Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Anchor's Away - BBA July Challenge
This month's challenge at the Blogging Business Artisans is Vacation Time brought to us by Sarah of Magnolia Surprise. Sarah says: "We are into vacation season in July -- create something that brings back a favorite vacation memory, something that represents a place you've visited or one you'd like to visit, colors or scents associated with a special place, or perhaps something funny that happened on a vacation. Make it fun!!"

Coming Soon!
Coming Soon!
Summer time and vacation always remind me of water. When I was growing up, we went to Branson, MO every year for vacation and almost always rented a pontoon and spent our days out on the water. As an adult I've owned a ski boat and some jet skis. Jesse and I used to go boating quite often in the summer. And now we own our air boat, so boating is a big part of our summers.
I've noticed the nautical trend going strong lately and my anchor cuff links and anniversary card have done very well. I decided to expand this line with lots of new items. I added champagne flutes, shot glasses, earrings, wood invitations and a matching guest book! This challenge was just what I needed to get those creative juices flowing and get some new items listed!
See what the other members of the Blogging Business Artisans created for the challenge HERE. Interested in joining a wonderful, active Etsy team...check us out!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Wood Guest Book Pens

Have I mentioned how much I love my customers lately? And how much I love the custom requests they come up with? Okay, so by now you already know this, but I just can't get over how great my customers are :)

A recent customer ordered one of my wooden guest books and thought a wooden pen would be so great to go with it. I had actually bought a pack of wooden pens quite some time ago, but never got a chance to engrave one for my shop. So this was the perfect opportunity to get them added!

This custom requested a set of 3 pens. She wanted song lyrics on the pen and had one line put on each pen along with their initials on one as well as their wedding date. She was kind enough to send me a photo of the completed set.

I just got them added to my shop this morning and I have a feeling these will be a great new addition :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Features - Trending, Mason Jars

As I've told you guys before, I'm not usually a trendy person. But certain trends are just too cute to be ignored (hello mustaches!). And mason jars are one of those trends I just can't get enough of! I love working with them myself and I love all the fun ideas others come up with!

This week I listed both a new Mason Jar Recipe Book as well as a new set of Mr & Mrs Etched Mason Jars.
So for today's features I have mason jars :)





Thursday, July 25, 2013

Whiskey Decanters

I recently had a request for a set of groomsmen gifts. The bride and groom wanted something very special for their groomsmen and asked if I could etch some whiskey decanters. I did some searching for beautiful decanters that didn't cost an arm and a leg (who knew these were so expensive!)

I love the look of these square decanters and they're excellent quality! They're very heavy giving them nice presentation. They'd make great gifts for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries etc. And of course I can etch them with any personalization.

I just got them added to my shop this week!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Don't Reinvent the Wheel

Like most crafters, I have more ideas than time. And I'm coming up with more every day! I love trying new techniques and using new materials. But sometimes it's better to use a technique that you know works well. It's fun to experiment, but it's more productive to go with what works.

I learned this lesson recently when I tried to paint some chevron earrings and magnets. Don't get me wrong, they turned out pretty cute and I love the colors, but they were a lot of work and they were a mess.

All the while I had prepainted wood ready and waiting. I purchased a sample set of several colors of lacquered wood. I've done a few custom pieces with it, but haven't done much for my shop. The other day I got a request for some pieces with the black wood, so I cut out a few extra shapes and I love how they turned out.

I made these into Chevron Cuff Links and I love how the lighter wood (maple vs. alder) really stands out compared to the black. And it was a piece of cake compared to trying to paint each and every zig and zag! I have about 10 other colors, so I'm hoping to get more colors added to my shop and other designs as well.

  Have you learned any lessons lately?

Monday, July 22, 2013

New Studio - Breaking Ground

I'm so excited to finally be breaking ground on my new studio! Since starting my business, I've been working out of an 11' x 11' spare bedroom. As my business has grown, I've taken over more and more of the house. The entire upstairs is my storage area, I take over the kitchen several times a week to wash glass orders and I have a permanent table set up in the living room to work from. Oh and the spare couch has become my shipping!

Jesse and I decided it was finally time to add on to our house. My business keeps growing and I have several other ideas for future growth that will require more room for more equipment. Originally we planned on using some of the addition for a master bathroom. But the more we talked about it, the more we decided the space would be better used for my business. There will be a small half bath, but just about the size of a closet. The rest of the space...ALL MINE!

Jesse's dad came down Friday morning and helped us layout the area and figure out how far we needed to dig down for the concrete slab. Jesse started on the dirt work right away. The next step will be trenching out the footings. I'm hoping in the next two weeks that we have all the concrete poured and the building materials all ordered. Of course I'm ready for my studio to be complete right now, but I have to remember that this will be a long process as we are doing the work ourselves.

I'll be sure to keep you up-to-date as progress is made!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Features - Jungle Baby

Today's features are inspired by a recent custom order I had for an adorable Jungle Baby Shower Guest Book. The jungle theme is so cute and it can be done up for boys or girls depending on the color scheme you choose. The nice thing about's gender neutral :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Weekend Getaway - Part II

As promised on Tuesday, here are some photos of all the fun things we did while visiting my parents last weekend. We were only there for 2.5 days, but we packed in a lot of great times!

We got there Friday afternoon and didn't waste anytime. We headed into Branson to go wine tasting. We stopped at two different wineries for some sampling and purchasing. We had supper at a cute little diner that looked like it was out of the ' old jukebox, food in red baskets, stools at the counter and ice cream treats. I wish I would have gotten some pictures, but I was too busy enjoying my meal :)

Saturday we went zip lining. I'm not a big fan of heights and I'm kind of a scaredy cat anymore, but this was so much fun! I was scared to death at first, but by the last jump I was able to let go of the rope and enjoy the ride :) I wish they would have let me bring my camera to get us all jumping and zipping on the lines, but this blurry group shot will have to

After zip lining, we went back to my parents' and out on the lake. We just tied our tubes onto the boat and floated the afternoon away (see yesterday's post). I got one of my favorite photos during this dad and I smiling :) The one of Jesse and I is pretty good too :)

On Sunday we road tripped down to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. My parents live real close to the AR border, so it was just an hour long drive. The main street is filled with little shops selling art, trinkets, souvenirs, clothing, etc. I bought myself a ring, a pair of sunglasses ($4.99!) and a t-shirt.

We also saw this cute Humpty Dumpty at one of the upper level stores.

And ran into an accordion player on the street who offered to play us a tune.

It was great to get away for the weekend for a fun and relaxing time. I'm hoping to get back down at least once more this summer to enjoy more time on the lake :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Weekend Getaway

This past weekend, Jesse and I went to visit my parents in Southern Missouri near Branson. It's so nice to get away and we had a wonderful time! The drive to Missouri is also much better than the drive to Michigan (where they used to live). Today I'm going to share a few scenery photos from the trip and Thursday I'll share some fun photos of what we did on our trip :)

Just past the Iowa border and into Missouri, we saw several wind turbines. At a distance, these look like normal windmills, but as you get closer you start to see just how huge they are! They stand 396' tall and each blade is 139' long...that's huge!

The further we got into Missouri, the curvier and hillier the roads got. Iowa is pretty darn flat, so it's a nice change in scenery. The land is also rockier. I love the rock formations along side the roads.

But the best scenery of all is out my parents' back door. They have a gorgeous view of the lake. It's so calming and relaxing to just sit and enjoy the view :)

 Have you been doing any traveling this summer?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Features - Stacking Rings

I've always had a thing for rings. I think I have one in every color. I like having one to match every outfit :)
I'm really liking the stacking ring trend. You can mix and match different colors and textures. And most are priced very reasonably so you can have lots of mixing options! I've chosen some of my favorite combos for you here today.

Which is your favorite?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Boys and Their Toys

I'm really starting to believe the saying "The Only Difference Between Men and Boys is the Price of Their Toys" :)

Jesse is one of those men who loves his toys. Anything with a motor and he's in! We recently acquired a new vehicle/toy and after telling some friends about it, I promised pictures. It's not one of those vehicles you can explain very well with words, so here it is :)

The original vehicle is a late '20s early '30s Ford Roadster. And the body is made from a fiberglass mold. Of course the most exciting part (for Jesse) is the giant motor it has in it! It has a Chevy 454 for the motor, which is the same motor our giant truck has in it!

It's only about three-quarters done and still needs some minor details like lights and fenders before it can be registered. For now, it's just a fun toy to putt to the neighbors in (which is more my speed!) Once it's road ready, I'm not sure I'll be going for a ride!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Jesse and I had a wonderful time filled with family and friends! Our celebrations actually kicked off on Wednesday and lasted all weekend :)

On Wednesday afternoon we celebrated Jesse's dad's retirement. We grilled out during lunch with all his coworkers, then had a celebration after work as well. I also went to my aunt's that night to watch fireworks.
Thursday and Friday were both filled with family cookouts and fireworks as well. 
Heading Out...Over 30 boats total!

Shooting Potato Canons
 Saturday was a big day. We floated down the river with around 30 other canoes and kayaks. It's an annual trip and more and more boats join every year. Jesse's dad and brother were there with us as well.

Sunday we got to go air boating. A great way to end the weekend. I love being on the river because it's so relaxing!

I even got festive and painted my nails and made some fun star earrings! I don't normally paint my nails because I can't keep from picking at the polish, but I wanted to have fun nails for the weekend. I painted my thumbs blue and cut out little stars from vinyl with my laser. I painted the rest of my nails red. And I made the earrings from red acrylic :)

I hope all my readers had a great weekend as well!
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