Just a quick note to let you know that I curated a final thoughts post on the Toronto Etsy Street Team blog for the #WeBeTEST Instagram challenge, where we had nearly 100 participants and over 2000 Instagram posts! Read more on the TEST blog:
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 of #WeBeTEST -LOVE – I couldn't choose just one shop. It was hard to choose just two! But I decided to share an older favourite @storyofaseed and a new discovery @rowanstudioshop. Both these shops seem to value organic beauty – nature, texture, colour, whimsy and simplicity of design. All things I love. Thanks for all you have created! I look forward to what comes next from your studios!
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.
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:
Day 16 of #WeBeTest – maker videos! This is a small clip of a video I'm making that will show how one of my papercutting pieces are created from start to finish! My latest piece is a set of lungs….shoutout to @honey.thistle and @thechemisttree for their correct guesses on my pic last week! 👌👌 #torontoetsystreetteam #ooakdiaries #etsy #papercut #papercutting #papercutart #stopmotion #lightandpaper
Day 16: Bookbinding with Sprouts Press! This is a short & sweet video of very basic bookbinding, one I teach in all my workshops. Leave a comment if you've taken a workshop with me and loved this binding!! (I didn't have patience to add music, but I imagine some sort of banjo music playing along!!) #WeBeTEST #handboundbooks #bookbinding #bookbindingworkshop #sproutspress @sproutspress @gravenfeather @wyndhamart
And my absolute favourite is this one, which is now on Lisa Young Design’s About page!
Day 16 #WeBeTest maker video- my awesome daughter helped me make this showing the process of putting a belt buckle together. This one is made from antique keys and watchparts. #WeBeTest #meetthemaker #watchparts #lisayoungdesign #livingyourbestlife #leslievilleflea #beltbuckles #caitsthebest #makervideo#
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:
bubynoa Handmade Toys & Accessories. "bubynoa" because I like the way it sounds, no meaning to the name. Its sounded like baby Noa distorted (my daughter's name). Its funky , cheeky and sweet to me so it made sense. Everything I make is 100% Eco responsible. Every material is upcycled, recycled and or vintage. I create for everyone! No age limit, not just for kids and babies… #bubynoa #WeBeTEST #torontoetsystreetteam #day2/29 #handmadegoods #buygoodsnotbads #fortheloveofanimals #ecofriendytoys #bubynoaonetsy #buylocaltoronto #Supporthandmade
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:
Speaking of needle felted ornaments, you can learn to make this bunny just in time for Easter! I teach just 2 blocks east of the #Leslieville @artsmarket at @thepurplepurl – next class is this rabbit on March 24. No experience necessary! (Call the Purple Purl to reserve.) #needlefelt #workshop #mashupmonday #meetthevendor #shoplocal @lynnslids
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:
Okay, since there's a sale on my @artsmarket booth I figure I should be fair and have a sale in my @etsy shop, too! Use coupon code 10FEB2016 for 10% off until the end of the month! I should have a few more items up in the next couple of days as well (if you favourite the shop you will see the updates!). Shop link in profile. #etsysale #sale #fiberart #woolhat
I just want to say how proud I am of my teammates. As Etsy sellers, we are used to taking plenty of photographs… of our products. But not selfies. So day one was a real challenge for many of us. However, by 5pm we had a great showing, with most participants actually taking a selfie, and not using something they had taken previously (I was very tempted, let me tell you!). So, thank you for your courage today, TEST members. And thank you for embracing my idea so well. You rock my world.
Follow along on Instagram’s #WeBeTEST hashtag!
By the way, here’s a snapshot of what had been posted by 5pm:
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:
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!
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:
And wire wrapped feet for my birds so I now have free-standing ornaments as well as hanging ones:
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:
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.)