Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And the Sept. Giveaway winner is....

Dawn! Congratulations :) I'm sending you an email now. Thanks so much to everyone that entered. Your comments and suggestions help me a lot. Check out my new Triple Cupcake Pen inspired by all the cupcake lovers:

The October Giveaway details will be posted tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bash Voted "Best One-Stop Shop!"

Holy cow holy cow!! Our Bash shows were just voted as Dallas' "Best One-Stop Shop" in the coveted and uber popular Dallas Observer's Best Of annual issue. It's on stands today!!

This is a huge. mega. deal. Here's the write-up:

Sure—the online boutique community for crafters, jewelry designers, knitters, tailors, bookbinders, vintage sellers and collectors of everything—is a surefire way to kill an afternoon and build up a wish list, but an Etsy Dallas event is even better. Prices are great, the craftsmanship is fantastic, it feels good to support local crafters and you'll still cover everyone on any gift list you might have for the next two years. But the downside is you'll also empty your bank account with little to no effort without some preventive measures. We have a friend keep us from purchasing on the first lap through the show. We spend only cash (even if a booth takes cards). And we buy no more than we can carry on our own person. It's hard, but, well, you gotta leave something for the rest of the shoppers to look at. On the other hand, screw everyone else, retail therapy rocks! The Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash takes place November 21 at Sons of Hermann Hall. Sharp elbows stimulate the economy, people.

In case you're wondering, What the heck is the Bash?, let me fill you in. The Bash is the premier arts and crafts event in Dallas that we started back in 2008. The Bash is put on by Tefi Designs and Pamela Michelle, with support from the Etsy Dallas leadership team: Larry, Carrie, Cheyne, Alicia, Mandi (that's me :), Dylan, and Randi.

This year's 2nd Annual Jingle Bash will take place at the historic (and somewhat David-Lynchian) Sons of Hermann Hall, November 21st (that's a Saturday) from 1am-7pm. More deets here.

Reposted from Etsy Dallas Blog

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Time Track Thursday: Key Questions to Ask Yourself

Here are some amazing questions to ask yourself throughout the day to keep yourself on track, identify things to delegate, and avoid time wasters. Choose one to ask yourself, and start today.
  1. What is the best use of my time right now? -Lakein, How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life
  2. What is the value added from this task? -Kunich & Lester, Survival Kit for Leaders
  3. Is there an easier way to do this? -Griessman, Time Tactics of Very Successful People
  4. What 3-5 things can I accomplish today that will make a big difference to the bottom line?-Rinke, Don't Oil the Squeaky Wheel
  5. Is what I'm doing this minute moving me measurably closer to my goals? -Kennedy, No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs
I have number 5 on a sticky on my computer, and it's a great reminder. These were complied by Pamela Dodd and Dog Sundheim, The 25 Best Time Management Tools and Techniques.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

5 Cool & Green Craft Projects

While I'm working on my next tutorial, I thought I would share some awesome projects I've found around the web. Enjoy!
  1. Repurposed Paper Magnets by Tara Anderson- for these unique magnets, you get to bust out your sewing machine and repurpose Starbucks coffee sleeves
  2. Recycled Denim Book Covers by Margot Potter- a back pocket becomes the front pocket to hold your pens, then you can graffiti it up with stencils
  3. Recycled Paper Bag Art Journals by Regina- art journaling is so inspiring and can open your doors to new projects, and this is a fabulous way to reuse paper bags from the grocery store
  4. Recycled Magazine Baskets by Jessica Jones- you can never have too much storage in a craft room, and these baskets can clear the clutter of magazines and hold works in progress
  5. T-shirt Grocery bags via Martha Stewart- all those old souvenir shirts you don't wear, but can't get rid of can now carry your groceries
P.S. Don't forget to leave a comment on this post and be entered to win a free pen!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Big Crafty Weekend

On Saturday, I got up early, got all my beady supplies together, then drove through the rain to the Dallas Bead Society meeting. Marcia DeCoster is coming to teach classes next month, and we were practicing Right Angle Weave in preparation.

My friend Ralonda just finished a huge project, Willow, who is a semi-finalist for the Land of Odds Competition. I can't show a picture until its been posted to the site. She needed to go on a huge bead shopping spree to restock. Two other DBS members Carol Ann and Lisa joined us. We went to Rock Barrel, had some fabulous crepes at Cafe Brazil, then headed to Artful Bead. Here's a shot of my loot:

Driving through the rain this whole time made me realize my Jeep needed new windshield wipers! After my DH installed them, I was off to Larry's for the Esty Dallas 2nd Birthday Party. We had a great time and honored our fearless leader, Stephanie, with a surprise:

I LOVE football. So all I did the entire rainy Sunday was bead and watch the Cowboys, and a few other games. At 9pm, I watched the final episode of Design Star, and my fav from the beginning, Antonio, was the winner! Those design shows can inspire my work and give me great ideas, so I can't wait to watch his show :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Time Track Thursday: 6 Powerful Prioritization Tips

We know we should be working in Quadrant 2 and that list making can help us prioritize. Here are 6 more tips to help you prioritize with power.
  1. Actually use your planner. Write down your priorities and plans in your organizer so you can always have them with you.
  2. Have some flexibility. Plan your day around tasks that must be done at a certain time (meetings, your favorite workout time). Delegate and simplify if possible.
  3. Eat your ugliest frog. Mark Twain came up with this phrase, and he recommends tackling the things you hate to do first thing in the morning. It feels great to get it out of the way, and you can spend the rest of the day doin what you love.
  4. Rule with an iron fist. Schedule the important things and stick to your plan. Dinner with friends, craft time, and a child's school play are just as important as big meetings. It's ok to say "I'm busy."
  5. Use your prime time wisely. You know that time when you have the most energy and tend to do your best work? Well that's a great time to do your most important work as well.
  6. Give yourself a time out. This can be used in conjunction with your prime time. Minimize interruptions for an hour by turning off the phone, closing your email, TweetDeck, Facebook, and even the door. Take a few moments to reflect as well.
Next week I'll have a list of questions that time management experts constantly ask themselves. Maybe you can apply one or think of your own to help you spend you time wisely. Until then, eat ugly frogs and go to time out!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Worktable Wednesday: Fabric Panels for Labor Day Sale Living Room

Our love seat was hideous! The chewed up cushions sank into the hole in the bottom of the dated disgusting flower patterned couch, and I couldn't stand it anymore! I got an ad in the mail for the huge Labor Day Sale at Rooms to Go, and found the perfect sofa for $300 off. DH and I ended up redoing our entire living room (taking advantage of all Labor Day sales), and the only thing we kept from the old room was my papasan chair and our tower lamps. Everything looked great except for the monstrosity of a dog cage in our dining room:

So I decided to make fabric panels that hang from the vaulted ceiling to cover it all up. Luckily all Home Decor fabric was on sale at Hobby Lobby. It was kind of scary climbing on top of the dog house to put the hooks in the ceiling! The dining room looks really small now, so I have a bit more designing to do. The most important thing is that Ruby can be happy in her giant cage away from my brand new sofa!

I also got to finally thread and use my sewing machine that has been sitting in a dusty box since I got it for Christmas 2 years ago! It was a lot of fun, and I plan on making a beaded art quilt. I'm still working on the painting for the living room, and I'll post a slideshow of the final results!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

$212 Giveaway & Online Sale

Happy Birthday 2nd Etsy Dallas! This group started with a few convos from Stephanie Hindall, our fearless leader and fabulous designer. We had a trunk show that fall with like 8 vendors, where I met graphic artist extraordinaire, Pamela Michelle. Now we are putting on the 2nd Annual Jingle Bash with 50+ vendors, entertainment, free raffle, and 50 Etsy Dallas reusable grocery totes full of handmade goodies! We have come so far, and now it's time to Sale-A-Brate!

This is the pen I donated for the Birthday Giveaway. Just leave a comment on this post for your chance to win the $212 worth of handmade goodies! There are a few other ways to get extra entries, so scan through the whole post.

We are having a huge online sale as well. I am offering free worldwide shipping all week! Click here to see the full list of sales. Here's to many more years of fun and crafts with Etsy Dallas. Cheers!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Time Track Thursday: List Making

We know from last week's post that we need to do the most important things first. All time management experts suggest making lists to organize all those important things. I like to get everything out of my head and on paper so I can focus on a task without worrying about everything I might forget to do. Here is a list of the lists that I keep handy:
  • Monthly goals based on my Master Plan (which was created by planning backwards)
  • daily to-do list with tasks I must accomplish to reach those goals
  • Checklist of my recurring activities (ex. I do link-building on Mondays, check Facebook on Fridays, and write my newsletter once a month)
  • A sticky note on my computer with the most important thing I need to do to call it a productive day, even if I don't get anything else accomplished
It's also a good idea to prioritize your lists using the ABC system. Rank each item as A=high priority, B= medium priority, or C=low priority. You can color code them if that works better for you. Don't fall into the trap of spending more time creating lists than you do on crossing things off. Again, crossing off more As is better than crossing off as many items as you can.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Worktable Wednesday: Hummingbird Necklace

I'm having so much fun playing with flat marbles and magazine images. When my mother-in-law came to visit recently, she had a copy of Birds & Blooms magazine. She has a million hummingbird feeders and the magazine was a special issue about gardening for birds and butterflies. The photography is gorgeous and the perfect size for the bigger marbles! "Can I cut that up?" I ask. She gives me the look and I explain my idea. She mailed it to me a few weeks ago after she was finished with it, and now I have the perfect Hummingbird Necklace to send back to her! I may need to make a tutorial about this project as well :)

Giveaway: My Etsy Dallas friend Patricia of KarmaCrochet is giving away a whole basket of handmade goodies! Click here for the blog post with directions on how to enter.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

September Giveaway: Win A Pen!

I'm giving away a FREE PEN, every month!

The winner of the September Giveaway can choose any pen in my shop, MandiBeads! This contest is open to international residents, as well!

To enter the September Giveaway, leave a comment under this post and tell me about your favorite pen in my shop, or suggest a new design!

Subscribing to my newsletter gives you an additional entry!

The winner will be announced September 30th. Thanks to The House of Mouse for inspiring this contest. Click here to enter to win a mouse!