Saturday, December 10, 2011

Family and work night

Great day , was kind of relaxing , but got enough done that I will be able to curl up on the floor while painting with the kids and the hubs. Big snack tray , movies, pajamas and good times ! Im exhausted and didnt get nearly what i really wanted to get done , but i alwys set my goals entirely to high. Tomorrow i hope to be refreshed and kick it in high gear so that come monday im just about completely fished, i hoped to be totally done by tomorrow but i realize thats not going to happen , and i can't blow the entire weekend away , its the only time we have together with tim working so far from home and school and all . Trying to maintain it and keep it real ! maybe tomorrow that blank Christmas tree im starring at will have some color and flair !

Friday, December 9, 2011

another Er trip

Twice this week Tim has had to run off to the emergency room , first night with Justin who was screaming his ear hurt so bad. Second time with Jayden who has this weird rash on his hands, they appeared to be red and swollen , and then he woke up crying his throat hurt him so bad. him being the tough guy that he is , it worried me and i thought it was a reaction to something , and sent him off to the er. turns out to be dry hands and an earache, what that has to do with his throat i have no clue. itll be dr appointment time as I have no faith in that emergency room what so ever. Fingers crossed its not strep ! , now , finishing up a few puzzles then off to bed in hopes that I'll be able to wake up early enough to get this stuff out in the mail. Work was highly unproductive, this is night 2 of four. which means tomorrow i better seriously get cranking and I planned on taking the kids to santa's shop thingy tomorrow evening . we shall see now, i already missed the school lunch ! Missing out entirely to much !

Last shipment done on wednesday . Mondays will hoopefully trump this massivel

Last shipment done on wednesday . Mondays will hoopefully trump this massively

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Friday Madness

4 pm in the evening and nothing of any importance has been accomplished today. I am in entirely to many places at once , and even though Tim is home today to help , it seems more of obstacle then help . I definitely work better alone ! Dream work conditions would be to have him take all three of the boys and do a big outing , giving me the entire day alone to work without interruptions or the guilt of ignoring the youngest while everyone else is at work or school . This will never happen of course im sure but one can dream ! now off to go try to get some focus so i can accomplish something. I need to get 28 puzzles for orders out by sunday evening , and I need to do my entire batch of stock for the booth and have it hopefully ready first thing in the morning so i can put it up when the doors open at 8 am. i have managed to get six puzzles half way painted ! not good ! no where near my goal !

On a side note after all this annoyance and stress i plan on finishing up the tree with teh boys sometime this weekend. my music bumping in my ear is keeping me moving and keeping the mood good , why do i always forget to grab the ipod as it always brightens the day and makes such a difference then working in total silence ! must have coffee ! outtie for now !

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The race is on

Tonight marks the night of the beginning of the " last weekend" , hopefully anyway. Currently I have 30 standing orders that I want to have completed , boxed and ready to ship come Monday. This would be a monster goal to do by itself, but on top of it I have a ton of material I want to have put in our booth in Merchants outlet mall as well this weekend. On top of that I want to start getting everything done for Christmas , which means a total overhaul of the house ! All this working working working and no time for anything has really made a mess. My life seems to be so in focus and going so well some days and then others i realize how out of control it is at the same time. Simple things such as washing dishes that I'd normally hate to do , I miss these things ! I know my husband will be glad to see the work caught up and me participating in life again !

So just moments before my nightly ritual of getting some much needed relax time. Off to soak in the warm water, but not without my clipboard of work information of coarse. To make up yet again another schedule that I already know will fail and I wont stick to. Why i feel the need to constantly create these list and schedules I do not know, i think in a way i feel like im accomplishing something by doing it. Well it only counts if i actually follow it ! One of these days I just might let that sink in !

Kids are wound out of their heads again , They are missing out on the magic of Christmas so far and I really want to get that kicked in for them this weekend. With such short time left to enjoy the magic as it is. Thats like the largest memories of my child hood is how magical our mother always made Christmas. No matter where we were, or how poor we might have been , we didnt realize it, all we knew was that Christmas was the most magical time of year , and we started counting down for it in like October ! Now it seems like its 2 weeks away from Christmas before it even dawns on me that its really truly coming up and fast. I put our tree up the first week of november trying to capture some magic , and its made it as far as having lights on it. where have the past 6 weeks gone !!!!

Ok , I hear the footsteps coming thats the signal for me to go get myself in the bath and regroup ! This blog will service some inspiration for myself if nothing else, if you actually read and dont mind ,drop a note, every little letter helps :)

Keeping it real

So its been sometime since I have posted in this blog. I admit , that my main purpose in originally starting it was to try to drive traffic to my Etsy shop. After being shafted by Etsy , which I'm sure at some point in time I will give more details on , I have had a lot to think about , and realized a lot of things. Its so easy to get caught up in the whole image thing, always looking to drive business . Its insane the things one will change or behaviours they will adopt all in the name of the mighty dollar. Well, Since being off of Etsy since Sept of this year , I have found that I dont really miss it. I dont miss the endless days and nights of work , i dont miss the fake personality i aquired in hopes that someone would be quicker to buy a puzzle if i bent to what I thought they wanted me to be. Well , here's how its going to be from here on out , Im Cathy , Im a wood worker, I make awesome puzzles if you'd like to purchase one thats great, if not , well thats fine to . I will use this blog to post things that i feel are worth posting , discussions i feel are worth discussing a nd anything else that I think and feel i should post. I will not pretend to be some mushy gushy , nature loving , save the tree's, organic, vegetarian soccer mom of the year ( not that theres anything wrong with that, to each their own as they say ) but i will return back to being Cathy , who makes puzzles and other wood creations and has her own thoughts , likes, dislikes etc. Back to where when people are rude , pushy bossy and just annoy the crap out of me , I can voice my opinion instead of being worried about that almighty dollar , and even better yet , the almighty good feedback. Its pathetic that so many of us have to kiss the worlds ass just for an attempt and hope that the ass kissing will bring good feedback. I have seen situations I have totally bent over backwards , went against almost everything i stand for , and in the end have a customer who is just non caring and evil , and leaves bad feedback anyway , and it wasnt even justified ! yes , your puzzle does look like the one pictured, its an exact replica , you couldnt get any closer , and when i email you to ask what you dont like about it , and offer to attempt to fix any issues you have, this requires an answer, not a leave bad feedback and run . i sometimes think these people i run across are my competition , my jealous haters, because call it arogant or what ever, when i run a shop, i run the show. Its happened on Etsy in huge ways , and now that i have went with feebay , oh my bad, ebay , it'll soon happen there as well , i'll make it a point ! some how some where some way it'll happen trust me , is my favorite quote for a reason . ok off my soap box, wow did that make me feel good and confident now time to kick up some saw dust !

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My soon to be new models

I am so blessed to have so many wonderful *models* to be able to use for modeling my products :) here are three out of 5

Monday, August 8, 2011

Get your categories right !

So this morning I take my normal morning stroll through the categories on Etsy , look to see where I am at in the list and low and behold im pushed to the very bottom. This is NOT something that happens to me often as I have tons of renewals all the time and my sales have picked up enough that they keep me at the top . Why am I pitching a fit ? Because, last time I checked a rocking chair was not a flipping puzzle ! Its indeed a " chair " is it not ? does this not belong in furniture perhaps ???? Then you have the " soft ball " this is plush ! Get it right ! Im questioning whether I spy bags are indeed puzzles, I think Etsy needs to get better categories but still , when you blatantly list under something you know you have no right to be listing under just to give your shop exposure, this entirely ticks me off, and while I hate being a snitch , You can bet your bottom dollar that I will report these to Etsy . Not that it will do any help per say but at least I will feel better , and Im doing everything I can to ensure I have a thriving business or at least a good chance of obtaining this ! Vent over ! Get it right people , and if you see listings like this that are clearly breaking rules, do your part and report them. Maybe if enough of us pull together we can get Etsy back to what it was and should be !

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pink and Green Craze

I think the pink and green combination color scheme is like the in color scheme of the year ! Seems I have so many orders for things in these shades. Oh to have a little girl to decorate in this color scheme for ! Being a mom of 6 , and only 2 of those six being girls who are grown and out on their own it gives me great pleasure to create girly things for others ! Here's my latest

Friday, August 5, 2011

Now on Flickr

It has just come to my attention that I have lost all of my information for my previous account on Flickr , soooo , I have started a new one , This one I hope to keep up with much better , although I don't seem to be completing my goal on keeping my blog up to date ! So many things to do in a days time and never enough hours ! I need much better scheduling !

Anyway , i thought it would also be neat to have a place to show through photo's more about me for those who might be interested. My photo's will very insanely as it is all in what the mood is.

For a while I had taken the interest in photography and wanted to do it as a profession , but , I also realize that there are people cut out for it and those who are not. I have wound up with taking decent photo's for our family albums but this satisfies me , my wood working keeps me busy enough for five of me , I long to have the chance to just shoot pictures for fun , something other then product photo's but when the chance arises I'll be sure to share them :) Here is my flickr :) Hope to have you add me ! Puzzled Expressions

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A night out yayyy !

Much needed night off coming up ! I am so excited and to see the joy in the kiddo's eyes as they know they are getting to go out as a family tonight is just priceless ! I try to take a night off and stay home watch movies etc but im a entire work aholic and I have to force myself to leave the house so that Im unable to work ! how crazy is that ! So my passion has turned into an obsession but its working for me ! Back to the details of tonight , off to go watch the smurfs , its the first time Justin or Caleb have been to the movie theater and Jayden's 2nd trip. We will be going to all you can eat pizza first , then the arcade and then the movies. Needless to say I know they will be wiped out when we get home and then it will be adult relaxation time ! Perfect plan ! Perfect evening here's to hoping it turns out as i anticipate :)

Finally I feel tickled with something I have created !

It is as they say , you are your own worse critique ! After thousands of puzzles and other wood creations I have created , I am finally satisfied and tickled with my newest and latest design ! I truly do love this and Im just beaming to finally have some sense of accomplishment ! Thanks for reading :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Myths of owning your own business

Lately I have been dealing with so many friends and family who have an opinion of what it is to own your own business, and their opinion and my reality however are two entirely different things. So to clarify , I would like to spell it out for anyone who's thinking of owning their own business, and to those who know people who own their own business. My hopes that it will help to shed some light and give these people a better understanding, leaving those who are self employed maybe a little slack !

First Myth - You have no boss , you are your own boss , therefore what you says goes.

Fact - You do have a boss, you have multiple bosses. Every customer/client you have is your boss. You are there to provide services or products to these people in a timely fashion and high quality. You have emails to answer, phones to answer , and you have an obligation to them.

2nd Myth, You set your own hours, work when you want to .

Fact. This is partially true. However, your hours are far more extensive then just 9 - 5 monday through friday most of the time. Myself personally , I work 7 days a week sometimes 19 hours a day. I have deadlines to meet and I can not take a day off to just go randomly shop, kick back relax, hang out with friends or any of those other 10 million things family and friends thinks I should justify a day off for.

3rd Myth , you have to be knocking out some serious cash because everything you make goes in your pocket.

fact. dont i wish ! I have material cost, extra electric , water etc that I use to make these things. I have tools to buy , replace, fix . I lose my tush on shipping at times especially when forced to overnight a package because I took a day off to help someone or per someones request when I knew I had a deadline to make

Speaking of deadlines , I have ones to make so this is all for now :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Soaking up some down time

I have come to the conclusion , that its best to take some time off and get refreshed rather then push and trudge through. I complete twice the amount of work in less time then when i try to pull an all nighter or work for weeks at a time with no time off. So in light of that, instead of it being a normal monday work night, tonight I am sitting with the kiddo's , eating take out , watching movies with good snacks and laughter ! The kids are thrilled to have me just sit and enjoy the time with them, especially with it being a Monday. I particularly hate Mondays anyway so this is great ! I will probably drag some paint along with me and occasionally paint though I'm sure. I have become so accustomed to working all the time that I cant sit still for more then 10 minutes without doing something ! I will however wait until they are in bed for the evening . Can't wait ! Looking forward to curling up on the sofa with everyone , eating some yummy take out and chilling !

Its so easy to forget the little things and miss out on lifes moments, be sure to take the time to enjoy them while you can !

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Remembering what makes it all go round

Being a home based business, it is so easy to get lost in the shuffle of things , and missing out on so many lifes moments , or losing track of the little things. I had a good wake up call yesterday , family day. My two daughters and grandbaby's were over visiting . I got sucked into my work again and spent a large portion of it in work mode. Not realizing the time. Luckily i did get re focused , grabbed the camera caught a few good shots and spent the rest of the evening on a blanket on the floor playing with the two. Had i not realized the time I would of lost this moment. I need to get back on schedule ! I love my work but wow sometimes its just so hard to take a break from so that you are able to focus on other parts of life !

Here is grandchild number one. Hailey Alexis, 8 months old ( on the 1st )

And here is Robert Lee , 7 months old ( on the 1st also , they were born exactly a m onth apart , Hailey on Dec 1 and Robert on Jan 1 )

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The beauty of custom designs

I love what I do , and I especially love when I am able to create a custom design that will make a memorable heirloom for years to come for someone. This is a design for a little boy Connor, who's daddy is an Arkansas State Trooper. Thinking about when the day comes that Connor is a daddy, and can allow his child to play with his puzzle that was created for him when he was three , designed to reflect his daddy ,who is now a grandfather is just priceless . This is what makes what I do more then a job, I feel as though I will continue to live on through happy memories of others in a sense . Although I realize that sounds crazy lol

Friday, July 1, 2011

Email forwarding is true Bliss !!!

So after what seems forever of trying to figure out how to configure my emails to forward to my cell phone I have success ! I have forwarded both my outlook express and hotmail to go to my cell, which in turn leaves me extra time to actually do the thing called work verses checking to see if i have any new work to do ! all my transactions from etsy go to my phone , as well as all my paypal receipts and conversations . So far so good its great ! very easy to do as well . Being cheap , i have no internet on my phone and no email service , so what i did is set up my cell as an address in my contacts and then forward from there. I can't reply to them as it would go back to my own email boxes, but i sure as heck can read them and know whether i need to get on the computer or not !

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Featured in Flaming Beauty

Sending out a thank you for featuring me in this treasury !!

Pretty in Pink

My very first treasury on Etsy yayyy , i have to say this was a lot of fun and I hope it brings those featured some luck with sales during this slow time so many have been having . Its just a pink kind of mood here today , enjoy !

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

And their off !

There is no better feeling then a stack of orders being packaged and sent off to their owners ! Well ok thats an exaggeration surely there are better feelings but this feeling is a awesome one none the less !! Here's todays shipment and I have high hopes for a even better one on Friday ! Wish me luck !

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A good days end

Its closing time.... ( sang to matchbox 20 of course ) been a loooong looong day but a good one. Loads accomplished work wise, spent time with family and managed to create something new. I love creating something new !

Tomorrow is Wednesday yayyyy!! The middle of the week is so sweet, the reminder that the weeked will be here shortly. I have no plans as of yet for the 4th of July. Most likely we will be staying home and enjoying the company of each other. It would be a great time to have a Karoke evening with family and friends . No one will be able to hear us over surrounding fire works !! LOL

Life is a Roller Coaster and Im enjoying the ride !

life as we all know is full of ups and downs and twists and turns but thats what makes it interesting ! I find myself on a constant roller coaster but never bored ! From being flat out broke to having money for extra things back to being broke and so on an so on , to drama issues that fix themselves out , business that seems to be doing nothing and dying , to the sudden turn around of sales starting to really take off . Plus all the other things in between ! It makes every day my eyes open a challenge, a reason to get up and get going! I used to think of the perfect life as one with everything secure, known, tranquil an stable . But now i realize if it was I'd be bored and have to create some chaos some where ! It sure does keep you on your toes and spices things up whether for the good or for the bad, each situation gives strength ! now bring on the day !

Monday, June 27, 2011


Things have really been starting to take shape around here lately. I feel as though I'm finally accomplishing something ! Creating a hour by hour schedule has been tremendously helpful ! Im less scatter brained and not in ten million different places at one time, result ? By the end of the day I have completion , verses in progress !!!

 Freshly assembled ready to be finished....
 in the finish process
Here is something new i have started. I used to hang all open orders on my work room wall, now , i only hang the ones I have finished. Its less overwhelming and really helps to lift the spirit. To be see what you have done rather then what you have to do is sooo much  better !

Thursday, June 23, 2011

the 3 little kittens

Being summer , school break and the amount of work I'm now doing on a daily basis, I caved and gave in to the idea of a kitten to keep the youngest ones happy . Well, even though I really really didn't want to take on a responsibility when I already  have so many, they fell in love with the kitten instantly , a love at first pet kind of deal. To save arguing I named the cat for them, welcome our newest family member Lainey.

  A few days went by and Lainey was the center of attention by all in the house. She rarely had time to sleep as she was always in the arms of one of the boys , They of course were really good about taking turns in the beginning but as time progressed and each one started to fall in love with her even more , well , then came the terrible idea of each one of them having their own kitten. Voila ,Welcome Carly and Freddy , named of course by Jayden and Justin two of the biggest icarly fans !

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sleep its finally that time !

Very very long day today and I totally slipped off my schedule. I need to regroup before I slip and fall behind ! I have decided that staying up til 3 and getting 3 hrs sleep  just isnt worth it. I need to go to sleep now and wake up feeling refreshed ready to tackle the day. I have a good stock cut and waiting to be painted so thats a good start. I want to get finished up with things tomorrow for a big ship on friday .  My boys need me to take some time off and I really am looking forward to spending some quality time verses nodding my head at them over the squawk of a saw. Good night to everyone out there !

And here's the three  I'm looking to spend some good down time with

One of my favorites on Etsy

Being an artisan on Etsy , I know how hard it can be and how every little view you get you appreciate. I have decided to share some of my favorites from time to time for others to see just how wonderful Etsy artisans are . I love love this

There are many more of these  in different sizes and colors . i can just picture my boys wall lined with these and i drool at the thought of organization !!! If you'd like to see more of these click here 

Does it always have to be witty or well written ?

So  I have been sweating the whole blogging thing, running tens of millions of ideas through my head and waiting until I came up with something uberly exciting to write about. Well , if I were to do that , I'd have no blog. My day is entirely to hectic and in need of some desperate control and organization as it is. So , I have decided to just go with it , just throw it all to the wind and write ramblings of any kind that come to mind. Maybe some self expression will help the stress levels in my life calm down.

    If I had thought to do this over the years, and there were such things as blogs when I was totally wanting to journal my life, it would be insane to sit back and read through all of the events that I have been through. It kind of saddens me to think there are probably many moments I would enjoy reading word for word about again , then , on the other hand just as there is always evil to accompany good , there would be a ton of which I'd never care to read another single letter about so I guess it is for the best , and as they say everything happens for  a reason yaddy yaddy.

So , if your reading this , be prepared for this to not be a blog as written by a journalist or a news caster , entertainment , comedian or any other person of interest, but maybe you'll find that to be a good thing, a step away from a society normal. Til  next post ... Peace out

Monday, June 20, 2011


Finished packaging up all of today's puzzle shipments, labels printed an their off and running to their destinations !
for those who do not use online shipping I highly recommend it , the money I save by using paypal online shipping is fantastic ! Lowering my shipping rates for customers with the online discount plus the free delivery confirmation . The free delivery confirmation number saves .70 per package alone. This adds up as you can imagine when your shipping 1 to 10 packages a day , some days more . I highly recommend Usps's scale for accurate package weights. I purchased mine from Amazon , it was much cheaper and arrived faster then if i had ordered it through usps itself  I also order all of my boxes from usps , they are free, free shipping , and this saves a lot as well . Purchasing boxes from places like lowes runs your bill up fairly fast as well. Thanks for reading , I hope my rambling helps someone out there ! ~Cathy

An introduction

It seems as though just about everyone has a blog these days. I started one a few years back , mostly for keeping our family updated that live a couple states away . Like many other things I have started, it started out really good, and i kept it updated frequently . I couldnt wait until the next post and would think of all the little cute things the kids had done etc to be able to post in our family blog. But as many things , this was another start to a project that would soon fizzle out. Facebook soon replaced the blog . Why start another one ? Im not sure to tell you the truth, but lets see how long this keeps going !

So a quick run down on the person behind the blogging and the ones who influence her daily life. Im Cathy, a wood worker , mom of 6 , grandmother of 2 with a 3rd on the way sometime in Feb 2012 . I make mostly personalized wooden name puzzles right now as there seems to be a much higher demand for them then anything else i make. I hope to get a few new designs more geared for home decor etc soon.

I hope to keep this blog going and that it will grow to be a useful tool as well as a smile maker from time to time