Monday, January 31, 2011

A little-bitty, teeny-tiny hint...

Ahhh... it's a start to yet another week!! Where does the time go?? I hope you all had a wonderful weekend full of rest and rejuvenation. :) Mine was crazy, as seems to be the par these days, but hubby did take morning baby duty on Sunday and I got to sleep in until 9 AM!! 9 AM!! I don't even remember the last time that happened! So thanks hubby, it was so wonderful to just wake up when my body was ready. :)

So today I'm breaking from the trend of Merchandise Monday and letting you in on a little secret...

I'm finally gearing up to introduce my all new line of products to my etsy shop! YAY! I had some gifts going out from November through well, now, and some of them were from my new line. Since I didn't want to spoil the fun of the gifts in the mail to friends and family, I decided to wait until everyone had received them to introduce them to you.

Here's a little hint...

Any guesses? I'm really excited and have been having so much fun making them! It's been a little breath of fresh air in my day-to-day, and everyone needs that once in awhile, right?? Surprisingly, it's given me new inspiration for my little onesies, and I've really been searching for some of that with all the crazy busy-ness going on around here. :)

I'm still fleshing out my inventory and working on the details, but I hope to have everything up for a super fun debut by the first of next week. YAY again!



Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday - 1/27/11

photo @

There's a very special time in the morning... the exact time changes with the seasons... but during this hour or so, the sun streams into my bathroom and bathes the tub in warm, soft sun rays. It's truly magical.

I have what you would call a "closet bathroom" I guess. It's the tub and toilet in a small room of it's own while the huge counter with sinks, cabinets, etc. is out in the open. Odd, but without this arrangement I don't think this special morning hour would be quite the same.

I don't always get to see this moment, let alone enjoy it. But this morning, Baby A slept in super late so I took full advantage! As a Mommy, I know there are just not enough hours in the day for me to pamper myself and keep up with all the little things I used to do before baby came along, so this was a real treat for me.

I imagine that it would be much like showering behind a waterfall. {you know... like in the movies} With my brown...ish flowing locks tangled cascading down my back and the sun shining through the shower curtain waterfall illuminating the boring, white tiled tub secret cave behind it.

Ok, so I've thought about this before. ;)

Regardless of the details of my silly little fantasy, it's an opportunity for me to connect with the finest hour the mornings have to offer, and certainly a rare moment of quiet solitude, relaxation, and rejuvenation... and I. LOVE. IT.

I truly believe you can find beauty in ordinary things. This is one of those moments, and for that, I am thankful today!!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday - Valentine's Burlap Wreath

Just like everyone else in blogland these days, I am having a love affair with burlap! It comes in so many fun colors, and the possibilities for what you can do with it seem endless. I found the cutest tutorial from Life on the Ridge Side for a burlap wreath around Christmas time, but unfortunately I already had waaaaay too many wreaths, and not enough places to hang them, haha!

Sooo... I decided to go with the red burlap and added a sweet little felt flower for a simple and easy-to-make Valentine's Day door decoration!

Um... excuse my ugly, ugly door... we rent, but I may just refinish it anyway!! ;)

It's hard to tell from the photo, but I used the sparkly white felt for the flower just to give it a little extra pizzaz! I mean, really can you ever have too much sparkle?? :)

One thing I would suggest to further your success with this project is: Don't be shy with the burlap. Especially if you live in a humid or rainy climate {like me}. After about the first week, and 2-3 days of hard rain, my pretty wreath was drooping to the bottom and I had to add about another yard of burlap to fill things back in. Apparently burlap relaxes!! LOL

and to see her pretty wreath too!!



Monday, January 24, 2011

Merchandise Monday - The Animal Line

Well it's no secret that I have a little girl. She's everywhere! She's also our first child (with no immediate plans for another) so she's always on the brain. When I opened my shop, I was pretty proud of the fact that I had so much to list. However, it was only a matter of time before someone asked about "boy" designs. That I was no so prepared for. I guess it's just difficult to be inspired to design for a boy when you don't have one.

Baby A has such a personality that even thoughts of a baby boy have trouble creeping in. Enter my good friend Sarah. Her sister was expecting this fall, and expecting a boy... and as my friend, she had to be the one to light the fire under me to get me going on some boy designs for her sis!

When she contacted me, I had already been trying to roll some ideas around on the sketch pad, but wasn't getting very far. I had an idea for an "animal" line but nothing tangible. As luck would have it, Sarah and sis were planning a jungle theme for the baby shower- I had an idea!

...and the "Animal" line of boy's styles was born! Sea Turtle, Monkey, 2-sided Elephant, and Lion



These are hands down some of the shop favorites. People LOVE the sea turtle! Not that I can blame them, he's precious! Little Sea Turtle has been featured in 10+ etsy treasuries, and I'm even working on a special charity partnership for him. (But that's for another time...)

Anyway, so I did these designs and sent them to Sarah, and this is what I got back!

They decorated with them!! What a fun idea!! If you look closely, you can even see that they were so nice as to stick my business cards out the top! What great girls! And you can see the gorgeous mom-to-be above. I can't wait to see pics of her little man in these onesies.

Of course, animals are fun for everyone so they're perfect for that mom-to-be who doesn't know the gender of her baby yet as well. I've even designed some specifically for little girls...

This is the beautiful Miss Isabella, who's nursery is also a jungle theme. Her aunt ordered the monkey onesie in purple for her! I just love the way it turned out! I even added some little squiggles around the sleeves to "girly" it up a little bit. :)

{sigh} I love my job.

So that's the story of the animal line! By the way... I'm a collector of fan photos... so if you have pics of your little one wearing something I've made for him/her, send them to me! I'd love to feature your little darling on my site!



Friday, January 21, 2011

What's Today???

Well it's my birthday, that's what it is!! 

That's right... today I am turning the big 2-9!!

No, really. 

For reals 29, not like I-started-turning-29-five-years-ago-and-I'm-still-celebrating, haha! Although, maybe you should check back with me in five years, I may very well still be 29 then!!

I wish I had more to share with you all on my very special day, but I think my readership is just not there yet. However, I am so thankful for each and every one of you here supporting me and my little quest for craftiness! My goal for next year's BIG 3-0 is to have enough participating followers to do something really fun. I'm thinking GIVEAWAYS, baby! I mean, what better way to celebrate someone else's birthday than by getting free stuff? ;)

What I CAN do is share the Birthday love by giving everyone else a gift from me! How does 25% off all orders placed today, Jan. 21st. sound?? YAY! Just use coupon code: BIRTHDAY2011, YAY again! (I needed one more YAY this morning!)

Until next time, I am happy to have survived another crazy year, and am excited to find out what this year holds for me! Have a piece of cake for me, and don't skimp on the ice cream, okay? I mean, how many times do you actually turn 29??? ;)



Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday- 1/20/11

Here we are again, friends! It's always surprising for me when it's time to sit down and write another Thankful Thursday post. Where, oh, where does the time go??

I just have to tell you all first, that all these new blog features have been really fun for me. I think it gives me something to look forward to, and I know I work better when I have a kind of schedule to adhere to. Plus, it gives me a reason to flesh out some of my project ideas, and actually get some of them done in a timely manner, haha!

It's got me thinking about how thankful I am to be back to my "old self" again after the pregnancy/baby fiasco. Don't get me wrong, I loved being pregnant (when I wasn't sick, or tired, or grossed out by some random smell invading my nose). It was fun, but I never felt like myself. I never wanted to cook because I never knew what was going to make me nauseous, and rarely did I have the patience to stand in the kitchen and prepare a full blown meal. That may have been the worst part, because I LOVE cooking... and boy did hubby miss it when it was gone!

Now that Baby A is 7 months old, most of the post-pregnancy side effects are gone too, (including the sleepless nights and 2am feedings!) So I'm cooking again, I'm doing projects almost daily, and I have more energy to get things done and not feel so tired and lazy. It's refreshing!!

As happy as I am to have our darling little girl, I'm just so thankful to be back to feeling like myself again! I hardly even realized when it happened, but it's nice to be back... I missed "me"! :)



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday - Braided Sweater Scarf, Jr.

I was reading through all my favorite blogs Friday morning during Baby A's nap, and came across one that I was so excited about I had to try it right away! 

So You Think You're Crafty is doing "I'm Crafty" parties in conjunction with the current season of the "So You Think You're Crafty" competition. Each week, readers link up their crafts that go along with the theme of the contest for that week. Last week's theme was "Thrift Store" so you just know there were some really awesome submissions! If you're not a follower already, you should definitely go check it out. It's alot of fun!

One of the featured crafts was from Just Another Day In Paradise, for a Braided Sweater Scarf with Pom Poms. I loved it immediately! For her tutorial, go here. She has lovely pics, and easy-to-follow instructions.

Of course, I didn't exactly follow her instructions per se, but the end result was similar nonetheless. I made a Braided Sweater Scarf Jr. for my little snow bunny! I don't know about you other moms out there, but I struggle with buying the winter clothes because they grow so fast. I never seem to have exactly what I need when the weather strikes. Because of this, we probably spend more time in the house than we would otherwise, LOL!

To make my Jr. version of this project, I used the belt from this belted sweater rather than the sweater itself. (Oh, don't worry! I'll be making Mommy a matching scarf from the actual sweater!)

I cut the belt in half lengthwise, and then folded those two pieces over and cut them like ribbon to make 4 pieces. (3 for the braid, plus one extra) I took those pieces and followed the Paradise Instructions until I had my braid and pom poms ready to go. For the pom poms I used some really soft, white Baby Bee yarn I had lying around from another project.

OH yeah, did I mention this little project cost me $0?? Yup. That's right... all stuff I already had lying around. YAY!

Once I got everything together, this was the final product!

Super cute! Of course, you know I had to get my favorite model to give it a whirl for me to make sure it "fit" or whatever scarves do. Apologies for being in our pj's at noon still! Oh wait, did I say "our"? Yep... ya caught me! LOL

She seemed to like it! It took all of 3 seconds for her to pic up the poms and start chomping away. If you're going to do the Jr. version for a baby, I suggest reinforcing your pom poms so the yarn can't be pulled out and create a choking hazard. We want baby to stay safe! :)

Ok! Now go get 'em! And be sure to share your projects in the linky box below. I would love to see what you've been working on!!


Show me your tutorials for this week and be featured in an upcoming Tutorial Tuesday! :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Merchandise Monday - Getting it Right

Last time I told you all about how I got started. Now, it's time to show you the first "failures" of my idea, haha! It sort of seems like many of the etsy shop owners have been working their magic forever, and just decided to start selling their products. I had an idea but no experience whatsoever in fabric dyeing, so I started with some research and then jumped right in.

Here are some of my first attempts...

 Not so great, right? LOL! My technique needed tweaking and I needed some practice. I also had to learn the art of creative patience, because this is just not one of those projects you can rush. Finally, I had a design I was ready to share with the world...

The purple swirl heart! I cannot tell you how excited I was about this one... and it's certainly been a favorite in my shop. I had three orders for this design within the first week of opening my shop. Pretty cool.

Of course, as part of the process, things were constantly evolving. I started out with the Gerber white onesies because they were cheap and really easy to find. Unfortunately, they are not at all true to size, and they were shrinking on me like crazy so I switched to Carter's brand onesies. They're much better quality, they hold up much better throughout the dyeing process, and they come in a wider array of sizes and styles.

As part of the evolution, I also made some design changes. When I'm not happy with an end result, it just won't do no matter what. Besides, I'm putting my name on these products and not only do I want people to like them, I want them to have the best of what I can offer. These were probably the two most drastic evolutions in design (originals on the left, updates on the right).

Quite a change, yes? LOL

Working with color was also fun, and as you can see from the sun onesies, things don't always go as planned. But, you try something else, and eventually it either works out or you just have to scrap it and go on to the next thing.

I read in an Etsy Sucess newsletter that your shop should be constantly evolving. I try to adhere to that as much as possible, not only to keep things fresh for my shoppers, but also to keep things from getting stale for me. :)

Speaking of fresh, I have our little bloggy here a facelift this weekend, I hope you like it as much as I do!



Sunday, January 16, 2011

Oh what a beautiful MORNING!!

Actually, it's raining. So it's pretty yucky out...

But it's beautiful inside my heart today, because I just found out from our friends at Life Rearranged that sweet little Cliffy (who we've been raising money for all winter) now has a family!!!

{read details here}

He won't be going home for a few more months, but just the thought of him being on his way out of the orphanage has brightened my whole day!! What a wonderful thing!! Like Jeanett, I am SO hoping that his new family blogs about their journey, because I for one would love to see him at home getting all the loving he deserves from his new family. :)

In the meantime, you can follow his status through the Reece's Rainbow website, here @ "My Family Found Me!". 

What a blessed day!



Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday- 1/13/11

Hello hello! It's that time again, friends! Today I am sharing my thanks for my super-duper awesome and convenient Beaba Babycook! I don't know if any of you have one of these, but it makes feeding baby healthy, homemade food a breeze.

It steams, blends, defrosts, warms, and it's all in one nifty little gadget. I mean, I can make about 6 servings for baby in under 15 minutes. The best part is I can use fresh, organic food; cooked precisely, so it doesn't lose valuable nutrients, with NO PRESERVATIVES. I can control exactly what my baby is eating, and make her things that you just can't get from grocery store baby food.


I think she does too. I don't know if anyone has noticed, but there is just not a great selection of baby food in stores anyway. They may have 2 or 3 options for 1st starter foods, and you certainly can't make your own combinations of foods either. Also, like I mentioned before, it only takes 15 minutes or less, and I can then either store it in the fridge for use within 3 days, OR I can freeze it in these cool little BPA free silicone storage containers for up to 3 months, and pop out one serving at a time.

It's not just for infant purees though, it can also cook and serve, has a rice and pasta cooker attachment, as well as any other "food processor" function you can think of. I'm excited for baby A to get past the puree stage so I can really start cooking! Man, it must be nice to have a personal chef! Haha!

I've got these two books as well, which compliment the Beaba cooking method and are both chock full of information, recipes, and even tips for helping to integrate baby's eating into Mommy and Daddy's dinner time. Baby & Toddler can be found at Williams Sonoma, and the Babycook Book can be found at the Beaba website, or on Amazon. Click on the book to be directed for purchase. :)

Beaba Babycook Book

Needless to say, with all the preservatives, additives, and unknown ingredients in baby food today, it's nice to know I can provide my baby with the best head start possible. I'm just thankful someone came up with a fast, easy way to do it so I can spend more time with my little darling, and not toiling away in the kitchen all day long!

Are there things in your life that make everyday things easier? Share below!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...