Archive for May 2011

What kind of granddaughter would I be without a nod to my grandpa as well?  I never really knew my grandfather, as he lived on the other side of the country for most of my life.  He didn’t move back until I was in high school, and it wasn’t long after moving back that he passed away.  I think he knew his time was nearing, and he wanted to be near his family.  What I do remember about him is that he was very smart.  He never stopped learning, and when you talked to him, he spoke with the confidence of someone who was obviously well-educated.  He was a little on the eccentric side as well, which is where I think I get my odd little quirks.  I regret that I didn’t have more time to get to know him, but he is alive in me in many, many ways.

Why the trip down memory lane?  My grandfather was the inspiration for one of my newer listings, a photo memorial candle.  That is his picture you see, and it was recently included in a treasury that celebrates our fallen military heroes.  It is a beautiful treasury – one that brought a tear to my eye – and I’d love to share it with you, so we all can remember the REAL meaning of this weekend.  It’s not about the day off work/school and it’s not about what you’re going to grill or how many fish you’re going to catch.  So many brave men & women have served our country (like my grandfather did) and many of them made the ultimate sacrifice when they laid down their lives for their country.  I hope we never forget that, and I hope everyone takes the time to reflect and be thankful for those who died serving our country.


Wishing you a life less ordinary,



When my grandma was alive, she used to collect clowns.  Emmett Kelly were here favorites, but I never liked them because they were always so sad.  I remember forking over a small fortune one Christmas for an Emmett Kelly figurine entitled “Smile and the World Smiles With You.”  It was one of the few things I asked for after she passed away because not only was it something that she loved, but it had a smile on it – which is rare for those figurines.  Once again, Gram has come through for me.  Here’s what has been going on at Loobie Labels over the past week.

* I organized and rearranged all the supplies I have on hand.  (This is just a fraction of the organization I’ve done at home since losing my job in April.)  I found that I had a lot more than I thought, and I have supplies for projects I didn’t even realize I had purchased supplies for.  So WOO HOO – I get to create new things after all!

* I’m currently in the process of designing and supplying a local catering company with custom bag toppers similar to the ones I sell in my Etsy store ( http://www.etsy.com/listing/68445194/custom-goodie-bag-topper ) except they’ll fit over food-safe bags that hold some really yummy gourmet cookies.  Huge recurring order where hundreds of people will see my work?  Um, yes please!

* I’ve had a few sales, including an Etsy sale.  I guess my Etsy store didn’t like the fact that I was considering paying more attention to other areas in my life.  Heh…. my Etsy store is a Diva.

* I have a solid lead on a part time job, and part time is better than nothing.  Keep your fingers crossed for this one.

* I just finished sending the last of the information for my very first site review and giveaway.  Good golly, I’m more nervous than a hog on slaughter day.  Hopefully it goes over well.  *fingers crossed*

Now, all I need is to figure out why my ginormous double-paned picture window is leaking, and why I can only seem to get 1 side of my kitchen sink to drain at a time.  I love my fiance’ dearly, but Mr. Fixit he is NOT.  lol  Gotta give a shout out to the DIY network website – they’ve saved my tail on more than one occasion!  🙂

And, of course, a shout out to my Gram for reminding me that it doesn’t matter what cards you’re dealt in life.  What matters is how you play them.  Love you and miss you, Gram!  xoxoxo

Wishing you a life less ordinary,


There comes a time in every new Etsy shop owner’s life that they begin to wonder if it’s even worth it.  Is it worth the time, money, and effort I’m putting into my shop in order to list new things?  Is it worth missing time with my family?  Is it worth the disappointment when, day after day, you check your Etsy store and see no messages and no sales?  I’ve kind of come to that point.

Last month, I lost my job.  And it was my hope that I could add new items to my Etsy shop and at least make enough to tide me over until I found a new job.  Didn’t happen.  Not a single sale in over a month despite the fact that I’ve pretty much become an advertising and marketing person in the past few weeks.  I’ve gone way out of my comfort zone to promote my business and still, my business is failing despite all my efforts.  I’ve read all the articles I can find on Etsy.  I’ve stalked shops that sell similar products.  I’ve joined teams.  I’ve done treasuries.  I’ve participated in discussions.  I’ve offered discounts and networked with the best of them.  I’ve taken my advertising on a local advertising blitz and papered my area with fliers, made dozens of phone calls, and passed out hundreds of business cards.  Nothing has worked.  The only thing I can say for sure is that I probably should have paid more attention to finding a new job, because my Etsy shop has let me down.

I will continue to work on new items for my shop, but my main focus will now switch to finding a full time job that can pay the bills.  I have so many ideas for new items, but at this point, I need to conserve my resources and use them to keep my family going.  But trust me, this is NOT goodbye.  I never never in my life walked away from a challenge and I’m not about to start now.  This is my passion.  This is what’s in my heart.  This is what I was born to do.  And some day, I hope that I’ll be one of those people with a few thousand sales under my belt.  For now, though, I have to shift a little more energy towards my obligations to my family.  It’s a difficult and heartbreaking decision to make, but my family means the world to me and they will ALWAYS come first!

Wishing you a life less ordinary,


As some of my fellow Etsy readers know, treasuries are becoming more common.  And for those of you who don’t know, a treasury is a collection of items that share a common theme.  People spend a lot of time searching Etsy for the perfect combination of items that fit their theme and hoping that it will make it to the home page on Etsy.com.

Over the past year, many of my items have made it into treasuries, but so far, no front page.  I know some people live and breathe “front page worthy” treasuries, but I don’t. I don’t make my items in hopes of getting them on the front page.  I make them because I love what I do and I want to make my customers happy.  That’s it. Maybe it’s simple and “small potatoes” but I know that the day my focus moves away from those 2 things is the day I will close my shop forever. 

My newest item, Pay it Forward cards, made it into a treasury yesterday.  http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4dcb2c8729ba8eef9f1f0faf/thank-you  Obviously, I was happy that someone found one of my items treasury-worthy, but to be honest, I never figured people would pay too much attention to these cards.

The Pay it Forward cards are a set of 4 small cards that you give to someone when you help them out.  Rather than having you pay them back for their kindness, you encourage them to pay it forward.  When they do THEIR good deed, they pass the card along to the next person to encourage them to do the same.  I created these cards as more of an experiment.  I wanted to see if anyone out there was willing to undertake the task of helping 4 strangers without expecting anything in return.  So far, no sales.  I would love for these to “take off” and be my biggest seller.  It would definitely renew my faith in humanity, given all the negativity that seems to be in the news these days.  I’m still hopeful.

Wishing you a life less ordinary,


Congratulations to the Independence Junior High School class of 2011!  They celebrated their upcoming graduation with a dance this weekend and I was asked to provide a small favor for each student to take home with them.  While I did several samples for the dance committee to choose from, in the end, simplicity won out and I have to agree – sometimes less is more.

Congrats, Patriots!  I wish you nothing but success in all your future endeavors!

Wishing you a life less ordinary,


I had the pleasure of taking my first trip to Popcorn Town & Candyland Company in Tinley Park, Illinois this week.  A family member introduced me to the owners recently, thinking we would be great complements to each other,  and I have to say that I’m excited.  Kim and Donamarie have been great to work with so far and I’m looking forward to a long-standing relationship with them!

Walking into the store, you can smell the popcorn.  Ooooh, the smell of fresh caramel corn!  It was nearing lunch time when we arrived and I was pretty hungry.  If I could have jumped into the bin of caramel corn and splashed around in it, I probably would have.  (Ok, well, I wouldn’t have…. but at least I provided you with a lovely visual.)  They have several regular flavors, and rotate other flavors throughout the week.  I happened to come on the day they were making bacon cheddar popcorn and, well, I couldn’t resist.  I initially brought it home for the fiance’ but I am woman enough to admit that I ate more than he did.  4 thumbs up!  (It would have been 6 thumbs up if you count our daughter, but we were bad parents and waited until she was in bed for the night before breaking out the treats.)

Aside from the popcorn, I noticed how FUN the store was.  There was a giant train in the middle of the store with a gumball smoke stack and room for the little ones to run through or sit and play train.  This was my daughter’s favorite part.  Even the ceiling was fun – giant pieces of colorful wrapped “candy” hanging, helium balloons, and a GIANT 6 foot long strip of “candy buttons” near the door.  It was fantastic!  Everything a kid (or a kid at heart) would want to see in a candy store, this place has it.  A word of warning, though, if you’re bringing a preschooler into this place, be prepared to stick around for a while and expect a few tears when leaving.  My daughter actually asked me if she could sleep there.  lol

And, of course, there’s the candy.  They had EVERYTHING!  And I DO mean everything.  From chocolate covered gummy bears to candy arrangements, and nostalgic candy to a 3 foot long gummy snake.  It was all there, in all its yummy glory!  They even had these lollipops with “bugs” in the middle that looked SO real, I kind of wanted to ask if they were…. but I chickened out.  And if you’re looking for colored m&m’s for your wedding or graduation, they have those too.  The best part?  Free samples!

What a fun place to visit, and what a great selection!  If you’re in the area, I highly recommend stopping by!  With or without a kid in tow, I promise your inner child will leave with a gigantic smile on its face – especially if you buy it some gummy bears (which are separated by color, by the way – no need for me to throw away the yellow ones.)

Wishing you a life less ordinary,


A lot of people have asked me where I got the name “Loobie Labels.”  It started back in the early 80’s when my older sister decided she wanted to make my life miserable.  lol

When we were younger, my sister and I didn’t get along.  Well, that’s probably the understatement of the century.  We are 17 months apart and we’ve been like oil and water since the day I was born.  From infancy, I was tormented by a sister who liked to shove Spaghetti O’s in my ears, rub Vicks Vapo Rub in my eyes, and throw toys at my head.  (I guess that explains a lot.  lol)  It wasn’t until I started college that we became friends.  Now, 16 years later, I consider her one of my best friends.

Anyway, when we were in our teen years, she would drive me batty by calling me all sorts of crazy names.  Since my real name starts with L, she would come up with all sorts of “names” for me that started with L.  I hated it, and she knew it, and that made her do it even more.  One of the names she used to call me was Loobie.

When I started doing the candy bar wrappers a few years ago, she was my biggest fan.  She always encouraged me to turn it into a real business.  I didn’t think I was ready, and I lacked the self-confidence to put myself out there with the potential for failure.  I think I started my actual business more to get her off my back than anything else (gotta love those older sisters who nag you to death.)  When I asked her what I should name my business, she suggested Loobie Labels. 

I thought it was sort of fitting – taking a name she used to call me back in the day when there was NO possiblity of us ever having a decent relationship.  I figured if I could stick with our “relationship” and have it eventually turn into something amazing and incredible, maybe the same would happen to my little hobby.  Maybe I could take it and stick with it until it exploded into something I could be proud of. 

So far, it seems to be a pretty fitting name.

Wishing you a life less ordinary,


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  • loobielabels: Thanks, Madalyn! As a mom, I generally do most of my work after my daughter is in bed for the night. I put in anywhere from 2-5 hours a day, broken
  • loobielabels: This was actually one of the stock layouts, so I didn't pay anything for it. However, I thank the person responsible - it definitely is a nice layout
  • loobielabels: Thanks, Celeste! :-)