Saturday, July 18, 2009

I aRt Festival July 25th & 26th

This is where I am going to be next weekend. It will be my first two day show. Plus, it will be the first time I am gone for a week and only home for one day before a show. Hmmm....that may also be a last - we'll see.

I am hoping to get 8 more bags done...4 of two different styles. I want to have fewer styles on display, but with at least 4 versions of each. I will also have a clearance table - but I may not break that out right away - not sure yet.

Anyway - wish me luck. From here on out (for the next week or so anyway) my posting will be few and scheduled. Hope to see you when I return - with a post about the show I hope...or if I am too tired, a quick run down until a real post is doable.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Packaging, Shipping and Handling

Everyone knows shipping costs money. Most people groan when they see the charges for shipping and wonder why it seems so high, especially if the item does not cost much. I am sure the majority of people realize the the price of what you buy in no way determines what USPS or UPS or whatever charges to ship the package. Although, how great would that be!

So what goes into the cost?
Well, other than paying the shipping company, the packaging isn't free. Well, if you ship USPS Priority it is...the container anyway. But what about what wraps up your item on the inside? There may be bubble wrap to keep things from getting squooshed and smashed. Plastic bags to keep things dry. And if you are buying from a cookie cutter big company store, that is probably all there is. But if you are like me & prefer Indie and/or handmade...there is most likely more to it.

Susy from the blog Earth Expression has a great write up about this issue - great tips for the sellers. As an Indie seller myself, I know that I want my customers to feel appreciated, and packaging can go a long way towards that. I am still trying to find packaging I like bags can be quite large and tissue paper wrapped around it to look pretty won't always fit.

The little touches that so many sellers add to their creations, which already have so much love put into them, does not come cheap. But neither do most of them charge for it. Yup, you heard me right.
I got a package from Rockerchic the other week...the bracelet came in a fabric bag with a surprise gift inside, you may have seen it in this post. It's great example of of a goodie package.
But the package I remember the most, so much that I took a pic of it, was from Mana Moon Treasures. I just loved the pruple & it had some foil confetti strips...very striking. Plus, a coupon... gotta love that.

Most sellers I know do not tack on more than maybe 25 or 50 cents to the shipping charges, if even that. So those charges that get you moaning may be no more than the same charges that get sellers moaning...the charges from the shipping companies. And when you stop to think about it...$4.95 to send a package across the states...not so bad. That same $4.95 will only get my car, what, 30 or so miles away from my house?

So what great things have sellers put in your packages?
What do you like to do with the packages you send out to your customers?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Christmas in July

I have decided to go ahead with my Christmas in July sale....but because of a family vacation & craft show - it will be the 10 days instead of the 12 days of Christmas :)
I am offering 15% off all non-clearance items in both my ArtFire and Etsy shops.

The family vacation is in just a few days and my teenage son has graciously offered up his iTouch for me to use to check in on the shop. You know you are getting old when you need to get "permission" from your kid to use their stuff...because it is his...he saved up & bought it himself. I am proud of him for that. He has saved up for a Wii in the past too. I wonder what's next? And don't say car...I'm not ready to hear it yet :)

Our vacation is going to be with my husband's parents & sister (plus her hubby & kids of course). Our youngest kids are very close in age & will have a blast. The older ones will have fun - but with one being a teen & the other nearly a tween with a teen attitude, we will never know.

So I probably won't be back here for possibly over a week...instead I shall be Up North...with no real computer...or sewing machine...eegads! What am I going to do? Hand embroidery, phew! I knew there had to be something! LOL!

Catch you later this month!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Photobucket Slideshow Fun

I have been uploading my photos to Photobucket recently. I have a Flickr also, but Photobucket allows links for selling purposes, which is, of course, an advantage for me.

Today I made my first slideshow...I have a feeling there will be more :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gifts Given and Treasury Found

I finally get to show off the scrapbooks I got from Memories For Life Scrapbooks for my brother's little girl and new baby boy. I had to wait until, 1 - Jackson was born, and 2 - he received them. These pictures do not do them justice - peek around her shop & you'll see I mean it :)

I never know what to get someone for that second kid...especially when they live in a different state. And since I love handmade (as you know if you've ever visited before), I looked around Etsy and ArtFire for the gifts.

The also got this cool frame made By Quirky Dolls...

I came home yesterday to find my Pebbles Mollie style clutch in a treasury...and guess who made the treasury? Memories :) Woo Hoo! Thanks

(that's me in the bottom left)

Memories has even more styles of scrapbooks...check out these cool new flip flop albums...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Invading My Space

I don't know what it is about Mom's Space, but lately everyone wants to be a part of it. Okay, I know it's in the family room, but geez. First, the dog. And now, my youngest...

The best part...the DVD he was holding out to me to play...Dr. Horrible. Yes, now I even have my 4 year old requesting Joss :)

He is going around singing various snippets of the songs too..."A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do..." "..with this freeze ray I will stop - the world..." "underthings - tumbling" "...a shiny new Australia" and even "...and that guy who smells like poo" - although, he saved that last one for when we were out in public. Wasn't that just so nice of him? LOL! The best part - the couple in line with us started cracking up & sang the next line. Yup - Dr. Horrible fans are everywhere, even in line at the thrift store.

And my oldest? Well, he's been keeping his little bro occupied by playing video games "for him". Lego Batman is now appearing even in my dreams. At least it gives me time to list some bags & blog here & there. And as jobs go for a 14 year old, playing video games has got to be at the top of the list.

The other way he is occupying the little guy - playing his new Ocarina...the things my son saves up for...gotta love it :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I have been tagged by my Etsyblogger bud, Storybeader. She chose people that she thought wouldn't get mad - LOL! She's right, I won't. Actually, I really like the photo tags. They can be fun.

The tag is: to search in your photo files, and find & post the 10th photo in the first folder. Now, saying "1st folder" to me is open to interpretation...I have tons of folders, sub solders & sub sub folders. So I went into my "primary" done folder for my Tilt stuff...I have some for unedited to make things easier when I go to fix all my pics for listings. I also have main folders for family - food - places - graphic creations...etc. it is - a pastel drawing I made back in 2003/2004 (not sure of the exact date, just know the circumstances and therefore the time) after we lost our son, Cullen.

Now to pass it on...I am going to pick a few new buds from Plurk:

She's Batty

Meg Little Studio


Meri's Elbit Blog

Friday, July 3, 2009

Etsybloggers Carnival: Favorite Summer Recipe

This carnival's theme is our favorite summer recipe or top 5 things of summer. I can't think of 5 things I like about summer...I am not good with heat. Loved summer back when I was in school, of course. Not so much now. So, I am going for the food.

I almost wrote my Orzo Salad, since that is the dish I always bring to get togethers....but I already posted that before (click her if you are interested). So I am going with my fave food to cool off...Watermelon Ice. I ran across this recipe a couple years ago - back when my BFF & I got together every Thursday (we always made a yummies for the evening). It is a great alternative to the higher fat ice cream...but if you are diabetic, either look away or break out the Splenda.

Makes 8 servings, 1/2 cup each

ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 1 hour (using an ice cream maker)...I tend to make mine the night before or earlier in the day

EASE OF PREPARATION: Moderate...but can get sticky

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
4 cups diced seedless watermelon (about 3 pounds with the rind)
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon lime juice

1. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, over high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a glass measuring cup and let cool slightly.

2. Puree watermelon in a food processor or blender, in batches, pulsing until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl.

3.Whisk in the cooled sugar syrup, yogurt and lime juice until combined. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into another large bowl, whisking to release all juice....I tend to not only whisk, but squoosh the watermelon down into the mesh with the bottom of a spoon. Discard pulp.

4.Pour the extracted juices into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

...Alternatively, pour into a shallow metal pan and freeze until solid, about 6 hours or overnight.Remove from freezer to defrost slightly, 5 minutes. Break into small chunks and process in a food processor, in batches, until smooth and creamy.
note: when I make beforehand, I do not process this second's just fine in chunks

Serve immediately or transfer to a storage container and freeze for up to 2 hours.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 74 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 2 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 0 g fiber; 21 mg sodium; 155 mg potassium.
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 fruit

MAKE AHEAD TIP: If frozen longer than 2 hours, break into chunks and puree in a food processor until smooth before serving.

recipe from Eating well

Thursday, July 2, 2009

4th Of July

The Blogfire carnival for this round is for your country's holiday this time of year. So for me, that's the 4th of July...Independence Day.

I am not a parade person, so I try to skip that...I have yet to be successful. Cross your fingers for this year :)

Now fireworks...fireworks I like. I have the opposite problem than the parades though - I rarely go see any. I can hear Detroit's from my home though. Once or twice we could see some over the tops of the trees. I just feel sorry for the dog - he goes and hides under the table.

The once consistent thing that I do parent's pool party. Some years it is big, others it is small. But every year it is great to see everyone. What is big? Well, if most of my dad's side comes by, we can hover in the 40s...small would be about half that. Seeing everyone is not a once a year thing...more like 3-5 (Xmas, Labor Day, the 4th, Thanksgiving...) but my cousins rock & we always have a blast together. And now that most of us have kids - the place runs amok with kiddos!

The new thing for this 4th of July Special :) I am going with the freedom shipping in all my shops now through Sunday midnight (or whenever I wake up Monday to change the banners).

This is my latest bag - pretty good for this holiday, don't ya think?
This bag is now listed in my Etsy team's shop - Carried Away Bags...
all proceeds go to Herobox.