Ruby Canoe Cake Topper in Top Australian Cake Decorating Book!

Well, it would seem that is been a while since I posted anything.  Truth is I just didn’t get around to posting anything.  I felt like I didn’t really have much to say actually.  But looking back now I did have a few things to say and share and show.

Late last year I was contacted by a very busy stylist from Sydney, Olivia Blackmore, who was very interested in a Happy Birthday cake topper I had made.  She bought. I sent. All good.  The End…Well no it wasn’t, cause a few days after she received her order I received a request for more.  So I busily thought of some new designs, cut them, glued them packaged them, and away they went.  They were for the possible inclusion in an International cake decoration book.  Well can you imagine how excited I was? Really, can you?  I was super excited! 

People that do this for a living probably don’t get excited about working on magazines or books, they probably get used to it. Or at the very least learn to hide the little girl giggles when they see their hard work published. Bit of a shame really, how wonderful would it be if you walked into a news agency and some man is jumping up and down on the spot with excitement yelling “Look, look, I did this! I picked this font! Woohoo, isn’t this a great font?”  Kids do this, they don’t know how good they’ve got it, do they?  Or maybe you go to Maccas (Australian for McDonalds) sit down to have your bacon and egg McMuffin and who is sitting next to you? The 17 year old girl that started at 5 am and made YOU a bacon and egg McMuffin. She suddenly becomes your Mother…watching the first bite you take…you chew…”do you like it?” Isn’t it great?” “I made that you know!” She said through her very (in my experience) expensive braces.  Well, anyway, do you get my point? I was excited that one, or more, of my cake toppers might be in a book. One thing I didn’t know about books. It takes a really long time to complete.  But I totally understand why they take a really long time to complete. Lots of magic goes on between the covers of a book. 

Olivia contacted me recently to let me know that the book has been published and that she was sending me a copy. Which was very nice of her. I received my copy soon after and the quality was amazing. I was hoping it was one of those fancy cookbooks where the cover has a beautiful texture and looks as though it is meant to be handed down through generations, and it was exactly what I was hoping for.  I am very proud to have something to give to my children to keep in their kitchens and maybe show my future far far far away grandchildren. It’s just beautiful.  Amazing Decorated Cakes. 

  
Recently my Mum came to visit, all the way from Bagdad…not that one…the lesser known one in Tasmania (I still think they moved there because Mum and Dad love telling people where they live), any way, Mum was visiting, I gave my much treasured copy to my Mum. It’s still nice to see pride in your parents eyes, doesn’t matter how old you are. A few days after Mum had returned to Bagdad (not that one) I got a call from my Dad telling me how wonderful my cake topper was. Yes, you and I both know he couldn’t give a rats hoot about cake toppers it only mattered that his girl had something in a book…totally worth it 🙂

  

Arranger of Pretties (Stylist):  Olivia Blackmore

Clicker Extraordinare (Photographer):  James Moffatt

Iconic Australian Publisher:  Australian Woman’s Weekly

I don’t know who picked the font but let’s give a thought to the great font choice.  Great job!

Available at rubycanoedesign.etsy.com

And don’t forget about my other Etsy store bigbluecanoe.etsy.com (vintage prints, blueprints, patent prints and much more). 

More posts soon, hopefully. 

Like or comment any old time. 

Did you make it all the way to the bottom? Really? How nice are you? Oh and that lipstick totally suits you. xxx. 

10 Tips to help your New Etsy Store grow.

10 tips to help your new Etsy store grow.

10 TIPS TO HELP YOUR NEW ETSY STORE GROW!

 

I have been selling on Etsy now for 2 years.  For the first 8 months I wasn’t really serious about it and was trying to find my place, my customer and my product.  The one thing I do remember about the first few months was that it took me hours to do a listing.  So if it’s taking you an hour or more to do a listing, you aren’t alone.  Actually any problem you are having most of us other Etsy sellers have experience that same problem.  I have Googled the weirdest things to get answers about my Etsy listings.

I’ve learnt a few things in the last 2 years, but this certainly doesn’t make me an expert.  I have a lot of improvement to make as well.  But Etsy is a never-ending lesson in adjustments.  So here are a few tips to get your shop moving.

tip 1

 

 

Fill out the store policies.  Shipping, refunds, FAQ’s, and payments.  Have a real think about your policies.  Have a look at other stores, I usually go to stores that have lots of sales, as they have lots of experience with sales and customers, but please NOTE,  when looking at stores make sure you check their reviews as well.  Any stores with regular bad reviews should really be given a wide berth.  When you find a store that looks good and feels good, have a look at their policies; which you can find when clicking on any listing and then clicking on the shipping and policies button.

Shipping and policies

When you have got a good feel of other stores policies you can form your own to suit your Etsy store.  Try not to just cut and paste all your information, put your own spin on it and make it your own.

 

tip2

 

 

Oh my…I cried at the post office one day.  Yep.  I surely did.  I had sold a small item, which I was very excited about, made the product, packaged it up beautifully, drove to the post office and was very happy to send it.  I am in Australia and this package was being posted to New York state.  It was a small package of cup cake toppers, made with paper and toothpicks, and I was charged $14.20 to send this parcel to America.  I charged my customer $2.75 for the postage 😦 and the value of the goods was a whole $8, so when I had to pay $14.20 I felt like my business was no longer viable and shed a tear as I was paying.

The problem was that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, and sometimes the people at the post office don’t know what they are doing either.  I found out later I could have sent it as a letter if I hadn’t wrapped it in brown paper, then tied twine around the order and then added a cute little button…which all added to the weight of the order.

So some of the things you will need is:

  • Postage app for your region, I have the Australia Post app and love it! And it’s free! and essential!
  • Digital scales; you can get digital scales for around $15-$20
  • Source a good supplier of envelopes or other packaging you need.  When buying envelopes ect have a think about how you want your shop to look when the customer receives your item.  I have recently switched to Kraft brown envelopes to fit in with the style of my shop.  Previously I used whatever I had on hand, which was not always ideal.  You can get really nice envelopes from Kmart and Target now, great prices too!
  • Packing tape, just plain old packing tape and a packing tape dispenser which is around $10-$15
  • Label maker (a great investment I have just made and should have done long ago!) retails around $90.  I was actually hand writing the addresses on the envelopes and boxes, which again was not ideal and I can’t believe how good the new labels are.

Try to set up a small area for all your postage and packing, if you don’t have room just made do with what you have and hit Pinterest for a few ideas on how to set up your work space effectively.

Packaging should, again, reflect your store.  I package each order like it was bought in an actual store front instead of online.  I am also trying to make my packages a little different.  I really wish I had done all this at the very beginning but I have learnt a lot in the last 2 years.

Ruby Canoe Design Etsy Packaging

tip3

 

 

Just because you know how to do lots of things doesn’t mean you should make them all available.  This is something I have to take note of myself, it’s so easy to get carried away.  And when you’ve got confidence with your first shop you can always open another one.  All you need is a different email account and a new shop title and away you go.  I have plans to open my third Etsy shop which will be digital downloads only.

When you do have your store stocked make regular checks of your products and any products that aren’t getting any views or aren’t getting favourited (not sure it that is officially a word?), just deactivate them or try to revamp them a little to make your product more appealing.  See Tip 4 Tags, Titles and Photos

 

tip4

 

 

If you read any tips about Etsy you will always read that your PHOTOS are very important. For good reason too.  Shoot your photos in natural light.  I got myself a big sheet of white poster board for backing and I take it outside (Caution: this poster board acts as a sail on windy days!) put my product on a table that is waist or chest height and take photos.  I am currently in the process of retaking all of my photos because I just didn’t take this advice.

TAGS TAGS TAGS, use all 13 tags available.  And make sure you don’t overlook the obvious tags, for example, I have a line of paper butterflies and I neglected to add the word BUTTERFLIES OR BUTTERFLY to my tag list!  It took me months to even notice!  That was a big derr moment for me!  You can also take a look at similar products in other stores, go to the bottom of their page and you will see all the tags they have used.  Have a look at the image below, this is the bottom of my Lego Blueprint (Big Blue Canoe) which appears on the first or second page of a search for blueprints.

When you have listed and published your item, search for your own item and see what page it comes up on…if you are on page 10 or more try changing some tags until you can get a lower page number.

tags

Don’t use fancy TITLES.  Use titles to tell it like it is!  Again with my paper butterflies…I have named my range of paper butterflies “SCATTERFLIES”  I love the name but I wouldn’t use it in the title as no one will search specifically for Scatterflies.  If you have a colour specific item, mention the colour and add the colour to the tags also.  Again, look at someone elses store, take information you learn from them and change it to make it your own.

 

tip5

 

 

You set what kind of payments you accept.  I strongly advise you accept all types of payments.  My sales increased after I accepted all payments.  Previously I only accepted PayPal, now I can take your money any which way! And up go my sales!

 

tip6

 

 

When listing your product you can list variations.  For example I sell paper hearts for weddings, the variations I offer are different pack sizes and different colours.  When my customer chooses to buy the heart pack, they pick the pack size and they are then charged accordingly.  Below is the Extra Large Paper Heart listing showing what the variations look like.

variations

 

Not every listing requires a variation, but if customers are messaging you asking how much it will be if they purchase 50 of such and such thing, maybe you do need to add a variation.  Listen to your customer, they always tell you what they want.

 

tip7

 

 

The first thing I do in the morning is check my stats.  As I’m in Australia I get most of my views when I am asleep.  80% of my buyers live in the United States, so I usually wake up to a sale or two or a conversation (message) from a customer asking a question.  You’ll get to know the average views you get in a day.  If you’re not getting enough views or sales there may be many factors that can come into place.  believe it or not the weather plays a part, when the US are experiencing massive winter storms my sales dip a little, when it is a bit warmer more weddings take place, therefore my sales rise.  When your store has been open for a few months you can go back a few months and look at your stats and see a pattern forming.  This is also good to set realistic goals too.

 

tip8

 

 

Search for items that you personally love.  Like items, favourite shops and some people will favourite your shop and like your items in return.  So when you add a new item to your shop, that item will appear on their news feed = instant prospective views!  The more people who favourite your shop the more people might just see your items.

bbcfav

 

 

tip9

 

 

Plan your day:  At the beginning of each day (10am most days, sometimes earlier) I write a list of things I want to do and things I need to do.  Then work through them.  I know it sounds simple but it really works for me.  If this isn’t you, do something you know works for you.

Plan your year:  Yes plan your year.  I have a list of each month and I have written what section of my shop I need to work on.  I know I will be busy making Teacher Thank You gifts in October and November and December so I make sure in September I work on these products and have them all ready for my customers to buy.

Customers don’t want to struggle to buy stuff from you, so be prepared for whatever busy season suits your product.

 

tip10

 

 

Making money takes time, a whole lotta time.  Promoting yourself takes time.  Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter ect ect takes time.  Unless you put in the time you won’t magically earn a $1000 a week on Etsy but you will learn as you go so don’t get disheartened and just work on your business.  Your business isn’t just craft, it is so many other things too, and you control it all.

So that’s it, 10 tips to help you and your shop along a little bit.  If you get stuck, and it’s really easy to get stuck on Etsy, just google it, that’s what I did and that’s still what I do.

If this post has inspired you to open an Etsy shop click HERE and use the link then you and I both get 40 free listings.  That’s enough to have a nicely stocked Etsy shop!!

Good luck and feel free to comment with the name of your Etsy shop and/or a link! And don’t forget to check out my Etsy Shops:

RUBY CANOE DESIGN

BIG BLUE CANOE

 

 

Thanks and goodluck! xx Ruby

Well, it’s almost the end of the second month of the year.  Time flies when you’re having fun right?  Time flies even when you’re not having fun as well…it’s all relative.  February is a good month for us in Australia, it means the hot weather is starting to be less than the temperature of the sun.  And, with any luck we are able to venture outside (without melting) and get shit done.  Yay!

For the last month we have had rain and sunshine, and everything is strangely green, bright green, hurts your eyes green.  And boy oh boy is the grass/weeds growing rapidly.  The lawns are being mowed 3 times a week at the moment.  I think if I sat on the front steps and watched the grass I would be able to see it grow.

I’ve been a little busy this week making a heap of Wedding Cake Toppers in preparation for wedding season, which apparently is March April and May (keep reading it’s not all about soppy weddings, unless you like soppy weddings, then it totally is about soppy weddings).  I’ve made a heap of these last week, as they will be featuring in a Contemporary Cake Book, along with 3 or 4 others that I’ve made.  When it is released I will certainly do a post or four about it and my cake toppers.

These cake toppers aren’t specifically for weddings, I can change the wording and certainly change the colors for you too.  Click HERE to go to Etsy

Very exciting, gunna be in a cook book, do dah, do dah.

These look just beautiful.  And there is more to come over the next few weeks. If you have any special requests please contact me via Etsy or my Facebook page and I will certainly try to help you with anything.

Just a special mention about the paper I use if anyone is interested.  Recently my supplier stopped supplying the KaiserCraft paper I used everyday.  I was royally pissed off to say the least, considering I had invested many hundreds of dollars in keeping up a good stock level of many different colors.  I even contacted the suppliers head office (which I usually do not do) to ask what the go was.  Anyway, long story short, the KaiserCraft paper was being replaced by AmericanCraft paper.  I looked online and thought the paper would be identical as the packaging was.  But I was delighted by the new AmericanCraft paper.  Just beautiful to work with, and I highly recommend it. And the colors are so so beautiful, I used mostly AmericanCraft paper in the above photos.

Whilst I love my paper, is doesn’t come cheap, and I have found when you want to only sell quality items you can not cut corners.  These are a few of the things that go into the pricing of my products…

  1. This paper I use is not cheap, using a cheap quality paper produces lousy cuts and a poor quality finished product.
  2. When running paper through my cutting machine, I have the machine set to quite a slow speed and I also do double cuts (cuts twice), this produces a perfect cut everytime.
  3. When I send my products I like to package them thoughtfully, so that when you recieve your package in the mail it’s exciting and like receiving a little present, even if you did pay for it 🙂
  4. And then there’s all the other stuff: electricity, glue, scissors, pens, rulers, skewers, tooth picks, books, sheet music, dictionary’s, atlases, upkeep on the machine, bought designs, and about one hundred other things.

So, rest easy my friends when you purchase a product from me, you won’t be purchasing cheap and nasty, you will be purchasing well priced (for you and for me) items that are well made and a product that I love too.  Oh and don’t forget you can tell all your friends that you purchased your cake topper from a shop that has cake toppers in an actually real true blue cook book.  (Little hint: It’s probably Australia most famous cake cook book company) We all love bragging rights, right?

Anyway it’s almost 1 am so I should go off to sleep.

Have a good day/night!

Ruby xxx

Ruby Canoes New Etsy Shop!! Now Open!!

As my lovely daughter pointed out recently, I have not posted a blog entry for quite a while.  So here it is…

I have been very busy lately.  Christmas orders, Wedding orders, end of school gifts for teachers.  So, as you can see, my Etsy Shop Ruby Canoe Design is coming along quite well.  So what’s better than one successful (semi-successful) Etsy shop?  Two successful (semi-successful) Etsy shops.  Well that’s what I am hoping for anyway.

The new shop is staying with the canoe theme…Big Blue Canoe was born at the beginning of this year and I am extremely happy with the progress so far.  Getting heaps of views and a few sales, which is just great for a new shop.

Big Blue Canoe is stocked with Patent Prints and Blueprints.  These come in 4 different color choices, which you choose at check out.  Color choices refers to the background color.  Blue, Black, White and Sepia.  Also available in different sizes of A4, A3 and A2.

SR-71 BLACKBIRD

I’ve just added the Lego prints recently and these are my favourite so far.  So why not pop on over to Big Blue Canoe on Etsy and have a bit of a looky look.

Available:

  • PLANES
  • CHOPPERS
  • FIRE TRUCKS
  • RETRO DRESSES
  • LEGOS
  • ICE-CREAM CONE
  • AXE
  • GUITAR
  • VIOLIN
  • BRIDGES
  • and heaps of other things, both weird and wonderful!

Just click here to visit Big Blue Canoe

ASSORTED LISTINGS BIG BLUE CANOE

 

Retro Rocket Boy!

I’ve always loved rockets.  And how I wanted to be an astronaut, I particularly loved the idea of space camp…still do, truth be told.  Oh, how about adult space camp, where we get a 3 course meal at the end of the day and a bucket of wine…oh yeah!  (Take a moment to ponder the awesome Adult Space Camp…….).  Anyway, back to reality (Poop), I’ve been seeing quite a few retro rocket prints floating around (  <——Space reference) on Pinterest lately.  They are just adorable!  So thought I would find a great design and then make my own and put it up for sale in my Etsy Store.  It turned out pretty cute!

Since I have completed the photography for the Etsy listing I don’t really need the papercut anymore 😦 and I don’t know of any Williams.  So if you know a kid called William or if you own one and want this papercut (it is actually listed for $20 {Australian Dollars} in the Etsy store) just contact me and you can have it for $10 plus postage.  You can comment here or go to Etsy or my Facebook page..or email or twitter or instagram or telegram or send a pigeon if you like!

I will be doing a matching airplane papercut shortly, so if you want the William one and you have another cherub, let me know and I will put their name at the bottom and you can have both for $10 each.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO MY ETSY STORE.

New Etsy Listing For Halloween

New listing ready for Halloween.  We don’t do much Halloween here in Australia, but the retail stores keep trying to make us do Halloween.  But it doesn’t need to be Halloween to use these cake decorations.

A few years back my sister got married so it was my task to organise the Bridal Shower.  My sister knew I was planning it, so that part wasn’t a surprise, but as she was, and is, a life long horror movie fan I planned the whole thing as a Fancy Dress Horror Bridal Shower.  And it was spectacular.  She was quite horrified when she arrived after she spent 3 hours doing her hair and make-up and everything else, just to sit down and have everybody do her horror make up and then dress her up. Completely ruining all her good work.  However, a great time was had by all.

You should try a little something different for you next get together, it’s a riot!  🙂

 

This cake decoration comes with 3 rows of flags, one skull cut out and 2 sturdy paper straws.  All ready to be assembled and put straight onto the cake.  Easy Peasy!!

Happy Birthday.

I made a wedding cake topper yesterday and had a few flowers left over and a few little bits of card as well.  Most of my off cuts go to the local Kindy but I really loved these colours together, so the local Kindy missed out this time around 😦

I was so happy with how this turned out and only did it for my own amusement.  So if anyone wants it, it is ready to ship on my Etsy store.  Is attached or not attached, to a sturdy squewer to pop into the top of a cake.  And if you really loved it, you could probably put it in a frame too!

I have listed about 20 new items in the last week or two, so if you haven’t visited my Etsy store recently or ever why not come over and have a little looky around.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO MY ETSY STORE.  LOTS OF GREAT STUFF!

After I made this one I made one for my sister.  She loves her birthday so much so actually throws herself a birthday party every year.  She is a wacky one!  I am totally opposite about my birthdays.  However it might be a bit of a sad birthday party this year as she just messaged me on Facebook that her beloved poodle had just died in her arms.  One of her furry babies is gone.  So sad for her.

RIP Polly Woodle! Luvs ya sis! xxxxx

Ruby xx

Kaisercraft Paper American Craft Paper

Ruby Canoe Design mostly uses Kaisercraft paper, which I love.  I have a huge stock of them in the studio and, maybe once a month, buy a bit more of the colours I need…until last week!  I was a little (a lot) horrified to find my local supplier is no longer stocking Kaisercraft and is replacing it with American Craft paper.  A little bit of panic set in.  That is until I did about 30 seconds of research and, judging by the packaging of American Craft paper packs, it looks like they may well be the same product with different names.

After banging out a few panicky emails to my supplier they are getting new stocks in about 2 months time…ain’t no body got time for that!  😦  But they did send me a colour conversion chart and here it is for anyone that also needs it.

Kaisercraft American Craft

Paper Dressed to Impress

Been super busy this week, designing and cutting, cutting and designing.  So I decided to take today off and watch a bunch of Project Runway episodes.  And got all inspired!

I really wanted to drag out the old sewing machine and the overlocker, but couldn’t be bothered.  Instead I got a pair of scissors, paper glue, paper clip and one of the vintage sewing patterns that I recently scored, and made something I have wanted to make for a very long time.

I hope you like it!

I won’t be listing this item in my Etsy store, so if you are interested please comment here or pop on over to my Facebook page and shoot me a message. CLICK HERE TO GO TO MY FACEBOOK PAGE

Have a nice weekend guys xx RUBY xx

 

A Little Something For The Boys!

(If you are a boy and you click just because of the title…nup no boobies here honey!  Sorry! Sad Face! )

 

Well I finally got around to making some bout, boutin, boutinear…buttons holes for grooms and groomsmen!  This one is entirely hand assembled (at no time did I use my feet).  It is high quality thick paper/card attached to florists wire and the stems are then wrapped in twine for the rustic effect.

All colours are changeable and so is the twine.  Just suggest something and I will see what I can do!  It debuted in my Etsy store tonight at $20 a piece.  (One can take up to an hour to create, cutting, designing, waiting, assembling, and generally doing pretty stuff).  I am hope to do a wide variety of prices, starting from $5.  Discounts are offered when purchasing more than two and I can combine postage to make it cheaper.  Just message me and I will do an Etsy custom order for you and have it in the mail within 3 – 5 days, sometimes quicker.

CLICK HERE TO FIND MY ETSY STORE!!

I am also working on a range of Wedding invitations as well, so if you would like to keep up to date you can follow me here, go to Ruby Canoe on Pinterest, or find Ruby Canoe Design on Facebook and Etsy!  I am everywhere…and sometimes no where!

Thanks for stopping by, chat later alligator! xxx Ruby xxx

 

 

Hot Pink Butterflies

Here is another listing from the SCATTERFLIES range, by Ruby Canoe Design.  Ain’t she pretty?  These Scatterflies are great to use at a wedding, toss them across the wedding tables, make your own back drops or garlands or even decorate some cupcakes with them!

In the next few days (more likely weeks) I am thinking of posting a few tutorials on what to do with these things.  The first one is probably just some place cards and then we might move onto something a little more adventurous like backdrops.

So why not follow my blog or check out my Etsy shop to keep up to date on all the new products.

FYI:  Scatterflies are supplied in packs of 30 or 100 (pack of up to 300 in the works) and are priced at $5 (Australian Dollars).  Just click HERE to purchase.

Vintage Greeting Cards

I really do miss receiving these kind of cards.  When we were kids my Mum always kept any cards we got from family or friends.  The cards lived in a large plastic bag in the middle shelf in the middle cupboard of the hall way.  Every so often I would drag out the bag of cards and look at them (it was a while ago, and we had no internet and only 4 television channels to choose from, we made our own fun).

The above card was my absolute favourite card.  We had many of them kept safely in the plastic bag…wonder what happened to those cards? Anyway, they still sell these cards today and of course I have bought them for my own daughter for her birthday…once or twice.

Beautiful images.  Print them, frame them, love them.  Have a good day!

Ruby. xx

Dedication

kawika-singson-standing-on-lava-shoes-tripod-on-fire

Amazing photo.  This defines dedication.  Seriously, just look at this photo for a few seconds and try to understand what we are looking at.  What dedication this man has.

 

Scroll

 

 

Now, I just researched this photo a little.  When asked if this was real Kawika Singson replied, the flames are real.  However the flames appeared, not due to the lava, but an accelerate. 

Still a great photo.  And it was taken because he wanted a cool (pun?) photo for his Facebook cover.  Why not, I say.  But a few people have made up their own description, which is fully understandable.  Look at the photo, and caption it without knowing the “truth”.  And who is to say that what I typed, about the real story, is the truth.  Ah the internet.  You confuse me.

Reminds me of the old saying “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear” maybe it should be added to “and believe some of what you read on the internet”

Note:  Pop over to Pinterest and search for this pin and read the comments…humans are funny.

xxxrubyxxx

Featuring: Diorama Man and Wild Girl

And you thought doing diarama’s at school was a challenge.

I took this photo when I was at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane last year.  Simply amazing isn’t it? I saw this floating around Pinterest lately and wanted to share it again.

By Nguyen Manh Hung, Click to visit

I haven’t posted much of my art work lately, because, well there hasn’t been any.  I have thrown all of my time and money into creating a successful Etsy store.  I still have lots to learn about it but I certainly know what direction I am going in now.  The Esty store is coming along nicely by the way.

I think I might have to start drawing again, just one a week and see where it goes.  My favourite still has to be Maxine.  I called her Maxine because I set out to pay homage to the greatest book of all time.  A book of which I own a hard cover version and a soft cover version.  A book that didn’t require a film, but got it anyway, not that it was terrible, just unnecessary.  A book whose story captivated many generations over many decades.

Where The Wild Things Are

Yes, when I drew Maxine I was actually drawing how I imagined myself in the book.  Because that’s how I read books.  I am the hero.  Do other people read books like that?  I remember the first time I read that book.  In my primary school library.  It had the same cover it does today, and on the cover where all those fancy gold stickers from all the awards it had won.  Did the stickers make it more special? I don’t know really.  What I do know is…

it….

is…

PERFECT

AND

I

LOVE

IT

the end

PS do you now the worst thing about having a little blog?

Thinking of a title for each post…

Most Views On My Blog Ever…

So, I need about 40 more views today to achieve this months goal.  The goal, this month, being to obtain the most views on my blog and to obtain the most view of my Etsy shop and to achieve the most sales on my Etsy shop…

Results:

Etsy Shop:  Most views achieved 2110 views.  Most sales achieved!  Apparently if you treat your Etsy shop like a shop you make a little bit of money!  Who would have thought that huh?

Blog:  The most views I have received was in May last year.  So I picked this month to try to top that, completely forgetting February has 28 days.  Cursed you February.  A pox on your house Feb. Just 40 more views.  11.5 hours till the end of this Australian day.  And if you are reading this you have helped so here is a picture of an ice-cream.  Enjoy and Thanks! xx

Picture from bighoneydog.com^ great picture too.  NomNomNom

Budget Cake Toppers

Budget cake toppers.

So, with the budget cake toppers, I just supply the cut out paper and you arrange it.  You also save with postage as well.  The wooden sticks are not supplied so the paper cutouts go straight into an envelope, lovingly cuddled by some thick support cardboard, and off to your place…all for the low low low price of $5!

 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE CAKE TOPPERS

🙂

Film Strip Cake Topper (I’m tired and couldn’t think of a witty title)

More cake toppers…topper.  Order any colour combination and do with it as you will.  Put pictures in the film strip, cut out some hearts and glue them in, write in it, stick some flowers in the film strip, so many options.  This cake topper is actually from the budget range.  Guess how much?

$5. Only $5 for this little one.  At my Etsy store (yes, as usual) so click HERE

When I do little budget ones like this,(which I love to do, and sell quite a bit of) it gives me ideas for some more expensive ones.  Thinking of making little 3D paper cameras and having them as cake toppers.  Or hanging a paper camera (complete with camera strap) underneath this film strip.  I really have to make some time for these kind of things.  Maybe next week…Maybe…

Ruby sleep now…zzzzzz xx

Butterflies, Books And Birdhouses, Oh My!

 

  Two newbies at the Etsy store.

Butterfly Cake Topper is only $7 for one

Birdhouse and Books are $20

I am taking orders for these Birdhouse and Books Cake topper for Graduations.  It doesn’t take too long to make them but I have received a few orders already.  So send me an email or comment or go to Etsy and place an order as soon as possible 🙂  Custom orders taken.

Have a great day all!

Ruby.

No Cake Decorators Were Harmed In The Making Of This Stunt Wedding Cake!

I wanted to revamp the Etsy store recently, so I decided to make a wedding cake…as you do.  Not just a wedding cake, but a stunt wedding cake.  Not for eating…although the icing is pretty damn good! (So I am told!)

So I have created a whole heap of new cake toppers in the last week.  And these are just two of them.  So why no take a look at the Etsy store and see if you might like a little something.  Don’t forget that I take custom orders all the time.  Just need to ask.

More cake toppers to come in the next few days!

Stay tuned 🙂

Click Here For My Etsy Store

Don’t forget you can Pin from Etsy and share to your Facebook page as well 🙂

And Loving It…

Well I actually made myself a little something last week.  &!  A paper cutout of and ampersand with a nice little spray of flowers.  🙂  Simple and lovely.

When I actually go window shopping I always admire the big & that some specialty shops have on display, do you know the ones I mean?  Big tin rusty &’s or &’s with lovely little lights through them, or just the typography &’s.  So I made my self one.  & I ❤ my &.  I actually made it to put into, of all places, the bathroom.  Why the bathroom, just because.

Just thought I would share my new little addition.

Have a good day/night xx

I Feel (Chicken) Cooped Up!

I think I am a farm girl at heart.  I love animals.  Pretty much all animals.  And when you live in suburbia dreaming about farm life, the life you might hope to have one day, you inevitably end up on Pinterest.  Okay so what I mean is everyday I end up on Pinterest.  And what do you find on Pinterest?  Chicken coops!  You just knew I was going to say that didn’t you?  Even in suburbia you can have chicken coops you know…just go easy on the roosters if you do!  No one likes a rooster in suburbia.

Chicken coops come in all shapes and sizes.  The most amazing one I have seen is one on a blog call The Fancy Farm Girl, a chicken coop from heaven…very special.  So that one is top of the wish list, but I have also found others that are pretty cool as well.

The Fancy Farm Girl...Go and visit this lovely page :)

The Fancy Farm Girl…Go and visit this lovely page 🙂

Oh, and if you are thinking of buying chickens cause it looks like fun, please think again.  As in all animal purchases they are living beings and require and deserve care.  So if you can not provide adequate shelter or feed or all those other things required for survival, don’t purchase.  I don’t have chickens because I can’t provide for them as needed.  And I would be one of those crazy people who would bring them into the house, in the AC, when it is stinking hot…and lately they would be inside a fair bit.

Made from pallets and recycled wood!  I’m pretty sure you can get used pallets for less than $5 and the other bits and pieces needed can be purchased from a second-hand shop I suppose.  And don’t forget about Ebay for some of these sorts of things.

Who would have thought about an old car body for chickens?  Not me…nice to know though.

Even on the inside, you can recycle .  Buckets! Awesome.

Okay, so this is ridiculous!  How amazing is that.  A tin roof made from cans!!  Who thinks of doing this kind of thing?  This person, clearly!  I think the pictures demonstrate how to make them.  Probably should wear gloves and I think making this roof would be a little challenging but worth the effort.  Luv it!  (after much searching I have found this on Instructables.com)

Don’t forget your chicken sky light!

❤ ❤ ❤ Leadlight windows ❤ ❤ ❤

Maybe one day.  The dream is to move to Tasmania, where it is nice and cold, and buy myself a farm…nice dream to have too.

I even have a picture, taped to the back of my front door, of 3 white chickens in a rustic kitchen, inside a renovated church…it’s all about goals!

Have an eggcelent day!

I crack me up…sorry.

Ruby xx

 

Antique Birdhouse Plans

Some cut little birdhouse plans.  I am pretty sure that if you print these you could just add a few tabs when you are cutting these out and have yourself some little paper birdhouses.  Or you could print them out and make yourself some wooden birdhouses.There are quite a few patterns for birdhouses floating around the internet, but I will always be drawn to the old original drawings.  These would even look lovely framed.

A few years ago I found an old birdhouse in a 2nd hand shop, for $2.  Score!  I glued scrapbooking paper around the outside walls and gave it a Little Golden Book roof.  Pretty cute!  I really would like to do that again one day, but this time it will Little Golden Books all around and on top.  Give it a try, little or large birdhouses.  Which one?

List of Kaisercraft Paper Names:

A very long list of Kaisercraft paper colours, for those that need it!

  • Coconut
  • Licorice
  • Smoke
  • Elephant Ears
  • Steel
  • Mineral
  • Eggshell
  • Coffee Bean
  • Chocolate
  • Mocha
  • Cookie
  • Latte
  • Vanilla
  • Forest
  • Moss
  • Khaki
  • Olive
  • Fern
  • Avocado
  • Willow
  • Aloe
  • Toffee
  • Spiced Pumpkin
  • Cheddar
  • Sunshine
  • Buttercup
  • Tangerine
  • Papaya
  • Burnt Orange
  • Blush
  • Fuzzy Peach
  • Burgundy
  • Cherry
  • Tomato
  • Scarlett
  • Watermelon
  • Bubblegum
  • Lollypop
  • Candy
  • Musk
  • Ballet
  • Wine
  • Grape
  • Blossom
  • Lilac
  • Lavender
  • Peacock
  • Bluebell
  • Island
  • Navy
  • Marine
  • Denim
  • Sapphire
  • Ocean
  • Blue Haze
  • Sage
  • Sea Foam
  • Duck Egg
  • Pistachio
  • Lagoon
  • Sea Breeze
  • Spearmint
  • Apple
  • Splice
  • Asparagus
  • Green Tea
  • Spruce
  • Sprout
  • Robin Egg
  • Mist
  • Brey
  • Neptune
  • Powder Blue
  • Frost
  • Blue Jeans
  • Violet
  • Flamingo
  • Rouge
  • Rose
  • Plum
  • Curry
  • Rustic
  • Cantaloupe
  • Salmon
  • Camel
  • Peddle
  • Stone
  • Wheat

Just received my latest shipment of Kaisercraft premium paper, and I search high and low for a list of the names of the paper, just so I could do an inventory list.  Found bits and pieces of lists, got them all together and there they are.  Not many people will need the list but those of us who do might appreciate this list.  I think it is all of them.

Have a great day.

Ruby.

Chalkboards

Really in love with the chalkboard effect of recent years.  It used to be all hand drawn and now most of it is digital.  Which makes it way more accessible I suppose.  You can get your own things done, invitations, announcements and everything in between.  These are ones are available from Donna at Bubba Beanz Photography.  These items ship to anywhere in the world.  So just pop on over to Bubba Beanz and have a good look at the beautiful chalkboards.  Prices available via the link.CLICK HERE TO VISIT BUBBA BEANZ PHOTOGRAPHY

Write A List, Check It Thrice Or More.

I have a little business starting to kick off, a little, on Etsy.  Finally.  So much work goes into these little things.  Many hours and lots of money too.  But finally, finally starting to reap the rewards.  I was starting to get so busy a week ago that I couldn’t sleep due to all the crap my brain kept trying to organize (at 3am).  So at 3 am last Sunday night I got so sick of thinking I grabbed my laptop and started writing a list…which was titled 47 Steps To Success.  Which I immediately regretted the number of steps, 47 is a hell of a lot!

I wrote little things and big things, from organizing the paper work to picking a font for the business.  It was really freeing too.  When I finished I immediately fell asleep.  It has given me direction and enabled me to treat the Etsy shop like a real shop, because it is.  I have set actual work hours and days off, goals for sales etc etc (and 42 other etc’s).

Since I wrote this list, sales have increased by 200%.  Evidence my friends.

Sometimes if you can’t sleep you just need to get all the shit out of your head.  Write a list.  It works a treat for me, could work for you too, you never know!

Stack of Books

Just last week I was asked to join a new handmade wedsite…It specializes in Australian made wedding items.  I won’t give out the address as yet, because it hasn’t officially launched yet.  (But if you are reading this and you sell handmade wedding items made only in Australia and you would be interested in this just email me and I will send you in the right direction …sharon@rubycanoe.com)

All products shipped worldwide!

Etsy listing Ruby Canoe Design $25 Stack of Books Cake Topper Wedding/Graduation/Birthday

Etsy listing Ruby Canoe Design $25 Stack of Books Cake Topper Wedding/Graduation/Birthday

When I was filling in all the relevant info for my profile, one of the questions was about learning new things and new techniques.  It got me thinking and I headed over to the great oracle (You Tube) and just typed in paper flowers.  I watched a vid on paper roses, but towards the end of the vid the woman doing the tutorial showed us what she did with the off cuts when she was finished making the roses (out of book pages).  Little tiny books!  Then I thought I might just try something a little different.  I Googled images of Book Wedding Cake Topper and couldn’t find any for references.  So this is what I came up with and I just love it so much.  My sister then suggested they would be awesome for Graduation cakes as well.  (Why didn’t I think of that?).  I have just listed my first Book themed cake topper for just $25!  There is seven handmade miniature books with three paper roses and book ribbon on top.  It really is special!  You can find it by clicking HERE

Etsy listing Ruby Canoe Design $25 Stack of Books Cake Topper Wedding/Graduation/Birthday

Etsy listing Ruby Canoe Design $25 Stack of Books Cake Topper Wedding/Graduation/Birthday

Etsy listing Ruby Canoe Design $25 Stack of Books Cake Topper Wedding/Graduation/Birthday

Etsy listing Ruby Canoe Design $25 Stack of Books Cake Topper Wedding/Graduation/Birthday

Etsy listing Ruby Canoe Design $25 Stack of Books Cake Topper Wedding/Graduation/Birthday

Etsy listing Ruby Canoe Design $25 Stack of Books Cake Topper Wedding/Graduation/Birthday

Etsy listing Ruby Canoe Design $25 Stack of Books Cake Topper Wedding/Graduation/Birthday

Etsy listing Ruby Canoe Design $25 Stack of Books Cake Topper Wedding/Graduation/Birthday

.Have a great week all!

Ruby xx

Etsy Success…Well Getting There Anyway!

 

So I have been working on filling the Etsy store and getting it just right.  I have deleted a number of items, that I felt didn’t fit and condensed it down to just 3 sections.

It definitely takes a while to work out the kinks and make the store more pleasing to the eye.  I watched many of the posts from the Etsy site…basically I typed into Google…How to be successful in Etsy…and wouldn’t you know it, there is a crap load of stuff.  It would be impossible to implement all of these things, and why would you anyway.  But I took what was applicable to me and ran with it.

The first thing I did was, strangly enough, stopped posting all of my own stuff on my facebook page.  I was a little too eager to share my new items with all (All 268) of the people who liked my page, and I also posted pictures of any sales I made too.  When I thought about it, I realised that it is not very interesting to focus on just yourself.  So I posted a pic of a cute puppy dog (I know, but it works) and a few little things for Australia Day.

The second thing I did was to delete a heap of my original items.  There was nothing wrong with them, but no one was looking at them and I certainly was sick of looking at them so out they went.  Now I include them as a free gift with every purchase.   Looks better and feels better

The third thing, I just filled in my profile and a little more info about myself in the bio.

And probably a few other little things too, that I can’t remember at the moment.  But after I did that I received 2 or 3 orders, a possible order for about 200 wedding place cards and…I received my weekly Etsy email with a few featured items in the email and OMG there in this email, that goes out to all Etsy Australia people, is one of my items.  The Mens Boutonniere

Clearly the more time I put in the better the result….who would have thought it was that easy…derr.

Luv Ruby! xx

Here Comes Valentines Day!

Hearts in an Envelope, sending my love. Valentines Day gift from Ruby Canoe Design, Etsy.

Well it’s that time of the year again.  Just thought I would get in early, so that any orders will reach you before Valentines Day.  Each of these little pieces are sent unframed and unmatted, and to be honest, it is much cheaper for you to grab a frame from your local store.  Very affordable, just $12, available through the Etsy shop, and looks so much better in real life too! Click Here For Etsy

Love Tree, Initials of family and your colours added. Ruby Canoe Design Etsy store.

And the Love Tree.  This one sells very well.  A great gift for engagements and weddings and (wouldn’t you know it…) Valentines Day!  Just $20 excluding postage, all you need to do is let me know the colours and the initials.  Click Here For Etsy

So here is just two of the selection from the Etsy shop, I have heap more little goodies awaiting a new home.  Oh and if you would like me to send it straight to the recipient, let me know via a message in Etsy, and I will gift wrap it and put a lovely little tag on it, just from you…saves you paying twice the postage, right?

Ruby xx

Easy: How To Make Butter Tutorial

I was very lucky after Christmas and the local supermarket had marked down lots of units of cream.  So I bought about 5 large (600ml) containers.  I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do with all that cream, but it was Christmas/New Year and we were having guests and some nice dinners.  But still 5 containers of cream??  And I really hate cream.  Seriously, even when I have to decorate the odd Pavlova (the Pav itself is not odd) I usually substitute the cream with vanilla yogurt, which is yum, you should try it…and if you have never had Pavlova, you should try it…yum!

Anyway back to the cream issue.  It is the 3 of January and I had one bottle of cream with the used by date of the 5th, and it’s 9 o’clock at night… so I said to myself “self! I think it is about time I made butter” so here is what I did…

  1. Pour cream into the mixer.
  2. Turn mixer on.
  3. After a few minutes, when it is a bit watery you can drain the buttermilk and save for pancakes.
  4. Add about a quarter teaspoon of salt (optional) mix for 20 seconds more.
  5. Drain more buttermilk.
  6. Put on fresh toast and add some jam.

I didn’t take any photos of the making of the butter but just imagine…

a picture of cream here…

now imagine…

a picture of lumpy yellow cream here, with watery stuff all around…

and here is some butter, that I made for $1.13 and it is really really nice.  Um I also added some toast crumbs for effect.

It is really simple, you don’t need anything fancy and you only really need one ingredient.

Have a great day or night.  Ruby Ruby Ruby xxx

Easy Do It Yourself Pet Bed

Easy Do It Yourself Pet Bed Tutorial Included. Ruby Canoe Design

***I originally posted this in June 2013.  However due to its popularity I have decided to repost this one.  I made one for one of my cats, she knows it’s hers and everytime I look at her curled up or sprawled across it it makes me smile.  So here it is…give it a shot, it’s very easy and lasts for quite a long time, I have added a little bit of stuffing in the last month but that’s it. Easy 🙂

The above picture is actually from a McCalls pattern.  I saw this picture on Pinterest and had a good look at it, sorted it out in my cluttered brain and then proceeded to make one pet bed complete with a top blanket…and I did it in about 15 mins for about $8.

I just know you wanna know how to do it…it is soooooo simple.  So I am going to show you how to make a cheap and easy, no sew, pet bed.

  1. Grab yourself 2 contrasting coloured fleece blankets, I got mine for about $4 each.
  2. Lay them on top of each other on the lounge room floor, making sure you haven’t attracted the attention of pets, because they WILL try it out by sitting right in the MIDDLE of your material.
  3. Cut an appropriate sized circle…mine was about a metre across (3 feet) I just sketched mine with a black marker.
  4. Now cut fringes all around the fleece circle.  Make sure they are about 4 cm (about 2 inches) wide and  I cut about 10cm (4 inch) in from the edge.  Be sure to keep both pieces of material together, they pretty much stick together anyway, so I didn’t even pin them.
  5. Now tie almost all of the fringes together, leave about ten untied.
  6. Find an old cheap pillow laying around and cut it open and stuff that stuff into the pet bed.
  7. Tie up the remaining fringes.
  8. I also added an extra bit of material on the top to act as a little blanket, cause it has been cold and I feel bad about them being cold.  So,  I cut a semi-circle from the left overs and gave it a fringe and tied that on too…I just have to lift up the little flap and Maat The Cat jumps on in.

Da daa, easy peasey!  Seriously it is so very easy to make.  This is something you could make with a very young child as well (supervision is essential, scissors: Ouchy mama).

I have also, previously, made a scarf with this tieing technique…so I suppose you could also make a reversible scarf with the two different colours tied together.

Anyway give it a shot and let us know how you did.  Please feel free to share this post or reblog if you would like, we don’t want our furry children to miss out! xx

PS Have you seen some of the lovely new additions to my Etsy shop, the listings might have changed quite a bit since last time you were there, so why not have a look 🙂 Click here.

And Happy New Year! xx

Gotta Love A Butterfly <3

Recently I decided to try my hand at cake toppers, and when I say hand I mean machine.  I have already received quite a few enquiries about the wedding cake toppers.  It seems that people like to spend a lot more money on weddings than I did when I got married.  But even if you haven’t got much to spend I have priced these quite reasonably.  I have tried to create some unique wedding cake toppers and hope that this is just a start.   🙂

Anyway…So I have only been doing this work-from-home thing this year, and I must say it does take up a hell of a lot of time, but it really is worth it.  Although some days it does feel like you are talking to yourself or it feels like you are beating your head against a brick wall, but mostly it’s pretty good.  I say perseverance is my friend 🙂

Next year will, in fact, be my year.  Or our year 🙂 Let’s make the most of it eh?

Have a great weedend.  Ruby.  xx.