Monday, November 28, 2011

Would You Like To Sponsor Curious Little Bird?



I love promoting shops, blogs, and websites that I enjoy and am happy to accept sponsors who click with my and my readers interests!

As a beginning blogger, I’m offering free sponsorship to other blogs or independent shops, all I ask is that we do a button swap, just email me at shop [at] curiouslittlebird [dot] ca. Buttons must be 190 x 190 for the large size, or 190 x 90 for the small size!

Below is my advertising options if you would prefer to pay for your ad.

Advertising Options

 
Choose Your Ad Size


After you've checked out with PayPal, I will communicate with you via email to get everything set up. I will respond within 24 hours, so if you don't hear from me right away, don't fret. :-) I will respond! If you have any questions or concerns, please send them to shop@curiouslittlebird.ca

Other Ways To Get Involved

♥ Giveaways: Giveaways generate a lot of extra traffic and are one of the best ways to get noticed. If you have something you’d like to offer up for giveaway, please email me to discuss.


Thanks so much for your interest in sponsoring! :)

Last Posting Dates

Here is detailed information on the order time for Christmas. If you order before (not on) these dates, you should receive your Curious Little Bird plushies on time for Christmas.


Within Canada

PARCELS
Regular Parcel™: Dec. 12 (the shipping is quoted for this type of parcel)
****Xpresspost™: Dec. 21 (please send convo for shipping quote)
****Priority™ Next A.M.‡: Dec. 22 (please send convo for shipping quote)

Canada:

**** If you are purchasing after December 12th, and require your package to arrive before Christmas, please send me an email that explains this to me, and I will reserve the listing for you and make the appropriate changes to the shipping. All I want if for you to receive your packages on time! :)

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To the USA

PARCELS
Expedited Parcel™: Dec. 8 (the shipping is quoted for this type of parcel)
****Xpresspost™: Dec. 16 (please send convo for shipping quote)
****Priority™ Worldwide†: Dec. 20 (please send convo for shipping quote)

USA: **** If you are purchasing after December 8th, and require your package to arrive before Christmas, please send me a convo that explains this to me, and I will reserve the listing for you and make the appropriate changes to the shipping. All I want if for you to receive your packages on time! :)

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International


PARCELS
Air Parcel: Nov. 22 – 29 (the shipping is quoted for this type of parcel)
****Xpresspost™: Dec. 1 – Dec. 6 (please send convo for shipping quote)
****Priority™ Worldwide†: Dec. 15 – Dec. 17 (please send convo for shipping quote)

International: **** If you are purchasing after November 29th, and require your package to arrive before Christmas, please send me a convo that explains this to me, and I will reserve the listing for you and make the appropriate changes to the shipping. All I want if for you to receive your packages on time! :)



Hand Painted Owls For Your Collection

I've created a monster! No, not really. I did, however, create a very cute, little plush owl that's been hand painted. I don't have a name for him (or her) yet, but I am taking suggestions.

I painted this little guy who's about 6" wide and 7" tall with acrylic paint, and then a gel medium over top to protect the paint, and give it a little gloss. On the back, I used a wooly fabric which is soft, and gives it a more cushy feel to it. It nicely matches the brown paint on the front.

My plan is to make more, in larger sizes, and available in different price ranges. This owl (if not sold by mid December's craft fair), will be available in my shop on Etsy at http://www.curiouslittlebird.etsy.com

Here are some photos of my really awesome owl. Keep in mind this entire doll is copyrighted by me, Curious Little Bird, 2011.



Monday, November 21, 2011

Today is the first day of the rest of your life...

Today is the first day of the rest of your life...

This is what they should have said to us today. What did I do today? Today was my very first class of my entrepreneurship gov't program with SAJE Montreal. In today's class, we talked about our business idea, and a bit about ourselves. I was asked to bring in some of my plush, because I guess people need to see them. :) I should have volunteered to talk first, but I didn't and then I had to wait through 20 people before it was finally my time. I was last, and of course I was nervous, and add insult to injury, but when I'm nervous I have great difficulty spitting out my french! Hahaha. Thankfully my classmates and my instructor were very kind, and let me talk in English for part of it. One of the assignments we had was to write a postcard to our agent as if we were living in 2016, 5 years from now. We were to talk about ourselves and our business. I didn't have a clue what to write, but by the time I was done, I was saying that my business had grown to a little boutique somewhere in Montreal, I had 5 employees, and we always have fun on Fridays doing a crazy brainstorming session. I also mentioned I was profitable, successful and able to finally see the world! I think that's a great start. Honestly? I didn't even know if I wanted to open a boutique, but I think it might be a good idea. Who knows?

For those of you in other countries or provinces, this is a year long program to help the unemployed, or those on employment insurance write a business plan and learn how to be an entrepreneur. To top it off, they provide financial assistance to pay for rent and bills, and they give free business courses. That's a total of $18,000 that I never have to pay back. :)

Today's class was titled "Entrepreneurship: What's that?" (but in french). Since I live in a french province, the program is entirely in french! Yeah, it'll be a little difficult (mostly vocabulary for me), but it'll be good. There are courses on studying your market, promotions, selling, marketing. All of this will help us write our business plan, which will help us with our goals and being successful in our new life.

Yes, I say life, because starting a new business isn't like working for someone else. It's crazy! I mean the hours are longer, nothing feels structured or regular anymore, time management is more of an issue, being isolated and working alone can be trying if you've always worked in a big corporation surrounded by hundreds of other drones. The hours one can put into their business can climb up to 60 or 80 hours a week! I've had a few weeks where I worked from 11 am until about 1 am, with a 45 min lunch, and a 2-3 hour dinner break. That's about 10 hours of work. That's a lot! Additionally, I'd sometimes work through the weekend, which means I would work 6 even 7 days straight without a day off. Let's just say that by the time the craft fair I was working hard on arrived, I was stressed, exhausted and glad for the 2 day break of just sitting around and talking to people. Oh, but don't think that craft fairs are easy! No sir! At the end of a craft day, I'm pretty tired.

But this is now my life. The biggest stress I have to date will be "Can I make enough money to qualify as a viable business in the eyes of SAJE?" They have a sort of 'evaluation day' where they ask for the dollar amount we've made up to that date. If the amount is lower than what they have set out for us, then we are immediately cut off of the program and sent on our way. I'd say that's pretty harsh. Oh well. Not much I can do right now, but to work hard during the program, implement all of the things they teach us in the real business world, and hope that it does exactly what it's supposed to! :)


All I can ask for now is that I build a viable and successful business, and some well wishes in my direction, support, and great advice. 

Let's do this!

For those of you who would like more information... http://sajeenaffaires.org/english/index.php

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Needle felted monster and new bunny looks

What a dreary Sunday it's turned out to be. Thankfully on this 20th of November it's +11ºC outside, and raining, and not cold and snowing like other parts of Canada. Today was also supposed to be day 2 of my foray at the college craft fair, but I've decided to sit this day out. Yesterday felt like such a bust. We got a small wave of people who came around 12-1 pm, and this cute anglo couple came and bought a few bunnies from me (2 boys as a couple for their gay friends for Christmas), and then they stopped over at my friend's table and bought some cards and magnets from her. I was lucky and paid off my half of the table (only $35), but unfortunately my friend did not get any more sales after that lovely couple, and was still $15 short. Booo! I did manage to score a 3rd sale around 3 pm, but that was it. We didn't see anyone come in for a while after that. Perhaps we got 1 or 2 customers who'd stop by the fair, but it was a fairly poor turn out. I suppose if I went there today, I could have made a few more sales, but I know that I would have been completely alone. My table mate was for sure not going to return, and I wasn't so sure my neighbour across from me was coming back either. I would have been all alone, and no one to watch my stuff if I ever needed to stretch my legs or run to the washroom. I feel I made enough to sit this one out. :)

On to other news! I took some of my older bunnies and changed them a bit for the day of the fair. I decided to make one with a mohawk and a moustache, and the second is a hipster bunny. I got a lot of comments on them!

Here's a before picture of them...



And here is what they look like now....


I think they have more personality now, and they look darn cute with hair!

I finally got my green needle felting needles in the mail from Fiber Alley, and decided to try making some monster earrings. One thing led to another, and I ended up with a tiny, little monster sculpture. I don't know what to call him, but here are some pictures of him.





As you can see he's as tall as a battery! Not very big at all. This little guy took me at least through 2 episodes of Xena the Warrior, one episode of Nikita, and one episode of Drop Dead Diva. I'd say about 3 hours or so. I'd like to sell him, but I have no clue what to charge. So much time was put into this, yet he's so small.

Well my next craft fair is an art expo at the Marché Bonsecours in Montreal's old port. I know this will be a more successful expo because we have a VIP session on Thursday, December 1st, between 5-7 pm where very important people will be invited for wine and cheese and an advanced viewing of all the tables. We're all hoping (the vendors and the organizers) that the media will come. I would absolutely love it if they did! I can imagine all the business I'd get if I could get in the newspapers or something.

Here's the poster again for this art expo. If you happen to be in Montreal on December 1st or 2nd, please stop by!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Bunnies!

This won't be a very wordy blog, but I wanted to show you all my very cute bunnies. I have girls and boys. The girls have lace around their throat, and the boys have bow ties. I hope you enjoy them. :)













Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monster Pillows And A New Fall Banner!

It's Tuesday evening, November 15th, and I'm sorry I haven't blogged often lately.

First things first, don't you love my brand new banner? I saw on Veer they had this free fall branch illustrator file, and I just knew I had to use it to spice up my blog and my Etsy shop! Best thing is the file even came with the clouds, and I think it is just the prettiest, and gives my header the zing it needed. It was good the old way, but the new way rocks! I wonder what I can find for when it snows?

Ok I know I was bragging a bit about my banner, but I really do LOVE IT!! It's so pretty!

So, I've been uber busy making plush for every single craft fair I'm doing this fall. Let's say that 4 is a lot, and then I got into a 5th unexpectedly, so yeah, lots to do. ;) I haven't even had much time to set up my photo area to take pictures of my new plush in the past few weeks, but this week I don't feel in a great rush since the craft fair I last attended wasn't a great one. Two sales. That's it. The majority of the folks coming through were between 50-80, not my ideal target market, and the church basement was set up in two half circles and a larger outer circle. Suffice it to say, the majority of those that did make it didn't go in the middle where I was stationed. Oh well.

So I'm finally working on some monster pillows! I've been wanting to do this for a few weeks now, but of course I had some more pressing, and important plush to make. Now that I have some time to take it a little easier, this is what I'm doing tonight.

So the first one is white fur, and he has that look of surprise! His size is about 9"x15".




I know the picture is dark, but that's the white fabric that's going on the back side. One side for fun, one side when the boss comes to visit. :)

This purple guy is angry!! And he's purple! I think the best thing about him is that not only is he showing his teeth, but his eyes are yellow. They just pop off the purple, and of course they would because yellow and purple are complimentary colours. :-) I knew that... being an illustrator and all! Haha. The final size should be about 15"x15". Not a standard pillow, but that's all good.



The pretty stripey purple fabric on the left is what's going on the other side. I think this will be a great pillow for a woman with the love of purple!

 I wonder if I should add black felt horizontally to make top and bottom teeth?


Scroll down to see the finished products. :)



He'll bite your ear off if you rest your head too long. :)

I really love this purple stripey fabric. So gorgeous. Too bad I only have a small amount. Maybe enough to make one more.


This one turned out to be large and sooooo comfortable.

He's got an interesting face! I have no clue what to call him though...



Back of the pillow.. White on white cotton fabric (in case you want to hide the monster side when someone comes over)

Yup, I am peeking at the camera to make sure it's pointing at me. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Art Expo and other news..

Sorry it's taken me so long to blog. I've been overwhelmed lately with so many things... People seeking me out, getting my name/company published in a magazine (http://www.gogreenkp.com/#/new-issue/4556614638), appointments, finding out I got into the YES Montreal Art Expo, and just trying to make more plush for upcoming fairs. Trying to do all this AND get stuff done with 2 kitties vying for attention is quite a challenge. But luckily for me, despite my grumbling (about being bugged by my boys - kitties), I am getting what I want done.

If someone asked me right now what I did during the past 2 weeks I would have said I have no idea, but now that I think of it, I do! I was planning a Halloween party and for some reason that ended up taking more time out of my week than I thought. Last week is more of a blur. I know I did something productive because I have 5 almost finished foxes waiting to be sewn shut. :-)

I have been working harder though since yesterday. I made a list of all the plush I wanted to make, and so far I've made 85% of what I have. The other 15% will have to be put aside for the near future events I'll be participating in.

I don't have any cute new plush photos to upload, but I do have some really super sweet skinny bunnies complete with pompom tail! I will photograph and upload them soon... don't despair.

In 3.5 weeks there's this art expo at Marché Bonsecours happening on December 1st and 2nd. I really hope that all my local readers can attend. It's not a craft fair, because there will be photographers, fashion designers, makeup artists and performers (dancers). I'm still trying to wrap my head around how the dancers and makeup artists are going to sell their "wares." I guess I'll find out when I show up.

In the meantime, here's the invite to the Art Expo. Entry is free, and I hope you all can make it. I'm sure there will be top notch stuff to buy! Also, buy handmade this year, and do your job to keep the money grubbing politicians away from money they don't need.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Minizabies

Well today I went to Minizabies to drop off a bunch of plush. The woman who owns and runs the store, Grace, found me. I had asked her earlier how she found me, but for some reason she couldn't remember. She thinks perhaps someone told her about me? I'm sure when she remembers she'll tell me. :)  She's a really sweet woman, and I really love her little shop. She sells new and used children clothing, and Grace puts fabric (usually wool) monster appliques to sweaters she buys. I'm really excited to be selling in her store as I will be the only plush maker who is. No competition!

Here are a few photos of my plush all arranged and looking cute!

This is my Harold series


My bunnies look concerned that they're hanging by one ear :)

A few of my little foxes

We spoke at length about a whole bunch of things, and in the end she's positive that they should all sell. :)

I did see this Munny doll on her shelf. I've always wanted one. A Munny doll is made out of vinyl and has movable joints. It's is a blank figure the owner can decorate using pens, pencils, markers, paint, and other supplies. I saw a plush maker make a few online, and I've always wanted to try. I asked her how much she was selling that for, and she told me $2, and I couldn't say no! They're normally $30 after taxes in the stores. I'm going to make this one with faux fur, paint, and sculpting clay glued on. Perhaps a Curious Little Bird monster? I'll have to figure out how much to sell it for. If it proves popular, I might buy and make more.


I think horns, some sort of eyes, and lots of fur are in order!

Have a great evening and a happy Thursday tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Exposure & A Little Success

Good morning and a happy Tuesday to everyone!

So my plush adventure in the Espace Galerie art show all about monsters didn't turn out to be a huge success. When I went to the gallery last night to "work" in exchange for 100% of my sales, I got there, and noticed that in the 6 days I left my plush in there, only 1 was sold. On the bright side, the couple that bought little Bloo (shown below) paid $40 and didn't want their change.



I did know that the curator's husband really wanted Amarillo (below), and he struck me a deal. $25 plus a catalog full of all the art from the show. I didn't say no, because he really loved this little guy. :)


Michael, the guy who bought Amarillo, did some pretty funny stuff with Amarillo. ;)






Amarillo looks quite content all bundled up in his scarf blanket. :) I'm glad he's going to a great home!

Have a great Tuesday!