Sunday, February 28, 2010

Inspirational Sunday Poem

The Victor
Poet: C.W. Longenecker

If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you like to win but think you can’t,
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are.
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win the prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.


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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Follow!

Welcome to the Friday Follow celebration hosted by One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades! We invite you to join us every Friday to get more blog followers and to follow other interesting blogs. It is all about sharing and having fun.

Friday Follow


Here's how YOU can join the celebration:
--Link up your blog name and URL using the MckLinky below.
Only need to add on one blog to be seen on all the blog hops.

--Follow the Friday Follow hostesses listed in the first 3 slots. We will follow you back.

--Follow as many blogs as you'd like.

--Comment on the blogs telling them you're from Friday Follow.

--Follow back when you get a new follower through Friday Follow.



MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Drive By Bags

Have you ever wondered what happens to old billboard signs? I found one answer :) Look what Drive by Bags is doing with them!!


We live in Minneapolis. Over the course of the last two years my husband and I both lost our jobs and started Drive-By Bags for something to do until the economy improved. I've attached our "official story".

A friend of mine came up with the name "Drive-By Bags" since you drive by billboards everyday. As far as supplies go, We get whatever the billboard posting company is willing to give us. Sometimes we get event banners, too, which we like because they're smaller and easier to work with.

Our tote bags are our favorite thing to make. It's fun to see what they end up looking like when they are turned, as they are made inside out. Each one is different.

We are heading to the American Craft Council Show in Baltimore in three weeks. It is a national two-day wholesale and four-day retail event. We are hoping to get some national exposure and some encouragement that we are doing something that people want.


There is a video of us that was featured on a local news show. You can watch it at http://twincitieslive.com/article/stories/S1071014.shtml?cat=10744

Wordless Wednesday - What would You do for LOVE?

Monday, February 22, 2010

SugarVille Candles

I love candles!! Sugarville has some of the most amazing looking ones I've seen! Can you imagine - a candle that looks like a cupcake? Someone at my house would try to eat it :)


*Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.

This story could take awhile, but I’ll try keeping it short for everyone’s sake. J I was born in Bucharest, Romania and came to the states when I was around eight years old. (This probably explains why I love everything that has that certain European flair that you may notice in some of my work.) I now live close to Tampa, Florida but my heart belongs to Asheville, North Carolina where I hope to move to by the end of this year. I have always loved any form of arts & crafts—any form of human expression really. I am a crafty candle maker by day, and fierce fiction novelist by night--I absolutely love to write! My grandmother & mother instilled the love for candle making & crafts in me, but I took a special interest in bakery candles mostly because I love sweets and anything that has to do with baking—cupcakes are my favorite because of their unique versatility and the cute charm they possess! The aprons you see in my Shoppe are handmade by my grandma who has been sewing for over 55 years! I absolutely LOVE them and so I had to include them even though it’s considered a “Candle” Shoppe…I prefer calling it a whimsy sweet Shoppe “Boutique”.

*How did you decide on your shop name? Why did you start your business?
Oh my…honestly, the name was probably the hardest to come up with—it took days of conjuring. I wanted something that sounded like a bakery but I also wanted a name that sounded like a place to escape to as in a rapture—and so the whimsical realm of “Sugarville” was born! “It is a place where time literally stops just so that you may indulge in our heavenly “desserts” that we have created for the nostalgic dreamer within yourself. Escape to an enchanting place where you can always feel as wonderful as you felt when you first entered a small corner bakery that was baking decadent cakes and delectable pastries, or an old fashioned candy store filled with blissful chocolate confections, or even a place closer to your heart— Granny’s kitchen that perpetually smelled of fresh baked pies, buttery sugar cookies, and other sweet goodies that were always baking in the oven!” This was the best description I could come up with to describe what I wanted to create for my customers.

*Do you have a favorite scent?
With so many scrumptious bakery scents I get to “bake” with—this is the hardest question to answer by far! I would have to say that the “Creamy Strawberry Cheesecake” scent is among my favorite, but all the cupcake scents I use are absolutely delicious as well!

*What would you love to add to your creating space?
My creating space already looks like a bakery with my kitchen countertops, burners, whisks, sprinkles, & yummy spices. J What I would love to do when I get the chance is to make it look more like an old fashioned ice cream parlor with lots of pink stripes and beautiful vintage decor—only time will tell whether I’ll ever have the time to do so. Unfortunately, it will have to stick to looking like a kitchen for now.

*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?
I love using pretty much all colors in my work, but if I had to pick one, pink would have to be the color I couldn't live without! I love making my bakery candles look as realistic as possible, so colors are truly important and matching them to their real bakery counterpart is essential. I also find that bright, creamy, and neutral colors tend to be quite “appetizing” and beautiful as well. I love all fruit type scents and all cake and cookie scents—this is why I wanted to devote my time to making mostly bakery candles after all!

*Do you have a blog?
I am working on creating one, but I have been super busy with marketing to small vendors/gift shops, our Etsy Shoppe, our Amazon store, & Facebook for the time being.

*What/Who inspires you?
I find inspiration everywhere I seem to find myself usually, but gourmet magazine pictures truly inspire me in this line of work. Photography is another passion of mine, so I find pictures of sweets and cakes absolutely beautiful & artistic, from the colors to the fine attention to detail that goes into all of them--I love it all! Old fashioned European bakeries are also very influential to me.

*What is your favorite on-line shop?
I honestly have too many to mention, but unfortunately I always forget to add them to my favorites. I love Etsy shops in general—if you’re ever looking for amazingly unique gift ideas or interesting home decor, it’s definitely the place to shop!

*Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?
My favorite item(s) are the cupcakes—they are always fun to arrange and so beautiful to look at when they are finished that it makes them hard to part with at times—their scents are “sweetly” divine every time I’m making them as well! I always get excited when I get cupcake orders to fulfill!

MMM

1) I'm BACK!! Last weekend hubby and I went to Fargo ND. We happened to have a holiday on Monday, so decided to go from Sat-Mon. Had a wonderful time!! Didn't miss cooking at all :) Did some shopping - mostly for the boys and hubby. Did manage to get two containers with small sections for beads, and two note books for myself. Other than that - it was a relaxing weekend! Needed that!

2) Just finished reading TRUE BLUE by David Baldacci. This is the first book that I've read from this author. Really enjoyed it, will definitely read another of his books. But which one?

3) A while back I ordered these wonderful lip balms from Leaves and Stitches. I really really like them! They are Chocolate Orange and Honey Grapefruit.


4)
Blog of the week:
I LOVE this blog!! Every Wed. there is a new give away from a wonderful shop. "Christie" posts everyday with something new from other shops, her own shop and cool stuff she finds! You really need to check it out - and I really need to talk to her about getting a button :)

5) Only a couple of months and spring will be here! Can hardly wait for the yard to look like this again!



Sunday, February 21, 2010

Things To Think About

Insanity is inherited -- you get it from your kids.

It now costs more to amuse a child than it once did to educate his father.

It rarely occurs to teenagers that the day will come when they'll know as little as their parents.

Money isn't everything, but it sure keeps the kids in touch.

Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth.

One child is often not enough, but two children can be far too many.


You can learn many things from children... like how much patience you have.

Summer vacation is a time when parents realize that teachers are grossly underpaid.

The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left.

There are three ways to get things done:
-do it yourself
-hire someone to do it

-forbid your kids to do it


There would be fewer problems with children if they had to chop wood to keep the television set going.

Those who say they "sleep like a baby" haven't got one.

The best thing to spend on your children is time.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Shopping

Yes - I've been shopping on Etsy :) Ever since the New Year began I've been looking for a desktop calendar for beside the computer. Was searching all over Etsy for the perfect one (beautiful pictures, not to expensive, affordable shipping etc.) Finally I found the perfect one!! I've borrowed the picture from the shop - can't take a decent picture of all the months when you only have one calendar :)



Shana Creations is an amazing shop! Shana actually only lives about 70 miles north of me. If money were growing on trees - I would definitely buy this from her shop:http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=40638610.

There is one shop on Etsy that is my "go to" shop for blank note cards. Peculiar Parchment always has a wonderful variety of amazing note cards in different styles and sizes! This was my purchase this time:



You know how I love handmade soap :) Sample sizes are wonderful to send along as an "extra" when someone purchases something from you shop. I'm always looking for new shops that have sample soaps, and I found another wonderful shop! Soap Star is a newer shop on Etsy. I purchased these soaps:

I've only tried the coffee vanilla one - LOVE IT!! You can never have enough coffee :)

Please check out the shops!! Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Follow

Welcome to the Friday Follow celebration hosted by One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades! We invite you to join us every Friday to get more blog followers and to follow other interesting blogs. It is all about sharing and having fun.

Friday Follow


Here's how YOU can join the celebration:
--Link up your blog name and URL using the MckLinky below.
Only need to add on one blog to be seen on all the blog hops.

--Follow the Friday Follow hostesses listed in the first 3 slots. We will follow you back.

--Follow as many blogs as you'd like.

--Comment on the blogs telling them you're from Friday Follow.

--Follow back when you get a new follower through Friday Follow.



MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Recycled Bottle Caps

While looking for shops that use recycled materials to make their products - I came across this amazing shop!! loranscruggs uses bottle caps to make the coolest whistles, pendants etc. Take a look!!


*Where are you from?

I’m from Port Townsend, WA. I think of the Pacific Northwest as home, having spent the formative years in it’s green lush canopy. I’ve also lived in San Francisco during art school and New York City after art school.

*Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 44 years old living with my partner who is always yanking my chain about the collections of cans and bottle caps that are accumulating.

*Why did you start your business?
I started my business to convert my love of making things into cash
so I could continue to make things. Sounds rather capitalistic, however I had an instructor David Ireland who would send a letter to people who purchased his work, he would thank them and then tell them about the next piece of work he was working on. The cash is merely a means to continue what we love.

*What got you started in reusing?
I love the challenge of working with a material that has served a function and now is slated for recycling or the garbage bin. I particularly like tin cans and bottle caps because they are colorful and cheery. I’ll spending hours pondering a particular material, once I come up with an idea that I like, I will make it.


*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?
Tin cans in second hand store…I have enough! Yet I can’t stop myself from going to have a look and then drag some more home. Awk!

*What motivates or inspires you to create?
Proportion, scale, ie bottle caps come one size…what can I make that puts that size to use. (whistles and animals on wheels) Pondering, an idea or material; for example I ponder Hunt’s tomato cans...tin cans are sharp…I cut myself... Hunt’s..red… hunt cut sharp.. Oee I know I’ll make a Hunting Knife out of Hunt’s tomato cans. Usually the pondering is with a lot more threads that don’t finish into anything.

*Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?
The tiger I had the tiger balm tin for ages and thought they would make great wheels it wasn’t until I saw a wood elephant on wheels in a shop
www.oopsthatsart.etsy.com that it all came together. I was please for weeks after I came up with that one.

*What is your favorite shop that uses reused materials, and/or your favorite blog about recycling?
I have a lot of favorite shops on Etsy using recycled material, hard to choose from. I choose www.nickpaul.etsy.com because he has figured out a successful business for reuse of the bottles that I get bottle caps from. This isn’t a blog, but it is a favorite because it is about making things out of other things.
http://www.instructables.com/

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Winning Wednesday!

1) Wouldn't you know it! The day after my Valentine Swap post is over - my last swap item shows up :) I received this amazing button wall hanging from Jane, along with a beautiful butterfly card and a business card.

She has an amazing shop Jewels by Jane where she makes the most wonderful art using buttons! Red & Green are my favorite colors and I love flowers! LOVE the wall hanging!! Thank you Jane!


2) A while back I won a give away from Crocheted Little Things. I was able to pick anything from the sale section of the shop. Since Christmas is my favorite time of the year I asked for these amazing crocheted bells, in my favorite colors :)

Can't wait to put up the Christmas tree and hang my new handmade ornaments!!


3)I also won a Gift Certificate from Pruitt Handcrafts. Ended up spending a little more $ but it was worth it!

There are two placemats with matching napkins (the backing on the placemats is the same as the napkins), a hand towel, and two sets of coasters (can never have too many). I love them all!! Might have to see if she has another set of placemats :)

Moral of the story? You don't win if you don't enter :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Angel in Soul

Who doesn't love food and B&B products? Here is a new shop with both!!

*Where are you from?
I was born in Saginaw Michigan and I have lived as far south as Novi Michigan and as far north as Harrisville Michigan, though midland has always seemed like home...my whole life has been in Michigan except for 1 year in South Dakota where I ended up marrying my husband(in a nursing home where we both worked). Other than that my life is basically normal, the only oddity is I am a twin and my sister and I were the 1st test tube twins in Michigan.


*How did you decide on your shop name?
Because Angels are pure and wholesome, and I want my customer to know that is the kind of product they will receive..good, pure and wholesome...all natural,if i wont use it on myself then i wont sell it.


*Why did you start your business?
2 reasons motivated me. 1) I would love to make an income on what i love to do. 2) I am an unemployed nursing student that could use some additional income.

*What types of items do you have?
I sell original art pieces, baked goods and bath and beauty items


*Do you have something new you will be adding?
Yes. I am perfecting my homemade cinnabun hot coco recipe and working on some homemade dog treats....my dogs love doing the taste testing!!


*What would you love to add to your crafting space?
A lock! My husband keeps coming in and "testing the quality" way too much! The man is gonna turn into a cheesecake!


*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?
Yes...anything that is scented and natural....man try to keep me away from vanilla or rose oil!


*Do you have a blog?
Nope, but I do have a facebook fan page


*What/Who inspires you?
The world and the people around me, God blessed us with so much love and beauty, people just need to take a moment to look around.


*What is your favorite on-line shop?
I love the shop "Vamp it on" The jewelry items on it are wonderful, and to boot she is from Michigan like me!


*Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?
It is a tie between the bath salts and cheesecakes...the bath salts because I loved smelling roses citrus, lavender and vanilla all day...and the cheesecakes because someone has to sample one from each batch...lol


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine Swap MckLinky

In January I posted a Valentine swap and had 34 people sign on! I ended up swapping with two people - it was 2 or none. Easy decision :) I have only received one package yet - but packages usually take quite a while to cross the border.

From Kimberlie I received this wonderful package:



*3 Valentine themed pendants with a chain and string (?), packaged in a wonderful handmade box.
*Valentine's Day Zine booklet - very cool Valentine's Day info and some games
*2 business cards & lovely note in a handmade envelope.
Thanks so much Kimberlie!!


Here is the MckLinky!! If you were part of my Valentine's Day swap - please add the link to your blog post - if you posted about it.

If you were part of another swap - I would love to see what you received, feel free to add your link as well!

Hubby and I will be gone for the weekend, but I will be back on Monday afternoon to read all the posts :)


Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Follow

Welcome to the Friday Follow celebration hosted by One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades! We invite you to join us every Friday to get more blog followers and to follow other interesting blogs. It is all about sharing and having fun.

Friday Follow


Here's how YOU can join the celebration:
--Link up your blog name and URL using the MckLinky below.
Only need to add on one blog to be seen on all the blog hops.

--Follow the Friday Follow hostesses listed in the first 3 slots. We will follow you back.

--Follow as many blogs as you'd like.

--Comment on the blogs telling them you're from Friday Follow.

--Follow back when you get a new follower through Friday Follow.



MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Re-usable and Beautiful!

Another amazing recycling shop! Julie Meyer makes amazing cleaning gloves, lunch bags and snack/sandwich bags that are all reusable and beautiful!!

Where are you from?
I live in a bungalow neighborhood of South Minneapolis with my Husband and 3 young children. I went to Minneapolis College of Art & Design and held various jobs from Video Editing and Photo Restoration to office work in the corporate world before I came to Etsy a year and a half ago.

Why did you start your business?
Someone sent me a link to Etsy and I was instantly intrigued. I spent a couple of months clicking through Etsy at the same time I was working part-time for a small local company doing graphic design and marketing work. When this company went under with the economy, I knew it was time to open up a shop on Etsy to see what would happen.

What got you started in recycling?
I wanted to create things that were functional but fun to look at, so I started making and selling reusable market bags and flannel napkins then quickly moved to my insulated lunch bags and cleaning gloves. I recently received several tablecloths and knew right away they make great lunch and snack bags. I love the idea of creating nearly one-of-a-kind items using vintage or recycled fabrics. I also appreciate the quality of fabric you find in vintage tablecloths.

What's your supply addiction?
I don't think I have a huge supply addiction. I'm pretty good at using up what I have before I buy more. I'm not saying I don't have a few boxes of fabric, but I enjoy combining fabrics I already have and using them up.

What motivates or inspires you to create?
I'm motivated when I know I have large chunk of time available to sew. With 3 young children those moments can be small and far between and when I get them, I'm usually sewing like a crazy woman.

Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?
I don't currently have these available, but had a blast fusing used plastic grocery bags into a fabric that I could sew with - http://www.etsy.com/view_transaction.php?transaction_id=16395056. I also enjoy using vintage tablecloths to create lunch bags like this http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=37704300.

Do you have a blog?
Yes and no. It's on my list for 2010 and I actually opened one last week and have begun creating posts, but I'm not quite ready for it to go live - so stay tuned!

What is your favorite shop that uses recycled materials?
I've also enjoyed the shop DriveByBags on Etsy. They take the vinyl material from roadside billboards and create the coolest bags from them.

Wordless Wednesday - baby Otters

Monday, February 8, 2010

BlueBrooch

Blue Brooch is a wonderful shop on Etsy. There is everything from the cutest booties to amazing jewelry! Take a look:


*Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a South African by birth and a globetrotter by believe!! The last 7 years I have been living and working at game lodges in Africa together with my husband. We live in a pretty remote area in South Africa with the closest real civilization 40 minutes away by car. I love the bush, I love to travel and I love to surround myself with beautiful and unique things and I am always busy scribbling down ideas! I think my biggest challenge out here is to get my supplies but the moment I go out into the real world (the city) it’s just crazy exciting!


*How did you decide on your shop name? Why did you start your business?
Having my own business has always been something in the back of my mind and last Christmas my husband surprised me by registering a company for me, Blue Brooch & Peony Rose. As I do not have all the knowledge to take the big leap yet and leave my day job I decided to open a shop on Etsy: Bluebrooch. I love making the little treasures and want to share it with others and hopefully sell a few! I am also looking at expanding my shop in 2010…

*Do you have a blog?

No, not that tech savvy just yet and unfortunately there is not enough hours in the day after work and some play to get stuck behind the computer again. I try to join Etsy’s forums whenever I can but due to the time difference between Africa and the USA the majority of the Etsy community is fast asleep when I chat!

*When did you start making jewelry?
I have never really liked wearing something that hundreds of others have or that was mass produced (be it clothes, jewelry etc.) and have always adored vintage, antique or unique pieces. I have made jewels for myself since my teens and always something that I knew would be “one of a kind”; I still do!! However, the first piece I made to give away was for my sister’s 30th Birthday this August. I wanted to give her something truly special!

*Where do you craft? what does it look like?
I usually work at a large wooden table in our lounge or outside on the patio overlooking our garden so I can keep an eye on any antelope or game that might come past. My “craft area” is pretty mobile and I move around quite a bit especially when taking photographs or if something just does not want to work. I also like to sit and work close to where my husband and our spaniel are lounging.


*What would you love to add to your crafting space?
I would love to have a dedicated “craft room” with huge French doors leading outside and a huge wall panel to scribble down all my ideas! A large distressed vintage table and some Moroccan ottomans would really add the cherry on top!


*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?
Ribbons!!! Grosgrain (pretty hard to find in South Africa); satin, silk, velvet you name it. I love ribbons around prezzies, around my wrists, draped around our Christmas tree and dangling in front of windows. And I really like using them in my pieces.


*Where do you get your ideas from?

I am inspired by things that make the child in all of us come out to play. That could mean an African bangle one day, a dainty flower necklace the next. These are my charmed treasures, all things whimsical and fun, made of dust and dreams!


Mish Mash Monday

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1) Let's not repeat last week again - ok? Had to take my computer in to get a "check-up" on Tuesday, and only got it back Friday afternoon! That is just way to long to be without a computer. Did manage to get to the library on Wed. and Thurs. to check emails. But it's really hard to get the emails answered, post on two blogs, plus check out other blogs and comment. Really need to get a lap top so that we have two computers! Can't convince hubby yet.

2) I received this amazing soap and votive candle in the mail from Capricorn Soap Company. Don't you love the way the soap is packaged? This soap is really really nice! LOVE the candle too :) Noticed that she now carries lip balm!


3) Logan decided one day that it was time to clean their room. With Luke in College - he could do it alone (no arguing about where stuff should go). Didn't realize how many teddies they had until Logan stacked them all up. Told him it looked like a choir :) Wonder if they sing to him at night?


4) Blog of the week:


Nancy has a beautiful blog! I love to visit it. She has great posts, features great shops she finds, and is really a lovely woman! You really should check out her blog :)

5) I haven't received my Valentine swap items yet (from the swap I hosted). Have heard from a few people who have. I will be setting up a MckLinky next weekend, so if anyone has posted about their swap items, they can link to it and we can all see what everyone got! Hopefully a few packages have arrived at their destinations :)
I did receive a package from another swap I did! Got this wonderful assortment of Valentine goodies from Stephanie at Mississippi Songbird.


*Chocolates
*Mississippi Delta Cooking Cookbook
*Note pad with 2 magnets
*Avon lotion
*Sweetheart Candies
*Cinnamon Heart candies
*Heart suckers
* Letter "A" wall hanging!
* Cookie mix
Thanks so much Stephanie!!


 

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