Easy Breezy – Cool Summer Clothes And Accessories

Contributor post by Catherine from DesignsByCnC

During these hot sultry days of summer it is often very difficult to keep ourselves cool and yet be able to dress both fashionably and stylishly.  We’ve all experienced that moment when we get ourselves put together in the morning to head out the door-perfect outfit, makeup and hair just right.  Then you step outside and the excessive humidity hits you.  All of a sudden you are transformed into a dripping wet mess.

So how can you stay cool and comfortable and still look great?  One suggestion is to keep your clothes loose.  The less fabric you have actually touching your body, the cooler you will be. This allows more airflow on your skin which will help cool you down.

I posed this question to the members of the Etsy Christmas In July Team.  Here are their suggestions along with stylish clothes and accessories to help you look your best during the dog days of summer.

beverly from designbcb says:

I am never without a glass of water when it’s hot in the summer. I have a 20 ounce travel mug that I fill with ice and then water and it gets filled again every hour. I stay very well hydrated and I do my photography before noon or after three. It’s been close to 100 for the past few days and even being outside and not moving around a lot brings on the sweat. The water is a necessity.

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Rainbow Cotton Halter Top

Melissa R from missy69 added:

We live in Florida, so the heat and humidity is awful this time of year. My best advice to beat the heat, is don’t do anything, lol. Just kidding, to keep cool we spend a lot of time at our local springs where the water is very cold and refreshing. It is 70 degrees all year, or 72, the springs water temp. For an awesome swim suit cover up, check out my item below.

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Girl’s Crochet Beach Cover Up

Susan Fowler from SSFDesigns replied:

Summer here in Washington state is never as hot as some states but when we do have those lazy days of summer I love to take a nap in the shade and drift off listening to the sounds of the day, the breeze, birds and the sound of children playing in the sprinkler of pool

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Womens Vintage Summer Cotton Dress

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls answered:

Vintage Children’s clothing are extremely trendy right now! This adorable 2 pc. summer outfit is from the 1950s and is a cute and cool outfit made from a breezy seersucker material for those hot summer days!

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Vintage Two Piece Sunsuit

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Stitch and Pitch

Contributor post by Beverly from designbcb

I love baseball. I love me some Cubs. And I love me some knitting and crochet. I have joined the two by taking my knitting with me everywhere I go – including baseball games where I knit before the game starts.

In fact, we enjoy the game so much that Mr. Honey and I have, for the past few years, traveled to a Cubs away game to a park we’ve never been. So far we’ve done Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Washington Nationals and, of course, Wrigley Field.

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I have been to Cellular Field where the White Sox play but not because of our outing. I was there for a little thing called Stitch and Pitch. You can read (and see) all about it here and here.

Stitch N Pitch is an actual, official thing some baseball teams (pro and semi) go in on. They designate a day and an area of the park where everyone in the section is doing some needlework during the game. Of course you can grab a couple of folks and go a game and try to do some needlework (I’ve done it by myself) but it’s a little different when you don’t know who will be sitting next to you. At an official Stitch and Pitch, you know you will be surrounded by people doing the same thing you are, because it’s a group, there’s a discount on the ticket price and depending on who is organizing the event, you get free goodies. Like a notebook, row marker and some free patterns.

That’s worth it.

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Truth be told, knitting in a crowded baseball field is like knitting on an airplane: the person next to you really has to like you or at least be cool. Though I did have fun and enjoyed the company, it wasn’t the most comfortable of times. I usually put away my work when the game starts because there’s beer and nuts and all sorts of things interfering with the flow. During the Stitch and Pitch, knitting goes on all the time but people still need to get up and go the bathroom or get the one beer the vendor doesn’t bring so an incredible amount of patience is needed. And I have yet to meet a patient knitter. They are rare. I don’t believe they exist. I’m not one.

Knitting at a baseball game is best done when the team isn’t doing well and the stadium doesn’t sell out. Then you might be able to get in a section where there’s some space for a knitting bag to have its own seat and not a lot of folks around. Then it’s like knitting when a baseball breaks out. That’s good stuff right there.

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This year the Cubs are doing really well so I actually prefer to watch them at home where I can knit and enjoy the game in comfort. But I will be going to Colorado where my nephew plays high school baseball. He is on an exciting team but I’ve seen the playing field. There’s room for knitting. We call that a double play.

My Etsy Shop’s Biggest Challenge

Contributor post by Catherine from DesignsbyCnC

Etsy is an e e-commerce marketplace for handmade artists, crafters and collectors to sell their creations, vintage goods and crafting supplies. When my shop Designs By CnC opened in 2011, I did not fully realize just how many different aspects are involved selling on Etsy.

Having worked in the retail brick and mortar stores all my life, I figured that selling on-line would be about the same.  Wrong.  Basically, I knew nothing about search engine optimization (SEO), my titles and descriptions were not great and I lacked quality photos.

You have heard of the old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”.  When a customer is shopping online, they are not able to hold the product in their hand. The biggest challenge for my shop was improving all of my photos.  So I invested in some lights and a photo box.  I also took the time to read the instruction manual that came with my camera and experimented with different settings.  My greatest discovery the past year was using a photo editing program called FotoFuze.  Now my photos are brighter and show more detail.

Opening an Etsy shop has been one of the biggest learning experiences of my life.  An important part of the Etsy experience is that of the Etsy community.  I am fortunate to be a member of the Christmas In July Team.  I asked my fellow teammates the following questions:  What was the biggest challenge your Etsy shop had in the past year?  How did you overcome it?

Stock Lane Studio  from  StockLaneStudio had this to say:

Having one or two shops?

As you have mentioned, Catherine, there are many challenges involved in running an online store. I go back and forth focusing on different problems and SEO, photos and promoting are frequently up on the list. Another challenge that keeps on coming up for me is whether or not to open a second shop.

SLS has a lot of items, and I constantly wonder if I should open a 2nd shop so that my PRINTS and Photographs are in one shop and PRINTABLE art in another. With the recent changes to our shop layout and view, I am coming back to this topic.

Is it worth me opening up a second shop when most shoppers find items by search anyway?

For me, as long as I can keep my items well-organized so I can keep track of them and they are up-to-date, I feel that it is easier to just have one shop. I am worried, though, that shoppers get confused about printed and printable items. I have printed and instant download versions of the same art, and I have found that both sell. I think I have avoided some confusion. For my Instant Download art, I try to make the fact that it is a Printable very clear: I have it placed early on in the title, it is in more than one tags, in the description and in one of the 5 photos.

With the new layout, scrolling through all my listings is not fun, and rearranging is even less fun now. How many shoppers look past the second page though, or what is now the 1st 48 or so items?

We can now have up to 15 shop sections. This has really helped me organize my items and helps shoppers find more of what interests them once they are in my shop. And keeping shoppers in my shop is a big goal. The longer they stay, the more likely that are to buy.

Using related links to other listings is also a way to keep shoppers in my shop and directing them to things that might be of interest to them.

What would help me even more is if I could rearrange the listings in all my shop sections because I feel that is where shoppers are going, and I want that to be organized.

Printable Yes, We're Open Rustic brown Kraft paper Sign

Printable Yes, We’re Open Rustic brown Kraft paper Sign

beverly from designbcb responded:

My biggest challenge is finding where to focus my social media energies. It doesn’t seem to be enough just to post something of Facebook or Instagram, etc. if they don’t reach people who are looking for what you have. To go along with that, it’s also keeping new and fresh offerings to appeal to current and future customers.

Instant downloadable knitting pattern

Instant downloadable knitting pattern

Becky from LollysCubbyHole answered:

I have been struggling for months, after my shop seemingly fell off the map. Not long after my biggest months for sales, my shop started to decline. I am not sure what to attribute that to. My lack of energy to keep promoting, Etsy SEO changes, not enough Social Media. ( I do Twitter, FB, IG, Pinterest) but after pushing it for months have slacked off and that is my own fault.

I know not listing new items hurts in all those brackets, but I can’t keep any more stock items if they aren’t selling.

So now my challenge is to stay or go…

Rustic pallet sign,wedding sign

Rustic pallet sign,wedding sign

Crochet Week

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Crochet Week is the 2nd week in March and is all about celebrating all things crocheted.

Here at Christmas in July we wanted to see all your crocheted works.

Beverly from designbcb  says this shawl can make a boho or elegant statement depending on what you wear with it.

Made with 100% acrylic fiber, it is easy care with a soak in warm, soapy water and spread it out to air dry.

This is a great gift for your bridal party done in a color they can use again and again. It is also a nice wrap for a prom or homecoming outfit. For less formal outings, it is a perfect wrap for strolling downtown and casual settings where you want some flair.

It is a generous 77×34 so wrap it around shoulders or waist for different looks.
Find it in the color ‘lace’ here.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/267189125/shawl-hand-crocheted-shawl-in-lace?ref=teams_post

Hand crocheted shawl

Ingrida from feltinga said my mom’s passion is crocheting. Last week she has finished this cheerful multi-color set of doilies. Don’t you think it will make fantastic Easter decor and conversation starter???

https://www.etsy.com/listing/269007825/sale-doilies-set-of-6-crochet-coaster?ref=teams_post

Crocheted Doilies

Melissa R from missy69 states I love to crochet! I have not sold a lot of my crochet items, but I keep making them because I enjoy it. I donate items, that don’t sell after a while, to Newborns in Need. I also will be donating to the Southern Baptist Adoption Homes, soon. Of course crochet items make great gift ideas too. I made this lime green, and hot pink baby blanket and hat set, just about a month ago. I love the colors, definitely a favorite combo of mine.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/266280094/crochet-hot-pink-and-lime-green-baby?ref=teams_post

Hot pink and Lime Crocheted Baby Blanket

Ingrida from LivePastVintage says crocheted items season is approaching. I think it is just a time to ensure your stock is enough for your new ideas. Vintage supply is the best choice for wise craftswomen!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/199439910/sale-cone-white-ball-cotton-yarn-spool?ref=teams_post

Cotton yarn spool

Karen Clayton from KraftyShop said about 2 years ago a friend of mine asked me to make this skulls beanie hat for her in dark orchid and pewter gray. I was nervous when I first started to make it but it was a success! I had never worked on such an intricate pattern before.

Well, after making it for her, I wondered if I should add it to my etsy shop. After some deliberation I decided why not? After the first few months of it being listed and not selling, I decided to add many color choices and Viola! They started selling. Slowly at first but now they are my most popular item, so needless to say I am happy with my decision to add this listing to my shop. I will most likely be making these and other items for customers during crochet week.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/215711511/assorted-colors-creepy-skulls-slouchy?ref=teams_post

Assorted colors Skull Beanie

Make a Friend Day

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

As the name implies this day is all about making a friend! Here at Etsy Christmas in July team we want to know what can you do to make friends?

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns says To me friendship is all about sharing which creates trust – a fundamental element for maintaining lifelong relationships.

And what better way to share than with food – cooking, eating and sharing the same table is a beautiful moment, and handmade tableware only serves to accentuate this moment even more.

This bowl is ideal for salads, fruits and can also be used in the oven, so can be used for casseroles, pies and baking.

 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/203698572/ceramic-bowl-textured-baby-blue-and?ref=teams_post

Baby blue textured bowl

 

Beverly from designbcb states I’m selecting a prayer shawl. The prayer shawls in my shop have been selling quite well and with almost each one, my client has sent me a message to say it is for someone who is going through something: an health issue, the death of a loved one. These backstories mean a great deal to me and I think about that when they are being made. I also add a prayer with each shawl.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/112530237/knit-shawl-prayer-shawl-in-white-wedding?ref=teams_post

Knit prayer shawl

 

Richard and Tatiana from DesignsTheLimit discusses the best way to spend time with friends is through celebration accompanied by food and wine. Our monogrammed wine carafe and wine glass set makes the perfect gift to be enjoyed in good company and the perfect conversation starter when entertaining new friends. We hope that all of the recipients of our personalized gifts have the opportunity to enjoy them in good health during joyous moments with their closest friends for all of the years to come.

 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/210185352/wine-lovers-gift-set-monogrammed?ref=teams_post

Wine lovers gift set

 

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio states Friends offer encouragement, support, a shoulder to cry on and a hand to pat your back.

Our card helps you congratulate your friends in a whimsical way. They can be handed out in person, but even mailed too. Friends love to get mail. You know how that works. . . .put it in the envelope and add a stamp (those are those square stickers you see at the Post Office).

https://www.etsy.com/listing/227045610/congratulations-large-photo-post-card?ref=teams_post

Large photo post card

 

Annie from DesignedbyAnneliese remembers when I used to have a pen friend who lived in England (I am in Australia). I used to love writing to her and I had the privelege of meeting her when she visited Australia!
I made this special pocket letter kit for someone to write little letters on and send to their pen friend.

 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/264895638/pocket-letters-project-life-journal?ref=teams_post

Romantic note set

 

Zimmergirlbazaar from Zimmergirlzbazaar says My mom always said “To make a friend, be a friend.” and where better to start than with your neighbor. It’s great to have someone nearby to talk to, to help and to have them be there for you too. This pattern celebrates that feeling.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/246316050/love-thy-neighbour-applique-quilt?ref=teams_post

Love Thy Neighbor applique quilt pattern

Celebrating National Braille Literacy Month through Textures

Contributor post by Alexandra from EyeLoveKnots

January is National Braille Literacy Month. Braille is something we are thankful for worldwide, but especially in my family as a few of my family members have been affected by Retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye – You can read more about this in my personal About Me. Braille is all about the raised dots and touch/feel. I thought it’d be a neat twist on that to do a textured topic.

I invited my fellow Christmas in July Etsy team members to share items from their shops that were textured, and a short story about their items.

Usually, I try to narrow down the entries, but this time I couldn’t help but share them all! They are all great items, and a wide variety of them shared here. What fun!

She says, “This is some vintage burlap ribbon I got a hold of but it had damage all thru the roll because of a pin that was placed in it and the pin rusted so there were rust spots. I loved the ribbon and got it at a great deal because of the rust. When I got it home it sat for a few months til I noticed I could use the ribbon between the rust spots by cutting it and using it on gift tags, so I used this what would be an unusable ribbon in these wonderful tags. The tags are made out of a textured paper and the lace and burlap gives it even more texture in these OOAK [One of a Kind] tags.”


She says, “The pin hole design on the copper sleeve of this ceramic pot reminds me of the dots created by a brailler. I worked with visually impaired students before my retirement.”


She says, “As an artist, I love texture and much of my sculptural work is highly textured. This ring is made from upcycled buttons, the top blue button featuring raised dots, and certainly capturing the theme of this topic.”


She says, “This was the first item I knit using the Trinity Stitch and thought it was tough, but once I got the hang of the pattern I found myself whizzing through it and it was finished in no time! It was really satisfying seeing the finished scarf, and I was so glad I stuck with it to the end – now knitting the Trinity Stitch is a breeze!  “


She says, “What a great way to bridge our work with awareness! The texture of this yarn is soft, and somewhat bumpy and then to add the twists to the fabric it makes gives a dimensional feel to the texture making the scarf soft and cuddly with a great feel.”


She says, “Having worked with a number of visually impaired students, I chose this leaf bowl. It has a serrated edge like a real leaf and the veins are the type that you would find in a real leaf. Tactile-wise, the dish is an interesting piece.”


She says, “I make crochet cotton wash cloths and soap sacks with raised “nubs” that massage and exfoliate for a spa-like experience. They are so popular I had to be sure to carry some “manly” colors for the menfolk, but the example shared here is for the ladies! These are fun to crochet as the “nubs” keep the feel of things interesting.”


This was such a fun topic to write on, and I love all of the wonderful items chosen by our fellow Christmas in July team members! They are all quite different from one another and have their own individual stories to them, but all have great texture that tie into our posed topic.

Have you created anything with exceptional texture that you think make it stand out above the rest of your items? Share your story with us!

International Mother Earth Day – April 22nd

Contributor Post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns

April 22nd is International Mother Earth Day and team members have lots of great products to help you celebrate.

NauticoCreations believes that International Mother Earth Day helps us recognize that we don’t exist without nature. Our relationship with it is important for the health of the earth and our well being. The featured succulent arrangement is a great representation of the beauty that exists in nature and the harmony of plants and rocks and trees living together. The succulents are combined with silk flowers, a moss covered rock, and a slice of real wood cut from a tree.

This faux arrangement symbolizes mother earth to Nautico and the wood piece was sourced from a fallen tree given to her by family especially for her arrangements. She loves trees and the strength and beauty they hold. She Hopes seeing this arrangement will make people think a bit about the earth too as we celebrate this important day.

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NauticoCreations

Kelly from ColourscapeStudios is a big believer in reaping what you sow, quite literally! Mother Earth Day for Kelly is a time to thank her for providing wonderful fresh vegetables and fruit from her little pot plant garden, and for the abundance of local produce she sources straight from the farmers. This in turn cuts back on food miles, supports both small business owners who work sustainably, and the community.

Kelly creates typographic images with inspirational quotes, such as this one:

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ColourscapeStudios

Beverly from designbcb sees the transition of the seasons as nature providing a color show..this time of the year, the hemispheres are exchanging colors; either leaving the bright colors of summers and subdued colors of fall into the white, ivory and gray of winter or leaving winter and beginning to green (and blue and yellow and orange) in the grasses and trees.

The color of this shawl is called prairie and it shows the distinct yet blended colors of nature in the open unhindered by technology.

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designbcb

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls love fresh plants and flowers in the home as a great way to, not only provide color, but to freshen the air! Their wonderful book tells all about the different house plants, how to grow and maintain them and even about setting up your own greenhouse!

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shabbyshopgirls

Patricia from TheOldBarnDoor is a full time organic farmer who is guided in planting by the rhythms of Mother Earth. She makes a point to notice and appreciate the small things like moss on a rock and pauses to wonder just as often as pausing to be inspired by the larger things like massive flocks of returning geese. The photo reproduced on this pillow cover is an example of Mother Earth’s cycle – she provided us with the beautiful tree and when it was done, we were provided with this wonderful artistic forest treasure.

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TheOldBarnDoor

Lia from Ghirlandiamo has lots of items related to Mother Earth! Most of materials she generally use come from earth: wicker, raffia, bark, dried flowers, dried leaves and many other little treasuries of the nature.

The wreath pictured below is completely made with natural components and reproduces a sun shape with magnolia dried leaves, decorated with pink pepper, cinnamon and even a wood flower. It is one of Lia’s favourites among all the decors she has made!

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Ghirlandiamo

Stock Lane Studio produces natural photography and inspirational quotes and  in this featured image they combine the two. To them this quote print is what it’s all about. Being enveloped by the lush green bracken ferns on the forest floor and protected by the canopy of tall trees above. Getting lost in the smells and sounds of the wild outdoors and becoming part of it, not controlling it. This picture reminds them that we need to be more proactive about maintaining our natural beauty. They don’t want their grandchildren to only have fence in parks to play in, but wild forests for roaming and breathing and learning.

This picture was taken during an afternoon hike in the forests of the Ardennes in Belgium.

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StockLaneStudio

Patricia and Rebecca from northandsouthshabby believe that sometimes the best adornments are the ones that Mother Earth provides for us. Their nautical topiary is made primarily from natures’ jewelry, her shells. It also incorporates nature’s handiwork, sea glass. We also included faux gem stones, representing another gift from Mother nature.

This quote from late US President John F. Kennedy, best describes why so many people are drawn to things from the ocean:
” All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea -whether to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came”

Their hope is when you see this creation, that you will think of the gifts that mother Nature has given us with her oceans.

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northandsouthshabby