Creations by Ashley B

Handmade Cards & Gifts for All Occasions 

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Adventures in the Crafting World

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Craft Show Season!

Posted on September 22, 2016 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Goodness, I’ve got to get better about posting. I’ve been busy preparing inventory and getting ready for the craft show season. So far this year I’ve completed three with four (possibly five) more to go.

It is fun coming up with ideas for fun gift ideas that can be shared with loved ones. One of my favorites for this year has been school themed Christmas ornaments. If you have a favorite school, I will be glad to make a custom ornament for you! I am carrying to my next event ornaments for the following schools: Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, University of Mississippi, Georgia, and LSU.

I am also making more of my coasters (full cork bottoms with an epoxy finish) for my next event. Again, I can make custom items for you! How pretty would a monogrammed set for a newlywed couple be for a Christmas gift!!

Each event teaches me something new…the big thing is that each and every event is different - and each market likes to purchase different type so items. This year has been fun for me in North Alabama as I learn the different markets and what people like to see.

It has also been fun getting my booth displays exactly how I want them and where it is easy for customers to see what I have to offer. I’m on the hunt now for a narrow pencil tree to display my ornaments from – I’ve learned table top ones are a bit wobbly and easy to bump. If nothing else, I feel like I have gotten to be an expert at loading and unloading my vehicle fast. I think I have my top three things I have learned for this process (so far):

1) Once you figure out how to get everything in the vehicle, take a picture so you can remember how to get it back in there after you unload it all (learned that lesson the hard way!)

2) A wagon or set of hand trucks are extremely helpful if you have a long haul…the collapsible wagons will actual hold three folding tables without any problems. Since I can only carry one table at a time, this is a huge time saver (and back saver).

3) I try to load my inventory so it can be unloaded last – this way I can quickly set up my tables and have a place to set it as I bring it in. I can drape table cloths and such after I’m done unloading (especially important if you have to move from a loading/unloading zone quickly).

Hope these tips help someone!

I’m going to get back to my goal of posting once a week – next week I’m going to highlight some of the projects I’ve been working on.

 

Keeping Life Organized

Posted on July 14, 2016 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

One of the biggest struggles I face is staying organized and keeping everything in one spot! I am a list maker and love the satisfaction of checking things off when I am done.


With running 2 businesses, working a regular full time job, fur babies, and volunteer work, I am always looking for the right tools to keep myself organized. For the first time this year, I tried a planner with a monthly calendar with vertical weeks. Loved this format, but outgrew it as I had not started my 2nd business at this time. I needed something expandable (so no spiral bound), but something I could fold in half and not take up much space (so no binder bound format). That search leads me to “The Happy Planner” made by Me & My Big Ideas. It is part of their “Create 365 line”. I LOVE THIS PLANNER!! I can add some fun arts and crafts (stickers & journaling), it has a vertical section that provides enough room for all of my activities, and the disk system it uses gives me the elements I was looking for that I didn’t like about the spiral bound and binder formats.


I am still working on getting all the notebooks/planners combined into one, but I love that I can add additional tabs, pocket folders, punch and add paper, and anything else I can think of in one planner system. I have tabs for my Crafting business, I punch copies of the vendor show agreements right into the system, and I can add any other notes. I am even adding some blank pages where I can draw out designs and ideas as I think of them. I can even make tabs…I’m making custom tabs for my Plexus business that work better for how I want to keep information organized for that.


If you are looking for a new planner or organization system, be sure to check this one out! Etsy also has a ton of businesses that make stickers specially designed for this planner and YouTube is full of videos of people showing ways they have set their planners up. They come in a 12 month kit or 18 month planner (I got the 18 month planner with expansion disks). I also love the inspiration phrases on the tabbed dividers, pockets, and stickers. FYI, the ARC system from Staples is also compatible (their hole punch works perfectly with “The Happy Planner” ).


I’ve added some pictures of mine plus links to the Amazon site where you can purchase these. Hobby Lobby also sells a small selection of the planners and accessories in their stores.  I also added a link to my favorite erasable gel pens.


The Happy Planner

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BULDOUU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=creationsbyas-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01BULDOUU&linkId=25fc75fa4aa71b2c2dded770736c1a49

Expandable Disks

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XHBT7BC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=creationsbyas-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B00XHBT7BC&linkId=7d74e2441389098702d28094e6c55c80

12 month kit

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018HBM7WW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=creationsbyas-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B018HBM7WW&linkId=abf12649b003b04aa6ea99c0bfcdf8f0

Pilot FriXion Retractable Erasable Gel Pens

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009QYH644/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=creationsbyas-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B009QYH644&linkId=e86991603b24964cdfd9490e020195c0

DISCLOSURE: All products mentioned above I purchased personally. I only recommend products I genuinely use. I do not accept offers of direct payment for dedicated blog posts to promote products. I belong to the following affiliate programs: EBay and Amazon. Compensated affiliate links are used when possible.



Cover: This is the Peony Florals version

One of the monthly tabs

Weekly Layout

Hello and greetings from Ashley

Posted on June 28, 2016 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)


Greetings!

I never had any intentions of writing a blog…I am an accountant by day and crafter at night.  That means I am not a writer.  But as I have begun entering the vendor/craft show world, I realized that if it was not for all of the blogs other people have written, I would not have known where to begin in preparing for these new adventures myself. 


I read countless blogs on how to set up booths, how to price my inventory, how much inventory to bring to a show, and what to have on hand the day of the event.  And while I have helped out at events and attended countess shows, I’ve only set up a booth of my own once.  I realized that I have a lot to learn.


I also read various blogs and websites daily, learning about the new trends and new techniques available in the paper crafting and gift making world.  I am constantly learning new things from people who are generous enough to share their time and knowledge.


So, that made me start thinking of the direction I wanted to take in this blog.  Did I want to go in a technical direction?  Did I want to just share what I learned at each show (and how to change things up for the next time)?  Or did I want to show that anyone can do something they have always dreamed of doing (for me, it was to have a crafting business).  I decided to combine all of these things together.


This will be a weekly blog.  Some weeks I may have some new technical trick I learned that I think is really cool. I might share new products that I will be selling at shows.  I will share tips and tricks I learn at each show that I attend (I’m feeling ambitious at the moment as I have committed to five between now and mid-November).  Some weeks I will just share my week and adventures that I have that pertain to my crafting – I want to show that you can overcome personal obstacles that might be hindering you from reaching for your dream! 


This is my attempt to “pay it forward” and share my knowlege while trying something new outside of my comfort zone. 


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