Tag Archives: vinyl

Tips for a Successful Handmade Shop, or How to Keep from Being a Starving Artist

27 Feb
Starving Artist by vanDara

Starving Artist by vanDara

I’ve been selling my art and jewelry on Etsy for over four years now and it has been an amazing learning experience. I started as a hobby, making things I wanted myself and couldn’t find anywhere. Over the years, I’ve gained enough regular income to quit my 9 to 5 job and focus solely on my shop. It hasn’t always been easy, but I consider myself successful in the handmade marketplace.

I’m part of a few teams on Etsy (with Mom’s Basement being one I visit frequently, of course) and I’ve noticed that at least a couple times a month on these teams, people ask, “What’s wrong with my shop? I have low sales and really want to make this my full time job.” With so many people asking this question, I thought I would compile a list of helpful advice that has worked for successful artists and crafters, as well as advice from the Etsy blogs and things I have learned from my own experiences. Even if you don’t plan on selling your art full time, these tips can help showcase and promote your work more effectively.

First of all, and possibly the most important in the beginning, is be patient!

It can take years to establish yourself in a certain venue or on a certain site, just like it would if you were starting a brick and mortar business. Luckily, information moves fast on the internet and it’s possible to speed up your popularity. But selling on a site for only a few months with low sales is completely normal and doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your art.

Take LolitaAGogo for instance. Amazing artwork, (including the Adventure Time painting below), but very few sales yet. A little more time and I’m sure she’ll be selling like crazy.

Original Watercolor Painting 'Off the Hook' by LolitaAGogo

Original Watercolor Painting ‘Off the Hook’ by LolitaAGogo

Jose from MisNopalesArt says to “take the plunge and go for it. When I first discovered Etsy and started listing items in my shop, it took several months to finally start picking up sales. At first I was a bit discouraged but I stuck with it and it paid off.”

He also says, “I think it’s important to have a variety of items available and to keep adding new items whenever possible. The more items you put out there, the more likely someone will eventually like one of them and purchase it.” Which I agree with whole-heartedly and expand upon below.

Storm Trooper Calavera Die Cut Vinyl Sticker by MisNopalesArt

Storm Trooper Calavera Die Cut Vinyl Sticker by MisNopalesArt

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The Color of Things

6 Feb
Allure by black-dicefish

Allure by black-dicefish

A couple of years ago I discovered that I have Synesthesia – a neurological condition that causes different senses to be combined, rather than separate. A common trait of people with Synesthesia (synesthetes) is always perceiving letters, numbers, and words with certain colors attached to them. For example, ‘A’ will always be red to me, ‘B’ is brown, ‘C’ is yellow, ‘D’ is navy blue, etc. I also see colored shapes when I hear certain sounds, and perceive textures when I smell certain things. My sister also has Synesthesia and she is the reason I discovered my own. Up until that point, I thought seeing each letter as a color was normal. There are over 60 known kinds of Synesthesia and my sister has traits that I do not, such as tasting voices and perceiving numbers with personalities.

Synesthesia by ThePathOfDreams

Synesthesia by ThePathOfDreams

Most people with Synesthesia are creative and artistic by nature. And since this condition involves a lot of color, I thought I’d gather a collection of pieces with beautiful color palettes, and also include art by syesthetes as well. And even if you don’t have this condition, everyone loves color!


The following pieces are filled with many vibrant colors!

League of Legends - Zyra Fanart by  alexnegrea

League of Legends – Zyra Fanart by alexnegrea

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Protecting the Basement

22 Aug

Since this post is a little different than the norm, and isn’t based on a theme or medium, the gallery in this week’s post exclusively features members of the Mom’s Basement Etsy Team. Enjoy!

Melvin disapproves of art theft… Melvin Sprite by YumesPixelCrafts

It came to my attention this week that someone on deviantART was using a of photo of mine, featuring my jewelry, without my permission. They posted it in their gallery and claimed to have made it themselves. I responded that this was my work and I would report them to admin, which in turn caused them to again insist that they made the jewelry in question and barrage me with a series of badly-spelled, juvenile insults. The photo was subsequently removed, however, all of the other photos in their gallery were also infringing on other artists’ ownership.

This seems harmless on the surface – just some tween’s boredom, or a troll trying to get a rise out of people. However, this person also claimed they could make custom orders or do trades for customers based on the pictures in their gallery. I would hate to think my or any other artist’s work was misleading people into thinking that’s what they were going to get, only to receive something sub-par, or worse, nothing at all.

Fall Impressions Pendant – Geek Atom by FaerieGardenFancies

This isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with people using my designs for their own gain, but it caused me to think harder about what can be done about it. I know artists that have had similar experiences to mine, and many of us geeks that frequent the MB site are crafters and artists as well, so I hope the following information is useful.

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10 Ways To Prepare For “The Walking Dead”

1 Jul

With all of the zombie-like occurences in the news recently, I have to admit that I’m a little nervous that a zombie apocalypse could be just around the corner. Who knows if I’m right or not, but I guess the best bet is to be prepared, just in case. And don’t forget, as noted in the Zombie Survival Guide, “Blades don’t need reloading.”

Despite my huge fear that zombies could be walking down my street at any minute, I’m a fan of “The Walking Dead” on AMC. I am super excited that there will be a marathon on July 7th, and can’t wait to rewatch so many of my favorite episodes. As part of my excitement, I decided to search Etsy for “The Walking Dead” creations. Now I want to watch new episodes – August 12 can’t get here soon enough!

Also, did you know that Mom’s Basement had an exclusive interview with a “The Walking Dead” walker! Check it out here.

10 – Duct Tape: Daryl Dixon
Duct tape art – how creative! These pieces look awesome and I love that you can have them created in custom colors.

9 – We’re All Infected
Let everyone know the truth that “We’re all infected.” – The Walking Dead

by TheConGirls

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Melvin’s Pick of the Day- 5/6/12- GeoArtCrafts

6 May

zombie clockWhat time is it?  Time to get a watch!  Or actually, time to get an awesome clock made from a record!

George of GeoArtCrafts creates clocks by using old vinyl record albums and a big imagination.  Nothing can compare to a silhouette of zombies traversing a graveyard that tells time.

Not in the mood for a zombie showdown clock?  Interested in something a little less horror but still geeky?  George has other designs of record clocks, so don’t waste any more time and go check him out!


Tuesday’s Treasury-Vinyl madness!

17 Apr


In my recent Hunger Games treasury, I touch on the topic of what ebooks and digital readiness of entertainment have done for physical copies of books, and this reigns true for vinyl records. I may be an all around geek, but I still have a good vision of what life was like before all of this wonderful new technology that fuels my new obsessions. I have a small library in my closet, an eclectic collection of vinyl records (as you can see in a couple of these pictures), tubs full of cds, and even a few cassette tapes lying around. Though I always have my Kindle and iPod classic at the ready, with hundreds of books and thousands of songs. Hey, I can appreciate the past while living in the present, right?

recordsVinyl records are a big part of my life, and my bedroom. I’ve been collecting for years, always on the lookout for new ones to add to the family. I’ve rarely buy them brand new, as I don’t find it as fun that way. Sure, I can readily find any album I can think of for sale online, but that takes away from the hunt! There’s just something about heading out to a local record shop, or garage sale, and thumbing through a stack of old vinyls. Once I spot one I don’t have, I get the feeling of accomplishment, accompanied by so much excitement to take it home and pop it on the turntable for the first time.geekyvinyls

The true challenge lies in even finding ones worth buying. I can’t tell you how many copies I have just for the sleeves, or for decorative purposes. Since, as I mentioned, almost all of mine have come from used sources, it’s always a gamble as to whether it will play or not. While I keep them either way, I love finding new ways to use them. Sure, it pained me at first to hear of people melting them down to melt them into bowls and bracelets, but now I have such a huge appreciation for the art and how it’s grown. To be honest, it’s even been a shock to me how much is available from vinyls now! Everything from guitar picks, to chandeliers, to updated uber artistic versions of the old bowl method. I’m truly amazed, and cannot express how in love I am with every single one of these items. To the crafty people behind these creations, thank you for helping keep vinyls alive, in one way or another. I invite everyone to share in this movement, and take a gander at this amazing treasury.

Look at these amazing vinyl-made items.

Vinyl record bag ma…


Vinyl Record Servin…


Recycled Vinyl Reco…


Vinyl Record – Hang…


Vinyl Record Mail H…


Hand made… Keep V…


Vinyl Record “…


Spiral Vinyl Record…


Handcrafted vinyl r…


Left For Dead 2 oil…


Hot mamma Vinyl re…




R2D2 Star Wars Pend…


Vinyl Record LP Cha…


Red Hand Painted Vi…


Framed Pac-Man and …



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