Polymer Clay Brand Review for Sculptors

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Polymer Clay Blocks

“I only use one brand of polymer clay.”

Has someone said this to you before?  Or have you said it yourself?  Maybe someone has said to you, “I only use Fimo Classic polymer clay.”  In either case, I call this the “polymer clay snob syndrome.”  I’ll be honest, I too prefer a certain brand of clay over others, however, I will use whatever I have and often times clay that I have found on sale or on clearance.  So why am I against “polymer clay snob syndrome?”

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Tools of the Trade

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Polymer Clay Tools with Parker by KatersAcres

Polymer Clay Tools from Every Department!

Polymer Clay Tools with Parker by KatersAcres

My tip for you today is a reminder of what you can use when working with polymer clay.  Working with polymer clay takes time, energy, and is the best reason to dig into every other craft & hobby out there!  My husband said to me one day while wading through every single aisle in my local Pat Catan’s, “why can’t you just crochet or something?”  I laughed because I knew exactly what he meant.  What he meant was that there’s a clay/sculpting aisle and we go down it to shop, but then I hit up the stamp section, knitting section, button & sewing aisles, plus the flower section, baking/cooking section, jewelry section, and eventually end up in the paints with a final trip through the clay aisle again (just in case I missed something).  What is it about clayers that makes this happen?

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Details Make a Difference

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Details Matter - Build Your Brand Series by KatersAcres

Stand Out Amongst the Crowd

Details Matter - Stand Out Against the Crowd - Build Your Brand Series by KatersAcres

Most people who are selling on Etsy, just want to do one thing: stand out amongst the crowd. Let’s do an experiment.  I want you to type these search words into Etsy and see what you get: “knitted scarf“, “polymer clay figurine“, and “fabric coaster.”  Here’s what you should have found 37,725 items for “knitted scarf”, 4,064 items for “polymer clay figurine”, and 3,204 items for “fabric coaster.”  What’s the thing in common with these, there are literally thousands of items to sort through to get your item found.  These next few tips are going to show you how to add details in order to get found, stand out amongst the crowd, and experience Etsy success!

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Daily Etsy Strategy

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Etsy Strategy: Daily Etsy Plan for Success by KatersAcres

Easy Tips for Your Success on Etsy

Etsy Strategy: Daily Etsy Plan for Success by KatersAcres

I often have people ask me, “how do you get it all done?”  Well, there are a few easy answers to that and a few hard answers to that.  This week on our FaceBook page, we entertained the discussion amongst our fans, asking them how they got it all done. Some of the answers were just plain cute.

But seriously…how do you balance creating for your store, promoting your items, keeping up with social media, and still have time to put your feet up at the end of the day?  You need an Etsy strategy that is simple, straight forward, & easy to follow.  Today I’m going to share with you the things that I do to help me.  Please know these tips may not work for everyone, but they do work for me.

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Hard Clay Blending Technique

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Easy Blend Polymer Clay Technique by KatersAcres

Hard Clay? No Problem!

My Easy Blending Polymer Clay Tip No Special Tools Required

One of the things that every clayer struggles with at times is rock hard clay.  Clay that does nothing but snap, break, and never get soft.  The easiest answer to this problem is a food processor.  But, you may not have a food processor and that’s okay.

Today’s polymer clay tip will show you how to become friends with your clay, warm it up, soften it, make it malleable again, and even blend it to perfect.  In fact, with this easy polymer clay tip, you don’t need any special tools or machines.  You only need your hands, clay blade, acrylic roller and pasta machine.

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Trina’s Clay Creations

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Thank You, Trina

It is with sadness that I do this artist feature on Trina’s Clay Creations.  Why is this sad you might ask? Almost 2 years ago, Etsy created “Teams.” From the outset, I began an all polymer clay team, The PCETeam (Polymer Clay Enthisiasts) of Etsy.  I sought out inspiring artists of different clay disciplines to aid in the creation, growth, and promotion of our mutual love, polymer clay.  One of those people that I was blessed enough to meet was Trina Prenzi.  She has a natural sculpting ability with clay that is immediately noticeable. Her fine attention to detail and adorable whimsical creations is uncanny. It has been my honor to know her, work with her, & feature her today.

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Etsy Relist Maniac

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I’ve done it, you’ve done it, we’ve all done it.  We’re in a hurry and what do we do? We sit staring at our expired Etsy items and in a hurry click relist.  Bad, bad, bad.  Shame on you! Here’s the why you should not be arbitrarily clicking relist anymore.

Don't just hit 'relist' - Build Your Brand & think before you take action.

Are You a Etsy Relist Maniac?

It’s easy to do and it’s easy to fall into that habit.  But I’m begging you, for the sake of your business – stop doing that right now.  This is truly one of the worst mistakes & habits you can get into on Etsy.  We have talked about this before in our Build Your Brand, but we’ve never talked about it step by step and explained why you need to do this. Continue reading Etsy Relist Maniac

Coffee Cream Recipe

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CoffeeMate Sweet Italian Creme Copycat Recipe by KatersAcres

Homemade Copycat Recipe:

Coffeemate’s Italian Sweet Creme

CoffeeMate Sweet Italian Creme Copycat Recipe by KatersAcres

As all of my readers know, I am a lover of coffee.  I’m a coffee enthusiast who can drink warm bronze liquid (or cold bronze liquid) at any hour of the day. I love it. I can’t help myself, I just do. One of the things that I find myself spending a significant amount of money on is Coffee-Mate’s Italian Sweet Creme coffee creamer. Oh…it’s almost too good. But to be honest, the $3.00-$4.00 price tag is a killer on the shopping budget. Especially when hubby and I go through one of these 32 ozs. containers a week.

So, I decided to make my own. I looked up recipes online and found hundreds, literally hundreds of make-your-own liquid coffee creamer recipes. This one is by far the easiest of all that I found. But I also learned something else…there are 2 ingredients in this creamer. There are over 13 in the store-bought version, 11 of which I can’t pronounce.  So not only is this cheaper for your wallet if you shop at discount stores, but it is also better for you as well.

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30 Minute Plan for Your Etsy Shop

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30 Minute Etsy Plan by KatersAcres

30 Minute Etsy Plan by KatersAcresSpend 30 Minutes or Less on Etsy a Day & Still Succeed:

I have several friends on Etsy right now who have been struggling with time management and getting everything done in their Etsy store. Running at Etsy store can be a time-consuming, all-day job if you let it.  Even Etsy is aware of this as their forum this month is teaching you how to be more productive with that time.  Several of the tips Etsy is giving you I have already posted about on my blog in our Build Your Brand Series. But it’s summer and it’s time for you to have a break! Besides, with the notoriously slow retail shopping season that peaks in July and ramps up toward September again, there are much better things you should be doing with your time. In today’s Build Your Brand series, we are going to talk about how to get the basics done in just 30 minutes a day…no more and no less!

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Social Media Restraint

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It wasn’t that this was a problem…or was it? It has been felt widely by the Etsy community that the more social networks you are on, the better! After all, being part of 1 or more social networks does increase your back links and online presence, right? Wrong.

Last week I was dumbfounded at the number of social networks that I belonged to.

Katie Oskin, Kater’s Acres

This past week it was pointed out to me how wrong I actually am. I have several friends who are marketing gurus. The best of the best and the most informed of anyone I know regarding social media. My one friend said to me, “you know you don’t have to be a part of everything, right?” That was it…this one comment changed my social media outlook and life. And here’s why…

We often feel that because there is a new social media platform out there that we instantly have to jump on the bandwagon and get started on that platform. Even I felt the pressure! Always trying to get in on the new “in” social media tool.  Here’s the sad truth…there are far too many for you ever to be able to keep up with them. Social media is about establishing confidence in your brand.

Isn’t it far better to be a big presence on a few sites than to be an almost invisible presence on lots of sites? Look at it this way: social media is about reaching people, forgive me, but there is no way that you are reaching people on 200 networks. Why? You’re not on those networks long enough to establish a solid presence and build your brand. It’s great that you can do 200 networks…but the reality is that in order to establish a following base, people want to see you active. If you haven’t tweeted in 2 months but have 2000 followers, what good is that doing for your Etsy store?

Please know that I am not a social media guru like my friends are…however this being said, here’s what I can tell you…I was drained, tired, and out of energy. I was burning myself out trying to “fit in” and find my “niche” on every social media platform. As I perused Wanelo this past week and looked at my paltry and horrible page, I had a fleeting thought…I hate this site. Why am I even using it? Good question Katie, good question. I couldn’t figure it out. Wanelo is Pinterest, but without the user-friendliness and might I add no way to delete your account (to which I was sent an email from customer support saying you cannot currently unsubscribe, but I will be put on a list when that option will be made available). ARG! Why did I join this platform…oh yes, that’s right because I thought it would help me promote and reach people…WRONG! All it did was make me feel like I had one more place to compete, one more network to build, and one more thing to do to reach out.  But here’s the bottom line…why? And to what end? I have a very strong following on Pinterest, and medium followings on both FaceBook and Twitter.  So why did I feel the need to stretch myself so thin?

The secret is simple: if it’s worth doing, you better do it well.

So you know what I did? I gave up.  And you can too! You do not have to be on every social media network known to the internet. There may be one thousand social media outlets today, another 10,000 tomorrow, and ten million in a year. The point is, you need to keep a small enough focus that you are in fact reaching people, having conversations with people (remember that we are talking about social media here), and being able to keep up with your primary job: owning, running, and creating for your own Etsy store. As for me and my business, for now, we’ll keep with the same 2 we’ve had for many years (Facebook & Twitter) and keep Pinterest as well. This assumes that the center of your social media efforts stems from your blog and does not count as one of the social media “tools.” (We’ll talk about blogging in the future Build Your Brand article.) This doesn’t mean that I don’t see or find value in any of the others, it’s just that this is what works for me and for my Etsy business…different social media options and venues may work for yours.

Stick to 2-3 social media platforms.

The next time someone tells you, “Hey this is a really cool site you need to be on…” Wait, hold on, and see if it has potential first. If the site features mostly fashion and you sell vintage housewares, why would you want to join the site? Remember, the key to using social media is to make it work for you and for your Etsy store. If you are not making it work for you, then what is the point of wasting your time? If you find that the site has potential value to you and to your Etsy store, then see if you can still squeeze that platform into your work day, without dropping the ball on other social media ventures, hurting the reputation of your Etsy store, or getting yourself so bombarded with social media that you lose the will to create, list, and sell on Etsy. Social media will take over your life if you let it…my advice, is don’t let it. Pick 3 you like and do well on and stick with them.

Join us next time for our Build Your Brand series, focusing on helping you grow your Etsy store smartly, easily, & efficiently.

Thanks for joining me today. Join me next week to Build Your Brand on Etsy & experience success.

Parker’s Story

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Zombie Parker - 10th Birthday Release from Kater's Acres
Parker - Handmade Polymer Clay Figurine by KatersAcres

Parker’s story begins in a place, not of this world…

Parker lived in the midst of the great clouds of Nimbus, a tiny town tucked high above the clouds beyond the deep blue sky.  It was on the Nimbus Rainbow where Parker and his friends played each day. They would slide along the colored beams that arched over the town, dancing in the light each morning and playing in its rays. The Nimbus rainbow held all their secrets of magical places, knew all the adventures of make-believe that Parker dreamed and kept the town and its children full of life.  Yes, Nimbus was a great place to call home. It’s a place Parker longs to return to…

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Using Lotion with Polymer Clay

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Polymer Clay Tip - Use Lotion First from KatersAcres


Haven’t you ever noticed how after claying all day (or part of the day) your hands are dried out, your cuticles begin to tear, and you get a large number of hangnails?  This is because the clay (though non-toxic and gentle) takes the moisture that is in your hands and absorbs it…all of it.
This being said, there are several things that I have on my studio table at all times.

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What Makes Parker Special?

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What makes Parker so special?  There are lots of things that make him special.  But today we want to discuss why Parker is so cherished, beloved, and a great piece of art.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at one of our StoryBook Scenes and decided, “I just don’t think I can let someone adopt this one.” Ultimately, if I did that with every item I make, you’d never see anything new in our store, my house would be overflowing with adorable clay figurines, and I’m pretty sure my husband would think I was a crazy lady.

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Repurpose X-acto Blades Using Scrap Polymer Clay

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 Repurpose X-acto Blades Into a Great New Tool

Repurpose x-acto blades? Absolutely you can do that! This simple and quick tip had a huge response in last week’s email, twitter, & even on FaceBook.  It was shared, retweeted, and commented on more times that any previous tip I had posted. So today I will show you how you can take that old, grungy, and slightly beat up old cutting blade and repurpose x-acto blades into something more useful.

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Build Your Brand with Twitter

We have talked in several of our posts regarding your brand about FaceBook.  It seems to me that after following many of you on Twitter & FaceBook that the one thing you are NOT doing is being social.
Social media is called “social media” for a reason.  Social media gives you a reason to interact with another person, it allows you to put a name & personality with your brand image. As I browse through several of your Twitter accounts I see things like this:

You’re probably looking at this thinking: “Gee, that looks familiar…I do that too.”  If this is all you do, you will NEVER get followers and people will not click on your links. Let’s see what you can do to make your tweets effective.

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