Sunday, February 14, 2010

Swap-Bot........Have you heard of it?

About 8 months ago, I was noticing some odd requests from some of my customers. They would purchase something and I would get a request like " please enclose a note that says from your swap-bot partner xyz, or from your etsy favorites on swap-bot" I finally asked one of my customers what the heck this swap-bot thing was. She directed me to the site and a new addiction was born. When I first joined I was amazed at all of the cool swaps you could join and I crazily jumped in with both feet. After getting a few swaps under my belt and figuring out what swaps really interested me, I started joining some groups. Groups are generally set up on a theme or common interest and group memebers can participate in swaps for that group. Two of my favorite groups are Cotton Candy and Glitter, which is a group of gals who love shabby chic, vintages style, and the other one is Somerset Style, and is a group who appreciate the style of the Somerset magazine family. I joined a swap in the Somerset Style group where we took one of the templates that Somerset posts, and make it for our partner. My partner liked vintage, crazy quilts and steam punk. I had some scraps from a fantastic old crazy quilt, and I decided to us the shoe template and make a pair of fabulous slippers that my partner would love. She did too! I made the shoes from cream cardstock, I stamped vintage script on the insoles and inked the edges. I covered the toes with vintage crazy quilt pieces, trimmed them with black baby pom pom trim, black seambinding ribbons and some "steam punk" embellishments. I wrapped some extra surprises with black tulle and tucked them into the toes so the edges poked out. This was a really fun challenge. I would have probably not attempted it on my own, but in the swap I got to try something new and have fun with it. In doing so I discovered something that I really like. I already have ideas of more "shoes" I want to make. I even joined a new shoe swap, this time with a Marie Antoinette them. I am having dreams of brocade, and lush velvet ribbons and fancy millinery flowers. I can't wait to get started!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I attended CHA for the first time this year! I had so much fun! With everything that has gone on over the last 6 months, it has been my salvation to have this business. It keeps my mind and my fingers busy. I flew down to San Diego, and Mimi picked me up. We headed up to LA the next morning and spent 2 days from morning to night covering all the territory we could. We saw all kinds of new products, and did some really run make and takes. I got to see the fabulous Tim Holtz in person. That guy was all over the show! He was at Ranger, Sizzix, his own booth, he had to be exhausted! My favorite make and take was from his booth, we made some fantastic necklaces from some of his new parts and pieces. I will post a pic of it in the next few days. I came away with some new vendors, some new products and a whole lot of new inspiration! I also got to meet some of my current vendors, with who I have only corresponded thru e-mail. It was funny, when I first named my etsy shop, ChristopherPines, it was after our property. Our last name is Christopher and we live in the pines. You cannot change your name with etsy, so I have kept it. I had 3 vendors who I already order from tell me they thought I was a man named Christopher Pines! I never even thought they would assume that! It was a fun experience. I was glad to get to spend it with Mimi. We have been so busy with kids, and life, we haven't had any real girl time in a long time. I teasingly dubbed her my designer. She could actually be a great designer with her eye. She has alot of talent. I got my very first package from my CHA orders in the mail today and I am excited to start adding all the new goodies to the shop. I had better get a move on, because more is on it's way!! Keep checking the shop for the new arrivals!