Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May's Featured EtsyBlogger

Beware...Doggy Cuteness Ahead!!!

This month's Featured EtsyBlogger is Nancy from NanjoDogz. Nancy has a shop full of super cute doggies in the form of polymer clay beads. Her work is amazing! And she gives them all "puppy dog eyes" making them so hard to resist! Her shop is like a walk through the pet shop...and you can bring them ALL home :)

Here are a few of my favorites...

Black Pomeranian Pandora Polymer Clay Dog Bead - Charm

(of course I'm going to show you the Pomeranian!!!)
Boston Terrier Polymer Clay Dog Plaque with Art Print
(How cool is this! Her doggy prints are just as cute as her beads)
And don't forget to stop by Nancy's blog to congratulate her and check out her latest cuties :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day to all my readers :)
This has been a wonderful holiday weekend! I got to see my entire extended family and spend lots of time with my parents! We got to grill out, eat out, visit friends and just sit and relax :)
I've noticed a theme lately with each holiday. No matter the actual reason of the holiday, family is the core theme :)
I'll be taking a little time today to thank our military for all the wonderful things they do for us! I cannot imagine a life without our freedoms!!! And I'll be taking time to remember our family and friends who have passed too early.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Features - Summer Lovin'

Well, right now it feels like summer is ages away here in Iowa! Rain, wind, cold...yikes! But luckily anytime I need a little dose of summer, I just click on over to Etsy for some Summer Lovin' :)
This week's features are brought to us by the EtsyBloggers Team and our weekly team treasury!
All items are click-able...so check 'em all out up close :)
Hope Summer is just around the corner!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Life In Photos

I'm one of those people that could sit and look at photos for hours! I get out a box of old pictures and I just get lost. All the good times, the memories, the clothes and hair styles! It is so fun to look back. And I think this is what got me into scrapbooking the most. I really enjoy the creative process, but I love the photos the most :) I wanted to bring my love of photos to my laser engraving as well. I've already added Etched Glass Photos and Engraved Wood Photos. And now I've added Photo Penants, Keychains and Coasters as well! So often photos get stored away in boxes never to be seen again. Or now in the digital age...lost on your computer! Yup, I'm guilty as well! What I love most about all these photo items is that it gets them out of the box...and in fun, creative ways! Who won't comment on your beautiful baby when you're wearing their photo around your neck! Or the cool coasters that no one has ever seen anything like! See all of these great photo items in my Etsy shop now :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Match Game

One thing I love about making my Custom Name Albums is the fun requests I get! Often I am asked to match a certain set of colors whether it be a bedroom set, a quilt, a wedding invitation, etc. It's fun making each album unique and being able to match the specific colors.
These two recent Baby Albums were both made to match nursery sets. One for a baby boy and one for a baby girl.
Devon's album was made to match this great fabric! These are colors I wouldn't have thought to put together...and I love them!
Landon's album was made to match this bed set from younkers.com. These are great colors to use for baby albums when you want to stick with traditional colors, but you want to mix it up a bit as well. I've used this color combo in the past and love it every time :)
I can't wait to see what my next request will be!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Just Go For It

What a great weekend this is turning out to be! Not only have I gotten a ton of work done, but I spoke to two local wineries about adding my items to their gift shops!!!
The one winery I already have my scrapbooks in, but I wanted to talk to them about my new lasered items. They are very excited about my coasters and want some special picture frames made for a WineStock event they have going on next weekend! What a great opportunity for my items to be seen!
And the second winery I've wanted to talk to for quite some time, but never got up the nerve to just go in. I hated to just show up and solicit my items! But I finally got over it and Just Went For It! It went wonderfully!!! They are also excited about my coasters and would like their logo lasered on some items as well. I might even make a custom scrapbook with their name on it!
My challenge to you...Just Go For It!
What have you been putting off lately? Trying a new technique, using new materials, talking to a gift shop? What ever it is...Just Go For It :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Features - Graduation

Graduation time is here again! How exciting for these graduates to be moving on to the next stages of their lives, be it college, grad school or work. A new life awaits!
As you know, I'm partial to gifts involving photos :) I love to make scrapbooks as gifts and personalized gifts are always on the top of my list. I searched Etsy and found awesome photo gifts that would be great for any grad!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Down Under and a Lesson

This week's Blog Carnival is brought to us by JAC-BER CREATIONS and she gives us options of talking about "Down Under". I have never had the opportunity to visit any countries in the southern hemisphere, but I have had the pleasure of shipping some of my items there. In fact, I had to learn a hard lesson recently about shipping to Australia! I received a rush order recently for an order to Australia. The buyer was willing to pay the extra for Express International shipping, so everything was set. The USPS website said it should arrive in 3-5 days, so it would get there in time. Apparently when it says 3-5 days, it really means 3 days to whenever they decide to delivery it. The item sat in customs for over 10 days! And then I was informed that in order to get guaranteed 3-5 days delivery, I would have had to mail it Global Express...which would have cost $90!!! So not only am I out my shipping cost, but my customer didn't get her item in time either! This was a hard lesson to learn, but now I am well aware of how International shipping works! And I know not to guarantee any international deliveries!
Luckily I had a great, understanding customer! She could tell from the tracking info that I had shipped it when I said I did and that it left the US within 3 days. She was very nice and understanding through the whole process and has finally received her item :) This may have been a hard lesson to learn, but I do love shipping International orders :) I love knowing that my items are traveling the world, even when I may not get to. Have you learned any lessons lately that you'd like to share?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Going Vertical

I've been making my Mr. & Mrs. Custom Name Albums for a while now. Having the laser sure does make it a lot easier to cut them! I can't imagine going back to using an xacto knife on those! The laser has opened so many doors for me especially in my albums! Along with Mr. & Mrs., I have also recently done other albums with vertical pages. PennState2011
Sweet16 The larger albums work great for vertical words and numbers. And vertical pages can save on the # of pages you need as well. Of course I have tons of ideas for other albums with vertical pages now as well! Graduation Albums: Class of 2011 (Grand) Parents (God) Mother (Big) Brother/Sister And the list goes on! What new ideas have you been working on?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Just Not Feeling It

Hello? Ambition, are you out there? I haven't seen you in a few days...and I miss you!!!
Do you ever have these days? My poor blog has been neglected all weekend and here it is Monday and I still have nothing put together! I've taken a few photos that I need to edit and share, but haven't gotten that done either!
It seems like some weeks I have more things to share than there are days of the week. And other weeks...nothing!
How do you get out of a slump? Do you blog through it or just take a break?
I hope to be back tomorrow or Wednesday with a more inspiring post :) The sun is shining today, so that's a great start right there!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Features - Hoot Hoot

Owls have been on the brain all week with my giveaway still going on at Rose Works Jewelry's blog! Stop by for your chance to win a set of Owl Magnets or an Owl Pendant! And if you're looking for more cute owl finds, Etsy is the place to go! I had such a hard time narrowing it down for today's features! I love all the colors and patterns that every one uses on their owls! Can't wait to win 'em...buy 'em here. Eco Felt Owl Keychain Teal Purple Pink Mini Plush Cute by lovahandmade whoot whoot Plush Good Luck Owl Friend by BWinks NEW/Animal Garden 2 by fongstudio

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Two Cute

Okay, I'll apologize right off the bat for the poor pun in my title! But this album really did turn out too cute! This was a special request for lower case letters. I hadn't even thought to use lower case letters before and I think it turned out great. It is for a little girl's birthday party that she'll be having in a frozen yogurt shop. I love the colors and the fun embellishments! Every time I get a new request for my Custom Albums, my mind starts racing with new ideas that I can take from the request! This is no exception! I love the idea of lower case letters :) What requests have got your mind racing lately?

Wordless Wednesday - Flowers for my Grandmas

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Giveaway Time!!!

That's right...it's time for another giveaway! This time I'm hosting my giveaway on another site. Ruthie of Rose Works Jewelry is doing a feature as well as a giveaway on her site! You can enter to win a choice of either an Owl Pendant or a set of Owl Magnets! There are several ways to enter, so stop by and check it out! Contest is open through May 14th.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Favorite Colors Back Again

As you already know, my favorite color combo is Pink Purple and Teal/Aqua! These are my go-to colors for just about anything! And I love it when customers request these colors. These colors make me happy when I work with them :)

Pink and Silver

Teal Black and White

Purple and Gold And this last album actually gave me the idea to use this color combo on other albums. I've added this Family Word Album to my shop with these beautiful colors! The gold cardstock has a shimmer to it that just makes the album look so classy...I love it!

What favorite color combos have you been working with lately?

Happy Mother's Day

I want to wish all the mothers out there Happy Mother's Day! To all those with kiddos or furbabies, I hope you have a very special day :) And I want to send out a special Happy Mother's Day to my mom! She really is THE BEST! She is always there for me, encourages me in everything I do and helps me to be a better person! Happy Mother's Day Mom :) And here is the card she got today! You knew it would be laser engraved, didn't you! I always try to send a special, handmade card each year and this year I wanted to try my hand with my laser engraver! I love the lasered photos!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Features - Great gifts for $5

With Cinco de Mayo yesterday, my mind has been stuck on 5's! Today I wanted to share with you some items that you can get for just $5! Every one deserves to buy themselves a gift or two now and then, but we seem to be the last people we buy for! At prices like these, you won't feel guilty and won't break the bank! Heck, get one of each :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Last Spring Show Review

I was so excited to announce my giveaway and do a review about it, that I forgot to do a review about my show this past weekend. This was by far my best Spring show. It was a 2 day show which helped, but even for a one day show it would have been great. As always, I handed out tons of business cards. I didn't realize how many cards I had handed out until I had to get the ones out of my purse and laptop bag to have enough! There was a nice, steady stream of people all day long. The show lasted from 9am-8pm, so we assumed from 4pm on it would be dead. Not the case! We had steady traffic until about 6pm! And Sunday morning rocked! I had another vendor bring photos in for some custom work and ordered an album while she was at it :) I also sold two more albums within the first hour! I was glad to get the business early as I had to pack up early so I could get some sleep before work that night. (gotta love night shift!) The best part of the show was that a couple that own a craft store in the mall, and the ones who put on the shows, asked me to put some of my items in their shop!!! They are very selective on who they ask, so I was very honored to be invited! I still need to get all the details ironed out and decide what I want to try first, but it's definitely worth a shot! They ask for a 6 month lease, which I think is a nice time frame to see if it is going to work out. That will give me Summer, Fall and part of Winter. I'll definitely do another post when I get all set up and keep you updated on how things are going. This was my last show for Spring, so I was very happy that it went well :) And I'm anxious to see how many of those business cards I handed out bring in more business...fingers crossed!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Giveaway Review

Today I wanted to do a little giveaway review to tell you things I learned, the things I liked and the things I would do again when running a giveaway on my blog. A few tips, if you will.
I would definitely say my giveaway was a success! For not doing giveaways often (hardly ever) and having less than 200 followers, I think this giveaway went very well with 135 entries! My goal was 100 and I was so excited to exceed that! So, here's my tips for a successful giveaway...
  • Advertise! This is by far the most important part of having a giveaway. If you want people to enter, they have to know where to find you! I recommend Etsy Giveaways and By Hand Giveaways.
  • Leave the giveaway open for at least two weeks. I left mine open for 23 days and feel that if I had closed it after a week, I wouldn't have gotten as many entries. I wouldn't recommend more than one month though.
  • Open your giveaway to international entrants. I got quite a few international entries and had fun seeing where everyone was from. I realize if I'd given away a large item, this would be tough to do. Gift certificates are great for international. And advertise it on International Giveaways.
  • Give people a choice. Either a choice between a few different items or a gift certificate. Everyone has different taste and with a gift certificate they can pick what they want, instead of what you want to give them.
  • Have several options for people to enter. And keep it easy...and fun! I loved asking people what their most memorable birthday was :)
  • I also learned that my Custom Name Albums are still peoples' favorites :) I'm excited about my new laser machine, but I'm happy that my scrapbooks are still a fun and unique item :) And the least favorite seemed to be the Flip Flop Scrapbooks, which wasn't too big of a surprise.

    I can't wait to do my next giveaway...stay tuned!

    Sunday, May 1, 2011

    Winner Announced!!!

    Today's the day...the winner is announced for my Birthday Giveaway!!! The winner will receive a $28 gift certificate to my Etsy Shop!
    I was shocked at the amount of entries...135!!! Thank you to everyone that entered! I had never done such a large giveaway and was so hoping it would be a success, and because of all of you, it was :)
    Congratulations to Kady!!! She was entry #45 and thanks to random.org, her # was selected!
    I'll be doing a post soon on what I learned from doing this giveaway, what I'll do in the past and tips I have for others thinking of doing giveaways :)
    Thanks again to everyone who entered!!!
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