Craft · Craft Business

A New Challenge

With the one year anniversary of my little card shop coming up in a couple of months, I have been feeling the need for reinvention for a second time. Maybe it’s a precursor to my own personal two-fifth-life crisis or maybe it’s my suppressed perfectionist tendencies, hard to say which, but either way I need to breathe some fresh life into my creations. Sales have been non-existent to sluggish, to say the least, and my little operation is so far in the red that I can’t even think of an inoffensive metaphor for it at this point. 

Enter me staring at the dimly glowing beacon on my phone that is Pinterest, seeking whatever inspiration I can manage to gather at 2 am. One morning after a particularly sleepless & pin-filled night, I gathered a look at everything I saved earlier. The few pins that caught my attention were the weekly card sketch challenges from My Favorite Things. I had seen them on Facebook, while scrolling past as I only have maybe 3-4 of their stamp & die sets and wrote them off as something you could only do with their products.

This time, however, they were simply blueprints, and I immediately began to envision ideas using these layouts along with materials that I did have on hand. So I saved a ton of them onto my computer, printed them all off, and started a whole new inspiration journal.  

And now I’m going to take on one of these sketch challenges as my own personal challenges for every one of my upcoming projects. As someone who has always preferred to be self-taught, I’m pretty excited to be able to learn some new techniques and really hone my skill set. I’m not doing them in any sort of numerical order, so as I showcase some of the projects here, if the chronological order seems spastic, it’s because it is!

Sketch challenge 38 was one of the first to catch my eye, as I was in need of wedding and new baby cards in my shop, and this layout seemed perfect for either. Wedding card it was!

I used supplies from many different companies. Lawn Fawn stamp sets “Happy Wedding” and “Happy Happy Happy” were my main draws of inspiration. I immediately knew I wanted the script “happy” to be the main focal point of the card. Paper from American Crafts (floral paper) and Bella Blvd. LLC (yellow polka dots) would bring a beautiful liveliness to the final design. I used Memento’s dye ink in Dandelion for the “happy” in the sentiment, it coordinated perfectly.

I’m really pleased with the final project! I ended up swapping out a bridal bouquet for the wedding bells at the very end (where the bow is on the original sketch), as it went better with the whole overall aesthetic. 

So now I’m looking forward to the future of my little Etsy endeavor, given some fresh new ideas & a slow avalanche of new tools & materials. For anyone else struggling with their creative business, don’t give up! You never know when or where your next inspiration will strike, and hopefully it will be one to revive your business! 🙂


The Paper Pickle


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