Do You Shop Etsy?

It seems everyone knows about etsy.com these days. Whether you have your own store there is another question. I do and I find the consistency in my sales rather…lacking. I have spent the last 4 months building up an inventory and trying to figure out what ways I can take advantage of what will bring people to my store. So far everything I’ve tried has been a hit or miss. It seems you have to have an amazing products or spend hours and hours blogging, promoting 50 teams and compiling treasury lists galore in order to keep you face constantly on the front page. Or both. And really that much effort just doesn’t seem worth it. Well to some I’m sure it does however my products range from $3 to $15 so after the cost of materials, the time it takes to make the product and to take good pictures (keyword good because anything with a crappy picture on etsy rarely gets noticed) and the post the item, my profit on it has shrunk. Now if I had higher priced goods then I would have more in my budget to spend hours and hours promoting others in order to get promoted in turn. But as it is I dont. So what methods of advertising can I use that will not take up half my days during the week to keep up with? Or if I did, would the sales and profit be worth it?

I’m somewhat at a loss at the moment and dont know what direction to head. Do I take a dive and spend hours and hours self promoting any way I can. Or do I stay as I am and spend my time elsewhere, like at a 9-5? ick.

Is using my blog as a way to promote my own products weird? Do my readers care at all for the products I make? Do you follow me for my crafting, for my writing, for my photos?

I’m in need of some advice, will you throw some my way? How do you shop etsy? Treasury lists or searches? HOw often do you buy from there? Do you shop there at all? Would you stop reading my blog if I started doing a shout out every week? Would you read it more if I featured cool products, some of course would be mine? Do you have your own store that does well? What methods of advertising do you use? What advise can you give me?

All feedback would be appreciated! And as a peek to my etsy world here are two treasury lists I’ve recently made and pictures of some of my new products. Enjoy!

What I want for Spring

Spring Fling Stationery

In The Dreaming

I slept. I dreamed.

My eyes were still closed but I knew I was kneeling on a hard floor. Marble by the cold, slick feel of it. I shivered. I did not want to open my eyes. Deep in my bones I knew if I did my life would change profoundly by what I was about to encounter. Good or bad, I was not sure. I squared my shoulders. If I was in the real world and not in the dreaming I would face whatever was coming with my eyes wide open and my stance ready to fight. I could do no less here.

I opened my eyes.  The immediate brightness blinded me, causing my eyes to tear up. When my vision cleared those tears became real. I choked on a sob. Mom?

There she stood in front of me bathed in some holy light. The most beautiful vision I had ever seen. Mother Mary had nothing on my mom in this moment. I sat their quietly, unmoving, just drinking in the sight of her.  Branding this vision in my memory I hoped to never forget a single detail of it. Her long dark hair blew gently in a breeze I could not feel and the long thin gown reminded me of night gowns women used to wear centuries past. I saved looking into her eyes for last and cried all the harder when I met her stare for stare. The compassion and love that stared down on me broke my heart. I did not deserve what she was giving me. Not at all. I finally broke the silence in an effort to gush all my sins as if I was in confession. Blimey, maybe I was and God took my mother’s face.

‘I don’t deserve your love ma, nor your compassion. Not anymore. I have betrayed all you have taught me, all that you believed in.  And your murderers still walk free.  I deserve nothing but contempt from you.’

‘Oh my sweet baby girl, you have a heart of gold do not sell yourself short.’ Her voice was like tinkling water and just as soothing. Hearing her again after all these years calmed the rage bubbling inside me instantly. But I still couldn’t help the bitter laugh that her words conjured.

‘I have killed men for money. I have turned my brother into a vampire. I have fallen in love with a vampire! How can I have a heart of gold when I have turned to all that is supposed to be evil. Oh, and I’m a witch too, just like you.’ Bitterness coated my tongue with the last words. Who knows if my mother heard it in my voice? It wasn’t like I was trying to hide my emotions. Not with her.

‘You clean the streets of those who would harm others and saved your brother from true death. But best of all you found love.’ The sigh that escaped her was filled with more than I could interpret. ‘You put others before yourself and you see equality in all races. You never put one above another. You are strong baby. I am so proud of who you have become.”

“But I let you die!” I screamed. My emotional control was gone and I couldn’t hide my guilt any longer. “I let them kill you. I ran!” in a whisper full of self-loathing I repeated myself, “I ran.” I cowered sobbing, waiting for nasty words of rebuttal that never came. When I finally looked back up at the angelic visage of my mother compassion still shined from her eyes. There was no anger or disgust in her gaze. Why didn’t she hate me for leaving her and my father in the fight that took their lives?

“You were a child with no experience in fighting or defending. Had you stayed you would have died right along with us. I would give up my life 100 times over just to see you and Adam safe. Do not belittle our sacrifice for you. Your lives were more important than our own. There was never any blame on you and Adam for running to safety. Please, in love you bear me believe that I would never lie to you.” The pleading in my mother’s voice broke my heart. I wanted to trust her words. I wanted desperately to believe she did not blame me in part for her death. But all the revelations from my grandparents played merry go round in my head.

“Yet you did lie to me. You taught me to look down on this secret world I fight in. And yet you were a part of it, you are a witch. Dad still loved you and you still loved him even though he made you deny what you were and desert your family. Because of who you were. I don’t understand how you could do that. How could you lie to us and teach us to look down our noses at exactly what we are?”

“Love. I loved your father beyond reason. I am sure my mother has told you that. But I did not desert my family, I chose one for another and your grandparents understood. We all hated the situation but we all knew the risks and accepted the consequences.  Just like you did when you saved Adam.” I tried to interrupt, to tell her that saving Adam was selfishness on my part but she shook her head at me and continued on. “Your uncle let his bitterness at the underworld bleed into your teachings. I am sorry for that daughter of mine. There are good and bad traits in all the races, just like there are good and bad people in all the races. Trust you judgment Ri. Trust your instincts in the choices you make. You have a heart of gold that shines so bright I can see it each time I sleep.”  She smiled and it was radiant. Love oozed from her pores as she gazed at me. My heart soared and the sight of it. Then I noticed her light was fading, everything around me was fading!

“Mom! Don’t go! Don’t leave me!” I jumped to my feet in an attempt to grab her, to hold her and keep her with me. But it was in vain because my hands went right through the fading vision of her.

”I love you baby girl.” Her last words sounded as if coming from far away. Before she could fully disappear I spoke the words I had wanted to say to her for so long.

“I’m sorry mom, for everything. I love you.” Then she was gone. I stood once again, bathed in darkness. The story of my life. Slowly, even I began to dissolve. I sank into the darkness hoping oblivion would take me. As usual, I was not so lucky.

I came to wakefulness weeping.

What Is A Writer?

If I write, does that mean I am a writer?

*pondering*

*shrugs*

*ponders some more*

What does it mean to be a writer? Seriously? I mean, can’t anyone can say that ‘I’m a writer!’ but what really defines what one is? Do you have to be published to become a writer? What  is the definition of the field? I’ve seen to many articles slandering people who have been published. But hey dude, they have and you haven’t. Others complain that our book shelf’s are full to the brim with crap people call literature. That publishers will try to sell anything for a buck. Doesn’t everyone these days?

We are all given the opportunity to express our selves equally. Some people are just more driven to write something, good or not, and send it to editors until someone picks it up and says they are willing to publish it. It then falls to the consumer to pick it up and read it. No one is forcing you to read something you do not want to read, unless your still in college. But we are a bit off topic because all I really want to know is, what defines you as a writer?

Is a regular blogger a writer? By posting my thoughts and opinions on the internets mean I am ‘published’? Is a finance analyst who writes financial reports a writer? Is a secretary who writes job procedures a writer?Is an English teacher who gives us our direction and  inspiration to write short stories a writer by default of their knowledge in the field? If you e-publish your work -which I heard is free to do- does that make you a writer or an author? Both? Even if no one buys it, downloads it, whatever?

After skimming so many opinions on the topic, I just don’t have an answer for the question anymore. Just because you have painted something, does that make you an artist? There has to be a line you cross somewhere that defines you as having the credentials you claim.  SO what are they, when does it happen? What achievements must you gain to state confidently that you are…whatever it is you say you are.

For example, being unemployed has shaken my foundation a bit. Causing me to open my eyes and wonder what I really enjoy doing. What defines who I am. What abilities can I honestly put on my resume that represent what I am capable of.  I made a business card recently hoping to hand out when I network.  Something I believe myself terrible at. So I sat and pondered for a few days because I didn’t know what I could say, in the smallest space possible, that would encompass who I am. What it is I am capable of. It was a tricky and condescending process. I ended up with this:

Sommer Rabellino

Analyst, Planner and Designer

I used the layout of the card to represent my designer side which I guess really encompasses all my creativity. I couldn’t break down photographer, stationery maker, decorator blah blah because I’m not really great at any of those things but the creativity involved shows how much those things mean to me. Now Analyst, well analyzing is a huge part of my personality. Friends and family know this.  A weird mix in a creative person I know. That is probably why I’ve never thrown caution to the wind and immersed myself in the love I have for all things art and went to business school instead. And in a professional capacity, the Planner is what I have the most experience in. Analyzing the planning data is second nature to the job. But do these 3 words really encompass who I am? Have I earned the right to call myself any of these things?

Notice writer is not on that list above. I honestly don’t believe I am one, even though I really want to be one. So can it be as simple as that? If I don’t believe I am something does that mean I am not? If I wake up tomorrow and go “By God, today I am a writer!” Does that suddenly make me one? *shrug* I don’t know what line I have to cross before I can add a skill to my list of achievements. Even saying I am a designer sounds flighty to my ears, but it is the best word in my vocabulary that encompasses my creativity. Trying to put who I am on a little card in a short few words has opened a can a worms I contemplate everyday.

What defines who you are?