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!

SUPPLIES:

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! 

 

STEP 1.

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

STEP 2.

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. 

STEP 3.

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.

STEP 4.

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.

STEP 5.

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

STEP 6.

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.

STEP 8.

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.

Reflecting on Resolutions with Wandering Paper Co.

The new year is a great time to reflect on the successes and failures of the previous one. And we read recently that March is an excellent time to make resolutions. Alex Hughes of Wandering Paper Co. shares what she learned from her small-business goals from last year, and offers a sneak peek at what's next for her globally inspired paper goods business. 

Well, it’s a new year, and that means new goals! Yes, I realize it’s a little late to write a “New Year’s” post, buuut one of my goals this year is to “get more rest” so you could say I’ve gotten a jump on that one. :)

Anyway, before I write about my goals for 2017, I want to go back and revisit my 2016 goals. Here is a quick summary of last year’s goals, and ways I’ve addressed them:

1. Implement Systems to Maximize Efficiency and Minimize Costs

One of the big ways I’ve done this is by buying materials in bulk. This has forced me to address my fear of commitment, because now that I’m sitting on one thousand each of envelopes, packaging, and shipping materials, I’m forced to come to terms with the fact that I’m in this thing for the long haul. 

Another way I’ve done this is by keeping track of my inventory and sales throughout the year. Now that I have a year’s’ worth of numbers under my belt, I can make educated long-term decisions about how many supplies to order, how many prints and styles to make, etc.

2. Create a Thorough Accounting System & Maintain Organized Financial Records

Ugh. Let me be the first to say that numbers and financials are not my strong suit. The mere talk of numbers makes me tired. That said, I think I did an okay job with this one, and learned more than I ever thought I’d know about Excel (let’s just say they don’t teach you about spreadsheets in art school.) Huge thanks to my friend Will for getting me started, or as I like to call it, pro bono work for the mathematically challenged. Anyway, here are a couple things I did that were helpful:

  • Opened a separate bank account for my business
  • Made a spreadsheet of all business materials and expenses and used this to calculate wholesale and retail pricing.
  • Made a spreadsheet to track sales and inventory
  • Used accounting software (I used Wave Accounting, which is free) to track expenses and profits

Having these systems in place helped me identify expenses that were hurting my bottom line, as well as to figure out where I could afford to invest. The graphic designer in me really wants nicer business cards and packaging, but the numbers hold me accountable and force me to grow slowly. It helps me ensure that I have a healthy profit at the end of each month, which is pretty awesome.

Okay, enough talk about money. On to more fun things!

3. Explore Additional Sales Avenues: Craft Shows, Farmers' Markets, Wholesale

Check, check and check! This year I tried out lots of different craft shows, and sold at our neighborhood farmers’ market as well. I was excited to learn that the prints sold really well at both the craft fairs and farmers’ markets, but my favorite thing about doing these events was meeting other creative people. Some of the friends I met even turned into wholesale relationships!

4. Make Prints That Give Me Joy

I’m really glad I had kept this as a goal last year, because when you’re selling your work, the temptation is always there to make products that you think people will buy. This goal has helped me carve out time to make prints for their own sake and to experiment more. I’ve found that the unstructured “fun” projects are where I generate my best ideas or discover new and exciting things. These projects keep me excited about Wandering, because I am challenging myself and growing creatively.

Big thank you hearts to Alex for letting us see behind the scenes! Head over to the Wandering Paper Co. blog for more small business tips and to shop the collection of colorful multicultural paper goods!  

2016 Jingle Bash: Photo Backdrop

It takes a lot of team and individual effort to make our shows a success! I'm sharing a post from my personal blog today to show you what goes into painting the one of a kind photo backdrop. We hire a professional photographer and create a scene so you can have a free keepsake from this time of year, and our event. When all the photos have been uploaded to our Flickr we will make an announcement, so you can download, print, and share freely!  Check it out!

Another show, and another challenge accepted! These 8x10 foot paintings have become quite an event in my house! I grow so much as an artist just by saying "yes" and going for it. I should broaden that statement to person instead.  

I put my husband's GoPro to good use on a time lapse this time too! Enjoy, I hope we see you tomorrow from 11-5 at Gilley's Dallas for the big show! 

2016 Jingle Bash: Make & Take

Take a break from all the shopping bliss at the 2016 Easy Dallas Jingle Bash to visit with the talented instructors from Creative Arts Center of Dallas. At each of our events we like to provide shoppers with a chance to exercise their creative muscles. And for this, you won’t need to bring any of the supplies or even remember your Pinterest password. CAC is sponsoring our Make and Take tables and they will walk you through all the steps to create some fun projects. Depending on when you arrive, you will have a chance to try your hand at Winter Hat Ornaments, a Charity Knit-a-long, Mini Felt Ball Wreaths, Holiday Cards, and Found Object Ornaments. CAC will staff these free activity tables from 11am-5pm at the Jingle Bash.

When you visit be sure to ask them about all of their upcoming classes, workshops, and exhibitions. They have something for everyone whether your interests lie in fine art, ceramics, glassworks, jewelry, digital media or leather. They currently have a student/instructor exhibition from the jewelry and ceramic department and most of the work is for sale.

Check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with lots of local creative opportunities with CAC!
 

 

Sponsor Spotlight: Dallas Child

Today, I have the wonderful privilege of introducing you to one of our favorite local resources and supporters, Dallas Child! If you are a local mom, you have to know about this awesome site and publication! It is an endless local database for what is going on in the area, where to shop, where to eat, awesome parenting articles, and even a list of the top rated physicians recommended by other local moms. Be sure to check them out and sign up for their newsletter to stay up to date on all the DFW happenings!

Book Review: The War of Art

Hi guys!  I'm sharing a post from my personal blog today to introduce you all to a concept known as resistance.  I hope you enjoy, and find it to be inspiring!

I always find myself with a creative block after a big show or project.  It is like I have run out of creative fuel, and my idea bus is stranded on the side of the road at night in the middle of nowhere.  Often, I take this as an opportunity to enjoy the stars, or clean the windows until my tow truck comes along.  This could take days.  Or weeks.  A few times it has taken months.  After my daughter was born, it took years.  My tow truck driver is Steven Pressfield, and he's coming in The War of Art
Personally, I listen to this short "jump start" of a novel on Audible because I need busy hands while listening to non-fiction.  But, however you best receive information, I encourage you to imbibe this knowledge.  I would have never considered this book, in favor instead of something more recent, or maybe with prettier cover art (shameful admission).  Regardless of a few dated references and some really out there topics, the heart of this novel is timeless and imperative for creatives, or anyone who believes in a higher purpose.  If I were a professor, my semesters would begin with this book specifically to introduce everyone to the formerly unnamed phenomenon he calls "resistance."
If you haven't already taken the link above, and claimed your copy (new perspective on life) of The War of Art (clever name, I know. I revel in word play), allow me to further convince you.  Resistance is a broad term to define that which distracts you or repels you from doing your work.  Not just any work, I am referring to the significant work of your life.  What is your purpose, your genius, the thing that defines you and separates you as a person?  What is your God given gift or talent that you can share?  Well dang, heavy questions for this early in the morning, right?  Drink your coffee and think.
My life's work is art.  Whatever medium I can get my hands on that will communicate with the world (or even just one lost individual) a message of hope or encouragement.  I want to move people in a way that brings them to action or resolution.  I aim to inspire people to believe or have faith in themselves.  So, it is no wonder that the concept of resistance resonates with me.  If my message in life is to encourage others to try again, resistance isn't just my personal enemy, keeping me from doing my own work.  Resistance is my enemy in you, also.
Did I lose you?  Hold tight, I am going to break it down.  Resistance is the sensation that arrives when you are just about to embark on a spiritual/physical/artistic calling for growth, and suddenly have the overwhelming need to do the dishes.  Or play a video game.  Or begin a different unrelated project.  Whatever excuse that keeps you from not following your revolutionary path at class/church/gym/practice is resistance.  Resistance loves addiction, and insecurity- he has you right where he wants you.  "The more important a call or action is to our souls evolution, the more resistance we will feel toward pursuing it."  Resistance arrives wherever courage is required; it is fueled by fear.
Do you know what I am talking about?  Can you relate?  Seems impossible, right?  Now, imagine if you could learn to use that sensation as a compass to navigate where your best efforts should be spent.  Progress.  Transformation.  Fulfillment.  This book can reprogram your mindset about procrastination and reinvigorate your passion.  I have not even touched any concepts beyond the second chapter.  So, #treatyoself to something different this weekend, I can't wait to hear your thoughts! 

Weekend Guide: Pacesetters Holiday Bazaar

Happy Friday, readers!  What are you up to this weekend?  It is too glorious outside for binge watching Netflix.  If you are looking for something fun in the area, several of our members are setting up for the J.J. Pearce Pacesetters Holiday Bazaar!  This event looks like a party!  There is a "famous" bake sale, sweepstakes with tons of prizes, and of course, awesome handmade shopping.  Check out their event website for more info, and be sure to say "Hi" to Sabrina and Jenny of The Pig & the Peacock, Alex of Wandering Paper Co., and Emily of MushTushy!  

 

Papaya & Passion Fruit Shea Butter and Glycerin Soap - The Pig and the Peacock

Papaya & Passion Fruit Shea Butter and Glycerin Soap - The Pig and the Peacock

Moroccon Linocut Block Print from Wandering Paper Co.

Moroccon Linocut Block Print from Wandering Paper Co.

Handpainted Sugar Skull from MushTushy

Handpainted Sugar Skull from MushTushy

Weekend Guide: Arts Goggle

Hello!  Are you just loving this Fall weather?  I am!  I feel like we are all waking up after hiding from the heat all Summer.  If you are looking for an awesome event to get out in the fresh air, Etsy Dallas members are pumped about the Arts Goggle in Fort Worth.  October 8th, from 12:00pm to 10:00pm, this free outdoor festival takes place on scenic Magnolia Avenue, and features live local music, food, artists and vendors.  Be sure to say "Hi" to Big T Woodworks, and MushTushy while you are there.  Their booths are always full of smiling faces and good stuff.  Have an awesome weekend, Dallas!

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Last Call for Jingle Bash Applications!

Applications are due by Saturday, September 10th, so hustle! Our hearts and best go into making this an amazing shopping experience for our community every year, so don't miss out! We want you! Apply here!

Smiling shoppers line up around the block early for bash bags and entry!

Smiling shoppers line up around the block early for bash bags and entry!

Happy sellers and artists from the 2016 Jingle Bash!

Happy sellers and artists from the 2016 Jingle Bash!

Festive lights and music, stocked booths, and family friendly shopping to kick off the holiday season!

Festive lights and music, stocked booths, and family friendly shopping to kick off the holiday season!

Call for Artists - Apply for Jingle Bash 2016

Applications are now open for one of the best DFW shows of the year, The Jingle Bash! Our juried show is a hugely popular single day event featuring a variety of talents in every handmade category. Last year, we had a record number of attendees, and local sponsors! The show will take place on November 19th at Southside Events Center at Gilley's Dallas, so mark your calendar, and be sure to apply before September 3rd!

3rd Annual Crafts for Crayons

Hi readers!  Back to school time is here, and Etsy Dallas is hosting our annual school supply drive for Girls Incorporated of Metropolitan Dallas.  Bring some pencils, crayons, notebooks and meet us at NorthPark Center on August 13, 2016 from 1:00 to 5:00pm.  Our members will be teaching some fun kid friendly crafts, and spreading awareness for an important local cause.  Check out the video below.  We hope to see you there!

Creative Business Classes from Etsy Dallas Pros

I hope you are having a fun and creative Summer! It is such a great time to collect, refocus, plan and dream. Etsy Dallas would love to help you get your shop in tip top shape for the upcoming holiday season! Check out the classes below, connect with us on Facebook, and let's work together to get people pumped about shopping small in DFW!