Monday, December 30, 2013

Good Reads?

The title of this post serves two purposes. First, I’ve realized that my “books read” tracking has taken a pretty significant beating over the past year. In fact, according to my Good Reads account, I haven’t updated my list since February – ugh! I’m a pretty big reader so it’s very important that I track the books I read so that when people ask what I’ve read recently and really liked I’m not going crazy trying to remember book titles and authors. I suppose one of my New Year’s resolutions should be to do a better job with that, huh?

Though my list doesn’t reflect it, I just finished reading The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin.

I thought the book was pretty good and gave some pointers and tips on ways to organize, sell and market your crafts. I’ve read a lot of books on the subject and this was definitely one of the better ones.

This book is a "Lend Me" at Barnes and Noble so if anyone has a Nook account and wants to borrow my copy, feel free to e-mail me and ask. Unfortunately, Nook only allows a one-time only lending policy, so first come, first serve!

The second purpose of the title is to get some advice as to what books you all have read recently that you really liked. Here are a few I’m looking to read next:

We Are Water by Wally Lamb

I’m a huge fan of Wally Lamb’s books so really for no other reason than that, I’m looking forward to reading this book. Depending when my library has an e-copy of this one, I’ll more than likely start right in on this one.

Check it out here:

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book and since I haven’t had much bad luck with Jodi Picoult’s books, I’m thinking I might be safe with this one, too.

Check it out here:

The Storyteller

When We Were Strangers by Pamela Schoenewaldt

I know nothing about this book except that one of my friends recently recommended it on Good Reads. Fingers crossed! :)

Check it out here:

When We Were Strangers: A Novel

Have you read any of these books? Have you read any books that you really liked? Let me know! 

OR, follow me on Good Reads here:

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays!

I hope you and your family have a safe, happy, and wonderful day!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holiday Baskets

Well, the last of my holiday baskets shipped this morning and I couldn't be happier. It was bad enough having all of them strewn all over my studio while I tried to figure out how to finish them. I couldn't imagine having to carry them over for next year's inventory -- have I mentioned I don't function well in disorganization? I'm really thinking I should see someone about this... :)

ANYWAYS, even though art pieces are supposed to be like your kids where you don't favor one over the others, blah blah blah, this year, I had a few holiday baskets I really thought of keeping for myself and will probably re-finish in some capacity over the next month or so, now that the holiday rush should be pretty much over.

My "Joy to the World" basket was one of my favorite finishes this year - not just for baskets but for all of my holiday items, and it's mostly because I just love the basket itself. It's very much the style I tend to go for -- modern/contemporary with a little bit of a classic look. Since I couldn't use glue of any kind to create the basket-front, I opted for coordinating blue ribbon.

My little "Merry" basket was another one of my finishes, and again, mostly because of the basket itself. The size and shape made this particular basket stand out for me because it was very unique. It also didn't require a heck of a lot of stitching, which is always a plus.

Last but not least of my favorite holiday baskets was my Merry Christmas basket. I loved the combination of new and old - using a slightly whimsical and modern design with a more traditional bread basket style.

Unfortunately what I'll probably remember most about this particular finish was how long it took to ship it. I must have spent close to 45 minutes trying to find just the right box -- and all because of the stupid handles that stuck out JUST enough to not allow me to close the ends up. The person who bought it doesn't know it (well she might now), but she's very lucky this even got to her house considering that on multiple occasions I fought the urge to throw this out the window or directly into the trash!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rudolph Embroidery Hoop Ornament

One of my favorite ornament finishes was featured in an Etsy treasury this week!

My Rudolph ornament was one of the few I had finished into embroidery hoops, a technique I'm often asked to used, but very rarely think to do on my own. This year I made about a dozen or so in this fashion, and I actually really like the way they turned out. I'm so glad that Reka featured my ornament in her treasury.

Santa Claus Has Arrived to Hungary 

3 Painted Burlap Christmas P...

Custom Letter and Envelope F...

Christmas Ornament - Santa O...

Wooden Sleigh to paint, raw ...

Seasonal Santa Pillow Cover ...

Santa Hat With Fuzzy Pom Pom...

from Santa gift tags, Christ...

Reserved for Hilary

SantaClaus - Print on hard p...

Girl's Reindeer Rudolph ...

Cross Stitch Ornament, Rudol...

Antique German iron sled sle...

PDF Pattern for Knitted comb...

Christmas Jewelry Jolly Sant...

santa silhouette pillow cove...

Baby Santa Mustache with whi...

Be sure to check out the great gifts being offered in Reka's treasury!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sled vs. Sleigh?

Would you believe I actually Googled what the difference between "sled" versus "sleigh" is and I'm still confused? Is there such a difference? I thought I knew the difference, but now I'm not so sure.

This year I finished two similar items into holiday sled/sleighs. The first was what I thought to be a "sled." I stitched a Christmas sampler and mounted it to the front to be used as a holiday decor piece. It has a red ribbon attached and a front that is on hinges to move back and forth, but in my opinion, this piece would look better on a tabletop or resting against a wall or door frame rather than actually hung.

The second piece was what I had considered to be a "sleigh." It's finished with a mounted front, fancy white trim and a red bow. If I had kept it for myself I was thinking of storing pine cones or displaying greeting cards inside.

So which is it? Sled or sleigh? Any takers? :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

2013 Holiday Ornaments

Woo hoo!! Finally finished the last of my non-custom ornaments this year! i was able to get 20 done in total and considering the late start I got on them, I'm more than happy with that number!

I never got around to taking photos of the custom ornaments I created this season, but here are most of the new ornaments. Some are still available in my shops. Any leftovers will be saved for next year or placed on my own tree.

I tried to pick out a favorite of mine from this year, but honestly, I really enjoyed making them all.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Inside My Shipping Station

In one of my latest hubs, How To Keep Your Craft Business Organized, I mention that one of the things that keeps me organized is having a designated shipping station within my studio. I realized that I never actually showed what my shipping station looks like and figured what better time to take photos of it than when it's a complete disaster.

In one corner of my studio I like to keep a cabinet full of about 6 different sizes of bubble mailers. Then, I like to keep a sampling of about 2-3 of each sized box on hand for larger-sized items, or items that need more protection. The complete stock of bubble mailers and boxes are left in a separate storage room so they don't completely take on a life of their own. I replenish my stock every Sunday.

Once my items are packed up, I move on to the next designated mailing space which is basically a small desk with a few mailing supplies including my postal scale, business cards, packaging tape, packaging twine, tissue paper, "Fragile" stickers, product and shop labels, rubber stamp and most importantly, my desktop PC.

Shipping from home is so easy that I can't even remember the last time I've been to the post office. I even ship international packages from home. And for those items that can't fit into my mailbox, I leave them on the front porch and schedule a pickup through USPS -- simple as can be!

Thanks for stopping by!