I’m probably a little late with this, but I have a lot of Valentine’s Day stuff in my shops! Honestly they aren’t really only for Valentine’s Day, but this is when I make a lot of little heart things that stick around my shop year-long until I’m out. They are so cute. I really love how the tags came out. The little hearts were painted with watercolors and scanned into the computer.
My birthday is on February 17th, so it’s always a crazy week for us personally filled with many delicious dinners. When it’s over I’m usually happy to get back to home cooking. By the way, I tried Hello Fresh for the first time a month or so ago because my sister had an extra box and passed it along to me. We were both (husband and I) super impressed with the food, and how incredibly fresh everything was. It’s a really nice way to not have your fridge filled with stuff you will not use, buying more than you need for one dinner and having waste, etc. And I found all of the ingredients to be even better than what we can get in the grocery stores around here. If you are interested, my referral code is TRKXPU for $40 off of your first box. We are getting our second box next week and I’m really excited about it! I do enjoy cooking but it’s nice to have most of the work (planning and grocery shopping) done for you, and no waste in the fridge! If you have tried it, let me know what you think. I have to say, I would never have ordered it on my own but I’m so glad I tried it!
It is CRAZY how long it’s been since my last post, but I can explain. This year, not only did I get married, but my only sibling (my sister) got married, our house is a construction zone, and of course regular life has been happening in between there. This year has been a blessing in many ways. I have been picking up more wholesale accounts which have made up for less Etsy sales. The changes to Etsy and the site have not been beneficial to those of us old timers and seasoned sellers. Sadly, I find myself shopping less on Etsy because I’m not finding awesome things due to the change of the home page and I don’t think it’s a good direction for the community. Luckily I still have a loyal customer base and my shop is still going strong. My sticker and gift tag shop has been doing well but honestly I don’t find it fun, it’s just a ‘job’. I have also devoted more time to painting and opened a new shop which you can find here. I’ll post more about that another time.
I realized just how long it’s been since I last updated my blog, because I have been getting more traffic on here due to an insane thing that happened in November. Actually, two insane things happened. My jewelry is featured in Bead Style’s January edition (which came out in November) AND our wedding was featured in the Pennsylvania/Delaware The Knot Spring/Summer edition. Crazier things have really not happened. I’m so proud that my jewelry has made it far enough to get into a magazine, it really does make all of the time, persistence, heartbreak of copycats stealing my designs, roller coaster ride of owning a business in general all totally worth it. You can see my feature on the last page of Bead Style’s ‘Rising Star’ section. I tell a little bit of my and my jewelry’s story. And it’s freakin’ awesome.
As if that wasn’t enough, our photographer submitted our wedding to The Knot and it was chosen. Like, what the crap!!!!? Amazingness, I would curse here but that’s not really appropriate. I have a LOT of updating to do, so please check back soon to see more of our wedding, more of our home renovations, my paintings for my new shop and obviously some cat photos.
We’ve been so busy, between weddings, completely renovating our back room, and working on the rest of the house (and a vacation somewhere in there). I’ve been focused on the house lately. Thrifting, repurposing items, painting stuff, decorating, etc. Below are some photos of my projects, recent decorations, and even some earrings (because I do still have to find time to work). I won’t drone on about everything, but everything was either from a thrift store or on sale and very, very cheap.
When we planted our little container garden I didn’t expect much. Our peppers are growing like crazy. We have banana peppers, which are pictured below, and some sweet peppers. The banana peppers are growing in hoards and I have no idea what to do with them. One grew earlier this year and when I tried it I was shocked at how HOT it was! If you have any ideas for what to do with a bunch of banana peppers, please comment below and help a sister out.
Also pictured: tomatoes and rosemary.
Ever since one of my BFF’s asked me to be her maid of honor, I’ve been freaking out about all of the responsibilities that come with it. Some of you might know I’m planning my own wedding, and my sister is getting married next year as well. It’s A LOT! During the planning of her shower, I was nominated to do the crafty stuff – centerpieces, favors, etc. I am comfortable with those responsibilities. What I ended up coming up with were a homemade body scrub and a homemade lip balm.
The shower is in a week, this August. Her wedding is fall themed, on October 4th, so I wanted to do fall flavors and moderately fall colors that still look nice in the summer. I ended up going with gold, peach, and purple (the bridesmaids’ dresses are ‘sangria’ purple) for the colors. Amy is obsessed with all things fall and pumpkin so of course that had to be incorporated into the flavor. I found a pumpkin cheesecake flavor oil on Ebay which was perfect and smells amazing, and used a lip balm base instead of mixing it up by scratch. I wanted to make the process as easy as possible since I’d be doing everything in bulk. I tinted the balm with orange mica powder for a pretty peachish orange color.
The scrub was the hard part. I used half brown sugar, half white sugar, and a whole whopping pound of cinnamon. I couldn’t decide which oil to use, as I wanted the scent to be neutral and the oil to be affordable in bulk. I ended up choosing sunflower oil, which had a neutral, if anything, flavor. I didn’t have enough, so I asked Ryan to pick some up on the way home and he got olive oil instead. Everything went smoothly until I added it and it had a weird undertone of olive smell to it.
So I freaked out, ordered cinnamon oil on Amazon and a vanilla fragrance oil. The cinnamon did not pan out, but holy crap, the vanilla smells amazingly like icing and the small amount I added to the 20 pounds of sugar made it smell AMAZING!
For the labels, I used weatherproof premade labels for the scrub, which I printed on at home. The lip balm labels I made from scratch and they look so cute! I also made the tags from scratch here too. They came out so cute, and I think she’s going to love them!
Here are a few more shots of the favors.
This is how they will look at the shower:
Over the last few months, I’ve been thinking about getting into the craft show scene again. I did some when I first started out a few years ago, but having a job and doing shows was just too much. I stopped doing them, eventually lost my job, and starting out making jewelry full time.
Now that I’m pretty established, have my shit together, and a healthy stock of inventory, I’ve been mulling over the idea of doing some shows again. I want to start small, and do a few here and there. Nothing crazy.
My old display was all black, which is not the look I’m going for anymore. It’s too dark for my light, fun jewelry. I am going with white and pops of color this time around. I realized that I need to figure out exactly how I would set up a booth, and went to Pinterest and Flickr for ideas. Honestly, I didn’t find a damn thing I liked. Nothing even close.
So I decided I’d buy some old frames, paint them, and try to hang my earrings on ribbons that I strung across the backing of the frame. I wasn’t sure if it would work, or look right, but turns out it does and I really like it. It’s simple and light, just what I was looking for.
My next step is buying some more, larger frames and doing this to them. I’m also on the hunt for some candy colored glasses dishes. Hopefully I’ll find some, but I can never find exactly what I’m looking for when I have something in mind. I’m also hoping my brain gives me some other ideas, because having 10 frames sitting on a table would really be overkill.
This week I finally made a terrarium. My houseplant collection has grown significantly over the last few weeks. I figured it was about time to finally make all of my terrarium dreams come true. It was more annoying to make than I thought, even with the large opening in the vase I used.
Whenever I photograph jewelry for the shop, I end up getting distracting and taking photos of the kitties instead. Warning: this post has a billion photos in it (that’s probably more fun than words anyway). No photos of Stella though (the other kitty)
Oh, and the jewelry. I guess I should share that.
I also got a dresser from the Salvation Army for the living room last week. Oh, and that poodle. It was $1.99 at the Goodwill… how could I not?
I plan on painting the dresser. I like it as it is, but it just doesn’t go right with the room. You can see the paint swatches that I have on it, I’m thinking about a dark, emerald-ish green or a light to medium blue shade. I won’t paint it until I narrow it down. These decisions take time.
I got my first Ipsy bag in the mail today. For those of you who might not know what Ipsy is, it’s similar to Birchbox only it’s rumored that you get better/larger products. It’s $10 a month for a surprise bag of beauty products. It sounded fun, and although I’m not super into doing a lot of makeup, it is fun to play with and I love finding new products. I figured it might be neat to see if I’d actually use things that I wouldn’t typically pick out.
In my first bag, I got:
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
- Such a Tease ‘So Seductive’ lashes
- St. Tropez Gradual Tanner for Face
- City Color White Color cream eyeshadow
- Caitlyn Tinted Lip Balm in 12. Apple Pink
I probably should just throw away the lashes because I will never use them. I was hoping that I wouldn’t get lashes. I’m going to have to see if there is a preference that I can change in my account so that I can avoid getting them again. I’m excited about the sunless tanner, as I’m pretty pale and I like a little glow for the warmer weather. I have heard such good things about St. Tropez, but never wanted to spend the money to try it.
I tried the Caitlyn lip tint, and I like it. The texture is velvetty, the finish is opaque and matte. The color is a spicy neutral that I think would look nice on most people. What I don’t like is that it’s a pot. I usually only end up using lip products in tube/stick form, because frankly I’m usually just a little too lazy to bother with pots, they get my fingers dirty and I just don’t like them.
The Urban Decay eye pencil is wonderful. It applies so smoothly and stays on throughout the day. It is a nice rich black that gives my eyes the definition they need since I’m light complected with light hair/eyelashes.
The City Color eyeshadow was a pleasant surprise. It scared me a little bit in the pot, but it actually applies lightly (though you can definitely build it for a more intense look). I think it might actually work as a highlighter too. I just put a little bit of this on my lids, and it brightened up my whole face.
Overall, I think I’ll be using most, if not all, of these products (besides the lashes) in the future. I can’t wait to see what’s in next month’s bag!