Saturday, February 26, 2011

photoshoot: Parents To-Be

The Jacobs' first family portraits! Jesse and Des, so honored I could be the one to capture these moments for you guys :) Thank you. Thank you. Totally looking forward to meeting little Mr. Jacobs.

A little more intimate... favorite! Not only is it of a genuinely special moment, but it's a really good portrayal of their love for one another. Can't you just tell their little baby boy is gonna get some good lovin'?! :) Yay!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

photoshoot: Dylan & Daphne

Oops! Didn't mean to tease you all for as long as I did! Been quite busy. Anyway, here are the long awaited pictures! Enjoy :)

Hehe. I really liked placing these next two photos together because it paints a funny story of Daphne poking Dylan, but in actuality they play so well together especially as the "pilot" and "lookout" :)

See? They were fighting the bad treasure-stealing sharks :)

Have a great night and a great day tomorrow whether you are celebrating Valentine's day or not :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

diy: Valentine's Day

"Everyone says flowers are like the cop-out gift, but no.
I wanted to change that & let people know
that flowers could be full of thought too!" -Margaret

Good morning everyone! Today we have a special treat from my buddy Margaret. She'll be sharing a very quick do-it-yourself flower project that you can make for a friend, your home, or that special someone in time for Valentine's Day! Each flower will only take about 5-10 minutes and my favorite thing about it all is that...all the supplies are things most probably laying around your house! :) Ladies AND we go!

supplies you'll be needing:

1. Using the razor, cut a small hole in the bottle cap.
2. Twist the straw and push it through the hole with the bottle cap facing up.
3. Apply some glue to the brass fastener and stick it into the straw.

4. Cut the paper towel (or napkin) measuring the length according to the perimeter of the cap.
*Tip: You can use food coloring or watercolor paint to change the color & design of your paper towel.
5. Now cut fringes (or strips) leaving about 1/4 of an inch uncut. The width of these strips can be cut according to how big you want the petals.
6. Round the tips by cutting the tips of the fringes in a curved fashion.
7. Glue the paper towel onto the cap.

8. Repeat Steps 4-7 with your desired patterned paper.
*Tip: Varying the height and width of the strips adds layers to the flower.

9. Using your fingers, gently spread and flatten out the strips of paper.
10. Cut a strip of green paper that can wrap around the straw.
11. Using tape, adhere the paper to the straw.

All done! :)

Thank you, Margaret! So great having you! Hope you all enjoyed her creativity just as much as I did :) Amazing days to you!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

thank you!!!

Oh, wow! I am so humbled. Over 100 views all in one day. I went from at best 8 to now 100. Thanks everyone!! Loved having you stop by :) Hope you received something of value during your visit!

teaser: Dylan & Daphne

Had a really great day today tagging along with my uncle and his two cuties on their Saturday Daddy Time at the local park. Thanks guys! Catching up and playing with family = good times :)

It's getting late, so I'll decide which photos to post later and leave you with this teaser. Tehehe.

tips: Starting Up Your Own Etsy Shop

Hello friends! Meet my good buddy Chris.

He is the founder of Topher & Co., a shop dedicated to your handmade knit and crochet accessory needs...or wants :) His shop has only been open for almost exactly a year now, but he's already made close to 400 sales! Can you believe it?! Crazy...Well, I need not say more, let's hear from this young and experienced creator himself! Here he is sharing some raw, practical, and heart-felt (I promise) suggestions for those of you hoping one day to start up your very own Etsy shop :)

Disclaimer: I by no means claim to be an expert at this, but this is just a short list of what I wish I had known before starting my Etsy shop last year, and what I sometimes want to tell people who are selling on Etsy but are worried about not doing very well. Hopefully, this will help someone not make the same mistakes that I did, or help someone avoid the mistakes that so many other sellers are making. They're ordered in what I perceive to be decreasing importance (so #1 is the most important), but really, they've ALL proven to be really important facets of running a successful Etsy business.

1. Don't be mediocre at what you do.
Sorry, did that sound incredibly harsh? Well, in my opinion - not sucking is the most important thing to running a successful store. I've seen so many sellers on Etsy try to make it by being barely competent at their craft. Do you think that people are willing to pay you to be barely competent? I guess if you price your items dirt cheap and you make something that's highly desirable it might work, but then you'd be making like $2 an hour. Not worth your incredibly valuable time, I promise. So how do you not suck? Keep an open mind, continually seek out opportunities to learn more about whatever it is that you do, and practice! And it's not about being the best artist out there or the best knitter out there, but I can't tell you how many times I've seen amateur and shoddily put together items being peddled on Etsy. Don't be one of those people. Bring your craft to a place where people will covet and desire the items that appear from your deft and creative fingertips because they're well-made, creative, and professional. And make sure you're up with the times! Trends are fast moving - don't try and sell something that's unfashionable when it's 50 million times easier to sell something that's fashionable.

2. Take AMAZING photos.
I don't think I can emphasize this enough. One of the easiest ways to bring in sales is to present your items beautifully. One of the turning points in my store's success was when I got my Canon Rebel and made sure my photos were top notch. They're not award-winning photographs, don't get me wrong, but they present what they're trying to sell clearly and without distraction, and they sell not just the item, but a lifestyle. My goal is for my target audience to look at my photos and to feel like they NEED to own my knitwear so that they can look exactly like Michelle, my gorgeous model. Strive to make your items look so beautiful that people feel an indescribable urge to buy it as soon as they see it. If you don't have a nice camera, find a friend who does and ask them to take some pictures for you to start, so that you can test the waters. If your business is going well, I would say that a nice camera is one of the best things you can invest money into for your Etsy store.

3. Figure out all the money stuff BEFORE opening up shop.
This is one thing that I highly regret not having done. Research how to price your items - what are your competitors pricing at? How long does it take you to make each item, how much do your materials cost, and how much are you aiming to make per hour? Ask around - what do people, both friends and strangers, perceive your item being worth? Now, remember that the average Etsy consumer is wealthier and willing to spend more money than the average Joe off the street. And remember, you're selling a unique, one-of-a-kind, handmade, artisan item - price it as such! And make sure to have a system for keeping track of your earnings, too. I use an Excel spreadsheet, but there are many great tools like Outright ( that can help you keep track of your finances.

4. Design a lot of stuff before listing anything.
It's often not enough to just have 5 items in your store. They might be 5 incredibly beautiful, well-made, gorgeously photographed items, but if you walked into a Gap and all they had was 5 choices, how long would you stay there? This is also something I wish I had done before starting to list my items. The more selection you have, the more time the average shopper will spend in your shop, and the more likely they are to find something they like! Now, this doesn't mean you should try every craft you can get your hand on and then stuff all of your projects in your shop. You want to make sure that your items have a cohesive look and feel so that your brand is clear and memorable. But give yourself a lot of space and time to be creative and to come up with lots of different ideas and items!

5. Get involved with the Etsy community.
This has made an incredibly big impact on my sales and my Etsy experience. I was "discovered" by a team called Team Discovery ( when I had fewer than 20 sales. They placed me in a ton of member-curated treasuries (themed collections of 16 items), and every hour, the Etsy admin pick a new treasury from the pool of thousands of treasuries for the home page of Etsy. This team is what got me on the home page of Etsy so many times. If you've followed all of the above tips, and you're finding that you need more exposure, I would suggest getting involved with the Etsy community by joining a treasury team like Team Discovery, or by making treasuries on your own and featuring sellers from teams like these, in hopes that they would feature you back. Being on the home page of Etsy jump started my sales like nothing else ever has.

Hope this helps anyone aspiring to start an Etsy store! There are a million other things I could tell you, but ultimately, learning is best done through experience. Good luck, and most importantly, have a heck of a lot of fun doing whatever it is that you do.

Phew! Long, but good post, eh?