Friday, June 29, 2012

Enjoy The Moments Blog Hop

Have you been following AboveRubiesStudio.com recently?  If not, let me fill you in on something Megan posted . . .


BIG EVENT and NEW Product Releases are about to happen and I do not want you to miss any of them! 
Mark your calendar for July 10th because there is two huge Announcements about to come out! You’re going to FLIP when you see what we’ve come up with!! There’s nothing like this! It has never been done before so its going to be SO fun and it’s SO unique! There’s been work going into this for MONTHS and there is still months more work to do! I hope I can get it all done! :) IF my health allows me to do so I’ll do a LIVE ustream the night of July 10th – Details to follow IF Teeth allow – BUT – The Announcement and the fun will start that day either way!  :)
We have two kits coming out and new classes and workshops that will follow those. We will be changing the way we do things on those, so you can not wait on them – they will be going going going FAST! And I can tell you now, we will not be reordering extras like we had done in the past! ;) First Release will happen NEXT Thursday July 5th perfect timing for your Holiday Weekend ;) and the other one well – I’ll announce that soon – I have to keep you on your toes somehow!
As the Above Rubies Studio Affiliate Program Coach I wanted to do something special to help Megan get the word out about this big announcement . . . so I am organizing a blog hop!


If you are on Facebook you can RSVP to the event HERE.
Make sure to follow Megan on Pinterest by clicking HERE

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pictures for the graduate

We recently took a trip to Michigan for my youngest cousin's high school graduation party. We had so much fun hanging out with her and her family the day before the party, and helping them to decorate the space for the event.  We took pictures while we were decorating the space and at the actual open house, and when I got home I placed them all on a CD to send to my cousin.


I decorated the front of the CD case with cardstock and a graduation hat I cut from the Locker Talk Cricut cartridge.  I finished it off with the sentiment "Hats off to you!" from the K Andrew Fashionable Friends stamp set, which you can purchase by clicking on the preview below.


K Andrew Designs

Monday, June 25, 2012

Archiver's coupons!

I wanted to share these Archiver's coupons with you.  You can get 30% off any one regular priced item or FREE cardstock when you purchase cardstock.  Click HERE to print them out.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A good teacher makes all the difference!

I am watching the Cricut Cards for any Occasion DVD by Megan Elizabeth of Above Rubies Studio.  Megan is such a great teacher!

With Megan's DVD's I love that while she is showing you how to create the projects she is also giving you little tips and hints on how to do things . . . even if you don't make the exact same project that she does you will learn some new tips and tricks you can use for other crafting projects!  So not only am I learning how to make some fabulous cards, I am also getting tips on things like

  • How to make sure your envelops match your card size
  • Making your handmade envelopes easier for people to open so they don't have to tear them
  • How to get the most cards from your 12 x 12 paper
  • Using the fit to length function on the Cricut
And I have only watched the lessons for the first 4 cards!

If you have not made cards with your Cricut, or even if you are seasoned card maker like myself, this DVD will teach you something and be sure to inspire you!  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Calling all my crafting friends!

I am looking for a few good crafters to help me out on a project.  Is there anyone out there that owns the Cricut Imagine or the Teresa Collins Stampmaker?  If so and you are interested in help me out with a secret project please send me an email by CLICKING HERE

Thanks!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My vacation

My family recently went on a vacation to Cheboygan, Michigan which is located about 20 minutes away from the Mackinac Bridge.  (I have family that lives in Cheboygan)


We then took a few extra days to go to Mackinac Island and I have to tell you . . . IT WAS GREAT!  If you ever go to the island, you HAVE TO eat at Millie's on Main.  

We ate there twice while we were on the island, and my daughter and I split a meal each time . . . we didn't have any place to put any left-overs so this worked really well for us.  Over the two time we ate there, my family had the Thanksgiving Dinner, the Whitefish basket, Parmasan Whitefish with a Raspberry sauce and a Turkey Club sandwich and we would recommend ALL OF THEM!  The prices were good also.

One place I would NOT recommend is Goodfellows.  The only thing good there was the customer service.  The food was not "gross" or anything, but it did not blow me away and it was WAY over priced.  They even charged us $5 for my daughter and I to split a meal . . . so basically we paid $5 for the extra plate so we could share.  Had I known they were going to charge for that I would have told them to just bring it as one order and we can just eat off the same plate.  (by the way, Goodfellows was the ONLY restaurant that we ate at that charged for the split plate . . . other places just brought you an extra plate and let you split it)

Oh, if you need a snack and don't want to eat one of the several flavors of fudge on the island, I would recommend that you go to Sanders and get the Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Chip Cookie.  This thing looks like a deep dish cookie . . . it is so THICK!!!!  There is a little treat of some fudge baked inside the cookie and then it is all covered in chocolate and placed on a stick.  LOVED IT!

Sanders also makes a chocolate shoe that I thought was so cute!


I'll take a pair of those in a size 4, and I suggested they make chocolate handbags to go with them.

And for coffee . . . forget about all of the places right on the main strip of downtown . . . go one block over and go to Lucky Bean Coffeehouse.  (click here for the Facebook Page)  My husband had a Chocolate Raspberry Mocha and I had a Caramel Mocha . . . the BEST!  There was also a punch card on the counter, so if we had found it earlier in our trip we could have gotten enough punches for a free coffee by out last day. They also have some great bakery items . . . loved the cinnamon roll!

When you are out eating on Mackinac Island, be sure to look near the hostess stands or by the registers because I found that a lot of the restaurants downtown will have a discount coupon you can grab for one of the fudge shops . . . and some of the fudge shops have discount coupons for the restaurants.  Had we known that we could have saved 15% on our dinner one night, but we did end up being able to use two of the fudge and candy discount cards.  




Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Can I make money with my hobby?

Many crafters start creating things because they love to do so, and it is a great creative outlet, but they will often wonder "Could I make money doing this?"  The answer is YES, there are ways to make money from crafts or crafting blogs.

1.  Sell your crafts at craft shows.  Probably the one of the easiest ways to make money from your crafts is to sell them at a craft show.  You can usually contact your local churches and community centers find out about purchasing booth space in their craft shows.  This is a good way to get your product out in front of people and network with other crafters to find out about shows and sales that they have sold their products.

2.  Sell your crafts online.  This is another easy, straightforward way to make money from crafting.  There are sites, such as Etsy, which basically bring the craft show right to your computer!  Just take a picture of your item, upload it to your Etsy page and then you can start to promote that page and use it to generate sales.  There are even tools to help you insert a preview of the items you are selling on a website or blog. 
  
3.  Create a crafting website or blog.  One thing about crafters, we love to look at items created by others.  For many of us, it helps with inspiration for our own projects.  Creating a crafting blog or website allows you to network with other who enjoy the same hobby as you, while you showcase your creations.  How does just talking about crafting make you money?  Advertising.  There are several ways to do this, so I am going to sub-divide this section.  

   A)  Buy Me A Coffee/Donations – One easy way to try and make money with your crafting website or blog is to ask for donations.  If there are people who really love your site and what you do, they may be willing to donate some money in order to see your site be able to operate.  Now, if you don’t want it to come off as you are begging for money why not make it fun and call it “Buy Me A Coffee”.  This lets people know that you are not in any way expecting anyone to donate large amounts of money, but if even a few people donated $5, it would help you to cover the costs of operating the site.  You could even set up different levels, so that people can choose if they are going to purchase a small, medium or large “coffee” for you, with the dollar amounts already preset for them.  The simple option is to leave it open for them to chose. 

If your site is purely about one specific type of craft, such as scrapbooking, and you wanted to call it “My Cardstock Fund” that would be cute too.  Making it fun, light-hearted and personal will make people more open to donating.  

   B)  Google Ads - With many blogs you can easily install ads from businesses like Google on your site.  When people visiting your site click on the Google ads that they are interested in you will get paid a certain rate per click by the advertiser.  IMPORTANT:  Google monitors clicks for fraudulent activity, so visitors should only click on ads that they are truly interested in. In other words, don't tell all of your friends to just go and click on the ads so you can make a ton of money.  Google will catch on and remove you from the program completely and you will not receive any of the money generated from the ads.

   C) Amazon Ads and Links - Many people shop at Amazon every day.  What if there was a way for you to "showcase" items related to your craft on your site that were being sold on Amazon, such as books, tools and products, and for you to then receive a commission for directing people to that product.  There is!  With Amazon Associates Program, once you create an account, you can create an Amazon virtual store.  This allows you to feature times that would be of interest to people coming to your blog, and when they make a purchase through the Amazon link on your blog, it generates a small commission for you, but if you have enough traffic and are featuring the right items, a dollar here and there starts to add up.    

    D) Affiliate Advertising - When you visit a website or blog, have you ever noticed the banner ads on the side or at the bottom of the page.  Most likely, these are due to Affiliate Advertising Programs. There are websites, such as Share A Sale, which allows you to search for businesses that have affiliate programs and sign up for them.  Once you are approved, you can choose from approved banners and advertisements to place on your website, blog or newsletter and when someone makes a purchase through the link connected with your affiliate account you receive a small commission.  I have a few programs that I personally LOVE, and you can find out more about those HERE.
  
  E)  Selling ad space – This might not be something that you can jump into right away, but when your site becomes popular enough you may want to look into selling ad space to others that are also targeting the same market of people as you are.

  F)   Sponsors – This is also an area where you may have to build a following and be able to show companies that your site is something different and special from every other crafting site that is already out there.  Sponsorship could be a monetary amount or through products for you to feature on your site and use in contests and give-aways, which help to bring more traffic into your site.

4.  Create a product.  – If you see the need for a product or tool in the crafting world, why not be the person that creates that item and fills that need.  You can then use some of the items listed above as ways to sell that product.  Yes, this will involve some up front costs to create a product or tool, but if you have ever said "There should be a . . . " why not be the person to create that item instead of seeing in a store 3 years from now and say to yourself "I thought of that too!"

5.  Write about crafting. – There are ways to make money crafting without ever creating an actual craft project.  If you have superior writing skills, then put those to use writing articles or books on crafting.  A blog is a great way to start, but there are also magazines and websites that may be looking for someone to write on crafts.  You could write on crafts in general, trends in crafting and even tutorial/how to type items.

6.  Create a crafting DVD. - Do people look to you for ideas, tips and inspiration?  Has anyone ever told you that you are really talented in your craft and that you showed them something that they had never even thought of doing?  Maybe you should create a DVD so that you can share that talent and knowledge with others.  If you own a video camera and a tripod, you can get started taping instructional videos or a series of informational DVD's.  

7.  Teach a crafting class - Do you have great teaching skills?  Why not teach a class on crafting.  This is similar to the writing and DVD, but just on a more personal level.  You could contact your local craft stores to see if they would be interested in hosting your class for one evening a week.  This is a good way to introduce your class to people, and you could feature and use products from the store in your class to generate sales for the store, so it is a win-win situation.  Other places to teach classes could include after-school programs, community centers, libraries and retirement homes.

While none of these alone will make you enough money to retire overnight, when combined and done over an extended period you can turn your hobby and love for crafts into something that generates some additional income.


For more information about a system I have found that is really working great for me click HERE

Friday, June 15, 2012

Getting Cricky Blog Hop - Let's Get Wild!

Looking for some inspiration?  
Check out the Getting Cricky Blog Hop!







Throughout the hop the Design Team will featuring projects created by the kids in their life!

 CLICK HERE to start at the beginning with Kristal's blog (you'll want to catch up on all the FUN!!)

I have really been having fun using the Guy Talk Stamp Set from K Andrew Designs. It has been perfect for the Father's Day cards I made.

K Andrew Designs

While I was working on the ones for my Dad and Grandfather, my 12 year old daughter Beth wanted to make one for her Dad.  It was her creation.  (She says it was a 50/50 collaboration, but I was putting together another card while she was making all of the cuts . . . the only thing I did was the stamping)  

First she sat down at my tower of scrapbooking paper and started to look for inspiration.  She found the black patterned paper first and really liked it.  Then she started to pull all kinds of coordinating solid color papers (hmmm . . . that is basically how I work too)  Next she found the shapes she wanted and stared to cut on the Cricut.  She cut several shapes in a variety of sizes so that we could play with them to figure out the best layout.  



Then she had the idea to stamp the words Happy Father's Day around the outside edge of the card, but I thought she meant the outside edge of the white circle . . . once she realized that Kristal's stamps were flexible enough to curve with the shape of the circle she said "Oh do that instead!  That's even BETTER!"  The final touch was the Whoa Daddy saying.  I love the wild colors and patterns that she picked out!

If you would like to purchase this stamp set just click on the preview of the set above.  
If you would like to see more projects created with this stamp set you can go to the Pinterest board!

I hope you enjoy the rest of the hop . . . the full line up is below!

-------------------------------


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Graduation card using Fashionable Friends

My cousin just graduated and I wanted to make her a card with her school color, orange, on it, but I wanted it to be classy and fun too.





I decided to use a black and white floral print for the background of the card, and then accented it with a tone-on-tone orange print.  I added a little extra bling to it with the black and orange glittered paper behind the orange patterned paper.

I cut the graduation caps from the Locker Talk Cricut cartridge (cut at 1 1/2" REAL DIAL SIZE)  Then I used a solid color orange for the tassels.  The final touch . . . the sentiment "Hats off to you!" from the Fashionable Friends Stamp Set.
If you would like to purchase this stamp set just click on the preview of the set above.  
If you would like to see more projects created with this stamp set you can go to the Pinterest board!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What's Up Pops

I have really been having fun using the Guy Talk Stamp Set from K Andrew Designs. It has been perfect for the Father's Day cards I made.

K Andrew Designs

My husband calls his Father "Pops" a lot . . . there are many times when they are on the phone and he will say "So, what's new Pops?"  So when I saw the saying "What's Up Pops?" on this stamp set I just KNEW I HAD to use it for his Father's Day card.


I really liked the colors of the circle patterned paper, so then I just found solid colors to accent it.  I embossed the main background paper to give the card even more "pop".

If you would like to purchase this stamp set just click on the preview of the set above.  
If you would like to see more projects created with this stamp set you can go to the Pinterest board!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Beth!

I cannot believe that it was 12 years ago today the most beautiful and talented girl in the world was born! 

 Happy Birthday Beth!

For Beth's birthday card I just had to make something with her favorite Disney Character . . . Donald Duck!


The sentiment is from the Of Mice and Lil Men Stamp Set from K Andrew Designs.  



For the inside of the card I used the Owly Hoo stamp set


to create this sentiment


As always, if you like these stamp sets make sure to check out and follow the board on Pinterest!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Kick Back and Relax!

I have really been having fun using the Guy Talk Stamp Set from K Andrew Designs. It has been perfect for the Father's Day cards I made.

K Andrew Designs


Here is a Father's Day card that I made for my Dad.  


I really liked the pattern paper with the blues and greens, so I just started to play off of that for the background colors and accents.  I did a little embossing on the large blue piece of paper behind the squares just to add some variety.

Here is a little secret . . . I actually messed up on this card!  I was going to have the words Kick Back and Relax much lower on the card, and I stamped them in a blue color, but it just did not look right, in blue, so instead of making the entire card over again I just added the rounded cornered square of brown and blue over the top of the sentiment in the ink color I did not like.  Then I re-stamped the sentiment up higher and in black the second time around.

If you would like to purchase this stamp set just click on the preview of the set above.  
If you would like to see more projects created with this stamp set you can go to the Pinterest board!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

it's a better day . . .

The other day I posted how I had lost all of the images on my blog.  I have since had several people offer me ideas and support through this.  I want to share with you what I have learned.

All of the photos we upload to our Blogger sites are then stored by Goggle/Blogger on a Picasa site.  If you go in and edit the settings to those images or delete any of them, they will then be removed on your blog and replaced with a large black box.

I am trying to find the positive in all of this.  I have been wanting for a long time to go back and watermark some of my older pictures to protect them from people using them and claiming them as their own.  This is giving me that opportunity.  Since I have to go and reload them all anyway, I might as well watermark them now and have it done.

It is also giving me a chance to look back at some of my older work and see how my crafting style has changed and grown over the years.

Also, while in the middle of trying to reload the images on my blog it is allowing me time to sit and think . . . about a LOT of things.  One thing that I have been neglecting and want to begin to do more work on again is my Affiliate Marketing Success Coach Training Tips and Tutorials.  I use a few different systems and programs to make some money from my blog.  Now, it is not the kind of money that is going to let me quit my day job, but it has allowed me to purchase a lot more crafting supplies that I wanted!  If there was a way for you to make some money to go straight into your craft money fund, would you want to know about it?  If you answered yes, you are going to like some of the things I have to share with you in the near future!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

#1 Papa

I have really been having fun using the Guy Talk Stamp Set from K Andrew Designs. It has been perfect for the Father's Day cards I made.

K Andrew Designs

For this card I got a little creative and separated the words from the Big Papa and the #1 Dad sentiments to make my own saying . . . . #1 Papa!  That is what I always call my Grandfather.  It started a LONG time ago.  He calls me his #1 Granddaughter, since I am the first born, and I call him my #1 Papa . . . because he IS!


Papa loves bright colors, so I knew this card needed to be bright and fun like him.  First I found the brightly colored patterned paper which just seemed PERFECT.  Then I just started to pick coordinating solid colored papers.  I cut the bright patterned paper into an rounded corner rectangle, and then cut the same shape in a shadow cut to back it.  I then did the same thing for the yellow and green pieces that I placed horizontally.  The background need just a little bit more, so I embossed it with the Houndstooth Cuttlebug Folder.  The final touch was the sentiment #1 Papa!

If you would like to purchase this stamp set just click on the preview of the set above.  
If you would like to see more projects created with this stamp set you can go to the Pinterest board!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

a sad day

Today I discovered that ALL of the pictures of my projects that I had uploaded to this blog disappeared and now there are these large black boxes on my blog where pictures of projects used to be!  I am so sad!  I still have all of the pictures, but it is going to take me a LONG TIME to re-upload them all and rebuild my blog.  If there is a past post you are trying to find and the images are not there, I am sorry . . . I hope to have everything back to normal as soon as possible, but there is no "quick fix" for this.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Guy Talk

Have you seen the new stamp set called Guy Talk from K Andrew Designs?  Here is a preview of it.

K Andrew Designs

I used this stamp set last weekend when I was working on all of the Father's Day cards I needed to make.  I wanted to have them done EARLY in case things got busy!  I will be showing them off to you over the next few days, but if you cannot wait that long then head over to Getting Cricky.  The Design Team will be showing off projects that they have made . . . . featuring a different stamp set each day!