Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Playing Chicken With The Mail Man

I don't know where the month of December has gone...wait I do! I've played "chicken" with the mailman everyday! You know the game that you played as a kid, where you tried not being the first to blink or some similar version of it?

Everyday since right after Thanksgiving, sales online have exploded! It's been non stop painting, listing, packing, more painting, each and every day. Every day I would get up and see if I could get all the items that were ready to be shipped packed up and labeled before the mailman would make his stop. Some days I made it, some days I didn't. As you can see by this picture, this was a didn't make it day and meant a trip to the post office.

I hit a few milestones on etsy this past month. 2000 sales came and went! Then I had 100 sales in a week on etsy! So 2100 came and went. And if that wasn't enough another week of 100 sales on etsy!

Of course, I was also selling on ebay, artfire and my own website! Things have been crazy to say the least! On last count we shipped 313 packages containing 415 items. That's a lot of packing tape, foam wrapping and shipping labels printed.

Etsy has been extremely good to me this November and December. I had only 4 mishaps. Two signs went to the incorrect customers. Thankfully I was aware of it immediately and was able to correct it. One personalized sign had the name spelled wrong...again was able to right that one too. The last one was in my haste of sign stenciling, seems as if I omitted a word on a sign...sigh! That one is being corrected and will reshipped tomorrow. I guess it's not too bad considering the craziness that the past 3 weeks have been.

Anyway, I would like to take the time to thank all my customers that purchased from me this selling season. You allow me to do something that I love and still be home for my family...even if a few nights dinners were PB&J.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another Box of Swap Goodies Came!

I participated in a swap that Parsley over at Seasons of my Mind was hosting. This was a really fun swap to do as you got to pick which theme you wanted. Fall/Thanksgiving or Christmas/Winter. I picked Christmas as I go straight from Halloween decorating right into Christmas....ok, so I confess, my halloween stuff stays out til mid December. That's when we get our fresh cut Christmas tree and the holiday online sales rush of orders has subsided a bit.

My swap came from Anne over at Phamily blog. Anne sent me the cutest lil apron that her friend Barb made. Anne picked out the fabric in Denver and sent it to her friend Barb in California. Barb apparently burned out 2 sewing machines whipping up the apron, and once finished she sent it back to Anne.

There was also a sweet handmade snowman ornie for my tree. Some yummy hot chocolate and cinnamon coffee and a new Christmas mug to drink it out of. My youngest, Ian tried to lay claim to the Lindor Truffles that Anne also included in the box. I told him to back away from the chocolate before he got hurt! LOL! And to top it off there was a box of candy canes. That will save me the trip of looking for them. Last year I had a hard time finding the peppermint ones. The stores had all those different flavored ones, but they just aren't candy canes to me.

I really love everything that Anne has sent and we have already sent emails back and forth. Cute story to make this swap even more memorable...Anne contacted me through my blog in a panic. Her hubby was in charge of getting the packages off and Anne thought he sent me the wrong things! She was in a panic, but alas, her hubby did good. He only forgot to include her hand written note to me. Anne is such a sweety for fretting so much over this...I don't know who would have been more surprised, me or the little child with cancer that the other package went to, who btw, would have looked very stylish in the new Christmas apron.

Anne, thank you again for everything. I will wear my apron as I make my family's Thanksgiving dinner this Thursday.

Be sure to stop over to Parsley's blog to check out the swap party we are having today.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It Was Just Like Christmas

This afternoon after the postman delivered 3 packages to my house....and they were all for ME! YeeHaw!

Here are the goodies I got from my blog swap that Valerie over atYorkies Primitives was hosting. Jennifer over at the Busy Bee blog was my swap partner. Jen sent the cutest gingerbreads tied together with a cheesecloth strip and a little jingle bell was added. Now how did Jen know that I love gingerbread? Jen also sent a set of three colorful bobbins tied with a fabric bow and topped off with a coffee stained hangtag that says "Christmas Bobbins".

Also in the package were 3 Christmas tree ornies... a snowman head, a red star and a scrabble tile ornie that said Joy. Isn't that cool and creative? I gotta say that the package that Jen sent was all wrapped so pretty in red checked gingham tissue...I almost didn't want to open in, but of course, anticipation won out. Thank you Jen for being a wonderful swap partner. I love all that you have sent.

Next up are my ornie swap goodies from the swap that Wendy over at Ravenwood Whimzies hosted. I got my swap from Judy at Prim2Pink. I gotta say that the smells coming from the package even before I opened it were divine. I don't know what the postman thought when I smelled the package when he handed it to me! Oh well, he probably wouldn't have gotten it, even if I explained it! Judy sent a perfectly prim gingerbread ornie and a shabby chic angel cookie cutter that she crackled and painted some sweet little rosebuds on. Thanks Judy for the great swap. I can't wait to put my ornies on my tree, but of course still have a few weeks to wait as we get a fresh cut tree.

And this little cutie I purchased from Norhtwindstar's etsy shoppe. Lex made the cutest reindeer ornie. If you haven't popped over to her etsy shoppe to check out her goodies, you really won't be disappointed.

And OMG! When I saw these cute, cute snowmen, I just had to buy them. They even sit independently. I can't wait til I start decorating for Christmas...won't be but a few more weeks as I gotta get through the mad rush of Christmas orders from online shoppers. Hopefully this year proves to be just as fruitful as last year and so far, it's pretty much on track.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Did You Know That's It's Not Allowed

This isn't the post I had intended on making today but after reading in the etsy forums, I thought it would be good to share the information that was there.

How many of us bloggers have websites? How many of us do online drawings? Now you are saying what does one have to do with the other? Hmmmm....I didn't think much either but they do!

After reading this forum thread I was surprised to learn that if you offer a chance at winning something, making a purchase a condition, paypal may shut you down! WOW! Who would have thought that paypal monitors transactions, but apparently they do!

I think most bloggers are ok with how they do their giveaways, but ones that give an extra chance if there is a purchase from a website, selling blog, etc, may be flirting with disaster. Who knew?

I know that I am now rethinking my marketing strategy for my website now. How about any of you?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Huge Giveaway at The Rusty Thimble Only 3 More Ornies To Go!

If you haven't read by now, Brenda at The Rusty Thimble is having a huge giveaway. Brenda is giving away 12 handmade ornies to one lucky winner!

There's a santa...Isn't he a cutie? Santa baby, hurry down the chimney tonight! Oh looking at these ornies are just making me want to sing Christmas tunes, so bear with me!

And a snowman....Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...somewhere else right now, after the 80+ inches of snow last winter, I will be glad to see none of the white stuff!

And the sweetest little gingerbread man....looks so good I just wanna take a bite. But the gingerbread man says...Run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me I'm the gingerbread man!

And a santa in a how did that story go...oh yeah...and the stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes of St, Nicholas would soon be there...

And what's Christmas without a tree? O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree...speaking of which, can't wait to drag the family around the Christmas tree farm this's a highlight of our Christmas season! LOL!

And another snowman in a pocket...he looks like he's ready to go...Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh....

Oh these next 2 are too cute too...a sweet gingerbread face and another snowman....hmmm let's see this one is gonna be harder...can't wait to bake Christmas cookies with the middle son, it's been a tradition for at least the past 10 years for us. And I would say I can't wait for the boys to make their first snowman of the year, but yes I can! LOL!

Ok, so back to the giveaway...If Brenda reaches 100 enteries, she's giving this cutie away! So come on, whatcha still sitting there for, hop on over to Brenda's giveaway and enter.

And if everything that is being given away isn't enough to tempt you, Brenda being the generous soul that she is, is giving a 2nd place prize. This neat snowman makedo.

And if all the wonderful prizes already mentioned weren't enough, Brenda is also giving away this cute little reindeer to the 3rd place winner...rudolph the red nosed reindeer, had a very shiney nose and if you ever saw it you would even say it glowed...Oh wait...sorry about that.

So I gotta ask you now, have you popped over to Brenda's blog to enter this mega giveaway?
Deadline is November 30th...lucky winners announced December 1st.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Be Sure To Check Out These Gals Wares

OMG, these are just too cute! Pat at Ahlcoopedup had posted these to her blog and I decided I just had to buy a set. They came packaged up just like a little present.

I haven't decided where or how I am going to use these little santa hats yet. They may go in a bowl and be used as bowl fillers or I may use them on my Christmas tree, that's of course once I drag the family from tree to tree at the Christmas tree farm, only to return back to the first one I liked! Heehee!

Pat also has a shoppe on etsy where she sells her handmades at too. Be sure to check out what else delightful things Pat has sewn up for the holiday season.

I bought these 2 cuties from Northwindstar on etsy. Alexandria is the sweetest to deal with. The little gingerbread gal is so delicious smelling...almost wanted to take a bite of her. I have a place already picked out for them...just need to get the hubby to start making my new shelf for me first!

If you're looking for some nicely made prims, be sure to check these gals out...just click on the links.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I've Always Wondered How....

sellers in online businesses got their names for their websites. I know that mine evolved out of where we use to live.

In 1990, we moved to a small rural town about 25 miles outside Baltimore into what was a converted ice house. The house that we rented for 14 years was much like the one in the top picture. It was a ice house in it's former farm life and sometime along the way, it was converted into a house.

From what I recall of the history of the farm that it was on, the farm was established in 1905 with a grand mansion, a carriage house, barn and an ice house. I'm sure that many, many other out buildings existed on the property at some point, but with time and neglect they weren't in existence in 1990.

The house we lived in, and I can't believe that I don't have a full picture of the darn thing, was made into a split level. The original ice house side had 24" stone walls on the bottom, with a clapboard shingled second story. That side was completed sometime during the Great Depression as some family member ran onto hard luck and needed a place to live. The other side of the house was added sometime in the 50's to make the house a split level.

We had a concrete kitchen floor over the pit area, which is a prominent feature of ice houses, shown in the second picture and below the kitchen area, there was a sub basement with a wooden floor and below that was an area we called "the pit". The pit would be used to store ice that was skimmed off a river but most likely a pond to aid in keeping perishable foods fresh...remember this was before the days of refrigeration, when the refrig was very accurately called the icebox.

The sub basement of the house has some history of it's own. When the second half of the home was added in the early 50's being the practical, scared Americans that the family was at the time, they created a bomb shelter under that concrete kitchen floor. It was amazing to me to see just what level of preparedness, that those hardy farm folk would go to.

Anyway, when I started selling online on ebay, I needed a name, so I came up with IceHouseCrafts. I now use that name for etsy, my ebay, artfire, my website and my blog. I know somewhat quirky but it works for me. I'd love to hear how everybody else came up with their business names.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Etsy Treasuries

I've been included in some awesome treasuries this past week on etsy with such diverse themes. My fellow etsians are so very creative...
If you have some time to stop by and take a peek at a few of them. Just click on the links.

Gifts from Jersey
Jack Frost's Gift Guide

Will Men Ever Grow up?
Gifts for the Diva

Thanks to each of the curators that made the wonderfully interesting treasuries. It is most appreciated.

The Twelve Ornies At The Rusty Thimble Giveaway

Ok, y'all need to hurry over to The Rusty Thimble blog as Brenda is having the most awesome giveaway this month...12 primlicious Christmas ornies....Now how neat is that?

If the giveaway reaches 100 folks, Brenda is throwing in an extra...that's right on top of the already awesome giveaway, she's gonna giveaway more if she makes her goal. So what do ya say? Pop on over and enter for a chance to win. Oh and be on the look out cause there are 9 more ornies to be unveiled over the upcoming weeks.

And Brenda is hard at work making new things for her upcoming sale. She's working so hard, even a drillbit through her finger isn't keeping her from working. And I gotta tell you, that I bought some things from Brenda's last sale and the quality is topnotch and the snowmen are just too cute!

To pop over to Brenda's blog to sign up, either click on the link in this post or on the link on my sidebar about the giveaway.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Punkin Carving and Trick Or Treaters

Yesterday Ian and I carved our pumpkin. I'm surprised that it made it til Halloween as the squirrels have been nibbling on it here and there.

We decided to do Jack from the Nightmare Before Christmas. This pumpkin was really pulpy inside. Ian gave up on cleaning it after awhile and I had to finish.

Living in a neighborhood with 1400+ homes the night starts early. Our neighborhood is very generous with candy and many, many kids from the city come to our neighborhood to trick or treat.

Ian decided at the last minute this year he wanted to dress up, so we threw together a hobo costume for him. He manned handing out the candy at the start of the evening.

Our neighbor David across the street, had set up a spider web, along with a spider that he could "drop" on the unsuspecting trick or treaters as they made their way across the lawns.

This is our neighbor, Chris, who was dressed as a lawyer. Apparently I was being served a complaint on being a stingy neighbor...Settlement to resolve the complaint was 4 pieces of candy! LOL!

See the judge in his regal get up? That's Chris' dad, Steve. He was on hand to render any verdict that needed to be made. In real life Steve is a lawyer! LOL!

We had some of the cutest little trick or treaters. This little guy was so cute. He came up on the porch and told me "trick or tweet"! LOL!

We usually give out candy til about 7 then head off to a party at a friends house. Good Italian food, way to much wine and always a good time.

And as usual Daniella's party was spectacular!