Collection: We've Moved New Address Labels

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Points of Encouragement

Well we are fast approaching Christmas and the end of December and for many folks this can be a challenging time. I’ve recently talked with several people who are not looking forward to some of their Christmas get-to-gethers and family functions as they should because of discord between relatives, unacceptable behaviours and sad events that some are dealing with. It can be a stressful and anxious time for many.  I want to take this time to wish all my blog readers joy and peace this Christmas season and I trust 2014 will be a year of blessings and fresh beginnings for all.

If you’ve been working hard on your business this past year, putting tons of time and effort into it and need a little encouragement this is for you. Or maybe you’re thinking of starting a new business or starting a blog post this year.

If you find yourself in this position here is some encouragement and a few tips to help you.

Use your creativity and follow your dreams

You can start a company at any age

Continue to do your research, it pays off in the end

Write down your ideas and explore them in detail

Find a business mentor

Read and learn from other business blogger’s

Pay attention to other business’s in the same field

Set Smart Goals

Take notes on a notepad or iPad as things inspire you

Follow others on-line that inspire and motivate you

Stay passionate, it shows in your business

Success doesn’t happen over night but it does happen!

This will likely be my last blog post until the new year, so Merry Christmas and blessings to all!  Thank you for your visits, readership and purchases from my store Designs by Shell. I appreciate it!

Snow Dusted Branches and Lights Postage Stamps
Snow Dusted Branches and Lights Postage
Choo Choo Trains Switch Plate Covers
Choo Choo Trains Switch Plate Cover
Ocean and Starfish
Ocean and Starfish Cutting Board
Birds 2014 calendars
Amazing Birds 2014 Calendar
Dog Paw Prints Pillow
Dog Paw Prints Pillow
Cartoon Owl on a Branch Flasks
Cartoon Owl on a Branch Flask

Friday, December 6, 2013

Random Seasonal Tips

December is a busy month for most people. Along with shopping, decorating and baking there are lots of Christmas events and concerts to take in. Perhaps you will be getting house guests for the Christmas season which means more preparations to be done. What ever it is that you’ll be doing it’s nice to find ways to lighten the load and make many of these preparations easier and perhaps less costly too!  So I thought I’d share some random seasonal tips that might help you out a little!

1) If you have packages to mail to family outside your city consider sending them by bus (Greyhound) in Canada. It it less expensive than by parcel post and may arrive at the destination sooner too!

2) Do you like to surprise people with a little gift, like your newspaper carrier, doctor or dentist or maybe a babysitter or neighbour. Keep a stash of generic, random gifts on hand. Ideas could be a calendar, gloves, boxed chocolates, nuts, coffees or teas. These are all useful and welcomed surprises!

3) For overnight guests keep a basket of everyday essentials in the guest room. Ideas could include shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, shower cap, body lotion, tums etc. Sounds simple right but will be appreciated when they realize they forgot one these essentials at home.

4) A simple dining table centerpiece that takes just minutes to put together. A glass cake plate, could be round or square. Place a wreath of whatever material you like on it, could be evergreen or something else. Add a focal point like a large candle or decoration in the center of the wreath. Now fill in around the candle or decoration with shiny glass or non-breakable balls. There you have a beautiful centerpiece. You probably have everything to do this in your home already, just use your imagination!

5) If you don’t like those over the door wreath hangers that often scratch up the door or move to much here’s an idea you might like. Use an upside down Command Hook on the back side of your front door and loop a bow from the wreath over the top and hook it there! So easy!

6) Need some new Christmas decor but don’t want to spend money. Take some pinecones (preferably that you can collect) some branches and a can of metallic silver or gold spray paint, spray them up and you’ll have some beautiful decor to display.  They’ll look great in a planter by your front door, just add some balls and maybe some mini lights.

Well that’s all my tips for today, got to get busy on my designs! Stop by Designs by Shell for some great gift ideas.

Birds 2014 calendars
Birds 2014 Calendar
Posing Penguin Throw Pillows
Posing Penguin Throw Pillow
Jolly Snowman Postage Stamp
Jolly Snowman Postage Stamp
Cute Tiger in a Santa Hat Gift Wrap
Cute Tiger in a Santa Hat Gift Wrap
Always a Bookworm Shirt
Always a Bookworm T-Shirt
Wish I Was Skating T Shirts
Wish I Was Skating T-Shirts

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Baked and Packaged to Give

Today I was thinking about what I should blog about and decided to share some of my favourite and simple Christmas baking recipes. These are all recipes that are easy to make, taste amazing and are fun to package and give as gifts. I enjoy the packaging of these festive treats as much as the baking. There are so many great ways to wrap up cookies, candies and other baked goods and they are always a welcome gift. When you need a little something to take to a friend or families home over the holidays any of these would be awesome.

So first the tasty and so simple M & M Chocolate Pretzel treats. If you love the combination of sweet and salty, you’ll enjoy these! These look great in a cellophane bag tied with a pretty ribbon. I also have labels that make a nice addition to the bags.


Sugar cookies with icing, sprinkles or other edible goodies are another Christmas favourite for many.

cookies 018cookies 023

Chocolate Toffee Squares are another delicious treat, easy to make and package up too!

chocolate squares 002

Some ideas for packaging these treats could be:

Fancy cellophane bags, holiday coloured Ziplock containers, fancy paper plates, a holiday themed glass or melamine plate, coffee mugs, candy jars, mini take out boxes (craft stores have Christmas themed ones) There are all kinds of great ideas, put your own spin on it and make it special for the receiver. 

Here are some ideas from my store Designs by Shell to get you inspired too! Thanks for stopping by!  Leave me a comment if you like.

What is your favourite Christmas treat to make or bake?

Christmas Baking Personalized Shipping Label
Christmas Baking Labels
Christmas Baking Stickers
Christmas Baking Stickers
Christmas Cookie Baking Sticker
Christmas Cookie Baking Sticker
Three Cute Mice with Christmas Stockings Candy Jars
Cute Christmas Mouse Candy Jar
Whimsical Bird with a Holly Branch Candy Dish
Whimsical Bird with Holly Candy Dish
Fancy Christmas Cupcakes Mugs
Fancy Christmas Cupcake Mug

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Stretching Your Holiday Spending

Do you plan to taper your Christmas spending this year? It seems several people I’ve talked with are planning to cut back on the amount that they are spending this year. Perhaps it’s cutting back on the number of gifts you give to your family members or how much you’re spending on decor and holiday extras. It’s good to be intentional with your spending and not just buy randomly just because you’ve hit a great sale.

With repurposing and reusing being so popular right now, it’s a great way to stretch your shopping dollars. It’s easy to get sucked in to over buying when all the sales and promos start popping up.

Make a list of who you’re buying for, jot down the amount you want to spend and of course try to stick as closely as you can to this. Making good choices is crucial to not over spending!

Create as many homemade/handmade gifts as you can. There are endless ideas for this. Here are a few,

Create a calendar using photographs you’ve taken, make candles, create a gift basket suited for his/her taste, bake some goodies and put in a cellophane bag tied with a pretty ribbon. Also donating to a charity in someone’s name is a nice way to keep the giving going! Thoughtful gifts don’t have to be expensive. Giving of your time, helping someone out by shopping for them, watching their children so they can go out, driving someone to their appointments, you get the idea!

Instead of buying more Christmas decorations repurpose what you have, change up holiday bows or decor on wreaths, collect greenery clippings and pinecones and use in urns and planters adding a bow or some oversized ornaments that you probably already have. If you love changing your Christmas colors, change out one color instead of the whole theme, much less expensive. Wrap different size boxes in wrapping paper and stack for a simple decor idea. It’s amazing what you can do with things that you already have!

My store Designs by Shell has been keeping me busy! New designs can be found on a huge array of products. Come by for a snoop around and get inspired!

Cartoon Chicken in a Santa Hat Christmas Ornaments
Cartoon Chicken Christmas Ornament
Cartoon Christmas Chicken Sticker
Cartoon Christmas Chicken Gift Tag
Patchwork Christmas Stocking Postage
Patchwork Christmas Stocking Postage
Jolly Santa Suit Party Invitation
Jolly Santa Suit Party Invitation
Shirt and Tie Best Teacher Mugs
Shirt and Tie Best Teacher Mug
Red Shirt and Tie Tags For Luggage
Red Shirt and Tie Luggage Tag

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Creating With a Twofold Purpose

Sometimes when I’m in a super creative mood I try to think of something I’d like to create that could be used in a twofold way.  Something that has a decorative purpose (as I like to be crafty)  as well as something that could be utilized in my business.

It’s no secret that I like to decorate my home for Christmas with lots of pretty ornaments and use them in various ways. I’ll use them on the Christmas tree of course, in vases and glass bowls and wherever I feel they’ll add a touch of sparkle.

This past week I decided to make these adorable ‘cupcake’ themed ornaments that I’d seen on Pinterest.  So I gathered all the supplies and began to craft. They turned out super cute, I think they’ll look awesome on a small white tree with other ‘sweet’ themed ornaments. 

So to explain the twofold purpose, you see first the cupcake ornaments will be used on my small white tree as a decoration in my home. Secondly for the twofold purpose, I took pictures of them arranged in a variety of styles and used them on products in my store. I was able to put them on Christmas cards with the instructions inside for others to make. I used the pictures on wrapping paper, stickers and postage that I sell in my shop too! So now you see what I mean by being able to use my creative ideas and utilize it in my business as well!   I had fun crafting and grew my business too!

Here are some pictures and instructions in case you feel inspired and want to make some of these cute ornaments for your home or to give as gifts. 



regular size glass ornament (your choice of color), paper plate, paintbrush, acrylic craft paint (antique white), glitter (color of your choice), hot glue gun or tacky glue, holly berries (for cherries), ornament hooks or ribbon, foil or fancy paper cupcake liners.


-holding ornament paint top half with antique white paint

-over a paper plate start sprinkling glitter over paint twirling it to cover all areas, allow to dry

- once dry apply hot glue to bottom of ornament and place in cupcake liner

-take a holly berry, apply glue and position it at the top of your ornament

-add a hook or a ribbon and it’s ready to hang

Below you’ll see how I used the pictures on some of my products! Stop by my shop to see what else is new!  Feel free to leave me a comment, especially if you’ve made these or are planning too!

Christmas Cupcake Tree Decorations Cards
Christmas Cupcake Tree Decorations Card
Fancy Christmas Cupcake Decorations Gift Wrap
Fancy Christmas Cupcake Gift Wrap
Fancy Cupcakes Square Sticker
Fancy Cupcakes Gift Tag
Black Paw Print Pet Tag
Black Paw Print Pet Tag
Little Owl on a Branch Square Sticker
Little Owl on a Branch Address Label
Snowman with Hearts Baking Design Aprons
Snowman with Hearts Baking Apron

Friday, October 25, 2013

Design Inspiration

What does design mean to you?  Design is basically the formation or creation of a plan, of course it can have a variety of meanings in several different areas.  A person that designs is known as a designer but someone that works in the design field is also considered a designer.  Wikipedia says’ “Designing often necessitates considering the aesthetic, functional, economic and socio-political dimensions of both the design object and design process."

Design inspiration for me comes from a variety of places. First I’d say nature, which with it’s vast beauty and diversity never ceases to amaze and inspire me. I can also be inspired by fashion, home decor, people, animals and interesting artwork.  What is it that inspires you?

I‘ve been reading the October issue of Fast Company magazine which is all about design. You can read about many well known companies like Nike, J.Crew, Flipboard and many more. One that stood out for me was an article about the company Samsung. The presidents say they find inspiration in travelling to different places, cities and towns all over the world. They watch and try to understand the different cultures of the people as well as paying close attention to lifestyle and industry trends. So they really understand who they’re customers are and what they want in a product. You have to have a big vision and be a big thinker as a designer, Toon says “ in designing the Bordeaux TV we  drew inspiration from a wineglass.” How cool is that! They sold more than 3 million of those TV’s in the first year! I think they had a hit with their design!

Whatever kind of designer you are you’ve got to keep pushing the envelope, coming up with new and innovative designs and processes. Go out and find your inspiration in your day to day living and always be willing to explore different environments and places as a great design could come from something as simple and classic as a wineglass.

Cozy House with Snowflakes Postage

Stars and Moon Birthday Invitation

Green Wild Flower Tile

Spiral Design With Fluted Edge Gift Wrap


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Networking for Business

What is business networking?  According to Wikipedia “a business network is a type of social network that exists primarily for business  activity.” A business networking site allows its followers or users to build business relationships and share and promote business opportunities. Many users of these type of sites prefer this method of generating business leads as often the cost of promotion is very minimal. Business networking websites have become quite popular over the last several years. They are a great means to promote your own business and grow your business contacts.

If you want to become a successful business networker, it takes some hard work and an abundance of time. Don’t expect overnight results but with persistence and the use of networking tools you can grow your business this way.

Finding a great business platform that you tune into regularly is your first step. Let this be your main channel for building your network. Of course, one can join or be a part of many different sites but I personally like to have one that I check in with every single day. You’ll know it’s the right one for you when you are receiving advice and worthy information from fellow business networkers as well as offering yours.

A healthy mindset of a successful business networker is to be positive and encouraging and give good advice where you can. Building trust and gaining respect from fellow networkers goes a long way in business.

I’ve chosen IBO Toolbox as the business networking platform where I can share and build my business. This platform is ‘free’ to join, no payment required! No hassling or pushing requests in your face to spend money on this platform. Just click on the advertised sponsors every now and then to help keep it free.

It offers amazing tools to help new and mature business owner’s grow. You can advertise your business or opportunity and get your business in front of 300,000 plus visitors a day. IBO Toolbox offers a social networking site as well as the business site so has great potential for connecting. So yes, if you’re looking for a business networking site to join, where you can add value and gain knowledge to grow your business this is a place I recommend.

These fun Yubo lunchboxes are the latest new product to be made available at Zazzle. They come with detachable handles, so that they can be carried horizontally or vertically. Waterproof and tear-proof. Makes a great gift! Come check em’ out! Designs by Shell

Bookworm With a Stack of Books Lunchbox
Bookworm With a Stack of Books Lunchbox
Pink Choo Choo Train Lunch Box
Pink Choo Choo Train Lunch Box
Starfish and Deep Green Ocean Lunchboxes
Starfish and Deep Green Ocean Lunchbox
Types of Chocolate Refrigerator Magnet
Delicious Chocolate Magnet
Pink Stars with Saying Mugs
Pink Stars with Saying Mug
Purple Elephant Baby's First Christmas Ornament
Purple Elephant Baby First Christmas Ornament

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Marketing Strategies for the Holiday Season

Don’t miss the window, if you’re just going along and haven’t started getting your marketing strategy for the busy holiday season in motion yet, you just might miss the boat!  I’m sure you know that the stores in the malls are already starting to pull out there seasonal promotional items and set up displays. Costco already has Christmas items out!! Yes, I agree it is way to early for me to see Christmas items in the stores but as an online small business owner I understand that we have to get on board here and be preparing our stores for those early shoppers. People are starting their shopping earlier and earlier it seems. Research shows more and more people are shopping online and this is a trend that surely will only increase with the convenience of it. Who doesn’t want to shop from home in their pajamas!

Have a plan, this is so important here. Take a look at your inventory and assess what you need to bring in to your store.  What are the trends and items that will attract customers to your store front. With millions of online businesses the competition is fierce and just thinking that the customers will come and buy from you without you putting in some big marketing efforts is pretty silly. 

If you had your online store last year, review what items sold well for you and what items didn’t move at all. Decide on what new items to add to your inventory and which ones to promote. Use all available social media platforms that you are active in. Just do it subtly, nobody wants to just see a big push of your items, add something of value when you can. Perhaps offer a sale coupon or a contest.

When using Twitter to market your products remember to include appropriate hash tags, like #holidayspecials, #holidaydeals, #blackfriday, etc. This will help when people are searching for shopping deals. If you use Pinterest regularly be sure to create holiday boards that feature your products. Create unique boards like Christmas decor, holiday t-shirts, Christmas kitchen accessories, you get the idea. Also include prices, Pinterest lets you add this! 

Well I hope this has given you some incentive to get going on your holiday marketing strategy! Don’t leave it too late or you seriously might miss your window of opportunity. The shopper’s will buy elsewhere and you don’t want to miss out on the sales! Happy planning!

I’ve been busy working on some holiday themes for my store Designs by Shell!

Just Chillin' Snowman and Reindeer Tee Shirts

Snowman and Reindeer in the Forest Wrapping Paper

Snowman Weight Lifting with Saying Mug

Coffee Time Sign Magnet

Brown Floral Trifold Wallet

Cozy House Wrist Watches