Archive Page 2

First Trip to York

We spent the weekend in York, Maine to celebrate our friends’ wedding! Usually we stay in Ogunquit so it was nice to have a reason to try somewhere new. We stayed at the Union Bluff Hotel and had a great view of the water and the beach.

We got salt water taffy from The Goldenrod, had pizza at Woody’s, and grabbed ice cream from Wicked Good Ice Cream.

Our friends rented a house right on the water for the celebration. It had a million rooms, a million and one balconies, and ocean on 3 1/2  sides. It felt like the edge of the world. It was magical.

It was a super fun weekend and we’re already talking about going back!

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The results are in!

With a record-breaking 12 votes, and 100% support for free shipping, The Tragic Whale is moving to free shipping!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to weigh in on this!

This feels like a HUGE step for me, and the price differences see so drastic, but I just keep reminding myself that it’s only $2 and that I came to this decision with input from my customer base. Here’s to the next thing!

 

Free Shipping Poll

Please take the survey! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YX9YXMJ

With Etsy pushing free shipping, and with the USPS price increase at the beginning of the year, I’m considering offering free shipping. It currently costs $4.12 (+) to mail out a package, but I haven’t increased my shipping fees past $3 since shipping went up to $3 a few years ago.

I can raise my shipping fees up to $4 and take the loss of a few cents per order

OR

I can increase cost of my items by $2 and change shipping to $0.

I don’t want my price increase to be too dramatic and scare people away. But with an average order size of 1, it would decrease the overall price for almost my entire customer base.

Current-
Average item cost: $14.50
Shipping:$3
Average total: $17.50

Shipping increase-
Average item cost: $14.50
Shipping: $4
Average total: $18.50

Free shipping- 
Average item cost: $16.50
Shipping: $0
Average total: $16.50

Please take the survey! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YX9YXMJ

Garden Update- May

We got the raised beds started! We didn’t get enough soil, and that square one in the back doesn’t have a permanent home yet. But we have a pallet of soil waiting in the driveway, with a couple of cedar flower barrels for some perennial flowers.

So far, the green beans, carrots, and broccoli have moved into the front beds. The beans are THRIVING! And the carrots and broccoli look very dead. I started more carrots in peat pots, but I also have enough seeds left to start a row right in the soil, and thin them out as they pop up. I’m going to give them a couple of weeks and see what happens.

None of the peppers I started sprouted, and all their peat pots molded! Out of everything, they are the only ones that got gross so I don’t know what I did wrong. They got the same amount of water and same amount of light. I started a few more and I’m hoping a couple of them take. A local farm (J&K’s Good Thyme Farm!) has a plant sale coming up so if mine don’t sprout I can shop local and get some there!

We added a bird feeder to the front, moved the strawberry plants into the back yard raised bed, and I relocated my Lily of the Valley again.

And we’re planning a shed for the front corner of the yard, with a path to it from the front steps. If all goes according to plan, we won’t have any front grass to worry about by next year!

Inventory on Fair Days

Last year, I started deactivating the bags in my shop that I was bringing with me to events. I liked that there were still items in my shop to view, but that nothing could be double sold. But the process of deactivating 100 or so listings every week is time consuming, and then there is the matter of getting the unsold inventory back in the shop quickly. Sometimes I would removed sold bags throughout the day and reactive everything else right from my phone at the end of the event, but other times I wouldn’t get to it until the following Monday.

For this year, I’m going to test shutting down the whole shop just prior to the start of the event. I’ll hopefully have time during the event to delete sold items form inventory, and then reopen the full shop at the end of the day.

I’m thinking I’ll save time during the week on “Fair Prep” and will have more time for sewing and fabric design. It also takes significantly less time to press one button and reactive a shop than it does to reactive 75ish listings individually.

To combat people thinking that my shop is on a permanent vacation, I’ll add a note to the shop announcement explaining what fair I’m at, how long it is, and when to expect the shop to reopen with full inventory.

My first fair of the year is THIS SATURDAY! So I’ll have the first wave of research in less than a week from now.

How do you handle Etsy shop inventory when you have a fair or a market?

The 100 Day Project

When my friend, Carolyn from over at SweetCarolyns asked me to do the 100 Day Project with her, I said, “What the heck is that?”

Turns out, it’s a project where you commit to doing something creative every day for ONE HUNDRED days. Whoa. Yikes. That’s quite a commitment. So I said yes and here we are!

I decided that my project would revolve around fabric design. I design mostly in paper, I can probably make a paper design every day. BUT WAIT! I know that if I miss a day, I’ll be so bummed out that I might just give up. I know me, and I know how much I like to give up. So I committed to 100 new designs IN 100 days, not necessarily one every day. This lets me stack up on days when I’m feeling extra-creative, and then post along with the project.

It started April 2nd, so it should end sometime in July. Here’s some of my creations so far:

I made this moon, the winner out of the 8 different moons.

A kiwi bird that looks kind of like a kiwi fruit.

Bananas! I don’t like them but I think they’re funny.

Orange and purple carrots, because I’m trying to grow multi-colored carrots in my garden this year.

You can learn more about The 100 Day Project on their official website: https://www.the100dayproject.org/

You can follow along on Instagram with the hashtags #The100DayProject and #The100DayProject2019

And you can check out my progress HERE and Carolyn’s progress HERE. She’s been doing some sweet cross stitching!

2019 Garden

Last year, I had a little 4×4 raised bed in the back yard. I tried my hand at carrots, beets, cucumbers, sweet peppers, and green beans. I didn’t thin my carrots so they ended up in jumbled clumps, I only had 3 bean plants so we never had enough to go with a meal, the pepper plants didn’t grow above 3 inches, one of the two beets died, and the cucumbers were amazing!

(oops)

I’m excited to step up my game this year. The front yard has the best light, and we hate the grass, so the plan is to fill the space with raised beds and flower pots, eventually. It’s something that I want to build up to, adding a little every year JUST IN CASE I lose total interest in this hobby. I don’t want to invest in a full-yard garden and then next year be like, “Oh, I’m actually onto swim aerobics now and don’t have time for plants.” We decided to start with three 6×3 raided beds and put them on the flattest part of the yard, and then get some half-barrels to start perennial flowers. We have a terraced area next to the fro

 

nt steps currently full of weird bushes that I’m going to replace with a few Lily of the Valley (snagged from my parents’ yard, which my mom snagged from her parents’ yard). Eventually, they’ll spread out and fill the whole area with beautiful white flowers in the spring, and then lush green leaves for the rest of the summer. Plus, they’re very low maintenance!

I ordered a grow light and started my seeds in the basement this year.

Last year, I started them on the kitchen table in late spring as as soon as they started to sprout, Fluff started to snack on them! They’re much safer in the basement, albeit colder, and when it starts to warm up I’ll move them to the deck. We already have a few little sprouts: broccoli, malva, lupine, and some beans are starting to poke through.

As for the small bed in the back yard, I don’t know if I want to try asparagus, which seems like a fun challenge, or do some kind of terraced strawberry area. Luckily, I have some time to figure it out before I start digging in the dirt.

 


Hello, I’m Kerry! Maker. Sewist. Fan of all things bright.

October 2019
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It's Fluff! Curious, master napper, likes to try new veggies.

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