Friday, November 25, 2011

SALE!!! Limited Time Only

Now's your chance to stock up on winter gifts and stocking stuffers for family, friends and teachers!  I'm offering 20% off  my entire store here, yep, on everything!  Just enter coupon code EM20OFF at checkout. But hurry, offer expires Nov 28th (midnight EST).


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Love Mistakes!!!

Me loving mistakes has not always been the case!!!  And I certainly wouldn't have blogged about them because "Oh My Stars, how would that look???"  Before opening my Etsy shop a few years ago, I would definitely say I tended to be a bit of a perfectionista (I made a new word).  While that worked well in my previous line of work, it was holding me back in my scrapbooking and paper crafting endeavors.  Isn't that ironic considering the coolest thing about scrapbooking is the ability to cover up almost ANY uh-oh you've made???  I read somewhere on Etsy, maybe the forums, a while back that a true artist knows which mistakes to keep and which ones to abandon and now I GET IT!

Some of you might have seen this cute little album cover (below left) on my FB page  the other day...well, I thought a little speck of something had become lodged underneath the vellum so while oh-so-carefully trying to get it out, I actually tore the vellum--YIKES!  I fretted for a moment and thought, well I could just keep it, and then I thought, no way mama, you are not giving up on this one, so I just transformed it (picture on the right)!

                                                        And I like it so much better now.

So, my tip to you is don't be afraid of making mistakes, they can actually be a way of redirecting your creativity.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Get Your Craft Fair Prep On!

Fall and Holiday craft season is here!  I've done several small fairs over the past couple of years, and each time I try to note what I should do for more success in the future...figuring out what/how much to sell was probably the biggest pain in the "bucket" when I was just getting my feet wet.  I finally decided to...

Make what I love and find the right fairs for what I offer!

If you have time, do some research online (a simple Google search for "craft fairs" and your zip code, or try Craigslist, Eventlister, local schools or churches) and visit/ask other vendors about shows before you apply.  I've gotten excited about fairs in the past, only to find they were not well advertised, not well attended and I barely broke even!  Let's be invest far too much time and talent; be selective when you can!

Probably the most important things you need to consider in advance, if you want to make a decent profit, are your target dollar figure and how much inventory you need to sell in order to reach that (minus supplies and materials, signage, booth fee, etc.).  Then consider that at a well-attended show you might only sell 1/3 to 1/4 of your inventory... that should give you an idea of just how much you'll need to create!  Try to find out in advance how many shoppers have attended in the past; if the numbers are low, carefully consider how much time you want to put into making new things...unless you have another avenue for selling them soon after.  Offer different price points... I came up with a few different, lower-priced items that I could have on hand in larger quantities, in addition to my more involved, and expensive pieces of work and they sold really well.

Remember, shoppers will want to see and feel your items, be sure anything too fragile for handling is well protected.  Place your more delicate scrapbooks up out of the reach of little hands and instead have something for them, like bookmarks or notepads.  For cards and tags or other smaller items, I use clear resealable bags and a bag topper I print onto cardstock.

Print your logo onto a small clear label or sticker paper and use a circle punch for adding directly to the back of your greeting cards (enlist a child, husband or friend to help).  Business Cards with a punched hole can also be tied to bags and larger items. If you offer a variety of items, display like items together, say all of your gift tags in a basket, all of your notebooks in another, cards together etc.

**Make sure your prices are visible**
    Having signs with prices for similar items  helps avoid tagging each item and SAVES TIME!
If possible, set up your booth in advanceeither in your yard, or wherever you have space (I used my living room) and take pictures to facilitate quick set-up at your event.

Be creative with your booth, after all, it's HOW your booth looks that will draw people to your display. Put time and effort into exhibiting your work, it will pay off!  Try to choose simple containers like baskets, boxes, shelving, similar in style and preferably color, so they don't overshadow your display!

Use on-hand items like boxes hidden under your tablecloth to create "risers" or height on your table.  Create your own bunting banner, Check out Etsy for great banners, or take advantage of free offers from Internet marketing companies.

Check out my Pinterest board here for some artful display ideas.  Other ideas to keep your display fresh are having a featured product spot and rotating a few different items; or having a drawing to attract people to your booth, it could be for something as simple as signing up for a newsletter to enter!
If you need more help with your displaysearch "craft fair display " on flickr for inspiration!   Paper Crafters might want to add "cards" to your query.
To ensure things run smoothly the day of your event,  have a list of the items you will be selling, have receipts available for your record-keeping and in case the customer asks you for one.  Office supply stores sell pre-printed receipt booklets that work well.   Accept credit cards if you canthere are a number of services available, like Square ( and Propay.  Square sends you a card reader which you can connect to your cellphone (check to see that it is compatible with yours) and a fee is charged for each transaction.  Secure your money and keep it out of site with something like a small lock box (also available at office supply stores).

 Shows can last all day and use up a lot of energy, so bring along Snacks,  a Photo Album to display custom work, a Friend (for potty breaks), and EXTRA BUSINESS CARDS!!! Preserve your sanity...If you feel overwhelmed, ask for help!  Even non-crafty friends will want to help you succeed!!  

Don't be afraid to mingle, some of my best customers have been other vendors at shows.  That being said, when just starting out, I went to SELL and not buy!  Remember to take pictures at the show, SMILE and ENJOY's fun making $$$!!

My post focused on a lot of nuts and are links to some other extremely helpful tips from an Etsy Seller RockLove here who does HUGE shows! and more on Etsy's blog here.  And oh yeah, I'm not sponsored by any of the companies mentioned!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Are You Challenging Yourself?

Are you stuck in a creative rut?  Keep doing the same things the same way but wanting to try something different?  When I feel that way, I look for ways to help me grow artistically, like this fun event:

Participants chose from one of three color palettes and created an item using primarily those colors. Sounds easy right? Well, it turned out to be downright tricky!!! BUT, I love the way challenges stretch my creativity.

From the available color choices on the left,  I chose the palette on the right:

cedar green, bamboo, and chocolate liquer.

 I knew I had some yummy My Mind's Eye Papers left over from a custom order that would be perfect!!!

And here's the finished item; a MINI ALBUM, of course! But so much more!

My love of travel inspired this journal/album as a place not only for pictures but also for preserving mementos from travels, like ticket stubs, programs, whatever you'd like to hold onto to remind you of your trip. I also decided not to go with so many traditional "photo mats", opting instead to have "background" area for your photos which would leave more flexibility for placing your photos.

Tons of handcrafted embellishments like cardstock clocks upcycled from sticker packaging, usable kraft colored envelopes and handcut paper posies make the book extra chunky!

How well did I match up the colors?  YOU be the judge :)  Voting starts  at 8 AM, TOMORROW, Oct 10th -14th on, so be sure to stop by and PLACE YOUR VOTE for your favorite!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sneak Peek!

The shop has been closed during our move but will be reopening soon! I'll be sharing sneak peeks of some of the new items you'll see.

Here's a fun little "Teen Diva" mini album or journal.

More previews to come!

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

A New Home, New Routine But Same Sweet Style!

Did I mention I was moving over the summer? Probably not because this move seemed to
CONSUME all my time!

But that's done now and we are happily settling into our new house back home, if that makes sense!!!

After 4 years in North Carolina, we have finally made it back home to Northern Virginia. Still unpacking but this mama needed to get back to creating; I think it helps keep me balanced!

Here are some of my latest cards, ready to be shipped off to Divine Designs by Nancy in Sanford, NC.

How was YOUR summer?

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Love Spring Giveway Winner

And the winner of the "I Love Spring" 500 fan Giveaway is.....
Robin Ridpath Uppercase Living Independent Demonstrator!!!!!

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Robin chose the cute little "All Bark" paperbag album. Please email your contact info to cinnamonspice7 {at} gmail dot com today to claim your prize. Thank you to all those who participated; your support and feedback are invaluable!

Friday, April 8, 2011

{Giveaway Time!!}

Happy Friday!!! I am well on my way to 500 fans on Facebook! 

 To show how much I appreciate all the support, encouragement and feedback

you've showered me with over the past few months, I am giving away a custom, 10-page paperbag scrapbook album. The winner chooses a style from the picture collage below. To enter, visit my Facebook page here and leave a comment on which style of album you'd like to have.

That's it, easy-peasy.

Spread the word, the quicker I hit 500 fans, the closer you are to winning the sweet prize!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Some Bunny Loves You!

As part of decluttering my craft room; I've challenged myself to use up the materials I have on hand. I wanted to create something for Easter and was inspired by the colors in a set of "Bo Bunny" stickers to make this "Some Bunny Loves You" paper bag album kit!
Hope you like it!

I've been working on making my own embellishments...the cover page is all handcrafted, except for the Prima flowers.

More handcrafted accents: chocolate and white bunnies, "decorated" eggs and mini page titles!

I love these papers by K&Company; I have used them for so many projects and the shades of brown, green, blue, teal and even pink were just right for this project.

Add photos and what a SWEET little book to hold your Easter memories!
Thanks for stopping by!
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Faces of Love ~ Crinkled Posy Tutorial

I am so excited

that I finally have time to focus on finishing up this custom 20-page album I've been working on and wanted to share some progress pics. You might remember this little BEAUTY from some earlier layouts, my friend's darling little Grace! I just have to add a few finishing touches like some more bUtTeRfLiEs and the JoUrNaLiNg.

I love the way the posies turned out, they are so easy to make! I use circle and scallop punches, or you can use your Cricut, in varying sizes. I spritz them with water (not too much or the paper will tear); crumple them up and then uncrumple them to dry. Once they are dry, you can ink the edges and the creases if you like. Stack them up and secure with a brad or stitch a button to hold them together. Add stems or leave them as they are!

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What's projects have you excited these days?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cupcake Love

I mentioned awhile back on my Facebook page that I was ready to take the digital scrapping plunge! I guess instead of plunging I am dipping my toes in; testing things out 

because I still love the texture and feel of PAPER

So, I have been dabbling with hybrid projects like this stash of custom cupcake notepad/pen sets I recently created...what sweet gifts!

This was such a fun order to know how Mama loves Cupcakes! The client asked for something girly, with a damask print and this is what I came up with. The damask paper was printed on textured white cardstock from digital paper over at Cupcake Cutiees her stuff!I remember the cute felt cupcake diecuts that I've had in my stash for a few years now...yes, that long!  This was the perfect project to use them on and topped with a flower for a little vintage flair!

 Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

4 Boxes, 15 Minutes a Day!

I know you've been waiting to see how my plan (see plan details here
is taking shape...I'm happy to report that 

4 boxes and 15 minutes a day 

have actually EMPOWERED ME to take charge and organize my craft room! Thanks to an awesome tip by my Aunt Jean, I spent my 2nd 15 minutes looking for suitable boxes and labeling them "Trash", "Recycle", "Keep" and "Another Room". The Trash box is for just that, items I don't want and that can't be recyled. In the Recyle box, I'm putting reuseable materials like old shipping boxes (these can be used to ship some of my etsy items) and one-sided printed paper the kids can use the blank side to color on. This morning, I almost filled the trash and another room boxes, so I am making progress and actually EXCITED about it!  Those feelings of being overwhelmed and frustrated, and quite honestly of being an organization failure, are gone!

What can YOU do with 4 boxes and 15 minutes?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Journey to Simplify My Life

Happy Spring my friends!  Well, with the recent 70 degree weather we've been having, it sure seems like Spring to me.  In that vein, I'm starting my spring cleaning.  No, I'm not talking about the traditional scrubbing the house from top to bottom; I'm talking about decluttering my home but more importantly MY LIFE!  Somewhere along the way, I have succumbed to "retail therapy" and been "seduced by busyness".   The good news is I've decided to do something about it!  We all know the most important things in life are not "things".  So I hope you'll join me on my journey to rediscover the best things in life; me, my family, and the memories we are creating.

Bargain Hunting Led Me to Excess and Clutter

When I worked full-time outside the home and had just 1 child, my house was pretty neat and orderly. Now, I work from home and it seems as though each time our family has grown, so has the size of our home, and I always seem to

 find a way to fill up the additional space with "stuff". 

I no longer go clothes-shopping as often, but since I opened my paper crafting shop, I find myself buying unnecessary crafting supplies, just because they were "good deals".  The problem became apparent a few months after we moved and my dream-come-true sized craft room was still not organized.  

Yet, I kept buying more supplies. 

like the Sizzix Boutique Embosser, more Cricut Cartridges and my ultimate weakeness: cute stickers!

The craft desk I can't use because there is too much stuff on top, 
oh and more unpacked things underneath!

I have plenty of craft storage, but it isn't truly organized *sigh*

 It is going to take a lot of self-discipline but I've decided to identify needs vs. wants and put the needs first (thanks Aunt Jean for this tip)!  I'm happy to say since last week, I haven't bought any "oooo, that would be perfect" scrapbook paper, embellishments or tools I've only purchased what I have an immediate need for (can't say the same for clothes but baby steps right?).

Now comes the hard part, clearing out all the excess stuff that I don't need and probably won't use.  As for the supplies, I could destash them in my shop; sell them on Ebay, Craigslist, have a yard sale.  With so many options, sometimes I find myself doing nothing.  Why the sense of urgency?  Not only is the clutter stifling my creativity, but we are moving yet again this summer and I don't want to carry any "extras" with me.  So, I've committed to

spending 15 minutes a day 

decluttering my craft space.  Yes, I think that breaking the task down into bite-sized bits of time, I won't get overwhelmed and run away (or log onto Facebook!).  You can check my weekly progress here on my blog!

How do YOU get rid of your excess supplies and tools?  I've love to hear, so leave me a comment!  Now, I'm off for my 1st 15 minutes of purging!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Grow Your Business with Social Media

Hi lovelies!

Wanted to share an exclusive event my EtsyMoms team is hosting over on our team blog. It's a 4-week blog series on Social Network Strategies for Building Your Business, from the perspective of mommies like you and I. We've invited some hugely successful women, both on-Etsy and off to talk about how they use the Etsy Forums, Facebook and Twitter to build community recognition of their brand. Our guest bloggers will cover a new topic each Wednesday. Whether you've been on these networks for awhile or are wanting to test them out, you'll surely find some nuggets of wisdom for your use! Follow the EtsyMom blog to stay up-dated:

Monday, January 31, 2011

Warm, Winter and White DT Challenge

Hi lovely friends! Today I want to share with you my altered art piece for the More Paper Than Shoes Design Team Challenge:
Warm, Winter and White.

I knew I wanted to use this sweet photo of my babies marveling at the huge snowfall we had a couple of years ago!! I took the lid from a box of chocolates my MPTS secret pal sent me, covered it with glittery tissue paper, mounted the photo and added satin ribbon trim that I ruffled myself. I love the glitzy vintage look, so I embellished the piece with glittery accented snowflakes and letters and wrapped the edges in vintage German tinsel.

Thanks for stopping by!