Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Photo Props

As many of you know, I love Halloween. We have a pumpkin carving party every year. Some of the young gests are reaching the tween years and I wonder if they will still be interested in coming to a family party.

This past year I made some photo props to help entertain them a little more.

I’ve seen these popping up across blog land. I see people adding them to different themed parties and they seem to be a new hit at weddings. I guess you could work them into just about any kind of party you are hosting. A little tweaking and they could suit any theme.

I made some rough drawings of various moustaches, beards and glasses. I used a few sheets of stiff felt to cut out the shapes. I bought a bag of small dowels and used hot glue to secure the cut out to the dowels so they could be held up like a mask.

Here's my little man having fun....

For just a few dollars you can add some unique fun to your next gathering. Not just for Halloween. Try them at any party, wedding or social gathering.

If you’re not feeling too crafty, I found a few people who sell them ready made here and here.

And here are some that are even made from chocolate so you can eat them after the picture. Mmmmm.

Have fun!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Have you seen my MoJo??

The first weekend of this month I co-hosted a huge vendor show. We had 40 craft and art vendors together in one room for the weekend to show and hopefully sell their work. The planning was at times challenging but in the end Oh, so rewarding. It was a little bit of an extra challenge to also be a vendor in the same show. The dual role was new for me and I admit, it has taken me awhile to re-group from the whole thing.

Here you can see as many of the vendors are finishing their set up and getting ready to start.

The room was full of talent and people wanting to shop.

At times it was even like a party. I love meeting so many people.

Pulling off what turned out to be a rather amazing show was such a “high”. Afterwards, I had a new found determination to make business grow. I learned so much from the experience, things about myself and from some of the other vendors. Things like networking and marketing are very important and there is a strong need to stay current. All of this can cause your mojo to waver.

So many of us find such joy in the creating, that it’s hard to pull away from that to do the more tedious work of getting your item out there. After spending any amount of time self promoting and it can get hard to maintain your level of confidence.

Taking a break from the tedious side of things and not quit “feeling” the creative spirit in me, I thought I would take a look at a few talented artists I’ve stumbled over. These aren’t any of the vendors from my show but people I have found just floating around on Etsy.

Here I found a gentleman who does pen and ink drawing. I’m always amazed but people with this kind of talent. There are some things you can learn or skills that can be improved over time but there are some things that are just a god given talent. I think his drawings are so detailed and beautiful. I’m in awe.

Here is a woman who has an eye for art. She works in mixed media paintings. I love the way she sees things and put different items together.

Here is someone who has the old fashioned art of handwork down to a science. I remember my grandmother making things similar to these. I can do most of those stitches but I don’t think I could put them all together and have them look like more than a pile of string. Well done.

I hope you enjoyed your little peek at some Etsy artists. Go visit their store for a better look and pop into a few other stores while you’re there.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Full disclosure…to tell the truth

I often think that the price of telling the truth doesn’t always equal the reward it should.

I believe that more people should make it a regular practice to be truthful. Don’t have plastic surgery and try to act like you woke up one morning looking 10 years younger or 50 pounds lighter. If you color your hair, own up to that, don’t try to fool others into believing you are naturally free from grey hair. Don’t lie about your age, the lie will catch up to you. Ok, so you can be vague. I’m in the 35 to 45 demographic. No one needs to know exactly where I fall on that timeline.

But what else should we be more truthful about?
I think I’m an honest person. I (to the best of my knowledge) do not outright lie. I may be vague from time to time or give a “political” answer to avoid the cold hard details of the truth. For the most part I am honest.

But how far should we take the truth?
I so often want to explain myself or my ideas to the extent that it sometimes gets me into a bigger hole. This past Christmas, I sent a card to my former sister-in-law’s house addressed to the children. I purely wanted her kids to get mail at their house and know I was thinking of them while they are dealing with a new family dynamic. My sister-in-law and I were never close or friendly with each other and we usually saw each other just once a year. I know she was not sitting around waiting for mail from me. It’s been at least 6 years since she made a trip out to visit our family. I know she will not miss seeing me in the future. I did not send the card as a dig to her but she hit the roof and publicly went after her ex-husband and started screaming about “family” and then called my house and tore my head off.

I know she is in a place right now where she is looking for things to turn into an issue. However, I want so badly to rebut with an explanation of my intentions. I’m still fighting that urge but I do know that it will only bring more hardship to my brother-in-law. I also know that no matter how hard one may try to present their perspective on a situation it isn’t always seen the same way from where the other person sits.

What about when a friend does something hurtful, seemingly unbeknownst to them, do you speak up about your feelings? If you are really irritated by something, is it worth creating the proverbial mountain out of the molehill just to get it off your chest. You know, they ask “How are you?” and you say “Fine”. While it eats you up inside.

Do you ALWAYS tell the truth?
When do you… or should I ask HOW do you know WHEN to draw the line and just say nothing? I want to be honest and put my cards on the table with the idea that it will improve relations but all too often it does the opposite.

What do you think???

Monday, March 12, 2012

Shopping on Etsy the short and sweet “How To”.

More and more people are discovering how fun it can be to shop on Etsy. You can find just what you are looking for without leaving the comforts of home. Etsy offers such a vast variety of products, you’ll be amazed. If you’ve never bought from Etsy, here’s a quick run down of what you’ll need to do to get started.


Before you can start shopping or make a purchase, you will need to register for an account on Etsy. This is so Etsy can identify you and communicate with you as needed. It’s very simple and fairly quick. Go to Etsy, click register in the grey banner across the top of the page and fill in the form. It’s basically your name, your e-mail address and a password. Then you’ll need to check your e-mail and verify your account. Now you’re ready to shop.

Search for a store

If you are looking for a specific store that maybe you have heard of or one that is owned by someone you know or have seen at a craft show, you can search within Etsy for that store. In the top banner you will see first, a drop down menu that usually defaults to “handmade”. Click on the drop down and then choose either “people” or “shops”. Then in the search box type in the info you have; like the person’s name or their shop name. You may need to check first in one category (people) and then in the other (shops) to find the person/store you want. You will be given a list of options found based on the info you have typed into the search box. Click on the link to go to the store.

Search for an item

If you are not looking for a specific store but want to shop for a particular item, then Etsy will find those things for you from all stores listing that product. Use the drop down menu to pick “handmade”, “vintage” or “supplies” depending on what you are seeking. Then type in the search box the product name or key words. Etsy will show you all products that it can find. Click on the images that interest you. You can also use the list of categories on the left of the home page to narrow your search or to give you some ideas of what might be available.

Contact seller

If you have any questions about the item you see, the store owner will be happy to answer them for you. In some listings you might even read as part of the description for you to “covo” the seller. This just means to e-mail them in a “conversation”. Once you have clicked on the item, there will be a blue button on the side that says “contact” Click there and it will give you a space to write a note to the seller and it will automatically include the item name/listing that you are interested in purchasing. The seller will get an e-mail from Etsy with your note and you will get a reply the same way.

Add to cart

If you want to purchase the item then click on the green button that reads “add to cart” Now, you’re almost done. You can continue to check out or shop some more.

Note to seller

The note to seller section is used if your item requires that you give a detail such as color or size before purchase. You can also use this section if you need to have your item shipped to a different address as a gift.

Make payment

Some shops will accept payment directly from the buyer using a credit card. Most buyers and sellers are more comfortable using Pay-Pal. Click on the button to “check out with Pay-pal” and you will be re-directed to sign into your PayPal account.


If you have never used PayPal it is the easiest and safest way to purchase items or exchange money on-line. You will need to set up a separate account with PayPal. They will need your e-mail address, shipping address and a credit card as well as bank info. PayPal acts as the middle-man to make the exchange of funds. Once PayPal has all your data then you can make on-line purchases safely anywhere on the internet. PayPal sends the money to whomever you have bought from and charges your credit card. This way you are not repeatedly giving your credit card to several stores. Your information is in just one place and safe.


Double check your shipping address as you are checking out. When you purchase your item, most sellers will list in their policies how long it takes to ship an item out. If not, you should get a notice from Etsy that the seller has marked your item as “shipped”.


If you are still unclear as to how to shop from Etsy see their frequently asked questions page.

While you are shopping Etsy be sure to stop by my store and say “Hi”.

Happy Shopping