Yo Momma Monday: Alison Butler

yo momma monday

IMG_0509Meet Alison Butler, 31, from Newfoundland, Canada. She is a beautiful mama who recently launched her shop The Petit Cadeau, which is centered around celebrating and creating traditions. She creates handmade heirloom celebration countdown calendars for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries and other special occasions. She loves to create and support handmade, and is usually happiest with a cup of tea and a book.

Alison cultivated her love for creating thoughtful gifts since she was a child and made homemade gifts or cards for her family, something that she says was fostered and encouraged by her mom. She took creative extra-curricular classes, such as art, pottery and cartooning but never took art in high school, something she still regrets.

“As an adult, it’s my “escape” – I love to make things, it calms my mind and body.”

As a mother to a  2 1/2 year old who works a full-time job aside from creating, she admits that she is constantly trying to find a balance, and that nothing ever really feels normal. (I second that notion). She usually spends a few hours each night creating and blogging, after her daughter falls asleep and tries  not to schedule anything on the weekend so her family can enjoy each other.

Image belongs to Alison Butler

Image belongs to Alison Butler

Alison credits motherhood for her inspiration to create things for children and to give more thought about the way she does things – like keeping celebrations simple and thoughtful. Most importantly, being a mom has taught her to slow down.

“Everywhere I look, I see parents trying to do everything bigger and better. It seems to stress most people out.,” she says. “Why is it really necessary?  It’s not. My message is always – they won’t remember the gift (most of the time) It’s the memories and experiences that are important.  I want my daughter to remember feeling special.”

It was this idea that prompted her thoughtful gifting manifesto, a beautifully and thoughtfully written post about why she buys handmade, and/or from local businesses. Never a last-minute shopper, she keeps a birthday book and starts planning and preparing well in advance, thinking about what that person would really love.

She also started Thoughtful Celebrations, a monthly e-mail newsletter that focuses on just that – planning thoughtful celebrations. Recipients are privy to recipes and tips for throwing parties and different handmade shops to support. They also get special coupons and previews to new projects she’s working on.

celebration-bags-2

“I think I have a lot of internal drive to keep working at something I love, even when some days don’t involve anything creative and lot’s of the time I feel completely exhausted.  I’m building something that makes me happy and joyful.”

After a Twitter chat with Oh My Handmade – the amazing handmade community that she belongs to – she wanted to do something fun to promote handmade busineeses. Since she also happened to be training for the NYC 2012 Marathon, and decided to name her series The Handmade Marathon. She selected 26 handmade business participants, one for each mile of a marathon. The marathon was subsequently cancelled, but since the series became so popular, she decided to keep it going.

“I feature one handmade business per month, and changed my interview questions to reflect the direction my blog is heading.”

Alison gets a lot of her inspiration from beautiful magazines and all of her favorite blogs. She reads Oh My Handmade daily and also loves Susannah Conway and Alisa Burke. One of her favorite shops is Herriott Grace – a father and daughter team who started selling gorgeous hand-carved wooden objects online five years ago – and Alison is a proud owner for the cloud cookie cutter!

Image belongs to Alison Butler

Image belongs to Alison Butler

The personal touch is Alison’s favorite thing about the handmade community and she loves being able to connect with others through Oh My Handmade and share her interests and passions with like-minded people.

“There is a real THRIVING supportive community around handmade.  It’s wonderful to be a part of that.”

As an only child, Alison says that she embraces quiet and enjoys sitting in coffee shops to sip and read. She unwinds at local yoga classes and is excited about a new studio she just found and she and her husband recently took a chocolate making class. FUN! She also loves to craft in her downtime and loves learning new trades. One craft she hasn’t learned but would love to try is letterpress.

“I haven’t found anywhere locally where I could learn, but it just looks so beautiful and interesting. Knitting is also high up on my “must-learn” list,” she says.  “I’ve tried a lot of different things over the years – most recently bookbinding/making, wool felting and art journaling.  I’ll try almost anything once!”

Image belongs to Alison Butler

Image belongs to Alison Butler

Alison says that her favorite thing about running her own business is interacting with new people and collaborating on projects and posts – and she has some great ones in the works in late 2013 and early 2014! She hopes that her blog will inspire people to make small, thoughtful changes. She wants people to feel inspired to make a gift when they might feel like they don’t have the talent and she wants people to start simple family traditions that will last a lifetime.

“Inspired to think about where the money goes and instead of buying five plastic toys, invest in one beautiful  toy – something that’s quality, made by hand.  Most importantly, I want you to feel like my blog is for you, because it is!”

As a mom, Alison works slower on her projects than she did in the past. She’s constantly planning new ideas for the shop and has  several in the works right now and she says she is learning to embrace the newer, slower pace of finishing projects or getting things completed.

Image belongs to Alison Butler

Image belongs to Alison Butler

“My hope for the future is to be able to incorporate creativity more into my everyday life.  I want to continue to slow down, listen, be present and enjoy my family to the fullest.”

You can find more about Alison, her thoughtful gifting manifesto through The Petit Cadeau blog and you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. If you know of an awesome mama who would be a perfect fit for this series, please leave a comment or share the link on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Meet some more amazing mamas on my Pinterest!

Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favorites

With Halloween a little less than a week away, I figured it was high time for me to do the obligatory Halloween post. Since we’ve had our share of the Halloween costumes, crafts, printables, recipes and party ideas by now, I thought I would do something a little different. I love all of those posts as well, but since my little one is hardly at the crafting age, and we certainly aren’t throwing a party, I’m going to share some awesome art-inspired pumpkins that have caught my attention.

We’re going to the pumpkin patch tomorrow, and to be honest, I’m most excited about getting a pumpkin just so I can puree all of it’s guts and toast the seeds, I figured I might as well use it for all that I can and paint that sucker! I found these painted pumpkins to be most inspiring, and I hope you do too!

Image belongs to Studio DIY

Image belongs to Studio DIY

DIY Donut Pumpkins from Studio DIY – We actually have two small donuts that would be perfect for this project! You just need a couple of pumpkins and some acrylic paint to get the job done. You can see more at Studio DIY by clicking on the link or the above photo. I happened upon this site through Pinterest and it seriously makes me want to throw confetti in the air. I won’t because I just cleaned in here, but I seriously want to. Kelly, who runs this site, has done a beautiful job designing it. She shares all kinds of DIY projects, parties, supplies and events on her page – and even accepts submissions!
This may be one of my new favorites.

Image belongs to Alisa Burke

Image belongs to Alisa Burke

Frida inspired pumpkin from Alisa Burke – I’m a huge fan of Alisa Burke, so obviously I love her Frida-inspired pumpkins. This definitely gives me some inspiration for the big pumpkin I’m going to get tomorrow. She also includes 11 other painted pumpkin projects she has done over the years in her post, including this sketchbook pumpkin, where she shares photos of her process from step one. If you are needing some artistic inspiration, this is definitely a good place to start.

Image belongs to Oleander and Palm

Image belongs to Oleander and Palm

Southwest Inspired Pumpkins from Oleander and Palm – I love the simple and clean design on these pumpkins. Jeran has a nice theme going here, just like her modern and geometric pumpkins she did last year. This post is part of her Halloween-centric posts, and there is plenty more to find. She has pumpkin recipes, Halloween decor and more. Go check out her entryway and fox photo booth – both very fun!

If you have any fun painted pumpkins to share, post in the comments and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #fridayfavorites and #paintedpumpkins. You can find more painted pumpkin inspiration on my Pinterest! If you used any of these pumpkins as inspiration for your creation – share your project and photos with us!

Thrifty Thursdays

thrifty thursdays

At this point, I have over two bins full of clothes that Cecilia doesn’t wear anymore. I keep trying to give them away or donate them, but I fear that it will be just my luck to have another girl and have zero clothes for her. And we all know how expensive baby clothes are! So, I’ve started to go through all of the clothes for her to pick out some that I wasn’t a fan of to make for some more room.

Here’s the other problem that I have. I’m not a big “bow” girl. I don’t like wearing them, and I don’t see the point of putting them on my baby when a) I’m not sure she will even have enough hair to clip, and b) she will pull them off in a flash. I already know that. But, I always seem to get the response “he’s so cute!” when we go out. Biased or not, she doesn’t look like a boy. Sure, she has no hair and sometimes I put her in blue, because I’m also not a big “pink” girl, but she clearly doesn’t look like a boy.

However, I have found something that will solve both of my problems….repurposing headbands out of old clothes! I’ve already picked out some of her outfits that I probably would not use again, and I think this is what I’ll be doing with them. Here are some cool tutorials on how to do that.

Image belongs to Culture

Image belongs to Cultured

DIY: Baby Turban Headband from Cultured – Dana posted a detailed and photographed step-by-step process for making both a baby and an adult turban headband, which I could totally be into wearing one as well. Not a matching one, though. That, I am not into. This is a really awesome blog ran by two ladies, Dana and Blake, and they share tutorials, recipes and fashion inspiration. I love this new find.

6983433597_e3d383da40_o

Image belongs to Alisa Burke

upcycled baby headbands from alisa burke – I have used this website before for inspiration, and I still love it the same. She has so many tutorials and her experience as a freelance painter and mixed media artist shows in her work. I feel so inspired when I go through all of her stuff, and I get a lot of ideas!

Image belongs to beck-a-boo

Image belongs to beck-a-boo

DIY Baby Headband from beck-a-boo: This headband was made out of tights, which works perfectly, because we have about 20 pairs of tights since Cecilia was born in December, and I can remember her wearing them once. For about twenty minutes. On Christmas. Then she was over it…and so was I. There are a lot of different recipes and tutorials on this blog and they’re worth checking out!

I absolutely cannot wait to try making these headbands and see how they turn out. I’m more excited to see how long they will last on baby girl’s head. For more baby headband, check out my Pinterest. Have a fun baby headband tutorial or did you make one using these tutorials? If so, post in the comments and share on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #diybabyheadband

Thrifty Thursdays

thrifty thursdays

I have tried just about every craft, but for some reason, I’ve never gotten into clay. A while ago, I got this crazy idea to take up pottery and make my own dishes for the house. Just because. But then I saw how much all that cost and decided, eh. I’m kind of over the dish idea for now, but I wanted to see if there were any other clay projects to try.

I also wanted to know if I could make my own clay. After searching for nearly an hour, let me just say that it is not that easy to find a clay tutorial. Sure, it’s easy to make your own clay for ornaments and the such, but for anything sturdy, it’s tough! But I was determined to find something, so I had to search the old-fashioned way…through Google. womp womp.

Alas…

5ef5e9b505abbaf57ed6af13631d2644DIY Clay Tutorial, via lovetoknow crafts

DIY Stamped Clay Jewelry Dish_thumb[1]DIY Stamped Clay Dish, via Mad In Crafts

diyclaymobiletopDIY Clay Nursery Mobile, via Creature Comforts

7559907306_e94d63d438_oOven bake clay charms, by alisa burke: redefine creativity

Now, this uses store-bought clay, but I’m imagining you could use the clay you made. Again…I’m just imagining.

101124_stampz_0074 copyAnd you can make your own stamps! From Daisy Yellow

Have you ever worked on a clay project? Do you have any tips or tutorials to share? Post in the comments!