Saturday, November 30, 2013

20% Off at Memories for Life

Special thanks to Bubby & Bean for the graphic :)
I only offer a sale in my shop once a year...and today's the day! Support small businesses with Small Businesses Saturday. 20% off your entire purchase today only at Memories for Life.
 Use code 20OFF2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving - Top 10 Things I'm Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US readers. I'll be spending the day (entire weekend actually) with lots of family get togethers. I'm excited my parents are here visiting and Jesse's aunt, uncle and cousin are here from Colorado as well! There will be lots of food to eat, stories to tell and just time spent being together.

I'm thankful all year long for all the wonderful people and things in my life. But, like many others, this time of year has me really thinking about the things I'm most thankful for. For today's post, I've put together the Top 10 Things I'm Thankful For.

1. Family
Family is always at the top of the list. This includes my immediate family, extended family and all of Jesse's family as well. They are my rock and my support system! After a bit of a rough year, they have proven time and time again that they are the best!

2. My Health
As I mentioned, it's been a bit of a rough year. 3 close family deaths. My grandpa spent a month in the hospital with MRSA. Jesse's grandma has been in the hospital 3 times. And Jesse had to have some unexpected surgery recently. I'm very thankful that my own health has been good!

3. My Home
My home is my sanctuary and most days I never leave. And also thankful for my growing home...hello new studio in 2014!

4. My Business
I couldn't be happier with how self-employment is working out. I love working from home and being my own boss! I am so thankful that quitting my full-time job was the right decision :)

5. Friends
I am thankful for both my friends I see in person as well as my online friends. Lunch with a friend or chatting online puts a smile on my face.

6. Quiet Days at Home
This goes hand in hand with being thankful for my home. But I'm most thankful for the quiet, productive days I spend at home creating up a storm. There is nothing better!

7. The Internet
It might seem a little silly, but without the internet, I wouldn't have been able to quit my job and work from home full-time. The internet is an amazing thing! It allows me to run a shop from my tiny spare bedroom (for now) and ship packages all over the world!

8. My Customers and Blog Readers
I am thankful for every sale and every blog comment. Knowing people love my work and read my posts makes me smile!

9. Wood Heat
Saving money and staying warm...yes, please! And that wood heat will also be heating my new studio with in-floor heat...woohoo!

10. Coffee & Wine
Frivolous? Maybe. But these two beverages get me through the day :)

What are you most thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bargain Shopper

I'm not one to go shopping often. In fact most days, I hate shopping. Especially clothes shopping! And jeans shopping is the worst! I'm not complaining about having long legs, but when it comes to buying jeans, it does not make for a fun day.
But the other day I broke down and went shopping. Kohl's is generally my store of choice...good clothes, great prices. And, I had a 30% off coupon! So I went on a little winter shopping spree :)

I got three pair of new jeans. My go to jeans are boot cut...if I can find them long enough. And I broke down and bought my first pair of skinny jeans. I know, only like 2 years behind the trend, right :) But I love that it doesn't matter if they're too short...cover them up with cute boots and no one will ever know!

I also got some essentials like long sleeved tshirts and some pullovers...great for working around the house in.

I also got 4 new sweaters for getting a little dressier. Yes, jeans and a nice sweater is dressy to :)

Wanna know the best part about this whole entire bill was under $200! And, I got $30 back in store credit, so I ordered a new pair of boots for under $30!
Do you enjoy clothes shopping? What great bargains have you scored recently?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Sales from the Blogging Business Artisans

It's that time of year again! It's time for the holidays!!! And the Blogging Business Artisans have some great deals for you! Stop by each of these shops for holidays sales!

Use Code 20Off2013 for 20% off your entire purchase
Good Saturday, November 30th in honor of Small Business Saturday

Use code 20Saturday2013 for 20% off on 11/30 for Small Business Saturday

Thanksgiving/Black Friday Specials 11/25 - 11/30 Free US shipping ($3 value) Use Code FREEUSSHIP. (If you purchase a kippah, I'll apply part of the coupon code to the priority mail amount.) 
Use Code THANKS25 for 25% off of $15 purchase on 12/2 Cyber Monday

 MisterPenQuin - Handmade books, journals and clipboards
Black Friday to Cyber Monday 10% Off All Items
No coupon code necessary - discount applied during checkout

JNOriginals - Crocheted and felted wearable accessories
Black Friday to Cyber Monday 10% Off Everything
No coupon code necessary - discount applied during checkout
CLEARANCE (scarves, felted bowls & more) – prices reflects 50% discount

 Storybeader - Handmade journals and paper goods for the art lover
Black Friday (11/29) through the middle of December (12/15)
20% off all items
Contact Deb and I'll make your purchase a special order.

 PruittCreations - Free Coffee Cozy ($6 value) with any purchase over $5 on Small Business Saturday Nov. 30th. List color preference in the notes to the seller. I will try to accommodate.

abigailJayneART - Free shipping on any purchase on Small Business Saturday. Use coupon code ShippingZero.

Use code HOLIDAY30 for 30% off
Open between 11/22-12/22

Friday, November 22, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide - Gifts for the Guys

For my Friday Features the rest of this month, I'll be posting a Gift Guide with a specific theme (stocking stuffers, guy gifts, gifts for women, etc.). I'll be showcasing items I have for sale in these categories. I'll also be putting together a treasury each week to fit the theme as well.

I don't know about you, but the men in my life are the hardest ones to buy for! That's why I've chosen to highlight some of the items I have for guys in my shop and I've put together a great treasury with 16 more great guy gift ideas.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Gift For...Me :)

I've had my eye on these oven mitts in LeAnn's shop for quite some time and when she recently began a sale, I knew it was time to buy myself a little present :)

Knowing my preference for pink, LeAnn was surprised when I bought a red and white oven mitt. I told her I really would have loved the pink one, but the red and white matches my kitchen perfectly. Here it is hanging on my kitchen cupboards...a match made in heaven, right!

I had a hard time using the oven mitt the first time as it is so pretty and perfect! LeAnn takes such care when making her mitts. She lines up the fabric so the chevron's match at the seams...I love attention to detail! And it is the best made oven mitt I've ever owned! I love that it's lined on the inside too! Most cheap mitts just have the batting inside and it always ends up coming out and being all stuck to my hand...yuk. Not this mitt...the lining makes it soft and extra heat-resistant.
Want one for yourself? Now through December 2, 2013, get 25% off using Coupon Code CYBER25 in LeAnn's shop Pasque Flower. What a great discount! She is also offering the discount in her vintage shop Aunt Pheba's Vintage as well.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Ornament Designs
I've really been trying to stay on top of my game with new holiday items. I've created several new ornament designs this year and I'm finally finding time to get them photographed and listed in the shop. I've started with some new shaped ornaments which I think are really cool.

  The snowflakes are my favorite so far!
Personalize one of these for each member of the family!
  This angel was a custom order and I just love how it turned out!
 I'm not usually a bell person, even when it comes to Christmas, but I really love this ornament :)
 And of course, these can be personalized any way you like...First Names, Last Names, Couples' Names, etc. And I can take special requests for other shapes as well!

Look for more ornaments coming soon for kids and pets!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide - Hostess Gifts

For my Friday Features the rest of this month, I'll be posting a Gift Guide with a specific theme (stocking stuffers, guy gifts, gifts for women, etc.). I'll be showcasing items I have for sale in these categories. I'll also be putting together a treasury each week to fit the theme as well.

Are you going to any holiday parties this year? Be prepared with a nice gift for the host or hostess. Check out these great items in my shop as well as the great items in the treasury below.
Happy Shopping!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bead Chat Magazine - Southwest Appeal

Click to see a larger image.
A few months ago I created some wooden buttons for the Artisan Whimsy team. A group of their magazine contributors each created very cool pieces with my buttons and I got to see them published in the magazine! The team recently asked me to make some special pieces for them including wooden feathers and cow skulls.

Click to see a larger image and read the article.
This month, Cynthia of Antiquity Travelers did a nice two-page write up of my pieces and her beautiful necklace she created with them! Each of Cynthia's pieces is a work of art and this beautiful necklace is no different! I'm always in awe of how professional and well written these magazines are! I am so lucky to be included in this issue!

And if you'd like to win a set of my wooden pieces of your own, see page 73 of the magazine to submit your work and enter for a chance to win!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Unexpected Beauty

This tree normally turns from green to brown with no in between. Imagine my surprise when I looked out my window and saw these leaves!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Making Connections

Earlier this year I started selling my glassware at a local grocery store/liquor store. This particular store is also a chain and has stores in two other neighboring towns as well. The manager at the store I sell at recently passed my name along to the other stores and I got a nice custom order from one of them!

The other store will be hosting a holiday party and wanted wine glasses with their company logo on them. I had fun dressing up the glass for the holidays :)

Maybe next they'll want glassware for their liquor department too! It's all about connections and word of mouth. Hy-Vee has stores all across Iowa as well as Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Just think of the possibilities!

My inspiration for today...put yourself out there and make a connection. You never know where it will lead :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

BBA Challenge - Fall Colors

My favorite thing about fall is the changing colors of the leaves. And I've noticed more red trees this year, which makes everything look even more beautiful! That's why for this month's BBA Challenge, I came up with the idea to use these fall colors to create art.

I was lucky enough to be asked by Sharla of BeadedTail to make her a wooden leaf wall hanging. She sent me scanned photos of leaves from her front yard. From there I created files to cut the exact shape of the leaf out of wood with my laser.

The funny thing about this whole process is me having to ask Sharla what size she wanted these made. I told her the scans must have come through really large because the leaves were over 9" tall! She just laughed and told me that was the actual size of the leaf! Our leaves seem so tiny here in Iowa!

After I cut the leaf photo and the wooden leaf with the laser, I glued the two together and added a sealant to preserve them. So far I have one done and I'm working on two more for her to hang on her walls and enjoy the fall colors all year.

What's your favorite thing about fall? Do you have 9" leaves in your part of the country?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide - Stocking Stuffers $20 & Under

For my Friday Features the rest of this month, I'll be posting a Gift Guide with a specific theme (stocking stuffers, guy gifts, gifts for women, etc.). I'll be showcasing items I have for sale in these categories. I'll also be putting together a treasury each month to fit the theme as well.

This week's theme is Stocking Stuffers $20 & Under

Several magnet sets available
 ALL Jewelry is $20 or Under
 Great gift for the wine enthusiast :)
 You can personalize this item and it's still under $20!
And here is the treasury I put together showcasing other Etsy sellers with great stocking stuffer items!

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wedding Party Cuff Links

I am still always surprised at how many cuff links I sell online. In person, I never see people wearing them. But then again, I live in a rural area and I think this might be a city trend? Either way, I love that they do well because I love coming up with new designs!
One event I often sell cuff links for is weddings. So I decided to create a special set of cuff links for all the men in the wedding party. There are sets for the groom, his best man, the groomsmen, and the fathers of the bride and groom. And I can always create other sets for anyone else in the wedding like ushers and the ring bearer.
These cuff links make a great gift because they guys can wear them the day of the wedding and remember the special day any time they wear them down the road.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Droolworthy View

This is my parents' view looking out their back door across the lake! Just look at all those beautiful colors!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Craft Show Review and Tips

I can't believe the holiday show season is already here! I've already participated in 2 shows this fall...two down, two to go! I wanted to share what I've learned from these two shows and give some tips for those of you doing shows this year as well.

I'm noticing a pattern I saw last year that people like to buy smaller, less expensive items at shows. My most popular items at shows have been in the $7-$20 price range. Luckily I have several items in this price range that have appealed to shoppers. I noticed this at my first show, so stocked up on even more at my second show.

I'd also like to point out that that doesn't mean you shouldn't have larger, more expensive items at your shows. In fact, I encourage you to have at least one large item to draw in attention. The item itself may not sell, but drawing people into your booth and starting a conversation is half the battle. Once they've checked out your larger piece, they will want to see what else you have for sale.

Another trend I've noticed in years past and am seeing again this year is that people at shows want to take their items with them. I only took a handful of custom orders at both shows. Personalized items are my biggest seller online, but at shows, people want to take their items out the door that day. I've started gearing my display to this mindset and leaving out some of my custom work and adding more premade items for options at shows.

Both of the shows I've attended this year have been great shows. I attribute part of this to the shows themselves. Both shows have been going for several years (over 50 years in one case). The shows are also well advertised and well organized. I've attended several shows that are a total bust because of lack of advertising. I'm really picky about which shows I attend anymore and these two shows just prove that point to me again and again.

Have you attended any shows this year? Do you have any tips to share...leave me a comment.
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