Wednesday, December 28, 2011

DIY Business Cards!

I have had a few Simply March orders and with each one, I've been totally bummed to not have business cards to send them off with.  I've been waiting and really focusing on having a nice, full shop and adding new and cute merchandise daily.  That said, there hasn't been much time, or cash, to focus on the all important business card.

I am a HUGE fan of Moo cards.  I love the quality and it is so handy to have a little something with pictures of merchandise.  For now, I will focus on having something to just help get my name out there and guide people to my shop, blog and Facebook page (by the way, did you see the Facebook "like" button over on the right side?  Because you should totally "like" it!).

After pricing out some other printers, I decided that was also not the way I wanted to go.  The cards were inexpensive, but shipping and wait time was completely impatient soul could not wait 30 days plus shipping time.  Being the crafty girl I am, I refused to give up and below is the totally great outcome:

Yep, for the cost of a great punch ($15), a pack of 8.5"x11" kraft paper ($4) and a pack of REALLY nice, double sided 12x12 scrapbook paper ($9 with a 50% coupon), I have 576 business cards waiting to be made.

A regular business card measures 2" x 3.5".  I was being thrifty and wanted to get the most use out of this gorgeous paper, so I decided to make them 2" x 3" so I could use the entire 12x12 sheet.  I chose this great pack called "Daily Junque" by Pink Paislee and I'm in love.  It's nice and thick...a good weight and double sided.  And the pattern....le sigh.  If I was a scrapbook paper, I would look like this.

Next, I did my little design.  One of the best things, I could use my fonts and design that I've been using in my Etsy shop banner.  I'm a bit nuts that way....I like to keep things matching and strongly branded.  Because I can get 24 cards out of a 12x12 scrapbook page, I wanted to get a number that divides evenly into that out of the 8.5x11 card stock.  12 seemed to work just fine.  I measured the space the punch gave me (there are SO many punches that will give you a cool die creative) and then printed on our ink jet.  I like a more distressed look, so I chose to print on fast draft.  Time to punch!

Cut your scrapbook paper, give it a little brush with some rubber cement and voila.  DIY business cards that are branded, super cheap and way cuter than anything you could have bought.

That one happened by accident, but I really love my little message that popped through....creating my crafty empire, one awesome card at a time.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kiss my (etched) glass...

5 days until, what am I doing? Why attempting a new craft, of course. I always do love a challenge, and an under pressure challenge is even better.

I have a new boss. And he's a dude. A dude who is quite high up and, of course, has everything.  And he has children who get him everything else.  Let's recap:  boss, dude, high up with children and everything.  I mean, everything. What do you give? All I could come up with is something personalized. Even better, something personalized and handmade. No one could hate that, right?

I chose a stemless wine glass because I know he likes those.  He gave them out as a gift last Christmas and uses one at every event and party.  Now he shall have his very own with a nice, big X etched into the side.  Only problem....I've never etched anything.

Enter Armor Etch. $4.50 with a 50% off coupon and boom....etched glass. But I learned some things along the way that may help read on for my etched glass tutorial.

First, you need armor etch, a piece of glassware, a design, an exacto knife and contact paper (which I couldn't find). Instead, I used a sheet of duck tape....yes, it's really called DucK tape and it was in the same aisle as the stencils.

Wash your etching surface to ensure it is clean and dry.  I did not do this on glass #1 which may account for glass #1 being a total fail.  But I'm thinking other factors were involved.  Back to that in a minute.  Print your design on regular paper. Cut out and trace onto the duck tape sheet.  I'm thinking there are a ton of ways to transfer, and the transfer method I chose is probably the hardest.  One might even be able to use the Citra Solv method (I like to use the Citra Solv method for everything....I'm not sure if you noticed)!  I also think a fancy cricut machine would work and be a lot would get a really nice cut out of it without having to deal will all the other nonsense.  But I don't have one of those. Moving on....

Next, cut a square around you design and stick it to your glass. Don't forget to smooth out the bubbles.

Then with your exacto knife, cut out the shape. This was tricky....I got better the second try.  Contact paper wouldn't be as stringy and probably easier to cut.  In a bind, the duct tape worked but next time, I shall search for contact paper.

Peel off the design so a stencil/negative space is left. I also went back in and made sure any stringy bits and corners were cleaned up.

Okay, now with a paint brush, slather on your Armor Etch carefully. Meaning, don't get it on the glass except for where you want it to go....sounds totally duh, but trust me, I'm kind of a moron. This is where I had to do two....the first glass didn't have enough armor etch on it. See...



Yeah, not so good.  You can KIND OF see the X, but not really.  Slather means slather.


Try to get it even. Globs will show up in the final etch almost like a watermark. Rinse after 5 to 6 minutes (the Armor Etch directions say 5 minutes...I might leave it a bit longer next time) and take off the tape.

It's a Christmas Miracle!!  It's not perfect, but I figure one more go and I'll have it down. Hooray for new skills!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Simply March Open for Business!

I've been so excited, I forgot to do a post!

The new shop is OPEN and I do so hope you'll stop by.  Look around, find something cute, pin it, buy it, put it on your Facebook page.  Lots of new and exciting things coming, as well.  I love that Simply March is able to encompass all kinds of things:  jewelry, paper goods, accessories, home goods.  I have lots of fun things up my sleeve!

But for now:

I'm also LOVING the dress up aspect of having an accessory store.  So fun!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Little Help from a Friend: Simply March Photo Session

Ooooo, I have been working so hard on some very cool pieces.  But how can you really show something off without someone to model?

Enter my buddy Deanna.  She was kind enough to give up a Wednesday night to come over, have some Thai and play dress up with all of the fun items.  It was so great of her and I LOVE what came out of it.  Check out a few of the highlights....

Hopefully the shop will be open in a few days and these items, plus many more, will be for sale.  Hooray!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Handcrafted Card Sets: Original Doodles and Sweet Paper

Thinking of starting a new Etsy shop that encompasses lots of different items (should help with the burn out factor) has gotten me thinking creatively and trying things I've never done before!  I spent the weekend doing a little doodling, and below is what it all turned into.  I just love it and can't wait to open my new shop!

Simply March

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Jewels: Brooches and Beads

On a roll.  I was lucky enough to receive a fantastic package from my hubby's step momma, Diane.  She loves to visit antique markets and estate sales...I want to be her when I grow up.  I had asked her if she could look for some brooches and lace to assist with my recent accessory obsession.  She totally delivered.

And then there's this one.  It was so cool, it already found a home atop a double strand of milky glass beads.

It has an occasion and a future owner, but for now...shhhhh.  It's a secret.  Thanks, Diane!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vintage Lace Necklace

Oh, I've just been so inspired lately!  I don't know if it's the new job, the discovery of pinterest, or my decision to stop worrying about Sweet March.  Yep...I made a decision a while ago that I can't make dolls anymore.  I'm sure there are a few more in me and perhaps in a few years I'll come back to it.  But for now, the dolls in the shop are it.  They'll be up until Christmas, and then who knows.

Once that decision was made, I suddenly felt free to explore other crafty ventures.  This weekend, while I was visiting my favorite antique shop downtown, I happened upon a collection of old lace.  I was completely inspired and picked up a few little packs.

Pretty, right?  It's been a while since I've made something for this, I'm thrilled with.

You can tell I like it by the silly look on my face.  Trying not to grin like a muppet!!