Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thoughts on Stock Photos

The other day I saw an item in the Etsy Finds email that rubbed me the wrong way. It was a stock photo from another website that the seller could purchase said item from. It wasn't something they had made or something they had photographed, but it still made it into the Etsy Finds. I see this all the time with lasered items and it really bothers me.

There are so many items I'd love to add to my own shop, but I don't agree with using stock photos. In my opinion, they don't give an accurate representation of the sellers work. I've had the wine box pictured above in my inventory for way longer than I'd like to admit! But I don't feel right adding it to my shop because I haven't engraved one for myself yet. There could be unforeseen problems that I haven't thought about. I would hate to sell one and then run into trouble!

Don't get me wrong, I understand why sellers use stock photos. Just look at the two photos above. The stock photo is clearly "better" than my photo. But I feel that my photo better represents my work and buyers will know that I made that product. They won't see that image in any other shop.

And sure, it would be great to add all the items I could make, but I'd rather show the beautiful items I have made :) It makes me feel better about my work. And though my photos leave much to be desired, they are still my photos and they are of my work!

What are your thoughts on stock photos? Do you like seeing them in seller's shops?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Lovin' - BBA Challenge

This month at the Blogging Business Artisans Team, our challenge was brought to us by Jenny of A Bird In The Hand Art and her theme is Summer Lovin'. Jenny says:we can do anything summer or love related or even Grease (the movie) related!

It took me to the end of the month, but I finally found inspiration for the challenge! It is something I've been wanting to try for quite a while and the challenge gave me the perfect opportunity to give it a try! I made a Laser Cut Wood Frame Insert!

This insert is cut from the same material I use for wedding invitations and guest book covers. I did find that cutting these letters so tiny makes the frame very fragile. I was debating whether I would sell them in a frame or by themselves, but to ensure safe delivery, I will definitely be selling them in the frame.

I tried two different formats. One with the words floating in the middle and one with the words resting on the bottom edge of the outside frame. I like both versions, but both also have their challenges. The one that's floating is much  more fragile. But the one that's resting along the bottom will need some more work in my software program to be perfected.

I was so happy I thought to use this for the challenge piece. It has so many possibilities for babies, weddings, vacations...pretty much any time you frame a photo! Now I need to go find a photo of my own to put in this frame :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Treasury Thanks

Welcome to another edition of my Treasury Thanks! Each week I like to thank my treasury curators from the past week by featuring their treasuries as well as an item from their shop. Please help me in thanking them by clicking on their treasuries and checking out their shops :)

LeAnn of pasqueflower featured my Engraved Leather Baby Album in her Rhapsody in Blue Treasury! LeAnn's Aqua Oven Mitt would fit perfectly in this treasury :)

Nancy of NFallonDesignStudio featured my Personalized Dog Bone Name Sign in her Ode to Sadie Treasury! Sadie is very loved and Nancy's Knit Heart Pin Brooch is a great way to show your love :)

Judy of JNOriginals featured my Custom Name Album in her The Sunset Sky Shimmers Treasury! The sunset last night had beautiful shades of pink and red in it, much like Judy's Ruby Red Crochet Scarf :)

Kathy of tapestry316 featured my Friends Word Album in her Pass me a lemonade, please Treasury! I'd love to enjoy a glass of lemonade while looking out upon this beautiful scene in Kathy's Sunset Triptych Watercolor Paintings :)

Kaili of clockworkghOst featured my Have a Tweet Birthday Real Wood Greeting Card in her Pink & Brown Treasury! With her pink hair, this Clown Illustration would fit in well in this treasury :)
Roberta featured my Peacock Feather Guest Book in her Wedding Ideas Peacock Treasury!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Features - Happy Birthday Mom!

My mom's birthday was on Tuesday! I have been told numerous times not to get my parents anything for their birthday, so I always try to do something special instead :) Nothing over the top, just a sweet gesture or two. I found the perfect ecard and email it to my mom at work so she would receive it first thing in the morning :) And today's features are all things my mom likes :)

One of my mom's favorite flowers is the clematis. She has them by her front door!

Another of my mom's favorites is hummingbirds. She always has feeders out to draw them in!

One of my mom's favorite hobby's is reading. I thought this bookmark could add some fun to her next book :)

 And my mom has a thing for flip flops :) I thought this necklace with the added sea glass would be great for her!

I hope you had a great birthday Mom!
 Love you!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Same Theme - Three Very Different Albums

As the title of this post states, I recently created three albums all with the same theme. They were for baby girls, but they were all very different and unique! That's what I love about my Custom Name Albums :) I never tire of making them because no two are ever alike!

First up is Ela. She was made in the 4" size in pinks and brown. This album is headed to Spain to match baby Ela's nursery :)

Next is Stella. She is made in the 6.5" size in pastels: pink, purple and green. This album is headed to Michigan as a gift :)

The final album is Alexa Rose and the flower fit in perfectly! She is made in the 11.5" size in light pink and bright pink...the perfect girly mix! This album is headed to New York and Alexa's mommy is going to be very surprised when she receives this!

 I've also recently worked on two pet-themed albums that are very different as well...I might just have to show those off next week :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Cutest Custom Award

Yup, this one gets the award for cutest custom request for an invitation yet!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

HUGE Milestone

Over the weekend I reached a HUGE Milestone in my Etsy Shop! I hit 1,000 sales!

When I started my little ole shop back in 2008, I never dreamed of being where I am today! I started selling packs of greeting cards and a few different styles of scrapbooks. Today, I'm still selling my awesome Name Albums, but I've added so much more to my shop!
The addition of wedding items like my Guest Books and Wood Invitations has really helped my shop!

Two things I contribute much of my success to are Variety and Personalization/Customization. By adding wood and glass items along with my paper items, I can reach more people looking for a variety of items. And the fact that I can personalize/customize any item in my shop gives me an edge and makes everything ideal for gift-giving.

Thank you to all of my readers who've been an encouragement to me through this journey! And to my buyers who've allowed me to be where I am today!
 **Off to do a happy dance**

Monday, July 23, 2012

Jewelry Tree

Some time ago, Rose from Random Creative linked to a great tutorial for making a jewelry tree out of cardboard. I loved the idea, but wanted to use my laser to cut one out of wood. I knew wood would be stronger and last longer in the end.

I finally got a chance to design my tree and get one cut and painted! I'm really happy with how the first draft turned out. There are some changes I need to make like making the slits where they slide together narrower. This one works great, but there is some slop between the pieces I'd like to get rid of. And I put some of the leaves too close together to slide necklaces in between.

I can't wait to bring this to my first show this fall! I painted mine pink to help my wood pendants stand out...and because I love pink :)

Once I get my pattern perfected, I thought these would be fun to add to my shop. They make a great display idea for jewelry, bookmarks, ornaments or anything else that hangs.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Treasury Thanks

Welcome to another edition of my Treasury Thanks! Each week I like to thank my treasury curators from the past week by featuring their treasuries as well as an item from their shop. Please help me in thanking them by clicking on their treasuries and checking out their shops :)

Sandy of sandystreasure featured my Peacock Wedding Invitation in her Special Touches for Your Wedding Treasury! Sandy has such beautiful jewelry items in her shop! I had a hard time choosing one to feature, but this Boho Gypsy Bracelet kept calling to me...isn't it gorgeous!

Kimaku featured my Carved Tree Wedding Invitation in her Summer time 23 Treasury! Since I'll be headed to Mexico in December, these passport covers had my attention right away! Love this one :)

I also curated a treasury this week as well called Ruby Reds in honor of the July babies :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Features - County Fair

It's that time of year! Everywhere you look and everything you hear has to do with the fair! It's in the papers and on the radio...It's Fair Time! The county fairs are in full force here in Iowa right now! I always enjoyed my years in 4-H and I'm glad to see it's a tradition that has held strong :) Today's features are all about the fair!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Art

Yesterday on the Blogging Business Artisans Blog, I was a guest blogger and talked about Mixed Media Art. I'm in complete awe of mixed media as it's something I've not been able to master! So imagine my surprise when my very own art pieces showed up in my mail box yesterday afternoon!

Erika of Artful Rising sent me a gift for being a finalist in her contest. Not only did I get a print of one of her original mixed media pieces...I got TWO!

I was having a hard time deciding which one to frame and hang on the wall when I remembered I had taken down my wall words and I had three nails still in the wall. I already have one frame on the wall, so the addition of these two will go perfectly! I can't wait to get them hung!

 Thank you so much Erika! They will hang right above my computer desk so I can see them everyday :) Get your own mixed media print in Erika's shop today!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Reflections

Wine Bottle Stoppers Reflection on the Ceiling

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What's for Dinner

As most of you know, I don't share many recipes on my blog. Why? Because I'm a terrible cook...LOL :) I only cook out of necessity and not out of pleasure. So I'm always in search of a quick and tasty recipe.

So today I thought I'd share a great recipe for all the cooks out there like me :) Wanna know the best part...there are only 4 main ingredients!

Quick Enchiladas
*2 Cans Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce (we use one hot and one mild)
*Shredded Cheese
*2 lbs. ground beef
*Burrito Shells

Super Easy Instructions: Brown and drain ground beef. Stir in 1 can enchilada sauce and 1/2 bag of cheese. Pour mixture down center of shells. Fold in ends. Place in 9x13 glass baking dish. Top with remaining can of sauce and cheese. Bake for 17 min. at 375. Top with favorite ingredients. We used sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes and black olives.

And in less than 30 minutes you have a tasty meal :) And even better, with just Jesse and I, we have left overs and I don't have to cook the next day...bonus!

 Have any fast and tasty recipes? Share them with me in the comments :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Extra Special

I love when customers have special requests for their items that will make the finished product extra special :) As most of you already know, I love custom requests and when the request adds something to the item that will make it truly one-of-a-kind, it makes me giddy :)

I recently made 11 custom photo albums for a bride and groom to give their wedding party. They requested that I add Bridesmaid, Maid of Honor, Best Man and Groomsman to the outside of the albums along with the info that I normally add of the couple's names and wedding date.

But that wasn't the most special part about the books. The special part came when the bride asked if I could add her father's handwriting to the inside of her sisters' books. Their father had passed away a few years ago and she had a card that he had signed and wanted it added to the books.

 I was happy to oblige and I love how the books turned out. These books just became ten times more special with the addition of their father's writing added to their books. It is the first thing they will see each time they open the books :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Treasury Thanks

Welcome to another edition of my Treasury Thanks! Each week I like to thank my treasury curators from the past week by featuring their treasuries as well as an item from their shop. Please help me in thanking them by clicking on their treasuries and checking out their shops :)

HollyCampCards featured my Engraved Peacock Wedding Invitation in her Rustic Wedding Time Treasury! The HollyCampCard shop is full of original, whimsical works like this beautiful Peacock Greeting Card!

Barbara of MinnieLeeHaven featured my 5 Year Anniversary Wood Card in her Chip Off The Old Block Treasury! I love this adorable Wooden Cupcake Bookmark in Barbara's shop!

BeadedTail featured my Custom Name Album in her I'll Take Some Purple with my Chocolate Chip Cookies! Treasury! These Amethyst and Dark Purple Earrings would go great in this treasury...AND...they're on sale!

Thank you again to each of my curators :) You've made my week!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Features - Dream Big

Happy Friday!
Today's features are inspired by Erika of Artful Rising. Erika has a way with words and every post she writes on her blog, every newsletter she sends out and each piece of art she creates is truly inspiring and motivating! Erika encourages us all to follow our dreams and Dream Big!
I hope today's features inspire you to dream big as well :)

by  Tessyla 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What About Me?

About a month ago, Etsy introduced a new page within our shops. It's called an About Page. It only took me a month to get mine posted, but it's finally live!

I think it's cool that it gives separate descriptions for the shop owner and the shop itself. And I like that it shows a picture of the owner (if you choose to add one). I like to know who I'm working with and I love it when people have personal photos on their sites and blogs :)

Putting together my About Page made me realize that I wish I had more in-process photos. People can see photos of my finished products in my shop, but that's what I had to add to my about page since that's pretty much all I had on hand. So I hope to update my page soon with new photos of in-process work. I'd like to add photos of my "studio", but it pretty much looks like a tornado went through right now, so I doubt that happens soon! Do they sell maid services on Etsy :)

Have you created an About Page yet? Share your link in the comments...I'd love to see it!
 What do you think of mine?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Walking Stick

Click for close up

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

With many shops celebrating Christmas in July, I thought it was the perfect time to unveil my Christmas Ornament for the Newlyweds!

This carved tree design has done so well on my guest books and invitations that I couldn't help but use it on these ornaments as well! And like everything in my shop, these can be personalized any way you like. Add different wording. Move the wording to the back. Change it up any way you like!

These make such great gifts for the happy couple.When Christmas rolls around, they'll already have their first ornament for their tree :)

Looking for some great Christmas in July deals? These two ladies are having great sales!

15% off AND Free Shipping at RandomCreative
See THIS SECTION for sale items

25% off $25 orders with coupon CIJ2012a at lindab142
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