Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Anniversary

NOTE: My shop The Beehive is now Papercut Kitchen! Please visit my shop Papercut Kitchen by clicking here.

I can't believe the anniversary of the opening of The Beehive has come and gone and I didn't even realize it! I opened shop on etsy October 17th 2007. I guess it's all the stopping a starting that's got me missing out. Lets hope I can stay open for a solid year this time and have a more memorable anniversary next year!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Birthday To My Mom

I really wanted to post this on her actual birthday but I was late in sending out the gift package of goodies I made for her and didn't want to ruin the surprise. So, Happy Birthday Mom!

You can get a newly listed Autumn Trance bracelet of your own here!

NOTE: My shop The Beehive is now Papercut Kitchen! Please visit my shop Papercut Kitchen by clicking here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Well, Get A Look At That!

NOTE: My shop The Beehive is now Papercut Kitchen! Please visit my shop Papercut Kitchen by clicking here.

Wow, can it be? One of my item photos (my Jesus Saves cards) showing up in the #5 spot of Google image search. The Bohemian called me from work to tell me this wonderful discovery. Ok, this is probably not the big deal I'm making it out to be because it's not like it was my etsy shop showing up #4 on a search but it was still really cool to see! And it was interesting to see where else this image popped up. The coolest place was on Bitter Tonic In their 2007 gift guide The 12 Funniest Gifts To Give This Holiday Season. Pretty awesome because they linked to my shop. The most annoying was on a pastor's blog where he just stole it as an illustration without giving credit or a link. Maybe this shouldn't bother me so much but I really wanted to email him and inform him that a whole lot of work went into getting that photo on the web, the least he could do is credit it. Oh well.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Autumn In Arkansas

I was very honored this afternoon to find that I was in a treasury! It's called AREtsy, Autumn In Arkansas and was created by glassbead, a fellow member of the AREtsy group for artists and crafters of Arkansas. Glassbead makes, by hand, from scratch, the most beautiful glass beads. I don't know how she does it, it must be magic in her hands but you should definitely check out her shop! My featured item is my Year In The Life scrapbook seen in the third row down, far left. Thanks glass!

NOTE: My shop The Beehive is now Papercut Kitchen! Please visit my shop Papercut Kitchen by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mamma vs. Crafter

Sometimes it can be pretty tough to get much of anything accomplished around here, as most of you can imagine! Many of you don't have to imagine because you live it too. The other day I got asked if I was going to list more of my Jesus Saves cards. I was tremendously flattered and of course set about to oblige. Yesterday and today I worked way harder on finishing such a meager number of cards than is healthy for the maintenance of sanity. Good grief, I thought I wouldn't get them finished until the boys moved off to college!

I felt a little guilty being frustrated with my precious angels with a dozen or so smiling Jesus faces staring at me. Soccer goalie or not, He's the baddest cat on this block!

Part of my frustration stemmed from the fact that I was working at the kitchen table, just like the olden days. Why was I doing this when I have a fantastic new craft room at my disposal? I think the next picture might answer that quite nicely!

The whole room looks like this! It's like a paper bomb went off and ever since creating my lovely light box I've been lacking a work table. Ok, I know, if I would take a moment to reorganize and tidy up a bit it would be functional. That's the first thing on my to-do list for tomorrow! Sometimes it's hard to do that part when all you want to do is make stuff!

Some of the interruptions while creating cards today:
  • Lil' Spitfire getting up from nap 4 times
  • Dog needs let out as soon as my bum finally hits the chair
  • Delivery guy brings a delivery, as they're prone to doing (the boys' Halloween costumes, yea!)
  • Mr. Golden Curls tries on his costume
  • The dog "needs" out again
  • Too late for napping now, I let Spitfire get up
  • Spitfire sees his costume so he has to try it on
  • I pin the arms and legs on his costume while he's wearing it. Sort of along the lines of trying to put a sweater on a crazed Chihuahua I imagine.
  • Help Spitfire on/off the potty
  • I rue the decision to let Spitfire get up as he throws a massive tantrum about anything and everything while I frantically try to glue card parts together between (or during) outbursts and timeouts so they'll be finished by the time we leave for church where, for some unknown reason, I've taken on co-teaching the Jr. High Girls Bible Study.
  • I have to referee several fights between two boys, neither of whom took a nap or really even rested and therefore are grumpy and impossible to reason with.

Four hours later I've managed to complete four measly sets of Jesus Saves cards! I know, woe is me! But sometimes it really does feel like woe is me! The amazing thing is that even with all the woe is me-ing I do, being a mamma and getting to stay home with my boys and craft on the side is the most rockin' awesome job I could ever have dreamed of having!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Faking It

Get your mind out of the gutter, I'm talking about light of course! I've been on a mission to improve my product pics these days. I learned the benefits of using the white balance on my camera then made a light box when white balance was wonderful but not a cure all. Now I'm learning to make friends with the Brightness/Contrast feature of Photoshop. This is what I've been using from the beginning to try and fix my not-so-hot photos but it only did so much. Now I'm realizing if I get brave with it and bump both up a lot more than I was, that I can get even more improvement. Yesterday I fixed another listing, my Year In The Life scrapbook, but this one I didn't have to re-shoot, I just upped the Brightness/Contrast levels. Can you believe the difference in the second and third pics?! Take a peak (click to see it enlarged):

NOTE: My shop The Beehive is now Papercut Kitchen! Please visit my shop Papercut Kitchen by clicking here.



Sunday, October 19, 2008

All Packed Up And Ready To Ship

NOTE: My shop The Beehive is now Papercut Kitchen! Please visit my shop Papercut Kitchen by clicking here.

A few weeks ago I finished my special order, the 12 x 12 version (seen below) of the 8 x 8 Little Princess Album I have listed in my shop. I was so excited when my customer purchased it right away because it meant I didn't have to wait to pack the first of my new boxes!

I love the way this album turned out and it gave me the push I needed to put "start listing 12 x 12 scrapbooks as a regular part of my stock" on my to-do list.

I always include a thank you note and three business cards in my packages. I print them on different scrapbook papers, appropriate don't you think? They get placed in a white envelope with the customer's etsy name on it. I think it's important to let my customers know they're appreciated and hopefully they'll appreciate me enough to pass it on!

First I wrap my items in bubble wrap, not the most attractive wrapping if left as-is. I like my customers to feel like they're opening a gift though, even if it's for themselves, so I tie a coordinating ribbon around it, slide the thank you note envelope underneath it and voila! A simple, super cute wrapping!

To fill in around the item and keep it from slipping around in the box I use paper that I shred myself using a cheap office shredder and a roll of white craft paper. When I first started I struggled with myself about recycled shipping materials vs. new shipping materials and the clean, professional look of new simply won out in spite of my earth consciousness in other realms of my life.

All taped up with self adhesive address labels applied I'm ready for a trip to the P.O! My labels will be going through some changes soon. I want to design and print my own pretty labels. I also am thinking it would be smart business to start printing shipping labels through PayPal. They print with all the necessary info and shipping is less expensive. The downside, ugly shipping labels. That can be a big downside for me!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wish You Were Here

I don't think there could possibly be anything more wonderful than drinking my morning coffee while staring at the ocean with my feet buried in the sand. We're back now but I think I can hold this image in my happy place file, something to think of when other things don't feel so great.

I had promised the boys a trip to the beach. We didn't make it while in Destin so we detoured to Gulf Shores, Mississippi on the way home. That's where I finally had my relaxing coffee in the sand and the boys got to see the ocean. They've both seen it before but Lil' Spitfire was only about 3 months old. They were super adorable as usual!

The water was a little too cold that morning to tempt the boys too far in, I was kind of glad since that meant I didn't have to go swimming.

I think what this kid really needs is one more character in this outfit! Buzz Lightyear hat, Batman sunglasses, Curious George shirt, Nemo trunks, good grief! And may I just say this was one of my pre-mamma nevers: I will never put a piece of clothing on my kid that has a character on it. Oh well!

Brother's a close second with Jack Skellington hat, Batman sunglasses and Cars shirt.

My little boy isn't seeming so little anymore. I'm having a lot of those sighing-my baby's not a baby anymore- Mamma moments over my Mr. Golden Curls lately.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Beehive Is Thinking Pink

Did you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Well, it is! I know I'm a little late, that's the way I tend to be with birthdays and holidays and the like, but I think it's important enough that it's better late than never. The Race For The Cure happened this past weekend. I always think I'm going to take part, "next year!" but maybe this can be my contribution. That and I want to start buying those "I slept in for the cure t-shirts" every year! So hopefully this will help a little in spreading awareness, inspiring you to find out how you can help find a cure and most importantly stir up a desire for all you ladies to read up on how you can detect breast cancer in yourselves early and therefore increase your chances for survival. 5 min. once a month can be all it takes to save your life!

To celebrate this month I've compiled some etsy finds that I think are super fantastic. They are all made to help spread awareness and are great items to boot! Take a gander at these great things, the great sellers that made them and their shops and then take a gander at the Breast Cancer Awareness buttons on my blog's sidebar. Click away to learn how to give yourself a monthly once over and how to help the cause!

by The PettiCoat Pirate who makes all kinds of unique plushies.

Only 100 of these touching sock monkeys will be made
and a portion of each sale will go to the Susan G. Komen foundation.

Hope Fabric Coffee Sleeve
by What's Up Your Sleeve who makes coffee sleeves for all your hobbies.

"In support of Breast Cancer Awareness month I am donating $2.00 from the sale of each Hope sleeve to my sister's fundraising efforts. She is taking part in the Making Strides walk in October in Conway NH in honor of our Mom. Her Team name is Team Tiny."

Horray For Boobies Pink Bottlecap Magnets
by The Little Red Door who has tons of pottery cuties and crafts in her shop.

"Show your support! Free shipping! The entire listing price of this item will be donated to the cbcf (Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation) :)"

Octopus Breast Cancer Awareness Card
by Chelleline who makes all kinds of adorable collage cards for all occasions.

"A portion of the proceeds from each sale will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation."

Breast Cancer Awareness Blythe Necklace
by Blythe Couture go visit her shop for all of your Blythe Accessories.

One dollar from every necklace sold will be donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (

Hope Wallet for Breast Cancer Awareness
by zaibboo Look at her shop for other wallets, tissue holders and bags for breast cancer awareness.

Click on her shop link and read her shop announcement for details on how to win one of her breast cancer awareness items!

The Mary Ann Ribbon and Charm Armwarmer that you customize for your survivor
by Tricky Knits who makes beautiful armwarmers, scarflettes and wraps.

"10% of sales will be donated to the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville."

Awareness Ribbon Stud Earrings
by Cherry Creek who makes jewelry featuring fine and sterling silver, copper and gold.

NOTE: My shop The Beehive is now Papercut Kitchen! Please visit my shop Papercut Kitchen by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

And The Butterfly Award Goes To...

me! I got a lovely surprise while on vacation, Michele from Little Red Cottage bestowed an award on me and my blog! Thanks Michele!

The rules for the Butterfly Award:
1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate 10 other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs

My nominees:
Diana Crites at a muted palette
Sarah at Keep it Simple
Carl at cyeagerLMT: Online
Shelley at The Wood Between the Worlds
Idyll Hands
On Dogwood Lane
The Twisted Purl
ekio art
punkinhead at Junque Rethunque
Snappy Bibs

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Warm Fuzzies

I just discovered this really cool little movement thanks to Heather Knitz. They're brought to you by The Handmade Movement and are called sneak attacks. I think it's a brilliant idea for supporting fellow crafters and spreading warm fuzzies; those little wonderful feelings that go out into the world, breed like mad and make the world a better place. This is the description of a sneak attack from their website:

"Every few days a new or relatively undiscovered Etsy shop is chosen as a "victim", and at a given time multiple buyers all visit the site and buy one or more items each, resulting in a whole slew of surprise business in a very short time. In the past week a handful of shops have all been "attacked" and both the shop owners AND the buyers have had GREAT experiences."

How great is that?! And even more wonderful, anyone can participate and help spread the love! If you're interested in being part of a sneak attack you can find a schedule here. You not only boost someone's spirit but you get to shop! I plan on participating in the near future, it's just too wonderful to pass up!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Looking Into The Light

When I learned how to set the white balance on my camera I was over the moon excited and the results were fantastic! Then about a week later I set aside some time to redo all of my product pics using my newly found white balancing skills. Somehow the magic was gone and I COULD NOT figure out how to get good photos. I couldn't believe it. I guess maybe it was beginner's luck. Well, with The Bohemian's encouragement I kept trudging through the frustration and I think I'm slowly getting improvement in my photos.

The light box: I made mine from a moving box, tracing paper for the light defusers, craft paper for the back drop, and a couple old desk lamps for my light source.

Today I took the next step and built a light box. With my initial white balance results I was hoping a lot of light manipulation wouldn't be necessary but it was a constant problem for me. So now I'm trying to force my lights into submission with this contraption. I was lucky enough to stumble across a fantastic tutorial on Strobist on how to build the thing. If you're interested in making one of your own visit the article How To: DIY $10 Macro Photo Studio. My photos could still use some work. I think will just come with time, patience, practice and more learning. For now, here are my light box results.

Above are my re-shot product pics for my Contemporary Asian Inspired Mini Album. In the left hand column are the dark old pics with color issues, on the right are the new and improved, brighter, whiter pics with fewer issues. I'm excited!

NOTE: My shop The Beehive is now Papercut Kitchen! Please visit my shop Papercut Kitchen by clicking here.

Here is how it effected the look of the listing in my etsy shop for this item:

Above is a screen shot of the way the listing used to look with the old pics, below is the new listing. Mmmm, the sweet taste of improvement!

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Trees Worth Of Boxes

Today the UPS guy came to my door carrying this obnoxiously large bundle of boxes. Yesterday I ordered boxes because I received a request to make one of the albums in my shop in a 12 x 12 size and I wanted the right size box to ship it in. I discovered ULINE where you can buy mega quantities of anything you could ever need for shipping in any size. I don't know that it turned out to be tons cheaper per box than buying locally but it's not more expensive, even with shipping, and I can get exactly the size box I need brought to my doorstep! Another thing that I was ridiculously excited about was the fact that they sent it to The Beehive, I feel like an official business! I know, I'm excited to a nerdy degree! Now, where do I store the other 24 boxes until they get used? Hey, I can't help my overwhelming optimism, I think I can start making this little hobby into a full fledged business! Or Maybe the boxes are emitting some kind of drug-like fume that's getting to me.

NOTE: My shop The Beehive is now Papercut Kitchen! Please visit my shop Papercut Kitchen by clicking here.

AREtsy Autumn

I've been honored in a beautiful fall treasury by katzetsy called AREtsy Autumn. My Fall Flowers clothespin magnets are on the second row down, far right. Thanks for the honor katzetsy! Stop by her shop and check out her design work, she does it all!

NOTE: My shop The Beehive is now Papercut Kitchen! Please visit my shop Papercut Kitchen by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tag, I'm It!

I got tagged by Stephanie of Three Loud Kids

The Rules:

1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are 7 random facts about me:

1. I've lived in 6 different states
2. If I had been alive and old enough I would've been a Doors groupie
3. I am freakishly skilled at picking things up with my toes
4. One of my favorite books of all times is The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall because it breaks my heart
5. I'm a slightly overbearing perfectionist
6. I think one of the best songs of all time (not just my favorite but one of the best ever) is One by Metallica
7. I wish I was the lead singer of a rockin' chick band

Here are the 7 people that I am tagging:
I'm a pretty good sport but not that good! Sorry Stephanie I'm a tagging party pooper!