Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Team Work

As the old saying goes...Two Heads Are Better Than One :) This can be even more true when it comes to crafty endeavors. Working as a team, you can get more ideas flowing and have access to tools and materials that you wouldn't have on your own.
I recently had the pleasure of teaming up with Erika of ArtfulRising to create some beautiful Art Journals! She contacted me about engraving some wood covers for her to put her awesome art journal pages in.
We worked out the sizes and styles and got to work. I was amazed when Erika showed me the finished product! She transformed by covers into works of art!
And I love that she came up with the idea to put both of our shop names on the back of the journals. It is engraved for all to see that this masterpiece was the result of Team Work :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Disney Albums meet Custom Albums

I've been making my Custom Name Albums for quite a few years now. And they've gone through several changes in that time to include more options, more sizes, more variety. And with the laser, it's easier to add more font options as well!
I made two Disney Albums in a special Disney font and they have done well at craft shows. I recently got asked to make a Custom Disney Album. What a great idea!
Olivia, Caeli and Adam all have special Custom Disney Albums for their surprise trip in February!
I've decided to add this latest idea to my shop as well. I think they're a great way to remember a Disney trip and even more special now that they can be customized.
I'm starting with Mickey and Friends and Princess themes, but can customized upon request.
And the best part about these new books...they include autograph pages as well! Just have your favorite characters sign on a small piece of paper and add it to the book along with your photos when you return home!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Treasury Thanks

This week brought me 4 gorgeous treasuries to add to my list!!! Two of these were from my wonderful team mates and two were from people I've never met! It's always special when someone new adds one of your items to their treasury :)


Judy of JNOriginals featured my Custom Sorority Album in her Pink and Blue Just for You Treasury! How did Judy know that these are my favorite colors :) These pretty Fingerless Gloves would go great in this treasury too!
Erika of ArtfulRising featured my LOVE Chipboard Album in her Love in All The Right Places Treasury! Her Handstamped Love Heart would go along great here too!
juliesgoodscents featured my Flower Bud Guest Book in her Wonderful Wood Treasury! Her sandalwood shea butter soap would go along great with all these wood creations!
moonsun also featured my LOVE Chipboard Album in her Lady in Red Treasury! Her Chunky Loop Scarf would be great along with these red items!
Thank you for featuring my items this week! I'm loving all the Valentine themed treasuries this time of year :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Wanna Trade?

I don't normally do trades on Etsy. I've done a few in the past, but I don't do them often. However, when I saw some awesome towels that Nancy of NFallonDesignStudio had made as part of her BBArtisans Challenge, I knew I wanted some! Nancy had mentioned that they weren't really her color and she wasn't sure what she was going to do with them. I offered to take them off her hands and asked if she would like something out of my shop in return. She loved my Owl Magnets and added one of her Knit Heart Pin Brooches to the mix!
Check out all the goodies I got!
I think Nancy must have made these with me in mind :) They're my favorite colors!!! And the patterns are so great!
And a brooch in hot pink to top things off! This will look awesome with my winter coat for now and then on my denim jacket this spring and fall!
Thank you Nancy for the awesome trade! I'm loving my towels and already have my brooch on my coat :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Features - Four Fantastic Years

I just realized that I let my 4 year Etsy-versary pass without even noticing! I can't believe it's really been 4 years since I found such an amazing site that has allowed me to grow my business, sell year-round and sell all over the world! Etsy really has been great for me and for my business! I've met so many wonderful people through Etsy and couldn't imagine my life without them!
Happy Etsy-versary to Me!!!
In honor of my celebration...here are some fun finds featuring the number 4!
Thank you to all my readers, all my customers and all my Etsy friends for making the last four years ROCK! Here's to another great four years :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wedding Bells

Ever since attending the bridal fair a couple weeks ago, I've had wedding projects on my mind! I have a huge list of ideas I want to make for wedding decor and I got a few done this week! Rustic, shabby wedding themes seem to be very popular, so these items should fit in well!
First up is a Mr. & Mrs. Wedding Banner. I'm selling these both as premade banners as well as custom banners. Make them as long as you like! (And for any occasion!)
Next I made these Engraved Table Numbers. These can be customized as well with any font or graphics the couple would like. Seating charts at wedding receptions seem to be more and more popular lately.
I'll also be adding 4 more Wood Guest Book/Photo Albums as well. Here is one of my new designs.
And for those not into the rustic, shabby chic theme...how about some color! This Double Name Guest Book/Photo Album would be the hit of any wedding (or other party)! The inside pages can be formatted so many different ways!
I still have a list a mile long of wedding items I'd like to get made and listed! And I'd also like to take a few new photos with more than just a white background. I love the look of wedding items at actual weddings. Do you think I could show up at a wedding and start snapping product photos...LOL :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday - The Eye of the Beholder

This is a "bad spot" in the floor where I work. They see a place that needs patched...What do you see :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In Loving Memory

Over the last few months, I have been asked to make a few difficult, but rewarding items. They were difficult in that each one dealt with the loss of a loved one, but they were rewarding in knowing that I was helping these people preserve the memories of their loved ones forever! I feel honored that each of these individuals trusted me to create them something beautiful and special for them to have to remember their loved ones :)
A couple weeks ago I blogged about my Keepsake Boxes and mentioned that the recipient of those boxes wanted some memorial boxes made of his father for him and his sister to have. I got them completed and wanted to share them with you! They happened to have a photo of their father in front of a blanket that said "The Lord is my Light". They both thought this was perfect for the box.
Then they added a special poem on the inside of the box. It was a long quote, so I turned the box on its side to engrave it the long way across the lid of the box. It turned out beautifully.
Another item I engraved as a Christmas gift were some photo pendants. The front had their loved one's photo and In Memory on the back. A very touching gift that can be worn and kept forever!

I made quite a few Engraved Photo Ornaments for memorial keepsakes at Christmas as well. This kitty ornament was one of them. The holidays can be difficult when you've lost a loved one, but these ornaments help keep them in your memories.

The most difficult project I was asked to complete was an album for a baby that had passed away. A friend of the family was asked to create the album, but wasn't able to do so because of the close connection she had to the baby. This was definitely the most challenging task I had been put up to, but also the most rewarding! I knew that if I didn't create this album, the family would never have a scrapbook of their baby girl. I felt great honor in knowing that I helped them preserve their memories of their sweet little girl!
Have you made any special projects lately?

Monday, January 23, 2012

January Challenge - Blogging Business Artisans

Last October I helped create a wonderful new team on Etsy! It is by for my most favorite team! We are all so active and supportive, it's my favorite place on Etsy :)
One of our requirements is to participate in 6 monthly challenges for the year. January's challenge is brought to us by Deb of storybeader. She gave us the theme of New Techniques: "To start off the Challenges for the new Blogging Business Artisans (BBA) team, I want to make this affirmation: we are all super busy and creative Etsy members. We are always finding new projects we want to try but stress about where to find the time. This challenge is set aside that time to work on and complete a new technique that you admire. It can be within your field of expertise, but doesn't have to be."
I've been wanting to try a new style of engraved wood album for quite a while now and this was the kick in the pants I needed to get started on them!
Most of my wood items are made of red alder wood. But these are made of maple and they are color lacquered on both sides giving them a fun twist to my other albums. I also wanted to use photo sleeves instead of photo corners on cardstock. This meant designing all new files and making the covers fit the photo sleeves.
I bought both light pink and light blue thinking these would be perfect for baby books! I'm dying to buy other colors to try new styles now!!! Find these in my shop!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Treasury Thanks

Welcome to another week of Treasury Thanks! This week I have two lovely treasuries that I was featured in along with one that I created as well!
Sheryl of SherHastingsDesigns featured my Pink Flower Earring Cards in her Love, Romance, Flowers, & Hearts Treasury! Sheryl has a great shop filled with digital scrapbook goodies and PDF patterns. This kit would be perfect for scrapbooking photos from Valentine's Day!

Karen of MysticWynd featured my Baby Boy Photo Album in her Got the Blues... Treasury! This necklace of Karen's would be great to wear on Valentine's Day...or any other day!

After attending a Bridal Fair last weekend to see if I'd like to be a vendor next year, I had weddings on the brain :) So I curated this lovely Bridal Guide Treasury!
Please help me thank my curators and give my treasury some love by clicking on items you like :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

USPS Rate Increase

January 22nd marks the date for another rate increase for the United States Postal Service. Some of the most talked about increases are First Class Mail, First Class Mail International and Flat Rate Priority Packages.
  • First Class Mail will raise from $1.71 to $1.95 for the first 3 oz. and then 17 cents for each additional ounce.
  • First Class Mail International will start at $3.00 and then will vary by zone for each additional ounce.
  • Flat Rate Priority Packages are as follows

*Small: From $5.20 to $5.35

*Medium: $10.95 to $11.35

*Large: $14.95 to $15.45

These are some of the most noticable that I've seen, but you can get the complete list with separate XLS or CSV files for each category HERE.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Features - From My Favorites

I love adding fun items to my favorites on Etsy. I love looking at so many different types of art Today's features are all from my favorites list...enjoy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

GIVEAWAY!!! Last Day To Enter!

Rose of randomcreative is hosting this month's giveaway over at the Business Blogging Artisans Blog! And what an awesome giveaway it is!!!

Rose created a new line for 2012 of herringbone beadwoven necklaces and wrap bracelets! She also has great charms to go along with her pieces too!

Stop by and enter the giveaway and stop by Rose's shop to see her entire new line!
I apologize for the late notice on this giveaway! It ends today at 11 am!!! Enter right away!

Wordless Wednesday - Grandpa (being a good sport)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bridal Fair

Over the weekend, I attended a Bridal Fair. No, I'm not getting married...LOL :) I went to scout out the show and see if I felt my items would fit in well. My "marketing manager" aka Mom had mentioned that I should check some out and see if I could get a space for next year.
I was pleasantly surprised to walk in the door and see a very long line of people waiting to get into the show...and this was 45 minutes after the show had started! The place was packed...a great start!
The show was very well laid out also. I knew as a new vendor that I could possibly get one of the booths with less traffic. But I really didn't see a bad booth in the place! There was a nice flow to the whole show and even the booths in the back had prime space because they were by the fashion show part of the event.
Here is an example of one of the booths. I was afraid that my craft show set up wouldn't be compatible with a higher end show, but they provide all of the things I was afraid I'd need. The curtained backing and the table with skirt are all provided. And the spaces are very comparable in size to a craft show booth at 10'x10'.
One thing I noticed is that most booths had people standing in the aisle ways handing out postcards/business cards as people walked by. That way, even if they didn't get a chance to stop, they still had the vendor's info. So I may have to recruit some help to run my booth. And being a people person is a must. The vendors were talking to you as you walked by and drew you into their booths.
One thing that I really liked is that no one had anything even close to what I do. There was only one booth that offered personalized services and they mostly did screen printing like coozies and mint wrappers. I didn't see any champagne flutes, guest books, table numbers, etc. And no one offered personalized services like I do.
The only downfall is the price tag that comes along with this awesome show. The cost of a booth is more than 10 times what I normally pay for a craft show booth!!! So I will definitely have to be prepared and have all of my ducks in a row if I plan to attend next year! I have so many more wedding ideas I want to get done!
Have you done any fancy shows like this? I'd love to hear your experiences!!!
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