I participated in my first etsy TX one-on-one swap. It gives you a chance to make friends with other Texas etsy-ites. For my gift, I made a tissue cozy and matching cosmetic bag for Judy at http://butterflykissforyou.etsy.com./.
And I received a beautiful necklace and earrings from Cheri at http://itsmecheri.etsy.com Aren't they gorgeous?! This swap thing is FUN!
Then I made an apron for sweet Susan - to celebrate her birthday and to commemorate her winning a baking contest with her pineapple upside down cupcakes. I'm very pleased with the way it turned out and will be making one for my Little Sassy etsy shop.
Now I'm working on another etsy TX project. It's a promo and sample swap. Everyone makes an item for each of the participants. Then when you sell something in your shop, you add one of the sample items in your shipping package. It's a nice little freebie for your customer and it's great advertising for other etsy Texans.
I was trying to decide what to make. I could just have done the gussied-up matchbooks I usually do for my customers, but I'd like these to be a small sample of my work. It's a lot harder than it might sound to decide on a good - small -- example. My first thought was to make a bookmark with a summer image (flip-flops, glass of lemonade, sunglasses, beach ball) plus some text, but I found that (1) you have to make the text really teensy and that's difficult and (2) I don't want the back side of the embroidery showing and (3) how do I finish the edges?? ... even if you use ribbon, you have the ribbon ends to contend with. Oh, bother!
Keep in mind, I'm not charging for these samples and I have to make at least 26 of them. Soooo, after two days of messing with this ... that ... and the other, bookmarks are definately out. One of my best attempts was on felt (easy to make crisp edges, but two layers of felt is really FAT). When DH saw it, he suggested I turn the felt thingy into a little nail file holder by leaving one end open. Good idea! So off I go to the 99 cent store. After I got there, I saw these little clippey things that are so popular and decided I would fancy them up instead. I embroidered a flower on unbleached duck and put that on top of 2 layers cut from a lavender bandanna and sewed the whole thing to a lavender clip. I sprayed it pretty heavily with starch and blew it dry to make the edges curl up to look more like a flower. It's the first time I've done something in the "shabby" style - I'm usually more tailored -- but I thought I'd give it a try. FEEDBACK PLEASE?! I'm really feeling insecure about this and need some honest --even brutal -- feedback.