Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happy Etsyversary!

I had no idea it was Nerdbomber's three year Etsyversary until the lovely muchachaK convo'd me to say congrats. That just goes to show how well I keep track of dates.

It's been a good three years on Etsy. If there is one thing I've learned, it's that you get out of it what you put into it. The times when I was less diligent in making new things and listing, sales and visibility went down. When I'm very active on the site, sales go up. It is my goal to keep Nerdbomber active and visible not only on Etsy, but in other venues as well. We're slowly but surely branching out.

There have been many changes to Etsy and to Nerdbomber in the past three years. Everyone is progressing and we're all looking forward to three more productive years selling our fine wares. Now go buy something and help me celebrate!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Things have slowed down just a bit for me. I've been working on personal projects, giving lessons and nursing an overworked right arm.

I am continuing to list new items from my stock, so please keep checking I have several patterns worked up for new bags, bu tI won't be able to complete them until my arm is recovered.

Until hten, you may also want to see the latest shop I'm drooling over: magicbeanbuyer. Her little Plinis are tres adorable. I wants them. I wants them all.

Monday, June 16, 2008

New Nerdy Newness

The newest items in the Nerdbomber shop are these really cool market tote bags. I made them from the Charlie pattern over at Burdastyle is cool because the patterns are open source and they allow you to sell what you make. There is also a cool community willing to offer advice and comment on user creations. Burdastyle also shares a building with Etsy and they collaborate on a variety of projects including this video where they make *gasp* the Charlie bag. I plan to make several of these in various styles. I like the banana one and am anxious to see how it goes over.

I also have several of my own patterns in the works. It is illegal to use commercial patterns (Simplicity, McCall's, Amy Butler, etc.) for resale purposes, so it is important to know that all the items we sell on Nerdbomber are our own creations unless otherwise stated. For example, I clearly note that the Charlie bags are from the burdastyle pattern. All the other bags on our site are my own patterns. Isn't that special?

Anyhoo. Look for new things. Look for old things. Just come and look. Then buy something. You'll love it. I promise.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Iron Man FTW

Ok, so it's taken me a while but I've been busy. Last week my family saw Iron Man as a reward for my son's kindergarten graduation. I've got no frame of reference for Iron Man, no cute back story about my dad and after school cartoons, so I went in not sure what to expect. In fact, I thought Iron Man was one of the X-Men, and was wondering why he got his own movie. I'd heard that it was TEH BEST SUPERHERO MOVIE EVAR OMG!!!11!! but that's what people had said about nearly every superhero movie in the past eight years, so I didn't pay it much heed.

Let me say first that the most striking thing about this movie is how realistic the special effects are. Things that we know are impossible are within the realm of suspension of disbelief because they LOOK so real. Which brings me to another point, the violence is also very realistic (barring the last robotic suit battle which came off as pretty corny). That issue disturbed me because people were getting mowed down by machine guns and my son was laughing like something funny happened. This says more about the nature of violence as entertainment in America than the quality of the movie.

I'm a big proponent of taking a movie as it is and so it won't come as a big surprise that this won't be getting any screenwriting awards. The dialogue is predictable and suitably lame (especially during the big final battle which as you may have guessed I found disappointing). At one point I could swear I heard the baddie say "Ice try." This could be a mistake on my part, though.

Robert Downey Jr. Does an amazing job playing Tony Stark. He revels in playing the philandering Stark and pulls of the lovable jerk flawlessly. Even his revelation and turn of heart seem genuine in a movie where so many other things are just plain silly. The change comes when he realizes that his weapons have been confiscated by nefarious characters and are being used to evil ends. He decides, after some prompting by a throwaway character, to redeem himself and rectify the situation post haste. This scenario would be a groaner if not for the near perfect blend of cockiness, naivete and genius Downey gives Stark.

It's hard to stand out next to that kind of performance, even in a summer action flick. The other actors did a fair job, but couldn't compare to the obvious glee Downey exhibited in his role. Jeff Bridges was distracting for me personally for two reasons: he just looks like a nice guy and I kept seeing The Dude. Gwenyth Paltrow's character was all right (except for her lame name, but that was established long before the movie) until she has an "ooo shiny!" moment and had to run in stilettos.

It may seem like I'm being hard on this movie, and I'm not trying to be. It was fun, exciting and much better than most of the other super hero movies of the recent past. I suppose the only thing I was left wanting were some surprises. We all know the good guy has to win in the end, but we don't have to follow the same predictable formulas every time to get there. It's worth seeing if you haven't seen it already.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Fontstruct : Totally awesome website of fonty goodness

So, while perusing the web last week I found this lovely website: fontstruct. Skeptical at first, I signed up and started making a blockular font. Cut to: 5 hours later.... Still working on the font... even though it was a really basic font, I couldn't stop putting the blocks together. It's like Legos for adult designers.

This site is amazingly easy to use and perfect for making that 101th pixel font that you REALLY needed. The impressive amount of blocks that you can use makes fontstructing fun to do. Whenever I would be thinking "I need a block shaped like..." and then I would find one. You can do some interesting things with blocks and not even try! The only problem I found is that I wasn't sure about the scaling of the font. Should I make it small, or large? That's just me I suppose. Some people having way too much time on their hands and make full scale blackletter fonts. Which is just amazing and ridiculous at the same time.

Some of my favorite fonts are:

Awesome. If you are really cool you will go build a font. But you don't have to, I understand. Mine isn't done yet (and is lame) but I will let you know when I make a non-lame font. I will have to think of a way to nerdify my font more-so than it is now.

Oh, That's Right!

I'm self promoting in this post and there's nothing you can do about it. Was that too confrontational? Too bad! Whatcha gonna do? Stop reading? Ok, don't do that. I'll be nice. I love what you're wearing today. Is it new?

I wanted to talk today about some things I have in my shop that, for whatever reason, don't sell well. I'm proud of all the products I make but some of them just don't seem to fly off the theoretical shelves.

Take these for example. I think I've only sold one wrist pouch on Etsy since I started listing (and relisting) them a few years ago. I recently sold several at a craft fair, so I know they don't completely suck. Why don't they sell? Is it my photos? The shape of the bag? They are very functional; I use mine quite a bit. They also look great with 1" pinback buttons on the color field at the top of the pouch.

Another item that just sits and collects digital dust are the crochet flower pins. They're cute and bright and funky. Who doesn't love that? They have really cute buttons in the center, that's a huge selling point. They make a bold statement on a jacket or bag and $6 isn't a huge risk to take on something as awesome as these pins. Maybe I should photograph them ON something.

The last item I wanted to highlight is something else that sold well in person, but hasn't done so great online. The Tshirt Totes are really bold and eye catching, but have flopped on Etsy. I thought people would like them for market bags or everyday totes. They are fully lined and interfaced for extra stability. I also have to comb the stores for just the right shirts to use on these bags. I have to find ones that are funny, bold, and in excellent condition. It isn't easy.

So in this post I've had a few mood swings: from confrontational to nice to whiny. I'm not usually this erratic. Or am I? Any way, if anyone has any ideas why these things aren't flying off the site, let me know. I'm always interested in suggestions.