31 December 2012

Bye Bye 2012!

A time to look forward

So here I am, goal achieved and now what!?! Just because I love making pretty things that might just let your day sparkle a bit more, I would love to see it turn into a success. Since opening I have been trying to juggle my time between social media, SEO and making new things. Let me tell you one little thing: the day is just not long enough to do it as quickly as I want to.

I feel it's crucial to add more items to my shop. I've got quite a few greeting cards and a few art prints in my shop already but love to have more. At the moment I'm working on art prints that can be personalized but what would you like to see? I would love to hear from you! So let me know what you're missing in the Heedopter shop. I might just go and make it...


30 December 2012

A time for reflection

I just love the last couple of weeks of December! Lots of little lights, nice food, cheery people and lots and lots of days off (always a good thing). I have been taking it easy in the last week which left me plenty of time to reflect on the past months and year. I'd set myself one goal for 2012 and that was to open my Etsy shop. And yes, I made it! With even a month to spare ;-)

It started in the beginning of the year. Around april or so with a screenprinting Etsy Lab at Pini Piru's workshop. I loved it and I loved the people. Just the fact that I didn't even have to pay for it or own an Etsy shop to be part of the Etsy Lab. That's real love of and determination about moving the Handmade movement forward. Basically it planted a seed and that seed started to grow when I was discovering more and more about Etsy. I knew for a long while that I really wanted to start designing again. Years ago I used to do all sorts in the creative field. I've been to fashion college and after that interior design. I used to work as an interior stylist for the dutch equivalent of the BBC tv show 'Changing rooms' and the US 'Trading Spaces' ('In Holland staat een huis') and worked for a few years as a video editor. But I gave it all up to travel the world. During one of them travels I met my boyfriend and moved to the UK. Being in the UK it was hard to find work let alone work that I actually liked. So I ended up in IT and even though I'm back in the Netherlands (yes, still with my english boyfriend and an extra lovely little addition, our son ;-) I still work in IT.

Photo taken from EtsyNL's facebook album

That's been ok for all those years but in the last year I finally reached that point that it wasn't enough anymore and when I was introduced into Etsy I knew that's what I had to do! And so I did. I started designing, I went to the Hello Etsy event and was inspired by so many nice people. Even though Etsy is an online community, meeting them in real life really show how passionate these people are about handmade things and how keen they are to help each other out. It felt like a warm bath!

A few weeks later my own Etsy shop opened! That's exactly 1 month ago today!

16 December 2012

Have some fun! Homemade christmas crackers

Working really hard to open up my Etsy shop I've kind of neglected my loved ones a little bit. They have been so supportive of me and they gave me every opportunity to work on my designs that, now Heedopter is officially online, it's time to give back.

And guess what!?! It's Christmas time and this should be about spending time with your loved ones. This year for some reason we have managed to have the presents all ready and wrapped up a week and a half before Christmas. Don't ask me how we've done it because normally I'm really running late on these things and am suffering of proper holiday stress. But no, it's all relaxed this year. Which means there'splenty of time to decorate and actually make some homemade Christmas crackers!

We're living in The Netherlands and Christmas crackers aren't part of the holiday tradition. Yes, I do see them popping up here and there  but they're still hard to come by. My boyfriend is from the UK and crackers are a huge part of Christmas dinner. No dinner is complete without these! For all of you who don't know what Christmas crackers are: it's basically a paper toffee shape and it has a little present inside, a paper crown and a naff joke. You're suppose to pull them, each holding one end, and when you do, it bangs! The one holding the long end gets to keep what's inside. Lovely tradition! Everyone sitting around the table having Christmas dinner with a paper crown on their head! (Can you picture it?)

Anyway, this year we decided to make some crackers of our own since we will be having Christmas dinner over at my mum's. We made them once before and are still far from professional but it's so much fun to do! We bought everyone a little present and made some crowns... we didn't bother with the naff jokes.

Big round of applause for my boyfriend! He did most of the work, I just handed him bits of tape and tied ribbons around.

All you need is some tissue paper, toilet rolls, ribbon and washi or cello tape and to top it off: some bangers (we bought ours last year in the UK). I used my own gift tags which I posted earlier on for you to download for free. Missed them? Try again here.

08 December 2012

Friendly sneak attack!

Wow, what's going on? Views of my Etsy shop were going through the roof, lots of favourites on my items and on top of that the orders were flying in! And all of that in just one weekend!

Guess what, I got sneak attacked! This great team of Etsy sellers called the Handmade Movement picked out my shop to sneak attack. Basically it means that they're boosting new and undiscovered Etsy shops with views, favourites, treasuries and sales. What a great way to support new shops!

It's daunting... putting your work out there that you worked really hard at... only to find out that it takes time for people to find you and buy your work. You hope that once your shop is online, the orders are flying in. Well, that dream goes quickly out the window. I'm not sure why but it is quite common that it could take months before your first sale. I was lucky to make my first sale in the first week of opening but still would've loved to sell more...

And this is where the Handmade Movement came to the rescue! Just by picking the Heedopter shop for their friendly sneak attack, they boosted traffic on my shop, sales and my mood!

So, dear people from the Handmade Movement team: a big, big, big THANK YOU! It's been such a buzz!

You can find out more about them right here: http://www.handmademovement.blogspot.nl/

07 December 2012

Free printable Christmas gift tags

When opening my Etsy shop I so would've loved to have a collection of Christmas cards. Unfortunately I was running out of time and couldn't do it all. I chose to start my shop with cards for all occassions. I promise I will have lots of choice for Christmas cards next year.

In the meanwhile I could't resists doing just a little something for Christmas. So here it is! A free printable set of christmas gift tags for all your special gifts.

Click here to download the pdf file. 

December is here!

Waking up yesterday to a wonderful white world of snow! Having a real early start I was the first one to leave tracks in the snow. What a great kickoff to the festive month of December! So, time to decorate the house! There's so many lovely decorations and DIY's out there that it's hard to choose. I like to mix natural materials and colours with some crazy colour explosions here and there. Today just a little selection of wonderful and cute christmas decorations I came across.