A Custom Order for a Dear Friend

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A custom order for a dear friend. I love the message, too!

I had a dear, old friend get in touch and ask me to do a custom order for her. In addition to getting to connect (we don’t live close to each other anymore) I also got to make something for her, too. Yay! I really love how after sanding the wood grain showing through makes each piece unique.

This was also the first thing I photographed in the new house. I am thinking I should start to get my husband to take the photos for me since he did such a great job with the ones of my knit/crocheted items. I also think my other photos I have done to date are just meh. Maybe they should be redone, too? Anyone have any thoughts or opinions?

A Fellow Etsy Shop

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Signs I made for my sister-in-law’s Etsy shop. She will be at the Nanaimo Etsy Made in Canada pop-up market this weekend.

I have mentioned my sister-in-law before. She has kindly donated her old fence boards to us when my husband replaced her fence. I use them for my signs. She has also kindly donated that fabulous piece of driftwood I made into my current favourite piece, oh, to be by the sea.

Well, my sister-in-law also started an Etsy shop called Sea Salt Company and she is going to be at the Nanaimo Etsy Made in Canada pop-up shop market on Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. It will be her first market so she is madly getting everything together and trying to come up with her display. I feel her pain because I have been contemplating setting up shop at a market for some time. The complexity of getting it all together is dizzying: a new display (including tables and whatever else you might need depending if it is indoors or outdoors), enough product (how do you know if you even have enough?), ways to accept payment, and is there anything else? Oh, yes, a sign with your shop name on it.

She had two new pieces of driftwood for me and I couldn’t help but think they would be perfect to make a sign with her shop name on it. With a little discussion and a look at her banner on her Etsy shop I set to work to make her a sign for her display. After all isn’t driftwood the perfect sign for a beach themed shop? With two pieces I was able to use the first one for her shop name and the second one for her byline.

And now I will have somebody who has market experience to go to for guidance when it is my turn to set up shop at a market. (Hopefully soon). I can’t wait to hear how it goes for her.

I Finally Updated My Shop Policies on Etsy

I know, I know. This is one of the first things I should have done. Now procrastination runs in my family so I come by it honestly. However, because of that I have been trying to battle it and for the most part I do a pretty good job. Not in this case though. It’s one of those things that I haven’t really known where to start so I easily just left it for later.

The shop policies are one of those things that I like to read when I am buying from someone else’s shop. It gives me comfort to read about where they stand on such things as shipping, refunds, problem solving etc. So, because of that I really did want to add my own information as soon as possible so my future customers would also have a certain comfort level shopping from me. However, I find when I am overwhelmed by a big blank page it is very, very difficult to start. Tonight I finally did that and you know what? It really wasn’t that hard (like most things I procrastinate about). I simply searched out a few other shops that were similar to mine in my country and looked at what they had to say. And then I made up my own. Done. It only took me 4 months to start and about 1 hour to finish.

Having said that, if anyone looks at my policies and sees anything they think I may have missed or that just causes more questions (rather than answers) please let me know!

www.virtualbazaar.ca, A Virtual Craft Market

The Twisted Stitcher, a fellow local (well somewhat as she is only 45 minutes from where I live) artisan has come up with the idea of having a virtual craft market. Basically, together with her techie husband, she has come up with a website where artisans can set up shop by renting a space on the page. The big difference between this and advertising on Facebook or Pinterest or other similar sites is that your items don’t get lost by all the other newer posts that get posted after yours. Also, as a buyer you can scroll quickly through the shop images to find what you are interested in quickly without having to scroll down through pages and pages of posts. The Twisted Stitcher plans to use funds received from the rent for promoting the page through google adwords and other similar paid advertising sites to get traffic through to the site. She will even put ads in newspapers under the craft market sections. I think this has some great potential for both buyers and sellers so I have had my shop added for her soft launch and plan to continue with it for her August 1 official launch.

Check out the virtual craft market at www.virtualbazaar.ca!

Somebody is Using My BC Flag Image

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A friend of mine got in touch with me today to let me know that someone she knew was using this photo as their profile picture. The funny thing is that the background BC Flag is my original rustic painting that someone custom ordered from me. (You can see it here in my blog post. Someone must have “borrowed” it from my blog, my Facebook account, or my Pinterest account.

My initial reaction was to wonder who had copied my work and that I should probably get them to stop. I asked my friend if she knew where the person got it from. It turned out that they saw it on Twitter and got it off Google. After a quick google myself I found the site “the keep calm-o-magic” where it appears that you can make your own “keep calm” merchandise. At this link you can get posters, mugs, shirts, bags, and much, much more all with my painting on it in the background. Somebody named “BCTeachers” apparently created it.

After thinking about it a little more I then wondered who actually owned the rights to it. It was a custom order that I sold. Perhaps the person who bought the piece made this. I am not so sure about that but it isn’t impossible. If they did make it, could I be upset because technically they bought the piece from me? I would have to research that a little more.

I have to admit that it is a big compliment that someone liked my painting enough to copy it and make it into a poster …and that other people liked it enough to use it, too …and for a good cause (one I support because I think the government is being shady and not telling everyone the whole truth but that’s another story).

I am very big into giving people credit for their work and I am not a big fan of people “stealing” other people’s work on the internet. In this case, however, I think it was someone simply looking for a good background for their slogan, not somebody trying to profit from it. I also think that my hand painted pieces are a far different product from printed posters, etc. I am not keen, at least in this case, to spend the time trying to stop someone from using my work. I may have to consider watermarking my photos but that seems a bit of a pain, too. Does anybody else have any opinions on this? I would love to hear them.

A Few More Signs Mostly Inspired by This Time of Year

It is almost June which to me brings forward celebrating dads and preparing for summer days. With that in mind I made the following signs:

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As well, I have been wanting to do this “you make my heart sing” sign for a long time. I often will tell my daughter she makes my heart sing and she just loves to hear that. She will now quite happily say it to me and her dad. She will also tell others that she makes her Mom’s and Dad’s hearts sing. It never ever fails to cheer me up.

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