Thursday, January 31, 2008

Last Day to Enter for January Blog Candy!

Now don't you feel better that Princess Ariel is watching closely over your names in the pot for the January blog candy? I know I do.

This is the last day to post a comment to potentially win the earrings posted earlier this month. I will pick a name early tomorrow morning and announce the winner! If you are an anonymous commenter, please at least put your email addy so I can notify you if you win!

Today I am excited that not only is the craziness from the LA show winding down, but I am leaving for a little vacation tomorrow! I can't believe it myself! I will be in San Francisco, visiting my two cool sisters and hopefully, also my friend Peggy. It's a girl's weekend! I also actually have a business meeting on Friday afternoon - can you believe I have to leave my house at 10am to make a 3pm meeting? Well, I could almost just drive.

I will come home with lots of beautiful photos and hopefully some fun stories.

In the meantime, I gotta prep for an altered photos class I'm teaching tonight at Creative Courage. If you're local come by!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Crusade No. 16: Journal Your Blog

Yah, I'm jumpin' on that bandwagon - 'cuz it's a cool and fun looking bandwagon! Michelle Ward has a great blog and a monthly crusade to improve and add interest to one's blog. This month her crusade was to Journal Your Blog. That means, print out a blog entry, and make a layout in your visual journal. I have been working in my visual journal more and more, and I wanted to do a layout of my "It's a Good Day" poem from the last post.

I love the colors of the layout and the red butterflies. I just printed the poem from the blog, glued it to the page, which I gessoed first. On the right side, I added a page from a math book with lots of cool calculus equations, painted with acrylic paints, wrote words with a sharpie and then did the butterflies and red flower. I stuck the sticker on first, then used the space left from the sticker as a stencil to create the negative images of the butterflies. The big flower, I'm not so crazy about, but, whatever. Finally, I added the metal mesh to the bottom of the page. It's waiting there to capture the butterflies.

As I am soooo busy right now with the cards (will finally be done shipping orders tomorrow), I gave my self a whopping 20 minutes to work on this layout. You better believe I was painting with one hand and using the heat gun to dry with the other!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Today is the Day!

What are the things you are dreaming about doing? It could really be anything.

Do you dream about having lunch at some sweet little cafe that you just drive by all the time and never stop to enjoy?

Do you dream of having some real block of time to do something just for you?

Do you dream of bringing some idea to reality?

Well, today is the day! Today is a good day to pick berries.

All you need is to JUST DO IT. Is that trademarked by Nike? Well, it's good advice.
It's been raining here for a few days. I actually love the rain. I will stand out in the cold, under an umbrella, and just watch it come down around me. I like to watch the tree limbs become heavy with water. I like to feel the squishy grass under my feet. I like to watch the raindrops as they make ripples in the little puddles on the ground. There are few other better ways of slowing down time.
So, with those things in mind, I wrote this little poem this evening. For some reason, I seem to have this idea that poetry that doesn't rhyme is "better", but I like to rhyme, dammit. This one doesn't rhyme. I'm experimenting. Bear with me...

Today is the Day
by Tally Oliveau

Take my hand
and let's pick berries
in the garden
after the rain.

Smell the wet slate.
Breathe in deep,
eyes closed,
sun on your face.

Listen to the low twitter
of birds in the bath,
sparkling dew drops
hanging overhead.

Today is a good day
for picking berries.

Monday, January 21, 2008

LA Gift Show Comes to a Close

The show was good, but not totally fantabulous. I made some great contacts, and even got to meet the very sweet Anahata of Papaya.

I visited her very busy booth in the cash and carry section of the LA Gift Show at the Convention Center. Yes, that's right. In addition to the booth space she had with me at the LA Mart, she had her own booth at the Convention Center. Busy lady. Here we are - sorry the photo's a little blurry, taken by someone with my camera phone, but you get the idea.

My sales rep said something about her line that is really sticking with me - about why it is so successful. Almost every design is a "must have". That's it. If it's good - you know it's good, and you just gotta have it.

Thanks Ana for your help. You only have my best wishes for continued success!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

LA Mart Show Continues On...

Sore feet and all, the gift show at the LA Mart continues. So far, the show has been decent, but not wow. Here are some photos of what I'm doing.

This is a view of most of the booth. My cards are part of a larger booth managed by my rep group - that's sales people who are working hard all day, standing on that concrete floor (yah, they decided to get a "clean" look this year and removed all the carpet), selling my line and other lines of cards. They specialize in greeting cards, and my line is at the back of the photo. Here's a close up of my display:

Of course, you're wondering "where is Papaya!" - well they are on the opposite wall from me, in the same booth - here's their display:

The reason their cards look a little messier than mine is simply because people are looking at them all the time! What a great line of cards. As you can see, she also has her prints for sale there too. If you've never seen Papaya cards, well then you must immediately click here.

Here are the hard working ladies on the sales team:

L-R: Gail, Caryle, Adrian, and Lyn. This pic was taken at the end of the day, so give 'em a break if they look a little tired. Remember - it's that concrete floor and all.

Two more days of fun!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Time for a Little Blog Candy

I've had a damn good day today. I'm all set up in my booth for the Gift Show here in LA (see previous post). Can I even tell you how thrilled I am to be right alongside Papaya!? I also got some other nice phone calls today with amazing news that I just can't share with you right now - but rest assured it's GOOD!

So, I think it's time to start some regular blog candy. That's what my friend Lisa calls it. Here's how it's gonna work. You have a chance at winning these lovely handmade (by me) earrings! They are all sterling silver, with glass square beads and fresh water pearls.

ok - aweful photo - so yellow! But no time to fiddle, so here goes.

Every time you post a comment here on the blog, you get your name in a hat to win the earrings. That means, the more you comment, the better your odds are of winning. I will pick the winner on February 1, and then also immediately announce February's blog candy item. Comments for January only will count for these earrings.

Yes, the comments that have already been posted this month will be part of the lottery. Yes, those people get a little extra chance - but hey! they even commented without the thought of winning something, so I think that deserves a little something extra. You can still comment on the older posts from this month!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tradeshow Season Begins....

For those of you not in the wholesale business, (and I'm thinking that's everyone reading this...) January is the beginning of tradeshow season, which runs through May. I'm still kinda laying low because of the baby, but I am for sure displaying at two tradeshows this season: The Stationary and Gift Show at the LA Mart. I will be in the Temporaries show on the 2nd floor, booth 801 with Strickman and Associates. The show starts Friday. If you're in the area and have a resale license - come to our margarita party! Sorry, this show is not open to the general public. But, I will be sure to post pics of the booth and the merryment.

Next, in March, I will have a booth at the Prepaid Card Expo in Las Vegas. This is a tradeshow completely dedicated to prepaid cards - that's gift cards to you and me. They're big business, and I'm ready for a piece of the action. If you've checked out my website, then you'll know my newest big thing is greeting cards with a gift card holder. I have a patent pending on my concept and design - so don't go copying it or nothin'. Doesn't that Prepaid Card Expo website look SOOOO corporate and boring? You don't know the half of it.
I've been in a creative frenzy over the shows and just design in general. I made about 30 ATCs last weekend, several new card designs (hurrah for Photoshop!!) and finally finished a collage that I have had in my mind for almost a year. Below is a small sampling of the ATCs I made. I'll post the collage in another day or two - it's a little naughty so come back to see!

I'm using the good stuff!
Finally, I'm considering showing at the New York National Stationary Show. That's all the way in May and I'm waiting to see how things go in March. A good motto in business is to spend money as slowly as possible and only on things you really need. So, I'm doing that.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Crafty Business?

While traveling through Bloggywood (did I just make up that word? I did? I like it! What? You've heard it already? Well I haven't, and I'm taking full credit!) I found a great little article about starting a craft/art business. While it doesn't really delve deeply into the "how to" it is a good overall idea of what it takes and what your expectations should be should you decide that Living Each Day means this type of new business.

Have a good read here.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

You can do this!

Here we are - 2008! I'm really hoping some wonderful things are in store for me and my card business this year. It was at this time, exactly a year ago, that I applied for my provisional patent for my gift card holder, with no real clue how to bring it to a bigger place. Here I am today, with a full patent application already in the patent office, and my cards are now sold at Whole Foods.

Not bad for one year. But I want more!

As much as I want more, and as much as I have big plans and big lists, it is scary. Yes, I do get nervous and scared, but I don't let that stop me from doing what I want. Isn't that really what courage is? Courage is not about charging forward without fear. True courage is about charging forward even though you're scared to death.

So, I decided to make myself a layout in my visual journal to encourage myself for the new year. I have a few little box drawers where I keep all kinds of paper scraps that I can't bear to throw away. I don't use these often enough, so I decided to make the entire layout from stuff in these boxes. I'm gonna use the good stuff!

The layout is filled with positive messages to myself - and to you - reminding myself that I can do it. I have a good idea. I have a good product. I just need to get out there and break down the doors. It won't be easy. No way. I'm literally competing with companies like Hallmark and American Greetings at the level I want to be. They have all kinds of exclusivity agreements with stores, ways of keeping anyone else out of the bigger market. Well, I plan on banging those doors down. I'm not giving up, even if it seems hopeless - it's not hopeless, I just need to try as hard as I can, not take 'no' for an answer, find another way around the 'no'.

On the left side of the layout above, there are mountains at the bottom - and I wrote "climb the mountains". I know you can guess at what those mountains are. To the left of that are stamped faces with eyes, because I am looking to the future, and analyzing what it holds for gift cards and my business. Did you know that according the the Wall Street Journal yesterday, the Social Security Administration is beginning this year a program to send people their money through prepaid cards? Yes, that's pretty much the same as gift cards. That's big folks. Did you know that consumers spent 60 billion (yes BILLION) dollars on gift cards last year? I would think at least half those people would like to have a lovely greeting card to put their gift card in.

Ok - back to the layout. On the right, I found some kind of game card that had "push" all over it - so I'm reminding myself to push on. I hope my idea will be "the ticket" to success, and of course, a better income. I want to "use the good stuff" in my life and in my art. Finally, on the play money I wrote "don't just move with the current", and I had some random fish stickers, probably from back in my beginning scrapbooking days - so I added those to further the "current" theme. What I mean by "don't just move with the current" is - I don't want others making decisions about my life and its direction. I want to be making those decisions for myself. The success of my greeting cards won't just happen on its own. Some magical moment is not just going to appear before me and all of a sudden my cards will appear on the shelves of your local grocery store or Target. I need to make that happen. I need to do the WORK to make that happen. And boy is it a lot of work!

I hope you all will think about what it is that you have as a goal for this year. It doesn't have to be a business goal - just, where do you want your life to go this year? Not a New Year's resolution - I don't really believe in those - but a real goal with a real plan. Open your visual journal (if you have one, or just start a list of stuff) and write yourself notes of positive reinforcement, positive encouragement.

You can do this.