Saturday, December 1, 2012
I apologize for my November absence...life got super busy and I had no time to blog.
I miss you guys...so I'm baaaaaaackkk!
This morning my youngest son was sitting at the counter making a paperclip necklace.
As I was watching him this concept clicked in my brain..
Why not make a Christmas Garland???
So I did :)
I had a brand new box of Paperclips from the Dollar Store. I grabbed all the Reds and Greens and starting the Garland making process.
I will admit this is super easy..but it was really fun and relaxing.
Voila! There you have it. An inexpensive, yet festive Garland!
Here are some idea's I came up with to do with this Garland...
After securing it (with either string, or hooks, whatever you choose)
Hang Ornaments from it
Hang Stockings from it
Leave it as is cause it's so cute
Make a super long one and wrap it around your Christmas Tree! You can also hang your Ornaments off of the Garland once it's on the tree!
That's my favorite idea.
And what we plan to do with ours.
Have a great day everyone!!!
Posted by Nicole at 8:56 AM
Friday, October 26, 2012
So it's 7:30 in the morning and child #2 decides he want's to do an art project...mmkay....let's do it!
With my coffee cup in hand I sat by and supervised while my mini artist went to town on some Fall Pom Pom Art.
I'll admit...I'm a control freak when it comes to art...it takes everything I have not to say "Don't put that there! Do it this way! Ugh..really?" Ok maybe a few of those slip out from time to time LOL but I do try hard to just let my 5yr old do his own art how he see's fit.
So with out further a do here is what we've been up to this morning..
I printed out a nice tree on Card Stock
We broke out the markers and my little artist got to work
This is serious business..as you can tell by the fact that he is now sitting on the kitchen counter LOL..almost done with the coloring!
Now for the the best part..the gluing of the Pom Pom's!
I ended up taking over the gluing process..it's just to early in the day and I haven't had enough coffee yet for him to have full access to the glue.
The finished product!
I think it turned out fabulously!!
Here's my little Artist..he's so proud!
It's apparent that we do our best work in the morning while sport'n our bathrobes :)
All in all this was a super fun project...child #2 loved it, and it turned out great.
The best part...I got to finish my cup of coffee and watch my little boy create his masterpiece!
Posted by Nicole at 8:10 AM
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
I apologize for my lack of Blog Posts lately...
I've been crazy busy with Soccer, Kids, Life, and well...making jewelry ;)
I've been thoroughly enjoying making jewelry lately. I've been using a lot of Jump Rings and decided that I needed to make my own instead of spending far too much money on pre-made ones.
So here's what I did:
I gave my husband a Jump Ring and he went out and bought me a metal bar that was the same size. He had one of his employees drill a hole in it for me so that I could put a piece of wire in it.
I put the metal piece into a drill and locked it in...I'm not going to lie, my husband had to help me with this.
Then I put some wire in the little hole, wrapped it around the bar once and then slowly turned on the drill.
It makes a big coil super fast..SO EASY!
I removed the coil from the metal bar and then cut up the middle with wire cutters.
JUMP RINGS!! Seriously this was so easy, cheap, fast and really fun. I used a 20 gauge wire, but I would prefer a stronger wire. This is by far a much more cost effective way of using Jump Rings...
I used a metal bar/stick...but I'm sure a wood one would work just fine.
Here's some of the items I've been working on and added to my Etsy Shop recently:
So that's what I've been up to :) Have a fabulous day!
Posted by Nicole at 7:41 AM
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Have you ever head of Finger Knitting?
It's so much fun, and very relaxing.
All you need is Yarn, and Fingers...That's it!
The best part about Finger Knitting is that it's great for all ages. It's super D duper easy, and a great way to wind down after a long day.
Last night I made this Scarf..I started it at my son's Soccer Practice, and ended it while watching my night time shows once the kids went to bed.
Cute huh? I used a thick Black Chenille Yarn. I suggest using a thicker yarn, it just looks better.
The result is almost like a tube scarf. Mine turned out like it had ruffles...and I love that!
Here is a a video that I found on Pinterest that is perfect for learning how to Finger Knit:
I read that one woman has her young kids Finger Knit while she reads them books...I love that idea.
Both my boys want to learn, so I am going to teach them. I figure it would be a great way to keep them quiet on long car rides.
A girl can dream right?
Or a great rainy day activity...it's about that season.
So watch the video, grab some yarn and start knitting!
You'll love it, and you'll really love how easy it is :)
Friday, September 28, 2012
Today I thought I'd share with you some tips about Craft Shows that I've learned over the years.
I'm in no way a "know it all" when it comes to this topic, however I do several Craft Shows/Bazaars every year, and thought I could pass along any advice to those just starting out :)
In no particular order:
Always make sure you bring enough "change" with you. $1, $5, and $10 bills are a hot commodity. There is nothing worse than not being able to complete a sale because you don't have the change to give them.
If you can, have someone come with you to the Craft Show. Having someone help you set up/take down, give you a potty break, and to support you helps a lot. I've been very fortunate that my Mother comes with me to my shows. She talks my products up to customers, helps me set up, and if I need more attention to my booth she'll act like a customer lol...hey it works!
Ask if you can get a discount if you provide your own table. Some will offer this discount right off the bat, but others won't. It never hurts to ask. My last show had a $40 fee, but I received a $10 discount for providing my own table. Every little bit helps!
Greet your customers with a warm welcome and a smile every time. Yes, it gets exhausting, but let's face it, you are there to make money. Be open to answering any questions. Sitting in a chair, ignoring your customers when they are looking at your product is a big NO NO...if you look uninterested, then it's a big turn off for the consumer.
So you spend 10 minutes answering questions and talking with a customer, and then they walk away with out buying anything...don't pull your hair out! It will happen...every....single....time.
However, if you are kind and thank them for stopping by, there is a very large chance they will stop back by.
Some people like to walk around the whole show/bazaar and look at everything first, then go back around and purchase items.
Always have your prices available to see...people will hesitate to buy something if there isn't a price on it, and some are too shy to ask.
If you don't want to put a price tag on the item...display a large price sheet at your booth for your customers to see. This is the method I choose to go with.
Don't forget to hand out your business card! Give one to anyone who will take it. From the folks that just stop by, to the people who purchase an item.
Make sure your contact info is on there, so that your customers can contact you for future sales and or questions.
Have little shopping bags to give people. For me, I have a lot of smaller items, so it's hard for people to hold it all. I always provide a shopping bag to put purchased items in.
If you have large items, this may not be necessary.
Display a banner with your business info on it. This is my banner for when I sell my Duct Tape Items. I think it makes my booth look more professional and put together.
Pay attention to your show...what I mean by that is.... If your show is at a school, make items in that schools colors or with their mascot. If it's a sports event, make sports themed items too. Just a few items that go with the theme of where your show is located can make a huge difference. People love familiarity.
Don't be opposed to offering discounts. Such as a BOGO (buy one get one half off), or buy two get this smaller item for free.
People appreciate discounts..ok MOST people do. If someone asks me for a discount, I will most likely go for it depending on the item and how much of a discount they are asking for. I want to sell my items. Maybe it's only a $1off, no biggie for me, but it means a lot to them, and I made a sale.
If a customer buys a lot of one particular item, I will throw in a free one for them. It gets people to come back, and it shows you appreciate their business.
Do this or don't do this, and never feel obligated to give a discount, if you don't want to then don't, that's the best part of being your own boss. :)
Often times I will have merchandise that isn't moving as fast as I'd like. This goes into my sale bucket. I like to have some items at discounted prices. Everyone likes to save money.
Make friends with the vendors around you. Swap business cards! That way you guys can let each other know when a good show is coming up, or possibly bounce ideas off each other.
Keep your booth clean and organized! After a big swarm of people stop by and rummage thru your items, straighten everything up so it looks nice and professional for your next customers.
I must do this a hundred times during a show...then again I'm a bit OCD..but either way, it just looks nicer when everything is in it's place :)
This is THE most frustrating part for me...try not to strangle the kids that are left unattended by their parents and come mess up your booth. Kids like to touch...A LOT...and sometimes that's fine. However, if a child has Cotton Candy all over his hands and he man handles your handmade merchandise...I can tell you from experience it's beyond frustrating. As a mother, I would never allow my kids to do this, but we all parent differently. We are working with the public here. Don't be afraid to ask them nicely to not touch...or go find their parent. GRRRR...
Have fun! Be proud of your work, stand by it, take in all the compliments people throw your way and enjoy selling your handmade crafts!!
I hope these tips help you in some way....I could go on and on. Each new show I do, I learn something new, and I love that!
Posted by Nicole at 9:05 AM
Friday, September 21, 2012
I made these delish Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars today for my hubby...
It's Friday and I thought I'd make him a treat to munch on after the kids go to bed :)
These are made just like Rice Crispie Treats but with Cheerios instead.
There are lots of flavor combination's you can do with this, but let me share this recipe first.
You will need:
10oz Bag of Marshmallows
1/4 Cup of Butter (half a stick)
8 Cups of Cheerios
Melt Butter and Marshmallows in pan on the stove on medium low heat.
Once it's all melty and creamy, add the 8 cups of Cheerios.
Stir until all the Cheerio's are coated, and put them in a 9x13 pan.
Or pan of your choice.
Or pan of your choice.
Press down to squish them together and make the top flat.
Let them cool, and then cut into squares.
Then you can devour this little baby...doesn't it look good?!
With my bars, after I pressed them down in the pan, I sprinkled some Mini Reeces Pieces on top..for a little extra kicker.
Now let's talk flavor combo's...
Cheerios have so many flavors out now..
Banana, Chocolate, Honey Nut, Caramel...just to name a few.
Mix and match, or use flavored Marshmallows like Chocolate.
You can add in extras like I did with the Reeces, such as:
Chocolate Chips (white, milk, dark chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter)
Nuts (Peanuts, Cashews, Almonds)
Lot's of options here guys...you make them as plain as you'd like or get crazy with it and make up some real flavorful treats!
These are so easy and quick to make.