Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kelly - You're Amazing!!!

Okay...I just have to brag on Kelly a little bit. Some of you are probably wondering....who's Kelly??? Kelly is a FAM - that's a Fabulous Artistic Mom. She's the owner of Klymyshyn Designs - where you can find 'Uniquely Handcrafted Wearables'. And, let me tell you, her work is incredible! I've already ordered 2 items from her shop - both for Isaac. hehehe...hey - they're birthday gifts! :) The first was this adorable felted football. I fell in love with it the minute I saw it and had to get it! And for those of you who know Isaac, you know that soft is GOOD. lol...not to mention it'll be the perfect size for his little hands (well, okay, they're kinda big for a little boy, but...) .

And while this football I'm sure is amazing, what I REALLY need to brag about is this custom order hat she just did for me. I've been drooling over some brimmed knit hats(or are they crocheted?...sorry, not my area of expertise, but they're created with yarn, that I've seen around Etsy. I can just see Isaac's chubby little face smiling from under the brim and I've been wanting to get him one. Kelly didn't have the particular design that I was looking for in her shop, but I thought I'd ask if she could make one. I've seen some of the amazing patterns she's come up with. Not only did she make me one, but she did it to coordinate with Isaac's winter coat AND she did it in record time. We finalized the details of the order around 6:30pm last night, and I had a picture of it waiting in my in-box at 7:00am this morning. The message was time-stamped 10:56pm. AMAZING!!!! And look how cute it is!!!

Here is Isaac's winter coat

Now how cute is that going to be with this hat?!?!?

Thank you Kelly!!!! Everyone - go visit Kelly's shop!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Weekly Sellers Showcase: Mommalies

So, I'm stepping outside of Etsy for this weeks showcase, but I think you'll agree that the products are just as fabulous as those available on Etsy. This week's showcase is Mommailes:

What are Mommalies? Well, its a term coined by Kristin Tully (owner and creator), to describe all of “Mom’s most celebrated sayings you’ll never forget and will continue to use even though you swore you wouldn’t!” You 'wait til your father gets home!', or 'Because I said so!'.

Kristin ha takes these phrases, adds some humorous artwork of frazzled moms, and puts it all on t-shirts. I heard about Mommalies on is a local mom and entrepeneur. As soon as I saw her shirts I knew I wanted to feature them here and get the word out! I can just see myself wearing one of her shirts on one of 'those days'. As Kristin so perfectly states it on her website: "We’ve learned that discipline takes consistency, but when that fails, what do we do? Put a little humor in it!!!" I think every mom needs one of these shirts! I haven't gotten mine yet, but I think I'm going to get the 'Wait til your father gets home!' one. Kristin is also accepting ideas for more Mommalies shirts...some of my suggestions include: 'I'll give you something to cry about!', 'What do you live in a barn???', 'If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it too???', 'Back when I was a kid...' lol...What Mommalies do all of you use?
Make sure you go check out the Mommalies site and order one of these fabulous t-shirts!

25 Years...That's a LONG Time!

My Mom and Step-Dad, Tom, just celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary on July 2nd. What an amazing milestone!
July 2, 1983
With the divorce rates in this country, its amazing that people even bother to get married any more. Gone are the days when marriages lasted a lifetime. Instead we live in a world where blended families, and single-parent families are the norm. This is not to say that my Mom and Tom didn't contribute to the staggering divorce rate...they both made their mistakes before they found each other. But, to have pulled a family together from two broken ones and to have kept it together for 25 years...that's quite an achievement! Josh and I will be married for 5 years this October, so I now know the hard work and dedication that a marriage requires. And in celebrating their 25th, it only makes me think, wonder, and dream of what our lives will be like when we celebrate our 25th anniversary, and what life has in store for us for the next 20 years preceeding that day. The year will be 2028...We'll be 49 (OMG!), Ryleigh will be 23, and Isaac will be 21...what will be doing? Where will be living? What will our kids be doing? Will we have grandchildren? It's so fun to think and wonder....but, back to the present...I hosted a big anniversary party for my Mom and Tom on July 12th. We rented a hall, had a catered dinner, dj, and tons of fun! It was an honor to me to be able to honor them and the wonderful acheivement they have made in their lives. It was just a small thank-you to all they have done for us over the years. Here's to 25 more, Mom & Dad!

Here are a few photos from the event.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Little Stinker!!!!!

Warning: You may not want to read this if you're just sitting down to enjoy your lunch.

What is it about poo that children find so fascinating? I considered myself lucky that I had no poop 'incidents' with Ryleigh until after her second birthday when she (her words) 'tooted and a poop came out' in the tub. That is until Isaac came along and decided to make up for his sister's lack of fecal exploration. It all started on Monday when Buzzy (our 4.5 year old Pug) had some stomach issues. I'm sure he must have eaten something that he shouldn't have - he's known to do that, but I have no idea what it was. Whatever his ailment, it caused him to poo uncontrollably (although it was not diarrhea). Anyway....after just letting him inside, he apparently still had to go and did so by the back door without my knowledge. That is until I see Isaac sitting there very happily squishing a dog turd. The smell alone was making me gag, nevermind the thought of my son playing in fresh dog poo! So, I'm screeching from disgust, Isaac is totally freaked out because I'm screeching and running him under water, and Ryleigh was like a broken record asking what happened. I was totally grossed out for the day. Needless to say, that wasn't the end of his antics. Later that day, after coming in from outside, I put Isaac down to play and went about my business. He immediately heads towards the bathroom - his favorite place - loves the toilet. I didn't think anything of it - my house is pretty child-proof. That is until I realized that Ryleigh had used the bathroom last - by herself. She's still learning the whole 'going-potty-on-her-own' thing. We have a little step-stool that we put in front of the toilet and a seat that fits into the hole of the toilet to make it smaller for little potty-training bums. It's a great contraption, really, except for the fact that you can't close the toilet seat with it on. And, Ryleigh tends to forget to flush the toilet. So, once I realize this, I go running in to check on him and sure enough....he had fished a bunch of toilet paper out of the toilet and ate it. He had the evidence running down his chubby little belly. GROSSSSSS! I'd like to say that that was enough disgusting-ness for one week, but oh forward to this morning. A little background info: I still put Isaac in a disposable diaper at night because he still wakes up to eat twice and therefore pees a ton at night and I'm too lazy to change his diaper in the middle of the night. But, the rest of the time he's in cloth diapers and for those who cloth diaper, you know that its easiest to have the diaper pail by the toilet so you can dump the poo and then throw the diaper into the pail. Therefore, we do not have a diaper pail in his room., when I got him out of bed this morning he had a poopy diaper. Of course, I changed him like I always do when he first wakes up. I then wrap the diaper up in itself, and toss it on the floor to be thrown in the trash later. Welllllllll....about an hour or so later I take the kids upstairs to pick up, make beds, get them dressed, etc. They were both playing in Isaac's room and I went into our bedroom to make the bed. Pretty soon Ryleigh comes running into our room and very excitedly says 'Isaac's got a poop!' A little perplexed, I ask 'Isaac pooped?' and she says 'NO - Isaac dumped his poop out of his diaper!' I think I was running before she even finished her sentence. I get into his room and there he is - diaper unwrapped, poop all squished in his hands, and like slow motion his hand was going towards his mouth. I screamed, grabbed him, and once again we go through the 'Mommy screaming, Isaac's confused, and Ryleigh's repeated question routine' of getting him cleaned up. It was sooooo gross. THEN (as if that wasn't enough, right?) after lunch, I put him down for his afternoon nap. It was really hot in the upstairs of our house today, so I put a fan in his room to try to keep him cool while he slept. Well, apparently the fan noise kept me from being able to hear over the monitor that he was awake. I went up when I thought he had just woken up, but apparently he had been awake for a while because I found him sitting naked in his crib, the diaper was thrown on the floor, his crib mobile was completely down and dismantled, and he was just so proud of himself. Luckily there was no poop involved in this little incident. I can only imagine what that scene would have looked like! I ran to get the camera, but the pics didn't come out too great. Here's my son in all his Little stinker!!!! I hope I haven't grossed any of you out too badly.

Weekly Etsy Shop Showcase: Bundles of Joy

Bundles of Joy is run by Cindy Joy, wife and stay-at-home mommy of two little boys, Gabriel and Ethan. With a background in both accounting and fashion design, Cindy has created a wonderful Etsy shop selling high quality, one of a kind baby gifts. I was lucky enough to 'meet' Cindy (if that's what you will call conversing online) through the Etsy FAM group. During one of FAM's weekly 'Take 10 Tuesday' sales, I found 2 of Cindy's 'secret' items which entitled me to buy them for only ONE dollar each plus shipping! And they're such fabulous items that I felt bad paying such a small price for them. Take a look at what I got!

This is one of Cindy's many beautifully crafted and color-coordinated stroller blankets. This particular blanket is minkee on one side and flannel on the other, but you can find other fabric combos in her shop! And she also takes custom blanket orders. Can you believe I only had to pay $1 for this?????

I also got this sweet onesie with an appliqued stegosaurus picture on the front that was masterfully created by her 7 year old son, Gabriel. I love how she's getting her boys involved in her work and teaching them the lessons about earning and saving money. Gabriel receives $3 for each onesie with his artwork on it that his mommy sells. He gets to put $1 in his piggy bank for now and $2 into a college savings. Way to go, Cindy!

And here's that stegosaurus (although Ryleigh insists that it is a 'butterfly turtle' - sorry Gabriel!) onesie on one ADORABLE little model ;-)

Here are some of my other favorite items from Cindy's shop:

Cindy is making some exciting new changes to her product line as well. So, if you're ever looking for a fabulous blanket or a unique onesie for one of the bundles of joy in your life, go visit Cindy at Bundles of Joy! Here is a little interview I held with Cindy followed by her links:
-What inspires your work?
Life, the universe and everything! Seriously, I draw inspiration from the world around me, my children, my strong background in art history, and my years of creating costumes. I am also inspired by the need to have things be both functional and beautiful. I firmly believe that things can be pleasing to the eye and easy to use.-What are your favorite materials to work with?My favorite things to work with for children's things are cotton, minky, fur, and imagination. Over my design life, my favorite things have changed with my current focus. There was costuming, when my favorite things to work with were steel bones, silks and bazillions of yards of trim. Then there was the interior design phase with wallpaper, wool rugs and loads of color. Then wedding dresses - back to silk, bones and trim. Now, simpler is better. I'm pretty sure that the next time you check, one of my favorites will be fusible web.
-In general, what is your favorite type of item to work on?
Something with visual interest and wonderful texture. I can't stand working with things that are not nice to the touch. Baby things have to be soft - luxurious is even better. I like working on fussy details. Though you couldn't much tell it from my shop, I like working without a machine. Handwork is very relaxing to me.
-What is your favorite item from your shop?
This shirt is my favorite: though I might be influenced by the sweet model wearing it. I just love the beautiful mix of colors in the butterfly and the way you can tell Gabriel had fun getting his fingers in the paint while he was painting it. Ask me again next week, and you'll get a different answer.
-What is your favorite item that you have purchased from another Etsy seller?
Oh, you are going to get me in so much trouble! I love everything I've bought on etsy and everything that I have suggested to my husband that he buy for me. My current favorite is this bracelet and matching earrings from <>: It is just a beautiful set and a true testament to the incestuous nature of etsy, which is part of what I like about it. One etsy artist made the central lamp work bead. Another etsy artist made the polymer clay accent beads. put the whole thing together with her own flair and additional accents and then another etsy artist - me - purchased the whole thing! The set even has an element of the custom nature of etsy in it, since I requested that wildlifer78 make earrings to match the bracelet, which she gladly did on the day I initially made the request. Yes, I would have to say that one purchase neatly wraps up all the things t!hat are cool about etsy. You deal directly with the artist. No gallery is taking 50% or more of the purchase price. People work together cooperatively to make things that are unique and interesting. Custom work is embraced rather than discouraged. You get what you want and the artist is happy to send it to you.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Our First Etsy Sales!

About a month after opening and stocking our Etsy shop, we finally got our first sale! YAY! I say 'finally', but from what I understand it takes many people a lot longer than a month to get their first sale. Okay, okay, so I had to let my first item go at 50% off, but it was worth it! FAM has a sale every Tuesday (or maybe its every other Tuesday...guess I should check on that). They call it 'Take 10 Tuesday' (T10T) and members of the FAM team can hold sales in their shops from 5:00pm - Midnight. The shop owner can customize their sale to fit their shop. Most people do 10% off....hence the name 'Take 10 Tuesday'. :) We also have a fun little 'secret' game where we hide the code T10T in one of our listings or photos. Whoever finds the secret item can buy it at a deep discount (again, decided on by the shop owner). Well, my secret item of the week was our black with pink polka-dots nursing cover. Leah of Michon Designs was the lucky shopper (also a member of FAM) who got my secret item! I was so excited to get our first sale on Etsy! And then today, less than 24 hours later, we got our first full-price Etsy sale from someone I've never met. Someone purchased a set of 6 of our hemp doublers. How cool is that??? Here are our first Etsy sales:

THANK YOU for both of your orders!!!!