Thursday, April 1, 2010

News and First Featured Artist

Hello! Great news, people! I decided to open a second shop on Etsy. I figure Shielou will continue on and feature the lighter, sillier side of me while my new shop, Evertorium, will feature my darker and, dare I say, more mature side? O__o Who knew? I hope to update both shops with new items every week so keep your eyes open!

ALSO! I'm very excited to feature my very first fellow artist on my blog. I've been wanting to do this for a while but never really got the guts to ask anyone until Laina. Previously known as sweetgal981, she has now opened a new shop called Laina's Designs. Check it out and read the interview below! I know you're gonna love her as much as I do! ~__^

  1. What do you make? What got you started in the world of crafting?

Currently I am making rings and necklaces with fun little faces that I sculpt out of clay, then paint and decorate. I’ve always been a crafter, whether it was just for fun or for school, I was always making things as a kid and never grew out of it.

  1. What got you into Etsy and open up your shop?

One day I was searching on eBay for handmade jewelry and I came across HeadlessTessDiy. Her jewelry is so neat and it fascinated me. After weeks of watching her post new items I asked her if she wouldn’t mind me making jewelry in that style. She was the one who told me about Etsy and she supported me when I opened my first shop there. After a while I sort of “grew out of it.” Now I have a new shop open with my new designs and I’m having a blast!

  1. What's the most difficult part about having your own shop? What's the most rewarding?

The most difficult part of the shop is not making the sales that I think I should. When I finally finish a piece I get so excited to share it with the world and I think that it’s going to sell immediately because they will love it as much as I do, but it takes time. It takes time for people to see it; for the right person to see it. I think once your shop reaches a certain balance between the enjoyment of making the pieces and selling them timely to happy customers then it is a successful shop.

The most rewarding thing about running my shop is actually crafting. To do one piece I have to sculpt the clay, bake it, sand it, paint it, glaze it, sculpt other detail pieces if needed (things like hair or background pieces), paint those, glaze those, then adhere it to the pendant, bead it, take photos and list it. Out of the entire process of making my pieces I love painting the most. But my favorite part is watching the face change as I’m painting it – how it turns the plain clay to a beautiful face with eyes and eyelashes – I just love it! With my old shop I didn’t really challenge myself to paint small detail work, but now that I’ve brought out that part of me I feel so much more rewarded than ever, and there’s nowhere to go but up!

  1. What are your inspirations?

I have a lot of different inspirations for my pieces; photos of face painting, movies, books, video games, celebrities and the things in my own crazy mind. I also have different inspirations for how I run my shop. There are a lot of neat people on Etsy who really know what they’re doing and how to be kind to their customers, that inspires me as well. There are other things and people that inspire me in my life too.

  1. What other hobbies/interests do you enjoy?

Outside of crafting and running my shop I actually have a lot of hobbies that I enjoy doing. I love listening to all kinds of music, singing, playing the guitar and the Native American flute, writing, photography, painting (although I don’t do that very often), running, playing video games, (Dragon Age and Tomb Raider!!!), going to concerts and movies, hanging with my best friend, and a lot more.


  1. What are your shop goals? General goals?

My main shop goal is to really enjoy myself. Toward the end of my last one it just became work and I didn’t like it any more. Now I have a new beginning with some experience under my belt and I just want to do myself proud. I’ve set the bar so much higher. I want to share my creations with other people and have them enjoy them as much as I do.

Other goals include earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education. I want to teach High School English. Perhaps one day I will go for my Master’s (yay debt?). I also want to become a published writer.

  1. Do you have any suggestions to give those who want to do what you do?

Be prepared. It’s a learning experience like any other and it takes time. You should know that it takes time to perfect your creative process and that it can be a bumpy road unless you are preparing to sell things that you have made for years. If you are new to the crafting world, or just new to the creative medium that you are doing, then you should really practice before you start selling.

And just like it takes time to make your creations, chances are it will take time to sell them. You need to gain a following of sorts. The right person has to see your creation, but once he/she does, he/she will recognize the time, effort and hard work that you put into it, and they will appreciate it.

There are times when there will be disappointments whether they are in yourself or others. Doing your research is very important. Sometimes it is fun to jump in, but you should really gather your resources before you get in over your head. But most importantly have fun! If you enjoy what you make then everyone else will see that.

  1. What else do we need to know about you? Criminal history? Third arm? Cool talents?

I can’t really think of anything at the moment ~_^

  1. Anymore you wanna say? Last chance....

I’m voting for Andy Garcia on American Idol! Yay Andy!!


Thanks for reading! As always, happy crafting!
Shy

PS: Many thanks to Laina, once more, and check out her shop, people!!

On my playlist:


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Home Business Tips #1: Getting Started

It takes a certain kind of madness to start your own home business, and a certain kind of courage to take it on full time. For myself, it was a matter of knowing that I had nothing to lose. I had just finished animation school, still working on my portfolio and all the while working part time as a cashier at a liquor store. By the way, I commend those who could put up with the harassment when it comes to dealing with jerks while working behind the counter because I'm pretty sure it took off a couple of years of my life. I ran into Etsy while browsing through the web and knew that I could do it. I could make things and sell them. I had nothing stopping me so the choice was easy to make.

White Rabbit Head Case Charm

Available here!

But for others, the decision is not as easy. Especially if you equate a family, husband, kids, pets, chores, full time job, friends, money, mother-in-law and the list goes on...and on. So before you jump into anything DO YOUR RESEARCH! Look before you leap because trust me, you may very well fall short and crash. It can all be very overwhelming, so take your time to figure it all out. There's no need to rush. Look at other shops/businesses, check out your local post offices, look up prices, inquire if you need a license, read blogs and/or books! Know what you're getting into because despite all the benefits of having your own small business, there are plenty of cons to go with it. Here are some of my own pros and cons:

Magic Mushroom Head Girl

Available here!

Pro: I'm my own boss! I make my time. I call the shots!

Con: I'm my own boss! Everything falls on me. If something goes wrong, or I've made a terrible decision - which I have many times - that's on my shoulders, and there's no one to blame but myself.

Pro: I don't have to deal with annoying co workers who talk crap about me behind my back. Yes, I'm talking about you, Aundrea! I know what you said about my hair!

Con: I'm alone most of the day. I'm not exactly a social butterfly but not having anyone to talk to for 9-10 hours 5 out of 7 days a week can be a little maddening. *twitch*

Pro: I'm doing something I enjoy for a living!

Con: I've turned what I enjoy into work...

Year of the Tiger Charm

Available here!

And when you finally have a good understanding of the market and what you're getting yourself into - and you're willing to take it on - for God's sake PLAN!! Where are you going to get your materials? Where can you get the best deal? How are you going to package and ship your items? How much are you going to sell your products for? Can you AFFORD your supplies and fees right now? Do you have an allotted space to create your items? Do you have the TIME to make items, post, ship, shop for materials and answer inquiries? Are your family and friends supportive of your endeavor?

Aries Zodiac Charm

Available here!

I think that last question is the most important. You can learn what you need to do in your business as time goes on - which is pretty much what I had to do - but if the people around you aren't on the same page then that's the hardest part. I started my shop when I was 23. My main responsibility was paying off school loans. I know for most, they can't say the same. Having a home business is time consuming, sometimes even heartbreaking when you don't immediately start making the sales you want. And remember that it takes money to make money. Make sure your decision isn't affecting those around you negatively. When it comes to having your own home business, you need all the support you can get from your loved ones. ^__^

White Rabbit Charm

Available here!

Where to sell?

Ebay, the granddaddy of all shop sites. But keep in mind that most everyone who shop on Ebay are looking for bargains. Great bargains.

Etsy, need I say more? A site dedicated solely to handmade things with an open door to vintage items.

Zazzle
is great for all artists. You can pretty much stick your art on anything: mugs, shirts, stickers, even shoes and skateboards!

Cafepress, very much like Zazzle. You can stick your artwork on shirts, water bottles and even pet bowls. But note that they don't have some of the cool stuff that Zazzle offers (ie personalized postage stamps, and did I mention shoes and skateboards?).

Your own website, but only if you know what you're doing because designing and building a website from ground up takes time and more than just basic knowledge of html coding.

Supermarket
is great for designers, BUT they don't accept just anybody. You have to be approved first. O__o

Silkfair
is considered a baby compared to the giant handmade community of Etsy. I, myself, have an account here (mind you, it's not open yet) but I've found to like the more intimate feeling of this community. Better make use of it now before it really explodes.

These are some of my fave sites. There are so much more out there so take a look. ^__^

So take everything into account, but at the same time don't think about it too much. I think people can sometimes overwhelm themselves with the fear of the unknown and psyche themselves out. If you really want to do it then go for it. Sometimes all you really need is the excitement of the challenge to motivate you to begin. Cause this SH*T is hard, but it's oh so worth it. ~__^

Egg Head Boy

Available here!

Other helpful links

How to Start a Home-Based Craft Business
by Kenn Oberrecht, great book and very informative.

Dick Blick Art Material, they have EVERYTHING here. And when I say everything, I do mean everything.

Jewelry Supply
, name says it all. They have everything from beads to boxes to jewelry displays.

Adobe Photoshop
, beautify and edit your photos with this brilliant program. You'll wonder how you went without it for so long.


As always, happy crafting!
Shy

On my playlist:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Blog Urge

My shop! Shielou

After several months of blog silence I finally had the urge to update my blog. ^__^ I've had so many ideas come across my mind since opening Shielou, but I never really had the time to bring those ideas to life until now.

Now, I LOVE Alice In Wonderland, but there's just so many Alices on Etsy that I wanted to be different so I came up with Alex In Wonderland instead. If Alice had a little brother or something, it would be him. Cute, blond and blue eyed. I've also been working on the following paintings since last year. Alex and the White Rabbit are still in progress but I wanted to show you a sneak peek. I've also opened up a Zazzle account where you can purchase my digital artwork on t-shirts, mouse pads, mugs, etc. I plan on selling prints at Shielou as well, but it won't be until summer or fall since I'm still saving up to buy a fab printer. ^__^







Coffin rings!! Now, you are definitely not going to find these ANYWHERE! They're definitely a Shielou exclusive because I made the rings myself. ^__^ These are non adjustable so they're custom fitted, and the sizes are completely different from your typical ring sizes. I go by diameter in millimeters (18mm, 19mm, 20mm) rather than standard ring sizes (size 8, size 9, size 10) because I don't have a ring sizer thingy-a-majig. I know! They're like $5 but I just never got around to purchasing one. -__- I know, bad Shy. Anyway, the actual "coffin" is around 1 1/2, so quite large for most but I think they're the perfect size given all the details on the actual charm. I'm taking customs for these now so please convo me through Etsy for more info, etc. ^__^





When I told Laina about my plans to make sculpture themed shoes there's was silence and confusion. O__o And so I wanted to make it just so I could prove to her that it wasn't such a weird concept. :) I've always found stilettos to be very sexy. Unfortunately, I can't walk in them to save my life. The first one is the Mad Hatter shoe. The tea cups were the most difficult things to make, believe it or not, and using them as part of the shoe's stiletto was even harder. But I really enjoyed making this piece, especially the toast and jam as well as the spilled tea that reminds me more of acid with all the metallic swirls. But I guess it's fitting. ~__^



The second shoe sculpture is of course the White Rabbit shoe. I wanted something a little sexier compared to the Mad Hatter shoe. I love the pink ruffles around the heel as well as the watch and gold chain in the front. It's also a little steampunk with the watch parts and gears but I think it adds a touch of whimsy to the overall piece.



I've always been fascinated with the steampunk movement and after a year of buying steampunk supplies I finally have use for all my accumulated materials, thus Vintage Key Steampunk Guns. Say that 10 times fast. :P Honestly, guns freak me out. They're heavy, they smell funny and they're dangerous. Lucky for me, these ones aren't. ^__^



As I said, I'm taking custom orders now so please send me an email or convo! Will be working and concentrating more on more originals in the future. Questions, concerns? Let me know!!

Always,
Shy

My shop! Shielou

PS: My White Rabbit Stiletto Shoe has just been added to evagirl12's Treasury List. Pretty nifty! ^__^


(Currently obsessing on Dr. Horrible Sing Along Blog. Joss Whedon is a genius!)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Happy NEW YEAR! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season. I know I did. I'm still full from all the food I ate. Well...not really. ~__^ I've been rather lax on updating my blog mostly because I really have nothing to talk about. Actually, let me take that back, I do have stuff to talk about but it's nothing anyone would be interested in reading about. -__- As most of you know, I've moved to a new place. The second bedroom is now my office. Chris makes fun of the room's layout but it's my feng shui so eat it. ~__^ I did take most of November and pretty much all of December off just to get my bearings and plan out 2010 as well as avoid the madness that is the holidays. After I watched two grown women fight in line at the post office, I was done. lol


(It's not Martha Stuart pretty but it does its job *lol)


(Yes, that's a futon. In case I need a nap or I get really mad at Chris. :D)


(That's a Tinkerbell bag pack...'cause I think I'm still 12. -__-)

I did watch Avatar a couple of times over the past couple of weeks and it was AWESOME! Words cannot describe the genius of James Cameron and his team. Yes, the storyline was a little Pocahontas and Dances with Wolves and the dialogue was a little tired ("You're not in Kansas anymore..." Really? -__-) but it was epic and so visually stunning that the adventure you take with Jake Sully more than made up for it. And Sam Worthington wasn't bad either. ~__^ While most of the female population is gunning for Rob, I'm making a quiet beeline for Sam. :D It's the hot Australian accent. Yum...



I'll be working on the last of my custom orders for the next couple of weeks because I'm pretty much closing down custom orders altogether. Or at least until I can figure out how to work with custom orders with this new technique since, as you can probably tell, it's a bit arduous and time consuming. *shrugs* I thought that this new technique would make my life easier but instead it's pretty much the same. Just as hard as the clay figures but the diversity of what I can make more than makes up for it. ^__^ I will blog more later, mostly about what I've learned about running an Etsy shop since I figure that would be more interesting than what I ate this morning or a step-by-step account on how I do laundry. ~__^ Getting ready to post the Bite My *pple necklaces in the following days. ^__^ YAY!

Luv,
Shy


(Muse gets 2 thumbs up for doing a cover of one of my favorite oldies. ^__^)

Friday, November 20, 2009

No New Moon For Shy

Chris vowed last month I would not see New Moon on the 20th and the bastard has succeeded. Personally, I wasn't going to watch it anyway because I know the theaters will be filled to the hilt and as an anti-social, I wouldn't be able to handle the crowd without ending up crying in the parking lot - but that's not the point! For our birthdays, (Mine was on Tuesday and Chris' is on the 22nd) Chris is taking us out of town on vacation to a new casino that popped up somewhere in Colorado? O__O I dunno, he did all the planning. lol I'm pretty okay with it by now but I wasn't a happy camper several weeks ago when he informed me. Haha! ^__^ But I wanted to wish everyone happy watching when you all see New Moon in the following days! Much love and I'll see you all next week!! I'll be back on Monday!! Yippee!


Happy ogling! O_O

Luv,
Shy

PS: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THE LOVELY WELL WISHERS! My birthday went great. Quiet night out. Not a big to-do but that's what I like. ^__^ Also, please refrain from fainting at the first sight of Rob and Taylor on screen. C'mon! You don't wanna miss the entire movie! ~__^

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Birthday New Moon Giveaway

It's my birthday today! I turn the big 2-5! O__O It's rather strange though, 'cause I feel that the older I get, the younger I feel. I don't think that's normal, but I guess that can be a good thing, too? ~__^ Anyway, to celebrate, I'm doing a giveaway! All you have to do is join my Yahoo! Group where you can get updates on when I post new items in my shop or if anything new at all happens at Shielou.

The first one was inspired by one of my chats with Laina. As usual, I can't really remember what we were talking about but we were just being dorks and talking about necklace ideas. So that's how Bite My *pple necklace came to be. The second one I made during Halloween called Rip My Stone Cold Heart. And the third is a wolf howling in the moon with an experimental patina finish.



These are the "simple" designs I've been speaking of. It's a nice break from my more intricate pieces. Let me know what you think! Questions, concerns? Please let me know!! YAY!!

Luv,
Shy

Saturday, November 14, 2009

O__O Yippee!

Many things are going on this month and I have to give some love to several friends. Britten, over at The Black Pumpkin, has finally opened up her shop. YAY! I've been waiting nearly a year...wait, Brit, I think I have. ;P Go check out her dolls and paintings! And tell her I sent ya (so she doesn't think I've been slacking on my promise about blogging about her. lol LUV YA, Brit!! ~__^). Check out some of her items!!



Also, Jessa, over at eternallyoung, is having a sale/giveaway! You can find out more on her website and all that good awesome stuff. Lookie!!!







Anyway!! Five more torturous days, people!! O__O I know, who can stand this? ~__^

Luv,
Shy