Monday, November 16, 2009

Sidelined by the Swine Flu

I have been hit hard by the swine flu and strep. Not a pretty combination at all. I think that I caught it at my craft fair on the 7th because I was fine before then.

It has really put me behind for my biggest craft fair which is this Saturday (the 21st). I'm still feeling quite poorly and don't have any strength or energy. I guess I have to hope for a miracle so that I am well enough for the show.

I hope that none of you out there get this flu because it really is awful.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The New Tent

I know it has been awhile since I have written yet again. So much has been happening here on a personal level that it has been very difficult for me to keep up.

I wanted to share with you my experience with my EZ Up Dome tent. I really like it. It is very easy to put up and take down. At the craft fair it was raining all day and it did a good job keeping the water out and of course the domed top kept the water from pooling.

Because it was raining so much at the craft fair there wasn't a lot of customer so a lot of the other venders came by to talk about the tent. Most had never seen one like mine and were impressed by it. Unfortunately I forgot my camera so I didn't get a picture but I hope to remember the next time it is set up.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


First I apologize for the absence from my blog. I had a period of illness that left me unable to do much of anything. I'm hoping that I'm on the mend enough to keep on top of things.

Another note is that the craft fair tent has arrived. Haven't done the trial set up yet but will be doing that soon to see how difficult and how long it actually takes to set up.

But this entry is actually about envelopes. Now I make and sell mostly cards as my business and it is something I really love. Now along with all the supplies needed to make the actual cards themselves I need to have envelopes.

So I have been making lots of cards and putting them up for sale on etsy and artfire and also making lots of cards for my upcoming craft fairs. I wasn't worried about envelopes because I had an unopened box of 250 sitting up on my shelf.

Today I decided I needed to start packaging some of my craft fair cards so I wasn't doing them all at the last minute. So I took the box of envelopes down from the shelf and opened it up only to find that there were no envelopes in the box at all. The horror of it all. So instead of packaging up my cards I had to spend time searching for a supplier to buy envelopes because my last one went out of business.

So I ordered 1000 envelopes today and that should last me quite some time. I guess the only real plus that came out of this was that I did decide to try to do this early and did discover the problem in enough time to get some shipped to me but it looks like I will be packaging everything at the last minute because I ran out. I will however be marking the boxes when they are empty so I know in advance if I have envelopes left in the future.

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Tent

Well I finally bought the EZ UP Dome tent and it should be here by the end of the week. I really hope it is a good one and will hold up for us for a few years. I hope that it is better in the wind and rain than the regular EZ Up tent that most crafters have.

We will have to set it up and take it down in the yard a few times to get used to doing it. I want it to only take a few minutes so we can spend most of our time setting up our products.

I am uploading Halloween cards today and Thanksgiving cards tomorrow so check them out!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Trip to the Craft Store

Today I took a little trip to the Craft Store. Well right there I knew I would be in trouble because I can never just go and look at things. As usual too many items found there way into my cart because they were on "sale".

Of course I already have enough stuff in my studio to open my own craft store but in my mind it just isn't new enough or cute enough as the new things are. Today my vice was scrapbook paper. I bought so much new paper that I didn't even have enough space to put it.

My husband is supposed to put up new shelving for me because I am already overflowing all the shelving I currently have. I think once it is up I will have it already half full before anything else new comes in the house.

Of course getting new paper does get my creative juices flowing so there should be some new goodies making it into my shop real soon. And I guess I really should use a lot of what I have before I buy anymore new things. It's good in theory but I'm sure it won't be the reality.

Oh and I still haven't bought the Craft Fair tent yet. Really need to get on that because my show is coming up quicker than I want to think it is. I guess I don't want to think that summer is almost over and fall is quickly coming.

I have been working on Halloween and Thanksgiving things that will be added to my shop at the beginning of next week. Then next is the new Christmas things. Will be listing those things in September.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pre-made Scrapbook Pages

All Pre-made Scrapbook Pages are currently on sale in both my Etsy and Artfire shops. Up to 40% off. I have some unique pages for all branches of the military, police, firemen, wedding and more.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Craft Show Tent Shopping

I am currently in the market for a good craft fair tent. I have looked at a ton of tents it seems. I want to spend around $400 on the tent in the hopes that it will last for several years without replacing it. I know that Trimline has probably got the best tent but with shipping the tent would end up costing $1000 which is way out of my budget.

So it looks like I'm pretty much stuck getting an EZ Up tent. I have looked at a bunch of their tents and I am thinking of going with their dome tent which looks very similar to the Trimline tent and is within my budget of $400. I will probably be buying the tent this coming week because of how soon my outdoor fair is coming up.

Do any of my readers have any experience with this tent or do you know of a better tent that will fit within in my budget. Any comments or suggestions would be welcome. Thanks

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Catalogs

I got a few new catalogs yesterday which is always fun for me. I love seeing new products and making a big wish list - most of which I never get around to buying.

One catalog I was really happy to receive was the new Nashville Wraps catalog. It is a catalog of all kinds of bags, boxes, wrapping paper and such. When I got my first catalog some months back I put in a large order for recycled Kraft bags with handles to use at the craft fairs.

I got the blank bags so I could stamp my own and make them unique to me. I bought this awesome custom stamp from terbearco on Etsy that I use as well as a roller stamp that has a swirly design. With ribbon I tie one of my business cards to the handle so that every customer gets a card. It has worked out very well for me.

So now I need to put in another large order with them so that I will have plenty of bags to get me through to the end of the year.

Nashville Wraps new catalog is filled with wonder Christmas bags and boxes and things. As well as more everyday designs. You can really put together a great signature look with what they have to offer. Their prices are reasonable too. I highly recommend them if you are in the market for these types of items.

Their website is and the catalog is free.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gearing Up

I have put in a bunch of orders and will be getting lots of new goodies over the coming week. I am excited to get them and start working on new things. I am gearing up for the coming craft fairs and new online offerings.

I have actually started to make Christmas cards already. I would like to have 6 new designs for the upcoming season so that I can retire some that I have had for a couple of years now. Don't want to get stale at the shows. I am also working on new journals, note pads, note cards and everyday occasion cards. The only thing I don't seem to have the time to fit in right now is new scrapbook pages. I would ike to get one or two new ones made for my online shop.

Even starting this early I always feel like I won't have enough time to get things finished in time. I usually do make almost all of what I set out to make but I can't seem to stop the nagging doubt in my brain. I just have to keep plugging away.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bind It All

I used my new Bind It All machine for the first time yesterday. I went in with the thought that it would be pretty easy to use and I would have a wonderful masterpiece of a journal when I was finished.

Boy was I wrong. It is not that easy at all. I had a hard time lining things up (probably operator error) to punch more holes as I went along. I went through a ton of paper just trying to get some of the holes to line up. I never did get one that was totally right. I was totally disappointed that at the end of a long afternoon I had a journal that was barely useable and a large pile of paper that will now have to be used for something else.

I now know that I have to do a lot of practicing before I attempt to make another journal. i won't give up on it that is for sure. I am sure with time I will be a pro and I will look at my original attempt and laugh.

So for any of you out there that are thinking about getting one of these please know that it will take a lot of practice before you try a big project. I'm sure some of you will do better right from the start than I did. I do love the machine and I just have to get used to it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Picnic & Fireworks

Tomorrow I will be going to a big picnic and fireworks show. It has been a tradition for the past 15 years and I really look forward to it. We only see the people that attend the picnic when we are at the picnic so it is a great time to catch up on what's been going on in the past year.

My youngest daughter (who is 26) used to enjoy going to the picnic and fireworks show but now has a very hard time. She is in the army and has gone to Iraq twice. The picnic is fine for her except that she has high anxiety from being in a crowd of people. The thing she has the most trouble with is the fireworks. To her they sound like bombs going off because she was bombed so many times while in Iraq. It saddens me that this wonderful display of celebration causes her so much pain. I am hoping that as the years go by she will once again be able to enjoy fireworks.

So please when you gather in celebration of our 4th of July please think of our service men and women. They are the reason we can still have our celebration.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kudos to SAHM Crafters

I watch my 4 year old grandson quite often. And while he is a joy most of the time I can never seem to get anything accomplished when he is here. He is always interrupting when I try to work on things. I can't get any cleaning done or even any projects for my shop. It takes 3 times as long to get one task done. I have tried giving him his own projects to do but he will barely work on them before he's back interrupting me again.

I love him dearly and he has been under my care since he was a baby. I don't know how all of you SAHM get anything done. I'm sure that you must schedule your time around the children's naps and bedtime to make it work. My grandson doesn't take naps anymore so I have no down time during the day to work around. So I find myself trying to get as much done as possible while he is not here.

So big Kudos to all you SAHM who have got this all figured out! You are my crafting heros!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Back From Vacation

I am back from a ten day vacation to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It is one of my favorite areas in the country. I truly wish I could move up there, but for now I settle for one or two trips up there a year.

I brought no projects to work on for the first time ever. I wanted it to truly be a vacation and not a time to do more work in a better location. It was hard not having a project to work on especially on rainy days when I couldn't do outdoor activities. Instead of working I watched movies which I hadn't taken the time to do in a long time. It was nice but the little voice in the back of my head said yes but you really should be working on something. That is when it dawned on me how much time I really devote to my craft and how little time I took out for myself doing other things I enjoy. After that realization I gave myself permission to just relax and enjoy my vacation.

I did a lot of hiking (beware the trail info gives you the miles to a particular point and not the round trip - learned that the hard way) and a lot of thinking and pondering. I came up with a couple of new ideas to try and took a lot of great pictures. I do love being out in nature and away from the busy everyday things.

Of course as with all vacations it ended way too soon and I am back to the ordinary everyday grind. I will take a little more me time each week and see how that goes. It will be hard at first but I am sure it will be second nature in no time. And on my next vacation in the fall I will probably not bring any projects again because a vacation truly should be a vacation.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

I just wanted to say a few words of thanks to all the men and women of the armed forces past and present. All the sacrifices that are made to keep our country free and allow us to lead the lives that we do.

My daughter served 2 tours in Iraq and is still in the army reserve. My husband served during the Vietnam war. My dad served during the Korean War. My father in law and some of my uncles served during WWII. I have seen first hand the toll that these wars have taken.

Thank you seems so little to say for all they have done but Thank you is all there is. Never forgotten and always there. Thank you

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Craft Show Story

Craft show season is again upon us. I love doing craft shows because you get to meet and interact with so many great people. Plus you get a feel for your customer base. You usually sell a lot at a craft fair compared to online sales which gives you a much needed boost in income. I have had my share of low sale craft fairs either because of location or lack of advertising. Most of me experiences have been good. But one show stands out as my worse show ever.

Our town has an annual street fair that takes place in October. The year that I decided to set up a booth was the year that the festival was thrown together at the last minute. Don't know if it was a new group that took it over and that was why there was a delay. They normally have an antique car show that sets up at one end of the fair and that draws a lot of people. Well the year I did the show there wasn't enough time to plan the car show so they were not there.

I was optimistic that the show would do ok anyway because it had been run for a few years and people pretty much knew when it was. I had gone to the fair for a few years before I decided to sell there and there was a pretty good mix of crafters there.

So I go to the fair bright and early to get my spot. I find out that I am across from the food vendors. Ok I thought I could still do ok. So I went about setting up my tent and putting out my things. It was getting later and my two neighbors hadn't yet been there to set up. There fair was almost ready to open when they finally arrived. So on one side of me I have the high school bake sale fundraiser and the other side of me was a financial firm that had a money tree that was going to be raffled off just for filling out your information. Next to the financial firm was someone who set up a flea market booth and accross form them was a vendor selling candy and cheap trinkets. No other crafters in my area at all. I was still optimistic because I had been to the other shows and knew there had to be other crafters down the other side where I just couldn't see them.

So I was ready to sell. The weather was bright and sunny so I figured lots of people would be out enjoying the fair. Everything was fine until I see this motorized train come down the narrow walk area and people had to scurry out of the way. People ducked into my booth but never stopped to look at my things because they were more worried about getting run over. Plus they were far more interested in the money tree next door. I did get a few sales in the morning. The train ran all day and went by my booth about every 10 to 15 minutes which was super annoying. It became more annoying when the food vendors had longer lines because it was lunch time. I had a friend come by to watch my booth while I went out to check out the other parts of the fair. To my horror and surprise there wasn't a single other craft person there. It was all kinds of fundraiser groups, real estate people, banks and people selling flea market type items. Not at all like it had been the previous years when I had attended the fair. My heart sunk and I went back to my booth. I never even made enough money to cover the table.

It was time to break down the tent and pack up to go back home. My friend brought her car around to help load up. In the process she ran over my three tables and broke them. I was so upset. Now I was definitely out all my money because I had to replace the tables. My friend did pay for one of them because it was already brand new and this was the first time I had used it.

Needless to say I have never been a vendor at the festival again. They didn't run the train any more after that year because I am sure they got a ton of complaints about it. Also the crafters have yet to return. it is still all fundraisers, cheap junk and businesses. The antique cars have been back every year since as well. I guess I just picked the wrong time to go. I haven't done another outdoor show since but I am looking to find some to do maybe soon. I hope my experience is better than that one.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Neglected Blog

I have seriously neglected this blog but I am going to make it more active now. Starting this week I will be adding some content and really make this come alive!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Goodies

This has been a great week for getting new supplies. I made a trip to Micheals and made a large purchase. I had a large wholesale order come in on Monday and on Tuesday my large Stampin Up order arrived. I am still waiting for my large order from Zutter and some promo items from Vista Print.

Having all these new goodies means that I have plenty of new materials to create with. I am very excited to get working in my studio and making some wonderful new things. Hopefully I will be posting some new creations soon

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A new blog

This is my first venture into the world of blogging. My goal for the blog is to hopefully be informative as well as slightly entertaining and interesting to read. I'm going to try to do some featured artists work as well. Maybe even a few product reviews. Hopefully I will be worth taking the time to read.