Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday Shipping...

A fellow artist mentioned that the price of shipping supplies is becoming outrageous for their framed art; luckily I’ve always managed to find cheap materials. While some of the following ideas don’t really support the ‘handmade’ mentality, they do help cut the cost of packaging:
  1.  Try your local dollar shop for packs of bubble envelopes, mailing labels, packing tape and bubble wrap. The big chains seem to have the best selection at the lowest prices but do keep in mind that since dollar stores have a little bit of everything, you may need to try more than one location to get the amount of materials you need for a holiday seasons worth of shipping.
  2.  Another great source of lower priced shipping materials (while not as cheap as a dollar store) would come from places like Wal-Mart and Target. While they don’t have prices as low as dollar stores, they usually have larger pack sizes (think envelopes in packs of 10 and gigantic rolls of bubble wrap) and more stock on hand meaning you don’t need to try more than one location to get everything you need.
  3. Visit the after holiday sale event, for tissue paper, tags, boxes and ribbon during this time you can find super discounted pricing on packing supplies and boxes.
  4.  Also, try your local shipping offices and see if they have any cheap shipping supplies. While most are overpriced, some shippers do offer very cheap supplies online to get you to use their online shipping tools, it’s worth checking into.

 I’m lucky - mailing jewelry is far easier and cheaper than mailing most other types of artwork. Most of my items are small, lightweight, fit in the smallest size shipping box and can be sent with a relatively small amount of postage. I hope this little list helps reduce your shipping cost!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Use a Coaster Dude!

Felt Coasters
We entertain a good bit and always start with drinks and appetizers in the living room. Our friends and family are generally well mannered and always respectfully of our home with one exception, the use of drink coasters. When guests dress up for an evening at our house, they’re expecting a sophisticated event: superb food, a relaxing atmosphere, great conversation, fine china... the works.

Red Elm Coasters
Our home is not a lofty castle, but it is our little castle. I’ve read that lack of respect for belongings is similar to dragging one's cashmere coat through the mud--the idea that if you can afford it, you can afford to have it maintained, abused, neglected, or replaced. Honestly, I can't afford to be cavalier about ruining the furniture. I love entertaining and enjoy our guests, I just wish they would be more mindful of where they leave their cocktail glasses and always use a coaster.

Fused Glass Coasters

Etsy has hundreds of fun, funky, and traditional coasters; I think I’ll purchase some before the holidays. All coasters pictured in this blog are available for sale. Just click on each picture to see the Etsy listing. Thanks for stopping by…cheers!

Very Cute Bear Rug Coasters

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Postcards a Lost Art….

Today I received a postcard in the mail, my only traditional postcard in more than a decade. It wasn’t an invitation, “Save the Date” or “We’ve Moved” card; it was a picture postcard from a friend traveling in Greece. I must confess receiving the card thrilled me. This piece of snail mail, possibly left at the reception desk of a hotel, dropped in a mailbox, or taken to the local post office, made its mysterious and most likely grueling journey by truck, train, donkey—or whatever it was— and finally by plane to Atlanta. Postcards are indeed a lost art.

The terrific thing about postcards was and still is their vast variety. The possibilities are endless: the Eiffel Tower, Carlsbad Caverns, or any other famous tourist attraction. It could have a picture of a donkey wearing a sombrero, the champion hog at the Iowa state fair, or even a kitschy motel in Kalamazoo. Almost every business in this country, from a funeral home to a fancy resort and spa, had a postcard once upon a time. Today postcards are no longer a first-class marketing tool. We use the phone or internet to communicate; sadly postcards have become rare beyond tourist attractions.

I believe that postcards then and now contain masterpieces of minimalist verbal art; since unlike letters, postcards provide a brief and concise glimpse into someone’s life. It marks a brief moment in time when the writer thought enough of you to share their journey. I love postcards and I will make a greater effort to keep the tradition alive for myself and loved ones. I hope you will too.

Here are some great postcard sets that I found on Etsy.

Hundreds of creative postcards are for sale in many Esty shops; make someone's day by sending a handwritten postcard. It only takes a minute or two..... Cheers!

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