A New Adventure

Ever since I started crafting I always kept an idea in the back of my mind that it would be really cool to make some money out of it one day. Yes, I have a full time job and a family to take care of, but I have been hopeful that something would eventually come along. I stumbled upon a post in one of my mama groups on Facebook about an opportunity to not only craft but also make money doing it. Could this be what I have been looking for?!

Many direct sales opportunities have presented to me through friends and family, but none that I really felt passionate enough about to join. So what makes this one different? The post came from a fellow mama I’ve never met, in a Facebook group with hundreds of other mamas I’ve also never met. Hmmm.. not really an exciting story when I say it out loud, but that’s how it happened. After reading her post about this crafting business opportunity I felt compelled to message her for more information, something I’ve never done before. Ever. After a couple days of messaging back and forth and getting more information on the company, I felt really excited about the opportunity; excited enough that I actually did it. I signed up for a direct sales company.

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And then it hit me. OMG, what did I just get myself into?! Where am I going to seriously find time to do all of this? My loving husband topped it off with a simple palm to the face and head shake (LOL love you.) All in the blink of an eye, or rather, all in the press of the JOIN button, I was added to several Facebook groups, getting tons of notifications and emails about where to start and how to get my business rolling. Getting through training videos and reading through business documents is no easy task with an almost three year old and an almost four month old. Their nap time is when I’m learning how to utilize social media and expand it past posts about my family and friends. Gearing up towards making how-to videos and going “live” in the near future is both exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. I’ve never been one to attract attention to myself, but it’s exciting to try something so new and different and get myself out of my comfort zone.

So what’s this company all about?!

Chalk Couture.Β The most versatile home decor ever created. Create your own masterpiece, no matter what your crafting ability may be.. over and over again. Beautify your home and spice up your life when you join the Chalk Couture family as a Designer.

The company launched on July 1, 2017 (yes, it’s only nine months young!) and is making it’s presence known in the crafting world. We sell Chalk Paste, Chalk Ink, Vinyl Transfers and everything else you need to make beautiful, hand-crafted projects. I’ll be doing my first “live” video on Facebook (hopefully today) to unbox my starter kit, so I hope you get a chance to view it on my Facebook Page. The company is still very new and there is more than enough room for anyone interested in joining the Chalk Couture Family as an Independent Designer. If you’d like to learn more, please feel free to contact me! In the meantime, I’ll let the art speak for itself through social media posts, blog posts, and how-to videos. And feel free to visit my Chalk Couture Online Shop to see all of the fun products we offer! I’m excited to share this new adventure with all of you. And I hope you stay along for the ride!

Wedding DIYs

With wedding season approaching, I thought it would be fun to do a post on our wedding DIYs. I’ve always liked doing arts and crafts but I think my love for crafting really developed when Josef and I started planning our wedding. After getting a few quotes for wedding invitations we quickly realized that costs were going to add up FAST if we did not make some things ourselves. Though the process of doing a DIY wedding can be super stressful and time consuming, it’s also really cool to see the end product and be able to share it with your loved ones.

Invitations

When deciding on the type of invitations we wanted to send out, we wanted to keep with our modern theme and have something unique, so we decided on invitation booklets. When getting quotes, designers were going to charge us $8.00 – $12.00 per invite. Yikes. Our guest list was upward of four hundred people (yes, I know!), so you could do the math and calculate how much that would have cost us. So, we decided to take a leap of faith and make them ourselves. With some self-taught Adobe Illustrator skills, Josef was able to create the graphics that we wanted for each page. We had them laser printed since the gray background we wanted could only be done with laser printing. Once they were printed, I used a Martha Stewart Scoring Board to make a one inch margin on each of the pages. Then, I punched two holes and set two white eyelets with a We R Memory Keepers Crop-a-Dile. We also opted for electronic RSVP options (email, phone, website) to save on stamps and avoid having to print out RSVP cards for people to mail back to us. All in all, we estimated that it cost us about $3.50 to make each invite! We mailed the invites in brown kraft paper envelopes and just used our home inkjet printer to print the addresses.

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Reception Programs & Menus

We continued with our modern theme to create our reception programs and menus. Again, Josef designed them on Adobe Illustrator. Since we were going with a white background, we were able to print them out on our home printer. Using the same technique I used on our invitations, I punched a hole in the top corner and set a silver eyelet with a crop-a-dile.

Place Cards & Meal Tickets

We wanted to do something different for our place cards and meal selections that was fun and functional at the same time. For our place cards, we printed each guest name on a 4″ x 9″ envelope and also stored the utensils inside of it. We included a fork and knife graphic as well as our names and the date and location of our wedding reception at the bottom.

The meal tickets served two functions. The top portion was used to tell the servers which meal option each guest chose (meat, veggie or kid’s meal) when they RSVP’d and the bottom was a favor ticket. We decided that instead of spending $300+ on individual favors for each guest, we would raffle off three Nexus Tablets (we’re an Android Family) throughout the reception. I used a Fiskars Rotary Cutter with a perforation blade to make it easy to tear off the bottom portion to place in the raffle bowl.

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Bride & Groom Place Setting :: Kara Miller Photography

Fun Extras

Our cocktail hour was held in a separate room from the main reception so we were able to put our seating chart and guestbook/gift table in this room. We kept our seating chart simple since we had about three hundred people to list. We separated the names alphabetically by last name and printed them out on white card stock. I made the alphabet tent cards out of brown kraft paper card stock and chalkboard paper. I bought wooden frames and used chalkboard paper for the large signs. Finally, I made our guestbook out of 5″ x 7″ chipboard and white card stock and used binder rings to hold them together to form a ring bound book.

We also put up a gallery of pictures that Josef got enlarged and actually used them when he proposed to me. The easels were hand made by Josef as well, so I have no idea how he made them, but they turned out great!

Most Filipino weddings include the infamous money dance and ours was no exception. Instead of having someone pass out the pins, we thought it would be more efficient to have them on the tables already. My sister came up with the idea for the pins storage. She used small styrofoam balls to stick the pins in. She used a Cricut Machine to cut out the bases out of yellow card stock. She used the Octagon Box image from the Tags, Bags, Boxes and More 2 Cricut Cartridge. She finished them off with a small label made out of a toothpick, twine and gray card stock.

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Money Dance Pins :: Kara Miller Photography

We used wooden frames and chalkboard paper for pretty much all of the signs we used for our reception decor. We used the Tolsby White Plastic frames from Ikea for a few smaller signs and for all of our table numbers. All of the signs were had written with chalk markers by my lovely sister. She has since taken up hand lettering and modern calligraphy (IG: @smudgedletters) if you need any custom lettering done = )

Looking back, I learned quite a few things about doing a DIY wedding. First and foremost, just like everything in life, DO NOT PROCRASTINATE! We ended up sleepless and stressed the last week before our wedding trying to get everything done in time. Secondly, ask for help. That’s what your wedding party is there for! It’s always been difficult for me to ask people for help, but enlisting the help of our wedding party turned out to be such a big help, especially that last week of craziness. Utilize them and delegate tasks that don’t need to be done by you. And lastly, don’t sweat the small stuff. Your wedding is supposed to be fun and enjoyable and it goes by fast! Five and a half years later our friends and family don’t really talk about our invitations or the signs we made for our reception, but rather they talk about all the fun they had celebrating the day with us.

So have fun with it and enjoy crafting your Happily Ever After!