Sunday, July 1, 2012

A New Adventure

I decided to share my little adventure with you after all the encouraging comments I received on my facebook page last week.  So here we go......

For the past few months I have been stalking vintage trailers on Pinterest and Craigslist. If you haven't seen them you are missing out.  Check out my Pinterest page called Camper Love.  I found some trailers being used as mobile boutiques and setting up on street corners and farmers markets. I like the idea of being mobile and I like the idea of having a store without a brick and mortar shop.  {Been there, done that}

After some Hubby convincing; he said YES!!!  If you know me- once I get the green light for something, please move out of the way......because it's on!

It only took me a few weeks to find a trailer here in Las Vegas.  Yes, 1 trailer.  That's it.  It had been listed for a day when I went to go see it.  The poor guy had to sell his "man cave" because his family was growing and wifey said to get rid of it.  Poor him, Yay Me!  It was in great condition with a lot of girly potential.  I could see right through his black and red decor and beer table.  We negotiated for a bit and he accepted my offer.  It's MINE, It's MINE!!!!!

I was at work when he delivered it to our house.  We offered to pick it up but he needed that last drive. Poor guy. Wait til he finds out what I'm doing to it :)  My husband said he showed him every last detail on the trailer and was almost in tears when he left.   I'll be sure to invite him to my first show.

Soooooooooo, I am the proud owner of a 1973 Canned Ham.  I love her!  I named her Petunia after my child hood pet pig...  Isn't she cute?


She is 13 feet long and 8 feet wide.  She doesn't even take up an entire parking space.  

I know you are saying- Who cares? It's a trailer... What the heck are you going to do with a tiny trailer?

Here is my plan:
Paint, Paint, Paint  
Restore the inside to reflect a shop
Find Craft Shows, Farmers Markets and Customers {yes, you} to have Home Shows

What am I going to sell?  Tutus?  
Yes, I will sell Tutus but this part of my biz will be called Allice's House and will let me expand my creativity to ANYTHING and EVERYTHING

So Here is where I'm at now:

Inspiration Board


I have high hopes, right???

Original Petunia:



My Painting of her stripe and getting rid of the black:

PS- I have learned that I despise painting large objects 

Yesterday I removed all the cushions, curtains, and "manly things" from the inside and started painting. I'm getting really good with a drill, goo off, painters tape and Home Depot loves me.  

I'd love to hear what you think about my new adventure and can't wait until her first outing.  Who's gonna be my first hostess????  

Linking up to :
Serenity Now
Truly Lovely





Friday, June 29, 2012

Apple Tart

My dear friend Chantel gave me a few tart makers for Christmas and I am just getting around to using them.  Oh how I wish I didn't wait!  

Aren't they cute????

I decided to make the heart pocket pie mold first.  Here is what you need:


So Easy- 1- Pocket Pie Mold, 2- Your favorite fruit pie filling, 3- Pie Crust {I opted for store bought}

Here's what you do!


Make sure to brush the dough with a beaten egg white and add some sprinkles of sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.  Oh, so Perfect.  Did I say Perfect?  

Have you made a fruit pie from a mold?  I can't wait to try it again.

By the way- they microwave to Perfection the next day and are fab with coffee ;)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Painting Vacation

Last week my daughter Ashley and I celebrated end of school year with a trip to California.  My mother lives there so it's a great time to visit with her.  On the first day we went to the beach {ofcourse}.  


That evening we realized how sunburnt we both were.  My shins were a bright shiny red and her shoulders were untouchable.  Needless to say, Day 2 was spent relaxing, wearing loose clothes and not touching each other. 
We decided to paint some frames that I found at some garage sales that were left in my car.  My mother has been painting furniture lately for her antique shop and wanted to show me a few tricks up her sleeve.

Vintage frames and Collage Frames are on my list of things to add to my shop for craft shows.

We also got Papa involved {he had the cool tools and the multiple staple guns}


So next time you have an old frame sitting around- just pick your paint, add some chicken wire and repurpose it. 
 Yes, it's that easy. 
If you don't want to go to the trouble you can always just purchase one of mine at a craft show.  hint hint...

Have you done a project like this?  What do you repurpose around the house?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Strawberries Everywhere!

As most of you know, I live in Las Vegas.  Yes, it's hot. Yes, it's windy. Yes, our dirt has NO nutrients in it to grow anything and Yes, I'm not a gardener.  However, for some reason my garden seems to flourish every year.  You might remember my post last summer about my Basil harvest here.  
Lots and Lots of Pesto!  

My strawberry plants didn't do very well last year so I wasn't going to do anything with them this year.  And then this happened-


It's so funny that when I posted this pictured yesterday on Facebook majority of my Vegas friends were in disbelief and thought I bought them.  Those silly friends. {how I love them}

These plants are from last year and came back twice as strong this year literally overnight.  So this is the lesson in patience. {insert the rolling eyes from my children}


And no Garden is complete without Wine!

Yep, those are grapes......


Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Craft Show Success

Last weekend was The Polkadot Owl Market and it was a success!  Veronica and I have been working on this Market for a few months and all of our work paid off. 



 We ended up with 18 vendors, around 80+ people stopped by to shop and visit and everyone wanted to know if we could do this every weekend.  umm, Not!  {but I did think about how we can do it more often}

Day 2 

Here are a few pics of our vendors and shoppers:

She put 28 feathers in customers hair- awesome at 11!


You can find more pictures on our facebook page here: 
You can join our emailed newsletter by sending us our email to polkadotowlmarket@yahoo.com
and please LIKE our facebook page to stay up to date on vendor specials, coupon codes and our next event~  
Thanks to my partner in crime, Veronica for making this event run so smoothly and to all my family and friends for supporting my business and helping me build my dreams ;)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Trunk Shows

So my friend over at Art Box Designed Fused Glass posted a link about having a successful trunk show with pictures of beautiful trunks.  It made me think about the beautiful cases and trunks I brought home from my grandmothers house after she passed away last year.  Beautiful worn leather and chunky straps in browns and reds.  I made my husband keep them and store them safely in the garage and was sure they would never be used again...... Until now.

As I'm planning my craft show display I'm really excited to use her cases to display my headbands, onesies and tophats.  I still need to set up the table {that's for another post} but I'm really excited about actually using her treasures.

Last week my husband and I took a trip to Denver, Co and went to antique row.  I found so many ideas for trunk shows:

Love this blue trunk!

Don;t you wonder who traveled with this case?

I would love to have this stack of cases but they were a little pricey


 One word- "Gorgeous"

So, next time you see a trunk- grab it and make it a great display piece for your craft show or participate in a trunk show in your area.

Have you ever done a trunk show????

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring has Sprung

The past few weeks have been filled with orders from my etsy shop, kids going to Sea Camp, more college applications, taxes, garage sale, getting organized AND planning a Spring Home Boutique with my friend Veronica at Life in the Thrifty Lane.  

Veronica and I are so excited to have our first of hopefully many Home Boutiques. We are seeing a trend in California and wanted to bring it to Las Vegas. So here we go.........We named it The Polkadot Owl Market.  Lots of brainstorming to get that name and we ended up liking owls and liking polkadots.. {so there ya have it}.  Elena from worldwidemom designed our logo and we love it!

Right now we have 15 vendors of all handmade items.  Now that we have commitments, we are in the planning and marketing stage.  Fun!  I just ordered business cards and lawn signs from Vista Print and we opened a facebook page here.  {I would love for you to like and share our page, plus you can stay up to date on our current event and vendors and our future events as well}


I hope to see you at our event!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

DIY Headband- Anyone going to Disneyland?

I just got the best email from a happy customer!  I love those.  She said I could share her tutorial with you so here we go:

Last month she emailed me asking about my wholesale headbands and if they would fit both children and adults.  They really are the most comfortable headbands I've found.  You can find them here:




This is what she had to say:

The ears were the hit of the party, everyone loved them! Your headbands worked perfectly for creating Mickey and Minnie ears. I found a template for the ears here:family.go.com/crafts/craft-766435-mickey-and-minnie-ears-t/
After a lot of cutting, I just hot glued the ears on and added ribbon to the Minnies. 
Your headbands were absolutely perfect, they fit the kids and the adults and we all had fun wearing them :)
Here is a picture of my little ham, the birthday girl, wearing them. 



She went to Joannes and got the the stiff felt for the ears
This was by far the easiest way to make them. Other blogs suggested using the wider plastic headbands and covering them with felt then cutting circles and covering them with felt. Your headbands saved me several steps and since they are so thin, they will fit any head comfortably. We even got them on a couple of grown men for a minute but they will deny it!

Here is a the end result!  Utter Cuteness!!! 


Thanks so much Lizzie for sharing your precious pics and tutorial with us today!


Monday, March 12, 2012

A little update

Whew, it's been a long week and a fabulous weekend.  My husband and I had a brilliant idea to have a garage sale.  We chose a date which meant we actually had to do it.  The cleaning and clearing of the house started about 2 weeks ago and this past week we were down to the wire.  Saturday morning came way to quick.  The weather was perfect {70's here in Vegas} and ALOT of people came.  We ended the day around noon with almost everything gone.  Success!

The hubs decided to use the money and take a little trip with my brother to Harbor Freight and get a new HUGE rolling toolbox.  Yah, I knew I wouldn't see him the rest of the weekend but he was so happy to get organized.


Spring has arrived- What are you doing to get ready? Organizing? Cleaning? Decorating?

{Check out this Calendar to get you motivated}




Have a great day!

Monday, March 5, 2012

What I'm reading

I thought I would share a few books that I'm reading right now that give me inspiration, ideas and help with my business and personal life.


1. Handmade Marketplace is one of the best books I've read so far.  I'm about halfway through and have learned so much. It's my number one pick if you have or are wanting to start a handmade shop.

2. A New Earth: Awakening your lifes purpose- sits next to my bed and when I need a little inspiration and enlightenment  I pick it up and read a chapter. 

3. Blogging for Bliss is a great easy read book if you have a blog or are trying to understand how to blog.  I have read it about 3 times and always refer back to it. 

4. One Yard Wonders is an easy sewing book and Ashley and I always pick it up when we need a project.  She made the bedside holder for her Ipad and remotes a few weeks ago.

5. Sewing Bits and Pieces and Simply Sublime  Gifts are just beautiful sewing books and will inspire you to get to the sewing maching out and make something. Check out the cover of these books and you will want to sew.  {I really really want to make that cardigan!}

6. Stitch by Stitch is great for beginner sewers and Sew Serendipity by Kay Whitt was my first sewing inspirational book.  Its a beautiful book with beautiful clothing that I hope to be able to make one day.  It comes with full patterns in the front so you don't have to print them like most books.

Have you read any of these books?  What are you reading now?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Family Pictures

I had this great idea to hire a professional photographer and do family pictures for my stairway while my oldest daughter was home.  {That was the easy part}. 

I hired Pure Photography {she took my pictures for Tutuland and is very talented}

Now the outfits!  I decided on Coral and Blues.  I started searching Pinterest for some ideas-



I had a lot of choices and that's not good.  I went crazy.  

Ashley and I went shopping and found shoes. I know that's backwards but that's how we roll.  I found her a pair of electric blue flats with rhinestones and myself a pair of tan shoes with rhinestones.  It was a start.  6 stores later I found Amanda a pair of electric blue shoes with flowers. Yay, I'm now getting somewhere!  

I decided Jeans for everyone and the hubs could wear a white shirt.  {Easey Peezy}
I found Ashley a cute blue shirt at Justice and Amanda a White Shirt with belt at a local store.  
{both of the girls wore the outfits but will probably never wear them again}

We headed out to Bonnie Springs- A local place that is ranchy and great for pics.  When we arrived our photographer said she heard through the photog grapevine that they were getting ran out of there for taking pictures.  We decided to leave and head to Spring Mountain Ranch; mind you it's 4pm now and daylight is dimming.  

My Rescue Hubs decides we would hike back to the "lake".  Umm, the lake was a hole in the earth with a little water and lots of bugs! At this point, Ashley had lost a stone in her shoe, I was sweating {hiking over 40 in full makeup is not my thing}, Amanda was fighting flying bugs and my husband had taken off without us while I helped the photographer and her gear.  

Since the sun was still shining {in a bad way} we decided to sit on a thorny log and SMILE.  



We took a few more pics around the "lake" and decided to leave and head to Redrock while we still had sun.  We ended up with this really cute picture {totally random} and my favorite. 



The moral of the story:

All of the trouble is TOTALLY worth it!  I have pictures that I will cherish for life!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day

Happy Leap Year, Happy Leap Day, 

Happy Dating Anniversary to Me{and the hubs}

Do you have something unique that you do every Leap Year?

I do- You probably already know {if you've been following me} that it's my Dating Anniversary with my husband.  Yes, 16 years ago today we went on our first official date.  We look forward to celebrating every 4 years.  Tonight we are sneaking away during volleyball practice to go have sushi- Yay, for 2 hour practices!  {No babysitter fees, you mom's know what I'm talkin' about}

I'm sharin' the love by offering 16% off anything in my shop today only.


Have a great day!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Copious Amounts of Tomatoes

Last week I decided to add 20 pounds of tomatoes to my bountiful basket order. Really, How much is 20 pounds, right???  Well, its ALOT... 



Now I had to figure out what to do with them... Pinterest, here I come! I started with washing my big basket of goods.

Lettuce, Asparagus, Avocados, Bananas, Broccoli and More..

My boss said to make sauce {ofcourse she did, she's old school Italian} Okay, I'm playing an Italian wife so I thought, what the heck.....  


If you have never boiled and peeled tomatoes before {you must}  I cored the tomatoes and then dropped them in boiling water.  3 minutes later they were peeling on their own.  When you strain them to peel them, make sure to wear gloves.  I didn't and burnt the heck out of my fingers 
{I'm impatient and the gloves were too far away}
Put your peeled tomatoes in a blender and puree away... then jar and you now have crushed tomatoes ready for homemade sauce.... Yum.

Then I had to decide what to do with the rest of the tomatoes.....
Hmm, my dehydrator.  I sliced 10 of them, seasoned with Italian seasoning {yes, I'm staying in theme} and dehydrated them.  Once they were finished I packed them with oil and put them them in the fridge.  They are awaiting my next piece of "Italian Bread" and Brie cheese.... so good.

Pizza Time- Yes, everything is getting a sliced tomato at this point!


Dehydrated Tomatoes


What's your favorite tomato recipe????  



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'm Back!

I'm back from our little dirt vacation {all in one piece-minus my friend that did a header on her dirt bike, she's okay- 
kind of}. 


My aunt and her grandbaby takin' a ride

 It was so nice to spend a weekend with my little unit of 4.  We don't get to travel often with our older daughter now that she is away at college.  

Today I just wanted to share a great giveaway over at Life in the Thrifty Lane~

You can win Ad space on Truly Lovely and a scentsy smell. 

I'm a sponsor over there and am part of her 500+ fan giveaway this week, so stay tuned!~

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Great Weekend

We are off to the dunes this weekend!  No internet, No email, No shop stats, No comments, Nothing... :( 

 I truly love the cyber world but sometimes we all need a little break.  See ya on Monday!



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shop Advice

I've had some requests for advice on what to do with marketing your Etsy Shop.  I am in no way an expert and I learn something new every single day from all the lovely blogs I follow (oh, and Pinterest). I thought I would share some things that work for me in my shop since I'm almost at my 2 year anniversary. 

Starting out with some stats:

From Feb. 2010-December 2010 (my first year of branding myself) I had 39 orders and 151 shop favorites.  I also was a vendor at 2 craft shows.  I felt good about those numbers at the time.  I was getting a few orders a week.  That's good, right?

Okay, My 2nd year- Jan. 2011-December 2011 I had 127 orders, 24,054 shop views, 19,716 listing views and 822 shop favorites.  I also took the entire month of December off and was a vendor at 3 craft shows.

This year- Jan. 2012 to Current I have 53 orders, 11,941 shop views and 402 favorites.  Im ecstatic! In 6 weeks?  What did I do different? 

First thing First- Everything takes time and work.  Your shop isn't going to be successful over night.  The shops that think they will make millions their first month don't stay around long. 

Believe in your product and be determined to make it happen!

Some Pointers: {remember I'm not an expert}

Get a Facebook Business Page-
 Its Free advertising.  You can share information about your shop, about other shops (that's what they call networking), your fans can post questions, comments, customer appreciation photos and you can post just random updates of what you are doing.  Let your fans know who YOU are. 

Use Pinterest- Make sure you read Pinterest's etiquette rules.  Don't pin things from your shop ALL the time.  It's not about self-promotion on that site.  What's nice is that their is a "pin it" button on all listings on Etsy.  How easy is that?  Your customers just have to click the button and "pin it" to their board for all of their followers to see.  FREE advertising. 

Lots of Products- Customers like to see that you have alot of product in your shop.  A) they have more choices; B) they can buy more items in one stop shopping and bundle shipping; C) it makes your shop look like a business that you are passionate about.  Bundle products, toddler packs, items in 3's etc.  {I need to do this} It's on my "to do list". It also increases your sale.  Instead of a $3 bow you can sell 3 bows for $10 on a pretty card all gift wrapped and ready to go.  Hmm, not a new concept. 

Etsy Search Ads- I use the search ads and put a max of $5 a week on them.  I choose the max keywords and put everything in my shop in the ad.  The tutorial is really simple on etsy and you can just commit to it on a weekly basis.  I really think this has boosted my views and my sales.  I've only reached the max $5 one time since doing this.  This year I have spent to date $35.93 and my return is 36,921 impressions.  Not bad, right? 

Renewing- I renew about 10 listings a week for $2.00.  Wow, $2.00.  When I renew my listings I always get a favorite, a convo, or an order.  I also renew my favorite and most popular listings too.  Its keeps them on the front page of my website.  { I like pretty things} Remember to renew your sold listings and to check your expired listings.  I just found about 5 expired listings I had no idea expired.  {they should email you or something}

Blog- I just did a blog re-design and my goal this year is to blog away.  It's a real time challenge but I have a journal with me and jot down ideas all the time.  On those sleepless nights you can just blog away- {kind of like I'm doing right now}  I would suggest to get your Etsy Shop up and running if you aren't ready to have a blog, but I also think you should get a Blogger account so you can start following blogs, commenting on blogs, entering giveaways on blogs, and networking on blogs to get your name out there.  I blog under Tutuland {some blog under their real name}. Make sure when posting a comment it's genuine and not for self - promotion only, BUT also include your shop name at the end.  Follow some great blogs {check out my where I party tab} and learn from them.  They know whats trending right now and what's hot in the market. 

Craft Shows- I love doing Craft Shows and I hate doing Craft Shows.  It's a ton of work to make 20 million tutus and bows, and felt roses, and headbands, and onesies and tophats and and and...... I'm not very nice a few weeks prior to craft show date {I'm also a one woman show like most of you}, plus a wife and mother {did I mention I have a full time job too?}  I love the actual Craft Show day- meeting the other vendors, setting up my booth {remember, I like pretty things and I love a party}, and meeting my loyal and new customers.  Love Love Love that part.  It's a great networking opportunity and I recommend you do it at least one a year.  Ya know, to stress out and get your name out there too. 

Pictures- This is the most important thing to master. {I'm not there yet} Last year I had a professional photo shoot and I use those pictures in everything.  I love how the photographer captured my little models in MY tutus and bows.  It was definitely worth the time and money and my models had fun too.  I am planning on doing another one this year to update my pictures {not in July in Las Vegas in the Redrocks, like last year}.  In the mean time, I have a light box where I take pictures of my onesies and tophats and I invested in a child mannequin for my other pictures.  I take them outside in the morning {best light} in my front yard in my jammies.  Glamourous, I know.  I love when my neighbors are walking their dogs and just laugh at me.  To edit my pictures I currently use Picnik.com and Irfanvew.  They are really easy.  I have Photoshop Elements but have not clue how to use it.  So until Picnik closes in April I will continue to use them. {let me know if you know of any good editing programs out there that are very very very easy to use}

Find out what works for you- If you don't enjoy making something and have lost your passion {don't sell it}.  I don't list that many bows because they aren't my favorite to make. I love bows. But I don't enjoy making them. I do enjoy buying the ribbon and fabric and the thought of making them.  I go in spurts.  My point is: if you're not having fun making it {stop making it}.

This year I added embroidered onesies to my line and a boys line.  I found I have a boy following and wanted to touch on it.  I found adding a "whole outfit" "one stop shopping" to my shop really works.  I don't make diaper covers anymore {because I'm not good at it and they stress me out},but I get a ton of requests. 

What's popular right now?  Colors, Designs, Themes? Put those ideas in your shop.  Check Etsy's Trending page.  Trust me- they know what their talking about.

Join a group-  I joined the Handmade in Vegas Team when I started and have met a group of ladies {and men} that have given me more advice than any book or blog.  We do craft shows together, have a facebook page all about our business, attend monthly meetings and really just have fun.  Find a group in your handmade community to join. 

Lastly- BE ORIGINAL- DONT COPY.  There are only so many ways to make a tutu and a bow but I tweek them just enough that they are my original designs. My color palette, my enhancements, my ideas. 

I hope this helps you grow your business and please leave me comments on what works for your shop.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm a Sponsor- Giveaway

I'm a sponsor over at Domestic Fashionista and am giving away a Tutu and Bow to one lucky winner!

  yes, I know {lots of giveaways this month}

But hey, It's my anniversary month and I want to celebrate!


So head on over and read the giveaway rules and get yourself a tutu!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Craft Room Update

I was browsing Pinterest for some craft room ideas and found a wood teacup shelf that would be perfect in my craft room.  I happened to have one that was handed down to me from my mother and ended up in the garage last year with no plans of ever entering the house again.   I'm so excited that I found a way to give it new life and save a piece of my families treasures.

Heres what you need:
Sanding paper
Spray Paint Primer
Spray Paint in your favorite color (I used Matte)
Spray Paint Laquer

My original teacup shelf


Lay your project down on a sheet and sand
{don't skip this part- trust me, the paint WILL bubble}



After Sanding, you will spray Primer and let it dry
{I chose quick dry Primer because I'm impatient}



Pretty Paint Time
{Make sure to get all the crevices and underneath the shelf since you will be looking up at it when you hang it}



Time to hang
{Notice all the "Stuff" on my table}




Now I'm all organized
{I put the ribbon on the shelf that I am currently using for orders and projects so it's close by}



I now have more working room for my projects
{and I love the color- it makes me happy to work in this space}




Did you notice there was no sewing machine in the above picture?

This is why?

Ashley was feeling a little unorganized so she made herself a bed organizer to hold her Ipad, remote control and other secret items
{It's fun that we can share our craft love}




So I know you think I look sooooo organized, right?

NOT!

Everything is somewhat organized and labeled in the cabinet but needs more help
It's my next project



So, look around and see what you can find to save, refresh and make new again~



What are you planning to refresh in your house?




Linking up to: