Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How To Stay Motivated in the Dead of Winter

Winter can be a difficult time for me. I love the snow and the cold, but I also get depressed from the gray days, icy roads, and bare trees. Surrounded by monochrome, it's hard to stay motivated to create and keep making things and be inspired. Here are a few tips for you that have helped me.

  • Drink more water. This is a weird one, I guess, but it really does help. I feel like I'm healthier for drinking a lot of water every day - keeps me hydrated and clean-feeling, and usually helps me stay away from snacking. (But not always. Hey, I need a little extra energy now and then!)
  • Exercise. You know how you read things like "exercise for 30 minutes a day"? Do it for real - it helps. I started walking every other day and doing yoga every day, and it helps me so much! Gets me off my butt and moving my body around, getting the blood flowing and my heart pumping more oxygen to my brain, so I can come up with more ideas! That's more of a theory than scientific truth, but I like to think of it that way.
  • Go for a drive. If you can, that is. If the roads are clear and you need to get out, then get out! Take a road you've never driven before. Stop and look at a building or a field. Visit a coffeeshop and sit for a while. Go to a store. This helps, I promise.
  • Cook a new dish. If you enjoy cooking, try a new dish for dinner! I've been wanting to try a garlic butter shrimp recipe that looks wonderful. 
  • Learn a new skill. Whether it's watercoloring or sewing a little bag, teach yourself something new. Try Craftsy for lots of craft classes, or Skillshare for improving your design, photography, and writing skills.
I hope these help you beat the winter blues and stay motivated! Enjoy the season for what it is, and live every day to its fullest. Happy Tuesday. :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

First Giveaway!

I'm so excited to be bringing you my very first shop giveaway! I have never done a giveaway before, but I can't wait to give it a try!

For this giveaway, I am offering three people the handmade item of their choice from my shop! Here's how to enter:
  1. Go to my Etsy shop, Melmaria Designs, and pick out your favorite item (this is the item you could win!). 
  2. Come back here and leave a quick comment telling me what it is.
  3. Follow me on one of my social media platforms (Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook) by clicking one of the icons to the left under my photo.
That's it! Once you've done those three things, you are officially entered in the giveaway. This giveaway runs from now until Thursday, January 29, at 12 AM EST. I will be choosing three winners on Friday, January 30 and announcing them at 9 AM EST

Thank you for entering! This is going to be so much fun. Share this giveaway with your friends!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

New Around Here

I've been Instagramming a LOT more now, and I have to say it's my favorite social media platform to use for my business right now. It feels less formal than Facebook, and I love the completely visual aspect of it. And it's so easy to get followers and likes, especially if you take the time to share great photos of your products and use relevant hashtags. Love it! Actually I might be Instagramming too much. Is that bad?

I've been busy creating all week (and I mean busy - literally 12 hours days of crocheting, sewing, listing, brainstorming, writing, and more). I listed 12 new items this week, which is HUGE for me - especially given the nature of my work. Everything is handmade pretty much from scratch. I'm super proud to have achieved this number - I now have 74 items for sale and am about to add two more listings. How awesome is this?

I wanted to share my two latest additions to the shop - two handmade bags that I personally really like. They combined a few new skills for me and I'm happy with the way they turned out!

The Folk Crochet Clutch, $35, almost came together by itself, the colors worked so beautifully. It's fully lined, with room for a phone, a little notebook and some cash. 

The Natural Wood Crochet Bag, $35, was a joy to make from conception to finish. I love the textured crochet stitch and the addition of natural wood handles. This bag is also fully lined with cheery cotton fabric, and can hold a phone and some cash.

Also, I've been following Littlest Crochet Shop on Instagram and found out she has a blog! She is now writing daily about her small business ventures, and even offering tips to the rest of us. I love it and I encourage you to check out her site and her beautiful baby products.

Have a great rest of your weekend, and I'll see you Monday with an exciting new post!