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Love Letters

We are excited to be holding our annual Love Letters event again this year, benefiting MOW/VNA North Texas. We will be supplying all the craft supplies needed so come by Cafe Izmir Plano today and craft for a cause!

Many of the clients of MOW and VNA are isolated from the world and often the only person they see all week is from this service. Feelings of loneliness and isolation can be an issue and by making a card, and putting a thoughtful note inside it can really brighten someones day.

If you are unable to participate in person, you can check out one of the tutorials I made for the event below! DM me if you are interested in sending some in, or you can bring them to the nearest MOW location to you.

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Invest in Your Productivity

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For some reason, as creative entrepreneurs, when we look at where we spend our money, we rarely spend it on things that increase general productivity. Need a new tool to make jewelry or printer for your art prints, yep, that is a good investment. Need to buy some software just to keep your days straight? Nah, this post-it note system I've got going on is working okay for me and is free. Why do we do this to ourselves?

Because tangible tools help us sell more and we don't always see how something productivity focused will do the same. If you made some investments in keeping you more productive, could you get an hour or two (or 10) back into your week to create more product, or market your business? Probably. It's hard to run a business, where you have to be all the things, maker, marketer, web designer, accountant, and when your day isn't organized it is easy to get distracted by things that seemingly only take 10 minutes, until you realize an hour has past and you need to get back on task.

We use a variety of online tools, some free and some paid to keep us as productive as possible. For starters we use Todoist to keep a collaborative to do list going. It allows you to prioritize and set due dates for tasks. Everything down to paying bills and picking up the dog from the groomers is on there-along with the realistic amount of time it will take to complete.

Another online service we use is Asana, which allows us to plan larger projects that will take time and several elements to complete. This (for us) includes our production calendar, with dates and what we need to make, key deadlines we need to hit, and what supplies need to be ordered when. It is also helpful for some social media planning, even though that is not really what the tool is designed for. It's pretty low cost and makes a huge difference. Another benefit to using these online apps is that since we are in two different locations it allows us to collaborate (and is way more effective than searching a loooong string of Facebook messages trying to find that due date).

What apps or tools do you use to stay productive and on task throughout the day?

Problem Solve Your Way to an Organized Home

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As I mentioned last week I have been on an organizing frenzy, in my personal life, at home, and for Pig and Peacock. Every year I go on this organizational spree, buying all kinds of tubs and containers to corral all the things and donating as much stuff as I can part with....and this year the light bulb finally went off: "What is it about xyz that creates this clutter in the first place?"

Like, seriously, why is this pile of "stuff" always occupying space on my counter/desk/workspace no matter how many times I "organize" it?

Once this epiphany was in front of me it became so clear, I needed to stop trying to solve my organization issues, and start solving their raison d'être. Aside from not having time to regularly keep everything straight, these clutter bombs existed because my organization solution only created a home for stuff-but not in the way I needed it to to solve my problems once and for all.

Some of these were really simple and straight forward: my bathroom counter (4' wide for 2 adults) was covered with brushes, makeup, plus my BF's shaving cream and razors, and 2x skincare products since we don't use the same anything. Past attempts at taming this beast were to put everything back up on the shelves they belonged on.

  • The Problem: We used this stuff daily so the shelf wasn't working.

  • Old Solution: Fancy shelves out of the way

  • New Solution: a two tiered stand that sits on the counter (in a small surface area) one level is his stuff, the other mine.

  • The Kicker: It's WORKING because the root of the problem was solved-it was too inconvenient to put stuff all back up on it's little organized shelves, it needed to be on the counter, just not all over the place.

We are applying this tactic to P&P as well in terms of productivity. Why do we never get to the bottom of our to-do list? Why are there a million fragrance oil samples and post it notes on our counter? Solving these problems have started to lead us to not more tubs and drawers (well, not as many), but instead a spare laptop and some new processes to reduce the clutter instead. I realize that many people may think this concept is a no-brainer, but for me it has been a game changer.

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Oh, Hello 2018

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Well hello there...it's been a while, huh? Yeah our last post was in (cough* Nov 2016). If your wondering why we've been MIA well, it's because last year handed our asses to us. Fer reals y'all. This was in part because Jenny and I took on a new leadership role as co-presidents of Etsy Dallas, and in addition to that all the other leadership members were new too, so we all rolled up our sleeves to tackle the year and that meant that we ended up making sacrifices in other areas of our lives. This blog was one of them.

That being said...last year was an amazing learning experience in so many ways. From stretching the reach of my skill set and learning new things to some hard learned self awareness that will help carry me forward. In the midst of all that was happening, I also got laid off and had to navigate the waters of deciding to change my career path into a new industry; which I had wanted to do for some time and just needed this push to do. Whew! 

Now it's 2018 and time for a refresh! New career with an amazing company, new focus on tending to some forgotten things in my life (ie this blog, running, photography).

I'd like to kick off this year with some of our business resolutions and invite you all to post yours in the comments so we can all hold ourselves accountable this year! 

  1. Our main goal for Pig and Peacock is to grow revenue by 30% which may seem lofty but being stretched thin last year caused us to miss opportunities that we won't let happen again this year.

  2. To help us achieve this goal we are going to keep up with all of our social media channels to really engage with others and build our brand.

  3. In an effort to support goal #2 we are doing in an organization frenzy in our studio to make it more "photo ready" for sharing.

  4. Scheduling, scheduling, scheduling. We are keeping an almost annoying level of detail in our calendars including reminders to make sure we stay on track with P&P and Etsy Dallas to-do's.

Many of these things are already in the works in some capacity-since we are energized from the new year (and lots of rest during the post holiday season). We hope you'll stick around this year and follow our journey!

Wishing you all an amazing 2018!

Sabrina & Jenny 

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Shop Small Sale Roundup

So this morning already I have read a report that someone was shot for over a parking space at a Reno, NV Target last night, and at a Macy's in New Jersey two men were shot, killing one. Uh, it's just a TV folks, certainly not worth this craziness!!

For this holiday season, I plan to support our small businesses. No, they don't make TV's but they do make some of the most amazing and unique things I have ever seen, and the craftsmanship far exceeds anything you would buy at a big box retailer in most cases. Shopping small supports local communities in a BIG way, and really these people are your friends and neighbors, and I want to support them first before I take my money to big box places and make people like the Walton family even richer than they already are.

Annndd-the bonus is I can do it in my PJs while sipping coffee (or wine) from home!

Below is a roundup of some of my favorite small shops and some of the special sales they are running for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday (really Sunday, you are lacking in your shopping sale moniker).

I'll kick it off with our little shop :)

 

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Summer Learning with Etsy Dallas

Take advantage of the slower summer months and work on sprucing up your business for the busy fall season with some classes and workshops with Etsy Dallas!

See below for the current calendar and hop on over to their blog for details on all the classes!


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Etsy Dallas Artisan Market at Taste of Dallas


Exciting news! Etsy Dallas has partnered up with Taste of Dallas to create the Etsy Dallas Artisan Market. This will be the 30th year that Taste of Dallas has showcased the best of what the Big D has to offer in art, music, and food (and now the local handmade scene).

The Etsy Dallas Artisan Market will include exclusively handmade vendors with all the quality goods from emerging artists and designers you have come to expect from Etsy Dallas including jewelry, accessories, art, body care, clothing, home goods, kids, pets, and stationary. In the coming months, you will be hearing a lot more about this exciting event, but for now-artists go apply here!

Applications will be open until April 15th.

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Craft Show Like a Pro Class

A while back we did some guest posts for Etsy Dallas on what it takes to have a successful craft show. Well, now we have taken all that great information and turned it into a class we will be offering twice a year!

If you are new to craft shows, need help with your booth and displays, or are just a little rusty this would be a great class to attend!

Class info
Date: April 2nd
Time: 12:00-2:30pm
Where: Dallas Makerspace, 1825 Monetary Lane #104 Carrollton TX 75006
Cost: $15
Ticket Info



In the class we will cover everything from how to prep inventory, booth designs, displays, what to bring and how to take payments. We will also have an open discussion/booth critique at the end.

Hope to see you there!

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DIY: Handmade Valentine's Day Cards

As a continuation from our last post about the Love Letter campaign for DoSomething.org and Meals on Wheels, I thought I'd share a tutorial on how to make a cute handmade card for your special someone this Valentine's Day!


Materials needed:
Cardstock - One bright color for the card and one craft color for the envelopes 
Hearts cut out of of paper -  use as many colors as you want
Glue, or glue dots
Marker
Envelope printable download - follow the link below to download

  1. Download and print the template for the envelopes on the craft paper and cut them out
  2. Fold the envelopes along the fold lines and glue the flaps together 
  3. Glue the envelope to the card and start gluing hearts in it spilling out
  4. Write a message of your choice for your loved one!
Want another fun Valentine's Day Card tutorial? Head on over to the Etsy Dallas blog to read my guest post with another DIY!


Happy Valentine's Day!

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Love Letters

This month, we joined DoDomething.org's Love Letter campaign to make Valentines Day cards for senior citizens in our community that are home bound and face isolation due to disability, location, and language barriers. It was a really fun project for us and our Etsy Dallas team members that family and friends participated in and we got cards from all over Dallas and Austin too!

In total the team made over 100 handmade cards that Meals on Wheels will deliver over the next few days, and we hope it will put smiles on many faces!

Below are a few cards that Jenny and I made for the project. Later this week we will post some tutorials so you can make your own cards!










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Spreading Holiday Cheer with Etsy Dallas

As we mentioned in the past part of our responsibility with Etsy Dallas is to organize charitable events that help our community and spread the word about the handmade movement here in Dallas.

This holiday season, we hosted a craft night at our local Ronald McDonald House. I am so thankful that some of our team members were able to come out and participate! Some of the artwork that is made during the RMDH craft nights will end up at the Flying Horse Cafe for guests to buy to help raise money for RMDH (not specifically from ours, but I keep checking the cafe when I make coffee runs)!

So keep your eyes peeled, you may find one of our "masterpieces" at the cafe!

Stay tuned for next week's post - I'll be posting a tutorial to one of the crafts we made.








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Stocking Stuffers - Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash Gift Guide

Everyone loves to find that little something special in their stocking (unless you were on the naughty list) and with these fun, unique handmade items you'll be sure to surprise and delight everyone on your list!


You Rock Guitar Pick Custom Guitar Pick Hand by Tesoro Jewelry

Leather Coffee Sleeve by Surly Bunny

Cute Bunny Wildlife Bookmark 2x6 Book Mark by Shannon Valentine

Jeweled Alphabet Scrabble Tile Necklace by Unboxed Studio


Not All Who Wander Are Lost Leather Luggage Tags by A Cheery Blossom

Christmas Mini Art Notes from Serious Creatures

Candy Cane Bath Bomb by Whipped Up Wonderful

Vegan Cuticle Balm Rosemary Mint Handmade by Lip Glosserie


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GIfts for Tiny Humans - Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash Gift Guide

Toys, tee shirts and tepees! The gifts on this list will be sure to delight kids of all ages.

Taxidermy Baby Hippo Head by Nothing But A Pigeon

Ballet Giraffe Art Print 8x10 from Serious Creatures

Desert Birds Tunic by Freckled Chicken


Batman Deluxe Small Peg Set by Wooden Leg Named Smith

ninja turtle inspired handmade sock monkey by Mush Tushy 

Bunny Plush Pillow in Pastel Peach with Black and by Regal Cottage

Happy Star Plushie by These Things

HERO kids tee in athletic grey by Sweet Tees Shop

Handmade teepees from Bonjour MaeMae

Girls Fall Dress Girls by Emmi Lee Designs


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Gifts for the Hostess with the Mostess - Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash Gift Guide

We all have that one friend that loves entertaining. Don't just bring a bottle of wine, show your appreciation with a gift that can be used for future parties or be a conversation piece (ok, and bring that wine too!)
Celadon serving bowl with multi glaze stripes by BLUEFLAMESTUDIOS


Fused Art Glass Coaster Black Opal Art Glass by kesslercraftsman


Machine Embroidered Kitchen Dish Towel Blue and by InYourBones

Mojave Natural Leather Bowl by Scout and Lilly


Siracha Dish Towel by Fisk & Fern


Dragonfly Heart Pocket Planter by bothhandsstudio


Large Peacock Illustration Print by curiousandfanciful


You're Home Hand embroidered hoop art for your home by bedthread


Calaveras Craft Apron by miamaria



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Gifts for the Geek - Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash Gift Guide

Geek /ɡēk/ An enthusiast of a particular subject matter. They are obsessed with the newest, coolest, trendiest things that their subject has to offer. The subject matter could be science, technology, dinosaurs, space and anything in between. You know who they are...In fact, I am one, please buy me all the things on this list ;)

100% Star Stuff Notebook by Pigsey Art

Wood Periodic Table Clock Baltic Birch by miniFab

Dinosaur Quartet Sandblasted Glass Set by Monster Dance Designs

Tea-Rex Ceramic Coffee Mug Coffee Cup by Happy About

Astronomy Pull Down Chart Reproduction  by Curious Prints

Pistol Shrimp Scientific Illustration 8 x 10 Print by J Shih Illustration

Queen Bohemian Rhapsody Song Poster Music Art by Voice And Sound

Foosball 11 x 14 Signed Print Gamera and MechaGodzilla by Chet Art

Leather Bastet Mask by Surly Bunny

Introvert Pendant engraved alder wood by Monica L Knighton

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Gifts for the Local Lover - Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash Gift Guide

I haven’t met too many people who don’t absolutely fall in love with Texas. I mean, seriously, what’s not to love?! The diverse landscapes, the friendly people, the quaint small towns, and BBQ. People who live in TX sure seem to love it-share some TX (or Dallas, or Austin) pride with your loved ones this holiday!

 Dallas Skyline Watercolor Painting 8x10 Print by Tread Studios
Dallas Bridge Framed Art Print by Soza Designs 

Texas Wall Decor Reclaimed Wood Mix by Wayne Works 

Texas Dish by Lemon Glaze

Texas Custom State Cut Book Letters Book Art by Letter Lounge

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Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash Gift Guide - Gifts under $25

Here are just a few of the many amazing gifts you can find at the Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash, all under $25! Pick up one or two at the show, you never know when you will need a last minute gift, and a handmade item will be sure to impress!


Coffee Print by Paddy Wick Lane

 Small Cantaloupe Plate by Live Bree

 OM Breathe Necklace by Expressions Bracelets

Mini Dog with Heart necklace-Vegan by C Robinson Design

Fern Necklace Bridesmaid Jewelry Natural by April Hiler Designs

This Might Be Vodka Coffee Mug Funny by Sushi and Queso

 Animal Bear Tote Bag Reusable Bag Environmentally by ginablywww.ginably.etsy.com

The Answer is Always Tacos Wool Pennant Flag by Scout and Lilly


Little Bird Ceramic Tray by Lemon Glaze

Stainless Steel Desk Clock Eco friendly decorations by Hammer It Out 

DejaVino Wine Bottle Candle by The Pig and the Peacock

Lavender Tub Truffle Box Cocoa Butter Bath by Whipped Up Wonderful

Coffee Body Scrub by Lovely

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