Little Owls

Screech-Owls-2

About a week ago my dog Gracie gave me a bit of a scare.  I turned on the back porch light and let her outside for one last time for the evening before going to bed.  It was about 10:00pm, and as soon as she stepped out onto our back patio and into the semi-darkness, she immediately took out after something she had seen.  She veered left and to some trees just off the patio.  We had a clay basin with water on the patio (with temps this week at 100 degrees), and I was sure something had been getting a drink when I opened the door to let her out.  I went out after her and didn’t see anything.  Afraid it might be a possum or who knows what, I got her back inside as quickly as possible.

After getting her settled in her bed for the night, I went back and turned on the patio light again, making sure all other house lights were off, and watched to see if whatever she was chasing might come back for more water…and they did.  To my great surprise, and enjoyment, a pair of tiny screech owls came to drink at the basin.  At first I thought they were doves, but the body shape was all wrong – and then one of them turned their head almost backwards to peer in the window at me!  Little golden eyes in the night, they made quick flights in and out of the trees to the water, and hopped and gave short flight on the patio chasing evening bugs.  I stood and watched them for about 15 minutes until they disappeared completely into the darkness.  I guess I always thought of owls as big birds, but these certainly were not.  Still, they are predators with talons, so Gracie had best leave them alone!

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Crafts and Fairs

Austin-Expo-Booth

Well, the recent Austin Pet Expo I attended is over.  I have been reluctant to attend a big event like this, and I think I now remember why – they are a lot, and I mean a lot, of work!  It was a fun event and I handed out dozens of business cards and met lots of pets and their owners.  I think the best thing about any in-person event is getting to meet folks directly and talk about your products/business.  And you get really great feedback.  People tell you what they do – and don’t – like, and why.  I consider all input good and informative, letting it serve as a basis for possible product refinement and new creations.  One thing I saw at the event was people carrying their small breed dogs in slings, so when I find time that may very well be my next new design!  My best seller at the expo was my new pet idBandanas, which I will be writing more about soon.

One really neat thing I finally was able to use at the pet expo was my Shopify card reader.  I used it on my iPad (after first testing it at home), and it worked beautifully.  Honestly it worked so well that I think I could just sell things from anywhere, just like you see in the commercials.  Perhaps I should carry it, along with my new pet bandanas, in my purse.  Hmmm…

I also know that I don’t want to do a really large event like this again.  I think something much smaller, and even closer to home, would work much better for me.  I would be interested in attending a fair that only requires a 6′ folding table and a couple of chairs, along with a limited number of my smaller products  like bandanas, toys, blankets, and crate mats.  I don’t want to think that all my preparation work and extra things I had to purchase or create for this event will be wasted by not having another event, I just want to keep it smaller and more manageable.  I am certain that there will be at least one local fall craft fair that will suit me perfectly!

That being said, my other decision since the Expo ended is to put my crafts back on Etsy. Etsy admittedly has the greatest global marketplace, and has been the best overall venue for me.  It worked for me prior to blogging, social media, and attending any craft events, and that’s really saying something.  I do still hope that in time my new shop website will replace my Etsy shop, but for now products will be listed in both locations.  I will be spending time the next couple of weeks getting everything re-listed on Etsy, with product descriptions that match those on my new site.  Fall has always been an especially busy time for me as a crafter, and I know that September is sneaking up quickly.

The best comment I received at the Austin Pet Expo-

Your creations take pet products to a whole ‘nother level!

Glad you think so!