Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Top 10 Best Apps For Crafters!

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Love playing with apps?  We have put together the Top 10 apps for creatives!

1. Hands down ... is Pinterest!
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With the addition of RICH PINS, your Pinterest posts are that much more powerful!  We've added RICH PINS on The CraftStar, so Pin your favorite items and share with the world!

The difference between an enhanced (Rich) product pin and a regular pin of a product is the enhanced pin shows current pricing details and has a direct link to the product page. Regular pins require the user to enter the price (which can only be updated by the user) and the link only pops up when someone hovers over the image.

2. Instagram

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Over 200 million users love Instagram! 

It's a simple way to capture and share the world's moments on your iPhone. Customize your photos and videos with one of several gorgeous and custom built filter effects. Transform everyday moments into works of art you'll want to share with friends and family.

Share your photos and videos with friends and followers in a photo feed, or send posts directly to your friends. 
Follow what your friends post with the click of a single button. Every time you open up Instagram, you'll see new photos and videos from your closest friends, and creative people from around the world. 

3. Color Snap


Capture color inspiration on the go with ColorSnap® from Sherwin-Williams. The new ColorSnap easily matches images you capture with your iPhone to Sherwin-Williams paint colors. 

Find color inspiration from over 1,500 Sherwin-Williams paint colors. Once you’ve found a color, you can adjust by hue, lightness and saturation and get even more ideas with instant coordinating-color recommendations.

Save your favorite colors individually or create a personal palette to capture all the colors for your next painting project. You can access your saved colors and palettes on your computer or tablet with Sherwin-Williams’s Color Visualizer or ColorSnap Studio when you sign up for a profile on 

4.  Stitch Minder


StitchMinder is a free stitch counting utility application for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch. The program provides four customizable counters that can be used to track rows completed, pattern rows, increases, and decreases. Counters can be configured to count upwards or downwards, and your counts are always stored when you close the program or if your knitting is interrupted by a phone call. Simply tap on the number to count up or down!

5.  Stanley Level


Stanley®’s Level App for the iPhone gives you a portable level in the palm of your hand. The app asks you to calibrate your phone for the first use. Once completed, the digital level is available anytime, anywhere. Just like a real level, the bubble will indicate when you’re straight. For ease of use, numbers indicate how close to center you are - the farther from 0°, the farther from straight you become.

With the app available in two styles, you can choose the look that fits your mood. Pick from the classic Stanley cherry wood level or the modern yellow FatMax Level. 

The digital level makes hanging objects a breeze. For fast projects or unexpected needs, you will always have the level device right in your pocket. Perfect for hanging, building, mounting, creating and more, turn to your Stanley Level App.

6.  How Much Thread


Have you needed an estimate on how much thread to use on a quilt/project? Fear no more! The "How Much Thread Does it Take?" app by Superior Threads will take you through quilt size and give an estimate as to how much thread is needed for your project.

7.  Sketches To Scrapbook


Sketches2Scrapbook is a Scrapbooking Sketch application that will allow you to think creatively on the go with over 100 unique sketches and layouts to keep you inspired.  

Sketches2Scrapbook is a totally self-contained system where you can search the sketches for the one that suits the layout you want to make - you can search by style, by number of photos, by embellishments, even by the number of different papers you want to use.

Once you have your sketch selected, you can flip to see a sample layout made by some awesome Scrapbookers from around the world. Each of the beautiful layouts comes with a supply list of all the products they used to create the sample layout. 

This App will help you to find the perfect sketch for your photos saving you both time and tote space – no need for magazines and books taking up valuable paper or embellishment space, no need to sit in front of your computer or print our online sketches to take with you. And when you are out at the store, you can use the app to pre-plan your layouts and even use the supplies list to remake the layouts with your own photos. 

With 104 sketches, you have enough to make 2 layouts every week for a year plus the 12 free sketches for 1 extra layout each month (the Lite version comes built into the full version as extra sketches) – that’s a lot of inspiration especially with the sample layouts added as they are inspiring in their own right.

8VSCO Cam®

VSCO Cam is the premier way to shoot, edit and share your photographs.

9.  Sewing Kit


Sewing Kit is your new home for all of your sewing needs!

If you have ever been in a sewing store looking at patterns, but couldn’t remember if you already bought the one you like, or if the fabric you like will work with the project you are working on, then you will love Sewing Kit!

Now scan the pattern envelope while in the store to look it up, and add it if you don't have it!

Sewing Kit lets you search through all of your patterns, fabrics, projects, and people to make sure you are not buying something twice, or getting home and finding out you forgot to get something you really needed!

With Sewing Kit you can store and search on all of your: 
- patterns
- fabrics
- projects
- measurements for people 

All of these things, all in one place.

10.  Evernote.  My new personal favorite!  If you have LOADS of ideas (which I'm sure you do!) and want to keep track of them, you can use Evernote like a personal diary.  I currently have 33 "pages" with notes about work ideas, jewelry ideas, to do lists, etc.


Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve your productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders--and makes these notes searchable, whether are at home, at work, or on the go.

Thank you to, itunes, and for the above information.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The CraftStar Featured Artist: A Sign of Success

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My name is Wade.  I've lived in New York City since October 2012 (the day before Hurricane Sandy) with my partner Sunny. 

I worked as a Commercial Property Manager with over half million square feet of mixed use properties in my portfolio. When the economy took a bit of a slump some of my tenants should have been doing all they could to bring in customers but they were not. I noticed they needed window signage to directly market to those that walked by as to why they should come inside.  

Your Business Name on Your Glass Front Door or Window

I found that most of them didn't want to spend the money as it was expensive.  So I bought a small machine to cut vinyl and helped them get the signage they needed at a reasonable cost. 

Unfortunately the property management couldn't support me full time so I thought it was easier for me to focus more on the vinyl business and see what I could do. And now after a few years with great support from my boyfriend the business is doing better and better. 

Just Married Vinyl Decal For Your Car

What are your hopes and aspirations for your store and where do you see yourself going from here? 

I will always have a presence in websites like these but do plan on putting my own website out there in the world. I will be adding more and more items that my customers deem they need but expect to be with The CraftStar for a long time. 

Mustache Chalkboard For Your Kitchen or Office

Have you experienced any major accomplishments or recognition? 

For me, because I have some social anxiety, I have been creating a larger local customer base. This means I walk from store to store and tell people about my business and what it can do for them.

SPECIAL - Store Front & Store Hours Signs

Both For One Price

What are three tools in your work space that you could not live without? 

My vinyl cutter, my dental tools (yes I use these) and the internet. 

Have you ever experienced a craft disaster? What happened? 

Last year I was creating the largest decal I had made to date. It was 40" tall by 110" wide and was too big to do in my shop. So I had to move the operation to the living room. I should have had help because at some point the sign folded over on itself and BAM completely ruined. Had to start over and get help. It was an expensive lesson but glad it happened. 

Two Vinyl Footballs For Kid's Bedroom Wall, window or  Decal For a Computer

How important is marketing for your small business and what has been most effective for you? 

I think marketing is very important. Not too many people knocking on my apartment door looking to place an order. ha. I've tried Facebook ads but it really only got me likes. Which isn't a bad thing. I've done Google ads but not sure I wrote the ad properly to market to my customer. I still want to give that another try.  

Facebook Button Decal For Your Store Front Window

What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favorite design? 

My best sellers are my store hour signs for sure. But my favorite items are usually the custom orders using custom logos and such.

Window Decal For Store Hours 

What are your 2 favorite items from other shops on The CraftStar? 

I love anything to do with wine, wine bottles or wine glasses. These are so awesome. 

Wedding centerpiece White Triple Wine Bottle 

Candle Holder Hurricane Lamp

Love the color green and bikes are awesome. Enough said. 

Mini Wallet - Card Case - Vinyl Business Card Wallet - Bicycle How I Roll Design

How much do you social network?

It has to be a daily occurrence but still I struggle.  Social networking is not a natural process for me. I tend to be quiet and think what I have to say doesn't need to be blasted. But as a small business it would be hard to survive without it so I do what I can each day even if its not something directly related to a product I sell. 


Twitter: @ASignofSuccess


Monday, April 7, 2014

The CraftStar Featured Artist: Absynthe Designs / Calliopes Attic

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My name is Claudia Bruno, I live in Boston with my husband Squid and countless animals that I rescue, foster and adopt out through my rescue group:

I  have three shops on The CraftStar!




I have been free-lancing and running my own businesses for 15 years.  Steampunk design and supplies "happened" to me in 2010.  I literally fell into it and my life has never been better!

Two Small Steampunk Propeller Stampings

Neo Victorian Brass Centerpiece with Cherubs

I pride myself in offering great and unique components because I am a designer myself and know exactly what is hot and what is unique.  I see myself being one of the largest Steampunk and Neo Victorian suppliers.  I currently do a lot of business working with designers all over the world.  I hope to grow my inventory and to come up with finishes that are always different and unique.  I would never sell you something I do not use myself!

Pink Hummingbird Statement Earrings with Ceramic Roses

Have you experienced any major accomplishments or recognition?

Yes, my designs were featured in Boston Magazine, and when I was a photographer, my work was used by the Paul Getty Museum Conservation Institute.  With my animal rescue group, we were featured on Animal Planet's show Cats 101, Domestic Long Hair episode.

Laughing Cat Brass Stamping

What are three tools in your work space that you could not live without?

Chemicals, Torches, Coffee

Victorian Lady Brass Stamping with Basket 

Honey Cyan Patina

Have you ever experienced a craft disaster? 

When you offer about 700 plus items, every day has the potential of being a disaster.  I must say that so far so good!

Two Medium Brass Skulls and Crossed Bones

What marketing/advertising methods have worked well for you and which have not?

Funny, actually the blog (which I never update) has worked for me in the past.  Also
The best marketing ploy I ever did- no lie- was to include candy with every order.  I actually have had customers tell me that they would rather shop with me even if a competitor offers the same item because they get a sweet snack in the mail.  It's the little things that matter. I never forget that behind an internet transaction is a real person (with a possible sweet tooth).

Neo Victorian Cuff with Vintage Rose Swarovskis and Cameo

What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favorite design?

Anything Neo Victorian!

Neo Victorian Brass Assemblage Cuff Victorian Garden

Victorian Fan, Brass Stamping

How much do you social network? 

I use facebook primarily for business. I post new things daily.