My ongoing tasks

My ongoing tasks

This is one of the things I’ve been doing the past few months: trying to create good habits and actually sticking to it. It’s more likely I stay on track if I can see a visual progress. Like in grade school, when you get something done, you earn a gold star sticker. Altho now I color or check off the boxes. I hold myself accountable. After a certain amount of time, I can see what areas have been neglected.

Some weeks are better than others. While I’m far from crossing everything off, a few good habits have been developed. My sleep time is inching earlier. Ever since become my parent, I could never get back to “normal people” sleep times. I just feel I need to stay up really late to do everything I want haha. Why can’t I just go to bed early and wake up really early and do everything I want then.

Just common sense, but common sense doesn’t always mean common practice.

I have learned: Good/new habits take a long time to form. It takes a long time to change bad habits.

P.S. I opened a 2nd shop DearPlanner on Etsy in the midst of my self-redevelopment.

I’m behind the scenes, always



I’m not one to post much, but I’ve been busy behind the scenes. I mean always. And I’m alway wondering what the heck I’m going to write on my blog. This goes on for months… and then one day I just post again haha.

I’ve always loved pen and ink and thought I’d give it a try. I discovered I’m really terrible at it, but it’ll be something fun to practice. Who knows, maybe it’ll be a hobby that will turn into something else in the future. Funny thing is, I grew up in Vietnam so we actually learned to write using pen dipped in ink. I was probably much better at 6 years old than I am now. The convenience of modern pens and pencils has completely obliterated my memory of patience using pen and ink.

I’m working on my Etsy store as always and gearing up for the holidays. Having an online shop is much more work than a regular job. I’m learning to work smarter, not harder… and I don’t seem to know the best way yet. Is there one? Maybe it has to do with my lack of organization skills or time management LOL.

Rain Maybe




It’s looking a little like the left side the past 2 days. I hope it rains tonight or maybe tomorrow too. Then clear up Sunday for the Patchwork because my friend Connie will have a booth at the craft show. I hope traffic and weather will be good for Sunday!

I’ve never done a craft show before but seriously considering Patchwork for the fall. I’m already starting to think of displays and more products. I’m pretty excited. At least it’s making me think of expanding and having other things besides paper.

Ah, dreaming!

A year on Etsy

DearMonday desktop

My desktop for a brief moment…


As of last week, I’ve been on Etsy for ONE WHOLE YEAR. At first, I felt it was sort of “fun and games”. Open a shop, list a few items, check stats to see if I get more than 5 views that day, get a first sale within a month… wow, just list and they will come?

It doesn’t exactly continue to work like that… the sales. After the initial shock of actually selling something, you want to sell more! It gets addicting but you really have to work at it.

After 6 months, I decided that I wanted more than “less than 1 sale” a month. I was selling art (linocut prints) and I kept hearing art is hard to sell. But I’ve already started a shop, I don’t want to change what I sell.

Well… change is inevitable. Many shops evolve into selling different things than what they started with. I became one of those shops.

I scoured the Etsy forums to find secrets of success (haha) or at least being found.  Some advice that made sense are:

  1. SEO – (most important) my listings were decent, probably why I made few sales at all
  2. Diversify – if you have more than 1 type of things, you’ll reach more people
  3. List more items – I only had 20 things
  4. Offer seasonal items – something I hadn’t thought of

I gave #4 a try, which would take care of #2 & #3. With the holidays coming up, I began to offer design services in the form of personalized gift tags & note cards. Wow, people really buy for seasonal stuff and they like their things to be personalized, something that they don’t get at the local chain store.

I didn’t plan on offering anything related to graphic design (too much competition on Etsy) – I just wanted to concentrate on linocuts (lots of this on Etsy too LOL). There’s pretty much competition in anything you want to sell there. But a few sales happened, and sales are addicting! So I changed my mind and now I offer other paper goods.

Now I’m open to change: from my shop to the future of Etsy itself.

Overall it’s been fun and lots of time & hard work. I’ve learned so much and there’s still so much more to learn.

(Next is probably learn about how to promote better. The first step is actually telling people I know that I sell on Etsy haha)