Thursday, July 28, 2011

Here's to hoping

Yesterday I spent all day writing listings for the shop. After 12 long hours and feeling like I was writing for the J. Peterman catalog, I have listed everything (well just about) I have made so far for the shop. I felt hugely successful yesterday. It all looks like very little but it takes about 15 minutes or so to do each listing. Accomplishment!!!!!!!!! So now I can try to stay on top of additions instead of trying to take nine billion pictures and then writing 25 listings.

Grace spent most of the day hanging out next to me in her bumbo chair chewing on anything she can get her little hands on. Her teeth are really moving around in there. She is also getting so much more coordinated. She can grasp things, she reaches for me when I go to pick her up, she grabs my face for kisses (melt my heart)and she is using her excersaucer to its fullest potential which gives me a break from being her main source of entertainment. In turn, I did all those listings and got a whole lot of cleaning done.

Today, a friend of mine is coming over and we are going to spend the day beading. I got up this morning and panicked about what would be for lunch, since I didn't really give lunch much thought while at the grocery store over the weekend and I eat cereal everyday. So I laid in bed with Grace and thought about what was in the fridge, freezer, or the pantry. Then I remembered all the veggies in the fridge. So I had a cup of coffee, fed the babe, and cut up lots of veggies and roasted them. It's odd to have the house smell so savory at 7a.m. but I'm not complaining, it smells really good. Now I can't wait for lunch! I have whole wheat wraps and mozzarella cheese and I'm thinking some sort of balsamic reduction sauce. MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Back to beads... I am going to try to knock out some simpler things today and maybe start something a bit more complex. Oh. And I have a beaded multi-strand necklace that has been sitting patiently waiting to be twisted and finished.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A bit late today.

Grace is having a battle of the teeth. She's teething and it's a bear today. I have gotten very little done as she has been very clingy today. I don't mind the clingy thing at all because I love the " I need my Mommy" feeling but I was hoping to get some things done today. Like cleaning. I am pretty sure that a giant dust bunny waved and said good morning to me on my way to the coffee pot. I managed to vacuum the middle floor of the house and dump all the laundry over the banister so that I can start bringing it down in loads and get it in to the washer. I started the master bath yesterday and deemed it unfit for use until complete disinfection has taken place. There has been no further progress on it either. SO, tonight will be a pizza type night and I hope to get a fair amount of cleaning done. And tylenol will be Grace's bestie while I try to clean. Poor baby. I feel her chompers trying to cut through. As much as I don't want her to get teeth cause the gummy smile is so darn cute, I hope they cut through soon so she doesn't have much pain.

I did get pictures taken of more of my pieces though. So I will post them for sale tomorrow around lunchtime. I think that's when things should get posted. It seems to me people internet shop while eating lunch at work. Maybe I'm wrong. I guess I will find out.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Monday!

OK. I didn't get nearly as much done over the weekend as I had hoped. I think total I made four necklaces and two pairs of earrings. I did order some new beads online and they will hopefully be here by the end of the week and I picked up a few things while we were out yesterday. It's supposed to be somewhat nice out tomorrow so I will take pictures of all the pieces I haven't taken photos of yet and get them posted. Some folks I have spoken to on etsy say that the more items you have listed the mor esales you will have. I am hoping my first sale comes soon. My Friday featured bracelet brought a whole bunch of views to the site but sadly no sales. Some folks did "favorite" my pieces so at least they will see some of my new stuff and hopefully check back on my store.

Today we are going to Longwood Gardens for the afternoon. We are meeting my mom around lunchtime and walking the gardens and then she is going to come here for dinner. Before going out with her I am going to try to finish two necklaces up and manage to take a shower. It's 8 am now... maybe just one necklace and a shower??!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Things may be a-changin'

Early morning posting due to the fact that my friend is coming over to give me a hand with all of my web based stuff. I am not technologically savvy at all. Not even a little. She, on the other hand, is going to school for it, and even before she went to school for it, she was good at it. Anyways, she is using me for a project and some experience and I am using her for her savvy. So we are going to fancy some things up, like this blog since it is only as "built" as I could make it with a template, and we are going to figure out how to spread/ build a bigger fanbase so that my etsy site is seen more. I am really routing to have that first sale by the end of the month so that leaves me with a week and two days. Think I can do it? I'm trying/hoping!

And this weekend will be full of beading! I have not been at all productive this week. I think I have made like three pairs of earrings and that's about it. Pathetic! Need to do some catch up.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Yesterday ended up being a bit different than I thought it was going to be. I went to the new bead store but the prices were astronomical. Not like "gee, that's a bit pricey" but like a 1200% markup on an item I already purchased. So needless to say we didn't buy anything there and have no plans to in the future. Grace did have a good time looking at all the colors though. We bought a fair amount at gymboree so Grace is very well styled going into fall. And we had lunch with my mom. We did not have time to go out to visit with the slobbermonster, but we will see him soon enough anyways. I only got one item listed yesterday because I got sidetracked building a facebook fan page and that required a bit more attention than I thought it would have. We joined an etsy FB fan page and got "mobbed" last night so I got some visibility by other members and enough "likes" to attain a username making it easier to find my page.
Cheap plug:

Today I will get some more listings posted before lunchtime. Maybe some more photos taken. My mother in law is coming to see the babe and do lunch. And fingers crossed after that I can get back to using creative juices and get some pieces made. I haven't made anything in three days and I have a nagging feeling on my back. It's annoying. I feel like I should just devote Xhours a day to creating and that this time should only be interrupted by Grace, who is never an interruption. If I want to make this business my job then it should hold job hours not convenience hours. Let's see if we can make that work...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I am a self admitted, a facebook addict. Like most of the people of this world I am guilty of checking it a million times a day. I think after having the baby though I may be down to a half a million checks a day. But this morning, in the name of business boosting, I have set up a facebook fan page for HarmonyandGrace. At least I think I set up a fan page. My technological savvy is extremely limited so there is no telling what I really set up this morning. We shall see how it goes. I have asked my fellow etsyians to go over to the link I posted and take a look to make sure I didn't miss anything like you  know, the shop's name, or like what I sell, etc.

Today we are going to check out a new bead shop nearby. I'm looking for a few things that are pretty particular and the bead shop that we normally go to doesn't have much of a selection in that area. It's strange to think that a store full of thousands of beads (all beautiful) doesn't have what I'm looking for but I guess since I like the thrill of the hunt it's ok. And Grace likes to look at all the colors and sparkles so it doesn't get much better. She does awesome at the bead store. She just hangs out in her carrier and looks at everything. She doesn't even make a peep. It's strange. It's like the only time she will spend an hour and a half and make no noise. I talk to her and hand her stuff t feel and she is mesmerised. After the bead store we are going to gymboree to hit up the sale and spend our gymbucks that we earned a couple of months ago and then we head out to Mommom's house to see the slobbermonster (my mom's golden retriever) and the progress she has made on her garden out back of the house. I am going to try to take some pictures this morning before it gets to be a hundred degrees outside and get new items posted before we head out because traffic in the shop was down yesterday. Yesterday was the first day in the past week that I didn't post a new item and traffic dropped and I don't need to see a trend to understand that.

The link (I think) to the facebook page is:!/pages/HarmonyandGrace/259121527435245?sk=wall

Stop on by and take a look, share with your friends and give me a "like".

I will attempt to post pictures of my shop's items tomorrow when I have a bit more time to figure out how to do that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's HOT!!!

I know I get to stay inside for most of the day. I only really go out to walk the dogs since we stay home most of the time but over the past few days I have been going outside to take pictures of my jewelry so I can get it posted online in the hope of making some sales.  I asked some of my etsy teams for some advice on what I could do better in my shop and the consensus was that I needed better pictures and more items. So I have a whole bunch of stuff that I have made but not yet taken pictures of or posted and I am trying to work on that. The baby only allows me to do so much at once and if I am trying to write a listing she decides that it would be the best time to have a meltdown.

So the things on my radar are:
Take pictures
List more items
Make this blog look like I have a life- such as pictures and links to stuff like my etsy shop
I am going to look at some more stores in a small local town to see if I can get my stuff in to sell

Blah- I just feel like my life is an intermittent windshield wiper. I get a bunch of stuff done and then I have to wait to get more accomplished or finished. NO, I am not complaining about being home with our daughter at all. It's just really still very new to me to not be able to start something and complete it in the same effort. It's kinda weird and kinda frustrating but I wouldn't want it any different. I love being home with her and getting to see every change in her and go through each day with everything new. New laugh, new scream, new food, new smile, frown, grump, squeal,movement, etc. I love it all and in between each new thing I hope to get this business moving. I haven't been excited about something like this in a long time. My last job became very monotonous. I didn't have to think at all, it just went like a very well oiled machine which was great in some ways but I always liked a challenge. So now I guess I have a big challenge... I am going to raise our daughter and make every attempt to get this business off the ground.

Ok, well I am going to try to figure out this picture thing so at least people can see the reason I live and breathe (Grace) and the current bane of my existence (upstart business).

I took this yesterday when we were outside photographing jewelry. I think I ended up with more pictures of Grace than the jewelry, which I guess in the long run will be more sacred.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

It's the weekend!

Not that the day of the week matters too much to me 'cause it's the same routine everyday but the hubs is home and that means I have some adult company, two-way conversation, and some brief breaks from baby related things. Oh, and I get to have him to some projects to help with getting the etsy business thing up and running. I had an idea last week about building a rack that I could store the earrings that I make on. So we bought the items we needed to build it last weekend and he cut the wood in the middle of the week and put it together yesterday. So today he started painting it. Now I think I want him to make a place for necklaces to hang, so we will figure out how to make that at some point. I'm sure it will require a trip to either the craft store or home depot. Most of our weekends require a trip to home depot.

So on to the etsy shop. I have alot of "looks" and "favorites" but no sales. I know it's vacation season and I have ALOT of competition but I would have thought maybe one sale by now. So I took to the etsy group boards this morning and asked for some help. I asked if people would take a look at my store and then give me some feedback of what they thought. I only have had a few answers so far but they all said to add more or my items to create a bigger store and get a bigger footprint in the market and also to get better pictures of my jewelry. I started taking some different pictures on Friday this week. I admit they are way better than the first pictures that I was using but I still have a long way to go until I will be satisfied with the images. I keep trying different things with lighting and background so it's just a constant work in progress, just like the rest of my life.

Well, the babe is fussing so I shall go and tend to her. Until later...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Can we go yet?

Good morning! We were up alot last night and finally gave in to starting our day at six a.m.. Yesterday was ok in productivity. We got two bracelets and one necklace made. I have to admit that the necklace is AWESOME!!! I might make one for myself to keep. My mom came over for dinner and we went to bed at a reasonable hour with a tired baby. She went down around 9:30 and slept until 11:30. Then up and down until 2:30a.m.. I watched tv for a while and nodded off every fifteen minutes or so but little-miss-I-don't-wanna-sleep-through-the-night-anymore kept kicking and chirping so another restless, broken night of sleep on the books.

So. Today. Here we are. It's 9 a.m. and I have already made a pair of earrings and plotted out a few other things. I loaded google web analytics to monitor the traffic on my shops site to see when people are surfing the web the most so I can figure out the best time to load new items to the site. I have surfed through some other shops to see what their gimick is and how they are cornering the market. I have had two cups of coffee, eaten breakfast, changed three diapers, fed the baby twice and am waiting. Waiting for the bead store to open. Can we go yet? I feel like a kid waiting to go somewhere fun. I got up all early with anticipation only to have to wait 'cause the destination isn't open yet. It's kind of funny Staying home with the baby all the time, now I get excited about leaving the house to go just about anywhere. It still takes me like two hours to prepare to go anywhere since I have to get ready and I have to get her ready, and then I have to pack her up and make sure that we have all our bases covered for anything the may arise while we are out. Diapers, milk, wipes, extra outfit, etc. Just pack the entire nursery... it's easier.

The goal of the day is:

Go to the bead supply store.
Come home.
Feed the baby.
Put Grace down for a nap.
Work on projects.
Come up with a gameplan to photograph finished products.
Play around with ideas.
Feed the baby.
And probably be baby-centric focused for the remainder of the evening.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day One of Blogging

Okay, let's see how this goes...

This whole blogging thing is new to me but I feel like it's a way to keep track of thoughts and ideas and things that have happened throughout the day so that I don't lose them to the "mpmmy brain".

I'm trying to start a business. I keep having this thought run through my head like a million times a day. I need something to keep my old working world brain going as I am currently employed by my fove month old daughter who is quite demanding but she doesn't ask me for monthly P&L reports or hold me accountable for an entire business like I am used to. So my own business... mine. Something I like to do but never had much time or drive to be productive before. Beading. So as of two weeks ago I started an shop of handmade jewelry that I am quickly building a generous inventory of. Now if only I could get people to see my shop over the like million other handmade jewelry shops on etsy. So not only am I a shop owner, jewelry designer, creator, procurer of materials, laborer, and photographer but now I have to be a marketer as well... oh and wait............. I AM A FULL TIME MOMMY! Well now I am kinda glad I handle stress pretty well.

I will attempt to get my thoughts out here every day because I need somewhere to store all of them. On the other hand, as I stare at my daughter in the excersaucer, I get very little free time because naps a very rare commodity around here, so thoughts may be short but I'm sure this journey is going to be an adventure.

Oh look... my first edit already... I should have mentioned that the title of the blog is HarmonyandGrace, Grace is my daughter and HarmonyandGrace is the name of my etsy shop.