It's official!!!

Little Champ's Art is now proudly displayed in the Naperville, IL location of Learning Express Toy Store!

*insert awesomely choreographed happy dance here*

Look, look, I even took a picture to prove it:

that's my display board!! in among other Learning Express products! OMG OMG OMG!

I kid you not, I couldn't stop looking at this after I set it up this afternoon. Eeeeeee!!

Tomorrow I find out the reaction from more of the team, but tonight two of the teenagers I work with were very complimentary and didn't even know it was MY company until I told them... twice!

*insert more happy dancing*

Hopefully the sales go well. Even if I never get a sale out of it, I won't look at it as a loss - because I will learn from this experience. Besides I can just use these blocks and this display board if/when I do craft fairs. Not the end of the world.

I'm also really proud of my display board - so here's a few photos of that & the special order binder I created for Learning Express:

Fingers crossed - but I REALLY have a good feeling about this. :)

Thanks for stopping by, and have a Champ-eriffic night!!


Behind - the - Scenes!

Does everyone have their backstage passes? Good!

I thought I'd share a little peek at how the canvas wall blocks are created! Its really fun to look at the starting and ending points, because they're SO different! But first, here's a look at my "studio" which is really just a closet in our computer room that I took over ;)
Its not much to look at, but when I spin my chair around from my computer desk to work, I'm all business. Having a separate work area for crafts has really made a difference. When I first started Little Champ's Art (a whole two months ago - phew!) I was camped on the kitchen table and had to pack everything up when I was done painting. It was a pain. And 9 out of 10 times, I just left my mess for the cat to get into or for my boyfriend to roll his eyes about. This way I can just close the door and the mess is magically gone!

Okay, so here's step-by-step of how the canvas wall blocks transform from blank white squares to explosions of color and cuteness!

Now wasn't that fun?! I always get a kick out how crappy and uneven my letters look in the first step, and then I chunk them out and they're awesome. Yup, I'm being vain, but I'm proud of my work ;) I've also realized that until I get to the last step with outlining and highlighting, I'm convinced that the whole thing looks awful. 
At what point during your creative process do you have that "a-ha" moment when you realize that what you're attempting will actually work? Is it the last step, like me?

Stay tuned for Little Champ's FIRST EVER featured Etsy seller coming up soon! This is going to be a regular feature, so make sure you check back to see if you're featured!! :)

Have a Champ-tastic Lazy Sunday, everyone!! 


Newest Listings!

I realized that I still had two items that I never listed in my Etsy shop, so I went ahead and did both of them back to back today! I'm up to 17 items for sale now. Slowly but surely getting there.

So here's some photos of my newest items for you to check out:

 This was actually for Mama Champ. She's going to hang it over two bulletin boards I did to match for all the artwork my nieces give her. I can't wait to see it hung!
 I really love this phrase. And I feel like this is a fun and whimsical representation of it, rather than being serious. I'm able to easily picture this in a tween's room, or even a college dorm. Its just so bright and sunny!

Another custom order, that segued into a listing for my shop. I'm a little weary about getting involved in wedding related items, because Brides terrify me. True story. But I love how these came out, and think it would be fun to do it again.

 I love all things Chicago. I've grown up here, even though I've lived in lots of different states and cities. Chicago is home. I went to college there, and I don't know if I can ever leave the area! Our skyline is beautiful, and I was inspired to paint it on a glass!
I cannot take credit for this idea - one of my teammates actually helped me come up with the idea and I love how it came out! I'm looking forward to playing around with other seasonal/holiday items!

If you'd like to check out all these and more items, please hop over to my online shop!

For now, its back to prepping for the big consignment unveiling next week! Been crossing a lot of my to-do list today... hopefully the trend keeps going all weekend and I'm 100% prepared for Tuesday!

Have a Champ-eriffic Weekend!!



Yup this is just a whiny little blurb, you're getting fair warning.

Headaches are evil. Pure, horrible, awful, unnecessary evil. Granted, they aren't as bad as migraines, but this one is fighting for that top spot.

This means I was hardly able to do anything productive for crafting tonight. It also means I'm not going in to work at the toystore tomorrow - and will be forcing myself to sleep/watch tv all day and not be around paint fumes that won't help my headache. :(
It will be torture to be home and NOT be painting. But health comes first, no matter what.

Headaches are just SO debilitating! You can't accomplish anything when you have a headache. You can't think, can't sleep, can't read very much, and certainly can't be creative.
Staring at the computer screen isn't great for me right now, but its certainly better than staring at my ceiling thinking about how much I wish I could sleep... haha

Oh well, tomorrow is a new day. A day I now have off to sleep and rest and take care of myself. Plus the next two days after that off for my weekend. Plenty of time to get things done AFTER resting tomorrow. Sure, pouting and whining doesn't accomplish anything or make the head hurt less, but in a weird way, it makes me feel better ;)

Hope you're having a Champ-tastic Weekend, everyone!


Still Alive...

Have no fear, loyal readers!  Your dear Little Champ has not deserted you so soon. I've just been a busy bee the past two days. Next week is when I roll my art out at a local toy store! Woo! Its a deal on consignment, so there's not a ton of pressure except from myself. Plus my dad owns the shop, so I'm getting a GREAT deal ;) gotta love family!

In order to get ready for this, I've had LOTS to do - including, but not limited to:
-designing a boy and girl name sample to display
-actually painting the samples
-will need to photograph them when they're finished
-creating custom order forms to use in the store
-figuring out how the blocks will be displayed in the store
-coming up with all the other paperwork-related things to get going on consignment

Its a LOT to do. It may not look like much there, but it is, trust me! In fact, I'm typing this with a paintbrush covered in blue paint sticking out of my mouth - talk about multitasking - blogging between coats of paint.

In other businessy related news, I got a book to read. Its called "The Handmade Marketplace" by Kari Chapin. I haven't gotten very far into it, but it seems very informational. Its pretty much repeating some of the things I've learned on Etsy.com and such, but something about having a hard copy of all this information is comforting. Actually, I got two books. But I'm returning "Crafty Superstar" by Grace Dobush. No offense to Grace, but this book just wasn't what I was looking for. There just isn't as much packed into the book as I wanted. Lots of photos and charts and illustrations - not that I have anything against any of these, of course!
Once I get through a good chunk of the book, I will definitely share my thoughts on it.
I bought the book with the intention of reading it while riding an exercise bike. Its a great theoretical situation - exercising to relieve stress and get in shape while still doing SOMETHING for Little Champ's Art... but I'm doubtful that it will happen. My butt is much too comfy planted in my computer chair or on the couch ;)

Okay, back to work!! I'm working on pulling together my first featured artist - so be sure to stay tuned for that! I'd love to do one on a regular basis, too. It was REALLY fun coming up with the questions and I can't wait to see what answers I get... plus I'm really nosy and this is a great fix haha

Have a Champ-tastic night, everyone! <3


Finances, Business Cards & Packaging - OH MY!

Crafting is ridiculously fun.
You create things that you conceptualize in your own head.
Sometimes it even turns out the way you hoped ;)

Businesses are boring.
There are rules, paperwork, and other official-sounding things.
But businesses make money... crafts sitting in a closet don't!

Sooo that means I had to put my Entrepreneurship hat on today and get down to binnis.
My business cards that I ordered from Vista Print showed up today and they came out GREAT! I know you really want to see them, so I took a picture - just for you...

 They're super spiffy. The top two are actually the SAME card (well, not physically, that's just silly). I love how I can showcase one of my items on my business cards - basically I ripped off the idea of the Moo cards.
The other card is just a generic biz card, but I like that it has polkadots.

The other business-related accomplishment in the past 24 hours was setting up my financial spreadsheet. Basically it just shows me that I'm not making money... YET! I knew this would happen though, so it wasn't a shock or anything. Basically, I had a little box getting pretty full of receipts from buying supplies, and I realized that it was going to be a PITA to wait much longer to enter everything. No time like the present, eh?
It makes me feel so official!

I also finalized my packaging for my products. Nope, no snazzy photo to show you right now. But I'm using tulle so the product can still be seen through the packaging - and it looks pretty enough to just give as a gift that way. I punched a hole in a bunch of the "LOVE" cards and used those as a tag. I gotta say, it looks REALLY professional. The tag really makes it, to be honest. I was able to get all of my existing products wrapped up with the tulle I already had, so it was pretty perfect. Probably should add "get more tulle" to the to-do list for this week...

Got a ton of photos taken for some new products that will be in my Etsy shop soon. I keep switching up my photo methods - and this one is far and away the best so far. It was my first time shooting outside and it was AMAZING. First of all - flash-less photos aren't super blurry because the sun is so bright. Second of all - white actually looks WHITE in natural light. Go figure! Plus it was nice to be able to get outside for a bit. Though I'm sure my neighbors were wondering what in the world I was doing out there! Oh yeah, go check out all the new pictures!

Its been two months since I first opened up shop on Etsy.com and I'm shocked by how much I've learned. I basically went into this endeavor without planning at all - I just jumped in. And it looked that way. Little by little things are becoming more professional and I'm getting proud-er of my work every day. It really hit me today how good some of my items are when I was going through the photos (sorry if that sounds vain, but hey, I gotta love what I'm creating and selling, right?!). Like, I'd TOTALLY buy stuff from me... if I weren't, you know, me.
Finally, I'm starting to not feel like a 2nd grader in a Calculus class among the other Etsy sellers. I feel like I know what I'm doing, even though I know there's still SO much to learn. But I'm finding that the more confident I am on Etsy and with my painting, the more confident I'm feeling about myself in general - is that weird? I feel like it is.

My next venture is into selling special orders by consignment at the toystore I work at (thanks to daddy owning it - he's helping me get started). I meant to create my samples for the store today, but got too caught up in photography and laundry... there's always tomorrow! I'll be sure to keep tabs on how this process goes, even though my situation is unique by selling through my dad, I'm sure there are still a lot of learning opportunities to come.

By the way - I'm thinking this week I would like to feature a fellow Etsy Seller on the blog. I have a few shop owners in mind, but I'm open to suggestions and self-nominations ;)

Thanks for stopping by!
Have a Champ-tastic night!


Treasury Fever!

Holy Guacamole - there was a lot of buzz about Treasuries on Etsy today! Yikes! But since all the drama has been corrected, I thought I'd share all those I'm associated with - yay for shameless self-promotion! ;)

For those of you who aren't fluent in Etsy (heck, even I'm not there... yet!), Treasuries are collections of 16 items that anyone can put together. The collections usually have some sort of common theme - be it color, style, holiday, or even just the creator's friends! They're really a great way to get to check out some shops you might not find otherwise!

So, here's the two treasuries I've created so far:
Peace Out, Baby!
Owl Be Seein' Ya!

And now, here's the treasuries that Little Champ's Art is featured in - this is the real exciting part. This means that these Etsians (Etsy users, but cooler sounding) thought that my items were special enough to be included in their very selective 16 items out of the thousands MILLIONS of items on Etsy.com! WOW!
Bright and Cheery
Little Girl's Room Redo - She's no longer a Baby
Beauties from the Etsy Goodies Blog

Okay... I'd love to write a novel here, and I'd love for it to be intriguing and exciting enough for you to actually read it, but that won't happen. So instead, I'm going to go watch Chuck, which is about the best show on TV anyways ;)

Have a Champ-tastic Night!


Welcome to my brand spankin' new blog! I'm hoping to be able to update on here fairly regularly, and here's what you can look forward to seeing:
  • what I've learned so far about crafting as a business - every single day I learn something new about how to promote, create and make my business successful. So far none of it has paid off ;) but it's still very early for me.
  • interviews and features on some of my crafty-minded friends and favorite sellers on Etsy.com. What better way to help yourself out when you're feeling down about your endeavor than to be reminded by someone else's passion for the same thing?
  • all about Little Champ's Art - new products, things that completely flop, new and exciting changes for the shop itself, and whatever other ramblings come to mind!
Please feel free to stop by and check out whats been happening in the crafty world of this little champ!

Have a Champ-tastic Day! :)