Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Graduation Season!

I am so pleased to say that my graduation exploding box cards have, well, exploded this year!  I started getting orders in January, and have been getting them pretty consistently since about April.  Now that it's late May and graduation season is upon us, it is getting BUSY!  I am working on my 14th order of this year...that might not seem like a lot to a lot of people, but it's a lot to me!  The best thing is the incredible things that my customers have to say about my product. Just today, I sent photo proofs of a work in progress to a customer, and she responded "WOW!!!  This is just WONDERFUL!! LOVE IT!!!  Thank you so much. My daughter will just LOVE this!!!"    Well, that could not make me happier- I want, above all, for my customers to love what I do for them!

Last time I updated, I mentioned that since I got my Silhouette Cameo, I had made the process of making the graduation exploding boxes much more efficient, so I thought I would share some of the results from that:

I love how the layers now lay exactly diagonal from one another.  Before, the inside layer was only barely offset from the middle layer.  With my Silhouette software, I was able to create cut files to exact dimensions, and experimented until I got it right.  I love the result!  What an improvement- it looks so much better!

You might notice that a couple of these do not have school logos, like I usually include.  That is because for colleges, I will never use a logo if I am not authorized to do so.  I send an email to the college licensing office to ask for permission for all college jobs.  About half of the time, I never even hear back from them.  Sad to say, but they have better things to do than deal with a small request like mine.  I have never had one turn me down- if I do hear back, it is to give permission.  Anyway, two of the above photos show boxes that I had to make without the college logos, due to the fact that the university never responded to my request for permission to use the logo.  On the Sacred Heart one, the customer (the mom of the student) suggested that I just use the heart graphic.  On the one for the University of Illinois, I did actually (finally) hear back from someone, but it was too late- I had already completed the box and shipped it.  In that case, I simply used general graduation graphics found on the internet, and the customer was happy.  I do prefer to use the logos, but I think I am getting better at the ones where it is not possible.

I am so happy that my product has taken off this year- I have actually had to keep it unlisted at times so as not to get too overwhelmed with orders!  Most of all, I am happiest with the feedback from the buyers- I have been blessed with customers who are happy and thankful for what I have created for them, and that is all that a crafter like me can ask for.

In other news, I have transitioned out of my booth at the consignment store Top Drawer, and now just have my card rack there.  It will be interesting to see how it does!  I think I did ok for Mother's Day, so we'll see what happens after this month.  I still think I did the right thing giving up my booth, and will be happy as long as I can sell enough cards to make the rack fee worth it.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Finally, Some New Stuff!

I am well into my transition from my previous booth at Top Drawer to my scaled-back focus on my crafting, and it is going well!  I have gotten rid of a number of furniture pieces, and this weekend went through my crafting stuff and posted some crafting supplies that I will not need since I am pulling my attention away from the other crafting activities apart from paper crafts.  It feels good- I do wish I had more time to do the other crafts, but for the time being, it will have to wait.

In the meantime, we had our Salem Etsy Team spring sale last weekend, and it was fantastic!  We had the best traffic we've ever had at an event!  I sold a number of cards, and my daughter Meredith sold some things to raise money for her choir trip. Now that that is over, the pressure is off, and I have time to get things organized and plan for the future.  This weekend, I did some cleaning and organizing, and managed to get in some crafting as well.

I have gotten a number of graduation exploding box orders this year- I just completed my 10th since January, which is a record for me!  I'm very happy that they are doing so well.  Since I got my Silhouette Cameo, I have spent some time creating cut files for my box cards, and it has really made things much easier and efficient for me!  I can now cut out the box layers and panels in a fraction of the time it used to take to do it by hand, and they are much more precise and even in size.  It takes a bit of time to set up the print files in the Silhouette Studio software, but once done, it prints and cuts easily and quickly.  Hooray for efficiency!

For our SET spring sale, I made some new products- some cards, as well as these little reusable gift tags/bookmarks. This is something I have played with in the past- in fact, for the holiday sale last year, I made mini-bookmarks for the swag bag contributions, very cute, with paper snowflakes in them.  This time, I made them with pretty washi papers and added on a blank white square to the backs with temporary adhesive.  They can be used as a gift tag, then remove the white square to use a as a bookmark after.  I sold a few at the spring sale, and just today listed some in my Etsy shop.  We'll see how they do- I realize they are kind of different!  I really like them though:

I especially love that bird and foliage paper in the first photo- I have made some cards with that paper, and just love it!

Also just listed a few new cards in my shop:

I got a few new washi papers back in December, so used some in these. I really love that peacock feather pattern paper!  The pink/white quatrefoil is not washi paper, but I really like that pattern- it is geometric without being too blocky and regular, and it looks nice paired with a flower.  I just got an embossing folder with a quatrefoil pattern, so will be experimenting with that soon.

It is nice to be focusing once again on my paper crafts!  Looking forward to doing more.  I recently ordered a bunch of new washi papers from a seller on Etsy, and these are in patterns and colors I have not used before, so should be fun to work with!