Posts Tagged crossstitchcards

Shutting Up Shop on Artfire

 

I had a tough decision to make.  Should I keep going with multiple online stores (Artfire, Etsy, and Zibbet), or should I scale it down a little and push all my efforts towards one shopfront?  I decided to use only one site, but which one?  My decision was made after adding up sales figures vs fees for 2013.

 

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Etsy – Opened in August 2009, and used on and off ever since.  Listing fees $0.20 per item.   For 2013, 21% of my sales income went back to them in fees.

 

Artfire LogoArtfire – Opened in February 2011, used continuously and was my main store with the most stock, most variation and where I put most of my marketing efforts. Monthly fee $9.95 per month.  For 2013, 56% of my sales income went back to them on the monthly fee.

 

Unknown-1Zibbet – Opened sometime in 2011, used my 50 free listings, but never made one sale.  It was just another shopfront to have to maintain.

 

 

Granted, 2013 was not my best year for sales, and my stores were offline for a period earlier in the year while I raised a puppy, and again for a few months while I relocated to the UK, but I did not expect that result from my Artfire Studio.  I was totally shocked.  The static monthly fee was a big selling point for the site, as I could list as much as I wanted for one fixed fee.  However, the views and the sales were just not there.  I think I gave them a fair chance.

My decision was to drop Artfire and Zibbet, and just continue with Etsy.  I had probably spread myself a little bit too thin.  After all, maintaining one online store is a lot of work, three was ambitious.  With only one store, I have been able to focus all my efforts/marketing/promotions within one place and not have to decide which items I would list on each site.  Admittedly, it has been a lot of work having to move all my listings over to another site, a task I am still in the middle of, but once done, it will be a weight off my shoulders., and I can relax and concentrate on other things.

So, after handing over ownership of my Artfire Guild to a new leader,  I have downgraded my Artfire Account to Patron and my shop will disappear on December 9th.

You can now find all my listings here on Etsy!  I would love to have you come over and visit!

 

Stitchy hugs to all!

Gail

 

 

 

Posted in: Cross Stitching

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Blogging once again!

Hey everyone!  I have FINALLY had time to update my website following my International Relocation.  Yes, that’s right – I am now in the UK!  All the information on my site is now current and I will be getting my blogging hat on again to write some fun pieces.

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I will be writing several blogs about our relocation, detailing various sections of it, and how we dealt with the stresses.  More importantly, how the dog coped with a new country.  All fun and games.

 

So, I look forward to sharing some of this with you over the coming weeks!

 

Stitchy Hugs to you all!

 

Gail

Posted in: Personal

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Unfinished Project Week

September has arrived and with it comes the time to sort through my unfinished projects.  It’s good for a stitcher to do this once in a while, as unfinished projects, or UFOs as they’re called, can mount up.  We come across so many great projects and have so many ideas that sometimes we can’t stitch fast enough!

I have pulled out 6 things that need finishing and plan to do some of them this week.

1.  Christmas Cards – recently started, needs doing for seasonal reasons.

2.  Playing Card Coaster – started ages ago, must get this done.

3.  Cucumber Seed Packet hanging – another project that has been hanging around for ages and must be done soon.

4.  Mount the Cube Lattice Quilt on hanger – just finished the cross stitching on this a few days back, so this will be easy to get done.

5.  Black and White Hopscotch Project – started a couple of weeks ago, this has become an evening stitching project.

6.  Yellow Hopscotch Project – most recently started, and will be the final one to work on.

I will work on a different one each day, not necessarily to a finish, in no particular order.

These six projects are lined up on my desk waiting to be continued this week – let’s see how I get on.

 

Stitchy hugs to you all!

Gail

 

 

Posted in: Cross Stitching

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Sailing Away At Last

Since I started designing my own cross stitch patterns in March this year, I have developed a unique style.  Bright and colorful designs show my love of distinct and in-your-face color combinations.  My latest design is no exception.

August 2nd was the release date for another original cross stitch pattern.  My sixth design is called Sail Away, and it features four lighthouses, and six small sailing boats.   Inspired, in part, by Janlynn’s Lighthouses that I stitched earlier this year, and the fact that lighthouses have held a fascination for me for years, I wanted to provide my own interpretation of a nautical scene.

The six sailboats are gently floating on a turquoise sea among light and fluffy clouds.  They are protected by the four lighthouses, one at each corner of the design.  The lighthouses show them the way as they sail back and forth, kept safe by the bright beacons atop each lighthouse.

I chose to stitch the model for this design on light blue 14 count aida, using the blue background as the sky, saving on threads and stitching time with a lot of blue thread to create the same effect.  The colors of the lighthouses and sailboats stand out well against his color, and I have been encouraged by this result to use colored aida again in future projects.

This design is suitable for all levels of stitchers, it’s not too large (approx 8″x8″) and has whole stitches only, no fractionals, beads or french knots.  There is backstitch in two colors, which is very easy to follow on the chart.

I showed the design to cross stitch designer, Joan Elliot, who described it as “Very Sweet”.  It’s great to have this sort of feedback from such a distinguished designer.

If you wish to stitch this design, you can buy it on Artfire, Etsy, Zibbet, and EBay along with my previous designs .  Free shipping for all US customers.  Contact me for further information or if you have questions!

Posted in: Cross Stitching

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Chart of the Week!

I think I won an award!  Not really, but it sure feels like it!  My Home Sweet Home cross stitch chart has been chosen as Chart of the Week over at Stitching The Night Away.

Loretta Oliver is one of my online stitching buddies, and I have been following her Facebook page for some time now.  She writes with knowledge about many stitching topics, allows us stitchers to use free patterns from her website, and has a very interesting blog where she shares her own experiences.  She often features other stitchers work on her site and I am delighted to say that this is not the first time she has written about me.  You can find her previous article here.

Let’s get back to Home Sweet Home – a place where we all love to be.  This piece was inspired by two things.  The trees come from the forests around Lake Tahoe here in California, and the colors of the cabins come from the Painted Lady Houses in San Francisco.  It is a mix of city colors and country living where these brightly colors cabins nestle in among the pine trees.  The finished piece measures 6″ x 8.5″.  It is perfect for all levels of stitchers, as there are only whole stitches and some easy backstitch to deal with.  You can find the pattern for sale in my Artfire Studio and Etsy Store along with my other original designs.

But what if you love this piece and you’re not a stitcher?  Well, just for you, I can stitch this for you and send you the finished piece ready for framing.  Details of my custom stitching service can be found on my website and you can contact me for more details and pricing.

 

Stitchy Hugs to you all!

Gail

 

 

Posted in: Cross Stitching

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Looking for a lighter me?

No, I’m not talking about weight here.  I’m talking hair color.

For many years, all 37 of them in fact, I have been unhappy with my hair.  Recently, though, I decided that I would like to try a lighter shade.  This is easier said than done as I have red hair.   Red hair is notoriously hard to change, as I have found out over the years.  Black dye makes it turn brown, a deep burgundy shade just makes it a slightly darker red.  And even this is only achievable by leaving the dye on 3 times longer than recommended on the packet.  To be honest, a darker shade doesn’t really suit me as I have very pale skin.

What’s a girl to do?  This year, I decided to take advantage of the bleaching effects of the California sun.  After all, if I leave my stitching out in the sun, it would fade the colors, so, what about hair?  I was onto something here.  A friend suggested using lemons and sunlight to lighten hair.  I would give it a try.

Apparently, you squeeze some lemons, put the juice in your hair and sit in the sun for about an hour.  Then, when you wash out the sticky lemon juice, and dry your hair, it will be a shade lighter.  I did some reading online before attempting this, as it’s not exactly reversible, and I didn’t want to end up with platinum blonde streaks in my hair.  The online advice was to dilute the lemon juice slightly and then spray it onto the hair with a spritzer until damp.  Then you sit in direct sunlight for an hour.

Let’s be honest, there’s only so much direct California sun a redhead like me should be sitting in, even with SPF 30 on my skin.  I had to be very careful.  I have spent the last two days with lemon juice in my hair, sitting in the garden stitching.  Granted, the stitching time was of a quality nature, but did the UV rays from the sun do their job with my hair?  I am yet to be convinced.  I can’t see any significant change yet, so perhaps I need to do it again over the next couple of days just to be sure.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking to go completely blonde, just a few shades lighter than natural.  I’ll be off up to the store to buy more lemons in the morning.

Has anyone else tried this?  I would love to know if you had any success with it!

 

Stitchy Hugs to you all

Gail

 

Posted in: Cross Stitching, Personal

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What can come from an idea

Along with the launch of my new website and blog, I am offering a new service of artwork conversion into cross stitch.  Today, I’ll be sharing the story of Ditsy Sun.

I was browsing through some of my Artfire Guild members stores online and came across a fabulous piece of art that I loved:  Ditsy Sun by an artist called Amy-Elyse Neer.

 

It caught my eye because I thought it would look great in cross stitch.  I took a deep breath and contacted the artist to see if she would allow me to experiment with a digital image of her artwork using my new cross stitch design software.   She said YES!

 

 

 

After a couple of days, I came up with a cross stitch pattern that very closely resembled the original piece of art.  I spent some additional time tweaking the chart stitch by stitch, to make it appear a little more symmetrical and more “stitchable” for a cross stitcher to follow.

 

 

 

 

The piece was then stitched by the artist’s sister, and we got an amazing result out of this.  She now has a cross stitch pattern of her own artwork to be able to sell.  You can actually find the pattern on TheCraftStar if you wish to purchase it.

 

 

 

 

Remember that this project started as an idea and an experiment.  I had no intention of charging the artist for this project, as I simply wanted to see if it would work.  What we ended up with was a legitimate and sellable item and she did insist on paying me for my time and efforts, which was very generous of her.   Just with a little partnership, and an ounce of work, this is what can happen with just an idea!

Put YOUR ideas to work and you might just come up with something amazing!

Amy has also written a blog post about this project here, which includes some more details and photographs if you would like to give it a read.  You can find her artwork for sale on Artfire, and she is one of the valued members of the Artfire California Crafters Guild, of which I am the Guild Master.

If you are an artist, and you have a bold and bright design that you would like converted into cross stitch, please contact me to discuss your project.  Details of this service can be found on my website.

 

Stitchy hugs to you all!

Gail

Posted in: Cross Stitching

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Happy 4th of July!

It’s that time of year again!  Americans celebrate America!  This is a rather strange day for me, as I am British.  I always feel like I should keep a low profile on the 4th, due to the nature of the celebration.

However, this year, I have placed a small Stars and Stripes plastic windmill in a plant pot outside my front door, and there will be hot dogs for lunch, so I am in the spirit!  Planning to spend some time stitching my new design, Sail Away, in the garden!

Wishing you an awesome 4th of July!

 

Stitchy hugs to you all!

Gail

Posted in: Cross Stitching

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SALE time is here!

Christmas in July SALE

Woop Woop!  This is the cry that you can hear from CrossStitchCards today, as we begin our usual monster sized sale!  Every July, prices are reduced storewide by 10% of the whole month.  This is a fabulous opportunity to pick up  some cards at a great price.  You can even think ahead to Christmas, as there will be Christmas cards available in the sale this year!

Some items were already marked with a 50% discount before the sale, so they will have that extra 10% off as well!

All my items are included in the sale, so this may be the time to think about buying or pre-ordering one of my larger pieces of needlework, as you will get a great deal on it this month.  These items make great pieces of home decor or even a gift.

In my Artfire Store, prices are already marked down by 10%, and on Etsy, you will need to use the Coupon Code CIJS2012 at checkout to get the discount.  Why not take a look at what I have to offer today!

I am here to answer any questions you might have about anything I am selling, and would love to hear any comments about my items, so get in touch!

Stitchy Hugs to you all!

Gail

Posted in: Cross Stitching

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