Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vote for your favorite Genealogy Blogs!

Normally, we focus on our pillows and crafts here, but our sister blog, Thoughts from Polly's Granddaughter was nominated in the Heritage category in Family Tree Magazine's search for the 40 Best Genealogy Blogs.

If you get a chance, stop by and learn about Cherokee history and genealogy.

There are a lot of great genealogy blogs nominated in ten different categories. If you find the information on the Polly's Granddaughter blog helpful, your vote would be appreciated when you stop by and vote for your other favorite genealogy blogs. You can vote more than once.

Thank you!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Great promotional item!

Since I primarily focus on pillows for my craft, I made each of my athletic children special pillows and matching throws to take with them on the bus for their trips to their sporting venues. Since the pillows are customized for the individual athlete and sport, apparently other parents noticed and wanted the pillow/throw set for their children who are athletes! Now, I have custom orders out my ears and am busy working to get everything completed. Even though it is taking away from my time to make pretty pillows to list in my shop, I am enjoying the change of focus for a while. I think it is going to be really cool to see my pillows and throws all over the bleachers this winter at the local basketball and wrestling events!

I will post pictures of them soon!

Until next time friends,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I must be crazy!

In the middle of all this crafting, child rearing and other craziness in my life, I decided to start another blog that focuses on my heritage. Maintaining everything is a real task, but the new blog focuses on things that are near and dear to my heart. I hope to get new listing posted soon, but in the meantime, if anyone wants to see what I have been up to...........check out my new blog called "Thoughts from Polly's Granddaughter".

Until next time friends,

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's a busy life..............

Sometimes, I wonder how crafters manage everything in their lives and still find time to craft! I thought things would get easier after school started and the kids were out of the house during the day, but I think it got harder! It seems overnight, the activities have started. I am finding it difficult to balance open house nights at the various schools, educational planning meetings with the advisers and the schedule of picking one up from athletic practice while dropping another one off!

Also, since nothing is getting done around the house in the evening, I try to do the housework during the day. Now, with the kids not around the help, it takes me longer. No more of that "you pick up this room and I will get that one and he will work in the yard". Now, mom does it all! But, despite it all, I still manage to find a little time to sneak in a little crafting and sewing. Not as much time as I would like, but, oh, well, that is life.

I just completed a pillow made from an upcycled chenille bedspread and hope to get a few other crafts out of it.

I am also working on a few more sets of small heart pillows to list since those seem to get a lot of attention in my shop. They are cute and have a variety of uses from shelf sitters to basket fillers to doll pillows. They are small enough, a ribbon could be attached and they could be used as ornaments for a large Christmas tree. The little hearts shown below are already listed in my shop, but there are more like them coming.
Well, I have a couple of free minutes, so I think I better take advantage of it and sneak away to do some more crafting!

Until next time friends,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

September Sale

We are having a September sale just for the heck of it! The price on everything in my shop has been reduced. If you have had your eye on anything, you might want to check the new price. Everything is one of a kind so, once it is gone, it is gone.

Until next time friends,

Monday, September 14, 2009

As the weather cools off.................

......things are heating up at Carey Cottage. After a long illness, we are back and getting many things ready to list for the upcoming holiday season. We will have a variety of pillows as well as some surprises! Watch for updates because soon we will be running several specials!

Got lots of work to do to catch up from my illness, but will post again soon!

Take care.
Until next time friends.......

Monday, July 27, 2009


Hi All,
I am sorry I have not blogged for a while. I have been out of the loop for a while due to illness, but am feeling better and will have a new post in a day or two. Thanks for your patience.
Until next time friends,

Monday, July 6, 2009

Native American Art and Etsy

Because I am a person who has proven ancestors on the rolls of the Cherokee Nation, Cherokee art interests me. I thought I would search Etsy and see how many Cherokee artists were listing items there. I thought since the site is respected as handmade and supposedly is in support of artists, it would be leading the charge against frauds and copycats in the world of craftsmen and artisans. Boy was I wrong! Not only is there blatant copyright infringement taking place, there is also a large number of resellers (someone who does not make items handmade but purchases in large quantity and then resells as if they made it). These people are often even featured on the front page and in the gift guide sections! Hmm................

But, back to my research on sellers listing handmade items as "Cherokee" either in their description or in their search tags. When I entered "Cherokee" as my search word for the handmade section, I got 157 hits. Not all were incorrectly labeled, but many were. And others were obviously using the word "Cherokee" as the name of their item because it probably makes it sell better. For example, in just the first two pages of my search, I found 8 items that were named Cherokee. Several sellers name pieces of their jewelry that and one artist who works in nudes named her art that. Even though their use of the word irritates me, I know we can't do much about it.

Then, there are sellers who use their tags, which are used in searches, both on Etsy and Google, incorrectly by listing Cherokee as a tag. One of the most interesting, in my opinion, was a seller of felted baby booties that she tagged as Cherokee. I guess she thinks there is a long line of Cherokee people out there looking for felted baby booties for their children! Why else would she use such a tag? The booties sure didn't look Cherokee or even American Indian style to me.

Then, we have the people (who I personally think are crossing the legal line) who list their items to make it seem as if they are Indian made. One seller makes baskets and lists them as "Eastern Cherokee baskets" in the title, but then in the description, says their baskets are inspired by the Indians of the Southwest. Two other sellers speak of their Cherokee ancestry in their bios and how it inspires them to make what I call "Indian looking" art. They use the names like KickingWolf and KiowaBear (not their real names.....) but never talk in their bio about tribal registration. My thought is if you are tribally registered and are trying to sell Indian art, it is something you would mention. Maybe not, but if I were wanting to back up my claims and reassure my customers that what they are getting is authentic, I would state it. I am not sure if these people know, but they may be in violation of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. And that the selling of art and labeling it in such a way as to lead the buyer to believe it is "Indian" made is a federal crime punishable by hefty fines and jail time.

So, back to my thoughts that Etsy is not too concerned about all this. I have flagged some of these items and asked for them to be reviewed. It didn't seem to matter because the items are all still there and the sellers seem to be going strong. So, it seems to me, that even though Etsy tries to give off a respectable impression that it is all about art and artists, it isn't. Seems to be more like Etsy doesn't care how or what methods are used for selling something as long as they get their cut in the end. Pretty sad that they, like many others, don't mind making a buck off of fraudulent, so called, Indian art.

Even though Etsy doesn‘t seem to care, there is something we can do to stop the violation of the 1990 Indian Arts and Craft Act. That is reporting it to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board in Washington, DC, who will investigate, inform the perpetrators of their violation and demand a cease and desist. If they refuse, the IACA will request prosecution by the FBI and the Commerce Department. Since Etsy is making money from this fraudulent art, they are as guilty as the frauds they allow to sell it. Hopefully they will come to their senses and stop allowing this to happen. If not, I guess they can be reported right along with the artists.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Tools of the Trade

Lots of things going on at Carey Cottage this past week. Soon I will have my new website up and running. I can't wait to show it off. Of course, since I have a degree in computer programming, I decided to do nearly everything myself and it has given me a bit of a headache! LOL Let's just say business processing programming and web based programming are NOT the same! :)

I also now have in my labels that will be included on all of my one of a kind items. There are four different ones because the supplier messed up the first set and told me to keep them while sending me the second set. I am not completely happy with the choice of script used, but they will do their job. What do you think?

I also have my next design completed and ready to sew. As you can see, I just fold and lay everything together before I do any cutting. I think it is a safe way to do things since I never use a pattern and every piece is cut to size by measurements. No need to start cutting only to find out I don't like the design or way the colors coordinate. Just a hint of this pillow though, because I want you to be surprised when I post the final, completed project! :)

I have recently got in a lot of supplies that will be used in making more gorgeous pillows, so I thought I would share so everyone can have an idea of what might be coming soon from Carey Cottage.

Some of the fabrics I will be using are Tanya Whelan's Barefoot Roses from Free Spirit; Sophy's Garden by Red Rooster; Mary Rose, Chantilly by Robert Kaufman; and Romancing the Rose by Ro Gregg. Not all are pictured, but many are.................

I also have some pretty Maywood Country Romance by Willowberry. Anyone who is familiar with these any of these fabrics knows they are very good quality.

I have lots of new embellishments I will be using too. Plenty of ribbon roses and silk roses and pearl and velvet trims.

Among the large assortment of lace I have is this beautiful vintage antique white venise lace. It is very unusual and I can't wait to find just the right pillow to use it on.

Well, hopefully all those pictures and descriptions gives you some insight into what is going on at Carey Cottage.

Until next time friends............

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Coffee and Equations

Carey Cottage has been full of kids this week. My four kids + two nephews = a lot of noise! But, the kids are all still sacked out, so I get to drink my morning coffee in peace and quiet. I have tried to put some pillows together this week, but all these kids have just kept me way too busy.

This morning while having my coffee, I received a message from another Etsy seller that my price on one of my pillows is "over the top". I sat and thought about my price on that pillow for a bit. Let's see, the itemized cost of it is - fabric = $5; image = $6; lace = $3.50; velvet ribbon and gimp = $1.50; appliques = $1.50; clusterstuff = $5; listing = .20; thread, ribbon roses and other miscellaneous parts = $1. Looks like that totals $23.70.

They say pricing on handmade items should be at least two times, and sometimes 3x, the cost to make them. That would mean I should price the pillow between $47.40 and $71.10. Since I have it priced at $49, I think the price is fair when you also take into account the time spent designing it and sewing it and photographing it and editing the photos and writing a description and listing it and packaging it and shipping it off after it sells. After all, I am sure I spent more than three hours on labor and since the minium wage here is $7.05, let's use that figure and add another $21.15 to the price which comes out to $44.85. So, after everything is figured in, it looks like I am charging a little over $4 more than the "what I put into it" total. Oh, but we forgot about the packaging and labeling costs. All of my OOAK (one of a kind) items are custom labeled and all items are packaged in plastic bags with my product logo on them. They are also wrapped in tissue paper and tied with a ribbon. And, everyone who makes a purchase receives a free gift with their purchase. All of that costs money too.

So, after thinking it over, I don't think my price is over the top. After all, you get what you pay for. And this pillow is worth every penny one would spend on it.

Until next time friends.....

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Hi All

Hi and welcome to the new Carey Cottage blog.

Here you’ll find the latest & greatest news on everything Carey Cottage – from the interesting and sometimes funny day to day happenings to the much anticipated (wink, wink) updates about my newest shabby and cottage style creations. Since I am a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of girl, there is absolutely no telling what kind of situations that might arise in my endeavor to beautify the world with pretty cottage decor.

You’ll also see some talented people in the spotlight with my weekly artist profiles. At least once a month, I hope to be able to shine that spotlight on a Native American artist. Along the way, I’ll try to keep this blog light hearted and fun so you don't feel like you are reading some boring assignment from your high school days 'cause we all know that wasn't any fun!

So, you better bookmark this page and send a link to all your friends because it's time to get this party started! :)

Until next time friends…