Friday, March 27, 2009

Cleveland County Fairgrounds Craft Show

Come and see me tomorrow at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds -
I will be there rain or shine - and so should you!
You will know me by my apron, and not every person can say that! I am working really hard on some new stuff such as laundry soap that won't cost you an arm and a leg and more bags than I have posted on my websites![Photo]
So, here are some pictures of my dogs - Alabama with the purple collar and Dakota with the red collar.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Small Soaps for Deluxe OK

Ok, so yesterday I made 2 8# batches of soap specifically for samples for Deluxe OK to give away. I think I got about 160 bars around 1oz each. So, I will have enough to give to the vendors and the first 50 folks walking in the door! Yeah!
This soap is called Cranberry Spice Swirl, and the light pink swirl is very light but you can see it up close. I cut it today and put my fan on it to dry it out, and I will recruit family to wrap it this weekend.

I will post another pic when it's wrapped so you can see how cute it looks. If you post a comment on the blog and send me an email with your address - nickanny[at!], I will send you a sample bar too!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Service Issues and Thoughts

I am often confronted with issues of service, either in my travels or my job. When it comes to a lack of service, I never understand the personal motivation to make something difficult for another person. If you are the person with answers, you should help the person who needs the answers, right? Well, I guess not always…

People who are in a position to provide service to you, whether it is as the gatekeeper (also known as the “no” person) or as the person in charge (also known as the “yes” person) should, in my opinion, endeavor to put themselves in your shoes. For example, I work with information technology departments in my job, and when I started out it took me a while to realize there were certain “hurdles” that most of them made you go through to be “worthy” of their time. More like a maze to be traveled, I quickly found out what questions to ask to get the answers I needed to find my way around those who are standing squarely in my way. What makes me laugh, is when a person believes that by being belligerent, they will either stop the process (which has been approved already at a level higher than they are) or slow it down (which is not desirable). If they slow it down, they will just have to deal with me for a longer period of time instead of getting me over with. I just find that so silly, how sometimes people believe their importance outweighs that of the common good, ie getting the project done on time and on budget. Much the same way that I am amused by people who think they are so important that they must talk on their cell phones until the flight attendant reminds them several times to turn it off, and a that point they just place it in their pocket and don’t turn it off. Thanks to those of you that do that, because your personal needs definitely should come before those of the rest of the plane. (HEHE)

Speaking of Airlines, I was flying home on my favorite airline (NOT!), American Airlines and trying to go standby to get home earlier. (I was going home because my hubby's grandpa died and I needed to let him go to the funeral) What it came down to, was a flight that left 1.5 hrs before mine was scheduled (9:15pm vs. 10:30pm) had filled the economy class but had 6 seats open in first class. The AA supervisor at the station said they would not upgrade people to allow the rest of the standby's who are waiting (there were 4 of us) to have a seat home. WOW! What a waste, I thought. They could have upgraded some soldiers who I know were on the plane to 1st class and I would have gladly taken an economy class seat! But, this person thought it better to deny us a seat (some of the people waited all day because of a missed flight) and "coveted" first class on a 30 minute flight. Once again, AA never fails to disappoint.

But enough of my soap box. Last week after receiving a very rude email and returning the email with a “Thanks for the comments”, I got back an email stating “It was my pleasure.” To which I kindly did not respond, although I will tell you that I wanted to say “And someday, it will be my pleasure to repay in kind the favor you have given me.” (Meaning, well, revenge!) My point is this – never think the world is so big that you will not need someone’s help sooner or later, and you action or inaction will temper their response. Karma, I believe that’s what Earl calls it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Some Neat Craft Projects You TOO Can Do

Ok, so I found a few delightful projects on other blogs I follow and I wanted to share.

1. Easter Basket - this basket is so fun, and I can see doing it for other occasions. Have your kids make one for the Grandparent's Birthdays with cute stickers or stuff they colored decorating the outside. Or for Memorial Day...

2. Cashmere Bunnies - all I can say is - wow! I am going to make these for my kiddos for Easter to give to their teachers!

3. Easter Soap - because what is a day without soap! I love making soap and Melt and Pour soap is something the kids can do with you.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Fabric For DELUXE OK!

WONDERFUL NEWS! I have been accepted to my first "Juried" Craft Show. The OK Etsy team is having a craft show at the centennial fairgrounds, on May 9, and I applied to be a vendor and got accepted! Whoopee! I will write a note about my first craft show this weekend later this week, but for now go to the website and see what's cookin'. I have to get some "giveaways" ready, and I think I am going to do mini soaps.

I love this new Amy Butler Fabric, and I think I am going to make myself a purse out of it to wear around. You may find this amusing, but I rarely use a purse. With all my travel, I can only carry on 2 items and I usually have my computer bag and my carry on clothing bag. So, I am going to make a bag to make my husband happy so I won't just carry around my wallet! But I should also have enough to make a few purses for Deluxe OK.

And speaking of purses, I bought a lot, and I do mean A LOT of fabric that is quilted because I really want to do a line of quilted fabric purses. I am thinking of a diaper bag and a sling bag to start with. You will love these bags, and I might even do a small bag like I showed in one of my previous posts - here. So, thanks to Deluxe - it will be the last of 5 shows I do but I should be at my best.


Monday, March 16, 2009

The Cutest Apron at the Show!

I made a couple of aprons for my sister and I to wear in at the craft shows we attend. It's a way to have people notice us!
So, if you come to a show that I am at, and you see the apron - like if you come to DeluxeOK - then stop and say hi!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Wedding Anniversary

I have been married for 5 years today. Seems like a short time to some, long to others, and to me, it has gone by at times like a rush and sometimes like molasses. I wanted to take a moment and blog about how wonderful my husband is, because he puts up with me.
Here is a picture of our family from last December, and boy was it cold!
I met Keith on the internet, and before I met him I really was not sure when or how I would choose to make such a commitment as marriage. Before I met him, I decided I would go ahead and travel instead of "waiting" for someone to take me. And I basically stopped holding off on living a life of waiting, and instead started doing. Which put me at peace. And I had decided that I was tired of trying to be someone that other people wanted me to be and said to myself "If God wants me to get married, he can put a man on my front porch and tell me to be nice to him". And there you have it - Keith showed up. And a few years later I am happier than I ever knew I could be because I have the gift of love that is a family. Keith spends most of the week days with our 2 kids while I travel 3-4 days out of town. He is not intimidated by my intelligence, but strengthened by it. And, we are at times very different (such as our philosophy about money and spending!) but we work it out. I guess you have to. So here is to a lifetime of anniversaries and other happy occasions!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Wigglee See

One of my longest project wonderful ad supporter I have is WiggleeSee's Shop on Etsy. What gorgeous crocheted animals and dolls she makes!
I looked over the site, and I just love this doll, because she is simple but elegant. She is part of an extensive collection of items - from dolls to animals - and what great prices! Go there and see what you find. Thanks.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I am inspired!

023 the art - craft divide
Originally uploaded by gingerpig2000

I have a lot of blogs that I subscribe to on Google reader, and believe it or not - I read all of them. Does that mean I go to the site? No, I read them on the reader page. Just joined another site that encourages comments, which I would say is going to be valuable. More on that later.

For now, I would like to take a moment and blog about a post from one of my favorite writers of social media information, Ari Writer, who discussed using Flickr photos that have common sharing approvals in your blog. I tend to use pictures anyway, but I have not really thought to use other people's pictures! So, I found this picture this AM, and I think it's a great thought - why is what you create not considered ART? What makes it ART versus CRAFT? I think that when you follow directions and don't color outside the lines it is a craft, but the person who created the directions and made the original composition - that is the ARTIST! So, sometimes I am an artist, especially when it comes to my shop. And sometimes I am a crafter, who follows the pattern because it's too complicated to think of my own changes - at least the first time through. I have become more of an artist as I develop this shop. Thanks for listening, and I hope you have a great Sunday.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring is Near, Spring is Near...

Look what I found outside my door this week! Crocus that I planted 2 years ago and they came up last year but I forgot about them until I saw them today. What a way to make the spring feel really close!

My son and his dad also started some seeds inside the house for me and my garden. These are pictures of cucumber seedlings and zinnia seedlings. My son loves to plant (well, for real, he likes to dig) and he had to plant some stuff so we let him. I am going to work on him pulling some weeds over spring break!

And I love cucumbers but last year they didn't do so hot. Probably because I didn't water them enough, but this year, we got a sprinkler system installed and it will do the work that I forget about. So, let's hope for a better outcome.

I hope you have a spring like day where ever you are. I would love to hear about what you are planning on planting for your garden this year. I will add some herbs so I can do some herb infused oils for my soaps! Especially lavender, yummy...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Customer Service Thoughts on American Airlines

I am sure AA earned it's reputation as an airline with poor customer service one person at a time, and they have certainly never missed an opportunity with me. Since I travel a lot (like 3-4 days a week, 4-6 flights a week), I have a lot of chances to experience how good or bad service could be. Granted, I am a business traveler, so I have different needs than when I travel with my family. But something has just been "stuck in my craw" so to speak about American Airlines ever since I started traveling about 2 years ago.
Take my travels to Mobile, AL for for example. I have been going there for the last 6 months about 1 time a month, and every time I fly they either cancel the last flight (which is at 4:30 pm anyway!) or they delay the midday flight. I have started avoiding the last flight like the plague because I don't want to get stuck in Mobile for another night (it's a nice place but when you are ready to leave, you are ready to leave). And it happened again today, 1 hr delay made me miss my connection at DFW so instead of getting home by 4 pm, I got home at 7 pm. IF this only happened occasionally, I would not have an issue. But, it doesn't seem to happen with Continental or Northwest or anyone else.
And to add insult to injury, a couple of weeks ago my husband was delayed out of Minneapolis on Northwest, and they sent him an apology letter and 1,000 bonus miles. Which is about an extra flight's worth of miles. Would American ever do that? Probably not. And, when I called to have them fix my connection, the person on the phone waited for me to ask them to change my flight instead of realizing what I called for - and she rebooked it and didn't ask me which seat or anything else, just is that all? Can I say - IS THAT ALL - is not a way to end a call - it is supposed to be "is there anything else I can do for you?" Which is a lot different.
Since I am ranting, I am going to mention another thing. They do not treat frequent flyers with any sort of respect either. I asked them if they would match my Platinum status with Continental when I realized I had to change, and they said - call our customer service line and we will work something out to make you happy... Innocent me called and was told that they charge for doing a "challenge" which is a way to get your status quicker based on doing so many flights in a certain time period - in the range of $300. They would not do anything else, and I am not going to pay for a challenge. So, why did the customer service folks say they would work it out? That was just rude. And I sent the email back to the person who responded to me with a note that I appreciated "not" them sending me on a wild goose chase. Have I heard back from them? NO, because they do not care.
So, you ask yourself, why do you fly with American? Because I have to. My company has special deals with them and I have to fly with one of about 4 airlines. My favorite airline is Continental, but that is a story for another day. Which is probably part of what makes it more irritating... They claim to be the airline for business, yet I would rarely be on time if I only flew with them. If I want to be on time, I fly Southwest.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

WoW! Free Business Cards

And I mean free - no shipping or handling or anything! You just have to have a credit card but they won't charge you. Go on over to Centsible Savings Blog and see what I am talking about. It's a 100 pack, and if you are getting ready for craft shows or just want to have some to hand out, you can get them in a week right here! Yeah!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Blog about one of my favorite shops

I thought I would take a few posts and dedicate them to the people who contribute to my blog via Project Wonderful Ads. It is important to acknowledge that they do matter and have great stuff!

So, today I wanted to highlight -
A to Z Jewelry Design
What a great shop, and I do love jewelry but I especially love colored stones. This little jewel is one of my favorite necklaces on all of etsy! And she has some pink beads on a bracelet that are to die for!
She is from the Washington, DC area, and loves to make gorgeous items!
Thanks for your support - view her other contact information here:

Linda Blackbourn

twitter: (follow me I'll follow you!)
etsy store:

Monday, March 2, 2009

Spring Fling Craft Show!

My first show of the year will be called "Spring Fling" and is located at the Payne County Expo Center.
I hear from the promoter that all of the booths have been sold, which I think is good news, and she says she's expecting about 2,000 people for the one day show. I will be a great way to practice my setup and sell stuff to make room for more inventory!
My problem is that I have lots of things I would love to make, but the good old staples are a great thing that sell well. I was going to branch into other bath and body products, but I just feel that I must establish what your favorites are and what the demand is!
So, please stop by my booth in Stillwater, OK on Saturday, March 14, if you happen to be around. I would love to chat! Show is open from 9 am - 5 pm.

Practice Makes Perfect!

This weekend I spent a lot of time (with my sister and hubby as well) working on setting up the plan for the booth for my first craft show ever! Coming soon - in about 2 weeks on March 14. It's a show called "Spring Fling" and is in Stillwater, OK.

So, I am really nervous about how I will set it up and because I sell two kinds of items, both bags and handmade soaps, it's a little tricky to keep the displays looking good. Well, I started with this blog from the Disciples of Etsy group about what to pack and take to a craft show. I found a few things I will need to do myself, and I think that was great! I have to make a sign for my shop, a sign about taking credit cards, and a sign about prices for the soaps. I think we got the bags all labeled with pricing.

So, as you can see, the booth is open - it will be 8 x 10 ft and will allow people to walk into the area and browse. Hopefully, it will draw them in. You can see the mixture of products that I have developed, and I cannot believe how much stuff I have to go with. Really, my sister, Dorsa, took the time to use the stands and props I have purchased and lay out the table.
The stand was made by my Father in Law, and he's done a great job so I have a place to hang the bags. And I am renting an 8 ft table for one side and taking a 5 ft that we already have for the other side. And, yes, I just bought fabric to drape over the tables. Nice, plain, cream colored. And we will be wearing leopard print aprons so we kind of match the soap wrapping as well as just being memorable. So, what do you think? I want to know if you think the booth is inviting, encourages you to look around and what you like to see at a show. I have purchased some larger bags for the show, but I must go get some small bags for those rare purchases of just a few items! HEHE.