Monday, August 31, 2009

New Cover Designs

I spent the entire day on the computer trying to digitally enhance the designs that I drew over the weekend. I finally came up with a couple of images that I cannot wait to use as covers for my lovely books! Here's my favorite:

I owe my sister a huge THANK YOU for helping me figure out the editing program I've been working with, she's much better at it than I am!

I have a ton more work to do, but I think it's going to be tomorrow's project, my poor computer is begging for a rest, and so am I for that matter. Hopefully things will go a little more smoothly tomorrow, but I can't complain, because I have accomplished a lot today.

Please let me know how you feel about this design, and look for others to start showing up in my store ( !

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Sketches

Hi all, happy Saturday! I splurged this morning on some new pens and have spent the entire afternoon drawing, something that I haven't done in years. I am hoping to use my own designs to create papers for my Obsessively Organized items ( Here are some pictures of the work that I did today:

I'm going to play with my designs on my computer and see what all I can do, but I will certainly share the finished products!
Now that my afternoon is gone I'm off to get ready to head out to the German American Festival. August and early September are the best in Northwest Ohio because it is prime time for fairs and festivals. Already this month we have attended the Ottawa County Fair, the Wood County Fair, the Henry County Fair, and the National Tractor pulling Championships. Next month we will visit the Fulton County fair and check out the Black Swamp Arts Festival and the Luckey Fall Festival. It certainly makes weekends fun!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Seasonal Treat Friday (slightly belated)

In honor of the first friday night high school football games here in northwest Ohio I am featuring these gorgeous cookies from Sugar & Flour on Etsy (

I'm not a huge football fan, but there's nothing like the atmosphere of a local football game, and here in Ohio, high school football is always better in August and early September - when it is still warm enough to sit through the whole game :).

New Weekly features

I've been inspired by one of my new favorite blogs "Shop Friends" ( Each week Shop Friends has "Cupcake Friday" and they feature a different picture of a cupcake each week. It's such a cute idea that I've decided to create my own take on this idea. Unfortunately, I am in love with baked goods of every kind, I do not discriminate :) so I am going to be sharing "Seasonal Treats" every Friday.

I am also going to take a note from the title of my blog and offer a new organizational tip each Wednesday. I love to try new products to keep myself organized, but I especially love crafts that help me to get organized because they combine my two favorite things - crafting and ultimate organization!

Hopefully you will all enjoy these features, and if you come across ideas for either feature please do share them with me!

I'm in the news!

Today I was featured in the BG News, the newspaper for Bowling Green State University. I graduated from BGSU in December, and I started making my planners while taking classes there so this is a big deal for me.

On Fridays they run a special art section called the Pulse and this weeks feature was local Etsy sellers.

I'm so excited - thanks to Alaina and the rest of the crew at the BG News!

Adventures with a lightbox

I used my white laundry basket as a make-shift light box last night, it was the only way that I was going to get some good pictures. I had been wary of actually making a lightbox because to be honest I don't have the space to store one, and the last thing I need is one more thing sitting on the floor in my room, but the pictures turned out pretty well. Here are a couple of them:

These note cards are available on my Etsy site (Just click the Etsy mini to the left) in a variety of colors.

My cats also really enjoyed my lightbox, but then, they generally have to check out anything that they will fit inside of.

Roy (gray) and Chester (orange) rarely get this close to each other, so I had to get a picture!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It has character

I love my boyfriend's old tool shed. For some reason I am drawn to it. It's old, and mildewy, it smells funny, and it looks like it could fall down, but there is just something about it that I am absolutely in awe of.

I secretly (ok maybe not so secretly) want to turn it into my studio. My boyfriend laughs at me everytime I mention this. He says it floods when it rains, it has no electricity, and no heat, "how are you going to work in a studio with no heat in December when it's snowing?". But for some reason all of this doesn't really matter to me.

The point is that I think my instincts are telling me that this dumpy little shed could eventually be the perfect place for me to create. It already has a ton of character!

I love to compete - with myself

Do you ever see something that someone else has done and say "I could do that" ? I do, all the time. Today I had the opportunity to look at some business cards that others on Etsy had designed for their own businesses and I started to compare mine to theirs (I compare myself to other people A LOT my boyfriend will be the first one to tell you that), but in this case it was a good thing because it made me challenge myself.

I looked at those business cards, and I looked at my old business card and I decided that I could do better.
I'm no graphic designer, but I play around a lot, and I spent a ton of time on my computer tonight working on a new business card. Now I do have to warn you that the layout is basically the same as the old one, and the picture is the same, but the background is new and I LOVE IT.

Just so you can compare, I'm going to post both the old one (top) and the new one (bottom):

I love looking at these two pictures next to each other, because not only does my new business card look more professional (and shows off more of my personality) you can clearly see that I have been working on the quality of my photos!

Monday, August 24, 2009

My very first Etsy Purchase!

I just bought this beautiful Vintage cocktail ring from Etsy seller MissesBird (!
I have been on Etsy for almost 2 months but I had never bought anything before. Believe me I have been trying to talk myself out of buying for the last couple of days, but this particular ring caught my eye and there was no turning back.
Now I can't wait to get it I don't know if i'm more excited to get the ring, or to get a package in the mail!

Ladies Who Launch

I have just started reading the book "Ladies Who Launch" by Victoria Colligan and Beth Schoenfeldt. It is not really a book about starting your own business, it's more about the idea that launching your life (i.e. doing what you want to do with all aspects of your life) is not just something that you do, but a mindset and a lifestyle.

I certainly don't agree with absolutely everything that Colligan and Schoenfeldt have to say (being the critical, educated thinker that I am - thank you liberal arts education!), but they do introduce a lot of interesting topics that make me feel a lot better about my current lifestyle.

Basically the authors say that women, especially those who work in non-corporate settings, conduct business very differently than men (duh!).

A couple of times while I was reading I found descriptions of myself. According to Colligan and Schoenfeldt "Women are more likely to have a creative idea when out in the world circulating." Thank you thank you thank for validating my need to get out, move around, and see more than the same four walls all day every day!

I cannot sit behind a desk all day. I cannot even sit in my studio (ok my bedroom, but it really does double as my studio/office for now...) all day. I need to go run errands, I need to go out for lunch, I live for taking packages to the post office!

Another thing that they mention is that many women complete tasks during their work day that others view as play (i.e. meeting friends for lunch, writing this blog!) but these things are important because they allow us to connect with others, and those connections can have a huge impact on our work. I just caught myself doing this. I was browsing the forums at Etsy and I told myself that it was time to get back to work. But then I had to remind myself that for me, those forums are productive. I learn things there that I cannot find anywhere else.

So these are just a couple of nuggets of wisdom that I have received from this book so far, but I will continue to keep you posted because I find it absolutely fascinating that someone understands the way that I work, and I will definitely be suggesting this book to all of those people who still think that I don't have a job!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Is this success?

I am exhausted! I have had an insanely busy weekend, but I am so excited because I sold two planners in the last two days. Is this what it feels like to be successful?!

In honor of my recent sales I want to feature some other Etsy sellers who have also made sales today. I used Etsy's Pounce feature to locate other sellers who have just made a sale, here are a couple of really cute items:

These adorable Halloween Fun Mini Notecards were just sold by CardsandNotes ( This shop is full of cute cards and note cards, they even have pot-it note holders, perfect for someone like me, I LOVE to make lists.

BernioliesDesigns ( Just sold the pattern for this absolutely gorgeous Elegant Gray Capelet. Who wouldn't feel like a million dollars while wearing this! I love to crochet, but unfortunately I've only mastered the straight line, I am in awe of anyone who can make something so incredibly beautiful out of yarn.

Finally, this Smaller Eternity Ring with Crystals necklace was just sold by cinnamonsticks ( I love it because it is stunning, eye catching, and personal, yet simple enough to be worn every day. I had a necklace similar to this one when I was in high school (it said "dance dance dance" because I was the captain of my high school dance team) and I wore it all of the time!

Check out these incredible sellers on and if you're bored give the Pounce feature a try, it could keep me entertained for hours!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Full Pull!

Here are some of the pictures that I promised from the National Tractor Pulling Championships:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Welcome to my hometown!

I am from Bowling Green Ohio - otherwise known as Pulltown USA, home of the National Tractor Pulling Championships, which is being held this weekend.

For anyone who has never experienced a tractor pull before your really must go to understand what i'm talking about, it's an incredible atmosphere. (Before I get too far, for an overview of the sport of Tractor Pulling visit the website of the National Tractor Pulling Association, and has a great video of the sport).

Now i'm not what you would call a Tractor Pulling fanatic by an means, I do admit that the noise and the smoke is a little exciting, but I am going to the pulls tonight to engage in my favorite sport: People Watching. And I promise that this is the best place in the world to people watch. Think NASCAR race meets Daytona Beach during Spring Break.

I will definitely post pictures from my adventures!

My new favorite website

I have to tell you all about my new favorite website. I am currently addicted to shabby blogs ( they have absolutely gorgeous backgrounds, buttons, and more, AND it's all free!

I discovered shabby blogs while reading forum posts on Etsy (another addiction) so major thanks to blueberryshoes who linked shabby blogs in the forum! As my thanks to her I am posting the link to her shop: go check it out!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I LOVE blended iced coffees. They are my major weakness, and I know this is completely random, but right now I am totally bummed because I drove through one of my favorite coffee shops after I shipped out my last sale and whoever made my coffee completely messed up. I mean it tasted like i was drinking the flavor syrup right out of the container.

Of course I didn't take a drink until I was halfway home, and I hate hate hate confrontation so I wasn't about to go back and ask them to fix it. Instead I did what I always do, I tried to fix it myself when I got home (thank goodness I was on my way home).

It definitely tastes better, but it still isn't very good, and I'm super bummed.

So there's my random rant for the day.

Another Sale - Finally!

I made another sale - yay! Its so exciting, I never get tired of making a sale, and after a slump I was super excited to make another one.

I was in the forums over at Etsy the other day and someone had asked if sellers who have hundreds of sales still get excited. I thought it was a great question, because I'm still a newbie so every sale is exciting to me, but aomeone who had over a thousand sales said that she still gets excited at each one, and that gave me a little more hope.

I guess if I ever don't get that giddy feeling when I make a sale then that shows me that it is time to try something new.

Right now I appreciate my buyers so much, I am amazed and humbled by every sale because it means that other people, people that I have never even met like my work enough to pay for it. That i've done something right.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Major Annoyance!

As much as i need, and love, and absolutely rely on my printer, IT IS DRIVING ME INSANE!!!

Did I make that clear enough?! lol Lets just say that my printer hates heavy paper and, well, since I do most of my printing on heavy paper, this is a bit of a problem.

So jobs that should take two minutes end up taking 20 minutes because I see the following message about 80 times:

And even though there isn't really a paper jam I have to open the tray so that it thinks that I have removed the jam that was never there in the first place.

I really hate to complain about my printer, because if there is any kind of printer Karma then I am in super huge trouble, I swear sometimes it can hear me because now it is spitting all of my pages out backwards. What did I do to deserve this!? Really, it's 11:45 at night and I just want to go to bed!

Tell me about your biggest technology annoyance, I know we all have them!

Keeping Motivated!

I have absolutely decided that the most difficult aspect of having my own business (and working at home) is keeping myself motivated and not letting others distract me. I have lost so much precious time in the last few weeks because I am not able to say no to other people, but also because I find myself getting bored with my work, and there is always something else to do.
I am trying super hard to stay motivated, which is extremely difficult for me, a person who craves instant gratification and has not had a sale in over a week!

But, I have started some new projects, which have really sparked my interest. They say that inspiration comes where you least expect it, and that has certainly been the case. My latest project came to me from doodles that I made when I was bored during my shift in a concession stand at the fair last week. It's amazing what you can do with a scanner. Check out these adorable notecards. The design on the back side is my doodle!

These notecards are for sale on my etsy site (

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

County Fair Recap

I had a super busy week at the fair. I work hard and got some serious sunburn! It was an interesting experience to juggle my new little business with a hugely important personal interest, but i made it work and now I have a ton of catching up to do.

I plan on getting a new fall line started this week, and hopefully I will have new items on my Etsy page ( by the end of the week. I will also be posting pictures of my work in progress right here.

I also wanted to follow up on the post that I wrote about my entries for the county fair. My adorable birthday card (picture with original post) took home third place, and my sculpey bracelet came in second place. I was disappointed that some of my other items did not finish higher, but then I have to remember that these types of handicrafts are all very different, and placing depend on the judge's personal tastes, which were obviously very different than my own.

A Picture of Me

I took this picture at the fair this week and it has fast become my favorite photo ever. It is a perfect picture of me! Sitting on the grass, in my favorite jeans, with the quilted bag that I made in my favorite color. I have a ton a pictures from my busy week, here is another interesting one.
This picture is a close up of a rusted livestock trailer, who knew that something so practical, like a livestock trailor, could be so beautiful.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm off to the fair!

It's time for our local county fair, and I have dusted off my boots! I will be spending the next week helping with 4H events and working in concession stands, so my posts will be few and far between, but only for a week.

I am especially looking forward to making the fair work for my business. This is the perfect place to promote Obsessively Organized, as it is the one place where I will see everyone that I know. The fair is a big deal aroound here, even those who have moved away tend to come back for the county fair, so this will be a great opportunity for me to use the best marketing tool known to man - word of mouth. I will also be handing out business cards (but not in an obnoxious way). I am looking forward to seeing everyone that I have not seen since the fair last year, and I am excited to tell them about all of the work that I've been doing (however, if they would just read the blog then I wouldn't have to tell them!).

While I'm away having fun (and working too!) take some time to check out they have an adorable pattern for County Fair Treats made from felt. Also take a look at where you will find some hilarious letterpress signs, including one advertising "mule sniffing" and "squirrel tossing" at the county fair.