Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Sorority Albums

I just finished another Custom Sorority Album! These are so much fun :)
Before I start on a Sorority Album...I have to do my research. I scour the web looking for info on the specific sorority I am working on and find their colors, flower, motto, crest, mascot, etc. I find out as much about the particular sorority so I can decorate the album using all these things. It makes the album so special! I also create all the papers used on the albums. I use their mascots and symbols to create a mosaic effect. Just one more thing to make them unique :)
For this album, I used the sorority's symbols. I hand cut each album, so I am able to offer options to my customers. They can choose from symbols, letters, or nicknames for the albums. The symbols are my personal favorites. They take a little more work with the cutting, but I think they look great :)
Here you can see that I printed the motto on labels and layered it over a tag with the sorority's mascot on it (the crescent moon). And on the facing page I used a circle tag with the sorority's symbols on it. Here are a couple of other Sorority Albums I've done so you can see a little variety. I always add extra pages to albums that only have 2 or 3 letters so the album is still full. I want my customers to feel they are getting a great deal! On the Delta Zeta album you can see I used their flower (the pink rose) and their crest as some of the embellishments. What do you think? Do you love them as much as I do!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Valentine's Giveaway-Creating from the Heart

WooHoo...another giveaway :) Who doesn't like winning free stuff, right! How about REALLY COOL free stuff! Hop on over to and check out all the cool stuff you can win :) Here's wishing everyone Good Luck :)

EtsyBloggers Trunk Show!!!

Would you like to see some of the best items Etsy has to offer? How about a sale? Yeah, I thought so :) Tomorrow starting at 9pm EST (8pm CST) the EtsyBloggers Team will be holding a live Trunk Show in the Virtual Labs at Etsy!!! How cool is that!
Here are all the details:
YOU are INVITED!! Come see a LIVE virtual TRUNK SHOW this Friday night!! On Friday Jan. 30th @ 9PM EST, where twenty-six talented Etsy shops from all over the world will be showcasing a select few of their items ONLINE in the GALLERY of the EtsyLabs! Sales and special offers will apply only to the EtsyBloggers TRUNK SHOW attendees! Everyone is welcome to attend, so come and join the fun here on Friday Jan. 30th @ 9:PM EST.
In addition, the below 26 participating shops are having a SALE in their shops on Friday night in honor of the EtsyBloggers TRUNK SHOW!
Specials for trunk show - 10% off 20% off Valentines Section 1/30/09 ~ mention "Trunk Show" to receive discount
Handcrafted soaps, toiletries and crochet bath accessories
One of a kind handmade lampwork beads
Free US Shipping
Handmade handbags and accessories
10% discount and free USA shipping on any item $50 and up
Handmade Women's Jewelry
15% Off, valid 1/30/09
Mention "Trunk Show" in note to seller for discount Messenger Bags and Accessories
Visual, wearable and practical art
10% off all prints, valid 1/30 only
handmade felted bags, bowls and other goodies!
For free US Shipping and surprise gift!
Just quote "trunk show" on 1/30 only.
10 % off everything in my shop!
Memories for Life Scrapbooks-Scrapbooks and More
10% OFF before shipping
Eclectic accessories and vintage goods
Free shipping on orders of $40 or more
Cards, prints and one of a kind gifts from Becky Kazana!
15% off every item in shop, and with purchase, you will receive a coupon for 10% off next purchase. Buyer please put "TRUNK SHOW" in notes to seller.
10% Off and Free U.S. Shipping
"Fraternal Earrings" and other beautiful beadwork
10% OFF with code "trunk show", valid 1/30 only
Hand-crafted jewelry, decor & more. Many OOAK.
10% off
Digital Art, Photography and Note Cards
10% off
Doll Clothes and ACEOs
I will be offering Free gift with purchase - when mentioning "Trunk Show" in note to seller.
Two free apple scrubbies with any order!
Free shipping worldwide on any item from 1/29/09 through 2/1/09
Put TRUNK SHOW in the message to the seller to get the free shipping.
Free Priority Shipping Upgrade & Valentine's Gift Wrapping..... Upon Request Please!
Mention Trunk Show in customer comment box.
Free US shipping, and I'm offering 10% off on Jan. 30th
one-of-a-kind jewelry and original haiku with each necklace
free shipping with code "trunk show", valid 1/30 only
free shipping with code "trunk show", valid 1/30 only
free shipping with " trunk show" code in order
Note: You must be an Etsy member to see the show. If you're not a member's free to sign up :) Get signed up ahead of time so you can see the whole show!!!
Hope to see you there :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CPSIA...Info You Should Know!

I would like to share a little info with you today about the CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) and how it can affect you. I would like to do my part to help those that sell handmade children's items by sharing what I know about CPSIA and by getting involved in today's Blog In. Many, many bloggers are sharing this same info today to spread the word and ask for your help! Here it goes...
As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.
Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it. The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.
How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples: To the Parents of Young Students:Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.
To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all. Here's the article from the American Library Association:
To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that children's item you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind item you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So those awesome handmade presents you bought your kiddos this past holiday season won’t be available next winter.
To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.
To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.
To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.
To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”
To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake. Here's the article in Forbes:
To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.
If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes
Did you know about all of this? If this upsets or alarms you, please react. Download Etsy's CPSIA Action Kit here:
You never know how something will affect you until you see it put in so many ways! This info really got me thinking and I wanted to share it with all of you to both inform you and get you thinking as well. I ask you to help out in any way you are able :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Just here to toot my own horn a little today :)
Yesterday, two of my items were featured on the front page of!!! Now I know this is still a new site and I've been on the front page before...but 2 items! Super exciting :) My Mickey Mouse Flip Flop Album was chosen along with my Baby Girl's First Year Calendar Album!
Also I(HEART)YOU Word Album was chosen to be featured on My Shopping Connection's IndieSpotting! Yeah :)
This is such a pick-me-up and gets me in the mood to get scrappin' :)
What great things have come your way lately? I'd love for you to share them with me :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Flip Flop Guest Book!

I have sold several of my flip flop albums lately...and that makes me really happy :) And I've been selling tons of custom items too! Well, I finally got to do my first Custom Flip Flop Album...a Guest Book in fact.
I love making flip flop albums. They're just so fun and cheery...and they make me think of summer all year long :)
I also love to make custom albums of any kind. They give you a chance to speak with your buyer and work with them to give them exactly what they want. My Custom Name Albums are by far my most popular item.
That is why I was so excited when I was asked to make a custom pair of flip flops! I had never thought to turn them into a guest book! That is another reason I love to do custom items...they can get your creative wheels turning!
For these flip flops, I got a special pair that read Just Married on the bottoms. To customize them for the special occasion I made the first page a cover page that included all of the wedding info. I then replaced the photo blanks with lined blanks so guests can leave little blessings in the book. I used embellishments that represent both the wedding and the tropical location. I was really happy with how the book turned out and I sure hope she is too :)
I'd love to hear what kind of custom items you make :) I love seeing unique and personal gift ideas!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Meet Ruthie of RoseWorksJewelry

Today I would like to introduce you to one ambitious girl: Ruthie :) Not only does she run RoseWorksJewelry and has started a second shop with her mom called kstreasures...she also has three (yes, three!) blogs: Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that she also hosts a radio show called Artisan Spotlight. Now that's a lot for one girl to do! I'm almost exhausted just telling you about it :) I really find Ruthie inspiring! She is such an active team member in our EtsyBloggers Team and is always giving complements and words of encouragement. She is always upbeat and has something positive to share :) She started making jewelry because some health issues kept her home more and she needed something to fill her days. She took what could have been a negative time in her life and turned it into a wonderful experience :) Thanks Ruthie for showing us all that remaining positive is the way to be :) And now for my favorite items from her shops :) RoseWorksJewelry: I love her Purple and Spiral Earrings and her Multicolored Agate Strand Bracelet. kstreasures (Kindred Spirit Treasures): And from her new shop, I love this Serenely White Cell Phone Holder made by her mom and this Thinking Spring - Cell Phone Charm, Zipper Pull, or Key Chain made by Ruthie.
Now go check out her wonderful items and leave her some great comments on her blogs :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Making History!

No matter your matter your matter your political affiliation...
Today We Are Making History!
As someone who isn't normally interested in, I am drawn to the TV! Rather, I am GLUED to the TV! I am so proud to be an American today and be part of such a ground-breaking historic day :) I really had no plans of watching any of the events today...until I turned on the TV. Now I am flipping through every news channel to find the best coverage of this momentous event.
I was excited to log on to Etsy and see President Obama on the front page :)
My favorite (no surprise) is the License Plate Photo Album. I'm sure the front page will be filled with wonderful items all day!
I want to congratulate our new President and thank him for inspiring our country to want to Change and believe that Yes We Can :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Show Your Love :)

One more album to show your love this Valentine's Day :)
Check it out here...along with two other Love-ly albums :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Love Is In The Air :)

With Valentine's Day just around the corner...I thought I would add some cute little word albums to My Shop :)
What better way to show the one you love how you really feel :) Choose from LOVE or I(HEART)YOU! Now...go spread the Love!

Friday, January 16, 2009

5 Easy Tips to Get Your Tax Preparer to Love You :)

I have been filing my business taxes for 3-4 years now and along the way...I have learned a few things :) Today I thought I'd share with you the things I have learned that make your tax preparer love you!
Tip 1: Keep all your receipts...but not in a shoebox!
I have a file cabinet just for my business documents. I keep all of my receipts and invoices in files separated by year. (ie. Costs 2008)
Tip 2: Do not bring this file to your tax preparer!
What do tax preparers hate the most...a year's worth of receipts! I keep all of my costs and sales in Excel Spreadsheets in chronological order. This is very easy to do and just takes a little updating throughout the year. I print them and bring them along with me to my appointment.
Tip 3: Make your Excel documents work for you.
I organize my Cost Log into 7 categories: Date, Company (purchased from), Inventory, Supplies, Utilities, Internet, Fees. I use these specific categories for different reasons. Your categories should work for your specific business. I have a separate room in my house for my business, so I am able to write off part of my home's expenses...therefore I have the Utilities section. Also, I use the Internet specifically for my business, so I am able to write off the entire bill for this. If I had a separate phone line, I would be able to write this off as well. Figure out what sections you need and make them work for you. Add categories as needed...this is the first year I have added Fees to my Cost Log. I put my Etsy fees and shipping fees in this category.
Tip 4: File your sales tax quarterly.
This tip is more for your benefit than for your tax preparers, but it will help everyone out in the end :) By filing your taxes 4 times per year, this forces you to organize your income at least that often. It will leave you less to do at the end of the year :) And if you have to open your Excel document and organize your income...why not do your costs as well! This is my first year selling on Etsy, so I added these sales to the bottom of my Sales Log to show their income. I didn't want them added into my quarterly sections because I did not charge sales tax on them. (out of state)
Tip 5: Have everything with you when you meet with your preparer.
This will save you the time of meeting multiple times and making more work for your preparer. I always schedule my appointment for early to mid-February. This way I am sure that I have received all of my needed paper work. (W-2s, tax forms, credit card statements with last year's costs, etc.)
Follow these tips and you will be in and out in about 20-30 minutes and you will leave your tax preparer with a smile on his/her face :)
Do you have a good tax prep tip? Leave me a comment...I'd love to know :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mr. and Mrs.

It sure has been nice having a few days off work this week :) I've been getting a lot of scrapbooking done...gotta love that!
I finished this Custom Wedding Name Album and am super excited to show it to you :) I think the Mr. and Mrs. turned out really cute. I have added a few of these shots to my Etsy listing as well to offer this style to others!
I customized the first couple of pages to show the couples names and their wedding location and date :) I feel the more personalized an album is, the better gift it makes! I know they are going to love it :)
Next I'll be working on some Valentine's Word Albums...stay tuned for pics...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Whoooo Loves You

I actually got a layout done...for myself! It felt so good to just play and create and be selfish and do it all for ME :) I'm a little behind in getting this I actually did this page over Christmas break! But better late than never, right? And a special thanks to marymarsh for the deer and owl embellishments :) I entered Mary's blog contest...and won these cute little guys! I was really impressed with the way Mary had them all bundled up in this cute little bag. The embellishments are really magnets and large paper clips...but a scrapbooker sees embellishments in everything! The deer magnet gave me the idea to use teal in the page...inspiration comes from everywhere :) And don't forget about my two Blog Giveaways going on right now! Check my last two posts for details :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another Paper Crafting Month Giveaway!!!

WooHoo! I have another National Paper Crafting Month Giveaway to introduce you to. It seems I am not the only one excited by this celebration.
Michelle from DonkeySmiles is also having a Blog Giveaway!!!
You have a chance to win everything you see here!
  • Three stamp from Alota Rubber Stamps!
  • 4 mini rolls of Valentine Ribbons
  • Lots of Red and Pink Bridal flowers
  • Queen & Co. adheasive Flourish
  • and a DCWV Sweets Stack

Wow...that's a lot to win! I'm really excited about this one...I already have the perfect layout idea to use these products on!

Visit her blog today for official entry rules :)

And see my previous post for My Blog Giveaway as well...going on until January 31st!

Friday, January 9, 2009

National Paper Crafting Month Giveaway!!!

Did you know that January is National Paper Crafting Month? What a great time to work on those paper projects! And to celebrate, I am having my first ever Blog Giveaway!!! To Enter to Win: Leave a comment with the link to your favorite item in my Etsy Shop. and for a Second Entry: Tell me what you think I should add to my shop. Pretty easy, right :) Here is what the lucky winner will receive:
This card is made of textured cardstock and is decorated with patterned papers, a printed Love Alphabet, a cute little felt heart and a cardstock heart :) It also comes with a white envelope that has been stamped with another cute little heart. You will receive it just in time for Valentine's great is that!
Winner will be chosen on January 31st by a random online selector.
Thanks for stopping by...and Good Luck :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

First Sale of 2009!!!

I was thrilled to get my first sale of 2009 yesterday! I really thought January would be pretty slow. After the holiday rush and with our "wonderful" economy, I didn't quite know what to expect. This just made the sale even more special :) It looks as though my Custom Name and Word Albums are going to be popular again this year!!! Here is the album in process. It will say MR&MRSHARVEY (Mr. and Mrs. Harvey) when finished. The MR and MRS will be vertical on the page to make room for the last name. I know it's a little hard to see right now...don't worry, I will definitely be taking more pictures when it is finished :)
I plan on adding more Name and Word Albums to my shop in 2009. Many more premade options and more custom options as well. Keep watch for these new albums in my shop soon :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year-A Great Feature :)

Oh my...where do I start! It's been a little while since I've blogged and so much has happened over the past couple of weeks! My parents have been here from Michigan and I have been spending so much time with them that I had to give my blog a short rest.
I wanted my first blog post of 2009 to be spectacular :) That is why I am choosing to feature Brigitte Marie Fontaine of brigittemarie today :) Brigitte was so kind to make my dad's Christmas present this year and I absolutely fell in love with it...he almost didn't receive it :)
I want you to get to know this great artist, so I did an interview with Brigitte. Enjoy the read :)
How long have you been painting?
I've been drawing and painting since I was little but I really made it my focus in high school, taking 2 art classes almost every year! In college, I double majored in Education and Studio Art, painting and drawing. Fortunately I was able to find a place in Alexandria with enough space for a mini studio! And miraculously I still find time to paint after teaching K-6 art full time. Painting has always been my "me-time" you could say.
What got you started?
I have always done small paintings or drawings for people as gifts.As far as doing painting on commission, when my sister first moved out on her own, she wanted art for her apartment! She "hired" me and sent me photographs to work from. Now five, six years later she still has me doing paintings for her home! She has encouraged me to expand my network through Etsy, coworkers, friends, roommates, etc. I have been working steadily on custom painting after custom painting since!
What is your favorite item in your shop right now?
My favorite item in my shop right now is the print of "Three Satin Dresses." I had a selfish artist moment and just could not part with the original. The painting is from a photo I took while wedding dress shopping with my sister, recently married this fall. I just loved the light from the window shining on the satin, and how odd yet beautiful the three main wedding dresses looked as figures in the display window. There are also three of us sisters in my family so I felt the painting reflected that sisterly bond!!
What work are you most proud of?
My sister and brother-in-law gave me this photograph of his motorcycle on an overlook of the Blue Ridge Parkway down in Shenandoah. I had to make a motorcycle look as "beautiful" as the mountain view! My banner is actually a piece of the photograph of that painting... When the phrase "Motorcycle painting" pops into your head, it is normally not be something you would want to hang in your living room. It turned out to have a nice masculine-feminine balance and I was somehow able to make this quite a lovely painting for their home.
Where can people find you on/off the web? Etsy, Blog, Twitter, etc.
Actually this is my first online endeavor in marketing my skills and artwork so I am only on Etsy! I have not looked into Blog and Twitter. I do love how official, organized, and safe Etsy is to buy, sell, request, etc.
Do you do any other crafts?
I can crochet. I have made blankets for everyone in my family and some scarves! I also dabble in ceramics, which I find very therapeutic.
I hope you enjoyed the interview and will check out Brigitte's Etsy Store :)
Here's to a Successful New Year! And to more great blog posts :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...