Hello!

I’ve not been here in a long time! As I said the last time I was, work has been crazy. BUT, new year, new start. I’m hoping to be back more. Not as often as when I first started the blog, but more than every 3 months!

The shop has been viewed quite a bit and I’m thankful for that! I have an order coming in soon for some shirts. I don’t know how many yet. I’m kind of excited/nervous about that! The ‘I don’t know how many yet’ is the part that makes me nervous! That’s ok, I’ll get it done. No problem. By the way, the shirts are for a non-profit so please keep me in mind if you need something. I can either discount or make a donation. Whichever you prefer. I will say though, I do reserve the right to make that decision myself if it’s a charity I just can’t back. 😉

Anyway, all that asideish, I plan to do some new things on the store as well as possibly building my own personal blog. I’ve been inspired by a friend over at functionalish and I know there is value in sharing and living in community. This is my business blog. The new one, when named, will be more of a ‘come along with me and share my crazy and my love of God and people’ kind of thing! I had one previously but didn’t put the planning into it that I need to do. This time will be different. I’ve learned a lot about blogging over the last 6 months. It’ll show. Plus, I plan to talk to Lorie about her awesomeness and get some hints (heads up!).

So….with that, I’ll be going for now! Tomorrow starts a new year at work. Same great time, same great people! Lots of stuff rolling around in my head and heart and then down on paper (or computer).

 

Take a pause

 

I’ve not posted a lot, I know. I was working on some projects, work has been insane, and well, the shipping fun. More important than that is that I started to question how much I wanted to do this business.

I suppose everyone who starts a business has that feeling at one time or another, especially near the beginning. It gets frustrating. Things aren’t selling like you were sure they would. Customers have complaints or ‘suggestions’ with no regard to the fact that you look at your crafts as art, not  just ‘stuff’ you make. It sucks the wind right out of you. Trust me.

Time to pause

I decided to take some time and really give this some thought. Was it worth it to me to feel the stress I’d been feeling? Was I putting the stress on myself? Yes, I believe it’s worth it, with some change in my perspective. Yes, I’m putting some of the stress on myself.

forest-for-the-trees

I think most of my crafts from here on out probably won’t be ‘custom’ and if they are, there will be very little that can be customized. I want to create and if people like it and buy it, then that’s awesome!

Sometimes  you just have to make the decision to make your business the way it makes YOU happy. I’m not doing this for a living. Just for fun! I need to keep it that way.

Thanks for visiting with me today! I’ll have a few more things up on the shop soon!

Have a great week!

~Nancy

Shipping Snafu

Or….best laid plans of mice and men. I’m not sure which is a better title. Hold on for a story of frustration and ridiculousness!

As I mentioned before, I’m in the process of making t-shirts for my great nephew’s team for a JDRF walk that happens to be this Sunday. (The shirts are for sale in my shop if you’re interested. 50% of the proceeds from that shirt will always go to JDRF.) The closeness of the date of the walk is a very important part of this story. On September 6 my niece placed the order for the shirts for her family. I placed the order with the blank t-shirt distributor the following day. I got the confirmation of the order and the next day I got 3 shipping notices.

One shipping notice was for 2 XL shirts and the walker of honor’s (great nephew) shirt. Another was for all of the medium and large shirts. The last notice was for my adorable 3 year old great-niece’s shirt. Shipped all by itself. The latest ‘deliver by’ date was the 15th. That was for the XL shirts and the youth shirt. Little A’s shirt had an expected delivery by the 13th.

A day or two later I ordered the shirts for others that had ordered and all were expected to arrive by the 16th. I planned to get all of them done and delivered to my brother and sister-in-law’s house by the 18th. All of the shirts arrived ahead of schedule. Except one.

This is where the story turns ridiculous. I called UPS (and was, of course, connected with who knows where) and told them that the shirt had shipped and was 5 days late. Granted, I probably shouldn’t have waited that long but it’s status was “we’ll be in your area so we will deliver to you instead of transferring to the USPS.” It was sent UPS Sure Post. So, the young lady on the phone was very nice and took my complaint. She told me to contact the seller as well, blah, blah, blah, but they’ve opened an investigation.

My plan became ‘run to Hobby Lobby after work on Monday and get a gray shirt’. Much to my surprise and delight, while I was eating lunch on Monday, the UPS man delivered a package! Yay! I won’t have to go buy another one! Wrong again.

The package was a box, which seemed odd since all of the other shirts came in shipping envelopes. It also made a ‘clunk’ sound if I shook it. On the outside of the little suspicious box was what was obviously the original label from the shipping envelope-and pieces of the envelope itself,  complete with the correct tracking number. Inside the box, however, was a 60 yard roll of industrial grade duct tape. Yep, duct tape. Oh, and the packing list that said ‘XS youth t-shirt, Charcoal gray’.  Now, to the credit of whoever did that (obviously someone at UPS), the tape is gray. That’s the only similarity.

Needless to say I called UPS right away. They returned my call about 3 hours later and I’m waiting for them to ‘make this right’. She said she was going to call the shirt company and have a new one sent out. So, I wait. We’re down to the wire and 2 days past the date I planned to deliver the shirts. I did get a shirt at Hobby Lobby, but it’s a lighter gray.

Anyway, the point of this story is….yeah…you can’t make this stuff up.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget, sign up for the newsletter and follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest!

~Nancy

t-shirt-tape

One is the loneliest number

 

one

Hey gang! I haven’t blogged as much lately as I was doing for a while. My ‘day job’ has been really busy so I’ve been tired. I don’t think I’ll go that long between posts again though. Why? I checked the views for the last post and I was….

BLOWN AWAY! There was 1. O N E. Just one. The loneliest number. My goodness! Did ya’ll give up on me? Or was it because that was a sponsored post? I’m actually seriously asking these questions so if you could comment, that would be great! Here’s what I learned on my own, though….

To make something grow, you have to feed it. Duh! Of course I knew that. I need to be here more. If you have a blog, make sure you show up! No matter what, post about something! I’ve seen pins on Pinterest that give ideas of what to blog about. Writing prompts or very general ideas. I think that’s a great thing. If you need inspiration, that’s where to go!

I also learned that people like when I’m myself. I need to write the blog in ‘my voice’. Everyone who writes a blog should find what’s comfortable for them and stick to it. It’s more comfortable to write that way and sounds better to your readers.

While I believe in Tailwind and think it’s a great app, I’m not sure if I was ready to write a ‘sponsored post’. I may again in the future when I’m more experienced at blogging and more comfortable with the idea. I felt a little ‘pressure’ when I wrote it. Sponsored posts are almost sales pitches in a way! Don’t get me wrong. It was my idea to do it. The pressure was from inside me. I don’t write as well when I put pressure on myself.

Bottom line is, I’ll be back a lot more often. More like I was before. I missed doing this!

Thanks for stopping by again!

Major Pinterest Tip!

This is a sponsored post. While I will be compensated for it, the views and opinions are all mine!

I’m not kidding, folks! This is huge! It’s been a game changer for me! I love Pinterest. I have since I first heard of it. I can spend countless hours on there, pinning my life away. But when I started my shop and blog, I found I needed to work smarter, not harder. Enter Tailwind.

tailwind-front-page

I’m not completely sure where I found out about Tailwind but I’m glad I did. I was looking to schedule ahead of time anything I could to make sure things happened even if I couldn’t tend to the business every single day. Obviously WordPress lets you schedule posts and Facebook does, too, but Tailwind  outsmarts them all in my opinion.

Tailwind gives you several tools to keep track of your pins and how they’re performing. Lets face it, if you’re using Pinterest for a business, you want to be sure you’re spending your time wisely. The Pin Inspector tells you how many times your pin was liked, repinned, as well as any comments people leave. It also has a button to ‘find similar content’. I love this! Not just for my business, but personally. It helps me find other things I’ll be interested in and therefore, so will my followers.

Board Insights breaks down your pins by board so you can see how many people are following each board. You can also track repins, likes, virality and other engagement metrics for all of  your boards. Everything you might need, want to know!

Like I said, I used to spend a lot of time on Pinterest.Now, I don’t need to. This frees up time for me to make things, which is my first love! Not only that, but Tailwind helps me find new things to pin and keep track of all activity on all of my boards. I love it!

To check out Tailwind, click one of the links or go to my Resources page or the side of this page and click one of those links…those are affiliate links so you’ll be helping me out as well!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’ll be back in the next day or so to tell you about my  current project!

~Nancy

 

Etsomnia™ 106: Derp-Fest 2016

Just for fun! Enjoy and follow her!

My OBT

The twins looked at each other in horror. She wanted to put her feet WHERE?!?

Et·som·ni·a (/etˈsämnēə/), noun, 1. a sleep disorder caused by obsessive Etsy browsing. 2. the surprising arrival of weird handmade merchandise ordered when one is only half conscious. (True story.)

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Labor Day

This weekend is Labor Day weekend and I’ve mostly been taking it easy. How about you? I had lunch today with my kids and then went swimming at my brother’s house. Lots of fun! Tomorrow it’s back to work.

Aside from taking it easy, I’ve been working on my next little endeavor. I’m going to start making t-shirts. Some of them will be for charity. The first one I have on my shop is for the JDRF One Walk. 50% of the proceeds will go to JDRF. My great-nephew has Type 1 and they do this walk every year. I’m doing the shirts for them this year! I’m so excited about it, plus, I had been considering getting into making t-shirts to sell as well. We’ll see how it goes!

My sister, and I are trying to come up with something to put on a shirt to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. Our mother had early onset Alzheimer’s and passed away when I was 21. Obviously, that’s a cause close to our hearts. Another one on my list is the Adult Congenital Heart Association.

Anyway, the heat press is on order, the space is ready for it. I’ll place the order for the shirts and vinyl as soon as they place their orders on Etsy. This is the ‘small business’ lesson for this post. Always get money up front. Even if it’s family that you’re doing the work for. Not to be mean, of course, but when you’re in business for yourself, you can’t take a risk by putting out money ahead of time. When I get to the point where I have money in the bank from the business, then I’ll keep some inventory of shirts and vinyl on hand. I’m not there yet.

Well, this is a short post, I know, but it’s been a busy weekend, for sure! I’ll be back in the swing of things tomorrow and hopefully posting in the next day or so!

Have a great week! I hope it’s a short week for you, too!

~Nancy20160607_143753656_iOS