Wednesday, January 30, 2008

there ain't enough room for the both of us

literally. i believe Kid Little is competing in a kick-boxing tournament today due to the fact that it's not the usual time for kick-boxing (practice usually starts around 8:30 at nite) and the moves are much more uncomfortable on my end (lots of force behind those blows and lots of spin moves). you watch, this kid will come out and never move. ever. it will just sit there and look at us.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

pounce me!

i'm a newbie pounce!

i'm pretty sure nothing will come of it, but hey- it was there!

Monday, January 28, 2008

organize me silly!

I FINALLY got the pictures "edited" from my studio space... It feels great to know everything is in place, everything is inventoried (down to the last 3 drug envelope and bag) and I can now work a little more efficiently. Checkitout!

I'm struggling a bit on the creative juice side- mainly do to lack of sleep- I believe. Comfort is not much of an option these days... I usually get pinged with at least one thing a week, however I have tested out a few designs and found that they DON'T work.

I designed a grocery list that broke items down by category... Well I went to make our grocery list with it last nite and found it completely inefficient and hard to use- lots of wasted space and no place for my coupons! I love my coupons! The coupon shopping list will be showing up shortly in my etsy shop... Just a few more tweeks are needed. If you're like me, you use coupons and you're quite fanatical about them... I save at least $40 when I go to the grocery between coupons and in-store sales so I usually have a TON with me. I devised a list that allows you to list the coupon you have for a particular item so that you don't have to keep sorting thru your pack to see the offer- it's worked GREAT for me in the past coupled months or so. I'm pretty syked on it.

I've also found myself wanting to redesign a lot of the things I designed a year ago for my vendor shop. I threw a lot of things together last minute to be ready and I'm just not happy with them. Some I'm okay with- I haven't decided if I want to place them in a sale listing on etsy to just clear the inventory or if I want to just put them on etsy to see how they do- either way I have to take photos first, so we'll see. I do know that i'm going to make a pack of 8 of two of my thank you cards available- that one just hit me the other day (there are times I'm a bit slow, yes). I might even do a little mix'n'match deal where you get a big "grab bag" of cards for such'n'such price, but I hate to already have a sale when I've just opened my shop... Maybe a question for the forums...

so saturday i went to my first "hobby nite" with my etsy street team. i'm not sure how i feel about it... except that i know i am completely different than most people in that group (aside from being the youngest in the group) which is great for diversity, but a little overwhelming all the same. unfortunately i can't make it the next 2 months, so maybe once spring hits the air i'll sing a different tune.

i think that's all i have the energy for today... maybe i'll get a second wind tonite ;-)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

i see right thru you

ugh- you never realize how hard it is to photograph something clear until you actually have to do it! below is a dinner menu i did for a bride... her colors where clear, white and blue and since her brother was creating the menu, she wanted it showcased.

i think it turned out great (considering i was on a tight deadline as well!) and will now have to figure out how to take a better shot of it just because i'm a crazy perfectionist with my photographs. arrggggh. BUT... i was also able to get my workspace in order this weekend (yay!) so photos will be coming tomorrow or tuesday. i'm super syked about this!!

it's getting late for this little prego, so i'll be sure to post about the weekend tomorrow. :-)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

sick day

so even though today has been a sick day for me, i didn't allow it to become an unproductive day. i'm perfectly capable of getting myself in order even though i feel queezy. below is my second project (more on my first project in a few).

these will then be tied to the new paper towers i put together last weekend for easy searching and finding of all the lovely paper i have acquired. i'm going to go down and attach these in a few- after i rest for a bit. the pups and i have been pretty lazy today- lots of napping for marvin and lazy stares out the window for matilda. for me? letterpress hunting.
i've found a new obsession with finding myself a letterpress. after letting the last one slip thru my fingers (i had just found out we were expecting Kid Little and i thought i should save my pennies for things like diapers and furniture- ya know, responsible things.) well now i really really want one. i mean really really really want one. so now i must show my virtue of patience and, like when trying to find "mr. right", be patient and let fate work it's magic. it WILL find me one day and i WILL find it- i just have to be patient.
so my first "project" was to go pay my shop rent. i had completely forgotten about it and figured, though not feeling well at all, i needed to see if i had any december sales so i could finalize tax stuff, count inventory for taxes and pay my final rent payment. so i walk in to find that the vendor next to me had painted my space a dull khaki color. yuck. i had this awesome green up and it was just painted over. now, mind you, i have not been happy with this little business venture i got myself into and this just made matters worse. surprisingly the owner was there for once and i made my disapproval and disappointment known to her. so what did she say to me? "i know you've been unhappy, so if you want to take your shop down today, that's okay with me" *insert singing choir here* BEST NEWS EVER. i told her i was picking up my february rent check on my way out and that i appreciated her letting me leave. a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and i feel like now i can only move forward with things.
my bride from the previous post loved her invitations and i'm now working on her thank you notes. i'm pretty excited- she seems very pleased with everything!
so now, i go into planning mode. what's my next move? do i advertise? where do i advertise? do i send out samples to local stationery shops to see if they will place a wholesale order or put my items up on consignment? i really really want to weigh options this time before jumping in and i really believe i'll be smarter this time... well, let's hope anyway.
for photos of the studio space to come!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

top o' the pack

i made it to the top of the pack! i listed two photographs on etsy this morning and when i did a search to see where they would pop up, i was on top!

sure, i won't stay there forever, but it was nice to be the first person you see! i'm hoping to get a few more photos taken this weekend so i can do a mass-loading of items next week.

i'm sure there's more to come today!

Monday, January 21, 2008

ground rules

so i decided i needed to set some ground rules for myself (a post that i'm sure will be ever evolving and changing and having a lot of excuses made for its posting!) in terms of my business. last year i was "forced" to dive head first into the murky waters of self-employment and this year i'm seeing a little bit more clarity in terms of what i need to do differently.

1. don't spend what you don't have.
therefore, i have made a wish list (which i'll try and post in a side column) in order of priority that i would like to purchase it. these are items i can only buy when my business account has the money to account for the full purchase price. this will be hard because i ALWAYS find things i want to buy or try out and then i end up with a pile of inventory (which i finished counting this weekend- yay!) and nothing to show for the purchases. i can tell i'm wising up to my spending because i turned down the opportunity to buy a letterpress when i first found out i was pregnant. hardest thing to do, but economically responsible. ugh- being responsible is painful sometimes.

2. when in doubt, sketch it out.
i have all this GREAT paper that is just lying around and i can't decide what i want to do with it. i need to get in the habit of sketching and layout designs before i commit to paper. i found it so helpful when i was asked by an etsy member to create an avatar and banner for her son's shop. she then asked me to do her banner and i found myself going right back to the pen and paper to work it all out. i need to do that with my cards. i need to either sketch digitally or manually, but i need to sketch so i don't find myself wasting my time and paper on crap designs i don't even like.

3. work whatcha got.
i bought this software last year to try and keep track of my income/expenses/inventory and didn't use it once. i need to use it and use it religiously. i've always been one that loves to write things out- i love paper filled with writing, but i've spent this past month (actually more than that) sorting receipts, recording income and expenses- it was fun because i oddly like to do that sort of thing, but time that i could have been doing other things.

so far that's all i got. i'm sure there will be more to come... and i'll probably put this little list our to the side with my wish list just so i can see it day in and day out and hope to adhere to it.
i have a gathering after work, so i won't get to show off my manual labor of this weekend until later, but it will be up this week.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

bang bang bang

ugh- my house is under renovation and though i love him dearly, the hubz is makin' a lot of noise! however, amidst the rubble, i was able to take photos of not only the items i need to list tomorrow on etsy, but all of my custom wedding invitations from the past few years. here is the latest

i used stardream and wausau papers along with an envelopment. i'm really happy with how these turned out!
if you check out my etsy shop you'll notice i updated my photos... i'm so much happier with these- much crisper, much clearer and just much better all around.
tonite i'm hoping to make my paper tower- i'm so excited! i figure while i'm digging around downstairs in my studio area, i'll finish up my inventory as well. i just have envelopes and clearbags to count and i'll be done! that will be a big load off my shoulders. i'll take some photos to post, as well, of my work areas. the house will be all mine tonite (hubz is going to play poker), so i'm pretty excited for some down time to get some stuff done!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

etsy calendar!

thank you

(gotta give a shout out!)

When should sellers start listing season-sensitive items on Etsy. We don't want item listings to expire until right after the season.

This is my new calendar for listing on Etsy for 2008.

1 2 3 4
Jan Feb Mar Apr
5 6 7 8
May Jun July Aug
9 10 11 12
Sep Oct Nov Dec

* Asterisked dates depend on a lunar or other calendar and will change every year with respect to the Gregorian calendar.

Jan 1 New Year’s Day list Sep 15
Feb. 5 Mardi Gras* list Oct 15
Feb. 7 Chin NY* (Rat) list Oct 15
Feb. 14 Valentine’s Day list Nov 1
Mar 18 St. Patrick’s Day list Dec 1
Mar. 20 Spring Equinox* list Dec 1
Mar 23 Easter* list Dec 1
Apr 20 Jewish Passover list Jan 1
May 5 Cinco de Mayo list Jan 1
May 11 Mother’s Day list Jan 1
June 15 Father’s Day list Feb 1
June 20 Summer Solstice* list Feb 1
July 4 Independence Day list Mar 1
Sep. 2 Ramadan* list May 15
Sep. 23 Autumn Equinox* list June 1
Oct. 31 Halloween list July 15
Nov. 1 Día de los Muertos list July 15
Nov. 11 Veteran’s Day list July 15
Nov. 27 Thanksgiving list Aug 1
Nov. 30 Advent* list Aug 1
Dec. 22 Hanukkah* list Sep 1
Dec. 21 Winter Solstice* list Sep 1
Dec. 25 Christmas list Sep. 1
Dec. 26 Kwanzaa list Sep. 1

flowers everywhere

so thanks to a co-worker, ginamarie, i have a few pics from the craft show we did at work back in december. it was my first show and, in all honesty, i was damn proud of my results! i exceeded my sales goal of about $15 and for my first show, my first few months at work (and no one knowing me or my business) i think that's pretty good. here are ginamarie's pics...

and another

this one's a bit fuzzy, but hey- she thought ahead better than i did and brought a camera!

i also thought i'd post a drawing i've been working on forever. i really want to get my hand used to that sort of movement again, but with coming home after work- exhausted from the gymnastics and river dances going on in my stomach, i'm usually in no mood to sit down and figure out the colored pencils again. i'm hoping to catch up on a lot of it during maternity leave, but that will all depend on kid little's dependency issues.

other than that, i'm just preparing for taxes: taking inventory, figuring out profit vs loss- all that fun stuff. i've purchased a showcase on etsy for my valentine's day cards, gifts, etc so that's my motivation to take better pictures this weekend. ugh, i'm so bummed about how horrible they look! i also have a handful of things to photograph and put up... decorative envelopes, more cards and maybe even some fun boxes. oh i'm ambitious...

until later! :-)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

where did i put...

so i've come to the conclusion that though i LOVE the idea of organization and "everything has a place"... i'm just not good at it. i have all these great tear-outs from magazines with nifty ideas on how to get yourself "put together" but know where those are? they're in a plastic tub waiting to be put in clear sleeves and into the 4 3-ring binders i bought just for those tear-outs... know how long they've been there? 3 years at least. ugh. i must say, however, that i am very proud to announce that i received 3 magazines on the same day (saturday i believe) and i have read all three magazines, torn out the keepsakes (but sadly just put the tear-outs in the bin), and then promptly recycled the magazines that were then hauled off this morning by mr. recycle guy. i do believe that is a record for me.

i think part of my problem with organizing is that all the magazines and tv shows, etc etc want you to run out and buy all these pretty boxes and crates and holders and blah blah blah. i love me a pretty box any day of the week, but where is the $10 for each pretty box supposed to come from? especially since i would literally have to buy 12-20 of them? i'm sorry, but i'd rather spend that money on pretty shoes more than i would pretty boxes. so this puts us right back into the circle of "where did i put..." ugly vicious cycle.

another part of my problem is i like my stuff. and i like my stuff to be with me... at all times. i like to see my treasures and i like others to see my treasures. however- i have done a FANTASTIC job (if i do say so myself) in the past month of ridding myself of stuff. i have donated box upon box to goodwill (can you say lovely tax deduction?) and simply filled garbage/recycle bag upon garbage/recycle bag with stuff. in my defense, a lot of it was stuff that was given to me (or the hubz) that we weren't sure we were "allowed" to get rid of... you know what i mean? that stuff that someone gave you or you've had forever because someone said you should keep it, so you just do. yeah- all of that was gone in the first haul.

so now that leaves me only with lovely ideas of one day everything having its place- and it will... just maybe not in this house.

Monday, January 7, 2008

I'm up!

I posted 3 designs on Etsy tonite- my Valentine's day cards... see below

I'm super excited because this is my first step in smarter business ventures (at least i hope!) i'm not 100% happy with the photographs, but for now they'll work. if they prove to completely suck- i've only spent 60cents posting. i figure even if i sell a few a month, i'll be a happy girl. i just know that come april i'll have my hands full, so if i can get some revenue built up now- and get a "fan base"- even if that's 3 people- it will help out while i'm not working full time.

i was able to stick to almost all of my goals last year, so i feel like i'm taking a positive step in reaching my goals this year.... just wanting to check them off the list one statement at a time!

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Year, New Blog

So this year will be a big year... new business ventures, old venture ending (yay!), new baby- new lifestyle. So why not an entirely new blog? sure!

One of my new year's resolutions has been to make smart decisions with my business. That means as of February I will no longer be located in The Red Door in Mason. Many vendors have already left, therefore I don't feel so much like I failed. I will be posting on very soon and this is a good strong step forward, I feel. I'll still have, but won't promote it as much as my etsy site (

So look for more blogging to come! I have a lot of ideas for this blog, so hopefully I can incorporate everything this coming year!