Friday, October 31, 2008


Lately 100% of the cardstock I've been using in my projects has been recycled, and I'm going to stick with that. It's definitely more expensive, especially because I buy the kind not treated with optical brighteners and other chemicals that can harm the ecosystem, but I think my customers will absorb that small price increase in order to be more eco-friendly. I've always loved repurposing items from one project to the next, creating my own embellishments out of leftovers from a prior project, and am now starting to upcycle, using chipboard and such from old furniture, using the wire from old electronics to embellish, etc. My goal is for all of my supplies to be 100% earth-friendly within the next year.

My nine month old daughter, oddly enough, inspired me to start looking further outside of my supply box to find project pieces. I've been watching her over the last few months, enjoying by proxy the fun she has with a wooden spoon, the lid to my coffee cup, the laundry basket, and old cardboard boxes. If these things can be come treasured (if only for a moment) toys, why not treasured parts of my scrapbooks?


Thursday, October 30, 2008


Well good grief! It's taking my poor little Mac fourteen years to upload photos of my latest work onto Picasa... This is probably due to the rather unreliable satellite internet I'm resigned to use out here in Hicktown USA. Granted, I am undeniably grateful for the satellite internet, as for years we've only had access to AOL. Bleh. I had given up ever using the internet from the house until the satellite came along. Here are a few pictures of my latest projects:

A bright and cheery summertime layout with a pull tag, raised elements, coaster tags, and a slide in frame.

This one is a fall-ish layout, I love the little bird, and creams and browns are my favorites right now.

This "Greatest Mom" chipboard frame turned out so beautifully! The color in this photo is a little off though, the greens are more grassy.

The three lunch bag scrapbooks I made yesterday. I love how much color you can pack into them and they are the perfect size for a brag book!

I've been working nonstop for the last week or so, attempting to build up my inventory. I have a few craft shows/bazaars coming up this season, and I'm trying to get enough put together to have a decent looking display :) Since most of the work I do is custom, I don't often have many "take and go" type projects so I'm concentrating on that. I will also have some of my custom work on display, hopefully to generate more interest/sales there.

Now if I can just get my Etsy store to take off.... I'm working out a swap to get some graphic design pieces done, I'd rather pay/trade someone who already has the programs available, than have to buy a design program or go borrow a computer that has one available to do it myself. It's been so long since I've tried to use a design program, it would take me more hours than it was worth :) So hopefully this trade works out and I get some great branding for my business :)

Order a custom Christmas photo card set from me, get a $10 gift certificate for use in my shop!


Monday, October 27, 2008

My "Day" Job...

I'm running as fast as I can away from jobs in the "real" world.

Unfortunately, I still have a "day" job; I need it to pay the bills until my business can hold it's own.

And now I'm counting the minutes.

Oddly, I enjoy, even love, customer service. Seeing someone walk away satisfied with their experience gives me joy. There is enough disaster and heartache in everyone's life, their experience with me should not add to it. Working in the restaurant business can be trying. People come in grouchy from their work day, hassled by their kids, worrying about the economy, fill in the blank.

In the past, I've been pretty good about letting in roll off my back. I simply smile and give them the best dining experience I am able to, so that maybe, by the time they leave, their world looks a little brighter. Now, I'm not naive enough to think that setting their food in front of them and making small talk will be a catalyst for life change, but I hope for it to cause a moment of respite.

That was the past.

Oh, I still enjoy customer service, and am hopeful for that smile, but after yesterday, I think my tolerance for restaurant customers is at an all time low.

It wasn't a full moon, and tomorrow is the new moon, but boy oh boy, the crazies were about! Every table was so, well, so unique? And it all began with running into an old friend.

Many years ago I worked with children, occasionally alongside a wonderful man. I loved working with him, as his passion for helping kids through play was absolutely contagious, and his joy for life was unmistakeable. Sadly, I did not keep track of him. So when greeting one of my first tables yesterday, I was surprised to find that I recognized one of the ladies at the table, but absolutely could not place her. A little chit chat and I found out she recognized me as well; restaurants are great for reconnecting! This seemed like a great omen, I was going to have a good day!

I was wrong. Completely, utterly, terribly wrong.

First "The Pastor." He called himself "the pastor" repeatedly. A seemingly nice, jovial man, if slightly patronizing. Then it was time for me to drop off the check. Now throughout their dinner, "The Pastor" and the younger man at the table had been fighting over who would pay. The younger man would tell me to put it all on his tab, and then "The Pastor" would tell me to ignore him and to put it on separate checks. They went back and forth about this nearly everytime I stopped by the table. So I came out with the check printed both ways, all on one slip, and on two separate slips. As I was holding them in front of me and explaining what I had done so that they could choose, the younger man solved the disagreement by grabbing all three checks out of my hands and saying "I'll take care of that." Then the tables around me turned to look as "The Pastor" began to yell at me. I had made him "so angry" and he "couldn't believe" that I had "disobeyed" him. He went on for a bit, letting me know that he was going to talk to my supervisor. As he took a breath, I interjected, "please do, [my supervisor] will be happy to chat with you, but sir, this man wants to buy your dinner, you should graciously say thank you." And with that, it was off to the next table.

Picture if you will, a man in his late forties or early fifties, rather unassuming but well educated and well spoken, out to dinner with his much older and heavier parents. Greeting the three of them, I pointed out the specials, talked them through our menu and asked if they would like something from our bar. When the son asked about our wine list, the mother interrupted me to remind her son that he wasn't allowed to drink. So he ordered water and his parents ordered wine. Then I offered an appetizer, and she promptly reminded him that he shouldn't eat that many calories. When I brought out bread, she slapped his hand away when he reached for a slice. Ordering dinner, she told him he couldn't order the prime rib he'd asked for, it had too much fat and ordered him broccoli, telling him that he was going to eat it this time too. He ate all his broccoli and finished his steak, drank his water all while watching them drink the wine, eat the deep-fried appetizer, plow through four loaves of bread, and finish off their calorie and fat loaded entrees, only for his mother to pat his hand and tell him "good boy" for finishing his broccoli. Never have I seen someone put up with such verbal abuse; what mother treats her grown son this way? (Barring developmental disabilities.) The woman ended her time with me by asking me if I was single, referring to her son as "quite the catch." Maybe he was, but who could put up with her as a mother-in-law?

Then it was the table where no one said more than two words to each other throughout their dinner, the forty year old wife who dressed and talked like she was fourteen, the young lady who put all of the silverware and linens in her purse when she left, the older couple who asked if they could take a few of our coasters and then proceeded to take all the coasters from five other occupied tables, the man who switched tables every fifteen minutes or so, the bitchy woman who's first name was actually "bitch" (spelled slightly differently), and the list goes on...

I celebrate the diversity in our world, and love meeting and interacting with people from all cultures, backgrounds, social situations, etc. But really, some of the "social norms" are in place because they help us all function in society together. Flouting them gets you nowhere fast; maybe at least you'll be remembered for it?

Dreaming of the days when my customer service is only for the crafting industry I adore...


Friday, October 17, 2008

Buy Handmade! And other miscellany...

Take the handmade pledge! Go to to pledge to buy handmade gifts for the holidays. Everyone is touched by a handmade gift, even if it wasn't necessarily your hands that made it :) Buying handmade supports your local, (and national!), economy by supporting small family businesses. Many handmade products are ecologically friendly in addition to being budget friendly and will last for years to come. Handmade projects are made with longevity in mind, from quality materials that will withstand the test of time.

Almost time to start thinking about those Christmas Cards you need to send. Save time and energy, let me do it for you! Let me create and send beautiful handmade cards for you! Email me if you have questions.

I'm contemplating new and interesting photo projects.... There is one that I would love to get started, but I really want to license it first, since I cannot find anything like it (in over 20hrs of research!) I've also been playing with a pattern for a new style of scrapbook, or rather a box, and it's coming along quite nicely, so hopefully I'll have an example made up soon.

Trying to be your own SEO expert is difficult. I would say I'm a very savvy, advanced internet user, not fluent in HTML or any other languages, but with a good understanding of how the whole system works, and yet, it is HARD to get your website indexed, ranked, etc. Anyone know a SEO who would be interested in a trade for a custom scrapbook? :) Not likely, right? Well, keep your ears open, you never know who you'll come across! I'd love the help, maintaining my webpage is not the problem, getting and keeping it visible is.

If you are in the Enumclaw/Auburn/Buckley area, you can see my work and available product at the Enumclaw SDA Holiday Craft Bazaar, 3333 Griffin Ave Enumclaw, WA 98022 November 6th, 7th and 9th. NOT Saturday!

Hope to see you there!

~ Liz