Sunday, February 23, 2014

Go ahead and own it

Sometimes I hate the internet. 

Okay, so maybe I don’t because I would need to look something up in the first 1.5 seconds I was without it, but sometimes it becomes overwhelming. I don’t mean to be a Debbie downer, but sometimes I feel like it puts so much pressure on people. There are so many beautiful websites, photos, and creative people out there that it is easy to feel like your clothes/house/hair/artwork/job [or anything else imaginable] is inadequate. 

I am here to tell you to stop. 

Even if you aren’t a master do-it-yourselfer, marathon running, vegan chef, gluten free baker with an online craft business who homeschools her kids between her mission trips to Africa…

Stop feeling inadequate. 

Am I the only one that feels like this is what I am looking at sometimes?

Can I get an Amen?

I don’t mean to diminish those successful women who seem to have it all together. More power to them! We [I say "we" because I feel confident in saying that I am not totally alone on this one] just have to get it together and realize that someone else is not the standard for our success. Clearly I deal with this pretty frequently since I have touched on a similar subject before.

I will go ahead and tell myself to stop now too.

But seriously. Whatever you are doing, go ahead and own it. I have made the decision to work my butt off and make things happen instead of just waiting for them to happen. Go ahead. You can do it too. I've got your back.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Three adorable, easy ways to display your prints!

I have had several positive comments on the staging of my pieces for my shop, and I am so flattered! Today I thought it would be nice to share a few of the ways that I display my prints around my home. The great thing is that each display is so super easy, inexpensive, and there is no major commitment involved (my favorite part)! You see, one of my favorite things about prints is their versatility. They are an inexpensive way to switch art around for seasons, holidays, or just changing moods. 

The three different displays I often use are frames, clip boards, and washi tape. Easy as that! Each of these displays today will be using the newest print in my shop, and I am very excited about it! The artwork from this piece comes from a custom piece I did for sweet baby Harper. I just knew I had to use the artwork on a piece in my shop. The antlers and peonies were inspired by my bedroom antler project, and the artwork is some of my favorite to date! 

1. Framing

Framing sounds so plain and boring, but it doesn't have to be. While I love the clean, non-distracting lines of a plain white (and don't forget inexpensive!) frame, you can add some cheap washi tape to spruce it up and surround it with your favorite nick-knacks! The tape I used here is actually a masking tape I got from WalMart. It is so versatile, and the color is perfect. I love it using it on the corners of frames, as seen in some of the images in my shop.

Another tip for any vignette: Remember variety. Color variety is up to you and your taste, but try to mix it up with different heights, widths, and depths of objects. That variance keeps it interesting and keeps your eyes moving.

2. Clipboard display 

Clipboards are also a super cheap way to display any piece. I have several of these laying around, and they are great way to display prints when you want to switch them out. You can even stack them up so all you have to do is rotate the prints to your current fave!

3. Washi tape

Another super easy and cheap way is to just stick them the print directly to the wall using washi tape! Since washi tape is usually just sticky enough, you can stick it directly onto the wall with no harm done to your paint job. A couple of times I have had the washi tape to actually come unstuck. A solution to that is rolling masking tape (that is also safe for your walls) and attaching it on the back of the print. Then you can use the washi tape for the cute factor. In this case I used the washi tape to make a small collage of some of my favorite paper items. 

Another way I used the washi tape is to attach my current favorite print to this wooden "canvas" my daddy made me. While everyone may not have a piece like this it could be a chalkboard, old window pane, or even a piece of foam core! The possibilities really are endless. 

I hope this might help get your creative juices flowing. I know I am getting in the mood for Spring, and that means I will be doing lots rearranging and switching things up. I would love see some of you displays and vignettes! 


Friday, February 21, 2014

In Full Swing

So the shop is up and running...and then I abandon the blog for almost two weeks! I promise I did not mean to! It is just that last week was Valentine's Day stuff, and I work in a bakery. Enough said I think. If not enough, I will tell you that I made over 100 dozen hand-rolled, hand-cut, and iced sugar cookies, mmmkay? Then over the weekend I made a super fast trip to AR for my mom's birthday, and then it was back to work as soon as I got back. I feel like the week just started, and it is the weekend already! 

Any second that I have had at home I have been busy working on prints, trying to improve listings in the shop, and just doing tons of brainstorming. The first day I opened, it all just happened really quickly. I had been doing tons of debating and procrastinating about making the shop live, but since I had sold several of my "melon" prints via Facebook, I figured it would be much easier to keep track of things if I could just direct people to my Etsy shop. So I just posted that one print as a "just in case" sort of thing. I really didn't even think anyone would see the listing, much less order it. And on top of that I hadn't received my packing and shipping supplies yet! Well, low-and-behold I was eating lunch, and I had a "Congratulations" email from Etsy. I had already made a sale within a couple of hours of listing my only item! I was so surprised and excited. I might have done a crazy-jumping-fist-pump-thing in my dining room. Maybe. 

As soon as I made the sale, I jumped right into printing, photographing, and listing more items, and made a sale on the second day as well! On the third day, I got an email on my phone while we were in the movie theater. I was trying to not get too excited thinking it was a sale, but sure was! This was great for morale at the beginning, but then I had pretty much listed everything I had ready at the time, views started dropping, and the sales stopped. I got a bit bummed, but instead of getting frustrated and giving up, I got with it. 

I am still in the process of trying to promote my site, and if you know me you know that is really difficult for me. I am working on it though. I am trying to engage viewers/readers. I want to hear what you all are thinking! I want comments to know what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong. I started a Facebook page to try to help with this, and I had over 100 likes in the first 24 hours. That was pretty exciting, but now I have to translate those "likes" into sales!

I will admit that I have waves of frustration, followed by excitement, followed again by frustration, but I am still hopeful. I am just going to keep on keepin' on. Wish me luck! 


Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Color Happy is open for business!!!

After a whole lot of dragging my feet and the much appreciated encouragement from some great gals, my Etsy shop is finally up and running! 

I don't have a ton of items available since I am still working on getting photos taken when I have time and daylight. I also need to get some shots together for my "About" page, but I didn't want to put it off any longer. I had the packaging and shipping supplies on their way, and I had already sold several of the "ain't no melon like a Cave City melon" print. That gave me just the shove I needed to get going!

I am so thankful for sweet friends who have been listening to me debate about doing this, viewed many different versions of many different prints, and have encouraged me the entire way. Thank you, girls.

I am thankful for a sweet, supportive husband who doesn't question me what I get a crazy idea like this and listens to me ramble on about which mailers to order when I know he really doesn't care. Thank you, mister.

I am thankful to the person who purchased a print just a few hours after I posted my first listing. I was totally unprepared, but that just made it even more exciting. Thank you.

I am very nervous, and to be honest, I am so afraid of this failing. I am hopeful, anxious, scared, and excited. I am not expecting to make a million or even $1000 dollars, but it is quite a rush to know that someone wants to purchase something that you have created from start to finish to display in their home. I hope I at least get to experience that rush every now and then.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Etsy, here I come...again.

Enough making excuses. Enough being a chicken.

Being snowed in this week has been the perfect opportunity for me to get some things done that I had been putting off for whatever reason. I have created 6 more prints, eliminated a few that I thought I liked, and I am brainstorming about the look of my banner, images, and "about" page. 

I wanted to get my banner completed, and of course I have to have a hand lettered heading since that is the basis of the entire shop! 

One thing I need to figure out is a tagline of sorts to go beneath "the color happy" on my banner since the title alone doesn't exactly explain what I am selling. I want something brief, fun, and clever, but I think I may be thinking about it too hard. Any thoughts or suggestions?

I don't have an opening date since there is still lots to do. Other than the banner and "about" information, there is a lot of photographing to do for the finished products. I plan to display a watermarked digital image, a framed example, perhaps a packaged example, and a close up of each print. In the meantime, here is a sneak peak of one of the prints I created today! [Don't spill the beans about the rest, Brittney and Jessica!]


Monday, February 3, 2014


My man crush Monday cannot be summed up in one simple photograph. This great guy deserves some words, y'all. 

As I sit here on my cozy couch, he is at work. While I ate a hot dinner, he ate a cold sandwich on the way from school to work. While I was able to stay inside and warm all day, he was out the door early this morning, scraping ice off his car, and on his way to school. Oh yeah, and while he is out on his busy day...he texts me to ask how house cleaning is going and an "I love you" just when I need it. 

He is one hardworking guy, and I am so thankful for that. I am also super proud of him. While we haven't made a big production of it, we learned last week that his hard work was totally worth it when he got a job offer from a fantastic company in KC. He will start in May after graduation, and we are super excited. He will have a more regular schedule and be home with me in the evenings and weekends. I am pretty pumped about that part! 

I will not go on and on because I could never say enough about how proud I am him. I am amazed at his diligence, focus and dedication to school [full-time] and working full-time. I am so excited to celebrate his graduation this Spring! The party planning has already begun...


Saturday, February 1, 2014

To Etsy or not to Etsy?

That is the question. That is the question I have been struggling with for some time. I tried it once, but it was on a whim with products that I look back at and...let's just say I am now not so surprised they didn't sell. I just got too excited and didn't put enough thought and time into perfecting each piece. I was whipping them out really quickly and posting to sell. Then, I was too embarrassed to actually try promoting myself, and I got super disappointed when people weren't flocking to buy them. Totally nonsensical, I know...

But since this past Fall I have been thinking of trying it again since I have really come to enjoy making prints for my home, as well as for friends and family. I really got the itch when I created this piece for my elementary school buddy, Lindsey and her soon-to-be-here baby girl.

I taught myself some new techniques to make clearer digital images from my hand drawings, and I was hooked. I started created a handful of images and sharing with some of my closest friends. I didn't want to just jump into it again, so I have been getting feedback, making adjustments, and really putting thought into each image before it is complete. Now I just have to work up the courage and start putting myself out there. 

If you know me well, you know that I am super bad at that. I am horrible at promoting anything that I do. Sure I will share images and posts about the things I am working on for myself, but when it comes to promoting anything for sales...I stink. I am a horrible salesperson when it comes to my own products. 

I am trying to overcome that. I am trying to be rational and realize that I must overcome that because people are not going to flock to a brand new shop and buy prints by the hundreds when they don't know they exist. I have to be realistic...and maybe a little less sensitive. 

I would love to hear any feedback. I usually don't get a lot of comments here, but I am actually asking for them this time. Let me know what you think of the idea. I will be sharing a few more designs here to try to get over my crazy fear of self promotion, and I would be so grateful for some honest feedback. Thanks, friends!