Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fabric Buttons Coming Soon

Well, it's about time we took out this button press.

This machine has a funny story. Many years ago my brother was at a yard sale where a woman was discussing buying this machine. My brother knowing I make buttons, thought it was a button machine like mine that makes pinback buttons. He waited while the woman asked the seller questions and dickered over the price of $20.00. He followed her around hoping she'd change her mind and set it down. Sure enough, she decided not to get it. Knowing that my machines cost between $400 and $600, he grabbed the machine and quickly handed the seller a twenty-dollar bill.

He got home and studied the machine and wondered what the heck he had bought. Now he realized it was not a button machine like mine.

Since I already had 4 button machine in 4 different sizes, I didn't need one anyway. I was thrilled to have a totally different kind of button machine. I made several buttons and then the machine pretty much sat unused for years.

Yesterday my daughter The Purple Rat, decided to see how the machine works, and she proceeded to make some fabric covered buttons.

Watch her shop because she'll be listing fabric buttons very soon.

On the meantime you can get pinback buttons and mirrors at Portable Graffiti.

Friday, May 29, 2009

NEW: Gift wrapping

I've been doing free gift wrapping for customers when they request it. I had a customer yesterday who asked for gift wrapping and a note. Being short on note paper but always having buttons handy, I decided to just make a button instead of a tag with the requested message.

It looked so darn good, I thought, that I decided to offer the wrapping as a listing.

So from now on if a customer wants gift wrapping they can purchase this listing. Not only do they get the buttons gift wrapped but they get another button that tops the package off nicely.

What do you think?

I think the listing needs more examples, because I use assorted scraps of recycled tissue and wrapping paper, and whatever I have on hand: raffia, fabric ribbon, maybe velvet, possibly brown cord, a piece of leather. Sometimes I recycle the nice ribbons and paper that come in items that I buy on Etsy from others.

So basically the wrapping is a surprise.

How to convey that to the customer.

They do get their choice of words on the button. But the background might be different than the one pictured so it goes well with whatever wrapping paper or tissue I use.

Any thoughts? Critiques greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Before and After my new shelves

Without a garage or a lanai or an office of any kind, I have to use my bedroom as also my office for my main job as freelance proofreader. In order to also make and sell buttons on Etsy my bedroom/proofreading office, is also my button workshop. Up until just the other day, I had my tubs of buttons stacked on top of each other. They were stacked higher than you see in the photo. (That's an oder photo. Wish I had taken one just before the new shelves were built.)The tubs were stacked all the way to the ceiling. So if you ordered a button in one of the bottom tubs, I had to take all the tubs down and spread them all over the floor.

When I needed to find several buttons for a large order, I spread the tubs all over my bed.

Thanks to the local recycling group, I became the recipient of a wonderful supply of 3/4" -plywood. And thanks to a friend who turned the plywood into a unique shelving unit that sits over my desk and across the filing cabinet, finding buttons is a breeze now.

The first photo is obviously the "before" and the second one is the "after."

The next goal is to build a workbench that will fit at the foot of the bed to get the 4 button machines off the floor.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To sell or not to sell the Beatles

This is my very own Beatles Button Collection in glass glasses. Well the cases are rather shabby. But hey "shabby" is in right? I posted them originally at something like $5,000 on a fluke, when I needed the money. Well, of course, they didn't sell. Now I have them listed at $3,000. OBO. That's a pretty high price, too. I guess it's because I haven't really decided whether I should wait out this rotten economy or let them go now.

Anyway here they are for all to look at it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Flying Dad Etsy Treasury

Another exciting Treasury! I really like one. It's called "A Flying Dad." Just in time for Father's Day. It was created by Malcolm Studio Shop who makes Original Art Assemblage like this bird house. Check out the Upcycled Boxes.

I love anything that is recycled-upcycled. This shop is a gallery worth browsing through.

And THESE are just too cool! I want one.

If you are interested in the train set, you can find it my Wild Goose Chase shop on ETsy.

Summer of '69 Etsy Treasury

Awesome Etsy Treasury titled "Summer of "69" can be seen right now. It was created by Mystic Wynd.

You don't want to miss this treasury.

She included one of my VW Bus buttons. The photo was taken by The Purple Rat on a trip to California for Spring Break this year. She sent the photo via her iPhone and I made the button.

My VW Bus buttons is now on ZIBBET. You can find it HERE.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Phew Stinky: A Sweet Skunk Treasury

Here's a cool Etsy Treasury all about Skunks created by Winky Dinks. (Cool Shop Name!)

I am very happy to promote a shop that asks everyone to do their part to REDUCE - REUSE - RECYCLE.

Winky Dinks makes necessary items for babies like Recycled Wool Soakers and Recycled Wool Longies.

And amazingly they are very reasonably priced and affordable. I marked the shop as a favorite. Now all I need is some grandbabies to buy them for.

Oh, and if you are interested in the skunk button, you can buy it HERE.

Don't like skunks? I have over 1600 buttons to choose from, including 153 choices of animal buttons.

Sold the Last Underdog to a Super Nice Customer

When I used to do Arts and Crafts Shows and the State Fair, one of the nice things about it was meeting the people who walk away with my buttons. Sometimes I would hear a whole story about why they were so excited about the particular buttons they bought in my booth. Sometimes it would have to do with an uncle or a special teacher or a road trip adventure. The stories were many.

When we sell on line we don't get to see our customers' faces and hear their stories. But sometimes we do get to "talk" to them a little.

I sold the last Vintage Underdog button recently. The customer took the time to let me know that he was buying that particular button because he has an Underdog Guitar and wanted to put the button on his guitar strap.

Then later when he posted Feedback on Etsy for me, he included a photo of the button on his guitar.

I thought that was a really nice gesture, so I am sharing his photo here along with the photo of the button from my shop.

Portable Graffiti is really enjoying meeting nice folks on Etsy. Sometimes it is almost like doing a show, because you do get to "meet" some of the folks and get to know them a bit.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

June 12th is Loving Day

I never heard of Loving Day but it sounds like a great day to have. I randomly found one of my buttons in this fabulous Etsy Treasury created by Piruli.

The Color Me Human button that I made was inspired by my many Bahai Friends.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

An awesome surprise from Cedar Wool Farm

I made my daily trek to the post office to get the mail and send out button orders. I wasn't expecting anything in the mail that day, so I was quite surprised to find a key in my post office box. The keys go to larger boxes where they put the packages that won't fit in the mailbox.

I wondered who it could be from. I was so surprised and delighted after opening it, when facing me was a beautiful colorful card with pictures of chickens and barns. I assumed it had to be someone who knows that I love chickens. But it was a stranger who had sent it, a stranger on Etsy. The box was filled with Garden Tea. Garden Tea is an organic fertilizer made from rabbit manure. It comes in organic fabric bags. You hang the bag in a filled watering can until the "tea" steeps (turns brown). Then use the water to fertilize your plants. So easy! And it's organic.

I had clicked this item as a favorite because I thought it was totally cool. And now I had some, but I had not ordered it.

The note inside the card said it was from Cedar Wool Farm who had recently ordered buttons from me. The card said:

Judy, Thank you for all your help and great service! All your extra effort is greatly appreciated! Please accept the "tea" as my thanks. Leslie.

Imagine, a thank you GIFT from a Customer! I was just floored, made me feel so good. The chicken card now lives on the shelf in my kitchen with my chicken collection. And the "tea" of course is being used for the plants.

This is just one more, of the many things that I love about Etsy. It's a nice place to buy art, but it is also a nice place to make new friends.

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