Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Color Combos

Making new Custom Word Albums means getting to play with new color combos :) That's one thing I love about the custom albums...all the new possibilities!
Typically I get stuck on light pink and white for baby girl albums. But for this album, she wanted it to match the baby's nursery...so we went with lavender and light green. A lovely combo!
And black and white is no new combo for wedding albums, but I love how the hot pink in this one really makes it Pop! It gives the album lots of personality and a fun look :)
Don't forget today is the last day to enter my March Giveaway. Winner will be announced tomorrow along with a new giveaway for April :)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekly Feature

I got so excited about being part of the Artisans Challenge this week, that I almost forgot to post my Weekly Feature today! This week I have for you my HOME Word Album. I like this album because you can put so many different photos in it. They don't have to be from the same event. They don't have to be from the same year. Everything happens in the home...you can put any photos you like in it :) And one of my favorite features is the "O" cut in the shape of a house. I think it adds a nice touch :) The album measures 4"x12" and is made of heavy-duty chipboard for a nice sturdy album. You can visit my Etsy Shop to see this album and others like it...or just Buy Now from my blog :) Also...if you get time, I'd appreciate your vote here. And don't forget my March Giveaway ends tomorrow...there's still time to enter :)

Artisans Challenge!!!

My Custom Name or Word Album has been chosen to be part of the Artisans Challenge at Blockhead Radio!!! I was super excited to get the email :)
I would love your vote for my album :) It's super easy to vote and there are so many great items to check out! You can vote in each category each week.
The cool part is...if I win my category this week...I go into the Weekly Challenge next week to compete against all of this week's winners! Yay!!!
So stop on over and cast your vote :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wind and Hail and Snow OH MY!!!

Forget Lions and Tigers and Bears...here in Iowa this week we've had Wind and Hail and Snow...Oh My! I think Iowa must have missed the update that it is officially Spring now! Maybe I need to send an email and they'll get the message :) A fellow EtsyBlogger, Ms. Moo, referred to it as Spring being Hi-jacked...I couldn't agree more!
Here are a few pics I took out my studio window this morning:
I wasn't able to get any pics of the hail we had because it continued to pour down rain after the hail ended and melted all the hail. It was quite scary! I thought the windows in my studio were going to bust in...that would have been one big mess!!! The next day after the hail, the wind was bad again and the chimney fell off the roof! I heard a big thud and then saw something rolling around in the yard! Ugh!
This sure has been on interesting week for weather! I just hope it turns around soon and I can get out and enjoy some nice weather!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Feature...DesignByNora

Our featured EtsyBlogger for March is the talented Nora of DesignByNora. Nora has a BA in Art, concentrating on Graphic Design...but she makes really cute polymer clay earrings too!
Also in Nora's shop are purses made by her uncle. This is my fave!
On Nora's blog you will find Question of the Day posts as well as What's New? Wednesday's. For her Wednesday posts...she features Etsians who have less than 10 sales and helps to promote them...how cool is that :)
Please stop by Nora's shop and blog and check out her great work!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spending Time :)

Aren't we just cute :) That's me and my brother. He's been in town the last few days and I've been spending as much time with him as I can. He actually lives in the same town I do, but has been away for work. He was stationed in a town about 4 hours from home and I hadn't seen him since Christmas. Now he is leaving for Texas (about 10-12 hrs. away) today and doesn't know when he'll be home next!
It's hard having family so far from home. My parents are 10 hours north in Michigan and now my brother will be 10 hours south in Texas. My whole life I grew up with my entire family close by...with in 10 miles of each other! It sure is different being so far apart. Not getting to see one another more than a handful of times each year. I may not get to see my parents until Christmas this year...a whole year without seeing them...so not fair!!!
But this is why I cherish the time I do have with my family. When my parents come back I spend every single day with them. Where they go...I go. What they do...I do. When you don't know when you'll see them next, you savor every minute you have. It will be hard to say goodbye to my brother today! I just wish I knew when I'd see him again next! But we'll spend today together and I'll give him a hug and send him on his way :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Add your blog to Facebook

I just found another new application today on Facebook. I am able to add my blog and get followers through there as well. It was very easy to set up and add to my profile :)
and my screenshot:
They require you to add their widget to your blog for verification that you own the blog, but you can remove it after verification. I decided to remove mine since I already have a widget for followers. I wish they offered a smaller widget because the one they have is rather large. I know it takes more time to download blogs with many widgets, so I want to only add widgets that are useful to my blog.
Have you found any new applications lately? What is your favorite? Do you think this will be a useful tool? Let me hear it :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekly Feature

Thanks to my friend Ruthie at RoseWorksJewelry, I was able to add a new widget to my side bar today. I have decided to do a weekly feature showing off one of my items from my Etsy Shop. I had previously had a paypal store widget, but didn't like that it had so much info at once...and I wasn't sure how (of if I could) add different shipping costs for different destinations. This new widget allows me to feature just one item at a time and keep it fresh with a new item each week :) You can see Ruthie's tutorial here and add your own Buy Now widget to your blog.
Here is my first Featured Item Of The Week. I chose my Custom Word or Name Album first because it is my most popular item in my store :) Everyone loves that they can get an album personalized just the way they want it. And they make great gifts too!!!
I was able to add three separate shipping costs as well...love that :) So let me know what you think. Do you like this option better/worse? Am I giving enough info about the item? Are there other options you use that you like better? I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Glorious Spring!!!

Yippee...the first day of Spring :) Even though today was only 55, the wind was blowing and the skies were cloudy...I was still in an upbeat mood just knowing it was the first day of Spring!
And then I went to get the mailbox and came across this little guy!
We redid the dirt work around our house last fall and had to tear out all the flowers to do so. I just figured I'd redo them this year. But to my surprise, this strong little trooper made it through all the work and replanted himself :) It sure was a nice surprise to find him sitting there in the dirt. It was as if he was yelling to me...Look At Me...Look At Me!!! A yellow beauty amongst all that brown :)
This is one of the many things I think of when I think of Spring...The first sign of flowers. The birds have been chirping, the grass has started to turn green in areas, the temperatures are warming, and I am dying to get outside...yup...spring is in the air :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

One Year of Blogging :)

I took a peek at my profile the other day and realized that I've been blogging for a whole year now! Wow...it sure does go fast! I would have never thought I'd have that much to say...I should have known better :) I thought I'd share with you a few things I learned while looking through my profile as well as a few things I've learned about blogging over the last year. What the last year has held:
  • In 2008 I blogged 69 times. In 2009 I have already blogged 45 times. This shows me that I am getting more comfortable with my blog. I am finding things I want to share. And I am figuring out what my readers like :)
  • In March of 2008 I had 9 posts. For March 2009 I am already on post #13! And it's only the 19th of the month. Not bad...13 out of 19 days...I'm making major improvements in my frequency of blogging :)
  • I have 52 followers and counting! This makes me feel good about my blogging :)
  • As you can see from above, I've learned to blog more often. I know I am not able to blog everyday, so I aim for every other day...at the least. If you don't blog for days or weeks at a time, people will get tired of returning to see the same old post. Keep it up-to-date and fresh :)
  • Learn as you go. I have added items to my side bar, removed them, added new ones, and I keep working with it to see what people enjoy seeing and show what I find important.
  • I joined the EtsyBloggers Street Team :) This is one fun team to be a part of. We interact through our message board and the Etsy forums. We keep up-to-date on each others' lives, congratulate each other, give words of encouragement, and send (((hugs))) in times of need :) A great group of gals!!!
  • I have started hosting contests this year. Each month I have a new contest. I like to keep them simple...visit my store and tell me what you like...simple as that. I also add other ways to enter that are also simple :) You can enter my current contest here.
  • I have also started adding more personal info to my blog. When I first started out, I was going to keep it strictly Etsy. But I've learned that readers want to know the artist behind the work. So I try to keep a nice mix of my work, my life, and everything in between :)

So...what do you think? Have I done well in the last year? Where is there room for improvement? What would you like to see that I'm not showing or telling you? Leave me a comment...I read them all and LOVE to hear from you :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thanks for the Inspiration!!!

I have to thank Bri at TheCraftBegins for the inspiration behind this new layout :) I entered one of her blog contests and unfortunately did not win. You want to know the cool part though...she sent me a consolation prize just for entering!!! How thoughtful was that!
She actually sent me a felted pin...but you know me...I made it into a scrapbook embellishment :) The colors of the flower were the inspiration for the color combo on this layout. I hardly ever use these colors, but they were so great for a page about our spring walk that it was just too perfect!
I used scalloped cardstock for the base of the page to add a little fun detail. The next layer is patterned paper and then another layer of cardstock. I traced a punched circle and cut it out by hand to make the orange scallop borders on the top and bottom of the green cardstock. I used lots of cute buttons and flowers to go along with the flower that Bri sent and made sure to put everything in visual triangles. The felted flower, the flower at the top right corner, and the flowers at the bottom left corner all create a visual triangle. Also, the buttons do the same thing. The buttons at the top right, bottom left, and then the one in the middle of my O for the title. This is something I always try and do on my pages to draw the viewers eye into the page :)
I was so glad I created this page :) I may have photos from 5 years ago that need scrapbooked still, but these more recent photos were more inspiring and I wanted to get them put together. Did you know that's okay? To scrapbook out of order? Of course it is! There are no rules to scrapbooking remember...just have fun :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Grandma Mary

I've been away from my computer for quite a few days now. I have found in the last week that there are far more important things than sitting at the computer pretending to be busy....like spending time with family!
This past Thursday, my boyfriend's grandma passed away. I was so glad that we had gone to see her on Wednesday night. And I was glad the whole family could be there when she went. She was surrounded by so much love it was an amazing event.
Being with Jesse now for over 9 years, I considered Grandma Mary as my own grandma. She was an extremely special lady...a true one-of-a-kind! She was the kind of grandma that everyone met and wanted as their own! She had great taste in clothing, she drank Busch Lite, she always had something funny to say, and she could put a smile on your face at any given time! I am so fortunate to have had her in my life :)
Even though I am extremely saddened by this event, I am happy she did not have to suffer. I am happy to have known her. I am happy she raised such wonderful children to continue her legacy. I am happy we got to celebrate her life the night of her passing. I am happy to have SO MANY fond memories of her :) And I am happy I can call her Grandma!!!
So even though I know our computers are important and necessary...go visit a loved one now and then! I know I will be going to see my own grandparents today!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

Celebrate in Style...Custom Birthday Albums!!!

I've got birthdays on the brain :) Two of my friends and I just finalized plans for our birthday party in less than a month!!! I don't know about you, but every birthday is special to me...and deserves a party :) I'm not having what some would call a special birthday (16, 21, 30, 40, etc.) but it's special to me and that's all that matters, right?
So in honor of birthdays on the brain...I've added Custom Birthday Word Albums to my Etsy Shop!!! This way any birthday can be special for you too! They make the best gifts too ya know :)
Need ideas for albums:
*Or in my case HAPPY26!
Go ahead...celebrate all your birthdays! You deserve it :)

Blog Candy...Creating From The Heart!

Another fabulous giveaway from Creating From the Heart!!! I just love Melissa's giveaways! How could I not...she's giving away my favorite stuff...scrapbooking supplies!!! Go here to see what you could win :) Good Luck!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Framed Scrapbooks

I was so excited when a fellow EtsyBlogger, BeadedTail, asked me to make her some scrapbook pages she could frame! This is something I have been thinking of doing for quite some time, but just haven't figured out exactly how I want to sell them.
For these pages, she just emailed me her photos and I created the pages from there. She chose to buy her own frames so shipping would be less expensive. I made them 8"x10" so they would fit a standard frame.
I have also thought about selling 12"x12" pages and providing the frames...since this isn't a common frame size except in the scrapbooking world :) But this will add to the price as well as the shipping cost.
So I am still at a loss of how to go about selling my framed pages. Do I premake the pages in common themes like Family, Baby, and Wedding? Or do I sell them as custom orders? My custom albums always sell way better than my premade ones and I am wondering if the framed pages will be the same way? Do I stick to common sizes for frames so people can buy their own frames if they choose?
I hope to put some framed pages in my shop sometime in the near future. It might not be something I do right away, as I am working on a couple of really big custom projects right now for graduations. I would love to hear your feedback on this topic and how you think I should go about selling my framed pages. Thanks a bunch!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Colors of Spring!

Lately I have noticed a shift in colors in my Custom Albums. Over winter people were requesting darker shades like navy, hunter green, and maroon. Lately though I've noticed people asking for more spring-like colors...pink, purple, teal. I think everyone has spring on the brain! I know I sure do today...63 degrees for a high!!! Hello Spring!
I thought I'd share my latest albums so you can see what spring looks like in the scrapbooking world :) Working with fun, happy colors puts me in a good mood too :) How can you not be happy looking at these fun albums!!!
What colors do you attach to certain seasons? Do you find yourself seeking out certain colors for certain seasons? I will definitely be paying more attention to this in my albums to see if people continue to ask for brighter colors for spring and summer :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Good Day for Baking :)

I've been wanting to do a little baking for a couple of weeks now. I'm no pro...that's for sure! I'm pretty much a stick to the directions, do exactly as they say kind of girl. In fact these chocolate chip cookies are about as extravagant as I get...but they taste great :) I enjoy baking more than I do cooking for some reason. Maybe it's because I eat about half the batter before I actually get the cookies made :) I have a huge sweet tooth and just can't help but snack while I'm waiting to put the next batch in the over. Hey...I want to make sure they taste okay :) What have you been baking lately? Do you enjoy baking or cooking more? Drop me a note and let me know :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Much Fun!!!

What better way to bring in March than with a snowmobile ride :) Last year I didn't get to ride my sled at all, so I've been extra happy that I've gotten to ride it twice this year :) I didn't get very many pics last time because Jesse's sled broke down before we got much riding in!
Yesterday we met up with a friend of ours and did some riding! We had a blast playing in the ditches and climbing the banks along the highway! And I got tons of pics :)
Here are a few of my favorites:
The red sled is Jesse and the white sled is our friend Jeff. None are of me...because I'm always behind the camera! I need to work on that more! I wish I could have gotten just one of myself so you could see my helmet. I have a pink mohawk that sticks to the top of my helmet with suction cups...it's so cool :) And that way everyone knows it's a girl on that sled :)
Hope you're enjoying the weather where ever you are :) I had fun on my sled...but I'm looking forward to it being 60 degrees on Thursday :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March Giveaway Announced!!!

With a new month comes a new giveaway!
First off I'd like to thank those of you who entered last month's contest and congratulate Linda at lindab142 for winning my Lucky Card!
This month I have a 6-pack of Thank You Cards up for grabs! They measure 3"x5" and come with envelopes. They are made of heavy textured cardstock and have patterned paper, paper flowers, and a rhinestone on each. They are handstamped with Thanks. You will get two of each color: purple, pink and blue.
So....here they are!
This month I am offering 3 ways to win...after all it is the 3rd month!
Entry 1: Go to my Etsy Store and tell me what your favorite item is and why.
Entry 2: Tell me what you would like to see in my store next.
Entry 3: Tell me if these cards were in my shop...would you buy them...and at what price. Please be honest...I need your input!
Please leave a separate comment for each entry :)
Contest starts today and will run until March 31. Winner will be announced April 1st...no joke :) Good Luck :)
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