Friday, September 5, 2008

Indie Fixx Galleria

I am making my first big advertising investment (um, no, Etsy Showcases do NOT count) and have a spot in Indie Fixx's September Galleria. It is a juried ad page with a little profile and a sampling of my work. I was so excited to be selected. And look, there's StilettoHeights, too!
I am frustrated that I have no real means of tracking the success of this venture other than through views of the featured items, however, I am interested to see if the ad brings more people to my shop.
Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

More Big Changes at Etsy

Chris and Haim are leaving.
I think you would have to have been around Etsy since before V2 to really feel this. But wow.
I am thinking more and more about having my own site for my jewelry.
It seems like so much work. And Etsy is working fine for me right now.
But if Etsy underwent big changes, I would want to be prepared.

unprepared to think about all this right now.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Spiffing Up My Other Blog - Free Ad Space

I am trying to spiff up my shopping blog.

If you have an on-line shop and would like some free ad space on Mira, please comment here and I will get in touch with you with all the details. I will be promoting the blog on the Etsy forums and there will be a link to it from my profile in the IndieFixx Galleria in September.

If you are interested in writing a product review as a guest, I will be sure that your review includes a link to your blog and shop if you have one. Again, comment here if you have recently purchased an item that you would like to review.

Thanks for your help.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Open Letter to the Emergency Room Staff

To the Admitting Nurse: Now is not the time to tell me that my deductable for emergency services is the highest you have ever seen.

To the Triage Nurse: He is only five, and a child of the new millenium. He has never seen a thermometer that is meant to be held under his tongue. Please be patient.

To the Doctor who said, "I'll be right back." after examining Thing Two without sharing any thoughts about his condition or what the next step may be: "I'll be right back" does not mean the same thing as, "forty five minutes from now a nurse you have never seen will poke her head in and casually mention that the x-ray tech should be here any minute to take him down for a CAT scan."

To the X-Ray Tech: If you want him to stay completely still during the scan, perhaps you should warn him that the machine is going to make a godawful noise while he is in there.

To the Nurse Ginger and second doctor we saw (Dr. I'll Be Right Back, never came back.) you both rock! Thank you.

Thing Two went home with a huge bump on his head, a beautiful brain scan, a refillable ice pack and a great story about taking a ride on a bed with wheels.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Let's Party

Thing One to Thing Two this morning:

When someone says "let's party", it is like they are saying "Hang up the disco ball and bring out the popsicles!"

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Hiccup in the Plans

Of the four women involved in the retail scheme, 2 dropped out. We have decided to let it go for now. I think this is for the best, as Thing Two is still little. I was a little unsure how I was going to pull it off.

Someday I know I will be revisiting this idea. It is in my blood (thanks, Mom!) and I had so much fun thinking about it.

And for the record, I was going to try and talk everyone into the most expensive place, because the location was so excellent and right now, in our downtown that is just starting to define itself as a destination, I think that a visible, accessible location is very important.

So, I will keep doing the summer market and be more vigilant about building a mailing list. Then, when the time is right, I will have a customer base to invite to a Grand Opening!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Choices, Choices......

Exploration for "the Shop" continues.

We have looked at three spaces.

Space Number One is on the ground floor, a block away from "Gallery Row" (edited to add: though only a block away, the feeling of these two streets is very different - only one other upscale shop on the block) with a huge picture window. It has two rooms and is laid out in a way that would allow us to have a sales floor out front and a work area in the back where we could hold classes. However, there is a fair amount of work that will need to go into it before it is ready for us to move in. The rent is quite affordable.

Space Number Two (shown above) in on the corner of a busy intersection, on "Gallery Row" and is ready to move in. The rent is the same as Space Number One. However, the layout is a little clunky - two small rooms, a long hallway between the entrance and the rooms. AND it on the second floor with an attractive, but narrow stairway.

Space Number Three is on the ground floor of Space Number Two. On "Gallery Row", on the ground floor, and one large space instead of little rooms. Also ready for immediate move-in. The rent is twice as much as the second floor space.

Hmmmm. What would you do?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Retail Dreams

Yesterday some friends and I toured a tiny, little retail space in town.


It all came about very quickly. And nothing is set in action yet. We are still just gathering information.

What do you think?

Any advice?

Any readers out there with shop owning experience?

Going into business with partners?

Stay tuned for further developments.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Oh No!

Went to visit my brother in Philadelphia yesterday and I LEFT MY CAMERA THERE.
My mom goes out over the weekend, so she will bring it home for me.
5 days without my camera.
Whatever will I do?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Thing Two Makes a Movie

Lately, Thing Two has taken to setting up elaborate scenes with his blocks and toys and then telling stories as if he were making a movie. His latest is "filled with magic, entertain and Disney." Starring "Hunter Gravy, Serena Avenue, Bob Lincoln and Miranda Teapot." The "Baby Who Talks" is played by "Cheeky." And the "Girl Doing Yoga" (shown above) is played by "Mrs. Pottentail."

Thursday, March 27, 2008


In 2008, I have been determined to give myself more time for reading BOOKS. I have a huge pile of books given to me as gifts as far back as three Christmases ago. I also have a mother with an insane amount of reading time on her hands. She has passed a lot of books on to me. And then there was the school book fair. I have a lot of reading catch up. When I am feeling ambitious, I will make a little sidebar list of books I have read since the start of 2008. There will be no reviews from me, beyond a thumbs up or down. Writing a book review feels way to much like homework. I read for fun.

Two weeks ago, Geoff and I discovered BookMooch, a website for trading books. You list the books you are prepared to give away, and for every book you send to someone else, you receive a point. You can use your points to "mooch" books from other people. Geoff is an even more avid reader than I - he actually gets up a half hour earlier than he needs to each morning so that he can read for a bit before heading off to work at 6AM. When he realized that we could get "free" books, he ransacked the house for books to trade. Consequently, I spent an hour the next day preparing and shipping 11 books off to their new owners. We are giving away all the chick lit. I buy in the summer, all the books given to Geoff by one of his accounts at work, as well as the occassional literary work deemed not worth keeping on a book shelf. (Geoff is not just a reader. He is a collector.) So far we have received a Nancy Drew book for Thing One and a couple Sophie Kinsella books for me - because I might as well get my summer reads for free.

And while I am throwing around the word "free," I should mention that shipping is paid by the sender of the book. Between shipping materials and shipping charges, I figure we are spending just under $4.00 for every book we send. But still, what is more exciting than a book coming in the mail?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Kissing the Girls

Ladies, lock up your preschoolers.
Tonight, Thing Two told us he kisses all the girls at school. (He is 4.)
Us: All the girls?!
Him: Yup. All of them.
Us: Do they run away or kiss you back?
Him: No. I don't know what they do.
Us: Do you really kiss them, or do you just want to kiss them.
Him: Yeah. I want to kiss them.

Clearly, we are not going to get any real answers out of this one.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My New Addiction

Stumble Upon!

Holy Cow. What a fabulous time waster this is! I cannot get enough!

You add the StumbleUpon toolbar to your browser, and whenever you need a little distraction, click on "stumble" and a randomly generated website pops up on your screen. Don't love it? Click again. And again. And again. It is easy to bookmark sites you want to find again. You know - things you want to go back and read later (yes, I know I am never going to go back and read them, but it feels good to know I could find them if I wanted to.....)

You are warned. You will become addicted. You can thank me later. Go stumble!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Barack Obama

Normally, I would never mention religion or politics in my blog.

However, I have just read the transcript of a speech Barack Obama made in Philadelphia yesterday, and I cannot help but share it.

Please click and read here.

If the 10 people who read this blog take the time to read this whole speech (it is long, but worth it) and feel the swelling pride that I feel right now, it will be worth sharing.

If the 10 people who read this blog decide never to visit again, because they all love George Bush, well, so be it.

I have never felt so strongly that a candidate was exactly the person we need in the White House. In my voting history, my votes have always been against the other guy, rather than FOR someone.
In the Pennsylvania primary, I will be voting FOR Barack Obama.
And I fervently hope and pray that I will have the option of voting for him in the general election as well.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Trunk Show Flyer

Trunk Show Flyer, originally uploaded by stephgibson23.

Biting the bullet.
Doesn't "Trunk Show" sound sooooo much better than "home party"?

Click on the flickr link if you want to see the whole thing - I am much too lazy today to fix this photo.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

REM, Pot Roast and Jennifer Garner: A Birthday Ramble

I celebrated my birthday a couple weeks ago. One of my Mom's gifts to me was to watch the kids while Geoff and I went to a movie (Juno) and then after the movie we all had dinner at her house. And the best part: pot roast! My mom makes the most fabulous pot roast with carrots and potatos and onions. Geoff does not eat red meat, so I never cook this sort of thing; it is a huge treat for me to have my mom's pot roast. I was going to share a photo, but sadly, though delicious, Mom's pot roast does not photograph well.
I know Juno has been criticized for being a fairy tale, but personally, I love fairy tales and really enjoyed the movie. The entire cast was terrific, but Jennifer Garner was just amazing. Her longing is palpable. It is difficult to believe that someone with dimples as cute as hers can be a good actress, but she is. Perhaps I am influenced by the fact that since the writers' strike we have been watching nothing but DVD's of "Alias" (DON'T spoil it - we are three episodes away from the series finale.) I am not sure how we missed this show when it was on the air. We are maniacs about it now. How did JJ Abrahms ever think he could find an actress who could play Sidney Bristow? No one but Jennifer Garner could do it, of that I am sure. And don't even get me started on Victor Garber! A little aside (and obnoxious name dropping): when Geoff and I worked for Circle Repertory in NY, we worked on a show with Ron Rifkin. Among other things, I ironed his socks. He is a sweet man and more than once took all the interns out for dinner after the show. But anytime he has a fight scene, Geoff and I nearly wet ourselves laughing.

Since my birthday, here are some things that have made me feel old:

1. Thing One is singing REM's "Stand" in music class.
2. Last week, I was running across the yard in my fake Uggs (these shoes should come with a "no running" warning) tripped, face planted, and actually SLID across the yard, ruining a new pair of jeans and my dignity in one go. But here is the part that made me feel old - when I stood up, every part of my body ached, and I had a sudden knowledge that it would be DAYS before my body felt normal again.
3. Facebook

Friday, March 7, 2008

You Must Check This Out

I love it when bloggers post weekly installments for me to look forward to. I highly recommend littleputbooks' Etsy success tips, fluffyflowers' craft fair suggestions, stilettoheights' wickedly funny celebrity letters, or her sassy web comic.

But the most unique, wet-your-pants laughing , marvel-at-the-creativity, holy-cow-they-must-have-spent-a-lot-of-time-on-this, series of posts, is Jenn Marushka's "Lake Resort Nurse" recaps. Jenn and her husband Josh, a photographer, recap and deconstruct chapters from a cheesy romance novel. The recaps are accompanied by photos of action figures reenacting choice scenes from the book. This week she posted the last chapter and promises a wrap-up and contest for next week.

To read all the posts, click here and scroll down to the beginning.

Monday, March 3, 2008

An Interview

My workspace: not as messy as it was after Christmas, not as neat as it was a week ago.

I took this photo to accompany an interview I did for EtsyCafe. Kim of SchroederSisters put this blog together to feature seller interviews and she posted several great ones today.
Have you ever wondered why I live in Amish country? Or what my most important piece of advice for crafters may be? Do you lay awake at night asking yourself - "What percentage of Stephanie's business comes from Etsy?" These answers and MORE can be found here.
And once you have perused my interview, and perhaps a couple of others, check out Kim's Etsy shop full of soft scuptural goodness and celebrity art brilliance!

Monday, February 25, 2008


Friends, I have so many posts swirling in my head and just don't feel able to sit down and write about them.


Monday, February 4, 2008

The Conversation

Daily, for the last seven years, basically since Thing One could speak, we have been having a variation on the following conversation:

(long pause as Thing One stares absently into the middle distance.)
Oh. Nothing.

Perhaps an hour passes:

(long pause as Thing One stares...)
Huh? Oh. I forget.

Later in the day:

(long pause as Thing One stares...)
Hmmm. Nevermind.
(short pause as I gather my inner resources.)
Are you sure you do not have something you need to talk about?
No. I just like to say your name.

You can imagine how annoyed one might become by this.

Well, today I called my mother and we had this interchange:

Hi, Mom.
(long pause)
(I giggle self-consciously)
Um, I don't really have anything to say. I just wanted to say "hi."


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Nimli ?

Any other Etsy sellers get a convo from a website called Nimli recently?
I'd love to talk about it.

Monday, January 28, 2008


As ridiculous as it is to think about travel plans when we have a leak in our roof, need to replace our siding, and need to regrade the backyard so that a pond does not form against the house, I have been thinking of the places I would love to take the kids before they grow up and decide they would rather travel with friends.

So here is a partial list (I will not include weekend trips - New York City, Jersey Shore, DC etc.):

Washington State
Hudson River Valley between NYC and Woodstock, NY

Norway or Sweden

We only have 10 years to do this. And I have only been to a few of these places myself.

But, if you are going to dream, dream big, right?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Big Plans

I had so many big plans for the day:
organizing my financials from 2007 so I could turn in my sales tax the month it was due (imagine!)
buying of birthday presents for the four (4!!!!!) birthday parties the little people are attending this weekend
buying of birthday presents for the world's sweetest husband
taking some photos in preparation for the Showcase I bought (that I am sure I will regret!)
jazzing up my FaceBook page


Thing One is home from school with some mysterious illness that caused her to swoon and say "Oh, Mommy, everything is sparkly and black!" after her shower this morning.

What a shame that I now need to spend the day snuggled in bed reading Craft, Inc while she alternately sleeps, reads and nibbles crackers next to me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cleaning House

Tut Necklace
It is that time of year. Time to reassess. Time to clean out the closets. And you know me - I don't mean my REAL closets!

Between now and February 1, I am cleaning out the last pages of my shop. I want to get rid of all the things I am reluctant to renew. The stuff that's been there awhile. The stuff that does not quite fit the "look" of my shop.

Everything marked (HC) in the title is discounted 40%. Write "House Cleaning" in the notes to seller, and wait for a revised invoice. I will be adding new items to this list every day between now and January 30.

And a special offer for my blog readers: Buy any three House Cleaning items and get a fourth one free.

There are some terrific bargains to be had! Have fun shopping!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Artist's Way

My mother and I do not always agree about what makes a good book. She couldn't finish The Time Traveler's Wife; I couldn't finish Goldie Hawn's autobiography.

It was on her recommendation that I read Julia Cameron's memoir. It was slightly better than Goldie's. I did take the time to finish reading it, though I still get the two confused: who had a relationship with Scorsese? who witnessed one of her closest friends being hit by a car? The most interesting part of Cameron's book was when she wrote about the development of her program for writers, The Artist's Way. I was fascinated by the rigor of it, and the idea that if you just keep writing, a little bit every day, you will find you have something to say.

Lately, I have not felt that I had much to say, but I did not realize I missed writing until this weekend. Thing One was working on a school assignment. She had pulled a plot idea, a character and a setting out of a bag and had to make a story with them. Watching her writing in her little composition book, her hair tucked behind her ears and her pencil tapping her forehead, I thought "Hey, remember when you enjoyed writing? Remember when you would rewrite a sentence endlessly in your mind before sitting down to put your ideas on paper?"

Coincidentally (or not) this was also the weekend I received an e-mail from Karen Beth asking if I would be interested in taking part in a support/discussion group focused on The Artist's Way. We will read the book and then work through the workbook together, sharing our experiences on a blog. So, why not? I am going to give it a go and I will share my thoughts here.

And, proud mama that I am, I have to share the first couple of sentences of Thing One's story.

Hello, Reader, I'm finally talking again! I know you're surprised, but let me tell you the story.

Aren't you on the edge of your seat?!