Fresh and clean!

Hi everyone! Welcome back! I’m going to try to get this up and going again as a craft related site. My faith related blog is His Thumbprint, so hop on over there as well, if you’re interested!

I’m getting ready to launch a line of Christmas gifts and decorations which I’m planning to sell here and/or on my Etsy site.

More to come!

CURIOsity

As promised, I’m going to talk about the Silhouette Curio today! This is my latest addition to my fleet of Silhouette machines. I started with the CAMEO in December of 2015, added the Mint late last year, and just in the past couple of months, the Curio has taken up residence on my desk. Truth be told, the desk was bought because of the Curio. I had run out of space on my little makeshift desk.

My original thought when buying the Curio was that it could etch, stipple, and emboss and that might open up a whole new world to me. And I’m sure it will. When I get around to that. Right now I’m using it for the same old thing I used the CAMEO for. Cutting card stock and vinyl. What I find funny is that my favorite things so far about the Curio are a lot of people’s least favorite things about it. The tray, and that it only cuts up to 8 inch width materials. The CAMEO cuts up to 12 inch materials and I admit that’s nice for a lot of things, and I still use it a lot, but…

I make a lot of onesies, and other assorted baby and toddler clothes. Those have become my main focus lately. I have one friend with a 7 month old, one who has a 4 year old and is about to have another, I have a 6 year old grandson (not a toddler, but his clothes are still not that big), and I make onesies and bibs for the Value Life Ministry at church. Because the Curio cuts smaller things,  handling the tray is a bit easier than the CAMEO cutting mat. Most of the time I still can cut designs for several things at a time anyway. Also, the tray is firm and when I load it in the machine, I can often leave it in between cuttings. I just pull it out some, take off what I’ve cut, put on the new vinyl or card stock, push it in a little and hit the button. Ready to go. The CAMEO mat is floppy and 12X12 so I get things stuck to the wrong place on the mat all the time. All. The. Time. Plus, you have to line it up right. There’s no way to line up the Curio tray wrong.

In summary, if you’re thinking of getting a cutting machine, go with a Silhouette over a Cricut and the CAMEO does have a larger cutting ability. But, if you think you’ll just be doing small things for small apparel or maybe scrapbooks, I think I’d start with a Curio.

Here are a couple of shirts I made for my friend’s daughter on the Curio-just so you can see some of it’s handiwork! (yes, I know they need ironing)

Thanks for stopping by again today! Have a great week!

~Nancy

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

What’s up next?

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Good afternoon and happy Sunday! As I said in my last post, I’m making some changes here. Changes seem to happen slowly in my life! But, progress behind the scenes is still progress, right? I’ve been doing some planning and some other ministry projects that I wanted to tell you about!

First off, the picture above is of some onesies I made for the Value Life Ministry at church. It’s a beautiful ministry that helps women make actual choices. Few women would choose an abortion if they had the support and means to care for their baby. That’s where this ministry comes in. I just love it. It’s been close to my heart for many years. To that end, I’ll be supporting it with things like these onesies and these bibs (and similar things) till God tells me to stop. I love giraffes, this is not April the giraffe related.

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Also, I’ve been reading a book about quitting (or how not to) that follows along with the story of Ruth from the Bible. I love that story and I’ve decided that will be my first ‘teaching’ blog on here. I’m planning on a series to start next weekend at the latest.

Another great thing that happened this weekend was a woman in my small group had a dream about me yesterday and how God was going to use me. A few of the ladies prayed for me and as it turns out, one way he wants to use me is my teaching ability. My first thought was this blog. I was sure that’s what He meant. Nope…teaching in the group…that’s what he meant. Or at least part of it. I love to teach God’s word. Whether here on the blog, in person, or in a book that’s been rolling around inside me for years, it’s such a joy to spread his love. I’m so excited about that. The funny thing is, at work I had a chance to apply to be the trainer for my department. In an official capacity, since I do that some now as it is. I was all “oh heck no! I don’t want to train people”. This all took place last week and the group prayed for me about that as well because I couldn’t get it out of my mind so I really wanted to be sure of what God wanted me to do. The training, as it turns out, isn’t work, it’s God’s word. MUCH better!

I’m off of here for now. Rainy Sunday here. I think I’ll go read. Have a blessed week!

~ Nancy

That went well….

So, here I am again, 2 months later. Work is still crazy, but I’m adjusting to that. It’s the new normal. It’s going to get even crazier again soon (co-worker/friend having a baby soon), but I don’t plan on letting it interfere with this quite as much. Let’s see how I do this time.

As I said in the last post, there are some changes coming for mgthumbprints as a whole. The main one is this…this blog will be changing from ‘business only’ to business and faith. I was going to do two blogs, but let’s face it, I’m not keeping up with one well.

Along with that, the shop will take a decidedly Christian tone. I’ll be selling mostly t-shirts, onesies, bibs, greeting cards, and tote-bags with a Christian or just positive  message. I’m always up for special orders from friends and family, so don’t think those are the only things I’m doing. Shoot me an email or a message through the shop, and we can talk. I still want to do shirts for fundraisers as well. I’m not giving up that part. I’ve not updated the shop yet, though. Give me a week or two on that. Still working on some designs.

Why am I doing this? Well, I’m a follower of Jesus. That’s who I am at my core. I want to glorify God in all that I do. That includes my small business. I’m a work in progress, so if you know me ‘in person’ you know that well.

If you stick with me, and I hope you do, you’ll learn a lot more about me and about Jesus. You’ll find I’m not a Christian Right person politically. At all. I’m much more about people and love, and what would Jesus do. Pro-life? 100%. That’s really my only ‘right leaning’ stance as far as ‘politics’ goes. We won’t talk about politics on here, by the way. I’m just pointing out that I’m not a closed-minded nut who does what televangelists tell them and not what the Bible actually says. So don’t be freaked out and scared away! Hahaha!

I’m really excited about the changes that I’m making. I hope you are too. This is really what I’ve wanted to do all along but I just didn’t want to alienate any of my non-Christian friends. Well, if they’re my friends, they will be with the change as well! (they are…I’m sure of that)

That’s it for now. I hope to be back in the next couple days. That’s MY plan, anyway. Today is daylight savings day so I’m tired and probably will be for several days. I love daylight savings time but I hate the change. How about we just leave it this way? Who’s with me?

Till next time…

Love you all bunches!

~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.

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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

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One is the loneliest number

 

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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.

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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