Tips for Handmade Business Owners {Taradara Made It}

I am so thrilled to share a very talented lady with you today.  Tara is a creative genius, and she has built her own successful sewing business.  If you haven't seen her incredible products, go check out her shop!  I own one of her business card holders and adore it! 

Today, Tara is sharing some incredible tips for handmade business owners.  So if you own your own etsy shop, Tara is sharing some incredible tips!

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Hi Oopsey Daisy fans!

I'm Tara from Taradara Made It

taradara

Not sure how many of you are Etsy shop owners or if you have been thinking about opening a shop on Etsy, but I wanted to talk today a little bit about marketing yourself and your shop. It's hard to have an online store and not have a product for people to touch, feel, and squeeze or smell ... and actually sell it online. So it is really key to have some marketing/advertising ideas to help you through.

etsy

Many of us are doing what we love and trying to make it, so we don't have a lot of expendable money to spend on marketing. We have to be smart where we put our money. We have to really think about the ROI {return on investment} before we put out the money on our marketing. The saying is true, "To make money, you have to spend money". Yes, very true, BUT, don't throw it away. You may make some mistakes along the way, however, you will LEARN very quickly from those mistakes because why? Because it cost you MONEY. Don't let it get you down, pick up your bootstraps and MOVE ON. I'm not saying not to pay for advertising, however, be smart on where you put your advertising money. If you're advertising on other blogs, don't be afraid to ask what their monthly stats are. YOU need to take care of yourself and decide for yourself where to advertise.

How about we talk about a couple of FREE ways to market or advertise your shop?

We've all heard this one ... WORD OF MOUTH. The BEST advertising one could ask for!!! Getting your product in someone's hands and having them rave about it! Not only do I send my customer what they ordered, I will often put a small little extra something in with the order, just as a thank you ... customers LOVE that! I ALWAYS handwrite a little note thanking them on their invoice {people LOVE the personalization of the handwritten note}. I ALWAYS include 3-4 business cards so they can pass them along to their friends. And I ALWAYS offer my new customers a discount on their next order with a coupon code. So, these are just a few little things you can do on an order that might just trickle through at the beginning, but watch what it'll do for you in the future. {great ROI that doesn't cost a whole lot}

Become friends with other bloggers. You'll be surprised at how many of us will gladly do a post or advertise your shop for FREE! Don't be afraid to reach out, all they can say is no. But, please please please don't let that stop you from asking!!! Or do a trade ... advertise their shop and they advertise yours. {it's free}

Another FREE way to advertise or marketing yourself is FACE TO FACE. No, it's not online, however, we have become so focused on social media for marketing {which is still amazing} to where it has taken focus off of face to face marketing. If you are your only marketer for your business, I think you know what you need to do. I've become so tired of not speaking up when people ask me what I do or when they think I'm only a stay at home mom. I've come up with an 'elevator pitch', if you will, and I USE IT. I used to think that others didn't want to hear about another mom who has a home business ... well, screw it, I have one and I'm going to tell them about it {pardon the language}. Don't get me wrong, I do have tact and don't go around self promoting inappropriately. Be proud of what you do and not ashamed to let the world know what it is that you do! YOU ARE AWESOME!!

face to face{there is great opportunities to market yourself face to face right here!!!}

Here's an example of what I would do: Standing amongst other parents waiting to pick up from elementary school, a conversation would start up regarding our day. {Keep in mind my boy just started kindergarten so I don't know a lot of the moms yet} When it came to me, I would tell them that that I sewed all afternoon and that I have a sewing business. Then, they say, "Oh, what do you make?" and I go for it and tell them all my products lines I have. Sometimes I will have my wallet with me and I'll bring it out and SHOW them. They LOVE that stuff! They are able not only hear about it, but touch it, see it, and feel it. If you don't make something that you can readily have available with you, just go with the verbal conversation and HAVE A CARD WITH YOU. You'll be surprised as they will ask you for one most of the time!

taradara business card{my business card}

This leads me to my next point, ALWAYS HAVE YOUR CARDS WITH YOU. You don't have to carry a bunch, just a few wherever you go. Who else is doing it for you? Right?

Well, I hope this helps you a little bit.

Thank you, Alison for letting me be a part of your blog for a day! I look forward to reading comments and answering any questions you all might have. I will be happy to answer them as they come in.

xo Tara

Bed of Clouds Tutorial {Our Wonderfilled Life}

I am thrilled to introduce you to Michelle, the fabulous author of Our Wonderfilled Life.  What an incredible lady... and what a fun tutorial!
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Hello to all of Alison's lovely readers!! I am beyond happy to be here today at Oopsey Daisy!!  Alison's ideas are always so clever, and she is so kind to open her door to me!!

I'm Michelle, "mother wonder" over at Our Wonderfilled Life.  

I have FIVE very sweet little guys, including a set of two-year-old quadruplets, that I refer to as my boy wonders. While I am {just a bit} outnumbered, I spend my slivers of free time creating, designing, gathering inspiration, for our little corner of the world.  

The project I am sharing with you today has great gift potential!  It has been appropriately titled, by my 6-year-old, BED OF CLOUDS, sounds dreamy right?!  I was thrilled to have the chance to make something girly for my niece's upcoming seventh birthday!!

This sweet little bed is made up of 5 pillows all enclosed in separate cases.  The cover is removable, and washable.  It is perfect for a slumber party, at home movie night, lounging.  The best part is that you can use your own spare pillows to cut down on some of the cost.  As this was a gift, I bought new pillows at Target for a very reasonable $4 a piece.

Make Your Own Baggies {I Can Teach My Child}

Jenae is a former first grade teacher turned stay-at-home Mama to two precious (and wild and crazy) little boys. She loves spending time with her family and sharing fun and educational ideas with other parents and caregivers on her blog I Can Teach My Child!

Baggies are an inevitable part of life with children. Whether you are packing a school lunch or throwing Cheerios in a diaper bag, baggies are a must for every parent.
Instead of using disposable baggies, though, try making your own! It's super easy and takes about 20 minutes tops! Plus, one benefit of these baggies is that they are insulated!
Here's what you'll need:
A picnic tablecloth (the kind with the felt on the back),
Sew-on velcro (I used 1/2 inch...I think),
Pins, a sewing machine, and thread!
Optional: Rotary cutter and mat.
1. Cut a section from your very large tablecloth...no smaller than 16x9 inches.
It will be easier to work with if you start off with a small piece.

Update an Old Plate {The V Spot}

Today's guest is one talented gal!  Viv from The V Spot is full of frugal and ingenious tricks for the home!  You definitely need to check our her blog!
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Hello Oopsey Daisy Readers! I am very happy to be here!
Today I'm going to show you a simple trick to update old plates and platters. While they aren't food safe, they are great for decorating.
My finished platter looks like this...

It wasn't always this way.

1. Take an ugly plate or platter with a cool shape. In this case, a large Williams Sonoma platter, circa 1997 that I bought at a thrift store for $1.

2. Dig out some 3D scribble (or puff) paint that you have in your craft supplies. (You know you have some... No? OK, then you can pick some up at any craft store for a couple of bucks.) It does not matter what color you choose since you'll be spray painting it anyway.

3. Start squeezing on your design. Do whatever you like. I'm no artist, so I prefer random, squiggly designs. (It hides the fact that I'm no artist.)

4. Let the puff paint dry completely, then take it to an area where you can spray paint it.

[Read more...]

Seven Seas Party {Mockingbird Cottage}

I am thrilled to introduce my very talented guest to you today!

The lovely Melissa is the mom of one of my darling little first graders from years past!  I have kept in touch with their cute family over the years... And now I get to share some of her creativity with you!

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Hey there!  My name is Melissa. 

I've known Alison for about four years now, ever since my little girl was in her first grade class.  She is still my daughter's all time favorite teacher! So many fun memories!  🙂  I have been a "Mommy Blogger" for almost four years (mostly recording my favorite funny moments) and finally have started another blog to fuel my creativity and do more to beautify my home.  I have many projects to share! My new blog is Mockingbird Cottage.   Stop in and say hello sometime!

Today, I am excited to share with all of you my latest labor of love!

My son, Chase, just turned seven years old.  He is always looking for an adventure and is absolutely obsessed with animals, sea creatures, and maps.  So, I thought that The Seven Seas would be a perfect theme for his adventure-style birthday party.

It was a really fun party!

I made the invitations tri-fold style and tied them with rope. No envelopes needed!  I absolutely love this paper from Three Bugs In A Rug!  It was so perfect for Chase's theme.  Such cute paper!

Here is a glimpse of all sides of the invitation.
When you open the top flap, there are all the details of  the party.  In the middle, there is a poem I wrote about a Seven Seas Adventure.
Here are the words to the poem:
Ahoy Mateys!
Seven years to Celebrate,
Since Chase became our young first mate.
Seven Seas are calling him now
His sights are set toward the bow
The days spent at Port six cruised by way too fast
But new adventures await as he raises his sail to the mast
Chase invites you to join the crew as his vessel sets sail
Exploring depths of the ocean where sea creatures dwell
We'll dive right in to games and cake
Wear a swimsuit and sunscreen so you don't bake
The day is Monday August 15th from 2-4 o'clock
(Modern day time)
Make sure you do naut get land locked and get left behind!
Having you on board will be sure to please
We'll see you at the Seven Seas!
Some party decorations to welcome Chase's friends:
A party store made up these darling balloons of a fish and an octopus.  We loved them!
(And there were tears shed by my two youngest when they finally popped a few days later.)

 


I thought it would be fun to use our chalkboard to copy a fish market sale.
I loved making this banner so much! I again used 3 Bugs In a Rug  paper and used skewers behind the paper to make sailboats as part of his name display.  This was my favorite party project!
My kids and I made newspaper sailboat hats for all the party guests.
Easy-Peasy! (and cheap!)
The crew had to find their sailor hats in Davy Jone's Locker.  Then all of the other decorations for the table mostly came from things I had around the house or we made together as a family for this party.
I wanted to put a banner on the front of the table and then I thought of the idea as making it as Shark teeth.  The tablecloth is made of old map tissue paper.  We put a couple of fish in some fish bowls and added around any marine life toys we could find.  Again, I let my kids help do this!
The party games were fun, and didn't cost anything!
The joy of playing in the water in the summer-time! 🙂
Dribble-Dribble Dunk! was a big hit! It is just like duck-duck goose, except the players take a pitcher of water around the circle and dribble a drop down each person's neck and until they dunk someone! The giggles were so great with this game!
After Chase's friends went home, we had dinner with our family that evening.
All of the food was named after one of the Seven Seas. We had octopus of the Black Sea, Caspian Sea with traveling Swedish fish, Persian Gulf Shrimp, Pirate Ships of the Indian Ocean, Sea Shells off the Adriatic Sea, Chicken of the Red Sea, and Ocean Water from the Mediterranean.
I tried to make some grilled chicken and pineapple to look like a fish.  It was very, very simple; and so yummy too!
My birthday boy loved it, so that's what makes me happy! 🙂
Cupcakes were super-simple. Blue frosting with gummy sharks and fish.  There wasn't time for anything fancier. 😉
Thanks so much Alison for letting me be a guest on your blog and share a thousand photos!
I'll be posting more ideas on my new blog soon, so be sure and watch for that!  I'd love you all to visit!

Spinach Lasagna {Elephant’s Trunk}

Happy Tuesday!

I am thrilled to share a fabulously talented guest with you today, and she's sharing a yummy recipe!  I met Lauren at Creative Estates.  She is a doll!  I so enjoyed spending time with her in April.  I know this recipe will leave your mouth watering!

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Hello Oopsey Daisy readers!

My name is Lauren and I blog at The Elephant's Trunk. I also have an Etsy store of the same name. I am so excited to be here today to share with you a favorite recipe my Mom made growing up all the time and that she has now passed on to me. Hopefully, you too will enjoy it and pass it on to your friends and family. 

Spinach Lasagna
 

Ingredients
-1 pound of ground sausage
-4 cloves of garlic
-1/2 a white onion 
-16 ounces of tomato sauce 
-1 1/2 cup of water
-1 tablespoon of chopped basil leaves 
-1 cup of mozzarella cheese
-1 cup of muenster cheese
-15 ounces of ricotta cheese
-10 ounces of frozen spinach 
-3 eggs
-1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
-1 teaspoon of salt
-No boil lasagna noodles
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and begin by browning your sausage. Chop your onion and add it into your sausage mixture as it continues to brown. Mince your garlic cloves and add the garlic to the sausage and onion mixture. In separate sauce pan combine tomato sauce, water, and basil leaves over medium heat stirring occasionally. Once the sausage is fully browned add sausage to the sauce mixture and mix all together well. Bring sauce and sausage combination to a simmer and then turn heat to low. 
Cook frozen spinach according to directions and then add spinach as well as mozzarella, muenster, ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Place to the side. 
 


Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan and layer the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of the sauce mixture, then apply a layer of no boil noodles followed by a layer of the cheese mixture. Continue this process until the pan is full. Sprinkle the top of the lasagna with some Parmesan and place in oven to bake for 45 minutes. 
 

Serve and enjoy!

 

Thank you so much for having me Alison! 

 

{Lauren Bird}

www.elephantstrunkLLB.com

http://www.etsy.com/shop/LBird226

 

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Lauren is such a talented lady!  You've got to check out her blog!

Lauren is truly an artist!  She creates beautiful canvases like these ones.

I love how she created these monograms using wine corks.

And definitely stop by Lauren's etsy shop!  She creates fun things like these key wine charms.

Thanks for coming to Oopsey Daisy, Lauren!

You can find out how to be featured on Oopsey Daisy here.

Apple Lollipops {Mommyapolis}

I am thrilled to welcome a fabulous guest!  Shannon from Mommyapolis is here, sharing a wonderful idea that would be perfect for back to school time!

Hi!

My name is Shannon, and I feel so honored to be a guest on Oopsey Daisy today! I blog over at Mommyapolis, a site geared towards all of us extremely busy mom's who need some quick ideas to keep our little ones busy!

I am the mommy of 3 little boys we call the "S" brothers ages 5, 4, and 8 months.   I have been a teacher for the past 12 years teaching everything from first grade to elementary reading and most recently, morning Kindergarten.  Teaching half-day Kindergarten allows me the opportunity to be a little bit professional and a little bit stay-at-home Mom!  This year I'm going to try out being 100% stay-at-home Mom.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Today I thought I'd show you a quick and easy craft you can do with your kids that has a bit of a fall or back to school theme. I call them "Apple Lolli's."

Where we live school doesn't start until after Labor Day, but I have plenty of friends that are starting back in the next couple of weeks. You could maybe make these for your child's teacher and bring them to open house night... They are super quick, easy, and low on the messy scale!

Apple Lolli's

What You'll Need:
Red and Green Jolly Ranchers (I used 4 reds and 1 green for ONE sucker)
Craft Stick/Popsicle Stick/Lollipop Stick
Tin Foil
Gallon Size Bag
Cookie Sheet
Oven
DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat your oven to 250F and sort through all those colorful Jolly Ranchers.

2. Put your red jolly ranchers in a plastic baggie and crush them with a hammer to form smaller pieces (don't crush too much because you don't want super small pieces). Repeat this process with your green jolly ranchers. I'll be honest, I had my kids do this and they LOVED it.... I thought maybe we should do it outside, but after experimenting myself I found it doesn't take much to smoosh the jolly's so we did it inside!


3. Place a lollipop stick on your baking sheet lined with tinfoil.

4. Arrange all your broken red pieces in a circle at the top of your lollipop stick making an apple shape. Make sure all pieces are touching so it melts properly. I sprinkled any "dust" my kids made over the entire apple shape just to make sure it would all stick. Add the green pieces to the top of the red to form a "stem"...


5. Slide your cookie sheet in the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until completely melted... At the end, it melts quickly so it's fun to watch!

6. Remove your apple from the oven and allow it to cool before peeling it off the foil. One thing to note is that these are "free formed" lollipops. If you prefer your lollipops to be perfect you could use an apple shaped metal cookie cutter to help you out.  This suggestion was made by my very professional pastry chef of a sister-in-law, and I think it's a fantastic idea!

7. Wrap it up for your favorite teacher OR eat it yourself! YUM...
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Aren't those sucker fabulous?!  Here are a few of my other favorite projects from Mommyapolis:

I really want to try these fun bath paints with Little Man!

I adore Shannon's handprint crafts like these Santa's.

You will find all kinds of yummy recipes too... like these homemade popsiciles!

Go check out some more fun projects at Mommyapolis!

Happy Tuesday!

Family Bingo Game {Key Lime Digital Designs}

It's time to hear from another talented guest!  Kendra from Key Lime Digital Designs is here.  Welcome, Kendra!

I am so excited to be guesting posting here at Oopsey Daisy! My name is Kendra and I blog at Key Lime Digital Designs. I am a wife and mother [to an fun loving, social, snacking 18 month old]. My family currently lives in Hawaii. I enjoy blogging, reading, shopping, and hanging out at the beach!

Today I would like to share a special printable with you guys! It is a fun family printable bingo game!

Download HERE

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Flowers and Ruffles T-shirt {Flower Frenzy Creations}

I have a VERY talented guest lined up for you today!  Shianne from Flower Frenzy Creations is adorable!  This girl is half my age but has twice the talent! 🙂  Show her some love today!

 

Hey Oopsey Daisy Readers!
I am so excited to share a little about me and a tutorial with you!!
Allow me to introduce myself!

I am Shianne, and I am the owner of Flower Frenzy Creations

I love anything related with fashion (and volleyball)! I love graphic designing, I even have my own graphic design business, Designs By Shi. At Flower Frenzy Creations I sell headbands, rings, brooches and more. I also have started recently doing tutorials and yummy recipes.

Now lets get started with a tutorial!
I forgot to take a picture of the shirt before I started
but this is the exact shirt from the stores website

Card Table Doggy House {Nothing But Country}

Today I am thrilled to be hosting the inspirational bloggers Chad and Mary Beth from Nothing But Country.  I just know you're going to love their tutorial today!

Hello, hello!! I am so excited to be blogging over here at Oopsey Daisy! Today I am excited to share  one of our fun crafts with you. I am Mary Beth, and you can find me over at Nothing But Country. My husband and I are often creating together. But you will find that I do the blogging, and he does most of our cooking/baking posts. He loves to cook (I am one lucky gal!!) And I love to craft so we make a great team!

My daughter is having a puppy party for her birthday. I wanted to have something fun that the girls can play in to pretend they are puppies in one of the activities. Instead of making a dog house out of a refrigerator box and then having to store it. I wanted something easy to pack away & easy to make.

I had this card table that I purchased at Target. My card table measures 34" wide by 28" tall.

I am not much of an artist. Ha Ha. This is the sketch I came up with originally. Not exactly how it ended up to be, but it helped me with planning how much material I needed and what each panel would generally look like.

I purchased 2 yards of green and 1 yard of chocolate felt and multiple colored sheets of felt based on what I wanted to have on my dog house.

With my felt I cut out simple shapes like circles, triangles, ovals, etc. to make some cute puppies. I used my FAVORITE glue of all time, Fabri-Tac!! I found it at my local JoAnn's Craft Store. I wanted to make this project as easy as possible. It dries quickly and in 24 hours it dries as hard as sewing all the pieces together.

I also cut out a few bone shapes and puppy food bowl. I simply went on Google.com and searched for bone and food bowl graphics and stretched them in word document and use them as a guide for cutting out those shapes.

[Read more...]

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