Monday, December 31, 2007

Do you have Mail?

I can't believe I hand wrote so many cards! I have to admit I had a bit of a meltdown in the middle of my Thank You note writing. I realized that here I was using mass-produced made in who knows where cards. You see as well as my purse addiction I have an addiction to stationary that was long feed by the hubby's 30% off discount when he worked at good old Barnes & Noble. I have 2 whole drawers of random cards and beautiful papers and envelopes. And I never use them! Well I told myself that I bought them a long time ago so it would be wasteful to not use them. So some people got adorable Christmas tree thank yous, while others got really cute stars thank yous, and...........I ran out of thank you cards. So I attempted to make some since I didn't have time to order any handmade ones online. Since the paper arts are uncharted territory for me I decided simple was safe. I used my new lacy puncher to fancy up the bottom of the plain white cards. Three cards later *insert nervous giggle* I finally got the hang of it. I then used my eyelet puncher to make 2 holes at the top so that I could add a little green ribbon. I seem to think everything needs ribbon lately. Finally, I stamped the word "thanks" in brown in the middle. That was it. I had a much more elaborate idea but it looked awful once I tried it. Over 50 hand written cards and three glasses of Dr. Pepper later (I don't normally drink soda anymore, but this was a caffeine emergency) this is what I had. Doesn't the table look pretty?

Day Four of the Anniversary Celebration!

DC Designs One Year Anniversary Celebration!
31 Days of Specials!
December31, 2007
Happy New Year's Eve!
Buy anything in the shop and the postage is on me!

DC Designs’ Etsy Shop
Buy Handmade
please enter coupon code BLOG04
offer valid today only until 12 am eastern standard time

At midnight a new special is announced!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Like a dragon rolling around in its very own treasure trove nest....

(if you are looking for today's anniversary special its the post below this one)
That's how I'm feeling right about now. Forget the pills, the shrinks, the aromatherapy! Give me some good old-fashioned Retail-Therapy any old day.

Things have been a bit rough thanks to the hubby's new job. He's in the middle of a stretch of seven days working closing shifts so everything is thrown off schedule right now. His tire that he had patched just won't hold air anymore so he is taking my car to work until he has a day off and can go get a new tire. Which means I'm stuck at home while on vacation. Today I just had to get out of the house! So I went shopping and promised to have the car back in time for him to leave for work. I was even nice enough to fill it up with gas for him.

Okay so when the average women is in need of Retail Therapy she hits the mall, well according to what my friends say that's what she does. I don't know as I hate the mall and hate shopping for clothes (its a short person thing). So what does Retail Therapy look like for me? Oh I'm so glad you asked! Let me show you my treasure trove.....................

First Stop? Why Barnes and Noble of course!
First, I hit the news stand and picked up two wire working magazines. I always look at the wire work magazines and put them back determining that I don't really need them and that at $6.99 a pop they just aren't worth it. I bought them both!!!
Next I took a stroll to the fiction section and found that 2 of my favorite authors finally published their latest novels in paperback. Both are the next installment in a series and I had the hardest time deciding which one to get.......I got both!!!!
Finally on my way to the check out I picked up the Sunday paper.
I dropped thirty bucks at B&N and didn't even bat an eye (I'm typically a buy one thing only kinda girl), went into my wallet to get out a Visa gift card and thought to myself, oh forget that, this will be the gas money I'm saving by not working this week!

Now the paper just happen to have a 50% off coupon to Michael's in it and I have a Michael's Gift Card. Micheal's is in the shopping center right next to Barnes & Noble so I decided why not. It's not really Retail Therapy if you only go to one store now is it?
Now I can wander around Michael's just as long as the next girl but today I had something I actually needed. I'm working on some rude conversation hearts inspired by these stamps which are of course inspired by that famous little rectangle box of candy hearts. So I needed to pick up a red ink pad that works on clay. Which got me to thinking that i need a background to shoot Valentine's things on so I headed over to the scrapbook paper section and got a nice sheet of pink with a great texture to it. Hanging on the end-cap was a pack of white cards and envelopes that I picked up since I seem to be writing a bunch of cards lately. I then wandered down the Martha Stewart Crafts aisle which I've never looked at before and found the coolest paper puncher that makes a lacey edge. It was $14.99 but I had my 50% off coupon so I decided to use it on the puncher. It should also work on clay! *shivers with excitement* On the way to the register I saw some calendar mouse pads and thought one would be great to write down my shipping deadlines on. That way when I'm wasting time on the Etsy forums I have my deadlines glaring at me right in the face. We'll see how that works. :)
So I spent 23 bucks of the 25 dollar Michael's gift card, not bad for a days work.

So you'd think I'd had enough and go home. Oh no, next I headed into Office Max for my gridded index cards that I work on. Well, last night I broke my stupid plastic tweezers I use to set my stamps. Well I spent 27 bucks and got a new set that has two handles, two alphabets (one larger and one smaller than what I already have) the tweezers and a black ink pad. So I went up to the counter and did I use my Visa gift card this time? Nope, sure didn't, I put in almost all of my DC Designs money into our account this month, I think I can buy a little stamp set. I need new supplies every now and then after all, don't I? Oh and I picked up a mini ruler since I broke my plastic one.

So, all in all it was a most excellent session of Retail Therapy and it only cost me about 60 bucks! Now its time to go play with all my treasure!
*skips away happily to decide what to play with first*

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Day Three of the Anniversary Celebration!

DC Designs One Year Anniversary Celebration!
31 Days of Specials!
December30, 2007

Buy anything from the
"Industrial Garden"
and get

A free Pen!

please enter coupon code BLOG03
offer valid today only until 12 am eastern standard time

At midnight a new special is announced!

Day Two of the Anniversary Celebration!

DC Designs One Year Anniversary Celebration!
31 Days of Specials!
December 29, 2007

Buy anything from the
"In the Meadow"
and choose anything
from the
"Crafty DC"

section for free!!!
please enter coupon code BLOG02
offer valid today only until 12 am eastern standard time

At midnight a new special is announced!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Etsy-verisary to me!!!

Today I've been on Etsy one year! I can't believe it! To celebrate I've shipped off a Thank You Note with an extra special coupon for all my customers from this first year on Etsy. And in order to celebrate even more I'm going to have 31 days of specials!!!! That's right, a different special each day! How will you know what the special of the day is? Why I'm going to announce it right here on my bloggity blog of course! So let's get this party started!
DC Designs One Year Anniversary Celebration!
31 Days of
December 28, 2007

Buy any necklace from the
"I've Got Something to Say"

and get a
"Sneaky Peaky"
new design of
matching earrings free!!!!!!

please enter coupon code BLOG01
offer valid today only until 12 am eastern standard time

At midnight a new special is announced!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What I'd buy for Christmas, part three

To continue the virtual window shopping here are my picks for my mother-in-law and my brother-in-law

for my mother-in-law's bathroom

from BigBlueHeaven

for the brother-in-law who is a lawyer

from ArtExchange

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Complete exhaustion

Okay so I know, I know, I promised I'd write up what I would buy for the mother-in-law and the brother-in-law but I'm just too exhausted to shop. Finished packing up the last of the "by Christmas" orders. Then went to the work Christmas party. Had fun. Somebody totally "white elephant" stole both my awesome Elmo and my awesome Homer Simpson ornaments that I stole from other people. So now I have a stocking ornament. SO I have to get up at 5:30am to get ready for work. No shopping tonight, promise to type it up tomorrow. 2 days till vacation!!! Whooohoooo!

Here's the mutt dog taking a nap under the Christmas tree. Snapped the pic with the phone so the quality isn't so good, but darn it he sure is cute!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Say Goodbye.....................

I hate sewing yes I do,
I hate sewing how 'bout you.
Sewing makes me want to run,
Sewing is just so not fun.

That's my new sewing song. I'm sitting here sewing my last two pouches. I have a fresh batch of clay creations out of the oven and I can't even start sanding and antiquing because I have to sew. I've decided that since it takes me about an hour to make a pouch I'm not going to put them with my mirrors anymore. I'm not a good seamstress so it just takes to much labor. Pouch-making zaps the joy out of mirror-making. Someday if the shop keeps growing I'll get somebody to sew the pouches for me. Until then the mirrors will be pouch-less and I will be so much happier! Maybe I'll look for something else to put them in. Say good-bye pouches.

Monday, December 17, 2007

What I'd buy for Christmas, part two

Tonight I'm posting what I' d buy the sister in-laws for Christmas on Etsy. Make sure you scroll down and read the previous post of what I'd give my Mom, Dad, and brothers.

For my sister-in-law, who rocks her cute little short hair(on the hubby's side)

from TrueMirage

For my sister-in-law who has her own Etsy shop

from AlbinaRose

and these awesome fertility tracking beads

from WingedEgg

for my sister-in-law who always sends the cutest cards and invitations

from MewPaperArts

and this awesome sea glass necklace since she lives near the beach

from ArtisticDetour

for my sister-in-law who has a one-year-old baby boy and has to put up with my fiesty youngest brother, God Bless her

from AllisonStrine

and this to help her relax when those little boys are stressing her out

from GoodThymesBath

Tomorrow I'll share my picks for my brother-in-law and my mother-in-law. On Thursday I'll post what I'd get my three adorable little nephews.

Hope you are finding just the right gifts for your loved ones!

What I'd buy for Christmas, part one

Christmas time is always really tight. We mostly buy for the nephews. Then we get a team gift for Mom and Dad (even thought they tell us not to), something for my mother-in-law, and a team gift for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. With my brothers and their wives we each bring something that could be a good gift for anybody and we do the whole White Elephant, steal each others' presents thing. We refuse to use credit cards so everything must be paid for in cash. The hubby and I forgo presents for each other so that we can make every penny count. But if I had a nice little Etsy for Christmas Shopping Spree to buy something perfect for each person here is what I'd buy.............

For my Mom who likes to wear her hair up in a little twist

from OldButNew

for my Dad I'd get this to wear when he fills up his SUV even though Mom would never let him wear it

from MixedSpecies

I'd get this for my programming big brother

from Juror2

for my little bro who is a newly hired firefighter I'd get this

from StevensSigns

for my other little bro who likes to hunt I'd get this

from PooyabeesPlace

tomorrow I'll post my picks for my in-laws.


Yesterday was quite an exciting day! Why? I can't believe that I got my 80th sale last night! I'm so super excited! I swear I was jumping around the house on cloud 9. What a great way to start the week! What was it that sold? It was this little pink number that was one of the very first pendants I ever antiqued at least over a year or more ago. Just goes to prove that sometimes an item is just waiting for the right buyer.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Ramblings.......

Its been a very busy first Christmas here at DC Designs. Thanks to all the wonderful customers who chose to do their holiday shopping at my little store. Every time I tie the ribbon on one of my little boxes I can't help but smile as I wonder who will untie that ribbon and get one of my creations for Christmas. It is quite mind-blowing to be perfectly honest. When I think about how I got started working with polymer clay back in January of 2003 simply because I was frustrated at not being able to find gingerbread ornaments that I liked for my Christmas tree I just can't believe where it has lead me.

I made my first beads back in the summer of 2005 and then I was determined to make jewelry out of polymer clay that I felt expressed my own style. For Christmas of 2005 my thoughtful mother-in-law filled my stocking with bars of clay and the tools I had been looking at dreamily on the internet. I now had enough supplies to not feel afraid to "waste" clay with all my experimenting.

In March of 2006 a friend convinced me to put a few necklaces for sale in her Mom's craft shop. Needing to find a way to display them I bought some large white tags and looped pink ribbon through them. I then used some stamps I had of my initials to stamp DC at the bottom. Now I had a name for my little creations, DC Designs. It wasn't at all clever or original but it was simple. I was amazed when they sold. I was also starting to feel a little guilty at how much money I was spending on my polymer clay habit. I started to dream of the day when maybe my jewelry making could pay for itself. I had no visions of grandeur of people flocking to buy my items or quiting my career which I love. Now the craft store was really cute but my items were a bit more expensive then the other jewelery they were selling. I decided to research opening my on website and bought my domain in October of 2006.
Now during that time my much beloved purse strap broke. I had bought it at a craft fair and decided to look online. This is when I stumbled upon Etsy for the first time. I bookmarked some sellers but didn't join up or buy anything.

In November my sister-in-law and I went to Stitch in Austin. I was so inspired by all the indie designers there who had taken their ideas and run with them. I knew this was the right market for my work and came home more determined then ever to set up my little website. I spent hours reading about html and didn't understand a lick of it. I finally downloaded yahoo's sitebuilder tool and figured out how to use it. I learned how to insert code for my paypal buttons and began to resent how much time this took away from actually making stuff.

In Dec of 2006 just in time for Christmas I came up with the design for my original I've Got Something to Say necklace. My Grandma was my first website customer and ordered two for Christmas presents for the nurses she works with. I then remembered that purse I wanted to buy on Etsy and signed up for an account. The purse was sold though and I didn't find another one that I wanted. So instead I used the money to buy supplies.

I plodded along with making my website and getting frustrated with the paypal buttons. Then I wondered what it took to be on a site such as Etsy. So in Feb. I decided to open up shop and list my first items. Business was slow and I didn't have a good camera so my pictures weren't very great. I had a few sales and saved up every penny to invest in a good camera. Once I started replacing my pictures the business started to pick up. I started trying to list more often and promote in the forums. As of today I'm waiting to hit my 80th sale.

There are many people on Etsy who have enjoyed quicker success and much more sales. At first this discouraged me. But now when I think about it I realize that to almost be hitting 100 by my one year anniversary is quite fine with me. I didn't list my first item until Feb. but since I joined in Dec my Etsy-versary will be on Dec 28th. I plan on having some big doings to celebrate. :) Curious? Check back soon. And thanks for being here.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

At last, I found my yummy chocolate beads!

Last week I was so doing the happy, happy, joy, joy dance in the bead aisle of my local crafty store.

I have been looking for a decent source for 4mm chocolate brown wood beads for almost a year and a half! The online wholesalers didn't have them that tiny or that dark. The only place in town had them in a variety pack for 5 bucks and I wasn't going to pay 5 bucks for 20 beads when a necklace needs 85 of them!!! So I settled for second best and have been using a light brown wood bead from the online wholesaler I use.

Well, low and behold while wondering the craft store aimlessly looking for some new inspiration (you never know what you might find) I spotted a whole bag of 250 5mm chocolate brown wood beads. And the rack was full! I bought 10 packs straight away and danced all the way home.

I originally designed the whole "I've Got Something to Say" collection with yummy combos of chocolate brown and sherbet-y pinks, greens, and blues. Not being able to find an affordable chocolate brown wood bead has been quite a problem because it just didn't have the look I was going for. So now I'm busy restringing and re-shooting the collection to show it at all its intended chocolate brown yumminess! Doesn't it look so much better! Come on dance the happy, happy, joy, joy dance with me!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Christmas doesn't have to be a big glittery santa sweater.........

I mean that's perfectly cool and all if that's your kinda thing. But for those of us who like to go a bit more understated while spreading the holiday cheer there's lots of delicate and dainty yet fun and funky new designs over in the DC Designs Holiday Shop. Run! Go now! Quick! You know you want to!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween!!!
Originally uploaded by dcdesigns
Every year at school we all dress up as a theme. This year we were insects. Ladybug, bumblebee, and butterfly were already taken. SO I decided to be a dragonfly. Of course you can't buy dragonfly wings. I had no idea how to make a dragonfly costume. I was really worried about how I was going to pull it off. After much deliberation and google-ing with a friend from work I finally decided on how to make the wings. I made these out of white glittery felt that I free handed some wings on. I whip stitched the maribou boas around the edges and sewed the short and long wing together for each side. The wings are safety pinned to the back of a shirt I got at Target in the pajama department. I made the antennae too. They are my favorite part of the costume. Oh and I have on lime pajama pants and some great fuzzy slipper shoes. To see photos of the making of my costume and the back side of the costume click here .

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Its Saturday night. Where do all the cool kids go?

Why shopping of course! Every Saturday night at 5:00 EST the Saturday Night Special Thread springs to life in the Etsy forums Promotions section. Indie Sellers of all things handmade from jewelry to soap, to handbags and candles post great sales available only to people in the know about this Saturday Night tradition started by Willowglass. So kick back, relax, and scroll through some amazing sales. Many sellers offer payment through Paypal, however you don't have to have an actual PayPal account in order to pay. When you go to check out you click Pay Now with PayPal. You will then have the option to click pay with PayPal account or pay with credit card. So there you go, no excuses! Click now and go buy yourself something so cool that everybody will want to know where it is you go shopping. Oh you want to know if I have a Saturday Night Special? Why of course I do!

*Get Ready for Halloween SNS*

**US Customers**
Purchase anything from the Happy Halloween section and your whole order will ship free!
All US SNS orders will ship out this Monday via US Priority Mail.

**International Customers**
Spend $25 or more anywhere in the shop and get free shipping!

**All Customers**
Spend $10 or more and get a free *Surprise Gift* with purchase!

*Please put SNS in note to seller and wait for
a revised PayPal invoice prior to making final payment.*

Happy SNS-ing and Happy Halloween!!

Offer valid until Oct. 14th 6am Eastern Standard Time (Esty time)

See all the *SNS* specials being offered!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ghosties and Ghoulies

Brand spanking new Halloweenies are up in the shop. If you mention DC blog in the note to seller I'll send you a free gift with your purchase of $10 or more. Offer good till October 25th!

Monday, October 08, 2007

The State of the Studio, an update part 2

So, here is what happens when you tell yourself you can't go to sleep until you are finished reorganizing. Tada!

The table is huge! I plan on buying some desktop drawers and stacking them up two high across the table up against the wall. Then I will be able to get rid of the colored drawers that never stay on the rack. They are constantly falling and driving me crazy. They are also blocking my bookshelf, grrrr.

I am so thrilled at finally having a home for all my packaging and shipping supplies. The surface of the hutch is great for standing at and packing while everything I need is in the drawer and cabinet underneath. The white box with all the slots (meant to organize bills) is where I put the print-outs of my orders. I put them in the slot of the date they need to ship by. In the drawer of it is business cards and hair ponies. Hopefully shipping supplies will no longer be destined for the floor.

The hubby's old desk has been assigned school duty. There is a stack of stuff to still go through, but that's for another day. :)

This desk holds all my jewelery making supplies and general art stuff, including my polymer clay books.

And finally my box of sandpaper, sanding tub (you have to have a tub of water when you sand polymer clay), paper cutter, varnishing and painting supplies, and dremmel (for buffing) have a home. Since I only take these out when I need them I figure its okay to store them down here. I figure once the table has its organizational drawers I can move the painting and varnishing supplies to there. I'll always end up sanding and buffing on the floor but at least now I have a place to put it all away.

Of course I still want to paint the room someday and I know that none of the furniture goes together. I know that wall to wall furniture isn't very aesthetically pleasing either but in this room function definitely is more important than form.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The State of the Studio, an update

Last month I posted horribly embarrassing pictures of my messy office/computer room/clayroom.
I actually did reorganize the drawers and get everything nice and tidy but well, it didn't stay that way long. Packing and shipping supplies seemed to be destined for the floor. School stuff was dumped in piles all over. The clay table didn't have enough room to handle producing more than two mirrors at a time. It was time to rethink "The Office." When the hubby and I decided on which floorplan of house to build what sold us was the option to turn the dinning room into an office off the living room by adding walls and french doors. We figured that all our books, the computer, my teaching stuff that I keep at home, and a small clay table would all fit nicely. Well it worked out great with the addition of some hand-me-down mismatched furniture. A little over two years later the hubby has begun to refer to the office as "your room." Which wasn't what I had intended. Today as we changed out the half size folding table for my parent's old tile-top 6 foot kitchen table I finally owned up to the fact that, yes I have taken over the office. I finally claimed the unused desk that was his as my own. Being the wonderfully understanding hubby that he is, well, its just fine with him. As long as the computer desk is a neutral zone he is fine. So as I fill what used to be our kitchen hutch with shipping and packing supplies and set out a couple of my displays on the shelf it is with a shred of guilt that I now admit yes, DC Designs has truly taken over the home office. Here's some pictures of organizing in progress. I'm still working on it and hope to have it presentable by tomorrow morning.