Thursday, April 28, 2011

Humbly Accepting...

And now for something completely different.

I was recently tagged with a “Versatile Blogger” award. Thank you very much sweet Dana. And the deal with that is – you share 7 things about yourself and go on to tag 7 of your favorite bloggers. I’m not huge in the blogging world and I only follow a handful of blogs so Kat, Susan, Kathleen – you’re it. Because you are awesome.

And here are some [I’m so sure] fascinating facts about me.

1. I have to create something every day or it is a wasted day to me. It is a value/obsession my Mom instilled in me from a young age. And I am eternally grateful to her for that. I will never be bored.

2. I function quite well in solitude. I enjoy alone time. It is the joy of having more interests than I can fit into a lifetime. Again – I will never be bored. That being said ~ put me, my kids, my mister and a few friends in a room, add a glass of wine or champagne and I’m the biggest social butterfly ever. As long as I know I can retreat into my studio the next day and be alone.

3. Jimmy Buffett once invited me to a New Years Eve party at Margaritaville in Key West. Unfortunately I couldn't go. Bummer.

4. I am a television, Netflix and movie addict. (And really true confessions? Any online fabric site.) My guilty pleasure is “Real Housewives of…” ~ anywhere. But Beverly Hills Housewives are my favorite. Please come back Camille, you little vixen you.

5. I abhor talking on the phone but will email you in a heartbeat. And I still believe in writing handwritten thank you notes. Come on, people. If someone cared enough and took the time to choose a gift for you, you owe them at least a handwritten note.

6. My BFF is my husband’s sister. I had never met her until the day I married her brother. Who knew what a gift that would turn out to be? Our friendship has grown incredibly close over the [almost] 18 years despite the fact that she lives in another country. We share a love of art in all forms; good wine; laughter; deep conversations; silly conversations; hikes along the ocean (or lake) shore; not to mention all the shared highs and lows of just being “family.” We even published a book together ~ her poetry and my photography ~ Flight of the Magpie.

7. My favorite thing in life is being a Mom. The greatest gifts I have ever received are my two brilliant, talented, charming sons. And bonus – the women they have chosen to spend their lives with are equally brilliant, talented, beautiful and strong women! Yay – I now have 4 children and double yay ~ I finally have daughters!

So there are 7 oh so fascinating things about me. Thanks for playing.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Key West Anyone?

I grew up in the Midwest, but am positive that in some previous life I must have been an Island Girl. I have such an affinity for anything tropical or ocean-related. So of course when I decided to make some pillows for my own home, it was a given there would be palm trees and flamingos involved. And the retro feel makes it all the sweeter. I love retro...

With the weather getting warmer, I thought why not invite that tropical breeze into my home? And what better time to experiment with a new style of pillow? I've been wanting to try out envelope pillow covers and decided to try them out on myself first.

Easy peasy. I think I'm going to like this new method. And the really nice thing is the covers are removable and can be washed. A couple more trail runs for the home front and I will be ready to put them in my Etsy shop. :)

So crank up the blender, blast the Jimmy Buffett, throw out the tropical pillows and let's get ready for summer! :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Take a Chance. Say Yes.

Last month I blogged about saying yes. It is a fairly new concept to me; but each time I have nodded the affirmative it has lead to a new and happy experience.

Most of my product line is sold online or in my fabulous consignment shops. It is only recently that I have ventured out into the world ~ literally packing my wares into a couple of bags and physically carrying them to various venues, setting up a table and selling. Selling. Me. Me ~ who is not even too fond of talking on the phone. If you know me, you know that. *wink*

And it is a lot of work preparing for events. I try to have at least 30 products to display and sell and have a variety of what I create on hand. Sometimes events have a theme and I work around that. I update brochures and business cards and print plenty of each. I have gift bags made with my logo ready to go. I need to be sure I have enough cash on hand to make change. It is a lot of work.

And before each event I say, "I don't think I will do this again for awhile."

And each day after the event, I am applying for the next event that catches my eye.

Why? Because all the hard work pays off ~ literally and figuratively. Events always end up being fun. It's fun to interact with both event attendees and fellow artists. I love seeing what other artists do ~ wow, there are some talented, unique people creating original and awesome art out there! And it is fun to swap "creating" stories! Add to that ~ I am constantly surprised by how well my little Wee Ones, et al, find their way into people's hearts and end up going home with them. :)

So, if you are an artist or a crafter and are hesitant about participating in "real live" events, take it from me ~ if I can do it, you can do it! Say yes. It's worth it!

(Oh and it doesn't hurt to have a really supportive, sweet husband who will lug the 6' table around for you and keep you company, too.) :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Top Ten Reasons to Shop Online

A couple of things I heard recently on the National News got me to thinking about online shopping as opposed to Mall shopping. See if you agree with my

Top Ten Reasons to Shop Online:
  1. Vacancy rates at Malls across the country are on the increase. In fact, a report in "The Consumerist" on April 7, 2011 stated that close to one in ten stores in malls are now vacant. It went on to say that predictions are that online shopping will become so mainstream soon that retailers will begin to question the need for brick 'n mortar stores.

  2. The price of gas is increasing all the time. Why drive all over town wasting not only gas, but your time, when you can do one stop shopping from home? I actually have personal experience with this particular reason. I have a lovely local customer that I would often meet to deliver her orders. Recently she has started paying my $3.00 shipping charge to get it delivered to her door (next day) because it is cheaper than what it would cost in gas to drive and meet each other.

  3. As a seller you can reach a worldwide audience from your own little site. As a buyer you can shop the globe and have the world delivered to your front door.

  4. Forgot your mother-in-law's birthday is tomorrow? You can go online and order something to be overnighted. She will never know.

  5. With online shopping becoming more competitive free shipping, coupons and other deals are readily available.

  6. Inclement weather and dangerous driving conditions are never a concern.

  7. You can multi-task while shopping online ~ feed the baby, do the laundry, make dinner, pretend to be paying attention to a conference call...

  8. Sometimes - not always - but sometimes, things are cheaper online.

  9. Just my opinion, but I think you can find more unusual and unique items online. (Of course Etsy and online venues like that immediately come to mind.)

  10. And last, but certainly not least, you don't have to take a shower, style your hair, put on make-up or even get out of your 'jammies and fuzzy slippers to shop online. Or even operate an online store! :)

  11. Now, all that being said, I hope charming little brick 'n mortars like the gift shops I do business with across the country never disappear. In fact I would love to see more. Every now and then it is a good thing to get off the couch, climb out of your 'jammies and get out there. And to me, nothing is more fun than lunch with my BFF followed by wandering thru unique shops with kitchy one of a kind items.

But the big Malls that all look alike? I don't think I would miss them. What do you think about online shopping vs. Malls?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Mighty E and E Team!

It's Spring time and you know what that means!

Little chicks and bunnies and lambs. O my!

And sometimes creating new designs pan out; sometimes they don't; and sometimes they turn out to be happy mistakes that work.

Hence the Lil' Eddie portion of Edith and Lil' Eddie. :)