Monday, October 1, 2012

It's been a while!!

Hello, my lovelies! It's been too long since you've had an update from me!

So, what has been going on with me? Lots and lots of stuff, actually! At the beginning of the year I had made a couple of goals I would like to accomplish for 2012. 

1.) Minimize the "stuff" around me
2.) Develop a fresh new looking shop.

I'll talk about number one first...

It all started when I pulled a book to ship off (for my day job) that was called The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide. thing you have to know about me is that I LOVE my "stuff". My "stuff" being my books, my trinkets, my odds and ends, my useless tchotchkes, my furniture, games, cds, craft supplies and so on. All the stuff in my life represents who I am as a person. At least that is how I see it. I feel like with just a glance at it you can get a visual representation of my personality and interests.  Mi marido is completely the opposite.  He would prefer a clean, "uncluttered" look to our home. To me...the minimalistic look feels cold and empty. I have found that the more stuff I have around me the more secure I feel. 

The more I read the book the more it started to feel like maybe my stuff wasn't helping my ability to be organized and clear my thoughts. Maybe it was getting in the way or helping create this crafter's block I've been in lately. Slowly but surely I started clearing out the junk in my life. I gave a huge pile of stuff away and started weeding out all the craft supplies I had been squirreling away for projects that would probably never happen.  As I was weeding the vision of what I would like to do with my Etsy shop became clearer and clearer.  It felt good getting rid of a lot of stuff. And it was super weird seeing actual space and trying my hardest not to fill it with something. I am still not done but there is more on that later.

Now, number two has been one I've kind of been struggling with for a while.  I've been on an adventure trying to figure out what my favorite medium is to work with and what I want my store front to look like. In the beginning when i was Memento Mori Shop it was nothing but beaded jewelry.  The theme of my shop changed constantly as I was trying to find the perfect store front. Then it evolved into The LitBotanica and I started working with paper more. I always had a list of "Future Projects" for things I may want to add to my shop in the future but as I was looking at the craft clutter I had acquired, I discovered that it was keeping me from really focusing and perfecting the paper flowers I do.  I know this sounds weird but I've been looking to drop the THE in the title and even saved my spot on Etsy for it.  I made the painful decision of leaving the shop TheLitBotanica behind.  I say painful because I would be leaving all my Sales Completed (even if it was less than 300) and awesome feedback that people have left behind. But I feel like dropping the THE and giving my shop a fresh look and clearer idea of my craft will be good for the business end of it and will help keep me pointed in one direction.

SO on top of all the brainstorming I had been doing at the beginning of the year...this was also the year that my fiance and I decided that we were getting married. I've had to put my shop on hold (only keeping it open for destash) so that I could focus on planning a wedding!! ON TOP of all that we had also made the decision to move back to Phoenix, Arizona.  Which in turn led to me applying for a position that had just opened up right around the time that we were getting married. 

To make a long story short, I am now in Arizona, married, and starting my job at the new location tomorrow! Mi Marido will be going back to San Antonio until January and my brother will be staying in the apartment until our lease ends. Now that the wedding stuff is settled I've started the process of planning for a reopen!! I will be shooting for before Christmas or  later in the new year and will be working on social media and getting everyone excited about the opening. I've been brainstorming on the overall look, product creation, photography, and all that other fun stuff on paper/computer and will be working on pieces starting this week. I want to open up strong and make something that I am even more proud of than when I had Memento Mori Shop up.

Anyways, sorry about all-over-the-place post but I am very excited to get my groove back up and running!! Later for now and keep your eyeballs open on this blog for more adventures! :)


Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Evolution of my Packaging

Packaging.  As a consumer (and shop owner) on Etsy..presentation is EVERYTHING to me.  I cannot stand when someone has a fabulous product..but just slaps it in a organza bag and sends it off.  To me, when I purchase something on Etsy..I expect an experience.  When I look at a shop and their items, I want them to present them in a way that really represents what kind of shop they are and shows how much they care.

I'll have to admit...I have never been happy with my packaging.  I have always been back and forth and testing many waters to see what I like and what is more appealing.  This happened A LOT when I was MementoMoriShop and has gotten worse as I am growing with LitBotanica.  One thing about switching my focus to the paper flowers was that I was always afraid of packaging them with out them getting crushed.  The LAST thing I wanted was for someone to get their flower all disfigured.  It's so easy with beaded jewelry..They are tough and I don't have to think about it much..  The flowers are so delicate though! And I was growing bored of the kraft boxes.  I wanted something that would stand out and that would be appealing to the shopper. Old MementoMoriShop packagings:

^----When I first opened my shop
^---I was really loving these bags for a long time

^----Kraft Boxes..
I had found some tins with see through tops in the bridal section that I thought would be a good size for them.  They were pretty pricey though but adorable. I had to make sure I went in with a coupon to buy them! When I was running low on those, I experimented with some little favor boxes(from the bridal area again) that you I tried that. When I had twelve orders in a row to became too much. Too much time spent putting the boxes together when I could be working on the next orders.  

^----Tin Style
Thought at one point I would go back to bags...

^----Complicated Assembled Box
So, after many fights with myself I decided to surrender and order the kraft boxes again.  I told myself though, if I am..I'm going to take time and find an efficient and cool way to decorate them.  I settled on going to to create stickers to put on the top of them.  I really like the way they turned out.  BUT..I ordered them a couple of weeks ago and since then I have had to figure out a way to decorate them until they arrive. Problem is...I have really grown to like what I do now ^.^;;;   I am much happier with the way the boxes look and I think they add a delightful touch! So we'll see what I end up doing in the end. 

I suppose it'll be like anything. Ever evolving. :)



Sunday, October 16, 2011

Change is a comin..

So October 18th Etsy has decided to give shops the opportunity to change the name of their shop.

Which is a pretty big deal.

I've done a lot of thinking and I've decided to take advantage of the change.

That's right.  MementoMoriShop's name will be changing.  Along with the name change I will also be putting more energy into a specific medium rather then being all over the place.

It took a lot of thought but I know I've generally been displeased with the name and the broadness of it.  I've gotten quite a lot of compliments on MementoMoriShop's name, the focus being "Memento Mori : Remember Your Mortality" and though I am extremely fond of the meaning behind it, I don't feel an ownership over it.  It's used all over the place and I wanted my shop to be my own creation.

I had the new name picked out and in fact, I had saved it a couple of months ago on Etsy just in case Etsy would ever have made a decision like this.  UNFORTUNATELY I kind of screwed myself over being that you can't ever really close an account out permanently...and in order for you to take that has to be free.

SO...I am going to play the waiting game and hope that the admins figure out a way for me (and apparently other shop owners hehe) to be able to either close the second shop down indefinitely (with the name that we saved for ourselves) or be able to merge.  But I have definitely made up my mind that the change is going to happen regardless. If it turns out in the end that I won't be able to do those options..I'm going to start making arrangements to move things over and take my losses with my reviews and "items sold". It's crappy..but it's what I want to do.

In the meantime, I will wait and explain where else my head has been...

The past couple of weeks I've been doing some personal "soul searching" with my creativity and trying to figure out the direction I want to take it so I actually feel fulfilled. I've come up with a pretty good game plan and this new shop name/medium will be something for me to work on and keep my creative juices flowing while I continue to research what I REALLY want to do with my life...which is jewelry casting (which I am now calling..the "Bigger Picture" for now ;) ).

I love the concept of coming up with a design, sketching it out...and having it physically in your hand for others to enjoy.  I want do fairy tale & mythology pieces since that is where my passion lies.

I have been watching videos and ordering books and even pulled out my neglected drawing pad and started doodling ideas.

With this jewelry casting I would love to design my own website for it rather than depending on Etsy. But those are things that'll be later down the road.

The money I make on any jewelry sold under my new Etsy shop name will be put towards saving up for supplies for the "bigger picture".

Anyways, I just thought I would put that out there since that is what has been running through my mind all week.  I will announce the new shop name once I am sure that I will be able to change it or I will get a definite answer from Etsy on whether or not they are going to be able to do so.

Thanks for any and all support y'all :)


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Venturing into the unknown and solving problems while at it!

A bit more dramatic than it really is ^.^;;


Man I've been up to a lot since I've last posted.  I'm definitely happy I added the finishing touched to the Simply Dainty series..cause I really wanted to focus my attention on my LitBotanica line.  The biggest thing that was bothering me about it and was causing me dread to work on silly as it sounds, was actually making them. Oh, the process is super, super easy..BUT the color application was driving me insane!

Not only was I not happy with the confidence that the color would stick and stay, but like I said...actually applying it was an issue for me.

Now..lemme explain.

I'm pretty weird. And by pretty weird..I mean like, really pretty weird.  There are just certain feelings/sounds people can't stand, right?  Say for instance...nails on a chalk board. Well..the FEELING of the little bitty cotton ball with the chalk on it (and I'm completely serious when I say I even have a hard time typing this without freaking the crap out) actually touching the paper just make this awful, terrible feeling that would make my skin crawl.  I literally had to close my eyes and apply it as fast as I could (also hoping that I was actually hitting the paper) just so I didn't have to think about / deal with / listen to the sound of the cotton rubbing against the paper.

It really sucks to get really excited about a sale..and then see it be a colored paper flower and completely dread making it. How whack does that sound!? Super whack.

So besides that super weird problem, I was also trying to brainstorm ideas for additions to the LitBotanica line.  I believe it's my most unique line and I know that is something I should be taking advantage of. So! I had already known in the back of my mind that I wanted to make some sort of brooch (I was also brainstorming ideas for gifts for co workers ;) ) and earlier a friend suggested a pendant.  I had wanted to do the pendant for a while..but I kind of avoided it the same way I avoid doing the laundry. :)  I also was really at a loss as to how I would go about doing it.

So...I honkered down at Michael's for a few hours and browsed every single aisle looking at almost every single medium for art there was, thinking "could i apply this to: color application crisis, brooch materials, and/or how the heck am I going to make a necklace situation".

Needless to say, three hours later..I solved all three issues!!! My happiest one had to be the color issue. After I experimented with the new medium for a little while I was safe to tell myself I can replace the chalks permanently! WOOHOO!

My new medium:

The brooch and necklace kind of flowed together and inspired the other.  Once I found the solution for the brooch, I dove in deeper and found the solution little by little to the necklace challenge!

I sat myself down in front of the TV for a couple of episodes of Dead Like Me and got to work on the projects and they turned out AWESOME! I am so completely pleased with them!

Those listings can be found here for those interested!
Poppy Brooch * Flower Pendant

Anyways! I'm looking forward to adding more options to these lines!

September I was going to have a 20% off sale on my LitBotanica line. We'll see. I also have to prepare for my Outrageous Orange Treasury! :)  Decided to switch them to monthly so I don't overload myself too much! that I'm thinking about would probably be best for October huh? Eh, we'll see. :)

I'm off! Gunna go watch more Dead Like Me! :)

Peace as always!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The "simply dainty" series is complete!

I recently had a couple of orders for bridesmaids gifts..and it forced me to finally finish off the collection with the few beads I had been holding onto!



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blog Make over!

BUH! I've been neglecting my poor blog. Maybe because I wasn't satisfied with the way the color scheme looked. I was kind of in a rut and didn't know what I wanted the overall theme to look like.   My cousins wife recently opened up her blog for her etsy and she did a beautiful job! It made me cranky that mine looked like poop! So I finally sat down..opened Photoshop and stared at it for a good 15 mins thinking about a "feeling". Eventually it came and I came up with this! VERY satisfied! :) I feel excited to start using this again. Tomorrow is Tuesday..and I will be doing my Treasury Tuesday : Radical Red treasury I have been putting off for too long. I have a couple of orders to complete...with a new idea for packaging and a possible extra treat to send off. We'll see how they turn out. I'll definitely post more tomorrow! Or....later ..being that it's ALMOST 5AM! Sheesh!

Off to bed! :)