29 November 2011

Biznass - Packaging

Now that I've got a nice assortment of goodies AVAILABLE FOR SALE in the shop, I'm turning my focus back to better branding and something most important: the packaging.  I'm a sucker for unique, fun, reusable packaging stuffs, so I'm excited to pull together all of the resources I already have (random stacks of card stock, newsprint, pretty ribbon and string) and mix with some much needed branding accessories (rubber stamps with logo, stickers for packing and little cards for securing earrings, bracelets and necklaces).

I've compiled some my favorite hang tags and wrapping ideas below and if you're looking to create unique packaging for your own creative business, this handy article by Rena Tom is on the money.

image via A Merry Mishap.

Glasine bags, stickers, twist ties, string and other pretty packaging items from Pretty Tape.

the cutest little bags from Deer in a Bottle and via The New Domestic.

no frills, cute/pretty packaging DIY using the most basic of household stuff.

20 November 2011

onthelookout Winter Collection 2011

[...or an excuse to be the star of your own lookbook.]

This is just a teaser, more pictures and new necklaces/earrings/bracelets coming soon!

18 November 2011

Phenom Fridays

[I'm really feeling things that are soft, light and cozy right now, like the way you feel when you wake up from the best night of sleep on a crisp, luminous Fall morning; Where the world is at your finger tips, cuddled up in fluffy linens that you don't yet want to abandon, but giddy with excitement for the day ahead. (Can you tell I didn't want to get out of bed this morning?) So, we'll go with that...]

image via BellJar.

All items via my etsy faves, svpply and pinterest.

16 November 2011

White Walls?

[interior space crisis...]

This fireplace is perfection.

 above images via A Merry Mishap.

 above images via the DwellStudio Blog.

 image from fellow fellow.

images via design*sponge.

swiped from oh joy! -- image by unison home.

For someone who demanded that they be the final judge in wall colors for our new house, I'm awfully surprised that I'm even thinking what I'm thinking right now...

I kind of hate dislike our walls.  They were colorfully painted less than two years ago, all of them laboriously scrapped, mudded, primed and painted by Z and I am already sick of them.  I think it's the failed attempts at daily photography (all I want is a SIMPLE backdrop, people!) or the abundance of grey cloud coverage in Ohio.  Or maybe it's the fab interior inspiration I've been seeing everywhere.  But, I love how light, airy, bright and new a space with white walls looks.  And it seems as though colorful decor, prints and dark wooden floors then become more of the spotlight, no?  Either way, white walls seem to be calling and I have a bedroom that I'm allowed to re-decorate soon, so I might take the jump with that.  What do you think?  Or maybe something a bit less drastic, like a super-pale, mint-grey hue?    I'm going to go ahead and say if you're going to make anything white, it might as well be the walls.  The thought of having to (successfully) clean white furniture will forever give me the creeps...

15 November 2011

So Insipred // Supakitch and Koralie

They done did it again and I'm still drooling over the fabulousness that is this pair.   I can't get over how beautiful their creative process is.  Ugh, this is probably one of the most inspiring things I've ever seen and I freaking love it.

swiped from Honestly, WTF.

...Feeling Better, Grounded.

(Woof, I guess a blog rant is good for the soul every now and then!)

After that last post, I induced foreced-relaxation on a super dark drive home from work, bear hugged my man before he went for a run, made the most amazing homemade pizza (with garlic sauteed mushrooms and broccoli and a dash of curry on top).  And I did something I rarely EVER do.  I took my time.  Finely chopped garlic, perfectly crisp veggies and a sense of calm ensued.

Anyway, I ended up happy and not overly stuffed (taking your time = not shoveling food in face = happy tummy) and in the mood for a little jewelry making.  Freebie time to make whatever, letting my mind wander and my fingers play with beads and chain.  Came up with some stuff I really like.  In the shop soon, hope you like!

1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

(3 steps forward, and so on...)

I feel like posting when I'm not in the best of moods is a disservice to readers.  Like, who wants to hear about the goddammit and the arrrgh and the wtf moments of someone else's life?  But, then I realized that A. this is my blog and B. keeping all of my frustrations in is a disservice to myself and C. I gots to keep it real.  I'm not here to paint a picture of a perfect life.  I'm here to post some cool shit I've found or made, share it with you and hope that you share back.

So, in an attempt to be honest, I'm going to put it out there... THIS JEWELRY MAKING BUSINESS IS HARD AND OVERWHELMING at times.  And to be super, SUPER honest, my goal here is to chronicle the building of a business that will (WILL) turn into something beautiful that I've created, with hard work, passion and more hard work. There are moments when I am so filled with excitement over a new idea or the possibilities of selling wholesale to some cool, local shop, I can't sit still or sleep...Literally, so giddy that I could throw up.  (Is it that weird to be that excited over some beads...?)  THEN, there are times where I feel so dizzy with what direction to go in, I just stop mid-bead, turn off the lights in my studio and say "efff it" and go to bed.

My mind is races with ideas, bombarding my neurons with so much information and questions and for some reason I cannot seem to prioritize when it comes to managing my own business.  From setting up correct business licenses, to creating new, original, inspired, WELL-CRAFTED products, to spreading the word, to searching for inspiration, to making sure my descriptions are accurate, to supporting other bloggers and crafters, to supporting myself (financially), to sleeping, to eating, to being there for my friends and family, to staying happy and healthy, smiling and laughing.  DANG.

I am beginning to see what I hear others refer to when speaking about their own businesses.  The line between work and life gets really blurry.  You never "leave" the office and you never really shut your brain off to possibilities of what you can accomplish/shit you need to do.  But, at some point, I think I need to realize that this business does not define me.  Having a phenomenal accessories business, while drowning in everything else isn't worth it...as much as I want said phenomenal business.

So to wrap things up quite abruptly, I'm going to have to figure out this whole balance thing.  I have no intentions of stepping back from onthelookout, really, but something's got to give.  Maybe I need to be more decisive.  Maybe I need more focus.  Maybe I need to have just a little more confidence in my product and what I am putting out there.  As it so happens, second-guessing whether or not people are going to like your stuff is a HUGE time waster and energy-drainer.  I love the things I create and I work tirelessly to ensure that they are the highest quality I can produce; And the best I can do, is all I can do.  My inner nay-sayer needs to get on the bandwagon or shut the hell up.

This, like anything important, is a process.  If I don't have a Holiday collection out in time for the impeding holidays, just let it be.  If I don't have a jewelry update for the masses every Monday, let it be.  That's OK right???  I've got to ride this wave, take note of it's ups and downs and enjoy every moment.  Because, in actuality, I am having the time of my life doing this.

Ahhhh (sigh of relief).  And just so no one is confused, I am a supremely grateful that I even have the opportunity and support form everyone in my life to go out there and live my dream life.  Sometimes rants are necessary to help regain perspective and to start the next moment of your life as fresh as possible.

Thanks for listening.

07 November 2011

Hello Monday


Recipe for a stomach ache: Mix one 1 part sugary drink with 1 part cracker and pepperoni-flavored cheese snack with 1 part high fructose corn syrup covered in sour sugar.  Mix well with an empty stomach and 3-hour long drive.

An amazing (but too short, as always) weekend.  Lots of jewelry making with clay, pretty produce at the farmers market and a quick road trip to visit family, booze it up and play disco fever pinball.  Monday, I love you, but you came too soon.

04 November 2011

Phenom Fridays

{Phenomenal finds for your awesome life.}

And just like that, it's the weekend.  I've got visual design class and a short road trip to look forward to,  yip!  Have a good one!

03 November 2011

Twelve by 2012

I'm a big fan of goal setting and making said goals known far and wide and I'm just in time to participate in the Twelve by 2012 Project by oh, hello friend.  This is a cool idea (list, share and complete 12 goals before 2012) and I encourage you to join along! We've got about 2 more months until 2012, and I think getting some huge goals crossed of the list before the New Year will really help me keep up momentum and hit 2012 at full speed.  Because you should aim to be phenomenal all of the time and not when everyone's getting their resolutions in order, right?  And, let's be honest, those guys usually end up on the back-burner by mid-February anyway.

SO, whip up your own list and leave a comment with a link to your Twelve by 2012 blog post.

bold = complete!
italic = in progress...

1// Laundry room renovation!  Remove litter box, install shelves and clothes drying racks.  Add much needed storage for cleaning supplies and whatnot.  If you're going to be doing laundry (barf), your surroundings might as well be as conducive to cleaning and as blissful as possible.

2// Frame and hang all 8 awesome prints/posters that have been sitting in storage for years.  Re-attempt to make at least two frames by hand.

3// Forearm stand with no wall or assist!

4// Confidently running a 8.5 to 9 minute mile pace 3 times a week.

5// Find 3 local shops to sell onthelookout jewelry out of as well as 2-3 applications for some spring and summer craft fairs. Found 1 so far...

6// Create a small collection of original art for screen printed t-shirts and tank tops for the ladies.  Begin production for the shop in late December.

7// Posting a small, well curated selection of my own photography on the blog each week in order to work on them photag skills.

8// Start a savings account.

9// Apply for and get a whole seller's license. DONE

10// Plan a for a fast, fun, cheap, but awesome trip somewhere with my lover to celebrate 3 years :o) DONE, DC for new years on the cheap!

11// Create some original drawings and prints that are phenomenal and affordable for purchase in the shop.

12// Get some onthelookout business cards!  Preferably handmade and super eco-friendly.


01 November 2011


Yokoo: Amazing handmade products, style and sense of humor.  That last scarf looks like it could keep me warm in the coldest/longest/snowiest of Ohio winters. (1 // 2 // 3)