Monday, December 28, 2009

A New Year Approaches

It's been a long time since I posted anything and that would be because my life has been chaos the past few months. We were supposed to have already been moved to Arizona by now but plans have changed. We are now moving in early February, MAYBE. Who knows. So until I know for sure I am just going to keep moving forward with my shop. I'll keep everything on sale for now and continue to make new products. Pretty soon I will start listing nursing covers and maybe a few other new things. It really depends on the status of our move. I hope everyone had great holidays and I wish you all a great new year in 2010!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Generosity of Complete Strangers

So this is a quick little blurb about what happened to me today. It was so nice I thought I would share with the rest of you. After I picked my son up from hourly care I decided to go to the BX/PX and Commissary to kill some time and pick up a few things. While at the PX I found a great deal on a little tikes table that B.Lee can eat and color on (it has adjustable height too which is great!) for $39! So of course I had to get it. Here is the kicker, I had B.Lee in the stroller and this was a very large box! So I tried to carry it under my arm but it kept sliding out and hitting the ground. Well you if you know me you know I don't care what people think so I decided to prop it up on my head ala native woman carrying water style. You should have seen the looks I got from people, like I was a crazy lady! Funny, no one offered to help me! As I was going out the automatic doors (thank god for those) a lady was walking in and laughed and said "you're kidding right?" LOL I said it was the only way I could carry it! So after a few more laughs and a guy saying "Hey, you're a mom" while I explained again that it was only way I could carry it I finally got it in my car. Then I decided to go to the commissary and get some snacks. On the way out I was about to stop at Starbucks when I saw the lady again with a friend and she said "So you made it ok huh?" I laughed with her and she started to tell her friend about seeing me with a giant box propped on my head while pushing my son out to the car. She then told me that they were here vacationing from Florida, she was retired military, and they had just spent 3 weeks rv'ing all over Alaska. She said they were leaving tonight and tomorrow (2 different groups) and asked me if I wanted the food they had left. I said sure as I knew if I couldn't use it then someone in my neighborhood could. I found out they were from Tampa (I am from St.Pete) and we talked about the weather and their trip. They were very kind and they gave me a ton of food. I was so shocked and spacey that I forgot to ask their names even though they asked mine. They even gave me hugs! So here is to the ladies from Tampa, I hope you make it home safely. I gave them my business card so maybe they will eventually read this. If so thank you so much for your generosity! The world needs more people like you.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

CPSIA Compliant Labels and Packaging

So I started sewing in the labels that comply with the ruling that puts the labeling into effect in two days. I have also made product cards for everything I make to go inside the packaging. After some thought about my how my competition makes their receiving blankets vs how I do, I have decided that even though theirs may be larger in theory at purchase most will end up being the same size as mine after washing. Since I also do a lot more preparation to make mine I should not lower my prices. As of right now my blankets will be on sale until August 18th along with the bibs and pacifier holders. After that all of my prices will revert back to what they have been. Even when I drop my prices it doesn't seem to bring me any more business. I make great quality baby items and I am tired of running scared because of what my competition does. I don't know who their suppliers are so maybe they are getting great deals which allow them to sell things so cheap. Unfortunately I live in Alaska so I am limited in what is available and what is available here is very expensive. So instead I go through co-ops and spend a fortune shipping fabric up here. Even that way is still cheaper than buying locally, sadly. Add all the costs of trying to comply with the CPSIA , which I know for certain not everyone is doing and that is where my costs add up and get rolled into the price of my items. In reality I should be charging more than I do but I am trying to stay competitive. I may not be able to do that if after the testing stay is lifted and I am forced to test. Why do I keep talking about pricing to everyone (you are probably thinking to yourselves), shouldn't I keeo this to myself? Well if I were the customer and I saw two blankets that were similar and one was slightly smaller yet the same price I would want to know why. At the same time all of this is handmade and I would hope that the customer takes that into consideration. Every seller's cost and time to make their items is different, therefore prices are going to vary even on similarly made items. I guess you can say I have been really overthinking this but I have been baffled at why I can't seem to be as successful as some of the other sellers on Etsy who make baby items. It is very disheartening. Anyhow that's enough for today. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Starting today until August 18th all bibs and pacifier holder clips/toy leashes are on SALE! Get your shower gifts now!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Free Gift to the 40th, 50th and 60th Customers!

Since my 40th sale is just one sale away I thought I would offer some free gifts for the 40th, 50th and 60th sale. The gift will be a surprise! I will convo the customer and ask a few questions and then send them a surprise gift with their order. It could be anything I have in my shop! You just never know! :)

Shop update 08/09/09 and new look

So I finally took the time to update the look of my blog and the design on Twitter. I hope to be using both of these tools more often to keep people apprised on what is going on with my shop. So here is my update.

My son is finally mostly sleeping through the night thanks to my mom's visit so now I am getting more sleep and am able to get more work done. I have the Ft.Richardson country fair coming up in November which is a one day craft fair in which I will be taking everything I have made up to that point to sell. I have already cut out about 60 receiving blankets to serge and list to prepare for this event. Of course I precut and then washed them not thinking that I needed to leave a few more inches so they are all slightly shorter than usual. They are all still very big so it really doesn't matter very much. I could do like other shops and just cut and serge straight from the bolt, but I don't like doing that because they will shrink in the wash and then you run the risk of pulling and puckering and I think that takes away from the quality. I'm not saying that always happens, but it can. Especially with flannel and a rolled hem. Plus I think it is false advertising to say a blanket is 36x44 and then the first time they wash it it shrinks to 33x39. I would rather sell it as prehrunk 33x39 so I know the next time it is washed it will look the same and the customer will be pleased. I also like how since it is prewashed the sizing and chemicals are gone so it is very soft to the touch, another selling factor. I get a lot more interest in them locally because people can see first hand how nice they are. Trying to sell them on Etsy or anywhere else is very hard because of the competition and you don't have the opportunity to see and feel it in person.

I plan to have a lot more new items listed in the next month or so. I will finally start listing embellished prefolds and more cloth wipes as well as some new things I have been working on, so be on the lookout for new product reveals! If you have an idea for something you would like to see me make, like a particular item or a character or slogan for a bib or even a specific fabric please contact me! I am always open to suggestions. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

New items!

Check out all of my new listings! I have all sorts of new embroidered bibs and some new receiving blankets. Many more to come!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sneak Preview of my new Punk/Goth Rock Star Line

I wanted to give everyone a sneak preview of my new line. Having been enmeshed in the punk/goth subcultures for many years before I settled down and had my son I have decided to go back to my roots and add a smattering of goth and punk style baby items to my shop. This picture shows 4 of the new bibs coming soon. I will also have receiving blankets added soon thereafter. If you have any slogans or special requests please ask, I have many designs and alphabets available for boys and girls. I also have colored bibs.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More info on Uleen in the news

I have to say, I don't know what the usual is for that big of a party but I would think there would have been more than one certified guide there. Also, considering the conditions and the fact that the party from the previous day also had several rafts overturn I don't think they should have allowed the tour to go on. I realize that they could not help the fact that satellite communications were not working at the time but it seems to me by the way the articles were written that they took too long to decide to go for a land line. It almost makes me wonder if she could have been saved if they had acted faster. I am still very angry, even more so now that I know more about what happened. It is awful to know the details I guess, because now I have mental pictures in my head. I don't know what else to say except I will continue to look for more info on the accident as time progresses.

Monday, July 20, 2009

So sad and also a little mad

As you may have seen in the comments on my last post, Uleen's passing was confirmed as I suspected it would be. There were two news articles posted today, although they did not release her name.

Now this is where I get kind of mad. I realize many people did not know her or her character but there were a lot of people yesterday in Etsy chat who tried to make a conspiracy out of this. I realize that you can't know who is really behind a name on the internet, but as I said before I knew enough about Uleen and her family to believe it was truly her mother who was on her account informing us. I knew that she and her mother started the shop together so it was only natural that her mother would have access to the account information and was professional enough to come take care of her affairs. It pained me to think there were people who thought it was some elaborate joke or hoax. A few people offended her mother by asking some things they really should not have and I feel horrible for her and the rest of her family. There were others who then turned the events into a "what if" scenario and made the focus all about them. Comments such as "If I died no one would tell you and my listings would be up until they expired" is not an appropriate response to just hearing of another Etsian's passing. I was completely disgusted by this behavior, just as I was this moring when I saw people become forum police when another member tried to collect charitable donations for the family. People in general are very self-centered and some true colors are really shining through.

It has been very hard to bite my tongue on this one so I now write about it without any calling out just so I can release some of the anger and frustration and overwhelming sadness I am feeling. And lets not forget about the guilt. I feel guilty because I hadn't talked to Uleen as much as I normally do lately because my mom has been visiting. I didn't even know she was going rafting this past weekend. The last time I saw her in chat was on friday and she was upset about something but I wasn't sure about what because I kept getting distracted by my own life. The last real conversation we had was about my purchasing some logo stickers from her. Which brings me to another another regret, that I never bought the chinese animals and military ribbon designs from her. I had been putting it off until I had some more money but now I will never be able to get them and that makes me very sad. I would ask her mother if I could buy them but the timing isn't right and it seems very tacky. So I have nothing from her and that pains me. I would like to have something that she made to remind me of her. She was such a talented graphic artist and such a wonderful person. She was a great friend. I'll never forget her kindness, especially when I was facing a possible volcanic eruption from Mt.Redoubt. She offered her home to me even though she had never met me in person and I had a baby and two pugs to tote along if I came. That is the kind of gesture one cannot forget and I love her for it and the other gestures of kindness she gave to others as well as myself on a daily basis. The world is a much lonlier and sadder place without Uleen. She touched so many people without even knowing it. I will love her and miss her forever. I hope she is happy whereever she may have gone and again I say I hope to see her again someday in another time.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Sad Day for Etsy, My Etsy Friends and I

I found out today that a really wonderful person, a great friend I had met through Etsy has passed away. Uleen Ann Toovey aka ChromaSmear died in a white water river accident yesterday in British Columbia, she was 34. Apparently she and members from her work (her boyfriend may or may not have been there I am not sure) went rafting and two of the rafts overturned and they were not able to revive her. I am in a state of shock and disbelief. I had a brief online conversation with her mother who informed us all. As you can guess many people are skeptical, but because I know enough about her family and her character I do believe this information to be true. I am deeply saddened and will miss her greatly. I love you Uleen. I hope to meet you again someday in another time.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Shop update 7/10/09

So I keep telling myself I need to use this more often. I recently changed prices in my shop and figure I could use this to explain why. Many people do not know the cost of fabric, especially designer fabric. I just had to raise the price on my new wipeable changing pad because once I sat down and figured out the actual cost of materials it was more than what I had listed it for and that wasn't even including the time it took to make. Then there is my competition. I just lowered all of the prices of my receiving blankets because my competition is wiping me out. I don't know if it will help or not. I have been playing with prices since I started selling at the end of December. I just thought an explanation was due to those who have been buying from me since the beginning and those who may have viewed the change pad and wondered why the sudden price increase. I hope everyone understands. I'm not getting a lot of business so there may still be more changes to come. I'm trying to price fairly and be competitive but sometimes being competitve isn't practical, since I don't know what price they are getting their materials for. I had originally based my changing pad on the price of other changing pads, but then I discovered I was seriously under charging and adjusted the price. I am the only one on etsy who is making them like this at the moment (though I'm sure others will eventually) so I feel if someone really likes it and values the quality they will be willing to pay the price for it. I see blankets that are smaller going for more.

As for my products there will be a lot more to come in the next month. My mother is here to visit for a month and will be spending a lot of time with my son so that opens up time for me to start making a lot of items. So be on the lookout for all kinds of new items in the next month!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Team EtsyBABY virtual shower this Saturday and new product!

I am proud to annouce that Cootie Pants will be providing a prize for the Team EtsyBABY virtual baby shower! The prize is one of the new products soon to be stocked in my shop. This particular blanket/burp cloth set features a Sandi Henderson Farmer's Market Spring Petal Party print with an Organic Bamboo Velour back. It is very soft, lightweight and fashionable. It is a little smaller than the flannel blankets, but is still big enough to swaddle an infant. I will be offering these new sets soon and will possibly be offering some with dyed OBV to match the print colors. This is just one of the new products coming in the near future. Here is a preview of the new set being given as a prize:

Be on the lookout for these new sets in my shop soon!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sale is going great!

The sale is going great! 7 receiving blankets have already been whisked away. Some of the most popular prints are going fast. The red with pink apples print is gone. It will only reappear in burp cloths and a special double flannel with embroidery blanket I have planned. I still have the print in blue with green apples but that is very limited as well. I cut a bunch of fabric today and will be making and listing new blankets over the weekend at the sale price. Be sure to keep an eye out for the new prints!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cootie Pants Mega Sale!

In celebration of my 3rd Wedding Anniversary I have put everything in my shop on sale! Sale runs from April 23rd to May 9th. Now is the time to stock up for your new bundle of joy! Hurry!

Friday, April 17, 2009

1000 Markets and where I stand right now

I recently found out about a new site to buy and sell handmade items. It is called 1000 Markets and I have decided to try it out. So far I really like it. It is so much easier to list products than on Etsy and there is just one page where you can add everything instead of several. It looks great and the search works well, unlike Artfire. I am just not having a lot of luck on Etsy, as much as I love it. If I start doing well on 1000 Markets I may move most of my stuff there. I plan to keep my shop open on Etsy regardless and I plan to start stocking my Hyena Cart with Cloth Diapering products by June. This means I will have shops in several places so I hope to get my own website to link to all of my shops in the future. I have so many new products I am working on that are not listed in my shop. I just don't have a lot of time to make things. I just got in a lot of designer fabric, organic bamboo velour and benartex minkee so I will be offering super soft and luxurious items soon. Not that my current stuff is not, this is just more top of the line! Anyhow please take a look at my 1000 Markets shop. It has the same items as Etsy but I just love the look of the 1k Markets site.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blanket Booty for your Baby, plus new pictures!

Need some booty for that pirate baby? Look no further! A soft and snuggly Pirate receiving blanket made from one yard of flannel is the best booty around.

New pictures on all listings including customer appreciation photos. Three of my customers have sent me pictures of their babies using my blankets and have given me permission to use them in my shop. Please check my shop for all of the new photos.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Product! Hooded Bath Towel Set

I am excited to present to you all my newest product: A hooded bath towel set! My first set is made with a light yellow terry and a stars, moon and clouds flannel back. This towel set is a bit bigger than the towels you would buy in a pack at the store. It is serged and has rounded corners and is warm so baby won't freeze as you dry them and lather them in baby oil or lotion. I will be making more of these soon from many different prints and colors. This is a gender neutral set.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I made my first sale!

After going into a featured seller chat room on Etsy last night I made one sale. I was excited and a bit nervous. I sold the Zebras and Dots blanket that had over 60+ views. Here it is:

All wrapped up and ready to be put in its waterproof bag:

And ready to go into the mailer:

I hope she enjoys it!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Little Lamb

I finally finished a new blanket a few days ago that really gave me a hard time. I used the star utility stitch on my new Brother Quattro and it just gave me all kinds of trouble. I had to rip out about 15 stars which took me several hours over the course of two days. After about 7 hours of work on this it is finally done. In the end the border is a bit uneven but it still turned out really cute. Forget about the cow jumping over the moon, a lamb is cuter.