Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Featured Seller Tuesday!

This week's featured seller is...

Cherished Bliss is the perfect shop to browse if you want to spoil your little one or maybe just to look at the pictures of the adorable babies wearing her beautiful headbands, hats, and bows.  Since I will be having my first little girl in September, I'm not going to lie, I was extremely tempted by her shop as well.  Stop by her shop and give her some love for sure. :)

1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself? What are your other hobbies, what is day to day life like for you?
I am a mommy to two little ones. I have a 3 year old son, and an daughter that just turned 1! They are my life. I love them more than anything! I have been married to my husband for almost 5 years and love every single moment! He is amazing : ) 

I love crafting. I have really been enjoying sewing lately! It is so nice to sit down and kinda go to an "alone place" and just start sewing away! I Don't really have much time for other hobbies. Between that and kids I'm lucky to get anything done! So that is pretty much my day. Take care of kids, clean, cook, craft. 

2.) What inspired you to begin creating and open your shop? 
I've always enjoyed making things but never really started doing it a lot until I was pregnant with my daughter. I like to say she brought the Susy Homemaker out in me. The first thing I ever sewed was her crib bedding. 

3.) What is your best selling item in your shop? What is your favorite item in your shop?
My best selling item is my Shabby Chic Vintage Inspired Rosette Headband with French Netting

This used to be my favorite, but I've made it so many times I now like the Shabby Chic Rosette on pleated bow. I created that one on a whim and always loved how it turned out. Now if I could get my daughter to actually wear headbands. 

4.) What is your biggest struggle as a etsy seller?
Having time to promote my shop. I also really want to start selling patterns vs. the actual products. I don't have a craft area and cleaning all my craft stuff off my dining room table off between every meal gets a little time consuming. 

5.) What's your favorite thing about being an artist?
My favorite thing is that craft is mine and mine alone. It's my escape from everyday life and allows me to be creative and use my mind in an adult kind of way. Every mom needs something of her own : ) 

6.) Do you have a crafting "routine"? Are there things in your day to day life (job, family, etc.) that make it difficult to stick to that routine
I do NOT have any type of routine. I wish I did. But I just craft and create when I have a free moment or my husband takes the kiddos away for a few hours. A lot of times I am catching up late at night. 

7.) I talk a lot about certain fears of creativity, like the fear of failing and fearing that people won't like your creation, do you experience these fears and if so how do you get past them and keep creating?
I don't really have the fear that people won't like my stuff. I know that I personally don't like everything I see, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the artist. So I don't expect anything more from others. Any harsh words just makes me thing the other person is jealous ; ) I do however absorb constructive critisim. I am completely self taught so I appreciate someone taking the time to look that closely at my stuff to help me improve : ) 

8.) Tell us a little quirky fact about yourself. 
On rare occasion I dip french fries in a chocolate shake. Don't judge until you try it : )

Want to be featured on my blog?  
Leave me a comment with a link to you shop so I can add you to my list :)  Hope you enjoyed this weeks shop!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Featued Tuesday

And today's featured seller is…

Partridge Designs is owned by Meaghan McRae of Canada, 
a woman with a vast variety of artistic talents.
 In her shop, she sells fabulous jewelry made 
from sterling silver and natural and semi precious stones.  
Make sure to check out her shop, and her blog and give 
her some love :)  

1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself? What are your other hobbies, what is day to day life like for you?
I am a 24 year old living in Kelowna, BC, Canada. I have pursued a few different careers in my life so far. It started with wanting to be an "artist" and studying at two different schools. Then I switched to being a pastry chef. I went to pastry school and continued by working as a cake decorator. Even though I loved my work I still longed for "the degree" so I transferred my credits to a general studies program. I studied for a while only to run out of funds. This left me unemployed and unable to get back into the baking world. So I moved home with my family and started making jewelry. Everything I do now still includes all of my previous life choices. Selling on Etsy allows me to practice my photography and keeps my creative hands busy making jewelry (mini sculptures). I continue to bake and decorate cakes for family and friends. I also hope to start working as a cake decorator again soon. But for now my jewelry keeps me very busy, getting my name out in the world, selling online, and at local markets and events. 

2.) What inspired you to begin creating and open your shop? 

There was never a question that I wouldn't end up in a creative profession. I think the inspiration to be an artist was imprinted in my DNA (lol). I am a visual person that love nothing more than to create. Wether it is a cake, sculpture, birthday card, store banner or a pair of earrings, if I can make something Im happy.

3.) What is your best selling item in your shop?

 My best selling Item on and off line is always earrings. They make great gifts and you can never have too many pairs. 

4.) What is your biggest struggle as a etsy seller?

My biggest struggle is getting people to my shop. It has proven harder than I originally thought but worth the work.

5.) What's your favorite thing about being an artist? 

My favourite thing about being an artist is how visual a person it makes you. It seems like you end up seeing the whole world with a different set of eyes. Every last detail of our world doesn't go unnoticed. We see everything. Somehow, watching the world and people becomes a better form of communication than language.

6.) Do you have a crafting "routine"? Are there things in your day to day life (job, family, etc.) that make it difficult to stick to that routine?

I work all the time. Since moving home with a family that all have jobs of their own, I get a lot of quiet time to work. So I spend my days in a small room downstairs, listening to loud music and getting into the rhythm of making jewelry. I don't plan out my designs, they are all done as I think them up.

7.) I talk a lot about certain fears of creativity, like the fear of failing and fearing that people won't like your creation, do you experience these fears and if so how do you get past them and keep creating?

Not to say that I have failed a lot in my life but once you have "stumbled" a few times you get used to it. I have put everything into making and selling jewelry. No matter the outcome I'm happy with how I have put myself and my art out in the world and will always continue to do so. You have to build an artists suit of armour. It really doesn't matter what others think as long as you are happy with your work and of course don't take it all too seriously.

8.) Tell us a little quirky fact about yourself.
I have a tattoo, on my right wrist, of a Scottish symbol called a Luckenbooth. It stands for love and luck. When people in Scotland get married they like to exchange pendants with the design on it. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011


So, hubby and I have been attempting to go to church on a more regular basis.  We used to go every sunday and then when we got married little things kept coming up, like Lincoln had to work and then when we had Milo, it got even harder to go because it takes SOO much preparation to go ANYWHERE with a newborn baby.

Well, the past two Sundays have not worked out so well.  We get to church, we last through worship, Milo starts getting distracting so we move to the family room.  The family room is the place in CTK (Christ The King) Bellingham where all the noisy and distracting babies are allowed to be, so we think "oh good, he might even have friends to play with."  NOPE.  Instead we walk into this room, the room meant for all of the crazy distracting babies of CTK and find little ones sitting on the floor by their parents feet, being perfectly quiet and still.  Milo walks in (holding mommy and daddy's hands of course)  and immediately run after the other quiet and calm babies, trying to play.  He crawls from front to back to front to back, stopping by one particular girl to try to push her over, takes off her sock and refuses to share the books I brought to distract him.

After about five minutes in to the actual service, of which I heard tiny phrases like something about the service times changing and the differences between young girls and young boys falling in love, we leave defeated.

On our way out, we stop by to check out the nursery thinking maybe it's a little more play friendly there. The nursery is more of a place for parents to drop off their children so that they can pay attention during church, which makes sense for sure, but I'm barely comfortable with my in-laws watching my son, I don't know how I'm supposed to trust complete strangers! The woman I talk to about the nursery informs me they have a family room if I would like to stay with him, but the nursery is pretty strictly a drop off place of which I would actually need a guest pass to be with my child in.  I then explain our incident with the other children and she nods.  "They're probably just more calm because they're used to it."  USED to it?! I want to scream.  Are you serious?  As if we never take Milo anywhere?  I'm a stay at home mom, so he's not really used to being around other babies considering we don't know very many people where we live that actually have kids, but it's not like he's never been to church, or like he's never seen other people!  In fact, if I'm out of the house, he is too.  We go on walks almost daily to the park.

Needless to say, I feel like a horrible parent.  How else am I supposed to feel thinking about the way all the other parents stare at me in service as my son joyfully yells at the top of his lungs at the sight of another child.  Milo has always been a pretty strong willed, hyper, in-love-with-everyone, sort of child.  When new people meet him they like to say, "He has a lot of personality."  I love that about my child.  I am glad that he doesn't just sit and look around, but actually engages in life and with other people.  But, when I get looks like the ones I got today, the ones that tell me they're thinking about how out of control my one year old is and begging that I leave with him before it rubs off on their child, what am I supposed to think about my parenting skills?  And honestly, I don't really care if people think I'm a bad parent, though it does sting a little.  More of what I am concerned with is, how am I ever going to attend another church service again?  Anyone else have this problem with their children and have some advice for me?


Friday, June 10, 2011

When did I get soooo UNORGANIZED

I can remember growing up the only way for me to survive the week was to be super organized.  In high school, I was a member of Honor Society, Spanish club, Interact club, a cheerleader, Homecoming and Prom coordinator, in the toughest classes my school offered, not to mention that while I was doing all of these activities, I was changing homes at least 3 times a year.  And yet, I got it all done, and I did it to the fullest of my potential.  I always had high grades, I was always setting up some kind of club function, volunteering, I was doing everything!

So, how did I go from some sort of wonder woman to a lady that has to write down reminders in multiple places just to remember to take my prenatal vitamins?  Is this the extent that pregnancy brain can have on a person? Sometimes I blame my husband because if I was the ultra organized person, he is the ultra unorganized person.  While I would like to write everything down in a neat and organized planner, sometimes I feel he would rather just do what it is he remembers to do (which has to be the important stuff, right)  and then fly by the seat of his pants doing whatever else in his spare time.  So, maybe this whole two people becoming one if rubbing off on my organization skills in the wrong way?  Could that be possible?

Or, maybe it's the fact that I got married and had a baby and am pregnant all within two years.. maybe that's the reason that my laundry is piling up and the crochet orders are piling up and I haven't sent out my son birthday invitations for his party that is next Saturday?  I feel so overwhelmed sometimes by the things that I am forgetting that I can't seem to regroup and just get them done.  So, my mission today as I sit in our local coffee shop writing to you all while my husband takes Milo for a jog in his new jogging stroller, is to make a schedule and GET ORGANIZED.  I am going to sit here until I have a clear plan on how to get everything in my life done without having to stress about it.  I don't know yet if this is going to involve a calendar, a planner, or what! but until I have figured this UNorganized part of my life out (or until 1:45 when I must be home because hubby works today)  I will be sipping my decaf latte and ice water and praying the God gives me some sort of divine inspiration and saves me from this part of myself that I do not recognize as myself and lets be become the wonder woman organization and clean freak that I used to be.

So, Lord help me to be organized and to prioritize the things that You would want me to get done, and to have the time and energy to do it all.  In your name!  AMEN

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Featured Seller Tuesday!

And today's featured seller is…

WhiteLilyDesign is a beautiful and fresh shop filled with unique handmade jewelry.  

The owner, Petra, is a woman from Finland who is newer to etsy, 

like many of the other shops that I feature on my blog.  

The fact that her shop is located in Finland is also special to me because 

I am 1/4 finnish and my Dad and Grandmother are extremely proud of their culture.  

Her shop is filled with wonderful necklaces, rings, earrings, even some vintage pieces!  

Make sure to check it out and give her some love :)

1.)  Tell us a little bit about yourself? What are your other hobbies, what is day to day life like for you?
I am a thirty-something HR lawyer living in the center of Helsinki, Finland. I will be married by the sea in couple of weeks's time and thus, all my free time has been occupied pretty much with all things related to our wedding. I also love to dance (especially latin, jazz, show), travel, read and take photographs.

2.)  What inspired you to begin creating and open your shop?
My main inspiration was my two little sisters who were (and are still) making beautiful jewelry. First I just bought some nice necklaces from them but when they agreed to teach me how to make jewelry I was so happy and started to make all my own jewelry. Ever since I have made different kinds of jewelry for myself, my mother, my friends and colleagues. I am a person who has passion for everything I do so it was very natural for me to try my "luck" in Etsy. My Etsy shop is fairly new and buyers have not yet found it but I am positive that it will happen someday... 

3.) What is your best selling item in your shop? What is your favorite item in your shop?
I really don't have any best selling items in my shop as my Etsy shop has been open just so short time. My favorite item must be one of the nice rings.  I especially like my glass stone rings in different colors.

4.) What is your biggest struggle as an etsy seller?
My biggest struggle have to be how to have more traffic to my shop and how to be 

5.)What's your favorite thing about being an artist?
The greatest thing about being an artist is definitely when you see or hear that someone has truly liked your product and would also like to recommend you and your work to others. That's a great feeling!

6.) Do you have a crafting "routine"? Are there things in your day to day life (job, family, etc.) that make it difficult to stick to that routine?
I don't have any crafting routine. Usually I make some jewelry after I come home from work or on weekends. I may take almost a whole week where I might not do anything related to jewelry but on another other week I can make jewelry every night and the whole weekend. So, it varies a lot.

7.)  talk a lot about certain fears of creativity, like the fear of failing and fearing that people won't like your creation, do you experience these fears and if so how do you get past them and keep creating?
I think that every artist has, at some point, a fear that no-one likes his/her creations but that feeling hopefully comes and goes. I don't have big fears as I do have at my day job which is pretty rewarding itself and I am not taking myself so seriously when I am making jewelry. Of course, I will be disappointed if no-one would like to buy my products. It is really refreshing when I have some shopping event e.g. at the workplace where people can touch and feel the jewelry. Usually such events have been really profitable and people have liked my jewelry, so that always gives me some hope. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Sale

What is inspiring me today?

Last night around 9-ish or so I realized something when I was checking my shop on etsy.. I'D MADE A SALE!  First sale this month, and it was only the 3rd at the time.. I'm thinking all my networking lately has been paying off.  You really can't describe to someone who hasn't been in the trenches of etsy (or some other online business)  how much work it is to keep a shop going, or how discouraging it is to put all the work in and not see results.  I have been on etsy for just a day over 7 months now and was really beginning to wonder if I was just wasting my time.  Every night I crochet like mad when Milo goes to sleep.  On the off chance that I have had enough time to finish whatever it is I have been working on, maybe I take a few pictures.  Then maybe the next night or some time during the day when Milo has actually decided to nap ;) I list that item.  Done, right?  I have a finished product with beautiful photos and it's in my shop, so people are going to buy it!  Wrong.  People don't just come out of nowhere with their virtual shopping carts and purchase that item because they haven't found that item.  So then the next night you spend all night networking, trying to somehow get your product seen by someone!  AND THEN if you're luck, you might get a sale.  Then you have to decide, do I go offline for a little while and try to make something new, maybe risk giving up some of the connections I have just made just for the sake of having a little time to actually practice my craft or do I continue being glued to my computer for hours straight trying to find my customers?

7 months ago when I discovered etsy, so young and naive,  I thought, "That doesn't look too hard.  I love to crochet and knit.. so how much more work could it possibly be to just put those items online for people to buy? "  Well, as I've just outlined, it's ALOT more work.  It's making sure your photos are bright enough to be noticed.  It's making a light box out of an old box your husband brings home from work and a few cut up shirts he no longer wears.  It's finding the space around your 2 bedroom apartment to store all the yarn you have, the stock of scarves and washcloths you have built up, the previously mentioned light box that you stuff in a corner somewhere and get looks when company comes over.  "What is that?"  they wonder.

Owning an etsy shop is ALOT of work, and at times it is very discouraging.  BUT when you make a sale, that is your inspiration to keep going, to shrug off the discouragement that has been pushing down on your shoulders and let yourself know, "I CAN do this."  Such a little thing like someone buying new washcloths for their home can become such a marvelous thing to that shop owner.  That's the great thing about etsy I think.  If someone goes into Macy's to purchase those washcloths, I doubt that the owners of Macy's get so excited they have to text their husband at work right away and want to shout the news to all surrounding neighbors.  I am inspired this week because that is how a sale on etsy feels to me, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way.  So, thank you to etsy and thank you to my wonderful customer, and "I CAN do this!" :)

Also, I have been recently featured in a giveaway, so if you want to win one of my fabulous washcloths sets, here is the link to the blog I am being featured in :) The Steady Hand

Friday, June 3, 2011

Schedule.. HMM..

So, it has been far too long since I have blogged.  This is mostly because I have just been so darn busy!  To be honest, laundry is piling up, orders are piling up (even though they are mostly trades)  and the last thing on my mind lately has been to blog.

HOWEVER!  I do miss it.  I love to be able to write every day, it seems like the repeated task tends to unblock my mind and relax me.  And there has been some stress lately...

So, what's been new in my life lately?  Well, my son officially turned one this last Tuesday.  It was an extremely emotional day in which we took him to go get pictures, which he did very well in until the end and then became very bored while mommy and daddy picked the pictures we would take home.  We were supposed to be having his birthday party tomorrow at my in-laws house, but decided to go in a different direction with it and postponed it until the 18th and have it up here in Bellingham (instead of 3 hours away where they live) at a cute park that has baby swings and slides :)  I'm extremely excited!  The theme is Thomas the Train, which used to be his favorite show, but now I'm thinking it probably should have been themed after the movie Tangled, since that's the movie Milo could watch every day all day.  Don't know how my husband would feel about our son having a disney princess first birthday tho.. hmm..  He is now sitting in his high chair having just finished his cereal bars snack and playing in water he somehow got out of my water bottle, so I guess I'm going to have to finish this short and go clean him up :)  Funny how he looks just as cute with cereal in his hair and water all over his shirt though.  Don't babies have it easy?  If I showed up somewhere looking like that, people would probably question my sanity and definitely question my hygiene.   Babies however, seem too look just as adorable clean as crazy messy.  How do I get in on that gig?

I hope to be updating you all more often in the future :)  Happy Friday!

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers