Friday, August 28, 2015

#HappyMailIsTheBestMail Series No. 7 (Foil Stamping and Mirror Stamping)



Hello friends! 

I'm back with another installment in my Happy Mail Is The Best Mail series! New to the blog? So far this year I have: added a handmade bracelet to a card, made a card almost entirely with washi tape, played with watercolors,  I even sewed up a quilted card! I can't believe the year is over half way over, can you? I've really enjoyed these little card experiments and I hope you have learned from them. Have you played along yet? If do, make sure to tag your card/letter with #happymailisthebestmail on social media-I want to see what you make! 

Onto this month's cards

{National Dog Day}- August 26 . Ok, so I am a little late on this one, but I really liked this card, so I hope you can use my ideas to make something soon. And, technically, you don't have to wait for a special occasion to appreciate your furry friends. 


Mirror stamping allows you to stretch your stamps by using the reverse image. See that pair of pups, they are one stamp! I used this tutorial from Jenifer Maguire to stamp the guy on the left. I heat embossed the images, then used some loose watercoloring. I used one of my favorite Mama Elephant stamp sets


To make the balloon I also heat embossed one of the images from this set, added the point at the bottom, and drew on a string.

{Just Because Day}- August 29 (that's today!) Here's the beauty of this particular holiday, it can really be whatever you want! It's the perfect holiday to write a letter or send out a quick card to someone you love. Who have you been meaning to reach out to-do it today!

 I am still learning my way around all the uses for transfer foil. (I shared a trio of cards HERE). I bought some of this liquid adhesive from Thermoweb and wanted to see if I could use it like paint with a stamp.

I used the balloon image from this stamp set and used a brush to apply the glue. Then I stamped it (I did this twice), then quickly cleaned the stamp with soap and warm water. I let the glue set for a few minutes as per the instructions, then applied some of the pretty pink foil.

As you can see, it was not a perfect technique. Maybe I needed to use more glue? Not sure. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments! 

To finish of the card, I added a pair pandas (from this set) and just a little bit of blue Distress Ink. I left the inside blank.....just because ; )


So that's all for today folks! I'm off this weekend for an end of summer family visit. What are your plans this weekend? Planning to send out some happy mail? Make sure to tag it #happymailisthebestmail so we can all see it!

Michelle

PRODUCTS USED:
Dog Day Card: Mama Elephant Oragami stamp, Love Languages stamp, Versamark Ink, AC Embossing Powder, basis watercolors from Target(?), American Crafts cardstock
Just Because Card: Mama Elephant panda stamp, Good Times stamp, American Crafts cardstock, Thermoweb transfer glue, Thermoweb transfer foil in magenta, Blue Distress Ink 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Let's Talk About Social Media


Hello peeps!

I have been thinking about my little business alot this week. Obviously, as a one woman show, I produce all the content I share and the products I sell. I am also the only person who is truly committed to promoting and growing my audience. I like to get to know the people I work for and bring them what they need, I like to chat with fellow makers, and get inspired by companies doing new things in my industry.I use social media almost everyday for this purpose. I share my products on Pintrest. I ask questions to my customers on my Facebook page. I share pictures and follow many other makers on Instagram.Recently I started a Tumblr blog. It's ALOT to cover. Add to it, I am generally a social person and I enjoy chatting with my friends/family, talking pop culture/politics, sharing stories. Sometimes I worry about over sharing. I worry that something I say/post will turn off one of my Hot Wheels peeps...but then I worry about coming across as phony or insincere.

So, today I'd love to get some thoughts from you lovely people. This blog is a mix of my IRL friends, Hot Wheels customers, and maybe a few fellow crafty people who enjoy DIY ideas as much as I do? I'll share my thoughts on the social media sites I use and how I use them, and in the comments you tell me what you think! 


Facebook- I consider this my social media gateway drug. I originally only had a personal page, and I still LOVE keeping up with my friends and family. It's my #1 place for keeping up with my IRL peeps. Last year, I started a business page, to share what I sell in my Etsy shop and chat with people who support my business. I get a lot of referrals and custom order from Facebook. I post business related stuff 4-5 times a week. I schedule/edit what I post more here than what I do on other sites, which can be tricky.


Twitter- I started my Twitter as a way to follow: companies I love, tv shows, celebrities, its also a great way to follow news events. Last year I started sharing new listings in my shop and every time I write a blog I share it once or twice. To be honest, I don't get a ton of traffic from Twitter, but enough that it's worth posting. I plan/edit some of what I post, but honestly-the temporary nature of tweets makes me feel like I don't need to edit myself so much. I also feel freer to tweet about politics and pop culture. Hopefully, that doesn't turn off potential customers? I honestly don't don't think it has so far.

Instagram: I post at least once a day, most days. I try to be concience of what I share there, with bright, clear pictures. My posts here tend to be all over the place-pics from my real life, pics of projects I am working on, and pics of my products/services. Like FB, I take more time to edit my pictures and choose my words carefully. I love the visual nature of Instagram, and I want to add to that in my own small way. And where else is it acceptable to share a snap of your favorte local ice cream place? #importantstuff

Pintrest-I hopped on the Pintrest bandwagon right in the beginning. I use it as a way to keep track of things like: recipes, books I want to read, party ideas, etc. Biz-wise I pin every single thing I offer in my shop and almost every blog post. I pin 4-5 times a week, and post my products multiple times, because Pintrest, like Twitter, is always changing and I hope to reach different people at different times of the day.According to Etsy I get the most traffic (social media wise) from Pintrest,do I make a concerted effort to be active there, but I have very little 'interaction' with people. I post things, and people either click over to my shop or share it.


I purposely didn't link to any of my accounts in the post. You can find me using the links in the right hand sidebar. Like I said before, I am a social person-I would love to connect with you on any of these websites! But, I don't want this post to be about me promoting myself. I want to hear from you!

 Here's what I want to know. If you have a minute, leave me a comment! (or send me a tweet or FB message if you prefer) and tell me:

-are you a business owner? What social media platforms do you use and find the most successful
- are you a crafter? a maker? which platform do you visit most often to share ideas and find inspiration?
- Are you one of my customers? Do you buy from other local/handmade businesses? Where do you follow your favorite companies? (bonus question: How often can a business post without seeming 'spammy'?)
-I also have  Tumblr and a Snapchat account, but I don't do much with either. Do you?

I know y'all are busy just like me, but I so appreciate our thoughts. Social media is such an awesome thing, but it has gotten so BIG it can feel like another part time job keeping up with it.

Of to like some pretty Instagram photos......
Michelle



Friday, August 7, 2015

God's Eye Wall Hanging


 
Welcome back, y'all!
Two of my favorite bloggers Elise and Rachel have been talking alot about wall hangings and weaving projects. Years ago I learned how to knit (and machine knit!) and weave on a loom, but I haven't done it in years. I've always loved yarn and fabric projects! I had a semi blank wall in my living room that I have been staring at for months....and an idea was born.

Do you remember making popsicle stick god's eyes as a kid? I loved those! I wanted to put my own spin on Rachel's wall hangings, plus I don't have a loom, so I thought the shape of a god's eye would look great, plus be a lot easier. 


I did a little research. I wanted a large piece. I found this inspiring tutorial on Honestly WTF. I dug thru my yarn box and went to the store to buy the longest dowels Michael's had to offer (I think they are about 24"?


Since dowel rods are not flat, I used my exacto knife to cut a divet in each one so they would lock together. The wood was soft, so that was easy. I gave it a little hot glue, and secured it with strong twine to help keep it stable. See above to get kind of an idea of what I did!

Then I started wrapping! In addition to plain colored yarn, I found some gray/black yarn and added a few ribbons from my ribbon box (I have a lot of boxes, lol)



I didn't think too hard about a pattern, I started with an off white yarn in the center then just eye balled how wide I wanted to make each color. I really love how the extra ribbons stick out and give it some dimension!


After finishing this piece I am inspired to make more! I did some research and found these really amazing ones on Etsy, so my next one will hopefully be even more intricate. The actual weaving part is simple- as you can see in this awesome tutorial it's really just repetitive wrapping. The creative part is picking colors, and branching out into other shapes. At it's roots, a god's eye was often made to celebrate the birth of a baby, and the family added to it as the years go by. I might make one of these to give as a baby gift in the future!

Are you into weaving? Have you ever made something like this? I want to see your ideas and inspiration!

Have a great weekend and get your hands on a good project, ok?
Michelle

p.s. this weekend is the last for my Christmas In July sale! great prices on my 2014 holiday cards and gift tags, get 'em before they are retired to make room for new cards = )



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Day In The Life Layout (using Elles Studio, Studio Calico and my own PL cards!)



Hey y'all! Today I wanted to share a new page in my 2015 scrapbook. I played along with an online challenge called Day In The Life back in May, where I snapped a bunch of pictures from one typical day. The idea is to capture what an average day looks like. Now that I work freelance providing disability services and have a busy Etsy shop my days can be all over the place. I managed to snap a few pictures, then kept notes on a piece of paper about what I did. Which was a whole lot of everyday stuff. Nothing exciting, but a good day nonetheless!

A few highlights from my day: I snuck in some creative time to make new things for my shop. I tend to check my emails 4-5 times a day. ugh. Email is necessary and awesome, but time consuming. It was such a pretty day that I took the long way home thru the park! I took one of my clients to a job interview-which is one of the best things I get to do. 


See the 'Ths Is Me' card? I recently started selling hand stamped Project Life cards in my shop! You can find this one and many more sets HERE. Its' size and message worked perfectly for this page. I just added some journaling right on top.


Supplies Used (all pretty old products-except my PL card!- so no affiliate links. I sourced what you can still find):
Patterned paper- Elle's Studio Day to Day and Everyday Moments from Teresa Collins, Pink Triangle Washi Tape, Wood Veneer Pins- in the sold out Maker kit from Studio Calico , Black Fine Tip Sharpie, This Is Me Project Life Card! , and red triangle badge super old, from my stash.

That's all for today-thanks for stopping by!

Michelle