Monday, December 14, 2009
The answer is: take a break. I plan to take just a few days to step away from things (well maybe I'll sort out the craft room a bit) so I can come back with fresh eyes. I'm happy with how I did achieving my goals for 2009, but its time to make new goals to see how my business can grow next year. Then comes the fun part, I've got some great new ideas that I've been too busy to try out. January is the perfect time for research and development, so I plan to dig in and hopefully will come up with some winning new ideas for 2010.
I plan to take a break from blogging for a while too, see you on the flip side!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I chose from the Carnival series, but the flowers are also drop dead gorgeous, it was a tough choice.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Its so much fun to play with, here is a flake I made earlier:
Monday, November 30, 2009
Its been a while since I updated the candy corn project. I tried out recipe number four - popcorn candy corn balls for a post thanksgiving party this weekend. This recipe turned out to be way more popular than number 3. The recipe was from farley's and sathers candy company. I added a tablespoon of cinnamon to the melted marshmallows which turned out to be a yummy choice.
The only other thing I would do different would be to make a half recipe - three bags of popcorn is a lot!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The artists of Showme Etsy have not only amazed me with their artistic talents, but have also helped me grow as a business woman by sharing many years of know-how. I'm thankful for having found such a supportive group of friends.
I strongly encourage everyone to shop handmade this holiday season to support individual artists instead of national retail stores and the Showme Etsy team store is an excellent place to start.
Monday, November 23, 2009
First, I posted my 182nd photo in my craft 365 journey - that means I'm halfway to the finish line! On January 1st 2009, when I started taking a 'picture a day' celebrating the role of handcrafts in my life I never imagined the kind of things that would pop up. I knew I would never make it to 365 in one year, but my goal was to finish within two years - so I feel like I'm on pace.
Second of all, I made it to over 100 items listed in my etsy shop. This is a pretty big deal for me. When I was setting up my business goals for 2009 I was still struggling to keep 2 pages worth listed online, but I knew I needed to be more consistent for my business to grow. With any luck my number will fall below 100 again as I get more holiday sales but that's a problem I'd be happy to have.
To celebrate I'm running a giveaway contest on my facebook fan page. If you want a chance to win leave a comment on the fan page wall before Tuesday at 11:59. http://www.facebook.com/CandyCalamity
Friday, November 20, 2009
This weeks Illustration Friday theme: music. Seems beautiful, right? Somehow my mind skipped right past beautiful and straight to creepy with this pen and ink drawing of earworms (a piece of song you get stuck in your head is an earworm) I've got like 9 different songs stuck right now, maybe its making me crazy.
Please note that my earworms use old school headphones, not any namby-pamby earbuds
If you are not already a fan of Candy Calamity on Facebook, I just added a fan box button over in my left sidebar to make becoming a fan super easy. I'm planning a special promotion early next week for facebook fans only, so check it out.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Check out Squishy Sushi's other lovely eco-friendly recycled paper jewelry: here
Monday, November 9, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
If you look closely you'll see that I sketched this on the back of an envelope (hey if its good enough for the Gettysburg address its good enough for me) I think I will keep the pen and ink style for my drawings for a while, but I may just graduate to real paper for next week. Learn more about the contest at www.illustrationfriday.com/
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
In the spirit of the holiday I decided it would be a good time to feature the next installment of my candy corn project. Recipe #3 comes from the Farly and Sather's (makers of candy corn) website. When I first heard about 'Candy Corn Pretzel Salad' I admit I was scared; candy, cream cheese, pretzels and jello just don't seem like they should ever go together, but I couldn't stop thinking about it and found myself reaching for the necessary ingredients when I was at the grocery store yesterday.
The first layer is pretzels, sugar, and butter cooked together. I guess this is like making a graham cracker crust only with pretzels - that's justifiable. Plus it smelled pretty good cooking.
Layer two features coolwhip, cream cheese, sugar, and candy corn. It resembles my own candy corn concoction from the other day, so I guess I can't knock it.
Layer three is orange jello and more candy corn. I did mess up here and used a small box of jello instead of the big box, in my defense I don't think more jello was going to make this mess better. The only nice thing I have to say about this layer is that candy corn and pretzels are not the weirdest thing I've seen in Jello (That honor goes to corndog jello)
Here is a finished slice. The final report is that this dish is not as horrifying as I thought it would be. Special thanks to Derek and Kim for humoring me and eating a slice. With all the sugar it is really too sweet (even for me and my gigantic sweet tooth) and the salty pretzels just arent able to balance it out, especially once they are soaked in jello.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Craft 365 - day 158
Originally uploaded by candy_calamity
Just realized I forgot to post the update to my original craft race post.
I'm pretty pleased with my improvement. Same set up, 12 octagonal pyramid ornaments. This time my final score was 3 hours, 53 minutes, or 19 minutes per ornament.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
(If you were wondering recipe number one is mix candy corn with salted peanuts and eat like crazy)
Recipe #2 (working title: Sweet monkey love)
Chop up 1 banana, place on plate
cover with whipped cream or cool whip (I used reddiwip in my recipe)
Sprinkle liberally with candy corn.
This was a super yummy snack - I would definitely consider it a step up from plain candy corn.
Clearly I need help in the naming department, any suggestions left in the comments would be appreciated.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Its all the beauty of a full painting, in a tiny package that you can wear around with you. Sagittarius Gallery also paints amazing full size pieces both on etsy and in several exhibitions, such as this beautiful landscape:
Sunday, October 18, 2009
First - tentative no more- I finally got confirmation that I will be at the Edwardsville High School Craft show. This is by far the biggest show I've done (270 crafters each year), I'll be in Gym A, booth AF5 if you're looking for me.
Second - A new show has been added to my schedule. I'll be participating in Ladies Night at the Town and Country Melting Pot October 28th. They offer a four course fondue meal, drink specials, and door prizes. It will be great fun for a group of friends, hope to see you there. See my events calendar for details.
Finally - My pasticcio resin earrings were featured today on stlhandmade.com! Check it out: here
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Proceeds go to the Susan G Komen Foundation. If you're interested, shop fast; looks like these boobs are flying out of the store.
Monday, October 12, 2009
1. Bring food! More then you think you'll need. Keep it neat so you can safely eat at your booth, but nothing brings down a show more then a rumbly tummy.
2. Make friends with the sellers around you. You're going to be spending a lot of time together, so you might as well be booth buddies (this goes double for a two day show)
3. Keep smiling! They say that smiling even if you don't feel like it will make you happier, I'm hoping it will also make for happier customers.
4. Print out an up-to-date inventory and take notes on it during the show - track what sells, note what you'll need more of and most importantly: know what needs to be taken off etsy when you get home! There's nothing worse than trying to play a matching game with what's online and what's at home.
5. Don't wear a watch or keep your cell phone clock in easy reach. For me clock watching when things are slow can slow time down abysmally. Also, I have never once accidentally missed that a show was over because I didn't know what time it was.
6. Wear layers, most shows are either too hot or too cold and you won't know which until its too late.
7. Do consumer research. People watch to see what types are at that show, who comes up to your booth, and who sails past without stopping. Which pieces get picked up the most? If a customer seems happy to chat ask how they heard about the show, what they are looking for, and what they like best. If you are super organized take notes for next year.
8. Have fun! I always say 'If I was in it for the money I'd be an actuarial scientist' Yes, I am running a business, but I also want to have fun doing what I do; craft shows can be a blast, as long as I follow my rules.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
When I was in highschool my mom gave me a spoon ring which she had made when she was in high school. It's awesome and I still wear it often. This week I'm paying tribute to all the awesome things that can be made from spoons.
First up JJ Evensen Art who makes these funky coat hangers from spoons. They also have fork hangers which is cool - I appreciate equality among utensils.
Next we have Prime Chimes, who I had the pleasure to meet in person at last weeks Green Homes Festival Craft Show. Their spoon wind chimes are so beautiful and melodic I actually ended up buying some for myself before the show ever started!
Finally we have this graceful fork business card holder from Goorsend Jewelry. Goorsend Jewelry also sells a huge assortment of spoon rings (my first spoon love) I think its safe to say if you want they've got it.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
So what's inspiring you?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I'm finally happy with how my recycled christmas card ornaments have been turning out so here is what I did Wednesday:
10:00 - start time!
10:47 - Picked out the cards I would be using from my collection, organized them into piles, and traced the templates onto the card fronts. I decided to make 12 as thats what fit on my table well.
1:12 - Cut out everything and laid out the pieces for gluing
Between 1:12 and 4:30 I took 30 minutes for lunch plus a 15 minute internet break (what can I say I'm not a distance racer)
4:30 - scored all folds, first gluing (attach floss loop and bottom), and second gluing (the cone)
5:30 - All done!
Final score: 405 minutes
Time per ornament: 33.75 minutes
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Look at those tiny little eye patches!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Craft 365 - day 131
Originally uploaded by candy_calamity
Today I hit day 150 of my craft 365 challenge - each day I photograph one crafty thing that was part of my day and upload it to flickr. On the Candy Calamity blog I'll be sharing my favorite picture from each month. These pink and gray earrings posted on August 24th are my favorites from last month.
You can find them currently in my etsy shop: here
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
First is this dramatic folding technique by Paul Haeberli
I haven't figured this one out yet, but I know I'll get it soon.
The second is FoldingTrees.com
I found a great tutorial there for kusudama flowers which I used for my wedding, but I finally had the time to check out the rest of their site. Turns out, every tutorial is a great tutorial, I'll be busy with paper projects for weeks as every post they make is fun and irresistible.
Monday, September 14, 2009
From the candy calamity blog you will see a new show calendar I added to the sidebar. I'll be keeping that up to date so its a good place to check and see where to find me locally.
I've got seven shows planned this season, which is quite a bit more then I did last year, and I'm pretty excited to get going. Here they are:
Sept 19th: Grovefest
Sept 26th: Green Homes Festival
October 3rd and 24th: Towergrove Farmers Market
November 7th: Eureka High School Craft Show
November 14th and 15th: Edwardsville High School Band Craft Fair (tentative)
December 5th: Artropy by Showme Etsy
and the first show is this up coming Saturday, which means its time to get busy!!!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Plus she covers the local trees with doilies - lacy trees are just wild!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I started making bracelets from folded candy wrappers while I was in college. Years later, when I thought about turning my hobby into a business, I knew that I would never make it unless I could create dozens of bracelets or more. Since deciding to go for it, I have make close to 100 bracelets, many candy wrapper coin purses, and even some purses made from folded potato chip bags. That equals thousands of tiny folded pieces.
So what was so wrong with the call center? My brain was forced to spend tedious hours thinking about things like satisfaction scores, efficiency quotas, and demographics. It was repetition for the brain, not the hands; a far cry from my beloved candy wrapper folding.
When I do my folding, my hands fall into a familiar rhythmic pattern, my body relaxes, and my mind moves beyond the worries of today. After a few minutes I no longer think about what to fix for dinner, what chores need to be done, or other mundane things. Instead I dream of future projects to be, the possibilities of tomorrow, or sometimes simply nothing. The allure of the daily moment of Zen is what draws many crafters back to their craft time and time again, be it knitting, cross stitch, painting, lamp working, or even making jewelry out of candy wrappers.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Visit his website to make some for yourself: http://www.marshallalexander.net/