Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Oh my...

It is strange how time works and life happens. My last post was months ago, but if you would have asked me I would have told you I just put something up just the other day! I have not done a whole lot of creating as I have done a lot of the behind the scene's work.  I have landed my first wedding package job and I did not know how much really goes into doing one of these. I am having a lot of fun, but learning a lot along the way. But I guess that is what happens any time you go into business for yourself. Here are a few things that I have put together in my absence :) 

Thanks for looking! And Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Life... the Other Side of Business

Sorry about my delay in blogging! Life is ..just..well.. Life!

 However, that is exactly what I wanted to blog about today, what do you do when life happens? 

In the past couple of months so many changes have taken place in my world, it is enough to make any one need to take a breather. Nothing negative exactly, just a whole lot! But, during all of this I have had deadlines to meet, product to deliver, new customers added and new ideas to market (and yes, I still work full time and have a family). There where quite a few times when I thought how much easier it would be to just put a note up some where, " Be Right Back" and hide under my desk! But this is business we are talking! And deadlines are not going to meet themselves. So what do you do?

You do a lot of re-prioritizing and get serious with yourself about what you are and are not capable of doing. I know that when you are first starting out in just about any business, when something comes your way you feel like you just have to do it or you are just doomed to fail! But in being fair to yourself and to your client it is sometimes better to say no than to over extend yourself and run the risk of losing a client.

With the work that you are able to do, separate it into priorities. Items that are due the soonest get done first, biggest projects get tackled in sections, perhaps you do not have a set client that you are working for? In that case it is very important to have personal goal time lines. I set a date to have holiday cards finished, or samples that I would like to have done for potential custom orders. I feel like it is very important to have a eye out for the bigger picture at all times. You never know when that next big thing may drop in your lap!

I personally would not have been able to make it through the last couple of weeks with out self goals and personal lists of "to do's". But I also would not have been able to make it through with out scheduled "down-time". That part of the day when you remind yourself that you are only one person (or in some cases a very small business) and give yourself time to relax. This will help with the burn out feeling (which does happen from time to time) and give you time to regain some focus. 

Just remember why you got into business, set realistic goals and work to surpass them. I hope these little tidbits help you. I would love to hear feedback on what you do when life happens! 

Happy Crafting! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

On the Move!!!!

Hello All...

Just wanted to let you know that I have not forgot about the blog world! On top of being extremely busy creating, Kiesha's Krafts is moving! March has been a very busy month with lots of wonderful opportunities opening up for me, and one of them came as quite a quick but very pleasant surprise, a wonderful new apartment, with tons more craft space.  So excuse me while the dust settles and I get settled into my new place! Be on the look out for organization tips, with out these this move would have been very difficult to say the least!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Take Time to Play

It is very easy to get caught up in the "to-do" list of life. Every once in a while it is okay to give yourself a break and just create simply because you love to do it.

Being a hand-crafter you are in constant competition. Competition with big business, other crafters with your skill, and the average joe blow that doesn't get why you work so hard and why on earth they should buy from you. ( My goodness they can get a whole pack of cards from the local dollar store for that price!) I have found myself working so hard to try and keep up with the latest trends, preparing for the next seasons, that sometimes I forget why I do this.

 I just love it.

So Sunday I gave myself permission to  play, no pressure, no agenda other than to create. And this is one of the things I came up with:

I just love butterflies!

Set a play date with you, take one day of the week to do what you love, be your own inspiration...
Happy Crafting!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Who Says You Can't?!

This week I wanted to talk about selling your crafts, art, handmade delights.

I personally struggled for a long time with the idea of selling things that I just loved to create. I just kept telling myself over and over, I just can't do that. So in this case, I said I couldn't. The first step to overcoming any challenge is to rethink your thought process about the challenge itself. Changing your mind will change your actions, which will in result change your outcome. Every time you tell yourself that you "just can't do it" challenge yourself to come up with two reasons why you just can!

My two reasons were:
  • I love to create.
  • I am good at it too!

I know this is coming off a bit Bob the Builder, "Yes, We Can" , but you will surprise even yourself when you look at what you did! I often refer back to the fact that I have been a business license holder for over 3 years now, but it has just been in the last couple of months that I have changed my thought processes that my business has changed as well! I present myself as an artist, who is serious about her work, and stands beside every item that I make.The worse thing that you can possibly hear is a no, but then you are no worse off than where you began.Not comfortable with the thought of talking to a store owner,then present yourself online. Look at websites that offer storefronts for little to no cost and then tell every one you know about it. And every one they know too!

Going into business for yourself is not something than can be taken lightly regardless if you are doing it part time or full time. When you decide to commit do just that, commit. Understand that the possibilities are endless. The biggest hurdle you have to over come is the one that you set for yourself.

Think your items are good enough to sell, who says you can't? I say you can. Now the question is do you think you can?

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Never too Busy

What a whirlwind of a couple of weeks it has been. This year my vow has been to take my business serious and being serious is hard work! But the pay off is priceless. No, I am not raking in millions, but what I am rolling in is a wonderful amount of personal fulfillment.

I have had to re-vamp my work schedule, think about new tools to increase productivity, ponder other product lines, inquire about sales tax, and remember to eat in between all that!

However I did not want to become so busy that I forget to re-connect.

With that in mind,  today I gave one of my favorite customers (who just so happens to be a co-worker) a little trinket to let her know that I appreciate her and her business. That made me think, I wonder what other work at home people/ small business owners do to say thank you? Maybe it is not for business maybe it is just a random act of kindness. What are your ways of letting people know you haven't forgotten about them? While all of the behind the scenes work is so important, where would we be with out our clients or customers? I want to be very successful, I just never want to be so successful that I forget the people who helped me to get there.

By the way, my customer was overwhelmed at the fact that I thanked her, she said I made her whole day.(Like turned beet red!)  That to me was worth more than any sale that I could ever make!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

OMG... Did you see this?

Cricut Craft Room

I was just on my new favorite site Scraps Of Color and there was a discussion about the Cricut Design Studio and the Gypsy. I personally have the Design Studio and I love it, but I have seriously considered getting the Gypsy especially for the portability! I think I would still want one, but this program looks absolutely wonderful and best of all its FREE!!!!! Take a look and tell me what you think? I saw this video on Creations with Christina (check her out here!) and was almost screaming!!! Now I will let you in on a little secret, I am not the most patient person in the world. Like, I want this YESTERDAY, but I know that this will be worth the wait! Would love to hear your thoughts on this!

While I'm here let me share a couple of Valentine's I have been working on!

Thank you for all the warm welcome's from my readers at S.O.C. Please be sure to leave a link to your blogs if you comment and I will be sure to check you out, whether they are craft related or not! I love to hear from you ... Happy Crafting!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Who Says You Can't?!

When deciding that I was going to write a blog again, I knew that  I wanted to have a segment that I did weekly or bi-weekly. Something with little hints, ideas, and things I have learned along the way to share with my readers. The hard part was not coming up with what to write about, the hardest part was the title! There are so many great blogs with wonderful information and clever titles,  but I didn't want to just copy one of those. I needed something that was going to be more me. The thing that I love about blogs are that there are really no rules. It is almost a online smorgasbord of thoughts, rambles, and rants, some with pictures thrown in. Any one can have one, for free, that you can  set up and promote with very little effort. And that got me to thinking? I can write about what ever I want,  who says I can't ?!  Want to write exclusively about how much you love cheddar cheese? Who says you can't? Need to vent about the current state of political affairs? Who says you can't?  Have a opinion on spring fashions? Who says you can't ? Need to shamelessly plug your facebook storefront (right here)and Etsy shop (er..yup, right here) (hint hint)? You got it,who says I can't?  Well, I say I can, and I did!

So, welcome to first edition of my bi-weekly  post aptly titled...are you ready?

Who Says You Can't?!

   Alright, maybe you are not so excited about this. But I AM! Let's get started, shall we?

This week I wanted to talk about repeating your designs. When creating cards or scrapbooking pages the first thing that I am usually set on is my colors. I am inspired by colors and patterns so that comes easily, but the actually design of the card at times escapes me. I consider myself to be a wonderful "scraplifter"", but I do not lift designs that I sell. I think that would be some sort of "card creating plagiarism".

I have been lucky enough to have two local stores carry my cards, so I have personal deadlines set for when to have my projects done and for deliveries. It is not always an option for me to create one of a kinds, as a matter of fact it is not really an option at all. (25 or more different Valentine's Day cards for two different stores not counting what I have on the internet, right when I am getting over the Christmas rush? NO WAY!) So, I often have to come up with something that I can quickly duplicate. But, doing the same card over and over again is well...boring! To keep the designing from just dragging on and on, I change my paper choices and add or remove little design elements. You would be surprised how adding or removing a little piece of ribbon can make a major change. Add a eyelet, round the corners, ink the edges... it creates a the whole new look! There are times that I have to remind myself that there are no rules when it comes to your own craft. So repeat designs? Who says you can't? Well, I say you can! Crafting is about enjoyment, take what ever short cuts you must to keep it easy for you.

Here is an example of some repeats! 

 These are 3x3 gift tags and I love them! By repeating the design I was able to save myself tons of time and I already know what part of these elements that I want to repeat in standard sizes cards! Give it a try, I would love to see what you come up with!

Happy Crafting!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Oh, What a Night

It is amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it! After my post yesterday I decided that I HAD to get something done last night. Well, that turned into a 3 a.m. craft-fest! Time surely does fly when you are having fun, however, it made waking this morning at 7:30 a.m. almost impossible! But, I made it and here are a few things that I got done.

The frog and the bunny are designs that I have done before so I am not sure if that falls under the "creating something new" category... but either way I still think they are way too cute ( even if I do say so myself!)!! And because I sell my cards as well, repeaters are necessary. I just can't bring myself to make them exactly the same,so I often use different patterned paper. The thing that you can not really see in most of these pictures is that the larger pieces are 3-D! I just love Pop Dots, so any time I get to lift something off the paper I do! Thanks so much for looking! And if you are up north, like me, I hope you are not snowed in. But if you are get those Cricuts out and get busy!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, January 31, 2011

365 Card Challenge... not so much

I thought I would share some of the cards  I have done under my challenge.  I have not done a card every day, ( it is a lot harder than I thought it would be!) however, I have done more than I would have if I did not challenge myself. But, there is no quitting in this girl! So, I will continue to steadily plug along and share with you! 

These are just a few of them, these and more can be found on my Facebook Page! Thanks for looking and
Happy Crafting!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Create Something Everyday

    I recently read a blog post that challenged it's readers to create something every day. I have a schedule that I have set for certain days which I create, others for deliveries, correspondence and the like. But I thought what a wonderful way to jump start my New Year, and give myself some motivational tools to keep myself going each day.

    As of, Monday, Jan 31, 2011, I will officially be a business owner for three years. Key words there are business owner, but that is about it. I mean I have a small web presence and have done a couple of custom orders and such. But three years? And all I have to show for it at this point is lots of very pretty paper, wonderful idea books, blogs that I follow, and wonderful friends and family that are looking to support me if I would just create!

    So I took this challenge and though I am only on day four, I have kept it going strong! (Ok, so I am only funny to myself.) But I challenge you to join me. The goal for myself is to create a new card everyday, or to tweak a design that I have already done. What can you do to create something new every day? What is your passion, hobby, obsession?

    I know a photographer that did this not to long ago and his photographic journey was nothing short of amazing. I look forward to the challenge of this and I will be posting pictures to correspond with each date as well. Join me... won't you?

Take  a look at the article that inspired me! Etsy Storque Blog 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Third Time Around

   Okay, so this is not my first time blogging, nor my second time! But this is going to be my first time getting it right!

   My name is Kiesha and I am lucky enough to run a business, part time, from my home, creating and selling handmade paper crafts. I have been scrapbooking for about 8 years now,( though I haven't done much of it lately) and I make handmade greeting cards. I find that when you consider yourself to be a crafty person you dabble in a lot of different areas. But there is just something about paper that keeps drawing me back.  I hope to use this blog to share things that I have learned, talk about things that I love and have another outlet to creatively express myself.

I welcome any thought,comments or ideas.. each are ways to help me grow! So thank you in advance!

Happy Crafting!