Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Beautiful as a Butterfly

I had a fun custom order this week for an Engraved Baby Photo Album. The customer wanted a scrapbook style album instead of a photo album and I happened to have this cute album on hand!
There is a magnetic flap holding the album shut with the word Baby stitched on. It's a cute album by itself, but the engraving adds so much! And you can't go wrong with a personalized gift :)
I've had really great luck with all kinds of photo albums. I love how they laser a pretty brown. These butterflies came out so great!
You know how much I love custom work and this album was so fun to make!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Stand up for What is Right

I have always been one of those people who stood up for what is right. I've always been the spokesperson for my class, my team, my dept. at work...basically any group I've ever been a part of. I'm not afraid to speak my mind and I don't like to see people being treated unfairly. I can't sit by and watch injustice.
Last week I received a call from my mortgage company that my payment had not been received. It has apparently gotten lost in the mail because I had mailed it on June 6th (and I double checked to make sure). During the call, they informed me that I would need to pay a late fee of $24.75 and that I could make the payment over the phone for a fee of $20.00. I don't think so! I repeatedly told them that I would happily pay my bill, but I would by no means be paying any fees. I mailed this bill over 10 days in advance of when it was due. Had I forgotten to make the payment, I would gladly pay their fees. I realize this wasn't their fault, but it wasn't mine either and I wasn't going to pay for a mistake that was not mine. After about 30 min. on the phone, I was finally making my payment without any other fees. I got all the fees waived :) Being persistent and standing up for what is right paid off! I refuse to be taken advantage of!
My point of this post...Stand Up For Yourself, Stand Up For What Is Right! Do not let others walk all over you! So many times I see people too scared to stand up for themselves. Remember...You Are Worth It! And you deserve what is right :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Brother

I want to wish my brother a Happy 33rd Birthday today!
We went to lunch together on Friday and it was so nice to spend time together just the two of us :) My brother and I work different shifts and always seem to be busy on the weekends, so we don't get to see each other as much as I'd like. Our time together is always special :)
Here is the birthday card I made him:
I've made several of these lasered wood cards lately and I have SO many ideas for premade and custom cards to add to my shop! I have even thought a lot about trying to get them in local shops if I can find a pen or marker that will work well so people can sign their names. When ordered from my Etsy Shop, they will be able to have me engrave their special message or have the option of adding a photo like this one I made for my brother.
I really think I'm on to something here...what do you think? Would you send one of these or enjoy receiving one in the mail? I would really love to hear your thoughts :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Features - Fun in the Sun

I'm so happy to see the sun today! We've had a week of rain and storms and I'm ready for summer to officially be here! I love how the sun can instantly put you in a great mood! Whether it be the real thing or these great Etsy finds...the sun is a beautiful thing :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Etsy Becoming a Household Name

I don't read many books, but I do read a variety of magazines. One great thing I've noticed lately is Etsy being mentioned in almost every magazine I read! I love that Etsy is becoming a household name!
In fact, I first learned about Etsy through a scrapbook magazine several years ago. I've seen Etsy mentioned in everything from ReadyMade to AllYou to even People Magazine!
Last summer one of my albums was mentioned on Real Simple Magazine's Daily Finds and I saw quite a spike in views that day and even made some sales! Let's hope that with every mention of a specific Etsy shop in a magazine that it brings views and sales for all of us :)
Where have you seen Etsy mentioned lately? Do you notice more people familiar with Etsy than before?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

All in the Family

I hope all the dad's out there had a great Father's Day on Sunday! We took Jesse's dad air boating and had a great time! You can also see the card I sent my dad here :)
One thing I've noticed selling well lately are my Mother and Father Word Albums. I sold 2 Father Albums and a Daddy Album as well as 4 Mother Albums this year. I've also had good luck with my Grandma and Grandpa Albums as well! I love finding a new theme of album that people love :)
I would also like to add Sister or Sisters Albums and possibly Brother Albums. (Not sure if Brother would sell as well or not. I'd love your thoughts on this.) I know I want to add other variations to my current albums like Mommy, Mom, Dad, Nana, etc. I love giving people options :)
What have you made lately that's been a hit? Link to it in the comments and tell us about it!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Here's wishing my dad a Happy Father's Day :) I wish I were there to give him a big hug and tell him how much I love him! I guess a phone call will have to do for now. Here is the card I made my dad this year. I'm really loving these engraved wood photos! And I'm loving these wood cards as well! I hope to get them added to my shop soon in premade and custom versions!
I hope all the dads out there have a wonderful Father's Day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Features - Happy Father's Day

Father's Day is this Sunday! Don't forget to celebrate your dad this weekend :) I made a fun treasury for today's Friday Features...enjoy!

Stop back Sunday to see the card I made my dad!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Personalized Wedding Gifts

Last weekend we attended the wedding of a friend and coworker. It was such a happen event and I wanted to give them a gift that they would cherish for years to come. Of course I wanted it to be personalized and I wanted to engrave it :)
I first thought of these Wine Bottle Stoppers:
These are great gifts even if the recipients don't drink wine. They can be added to a decorative bottle as well :)
(I just added these to my shop yesterday!!!)
I also wanted to give them something bigger that they could display on their wall. This Engraved Name Frame was perfect!
I hope to add these to my shop soon, but I want to get a frame that I like and can reorder when needed. This frame was from my personal stash :)
Personalized gifts are so personal and special! These will definitely be my go-to wedding gifts from now on...along with my Custom Coasters too!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This Crazy Weather!

What is up with the weather lately! I think Mother Nature is mad at us! Our weather has been just crazy lately with tornadoes hitting so many areas and now there is massive flooding! It is so sad to see all the damage and lives torn apart by the weather related issues. We have personally been very lucky to not be directly effected by the flooding in our area, but so many are!
We drove down to the flood site over the weekend to see how bad it's going to be. They are opening the dams from the Missouri River and that will flood entire towns just south of us and close roads, close business and force people out of their homes. They will have to relocate, rebuild and start anew! I can't even imagine going through all of this.
The only good thing is that they were given enough notice to hopefully get out what they can and get things moved to higher, drier ground. Many businesses are trying to put dirt and sandbags around their buildings to help deter the water when it comes. Several of the gas stations even had their pumps removed and had already shut down.
I was glad to see some people are keeping their sense of humor. One hotel had a sign that read "Lake front property for sale" on one side and "Gone Fishing" on the other. And the picture above is the entrance to a subdivision. They're keeping their fox safe :)
It really does make me think of what is important. What I would grab first I can't even wrap my head around starting over!
Sending safe and happy thoughts to all my readers!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Features - On the River

The weather is warming up, the sun is shining...and air boating season is officially here! Last weekend we were able to do quite a bit of boating! It's so great that Jesse's brothers have boats too so we can all meet up! This week's features are all about the river :) On River Time by GoJumpInTheLake Cotton Canvas Accent Pillow by tenahseetreasures [This one is sold, but I'll bet she'll make another one for you :)] ON THE RIVER - 1 Inch Circles by WildBlueberryInk River Rock Coffee Table by jamesrobinson

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Custom Is Key

As I mentioned in my Winery Review post, when people found out I could customize my coasters any way they wanted, they were the hit of the show! People love anything they can personalize. Especially for gift-giving! It adds that extra touch to make a gift even more thoughtful and special. My Custom Name Albums have long been my best-selling item. And now that I have my laser engraver, I can customize so much more! Here are two different styles of custom coasters I've added to my shop this week: There can be personalized with any names, words, initials, photos, graphics, etc. you want! And what a great gift they make! Do you offer custom or personalized items in your shop? Give them a try!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

More interested in Mommy's treat than his own...LOL :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Importance of a Good Picture

One of my favorite things to do with my laser engraver is to engrave photos! I've sold quite a few Engraved Wood Photos off Etsy and have received great feedback :) They make such great gifts! One thing I have to be sure of is that the original photo is of good quality. It needs to be a high resolution digital image or a good quality print that I can scan at a high resolution. The better the photo, the better the engraving. I can play with settings in photo editing software, but the original photo is important. While getting ready for the open house at the winery, I wanted to have a sample photo to set out. I scanned a favorite family photo and did my needed adjustments and lasered away. The results were less than stellar as you can see here: When I scanned the photo, I didn't realize it had scanned as an 8.5x11 screen size making the actual photo a small size. You can see how the detail gets lost and the image is dark. After scanning it again to a true photo size and raising the resolution, the second results were much better :)
You can see much more detail. The engraving is beautiful! I got lots of complements on this photo at the open house and I'm so glad I tried again and fixed my mistake. But I'm glad to have the "mistake" photo to show people how important it is to have a good photo to start with. What "mistakes" have you learned from lately?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Making Connections

At a show I did earlier this Spring, I met a fellow Omaha Etsy Team member named Jenny who runs Black Magic Studio. Her shop is full of beautiful jewelry including beading, wire wrapping and silversmithing pieces. She saw my pendants and thought it would be fun to make a necklace out of one of them. I loved the idea and couldn't wait to see the results. She listed it in her shop this weekend: I love how it turned out! Who knew my simple engraved pendant could turn into such a beautiful work of art! I love the wood beads with the suede flowers...I think they complement each other nicely. And they all tie in well with the butterfly pendant. I hope this piece does well and Jenny and I can work together again. What connections have you made lately?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Open House at the Winery

Thursday night a friend and I did an open house at the local winery we began selling at. The show went really well and we had a great turn out! It was nice that people could browse, eat, drink and then browse again. It was a very laid-back setting and people enjoyed that :)
My lasered items were by far the hit of the night! And coasters to be exact. I sold 14 set of coasters and had already sold another set the day before the show! People loved that they could customize the coasters and the ideas started flowing! I had several people tell me they would be ordering more for up-coming weddings as well!
Here is a set of coasters I made special for this winery. They have this painted on their patio wall and people just love it! This is the set of coasters that sold right away, so I've made more to take down! I also made a lasered wood plaque with this image on it as well. She just so fun :)
We're hoping to do another open house/craft show this fall or winter at the winery. I love their set-up and the location is perfect! The owners are great people and I'm happy to be working with them :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Features - Wine + Custom

I recently started selling my items at another local winery! And last night they had an Artists Premier night for myself and another crafter and it went great :) It's so fun getting to talk to people and tell them about your work! I made several wine-related items to bring to their gift shop including coasters and picture frames with their logo on them. I also made some cool coasters and a wood plaque to match a painting they have on their wall...the coasters have already sold! And as you know, custom work is my favorite! I can customize pretty much anything in my shop! So today's features are both wine-related and custom as well :) Enjoy... Custom Wine Bottle Invitation by KatherinePaigeDesign Personalized Wedding Invitation Cheese Board by PJsGlassCreations Custom Wine Cork Letter by MyMamaMaria
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