Friday, November 28, 2008

Fantastic Friday

Why is today fantastic you may ask?  For many reasons! For one - it's Black Friday and I no longer work in the customer service industry! *dances* Also, my fantastic Etsy Bloggers Team is doing a sale!!!

☆:*¨¨*:★:*¨¨*:☆:*¨¨*:★:*¨¨*:☆:*¨¨*:★:*¨¨*:☆:*¨¨*:★:*¨¨*:☆☆ ; ;:* ¨¨*:★:

H a p p y H o l i d a y s ! !
The EtsyBloggers HOLIDAY S*A*L*E* is going on from Black Friday thru Cyber Monday!!
That's Friday 11/28 thru Monday 12/1!!
See a list of the 50+ shops having a SALE below...
H a p p y S h o p p i n g ! !

☆:*¨¨*:★:*¨¨*:☆:*¨¨*:★:*¨¨*:☆:*¨¨*:★:*¨¨*:☆:*¨¨*:★:*¨¨*:☆☆ ; ;:* ¨¨*:★:

I've got 10% off my entire shop PLUS FREE shipping on orders of $20 or more.  If you mention this post I'll make it 15% off. Nice eh?

I also received this award a couple of days ago and have been so busy I haven't had a chance to blog about it. Yikes! So thanks to the fantastic Spirit Mama for considering me worthy :) Now the rules say I'm supposed to nominate 7 other blogs - but I'm not going to pass it on today - because I'm really tired! Sorry guys - i know - I'm a spoil sport :P

Why am I so tired if I'm not working in customer service you might ask? Good question, because I certainly didn't go shopping! I'm not that brave/crazy/whatever *wink* No, today was the last day of moving stuff out of the place we've been house-sitting for the last two months! We thought it would all be done by yesterday except for some cleaning, but that was not to be.  I ended up having a nasty allergic reaction to a new medicine the doc's tried putting me on and that kinda made everything take longer.

So now everything is in the new apartment and my hubby and I spent the first night in our new place last night! Even though everything is disorganized and in boxes, and we'd forgotten our pillows at the place we were house-sitting, it was still a nice feeling to be in a place that was "ours" again.  Since moving back to our home town we've been in limbo, and I'm really happy about how everything has worked out with a living place, job for hubby, and getting hubby into a new school!  Now if we can just get me healthy - I'd be on top of the world :) That's ok - I can wait!

As soon as we've got some more of the boxes cleared I'll post some pics of the new place - give me until next week sometime - I'm exhausted!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful for Etsy :)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Now, I know, that only counts for those of us in the USA  - but it's still an excellent reminder to be thankful for all the good things in our lives.  I, for one, am extremely for having found! To give a little back story:

I love jewelry, despite the fact that I grew up a tom-boy! I first learned how to do wire-wrapped jewelry around 10 years ago, and I remember spending hours and hours working making chains of links, and dreaming of someday selling in a craft fair or open market.  I never really thought it would happen though.  At the time I still wasn't very coordinated and it took me a LONG time to make a bracelet or necklace!

Fast forward - time goes on - and I learned some new jewelry techniques and began to seriously dream of selling jewelry.  This was about two years ago.  I wasn't really sure what to do though.  I had some friends and family really encouraging me, but I didn't have any idea how to start!  Plus life was really busy.

Then, about a year ago, I started getting really sick. That's a long story, but the result was that I had a lot of time on my hands where I ended up making jewelry, because it was something I could do sitting still.  After a few months of that, one of my friends introduced me to etsy, and the rest was history!

Ok, not quite, it's been a lot of hard work and I've learned a LOT since I opened up shop in May. It's hard to start making a dent in the jewelry world, because there are a lot of other artists out there, but I have had sales on etsy!

I'm really thankful for having this opportunity, especially since my health problems have continued! I'm also extremely excited, because I know I've learned a lot in the last year about my craft - here's a few of the pieces I'm the most proud of!

I know I have a lot more to learn - but see - that's something else to be thankful for! Because I have another year ahead of me with lots of opportunities to learn new things, expand my business, and make new friends!

Want to know what else I'm thankful for? Check out what I said on my other blogs!

Thankful for friends.
Thankful for family.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm so Excited!!!

There are many things I'm excited about today :) For one - I'm thankful to be alive - you can read about that story here. I'm also very excited to announce that the Etsy Bloggers are having a sale! My shop is participating with 10% of the entire shop PLUS FREE shipping on orders of $20 or more! Here's our team announcement :)

H a p p y H o l i d a y s ! !
The EtsyBloggers HOLIDAY S*A*L*E* is going on from Black Friday thru Cyber Monday!!

That's Friday 11/28 thru Monday 12/1!!
See a list of the 50+ shops having a SALE at

H a p p y S h o p p i n g ! !

I'm also very excited to share with you an exciting opportunity I have! Have you listened to Blockhead Radio? If not - check the widget on the side of my blog! And clicking on the logo below will take you to the blog!

Anyway, Rod, the founder of this radio program and a man we call the "King Plugger Lugger" (because he loves to plug other people's businesses!), is doing a lot to expand the program. The Monday night show is now being called Artisan for Artisan and will be covering a wide range of topics related to the artisan world! Come join is Monday's at 9pm EST for an awesome time of laughter and fun :)

Rod's also added on a Wednesday night show, also at 9pm EST, called the Indie Music Artist Spotlight. He'll be doing live interview's with a wide range of artists, the first week's show is already in the archives, so go listen!

Now for what I'm REALLY excited about! Starting Thursday, December 4th, and 12pm EST, will be the new show - Spotlight on Artisan! Rod will be there to introduce the show and run the chat room, but it will be co-hosted by none other than the fabulous Lily of Tulips Treasure Box and myself! That's right - each week we'll lining up fantastic indipendant artists to interview - and you'll get to hear my voice! Here's a hint - I sound 16, but I'm really not :P

The opening show will feature a live interview with a wonderful artist - Lauren of TheChainMailleLady :) I have a thread going in the forums to help promote this - so if your as excited about getting to know other artisans as I am - go chat in the thread with us!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sad to Say....

Well, my jewelry party yesterday ended up being a bust.  Other than those participating, my friend Ruth was the only one who showed up!  And yes, for those of you who know my real name is Ruth (or Ruthie), yes, we have the same name :P It gets quite confusing when we hang out together too! Here's a picture of my Mom, me, and Ruth all sitting and talking (and crafting!).

My brother is a real sweetheart and he did a lot to help me with both the set up and the tear down.  He also took most of the pictures...  Here's a pic of me making him work :)

The sad part about the party being a bust was that it wasn't just me there showing my work, my dear friend who runs the shop The Kilted Hedgepig was also there with her jewelry.  Here's a pic of her and her sister setting up her jewelry!

So what went wrong? Well, our theory is that we simply didn't have enough time and energy to put into promoting the jewelry party.  My Mom got back a week ago from a trip to Nicaragua, La (the other artist) is doing NaNoWriMo this month and is very distracted by that, and between getting ready to move and my health problems...  Well, let's just say this could have been planned better.

We're not giving up! The way we figure it we had a ton of fun hanging out and chatting, and next time we'll do a better job promoting. :P We are thinking we'll try and do one late January as a Valentines day party.  Hopefully that one will go better!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Welcome to the Twitterverse!

A couple weeks ago I stumbled upon - I was hearing this buzz about it on and I decided that I had to check it out! Now, I have a loooong list of sites that I need/want to check out, but for some reason I was so intriqued that I jumped right on it and checked it out.  I'm so glad I did! I love Twitter!

So what is Twitter all about? Twitter allows you to post updates, have conversations, and promote yourself, all in little "sound bites" of 140 characters or less.  It's like blogging and instant messaging got together and had a baby - that's twitter!

The main benefits that I see from Twitter are:

1. Builds exposure for your business.
2. Easy venue to create and build relationships.
3. Instant feedback when you have a question about an item or which direction you should go in.

Let me take those one by one. Building exposure for your business - You can browse through twitter for friends.  I started with a few people I knew, looked through their friends, and it snowballed from there! You can also search based on interests such as etsy, art, jewelry, pets, Moms, etc.  This means you can connect to the people that fit in with your world, and your marketing goals. It builds fast too! I have 202 followers, and other than my initial blitz of people I recognized, I haven't been searching for connections! I probably will at some point, but I love that I have the ear of 200 poeple and I don't put much effort into it!

Easy venue to create and build relationships - Do you ever find yourself on a social networking site and not having any clue what to say? Even I, someone who loves to talk, run across that problem from time to time! The great thing about twitter is that people will be posting up what their doing, their newest listings, newest blog posts, questions, and more; which gives you ample opportunity to find things to respond to! I've had fun growing closer to people I already knew, and I've definitely made some new friends and learned a lot in the short time I've been on Twitter!

Instant feedback when you have a question about an item or which direction you should go in - I haven't really done this yet, but I've responded to things a lot of other people have put up! It's fun to have a chance to give instant feedback to others, and I'm looking forward to having that outlet when I need it :)

I have a lot more to say about Twitter - but you'll have to wait for another post! I think it's a great promotions tool and I hope that my ideas, and the ideas of others I'm going to pull in, will be helpful! Have a great day :)

Friday's Featured Artist - WHIMSYlove!

I've always loved this artists work - and her blog is priceless to! The name of her shop - WHIMSYlove is just perfect for her style! Now I'll let you get to know her for yourself - and see exactly what I mean :)

1. Tell us your story, what got you started selling on line and how would you define the work you sell?

I remember always liking to make things & loving to give handmade gifts. I’ve always been a crafty girl.

few years ago my mom & I actually sold vintage & handmade items
in a space in an antique mall. Well, that place closed down after a
year & a half or so. But, before it did, I had been searching
online & stumbled across Etsy. In March of 2007 I opened up my
shop. I sell a wide range of handmade items--from button rings to
watercolors to sewn items & most everything in-between! But I
mostly love working with vintage materials: buttons, fabric, trim, old
books, papers, etc. I love trying everything. I can’t stick to just one
medium or craft.

2. Where did you come up with your shop name?

originally called my shop “WhiMSy”, but that name was taken when I
signed up to sell things on Etsy. So, I added the word “love”--for no
reason at all. But I figure that some days I’m a goofball (that’s the
WhiMSy part) & other days I’m girly & romantic (that’s the
love), so it works out. And that reflects in the diversity of items I

3. What's your favorite piece you have up on etsy right

I’m fond of the vintage button rings. They’re so fun to make &
I have my own that I wear almost every day.

4. Where do you do
your work and what do you listen to while you work?

I have an art
studio in the basement of my home. There’s not a lot of space to work
in there, so I mostly craft on the couch, the floor, the dining table,
or all of the above.

5. I know this can be a hard question to answer, but where do you find your inspiration?

is not a hard question at all. My kids inspire me! They are always
saying silly things….that make complete sense. I often steal their
ideas too. (haha!) Sometimes I wonder what I’ll do when they grow up
& move out. Where will my inspiration come from then? Maybe I’ll
just borrow someone else’s kids.
Lots of times a random idea will
hit me at any hour of the day-- & I better find a sketchbook quick
or the thought will be gone in a flash!

6. Tell us one fun fact about yourself!

I once balanced a hockey stick on my nose for 8 seconds.

And now for a few of my favorite items from her shop!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Thanksgiving Story - Etsy Bloggers Carnival

The year was 1982 and Brian and Patty had been married for just over a year.  They were poor, but they were happy, and they were anxiously awaiting the birth of their first child! Patty was hoping for an early delivery because she knew that both her and her brother had been born early, but that wasn't to be.  The due date, October 23rd, came and went. They went in to the doctor over and over, only to be sent home, "sorry honey, it's not time yet."

Finally, November 25th, Thanksgiving Day, rolls around.  Patty was exhausted, she was a month over due and couldn't remember the last time she'd gotten a decent nights sleep! She went in to the hospital to see if she could get some sleeping medicine to take after the family dinner at Brian's Fathers house later on that day.  Since it was an American holiday all of the Doctors on shift were foreign.  Apparently it was much more common at the time to induce people in England than America - and as luck would have it - Patty got a British doctor!

The Doctor took one look at Patty's chart and said, "Would you like to have this baby today?" "Yes, please!"

Late that afternoon, a beautiful baby girl was born.  Despite the fact that the baby was over a month late - Patty took one look at her little girl and said, "Let's have another one!"

As you may have guessed - that baby girl was me! My birthday doesn't always fall on Thanksgiving Day, but I think celebrating my birthday at that time every year has taught me a lot about looking for the things in life that we can be thankful for.  One of my favorite family traditions has always been that we go in a circle around the table and take turns listing what we are thankful for in the last year - and I'm going to have so much to say this year!

Of course, I'll admit that there was times when I hated having my birthday around a holiday, it was soooo hard to plan a party!  I did have them though.  My cousin and I are only 4 months apart and the picture here at the bottom is from I think my 6th or 7th birthday? I don't know for sure.  It was the only appropriate pic I had on photobucket and I don't have time to go upload photos from home today :P

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another Day in the Life

I've been sick all weekend - but it feels like a lots happened anyway! I didn't get a chance to photo and post about my weekly bead weaving goal, but I did get it done last week!  I had originally planned on completing the next in my geekery series - but I hit a snag.  So I whipped up the lovely Christmas earrings you see on your right here, and I'll be completing my geekery bracelet this week!  The earrings aren't up in my shop yet, but it's on my list of things to get done today.  When I do, I'll come back and edit this post to include a link :)

I was contacted about a month ago by Kerry of the Creative Aussie Crafters Magazine.  She was impressed by some of the articles I'd put together as I started my promotions series, and asked me to write an article for the magazine! I was very honored by this request - and the magazine was just published! you can read it on-line here.

I'm busy learning some new techniques and getting ready to host my first jewelry part at my Mom's house this weekend.  I'm also busy getting ready to move! We've been in limbo, without a place of our own, since moving across the state at the end of September.  Thankfully we were given the opportunity to house sit for this entire time, but now we get to move into our own apartment! We start moving next Monday :)

Last night was an awesome and fun edition of the Block Head Rod show - if you missed it make sure to check it out in the widget on the side of my blog! We had fun :) 

Last, but definitely not least, I snagged the next edition in my on-going BNR! We've had 23 sales so far - but none yet this round.  Buy in to snag YOUR spot! You'll be in until you get a sale :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Time Management - Don't Forget to Take Care of Yourself!

This is my last post, for now, on the Time Management series! I'll be returning to the promotions series sometime in the next day or two. 

I've been amazed, as I've worked on this series, how appropriate the timing has been for me, as well as many other people!  A lot of my etsy friends have commented that it's really giving them the ideas or the push that they need, and there's nothing better that I could hear! I'm glad that my work can help you guys out, even in small ways :) 

For me, it's been a helpful reminder as I deal with life being hectic.  Not only are we headed into the holidays, I have a lot on my plate with my personal life.  I've found that, since I started making my to-do lists again, I'm getting a LOT more done! It's still frustrating at times as my health likes to throw a wrench into the works, but with my lists I'm staying pretty on top of things for the first time in awhile :)

One thing that I've realized is very important, and I mentioned this in an earlier post, is to remember to take time for yourself.   What that means is probably different for each of us.  It could be snuggling up by the fire with a book and a cup of tea, or taking a nice hot bath, or even just taking a few minutes to enter a contest! Whatever it is, don't forget to carve out a least a few minutes each day that are just for you, doing something for you! You'll thank yourself :)

Want something fun to do? Go enter this AWESOME soap giveaway that A Good Witch Too is doing - you could win 6 months of soap to wash the wicked away with!  Here's just one of the lovely soaps she has in her shop - isn't it tempting?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Time Management Series - What YOU Have to Say! Part 5

 This is the last of the "what YOU have to say" series! Only one post (for now) left in this series! I say for now because I'll probably revisit the subject again at some point after I get back into my promotions series.  So without further delay...what YOU had to say :)

Jhk Editions said: Similar to some others, I carry a notebook with me everywhere to sketch/write down ideas when they happen. And at the beginning of each month, I book days on my calendar (usually on weekends) to work in my studio, and I don't schedule anything else on those days. I'm trying to give my art time as much credence as I do my day job.

Lil Bees said: One thing I do is only write item descriptions once--I save them all in a document, and then copy and paste...I post a lot of similar items, so that saves me a lot of time for those. Also I use the 'relist' feature as often as possible, (just changing out a few details and the pictures) because then it already has the tags and so on, and that saves me time.
I also take pictures of multiple items at once...just one after the other. That means I only need to set up my background/get out the camera/adjust lighting once...

In terms of the bigger picture, I set aside one day as week as no-net day! That's the day I focus on crafting a lot...then I post the items all the rest of the week.

Seriously though, I have kids. I am not half as organized as I sound. I have about 8 projects going on at any one time...right now I am in the middle of 4 knitting projects and have two partially sewn cloth diapers sitting on my sewing table, not to mention lots of other things cut out and pinned but not even out on the desk. LOL!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Adventure Necklace - On Sale!

Those of you who've been around my shop and blog for awhile will probably recognize this piece - but now it's on sale through my blog only! Normally this piece sells for $20 plus shipping and handling, but if you buy it here you'll only pay $17.50 plus $2 shipping for anywhere in the world!

This beautiful necklace will fill you with a sense of adventure as you where it proudly around your neck! It's made from a combination of Red Tiger Eye and Red Aventurine. Neither stone is truly red in color, all though that's the official designation. The Tigereye is a deep brown with swirls of a lighter color that appears as if a tiger is staring right back at you. The Aventurine is an orange/brown and the smaller round beads are more beige in color. It's a beautiful combination and what I'd want to wear if I was going on a photo safari!

The necklace is approximately 19 inches in length and uses a hook clasp to make it easy to put it on by yourself! Let me know if you need a different length and I can easily adjust it for you.

Gemstone Lore:

Red Tigereye - This is the birthstone of the Gemini (May 21st - June20th). It is thought to promote clarity vision and assist with the focusing of the mind.

Aventurine - This is the Taurus birthstone (Apr 20 - May 20th). It is thought by some to promote adventure and by some to promote healing.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday's Featured Artist - Cutie Fruity!

I first met this artist when I was a member of the Eastern Washington Etsy Team before I moved across the state. She's a sweet lady and her stuff is so cute! Make sure you check out Cutie Fruity's shop and her blog!

1. Tell us your story - what got you started sewing and what got you started selling on etsy?

I come from a long line of seamstresses. My mother taught me how to sew, and her mom taught her to sew, etc. I remember those first sewing lessons when I was about 8 years old. My mom would have me sew around a circle or zig zag that she drew on a piece of paper. She was always making stuff for my siblings and I. Now, my mom makes all the bibs for my shop, and she's so awesome at it. My sister also sews
professionally, and my brother knows his way around a machine.

About Etsy; I had never heard about it until a friend of mine wanted to do a summer boutique (like a craft fair at home) when she came to visit her parents on vacation. (you can see her awesome wares at I was really excited about it and started sewing to get ready for the
event. Unfortunately I was the only one she could find to do it. So I had all this stuff I had worked on, and nowhere to sell it. Enter Etsy. I threw my maternity belly bands on the site after a few days to see
how they would do, and they have turned out to be the niche that I needed.

2. Do you make any other crafts?

As well as sewing, My mom taught me to quilt. I also enjoy scrapbooking and have in the last year migrated to digital scrapbooking. No trips to the craft store, the kids don't play with the stuff on my desk, I can make the elements any color and size I want, and it's free until the pages are printed!

3. What is your favorite item that you have up on etsy right now?

My favorite thing in my shop is the red and white polka dot girls outfit with the matching Cabbage Patch doll clothes. My girls loved these Cabbage Patch outfits when I made them and loved modeling them. I'm
just dying for someone to own something I love so much, and have their Cutie enjoy it as much as my Cuties covet it.

4. Where do you do your work and what do you listen to while you work?

I work out of my laundry room. So, I listen to the water swishing in the washer, and the clothes wrestling around in the dryer. I can always hear my kids' cartoon going in the morning. With all the sewing I do,
I'm half expecting my son, due any time, to only be soothed by the sound of my sewing machine. If I have to sew at 2am to get him to sleep, I guess I will get a lot of work done! With the success of CutieFruity, I'm hoping to be able to upgrade our home to include an all out craft and hobby room. All my husband requests is that he has a comfy chair in the corner so he can spend some time with me.

5. I know this can be a tough question to answer, but where do you find your inspiration?

I find new things to make soley based on practicality. I sew my kids' entire summer wardrobe for the most part. The belly bands came about when I started to grow out of my own pants at the beginning of this
pregnancy. I love them. I recently watched my Sister-In-Law trying to nurse her baby at a family function and she was holding a blanket in her teeth to cover herself. The next thing I am going to make is a clip
to hold those blankets on so that you don't have to wrestle it while nursing.

6. Tell us one random thing about yourself!

I am a veteran. I served as a truck driver for the Army Special Forces school in Fort Bragg, NC for three years. I was an Airborne paratrooper and I've jumped out of 15 planes and helicopters. For nine months that I was in the Army, I had the opportunity to travel to all the Army bases in the US, Alaska, and Korea to perform a singing and dancing show for soldiers and thier families. I was the costumer for that show, in
charge of maintaining about 2000 articles of clothing and accessories while we travelled to all 118 venues and did over 200 shows. Now I'm the proud wife of a US Navy SeaBee.

Now for a few of my favorite items from her shop!

I love the color and practicality of this belly band!

Are you an Etsy Mom with a budding artist? Then you need THIS!

When I Grow Up Bib - Biker

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Time Management - What You Have To Say Part 4!

When I started doing this segment on Time Management I just thought it was a natural branch off of the Promotions series that I was doing (which I will return too!).  As I've read your responses and thought more about it myself I've realized that its the perfect time of the year to be thinking about time management!  We're all headed into the Christmas season.  A time of year that's busy for anybody, but even more so for on-line sellers!  I hope the tips that I'm passing on from other etsy sellers are helping you as your headed into this busy season.  Here's another set of tips - from you guys!

New Orleans Tiles said: Read the book Getting Things Done

Originally, I read it for my day job, and it made me extremely more productive (I consider myself to be pretty organized anyway, but this book launched me over the top).

The book literally changed my life. Made me extremely more productive inside and outside of work.

Here's a link

The Jump Off said: Well, I work a full time job in the medical records dept of the hospital. I'm a
single mom of 3, and then my two shops on Etsy :D My day is pretty much like this:

~5am - email, blog, promo threads, etc
~6-7am kids up ready for school (big time saver - the kids eat breakfast at school)
~then from 8-4:30 I'm at work
~until 6 post office, grocery store, fabric store
~until 7-7:30 homework while im cooking and eating.
~8 while the kids get baths I'm back online
~9 Kids in bed so I work on orders until 11 then from 11-12 I pkg and address and get everything ready to walk out the door - I put all pkgs and book bags in the car.


On weekends I'm up early, walk the dog and I carry a note pad with me for sketches and ideas while my brain is fresh. Come in and clean hard for 2-3 hours. I Try to be sewing by 11 am. (Another time saver - the kids fix their own breakfast, either cereal or oatmeal) On weekends I try to work on new ideas. Usually I stop at 1-2 and we go get lunch and chill for a while then come home and hit it again heavy. I stop at around 7 and cook dinner. Then I sew all night - the kids stay up and just sleep where they fall - LOL! Sunday is spent cutting things out b/c I can do it from the bed - I watch TV all day Sunday during football season and I can put my cutting mat on my bed and cut out while I'm chillin in my Pjs all day!

My big thing is - this is my schedule but if something happens I don't freak out or stress out - just decide I'm off schedule and that's that - no worries! Deal with the issue at hand and get back on tomorrow. :D

The Pumpkinhaus said: I have a fixed schedule that really centers around homeschooling my 5 year old daughter. I have also set up my house so that I am able to be with my children (5 and 1) while I am creating for my shop, packing up orders and answering convos. My mind is constantly making lists, I am very much a list person. A mental list person, once I write it down, it loses something for me.

I also put supplies in "like" piles or bins. So that everything for one project is together. That way, when I go somewhere, I always take my project basket. I never, ever leave the house without something to do. I knit, embroider, cut fabric everywhere. I was this way long before etsy, I have just kicked it up a notch or two in the last year!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A HUGE Thanks :)

You may have noticed that my blog has a brand new snazzy look to it - nice eh?  All the credit goes to the awesome artist behind Stormy Designs, and I'm so grateful!  Stormy is an incredibly talented artist.  She works with Polymer Clay, something I know I could never do!  She does all sorts of fun stuff with it.  I've only been able to purchase one thing from her so far, my wonderful business card couch! Isn't it cute?

She has a lot of other things I drool over though, like this pendant!

Or this votive container :)

Or what about these lovely buttons?

Again - thanks a million Stormy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Time Management Series - What YOU Have To Say Part 3

Continuing on with our Time Management Series - here's more of what YOU had to say! For anyone who hasn't been following along, these quotes are taken from a forum thread that I did a little while ago on the topic :)

Little Odd Me said: Because I have product that can be replicated (photographs) and I do markets as well, keeping on top of my inventory item by item is crucial. I need to know what is selling, how much of it has sold, and whether I need to order more soon. This is extra important coming up to this rush season. Being disciplined to mark each item down at least on a sell-sheet as I sell it is crucial. It saves me a ton of time.

Being organized. All those photos in my stock inventory have their place. I set myself an aim of being able to set my fingertips on any one of my stock items within one minute of recieving an order if I am at home, and thirty seconds at a market/fair.

Changing my time management with the seasons. I have several hundred pieces of packaging ready to go for the year end. I did them during my slower summer months.

My natural rhythm is to do a bit of everything, so I will often set a playlist of songs up on the computer to run for half an hour or an hour. I set up my list of tasks and set a goal to try and accomplish before the end of the song. Then I move on to something else with each new song until my tasks are completed. (Speaking of which, the song is nearly done, so I need to get onto packaging some orders for posting tomorrow!)

virtuallori said:Count me in with the meticulous list makers and timer users.

I live by my calendar, which also contains (most of) my to-do lists. I have to write it down, pen on paper, so it's in front of me. I should mention that I have a full-time freelance editing and project management business in addition to my jewelry business, so time juggling has become an art for me.

I usually start the week by taking a few minutes to review everything that *must* get done that week, those things I would *like* to get done that week, and other things. I make a general plan for how I will spread out the musts over the week. I tend to leave the likes and the others loose, to fit in when I can. Some things have to be done on certain days or within certain time frames, so they get written in on the calendar on the appropriate day, regardless of their priority. (If it's low priority and doesn't get done, so be it.) I do a mini version of this each day, looking at what needs to get done and making a plan for how I will approach the day. It doesn't always work out that way, but it sets me on the right path.

I also make supplementary to-do lists for long-term goals and piddly things that pop into my head while I'm doing other things. I keep a spiral notebook on my desk to capture these. I'll break them down and move them onto the calendar when appropriate.

I use timers, too, although sometimes the "timer" is the amount of time it takes the water to boil or a batch of pendants to etch or some other naturally occurring interval. The studio is a mess, so see what I can do with it in the time between my cousin calling to say she's on her way over and when she gets here.

The most important piece of advice I have for someone wanting to get a better grip on their time is to break larger projects into smaller chunks, then work through the chunks systematically. "Prepare for next month's show" is not a doable to-do. By breaking that into "make price tags," "order new business cards," and so on, you've created manageable to-dos that you can accomplish in short bursts of time. If I write "edit 400-page book" on my list for this week, I'll be overwhelmed, but if I write "edit chapter 1" on Monday, "edit chapter 2" on Tuesday, etc., it's easier to handle and I feel I'm making more progress.

Summers Studio Etc said: I make a yearly long term goal list, break that into months, and then schedule each week day by day. I used to do project management and this works for me. And I love making lists, I even put things on the list that are already done just to get the satisfaction out of crossing it off. Oh and this is not as rigid as it sounds. It is really more of a framework that keeps me on task. When the long term goals go out of whack I make little adjustments. Its a pretty fluid process.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New to my Blog :)

I've made an addition to my blog layout! On the right side you'll notice a player that you can use to access the Block Head Rod show :) (That's a picture of da man himself on the left here) Don't worry - it won't start automatically playing on you - but it's more than worth a listen! Not only can it be utterly hysterical, but this on-line radio show is highly informative.  You'll learn a lot! Tonight's show is a topic I've been dying to listen too - their talking about blogging and about making money off of your blog! Since I love blogging, and honestly could use the money, I'm really excited to learn more! 

Now, what's even better than listening to the show on my blog, is being there for the LIVE show!  Why? Well, you can win great prizes, the chat room is a blast, and you get a chance to do some shameless self promotion via the chat room :) It's worth it - trust me!  To participate in the chat you do need to sign up for the blogtalkradio, but they won't spam you and it's a quick and painless process.  While your at it - go check out his blog!  You'll learn more about what the radio show is all about :) 

Rod's a busy guy - he also hosts the Artisan's challenge - go cast your vote!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Time Management and Relaxation

As I've been talking a lot about time management there's one thing I've said several times and, I realized today I wasn't listening to myself! That is, it's important to find time to relax.  If you let yourself get to stressed out, then you will lose your creative edge.  Besides, it's just plain not healthy in general!

I've had a really long couple of days, and I was really tired by the time my dear hubby and I got home today!  The good news is that we're pretty sure we've found an apartment :) Which is really exciting! We're going in tomorrow to do paper work :)

So as I sat down this afternoon I had a million projects that needed to be worked on, and I wasn't too motivated to start working on them, I was just too tired! So instead of catching up with my dear etsy bloggers team, instead of turning on my twitter deck and chatting, instead of writing, I simply turned on a Firefly episode and pulled out a weaving project.

Wait! I'm sure you see the inconsistency in this.  Yes, I know, I'm a work-a-holic. I've been told that many times. You don't need to remind me!

The plain and simple truth is that I find bead weaving really relaxing.  Well, as long as everything is going well with the project and I don't get too many thread tangles that is :P That's one of the reasons I fell in love with it in the first place.  I have many health problems and beading allows me to spend hours sitting still, relaxing, and letting go of my stress.

My usual problem, though, is that I usually work on my projects while sitting at the computer.  Which means I'm constantly getting interrupted because I get distracted by e-mail notifications, the forums, and twitter! As you can imagine that can be highly unproductive.  I'm working on this because I think it's a bad habit.  So I'm doing a lot more of ignoring e-mail and twitter for a period of time to work on a project.  Usually, though, it's been work for 15-20 mins, check everything, work again :P  I get a LOT more done that way, but it's not that relaxing.

Today I left a note for my etsy blogger friends so they'd know why I was gone, put up a quick comment on twitter, and simply bead wove and watched Firefly! I even had my laptop pushed far enough away that I wouldn't be very tempted to try and type!

It was sooooo relaxing! And I'm loving my project :) It's a combination of two goals I have for myself.  I spoke in an earlier post about my goal to try and complete one bead weaving project a week.  The necklace at the top of this post was my successful completion of that goal this last week :D

I've also had an idea for doing a line of bracelets that will fall under the "Geekery" section of Etsy! I have a LOT of ideas for this line, which is why I'm simply heading it under Geekery and not by the different shows ect.  The very first piece in this line is the bracelet I designed with the God Send symbol from the hit TV show Heroes.

I've also been working a series of other designs, but I needed to buy more seed beads before I could start. Today I finally got the last piece I needed to start on my first bracelet based off of a vidoe game! I should have it ready to show by next week.  No pictures tonight, I'm just too tired! I will tell you it's going to feature the character Link, from the Legenda of Zelda series.  It's an early version of Link, and my geeky brother helped me make sure that I had the details right.  I may be a geek - but he's and uber-geek and way better at the precise details than I am! Plus it's fun to involve him :) He's my geek consultant! 

I also have ideas for bracelets based off of Mario, Spiderman, Batman, Star Trek, Star Wars, and eventually, moving into the realm of dragons and faeiries :D That will take time though! Especially because these take a LOT more work to design and I'll probably alternate week by week doing a geek design with doing "pretty" or something else design that takes a little bit less planning!

Oh yes, and I'm also working on my first project for Team Big Damn Crafters, my team dedicated to the memory of the show Firefly (that I'm watching at the moment), and those will also end up listed under Geekery. :) And anything else that ends up being appropriate...

Can anyone say crafting ADHD? LOL

I'm also planning on learning an entirely new technique for me this week :P

For all those who've signed up for the newletter, I was planning on sending it out tonight, but I forgot my notes over at my parents house.  So I should be sending it out tomorrow.  Not signed up yet? There's a widget at the top of the blog! Make sure you go through the confirmation process so I get the notification! If you'd rather not do that, simply e-mail me at, and I'll add you to the list! Incedentily, that's the e-mail address these will be coming from :P

Ok, off to chat some more with my Geek Consultant and work on my Link bracelet :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday's Featured Artist - Story Beader!

Today's featured artist is none other than wonderful Deb of Story Beader! She's a fantastic artist, a member of the etsy bloggers team, and this month's featured team member! I wanted to get to know her a little better, so I interviewed her!

1. Tell us your story, what got you started making jewelry? And what got you selling on-line?

I started making jewelry because I wanted a turquoise necklace and couldn't find one. There was a bead shop down the street, so I went there, and made my own. Then I made a necklace for my mom and a few friends, and found it was a great creative release. "What got me selling online?" I had bought some things on ebay and that was fun - and I like computers. I sold on ebay a little, but didn't like the "feel" of it. There was some conversation about etsy, so I came over - and liked it!

2. Do you make any other crafts?

I've worked with tile and glass before, but I'm not too involved with it. I guess I piddled...

3. What's your favorite piece you have up on etsy right now?

My favorite pieces are the treasure necklaces - I love making them, and they're so colorful and fun. The turtle treasure was my first, so I'm kinda partial to it.

4. Where do you do your work and what do you listen to while you work?

I've taken over the living room. I have a table near the window, and my computer is in that room too. The supplies are within a few steps. I listen to jazz usually, or my classic rock. Sometimes at night when DH isn't around, I'll crank up the tv from the "den" and listen to the news.

5. I know this can be a hard question to answer, but what inspires you?

I think colors inspire me the most. Some of my projects are a mixture of all sorts of bright colors. Others are more subdued, with nature or water images in my thoughts.

6. Tell us one random thing about yourself!

I was a very outgoing girl when I was young. After getting married, I became withdrawn. Since leaving my husband for another, I've become more outgoing that 3 things?

And now here's my a few of my favorite pieces from Deb's shop!