live in a strange place. Other times I think it brings us all closer together.

I guess if you're interested in following me you can do so here:
My Twitter Address

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Day

So this morning dawns with the election over and I for one am thrilled. Not because Obama won or McCain lost, but simply because it's over. I think elections are wearying for this country. It gets very old to sit and watch two grown men pay to hurl insults at one another day in and day out for so long. It makes me believe that anyone who would do that is not qualified to run this country.

I would like to believe that at some point in history there were men who just stood up and said I love this country and I want to do what's best for it and it's people. Then proceeded to carry out their campaign with the dignity holding the office of president deserves. I have to wonder what men who insult each other in public say behind closed doors about the rest of us? Basically elections are a long drawn out interview for the job. Would the rest of us get a job if we insulted people during the interview the process? I am sure we wouldn't and yet these men do get this job.

I would like to see the man who holds the office uphold the promises he makes just once. Obama has promised change. I am not sure he ever said it was change for the better. But I hope that is his intent and that we as a nation have chosen wisely. I guess time will tell. But for now I am happy it's a new day and I don't have to listen to any more mud slinging.
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