Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Etsy announced yesterday that the current CEO is leaving and a previous one is coming back to the position. In all honesty, it doesn't mean much to me, insofar as I've had an account for about two years and have been selling for even less time than that. I know that any change this company makes will affect me, as I am a customer, maybe even saying a client is more accurate, of said company. But I didn't think too much about it since it was announced. I've only known Etsy under one CEO, and I didn't even know who that was until the announcement that she was leaving (this should say something, actually).
Maybe in a bit of coincidence, the day-job also recently announced a change in CEO. This affects me greatly, as this man is also the company founder, my father has worked for him since I was twelve years old, and I know for a fact that his "retirement" was not a choice move. What this means is that, when he bounces back, and he will, I will be there to support him. My loyalty is not blindly with the company, it is with the former CEO, because I know that he cares about his people and I know that the interim CEO cares about money.
The financial recession hit this company hard. Federal interest rates have a direct relation to our bottom line. We laid off people. When that wasn't enough, all remaining employees took a percentage pay cut. We know that it was either that, or more lay-offs, and the CEO told us directly that he was not willing to do that. I know that he cares about his people.
What does this have to do with Etsy changes?
Well, the new CEO, Rob, announced that he wanted to bring Etsy out of the retail focus and back towards the people. It makes sense: sellers on Etsy are not one big retail corporation; we are all individual, independent artists, designers, crafters, and people with an eye for quality in things that have passed their initial popularity. Etsy should be about people. It is a wonder that it can be anything but.
Today, Rob posted a thread for all the Etsy Admins to come in and say a few words. The forums exploded, but not like they did when Etsy forced the orange gift guide button upon us, but with calm smiles and heartfelt joy. Here, here, and here, and there may be more I missed. Everyone is happy, giddy, smiling. There was a connection to people in the forums today, beyond what happens in the day-to-day.
Even though I don't have memories of a younger Etsy to go on, there was something different about today. I love seeing Admin in the forums, even when they just come in to close a thread. It's like seeing my boss do actual work instead of just dictating. But today, they descended on the forums, gave us quotes to think about, made jokes, and responded to the threads we started talking about their presence.
Today was a good day to be in the forums. If this is the new direction that Etsy is going in, I'm happy to be along for this ride.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
My Gnomes are well traveled!
Monday, December 7, 2009
Sylphs are air elementals. The breeze that rustles your hair is a Sylph who wants to play! They love hide and seek and they have the very special task of carrying raindrops to thirsty plants everywhere!
These lovely little sprites could also be called fairies or angels, if you like. Have a look!
Friday, December 4, 2009
If you're like me at all, you probably need something to write all those notes on. I tend to type the narrative, but I take notes on everything. It sounds like I need a good story journal, doesn't it? The only problem that I have with nice journals is that I somehow have it in my head that they need to be filled with something special, that my random notes and story thoughts aren't good enough. I'm working to get this mindset out of my head, because a beautiful blank journal is a sad thing, just like a doll who spends her life in a box and is never played with (and I should know about that, being a doll collector).
It was a post on the Etsy forums that led me to the wonderful work of Awaken Journaling. She was talking about clever item descriptions, and mentioned something that she used in one of her lines of journals. I had to check it out, and both of the items she had in this line were awesome.
I am talking about the Apocalypse Journals. These wonderful books of possibilities featured stained pages and rugged leather covers, meant to look like they've been through the Zombie Apocalypse. The part that the forum post was referring to is worth quoting, "They're also an essential in a post-apocalyptic world! Use it to draw maps of safe routes, keep track of food rations, or just to relax and doodle after a long day of zombie fighting." Don't you think you need one?
She had two books of this style posted and I wanted them both! I didn't have the funds for both, though, and I debated with myself over which one I liked more. When funds to buy one became available and I still couldn't decide, I sent probably the oddest question that anyone has ever asked a crafter: "I love them both, but I can only get one, which do you think I should get?" Indeed, if someone posed such a question to me about my Gnomes, I'd have a hard time answering! To make it worse, she compounded my dilemma by listing two more!
In the end, I went with my first choice, the Apocalypse II. Simply put, the cover of this journal is the most awesome piece of beat-up leather I have ever seen. The pages were stained with tea to look old and worn. I've stained pages with coffee before, I think tea works much better! Even with my new journal in hand, I still couldn't write just anything in it.
A couple weeks later, she posted another Apocalypse Journal, held a Black Friday sale, and I got paid. Before I really knew it, Apocalypse I and V were on their way to me. These two looked even more rugged, each with a piece of black on the brown that creates a kind of pocket.
Now, the issue here is that I claim a journal, and a good friend of mine is going to get one for Yule, and the third is unclaimed (so, technically mine) but I don't know which I want to keep the most and which I think my friend would like the most.
At the heart of this decision are the totally awesome journals at Awaken Journaling. If her journals were not so awesome, I would not have this problem! If you are in need of a fine place to write your thoughts, stories, notes, or tally your total number of zombies slain to compare with your buds, you will not be disappointed by checking her out! She has a new line of Pamphlet Journals, and I know I need an assortment of those!
Monday, November 30, 2009
This evening, someone asked about what we think the trends will be in 2010 (we've seen a ton of owls and cowls this year). Of course, I had something to say about it:
Gnomes, of course! Seriously, the Underground Gnome Revolution will surface very, very soon. I can tell. They talk to me. The Gnomes. They're telling me to get back to work.
I hope everyone had a grand holiday weekend! Viva la Gnome Revolution!
In other news, some new Gnomes were listed in the shop today, as well as a new Piggy, and the Holiday Gnomes are coming. I'll get several up over the next couple days. Want a preview? You got it!
This next one, while not a holiday Gnome, is a much anticipated release here. We at the Gnome Garden have been toiling so hard on this line. I hope all of you will like it as much as we (that is the we that is I) do!
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
They must be because here is another one!
This treasury reflects my passion as a doll maker and collector. I could say something about each of these wonderful dolls, or I can let you have a look so they can tell you their stories themselves.
I hope you enjoy it! Etsy crashed just as I was creating it, very dramatic. Thankfully, I got in just in time!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I wanted to tell you about this treasury, and why I chose the items I chose.
Some of you may already know, I am a sailor. I started sailing in 1995. My father crewed on a beautiful 36 Catalina called Gone with the Wind that was owned by one of his coworkers, Paul. When he invited me to go on a short weekend sail, I jumped at it.
I became a part of the regular crew for the sailing association's Wednesday night races. I even stopped taking violin lessons, which were on the same night, because I wanted to sail. I crewed for Paul, who became a very dear friend to my father and I, until his death in 2005. In addition to the races (which we only won once, Gone with the Wind was not a racing vessel!), Paul took his crew out for a weekend cruise once a year at the end of the season.
For two seasons after Paul's passing, I crewed on another boat, Tzatsky Too, that was owned by a long friend of Paul's and a member of the sailing association. His boat was smaller by eight feet, and a different make, though I don't remember it now. It took some getting used to after 10 years on Gone with the Wind.
The reasons I stopped sailing aren't important here. Circumstances make it not possible now, and I think my father still sails on Tzatsky Too. My father was also once a member of the US Coast Guard, so ships, the sea, and all things nautical are of great interest to us.
Some of the items in my Treasury are cool ships and fun pirate things and really creative jewelry. I particularly love the paintings, and the photograph in the bottom center that reminds me of some of the images I captured of sunsets over the Chesapeake Bay from the deck of a sailboat. Like this one:
The journal in the left of the first row is another favorite. I love the "map" cover. The lighthouse plaque was included because, while it's not a ship, lighthouses are also one of my passions and very important structures in the days of sail. Benjamin Franklin says "lighthouses are more helpful than churches."
Etsy has some truly awesome maritime-themed items. I was wishing that the Treasury was not limited to the 12 items I've shown, because I would have showcased many more. They all take me back to that wonderful time in my life when I was surrounded by friends, with wind in the sails and land far in the distance.
Where the ocean meets the sky, I'll be sailing.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Here it is, my first Treasury! Filled with things that remind me why I love sailing.
I'm so excited because I got it on the first try. None of this coming back days later to try again stuff. Nothing frustrating about it, really. It's all about timing. (And, shhh! don't tell my boss, I did this at work!)
Enjoy, and have fun!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Unfortunately, I can't seem to comment on that blog, so I'll have to try again on a different browser. Be sure to check out all the other awesome shops they've featured!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
For my birthday that just passed, my dear friends presented me with a book. This book is large, it has that musty, old book smell. The dust jacket is secured with tape. There is writing on some of the pages. It was a fine book in its day. Now, it's mine. My book of Gnomes.
In reading this book, I'm finding many things that I already knew, from somewhere. I'm also learning things about Gnomes that I didn't know. They are wonderful beings. I have told the story of how they came into my life, but I can't explain how thoroughly they've settled in and taken over. I love every minute of it.
"To my amazement, I have heard that there are people who have never seen a gnome. I can't help pitying these people. I am certain there must be something wrong with their eyesight."
~ Axel Munthe
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I'm here today to tell you that there is a reason why I say on every listing that my Gnomes are not intended for children under 12 years old. My items are not made for children. This should be obvious in Spirit Dolls and japa mala, but Garden Gnomes are cute, and they're the right size for little hands. Even so, they are not made for children.
My Gnomes are made for the adult collector. They are made sturdy, but I cannot promise they would hold up to rigorous play. They are meant as decorations, not toys. I have never crocheted something intended for children, and I still don't.
I am using materials that are currently exempt from CPSIA testing. If a Gnome gets in the hands of a child, you can be assured that the dangerous materials that CPSIA is trying to guard against are not a part of my Gnomes. However, they do contain small parts, as in the polybeads I use for weight. This product is intended to be used for decorative items only (as stated on the bag by the manufacturer), and that is what I use them for.
Garden Gnomes may be cute and fun, but they are not toys, and were never intended to be toys. My Gnomes are not tested for lead and phthalates, are not labeled as toys, and do contain small parts not suitable for children. Please treat your Gnomes as decorative soft sculpture items. This is how I intend them, this is what I am thinking when I make them. Please keep this in mind when ordering.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
A friend wanted a whole set: that is Gnome and Cape of Warmth and Gnomish Travel Basket. I told her she has three colors to pick: for Gnome clothes, cape, and basket. She simply answered with "I like jewel tones, surprise me!" Her husband added that she liked teal. Gah!
First, I had to look up exactly what a jewel tone is. It seems simple enough, but when you have to find yarn in such colors, it's much less simple. Then, I hit my stash. I had a lovely teal, and a brilliant purple, and a bright blue. While they each looked good with one other, all three of them were just too brilliant.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew there was a variegated yarn in colors such as teal and blue and purple and magenta. I knew, because I had learned to crochet with it so many years ago. To my great relief, the brand of yarn that I primarily use still makes it. And, it's called "gemstone." How perfect! And the teal looks fabulous with it.
Check out this perfect little jewel toned Gnome.
Since I had found the perfect color for the Gnome clothes (and, I must say, I love working with variegated yarn. I love the coordinating colors), and another color, I still needed a third. I needed something to break up the rich saturation of the colors I had already chosen, something that wouldn't overwhelm the eye with brilliance, but also wouldn't be so bland that it looked dull in comparison. I was coming up short.
I polled the Etsy forums for suggestions. Most of my responses came from jewelers, who work with jewel tones all the time! The resounding suggestion was gold. It's still a bright color, but some how it doesn't overpower jewel tones, nor is it overpowered by them. And, to my great happiness, my preferred brand of yarn also makes a color (somewhere between yellow and mustard, with maybe a bit of orange thrown in) that they call gold. And it was the perfect shade in the yellow family to match with my variegated jewel colors and teal.
The last question was: which colors go where? I was really set on having the Gnome clothes in the variegated yarn, and it worked well with the maroon/burgundy hat. I thought the gold might be too bright to be a basket. So, that was that.
A gold Cape of Warmth works really great against those bright jewel colors of the Gnomes clothes, doesn't it?
And, here is the little bejeweled Gnome in his rich, teal basket, with coordinating yellow buttons!
I think I fretted so much about this really because I didn't want to pick something that she wouldn't like. One friend commented that she'd really like anything, but that didn't help me quell my worry! Thanks to all the wonderful Etsians (both from the forums and elsewhere) who helped me with that third, elusive color! I love how they turned out. I think that's a smartly-dressed Gnome with a smart cape and a cozy basket!
Contact me to order a 3 piece Gnome set of your very own! I hope you can see how much thought goes into my process and how I strive to make a Gnome you will love!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
It stings like the blazes, it makes you make faces, but you can't let your mates see you cry.
A dashing black patch will cover the hatch and make sure your socket stays dry!
Being a pirate is all fun and games till somebody loses an eye!
Avast! It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Celebrate with a Pirate Gnome of your very own to help you plunder that buried treasure! Check him out in the shop. I can make a Pirate Gnome with a different colored eye and sash if you want one, just contact me!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
She also made little Gnome dolls. They all had fluffy white beards, red or black pants, red or blue shirts, and a red hat. For my very first trade experience, we traded Gnomes! I made one to match her Gnome colors just for her.
Here they are together before my Gnome was delivered. Aren't they cute little brother Gnomes?!
I adore this doll maker and her beautiful and fun dolls. I'm so happy that my first trading experience was with this fantastic artist. I can't wait to see her back at the festival next year.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
This is the pride of my Halloween collection! This Ghostly Gnome glows in the dark. She sparkles with ectoplasm in her clothes and hair. This is a one of a kind Gnome. I may make other ghosts, but I will never exactly duplicate this Gnome. She took the longest any Gnome has ever taken to complete. Visit the shop to take this special Gnome home!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
This little red Devil Gnome has come to play Halloween games with you. He may have horns and a devilish tail, but he's just a fun-loving demon at heart. Go check him out in the shop.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Everyone runs from poor Grim Reaper Gnome. He's scary, to be sure. But he's also crazy cute! This cuddly guy wants to keep you company. Have a look at him in the shop.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I can't make a Witch Gnome and not make the counterpart! Bedecked in nice blue clothes and cape with yellow trim and decorations, who can say no to this magical guy? Have a look at the shop for some more!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I can't have a celebration of Halloween without celebrating Halloween candy! Even though both of my roommates are not fond of the stuff, I like it. I couldn't resist making a candy corn hat for this little guy. I swear, it almost looks good enough to eat. Go check it out in the shop!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
This Little Gnome is wearing the best costume ever! He's dressed like a Halloween pumpkin. He has four eyes and two smiles. It's the greatest fun. Come join the party at the shop!
Monday, September 7, 2009
The forlorn Warewolf Gnome just wants to be your friend. He doesn't understand why the other Gnomes are afraid of him. He is fuzzy and cuddly like a puppy! Warewolf Gnome is one of a kind, I will never make another like it! Check out the shop to adopt this Gnome.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Run for your lives! Zombie Gnome is on the loose! He looks a little crazy in a sickly state of decay. He wants your brain! Check out the shop if you dare!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Introducing Bat Gnome! Is he a winged mammal or a super hero? If you ask Bat Gnome, I bet he'd tell you he's both! Check out the shop for a look at him.
Friday, September 4, 2009
The fourth Gnome in my Halloween collection is the blood-sucking Vampire Gnome! He has a felt cape, felt fangs, and red fabric paint blood. Check out the shop for more details!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Today's Halloween Gnome is dressed as a little black cat, even though she's wearing her favorite purple dress. She has a cat tail, and some cat ears (no Gnome hat, it would get in the way!) and even a nose and whiskers! Check her out at the shop!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Today's Gnome is dressed as a spider! He crawls around on eight fuzzy legs! My roommates say he reminds them of one of the toys in Sid's room (from Toy Story). I think they're right! Check out the shop for more details!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I've been working hard getting Gnomes all ready for Halloween. Starting today, I will be listing one Halloween Gnome a day. There are thirteen Gnomes in this collection, each one cute, cuddly, and maybe a little creepy. While all are one of a kind right now, some will never be duplicated.
The first Gnome is the Witch and her Black Cat. She holds a little broom, ready to take to the sky! Check out my shop for more details.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Noam spent time talking to the receptionist while Squirt took a nap as we were waiting for my parents to get done. I let them both to their thing, since I had projects to work on.
I know Noam and our new friend Squirt had a great day out and about. Noam tells me that Squirt, being such a little piggy, doesn't like going out much. He's afraid he will get lost in the big world. I can understand that. Since this trip, Squirt stays home most of the time. He likes it there. There is room in Noam's Gnomish Travel Basket for Squirt when he does decide to come with us.
Noam's next adventure will be the Maryland Renaissance Festival. I've been waiting to bring Noam to this for months. It should be great fun!
Friday, August 28, 2009
The day started like any other day. Noam and I were going to join my parents on the back patio for breakfast before we went to our appointment. Noam noticed something on the fountain that I didn't notice.
When he went over to look, he found something wonderful! A tiny three-legged piggy! He was just like the bigger piggies that Noam plays with every day while they're waiting for new homes, only much much smaller. Noam said his name was Squirt, because he is definitely the runt of the three-legged piggy family. Squirt's voice is too soft for me to hear.
Noam, being the wonderfully friendly Gnome that he is, invited Squirt to say with us. They both shared my breakfast.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
They're nice and big so there's plenty of room for a Gnome and all the things he finds on his travels. A seat belt is secured by a single button in the back. This strap can be twisted to make a tighter, more secure fit. A button on the right secures the hanging strap.
Your Gnome can travel in his basket . . .
I bet you can think of many more places to secure your Gnome in his Gnomish Travel Basket! Noam and I tested it thoroughly. He was tipped this way and that in his basket over the past week, and even fell out of a bag and rolled to the floor of my car (that's what I get for not securing him to the bag!). The whole time, he stayed secure and safe in his basket. We're certain your Gnome will love his Gnomish Travel Basket!
Gnomes fit snugly inside and are secured with a seat belt. There's plenty of room if your Gnome should be wearing his Gnomish Cape of Warmth, too!
The Gnomish Cape of Warmth is ready also. It's a simple cape that fastens around a Gnome's neck with a small loop and button. Keep your Gnome cozy and warm in the coming cold seasons!
Here is the Gnomish Travel Basket with a Gnomish Cape of Warmth. Both are available by special request. You're seeing a Gnomish Travel Basket in forest browns and greens and a Gnomish Cape of Warmth in camouflage browns. (You may have noticed that Noam's Gnomish Travel Basket is a nice, sage green.) Almost any color is available.