Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Big Sell

As you may know, I am the co-owner of a website called The Craft Mom. The Craft Mom is a site dedicated to saving crafters time and money. You can think of us like a couponing site, but for craft deals. Our site is the only one out there of its kind and we are constantly trying to grow our little business.

And that's where the problem lies.

In the year since we began The Craft Mom, I have been doing everything I can to take it to the next level. I am constantly trying to get our name out there. I never leave home without a big stack of business cards. I go to scrapbook shows and crops wearing my Craft Mom t-shirt. I have talked about our site to everyone at my dentist's office and allergist's office. Even my physical therapist knows all about The Craft Mom! No one is safe from my word of mouth advertising.

That's just the face-to-face stuff.

I am also on social media for hours a day. I post blog comments. I share on Facebook. I tweet. I participate in tweetchats. I email people in "the industry". All of this is in pursuit of name recognition.

You know what? I'm tired.

Selling yourself begins to take its toll on you. You get tired of people looking at you like you are crazy when you begin your "elevator speech". You get tired of emailing complete strangers who you just know are saying, "Who is THIS idiot?!" You get tired of wearing a Craft Mom t-shirt.

No one handles rejection well. However, I have always been a little thin-skinned. I have always taken it very personally. So when you are out there trying to sell yourself and your awesome little business and you get rejected (a business declines to work with you, companies ignore you, etc.) , it hurts. I have toughened up since we started all of this and I have begun to realize that business decisions aren't personal, but sometimes I still feel like *I* am being rejected, not my business.

Don't get me wrong -- I love my job. I love our site. It combines my two loves: crafting and saving money. I love being my own boss. I love the new people I get to meet (and I have met some really awesome people in the last year thanks to our site). I love when I see comments on our blog or when someone has shared us on Facebook.

But I don't always love "the big sell".

Monday, July 15, 2013

Rowlux Illusion Film Blog Hop

A great big hello to everyone coming here from the Rowlux® Illusion Film Blog Hop!

Materials used:
Rowlux® Illusion Film
Adhesives - Glue Arts, Elmer's, Mod Podge by Plaid
Embellishments - The Robin's Nest and Recollections plastic beads, Basically Bare chipboard, Stampendous Pearlized Mica Fragments, KI Memories, Colorbök, Making Memories, and Advantus chipboard letters

Photo courtesy of Georgia Aquarium 

As soon as I saw the Rowlux® Illusion Film, I envisioned the ocean. It has that same beautiful, shimmery quality as the surface of water in the sun. So I couldn't wait to use it on a scrapbook page about a behind-the-scenes tour that I took with my friends at the Georgia Aquarium. 

I used the "Dark Blue Sea Glass" Rowlux® Illusion Film as the entire background, "Emerald Moire" as the seaweed, and "Gold Serpentine" on chipboard for the little fish!

I was so amazed at how easy the Rowlux® Illusion Film is to work with! My scissors just cut through it like regular paper, and my photo and embellishments adhered to it easily. It's very light and easy to put into a scrapbook album. I also really loved the reflective quality of the film; even when layered on top of other colors of film or on chipboard, it remained just as shimmery!

I could try to explain exactly what Rowlux® Illusion Film is, but to just say that it is reflective plastic doesn't do it justice, so here's how Rolux® describes this cool product:
"Rowlux® Illusion Film is made in the USA and comes in a diverse range of spectacular eye-catching colors and patterns.  These durable, translucent, 12" x 12" polycarbonate sheets add instant pizzazz to craft projects, seasonal accents, party decorations, scrapbooks, greeting cards, jewelry, furniture, frames, gifts, favors, accessories, art and DIY home decor projects.

 This revolutionary material has been utilized in award winning point of purchase displays, packaging, signage, artwork, footwear, lighting, interior design, retail display fixtures and beyond, but the new frontier is the craft industry! There's absolutely nothing like it on the market!
 Easily cut with scissors, Rowlux® is also the perfect material for scoring, folding, embossing and die cutting. The creative possibilities are endless. This innovative and inspiring new craft material manipulates light to create dazzling visual effects. The illusion of depth and motion is the result of thousands of tiny parabolic lenses that are molded into the surface of both sides of the material. These lenses create a pattern of light reflection and refraction resulting in stunningly brilliant optical effects.
To instantly add "POP" and "WOW" to your projects, just add Rowlux®!"

Want to try it? You can get your own Rowlux® Illusion Film here at Amazon!
And there's a giveaway! Just use the Rafflecopter link below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for stopping by to look at my project!
Continue to check out the Rowlux® Illusion Film Designer Blog Hop here!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Albums Made Easy giveaway

Do you love a good giveaway? I do, so that's why we are hosting an AWESOME one over at The Craft Mom.

We are giving away a complete Albums Made Easy System (approx. $50 MSRP) from We R Memory Keepers!

Head over to our site or to our Facebook page (under the giveaway tab) to enter!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mix n' Mingle Bracelet

Isn't this bracelet adorable?

I made this bracelet with the Darice Mix and Mingle Beads starter kit and it couldn't be easier! The kit allows you to create your own charm bracelet easily, with coordinating Pandora-style beads and a pretty silver snake chain bracelet. Just string the beads on the chain in any combination you choose and you've got a bracelet in less than 5 minutes!

This particular starter kit is the "Wedding" kit. Just look at the ridiculously cute little wedding-themed charms.

Squee! The tiny ring! The tiny bride and groom! I die. Seriously.

Wouldn't this make a great gift for a bride-to-be? 

If a wedding-themed bracelet isn't your thing, that's OK! There are lots of different starter kits: pink ribbon (for breast cancer awareness), owls, patriotic, birthday, shopping, sea life, and more. You don't even have to buy the starter kits; you can buy the chains, beads, and spacers separately to create your own look!

The coolest part of these bracelets is the price -- less than $10 for a starter kit! 

Click here to shop Consumer Crafts' selection of Mix and Mingle products!

Disclaimer: I received this bracelet kit for free from Consumer Crafts, but I was not asked to do a review/post. I reviewed because I liked it!

Friday, March 29, 2013

We R Memory Keepers Guest Designer

I am so pleased to be featured as the guest designer over at the We R Memory Keepers Facebook page today!

I created this layout using the new Simply Spring collection from We R and I love it. I loved it so much that I couldn't decide which papers to use... so I used them all! I cut strips from each page and alternated them, adhering onto white cardstock. 

The pictures I used are from my once-in-a-lifetime trip to Ireland last year. They just said "spring" to me, which is great because we sure aren't getting a spring around here in Georgia this year!

Materials used:
Patterned paper: We R Memory Keepers
Cardstock - Bazzill
Paper embellishments: We R Memory Keepers
Flower embellishment: Maya Road
Ink: Sakura, EK Success
Ribbon: Making Memories
Adhesive: Tombow, Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L
Flower embellishments: Prima, Making Memories
Stick pin, buttons: unknown

Thanks so much to We R Memory Keepers for giving me this awesome opportunity!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

CHA New Products: Spellbinders Media Mixage

I had the opportunity to attend the Spellbinders Media Breakfast Event so I got to see the debuts of their new products. In a word? Amazing!

The main feature of the event was the new "Media Mixage" products.  These new dies, bezels, metals and more are designed for jewelry making, home decor, art journaling, scrapbooking, mixed media projects, and more.

In the Media Mixage line, Spellbinders has teamed up with Susan Lenart Kazmer, a renowned metalsmith and jewelry artist, to distribute her unique and beautiful bezels, ephemera papers, and more.

Spellbinders founder Stacy Caron with Susan Lenart Kazmer
The other cool new product in the Media Mixage line is the new Artisan X-plorer. It is a cutting/embossing machine like the Spellbinders Grand Caliber machine, but the X-plorer is a high pressure machine for easier cutting and embossing of metals, artboard, canvas, and other thicker materials.

The new Spellbinders Artisan X-plorer
I am excited to try out these products. I don't make very much jewelry any more, but these new products may be just the thing I need to get started again. However, I am curious to see if the Artisan X-plorer machine is really that different from the myriad of other die-cutting/embossing machines on the market today. It will have to really do something amazing to stand out in the crowd.

For more information on the new Spellbinders products, check out their website.

Monday, January 21, 2013

CHA - New Paper Lines!

CHA is the place to go if you are a paper lover like me. The sheer amount of beautiful paper is almost overwhelming. I wish I had at least one sheet of each!
"Mia Bella" from SEI
"Diane" from SEI
Love SEI's velvet paper!
"Vintage Summer" from Little Yellow Bicycle
Cute projects from the LYB team
I don't have babies, but I adore this vintage baby paper from Kaisercraft!
More Kaisercraft baby goodness
Epiphany Crafts... love the post office boxes.
Adorable cards from the Epiphany Crafts team.
Beautiful vintage paper from Jenni Bowlin
Wall decoration from Jenni Bowlin

"Summer Love" from Cosmo Cricket
Cosmo Cricket's "Honky Tonk" -- Love this collection!
"TV Dinner" from Cosmo Cricket
Cosmo Cricket's "Sweet Disposition"
"Sweet Disposition" chipboard stickers

Me with the awesome Julie Comstock, owner of Cosmo Cricket
New travel collection from Lily Bee Design
Lily Bee Design
"Sun and Surf" from Bella Blvd.

Basic Grey's new release "Hipster"
More "Hipster"
"Mint Julep" from Basic Grey
Basic Grey's new boy line "Bow Ties"
Love the tools!
Close-up of the cars from "Bow Ties

BG's new girl line "Kneehighs"
New chipboard journal album from Basic Grey
Vintage goodies from 7Gypsies
"Modern Romance" from Webster's Pages
New "Composition and Color" line by Allison Kreft for Webster's Pages
Echo Park's "Photo Freedom" line in conjunction with Stacey Julian
Love the kitty paper from Canvas Corp.!
"About a Boy" by Lori Whitlock for Echo Park
More "About a Boy"

Sunday, January 20, 2013

CHA New Product Debut: Mod Podge Mod Melts

The best thing about CHA is seeing all the new products. One of the coolest new products is from Plaid: Mod Melts!
They look like candy molds, but are even better.  The Mod Melts resin sticks go in your hot glue gun. Once heated, just fill the molds with the resin. In just 4 minutes, you've got these cute little embellishments! The resin is white, but you can color it with paint, ink, Copic markers, and more.
Cathie Fillian shows off some finished Mod Melts!
Oh, and I couldn't resist getting my picture made with Glossy!
I just wish they made jars of Mod Podge this big!
Images by Freepik