Monday, December 28, 2009

Who? What? When? PART TWO

Okay... so I did some searching on this "Featured on Etsy" thing. I learned that there isn't really a notification system.
But other Etsians have had this problem and they've found a solution; either Google Analytics or Craft Cult. I used Craft Cult (cuz it's cool).

So... below you will find the list I was in. Mine is the orange & paisley makeup bag.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Who? What? When?

Okay... so apparently sometime over this weekend I was featured on the front page of Etsy.
Woo hoo! Right?
I'm not so sure...
I didn't find out about this from Etsy. I found out because I had posted it on Facebook. But I didn't actually post it... a computer (somewhere out there) did it for me.
So I was excited... until I logged into Etsy. I didn't have a message there telling me I was featured. And I looked at the front page of Etsy and I didn't see my shop there. So I'm baffled. I figured I'd get some e-mail somewhere along the way. But all I got was the automatic post to my Facebook.
Weird, huh?
Again, I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth... I'm just confused. Strange system they have in place over there at Etsy.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Etsy Favs

OK... I love Etsy. No joke.
I log in every day to see what's new. Today I saw these beautiful Tidal Pool earrings on the front page. They sold out quick!
Most days I just add the things I like to my favorites, but I have been noticing a new pattern lately... I'm starting to buy.
Oh! I love it too. I run across all kinds of things that catch my eye. Sometimes they are supplies for m. ranae designs, but other times I just want something special for myself or I get someone else a little something.
Now I totally cruise for the best deals. Thankfully, you can search fairly easily and sort by price. Sometimes I'll shop and not buy... I just want to window-shop (or computer screen-shop). Nonetheless, it is fun and Etsy is full of unique, awesome stuff.
Check out my favorites list... and if you're really inspired you should create an account and start your own favorites list.

m. ranae designs' Etsy favorites

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I've Gotta Table, I've Gotta Table, Hey Hey

I'm so excited!

We received a free dining table/chair set from our neighbors and we're gonna use that one in the dining room. We already had a table, so that is now going in the craft room and I'm very excited about it!

I've been wanting a table to spread my fabric out on for a long, long time. Now I just cut in small parts (slide it over, cut some more) or I lay a box on the floor and cut there. I have plenty of room for a table in my room, so this is gonna be a very welcome addition.

I'll try to get some new pics when I'm done!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Wild November

A custom order of mine.

November was an ass-kicker and I learned a few things.

It started out quiet and then BAM! I had order after order after order. And along with me being thrilled I was suddenly juggling two jobs.

I was working the "9-5", embroidering during my breaks. Then I'd come home for hours at the sewing machine. I made lots of shipments and I even had to trek out to the fabric shops to get supplies to fulfill my orders.

It was wild. And I was having trouble sleeping through it all. So I was tired.

But being busy at m. ranae designs was awesome and it gave me a small taste of the good life... that meaning that I'm doing something I love & making money from it. Ah... the sweet life.

I learned something that may be good/bad for my customers... I learned that I am not charging enough. Boo! Hiss! But I learned it the correct way (selling cheap, then adjusting prices) instead of the incorrect way (not selling any of my expensive items).

I also learned that timing is everything. I had two items in my Etsy shop that expired because no one ever bought them... then on a whim I relisted them and they both sold in day.

Lastly, I learned that listing stuff often is a part of being successful. When I listed weekly, I made sales weekly. Huh... who knew?!

So I hope that I can keep some momentum up through this next year... I plan on being a little more consistent and I plan on adding some awesome stuff.

Now... back to the machine!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Birthday m. ranae designs

Yay! I've been selling on Etsy for a year now! Woo!

And I haven't sold enough to quit my job, but it has reinforced how much I love making and selling stuff.
And I've grown so much in the past year. I get better everyday at sewing and being creative. I've learned a few tricks and I've found some great vendors for supplies.
I made up all kinds of different things... things that sometimes come to me when I should be sleeping (and then I want to get up to start making them).

Honestly, it's been good. I'm about to really dig my heels into Christmas and I'm hoping this next year is even more fruitful and exciting.

To celebrate I've discounted everything in my shop by 15% for the rest of the month of November... and I'm gonna add new stuff every week this month!

So check it out & keep in touch. I'll see you next year!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bummer, dude...

So... I am very sad to say that I did not make it into The Big Crafty.
I got my rejection notice yesterday after spending most of the day checking my e-mail (every 3 minutes) waiting for the news. And the news was bad.
So... I am sad.
But at the same time, relieved. That sounds crazy but I was a little freaked out. So maybe, just maybe it was for the best. Maybe I wasn't ready for The Big Crafty. Maybe I just need to start with a little crafty.
Like I told my husband, I've only been doing this a year. And even though I've grown a lot in a year I may be even more bad-ass next year. And then maybe, just maybe I'll be better Big Crafty material.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A fun Halloween how-to from Etsy

I stumbled upon this and thought it would be fun to share!

Here are the links for downloadable templates of the graveyard & dead guy.

Gravestone Shadow Puppet

Dead Guy Shadow Puppet 1

Dead Guy Shadow Puppet 2


Cough, sniffle, cough...

I am home sick from my 9-5. This is good and bad in so many ways.

I am actually sick enough to not work, whether it's at my 9-5 or at my sewing machine. Trust me I tried last night, even though I wanted to sew it became tedious and painful after a few minutes.

But my brain is moving! I received a general, mass letter from the Big Crafty peeps about the show. To summarize, it said if you were for sure not accepted you would know by now, if you still don't know then they are waiting for all the applications to come in before making the final decision. So I'm either on the "maybe" list or my rejection got lost in the e-mail. I choose to believe I'm on the "maybe" list. Woot!

So my brain is going over the show, if I get in.

How is my table gonna be set up...
Do I have enough stuff...
What stuff should I make...
Do I have enough things to help make my table look awesome...
Can I afford my current list of needed supplies...
Can I do this...

So even if I can't slave over the machine, I am still plotting my possible show and how I want it to go down.

And BTW, according to my general, mass letter from the Big Crafty... I should know if I got in or not by this coming Tuesday, October 27th. Gulp.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My new machine & the Big Crafty

So my last post was about the Big Crafty. I haven't heard a thing about it yet. I'm bummed and I hope that it's not a last minute announcement, because I need a decent amount of time to process it. It's exciting and scary, so there needs to be that personal time of reflection about what is happening.

So I wait.

I did get a new sewing machine. This is very, very awesome! I got the Singer Advance 7422 and it is wild! I have only worked on standard, mechanical machines. This one is electronic and has tons of buttons.
It does weird things I'm not use to... like when you take your foot off the pedal (while you're in mid-sew) the needle raises automatically. This is a slight pain when you want to turn a corner. And when I'm backstitching it does an extra stitch forward before going back... so I'm slowly getting use to that. But overall, it's head and shoulders above my old one, which was so cheap and wimpy that it didn't even have a model number (which became troublesome when I was trying to troubleshoot it's issues).

So at the sewing table, I'm just working things out, sewing as much as I can to learn the new machine and creating as much as I can in preparation for a possible Big Crafty invite.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


So... I did something today on a whim.

Something that if I hadn't done it on whim, I might have chickened out and not have done it at all.

What was this crazy thing I did?

I applied for the December Big Crafty in Asheville.

And since I've never done a show... I'm scared!
Of course, they may not pick me to do the show. Which means I can build my self up and try to do it again next year.
But still... I may get in. And that would mean that I was growing as a crafter. And that is always exciting!

I will keep you updated!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Please, oh! please love me!

So I've been busy lately; creating.

I've come up with three new designs. One of which I finished last night, but I am still unsure of it. More on that later.

But I've been creating in hopes of building an inventory I can be proud of. I'd like to branch out into the world of craft shows. And honestly, I'm nervous. And I'm sure that it's mainly insecurity.
Am I good enough?
Will they love?
Please, oh! please love me.
It's nonsense and I know it. People can either take it or leave it. I've seen crafts that I would never, ever purchase. But someone, somewhere thinks it's awesome and will buy five of 'em. So I shouldn't be nervous, but I am.

So I've been creating. And I'm brainstorming things like only having certain items at my shows and only certain items online. I'm hoping this is incentive to look at both & purchase from both. Plus I'm brainstorming & hoping for a nice holiday season.
But mainly, while brainstorming, I'm creating.

This includes an item I finished yesterday. It's suppose to be a "derby bag." Like a little satchel or bowling bag. Anyhow... I built the pattern and overall the pieces went together perfectly. But I'm unsure about it and the structure of it. I wish I had a mentor or something, but really I just mentor myself. Nonethelss, it's an interesting design and maybe I just need to work on it... make more... see what happens.

In conclusion, I am hoping to be in a show soon. I'm not sure what the definition of soon is, but soon would be nice. I'm gonna keep an eye out for upcoming stuff... usually that's all it takes to get me motivated.
Until next time...

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Check out my Etsy shop for FREE SHIPPING for a limited time on all aprons.

I'm trying to get them out before I get new ones up.

So start shopping!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Ooh! Exciting!

I am working on something totally cool!

I can wait to reveal it.

But I guess you have to wait.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Goddess Gown

I stumbled upon this gorgeous Goddess dress the other day and I'm stoked about it!

A few days back I was trying to make a maxi dress, but this is damn close enough!

I don't make a lot of clothing, but the little I do make is just for me, me, ME!

So once I get a chance to purchase fabric, I will put it together and post pics!

AND by the way... my sewing machine is not fixed by any means but I found a way to work around it. You have to do that when you're addicted like I am.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Damn it!

Maybe I saw it coming... maybe I didn't.
Maybe I could've done something to prevent all this pain.
Nonetheless, my sewing machine has kicked the bucket.

A couple weeks ago it jammed. I took the back off and inspected it and with my husband's help we got it going again. Then it was acting funky... I rebobbined (if that's a word) and rethreaded it and it worked for a little while. Then the other day, it jammed again. And I can't get it going.

I read online for info (since my book doesn't troubleshoot this issue) and I never really found anything. And I looked online for a Singer rep in this area, but there isn't one. So I'm stuck.

I'm gonna buy a special type of wax and try to grease the motor, but if that doesn't work then the next step is... oh dear... buying a new one.

So I'm sad and mad and I just want answers. Or a solution.

Until then, I will have to find something else to fill my time. I do other crafts, but my first love is sewing. I guess it's time to dust off my glue & paper.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Big Crafty :: Phase One & Two

This is a pre-post to The Big Crafty.
I'm going today to check it out and see if it's my cup of tea.
And if I feel okay I will try out for the next one.
The fee is $65 and you have to be juried to get in. That's the part that scares me. Everything is great until someone starts picking apart what's good & bad about your product. Bleh...
So... we'll see.
I'll post later (after I get home) about my thoughts & feelings.

OKAY... it's later.
We went and it was damn hot. Miserable, to say the least.
But we did a quick run through, mainly because it was so hot.
It looked awesome! I only saw one vendor who was selling bags. And another was selling zippered pouches. So I might have a market.
The show is juried & that freaks me out. So I think I'm gonna build my skills & inventory and prepare for next year.
That's it for now.
Oh! Wait... did I mention how damn hot it was?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I'm gonna ramble a little okay.

So this is my periodical blog about how I am horrible at blogging regularly.
And honestly, I just get busy. Or lazy. Depends on the day.

But I do care about m. ranae designs and think about it all the time. I just have a hard time sitting at the computer to tell everyone about that.

So here's whats new:
I figured up a prototype for a mini bag. My inspiration was this. I will post pics of it today!
I joined Twitter! My hopes is to help my fans keep up with what I'm doing. Follow me!
I am gearing up for making lots & lots of stuff. I haven't sold a thing on Etsy since Februray, so I'm planning on gathering & selling on the streets. I haven't figured where yet, but that is the plan.
Plus, once I get some more zippers in, I'm working on a new design for a makeup bag.

That's a decent update if I say so myself!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Etsy Exposed Treasury

The Asheville Etsy Team & I have patiently been waiting for an opening on Etsy for our Asheville Treasury.
And it's here!

The Treasury is an ever-changing, member-curated shopping gallery of handpicked items. An Exposed Treasury has a mini-bio about each member & features an item for sale and/or the member's studio or craft room.

The exciting thing is it's only good for three days... our's expires Monday.

So please stop by and take a look at some of our team members & their items for sale.

It only lasts for a while... so hurry!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

What I'm doing...

So I have been working on my to-do list most of today. I started it last week and it seemed to, at the very least, leave me feeling like I have a little more exposure.
And today's to-do went just as well.
I am gonna finish up my owl bag today so I have something to add to Etsy next weekend. I may even start on some new projects.
That's about it.
I haven't been going out during the weekends anymore because I'm really trying to get stuff up & running with m. ranae designs... so hopefully my friends forgive me and it all pays off!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My Own To-do List

Today I was browsing online and I stumbled across my own Etsy store and I thought to myself "only a few people have stopped by to see my new stuff!".
Then I started wondering "how do I get people to stop by more?"

So I started browsing through the articles on Esty and found an idea that I am gonna try.
It's a to-do list that is done daily to promote your online shop. The list includes:

  • Post MySpace Bulletin
  • Add 5 New Friends on MySpace
  • Post on 5 Promo Threads on Etsy
  • Post on 5 site help threads
  • Post on ??? Ect threads
  • Play in Chat
  • Renew/List 1 Item
  • List Said Item On DeviantART
  • Upload Said Photo To Flickr
  • Friend 1 person on IndiePublic
  • Add I Photo To IndiePublic
  • Blog post
Now I don't know what some of that stuff is... like ???Ect or IndiePublic. And I know what some things are, but I don't use those sites... like Flickr or DeviantART. Nonetheless, I want to promote more. So I am gonna make my own list and go from there.

Here are my thoughts:
I am horrible at doing things regularly... take this blog for example.
I am horrible at multi-tasking... just ask my coworkers at my 9-5.
I get bored with routines... anybody can tell you that!
So I am gonna give myself a small goal/list to start with and then maybe add if it works.

Here's my starter list which I will do once a week:
  • Add three new friends on MySpace
  • Post a bulletin/note on MySpace and Facebook
  • Post on five craft threads (Etsy, Craftbits, etc.)
  • List one new item in my shop
  • Find one place in town to post my card
  • Blog

I have some other ideas I'd like to get in to motion soon. But, again, I'm horrible at multi-tasking... I'm just gonna work on my list for now.
So... I am off to start myself a Facebook listing (I have a personal one, but I'm gonna start a m. ranae designs one). Then, since I'm done with blogging for today, I am off to do the rest on my list.

Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

New Stuff on Etsy

So my husband and I sat and lounged at the coffee shop this morning.
I brought my laptop and "worked" on adding some new stuff to my Etsy account.
Check it out! Here are some of the highlights!

Friday, April 24, 2009

My birthday loot!

Well, happy birthday to me! I'm pushing 30... but still young!
My family knows me well and they often get me crafty stuff for my birthday... this year I received some cash (cha-ching) and a gift card to a craft store (also cha-ching!).
So at the fabric store I bought the above: some purple suede, red denim, strippy cotton, blue linen & purple polyesther... I'm very excited about what they might become.

At the craft store I bought a corner embosser, some paper, lots of metal charms & chain, some more fabric and some stickers.
I've got big plans for the paper and I decided to use the charms as zipper pulls.
I just love birthday loot!! Thanks mom & grandma for supporting my crafty/fabric habits!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom! a.k.a. Anatomy of New Bag Design :: PART TWO

Okay... so here's part two of my mom's birthday bag...
Now, where were we...

Here I'm marking where the zipper is gonna go in the inner pocket. This is a very fancy pocket... as you will see.

After sewing around the marks I made above, I cut a hole in the center of it and pulled the pocket through. This is what it then looks like... a big hole.

Now I pin the zipper into the hole.

Here is what it looks like from the back.

And then I sew it in. Doesn't it look nice?

Last part for the pocket, I add the back piece & sew it on.

Ta-da! A zippered pocket!

Next I pin in my label into the lining before I sew the two lining pieces together. Then I sew them together... my inner piece is done!

Now I sew the straps. After I turn them inside out, I add a touch of color to them with this topstitching.

Now for a little finishing touch... the button! I sewed it on and then I sewed on the elastic closure. It makes it quick & easy to open & close the main part of the bag. Plus, that button has tons of personality. Oh and by the way... I was gonna put a pink button on, but at last minute I changed it to a green.

Now I attached the finished straps to the lining of the bag after folding down the edge.

Okay... we're so close to finishing it! Here I insert the lining into the outer part of the bag. I poked myself with pins a lot here!

Next I pin my pretty, pink piping in between the lining & the outer part.

Nice! Now the lining is in & pinned with the piping. Lots of pins!! Again, here is proof I got poked a lot!

Very last step... I sew along the edge, sewing the three layers together. And it's all done!!

Looking nice, huh?! It was a nice looking bag in the end. I plan on making more for my Etsy account and I will call them DL Tote Bags. They're named after my mom, Debra Lynn.
Happy birthday mom!

Happy Birthday Mom! a.k.a. Anatomy of New Bag Design

Well first of all. Today is my mother's birthday! Yay!
And for her birthday I decided to make her a tote bag. As I was creating the bag in my head, I decided to document my journey so you can see how the bag came together.
So, here we go!

The first part is what inspired me. I really like this red bag because it was roomy and had great straps for slinging over your shoulder. But I liked the simplicity of this canvas book bag.
These two bags inspired my mother's bag. I imagined her using it to carry books around, since she likes to read.

So next I picked out my supplies. The thing that grabbed me the most was this BRIGHT Elvis fabric. She loves Elvis, but I'm not so sure about bright colors. Nonetheless, I was not deterred. I decided to use the awesome Elvis fabric as a lining and then use a dull, muted black as the outside. The pink fabric I choose as an accent color which will show up as piping. The finishing touches is the bright green thread & zipper and the big, bright pink button.

Next I started creating a pattern. The main reason for this step is so I can make another bag in the future if I like this one.
I decided on 16"x14" bag, but I think it ended up about 13"x15". I often make last minute size changes! The straps are about 22" long and I choose to have an inside zippered pocket and three large pockets on the outside.

Of course, for the future... I marked the pattern pieces so I knew which was which!

I turned the iron on next because I had to fuse on interfacing soon!

Now I pin my pattern pieces to the fabric...

... and I cut it all out!

And here's that part about the interfacing... I am fusing it on the straps, the four main pieces (lining & outer fabric) and on the inner zippered pocket. This makes it tougher!

Now, for the fun part! I'm kinda joking about this...
I cut out strips of the pink fabric to create my piping.

And here's what the strips look like wrapped about the cord.

Next, I pin it in place...

... and then I sew it in place using a zipper foot. It's so, so tiny, but piping looks SO COOL on stuff I just couldn't leave it out of this project.

Here I take my freshly made piping & attach it between the outer & lining pieces of the large outside pockets.

And after attaching, I turn it inside out.

In this step, I attached the pocket to the main bag piece. I did this twice because I have large, outside pockets on each side of the bag.

While sewing the other outside pocket on, I decided to include this little loop on the inner pocket. This is for hooking keys onto, so you don't have to search for keys inside this big bag! Nice, huh?

Here is the exciting part where I sew the two outer pieces together (with their shiny, new pockets attached).

Before I turn it inside out, I sew a little notch on each side at the bottom of the bag. This gives the illusion of a flat bottom, but eliminates the need for me to add another piece into the bag. It's mainly for looks.

And ta-da! The outer layer!

See my next blog for the rest of the bag... you're so excited huh?!!