Here's a little peek into what's been going on around here behind the scenes. Side note: the deer always eat our flowers before they bloom, but this year we have hydrangea's (above photo)! Cassiopeia, our new dog, has done a good job of keeping the deer out of our yard. Our hostas, which gardeners call "deer salad", have even bloomed!

Holiday Prep is in Full Swing

This time of the year might feel slow for most people. Vacations, beach going, swimming at the local pool, outdoor sporting events, many things.

For a creative business owner, this is the time of the year to get ready for the holiday shopping season. It's time to design new holiday cards, create giftable items, for me it includes painting ornaments, plus ordering supplies for packaging to make all these things look extra pretty. It's a busy time of the year.

Unfortunately, some of my supplies arrived broken. It happens! The breaks are clean, so I could glue them back together, paint them and offer them up at a steeply discounted price. It would be a shame for them to go to waste. However, that would be last on my to do list. I only ordered four of these angels, so they will be a very limited edition.

Photo of two ceramic angels that arrived broken from shipping.

Getting Organized

Last week, I organized my art table and supplies. All of my art supplies were in boxes on a rolling cart, so I needed to find them before I could use them. A time waster for sure.

With my husband's help, we installed a peg board from Home Depot and accessories from Amazon. I cleaned out a closet, moved a bookcase and got my space organized. Now, all my supplies are at the ready and I don't have to go looking for them.

The final part of getting organized is updating my inventory spreadsheet. All the new supplies I ordered have to be counted or weighed and added to the spreadsheet before I use them. The not so fun part.

Photo of beginning stage of organizing art studio table and supplies using a pegboard.
Photo of middle stage of organizing art studio table and supplies using a pegboard.
Photo of organized art studio table with supplies on a pegboard.

Planning, Designing and Creating

This is the fun part! Sitting down to plan out designs to paint and create for ornaments, cards and other giftable items. Flowers always seem to end up in the plan, but this year, I want to include different subjects like birds, animals, trees and more to create a scene.

Once the humidity is at a reasonable place again, I will start painting ornaments. It looks like that might not be until August. This summer has been very stormy in New Jersey. The complete opposite of last year's drought. We also had the wildfire smoke drift in for the third time on Monday. Thankfully, it wasn't as bad as the prior times.

Product Photography

Selling products online requires a lot of photos (and even a video) to show all the details of the product. A customer won't be able to hold it in their hands, so good photos are so important.

I've set up my photography station with a photo box and lights, so I am ready to photograph my finished products. Photographing glass ornaments is a bit of a challenge since the surface is reflective, but I think I've reduced the glare enough so the photos will look nice.

I will also photograph ornaments hanging on a Christmas tree to get the full effect.

Product photography set up with a white photo booth, soft box lighting on the sides and behind the photo booth.

Social Media

Finally, a social media plan for sharing all these goodies is the last part of getting organized. I will need to gather photos, write captions, choose hashtags and schedule posts. I recently discovered Tailwind has really upped their game for their free account. They offer a customized plan to help with scheduling email newsletters and social media posts with the option of using AI to generate captions. They also allow posting to multiple places, previously it was only one. I'm not really into using AI, not a fan, but scheduling to multiple places will be a big time saver, so I am excited to take a closer look at what they offer.

I hope you enjoyed seeing and reading this little snippet of what I have been working on behind the scenes here in my studio.