Spring Bash Shopping Guide: Mother's Day Gifts

Mark your calendars, Mother's Day is May 14th. Let's honor those super-women in your life with something special and handmade this year. I have you covered for all the mamas you know:  Mom, Mother-in-law, Grandmother, and maybe something special for yourself!  You can find it, smell it, and feel it all at the Spring Bash on May 7th. Check it out!

Ceramic Planter from Kristen Saksa Juen

Ceramic Planter from Kristen Saksa Juen

Tassle Hoop Earrings from Mesa Blue

Tassle Hoop Earrings from Mesa Blue

Natural Boutique Soap from My Dearest Danae

Natural Boutique Soap from My Dearest Danae

Floral Mandala Floral Specimen Art from Glass House

Floral Mandala Floral Specimen Art from Glass House

BOHO Natural Bead Bracelets from Expressions Bracelets

BOHO Natural Bead Bracelets from Expressions Bracelets

Small Batch Soy Candles from Luna Tigre

Small Batch Soy Candles from Luna Tigre

Marbled Leather Valet Tray from Byndr Leather Goods

Large Angled Serving Board from Gaston Made

Large Angled Serving Board from Gaston Made

Book Review: Water Paper Paint

  Today, I'm sharing a post from my own blog about an art book that my daughter and I have been enjoying.  Check it out!


My daughter and I are always looking for fun and easy ways to get creative together. She is a five year old with a vision, so teaching her new ways to experiment and blossom is extra rewarding. We YouTube a lot, but there is no better inspiration than words and pictures right in front of us to sound-out and emulate.


Today, we cracked open the beautifully designed, inspiration of a book, Water Paper Paint by Heather Smith Jones.  Her eyes lit up with possibility page after page until she finally landed on our exciting quick project, creating an abstract painting using straws to blow watercolor around the paper.  This was also an opportunity to teach some basic color theory, as the watercolor inevitably streamed into previous colors.  This is the equivalent of magic to a kid, "Blue and red made purple, Mama!"


If you are looking to begin painting with watercolor, this book is a great place to start. I have been painting quite awhile, and even found it to be enjoyable. It reminds me how fun it can be to just sit down and play with a medium. The author's written voice was knowledgeable and approachable. The images are a trove of colors and variety, teaching confidence building techniques with simple instruction. This book would be especially interesting for those who are into art journaling. It is not a serious book with overwhelming words and in depth information. It is a book of watercolor exercises, encouraging success through practice and repetition.

Source: http://rhapsodyletterpress.com/journal/boo...

The secret ingredient...

to marbling Easter eggs is olive oil!  Make your standard dye with hot water, vinegar, and food coloring.  Then, add olive oil to the mix and stir!  Simple and magical, and makes a variety of effects!  Wishing you all a wonderful holiday, and happy Spring!


Apps You NEED For Your Creative Business

Good afternoon!  Allow me to introduce you to your new favorite time-saving, business organizing, unbelievably simple apps to grow your business.  You're welcome!

Photo by anyaberkut/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by anyaberkut/iStock / Getty Images

Spark  - This app sorts email into newsletters/personal/important -- Our favorite feature:  You can SNOOZE (!!!) an email so you can ignore it until you want to see it again, and schedule it for that time.

A Color Story - Is an app by the blogging and social media gurus at A Beautiful Mess.  This elegant photography app features a ton of filters and effects, and makes your photos look like visual candy.  You can delete all your other photo editing apps, this is the one.  

Cool Note:  This app's namesake is also a beautiful hashtag.  Check it out, and add it to your hashtag bank!  #acolorstory

Later - This app is the number one platform for scheduling posts on Instagram.  Simple and intuitive, this app allows you to work ahead and organize and manage your visual marketing content.  If you get really into it, you can use it on your computer to preview your grid, create a bank of most used hashtags, and learn what works through powerful analytics.

Linktree - Since we are fresh on Instagram talk, go ahead and download Linktree.  Instagram only gives you one spot to link to an outside resource.  Linktree directs Instagram followers to multiple links- your blog, portfolio, store, or other social media accounts, for example.

Wunderlist - What's the first step in getting a bunch of things done?  Write a list.  Now, imagine that that list can remind you, be collaborative with others, and be accessed from all of your devices.  There is barely any reason to have a brain anymore, this will remember everything for you.

Pipedrive - So, you are a huge wholesale success now and you are having trouble keeping track of all your sales.  This is where Pipedrive shines.  Manage all you're business contacts in one place, ensure follow-ups, and organize your sales.  Boom.

ATracker - This app is your time tracking fitbit.  List your tasks, then tap when you start a new one.  It keeps track of your time commuting, designing, sleeping, whatever you need.  This is especially helpful when you are working on a project with a client that is priced hourly.  Create a task for their project, and tap it when you begin.  Much better than winging it when it is time to invoice!


Wholesale Tips with Alexis

So, you have been making for awhile, and are ready for the next big leap onto store shelves? Our resident bath bomb guru, Alexis of Whipped Up Wonderful, has joined us today to share some wholesaling how-to's.  Check it out, and don't miss her upcoming class at Dallas Maker's Space, Etsy Dallas Presents: Wholesale for Beginners + Q&A for a more in depth look.  You can sign up for the class HERE, and use "LEARN" upon checkout for a surprise discount! 

Getting your toes wet with wholesale can be as simple as your local coffee shop saying “Hey! I love your stuff. Can I buy 20 pieces?” Or it can catch you by surprise when an out of state shop asks for $1,000 of merchandise as fast as you can send out. I’ve seen both scenarios, and it has taken me about three years to be ready for anything. Now, let’s get you ready.

1. Reevaluate your pricing

Let’s look at your pricing. A quick Google search will get you tons of calculators on the matter. They all boil down to a simple equation.

(Labor + Materials) x 2 = Wholesale Price

Wholesale Price x 2 = Retail Price or MSRP

Break out the calculator, and all the receipts and settle in. Draw up a cost sheet for your product. My cost sheet looks something like this:

Don’t forget to factor in the labels, packaging needed, or anything else that makes it a finished product.

How are these prices looking? If a necklace has a cost of $50, do you think that you could get a wholesale client to pay $100 for it?

This is a great time to assess making sure you are getting everything at the best prices. Are there corners you could cut and at what cost?

Let’s think ahead. You have a wholesale client who wants to buy 50 pieces, is there a price for 50 pieces vs 500? Consider tiered pricing. You may not need it for the first year you offer wholesale, but you will thank yourself later when you are in hot demand and have those prices at the ready!

2. Policies - I developed my policies based roughly on my retail policies, but they have changed slightly. It’s always okay to change up policies, but consistency instills confidence. Here is a list of policies I make sure I cover:

Minimum Order - What is the minimum amount you would offer to a wholesale client? There is no magic number as some stores have no minimums and some stores have thousands. Based on your price points in your store, what would be a nice amount to make a little section of a store looked filled out? I find keeping this out of the astronomical side makes me more friendly to Mom & Pop shops.

Minimum for ReOrders - would this be the same amount, or less? You want your client to keep shopping with you, and top up their displays. This is typically a smaller amount than the initial order minimum.

Exchange/Refunds/Damaged Goods - Unless you sell whatever that metal is that Captain America’s Shield is made out of, I guarantee you you will have some damages. They happen. What steps will you do to fix this?

What about unsold goods? Will you return them?

What will the shipping policies be on those decisions?

Again, there are no correct answers here, but I like to put myself in the shoes of the customer. I want to know that my supplier will have my back. If I’m treated well, I’ll shop there again!

Zip Code Protection - Some stockiest may have a shop in a small town. Will you zip code protect in case the shop 10 minutes away also wants to buy your stuff?

Perhaps only on shops that spend a specific amount per month/year?

Net Payment Options - Net payments is when you collect money when goods are delivered. Current popular options are Net 15, 30, 60 - which means if you ship out your goods, the store has 15, 30, or 60 days to pay. You may only want to offer this to repeat customers. You may not want to offer this at all.

Other Payment Options - Stockists usually aren’t giant corporations but rather Mom & Pop Shops. Will you offer any special options for your return clients? Perhaps deposits on orders then net options after delivery? Payment at time of shipping? There are a ton of options, and you’ll probably get asked for all of them! It’s okay to be flexible, but do what fits your company best!

3. Photographs

Okay! We ironed out all that money stuff. Now for “sellin’ it.”

Because you are an online company, your customers rely on the photos and descriptions you provide. Look over your photos. Are you going to make them Amazon ready and photograph everything on white? This actually is a good default to have for your line sheet later. Which brings us to…

4. Line Sheet & Order Forms

Because everything is online now, I’ve never had to worry about a physical Order Form. However, you may have local clients who expect you to pop by and help them with their stock.

Line Sheets are an easy to read list of the products you offer and their price. Some line sheets even show the prices available in bulk tiers ($/20 $/100 $/100)

On Etsy, it’s easy to fill up a line sheet with your existing inventory. Or you can make one yourself.

5. Making Your Items Shop Friendly

Sometimes we get too involved in our retail customers. How you package your items for them, might not work in a shop setting. Look at your packaging. Go shopping for similar items. Consider the best way your items will be displayed. Where will the price tags go? Will they hang on a rack or will they be displayed in a jar? You are in luck if you have a local shop. Go to the shop, and discuss options with the shop keeper. Different shop keepers have different real estate options.

6. Follow up!

You’ve done all the work, you’ve turned on your ‘Open’ Sign, now what?

FOLLOW UP! Shop keepers are often very busy and are pulled in a lot of different directions. Following up on emails is a good way to keep you in their mind, and keep them coming back.

Send out restock notifications, new product notifications, and stay ahead of the holidays. Your client will appreciate your attention to detail and your enthusiasm for keeping them stocked.

Weekend Update: 4.8.17

Take a break from Netflix this weekend and enjoy this amazing weather!  We have a couple of artists showing around the area tomorrow, so say "Hi!" and let them know Katrina sent you!

Mushtushy will be showing at the Bedford Artfest from 10am-6pm

Wandering Paper Co. will be at White Rock Market tomorrow from 8-1am.  More info HERE


Creative Small Business Goals for 2017 with Alexandra

My favorite thing about being a member of Etsy Dallas is growing and learning with other like minded creatives.  We are all in different places on our entrepreneurial journeys, and we learn what works and what doesn't, and support each other throughout.  Alexandra of Wandering Paper Co. is back with a follow-up to her last post with her goals for 2017.  I am so excited to see where her bright and minimal brand goes this year!


A little while back, I wrote a recap of my 2016 small business goals, so this week it’s time to focus on 2017. I can’t wait to share my goals with you, but before I do, I’d like to ask for your help! In order to accomplish these goals, I need some honest feedback from the general public. I’ve created a short branding survey to help guide my decision making for Wandering this year. If you are willing to fill it out, I would be most grateful! Thank you in advance for giving a little bit of time to help make Wandering Paper Co. better. I couldn’t do this without you!

Okay, on to the goals. It’s taken me a while to write this post is because I’ve had such a hard time narrowing down my list of goals. There are so many things I want to do, but some of them are just going to have to wait until next year. After giving it a lot of thought, here’s my final list of goals for 2017:


That's my new branding mood board up there! Now that WPC has a year under its belt, I’d like to thoroughly think through my storytelling and messaging, and build out a recognizable brand that my customers connect with. I put together this mood board to help guide the visual portion of branding, which includes color schemes, materials and textures, typography, and graphic elements. 

I also want to think through the way I choose to tell the Wandering Paper Co. story. This will mean thinking through a few key questions—namely, what sets Wandering Paper Co. apart, why has it been successful so far, and how does it connect with its audience on an emotional level? I’m excited to get started on this goal—stay tuned!


My goal with the WPC Pinterest is to showcase my work, but I also want to create a resource for other aspiring printmakers or creative business owners. The Pinterest page will provide solutions to common business questions and problems with links to helpful articles. It will also have lots of printmaking ‘how-to’ articles and inspiration. Plus, it will have boards dedicated to beautiful global décor examples and light-filled creative spaces to help us stay inspired and dream about the future. I really wish I'd had a resource like this when I was first starting out, so I can't wait to share it!

Follow us on Pinterest


This one's pretty simple. First, I will conduct a study of relevant search terms and keywords though Google Adwords and the results of my branding survey. Then I will optimize the WPC site for these terms with the goal of growing site traffic from Google searches. It's actually a really big undertaking, but it will be interesting to see how it affects site traffic!


Create more prints in the City Streets series, City Skylines series, and Pattern print series to round out each collection. A few prints currently in the works are New Orleans, Austin, and a new Fort Worth print to match the Dallas one. I've also been experimenting with some floral patterns, which brings me to my next goal...


A few items I’m considering: tea towels, napkins, notebooks, and calendars, as well as a line of wedding invitations (hence the florals.) What kinds of items would you like to see? Tell me in the survey!

So, there you have it—my 2017 goals. I’d love to hear your thoughts about these, so if you’d like to help me out, my branding survey is here. Thank you all so, so much for participating and being part of the Wandering Paper Co. story. I can’t wait to get started on these goals and see what 2017 has in store—it is humbling and scary and exciting all at once. Here’s to 2017!

Tax Basics with Yusef

Yusef Murphy, our very appreciated team accounting professional, has joined us today to break down some basics for every creative's "favorite" time of the year, TAX SEASON.  Enjoy, and don't panic!

It’s tax time. It’s the time of year when everyone begins to feel that sense of dread down in the pit of their stomach. They find everything else in the world to do except work on the taxes. For many business owners, small and large, taxes are a loathsome chore. But perhaps I can shed some light on what your taxes say about your business and why it matters. Sometimes a change in perspective can provide the extra motivation needed to tackle this sometimes cumbersome, but greatly important task.

For most small businesses, the tax return will service as the financial data for your business, especially if you are a cash basis business. The financial data presents 3 key indicators that imply a lot about your business:


This is the amount your business produces from the sale of its products or services. It also reflects the effectiveness of your operation, growth potential, and business strategy.


This is the amount your company spends to produce the service or products it sells. These expenses include the direct costs you incur to produce the product or service as well as the general administrative cost to run your business. This amount reflects the efficiency of your business operation.

Net Profit

This is the amount that the business takes home at the close of an operating cycle. This represents the profit of the business. This amount reflects the stability and health of your business.

Why this matters…

The goals of financial information are:

·       To help you make strategic and managerial decisions related to your business

·       Communicate the condition of your business to others

·       To help establish a framework for your business operations.


Your revenues, expenses, and net profit are the numbers you will need to direct the course of your business in the next operating cycle. These numbers will allow you to make adjustments in operating processes, set goals for growth, and create new strategies for increased profits.

Also, these number are used by lenders, investors, vendors and potential customers to evaluate the health, value and potential of your business.

Finally, these numbers establish a framework for your business operation. They will help you to identify tasks, procedures, and training that will be needed in order execute your business strategies.

The points of all of this, is to help you understand the importance of your tax preparation and to encourage you to embrace the process as an opportunity rather than a chore. Think of it like a report card. You want to be shooting for an “A”.

To help you in your preparation, here’s a list of items you’ll need to prepare your taxes:

·       Last year's business tax return

·       Articles of incorporation

·       Partnership agreement

·       Accounting records

·       Bank statements

·       Credit card statements

·       Payroll reports

·       Detail of asset purchases

·       Depreciation schedules

·       Detail of asset dispositions

·       Vehicle information

If there are any small business accounting or tax related questions that you may have, feel free to send them to me at aatpros@gmail.com

Yusef Murphy

Hulu Favorites with SaRatta

SaRatta of Expressions Bracelets is here to share her current Hulu favorites with us this week. I'm loving This is Us too.  It's like therapy getting that cry every week.  I don't know how I will survive until next season!

With a plethora of options available for your viewing pleasure, I am sure your brain feels a bit overwhelmed. My brain is totally overwhelmed and with a slight touch of AADD, I get lost just browsing the many lists and categories on Hulu Plus. But I LOVE HULU! Because I rarely watch a show when it actually airs (primarily because I am not a big fan of commercials and I am a little impatient) Hulu Plus is my favorite streaming service for watching current TV shows!

So to help you find a few good shows to binge on, here are my top five “must see shows” and a few bonus picks as well.

Get you a box of tissues, your blanket, warm fuzzy socks and a quiet space in the house and get ready to be hooked from the first episode.  Family centered shows have always tugged at my heart strings, but this show melts my heart and stirs my soul. It has great actors and a well written plot revolving around people who share a birthday.  I don’t want to spoil the show for anyone so I will leave it at that. Put it on your list for a day when you can binge watch for at least 5 – 6 hours. It will pull you in and not let you go.

We all have things we would like to change in our past, but changing the past can have a major, unwanted impact on our present and the future lives. Timeless, a sci –fi adventure drama, is the story of three individuals traveling time to try and stop a villain from altering the past in an effort to not change American history.  If history is changed it will have a huge impact on their lives and in some cases cause someone important to never be born! I think one of the most fascinating things about this show is the fashion. Seriously! The characters have to wear appropriate clothing for each decade they travel back to and it is simple fascinating to image yourself in that time period!  The season finale is a great cliff hanger and I can’t wait for season 2.

I’m a sucker for a show with good music, tailored suits and/or family drama and this show has it all! From a mother who has served 17 years for the crimes of the father to a father and son involved with the same woman, this show has scandal, dysfunction and love all wrapped up into a well written story by Lee Daniels.  With secrets revealed, revenge attacks planned, and original music almost every episode, you will surely be captivated with this story of the Lyon family!

If you haven’t figured out by now, I love sci – fi and the thought of time travel makes me giddy. Stephen Hawking said “Time travel may be possible, but it is not practical.” Agreed. But a great show or movie about time travel will have me hooked every time. 12 Monkeys is another great time traveling series that I just discovered. It opens on a grim and bleak post-apocalyptic 2043 where a plague has almost annihilated the human race.  Cole (the main character) is sent back in time to try and locate the person who created this virus and destroy it so he can save the human race. This story is based on the 1995 film of the same name and was just renewed for a 3rd season. I am half way through season one and still very intrigued.

When I cut the cord on cable, Nat Geo was the channel I missed most. I’m waiting for them to offer a streaming service so I can subscribe. In the meantime I am able to get my fix with Nat Geo shows offered on Hulu, Netflix or Amazon Prime. The Story of God explores the meaning of life, world religions, God and many of the big questions that humans have as it relates to these subjects. Each episode delves into one main question in an attempt to bring clarity or some better understanding if no real answer is available. Morgan Freeman is the absolute best host as he walks us thought the many questions in our minds and introduces us to the people who may have the answers.


That’s the top five of many other shows that I watch or have watched on Hulu. A few bonus shows on my list are: The Bachelor, Lucifer, Lethal Weapon (the series), Wayward Pines, 11.23.63., Harlot’s, and The Handmaid’s Tale (premieres April 26th). Go grab some coffee and start binging. 

Make Kawaii Bunny Charms with Katrina

Hey friends!  Katrina of Rhapsody Letterpress here today to share a fun, easy Spring project that you can do with your kids.  My daughter and I had a blast making these little Kawaii inspired bunny rabbit charms!  Now she wants to make all sorts of little characters!  Check out the tutorial below, and if you try it, show us on Instagram by tagging @etsydallas with #etsydallascrafts.

Purchase oven-bake clay like Sculpey and necklace chains at a craft store, and follow these simple steps.  You can place the hoop on the top behind the ears to have the charm lie flush.

kawaiibunnycharm (4).jpg
kawaiibunnycharm (3).jpg
Bake, then paint with fingernail polish, and dot the eyes and x the nose with a fine tip sharpie.

Bake, then paint with fingernail polish, and dot the eyes and x the nose with a fine tip sharpie.

Netflix Watchlist Spotlight

We asked SaRatta of Expressions Bracelets to share her Netflix watchlist. If you need to reach us this weekend, we'll be binge-watching a few of these...

I sit for hours upon hours in an office chair, surrounded by all my work. Everything I need is within arm’s reach. My hand stamping tools, metal blanks various jewelry supplies, computer and shipping supplies are all only a lean away from where I plant my bottom every morning. Because I work mostly by myself, I need entertainment at various points throughout the day. Netflix is one of those entertainment fillers. 

As a (self-proclaimed) Netflix connoisseur, I would like to share with you my Top 5 Netflix shows and why I watch them. Who knows, maybe you will fall in love with them as well. Here they are in no particular order:

SCI – FI! Need I saw more? Stranger Things is a science fiction series about the mysterious disappearance of a 12-year-old boy. It is a thrill ride from the first episode until the season finale! I have ALWAYS been fascinated with science fiction. Even as a child I read tons of sci-fi novels and mini–series. If it’s a mystery or something unexplained, I want to know about it.

What could be more thrilling (and frightening) than to find out you are mentally and emotionally connected to eight strangers around the globe? I mean you can literally feel their pain (and pleasure) and link with their thoughts! Sense 8 is a drama series about this very concept. This show feeds right into my love of anthropology. To have eight culturally different strangers tapping into each other’s minds was very intriguing to say the least. Still waiting on season two…

Ahhhh, The Kindness Diaries, a tear jerking, heartwarming, story of how amazing humans can be. From a best seller to a Netflix series, this is a tale about Leon Logothetis who travels the globe, literally, on the kindness of others. He embarks on this journey with no money, no food, no shelter, just getting from place to place on the kindness of others. I heard about this story at the last Women’s Conference I attended and I had to watch. It is truly one amazing story!

Love, marriage, affair, divorce, love and marriage again, all of these things can be found in this comedy – drama on Netflix. Two of the most unlikely women find themselves relying on each other as their husbands fall in love. I love a good story about girlfriends. This one was perfect as I watched the development of a friendship between two women who are the antithesis of each other. A must see! And Season 3 is out March 24.

Although not a Netflix original, this docuseries is one of my favorites to watch and re-watch. It’s a little known fact that I used to be an elementary school science teacher. I taught everything from aerology to zoology but astronomy was my favorite. In 1980 I was too young to know about the television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. So in 2014 when Seth MacFarlane decided to pay homage to Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" with Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, I was sold! Not to mention I have a science crush on Neil deGrasse Tyson. Nevertheless, it is a great, docuseries to watch.

And just in case you haven’t had enough, here are a few more of my favorites: Orange is the New Black, Luke Cage, Daredevil, Black Mirror, The OA and most recently, The Iron Fist. Happy Watching! 


DIY St. Patrick's Day Wreath

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and decorations are available at every store you visit, but it is always so much more fun to create your own. So here’s a quick and easy St. Patty’s Day wreath that can easily be transformed into a spring wreath after the 17th. I love using items long term so why not keep your wreath hanging? Just add a few pink and yellow flowers and you are ready for spring!

This simple wreath can go anywhere as decoration: over the fireplace, in a classroom, or (my favorite) on your door.

To get started you will need a few items listed below. I purchased all items at 50 percent off at Hobby Lobby. Catch sale items, clearance items to make this DIY even more thrifty!


1.     Hot Glue Gun

2.     Glue Sticks

3.     Scissors

4.     Jute Twine (any size, your preference)

5.     Lighter

6.     Foam wreath (14”)

7.     Ribbon (your choice of patterns/width) I bought ¼”, 1.5” and 2.5” ribbon spools

8.     Burlap Ribbon (about 5” wide)

9.     Mini Kraft Pendant Banner

10.   Assortment of embellishments

11.  Glitter Letter Stickers

Now let's get to crafting! 



Wrap foam wreath with burlap ribbon. Adhere it at the beginning (of your wrapping) and at the end (of your wrapping) with hot glue.


Wrap your next ribbon (shorter width than your burlap, but widest width of your remaining ribbon) around the wreath. I used green burlap. Wrap this layer farther apart than the first layer. Use hot glue to adhere. 


Before wrapping ribbon, burn the edge of the ribbon (where you cut it) to keep it from unraveling.  Wrap next ribbon (shorter width than previous ribbon) around the wreath. Repeating Step 2.


Tie a knot to keep twine in place or hot glue it to ribbon. Wrap twine around foam wreath.  Tie off or hot glue ends to ribbon.


Create a few ribbon bows from your 1/4" ribbon and arrange your embellishments.


Hot glue your ribbon bows and embellishments onto the wreath.

STEP 7. 

Cut off the length of the mini pendant banner that you will be using. Adhere your letters to the banner. I used four of the pendants. You can use up to five.


Adhere to wreath by knotting or adhering with hot glue. You only have to tie off the ends of the banner so that the pendants can hang free. 

You can purchase a wreath door hanger or make your own. Just loop a sturdy piece of burlap onto your wreath and adhere the top ends together with hot glue. Tada! You are all done and have a beautiful wreath to use for St. Patrick’s Day and with slight modifications (adding spring colored flowers or embellishments) you can use through the spring as well. 


Thank you hearts to SaRatta for this lovely DIY! Hop over to Expressions Bracelets to see the beautiful pieces SaRatta has for you.