Monday, January 31, 2011

Crowns, Crowns, Crowns and More Crowns

I've been thinking about Valentine's Day items for my Etsy Shop and I'm busily at work. Making crowns, crowns, crowns (it was wands, wands, wands, but I needed a break.) These crowns really sell well at Wonderment, the shop I wholesale to in Minneapolis, but not so well online. How do you get across the tactile feel of knitted wool over the internet? How they fit so comfortably and fit such a wide variety of ages etc. My photos are pretty basic and I "try" to have my son Sam model for me, but they always look a bit goofy. I've decided to try a professional photographer my ceramist friend Emily uses for photographing her work.

Sam looking goofy in crown or sterile crown all by it's lonesome - you decide.

The prospect of professional photos is exciting, but a little daunting since I don't really know how to describe what I want. My son will be modeling the "boy" crowns and my niece the "girl" crowns and hopefully some new garland wreaths I'm presently working on. Sarah, the photographer, suggested to find white tops that would be a appropriate styles for crowns as they might show in the photos. Well, let me tell you that idea was a fun one to pursue. I began at Etsy of course (I took the handmade pledge after all) and found this pirate shirt for Sam and this peasant top for Anya. They'll will look so cute, especially if they follow Sarah's directions (cross your fingers for me.)

It's funny but I felt a little out of place asking a photographer to take photos of my crowns and wands as they are only toys after all. Strange how you can downplay yourself so easily. I have my MFA in Metal Arts from years ago and I don't feel that's the road for me anymore, but it still seems like it's more important than making toys. Yet, I LOVE making toys. I wonder when I'll let the old image go of Art being more important than Craft. Hmm...I didn't think I'd wax so philosophical at the start of writing this post I wonder what happened.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Silk Ribbon Debate

So, I was chatting with my husband yesterday while stitching up an order of magic wands about ribbon. He was mentioning that if I'm going to the trouble to use all plant dyed wool yarn and felt and natural wool roving that it seems a shame to then add polyester ribbon. I had to agree, but silk ribbon just seemed too extravagant not to mention expensive.

Well, like all modern day people I let my fingers do the walking over the internet in search of some answers. It turns out that yes, silk ribbon is more expensive but not prohibitively so and it does come in almost all the colors I currently use and in the same width. Now, I find myself debating whether or not I should purchase some and if I should use it on all my wands, just a few of my most popular or have 2 different lines one all natural with silk ribbon and one almost all natural with polyester ribbon. Off hand, I would say I'd have to raise my costs by about a dollar a wand. Do you think it would be worth it to people to have a completely natural toy magic wand? I love the idea, but wonder if the added expensive would turn people off. If you could voice in your opinion I would sure appreciate it!