Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Features - Finishing Touches

As my studio gets closer and closer to being completed, I'm starting to think of all the little finishing touches to make the room come together. We started installing my cupboards this week and now I need to find cute drawer pull and door knobs. Of course I'll go with pink :) Here are some of my top choices...enjoy!


Clockwise from top left:

Which is your favorite?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Super Easy Boot Cuff Tutorial

Ever since buying my first pair of skinny jeans back in November, I've been on the lookout for cute boots and boot cuffs to wear with them. Then I realized I could make a pair of cuffs myself. I'm not sure I can claim this as a tutorial as there are only 2 supplies and not much for instructions. But I thought maybe this is something some of you hadn't thought of so I thought I'd share :)

Super Easy Boot Cuffs
1.Find yourself a cute pair of socks hanging out in your drawer.

2. Cut the socks so you have a nice wide strip of material. This pair of socks was short, so I used the piece between the heel and toe. A longer pair of socks would work great and you could just cut above heel.

3. Put your new cuff on over your jeans. (3b. Realize how hard it is to take a picture of your leg/foot.)

4. Admire your new boot cuffs along with your cute new boots :)

Okay, I told you it was a pretty simple "tutorial"!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Valentine's Day...Already?

I don't know about you, but didn't we just get done with Christmas! My gosh, I can't believe Valentine's Day is just around the corner! I relisted some of my wooden cards from last year and I've already sold several. Which told me I better get my butt in gear and get the rest of my items listed! Shoppers are on top of their game this year.
 From last year, I've relisted the Double Heart Card, Deer Card and Mustache Card...all of which are doing well again this year :)

And just last night I got a few more items listed like this Love Is...You and Me photo album. This can also be personalized.

I'm also working on a Valentine's Day DIY using some red acrylic and thought some red heart earrings and cuff links would make fun Valentine's Day accessories.

Are you ready for Valentine's Day? Are you still stuck in December like I am?

Monday, January 27, 2014

USPS Rate Increases

Effective today, the US Postal Service will be raising rates again. Luckily they're not as drastic as last year, but there are some significant changes. Etsy has put together a pretty good graph of the most effected areas for domestic and international shipping changes.

The rates that I'm seeing the most significant changes to are stamps themselves, going from 46 cents to 49 cents. And 1-3 oz First Class Packages going from $1.69 to $1.93. Small flat rate boxes will also go up 10 cents.

Luckily Etsy makes it very easy for sellers to make changes to their shipping profiles. On the left hand side of the page there is a category labeled Shipping Profiles. From there, you will see all the profiles you have created. On the right hand side there is a place to edit your profiles.

Once you click edit, you can make the necessary changes to your profile and edit all of your listings in this shipping profile at once.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Features - Pink & Teal

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for Spring! This winter has been brutal and I for one and ready to move on to warmer temps and prettier colors. So today's features on all of my favorite color combo, pink & teal, which I think is perfect to get us in the mood for Spring! Enjoy...

Clockwise from top left:

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

2014 Plans - A Year of Growth

I've had a really hard time putting together my goals for this coming year. I've brainstormed ideas and written a few things down, but I still don't have a list of goals like I've had in the past. I guess that's actually a good thing. I'm really happy with how my business is going and I just hope to continue with the same success I've had. But I also know that standing still will get you nowhere in the business world. That's why I'm dubbing this year The Year of Growth. I don't have big new plans, I just want to grow in the things I'm already doing well.

Sorry for the terrible color/lighting!
As you've seen, one of my first plans for growth is in space. My business has outgrown this tiny spare bedroom and deserves a space of its own. Things are coming together so nicely and I'll be moving into my new studio in no time!

Another area where I plan to grow my business is with a part time employee. During the summer I plan to hire someone to help with all the little things that take away from my creating time. I've been making a list of things this person could possibly do for me like packing orders and printing/cutting business cards. Depending on who I hire and what their skills are, there may be other things they could do like cut guest book pages or even load/unload the laser. I hope to have this person up to speed by mid-October to help with the holiday rush.

And my last area of growth I'm planning to focus on is with my equipment/machinery. I'm debating between a second laser (bigger, faster!) or a whole new type of machine. With a second laser, I could have one dedicated to glass and the other to wood. Or just double up on jobs. Some new ideas I've thrown around are a sublimation machine so I could print color photos on tiles, phone cases, coasters...you name it. I've also looked into a CNC plasma cutter. It's a lot like my laser, but it will cut metal! The only downside is that it would have to go in the shed...fumes, gas, air compressor, etc. So I still have a lot of thinking to do in this area.

So for 2014, I'm not setting any specific goals. I will be carrying over some of the goals I had in 2013, but rather than goals, I'm just making them part of my routine. (like staying up-to-date on taxes) It feels pretty great to be in a place in my business where I don't have tons of goals I still need to accomplish. So here's to my Year of Growth!

Today's post was written for the January BBA Challenge of Plans for the New Year.
Want to join our team...see our team page here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Christmas Ornaments 2013

One item I sold a lot of during the 2013 holiday rush was Wooden Photo Ornaments. These have continued to do well since I first introduced them and I absolutely love making them. All holiday season my inbox gets filled with adorable babies and fun family photos. I've broken down the photos into 4 categories so the slide shows don't get too long. I hope you enjoy :)

Baby Ornaments
video
What's better than a smiling baby :) I have so much fun engraving their beautiful faces!

Memorial Ornaments
video

I plan on adding a new group of ornaments for 2014. I had several requests for memorial ornaments and I am honored each time I get to make such a special item for someone. This year I had two women have me engrave ornaments for their brothers who had passed way. While this was very difficult, it was also very rewarding. I'm glad I can provide this service.

Pet Ornaments
video

It might be a toss up between cute babies and cute pets :) I did several more pets, but cannot find the files...ugh. But these are some of the best.

Couples, Families and a House
video
These ornaments are popular for wedding photos and family photos. And I even got to engrave a couple's first home this year. I love how it turned out and plan on adding this ornament option to my shop as well.

Which is your favorite?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Looking Back at 2013 - Goal Setting

via
As January rolls on and 2014 starts to settle in, I want to take a look back at last year's goals as I start to finalize my goals for this year. I always like seeing how I did last year and reassess what worked and what didn't. It helps me to have a clear path of where I want to be this year.

Last year I broke my goals into Short-Term, Mid-Term and Long-Term Goals. In this post I just want to take a look back. And later this week, I'll post my goals for the rest of 2014.

Short-Term Goals
Heart Earrings
Stay up-to-date on my cost log and tax info: I will say that I did fairly well in this area. Since I started doing quarterly self-employment taxes this year, I pretty much had to stay up-to-date in order to have a close idea of what to pay for taxes. I didn't keep up monthly, but did keep up quarterly. (big exception in the 4th quarter!)

Learn about self-employment taxes:As I mentioned above, I did do these quarterly. They were actually pretty simple. I just pulled the numbers from my cost log and sales log and made the proper calculations. My tax preparer had printed off the vouchers for the entire year, so I had all the dates and addresses I need.

List the jewelry items that I have made: I'll give myself a B- here. I got a lot of the jewelry listed that I had on hand at the time. But I've amassed even more items that still need photographed and listed!

Mid-Term Goals
Ampersand Invitation
Make and list new wood invitation and wood greeting card designs: My goal here was to list 5 new invitations and 5 new cards. I completed the invitations very early in the year (woohoo!) and did a great job on the cards. I had some Mother's Day and Father's Day designs ready to make, but with family issues, never got them listed. So this year I have them all ready and will have them in the shop.

 Add wedding sets: Another goal only half accomplished. I actually made RSVP cards for several of my designs...even photographed some of them. But never got them listed in the shop...ugh. I did get some new table number designs listed. I really hope to get these up and running this year.

Organize my storage space and work area: Hmmm...if by organize, I meant take over the whole house...mission accomplished! As my business has grown, it's been so hard to find a place for everything and stay organized! Once my new studio is complete, I will have more space than I can ever fill (well, almost) plus some of the old space. It will be so much easier to stay organized with the proper space and shelving!

Long-Term Goals
Custom Ornament
1,200 Sales on Etsy in 2013: I'm so excited to give myself an A+ in this category! I totally underestimated my business (which is a good thing). I had 2,244 sales in 2013!!! And 376 in the month of December alone...holy cow! This totally blows my mind and makes me so happy all at the same time!

Learn about graphic design: While I did learn more about my graphic design software, I didn't take any formal classes like I had hoped. I seem to learn something new every day though, so I'm working toward my goal. I would still love to take at least an entry level class to learn more about the actual design process.

Overall, the year was an amazing success. There are still areas I need to work on, but I couldn't be happier with how my business did in 2013. Now it's time to look ahead and think of all the great things to come in 2014!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Features - Garnet

Happy Birthday to all the January babies out there :) January's birthstone is the garnet. I love it's deep, rich color and enjoyed finding beautiful jewelry finds for you today. Enjoy!

Clockwise from top left:

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2013 - Year In Review

 I've enjoyed reading several Year in Review posts from fellow bloggers and decided to do one of my own. It was fun looking back through the year via old posts and photos. 2013 was quite a challenging year for me and my family, but there were also several great events and things to celebrate. Have a look back with me :)

January
I was contacted by a company called Umba Box to have my Woodland Magnets included in one of their monthly boxes! A great way to start the year!

February
I was featured on A Paper Proposal after one of my clients had their wedding featured on the site. I was given a free month of advertising...woohoo!

It was also Harley's 7th birthday!

March
We brought home our baby calf. Wow, has it been almost a year already...I need to get an update pic! He's the chattiest calf we've ever had!

April
April was a very difficult month. My brother's passing is the hardest thing I've ever experienced. I think of him everyday! And being an only child is a whole new experience for me.

But April was also a good month. I celebrated my 30th birthday and had a great day!

May
I got my first (and maybe only!) tattoo! A Freebird in honor of my brother.

June
After etching beer mugs for an organization that raises money for children by growing mustaches, I was invited to their awards ceremony Stashe Bash.

July
We broke ground for my new studio!!! I still can't believe it's almost done!

August
I was featured in Bead Chat Magazine after sending some of my wooden buttons for designers to use in their pieces.

September
Girl's Trip to visit my parents. I hope we can make this an annual event!

My parents also celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary!

October
Even after Jesse's surgery, we made awesome progress on my new studio!

November
My dad celebrated his 60th Birthday!

And a picture of my "sister" (Jesse's brother's girlfriend) Melissa and I at Thanksgiving.

December
 Record sales in my Etsy shop. I am definitely hiring help next year!

Though I'm happy to see 2013 come to an end, it was nice to look back on all the good things that happened in 2013 as well.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Studio Update - Getting Close

Wow, after looking back at my last Studio Update post, I really dropped the ball on updates and photos of the studio progress. The good news is, it's come a LONG WAY since my last update. Above is a photo of my last update.

And here is what it looks like now! Jesse, our friends and family have been so awesome the last few months helping to get us to this point!

Dry walling happening as I type this!
I'm not sure if I'd ever mentioned how big the addition will be, but hopefully you can tell from the photos above that it's HUGE! My new studio will be almost the same size as the whole rest of our house!!!

7' x 7' Bathroom
What's been accomplished:
*Sheeting on the rafters and walls
*House wrap (siding will come in Spring)
*Metal roof DONE! Including soffit and fascia (still need gutters)
*Wiring run, but not hooked up yet
*Spray foam insulation on the inside
*Bathroom built
*Dry wall hung (contractor is mudding, taping and painting right now!)

Window will become a door
Still to be done:
*Hook up wiring
*Cut out window, install door between existing studio and new studio
*Flooring (bought, just needs installed)
*Trim (bought, just needs installed)
*Cabinets, counter top and sink (on order)
*MOVE IN!!!

I'm hoping to be moved in within the next month! I am SO excited!!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Features - New Year Motivation

Friday Features are back for 2014! As each new year begins, I always seem to look for words of wisdom, some motivation and encouragement. And since I'll soon have a new studio to decorate (update post coming Monday!), I went searching for motivational art prints (and a coaster) for my new studio. Here are my faves...
  



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