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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I am featured on Handbag Designer 101!!

How exciting it is to be recognized!! I was featured on the Handbag Designer 101!!!! This website is fabulous for not only handbag designers but also handbag enthusiasts - of which I am both!!! It has wonderful references on handbag trends, celebrity handbag sightings, handbag events and highlights of handbag designers!!!

Check out my interview - how proud I am of myself - I am absolutely swelling :> Well, enough gushing!

Have a wonderful evening.......

Monday, April 28, 2008

Independent Designer Friday on Monday!! - Made by Melissa

The Independent Designer of the Week is Made by Melissa- an eclectic shop on Etsy featuring jewelry, crochet work and craft supplies.

Here is my favorite item from Made by Melissa - Live Laugh Love Shop Bottle Cap Magnet. Wht a delightful way to be reminded about the important things in life!

I asked Melissa a few questions about the craft business!

How would you describe your crafts/Etsy shop?

My jewelry is simple but I try to make it unique at the same time, mostly traditional, although I do follow some trends. My baby blankets and washcloths are traditional for the most part while still being one of a kind.

How did you get started?

Friends told me I should try to sell my jewelry and my good friend and Etsy seller AliV found Etsy and here I am!

How long have you been crafting?

Forever! Even at 5 years old I was taking apart costume jewelry and restringing the beads every morning to match my outfit. I had the best accessories of all my kindergarten class! My sister and I used to spend our summers crafting. Right after school ended my mother would take us to the craft store and get us whatever supplies we wanted for our summer crafts. I started off making braided friendship bracelets from embroidery floss for everyone I knew (even my dad wound up wearing a few) and somewhere along the line I discovered beads.

What is your inspiration?

I just like to make things that look good - whether they are traditional, trendy, one of a kind or easily replicated. I am inspired by looking at my beads sitting in there storage caddy and picturing them in a necklace, or braclet or earrings.

What is your favorite piece in your shop today?

This bracelet made with purple glass hearts and amethyst crystals is my favorite jewelry piece: And this classic rainbow zigzag blanket is my favorite crocheted piece. I made a blanket in the same pattern for my son and I use it all the time in his car seat. He was fascinated with all the colors on this one.

How do you market/advertise your wares?

I do a lot of little things, I am street teams, I hang out in the Etsy forums, I've been in some buy and replace treasuries, I spam my friends and family and I have a blog that I update as regularly as life allows. (

Any advice to fledgling crafters / entrepreneurs?

Don't give up!! It takes a while to get started and make a name for yourself. Keep listing things and relisting expired items, promote yourself and make things that you like. Don't sell anything that you aren't completely proud of. Its easy to promote things if you truly love them, and if you love them, then there is certainly someone else out there who will love them as much as you do.

Thanks Melissa for your interview! We all wish you continued crafting success :>

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's a Convertible Baby!!!!

It's a CONVERTIBLE baby! Change this from a wristlet to a snug shoulder handbag to a pouch to hang on your stroller or beltloop!! I LOVE this style for going out with girlfriends - I LOVE the options I have!!

This perky pouch is made from a black floral fabric accented with a complimentary lime green fabric, orange grosgrain ribbon and detailed stitching. Perfect for holding - lip gloss, make-up, coins, cell phone, moola, ID, credit cards, camera - the ESSENTIALS!
Use this bag to help you zip out the door!
-Features include durable cotton lining and zipper closure with coordinating ribbon zipper pull.
-Wristlet strap with swivel hook - use as a wristlet OR a mini purse!
-Bag lined with interfacing and fleece for structure, softness and durability.
-ALL bag seam points are heavily reinforced for usability, durability and toughness!!
-This bag measures approximately 8" (W) x 4.5" (H).
-You'll find your Zippy Zipper Pouch treated with Scotchguard - so party it up - you're protected!!
Have a GREAT hump day!!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My 2 new loves .....

Obviously, I LOVE handbags. But, my second love is sunglasses. I wear sunglasses everyday of the year - everyday of the YEAR!! I am like the postal workers - rain, snow, sleet, hail - I wear my sunglasses. I basically find 2 pairs that I like and literally drive them into the ground. I mean, if you were a pair of sunglasses atop my nose, you would be SERIOUSLY worked.

So, on to my new loves of 2008! Metallics are SO hot - they're everywhere!! I want to wear this new trend but I am a stay at home mom and wife of a man who is studying day and night for a SERIOUS test in June so.....I rarely dress up how I would like. I do, however, dress up with handbags, scarves and SUNGLASSES!!!!

These are my two little metallic pretties - the top I bought for $5.99 at Charlotte Russe - what a steal!! The bottom I bought the same day for $22.00 at a mall kiosk - so Top Gun :> I love them and I feel good in them - which is well worth every penny spent!!!

Independent Designer Friday - Girl Party Tutus

The Independent Designer of the Week is Girl Party Tutus- an adorable shop on Etsy specializing in beautiful little girl tutus.

Here is my favorite tutu from Girl Party Tutus - Meadow Rose Ribbon Wrapped Tutu. What a delicious and darling pink and green tutu! Oh, if only I could be 3 again - I would DEFINETLY wear this :>

I asked Kim from Girl Party Tutus a few questions about the craft business!

1. How would you describe your crafts/Etsy Shop -

I would describe my crafts and my shop as a celebration and an embracing of the inner little diva in myself, that quality that both my daughters, many little girls in fact happily show the world.

2.How did I get started -

During a play date my oldest daughter and her friend were playing ballerinas, I thought wouldn't they be cute in tutus. I knew I could buy them, but decided to give it a whirl on my own, after many trial and errors I came up with the design that I love and decided okay lets take it to the next step, discovered Etsy and here we are.

3.How long have I been crafting -

I think I really got going when I became a SAHM, I always had a desire, but me in my 20's, ugh don't get me started, I just didn't have the focus, when my priorities changed so did my desire to really find my creative energy.

4.What is my inspiration -

So many things, but mainly nature. Nature really comes up with some pretty creative and amazing color combinations; flowers, birds, the sky at dusk,endless inspiration.

5.What is your favorite piece in your shop today -

My favorite piece today, I think is my Pastel Rainbow Satin Wrapped TuTus, it is just so incredibly girly and adorable!

6.How do I market/advertise - I am just getting started so my focus has been 1st, word of mouth, thankfully I have a large family and group of friends who have done an amazing job helping me spread the word and handing out business cards. 2nd I have joined networking groups like Designing Swanky Moms, IndiePublic, Posh Mamas and the Mom Pack. These amazing moms, designers, crafters, entrepreneurs have been a huge resource and have helped get my name and tutus out there as well as providing a wealth of information and support to help me move my business forward!

7. Any advice for fledgling crafters/entrepreneurs -

Since I still consider myself a fledging, the best thing I can offer is find something you love to make and or sell, believe in yourself, don't be afraid to ask for help and support and seek out any and all resources.

Thanks Kim!! You have adorable tutus! :> The world would be a much prettier place if every little girl could twirl in a Girl Party Tutu!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A BEAUTIFUL day with my kids!!

We had an absolutely delicious day today!! It was about 70 degrees and SUN!!! I love the spring :> My kids are having a GREAT time everyday riding around in my son's new motorized car. My daughter at first was afraid and now she just loves to zip around with my son. She asks everyday to "Go for a ride in Brady's car." I can't wait until she can steer herself because I am already eying up the Barbie jeep for her! Our neighbor, who is 4, has that car and my daughter LOVES to just sit in it and get a ride. She is really into pink and girly stuff so the Barbir jeep is completely up her alley!

Now, on this sunny delightful day, while I was somewhere hacking down blades of tall dead grass (the ornamental kind), my son decided to sneak into the house, grab my camera and start snapping!! I like to call this one - Caught red handed!!! :>

This was also his concoction today that he decided to photograph - I like to call it - "My snack and my toys in a bucket of dirty water." I wonder what he calls it!! I wonder if my son has a future in this photography thing :>

Friday, April 11, 2008

Independent Designer Friday - Dinner Time Chimes

The Independent Designer of the Week is Dinner Time Chimes - an enchanting shop on Etsy specializing in recycled dinner ware wind chimes to felt flower bookmarks.

Here is my favorite piece from Dinner Time Chimes- Ready for the Beach - Shell Spoon Windchime. I can imagine sitting on my deck enjoying the tranquil sound as I dine al fresco. Ahhhhh.....summer!!!

I asked Erin of Dinner Time Chimes a few questions about the craft business!

How would you describe your crafts/Etsy shop?

We like to think that our shop is filled with unique gifts, that just happen to be created from things that other’s no longer have use for.

How did you get started?

The windchimes started out as a way of having something fun to make with my dad when I was in middle school and to also give me something to hunt for at flea markets. Over the years, it's turned into 'what can I make out of these?' thrift hunts for silverplate and anything that I think will work as a bird house. Now that I’m married and have convinced my husband that this is fun, the work continues.

How long have you been crafting?

I’ve been making crafts for as long as I can remember, I must have something to do at all times.

What is your inspiration?

Since almost everything in our shop is created from other’s trash, I guess that I’d have to say that I’m inspired by estate sales and thrift store finds. The reason that I continue to make wind chimes after so many years is that I love the look on people’s faces at shows when they realize that it’s real forks and spoons making that beautiful song they’ve been hearing as they’ve strolled along.

What is your favorite piece in your shop today?

This one goblet windchime ( ) is my current favorite, mainly because I think that the picture turned out great. Getting a perfect shot of the windchime, when the wind’s not blowing and it can be cropped to a square for Etsy and still look impressive has proven to the more difficult that I would’ve thought. My second favorite is the boot birdhouse, mainly because it’s so unique and people browsing the shop can’t help but click to see what it is.

How do you market/advertise your wares?

Since this business is a hobby for us, we rely heavily on word of mouth advertising. The local free online advertising has worked out great, mainly because the items that we create are so unique. The local NCTriangle Etsy Street Team ( ) has really started working together to support each other through Etsy and local shows, and soon we hope to start doing some advertising both locally and nationally to find shoppers. In addition to selling online via Etsy and our own website, we have windchimes in a couple local antiques stores.

Any advice to fledgling crafters / entrepreneurs?

Follow your dreams and do what you enjoy. Crafting and selling what you make should be fun and exciting; otherwise you should ask yourself if it’s worth it. Ask questions if you need help with anything, the crafting community tends to be very giving and friendly.

Thanks Erin!! I admire your effort to find pieces to recycle to make into beautiful music and to make ou planet a little greener in the process!!! CHEERS :>

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Please donate

I watch American Idol. I love to listen and cheer on my favorite contestants. I sit on my couch with my glass of white wine and enjoy the comfort of my home. I was touched by the special show that was aired tonight. I want to give. I want to help. I pledge to donate to help end hunger and death in our country and countries around the world. Won't you help me?

Visit here to find out how you can give back - Idol Gives Back.



Have an idea to help me launch a way to help with a handbag line?? I would LOVE to hear!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Why buy a custom fabric handbag??

You may be asking yourself this very question. What are the benefits of buying a custom designed purse from Simple Sweetcakes??

Well there are many reasons:

1. You will have a bag that is completely unique to you ~ Unique in size, shape, texture, color, and style.

2. You become the designer. What fabrics do you like together? What ribbon colors would you like to add? What size handle is most comfortable for you?

3. You are OVER the "designer" handbag parties. You are looking to be an original - NOT a follower.

4. Spring and Summer are fantastic times to flaunt color!! You can choose a bright hue to lighten your mood.

5. It's FUN!!!

Interested in seeing more?? Check out our current fabric selections - FABRICS.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Birds before dawn

It is dark. My son looks up the stairs. He turns to me. "I'm not going up there," he says. "It's dark up there!" My 2 year old daughter turns to me and says, "It dark up dare!" and "Ooooohhhhh!" I tell my son that there is nothing going on in the dark that there isn't going on in the light.

Yet, tonight as I sit and watch Pride and Prejudice (I LOVE all period British moive and especially Jane Austin!!!), I have a realization. In the film, Lizzie begins to hear a most beautiful sound. It is the sound of the first bird just before dawn. I begin to imagine my experiences with this sound. This is my connection - In your desperation, it starts as a faint sound in the back of your mind. You lay there in the darkness, still thinking and trying to shake the terror you feel. And then, wait....there it is again. You begin to think that it might be a sweet sound. wait....yes, there it is again and again....and wait. again! The sounds are coming so quickly now. You don't even need to look out the window. You know that daylight is coming. You know that everything is changing now. Changing from the dark of the night. So now it's "better."

I actually connected with my son in that thought, that moment from the film. I once felt how he feels about the dark. I remembered my feelings. I realized that my practical advice of there being no difference of surroundings between day and night means nothing when you are scared. I felt the empathy of the moment. I did not belittle his feelings. I will not. I will try every day to feel them in my heart.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Independent Designer Friday - Chic Designs by Hayley

The Independent Designer of the Week is Chic Designs by Hayley - a delicious jewelery shop on Etsy specializing in everything from do-it-yourself tools to beautiful special occason pieces.

Here is my favorite piece from Chic Designs by Hayley - Turquoise and Chrysocolla Necklace. Turquoise is so HOT!!! This would look killer with a bright red top, dark blue jeans and your new peep toe pumps!!!

I asked Chic Designs by Hayley a few questions about the craft business!

How would you describe your crafts/Etsy shop?
I would say that my jewelry is sometimes funky, sometimes elegant, and sometimes somewhere in between! I love color and I love things that have some sparkle to them.
How did you get started?
I first started making my own jewelry using inexpensive beads and plated wires. Once I felt like I had mastered the basics, I started diving into buying actual semi-precious gemstones. I learned most of the techniques I know by heading to my local library and checking out jewelry-making books and by buying beading magazines. So pretty much I self taught myself everything I know. People around my small town started asking me about my jewelry and if I was selling it. It wasn't until my jewelry collection got ridiculously large that my husband suggested the possibility of selling my stuff. I also noticed that when I had yard sales and was selling some of my first beginner pieces, people where showing up early and literally ripping jewelry out of each others hands. That was really exciting to see people eager to buy even the basic stuff.
How long have you been crafting?
I've only been making jewelry for about 4 years now, but come from a family of crafty people so its in my blood.What is your inspiration?As I've gained more confidence over the past few years of making jewelry, I've gotten bolder at making more interesting color combinations in my work. I see some of the fabrics that my sister uses in sewing her handbags and I just fall in love with the colors. Mostly though my inspiration just comes from wanting to make something out of the ordinary that you wouldn't find at the local shopping center.
What is your favorite piece in your shop today?
I absolutely love my white topaz and freshwater pearl earrings. I think they are absolutely stunning.
How do you market/advertise your wares?
In addition to selling on etsy, I have my jewelry in a gift shop in a neighboring town. People are able to pick up one of my cards there too which directs them to my etsy shop. Although I would love to be able to list at least one item a day on etsy, sometimes it just doesn't happen (3 kids) although I definitely list at least 3 or 4 pieces a week or even relist an item. I also make sure to wear some of my work wherever I go, even to the grocery store, and keep a full stock of business cards in my purse so that anyone who comments on what I'm wearing can be handed a card. I find that is like being a human billboard. Who cares if you are just heading to the Post Office or the grocery store, throw on a fabulous chunky necklace and matching earrings and turn some heads. I also get on the "We Love Etsy" network usually daily and list photos of my work. I also check out the forums on etsy and convo other etsy crafters.
Any advice to fledgling crafters / entrepreneurs?
Be persistent. You can't list 10 items on etsy, not do anything for a month and expect the sales to come rolling in. Get your name and your craft out there. Do a craft fair or something of that nature. It's a way to get your name out there to a lot of people at one time. Don't be afraid to share what you do with people. For me, the best kick start to my business was getting my items in gift shop.
Thanks Hayley!! You have delicious pieces :> I love your advice about wearing a few fab pieces of jewelery even to the post office! I think that as a mom myself - I need to hear that advice!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The NEW Dolce Bag

I am pleased to introduce the latest addition to the Simple Sweetcakes handbag line - the Dolce Handbag. In Italian dolce means sweet. I think that this sums up the bag. I really wanted a sleek and modern looking handbag with also practicality in mind.

We all carry our LIVEs around in our handbags. We need a bag that can stand up to that tall order. So, the Dolce is tall ~12 inches and it's wide ~ 12 inches. It can carry your water bottle, diapers, sippy cups, wallets, pouches, makeup, hat, socks - whatever you want! It super stylish and site extremely comfortably under your arm.

Check out the one above here - Dolce Handbag in Pink and Green Spring Patchwork.

Ciao Dahling!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My new FABRICS have arrived

So I was using the computer as the UPS guy drove up. I will admit that a butterfly of excitement went through my belly. I LOVE receiving my fabrics! It is truly like Christmas morning!!! I have to post some of my faves here. But, you can check out ALL of my fabrics here -

I can't wait to get sewing!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What a delicious dress!!

I LOVE this fabric! I want to make a large beach tote with it. This Milly dress is fab!! I love the blue with the white - yum - outlined in black - so chic! It reminds me of a vacation dress to the Bahamas or Aruba OR even an evening out in July eating at an outside street cafe. Oh - I love the spring and summer!
I would make an addition. I would add a wide white belt to cinch of the waist. It makes you look thinner and it really pulls together the look. I love that wide belts are back! I bet you can find some on Etsy and buy handmade. The above belt is from Target.
I have been inspired by this ensemble to make some belted bags. I made a few in the past and LOVED them. I'll whip some of those up this season :>