Monday, February 25, 2013

ecommerce made easy

I’m back after a week off due to some technical difficulties. My computer crashed and I had to send it out for repairs. Luckily, my sis, Dana is awesome and filled in for me. Hopefully she’ll be a repeat contributor [fingers crossed].

So to kick off the new week, I want to tell you about this great website I discovered this weekend. Storenvy. It’s basically like etsy, in so much that it’s a marketplace for handmade, vintage, used items. But here’s why it’s better: It’s free! I like free. As a start-up business, my budget is almost non-existent. I haven’t used etsy as a sale platform for the reason of the fees involved plus the paypal fees. Storenvy also uses paypal so you can’t really avoid those fees, but every listing you make in your custom store is absolutely free!

Another great thing I love about it is that you actually get 2 stores. You get your custom store where you can put your logo, change the colors, completely personalize it, but you also get all your items posted in their “marketplace.” What this means is when people search for an item or category, your items will appear in the results which drives your sales. With your custom store, you can add your own domain and use it as your official webstore (for free!) I don’t know a ton about ecommerce, but what I do know is that it can get expensive. There are tons of sites out there that have templates and forms to guide you, but cost a fortune to host. Not storenvy. They also offer the ability to have sale items and BOGO deals for a small fee of $2-$5 per month, but for all percentage discounts like 50% off, it’s free.

Since all of our products are made to order, we rarely have a lot of inventory on hand, but I can guarantee you will soon find us there.

Another place you’ll be able to find our products is the upcoming Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market on May 26. We will be exhibiting more “everyday” type accessories and home d├ęcor like bow-ties for men and your four-legged friends, jewelry, kitchy items, and hand printed postcards, plus much more. We will also be bringing bouquet wraps and other wedding items so you can see our craftsmanship up close and place your special orders.

We have a lot to look forward to in the coming months and we hope you’ll stick around while we navigate this exciting new venture.  

Here are a few of my “envy’d” items from the site…
"green" bottle opener

doormat with a line from one of my favorite songs by
 Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Do you know what movie this is from?
Have you heard about storenvy? Have you purchased anything? Is there an online marketplace that you can't live without? We want to know! Tell us in the comment section!

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Budget Safe DIY Lighting

As I ended yesterdays blog, and left you with tip (four) find alternative ways to bring in lighting elements, I realized I should probably let you know what I mean. Since this is a blog for the curious and unconventional, and I myself am a little bit of a DIY whore, I figured today is perfect for sharing some of the things I found.
























Photo(one) the blogger keepcalmandwineon that created this light string centerpiece removed her blog.. recreate this look simply by wrapping a battery operated light string around your centerpiece
Photo(two) Lace painted light bulb A Bit of Bees Knees make your own type of gobo by painting your own design
Photo(three)Yanko Design DIY it by placing a glow stick inside a water balloon then use a type of netting or tights to hang
Photo(four) cupcake liner lamp shade by decorhacks
Photo (five) solar jars by ourlifeinaclick adds a little bit of color great from outdoors
Photo (six) thetinylight
Photo (seven) tin can lamps fireflygroupevents

 

Will you try any of these DIY lighting elements? Do you have your own DIY lighting elements? Share your thoughts and experiences with us. We would love to read about it in our comment section.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

# Let There Be Light

When, according to the Old Testament of the bible, the almighty proclaimed "Let there be light," it may have been the first time in record history that a lighting cue was called. Since that fateful day, lighting has come to symbolize safety, mood, atmosphere, and transition. In almost every event environment, lighting improves the atmosphere. It may be used to focus attention on the guest-of-honor or speaker, enhance the look of decor and food, as well as change the mood dramatically from one room to the next. These applications are only the tip of the iceberg, because many combine different lighting effects, much as a visual artist combines color and texture to create the desired effect. 

Uplighting/Wash Lighting: changes the color of the room: usually projected on walls, pipe and drape, ceiling, or dance floors. Ranges from $500 upward towards $1,000 depending on the size of the room

Monograms/ Gobos: a disk or lens that goes over a light to project a couples name, date, monogram, logo, or design. custom gobos start at around $300 (plus), again depends on style, color, metal or glass, ect..




Intelligent Lighting: able to tilt, pan, turn, change color, change gobo patterns, change focus (such as on the couple durning their dance, toasts, or cutting the cake). One Intelligent lighting unit may be able to replace a dozen other units. Due to the flexibility it offers it is significantly more expensive. This system needs to have a tech on site and price differs depending on location, length of time, ect..

Pin Spotting: provides a narrow focused beam of light on those beautiful centerpieces or cake. pricing starts around $700(plus) depending on how many tables you have. Also talk to your event coordinator, some venues dont allow you to attach things to the ceiling, making these hard to install..



 

There are many different kinds of lighting, all with a different purpose and as some of you may already know it can put a pretty hefty dent in your budget. When planning your next event remember these tips.. (one) know which type of lighting best suits your needs (two) check with your venue, many have on site equipment that might be included in your rental fee (three) shop around, remember you are mostly paying for labor, so every company is going to be different (four) find alternative ways to bring in lighting elements
 

What is your favorite lighting element? Would you use a gobo? Have you hired a lighting company for your event? We would love to hear about your experience, tell us about it in the comment section. 


Monday, February 18, 2013

Interview: Jenna Lowe- A Notch In Time

I am so happy to introduce this wonderfully talented jewelry designer. I met this lovely lady when we were in high school and thanks to facebook, we've been reconnected.  When I started this blog, I knew I wanted to feature her incredible works of art. So here she is, Jenna Lowe of A Notch In Time.

1. Where did you go to school? What did you study?
After starting college in New Jersey, I ended up transferring to Kent State University in Ohio.  I was excited to be accepted into their Fashion program, and graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Fashion Merchandising.



2. How did you come to design jewelry?


 I've always had a love for fashion, especially all things vintage.  It stemmed from that love, along with my fascination to create beautiful objects out of sometimes unexpected items.  I started frequenting flea markets and auction houses, purchasing box lots of broken vintage jewelry pieces, hardware, and other trinkets.  From there, I just started creating, and “A Notch in Time” was born.

3. What inspires you?
 Oh gosh, inspiration can be found everywhere!  Anything from browsing through an antique store, stalking my favorite designers online, or even what a friend is wearing that day can provide me with inspiration.  Right now, “The Great Gatsby” is a major inspiration for me.  I’m currently working on quite a few Art Deco pieces that stem from my love of that story, and I’m extremely excited for the release of the movie!

 4. Tell me a little about your technique. Do you have any little “rituals” to get you in “the zone?”
 This is a bit odd, but I always tend to have modern musicals on TV in the background, like Sweeney Todd, or Burlesque when I’m creating.   I usually start by dumping a whole bunch of materials out onto my workbench, and start maneuvering pieces around until they “fit”.  Sometimes, I can sit there for what feels like hours, and nothing will come to me, other times ideas just pour out and I can barely keep up!

5. What do you love most about designing jewelry?
 So many things come to mind!  Designing jewelry has become an amazing outlet for my creativity, as well as an excellent stress reliever.  I also enjoy the challenge of creating something unique and beautiful from just a few bits and baubles. The hunt to discover new materials and media to work with is so thrilling to me, as well.  And I can’t forget the satisfaction I feel when I finish each piece, or when I see a customer’s excitement over receiving one of my pieces!

6. 3 words to describe your aesthetic. Why?
 Romantic, Vintage, and Steampunk would describe my aesthetic fairly well.  These words come to mind based on the materials I tend to use in my pieces, and the feelings I hope to invoke with my creations. 

 7. What are some of your favorite materials to work with?
 Watch movements, gears, and skeleton keys are definitely some of my favorites.  Since these items tend to be quite old, I love the patina and “wear and tear” they show, along with their intricate detail.  I love the juxtaposition of combining these more masculine feeling pieces with jewels and gems, to give them a more feminine and romantic feel.

8. I see a lot of photos of models wearing your jewelry. Can you tell me more about this? What other projects are you involved in?
 Yes, I work with models and photographers quite frequently on photoshoots.  It never hurts to network with those in your industry, you never know what can happen.  Actually, a model I worked with early on, who has now become a close friend, was the link to getting my pieces consigned at a local boutique. I also find the process of working on a photoshoot quite inspiring, and it often provides me with endless ideas for new designs!
 
Partaking in these shoots provides a great source of free promotion for my jewelry, as well.  Many people have contacted me about pieces based on seeing my photos around Facebook, or other modeling and photography websites.  Also, I’m generally able to use these photos for my business cards, price tags, and other marketing materials.

Right now, I’m working on a few magazine submissions, as well as collaborating on a “Lookbook” featuring my jewelry.  The Lookbook will serve as an excellent way to market my pieces to other boutiques in my area, in hopes to sell there in the future.

9. Is there a piece you’re especially proud of? Why?
 I have to admit there isn’t one specific piece that comes to mind.  I am most proud when I learn new techniques, or branch off by using new materials.  I have been incorporating raw stones, including some beautiful quartz points in new pieces and I’m really excited with the possibilities of these new materials!

10. Where can we buy your jewelry?
 Currently, I’m selling locally in Pittsburgh at a boutique called Highway Robbery Vintage.  For those not local to me, you can visit my Facebook or email me at ArtistryByJLowe@yahoo.com to inquire about available pieces or to have a custom piece designed. I’ve tried Etsy in the past, and haven’t had much luck, but I may return in the future.

11. Anything else you would like to add?
 I’m so glad to have found something that I love to do, something I can put all my creativity energy into, something that I find very rewarding.  I encourage everyone to find their own “something” and run with it!




 Mossy Couture would like to thank Jenna and A Notch In Time. We love your art and thank you for taking the time to talk to us about it!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Free Valentine Printable

Happy Valentine's Day! Here is a little history on this holiday as well as a free printable Valentine that I made for those of you who forgot the chocolates.

Saint Valentine was said to have demonstrated courage and valor in helping Christian martyrs being persecuted under Emperor Claudius II in Rome, during a time when giving any kind of aid to Christians was considered a crime.

Valentinus was arrested and imprisoned for this crime. He was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs, stoned and finally beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate. After his death, this gate was known as Porta Valentini, later being renamed Porta Popolo.

There is a legend that says while awaiting his execution, he befriended his jailer's blind daughter whose sight he restored to her.

According to Alfonso Villiegas, in his book "Lives of Saints" the jailer was Asterios, one of the Emperor's lieutenants. He and his family were converted to Christianity by St. Valentine, and they were condemned to death by Claudius II. Furthermore, according to legend, on the eve of Valentinus' death, he wrote a farewell message to the jailer's daughter and signed it, "Your Valentine." This is how Valentines Day evolved into a day where lovers give gifts to show their adoration for one another. 
click to download

 Anatomical heart image from graphics fairy

Are you celebrating today? What are your plans? Do you hate this holiday? That's ok, you can tell us about that too!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Manicures for your Nuptials




Hey guys, I want to start out by saying sorry about the inconsistency in my posting over the past couple days. We're working on something big right now and I am hoping in about a week to have another writer on board to bring you some fresh ideas. I can't wait to introduce you all to her!

Along with having another contributor, we are working on solidifying a spring calendar. Some topics you can look forward to are great DIY projects for the thrifty bride, more groom's attire, what to do after the wedding planning is over, and some interviews with our favorite vendors. 

The coming weeks are getting me pumped! We are going to try something new and host a week-long series for newlyweds and the almost newly-weds.
So stay tuned until we work out all the details, I promise, you're going to love it!

Here are some pictures to help inspire your manicure for the big day.

glitterandnails.blogspot.com

thepolishaholic.com

The next picture is from bigRuby. Not only do I love their products, I love their philosophy of cruelty-free testing and manufacturing. Along with having nail tattoos to please everyone's style, they donate proceeds from each sale to The Kindness Ranch, a sancutary for research animals.



What do think of these designs? Would you choose one for your wedding day mani? Tell us about some of YOUR favorites!


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Sunday, February 10, 2013

"Ties that Don't Suck"

With the recent bow-tie craze, I've found myself looking for better, more personal options for your man. Of course, everyone knows I love etsy. Well, I found an amazing designer who is sure to cure your future hubby's neck-nakedness. Cyberoptix boasts their hand screen-printed ties, bow-ties, and scarves as, "Ties that don't suck." Each piece is made to order, and there are tons of color options. 
And ladies, they also offer pashminas to coordinate your gals and guys. 
Here are just a few of my favorites to gussy up your groom's gang.
circuit board bow-tie

"little piggy"

"insomnia" brainwaves

"oh honey"

"old fashioned"

"rocket science II

"science affair"
All Images are from the Cyberoptix Etsy Store 

What do you think of this neck-ware? Know of any other awesome tie designers? Let us know!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The House Of Pucci: Emilio Pucci 2013

vougue.com
I've always been a big fan of Emilio Pucci. I remember being young and lusting after a silk scarf with that signature geometric print. I remember not knowing the correct pronunciation and uttering what sounded like an inappropriate word coming from a young girl's mouth. This morning, I was looking at the Spring/Summer 2013 line and flashed back to a beautiful gown I saw last Spring. If you are not familiar with Pucci, think: clothing for the woman that loves to bare as much as possible without arrests of indecent exposure.
vogue.com
image source: becauseiamfabulous.com
This year we see more cut-outs, more lace, more of that Pucci-esque geometry. I'm not a huge fan of Beyonce' however, the black velvet Pucci gown she wore for the Presidential Inauguration was to die for. This piece is from the 2013 Pre-Fall Collection. Peter Dundas, the Artistic Director behind the House of Pucci, says his inspiration for the Fall line is Mia Farrow as Daisy Buccanan. “I’d forgotten what a great look she had: something so innocent, yet at the same time a little perverse.” said Dundas


 These are some of my favorite designs. Images are courtesy of Emiliopucci.com Pre-Fall 2013 Collection



 What do you think about the 2013 Collections? What is your favorite piece? How do you feel about the new direction Peter Dundas is taking the iconic design house? Let us know in the comment section!
             

 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Attn: MEN! What to get your girl for Valentine's Day.

It's typical for single people to hate Valentine's Day. But nobody ever thinks that the paired up couples would too. Let's face it, there's a lot pressure involved in getting the perfect gift to symbolize your undying love.
source unknown


I'm going to admit that my husband and I don't really participate in this holiday. We make little surprises on other days and don't really get caught up in the over-priced, hooplah. And when I was working in a retail floral shop, I worked til 10pm anyway. This is why I've been trying to avoid talking about this holiday on my blog. A side-note: I did receive a new cell phone last year because there was an awesome sale. We're more about practicality in our home.

However, if you have the coolest girlfriend in the world, this is what she wants.

If you want her to get her butt in the kitchen and bake you some cakes, get out your plastic and order this baby right now. From KitchenAid the stand mixer is the Easy Bake Oven for grown-ups.



Fill this anatomical heart-shaped box (cue a grungy guitar) with love. Handmade by Etsy Seller WitchFindersGenStore


Another Talented Etsy Seller, AnvilsandAlchemy creates wearable art like this faux taxidermy moose. 

Ironic art for her apartment is always a good idea. Two of her favorite things..a sloth and Godzilla references. Slothzilla by SharpShirter.

BlackMilk Clothing has tons of awesome bathing suits with graphic prints. The Star Wars line is my favorite, but I still love this purple galaxy print for those who don't want a portrait of a young Harrison Ford stretched across them.













Of course, if you don't think she'll like any of this stuff, you could always take Whitney's advice on what NOT to get your girlfriend in this shakily recorded video of this week's episode of Love You, Mean It.