Thursday, February 28, 2013

Put a Ring on It

Thanks to a suggestion from a bloggy friend, Ayla, I recently added my first ring to my shop. Of course I couldn't stop there as my wheels were turning for several other ring ideas! So far I've made 9 different rings...and have a few ideas for more. I've listed a few in the shop so far and will continue to add 1 or 2 per day til they're all listed.

I'm trying a new slideshow program...what do you think?

What is your favorite ring?
Have ideas for others...I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Paper Proposal

I was recently contacted by the website A Paper Proposal to let me know that one of my wedding couples had their wedding featured on their site. And I was lucky enough to be mentioned as a vendor and have a photo of my guest book featured in one of the photos!

Not only was that part really cool, Sarah, the owner of the site also offered me a free month of advertising! I love when sites offer a chance to try out their advertising first. It gives you the chance to see what type of traffic you'll get and see if you want to continue service with them. I was even able to try out the upgraded vendor listing which allowed me to add 8 photos along with my logo and business information.

I'm only 6 days in and I've already seen some traffic. I'll be sure to let you know how the month goes and my thoughts on the site.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Name Albums - Rethinking Pricing

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my Custom Name Albums lately. I enjoy making them and they are what got my business off the ground. The down side is, they're very time-consuming. Over Christmas I had a large order for them and I got a little burnt out making them. So they've remained out of my shop until I could do some contemplating about how I wanted to reintroduce them.

Over the weekend I sat down and ran some numbers. I knew if I was going to bring the albums back, I had to raise my prices. At first I wasn't going to offer the smaller albums as they take about the same amount of time as the larger albums, but I make a lot smaller profit. But at the same time, I wanted to offer options. So I did some calculations and decided to add both sizes (along with the Double Name Albums) back to my shop.

Before, I just had two price points for my albums...up to 6 letters and 7-9 letters. I decided it made more sense to charge per letter. This does make it a little tricky when listing them in my shop as I didn't want 16 listings of basically the same item. So for now, I'm just adding a few different letter quantity options and people can contact me if they need a different amount of letters.

Eventually I'd like to sort through all my photos and file them by size and letter quantity so the listing photos represent the right amount of letters. But this will be quite time-consuming as well, so it will have to be done in intervals.

I feel pretty good about the prices I have on the albums for both the buyer and myself.
 Have you had to do any price increases lately? Pricing is one of the hardest things I find about running a business!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

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 Pink Wooden Earrings in her Thinkin' Spring Treasury! I dont' know about you, but I'm sure ready for Spring! LeAnn's Bold Red Flowers Bib is a great way to think Spring!


Crystal of CrystalGaylePhoto featured my Mother Word Album in her Love You Mom Treasury! Speaking of mother' mom would love this Purple Flower Print from Crystal's shop!

AnaMaria of GingersWonders featured my Woodland Baby Shower Guest Book in her Ruddy way of being Treasury! AnaMaria has a great shop full of cute finds for your dog. Harley would look pretty snazzy in this Blue Houndstooth Collar :)

Trina of trinasclaycreations featured my Believe Wooden Sign in her The Greens of SPRING! Treasury! Speaking of Spring, isn't this Polymer Clay Bunny just adorable for Easter!

Daria of 443Jewelry featured my Pink Wooden Earrings in her Pinky pink Treasury! My readers know how much I love pink! And I love this Druzy Necklace in Neon Pink from Daria's shop!

Kayla of KKGKreations featured my Wooden Owl Earrings in her Owl always love Owls Treasury! Kayla's Handmade Ceramic Coasters are so cute...and even have an owl on them :)

Natasha of StalkingtheWildSnark featured my Compass Wooden Cuff Links in her Rolling in the Deep Treasury! Natasha's Bright Blue Celtic Sailor Knot Necklace would be perfect in this treasury!

WarehouseRoyGBiv featured my Wooden Owl Earrings in their Owls, Owls Treasury! Check out these adorable Upcycled Owl Earrings from their shop!

Linda of lindab142 featured my Batman Cuff Links in her Shapes Treasury! One shape we'll all have on our minds soon is Easter eggs! These Pastel Easter Egg Earrings will be perfect for the event :)

Melinda of SoakArt featured my Mustache Cuff Links in her Who says MEN are impossible to buy for? Treasury! I love This Photo from Melinda's shop...and it would look pretty good in a man cave too :)

Beril Durgut (buyer only) featured my Woodland Baby Shower Guest Book in her Woodland Treasury!

 Júlia of LenteJulcsi featured my Mustache Cuff Links in her Wooden Treasury! Júlia's shop is awesome with hand embroidery and felt...I love This Cuff!

Peter of G2Pleather featured my Mustache Cuff Links in his dress it up, smart cuff links Treasury! I love this Purple Handmade Wallet in Peter's shop!
Alex of decayable featured my Drink Me Bottle Stopper in her Don't Eat The Mushrooms Treasury!

 This was an amazing week of treasuries and I want to thank each of my curators again! You've made my week :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Features - Snow Day

Here in Iowa, we got hit with a pretty good storm yesterday and it's continuing into today. Luckily it wasn't a blizzard or anything, but there's a nice fluffy layer on the ground out there. This lead me to Etsy to look for some fun snowy finds. Enjoy :)

 Wherever you are today...stay warm! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New Cuff Link Designs

Yesterday I showed a sneak peek of one of my new cuff link designs. I've been on a creative spree lately and came up with several new cuff links! I have a personalized option and lots of new premade options as well. I've slowly been adding them to my shop...a couple each day.

I put together a little slideshow with all my new designs...enjoy :)
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox

I've also been working on new ring and earring designs, so look for those in My Shop too!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Red Earrings - February BBA Challenge

This month I am the host for the Blogging Business Artisans monthly challenge! I chose a very open-ended theme that just revolves around the color red. "February is about hearts, love, roses...the color red. Create any project you like using the color red!"
I realized in creating this challenge that I rarely use the color red in my creations, so this was a nice challenge for me. I've been making several new jewelry designs with my wooden creations and found the perfect wooden beads to add to my designs! So I started with the red beads and came up with these fun new earrings!

They were so much fun to create and I just love how the turned out! Of course I had to create a pink pair next :)

I also made a larger pair with navy blue beads for a little variation.
 I've been on a creating spree lately, so look for many more new designs to come!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Redesigned Packaging

Last month I blogged about redesigning my magnet packaging so it would fit in a 2" shipping tube for the Umba Box I participated in. This got my brain thinking about how I could redesign it again to be more cost effective.

I used to package my  magnets on metal canning lids. I'd seen the idea somewhere before and thought it was great since the magnets stuck right to the lid. I just slid that in with a paper backer that had my banner and etsy address on it and they worked great. But, the lids can get costly and I like to keep my packaging supplies to a minimum.

After I made the Umba Box magnets, I took that concept paired with my old packaging and made some new packaging. Instead of canning lids, I used repositionable adhesive dots. They're strong enough to hold the magnets in place, but come off easily when you're ready to remove the magnets and use them. I also made the tags a little smaller since they didn't have to accommodate the size of the lid. I was able to buy smaller baggies to put them in and fit 6 tags instead of 4 on a sheet when I printed them.

Just a rough estimate, but I figure I'm saving over a quarter per package of magnets now! It's a small amount, but it can sure add up fast.
Take a look at your current packaging...are there ways you can reduce your costs or improve  your design?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

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 :)

Elena from Attractive1 featured my Personalized Wine Bottler Stopper in her Personalized Valentine's Day Gift Guide Treasury!  Elena makes beautiful fascinators and this red one is great for Valentine's Day or any special event!

Amber of BackAlleyAdventures featured my Wooden Recipe Book in her In the Kitchen Treasury! Amber also has a beautiful Wooden Recipe Book in her shop as well!

  I also created a BBA team treasury this week as well...featuring new items from my teammates!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Features - Love All Year

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day. Jesse surprised me with Breakfast out and a yummy bottle of my favorite wine :)
The big love day may be over, but you can show your love all year long with these "lovely" finds :)


And they're all at GREAT prices! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Reader Inspiration

I have to give a shout out to one of my readers and fellow BBA team members...Ayla!

I recently showed off my cute "diamond" earrings and got a reply from Ayla that she thought a larger diamond would make a cute design for a ring! Brilliant...I loved the idea!

I had bought some ring blanks a while back and quite honestly forgotten about them. I tried out a few, but never got back into using them. The new "diamond" ring in my shop is all thanks to Ayla :)

Of course, now my brain is working overtime thinking about all the other cool designs I could turn into rings! I have a feeling my little owl is next on the list!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

Embroidered Hoop from Milo and Molly

I recently hosted a giveaway as well as a guest post at Milo and Molly. The connection between Kristen and I started by me winning one of her adorable Embroidered Hoops from a giveaway she recently hosted at Row House 14! Now that's some serious networking in action!

I received my Custom Made Hoop last week and it couldn't be cuter! I realize this is a valentine's hoop and I probably should have put Jesse's initial in it, but I liked it so much I wanted it all for myself :) So I selected hot pink (of course) from the 19 colors Kristen offers and put my own initial in it :)

It's now adorning my local orders cork board in my studio. It adds such a fun touch and the right amount of color to this little corner of my room.

Thanks so much Kristen for hosting this giveaway and sending my little hoop!
 Want your own hoop? Get one right here!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

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 :)

 Kathy of tapestry316 featured my Grandma's Brag Book in her Write it down, pack it up, and send it off Treasury! Kathy can pack up and send me this Buckskin Mare Print any day!

Tammy of KenziesCottage featured my Crystal Bottle Stopper in her Superbowl Sunday Treasury! I'm not much into football, so Tammy's Original Spring by the Pond Painting looks like a much better way to spend a Sunday :)

Marieken of invisiblecrown featured my Wooden Owl Earrings in her Into the woods Treasury! Marieken's Wooden Brooch would fit in this woodland treasury perfectly! (and I love the saying!)

Marieken also featured my Wooden Owl Magnets in her Knock on wood Treasury!

A Kirman of bestbazaar featured my Wooden Table Numbers in her ((::xoxoxo::)) Treasury! I XOXO this beautiful Fuchsia Scarf in the bestbazaar shop!

MariyaDecor featured my Wooden Recipe Book in her rustic chic Treasury! MariyaDecor is full of great vintage finds including these Soviet Glass Ornaments!

Marysue of ToothFairyWorks featured my Wooden Anniversary Card in her It's Personal Treasury! I just love this Pink and Zebra Pillow in Marysue's shop!

Diana Coe featured my Mother Word Album in her Mother's are great Treasury! Diana's shop is beautiful and I love her Flower/Snowflake Beadwork Necklace!

Nancy of NFallonDesignStudio featured my Wooden Wedding Invitation in her Wood You Love Me? Treasury! I'm loving all of Nancy's new items and I've had my eye on these Pink & Grey Key Chains lately!

Siret featured my Wooden Recipe Book in her At Woodys Treasury! Siret makes beautiful artwork and her Swing Print would fit in her treasury perfectly!

ArtfulRising featured my Wooden Valentine's Day Card in her Pretty in Love Treasury! This Love Your Self Canvas would go in this treasury perfectly!

Louise of Loutul featured my Mother Word Album in her TY for AJ Treasury! I just love this Lavender Twirls and Swirls Pewter Glass Bottle from Louise's shop!

 SammyLou (buyer only) featured my Drink Me Wine Bottle Stopper in her Just a little bit of blush Treasury!

  This was an awesome week of treasuries! Thank you again to each of my've made my week!
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