Thursday, May 28, 2009

Time Track Thursday #2

This week: Where does the time really go? Putting a value on it helps you decide the best way to spend it.

I spent a week meticulously logging my time. Every time I shifted my attention, I wrote down what I was doing (as suggested by Alec Mackenzie, The Time Trap). Then I asked myself these questions:
  1. Did I achieve my goals for the day? To what extent?
  2. When was I the most productive?
  3. When was I the least productive?
  4. What were the biggest interruptions and time wasters?
  5. What have I been doing that I can delegate to someone else?
I learned a lot about myself, some of which I will go over briefly. I achieved my goals to the extend I intended when I wrote them down in the morning or night before. I am most productive with my computer time in the morning and with my crafting in the afternoon. After 5pm I don't get that much done. That's when I cook, clean, do laundry etc. After a 6 hour shift at Starbucks, I'm useless for several hours. I spend a lot of time on Twitter! Sometimes it crosses over into wasting time. I've delegated my graphic design needs to someone else. I can do it, but its icing on the cake, and it takes me too much time. Besides, I know people who make better icing than me.

Then I estimated my Time Worth using this formula by Dan Kennedy:
  1. Determine your base earnings target for the next calender year. (I added my Starbucks pay and the $200/month goal I have for my shop.)
  2. Divide by annual workday hours (220 days x 8 = 1,760 hours).
  3. Multiply that answer by 3 (He says on average we are productive 1 out of every 3 hours.)
  4. The answer is your time value per hour.
My time is worth so much more than I expected, even with my conservative numbers! Posting this value and seeing it often will definitely help me to spend my time more wisely. I hope these steps help you as well.

P.S. My new shop at will be opening in 4 days!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Worktable Wednesday

This is my set up I have going in front of the TV. My DH (see footnote) is a huge movie buff so we're always watching movies (or baseball), and I feel the need to be productive at the same time. This is my bead board that goes nearly everywhere with me. I was lucky enough to get my OTT-LITE from the Dallas Bead Society Holiday Party this past December. We sat in a big circle and someone read a story, and when the reader said "left" we passed our gifts to the person to our left, and the same for the word "right." I was sooo happy to end up with it! It is the best work light I've ever owned and I LOVE that it shows true colors. I can also angle it so I don't disturb DH's movie atmosphere. I set both of these on my Table Mate. My DH is geeky and has a computer hooked up to the TV as well. He was always wanting to set his keyboard on MY table! We had to get another one. These tables are awesome! Time to get back to work because my new shop is opening June 1st! Now you know exactly where I will be sitting.

Footnote: DH is short of "Dear Husband" not "Designated Hitter" as I originally thought when I first started posting in forums! Yes, I LOVE baseball.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Blog Award

I just received the One Lovely Blog Award from Anna of Life, Craftiness, and Everything Else. She is also the creator behind The House of Mouse. Go check out The Beatles Mice, they are too cute!

Thanks so much, Anna! Now it's my turn to pass it on...
Here are the rules:
  • Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
  • Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
1. Craft Cove
2. Macaroni and Glue
3. Studio618
4. Sand Fibers
5. Joy of Life
6. Jaycee Patterns
7. Bags and Buds
8. Funky Finds
9. A Bead A Day
10. Here There Be Monsters
11. Almost Precious
12. Fairy Davis
13. Etsy Stalker
14. Monster Bubbles
15. Today in the Jewelry Studio

Please checkout all these wonderful blogs. They are in no particular order, and you may find a new blog to "follow"!

Side Note: I'm still working on my "Mandibeads" etsy shop. I have some new products, many pens and journals to photograph, and a new logo in the works. I'm shooting for a Grand Opening date of June 1, 2009. Back to work :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Something for Me & My Winners

I finished up this hand-bound Coptic journal in class last week. It is for myself. I noticed that I was taking my notes (blog or marketing notes etc.) on a spiral notebook from Target. I thought "I make journals, what an outrage!" I chose a paper with my favorite motifs: hearts, stars, and skulls & crossbones. I added exactly 13 signatures to this journal on purpose. It seemed fitting.

Also, congrats to Liz and Ann, my winners! Liz signed up for my email newsletter at the Etsy Dallas Spring Bash, and won the journal I raffled off to the new subscribers that day. Ann won the Cupcake Pen Giveaway by signing up for my newsletter on my blog. Thanks so much for your support of indie businesses like mine!

I plan to light a candle at 3pm today to honor all those who have served in the military. Happy Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Time Track Thursday #1

Time management is something many of us crafty business owners struggle with. We are our own marketing departments, photographers, accountants, bloggers, copy editors, sales reps, and the creator behind all of our products. Most of us have day jobs and/or children to attend to as well. So how can we possibly fit it all in?

That is the topic I'm going to discuss every Time Track Thursday, because it is the top issue I struggle with. I want to make the most of every 24 hours, and by doing so all of my "departments" will have the amount of attention they deserve. I hope you will join me on my journey through The 25 Best Time Management Tools and Techniques: How to Get More Done Without Driving Yourself Crazy by Pamela Dodd.

This week I started small. I began writing down all the important things I want to do in the day, and during the week. I also began implementing Timothy Adam's post it note tip. Last night, I stuck a post it note to the bottom of my computer screen. I had 2 things I wanted to get done today and if I only accomplished those 2 things I could still call it a productive day.
  1. Use random number generator to pick the winners from my show raffle and online giveaway, then email the winners.
  2. Write post #1 for Time Track Thursday.
Focusing is the key. I chose the most important things, and I have both items accomplished by 9am. Now I can move on to the other things on my daily and weekly lists!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Etsy Dallas Spring Bash Review

I am now fully recovered from the Bash! Our fearless founder of Etsy Dallas, Stephanie of Tefi Designs, snapped this shot of me happily (wo)manning my booth. Our show was a huge success, and I heard we were even on the news! I was wondering how things were going to be with the economy and the swine flu scare etc. It didn't affect our show at all from what I could tell. We had shoppers non-stop all day, and the goody bags were gone as fast as we could hand them out! It helped that we had a ton of wonderful press beforehand including Daily Candy and NBC DFW, which mentions me! I was said to have " gel pens with painstakingly beaded slogans as covers, like this CRAFTY pen." That pen was the first one to go, too.

We have already set up a meeting to start planning the 2009 Jingle Bash. Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 21 @ Sons of Hermann Hall!

Friday, May 15, 2009

7 New Pens

I have been a busy little bee getting ready for the Etsy Dallas Spring Bash! I made 7 new pens over the past 2 days. I wanted to make 3 each of my favorite 3 designs: cupcake, peace sign, and skull & crossbones. So after this blog post I plan on making the last 2 skull & crossbones pens. I plan on listing all my new items and all my journals on Sunday after the show. I also hope to have an amazing show write up as well. We were featured in Daily Candy, so this is going to be BIG!

Don't forget to enter my Cupcake Pen Giveaway! Contest ends tonight!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cupcake Pen Giveaway

This cupcake is good enough to eat, but I don't suggest that :) Put this fat free version to use and jot down anything from grandma's perfect frosting recipe to your grocery list. I chose vanilla for the cup, added pink strawberry frosting, and topped it off with a cherry. This mini pen writes in pink.

Want to win this pen? Follow 2 easy steps:
  1. Sign-up for my newsletter by entering your email in the box on the top right.
  2. Then leave a comment telling me your favorite cupcake combination. Mine is red velvet with cream cheese frosting hands down!
Winner will be chosen randomly. Contest ends Friday May 15, 2009 at midnight.

I will be giving away another hand-bound journal at the Etsy Dallas Spring Bash. Don't forget the first 50 people through the door will receive a free goody bag jam-packed with handmade items from Etsy Dallas members. Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Spoil a Veteran Crafter

I went to visit my friend Larry while he was showing at the Swiss Avenue Home Tour and Art Fair yesterday. He had a full booth of gorgeous glass art and a special display of Japanese Kanji "Mother" pendants for Mothers' Day. I brought some water and the coveted dark chocolate gram crackers from Starbucks. That's why its good to have your friends visit you at shows!

I've done several shows with Larry last year, and I have learned so much. I am constantly improving my display, and learning how to "work" my booth. Like I said in a previous post, I learned a lot by watching how he interacts with customers, the way he talks about his work, and how he makes them laugh. He has a blog geared toward people who are newbies in the craft show world, and there are some great tips there. You can find it here: Kessler Craftsman Blog.

Larry and I will be at the Etsy Dallas Spring Bash this Saturday. Also Larry will be giving away fused glass rings and I'm giving away marble magnets; both of which can be found in the Spring Bash goodie bags. Be one of the first 50 people through the door to score one!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

We have a winner!

Congrats to Bridgette of Allen, TX for winning the Japanese Branch Book! Everyone that signed up for my newsletter at the Funky Finds Spring Fling last weekend was entered in the raffle. If you signed up, you will be receiving my newsletter very soon.

My newsletter includes updates on my new work, upcoming shows, coupons, freebies, and more! I've added a sign-up form to the right-hand tool bar, and will be announcing an online sign-up raffle soon.

I will be raffling off another one of my hand-bound journals at the Etsy Dallas Spring Bash on May 16, 2009 at South Side on Lamar. Hope to see you there!