Thursday, May 31, 2012

BBA May Challenge - Inspiration

 This month's Blogging Business Artisans Challenge is brought to us by Sharla of Beaded Tail. Sharla says: Your challenge is to incorporate your favorite inspiration into a project of your choice.

I would have to say that one of my biggest inspirations are my customers! If you've read much of my blog at all, you know that a lot of my custom orders get put in my shop as new listings. I love custom work because it opens up so many windows and gives me so many new ideas! And one custom order may lead to two or three new ideas for my shop!

My Wood Wedding Invitations are no exception! As of right now, I only have two designs listed in my shop (with many more ideas still to come!) But each order I've received for the invitations has been for a different and unique design.
My very first order was of this tree design. The couple sent me the design they'd used for other items for their wedding and I incorporated it into their invitations. I love how it turned out.
The second set was of my Carved Tree Design. This design has done really well and I love it on the invitations. Only a few minor adjustments were made to this original design.
 This third set is very similar to the original tree design, but the couple emailed their own drawing of the tree with a few adjustments. I think the little leaves finish it cute :)

 For this next set, the couple described their ideal invitation and I emailed a few digital samples and we came up with this heart bunting design. This one will definitely be making an appearance in my shop! I added their names to the bunting to make them even more personal!
My most current set is for a couple getting married on a mountain top in Colorado! They loved the wood invitations for the rustic feel and wanted a design that would match their wedding theme. This mountain graphic was just perfect!

I love how each of these invitations is so unique and personal to the bride and groom! My customers are so inspiring and their ideas spark even more ideas in me :) I can't wait to create more designs for these invitations!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In Memory

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! I got to spend lots of time with my family, which to me is what any holiday is about...FAMILY :)

I got a neat request the other day to replace a part on a wind chime. The buyer had ordered the wind chime with a custom hanger, but didn't like at all how it turned out. She sent me a photo of  the original and told me what changes she wanted made and I created her a new hanger. She loved it :)

I got a very nice message from my buyer telling me how perfect the new hanger was and that it saved the wind chime that she would be giving as a gift.I then got a little teary-eyed when she told me that the wind chime would be given to her friend in memory of her 2 day old baby that had just passed away last month! I was so honored that I got to help make this gift so special!

Any time I think I'm just creating scrapbooks and engravings, I get a message like this that reminds me that I'm helping to preserve memories! And it makes me stop and remember my own family and give them an extra hug when I see them!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Treasury Thanks

I hope everyone is enjoying a great Memorial Day Weekend! If you find time, please help me thank my curators from this week by stopping by their shops and checking out their awesome treasuries :)

Linda from PruittDesign featured my Friends Word Album in her colorful Backyard Summer Bash Treasury! Linda's beautiful Exotic Plum Flower Earrings would look great in this treasury as well!

Katya from KatyaZorin featured my Flower Bud Guest Book in her Wood is Good Treasury! Katya is from Israel and has a new shop on Etsy. She's starting out great with these Cute Mugs!

Sandra of envidrio featured my Wooden Recipe Book in her What's Cooking Papa? Treasury! (This item is currently sold out, but I'm hoping to get more made very soon!) Sandra's Wine Bottle Cheese Tray would be a great addition to this treasury as well!

 Thanks again to my curators this week :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Features - Time for the Weekend

WooHoo...Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!! I can't wait for all the fun to begin! My parents get here tomorrow, we have some boating planned and I can't wait to take some time to RELAX!!! So in honor of my fun filled are today's features.

Family Time

Time to Relax

Time to Grill Out

Time for Boating

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Something for Everyone

My Personalized Beer Mugs have done really well as groomsman gifts and I love seeing all the different teams that the guys choose. There are football teams, basketball teams, hockey teams, college teams, pro teams...and the list goes on.

But what if the guys in the wedding party aren't into sports? I can relate to this, because Jesse isn't into sports at all. What do you choose to put on their mug? You make a custom request of course :)

I've done a few unique mugs lately that I thought were a great idea for the non-sports nut. I love the custom requests because I know that these mugs will be even more special since the bride and groom took the time to choose a special graphic for their groomsman :)

Above are The Hulk, Nissan and Superman logos. And I also have a Firefighter logo and Rock Climbing Club logo on order right now as well. How cool!

I love knowing that I'm helping the bride and groom choose a special gift they can't get anywhere else :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Happiness

Everything about this makes me happy: the color, the cupcakes, the swirls...and especially the photo :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Organizing Local Orders

One thing I love about Etsy is how easy it is to manage open orders. I can scroll through all the open orders and see what still needs done. I can add private notes to orders to remind me of deadlines or special requests. And once they're shipped, they're moved to the closed orders page keeping my open orders up-to-date and organized.

So nice and clean...not for long!
Local orders are a whole other story for me! I'm terrible at keeping them organized! If they're not in my open orders que, I tend forget about them! Not Good!!! I've tried a few different methods, but nothing has worked real well so far. Last fall I tried keeping all local orders in a large zip lock baggie (which is how I organize a lot of my things LOL!) This definitely wasn't ideal.

Yup, that's an envelope...I write on whatever is closest when I answer the phone :)
Over the weekend I finally put to use a cork board I bought a few months ago. I knew I wanted to engrave on it and planned on adding a pretty design, but in the end I went with the straight-forward approach. I engraved "Orders" on it :)

Please excuse my MESSY desk!
So far this is working out well and I have it in a place where I can see it while I sit at my computer. That way I'm always reminded of what's still on the To-Do list! I can hang orders so the closest deadline is on top. And once they are completed, then they can be transferred to my file cabinet so I still have all my contact info and order info.

Maybe I'll have to make some pretty tacks to dress it up a bit. But for now, it's doing it's job...and that's more important than being pretty :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Anniversary

The 5th Anniversary is known as the "Wood Anniversary". It is said that the strength of a marriage bond is represented by the traditional gift of wood for a 5th anniversary because wood is strong and long-lasting.

I recently made a Wood Card for a 5th Wedding Anniversary and wondered why I hadn't created more items for anniversary gifts! Many of the items in my store would be perfect for these gifts...I just need to market them that way!

I started with the Wood Card that I made for the recent order.
I'm also thinking Wood Frames, Wood Photos and Wood Photo Albums would be perfect for anniversary gifts! I haven't decided if I should create separate listings to market these items, or just add "5th anniversary" and "wood anniversary" to my current listings as tags. (I'd love your suggestions here!)

And wood items aren't just great for a 5th anniversary gift, they're perfect for any anniversary :) I created the sweetest card and bottle stopper recently and just have to share them :)

This card made me smile...what a sweet guy!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Treasury Thanks

This week brought three awesome treasuries featuring my work! And what I love is that they are all wood items :)
Please help me thank my curators this week by checking out their treasuries and their awesome shops!

Laura of EllUnlimited featured my Peacock Wood Wedding Invitation in her It All Seems So Far Away Treasury! Laura has beautiful jewelry in her shop and these Dark Grey and Blue Earrings are my favorite!

Margaret of SplendidLittleStars featured my Woodland Baby Book in her Wild Treasury! I just love Margaret's scarves..the hand dyed detail is amazing!

Füsun of asteriascollection featured my Peacock Wood Guest Book in her Wooden Planet Treasury! Füsun uses wood in some of her jewelry as well like this Beaded Bracelet...I just love all the color!

 Thanks again to my curators this week :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Features - Wonder Woman

My friends on the Blogging Business Artisans team joke that I must be part Wonder Woman since I tend to be a bit of an overachiever :) Today I went searching on Etsy to find great Wonder Woman items so each of us can have a little Wonder Woman in us...LOL :) Enjoy the finds!


 by  RedwingedBlackbirds

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wedding Registries on Etsy

On Tuesday I talked about my mixed feelings about the new Wedding Categories on Etsy. I was glad to read that others had the same opinions I do. There are always pros and cons to any changes and I'm definitely not one against change, I just hope Etsy sees where their faults lie and fixes them.

One change I am pretty excited about is the new Wedding Registry! I'm both excited about this as a shop owner and a shopper! As a shop owner, it allows people to directly share our items with their friends and family...and tell them to buy them! As a shopper, I like that I can share some of my favorite items with the world, but I don't have to share them all.

I'll walk you through the process in case you haven't registered yet. Since I'm not actually getting married, I put in my birth date as the "wedding date". I thought maybe I could cheat and use the Registry as my Birthday Wish List :)
When you register, it takes you to a page that has a few categories to start choosing items from. This is the one thing I don't like about the tries to select items for you! They give you a handful of categories and assume you want items from there. The nice thing is, there is a search bar at the bottom of the screen so you can choose the items that YOU want :)

Another cool feature is that every listing now has a Favorite Button and an Add to Registry Button. You don't have to worry about Etsy's silly categories that they choose for you because every listing you browse through has a registry button now!

Another awesome feature is that you can Add Notes to the items you add to your registry!!! I would love to be able to add notes to my Favorites, but this is the next best thing. You can tell your family and friends what you like about each item and why you chose it a very personal feel :)

Once you've added lots of awesome items to your can then share it with the world! (or at least those you choose) You can email the link, share it on Facebook and even print cards!

I'm pretty excited about the new registries! And I hope Etsy sees this and adds Baby Shower Registries and (actual) Birthday Wishlists (so I don't have to cheat) :)

Have you made a Registry? What do you think so far?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Etsy Wedding Categories

 Recently Etsy introduced some changes to the Wedding Category. I love the look of the first page, but have some mixed feelings about the rest. Here are my thoughts on the new category and I'd love to hear yours in the comments.
First Page:
I love the modern, chic look of the first page! It's so inviting and more appealing than the old standard page. I like that there is a lot to look at, yet it's not overwhelming.

One thing I'm not thrilled about are the categories. They have several sub-categories lumped under one heading that used to be several separate categories. Take the Paper Goods Category for instance: They have Wedding Invitations and Guest Books lumped under this heading. What about my Wooden Invites and Guest Books? They're not made of paper. And I think this may be confusing for shoppers.

I also don't care for the layout of the listings anymore. They seem like a jumbled mess to me. I like to see items in organized rows that are easy to see and easy to come back to. And there aren't pages anymore. Just a button to push to see more items. And if your item isn't "relevant" it doesn't show up at the bottom of the doesn't show up at all!

Kudos to the Support Staff:
Stemming from my comment above about "relevant" items, I contacted Etsy when my Wooden Guest Books weren't showing up anywhere in the New Guest Book Category. I had my items listed in the proper category, so why weren't they showing up! I got a pretty generic response the first go around, but after my second email, I got a very detailed response that was helpful and did help my guest books show up. I knew that the first three words of our titles were the most important, but I didn't realize that they had to have the exact wording in them to show up in the new categories! I changed some titles to including "Wedding Guest Book" in the first 3-4 words and that seemed to do the trick. I added "personalized" "wooden" or "custom" to a few listings just so they wouldn't all be the same and that still seemed to be okay. Thank you to Etsy Support for taking the time to point this out and answer my emails.

I'll be interested to see how the new Wedding Pages do and if they bring me more/less traffic. What are your thoughts on the new categories?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Maiden Voyage 2012

On Saturday, we finally got to take the air boat on her Maiden Voyage for 2012! Jesse has been rebuilding the motor all winter and was really excited to test it out!

Here she is getting ready for the water!

She ran great! We took Jesse's brother for a ride too. I think he was just as excited about the new motor as Jesse was :) (Guys just crack me up sometimes!)

This is my favorite addition to the boat! This sticker was created complements of Memories for Life :) I cut the outside Chevy emblem with my laser and the inside Budweiser wording with my Cricut. We're both excited to see how it holds up on the boat!
All in all it was a great day. We didn't get to take a very long ride, but we know she runs and floats :) We're ready for the water to warm up and the temps to soar so we can spend all day on the river!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Treasury Thanks

It's that time again! Time to help me thank my curators from this week! I was honored to be featured in 6 treasuries this week! A big thanks to each of my made my day!
All treasuries are clickable, so check them out along with the curators items :)

Deb of StoryBeader is getting ready to go on a trip to Italy!!! So it was fitting for her to create a treasury called the big question is: what to pack? And she featured my XL Destination Scrapbook in her lovely treasury! I hope Deb brings one of her Handmade Journals with her to document her trip!

Heather of iHartFelt featured my Personalized Shot Glasses in her Salt & Pepper Treasury! Heather's super cute Owl Softies would go great in this treasury!

Sweetberrybags featured my Mother Word Album in their Mother's Day is Coming Treasury! My mom would love everything in their shop including this In The Pink Wristlet!

Dawn of DawnsCrochetShop featured my Wooden Photo Album in her Memories in Photos Treasury! Dawn's Apple Kitchen Set is so cute!

Corey of Moonsinger38 featured my Mother Word Album in her Unique Mother's Day Gifts - An Eclectic collection Gift Guide Treasury! Corey's Heart of Gold Pendant would fit nicely in this treasury!

Kathy of Tapestry316 featured my LOVE Word Album in her RED! Treasury! Kathy's Horse Watercolor Prints always put a smile on my face :)
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