Monday, November 24, 2008

And the winner is...

I've been a bit under the weather, so this post is a bit late... but... the winner of the christmas cards is...


I will be emailing you shortly! And thanks SO MUCH to everyone that participated!

I'll have more when I'm feeling better.

Now, look out Chicken Noodle Soup

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Breakfast Bar...

isn't this what breakfast bars are intended for, right? yummy paper and envelopes?

looking down the bar


the envelopes

i think i underestimated myself and what i was putting out there. i think i'm going to be taking over the breakfast bar like this for the next few weeks... good thing we've never really even used it :-) big ups to hubz for building these cabinets to my specifications (he even lined up the waynes coating- or whatever it's called- lines) and making them look fantastic!

here's the cabinets in all their glory... well, without their doors and hardware... but that whole wall he built- granite tile bar and all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

If I ever curse her...


Please smack me. She's helping me with the pretty stuff you see below... and she's been so good to me. I hope she never leaves me.

Seeing as how our bedroom doubles as my office, my stuff tends to spread itself out wherever I can find room. I make-do now, but I long for the day when I can take over an entire room without the inconvenience of having to move my beloved piles in order to sleep.

We had our first "snowfall" yesterday. This is what the Live Forever's looked like when I got home from work. The white was so vibrant off the green it was almost blinding. They looked like Dip n Dots if you ask me. Maybe I'm just hungry. Ah, well. Whatever. I still like them.




Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's a Carnival in November

Yup. The EtsyGreetings Team is having a Blog Carnival... and I'm giving you a chance to win some goodies of mine.

I'm giving away one pack of Holiday cards of your choice. Yup. I just listed them this weekend and I'm giving you a chance to win one of the packs below

Just leave a comment here and on Friday I'll choose my winner. Please only enter once and this is open to everyone- international participants included. Members of the EtsyGreetings Team are welcome to enter as well! To head back to the EtsyGreetings blog to enter more giveaways, click the link in the first sentence or that snazzy button on the top right of the blog.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

You think I would learn

cutting calendars

As most creative do, ideas swirl constantly in my mind. I try to get them out as soon as I can, but it's not always that easy with an 8 month old and a full time job. So, I usually end up throwing something together in Illustrator, only to never be satisfied with how my design transferred to the computer from my mind. Sometimes I just go with it and sometimes I don't. I now have an entire bin full of "shouldn't have gone with that" to put out at my next craft fair as a "discontinued bin". You think I would learn by now to go back to the way we did it in school.


Mock ups.

Lay down the design.

Mock up.

Fix problems.

Mock up.


Make millions.

The last part may be a stretch, but lately I haven't been able to successfully transfer ideas to designs and I know what the problem is. I haven't mocked it up or sketched it out. I haven't put it to paper- I haven't looked at all the possibilities. I haven't seen it- its flaws, its successes, it's "okays". We all have ideas in our minds, but we can never know if they are feasible (for us and our resources, anyway) unless we work out their kinks.

For months I've been mulling over a project, how to get it work and how I want to pull it together. It never dawned on me until now to sketch it out and mock it up. *duh* I started to do it with another project and *shocking* it worked. It showed me areas of improvement, areas that didn't work and areas I really liked. I haven't been able to go back to this project- mainly because I thought of another medium that would work better than card stock and give it the extra push over edge to make it great.

Mr. Panda

So now, I find my sketch book again, put down the design, mock it up, work it out and put out something I'm proud of and you're proud to give out. I've obviously had success with items that I take my time with (my calendar that 2 years), so I need to pay attention to what works and go with that method. I've always said that I will not put something out there again that I wouldn't buy myself. I need to remember that. There are a lot of good ideas that are just sitting in folders on my computer waiting to come to life- but they're all missing something and I refuse to put them out there before they're ready. I'm almost there, but "almost" isn't good enough.

Now if you'll excuse me... I have some designs to work out.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Now that's what I call Supportive

Little Mrs. :: I sold another calendar

Mr.Little :: Sweet! That's like 5, right?

Little Mrs. :: Something like that

Mr.Little :: You'll be able to quit your job and work from home pretty soon!

Little Mrs. :: Yeah... those 5 calendars really put me over the edge.


Isn't he adorable? He dreams so big.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I told you!

Get 'em while they're hot.

And I'd like to give a shout out to Mr. Little this fine day as it's our 2nd year anniversary. He was so kind to send me flowers yesterday (to try to throw me off) as his way of saying thanks for my nagging, whining and just all around pain-in-the-ass ways. He loves me so.

So, hubs... I'm pourin' one out for you, homie. You're great and I'd like to keep ya around.

now, drink chug-a-lug!

Monday, November 10, 2008

2 Items in!

I finally got 2 new items in the shop. Perfect for the holidays as they are personalize-able (if that's even a word.)

Line of Dots


Oval Dots

and I'm just saying that you MIGHT be able to win this last set here on Tuesday. maybe. i'm just sayin'.

and i've got more where that came from.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Workin' like a dog

This weekend was one of manual labor and a little design. I also got a photoshoot in there too. And it was with one of my favorite ladies.


Miss Matilda is a bit camera shy. She's a sweetheart, but your typical rescue dog... a little skiddish around strangers and very VERY attached to me.

I honestly have no idea what I did on Friday. Seriously. No clue.
Saturday, we shipped off the nugget and went to work.
This was my job.

To this.
Primed furniture

Add a little of this.

And end with this.

I only have one coat on right now and it needs another, but I can't wait. The walls are going to be the green in my logo
Five Dot Design web logo

so to say it will be a vibrant room will be an understatement. I'm going to recover that rocking chair seat with something fun like heather bailey.

This is what hubs did.
Hard at work

To this. (With my contribution!)
Looking toward the back

One more coat of white and we'll be able to start on the closet in the front. Once that's done, it will be time to move in the toys and let the nugget take over!

With 2 curious dogs, we only ended up with one white streak on the butt (Marvin), some white whiskers and some white AND pink on the pads (Matilda).

Wet nose
The Culprit
Pink feet

and this is what happens when you ask him to watch the nugget for awhile while you get some work done

And Matilda thought she hit the jackpot because not only was someone paying attention to her, but this person couldn't run away. Nugget just wanted to eat her ball.

Friday, November 7, 2008

2008 Wrapped Up

This entire year has been a whirlwind and it's that time to start preparing for the next year. This is about the time I start getting my paperwork ready for taxes, take my inventory and start tallying. Last year's meeting with HR Block taught me a lot on how to prepare for this year. I think I did pretty darn good.

It's also time for me to set my goals for next year. I didn't really set goals-goals last year because I wasn't sure when I was going to be able to jump back in the saddle after having my little girl. I did tell Mr. HR Block that I was hoping to make a particular amount this year (after taxes and such) and I'm happy to announce that I met that goal- with only working 7 months out of the year.

Working a full time job, raising my little nugget and keeping designs and inventory fresh took a bit of work, but it's manageable. If you don't force the work or designs and let them flow naturally, it works with you and not against you. I think that some (note: some- not all) designers put pieces out there for the sake of having inventory. My first year I did that, it backfired on me and I vowed not to put out anything I didn't love. That was the reason my calendar took 2 years to complete and the reason that I have 3-4 concepts that I haven't released yet: i don't love them and I can't market and sell something I don't believe in. I'm so close, but I can't justify sacrificing the final product just to have "numbers" in my shop.

I edit very often and very meticulously. in theory, i COULD offer everything possible... and i probably already have it designed, but if I'm not "feeling" it, it doesn't go up. money also drives what gets put up. i know you have to spend money to make money, but I'm not at the point where I'm ready to go out and buy a lot of supplies and not be able to have multiple uses for them.

With all that said, I'm extremely proud of the buzz I managed to generate for my shop. I participated in giveaways, blog features and promoted wherever I could. I just put my product out there and let it work for me. Many say hearts and views don't matter- and they don't really... on the business end. But they do matter on the ego and motivation end. And i don't mean ego in the "I'm popular" sense. I mean ego in the sense that these people ENJOY your work. They see what you see in your work. They LIKE what you've dreamed up in your mind and they APPRECIATE what you do. So yes, hearts and views matter. They remind me that I'm doing okay. Not everyone is going to love what you have to offer, so knowing there are others that appreciate my work pushes me to create more. So those of you that have hearted me... know that I thank you for showing your appreciation for my hard work.

I have so many ideas dreamed up for this next year and I'm not going to lie... I'm a bit worried that I won't be able to make those dreams come true. Some are a bit ambitious for my schedule, but I'll still work hard and I'll still put my best foot forward, whatever design might be on that foot. I have textiles, thread, felt and mix media on the mind, but it's all hazy still. I would love a collaboration of sorts with someone, so if anyone reading has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

I'm also going to be looking to adapt my Signature Series into somewhat of a true collection. I want to expand and look at the whole "desk" so to speak- think about what I use in my daily routine and see how I can incorporate those items into my designs. I may even redesign things a bit and see if I can introduce something tactile and interactive. These are the things I perceive as taking a bit of time, but I know that if I'm patient and true to the design... it will all work out.

I, honestly, haven't made my 2009 Goals yet. Maybe that's something I'll do tonite while I wait for the ball to drop. I have a few ideas rolling around right now, but I'm not ready to commit to my list. Once it's settled upon, I'll be sharing (which I'm sure everyone else will be, too!) I honestly, like to see what others come up with to see what might also inspire me for the new year. Last year I broke it down into months- by X month I wanted this done and that was a real motivation, so I might carry that theme out again. I'll also be starting my "35 by 35" list which could be pretty interesting given what a huge year I had this year in terms of events, accomplishments and experiences. (warning: some things I've accomplished will also be on that list because I need the motivation of boxes checked. Plain and simple.)

Either way I hope you all have a great new year in 2009 and I hope that I can keep your attention in the year to come! Below you will find some of my favorites from the year.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tropical Tree Frog Costume GIVEAWAY!!!!

holy crap. seriously? this woman is amazing!

Tropical Tree Frog Costume GIVEAWAY!!!!

Go and Get it...

get some goodies!

and then check out little miss dorothy (shoes from PinkMarshmellow)

trick or treat was a success! we were able to hit two houses of friends AND make it home before 8:30. she hung in there like a trooper (taking a power nap while hitting a few of the houses) and our first halloween was a success!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Calendar Girls

Congratulations to

Chantelle and Katelyn!

I'll get your calendars out to you this week!

and here's what I've been working on. Doesn't look like much, but if I can work out the kinks, I think it will be pretty nice!