July 31, 2009

Surprises Are Good For You!

This week I've been neglecting my blog, feel a bit bad about it but I really needed a break, there was too much to do. In the beginning of the week I worked with a bunch of shoulder bags for a shoppe in North Finland and got them mailed out on Wednesday. Then we made a little wheel trip, stayed at a lovely tiny summer cottage H's sister bought some time ago, visited annual Art Festival in Central Finland and just enjoyed a nice weather. But what was waiting for me when we returned home: a beautiful journal I won from Kreativlink's give-away!

I just noticed this is my third posting about give-away surprises I have received this summer. How lucky I have been just lately! Even though I'm not very much a material girl surprises like this make me happy. Renate behind Kreativlink is a fellow Etsian and a member of EuropeanStreetTeam so I have had good chances seeing the process of her handbound journals almost on daily basis. Besides her journal shop, she also runs another one which offers watercolor paintings and small objects. Thank you Renate!

July 24, 2009

Custom Order

A little time ago I received a friendly enquiry via Etsy conversation. Nicole from Colorado was planning her upcoming wedding this August. She asked if I could make a custom order for her, it would include 12 Boutonniere pin-ons with various patterns & colors. It all started with my little flower ring and a flower brooch she had seen in my shop earlier.

The Blossom flower ring in my Etsy shop was a starting point in the process

The flower brooch my customer had seen in my shop earlier

Our communication was smooth, it was only me who managed to misinterpret some color combinations along the way. She told me her ideas and wishes, I showed her my fabrics (by scanning the samples and sending via Etsy convo), got her approval, went on to making few samples and after her feedback made some adjustments and in the end the final pieces were easy to make. The final pieces are combinations of this flower brooch and ring of mine you can see in the 1st and 2nd picture above. After completing the work I asked her the names of the participants of her party, gift wrapped their "flowers" and added the names on the gift boxes giving them a final personal touch.

Some of my fabric samples being showed for the customer

Final work: bride & bridesmaids (3 pieces)

Final work: officiant, groom & groomsmen (3 pieces)

A picture for approval during the process: other participants flowers (3 pieces)

Everything gift wrapped and ready to ship!

What I find important in making a custom work is to take pictures along the way, show them to your customer and keep the connection active from the beginning till the end. I also tucked a greeting card in the package (handmade by me of course) wishing a lovely wedding party for her and her close ones. As I just tracked the shipping it looks like the flowers are soon arriving to their destination. I'm excited to receive the final feedback soon!

This was my first custom order via Etsy. Do you have experience on online custom orders? How did they go?

July 22, 2009

Flickr Favorites

1. 6.22.1, 2. Untitled, 3. img025, 4. garden gnome

Time flies, even in the summer!
I finished my custom wedding order and mailed it out all the way to Colorado yesterday (will post some pictures soon, I hope) and just remembered I had promised to participate at Get Eurofied promotion, samples were due yesterday. Lucky thing I had crafted a bunch of hairpins just lately so most of my samples are ready and can be packed and mailed out tomorrow. I finished a layout for my new visit cards, they should be in my hands in a couple of days.

I try to enjoy the summer but at the same time I need to orientate to a upcoming craft fair (it will take place just in a couple of weeks!). I think I need to postpone my vacation and take time off after the fair instead. I feel that I'm hiding in bushes right now, just like this garden gnome in my mosaic! Btw, I found three of these inspiring pictures from Hasselblad/Mamiya/Polaroid pool.

Hop over to Mitsy's blog for more inspiration!

July 19, 2009

Beach Walk

I haven't been to the beach lately. In fact I don't stand heat very well. But I like beaches!

On Saturday evening we decided to make a little trip to a beach by the sea. This place was about 30 km from our house towards Hanko direction (which is the most Southern inland town in this country). The beach was easy to find and luckily it was very calm and quiet too. Few people were camping near the beach and swan couples were floating on the waterfront. We had a walk, took pictures (H had a big sized camera he had made himself a year ago, I carried my pocket Leica instead), enjoyed a cup of coffee we had in thermos and pieces of rhubarb-strawberry pie I had made earlier this week. We were thinking to return to this beach in the early morning time. It might make a nice place for camping too. At least it would be easier to get up in early hours that way!

After a hot weekend there is some rain coming now. Maybe when the weather turns more stable again we could make another little trip. Here are some pictures from my camera:

H adobted those cheap sun glasses I found lying in the sand.

Someone had enjoyed a feast.

I wonder how long these pines will stay rooted?

A small and fragile sea shell looked lonely.

Sand castles build by other visitors

Someone had left the candy wraps. We took them to a garbage bin.

We left the beach around 10 pm. And it was still so light!

What was the highlight of your weekend?

July 15, 2009

Flickr Favorites

1. Japanese Hand Fan The two pretty flowers, 2. Mauve shimmer bag, 3. purple trio linen necklace, 4. P1030137

Here comes my all times favorite theme: Japanese inspired!

I think I'm not at my best this week, I should be already thinking of my upcoming craft fair. In fact I have done my thinking but can't get my gear into making yet. It's because I would like to have a little vacation first. At my weak moments I wish I could go back to a regular day job. Then I would have a 4 week summer vacation like normal people do (but only if I managed to get a stable contract). After 4 weeks doing anything productive I could return to office and start counting for the next vacation. No, seriously I couldn't handle that any longer. But still, a human being needs to have some time off everything once in a while. Next week, I promise myself!

Other thing, I became a "sponsor" by purchasing a little banner on Design Is Mine. You might be wondering why did I do this if I need a holiday, btw. Oh well, I got a good deal and couldn't resist this chance. Can only blame myself if some sales will follow. Vicious circle!

More inspiration can be found on Mitsy's blog!

July 13, 2009

Flea Market Finds

This weekend went fast but it was quite fun too. On Saturday I made a bicycle tour in our surroundings with H. We saw there was an antique fair with lots of people in the area but we preferred to explore flea markets instead. And as usual I did make nice finds too!

I carried home:
a jewelry box
vintage buttons
tin cups and a little tray
wooden cottage style clothes pegs
wooden circles with metal clips (originally used to hang curtains)

I had been searching for a jewelry box for some time so I was glad seeing this wooden box at one table. It will be useful at craft fairs to hold and show some small pieces like stud earrings. Vintage buttons are always my weak point and too cute to resist. They were an affortable find as well. Wooden clothes pegs were found from a garden shoppe, they are new I have to admit. But also something I've been looking for long. Those and three little tin cups with a tray might also come handy at craft fairs. No doubt I would find use for them at home too. Those wooden circles (not sure how to call them properly) might make nice jewelry supplies, me thinks...

And on Sunday I finished few clutches. A lot of pictures still need editing but I managed to list strawberry fields in my shoppe. It is my challenge entry for theme "dots", hosted by Star of the East.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend!

July 11, 2009

Swap News

You probably know Estella with the Etsy shop Star of the East which she runs with her Mom Esther. Well, I was lucky to hear about a fun and sweet swap she recently announced on her blog. She wanted to send away these gorgeous sea urchin supplies in exchange of some surprise for her. I received my lovely package this week, thank you Estella! If you are curious about what I sent to her, you can find this out here.

By the way, Estella and Esther are so devoted online store owners that besides Star of the East they have opened two additional Etsy shops: Star of Supplies and Gifts & Stars. There are many, many sea inspired treasures in all of them.

Other thing, yesterday I finally created a Karuski fanpage on Facebook. If you wish to see what I'm up to, you can become a karuski "fan" right here. I promise not to spam you too often;)

July 08, 2009

Site Refreshment

I just realized I really needed to update my site. It's been a bit neglected as a lot of my time and energy seems to go to my Etsy shop and blog and socializing on web in general.

There will be a young designer craft event in Helsinki in the beginning of August where I got accepted. That's a good reason to refresh the site, I think. So this is why I stayed up long last night, editing pictures and html. Next big update must follow after the summer. It will be soon but first I want a little summer break!

And I should order now new visit cards and tags with same visuals I just loaded on karuski.com. How about the shop and blog banner, would they need a little updating too? All feedback is greatly appreciated!

I acted a bit too fast. The pictures needed some color adjustment to look more "karuski". I'm happy with them now!

July 07, 2009

Flickr Favorites

1. Teapot pillow, 2. Comme du bonbon, 3. www.flickr.com/photos/81268370@N00/361182568/, 4. Caramel Cupcakes with Strawberry and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting 1

I love the idea of throwing a tea party. Have you read Pippi Longstocking stories? Mum of Pippi's friend invited aunties for a tea & cake, Pippi sneaks in and manages to behave a bit scandalously, grannies don't like that. But I enjoy reading those stories so!

These days I don't have chances to invite friends to party at my home very often. Everyone is too busy and friends don't live in the neighborhood. When did this change? Hmm, of course it's partly because we decided to buy a house here. An hour away from a city where most of our friends live. Maybe it's because we're getting older. Or maybe people with kids are not so interested in participating in parties so we're afraid of inviting them. On the other hand we do like our privacy and space around us which would be impossible to have in a city. It's nice to spend a weekend at home without a need to get social. But sometimes it's good to meet people. So thanks to my friend Marika who held a birthday party last Saturday. And we promised to invite them to our house soon!

As usual, you will find more mosaics linked to Mitsy's blog!

July 04, 2009

Pretty Days

This week was so hot up here, actually it started last week already. It's so strange but it somehow prevented me from working properly. But again I couldn't spend much time outside either. Instead we had to turn on the air-conditioning, which is something I'm not so proud of (thinking green...) but this house would turn into a steam pot without doing so. H was suffering from a summer flu and I kept company to him from time to time, thankfully he's feeling normal again since yesterday. After mailing out a local whole sale order I started cutting fabrics for new clutches, took more care of daily routines in the house and gave extra thoughts for summer plans. We're thinking of making a small wheel trip in July. Where? Maybe in Estonia, not decided for sure yet. I have learned not to plan my life too much, it is more enjoyable this way.

I will leave you guys with this picture of a homemade rhubarb pie with strawberries and refreshing mojito we enjoyed on Wednesday after a BBQ at home. Enjoy this weekend!

July 01, 2009

Flickr Favorites

1. Organic Sachet by Happy Solez, 2. "Hours clot. Birds flap like passports. Fields explode with temper tantrums. Here comes trouble.", 3. In Lotus Land, 4. vintage rose spot pini

It's been many days since I blogged. The reason for this is that we've finally been able to enjoy of true summer up here. I took the weekend off, spent time with a friend who came to visit us. We explored flea markets (I made some fabric finds there), had a nice dinner, enjoyed sauna and crafted a bit together too. My Monday went for sewing clutches for a local shop.

I think I'm pretty much in down-to-earth feelings right now. That's why I spent a good amount of time searching this week's flickr favorites and found these beautiful pictures. I love the calmness on them all. What do you think of them? More inspiring mosaics on Mitsy's blog!
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