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Friday, February 29, 2008

Independent Designer Friday - Macaroni and Glue

The Independent Designer of the Week is Macaroni and Glue - a fabulous handmade card shop at Etsy specializing in sweet sentiments and vintage images.

Here is my favorite product from Macaroni and Glue - Customized Sweet Little Girlie Just Thinking Notecards -- Set of 6 - what an absolutely adorable little girl to greet your special recipient!

I asked Kelly of Macaroni and Glue a few questions about the craft business!

How would you describe your crafts/Etsy shop?

Macaroni and Glue is filled with simple, pretty ways to send a handwritten note to someone special. I offer a wide variety of notecards and stationery, including custom announcements and invitations (and I’m adding more every day!), many with a vintage feel. All are printed and/or assembled on high quality, heavyweight cardstock that just feels good in your hands. True paper-lovers know what I mean!

How did you get started?

I’ve always made my own cards for holidays, birthdays, etc. – for me, there’s just something about the personal touch. I want my friends and family to know that they’re important to me, so I invest the extra time in making something unique for their special day.

How long have you been crafting?

At my house, I’m in charge of making sure we stay on budget every month. When I quit my corporate job to stay home with my daughter a couple of years ago, I realized we had to make some drastic cuts. One of the first spending categories to be slashed was store-bought gifts. Although I had very little experience creating anything with my hands, I was determined that I would learn to make handcrafted gifts. I have always loved to receive something handmade, and I knew that with a little practice I could put together some lovely things. And I have! After making several personalized stationery sets as gifts for friends and family, I realized I absolutely LOVED working with paper. When friends and family began re-ordering custom cards, invitations and thank yous, I started thinking, “Hmmm… If they want to pay for my cards, maybe others would too?” My sister discovered Etsy shortly thereafter and passed on the link – so here I am!

What is your inspiration?

My 2-year-old definitely influences the way I see the world. My designs often invoke a sense child-like innocence and sense of wonder. Beautiful vintage images also form the basis for many of my designs. I love the process of searching for and discovering great artwork in public domain and copyright-free images (vintage ephemera, postcards, library of congress archives, old U.S. patent office archives, historical photos, etc.). When I stumble upon something that speaks to me, I can’t wait to begin making it uniquely mine. I’ll spend hours working with a single image – smiling all the while. If, at the end of the process, it doesn’t make me want to kiss my laptop, I’ll scrap it and begin all over with something else. All day every day I’m thinking about the gorgeous graphics I have waiting for me at home. If only there were more hours in the day!

What is your favorite piece in your shop today?

I’ve got a bit of spring fever, so my favorite is probably the textured butterfly cards:

The runner-up would have to be the pinup cards – I just love her:

How do you market/advertise your wares?

I’m still working on that. I’ve only had the shop up for a few weeks, but I’ve already joined several networking sites and regularly participate in discussions and promotions. My street teams have been incredibly helpful so far too. I’ve started a blog and am really trying to keep it up. I have grand plans for designing my own web site to house a blog and a showcase, but I think that’s a ways off. I’m trying to establish realistic goals for my business, one week/month at a time. My top priority is still my family, so I have to make sure I’m balancing my time.

Any advice to fledgling crafters / entrepreneurs?

That “naked” feeling you get when you list one of your creations and begin waiting for the view counter to go up is an indication that you are creating from a deeply personal place. And that is the best thing you can do for your business. If you’re “phoning it in,” it will be obvious. If you truly love what you do and can say that each of your pieces are manifestations of who you are as an artist, your shop will reflect that.

Thanks Kelly - for your information and fresh bit of nostalgia! :>

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Your NEW Invigorating Morning Shower

Good Thursday Morning!!!! I found this fabulous body scrub sitting in my email inbox!! I am using my coffee grounds from this morning to make it! ENJOY! :>

body and soul

Try this fabulous morning wake-up scrub made with coffee and natural scents! Used in high-end spas around the globe - why not add it to your regimen!!

This recipe is created with coffee and peppermint -- known in aromatherapy for its mentally stimulating, energizing properties. Along with raw sugar and olive oil to exfoliate and moisturize.

This recipie makes enough for 2-3 applications:

Tools and Materials:

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup pure turbinado sugar

15 drops peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita)

1/2 cup used coffee grounds from a freshly brewed pot

Wake-Up Scrub How-To:

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; using a fork, thoroughly blend. Transfer the scrub to a wide mouthed jar, and store in a cool place until ready to use. The scrub will keep for one to two weeks, longer if refrigerated.
2. While showering, apply handfuls of the coffee scrub to wet skin in circular motions, starting at the feet and working up. The scrub contains oil, so it's best to do this over a rubber mat to avoid slipping. Pay particular attention to rough spots such as heels, ankles, knees, and elbows.
3. After scrubbing, cleanse skin as usual using a mild natural soap or body wash. Pat skin dry with a fluffy towel, and follow with lotion to seal in the moisture.

First Published: March/April 2006

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Quote of the Week!

"Compliment three people every day."

~H. Jackson Brown from Life's Little Instruction Book

I am going to do just that today in the form of identifying three great indie artists.

First, this little pinafore dress is absolutely delicious! Iam thinking about buying this for my own daughter. It is available in size 2 - 3T. Check out the store -

Second (middle picture), I am in search of new diaper covers fo my daughter's cloth diapers. I found these diaper covers here - GENY. You get the benefit of helping out mother earth (no more dipes in the landfills) and your babe looks so stylish!
Third (right picture), something for mommy! I LOVE this fabric sash in the japanese print! This is so different and fab! Also, it's featuring the hot color of the season - RED! I found this fab sash here - NICE FIND!!
So, everyone else out there - pay it forward! What are your 3 compliments today??

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I'm a Polka Dot Mom!!

I am very excited to announce that my Zippy Zipper Wristlets have been featured on the popular blog - Polka Dot Mom!! What an exciting honor and privilege :>

Many of my wristlets are lined in a fun and funky polka dot material - black and white, brown and blue and pink and green. If you love polka dots you should check them out! They arePERFECT for going out with friends, stashing in a larger everyday bag, dashing out for a few quick errands OR to simply look stylish dangling from your wrist!

Thanks Sally - this is fab!

The First Sign of Spring!!

As I was looking out my front door this morning - this little daffodil stem greeted me! I couldn't resist taking this picture and sharing it with you!! I LOVE SPRING!
In celebration of this little icy miracle I have been inspired to create a delcisiously mint and white spring/summer clutch.
Now the mission to find the right fabric begins........

Friday, February 22, 2008

Snow Day with my Snow Babies!!

Snow days are always the best days! We had alot of fun for about 25 minutes until my son started talking about his freezing hands and my daughter wanted to "get in car". So, needless to say we spent 30 minutes getting ready to go outside and 20 minutes actually outside!!
They really did have fun while it lasted and the hot chocolate and animal crackers after our outside trip was truly welcomed!! :> This has been our only "true" snowfall this year and my daughter's first real snow adventure!! How fun!! I don't know how many more snow days we'll have this year :<

Independent Designer Friday - Kymjewelery

The Independent Designer of the Week is Kymjewelery - a fun and fresh jewelery shop at Etsy specializing in Swarovski pearl, crystal, sterling, shell, freshwater pearl, wood, semi-precious stone, glass and ultrasuede.

Here is my favorite product from Kymjewelery - Country ultrasuede brown and turquoise necklace - This is fun take on the turquoise necklace!

I asked Kim of Kymjewelery a few questions about the craft business!

Describe your craft.
I design bridge jewelry catering to moms, brides, and fun, funky gals of all ages!

How did you get started?
A mom/friend of mine asked me to attend a jewelry design class at a local craft store. I liked an excuse to get out and be with other adults (I had a 2 year old at home) so I went to the class. I learned how to crimp in about 10 seconds. That's all I needed to get rolling.

How long have you been crafting?

I have been on a jewelry making binge going into my 6th year now. It's addictive, and being self-taught, I am still learning and growing my craft.

What is your inspiration?

Other moms. I listen and learn. That's what I tell my boys to do all the time! I get wonderful ideas from other women, and it may take me a month or a year to let the idea evolve in my head. I can have so many ideas brewing, they trip over each other at times.

What is your favorite piece in your shop? My Premiere necklaces are my favorite in that I hunt in antique shops and thrift stores to find unique pendants and pins. I turn them into unique necklaces that are, essentially, wearable art. Each necklace is different, and I never know how it will turn out. I just let myself go and the piece evolves wonderfully. I do have to admit that my proudest wares are the Breast Cancer Awareness Jewelry that I sell through the Breathing Room Foundation. I give 50% of the BCA jewelry sales straight to this foundation and they help families in the local area afflicted with cancer. What a great win-win for all. It is truly special for me.

How do you marketing your wares? I have a website that features what I do, why I do it and all of the retailers I sell to and foundations I fundraise for. Most of my success has been through personal marketing, meaning that I participate in artisan shows, craft shows and fundraisers and get the word out personally. Believe it or not, I have found that the one-on-one attention that I give to my customer, as well as the attention to detail that I give my work really seems to mean something to women who are tire of the "same old, same old". If a piece does not work for someone, I listen and learn why, then I fix it and make it BETTER. That's how I have become successful and have gained a reputation for quality and value.

What entrepreneurial advice can yo offer? Gosh, there is such a steep learning curve that I took on when getting into my own little jewelry business. I would suggest being open to new ideas, and writing them down. Having a mentor would be wonderful, and I wished that I had one to provide the shortcuts to learning....but then I might not have been as successful in how much attention I put to being myself and taking it back to the basics of running an honest, well intentioned business. Truly defining yourself and what you want to achieve is key. Do not be afraid to bounce ideas off your friends or partner. Do expect to make many mistakes, but do not hesitate to admit your shortcomings, fix it and make it better. Listen and learn.
Thanks Kim - for your information and fresh spin on classic jewelery pieces :>

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday Toddler Tips - LOVE the dresses from Granny Bs!!!

I really LOVE all of the fabric that Granny B's Clothesline chooses! They are modern and sophosticated yet fun, frilly, girly and young!! One thing I find in some independent designers is the push to move toddlers and young girls into "mini adults" WAY TO FAST through the use of too sophisticated designs and fabric selections!!! Let the babes be babes!!!

NOT Granny B! She really knows the importance of letting little ones stay little and enjoy their childhood days! Take a look at this dress called French Pink. It is so fun!! I LOVE paisley so it was a definite winner for me :>

She has a delicious line that extends into hairbows, jewelery, belts and tshirts. What a talented indie designing grandmom!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

1950 Vintage Vogue

So, I love vintage!! I decided that I want to make a "wedding dress" for myself in vintage style. Not my Wedding Dress but a dress that I can wear to weddings. I feel like people wear the same old same old to wedding and I decided that I don't want to blend anymore!!

I decided on this Vintage Vogue Pattern - V2960. I love the June Clever - ness about it. I can picture this dress in a delicious black silk dupioni with a fab vintage rhinestone brooch, white gloves and a funky vintage bracelet.
I know that it will take me a few months to finish it (doing it in between orders and being a mom and wife :>) but when it's finished it will be soooo worth it!! YUM!!!

Simply Slouchy Sack in Soft Black Mums

Incredibly comfortable – that’s exactly how you are in your skin! You’re comfortable, confident, unassuming. You can be the belle of the ball AND hang on the couch with your guy to enjoy a game……then the Simply Slouchy Sack will fit you like a glove!!

This bag is relaxed and unpretentious. It falls deliciously on itself as if it knows how to relax. This BIG bag is a perfect everyday companion – keeping you calm and collected in your otherwise hectic life.

**This Simply Slouchy Sack is crafted from a black and white Alexander Henry designer cotton fabric. Features include nickel accent rings on handles, durable black cotton twill lining, two large interior pockets, swivel hook key fob and magnetic closure.**

Bag measures 13" (H) x 17” (W) x 2” (D). Shoulder strap measures 21” end to end for an 11” drop.

You'll find your Simply Slouchy Sack treated with Scotchguard - so live life - you're protected!!

Interested in checking out this Simply Slouchy Sack?? Visit one of my stores - or Feel free to come and check out my latest fabrics to create YOUR OWN Simply Slouchy design :>

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Going Green Tuesday - Laundry Dropps!!

Still in search of green products - I found Laundry Dropps. These little wonders claim to be very convenient (no messy detergent) and environmentally friendly - the lightweight product helps cut down on fuel for transport. This in turn reduces the amount of exhaust put in the air - NICE!

The company is based outside of Philadelphia (I like to support locals) and started at a mill they own making yarn for sweaters. They developed a detergent to help clean those sweaters and moved on from there!

You can purchase Laundry Dropps via their website - - do 60 loads of laundry for $24.99 + free shipping!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Manic Monday Business Sense - Networking with Crafters

Networking is what we all need to do for our business. It is hard and takes alot of time! We all use Myspace or facebook. We all use flickr or some other photo sharing site.

Now we can all use - Networking With Crafters. It's free and can't hurt but only help.

Another great site I found is - The Switchboards - It was started by a group of indie designing women to share ideas and tips. It has developed into a place to talk, swap ideas and info, post your site and show your crafts.

There you go - two great networking resources - now get moving!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Independent Designer Friday - Tada! Designs

The Independent Designer of the Week is Tada! Designs - a funky and unique shop at Etsy specializing in fun art pieces!

Here is my favorite product from Tada! Designs - I Am Family - a unique sign created with handpainted black letters on glass. What and elegant art piece for your family or living room.

I asked Beth of Tada! Designs a few questions about the craft business!

How would you describe your crafts/Etsy shop?

It's a fun collection of my imaginings...paper mache' ornies, handpainted glass signs, framed initials, wooden baby signs...

How did you get started?

I've just always been an artsy sort of girl, graduated from college with a degree in Interior Design, and began staying home when my children were born. I had to have some sort of creative outlet & always loved to paint my furniture. When I realized that furniture was too much of a pain to ship, I decided to concentrate on my smaller stuff.

How long have you been crafting?
Ever since I can remember...2ish???

What is your inspiration?
nature, other crafters, using what I have on hand, garage sale finds.

What is your favorite piece in your shop today?
I LOVE my "I am Family" sign, & soon to be released "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" glass sign.

How do you market/advertise your wares?
By being involved in GOOD groups such as DSM, Interiordesignetsy, & Oketsy. I also have fun trading biz cards with others. This past fall I painted 200 baby signs for 200 gifts bags for a swanky Mommies Who Shop Holiday Market in Boston, MA & THAT was a fun challenge!

Any advice to fledgling crafters / entrepreneurs?
I was so nervous about going online...I was afraid I'd get too busy or that people wouldn't like my stuff! So, if anyone feels like me, my advice is to just jump in with both feet & just try it :-) It's never as bad as you think it will be. In fact, it's fun!!

Thanks Tada! Designs- keep on satisfying our desire for fresh, funky art!! :>

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thursday Toddler Tips - NEW Sandals for Summer from

OK - so I admit that I am starting to think about spring and summer! I started by finding the shoes for my kids this upcoming season! Lands Ends Toddler Solid Action Sandals found at or

These babies are perfect for your active little people - comes in a variety of colors for boys and girls! They will take you kids on adventures on land and sea all with a fantastic antimicrobial finish to help cut down on odor. I love the shoes that are very multifunctional.

I have a toddler boy and I will say that last summer (definetely before Labor Day) his sandals STUNK!! I am SOOOO looking forward to a minimized smell this year!

Classic and Swanky Zippy Zipper Wristlets!

I have just add these two delicious and swanky wristlets to my Etsy collection.
These wristlets provide a lady with two functions - hold her essentials while out on the town and score a fabulous piece of jewelery as well!
The prints are classic and modern with the timeless elegance of pearls added to create a luxurious look that won't kill the bank - just $24.00 each!
These wristlets are dainty enough to dangle sweetly from your wrist yet roomy enough to hold all you need to enjoy your time out - keys, phone, makeup and money.
Check these out and look for more swanky additions to come!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Quote of the Week!

"I love thee, I love thee,

'Tis all that I can say;

It is my vision in the night,

My dreaming in the day. "

~Thomas Hood

Valentine's Day, for me, is a signal of not only love but also SPRING!! I have been searching to find ways that I can be reminded and teased of Spring!

Spring is my MOST FAVORITE season! I love the way it feels, smells, sounds. Yum :> I also love fashions of the season!

Looks like the season will be filled with color!! Can't wait :>

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Going Green - Hanky schmanky

In my quest to turn to all things helping the environment I have found this adorable site - Hankyschmanky!

This hanky pictured is called "Boogie Dance". ha ha ha :>

By using handkerchiefs we can cut down on the amount of waste in landfills. We can also cut down on the amount of trees that are cut down for tissue production.

Some of you are saying - oh my - gross, I don't want to carry a hanky around. Well, yeah, that may be true - it could be disgusting. But, how many of you carry around a dirty tissue in your pocket and use it over again?

Using hankies does require you to carry a few at a time (especially as a mom of toddlers) AND it does require you to do some laundry (biodegradable soap, of course!) but it will put you one step further towards helping our environment!

I have been searching for other hanky makers out there and have found several on Etsy. I really think that they are on to something.......Could hankies be the new COOL accessory??

Home Tip Tuesday - Shaklee

I am about to take the plunge and buy some products from Shaklee. Shaklee is a corporation committed to providing healthy alternatives to cleaning our home, nutrition and weight management.

As I have been slowly converting my house over to a "green" household I have been talking with friends. I have a friend who uses Shaklee products and who raves about their effectiveness.

I have been thinking about purchasing the starter kit - which has everything from dish detergent to disenfecting wipes. It appears to be a real way to jump head first into "green" cleaning.

I will post follow ups after I receive and use my new Shaklee products! :>

Monday, February 11, 2008

Manic Monday Business Sense - Japanese Fabrics

Why are Japanese fabrics ALL the rage?? Yeah, I will admit that the patterns and colors are interesting. I like the feel of the "vintage" look fabrics.
I will admit that I loved Memoirs of a Geisha and have been fascinated with the culture since then.
I do cruise Ebay for some good deals on vintage kimono fabrics. I search around for good deals on Japanese fabrics (which are a bit on the pricey side - $8.00 for 1/2 yard).
I have found a site - Fabric Tales that offer a nice selection with reasonable prices. They have kids fabrics, modern japanese and traditional kimono like fabrics.
So, now I am off to find the next "japanese" in fabrics.......

Valentine's Day Kids Craft

With Valentine's Day QUICKLY approaching I was looking for a unique treat for my son's preschool Valentine card.

I found these delicious and simple looking rice krispie treats in a heart shape - FUN! Here is the recipie - I am going to jazz it up by adding some pink and red sprinkles and possibly dipping one side into melted chocolate - YUMMY :>

Cellophane bags and ribbon can be found at your local arts and crafts store OR you can slip it into a simple ziplock bag!

Inside (or outside) the bag slip in a poem printed in red or pink ink and glued to a red construction paper heart that reads:

"Thanks for being my snap, crackle and pop friend!" OR

"You put the snap, crackle and pop into our friendship!"

Now there's a simple and sweet Valentine that anyone would enjoy! :>

Friday, February 8, 2008

Independent Designer Friday - Cozy Moments

The Independent Designer of the Week is CozyMoments - a fun and vibrant shop at Etsy!

Here is my favorite product from CozyMoments - PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE scented Goats Milk and Honey Body Cream - with Shea Butter. I am sure that this smells and feels absolutely delicious!!

I asked Michelle of CozyMoments a few questions about the craft business!

How would you describe your crafts/Etsy shop?

Pampering bath and body goodies and natural soy wax candles/tarts, or as we refer to them, 'Cozy Melts'. ;)

How did you get started?

Cozy Moments started out of a desire to create luxurious Bath & Body Products. I suffered from dry skin most of my life and I became passionate about creating pampering and soothing products that would rid me of my dry skin. I spent a few years researching and experimenting before I began to sell my goodies.

How long have you been crafting?

6 years.

What is your inspiration?

The creative pleasure of blending my own natural and near natural ingredients and coming up with pampering goodies that soothe the senses and smooth the skin. I absolutely LOVE what I do. I feel so blessed I am able to do this from the comfort of my own home!

What is your favorite piece in your shop today?

My Fresh Strawberry & Cucumber Goat's Milk Soap. I love to make soap! It is my favorite thing to create. ;)

How do you market/advertise your wares?

Our dot com, Etsy, Our Blog, Ning Groups, DaWanda, Handmade Catalog, Flickr, My Space, Talent Database, Stylehive, Squidoo, and several other places.

Any advice to fledgling crafters / entrepreneurs?

Network and when you are done networking, do it again, and again, and again. ;) You have to get your name out there. ;) I have pulled several all- nighters just networking and I believe it has really helped my business grow. ;)

Thanks CozyMoments - keep on dreaming your delicious creations!! :>

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Quote of the Week!

“My look is attainable. Women can look like Audrey Hepburn by flipping out their hair, buying the large sunglasses, and the little sleeveless dresses.”

~Audrey Hepburn

I LOVE vintage and classic looks! I LOVE big sunglasses and sophisticated, individual style.

I found someFABULOUS oversized black sunglasses - my fave :> My girlfriends always make fun of me when I wear them but, I secretly know they want them!!

I also found a cute little black dress from Max and Cleo- with gorgeous pleating in the front and a delicious hemline :> It would be great for upcoming spring evening weddings!
Now YOU ARE totally set for some classic vintage style!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Home Tip Tuesday - Going Green!

" Going green" is a duty that everyone must help with. Our planet won't save itself as long as we are here! So, Ms. Oprah Winfrey is helping us to all be a bit more conscience of our habits. Check out Oprah's Going Green Tips.

This link is truly full of great ideas for earth friendly:
~cleaning supplies
~water bottles

JUST ONE SMALL CHANGE by everyone can help our planet :>

Friday, February 1, 2008

Independent Designer Friday - Ablemabel

The Independent Designer of the Week is Ablemabel - a fun and vibrant shop at Etsy! Here is my favorite piece from Ablemabel! Pretty cool and unique!!

I asked Ablemabel a few questions about the craft business!

How would you describe your crafts/Etsy shop?
Eclectic, colorful, fun! We have a little bit of stuff, magnets, jewelry, wall plaques, cards...

How did you get started?
Last fall we were in charge of our church craft sale. Before that we hadn't really been into the "craft world" very much. We had so much fun designing, creating, producing! We knew we couldn't stop anytime soon. Etsy seemed like the natural place to start "destashing" our creations.

How long have you been crafting?
We have been creating things for ourselves for as long as I can remember. Whether it's been sewing curtains or blankets or scrapbooking. It's only been recently that we decided to open our Etsy store and sell our products.

What is your inspiration?
Fabrics, scrapbooking products, color, nature, book, magazines, quotes.

What is your favorite place to shop today? A
fabric or scrapbooking store.

How do you market/advertise your wares?
Etsy, local shops, local craft fairs, Flickr, other misc websites we're a part of.

Any advice to fledgling crafters / entrepreneurs?
Stick with it especially thru slow times! Follow your gut, it's usually right. Most of all have fun!!

Thanks Ablemabel - keep up the crafting and creating!! :>