Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday & Linky Party - My Super Cheap Easter Mantle!!

Yay for Tuesday! Before I get all happy and excited to show off my Easter decor, I have to gripe a minute about my SD card. I think it hates me. I work so hard on all these projects, and diligently take pictures throughout the whole process, only to go in to download said pictures and find about 25% of them missing. Just gone. Poof! So... there are a few gaps here {again, sad face} but I'll do my best to fill in. Oh yeah, and I'm super late today because I was waiting around hoping for some good natural light to photograph in, but after 3 days of overcast weather... nada. So, missing pictures, check. Sucky pictures, check. Ok, done complaining, moving on!

I have never really been a holiday decorator. I mean, Christmas, yeah of course. But not much else. Hubby and I go all out in the outdoor foyer for Halloween, because it's fun for the trick-or-treaters, but this year I've been making an effort to step up my decorating. I'm hoping that by working on it now, building up some stock decorations, and holding myself accountable to show it off, that it will become 2nd nature to decorate for holidays by the time Baby A is big enough to enjoy it. :)

I have to admit, my Valentine's mantle was less than impressive, but I think I'm getting better now that Easter is rolling around...

What's extra fun about this mantle collection, is that I only spent about $5. YAY!

I found some more great stuff in the Target $1 bin:

Birdhouse: $1
{originally green and speckled}

Daisy Stakes: $1
{originally multi-colored}

Easter Egg Candle Holders:
Eggs: $.44
Wood Disks: 2/$1=$2
{originally unfinished wood}

Already had:

 Picture frame 
{was also from Target $1 like 2 years ago}

Russian Blown Glass Flower
{gift from a well-traveled friend! Love you Nessa!}

Rustic Chicken
{Hobby Lobby last season, if you want to get picky, he was $5 then, haha!}

Vintage Milk Bottle
{got from Mom's stash when she was cleaning out the house}

Felt Ruffle Wreath
{Christmas Project, 2010}

Flower Pot
{repurposed baby shower decoration}

So, I sort of have a bunch of mini-tutorials this week. :)

Flower Pot Topiary

Bird House - $1 Target find painted a robin's egg blue
Daisy Stakes - $1 Target find, painted yellow and white {was crazy multi-colored}
Flower Pot 2/$1 last summer @ Target, bought for baby shower, repurposed!
Moss - leftover from monogram project
Floral Foam cut to fit the flower pot
Ribbon scrap tied in a bow

So easy, and adds a little greenery too.

Easter Egg Candle Holders

I can't take credit for this idea. 
I saw this tutorial on The CSI Project, guest posted by Paula @ JC's Loft.
She has all kinds of pretty little Easter projects!

Ruffled Felt Wreath

You can see the original here in my Crafty Christmas post.
I just took this beauty, dressed it up with a little purple ribbon and added a silver monogram.
Perfect addition to the Easter Mantle!

No- Sew Spring Banner

This may have been the easiest part! 
All I did was take some bright fabric scraps, cut them into triangles 
with 6" tops and 7" sides, and hot glue them to some white, medium sized ric rac. 
P.S. I also hot glued them TO the brick. Easy to stick on, easy to take down, no mess!

So there you have it! I'm pretty proud of myself. I had no idea how much planning actually goes into getting all this stuff together to decorate with. But, it was worth it, and fun to boot!

What have YOU been working on? Any fun Spring crafts, or Easter inspired ideas? 
Link 'em up below and grab a button! 

I can't wait to see them. :) I'll be picking my favorite 5 to show off on Saturday.


Monday, March 28, 2011

What the Tweet? and a WINNER!!

{your source for all things small-business}
{have a product or etsy shop you'd like to showcase here? Email me!}

Good Monday morning to all of my bloggy friends!! I hope you all had a MARVELOUS weekend! :)

So... I'm pretty sure I know what you all are waiting for, so I'll just cut to the chase... 

WE HAVE A WINNER for The Taffy Box custom stamped, sterling silver washer necklace!

#25, Brandy @ Oceanbelle who said...

Congrats Brandy!! 
Send me an email and I'll put you in touch with Koryn to order your lovely necklace! :)

Now, onward to the Monday Fun!

No matter how hard you may try and avoid it, there's just no getting around the fact that everyone and their dog is now on Twitter. It's the next big social networking front, and can certainly be an asset to growing your following. Since I, for the most part, am a total Twitter goof, I have asked Celesa (Lilly Bunns Boutique), a fellow member of the SAHM of Etsy group and the SAHM of Etsy Blog Leader, to share her recent instructional post about Twitter with you guys. She'll give you the 411 on setting up your account, as well as fill us in on some of these Twitter-specific terms we keep hearing everywhere. YAY! Take it away Celesa...



Twitter is so hugely popular, and is actually a great little social media platform.  Who'da thunk that posting short little blurbs would have taken off so much?  I've been on it for a while, but still have so much to learn when it comes to what all the darn symbols mean. Sometimes it looks like someone is speaking gibberish on their posts.  So I've decided to finally learn the lingo, and let you all in on it!  

Before we really get started with all the info, you'll need to set up your account.  It's so simple I'm not even gonna walk you through it.  Just follow the steps and you'll be great!  But if you just can't figure it out, here's a great tutorial on YouTube

Now that your account is all set up, it's time to change the appearance of your profile. You'll get to a page that looks something like this.  Just follow the links on the right to set up your avatar, and change your profile appearance.

Now your all ready to send out your first tweet!

The Jargon (click the term to see Twitter's definitions):

Tweet: The little 140 word message you send out.  

Hash tags: A hash tag will have the # symbol followed by a word.  For example #etsytreasuries might be one. it's a way for twitterers to post things according to a topic.  Popular hash tags, get moved up to "trending topics."

Mentions and Replies: Just like on facebook, you can mention someone in your post by putting the @ symbol in front of their username.  You can also reply to a tweet by doing the same. Twitter keeps up with replies and mentions under the mention tab on your account home page.

ReTweet: Shown in the tweet with an RT in the message.  

Following: Following is pretty straight forward.  It simply means that you choose someone who you'd like to see their tweets!  Don't forget to follow @lillybunns!

To get noticed in Twitter, it's a good idea to follow lots, retweet, and mention lots, and do hash tags on the trending topics.  

I hope that clears up a few things for you.  Twitter can be such a great way to communicate with others, and publicize yourself to the world!

You can find Celesa:

and of course... on Twitter!! http://twitter.com/lillybunns {@lillybunns}

Thanks Celesa! Now, everyone go get tweeting! :)


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Linky Party Features!!

What a fun week of link-ups! Everything is coming up Spring around here, and as much I was resisting the end of winter, I am in full-on spring mode now! I'm sure instead of being here reading blogs, most of you are out working in your gardens, playing at the park, and sending the kids out in the yard to play. :)

{Actually, I've heard some of you up north are having blizzards right now, but it's 82 here in Texas and I busted out the shorts today- despite my better judgement due to pasty leg syndrome, haha!}

Once again, it was tough to choose just 5, but here are my favorites this week:

1. I love Coconut
2. It's soooooo easy!
2. My kitchen is too messy to bake in right now, so I'm living vicariously through the internet, haha!

1. Um, chocolate? Yes, please!
2. Super cute, and fun idea you can do with the kids! Score 2 for 2!
3. She also has an awesome tutorial for the cute Easter bag/bucket you see in the background!

1. How cute are these little chickies?? That's some Springtime fun if I ever saw it.
2. Cute AND functional! {freezable cold packs for little boo-boos}
3. Can I just say "cute" one more time? They're just so stinkin' cute!

1. LOVE the paper choices, I'm a sucker for paisley.
2. I'm also a sucker for journals... I have like fiftymillion, most of which are empty, haha!
3. Mod Podge makes everything prettier, and easier, right? :)


Our Duck Tape Queen is BACK with another adorable creation made from... you guessed it!
{is there anything she can't do with duck tape??}

1. It's made from duck tape.
2. It's made from PRETTY duck tape!
3. A much better alternative to the ol' brown bag, yes?

Alright! You 5 that were featured, grab yourself a button if you'd like, 
and we'll see everyone back here on Tuesday for more linky party fun!

Don't forget to hop over and enter The Taffy Box Giveaway if you haven't already!! 
I'll be announcing our winner in this week's Merchandise Monday post! {3/28}

Have a great weekend!!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday - 3/24/11

Thankful Thursdays are always a highlight of my week. 
This has been an especially good one. 

Because of YOU!

Yes, you! Every single one of you!

You guys are the reason Little Birdie Baby Shop is sitting squarely at #1 in the 
Babble Top 50 Baby Shops on Etsy poll.
{haven't voted yet? click here and cast your vote for Little Birdie Baby Shop}

You know, it's hard to explain I guess. As work at home/stay at home moms, we can often feel a little disconnected from the world outside our front doors. While I may sometimes feel like I'm just plugging away in my little nook over here, it's so nice to know that you guys are out there. Know what else I love? The comraderie of the blogging community. Through each of our blogs, and with each comment we leave for each other, we root each other on so that we can live to create another day, haha!

There's nothing like that in corporate America, letmetellyourightnow!

So... Thanks!
Thanks to each and every one of you who has been so warm, so kind, and so supportive.
I hope that I can return the favor! In the meantime, I'll keep working on fun tutorials for you guys, finding great products to give away, and taking the time to visit all of you at your home turf.

You're the best!
Love ya much!!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hope Rocks!!

hope - (noun) 1. a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. 2. a person or thing that may help save someone. 3. grounds for believing that something good might happen.

There are many occasions a person might find themselves in when they need a little hope.

While we may have the best intentions as a friend, lover, relative or neighbor to stand tall and give hope to those we care about, there are countless other moments in life where the ability to keep up hope is divine.

I would like to introduce you to my friend, Lille. She is an amazing woman: funny, caring, intelligent, inspiring, and all-around just the kind of person you would be proud to call a friend. She writes a blog called Woodstock Lily that I stumbled upon about 3 years ago, and have been reading ever since.

She has a love for both nature and people, and is one of the most positive, encouraging people that I've never met in person. :)

Several months ago, Lille found this rock while taking a walk in Santa Fe with her super sweet husband {who she calls Superman, love it!} on their honeymoon. You can read the whole story HERE.

"One word. 
Four letters. 
H O P E 
One message simple and profound.
Scribbled on an ordinary rock
lying in a bed of other ordinary rocks
with neon arrows pointing down from heaven
to signal its presence so it could be discovered
specifically by... Me.
It was as if the Universe intervened in my life
with a life changing message
that hope would always find me.
Just in time...
Just when I thought a turn around in a situation
would most likely not occur,
It did. 
I dearly love 'just in time windfalls'
and happy endings
that invariably lead to new beginnings."
{click the link to read more}

This event, while beautiful in itself, sparked her to call all of us bloggy buddies to action, creating a worldwide outpouring of hope! Hope in the form of "Hope Rocks"!

Now, clearly Lille inspires me constantly, but I loved the idea of this Hope Rocks activity. All we were asked to do was find some rocks, write the word hope on them somehow, and leave them in various places for others to find. I carry mine around in this little organza bag inside my purse so I always have a couple to leave wherever I am.

I've left them in parks, on sidewalks, at the grocery store, under trees, on top of mailboxes... you name it. You never know when someone else might need to find a little hope popping out of the blue.

Want to participate? 

Ok, go find some rocks... (or buy some... whatever works for you!)

Write, paint, scribble, or even stick-on the word "hope" along with any other decorations you like...

{I used white acrylic paint and some silver studs}

And now you're ready to spread some hope!

Now, I know for  FACT that you guys are the craftiest people I know, so I am really excited about all the beautiful things you'll be putting out into the world. Can you imagine walking through the park one day feeling down and lost and coming across something like this? I imagine it to feel like a message from above. So nice. :)

Lille has an ongoing linky party every week to showcase your sweet rocks and show her how you're spreading hope all over the world! She's keeping track of all the entries so we can see just how far hope spreads!! Just pop over to her blog, Woodstock Lily to share yours! She is so sweet, you will just love her blog, and she's so excited to see everyone's little hope rocks that she features her favorite designs from week to week. It's just an all-around "feel good" good deed!


So exciting!! I'm "babbling", haha!

Good morning all my lovely bloggy friends! I hope you are doing well today! 
I have a very special request for you...

My etsy shop, Little Birdie Baby Shop has been nominated to be one of the Top 50 Baby Shops on Etsy!! Holy crap, I can hardly catch my breath because I've been jumping up and down!!

Would you pretty pretty please with a cherry on top pop over and vote 
for "Little Birdie Baby Shop" on The Babble Top 50? 

All you have to do is click the link and find "Little Birdie Baby Shop" and give us a thumbs up!!

I will be forever in your debt!! Well, I really probably already am, but still! :)



Don't forget to go enter The Taffy Box GIVEAWAY to win 
a beautiful, custom, sterling silver washer necklace just like this!

Don't wait! Winner will be announced Monday morning {3/28}!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday & Linky Party - Lavender Mommy Mask

I can hardly believe it's Tuesday again! But let me tell you, I am excited!
We had so many link ups last week, I can't wait to see what you guys bring this week. :)

Don't forget to enter The Taffy Box Giveaway going on this week through Sunday 3/27!

As for me, today I have a tutorial just for Mommy! I can think of about a bajillion reasons why you need one of these, so start gathering those fabric scraps because this week we're making a...

~ Lavender "Mommy" Mask ~

There are plenty of things we don't know as parents. 
But there's one thing that every mom knows for sure: Sleep is a commodity. 
That being said, we all know we have to take it when we can get it!!
The Lavender Mommy Mask is my way of helping you do just that!

Here's what you need:

- Fabric for front 
{just a scrap will do}
- Fabric for backing 
{there's that $1.99 Wally World washcloth!}
- Ribbon for trim 
{about a yard}
- Coordinating thread
- Rice for filler 
{1-2 cups}
- Lavender for relaxation ;)
- Pattern shape 
{think: kidney bean as big as your face, haha!}

Just a little explanation on my choices:

I chose a $1 Wally World wash cloth for the backing...
1. Because it works well wet {in case you want to use it for hot/cold compress}
2. It's 100% cotton, so it works well in the microwave

I chose rice as filler, instead of poly-fil...
1. Because it forms nicely to your face
2. It's all natural so it works well in the microwave
{haha, see where we're going here?}

I added lavender...
1. Because it smells de-lish!
2. Just to add a little "somethin'", but you can totally do it with just the rice

Ok, enough babble... let's get started!

First cut out 2 face-sized kidney beans from your fabric. 
{one from the front piece and one from the back piece}

Next, cut your ribbon and ruffle it. 
I cut mine twice as long as it would take to wrap around the edge of my kidney pieces. 
{don't forget that ruffles will shorten your ribbon length substantially!}

I am so, SO sorry I don't have all the usual pics for the steps, but somehow my SD card ate my photos and I didn't even realize it until I was trying to upload them to Picasa. On a high note, I do have some pics from another one of these I did with poly-fil for a gift that can fill in some gaps.


Next, take your ribbon and place it facing inwards on the right side of your front piece. 
Then pin, pin, and pin some more!

{other project... don't love it as much as the pink one, but you get the idea...}

After you get the edge stitched down, unpin, but leave your ribbon folded inward. 
Lay your back piece right side down over the ribbon and right side of the front piece. Pin, pin, pin!

Stitch around the edge, leaving an in opening for turning.
Be careful to stay as close to the edge as possible so you don't sew up your ribbon.

{I used a zig-zag stitch for this step.}

Now, carefully turn right side out.
I also ironed mine flat once it was turned so that my ruffles would look right.

Slowly fill with rice and as much lavender as you'd like. 
I used about a 4:1 rice to lavender ratio. 
Mine is still a little floppy so it lays comfortably across my face.

Finally, hand stitch closed the turning opening and enjoy!

{I seriously almost didn't get up after this photo, haha!}

Now it's your turn!

<a href="http://littlebirdiebaby.blogspot.com/"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_M4ScfszGUqE/TXZer6bpeNI/AAAAAAAAA_E/DY0sWbkkvWE/s144/Tute%20Tues%20LB.png" height="144" width="144" /></a>
Link up your projects below and grab a button!
I'll pick my favorite 5 to showcase on Saturday!
I can't wait to see what you guys have been working on!!

Visit thecsiproject.com


Monday, March 21, 2011

The Taffy Box: Product Review & Giveaway!! {GIVEAWAY CLOSED}


Good morning and happy Monday to you all!! 
I am so excited about the lovely shop I have to share with you today!

Meet The Taffy Box...

The Taffy Box is a beautiful shop full of custom, hand stamped jewelry.
All made-to-order!

This is not your typical stamped jewelry shop though ladies, there's something here for everyone!
I'm sure you know how difficult it is to shop for that man in your life! Not anymore!

She's even got Fido covered!

I just love these Mr. & Mrs. wedding cake forks, there's even a matching cake server!

Koryn, the incredibly talented designer behind The Taffy Box was so sweet to send me 
one of her washer necklaces to review for you guys. 

Check it out, it is absolutely beautiful and customized with my sweet baby's name 
so I can wear her close to my heart forever!

Oh yeah, AND it's sterling silver so no rashes on my neck. YAY!!  
. . .

I could tell immediately that this was a fantastic piece, it was even wrapped 
up perfectly inside a velvet bag to keep the silver perfectly pristine during shipping. 
As a shop owner myself, I always notice packaging... 
especially when someone takes such great care with your purchase.

 I would like to tell you a little bit about Koryn, the designer and creator behind these lovely designs...

 Koryn is the wife to her military husband of 24 years and mother to 4 kids. {Rockstar, I know!} She's been making jewelry for years, and her cute shop name comes from the actual taffy box she used to carry her creations around in to sell to her friends. So cute! In 2008 Koryn was diagnosed with breast cancer and ran the gamut of cancer treatments and surgeries to become a survivor and patient advocate!! Talk about amazing! I am always to honored to know someone who has made that fight and not only lived to tell about it, but is out in the world using her gift and experiences to help others. 

Ok, so as if you didn't already think that she was totally amazing, Koryn is so excited to share her shop with you guys that she's offering YOU guys a chance to win a sterling washer necklace just like mine! 
{with your own personalization of course!}

Here's how you can win! {Leave a separate comment for each entry letting me know what you did}

Mandatory entry:

1. Go visit The Taffy Box, come back and tell me what your favorite piece is!

Want extra entries?

2. Be or become a fan of The Taffy Box Facebook Page
     {Bonus! When you're a fan you get special coupon codes for The Taffy Box Shop! Yay!}

3. Be or become a follower of The Little Birdie {I'll just pretend you already are, hee hee!}

4. Be or become a fan of The Little Birdie on Facebook

5. Be or become a follower of The Little Birdie on Twitter {@lilbirdielady}

6. Heart The Taffy Box on etsy

7. Heart The Little Birdie Baby Shop on etsy

8. Blog about this giveaway

9. Facebook about this giveaway

10. Tweet about this giveaway

WOW! 10 ways to win! Good luck! 
We'll announce the winner on next week's edition of Merchandise Monday!

I hope you have projects ready for Tutorial Tuesday tomorrow! 
I can't wait to see what you've been working on!


P.S. Want me to do a review and giveaway for your shop or blog? Email me!
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