Oct 30, 2009

Brown & Blue Flower Wedding Invitation

This is my second Wedding Design. I used brown, a dark Chocolate brown card stock topped with a blue and white floral print...

**Sounds like I was cooking it right?!! LOL
I wanted to enhance the the print without being too obvious... I found a card stock to match the leafs in the design. I then added white for which played as part of the design and color coordination but also where the wedding info is placed.

I first wanted to leave as it was but then I decided to add a lace like bow ribbon at the top...
(SMILE) Hey I am a guy you know...

*You can order this design and more like it at: http://www.handcraftedbylamar.com/

Oct 28, 2009

Wedding Collection to start...

We have been longing to introduce our wedding collection.
But due to this ever changing world of style and fashion
it took a while to create just the right look, design and feel, but I think we did a wonderful job. So without further delay....

I think I hear wedding bells for 2010!
To find out more details visit us here at Crafted by Hand next week as we feature each design individually... *These designs will be sold at www.handcraftedbylamar.com

Oct 22, 2009

New Holiday Cards

See these and more at http://www.handcraftedbylamar.com/

Holidays Coming... Are you ready?

Just wanted to remind everyone that the Holidays are coming...
Have you begun your shopping? Have you thought out a plan of how you are gonna shop?

Last year Holiday Season online sales were off the charts with many people looking for true, great value and savings. I just wonder what it will be like this year! Anyway not talk a hole in your ear just wanted to throw this question out there and suck up some space on my blog... LOL
Stick around with us here and see what we are creating for the holidays, a new design will be posted later tonight @ 6pm...
and get FREE shipping on all single cards...
See-ya soon!

Oct 21, 2009

Questions to ask when business is in trouble...

**Courtesy of Jay Goltz Fortune Small Business (FSB) Apirl 2009

  1. Hows your cash flow? Is it dwindling profits or both?
  2. Has the problem been fixed? Is it fixable? ie: If you marketing idea isn't working, have you dropped it and tried something different? Why not?
  3. Is your industry going bad, making it hard to make a profit? Or is it your execution/plan, whether its pricing, cost of goods, location or venues where you sell your wares over saturated?
  4. If this is fixable what will it cost? Will it be worth it to fix? How long would it take to be fixed?
  5. Is quitting an option? If it is, what are consequences? Do you have loans outstanding? Will you lose your home? Will you have to file for bankruptcy? Will you have tons of raw material that could not be sold to help you see some type of return?
  6. Would it be better for you to change your craft? What if you started on a new craft and carried the burden of designing 2 different crafts? ie: Maybe you are a jeweler...maybe start doing knit.
  7. Do you still have the hunger you had when you first started? Do you still have the fight to go on?
  8. Being strapped for cash and dealing with the obstacles of running a small business can wear you down...
  9. Can you start all over with a fresh idea to improve what you already started?
  10. Are you still having fun? Again do you have the passion that you had when you first started your business? In the beginning it wasn't just about the money it was thrill and knowing that you can do this have fun, enjoy yourself and then make money at the same time...

Just a few questions to think about as you restructure, grow and expand...
Again we are Getting Back to the Basics!

Oct 20, 2009

the Blackberry vs. the iPhone...

Heres a great read I found online about your cellphone. I personally have a Blackberry and love it. Yes it is very addictive, hence the name 'Crackberry', but its because its so easy to use and when running a business you need something that can serve as your assistant not a distraction like the iPhone and all the useless apps and gaming play (not that I would mind having on...LOL)
Great Geek Debates: iPhone vs. Blackberry
By Curtis Silver
August 11, 2009

There are plenty of smartphones, but only two celebrities. Like other big celebs, they go by one name: Blackberry and iPhone.
Recently, a co-worker wrote an application for his Blackberry that would automatically ignore calls to his phone from a particular mail-order steak company. The application allowed him to command his phone to ignore any number he specified. The call still rang through, but was ignored immediately. I found this to be the most helpful application I’ve ever seen.
That said, I’ve not been impressed by the application selection the Blackberry offers. While there are some free applications, most are second rate at best and the selection of pay applications isn’t nearly as robust as it should be. The Blackberry App Store is like a pawn shop that only sells used 8-track players.

Application development on the iPhone has been one of the highlights of the device since its inception. Even though there are several hundred useless applications, there are hundreds more to make life easier in the palm of your hand. Like the Remote application that turns your iPhone into a stereo remote so you don’t have to leave the comfy confines of your easy chair.
I have to mention this comment from @tmoney941:
"Do you really need an application to help you decide where to eat, how much to tip, where you parked, and what to wear? I’ve got one of those … they’re called wives."

That’s pretty much my sentiment when it comes to most iPhone applications. That aside, due to the overwhelming availability of applications and the encouragement by Apple to design your own, iPhone takes this category by a wide margin. iPhone +1.

Physical Attributes
Early on, the iPhone had a bad reputation for being fragile because of the touchscreen face and slick feel. When dropped on the cement too many times, any phone would eventually break, but the iPhone proved that it actually is quite durable. As long as you don’t drop it on its face. Without anything protecting the glass, you are looking at a shattered iPhone.
The touchscreen and motion sensibility on the iPhone is unmatched by any other touchscreen devices. Bump to exchange contact information, play games by tilting the phone, zoom in with a finger slide motion. It’s simply amazing technology and even the touchscreen Blackberry Storm doesn’t come close. But you still wouldn’t want to drop an iPhone more than once.
Since I drop my cellphones a lot, I strolled over to talk to my IT friends about the durability of the Blackberry. They are about split even on which phone they carry. There are either Blackberry phones or iPhones in IT. They are not split on the durability however. Several of them have had to replace their iPhones due to cracked screens. Many of them have dropped their Blackberry over and over with some scratches on the casing. The worst I’ve heard about the damage to a Blackberry is the scratching it gets on the back if you spin it around on the table too many times. Which is just too much fun not to do.
Even if it gets run over by a truck the Blackberry still holds its form, avoids cracks and doesn’t lose a key. The Blackberry, built for business and travel, is a durable and strong phone. Blackberry takes this category. Blackberry + 1

The iPhone makes full use of the motion sensor and touchscreen to bring us dynamic games from flight simulators to action games to simple board games. Playing games on the iPhone is a fantastic and handy experience, especially multiplayer games. Plus, as mentioned before, you can design your own games if you have the know-how.
Blackberry has Brickbreaker.
No contest. iPhone + 1

Personal vs. Business Functionality
Companies run Blackberry server products. From the connectivity to Microsoft Exchange server and the ease of mobile e-mail, the Blackberry is far superior to the iPhone. Blackberry was created with business use in mind. While it may have a slower CPU, the Blackberry makes up for it with its office applications. There is a reason it’s nicknamed “the Crackberry.”
When it comes to security on the Blackberry, well, let’s just say it’s secure enough for President Obama to use. Official statement from Blackberry as to the security:

The BlackBerry® Enterprise Solution has been approved for storing and transmitting sensitive data by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as well as government organizations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Austria, Australia and New Zealand.
The iPhone has more storage, a faster CPU and more RAM. All great attributes for playing games. As I’ve witnessed at work, the iPhone is the anti-productivity phone. Don’t pretend like you are holier than thou and don’t spend countless work hours downloading apps and playing the new Iron Man game or any of the thousand other games.

Recently, the iPhone became compatible with Exchange Server, which was a huge step toward integrating with business. The iPhone has made great strides in favor of business use. Many businesses are making the switch, however, there are still security concerns with the phone. It also doesn’t help the iPhone for business that it’s only available on AT&T in the United States. Companies like to price shop and AT&T’s service isn’t that great in all areas.
Apple is making strides in the security department, as all new iPhones come equipped with MobileMe, which allows you to find your lost iPhone as well as remotely wipe its memory clean.
As for personal usage, the Blackberry is a sturdy and reliable phone. But due to the wide range of applications and amazing graphical interface and selection of games, the iPhone wins the personal use battle by a wide margin.
So this category is a draw. Blackberry wins for business use and security, iPhone wins for personal use. Blackberry + 1, iPhone + 1

Never forget the Chuck Norris Factor.
The Chuck Norris factor
Really, it all comes down to Chuck Norris, because if he doesn’t like it, he’ll roundhouse kick it out of existence. The Blackberry sports a great game simply called Chuck Norris: Bring on the Pain. Meanwhile, the Apple store rejected a Chuck Norris app, a Chuck Norris joke generator, because they claimed it ridiculed a public figure. Don’t they know that it’s impossible to ridicule Chuck Norris? More importantly, shunning Chuck Norris in whatever format is like challenging Superman to a duel by slapping him with Kyrptonite gloves. Or, it’s like slapping Chuck Norris in the face with your ungloved hand. This round clearly goes to the Blackberry as it’s probably what Chuck Norris is using. Blackberry + 1

The Winner? Final tally: iPhone +3, Blackberry + 3.
Listen, I carry a Blackberry. I’m not going for hip or trendy, I’m going for functionality. I want to be able to check my e-mail at stoplights. I want to be able to picture message without jumping through hoops. When it comes to functioning in the business world and having a practical phone, the Blackberry wins hands down. The iPhone is a fun phone and has a lot of cool features and applications. I really wanted an iPhone, but realized that it was a want. It’s a neat toy, but I can’t see it moving into the business world and becoming what the Blackberry is to business — yet. The best solution I’ve seen so far: Many Blackberry owners I know also have an iPod Touch for all their entertainment and portable gaming needs. So it’s a best of both worlds if you will. I’m sure that waffling answer won’t satisfy the masses.
The bottom line is, we’re geeks. Geeks like awesome tech toys and the iPhone is certainly that. From its gaming to its thousands of unique and specific applications, it’s a device that every geek wants to carry even if they already have a Blackberry. So the iPhone gets a +1 for geek factor and wins this debate.
Disagree? Agree? Feel free to discuss in the comments. Don’t forget to vote!

Oct 19, 2009

Back to the Basics

Hello again...
I first want to apologize to all my faithful followers, readers, bloggers and friends who have read this blog, supported this blog and was to let me know I have fallen off...But like many of you I need advice and help to keep my Small Business afloat. So I did what I hope many of you do when after you've read one of my post, considered the facts and took some advice.
Yes, I took some of the advice I was preaching (cant wait to share that with you all) and most of all I took it 'BACK TO THE BASICS'...
?!Yeah... I needed to go back to the day and time when I first decided to turn making cards into a business. I needed to find that young, fresh off the bench, ready to play game. I needed to re-define my target audience (still a work in progress). I needed to hone in more on my craft instead of just focusing on selling, marketing and showing off my 100 sales (was just doing the same thing over and over).

What I did first?
Like I said I looked deeper into who my audience was. I feel when it comes to handcrafted cards everyone should have one, buy one and/or get one. The truth of the matter was that that wasn't the case. I began to realize that I sold better to those who were throwing parties, doing events, weddings, baby showers, or restaurant owners. I know that sounds like a lot but it really isn't or at least it wasn't. I also took notice that few people bought cards in bulk. Those who did were of what I call my 'higher end' clientele.The next thing to do was to use all resources I could get my hands on. I had my future wife take cards to her job... Did Holiday Cards for her sisters job at a very low price (way low)... My mother took a look book to her job... Even got a few co-workers to buy cards (tons of them too...).The next thing was to redesign the look of the cards. Step outside the box. Use images I would never thought to use before and colors I would never.

What did this do in the long run?
Well I am not at a hundred thousand yet and its still just me at the controls...But it did help with my exposure.It got out there.It got me a few great returns buyers (YAY!).And most of all, it help keep the spirits up when it seemed as the economy was gonna ruin much of everything...Stay tune for the second part of "GETTING BACK TO BASICS"

Family...WE all we got...

Uncles and Nieces... My sisters, cousin and my uncles celebrating our roots...
(above photo)

Me, my sister and my cousin...
Can tel which one I am?

HINT: the handsome... LOL

Oct 14, 2009

Merging Blogs

I have struggled for a long with promoting and growing my business. As a small business owner there are many obstacles one must jump through in order to get to where he/her has in mind.

I always wanted to run my own business then turn around and help or assist others do the same as I have. For that matter I started a second blog, "Small Biz Talk" I think it took and took off in the right direction. Sadly though it did become bit more then I could handle, especially with my business growing, craft shows and selling on other venues online.

The end result here? Well I have decide to merge two blogs, bringing the business info I have gathered, learned and posted here to share with all of you. I have also decided to not too business consumed but to also share my self and life with you guys as well. I hope you enjoy the new blog and continue to support HANDCRAFTED ART around the world....

Oct 13, 2009

Why I Craft(ed) by Hand...

I always thought if I could do something to hopefully give me offspring/children a better start in life then I had I will do it. Below is my ZION M LYNCH my 3 year old (2 years old int picture).

Reason NUMBER one

They say when you die you cant take money with you... And no you cant buy all the stuff youu think you will need after you die and take that with you either! For that everyone needs someone to enjoy and share life, love and happiness... Below is my future wife Stephanie and my son ZION.

Reason NUMBER two, three, four,five.......so on and so on

whats your reason for crafting? or for whatever it is you do for a living?

Oct 12, 2009

Zion the little me...

Wanted to change the past of my blog...
Heres my youngest son ZION....

Holiday Nutcracker/Marching Soliders

Find this design and many more @ any of my online boutiques.
*See list of shops on left side bar.

Oct 10, 2009

Holidays are coming...

Here is a look at my first Christmas design for the coming holidays...

These cards are 5x7 on white card stock.
Both cards are blank inside.
Cards do come with white envelopes.
You can find cards on Sale now @ www.lamarlynch.etsy.com or any of my other online boutiques (see left side bar)

Oct 9, 2009

2009 Black/White and Silver Wedding Design sneak peek...

PLEASE Note: this is a sneak peek at a design that is not finished
just wanted to share and get some feedback.

So please tell me what you think! Hows the layout? Hows the stamp? Should the bride be done in color or shadowed in black/white? The card is 5x7 inches. Should I use a different flower?

Skull N Bones Epidemic-Love, Birthdays, Halloween

For this Halloween...

For this years Birthday Rockstar ...

For this years hardcore LOVE...

No matter the occasion or person believe for 2009-2010 Handcrafted by LaMar has the card...
visit us now @ www.lamalynch.etsy.com and our many other locations see side bar left).