Friday, November 26, 2010

My First Etsy Trade

I have been selling my wares on Etsy for over a year, and I only recently discovered the possibility of trading on Etsy. What exactly is that? you probably won't ask? Well, you swap your goods for the goods of someone else by using the list price of the item as a means of trading evenly. I discovered that there are tons of message boards on Etsy dedicated to organizing all the peeps that want to trade. After posting that I was interested, I received a message from someone that specializes in vintage merchandise. She wanted a custom luggage tag and a necklace, I wanted one of her bathing suits.

It is at this point that I may introduce the slightest possibility of "danger" in this process. We simply swapped addresses and said we'd mail the stuff. We didn't complete an Etsy transaction or exchange on Paypal, so there wasn't a way to leave bad feedback or report the other person if something went wrong. I made/mailed their items, and they mailed mine. Luckily most people on Etsy are really decent folks, so we both received our requests. I am happy to say I was delighted when I got my package in the mail and tore that bad boy open.

After the success of that trade, I traded some custom tags for one of my brother's Xmas gifts. Again, I was very pleased and look forward to trading again. It really saves money as your only monetary cost is the cost of your materials and shipping.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Long to See the World.

Like most people, I don't need to be inspired to travel. At this point I'd like to go anywhere. (Well, anywhere except Africa...I'm good, thanks.) I long to see new people and places and quite simply, just experience new things. When I was younger I always thought, "When I get older, I'll do this or that." Well, I'm older. It's time to get out there and do something! I don't want my time here to come to an end with me never getting to do all those things my young self told me I was going to do some day. I'm hoping that 2011 will be the beginning of a life long journey visiting new countries and seeing what this big ol' world has to offer. Until then, I'll continue to mope and dream. :)

Onward! A recent order came in that provided me with a lot of new inspiring travel quotes. Yay!

Friday, October 29, 2010

New Tag Layouts, A Sampling

After stamping tags that are consistently the same (just swapping names/dates), I've recently gotten a chance to incorporate some new layouts:

During my initial conversation with the customer discussing the possibilities for these tags, I was a little worried about the smaller font for the first name. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome of these tags.

While relating a set of tags to each other isn't a new concept, I really enjoyed the quote this couple chose.

For some reason I've been requested to include the date as the last line on the majority of the tags I make. I thought the layout of these tags was nice in that it kept the most important things first - initials of the couple and the date they were married. The quote is new for me, too, and I think it's quite sweet. :)

Coming soon----> A whole post dedicated to travel-inspired quotes...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Making Thangs

Recently, I received an order for a large quantity of tags to be used as part of a couple's "Save the Date" announcements. After spending countless hours stamping away, and over 4,600 individual stamps, I had the thought that it may be interesting to see the process that each tag goes through - from naked tag to fully stamped and assembled masterpiece! Well, perhaps not a masterpiece, but a different product than I started with, nonetheless.

The amount of time spent on each tag varies depending on the amount of stamping involved. This order of 50 tags took about 20+ hours to complete. Brandy was a happy panda to have that order completed. :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Come See Of The Fountain in Person!

Of The Fountain will be attending its first public, real-life market on November 14, 2010! I am participating in the Independent Designer's Market being held at Boston's Ben Franklin Institute of Tech in the South End. Eek! You mean I have to interact with people? Real people in real life right in front of me? I've gotten so used to dealing with online customers that I am a little rusty when it comes to interacting with human customers. Luckily, I have 1 month to prepare, so hopefully I don't act like a total idgit. :)

Currently, most of my offerings are custom items, so in preparation of the said event I will be creating a bunch of "ready-made" items. This includes ready-made luggage tags, necklaces, and perhaps a key chain or two (hopefully more classy than it sounds).

Come visit my table, if only to stare at me like a zoo critter... Now all I need is a table.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I *Need* a Puffy Dress!

Every time I come across a super cute, vintage-looking puffy dress I immediately try and think where I could wear such an outfit. Needless to say, 1 thang instantly comes to mind: Dragon*Con (Sci-fi convention held annually in my native GA). I don't know what my "costume" would be, but I'd look freaking cute in my dress, whatever I claimed to be. That's the #1 reason I would buy an adorable full-skirted dress. As I ponder it more, I find that a more reasonable answer may be a wedding, or a night out, or simply a Halloween costume. Regardless, I NEEEEED one of these and my favorite place to browse is Timeless Vixen Vintage. I absolutely adore the 'poofery' found here!

What a pretty!! -It's like a white, shorter version Kaylee's dress from Firefly ("Shindig").

Love it!

The more tulle the better! The #2 reason I'd buy a dress like these is for "artistic photo shoots". I told my better half that I *needed* a poofy dress to use as a prop for pictures at Machu Picchu during a Peru trip next year. I think he gets it...

Holy God. This is it. The is the dress I have to be buried in. Of course, I would have to add like 3 more crinolines to make this bad boy stick straight out at my waist so it is poofy to the extreme.

My second favorite place to browse poofy dresses is ModCloth, simply because they are less expensive. However, they are no where near as poofy...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fun Little Nuggets of Subway Culture

There are a lot of interesting things to observe during the course of every subway experience. Probably the most note worthy things to notice are the people and their actions. I am going to start documenting the physical evidence of these characters by sharing the things that I am given on the subway or things that I find on my own during my travels.

In one recent outing I was given these 2 slips of paper by a homely-looking individual and then I found the promotional CD cover art stuck in a placard on the train.

[click to open new, readable photo]

Paper slip 1: Cats are delicious. Lay off China.

Paper slip 2: Hi! Holy crap! You're right! I am a woman. I'm impressed...Hey, I would rather be seen as attractive and beautiful instead of repulsive and are really reading my soul. What?! Gays think I'm disgusting, repulsive, and unattractive? Who are these gays?! I need to have a talk with them. Oh, it's not all gays? Just some?...

Wow. I'm already sick of this. These people are nuts.

J-Smooth is scurry. Drop somewhere else.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Southern Weddings Magazine V3

Months and months ago I was contacted by Southern Weddings magazine to be included in their fall V3 (Volume 3) issue. I, of course, was absolutely delighted that someone actually liked my work enough to include it in a printed publication, and agreed to send a few tags to their office for photographing. They were kind enough to send me a few copies of the issue, so here we are!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Trying to Keep Quiet in the City

If you ever purchase anything from me you'll learn by looking at the return address that I live in an apartment. I have neighbors. The whole pounding metal stamps into leather/metal is kinda noisy. Can we say "noise complaint?" Luckily, No, we can't say that yet, but I am just waiting for the day when someone comes to my door and says, "Ma'am, what the $!%# is going on in here?!"
This is my only real complaint about doing this crafting business as my full time occupation - I am in a constant state of fear. I would be so sad if I was told that I had to stop my stamping...that would mean I'd have to go out and get a real job, and I'm just not ready to do that again. SO! I try and do everything I can to prevent the noise from escaping my apartment's walls. I've placed my "studio" in a location that is as far away from my neighbors' walls as possible. I also try and run the dishwasher and/or washing machine at the same time that I am doing some hard core stamping. However, my main weapon against deadening the noise is - resourcefulness at work - my leather scraps!

I've attached a piece of leather to the metal handle that I stamp my large fonts with. However, my main tool of destruction, my hammer, is where this technique is most useful:
My own invention. Leather circle + packaging tape = decent noise muffler. That's what I call ingenuity! Or, more likely, paranoia...

Helps to deaden the noise when I'm beating the crap out of some unsuspecting metal stamps.

Downfall to the "leather muffler": 1.) Needs to be replaced periodically. 2.) You know that it needs to be replaced when a giant "puff" of leather dust explodes in your face. (The tape seal has been breached!)

A Real Home for Of The Fountain

Of The Fountain finally has its own website, yay! Please feel free to poke around and view the customizable products. If you have an inquiry, please feel free to email me. :)



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