Friday, July 31, 2009

Giveaway Winner

The winner of the pendant from Smarty Pants Design is comment #3 from tscrapper!
Click the contact me button over to the right to send me your mailing information!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Interview with Smarty Pants Design

I'm so excited today to have my first real interview with Heather of Smarty Pants Design. Heather is a member of Etsy Team Columbus who I've had the opportunity to meet at a couple of different team events, including the Eco Chic Craftacular back in May. I can't wait to share Heather's work with you.Tell Us About Yourself: I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland...took watercolor lessons at age 12 and gradually art just became more and more a part of my life. I moved to Columbus to study painting at the Columbus College of Art and Design and loved the city so much that 9 years later, I'm still here. I love to dabble in all kinds of mediums, and have tried my hand at stained glass, feltmaking, woodworking, and all sorts of mixed media projects. A few years ago I started making jewelry, then began making my own beads from polymer clay, and that's evolved into my current business, Smarty Pants, where I make and sell my own handcrafted beads and buttons.

What Kind Of Items Do You Sell In Your Etsy Shop: Polymer clay beads and buttons, all individually hand rolled by me...I don't use any molds, and I typically mix my own colors. I also sell finished pieces of jewelry made with my own beads. I have an additional shop under my own name, that I use as an outlet to sell my paintings and other artwork.
What Brought You To Etsy: My friend back home in Maryland turned me onto the site. She sells baby gear on Etsy as part of her own business, Bitchen Stitchen. She's always been such a huge supporter of my artwork that once she realized how fantastic the website is, she told me I had to try it out.
How Do You Promote Your Shop: I frequently post links to new items on my Facebook page, or visit Etsy chat rooms to advertise new pieces, but mostly I focus on print media - business cards, postcards, etc. I recently participated with some fellow Etsy Team Columbus members to create a brochure featuring our Etsy shops, which each member then in turn distributes to their own clientele.
What Is Your Favorite Item In Your Shop Right Now: It's a pendent I just created this's a blend of chocolate brown, cream, yellow and emerald green polymer clay, rolled together in such a way that it looks to be half woodgrain, half gemstone. I particularly love to use clay to emulate other materials, like a woodgrain, slate, a piece of turquoise, a gemstone, etc. I think the biggest compliment is when a customer doesn't realize my work is created with clay.

What Is Your Biggest Shop Goal In the Next Six Months: I would like to list things more frequently. I have quite a bit of merchandise that is sitting on my worktable waiting on me to photograph, so I would love to have a faster turnaround, and have things listed on my site the same day they are created.
Favorites: Food, Music, Books, Movies, whatever you love: I love all kinds of Mexican...although Mexican would probably call it Tex Mex...fajitas, quesadillas, tacos, and a margarita of course. Right now I'm listening to quite a bit of Brett Dennen and Ray Lamantagne, and in general I'm a sucker for a heart-on-his-sleeve acoustic guitar player. I haven't read it yet, but Wally Lamb, who is my ALL time favorite author recently put out his third novel, so I anticipate that it will soon be my favorite book.

Thank you so much for the interview, Heather. Your work is beautiful and I'm so happy to know you a little better now!
If you'd like to own something from Smarty Pants Design, leave a comment here before Friday at noon (Eastern time). You could be the lucky winner of this Surfer Girl Pendant!
Winner will be announced on Friday!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Free Printables: Book Club Goodness

Next Thursday night I have book club with 8 of my closest book-loving buddies. We are finishing The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank which we picked specifically for the short story aspect of the book. It has been a nice summery read and pretty amusing. I'm going to really push for our next book to be The Time Traveler's Wife. I really want to read it before the movie comes out. I might have to bribe the rest of the book club with some fun book club treats!

Get the freebies for your book club too...
Book Club Gift Labels
Ex Libris Gift Labels
Ex Libris Labels

Thank you to Wedding Style Guide for the freebies

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mailing Your Wedding Invitations

Proper Postage
Bring a completed invitation to the post office to have it weighed; many require postage for at least two ounces, currently 61 cents. Have a reply card and its envelope weighed as well, to ensure that you don't over or underpay for that postage.

Selecting Stamps
Ask what's available at your local post office, or browse through a wider variety at the U.S. Postal Service website: Vintage stamps can be purchased from philatelic societies. They are worth the amount printed on them - but they can cost much more, since they are collectible and limited in quantity.

Take your invitations to the post office and request that they be hand-canceled. Machines print bar codes on the envelopes, but hand-canceling- just marking each stamp- keeps invitations neat and prevents damage that machines could cause. (Maybe you'll have better luck with this than I did-my post office refused to hand-cancel for me.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Real Wedding: Suzanne & Joe

Suzanne was a co-teacher of mine. I taught 4th and she was down the hall teaching 3rd. Then she moved to the middle school, found love (not with a student...obviously), and decided to get married. She heard that I made invitations (well, 1 so far) and contacted me.
Suzanne wanted a simple wedding and a simple but elegant invitation to match. Nothing fancy, just a sheer ribbon to tie around it.
But you should have felt this paper...such luxury.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Interview with On A Limb Paper

Yep, that's right...I'm interviewing myself. But this is only the beginning my friends. I have an interview lined up for every week until at least late October with my fellow Etsy Team Columbus members. Maybe even a few giveaways thrown in for good measure. Okay, here I go.

Tell us about yourself: I am a 30 year old wife, former 4th grade teacher, and current house renovator. When I'm not printing or designing for my Etsy shop (On A Limb Paper), I can be found painting walls, hanging cabinetry, or helping my husband on any number of house projects that need to be done. I enjoy traveling and would love to live somewhere that I could hike anytime I wanted. I want to improve my photography skills so I am always looking for willing subjects among my friends and family.

What kinds of items do you sell in your Etsy shop?: The majority of my sales on Etsy come from customers buying personalized stationery. I also sell wedding invitation packages and other printed materials. (save the dates, party invitations, thank you cards, etc.)

What brought you to Etsy?: I stumbled upon Etsy when I was looking for a handmade gift for my mother's birthday. I was selling a lot of stationery to fellow teachers and printing wedding invitations for friends already. So when I found Etsy I knew that it would be a great way for me to expand my little business.

How do you promote your shop?: I'm actually pretty bad about promotion. I get a lot of business from word of mouth (friends, friends of past customers). I have taken part in the design challenges on the Minted website and they currently sell one of my card designs. I am also a member of Etsy Team Columbus. I also hope to get some business from this little blog of mine.

What is your favorite item in your shop right now? I love the "Love Letter Personalized Stationery" set. So super cute.

What is your biggest Etsy goal for the next six months?: I would love to focus more on wedding invitations, birth announcements and party invitations.



Book-Water For Elephants

Movie-The Thomas Crown Affair (or any caper movie)

Music-Red Hot Chili Peppers, Joshua Radin

Thanks for following along. Check back next Tuesday for an interview with another Etsy Team Columbus member.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Freebie: Vintage Herb Labels

I can't tell a lie. I love everything about this freebie from Eat Drink Chic! I love the brown bottles, the vintage coffee stained labels, and the beautiful photograhs.

To get your own set follow this link to downlad the PDF file and click here to get the instructions straight from Eat Drink Chic!

Thank You Amy!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Last Night's Dinner: Thai Veggie Gyoza

I'm about to tell you how I made the best dinner last night. was easy!

I took some of these...Thai Vegetable Gyoza (potstickers) from Trader Joe's...
Steamed them with some of these yummy snow peas from my garden...

Served them over a bed of Jasmine rice...
And topped it all off with a drizzle (or more than a drizzle) of Hoisin Garlic sauce.

See, told you it was easy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Real Wedding: Jamie & Anthony

When I was a teacher in NC I had an assistant, Vicky. Vicky was an amazing assistant and had an equally amazing daughter, Jamie. One day Jamie, who was newly engaged, came to visit her mother at school. We were out at recess so the three of us chatted about her upcoming nuptials while keeping close watch on a bunch of wild fourth graders. I mentioned to Jamie that I made my own wedding invitations just months before and one thing led to another. Next thing I knew, we were setting up a time to meet after school to look at colors, papers, fonts, and ideas.

Jamie and Anthony had a very short time frame to work with. From getting engaged to getting married may have been 2 months at the most. Anthony was serving in the Marines and was scheduled for deployment in early 2008. They wanted to be married, have a honeymoon, and say their goodbyes all withing a couple of weeks.

Jamie had seen some invitations that she liked in a magazine, so we adapted the colors to fit her scheme, worked on the wording, picked out fonts and sealed the deal all on one day after school in my classroom. It was my first job and it gave me the itch to find some more brides to work with.

Thank you Jamie and Anthony for trusting me and getting me started!
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What Is Your Walk Score?

When deciding where to live, one of the biggest factors was location. We wanted to be able to walk to restaurants, ride our bikes around the city, be close to family, be far enough away from too much city.
I think we accomplished our goal with the new house. I rode my bike to the grocery this morning and to the library yesterday. We are minutes from a bike trail which would take us miles either north or south. Very conveniently located to several restaurants and parks.
Now, I know just how "walkable" our little neighborhood is. I just entered our address at and it tells you how close to parks, restaurants, clothing stores, school, movie theatres, etc you are.
In case you were wondering, we are .33 miles to the closest grocery store, .35 to the local park, .87 to pick up a book at the library, and .49 from the nearest western clothing store. Just in case I need to pick up some boots or a 10 gallon hat. We got a grand total of 65 out of 100.
Just for giggles, I entered my parents house(where I grew up) It got a walkable score of 2!!