Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Etsy Featured Artists - Day Two - For Your Body, For Your Home

Let me ask, who doesn't love to be pampered? Sure, it's easy enough to walk into any drug store and find lots of products that promise to cleanse, soften the skin, make you smell good, etc. But have you checked the list of ingredients on those products? Yes, they typically have a long list of chemical agents, which come from who knows where. And what does it do to lab animals? Hmmm. Isn't all-natural better?

Enter Etsy and the amazing range of all natural bath and body products! That's right, no chemicals, no funny ingredients, just wonderful products designed to pamper and delight you! And no lab animals in sight (thank goodness).

nettiescrub

Featuring nettiescrub , where you will find all natural soaps, balms, soy candles, and scrubs. I'm sure they smell as amazing as they look!
And, pampering for the home. Our homes are our haven, our place to rest and refresh (see above) and yes, it's important to have beautiful things there, too! You can find many, many types of housewares and kitchenware on Etsy, from aprons to pottery. I have a special place in my heart for pottery considering I dabbled in it awhile back! I know how difficult it is to get a piece to come out just right, from the wheel to the kiln to the table.

CrAcKpOtS

Featuring CrAcKpOtS , where you will find pizza stones, unique bowls and serving pieces for the home. The ultimate partnership of function and beauty!
So go ahead, pamper yourself and your home. Etsy will help you do both!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Etsy Featured Artists - Day One - Kids Clothing and Accessories

There have been so many times in the past six months that I have been asked, "but what is Etsy? How did you learn about it?" Which is then followed by "what a great idea!" And, typically, I hear back several days (or hours) later with news of the cool items and beautiful goods this person has just discovered for themselves on Etsy. It never fails - it happens this way every time!

I consider being a part of the Etsy community a privilege and I am proud to help introduce others to the great shops that I have come across recently. So, enjoy the daily features, please leave some comments, and don't forget to link to their sites and mark them as favorites!

Day One - Kids Clothing and Accessories!

Little Overcoat

Introducing Little Overcoat, featuring children's clothing made of recycled and new materials. I am in love with these awesome shirts!

Little Pink Posies

And Little Pink Posies, featuring sweet painted doll pendants and posy hair clips. The doll pendants are customizable - how great is that?

Kids clothing and accessories (and toys, too!) are a fantastic thing to purchase on Etsy - not only are they handmade, but many are one-of-a-kind boutique quality items that are really quite affordable. The time, effort, and love put into these pieces makes them that much more special. So go check out some goods for your little ones today!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Play time, work time

Check it out - I got a new little gadget to play around with! I ventured to my camera store this morning, in search of info on macro lenses. I have really been wanting to include some extreme close-ups in my photos, especially listings in the shop. I just think those shots are so cool! Anyway, as I suspected, macros are wayyyyyyy too much for my budget at the moment. Dropping $500 just isn't in the cards! I was literally about ready to walk out (the sales "man" was probably 10 years younger than me and apparently didn't know what else he could offer besides a brochure), when the seasoned sales man who has been there forever stepped up. Ma'am? Have you ever heard of close-up filters? Long story short, I bought a lovely set of filters for $50 (yes! now that's my price range!) and have been playing around with them this afternoon. Seriously. Watch out kids, momma is coming in for the closeup!
Of course life can't be all play and no work, which I have been doing lots of in the past few days. I have introduced a new line of totes, "The Market Bag / Eco-Tote," designed for shopping and to replace the need for paper or plastic. I have a set in the works for myself (isn't it always hard to take time to make things for yourself?) - just need to decide on colors and patterns. I did sell one of these last week, about 45 minutes after it was listed. Love it when that happens!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Blubby

Please say hello to our new friend, Blubby. She came into being this afternoon, the first braided-yarn octopus of her kind in these parts. She sports colorful hair elastics on each of her lovely braids - we figured these might hold a little better than yarn ties. And rather than googly eyes, we opted for glued-on pieces of felt. Much more user-friendly for the preschool crowd!

Wanna make one? Check out Family Fun's latest issue, in the article on retro crafts. I don't know about you, but all of the projects in there bring me back to my inner crafty five year-old!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My new favorite thing


The idea for this was lifted from Ali Edwards' blog. It totally makes me happy whenever I pass by! Patterned paper and stickers are in a pack from Making Memories (purchased at Target); butterfly punch is from Martha Stewart. The butterflies are mounted on foam dots, which gives a cool shadow effect against the white background. And the table runner? Just completed that as a custom order. It has three lovely prints from Joel Dewberry's "Aviary" line.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Some good shopping

Busy, busy morning with shopping, shopping, volunteering, and more shopping. All in all some good finds! I got a load from this store, my go-to for inexpensive kids' clothes. Because really, my kids are so hard on clothes (especially my girls, who manage stains out of thin air I swear) - it is just not worth it to buy even from the Gap. (Unless they are on major sale, like the chino's I found there today for $13 - and those will only be going to and from church). If they're going to trash a shirt, I'd rather it be one that cost $5, not $25! My best find from this place was a RockBand t-shirt for Reed. He was so excited to see it!

This store has tons of tees on sale also. Like for $2.50? Can't pass that up. Especially considering they will be air-stained by next week.

And, this place had an awesome black knit sleeveless dress that somehow managed to come home with me. Seriously - so comfortable - I think I will be living in it all summer.

Oh, and the other great find of the week? My new silver flip-flops. They are awesome, and my toes are now so happy it is spring. Sorry, I'm not revealing the source of this happiness!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Everyday Market Bag / Eco-Tote

A new item for the shop - I'm excited about this because I have soooo been wanting a set of cool shopping bags to avoid the dreaded mounds of paper and plastic bags! Larger sizes are soon to come, so stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Spongebob Dinner

For awhile I've been working hard at getting my kids to eat better. Not just better, but eat a wider variety of foods. Like beyond hot dogs and mac and cheese. Both have their place, but I have gotten so tired of hearing "yuck! I don't like it!" when dinner is on the table and it is not hot dogs or mac and cheese.

So, in light of the dinnertime dilemma, I have been trying to involve each child in meal planning every week. Each one has gotten to choose a meal, and so we've had lots of kid-friendly yet mom-accepted meals this week. We don't cook much on the weekends, so we're only talking 4 or 5 dinners each week, really. And if they choose 3 of them, then I only have to really figure out 1 or 2!

This week I hoped for the same thing, when they surprised me by requesting that we have a Spongebob Dinner. They thought it would be hysterical to eat Crabbie Patties. Um, OK, I'm creative, of course we can have a Spongebob Dinner! My brain cells got all fired up with the possibilities of what to fix...especially what new foods to potentially introduce! I'm not a seafood lover, but come on! Crab! Squid! This could be fun!

As it turned out, we had the dinner tonight. And it was a hit. Decorations were minimal (after all, I'm really not a Spongebob fan) - a little kraft paper runner with Spongebob stickers and that was it. And a few random coloring pages we'd printed off of the internet. What was the menu, you ask? Well, we did have Crabbie Patties (aka mini crab cakes) - and it turns out that Reed and Grace really liked them. Who knew? We also had shrimp (an old standby) and fried calamari. At one point during dinner Lauren shouted "I LOVE SQUID!" - this from the girl who gags on marinara! Cucumbers rounded out the kid-dreaded veggie portion (because there are real animals that are sea cucumbers, after all).

For dessert we made the sand castle cake featured on the cover of this month's Family Fun. Here is the photo - ours looks decidedly more frumpy than the magazine feature. But who cares? And really, how can you go wrong with yellow cake, frosting from the bakery, and crushed vanilla wafers?

After dinner I was encouraging them to think of our next themed meal (naturally my wheels are turning and I'm thinking we could do this every week! Or every other! The possibilities are endless!). Lauren suggested a Garfield meal. I said that would mean we'd be eating lasagne. To which she promptly retorted, "forget THAT!" Who needs pasta when you can have squid, right?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Possibilities


Washed and folded, ready to be ironed and then cut. All destined to be tiered skirts - five skirts in all. Looks like a busy weekend....

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Crafty Mama to the Rescue

It is 7:00 am. A bleary-eyed five year-old enters your bedroom, sits down next to her laundry basket (which is filled to the brim with clean, yet-to-be-put-away-clothes) and says, "Mom? Remember it's career day at school? I have to wear something like what I want to be when I grow up."

Me - "OK............."
Her - "What does an architect wear?"
Loving Brother - "You're going to look stupid!"
Me, to Loving Brother - "Hush! And don't say 'stupid!'"
Me, to Her - "Well, we could put a nametag on your shirt that says Head Architect...how about that?" (Because we don't have a construction hard hat...duh, this should have been planned better)

Then, a few minutes later:

Her - "I won't be an architect today. I'll be a singer instead!"
Me - "ummm...can singers wear jeans?"
Her - "yeah, but what else?"

Me (with trumpets joyfully sounding in the background, erstwhile a giant lightbulb pops over my head with my brilliant idea) - "I know! You need a microphone and headphones. Then you will look like a singer!"

And then, in between cleaning up the breakfast dishes, packing a lunch, and signing a reading log, I fashion the microphone. I cut the paper towel roll (after unrolling all of the towels) in half, wad up a bunch of aluminum foil into a ball, and duct tape the ball to the top of the roll. Finish with lots of duct tape over the whole creation, and voila! Instant microphone. Add a set of headphones with the cord tucked into her jeans pocket (because the CD player was NOT going to school, after all) and we had one pint-sized someday singer on our hands.

She was so, so excited. As was I, noting that at least on this day, my creative mojo just happened to be sitting right under my skin. That's right, Crafty Mama to the rescue.