Friday, December 30, 2011

Around the house

Today has been kind of a blah day, and I am feeling rather unproductive. I don't really feel like doing anything at I am not. I did however get busy the last couple of days. I finally got my house back in order [for the most part] and I have a few projects that have been halfway finished for a while. I finally got my shelf [number 5 on my 2012 list] put together. It has been up for a while, but just held random things that had no other home. 

Now it holds several things that I especially love: 

The full set of the "Little House" books [Thanks, Mom]. 
The green bottle and globe that Nicholas got me for Christmas. 
The old Brownie from my sis and the Kodak VR35 that belonged to my maternal grandmother.
The colorful tin that always makes me think of doing the Nativity at my paternal Grandparents' on Christmas Eve. 

I also swapped out the painting in the dining room for a new one. 

The mr suggested that I should create a set of paintings with men in mind. "Lord today please grant me patience {or Wolverine claws would be nice too}" This was one of his suggestions. Well, after I blew our Christmas budget with his Kindle Fire I was trying to figure out a way to put more gifts under the tree for him. I knew this was perfect! 

I think he liked it. 

Tomorrow is his birthday so I think I will get off the couch and do a few things to prepare for that. I have a cake to make...and if he is lucky he will get some bunting [that is only fun if you know that he is not the biggest fan of bunting]. Maybe I can figure out another way to make his day festive...glitter maybe?

Be happy...and festive!

-Katie Beth

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Love first

I have big plans for an informative post about our holiday as well as what I have in the works while home this week...but today I just had to share this chalkboard sketch I put together. I was cleaning the office [an all day affair], and I had to update it from the "Merry Christmas" message. This just popped into my head, and I like it...a lot. I may not be the first person in the world to have come up with this, but I have never seen it before. Of course it will have to be a painting soon, but until then this displayed in my living room makes me happy.

Be happy! 


Friday, December 23, 2011

packin' up

And I don't just mean my suitcase! Before I took the leap and opened my store there was a lot more to think about than I might have expected. One of those things that I hadn't really thought much about was packaging, but I soon realized I had to have a clear packaging plan before I could even hope for a sale. I haven't made an etsy sale yet, but I did make a sale locally. I experimented with some packaging that had been running around in my head, and I think I like it. Thanks to the mr for my super awesome stamp. It is what I was counting on to make the packaging complete. Thanks to Danni for introducing me to the stamp on her cute blog!

This is a shot of the packaging I came up with today. A little kraft paper, lace, yarn, and a paper doily...voila! 

Today we are heading down to spend Christmas with my family. I am so glad that Nicholas gets to go with me this time, and of course I am eager to see Georgie!

Be happy...and cheerful! 

-Katie Beth

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's up!

After a lot of work and thought and a bit of stress I finally posted listings to my etsy shop this week! 

I am still working on a few things, and I have a lot of stuff planned for my week off after Christmas. I have an exciting sponsorship for January, and I am hoping that will send some traffic my way. I can't wait! 

Be happy...and merry! 

-Katie Beth

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Etsy 101...and beyond!

I have been reading every possible thing on Etsy to educate myself before opening up shop. I am shocked at the unbelievable amount of resources offered on there! It has been so helpful, and I don't feel nearly as overwhelmed. I loved this bit from Johnny B. Truant [creator of Storyselling 101].

"Let me tell you something about Etsy buyers: They don’t want a thing. If they wanted a thing, they’d go to Wal-Mart. They want a unique, handmade item...

...You’re not selling trash cans. All we care about a trash can is that it successfully holds trash. You, dear reader, are selling conversation pieces. You’re selling things that people will want others to comment on, and that they will in turn be able to turn around and talk about. Why would you short that buyer on things to say?"

These are just a few of the pieces I have ready and will be listing in my shop [not sure why this photo looks blurry].

I plan to stop [only] talking about it and put my plan into action soon! 

Be happy! 
-Katie Beth

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Burn baby burn

So, I must mention that after bragging about Nicholas he was even more helpful Sunday afternoon. After we went out to eat Mexican food for lunch he came home and insisted on washing ALL the dishes so I could get some other things done. So while he was washing what seemed like every dish we own I was able to clean up pretty much the rest of the house. THEN he got some firewood from his dad so he could build a fire in our fireplace [for the first time] for me. It was so cozy! 

Gotta love him!!! 

Be happy! 

-Katie Beth

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I love progress!

I have spent the last two nights in the basement [a.k.a. my painting studio], and I am so excited about my progress. I am glad that I have progress to show because my tub needs a good scrubbing, and I couldn't even find a clear spot on my countertop big enough to make a sandwich for dinner. I was thinking about last winter when I was staying home and how I made my bed every day and always kept the dishes washed. Now I feel accomplished when I get the sheets washed and the [maybe] two nights a week that the dishes are done. Then I realized how thankful I am for a husband who doesn't say anything about the counter being covered with dirty dishes, about the project currently covering the living room rug, or the fact that we eat something that involves a mix coming out of a box almost every night that we don't eat out. It sounds terrible, and I don't hate cooking. I just enjoy painting, sewing, and creating so much that I am usually starving before I even think about what is for dinner...and the mr. never says a word. He eats canned soups and frozen burritos without a single complaint, and I am thankful. He has encouraged me as I prepare to open my etsy store, bought and assembled shelves to hold my paint, and he is more than helpful in the practical decisions concerning my business. He encourages me always, and I am thankful. Because he is so laid back about these things [as well as supportive] I have around 15 paintings ready to post and at least that many more than are only awaiting text. Thank you, Nicholas.

This is where the magic happens: 

Magical, right? 

I know it is not a dreamy space with turquoise walls, bright floral patterns and crisp white shelving, but it is perfectly functional. I can slop and drip paint as much as I want, and I don't have to worry about ruining carpet. I know it is kind of creepy, really dirty, and not the most inspiring, but I am super thankful for this space. 

I worked today on photographing my completed paintings, and I am hoping to be up and running soon! Technically I have completed #12 on my list! I have also completed #1, #2, #5, #10, & #11.

Be happy...and thankful! 

-Katie Beth

Monday, December 5, 2011

back to work

So I have been totally and completely unproductive for about 5 days now, so I would say it is about time to get back to it...

This weekend was a big annual Branson trip! Every year I go with my mom and sis to Branson for shopping, eating, and all things Christmas...and more eating and shopping. This year we had another little girly along with us so it was that much more fun. Georgie is such a sweet baby. I just saw her last night, but I miss her little baby snuggles already! I am sad to say that I didn't accomplish one bit of Christmas shopping while there, but we had enough fun to make up for it. 

While my mini vacation was pretty unproductive, the week before I was a busy gal. 

I think it was Sunday I spent a large part of the afternoon in the basement painting. By the time I had finished I had another 11 pieces ready for text! I am not sure of my total count right now, but I almost have all those ready to go. I think I actually have enough to open up shop! I have been researching packaging, shipping, and advertising so I am so close to meeting my goal of opening an etsy store by 2012. I am determined it will happen! 

There have been a lot of exciting things going on around here. The mr. finally made his decision to go back to school, and I am so excited for him. I know he is eager to be learning something that he enjoys. Hopefully I can help make it less stressful on him while he is working and going to school, and while he is being so productive I should be too! 

Speaking of that...I need to fill some hair accessory orders, work on paintings, finish up some handmade gifts, complete one more photo order, and address Christmas cards. I am hoping for a productive week. Wish me luck! 

Be happy! 

-Katie Beth

Friday, November 25, 2011

fun to-do

I am so excited about this weekend. I get to stay home for 4 whole days!!! I think we might make an outing after church on Sunday, but that doesn't count. It will be fun too! My fun to-do list for the long weekend includes: 

-finish decorating for Christmas
-Clean! [yes, I am that excited about having a clean house again]
-finish up some handmade Christmas gifts
-complete at least 4 paintings
-cook something yummy
-work on my crochet project
-wrap presents
-watch Christmas movies with the mr.

I am having project A.D.D. right now. I keep jumping around because I can't decide what I want to do first! This is just a tiny peek at some the gift projects I am working on. I have been obsessed with this turquoise fabric for a while now, and I love the gray dots. 

It is getting merrier around here all the time! 

Be happy...and merry! 

-Katie Beth

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Let the festivities begin!!!

I know I haven't posted in a while, and I have been wanting to so badly. The problem has been that I haven't really done anything worth posting. However! That does not mean that I haven't been busy. I have been so productive that I must admit I am proud of myself. I have had so many photo orders to get done for the holidays, and I am one photo book away from being completely done! But enough about that...

A few weeks ago I started this project on a night when I just needed a break. I mentioned it in this post. Well, I finally put the finishing touches on it today [after finally remembering to by a wreath hanger], and it is making our cruddy old [seriously old] front door look all festive! 


I am pretty pleased with the way it turned out for around $15.00. I am hoping we can get the tree decorated tomorrow before the mr. heads to work, and then I have all sorts of things planned for the weekend...we will see which things actually happen. 

The last couple of days I have had another small project going in my spare minutes. It has seriously been just minutes because this was such an easy project. I started with this:
[Both from Hobby Lobby]

I just printed off the numbers [I think the font was elephant] and used a tiny piece of graphite paper to transfer the image. Then I filled it in with the pen! It was so easy and so fast. They look exactly as they looked in my head. Now I don't want to sit a drink on them and mess them up! I might experiment with sealing them somehow.

I like this much more dramatic photo better, but the first one shows the project better. Yes, I over think things...

It is amazing the feeling that I get from completing a project like this. The hard part is that it doesn't satisfy a only fuels it! I have so many things I want to make! I have several small projects that I have almost finished and would love to share, but they are secret present projects. I love homemade gifts, and I have some cute things to wrap up! 

Be happy...and festive! 


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Going out the right way

So I mentioned earlier that I was working on my final sessions of the season. Today was actually my very last Arkansas session, and what a way to end the year! This couple was so fun and exactly the kind of couple I want to shoot. They were totally willing to climb around on the ground and work with my crazy instructions...not to mention they are a gorgeous couple! I could hardly pick from all the great shots. Here are some of my favorites: 

I seriously couldn't stop going through them until I was finished. I am so thankful for all the sessions I have got to do [especially this fall], and I am looking forward to getting all the Christmas orders wrapped up! 

Be happy! 

-Katie Beth

Friday, November 11, 2011

Last Sessions of the Season

I am back in Arkansas for my last group of photo sessions for the year. The weather is getting too cold, the holidays will get so busy, and I want to enjoy that time with my family. I always enjoy my sessions, but along with my other job it does take a lot out of me at times. I hope to get caught up and stay caught up so that I can work on my paintings. It has really been working on me that I couldn't get time to clean my house much less pick up a paint brush. I look forward to Spring and the sessions that will come with it. I will be refreshed with new ideas and updates full of helpful information added to my website and Facebook page. So really, I am taking this break to revamp some things and make some improvements. Hopefully it will only make things bigger and better! 

I did have a late afternoon session yesterday with a couple of cute kids. Darcie is a doll with tons of spunk, and Cole [who has grown up a lot since I last saw him!] is a sweet kid and a great big brother. 

I have two sessions Sunday, and then I am wrapping it up. Then I will be in Christmas shopping mode full force! I am looking forward to Zona Rosa with the mr, Branson with mom, Candi, and Georgie, and all the other fun things the holidays will bring. Hopefully I will have lots of Christmas crafties and transformations to share as well! 

Be happy...and festive! 

-Katie Beth

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sanity craft

Even though I got almost all of my photo editing finished yesterday I came home from work today feeling a bit overwhelmed. I didn't even sit down to my computer because I knew there would be emails and things waiting there for me. I just didn't feel able to deal with it at the I cleaned out my closet and made caramel fudge brownies! I also finally got to a fun project I have been planning since the first of the year. It was my Tuesday night sanity craft. I needed to not think about how messy my house is or all the other things I need to do, and this project was an escape. I also have been feeling the need to physically make something with my hands instead of just clicking around on my computer. This was just what I needed! Due to the dark, yucky lighting I will take a final photo later on, but here is a preview close up.

I am very pleased with how it turned out, and I can't wait to add the finishing touch and share a completed photo! 

Be happy...and festive! 


Saturday, November 5, 2011

The great office overhaul of 2011

Today was a busy day, but it was a nice change of pace. This morning I went with my mother-in-law to a craft fair and a few antique shops. I was home in time to work on some things [before the Sweet and Savory event tonight], but I just couldn't sit in front of a computer screen editing photos today. Don't get me wrong...I love photography and editing and all that, but a girl needs a break every now and then! My office has been a horrendous disaster for such a long time. I think it has gotten even worse because since I got my laptop I can just leave the room and still work without looking at the mess. My craft table has been so piled that I couldn't even use it, and everything that didn't have a place elsewhere in the house ended up in the floor of that room. This is what resulted: 

I is can barely walk...I am ashamed...

The only reason I even [hang my head and] share this is in hopes that it will make me work even harder to get it in a condition that is presentable. I worked on it quite a bit today, and I made a lot of progress. I still have shelves to hang, and lots of organization to get done. It will get there though! I plan to do some more work on it Sunday afternoon if possible. I am actually looking forward to it! 

Be happy...and don't judge me because of my dirty office/craft space. 

-Katie Beth

Monday, October 31, 2011


I was pretty excited when Brandi from A Nifty Disposition asked me to answer a few questions about organization for a post she was planning. I think it was perfect timing as it got me to thinking about how organized [or NOT organized] I have been lately as well as ways that I can improve and become more efficient. It was fun as well as beneficial for me. She also featured a few other ladies so check it out!

If loving organization is wrong, I don't want to be right.

I already have more plans and to-do things just from answering these questions. I can't wait to get my new super duper organizational binder put together...after I edit a million photos! 
I had several more sessions over the weekend while in Arkansas, and I do have a few ready to share. 

I had some great sessions with fun people. Everyone was a great sport...even when climbing through head high grass and other sorts of wilderness!

Be happy...and safe this Halloween!

-Katie Beth

Thursday, October 27, 2011

More Arkansas Photo Sessions

I am in AR again, and it has been a fun and busy time as always. I got started as soon as I arrived with a couple of sessions at a new location. I can already tell it is going to be a favorite! I shot with my sis and her growing family and finished up with this family session:

And another shot of my favorite dog all dressed up! 

I worked on #10 from my 2012 list today. I got some snuggles from Georgie! I also got to spend time with my sis, and I have more fun visits and photos this weekend. I can't wait! 

Be happy! 

-Katie Beth

Sunday, October 23, 2011

pink pearl stamp click clutch

A few months ago I came across this post from Ashley of Under the Sycamore, and I knew it was too simple and fun not to try. I don't think it was long after that when I sat down with this: 

I sketched on my image with a pencil [ironic, yes], and I used an Exacto knife to turn it into this:

Today I stamped it on my envelope clutch that I bought from Hobby Lobby and added the text with my old stamp set.



I planned on adding something to this clutch when I bought it months ago, but I didn't want it to be the same old flowers and frills. This is just what I was wanting. I love the contrast of the graphic stamp with the texture of the clutch. I may still add a black strap for easier carrying, but ultimately I think this [very long drawn out] project is a success!

I also got to work, and I think I can mark #11 off my list. After church I headed down to the basement for some dirty work fun. I got it rearranged and as clean as an old damp basement can be. I made a space for painting, and I can already tell it is going to be a major help with productivity. I have several canvas that are already ready for text! Etsy, here I come!

Be happy!

-Katie Beth