Monday, December 28, 2009

Must- Have Mondays - New Year's Resolution Helpers

With the end of December, we find ourselves at the conclusion of another holiday season (hopefully intact, albeit a little less rich) and the beginning of a new year. And as ritualistic as it may seem, we all have a tendency of making ourselves promises of great changes and new endeavors, fondly acknowledged as New Year’s Resolutions. These great finds from some Etsy Homefront Team Members, may help you ring in the New Year with an artistic flair, and hopefully motivation to get your resolutions in gear.

Keep Calm Carry On Glass Pendant

This pendant is a perfect way to be stylish, with a cool reminder to have a less stressful year.

Mallory Flower Shortie Bobies

Maybe a new ‘do is in your future plans, and these cute bobby pins would accent that new look for you.

Mix N Match Recycled Notecards

Keep better in touch with your friends and family during the year with this striking image notecards.

Kawaii Summer Treats Pacifier Holder Clip and Toy Leash

Organization is key, when trying to keep children tantrums at bay and stress at a minimum. This pacifier/toy holder is a great way of starting out small.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Mod Square Candle

Remember to sit back and pamper yourself, light a comforting smelling candle and take a few minutes to breath and relax.

Belgian White Chocolate and Crème De Menthe Candy

Indulge a little this year, especially if the title says “Begian” and “Chocolate.”

Homemade Granola Bars – All Natural

Or maybe you are trying to watch your sweet intake, this year. Of course healthy eating doesn’t mean tasteless food; just yummy good for you goodness!

Nautical Nonsense Reusable On the Go Sandwich Bag

Take a step into the world of “Green” (if you haven’t already) and find functional, yet stylish reusable bags.

Prince or Princess Crown Crochet Pattern

Learn a new craft this year; and have fun while doing it!

Pineapple Orchid Flower Bath Fizzy

A nice calming bath, after a long day of work or dealing with unruly children is perfect for putting the day back on track.

May your journey into the New Year be fruitful and continually propserous!

For more great finds from Etsy Homefront Team - just type in "homefront team" at!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Featured Artist - Baby Love Blankies

Our last featured artist for December is Jamie from Baby Love Blankies, a shop full of the coolest I Spy bags (along with other cool stuff for kids).

Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Jaime, I am a stay at home mom to my 3 handsome little boys! My oldest is in Kindergarten, my second is almost 4 and my youngest one is 2. We are stationed at Kings Bay Naval Base here in Southeastern Georgia. I found Etsy through a friend of mine and have been hooked ever since! My Husband is serving on board the USS Georgia, he is the LSC. His submarine is currently deployed for a 4 month mission. We are hoping he gets home in time for Valentines Day!

What do you think lead to the success of your Etsy Shop?

I'm not sure why my shop is so successful. I am not very good at promoting. I have had a few bloggers contact me about doing giveaways with my items, and if I like their blog I always say yes. I know that has brought in at least 20% of my sales. I have a Facebook fan page and I know a lot of people found me through that site. I started off real slow. My sales were okay, about 14 in the first 4 months. I was happy with that. Over the summer things picked up, every month my sales would suprass the last months sales. Last Christmas was my first one here on Etsy, my goal for the year was to make 100 sales by New Years and I sold 200 items in 2 months! I couldn't believe it! This year has been great! My goal for New Years was 1000 sales, and I have passed that with time to spare!

What advice might you have for those shops new to Etsy or low sale shops?

If you like what you are doing stick with it! When people offer to blog about you let them! Get a Facebook fan page, its free, so why not! Answer every convo, try to keep your customers happy and they will come back and bring a few friends with them!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

If anyone has any questions please feel free to contact me, I am convo friendly!

From everyone on the Homefront Team: Happy Holidays to all!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Must-Have Mondays: Stocking Stuffers

Time has seem to flown by this season, with only 11 more shopping days before Christmas. And with the addition of online shopping, which has made a lot of our lives for gift giving A LOT easier, that even narrows the day margin by a few days for shipping!

This week's Monday Must-Have focus on the last minute Stocking Stuffers, all from the talented Homefront Team! I just used the search "homefront team stocking stuffer" and this is what I found.

Reusable Gift Card and Cash Holder

Teri's Treasures has a collection of these stylish gift card holders, that can be used for cash, business cards, etc after the gift card is used.

Sterling silver guitar pick with leather case - pouch - keychain

The Taffy Box has some pretty cool handstamped guitar picks, but this one is tops because it has a guitar pick pouch to attach to your keys. What a great idea!

Animal Finger Puppets

Babynme's 4 pack of fingerpuppets are great for any kids stocking - from ages 6 months to 92!

Skating Penguin Adjustable Ring

Made with Our Hands has a wonderful selection of stocking stuffers, great for any member of the family, but I thought this cute penguin ring encompasses the holiday cheer!

Santa Claus Creative Color Crayons

Stellar Trends' Santa Claus crayons are perfect for coloring holiday pictures or pictures anytime of the year!

These are just a sampling of some of the stocking stuffers that Etsy Homefront Team offers. There are still so many great different stocking stuffer ideas out there, just search Homefront Team for the perfect one for your loved ones!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Featured Artists - Heidi's Handmade and Two Seaside Babes

December finds us in full swing of the shopping season, and we can see this through the number of sales from our shops. Homefront Team's theme for our featured artists in December encompasses our fellow members with the highest number of sales, and maybe some of us that are feeling a bit of the Blue Christmas, can get some great advice and maybe even a little inspiration!

First up is Heidi Price of
Heidi's Handmade, who has accured 1172 sales (as of 12/7/09) of her wonderful natural bath and body creations.

Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Heidi Price and I currently live near Pensacola, FL with my Marine hubby and 3 kiddos. I've been making soaps since I took a class in 2000. At first I mostly made soaps with my kids to use in the tub. Then I began making gifts for friends and family. Once my kids got a little older I decided to start my own business. Someone told me about etsy and I opened a shop in 2007. I have loved etsy, it has been a wonderful selling venue for me!

What do you think lead to the success of your Etsy Shop?
I really value my customers. I give my repeat customers special deals or enclose special little gifts with each order. They keep coming back for more and more. I think customer service is very important. As a buyer I have come across shops that have no communication, and late shipping, boring packaging, no thank you note, etc... and I don't want to be that kind of seller. I want to be a shop that buyers enjoy, along with enjoying my products.

What advice might you have for those shops new to Etsy or low sale shops?
All of the things I just mentioned. You have to go the extra mile if you really want to be a success. Make your best products, take your best photos, write your best listings, communicate your best with customers etc...

Is there anything else you would like to add?
If you feel burned out or overwhelmed, take a break. Your customers will understand. Take a few days off from your shop. If you feel bummed that your items are not selling... stop beating yourself up and DO something about it. Go make some new products, advertise your shop at the forums, run a sale. When things were slow for me at first I used to go and play the BNS and BNR games (Buy and Stay, Buy and Replace) at the forums. Those were fun, I go to know people, and they got to know me, and I have gotten lots of repeat customers that way! Overall, if you love what you do, your joy will come through in your work and your shop. So, make sure you love what you are doing!

Our second featured artist is Jessi from Two Seaside Babes, who has amounted 982 sales (as of 12/7/09) of her much desired crochet hats and gifts.

Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Jessi and I am the owner/artist of Two Seaside Babes. I am a stay-at-home, self-employed, single mama to two bubbly tots, alas endeavoring to keep temper tantrums at bay. Outside of the small amount of free time that presents itself when I’m not kissing scraped knees, crying over spilled milk, and sopping up an entire bath’s worth of water off the bathroom floor, I create crocheted pieces from my own patterns. I personally and solely make all of the pieces found in Two Seaside Babes.
We are from a small, middle-of-nowhere town, set amongst the cornfields of Indiana. Really, we like to call Indianapolis home more than anything. We like to consider ourselves a military family, despite my no longer being in the service. I have deployed to both Kosovo and Afghanistan and hold those experiences deeply in my heart. Those two deployments, although entirely different, have shaped me, and hopefully my children, into who we are today. While I no longer have a direct affiliation with the service, I now consider the Homefront Team on Etsy my military family.

What do you think lead to the success of your Etsy Shop?
I believe there are many things that have lead to the success of my Etsy shop. The most important thing though is treating my shop as a business and not a hobby. As soon as I did this, my views, hearts, and eventually sales increased dramatically. I had always turned a small profit each month but it wasn’t until I approached this as a 40+ hour a week job (trust me, it’s WAY more than that), that I started seeing tremendous results. You can’t expect to sell without putting money into it first…I spent a lot on supplies to build up my inventory. You can’t expect to sell without putting in the work…I spend at least 40 hours a week creating my product. You can’t expect to sell without doing all the other grunt work…I spend over 20 hours a week packaging, shipping, listing, photographing, getting/maintaining contacts, and SEO’ing. If you want to reap rewards of a business, then you have to accept the fact that doing something you “love” is not necessarily something you’re going to want to like to do every single day.

There are other things that need to be done, which anyone can do. First and foremost, you need a signature product, something that is entirely your own. It can be anything that you put your own “little spin” on. It has to be something that is recognizable and stands out from the thousands upon thousands of other similar items on Etsy. Secondly, you need to have good photos. While I am far from an expert, I’ve found tons of tricks to help me…knowing which light helps certain colors, adjusting exposure/color/cropping, and having different views/angles of the product. These two alone are what help me to stand out from other “similar” sellers.

What advice might you have for those shops new to Etsy or low sale shops?
For those shops that are new to Etsy or that have low sales I recommend going OUTSIDE of Etsy to promote. Everyone believes that you need to stick around in the forums to see results. This is only true if you belong to a team or if you need help. Promoting yourself and your sales does virtually nothing by going into a forum and trying to do the same thing that thousands of other sellers are trying to do. Admit it; once you go into a forum to promote yourself, you most likely never go back in. Virtually everyone else is doing the same thing. You hardly ever see a “buyer” (one that is strictly an Etsy buyer and holds NO shop) in a forum.

You need to market outside of Etsy. This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter are a few of the social networking sites that I use. Using these sites, and hundreds others like it, allow your store name to be seen in search engines. If you do it correctly, the results can work dramatically in your favor. A lot of people think that I just create a product, sit back, and let the sales roll in. This is absolutely untrue. I blog. I Tweet. I get contacts through Facebook and MySpace. I’ve registered my store name for every social networking site under the sun. 35% of my traffic comes from outside of Etsy. Which may not sound like a lot, but that is 35% of people that would not have found my store otherwise.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Always remember to never hope more than you work. Hoping that you will make a sale today; hoping that you will make the front page of Etsy; hoping to be picked by admin as the featured seller. Hope will never get you as much as hard work will.
Wow, great advice from both of these stellar Homefront Team shop owners!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Must-Have Monday: Cyber Monday Edition

It’s finally here. The long awaited BIGGEST online shopping day, Cyber Monday. Many of us Etsians have been busy stocking up our stores full of holiday delights and setting up great deals for the season. But I had to take a minute away from being an Etsy Shop Owner, and stepped into Christmas Shopper-mode. These are my must haves for the special treasures to be presented under the prominent Christmas Tree all from Homefront Team shops.

My 7 year old daughter is pretty easy to choose for. She is ALWAYS cold, and wearing hats in the house. This Charcoal Buckle Beanie from Two Seaside Babes is stylish and functional. And Raspberry White Scarf from Kristyns Kreations is a perfect accompaniment for those chilly winter days! Of course, being a good mom that I am and all, I can’t forget that she also is in LOVE with her American Girl Doll, so will stop by Camelot’s Treasures for some great doll fashions!

For my 3 year old son, I’ve been eyeballing Baby Love Blankies’ I Spy Bags. The only problem it’s too hard to just choose one; although the Dinosaur I Spy Bag, is among my favorites. And because no kid can have enough cuddly animals, The Q Store has the cutest little “Q Friends” around like this Puppy Q.

My husband is a bit harder to shop for, especially since whenever he wants something he just goes out and buys it. However The Deployment Ring from A Heron Design is perfect for a man constantly on his way to new adventures! And although, maybe not just for him, this cute Navy Snowman Ornament from Art Whims would be a perfect addition to our family Christmas Tree to memoralize our service to the military forever.

There were so many great ideas for Christmas gifts for my Mom, but I had to narrow down the list to a couple of my favorites. The Taffy Box’s Charming Children Sterling Silver Charm Bracelet is a perfect fit for the charm bracelet I’ve always wanted to give to my Mom. Or the Apple Studel Homemade soap from Smokey Mountain Scents would bring memories back from her childhood of her mother’s favorite recipe. And this Holiday Album from Paper on Parade is a perfect way for Mom to showcase our Families’ holiday photos.

My Dad and 3 brothers are always the most difficult to shop for, and equally hard to please. But I think any delectable treat from Nicole’s Handmade Treats are sure to please any guy’s belly. These Beer Mug Coasters from Hungry Hippie are a great reminder for them to keep their glasses off the table! And the iPhone iPod Case/Sleeve is a perfectly functional piece, with a hint of individuality from Sugar Lumps Designs.

With all this holiday shopping for everyone else, I found several presents for myself. This Sterling Silver Itty Bitty Tree of Life Necklace is a beautiful find from She’s All That. Rhapsody Creative’s Custom Photo Christmas Cards would be perfect for sending out holiday wishes to all our friends and family. And Home is Where the Family Sends Us is a perfect sign for our family’s lifestyle from Word Board.

There are so many wonderful gift ideas from all the wonderful shops on Etsy, so be sure to check them out when you are ready to fill your Christmas wish lists.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Simply Red

As one of our favorite colors for obvious reasons, red is always a bold statement. Just like in these items from the Homefront Team:

Simply Fall Earrings from HeartfeltCreativity

Christmas Lil Man Tie Bodysuit by NoahBabyBoutique

Scarves by LevansPhotography

Red Barn Dishcloth by Needlepointnmore

Warbonnet Earrings by winddancerdesigns

Bistro Style Apron by Terryann

Christmas Photo Album by Paperonparade

Sweater Ornament by MayRayCrochetnKnit

Cinnamon sticks soap by SwanMountainSoaps

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happenin How To: LEAF PRINTS!

I am so very excited to have one of MY favorite HOW TO Blogs: Skip To My Lou graciously guest post for us today!

Cindy is amazing! Her site is chalk full of anything and everything you could possibly imagine...from paper and sewing amazing and yummy easy recipes....Her site is a one stop shop for anything creative!

One of my favorite tutorials she has...which is fabulous for Fall and the Thanksgiving Holiday is her Leaf Print Tutorial!

The following is Cindy's Tutorial in her words!

We were inspired today by the beautiful colors of fall. Our leaves are amazing so we decided to preserve a bit of fall with some leaf prints.

We used acrylic paint in bottles, lots of wax paper and a brayer (our fingers worked just as well, but my 3 year old had fun with the "special roller") You could also use a cup or bottle with smooth sides as your "roller."

My daugher painted the back of the leaf. My job was to check and make sure she painted to the edges and smooth out any globs of paint. You don't want too much paint, just a nice even coat. The amount of paint varies also by what your are printing on---the fabric took a bit more paint than the paper.

Place leaf paint side down on what you want to print. We printed a canvas bag we had and a kitchen towel (not pictured). Cover leaf with a piece of wax paper. I held the wax paper down over the leaf (to keep the leaf from flying around -remember my craft partner is 3) while she used the brayer to smooth out the leaf. I told her to press hard. We had good luck using our fingers to press the leaf onto the surface also.

Remove your leaf and you have a beautiful print. After a few tries you will get the hang of how much paint to use.

If you are printing on fabric iron after the paint dries (with a press cloth) to set the paint. If my child could write I thought it would be cute for her to write "I am thankful for you" and I would embroider over her letters. It would make a cute gift for a teacher or someone special. Maybe it will have to be in my handwriting this year.

We also printed some gift tags for some November baking we plan to do.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Featured Artists - SugarLumpsDesign and Quiltmaker2006

As November nears an end, we find ourselves in an emerging holiday season that seems to keep all of us on our toes. But before the man in the red suit can come down the chimney, we find ourselves reflecting on all that we are thankful in our lives. These are two members of the Homefront Team, that we are thankful to have enriching our community.

First up is Davida Chatman from Sugar Lumps Designs, which features an eclectic mix of jewelry and home décor treasures.

Tell us a little about yourself:

My name is Davida Chatman and I reside in Round Rock, Texas. I have a home based business that I provide virtual services from and I am an avid crafter and photographer. I have two children, my daughter Sydnie is 12 years old and attends an International Baccalaureate middle school in Austin, Texas. She is an artist like myself and loves to make t-shirts, jewelry and also enjoys cake decorating. My son Sheldon is 16 years old and is quite reserved, he is the calmer of the two and is an avid reader, musically inclined and adores the game of poker. He is a self taught juggler, pianist and is intrigued by magnets. My Husband is a disabled Navy Vet and a self proclaimed geek in his own right. He collects action figures and comic books. I am happy to say that we will be attending Comic-Con for the first time this year. We have been connected to the navy for over 15 years and love the community. We all watch after our own because we all know the sacrifice that is involved, and how precious our lives are and the lives we protect.

I am artistically inclined and it is so hard to contain - all mediums intrigue and it is so hard to contain me so I do dabble, but I currently make jewelry, and home décor items …like mosaic frames and painted glassware. I have some accessories like iphone cases that I will be adding. I sell stock photography, so I will also be branching off in that area as well.

Why did you open up a shop on Etsy?

I opened up my Etsy store, because I wanted to have an avenue to share my art with others who enjoy homemade items and the love that goes into each piece.

What is something you can’t live without?

I can’t live without sweets. I truly have a sweet tooth and I guess that had something to do with the name of my store Sugar Lumps Design. I can’t do without sweets and sweet designs for me to wear and for my home.

When you’re not busy with your store or family stuff, what do you like to do?

I love to get out and photograph the world around me, beauty just pops up in the most unsuspecting places and just throws you for a loop. I love the quote “Your whole life can change at a moment’s notice…and the moments you notice can change your whole life.”

How do you balance being an Etsy store owner, taking care of your family and any other important things in your life?

I think that balancing home life and store is a lot easier, due to the fact that I also work from home virtually. I t also doesn’t hurt that my family is behind me in everything and they will dive in and help if I need them.

How has being a part of the military influenced your craft and your store?

I think that being a military family has influenced my craft by allowing me to be more open minded and accepting of not only my art but others as well.

How has being a member of the Homefront Team helped you as an Etsy store owner?

I enjoy seeing the trials and tribulations of the homefront team through email. I love the safety net you feel when you have an issue or a question or just need to comment. It helps with sanity and knowing that you’re not alone.

Our last November Featured Artist is Michelle from Quiltmaker 2006 who offers unique quilts, stylish bags, and a myriad of baby items.

Tell us a little about yourself:

My name is Michelle Ronicker and I am currently stationed with my family at Offut Air Force Base in Nebraska. I have 2 boys – a 4 year old and an 18 month old who love to play together and are the reason I started making a lot of my items. I was a military brat for 16 years, and then joined the Ohio ANG for 6 years, and now my husband is serving in the Air Force.

What is your favorite item in your store and why?

My favorite item is the birthday cake quilt because every one turns out different and is one of a kind. They take about 24 hours from start to finish to make.

What is something you can’t live without?

My faith and my family.

When you’re not busy with your store or family stuff, what do you like to do?

I love to be outside, now that my kids are getting older I look forward to taking them hiking and camping.

How do you balance being an Etsy store owner, taking care of your family and any other important things in your life?

I have a very supportive husband and he loves to take the boys out to do “man things” so I can have a break to sew.

How has being a part of the military influenced your craft and your store?

I love anything Red, White, and Blue.

How has being a member of the Homefront Team helped you as an Etsy store owner?

I can get feedback on what others think I can do differently to help with sales.

Be sure to check out next month for our new Featured Artists.

If you are a member of the Homefront Team and would like to be featured artist in the future, be sure to have somewhere in your announcement or profile that you’re a member of the Homefront Team!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Nothing to Be Blue About

Some beautiful wintery blues from the Homefront Team. Enjoy!

Find these featured items at the following links:

mrsdstahl Freezin' for a Reason

blueroomgems London Blue CZ Teardrop and Silver Earrings

camillam Space Alien Bear Set

creativedragonfly Boutique Striped Bowler Hat

jenscraftcorner Retro Dots Key Fob

sygnetcreations Neck Nest

astonesthrow Loretta Pleated Tote

candjjewelry Winter Wonderland Snowman Bracelet

tinystorm Lucky Number Seven Bracelet

theyarnchick Breezy Brimmed Beanie

Monday, November 9, 2009

Homefront Facebook Fan Page Giveaway!

The Homefront Team is having yet another giveaway, this time, it is for the Grand Opening of the Homefront Facebook Fan Page. The is the largest giveaway in the Homefront Team history of giveaways, a large amount of items will be given away to many different winners. The giveaway items value nearly $250 and guess what, the items will be shipped to the winners absolutely free! So, here is how it works.

-Simply sign into your Facebook account.
-Go to the Homefront Facebook Fan Page: or you can go to the Homefront Team Fan Page on the side bar of this blog.
-Click become a fan!

Please Note: Homefront Team Members will not be entered into the giveaway and will not be allowed to win.

It is that simple and you are automatically entered into the giveaway!

Grand Prize will win a box of handmade Homefront Member items valued at $100
First Place Prize will win Handmade Homefront Member items valued at $50
Second Place Prize will win Handmade Homefront Member items valued at $25
Third Place Prize will win Handmade Homefront member items valued at $15
Valued Fan Prizes will vary anywhere from $10 and under.

Now that you know how and what the prize values are, now check out the items!

3LittleBowsBoutique has a set of 2 hair bows and a ponytail bow valued at $10. Also comes in this lovely purple box ready for gift giving.

Creative Details is giving away this unique frame valued at $16, a lovely way to add a modern feel to any room.

The Yarn Chic is giving away one of her unique Knick Knack Keepers valued at $10. She is also currently selling the pattern for these for $4. Make your own gift this year for Christmas!

Papers On Parade has given her one of a kind design photo albums valued at $15. Her own design and a creative way to show off the kids!

Sue Runyon Design is featuring a elegant pair of Fresh Water Pearl and Copper Earrings valued at $10. A classy touch for any outfit!

The Q Store is giving away this adorable Autumn Q Pumpkin valued at $13. Perfect decor for Thanksgiving!

Lilac Ave has given this lovely Christmas tin candle valued at $3. The scent is a AMAZING smell of Bayberry, help bring in the spirit of Christmas with this candle!

Moose Threads has given one of her lovely Ladybug hats valued at $26! This item is one of her signature appliques along with subs and airplanes!

Teri's Treasure is giving away this unique reusable gift pouch valued at $8.99. Resizable and reusable year after year and a easy way for gift giving.

Teri's Treasure has given a set of Gift Tags for your gift giving needs valued at $5. A Christmas signature item for Teri in her shop.

This adorable bracelet could be yours from C&J Jewelry valued at $20! Such a unique piece for wearing or gift giving!

Fray Baby Bibs and More has given this adorable Asian bib valued at $7.50. The minky on the back is so soft and a pleaser for the baby!

Two Seaside Babes has given this amazing, high quality Taupe Scarflette valued at $31! She sells many items to keep you warm this winter with lovely colors to boot!

Paper Perfections is giving away this pack of Preppy Panache Holiday Cards valued at $6. A great way to top off your Christmas gifts by a handmade card by Sarah!

jen harruf has is giving away this adorable Cherry Half Apron valued at $25. Her shop is a must see, starting with her lovely aprons but a smile with the models!

AHeron is giving away an amazing set of Dainties earrings valued at $30.

Creations Anew is giving away 2 paper weights featuring her amazing photos valued at $20.

nikid has given a $20 gift certificate from her mouth watering chocolates and edibles shop! A gift certificate will be emailed to you and you can pick any item up to $20! YUMMY!

A BIG THANK YOU to the shops that have given their items to make this giveaway happen!