Octo-Cuteness

I learned the basics to crocheting at a very young age. Everything after that has been self taught. It is one of my favorite things to do. On any given evening I can often be found sitting in my spot on the sofa next to my husband and youngest son working on something.

My newest project are these wonderfully cute Amigurumi Octopus.

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In the last week I’ve made more than a dozen in a few different sizes. The first few going to my children, and my niece, as many of the things I make do. I’m working to build up stock of these. The Holidays soon will arrive. And these make the perfect stocking stuffers. Building stock will also allow me to ship fast and have time for the custom color requests I’m sure will come.

I have become skilled enough to free hand crochet these (free hand crochet means not counting stiches), because of this and just the overall handmade nature no two will ever be exactly the same.

I have chosen to call them “Peewee the pint size Octopus & Friends”.

This is Peewee!

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Peewee of course was the first I made, and I have claimed him as my own. Though I’ve made a few more just like him. I’m even running a “Like & Share” giveaway for him on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jerseygypsypeddler/

Quick go enter! Its open to everyone till August 1st, just follow the 3 steps in the pinned post at the top of our page.

Or Shop our Etsy Store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/JerseyGypsyEtsyShop

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I have it in my mind to possibly write a set of short stories for Peewee (Early Emergent Readers), asking my Mom to illustrate for me. To which she has agreed, this feeds my inspiration.

Regard!

40 is Fine

“40 is fine when you look 29.”

40th birthday

Ill be turning the big 4 0 this week. This Sunday to be exact. June 5th. A Sunday my favorite day of the week.

But unlike a TV show, there will be no gathering of friends and family to celebrate me. No surprise cake and singing, no tears of joy at the overwhelming show of affection for me.

My own husband wont even remember. I’m sure, or maybe he will but he sure as hell wont do a thing to show me. He hasn’t in years, a lacking small gesture that cuts me deep every year. I mean really is a small cake so hard to get for your wife?

And friends, well I have none. Everyone, I’ve ever let into my life has used and abused this thing called friendship. And I have locked out all of them and vowed not to bring anyone new it to replace them. People just disappoint and hurt you and I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I don’t and wont allow it. Now, none of the people I do call “Friend” are so close they’d think to pop in with a cake. And the 2 people I do have that I call friends that might do this work hard all day on Sundays to support themselves, and their children and couldn’t even if they wanted to.

Family, well again none that would do a thing to celebrate me, betting my own mother doesn’t even remember its her first born child’s 40th birthday. No, she’ll probably roll out of bed at 1 pm and make sure see feeds her animals on Farmville though. My husbands family well they might remember but not liking or knowing me enough to know this 1 year Id rather not share my birthday with anyone else (my husband and mother in-laws b-days are days after mine and we always get jammed together) and definitely not in a hot way over crowded house where half the people there don’t even like me. No Id rather just stay home and fold laundry and dwell in my own self pity.

I don’t think its wrong to want this day, this one year to be just mine, to have my favorite cake, to be surprised and celebrated.

But hell like I said my life is not a tv show, No cards in the mail, no balloons or cake just like every other year. Other than the half hearted, Facebook happy birthdays from the hand full of people I’m actually friends with on Facebook, only remembering because Facebook reminded them. I don’t expect anything else.

It makes me sad. Not because no one remembered or because no one did anything but more because I wanted it.

In the end, its not important. I don’t really get over it but I do get past it. In the end 40 is just a number, its just another year I made it through.

In the end 40 is just fine, after all I really do only look 29.

A real housewife in New Jersey

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I hate the term housewife. I hate it even more so since these beyond ridiculous shows about women acting like high school children have come out.

 I am so much more than a “housewife”. I am keeper of all things. Money to lost shoes. I am plumber and IT specialist. I am mom and maid. Taxi driver and Escort. If you can think up anything a women could possibly be, yeah I am or have played that role at one point or another.

But you’re never going to find camera following me or me basking in 15 minutes of fame at any point, because the truth is a “Real Housewife”, well her life sucks, its not anything anyone would want to watch. I mean really, would you want to see me blogging in my spare time, washing laundry and cursing at my 6 year old after he just poured every bottle of everything he could find in my master bathroom down the drain?

Or maybe you want to see me trying (“Trying”) to run my online Etsy shop, and carve out something for myself and my future.

Even my marriage. Purely perfect compared to the dysfunction of what is on TV. We don’t even fight about the money we don’t have. 17 years and not one fight.

To be honest. I think the only thing TV worthy in my life would be me tripping on the treadmill. And though funny as it is, and it is funny. This too is maybe only worth 2 minutes of TV fame.

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So there is it, the quick and simple of Me. A Housewife in New Jersey.

Living just another day in paradise.

ps: Is spring break over yet? can my kids go back to school!!??

Regards!

An Interview

Question: How do you describe JerseyGypsy?

Answer: JerseyGypsy is a one stop gift shop. A handmade emporium of quality goods at a good price. A place to get custom things you wont find in the mall.

Question: What sets you apart from other gift shops?

Answer: Unlike many other shops, I am not a one hit wonder. For example someone that only makes bags, has mostly only bags or someone that only makes candles has mostly only candles. I not only offer everything from bags, and candles, to skirts and jewelry. I make it all myself, this makes me stand out from the rest and also keeps costs low as I’m not buying things and than marking them up.

Question: The term “Gypsy” is believed to be an offensive term to the Romany community. How do you feel about this?

Answer: We are decades away from that. Todays generation uses this word to describe a free spirited person, a wanderer. I myself am not of the Romany people today but I have roots there and I grew up very poor, going to craft shows with my mother to sell her “goods”. We collected cans to put gas in the car. I have been cast out and bullied for this type of lifestyle. I have struggled, so to be honest I understand more of what it is to be a Gypsy than anyone that tells me “Gypsy” is a “derogatory word.

Question: Where do you hope to be with your business in the next few years?

Answer: I really hope to have a brick and mortar store. My Esty shop does well, I have a following on Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook fans. I am building a website, I hope to have launched in a few months, and I am expanding into new things weekly. Most recently I’ve begun candle favors and after the 1st day of listing I have an order for a bride in California.

Question: What is your biggest challenge?

Answer: I’m am a very creative and driven person. I am very organized. I research and plan things out. Really my only challenge right now is funding. I started this out of pocket and still use sales to fund myself. So I’ve yet to see any real profit that I can bank away. If I had the funds to buy all the things I needed at once I would be able to list more and turn a faster bigger profit.

Question: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?

Answer: (*sigh) In my pursuit to have more reach to the public and get my name and products out there. I allowed myself to be taken advantage of buy 4 different businesses/business people. By agreeing on “consignment” with them.  I was, to put it bluntly robbed blind. I estimate between them all I have lost over $5000.00. The lesson I learned was “Trust your gut. Speak up for yourself, and create a deal that works for you.” I’m not stupid I knew with one of them that I was getting the short end of the stick but the opportunity to reach more people was greater to me and so I allowed it,  until it became all to clear I was making less than $1 on my items and they were making $10. With the other 2 they just never paid me, flat out stole. And with 4th deal (again I should have listened to my gut it screamed not to do it) I was again flat out robbed.

Question: What is one thing you would like everyone to know?

Answer: I am a business women. I work 7 days a week. I work 60 plus hours a week. This is my job. What I do deserves the same amount of respect as anyone else that works.

 

 

 

 

Creating New Charms…

Buzz-Woody

When I think of Best Friends Woody & Buzz always come to mind.

“You’ve Got A Friend In Me”

And with my new goals of creating exclusive charms, laser cut, not stamped, high quality stainless steel charms. Something no one else will carry. this was my first thought.

A best friend set.

Here is the story board for what we have set out to make. In by the end of the month, made in small amounts.

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This $40.00 set, will include two stainless steel bangles, each with the exclusive “You’ve got a friend in me” charm and the above pictured cowboy hat on one and the spaceship on the other. They will each come in their own gift box, and as always custom labeling is available at no extra cost or we design a standard label to adorn the box.

I was so excited about this I have released it for pre-order, which always comes with free shipping. You can contact us on our Facebook page or inbox us through our etsy shop to reserve yours. I don’t see this lasting long once its in and to keep with the uniqueness this will not be mass produced.

https://www.facebook.com/jerseygypsypeddler/

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JerseyGypsyEtsyShop?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Regards!

Every Mile Matters

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I am an active person. I don’t sit still. I’m not sure if I even can. I first realized this when I was a teenager and all my friends would lay in the sun, they could lay there forever and I was simply bored to death, so Id pace and fidget.

Now as an adult, I walk, run, bike, hike, and paddle as often as possible. I love it. I feel alive. I often feel I need more motivation to rest than I do to run. I first considered myself a runner when I told a friend I try to get in a 5k a day (less rest days), and she said to me that shed die trying to run that, to which I replied “But its only 3 miles!” (3.14 to be exact). “only 3 miles” a phase I once thought too was a large distance, now I feel its never long enough.

If there is something worse than an addiction or obsession than that’s what I have for virtual races.

I have never cared for the crowded/over crowdedness of marathons. The over pricing of them, the time restraints, and really just all of it. I enjoy the solitude of running. I have my music on, and I just go. Its really just that simple. But I still longed to be part of something, and to even have a medal to say hey look what you accomplished. This is where Virtual Races come in…I can sign up to as many as I want, complete most in my own time, at my own place and pace and most run around $30.00 with some of that money going to charity. I am currently signed up for 4 with a list of nearly 50 to complete this year!

And it was by sheer chance that I came to join Hogwarts Running Club just this past Saturday evening.

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http://www.hogwartsrunningclub.org/

What a wonderful group of people all coming together to run and log miles for charity!

http://www.charitymiles.org/

Charity-Miles

I feel right at home with thousands of other fans of both Running and Harry Potter. I feel unbelievably motivated, as I pledge to run a 1000 miles this year. As I pledge to log as many personal miles as I can so I can help my house (Gryffindor of course!) win the House Cup. I pledge to join every event and be Perfect Perfect.

Now, I’m very new to the group, but they have made me feel as though I’ve been there all along. In this “club” I have found so much I’m excited for beyond running as well. They have set up A Common Room Page, Owl Post for post card exchanges, and a Mrs Weasley’s DYI page (just to name a few), ps: I simply love the DYI page since I am always making things and adding to my etsy shop. Mrs. Weasley and Id be bffs for sure! I actually just made (with a friends help and his laser etcher Charms that say “Miles Managed”! I’m in my heaven!

https://jerseygypsypeddler.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/another-favorite-project/

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JerseyGypsyEtsyShop?ref=hdr_shop_menu

And numerous other pages within the group, the amount of work that goes into this is above and beyond any I’ve seen for any other Virtual Race Clubs. A huge thumbs up to those who keep it all going!

Id like to encourage you to download the Charity miles app, its free. Log your miles (walk/run/bike/whatever), even if you don’t want to join virtual racing. Its for Charity and you know your phones going to be in your pocket anyway. And hey if your into Harry Potter and run, check out the link to Hogwarts Running Club because

Every Mile Matters.

Moving On?

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In December of 2015 I decided, I could no longer handle the disappointment of the people I was allowing in my life. People I called friends even though I realize now, as I knew but didn’t want to admit than, that they never were.

You know the ones. They never text you first, or ever. If they do they text an “lol” as a blow off response to really anything you send. You could have texted “My cat died” and these people would send “lol” in response. Or you always say “lets get together”, they response “yeah sounds great”, you go a step farther to “how about dinner next Saturday?” and they never answer, because “sorry cant” leads to you asking them when they’re free and they don’t want to be free, for you.

Here is the story of how ending this kind of bs and burning bridges has gone for me so far.

#1. Lets call her A. A had no phone, and I was her friend. Now she didn’t ask but excepted my offer to add her to my phone plan and she would pay the bill for her line every month. Fast forward 2 years. She never paid it, late fees and over charges piled up to the tune of her line costing me over $500 for the 2 years. A never texted me either, she never made any effort to keep up with me, “her friend”. And so I, with fair warning because I am not an asshole told her, I had to drop her line. She said okay, and that’s the last I ever heard from her.

#2. Lets call her S. S was someone I loved to hang out with. Even with her drama filled life being something I couldn’t stand, I loved her. I did nothing for her but be her friend, and confidant. All I wanted in return was the same thing. But as for toxic people with toxic lives S was/is Queen. A drug addict boyfriend and husband and a few other side pieces, a welfare con-artist, drunken, drug abuser herself. I looked past it all and I, again found I was always the one to say “lets hang out, lets go to the thrift store, lets go to lunch, come by for coffee”, and always to no answer or a blow off. Last I spoke to her I told her I haven’t heard from her in months, she replied with how her drama filled life was busy, yet failed to ever speak to me again. (ok she really gave me an excuse about how she has no help and had uprooted her kids yet again, the 4th time in as many years, I wonder how you can uproot someone who has never had any roots to begin with?) I think to myself that Id have helped if she had said she needed it… And again another bridge burned to the ground.

#3 Lets call them J&V. J&V are my kind of people. But turns out J is mister popular and if your not family or famous no time can be made for you. J didn’t like being told that I was sick of being blown off all the time. Making me explain in full detail what it means to blow someone off. I simply referred to my last dinner invite and how I was told yeah maybe let me get back to you, but alas nothing came and I had enough.

This is what it was. This is what I kept thinking having friends is like you put up with this hurtful shit.

Turns out, friendship is me making dinner plans for 5 friends, but no one, but two people show up. Those two, they came despite my many attempts to cancel, they showed up ontime and were happy to see me. Friendship is the message you find in your inbox that’s simply says “what’s up chicky?” Out of no where for no reason just a quik check in with you, even though she worked 13 hours that day came home to a messy house, of 4 kids plus a 5th she just took in, a single mom who lost her husband not long ago. She made time to check in with you, just to say hi.

Now that you “kinda” know the story of #1, 2 & 3. Can you believe I struggle daily with NOT reaching out to them? I don’t know why. I really don’t want them back in my life but I feel haunted like I should. Maybe its just the routine of it, I have after all been doing it for so long.

Is this the human condition to want people in our lives no matter what toll it takes on our own souls? If it is I cant understand. My life is not without people. I have a great husband, 3 kids, a big family. I have the 2 friends, true friends I have monthly plans with. I work, keep a very nice home, and I fill my time a lot with exercise. (along with a thousand other things)

The real kicker is…After I made the choice to just stop and let go of these (and a few other people) in my life, I have noticed doors open I didn’t see before. I guess I was so busy holding up both sides of so many relationships, I couldn’t see through the mess. I am angry. I missed out on so much. I can see it all so very clearly now.

But can I ever let go? Let go completely? So these people wont come to mind anymore. I don’t think so. I think I’m too mad. I think I’m entitled to be mad, at them and at myself.

I honestly feel no matter what you do a part of you is always trapped in the past, unable to move on from it. I believe some pieces of you remain so troubled it will haunt you for the rest of your life.

But these pieces also shape who we are, and they change choices we make in the future.

Will I ever find myself unhappy with the people I allow into my life again? Probably.

But for now its a very clean slate.

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So there is it…

Regards!

Another Favorite Project

Okay now I’m going to just gush about these…

Bangles. Sliding Adjustable Bangles. Stacking. Collecting Charm BANGLES!

Making these is my absolute favorite job. Picking the charms out that go together, that compliment each other. Designing some of the charms I have in my shop even. Shopping and creating as a job, nothing is better than that!

But, well, I have a problem. I keep a ton. I put together collections I like, phrases, and symbols, and well I cant resist keeping tons for myself.  Luckily, there’s a ton of other people who seem to like them as well since they fly out of my etsy shop.

This here is my collection (most of it).

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And yes I wear them all at once sometimes.

This here’s a picture of me my when I adore them all.

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 I love the jingle they make when they’re all on, and I have a lil thing for stainless steel, can ya tell?

Even my wedding band is stainless steel. This love I can not even explain. I want to say its the simplicity, durability, and the color mostly.

Each charm, states something of me, I wear them for me. But you could genuinely read them and know a lot about me. That right there is what style is, isn’t it?  The statements of you.

All of it is in my etsy store.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JerseyGypsyEtsyShop?ref=hdr_shop_menu

https://www.facebook.com/jerseygypsypeddler/

Regards!

Things Ive Learned About Having An Etsy Shop

I am in no way an “expert”, but I’ve learned and know a thing or two about having an Etsy shop. I consider my shop to be “successful”. I consider it a job, my job. I take pride in it that way, and I present it that way when speaking to others about work. It doesn’t pay the bills exactly, but it  makes more than enough to make it worth the time, money, and work I put into it. It does put food on the table more often than not, shoes on my kids feet, and gas in the car.

On that note, first and foremost:

“If you want etsy to be your job, than your going to have to treat it like a job.” 

You are going to have to put forth an effort. Set aside time to “work” on your shop. Shop appearance, profile, policies, The pictures you upload and the information you provide about your product does make the difference between a sale or no sale.

“Be personable.”

One of the first things I realized I was doing wrong was being invisible and nameless. I did this not because I was embarrassed of what I make and sell, but because I had a fear of putting myself out there. Being invisible and nameless is, to be honest, how I go through life (mostly). And to look at me you’d never know I prefer it that way, with my purple hair and (so its been said) covered in tattoos. I’m just a private person, and I thought I could just hide in the background and make this work. Wrong! Most people want to know about you, they want to like you. They want to know who they’re buying from.

“Use social media! Its free!!!”

I can not say this enough. Though I consider my Etsy shop a success, I do not consider my Facebook page that way, and this is something I’m working hard on. 197 likes, I want more! But more than that I want followers. I want people to be engaged. Of the 197 likes, less than 50 follow and even less engage with my page. This I believe is because I have tried to remain invisible. I’m changing that and its making a difference, traffic to my Etsy shop is starting to come straight from my Facebook page and likes to my Facebook page are starting to come straight from my Etsy shop. I have much more success (right now) with Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and this Blog. Because I am putting myself out there.

ps: friends and family and their media pages can be a huge help too, don’t be afraid to ask them to share your page.

On that same note:

“Befriend a Blogger (or even more).”

Someone that is into what you do. Though not actually “free”. You could send 1 or 10, of what you make to them and they in turn blog about it, which will make it to their Twitter, Facebook, and other pages. Creating “reach”. And when it comes down to it the farther your reach the more traffic to your etsy shop. I happen to be lucky and had a wonderful blogger reach out to me last year. https://theglittermirror.wordpress.com/

She has become an assets to me, and as long as I do this I will continue to send her things to blog about. The way I see it, its win, win. She gets gifted things she likes, and I get free advertising.

“Etsy treasuries mean Etsy traffic.”

Another “tool” if you will, to help people find you. Now I know it asks you not to add your own items to your treasuries, but I add at least one every time. I wear my own stuff daily, I love it, and when I put a treasury together something always fits. This has, for me lead to others putting me in their treasuries which has gotten me many sales, followers, and likes. It is an unspoken “you scratch my back, Ill scratch yours.”

“Traffic but no sales.”

This can seem dis-heartening, but trust me traffic means people are finding you! This is great news!! People are finding you, they are liking what you have out there, among all the 100’s of others they found you!

Which leads me to this:

“Less means more.”

Okay, so imagine you’re just window shopping. You like something, there’s 10 of them. What are you gonna do? Me? I save it for later. There’s a bunch I can come back. Yup, we all do it. So, I now list 2 or 3 at a time. Deceitful? Maybe…But when  I like and want something and I’m afraid they’ll run out you know I just up and buy it right than before its gone. Yes, your going to have to pay the 20 cent relisting fee more often, but you just sold out of something the same week you listed it, is 20 cents really a big deal now?

“There’s no such thing as a stupid question.”

You get them and you’ll think, “it says in the listing (its a set, or what its made of, or whatever it is your possible customer is asking to know). Answer them, answer them all, in detail. Thank them for “looking” or “shopping” with you. Most people only what a verification, they just want to be really sure, that they’re getting what they want. And this is a job, customer service is a he part of that. The most important part. I don’t just want sales, I want repeat customers! The key to that is customer service.

“Do your homework!”

I want 2016 to be more successful than 2015. And to do that I need to know more. I need help. I find that help in research. Reading the 100’s of blogs and reports and articles out there about having a successful Etsy Shop. Yes there are tons out there, go read some. Retail, and lets be honest, this is retail is ever changing and many things effect your shop and sales. So make sure to take in some of what is openly out there for you as tools to use. Be open to the advice in these blogs, articles, and stories. Read this one to start it is really good…

https://anasdomain.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/how-to-optimize-your-online-shop-tips-and-tricks-to-boost-your-etsy-sales-masterpost/

Now, I know if I sat here and thought more on it I could write much more, but like I said “I’m no expert, but here’s a few things.” This blog reflects my personal experience, my personal opinion. I do hope you find the information helpful, or maybe you already know all this and can just relate.

https://www.facebook.com/jerseygypsypeddler/

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JerseyGypsyEtsyShop?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Regards!

A favorite project

There are some things I make, that I just love more than others.

Wrist Strap Key Fobs are one of those things. One of the first things I ever made and sold, now I get my kids involved with helping me make them.

These are a fun project because of the dozens and dozens and dozens (and so on until forever!) of choices of ribbon! Seriously, there is no limit to it. At the height of summer sales, and Christmas time  I have probably made 100 different of these in a single day.

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I’ve done these as bridesmaid gifts, had a sweet 16, and I’ve done them for a 40 and fabulous birthday as favors as well.

I was surprised at first when I realized the versatility of these wrist straps. I now have them attached to more than just my keys. My camera, cell phone case and my sons game boy all proudly wear them. I slip this on my wrist while running to the car from the food store, bags in hand so I don’t have to dig them out from the bottom of my bag. I have even worn it on my wrist while running my daily 4 miles because I couldn’t stand the weight of my keys bouncing in my pocket. I have slipped it on my wrist while jumping on a roller coaster at Six Flags, since they kinda hurt in my pocket and I’m not getting a locker for just my keys!

These have made great gifts for him or her, dads/coaches, moms on the go and new teen drivers. The ability to personalize like I said is endless but I also love the idea of wearing my fangirl out for all to see, and I love my Jack Skellington, Harry Potter, and New York Rangers.

(Just to name a few)

Now of course I have a bunch more up in my shop and on my Facebook page, and so many more I haven’t even listed yet.

So many in fact I’m thinking of doing a giveaway, maybe even one a month on my Facebook page…if you haven’t yet be sure to drop by and like my page and follow to get in on that.

https://www.facebook.com/jerseygypsypeddler/

Or drop by our etsy shop as well, these are only $5.00 each, and Ill get just what your looking for if I don’t have it already just inbox me.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JerseyGypsyEtsyShop?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Regards!