My family

My family

Friday, March 13, 2015

Flashback Friday

Happy Friday!! :)

It's finally warming up in Minnesota.....thank you sweet baby 6 lb 10 oz Jesus!! (Talledega.....anyone with me here??)  But Dallas got tons of snow.  By tons, I mean more than Minnesota.  :) 

I kept getting texts all week with videos of the snow falling, news clips of the highway accidents, etc.  My favorite photo was Garrett and Maci posing with their snowman decked out in Red Wings gear.  :)

Red Wing snowman with Rally Al, Garrett and Maci - 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Southern Girl Up North - part two

Did I mention how busy things have been at our house lately?  Since I decided to create my Etsy shop, I've been a non-stop sign-making momma!!  After physically cutting wood and nailing it together, I knew there had to be a more efficient way of doing things.  Besides, that wood gets a little pricey!!
Finally......I had an "a-ha" moment.  PAINT STIR STICKS!  So....I trucked my little not-so-little hiney back up to Home Depot and asked for a case of the one-gallon sticks and a case of the five-gallon sticks.  Seriously, they looked at me like I had three heads.  When I got to the check-out line, they couldn't figure out how to charge me for them so the manager said, "Merry Christmas!"  Yep....I got 1000 one-gallon stir sticks PLUS 500 five-gallon stir sticks FREE.  Merry Christmas indeed! :)

After experimenting with sizes and shapes, I decided on 8"x9" using the one-gallon sized sticks.....

And 9"x17" using the five-gallon sized sticks.....

So now I had several sizes......

And a ton of inventory......

In fact, my craft room turned into an assembly line.....

As Jim sat in the next room playing video games online with Garrett, I put my headphones on and got busy!!  There may have been a few embarrassing moments where I started singing out loud.....and maybe dancing my pajamas. 

Now it was time to upload the remaining inventory to the Etsy shop.  Have you checked it out yet??? 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Southern Girl Up North

I'm not much for new year resolutions but I knew one thing for sure......I wanted to be more creative during 2015.  I have been so busy with that resolution that I haven't had much time to blog lately.  Now that I'm finally catching my breath, I'm excited to share what I've been up to. 
I started an Etsy store! :)  My shop is called Southern Girl Up North (which describes my situation perfectly!) and it is finally open for business. 
I have been a fan of rustic wooden signs forever.  I've created several to use in my own home and thought others would be interested too.  Here's the prototype.....
I created the Etsy shop for one reason......share the things I love with others.  I didn't care if I made a dime.  I just wanted to keep busy doing things I love.  Well.......I have DEFINITELY kept busy!!   :)
Step One:  Research
I found tons of wooden signs online but they all used broken-down pallets as the wood.  That was a bit too rustic for my taste.  I wanted a cleaner, more polished look.  Finally, I tagged along on one of Jim's Saturday Home Depot runs and got the supplies I needed. 
Step two:  Build (like a girl!)
The super-sweet lumber guy at Home Depot cut the wood down to size for me.  Now it was time for me to put the signs together.  I could not have chosen a COLDER day to do this.  Notice the garage door is down plus I have a portable heater on full-blast plus gloves plus my brand new headphones!!  Yep, that's me in all my no-make-up-glory.  Scary!! :) 

Check out all those signs I made!! :)

Step three:  Paint those bad boys!
I knew I wanted to do the painting inside (downstairs in my craft room) so I prepped my work-space. 

During a recent trip to Crafts Direct (my absolute FAVORITE store on Earth!), I picked up several colors of this chalkboard paint. 

The first coat determined the color of the letters.  After trying several different combos, I decided to make it easy on myself and go with plain white letters.  It actually turned out better because the white really stands out next to the chalkboard paint. 
Once the white paint dried, I used my Silhouette (last year's birthday present!) to cut out all the phrases.  I transferred them onto the primed signs then painted another coat on top.  Before the top coat dried, I carefully peeled the letters off.  Voila! :)
Step four:  Apply a clear coat
To make the signs more durable, I sprayed on a layer of clear coat.  Check out the first one......I used one of my favorite Bible verses.  This was very symbolic for me because I was putting the success of my small little business in God's hands. 

Now that my prototype was done, I went to work finishing the others.  Check them out.....


Step five:  Upload the photos to Etsy
This was probably the hardest step for me.  I had to create the pricing, descriptions, etc. for each sign.  There are many more to choose from now so, if you have a chance, check out the shop....
Epilogue:  As I'm typing this post (a month or so after getting the Etsy store going), Jim has been promoted to my sales representative.  He was bragging on me -- how sweet is that?? -- to the lady at Home Depot last weekend and started showing her the signs.  She is officially my first customer requesting a custom order!! :)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Flashback Friday

Happy Friday!! :)

Tomorrow is Jim's birthday!!  Here are some blackmail photos for your enjoyment.  :)



Monday, March 2, 2015

Happy birthday, TT

Yesterday was Tracey's birthday!!  Though this photo is not really a flashback - it was taken a few months ago - it reflects just how beautiful my big sister is.  Look at those eyes!! 

Tracey Hairgrove - November 2014