Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weekend Shopping

I must confess. I did a little shopping over the weekend. My plan was to stop by Home Depot to pick up one more round of paint colors for the bathroom. I have the shower curtain, towels and rugs already. But I have the hardest time committing to a color in that room for some reason.

Anyway, since Home Depot is very close to one of my favorite shops, it only made sense that I stop by to see what's new. And there I fell in love with him...

Isn't he perfect? He's actually a pitcher, but I figured he wouldn't mind holding some flowers as well. I found some other friends that I would like to bring home as well:

  • I would be all smiles drinking coffee from this
  • This guy is perfect for greeting me when I arrive home

So how was your weekend, did it take you off the beaten path? Did you do anything unusual?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

We Love to Hear from You!

Really. It puts a big smile on my face when I open an email from a customer and they tell me how excited they are to do laundry and iron now that they have a fresh new ironing board cover from our shop. And I especially love it when someone sends me a picture their new ironing board cover proudly displayed in their newly redecorated laundry area. Here are a few shots from a recent customer...

So bright and cheery, isn't it? I on the other hand, do not have a glamorous laundry room. It's where the cat's little box is. Enough said. So I get giddy when I see some nice color, vinyl stickers, and of course organization in a laundry room. Don't you think those retro style vinyl stickers are just perfect? Get yours here from Tweet Heart Wall Art.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back to School Retro Ruler Fabric

It's that time of year. Even though I have have not formally attended "class" for a fair amount of time, I still get the urge to go out and buy some cool new notebooks, pens and pencils. So when I came across this retro ruler fabric earlier this summer, I knew it would be perfect for the back-to-school season.

There was only enough to make one tabletop ironing board cover and one sewing machine cover. And sadly this fabric line (Building Blocks by American Jane for Moda) is discontinued. So consider these a limited edition. They will be available in the shop later tonight!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Photo Shoot Kind of Weekend

I spent all weekend taking pictures for the shop! It was gorgeous outside, so I cranked open all windows as well as the stereo :) I didn't mind staying in with the sun shining and the breeze flowing through the house, it was almost like being outside. Not sure the dogs would agree with me on that, but I did squeeze in a few quick walks with them.

The house gets torn apart whenever I decide to have a photo shoot. I take out all of the product that needs to be photographed and then arrange different areas in the house with a variety of accessories and take a zillion shots. I'm always trying to improve our photos for the shop and even though I've learned a lot the past few months, I still have a long way to go. I'm sure some of you reading have expert picture-taking skills so feel free to share. I'll share a few important lessons I've learned along the way:

  1. Turn off the flash! Try to use natural light. This can be difficult living in Minnesota, especially the winter months when it's dark when you leave for the day job and when you return from the day job :(
  2. Get up close to your product and use the macro mode - it should be the flower setting on your camera.
  3. Sign up for flickr and join a group for your camera. I need to take my own advice here, I haven't joined my camera group yet. However, I know others who have had many of their questions answered through an expert on flickr. Which leads me to the next point...
  4. Get inspired! Join other groups on flickr to get inspired by the inspiring work of other talented photographers. Take notice of what grabs your attention in other's photos that you see in magazines and blogs. I'm not saying you should copy anyone else's style, that's a no-no. But I get energized and full of new ideas when I look at the fabulous work that is out there.
  5. Add some interest besides the amazing product you are photographing. Use this as a cross promotional opportunity - show another fellow etsian's product in your background. For example, I used the Buttons print I purchased from Shanon of My Fine Garden in the background of the photo above. I added the link to her item in my listing so if someone wants to know where to get it, there it is :)
  6. Edit your photos. Picnik is free and is very user friendly. You can crop, lighten, resize, add text and more to improve your photos.
  7. Practice makes perfect :) Take lots and lots of photos! Try different areas in the house, different times of day and note what looks best.
  8. And of course, HAVE FUN!!
So what are your pointers? Will you please share? I'd love to hear them :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Afternoon with Amy Butler's Software

Back to school items are filling the shelves in the stores (and I even saw Christmas items out at one place! Can you believe that?) I've been trying to take in as much summer as possible these last few weeks. Time at the beach, a picnic, and lots of walking outdoors has been keeping me busy. Country Mouse and I are working on a few new projects that we hope to have ready in September. I'll let you know as soon as I can share more details!

And I'm in love. I ordered a few of the Amy Butler Softwares which finally arrived. And I must say I am swooning over them. I'm always inspired by Amy's designs and this software is no different. So I'm spending most of this Sunday afternoon playing with the software and trying to decide which project I want to do first. I am totally in love with the floor pillows on the cover of the software. I am planning to make two of them for our living room for our furbabies. I know, our dogs are spoiled!

I have a few extra softwares so I am listing them in the shop with free shipping to the US or Canada because I know you are going to want one of these as well :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day Trip to Chicago

I'm on vacation visiting my husband's parents this week in Michigan. We took the train in to Chicago yesterday and did some shopping and lots of walking. My feet are begging me to relax at the beach today :) I hadn't been to downtown Chicago for about 10 years, way too long!

There's something about big cities and their downtown atmosphere that fascinates me. I think I would enjoy living in a downtown neighborhood where you can walk out of your home and immediately have lots of restaurants and shops within walking distance. But I would still need to escape the hustle and bustle to a quiet country retreat every so often. Do you ever picture yourself living somewhere completely different than where you currently are? It's fun to dream a little :)

Forgive me for the slow posting in the next week or so while I enjoy our little trip. But Country Mouse and I are working on some new and exciting ideas for the shop and we'll share them with you very soon! I hope you are enjoying this last stretch of summer!