My Journey in Life and in Business

Divide and Conquer Your Supplies Inventory

Knowing what supplies you have, when you bought them, for how much, and unit price; is all

very important to figure out your costs of goods sold.

You can notice patterns of prices to save you money, and you know how many of each supply you have to determine what you need.

I’ve found that an easy way to inventory jewelry supplies is to put them in plastic baggies with a paper label inside the bag. So I designed these labels to be small, and fit all the info I needed.

I keep an Excel sheet of all my supplies listed with all it’s info {usually copied from the invoice}.

I assign each supply an item number for easier tracking.

I plan to keep a hard copy version in a binder separated by my supply accounts- working on this, will post more later.

Now on to good stuff, what you came here for…

How to take Inventory of your supplies

Step 1: List the things you need to sort & choose how to store the items

example= Jewelry supplies- findings, beads, chain…

I chose to store each jewelry supply in a baggie with a paper label inside.

Step 2: Decide how to identify the items

Give your supplies an inventory item number.

I made a list and added abbreviations to identify each supply type.

Here’s a Word document of how i identify my supply inventory

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-5rXH5KiVMMRUF4d0ZoajVZZ2c/view?usp=sharing

Step 3: Decide how to label items

You could make your own labels.

Or you can use these $2 labels I created, buy them here

http://www.etsy.com/listing/258160595/jewelry-or-craft-supply-inventory-tag

Here’s how my labels look in use

 

Step 4: Divide and conquer!

Taking inventory of all your supplies is a huge job.

So you need to break the job done into do-able groups. Like one drawer, or box, or bag at a time.

In fact it took me 14 days {a couple hours here and there} to label and sort all my jewelry supplies. I had beads and such that I bought back in 2009!

It helped that I was watching my favorite anime, Fairy Tail, while sorting and counting!

Now go get some labels and start sorting your jewelry and craft supplies!!!

Take Inventory-small info

Alter Your Shrinky Dinks After Shrinking

After you have shrunk your shrink plastic art you can continue to alter them.

1. You can glue things to them- like rhinestones, glitter, or fuse two shrink plastic pieces together.

2. You can color your shrinks more, such as coloring the back {i do this for the opaque a lot}

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3. You can touch up the image- make it darker, try to fix mistakes

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4. you can color the edges- I usually do black, or a metallic color

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There’s plenty more you could do with shrink plastic, let the experiments begin!

Shrink Plastic – Workshop Log 4-16-14

More ‘Shrinky Dinks’ I made with my new Sharpie markers.

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Shrink Plastic – Workshop Log 4-10-14

So I pulled out my shrink plastic to make some jewelry pieces.
Here’s some tips, how tos, and things I noticed during my experiments.

Shrink Plastics Used:
White= Aleen’e Shrink-It opaque  {old supplies given to me}
Clear= PolyShrink artist’s grade shrink plastic {bought lucky squirrel/amazon}

Permanent Marker {Sharpie} on Shrink Plastic:
colors easily.
I allowed them to air dry to avoid smearing while coloring the other side {those that i used colored pencil with}.
Don’t have to sand the plastic to use permanent markers.
the colors intensify in a strong way, nonpastel markers get very dark.
   {I don’t have any pastel or mettalic markers yet, will update if/when I test those}.

Colored Pencil on Shrink Plastic:
Have to sand the plastic in a crosshatch pattern before using colored pencils.
Colors easily.
the colors intensify in a nice way, you can achieve pastel {ie. lighter colors}.
colored pencils and permanent marker {especially black} look well together.

Acrylic Paint on Shrink Plastic:
Using straight acrylic paint {I painted on about 2 coats} on shrink plastic produces powdered paint {it cracks and peel} and leaves a light ‘colored pencil-like’ effect.
I was able to salvage some of these pieces by dusting away the excess paint, with a paper towel lightly.
It can scratch off, so it needs to be sealed.

*I read that watered down acrylic paint is usable on shrink plastic.
I can agree to this- the metalic silver paint I used {scalloped oblonged circle} was very watery in the bottle; I used 2 light coats because i wanted a lighter color.
This piece turned out well.

Shrink Plastic:
All my circles I’ve done have become oblong- if you have any ideas please share in the comments.
Perfect for creating unique pieces of miniture artwork.
I enjoy this media and will continue with it.

When you sand one side of the clear shrink plastic {to use colored pencils} the scratches create a ‘fog’ effect after shrinking.
So if you want a crystal clear look- don’t sand >which means don’t use the colored pencils for that piece.

When cutting with the cuticle nail scissors beware to not to close them fully because the plastic will crack- which makes a sharp area once shrunk.

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How to for Shrink Plastic

1. gather supplies:
shrink plastic, sandpaper, colored pencils, acrylic paints, water, permanent markers {most alcohol based markers should work- packaging should list some to use}
scissors {cuticle nail scissors work best}
your designs to trace, or else free hand it

2. If you’re going to use colored pencils or paint, you need to sand one side of the plastic in a cross hatch {left to right, then up to down} pattern with about a 400 grit sandpaper.

3. trace, draw, color

4. cut out your designs. punch holes where needed {for jewelry a single-hole punch works fine for jumprings}.
 If you need a bigger hole I’d work it into the design, draw it, and cut it.
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My Shrinks for April 2014 before/in progressImage

 

My shrinks after shrinking in the oven

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What have you done with shrink plastic {aka Shrinky Dinks}?
Share your adventures with this medium in the comments!

February 2014 Clothes Shopping

With spring and summer around the corner its time to add to my wardrobe!

It’s said that your clothing budget should be 2-8% of your yearly budget.
My clothing budget is small, $480 max.
Actually my entire yearly budget is small $6700 net, and that has to cover nearly $2800 of bills.
That’s based on true numbers from what I made last year.

I wanted to share with you what clothes I bought this month.
I usually only buy what’s on clearance, and use coupon codes too.

chain cowl neck top orig 49 bough 14.84 chain cowl neck top front view

Chain Cowl Neck Top ‘black’ – Fredricks of Hollywood
orig 49 bought for $14.84 total

Sateen Cropped Pants

Worthington® Sateen Cropped Pants, ‘dittie dot’ black with white dots – JCPenney
orig 28 bought for $5.99

Peplum Blouse

a.n.a® Tie-Shoulder Peplum Blouse ‘olive green’ – JCPenney
orig 34 bought for $5.99

Lace-Trim Cami

Worthington® Lace-Trim Cami ‘black’ – JCPenney
orig 8 bought for $3.99

Sleeveless Button Front Shirt

Decree® Sleeveless Button Front Shirt ‘white’ – JCPenney
orig 22 bought for $5.99

Vera Vera Wang Satin Leggings

Simply Vera Vera Wang Satin Leggings ‘cabernet’ red – Kohls
orig 36 bought for $14.40

Dotted Sheer Tie-Front

Candie’s Dotted Sheer Tie-Front Top Juniors ‘white with black dots’ – Kohls
orig 38 bought for $3.80

Love And Haight Hi-Low

Love And Haight Hi-Low Top Juniors ‘white’ – Kohls
orig 34 bought for $3.40

 

The Money Facts

Fredricks of Hollywood
backless zipper shirt XL    $14.84
orig $50 clearance and 60% off clearance item

JCPenny
3 tops, 1 capri {my clothes}    $29.41
orig $92, clearance

Kohls
2 tops, 1 leggings {my clothes}    $29.77
orig $108 Clearance + 10% off code

2014 Spring Summer Trends

Hot colors for Spring/Summer 2014

1. Pink

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There’s still plenty of style mileage left in the hue that makes boys wink. Best worn as one hero-piece, such as a coat  or jacket. Unexpected pink accents soften spring’s athletic and edgy looks.

2. Pastels

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Along with pink, mint green and other pastel favorites showed up on the runway.

3. Monochrome/ Black and White

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This classic combination will continue its run well into spring and summer.

4.Metallics + Iridescence

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Satin and metallics in every colour of the rainbow brought a heavy dose of glamour to proceedings this season. For a cool shiny vibe go for a satin suit or else work sheeny fabrics for day to night – these piece are far too pretty to be saved for best.

5. White
White-on-white ensembles continue to be chic.

6. Orange is the New Black

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The New Colors for Spring 2014

Hot Themes and textures

1. Florals

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Team your neon florals and botanical blooms with edgy attitude and offbeat accessories, like metallic glam rock accessories, sky high sandals or chilled-out trainers. The two tribes within this trend are polar extremes – it’s either the lady-like treatment or sassy urbanite styling.

2. Matchy (Mis-)Matchy

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Spring 2014’s hottest look is no doubt about wearing one print on all items of clothing and accessories, or to clash several patterns in one outfit. If that seems too daring, then the third approach to this hot trend is to work one colour splashed on everything: shoes, bags, phone cover, the works. Too much is simply not enough.

4. Geometric Prints

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Flashback to geometry class for next season’s print craze: grids, triangles, concentric circles and more.

5. Logo-Mania {Say it loud and proud}

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Next season we’ll all be wearing our style on our sleeve as that 90’s staple makes a marked comeback. Whichever message you choose to transmit, make sure it makes a subversive statement.
Whether your clothes are shouting a motto or a brand, make sure its from the rooftops

6. Cold Shoulder
How to wear: Don’t bare all for SS14, instead tease the rest of your torso into a frock but showcase your décolletage and collar bone.

7. Pleats? Yes, Please.
How to wear: Go for tight pleats on dresses, skirts and accessories. The broader pleat is a thing of the past… Well, for now.

Styles That are a hit for spring summer 2014

1. Bohemian Rhapsody

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As seen at: Anna Sui(pictured), Topshop Unique, Chanel, Jonathan Saunders, Gucci
How to wear: The key SS14 take on boho blends the romantic 70s maxi dress and floppy hat with 60s Broderie Anglaise dresses, throwing in retro sunnies for good measure. Poster girls for this look include long-standing Brit It-girl, Alexa Chung and LA’s fashion sorceress, Rachel Zoe.

2. True Rock-mance

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As seen at: Saint Laurent (pictured), Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Moschino, Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang
How to wear: Mix one part 90s grunge with two parts Metallica fan-girl, any you’ll be on your merry way to tapping into one of the season’s most hardcore looks. If in doubt, paint it black and make it leather.

3. Athleticism

An athletic aesthetic clearly took over the runways, most notably, baseball caps, tennis-inspired dresses and varsity jackets. Wear them separate or all together.

4. Cowgirl mashup.

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Urban cowgirl. Showgirl cowgirl. Bra-bearing Rosie-the-riveter cowgirl. Squeezing Western elements into outfits in unexpected ways kept thematic overkill at bay, and signalled a little sub-trend rising up in cowboy boots and embroidered shirts and low-slung oversized belts. Donna Karan, Rodarte and Alexis Mabille respectively brought the aforementioned urban/showgirl/wartime interpretations, while Louis Vuitton’s embellished jeans and Miu Miu’s use of fringing and suede added to the suggestion of a growing spring 2014 fashion trend.
Wear it now: this one is perfect for the fall / winter season as well as for spring, so you can get on it from anywhere in the world. Keep it cool and effortless in slouchy denims, plaid shirts, chunky belts and boots. For a sexier interpretation, mix Western elements with femme fatale ones: an embellished crop top, slinky dress or silk trench coat with dusty cowgirl boots, say, or a pair of denim overalls with heels.

Other Trends to look for

1. Sheer greatness

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Lace, mesh, and all things sheer continue to be on trend.

2. Full Skirts

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The voluminous ladylike silhouette is here to stay. Pair the tea-length skirt with tights and boots during the winter. This ladylike trend is ideal because aside from looking like a princess, it accentuates the smallest part of the body: the waist

3. Fringing

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Fringing takes on a broad range of styles for spring 2014. On the runways, it wasn’t just cowgirl and it wasn’t just flapper; I guess you could say it just was. Spanning eveningwear to casual, fringing and tassels swished onto the scene and found new ways to make a mark.
Wear it now: leather, silk, beading… if you can find a piece that works some fringing into the equation, invest.

How many blogs do you blog on?

I’ve been blogging since about 2009.
 I started with my “LizsWares” blog.
 Then opened my “The Handmade Biz” blog in December of 2012.
 now {2014} I’m starting my third blog “I’m Creating My Own Life”.

I wanted to compartmentalize my topics a bit. I tend to do so with my thoughts
so it fits for me to do this. Some posts will overlap on the blogs.

LizsWares– will be for fashion {clothes + jewelry} posts, and sneak peaks into my methods.
The Handmade Biz– will concentrate on small handmade business tips, shops, ideas, etc
Im Creating my Own Life– will include recipes, home decor, home managment/home making, and life thoughts/tips/stories/journaling etc

Just like my idea of doing multiple Etsy shops I have a binder for each blog
so I can organize my thoughts, and posts.

So how many blogs do you own?