Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Features - Bath Time

As I mentioned earlier this month, I tend to get the "January blahs" each year after the holidays are over. One way I fight this is by taking long, hot baths with a good magazine and a cold glass of wine :) Today's features can help you soak your troubles away!

Decal / Bath Caddy / Honey Bubble Bath / Bath Bomb

Boy am I dreaming about a bath now! (and that glass of wine!)
My favorite here is the bath caddy because it's one of the only ones I've seen that holds your book upright for you!

Which is your favorite?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Gift Basket Goodies

Back in November (yes, November!) I won a lovely gift basket from Linda of Abigail Jayne Art. I realize Fall is long gone, but I want to show you the goodies I received and thank Linda for the beautiful items.

There were 4 items in total and a cute little basket as well.

My favorite of the basket were these pot holders that have been in use since I received them. They only got put away for the season the other day. Yeah, I'm a little behind.

And I love Linda's coasters. I was lucky enough to receive a set of these a few years ago and still use them to this day. While I use my other set in my studio, I decided these should be used in the house.

And this beautiful table runner is great because it is double-sided. So I got to use it both for fall and winter! I love poinsettias!

 Black Lace Hanging Heart
Long Plum Lucite Flower Earrings
And Linda has several great Valentine's items in her shop as well if you're looking for a great gift or something for yourself.

Thanks again Linda!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Early Bloomers

 They missed the memo that it's still winter!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Valentine's Day Readiness

Love Sculpture Card
While I still feel like the holidays just ended, it's already time to start thinking ahead to Valentine's Day. I'd had a couple of custom requests for Valentine's cards in my shop and realized that my listings from last year were still deactivated. My brain wasn't ready for the next holiday I guess! But alas, we are already at the end of January and it's time to start planning ahead.

Tandem Bike Valentine
Upon relisting my cards from last year, I've already had several orders for them. So I'm telling you, get those Valentine items Buyers are out there and ready to shop!
 I love you to the moon and back
Over the last couple of years, I've added a couple new designs to my shop each year. One of the custom requests I got this year was for a popular quote "I love you to the moon and back". I thought it was the perfect design to add to this year's offerings.

Is your shop ready for Valentine's Day?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Features - Garnet

While everyone knows how much I love pink ;) I also like to branch out with other colors as well. And that usually means deep, rich hues. I'm not much of a pastel girl (even when it comes to pink!) so I love January's birthstone of the Garnet. I had a lot of fun browsing Etsy for today's finds and had a hard time narrowing it down! I hope you'll enjoy my selections!

I got a little side-tracked while browsing and purchased a pair of earrings from one of these shops! I'll be sure to blog about them when they arrive :)
Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The January Blahs

They have official hit...The January Blahs! Each year after the holiday rush comes to an end, the blahs set in. During the holidays, I'm in full work-mode where every hour is spent working. I'm a machine and I get SO much done in a day, it's great. But then the rush ends, which is also great! But then I'm left with all this time. Time I should be using to get things done that didn't get done while I was working those crazy hours. But all I want to do is sleep in, sit around, and check Facebook like 10 times per! While this is okay to an extent, I hate not being productive! I hate that blah feeling!

Then I'm reminded of Kristen's post about her word for the year...Start. I really think she's on to something. Because if I just start doing something, anything really, I get on a roll and things start getting done. So I created a list this week of things I want to get accomplished. Things that have been put off and need to get completed. Having the list means I always have something productive I can be doing. And it gives me several options. So if I don't feel like editing pictures, I can get off my butt and finally put away my show inventory and see what needs restocked before spring shows begin.

While a break would be nice, I'd much rather spend it on a beach somewhere. Since I don't see that happening any time soon, I might as well be productive and get rid of this blah feeling!
Do you get the January Blahs?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Features - Bundle Up!

I know I shouldn't complain, because our temps here in Iowa have been rather mild so far this winter. But this week, the temps dropped to the single digits with wind chills below zero...YUK! So this week's features are all about staying warm.

And don't forget to keep your furbabies warm as well!

How are the temps in your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Converse for Christmas

 Guess which ones are mine :)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Meet Gladys

Amidst all the holiday craziness, there was a little fun going on behind the scenes for me. Back in September, I took my '63 Rambler Wagon in to be painted. It's something I had talked about doing for quite some time, but the cost always held me back. I finally took the plunge and I couldn't be happier I did!! I finally got her back on Dec. 30th!

Meet Gladys!
I decided that after painting her Hot Pink Pearl, that she really needed an official girl name. Since this car belonged to my great grandma (yes, it's a 4th generation car!) that it would be appropriate to name her after my Great-Grandma Gladys.
In April when I get my plates renewed, they will bear her name :)

The first picture above is still in the body shop, with no chrome on yet. My dad and Jesse spent a couple days putting her all back together. The chrome really makes her shine! I can't wait til I can take her outside and get some great shots in the sun. Since it was like 3 degrees yesterday, all you get are garage

I also had both the front and back seats recovered earlier this year as well. Since the painting process took a little longer than planned, they aren't actually in the car yet. (Who doesn't like car seats sitting in their living room?) In the spring, I'll be taking her to get all new carpet and then the new seats can be installed. I'm also still debating new door panels as well.

I'm sure you're not surprised that I choose pink :) And I can guarantee you you won't see another like it! Not only are Ramblers pretty rare, this color of paint is actually quite hard to come by! Who knew no one else wanted a hot pink car :)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday Features - Handwriting

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, my Handwritten Cutting Boards were by far the most popular item for the holidays.

 I also sold several knives with a handwritten signature on them as well. Being able to have a loved ones handwriting on something you can carry with you at all times is pretty special. I even gave my dad one of my knives with my brother's signature on it. The best gift I gave all year!

And several other Etsy sellers know how special items with handwriting are as well. I had lots of fun searching Etsy for these items and found some really unique ideas.

This Wall Hanging is one of the more original ideas I've seen. I love that you could have a small sentiment or a long quote.

Jewelry with handwriting is very popular right now. Everything from rings, necklaces, bracelets, key chains, etc. I like the idea that you can take it with you everywhere.
I wear my brother's finger print necklace almost every day and it would be so cool to have his signature added to the back as well!

Another fun home decor idea is this painted sign. Match any decor with lots of colors to choose from.
(bonus...this seller is from Iowa!)

I'm hoping to add more items to my shop this year that include handwriting. I've done picture frames, recipe boxes and signatures on ornaments, so I'm hoping to start with those!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Top Sellers for 2015

Personalized items always make great gifts. And when you can find a hole in the market that seems to be unfilled, it's even better.

My Handwritten Cutting Boards aren't anything new to my shop or to the handmade world as a whole, but they still remain my number one seller, especially for the holidays. Anything with a loved one's handwriting makes the item even more special.

My wooden ornaments were popular again this year as well. And the First Home Ornaments were especially popular. This is one of those "holes" I was talking about. I know there are generic first home ornaments out there, but to get a picture of your actual house at the time you bought it...that's pretty special. And these were purchased by both the home owners as well as by friends/family as gifts.

Another "hole" in the market that I didn't realize was there were the Ironman Ornaments. I'd made these for the same customer 2 years in a row and decided to add them to my shop to see if they'd sell. Boy did they! I had no idea so many people participated in these competitions. They're held all over the world and several times per year!
And while this is a competition for both men and women, I think the rustic style of the wood really appeals as a "guy gift".

Did you find any "holes" in your market or untapped territory? I know I'll be on the lookout for other unique items to add to my shop for next year!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Marketing Manager, Shipping Manager...Life Saver

It wouldn't be right for me to tell you what a great holiday season I had without giving credit where credit is due. Last year I had a friend come out 2 days a week to help me package orders. This year, I knew I would need someone 5 days a week and wasn't having luck finding anyone I thought could handle working with me 5 days a week during the crazy holiday What was a girl to do? Mom to the rescue!

We've always joked that my mom's title in my company is "Marketing Manager". She is always telling everyone she meets about my business and sending me new ideas. Then she volunteered to be my "Shipping Manager". We never did decide if that was a promotion or demotion, but she signed up for it either way :)

And not only did she package orders 5 days a week...sometimes 6 or 7 days a week. She also did lots of busy work so I could keep the lasers running as much as possible. She volunteered to take labels off 33 decanter boxes...which had a label on! She also got the fun job of tying ribbons on all of the ornaments. One order alone was 130 ornaments!

She also did a lot of running for me! I didn't leave the house for almost a month! If we didn't get the packages out before the mailman got there or something needed to go to UPS and the truck actually wasn't stopping that day, she'd run everything to town. And pickup groceries for me while she was at it! She even made a special trip to town for me to get Harley's special dog food from the vet.

As you read, my mom had 3 titles and the last was "Life Saver"! Last year I was very stressed by the time Christmas got here. I do everything I can to prepare, but when everything I make is custom-order, it's hard to work ahead. Having my mom here for 3 months really was a life-saver!
We joked at the beginning as to whether we'd survive working together for that long, but in the end, it was hard to have her go! And I know she'll miss me asking her "What are you doing? WHAT are you doing?" LOL :)


Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy 2016!

Hello and Happy 2016! As you can tell from my lack of posts over the last month and a half, things were quite busy over the holidays! (okay, that's the understatement of the year!) But it was a great holiday season both personally and professionally. And I hope it was the same for all of my readers as well.

I just wanted to start off with a short post to say Hi and let you all know I was still alive! I hope to be back to regular blogging soon. I have so much to share and so many posts I want to write! But for now, I'm off to see what you've all been up to since I've been away.
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