Monday, August 31, 2009

6 New Pens, 1 Brand New Design

I know you're not supposed to list items in your shop in batches, but I can't help it. That's just how I work, I guess. I had fun playing with the colors of my butterfly, swirl, and vertigo designs. Then, I worked on a brand new design: the flowers.

I played around a lot with the flowers design: drawing, beading, and ripping out! I was going to have them swirl around the pen, but you couldn't see them very well. I staggered them, but then the back was too blank. After ripping that out, I decided to do 6 flowers on each side. I think it turned out great, how about you? I'm going to try to get a few of these listed in my shop today.

Special note: The first of the monthly giveaways begins tomorrow! Just leave a comment on tomorrow's post to enter. Also, the subscriber-only offer (for those of you signed up for my newsletter) ends tomorrow at midnight.

Friday, August 28, 2009

E-book Review: Making a Great Blog

I bought it, read it, did the worksheets, and applied what I've learned. Now its time for the review of Making a Great Blog: A Guide for Creative People by "Sister" Diane Gilleland. She also writes my favorite blog ever, Crafty Pod. At $12.50, this e-book is a must-have for crafty bloggers!

I've had several blogs since I discovered blogging, but after reading about adsense, blogging for business, and driving traffic etc, they weren't fun anymore, I couldn't think of anything "good enough" to write about, and they just died. Thanks to Diane's e-book, I have turned my original blog around, and blogging is fun again! Through the worksheets, I pondered why I want to blog, my goals, brainstormed ideas, and discovered that my blog shouldn't be about me. All the traffic stuff I was worried about before is happening all by itself thanks to this new approach.
"A great blog is about the whole world as filtered through the lens of your passions." -Diane Gilleland
Diane covers how to avoid all the problems I encountered on my blogging journey and the most important parts of blogging:
  • How to build an interesting and valuable blog.
  • How to create great blog posts and great photographs.
  • How to keep your blogging inspiration flowing over time.
  • The do’s and don’ts of blogger etiquette.
This e-book is great for someone who is just getting started, or to refresh the blog of a veteran. Thanks, Diane!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Time Track Thursday #8

Now that I've gotten you to plan backwards, it's time to do some prioritizing. Do the important things you need to reach your goals first, and these are not always the things you want to do. I'd rather make some more projects into tutorials instead of filling out my LLC paperwork, but it has the highest priority at the moment.

Today's biggest focus: Do the most important thing first!

I'm sure many of you are familiar with Stephen Covey's Time Management Matrix. This is a friendly reminder that we should all be spending most of our time in Quadrant 2: important but not urgent. Occasional urgency is ok, but don't let it run your life. Activities in Quadrant 2 significantly and positively affect our lives, the quadrant in which our dreams and goals are. Next week I'll have some great tips to help you prioritize more effectively.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tutorial: Recycled Magazine Magnets

Today I will be making a set of Mythbuster Magnets featuring Adam and Jamie! DH and I love the show. I also love green projects, and I would like to start sharing them. I chose an easier one to start with because I'm new at writing tutorial instructions. Please let me know how I do, and look past the dirt and glue on my nails and hands. True hands of a crafter, right?

  • Magazine with cool images to recycle
  • small circle punch (mine is Fiskars brand)
  • E-6000 glue
  • Diamond Glaze (had to order from Joann's online, Etsy sellers also carry)
  • clear flat backed floral marbles
  • 1/2 in button magnets
  • scissors

1. Find the perfect image in your magazine. Cut it out and leave enough space that you get the whole image, and can get to it with the punch.

2. Punch out the image.

3. Apply Diamond Glaze to the flat side of the marble.

4. Place the image face down on the glaze. Look from the front to make sure the image is centered. The glaze is slick stuff so it will be easy to make adjustments.

5. Cut away any excess paper, and let dry. There is no drying time listed on the bottle, so I waited long enough to make a pizza and watch a movie with DH before getting back to the project.

6. Glue on a button magnet using E-6000, and let it cure overnight before using.

I had to photograph them outside for the least amount of glare. These are for my DH who lets me cut up his magazines even before he gets a chance to read them:

DH: Where's my new issue that came in the mail yesterday?
Me: Right here. (I hand it over)
DH: Where's the Mythbuster's article?
Me: Right here. (I place the new magnets in his hand)
DH: (rolls eyes) Thanks.......actually these are kinda cool.

Monday, August 24, 2009

FREE Promotion with the Jingle Bash Goody Bags!

Ok, I just misplaced my decoupage scissors, so I decided it was a good time to take a break from crafting, and talk about promoting your crafty business by sponsoring the Jingle Bash. This fabulous show is put on by Etsy Dallas, and I am in charge of the goody bags this year.

About the Goody Bags
Our popular Goody Bags have become a thing of legend. Shoppers at the 1st Annual Jingle Bash arrived over 30 minutes before the doors opened just to get one of these bags! The line of shoppers was winding down the hall, out the door, and down the sidewalk to the next block (pictured). At the 1st Annual Spring Bash, a crowd of Dallas shoppers snatched up the bags in less than 2 minutes. Wow!

I am working on getting some reusable grocery totes for Dylan of Dowdy Studio to screen print, and all 50 will be filled to the brim with handmade goodies from the vendors and other crafty businesses. To participate, please fill out the form found here.

- Include 50 business promos in our popular
Goody Bags
- Get your 50 promos listed on this page and the Etsy Dallas blog
-Deadline November 13, 2009

Frosty: $50
- 150x150 ad/logo and link posted on this Sponsors page
- Include 50 business promos in our popular
Goody Bags
- Get your 50 promos listed on this page and the Etsy Dallas blog

Rudolph: $200
- Hang your company banner or sign at the Jingle Bash
- 150x150 ad/logo and link posted on the Etsy Dallas blog
- 150x150 ad/logo and link posted on this Sponsors page
- Include 50 business promos in our popular
Goody Bags
- Get your 50 promos listed on this page and the Etsy Dallas blog

Santa: $500
- Logo posted as "Official Jingle Bash Sponsor" on promotional materials (logo due August 24th)
- Hang your company banner or sign at the Jingle Bash
- 150x150 ad/logo and link posted on the Etsy Dallas blog
- 175x175 ad/logo and link posted at the top of this Sponsors page and on the Etsy Dallas home page
- Spotlight article about your company posted on the Etsy Dallas blog
- Include 50 business promos in our popular
Goody Bags
- Get your 50 promos listed on this page and the Etsy Dallas blog

Click here to fill out the form to participate! Thanks for your support! Now where are those scissors...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Time Track Thursday #7

Planning backwards helps you focus on results

Planning forward is the natural approach. We have a goal and think about all the future actions we need to take, but the real focus should be results. Planning backwards is results based, and provides a structure to get the right things done at the right time.

How to Plan Backward
  1. Pick out one of your larger goals, and break it down into smaller goals. Pick the first one you need to achieve.
  2. List the mini goals or milestones you need to accomplish to achieve your goal by the deadline you've set.
  3. Draw a timeline from left to right. Put the current date on the far left and your deadline on the far right. Insert each milestone with a date, starting from your deadline and working backwards.
  4. Once your milestones are in the right places, list underneath each one the actions you need to take to achieve them. Keep it in your planner, and TAKE ACTION!
Planning this way can make your dreams become reality and transforms your excitement for a project into focus productivity. Writing out a plan like this is really the hardest part of achieving your larger goals and dreams :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Worktable Wednesday: Butterfly Bracelet

Yesterday was my birthday! I worked on this piece for some of the day, and later had drinks with friends. I feel pretty good about being 26.

The bracelet encompasses 3 of my favorite things: butterflies, purple, and button clasps. I plan to turn this project into a free tutorial on my other site I moving the site to my new server today, and then I have some more exciting ideas to add :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

SonStock '09

I skipped blogging last week to get ready for a show that came up unexpectedly. My glass artist friend, Larry Pile aka Kessler Craftsman, invited me to share his booth at SonStock at the Sons of Hermann Hall. I love that venue, so I accepted! It was a dismal show in the way of sales, but I got to hang out with Larry all day, made some great new friends, got a lead on another show, and drank Shiner draft all day.

Since my birthday is August 18th, Larry let me choose a pair of his new earrings! The blue circles are copper that have pens colored with colored pencil and sealed. Apparently the sealing technique is a secret, and I just love them. He's getting good at wirework and silversmithing :)

Steve Moya was the artist next to us. I loved visiting with him and his wife Janice. His art is a-m-a-z-i-n-g! He paints a lot of musicians, and various athletes. I fell in love with a few of his KISS and Stevie Ray Vaughn pieces. The photos on his website do not do his work enough justice, so advise everyone to see him in person at the Front Street Festival on Saturday, September 26, 2009 from 10am-5pm. Larry will be there, and maybe even me.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Worktable Wednesday: I Hate It!

Well this didn't turn out how I had hoped. In fact, I hate it! The center looks great, but I want to do something different on the top and bottom. So I just wanted to document the failure of design before I rip out the parts I hate, hehe. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Thanks for my logo, Pam!

I think I'm finally finished tweaking my blog for awhile. I changed the colors and background to match my new logo designed by the fabulous Pamela Michelle! I wanted a butterfly over the i of MandiBeads, but she took it a little further and made the M and B into a butterfly. I just love it!

Pam also designs all the kick ass graphics for Etsy Dallas, and her etsy shop is filled with gorgeous handmade wood pendants. The one I own features a butterfly of course :)