Monday, August 31, 2009

Pleasant Reminders

I had a very enjoyable and productive weekend! Lots of movement forward, and that's very important to me! I listed many new items this weekend! And I had a few sales as well. Yay!

I've been struggling a bit with other's negativity lately. Trying to let it all flow by, without absorbing it. And for the most part it's working. However, still not 100%. I get a daily email called "Daily Karma". This is what it said today:

"Think positive. Stop negative thoughts. Don't take things personally. Realize it's not all about you."

Wow. It's funny how I keep getting reminders. Thank you.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Meet creativedesignz

1 . What is your craft of choice, and how long have you been doing that?
I have two passions. My jewellery and my photography. I have been doing both for about 5 yrs.
2. How did you get started?
My jewellery designing started back when my oldest daughter was 2. she found some pretty beads and immediately wanted to make herself a bracelet. so i bought some findings and after playing around with the beads, i decided i could get hooked on this. My photography started about 5 yrs ago when the oldest daughter was 1. we used to live near the beach so would take her for walks there and play in the caves nearby. when i wanted to capture special moments of her i found myself taking my camera along everyday after that.
3. What is your inspiration?
I guess seeing as my daughter helped me find my create side and it all started with her, i have her to thank. Since then my youngest whos now 3 has a flair for spotting good photo opportunities too.
4. How long have you been on Etsy?
Since September 2006 - nearly 3 years ago
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully opening my own shop or at least have some of my peices on display in a great high end shop somewhere being admired but hundreds of people.
6. What is the most challenging thing about having an online business?
That i spend alot of time in my shop. However that also means spending money on supplies which isnt a bad thing either. So i guess thats a positive.
7. What is the most rewarding thing about having an online business?
The money helps but knowing that my lovely items are being sent all over the world and its a fantastic feeling that its been appreciated somewhere else too.
8. How does your internet business fit into your life? Is it your job or do you have another job as well?
I am a full time mother so yes i have a job besides Etsy and can be challenging at times trying to juggle both, but i try to make a little time each day to construct something that reflects a bit of me that i end up loving.
9. When you are not crafting, how do you spend your time?
With my gorgeous children 6 &3 down at the park or zoo where i can take photos of them enjoying themselves. so i do take my work with me :)
10. Are there any links you’d like to share?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Crisp Clean air After a Storm

You know how right after a rainstorm, the air smells so good? It seems charged with positive energy and all is right? Especially a daytime rainstorm where the sun comes out afterwards.

I think that so often, during the storms in our life, we forget how it will feel after. Rain is necessary to make things grow. Adversity is necessary to make us grow. I have always said that I have no regrets in life... because every single thing that has happened to me has made me the person I am today.

Life seems to have so many ups and downs. And all we can control is how we react. I, for instance, am not a confrontational person, and I am a sponge for negativity. I have learned though, how to handle situations where I deal with people respectfully (while keeping them at a distance), and let their negative vibes go right on by. That's a daily lesson for me. Sometimes I pull it off, sometimes I don't. But I'm working on it.

All I have to remember is that no matter what choices I make, I have to live with myself. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Meet 42 Purple Elephants!

1. What is your craft of choice, and how long have you been doing that?
I'd say it's a toss-up between making jewelry and stamping/scrapbooking. I've been making jewelry for around 3 years now and I started stamping and scrapbooking over 7 years ago.
2. How did you get started?

I started scrapbooking when I was pregnant with my older daughter. Both my mother and mother-in-law were just starting around the same time. Shortly after my first daughter was born, I went to my first stamping party and had a lot of fun and have been stamping ever since. Around 3 years ago, my husband decided to make something for me and made a beaded watch. It was beautiful and he started making some other pieces for friends and family. At first I thought it'd be too hard to make jewelry, but the more I watched him, the more I decided I wanted to give it a try. These days, I make more than he does.
3. What is your inspiration?
It depends. Sometimes I pick a color and try to do something with that. Sometimes I pick specific items and see what I can make out of those (with jewelry, I'll sometimes just grab a random set of beads and then see what I can come up with to go with them). 4. How long have you been on Etsy? Since May 20095. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Hopefully in a bigger house where I can have my own craft room! ;)
6. What is the most challenging thing about having an online business?
Taking pictures that look decent. It's harder to sell jewelry online especially because it's definitely something you need to be able to touch and feel. Trying to get pictures that even halfway make up for that is difficult.
7. What is the most rewarding thing about having an online business?
Finding people who like what I make and hearing how much they like what they've ordered after it arrives.
8. How does your internet business fit into your life? Is it your job or do you have another job as well?
I'm a stay-at-home mom, so it fits in well to be able to do it when I have a moment away from the kids or after their bedtime. I do it very part-time right now, and that's how I like it for now.

9. When you are not crafting, how do you spend your time?
If I'm not doing housework, errands, entertaining the kids or any of the other typical "mom" stuff, I read, watch movies and sometimes even manage to go on a date with my husband!
10. Are there any links you’d like to share?

How do you push yourself to stay ahead of the game with your shop?
I try to spend several nights a week making lots of different things so I have something to list just about everyday. I also market as much as possible outside of Etsy even though just posting things on the promotions forums is much easier.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Keep on swimming, swimming, swimming...

Often lately, I remind myself of Dory in Finding Nemo... telling myself to keep on swimming, swimming, swimming...

I've always struggled with patience. And it seems lately that patience is the only survival tool I have. I'm getting quite a lesson! Know what? I'm thankful. Yep, thankful for the struggle. Thankful for having to work VERY hard to meet goals. I'm thankful because it will make the end result all the sweeter!

I wrote a while back about how it's going to be a year of change. Major changes. I will now project that the bulk of those changes won't be complete until about March. And, though the wait is totally against my grain, it's ok. There are many many things I can do in the meantime to work towards them.

It's odd... I know that all the things I do will not speed things up. And that's alright too. I'm just going to keep on swimming, swimming, swimming. So many character changing life lessons... so many opportunities for growth. In this time of adversity, I am thankful. But it's not all adversity, some of it is just life-enriching wonderfulness. Ah, isn't life such an amazing swirl of possibility?

Just remember to keep on swimming!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Meet Tattie Tats

1. What is your craft of choice, and how long have you been doing that?

I currently create one of a kind ladies' hair accessories using vintage neckties, beads, and buttons. I have been making these particular items for a couple of months now, but I have always been crafty. When I was a child, I crocheted hair scrunchies and made barrettes and jewelry from these plastic pieces that you would get hot and then mold into shapes. I would also sew clothes for my Barbie dolls by hand and embroider anything I could get my hands on. In addition, I made quite a few things using plastic canvas, paper, and things I found around the house. My most memorable project consisted of making a pair of "headphones" from a styrofoam Hardee's hot dog tray, some twist ties, and a bunch of beans. I would bop around the house pretending to listen to music. Hey, I was eight. You could say the craft bug bit early. I tend to craft in whatever way interests me in the moment. Right now, it's the hair clips.

2. How did you get started?

After my baby started to pull my long, curly hair like crazy, I went to the salon to get it cut. While I had asked for my hair to be shoulder-length, I wound up with a Victoria Beckham-style bob. Now, that might be fine for some women, but it was not what I wanted and I found that I couldn't do much with it. So, being the crafty lady that I am, I decided that I would make my own hair clips to accentuate my style. Given that I did not own a working sewing machine at the time, hand sewing was a necessity. Using my husband's grandfather's ties came a few days after the initial idea, when I could not find suitable fabric in my one local fabric store.

3. What is your inspiration?

When I made my first tattie, my inspiration was the flowers that hula girls often wear in their hair. The flowers are fun and flirty and I wanted a way to bring that feeling into my everyday life. Being a new mom, I definitely needed to rediscover my inner flirt!Now, my inspiration comes from the material itself. I keep my box of ties out at all times and enjoy mixing and matching patterns in unique ways. I hope to soon have some more of these mixed-up creations listed in my shop. Sometimes, I will pull out a button that I want to use and find fabric that suits it just fine. Other times, I will start with the tie and build from there. Quite often, the piece turns out very different from how I imagined it, but that's part of the fun for me.

4. How long have you been on Etsy?
I joined Etsy in July 2009 with the goal of opening my shop, TattieTats, by July 15, 2009. I am happy to say that I met that goal a day early.

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
You know, I'm really not sure. I try to take things a day at a time, because only God knows what tomorrow will bring. However, I would like to still be a work-at-home mom. My son will be 13 and my daughter will be almost 5 at that point. Perhaps I will be in school finishing up my bachelor's, perhaps not. I would like to have expanded my product line to include home goods, or have opened another successful Etsy shop consisting of linens and things. I have lots of ideas in this regard. I would also like to be a regular on the local craft show and festival circuit.

6. What is the most challenging thing about having an online business?

Getting the word out and converting visitors to buyers has been the most time consuming aspect of setting up shop. Also, having confidence that people will like my product.

7. What is the most rewarding thing about having an online business?

My first sale was the most exciting moment so far. Also, though, having the hope that I can help my husband support our family while still staying at home.

8. How does your internet business fit into your life? Is it your job or do you have another job as well?

First and foremost, I am a mom to two wonderful children. I also volunteer quite a bit of time as a Boy Scout leader. Admittedly, my business has taken a lot of my time this past month, but finding a good balance is always the key.

9. When you are not crafting, how do you spend your time?

I spend time with my husband and kids. I also spend a lot of time with Cub Scouts and other Boy Scout leaders. I am the Camp and Outdoor Promotion Chair for my local Boy Scouts of America district. This fits well with my family because we do a lot of outdoor activities anyway. I started a vegetable garden this year, which my husband has thankfully taken over, since I have the black thumb of death. Let's see... I also like reading novels and taking long walks on the beach, LOL.

10. Are there any links you’d like to share?

You can find my one of a kind hair accessories at

11. Where do I see my shop in one year?

I want to meet many new friends and have lots of return customers. I hope to have increased my exposure to the point at which I have to visit the post office every day, but even two or three times a week would be super. I also want to have enough profit to be able to invest in the supplies needed to attend a local craft show or two in Fall 2010

Friday, August 21, 2009


I am so amazingly glad that it's Friday! Work is starting to pick up, and there's less boredom. So that's good, but it allows less time for creating. I have gotten spoiled! I feel the need to clean this weekend. Or, more specifically, to organize. I will organize all of my journal supplies, and create.

I'm really loving my motivational/inspirational line. So far, I only have photo prints listed, but other items are coming soon! I have gotten some amazing feedback from the items I've listed. I am thrilled that they have been so well-received!

Tomorrow I sleep in... I will enjoy every minute of the morning and I will move slowly at first. No rushing around! I will start the day in relaxation mode. How will you celebrate the weekend?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Products

I overslept and have no time for blogging. But you can see my new products here. Many more coming really soon!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I am driven

I have posted this photo before, but I just love it so much, I wanted to share it again. That's me with my wonderful dad! I was talking to dad last night (it had been way too long, I get so caught up in life), and I always learn so much about myself when talking to him!

A friend told me last week "you know, your ears can hear what your mouth says". And guess what I heard my mouth say last night?? I said, to my dad, "you know, I'm so driven, that it's very hard for me to accept when others aren't." Laziness is a quality that does not set well with me. But, I do know people who are not driven whatsoever. Ok, Robyn, so what?? It's time to move on. I am not going to install a chip in them to give them motivation, so I need to stop letting it affect me.

And Dad, yes, I'm very driven. But it's alright, because I do a lot of self-care as well. I go to bed early, since I get up early. I eat well, I stay hydrated. I just try to stay on top of the millions of ideas whirring in my soul. And yesterday, I took a nap. It was glorious!

I am rambling a bit here. But, as usual, my mind is going into overdrive, and it's not even 5am.

Please go here to see a feature about me, and enter my giveaway!

And while you're here... please leave me a comment. Either about my post or what YOU do to stay motivated

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

An Amazing Day

Yesterday was quite an amazing day! It brought many many sales in my Etsy shop and also a custom journal request! It was exciting! And today, I'm going to the post office. Life is pretty awesome at times, isn't it?

I have been thinking a lot about my dad lately. I really must call him tonight. I get so caught up in my little world sometimes. Time to do better!

I have been pondering the thought of putting together a PDF of how-to's on journal making for my shop. Either that or an online class. I'd love thoughts about that. I'm a little nervous here, so any input would be really appreciated!

And I'm still working on my new product line. Here's your first clue. Inspirational. Yep, that's all I'm giving you for now :-)

I hope today is just as amazing as yesterday, for all of us, in every way possible!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fall is about renewal to me

I know, I know... to everyone out there, Spring is about renewal. But Fall has always been laid out for renewal for me. Back to school time just seems like the most obvious time to start on new projects.

And that's exactly what I'm going to do! I have many things on clearance in my shop, in order to make room for a new product line. (I know, my shop could hold an infinite number of products, but I like to keep it between 100-120). I am working on this new line, and will be unveiling it within 2 weeks.

I had a wonderful summer with my boys. It seems like each summer I get to know them so much better than I ever had before. I am so thankful, and so blessed. They are amazing young men!

I hope for a productive week. What are you up to?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

On a quest

As many of my regular readers know, I've been on a quest lately. I have been searching for my authentic self, and I know that when I fully realize that, I have all the tools to be happy in every area. However. When you do such a search, things are thrown in your face like big stop signs, showing you all the areas that are wrong.

Yesterday, such a stop sign was thrown up. And I realize that not ONLY do I need to work on all the areas that I've already been working on... but I seriously need to fix this one or nothing else will work.

More soul-searching. And it's something that I've known in the back of my mind for a very long time. Yes, something that I've tried to forge onward as is and ignore all the negativity brought into my life by it. But after yesterday, I don't think that's going to be possible.

So. Even more big changes in my life. And it's scary! I am one to dig my heels in to change. I make lists, I write schedules, and I don't readily take to deviations from that plan. So, schedule this change in, the little voice in my head just said. *sigh*

The biggest question... do I dare to make such a life-altering, financial survival type of plan in this economy? I have to think. And I have to meditate. And I need to write all my thoughts and see myself through this.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How I see things

When I started photography, how I viewed things changed. I think back and I can't even fathom how much I was oblivious to before. Now I see things at various angles, I see the tiny details, I see it framed. And I think it flows into other areas.

I know people who have no idea what is around them. They appreciate nothing. They go through life with blinders. I think being observant to all around you prepares you for what's going to happen. If you are looking diligently while on a walk, for instance, you will not be startled when that deer comes out of the woods on the path in front of you. Instead, you will be fully prepared to observe (either through the viewfinder or not) every moment of it.

Life is to be savored. To savor, you have to see. I'm not saying everyone should be taking up photography. I'm just saying that it's much more enjoyable when you are actually aware of your surroundings, and being in awe of things around you is just an added bonus!

Yes, this is not really about photography. I'm just saying that's when *my* viewpoints changed. It made me wake up to all around me.

I hope we can all be very aware of all around us today... the good and the bad. We have to realize it before we can deal with any of it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Being Inspired

I took this photo in Utah the last time I was visiting my dad. I just went through my 'Utah Pictures' file and was so inspired all over again. Sunday I am hoping to get some photo time in, though it may be the weekend after. Soon though.

I did go take photos at Portland State University last Sunday. Such a gorgeous area down there, both on the campus, and the area surrounding. So look for some more photos in my shop soon!

I have a lovely bunch of friends that I've met on Etsy, and I've been encouraged to list some sepia-toned photos. Today I hope to tweak some angel photos and list them. I'm slowly getting back in the groove, where I am working forward.
Yesterday, I had a terrible day. Very emotional. All day long at work, I fought back tears. I was just so sad. Many reasons, none of them pressing or new. It was really unusual for me. I didn't market, didn't promote. I almost drove to somewhere to go have a good cry after work. I do know that sometimes that torrential sort of sobbing can be cleansing. But I left work and went home. And I put on a happy face and spent the evening with my boys. They always soothe my soul. Hopefully today will be a better day, emotionally.
Keep an eye out in my shop today for some sepia-tone angel photos. And if you see them, please do give an opinion! Dipping my toes in the water here, and every little bit of input helps! Also, I listed my fairy print yesterday with 'sepia' as one of the alternate photos, so be sure to look at that as well!
I hope today brings everything you need!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Meet Marley

We had a visitor yesterday. Her name is Marley. Marley is a wallaroo and my friend Heather is her foster mom til she gets weaned off of the bottle. The pic shows my oldest son offering Marley some blueberries-- which she loved!

It was a wonderful, full weekend. And I hope for a wonderful week for all...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Coming Soon

I've been moving in some new directions, I've mentioned that several times. So what does that mean? Well here's some things to look out for:

I'm moving in a new direction with my photography. I'll still take some photos of flowers and such, but I will also be adding new subject matter soon.

I'll be posting artisan interviews on my blog. One per week, but I'm thinking of doing several the first week to kick start it.

Giveaways. Yep, I will be hosting giveaways. Both for my products, and for others.

Challenges, and tutorials. We all want to be the best, and do our best... let's support one another to get there! If you'd like to be featured in an interview, a giveaway, a challenge, or a tutorial, please contact me!
By the way, the photo I featured today is one I listed last night that sold quickly. Any of the photos in my shop can be made black and white (as I did with this one), so if you have a request, please let me know.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Being Mindful

When I took Tuesday off, I got up at my normal workday time. 4 am. I didn't want to sleep in, and waste part of my day on sleep. My boys didn't get up til 8:30 or so, so I had over 4 hours alone. It was amazing how much I got done around the house!

In addition to blogging, taking photos of my journals, and listing my journals, I also washed dishes, mopped the kitchen floor, scrubbed both bathrooms and did laundry. It was a very productive morning! We have a dishwasher, but I had not replenished our supply of dishwasher detergent. So I washed all the dishes by hand (something I have not really done at home for years).

I first did a bit of meditation, and remembered something I had read about being mindful in all things, even washing dishes. I was aware of every movement. Aware of every speck of food getting washed away, then of rinsing each and every dish completely. Rinsing all the suds off just as I need to rinse the negativity away. Washing those dishes was the most rewarding of all the chores I did that morning.

In all things, I should be mindful. I am working on that.

On a side note, I made it past 100 fans on facebook!!! And I'm having a special 'fan appreciation sale'. If you've not received your sale notice, contact me at

I hope you have a wonderful day

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back to work...

I had a wonderful day off yesterday. I took my boys out for breakfast, did a little shopping with them, made journals, and we went to eat at a restaurant in Portland simply because we saw it on The Food Network.

I so enjoy spending time with my boys. Isn't it amazing how the revolution of your world changes once you have children? And watching them grow from children to young adults is quite amazing.

Last school year, we had a 17 year old stay with us. He was amazingly difficult and our job was to get him off probation and help him finish school. Every single day was a struggle. He was never appreciative, many times downright hateful, we were swimming upstream for about 9 months. We got him clean though. And off probation. And going to school. Until he once again gave up on himself. Then he started it all up again and stopped going to school. He ran away and has been in heaps of trouble since.

I only tell you that because he has made me appreciate my children so much! In comparison, mine are amazing. And I always knew I had good boys, but now I am more than thankful. Every meal we make or provide for them... they thank us. They ask what they can do to help me when I'm working. And if they need money, they ask what they can do to earn it!

I am very blessed. What fine young adults they are turning into!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A day off

Today I'm taking the day off! I am spending it with my boys. It will be a relaxing day, with a trip to the craft store and some journal making. I'm also going to photo some completed journals and list them. For dinner, we are going to a local cafe that they saw on Food Network. I think it's going to be a wonderful day!

I will be running a sale exclusively for my fans on facebook soon! If you'd like to be included, please click on the link that says 'become a fan' at

You know how you go to clean your house... and it's always dirtier before it gets clean? I think that's how my life is right now. I need to stir some stuff up to get it all in order. I know that I'm moving forward, no matter how small the steps are. I'll get there... just not much of a sprinter :-)
I hope that all of you have a wonderful day! Etsy artisan interviews coming soon!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Always Moving Forward

I now have a facebook business page! If you have facebook, please click on the "become a fan" link... why? Because I'll be posting each and every new Etsy listing on there, and having special sales for my fans periodically! Maybe a giveaway here and there as well! It can be found at:

I will be featuring etsy artisans in interviews again soon. I used to run this every Wednesday, but we'll see where it falls now. If you'd like to be interviewed, please email me, or leave me a comment!
I feel a new direction coming on in my photography and in my shop. I hope to add some new stuff very soon. Of course, I'll keep you aprised of it (though you'll know quicker if you fan me ;-P).
I'm still putting one foot in front of the other... taking life one day at a time, one breath at a time.

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