Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Help the Red Cross...Continued

Many many thanks to those of you who helped with my effort to aid Japan in the aftermath of the terrible earthquake and tsunami. To date I have been able to donate $140.00 to this effort and I would not have been able to do even that without the help of my generous customers. (Not to mention they have helped me reach the front page of Etsy- no small feat, I might add.) In light of recent terrible destruction in our own country at the hands of tornadoes, both in Joplin, MO and across the south, I have decided to dedicate $10.00 from every sale of my red cherry blossom pillows to the Red Cross indefinitely. I am looking for other ways to help out those who have been affected, and will update as soon as I decide what is the best way to offer my assistance. Thanks again!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Year since my last post

Wow, time sure flies when you are busy! I have let a whole year go by without posting a thing, guess I kinda suck as a blogger. So, what's new with me, you ask? Well, for starters, I am officially getting our whole second income from my business. I can't say it's enough yet, but we are managing to scrape by, which is enough to give me hope for the future. I have figured out that most of my business comes from my hand painted items, so I have expanded from pillows into purses, handbags, and e-reader covers as well, check them out!


Also this year I have introduced Cookie Nummie Monsters to the world! A fun and funny little monster that can be personalized and comes in so many different shapes, sizes, and colors. My kids love theirs and have inspired me to make them for the world. They have long arms that tie, for attaching to strollers, backpacks, purses, etc. or just a great way to lug them around. It has been so fun for me designing and creating these monsters, and so much fun for Allie and Sofie to get new ones all the time. :)


So, come check out all my new stuff, and I promise I will post more often.... maybe.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ooh La La!

The fabric in question above.

So, there is this fabric store in the mall that I absolutely love. They have a selection of some of the most beautiful, contemporary and unique upholstery fabrics I have ever seen. The problem is, they are also astronomically expensive, so usually I just go in there to dream. Last week, however, they were having a SALE! I had only gone in there to buy one yard of a specific trim that i needed, but oh, god, I was in for it now. $2, $3$, 5$ a yard for these fabrics that normally go for between $20-50 a yard!?! Oh, man, I was gonna be in trouble when I got home. And just as I was finished piling all my selections up on the register counter, I spotted it. On top of a pile of fabric pieces laid the most beautiful, elegant, fabulous piece of high-end damask brocade I have ever seen. It was cream satin, double layered over woven chenille, flocked so that the black paisely pattern was raised across the top. It just screamed of Old World elegance. I'm still new to this whole fabric world, mind you, but even I knew it was something special

The draped and beaded pillow above
, Frenchie Buttons below.

"How much for this piece?" I asked"Forty dollars." Came the reply.

And just like that, I put it back, my dreams of owning this piece of fabulosity dashed. That was more than I could ever justify, no matter how great it was. The gentlemen continued to cut and ring up my selections, chatting all the while about how beautiful everything was. Out of the corner of my eye, that piece of gorgeous kept calling to me, causing me to shoot wistful glances it's way.

Frenchie with Clasps above.

"How much is it normally?" I asked, just out of curiosity.
"I think that one is $99 a yard. That piece is about a yard and a half."
Gulp. Now it was a great deal, even at $40. Could I justify it now? Could I really spend that much money on a piece of fabric, when there was no guarantee that I would be able to make a profit? No, I could not. I resigned myself to leave it there. Leave it where it was, it was just not meant to be. As he finished ringing up the rest of my fabrics and trims, I resolutely made no eye contact with that piece. Well, maybe just one look. Oh god, look at it just sitting there, it's so pretty!

Frenchie Ruffles, above, The Moustache to the left.

"I'll give it to you for twenty." Came the voice from
behind the counter, who had obviously caught me sneaking glances that way.

"Sold!" Before I could even think, the word was out of my mouth. Yippee! A great deal on a breathtaking piece of fabric. My mind was already spinning with ideas of what I could do with it.

And thus, the Frenchie collection was born.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Cherry Blossoms for Spring!

I just wanted to update my blog for those of you who actually follow me, and I thought I would write about my current favorite things: cherry blossoms! I got the inspiration for this collection from my furniture painting adventures, and my interest in Sumi-e brush painting. I wasn't sure how this would translate into acrylic paint, as this style relies heavily on watercolor and saturation of the paper to create desired effects. I tried it first on my favorite piece of furniture, seen here with pretty good results.

So, next I thought: "Why not paint a pillow? I mean, canvas is just cotton covered in gesso, right? is can't be that different than just painting on a canvas. And behold, my hand painted pillows were born. The first one I tried was a bamboo design, red on black like my signature furniture design. I wanted to do Cherry blossoms next, but I didn't want to do black again, so I picked a heavyweight cotton broadcloth in white to paint it on instead. The result is below:

Turned out pretty great, I think! This has been my most popular pillow by far, and I have sent these to the store I sell in in Pittsburgh and Chicago, so with luck I will sell many more.

Since these have been so popular, I wanted to expand the line with a third pillow, and it gave me an opportunity to use the frog closures I had recently acquired as well. I saw a similar design to this one on line, and took my inspiration from that. A piece of remnant cloth, in metallic charcoal polyester, provided the background for the two sides of the Cherry blossom layer, which I painted, then cut in half (that was a stressful moment, I can assure you!) finished the edges, and hand sewed the frog closures on both sides. I attached the two layers together before sewing back to front, and voila! It turned out perfectly, and I am very proud of it!
Check out both pillows and my Etsy shop here! If you like them, make sure to let me know!

18in Pair of Cherry Blossom pillows: http://www.etsy.com/listing/45077248/pair-of-cherry-blossom-pillow-covers

12x20 Cherry Blossom pillow with Frog Closures: http://www.etsy.com/listing/45924691/12x20-cherry-blossom-with-frog-closures

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Twitter, Facebook, Blogspot, OH MY!

My eyes are burning as I write this, from staring at this stupid screen for countless hours trying to figure out how to properly set up all these accounts! I think I'm starting to get it, though. My facebook fan page is good to go, linked up with my Etsy account and being followed on Twitter. I haven't gotten this blog linked up yet, but that will have to wait until my next session I think, because right now my brain is FRIED. For someone who used to sell computers and troubleshoot problems for customers all the time, I sure can be slow to figure this stuff out sometimes. Networking has never been my strong suit, but I need to get on it if I want my business to take off. I'm getting there, just one app at a time!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My First Sales!

So, I have officially made my first four sales off Etsy! They are all custom, and my George pillows are turning out to be quite a popular little item. Hmmmm, more kids stuff, maybe? Thanks George! I also got a sale off Alchemy, which is a section of the Etsy community where people request items they would like made or found and you can submit bids for their business. I feel pretty good about the fact that my bid was accepted, and even better about the pillows I have made for her. Now I need to get down to this business of marketing myself. I started a Facebook page for Designs by Derilyn, and I will be posting my new items there, and I am tempted to start a Twitter account, but I'm not there yet. I am still too annoyed by Twitter itself, but I may have to take the plunge anyway. I just learned about this site called StubledUpon, where you put in your likes and dislikes and it picks interesting pages off the internet for you, and you can connect with people that way too. I haven't had much of a chance to check it out, but I am told it can be a great resource if used properly. I am finding that is the key to all this marketing magic. There are so many tools out there for getting your name out, but you have to be able to use them in the right way in order to be successful. Hopefully I can get more educated on this soon, because right now it all just feels like a big crapshoot. More later...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Breaking Out is Hard to Do

This is my first official blog post! I am pretty excited about it, but not quite sure what to write here. I have started this in an attempt to further my business following on the advice of some more established entrepeneurs I have been following, so we will see how it goes. As you may or may not know, (depending upon if more than my family and friends are reading this) I have recently started my own business in the hopes of being able to stay at home with my children and actually earn a living at the same time.

I have been making things all my life, from art to crafts to clothes to-you-name-it-ill-try-it, and I think I may have finally found the products that I can get passionate enough about to be truly successful. What are they, you ask? Well, check out my website to see them! http:// www.designsbyderilyn.com I have started with re-finishing and hand painting furniture pieces i found at garage sales, craigslist, salvation army, etc, and moved on to making designer pillows and home accessories like table runners, blankets, etc. I have also started selling them on Etsy, check out my store here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/derilyn

Everyone has been telling me my products are beautiful, but so far not much luck actually selling them. This is the part I have always struggled with. I can make it, but can I make money? I just hit a wall the minute it comes to this and I just don't know what to do. My husband tells me I just need to hang in there until I get "discovered", but I know that this will never happen without some help from me. So... the real question becomes, how to I break out in this world? How do I put myself out there when it seems like everyone else has already been doing it for longer, or better, or cheaper? I am determined to see this through, however, so wish me luck!

So, I need to wrap this up now, but I will be posting more soon!