Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Journal Update

I must admit...I've fallen a little bit behind on my journal! (Don't worry will be done!) I never thought March would be so busy! But with my craft show on Saturday (and the preparation leading up to it), wedding invitations for two weddings, and custom orders in between...I've been super busy!!!
Okay...enough excuses already! I have gotten a few more pages done though :) And I have thoroughly enjoyed working on it :) It has been so long since I've sat down and just created for fun! This journal has let me play again and use supplies I haven't used in a while. And the topics have been lots of fun to write about :)
Here are the pages I've done most recently:
I've been trying to use more colors than just pink, purple, and teal! I've added in some green, orange and yellow too :) I can't wait to sit down this week and finish my album! Now I just need to figure out exactly how I want the cover to look...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Has Spring Sprung???

It's amazing what you can find when you get outside! I tend to spend most (pretty much all) of my time inside. But yesterday I was outside doing some things and walked in front of the house and what did I see...
And a peek of what's to come :)
Does this mean spring has sprung? Here in Iowa we just never know. We've been known to have those early spring snow storms even into April! Though the weather has been spring-like so far: warmer weather and lots of rain. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is a sign of sunny days and even warmer weather :)
Has spring sprung in your neck of the woods?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Show Review

Yesterday was my Spring Show. I would have to call the day a success. It was hard not attending this show before. Or any spring show for that matter. I had no previous data to go off of for comparison, but I actually think that was a good thing :) We had no expectations going into the day and after we made our booth fees back...we figured it was a success!
I shared my booth with a friend that makes jewelry and some other home decor projects. We had a nice big area that fit all of our things nicely and gave us some room to work.
One thing we found out about spring shows...there is a lot going on in the spring! That same day there was a Home Show at a big convention center, a soccer tournament, a piano recital, and a dance competition just to name a few! As this may be helpful in getting people out and about, when there is so much to do, people are limited in their choices.
I do feel we had a lot of foot traffic, just not a lot of buyers. People were very quick to go by the booths and weren't carrying many bags. But I'm afraid this is probably a spring show trend.
We went ahead and signed up for this same show in the fall as we've heard it's a big show with lots of shoppers :) We also have another spring show on May 1 and 2. This is another new show, so I'll be interested to see how it turns out as well :)
I hope those of you doing shows are having much success!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Some Girls Have All The Luck

And lately it's been me!!! Well...with blog giveaways anyway :)
Yup...I won another one!
This time it was a $25 gift certificate to Future Heirloom Designs!!! I love gift certificates because then you get to choose your prize! I chose this lovely Blue Acrylic Cabochon Gunmetal Adjustable Ring!
And of course I have to show you her packaging :) This is always a biggie for me...the presentation. And this one is great :)
I also recently received a $20 credit to NextDirect for voting for their next model. I am fairly happy with the necklace I chose, but wouldn't be had I paid full price. One of the yarn wrapped beads is already coming undone. And the package had a huge tear in it that the box the necklace was in could have easily fallen out of!
This is why I always show how lovely Etsians package their items :) It shows that small businesses take the extra step to make sure each detail is seen to. And the extras they add aren't too bad either :) I received a 15% off coupon for my next purchase with Future Heirloom that's customer service!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Features-Pastels of Spring

Spring time always has me thinking of pastels. The color of flowers blooming and Easter eggs being dyed...pastels are what Spring is all about.
And when my latest Custom Album order was for these beautiful pastels...I knew I wasn't the only one with this train of thought :)
Etsy also has great pastel finds! After the long winter, everyone is ready for Spring and ready for some great color and great Etsy items :)
Happy Spring :) Enjoy the finds!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring Show

I have my first Spring craft show on Saturday!!! I've never done a Spring show and I'm excited to see how it goes.
I've been told that Spring shows don't get the sales or shoppers like Fall shows, so I'm keeping this in mind going into the day. Also, I have never attended this venue before either. They have a Fall show that does really well, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this one goes well too!!!
If you're in the Council Bluffs, Iowa area, stop by the Lewis Central High School and say hi :) I'll be in the Lobby (Office Commons) area.
Stay tuned Sunday for a full report of the show :) I hope I have great news to share with you!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fun with Google Analytics

Google Analytics for your Etsy Shop can be both fun and useful. It gives you information about shoppers, search results and other data regarding your shop.
The other day I was browsing around and came across a fun tool in Google Analytics. It tells you both where in the world your visitors are coming from as well as what states they are coming from within the United States.
From your dashboard you will see the Map Overlay section. If you click on View Report, it will give you the break down for the globe. I'm not surprised that a large majority of my results are from the United States. It is nice to know that Canada and the United Kingdom are my next two highest results though.
When you click on the United States, it gives you this map and the results by state.
California and Texas are my top two results. These are large states as well as very populated states, so these results don't surprise me. I am very happy to see that my home state of Iowa is #3 :) I am also happy to see that my parent's state of Michigan made the top 10 list as well :)
I found this information fun to play with and look at, but it is also very useful information. With Canada as my second rated country for views, I should look more into items specific for this country. I could easily make a Canada Word Album! Or a Simply Stunning Red and White Album with a maple leaf on the front!
Have you checked your Google Analytics lately? What was the section you found the most fun or most useful?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Treasury Time

A big Thanks to Storybeader for including my Recipe Books in her latest Treasury :)
Deb from Storybeader on Etsy offers both beautiful jewelry as well as handmade books in her shop! Here are two of my faves:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

EtsyBloggers Journal Swap-#23

I didn't get an update done about my journal this week. Things have been crazy and I haven't had time to photograph my latest entries. So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to complete #23 and blog about a favorite item from my swap mate's shop :)
Let me tell's always hard to choose favorites! And Erika makes so many cute things! I chose to blog about one of Erika's dolls.
Chloe is not only my favorite because of her fun patterns and great colors. She's also my favorite because of her story and what she represents :) You can read Chloe's story here. And Erika donates part of her proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Chloe is beautiful both inside and out...this is why she is my favorite :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring in Iowa

Happy First Day of Spring!!!
Ah...Spring :) Days of warmer weather. Flowers blooming. More time outside. Well...maybe for most of you! Here in Iowa...our Spring looks a little different. This is what I woke up to this morning:
Thursday the tempurature was over 60 degrees...and now this! I guess that's just Iowa weather for ya...LOL :)
Have a great first day of matter your weather :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Features-Luck of the Irish

I hope the luck of the Irish was with you this past Wednesday as you celebrated St. Patrick's Day :)
It was sure with me as I went searching on Etsy to find some great St. Patrick's Day finds!!! Check out these goodies!!!
(All of her work is so stunning!!!) Real Four Leaf Clover Pendant

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful everyday for my EtsyBloggers Team and teammates :) And today I want to send out an extra special Thank You to my teammate Ruthie :)
Each month Ruthie hosts a contest on her blog to see who leaves the most comments. She gives away gift certificates to her Etsy Shop and I've gotten so many awesome pieces of jewelry there!
I won a gift certificate back in December and hadn't used it yet. I knew Ruthie was going to be adding new rings to her shop and I just had to have one! In the meantime, I also won a gift certificate in February! (Previous winners aren't eligible for one month.) WooHoo...this meant I got a cool new ring and a pair of pink earrings :)
The minute I opened the package I put on the ring...and it fit like a dream! I worked in it all day making scrapbooks and never even noticed it was there. It so comfy and lays flat on my finger! And it's the perfect thickness too...not too tall I can't close my finger, but large enough you see lots of color :)
This Thursday I am thankful for a friend like Ruthie :)
Who are you thankful for?

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tag...I'm It!

My friend and fellow EtsyBloggers teammate Sharla from BeadedTail tagged me in a fun bloggy game :)
The rules are easy...Open the first photo folder, scroll down to the 10th photo, post that photo and tell the story behind it, then tag 5 more bloggers.
This photo is of my mom's clematis plant. Isn't it beautiful!!! She sent me this photo to print and show to my grandma. My grandma loved it so much she turned it into a postcard :)
I admire my mom's garden every time we visit. All of her flowers are gorgeous! And she has something new every time we are there :) I love all the color in her back yard!
Now for the tagging...I always bad at this part! So I tag each of my readers :) I have such a hard time limiting it to just 5, so all of you are tagged! If you choose to participate, just leave me a link...I'd love to see your photos :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Simple and Elegant

The way a wedding invitation should be :)
I have been working on my cousin's wedding invitations this week and I just love how they are coming together! His fiance picked the prettiest, classiest colors! I love the dark gray with hints of green and white!
We had a lot of fun designing these together! And Saturday we are going to have a girl's day to assemble them all :)
I've also been working on my best friend's invitations and once we get the right color of paper, I'll show you those as well. Coral is such a hard color to match...but I think we've finally found THE paper :)
Okay...lots of printing and cutting to get to...have a great day :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Craft Shows

Yesterday I attended a craft a shopper! This is a first for me...I'm usually a vendor. This was a show I had planned on selling at, but my booth partner wasn't allowed to bring her jewelry due to show limitations on that category. So we both decided to skip the selling and do some shopping :)
We had never been to this show before and had been told it was a Big show with High End we wanted to see if we could even compete. We were sadly disappointed with the show! It wasn't near as big as I had imagined...we were out of there in just over an hour! And the selection didn't seem very high end either. There were many nice things, just nothing that we couldn't make ourselves.
I think you go into a craft show with a different eye when you are a crafter yourself. You know how much supplies cost, you know how much time something takes, you know what's handmade and what's not, etc.
One thing I noticed and am still confused about was the paper crafters. There was only one paper crafter there and she sold framed pieces and no scrapbooks at all. This makes me wonder if other scrapbookers have tried and not done well in the past? Or if this is a great untapped resource where my items will do really well?
I have a show coming up on March 27th and also one on May 1st and 2nd. I will be anxious to see how well these shows go so I can start making plans for the fall shows. All three of the locations mentioned have fall shows, so I will attend these two and make my decisions after that. Something inside me still wants to attend that "big" show, but for the price, I think the smaller shows are a better option.
Stay tuned for more craft show updates and info :)
And drop me a comment about your craft show experiences!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I'm a Winner!!!

Tweet, you hear that little birdie outside my window? Not only are the birds starting to show up outside...they are showing up in my mail box too!!!
Look at these cute Twitter Love Bird Earrings!
And of course I have to show off the cute package and hand-written note Lin of FlauntDesignsJewelry sent me :) I'm a sucker for a hand-written note...that's why I send one with each of my packages as well :)
I was fortunate enough to win these earrings on a blog giveaway and after checking out Liz's shop...I'm stalking these awesome Pink Earrings as well!!!
Thanks a bunch Liz...I've been needing a pair of silver earrings...and these are just too cute!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Features-Gone Wild

This past week has me thinking of animals and the zoo :) I won a stuffed penguin in a giveaway, I made a super cute Baby Album in a jungle theme, and my employer is talking about a zoo outing this summer!!!
Isn't this album lots of fun :) The baby's nursery is decorated in a jungle theme, so they wanted an album to match!
My EtsyBlogger friends also have some awesome animal/zoo/jungle themed items in their shops too! Check out these great finds:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Closet Transformation

We have this closet in our hallway that held odds and ends, but nothing special really. The drawers had boxes and gift wrap for birthdays and Christmas. And the upper part had random sheets, blankets and pillows.
I decided that this area could be better used for my light box and other supplies that aren't used often. I thought I would store my light box up top and get it out when I needed it. Of course it wouldn't fit where I wanted it, but that turned out to be a good thing :) I put the light box on the bottom and I can leave it there to take pictures!!! I don't have to get it out, set up a table, get out the lights, etc. The lights are stored on the top shelf and all I have to do is set them down on the light box and I'm ready to go!!!
I haven't taken very many photos with it in this closet, but I sure hope they turn out okay! This is awesome! It freed up space in my scrapbook room and made it easier to take photos!!! I love when things work out like this!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

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