Monday, May 31, 2010

International Hanseatic Days in Pärnu

As you may know, I'm preparing for International Hanseatic Days which will be held in Pärnu, 25th-27th June.

I ordered a baby booties pattern for making some pairs for my niece, but ended up sewing them to the fair also. I found a seamstress who is helping me and first 20 pairs are ready.
I love them! Now need to figure out how to decorate the booties. Maybe some embroidery and fabric flowers, what do you think?

 Soon I'll make a blog post for postcard swap and you all can link your blog posts there! I know that most of you already sent the card and maybe some have also received it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Moodboard: Rain

Raining cloud by atelierpompadour, purple rain journal by Kreativlink, rain drop earrings by vantidesigns, watercolour personalised print by chichiboulie.

After a week of sunshine it's rainy in Estonia. It's cold. No, it's freezing! And that's why my moodboard looks rainy too.

My laptop is still broken and I can't blog as much as before, but addresses for European Postcard Swap has been sent and I know that some of you already finished your postcards too! I'm going to make mine in next few days.

I'm preparing for International Hanseatic Days in Pärnu. I haven't participated in such a big event before and I want everything to be perfect. Ordered item tags from Singapure, thinking how to make paper bags, how much inventory I have and so on. Only one month left!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Announcement about postcard swap

My laptop broke this week and you won't hear from me in next few days, I don't have access to internet. Hopefully I'll get new laptop next week.

Everyone who sent their addresses for postcard swap: may I ask you to do it again?
I hope I can restore my mailbox from old laptop, but just to be sure no one will be missed.
People are still welcome to participate. More information here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pimp up your item photos

I just read Mouse's post about how to get Etsy sales you want and got a lot of inspiration for improving my store.

Woolmint is a brand new shop, but I've been on Etsy for at least two years and I believe I have some experience, although I still have a lot to learn.

Last year my biggest goal was making eye-catching photos. If you create tiny items, it’s not such a problem, but with knits it can be rather hard to make it stand out.
Biggest thing I learned was that you don’t have to show whole product on your thumbnail photo.
But I did it for a long time.

Great example is my neck warmers. I used a mannequin for photographing them. Here's the first photo I made:

 The photo is fine, you see what you’ll get, but for reaching next level (which was getting featured in treasuries, blogs, etc) it didn’t work. Looks kind of boring, right?

So I took a neck warmer, curled it up, added some pearls, used two lamps (I took them off from wall for turning them on the way I needed) for getting good light and made a photo that features only one edge of the neck warmer.

After using it as a thumbnail photo I got more views, features and sales. I sold around 20 neck warmers before Christmas and people wanted to order more, but I just didn’t have enough time for all custom orders.

Second thing I learned was getting out from home. Natural light works best for me, if it’s not too sunny or too cloudy day.

There are so many inspiring things outside – old benches, historical buildings, green grass and blue sky. Find what’s perfect for you and make it work.
I live in apartment, I don’t have my own garden, but I often took a bag of fingerless gloves and found a place where to photograph them. Sometimes it was funny to sit on a bench and make photos of my own hand (when I didn’t have a model to use), people walking by and thinking what you’re doing. But it pays off!
Before and after:

I know people have different opinions for using real models for photographing clothing.
I’m in favor of using a model for my knits. I do have a mannequin, but if people are buying with their, eyes, they usually want to see how the garment keeps shape and so on. And for me it’s better to improve my designs if a real person is wearing it, I see details, their weak and strong sides.

I’ve never had a problem with it. I’m sure there are people who won’t buy from me because of it, but no one ever told anything about it. And I’ve sold most of my knits.
Also, my items intend to get more on the treasuries (and to FB) if they are photographed like this.
Before and after:

I know I still have a lot of work to do for getting great images. Sometimes it's hard to find time, but lets be hones: if you don't invest your skills and time into your shop, it will never pay your bills.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Baby sneakers ready

After two days I spent with my sewing machine we kind of understand each other :)

Today I made a pair of booties that I'm satisfied with. I added a crocheted flower and small button and it looks more cute, don't you think?
I already ordered another tutorial from the same seller and can't wait for making some pairs of Mary Jane booties too. I have two small nieces who would appreciate having a pair like this and sewing is a great alternation for knitting.

But I faced some major problems. For example, I did't have suitable scissors for cutting fabric. Now I bought them, plus also a washable pen for drawing on the fabric.
And I lost all my needles! After I learned how to do slip stitch, all my needles were missing. So I made a pin cushion.

Now we're going to visit my grandmother, for celebrating a Mother's Day. And I have some parcels to ship too.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Treasury inspired by Jenny Joseph

Treasury thing on Etsy has changed a lot and it's kind of weird to make whenever you wish. No more sleepless nights for catching one :)
This is my first Treasury East and it's inspired by English poet Jenny Joseph. Once she wrote a poem:

"When I am an old woman I shall wear purple, With a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me, And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves, And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter."

Here is my definition of red hats, satin sandals and summer gloves, plus a bit more of my favorites. Sorry, no brandy this time!

From the beginning: SmilingKnitting, iragrant, afra, Stemellina, momochas, HouseofNinesDesign, Periay, ThongbaiTatong, homelab, Arctida, cookieletta, annarubyking, HappyHuismus, lacravatteduchien, creationsbyeve and tizzalicious.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

First serious sewing

I bought a sewing machine 6 years ago. I've used it twice for sewing lining to crocheted bags. Very simple thing, just 3 straight seams.
If to consider that, I'm not very good at sewing. I'm terrible at sewing! Or maybe I'm not, I just haven't tried :)

Now I'm going to do something that will boost up my skills. Hopefully :)
I bought a baby booties pattern from sewingwithme7 and I'm actually going to make them!
She stated that it's suitable for beginners and the pattern is great, with photos and everything, but I'm still a bit sceptical.
I would like to try it now, but I have no fabric in home.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

European postcard swap “Positive thinking”

We all love to get postcards, don’t we?  Then let’s make a swap!

The idea of positive thinking postcard swap is simple- to make someone else happy by sending handmade postcard with wonderful wishes.

How it’s working?

First let me know that you want to participate- e-mail me your post address to Do it by May 16th. Please also add your Etsy username, if possible!

I’ll find you a swap partner and e-mail his/hers address by May 20th.

Now it’s time to make a postcard! Use your creativity and imagination. There are no limitations for the size or technique used.
Add some positive thoughts or wonderful wishes. Feel free to come up with something your own or use help of famous quotes.

After you’re done, it’s time to post it! Please do it on May 28th latest.

Please let me know if you received your postcard! I’m sure it won’t happen, but if something gets lost, we can organize another positive postcard and no one will be left with empty mailbox.

Who can participate?

This swap is mostly meant for Etsy European Street Team members, but if anyone else from Europe would like to participate, it’s fine too! We are friendly :)
For sharing the wishes and cards you received, please blog about it! I’ll organize a link box where we can gather all blog posts.

Have questions?
Contact me by e-mail
Or simply leave a comment!

Viltalakim pointed out the right thing: please, add a real stamp to your postcard instead of bar code, if possible! It looks much nicer on a postcard :)

Photo by European Street Team member matilou.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The story of hand warmers and lacy beret

We made some new photos today, although I faced some major problems.
My Canon doesn't cooperate with me any more. There's something wrong with auto focus and most photos were foggy. Fortunately Photoshop makes wonders and saved the day.

This is one of my favorite photos of beret and hand warmers.
It's a bit sad to sell them, because I kind of fell in love with this set. But sorry, pink is just not my color (In case you wonder, my best friend is modeling for me, this is not me on the photo. She looks good in pink).

They're made from one of my new favorite yarns, Koigu Mori. Lot of knitters consider having a ball of Koigu as a dream came true and so do I!
This hand painted merino and silk mix is super soft and so cozy next the skin.
It's interesting to know that despite of Canadian background, Koigu is managed and owned by Estonians. The founder of company, Taiu Landra moved to Canada very very long time ago and now her daughter Taiu is working for yarn brand also. Taiu found me on Facebook and we've chatted a bit, they're very warm and friendly people!

I sewed little fabric flowers to hand warmers on last minute, they looked kind of boring without some details.

If I ever sell the set, I'll donate half of the items cost to charity. We have big campaign here for buying a new boat to one of our best male rowers, who wish to compete in London Olympics in 2012. In last Olympics he got a silver, next time he's after gold of course!
I like to support him, because rowing is very close to my hears. Lots of my friends are rowers and I do indoor  rowing twice a week. It's so happy to support someone who has big dreams and motivation for making them true.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Monday Moodboard: Colorful

1) Wool felted beads by StemellinaSupplies
2) Long spring neclace by aysetugrul 
3) Adjustable ring by momochas 
4) Yarn wrapped stacking bangles by mysticfibres

It's bright and sunny day in Estonia.
My monday moodboard is inspired by green grass, colorful flours and beautiful blue sky.
Gorgeous items on the photos are made by my dear European Street Team friends. See more at fleurfatale's blog!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Let's make friends :)

I have been running this blog for years but I just realized you don't know much about me besides knitting, right?
So please, let me be a bit selfish today and write about myself.
I always enjoy features and interviews with creative people, it's nice to know who are behind the usernames I've used to see in forums.
I promise, I'll keep it short :) You already know my passion about knitting and I'll skip this step.

* My name is Anniki, but most friends call me just Ann.
* I work as a journalist. My prime employer is a regional newspaper, but I work for international event magazine too and once in a while I pack my luggage and fly to report from different countries mainly in Europe, but sometimes from Asia too. No one has asked us to come to US, sad :)
* I love running. It's not a hobby, it's a lifestyle. My goal is to participate in a marathon someday. Yep, 42 kilometers! First I had to do it this autumn, but I'm not in a best shape at the moment and next few months will show if I'll do it now or next year. If I don't run, I do indoor rowing.
* Besides running myself, I organize running events. At the moment I'm busy with preparing two running summer camps.
* I love baking. Bread, cakes, pies - just name it and I can make it for you! Tortillas and pasta is my second obsession, if it comes to cooking.
* I'm passionate about motorbikes. I don't own one myself, but I have friends who do :)
* Sometimes I spend my weekends at nightclubs, shooting photos for websites. Photography is my biggest hobby.
* I recycle and I'm a fan of green living.
* I love handmade clothes, bags and accessories. I can browse Etsy for hours :)

And last but not least- I have adorable son, almost 5 years old. He plays football and is addicted to computer games, although I don't let him to play much.

Please, write some lines about yourself too :) I would be happy to know more of people who are reading here!