October 31, 2011

Herban Luxe Giveaway Winner was Yours Truly!

What words come together to encompass the following responses – holy crap, OMG, gratitude, surprise, excitement and oh heck yeah! Thank you hardly seems like enough but that’s exactly what I’m saying to Myra of Herban | Luxe this afternoon. A big old, wet sloppy kiss kind of thank you!

I entered her contest after reading about it on Facebook. Not a fan of hers on Facebook yet? You should be! Myra frequently has giveaways and talks about all kinds of super cool business tips, both for her own successful business as well as hints and advice for the readers of the EcoEtsy blog. And you can always find out about the latest trends in makeup.

But not just makeup…handmade, eco-friendly, happy to put it on your face because it will never contain a bunch of nasty carcinogens or crap, makeup!

I was floored to win these amazing full sized Roller Babes eyeshadows – one in Sunset which is perfect on my lids, the other in Oriental which goes right on my brow line and makes my eyes really pop! On top of that I also received her newest item to her collection, the Moscato Lipstick. It goes on great, its smooth and soft, and really lasts.  Not to mention it looks perfect with my lighter toned skin and almondy brown/red hair.  But it is just one of those colors that kind of works on everybody!

Everything arrived in that reused package ^ there.  It was all wrapped up nice and neat so nothing would spill, padded to ensure against breakage, and there was even a little bonus mineral mascara in the bag! Woo hoo!

So thanks again for your enormous generosity with this great giveaway!

Myra you just simply rock and you’ve truly inspired me to start thinking about what kinds of fun items I could give away from my arsenal of eco-friendly accessories...

Maybe iPod cozy cases? A clutch purse? Perhaps a set of faux granite coasters?

What would you love to try to win that Chucka Stone Designs creates?  Would you like to see something totally different than the above mentioned items? 

Tell me about it in the comments then be sure to get out and follow Herban | Luxe, try the make up and fall in love with Myra's shop!

October 26, 2011

DIY Tutorial Series Making Cellophane Packaging

Today’s tutorial comes from Martina at Nature's Art Melbourne and in it she shares how to take those scraps from cellophane that we all come across and turn them into beautiful, custom packaging for your items.

Materials Needed
Leftover cellophane, cleaned and dried
Vacuum sealer machine
Item to package

Description of Materials
Cellophane can come from flower bunch covers - use the top bit which didn't get greased, covers of bought cards, chocolate covers, protective covers from all sorts... or you buy it in a roll and cut it in the right size.

The Vacuum bag sealer is normally for the household and used to seal bag before freezing - it sucks the air out - which we do not need in our case it just makes the noise of sucking it out but the sealing is the beauty of this little thing.

The Process

Gather your items - Cellophane remnants, little book to protect, vacuum bag sealer

Cut cellophane (if necessary) if not flat - in this case two sides are close anyway as it comes from a chocolate box I just cut the bottom off

Seal the bottom / one end closed - slip book in tight to the seal

Seal 3rd side - seal as close to the bookend as possible

Sealing in action - wait until green light turns off on the sealer ( few seconds)

Sealed - remove off the machine, note the extra cellophane above the seal will be removed (save for another small item!)

Cut 4th edge - The open end, leave around 1 inch to have enough to fold under

Bend edge over and close with sticky tape (you could also seal the fourth side closed, but I prefer sticky tape as the customer does not need sciccors to open the bag)

Packed neat, Upcycled, Green and ready to go!
The product I am packing in the tutorial is from my shop, I Am Happy to Be Me Zine

Martina also notes…
  • You can seal plastic as well - is a matter of having a try on the plastic (if it is thick enough or too thick)... there is nothing to loose, only to win.
  • Even bought cellophane covers for cards can be resized - for example I recycle envelopes in funny sizes for handmade cards and I can seal them and they look professional.
  • Happy cellophane hunting!

Thanks for sharing your terrific tutorial Martina!

To see Martina’s insanely gorgeous jewelry and other fantastic handmade items please visit her shop – Nature's Art Melbourne

Interested in contributing a tutorial and having your shop linked?
Simply send a brief description of your process, photos of the steps, and captions to describe each step to chuckastonedesigns at yahoo dot com

October 25, 2011

Tuesday Tip of the Day -- Stay Focused and Stay Fresh

Post is going up quite late today as I am finally about caught up after being out of town last week.  Sorry for that but I won't make you wait another second for the Tuesday Tip of the Day.  Today's is "Keep it Fresh"

I was reading quite a bit of stuff lately on how often to update your website or blog for maximum effectiveness.  Readers want to know that you are active online, they don't love going to a blog or website in July and seeing the announcement that you're having a lovely winter.  Content should be current and relevant and the majority of places say that writing a daily blog is ideal while a website only needs updating every quarter. 

The blog thing sounds good, I'm trying to get mine back to 5 days a week right now in fact and that's my ultimate goal so I can pretty much work from anywhere everyday.  But the website suggestion seemed a little low where you'd only change the information every three months. 

Now I don't get over to my site daily or even weekly but if I create some new items I think its smart to post photos of them.  Sometimes the copy needs to get a mini overhaul too.  But with so much stuff to keep up with I don't beat myself up if I can only get to one or the other of those tasks each time I'm updating.  In my opinion, once a month is a far more realistic time between updates.

So in an effort to stay fresh on my blog, it seemed like high time to get an updated About page over here this morning.  Feel free to check it out when you have a second!  This information will eventually filter through to the website in the next week or so and I'm excited to have gotten a more realistic picture of who I am and where I started, not to mention how I've gotten here, shared with the online world.  The story is personal and I think it better represents me and my brand.

How long has it been since you've updated the copy or photos on your own website or blog?

October 24, 2011

The Results of the Social Media Poll are in!

And the winner by an ever so very slight margin was:

Having a blog / website!

So I started thinking about the result over coffee this morning.  I have been kicking around integrating my blog and website into one place in November when my hosting expires.  Everything filtering into one place is good for reduction of updating requirements.

Because my goal is to ensure my Etsy shop runs smoothly even when I take on additional responsibility of writing (either for my novels or for a couple blogs I want to guest post for, plus this blog and my personal one), the more that can be reduced outside of that stuff the better. 

I was pleased to get so much great advice on other locations like Facebook (a very close runner up at 2nd), twitter, LinkedIn, other.  Between participation in team forums, posting links, and the like, my social media investment was higher than the time I spent actually creating things.  And as far as I'm concerned, that ain't good.

Mary from Herban Lifestyle suggested that I have everything filter into each other.  I was already doing this with my blog posts but not everything else.  Now everything auto populates but I only have to post things once.  Curlymonkey commented that everything is tied to her website and not outside social media because its a place she could still have and approach brick and mortar locations.  That's a great point as I consider amping up my interest in consignment. Sonya at Kanelstrand felt it was a good idea to just have something and work it so it works for you, Bee at The Wooden Bee agreed that everything working together was a good call, and Fia at Fianaturals was in the majority voting for blog/website.

Thanks for the votes, comments and encouragement ladies!  For everyone else who voted under cover of darkness thanks so much to you as well.  This has really helped me to narrow down and prioritize.

Flickr stays but I am not active on there, truly I only have it so I can have a nice Gallery Page here on the blog.  I have decided not to join other sites that have no bearing on my creativity but still suck time (Pinterest, Google+, ) and a few other things had to also fall away.  Interestingly twitter only got one vote.  Updating that is mostly automated now so I'll keep it but likely won't participate very much more than I currently do.

So there it is, I'm just happy to know that what I was doing and how I was narrowing down was in the ballpark of smarter business sense!

Thanks to everyone who participated and now I'm back to regular posting!

October 17, 2011

New Poll at the Top of the Post Please Read this and Click Quick!

Good morning my friends and clients!  It has been a crazy whirlwind over the past week or so and my head is swimming and spinning with all of the ideas and business related goals I have set out for myself.  So here's the thing, I'm very torn on where I need to focus the most attention and am asking for your help to narrow it down.

As you can see I've inserted a little poll at the top of my page.  The poll only allows you to choose one response, the question is:

What social media is ESSENTIAL to all businesses regardless of product/service type?

Basically it comes down to this...
Over the weekend I had a little existential artist crisis over on my personal blog.  Now I need to SERIOUSLY DISCLAIM the link because Random Lunacy is the place where I get all snarky and bitter sometimes, I curse a lot and a some people might find that unprofessional.  So if that person is you, please don't read it.  But that site is also an honest portrayal of who I am, not just as an upbeat business owner, and I personally feel that we should all be able to vent and say what's on our minds without fear of repercussions from anyone.
This is the part where you learn about me that I live with no regrets.  I'm trying to also live fearlessly lately too, though that is much more challenging to achieve sometimes.
Anyway, that personal post on Saturday was me essentially spinning around trying to make sense of the fact that I have been going to school now with straight A's and loving the fact that I get to write all week for school, but missing the creative side that isn't just essay writing.  Something drew me to something else and before I knew it I had found a pretty cool looking agent that I submitted a query to for my completed manuscript.
I began tossing around my business, my dedication level to certain aspects of it, and I came to the conclusion that while I love to paint, I love to write even more so it was time to let some aspects of my business go.
On top of the fact that licensing is very complicated & difficult here in Arizona, I think that it is time to admit my business ventures outside my home have been less than profitable and not functioning the way I've wanted or strived for the past 4 years.  It is time to let go of part of the business and solely focus on my smaller items, my home decor line, and upcycled, repurposed, recycled pieces.
In flip-flopping my time, I will free up about 20 hours a week to focus on my writing while still maintaining a shop and my 4.0 GPA.  As for family who I've already told I'm going to do projects (for example my step-MIL's niche shelves) that's still happening, but for anything else...
Check out the wares in my shop!
Now, with this in mind and my part time dedication of time to my shop, I feel its important to get the most impact out of what I do while reducing the things I simply do not use at all.  The poll asks you to select one social media outlet where time is spent that is truly essential to any business.  My question relates to both networking for connections and increased views and sales.  I included a spot for 'Other'.  If you choose that option I ask if you could toss a comment here in the post as to the where and why.
Anyone who would like to share why the media they click has worked the best for them I'd greatly appreciate it!  I still intend to create treasuries and take an active role in the team forums as the people I've met have been vital to my sanity at times (I'm looking at you Karen, thanks!) and I know that networking is crucial to any smart business owner.  But in an effort to reduce my consumption of daily drivel that gets me no further ahead I'm looking to just be smarter about it all by nixing things that aren't crucial.
So this long winded post is going to stay at the top until the poll closes next Monday.
Be on the lookout next Wednesday, November 26, for our first DIY Tutorial submission coming in from Martina at NaturesArtMelbourne on how to use those cellophane wrappers everyone throws away as packaging.  You will not want to miss it!
Then next Friday its back to Feature Finish and I promise you're going to love that too!
Have a great week and get voting!  Thanks :-)

October 14, 2011

Friday Feature Finish Painted Wood Floors

Been working on items for the shop like mad and have some last minute weekend wrap-up to do so today's Friday Feature Finish will be short and sweet.  Today's finish is Painted wood floors!

The plumbing had burst in this older east coast home and the carpets weren't salvageable.  But underneath were semi decent hardwoods.  They weren't in good enough shape to sand and restain so my contractor decided painting them would be the way to go. 

It was a super simple solution, inexpensive and easy to maintain in the long term.  Although this home only made use of one color in a flooring specific paint there are many fun things you can do with painted floors from checkerboard patterns to faux throw rugs, edging stencil to faux polished concrete look.  The possibilities are endless!

I completed all painting in the photo above from floor to ceiling and everything in between.  This was a whole house renovation and I was totally grateful for the opportunity to work on the entire project floor to ceiling, trim and walls.

October 13, 2011

Paper Covers Rock Treasury Featured on Etsy Treasury Hunter!

Just found out this morning that a collection I curated a few days ago has been featured over on the blog Etsy Treasury Hunter.  Wowza!  I am beaming with excitement right now seriously! 

Have you checked out their site yet?  I just discovered it when a teammate shot me a message to let me know a treasury she had curated with one of my items in it (thanks again!) was featured.  Here's the deal...

There's a tab for Submit a Treasury at the top of the blog.  Go there and fill in the information.

Yup, that's all you do!  However, the site is busy and has a healthy following so there will be competition for submisions and no guarantee you will be featured.  There is a limit to 3 submissions within a 24 hour period per person and that seems reasonable so everyone has a chance to try!  The site has over 425 followers noted on the Google widget and who knows how many email subscribers so you'll be sure to get your favorite items in front of a nice number of people.

I'm proudly sporting this button now, hooray!

October 12, 2011

Reclaimed Supplies from The Wooden Bee Make Beautiful Faux Granite Coasters

Recently I started doing research into reclaimed building supply houses for lumber or other products that would inspire me to create interesting home decor goodies while working with my faux granite product.  I discovered that there are some places around here but the only problem was everything would be sold whole.  Since I was looking to create coasters and have nowhere to set up a workshop in my apartment, I needed pieces that were already cut to size.  This is how I discovered the awesomeness of The Wooden Bee!

We started communicating about a month ago over on Etsy and I was pleasantly surprised that not only would Bee offer the coolest product (a little more on that later) but that my request for 3" x 3" pre-cut squares could also be satisfied!  Hooray!

After a lot of back and forth and some research on my part regarding the product I placed my order and anxiously awaited my box full of goodies.  Even though Bee said it could take a couple weeks due to an already existing custom order in line in front of me, I only had to wait about a week and this is what arrived at my doorstep...

When I took the azek squares out of the box I was elated!  No matter how much you chat about a product there's something wonderful that happens when you actually get to see it live and in person.  Now a lot of you may be asking, 'what the heck is azek?'  I did a little research before making my purchase and I discovered:
  • It is a composite material similar to Trex in its durability factor but it is made from PVC
  • It is stain resistant
  • The lifespan of the product is slated for over 25 years
  • It is recyclable
  • The company itself is trying to be as Green as possible:
"As a leading provider of green building products, AZEK Building Products actively contributes to the green building movement through education and, more importantly, by offering durable, sustainable building products.  Moreover, we are diligently working to develop our own corporate cradle-to-grave building systems that reduce landfill costs, reduce fossil fuel use, and reduce carbon footprint of all our operations and products."

The product had a slight tooth on it so I lightly wood filled some of the end cut marks that the blade left behind, but left the top and bottom in their original state and got started priming.

The primer from the Chocolate Brown Giani Granite kit that I picked up earlier in the week at Walmart was working beautifully with the composite material.  Once the primer had cured for the designated number of hours I applied faux finished granite paint effect to all six sides (drying in between of course) and once that was fully cured overnight the waterborne resin topcoat went on.  Two coats of topcoat later and I was ready for the eco-fi Craft Felts I had precut to adhere on the bottom.

The felt went on smooth with a super tacky adhesive that I paint brushed on to avoid lumps or bumps, then I used a rounded rollable item to firmly plant it in place.  The side of one of the Giani cans was the perfect size and weight to do the job.  Yes folks, sometimes I have to act like MacGyver on a daily basis inventing the perfect tool for the job on the fly!

After the felt had set up for about 6 hours I flipped them over and voila, instant granite coaster set!  The benefits of these coasters of course are:
  • No stone was quarried to create the pieces
  • The mineral paints are low odor and low VOC
  • Just like real stone no two will ever be exactly the same
  • They are much lighter than real stone (less expensive to ship!)
  • Speaking of inexpensive...a foot of granite can run $30 - $100 while these are just $15
  • Custom colors, patterns and designs are only limited to your imagination!
Are you sold yet?  Want to check out the awesomeness of this colaborative effort to 1) extend the life-cycle of some building supplies by The Wooden Bee and 2) avoid digging up the ground but still providing an amazingly durable and beautiful finished home decor item by Chucka Stone Designs?  Well come on over!

Want a custom color?  Email me at the address located on my CONTACT page and we can get started on yours today!  Thanks so much to Bee for the amazing communication, fantastic product and unbelievably positive and upbeat attitude!  I'll certainly be shopping your supplies section again my friend!

October 11, 2011

Tuesday Tip of the Day - A Short and Sweet Suggestion

I love fortune cookies.  Not just the cookie itself which has the perfect level of sweet citrusy goodness but also the hidden surprise inside - the fortune!  For years I've been collecting these little nuggets of basic, simple truth and today's Tuesday Tip of the Day is one of these fortunes to ponder:
If you continually give, you will continually have.
Not much more real than that advice!  I hope everyone finds a way to give anything they can today and when you get in return, just be thankful enough to give again!

October 10, 2011

Craft Felts are Eco Friendly and Easy to Work With

Happy Monday to everyone out there in creative crafty land!  Coming to you from the sunny studios in Phoenix where the temperatures are starting to go back up again!  With the fall actually here though many of us are thinking about craft felts.  Felt is a great product to utilize in fall and winter projects as it tends to be durable and comes in an array of great colors, shapes and sizes.

A week or so ago when I was at my local Walmart picking up a Chocolate Brown Giani Granite paint kit I stumbled down the crafting aisle.  Without thinking too much about it I spotted the black felt I knew was going to be perfect for the bottom of the coasters I'm making out of reclaimed azek (stay tuned for that feature on Wednesday!) and chocolate faux granite.

It went in the cart, I purchased, brought it home and started going to work on the faux finish.  As I was peeling the sticker from the felt to begin measuring for the coaster base I noticed a little "eco-fi" symbol and, once I pulled out my magnifying glass, was able to read the reason for the distinction:
"high-quality polyester fiber made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles"
Wow, cool!  So of course I immediately set out to look up the company, the product specifically, and determine its Greenness as I wanted to include that information in my shop listing for sure.  In even teenier letters that I had to yank out a microscope to read, I saw the name of the company was Foss Manufacturing and they had a website.

After a whole lot of reading I learned that they:
  • Are located in New Hampshire
  • Are a needle-punch based manufacturer (non-woven)
  • Have a mantra - "Do it right the first time"
  • Create fabrics for a multitude of industries like medical, footwear, marine, residential, roofing and more
And then I discovered that eco-fi Craft Felts are produced and distributed by Foss' partner company the Kunin Group.  On their website was a link to a pdf on eco-fi Felt.  In short there are some really great benefits to this type of material:
  • 10 bottles - 1 pound of fiber.  This is huge, consider what a single sheet of craft felt weighs and how many sheets can be made for people just like us who use this material in their everyday products!
For example, they note that a 4'x6' outdoor rug could be created using just 48 bottles; it would only take 90 bottles to upholster the backseat of a car in eco-fi.
  • It is colorfast and shrink resistant. 
Which is fantastic for designers creating washable items as they can ensure a more stable product!

Plastic bottles don't shrink and they never break down completely.  They simply flake until they create hazards for wildlife and humans by ending up in waterways or leeching harmful chemicals into the Earth.  A product made with eco-fi can help keep some of the 51 billion bottles a year that the US uses from wasting away in a landfill / Pacific Garbage Island for the next 700 years!

Perhaps the processing of the plastic causes emissions, perhaps the overall fact that plastic bottles are still being used is a sad statement on a society that should definitely know better by now.  But personally, regardless of the counterarguments (which are reality), I feel great about buying a product that is trying to take all of those sad statements and turn them into happy faces!

When I list my coaster sets in a couple days I'm going to do it with the full knowledge that:

- No stone was quarried to create the granite that I'm offerring
- My product has one of the lowest VOC ratings (as compared to similar products on the market)
- The base substrate (azek) came from a teammate, entrepreneur and reclaimed source
- The 100% post-consumer content the entire piece is resting on will make anyone's drink slide around a little easier!

I'm thinking of naming these sets the Lifecycle Extender Series there is so much awesomeness in them!

I definitely suggest looking into this durable, easy to work with, soft and varied color material for your next project that involves purchasing new Craft Felts!

October 5, 2011

How to Set Up A Payvment Shop on Facebook and Use Etsy CSV File to Populate it - Tutorials by Herban | Luxe

A friend of mine in the EcoEtsy team, Herban | Luxe, was kind enough to put together a great tutorial series of how to create a shop on Payvment (new eCommerce site on Facebook), use your Etsy shop's CSV file to populate it, plus a bunch of other awesome tutorial advice that I could never begin to do justice to explaining!

You can come on over to my Chucka Stone Designs Facebook page and click the Shop Now link under my profile picture to see all the goodies I've stocked in my shop.

Want one of your own? Be sure to watch these tutorial videos explaining how you too can have your Etsy shop items on the the Facebook platform Payvment.


Read my review of Myra's shop Herban | Luxe

October 4, 2011

Tuesday Tip of the Day -- Five Rules for Effective Time Management

I will admit it, time has gotten away from me in the past.  That's the exact reason I started to develop my Five Rules for Effective Time Management and I'd love to share them with you!

I run a company but because I'm a sole proprietor not only do I get to do the wonderful artwork, but I also have the distinct pleasure of being the marketing manager, social media guru, promotional material presenter, research and development testing facility (I must admit this is one of my favorites!), and a slew of other positions that range from mind numbing financial stuff to just having fun.

Not to mention, I like an added challenge.

For those of you who don't know, I'm a student, currently pursuing a degree in English and taking classes online.  My wonderfully glorious husband is awesome and supporting our family while I finish school.  Yea!  Three cheers for Matt!

But if you've ever met me, know me, have had a brief encounter with me...etc., etc., etc...you know there is no way I could let myself get bored and not contribute to the family.  Essentially there's no way I wouldn't do some kind of work.  So I've been pursuing my Chucka Stone Designs Shop with full force!

I try to blog a couple times a week, I curate collections and inform the sellers they've been included, I create my own items, list and promote them on my shop, test new products and do write ups, network online and read interesting articles...

Oh yeah, and I'm maintaining a 4.0 GPA at the same time.  You know it baby!  High five to all the wicked smaht kids out there!

You're probably saying 'Holy crap, I'm tired just thinking of all that, let alone doing it, she couldn't posibly really do all that and have a life, and spend time with family and friends!'  For the most part if I tried to tackle all that stuff head on everyday I'd be so lost in a sea of infinity there is no way I wouldn't have drowned by now!

In order to fit it all in and not go stark raving mad I developed my personal list of:

Five Rules for Effective Time Management.  

1. Take weekends off.
It may sound impossible but for the past month or so I have insisted to myself that I take my weekends back for me and Matt.  If I were at a traditional college or a "regular" job it would be rare I'd have a class or work need on the weekends, so why am I going to run my business or school schedule any differently?  I'm not!  Matt works very hard to make sure we can live on his salary.  I also work very hard to create/study.  We both work Monday through Friday.  Does this mean that emergency situations will never arise, huge papers with tons of research won't be due or an unforseen circumstance won't persent itself where I simply have to do something on the weekend?  No, of course not.  Even he sometime has to put in an hour or 2 here or there but in general I turn off the computer and close my day planner to any plans that don't involve family, friends, or sporting events on Saturday and Sunday.  This is my recharge time and it lets me jump back in on Monday morning fully rejuvinated!

2. Get a day planner and use it!
Speaking of that nice little accessory that sits in front of me at all times...I'm in love with and obsess over my day planner.  Now, I'm old school, I need to hand write it all out so its planted solidly in my brain what I'm doing and when.  But no matter what kind of device works for you this should be attached to your person during business hours.  It is where I create to do lists and check off accomplished tasks daily.  However, don't let it get out of control...which leads me to...

3. Don't list more than 6 to-do items in any one day.
Yup, I mean it.  For business needs especially I've found that even though every day in my planner has about 15+ lines to fill, if I go above and beyond 6 things then something is going to get missed or completely abandoned.  That could be a vital business need like printing flyers for an upcoming networking mixer, or life stuff like doing laundry.  If I ever feel like I need to pile it all on & more than 6 things are running through my brain, I divy the items up across the week then take a sheet of paper from the back of the planner, write a 'to do during the week of' list and place it inside my planner on the following week.  That way, anything that I didn't get to accomplish clearly wasn't vital and can be finished the next week.

4. Finish the important stuff first, then feel free to play.
School.  That's my personal 'business before pleasure' necessity.  To me it is a hugely important to a) graduate b) do it with honors and c) understand the information I ingest every week.  I literally plan nothing for business or otherwise before 5:00 PM on Monday or Thursday.  Those are the days assignments are due at school and I dedicate the entire day to my studies on both.  If I finish early and have extra time, great.  Sometime I spend that time doing business stuff, other times I don't, just depends how I feel on any given M/H.  But I never get myself into business stuff before finishing my school work or I find myself scrambling to get it done late, stressed out and then quality of my work and quality time outside of my studies will suffer.  You pickin' up what I'm puttin' down here?  Find your highest priority day by day and, no matter how tedious or unfortunate it seems to have to complete it, do it first.  Get it out of the way and you'll be happier that you did!

5. During creation time, create. During marketing time, market. Do not get the two confused.
Another way to put this?  Get the heck off the computer!  I pour my coffee in the morning and get online.  It takes me about an hour and 15 minutes to finish my coffee and granola bar.  This gives me time to check my emails, pop into facebook / twitter / Etsy / forums / etc. and see what's up in the online world while I wake my ass up!  BUT, if its a creation day, I will not be on the computer after that.  Period.  Tuesdays are generally my admin day -- I write up blog posts for the week, do a little networking with my Etsy Teams, etc. and sometimes there's plenty of time to create items too.  That's always fun because I get a two-fer.  But generally Wednesday and Friday are my create/photograph days and I like to keep it that way.  Yes it means stuff hangs around a little longer but it also means I have the all important, sometimes elusive but never disliked...

                                                                 Work / Life Balance

I hope these tips can help you to achieve the same and you can use them as inspiration to establish your own Time Management Rules to keep your life and business firmly on track.

How do you maintain a work / life balance?  Have any other tips for Effective Time Management that work for you?