Featured Fancy Friday - Volume 2

There's a saying that is rather appropriate for this week's featured Fancy:

Necessity is the mother of all invention.

Wait, no...I don't think that's quite right.  Let's try this one:

Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention: agreed!

Yes, yes.  That's it.  Not that I actually invented this product, but I saw a need, added some Fancy, and "invented" the newest member of the Fancy Fonts family.  

So if Santa (or Grandma) gave your kid this for Christmas...

...then there's a good chance that most surfaces of your house now look like this:

Neon Rainbow Loom Bands

And you can totally relate to this:

parenting ~ rainbow loom bands

But have no fear, Fancy Fonts is here!  Turn clean up into a sorting and fine motor skill activity for your kid with their own personalized Rainbow Loom organizer:

Each storage box has 24 compartments, and the little slats can be removed and configured however you like.  What's really great is that the rainbow loom itself fits right inside.  That noise you're hearing right now is the angels singing on high.  

Christmas Elf on the Shelf idea. Rainbow Loom band angel (like a snow angel).

So now instead of cursing those teeny tiny bands all to hell, you can appreciate what a cool activity the Rainbow Loom is for your kid.  It's possible I've had more fun than my daughters when it comes to learning new patterns, so I may have to make myself my own storage kit sooner rather than later.  

Rainbow Loom storage containers are available for $15 (plus tax).  Please email me at karen.psimas@yahoo.com with orders, questions, and comments.


Featured Fancy Friday - Volume 1

As you may have read in my last post, I have made a commitment to be a better business person this year.  I've been scouring the Internet for ideas  on how to do just that, and one thing that came up often was to share blog posts on a consistent basis - whether it's once a day, once a week, or once a month, I should be blogging regularly.  So right now, while my rate of Fancy is on the slower end of the spectrum, I'll aim for once a week.

Some of you are new to Fancy Fonts, so I'd love to share some of my fan favorites with you.  What better day of the week to feature fan favorite Fancy than on Friday?!  So here it is, the first installment of Featured Fancy Friday!

Most of us are slowly starting to come out of the fog that is the holiday season, and since I'm still working on a Christmas canvas for a patient customer, you could count me in that group.  But Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and I'm all about showing the love!  A quick heads up...what I'm about to show you might have you craving a little something sweet.

How Fancy are these custom conversation hearts?!  Pictured above are four wooden heart-shaped plaques, painted to replicate the colors of the conversation heart candies available around Valentine's Day.  They're mounted on a decorative ribbon with a hook at the top for hanging.  Each of these particular hearts measures 5 inches from top to bottom.   If you're short on space but still need something Fancy for your Valentine's Day decor, consider a slightly larger solo heart:

This Fancy guy measures 7 inches from top to bottom and has a loop of decorative ribbon for hanging.  Solo hearts make great gifts for teachers, care givers, or anyone you want to show a little love.

Hearts can be painted any color you like, and the choice of fonts is endless.  Pricing for conversation heart wall hangings is based on size and number of hearts - each 5" heart is $6 (so $24 for a family of four as pictured above), and 7" hearts are $8 each.  

To place an order, please email me at karen.psimas@yahoo.com.  And if you don't already, be sure to follow me on Pinterest and Instagram (@fancyfontsvb) to see what's running through my Fancy little brain!  I hope you've enjoyed Fancy Fonts' first ever Featured Fancy Friday.  Have a great weekend!


In with the new

Hello Fancy Fans, and Happy New Year!  As you can probably tell by the enormous gap between this post and my last that from October until the end of the year leaves little time for blogging in Fancyland.  It's the time of year when I have a steady stream of orders, combined with a multitude of birthday and holiday events with the kids and various family obligations.  Certain things had to be removed from my plate, and since I can still interact with my fans through Facebook, the blog was first on the chopping block.

But now it's January, and my pace has slowed tremendously.  Christmas break gave me a chance to breathe and be the most yes mom I could be with my kids while they were home from school. It also gave me a chance to reflect on this past year of Fancy Fonts, and envision where I would like my little business to be a year from now and beyond. Fancy Fonts wouldn't be where it is today without Facebook. I pay for zero advertising, so I rely on the viral powers of Facebook to spread word of mouth about what I do. It's how I communicate with my customers about new products, order deadlines, and special offers. Facebook has served Fancy Fonts well, but it has its limitations. 

As most of you already know, My work is primarily made of custom orders, which I think is why my loyal fans keep coming back. People come to me when they need a unique gift that suits its recipient to a tee. They come to me when something storebought just won't do. I think this is what I love most about what I do. But herein lies the limitation - with a limited budget to create inventory, how do I get customers to see the new ideas that are possible if the only thing they can see is what I've done in the past? 

Enter Pinterest. I didn't have much time for recreational pinning during the holiday rush, but now that the hustle and bustle is in my rear view mirror, I've been busy getting reacquainted with my old friend. I've had a board called "Fancy" since I first started my account, and it's where I've stored every single pin that seemed to be a good fit for my customers. Sometime this past week, a light bulb turned on...this is how I can show my customers what I can do for them! I've set up a Pinterest account dedicated solely to Fancy Fonts where you can see what I'd love to do for you, if given the opportunity. I invite you to follow me at www.pinterest.com/fancyfonts, where you'll find pin boards dedicated to all things Fancy...from kitchen decor to calligraphy, beachy bathroom signs to baby's birth announcement. I can follow you in return and get a better idea of what you Fancy. The better I know my customers, the Fancier I can be for you!

Another light bulb went off when I started thinking about other ways I connect with people in my life. Well duh, Instagram! I had thought about using Instagram simply to share photos of my work, but this didn't seem all that exciting to me. I wouldn't want to follow someone who just posted pictures of stuff they're trying to sell, so I could only imagine there are others out there who share my sentiment. I like following people who give me a glimpse into their everyday lives, a snapshot of the ordinary things that make their lives wonderfully unique. As someone who specializes in creating unique gifts out of ordinary items like piggy banks, coffee mugs, and cork boards, I knew Fancy Fonts needed to be part of the Instagram community. I'm excited to invite you to follow Fancy Fonts on Instagram as well, at www.instagram.com/fancyfontsvb. You'll see pics of works in progress (or in today's case, works in very little progress!), quotes that inspire me or make me laugh, and probably some finished products as well. I love what you let me do for you, and I hope that will be evident through the pictures I post.

I feel like I'm coming into my own with the creative aspect of Fancy Fonts, and I enjoy looking back at my earlier work to see how it's changed and developed. Right now, at a time of year when the orders come in as more of a trickle than a flood, I look to better myself as a small business owner. I feel like I'm off to a great start with the addition of a presence on social media, and I plan to be more consistent with my blog posts to keep you up to date on the latest and greatest in Fancyland. As always, I encourage your comments and suggestions on all aspects of what I do, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support and encouragement as my little business grows and changes. You stay Fancy in 2014!


Rants in my (yoga) pants

Sometimes while standing at the bus stop in the morning, I see my childless neighbor leave for work, dressed all spiffy and professional-like.  I get a whiff of my stank self, still sweaty from my pre-dawn workout and dressed in my running shorts and race t-shirt of the day, and feel a twinge of jealousy.  The last time I felt like I looked spiffy was back in the spring and I was going to a friggin' funeral.  

I thought about my neighbor, wondering if she felt that same twinge of jealousy about me and the other moms at the bus stop, who are dressed in sweats, sipping coffee, and don't have traffic to fight or co-workers to disagree with.  I wonder what she and everyone else who drives past us on their way to work thinks about what we do all day in our comfy clothes.  Well, one of those moms cares for her own two kids, as well as three or four other children whose parents work at the Navy base nearby.  Another mom chugs down her coffee and carries on caring for her three children, despite having taken phone calls as a triage nurse from 10pm - 6am.  I go home and answer my four year old's endless stream of questions, most of which are followed up with another question of "How do you know?", sometimes while trying to keep my infant nephew from choking on the leaves I hadn't gotten around to sweeping up off my floor yet.  I take my child to and from pre-school and swim lessons, run various errands for my family and my business, all the while explaining why we can't buy certain things or go to certain places to said curious four year old and enduring the wrath that accompanies the answer she does not wish to hear.  I assist with homework, drive to and watch soccer practice, cook for the bottomless pit that is my husband, keep our training schedules on track, and diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate any injuries that my family endures.  Oh, and after the kids go to bed, I put in three hours of Fancy work (usually while the laundry is going) before retiring for a meager 5-6 hours of sleep before starting it all over again.  

I am not writing this to impress anyone or to make myself look busy or feel important.  I hate being busy, first of all, and being a wife, a mother, a sister, an aunt, and a friend makes me feel important, regardless of how some might convince themselves I spend my day.  I am not whining that being a stay-at-home mom is just sooooo hard and working moms have no idea what it's like to do what I do because that's ridiculous.  But would someone ever ask a working mom to list what she does all day?  Because she collects a paycheck for what she does between 8 and 5, she doesn't have to justify how she spends her time?  And what about the people like myself and my neighbor who are watching the children of working moms out of their homes?  Are we still not working because we haven't left our house?  I chose to stay home with my kids and not look spiffy and not have co-workers and bosses around to validate the hard work I put in every day.  There are no awards or fancy banquets or pay raises for me when I do my job well.  But if that's what I wanted, I wouldn't sit here complaining that I don't get any of those things.  I would dust off my resume and get myself a job.  

All of this being said, I am truly looking forward to the next few months.  I'm sure many of my fellow soap opera watching, bon bon eating stay-at-home mom friends would agree that it's easy to lose your sense of self when your days are centered around your children's lives.  Now that both of my kids are in school, it's even more common that I'm known as Brynn or Camryn's mom instead of Karen.  And when I really thought about it, I think this diminished sense of self is what brought about that twinge of jealousy when I saw my neighbor leave for work that morning.  But this time of year is when I'm my Fanciest, filling pumpkin orders for fall and jumping right into the holiday season after that.  My business, no matter how small and unimportant what I do is in the grand scheme of humanity, is MINE.  It's Fancy Fonts by Karen Psimas, not Fancy Fonts by Brynn and Camryn's mom, and that feels so good.  I also have races scheduled about every 8 weeks for the next 5 months, and those are mine as well.  It's MY name on the race bib and MY name that's announced at the finish line and MY name on the results page.  And because I have the privilege to spend most of my time being Brynn and Camryn's mom, that's enough for me.  Now where are my yoga pants?

being a stay at home mom quotes - oh man my stomach hurts, this is hilarious!


The dark side

I have crossed over to the dark side.  And I think I like it here.  

I have logged plenty of miles in less than ideal weather conditions before today.  Hot, humid, snow, rain, wind, you name it.  I begrudgingly laced up and hit the road.  In my mind, that earned me my stripes and I could call myself a runner.  But I never felt like one of "those" runners, the bat shit crazy kind...until today.  The difference in today's dark, torrentially rainy, windy-as-hell 8 mile tempo run was that I enjoyed it.  Not only that, but I actually looked forward to it.  Who the hell looks forward to getting up at 5am when it's raining buckets with 25 mph winds and then running balls to the wall for an hour while the rest of the world is sleeping?  Why, bat shit crazy runners, of course!  Gimme my badge, I am one of you now.

Bat shit crazy Halloween Round Sticker

I haven't run a race in 6 months, and with the Wicked 10K just two weeks away, I'm starting to get really excited.  Despite running a PR, I was not pleased with my performance in last year's race.  I felt I was on cruise control for the first 5 miles, but then my body betrayed me on the last mile and I had to walk for a minute because of a nasty side stitch.  Nobody makes me bleed my own blood, so I'm out for redemption this year!  The training plan outlined in Run Less, Run Faster has been the boss of me for the past 8 weeks, and I should PR with relative ease.   To up the ante a bit, I'm hoping to break into the top 10 of my (new) age group, and I'm shopping around to get ideas for what I will buy myself as a reward if I do.  I'm thinking a brightly colored windbreaker for those early morning rainy, windy runs would be just lovely.  

It took her a while to figure out she could run, but when she did, she was long gone


Show me the Fancy!

As much as I mourn the end of summer, I can't help but be excited about the fall.  The coming of October signals my Fanciest season of all...I go from popping out pumpkins to oodles of ornaments in just a few weeks' time, and I love how excited you get when you see your final product.  Now I want to see what you do with it!  Email me pics of your Fancy...your pumpkin on the mantle or the hearth, your ornaments on last year's Christmas tree, your little one feeding some change to his or her piggy bank...I want to see it!  Send me your pics by this Friday (October 4th), and I'll share them all in an album.  Once the album is posted, let the voting commence!  Fancy Fans will vote on their favorite Fancy by simply liking their favorite photo, and the submission with the most likes wins the first ever installment of "Show me the Fancy!"  The grand prize is a medium pumpkin with the design of your choice, so make sure you campaign hard.

Email your photos to karen.psimas@yahoo.com with the subject "Show me the Fancy!"  Submit as many photos as you like, as long as they are of different Fancy items.  I leave you with this example:



A few weeks ago, the director of the athletic training program at my alma mater sent out a mass email to alumni saying he had recently switched over from PC to Mac, and was having trouble transferring all of his contacts.  He wanted us all to write back to confirm we received his email and that our info was correct, which I did promptly.  Today, I receive this follow up email from him:

Looking at my records Karen, I have "nothing" written in the "job/setting/place" category, other than "Virginia Beach, VA"...

Where are you, and what exactly are you doing these days?

A simple inquiry, but it sent me into a fit of laughter, tears streaming down my sunkissed cheeks.  You see, earlier this morning, I dropped my kids off at their grandparents' for them to spend the night there tonight.  I then proceeded to blow off anything productive I should be doing for something I've been wanting to do all summer:

So to answer your question, Dr. Geisler, your records are 100% accurate.