#WeBeTEST update, class, SALE & more!

I blogged last year about the benefits of challenges, but I didn’t really have those in mind when I came up with the #WeBeTEST instagram intro challenge. However, as challenges tend to be, I think this one is great for the participants… starting on that first day! The stories that Toronto Etsy Street Team makers have shared, and photos (I particularly loved the workspace, tools, and supplies ones!) and Sunday’s posts about teammates (since it was Valentine’s Day the prompt was: show your love for a teammate – most of us couldn’t just pick one!) have just been so great:

Day 14: TEST (Toronto Etsy Street Team) Favorite. Why have one favorite when I can have four? We all know how much I love my women. #WeBeTEST @fitzydesign because it's been exciting watching her grow! She's really honed in her leatherwork skills, and I'm always excited to witness people's success! @clayshapes has my favorite little dishes, and I love what she does with leaves. It's also thrilling to see her life change from being a world-travelling journalist into a successful artisan. @carolyndraws is one of the cheeriest people I talk to at shows, and even though she's a self-described "hockey mom" and her work is sweet and a bit hokey, she has an unexpected badass streak, and I love that. @shibangdesigns makes the cut not only because she makes beautiful work, but because of our ties to Nova Scotia. I didn't even know she had relocated to Toronto until #WeBeTEST began (the last I heard she was in Vancouver). When she left Halifax, she unloaded a TON of scrap fabric and art supplies on me, and it was exciting for me and generous of her.

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Today’s prompt was maker video, which I believe most of the members have never done, so it was particularly challenging. Today I saw people cutting, spraying, felting, binding, folding, assembling, glueing, wrapping, sewing, painting, polishing, rolling, pinching, shaping, trimming, knitting, crocheting, printing, packaging, a stop-motion, a day in the life, studios, process… These are just so fun! Here are a couple:

And my absolute favourite is this one, which is now on Lisa Young Design’s About page!

Jenny Lee Shee did a video but couldn’t get it onto Instagram so she skipped that step and put it straight onto her Etsy About page! These last two are extra exciting for me since one of the goals was for people to have some material for their About page video, and for 2 teammates, that goal has been met!

Another great point to make is that I know that a few people have joined the team because of this challenge – how great is that? And a few people have created an instagram account and started posting regularly because of this challenge! Check out @bubynoa and her amazing and super soft handmade stuffies – this post (below) from Day 2 name/brand:

Okay, so #WeBeTEST. Check it out if you are on instagram, but if not, I have made a Pinterest board which has just about everything, with the exception of a few on day 1 (I didn’t think to make an automated board until the end of the day) and the videos, which it appears Pinterest doesn’t do, or IFTTT doesn’t do, so you’ll just have to use the instagram link and check them out there. Sorry about that.

In other news, I have another needle felting 101 class scheduled just before Easter (Thursday, March 24, 7-9pm at The Purple Purl) when we will be making this adorable bunny:

Call The Purple Purl to reserve: 416 463 1162

In other Instagram news, I did the #MondayMashup #MeetTheVendor account takeover yesterday at @ArtsMarket, which was pretty fun! I captured all of those posts on a Pinterest board as well, if you’re interested. The most popular post of the day was one of Fineghan, a commissioned gift for Fineghan’s family:

The 2016 #100nfornaments challenge is over 1/4 finished already! So far, this one is the most popular of the bunch (and the quickest sold item I’ve ever listed on Etsy!):

And, finally, since I’m having a sale at the Arts Market (10% off everything for the month of February) where I have just filled my booth with hats and more, I decided I would extend that online as well! So there is a coupon code for my Etsy shop for 10% off for the rest of February. Use 10FEB2016 for your discount on all items, of which there are quite a few right now, including what you see below:

 

 

Needle felting class, Arts Market sale & Instagram

First of all, a quick note to let you know that I believe there are a couple of spots left in this Thursday’s Needle Felting 101 class at The Purple Purl where we will be making a wee love bear. We did the class this past week and had oodles of fun:

beginner needle felting class

Also, you should check out the Arts Market in Leslieville at 1114 Queen St. E. as some of the artisans, myself included, are having a Cabin Fever February sale with 10% off all of our products! I have a great assortment of wind- and water-resistant hats as well as tea and coffee cosies, and a few ornaments, too!

artsmarketstorefront

Onto the TWO Instagram challenges!

I enjoyed the #100nfornaments challenge so much last year that when I felt completely burnt out in the new year, I knew I needed a bit of a kick in the pants to get going, so I’m doing it all over again! I’ve added a few new things this year, including monsters:

Day 13 of #100nfornaments is a coral monster! Seriously loving making the monsters.

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Day 12 of #100nfornaments is a spikey blue monster. I knew I made that cotton candy colour for a reason!

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And wire wrapped feet for my birds so I now have free-standing ornaments as well as hanging ones:

I made the standing hen a hanging friend! #100nfornaments

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I love pairing them up! #100nfornaments

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It’s early on (in the first 2 weeks) and I know that I will likely hit a wall around day 50 but it has given me the motivation to get back to work after a tiring and long December.

The next challenge is a group thing that I cooked up a few nights ago. I was wanting to do a collaborative challenge and thought that the Toronto Etsy Street Team members would be good collaborators. So I figured a meet the makers/behind the scenes/introduction challenge would be good. I proposed it on Friday night and got an extremely enthusiastic response. I’ve got a good number of participants joining in, and it starts tomorrow! If you are on Instagram, check us out at the hashtag #WeBeTEST (people who know me well will know that I did not come up with that name – I have a BA(honours) in linguistics and have been accused of being a “semantic warrior” on occasion, but it’s short, fun, cheeky and catchy) and get to know the makers of the Toronto Etsy Street Team.

The #WeBeTEST challenge is for the entire month of February and includes the following prompts:

#WeBeTEST 29 day Instagram Intro Challenge prompts
From my blog post over at torontoetsystreetteam.blogspot.ca

I look forward to seeing all of the creative posts from our team members! And I hope you’ll check us out!

(Note: I am not a team leader or captain, I just come up with some good ideas so they let me post to the blog every once in a while. If you have questions for the Toronto Etsy Street Team, please direct them to the team here.)

New website & new hats!

Well, it’s been a looooooong time coming, but I finally have my very own e-commerce site! Please check it out at www.lynnslids.com (or use the linked logo to the right)!

You may notice that I put a few items up there that are “sold out” – sorry about that. It’s being used to showcase my works for an application to a show, so I need as much of my work up there as possible, and want to make sure it gets found. However, you can order custom hats, tea cosies, or even ornaments at any time.

Next up: the Leslieville Flea. I’ll be back at the Fermenting Cellar for Sunday, January 18 and Sunday, February 22 (and possibly March, but some other plans may hinder that) 10am-4pm. I hope to bring at least 1 of each style that I currently make, so if you want to come and try on all of the styles, January 18, 10am-4pm at the Fermenting Cellar is the place to be! I will be including one that I’ve only made for a custom order (this is the custom order. I have yet to felt the one I’m bringing) which the customer described as a watch cap:

Lynn's Lids hand knit, felted wool watch cap

I will have a bowler, a flat brim, a couple of cloches, as well as the ever popular red bucket hat (this photo doesn’t do the gorgeous red any justice. Trust me, it’s a stunning scarlet/crimson. At some point I will get my husband to take a proper photo of one of these beauties.):

Lynn's Lids bucket hat in red

And I will have a couple of the rolled brim hats (that I showed you in the previous post) as well as a couple of baker boy hats… The list goes on. So, come by and get your lid warmer for these super chilly windy winter days! Remember the thick and dense felt is windproof!

Tomorrow I am off to St. Catharines for my needle felting class! I spent some time this week putting together kits for my learners:

… and putting together some wool packs since they tell me there’s nowhere near them to buy wool:

wool roving variety pack wool roving natural colours

That’s all for now. I’m hoping for a fellow artisan post or two before the flea, but we’ll have to see if people have time to do a little write-up on themselves.

Happy new year!

Well… I’m down to my last custom order of the season, which isn’t due for a week or two, so things are calming down.  Determined to finish some custom dachshunds (that were ordered a while back, but not for Christmas) in 2014, I finished off these guys last night:

The long-awaited (seriously, the customer has the patience of a saint!) custom dachshunds! #needlefelt #handmade

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I have been thinking a lot about the past year of Lynn’s Lids, and how amazing it has been. Highlights include:

  • being a vendor for the first time in the Etsy Section at the Spring One of a Kind Show, Cabbagetown Art & Craft Sale, and the first Etsy: Made in Canada flagship sale
  • heading out of the GTA for the first time to Niagara for the Christmas HandMade Market
  • setting Etsy goals and surpassing them
  • managing my family (we homeschool our 2 boys), home, and business while my spouse was away for 4 weeks with a family emergency during November. I had to back out of 1 sale but we fared very well, with help from my friends and family! (If cancer taught me anything, it’s to ask for help when you need it.)
  • expanding my product line to include tea cosies, iPad sleeves, new orb ornaments and a TARDIS or two!
  • having my dryer balls in Style at Home!

In upcoming news, I have a needle felting class in St. Catharines, which should be fun! This came about from the Niagara HandMade Market, at which I worked away needle felting more ornaments (the family emergency meant I didn’t have as much stock as I needed). A woman and her friend and I got to talking about needle felting and so we planned to get 4-6 of her friends together and have a class in her dining room. The class is 2 hours and they will learn to make an owl, with techniques to make any number of 3-dimensional wool sculptures. The students receive a felting foam and 2 general purpose (38 gauge) needles and the wool to make their owl (see below).

If you are in the GTA and interested in hosting your own beginner’s needle felting class, leave a comment or contact me.

The Leslieville Flea

Also in upcoming news, I’ll be at the Leslieville Flea on Sunday, January 18 from 10am-4pm in the Fermenting Cellar in the historic distillery district. I hope to have every style of hat that I make with me, so if you’ve been thinking about getting yourself a nice warm hat, come down the the Leslieville Flea in 2 weeks! A new style that is really an old style that will be available is below – the rolled brim hat. You can thank my mother, who saw a photo of it and asked me why I don’t make it anymore… Who can say no to their mom?

One more thing in upcoming news: I am currently creating an e-commerce site! I get inquiries and emails from my current website, but I’m hoping to get something a little more professional up there that is easy to update (I currently update the site using TextMate and editing the HTML – yes, I was a geek before I was a mom and an artisan). So stay tuned for that… it’s coming very soon!

Regarding the aforementioned expansion of my product line, customised iPad sleeves were the name of the game this year:

A custom iPad mini sleeve. Love this magenta!

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A custom iPad sleeve for The Vexed Muddler with flagellate bacteria on it! #lynnslidsbespoke

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Customizing an iPad sleeve on the fly yesterday at the #ArtisanSocial!

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An #iPad Air sleeve awaiting a button for the #wienerdog lover!

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Finished custom iPad sleeve for the avid camper!

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Finished the custom chicken iPad mini sleeve! How cute is that? #etsy

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Among the many things I learned this year is this: There are a million different sizes and shapes of tea pots out there. And it’s a good thing I love math, because it’s coming in handy now with the custom circumferences and heights, etc.

Anyway, off to bed now. May 2015 bring you good health, humour and happiness.

Three more shows & one more class for 2014!

Lynn's Lids will be at #localTOmrkt Dec 13 & 14

So you may have already read about Crafternoon Tea and the Artisan Social in Leslieville next weekend, but I am also in one more sale right downtown at the AdHoc #localTOmrkt pop-up down at Yonge just north of Dundas at 335 Yonge St. They’ve set up a big heated tent in a vacant lot and are hosting a rotating roster of vendors. The Toronto Etsy Street Team is hosting a table, so for the weekend of December 13 & 14, I will be sharing the T.E.S.T. table with the amazing Peggy Muddles and her biology based ceramic jewellery. (This will be dangerous for both of us, who share a mutual admiration of each other’s work.)

Useful links:

All of the Artisan Social profiles on the blog (there are 7!)

A sneak peek of the Artisans Social on Pinterest

All of the T.E.S.T. creators who will be at AdHoc on the various weekends

Also coming up on Tuesday, December 9 at 7pm-9pm, we’ve got another beginner’s needle felting class at The Purple Purl. Come join me and learn to make some ornaments by sculpting wool with a barbed needle! Quick to learn and oddly addictive… We’ll be making a reindeer ornament and more if we have time!

IMG_1774.JPG

And if you want to keep up to date on what I’m making now, microblogging is where it’s at this deep into the season since it’s so quick, so check out my Instagram, Twitter or Facebook!

Upcoming shows & new work

My sincere apologies to the people to whom I spoke at the October Leslieville Flea and assured I would be at the holiday market. Due to a family emergency I am not able to attend. I will be back in January, however, at the historic Distillery District’s Fermenting Cellar.

In December, I have 2 back-to-back sales coming up in Leslieville. If you follow the blog then you know about the Artisan Social (check out some of the artisans) on Sunday, December 7 from 1pm-5pm behind the Ceili Cottage (through the red gate) at the Studios of the Gilchrist Canavan School of Irish Dance (1301 Queen St. E.).

Crafternoon Tea in Leslieville

Also, on Saturday, December 6 from 11am-4pm, I’ll be at the 8th annual Crafternoon Tea down the road a bit (947 Queen St. E.) at the Queen Street East Presbyterian Church (SE corner of Queen & Carlaw), benefitting Nellie’s Shelter and Straight to the Streets. This is my first time at Crafternoon Tea and I’m excited to be a part of a great community event!

Also in shows, last weekend I was down in Niagara at the Honsberger Estate at my first HandMade Market which was a thoroughly enjoyable 3 day event!

Working away making ornaments at @handmademarketniagara today! #latergram #handmademarket

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Right now I’m back to catching up on custom orders, of which there are a few, like this custom (a newly created design) newsboy cap for a bun-wearer in the Canadian Prairies (made to fit over her bun and her ears, with the visor to keep the snow off her face. I’m happy to say it arrived yesterday and she loves it!):

And these fun custom dryer balls which are a gift for a frog lover:

A custom order for dryer frogs! #handmade #wool #frog #dryerballs #MadeInToronto

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And some more of these adorable little dachshunds:

Wiener dog #2 is finally done! These custom #needlefelt critters are going to live out west. #handmade #MadeInCanada

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I also have one more needle felting class at The Purple Purl coming up in December for beginners (the advanced class was last night). While at the HandMade Market some ladies asked if I could teach down there. I am happy to come to you to teach a beginner class if you can rustle up 5 learners (in Toronto, 4 is fine). You will each go home with a finished needle felted ornament of some sort (depending on the time of year and what we collectively decide), along with a felting foam and a felting needle or two (38 gauge), and the skills to create more on your own. If you’re interested in this fun and quick to learn craft, comment or contact me via my website for more information or email me: lynnslids [at] gmail [dot] com.

October-December appearances

Well. *That* was a busy month. And just fantastic. It was good to be back out there again, meeting people and finding folks the perfect hats or watching them scan my table/tent and then find the thing… that thing that makes them smile or laugh or have to come and take a closer look or touch. And talking to people to find out what their ideal hat (or other wool product!) would be.

Last weekend ended my busy month with the Etsy: Made in Canada sale down at the MaRS building. This being the very first time Etsy Canada has done this, no one really knew what to expect. So I went in with pretty low expectations. Hoping for the best, of course, but not expecting a lot. Well, Toronto, you blew me away! It appears that Toronto (and area, some folks drove in from the burbs and beyond) really loves shopping local and handmade.

It was like that all day. All. Day. Wow, people. Thanks! The organizers did a fantastic job and some really great promotion. The vendors (what I saw – there was no time to do a tour since it was non-stop all day) were amazing, varied and plentiful. And the space was great – full of natural light and (at least where I was) had room for roaming around in the thick crowds.

A shot of my table at the beginning of the day (didn’t look like that at the end!):

The table at 9:50 this morning. Didn't resemble that end of day… #EtsyMICToronto #EtsyMadeInCanada

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Right now I’m finishing off my custom hat orders. Only 2 to go! And I’m trying to keep my Etsy shop stocked since I’m having an October sale! I guess I’m trying to get people shopping early. Because my late November/early December just got busy! If you’d like 10% off for the month of October use coupon code: LIDSBLOG14.

And then it’s onto preparing for the October Leslieville Flea! I admit I like to sell locally, and people love to hear that you live and make in their neighbourhood. So I’ll be at the Ashbridge Estate (1444 Queen St. East) for the last outdoor flea of 2014, on Sunday, October 19. Unfortunately, due to a family emergency, I will not be able to make it to the November Holiday Flea. I will be back in January when they move to the Distillery District.

LesFleaOct14

Between those two fleas, I will be doing my very first out of town engagement at the Handmade Market at Honsberger Estate down in Jordan in the Niagara region. They’ve got all of the info on this page, but dates and times are Friday, November 14, Saturday, November 15 and Sunday November 16 from 11am – 4pm daily. There are over 80 vendors, and it looks like a great show!

In early December I’ll be at the Artisan Social again. It’s the only small art sale I am attending this year. I don’t know what makes this such a great event, but it really is. Just a few vendors in a little local dance studio for an afternoon… The atmosphere is casual and joyful, the quality of goods is fantastic (if I do say so myself) and there’s a variety of handmade products (last year there was clothing, cards, pottery, art, and more!). If you’re around Leslieville on December 7, drop by the studios of the Gilchrist Canavan Irish Dance, through the red gate beside the Ceili Cottage and come for the best little holiday sale in the ‘hood!

And, of course, I’ll be teaching a few needle felting classes (Oct/Nov/Dec – one per month) at the Purple Purl. More info on their classes page.