Life is CRAZY Sometimes!

I’ve been on ‘vacation’ for the past week and I go back to work tomorrow. This is the first chance I’ve had to actually post something here! That makes me sad. However, I’ve spent a lot of time reading some books that I want to talk about on here. One in particular on the book of Ruth, but also a couple others that are intended to help with blogging for Christians and inspirational writing. We’ll see how all that goes! On my list of things I wanted to get done this week was to write several posts and schedule them out some. Yeah, nope. Didn’t happen. I did, you may notice, if you’ve been here before, upgrade my site and change the theme.

As I mentioned in my last post, some cool things have been happening as far as teaching. My small group leader has asked me to teach at our retreat in the fall! That is a big honor for me and I’m very excited! So, if you’re a praying person…keep that in your prayers!

Also, Alpha will be starting at church next week and I’m going to be a table leader again! I haven’t for a while because of work and location. It has always been on a weeknight and that’s just too much for me these days, with work being exhausting. It was also downtown for one session so that would have put me home pretty late. They’ve moved it to Saturday afternoons at the church (5 minutes away) so I’m totally available and really excited!

Back to life being crazy…yeah. What can I say? I’ve felt so out of control lately. Like everyone else is running my life-and I don’t mean God. He’s allowed. People pull me in this direction or that and I haven’t any time to get things done that I want to do (such as this). I’ve battled depression my whole life and I swear it’s felt like it’s been winning lately. As I type that, I stop and think about the things God is doing in my life and wonder how I can feel depressed. But honestly, I know as well as anyone that depression doesn’t always make sense, nor does it always coincide with life events-although they do tend to have some baring on it. I believe Satan tries to use depression/anxiety to derail me from God’s cause. I’m holding dearly to that fact while I wade through this current storm.

We’ll talk more about that later! Just glad to be back on here and I’m PLANNING on being here a lot more!

(oh-and for my craft and Silhouette friends-my next post is going to be related to that!)

Love to all of you!

~ Nancy

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

 

Subscribe to the newsletter!

Subscribe

So, today we’re going to talk about building an email list for your blog! I’m sure you’ve seen the pop-up inviting you to subscribe to my newsletter when you come to my site. This is one (and the best) way to build your email list! Why do you want one? Well, I’ll tell you!

Having a list of subscribers gives you a list of people who are interested in what you have to say or sell. You can direct sales right to them, keep them up to date on what’s going on, and give sneak previews of what’s to come! In turn, that will increase your sales or site traffic! Any good tutorial or blog on ‘how to grow your blog’ will tell you, contact is everything. EVERY. THING.And the best way to do that is to build an email list and keep in CONTACT with your followers…but never ever spam them or overwhelm them.(I’ll talk about that in a minute)  I know many of you get my blog in your email everytime I post and I thank you for that! But, just like me, you want your followers to be engaged with you.

Part of blogging…a big part, actually, is building community around a common interest. The blogging community is generally a fun and welcoming place. I’ve gotten to know a few bloggers that I follow and I feel like I know a few that follow me. One good way is through commenting, of course. I love getting comments on here, so don’t be shy! The more you get to know your followers, the more likely they are to share your blog or shop with their friends! That sounds good to me! And even better is that through commenting, your followers can get to know each other. Community!

Part of community is staying in touch through a newsletter. Mine comes out once a month. Around the first of the month. Included are tutorials for some of the crafts in my Etsy shop, blogging and small business tips, answers to questions you may have, as well as a coupon code from time to time! Also, in the September and October newsletters there will be sneak peeks of my fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas items! AND….a chance to pre-order some of them….PLUS…the only chance to get some of them personalized!

See what I did there? I’m giving you, my followers, perks for signing up! That helps get subscribers, which builds community, which is what we want in the first place. I will let you know right here that the FASTEST way to lose subscribers is to spam them or constantly send nonsense. I promise you that my newsletter is all you’re signing up for UNLESS there is a major product release or a special sale. Those won’t happen often. Most of your email from me will be the newsletter, unless of course you ask me something 😉

We’ll talk more about email lists and newsletters again in future posts. In the meantime…..

Refresh this page and sign up in the pop up! If that doesn’t work, use the contact me form!

Thanks!

~ Nancy