Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Playing With Printables

OK I'm one of those people who when I get on a kick...you know the rest! I feel like such a dork because while I have played around with graphic design: A.) My brain just won't work with Photoshop so B.) I keep going back to the program I know which is Broderbund's Printshop but didn't know how to share anything like a printable. I've been able to share some PDF files but I wanted to play just like others who have printables you can click on from directly within a blog post. Did I mention I'm stubborn and I want what I want? Did I also mention I'm one of those people who hate manuals because I think I can intuit my way through? Uh-huh. So I finally broke down and consulted "the manual" and figured it out!!! Sssshhhh...don't tell anyone.

I love the "Keep..........and ............On" variations so here are a few I came up with to share:
Linking Up At:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Open House Features !

Thanks all who linked up to my November Open House Link Party! It's always an impossible task for me to choose things to highlight because I treasure evertyhing that everyone links up, but since I'm in high Christmas mode right now, I am going to highlight a few that just "jingled my bells":

How could you not be in the Christmas spirit seeing this welcoming porch display from Linda at Itsy Bits and Pieces?
 Looks straight out of a magazine doesn't it? And what little girl wouldn't have dreams of Sugar Plums dancing in her head wearing this adorable festive tutu from Caroline at Atelier Caroline:
 I'd be too afraid to use these festive dishtowels from Bev at Flamingo Toes but wouldn't they make your kitchen ready for Christmas:

Of course you know I have to feature something chocolate! Jocelyn at Inside BruCrewLife is going to get me to the gym because she keeps coming up with this stuff and I'm gonna eat it!:
Ultimate Reeses Cheesecake Brownie Bars

I think I just gained a couple of pounds looking at them! Again thanks. I didn't have a giveaway with this party but I have tried my hand at the printables craze and happily share this with anyone who would like it:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Beginner's Luck!

I survived doing my first craft fair yesterday and it was a LOT of fun ( a LOT of work, but a LOT of fun!) . I really hadn't set any goals or expectations since I had no point of reference. I thought it would be great to at least recoup the entry fee ( which was a fundraiser so I was happy to pay ) but was blown away when I exceeded that! I estimate I sold about 1/2 to a little more of what I brought which I think is pretty OK for the first time out. I don't know that my one experience qualifies me to give advice to anyone else but here are some things that I found and will pass along.
  • Variety: I think it helped to have an assortment of things to choose from so you have broader appeal. Some people had very definite things they were on the hunt for like ornaments, cards etc. Others were just intrigued by what they found which seemed like a good way to engage and start up a conversation
  • As creators, they're all "our babies" but not everyone thinks your baby is the cutest baby ( I mean what do they know?! lol) so you can't take it personally if someone doesn't "get" your item.
  • I'm never going to hear the end of this one, but appreciated Mr. Chocolate's advice on going with a lower price for higher sell thru. He helped me price, and challenged me on a few things that I can't say he was wrong about ( I am SO going to hear about this!) because they sold. He took the emotion out of it. Thanks sweetie!
  • Greet everyone! I saw a few vendors who didn't engage shoppers and the shoppers just kept walking. If no one stops to look, they certainly won't stop to buy!
  • Organizers of other shows are also shoppers and scout out vendors to invite to future shows. I got invited to two more shows which I need to decide about :)
  • Have fun and talk to other vendors. It's like blogging in person! I met some lovely people and it was so much fun to talk to them about the creative high we get from creating, and laugh and commiserate about how some of our friends and family give us that "look" when we go on too long about paper, glue, 40% off Michaels coupons etc.
The organizers of this fair did a nice job of advertising and getting the word out which is a key success factor. They were also very good to us, providing lunch for us since we were there from about 8-5.  Here's my stuff all packed up and ready to go:
Two 15 gallon bins an 6 shopping bags full. Here's the table all set up:
Sold completely out of birthday and Hanukkah cards so of course I wish I'd made more of each, and the Christmas Garland Kits were a hit. Sold 80% of those, and half of the altered candles I took to the show.

I was nervous and now I'm humbled and relieved :) Off to make turkey brine and see Harry, Hermione, and Ron later.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

November Open House Link Party

Hi all! Welcome to the Monthly Open House here at the Answer Is Chocolate. There's hot spiced cider and pumpkin scones. Let's see what everyone's been working on to get ready for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, etc! Feel free to link up anything: decor, DIY, decorations, ornaments, jewelry, papercrafts, recipes ( especially chocolate!). Just please no advertising or etsy stores etc. Now let's get our gobble on!

Christmas Garland Kits

You're almost out of the woods of me mentioning this craft show I'm doing (If I sell 1 thing I'll be happy because I'm starting to panic!). I got this idea when I did a giveaway of my "Gratitude" banner and thought this might be something good for the show. And it really came together when I did the graphics for my "Framed Christmas Art" and liked the end result enough to play some more.

The colors aren't really showing up well in this pic but it's an olive-y green and burgundy combination. Here's a better look at one of the letters:
Each letter has a heart shaped ornament graphic which I embellished with gold adhesive rhinestones. Added dark garnet rhinestones to each letter which combines a sheet music graphic ( this one from within my graphics program but the others I'll show are from The Graphics Fairy) and mounted on green then black cardstock. Each "kit" includes tulle and embellished clothes pins. 
In addition to the "WISH" series, I did NOEL : 
Packaged in cello bags, black and natural cardstock

The letters that I used in my framed piece, and JOY: 
Can't see it so much, but the ruby cardstock used here is textured
I used a drop shadow effect on the letters for this one.

This Week's BFF...On Thursday

I'm doing this week's "BFF" (Blog Feature Friday) on Thursday since tomorrow I'll be having my Monthly Open House link party ( and you're coming right?).  On to this week's BFF which is :
A Glimpse Inside
Allison is the blogger who gives us a glimpse inside her world which she describes as: 
and started the blog as a way to update family and friends on the adventures she shares with her active duty hubby Travis ( Thank You Travis!) as they live the reality of military life moving from place to place. Allison keeps herself  busy caring for her "fur babies" and doing fun craft projects like: 
Twine and coffee filter wreath
Framed Yarn Art
And how cute is this for Thanksgiving? : 
In addition to hosting a weekly link party: 
Catch a Glimpse button
which is going on right now so you should go link something up, she also has a weekly feature called Tasty Tuesday. She had me at: 
OREO Fudge and Ice Cream Cake
So go visit Allison. This week's BFF at The Answer Is Chocolate!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Winter Wonderland Tags ...

and playing with Picnik. I usually just upload my photos without doing much to them except maybe cropping them. But I was waiting for something and decided to play around on Picnik before posting one and it was so much fun. If you missed their Halloween themes and effects, they have some for Thanksgiving and I'm sure will have some for Christmas in addition to the standard holiday effects they have all the time.

I've been busy making colorful tags and cards for an upcoming show and must have been going through neutral withdrawal so decided to make some neutral tags. Just used scraps, a punch, and cut the tags on my Expression. Combine that with some gold rhinestones, copper eyelets, and Picnik and:

Natural Snowflake Tags
I played with the "snow" effect in Picnik and used the "museum matte" frame option. It's hard to tell from a picture, but I punched several snowflakes out and layered them (sometimes alternating colors, sometimes not) using small foam dots. It gives a nice dimension to the tags.

Poor plain old un-Picnik'd snowless tags.

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