Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Foyer Makeover Before and After

Here it is my completed foyer makeover.  Our new focal or statement piece the large buffet that we remade this last March, from a piece we got at a consignment shop for 55.00.  We spent about 60.00 on supplies and hardware to finish the piece, purchased a few accessories and framed a piece of art made buy our daughter, it is a huge improvement of the prior space.

The color is a teal blue from Behr, we actually were able to paint the entire thing with the 3.00 sample from The Home Depot. New hardware and some color detail in the flower motifs on the drawers.

We sanded the heck out of this, and washed in thouroughly, the painting was done inside, using a dry brush technique, where we put on the paint then removed some by brushing with long strokes with a dry brush, this allowed some of wood beneath to shine through.

Below is the piece as we purchased it, dark and huge brass hardware, our piece completed and then my inspiration piece.  Admittedly I am still looking for the perfect bust for our room, it has actually been a running joke...I know one is out there that will look great.

So the before and after pics, ok, the first before picture, this area is a complete mess, honestly most days it was a bit neater, well a few days a week it was anyway.  Our foyer is large and really is a huge dumping ground for pretty much everything.

Entry into our home, much nicer and neater now, and honestly people really seem to like the piece and are quite impressed with our accomplishment.  The buffet holds a lot, in the center we each get a drawer to stash stuff, like mail, keys, phone, library books.  The left side holds a lot of my crafting books from the shelf that used to be here, and on the right my MOST favorite part a large rubber bin to hold shoes, they are no longer strewn all across the foyer, honestly THIS is the best part.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Square Up Credit Card Processing

I can check another item off my New Years Resolution list, I can now accept credit cards at shows, or anywhere with my new Square Credit Card Reader.  Above is the box you can literally find just about anywhere, it is free to get started.  I got my reader at Radio Shack but have seen them at Best Buy, Target and Wal Mart.  You sign up online and you are ready to take charges anywhere, anytime.

With this can my newest toy The New Ipad (add swooning here).  This combo has really taken my show experience to a new level, the words "why didn't I do this sooner" have passed through my head many times.  Though I do remind myself it was a building and learning process to get to this point, so while I am not disappointed I had waited, really I could have and should have done this about a year ago. 

Why I waited and what I learned.  I waited because I did not have a smartphone, and I really did not want the expense of a 50.00 monthly data plan, plain and simple this is why I do not and did not have or want a smart phone.  Oh I was all set to get one last July but the realization of cable, DH smart phone and one for me just seem like an unnecessary expense.  So I watched my husband use his smart phone for a year and realized it really was the right decision for me to not have one, but I wanted a tablet of some kind.  I also wanted to process credit cards via this method, swipe and go.

As I got ready for a large show in the summer the final decision was that I would take my husbands phone and process that way.  That was about the time Verizon (our provider) introduced the new share everything plan and I could add a tablet to the plan for 10.00 a month, the decision became easy and obvious.  My husband was worried about battery life at the show, days were 10-12 hours and he thought no way his phone would hold out.  Since I had been wanting a tablet since the begin of the year, getting and adding an Ipad to our plan was the way I went.

I opted for the 4G/wi fi model, above is the first screen you will get when you log into your square app, which you will need to download to your device.  The second pic is Ipad with card reader in the head set jack. As you see in the left picture this would be where you could key in your total, I have tax added to mine, that is something you can set up as needed.  I still hand wrote all my receipts, even when a customer used cc.  I however entered my entire inventory into the square with my "stock photos". 

Here is a "page" of my inventory,  I had about 4 pages of stock sorted alphabetically, you could sort by a category but for me this worked best.  Also I was able to add options to items, on the top you see my carabiner coin purse, I did not need to add 3 separate items, but could differentiate between size/price.  If I hit carabiner, this window with 3 options pops up, just tap the one needed.

When you have added all your items you are ready to process, on top you can see items entered and tax calculated along with a total.  Swipe your card, when the card reader is first attached you will see the black reader box, this minimizes to below the white box, you will know it is correctly connected.  After card is swiped a box will pop up for customer signature.  They can use their finger though I had a stylus which I think worked better.

After signature a completed screen will appear, you will be given the option to enter an email or phone number for email or text receipts.  This info will not be saved for you, it is kept private for the buyer.

For my show I put up signs on every wall in my booth as well as on the outside so people looking in could see I could process credit cards.  I will say about 1/3 of my sales (in dollars) were credit card.  

Friday, August 10, 2012

Custom Order August 2012

Goldfish in bags over the shoulder tote bag.  Orange polka dot accent on top, pieced handle in blues and oranges.  Bags are lined in watery light blue, handle piecing will vary to each bag, though fabrics are pretty much the same.  Enjoy!

Woodland Friends coin purse, lined inside orange.
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