Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Slow and Slower

*sigh* Business is slow. Not entirely odd for this time of year, but a little odd for me. If I work really hard this week, I could get all my orders painted and shipped. And I would see the bottom of my to-paint pile.

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

National Garden Month!

April is National Garden Month! I love gardening. To me, it truly keeps me sane, calms when I'm stressed and I can never get enough of it. I'm not a great gardener - pretty good, but not and expert by any stretch. I learned my gardening skills from my mother:) It all started when I was younger, but trust me, it wasn't my choice to spend all that time pulling weeds. It was punishment for fighting with my brother or her solution to my saying "I'm bored" one too many times!

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 me, she'll love it!

Happy National Garden Month!

Click on this link ( to check out the complete list of "months".

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Contest, Zig Ziglar & Interior Design

Short & sweet post... my kid is home sick today. She has been all week. She's got the flu. Poor thing. Really throws a wrench in the works of a WAHM.

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!