Saturday, November 21, 2009

What a little advertising can do for you!

Oh my! My little shop was featured in a Storque article Friday a week ago.

The article was not about my shop. It did not mention me in particular. It really was about the many different kinds of etsy teams you can join on etsy. But the mention of my very cool team, the naturalkids team, was followed 4 pictures with shop links of items from various team members. One of them was a picture of my miniature Pocketdolls - the one shown below. Wow!

At first I could not figure out why I had so many views on newly listed items. To my shame I have to admit, I still have not set up google analytics which helps one track such things...I just don't have the time and energy to figure out these little technical details. Then I saw that my hearts had gone up by over 100 in two days. I had over 40 sales in 3 days.

So I went to the forums and asked. Some nice person pointed out the fact that my little dolls where featured in that article. Now I can only imagine what an article written by me could do for my shop...I will put this idea on my list for New Year's Resolutions: Propose article to etsy...

Got to run folks and play catch-up, make sure I get everything made and mailed out in a timely fashion. Luckily I have worked out a good system. I blogged about it last year around Christmas time when things got very busy over here.

Thank you Etsy for featuring my little dollies! I am very grateful this Thanksgiving that my sales in November were up and I can afford Christmas present for my family...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Piece of The Wall/ translation

I was too tired yesterday to translate my post about the Fall of The Wall. I had just returned from a presentation about it at the University of Northern Colorado. I thought the presenters did a wonderful job. I was glad to see that so many people (around 100) came to attend the event. It demonstrates that many people here are still fascinated by these very important event that shaped my home country in such a significant way.

It was 20 years ago from yesterday. Oh my gosh! One feels really old thinking about being there life when it all happened. Where has all that time gone?

I was 21 years old, had just moved to Berlin to be a student at the Free University of Berlin. (one of the institutions of higher education on the Western side of the city!) Berlin was a city of students back then. Only few people wanted to live there. In fact so few that the government created an employee bonus, called the Berlinzulage, to encourage people to move to Berlin and work there.
It was the island of hope in the hostile communist East.

I was a student in the North American Studies program at the John-F. Kennedy Institute. Of all things - what irony!

I clearly remember the events of that night. In the early evening hours a good friend of mine called me on the phone. She said: "We must go to the Brandenburger Tor. All hell is breaking loose there. I heard on the radio that people are climbing up on The Wall."

It was a very cold November night when I left the house. I was wearing my thick winter jacket. But the closer we came to the Brandenburg Gate the thicker the masses of people became. There was an atmosphere of partying and laughter all around us. We ran into some friends who had brought hammers and chisels, prepared to take The Wall down tonight! People were lending each other a hand to climb up. Once up there there was a strange mixed feeling of fear and enthusiasm. As one stared down into the chasm of the deathstrip one wondered... There were soldiers, Eastern security personal, with weapons. Were they going to shoot at us? But people threw down gum, candy, cans of coke. It appeared that this strategy was working. No shots were fired. The guards were actually smiling. More and more people felt encouraged to use the tools they had brought along. Out came the chisels and hammers, and we started to take down The Wall that night!

In the picture you can see my little piece of history chiseled from that wall 20 years ago. Long long ago...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mein Stueck Mauer/ My Piece of The Wall

Heute vor 20 Jahren fiel "Die Mauer". Man fuehlt sich ganz schoen alt wenn man life dabei war...Meine Guete 20 Jahre. Wo ist die Zeit geblieben?

Ich war damals gerade mal 21 Jahre alt, war aus dem WESTEN zum Studium nach Berlin gezogen. Berlin war damals eine Stadt voll von Studenten. Nur wenige Menschen wollten dort leben und arbeiten. So wenige, dass die Regierung den dort Beschaeftigten einen Bonus zahlte, die sogenannte Berlinzulage. Berlin, eine Insel im feindlichen komunistischen Osten.

Und ich lebte dort und studierte Amerikanistik. Ironie des Schicksals...

Ich werde nie vergessen, wie mich an jenem Abend vom 9.11.1989 eine Freudin anrief. "Komm schnell, wir muessen zum Brandenburger Tor! Da ist die Hoelle los. Ich habe im Radio gehoert, dass Leute auf die Mauer klettern".

Es war eine sehr kalte Nacht als ich das Haus verliess. Ich trug meine dicke Winterjacke. Aber je naeher wir dem Brandenburger Tor kamen, desto dicker wurden die Menschenmassen. Und in der Masse vergass man die Kaelte. Es war Partystimmung , alle lachten und freuten sich beim Erklimmen "Der Mauer". Wir trafen Bekannte, die Hammer und Meissel mitgebracht hatten. Es war schon sehr komisch. Die Mischung von Angst von der Mauer herunter in den Todesstreifen zu stuerzen, und seltsamem Enthusiasmus. Unten im Todesstreifen standen eine Menge unsicherer Sicherheitspolizisten, die nicht wussten wie sie reagieren sollten. Oben wir, die Wessies, die Kaugummi, Suesskram, und Cokedosen zu ihnen herunterwarfen. Diese Ueberredungsstrategie schien zu funktionieren. Kein Schuss fiel, und in dieser Nacht begannen wir mit dem Abriss "Der Mauer".

Auf dem Bild koennt Ihr mein Stueck Mauer sehen, welches ich in der Nacht persoenlich herausmeisselte. Mein kleines Stueck Geschichte. Lang, lang ist's her.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Custom Doll Clothing

Happy November! It's been busy in my little doll studio. After an eerily quiet October and September, all of sudden the orders started pouring in... Christmas is on it's way.

I am having a hard time with some requests I am getting this time of year though. I receive many an email these days, from people who want to buy my doll clothes for dolls they ordered from another Waldorf doll maker. I find that it is just about impossible to change or adjust a pattern to make my clothing fit another doll. Let's say, even if a doll is the same height as my doll: I don't know if the limbs are skinny or chubby, shorter or longer, or whether the torso is the same length? The shoulders may be wider. The doll may be more chubby around the waistline... Handmade dolls are very much like people in that way! They are little individuals and you must try on the clothes to make sure they fit. Unfortunately I cannot invite the dolls into my home to try on the clothing. The clothes I make pretty much come in one size: The size that perfectly fits my 12" doll model. So I mostly discourage people from buying my doll clothes for other dolls since I cannot guarantee the fit even if they give me the measurements of their dolls...

I am really feeling bad for all the poor dolls who'd like to wear my rather fashionable doll clothes. But I'd rather not have the sale than an unhappy customer!