Tuesday, January 19, 2010

“I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it.”

I have been at this blog fun for over 2 years now. One of my goals this year was to move it to the next level, to do something new. I want to create a new path for my inspiration.

One way of moving this blog to the next level for me was to monetize it. There are two simple ways of making money on a blog: selling advertising on the blog, or using the blog to lead your readers to something you are marketing.

I considered advertising but, honestly, I really dislike reading blogs that are full of ads and I would be a hypocrite if I stared throwing ads all over my own blog. So, that option is out.

So, I guess I have to get my readers to buy something that I am selling. Hmmm, crap, that means I need to have something to sell. I have been thinking this over for months. I decided to start an Etsy shop since I love to shop there, however I need to create something to actually put in the shop. As I was brainstorming this whole idea through the holidays, it gave me the opportunity to try my hand at a few different crafts. I baked a lot, I sewed some things, I made some great wood blocks (will post on that soon.)

I discovered a few things: I am not a sewer. (That's sew-er, not toilet waste.) I tried my hand at a few hand sewn crafts and, while they came out ok, they took me for-ev-er! Way too much time invested and it just really didn't interest me much. If I am going to get into a whole new pastime, it really needs to be something to hold my interest.

This brings me to my moment or revelation. My wonderful friend, Isolde sent me an email with a link to a home that we both fell in love with. In discussing the home, she revealed how she loved the country type architecture, infused with touches of modern decor. I do as well. And I had one of those moments... a moment that brought me back to one of my most favorite stores in the world, an architectural salvage warehouse in northern New Hampshire. It is a place that inspires me every single time I step in the door. I can look at every rusty doorknob, every tattered window shutter and see something beautiful. I knew what I wanted to do and to make me truly happy it would need to involve this:

So I headed on a road trip to the mountains to see my muse and buy some supplies. And I have been working for days to create something to be proud of...

Introducing my very own Etsy Shop: Live Simply.

Now, for my regular readers and friends, I need your help. I need sincere and honest feedback. I have only created a few 'prototypes' so far so that I can get a feel for what people like. I need you to go see the page and give me ideas.
Do you like the barn board left natural or whitewashed?
Which knobs do you like?
Which vase type do you prefer?
Is there something I am missing? Something I should change? Any ideas at all?

I would really appreciate honest feedback... I have tough skin, don't worry. "I love it all, Michele." just won't do here!

Go... check it out... get back to me so I can start creating for the people!


  1. I like the board better whitewashed, but it is good to have a variety. I love both colors of knobs too. Maybe you can make one that is a little longer and hangs horizontally. You can add one or 2 more knobs and leave off the vase and use it as a necklace hanger. Does that make sense? You could also get one of those wood engraqving tools (burns it i think) to write things on it. If people want it customized or you could write Live Simply on it. I love that saying now!

  2. Glad you are feeling inspired! I have some feedback, for sure. First off...I have heard that Etsy takes a nice little percentage of your profit. Check out http://www.shophandmade.com/. it's just as cool as etsy without the fees ( I think).
    As for your first product line. I think it's adorable! I imagine it magnetized on the side of my fridge. I dont love the hardware for the bottle, though. It takes away from the aesthetic. I suggest researching new ways to attach the bottle...recycled leather, rusty wire, something "old" looking and salvaged! You are on the right track..keep it up! I think Anthropologie meets New England. Just don't start making doyley toaster covers.

  3. Frist... very cute and creative... I have absolutely ZERO creative juices in my body... so sda.

    Width - I like the longer/wider one better... the ones with 2-3 knobs... you could add one more knob.

    Vase - I like the clear vase better. I could put some colored glass beads in the bottom, if I wanted to, and people could see them.

    Board color - the white washed one looks silver in the picture. Maybe it is my computer. I thought that you spreay painted it silver.

    Hardware - Is there something else that can hold the milk vase in place?

    Cost: I think that these are very reasonably priced.

    I might not try to personalize these too much... I like the simplicity of the pieces. That is just my personal opinion.

    My personal style is more like Crate and Barrel meets Southern Living.

    Very cool pieces. Very creative. Simple and verstile enough to fit into almost any home. Reasonably priced. Can't wait to see what else you design.

  4. So cool! I like the knobs, I like the bottles, I think the clear one looks best. I do agree about the hardware, I've seen some vases that have a hole cut in it so it hangs from a nail...I wonder if that would work here. I like both of the wood colors very much! The price is fantastic, you could probably even bump it up a little. Good luck!

  5. oh i love this ... very cool!so my scoop -

    barnboard - i think a variety is good - natural, white washed & even other color washed - gives more options. also ... i have just taken a sander to barn board & it creates a neat effect also.

    bottles ... i like the bigger mouthed bottles better because it gives you more options - flowers, utensils, writing utensils, paintbrushes .... i agree with isolde with the attachment of the bottle.

    like the idea of the knobs - love what you are using ... so many options with that ... think the knobs can dictate the personality of the piece.

    have you thought to make one of all bottles ... maybe 3 ... i picture that on my wall.

    this is so great michele ... i can totally picture your art in my home & it would make me smile! great job!

  6. well done. what is next? you know as well as i that you have just begun. i'm sure your mind is brimming with original ideas. the block photos are awesome! keep it flowing.