Oct 19, 2010

Life Happens...

Do you ever feel like everything is in a fog? Like your life is one big blur? That's how I've been feeling for the last two months. It can be extremely frustrating to an artist. Despite all my brainstorming, I have not been able to focus on the business because life keeps getting in the way. I don't know how single moms or other successful working moms do it every day. How do they balance work and family and have enough time to get anything accomplished? It is often a mystery to me.

My children are growing up quickly (my oldest is a freshman this year....wow!...and I have one in 8th grade, one in 5th and one in 1st) and I don't want to miss any milestones in their lives. For me, that means I have to let the business sort of float along on itself while I attend soccer and volleyball games, band concerts, make an endless supply of lunches, accompany classes on field trips to pumpkin patches, help 1st graders learn how to read, coach a brilliant freshman through geometry, encourage an 8th grader to become more self-reliant and responsible, assure a blossoming 5th grader that she is beautiful and be there every day after school to help them all recover from their exhausting day. That often doesn't leave much time for me to focus on my vision for a business, but honestly, I wouldn't trade it for the world. It IS difficult and frustrating, but I have to keep my perspectives in order. My children need a Mom who is there...completely.

So, if you've been wondering what's new with lemonade sun productions, or you've been concerned that I've fallen off the grid, you can rest assured that while I may be off the grid it just means I'm probably on the field cheering for one of my children. I am still here and I am working in the background when I can steal away a few moments (usually late, late at night when the rest of the house is asleep) to focus on my little business.

I guess this is how it is done. At least for now.

Aug 24, 2010

Things looking a little different?

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. I've changed the blog layout again. I guess you could say it's one of those "it's what I do" moments. Like rearranging my furniture in the house about every 4-5 months. I haven't found a blog template I'm totally in love with yet so I keep rearranging things and trying on different looks hoping I will one day run across the one that really fits the look and feel of the business. I'm sorry if this causes shivers to run up the spines of those of you who are resistant to change. I say embrace change. It's a good thing.

So........tell me what you think about this template...................

Jul 28, 2010

Ready, Set, Create!

Hi there! Well, things have been hopping in the shop lately. I think I've had my busiest month since I opened shop on Etsy a year and a half ago! Whew! I have enjoyed working with some lovely new customers on several custom stamps like these:

two stamps for astorastilbe on Etsy 

 
I loved carving this lovely teacup design drawn by Anna Taylor and creating this custom stamp made for her sister Ellie who weaves beautiful pine needle baskets and wanted something to use for tags so she could sell them.

I also had my first ever request for a t-shirt graphic! Eek! Miss Beth (soon to be a Mrs.) asked me if she could use my pbj forever stamp as a logo to put on t-shirts to use as wedding favors for her guests. After quite a learning curve and lots of adjustments, I was able to create the graphic for her.
Here's how it turned out:
I am super excited to see how the finished shirts turn out! She's planning on printing the ladies shirts on pink and the mens on light brown. {ahhh perfection} Beth says she will send me a picture of them so I can see and I'll be sure to share it with all of you! Hmmm.....that got me thinking about whether or not to make shirts and sell them in my Etsy shop. I have a friend, (hi Curt!) who owns Newell Ink, a local screen printing business who could make them for me if I so desired. I think I need to think about it a little more before jumping into it, but that could very well be something you might find in the shop someday. What do you think about that?


The most exciting thing that's happened this month is when I found this convo in my Etsy mailbox yesterday:
{I copied it right from my mailbox for you to read with your own eyes :) }

by JenniferRSC profile shop contact


Ready-Set-Create
For the Creative Spirit in YOU!
949 South Avenue B, Yuma, AZ 85364

Hello! I am Jennifer Bliss, a Creative Team Sponsor Coordinator for Ready-Set-Create online magazine. 2011 marks our 8th year of publication and we would love to have our Creative Team design using your products! Please let me know if it's something you would be interested in. I am providing links to a sample issue for you to look through! RSC has been around for 8 years and we take pride on presenting the top products to paper crafters, stampers, digital scrappers and fiberartists. We have 15 Creative Team members for our paper team and another 10 for our digital team, but we are very appreciative of any level of contribution - whether it be one item or 15. We are currently looking for companies to spotlight in our Dec 2010/Jan 2011 issue. Our deadline to receive products is September 5th, 2010 in order to be included in the next issue. Inclusion is based on quick reply because our slots fill up fast. If you are interested, contact me, or email Jen Blackwell (founder/publisher) at {her email here which I will not share...sorry} . Here are links to a sample issue:

here you go - enjoy!
{I removed the link because I don't know if I could legally post it. You know...creative copyright and all that....}

Jennifer Bliss
Creative Team Sponsor Coordinator
http://www.readysetcreate.com/

-- Jennifer
I've been in contact with her about it and she is excited to have my stamps featured. I will, of course, keep you all updated about the whole thing right here on the blog. {eeeeek! happy dance! happy dance!}

So how about it? Have any of you heard of Ready, Set, Create? I think I ran across a few issues while browsing for layout designs once or twice.

I'm excited for the opportunity to get lemonade sun productions out there! And to be in their CHRISTMAS crafting issue! Wahooo!!!! How cool is that?! I am expecting great things to come of this for my little business and I can't hardly wait to see what they will be.

So tell me.........what new products or stamp designs would YOU like to see in the shop???


Jun 29, 2010

something old....something new........

Hello there!
Things may have seemed all quiet here on the western front, but let me assure you there has been much stirring under the surface.

Well, first thing's first. I'm sure you've noticed the new blog layout. I am still working on connecting all the dots and figuring out how to tweak all the code to get it to do what I want (...grr...sigh...), but rest assured that it will not always be so disjointed. I am working on it when I can steal a few minutes away to submerge my brain in code-speak. This is so very out-of-character for me as my perfectionistic qualities usually will not allow me to put anything out there in public that is not 100% complete and as I like it. What can I say, I'm stepping out and stretching boundaries............

Speaking of stretching.....I am working on an extra special project this week that is giving me flashbacks to my glory days. Once upon a time, I worked as a cake decorator on the side. I even made my own wedding cake! But, I don't often make this crafty aspect of myself known, so you can imagine my surprise when I received a phone call from someone in the church office a few months ago asking if I would consider making a wedding cake for someone. Oh my goodness! I haven't made any "official" cakes in a very long time, though I do occasionally go all out on a birthday party or two. I took a few days to consider it (read: pray intensely about whether I should attempt such a thing after so long a hiatus from the skills) and felt like I should say yes and accept the provision God was supplying from this unexpected opportunity.
SO...here I am now in the middle of a massively nerve-racking undertaking (I mean, this is someone's once-in-a-lifetime day we're talking about here!) and I have to tell you I am having so much FUN! There are so many creative and innovative designs for wedding cakes out there it's truly amazing. Here are a few I've found that I really like (the bride's color is aqua or teal):
I love the alternating color in this one

and the simplicity of this one. I will probably do something like this.

or like this one (minus the polka dots)
gorgeous and elegant


I have a MOPS friend (that stands for Mothers of PreSchoolers for those of you who are wondering) who is an absolutely AMAZING photographer and I just love to look through all the photos she has on her gorgeous blog. Wow! When you have a second, check it out for yourself. Avayah Photography.

Be prepared to ooooo and aahhhhh a lot! ...I prefer to ooo and aahhh with a delicious cup of tea in hand, but that's my personal preference :)

You can look forward to pictures at the end of the week. (though they will be nothing like Karen's as I am not yet accomplished enough to understand the inner-most workings of my new camera......YET!)

p.s. I still can't believe that I had the wherewithall almost 15 years ago to make MY OWN wedding cake! I'm either absolutely off my rocker insane or the more likely explanation is that I sincerely believe that "can't" means "won't".  I will look for the photos of that one and post them if I can.

Jun 21, 2010

delayed.....again

Hi there,

Well, as you might have guessed, my plan for the project-a-week has not been activated as of yet. I have had the best intentions, but life is cruising right by at mach 5 and I've not really had any spare time to settle down into a workable routine.

I have decided to begin this plan starting the first week of July with new stamps. I've had a couple ideas swirling about in my head, so I'll be setting aside time to get them down on paper and vinyl then.

This is the way of things sometimes for a mompreneur. Don't worry. I will get there. It's all a work in progress :)

Jun 4, 2010

Project-A-Week decision..........

Hi there!
It's been a little while since I posted about Noah's inspirational idea of challenging yourself to be creative daily with the Project-A-Day notion. I've been pondering how I could make something like this work with my busy life as a wife, mother and mompreneur taking into account the amount of time I could realistically devote to it and my what I know about my personality.

I've decided to make mine a Project-A-Week {instead of daily}. I have 4 main sections...or types of items...in the shop so I had the idea to assign each section to a specific week each month and spend time that week creating something new for that particular section. Here's what I've got planned:


week 1:  Stamps  {I will use this week every month to develop new stamp ideas, carve and list new stamps...at least a minimum of one stamp each week}



week 2:  Longjohns Paperie  {this week will be used to develop my line of paper products and paper related items with the goal being to list at least one new item at the end of the week}



week 3:  Jewelry  {this one should be fairly straight forward and somewhat obvious}



week 4:  Yarn Works and any extras  {...I think you're getting the idea....}




and then in the months where there are 5 weeks I will either take the week off or use it to focus on refining the shop, my branding, packaging or maybe even right here on the blog :)

I am excited to have this new challenge in place. I'll be kicking it off starting next week with the Paperie. I think it will help me stay focused on creating and listing and building the business. It reminds me of a verse in the Bible that says "people without a vision perish". Businesses without a vision for their future will perish or shrivel up and fade away.

So, what are you doing to challenge yourself? Leave me a comment and let me know. I'd love to hear all about it!

Apr 30, 2010

Project-a-Day ..........hmmm................................

Well hello again. Today I have a lot on my mind swirling about in a big thought cloud so far.

I sat in on one of the most helpful, interesting and truly inspiring virtual labs I've ever been to over at Etsy.com yesterday. Noah Scalin, who wrote the book Skulls about his project-a-day experiment spoke about how to inspire creativity on a daily basis. Check out this little interview of Noah in the Etsy Labs to see what I mean:





So, now I am really thinking I need an idea for my own project-a-day experiment. I think that I need to limit myself to a project-a-week though to start out (and maybe make the timeline something more like 100 days or something) or my poor family will be utterly neglected and I could end up a basket-case before I am through. But who knows, perhaps it will be so inspiring that I will feel the need to do it daily for an entire year. I guess we'll see.


I sat down last night and wrote out some ideas for what I could do as my project-a-week thing (which I'm going to start referring to as the PAW simply because it's easier on my little typing fingers) and here's a list of what I've come up with so far:
  • carve a stamp a day
  • work on a project each week for each category of the shop (i.e. week 1: stamps, week 2: paperie items, week 3: jewelry and week 4: yarn works)
  • one blog post a day
  • learn one new Photoshop technique or trick per week and blog about it.
  • take a photograph of one thing that inspires me each day
  • create a post about one useful thing a day (or per week)
  • pick one business related thing to use as a theme each month and find links to relevant info about it
  • pick a theme for each month and use that theme to create something in each of the shop categories (similar to the second idea in this list). So for example, if I chose flowers for the month of May, I would focus on flower stamp ideas for week 1, flower cards etc. for week 2, flower jewelry for week 3 and flower yarn things for week 4.
I am also thinking of doing this in a non-business related context for my other newer personal blog (which you are all invited to check out if you like right here) with ideas like these:
  • trying a new recipe a day
  • a link a day to some sort of healthy lifestyle thing
  • a photo a day (could do chicken photos, plants, parks, pets, kids, family, hmmmm? )
  • a quote a day
  • a prayer a day
  • a purge a day where I photograph something I'm getting rid of each day for a year.
  • a wish item a day where I create links or pics or a post of something I really want that day (maybe each week so my wanter doesn't get out of control :] )
  • ?????
Well, hmmm. Now you know what's swirling around in my head. I would love to have your opinion about this idea. Please tell me.........what do you think I should do?



Apr 24, 2010

Friday Find........Etsy Ireland team!

Good Morning! Ahhh...the sun is shining, the air is sweet with spring and I am here with my lovely cup of tea. What could be better than this?

How about this lovely box filled with wonderful goodies to marvel over, hmmmm?!

Back on St. Patty's Day, as I browsed through Etsy's forums...(a thing that is becoming more of a treat now that I only get to do so about once a week instead of daily)...searching for anything interesting, I stumbled upon an intriguing post from the Etsy Ireland team about a team treasure hunt. I had read a few other posts in the past about team treasure hunts, but had never taken the time to figure out exactly what they are and how they work. Hmmm....interesting.

According to the post by Ruth of Nicedaydesigns on the Etsy Ireland Team's blog, all I had to do was follow the clues to each participating shop and search through their items for one that had a picture looking like the one below with a letter in it.


Then I had to unscramble the 13 letter phrase and submit my answer. Sounded easy enough, so I gave it a go. There are over 100 crafters in the Etsy Ireland Team and they all have so many wonderful shops that I have to confess....I had to remind myself what I was doing quite a few times as I would find myself getting distracted with so many of their amazing shops! In the end, I finally was able to unscramble the phrase (which was "Crafty Ireland", by the way) and submit it to Ruth. It was with great delight that I read Ruth's convo to me announcing that I had WON the treasure hunt! I was so excited I was bouncing up and down!

Want to know what I won???  .......................................Ok, I'll show you!


The first thing I had to do after the box arrived in the mail was clear off the kitchen table so I could lay everything out and photograph. It was like Christmas and my birthday all in one! :) I love seeing how each person presents their items. Wonderful creativity. Ok, so here we go:

first up is a selection of beautiful cards from LuckyRainbowDesigns

on the left is a selection of cards and tags from PropellerPrints
and on the right are two cards and a set of fridge magnets featuring lovely artwork from Brid Bird 

I loved how Beth Egan of magpieandbutton packaged her wonderful green button ring. What a treat to open!

Ok, top left: a beautiful handmade baby ball with a bell rattle inside by PatchworkDelights
On the top right: a gorgeous little knit cardigan by Irish Woolen
(I have a little niece due in May, so I know right where these lovelies will be going!)
On the bottom left is a knit shamrock barette from Purls of Colour
and on the bottom right is a handmade hairband from tanyamac

Top left: my selection of things from Nice Day Designs ...the DIY queen button really gave me a laugh as many of my friends often refer to me as such.....if only I looked that good!
On the bottom is a fun little handmade bag from 2Boos

These lovelies from Laura Cassidy Design are beautiful, aren't they?

and these "Wee Shamrock earrings" by Balanced are amazing.

Gayle from Palace Gems did a wonderful job on these simple little beauties. Those green pearls are lovely. 
(I think they are my favorites...though it's hard to decide)
Gayle, I could not find your Etsy shop so I linked to your website instead.

and these are just beautiful don't you think?
Anastasija from Lightkeeping did a wonderful job on them.

These sketches by Bridget Farmer mesmerized my children. We all loved them.
(she is traveling at present and will return sometime in the end of April)
and last, but not least:

Oh I love lil' Paddy here enjoying his Guinness in a quiet pub. I'll have to find somewhere perfect to place him on my wall so I can show him off to all my visitors.

Well, please click on the links to each of these wonderful Etsy artisans' shops (which I have painstakingly looked up and made available just for your convenience). They all have such wonderful items I'm sure you will come away with several new favorites! Also, check out the Etsy Ireland Team's blog so you can keep up with their many happenings. Who knows........maybe YOU'LL be the next winner of one of their fun little treasure hunts!

A special thanks to Ruth of NiceDayDesigns who gathered and orchestrated the delivery of my fabulous little goodie box all the way from Ireland. Thank you for not drooling in the box ;)

Bless you all for your creativity and willingness to share it. I'm going to sit back, sip my tea and pour over all these wonderful gifts one more time.

Hope your day is wonderful.

Apr 13, 2010

Blog Givaway...Le Papier Studio

While browsing through a few of my favorite blogs today, I came across this wonderful giveaway from Le Papier Studio. You should enter to win too and maybe one of us could score some of her amazing silouette creations. Here's a few of my favorites from her Etsy shop:

Click this link to read all about her giveaway and enter today!

Apr 12, 2010

Hope on the horizon.....

Been wishing you could see NEW stamp designs in the shop? Believe me, I am dying to carve some, but I've had to exercise some major self-control as I wait patiently for my favorite medium to become available again.

As many of you know, my online supplier for the carving medium I love has been having issues with production for the last several months. The company she was puchasing her supply from ended up filing for bankruptcy and decided to sell the business, ..........so...she bought it. She has been working very closely with the crew to solve the production issues and get the carving medium back on the market again. I make it a point to check in with her on a pretty regular basis hoping that she'll give me the thumbs up and I can place a massive order for carving medium since I've nearly used up all my back stock and am having to resort to "the pink stuff" (which is decent, but not quite the quality I prefer).

You can imagine my excitement last night when I clicked over to her store and read that she is very close to resolving the issues with production and that in the meantime has created a new material that is very similar. I wanted shout "Hallelujah!" but it was after midnight so I thought twice as I didn't want to wake up the rest of my sleeping family. Being the skeptic that I sometimes am though, I only ordered a tester sized piece of the new material to see if it really is as good as she says. I'm stuck with quite a bit of other carving medium (from a different supplier) that is really just horrible quality and I can't do anything with it that I would even consider selling! From now on I have decided to test them first. If it is good quality, according to MY picky standards, then you could finally be seeing some wonderful new designs in the shop soon.

In the meantime, I just finished making these handy Soap Savers that I'll be listing this week a few at a time.









I have some extras left over from my first batch of handmade, cold-processed soap that I made as Christmas gifts. I was thinking of cutting the bars in half and packaging them as a bonus/sample for anyone who ordered one of the Soap Savers. What do you think? The soap is oatmeal honey scented and smells delicious. I have to confess, I am trying to decide whether I will get into the handmade soap arena or not. I really enjoyed making it. While I'm considering the cost of adding soapmaking to my crafty belt, why don't you go ahead and order up one of those Soap Savers? ......and I would love some feedback on the soap sample.

Have a wonderful day!
Bless you,

Mar 24, 2010

Upgrading...

I love my husband. First he sends me off and a lovely birthday getaway with my Ya-Ya's and then he surprises me with a new camera! That's right. I am now the proud owner of a new Canon Powershot SX20 IS.



I took it to Ashland with me on the afore mentioned trip to play with it. I love some of the shots I got with it like these for example:



but I think I am going to need to study the manual and a few of my favorite photography websites (like http://www.strobist.com/ ) to learn how to work the macro thing all over again. I tried for the life of me to get one clear shot of a pussy willow for my little guy back home since they've become a new fascination for him......ummm ....yeah. We'll, here's what I ended up with:




So...it's back to the drawing board for me. I'll be spending the next few weeks with my nose in the manual and shooting shot after shot after blooming shot until I get it right.
I'll let you all know how it goes!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...