Time to reevaluate…

I have had my Etsy shop on “vacation mode” for about a month now trying to catch up on orders I have in. I specialize in custom quilts, and though ten orders might not really sound like a lot, when they take about three months to make, it takes up a lot of time….and time is money. I am really no business woman. It’s all very overwhelming and confusing to me sometimes. So, I have been pondering whether I should cut back on taking customs orders in general, or just offer simpler patterns and quilts of a much smaller size, like baby quilts or throw size quilts, or if I should do away with quilts in general! I do a lot of custom guest book quilts for baby showers or weddings, and have done family tree quilts as well. So, here are some pictures of what I have made and some things I have currently for sale. I could use some serious feedback or any advice anyone might have in making a more profitable business, and if any of my items stands out to them! Thanks!

Superman Baby Tag Blanket1. Superman sensory blanket.2.Guest book tree quilt 3.Patriotic quilt4. Baby pinwheel quilt 5.Custom baby shower quest book quilt 6.Charlotte’s Web book purse 7. Custom team quilt

Personalized Mugs for Kids and Adults

For some reason, I really love mugs of all shapes and sizes.  I feel like I have a tea cup or sturdy mug suitable for whatever mood strikes me at the moment. A dainty tea cup for sipping some Darjeeling while swooning over Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.  A nice blue striped one on melancholy days to remember the sweet friend who gave it to me.  A brown and cream polka-dotted one scrounged up at a flea market circa 1955 when I feel like baking. And, of course on a day for remembering, there is the one adorned with the face of “Morris” the loveable feline who once was the face of a cat food commercial, the same mug my grandmother used to have.  I love mugs, because I know whatever is in them is something that will bring me comfort.  Hot tea, a cup of joe, hot chocolate, or steamy soup all have a therapeutic way of warming up the soul.   So, this Christmas, I set about making several personal mugs for people on our list. I know some people feel like mugs are mere clutter for your cupboard, but I say you can never have too many!

So, here are a few of the ones I came up with. The first are monogrammed mugs that I made with ceramic paints found at any craft supply store. **A tip I love sharing is that when selecting colors, I usually stick with primary colors (red, yellow, blue, white, and black) because any color of the rainbow can be made from these colors, so if you are like me and a little cheap, it helps save money!  I used stencils I had on hand, handy for many personalized gifts, and taped them onto mugs I found for a song in pretty colors.I painted the letters in a solid color, then decorated each cup with a unique and delicate design. **Another tip when painting is to try not to paint too much over the edge of your stencil. I made this mistake, and part of my design started to come off with it when I went to remove it.  Remove stencil, allow it to dry and follow instructions on bottle for setting the paint.For those of you who have kiddos, we made some personal mugs that are great for gifts for grandparents, teachers, etc.  We started out using a permanent marker , with lots of newspaper under the mug so that none of it was transferred to our worktable (aka the kitchen table in our case) and I had the kids draw a design on the mug.  This was for our next door neighbor, so my daughter drew his face on it. I was so proud! She also wrote his name on it, with a little help ;).After she was done, I went over her picture with ceramic paints .   She helped me pick out the colors, of course.  Again, allow it to dry, then follow the instructions on the back of the bottle to set the paints so they are permanent.