Tuesday, March 31, 2009

InkSpot Workshop Turns 1

I Can hardly believe InkSpot Workshop opened exactly 1 year ago today! Can you believe I had never even heard of Etsy before this? Now here I sit...577 sales later, 100% positive feedback, not 1 but 2 Etsy Shops and a website that's about to launch, Whew! Needless to say this has been not only the fastest, but one of the most rewarding years of my life.

Thank you all for your support and enthusiasm during my first year of business. As a token of my appreciation, I'd like to offer up a little special - - no this isn't an April Fool's prank!





APRIL 8, 2009


Looking forward to another successful year and bringing you even more hand crafted paper goodies that make you smile:)

Monday, March 30, 2009



We all strive to achieve some form of balance every day. Regardless if we are working moms struggling to find a balance between work/family or single people struggling to find a balance between work/personal life, we are all on the same teeter totter of life together.

Recently I heard something that has changed the way I view "balance" and consequently it has taken a load of stress off of me and I hope by sharing this story you too will become enlightened.

I was listening to a talk radio show and they had on a guest Psychologist. A caller asked the question about how to find balance in life and the answer was simply thought provoking (in my humble opinion) Not extremely unique, but just so simple and easy to grasp it made me wonder why I had not thought of this already?

The Doctor replied (and I'm paraphrasing) "You never really reach a state of balance because balance is not a state, it is a PROCESS." He went on to tell a story about how he never thought he could ride his bike without using the handle bars, because every time he tried the bike would sway to one side or the other. He chalked this up to not having "balance" and figured he'd never be any good at it. Then one day he realized, wait! the actual process of shifting your weight back and forth from one side to the other IS how you balance!

Now everything is crystal clear to me. When I'm spending time with my son, I used to stress out about how I needed to be working. Then when I'm working, I feel tremendous guilt about not spending time with my family. Now I understand this is completely normal and the constant shifting of how, where, with whom and when you spend all of your time is actually the art of BALANCING.

Hope this has helped- thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Turtle Beach Inn

Finally getting around to posting about the restful weekend hubby and I had last weekend, sans 3 year old! We went to the most secluded area in Florida's panhandle I have ever been, in fact never even knew it existed and is even called the "forgotten coast". We stayed at a simply charming bed and breakfast called The Turtle Beach Inn, located 15 minutes from Apalachicola and 15 minutes from Port St. Joe on Indian Pass Beach. We had the entire place to ourselves! Absolutely heavenly sunsets (pictured above)

Old Florida, the way it's meant to be seen. No huge high rises here.

No TV in room and being banned from my laptop meant quality time spent together and scrabble. We are both highly competitive so games can get heated quickly. I should have known not to try this word out on my fluent-in-Spanish speaking husband. What are you supposed to call the boy Guava fruit?Weekend getaway, we were sorry you had to end, but look forward to our many returns:)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

iCANDY 31st Edition

Directions: For optimum viewing click on collage

Ahh! nothing says Spring is in the air like light and airy fabrics. I do not know how to sew but looking at this collection sure makes me wish I did. All of these talented designers are fellow Etsy sellers and have off the chart skills, in my humble opinion:)

1. Eyelet Table Runner, Home Sweet, Greenwood $27.00

2. My Bike Mix, Green Olive Textiles, Melbourne $31.50

3. Molly Bird, Black Bags, Charlotte $61.00

4. Leaf Weave Lamp Shade, Home Sweet, Greenwood $60.00

5. Water Bubbles, Cicada Studio, New Jersey $17.00

6. Linen Lavender Pillows, LeiLiLaLoo, Amsterdam $18.00

Enjoy! and if you see iCANDY that needs attention, please send my way info@inkspotworkshop.com.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thankful Day

Here I sit on my computer, while hubby drives us to the beach for our much needed romantic getaway, sans 3 year old. I really need to go to a 12 step program for computer addicts! I promise to log off for good in just a short while. I just really wanted to get this post up before the weekend began so I could say a proper THANK YOU to Holly, of Decor8. Imagine my surprise when she sent me a tweet (you fellow Twitter heads know the speak) with this link.

So I'm sitting here reading my mention on Decor8 to my husband, plus all the wonderful replies readers have posted and he starts laughing. Apparently, he's feeling a little under recognized for his contribution to the success of InkSpot Workshop. It's as well he should, you see it is because of his support that I am able to work a full time job, plus have a side business and in what little free time is leftover, still feel like I'm part of a normal, healthy family.

So many wonderful things are going on in my life right now and I just wanted to stop and list a few things I am truly thankful for...

- Right now, it's wireless Internet Thanks to Verizon

- A wonderful {day} job with a great company, especially in this economy. I'm thankful for a flexible schedule, if I had a regular 9-5 office job I'm just not sure I would be able to swing everything.

- Customers who actually like my products enough to tell their friends, plus come back:) It is because of you I now have the resources to make my dream of my very own website a reality.

- Supportive friends and family members who never thought InkSpot Workshop was a crazy idea. I mean come on, what is Etsy? You already have a great job, why do you need to do this?

- A supportive online community I have found that never seems to run out of ideas, tips and suggestions.

But most of all my biggest thank you goes to my husband and not because he is sitting right next to me as I type this. He has been my #1 supporter from the start and even suggested I do stationery as my "side" business, because he knew how much I loved to create designs. He takes over the care of our son when I am swamped with orders or deadlines (like this entire week) He never makes me feel guilty about how much time I am spending on my "side" business. He even offers to help and sometimes can even cut note cards to the correct size:)

Where have I been this week?

Well it's been quite a crazy week over here at the workshop. I have taken this entire week off from my {day} job in order to spend some much needed time on items for my new InkSpot Workshop website, to be unveiled in the very near future. The items on my checklist have included making some new designs, redoing most of my pictures and adding item content to the website itself.

In the middle of being extremely productive all week, our poor 12 year old dog Jake, fell ill. In 10 short days he lost weight, kept throwing up and the vet just could not figure it out. Had to take him to the Beverly Hills of all vet specialists yesterday and poor guy had a stone in his gallbladder, which required immediate surgery and a nice fat bill of $3,500. Jake is recovering nicely in his Beverly Hills hotel and will return to us in a few days:)

Here's a sneak peak at some un-retouched pictures. I've been experimenting with new designs, new props and camera. What do you think?

This is the doctor's eye chart of a form I have to fill out for each and every product I will be selling in my shop. It is tedious and is making my neck hurt but will be worth it in the long run. A big THANK YOU goes out to Sara Tams, who is the person responsible for getting me into this whole mess:) I love her website, with it's user friendly interface and have hired the same design group. She graciously spent at least an hour on the phone with me Tuesday, walking me through every detail I needed to know. So nice to finally put a voice to a face.

My reward!! This is my destination starting tomorrow! Hubby and I will be dropping off our toddler at Nana and Grandpa Michael's in the FL Panhandle and heading over to this spot of paradise ALONE!

Can't you just hear the waves?

Ciao for now, will be back next week. Hope you have a wonderful weekend too!!

The Winner Is....

Dottie has won not 1 but 2 sets of
Personalized Dog Silhouette Note Cards
courtesy of Fire Hydrant Press

Monday, March 16, 2009

Deposit #1

It is with great pleasure I bring you this post today. As I mentioned here last month, I have started a second Etsy shop called Fire Hydrant Press. This furry little division of InkSpot Workshop exists to provide dog lovers with fun and unique paper goods featuring their own pet's silhouette(s). As a side benefit, I chose Last Chance For Animals as this year's benefactor and 15% of all Fire Hydrant Press sales get donated to this wonderful organization that helps ALL animals!

Fire Hydrant Press opened in December, 2008 and every 3 months (quarterly) I will send LCA a check. My very first check just got mailed today for the amount of $150.00 and I sure am looking forward to seeing that number quadruple over the next few months. I will keep a running tally of all donations (year to date) both on my blog and on my shop announcement.

To celebrate, I'd like to offer


Simply leave a post here telling me not only your favorite item at Fire Hydrant Press,

but what makes your dog simply THE BEST.

I will randomly select a winner on Friday, March 19 at 9:00 am

the winner will receive 2 sets of my new Spring Fling, personalized stationery.
One for you and one for a friend. You pick the dog silhouette.

The winner will also get to have their dog's picture proudly displayed right here and on my shop's banner

Good Luck! and please help spread the word about Fire Hydrant Press. I want to be able to write a check to Last Chance For Animals in the thousands, not just hundreds!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

iCANDY - 30th Edition

Directions: For optimum viewing pleasure, click on iCANDY collage

This week's iCANDY is SWEETLY brought to you by InkSpot Workshop and Fire Hydrant Press.

Like just about everyone out there I am on a cupcake kick, actually a "mini" cupcake kick. In addition to sampling:) I can't get tired of looking at pictures of these colorful little beauties. I especially love the top heavy, fat piped on frosting look. When you have cupcakes this cute you need an equally cute stand to proudly display your treat. This week's iCANDY is all about the presentation, but of course I had to throw in at least one real cupcake.

1. Whitney Smith, Oakland, CA $32.00

2. Vessels And Wares, Atlanta, GA $18.00

3. M Cupcakes, Atlanta, GA $26.00

4. Vegan Dish, Atlanta, GA $18.00

5. Kim Westad, New York City, $26.00

6. The Bees Knees, Milwaukee, WI $22.00


Monday, March 9, 2009

Stress + Guilt = Clean Office

Ever get that feeling like the walls are starting to close in on you? Well in my case they really were. Actually, I should say the boxes were starting to close in on me. The heat has been turned up in all areas of my life right now. My {day} job is getting busier {people need iv catheters} and both InkSpot Workshop and Fire Hydrant Press sales are constantly growing {thank you}. All of this means more stuff ending up in my office and claustrophobia settling in.

Although we had Spring like weather here in Atlanta, this weekend, I never got to enjoy it. Instead I spent my entire weekend buying, putting together, organizing and thoroughly cleaning {achoo} my office. As I sit here in my {shining clean} office, I feel at peace. I can actually think clearly since the clutter has been eliminated. What a relief!

My overall design theme for this space is British West Indies with a touch of modern. I just love the way I feel in the Virgin Islands and wanted to replicate that in my workspace. Bright sunny patterns and colors, just like my stationery. I try to keep my reward for all this hard work in mind when I am in here. That reward being a nice beach vacation.

Not such a pretty before shot

Ahhhhh, much nicer place to work

essentials within reach

My new shipping, cutting and packaging station. I just love it!

Ikea Vika Artur Trestles double as storage
and clear Lucite bins from the Container Store come in handy

Benno CD Tower is my new envelope tower. Thanks to Ikea for including an unfinished edge on one front panel, I got crafty and glued brown, satin ribbon on each side. Actually, I like the way it pulls my use of dark wood and white wood together.

Ikea and Container Store Shopping Guide

The lovely day I missed with my family:(

My son and very understanding husband got to have 2 full days of father/son time.
Although they had a great time, it doesn't help my guilt.

Friday, March 6, 2009

iCANDY - 29th edition

Directions: For optimum viewing pleasure, click on iCANDY collage

This week's iCANDY feature has no particular theme other than I found these cute items while pouncing around on Etsy and felt the sudden urge to splurge!

1. Sarah Cosmetic Bag - Sage Saks, Atlanta, GA $25.00

2. Petit Stamp - Love Petit Zakka Japan, Central Japan $5.00

3. Linen Closet Drops - Foundling, Asheville, NC $15.00

4. Antique Terrarium - Blithe Gardens, Kansas City $32.00

5. Beer's Best Friend - Buttermilk Bake Shop, Chicago $14.00

6. Birdcage T - Mary Ink, Nashville $28.00


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sneak Peek!

I just can't keep this under wraps for much longer. Here is a snippet of what InkSpot Workshop's very own website is going to look like. For the past couple months I have been working with designer Arianne Foulks, at Aeolidia Designs. So far it's been pretty easy, until yesterday that is....

We are at the phase of my project where I need to actually start adding my content, meaning products, welcome message, etc... I received link after link of informative tutorials about everything I will need to know from the sizing my pictures, to the proper naming of my files and then I believe I even saw something about writing code. I'm a bit nervous and scared, like I've really gotten myself in over my head. I'm just a medical device sales rep who gets a big kick out of making stationery for crying out loud:)
Deep breath... ok, everything is going to work out just fine because it always does. Once I dig into figuring all of this out, I will be a pro in minutes {fingers crossed}

In the meantime, my friend and local Etsy seller Lynn Tennile, of Sage Saks, is quite a pro behind the camera and has offered to do my product shots. Take a look at her pictures, how could I ever say no? Looks like I already know what props I'll be using.

Stay tuned for the exciting launch of http://www.inkspotworkshop.com/. Until then, wish me lots of luck:)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Although we received only a little snow over the weekend, it was just enough to make me think about the beach. Truth is... I think about the beach ALL the time. In fact we got married on St. John (USVI) just over 4 years ago and spent our honeymoon on Tortola, British Virgin Islands. It was during that time I started my little sand collection project. I wanted to have souvenir sand from all the beaches we visit as a married couple. Our little collection has steadily grown and is on display for us to enjoy in our living room. I bought these bottles at the Container Store.

It's so interesting to see the differences in the sand from all the various beaches. The finest, sugar like sand is from the Florida Panhandle, while Maui, is home to the coarsest and darkest.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow in ATLANTA?

Here is a view from my back deck, can you believe it? Big, huge, fat snowflakes are falling and it's just so beautiful. I know most of you are sick and tired of snow right now but this is a rare sighting in Atlanta. I just wish they would stick, it's been years since I've made a snowman.

Only in Atlanta will you see snow on bamboo

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