Friday, March 28, 2014

Announcing First Ever Giveaway!

This year, so far, has been very successful for me, in many different ways. So, in celebration of this newfound success, I have decided to do my very first giveaway. Now, I just couldn't do a plain ol' boring giveaway, that wouldn't be any fun and it would go against my creative nature.

First things first, we gotta have a theme! In honor of my oldest daughter's upcoming sweet sixteenth birthday, I will dedicate this giveaway to her. She is an Earth Day baby, so what better theme for an April 22, 2014 giveaway than Earth Day?! I love you bunches BooBooGirl!

Next topic for my Earth Day Giveaway, what and how many do I give away? To keep with the theme I was thinking of my Reusable Shopping Bag as the first prize and maybe working up to giving away a full set, since it does come in three sizes, depending on how many people have fulfilled the requirements below by the drawing date. But, who knows, I may come up with something else altogether, like take a poll on what to giveaway.

I will be keeping you all updated as we get closer to the big giveaway day, so keep an eye out on Facebook! I have specific goals in mind and I will reveal them as we hit them along the way!

Rules for participation:
1. Anyone can participate and there is no purchase required. Although, if you can't wait for the giveaway, you can visit my Etsy shop and buy your favorite item there any time, night or day!
2. You must visit and "Like" Proverbs 10:4 Gifts & Decor. on Facebook.
3.  "Share" the giveaway post from the Proverbs 10:4 Gifts & Decor. Facebook news feed onto your news feed, the more people participating the more prizes I will be adding. So feel free to "Share" as many times as you'd like for a better chance at winning a prize.
4.  You must be a Proverbs 10:4 Gifts & Decor."fan" on Facebook at the time of the drawing, or you won't know if you are a winner of one of the prizes or not and I will choose another winner instead.  Not to mention you will be missing out on future giveaway announcements and shop specials!
5.  Leave me some feedback under comments on this giveaway post. What did you think of the giveaway, what did you like or not like, what shop item would you like to see in a future giveaway, what new item would you like me to create and add to my repertoire, etc. I value your input, that is the only way I can learn about what I need to improve on or what is working just fine.
6.  One final rule is that I reserve the right to change or cancel this giveaway at anytime, although I would hate to have to do this, so let's all get along and be fair while we have some fun!

Thank you so much for your support, and Happy Earth Day!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

"Serging" Ahead

Every weekend of late, I have found myself at my sewing station for hours on end. Orders need to be filled, new products need to be created, and there just aren't enough hours in the day...

Ok, don't get me wrong, sewing is my therapy. I can sit at my sewing station for a week straight with little to no sleep only stopping for a brief bathroom break here or there, and I would still be happy as a clam. When I am crafting, I can tune the world out, but that isn't always the best for a growing home business. So, I have been brainstorming ideas for ways to make the creation process go a bit faster while still maintaining my quality standards....

Undercover, tucked away to the back corner of my sewing station, with a bit of undisturbed dust, I catch sight of my serger. This is my second serger I have ever bought, the first being run into the ground from years of sewing hems and straight seams, and this one sits with barely any sewing hours logged in. Why? My serger and I have a love/hate relationship. I love it when it is working as it should and without complications, and once I hit that inevitable bump in the road, I hate it and banish it back to the depths of my sewing table. I have friends who bought sergers and still have them in the box after several years.

What's so scary about these machines, you ask? My quick answer, they are so much more complex than your regular sewing machines.  Regular sewing machines are fairly straightforward, no matter how many hundreds of built-in stitches they have, you choose a stitch and go.  Sergers, on the other hand, are far more complex. You have stitch options using 3,4, or 5 spools of thread, differential feed, two needles and two or more loopers with each one having its own tension dials, and the scariest of  all being the cutting blade (cutting away your seam allowance as you sew, unthinkable). Are you intimidated yet? I know I am!

Time to get over my fear! As I said earlier, I have used my serger before, on straight stitches. How boring, straight stitches. If only all of my projects had straight stitches and no curves, I'd be a Serging pro! The thought of serging a project with curves and having my fabric's seam allowance cut along the way is terrifying. What if I mess up and need to utilize my trusty seam ripper? Ok, that isn't my only grievance against my serger. The main peeve I have with it, is that it takes me half a day to get all of the settings just right for whatever fabric I am using, only to have the needle break or thread shred and knock everything out of whack to where you have to rethread the whole daggum thing. Rethreading, I forgot about that, whole other can of worms. It takes an act of Congress just to thread the goofy machine, it's very particular when it comes to threading. You've got to thread it in the correct order and make certain you hit all the correct nooks and crannies, or it won't work at all.

Ok, I have to defend the poor thing now. "If they are so much trouble, why buy one", you ask? I know what they are capable of doing, I just have to learn how to use it correctly. The decorative stitches are intriguing, rolled hem on some linen napkins for wedding gifts, perhaps. How about yards and yards of ruffles to add to a project without having to stitch two rows of basting stitches and hand gather, hoping the threads don't break and send you back to the drawing board, yes please! A more professional finish to garments you create, most definitely!
Here goes nothin'! What a beautiful thing, the picture above is my proof that my serger can give me a perfect tension set-up! My love affair with my serger is back on, and, after searching Pinterest for tutorials and ideas, I am ready for more than just straight seams! 

                                                                                                                           Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Etsy School!!! I'm a student again!

I started out this new year with a reignited fire lit under me to get my business into gear and moving full speed ahead. Well, I found that fire to be burning brighter inside me than in was on the outside. I wasn't sure what my next business step was supposed to be. I was doing my day to day schedule but my efforts didn't seem to produce results. I felt that I was just going through the motions and just spinning in circles.  So, by mid-January that fire had fizzled to a small ember.

 Late January rolls around, still not intensity in the business flame, I logged in to my Etsy shop and saw a conversation message had popped up from my Team Serenity leader with the subject line reading "Etsy School". I opened up the conversation message on the team page and read the details. "Eureka" an answer I was looking for! This was something I HAD to do!

Starting February 1, 2014, this four week class covers everything you need to know to become a successful etsy shop owner. I was partnered with Janice, Aqua Iguana, and I couldn't have been partnered with anyone more perfect! The team leader says she used a random pairing software to choose who is partners with whom, but I fully believe that God was the one doing the choosing in my case.  We are both at the same point in our shop history, and we are both dying to make our shops morph into our primary day job. Janice has been harsh when she needs to be, which is what I need, and praising where deserved. I am so thankful for this opportunity! We are on week 3 of 4 and I have already seen BIG changes in my shop! Anyone new to Etsy should join a team and check out Etsy School, it surely has helped me!   Show my partner some love and check out her handiwork,

Thinking about starting an Etsy shop? Check out this etsy blog, I think most of your questions will be answered here

Well, time to get back into creative mode!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Here we go again!

Looking back, it is always this time of year when I attempt to revive my blog. To say it has been on life-support is an understatement! Well, I have been diving into every aspect of my online business and have decided to turn to my blog to document my journey, time lapses and all! 2014 is the year of Proverbs 10:4!!! I am more determined than ever to dedicate the time and effort needed to grow my baby business! I started my Etsy shop in 2008 and posted my first listing in 2010. No, that is not a typo, I didn't list any items for two years. Shameful, yes, I know. Why did it take me two years, you ask? Well, as a newborn entrepreneur, I was under the mindset that I had to have a professionally done shop banner and avatar, pages and pages of beautiful product listings, all the latest equipment to create said beautiful listings, and the ability to accept credit cards for payment (who needs Paypal? Even though it was the only option for accepting credit cards back in the day).  So, I waited....

2010 rolls around....I realize that my money tree is never going to magically sprout in order for me to be able to get all of the lovely things I need to start my shop. So, biting my lip and with a slight gasp, I open a Paypal account, and get this, it didn't cost me a thing! Why I was under the impression that Paypal was such a taboo thing, I'll never know.. It has become a great asset to me now over the years. But, I digress, my next step was too take a few photos ( I am so not a photog!) of my precious creations. What followed was my Aha moment, I had three product listings live in my Etsy shop and my world didn't crumble because my shop was not perfectly adorned with all the glitz and glamour that I had envisioned in my head. Within about a week I got my first order, holy crap, I was in business! With that first order, I was able to hire a graphic guru to create an avatar and shop banner for me. My shop began to take shape, and I was floating on cloud 9!

So, what happened??? Life happened, kids getting more involved in activities in school, husband had surgery on his shoulder and was out of work for 6 months, and I had to work full-time outside the house, my shop took the proverbial backseat. Anyway, what's a girl to do?

This girl is getting back up, attached some stronger bootstraps and is ready to roll! I have decided to chronicle my journey here on my blog and let it morph into what it may. You are welcome to tag along for the ride!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone!!!

Okay, here goes nothin'! No, here goes something, my first endeavor into pattern making! As the picture shows, I have the tools needed to get me started: project board, cutting mat, ruler, good scissors, pencil, pencil sharpener, graph paper, roll of butcher paper, pins, measuring tape, and muslin! No partridge in a pear tree?! Maybe later. Anyway, just keep in mind that I am pretty much a self-taught seamstress (and I use that term loosely, a seamstress I am NOT). My mom taught me the basics of sewing, which she learned from her mom (Grandma Mac was a wonderful seamstress and crafter). So, with that said, this untrained seamstress wannabe is charting new territory. I can follow a store-bought pattern and have stumbled my way through written directions to projects, and I now have copied a few ideas by sight alone, but making my own pattern never crossed my mind. Until now, that is! I have found an idea that requires me to create a pattern so that I can mass produce the items that I would like to create within this new line of products once my final pattern draft is finished. Nope! I still am not ready to reveal what this new line of products will be! Stay tuned!!! Or should I say "stay following"?

February is Here!

Moving on along through this new year, aren't we? Well, this is the second month in a row that I am posting on my blog, baby steps! While I mentioned that I am committing to participating in craft shows this year, April is way too soon to have enough stock prepared for sale. So, I, my parents, and our friend Maggie have decided to share booth rental and we will be signing up as vendors for the "Great Texas Mosquito Festival" at the end of July. I cannot tell you how excited I am! We have had two "meeting of the minds" sessions. The first was to sit down and decide what each of us plans on making and what shows we want to participate in. The second, was so much fun, involved us roping off our 10'x10' booth and doing a mock set-up with what fixtures we have on hand. Maggie hit the mother load of deals a few years back, when an ACE hardware store near her went out of business. She has us pretty much taken care of with professional display fixtures. This made me say to myself "Hey, we look like we are professionals that have done this before". This has only spurred on my creative juices, I am constantly crafting when I get home from working my day job. Recently, a dear friend of mine from High School sent me a link with a fantastic idea. However, this idea is top-secret for now. I will tell you that it involves me stepping into foreign territory...pattern making! All for now!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A New Beginning!

Are you serious?! It's 2011 already? I have never been one to keep New Year's resolutions, even though I have made my share every year. This year will be a bit different, I will be the parent of a teenager in April, Lord please give me strength, and I am sick of working outside the house full time with little pay to show for all of those hours spent away from my family. I have done some soul-searching and have set some goals for myself, not resolutions, goals. These goals include personal, family, and business. I really don't want to go into detail about the personal and family goals, after all that is ultimately between me, my family, and my Heavenly Father. But, my business goals are fair game, and I would like you all to hold me accountable! So, here goes!

I am an ABOC certified Optician and I love this line of work, I love the Dr. I work for and the girls I work with, it is approx. 6 miles from my house, who could ask for better, right?! Well, it barely pays the bills and I would much rather be home for my 3 young children and participate more in their activities. So, how do I continue to pay the bills AND be available for my children? Good question!!! I have been trying to figure out the answer to that question myself. I know working from home is the solution, but how can I do that and still keep getting a paycheck. In 2008, I opened an Etsy shop account and never posted anything for sale until Jan. 2010! I had a handful of sales and lots of inquiries here locally when I have been out and about town. But, that doesn't pay the mortgage! Okay, I'll settle for a few sales and some nice compliments when I provide a unique gift at a shower or birthday party. What was I thinking? I'll settle! No Way!!!!!!! The girls I work with are fabulously supportive and caring friends, they keep telling(harassing)me to get off my backside and get going. I kept telling myself that too, believe me! So, why the change in urgency, you ask? I have found my breaking point, the kick in the pants that I needed, my rock bottom moment! While on my lunch break at work, I was surfing the etsy site and came across a little shop called "Pillowsewcute". This shop has the niftiest little pouches, nothing really fancy about them, but you don't tend to see them everywhere in stores. They make perfect gift ideas, I like the "Ouch Pouch", it holds minor first aid supplies that you can tuck away in your purse, diaper bag, glove compartment, etc. Why advertise for this shop? I'm not meaning to advertise, but this shop has inspired me to get off my duff and get concentrating on my shop more. How? This shop opened in March of '09 and has nearly 5,000 sales under it's belt. Yes, nearly 5,000! Now, big deal right? I did some math, and I'm NOT a math person by any means, but the numbers overwhelmed me. If we say all of those sales were for the cheapest item in the shop, at $6/each x 5000= $30,000 in sales/ 2 yrs in business= $15,000/year. What really got me about these numbers? $15,000 is a bit more than 1/2 of what I make a year as an optician. If I could bring numbers in like that crafting part-time, I would be able to quit my full-time job as an optician and craft full-time as a stay-at-home mom and still pay the mortgage! Ok, if you haven't guessed what my biggest business goal is by now, let me spell it out for you. Q-U-I-T M-Y D-A-Y J-O-B! There it is, quit my day job! Now, before you all tell me to make sure I have thought things through, I am by no means ready for such a life-changing action just yet. I have been doing my planning to see exactly what actions need to be done and when to do them. I will be working full-time until then. I just wanted to get the wheels in motion, and share with you, my support system, what I had planned for my New Year. One of these actions I have already taken, commit to participating in local craft shows/fairs. I am proud to say that I will have my first booth in a local craft show in April! I have also vowed to blog about my progress regularly. No more posting every few months with pictures of my creations alone. I still plan on posting my wares, but I want to use this blog as a means of documenting my journey, for the lucrative book deal, haha. Anyway, I think that is a bit enough for now, I'm sure I've ranted on long enough. But, by all means, check out really cute gift ideas! I would like to thank Karen for inspiring me to get off my butt and get crafting, even if she has no idea that she has done so. All for now!