Friday, December 31, 2010

getting things organized

or maybe it's just a little bit less of a mess, or perhaps a different kind of mess. Having the husband home for a few days over the last week has meant that we've been able to take giant strides towards getting our work space organized.

So far this week we have:
Purchased our new storage and work tables
Cleaned off the old work surface and emptied out the old storage
Assembled our new tables and storage
Things are starting to find permanent homes
Things are finding temporary homes
Decisions about which things are going into the garage and which can be kept out are being made
Shelves that we've had in storage since our move have been hung

It's not exactly as we want it, there are still things that need homes and for the most part it still looks pretty messy. But, BUT it's starting to come together and I can see in my minds eye how it could be once it's finished. Ideally what I want is for my studio space to be inspiring to me. Otherwise as a space it just won't work.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Thousand Words

Snuggling on the couch after opening our x-mas eve gifts

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Clearing things out

We were up and out late last night so today is going to be a take it easy day. It's snowing so the Peanut will want to go outside at some point and I'll be headed out to exchange one of my gifts from the husband for something that will fit me and get those slippers that I didn't get around to picking up yesterday.

Yesterday we got a step closer to a streamlined working space. I emptied out the armoire that we've used for the last ten years to store my art supplies, sketchbooks and photo equipment. It's an Ikea product, but we customized it by adding a few extra shelves.

The next step is to get it out of the house. I'll be taking some pictures of it so that we can post it on craigslist this week. Well, that and a few other items that we just don't have the space for.

That's what we're working on today, what do you have going on?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I need slippers

Something I can just slip on my feet without having to bend down and reach my feet. I'm planning on sneaking out of the house today to pick some up.

Yesterday I cleared off the plastic folding table that has been my work table for a year now. The husband and I went on a little after holiday shopping spree and picked up some stainless steel tables, a new storage shelf and one or two other things from Ikea.

A part of me wishes that I had the time and the resources to source second hand stuff to furnish my work space with. But I don't and I usually end up succumbing to the call of the Ikea catalogue. What we have tight now are the bare bones of what we would ultimately like to have the space look like, perhaps I'll keep my eyes peeled for some of those surprise vintage/ second hand finds to add to the space. It's half assembled and there are boxes, and stacks of supplies everywhere. By the end of the week I'm hoping that it will be set up and all the extraneous furniture will be out.

After that it'll be all about keeping it organized so that I'm not moving into the kitchen to do some painting.

What reorganizing project are you working on for the new year?

Monday, December 27, 2010

new new new

Today we're taking the first step toward building a better workspace for both the husband and myself.

We'll be emptying out the Ikea armoire that we've been lugging around for the last ten years, cleaning off the work table that is currently over flowing with all manner of art materials and organizing the space directly behind our couch. All to make room for two new work tables that will give us more working space, new storage that will make better use of the space that we have and did I mention that we're going to have better workspace?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

After it's over

spending the holidays with just your immediate family has some pluses:

• no need to go rushing off to see every single last member on either side of the family
• a leisurely day doing a little of this and a little of that
• no packing up gifts
• no upset Peanut who doesn't want to leave where she's at each time we have to go

and then there are the negatives

• it feels a little lonely not to have other family around
• not getting to see the reactions to the gifts we've thoughtfully chosen for our loved ones
• no access to Grandma's butter tarts (not that I'm allowed them anyway)
• missing out on the excitement of all the nephews who are still young enough to be super excited for the holidays

We're hoping that next year we'll be able to make the trip to be with family or that some family will be able to make the trip to be with us.

This was our last holiday season as a family of three and we tried to make it a special one for the Peanut. In just one month her whole world is going to change. She's going to have to share the space that is the center of our universe and come to terms with a new role as a big sister. My goal for the short four weeks ahead of us is to spend some extra special time with her and at the same time talk with her as much as possible about how things are going to change (schedules, sharing Momma and Daddy) and how things are going to stay the same (how much we love her, how she'll still get special Peanut only time).

On the one hand I'm very excited about getting the Bean out and meeting her. On the other hand I'm a little sad for the Peanut because she's been the one and only for four and a half years. That's a big change for anyone let alone a little girl. I'm not worried about the whole not having enough love to share between them thing. I've had enough experience with how much love for the Peanut explodes from me to know that there's no danger there.

For those of you who have more than one little, how did you get your oldest ready for that transition?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays

It's down to one more sleep. Tonight we'll feast on finger foods, open up X-mas Eve gifts and tuck the Peanut into bed with a story, a song and a snuggle.

We're on our own again for the holidays this year so we'll be opening our gifts and skyping our parents so that they can see the joy and excitement that the Peanut will be beaming out and then we're going to enjoy a quiet day before getting ready for the new year.

I know that a lot of you will be with family over the next few days so I'm wishing you all a wonderful weekend whether you are celebrating or taking advantage of the long weekend.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Thousand Words

The only baking I've done this holiday season

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Laundry is still on the list

but so is a little painting. I've carved a few new stamps and I'm itching to get them impressed into some glass paint. I did some tests on the weekend and want to see what else I can get out of them. I'm also planning a few rounds of card games with the Peanut. She's recently discovered the joys of Go Fish, Snap and War.

Somewhere in there I'm hoping to get our end of the year letters out to family and friends. I'd call them holiday letters but they are so not going to be delivered until the year 2011. I'm hoping to get gift wrapping done tonight but that may have to wait until tomorrow. Dinner for the next few days is left over chili so that at least is off the list...

How are your holiday plans going? Have your festivities come to an end? Are you just gearing up? What's on your to do list?

Monday, December 20, 2010

and it seems like it looks better in life

I mentioned in my post this morning that I would include pictures of the curtain that it took me two years to complete.

Done Done Done

And it only took me two years to do it.

When we moved from our one bedroom apartment into the two bedroom I got it in my head that I had to make the Peanut a curtain for her new bedroom. So I set out, found a ready made curtain that fit the colour choices for her room and pulled out the embroidery thread. Back then the Peanut was gaga for ladybugs so I decided that I would hand sew random ladybugs all along the bottom of the curtain. She still likes ladybugs just not as passionately as she loves her dinosaurs (and there is no way I'm starting a new curtain with dinosaurs at this stage in the game).

I'll be honest, I thought I'd be way more focused on getting it done but things popped up, and I'd set it down for a few weeks and the weeks would turn into months and then I'd pick it up again and add a few more bugs and the cycle would continue. Until a week ago when I decided that it was so close to being done that I would make a final push. Last night I tied the last french knot into the final ladybug and pronounced it finished.

We'll be hanging the puppy up in her room today (I'll post pictures once it's up). It's not the same room that we started with but it'll fit just fine and it's going to look so much better than the dark blue denim that I've had hanging there to block out the light for the last two years as a stop gap measure. It feels good to get it finished.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weekend Word Picture

Peppermint drifts up from a candy cane to mingle with the rich smell of hot chocolate and roasting chestnuts. Family all aglow with the wash of millions of many coloured lights. Brass horns play holiday songs amidst laughter, and toddler and baby tears with the train whistle steam filled call filling in the spaces in between. Salt popcorn kisses taste buds while we wait our turn to ride the train.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I Refuse To Should All Over Myself

Today we're meeting with the obstetrician and by this afternoon we'll know when the Bean will be making her debut as a real live little person as opposed the faceless bouncing bundle who is at this moment jabbing a very pointed knee into my ribcage.

I'm thinking that this whole having a second baby thing is going to feel even more real by the end of the day. You know, because the undulating belly, the hiccup reverb in my butt and the body shifting kicks aren't really enough to bring it home just yet.

We've decided to have the Bean via c-section. There are a number of reasons for this decision but the main one is that the anxiety surrounding experiencing natural childbirth for the first time is something I'm wanting to bypass. We've had a few emotional speed bumps over the last 7 months and the less anxiety that I have to endure the better. Since the Peanut was delivered via c-section I have the comfort of knowing what to expect as well.

Do I think I'm missing out on the whole experience of pushing and pain? Yup.
Just not enough to want to put myself through it. Do I think I should be having that experience? Not at all. I spent a few weeks waffling on the decision, considering what would be the best for me and our family and ultimately I decided that there was no way that I was going to should myself into doing what wasn't necessarily the best thing for me.

Being a parent, being pregnant, just being is hard enough with out the added stress of shoulding all over ourselves.

Follow my blog with bloglovin

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Follow my blog with bloglovin

A Thousand Words

While I was out shopping The Peanut and her Daddy
composed a letter to Santa

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Work in Progress

I splurged a little bit on my shopping trip last weekend and picked up a few new colours of glass paint. The plan today is to pull them out and give them a test drive.

With the holidays closing in and holiday shopping winding down I'm looking at changing my marketing strategy for our ornaments. I'll be spending some time researching for photo shoots and and working on a change in item descriptions.

Some where in there I'll be putting the Peanut on gingerbread man duty. Since I'm not really supposed to be eating all those yummy cookies that I usually like to bake this time of year I've narrowed my baking list down to one type of cookie ant gingerbread men it is. Also on the list is filling out our holiday/ new year cards.

And of course there will also be laundry (because I have to do at least one load) What do you have on your list today?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


my morning blood sugars are spiking which means as much as I want to, sitting around in front of the 'puter reading emails and blog posts with breakfast and after breakfast has to come to an end.

I like a little leisure in my morning especially since I know that in a few weeks there will no longer be the time to sit back and enjoy a spot of coffee and a little read.

Over all, I'm at the stage in this pregnancy where I'd be happy to have it finish sooner rather than later. Putting socks on is near impossible without uncomfortable contortionist movements. Putting pants on is somewhat similar and with the Bean hanging out so low in my torso lifting up my legs to put them into pants brings sharp pains. The littlest, tiniest things set me off; like watching Erasure's new video for A Little Respect the other day, or listening to Kate Bush's This Womens Work reduced me into a puddle of hormonal tears. Rolling over when sleeping involves becoming fully awake just long enough to heave myself up and around. And the Braxton Hicks contractions? horrible horrible horrible little things. Combine them with little knees and feet jammed into my ribcage and I'm threatening an unborn baby with no desserts for the first ten years unless she knocks it off. (for the record she has so far ignored all my threats; I don't think she's taking me very seriously)

On the other hand, because I know this is the last time I'll ever be pregnant I'm trying to take each moment in. I'm looking forward to meeting the Bean, getting to know her the side of her personality that doesn't involve kicking the stuffing out of me from the inside out. I'm looking forward to introducing the Peanut to her sister and watching how she takes on the role of the big sister. I'm looking forward to breastfeeding and snuggling my two girls. And I'm looking forward to a huge slice of cheesecake, or ice cream or a hand full of chocolate chip cookies without needing to go for a walk afterwards.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I at least had a plan

I did the bulk of my gift shopping this weekend. The one thing I wish I could have been able to do was have at least one handmade gift in the mix for the husband but I'm not going to should all over myself. After a day filled with walking walking walking I'd rather put my feet up and ask the husband to give them a little rub. I am however, glad that I was able to do a good portion of our shopping in local independent shops and or Canadian owned businesses.

I spent some time yesterday and today deciding where I was going to go, what I was looking for where at each of my stops. I'm not finished, I have a few things to pick up over the next week that will be easy peasy then it's wrapping and filling up the space under the tree. I'll be working on getting our holiday new years cards done up over the next few days. This years card is going to be short and sweet because as I've mentioned above I'd rather put my cankley legs up and watch holiday specials.

Friday, December 10, 2010

5 Questions: Colour and Crafting

My schedule for who is being featured when is a little off right now what with the busy holiday season and shop vacations. Add in my heaping schedule of Doctors appointments, daily life and getting ready for both the holidays and I've decided that I'm going to be flexible about who goes where which is why this feature is running a little earlier than I had originally planned.

Tracy of Runnerbean was the recipient of my Etsy Baby Shower Gift of a customized tree ornament and a baby buggy hand painted and sewn card. Once I saw her shop I knew I wanted to ask her 5 questions.

Tracy is a craft artist and graphic designer who loves color and creating with paper and her creations are full of whimsy and are delightful to behold. Tracy's love of colour jumps out at you as soon as you visit her shop. Her photographs pop with vibrant hues and adorable and elegant creations. With an inventory that ranges from flower fairy, Gurumi and mouse dolls to graphically striking pendants Runnerbean is a treat to visit. To see more of Tracy's intricate and amazing work you can visit her website. You can also check out Tracy's fabulous work in Graphic design on her other blog for Joia Design and of course I have to insist that you visit her Etsy shop too! You'll be glad you did.

Can you describe the palette you use to create with, what colours do you always "reach" for?

When presented with a full range of colors to choose from, and especially when I'm just experimenting with paper and seeing how far I can push it, I'm almost always reaching for the blues. I love to use colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel (e.g. blue, blue-green, and green), so you'll often see this in my pieces. I also love to choose one color and then find lighter and/or darker shades of that color and combine them into a piece.

Do you listen to music when you create? What's on your play list right now and why?
These days my background music is most often a baby monitor ( I have a 26 month old daughter and a 5 week old son!), but when I can I'm listening to VPR (Vermont Public Radio) or currently, here in December, I'm listening to Sufjan Stevens' Songs for Christmas. This is a set of 5 CDs and is full of his interpretation of traditional holiday songs as well as originals and is absolutely the best collection - beautiful music that I can sing along with or tune out as my mind floats and my hands work.

What got you started?

I originally started working with paper after seeing some paper filigree work on a cake topper in a Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. I fell in love with the incredibly intricate art and purchased a starter kit shortly thereafter. It was a few years before I began to really experiment and play with the paper. Most of my experiments and pieces come from sketches -doodles- and from things I encounter in life that I want to try in paper form. I've created a paper pendant inspired by the path I took through my house while pushing my daughter in a stroller to get her to take a nap; my Gurumi paper dolls were inspired by Amigurumi crocheted dolls when I couldn't crochet, and often I'm just challenging myself to see what is possible - how small can I make something, or is it possible to recreate that doodle shape in paper, or how many strips of paper does it take to make a 2" diameter solid roll?

If you were granted 3 wishes to furnish your dream studio space, what do you choose and why?

1. Light! I'd want big windows for lots of natural light and also to open to let in air and a breeze, and good lighting for working after dark. My current space has one window, but it doesn't open easily or let in enough light. And the lights are not quite right - too harsh or too dim - I need a professional to help me light the space right.
2. Lots and lots of storage (with space leftover to fill). Open shelves for the neat and pretty stuff, cabinets with doors and drawers to hide the messier stuff, and a good space to store works in progress (I always seem to have 4-5 projects ongoing). I have the opposite of this now and am always wishing for a better system.
3. Big, flat, open work surfaces. Although I work really small, I always have a lot of tools and supplies in use. It'd be downright luxurious to be able spread them all out.

Which Children's book character would you be and why?
I'd be the mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie - racing from project to project, easily distracted and moved to action and inspired by things I encounter along the way. I also love to wear overalls. And to eat cookies.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Thousand Words

What? It isn't common place to dress up like a dragon and play
dinosaurs in front of the tree anymore?

I'm very behind on a lot of things. In addition to a lot of surprise laundry I'll be writing up tomorrows 5 question feature today and hopefully starting to fill out holiday cards.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Work in Progress Wednesday

We have a busy day today. I'm getting ready for January in the shop, going through and making some changes in my tags to reflect the merchandising themes that suit PeanutButterPie and planning what I can add to the mix as well.

That means a little fun for me, since I'll get to carve a few new blocks and start some paintings again. The image to the right is a block I'm working on right now. I'm a little excited about the texture in the block and already planning how make sure it stays a part of the image once I transfer it onto glass. It's going to have to come down to a mix of timing and pigment/paint mix. If you can't tell I'm rubbing my hands together in mad scientist like glee.

Also on the agenda? Laundry of course. I don't think I've posted a single work in progress that hasn't included laundry. It's a never ending job. A trip to the bank and then the mall for the Peanut to play and and early dinner out before we hit the hospital for the Prenatal tour. We're taking the Peanut so that when it's time for her sister to come out and join us the whole experience will be a little less scary for her. If she knows where it is that Momma's going to be and where she'll be coming to meet the Bean perhaps she'll feel a little less stress about all of the big changes that come with becoming the big sister.

What's on your list for today? Are you already looking ahead for the new year? Any big plans?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Speaking of time

Of course this display doesn't include today's box. The Peanut has been faithfully opening her advent boxes everyday

I'm wishing I had more time to devote to promoting the ornaments over at PeanutButterPie, the window for ordering with regular priced shipping is slowly closing, for orders in the US it's already shut. But I don't want to be too spammy on facebook and twitter. It's hard to strike a balance but it's something I'm working on. I took some time yesterday to sit in on a Newbie Virtual Lab on Etsy yesterday. I like to drop in every once in a while, it's good to brush up on some basics and in some cases get a few tips that may not have occurred to me for the shop and for running my business.

Today is a pick up some fruit and veg and go to the library day. I'll be trying to tweet a few links to some pretty ornament combos today in between all our coming and going.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Oh my how time is a flying

The Peanut went to her first company holiday party yesterday. We gussied her up and went to the Husband's work where she was fed pizza and juice; was directed to a table where she could decorate and eat sugar cookies and then to the craft table where she made tree ornaments and pipe cleaner jewelry. Then we all were treated to a wild life show from a local animal rescue organization. The Peanut is still talking about the Leopard Gecko and the giant snake skin that she was allowed to touch. Then there was a visit from the jolly red elf and the Peanut was allowed to open her first present of the year; a new dinosaur stuffy which she promptly named Scratchy the Stegosaurus.

Last week we pulled out the advent calendar that I made last year and filled it with candy cane kisses and the Peanut has been opening one each day and counting backwards from 24. And my sister stopped by with a large suitcase from her latest trip to Alberta full of wrapped presents. So far we've only managed to strike two names off of our list. Usually I've started and almost finished gift shopping by now but this year I'm feeling a little distracted (could be the twitchy, bumpy, kicky little passenger in the belly) and we're behind in the gift department. Luckily for the most part the rest of the gifts we need for family (other than the Peanut) are all photographs of the Peanut with a few family pictures thrown in for good measure. Easily done over the course of the next week.

And speaking of time getting away from me: Here are the last dates you can order an ornament from PeanutButterPie and still receive your package before the big day:

In Canada using Regular Parcel:
The last day for ordering to receive your package is December 10th
for customized orders please order by December 8th

Using XpressPost (please convo me with this requested shipping method and I will adjust shipping charges accordingly):
The last day for ordering to receive your order is December 18th
for customized orders please order by December 16th
To the United States using Expidited Parcel: The last day for ordering to receive your order is December 8th
for customized orders please order by December 6th

Using XpressPost (please convo with this requested and I will adjust shipping charges accordingly):
The last day for ordering to receive your order is December 16th
for customized orders please order by December 14th

To Everywhere Else
At this time in order to get your order to you before the Holiday shipping I will have to ship via Canada Post Priority™ Worldwide (Rush) Please convo with this requested and I will adjust shipping charges accordingly:
Your order should to be placed by December 14th
for customization please order by December 12th

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I woke up

at about the same time as normal today except the Peanut stayed sleeping. So I took advantage and lounged in bed letting my mind wander and paying attention to the kicks and punches that the Bean was laying on me. She's got a lot of muscle going on, there were a few that nudged me a millimeter here and there as she tried to stretch out.

We're fast heading into the weekly Doctors appointments and it's getting harder and harder to keep the blood sugars under control. Gone are the mornings of eating my breakfast and sitting over a 1/4 cup of coffee, now I have to get up and walk for 15 minutes. I am so looking forward to just plain old eating without having to calculate how many carbs and how much fiber and protein is in any given serving that I am planning on consuming. I've gotten to the point where I have a rotation of foods to eat that I know are at or below recommended serving sizes so I don't have to think about it too much. The difficulty with that is an attack of food ennui, where I'm getting bored with food. Oh but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it's small but getting bigger...

So as I was saying above, I was enjoying one of the rare mornings when I'm not woken up by the Peanut calling out from her own warm bed (since it's started to be colder at night the Peanut has stopped dinosaur stomping into our room to wake us up) to tell me she's hungry. I was letting my mind wander and it started to wander towards next year's craft fair season. Particularly what I'm going to need to gather together so that I can have a professional looking display. I'm hoping to do at least two shows next year which means that the husband and I will continue to build on our inventory over the course of the year.

In addition to the ornaments we're kicking around another collaboration idea and I have plans for a further use of the stamps I've been carving for the ornaments... now to just keep up the creative momentum as the time approaches for the Bean to make her appearance and after...

By the way, have you had a chance to see the new customization service I've added to PeanutButterPie?

I mentioned a little while ago that I was testing out ways to add a little something extra to our ornaments. I got it all figured out and the first customized piece was sent out to my Etsy Baby Shower recipient last week. She sent me a note letting me know it had arrived and gave the ornament a glowing review!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Weekend Word Picture

OK, before I get to it; you really must click this link and head over to this site first.
Also if you missed yesterday's feature on Mezzo you can read it here

Early morning frost dusted steps and frost laced leaves and grass crunch under hurried feet
frantic to burn off excess morning blood sugars in an after breakfast walk. Cold air fogging on the exhale.

Friday, December 3, 2010

5 Questions Mezzo: Feather Hairpins

So on Monday I went to check the mail and received my second Etsy Baby Shower Gift from Juliette Mourez of Mezzo on Etsy. So what did I get you ask?

Three beautiful and elegant feather hair pins which I will be putting to good use in my own hair sometime during this coming holiday season. I love that these hair pins are for me; I sometimes think that a gift just for a new Momma and not just a little something for the new baby is a gift well given; A new Momma tends to put all her thoughts and energies into that new baby and can soon forget about herself. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had decided to make sure that I felt good about myself and would be putting an effort into making sure that I do so during this pregnancy. Receiving something that is so simple but with an extravagance to it; something that I may not have thought to get for myself to make me feel pretty is a wonderful gift.

Right now Mezzo's shop carries only her signature feather hair pins but in the past it has carried an assortment of jewelery for both people and for cats; which if you look at her sold items are fantastic. Her signature hair pins are; as she explains in her shop announcement like her cat for whom the shop is named; a tall black cat, mixed between a snob puppy and a mischievous monkey playful and elegant. Having received my gift I have to say that the quality of her workmanship is amazing. her pins are high quality and stunningly beautiful.

To find out more about what Juliette is up to with Mezzo you can visit her blog of the same name. If you have a holiday party, are getting married soon and you need something stunning to adorn your hair or you just need a little something to make you feel good about yourself visit her shop and pick out the perfect feather hair accesory to help you stand out in the holiday crowd.

So without further ado: here are Juliette's answers to my always probing and thought provoking questions.

Do you listen to music when you create? If yes, what's on your play list right now and why?

I usually don't, simply because I work on my feathers late after the kids are asleep, so usually in silence or while watching a movie. I am into the Mad Men series right now (finishing season 3 !), and I have been crazy in love with this 50's and 60's style for a long time.

Have your customers ever surprised you with how they plan on using your creations?
Yes ! I wish I got to see more of my pins in 'action' though ! I just love it when people send me photos. I once admired how a bride used 3 of the White Clouds feather hair pins to hold in a very light and small birdcage veil. I would not have thought of that !

What item in your shop is your favourite and your best? i.e. do you have an item in your shop you love above all others?
I have a soft spot for the Pink Puff feather hair pin. It is so light, girly and retro at the same time! It has a different volume from the other feathers and the color is very chic.

What was the last thing you purchased on Etsy?
A pair of handmade cotton and fleece slippers for my 2 year old - they're the 4th pair from this seller ! My girl has been wearing this 'brand' since before she could walk :)

If you were an animal what animal would you be?
Oh, I dread this question... I seriously don't know. Aren't we humans animals after all ? All right, I am going to say... a kangaroo !

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Thousand Words

a little camera fun

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lots to do

today. I'm in the midst of laundry the folding and the washing kind. Beds need to be changed and chocolate needs to be acquired for the advent calendar which needs to be hung.

Other than that today I am focusing on setting up a listing for personalizing options for the ornaments which means that I'll be personalizing some ornaments and photographing so I've got fingers crossed for good light today. On my mind will be the next steps to take in the holiday push. This weekend was a good start but I want to keep it going.

Also on the to do list; a 5 question feature post for the Friday. I received my second Etsy Baby Shower gift the other day and I'll be photographing that as well for the feature.

What are you doing today?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's all in the learing curve

OK, so I've written and rewritten this post a few times. The first drafts were all very "woe is me" "everything sucks", you know, the I'm not happy kind of posts.

To be honest I felt a little despondent about the lack of sales at PeanutButterPie this weekend and to be very honest I just wanted to sulk a little bit. Fortunately for you, sulking isn't an activity that I indulge in for very long at any given time and once I was able to type out the "Oh Woes" and the "Alack a days" I got over it. Then I decided to focus on what I did to get ready for my sales event, what was successful and what wasn't. I also want to look at why and what I can do next time around.

Going into this sale weekend I did some groundwork for promoting by writing about the sale in my blog, on my facebook and facebook fanpage and adding my shop link to a few sites that were linking to sales over the weekend. I made use of Etsy on Sale and Etsy Coupons to put my sale on and to promote it as well. During the sale I tweeted*, I facebooked and participated in the Etsy forums and I visited and commented on my own blog lists in the hopes of bringing some more traffic to my shop. (*keep in mind that when I say tweeted I did not blast spam continuously over the course of the weekend but retweeted other artist's sales, carried on tweetversations, posted links to items of interest and posted about my families tradition of giving a new ornament to put on the tree every year in between linking to items in my shop)

To look at GA it all worked to one degree or another. This weekend I had a record number of page views and unique visits. If I compare this month with last months views in PeanutButterPie, my traffic was more than doubled with the bulk of visits made over last weekend. Looking at this last weekend compared to the weekend before, visits were up 80%. That's a big jump in visitors. Enormous, really. Monstrous. When you look at it that way it's something to be proud of.

So out of all the promotion steps I took what worked the best? According to GA the bulk of my page views were made from referring sites. These would be the visits that were made by clicking on the links to my sale on the Blogs that I mentioned above, twitter, facebook, my blog and the Etsy Apps Etsy on Sale and Etsy Coupons. The rest of of the traffic sources were made via what GA classifies as direct traffic which on Etsy could come from visitors clicking on their favourites, visiting treasuries or from the Etsy forums. Overall, the least productive steps I took involved my own blog posts. Traffic sources from this blog and others made up only 1% of all visits. Of course I still need to go into GA and look at the traffic on my blog and the number of clicks the links to the sale received. They could have been lumped into the direct traffic numbers on my shops analytics in which case they may not be as concerning as I think.

What I want to focus on for next time is focusing my promoting on my target market. The question is who is that?

Did you do a promotion this weekend? How did it go? What did you learn. Please feel free to share, if we pool our information and thoughts our next event can be even better right?

Monday, November 29, 2010

All decked out

For Halloween we picked up the most fabulous black glittered skeleton who we dubbed oh so ingeniously Disco Skeleton. We hung Disco Skeleton in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room and when we packed all the other spooky decor away until next year Disco Skeleton escaped our notice and managed to hang out in the same place for over a month. That is until we put the tree up on Saturday and I decided that what Disco Skeleton really really really needed was a change of scenery, a chance to perch precariously at the top of the tree and keep a look out for the jolly red elf and perhaps give a passing nod to the Holly King as he makes room for the Oak King during the Solstice. It does help that Disco Skeleton is super sparkly and he does have the most infectious grin. I'm determined to get him a little Santa hat to help him enjoy the holidays.

This year we've done a mini gingerbread village instead of a house. I'm not sure we'll go this route again next year but the Peanut had lots of fun with them and can't wait to decimate each tiny house.

I'll be posting a post mortem on my first ever sale tomorrow. If you're looking for something different for your tree head on over to PeanutButterPie and check out our ornaments. The sale ends tonight at midnight Pacific Standard Time.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I'll Post Some Pictures

Later today of our tree. Our family decorating party was a lot of fun. The Peanut is now old enough that she was a huge help in putting the tree up. Once we had the lights put on she leaped into decorating. Before I knew it all the decorations were hung and all that was needed was to add the disco skeleton to the tree.

Today we'll put out our tiny village and train set and then we'll be going out to the family swim at the community pool in the hopes that the Peanut will tire herself out in the water and that I'll be able to enjoy a certain weightlessness that being in a large body of water while pregnant gives a person. I'm starting to see swollen ankles at the end of the day and also early in the day too. The Bean is on the move all the time with kicks and hiccups and rolling over.

And last but not least: My ornament sets sale continues until tomorrow Midnight. Save 15% off of the regular retail price of $60 USD. The rest of PeanutButterPie will go on sale later today, starting at 6PM Pacific Standard Time when you'll be able to save 10% to 15% off of the regular price on everything in the shop. If you're looking for unique one of a kind tree ornaments, want to add something extra to a gift for someone special or need the perfect host or hostess gift for that party you're invited to these ornaments fit the bill.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's Tree Time and other stuff, And hey! Have you checked out my sale yet?

We'll be putting up our tree today, cleaning the living room, putting it together (we have an artificial tree) untangling lights, unpacking decorations and hanging them. It's going to keep us occupied for a good part of the day and there may even be some holiday music involved... the good stuff like The Pogues, The Raveonettes and Aimee Mann.

We've already put together a gingerbread creation this week so our holiday celebrations are well underway. This year we came across a village kit with 5 tiny buildings. We let the Peanut be in charge of decorating them. I'll be posting some pictures soon; before she starts to pick the gum drops and sprinkles off of the roofs and walls. Also on the to do this holiday list is a trip to the Bright Nights train, a ride on the carousel at Burnaby Village and the Lantern festival on the Solstice. Add in a little baking, some crafting with the Peanut and of course gift shopping and we've got a nice full holiday platter lined up.

I'm battling a minor cold with an irritated throat and sinus and various of aches and pains; although I'm pretty sure the aches and pains are from my not shoveling the sidewalks and driveways during the monster snowfall we had the other day. I say not shoveling because I generally pushed the snow off of the sidewalks with very little lifting of snow involved except for the huge pile of snow that is still sitting melting in the rain in our back yard. I know that I'm probably going to hear from some of you about how a pregnant women shouldn't be doing heavy labour like that but, BUT I was having fun, and it really wasn't that hard and AND it kept my blood sugars well under control all day long. The above mentioned aches are good ones and really are almost nearly gone and so is all that snow.

In between tree assembly and decorating I'll be checking in at PeanutButterPie to answer convo's and questions since my Black Friday Sale is still up and running. We've had a record number of visitors to the shop and I'm looking forward to seeing more customers over the rest of the weekend and all day Monday. In case you're just hearing about my sale, all ornament sets in my shop are 15% off of their regular retail price of $60.00 USD. If you haven't had a chance to come by and have a look now's a good time!

How are your holiday preparations coming along?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Nursing Bling: Always Remember Which Side You Nursed

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I'd signed myself up for the Etsy Baby Shower. I've participated in the shower before and loved being able to give to new Etsy Moms and my gifts were very much appreciated. Being able to participate as a new Etsy Mom is also very exciting to me mainly because I look at it as a way to build community.

In order to give back to the generous Etsians who are thoughtfully sending gifts my way for the Bean, I wanted to feature each of them in a five question feature post over the next few weeks. Unfortunately the beginning of the holiday rush has delayed these plans but that doesn't mean that I can't share a little bit about each of the creative and talented artists and artisans that have been so generous to me.

Since I also wanted to give as well as receive to I'm also planning a feature on the other new Etsy Mom's Etsy shop who will receive something from me. Now did that read as totally confusing? To simplify watch over the next few weeks as I feature shops from the Etsians who are either giving me an Etsy Baby Shower Gift or receiving one from me. Once things slow down enough for these talented folks to send me the answers to my thought provoking questions I'll be posting 5 question features on each of them.

In the meantime I wanted to share a little about Yvette from NursingBling. Yvette is a jewelry and accessory designer whose shops roots are fairly similar to why I started PeanutButterPie; creating a personal gift for a friend which led to requests for gifts for still other nursing Mammas.

NursingBling is a fantastic stop for a baby shower gift that goes beyond baby clothes and receiving blankets (not that those gifts aren't welcome either but a gift from NursingBling really stands out). In Yvette's shop you'll find Nursing Covers, Nursing Wraps Breastfeeding Covers, Nursing Shawls, Nursing Bling and Nursing Jewels all beautifully made and in the case of the Bling and the Jewels simply beautiful to look at too.

With the Peanut I breastfed up until a month before her second birthday. The first days of breastfeeding were days of sleep deprivation full of a frustration as I slowly got the hang of the proper latch and making sure that the newborn Peanut wasn't falling asleep mid feed. I suffered from not one, but two cases of mastitis in the first year and figuring out which side I last nursed on was done by juggling each breast to feel which one felt lighter and which was heavier; classy right? Had I been gifted with some nursing bling back then I think at the very least I'd have felt a little more stylish and at the very most I'd have had a beautiful charm to pass onto the Peanut if she decides to be a Mamma herself one day.

To find out more you can of course click on the NursingBling links above or any one of the photographs here. You can also keep up to day with Yvette on her breastfeeding blog, as well as on Twitter and her Facebook Fanpage.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Black Friday Sale

I may have mentioned over the last week or so that I'll be putting some ornaments on sale for Black Friday. Well it's not quite Black Friday but my sale starts now! All of the ornament sets in PeanutButterPie are on sale for 15% off of the regular price.

The Sale price lasts through Monday (or as long as supplies last) when the rest of the ornaments will be on sale as well; making every item in PeanutButterPie discounted from 10% to 15% off of the regular prices. Happy Shopping!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Total Pageviews

Popular Posts