Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holidays are Just Around the Corner

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already here! Next thing you know, it will be Christmas! I have been busy crafting new projects and I just ran out of time to beef up my inventory to attend any craft fairs. I guess I'll have to shoot for Spring fairs now. I just listed some new travel-size tissue holders (see photo) that will make great gift ideas. Just ask Colleen in North Carolina, she just ordered some for friends and asked me to ship one to her sister in Missouri. Colleen ordered 5 tissue holders in everyday prints. Thanks again Colleen!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Latest Project Rolling Out of the Door!

Special thanks to my dear friend Jana for her order of 2 baby girl onesie dresses. Jana had already envisioned what she wanted her onesie dresses to look like. So off I went on a fabric hunt to find pink and brown printed fabric. I appliqued an "S" for baby Savanna on the dress bodice that was made from the same fabric as the skirt and embellished with ribbon bows and a flower. Voila! Thanks again Jana, I really enjoyed collaborating with you on your order! I'm sure your gift to baby Savanna will be appreciated!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just finished!

I finally got to finish these two onesie dresses for my friend Jana to give as a special gift for a sweet new baby named Savannah. Jana personalized this order by requesting the fabric color theme and adding an "S" to each. It was fun collaborating with my dear friend, and I got to realize just how challenging appliquing an "S" could be.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Are You Kidding Me?! It's August?

Wow, where has the time gone? I have tried to get ahead of the holidays this year, but have gotten run over as they fly past me. I vowed to get Easter products ready, only to have The Fourth Of July come barrelling by. I keep saying that I'll be ready for the fall craft show circuit, but at this rate, it's questionable. I'm not giving up though! I have a Halloween line coming up and I am very excited about it. I hope to have it all completed and posted in my Etsy Store within the next couple of weeks. I have to, because Christmas is already knocking, and boy do I have big plans for the Christmas Season this year!!! I know I'm not alone out there in the crafty world, but boy I should have taken juggling lessons. The Kids, the Hubby, full-time work outside of the house, twin nephews, family obligations, school, extracurricular activities, 4-H, rabbit shows, friends, did I forget anything? Oh yeah, a fledgling craft business trying to get off the ground. Priorities, I was never one for prioritizing, but good grief, enough is enough! If only I had a clone!? So much to do, and so little time to do it all in! So, now that I have droned on enough and gotten a bit off-topic, holy cow it's August! I keep telling myself that once the girls go back to school, I'll have more time to devote to the biz. Only to have after-school sports practices and club meetings. Arghhhh, the frustration! What a vicious circle I find myself stuck in. In the time that it took me to type this, I'm sure I could've had a few projects done already. There goes my prioritizing...Maybe next year!

Friday, August 6, 2010

The WOW Factor!

Gone are the days when you could go to the local grocery store and say "put it on my tab". We are now in the age of the internet and "put it on my tab" takes on a whole new meaning. We want things and we want them now and as cheaply as possible. The handshake is a thing of the past and kids these days have no idea what you are talking about when we say we have to balance our checkbook. We need the WOW Factor!

So, what is this WOW factor of which I speak about? You first must understand that there is a good WOW and a bad WOW, and there is no in between. The good WOW proves to be pretty elusive nowadays and we tend to only focus on the bad WOW. The good wow is what you feel when you have walked away from a transaction and you just can't believe what transpired, you weren't expecting things to go down the way they did. For example, "Wow, they didn't charge me for shipping, and I was ready to pay for it and they gave me a bigger discount too!" I would be willing to bet this person returns to this business since they treated her so special, not to mention the fact that this person will share her experience with friends and family. So not only has this business made a loyal customer, they have gained referrals that the customer will send their way too. On the other end we have "wow, the food was cold and my server never came by to check on me and refill my drink. Plus they overcharged me on the bill". I believe it is safe to say this person will never go back to this restaurant again. Plus, you know the disgruntled customer will have no problem talking about this experience, which will turn others away from frequenting the establishment as well.

So, what WOW would you prefer?

I just had a WOW moment at work that I would like to share. I am an Optician, and we have our Optometrist, who is our boss, and 3 other girls besides myself that handle the rest of the office. We had a patient, who happened to be one of the first patients through the doors back when our office first opened, and he needed his glasses repaired. His wife dropped them off and said to call when they were ready. I made the repair and called all of the contact numbers to let him know that they were ready. I was not getting any answers, so I called his office, which was the building right next door to us. They told me that he was on indefinite medical leave. Not wanting to pry into his personal life, I let it go after telling my boss, the eye doctor, about it. His wife stopped by about two weeks later and told us that he had a brain hemorrhage and he was fighting to survive. We told her that Gary would be in our thoughts and prayers and off she went. My boss got a notecard from her stationary stash and scribbled, as doctors do, a little get well wish and she passed it around the office for the four of us to sign if we wanted. Of course, we wrote our own little well-wishes to Gary and signed our names without hesitation. We all liked Gary, he was a funny, affectionate, sweet man that never had a bad thing to say. He greeted all of us with sincere hugs anytime he came by for an adjustment or needed his eyes checked. So, about a month and a half had passed since we sent out our well-wishes and in strolls Gary this morning to make our whole week. He stood straight and tall, although a bit thinner than I remember, and he sought us out for our hugs, which we gladly accepted. He then proceeded to gather us close so that he could tell us something that I will hold onto for the rest of my days. He said that throughout his fight for his life he had numerous friends, family, and acquaintances that had kept him in their hearts and prayers, but none of those compared to the well-wishes that he never saw coming or expected. Then, with tears in his eyes, he pulled out our notecard, which he carries in his wallet, and said "thank you doesn't begin to describe how much this meant to me, I keep it as a reminder that you touch people everyday of your life through your actions no matter how big or small it may seem. I wish I had the words to tell you..." he was so emotional that he couldn't finish. So needless to say, the office of 5 women and one female patient witnessing this in the waiting area, were bawling our eyes out together with him. Another round of hugs and several tissues later, we said bye to Gary, who informed us that this was his first solo outing while driving and to not tell his wife, and we told him not to be a stranger and to stay out of trouble. His reply, "see ya later, trouble is my middle name."

The staff at my office has a weekly meeting on Thursdays and we have to share our WOW moments from the week. We had just mentioned in our meeting about how we didn't have to send a get well card, but we did it as a measure to show our patients that we do care. Wal-mart certainly wouldn't know Gary by name, much less take the time to send out a personalized card. So we shared this as our WOW moment, only to have Gary walk through the door and ultimately WOW us in return. Wouldn't you like to be WOWed? How can you WOW someone else? The WOW Factor is all about setting yourself/your business apart from the rest. The WOW doesn't have to be big or extravagant, just memorable!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Going Hi-Tech with High Hopes!

Starting out in the crafting business with my parents years ago was an experience. It was the good, the bad, and the ugly that made up the experience as a whole that left a lasting impression with me even today. We had fun creating our wares and interacting with each other, until it came to crunch time. Then, it was all the last minute tasks that had us at our wits end. Finishing products, planning booth set-up, pricing, etc... We were at each other's throats by the time the booth was set up and ready for the craft show to open. Then, we settled down once we realized the booth was ready and we could chat with the customers and had a wonderful day. We did several local craft shows and we always made sales and some profit (I won't go into the whole arguement we would have with Mom and her pricing ideas). Anyway, the craft show season ended and thus ended our crafting days.

Until now, that is! I have ventured into my own craftiness and, thanks to a little thing called the internet, started a year-round craft business. My how times have changed! I have had hits on my etsy store from several countries around the world, where we were lucky if people came to the craft shows from 5 surrounding neighborhoods. The internet, and all of the hi-tech gizmos and gadgets now available, are helping to make my dream of staying home with my kids, while working, come true. That is, if I can utilize it correctly! I know the word is getting out, thanks to my wonderfully supportive family and friends, but there will always be more people to reach out to that haven't heard of me.

I attended a virtual lab discussion on the importance of blogging for business and I plan on keeping my blog updated and informative so that the word will keep spreading. Please be patient with me and I would love any and all input that you are willing to share!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Poor neglected Blog!

I'd like to say that I have been so busy filling orders, that I haven't been able to blog. However, that would be a blatant lie. I have had orders trickling in, but I have been traveling for my day job, for training and networking. I am very thankful for the tidbits of info that I have gleaned from these various classes and seminars. I hope to carry them over into my crafting business and apply them asap. I am currently trying to get some inventory built up for the fall craft show season. I know there is nothing worse than a poorly stocked, half-empty booth space. So, I am working on designing my set-up and creating inventory to fill it all. I hope to be able to blog a bit more than what I have in the past...I am looking into doing some giveaways to help get the word out and boost my follower numbers. Marketing wherever I can!!! Well, I had better go and get back to work!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Etsy Treasuries

Hi everyone, I was lucky enough to land a treasury on Etsy. This is a collection of items from various crafters/artists that have etsy stores. This is a way to spread the word to others about some of the unique and handmade items that are available. Here is the link to my latest treasury: http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list_west.php?room_id=94309 Please check it out and click through each of the items that I've chosen to share with you.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Customized Baby Set

I just finished this sweet baby set for a co-worker/friend to give as a babyshower gift.

My "On the Go Changing Pad" has been very popular. It folds up into a nice compact tote that stores diapers and wipes for those quick, on-the-go changes. The vinyl covered inside makes clean-up a cinch.

The diaper bag is a small, tote-style bag that is lined inside and has 6 outer pockets to hold various necessities. The onesie and burpcloth finish off the coordinated look. I will happily customize an order to fit your needs.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I joined CAST on Etsy!

Hey everyone, just wanted to let you all know that I am now a member of CAST (Christian Artists Street Team) on Etsy. I look forward to the support, friendship, and fellowship of a great group of Christian artists.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bandana Dresses

Here are the bandana dresses I've been working on. Hanna couldn't wait to model her dress. I embroidered her dress with an H on one of the three accent fabric squares on the upper part of the dress. Here is a back view of Hanna's dress. She had fun twirling and posing for the pictures. She asked when I could make her more of these kinds of dresses.
Here is a full view of the front of Hanna's dress.

The red bandana dress would be perfect for the rodeo. I can add embroidery to any of the dresses, very easily to dress them up for a fancier look. Notice how my lovely model had to sneak into the photo here too.

I am working out sizing to make a wider range available. I should have sizes available from newborn through girls' size 6/8. I am working on altering this pattern to make a shirt for my oldest daughter since she doesn't like to wear dresses.

Thanks for stopping in and checking out my latest handiwork. I'll keep ya posted!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's rodeo time!

I had fun with my mom's embroidery machine. I dressed up this blah onesie with some bandana print fabric and an embroidered western motif. Finished it off with some black grosgrain ribbon, and voila, western dress for the rodeo!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Finally getting something done!

I made this apron for one of my co-worker's daughters. The second one is on the way, it coordinates with the one pictured here.

I had my gluegun working overtime over the past couple of days, I finally feel like I have accomplished a bit. I had fun making these earring holders and posting them to my etsy store.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Breaking out the glue gun!

Thanks to my crafty sister-in-law, I broke out my hot glue gun and attempted to replicate the earring organizer that she made for my girls for Christmas. I think I did a rather good job! I look forward to creating special order earring organizers for my customers to meet their needs. Whether it is color combo, ribbon, or accessories, I can make any changes needed to turn this into the perfect gift. Needless to say, the earrings shown in the photos are for display purposes only and not included in the sale. Don't forget to check out my Etsy site for more items to choose from. www.proverbs104gifts.etsy.com

Monday, February 15, 2010

Newest project

This was a great project for using up all of my fabric scraps that I don't want to throw away, but didn't know exactly what I would use them for. Maybe I am taking after my Grandma Grace a bit, you don't get rid of a scrap if you can sew it to another and create something. Well, I think Grandma would be proud. These little kleenex covers are great gift ideas! Their 4" x 6" size makes them perfect for purses, backpacks, glove compartments, etc...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is coming fast, it seems like we just finished Christmas and it's already february. Well, I am working feverishly on gift items for Valentine's Day. Keep watching my blog and spread the word that some sweet things are heading this way. Also, check out my etsy site www.proverbs104gifts.etsy.com to place an order.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sent out this custom order Monday to Jenny in NJ! Thanks for the order Jenny! She had a specific request, she wanted stripes and/or polka dots in gender-neutral colors and she also wanted the outside to be vinyl-covered as well as the inside. It was a challenge, not to mention another reason to visit the fabric stores, but I think she'll like the outcome. I had fun seeing her order come together.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just for Fun!

My 11 yr. old daughter didn't like the plain leather cell phone cases you find in the stores, so we couldn't resist working on this little guy. He has crystal freckles that sparkle like his personality.
The back part of the holder can be easily embroidered to further set him apart from the rest while he safely holds your phone. He can hang from your wrist, backpack, or belt loop and still keep your phone within easy reach.

Etsy site up and running

I have posted a few items on my Etsy site: www.proverbs104gifts.etsy.com for easy ordering. If you want to order personalized items, please email me at proverbstenfourgifts@gmail.com so that we can get the details worked out. I am still working on photos to post more items on Etsy, but they have to be modified to fit the file size requirements, and I am no expert in that dept. So, will do what I can to give you all more to see. Thanks!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

This changing pad folds compactly so that it can be hung on the stroller by its strap for quick trips or a walk through the park. It can be cleaned easily by wiping with a damp cloth thanks to the vinyl-covered fabric. The pocket at the bottom is meant to keep a diaper and wipes at the ready for a quick change on the go.
The pacifier holder and rick-rack trimmed bib coordinate nicely with the changing pad and diaper bag.
The diaper bag measures roughly 14"wide x 11"tall and has pockets all the way around the exterior of the bag. I make it a point to create gift items that can be personalized to fit the needs of my customers. So, ordering these items specially embroidered with the baby's name makes it a truly unique, thoughtful gift for the parents-t0-be.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Business Cards are ordered!!!

There's no turning back now, the business cards are ordered and I am feverishly crafting/sewing during the few spare hours I have in the day. Spare hours, I should've said spare minutes. Aside from working outside the house full-time, 4-H and kids' extracurricular activities, I guess sleep can be cut back on (it's over-rated anyway right). Bottom line, I am so excited to get this business going! Pictures and postings are on the way!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Why Proverbs 10:4?

After I changed jobs in February of last year, I took a cut in pay and hours to be closer to home and work for a much better boss. My family was doing well until my husband was sidelined by a shoulder injury that led to surgery and him being on disability and out of work for 3 months. I don't have to go into details about the financial crunch we were under. So, I picked up The Good Book and it opened to the book of Proverbs, and there in front of my nose was chapter ten and verse four practically screaming at me. I have been a lazy crafter, making things to give as gifts here and there because I really don't like giving gifts that you see in stores everywhere. I have used every excuse not to start my business (ie. the economy, working full time, too tired), and I'm pretty sure I have run out of excuses. Especially since the girls I work with keep pushing me to "just do it". So, I'm hoping and praying that diligent hands truly do bring wealth. After all, the Bible can't be wrong! So, I hope that you will enjoy what Proverbs 10:4 Gifts & Decor. has to offer.