Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What's New - New Mexico

There is a saying that goes: New Mexico: not really new, not really Mexico. I like it!

While I've been to New Mexico quite a few times, discovering places and things on short trips, discovering it as a resident gives it a whole new meaning. So far it's fabulous!!
I thought I'd share some sights with you.

First of all, a couple of shots of my weaving room. Yay for having a room dedicated to my craft.



We live in a rural area with SPACE around us and our own private forest with Pinon Pines, Junipers, Cacti and some wonderful smelling wild flowers. I love walking around the property!





Last weekend, I attended a members' meeting at the Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center. I have been a member for about 4 years, taught summer workshops there and participated in a couple of shows from a distance. It was a real treat to show up and meet other members and dedicated staff and volunteers. Sorry that I didn't take photos. The shop is looking very nice and some new programs are taking up rooms in the back end of the building. You can read more about the center here: http://evfac.org/
After the meeting we drove to nearby Chimayo, a weaving village which has a big hold on me. Loved it the first time I saw it and couldn't pass up the chance to visit briefly since we were so near. This time, we didn't stop into any of the weaving shops, but visited El Santuario de Chimayo, a very special place. I'd never been here in the fall and the golden Cottonwood trees were spectacular!!





My first show as a resident New Mexican will be The Second Annual 2014 Fall Fiber Fiesta sponsored by the EspaƱola Valley Fiber Arts Center.  Friday, November 14th and Saturday, November 15th, at St. John's United Methodist Church, 1200 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm both days. This colorful show made up of handmade works by EVFAC Members contains a wide variety of traditional and contemporary handmade fiber artworks, including: tapestries, Rio Grande weaving, dolls, original knit and woven garments, materials, supplies and much more. For information and further details please contact EVFAC at 505-747-3577 or info@evfac.org.

Friday, October 17, 2014

What do You do with a Woven Band? My Customers Can Show You!

I LOVE to get pictures from my customers of them using the piece I made for them.
Here are a few which I've collected recently and thought you might enjoy them, too.
These really give me a sense of pride in what I do.


This is my son, Max, who lives in South Lake Tahoe, CA. He is seen here at the Red Bull Global Rallycross in Snoqualmie, Washington. His handwoven camera strap reads "The Way of the Road Warrior". You can see his photos here: The Way of the Road Warrior Studios.



My friend, Saskia's husband and sons do "Cowboy Action Shooting" where you dress the part. Although the photo is a bit far away to tell, the guy in the black hat is wearing a blue hatband woven especially for him and his cowboy outfit.


This scurvy pirate was seen during the "Pirate Invasion Weekend" at the Northern California Renaissance Faire wearing, not one, but two of my woven sashes. 


It seems that this blue and orange strap was a good match for the customer's bass!



Marc is part of a Canadian band, Tribu Kornu; they play their own and very interesting style of "Celtic Tribal" music. He sent me these photos of  his tunic with the handwoven trim. This was a fun order in which I did a partial trade for their CD. And I just got their newest CD in trade for another bit of trim for another band member.

I love my job!!!!

Sending a huge THANK YOU to all the customers who have paid me to do what I love. 
Thanks for giving me your vision and letting me manifest it in yarn on my inkle loom! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Changes- A Move to New Mexico and Weaving as a Full-Time Affair


This is the view from our deck!!!


Two weeks ago, I quit my day job. My husband and I will be moving very shortly from our home along the central coast of California, to the mountains of New Mexico near Albuquerque.
This has been a long time in the planning and we are very excited. It will mean that we will be semi-retired and I'll have a lot more time to devote to my weaving, blogging, teaching and fiber fun.

A Woven Bag from Chimayo, NM with a Strap I Wove to Match.


New Mexico's fiber culture and traditions go back centuries and this month in New Mexico Magazine, there is a lovely article which follows "the strands of New Mexico's staunch weaving traditions from sheep to shop". You can read it here: Dyed in the Wool.

I'm happy to say that I've visited many of the businesses mentioned in the article and these yarns were purchased on a summer trip last year in Arroyo Seco and Mora. 

I've been cultivating connections in New Mexico and and happy to say that I already belong to:
The New Mexy Etsy Team, The Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center,  Las Aranas Spinners and Weavers Guild. With a little luck, I'll get organized in time to participate in the following as my first show as a local: Fall Fiber Fiesta in Santa Fe during the weekend of November 14th & 15th.





Friday, August 22, 2014

Selling on Etsy: Some Key Points for Setting Up Shop

I opened my first Etsy shop in 2008 and have since added two more so that I can target specific markets/customers for different types of products.

ASpinnerWeaver sells general handwoven items which change but can include: scarves, shoelaces, guitar straps, camera straps, shoulder straps, guitar strap kits, belts and more.


iWeaveSashes caters to folks who do historic reenactments as well as those who might need a sash for their Native American regalia. 


WeaverGuitarStraps is linked to my website of the same name and only carries my one-of-a-kind guitar straps.


Over the years, I've made more than 600 sales combined in these shops. I've learned a few things and there is much more to learn. Since I have also been employed full-time during these years, I feel like I am not doing as much as I could to promote my shops and fine tune the content. But, when asked by someone new to Etsy if I have any advice or can I help them to figure out how to get started, the answer is YES!

While Etsy does a great job of providing information for sellers here in the Etsy Sellers Handbook
https://blog.etsy.com/en/2013/the-seller-handbook-archive/#legalinfo , reading the whole thing can be a challenge. Where do you start? I've targeted some key points that I think are important to figure out before you are ready to set up shop.

The links next to them will take you to helpful articles on Etsy's site. 
Shop name: https://blog.etsy.com/en/2011/shop-makeover-series-whats-in-a-name/ 
Banner art: https://www.etsy.com/help/article/160 
5 Photos for each item: https://blog.etsy.com/en/2011/etsy-success-product-photography-for-beginners/       AND  https://blog.etsy.com/en/2014/4-essential-product-shots-for-your-etsy-listings/
Item descriptions: https://blog.etsy.com/en/2012/how-to-write-enticing-item-descriptions/ 
13 tags (keywords, search words) for each item: https://blog.etsy.com/en/2007/guidelines-tips-tagging-on-etsy/ 
 Shipping costs and policies: https://blog.etsy.com/en/2013/4-steps-to-shipping-success/ 
Shop policies: https://www.etsy.com/help/article/171
Pricing: https://blog.etsy.com/en/2012/a-simple-formula-for-pricing-your-work/ 
About page: https://blog.etsy.com/en/2012/tips-for-your-shops-about-page/

And finally, I'd like to tell you why I think selling on Etsy is a good idea.
1) They have got Search Engine Optimization figured out. Anyone searching the web for anything, especially  "handmade" is likely to find referrals to Etsy right off.
2) You can network with other sellers, make friends and help each other to promote.
3) If you want to have a website, but don't want to the expense and complication of setting up a shopping cart on your site, you can create an "Etsy Mini" like I did to give customers access to buy your products.

Etsy has begun a new program which is spreading around the country (and in the UK) one city at a time. It is designed to offer help to people who would like to become sellers. It is called the Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship Program" and more info can be found here: http://craftentrepreneurship.com/


Footnote: If you are already an Etsy seller, but want some tips on how to make your shop better, are you signed up to get e-mails from Etsy? On your Account Settings page, click on the E-mails tab and sign up to get one or several regular messages from Etsy including tips, education and inspiration.