I promise I’ll continue the honeymoon story soon (probably Friday), but I wanted to share a few of the newest photos in my shop today.
Before leaving for Thanksgiving, I walked down to the lake near our apartment and had a field day with my camera. This dock photo was the best of the bunch.
We had a great time at Thanksgiving with John’s family! Lots of good food and, most importantly, great family
The next day, John and I went to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC. I love zoos in general, but the biggest reason I wanted to go to Riverbanks was…the penguins!
Of course, we saw lots of other animals there too, which were almost as cool as the penguins You can actually walk through the kangaroo enclosure and a giant vulture with a 10 foot wingspan almost smashed my camera. However, the only other photos I have up so far are the meerkat (they’re so adorable!), the elephant, and the sea turtle.
I took another animal photo a few weeks ago that isn’t in my shop. I went out to the woods behind our apartment to shoot some leaves, but while I was out there I heard something in the leaves nearby. It was a black snake that had caught a lizard and was eating it. It was a bit macabre, but very cool at the same time. Here’s one of the final shots of it.
I’ve decided to have a giveaway for my new wedding shop, Lace Over Heels! One lucky winner will receive this Pearl Bridal Headband. This headpiece is made from white glass pearls wrapped with wire around a silver tone base and will complement most wedding veils and can be worn by itself. It can be worn as a headband or put on top of the head as a simple tiara or circlet.
To enter, go to my Rafflecopter page on Facebook. You can get entries for liking my page, following me on twitter, blogging about the giveaway, and more!
It may seem a bit strange to many of you that I’m writing about Christmas shopping in August, but the holiday shopping season has been a big topic of conversation among Etsy sellers recently. Many sellers, including me, are starting to roll out their holiday items, but I’ve been thinking about how to make sure everything goes smoothly this holiday season.
Before Father’s Day, I found an awesome mug for my dad. The problem was that I found it about a month before the day and I was having it shipped directly to him. I didn’t trust myself to remember to order it later (but still have it arrive before the day), so I asked the seller if I could order it on the spot and just have her ship it the week before Father’s Day. She agreed and my dad got his mug a little before Father’s Day, but not so far ahead of time that it was strange. Best of all, I didn’t have to remember to go back to the listing weeks after finding it to order it.
Since I found that so helpful, I’ve decided to implement Christmas pre-ordering at Haus of Ariella. Customers who request Christmas pre-ordering in their note to me at checkout will have their items sent on December 17th. People who order before December 1st will also receive free gift wrapping! Unfortunately, Christmas pre-ordering is only available for US orders. Since international shipping and customs is so difficult to predict, I don’t feel like I can guarantee that all international orders will arrive in time for Christmas unless the customer pays the exorbitant shipping charges for Priority International.
I think that this will be a win for everyone. Customers who are shipping gifts directly to their friends or family won’t have to worry about waiting until closer to Christmas when they find that perfect gift. Even those who will be giving their gifts in person won’t have to deal with storing the gifts for weeks – plus, who doesn’t love free gift wrapping.
I am also taking Chanukah pre-orders as well, so if you need a gift shipped in time for Chanukah, just specify that at checkout.
Of course, if you prefer not to take advantage of the Christmas pre-ordering, I will still be taking regular orders as usual.
I am quite happily done with the MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination). I won’t know the results for five weeks, but I feel pretty confident about it. To celebrate, I’ve decided to have anther giveaway!
You can enter to win these very cute Halloween Cat Earrings simply by liking my page on Facebook. Plus, if you refer a friend and your friend wins, you both win a pair! Just use this link and enter before September 1st for your chance to win.
First of all, thank you to everyone who voted on the name of my new Etsy wedding shop. So far Ariella’s Getting Married is in the lead, but I’m a bit hesitant about it for a few reasons, one of which is that you can’t use apostrophes or spaces in Etsy shop names, so it would AriellasGettingMarried. I’m also a little worried that it makes the shop more about me than about my customers. What do you think? If you haven’t voted yet, I’d really appreciate it if you would. Go here and pick your two favorite names for the shop.
Now on to the Etsy finds!
As those of you in this part of the world may have noticed, it’s been a bit hot recently. As in Oh-My-God-My-Face-Is-Melting hot. So the other weekend when it was 105 degrees, I decided it was high time to go hang out in the pool. Unfortunately, I discovered that I may have gained a cup size since I last worn my bikini. My bikini top, which was a bit revealing when I wore a C cup, now makes me look like I’m vying for a spot in the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated, only with less silicone and Photoshop. Needless to say, it might have been time for a new bathing suit.
As I said, I’m really feeling the whole retro swimwear thing, so I searched for retro swimsuits and this beauty popped up. This Retro Swimsuit by Shermonsters is awesomely retro and can be made in the color of your choice. Sadly, it was also more than I could justify spending at the moment (not that $89 is that much for a good bathing suit, but it is when you’re broke).
This Army Green Bikini by PINKSTARswimwear wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but it’s very cute and the price was certainly right. You can’t beat $15 for a bikini. I was going to buy it, but then I found this…
The Starlet by SheilaFrankSAMPLES was everything I was looking for – it has interesting lines and retro styling, and it’s cheap! I bought it and couldn’t be happier. It was only $16.80 and it came with a removable skirt. For such a low price, I wasn’t expecting too much from the workmanship, but it’s incredibly well made.
I’ve decided that my Etsy shop, Haus of Ariella, is going in too many directions and I need to open a separate shop for my more traditional wedding items. I also bought a great vintage wedding dress today that is unfortunately far too small for me that I’d like to put in the new shop. I’m hoping to get a professional photographer to take photos of my items for the new shop, because that has been my biggest obstacle with my veils. I’m a bit stuck about the name though. What’s a good, unique, and memorable name for a wedding shop on Etsy. I was asking for ideas on the Etsy Success team yesterday and these are the front-runners. Please vote for the one you like the most or suggest a new one.
Thanks for participating!
Well, I finally finished the bodice on my dress. And this was the result. The lumps on the edges are the result of it slowly creeping its way off of my chest. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed. I did a little research online though and found out that the issue wasn’t my sewing ability, but the pattern itself. Apparently I’m not the only one who tried this pattern with the strapless bodice option and found it creeping down. There really just isn’t enough boning to keep it in place (only the one piece on the side goes all the way down the bodice; the other four aren’t even all the way down the top half of the bodice). So my options are to make one of the other bodice options with that pattern or find a new bodice pattern. Considering the bodice pattern was extremely large for the measurements (I have a 37″ bust, but ended up using the size marked for a 32.5″ bust) and some of the instructions were actually wrong, I decided to find a new one. I’m happy with the skirt (though it’s not laying down in the photo), so I got this pattern.
Unlike the pattern I was using, this has boning that goes all the way down. As an added bonus, you can make it with a corset back, which was what I really wanted in the first place. I’m going to make the strapless version of view D.
In other Etsy news, I found a photographer who is looking to get into product photography and is willing to shoot my veils for free in exchange for the credit. Unfortunately our appointment for tomorrow had to be postponed, which is just as well considering it’s still going to be rather hot with a chance of thunderstorms. However, I made two new veils – a floor length veil and a cathedral length veil with a blusher – in preparation for it. I probably won’t be able to photograph myself in them since they require some positioning that I can’t do before a self-timer goes off. Hopefully next week they’ll be listed.
Don’t get me wrong; I adore all of our cats. However, four indoor-only cats in a two bedroom apartment is kind of a lot. The litter box situation is getting a bit out of control, but I don’t know what to do about it! We only have two boxes (the recommendation is for one per cat plus one extra) because that’s all we have room for. We do our best to scoop them every day, but sometimes life just gets in the way. Plus, I seem to have an asthma attack every time I pour new litter into the boxes now. Luckily, we found what might be the best litter known to man – Arm and Hammer Double Duty. That’s seriously the only thing that is saving us right now, but it’s getting expensive.
Part two of the cat problem is that I’m kinda allergic to them. Of course, cat allergens are something that you get more immune to the more you’re around them. However, my doctor has been theorizing that the horrific bouts of asthma that I’ve been suffering from recently might be due to introducing the fourth cat. I don’t know if that’s the case or not, but I do know that breathing is a good thing and not being able to do so is a bit terrifying. And by the way, Prednisone really, really sucks. John keeps asking if I’m sure my parents don’t want a Dave. The cats are no longer allowed in the bedroom, which makes me really sad since that was when Darcy would come cuddle up under the covers with me, but it does make sense for the allergies (and cuts down on idiots waking us up in the middle of the night).
Of course, I’m sitting here typing this with a Lily by my computer and a Jude on my lap, which makes me very happy. Last night, John and I were on the couch watching a movie and I had three cats climbing on me and purring. I guess at the end of the day, they’re worth it. Even when they make messes, wake us up in the middle of the night, get on counters, steal our food, scatter my crafting supplies, and generally behave like idiots, we still love them.
On another happy cat note, we got the cats a little cat mat from Bax Cat and Co. on Etsy. We’ve gotten a few toys from her before and the cats love them, so I thought I would commission her to make a Union Jack cat mat for us as well. It turned out really well and the cats love it, though Dave took a while to get used to it. When we first put it up on the trunk in front of the window, he didn’t know what to think of it and kept jumping every time he sniffed it. It was quite amusing; I wish I had a video of it. Clearly, he’s gotten over his initial fear though.
If you’re in the market for cute cat mats or cat toys that are damn near indestructible (and adorable) I highly recommend Bax Cat and Co. She even added a Nimbus 2000 cat toy for all of the Harry Potter geeks out there!
This may not turn into a running theme, but I like posting my favorite finds from one of my favorite sites. Etsy is a great place to sell handmade and vintage items, but it also a great place to spend all of the money you make selling said items. Here are a few more items I would LOVE to buy if I had the money (and a few I may buy anyway).
I love this jacket! For one, the style is to die for. I’m a sucker for cropped jackets and I love the buttons on this one. Plus, it’s reversible so it’s like TWO JACKETS IN ONE! As I type the $71 seems even more reasonable, because it’s like paying $35.50 for two jackets.
Another WANT item. For those of you who don’t know me personally, I pretty much live in hoodies. Right now, I’m wearing an uber-cute little red dress from BonneChanceVintage with my ratty hoodie from Target. I’m pretty much always cold, so hoodie’s are perfect for me, and I really need an upgrade. When I get the money, I’m totally going to buy this one. It’s awesomely geeky, plus it says “Allons-y” on the sleeve, which is what we’re getting engraved on our wedding bands. John really wants one too. Is it tacky to put matching Doctor Who hoodies on your wedding registry?
Here’s another wonderfully geeky item I stumbled upon – a Star Trek uniform bag. She makes them in red too if you want to be the first one to die on a strange planet.
How do I love this dress? Let me count the ways. For one thing, I love all things cherry blossom, so a cherry blossom dress is amazing. I also love this style of dress – I’m all about tea length retro dresses right now. I’m also really feeling teal and pink right now, so the color combination is really just icing on top. If I had $235, this dress would be mine now. By the way, she makes these is a TON of other colors including white and ivory. Can I say wedding dress?
I’ll leave you with these amazing Star Wars Lightsaber cake servers. If we decide to do cake for the wedding, we might even contact this seller to see if she can make sonic screwdriver ones.
I finally finished my Union Jack-inspired three tier veil! I really love this veil – it’s fun and playful, but still not going to freak out any relatives at the wedding. The only thing I don’t like is trying to take decent photos of it!
I had an exam today, but almost as soon as I got home I set out to try to photograph this one and my previous veil. I’m a member of the Etsy Success team and the most common criticism I got about the photos for my last veil was that the natural background was distracting and I should go with a solid background. White on white doesn’t work very well, which was why I took the photos outdoors in the first place. This time I used a gray piece of fabric that I taped to the wall on my balcony. Clearly the results leave much to be desired.
I came very close to buying a set of photography studio backdrops and lighting off of Craigslist today – I’m just sick of trying to jury-rig everything when I try to take photos. Also, the lighting in my new apartment kind of sucks. My old apartment had all of this great direct sunlight that made photographing items much easier. It’s already hard enough trying to photograph myself (not to mention getting into my dress by myself). I can’t afford to hire a professional, so I’m at a bit of a loss. Does anyone have any advice? Or better yet, is anyone willing to come help me take some photos?