How to Build a Box Shelf

Hello everyone! I am going to do a “How-To” post today and I think you are going to enjoy it. Have you ever wanted to try building something with your bare hands but not sure how to do it? Well, today I am going to show you have to make a box shelf. I had all this spare wood in my back yard and I decided that I was going to make something out of it. I had seen these box shelves online and thought they looked pretty cool, so I decided to give it a try without any previous wood working experience.

So first, you need to get your stuff together. I got literally make this by hand since I couldn’t afford a circular saw right now. So, if you have a circular saw, I would suggest you use it 🙂

You will need:

  • A saw of some kind. (I used a hand saw and it worked but it took a little bit more elbow grease to do it.)
  • A hammer
  • Wood
  • Nails
  • Sanding Block
  • Pen
  • Tape Measure
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Here is everything I used. Please excuse the dusty table.

Next you want to cut your boards to size. I was using fence boards that had already been cut in half so my shelf was 19″ x 17″ x 5″. You can make it how ever big or small you want. Just make sure you wear gloves and glasses for safety.

Next, comes the hammering part. I like to cheat and hammer the first set of nails partially in because I didn’t have a grip or anything to hold the two boards together. Another way you could probably do this, but I didn’t think of it til later, is using wood glue to initially make the box and then nail it together. But you would need something to hold it in place while the glue dried.

img_20170201_130836891Now it is time to actually hammer them together. Take your boards and make and L out of them. I placed the bottom L between my knees to hold it steady and then place the board with the nails in it on top of it. Now hammer the nails in 🙂 Repeat this until you make a square. (I put in four nails but you can put in more if you feel you want the shelf to extra secure.)

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Look! A box! Good job! Now to sand. I used a 120 grit sanding block and it was just enough to get the roughness out of the wood without removing the natural grain to it. Once you have finished going over the whole thing, time to move on.

The next part is the part I think is the most fun and that it painting the thing to whatever color you like. I chose a nice teal for my shelf and this was the paint I used. (No money paid for advertising.)

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You can use the can and brush method if you want but I like spray paint because it dries quickly and there are no brushes to clean after. But make sure you wear a mask or you might have an adverse side effect that comes with breathing toxic fumes. Depending on the type of board you use, you might need more than one can. I wanted a more white washed (or should I say blue washed) look so I only needed one can. If your wood is really thirsty and you want it completely covered, you will probably need two or more cans.

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SO PRETTY!!!! After you paint it, you can add layers until it is the exact color you want. If you don’t end up wanting to paint it, I would still use some kind of a wood sealer just to protect the wood from spills a stuff from the things you end up putting on it.

After you have your final layer of paint, I would suggest you let it sit for 24 hours to fully set. It would be a bummer to have a colored square on your wall because the paint transferred. I know you are super excited to get it up and show it off, but you need to wait one more day. But after that, it’s finished and it will look gorgeous.

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This is how mine turned out and I am super happy with it. Want to make one? Great! Now you can, but if it’s still not up your alley but you want one of these shelves anyway, feel free to order one right now from my Etsy Shop HERE. I would love to build you one!

Happy building! Have a great day!

When Reviews Help and Hurt

So I have started to feel the effects of how one bad review can make or break something you want to sell. This has happened both on my Book and my Etsy Shop. Since I received an unfitting 1 star review of my book, it seems like it has been almost black listed. It still have 3.5 stars but my once 5 star book that was getting a good amount of hits is now trailing behind terribly. Something similar happened on Etsy too but I am still holding a 4.5 star rating. Is it just the way the site rates products? I don’t know what to do.

I want to be able to get my book into people’s hands but I really feel like they have judged it before they really got to read it. How is a new author supposed to get their name out there when a person writes a review that is completely opposite of all the others? Why does that review hold so much weight against the others? It doesn’t make any sense and it is rather frustrating.

Back when I had a 5 star rating my book would sell rather well for a no body author like me. And if I did a free promo it would do even better. Now it has hardly moved and it has been on a free promo for an entire day. Has anyone else had this problem and if so how did you fix it? I may not a “professional” author yet but NO book deserves a 1 star review. The time, effort and guts for an author to put out a very personal part of themselves starts the lowest with me as a 3 star. It’s just disrespectful in my opinion to rate someone so low when what you have to say is just out of spite.

So once again, I am asking for help so please comment. I don’t want to close my shop or pull my book when there is something I can do to help it. And if you have bought my book or a product on my shop, I do love to see reviews and comments. I can take constructive criticism but not if it done in a way that is only meant to hurt me and others like me. So don’t be afraid to review but make sure that whoever you review, every word is 100% true. And remember that the person who you are writing about does have feelings. If you wouldn’t say it to their face then maybe it isn’t best to put it in a review.

Any way, hope everyone is having a great day and I will see you next time. Bye!

“That’s Not a Real Job”

I was talking with someone the other day about what I do for a living and I couldn’t believe whatI heard. I told them that I am a stay at home mom and I have an Etsy Shop. What did they do? They laughed and said “It’s a good thing your husband has a good job because that is not a real job”. I was so mad I could have spat in the person’s face. What part of that statement did he mean wasn’t a real job? The stay at home part or the Etsy Shop part? Either way, it was a complete blast to my face.

Being a stay at home mom is not cupcakes and glitter. It is a lot of hard work chasing after my child (I can’t even imagine how moms do it with two or more), keeping her out of trouble, tantrums, discipline, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and anything else that has to be done in a week. Heaven forbid something comes up where a friend is sick and needs a meal, or your family comes for a visit. All in all, it is a full time job and, the worst part (if there really is one) is that you don’t get paid for it! I do so many things as a stay at home mom that the person I was talking to probably doesn’t use at all. When was the last time he cooked a meal from scratch? Or when has he had to use long division to figure out if the price per pound will be worth it in the long run?

So for all us stay at home moms, we need to form a union or something because we work twice as hard as anyone who works… except for working moms which I have been as well up to a year ago and that was only part time. Still, it was nuts because I would be out of the house all day, then come home and do all the mom duties, and the wife duties when my husband got home. I was so happy that I was able to quit my job, not because I didn’t like it but rather I just couldn’t do it all. Since becoming a stay home mom, I have been able to actually gather skills that I would never have the time to do working outside the home like making so many things from scratch (coconut milk, flour, cookies) and dehydrating foods. But the one thing that being a stay at home mom did for me was give me the chance to start my Etsy Shop.

That has been an adventure in itself. I opened my shop back in December and my world has been turned upside down. Now I am not just the mom in the house, but, with the shop, I am the owner, marketer, sales person, customer service, campaigner, consultant, and so many other things that I would never end this post. How the person said that having an Etsy Shop isn’t a real job, I will never understand. Yes I am on PinterestTwitter, Instagram and Facebook off and on all day but it is 100% for work. When I “clock out” (hahaha) the last place I want to go is on social media.

Why might you ask? Because I am interacting with people, tweeting, pinning, and following all day long. It gets really tiring having to look at a little screen all day and still try to run a house and raise a child. Then when an order does come in, it can get really fun. Thankfully my daughter is starting to get to the age where she can just sit and watch so for my smaller projects like my Bird and Butterfly Infinity Summer Scarf I can do them more often in the middle of the day instead of after she goes to bed. But if it’s like one of my Crochet Baby Blankets or my Shark Blanket or Shark Baby Cocoon, I have to do those at night after all my other work because she wants to help me by playing the “push the yarn ball around the house” game.

I didn’t even mention that I am also an author with my Debut Novel “Potholes of Hope”. Lord knows what he would have said to that one. That there has it’s own set of craziness because marketing a book and marketing a handmade business can be similar but is usually a completely different audience. So I have two marketing circles that I am in. So that means using all the social media sites above but I also to have a separate Facebook page for my book. It’s a lot to keep track of.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life! I wouldn’t trade it for the world so please don’t think I don’t want orders and stuff. I am just pointing these things out that it is just a walk in the park to be a stay at home mom and it isn’t like I sit and crochet all day and roll in the cash. There’s a lot more to having a successful handmade business that many people don’t realize. I don’t do the work in marketing and social networking, I don’t make any money. So the next time you talk with someone and they say they are a stay at mom mom or have a hand made business, please don’t write them off. More than likely, they are more talented than you are.

Have any stories like this? I would love to hear them! So comment below and have a great day!

Trial Website

So I am trying a new website through Etsy’s partnership with Pattern. I decided to try their free trial to see if I like it. Here is a quick break down of the website. Etsy now offer’s an official website that you can customize to your liking. There is a free trial for Etsy shops right now but it is regularly $15 a month. Which is not bad for what they offer.

The website is connected to your Etsy shop so any changes you make to your listings will then be updated directly to the Pattern site. Which is great since you only have to update one site. So for people like me, one less thing for me to do is the best.

To set up the website is super easy. You transfer your stuff directly from Etsy, pick your theme and colors, and then decide whether or not you want to use a special domain. If you don’t then they will give you one with their ending on it.  I already own my own domain so I decided to connect it to the site. There is an article that explains how to do it for your domain’s home. It took me about an hour to get it done, but it is now done and I have officially opened the website www.handiworksofgrace.com!

You can still go to my Etsy Shop www.handiworksofgrace.etsy.com or you can just go right to my new site. There is a 30 day trial on it and in 30 days I will decide whether or not I will keep it for the cost. But if it is a success, then so far I am very impressed. The only thing that I hope happens when you start paying for the website is to make it more fancy. It’s super simple right now and there is a lot of open margins on the sides. So, if that is the case, then I will more likely keep the site.

Go ahead and check it out. Please comment below so I know how the customers are seeing the site and give me an idea if you think it is worth the money to keep. Have a great day!

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My site’s home page 🙂

Trying to Figure it All out

Most people tackle things one thing at a time. Not me! I publish a book, open an Etsy Shop, raise a toddler, and be a wife all at the same time. Those are just my immediate duties. I have others at church, with our extended families, and outside activities. (Yes I have hobbies and friends outside of all that.) So when does it end? When will I stop pushing myself? I honestly don’t know.

Now I have been trying to learn how to make my Etsy Shop more successful and market Potholes of Hope properly. Both are two very different dragons to slay. On one hand I have a book that I need to be open and happy about even though I feel like all my posts and tweets fall on a lot of deaf ears. Then I have my Etsy Shop that I have to sell myself and say what a great creator I am when I am only hoping for one sale a month. How to juggle both while still giving my daughter and husband the time they? Honestly, it’s by the grace of God.

When it comes to any type of selling for me is really hard. I am a terrible (let me say it again, terrible) sales person. I have bombed many job interviews because they required me to do a simple sales pitch and I couldn’t. I couldn’t sell fire to Eskimos. I felt like I was being pushy and ride for telling someone they needed this certain tanning product. I would start out my pitch strong and end with a “please”. I think one of my interviewers actually laughed at me.

Now the irony of all this is that my profession is sales! AHH!!! But now I am selling things that I really care about. They are things that I have put a lot of thought and time into to make them what I want them to be. So I get on my phone and keep tweeting and posting because I know my products are good and people need them. They need good books, baby blankets, and rugs. It may seem crazy but it’s my life and I love it. I would be bored to live any other way.

But speaking of selling, I have a new listing! You know that shark blanket I was telling you about in my post I Love Filling Orders!? Well here it is! I think it looks awesome! What’s cool is that it comes in sizes for babies to really tall people. There is no one who can’t enjoy being eaten by a shark. So click on the link below and get your’s ordered today.

Shark Blanket, Eat Me Shark Blanket

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I Love Filling Orders!

So I have an order that came in for one of those eat me shark blankets and I am so excited about it. I found this great pattern from YARNutopia for it and got crocheting away. (If you want some awesome patterns, check her out. She is my favorite crocheter. I can only wish to be as good as her someday.) I am now about half way done with the body and still have a long way to go but I getting there. So if you want one, I’ll be posting this item for sale on my in my Etsy Shop once I have this product done or you can leave a  comment below with your email and we can work something out 🙂

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This is what it is going to look like! (Photo from YARNutopia)
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This is what it currently looks like 🙂

New Items in My Etsy Shop

I am super happy to the say that I have new items in my Etsy Shop! They have been something that I have been working hard on and I think you are all going to love them!

The first one is from my new scarf line!

Yellow Infinity Scarf

Blue and Pink Lace Infinity Scarf

Butterfly and Bird Lace Infinity Scarf

Blue Lace Infinity Scarf

Aren’t they beautiful? They are so light to wear and perfect for summer! They can be adjusted to fit just as you want to wear them and look great with any outfit!

Next is a new rag rug line I have been working on. Doubt let the name scare you, all the fabric is new 🙂 Introducing! My Little Pony Rugs!

Rainbow Dash Rug

Twilight Sparkle Rug

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Pinkie Pie Rug

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Shutterfly Rug

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Rarity Rug

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Apple Jack Rug

Aren’t they amazing! They don’t have to be just from My Little Pony as in the rugs also have their colors as listing titles too. Some people just might like to have a rainbow rug and wouldn’t think to look for Rainbow Dash 😉

So I hope you enjoyed these and feel free to place an order by either clicking on the links or going to http://www.handiworksofgrace.etsy.com 🙂

When the Day Goes Right

How often can we say that? I haven’t been able to say a day wen as planned I think since my daughter was born. But today seemed to go just right 🙂 We got up, had breakfast, my daughter was in a good mood, went to my candy store (the fabric store), Costco where I got some herbs and strawberries for my garden, and then home again.

Once home, I planted my herbs and strawberries, my daughter was ready for a nap, I sewed a shirt extension that someone had ordered and then I made a maxi skirt. I thought my daughter would be up by then so I sat down with my computer to do some admin work with my book and my Etsy Shop but she still gave me another hour of nap time! I couldn’t believe it! Must be growing time for her. The only time she sleeps more than two hours is when she is going through a growth spurt.

So now I am just sitting here waiting for her to wake up and my husband to get home for us to eat dinner and have a relaxing night. Like I said, these kind of days are not normal but, when they happen, I am very grateful 🙂

But it got me thinking, that God really does look out for us and we do have the mountain moments when things are going right. It just means that I need to enjoy the moment that I have and prepare myself for what will be coming in the future. Maybe if I am little bit prepared, no matter what is, I will be able to handle it the way that God would want instead of me running around like Chicken Little yelling “The sky is falling!” when really it might just be a simple change in direction and not a complete tragedy.

So here’s to the blessing of good days and may God be with us all when the days get hard. He is control of both and both are for our good.

Alive in Me

I love the lyrics of this song. I was listening to it in the car with my daughter today as we were running around doing our errands and it got me thinking – Do I really believe what this song is saying? I know that I am a child of God but I have always been taught that God is something that is out there and that He has control over everything in the universe. It wasn’t until recently have I been going to my current church that my pastor has been really talking about God living in us.

It is totally mind blowing to even think of such a thing. The almighty God, living in me. Wow! I am so not worthy and unfit to be a vessel of His but then I really hit that God – uses only “unfit” vessels because then He is the one who gets all the glory. If it was really up to me to do anything great in my life, I would be in a very bad place right now. Actually, I would probably be dead.

It is only by the grace of God that I have made it this far in life. He is the only reason that I continue to wake up in the morning. It is only through Him that I have the courage to do the things I do. I’ll tell you that writing this blog, publishing a book, and having an Etsy Shop is really scary for me. I have always been a very private person but lately it seems like God has been pushing me to come out of my shell. I am not sure He feels that I need to spill my guts out tho the world, but He does and I know better than to say “No” to Him. It is always easier to just do as the Lord leads than to fight Him.

So the question for me is, do I believe that God is alive in me? Yes I do! He is my rock and my fortress. I can hide in Him and I can stand firm with Him beside me. He has never left or forsaken me. Like a little broken child, I can come to Him and have Him hold me as I cry both tears of pain and celebrate with tears of joy. And, one day, I will get to meet my God face to face. I can’t wait, but, until then, I get to be here and enjoy the life He has given. I get to show other people that God truly is alive. He is alive in everything and He is definitely alive in me.

Feel free to comment 🙂

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Photo from Metrolyrics.com

A Special Prayer for Everyone!

I can’t believe it but this is my 100th post! I didn’t know I had so much to say. Wow so this post will be special because you will get to see my new products I have out right now but also I have a special prayer I want to give out. I have been so blessed by so many people with one of my last posts If Paul Was Yoda that I want to make sure I not only receive but I also give.

First though for the fun part and that is shopping! I had to laugh at myself since my mountain right now is infertility and the foundation to my product line at Handi Works of Grace is baby blankets. So I may not be able to have a baby right now but I guess it is still in my mind somewhere to want to bless other babies with nice, cuddly blankets. I have a couple to choose from.

There’s my Pink Minky Blanket

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My Blue Monkeys Minky Blanket

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And my Neutral Gender Minky Blanket

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These also come in all sorts of other patterns so check it out 🙂

I also have a Crochet Rug out that comes in whatever colors you want.

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And finally, just for a little more fun, A Pom Pom Book Mark.

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There’s what’s new in my Etsy Shop, now on to the prayer over my readers.

“Dear Lord, Thank you so much for my wonderful readers. They are such special people and they have allowed me into their lives through this blog. I wouldn’t have a blog if it wasn’t for them. I just pray, Lord, that you will bless them in everything they do and everything they seek out to do. Bless their families and bless their area of employment. That they will feel Your hand over them everyday as they go about doing their everyday things.

If they are stay at home mommies, I pray for a blessing over their little ones as they grown and mature into good people who will serve You with their actions as well. What they do is some important even though most days it feels like it is the lowest job there is.

You are the creator of all things, Lord and without You there is nothing. Help us not to lose track of what’s important especially during our dark moments. Show Your light to us that we might see the right path to go down. Build up Your people, Lord, so we could do great things for Your kingdom. Make us strong and not ashamed. Help us when we are weak to stand firm and never forget Your sacrifice on the cross.

I pray all these things in Jesus’ name,

Amen.”

I hope that little prayer will brighten your day. I still have a lot to learn about prayer and the right way to do it, but I guess there isn’t a right way or a wrong way. As long as it is between me and God there is no way to do it wrong.

So Thank you for reading post #100 with me and I will see you next time 🙂