Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Esty Dallas Trunk Show ~February 9~

If you live in the Dallas area or will be in town February 9, you don't want to miss the trunk show being put on by Etsy Dallas. There will be over 40 artists local there, including yours truely! This a great place to get something unique for your Valentine (Valentine's Day is the following week!!!)

To let you know a little about the place that is holding the trunk show for us: Southside's Artists' Quarter is a large hallway located on the first floor of the old Sears warehouse building on Lamar, which was converted to beautiful lofts and art space. I think that they are just as excited about the upcoming trunk show that we are doing!

If you would like to find out more about the artists that will be there check out the
Etsy Dallas Blog or the Etsy Dallas Website.

We plan on having goodies bags there for the first 100 people that sign up for our newsletter! The goodies bags are going to have coupons (for that day only), business cards and other various goodies! If that's not enough to get you excited we may also have some munchies for you to nibble on while you shop!

Come check us out! Do a little shopping (even if it's for yourself), meet some local artists and just have fun! Can't wait to see you all there!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Featured Artist: Cherry's Creations

I wanted to feature Cherry's Creations this week. I had the opportunity to meet Cherry ealier this week and I am just in awe of her shop. She has a great selection of jewelry that she hand makes with a wide varity of beads ranging from antiques to bargins.

She has an amazing eye for color and uses her faith for inspiration for many of the pieces in her shop. Her Etsy Shop is chock full of amazing pieces of art. And if you don't see what you are looking for she is always up for custom orders.

Also in Cherry's shop 10% of the purchase price of any Autism Awareness item will be donated to The Autism Society of America Awareness.
Take a look at her shop, let her know how you found out about her. There's still time to get an order in for Valentines Day! Or if you are going to be in the Dallas area she will be at the Etsy Dallas Valentines Day Trunk Show on Feb 9.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Valentine's Day, what to get that is Truly Unique?

We all struggle every year with what to get our significant other for Christmas, their birthday and especially Valentine's Day. I am sure that this year is no different. So I wanted to create some unique pieces that you could give you loved one, knowing that it was a one of kind find, just like your true love.

These pieces are something your love can put on a shelf, hang on a wall or even display them at work to be reminded of your love for them. Just like the piece above. It consists of 3 3.5" x 3.5" blocks that are painted and distressed then wrapped with painted hemp that display 1,2 or 3 paper hearts. This piece can be customized with one block and one heart for every year that you have been together. Just email me for your own special price.

Most of these can be found in my Etsy Shop but if there is something here that you don't see there and you would like to purchase PLEASE EMAIL ME and I will get started on your own special gift for Valentine's Day. Remember that it is the thought that counts and there is something about handmade and unique that makes loved ones melt. Whether you buy from me or these give you an idea for your own art I hope you give something truly unique to those you love this holiday!


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Brick and Mortar

Well I have finally decided to share with all of you my space at Brownstone Village. They have a great little set up in Arlington, TX in what used to be an old roller skating rink. The whole place is filled with boutique shops, interior decorating, a salon and now a restaurant. It's one stop shopping for all your needs.

My space features some of my artwork that you can purchase in my Etsy shop, but it also has one of a kind pieces you will only find there. Extra incentive for you to go visit when you are in the area!

So far my sales have been a little slow, but I am one of a few shops in there that is all handmade items. I am really excited about the opportunities this gives me and as this progress I will start to give tips on how to get into a B and M, what to do once your there and pitfalls to avoid. So until next time...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Bit Late but here it is...

I know a lot of you remember me telling you about one of the groups I belong to called Etsymoms making a backet of goodies for Dawn, the now famous blogger. I took pictures of the final basket and all the goodies we collected back in November and I am just now getting around to sharing them with you all.

Dawn was nice enough to agree to meet with me over the Thanksgiving weekend. We met for pizza, because what else would you eat in Chicago. We had a great time visiting. I told her that we just wanted to thank her for reminding us to laugh and enjoy motherhood for all that it is. And she told me more about how this whole thing got started. She was so overwhelmed by our kindness and was more than happy to blog about the items that we sent to her. She has already written several reviews for the Etsymoms you can check them out on Dawn's blog MamasLike.com

So to all you Etsymoms out there who gave something for the basket thanks again for your donations! And those of you who are just looking for some great places to shop check out these mamas.

Andrea Baker
and my shop

Happy Shopping and Dawn thanks again. I loved meeting you!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

How many fingers do you see?

With most of my art I try to tell some sort of story. Whether it's about my life, connections, a view or simply beauty all of my pieces have a background story to them. My newest venture is photography, I have been taking pictures for as long as I can remember but it wasn't until recently that I decieded to use my camera to create works of art. My first piece to show the world is already in my Etsy shop. And I love what a captured.

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and I still have family there and whenever I go there are a few things I have to do. First is to get either a pizza or a hot dog and second I have to spend at least one day downtown. But getting to downtown is half the fun of going down there. Why? Because we usually will take the train and to me there is just something special about the train ride down there. Maybe it's because I love watching people and anyone who has ever taken mass transit knows there are some very interesting people on the train. Or maybe it's the fact you don't have to worry about traffic, parking or anything else. But mostly I think it's because you get to watch worlds collide together creating new ones throught lights, sounds and movements.

If you don't quite understand maybe you have seen the movie Patch Adams. (One of my favorites) The scene where Patch is asked "How many fingers do you see?" and her answers 4 and the other guys says he's crazy. Patch is bothered by this so he goes and sees the guy later and asks what the answer is. And he is told to look beyond the fingers...and he gets 8. It's sort of like that. Look beyond what's there and see the new.

I have 2 more photos that will start this series and you will only see them here (at least for now...Take a look and let me know what you see.

Just to let you know these photos were taken in one shot. They are not 2 or more images transposed on one another.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Getting Organized for the New Year

So this year you want to be more organized...
That was one of my goals this year as well. So I broke it up into 3 categories; in numbers, in product and in schedules. These are mine for now, yours maybe different you just have to look at what you want to fix or make better.

The first "numbers"...I am a terrible bookkeeper, I have numbers, math, calculators and especially spreadsheets! They all make my skin crawl. But this year with the help of Etsy hopefully it will be better. They were nice enough to set up a spreadsheet for those of us who are a bit challenged in that area. You can check it out here on their Storque page. It is all set up, you just have to plug in your info. How cool is that! Of course if that spreadsheet doesn't work for you the next thing to do is check out some of the etsy sellers who sell spreadsheets like LL Design. She not only sets up spreadsheets but makes them look fab as well!

Keeping track of product is going to get easier as well thanks to spreadsheets. I have started labeling my products with a code like TP_TB01 for these trio blocks

Right now I have 10 different sets of these blocks so they are TP_TB and 01-10 so I know which is which. I use this labeling system for my pictures too. That way I can know what pictures go with what blocks. This can also be used for storage. I have flat files similar to these

That are stacked up in my back room, each of them have a place to slip a note on the front so I can keep track of what is in each drawer. I also use plastic tubs, which come in handy when I am headed to my next craft fair. A great way to keep things organized in them is to get a packing slip holder that has adhesive on one side so you can add slip a label inside it and adhere it to the side or top of the container to know what's in each one without having to open each to find what you are looking for.

The last thing for me is scheduling! I am terrible at remembering what's coming up, when and with who. So this year I bought a blackjack phone. Similar to the blackberry, it has a large screen and one of the best calendar features a phone has to offer. You can look at things by week, month or just the day and it has an alarm feature reminding you when something is coming up. Of course it has the Internet and email features as well, but I have yet to need to use them, since I am usually at home. Plus you can sync it up to your computer at home so your calendar, notes, and what ever else you hold dear can truly be in 2 places at once! Another good thing to do is to get a wall calendar, that way you can just glance and know what is coming up and when. Scheduling time for everything is super important. Know how long it takes you to sketch something, know what really takes priority and pad your time. You don't what to promise something and then don't deliver. If you need to color code your work on the calendar. One color for starting a project, one color for revisions, photography, finishing touches, etc. Give yourself a time to be on the Internet, answering calls, setting up new items...The more detailed structure you layout the more work you can fit into a day!

Hopefully this helps you all. I know it has for me. If you have any questions feel free to make a post, or if you have some ideas to add PLEASE do.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

New Year New Art

I have always loved painting and I usually have some great ideas but never have the time to pursue them. Well I finally had a little extra time over the holidays and came up with this little piece.

This piece was done on 4 wood blocks measuring 3.5" x 3.5" each. They were painted with acrylic paint then sanded and scored. The bottom right hand block features birds sitting on wires connected to a telephone pole. The wires were created with hemp rope and then painted.

The name of this painting is called "At Dusk". It is the first of a series that I am starting about the unexpected connections life brings us. I myself have made many connections to new people here on the internet. These new friends have meant the world to me! So it is to them that I dedicate this first piece.

If you would like to purchase this I will be placing it in my Etsy Shop later this week. I am always up for custom orders too, just contact me anytime. Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Etsy Dallas Trunk Show

February 9th
Don't miss this great chance to meet and buy from over 30 Etsy Artists right here in Dallas! Check out the poster below for more info or see the Etsy Dallas Blog

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Beginning

This year has started off with a bang. At least for my business. I have had a sale almost every day so far! Which suprises me since it's after the holidays and people tend to buy less for the next 3 months. But I have also been marketing myself like crazy over the past 3 months for Christmas. So over the next few weeks I will be going over things that you need to keep in mind when starting a business and trying to market yourself.

I wish good luck to all my friends out there who are starting their businesses this year. I hope this blog will help you through your journey. If there is anything you would like me to cover in this blog feel free to email me anytime and I will make sure that your questions are answered.

Thanks again for reading!

Friday, January 4, 2008

If I didn't have BAD LUCK....

Most of you know the saying "If I didn't have bad luck I would have none at all". Well this is how I feel right now. Let me tell you a little about what has been going on in my life.

Back in June, I lost my job. No big deal, now I get to stay home with my son, start my own business things will be great! July 4th weekend my mom gets a call that my Grandma (who I haven't seen in over 15 years!) has had several strokes and it doesn't look like she will make it, come now. So my mom, me and my 4 month old son hop in a car to see my Grandma, who has never really showed an interest in me or anyone on my mom's side of the family, down in Florida. By the time we make it down there she has stablized and it looks like she may make it! So my mom goes into see her and she is somewhat talking and the first thing she says is where's the baby...I want to see the baby. My grandma who has never wanted anything to do with me wants to see my son! I was so excited, and sad. Sad that it took her having a stroke (6 actually) to bring us back together. My grandmother was an amazing artist, I never knew that she had such a love for the arts...so I wondered what else about her didn't I know? Now I will never know, she pasted away right before Christmas. The family decieded not to have a funeral or a wake, nothing. No way to say goodbye... I didn't even know that it bothered me as much as it does until I started typing this.

The week before Christmas my loving husband totalled his car, by missing a turn he takes everyday and running into a fence. He was not hurt, but we were down to 1 car. No big deal...I stay at home anyways, I can just wait to go out till he gets home from work. We are still waiting for the check from the insurance to buy a new car...just waiting, it's not like we have to have a 2nd car right away...that was until today.

The oil light came on in my car, so my husband changes the oil. But the light stays on...hummm. So I call my mom, she has the same car, maybe she has had this problem. She has, it was just a sensor that needed to be reset. Again no biggie, take it up to the oil change place and vola...it will be fixed. So my husband goes to run it in and the engine dies, stops dead, do not pass go do not collect $200. This can't be happening! But it is. So we call our mechanic, his first thought without actually looking at it is....the engine is seized. So what do you do for that....drum roll please.......................
Nothing, you need a new engine! What you have to be kidding...So we had it towed to the dealership where we bought it and we are awaiting their diagnois, hopefully it will be better than the last.

If that wasn't bad enough, we are short for our morgage again and every other bill we are trying to pay on time. But we got good news my husband got a 5% raise! That's great it's just enough to cover the insurance premiums that went up! Yeah us!

Like I said one thing after another around here...

So if you are having similar problems I totally understand your worries and frame of mind...but I just look at all this and think, God must have something really special in store to have me going through all this. And I look to Jeremiah 29:11 for my strenght...

11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Goals for the year

I am not one that usually sets goals at the start of a new year. Not because I am agaist them, but because I usually forget what my goal was to begin with. Even if I write it down, I forget where or what it was for. So this year I have decieded to share my goals with all of you and to keep track of what they are and when I hit them and any background info on them. I will keep you posted throughout the year as to how they are coming and any new news.

So here is my TOP 10 list....in no particular order.
1. Build up business (ok so this is like everyone else's goal too if you own your own business, but it is a goal)

2. I would like to take some business classes, to learn more about marketing and the actual business side of owning and running a business

3. Get more customers/clients (since I have 2 seperate businesses, my ETSY Store and my freelance and can get the word out twice as much, just by letting one know about the other)

4. Get new products designed and listed (I would love to set up an system for keeping everything in order, but that is another goal)

5. Get organized (I think that is self explanitory)

6. Get to more Art and Craft shows this year (It's all about getting your name out there)

7. Get more involved in the community (Another great way to get your name out there and you feel great helping out others!)

8. Get in more stores (I have product in 2 stores right now! But would love to get into more)

9. Make money and be a contributor to my family's expences

10. Make enough moeny that we can afford to buy my new MacBook Pro!

So what are your goals this year. What do you hope to accomplish? Please share...maybe we can help each other reach some of our goals!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Did get what you want?

It's so time consuming to drop hints in the month before the holidays as to what you want and instead of being rewarded by all your hard work, you still didn't get what you wanted! Well instead of waiting for someone else to act on your behave go ahead and reward yourself for all that hard work.

If you have not already checked out my shop, now's a great time to do that. I will have new items arriving daily throughout the month of January and if that's not enough I will be taking custom orders on just about everything.

Still not sure, I will be listing things from my store on EBAY as well to gain a little more exposure and to help out my customers as well. All things I list on EBAY will start well below the price listed in my ETSY store. The first items are on there now...The Faith, Hope and Love Mirrors. These are my best seller and most loved. Check out the auction now...start bidding and enjoy them for the New Year!