Sunday, December 8, 2013

Spreading holiday cheer!!!

Everyone who knows me knows how much I love to make things from my photography. Over the past years I have definitely been a bit over zealous when it came to making any of my new creations. While hundreds of items have found new homes through sales at local shows, on my own website & through my awesome shop on Zibbet, I have still found myself with way too many left at home.

Sales dropped significantly over the past couple years. So all my creations sat. I don’t have a brick & mortar store front either so lately the only way to see what I offer, is to be online.

I have felt for some time now that having this inventory in my home has held me back. I have had so many fun & great ideas of things to create. Yet they are seldom making it past either the idea phase or the sample phase. How can I even think of creating more when I still have all this here? And so the idea to share my work was born … in a coffee shop with a friend who was so helpful.

There are so many things any of us can get involved in these days. So many people to help or support. I chose seniors. Those who are spending their golden years in assisted living centers or small ‘family homes’ type of places. I chose 5 in my local area to go to, finding them from recommendations of other locals on Facebook.

I made the rounds on Friday to see if I could even do what I wanted. My idea was to wrap an open box in holiday paper & fill it with unwrapped gifts. I would provide a note to explain to the residents why this box was here & how it worked. I would provide enough in each box for each resident to take up to 2 things. For Free. Just because. They would be able to keep them for themselves, or give them as a gift to someone for the holidays. My offer was met with confusion at first. I wanted to do what? But why? Once I explained everything, staff were more open & even excited. I wonder if they doubted whether or not I would return the next day as promised. I was able to set up all 5 deliveries for Saturday afternoon, which was so much fun!

My wonderful husband helped me out with deliveries & photos. He often thinks I’m crazy for the things I want pictures of, but he always indulges me.

Now that I had a better feeling for just how much I would be able to share, I got to work making the lists of what went into each box. Sitting on the living room floor with tons of bookmarks, note cards, prints & coasters around me I began to make sense of it all. I jotted down every single item in each box. The amount of fun I was having, even under a deadline to leave the house by 2, was enormous!

Each place I delivered to was so happy & thankful for my gifts & generosity. They smiled & so did I! I asked hubby to take a picture of me in front of each place with my box. He laughed, but he did it. The only one we missed was the last place but only because it was a family home & trying to fit anything in a photo was kind of hard.

My total retail value of gifts for all 5 places came to over $1800.

Total seniors reached? About 180.

I now have a full heart & a few empty containers. I'm ready to face the new year making my ideas come to life again!
Cherry Lane Country Haven

Hearthstone Cottage

Highgate Senior Living

Blossom Valley Assisted Living

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Blowout Sale Event

Fellow artisans all over Zibbet (where my main shop is!) are gearing up for a huge handmade holiday sales event. It is an effort to bring more awareness to the awesomeness that is handmade!

We can’t offer the deals the big box stores can give you for Black Friday or even Cyber Monday. What we can do, is offer you some small discount to perhaps encourage you to give handmade a second look. This is not your grandmother’s handmade crafty-ness. This is today’s handmade. This is top notch quality work done by an array of people you would never guess.

I will participate in this event with 10 to 50% off a variety of items within my shop. Since I can’t randomly markdown individual items however much I want (site restrictions) I’ll make a special sale section in my shop. All items there will show the sale price & in the beginning of each item description I will note the original price so you can see your savings. Sale prices will be in effect from Black Friday through Cyber Monday .... November 29 - December 2, 2013.

All sale items will be a first come type deal. Once an item is sold out, it is gone forever. I have an awesome surprise coming up that involves me removing over half my inventory for a great cause … so if you see something that suits your fancy or you think would make a great gift for yourself or that special someone on your list … grab it while you can. Next week, it might be among the items that will be gone forever!

I will post all about this big deal later in the week so keep an eye out!

It is my sincere hope that all my readers who celebrate, have a most heartwarming holiday! … and don’t eat too much!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Time to face the excuses

It seems that even if you aren’t being productive or creative, the days still keep going along. Whether you stop to blog about the days (or week or month!) accomplishments or not, the days keep going. Pretty soon you realize that long periods of time have moved along while you were busy looking the other way.

I know this feeling first hand. I have come back to my space here a few times & I always say I need to write. I need to update. And just as quickly, I am distracted onto something else. I am working now, to begin to correct this.  If I don’t want to end up with a real world time clock job, I need to begin again to revive my passion(s). I need to find myself again. This, is what I’m working on now.

With the holidays approaching I am faced again with the same products I created years ago. In early 2012 I began to create what are now called Meditation Sets. I also made some fun soap dishes. Both were made from beautiful OLD California redwood scraps. This year? Yeah, I made lots of excuses but no new creations that went further than the idea or sample stage.

When you stop to think about this lack of creative juice flow, you can see how in the big picture of things, it can cause you stress. I know it has for me. The stress of not seeing your creations move. The stress of trying to keep up with new marketing ideas. The stress of a shrinking balance in your checkbook that causes you to wonder how ends will meet.  Stress is awful & can have a huge effect on life. I’m working on this.

For the past couple of years I have felt stuck, creativity wise. I felt like I could not make new things with all the old things I have here. How could I justify making more new stuff when I still had stuff I made back in …. 2008? Come to find out, this was an excuse. Even so, I could not find a way to get past it. Well, that is until last Friday. I had coffee with a girlfriend. We chatted about lots of things. An awesome idea came out of that coffee break for me. A way to let go of so much of this old(to me) product without just saying “throw it away”, which, I certainly can’t bring myself to do. I will make a complete post about it as soon as I have photos to share with it. Hoping it all can come together by week’s end.

So over the next few weeks this whole site will continue to get facelifts & changes. I already love my new header which I created. I’m working on new focused business cards & I’m just excited in general about what almost feels like a new found freedom to create again.  Stay tuned!