Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Back in Action

Looks like I took a longer break from my blog than I did from my shop! I took the summer off, but now I'm back. It was a nice break to relax with the kids and get some work done around the house.

I'm slowly adding back items that I had listed before, as well as working on getting pictures taken of new items and, of course, making more new items.

Last night, I ordered some supplies to be able to make some brooches/pins and key chains, both of which will be completely new products in my store. I'm looking forward to getting those in and being able to play. :)

Please check out my shop today and in the coming weeks as I keep adding more items!

What did you do this summer?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Getting ready for a craft fair

I'm going to be going to a craft fair on Saturday. This will be the first time I am selling buttons, magnets and perler bead decorations at a craft fair, and I am a little concerned about making too much/too little. My most popular button is popular because it is a costume piece, and Halloween is over, so I'm not sure it's a good idea to bring lots of those right now. Christmas-themed items are probably a good bet, of course, but picking which non-Christmas items to make enough of for the craft fair is tricky. I'm going into this one looking at it as market research more than a money-making opportunity (although getting a lot of sales would be nice!)

I've made a lot more snowflakes with Perler beads for the craft fair. I figure if they don't sell, I can use them for package decorations. ;) Here is one pile of them that I made:

I also made some more patchwork elephants out of perler beads. :) I really like the extra color that using the striped beads adds to them.

I'm also adding more sets of buttons to my shop, at a discount from buying the buttons individually. Here is a listing for three of the funny animal buttons (the two I posted in my last entry, plus a new one of two rhino butts). I have also posted some other new buttons since I last wrote here. You are welcome to check my shop to see what else is new!

It's going to snow overnight here. The weather is usually much warmer this time of year, but everything seems to be pointing to a really cold and long winter. The snowflakes will certainly match the weather tomorrow.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

New items

I have added two new buttons to my shop, buttons with a tiger on one and an orangutan on the other. They were photos my husband took at the zoo sometime in the past year. I thought they were fun pictures. Here are the buttons:

I have another zoo photo I plan to make into a button, but this is one I took many years ago. I have a fourth I want to use, but the subject, an elephant, is too dark. So, I need to edit the photo to try to lighten the elephant without washing out the background too much. If you want to take a closer look, you can find the tiger button here and the orangutan button here.

I did an informal poll of some of my Facebook friends to see if they would prefer buttons or magnets, if they were in the market for such things. The response was overwhelmingly for magnets, so I am adding magnets to the shop. The buttons will stay too, of course, but soon there will be the option to have a button or a magnet in all the designs offered.

I am also working to make some new items with Perler beads. I've made snowflakes, penguins, and another patchwork elephant. I also plan on making some 8-bit look/vintage video game look items in the near future. I haven't had a chance to take good pictures for listing yet, but here are the snowflakes I've made so far:

You can check my Instagram account at 42PurpleElephants to see the penguins, elephant and other creations I've made. :)

The snowflakes, penguins and elephant will be listed soon. How soon the video game items up depends on how quickly I can make them. Tomorrow I will be spending the day crafting, so new listings will probably not be posted before Monday. I hope the anticipation isn't going to be too much to bear. ;)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Busy week

The Rosie the Riveter button was quite the hit for Halloween. That button easily became my best seller so far.

This week, I decided to finally try out a new project for possible items to make for my shop. I've decided to experiment with resin pendants. I'm pretty sure that none of the pendants are going to be fit for sale, but it's a good learning set. I think. I made them at my parents' house during my regular crafting time with my mom, so they are still over there curing. I will check on them this evening when we take the kiddos over there for trick or treating.

My big disappointment with the first experiment is that I had about an ounce of mixed resin I couldn't use because I only had one mold. I didn't want to go crazy buying tons of molds and find out I hated the process, but I probably should have mixed for one and had a second for overflow so I didn't have to waste so much. But, this is part of why this is called a "learning process". I'll know better for next time.

I have also made a few new buttons for the shop. This is one I made using a picture of a Perler bead creation I also made:

I like that I was able to incorporate something I made into a button I designed. I'd originally tried to put the words over the block, but it just wasn't working right, so this is what the final product ended up being. I'm pretty pleased with it overall. Here is a link to the listing if you're interested in taking a closer look.

Have a safe and happy Halloween/Samhain. I am taking a gerbil and an Enderman trick or treating this evening. What costume are you and/or your kids wearing, if any?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rosie the Riveter

A friend asked me to make a Rosie the Riveter button for her. Not a button with the iconic "We Can Do It!" image, but the actual button Rosie is wearing in the poster so she could wear it for a costume. I decided to also make one for my shop. This is what I came up with:

Not exactly what she was wearing on her collar, but I think it's pretty close. I decided to go ahead and list it in my Etsy shop and see if anyone else would buy it. It's already my highest selling button.

Now, my shop has only been open a few weeks, so none of the other buttons have had much time on the market, so to speak, but I've only sold one other design so far, and while it has sold multiple times as well, Rosie beat it with less time in my shop. Apparently, Rosie is a popular Halloween costume this year.

Halloween is almost here, so I expect the sales to slow down soon, at least for the two buttons that have been selling (the other is also a good costume accessory, but has good general use as well). I have designed two more buttons, which I plan to list tomorrow. One is Rosie related, one is not. The other is the first in what I hope will be a series. We'll see how it goes.

A fun fact about Rosie the Riveter, in closing, that I didn't know until I did the research on the button on her collar. As it turns out, the iconic "We Can Do It!" poster is not really Rosie the Riveter. That poster was a motivational poster that was used briefly in Westinghouse to boost the morale of female employees so they would be more productive. I find its origins interesting in light of what it has become today. The REAL Rosie the Riveter, who was first named in a song, is also a Norman Rockwell painting that is copyrighted. The motivational poster is not copyrighted, which is why it became the iconic symbol of Rosie the Riveter when she was revived in the 1980s.

So, thanks to lack of copyright, she is now the Rosie the Riveter we all know and love, regardless of her origins.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Legendary Day

Well, it was a day when my husband and I bought two more expansions to the card/board game Legendary. ;) It's a deck building game (meaning you all start with the same 12 cards and then build up your deck by "buying" cards available on the board, which you can then use to do more stuff). The premise is Marvel superheroes and supervillains. It's a cooperative/competitive game meaning there is a point where no one wins if the villains win, but when the players win, only one is really the winner. So you have to balance helping the others to make sure the villains don't overtake the heroes, but still make sure you get the most points.

We got out late enough that we didn't get a chance to actually play though. Fortunately, we are going to a gaming group tomorrow afternoon, where we should be able to play Legendary and some other games (I'm especially looking forward to Betrayal at House on the Hill ).

In other news, I have a new button in my shop. This is homage to the show Archer, but also Kenny Loggins since it is his song:

Get it? ;)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Perler beads and Minecraft

Perler beads seem perfectly made for the pixelated games of the 1980s. But they're also great for the deliberately blocky, pixelated Minecraft. Both my daughters play Minecraft, and my 9 year old requested a Minecraft-themed birthday party when she turned 9 this past spring.

I wanted to buy some themed party favors, but found that none exist, aside from homemade ones. I thought it would be fun to try my hand at making them myself, so I bought a huge container of assorted Perler beads, figuring that way I'd have what I'd need (and not thinking much about how much SORTING that would take).

Long story short, I did end up making the party favors for her party out of Perler beads (and had to get some single color packs from the craft store because I didn't have enough of some). Each attendee got a creeper, Enderman, pig, Steve, Herobrine, Creeper pick axe and sword (I also mixed up the colors on the swords and made some in several different colors, including colors that don't exist in Minecraft, and then let the kids pick which they wanted).

They were a big hit, but they didn't *do* anything. I had intended to make necklaces out of some, but the way the beads melted, there wasn't room to put cord of any kind through most of them. So later, I decided that if I were to make them again, I would remove a bead from the middle and string cord through there for the necklace.

After a few months, I decided to try again. I put together the first one, just like I had for the party favors, and realized a problem. I made them 8x8 squares, which means if I removed just one bead, the hole would not be centered. And, I didn't like the idea of removing two beads because I thought the hole would end up being too big.

So, I modified what I did before and made them 9x9 squares. I could then remove a bead from the middle and they would still hang straight. Overall, I'm happy with how they look with the modifications.

Here is a picture of the four faces:

For the sword, I didn't have to modify anything. I could just take a bead out of the bottom of the hilt and it worked out pretty well. Here is the sword:

Overall, I am happy with them. I did make necklaces of my girls' favorite ones for them. For the record, that's an Enderman for the 12 year old and a pig for the 9 year old.

What is your favorite video game of all time?
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