Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Busy Etsy and Taxes

Hello Everyone!
I have been having a very busy couple of weeks. You all know of our upcoming move back to North Carolina... and I want to thank you all for your sweet words of encouragement and support. It really means a lot.
I have been so busy with my Etsy Shop stuff that I have had a hard time to focus on much else, and my poor blog has been badly neglected. I will go into more detail in a later post about my shop plans and what has been taking so much of my time, exciting stuff!

In other news, it is about that time - tax time! We will wait another few weeks before we file, to make sure there isn't anything left in the mail that hasn't made its way to us yet. This will be the first year that I will be claiming my Etsy Shop. I don't think it will be too complicated as my expenses and my profit was relatively low, but I still am in need of some tax advice. Luckily I have been a very good record keeper throughout the year; you may know already that I am a nerd in that way. I actually enjoy lists and files and organization in general. And taxes are the necessary part of life that you know comes around every year, without fail, so you might as well get prepared for it!

And Tomorrow is February! Wow, already? Make it great!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

10 months ago...

We moved into this house 10 months ago.

We knew this house would be temporary. We are renters. You got to leave at some point.

This house was a bit out of a price range that we felt comfortable with, but.. given the choices we had of rental houses... there are not many in this area. We had to pay the price.

Everything happens for a reason.

I like to think so with this house.

I took this picture on day 3 of living here.


It wasn't until a few months later, when I was having trouble with taking my pictures on a white background, that I tried to use this stone and stucco area on a livingroom wall.

And I am so glad I did. This wall gave me inspiration, and it sort of... focused me. I know.. strange that I am talking about a wall.

Somehow it seems more than just a wall.

Thank you, House. I will miss living in you.

Home Decorating

Home Decorating

I appreciate the guest post, Lindsay Valdez

I have a sickness. I am a compulsive mind-changer. This trait is never more evident than in my home d├ęcor. I am a real joy to be married to, what with my “Honey, can you please move the couch again?” and “Oh, you know what, I know you just hung that picture for the fourth time but I think I prefer it in the other room” business. My husband is a saint. I have a terminal case of indecisiveness as it relates to my home’s style. In my defense, it’s really not all my fault. Have you seen some of the home makeover shows on TV? I feel like every time I turn on the TV a designer is making some seemingly insignificant change to a room that I am somehow convinced will be exactly what my house is missing! This is a trap. It is never the insignificant change that really makes or breaks a room. It is the $500 the decorator spent on accessories to style the “insignificant change” that makes all the difference. In my head, I know this, and yet in my heart I remain convinced that if I just move that armchair over about fourteen inches we’ll have a whole different room. Listen, honey, I’m sorry. You probably shouldn’t have bought the package on direct tv that included HGTV. This is kind of your fault, too.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January on Etsy

As hum drum and down in the dumps as my last few posts have been, I am pleased to share some good news with you!

January has been sort of a good month for my little shop on Etsy.

I have been working really hard on adding stock and even thinking outside the box a little bit. For example, I took this extra large glass jar and did my stucco and paint thing, and voila - I love the way it turned out!

Red Jar Vase

I have been busy with determining what my goals for my work are and trying to get a business plan together. They say that magic number is "100 items" to start selling on Etsy. I was shooting for that goal myself, and had reached it in December. Since then, I have been aiming to stay above that mark. However, I realize that in order for me to make the income that I would like to be pulling in.. well.. I need way more than 100 items. So..that is the plan. Off to get to it.

And thank you all for your kind words and support. It means the world.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Focus on the good..

Folks, I am going through some things... I won't bore you to tears with the details.. but I believe in the power of positive thinking, even when I am having particular rough and difficult days, and I really am doing my best to keep a smile on my face.. I would be lying if I said it was easy.. Sorry I am being a bit cryptic..

It is regarding the upcoming move, what our year will look like, what it means for school.. and what not.. I think it is best that I take it day by day, focus on the little things and not the big picture, just yet.. the big picture has proven a bit overwhelming.

In news that makes me smile... Allison received an award at school today.. An Art award!! Art!!! Do you know how much my heart jumped? It was both a surprise to her and I...

Here she is walking up to accept it, looking back at me to see my expression..



I just love seeing her happy.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Many Changes of 2012

Getting ready for the new year.

Heart to Heart and Hand in Hand.



We will face many challenges this year.

We are moving back to North Carolina. It was roughly 3 years ago that we moved from North Carolina to Texas, with a goal of getting to Austin, which is where we thought we would settle. Well, as fate would have it.. that would not be.

It is with a heavy heart that we have to leave Austin. We have truly enjoyed living here.

I am also letting myself get excited about going back to North Carolina. We will be moving back into the first home we shared as a family. The home that we brought the girls home from the hospital to..many of our neighbors are still there, so, it will be literally like.. going home again.

But there is also a pit in my stomach.. I love the school that Allison goes to. I love it, she loves it. Emily would have joined here there next year. Now, I just am FULL of worry, that the school we are moving to will be just as loved..

Bobby will be having to go back and forth to North Carolina, various trips around the country, one even to England, between now and the time we move. So, there will be times that we miss him so much.

And I have been so inspired here. I listed my first vase on Etsy in December 2010. 3 months later, we would move into this rental house, with walls of stucco and stone, the perfect background for my Stucco vases... what are the chances..
I even changed my shop name to Carriage Oak Cottage, paying homage to this house, which lives on a street with "Carriage" in its name..

And I have so many goals and hopes for my shop for the future, but part of me wonders if this inspiration will follow me.. or if I will leave it behind as the moving truck pulls from the driveway....

And with that... I will say.. that even though I am worried and anxious... I do know that everything happens for a reason, and that gives me comfort, and hope.
But, it's also ok to say that sometimes I am sad too.