Friday, March 29, 2013

sneak peak friday

It was a bit of a slow week on the blog this week.  I've been hemming and hawing about some behind the scenes business decisions.  Nothing big, well kinda, but I like to make them bigger than they really are.  Things like whether or not I should make Crymson Flower my official business name, and if not should I change up my internet presence name.  I'm looking into shows and how to legally be a business in different cities and counties other than my own.  I also added pages to my blog.  If you want to know about how to take care of your flowers, or a little bit about me, or how to contact me check out the pages at the top.

But really what would affect you is what I'm thinking about with my shop.  I've decided to take the plunge into my higher priced items.  Right now the most expensive piece in my shop is $30.  Yep you can get an amazing flower for only $30.  I know I'm capable of more though.  I have plans to make a line of wedding flowers, I'm still in the designing process for these.  What's happening more quickly and what I've really been excited about the last couple weeks are wreaths.  They take a bit longer to make so I won't have a ton of them in the shop all at once.  But boy oh boy do I have ideas for different wreaths.  Here's the first sneak peak of what this wreath looked like a week ago.  Today it looks just about done.  Expect it in the shop next week.
I hope everyone has a nice weekend.  Enjoy warmer weather and the feeling of spring in the air.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

daffodils daffodils daffodils

I think of two things when I think of daffodils, spring and the movie Big Fish.  I'm a sucker for that movie and one of my favorite parts is the proposal in a field of daffodils.  I'm not normally that sappy of a person, but seriously who wouldn't want to be proposed to in a field of daffodils.  They aren't your normal go to flower, especially  not when romance is involved.  But they are lovely and happy and very inspiring when grouped all together.

I tried to recreate this affect, I wanted to take pictures of my beaded daffodils in a bouquet of fresh ones.  I think it would make an amazing bouquet.  Unfortunately, stores don't sell fresh bouquets of daffodils down here in Peoria like they do up in Chicago area.  I stopped by a local florist to see if they had any and was told they could order them for me but they don't carry them in stock because you can't pair a daffodil with other flowers.  I guess they don't combine as well.  I do see her point but then decided to break that rule. 
The following photos are me pairing my beaded daffodils with some orchids, daisies, and then daffodils solo.  How do you like to combine your daffodils?  Is it true, do they only go with other daffodils? 


Friday, March 22, 2013

happy weekend

Maybe if we post enough pictures of pretty flowers of spring flowers mother nature will get jealous and start producing her own.  Or maybe if we think enough warm thoughts, the winds will take a cue and simmer down.  Maybe we can even make the snow they are calling for on Sunday go away. 

If not at least we can dream in photos, and have as many pretty flowers, that don't care what the weather is, around the house as possible.  The purple flower on the left is a sneak peak to what will be listed next week.  The yellow flower on the right can be found here.  Stay tuned b/c there will some other spring flowers posted next week as well.

I'm wishing everyone a lovely weekend.  We're headed up to Chicago area to see families and C is playing in his yearly gig with his buds. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

taking care of business

Today was a busy day.  I started the day with a list of goals, register for my EIN, call the county clerks office to figure out what I need, call my phone company, and brainstorm website ideas.  That's a pretty good list considering I also had to play several games of dinosaurs vs trucks and dinosaurs in the tent...and go grocery shopping.

I joined a team on Etsy, actually I joined a couple of them in my attempts at socializing in social media.  But the one team I'm actually participating in is a marketing team filled with very helpful people.  Basically a team on Etsy is a private forum, you apply to get in, some take everyone some are more specific.  Anyway there is a thread in there called, what are you doing to build your business today?  I posted my goals which gave me the kick in the butt to actually accomplish more than I thought possible today.

I now have my official EIN!  Step one check!  I called the county clerks office and figured out the process of getting my DBA certificate.  I decided to go all out and officially name my business Crymson Flower instead of just going by my name. Now I need to get down the the office fill out a form then advertise in the local newspaper for a couple weeks.  Then I'm good to go!!!  I didn't get to calling the phone company, instead I took advantage of the first sunny day in ages.  I snapped all new pics of several flowers and a sneak peak of a new project.  So it's not just this week that there are new flowers in the week too!

Speaking of new flowers here's some close up pretty pictures of the new red's in Crymson Flower.  A lily and rose.  I must have made them around Valentine's based on the color.  What's nice about them is that they aren't just valentine flowers, they can be Christmas flowers, or even everyday flowers.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Almost Spring

I can't wait for the two days until Spring is here.  And unfortunately Mother Nature really isn't having much of spring yet anyway.  This morning I had to scrape ice off the car.  Oh well, spring is starting to show up in smaller ways.  I saw some daffodil and iris greens poking up from the ground.  We went for a hike this weekend and the robins are in full worm searching mode.  The red belly woodpeckers were setting up nesting territories, and the cardinals were singing nonstop. 

To help spring a long a little bit I have a sneak preview of what's to come this week to Crymson Flower.  Two new french beaded flowers will show up and a new commission. 
Two of these flowers are already in the shop.  The pink lily on the bottom right can be found here. And the larger red rose on the upper right can be found here.  The smaller rose and red lily will be added as the week goes on. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

NOLA police Flower

A month ago I received my first commission piece.  I was super excited to hear that she wanted a flower for her boyfriend for their 3 year anniversary.  Her boyfriend works for the New Orleans Police Department and she requested that the flower have matching colors as their patch. 
I was grateful that she gave me some direction with what she was looking for.  She suggested orange outer petals with a touch of blue.  And green inner petals.  My biggest concern was getting the colors close.  One because every one's monitors are slightly different and two because any color w/ a bit of red in it can be hard to replicate in glass.  There are a million and one different shades of blue and green seed beads, but orange, red, purples, and pinks are harder to do. 
Once I got the colors figured out I had fun designing the flower.  I added heavy metal brass seed beads to the tips of the outer petals to keep the theme masculine.  At one point I had some pearl star beads in the center but decided it was too literal, and made the flower too busy.  Simple is smart, and simple is what I found out that works with this flower. 
I used primarily matte seed beads.  The blue is a transparent blue with a pearly finish that makes it almost opaque.  The metal brass beads accent the outer petals.  I chose a simple orange bead for the center.  The more sparkly brown and yellow beads I had originally picked out just didn't work.  At this stage I sent the customer an email to see what her thoughts were.  She loved it.  So I put on the finishing touches and laced up the petals for stability.  And had it in the mail within a day or two.

Here's the picture I received to show how closely I'd gotten the colors.  I'm really happy with it.  And from what I hear the customer and the boyfriend (now fiancĂ©) are happy too.   Congrats!!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

New Wine Charms all week

Starting tomorrow I will be listing one of these new wine charms a day for the entire week.  They are bright, and cheery.  A perfect dose of color for the late winter blues.  These wine charms have petals all around the base of the wine glass, letting the glass itself become apart of the flower. 

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

are you feeling lucky?

Back in January when I started up Crymson Flower, one the first suggestions C had for me was to make four leaf clovers for St. Patrick's Day.  St. Patrick's day is kind of a big deal in our house.  Granted I married into the Irish name, I still love a parade, green beer, and corn beef.  So I really couldn't deny that it would be a fabulous idea to make some shamrocks.

I came up with these three Four Leaf Clover wine bottle pendants.  But they can be used for some much more.  C has his hanging from his rear view mirror.  The sunlight coming through the beads is very striking.  They would look amazing hanging in any window.  Or string it on a set of those left over Mardi Gras beads and use it as a festive pendant.

Anyway you use them they are certain to bring good luck.


I took this shot at dusk so there was little to no light.  Driving around midday you can totally see the copper lining in the green glass beads.  It's pretty amazing.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

it's a plan

Apparently writing business plans are all the rage now a days.  Ok they always were the thing to do, I just always ignored that little part of what I would need to do if I ever started up my business.  I've been doing some reading up on said business plan and decided to give it a go.  I ended up with 5 pages of handwritten scribble detailing the beginning parts  of what will be my business plan for 2013.

Here's how I went about it.  I wrote down 4-5 major goals I want accomplished by the end of the calendar year.  Big ones, but not unattainable ones.  I didn't write that I wanted to quit my day job or to have made enough bucks to buy a small island.  I did write that I wanted my site to be getting about 50 hits daily.  That doesn't seem like a lot but right now I'm struggling for 10.  So it's a good goal.  I also wrote that I'd like to make some money, not that I expect to be in the black this year, but I want to have at least sold some pieces.   I also added in some smaller goals, mostly regarding inventory.  What I want in my shop by the end of the year type stuff.  The important part about this list was that the goals needed to be measurable.  I need a number of flowers I want in the store by a certain date.  OR a product line in the store by a certain time.  Daily hits can be measured in my Stats page. 

Ok great I have goals.  Phew, that was tough.  The tougher part was brainstorming how to attain these goals.  The biggest one is getting out there and finding people, finding my audience.  It's possible and like C says I need to figure out who would buy a flower and where they hang out on Internet and go there.  So I have ideas, lists of places to try.  I have lists of art shows to apply to.  And that's as far as I've gotten after 5 pages of scribble.  I still have ideas and deadlines to make for products and smaller things that need to get done.  Then I should type it up so that I can read it again in a couple weeks when I need to reassess what needs to be worked on right now. 

It feels good to have it all written down.  More doable and less scary.  Because really its this business side of business that I find intimidating.  But that's ok because I read a quote that said If it doesn't scare you a little it's not worth doing.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

flower and a movie

This weekend was very productive and yet I still don't feel like I accomplished enough.  It started off wonderful though.  I received a gift from M.... Pride and Prejudice.  Sigh. I love this movie.  I love this story.  I'm a complete sucker for it.  Every time C takes R up north I would rent it, unfortunately the video store only has one copy and it's completely scratched up. 

So I kicked off the weekend staying up late and watching the movie and making the new flower in the picture.  This is sorta of an amazing flower that I can't wait to share.  Total accomplishments for the weekend include, 3 new flowers, 2 half flowers, and 4 new wine charms. I lost a pair of wire clippers, bought a new pair that were horrible, and then found my wire clippers.  I updated my shop anoucment, policy, and about pages.  I'm pretty happy with how they all turned out.

If the sun is out at all this week I'll be taking lots of new pictures.  Until then I'm in production mode.  It'd be great to finish up the two half flowers and then whip up a 6th flower that is in my head.