Tuesday, December 29, 2009
She was a surprise baby (found out about the pregnancy on my 30th birthday! A double whammy). I wasn't happy about it, but had I known the gift I was being given, I would have been overjoyed beyond words. She is my proof that God knows what I need more than I do, ten times over~
She has been such a blessing in my life and the source of so many happy moments~ I love her more than I can express!
Happy birthday my precious girl!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
My etsy shop exploded this season and one weekend I sent out 20 packages, not just items, but packages! I can't explain what happened but I was looking forward to the day I would close down. Between trying to get orders out and trying to prepare for my family I needed to be three different people.
Well, all worked out, and, on this eve of Christmas Eve Eve (as my kids call it), I am now finished with my shopping, have purchased all the necessary groceries, wrapped (almost) all the presents. I am greatly looking forward to spending the next few days with my girls, making cookies, watching christmas movies, and playing games.
I hope this finds all of you with peace and happiness this season.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Although they didn't cancel school they did let the kids out of class to play in it! Yay teachers!
This is now BIG the flakes were. They were like mini snowballs hitting the ground.
It all melted off within a few hours. I would have taken more pictures but I thought it would stick longer. It was amazing while it lasted.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
When I was younger I was afraid of the elderly. I have no idea why. Maybe it was from not being around grandparents and those that were much older than my parents. I never got comfortable around those much older than me until I met my husband and spent time with his grandparents.
Since then I have developed and appreciation and, dare I say, love for the elderly. Not in the way that would lead me to work in a nursing home, but I love to talk to them, loving their perspective on things. I love the fact that they rarely mince words. I don't know if it comes from their lack of inhibitions, feeling life is too short, or a little dementia in some rare cases. However, when I meet an elderly person, I love to talk to them.
I believe we can learn a lot from the elderly. They have seen so much. Just think of how the world was just 75 years ago and all the advances, changes, wars, and wonders that have occurred. Someone who has seen all of that, lived through raising a family, jobs, life, death has to have more wisdom than me. I feel I'm much wiser than I was 20 years ago so I KNOW they have to have wisdom I would love to have.
This brings me to my encounter today in the post office. I entered the post office behind a very elderly gentleman. Kind face, larger than necessary dentures and slightly stooped. He smiled with those glassy, watery eyes and offered for me to go ahead of him. "Ladies first" he told me. I declined since I had a few international packages to mail, but he insisted.
He then began telling me "ladies first" is what his mother taught him. "She taught me a lot of things" he said and then chuckled to himself, seeming to think fondly of her. The slight gleam in his eye gave me the impression that maybe she wasn't quite the saint I would picture teaching her son chivalry. "Good things I'd imagine" I quipped back fishing for a little more. "Oh, yes," he said thinking and remembering.
Then came the gem of wisdom I always look for. He then added "She also taught me 'It's better to watch women wiggle, than to hear them rattle' ".
I laughed out loud, really loud, and had to cover my mouth. I absolutely love that! He didn't say much more, but I believe that was enough wisdom for me today.
Oh, and btw..when we got to the front of the line, HE went first.
I love old people!
Monday, November 23, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
You can see from the pics it's a cute little snap purse. It's a little bigger than a change purse and you can find lots of others at antiquebasketlady.etsy.com
Thursday, November 12, 2009
So, while Christmas Shopping is getting into full swing, I have put lots of my items on sale. I have reduced all of my "whimsical collection" by 20%. I have marked down my "jewel collection" and have made the jewel earrings two for $20. AND, if you spend over $50 you get free shipping in the U.S.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I have no answers but my heart is full of "thank you" even though it will never be adequate for what has been done for me.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
That made up for the weird weekend I've had. Ah well, this too will pass.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
She has a mixture of cold process soaps as well as melt and pour. Both types are equally amazing in color, scent, lather and softness.
(coconut lime, my favorite)
Monday, October 5, 2009
I made these rings today and I am very pleased with how they turned out. While it wasn't my intent, after I created and paired them I realized how they could be considered a "twilight" item. The moonstone I understand is synonymous with Bella (apparently she wears one) and the garnet is such a gorgeous deep red ring that reminds me of blood, aka Edward.
While I love making these rings, one of our goals is to sell our items, right?
So the question is, do I market these as "Twilight" inspired to reach more buyers? I really don't like to do that but isn't that what marketing is all about? Appealing to the masses, and the bigger mass the better?
How do you feel about mass appeal vs. just offering your items as you made them?
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I've been designing in my head items I want to put in my shop that reflect my faith. I finally finished my first piece this morning.
It is subtle, yet, encompases my beliefs entirely. One symbol, the cross, one word, love. I think that says it all.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I'll post later on the results of my "twittering" "tweeting"???
but I want to share something I saw there today:
"Famous last words : Hold my beer and watch this"...
rofl!! Love it!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Pork Chops with Apples and Brandy
8 boneless center cut pork loin chops (4 to 5 ounces each)
Freshly ground black pepper
4 to 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 sweet apples, such as Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, and sliced
½ cup brandy
½ cup nonalcoholic apple cider
½ cup whipping cream
Using a meat mallet, pound the pork chops until they are ½ inch thick. Generously salt and pepper.
Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove to a separate bowl.
Melt another tablespoon of butter in the same skillet. Brown the chops on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Do it in two batches if necessary, adding another tablespoon of butter for the second batch. Remove to a separate plate.
Deglaze the pan with the brandy and cider. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cream. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the apples and any accumulated juices. Return the pork chops to the pan, cover, and cook until chops are cooked through, about 4 more minutes.
Place chops on plates on Mound apples on top of chops and pour sauce over all.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
As hectic as the season has become, shoppers are looking for ways to beat crowds, check off to do lists faster, and make the gift giving as easy as possible while still giving great, memorable gifts. I think we, as shop owners, can do a little something to fill this need.
One of the ways I am filling this need this season is to send all my items pre-gift wrapped. Now, this presents a unique problem because my, as well as most of your customers shop over the internet. They cannot see, feel or try on the items we sell prior to purchase. If I send their purchase pre-gift wrapped, how will they know the item is something they want to give? What if they want to see it first? I have decided to develop my wrapping style with this in mind.
As you can see from my picture, a gift does not have to be wrapped in paper to be gorgeous. I have made my packaging so that all that needs to be done if desired, is to untie the ribbon to see the item, and then tie it back. I plan to include instructions on how to tie the bow back (yes, men will need this).
The boxes I have decided to use are very heavy duty Kraft boxes from Uline.com. They come in so many shapes and sizes. I have larger boxes for my necklaces and smaller for the earrings. These boxes come with fiberfill pad already included. I keep this in as extra padding for my jewelry.
Inside I will be adding a piece of hot pink tissue paper. You can use any color you want. I would recommend cutting it to match the width of your boxes so that it can be slipped under the fiber fill, and it will fold nicely over your items. You can also purchase tissue paper in bulk from Uline.com
Etsy has so many wonderful graphic artists. I have purchased some designs from Lulydesign.esy.com to use as my jewelry cards. I feel they match my shop’s nostalgic elegant feel. She customized the size for me so that they would fit the larger boxes. The work is gorgeous and she had a fast turn around. Pre-printed scrapbook tag paper would also work nicely. Personally I like the look of the nostalgic prints better than using the printed cards. Although not all of my pieces are vintage, they have the look of vintage or nostalgic pieces and I feel the papers match my overall theme perfectly. You can figure out what works best for your shop.
In developing my packaging I felt it is important to create an overall look that is consistent that way there are no surprises when your customer receives their package. I have used a gorgeous satin ribbon in my signature color of sage green to tie a generous bow on the box. The sage green matches my banner in my shop as well as my business cards. A tip on cutting ribbon for a bow that I learned when working at Williams/Sonoma: Cut the ribbon five times the width and height of the box and it will be long enough to tie around with length enough for a full bow.
I have also included in the packaging a tag on the outside of the package. ! I am stamping the back of these tags with a “To: From: “ stamp I have and will slip it under the ribbon on the outside of the box.
I buy tags from the most wonderful shop on Etsy. Txbutterfly74.etsy.com. She uses nostalgic and vintage images to make hang tags. They are classic in shape, the images are clear and the tags are sturdy. Each has a complimentary color thread. Her tags are reasonably priced; you can get a dozen for less than $5.00. She also ships very quickly. I highly recommend her!!
Now, for product identification. Most people buying this holiday season will be buying for others. The recipient probably won’t know that their gift is a handmade item from your shop on Etsy. So how do you let them know these things without blatantly advertising in their gift? I have decided to do it subtly and with a look that fits the overall style. A few months back I had stickers designed by PaperJunkie514.etsy.com. These have my shop name; again, match my banner and business card in my signature sage green theme. Usually this sticker is front and center on the boxes I send, but since this is special gift wrap I want to keep this information secondary to the gift giver, but still have it present. . I am putting these stickers to identify my shop on the bottom of the box This way the information is available, yet subtle. I also won’t be sticking my business card in the gift package, but I will include it in the shipping box.
This gift wrapping is going to be standard for all my packaging from now until the end of December. This will streamline processing orders when the holiday rush starts. I won’t have to wait for convos saying yes or no, or if I don’t get a preference I won’t have to contact the buyer and wait for a reply. I’ll wrap it up and out it goes.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my little tour through gift wrapping and hope that I’ve given you some ideas and resources to spiff up your holiday packaging and make your packages very special for your customers.