Elves at work

Earlier this month I had a blessing of a order for a larger number of cards. I was so excited to set up a card making shop for a couple of days. And I suddenly felt such a weight of responsibility too – there was a real live person who had just entrusted our little shop (read:me) with the task of preparing the medium to carry her Holiday wishes this year!

DSCN9620The card making process at my little desktop card shop is really very basic and simple, as you can see below. No paper cutters or creasers here – just a metal ruler, pencil, eraser and a really sharp knife. Some sort of paper cutting/creasing tools are on my wishlist, but I don’t feel like getting them is really justified before our card business picks up a little first.

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Meanwhile I’m becoming a real millimetre nerd. And a paper nerd (although, let it be noted here that I’m not really all that knowledgeable about paper in general, but I’m learning new things all the time and this is fun). It frustrates me to no end when the store-cut paper sheets are off by a millimetre on one side, or when the cut edges are too fuzzy, or when a sheet of white paper is ruined by a tiny brown spot in the grain. I bought some recycled cardboard pre-creased post-card bases some time ago, and it really frustrated be that the were made so that the edges were not cut from outside to inside, so that the paper’s edge would ever so slightly curve to the inside, but it was the opposite.

It was a wonderful chaos halfway through – like the postcards had just snowed down from the heavens.

DSCN9616These 60 cards turned out beautifully. In the original listing the year number was drawn with pink glitter gel pen, but since the customer preferred another colour I was happy to hunt for a red gel pen (which surprisingly was more difficult than I had thought – no glitter gel pens in pretty colours, only gold and silver ones. Eventually I found one that was a bit more Christmasy shade of red, no glitter though).

DSCN9611The original listing was for one page (non folded cards too), but again – not a big effort to turn it into a folded version. I realized, that I love customizing orders. Of course, it is a little bit more time consuming, but for a larger number of items it just makes perfect sense to try and make things as perfect as possible – after all, that is part of the beauty of having things made by hand vs factory made mass production.
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We do not offer delivery/shipping upgrades at our shop by default, but that doesn’t mean that you can not ask for one if you need things delivered ultra fast! This time I was the one to offer researching fast delivery options myself, as it seemed like it might end up being a really tight call with regular mail, especially in the pre-holiday season rush. So I had my own first-time experience with DHL too. I learned that one two things are needed for certain – the addressees phone number and a filled out shipping invoice with detailed description of contents. I also put a small “thank-you” chocolate into the packet originally, but that resulted in me having to fill out a really scary detailed piece of shipping invoice for food stuffs, and since the DHL personnel seemed to kind of see this chocolate as a potential customs hold-up risk, I had them remove it to make everything as simple as possible. Didn’t want to risk the delivery being late just because of a small sweet thank you. The customer service at DHL was great though – always accessible via the help-line and the delivery man was behind my door literally a minute after I had filled out a delivery form at their website.

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-Maarja

Christmas is over now (or not :))

That’s how time seems to pass if you peek into the business end of the thing. Holidays are so close now, that I’ve been dreaming of hearts in various shapes and sizes and trying to come up with clever birthday card ideas, because Christmas and holiday related things are so … yesterday. Of course the non-online shops should be increasingly busy and then there are still the post-holiday discounts coming up. But our little on-line craft store can only sit back and relax and wait for sales reports from The Little Christmas Market pop-up Etsy shop in Helsinki (I snagged the header from the event FB page).

10419429_10152555466052794_925711097645092513_nMy sister has not been sitting idle (and dreaming up some silly Valentine’s hearts), she has been busy keeping up the work on her simple, elegant and natural beach pebble jewelry series instead. Here are some examples:
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1) A pair of lovely (nickel free) silver tone post earrings with beach pebbles. (It should be red brick pieces worked smooth and round by the sea).
2) And a matching red brick sea pebble brooch.

Aren’t they great?
I love beach pebbles!

In other news – it’s December, if you haven’t noticed. And we live in the northern part of the northern hemisphere and we see very little of the sun this time of the year. I think I might have mentioned it couple of times already on this blog, but it’s still growing darker each day and it’s kind of hard to avoid the topic. Especially while the urge to just cave in and spend the days mostly sleeping and eating until the days are of a more decent length, is just getting stronger. Bears, badgers, hedgehogs and other wise animals, who either hibernate or almost hibernate during winter months, have worked it out so nicely …
Of course, there are plenty of people living way more to the north than I am. In case you are one of them – please just ignore my complaints about the lack of the light. I know we have like a daylight feast down here every day – I even actually saw the sun yesterday, and it’s kind of unclear why I have put my swimming wear away. We don’t even have snow at our beaches yet …

In any case – happy wait for the holidays to arrive and may you find double chocolates in your advent calendars!

-Maarja