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Holiday Gift Picks - For Mother Dear

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lovely gift ideas for Mom - a few from my shop & a few I've found browsing Etsy! They'd look wonderful paired together, don't you think? Maybe gorgeous earrings tucked inside an embroidered clutch....

{{Other Gift Guides: Gift Picks for the Wee Ones }}

Driftwood Hanging Mason Jar Vase ($33.50) from Post Road Vintage ( I love everything in this shop. Truly. hint, hint)

Babette Earrings in Periwinkle & Citrine ($24) from Lost & Fawned (lovely, lovely shop)

Mom's Nest with Personalized Name Stones ($25) from sjengraving (gobs of gorgeous gifts)

Milk & Honey Gift Set ($22) from SpaGoddess (fellow portlander...I've been eyeing her Rock Star Salt Detox for ages now....)

Mother & Child Ceramic Bowl ($14) from Elm Studio Online (perfect place for personalized & specific gifts...)

Antique French Bread Tin ($85) from FadedPrairie (oh, if I had a million dollars I'd probably spend it here...)

{{All Image Credits to the respective shops }}

Holiday Gift Picks - For the Wee Ones

Saturday, November 28, 2009

With Thanksgiving officially behind us (perhaps literally in the case of stuffing & pie and such ;) it's time for holiday shopping! Of course, I'm a little biased but I do think handmade lovelies make for the very best gifts. I love pairing items from different shops & artists to create an even more unique present...and showcase just how amazing handmade can be! So, in the coming days I'll be sharing my picks of Etsy beauties that would cozy up quite nicely to Quiltish items ...Enjoy!

For: The Wee Ones - Quiltish Baby Bib & Cloth Sets
Fiona the Fawn Wooden Toy by Little Alouette (simple & sweet)

Pond Life Mobile from Pink Perch (just so many lovely choices in this shop....really.)

Hand Stamped Personalized Baby Spoon from Julie the Fish (might just be one of the most perfect baby gifts ever)

Baby Bird Gift Basket from Flying Bird Botanicals (I own this set. I adore....)

Felt Animal Puppets from AniseMouette ( charming + cute + adorable)

{{Imade credits to their respective shops}}

Thanksgiving Downloads - Thank You Creature Comforts!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Somehow, Thanksgiving always sneaks up on me. Not sure how that happens. It's right there on the calendar. Each year. However, without fail, every year I think to myself, "holy heck, how in the world did this happen?" and then the frenzy starts.

Good thing for lovely freebies like this one from Creature Comforts! Lovely placemats (hello, impress your fam!), stationery (print on card stock, tie with ribbon & presto! housewarming gift) and children's color mat (genius points for this one).

*Click on photo above to link to download*

{{{Image Credit to Creature Comforts}}}

Creatures Great & Small - Our Little Woodsy Home

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I never would've pictured myself here- but we're so happy living in a wonderfully woodsy area outside of Portland. Of course, I'm more of a wide open spaces kind of gal & always imagined myself out on the range in wyoming....
......but the Oregon pine trees are magical & when we happen upon a little critter I feel very very lucky.

Here's a little glimpse of where we live as shown through my Etsy faves!

Dorsey the Bald Eagle by KimiSew (yes, we actually have a bald eagle couple in the tree behind our house!)
Itty Bitty Mouse by All Things Small (love, love, love this shop!)

Small Forest of One's Own by Pretty Dreamer

Squirrel Wedding Cake Topper by Middleburg

Little Deer Cup by Acero Studio I would love to drink my coffee from this cup!

Brass Sparrow Necklace by SweetSimple

Raccoon Collage Wall Art by Maple Shade Kids

Open For Business- My Experience & Tips for a Successful Open House

Monday, November 23, 2009

After hosting a very fun, exciting, & successful Open House event this weekend, I thought I'd share my experience because I would really encourage everyone making handmade to try something like this! (no need for tips? scroll down for the pics :) Also, let me just say that I am so thankful to everyone who came & supported me on this...I feel like I put myself out there & it was just an amazing experience to see my friends-old & new- come & share this with me!

Things That Were Successful (though folks in attendance can add comments if they like ;)
  • Studio - After much reorganizing, I used my actual sewing room to display my goods- guests seemed to really enjoy seeing this room- I heard a lot of "oh, wow, so this is where you do everything!" and answered questions about my process- which was so exciting to share. Having my fabric on display also helped people think about different items to order - I loved seeing my guests start talking about fabric to each other!
  • Catalog - I created a mini-book that featured some of my best work & variety - I am so proud of this! I would encourage others to make one too (what a great thing to share & show off!) but really it was rewarding for me just to see my stuff on paper like that. I was like, wow!, I did all this. This would be a great thing to show folks who missed the Open House but wanted to come.
  • Order Forms - Seems obvious but I nearly missed this one. This allowed people to buy multiples of items, change fabric, or order what I'd run out of.
  • Mood - I invited mostly moms & held my event on a Saturday night so I really wanted it to feel like a 'night out.' I had music, drinks, food, sparkly lights...I thought a lot about my "audience" & what kind of event they would like....I know it's hard for moms to get away so I wanted to make it worth it!
  • Display - I'm super proud of my branch tree display which I used to show off my new felt ornaments- I tried to think of something that would show how great they looked when hung from a tree to give people an idea.
  • Raffle - this was a good icebreaker & allowed me to share more of the handmade world & Etsy since I gave away soaps & crayons from two other Etsy shops (Kitty Baby Love & Sun Basil Garden)
  • Reveal - I held back from sharing items on my blog or Etsy so that people would get a chance to see some very new items....this added to a little excitement & interest I think because it might've been like "Oh, I saw this on your site. And that. This too."
  • Timing: I really analyzed this one. Ha. I picked a date that was good for gift buying...
  • Invites: well the invites themselves coulda (and shoulda) been snazzier than just an email, I did invite neighbors & people I didn't know very well...this was a wonderful way of showing the neighborhood just what I'm up to at 4am with the lights on & I think I made a few new friends!

What I Would Do Differently: I'm such a reflectionist (new word?) and always looking for ways to improve....here's my list- I'm sure it will keep growing!
  • Check -Out: Not sure what I was thinking here. I had bags & my calculator ready but I missed some important things here: paper to assist in adding up items, tissue paper & ribbon to wrap up purchases (which is my online signature!), and, uh, including my business cards. eeks. just hadn't thought this step through....
  • Display: Since this was a great time for people to buy gifts, I wish I would have displayed or talked more about gift ideas (my raffle did this a bit, but not enough). I could've showed my wash cloth sets with a bar of handmade soap....
  • Details: well, I planned this in two weeks so I'll cut myself some slack but in the future I would a) plan in farther in advance (like July!) b) think of the little things-> I really wanted to do include a small "thank-you" item (such as fabric covered magnets) but ran out of time, add my name & shop info to the bags, etc.....
  • Discount: Next time I'm including an incentive for re-order, like 10% off your next purchase on a lovely card with my info...because, well, just because.
  • Delegate: Many thanks to my hubby & my brother's girlfriend who really pitched in to help me... I did end up asking them for help but I think I definitely could've asked earlier & doled out the tasks better to prevent panic & me puttingmy make-up on only 5 minutes before people showed up.
  • Photos: I wish, oh how I wish I would've taken photos of the actual event instead of just before & after. This might've been a task I could delegate (and pay in goods :)

New Items: these little birdies were a hit

Fabric display- give em something to talk about ;)

Sharing my actual 'space.'

My catalog- good conversation piece & method of sharing just what it is I do!

Giveaway: crayons from Kitty Baby Love & soap from Sun Basil Garden.

Living room on display. Hopefully there was 'mood' here.....

My branch tree which is a gazillion times more charming in person.....

Studio table proudly but sadly, AFTER the event so it's a bit sparse....

Laying my items out for displayIn hindsight, this table needed a little bit more of ...something...Food Table: the pumpkin cookies were a hit!Apparently this was exhausting for everyone involved...


Saturday, November 21, 2009

{{{Today is my big Open House event in which I've invited friends & fam & neighbors to browse my handiwork & shop for holiday gifts.
I am so excited I could hardly sleep- because, of course, there is so much to do! I want to share how my day unfolds & I thought of the clever post rikrak did awhile back & I just have to borrow her idea! I'll be posting photos hour by hour showing how it's all (hopefully) coming together! }}} Stay tuned.......

8:37 pm. Whew - I did it. I made it! Things came together right in the nick of time (thanks to my hubby & friend, Katelyn!) Obviously there was a big time warp between now & the afternoon but in that period was a really fun, happy & exciting event! (minus the 90 minutes pre party of stress) I am so thankful to everyone who came & made this night a success! As usual, I wish I had taken more photos, but I guess being too busy with friends is a good thing.

I think I'll take a few days to rest (and send out those orders) but will reporting back soon with tips so others can have a successful Open House as well....it's so worth it!

2:16 pm - Full On Panic - Yikes! I'm worried it's not going to be ready.....in time. 1.5 hours & I haven't even showered.......eeeeeeeeks!

1:15pm - One Table Completed
- Yeah, just one. need to get a little hustle in my bustle over here!

12:03 pm - Pricing, Preparing, Panicking - adding all my tags & prices. wondering why i didn't do this last while watching project runway finale? Meanwhile, Jack & Mark wrestle around upstairs....

11:00 am - Bird Tree - I made these lovely little felt birdies yesterday & made an ornament tree from branches Jack (& the hubs!) gathered....there are more birdies & it's so much more charming in person!

10:00 am - Starbucks stop - Ok so the morning cup didn't really do it for me. Plus I call these my "treats," and on days like this, well I just need a treat! Saw their interesting punched felt Christmas decor- looks like Starbucks follows Etsy & design blogs......

8: 34 am - Haircut - Need a trim plus, who wants to look at handsewn lovelies from someone with straight stringy hair! I need some styling TLC. My local Aveda salon is just the place....

7:23 am - Shnuggle - Jack wakes up. Enjoying our ritual of shnuggling with puppy & blankie. My day really begins.

6:14 am - COOKIES: Making Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies. the rest of the munchies will be provided by trader joes ;)
5:09 am - Fuel: Coffee + Twitter. Ok so it's partial progress...

4:17 am- Rise & Shine: Rolling out of bed. Getting serious with my work out shorts! Waking up early is easy with this rascaly handsome kitty scampering about...

All Things Bright & New....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

that's me coming up for air! finished these lovelies today & this week....thought I'd share!

(p.s. they're not posted in my Etsy shop yet...but soon! )