January 29, 2009

Out with the Old... Still...

You may be wondering, "Where's this shiny new website we keep hearing about? Where are the new products?" Well, I won't lie. It's taking much longer than I expected.

I've been working like crazy to get new sample products made so I can take their pictures to post on the new site (which is ready to go, as soon as the pictures are ready!). There are just so many new designs and products, that this is more time-consuming than I wish it were. On top of that, I also have wholesale appointments, tax preparation, payroll setup, meetings, emails and all kinds of real-life stuff to deal with. So, things keep getting pushed back.

One thing I somehow found time for (the other night when I should have been going to bed) was re-photographing all the etched necklaces that are now on sale. These photos look so much nicer than the old ones! Some of those necklaces had never even made it into the first stage of photos, so this is the first time they're being listed on Etsy for sale.

And if you didn't see it, the comments are back online, so please feel free to leave one!



I didn't realize the comments on my blog were so broken! I'd heard people say they couldn't leave a comment, but I kept forgetting to check it out.

I fiddled with the blogger settings for a while, but it was acting nonsensically. I changed them, and then put them back to what they should have been. Seems to work now, though it isn't logical! Feel free to leave a test comment to let me know if it's still good. I'm trying to moderate the comments now (to weed out the spammers), so it won't show up until I approve it.


January 24, 2009

Upgrades are good for you!

It may seem like I've been slacking since I haven't added any new products to the shop for awhile, and you know I've got new designs for Valentine's Day and for spring. Well, believe it or not, I've been working long hours, improving the website!

It's got new colors, new features, and easier navigation. It'll have shipping add-ons so you can easily purchase insurance and signature confirmation. One of my favorite features will be the new shop homepage, which will have a master list of products and a big menu of designs to choose from. You'll be able to order any product with any design, right from the drop-down menus at the bottom of the page! How exciting!

The cute layout is being replaced by something more modern, but it will finally work! You can take a peek at my sample page, but keep in mind that it's being constantly worked on and tweaked, so not everything will be functional for awhile--links and images especially.

I'll be taking new product photos in the next few days, so things will be added to the Etsy shop before the new site is launched. Oh yeah, and we're still having a SALE over there, for your immediate shopping gratification.


January 20, 2009

Sleep is for pussies

I don't ever make new year's resolutions. Sure, I should eat healthier and exercise more. But "resolving" to do those things never changes the fact that I like fried foods and sitting down. I like healthy food and exercise too (luckily), and I go through periods where I'm completely on top of things.

This year, however, I'd like to try to sleep in less. As a chronic insomniac, I can't say that without some qualifiers. Since I sometimes go for days or weeks without sleeping more than an hour a night, I clearly need to allow for some catch-up time.

This January, I seem to be catching up in advance, for nights that I won't sleep in the future. I decided to start setting an alarm for the morning (set to one of the many obnoxious PDX radio stations with morning DJ's that I want to stab in the eyes with a fork--these guys have a "party bus" that is perpetually taking "winners" to a casino or similarly depressing locale, and the one guy calls all the lady-callers "beautiful" even though he can't see them). This morning was the first day of waking up within 8 hours of going to bed. Rupert couldn't quite handle the early wake-up, so after his (first) breakfast, he went straight back to bed--lion pillow and all. But I'm planning on going out for some exercise!


January 17, 2009

Trade Show Pics

Here are some photos of our Trillium Artisans booth at the Portland Gift and Accessories Show, courtesy of Christine Claringbold of Eye Pop Art fame. She posted more pics and wrote a nice post about the show on her blog here. (P.S. Christine is totally famous. Her vinyl record bowls are in a fancy catalog and one of her record mirrors is being featured on Good Morning America next Wednesday! Woohoo!)

I love how these photos do a pretty good job of showing you how uncomfortable the flourescent lights were in that giant space. It felt like being in a very quiet casino for 6 days. Ugh. Now we're planning a (smaller) Trillium booth for the Seattle Gift Show . Looks like I might go down to San Fransisco too!


January 16, 2009

Botticelli Boxes

Even though I'm always so excited at the beginning of each new year to post my new calendar, I always feel guilty getting rid of the old one! This year, I had 12 glossy pages of Botticelli's paintings that I just couldn't put into the recycling bin.

I trimmed down each calendar page and folded them into lidded Botticelli boxes! My friend, Danielle, taught me how to do these little origami wonders. [I've actually adapted the steps to fold the corners in on themselves instead of cutting the paper, but that's mostly because I can never find my scissors once I finally sit down to fold a stack of boxes!] The best part about them is that the bottoms are as pretty as the tops of the boxes, so I can flip them over when I get tired of seeing the top painting.


January 15, 2009

Monkey World

I love picking out new calendars every year, and this year I was fortunate enough to have discovered Matthew Porter and his Monkey World at the UCU fair last month. Each month features little monkey-people in new adventurous settings. January has a giant octopus attacking the monkey-pirates and their ship! February is a safari setting with a tiger. How great is that?

Just looking through the pages of Mr. Porter's beautifully painted artwork is inspiring for me, which is why I'm so thrilled that the calendar came with a mini coloring book calendar! Holy cow!! It's about a quarter of the size of the original, and it features close-ups of a monkey character from each month's artwork, all ready to be colored in. I can't tell you how exciting that is for me.

You can buy your own Monkey World calendar from Amazon right here, or check out Matthew's other children's books (including an absolute must-have ABC book!) here.


January 9, 2009

Portland Gift & Accessories Show

Trillium Artisans has a booth at the Portland Gift & Accessories show, which is going on at the convention center Jan. 10-13th. I'm displaying my products along with 5 fellow recycling artisans. We've all spent the past two days setting up our booth, and it's lookin' pretty good, if I do say so myself.

I've never done a wholesale trade show before, so this is very exciting! I've always wanted to break into the wholesale market, and this is a great opportunity, even if times are a bit tight. If you're a wholesale buyer, I now have a linesheet that you can order from (it's a 10.8 MB pdf file). Just email me with your store info, and I'll be more than happy to send the catalog along to you!

Check out the great people I'm sharing booth space with:
Christine Claringbold of Eye Pop Art
Jacob Deatherage of Ex Libris Anonymous
Lacey Bronson of And Sometimes Y
Emily Baker of Sword+Fern

[These Anatomical Heart Champagne Flutes are just one of the new items we'll be revealing in our new spring line!]


January 8, 2009

Exclusive Print for The Sampler

I didn't have time to blog about this before, but I submitted a fancy piece of artwork to The Sampler! Totally Awesome Allison printed it with her print Gocco machine and included 200+ with the Holiday 2008 edition of the Sampler.

I'm not sure if you can still get one of these samplers from their website, but you should be able to purchase one of the prints soon. I'll be getting a few copies myself, which I might give away as a prize for something. Stay tuned!


January 1, 2009

Out with the Old...

We had an absolutely stunning year, with all our friends, family, fans and customers to thank! We've taken a short holiday break, but we're getting right back to work. To make space for new stuff, we're having an Out With the Old Clearance Sale!

Tons of items have just been added to the SALE section of our Etsy shop, at 20-50% off! Get the last hand-engraved pint glasses, vases, candle holders, and other one-of-a-kind items now, before they're gone forever!

Watch for our In With the New sale in a few weeks, when we'll release new designs and products for spring.


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