I love Etsy

Yesterday morning I received an Etsy message from someone who really likes my Santa ornaments, but wanted something a little bigger that could stand on its own. I was happy to oblige, because new challenges are always fun! I wasn’t sure exactly how tall they wanted it, but I worked on it in the afternoon/evening, and came up with this and hoped it was about right:

Custom needle felted free standing Santa Claus sculpture by Lynn's Lids

I then created a reserved listing (you can see it here – scroll down) and sent the person a link. And just like that, it was sold! I packaged it up, and thanks to Canada Post, I printed the shipping label at home, and the package is ready to be sent tomorrow. All in a day! I love Etsy for the wider audience it gives my fibre art, although not so much for the hats. And I love that folks feel free to request custom items. I’m usually up for new challenges. It makes things a little more interesting.

Square credit card readerSpeaking of things I love in this little business of mine, Square is definitely one of them. If you are a small business person for whom it doesn’t make sense for you to carry the monthly cost of a debit machine (occasional events or just in the holiday season), the Square credit card reader is excellent. It allows you to take Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and JCB cards by attaching the little reader to your smartphone’s earphone jack. I’ve been using it since summer and have had no problems with it. They charge 2.75% per transaction but that’s it. No monthly, no per transaction fee. And they deposit into your bank account in 2 business days. It is a total game changer.  I’ve noticed that other companies are just starting to catch up with Square, but I think they’re probably too late. The vast majority of small business owners I know use Square. 

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Sneak Peek for Holiday in the Hood

I put the photographer in the house to work last night, photographing a few of the things I’ve made for this weekend’s sale. I thought you might like a sneak peek here:

Snowmen ornaments by Lynn's Lids
Snow people ornaments
Sheepy Orb ornaments by Lynn's Lids
Sheepy Orb ornaments
Lynn's Lids Baker Boy with Flower in cognac
Baker Boy with Flower in cognac
Lynn's Lids Cadet Cap in olive
This colour begged to be a Cadet Cap
Lynn's Lids Earflap hat
Earflap hat
Lynn's Lids Original Cloche with flower in chocolate brown
Lynn’s Lids Original Cloche with flower in chocolate brown
Custom Lynn's Lids Original Cloche in black
Custom Lynn’s Lids Original Cloche in black
Lynn's Lids Striped Toque in black and rust
Striped Toque in black and rust
Lynn's Lids Smaller Flat Brim in chocolate brown
Smaller Flat Brim in chocolate brown

Everything you always wanted to know about craftspeople (but were afraid to ask)

A good read about craftspeople from a fellow Toronto craftsperson (and neighbour of an old friend!):

musings and inspiration from the studio of Red Thread Design

As I prepare for the opening of the One of a Kind Show & Sale*, which begins next week in Toronto, I’m looking forward to seeing the work of hundreds of other craftspeople, or more broadly, makers; artists, designers, cooks, small-scale entrepreneurs.  It’s energizing being in a room with so many people who have similar aspirations and challenges.  Some people work alone and others have partners or staff who contribute to certain aspects. Some approach this work as art, and others as business, but even though our products and goals vary we have a lot in common.

Many people who appreciate handmade goods wonder about the lives of the people who make them.  For those wonderful people who support us and are genuinely curious about this unusual way of making a living, here are my completely subjective top ten facts about career craftspeople:

1. It’s a tough way to…

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Ornaments

Lynn's Lids Skull ToqueThis week is mostly about ornaments, as I prepare for 2 days at Earl Beatty’s Holiday in the Hood. It’s not that I’m not making anything else, it’s just that dryer balls take several (3-6) days to dry, once felted, and hats can take 3 days to block/dry, so they both have to be finished in advance, since there’s still another step for each after they are dry. I did, however, knit up a last minute hat yesterday and it’s just felting. A fellow vendor I saw this weekend who wears a skull toque (see right) suggested one in an earflap hat, so that’s blocking now. Hopefully ready in time for Saturday!

Yesterday I finished a batch of Father Christmas ornaments. The steps to that process are:

1. Needle felt the body blobs in natural white wool.

2. Dye the bodies with food dye or Kool-Aid, rinse well.

3. Let dry for a day or so.

4. Needle felt the details.

Lynn's Lids needle felted hand-dyed Father Christmas ornaments - Nov 19 batch

I’m particularly pleased with the red I got with this batch. It was a mixture of Tropical Fruit Punch and Cherry Kool-Aid and it’s a lovely bright but nicely saturated red. Just what Father Christmas calls for!

My desk is currently covered in white felted balls, ready for creating snowmen ornaments. Must get to work!

Posterama

This week was apparently the week to release holiday sale posters. It looks like maybe I should make a few more skull toques, and make sure I’m stocked up on ornaments! Check it out (click on the posters for more information):

Holiday in the Hood - Earl Beatty PS

The Artisan Social

Movies & Makers

CBC Employees' Charity Craft Sale

And this didn’t come out this week but I might as well round it out with the Toronto Etsy Street Team poster:

Toronto Etsy Street Team Christmas Marketplace

Sneak peeks at upcoming markets

I wanted to pass on that the TEST Christmas Marketplace has a look book out and you can check out the vendors who will be joining me there on December 14 at the Church of Saint Stephen-in-the-Fields (103 Bellevue Ave @ College St. in the Kensington Market neighbourhood) from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Also, I spent a little time pinning this afternoon and made up a CBC Employees’ Charity Craft Sale Pinterest board, if you’re thinking about coming to that one on Thursday, December 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the CBC Atrium. There are a lot of vendors there and quite a variety of lovely wares to be had. Vendor fees will benefit local food banks.

Next stop for me is Earl Beatty’s Holiday in the Hood. Not this weekend but the next one.

If you’re a Facebook person, a few of my upcoming events are here:

If you’re a Pinterest person, check out a sampling the various vendor wares at my upcoming events here:

And I have yet to make a Pinterest board for the Toronto Etsy Street Team Marketplace on December 14, but I’ll post it when I do!

Etsy local!

Lynn's Lids FrankenhatSo you know how I made a map of the sales I’d be attending? Well, it turns out I didn’t need to! Etsy has a thing called Etsy Local, where you can join all of the local events you’re attending. Mine are all listed, on a map, here: www.etsy.com/ca/local/shop/lynnslids

If you’re looking for your favourite vendor’s events, just replace my shop name in the link above with theirs.

Yesterday was the Toronto Indie Arts Market at the Gladstone Hotel. It was a great event with very nice attendees and the Gladstone is a lovely venue. I said goodbye to one of my favourite hats: the Frankenhat (see right). It’s a little sad to see the very original one-of-a-kind hats go, but it’s a gift for a Frankenstein super fan, so it’s going to a good home. I hope it keeps her warm and smiling!

I had fun setting up as I have a lot more ornaments than I’ve had for other sales. Check them out below.