back from the dead

caro's office Thanks to everyone who’s weighed in on the prints pricing issue so far! I appreciate your input. More thoughts/opinions are welcome!

I posted a few photos of my office at Flickr. Someday I will be one of those people whose home inspires lengthy interviews on interior design blogs (heh, yeah, right). Until then, you get to see my fugly beige carpet and bright purple walls with blue trim.

In other news, I am so excited because Etsy re-launched Alchemy  today! I’ve never had the opportunity to experience the wonder that is Alchemy… when I joined last March, it was but a whisper in Etsy legend, and many feared it had gone the way of the unicorn. But now it’s back, and I’m already hooked!

For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, Alchemy allows buyers to request custom handmade items and designs. Etsy sellers can bid on buyers’ requests and offer to make whatever it is the buyer wants, and the buyer chooses the bidder that best fits the bill. I’ve placed a few bids, and I’m already dreaming of all the things I could request.

On a related note, you may notice that there is a “Request Custom Item” link on the right-hand side of my Calobee Doodles shop. By clicking on that link you can now place custom orders using the Alchemy interface, which allows you to request specific items or designs I hadn’t thought to include in my standard “Custom Doodle” listings. Please feel free to abuse it! 😉

new design!

new design! Yesterday was quite a rush, so today we’re taking it easy. Thanks to everyone for the congrats! We went out to eat last night to celebrate, and stopped by the local Borders to pick up a copy of The Somnambulist just so I could stare at it and giggle. 🙂

In other news, I finally finished up the layout I’ve been working on for the last week! Go see!  I normally don’t like a three-column layout because it can look crowded, but this layout lends itself very well to blogging and shopping, which brings me to….

… the surprise: I’ve set up a shop at! I’m experimenting with Prestashop, an open-source PHP-based Web interface. It was relatively easy to set up, and I think it is easy for potential customers to use. Etsy has been great to me, and I’ll continue to maintain those shops as well, of course. But I’ve wanted to have something hosted on my own domain, too, in the event that Etsy goes down for an extended period of time. I believe it’s sage advice to not have all your eggs in one basket.

There may be some kinks to work out, and for now I can only accept PayPal (support for Google Checkout is coming soon), but I look forward to seeing how it goes. I’m sure that, like everything else involved in running a business, it will be a learning experience.

step 1. etsy, step 2. ???, step 3. profit!

My very wise friend, Sarah, wrote about Etsy on her blog, The Quest to Become Debt Free, which is about… well, I’m guessing you can tell what Sarah’s blog is about!

At first, I had a difficult time trying to figure out how Etsy and saving money go together. In my personal experience, it’s very hard to save money when you have Etsy’s vast array of goodies tempting you on a regular basis. As someone who spends most of her hard-earned Etsy money on Etsy, I know this!

But then I realized that, if I’m going to spend money on gifts or other potentially frivolous purchases, it makes more sense to give that money to regular folks–people who are probably also in debt or struggling to make ends meet, or maybe they’re just trying to make a little extra spending money, like me–instead of patronizing the big box stores, where your money will only serve to make the executives at the top of the food chain wealthier. When I support an economy that’s a bit closer to home, so to speak, I don’t feel so bad for splurging!

mumu is the word of the day

Oh, gee. It’s not been four days since the end of NaBloPoMo and already I’m slacking. It’s just, the computer is allll the way over there (read: in my lap), and my brain is… well… I think I left it behind the toilet during the great grandma-juice incident of 2007. It’s the fumes, you see. November? What’s a “november”?

The other day I posted a link to on, just for the heck of it. I was totally not expecting to see my Web traffic multiply tenfold as a result. So, hello! If I’d known you were coming I might have whipped out the lipstick or taken off the mumu… or something.

(Is it a faux-pas to talk about your Web site traffic on your Web site? Probably. I am the queen of the faux-pas.)
Sixhours has also had the good fortune to grace the pages of Spray Glue, Skirmisher, The Word Cellar, and Cajsita Design recently, so thanks to all for the good karma!

More random things:

  • I won a little contest over at Indiefixx and there are presents coming my way in the mail. I love presents!
  • My hair is short. Short, as in, they-used-the-automatic-clippers-on-the-back-instead-of-the-scissors short. Yes, that short. I love it. Some day I will be brave and go bald.
  • I’m infatuated with Ghirardelli’s Peppermint Bark, which is unfortunate, being that it costs upwards of eight dollars a bag. We may have to refinance the house to cover my addiction. Someday you’ll see me on Intervention, 150 pounds heavier, wearing a mumu and a ring of chocolate around my mouth and telling the camera, “I can quit anytime I want to!”

And with that lovely mental image, I bid you adieu!

is it day 30 yet?

I’m a dork. I was checking out my Dashboard at ThisNext, and saw my rank was at 0.9%. I thought, “Geez, my recommendations must suck! 0.9% is a really low number!” That’s until I realized that my rank was actually the top 0.9%. Smaller numbers are better when you’re in the top of it, you dolt.

I’m having a grand time recommending new products there lately, most of which are from fellow Etsy sellers. I think the indie/handmade community is slightly under-represented amidst the upscale designer fashions, housewares and electronics, so I aim to keep the majority of my recommendations indie-related. I’m also tagging my recommendations with “iGift” in hopes of being the lucky winner of an iPhone. That would make a really sweet early Christmas present, no?

Speaking of free goodies, there are 2 more free 5×7’s ready to go out with the next two orders from my shops – more details here!

It’s not listed on the official Prizes page yet, but one lucky participant in NaBloPoMo will get a free 8×10 or 8×12 print of their choice from my shop, provided they play nice and update their blog every day. If that’s not motivation to bare your soul to the Internets for thirty grueling days in a row, I don’t know what is!


Ok, so here’s the obligatory, “I’m only doin’ it for the BloPoMo,” post. Look, I don’t intend to miss a day this month, but this stuff is rough for someone whose blog presence is normally sporadic – usually I post once a month, once a week at most. I’m not used to thinking this much, and it hurts, and what’s that smell? Oh, hey, my brain’s on fire.

In the meantime, here’s a list of my recently-starred entries from Google Reader:

Cadbury kittez – lulz.
Monster Factory @ Cutable – I’m a sucker for strange plushies.
Unexpected Guests @ sfgirlbybay – I want to hire her to decorate my house.
Ffffound! – never lacking for visual inspiration.
Kapow Jewelry @ Indie Fixx – love love love, and I don’t even wear jewelry!
Feelin’ foxy @ Modish – a nice diversion from the birds/deer motif.
Petit Four @ Little Splurge – allow me an ultra-girly moment to say, I heart lip gloss!

new blog address and thisnext goodies

Yesterday evening I attempted to post a blog entry from Blogger, but found that I couldn’t publish to my server via FTP. Travesty! How am I supposed to NaBloPoMo when I can’t publish to my blog?

I did a little research and discovered that WordPress is not difficult to set up, and I particularly like that it resides on my host and is powered by my database. Customizing the layout was tricky, but I was able to squeak by with what little PHP I know. So I have a new blog! One that’s much easier to update! My blog can be accessed at the same old address,

This evening I came home to a neatly-wrapped package of treats from ThisNext–my reward for being a ThisNext Maven. I really can’t say enough good things about these guys. Their Web site is sleek, their people are friendly, and they love sending me goodies. If I weren’t already tied down, I’d consider moving to California and marrying them.

My Maven welcome package included a Moleskine notebook, a tin of ThisNext M&M’s, and a mini parsley planter from Buzzy Seeds.

Not only that, but ThisNext also gave me the opportunity to test drive a new designer wallet from DB Clay. Or, I should say, I held the wallet in my hands for all of 5 seconds before a certain husband snatched it up in an “Ooooh pretty gimme” moment. The wallet in question disappeared into his back pocket and I haven’t seen it since, which tells me DB Clay is on the right track with their new design.

blog, blawg, blahg

I’ve been focused so much on posting and participating in online communities that I haven’t had much time to read my blog roll or do any commenting recently. Being that half the blogging community is partaking in NaBloPoMo, there’s a LOT to catch up on. I logged on to Google Reader to find upwards of 1k unread blog posts waiting for me. Admittedly, 700 of those were photos from Flickr contacts, but still! People! I can’t keep up!

So if you get a comment from me on a post that you wrote six days ago that has absolutely no relevance now, I apologize. In blog-time, it’s still last Tuesday.

Speaking of slow things, did I mention that I have a laptop now? It’s a little iBook, a retired veteran of the Maine Laptop Initiative program. It has an 800 Mhz processor and a whopping 128 Mb of RAM. It took me fifteen minutes to type this paragraph because the cursor can’t catch up to my typing. That’s how slow it is. I type a sentence, then wait five minutes. It’s an exercise in patience. An agonizingly slow exercise. And I’m going to need to stop using big words like “agonizingly”, because the computer almost choked on that one.

My iMac is much more “with it”, as they say, but it’s so nice to have a laptop when I just want to curl up in my chair and surf the Web from the living room.

Currently I’m enjoying:

ArtAndGhosts – surreal art and prints
Beehive Kitchenware on Cutable
New art prints at The Shiny Squirrel
The new Indie Fixx Shop
I blame lolcats for the new kitten

… and about a thousand other blogs in my catching-up travels that are so very slow, because it takes ten minutes to load Google Reader. But whatever.

Also, a huge thank you to Kerryanne of for the blog feature last weekend!

new shops!

new etsy banner
Originally uploaded by calobee

This weekend, in an effort to branch out a bit and explore my options, I opened two new online shops for my prints: One at Dawanda and one at eCrater. I’d heard good things about both venues via the Etsy forums and figured it couldn’t hurt to see what the fuss was about. So I opened up shop and listed a few prints at each (the same works are available at each shop).

My initial impression is “they’re pretty cool”. Both shops have slightly different ways of getting things done. When compared to Etsy, some aspects of shop maintenance are simpler, and some are more complicated. Dawanda is definitely more friendly toward international customers, and eCrater is intuitively designed. Overall, I think Etsy still leads the pack in terms of community, traffic, and design… but it can’t hurt to have more options, right?

I also designed a new banner for my Etsy shop to reflect the current Web site design at I like this one much better!

squirrels, shiny

I’ve been waiting for this day for weeks, and it’s finally here! Jess Goldfond (with help from her boyfriend, of Spray Glue fame) launches The Shiny Squirrel online boutique!

There you’ll find a beautifully-curated selection of artists and designers showcasing a variety of gifts and goodies.

And yes, I’m there, too! Presenting five new prints from the dollfood series that I’ve been sitting on not-so-patiently for just about ever.

So go see, and support independent artists and designers! Go go go!