Saturday, August 26, 2023

Simple Wedding Planner

My first Forever Romantic Wedding Plan Printable Pkgs design called Two Exotics are available in my Etsy shop to help you plan a simple wedding.
They are for the bride who wants a casual marriage that she plans herself and where her and her groom foot the cost.
She wants something simple, easy and uncomplicated that will help her to plan the marriage event of her dreams. 
She doesn't need a 150-page planner or any of the other massive pkgs that are being offered. She will do just fine with my under-32-page simple wedding planning checklists and planning pages. She has her choice of pkg sizes. The micro planner is only 17 pages!
It took a lot of effort and days of work to create these easy wedding planning guides. I am proud that I stuck with it and saw them through to completion.
I designed them in Modest (31 pg), Mini (22 pg) and Micro (17 pg) planner pkgs. I wanted to offer something more simple and easy than the 50, 100 and 150-pg pkgs that are being sold. 
Two Exotics is my first theme, created with my floral blossoms designs using Affinity Designer & Publisher. This pkg is the template for more themes that I'll be creating.
The themes are not how the wedding needs to be styled. They are just colorful, inspiring designs for the bride to look at as she plans her wedding. The pkgs are guide sheets for her to use as she designs the wedding style that she prefers.
See more details about my 3 printable pkgs here:

My casual wedding planning pkgs are just what you, the DIY bride, needs to plan a low-keyed, laid-back event. Forever Romantic Wedding Plan Printables will assist you in organizing your thoughts to pull off your marvelous event exactly as you desire.

I will be adding other romantic-themed printables to motivate, inspire and celebrate romance and love before and after marriage. 

Upcoming pkg design: White Country Church.

Modest Wedding Planning Printable, Exotic Wedding Planner, Printaphoria Shop, How To Plan Your Own Wedding 


Sunday, August 20, 2023

How Is Blogging Useful For Promoting My Business?

I've had my two blogs at Google's Blogger since 2006. They used to call the blogs Blogspots. I bought my own domains for each a few years ago. I pay $12 per year each. I was following 126 blogs over the years. I found recently that most had stopped blogging around 2015, with a handful blogging up to 2017. 

I unfollowed those, ending up with 6 blogs and 2 of those are mine. So, it does seem that blogging is virtually dead in the handmades and creative community. There are, however, still creatives who have tossed around the idea of blogging. They are wondering today if they should start blogging. I will share my thoughts on this valuable marketing tool.

Blogging is work, especially if you care about the format of the posts and adding images. If you're blogging for joy, you'll keep at it. Being able to see statistics of who's visiting your blog may inspire you to continue. It can also discourage you if you only see a few people visiting every few months. The same with blogging for interaction from readers or to make money through monetizing. 

I don't care for most of the affiliate advertising that is available. I tried Amazon Affiliate Marketing for a short time but I did not have enough traffic so it didn't work out. I tried affiliate marketing through a couple of book sites like Abe Books, Alibris and Thrift Books. 

I just didn't take to it and I'm not a trendy, popular online influencer. I can't remember exactly which book affiliate I used, because it was so long ago. It's not easy generating comments and an income through blogging. I think that's why many who have those goals give up on blogging but a blog can be used in other ways. 

A blog can be useful for a number of reasons other than affiliate marketing. If you discover ways to use it to further your interests or brand, you'll keep blogging. I appreciate blogging because it's a place where you can say whatever you want, how you want and as often as you want. You can market yourself as often as you want and in whatever way you want. 

Unlike marketing on social media and other marketing platforms, no one will tell you what you can't do when you do it from your blog. You can use the SEO that you want to use. When blogging to market your products and services, you can share as many images as you want. Your product descriptions can be as long or as detailed as you want them to be. 

Most of all, you can add as many links in your blogs posts as you see fit. There are no annoying restrictions or constrictions. As long as you follow the TOS of the blogging platform that you are using, you are free to market yourself through the blog however you see fit. 

Though my creative friends and many others have fallen by the wayside in their blogging, I am so glad that I have not. I can't think of a single creative whose blog I enjoyed and was inspired by who is still blogging. Writing your own blog is a fun way to promote yourself and your brands! It can be very effective if you stick with it and learn how to use it to your benefit. At this writing, you can still do it for free at some sites and even still buy low-cost domains.

Substack (Substack helps anyone set up a blog and email newsletter. No tech knowledge is required. It’s free to get started on Substack.)

Blogger (recently sold their Blogger platform to Squarespace and I'm still here waiting to see what changes Squarespace makes over time)

Yola (2 websites with 2 pages each for free plan, have to design your own website through their templates and drag and drop)

Wix (unfortunately, only a 14-day free trial, have to design your own website through their templates and drag and drop)

Weebly (have to design your own website through their templates and drag and drop)


Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Patchwork Bottles: A Dramatic Decor Craft


I had thrown so many bottles away that I put my foot down and declared I'm going to find a quick, decorative technique so that I can salvage these bottles!
I like working with glass because of its sparkling transparency. Even when covered up, as I've done with these bottles, it's still exciting to feel the heftiness of the glass in my hands.

Ways to decorate a bottle.
I decided on a freeform, patchwork design. Before I chose my papers, I decided on color schemes of:
  • whites/creams/silvers for the 1st bottle,
  • pinks/mauves/fuchsias for the 2nd,
  • and golds/silvers/cremes/whites for the 3rd.
I tore up a supply of various papers, keeping them close to similar sizes by layering them before tearing. It was easy to apply glue to each piece and stick it to the bottle. The challenge was choosing each piece so that the same designs and colors were not bunched up together.

Since paper crafting is my first love, I have a huge stock of scrap papers that makes it easy to arrange color schemes. I loved using foils/metallics. Some of them, especially the fuchsias, are actually salvaged candy/gum wrappers! I scavenge papers from anywhere and anything. Metallic papers can be pulled from the envelope liners of greeting cards that we receive.

Deciding in what design to place the papers can be challenging and a reason for procrastination. I decided that for every 5 papers that I glued down I would place one of the darkest colors.

Another thing that helps with your pattern design is that you don’t have to glue in a certain direction. Each piece of paper can be glued up, down, left or right in line with what was placed last. This gives a lot of leeway in balancing the colors and sizes in the placement of the paper pieces.

I started at the bottom gluing papers and worked my way around and up to the top of each bottle. Once finished, I painted each bottle with a matte sealer. You can use a matte or gloss medium, one of the Modge Podge or Decorart brands of sealers or white PVC glue. It depends on how durable you want your bottles to be and where you plan to display them. Outside or in moist areas will require a sealer that can protect against that.

I decided to add another fav medium, craft wire, to the largest bottle. It’s really easy. Most important is not to cut a length of wire first. Just wrap and twist with a pliers, wrap and twist while unwinding the wire from the roll.

You then won’t end up with a too short piece or extra that you have to clip off and store. If you precut a piece and it runs short, you could easily join another piece and twist carefully to hide the join.

I chose a golden wire and twisted a design with wire pliers, making sure to add a twist each time the wire passed each side of the bottle. When I finished, I crimped each end of the wire back onto itself, hiding the ends and securing them.

I painted and embellished a wooden ball for the top of one bottle, attaching it securely with tacky glue.

I kept the black, plastic, twist-on cap on the silvery bottle, decoupaging it with silver paper. I then formed a sculptural design on top of that cap with another piece of the silver paper drenched in glue.
I really like my design of the cork stopper for the gold and silver bottle. I painted it white and added a spiral design with a metallic gold paint pen.

I securely glued it into the top of the bottle with tacky glue. I had decoupaged gold metallic, textured paper around and into the bottle opening. This helped to secure the cork inside.

I created a sculptural topper for the bottle cork out of reclaimed metal, wire and beads. The metal disk had a metal post on it (it was part of an old pierced earring), which I stuck into a glue-filled hole in the cork.

Paper patchwork.
I like my work to be finished on all surfaces, so I cut and glued coordinated craft felt to the bottom of each bottle. It helps keep them from sliding off of shelves and protects surfaces.

Bottle decoration ideas.
The most time-consuming part of this technique is, of course, designing the paper patchwork design. Once you get started it goes very quickly.

I like looking at these bottles. They dress up any table or shelf with a pretty flash of creativity. Get busy!

Make your creative flash today!