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Retiring the blog?

I have some exciting news! / Not such exciting news if you love this blog. It’s retiring! I’ve been working on a new website ( and it has a blog element. And a store element. And an events element. And all the elements I’ve been trying to manage across several different platforms! So, this is it for updates here. It’s been a fun (nearly) 9 years, and thank you so much for joining me on it.

Sales Stats- Q1

Last year, I had an unadvertised promotion where I sent mini pouches out with some orders. I wanted to see if it drove sales, but I had no way to measure this information.

So I dove into 2018 with a sales-measuring plan. I had a sale every week from January through March, aka Quarter 1. Some I advertised, some I didn’t. Some were for specific shop sections, some offered free shipping, and some had a minimum item requirement. And this is what I learned:

1) Sharing product images or sales details on social media drove people to the shop, but most sales still came from people browsing Etsy.

2) Sales requiring a purchase of 2+ items yielded more sales of 2+ items, but not significantly.

3) Item requirement was more successful than money requirement. Buy 2+ items & save 15% did better than spend $25, save 15%.

4) Sales for specific sections of the shop didn’t seem to yield more sales to those sections.

5) Just running a sale, ANY sale, increased traffic to my shop. I think it’s Etsy sale algorithm, where they’ll actually advertise sales and let you pick if you’re looking for free shipping.

Moving forward: Etsy is pushing free shipping. They want sellers to offer it, even when the sellers don’t think it is best for their shop. So Q2 is going to focus on shipping. I’m starting with fixed $2 domestic /$10 international shipping fees and have raised some prices in the shop to offset the price difference. I’ll let you know how it goes!


How do you use Pinterest?

Some people use it to collect fashion / craft / food ideas. Some people have optimized it to promote their blogs and/or online shops. Some people use it as a tool for work. And some people just follow a lot of boards but don’t pin anything.

Pinterest came into my life years after I developed an elaborate Favorites Folder system running across the top of my browser screen. It took what I was already doing and made it so I could look at the links I’d collected. It was easier to rearrange things, give them order, and to know what I was looking at without having to click for a memory jog. Mostly, I liked that Pinterest gave my links pictures. But I’m also kind of private, and I didn’t like the idea of having all of my favorites broadcast for anyone to see before I was ready to share. I bookmarked WordPress and Blogger before deciding which to use as my blogging platform. I bookmarked Etsy before deciding to open my shop. I have a folder of the social media sites I have accounts with even thought I only actively use a handful.

And then Secret Boards were born, THANK GOODNESS. I use Pinterest mostly for the secret boards. Here’s a list of mine, and what I use them for. I know, I know. Why have a secret board and then tell everyone about it? In case you aren’t using secret boards, or you need some ideas.

“Gift Time”

This is my most important board. I pin gift ideas for people as I find them and use their name for the description. When a birthday or holiday comes up, I just have to scroll through the board to find a gift! I did my Christmas shopping in under an hour this year because I spent the year collecting ideas for everyone. It was magical.


Where I put all the cool things I find but I don’t want to take the time to put it in a folder yet because: I am lazy. Or I don’t want to spam the feed with a bunch of history pins. I’ll save organizing these pins for a time when I need to organize my thoughts. I don’t know why, but it works for me so I’ll keep doing it.

“Get Serious” 

Embarrassing blog help. I just pinned an article on how to reply to comments. Because I’m bad at it! But I’m also embarrassed by this, so it didn’t go in my public “Blog&Shop” board. But now I’m telling you about it, which negates the whole point!

“Wish List”

I started this one near my birthday to collect gift ideas for my boyfriend. It’s mostly just Lego sets now.

“DIY Ideas”

A collection of things I want to do. Sometimes I’ll find a tutorial and pin it but I try to put those in one of the other folders, like “Skirt and Dress Projects,” or “T-Shirt Ideas.” This is more for when I see something and  say, “Hey, I bet I could make that.” That’s how I started crafting when I was younger and it’s still the most inspiring way for me to create. A lot of the things in there right now I’ve found on ModCloth. There’s this lace trimmed sweatshirt I think I can make with an old sweatshirt and some lace/ribbon I already have, which will be way less than $50 ;)


Yep. You guessed it. Where I collect whale things from the Internet to use in Wednesday Whales Love. They’re ready for me when I’m ready for them.

If it wasn’t for secret boards, I would still have to use my favorites folders, especially for “Gift Time.” But one of the best things about Pinterest is it will save the picture for your pin even when the link is dead, so you don’t lose your idea.

How do you make Pinterest work for you?

“Who wore it better?”

My brother, Joey does this thing where he finds a picture of something (usually a member of our family), collages it with another picture (something ridiculous) and exclaims, “Who wore it better?!” He comes up with these comparisons remarkably quickly, usually just minutes after seeing the first picture.

Panda and the Sultan from Aladdin:



Me and Jimmy Neutron:



Derek and Mario:



Our Mom’s disbelief (“I swear he has an app for that! No one is THAT clever!”) is right on scale with Dad’s absolute confidence in his abilities (“Joey is!”)

Our Mom and Fred Armisen from Saturday Night Live as Garth:


Joey and Kim Kardashian:1517616_10152786226006023_8901908517697648835_nJoey turns 26 today (well, yesterday since he lives in Australia and is 14 hours or so ahead of us). Happy birthday, Joey! Thanks for always making me laugh!


Whale birthday ideas

I was recently asked by Krystal to share some whale-themed birthday party ideas for her son’s first birthday. And if there are two things I love, you know they’re whales and birthday parties!

If you aren’t into crafting up a storm, your best bet might be‘s Ocean Pretty Boy Party Supplies (complete with 1st birthday napkins!). They are currently sold out of the full set, but it looks like you can create your own. Pick the things you want, and the quantity, and voila: party comes to you in the mail! Plates, napkins, table cloth, centerpiece, invites, and thank you cards. AND BALLOONS!

Oh, the balloons are so cute.

If you’re on the craftier side, you might be able to make some of this stuff, and other fun things! Lollipops are always fun, and with all the different colors available for melting chocolate, you can offer a rainbow of chocolaty fun!

This mold is currently in stock on Amazon. And if you want some stick-free cake toppers, this mold might be right up your ally.

In my search, I came across this beautiful birthday set up. It’s a great place for ideas. These little decorations in particular caught my eye.

Stick Whale

They’d be so easy to make. You’d just need a stencil (and the internet has quite a few to choose from), a stick to tape to the back, like a lollipop stick or a toothpick, and a googly eye to doll it up. You could go as far as to add eye lashes or mustaches,  or skip the eye and make a pirate whale! Argh, you just need to draw an eye patch, matey.

And I always find Amazon, Etsy, and Pinterest great resources for ideas (those links will take you to “Whale Birthday Party” searches). If you can’t buy it or don’t want to buy it, you can score great ideas for DIY fun!

Searching through some old Wednesday Whale Love posts, I also came across these possible party ideas:

Cheese Whales! Yummy.


Some party favors for take-home treats.


Maybe you want some whale and octopus finger sandwiches?


Whale noises for ambiance?

whale eye(noise and source)

Hope this is helpful, Krystal! Good luck with the party and let me know how it turns out!

Cinco de Mayo, a History

Just thought I would share with everyone the history of Cinco de Mayo, as it was explained to me at work today.

Person 1: Cinco de Mayo! Cinco de Mayo! Why does everyone keep wishing me a happy Cinco de Mayo! I don’t get it!

Me: The fifth of May is a holiday in Mexico.

Person 2: Yeah! It celebrates the end of the war between the Spanish and the French.

Person 1: Oh! The Spanish-American War!

So, as I understand it, Cinco de Mayo celebrates the end of the Spanish-American War. Which was fought between Spain and France. In Mexico.


Also, I’ve been working on a major shop restock (here’s some draft listings waiting to become active)


New business cards (something that mentions what I make, aha)


and some pretty exciting changes for me! More on that as it unfolds :)

Hey! Guess what?

This is my Dad!


Today is his birthday. Some fun facts about my Dad:

He was born the year they started making the Lincoln Memorial Penny.

He used to fix airplanes.

He doesn’t like hot dogs.

A lot of people think they have the best Dad in the world. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. But you know what? I have the best dad for me. He is supportive of all my endeavors. He always takes my call. He cleans off my car when it snows, no matter how much snow is heaped on it. And he hugs me and tells me he loves me every day.

Happy birthday, Dad! I hope I win the gift-giving competition!

Shout out to Aerie!

Aerie, the American Eagle underwear brand, decided that they aren’t going to retouch their models anymore.


WHOA, WHAT?! Yeah, that’s what I said. No photoshopping, tweaking, editing, erasing. Nothing. What you see if how they look. Covered in moles? Face blemish? Tattoo? Those weird skin wrinkles we get when we sit and twist a little sideways? All there.

Look! This girl has a piercing hole in her belly button!


And this one has a tattoo! And curves!


The shift from the “ideal” woman to a more realistic woman is something I wish started 10 years ago, when I was a teenager. Not that I tried to change my body to fit into a special mold, but I did spend years hiding in boys clothes because I didn’t know what to do with myself. I only have a few cousins left at this formative and confusing age, and I can only hope that this trend in advertising continues (strong and confident women with beautiful and REAL bodies) and they become comfortable with themselves years earlier than I did.

The reception seems to be good so far, from E News saying the models look happier, to more than 3 minutes of positive air time on Good Morning American.

I have pictures of my grandmother, always a curvy woman, rocking her body at the beach in the 50s. She looks so happy, so confident.  I know that some of that was just her personality and strong will, but she was also comfortable in her own skin. Had I found these pictures in high school, would I have looked at myself differently? Will seeing un-edited women in advertising positively effect how my cousins views themselves?

What do you think of these new ads?

The case of the broken Netbook.

The winter storm we had recently reminded me of the one we had last year near my birthday. At the time, the wireless thing was in my room, which is the only room that isn’t hooked into the generator. Also, my parents don’t run it continuously. Just long enough to warm up a bit and collect points on Facebook slots. I’m going to guess this was a generator-off situation.

broken netbook

That time I wrote a letter to the President.

I have always aspired to become pen pals with the President. Which President? That part doesn’t really matter. George W. didn’t interest me and Bill was out of office before I had the chance to appreciate him.

I know this is a never-going-to-happen pipe dream. Also, if you write the WRONG thing to the President you might go to jail.

Annnndddddd then I sent this.

Letter4PresidentI would just like to point out that not five days later, the Government hiked up it’s panties and started working again.

And even though I included a pre-addressed / pre-stamped envelope for easy replying, I haven’t gotten a letter back. Not surprising since most of the friends never wrote back either. (Most, not all!)

Lastly, I don’t think Republicans are terrorists. I stand behind voting for the person, not the party.


Hello, I’m Kerry! Maker. Sewist. Fan of all things bright.

July 2020

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It's Fluff! Curious, master napper, likes to try new veggies.

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