Monday, October 8, 2007

1st day -- goals

Following with the "Make your shop better in 30 days" I'm going ahead with the 1st and then will do the 2nd.. just to catch up :')

1st day is making monthly and long term goals for yourself in your shop.

"This helps by keeping you focused and gives you more determination to get your business going. Each month you meet all of your goals reward yourself. It could be a purchase from your favorites list (make it cheap, though, we don’t want to cut into profits too much), a tasty treat, an extra hour of sleep one morning, a picnic for lunch, or something else you love."

Day 1 -- Goals for CagedBirdSings


1. Promote my shop off Etsy. Livejournal, myspace, and facebook. See what I can do.

2. Promote other OWL members.

3. Try to make 2 sales.

Long . Term----------

1. When I get back make more chimes

2. Do twice as many shows than last year

3. Double sales and work harder every month

4. Turn a cute business into a serious one.

5. Open a boutique in the UK on a corner lot somewhere.

there you have it :)

well anyways. if you would like to look into making your ETSY shop better look at Christina Perdue's blog here:

she is already on day 6+ so catch up!


Sunday, September 2, 2007

Wedding Challenges -- ETSYOWLS

Hey all!!! This week's challenge is a wedding theme challenge, in honor of WanderingGirl's upcoming marriage---TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!

A few of the Etsy Owls participated in this challenge this week. The winner will be determined by YOU--as there will be a poll at our team blog at where you can vote for your favorite!

Right now, there isn't a blog up yet, but we wanted to go ahead & get the ball rolling. Look at all the entries, & show them some love!!!

Nick's "Southwest Blues" necklace:

Sharon's "Chillax Bridezilla" Bath Salts:

Lora's "I DO choker necklace":

Erin's "Ringing Bells"

Kristen's "The Wandering Girl (Sterling Silver Earrings)

Feel free to comment on which one you like the best in here until we get the poll up. Hearts & purchases are also encouraged :) We'll be posting a link to it in THIS thread when the poll goes up!!!

Also, last week's challenge winner is Rita (KnotartWA)--who will be the Stellar Seller on the blog this week. Check out the final poll results at

Congrats Rita!!!

Better Days -- New Chime

Hey guys,

The chime you see in the later post of how I create a chime is doing well and listed in my shop. My IRL life has been hectic.. and so has my Etsy one. I work part time, though do extra hours (I leave for Ireland in 15 days so it s a"yipes!" for $$), I also run my Etsy shop, a 2nd shop to support my new charity, and my boss's shop who makes jewelry. I'll be handing over her shop to her soon along with a tutorial of how to survive Etsy. My grandfather has been having ups and downs lately and has just returned from his second E.R. visit. The meds he was on for his back surgery post-ness was giving him nightmares and hallucinations :( which lead to a seizure which led to bad calls. ugh. Its been a depressing 2 weeks and I hope the climb up to Ireland is a better one.

Good news:
I recently received a haircut where I chopped it all off and now its wild and curly (naturally) and its fun and I love it. I feel like a hot fairy. oh boy.
My etsy store which supports my charity got a sale recently :) the cold season is coming! ahhh! <3. style="margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer;" src="" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5105796458870795346" border="0">
But anyways... feeling a bit down I created another windchime and have titled it "Better Days" in hopes that the days to come will shine brighter and truer. I just got back from seeing my grandpa (they sent him home Friday yey!) and he's doing better and seems to be a-okay. not hallucinating as bad but still wakes up and is scared to get off his bed. Which is weird for me? Because I have hellish nightmares -all- the time. so it was weird to talk about his "disease" when its a normal happening for me.

Anyways! the chime:

Thursday, August 30, 2007

How I Create -- Tutorial


Took some pictures while I was working of my last project and I just thought I'd share with everyone how I personally create a windchime or chimette. :) so sit back, relax, and let my pictures help out! (though if I see you selling similar windchimes like mine I have to choke you :) )

Step 1. Create a workspace. The other day I brought up a small card table from downstairs and placed it in my room setting my loads of boxes of beads etc under it, hot glue gun, other glue, and hemp next to it. Make sure you've good lighting... it helps at 2am when you're creating :P

Step 2. Lay out the glass that you're thinking about using. Then go down each row going through it like a sudoku puzzle. haha! You don't want the same blue or even -a- blue in the same row down or across. If you've a light purple and then a dark purple and it absolutely -must- be there, make sure its farther away. can't have people noticing it.

Step 3. Add beads. Each piece of glass gets 3 beads of either the same color as the piece above it, or different colors all together. Blue pieces of glass look silly with blue pieces of beads. they just meld together instead of adding to the piece. The top row only gets 2 because it gets too crowded ( so unless you're adding 3 small beads its kind of bleh looking ).

Step 4. Turn on hot glue gun and go get a drink of water :). and maybe even a fruit snack.

Step 5. Come back, cut a piece of hemp. I usually measure it out by pulling it 3-4 times past my arm held out. It needs to be LONG. if you make it too short it gets sloppy. Left overs get recycled into being the braided handle so no worrying.

Step 6. Once you have your 4 long pieces of hemp you're ready to create! You take the glass closest to you and start wrapping it with the hemp. The first move is to go up and down the piece and then across somehow. you can do this one or two times but you're basically securing it so that the glass doesn't collapse and hurt someone. :(.

Step 7. Holding onto your wrapped goodies you need to put a good amount of hot glue on the biggest overlap and then the pieces that don't feel quite so good. I even apply some glue to the front pieces -just- to make sure.

Step 8. Once done with that row you lay it down next to the others that have yet to be made and get to the next row. Having the rows created previously out in front of you lets you know what wrappings you've already done -quite- enough of, and how close or not close you need to wrap the next piece.

Step 9. Repeat until you're done.

Step 10. Once you're done you take the woodblock that has been drilled 4 holes in the center and then metal hooks twisted into it and pull each strand through. Since you've already laid them out this part is easy.

Step 11. Braid 3 pieces of hemp from one side to the other of the metal hooks. don't make it too long! just long enough.

Step 12. Photo to the heck out of it! yey!

Step 13. list it on Etsy!

See? my job is EASSSYYYY.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Black Forest Craft Festival :: RESULTS

Oh god! I was so happy that Deana invited me to come and be a part of this craft fair.

The one I did with my uncle was in Monument CO, had about 10,000 people and I only had 3 sales. 3 very small sales. Most of the people were just walking by, weren't buying anything from anyone :/

BUT!!! During that fair people who host other fairs came up to me and were impressed with my work. invited me to theirs.

So I gave it a shot and made the 1 hour drive down to Black Forest/Colorado Springs area to their annual craft festival. I made 6 HUGE sales!!! and most of my business cards are gone! I'm so thrilled! I made $120 that day! My biggest craft fair yet! And guess how many people showed up that day? 4-5,000. What?! haha! And some people were saying it was even smaller than before! hosnap! I'll deff. be returning to this one.

Everyone was so nice too!

Look! my booth: :)
With my whole scarf setup and everything :). I'm so proud of myself! I set up major discussions with people, brought a scarf to work on.. and yeah! it works! really drew people to my table. And eventually they took my card. A few of my sales people had said "was going to spend this some where else but your items just strike me as being so incredible..."

I'm touched! Thank you CO community! :)


Friday, August 10, 2007

Mailing List

Join my mailing list to win great prizes, cheaper shipping.. and altogether fun! :)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Harry Potter Scarves

My new line of scarves in honor of the newly released book and movie. Please no spoilers! I'll beat you with my scarf.

Here is what I put in each of my scarves item descriptions:
"In regards to the release of a certain book that came out at midnight 7/21/2007, I have announced a new line of scarves that shall be created going in a certain order at a certain time.

Scarves shall be called "nicely colored scarves" just so that Warner Bros doesn't swoop out and kill said maker of scarf. With that in mind... enjoy this scarf!

The scarf is a limited edition, HP look-a-like from the books that shall not be named :)."

Enjoy! Each scarf is only $22. a real steal deal. You don't even have to be a crazed HP fan to like the Ravenclaw or Slytherin one though. They just look pretty as is :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

-LISTEN- to my chimes on youtube!

I did this JUST 2 minutes ago and I'm SOSOSOSOSOSOSOOOO EXCITED!!!

we'll see if this works: :'>


Monday, July 16, 2007

Featured Sellers -- Two Knotty Hempers!

Just wanted to get their name and their faces out. I've purchased a whopping 4 things from these ladies total and gotta say.. I LOVE THEIR STUFF!!! They're unique and WAY cool. you get more than your monies worth with these two.
Well.. here's their "about us" info!

"TwoKnottyHempers is a collaborative effort between two etsy shop owners,butterflymoon and hemplady4u, who want to spread the word out that Hemp is indeed fashionable, alive and well. In here you will find Galleries of their work, featured hemp artists of the week, macrame tips, hemp information regarding crafting, newsletter, what we are up to , works in progress, ideas...we will even let you pick out a theme for us to work on on a monthly basis. So come join us, sit back and ENJOY!!

Jennifer Mont is the owner of HempButterfly that runs out of etsy for now, She has been crafting for 12 years and keeps going strong. " I see a future in this business, people will come to realize that this is not your regular hempwork, this is truly a work of art." She puts in many hours a week working on new ideas, "everypart of my house is a mess, due to all the designs I have in progress" What will be new in her shop? Her new line of teen wear, Juiced, will premier on Etsy on July 3rd, so keep your eye out. Mother of two gorgeous boys, Joshua and Evan, 8 and 4 respectively she currently resides with her husband Mario and her german shep/great dane LOBO. Her family is her source of constant inspiration.

Lisa Davis is the owner of she has been hemping for 30years. She is married and has 2 biological children, 4 stepchildren , 1 granddaughter and 6 step grandchildren ( I consider them all mine ). She is currently a home maker and loves doing her hempwork cause it relaxes her. " I love to create and like to see how far I can go with each piece I make, sort of like pushing my own boundaries. I want people to fall in love with it, just as i do while im making it. I put in lot of time and thought into each and every piece I concieve . I believe hemp is for everyone" . This is a work of art that takes time to create . A perfectionist at Heart she is the type of person that will take a piece apart until she feels it is good enough to share with the world. "I love to make people smile andI love making people happy, if they are not happy neither am I""

You can visit their blog at:

go! go! they're way cool! :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Black Forest Craft Fair - August 18th

Black Forest is a little uh.. West? I think. of Monument and Palmer lake and all them. But yeah! they're hosting their little craft fair there and seeing as I got invited from the one I did in Monument I thought I'd drop by and take up a booth.

Only $15! Look it up online if you are close and want to come.

I will be right at one of the entrances in the middle. So if you see me, and know me... say hi! :)

Plus... no shipping fees if you get to go to a show that I'm in ;) hehe. Anyways, very excited and can't wait to get out there again. Might do a show in Boulder sometime between or after then... always depends on who is still letting people apply and how much it costs.

See you there! :)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Craft Show -- July 14th

Hey everyone~

I will be setting up my booth once again ( so friggin excited!! ) at Carino Coffee on Smoky Hill and Picadily, Centennial CO. If anyone is nearby and wants to check out my stuff without the shipping costs... nows your chance! :)

It runs from 8am-noon so get their early... enjoy some coffee and see all the cool artists that they're showing off.

See you there! :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Many people start a craft with ambitions of opening a store, maybe going a craft fair, or perhaps just selling a couple here and there while focusing on family gifts. My name is Erin McDonald, owner of Caged Bird Sings Studios and my journey went from just playing around with some glass, to selling on an online store, to signing up for craft fairs. You never know where things will take you.

My mother is truly my main inspiration for me. She began designing candle holders by concreting different colored stained glass pieces to a vase. Having about four of them in my room even now I still like watching the colors flicker about on my dresser and shelves. Stained glass has always been a magical instrument.

I attend the University of Northern Colorado and I now approach the school as only a sophomore. But coming back from school for the summer my mom and I played with the idea of me continuing her stained glass ideas. I had done a few windchimes with her before, but they included sodering and wax and was quite messy and painstakingly long. Then I found Etsy. Etsy has opened my eyes to a ton of inspiration for my pieces. I had recently purchased a wire-wrapped necklace from Windysdesigns and was so excited about wire-wrapping that I told my mom I wanted to try it on the windchimes. So we went out, bought some metal jewelry wire and thought to myself "maybe hemp" just in case the wire failed ( which it did :( ).

I LOVELOVELOVELOVE working in Hemp. It makes my life 10 fold easier on me. I take the idea of wire wrapping, but using hemp, and decorate each piece of stained glass uniquely. Hemp works great with beads of different sizes and lengths, is durable to wind and water and.. yes. even sunlight, hehe. Hemp also is more flexible in that when even the slightest breeze comes through it will vibrate along and make the beautiful noise my chimes make.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Craft fair on July 4th

Hey everyone! :)

Just got done with my July 4th craft fair. I split a booth with my Uncle seeing as it was my first ever craft fair and the booth price was a bit steep.

My uncle is the "palmer divide productions" sign and mine is the lame one i made myself in the back of the tent. All of my windchimes though!!! I had a very musical tent :) it was lovely. and there was a breeze all day so it really added to the greatness of my booth and chimes. I only sold 3 though!! But I came back, had a sale on Etsy and scored another sale.. so I guess at the end of the day its pretty good.

I'm pretty much thinking of the whole thing quite positively. I mean... most of my sales were from people who came to see my Uncle and wound up buying my stuff cuz they helped my uncle at his job, thus had his stuff already.

Every new craft fair person should think of their first fair this way! As a notch on their belt and give themselves a pat on the shoulder for going through with it :). I know I am!

now to find out where to buy a nifty sign like the one my Uncle had...

Monday, April 30, 2007

Dear self

in case you forgot how hard you snapped tonight writing your paper on Wassily Kandinsky, thinking about how damn sexy his art is...

Oh Dinsky you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind. Hey Dinsky! Kan-kan-kan-dinsky! yeah!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

new hat!

I just posted a new hat on my Etsy store and its quite fab if I do say so myself~

only $9~ quite affordable I think! :)

go buy it~!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Coming soon!

Hello blogger folks!

I've something new and exciting coming to my shop:

My Stained glass pieces will be broadening out:

- Earrings
- Soap holders ( need to test it out )
- Smaller candles in a set
- more candle holders in general!
- mini wind chimes : Wind Chimettes :)


- going to post some knitted hats since they're fast and easy to make! :) expect a PIF soon!

( PIF = Pay it forward. I bought 2 items from people as PIF's so I shall be listing 2 items as PIF's as well :). It is basically a free item where you pay the shipping etc and listing fee etc. :D sounds fun no?! )

Sunday, April 15, 2007

New blog :]

Hello everyone.

on my website ~ CagedBirdSings
Things get nicely spiced up with a variety of stained glass items to scarves and other crochet-y items :]

Here's a sample of something I'm rather proud of ... not sold yet though!

only $35 :]. I love my little wind chimes and I hope to be posting some more later this week but we'll see.. we'll see.

Hope everyone's having a nice weekend.

If you're interested in buying my windchimes just click on the CagedBirdSings link above to be directed to my shop.

Would really make my week !