Biggest Challenge

Business card dilemna

Dear Fellow Crafters,

I know what you are thinking! Today is a Tuesday – what’s up? Well, let me tell you. I was at a business breakfast a few weeks ago and while I was gone from the table to get more butter, my husband explained to the women seated near us, what my business Uniquely Yours was all about. When I returned to the table, they asked if I had a business card. Harmless question, right? Well, while I went hunting for one in my purse, the thought came to me that I really needed to update it. After all, I no longer had a website, I had a blog. I had Pinterest and Facebook accounts.  I made and sold Mason Jar Creations and the list kept growing.

I did find one and updated it hastily with my new email address but I put “Get new Business cards” on my mental agenda. Has anyone bought these lately? It was like finding a contractor! I wanted to use my logo (you know, the one on this blog) and so, I reasoned, I needed to customize it. I did not want to go through the trouble of creating and printing them myself (although in hindsight, it might have been cheaper!) and I didn’t want to buy a rubberstamp (although I could have done that too!) so I started researching. Yikes!!!

First of all, when you put “Business cards” in your browser, you get several options. You can buy from a catalog company, a printing company, a stationery company, Etsy, well, you get the point. Then after you choose which way you want to go, you need to decide what size card you want; paper type (matte, foil), lettering (script or plain Roman), logo, and format ( double-sided, front and back) . This was getting confusing.

I decided to go with the standard size, front and back type matte with my logo on the front, centered with Uniquely Yours in script on the bottom of the front side of the card with my info on the reverse. After reviewing the type and putting in my financial information, I clicked on the shopping cart and ordered my 150 cards. They should arrive in about 10 days. I decided on a small amount of cards, ’cause I wanted to be happy with them. I can always order more- craft fairs coming up. Anyway, does anyone have any ideas what to do with the old cards besides using them for gift tags??

The front of my business card. What do you think?

 

‘Til next time,

~Sallie

 

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Biggest Challenge

Keeping costs down

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Well its tax season again and we’ve pulled out our receipts and if you’re like me, you’ve had mixed reactions as to how much you spent on your crafting supplies over the last year. You could justify the expenses by telling yourself and your significant other (if you have one) that it’s more than your hobby, it’s your passion and the prices are going up not down for most everything.

So how do we keep costs down for our favorite crafts?

Here are 15 tips (some I have yet to try!)

  1. Research retail (brick and mortar) stores for the brands they sell.
  2. Compare prices on-line.
  3. Learn about your craft before you buy expensive equipment. Remember my past post about a Score Board?
  4. Can you test any tools at a craft store?
  5. Does another friend like scrapbooking, floral arranging, knitting too? Can you share items?
  6. Look for gently used rubber stamps at tag sales.
  7. Consider the tool carefully, I’m thinking of buying a MISTI but I want to wait until I see a coupon or what other companies make that are comparable.
  8. Maintain equipment. Learn how to clean and store rubber stamps, ink pads, die-cuts, cling and clear stamps after every use.
  9. Buy only supplies you know you’ll use. It’s ok to have a stash but don’t let the stash overwhelm the space you have to store it in.
  10. If you love floral arranging and are good at it, why not consider selling them? Take the extra money and save it.
  11. We card makers make cards to either give to friends/family and sell at craft fairs. If you’re a knitter or woodworker, why not think beyond your home base?
  12. Set a yearly budget of craft money and stick to it.
  13. Sell your services.
  14. Teach about your hobby, and finally

Write about your favorite hobby!

Remember tip #9  Tip

Happy Crafting,

~Sallie

Biggest Challenge

Styrofoam

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Sleigh and Reindeer

Have you ever tried crafting with Styrofoam? I tried using it when making my Sizzix sleigh and reindeer displays for the craft fair last year. The initial results were down right pathetic! I have since learned a few tricks in handling this versatile product.

One of my mistakes was trying to cut up one of the sheets with scissors. I have since learned that a serrated knife, hacksaw, floral knife or x-acto knife work much better.

Since the base was white already, I had decided to glue faux snow onto the “plank.” I initially used school glue but it was runny and didn’t work well. Imagine my surprise, when I found Styrofoam Glue the other day! In the end, I used ModPodge and sprinkled the snow (bought in a bag at Michael’s) all over the plank. The sleigh sat on top of the “snow covered ” display with a mini Dollar Store Christmas tree and several small packages “presents” inside. The die-cut Prancing Deer completed the scene.  Problem solved. I only wish I’d seen that glue earlier!

‘Til next time,

~Sallie

 

Biggest Challenge

The strange language of Millimeters

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Years ago in 1983, the American government decided to use the universal millimeter instead of inches for measurements. It’s still confusing to me, so when I started subscribing to British craft magazines and they used the dreaded “MM and CM” in card making tutorials, I went on-line to learn how to decipher the language. After all, ” when in Rome…” Anyway, these are two of the best conversion charts I have found. Be sure to bookmark them, ’cause you’ll be using them often.

card making table and video (bookmark

US measures here’s a handy conversion table!

Millimetres     Inches
5mm     ¼ inch
10mm    ½ inch
20mm    ¾ inch
25mm    1 inch
30mm    1¼ inches
40mm    1½ inches
50mm    2 inches
75mm    3 inches
100mm   4 inches
120mm   4½ inches
150mm   6 inches
170mm   6½ inches
180mm   7 inches
200mm   8 inches
230mm   9 inches
240mm   9½ inches
250mm   10 inches
280mm   11 inches
300mm   12 inches
320mm   12½ inches

 

Happy Crafting!

Sallie

Biggest Challenge

Finding time

Dear Fellow Crafters,

There’s a new television program on this season called “Timeless”. The premise is that a team travels back in time to prevent the bad guy from changing the events of the past so that the present remains intact. One of the first shows had the bad guy trying to change the events of the crashing of the Hindenburg.

We couldn’t control time then and we can’t now. Finding time to complete a “to do” list or planner notation is getting harder and harder for all of us. Life has a way of getting in the way when we’re trying to do something. We read newsletters, blogs, newspaper headlines and Facebook posts. Lots of us even schedule reading our emails at specific times and yet we all complain that when we spend time on the internet we “get nothing done.”

So, how do we find time to do everything (or rather some things) on our “To Do” lists?  To crafters, I would suggest organizing and labeling everything. I try to put away my stuff after a marathon of card making but sometimes I don’t. When that happens, I always want to ‘hit myself’ cause I make more work for myself. I have to put things away before I can enjoy myself.  One of the things that bugs me is all those paper scraps. You know the ones I mean. I finally started sorting them by color and type white core, textured, bold colored cardstock, etc. Some crafters use plastic bags but I found a photo box that did the trick for me. I just put the bigger sheets together in a large plastic envelope and the scraps in the box.  The regular sized 9 1/2″ x 11″ are stored in a paper sorter.

For those of you who have oodles of newsletters, blog posts, articles you want to read are they front and center on your desktop? Do you mean to read them “one day when you have time” but never seem to get around to it? Try reading a book that I found immensely helpful: “10 Minute Digital DeClutter: The Simple Habit to Eliminate Technology Overload” by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport.

Happy Crafting,

~Sallie