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!