Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2017 Resolutions?

I've been putting off this post for awhile now for two reasons: 1. I was hoping I would get over it and get back to normal soon and 2. I'm being real and showing a weakness and I don't want everyone knowing about my flaws! But for the few and true readers I have, I owe an explanation to you.

So I'll just go ahead and say it: I'm not sure I want to keep going with my Etsy business.

There. It's out.

I really do love designing and creating things, that is my passion, but I'm starting to question if it's really worth it.

Is this worth not being able to spend as much time with my kids and be fully present? Is it worth not being able to fully emotionally support my husband? I'm not really making any money, so is the payback worth sacrificing my time away from my family??

Every blogger who has made it big will admit they were not present with their families and took a lot of time away from them so they could exert all of their energy on their work. Every. Single. One. (Trust me, I did a lot of research this year.) I know success comes from hard work and I'll admit I wasn't working to the core, but I still worked hard and feel like a failure because I still feel like I'm at square one.

Well, square two because I have learned so much, but I haven't progressed forward.

Last year I put a lot of effort into getting into festivals and craft shows and worked hard to get my inventory/booth set up ready for those shows. It's stressful and it really takes a lot of time and I don't even make things that take hours to make! (Like pottery or handbags.) I really love preparing for these shows, but the financial outcome isn't worth the time. If I started actually making money, I'll be honest, I think it would be worth it, but right now, I'm really questioning if this is my path.

I also made a lot of different items other than prints and was really hoping that would help me take off. Maybe it's because people don't love them or maybe it's because I'm not getting enough exposure?? It's so hard to pinpoint what my issues are with my products. I'll get a lot of positive feedback, but I'm not making a profit, so I'm really at a loss with what my problem is.

This past year I've listened to and watched countless webinars, podcasts and YouTube videos brought on by really amazing and worthwhile people who really do have information to offer and help. I really believe they were never telling me lies and that all of the information was true and what helped them "make $100,000 in 1 year." In all seriousness, they were excellent sources for my research and not scammers. Their successes were true and worked for them. I've tried to implement their advice and I know I'm not doing everything right, but I feel like what I am doing should make some sort of difference and frankly, it's not.

And I don't even want to go into all of the time it takes to market and take photos and the different advertising I tried...  And the stress of needing to post everyday! The time you have to spend on Instagram and Pinterest is insane in order to obtain and keep a following! Every big blogger says they spend at least an hour a day on Instagram so they can grow their following..! It blows my mind! These people really have worked hard to get where they're at and I'm really impressed with their stamina because one year of this has blown me out of the water.

What I want for my business is what you could say is maybe the new American dream, to make the quality of my life better. I want to help my family out financially so we can do more things together. As much fun as I have designing and creating things, it really boils down to making money to make it worth my time and that's why I'm so discouraged. I'm discouraged my hard work hasn't paid off and it has literally left me exhausted and wiped out.

This whole post probably sounds like I'm whining and making excuses, but I guess that's really what it's come to be! Haha! I'm tired and exhausted from working hard and not seeing results. So with the new year I've found it really hard to stay motivated when all I'm thinking in the back of my head is, "I don't want another year like 2016." I don't want to put so much of my energy and time into nothing. 2017 for me will probably turn out to be my "Make it or break it year." If I don't make any progress this year, I'm thinking I'll call it quits. Which is totally making me cringe to type out. I don't like quitting. I don't like excuses. But with a family, I feel like I need to choose one or the other because I can't keep teetering and holding them on my string.

Wow, this feels so good to get out.

Moving on.

So as I'm going through this phase of needing a break (if it is a phase...), just know I will not really be posting much on here. I won't be offended if you don't want to follow me anymore. Who you want to follow and spend your time on is totally up to you, which is why I felt compelled to give a heads up on why I won't be very active on my blog, FaceBook and Instagram. There have been bloggers I've followed and then realized they haven't posted something for over a year and I'm like, "Why am I still following this person??" So I'm just trying to be honest and courteous!

I am, however, still very much interested in client work. As of right now, that's where I feel like my focus should be going, opposed to having an Etsy shop with goods I've made and want to sell. I've gotten back to making my website and I'm having it catered more to my freelance designing. I have no idea when it'll be done, but it is something I am working on and is one of my resolutions for this year. So feel free to email me if you want to work with me!

Also, can I just say how nice it has been to just read in my spare time?? Maybe all I really do need is a big break!

Until next post (whenever that is), take care! And I hope 2017 is good to all of us!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Winner of the Giveaway! - the Jenson's Christmas Card

Miranda won my annual custom Christmas card giveaway! She had these nice family photos and wanted to incorporate the colors into the design. She wanted just s simple greeting and a graphic on the back. 

I hope you're having a great new year!  

Friday, December 23, 2016

Floral Baby's First Birthday Party + Free Printable

I really like having unique parties. I don't like doing what everyone else is doing and even though florals and geometric shapes are super trendy right now, this color combination isn't which is how I feel it's different!

I was once told if you do something different, at least one thing needs to be familiar so people actually "get it." The example was if you're going to do a space movie and everything is all space-y with different planets and lots of new things, you need to keep the people human. Or the opposite route would be to have aliens on planet Earth - the aliens are different, but planet Earth is familiar. Makes sense, right?

Ok, off my teaching box.

So I love this color combination and how this baby girl birthday party isn't just PINK. Now without further ado, I bring you my baby's first birthday party.
I always need to have a date guests need to RSVP by. People seem to respond better when there's a deadline! ;) And it gives me the time I need to have a general idea of how much food to plan.
Time capsule. Read further for details.
Why yes, this entire party was themed from her dress! Perfect inspiration! 
This photo sums up my baby girl perfectly.
Baby's first piggy bank is a cute little touch for decor and it gives guests the option to drop a few bucks if they feel inclined to do so...
I made a time capsule and it was the best decision I have ever made. My husband saw that story, Letters from Heaven, which went viral about the girl who opened her time capsule when she turned 18 and she said it was the best birthday present ever, and he suggested we do it for our little girl too.

I wanted to create that same magical moment for my little one and asked the guests to bring a letter instead of gifts. Being the second girl, she already has everything she needs and the letters will be such a treasure when she's able to open them.
My floral letter "S" which turned out to look like the number "8" instead... (insert laughing/crying emoji here)

 Party favors!
I had an array of ages with the guests who came, so I decided to do different favors. I found some really fun ice cream lip glosses I got for the girls, toy rocket launchers for the boys, and just candy for the adults.
 Sweet baby. All professional photos were done by Xpressions Photography.

 Month by month photo banner, except with this one I decided to make a game out of it.
 I mixed the photos and the guests had to guess the correct order. Whoever got the most correct won!
I strung the pictures with twine and made the tissue paper flowers from a tutorial I found at Design Every Day.
For the flower banner I got my inspiration from A Practical Wedding, but instead of real flowers I used fake flowers and added knots of twine and crazy-fun pom-pom string.
It made for a great center piece and everyone seemed to enjoy the little game! It was a lot harder than they all thought it would be.
Guess Baby's Age free printable can be found here.

I also had her Baby Book and Baby Calendar (for milestones) laid out in case anyone wanted to look at them. If I was really on top of my game I would've made a little video of her with the videos of her first year. I'm going to try and make one for her time capsule.
I had the party at 3:00pm because that was after her nap so she'd be happy and rested. But because it wasn't at a meal time I just served snacks.

String cheese is her favorite food so I had to have that.
I made these little snack cups mostly for the kids, but everyone ended up enjoying them! They had Chex, peanuts, pretzel sticks and colored marshmallows.
 And then you can never go wrong with chips and guac.
 I made a cake for the guests to enjoy and...
 her own little smash cake because a one year old party isn't complete without a good cake smash!
Her time capsule box at the end of the party full of lots of lovely letters, party string, her hat and a dollar bill.

Here's the explanation for the dollar bill: another activity I love to do is this Korean tradition they do for their babies. I don't know what it's called, but you lay out 4 objects (paint brush = creativity, book = intelligence, string = long life, money = wealth) and whichever one the baby chooses will supposedly be what they become as an adult! And my baby chose the dollar bill. So it's just a fun little tradition and it will be fun to see if it comes true or not! (And it's also a great time filler because there's not a whole lot you can do for a one year old party!)

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If you're looking for a custom party package please email me and we can get started!
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Card for the Traveler


My cute Mom has been a regular Christmas card client for the past few years and asked me to do theirs this year! My parents went to two nice vacations this year and since Christmas cards are the time where you are able to humbly brag about how great your life is (not my quote! Credit goes to The Daily Tay! I thought it was incredibly accurate for how Christmas cards go.), those two vacations were the highlight of the card.

They toured parts of Europe which was why we decided on "Happy Christmas" and then when you turn over the back they also went to Hawaii so we also put "Mele Kalikimaka!"

I'm still taking card designs if you are last minute and want me to take care of it for you! I can do 25 for $25. If you want more I can give you a price quote.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Star Wars Party Package Printables - FREE!

In honor of Rogue One coming out, here is a fun and free Star Wars party package to help celebrate!

I threw this party last year for my Star-Wars-fanatic husband's 30 year old birthday party! He's not into parties, but it was the big 3-0, so we had a party.
It was so much fun creating this and want to share it with you so you can have a fun party too! Check out the photo below for what I have included in this mega party package!
(More pictures can be found on the original post from last year here!)
For free party package printables, click here.
For Photo Booth printables, click here.

May the force be with you!