Friday, August 28, 2015

back in the etsy game

Hey all.  I'm just popping in real, REAL quick to let you know that I've dived headfirst back into the etsy pool.

Here's a little backstory for you (ok, not so quick)  When I was home on mat leave with my daughter, Tim was toying with the idea of getting back into sign work.  He had been a partner at a very successful sign company for a number of years and his non-competition clause was now up and the ideas were a brewing.

I really had no ideas and not a whole lot of interest in it- I had a baby and a two year old, all I wanted was to pee without an audience.  I still want for this.  I rarely get it.

But then I was looking around the house and thinking of things I wanted to do.  I really wanted to do some words at my back door.  I think I wanted "There's No Place Like Home".  So I asked Tim if that was something I could get done, or that he could do with the cutting machine.  I'm pretty sure he looked at me like I was crazy (this still happens) and scoffed.  So, I'm pretty sure I did an eye roll (just reminiscing about it, I totally eye rolled) and said whatever.

Now when you're a new mom and you're home and you're kids are napping- Etsy is your thang. Holy moly is it ever.  If you haven't browsed Etsy before, set aside about 20 hours, you're gonna need it.  What it is (or what it was at the beginning) is a kind of crafter's marketplace.  Artists, crafters, - makers- can set up their own little shop under this umbrella and sell their work.  Hats, clothing, stuffed animals, signs, decals.... wait, what?  Vinyl decals..... well, I guess that wasn't such a crazy idea now was it?

So the Etsy shopping browsing turned out to be researching as well.  I found a few sellers of vinyl words and stuff and showed it to Tim.  Ok- now HOW do I make it?  Now Tim had me roped into this sign venture.  We had to learn.  And learn we did.  Neither of us are graphic designers, nor had we worked with a design program- but in order to do the work, to make the signs- we had to learn. Tim found someone else in the industry who agreed to give him some hours of training on our design program.  I was supposed to sit in, but I didn't really.  I'm better at teaching it to myself.  And that's what I did.

After we learned and got proficient with our machine and our program - we started to work.  Well he did.  I still had a baby and a two year old hanging around me.  And, I'm sorry, but his stuff was boring to me.  I wanted to do my own thing.  My brain is always has a million and two ideas pinging around in there- this was a good way for me to channel some creative energy.  I decided to start up an Etsy shop- I gave myself a goal of a certain number of designs to come up with that were good enough to list and a date which I wanted to start.

I opened my shop on May 23, 2011.  I'm no great gunning success on there.  I've had sales- even one to Australia.  But as I was going back to work and the kids were needing attention, I kind of let it all fall by the wayside.  I also moved away from vinyl decals and started making wood signs.  I've mainly sold the last 3 years through my page on Facebook and at open houses (at my house) and last year I did the Christmas craft show.

Now both the kids are in school and I have more time (although it doesn't feel like it) to devote to growing my business.  Starting this blog kind of made me think about getting it going again too.  It kind of works together I guess, since a whole lot of the artwork you see on the walls in my house, I've made myself.

So that's my Etsy/sign story.  If you want to hop over there and check out my shop- click on the box on the right hand side

and it will take you right over

Here's a little peek of what's over there.

I've been painting our old bedroom this week and I'm trying to get organized by the time school starts, so I'll have some stuff to share with you soon.  Hope you all enjoy this last weekend of August (sad face)


Thursday, August 13, 2015

my favourite instagrammers

Ok, so it's August?  Time is FLYING by, actually, let me clarify- SUMMER is flying by.  My to-do list is still as long as it ever was- but I'm trying to enjoy every day my kids are home.  And that's only about 3 more weeks!  Instead of painting, filling holes in the trim & hanging artwork, I'm swimming, listening to play by plays of American Ninja Warrior (my son is OBSESSED), riding bikes- all that fun summer stuff.

As you're probably realizing - I don't have any finished projects or rooms to share with you today (I will- one day, I swear) so I wanted to still pop in this month and share a favourite thing with you.  I'm going to try to do this every so often to share with and maybe introduce you to something new and cool and maybe something different.

I don't know about you- but I LOVE Instagram.  I.  Love.  It.  It is by far and away my favourite form of social media- sorry Pinterest, you're still up there too.  I'm really visual so seeing the pics with a short caption tends to really inspire and/or entertain me.

Like this.

Or this.

Or even this.

Here are a few of my favourite instagrammers- I've linked up their instas and their blogs/websites, they are truly not to be missed.


Fine Art by Deann

Holy moly guys.  I love, love @deannart

Her art is AMAZING.  I am past the point of wanting a piece, I need a piece.  Seriously.  I'm not an art connoisseur, I'm the last person to claim  to be, but I think these pieces are just absolutely stunning.  It is my style (barns people, please) in that modern country farmhouse relaxed feel.  But I do think, if it speaks to you, no matter your style- go for it.

Just look at these and try not to love them.

Down Home

Down Home

Angel Watching Over You

Angel Watching Over You


Among Aspens

(i've hinted to some people (mom) that my birthday is coming and there is a possible Nashville road trip in the works and i know what i will be bringing home with me!)  

Seriously, follow @deannart on instagram- you won't be disappointed.


House Seven

I stumbled onto Anissa's feed on a follow Friday (this is when Instagrammers will feature usually 4 of their favourite feeds and suggest them to their own followers- if that description makes sense to you, yay for me)  I love her feed.  Her house is gorgeous.  Her pictures are amazing- so crisp, bright and full of light (I really, really have to up my game with the picture taking)  I've scrolled through her feed and have found all kinds of inspiration, it is one of those ones that stick in my head- and I have to go back and find that image that struck me.  Btw, her girls are super, super cute too. I love her white walls- how clean and crisp it all is.  But Tim is Mr Colour, Mr (almost) Crazy Colour and I just can't do it.  But I can live vicariously through @housesevenblog  BTW, go check out Anissa's blog too  You'll get more than these little snippets- house tour (woo hoo!) and some awesome projects and stellar finds.  Don't miss it.

 image via @housesevenblog

One of my most favourite living spaces ever.

image via @housesevenblog

My favourite kitchen.  Of all time.

image via @housesevenblog


Liz Marie Blog

I can't even remember how I found Liz.  I am so glad that I did.  Another talented lady with style that I luuurve.  Farmhouse, old junk, I'm in heaven.  Her house (her old house, she's moved  *no, I'm not a stalker, I just read and retain, ok?*) at Christmas- stunning!  Hop over to her blog too  Liz Marie Blog- projects, makeovers, more house tours.  She also has a booth at Painted Farmgirl in Michigan   This is another one of those places I have to go- being in Michigan, it's not that out of the realm of possibility.  She's full of ideas, great tips and she's always smiling.  Always.  And goodness knows, we all need to do more of that.

image via @lizmariegalvan

image via @lizmariegalvan

I told you.  Amazing
image via @lizmariegalvan

Whimsy Girl

Lindsay is another follow Friday find (nice alliteration, huh?  i work in a library, i can't help it)
Love her style too.  Her house is another gorgeous piece of work- I love, love her eating area in her kitchen.  So perfect.  Projects, home decor, cool finds - every time she posts a picture, I think - Ah!  I love that! I have to do that! I need to find that!  I find that her pictures give off this warm, cozy, comfy vibe- I can just imagine her house is one you'd settle in and not want to leave! (she changes up her kitchen chalkboard pretty often- I'm terrible at that at my house- her Easter one with the peeps- awesome)

That wall of plates- that's what got me.  I adore it.

image via @whimsygirldesign

image via @whimsygirldesign

I need to do this.  That is all.

image via @whimsygirldesign


Jones Design Company

Emily of Jones Design Company.  If you've been reading my blog, you know I am a big fan of Emily's.  I love her blog, and her insta is really stellar too.  She has this touch- she makes everything pretty.  I wish I could do that.   If you aren't already following Emily and you aren't reading her blog Jones Design Company  what are you waiting for.  Seriously.  Do it.  Now.

My second favourite kitchen ever.
image via @jonesdesigncompany

My favourite-est of living spaces.
image via @jonesdesigncompany

See what I mean, everything is just pretty- even if it's Seahawks themed... Go Lions (she says quietly)
image via @jonesdesigncompany

image via @jonesdesigncompany

***I did ask all of these lovely ladies for permission to use their photos and to link up to their accounts. They all so kindly and graciously said yes- I was kind of "fan girl" tickled when they did. Ok, not kind of,  I was pretty geeked.

So if you're not on instagram, download the app, it's free.  Check out these ladies, and follow me (@laurawilky) and start your own "visual diary"  You will be so glad you did!