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,


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