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Halloween Ordering Info 2016 (or “he who hesitates is lost”)

leather masks in progress
leather masks in progress

As this photo suggests, I’m already up to my elbows in Halloween prep! I’ve had several requests for custom costumes, so it seems like a good time to let everyone know that commission spots will be very limited this year. Like, extremely limited. So if you’re hoping to have something made from scratch to your specifications, you should definitely contact me soon! To order a one of a kind costume piece, please visit the “Custom Work” section of my website, and fill out the inquiry form there. This form outlines the info that I’ll need in order to understand your project, and it will really streamline the process for both of us. My commission spots fill up quickly, so please don’t put this off!

If you’re simply hoping to have one of my existing designs painted in your colors, I can usually be a bit more flexible. My turn around time for these types of orders is generally around two weeks before shipping, though that wait time gets longer the closer we get to Halloween. You can check out my “Made to Order” section to find mask styles that can be made in your choice of colors.

If you’re in a hurry, please visit my “Ready to Ship” section, for a selection of masks that are in stock and ready to ship quickly. 

Last but not least, I’ll be adding a small selection of unique, one of a kind masks and costume accessories this year. Keep an eye on my website, as well as my Facebook fan page, in order to see these pieces as they’re added.

And just to reiterate: Halloween commissions will be very limited this year. If you’d like a custom costume, now’s the time to get in touch. Please don’t be one of those silly people who contacts me three days (or even 3 weeks) before Halloween in hopes of commissioning a one of a kind piece!

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And a Solstice Sale…

winter oak ornamentsWell I fully intended to be a curmudgeon this holiday season, but I guess it’s just not in my nature. I spent a good bit of time in my studio this weekend, thinking about which ideas I’d like to build on in 2016, and what I’m ready to let go of. In the interest of clearing out space – in my studio and in my mind –  I’ve marked down many items throughout my store. Check out my SALE section for a wide selection of items marked down by 25% or more, through the end of 2015.

These discounts can be combined with my existing winter specials, enabling you to get 35% (or more) off my usual prices! Info and coupon codes for those offers are copied below:

* All US domestic orders of $40+ are eligible for free first class shipping.
On my website, you’ll automatically see the free shipping option when your cart reaches $40
On Etsy, you’ll need to enter the coupon code “shippingfree” at checkout

* All orders of $75+ are eligible for a 10% discount. 
To receive this discount, use the coupon code “happyholidays” at checkout. That coupon code is the same for my website as it is for Etsy. Please note that this offer applies to ready made items only, not custom work.

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2015 Holiday Curmudgeon Sale

At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly, I’m extremely annoyed by holiday marketing this year. That is not to say that I’m anti Christmas (or against any of the winter holiday traditions) – it’s just the marketing that sickens me. I’ve been getting “Black Friday” emails since before Halloween, which seriously freaks me out! Personally, that doesn’t inspire me to shop; it just stresses me out.

As a retailer, this is doubly challenging. The various selling platforms and marketing blogs that I subscribe to are just as urgent in letting me know that I’m supposed to be sharing my story! And making! and slashing prices! And holding giveaways! And tweeting and gramming and facebookering and worrrying about blackfriday, smallbizsaturday, cybermonday or selloutsunday …and OMG, now I just want to hide under the covers until the New Year.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and the bottom line is – I really don’t want to do all that stuff. I don’t want to participate in the hypermarketing, super commercial, over the top holiday blitz that is designed to promote consumption; it stresses people out, shifts the focus away from peace and goodwill, and really just benefits the big box stores. Because seriously? Independent artists don’t have the profit margin to give you HALF OFF OF EVERYTHING IN YOUR FACE the way that giant retailers do. More importantly, I hate the way it makes me feel and I don’t want to do that to my customers or myself; I respect us too much for that.

Instead, I will offer the following specials for the remainder of 2015. These offers are good for the rest of the year, so please relax, focus on the ones you love, and shop when you’re ready:

* All US domestic orders of $40+ are eligible for free first class shipping.
On my website, you’ll automatically see the free shipping option when your cart reaches $40
On Etsy, you’ll need to enter the coupon code “shippingfree” at checkout

* All orders of $75+ are eligible for a 10% discount. 
To receive this discount, use the coupon code “happyholidays” at checkout. That coupon code is the same for my website as it is for Etsy. Please note that this offer applies to ready made items only, not custom work.

(pro tip: on Etsy, you can only choose one of these offers; on my website, you’ll be able to combine the two offers to receive 10% off AND free domestic shipping!)

* In the interest of generating more peace and goodwill, I’ll add a little something extra to at least one order, every week through the end of the year. The recipient will be chosen at random, and so will the gift. You don’t need to fill out any forms or share things on social media – it’s just a little bonus giveaway for my customers, because I really do love and appreciate you all <3

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Halloween 2015 Deadlines

To help with your planning, here are some important dates and information for Halloween costume orders:

Ordering and Availability –

Ready to Ship” items are in stock and ready to ship quickly

Made to Order” listings can take 1- 2 weeks bench time before they can be shipped.
These listings will be available for order until October 1st, 2015.

Custom Work” can take 2-4 weeks bench time before shipping. An estimated timeline will be provided when you submit your request. Commissions will be open from 8/21/2015 – 9/15/2015; for the first 10 days (August 21- 31) past customers will have priority for commission spots.


 

Shipping and Deadlines –

US orders ship via USPS priority mail. The transit time for domestic orders is typically 2-3 days. Please place domestic orders no later than 10/26/15

International orders ship via USPS 1st class international. The transit time can be 10-30 days. Please place international orders no later than 9/30/15

Shipping upgrades are available for an additional fee.

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Opening up commissions soon!

Halloween 2015 Commission Info Coming Soon!
Halloween 2015 Commission Info Coming Soon!

Hello friends! I’m already getting quite a few requests for custom work for Halloween. On that note, I have good news and bad news:

* The bad news (just to get it out of the way) is that commission slots will be very limited this season. My apologies in advance, but I’m taking on several new commitments this fall, and I know that I’ll need to be protective of my health and sanity if I’m to accomplish all that I hope to!

* The GOOD news is that I’ll start accepting custom orders again very soon, and past customers will get first dibs on those commission slots. If we’ve worked together before – and especially if we have already discussed your idea – your project will have priority.

Stay tuned, as I’ll be posting more details soon!

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Winter Giveaway

Winter Giveaway

 

My handcrafted leather hair accessories are as practical as they are beautiful, and they make great holiday gifts…  in fact, I’m giving one away at midnight on December 24th 2014! A lucky winner will be randomly selected to win one of my leather oak leaf hair slides in the color of their choice 🙂

If you already own one of my hair accessories, I encourage you to fill out this survey and share a photo of how you wear your hair toy. By doing so, you’ll get 10% off your next purchase at my website or Etsy shop AND you’ll earn 2 additional entries for this giveaway!

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter the Giveaway before 11:59 pm PST on December 23rd. Be sure to leave the mandatory comment on the blog post with the same name you use to fill out the Rafflecopter – all entries by winner must be easily verified or a new winner will be chosen. Not including usernames when asked will also get you disqualified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Holiday Shipping Deadlines

I received this info from the USPS the other day, and thought I’d pass it along:

Holiday Mailing Guidelines within the U.S.
Letters
and Cards
Priority Mail® Priority Mail Express® Parcel Select®
Anywhere in
the U.S.
December 20 December 20 December 23 December 15

 

Holiday Mailing Guidelines for International Mail
Destination Letters
and Cards
Priority Mail Priority Mail Express Global Express
Gtd®
Canada December 9 December 12 December 16 December 19
Mexico December 9 December 9 December 14 December 19
Europe and Caribbean December 9 December 12 December 14 December 18
Asia, Pacific Rim, Australia, New Zealand December 9 December 9 December 14 December 17
Central and South America December 2 December 2 December 12 December 18
Africa December 2 December 2 December 10 December 18
Middle East December 9 December 12 December 14 December 17

 

Holiday Mailing Guidelines for Military APO/FPO Addresses
Addresses to the
following APO/FPO zips:
Letters and Cards Priority Mail Priority Mail Express Military Service
AE ZIPs 090-092, 094-098, AA ZIP 340, AP ZIPs 962-966 December 10 December 10 December 17
AE ZIP 093 December 3 December 3 N/A

 

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Handmade Holiday Gifts Part Four

 © Andrea Adams 2010

This series about handmade holiday gifts has been a lot of fun to write. I really like being able to promote other independent artists, and it’s been so nice to hear from others with similar ideals. I actually have three more posts drafted for this series, but I think I am going to stop early. Not because anyone offended me, or anything silly like that. It’s just that between holiday planning and orders and year end business tasks, I’m very pressed for time.

I’m also starting to feel a bit bombarded by commercials and the pervasive pressure to shop, shop, SHOP! That intensely commercial aspect of our culture can be really overwhelming for me (and judging by the other shoppers that I encountered today, I’m not the only one feeling that way). So rather than contribute to all of the commercialism and holiday pressure, I’m going to slow down and shift my focus.

Again, it has been my pleasure to promote my fellow artisans; and I do hope that my posts inspired you to buy handmade, buy local, or make your own special gifts this year. There are so many more talented artists that I could showcase (and I am brainstorming on ways to do this all year long) but for today, I’d like to share a very different kind of gift guide:

“To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.”

~ Oren  Arnold

Many thanks to my friend Talia for sharing this with me at the exact moment that I needed to hear it <3

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Handmade Holiday Gifts ~ Part 1

Last year around the holidays, I made a big deal about the importance of supporting independent artists and local small businesses. I recently posted on my facebook fan page about my intent to do the same this year. My goal is to promote independent artists and businesses (including my own).

One reason that I am so passionate about this is that your purchase from a big box store is really just a drop in the bucket of their profit margin; while your support of an independent artist actually has a powerful impact on the life of an individual! Buying handmade also benefits you and your intended recipient, in that you’re choosing to give something unique — which (at least in my book) is wonderful and special.

“Y is for Yule” via http://www.etsy.com/shop/EmilyBalivet

Another reason that I’m so vocal about this is that there were several years when the holidays were really really stressful for me. I made myself crazy and spent far more than I could afford, trying to make everything perfect — and by the time the holidays arrived I was uptight, angsty and disappointed. It occurred to me that the reason for this was that I had become a very well trained consumer — and in the process, I lost sight of the things that really make the holidays magical and special for me. Sappy as it sounds, those things are family, love, comfort, and taking time to relax and reflect on the year behind me. For the past 4 years I’ve made a concerted effort to focus on those aspects of the holidays, and it has made a tremendous difference in my stress level and satisfaction! I’d like to share that serenity with you.

Our consumer culture is so driven by the media push to “buy, buy buy” and to “act quickly!” and “don’t miss that super gonzo mega sale!” that we actually think that we have to do these things in order to express our love to our family and friends! Really, we don’t. Black Friday is a media construct and we can opt out, or at least seek meaningful alternatives. We can choose to do things with the folks we love and we can make things for them; if you’re not the crafty sort or you don’t have time to make things, then please consider doing your gift shopping with independent artists!

Tree topper via http://www.etsy.com/shop/faeryspellcreations

In the coming weeks I’ll showcase handmade items that I love, in the hopes that you’ll support these amazing artists too — or at least feel inspired to support other artists and small businesses. I’m also going to spotlight special treats that you can give or do for yourself, because self care is SO important this time of year! Hopefully, I can do this in a way that is tasteful and low key; it is not my intent to bombard you with more pressure to consume. I simply want to offer positive alternatives that I hope will help you to create a more serene and meaningful holiday season.