Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shop Goals for September

At the end of last month, I made some goals for the month of August for my shop.  Some of them I met, some of them I didn't, some of them I exceeded!  I feel that my shop is off to a kinda slow start, but it seems like that just may be because of it being summer.  As fall comes around in September, I want to make some new goals for the month!

Quarter Leather Jotters

I think it's always good to have goals, especially in business.  Without goals, I would feel like I'm just wandering about aimlessly.  I wouldn't feel as much of a push to get going & get things accomplished.  Last month my main goal was that I really wanted to get a good number of items added to my shop, and I accomplished that, I added 28!

Case Bound Blue Flowers

This month, the month of September, my goals are:

*Add at least 20 items to my shop
*Create at least 2 new journal binding designs
*Sell at least 4 items
*Make at least 2 treasuries a week
*Advertise on at least 3 blogs
*Send out at least 2 emails to my email list (you can sign up to receive them in the sidebar!)
*Take advantage of free advertising in places like facebook, flickr, etsy lush, craft juice, wanelo, etsy carnival

Quarter Leather Journal on Cords

Basically, I want to take advantage of the fact that I'm not working as many races this month.  I'm only working 2, whereas last month I worked 6.  So I should have more time to be able to make this an even better month than last month.  Time to get to work & promote promote promote!  I'll let you know at the end of September how I did!

What are your goals for September?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dresses Obsession! In Need of Some Fall/Winter Frocks!


I love dresses.  More than skirts.  I'm not certain, but I think it's because they are just so EASY.  Throw it on & go.  No thinking required, & I still look good!

But  now that fall is knocking on the door, I'm getting worried that all of my pretty summer dresses aren't going to transition well to fall... or worse, WINTER!  Yikes!  So I've been checking out what there is available in terms of long sleeved dresses.  The pickin's are kinda slim.

Now, I did find quite a few 3/4 length sleeves going on, which I can understand some people really liking.  However, I live in Michigan here people.  We have winter for real.  3/4 sleeves just don't cut it up here in the frozen tundra.  So I've tried to eliminate them from my list unless they were too cute to pass up.

Another problem I encountered was that a lot of these long sleeved dresses appear to be really really short.  Now, I'm really really short too (5'0 haha!) so short dresses usually aren't as short on me, but still.  However, since I have my new love of leggings, I'd just be throwing some of them on under the dress, for modesty & for warmth, so I guess it doesn't matter too much, as long as my butt is fully covered.

Also, it appears to be rare that you can search by a category of long sleeves in shops dresses sections online.  They categorize them tons of ways, but sleeve length isn't one of them.  So much searching through little tank & strapless dresses must be done before coming across one with longer sleeves.  This is quite the undertaking!

 So here's what I've come up with.  Some pretty long-er sleeved dresses.

Gap

Victoria's Secret
Forever 21


Shabby Apple
JCrew
Old Navy
Urban Outfitters

What do you think of these picks?  Do you love dresses as much as I do?  Any great places for long sleeved dresses that I should know about? 

Also, someone please tell me, why do they make so many with 3/4 sleeves?  I just don't understand!!!  Do girls in the south wear 3/4 sleeves a lot?

The Girl Behind The Blog: Talk on Blogging

Ashley at 5'oh Wifey does these "Girl Behind the Blog" Vlog parties once a month.  I participated before hereThis month, she asked her readers to do a vlog about how blogging has changed them & kinda what they are getting from it.  I decided to join in!

I'm writing this post while my video loads in youtube.  Why does it take so stinkin' long?  I must be doing something wrong.  Here's my list of appologies for this film:

I have no idea how to edit a video, so it's a little longer than the 2-3 min time limit... by, like... a minute.  So if you get annoyed, feel free to fast forward through my ummms.

I'm wearing my pjs, because I'm cool.  The top does not match the bottom.  Don't judge.

I'm a horrible horrible speaker, and I did not write out my answers to the questions prior to filming, so I might seem a little scattered.  I'm just bad at talking, which is why I blog.  See?

So here it is!


Yep, that's me, rambling away.

I hope you liked my vlog.  Let me know if you'd like to see more... I can practice my speaking skills to you all!

Linking it up to 5'oh Wifey here!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fabric That Makes My Heart Flutter

I recently added some fabric covered journals to my shop.  I purchased the fabric from Moona Fabrics.  I've been using the fabric to cover some new case bound journals in the shop.  Like this one:

Colorful Case Bound Journal

And this one:

Blue Case Bound Notebook

These are some of my favorite journals I've done.  I think it's because of the lovely feel of the fabric on the covers & their beautiful colors!  I LOVE color!

I'm now crushing on so many more beautiful fabrics.  I want to buy LOTS & make miiilllions of fabric covered journals.  (Um, you can make this possible by buying one... or 7, or 12 or whatever, so that I'm FORCED to make more... hehe!)

I buy fat quarters, usually in bundles, because I don't need much to cover a journal, and I like variety, so I don't really want to make 50 journals that all look exactly the same with the same fabric just because I have to use it all.  With one fat quarter piece I can make about 3 journals (depending on their size).  Here's a sampling of packages that I've had in my "shopping cart" still resisting the urge to hit the "buy" button.  I don't think I'm gonna last much longer though.

A local (to me in SE Michigan) seller Pink Castle Fabrics has some really fun, blogger-selected fat quarter packs that I'm loving:

Holly's Road Trip Bundle by Holly from Bijou Lovely

Orange You Glad Bundle by Just a Bit Frayed
What's Cookin' Bundle by Kiss Kiss Quilt

How cool are those right?

I've also discovered some great & fairly inexpensive bundles from a lovely little shop called Hawthorne Threads that I found by accident:

Summerlove Fat Quarter Bundle in Sunkissed

Dress Up Days Fat Quarter Bundle in Grape
Flying Free Fat Quarter Bundle

Apple of My Eye Fat Quarter Bundle in Red

Do you know any other great online shops from which to by packs of fat quarter bundles?  Which ones of the options above are your favorites?  Help a girl out & let me know which you think would be best gracing the covers of some new journals!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Why it's Great to be a Morning Person

Maybe you noticed in this post, I get up about an hour & a half before I have to leave for work.  I'm usually all alone during that time, & it really only takes me about 25 min or so to get ready for work, so about an hour of that time I actually could be sleeping if I really wanted to.

But, I have discovered I actually LIKE getting  up early.  I like that quiet time in the morning to myself.  It's one of my most productive times of the day.  I anticipate that I will do this my whole life.  Once we have little ones it might even become more important for me to get up early & have a little me time.  I'm not a late-nighter, I'm an early-morning gal.

At the bean in Chicago in the early morning.  Ever seen it with no one else around?  That's me under there!

What is it about the morning that I love so much?  I love the quiet, the sun rising, the hot coffee to sit & sip.  I love watching the local news while I sit in the morning.  I love feeling a sense of accomplishment, getting many things done in the early morning before many people are even up.

When I get up early, the day seems to last longer for me.  I know it's not really true, but when you've been up for 6.5 hours by the time noon rolls around (rather than having been up only 2 let's say if I got up at 10) the day just seems longer, even though I might go to bed earlier than that person that got up at 10.  I'm just more productive in the morning.  If I stay up late, it's probably just that I'm watching a movie or something.  Not likely that I'm being productive.

I think the thing that I love the most about morning is that there is so much possibility in the morning for that day.  The knowledge that I can make that day be however I want.  It's a great time for me to get moving & get things done that I want to get done that day so that I don't have to worry about it later.  As you know, I'm a do it now kind of person.  I don't like having "things to do" hanging over my head.  It makes me stressed & uncomfortable.

New Jotter Available in shop.  Done entirely in the mornings!

I do a variety of things in the early morning.  Sometimes I workout, doing a Pure Barre DVD or going for a short run outside.  Sometimes I write a blog post (like today!) or read some blogs that were posted the day before.  Sometimes I work on some books for my etsy shop.  Sometimes I'll get dinner going, throwing something in the crock pot.  Sometimes I'll clean or do laundry.  Some days I do my Bible reading in the morning.  I always have the news on in the background, but I'm never just sitting in front of the tv in the morning.  I've always got something to do.  There really isn't that much time in the day, I have to use what I have in order to be productive & get my day off to a good start!

I'm not saying that everyone should be a morning person.  I totally get it that a lot of people aren't.  I'm not a night person, but many people are.  It is very rare that you'll see me up 'till 2am.  Even midnight.  I'm usually in bed between 10 & 11.  It works for me.  I'm not the girl who will stay up late working.  I'm the girl that will get up early instead.  And it's true that getting up early isn't always easy.  I hit my snooze button sometimes too.  But I know that getting up early is what works for me, so I get out of bed & shower & by the time I get out of the shower, I'm good to go!

If that doesn't work for you, that's ok.  I think that everyone kinda knows their most productive time of the day.  If you don't know it, you really should find it.  And take advantage!  Use that time to do your best work!  If it's your lunch break, go ahead & write your blog post at lunch time.  If it's late at night, arrange your schedule so that you can stay up late & use that time wisely.  If you can get your productive time by yourself, you'll find yourself getting so much more done in your day just by using that hour or two to just do it!

Are you a morning person or a night person?  What's your most productive time of day & how do you make sure you get to use that time to your best advantage?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Help a Girl Out... Fall Shoes!

I really need new shoes for work.  I actually keep my work shoes at the office in a desk drawer because I walk 3/4 of a mile to & from my car every day.  I'm not really a shoe girl.  I mostly wear old running shoes around or flip flops in the summer.  I have a couple of pairs of dress shoes at home for weddings & such.  And a pair of snow boots for walking to & from work in the winter.

At work I have a pair of teal flats that are getting really worn out 'cause I wear them pretty much every day.  Then I have a pair of sandle-heals that I wear if I'm feeling fancy.  They've seen better days as well.

So it's time for a new pair or maybe two.  I'm thinking a nice pair of cute boots & a pair of flats.  I mostly shop at Macys or DSW for shoes.  So if you have any suggestions let me know!

For boots, I've never really owned a pair of good ones.  I'm wanting a little bit of a heal (I'm short right!) but not a lot... High, but not like, over the knee or anything.  Probably black.  Oh maybe brown too... can I get both?  I need them to be able to go with work skirts/dresses & jeans too.

Ok, here's some that I like:

Aerosoles Shoes, Infamous Wide Calf Boots


Chinese Laundry Shoes, Newbie Boots



Fergalicious Shoes, Caddy Boots


Michael Antonio McKenzie Boot


And some flats:

Anne Klein Shoes, Bea Ballet Flats

G by Guess Women's Shoes, Majesty Ruffle Flats


Blowfish Shoes, Page Flats


SM Women's Heaven Tribal Flat


Any preferences?  I'm so clueless about shoes I feel.  I never can figure out which ones look best or aren't totally outdated or something.  That's why I rarely buy them & wear running shoes everything.  Wow I'm lame.  Haha, help me!!!!!  Which ones do you like?  Or make other suggestions!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Beautiful Fall 2012 Pantone Colors


Can you believe it's mid-August already?  That means fall is coming!  We had a day a couple of days ago that was kinda chilly, a little drizzly, & it felt a lot like fall.  I was walking into work & thinking about how excited I am for the cider mills & orchards to open!  I love me some warm sugared donuts & apple cider!  Mmmm!

I also am a pretty big fan of fall colors!  Have you seen Pantone's colors for fall 2012?

Pantone

I love so many of these colors!  That ultramarine green is a-maz-ing!  Pretty sure it's my favorite.  The rose smoke & rhapsody would make great nail polish colors don't you think?

So here is a round up of some beautiful things in the new "it" colors!

French Roast:

Amyfine
Eight Seasons

Honey Gold:

Cosmic Hippo Designs
Comforte
Pink Flambe:

Dell Cove Spices
CJ Yummies

Tangerine Tango:

Pole Star
Handmade Therapy Kids

Ultramarine Green:

Rhonda Jewelry
Bella Rose Soap

Bright Chartreuse:

Tyss Handmade Jewelry
Spark Modern

Olympian Blue:

Smitten Kitten Originals
Still Tree Jewelry

Titanium:

Icover Skin
Lemon Street Jewelry

Rhapsody:

Pasque Flower
Karri Ann Shop

Rose Smoke:

Rose & Lemons
Ruffles & Fringe

Which color is your favorite?

*Note - If you'd like to pin any of these items to Pinterest, please please please click the link & do so from their shop!!!  The sellers would really appreciate it!  Thank you.*
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