Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

Hello everyone -- Happy Earth Day! Yay! I'm thinking my hubby and I are going to plant a tree in our yard this weekend, so cross your fingers that I can find a Yellow Trumpet Tree! :)

Anyway, I've been studiously trying to better my photography and I think I might be getting better... slowly! I've added five new listings to Etsy today -- a blanket/burp cloth gift set, three burp cloth sets and a flower blanket. I hope these enhance my shop!

This is my main photo of a beautiful white cloud design gift set. The snuggle blanket is 17" square -- perfect for the car seat or stroller -- and is oriented towards sensory stimulation in young infants. There are four squares -- cotton, flannel, fleece and satin -- with a minky backing, each square giving a different texture for your little baby. The burp cloth is matching, with the same white minky back. Yay!

This photo to the right is an example of our two burp cloth set -- with purple moons and blue clouds.

This last photo is one of my favorites -- I think it's a great closeup that I simply cannot duplicate no matter how hard I try. It's a picture of our basic burp cloth gift set with the Pastel Block and Welcome Little One burp cloths pictured. I hope you enjoyed these -- any of our items are available for purchase through our Etsy store and can be made into larger gift sets. We can create matching onesies, blankets and many other items!

Anyway, I think that's enough posting on Etsy for me for a while... let's cross our fingers and hope a few things sell. So many items are popular at craft shows -- like the burp cloths and snuggle blankets -- let's hope that popularity translates over to Etsy! Wish us luck!

Monday, April 21, 2008


Ok, so I'm being a good sport. I'm trying this whole selling-crafts-online thing because I want to broaden our sales base by more than the "Craft Market Patrons" and "Friend Referrals" in the Orlando area. I gamely set up a Myspace (not hard considering I had one already) and I'm jumping into Etsy. The latest thing has been this blog and I feel like things are churning along fairly well...

Except for one thing.....
My photographs. I look at all these listing for baby blankets and burp cloths on Etsy and I see the most beautiful pictures. I'm not sure if some sellers have hidden photography fetishes or if I'm just way behind the eight ball when it comes to style, but their pictures have mine beat by... oh... about a million to one. I'm not saying their products are better -- heck, most baby blankets are essentially the same -- but their presentations are better. Some are so beautiful, with the perfect lighting (no shadows!), perfect backdrop and exact angle that I wonder if they hired a professional photographer to come and shoot their products.

You have their pictures... then you have *MY* pictures. Bad lighting, bad setup, shadows all over the place, blankets not centered, blurry -- if something can go wrong, it will. I've tried different rooms of my house, I've tried outside, I've tried light-colored backing, I've tried dark, I've tried hanging the blankets from a canopy bed and artistically arranging the lighting, I've tried folding the blankets, I've tried draping the blankets, crumpling the blankets, laying them flat, folding down a corner, I've tried crappy camera with a flash, crappy camera without flash, awesomely-expensive camera without flash, awesomely-expensive camera with primo bounce-flash, I've tried all the lights on in my house, I've tried adding some extra halogen lights, I've tried directing a desk lamp at the setup, yet nothing I do yields that mythical "awesome Etsy photograph" moment that enhances your product instead of making look like it sucks. Honestly, that has to be the reason we're not doing better on Etsy (that and.. yeah... I haven't added like 90% of what we sell... lol). I made a sale on a pillow and, surprise, it was actually one of my better quality photographs.

I hate taking pictures of blankets. I think I've photographed the same silly blanket approximately FIVE TIMES because I can't get it right! ACK! Why oh why is this so hard for me???? *Bangs head into wall* The most frustrating part is that I know our blankets are nice -- they are well-constructed and made from top-of-the-line materials -- yet I can't convey the true softness and appeal into a photograph... which is the whole essence of being successful on Etsy.


Well, anyway... I have a few more pictures of our most recent blankets -- hopefully they came out better than the previous ones. The one on the left is a small (24 x 29") baby blanket with a soft snuggle flannel on one side and the softest white minky on the other, joined with satin binding while the one on the right is one of my all-time favorite blankets. I love oriental-style clothing and blankets, and this butterfly brocade is just FANTASTIC. It's a white satin brocade etched with butterflies on one side and a super-soft dark pink minky on the other. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hello and Welcome to our blog!

This whole blog thing is so new to me I'm really not sure what to say here! I guess I'll just wing it and see how it goes...

Anyway, my name is Jennifer and I'm a co-owner of a small, new craft business based out of Orlando, FL. My other half, Heidi, and I make up Made By Moms and we create everything you see here, on our Myspace and on Etsy by hand. We love to sew and create everything from diaper bags to burp cloths, clothing to baby blankets. I, personally, have a great fondness for hand embroidery and hope to have a few embroidered items featured in our Etsy shop soon. When I say we're new, we're only a few months old so right now we're working hard to increase our inventory while working small craft markets like the ones in Lake Eola and Sanford. Hopefully this fall will allow us to see our first large-scale craft market.

So, who am I? I'm a 28-year-old SAHM to a beautiful (yet completely obnoxious) two-and-a-half-year-old little boy. I graduated from the University of Florida in 2001 and taught high school mathematics until I had my son. I love to read (Dean Koontz, Stephen King, etc), jog, sew, watch sports and play with my son. I'm happily married to a wonderful man who happens to be my Optometrist and we'll be going on six years this October. I'm a big geek who loves to dabble in Photoshop, watch Star Wars movies and read Harry Potter. I have a tendency to dress up when I go see Harry Potter movies (or go to pre-release HP book parties) and I still love Halloween. I can carve a mean tombstone and make all of our props for Halloween -- I'm working on the coolest cemetery ever to grace the good Orlando area. I met Heidi through our mom's group and we've been friends since our children were about 7 months old -- her daughter is only a week older than my son. Heidi is pregnant with their second child, so I'll be the one in charge of our online presence to allow her time to rest! :)

If you ever have any questions, comments or concerns about us, our products, Etsy or our policies, please contact us and we'd be more than happy to help. We'd love to create anything custom you desire -- from a portable changing pad to a full crib bedding set, we're here to please. We feel our products are among the best you can find and we hope to talk to you soon!