We’ve all heard the saying, “When one door closes, another opens.” This has been so true for my shop Mossy Cottage.
As business expanded at my William Street location I was able to get a second smaller space upstairs. I called this space Mossy Cottage Too and it had more retro and industrial merchandise. For the last couple years, however, sales upstairs have not been so great, mostly because only about 1/4 of the people who come into the mall actually go upstairs.
To boost sales I started an Etsy shop several years ago but really didn’t put much effort into it. Earlier this year I decided to work harder at my Etsy shop and run it like the real business it is. Well, once I started to put some time and effort into it, my Etsy shop finally took off. I love that I can list items and run the shop
in my pajamas from home.
That being said, I decided to give up my Mossy Cottage Too space upstairs at the mall, and concentrate on my larger downstairs space and my Etsy shop.
Here are some
blurry quick pictures of my new business plan. Please notice that if I had one more item to squeeze into my booth downstairs I literally would have needed a shoe horn!
So there is a quick tour of Mossy Cottage as it is now. I love having the retro mixed with the shabby chic mixed with the industrial. It all can coexist nicely.
I feel a sense of peace having just one booth again. Having an active Etsy shop helps with the sales, but doesn’t require another rent nor schlepping anything upstairs (which gives my knees a sense of peace)! If you would like to visit my Etsy shop here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MossyCottage
If you live in any of the central or northern United States you have probably had a snow day ,or 5, this past week. Snow days are great because we can sleep in and lounge in pj’s longer than on regular days (unless you shop at Walmart). You don’t have to wear make-up or fix up your hair. You can make soup, chili and homemade bread. You can watch TV and look at Pinterest for hours on end. These are things I love to do on a snow day. But when a snow day turns into 3 or 4 days I start to get antsy. And when I get antsy I usually start tidying things.
If any of you look on my Etsy shop, Mossy Cottage, you will notice I have posted quite a few laces and trims this last week. Some of them are so beautiful I just had to keep some for myself. Yeah, like I need more trim. Combine pieces of lace, boredom, and a need to use glitter and this is the project I started.
First I got two very large jars.
I painted the lids and then covered them with Delta Ceramcoat Sparkle Glaze. It is a protective coating that has glitter in it. When it is dry, the glitter is sealed in and won’t come off. I LOVE THIS STUFF! Aren’t these lids adorable?!
I got out some of my vintage clothes pegs.
And the pieces of lace I saved from my Etsy listings.
I wound the lace around the clothes pegs, secured the ends with pins, and popped them into one of the jars. The other jar is still full of clothes pegs ready to tackle this…..
This is my HUGE box of jumbled up laces. So all I can say now is….let is snow!!!
Well I did it. In two weeks I converted the train wreck of a room into a functioning, cute studio/office!!! Check out my post from February 9th to see the hideous before pictures.
Now before I inundate you with a lot of after pictures I have a couple things to say.
First of all, I spent hours on Pinterest (I know, I know) looking at pictures of other peoples studios. I even created my own studio board and pinned some of these pictures. You know the ones I mean. The studios overflowing with lace and flowers and ribbons and all kinds of girly goodness. The kind that make you drool. The problem is, for a mixed media artist they are impractical. Why? Well, all I have to say is paint and glue do not go well with lace, unless it’s intentional. Most of the time I am working my fingers are covered with glue, paint, glitter or all three. Things spill, things fly, things get dripped and dropped. It’s messy is what I’m getting at (at least if you’re doing it right)!
Next are the studios with thousands of matching plastic bins lined up like soldiers, corralling art supplies neatly. This is wrong to me in so many ways I don’t even know where to start. First of all, plastic bins. Really? If you are any type of artist you can do better than that. Second of all, uniformity that stiff would definitely stifle any ounce of creativity I may have. And again, I’m not going to open 1000 plastic boxes with gluey, painty, glittery hands looking for 1 white button!!!!
So all that being said (with nary a picture to be seen) I will tell you that my studio makeover will probably not make you swoon, nor will it calm your OCD tendencies. It is however, nice to look at (at least I think so), organized in a thoughtful and useful way, and inspires my creativity. So here we go…
First I will give you a 360 degree look at the studio.
This is a really bad photo. But I just had to tell you that with everything else I have had to do in the last two weeks, I decided this past Thursday to make valances. It could have been easy, however, I decided to make alternating fabric valances that required 28 panels to be cut out and then sewn together. You can see them a little better in the first picture. As a side note, if you are planning a studio/office redo…buy valances!
No real transformation here, except Valentines Day is history and shop sign that I use at shows is stored on the wall. It reminds me that when I am having fun creating, I am also at work!
Now we’ll take a closer look…
All kinds of goodies ready to be “altered”!
A huge jar of scrabble tiles next to one of my favorite pictures of Adam. He was quite young and is petting a chicken at the Bowling Green Harvest Festival.
I spent 8 years of my adult life doing Isshin-ryu karate. When I look at this display it brings back many happy memories. It also reminds me, that if I could survive my black belt test (4 hours of physical and mental torture) I can survive anything, even redoing my studio!
This 1930’s mohair monkey has a cute painted face. He is my boss. He is also holding a picture of my dear departed Wally. The music on the mirror is the hymn “It is well with my soul”. And it is.
A reminder of why I do it.
Scissors, toothpicks, spray bottle, gel pens and a jar of pink polka dotted ribbon. Who could ask for anything more????
And last but not least. I bought this little guy for resale, but gee, he’s a little pink donkey. Need I say more?
So that’s it. Well, not really. You will see another post in a couple of weeks with a few details I forgot or didn’t get to. Hint, an inspiration board would be nice Helen, you know?
In the past two weeks I have learned a lot about redoing a studio. First, it’s TONS of work. Second, you MUST get rid of stuff you are really never going to use. Third, it has to work for you and your type of art. It must be inspiring to you, as you are the one working there. And lastly, it is worth every ounce of energy you use! I cannot tell you how excited I am to get down and dirty with some art this evening!
I hope I have inspired you to look around your work space and do some tweeking so you can let your creativity soar!!!!
Halloween has passed and now we face almost two months of frenzied activity and rampant commercialism. While we hold tightly to the traditions we love, there are things about the Christmas season that we probably all would like to change. Food is pretty much all traditional at our house. I may try a new cookie recipe once in a while, however, I know better than to forgo the crack-up candy and homemade cinnamon rolls. Can anyone say Mutiny on the Bounty? There are couple parties we always look forward to attending. And of course, our family has the silly white elephant gift swap, which is always good for a ton of laughs.
My passionate plea has nothing to do with changing these things. Rather, I am focusing more on decorations and gifts. I’m not going to bore you with details on how much stuff we import from China or how full our landfills are becoming. I’m assuming most of you have at least some idea of what is going on in these areas. What I am asking is that all my readers consider buying vintage and handmade gifts and decorations instead of going to (insert big box store name here) and buying cheap junk that is only benefiting the rich owners of the manufacturing companies and box stores.
Okay Helen, take a breath. There are craft fairs galore this time of year. Ask around and see which ones might have stuff that interests you. Yes, I know there are craft fairs that carry crocheted pot holders and the like. However, now more than ever you will find better shows that feature handmade items like jewelry, purses, decorations, bath products and mixed media art. Not like your sainted granny’s show!
You are literally helping your local economy when you buy from American crafts people and artisans. Believe me, if you buy something I make, I will in turn have money to buy something from someone else. And I always try to buy local first. I would much rather give someone a handmade gift than a mass-produced item that carries little thought. Okay, so I can’t crochet an iPad, but I can find really nice handmade iPad holders at craft shows and on Etsy.
There are also tons of cute, vintage decorations to be had at antique shops, flea markets and thrift stores. Again, these purchases support small local businesses.
I don’t care if you vote Republican or Democrat next week, one thing is for sure. Our economy is not going to get stronger if we don’t start making and buying products in the USA! This is not a shameless advertisement for Mossy Cottage, because I’m less interested in you buying your gifts and decorations from me (although that would be nice) as I am for you to buy from any small business or craftsman here in this country. And if craft shows are not your “thing”, then check out antique shops or shopping online at Etsy. There is really so much cool stuff out there, stuff I know I would enjoy getting, you just have to think outside the (big) box!!!!! See what I did there?