Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
Today's Friday Features are brought to us today by our Featured EtsyBlogger of the Month...LindaB!!! Linda has been an EtsyBlogger member since November of 2008 and has been a wonderful supporter of fellow teammates!
On her blog each week she features several items from fellow artists and has readers vote for their favorite. She then features the winner in a separate posting of their own! Check out this week's poll HERE. And leave her a comment to have your item considered for next week's voting
And she has a beautiful Etsy shop as well! I love the variety of style, color and design that she offers. She literally has something for everyone! Here are my faves:
Pink Pantone 2011 Color Dahlia Cabochon Adjustable Ring
Thursday, April 28, 2011
A friend of mine is headed to a baby shower this weekend and the soon-to-be little girl is one lucky baby :) Not only is she getting a Custom Name Album...she's also getting my new Engraved Baby Photo Album too!
I just added these this morning! They come in either hot pink or light blue...perfect for a shower gift!!! I hope to add other colors soon too for Family, Vacation or Fun Times albums!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I've been doing some behind-the-scenes work on my business lately. I wish running a business were all about creating and selling, but there are other things to consider when running a business. Here are a few things I've been doing for my business:
1. I got business insurance. After purchasing my laser, I knew I wanted to get additional insurance for it. I thought I would just get a rider on my home owners policy, but after talking with my insurance agent, he recommended business insurance. I got a very affordable policy for a little over $300/yr. This gives me $15,000 in personal property and $500,000 in liability. Some larger shows require you to have this much insurance, so I went with the larger amount. He mentioned something as simple as someone tripping over your power cord at a show and getting hurt. Gets your mind thinking!
2. I purchased a credit card machine and set up a Propay account. I have read for a long time that accepting credit cards at shows will get you more sales. I knew I would be doing quite a few shows this year, so I took the plunge. I'm not very happy with the machine I purchased (you get what you pay for) but I am happy with Propay. I've already processed 3 transactions and all were simple and painless! Time will tell if this is something I want to continue using.
3. Using downtime wisely. I haven't had too many custom orders lately, so I've been staying busy doing research for my business. I've looked into new things I can create with my laser. I've looked into new techniques and read tons of tutorials! As I said before, there is so much more to running a business than just creating and selling. Use the slow times to do the other things that will help your business. The next step on my list is to create my own website. This won't happen overnight, but it is the next big thing on my todo list. I want to start marketing to other businesses, corporations, schools, cities, etc. I want to get into the awards part of engraving and I feel a website away from Etsy would be the proper way to do this. I also need to create brochures for each type of business I want to market to. What behind-the-scenes work have you been up to?
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
For today's features, I actually have an entire treasury for you! I created this treasury with all recycled/upcycled items from the EtsyBloggers Team! I love upcycled items as they keep trash out of our landfills and they each have such a unique story to them! No two upcycled items will ever be alike!
Happy Earth Day!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Angela of Alice's Owl is our blog carnival host this week and one of her themes for us is Stress Awareness: April is Stress Awareness Month. How do you take time for self-care and help reduce stress in your life? Is there something you do each night? A practice that you do each morning? Something you do weekly or monthly? How does it melt the stress away for you? How does it make your body and mind feel? A great way to spread the awareness!
My favorite way to unwind and destress is with a nice hot bath and a cold glass of wine! I turn on the radio, read a magazine and just relax! I would love to have a hot tub, but I don't think I'd ever get anything accomplished! I'm so relaxed when I get out and I'm able to fall asleep right away :) I like to do this at least once a week. It's a great way to let my mind rest for a while and do nothing but relax!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I've had some success with engraving photos and was pretty happy with the results. I had a friend at work order a custom photo plaque and I was happy to take on the task. He emailed me his photo, I did the necessary photo editing and started engraving. Here are the results...
I was SO disappointed when this was done! It was too light, there was no contrast to the engraving...it was a mess! And I couldn't even attempt to sell this to him! I remembered I had printed off a tutorial a while back for engraving photos on wood. Off I went to read the instructions and try again! There were just a few minor adjustments I needed to make to the original photo and I was ready to give it another try. Here is the second try after reading the tutorial...
Monday, April 18, 2011
I had my third Spring show on Saturday and I've noticed some similar outcomes and thoughts from each show.
*The weather is a big factor. If the weather is bad, people don't want to get out of the house. By Spring, we're so tired of bad weather, we don't want to endure it any longer. But if the weather is too nice, people want to get things done outside. It may be the first time they're able to work in their yards.
*There is no special reason to buy. Unless they need a graduation gift, Mother's Day gift, etc. they are only buying for themselves. People have a harder time buying for themselves.
*Most of my items are purchased for gifts. I notice this both on Etsy and at local shows. I heard on Saturday..."my sister would love this" or "this would be a great gift for so-and-so's wedding in a few months". Fall tends to be a better time of year for me because of this. Everyone (or mostly everyone) needs holiday gifts.
*Having a website is both a blessing and a curse. People love knowing that they can get ahold of you later when they do need a gift, but it keeps them from buying that day. If they only brought a certain amount of money with them and they know they can buy your item later, they might hold off.
I'm not totally discouraged from doing Spring shows, but I may reconsider how many or which ones I do next year. We have heard that a few shows require you to do the Spring show if you want a spot in to the Fall show. If the fall shows are good enough, I'll stick with the Spring show the next year. Time will tell. And if a lot of the custom orders that people were interested in come through, then it is worth it to be there to get my name out. Most of the time I don't know how successful a show really is until a few months later when orders start coming in.
How have your shows been going this Spring?
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Easter is just around the corner! How did we get this far into the year already! I'm sure enjoying the Spring weather though :) And I can't wait to celebrate Easter with my family!
The cutest finds I've been seeing on Etsy lately have been Bunny Ears! I don't have kids of my own...and I don't think Harley would sit still long enough to wear these...but your kiddos would look oh so cute in a pair of these :)
And there's still time to get these before Easter gets here...order today :)
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
My grandma always says my mom picks out the best cards ever. You can tell she really reads each one to find the perfect card :) I always thought the best cards were handmade cards (of course) until I received my birthday card this year! My grandma is right...my mom is the best at picking out cards!
In case you can't read it, it says:
If ever there was someone who danced to her own beat, Daughter, it's you.
This card has my name all over it! I've never been quite "normal"...LOL! And I've always done things my own way :) I loved this card so much that I wanted to frame it! I laser etched the glass in the frame with a pretty floral design, backed it with pink paper and viola...a great home decor piece for my scrapbook room :)
Thanks Mom! You know me too well :)
Monday, April 11, 2011
I haven't had a lasered update in a while as I've been building up my stock for shows and Etsy. I found designs I wanted to make more of and I've been working on those lately. But over the weekend I took time to play with some new ideas and designs :)
I love how this laser cut cardstock turned out! I might try a simpler design next time as there are quite a few small pieces on this one, but I love it! I thought I would sell them as a two-page set with matching laser cut corners.
I LOVE how this white chipboard turned out! It has a white top layer with kraft colored layers underneath. Makes for a great two-tone image! I'm thinking of turning these into notebook covers or maybe even some framed art sets. I'd love to hear your ideas for these!!!
(Sorry for the poor photos! I realized after taking them that I only had one of my lights on!)
Also with chipboard, I made some coasters. I made them in both white and plain versions. These are like what restaurants typically use. I thought they'd be great to customize for parties and weddings!
And I've been working on tons of new pendants designs along with some rings! This ring is my favorite :)
What should I try next? I'd love to hear your ideas :)
And if you like what you see and would like something from my shop...enter my GIVEAWAY!!!
Friday, April 8, 2011
In case you missed yesterday's post....and the GIVEAWAY...yesterday was my 28th birthday :) Nothing too special, but I did make a couple sales and get in a treasury! Pretty good presents if you ask me! And we're going to have some friends over tomorrow to grill out :)
I also did some searching yesterday for the number 28 on Etsy. 28 isn't a very popular number, but there are some popular finds to be found :)
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Today is my birthday!!! And instead of receiving gifts...I'm giving one away! My biggest giveaway EVER!!! In honor of my 28th birthday today, one winner will receive a $28 gift certificate to my Etsy Shop!!!
Here's how to enter:
1. Visit my Etsy Shop and leave a comment telling me your favorite item...and why. (mandatory entry, all others voluntary)
2. Visit my Etsy Shop and leave a comment telling me your least favorite item...and why.
3. Tell me about your most memorable birthday :)
4. Follow my blog and comment that you've done so.
5. Blog, Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway and come back and leave a comment with the link.
The giveaway will run from now through April 30th. A winner will be announced on May 1st. Please leave a way to contact you in each of your comments (email, blog profile, etsy shop, etc.) Giveaway is open worldwide.
I'm so excited about this giveaway!!! Good luck to all who enter :)
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Last week I gave tips on how I make the most of my time and shared a few time-saving tips. One of the biggest things that saves me time is multi-tasking. I'm hardly ever doing one thing at a time! So today I thought I'd share some things I do to multi-task successfully. *I will send several items to my printer to be printed at once and I'll work on something else while the printer does it's job. *I also do this with my laser engraver. It has to be supervised, so I need to stay in the room. But some jobs take quite a while...so I use this time to work on other projects while it runs. *My internet can be slow sometimes and take a while for something to download. I read emails and catch up on blogs while my file loads. *We eat a lot of casseroles! Once the food is ready to go in the oven, I usually have about 30-45 min. before lunch is actually ready. I use this time to continue working on projects. (Or clean the house!) *I'm guilty of working while talking on the phone too. I need a headset so my poor neck doesn't get a cramp!
How do you multi-task? Leave a comment and share your tips with us all!
Monday, April 4, 2011
Timothy Adams at Handmadeology is doing an awesome giveaway!!! He is giving away EVERY item in the Handmadeology shop on Etsy!!!
He has so much useful information that any crafty business person can use! He has books for social networking, treasury tracking and my favorite...the Etsy Spreadsheet!!!
Hop on over to Handmadeology to see how you can win this great prize worth $105!!!
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Yesterday's show went much better than last weekend's show!!! It wasn't my best show ever, but it was still a profitable one :) And it was just a great day in general...
*The sun was shining! The weather was nice and people were dying to get out!
*There was a nice flow of traffic ALL day! Usually lunch time slows down significantly...not so for this show!
*I got to use my new credit card machine and process two orders when I got home...and it all went very smoothly!!!
*I got to meet two fellow Etsians :)
I have to give a shout out to HandmadeBlayne and lizannnecessities! It was great to meet you both :) Liz made my day by noticing my work right away as she was walking by! And Bailie made my day by purchasing one of my pendants :) Thanks girls!
I was surprised that my scrapbooks sold much better than my lasered items! I'm glad my scrapbooks sell well, but I'm dying to sell my lasered items! I've sold picture frames at both shows, so I may get a bigger variety of those made. And I got a lot of lookers at my tiles, but no buyers. I may need to take another look at my prices? I think I'll add them to Etsy first and see if they do well there.
And I didn't care for our set-up as well this time either, but we have to deal with the space we are given. We will be doing this show in the fall and getting two booths instead of just one. The pics above are of my set-up from yesterday.
I hope others that had shows over the weekend did well also :)
Friday, April 1, 2011
I was so excited for Spring to get here with flowers, green grass and warmer temps, but instead we got SNOW! Gotta love Iowa in the Spring! I was happy to find that other Etsians have been through the same thing and showed the beauty of Spring Snow in their shops. I have to admit that the snow did look pretty sitting on the trees :) But I'd much rather see green leaves than white powder! Enjoy these unlikely Spring items...
Crocus in Snow 8x10 Floral Print of Original Painting
Snow Blossoms Set of 4 5x5 Fine Art Prints
spring ACEO watercolor SNOW flowers