The inspiration for these exotic crochet earrings came from a chocolate tasting room in Palo Alto, California called The Chocolate Garage. Specializing in the world’s best-tasting bean-to-bar craft chocolate, the staff needed some appropriately exquisite, hand-crafted accessories that evoke the exuberance of cacao. I designed this pattern while savoring a bar of The Garage’s so-called Happy Chocolate, so it was only fitting to christen them Happy Earrings. (more…)
What’s selling: custom table socks
Do you peek at Etsy shops’ sales more often than their stock? Guilty! Who wants to see the leftovers? Not me!
My custom table socks in recycled yarn are hot! This time, before they flew out the door and in the mail, I snapped some photos. Why has the furniture sock trend popped up on Etsy and Pinterest? Scroll past the pics, where I tell you.
Why are they popular?
- Closed-bottom socks protect bare floors. DD ordered a long, skinny pair for when she slides her new Table-Mate tray and laptop over to the couch. Now she wants socks in every color!
- Yarn bombing isn’t just an outdoor phenomenon. Outdoor yarn bombs get shabby, but indoor bombs on clocks, chairs, and vases stay awesome. Plus you get to enjoy them all the time. My yarn bombed chairs feature in the upcoming issue of Graffiti Beach magazine.
- Retro + surprising + eco = hot! From crochet to tube socks, what’s old is hot again. But please, let’s forgo granny squares and macrame. Reinvent played out trends, add some ethics, and you win.
Pin what’s selling
Remember, Pinterest rivals Facebook and Twitter in sites that get you traffic.
So, keep an eye to what’s selling when you pin. What’s selling = what people search for on Pinterest = your pins come up in searches. Embroidered Vans that epitomize needlepoint? Pin it! Personalized hand made needle felted necklaces for $19? Pin it! Custom table socks in recycled yarn? Pin it!
Don’t forget the description box. Search can give you a hand, but only if you hold out yours. Fill the description box with the terms that are selling.
Pin what’s selling, get followers, increase visibility of all your other pins. Got it? Good!
Now pin your favorite table sock image above and tell me what you’ve been selling lately in a comment. You can also follow my Pinterest board of furniture socks.
Lorna at Knits for Life
In 1906, strolling around the local livestock fair, a man comes upon the crowd at a weight-guessing attraction. An ox stands on a scale as people guess its weight on scraps of paper. I avoided feeling like the ox in this game every summer at our local amusement park at all costs – including the best hot pink stuffed animals. Being livestock, this ox was just chillin’ and eventually the closest guess won a bag of hot peanuts, but our observer noticed another funny thing. Most of the guesses were off. Wildly off. Like, “haven’t these country bumpkins ever seen an ox before?” off. But he was one of those charming old-timey polymaths, so he had an idea. After the crowd shuffled off, he approached the man in charge and inquired whether he might have the scraps of paper guesses. This is one of history’s best data collection moments, by the way.
Long story short, our man, Francis Galton, ran the numbers and found that the average guess was one measly pound away from the ox’s weight. In fact, the average was much closer to the animal’s weight than the single best guess. Somehow, the unruly mob, who couldn’t be trusted with democracy, much less you life in a bar fight, could be trusted to know something no single member of the mob knew. This is also one of history’s best WTF moments, by the way.
Fast forward a century and we are using crowdsourcing every day. Sometimes it’s just another word for statistics, the field Galton helped birth. Sometimes it’s just another word for voting, and the result is no great WTF moment. We can use the crowd to answer questions in different ways. Anyone who researches their blog’s SEO knows that Google’s algorithm for search results uses certain data points from your blog more than others. And this is why I think Pinterest is better for images of interesting stuff. An image explodes across pin boards based on one data point: someone found it interesting enough to repin it. In 2010 when I started pinning, this didn’t happen much. Now, when I see an image in my Pinterest feed, someone either pinned it from the web, or – more likely – re-pinned it from another board. This means that the images I see are filtered through at least two iterations of interest, and usually way more. Interest sells, people. This is powerful stuff.
This is why I increasingly search Pinterest for trends, styles, and techniques to use in my art and products. Google images is good when I need a perfect amigurumi blue bird, but Pinterest is best when I’m looking for some cool amigurumi to make for my friend’s kid’s birthday party. Pinterest finds a more interesting result because of crowdsourcing. It hits the ox on the head. (Whoops! Poor ox.) The same applies to product development, inspiration, illustrating blog posts, or whatever iron you have in the fire right now.
Below the images are the best boards to follow for fiber art and other fun stuff. Show me your favorites with links in the comments.
If you’re not on Pinterest yet, leave a comment and I’ll send you an invitation.
Lorna at Knits for Life
Eco boards by Team Eco Etsy
Fun boards by The Men of Etsy