Thursday, July 31, 2014

Christmas in July BBA Challenge

Getting this in just under the wire! July's BBA Challenge is brought to us by LeAnn of Pasque Flower. Her challenge is Christmas In July and she has this to say "For the past two years, a bigger than expected Etsy holiday rush has caught me off guard and scrambling to keep up. So this year, I challenge myself and my BBA Teammates to start preparing earlier!"
LeAnn is right...the holiday rush will be just around the corner and it's wise to do as much prep work now to help ourselves out during this busy time.

It's so hard to prepare sometimes when so much of my work is custom orders. But here are some of the things I'm doing to prepare:
 *Cutting plenty of extra business cards and thank you cards so I don't run out during the holiday rush
*Stocking up on packing supplies
*I will have a friend helping me pack orders this year. We already discussed some of the logistics, but she won't actually start until probably September.
*Trying to get as many new listings posted so shoppers have plenty to choose from.

One item I've added specifically for the holidays is this new Ornament Stand. I made some ornaments for my mom recently and she asked if I had a way to display them when the tree is not out. These gold and silver stands are the perfect solution!
My custom photo ornaments aren't just for the holidays. They are cute decor for all year. And these little stands are great because they are just the right height, and simple so not to take away from the ornament. I got them listed in my shop this week so they'll be ready for the holidays.

Have you started planning for the holiday rush?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Friendly Visitor

This beautiful girl is visiting us while her fence gets repaired at her house. So nice having such a friendly visitor stay with us for a while.
Look at her running to greet me :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

New for the Guys

Cuff links continue to be a popular item in my shop. And most often, I sell them for weddings. Last year I introduced a whole line of cuff links for the Groom, Groomsmen, Best Man and Fathers of the Bride and Groom. This year I'm putting a modern twist on the design with a round border outline and a more modern font.

Another trend I'm seeing lots of requests for is Super Heroes. I currently have Superman and Batman available and will be adding several more options to the shop soon!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Features - Kraft/White Wedding

This summer seems to be filled with weddings. We'll be attending our second (out of 5!) weddings this weekend. I love seeing all the different color combinations the couples choose. This weekend's wedding is definitely my favorite as it fits in well with a lot of things I make. The colors are kraft and white. The invitations were a kraft paper with all the details printed in white ink. Very simple, yet very classy. I've put together some great Etsy finds in these colors...enjoy :)

 Clockwise from top left:

 What great wedding color combos have you been seeing lately?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Branson Vacation

As I mentioned in last Friday's post, last weekend we headed to Branson to celebrate my mom's birthday. (Which is actually today...Happy Birthday Mom!)
We headed down on Thursday to enjoy the beautiful scenery, go to a show and get in some great family time.

One of the best things about visiting my parents is the beautiful view from their back deck! I could sit out there for hours!

They have at least 7 humming birds that visit them each year. I finally got one to sit still long enough I got a (semi-decent) photo of it. They also have a couple wood peckers that visit the feeders, but they were too quick for me and my camera.

I think they come just for the pretty pink flowers my mom has on the deck :) (or maybe that's just!)

The big event for the weekend was celebrating on the Branson Belle. My parents live right across the lake from the Belle and it's kind of become a hobby of my mom's (and a joke to the rest of us) to watch the Belle. She knows what time it goes out each day and if it happens to take a different route, if it's not on schedule, etc. So we decided it was definitely time she actually rode on the Belle!
The show was spectacular! There was a comedian/illusionist, a full band, a 5-member singing group and a woman who played the violin, piano, sang and did an aerial act! The food was pretty great too (see yesterday's post for the desserts we got!).

We also spent the afternoon on the lake, but I was too busy relaxing (yes, I actually do that once in a while) to take any pictures. The weekend was so great and I hope my mom has a wonderful birthday today :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Features - Nautical

I chose today's nautical/water/beachy theme for a number of reasons.
#1: My mom's birthday is coming up and one of the biggest things we're going to do this weekend to celebrate is go out on the Branson Belle.
#2: A bloggy friend of mine is getting married this weekend in Hawaii and her husband-to-be is a sailor. So she's having a very beacy/nautical wedding. Congrats Natasha!!!
#3: My nautical items in my shop are still some of the most popular items I have. These anchor flutes are my best selling glassware item!

Clockwise from top left:

Are you loving the nautical trend?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

New Items for Baby

I've recently added some really cute baby items to my shop. (Thanks again to my awesome customers for their custom requests!) I've always thought as summer as the wedding rush time, but this year seems to be the baby boom.

I love that this Wooden Card doubles as nursery decor as well! And of course I can make these in any theme, but the jungle theme sure is cute :)

I also had a request for Baby Shower Invitations. The footprint is perfect for welcoming the new bundle of joy. (and of course I can do any theme for these as well)

The woodland baby theme continues to be popular and I can see why. All those baby creatures are just adorable. This Woodland Frame was made to match the baby shower guest book in my shop (with a few minor additions/changes).

One of my best friends is due with her second little one in less than a month, so I'll be making something special for baby Zavier too!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Walk Around the Yard

On Friday night I went out to eat with Jesse's mom and her husband. When I got home is was a beautiful night out and I just wasn't ready to go to bed yet. I decided to bring my camera on a little walk with me instead :) Warning: Photo heavy post!

 One of the best parts of our yard is my brother's memorial tree. This is the sign a designed last year after he passed. It's a little beat up and a little tattered, but isn't that kind of how life goes sometimes.

 This little bug agreed that this is the best part of the yard. He's hanging out on some new growth on the roses that surround the tree.

 Tomatoes...can't wait for BLTs!

 As I was knelt down taking a picture of the bug above, I saw this full dandelion. I realize these might be weeds, but they sure are pretty. And I'm actually half impressed with the macro on my cell phone! (click to enlarge)

 It's hard to tell from this picture. But the baby calf we brought home over a year ago has gotten quite large. He has free range of the pasture now.

 Thought this was a pretty pic of one of his fence posts :)

And another "weed" photo. Hey, when you don't have time to plant flowers, you appreciate the wild ones :)

It had been so long since I'd walked around our yard (about 8 acres) that I'd forgotten we had a second hydrant. I thought it looked pretty hanging out in the tall grass.

Our house sits at the end of a gravel road that turns to dirt at the other side of our lower drive.

I sure love Iowa sunsets :)

And my walk lasted long enough that the sun was setting...and the moon was out too!

When I got back from my walk, Keystone was patiently waiting for some lovin'. Sitting on the patio cuddling with a kitty...what could be better :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New Wine Charms

I finally had a little time at the computer yesterday and got some new listings in the shop. I have so many new items I want to get added...just need a few more hours in the day :)

My other wine charms have done really well and when I got a custom request for a set of 20, I thought it was the perfect time to make a new set of Wine Quote Charms. This set has the following sayings:
*Group Therapy (my personal favorite!)
*Dinner is Poured
*Save Water Drink Wine
*Live Laugh Wine
*Drinks Well With Others
These would be lots of fun at a party :)

The next set is a set of graphics I use quite often in my work. They are all popular designs and I thought they made a really fun set of wine charms. This Decorative Set would be great for a group or just to adorn you own glass as you sip on the patio :)

What's your favorite wine saying?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Last Week/Weekend...Life Lately

Last week brought on an unexpected bloggy break. It's been a crazy couple of weeks, so I thought a photo recap was the easiest was to show you what's been going on lately...

What kept me away from the blog was this amazing woman....Jesse's Grandma Marie. She had been in the hospital for the last couple weeks and we'd been going to see her every chance we had. She passed away last Sunday and we celebrated her life last Wednesday. She was the most positive person I've ever met and had such a great personality. I can't even express how greatly missed she is!

But with bad, must always come good. And Grandma Marie was always one to look on the positive side :) We got in a lot of family time over the last couple weeks. We hung out on this deck almost every night after she passed telling stories and drinking a few beers. (something she loved!) It doesn't get much cuter than Jesse and his nephew all cuddled up :)
For 4th of July (3rd actually), we went to Jesse's brother's and lit off fireworks. We bought tons of things for the kids to play with including party poppers. The kids had fun making wigs and scarves out of the confetti in the Brody is modeling here :) And these red, white and blue jumping jacks were too fun not to take a picture of!

And Jesse's brother wins the Coolest Dad Award for building the kids a homemade zip line! I was a little bummed it wasn't for the big kids (!), but it was so fun watching the kids glide down to the play house! (click to see this larger)

On Friday, we went to the annual Goodguys card show in Des Moines, IA. There were over 2,200 cars preregistered for this show! The photo on the left shows just how long this truck sat in the weeds (or trees rather!). The top right photo is the color I want my car painted...only I want mine sparkly metallic! The middle photo is a truck almost just like the one my dad has. I love driving it when we go to visit. And the bottom photo is a very rare sighting. This is a 1964 Rambler Wagon almost like mine. Mine is a '63 with a 3-on the tree (stick shift on the column). Most of them have automatics. So it was lots of fun to see this car at the show!

But don't worry, I did take a little time to relax in all this chaos. I enjoyed drinking my afternoon coffee on the patio Sunday afternoon and soaking in the sun :) (as you can see...I need some sun!)

And I never pass up an opportunity to watch the sun set!

Okay, if you made it through all of that, thank you for being such a loyal reader!!! How was your 4th of July?
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