That’ll Be Easy. (A Crafter’s Saga.)

I love Thanksgiving.

It’s fall and comfort food. It’s a chance to be more consciously thankful, and people seem to be happier in general. Yes, there’s a connection there – between those two things.

The pride of my yearly crafting is my Thanksgiving card design. I spend the whole year thinking and looking at art trends. I toggle between simple and elegant and more complicated mini master-arts. I only call them that because each of the 25-30 cards I make each year is similar in style, but 100% an original like no other.

Sometimes my choice of action comes down to time and how much I have or don’t. Depending on how early or late I decisively decided to commit to a card and how complicated my choice is.

Breaking a card down into pieces helps determine the order of preparation and assembly. Early on I learned that gluing all the pieces together for each card individually takes way more time than an assembly line approach.

This year’s card was no exception. I decided to multi-media for a more impressive pallet.

Then, I played around with supplies on hand, measuring if there was enough of everything to create a full 30 or if some number would end up with slight back-ground, frame or brad variations. I miraculously came close to using one specific set of stock. I rationally suspected I may have a few shortages, but the likelihood of someone in one state sharing their card with someone they don’t know in another state assured me that was going to be ok.

I always over-cut, over-stamp, over-fold, in case of slips, skews, and off-pattern veering. And in case I forgot any new recipients I might have acquired over the past year.

Assembly would be straight forward once I established my steps and prepped my foundations.

  1. Determine the length and width of the fabric first layer, cut 34.
  2. Determine the length and width of the second paper frame layer, cut 34
  3. Determine the length and width of the inked third layer, create 34
  4. Fold and background ink 34 cardstock cards, assuring 34 size-match envelopes are available.
  5. Gather 68 brads knowing some will be of similar shape and size, but likely different colors.
  6. Punch 260 leaves, projecting 8 per card.

Pleased with my planning, I pronounced what all experienced, yet still unwise crafters (incredulously) proclaim at the beginning of any project.

“Great! That’ll be easy.”

Quote for the Week:

$ Layering Tips for Bed Bath & Beyond and Macy’s

Two quick scenarios from today’s adverts & sales & rewards programs:

Bed Bath & Beyond:

Sign in through MyPoints you will get 4 points per dollar.

Use BB&B 20% Off Entire Purchase coupon code

The IBOTTA browser extension with pop up and ask you to activate 2% cash back.

If you have a gmail account and use it for your purchasing email address, Fetch will automatically credit you points for any e-receipts to your gmail address.

Summary for this scenario: $100 item

My Points: 400 points

BB&B: $20.00 off

IBOTTA extension: $1.60 cash back ($80.00 x 2%)

Fetch: I don’t have gmail, so I cannot for sure give you a points figure. But, snapping photos of paper receipts this year has averaged me 270 points/receipt.  

Macy’s

Signing in through MyPoints will earn you up to 15 points/dollar.

When I Iogged in this morning, IBBOTA extension was showing 8% cash back.

If you’re a Macy’s card holder, you should have received mail or email with coupons/codes. 😉

Click the Blue Links below to get started.

Ibotta My Ibotta Referral Code: vuodlbm

Fetch My Fetch Referral Code: A8JUX

MyPoints: if you are interested in adding MyPoints to your layered savings, please private message me your email address so I may send you an invitation. You can go and sign upon your own, but it’d be nice if you give me a chance to send you the invite. 🙂

Yes, I will earn points or cash back boosts from the above links. But, once you sign up, you can, too!

Important – I will never, ever sell or give your email address away or divulge any other personal information, to any other person, company or space alien. Promise.

Other ways to get cash back or rewards:

Take advantage of your credit cards with the best rewards. Do your research before shopping!

Discover 5% at Amazon, Best Buy & Target.

Amex is offering cash back at various retailers and has a Small Business Saturday encouragement campaign. At one time, they were offering various amount of cash back on purchases at qualifying small businesses in your area.

Savings $ Layering

I had this whole thing conceptualized as a three-part learning series, which it will be, still.

However, on the front side of holiday shopping, I wanted to share how I layer savings and earn cash back and gift cards and shopper rewards, too.

So, not my best example, but my most recent. Here’s how the FoodSaver purchase worked out for me at Kohl’s:

I started by going to MyPoints and entering Kohl’s from there. 6 points per dollar was the rate on 11/23. It can rise or lower. So, before you shop at any store, open your MyPoints account.

Original price $349.99

Sale price $329.99

Kohl’s 15% Off Coupon – $49.50 (I didn’t get the 30% 😦 )

Shipping Free

Kohl’s cash earned $75.00 (think funds for holiday gifts)

Kohl’s rewards earned $14.02 (think funds for holiday gifts)

Ibotta Browser Extension 0.5% Cash Back $1.49 (think thirst quencher while you’re shopping) and remember – I earned $193.00 cash back from Ibotta last year! It all adds up. Truly.

MyPoints 1782 point (Redeemable for Gift Cards)

Fetch – Unfortunately, only works with online purchases associated with GMail accounts, SO FAR. They’re working on it!

Click the Blue Links below to get started.

Ibotta My Ibotta Referral Code: vuodlbm

Fetch My Fetch Referral Code: A8JUX

MyPoints: if you are interested in adding MyPoints to your layered savings, please private message me your email address so I may send you an invitation. You can go and sign upon your own, but it’d be nice if you give me a chance to send you the invite. 🙂

Yes, I will earn points or cash back boosts from the above links. But, once you sign up, you can, too!

Extra tips:

Create a Junk Email Address. You’ll use this for all of the stores, restaurants, point and cash back programs so they don’t clutter up your real inbox!

When you sign up for any cashback or points program there is usually a bonus. Always check your email and the website for extra deals.

Right now Ibotta is offering 2.5% cash back on Society6 purchases.

I always order samples from each site I list my art on as a quality check. Not only am I super pleased with the pleated, 2-layer, filter-insert features of Society6 masks, I am also super pleased that the Ibotta Browser popped up and offered 2.5% Cash Back ON TOP OF THE SALE PRICE – up to 50% off on a lot of items. Redbubble also offers Ibotta cash back.

Important – I will never, ever sell or give your email address away or divulge any other personal information. to any other person, company or space alien. Promise.

Artwork available on masks, pillows, clocks, tables, leggings, travel mugs, and just about any great gift you can think of!

Knabbler Shop @ Society6

Knabbler Shop @ RedBubble

btw – Chewy offers discounts for joining their auto-ship plan. Scheduling is your choice. Auto ships may be canceled at any time, so try it out.

Button Bouquet

Button Bouquet

A joyful mixed-media collaboration between two crafters with ample access to buckets and baggies and boxes of shiny treasures.

Rescued bits of damaged jewelry, new and repurposed beads and buttons – metal, glass and plastic.

A temporary canvas – this image only existed long enough to photograph and fiddle with, but the bouquet is everlasting.

As is the friendship it was built on.

Available as a pillow, tote bag, travel mug.

Shop now at:  Knabbler @ Redbubble

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Infomercial Intrigue

Jeff and I shared the desire to own our own business. Since we both had jobs, we often talked about what we’d like to do, together, someday. And since Jeff was up late at night a lot, he was the one who saw the Tom Bosely, Specialty Merchandise Corporation infomercial. He told me about it in the morning on our way to work. That evening we crammed into our tiny office in the Tecumseh townhouse, fired up the computer and read everything there was to read on the SMC website.

We started off with a standard website and sent out a dozen business inquiries. We thought we should start small. We received one response from a tattoo shop in Tecumseh, set up a meeting and sold a few things. We sent out another dozen, but nothing came of those.

Jeff came up with another idea, though. Jeff used to sell trading cards at expos and we both loved flea markets, so we decided to try those route. The hardest thing about retail is trying to gauge what buyers want. We set out to see what was missing from the local weekend markets, and decided it was garden décor and birdhouses. I also included some of my fabric flower pins, just to see what would happen.

We did well enough our first show to earn back our table fee and recoup half of our purchase money. It didn’t come close to breaking even for us, especially with the program buy-in fee. I took the catalogues into work and made a few sales that way. What was left was taken to another flea. That’s where we learned (which we should have already known) that the same buyers go many places to see what is different. Of course, we should have known that, because that’s why we went to many places, as well.

After spring and summer, comes winter and no markets. We had quite a bit of stock left, and our enthusiasm for dragging around merchandise, setting up and tearing down displays every weekend kinda fizzled. It came up in conversation one day with friends who had a retail space in a mall that currently had some open spaces available.

“What good would a store be?” I asked Jeff. “You can’t just have a store open on weekends…”

“Well, why not? Sure ya can.” He replied, quickly adding, “Let’s just go look…”

Quote for the Week:

2017 09 05 Ive learned a lot from infomercials jakorte

How to flea market: Flea Market Facts

Flea Markets Today: A Little More Sophisticated

Pure Michigan: MI Flea Market Map