Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Pirate Invitations!

Finally: New stuff!

I started working on a pirate invitation more than a year ago, but the idea I had at the time was just too complicated.

Finally, I got down to brass tacks and made a simple cut-out pirate card:

What do you think? I think despite his gruff appearance that this invitation might be just the thing to set the tone for a very fun swashbuckling party on the high seas!

Check out the Etsy listing now!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Amazing Dragon Illusion


This is a terrific optical illusion! As you move around the dragon, it will appear to follow you, turn its head and nod up and down... but it's not really moving at all!

Download the pdf here:

and put one together for yourself!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oh Henry!

Years ago I designed baby shower invitations for a friend who was naming her baby Henry.

Henry's a big strapping boy of six now, but I still love these cards. If you know someone who like puzzles or is named Henry or just has a special Henry in his or her life, this would be a fun card to send them. The front of the card features a variety of Henry's. Don't think it's easy! Some of them are pretty tough... If you get stuck, the answer key is on the back (there are 18 total Henry's to find).

First download the pdf.

Then cut using the crop marks as guides.

Fold and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Front Page!

I made it to Etsy's front page today!

Whoo hoo!

(it's the Witty Baby Pop-up Card on the lower left)

You know, it's odd, but I never would have realized that this had happened, but I happened to have my Etsy shop hooked up to my Facebook, which automatically posted a status update on my profile letting all my friends know. When I saw my Facebook status, I thought there was a mistake at first.

Anyway, of course I'm thrilled -- it's such a nice validation of your work to get to the front page, where so many lovely pieces appear...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Knight Cards and an update on the whole "balance" thing

I know I've already posted about these cards when they were in progress, but I really love the noble panoply these invitations make.

(and, okay, I've been dying to use the word "panoply" in a sentence for years)

My Etsy shop has really quieted down a LOT! This time last year, I was frantically working every single night, waking up as early as 3:30 in the morning to work up new designs and pump out orders.

At the time, I LOVED it! Every order was a reason to run around the house screaming. I had so many highlights last year:
But I have to admit towards the end, all the work, zero downtime and the lack of any balance to my life really started to wear on me, so it was almost a relief when sales went down to a trickle.

Of course, there's every possibility I'm just rationalizing, trying to convince myself that the lack of sales is a relief, not a disappointment.

But I think it's genuine.

Working so much on the card shop left so little room for anything else. It can be hard enough to find free time when you're a mother of two, wife to one and work full-time, let alone when you're spending as much time as you can on a burgeoning side business.

One thing that went by the wayside was exercise. Last year, for the first time ever, I was told that I was borderline hypertensive.

Me! I've always been a little braggy about my phenomenal blood pressure! I would look forward to getting it tested when I donated blood just to hear the nurse nod grudgingly and say "Good!"

But suddenly it was something to worry about. When I talked to the doctor, the first thing she asked was "Have you stopped exercising?"

And, by jove, I had! That was when I took up my new running program (I did the Couch to 5K Running Program) which I called "Running for My Life." Thanks to it's well regulated program, I can reliably run about a 5k without keeling over.

(if you have an iPod touch or an iPhone, the C25K app is GREAT!)

I got the Wii Fit and then graduated up to the more challenging EA Sports Active, which has been a lot of fun.

(can you tell I love gadgets? They really keep my motivation up!)

The blood pressure's down to a non-worrisome level (though I go in for a follow up in a few more months) -- hooray! -- with just a little exercise and cutting out salt here and there.

I don't feel like I've ever neglected the kids, but I now find myself with more time to do things around the house: cook special meals, clean up a bit more, tackle garden chores, etc.

I've even found time to just hang out with my husband! I really neglected him last year -- he patiently hung around letting me work hard on my shop. Nowadays, we've been trying to wedge in an episode of Lost, trying to catch up before the series finale... crazily, it's starting to make sense to me...

Balance has been a good thing!

Nowadays, I might sell a single card once or twice a week and an invitation package maybe once or twice a month (at the height of things, it was easily quadruple that), but this is just about what I can manage, along with occasional blog postings.

While I do miss the thrill of the big sales, I just am not motivated enough to jump through hoops for them any more (I used to customize individual cards for nothing just upon request, which is kind of crazy).

Anyhoo... we'll see how this all pans out!

Meanwhile, another episode of Lost tonight... or we finish the two-part Office where Jim and Pam have a baby... sometimes a little more TV can be a good thing (really!).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The cutest Easter crafts ever!

Mmmm... Easter! I have to say that for me, a huge part of it is all about pastel candy and yummy treats!

Peeps used to be favorites of mine (nowadays, it's hard to believe that I could eat so much concentrated sugar as a kid without passing out).

The only thing cuter than Peeps? Repackaging them with adorable graphics!

Get the free download from Eighteen25!

Another amazing idea comes from Not Martha... Chocolate Easter Surprise Eggs!

She fills the inside of real egg shells with a layer of chocolate and fills them with adorable little surprises.

But wait! There's more!

Can you stand how cute this brioche bunny is? Dang I wish I'd seen this recipe earlier!

Check it out at the Sweet Sensation blog.... (it's in Croatian, but she kindly translates into English for us yanks)

Knight Invitation order

Check out this, my latest Knight invitation comp!

Isn't his cute little face peeking out from the helmet just the cutest thing?

I love it when my customers opt to add in their kids' face to these invites....