Latest Event Updates
I am starting to think about opening up my shop again! I still do plan to sell stickers, but I’ve expanded my horizons — I make stickers, I have so many 16X20 paintings I have run out of room to store them, and my sister and I are having a handmade card making bee this week.
I’m not going to get into the reasons why I didn’t reopen my shop when I got home from vacation, other than to say it was health reasons. There’s no definitive diagnosis – one theory is Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and the other theory is Chronic Lyme Disease. Or it could be Fibro/CFS caused by a raging untreated case of Lyme Disease. Either way, I have suffered something awful and don’t imagine anybody wants to read about the trials and tribulations of the last year of my life.
Unless you do. If there’s interest, I will enlighten the masses who read this blog. I can tell you what it’s been like to have to nap 3 or 4 times a day; and I can tell you about how the medications I took gave me some pretty bad side effects. I can also tell you about bioresonance, which finally made me feel like I have a chance to live a normal life again. (FYI, I am not being compensated in any way for talking about bioresonance, it would just be observations of the results I have experienced during my treatment).
In the meantime, I just wanted to give you the scoop to keep your eyes on Etsy because I am anticipating re-opening my shop soon. And now I need to go. My sister has gone to buy a few groceries and while she’s gone I’m going to start prepping vegetables for the most delicious beef stew anybody makes. LOL
Hi and howdy-do! I’m finally back to work. I’ve been dealing with about a 10 day long Fibro Flare and it’s been pretty tough. One of the very worst I’ve experienced.
What’s a Fibro Flare like? Imagine the very worst flu you’ve ever had. That’s close. Everything hurts. Everything. If you were to touch my skin, it would hurt me like you just punched a bruise. Nausea. Cramping. Headache. Sweating uncontrollably. So exhausted that I had to take 2 and even 3 naps a day, but I can’t sleep at night. Tremoring hands. Sensitivity to bright light. And, yes, I’m gonna go there… diarrhea.
But while I was sick and hoping “to feel better tomorrow”, my shop was booming right along. I’m so happy with it right now. People are checking it out, favouriting things they like, and buying. I haven’t even been open for one month and never expected to have this much interest in my shop so soon. It was very encouraging to me and helped me to get through my flare-up. I like that.
I did try to get a little work done during my flare. After all, I’m one of those people who needs to keep my hands busy. So I painted a stormy desert scene, made a couple new sets of stickers, started quilling (this explains what quilling is) and made some more Christmas cards during moments when I wasn’t feeling quite so crummy. Now I have to photograph them and upload them to my store tomorrow. Why not today? Well, my flare isn’t completely over yet. I’ve been awake for 3.5 hours and it’s nap time as soon as I’m done typing this blog post. The good news is that I’m down to only having one nap a day now. 🙂
Hi, I bet you weren’t expecting to hear from me so soon again. Well I decided to write a quick tutorial on how to make the card boxes (finished size is 6-1/4″ by 4-3/4″ by 1-1/4″, perfect for A2 sized cards and envelopes). They don’t take all that long to make. I think even with photographing some of the steps, I still finished assembling one box in under 15 minutes. I have to decorate it, so final time from start to finish is still to be determined. I’ll probably keep it really simple since I will be putting it in the mail to ship to a customer and I don’t want any fancy embellishments to get ruined during shipping. But you could go all out and fancy-fy this thing into a beautiful piece of art if you want!
Ok. First thing is materials. I used a sheet of lightweight chipboard that measures 11″ x 17″. If you don’t have one that big, and probably most of you don’t, you can use the backing chipboard from a couple of scrapbook paper packs or a cereal box that you dug out of your recycling box. You could even just use a heavy piece of cardstock although it will definitely not be sturdy enough for the mail and the lid will be a little too big if you don’t adjust your measurements. So I recommend the cereal box over the cardstock. I also used a ruler, a paper cutter, a bone folder, a 1″ circle punch, a pair of scissors and Sookwang Tapa (AKA ScorTape).
Next comes measurements. Cut these pieces from your chipboard:
1 piece at 8-3/4″ by 7-1/4″
1 piece at 8-1/2″ by 7″
2 pieces at 1-1/4′ by 6-1/16″ (optional)
2 pieces at 1-1/4″ by 4-5/8″ (optional)
Tip! Use an old blade because cutting chipboard with your good paper cutting blade is like cutting paper with your good sewing shears. Bad, bad, bad! It will dull your blade really quickly, so you may as well use a duller blade to begin with.
You will score the two main pieces at 1-1/4″ along all four sides. Normally I use a Scorboard for scoring paper, but it doesn’t work with chipboard. So I used my paper trimmer and an old bone folder and scored them by sticking the bone folder in the gappy part of the blade guide and using it instead of the blade. Really go over the lines so it will be easy to fold later.
Tip! I actually ruined my bone folder on the chipboard after making about 8 boxes, and I was so glad I used an older one. It wore away the edge and kind of filed the blunt point into a pointier point that will carve up paper like a knife carving a jack-o-lantern.
Next, fold on all the score lines. Cut one side of the main pieces along the score lines from one edge to the score line intersection. This is going to become the flap that braces the box together. Important! You only cut one side of each flap or else it will turn into a small square in your hand and it will do nobody any good there. When you are finished, each main piece should have four little flaps still attached to the box. If not, I hope you have another Cheerios box in the recycling because you will have to start over. Optional step: Take your 1″ hole punch and line up the centre of the long side of the box with only half of the punch to make a thumb notch in the long sides of the larger piece and on one side of each of the longer skinny pieces. Ugh. That was clear as mud to read, so just look at the picture and do what I did. I’m definitely an artist, not a teacher. LOL
Now we tape! Use good strong adhesive double sided tape like ScorTape or Redline tape. Tape the top and bottom of one side of each of the skinny pieces, and tape the outside edges of all the little flaps. (I got mixed up and taped in the wrong place on one of the flaps and had to retape when I was assembling the box. Play “Spot the Difference” in the photo and you’ll see what I mean)
One flap at a time, peel the backing off the tape and fold the little flaps in. Attach them to the side adjacent to them and soon you will end up with 2 boxes. Tip! I use one as a temporary trash bin for the tape backings so that cleaning up is just a matter of dumping the contents into my trash bag. But, do whatever you want. If you like tape backing on the floor, peel it off and drop it on the floor. I’m not the boss of you.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “You’re darn right, you aren’t the boss of me”. And now you’re thinking I’m weird. But soon you are going to start thinking “Hey Dawna, there’s some pieces left over. What do I do with them? Or is this like IKEA and you get extra bits?”
Nope, not like IKEA. Here’s what you do with them. They are going to add extra strength to your box and they smooth the inside so that when you put the lid on, the bottom doesn’t get caught on the flaps of the lid. In the photo above, see how the flap in the top left corner is a little bit raised from the side? Just that little bit on all four flaps can make it a little harder to put the lid on, which is frustrating. I’m all about eliminating frustration. Plus it looks a bit nicer, which is demonstrated in the photo below:
Ok, so how to attach them? Here we go:
The shorter ones fit perfectly inside the lid (which is the larger of the two boxes and the one with the thumb notches). So go ahead and peel the backing of the tape off the shorter pieces and attach them inside the lid on the ends of the box. Depending on the size of your envelopes, you could duplicate the process and attach another pair on the inside of the smaller box too. But my envelopes don’t fit in the box when I tried that. Repeat the process with the longer strips on the longer sides.
Decorate and you’re finished! Pretty simple, right?
Thanks for reading my tutorial. I hope that if you make a box, you’ll credit me when you proudly pin it to your Pinterest board. And if you use the last photo from this tutorial, please add the link to my Etsy shop because that’s where this box and card set is available: https://www.etsy.com/listing/254535449/premium-archival-handmade-christmas?ref=shop_home_active_1
That’s all I ask for in payment for these instructions. Thank you. And… Stick With Dawna!
So, Dawna… where’ve you been? You said you’d be updating your blog regularly and adding new inventory to your shop daily. But, you haven’t been.
I know, I know. Bad Dawna. And sales and views are down because of it. So I’m paying the price. However, there’s actually a really good reason why I’ve been AWOL.
I have been missing creating with my hands. Right now I have shelves and shelves of scrapbook paper and other archival quality supplies, just sitting and … well, basically rotting away. Ok, maybe not really rotting. Because that’d be gross and I wouldn’t be able to stand having them in my studio. But the fact of the matter is that they’re just sitting there doing nobody any good and quite frankly I could use the space they are taking up. So I decided to combine necessity (of using up some supplies) and invention (creating something with those supplies), along with commerce and timing. Hey, I run an Etsy business and it’s getting close to Christmas, which is a very lucrative time of year for Etsy shops. I should be trying to get in on some of that, right?
Getting to the point
finally, I decided to make some handmade cards. I’ve got two Christmas themed boxed sets. The twist to mine is that they are blank, so they’re kind of a hybrid between note cards and greeting cards. Plus they come in these really cool handmade boxes I “invented”. Ok. Not really invented seeing as they are like the boxes you can get in the store when you buy a set of Christmas cards. But I had to figure out how to make them. And for me, math is hard, which means that it took a lot of cypherin’ to figure out.
You will find this elegant and traditional black boxed set here.
You will find this elegant and traditional off-white boxed set here.
These Christmas cards are currently in my Etsy shop and are priced at only $30.00. That is a bargain price that covers the cost of my supplies and basically I paid myself less than what a child in an overseas sweat shop would get for making them. You can be assured however, that I am not a child in an overseas sweat shop. So, when you buy from me, you’re buying morally conscious products. You feel good about yourself now, don’t you? Shipping charges are a guesstimate based on the rates Canada Post has online. If I overcharge you for shipping, I will reimburse the overage. I had to guess a little high because I can’t afford to eat it if I don’t charge enough to cover costs.
Are you interested in a tutorial? I may take a little time later and write a tutorial for how to make the card boxes.
This weekend while I was
working playing Facebook games, my wireless mouse popped a message on my monitor telling me that I had to change the batteries in it. Well, I could swear I just changed them! I may need to buy some rechargeable batteries to try to save some money! So I decided I needed to keep track of how often I change them and made myself some cute little battery stickers for my planner. It’s one of the benefits of operating a sticker shop. 😀 I know I can’t be the only person who wants to keep track of things like this so I made some for you too! Unfortunately the calibration was off a little bit on my cutter so the kiss cut is offset a little to the left. It doesn’t affect the stickers because the white blends in to the paper on your planner anyway, but I took 50 cents off the price anyway. This makes it a bargain price of only CAD$2.50 (US$1.90)!
There are somewhere around 125 stickers plus I threw in some washi tape to coordinate. It’s a $25 value but I’m only asking CAD$16 for the entire lot! The full-square stickers will fit Erin Condren sized boxes, so they are a little small in my Happy Planner, but that’s where the washi tape comes in. Looks great! Christmas falls on a Friday so I made weekend banners that span the 3 days – one is wide enough for the Erin Condren planner, the narrower one fits the Happy Planner. I added stickers for noting when your guests are arriving and leaving, and for people who “have Christmas” at more than one home, there are 2 celebrate stickers.
All in all, I added 7 new items to my inventory this weekend, calibrated my Cricut, fought with my Cricut Design Space software, designed in Photoshop, and managed to enjoy some time for myself and my husband too!
It’s no secret to my friends that I love to paint and I go to Paint Nite every chance I get. I went to 2 Paint Nites last week — one on Thursday as a guest of the Paint Nite franchise owner where we celebrated Paint Nite’s first anniversary in Winnipeg by painting under black lights with glow in the dark paints! I decided to paint the Cheshire Cat as a sugar skull. Most of him is fluorescent, so it glows under black light, but his smile is glow in the dark, so when the black lights go off, only his smile remains! It’s so cool!!! My husband is in the photo with me and he painted the painting that was being demonstrated by the master artist and I think his looks amazing too. The next night, I went to another Paint Nite and painted a black and white awesome moonlit scene.
Saturday we went to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers football game to watch them lose to Ottawa Redblacks. Oh well. It was just the fun atmosphere of being at the stadium that we went for anyway. The Bombers were aptly named this year. (They are bombing in the standings and may not make the playoffs). FYI for non-Canadians, Winnipeg Blue Bombers are a professional football team in the Canadian Football League. They’re kind of a big deal here. 😀
Well, I have a painting in my head that needs to get out now and I think I’m finished blogging about my shop. You probably should go check out everything new that I added. Thanks, and StickWithDawna!
Unfortunately, not the good kind! The sky is overcast and gloomy and it seems that everything electronic has taken on that attitude as well.
I’ve been working really hard, like I promised, to get more inventory into my store. But, I’ve had so many challenges today that nothing is going to end up being salvageable. I have the cutest Christmas set made. Except something happened when I tried to kiss cut it. My Cricut just randomly threw in some weird shapes and cut them out — right through the stickers I had just made!
Really cute Christmas set, waiting to be kiss cut, just before the Cricut disaster
The random cuts it put through the stickers, ruining the entire sheet.
I’ve gotten ahead of myself though… before I could take the first photo, I had to reboot my phone. I take my photos with my phone right now because my good camera needs a new memory card. I wanted to take a photo of part of the process I go through to make stickers. I thought it might be interesting for people to see how it works. Anywhoozles, when I first turned my phone’s camera on I get the message “Camera has failed”. What?!! Fortunately, shutting the phone off and then turning it on worked and I was able to get the photo. It looks blurry though. I think I need to get that memory card for my camera soon because my phone’s camera doesn’t seem to be very healthy!
Now, lets back up even more to this morning. I had to re-install my Cricut Design Space plug in, not once, not twice, not three times, but… FOUR times! I would do a little designing and then, poof! The computer couldn’t find the plug in and I would have to reinstall. I ended up on a chat with Cricut Customer Service and just as the girl was starting to try to help me, poof! The chat window disappeared! I’m not even kidding! This is how ridiculous my day has been today. So I ended up calling Cricut Customer Service and the lovely girl on the other end of the phone helped me get Design Space to recognize that my computer has the plug in. At least for now. Crossing my fingers that it stays that way tomorrow too.
Like the saying goes: “If it were easy, everybody would be doing it”. I’m too stubborn to give up because of a couple of little challenges like this, but sadly, it means no new stock in the store today. I have to try to figure out why my Cricut is randomly cutting shapes into my stickers before I can put anything else in the shop. I’ve already wasted 3 sheets of sticker paper, printer ink, and a pile of my time and have nothing to show for it today. None of that is cheap. Imagine putting in a full days’ work at the office or the restaurant or wherever you work, and working very hard. Your brain has turned to mush, you’ve been concentrating so hard on your job. And then… you don’t get paid. Yep. It’s been one of THOSE days.