Retail Store Closing

It’s been five years since I began selling retail products at crops and events around the state of Michigan.

It’s been five years of fun — I love getting in new product, setting up displays, making samples and meeting people who share my passion. I’ve even made a few friends along the way.

It’s been five years of bringing you products you cannot get in the big box stores — and some you cannot buy in specialty stores.

But, that time has come to an end. After months of debating back and forth, I’ve decided to officially close the retail side of my business. Candy Scraps will still exist, but it will be used exclusively for teaching, both online through my blog and YouTube and in person at stores and events around the state.

This decision was not made lightly, but there are several reasons for the closure.

  1. I began after independent stores closed because I wanted those customers to still have access to the products big box stores do not carry. As online shopping has become more prevalent, it is not as difficult to get those specialty products anymore. And, several independent stores I work with will ship products to you for a small fee.
  2. Candy Scraps had grown as much as it could without major investments, including a new truck, trailer, displays and a storage unit. I just don’t have the funds needed to become one of the big fish traveling the convention world, and I was maxed out on space.
  3. There aren’t enough events, with enough different people, to operate Candy Scraps as a full-time job. As much fun as I had in the spring and fall, I was essentially without income from December to February and all summer long. And, when I did go to a different crop every weekend, I was finding many of the same people. Since everyone is on a budget and can’t buy every weekend, sales plumeted and I was actually losing money.
  4. That said, I got a “real” job, that pays less, but offers a steady paycheck. I enjoy it, but it leaves me even less time to work on my retail business. And, it’s hard to come home from work and work at home until it’s time for bed. I can say, if it wasn’t for my amazing husband, I probably wouldn’t have clean clothes to wear or decent food to eat half of the time.
  5. I love to teach. I love to share new products and techniques. There is absolutely nothing more rewarding to me than seeing the lightbulb come on as someone understands what I am explaining. And, there is nothing more exciting than seeing them take what I have taught them and modify it or put their own spin on it. When my hours are spent ordering, pricing, making samples and paying taxes, I don’t have enough time to plan classes, which is what I really want to do.
  6. It’s time for Matt & I to do some of the things we’d like to do. Candy Scraps has allowed us to travel, but not sight see. We would love to bike through Boyne Highlands or kayak in Traverse City, but our time there is always too busy. So, we want to step back and be able to enjoy life before we become too old to do so!
  7. The two companies that are near and dear to my heart, Elizabeth Craft Designs and Mosaic Moments, often offer sales and low-cost shipping, so it is easy for you to get the products you want that way. And, several independent stores, including Bayview Scrappers in Traverse City, Paper & i in Marshall, and Scrappy Chic in Livonia carry some of these products, as well, and I am working on teaching at all of them. For those of you who enjoy shopping from me at crops, Bayview Scrappers will soon be carrying both companies on the road and I will be working with them teaching and doing demos at some of their events!

So, yes, it is sad to say goodbye to the retail side of my business. But, I am so excited to get back the few hundred square feet my store took up and to get away from the stress of researching and ordering products, filling orders, scheduling events and paying taxes. And, I’m looking forward to working on some of my own projects, rather than just samples, as well.

You will still see me … I’ll continue traveling around the state to teach. And I’ll still be at my favorite crops — I’ll just be cropping instead of running my booth.

And, maybe I’ll find time to post to my blog again — can you believe it’s been two months since my last post? WOW! Even I didn’t realize I had been that busy.

So, this isn’t goodbye … it’s just a new hello. With the stress of running a business on top of everything else gone, I am expecting the creativity to begin flowing again. Look for more classes to be scheduled soon!

Oh, and my last crop as a vendor will be this weekend at Camp Scrap at the Oakland County Fairgrounds. Stop by, stock up and say “hi”!

Honoring Bishop Baraga

I’m not Catholic, nor a religious person, but I couldn’t help but to be curious about the final resting place of Bishop Baraga in Marquette, Michigan. The Bishop, a Roman Catholic missionary to the Upper Peninsula, chose the site for St. Peter’s Cathedral way back in 1853.

Baraga taught the Ojibway Indians, while protecting their rights and learning from them at the same time. He even put together a dictionary of their language.

Baraga served throughout the UP, often traveling between communities on snow shoes during the harsh winters. He died in Marquette and is buried in St. Peter’s Cathedral, where a beautiful room with stained-glass windows show some of the works that he did.

To record our visit, and some of the beautiful details of the cathedral, I created this page. The one at the top is the left side, with a pocket to hold the pamphlet from the church. The page above is the right side. I used the arch die repeatedly across the two pages … repeating elements makes for an attractive layout, but it also helps the two pages blend into one layout.

All About the Coffee

Desperate for good coffee during a retreat, my friends and I drove into the neighboring town to a quaint, but busy, coffee shop. I had a pour over (I admit, I thought it was a new thing … lol) and it was the most amazing cup of coffee ever!

I was so in love, we went back the next day and I was able to create a page about my favorite treat. I used Medium Coffee Grid Paper and papers from Creative Memories. I also created a little pocket to hold tags that told of my journey. And, of course, a video that shows you to do it!

Adding Pattern Paper

It is easy to use cardstock and photos to create beautiful mosaic pages using the Mosaic Moments system. But, pattern paper can also be used to enhance your pages.

On this page, part of my sister’s trip to Africa, I had random pictures of animals she saw on the game drive. I didn’t really have enough for a page and they didn’t really go together. So I used pattern paper to fill in all of the spaces and create a cohesive design.

Here’s the coordinating page …

I love how the paper becomes part of the story, and not just an accent on a page. It ties all of the photos together, yet lets each one talk on its own.

What do you think?

Flowers for Fiona

Fiona is a beautiful hippo born premature at the Cincinnati Zoo and I have been following her progress through social media since shortly after her birth. Fiona has required an enormous of amount of care, as any premature baby would, and there were many times she was almost lost. Several fundraisers have been created to help pay for Fiona’s care, including purchasing the Team Fiona shirt I am wearing in this page.

Happily, Fiona is doing well at nearly 400 pounds, has been reintroduced to her mother and is even occasionally on display for short periods of time.  Once she is out and about all of the time, I plan to make the 6-hour drive each way to meet her in person.

For me, being on Fiona’s team was so important that I thought I should record some of her memories on a scrapbook page. And, since Fiona is so special to me, I went all out and cut the flowers from wool felt, adding another layer of texture and dimension to the page.

I made a video to show you how I did it … you can watch it here …

This post is sponsored by Mosaic Moments.

Stars and Stripes Forever

I thought we should be a bit patriotic today, so I brought back this classic page from 2014 … This one was cut by hand, but you could do the same thing with the dies …
July_4th by Candy SpiegelBy the way, this is still one of my favorite pages of all time and it still lives in my sample book!

 

 

I captured the moments from our Fourth of July celebration on this Mosaic Moments layout.

Hop over to Journella to see how I created it and cheer me on!

I Love Chickens

If you hang around me for more than 30 seconds, you will discover my love of poultry — especially chickens and turkeys.

I raise both in my backyard and any morning that does not have me running to work will find me outside watching them play while I enjoy my coffee, check my email and, on days like today, post to my blog. I always have a camera with me whenever I’m outside, although it usually just my iPhone, so I always have plenty of pictures of my beloved babies to share.

On this page, I opted to grab a few of my recent favorites to create a page all about my love of chickens. I used Chili Pepper Grid Paper, which is a little bit of an orange red. I used two different heart die sets from Mosaic Moments, but I “repurposed” one of them to make it look like I used three different sets.

And, of course, I made a video to show you how I did it …

Thanks for watching!

This post is sponsored by Mosaic Moments.