Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A leap of faith

Wow it’s been a busy week. I have way too much to do. I’ve been busy trying to finish off my dissertation (almost there!) and have been getting ready for my holiday. I really can’t wait to just get it finished so I can sort out as much Random Quirks and Toast Rack stuff as possible before I head off.

So, I’m about to jump off a cliff. With my holiday looming I of course have the dreaded “what shall I do when I get back and I’m thrown into the reality of unemployment” thoughts dominating my mind. I’ve spent too many nights worrying about what I’m going to do with myself, especially since I’ve been full on job-hunting since May with no result. I realise there’s a pretty good possibility that I won’t get a job, at least not for awhile. It used to bring me to tears just thinking about it. But the thing is, I’m not scared anymore.  I’m not scared because I have a plan.

I’m not going to sit around, doing nothing but search for jobs and wait for someone to give me a chance. What I’m going to do as well as search for jobs, is work for myself, even if I have to scrape by. I’m going to finish all those half made creative projects I’ve been putting off and I’m going to sell them. There’s fabric that needs sewing, blank t-shirts that need painting and vintage stock that needs selling. I’m going to make my jewellery and finally be able to fully commit myself to my shops. Not only online, but also face-to-face in as many venues as possible like I did last year.

There will also finally be time for me to read all those helpful articles I found all over the web and saved on my computer. And I’ll be able to take notes and follow the advice I find.

I want to clear out my room and sell that massive pile of stuff on my desk that I don’t want on eBay. I want to be able to see my floor and to actually be able to open all my drawers. It would be great to get my sewing machine back from my parent’s house and be able to put it on my clear desk. I didn’t realise how much I missed sewing. I was planning on selling my fabric collection but I realised that I didn’t want to because I worked too hard to get it and I want to see it turn into nice things for people. It would be awesome to get all the brand new American Apparel t-shirts I have in a drawer, paint them and sell them.

Once I use up all my fabric and t-shirts then I’ll have more room for my jewellery, supplies and vintage stock. Plus, selling all this stuff should hopefully let me earn enough to get by. At this point in my life I may as well try. It’s a leap of faith. It sounds pretty crazy when I say it all out loud like that – “yep, I’m gonna try and sell my stuff to make a living while I’m unemployed.” We shall have to see.

So for those of you who are at a crossroads and are worried about the future, make a plan (and a back-up plan). You could feel much better than you would be if you were heading into the unknown.  I don’t know about you, but I feel much better jumping off the cliff with my eyes open. This is coming from someone who has literally jumped off a cliff before (only 30 feet though, lol). I am scared of heights and I did it with my eyes open, just like I’ll be doing very soon (metaphorically of course – no way I’m going near any cliffs for awhile, lol). Nope, not scared at all. Wish me luck.

I shall leave you with a picture of a car I walked past that was covered in cubes of jelly (that’s jell-o to the American’s). Ah randomness.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

It’s all about the karma

I made a new treasury the other day - check it out:

I think my favourite part of making treasuries, apart from putting one together of course, is sending convos to all the people who’s products I featured. I know how happy you can get when you see that someone has specially picked one of your items for their treasury. It brings a smile to your face and makes you feel special.

It’s great how Etsy has made it so you can just post a treasury anytime you want now without having to wait for a spot. I always used to oversleep and miss mine. It gives people more of a chance of being featured in one as well, which is awesome.

One thing I believe in is karma - if you do something good for someone else, then good things come back to you. This was definitely proved after making my latest treasury, since within two days I had been featured in two treasuries and got a sale!

August is an awesome month so far. I’ve gotten 4 sales so far on Random Quirks, which is a lot for me. I’m one sale closer to reaching my goal of 24 new Etsy sales this year (I have 13 so far). :)

So you want to make a treasury but don’t know how? It’s easy

1. Take a look at Poster Sketch. This is a great workspace where you can put the items you want to feature by using their listing number (on the right hand side under the stats section) and mix them up to see what looks good where.

2. As for picking items – go nuts, pick a theme and use the search option on the front page to find things that fit with the theme/colour scheme.

3. Once you have all your items picked and in the right place, go to the treasury section (found on the front page on the left hand side under Ways to Shop) and click on the right hand side Create a list

4.  Finally, add your title, description and copy the listing numbers from your Poster Sketch page onto your treasury.

5. Don’t forget to let the people whose items you featured know that they are in your treasury. Bring a smile to someone’s face :)

And there you go, something fun to create, which makes people happy. I likes the smiles :)

In other news I went to a vintage fair today to sell my Random Quirks stuff. It went alrighty. Only sold Toast Rack stuff, lol. Will post pics of my stall in the next couple of days.

So as I leave, I shall leave you with something that will hopefully make you smile:

When I was in Holland I ordered a hot chocolate with whipped cream. And this is what I got. Never seen this done before so I laughed for ages moving the saucer up and down saying “With cream…. without cream”. Extra random points for anyone who has seen this done before!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Focus on the positive

September is getting closer and closer. I'm torn between really looking forward to it and dreading it. The positive part is my holiday that I booked all the way back in May as a celebration for finishing my masters and education all together. The bad part is of course when I get back, I will be unemployed with no back ups. There's not much I can do about that, so for now I will focus on the positive. That is the only thing you can do when you know something bad is going to happen, just focus on the positives in your life and simply deal with the bad when it comes around. You'll only make yourself miserable focusing on the bad stuff coming up. So, focus on the fun things.

This month so far, I have sold 3 Random Quirks items :) which is really awesome after the desert of no sales that was June and July. It turns out that I don't have as many backed up new items as I thought though so I'm going to have to get creating - oh dear, more creating (yay!).

Looks like I'll have some time to create this weekend since I am attending a craft fair in Chorlton. Wish me luck! :) I'm also hoping to take part in a few more craft fairs later this month. Plus, I'm really getting on with my dissertation. I'm up to 13,200 words so only a few more thousand more and I'm done! I'm hoping to get it done as early as possible so I can concentrate on my shops.

With Toast Rack I have finally got a few more items so I shall begin listing the new stuff today, probably starting with the 1960s gramophone brooch. I figured out the age of the shoes I said I was going to ask my mum about; they are 1970s. Now I only need to figure out what decade the folky scarf is from. Maybe I'll have to ask some opinions online.

On the saving for my holiday front, I'm doing pretty well. I have paid off everything so now I only have to concentrate on spending money for food and souvenirs. Luckily I am a massive hoarder so I have plenty of stuff that I can sell on ebay :) That and selling more stuff on my shops has been helping. I have been doing better accounts now so I split the money made from each item into expenses (including materials), profit that goes back into the business, and wages for me. It has been working pretty well so I don't just spend everything on more supplies - though that is very tempting, lol.

In other news, I got my hair cut and got a fringe (bangs to the americans). I feel like my ten year old self again - fun :). Plus it's really nice not having to push my side fringe out of my face anymore - I felt like a right emo!

Right, back to work, I shall leave you with this cute pic of the kittens looking all symmetrical. Axle made me laugh last night being all ninja hunting a small moth in my room and briefly getting his paw stuck to some blu-tac on my wall!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Toast rack in a treasury!

Check it out - Toast Rack's first vintage treasury :)


Here's the link.
The treasury is by You Bad Girl and features my 1970s shoes!

In other news, I have been working on getting some more goodies for Toast Rack. So far I have 2 pairs of shoes and a scarf that looks quite folky. One of the shoes is from the 1960s and the other I am not sure yet. I'm popping home this weekend so I will get my mum to take a look at them since she's very good at dating things :) I am also working on getting some more jewellery, purses and handbags. Any requests? Wish me luck!