Thursday, April 10, 2014

/// Market Day + 400th Order Giveaway ///


First thing first - the giveaway! I surpassed my 400th Etsy order last week. However, with the madness of Market Day looming, I thought it'd be best to push back the giveaway another week. 

What's up for grabs? A pack of 5 cards from my popular "Thanks and Blessings" collection! 

All you've got to do is sign up for my monthly newsletter - the first of which went out yesterday. The monthly newsletter will be filled with all sorts of exclusive goodies like special coupon codes, giveaways not seen on the blog and/or free printables! That's reason enough to sign up, right?


Now enter that giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


As for Market Day, I had such a blast! It was wonderful! Not only did I sell some items, but I also made lots of great connections with potential customers and handed out fifty million business cards. 

In all honesty, I needed last Saturday so much. Sometimes, I get what I like to refer to as Eeyore Syndrome which occurs when you start second-guessing yourself and thinking no one will like anything you create. 

After the tent came down and everything was stacked back into the car, I felt so reassured. I felt reassured in my talents. I felt reassured in my choices. I felt reassured that once I take the break-taking leap in doing this full-time that I will land safely on my feet.

I am pumped for next month and can't wait to design some more cards to sell. Bring it on May 3rd!

See ya later gator!
Miranda  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Take-A-Look Tuesday /// Baby Patchwork Quilt



I've added a new fabric designer to my list of favorites - Michael Miller. In particular, I fell in love with the Citron-Grey collection.

The problem? Most of the patterns I wanted for my quilt were not in stores any more because they had been discontinued. Solution? Etsy, of course. I found almost all of the patterns I wanted at Five Monkey Fabrics.

I used a tutorial from Sew 4 Home in piecing my quilt together. While I didn't follow it in its entirety, it was a very good guide when it came to cutting out my fabric.




This is my first patchwork quilt and the first where I made my own binding. (Special thank you to Mrs. Gayle for some really helpful instructions!) I absolutely love it! At the moment, I can't bear to part with it just yet. Maybe, I'll put it up in a special place until I have my own youngin' for it. The white block on at the very bottom of the far right is waiting for a monogram after all...

Now to find a new project!
Miranda

Friday, March 21, 2014

Five on Friday /// March 21

ONE.

Two weeks out from my first craft show! I've been slowly piecing together some really awesome inventory that I'm pretty proud of. After it debuts at the show, I hope to do some product photography and get up some collections in the shop. Speaking of, did you see some of my sneak peek items?


TWO. 

On that note, did you see my Frozen-inspired birthday invitations?! I've been singing and dancing to the soundtrack all week long with my students at daycare. I couldn't help but think of them as I created this invitation and party package.


THREE. 

I'm closing in quickly on my 400th order...that's a good reason for a giveaway, right?

FOUR.

Not shop related, but guess where the husband and I will be celebrating our second anniversary? 



You got it! The Winsletts will be taking over Disney World once again this September. I'm really thinking we should just make this trip an annual family tradition. Am I right?!

FIVE.


Officially licensed for business again for 2014. In all honesty, I'm really proud of this business license. I was so terrified I was going to make a mess of it and I didn't! It's the small things ya'll.

Have a great weekend!
Miranda

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Memoirs /// Craft Show Craziness

It's official. I will be a vendor at Newnan Market Day on the first Saturday April through December! Needless to say, I am pumped and trying not to stress out over it. However, the non-stressing part is not going so well. Ha!

I feel like I've read every blog post ever written about craft shows. There is so much to put together - inventory, pricing, canopy tents, designing my display, etc. 

Even though, it's been relatively stressful, it hasn't been anything short of fun. I will have all next week off at the daycare to focus solely on this craft show. 

I've already created some inventory I'm quite proud of. Want a peek? 



If you are in the Newnan/Peachtree City/Fayetteville or general south metro Atlanta area, I hope to see you on April 5th!

Anyone have any craft show advice or any awesome resources? Share the love below!

Miranda

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thursday Treasure /// Clean Mama Printables




At Thursday Treasure, I will share a product or Etsy shop that I love! Do you think you have a product in your Etsy shop I would love? Feel free to shoot an email to paperlarkstudio@gmail.com. If it floats my boat, I'd love to feature it here!


If you saw my Monday Memoirs post on bookkeeping, I introduced you to Clean Mama Printables. I use their Work at Home Kit for PaperLark Studio. I've also purchased and used some of her home organization kits. 

Becky from Clean Mama Printables was kind enough to provide a coupon code exclusively for my readers! In checkout, use the code 20PAPERLARK to receive 20% off your entire purchase. (Expires 3/31/2014)

Enjoy!
Miranda



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Take-a-Look Tuesday /// Pomodoro Sauce with Spaghetti


So...it's not Tuesday, but we are going to pretend like it is for this post.

Wednesdays are usually the days I don't post anything. Typically, I spend Wednesday playing catch up on anything I'm behind on so it's done and out the door by Friday. However, I was so busy yesterday it became my Wednesday.

Now that's out of the way, I've got a yummy recipe to share with you - Pomodoro Sauce with Spaghetti!

Why do I love it? First, like with any other recipe I share, it's super easy. Second, how can you not love tomato and basil together? Third, it's really healthy and low calorie so you don't have to feel bad about going back for seconds.

What You'll Need
1 tbsp butter
1 chopped onion
4 cloves of garlic, minced
(2) 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup of chicken broth
basil
parsley
salt and pepper
thyme
nutmeg
spaghetti noodles

  1. Melt your butter over medium heat in a large skillet. (And I mean large because you'll be putting all your ingredients in it.) 
  2. Add onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are transparent. Add tomatoes and cook down some of the liquid.
  3. Add in broth and remaining ingredients. Add the herbs to your liking. I guess-imate and taste test until I'm satisfied.
  4. Cook on simmer for about 30 minutes. Once 30 minutes is up, pour your mixture into the blender and puree it into a sauce.
Fix your spaghetti noodles and pour that delicious pomodoro sauce on top.

YUM!

Happy cooking!
Miranda




Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday Memoirs /// Bookkeeping + COUPON

Last week, I talked about the "fun" I had filing my business taxes and what I learned. I thought I'd share my new method of bookkeeping which should be more tax friendly for next year.


When it comes to record keeping, I follow a month-by-month basis. To keep track of my income and expenses, I use the Work At Home Kit from Clean Mama Printables. I would highly recommend it, because it's easy to use (and really cute).


MONTHLY

Having your income and expenses on one piece of paper will help you to get a good idea of what you are making each month. I like to refer to my monthly income/expense sheet as my Master Breakdown.

What do you need on your monthly Master Breakdown?
  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Total monthly profit/loss
  • Estimated taxes to set back
I have also started to make a special breakdown of my expenses on the side of my monthly Master Breakdown.

For example, instead of leaving the sum of $300 in my total expenses box, I wrote on the side that $50 of that was for office supplies and $250 of it was for printing and shipping costs. This will help me to quickly add up expenses to put in the correct box on my Schedule C next year. 

After I add up and record my profit/loss for the month, I look back at what I did the previous month. I don't just reflect on the numbers, but evaluate how I feel like I am doing. What seems to be working/selling? What isn't working/selling? Did I try something new this month? Do I need to try something new next month?

By thinking critically about the past, I feel like I'm better prepared to make educated plans for the future of my business. On that note, I make sure to list my profit goal for the next month. 

WEEKLY

At the end of every week, I fill out my income and expenses being sure to have all receipts accounted for. 


I staple my receipts to their respective orders and stick them in my trusty pink folder. At the end of the month, I pull out all of my order forms from that month and put them in my file folder with my Master Breakdown.

Another thing I do weekly? Mileage Tracker! (The one picture is also included in the Work at Home Kit.)



I learned this lesson the hard way at tax time - track your mileage all year long even if it's just a quick trip to craft store. Mileage adds up fast and if you don't keep up with it, you'll be calculating a convoluted mass of numbers like I did.

To avoid this for next year, I've added this to my weekly to-do list. 

Without a doubt, bookkeeping is not the most glamorous part of owning your own Etsy shop, but it is so important. Not only will it prepare you for tax time (and maybe an audit), but it'll help you grow your shop. Knowledge is power! Is it just me or am I sensing a theme here?

Becky from Clean Mama Printables was kind enough to partner up with me for a coupon. At checkout, simply enter 20PAPERLARK to receive 20% off your order! (Expires 3/31/14)

What is your bookkeeping method?

Miranda








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