February 28, 2014

Five on Friday /// Feb. 28


Still waiting to hear about the craft show. I don't know why, but I am so unbelievably anxious! It's an excited anxious though. I'm ready to get my name and brand out there in my community. 


Did you see the latest addition to our shop? We are closing in on wedding season which means it is bridal shower time. Just like any other good Southern belle, I love me some monograms! What better than a monogram bridal shower invitation.



I know I've been sharing this webinar like crazy, but just in case you missed it...GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping is hosting a free webinar specifically for Etsy sellers tackling their taxes. If you are an Etsy seller, you should definitely consider doing this. You can register here.


My lazy co-worker figured out how to crawl onto my desk to get to the window. I guess it's time to move her pillow up there...


Real talk time ya'll. I had a really rough week. Please keep myself and my family in your prayers. These next few weeks will be very trying for us, but we serve a faithful and powerful God. Thank you in advance for the prayers!

February 27, 2014

Thursday Treasure /// Alphabet Monkey

At Thursday Treasure, I will share a product or Etsy shop that I love! Do you think you have a product in your Etsy shop I would love? Feel free to shoot an email to paperlarkstudio@gmail.com. If it floats my boat, I'd love to feature it here!

Happy Thursday!

Before my nephew was born last year, I was searching for some adorable boy things and ran across Alphabet Monkey. Everyone always says there aren't cute things for boys like there are for girls. However, Alphabet Monkey has proven that wrong.

I feel in love with her Geometric Baby Crib Quilt:

If I ever have a boy, I'll be hitting up this shop for sure. 

Also, remember my post about taxes from Monday? GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping is hosting a seminar just for Etsy sellers on how to handle their taxes. Taxes 101 for Etsy Sellers is completely free. I will be attending the seminar, because knowledge is power! Be sure to register here: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/872428258


Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this post. Opinions are strictly my own. 

February 24, 2014

Monday Memoirs: Death and Taxes

I did it! I finally did it! 

I filed our taxes. 

Holy crap. Taxes can be a pain to file as it is, but throw in a business and you're in a whole different ball game in a completely crazy league. To top that off, I found out the hard way that the day job hadn't been taking federal taxes out of my paycheck all year. Lovely. That'll teach me to check my pay stub, huh?

Any way you cut it, it was less than a pleasant experience. However, in the very least, it was an excellent learning experience. I learned all about what expenses I can write off and which deductions I can take. I've even calculated how much estimated quarterly tax to pay for this year.

While it may have been less frustrating to take my 50 million papers to a tax professional, it was worth it to learn. With that knowledge, I can make better business decisions and really choose where my money goes. 

From an Etsy shop/small business owner who has conquered her taxes (and a migraine or two), here are some tips and helpful resources:

Keep all of your receipts. No matter how little or much it is. Also, don't forget those receipts you get via the Internet like where you paid online to ship that package! Lastly, order them chronologically.

Keep a record of your mileage. You get ~56 cents for every business-related mile traveled. 

Keep a record of your profit and expenses. I do this on a monthly basis. Do what works best for your business. At the end of every week, I fill out my profit and expense sheet until the month is over. Then, I take it and my receipts and file them away.

Find Your Closing Papers. Figure out the square footage of your office in your home and the total square footage of your home. Write it off!

Don't wait until the last minute. <--- especially if this is your first time! I definitely allowed myself plenty of time to get our taxes filed. There is no way of sugar-coating it - taxes suck! I'd work on them a little at a time. When I would start getting frustrated, I knew it was time to put it down. I quickly learned that working frustrated just led to careless mistakes which only get you more frustrated. 

Lastly, educate yourself. Taxes are not sexy, but knowledge is. I read a lot about small business taxes and write offs once I dove in. I wish I had done it before I started, because I would've understood more. 

Here are some superb resources to help:

Organize Small Business Taxes (with free printables)

Good luck!

February 21, 2014

Five on Friday


I have officially sent in my application and subsequent paperwork for a craft show! I am equally excited and nervous. Doing a craft show is on my 2014 bucket list, so hopefully we will have shot at checking this off the list. I should find out if we're approved the first or second week of March. 


In light of the hope of a craft show, I will be creating some new products! I plan on listing items made for the craft shows in my Etsy shop as well. What can you expect to see? Thank you cards, encouragements cards, holiday cards, recipe cards, art prints, etc.


Did you check out PaperLark's first party printable package? I created it to compliment my popular construction birthday party invitation. I think Minnie Mouse just might have to be the next one to debut...


Thank you Lord above for our beautiful weather this week! After suffering without electricity for 32 hours last week thanks to the ice storm, 70 degree weather was definitely welcomed at our house. I'm ready for spring and already thinking of crafty decor ideas.


Thank God it's Friday! Can I get an amen?!

Have a great weekend!

February 20, 2014

Thursday Treasure /// Plum Paper

Happy Thursday!
At Thursday Treasure, I will share a product or Etsy shop that I love! Do you think you have a product in your Etsy shop I would love? Feel free to shoot an email to paperlarkstudio@gmail.com. If it floats my boat, I'd love to feature it here!

By nature, I am an organizer. I absolutely cannot live without a planner. Between PaperLark Studio, a husband who constantly over-commits his time, church stuff, meal planning and the general chaos of life, I need a heavy duty planner that is up for the job.


The planner I had bought last July just wasn't able to do it. At the start of the New Year, I began hunting for another. After hunting stores and the Internet, I finally found Plum Paper. Besides the gazillion different cover designs you can choose from, Plum Paper allows you to customize the inside pages of your planner. 

I selected option #3 for my planner. My other favorite part that store-bought planners rarely offer? Note pages!

I use the note pages for everything from grocery lists to sudden invitation ideas for my shop.

I purchased the "Regular Planner," but Plum Paper offers planners for: families, teachers, students, weddings, fitness and meal planners.

My only complaint? It takes 3-4 weeks to ship which can feel like an eternity if you get as excited over a planner as I do. However, I think it was worth the wait!

Have a great day!

Disclosure: I was NOT compensated in any way for this post. I really love Plum Paper that much!

February 17, 2014

Monday Memoirs

Welcome to Monday Memoirs! You may have noticed things look a little different around here. As my business, PaperLark Studio, has grown, I've realized more and more the need to connect this blog to my shop. Therefore, it's goodbye to Mr. and Mrs. Winslett and hello to PaperLark Studio: The Blog. 

What does this mean? Really just a facelift and a name change. The content will not vary greatly. I'm still planning crafty tutorials and Project Life posts. However, you may see a few more posts related to business - focused namely on Etsy and running a creative business. 

What is Monday Memoirs? I'm planning to dedicate Monday's post to share the journey of being an Etsy shop owner. When I first opened my shop, I was always curious about other successful shop owners. What was their daily routine? How did they formulate their business plans? Where did they draw inspiration from? What were some struggles they faced? 

I've always strived to be real and bluntly honest in my writings on this blog. I thought it would be a nice to open a dialogue and share my journey through Monday Memoirs.

That said, I'll be short and sweet this week and share this:

My husband would completely agree that I do this way too much. I'm constantly underestimating my ability to create an outstanding product. While it can be good to question yourself and the products you are putting out there, I do it to my detriment sometimes. My goal for this week is to STOP UNDERESTIMATING MYSELF and embrace the awesomeness. 

What is your journey memoir this week?

Have a great week!

February 4, 2014

My Valentine Collection

My students at work have already been buzzing about Valentine's Day. All the excitement of slipping Valentines into their little bags this year, inspired me to create these!

I also priced them really reasonably because (quite frankly) I think the ones in the stores are over priced! Valentines customized with names are only $2.20 or you can purchase the non-customized valentine for a $1.20 which is available via instant download.

Once you receive your file, you free to print as many as you wish! Can't beat custom unlimited Valentines for under $3!

You will received a PDF file for ease of printing onto white card stock. The Valentines are formatted 4 to an 8.5" x 11" page.

Are you ready to see the collections?! To purchase, simply click on one of the pictures or the links at the end of each collection.

Thank you for supporting small business and the creative community!

The Owl Collection


The Love Bird Collection

The Robot Collection


February 1, 2014

Snow Days and Chair Cushions

The golf course at Newnan Country Club covered in snow!

We survived Snowmageddon 2014. We live just south of Atlanta and as you may know, we had an epic amount of snowfall this past week. Maybe two inches of snow isn't epic to some of you elsewhere, but to us it's pretty darn close to the second coming of Jesus.

To be fair, the area where we live got closer to four inches than two and it was beautiful! Because snow is such a rarity, I took a ridiculous amount of pictures. Some of which, I will share now.

Our house covered in four inches of snow!

We spent the week hunkered down around the fire while watching a good number of the films nominated for Oscars and eating an obscene amount of junk food. Time well-spent, right?!

Bella playing in the first inch of snow for the first time. 

I did, however, manage to complete and start some projects. The most time-consuming project was probably my chair cushions!

When we got married, the in-laws passed on their kitchen table and six chairs to us. Since then, I've always wanted to put some cushions in the chairs, but at $8 to $10 a cushion it was low on the budget priority list.

Then behold! One day, I went to work and they were replacing all of our napping mats. I took home five mats and cut the foam out of them.

I bought three yards of muslin for $1.99 a yard. I used this tutorial from Prudent Baby. I didn't embellish and make them as pretty as she did, but they will certainly do the trick! I used all of her measurements and followed the directions (relatively) closely so I'd highly recommend her tutorial.

Seriously, you can't beat $6 for six chair cushions!

Have fun creating!

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