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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Silver twig studs by afewellery | Zig zag post earrings by LAccentNou | Dung beetle & piggy by puikeprent | Ice cream earrings by PetitPlat

For this week I was inspired by UPPERCASE Magazine. Last saturday I attended Hello Etsy, which was amazing in itself. The first session was a great peek into the life of Janine Vangool, a designer, writer and publisher. She shared stories of her work and how she got where she is today. In our goodybag we all received the latest issue. This morning I flipped through it (I haven’t found the time yet to read it) and immediately felt inspired by the theme. The content was just so colourful that it immediately brightened my day.

It is also a continuation of my effort of these past few weeks to offer something different than clean treasuries with all white backgrounds. I say: Down with white! Of course it has its place and a white on white treasury can look really cool and fancy. But the expectation that only treasuries with white backgrounds should end up on the frontpage has got to go! I think it’s a bit silly that a website that brings together hundreds of thousands of creative people has such a clear unofficial mandate as to how listings should look.

The most important thing to remember is that you have to figure out what backgrounds fit with your products, not how they fit in with the rest of Etsy. Unfortunately I hear sellers who want to take exciting pictures of their listings, but the ones with white backgrounds still get chosen more often for treasuries. So at least try to mix it up a bit: some classic whites, a few with a more rustic and darker look and play around with props. It will make your shop look more interesting and will keep the buyer’s eye busy looking around.

Find more Monday Moodboards on Star of the East blog!

Saturday Style - Time for Winter

Light spots in the night

Abstract Bokeh Photography by MyMonography | Bird Silhouette by Sunshineartdesign | Narrow Gilded Frame by Mackenzieframes | Ebony Cross Hair Stick by TheAncientMuse

Another dark mood board! But the one from last week was inspired by the cold mornings, while this one is inspired by the night and the little lights that shine through. Don’t you just love how these nights can look magical and oh so very romantic? Especially when we come closer and closer to the holidays. I know I’m kind of getting ahead of myself since we’re still two full months away from Christmas. However, one of my favourite parts of the winter is that people put up light decorations and have candles burning behind the windows. These little lights make the winter seem a little bit warmer.

The photograph by MyMonography convey exactly the mood I have felt the last few evenings! I especially like the soft colour tones in this photograph. It just looks truly magical and romantic! Also I might be a bit of a sucker for bokeh 😛 I can’t help it, it’s my weakness when it comes to photography!

Another great photograph that I feel really captures the mood of these nights. SunshineArt has other beautiful examples of nature photography. However I feel that this one set in an urban environment (but still with nature as subject) is of an even higher level than the rest of her work. The composition is just perfect and I’m in love!

As I said I might be getting ahead of myself, but I can’t help it! These Christmas inspired decorations are popping up everywhere. But what I like about the products from MackenzieFrames is that they can really class up your room with their rich features. These are pure classics, especially suitable to hold antique or timeless black and white pictures.

Someone who has mastered romantic product photography as an art form is TheAncientMuse. With her gorgeous hair and beautiful wood art works she really knows how to set the tone with a vintage feel to it. There is also something very Madonna (the pop queen, not the Christian one) about this picture. I’m torn between “Just like a Prayer” and “Frozen“, both excellent songs with amazing video clips!

Find more monday mood boards on Star of the East blog.

Cat pyramid

Cat pyramid

To fill up my shop I thought I would offer some colour variations on some of my illustration designs. The idea came when a customer asked for the cthulhu print in red. I really liked it that way and was immediately reminded of how I had gotten sick of some of the colour combinations I already had. So here are my new sets. I will offer them separately and in sets. The sets will obviously be cheaper when bought as a whole as opposed to separate buys. And you will save on shipping as well!

Geometric Wave

Geometric Wave

Cat Grin

Cat Grin

Angry Hare

Angry Hare

Cthulhu

Cthulhu

In the twilight

Screenprinted oblong scarf by Birribe | Snowflake hat by LikeFreja | Winter photograph by OverTheRainbowPrints | Shell earrings by Rokdarbi

For this week my inspiration came from the mornings. I’m staying at my parents right now to take care of the cat while they are hanging out in Milan. To go the office I need to leave almost an hour earlier than usual. It’s so surreal to walk out of the door to find it is basically still night time! And yet it has its own beauty. I stepped out of the door this morning and it was raining very slightly. I was almost at my tram stop when the wind started blowing and yellow leaves started falling down in spirals. The tree and the leaves were lighted by the yellow street lights and in the distance I saw the sun was struggling to break through the clouds. It was pure magic!

My picks for this week thus are pretty dark. Usually I prefer light backgrounds for product pictures because they tend to highlight the items better and are calmer to browse through in a shop. However, if done correctly a dark background can be absolutely gorgeous and chique.

Though other products are photographed slightly lighter, everything in Birribe’s shop has a grey background. And it fits so well. I don’t think a white background could do her products any good. Her products are either all natural or nature inspired and the grey backrounds keep it natural and rustic looking.

Some might recognise this hat by LikeFreja since I’ve used this item for the making of the banner tutorial last week. I chose another picture of the listing for this moodboard because I thought it fitted better, but honestly both are great. It has a real winter feel to it, and not just because of the woolly hat. I could definitely use one right now as every day it’s getting colder and colder…

Speaking of the cold, some nights it even hits a tad below the freeze point! I do love the effect of frost on plants and trees though! It makes the mornings a bit magical. OverTheRainbowPrints really managed to capture this subtle coating. It almost looks sugary actually. It’s a great close-up.

While these are shell earrings, they still look great for fall. The dried seeds kind of look like acorns and they combine really great with the white shells. I really love this cute little pair from Rokdarbi and they look great hanging from that branch. The small detailling of how the seeds are tied to each other with the brown silk cord really show the craftsmanship of the maker.

Visit more monday moodboards at Star of the East blog.

This is a new category on my blog that I am really excited about. Every sunday I would like to tell a sweet and short-ish story from my life. Something personal. I used to love writing, I wrote short stories, I was a member of the school news paper and I even organized writing contests. These days, even though I study Literature, I can’t really write for myself. The papers I have to write are really tedious and within set structures that I don’t enjoy it anymore. So here’s to change!

Mr Cat is Going to Work

The first subject I really want to talk about is my “buddy” Zyzanna. We partnered up in anticipation of the holidays to motivate and help each other to get our shops ready in time. However, in addition to sharing about our dream printers and our to-do-lists, we’ve also started talking about a lot of other stuff as well. One of which is that she really liked my “Communist cats also ventured into space” print and that I really liked her “Mr cat is going to the office” print. So I offered an exchange, and she happily agreed!

I cannot emphasise enough how much I like this illustration! It simply contains a certain amount of “cat-ness” that I can’t really explain. I guess it’s the derpy expression in combination with the glasses. And that tie totally reminded me of the business cat meme.

My package arrived pretty quickly and it contained all kinds of fabulousness! First of all: Zyzanna really knows how to throw swag in a package and pamper her customers. There was just so many! And this is pretty much how it looks all the time! (I seriously need to step up my game, and I’m working on it) Second of all: I almost like the geometric wave print as much as the cat print (almost!) I’m a print and texture geek and this is just totally up my alley.

But then that wasn’t it. I also got an adorable tiny booklet, cards she had left over from graduation presentation and a pretty business card. The last should not be underestimated by sellers. Business cards can be seen as tiny pieces of art that you can use to impress your customer. I always save a pretty business card and because of it the shop lingers longer in my memory.

If you want to participate in a cool swap as well take a look at We Swap! You can offer an item of your own for a swap and then describe what kind of item you would like to recieve in return. You can also take a look at all the open swaps stil going on. The blog is managed by a group of passionate Etsy sellers. Take a look:

We Swap!