Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I value you all so much. You have enriched my life and always make me smile. I miss our chatter and hope that we will find more time for each other next year.
Nick and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.
God Bless us one and all and God please continue to bless the United States.
Be well :) Diane
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
With the amount of email folks will be getting the competition for sales this holiday, I plan on using this advice in promos for Comfy Cozy Glow in the Dark pillowcases.
Chad White is the Research Director at Smith-Harmon, an agency focused exclusively on providing email marketing strategy and creative services. Visit his blog at http://www.retailemailblog.com/
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Are any of you asking yourself that same question? Times are tough, nothing any of us don't know. My industry seems to be suffering maybe more than some. The first thing to go for a business is the little extras and embroidery seems to be one of those little extras. Even the local sports teams are having to cut back.
I totally understand but it does beg the question.... can D's stay in business another year. That is a question I never though I would ask myself, especially after 17 1/2 years.
In the back of my mind I continue to ponder opening a different type of business. I think I will always own my own business. I think it is in my blood. Just trying to figure out what that business might be keeps my mind turning.
Hope all is well with everyone. I miss the chatter.
Friday, September 11, 2009
My love for my country, family and friends is ever growing. Please know that I value all of you in my life and my life is better because I know you.
Pray for Peace this day.
God Bless America.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Work has not been so good for D's Stitcheree.
I am hoping that the summer months have been better for all of you running your own business. The economy is tough, we all know that. I do have a question though for anyone who might like to chime in.
How is the economy effecting your OWNING your own business.
I just got a notice from my bank that effective Oct. 1 they will start charging a service charge of $15.00 a month on business accounts that carry under $1,000.00 daily balance. Since moving to AZ I have not had to pay a service charge with my bank and I have never held a daily balance of $1K. It is only $15.00 but in months where I might only make $100.00, that is a lot of money. I will see how the rest of this year goes then I am seriously considering closing my 17 1/2 year old business. I thought I would always work for myself but I may soon join the ever growing number of people unemployed.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
It is a bittersweet day this year. The first that my mother isn't here to share it with my father. The first day in 58 years that my dad woke up on this day without my mom by his side.
My heart is heavy. My heart is full. I cried in the Hallmark store looking for a card. I thought it important to send one to my dad but it's very hard to find one that doesn't mention "all the rest of your lives together". Finally found one that celebrated their incredible love and didn't remind you (in the text) that there would be more time for them to be together.
So, today, love the one you're with. Love the ones that you share your life with. Love yourself and make the love you have in your heart meaningful to those around you.
Love lasts. My parents love was/is the strongest love I've ever seen. I thank them for sharing it with me.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
I recently saw a film that just may have been the best movie I’ve ever seen. Better than Lord of the Rings, better than Star Wars, better than, oh dare I say it, The Princess Bride. Inconceivable!
The movie opens with a heart wrenching scene that left tears streaming down my face. I was searching through my purse looking for a tissue to wipe my tears and all I had was this butter stained napkin in my lap. So here I am dabbing the tears trying not to get popcorn salt in my eyes and the next thing I know I’m on the edge of my seat, gripping the handles, teeth gritted, unable to breathe. This movie was exciting. And it kept getting better. It had action, adventure, sword fighting, love, and romance… everything a woman wants in a film.
Any guesses on the movie?
I know what you are thinking. The only people that go see Star Trek are 40 year old men who live in their mother’s basements.
The theater was packed with people of all ages. Sure, there were a few single dudes but there were a lot more couples and even families.
As an aside, the movie is rated PG-13. We took our 10 year old daughter. There were some scenes where I had to cover her face.
When I walked out of Star Trek the first thing I said was: “Let’s see it again. Let’s see it again, now.”
It was that good.
I admit. I am a geek. And a Star Trek fan. My husband likes to tell people that he only married me for my Star Trek Christmas ornament collection. I once dated a man because he had a chirping Star Trek Communicator on his jacket. But I was never a huge fan of the original series. My favorite is Deep Space 9.
Well this new Star Trek movie is based on the characters from the original series: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Chekhov, Sulu and Uhura. And they are on the Enterprise. But that’s about where the similarities to the original television series end.
Director J.J. Abrams and the producers took this 40 year old franchise and turned it into something fresh, current, and new. They set the stage with this film to catapult the Star Trek franchise popularity for another 40 years. In the 2060’s there is going to be a Star Trek Centennial and people who aren’t alive today, are going to attend this big centennial celebration dressed up like Klingons and Romulans.
J.J. Abrams reinvented Star Trek. He gave it new life.
My daughter’s latest thing is tap her imaginary communication device saying “Beam me up Scotty, this planet sucks.”
Does YOUR planet suck?
Think about it, maybe it’s not your planet… maybe it YOU!
Just maybe, it’s time for YOU to reinvent YOURSELF?
You’re probably thinking: I CAN’T do that! I don’t know how.
Well here’s a question: Are you are married?
Think about your spouse the day BEFORE your wedding.
Now, think about your spouse the day AFTER your wedding. Are you married to the same person with whom you walked down the aisle?
No. The very act of getting married, changes a person. You go from being an individual to being half of a couple.
Are you a mother? Did becoming a mother change you? Yes! You went from being a woman, to being a mother.
Have you changed jobs? Did that change you? Probably.
What about joining the military? Does that redefine you? Absolutely!
That reminds me, have you heard the Klingon army motto?
Join the Klingon army.
Visit exotic planets, meet interesting people, and kill them!
Okay, maybe you need to be a Star Trek geek to get that one.
This concept of reinventing yourself is very powerful.
Becoming a mother redefined who I am. Becoming a mother is major life changing experience.
Can you reinvent yourself without a major life changing experience?
Think about J.K. Rowlings, the creator of the Harry Potter franchise. She outlined the series of stories on paper napkins sitting at café when she was a single mother living on welfare. She certainly isn’t on welfare today.
She had an idea, she believed in it and she made it real. She reinvented herself.
How do you go about reinventing yourself? According to Napolean Hill, the fist step is to get rid of indecision, doubt and fear. The rest, is up to you!
Here’s a good example:
This string walks into a bar and says: “Bartender, I’d like a drink.”
The bartender replies: “We don’t serve your kind in here.”
Dejected, the string walks outside. Then he decides, he not going to be treated that way. So he gets himself all twisted up and takes his ends and messes them all up. Then he walks back into the bar and demands: “Bartender, give me a drink!”
Bartender says: “Hey, aren’t you string?”
“Nope. Frayed knot.”
The string reinvented himself. And so can you!
Live long & prosper.
Monday, May 4, 2009
That's me on the left below, with Rebecca Newhouse, President of the WV Affiliate.
Click HERE to go directly to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® page on our web site.
Before any of this came about, I was always good about having my mammograms. Never whined or put them off:) Then, last June, my "your results are fine" letter said something quite different. It had words like "suspicious" and "second screening" and "biopsy". WHAT! There is no breast cancer in my family, anywhere. This can't be happening.
The short version of that long story is that by the grace of God I'm okay. But the surgical biopsy part was scary, painful and recovery was not fun. The fear was overwhelming. The mixed emotions of being upset for having to go thru it all "for nothing", the guilt for being upset and the joy that I was "ok". I have a new sense of gratitude and dedication to the women that have gone before me, the scientist researching and trying to cure breast cancer, the Komen organization for the voice it has given to survivors and everyone "up for the fight".
I hope this pillowcase brings joy and inspiration to those diagnosed with breast cancer and survivors. Encourage your female friends to have a mammogram. Hold their hands if their letter isn't what they expect and pray for and with them.
I have been hard at work redoing my images there. They are getting better, but I still have to get more familiar with photoshop. At least I think they look better.
Also this weekend my Zebra Piggy Bank was featured in an Etsy Treasury. Thanks to judysnow for picking my piggy bank.
And check out ArtWhims blog where she picked my piggy banks as May Must Haves #1.
So, I have to say it was an exciting weekend for me. Plus I got to see my oldest DD play in 3 different concerts at college. Life is good : )
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
And that is a little unnerving to me. And scary. I haven't been without orders for years. Really. Busy has been steadily steady and I have come to rely on that income. Which I suppose I really should not have done.
Now I have bills to pay and a budget I don't know if I will meet this month. I do have some money left from the holidays, but I am now thinking the new car I bought 2 months ago really should have waited. But that's water under the bridge...
While I have some free time, I am starting an Etsy store. Not sure if it will benefit me or not, but it certainly can't hurt. I am thinking I am going to make it my "in stock" shop. Anything posted on Etsy will be available for immediate shipping. What's listed now is NOT ready to ship. But as I paint orders, I am going to paint what I have listed. And get that stock in stock and ready to go : )
I am also going to try and get some stock on hand for the fall. Just having blank piggy banks and plates on hand is a HUGE time saver for me. All I have to do then is paint the design and fire away. It won't pay my bills right now, but it will be a huge stress reliever when I get slammed with holiday orders.
So those are my plans for this slow period.....although I am hoping to still get some orders coming in so I can pay my bills. If not, I guess I'll just have to ask Hubby to take over a few of the household bills that I pay. He can step up for a while : ) How do you spend your time when business is slow? Oh, and have any tips for promoting Etsy shops? Or taking really great photographs of piggy banks?
Monday, April 13, 2009
But from that, I'm happy to say that I learned a lot. I learned that weeds always come back, so unless I wanted to keep pulling them, my brother and I tried to fight less and we better not ever say we had nothing to do in the summer. My mother taught me that gardening should be a joy, not a chore - and not to take yourself too seriously. She taught me that a garden was more than flowers, it was an ever changing work in progress. If you planted something here and it came up over there, you could either accept it or move it, but don't expect it to stay there forever...maybe it was smarter than you and would grow better where it was!
My favorite advice was her theory on planting. When we moved into our home, I had a clean slate, a huge empty yard to plant in. Where would I put this, where would I plant that? Mom stood in front of my home and said, just put them in and let them grow. I can hear her say "just dig a hole and put it in the dirt". Easy enough. Then there is always the "dig it up and throw it over there" method. Trust me, it works!
It's just getting warm enough here in the northeast for my gardens to start coming alive. This year, that will take on a whole new meaning for me, as my mom passed away in March. She was my gardening inspiration. Most of the perennials in my gardens came all the way from her gardens in WV. The biggest emotional hurdle for me will be when my wysteria blooms. It was started from a seed from the wysteria at my parents home! It bloomed in 3 years when "statistically" wysteria takes at least 7 years to bloom.
We always talked about what was blooming, her plants always before mine. We'd share pictures of flowers and of course, our wysteria's. I'll miss those conversations dearly.
I guess it's fitting that April is Gardening Month - my mother's birthday is April 8th. The beginning of a month that takes us from the cold of winter to the beauty of spring.
Gardening is a 12 months a year hobby though! I created a set of calendars to help both novice and experienced gardeners stay on top of their gardening. Click here to see my entire "gardening" collection.
So, take some time to plant something; vegies, flowers, trees. Teach your kids the joy of gardening - and make them pull weeds every now and then, it builds character! Click here for Gardening with Kids tips.
If you just can't wait til your flowers bloom or want a garden of flowers all year long, order the Comfy Cozy "Magic Garden" glow in the dark Pillowcase. Order one for your mom or granma...trust me, she'll love it!
Click on this link (http://www.quamada.com/months.html) to check out the complete list of "months".
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I have a contest running over at my Shaka Studios blog... drop on in and play.
Over at my personal blog, I posted a great Zig Ziglar video worth watching.
If you make home decor items, you should consider listing your items on Design Style Guide. It's a great resource that helps interior designers source local, handcrafted items. I write for their interior design blog on the second Thursday of each month. So be sure to visit the blog tomorrow to see my take on Steel.
That's all... don't have much to rant and rave about here. The bluebonnets are blooming and the weather is pleasant.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Small Business WILL save our economy. The first step is to rethink our buying habits. Skip the big box stores and head on into your local mom and pop. Buy from fellow WAHMs. If it says "Made in China" you don't need it. WE ARE THE CHANGE!
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
It is truly frustrating. NOTHING has changed. The so called "stay" is only a stay of enforcement by the CPSC. Not really a stay of testing. Products still need to follow the guidelines of the law. And to find out if they are compliant, you need to, guess....test them! Or know that your suppliers have had the supplies tested.
And even though the CPSC won't enforce the law for one year, that doesn't mean a thing. It is up to each state's attorney general to enforce this law. They can wait a year. Or they can start enforcing now. There is so much double speak in this law and it's so-called "updates", it could drive you to drink.
For instance.....on February 9th, the CPSC published a 13 page document with small business guidelines. However it says this at the beginning, "This information was prepared by CPSC staff, has not been reviewed or approved by, and many not necessarily reflect the views of, the Commission. It may be subject to change based on Commission action."
I'm looking at the word staff, and wondering what the heck I am supposed to make of this document. Is it official or not? Lord only knows.....if even he does. I'm not putting much faith in it.
Anyway, I'm frustrated. The one paint company I thought was going to come through for me, dropped the ball. When I wrote to them after February 10th about the GCC's for their colors, they said "There has been a stay enacted regarding this regulatory law. The stay is one year and will push out the requirement for Certificates of Compliance to February 10, 2010."
Argh. I KNOW that. I'm not dumb. But again, it is a stay of ENFORCEMENT, not compliance. I still have to know that my products comply with the law. DOESN'T ANYBODY GET IT?????
And now I am coming to the end of my vent. I am so fed up with this government, and their lack of ethics.....and apparent reading ability. Since none of them read this law before they agreed to it. Oh, and I hear they didn't have time to read the 1,000+ Stimulus Plan either before they okayed that. I don't know who they are representing in Washington DC, cause it sure ain't me. end of vent.
Friday, February 20, 2009
I have no energy, and all I want to do, and have done, is sleep. Doesn't do much for the pile of work on my desk. Or the stack of orders waiting to be painted. I tried working, but I got no where fast.
So, what do you do when you are under the weather? Do you just push through? Or do you take care of yourself and rest and recover? I sure wish I could call in sick...
Monday, February 16, 2009
|The following story comes from Earnshaw's (Trade Pub for the Children's Industry). |
What I want most folks to understand is that this issue is not over. Some seem to see the delay as meaning that changes have been made. Far from the truth. I call it a "stay of execution". We have to make sure that the bill is modified and that someone, anyone can understand it (can you say "stimulus bill"!). I digress. The news has done some coverage, but the piece on Fox News focused on what this bill means to Toy stores NOT the manufacturers. It didn't address the small businesses, wahms and artists that are making one of a kind products.
We'll keep on this - there are a lot of blogs posting, so stay tuned.
JPMA Requests CPSIA Clarification from CPSC
The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), a body representing 95 percent of the prenatal to preschool products industry, issued a statement last week requesting that the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) clarify its new testing and certification requirements under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) to ensure inherently safe products that do not expose children to established health risks are not indiscriminately removed from store shelves.
"JPMA is fully prepared to help our members comply with implementation requirements that are practical and justifiable," said Michael Dwyer, executive director of JPMA. "But the federal requirements must be implemented in an effective and efficient manner or risk chaos in the marketplace and the loss of many safe products."
On Feb. 10, the CPSIA's first deadline regarding manufacturers' adherence to new lead and phthalate levels went into effect. However, many companies have expressed confusion over the requirements and distress that mandated testing will further inhibit their business in what is already a difficult economic time. While the CPSC granted a stay postponing the testing and certification deadline, the JPMA asked for more information regarding compliance.
"JPMA has joined with representatives of a broad range of industries to argue that the arbitrary enforcement date put in the CPSIA should be changed because the very information needed for industry to comply with the Act's requirements will not be available until after the deadline," the statement reads. "CPSC's interpretation of the CPSIA also requires that products already in inventory be compliant with the new standard for lead or they cannot be sold. Billions of dollars worth of inventory that may meet CPSIA requirements might have to be removed from shelves and placed in warehouses until the CPSC clarifies how the testing shall be conducted; only then can the tests be completed and the product back into commerce."
JPMA is urging interim action as soon as possible so that industry has time to gear up to meet any new requirements imposed to demonstrate compliance.
Friday, February 6, 2009
What does our customer need to know about our company?
"Quality" doesn't mean anything instead customers want to know:
- years of experience
- case studies
Are we doing anything that makes it difficult for our customers to buy?
And here are MY questions to you:
- Do you have on your website how long you have been in business?
- Do you have testimonials and endorsements on your website that can be found easily?
- Do you have links to case studies involving your products on your website?
- Are you doing everything possible to help your customers buy from you?
If the answer is NO to any of those questions, roll up your sleeves and GET TO WORK today to turn that NO into a YES. YES means more sales!
Have a FANTASTIC FRIDAY!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
This is a really good post at The Common Room. My new favorite blog on keeping up with the CPSIA. Read it and be sure to click the links.....they are important. The whole post is important. Read it. The fight is NOT over.
It seems that all of "us" small business owners, artists, crafters and WAHM's across the USA came together - albeit thru several groups - and stood up for our rights and effectively got Washington to pay attention to what we were saying. Good for us!
On January 30th, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to issue a one-year stay of enforcement for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products. Now, that doesn't mean we're free and clear, but it does mean that we don't have to throw out our inventory and/or shut our doors.
We must continue to be diligent on this issue and stay on top of changes. For now though, I can focus on my glow in the dark pillowcases, creating new designs and forging ahead w/ growing my business. We'll keep posting new developments.
Click here to read the CPSC news release.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
"January 26th 2009 the new moon will turn over and we will move from the year of the rat to the year of the Earthen ox. The year of the ox happens every 12 years and the year of the Brown or Earth Ox happens once every 60 years with the last occurence being in 1949. Year 4707 in the Chinese calendar, the year of the Ox is generally considered prosperous and hard working."
Here's to a prosperous Year of the Ox filled with lots of hard work!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Just finished some of the photos that will soon be featured on my new website besomethingnew.com It will take a little while longer to get everything up and running on the site, but I thought you might like a sneak peak of my new line. Be Something New will have pieces for the bride, for everyday and also one of a kind things made from vintage items.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Don't give up the fight!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
And with this new year comes new hoops to jump through. Last fall brought me PCI compliance. That's having your website scanned to make sure it is completely secure when taking credit card information. This is not a government thing....this was put out there by the credit card companies to combat fraud. Which is a great idea. It really is.....
So my site was moved to a new secure server and should pass all the scans and guidelines as set forth by the credit card companies. BUT the company that scans websites, keeps scanning my old IP address and not the new one. So, that is kind of in limbo there. I think I have a fine to pay if I don't pass the scans. I am in the process of switching merchant account providers, and they will have a different scanning company and so forth. I
And with 2009 comes the CPSIA. And that's enough to make your head spin. I guess I will know in the next couple weeks exactly what I have to do to stay in business. The act is so vague, it is hard to figure out who needs to do what. Hopefully the legislators will hear all the voices shouting at them and they will amend and clarify this bill so we small businesses know what's going on and aren't forced out of business. It really is a hard read....and can be interpreted many different ways. I don't want to get into that though.....google CPSIA and you will find many sites and opinions on this.
What I wanted to blog about was, wow, what if I have to close my business. I never ever thought of that possibility. Unless business was so slow I had no choice. Being self employed, I thought I had the advantage over others who were being laid off. I would always have a job....until I chose not to.
This CPSIA has scared me. I really have no other skills. I did not complete college. I haven't worked for anyone else in 20 some years. I've been self employed forever and this business is a huge part of me and my life. I paint, and I paint well. I love what I do and am blessed to be able to make money doing it.
This business is supposed to last forever. It is supposed to be here when hubby retires. Then he can either help me, or give me my space and leave me alone : ) It's my "piggy bank" so to speak, because it helps me pay quite a few bills here at home. Plus I can save some money for a vacation if I want. I don't want to be done yet.
Life without piggy banks, and me without a paint brush, just seems very, very wrong. I hope the legislators pay attention to us little people out here and correct things so we can stay in business. I plan to be painting a long, long time yet.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
2008 was hard on my business as I am sure it was for many businesses. I am a positive person though so I believe that 2009 will be better. I will be making some changes to my business but I am positive that they will be for the best.
I wish for you all (anyone reading this blog) best wishes for the new year. Stay positive and keep positive people around you. THAT is my resolution (which I NEVER make) for this year. Out with negative energy sucking people and in with the positive. Not that I have a lot of negative people around me but there are some so............
Here is to 2009, raise a glass and toast all that is good in the world and Thank God that we live in the United States of America and for all our blessings. SW'z, I love you. :)