Monday, 27 September 2010

What kind of doll do you want?

'ello there,
I had a bit of a low point earlier this week because now I have 9 dolls listed in my store and others seem to have trouble filling their customs because they have so much to do. So, to make myself feel better, I composed a treasury of Waldorf dolls on etsy. There are so many cute ones! please go there and leave  them some love, yes?
I know I'm not supposed to put myself into my own treasuries, I just couldn't resist - and also, I had trouble finding 16 sellers that are in the same price range.
So, what did I learn from this? Actually, quite a lot.
  • There are not that many sellers on etsy that do waldorf style dolls and have any listings. (I know there are some more that always have empty shops because every doll gets sold right away)
  • The girls are awesomly nice - especially Kylie from HippieHouseDolls who's doll actually sold right after it went into my treasury
  • My dolls are in a good price range
  • There is a facebook group for waldorf  style doll lovers! Thank you, Kylie!
Veelana Doll
 I have been wondering what was wrong with my dolls because I didn't sell anything. And then it hit me - why not ask people  that know and love and BUY! Waldorf dolls directly? They Girls over at Gals and Dolls certainly do all of the above, so I decided to start there. And  I found a community that welcomed me, liked my facebook posts and gave my nice but constructive criticism.

  1. The painted faces got mixed reviews - some love them, some like the stitched on variety better
  2. The fiber fill seems to be a bad idea - all of the girls said that it would turn them off and that they much rather buy one with wool stuffing
  3. My dolls clothing seems to be well received
  4. My hair (that I'm quite proud of, actually!) was thought to be too simple - most girls seem to prefer funkier hair.
Bamboletta Doll
So, here's the big question - what am I going to do about it?
  1. The painted faces stay. I love them, they make my dolls unique and I like doing them.
  2. I will order a pack of sheeps wool to make a bunch of wool stuffed dolls just to see how that goes
  3. Yay! The work pays off!
  4. I will make some dolls with funky hair - something for every taste, right?
So, what do you think? Is there anything that I missed? Are there any other reasons why my dolls don't sell? What would the ideal doll look like?

Keep blogging,

Sunday, 26 September 2010

I got a blog award! YAY!

Hello there, I'll break my weekend silence to thank Elle from It's a sewing life for passing this award on to me. I have not had many awards so far and I love having a new Idea to blog about :-)

The rules:
I have to post 10 things that you don't know about me, and to pass it on to more bloggers.
So here is my top ten list of things I bet you didn't know about me yet:
  1. My middle name starts with a V, but it's actually Verena, not Veelana
  2.  You know that I'm a Nerd, but you didn't know taht I actually owned a Captain Picard uniform shirt when I was 16
  3. My favourite summer snack is lemon sorbet
  4. I played American football for a year (left guard) and actually went to a NFL Europe trainings camp for young players - and all the austrian girl teams where invited
  5. I got the award for "most improved player" in the offensive line category at that camp because I never gave up (Its a hat and I still have it - I wear it whenever I need a reminder that I never give up)
  6. I've been a vegetarian for close to 20 years now
  7. I get attacks of hero worship when it comes to composers - I pick Howard Shore or Dany Elfman over most actors any day
  8. I'm an Atheist an I plan to stay one :-)
  9. I loved playing paintball
  10. I would move to a different country if I had a chance. Top picks: USA, England, Sweden
So, that's that. Now, who deserves this award and doesn't have it already? I'm going to take my blog reading list and start there:
Nani gets it - she's such a good blogger! She really has a gift for words and is always up to date with scrapbooking news.
Ellie Lash gets one - her blog looks absolutely stunning and she designed everything on there herself. She's recently been featured on my blog!
Lady Helen gets one, because her pictures are great and always make me smile.
Amber of getsone because she always gets really good discussions going,
and the last one goes to jodie of ric rac for  her amazing craft projects and the stories that go with it.

Sp, thanks for reading!don't forget to enter my giveaway :-)

Friday, 24 September 2010

Feature Friday - Ellie Lash

Hello again, its time for another Feature Friday - and this time its an artist that I've liked for a long time - before I ever heard of etsy...

Featured Artist today:
Ellie Lash

My name is Ellie Lash.  I'm a SAHM from Arizona.  I have a super amazing husband and twin boys that are just about to turn 4.  I've been designing digital scrapbook supplies for a little over three years now.

What is it you're making and how did you get into it?
I create digital scrapbook supplies.  I learned about digital scrap booking back in 2007 ~ at the time I was creating siggy tags and skinning forums for fun.  When I discovered it, it was like falling in love at first sight, I wondered where it had been all my life!  LOL  After a month or two of scrapping I thought to myself, "I wonder if I could make these things myself?"  I took a class by Jen Maceyunas that helped me become familiar with the world of digiscrap designing and haven't looked back since.

Where can I buy your stuff?
 Sunshine Studio Scraps: 

Can I follow you on facebook? Do you have a Blog?
Sure - please do so! :
My Blog is here:

What does your day look like?
My day is just your average SAHM type of day, probably.  I do housework, go shopping, play with my kids, read when I get the chance.  My boys go to school for just a few hours during the day four days a week, so that is when I work.  I also try to sneak in an hour or two after they're in bed at night.  I try very hard to get on the computer only when they are asleep or gone, so that it doesn't interfere with our family life, which can be a challenge sometimes.  It's hard to be creative and productive with so little time!

Any tips for other artisans/crafters?
Always give your best and remember why you started your craft in the first place ~ because you enjoyed it!  Even when it's work, it should still be fun (at least some of the time)!

Do you want to offer a promo code/give away something to the blog readers?  Sure!  Here's a coupon for 35% off any purchase at my shop: VEELANA35

Thank you for sharing your story with us and for the wonderful coupon!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

I admit, I'm a total Nerd (yes, with a capital N)

Project B Designs posted a very interesting and extremely nerdy question on her Blog:
What do you like better, Star Trek or Star Wars? 

Now, to most of you this will probably be a complete irrelevant question, but if you're a fan of either (and lets face it, most nerds are), you probably have taken part in one of the epic discussions about this topic. Fact is, Star Trek and Star Wars don't really mix too well, and neither do the fans. At least, that's what everyone says...
I actually met my husband on a convention for SciFi Fans and on the first evening we got into a heated discussion about who would win a space battle between the federation and the empire. This was fifteen years ago and I used to be a die hard Trekkie, but I converted in the years that followed. I still like Star Trek though - the original series over next generation but Picard over Kirk - But Star Wars is the wayy cooler Universe :-)
That said, neither is my current nerdy favourite. That would be Babylon 5 :-) JMS rules!
...and I have yet to find a TV show that comes close to my all time favourite, Robert A Heinlein. And no, Starshiptroopers was not a good movie. Avbatar was - and Star Trek reloaded was great!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

My big goal for the next year...

is fairly straightforward. The Austrian State pays me a bit of money to stay home with my kids, but only until my youngest is 30 months old. Lilith is now 20 months - by the time she is 2 1/2, I want to make enough money with my business to be able to stay home with the kids.

Make 500$ per month most months by June 10th 2011

Lofty goal, I know. Hard to do? Definately! Possible? Maybe...

Monday, 20 September 2010

My new favourite etsy past time - making treasuries!

I  have never really played with the treasury tool before, but this is soo much fun - I'm thinking about making this a regular feature :-)

This one is composed only of items of my daily challenge teammates. They all make such incredibly awesome stuff - go take a look at some serious crafts(wo)manship
I changed comments to a pop up window - some people couldn't comment the way it was before. Now there's no excuse not to comment *LOL*

Friday, 17 September 2010

Feature Friday: themagpiesdaughter

ello there,
welcome back to my series of friday blogfeatures! If you want to be part of this, please check out this post and leave me a comment!

Featured Artisan today:

I've been on etsy for a couple of years now. I started as a buyer but then started to sell my jewellery, i still buy from other etsians of course. There is so many wonderful things on there! When I'm not making jewellery I work in a library or drink tea. ;)

Where do you sell the things you make?

Are you on any etsy teams?
I'm on two very lovely teams. One is the daily challenge sweets team on etsy and the other is a small team which meets in my city each month for a businessy chat with tea and muffins. ;)

Do you have a blog or a newsletter?

I update my blog regularly!
I also have an e-newsletter that I send out each month (if you want to join send me a message through my webpage, on etsy or by email).

What is it you're making and how did you get into it?
I've always had a fascination with shiny things (magpie by name...) and used to make jewellery out of all sorts of things, usually for my lovely Mum. I love an ecclectic feel and I'm always searching for vintage brooches and things I can take apart and make into something new.

What does your day look like?
I like to give my mister a cuddle before he goes off to work then I get a cup of tea and check my emails and orders. I'll package my orders then walk to my post office (it's not the closest to me but it is the best). I get to walk through a beautiful big park of which there are many photos on my blog. It's right next to an Art Gallery too. Lovely. After this, if I'm working I'll continue on the Library. If not I'll pick up some veggies on my walk home and make dinner in advance. Then I'll spend the afternoon playing with shiny beads and keys and charms.

Any tips for other artisans/crafters?
Never give up on your dreams, even if life gets in the way sometimes. ;)

Thank you so much for sharing you story with us!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Contest and GiveAway - you know you want my window stars...

Hey everyone,
I'm in a celebratory mood today - My facebook fanpage has reached 100 fans! I'm so excited about that!
I have promised to give away a window star once I reached that number, but I have decided to run a give away and a contest at the same time - feel free to take part in both, you could win twice :-)

Give Away:
This one is very easy! comment on my blog to be entered in my random drawing. You can comment more than once to have a better chance to win. Here is how it works:
please comment here after you
  1. read this blogpost
  2. Like me on Facebook
  3. Tweeted about this contest (please post a link to your profile)
  4. Posted something about this contest/ GiveAway to Facebook (link, please)
  5. subscribe to my Newsletter (german or english, no need to do both - but please provide your e-mail adress so I can see that you really joined. Feel free to scramble it a bit)
  6. post something about this to any other sodial media site(link)
  7. hearted an item in my etsy store (tell me wich one, please)
  8. blogged about it (please link)
  9. enter the contest (see second part of this post)
So you can get quite a lot of comments :-)
Each one can be claimed only once except for the blogpost - if you actually blog about this contest more than once, feel free to comment again!

And here is what you can win:

This beautiful window star will go to one lucky winner. If I catch you cheating (posting more comments than you should, lying about joining the mailing list etc.) You can't win (honest mistakes happen, I'm not a mean person). Should this GiveAway generate a lot of interest, I might add some smaller stars to the prize pool.


If you want to get a bit more involved, you can take part in this contest, too! I have the following task for you
  1. Snap a picture of your window 
  2. tell me why this window needs a window star. Be creative! 
  3. I will choose a winner, this is not random.
  4. Please upload the picture somewhere (plenty of free sites around - photobucket is what I use) and PLEASE do not delete it until the contest is over
  5. comment on this post with a link to your picture AND e-mail me to  and put "My Window deserves to win" in the subject line
  6. You agree that I get to post your picture on my blog, wether you win or not
  7. The winners name will be mentioned on my blog
  8. I will add to the prize pool if I get more entries (gift certificates to my etsy shop, small window stars, small surprises)

So, because this is a bit more work, you get a bigger prize:

Both the GiveAway and the contest end on october the 3rd. Thats a sunday :-)  
I will pick a winner for the contest  and all winners names will be mentioned on my blog. All winners will be notified via e-mail

Good luck!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Let's talk about obstacles...

I don't know about you, but when I think about obstacles or challenges on the road of becoming a small business owner, I think of stuff like "what do I need to get a licence" and "should I pay for advertising? how much?" right away. But these are small problems that usually have either a set answer that I can look up, research it further or push the decision to a later date (that is the case for the advertising business for me...)

But stuff like that has been written about many times by people who know much more about the solution than I do. And none of those things is a really big challenge! For me, the worst thing I have to deal with is an ongoing problem that I have to battle day after day after day. Do you have any idea what I'm talking about? No? let me give you a hint: I was not born organized.

Here is the "before" mess
On the contrary - I'm a rather unorganized and messy person. And I have two small kids and a very disorganized husband, too - so it's a lot of work for me to keep some semblance of order in our apartment. And of course that doesn't really help when you're creating things...

But, you know, I'm working on it :-)

And these are the boxes I now use.
What helped me more than anything was getting a couple of colored plastic boxes to keep my things in - one for the finished dolls, one for yarn, one for fabric, one for my stash of fiber fill, one for unfinished dolls, one for organisational things (stamps, envelopes, knitting needles, bills...) - and inside these boxes are smaller boxes to hold my ribbons, thread, finished doll clothing and things like that. I also have a ring binder and clear envelopes to hold my finished window stars. I'm still struggling - but at least I got a place for everything now, and the stacked boxes look a lot better :-)

Do you have great organizational skills? Are you born organised or do you struggle? And do you have any great ideas or some tips for me? I'd love your input! Also, You can sign up for my newsletter now - once I have a couple of subscribers, I will start by sending out my very first edition (the first German one went out yesterday... *pokes sidebar*

keep creating

Friday, 10 September 2010

Feature Friday: SweetwaterGifts

Hello everyone,
Its been more than half a year since I did the last feature! Doing features was nice, it brought traffic to my own and the featured artists Blog/store - so why did I stop? I have no idea - but since I'm doing the whole blog challenge thingy I  really want to make this a part of my weekly blogging routine. Here's where you come in -  I'm looking for some people to feature on my  Feature Friday.

  • Who can get featured? 
  • Almost anyone. 
  • This blog is family friendly, so nothing too adult - but if you're selling or trying so sell something, you could be here.
  • Even if you don't sell anything - do you have a blog and something to say? 
  • Are you a hobby crafter, a great scrapbooker - do you have a cause you're promoting? 
Just let me know about it in a comment on this post, give me an e-mail adress that I can use to contact you and I'll get back to you. I reserve the right not to feature you if your product is in direct competition to mine and a lot cheaper - I don't mind featuring your waldorf dolls if they are in the same price range as mine.

Enough said - here's todays Feature. Featured Artisan today: 


I grew up in the country outside a small town in central Wisconsin. We were well located – only 3 hours from everything! Of course this was well before the internet’s conception and so we had to make do with what was available and if I wanted it, I usually had to make it. I’ve been crafting things for as long as I can possibly remember. My mom taught me to sew, knit, and crochet when I was very young. I remember crafting Barbie doll furniture from egg cartons and fabric scraps my mom had saved from the 60’s. I made plenty of doll clothes and even sold them at our garage sales in town. I was about 12 years old when I learned to operate a sewing machine and started making my own clothes. Last year I turned my favorite interest into my full-time job and started my business on Etsy. As a former administrative management professional, I felt I could put both my business and creative skills to work for me and follow through on a long time desire to be my own boss in a creative field.

My etsy teams:
Etsy Twitter Team, Daily Challenge (unofficial team), Team Etsy Texas

Cna I follow you on twitter or become your facebook fan?
Of course you can!

What is it you're making and how did you get into it?
I create distinctive hand-crafted jewelry for men and women. I’ve been interested in jewelry design for a long time, but it wasn’t until my husband and I moved to Florida and the internet started offering such great variety that it even seemed possible to obtain the materials I needed. Once I got my hands on a few sparkly beads I was hooked. I’m self-taught – probably because I’m not much for actually reading directions! My husband is a tremendous advocate of my talents and when opportunity presented us with another move to Texas – it was time to start my own business.

What does your day look like?
After seeing my husband off to work and straightening up, I check my e-mail and turn on Tweet Deck. I generally get the bookkeeping stuff out of the way and finally let the persistent tug from my studio win out and go upstairs to work for the afternoon. My business is new so I have to make a point to work on business development as much as I do creation. My day ends when my husband arrives home so we can spend time together.

Any tips for other artisans/crafters?
If all you have is a few hours a week to pursue the things that make you happy, then use those few hours. Don't give up because you don't have more time - a little goes a long way. If you want to start a business, then pursue it like a business. Do your research to find out what is involved and ask for help if you need it.

Thank you for sharing your story with us!

 Thats it for today -  check out the SweetwaterGifts shop on etsy - I had such a hard time picking just a couple of pictures!

Keep blogging,

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

A very cute treasury

I had such a hard time getting ANY sleep in the last week because my daughter decided that night time was a good time to be awake. last night she slept through the night and I got  a decent amount of sleep...

Colors of autumn - new line of suncatchers

My new line is coming together - now all I need is a sunny day to take good pictures of my new stars!

 was inspired by the beautiful colors of autumn from pictures of the past years - here, it's only cold and rainy, but the trees have not changed their colors yet. So I decided to put some of those great colors on my window if I can't have them outside my window :-)

Sneak peak for Winter

Coming soon!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Behind the scenes part I

Hello there,
I thought it could be interesting to show you some of the steps a sheet of tissue paper has to undergo in order to become a beautiful window ornament. I'm using  my new orange ornament from my color of Autumn collection.
A large sheet of tissue paper gets folded in half many times
and then it gets cut apart
to create a stack of 32 small tissue paper rectangles
eight of them will be folded further to become the ornament
I promise I'll make a tutorial for an easy star before christmas!

Dorian goes back to "school"

He's back in preschool after a long summer break and loved meeting all his friends again - maybe now I'll have more time to create?

Friday, 3 September 2010

Feature Friday - looking for YOU!

He really wants to keep her :-)

Hellö there,
n the past I have done a couple of features for some etsy teammates. I loved doing them and would like to do this as a regular thing. Now I'm looking for some people to feature on my  Feature Friday.
  • Who can get featured? 
  • Almost anyone. 
  • This blog is family friendly, so nothing too adult - but if you're selling or trying so sell something, you could be here.
  • Even if you don't sell anything - do you have a blog and something to say? 
  • Are you a hobby crafter, a great scrapbooker - do you have a cause you're promoting? 
Just let me know about it in a comment on this post, give me an e-mail adress that I can use to contact you and I'll get back to you. I reserve the right not to feature you if your product is in direct competition to mine and a lot cheaper - I don't mind featuring your waldorf dolls if they are in the same price range as mine.

Hope to hear from you!

Late night picture post - trying bloggers new editor

So, I got myself a brand new reTweet button! And I'm trying out blogger's new editor...
I forgot to show you a picture of the galactic princess doll I made - my son loves her to bits and wants to keep her!
Anyway, its almost 2 am. here and I'm babbling - Lilith is still up and teething so I can't go to bed either...
Good night! hope I get some sleep...

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Mission statement

Okay, so for the first post, Tara asks me to think about what the Mission of my blog is. I have to admit that I struggled with this - but then it came to me:
  • My Blog is about my journey from stay at home mom making things to (hopefully!) successful small buisness owner. Along the way I will share with you stories, tips and tricks and probably all the things that go wrong in this challenge.
I love my dolls and my stars and everything I make would be very welcome to stay in my house (in fact, I have a copy of almost every window star I made up on my windows), and I want to keep it that way. My seams may not be totally strait and I'm still perfecting my processes, but each doll I sell takes a lot of my love with it. What do you think? Is this love reflected in my products? Can you tell - or what do you see instead? I'm very interested in your answers!

Keep your head up,

52 weeks of blogging - want to join me in this challenge?

Hey there,

I decided to take a new aproach to blogging - I have been looking over my blog posts last year and while I have been getting better with the frequency, I'm less than thrilled about the content.

When I go through my past posts, I keep having the feeling that I do this just to tell you whats new in my store. This is not what I want. I want to keep you all updated on my working process, I want to share stories with you and of course I want to tell you about my new products. I decided that I need to learn how to become a better blogger!

I have very recently joined the creative empire, a great new community of fellow crafters/indie shops that want to be more successfull - and one of the "Thank you"s for joining are some amazing freebies, among them Tara Gentile's "52 Weeks of Blogging".

I intend to do the whole program - but I will not limit myself to one post per week, I really want to continue with some of the other things I did. So, do you want to join me? You can either pick up her book, join the creative empire or simply challenge yourself to blog regularly - but let me know so I can come visit your blog and give you some much needed encouragement!

Keep Bloggin'

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Time for a change - and new dolls have arrived!

Hey there,

there is still so much I wanted to blog about from our vacation - well, so much for planning :-) Anyway, I still wanted to show you my new haircut! My hair has been growing for a couple of years now without any scissors getting anywhere near it and it took great pride in it - but once TWO kids can sleep an your braid at night at the same time, it's time to change something...

So, here's me before and after - my Mom cut my hair when we were on vacation!