Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Small Biz Shoppers

I have been doing a particular thing more and more and I am wondering if you have done the same. I do notice it is increasing in frequency though. It is not a deep dark secret or bad behavior! LOL What have I been doing, and secretly hope you’re doing the same? I have been buying more often at locally owned and run stores. There. That is it. Not profound but it’s a simple gesture.

I have noticed I have been doing it more now that I am making coasters. I say on my website, and it’s true, that I buy as many of my supplies as I can through locally owned and run stores. Where I buy my supplies offers friendly help from knowledgeable employees. They are very dependent on repeat business from local people with no props from a large corporation or a monstrous web presence like some companies. One place I shop has an awesome lady working there, Jill. Any time I have a question and Jill does not know the answer, she is quick to pick up the phone--while I am sitting right there--in an effort to get to the bottom of it, whatever “it” is at the moment. LOL I love it! I have never asked her to get it done “right now” but she is that kind of person. I appreciate her dedication. I wish all encounters with employees in any store were this way.

One day while I was eating lunch at our store I was surfing the news sites and came across an article on shopping for Christmas. It made reference in the title to shopping at small businesses so I decided to take a read. It was quite interesting. I am wondering what you think about the article? Will you take a few minutes to read the article and post your thoughts in the comment section or email them to me at

Here is a link to the article ....

Holiday Shoppers Plan Small Biz Shopping Spree

How does this relate to crafts and local events like craft shows, fall festivals, Christmas bazaars, holiday open houses, and so on? Many crafters reside and make their crafts right in your town, maybe in your neighborhood, and possibly even on your street. They depend on locals like yourself to buy their products. Of course there are crafters who sell online at Etsy and ebay, but I don’t know of any crafters who would turn away local buyers. It benefits everyone. The crafter gets his product out in his own town, increasing awareness of local craftsmen. The customer is promoting local products by buying a locally made item. The craftsman puts the money he earned right back in to his locally owned business, thus supporting his community.

I was talking yesterday to a craftsman, actually a lady who makes purses and wallets. She loves doing it and I believe she would love to go full time with it. The hang up is that people turn up their nose at paying a fair price for the item she makes. I have seen an example of her work and it’s just lovely. Some people have the attitude that they can just go get “_______” at the big box store down the street at one half the price or less. What they don’t understand is the craftsmanship that many crafts people put into their work. What you’re getting for that craftsman’s price oftentimes is quality work that you don’t find in department stores.

You are also buying their time, knowledge and skill . Some shoppers would say, “Oh, I can just make that.” What I have found is that many “just won’t make it”. They won’t take the time to assemble the necessary supplies, set aside the time to learn how to make it and then actually make it & do it repeatedly to build their skill level. Sometimes a craft looks easy till we actually try to do it ourselves. What we have forgotten is that it has taken time for a craftsman to develop the skills to get to where he or she is now.

We can't all be crafters and none of us crafters can do it all. It takes us all doing what we have a passion for. Somewhere along the way if we keep doing what we're passionate about, we will make our community a better place and offer items that can be used and loved for years to come.

So, will you read the article on shopping that I previously mentioned (link above) and send me your comments?

Toodles for now,

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Coupon for You

Hi Everyone,

I am posting my ad for my next two craft shows here. It will b ein Friday's edition of the Houma Courier. Bring the ad to (or mention it at) Southdown or Thibodeauville for 10% off your purchase or pre-paid order. One coupon per person.

This Saturday, Nov. 2, Southdown Museum in Houma, La will be having it's Fall Marketplace. I hope you'll come out and take part in the craft show. Southdown has certainly figured out how to do a craft show right. There are plenty of crafft booths, a ton of food to eat, music, tours of the museum and more. There is enough to keep everyone busy for hours. If you make it to Southdown, please come visit with me at booth number 55. I will be located near admissino gate number 4, found on Hwy. 311. Here is a link to help you find my booth ...
Click here for Marketplace map.

Here is a link to general information about the Marketplace.
Click here for Marketplace information.

Next Saturday, Nov. 9, I'll be at Thibodeauxville in downtown Thibodaux, La. The Chamber of Commerce of Thibodaux puts this on and it has grown every year. They know how to put on a festival! Make plans to be there. Here is a link with some more information.

Click here for information on Tthibodeauxville Fall Festival.

Remember, the 10% off ad is good at both locations. I hope you'll come out and meet us and spend the day having fun.

Toodles for now,

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Getting Around

Hi Everyone,

Let me begin by saying we have been really busy around here. We are well into craft show season. We have 2 down and 3 to go.

My first show was at Temple of Praise in Houma, La. TOP is relatively new to the craft show circuit and this was their 2nd one this year. They are still growing and trying to get the word out about their craft show. It is a benefit for their ladies’ ministry at the church. When I get more information on their next one I’ll pass the word here.

My second show was at Grace Lutheran Church, again it was in Houma. Grace has held this event for about 14 years now. It is more than just crafts. They also have a face painter, music, a rummage sale, food booths, bounce houses, etc. The money they raise goes to several charities in town. The church does not keep any of the proceeds. It is a family friendly event with something for all ages. The weather cooperated fully and we had a beautiful day for an outdoor event such as this.

My next two shows are biggest two I ‘ve signed up to do, Southdown Museum Marketplace and also Thibodeauville.

Southdown Marketplace is in Houma, LA is a fundraiser for Southdown Museum. The marketplace is held twice a year and has a over 300 booths of crafters and also has food and music. This event is held the first Saturday of November and the weekend before Easter (on Saturday).

This Saturday, November 2, is the next Southdown Marketplace and I am going for the first time! I will be in booth number 55. I hope those within driving distance will take time to come out that day. Admission is $5 for those 12 and over, kids under 12 are free. This is a first class craft show and has been going on for years. There are also food booths galore, music, and tours of the museum. Here is a link with all the information you will need. Hours are 8:00-4:00.

The following Saturday, November 9, I will be at Thibodauville in Thibodaux, La. Thibodauxville is more like a fall festival. It has so much going on, it is hard to imagine doing it all ... crafters, Corvette car show, duck races, food booths, a 5-K race and more. Hours are 8:30-5:00.

On another note, I have been trying to get a handle on the whole Pinterest thing. I had set up an accout a while back but did not fool with it much. I spent some more time there today and added some coasters. I hope you’ll check it out. The thing I am still sketchy on is how to find me. Just do a search for Custom Coasters by Cindy. If you find me I hope you’ll repin some of my stuff. Also, I would love to hear from you about what you’ve repinned.

Please visit me on Facebook and keep up with things that are going on ....

Toodles for now,

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Calling All Christmas Orders

It is time to start placing orders for Christmas. Each item is made by hand for you and that takes time. I do not sub out my work, everything you see on my website is done personally by me. The deadline for Christmas orders is December 10, 2013.

I can personalize many of my designs. Here's how:
• Add a monogram
• Change the color(s)
• Add or delete a design element
• Add a burnished edge or leave it off if it usually comes with it
• We can also make up something new

Local customers (Houma, Thibodaux, Morgan City) should call to place an order to avoid shipping charges. Customers in these areas can arrange FREE local pick up. You get to chose from tumbled travertine or tumbled marble for coasters.

Those not in my trade area who want to personalize their coaster or trivet order should call me before placing an order online. Some items on my website already allow a monogram to be added but it can be added to others. You also get to chose whether you want tumbled travertine or tumbled marble on all selections for coasters.

If you need to mail your gift, it is especially important to get it early to beat the last minute rush at the Post Office or UPS.

All orders will have my company stamp and the style number on the back of the item ordered. Please do not ask for these items to be left off.

I have been in my studio this morning and I have made up some Who Dat! trivets. Here is a photo ...

These make a great gift for someone in the Who Dat Nation whether they live in Louisiana or are exiled to another state. Specs: 8"x8" travertine, 4 rubber feet on bottom to protect furntiure finishes. Can be used in kitchen, hung on the wall, or use a plate easel.

Toodles for now,

From Craft Shows to Christmas

The fall craft show season and fall festival season is now upon us here in south Louisiana. I don’t know if you make it to any of the craft shows or fall festivals but they can be a fun way to spend a day with family or friends. Many have free or low cost admission for the whole day. Even if I don’t purchase anything I love getting out in the cooler weather and meeting new people. It is also good just to get out and see what others are creating. Sometimes you see some really interesting items where you take a step back, cock your head to one side and say, “What the heck is that?!”

One of the things that happens at craft shows and fairs this time of year is Christmas shopping. I know, it seems that Christmas themed decorations and music pop up earlier and earlier every year. I was at Hobby Lobby earlier this week and I asked one of the employees if they get sick of Christmas by the time it gets here. She said YES, especially since Christmas decorations start going up in late May or early June in Hobby Lobby. She said that often she just throws a tree in the corner at the last minute at her home. It is sad that we are worn out with Christmas before November even arrives.

So how do we get past this? I believe it is remembering what Christmas is truly about. It is about Jesus coming as a babe in a manger. He wasn’t just any babe, He is our Savior who chose to come as a baby and experience what we experience as humans so He can truly understand what we go through. Then He lived 33 years and some say His life was taken from him. However, that is not exactly what happened. What happened is He voluntarily gave His life for us so we can gain entrance to heaven.

We know what love is because Jesus gave his life for us. That’s why we must give our lives for each other. 1 John 3:16

This verse reminds us why He gave His life for us and also, what we must do in return ... love each other.

But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you. If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples. John 13:34-35

We can keep the true meaning of Christmas in our hearts by first, love Jesus. Then, because Jesus has done a new work in us we can love each other. Maybe if we are focusing on loving Jesus and each other we can help combat the commercialism of Christmas. We may not win the battle as one person but we change our own little world one act of love at a time.

Toodles for now,

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Lofty Goals and Blessings

Hello Everyone,

This weekend started out with a hefty goal, 56 sets of coasters by this evening. I started about 11:15 on Saturday morning. Through in a New Orleans Saints game this afternoon that turned out to be a heartbreaker, and time was short this weekend. I did try to work during the game but there came times that I just had to stop and watch while biting my nails. It turned out the game was a true last second loss for the Saints but no loss for me. I have completed my goal! Yeah!

I still have a lot to do to get ready. I am moving on to my next goal of 12 trivets by Wednesday. Oh, I made a mistake in my last post. I did not do 37 trivets last weekend. That was actually supposed read that I did 37 coasters last weekend.

Tomorrow dd and I will be boxing up coasters and the trivets that I have previously completed. Having dd help will help the time pass faster and get the work done more quickly as well. She has spent time today cutting more ribbon for me to tie coaster sets.

After all the work, I must say I am tired but it is a good tired. You know it’s the tired after hard work and feeling accomplished. It is the kind of tired that gives you a good sleep at night. I look forward to a good sleep tonight and a productive day tomorrow.

I must add that I was reminded today that my I am blessed to have this business. And I am blessed to have people in my life that are friends and loved ones. The most important blessing in my life is Jesus, as a Friend and Savior. I want to honor Him in my business and in all areas of my life. If there ever comes a time that I cannot do this business and honor Him, I’ll give it all up ... because then it has stopped being a blessing. :)

I look forward to seeing some old friends and meeting some new ones at the craft show this weekend at Temple of Praise in Houma. Go here for more information ....!/events/396453537135511/

Oh, here are some pics of some of my deisngs I made up tor the craft shows ...

Toodles for now,

Friday, October 11, 2013

Ambitious Goals & Pre-orders

Hi Everyone,

This is my last weekend before a string of fall craft shows start up next weekend.
I so need to get more coasters and trivets done and have decided to do just that. :)

I am setting 2 goals, an immediate one for this weekend and one to complete by Wednesday. Here they are ...
1) For this weekend I am setting an ambitious goal of 56 sets of coasters. My goal is to have them done by Sunday evening.
2) By Wednesday evening I have a goal of 12 trivets. I will be making up several of the following trivet for the craft shows that are coming up. (Last weekend I did 37 sets.)

This is by far the most ambitious goals I have set. Meeting these goals may actually generate so much heat from my work table that it spontaneously combusts! LOL I will let you know if it goes up in flames, and take pictures of it if I can! If I get them done I will definitely do a happy dance. I will report in each evening how close I am to meeting my goal. Check back each day to see how close I am.

I am taking pre-orders of any of my coasters and trivets for pick up at any of the upcoming shows. Remember, I can customize colors and put your monogram on many of my designs. Please feel free to call me or email me about your pre-orders and to arrange pick up at a show.

Toodles for now,

Has This Ever Happened to You?

Hello Everyone,

Have you ever worked and worked on something and then ZAP, all your work was undone in one fell swoop? You spend time saving your work as you go and then a simple “click” and it’s all gone. Yeah, you know this frustration? Well, that happened to me last night. I was working on building an inventory list for my coasters and trivets in Excell and everything was going SPLENDIDLY. Then I got mixed up and in a click, or maybe a click or two, I had wiped out all I had done. I wanted to cry! I still want to cry! Now I have to start over–unless I can get my tech support, who happens to be dh, to help me figure out a way to export all my style numbers from my website to Excell. My plan is to ask him about it when he walks in the door this evening. Well, I might let him eat supper first. You know the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, right? Maybe the way to his brain is through the same route? KWIM? LOL

In the meantime I plan on sorting my coaster sets and trivets that are already made up. Then I’ll get them boxed up and label the boxes. After that, which I hope gets accomplished this afternoon, I’ll start on more designs.

So what is going on with all this activity? Well, it looks like I have 5 Saturdays in a row of craft shows. Three are in Houma, one is in Thibodaux, and one is in Baton Rouge. I am so excited to be approaching craft show season. I love working in my studio but there comes a time I like to get out and meet new people. When you are looking for something to do that is family friendly, I hope you’ll come out to a local craft show or festival. I hope to see you at one the upcoming shows. I have a list of the upcoming shows pinned to the top at my Facebook page at

Toodles for now,

Monday, October 7, 2013

What Just Happened Here?

Have you ever had one of those days where you stop and say to yourself, or maybe your special someone, what just happened here? And it was NOT a bad thing?

Today has been all over the place, nothing like a typical Monday for me. I like having my routines and knowing what is going to happen. Mostly I have a weekly routine--Monday for this, Tuesday for that, Wednesday I do this, etc. You get the idea. However, I don't plan out each to the minute or even to the hour. Today though, I kinda felt like my head was spinning but in a good way.

It started off with our employees at our store (Joe's Boots of Houma) surprising our daughter with a birthday cake. Tomorrow, Oct. 8, is really her birthday so she didn't have a clue it would happen today! LOL Dd was really surprised and we had a cool time relishing the fact that we "got" her.

Then I got to meet 2 new friends this morning, from the newspaper. They came to talk to us about our upcoming ads. Then a lady, Connie, who sells beautiful custom jewelry came by the store to restock her display. We got to catch up and talk about crafts and craft shows and more. While we were talking with her a couple came over and bought some of her pieces. That was awesome for Connie! Yeah!

We worked in between all this and answered phones and helped customers. It was busy busy, but in a good way. Then I left there to run a whole slew of errands before coming home. Then! Then while we were trying to get supper on the table, a combination of stuff I picked up and a little I prepared at home, the phone rang. More new friends needing to see us. Dh had a meeting he had to go to so he did what he could and then finally had to leave. Poor dh never got to eat supper. Poor guy. I don't imagine he starved though. I figure he picked up a burger on the way. In the middle of all this one of our new friends saw some trivets out on the table in the dining room ... stored there for now till I get them boxed for the craft shows .... and we got to talking about coasters, craft shows, etc. One of our new friends, who just happens to live a few blocks away, ended up buying a set of coasters on the spot! They did their business here, and left. Finally I sat down to supper all alone .... dd had eaten earlier, dh left, and now I was almost too tired to eat.

So we know what has actually happened and how does it compare to what I thought would happen? I thought I'd go work 2-3 hours at the store, run 1-2 errands on the way home and then work on coasters all afternoon and evening! Pretty simple and straightforward. LOL

I'll tell you though, that today was one of the best days I've had in a long time. I believe it goes back to one thing ... meeting new people and getting to know them a little. I believe it also goes back to being open to what unfolds for the day. I could have planted myself in my chair at the desk at work and never poked my head out of the office ... I would have had a typical day at work but I would have missed meeting 2 new peoople and catching up with another.

When the phone rang at supper I could have ignored it. We would have eaten as usual and I'd be about to crash in the recliner or I'd be slumped over my work table about to fall asleep by now. LOL But, instead, I met 2 new people who I could help and they helped us too.

We have to have connections with others. It keeps us planted and grounded in life. Whether we admit it or not, we all need each other. We never know what that short conversation or that burst of laughter will mean to someone later. Just locking eyes for a few seconds in a meaningful conversation can say volumes that words could never do justice. Did I get any coasters done today? No. Did I get any trivets done? No. Any work done at all at the work table? No, but I did some more imporant things that involved building relationships with people.

In all that happened today, I was reminded that the most important relationshp I have is that of my Savior, Jesus. I was reminded that He is there when I meet someone new, or rekindle a friendship, or when my day does not go like I expect it to. I hope you have the same hope and reassurance. If not, you can have it. You can learn more here .... 

I will go to bed tonight feeling better about my life than when I got up this morning. Can't get any better than that, can it?

Toodles for now,

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Boss's Day and A Little More

Hi Everyone,

I am writing to let you in on some upcoming holidays and more. I was reminded today that Boss's Day is coming up quickly. Boss's Day is Wednesday, October 16. If you are looking for a gift to honor your boss, look no further. I have plenty of coasters and trivets in stock from which you may pick the perfect gift for your boss. There are plenty of designs for men or women. Call now to ensure your order will be ready for the big day.

Also, I have several shows coming up and that will make my schedule busy. If you want to place an order for November, the sooner the better. I will be busy replenishing stock for craft shows but will make time for orders from my customers! My contact information is at the bottom of this post.

Here are the prices for local orders in the Houma, Thibodaux, and Morgan City, Louisiana area. Shoppers in these local areas have the opportunity for free local pick up. See website for prices, shipping and ordering for out of towners. Custom Coasters by Cindy

4"x4" tumbled travertine coasters:
$20.00 per set of 4
$37.00 for 2 sets

4"x4" tumbled marble coasters:
$24.00 per set of 4
$45.00 for 2 sets

All coaster sets tied with beautiful orgaza ribbon or twine. All coasters have felt pads on the bottom to prevent scratching your furniture.

Travertine Trivets (8"x8"), $25.00

Travertine trivets have four(4) rubber feet on the bottom to protect you furniture.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Toodles for now,


Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Little Storm & A Big Challenge

You know, down here in south Louisiana we never let a little storm keep us from doing what we really want to do--or need to do. That is the case this weekend. We have had a little tropical storm, Karen, hanging out in the Gulf of Mexico. It has really become a non-storm. At our home we got a short rain storm ealier but but now we have some clouds and sun. Whether we had rain, wind, or nothing, I planned a weekend of making some coasters. Fortunately this is something I can do rain, shine, wind, or stillness. :D

I have some craft shows starting up in a couple of weeks and I need to add to my stock. This morning I worked specifically on some monograms. I've done 9 sets done, 2 each of S, T, N and R and one of P. It has a watermark script on the background with the monogram and a flourish in the corner. The color can be changed at your request. Here it is shown on black. I have doen this in a dark brown, about the color of Dutch chocolate ice cream and it looks very good. This style of monogram is simply elegant and will make an excellent gift for yourself or others for Christmas, a housewarming, anniversay, birthday, wedding, etc. Look below the photos for my challenge for the rest of the day! :D

So with nine sets behind me, I have a goal to make 11 more sets today. That will be a big challenge but I am going to work hard to get it done. Check in on my facebook page to see updates later on what I've gotten done.

Toodles for now,