Sunday, March 29, 2009

Change is good...right?

I finally bit the bullet and changed my avatar!
My new avatar. This represents the most popular item in my shop.

I've been thinking about doing this for several weeks and have gone back and forth with my decision. I was reluctant to do it because I feel like I have achieved some minor degree of brand recognition with my Seaglass Journal avatar.

My old avatar. May you rest in peace.

However, in the last several months the direction of my shop has changed and I'm selling more guest books now. The seaglass avatar just didn't accurately represent the majority of the items in my shop.

After polling some of my ACE teammates for their opinions, I have decided to go ahead and do it. Of course, one thing led to another and I ended up redesigning my shop banner also! After all, they need to coordinate!
My husband designed the original banner for me, but this one I updated myself! *she states proudly* I got tired of waiting for him to have a spare moment to change the pictures in my banner, so I had him give me the file and I figured out how to do it myself. Well, not exactly by myself. I needed a few pointers, but mostly by myself!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Newest Listings

I have been so busy these last few weeks and I am exhausted! On top of that we traveled this weekend, which is exhausting in itself. There is always so much catching up to do, not only around the house with laundry and unpacking, but there are emails to answer, orders to ship, and miscellaneous business to follow up on.

Here is what I've been working on in my studio in between custom orders.
Porcelain and Pearl Guest Book

I wanted to make an elegant yet simple book. The monochromatic whites are classic wedding, but this can also be used for a baby memory book.

Summer Sweet Pea Guest Book

A really fun print I've been dying to use as a cover for one of my books! This feels so summery to me and I can hardly wait for warm weather to move in to STAY! It's nice to have a 70-80 degree day here and there, but when it's almost painful to experience 55 degrees the next day!

Silver and Sage Lotus Guest Book

And a preview of one to be listed soon. This uses the same pattern as the Porcelain and Pearl Book but with a grayish-green background with printed silver lotus blossoms.

I've got one custom order I'm working on right now that is kicking my butt. I'm taking a break from it to blog a bit. It seems like one problem after another, totally unrelated to the customer. First I had trouble finding just the right paper, then my usual vendor was on backorder so I ordered from a new vendor. The order came today and I was very disappointed. The color of the paper was not what I expected. What one vendor calls "Olive Green" is totally different than another vendor's perception of that color. The paper was more like "Olive Brown" instead!
I had trouble with the violet papers I ordered as well. I ordered a range of purples to be sure I got the right shade for my customer. I've never had trouble with color on my monitor vs. reality, so apparently the problem is on the vendor's end. Needless to say, I was not pleased with the violet papers that arrived either. I think one will work, but it's not the perfect match I wanted.

All that to say, lesson learned--order swatches first if you have the luxury of time on your side!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Egyptian Themed Treasury

My Egyptian Sarcophagus Pendant is featured in this really cool treasury called, "In A World Of De Nile"! I'm on the last row in the middle.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Dysfunctional Art Closet

If you're an artist, you have one of these. Unless you are Martha Stewart, in which case you'd better skip on to another blog and leave me to my pathetic self.

I am a very organized person, to the point of self-proclaimed obsessive-compulsive disorder. I drive my family crazy organizing everything. A while back I posted pictures of my studio. A lot of you told me I was far more organized than you, which left me puffed up and full of myself. Until tonight when I opened the doors to my art closet.

It all started with a trip to Michaels. I came home with some ribbon which was on sale, so I stocked up. The trouble with stocking up is where do you put it all? You know you'll use it (at some point--maybe 12 years from now, but you WILL use it), it's on sale, and if you don't buy it you'll surely find a need next week for what you didn't purchase today.

I have my ribbon organized by color in the little white containers on the top shelf. My drawers are nearly full, so it took me almost an hour to figure out the best possible arrangement in each drawer to accommodate all the spools. In the end, a few spools got kicked out but I got them all in. (Until the next trip to Michaels!)

While placing the white containers back into the closet, I thought about how difficult it was to get them in and out, so I rearranged the top shelf which took another hour. I moved all the fabric containers to the far ends and stacked them to the ceiling. That cleared an area in the middle and I can now get to my ribbon without pulling stuff down on my head and pinching my fingers in the drawers. Yippee! And look! I even have room for one more container!

This closet is still a work in progress. Some of you will think this closet looks very organized compared to yours, and maybe so, but that's just the top shelf. The bottom is a mess! We've been here just over a year and there are still some unpacked boxes in there.

You can't open the doors too fast or the mat cutter will attack you. Pulling anything from the floor results in an avalanche of pillows. I have no place to store my scrapbooks, so they're all in crates in the closet floor. And then there's the circus tent, which I fall over on a regular basis.

Why, oh why, did I ever buy that thing?! Because it was on sale, and you never know when your child may need a circus tent!

Next in the series of dysfunctional storage will be my side attic. Stay tuned for the exciting narration of that space!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Introducing A New Guest Book Design

Since my wedding guest books have been so well received on Etsy, I decided to introduce another style. This one is vertically oriented (portrait), with a paper sash across the middle with a satin tie. It sold within 24 hours and I immediately got to work making another!

The black ribbon can be swapped out for another color from my ribbon collection. So far I've been fortunate to have all the colors that have been requested! **keeps fingers crossed**

I'm trying to build up my stash but it is amazingly difficult to find double faced satin and nicer fabric ribbon in my area. I've done some research on online vendors, but most of them want me to purchase no less than 25 yards of each color! That means I'd have to sell 25 books with a single color ribbon to justify that purchase; that's just not practical at this point!

Although I'm calling them guest books, these journals have many other uses. They can be used as a memory book, scrapbook, or photo album. The spine extenders sewn into the book allow for expansion, so you can add photos and mementos within the pages without the cover splaying open. Or you can use it as a journal for your thoughts and ideas, sketches, or product designs.

I'm really enjoying making these guest books and am always thinking of new variations on my designs. Maybe soon I'll have another style of guest book or journal to post about. **hint hint**!!
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