Monday, November 6, 2017

San Jose Made Craft Market On Saturday 11/11/2017

Zinnia Moon will be at this Saturday's San Jose Made Craft Market at Whole Foods. Stop by if you're in the area!! This will be my second time doing this craft market. I was hoping to do more days but my busy schedule got in the way and now there are no more openings left for the rest of the year.

The online shop is temporarily closed due to some technical issues. I'm planning on re-opening it sometime after the craft market once the inventory is updated and I've added new products.

After seeing what kind of displays worked and what items got the most interest, I'll be changing some of the displays and may not bring all the different types of items I brought like last time.

It seemed most people that came by day weren't all that interested in greeting cards, inspirational card decks, or live plants so I might not bring them at all. However, there are some new items made just for this market that will probably be a better fit and I'll still bring the enamel pins, stickers,  jewelry, and pillows like last time.

Here is a sneak peek of one of the new products:

Blue flower resin heart necklace by Wild & Free People.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Current Favorite Indie Comics

If you're looking for new comics to read, look no further. Here are two of my current favorites and the genres range from romance, mystery, fantasy, and science fiction. 

Lucy starts working on a very special Coffee Shop, her first client is going to be a bit complicated as he needs to be treated from fear of women! Will Lucia be able to "cure" him? Find out!

This is a cute story and based on that description, it's really not what you think it might be about! A physical copy of this is on my wishlist.

In his ancient hymns, Homer tells us of the unyielding Lord of the Dead who kidnapped the innocent daughter of Demeter. He tells us quite a bit, in fact, for someone who wasn’t there.

Persephone is no tragic victim, but a kind young woman held in place by her overbearing mother. A failed scheme by Apollo leads her to a chance encounter with the humorless Hades, who is struck by love’s arrow. Now he must wrestle with his aching heart before he loses control entirely.

...Not that the infatuated Persephone has any complaints regarding Hades' plight.

As desire blooms between the secluded goddess of the harvest and the ruler of the underworld, the world changes both above and below.

This comic was originally only available on Allison's Patreon but then she launched a Kickstarter to get it published as a single volume via Hiveworks.

I was a backer and got the ebook version! I love mythology and this version explores a less depressing and more feminist & sensual take on the story. 18+

A physical copy of this is also on my wishlist.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Etsy Finds of the Day - 10/20/17

Saturday, October 14, 2017

5 Font Pairings - Script and Sans Serif

I love pretty fonts and collecting them is just another hobby of mine. Here are 5 of my favorite font pairings of script fonts and sans serif fonts. These combinations are great to use on blogs and in printed material such as cards.

Most of the script fonts are premium. Joining Creative Market is a great way to get some premium fonts or other design elements for free during their Free Goods of the Week.

Which one is your favorite?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Etsy Finds of The Day - 10/13/2017

Here are some lovely handmade creations made of various fibers. I love how the colors and different textures make these one of a kind pieces.

Handspun of hand-dyed merino wool yarn in bright pink, aqua, and turquoises.

Hand dyed merino, silk noil, silk lap, faux cashmere, angelina, sari silk, and firestar. In the colors green, yellow, turquoise, amethyst, and purple. 

Made of bamboo, chiffon silk ribbon, tencel, and sari silk. 

Hand dyed merino wool, silk, hand dyed BFL X Finn lamb locks and neon matte angelina.

Made out of wool/acrylic blend art yarn.

Which one is your favorite?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Etsy Tips: Make an Order Status page

I think an important part of setting your customers expectations is to keep them up to date on their order, especially when the item is custom or made to order and has a long production time such as 2 weeks or more.

I know how it can be difficult for small business owners to send updates besides a simple "processing" one when they're constantly busy working on orders or other aspects of their business. You don't really want your customers guessing when when when throughout the process but I also understand you can't be online constantly to give updates when you need to be finishing your orders.

When I was making amigurumi for my Adorably Kawaii shop years ago, I wasn't able to keep up with the demand and have a stock of the items on hand so I created made to order listings. I would get multiple orders a week and each plush would take at least 6 hours to make so it would take me several days to finish them and then get them shipped out.

I had already set up my production time in my listings to about 3 to 4 weeks to accommodate all the orders I would receive. Even so, I would still get inquiries on their order after about a week they ordered. Why haven't you finished my order? Why are you taking so long? Why haven't you shipped out my order yet? Where is my order?

Many of them simply didn't understand how something so small could take so much time to make but it was also due to the fact they didn't read my production time or check the ship by date. And I was so busy working on their orders that I had no time to send individuals emails to everyone often enough.

I would get told to stop taking so many orders at once if I couldn't keep up but I was afraid by deactivating my listings that my shop and those listings would lose their spot in search (which took me so, so long to build!) or I would lose a sale from someone that was willing to wait for those 3 to 4 weeks.

I figured out the best way to keep everyone informed was by mentioning about how long each item takes to make at the top of the listings (even if most don't even read it, unfortunately!) AND by creating a private Order Status page on my blog. After they purchased, they would get sent the link to the page once I added their order to it. I would quickly update the page before I went to bed about every day or two.

I listed the customer's name & order date on the page. I usually didn't take on rush orders so I would work on them in the order I received them. This way they knew where they were in the queue and would get a better idea of when I'd start their order or make progress on it.

As for the order status, I kept it simple and to the point. I would write by their name: payment received (when I got their order), in production (with a %), and the shipped-on date (after I already sent out an shipping notification on Etsy).

By keeping dates next to each one, new customers could also see how long it could take for their order to finish from the moment they ordered to production to shipment. I also kept the finished orders listed on that page for weeks solely for that reason.

I think having an order page is a great way to keep your customers from guessing and it can lower the number of order inquiries you get so you can finish your orders without delays. It may not work so well for some shops but I remember getting good reviews that mentioned how useful the Order Status page was for them so it's definitely worth a try!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Sale from 10/9 to 10/16!

I've been busy preparing new items so here is a big sale to make room for them!! Everything in the Zinnia Moon shop is marked down. Little discounts and big discounts, you gotta go check them out!

This sale will end on Monday October 16. Afterwards, I'll be preparing for my next SJMade Craft Market at Whole Foods!!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Code Snippets: Styling A Content Box

One of my favorite ways to pretty up some content is it create a dashed box. Here is a simple version that can be easily customized to match your theme.

/* Dashed Box */
#boxstyle {
background: #fff url();
width: 80%;
border-radius: 50px;
padding: 25px;
margin: 0 auto;
border: #333333 1px dashed;

Put this code in your Blogger Template by going to Theme > Customize > Advanced > Add Custom CSS.

Then to add it around specific content, create a div with the id boxstyle:

<div id="boxstyle">
Content goes here.


You can change the background color or even add a background image if you'd like. It's best to lower the opacity of the image in an editing program first so the text in the box is more readable.


This sets the width of the area. It doesn't include padding, borders, or margins which we'll get to shortly. I like to set the width of the box a bit smaller than the rest of the content such as 50% to 80% to keep the text more compact and have it stand out from the rest of the content more.

Border Radius:

This gives the rounded corner look. You can adjust this number to your liking or remove this bit of code if you'd prefer.


This sets the padding area on all four sides of the element; the space between the text and the border.


By using 0 auto, it centers the whole box on your page. If you prefer to not have it centered, you can remove this bit of code.


Change the border color, border width, and border style here. There are several other border styles to choose from such as solid, dotted, double, or grove.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Succulent Animal Planter Enamel Pins Are Here!!

All Kickstarter pins are shipping out today! You should receive an email (to the email listed on your Kickstarter) from PayPal with the shipping details. I also added the leftover enamel pins to the Zinnia Moon shop.

Note: There is a limited amount of the bunny pins available at this time because there was an issue with the batch. The manufacturer sent less than half of the bunny pins and will be redoing the rest of them soon.

Thank you all so much for your support and patience! Stay tuned for my next Kickstarters!

Monday, July 3, 2017

New Aura Quartz & Fiber Art Jewelry

More additions to the Zinnia Moon shop! Here are some gorgeous aura quartz rings made by Valeria of Tesoro.

And some pretty wire wrapped earrings that I made (under brand name Amanda Maciel on Zinnia Moon)

More shop updates coming soon!!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Flower Flamingo Enamel Pin Kickstarter Funded!

The Kickstarter has been funded! Thank you everyone!

Unfortunately, we didn't meet the stretch goals. However, I triple checked the survey answers and the cost of everything. I will still be ordering the minimum amount of enamel pins of the Flower Flamingo design but since there is a tiny bit leftover money. I can put that towards only one of the stretch goals and I’ll pay the difference.

Based on the feedback from the backer-only survey I sent out in a Kickstarter update, the Purple Flamingo won over the Darker Pink Flamingo design:

Someday I'll be able to get the Darker Pink Flamingo design made as well!

Production time will be 4-6 weeks and after I receive them, I'll most likely ship them out all the Kickstarter rewards the same day. Then I’ll list the remaining pins in the Zinnia Moon shop. Most pledged for the Flower Flamingo design so there will be a very small amount available in the shop.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

New Enamel Pins & Jewelry

I’m happy to announce we’ve officially got products from two artists coming to the Zinnia Moon shop! YAY!

Here are some gorgeous crystal cluster enamel pins & some positive message enamel pins from Not Magic.

And lovely crystal jewelry from Wild & Free People.

I have limited stock of these and I hope to order more as soon as possible. Check out the rest of the shop for more goodies!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Just Launched Flamingo Enamel Pins Kickstarter

I couldn't wait any longer so I launched the Kickstarter for the Flamingo pins! Please share with a friend or the #pincommunity if you can!

I added the darker pink flamingo design as a stretch goal.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Succulent Animal Planter Pin Kickstarter Funded!

The Kickstarter was fully funded!

I’m still waiting for the digital proof from the manufacturer. I got the order confirmation last week and I’m not sure when the design team will get back to me. With how things are going, they might start production within the next week or two so I will probably get the pins by the end of June or mid-July.

Here are two additional designs in this series but it would’ve cost quite a bit more to get them all made at the same time. I will save these for another time!

Etsy Tips: Add Complementary Products or Services to Boost Your Sales

If your Etsy shop is at a good start but you want to start making smaller steps to achieve a bigger goal such as reaching a revenue target or a certain number of sales, there are several ways you can boost your sales. One way is by offering complementary products or services.

It adds more value to your shop and can inspire repeat business. It helps when times are slow in one area of your business and the other is still keeping the cash flowing. When creating complementary products or services, you need to figure out how to build upon what you know and offer it in a way that it benefits a different audience and then you'll have a new stream of income.

Here are some examples:
  • If you sew clothing and also have a lot of experience with designing your own patterns or even fabrics, people that would rather create than buy a finished project would be happy to have the opportunity to buy your sewing patterns via Instant Download or fabric designs instead.
  • If you sell framed art prints, maybe you can make postcards, small stickers for planners, or even a printable download to create a cheaper price point.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

6 Etsy Tools for Market Research, Shop Management, and More

Here are some websites or apps that offer Etsy related tools and resources for market research, shop management, and more. They can help you see what items are the most popular, how to improve your keywords, show you the top sellers for comparison, improve your photos, help you manage your listings, or offer various widgets you can put on your blog or website. Most of these websites are free but some may have premium services. I have personally used these sites over the years and have found them to be very helpful.

1. has great tools to help you monitor and improve your Etsy shop. It performs a detailed audit on all of your listings and provides you with advice on how to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and visibility on search engines. It also has more features such as:

  • Rank Checker which shows you where your shop ranks with a keyword or keyword phrase of your choice.
  • Spell Checker that looks for spelling typos or mistakes in your listing titles, descriptions, and tags.
  • Keyword Tool that shows the competitiveness of tags and gives you access to alternative keyword ideas.
  • Color Trend show which colors have been searched the most over the last year.
  • Profit Calculator helps you estimate your Etsy fees and profit.
  • Market Report shows the percentage of people who use Etsy, how Etsy's reach compares to other shopping sites, and which countries Etsy users come from.
  • SEO Report shows you how your search engine optimization is performing.
  • Social Report. Make sure to enter your social media accounts, website, and blog on your account under the 'Around the web” section for it to collect this information. You can find it by clicking on 'Your shop' at the top of the page, then on the blue 'Edit shop >' button, and scrolling down past the 'About' section.
2. is a website that shows simple stats of shops. It's a way to keep track of how many favorites your shop has, your item views and favorites, and to see if your shop has ever been featured on Etsy's front page or in an Etsy email. (This site began before Etsy had stats and activity notifications!)

CraftCult also has free widgets for blogs & websites, feature Etsy treasuries on their front page, and an archive on Etsy's front page treasury lists (Note: Etsy no longer features treasuries on their front page). Still, checking out treasuries is a great way to discover new items and shops that you probably wouldn't have found otherwise.

3. allows you to put your items on sale and this way you can provide discounts on only certain sections of your shop or specific listings, which currently can't be done with Etsy's Coupon Codes. You can also browse all Etsy on Sale items (from other shops) by going to the Shop the Sales page. This is a premium website and it uses a credit system for their tools. New users start with 5 Free Credits. The site features tools such as:

  • Sales Event Manager: This allows you to schedule sales and you can choose to add a sale prefix such as “ON SALE” in the title or description of your selected listings. You can also show the regular prices and it will be displayed crossed out on the Etsy listing page. If you select the auto-add option while your sale is running, it will search your shop for new listings that have been added to the sale section and will be automatically added to your sale.
  • Tag Tool: This tool lets you edit all your tags at once and you can also manage multiple Etsy shops from one Etsy on Sale account. This is convenient if you have many listings and want to edit your entire shop or a single section at once.
  • Auto Renew: You can schedule items to automatically renew at your specified times. This way you can schedule items to renew during special times (such as when you're sleeping) so your items can possibly be seen by buyers from other countries. Or you can even plan to have them renew during the times you aren't home. 
4. is a product photography enhancement application. It helps make your products stand out by removing distracting elements from the background and gives you a crisp plain background. For best results, you should take your photos on a white or black background that is as texture-less as possible.

You can sign up via your Etsy account and grant the application access to your Etsy account to directly edit photos from your listings. Or you can create an account on FotoFuze and upload your photos into the application.

To select the product from the background, use the yellow highlighter tool by coloring over the object. It needs to be entirely filled in or it won't render correctly. You can also use the eraser tool if you selected too much or on the wrong area. Don't forget to highlight some of the shadows behind the product so it shows up in the background.

FotoFuze also allows Etsy sellers to create, update, renew, copy, and draft listings directly from the website and they have special sales feature that lets you put your shop on sale as well.

5. has some free tools to help you optimize tags, show if your listings are in trends, and the position of your listings in categories.

They also have some free and premium Google Chrome extension plugins that make playing promotion games faster and easier, allow you to print multiple address labels for your packages faster, and enable you to quickly make treasuries from your favorite lists.

6. is a website that makes it easy for you to get keyword ideas from your friends, colleagues, etc. You create a scenario and then share the link with them and ask them to answer it as if they were using a search engine. It's a great way to gather potential keywords for your shop because they're search terms others may possibly use when trying to search for items or shops like yours.

Monday, May 22, 2017

New Kickstarter Sneak Peek

As the Succulent Animal Planter Pin Kickstarter is getting closer to it's deadline, I decided to start preparing for my next Kickstarter for enamel pins of one of my other designs.

A flamingo wearing a flower crown! I budgeted for only 50 hard enamel pins of this design to keep the cost lower than the previous Kickstarter.

Stretch goals will include the darker pink flamingo and possibly other variations. I’ll have some limited early bird price rewards and will be able to offer stickers as rewards as well.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Succulent Animal Planters Enamel Pins Kickstarter

I launched a Kickstarter to make these succulent animal planter designs into hard enamel pins for the Zinnia Moon shop. I've been obsessed with succulents lately and I also love cute planters so it seemed perfect! I have so many other designs I'd like to create as well, but one thing at a time.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Saturday, April 1, 2017


I've always been into art and crafts & I love learning new things. I'm often juggling multiple hobbies at a time and it would inevitably lead me to start new projects and small businesses throughout the years.

My first main craft began after I stumbled on the website Craftster many years ago. I became interested in crochet and the Japanese amigurumi style. I spent a couple years experimenting with stitches and materials to design my own plush. In 2009, I started an Etsy shop called Adorably Kawaii to share my handmade amigurumi creations and patterns.

After a few years of constantly making amigurumi, I developed carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and a weird cyst in my wrist. I got burned out and forced myself to take a break from crocheting for over a year.  I started to focus on selling my patterns and sometimes I would make quick items to make for fun such as Blythe doll accessories.

For the most part, I had to switch my focus on a new hobby to help me heal. I believe during this time, I was doing some freelance graphic design and web design work. Or I was possibly addicted to a couple of MMORPG games. (cough Ragnarok Online and FlyFF)

And of course when I came back to the shop ready to make plush again, the market had changed a bit and it was hard to just get right back into it with even more competition on Etsy. I started to do various crafts at this time such as jewelry making, polymer clay, spinning yarn, and dying yarn to keep myself busy during the slow business days.

In 2013, I became inspired to make bohemian style crochet clothing as well as bead & wire wrapped jewelry. Shortly after I designed a few things, I started another Etsy shop called Whimsy Wisteria where I could separate these from my handmade toys.

By 2017, it became more difficult to manage two different Etsy shops so I decided to just merge them into Amanda Maciel Patterns. So now it is a mix of my amigurumi and clothes patterns along with various accessories.

Now my main project is Zinnia Moon, my new online boutique. I decided to make a non-Etsy shop where I could make things sometimes but also sell other people's creations for them. I had always admired shops like Shana Logic and Fred Flare (both are closed, the former only recently though) and had wanted to make my own version.

I know how important it is to support independent artists and I like to help in any way I can. I hope this shop can introduce people to unique goodies and artists they've never seen before. In this blog, I'll be posting unique finds, inspiration, tips for running a small business, and more!

Zinnia Moon © . Design by FCD.