Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favorites

This week has been very special. Instead of spending hours scouring Pinterest and Etsy for something lovely to write about, I found it all in my very own life. Not that I mind my creepily close relationship with both websites, it is kind of an amazing feeling to not have to search very far, or very long, for inspiration. Here are some of my favorite things that has happened in the last week or so.

IMG_0461

Cards! From CocoPress – I entered Emmaline’s Instagram giveaway, and I won this pack of cards! They are so super cute that I don’t really want to send them anywhere, but that would be just plain greedy. I’ve actually read about crafty pen pals, so if I get into something like that, these would be perfect! I will post Emmaline’s story on my Meet the Maker series soon, so stay tuned to read more about this wonderful printmaker!

Image belongs to The Petit Cadeau

Image belongs to Alison Butler

Why I Buy Handmade from The Petit Cadeau – Allison wrote about why she buys handmade and the slow gifting movement on her blog. “It’s about making a conscious choice for gifts. It’s about making gifts with love or purchasing something made with care by hand. It’s an energy” You can read more buy clicking on the link or image above. You can also join the movement with @thepetitcadeau on Twitter, just use the hashtag #whatimgifting. I’m also writing about the lovely Allison for my “Yo Momma Monday” series and you will get to read her story soon!

Image belongs to Interweave

Image belongs to Interweave

Knitting contest from Interweave – I have actually formed a good relationship with Tiffany from Interweave through this blog, and she let me know about this contest! Interweave is offering a prize package to knitters who share the story behind their first knitting projects. I remember my first knitting project – I was trying to make one of those rasta beanies, and it got super stretched out so now it’s pretty ridiculous. I still have the beanie! I will share my story in the contest and will also share it on my blog. It’s going on now through Nov 8th. If you win, you get to choose up to 5 items for your prize package. Score!

Image belongs to Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Image belongs to Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap – This is the first time I’ve heard of such a thing, and let me tell you – it sounds awesome! The cookie swap is hosted by Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen, both blogs that I love. Participants must have a blog that is at least two months old and must have at least two food-related posts in the last two months. There is a $4 entry fee, which goes directly to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, and the deadline to enter is Nov. 4th.

I have been taking little steps to integrating food more into my blog, and this is just more motivation to keep me going that route. And I get to try cookies from other food bloggers? Done.

Image belongs to the Nectar Collective

Image belongs to the Nectar Collective

Weekly Wishes on the Nectar Collective – And last but definitely not least, I found this little goodie when I was doing some research on another wonderful person I am writing about, Lix Hewett. Melyssa, who runs the Nectar Collective and Weekly Wishes, posts her goals and/or challenges for the week every Monday. She then invites others to join her through a linkup.  I do this on my own every week in my journal, but it sure would be nice to share and get inspired by others.

I have found that the more I involve myself with others in the crafting community, the easier inspiration comes to me. If you see anything here that speaks to you, share your thoughts in the comments below. You can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for more of this goodness. Have anything you want to share? Simply use the hashtag #fridayfavorites or tag me in the post! Happy Friday to all!

Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favorites

As hard as it may be to swallow, I have accepted that my little baby girl, who I swore I just gave birth to last month, is going to be one in less than two months. It has also recently occurred to me that a birthday party is probably in order. And I would be the one to plan it. I’m still getting used to this whole parenting thing. We have decided to hold it at a bowling alley, since it’s not like she can do a whole lot right now anyways. That, and bowling is a lot of fun.

Since this will officially be the first time I plan a child’s birthday, I thought I would share my experience with you. And maybe even get some advice. First thing is first: we need invitations. Sticking to the homemade theme, I have found some lovely invitations on Etsy and wanted to share them. Keep in mind…these can be used for anything, not just first birthdays.

Image belongs to bee's KNEES design shop

Image belongs to bee’s KNEES design shop

Circus themed birthday invites from bee’s KNEES design shop – I was already planning on going with a “life’s a circus” theme, since I feel like my life is literally a circus. So this invitation would be perfect! This shop is owned by Misty Chaote, who designs everything by hand. No clip art is used, and she emails you the digital version within 24-48 hours of receiving payment.

Image belongs to Longfellow Designs

Image belongs to Longfellow Designs

Baby firsts birthday invitation from Longfellow Designs – I like the chalkboard look to this (of course) and I also like that it lists all the baby firsts. Although, I fear that it will just say “I like to eat paper and destroy the house” on there. This shop is owned by Lisa Longfellow, who is a graphic designer and painter, and makes everything by hand.

Image belongs to oodles and doodles

Image belongs to oodles and doodles

Polka Dots Owl Girl’s Birthday Party Package from oodles and doodles – After going to the party store for my friend’s daughter’s first birthday (you know who you are, friend), the idea of purchasing a party package and not having to frantically search Party Crazyland or whatever it’s called for decorations that may or may not match sounds pretty amazing. I know that I could probably make all of her decorations at home, but as a student, mom and business owner, I would rather support someone else who is running their own business…and can do all that for me. And Cecilia’s baby shower theme was owls, so this would be a good fit. This shop is owned by Bridget, who started it after she had trouble finding what she wanted for her son’s first birthday. Good idea, Bridget. Good idea.

Image belongs to Pink Dahlia Paper

Image belongs to Pink Dahlia Paper

Girl birthday invitation from Pink Dahlia Paper – I love how simple and clean this design is. And I love cupcakes. Everything in this shop is made by hand, and it’s all made to order. You will get your first proof within 48 hours and there are some additional charges for design changes.

So which one was your favorite? I still haven’t decided. Please keep small and handmade shops in mind when planning a party, or anything else, for that matter. The market is so open that you could literally find something for any event. The price is not really that different, it’s made just for you, and you don’t have to write the same information on every single card. But most of all, you are supporting someone and their business. You get to know the person you are purchasing from, and you know that your money is going to someone’s family, not to some large corporation.

Do you have an awesome print shop in mind that specializes in birthday invitations like this? Please let me know! You can post in the comments and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #handmadebirthday. Find more first birthday inspiration on my Pinterest!

Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favorites

The best part about writing my Fridays are for Favorites series is the freedom to write about anything that I want, really. I know I already have that freedom since it’s my own blog and I create all the content, but I have set specific topics for each day, to help keep me on track. Monday, I write about moms. Tuesdays, health. Wednesdays, business-related. Thursday, thriftiness. Friday, favorite stuff. That can seriously be anything. I have found that I mostly write about new Etsy stores that I find and love.

With all the talk that has been going on about Etsy’s new policies, I thought this would be a great time to voice my own opinion. Although I am a seller on Etsy, I use it more to find other makers and to purchase handmade items. A little while back, I noticed that there were a few sellers who appeared to have mass-produced items in their shop, marked as “handmade.” Not cool, man. Not cool. There was no way of knowing for sure since only one owner was listed on the “about” page, but they all looked exactly the same and they were also sold at a price that was so low, it would not make sense if it was made by hand. It wouldn’t even cover the supplies.

So, I do agree with Etsy pushing its sellers to be more transparent. Being a blogger, I do a lot of research into each shop I look at, and I will tell you right now that I will be more willing to purchase from a shop that has one employee versus 100 employees. Each case is different, of course. But that is my overall feeling. So with this in mind…

I have found two completely awesome ways to get involved with the handmade community, and I am so excited to talk about them! I’m not ditching Etsy, I’m finding people who I want to purchase from and then visiting their Etsy shop, if that makes sense.

Image belongs to Oh My Handmade Goodness

Image belongs to Oh My Handmade Goodness

Oh My! Handmade Goodness – This site started at as a multi-author blog and evolved into a gathering space for creative entrepreneurs. Jessika, who runs the site now, offers community and marketplace memberships, advertising opportunities and community matchmaking. If you are not into any of that, you can also find tutorials, prints and printables there, too. I just signed up for the community membership last night and I already love it. It’s on a sliding scale of $7-20 per month, depending on what you can afford. My budget isn’t so hot right now, but I knew this would help get me to where I need to be with my blog and business right now. As a member, I have access to countless forum discussions where I can seek opinions, advice and collaboration. I could not ask for anything better.

Now, while I was in said forum at Oh My! Handmade Goodness, I found out about IAMTHELAB.

Image belongs to IAMTHELAB

Image belongs to IAMTHELAB

IAMTHELAB was created with one mission in mind – to promote the handmade community. He offers a wealth of information in helping you form what he calls “the handmade trifecta,” your blog, shop and social media. I have the blogging part sort of down, but I am always looking for help with my shop and social media. So this was the perfect place for me. He shares examples of the handmade trifecta, and will explain how the person is dong it. And who is the first person I find on there? Amanda Wright from Wit & Whistle, whose story I am sharing next week! See, I knew this would be a perfect fit. I also found a Handmade Directory where bloggers and makers can hang out and hopefully work together. And not in that overwhelming, pushing way that I have seen so many times before.

I hope this has helped you get in touch with some new faces and resources. If you know of any other awesome places to find creative businesses like this, please let us know. You can post in the comments and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #creativentrepreneurs. And if you are looking for more inspiration, you can always visit my Pinterest!

Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favorites

I just got into baking last year when I was entering my “nesting” phase (which hasn’t left yet, so I think it’s more than a phase now, it’s an eternal state of being). It quickly became an addiction for me, and I find myself at more baking and cooking stores than clothing stores, now. Sometimes, I don’t even go in there to buy anything, I just love to look. I especially love going to the Baker’s Boutique in Stockton, they serve you cupcakes that are made in the back!

Since I love baking so much now, I also happen to love anything that goes with baking. I’ve seen some cute baking inspired clothing and prints all over Pinterest and Etsy, and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.

Image belongs to KatchACanvas

Image belongs to KatchACanvas

Culinary Inspired Canvas Tote from KatchACanvas – When we first had Cecilia, we had what I’m pretty sure was the world’s largest diaper bag. Then we downsized to a large backpack (not much of a downsize, to be honest). Now, I normally just carry a couple diapers, some wipes and her formula in my purse. Since she is getting more into her toys and loves having them with her, I’m thinking this tote would be perfect. And the best part – the shop is run by preschool teachers from the Philippines. France, one of the owners, lives in San Diego now and continues teaching in America. They donate one book to a needy child in Philippines for every tote that is purchased. This one goes for $12, which is not bad at all.

Image belongs to Caustic Threads

Image belongs to Caustic Threads

Ladies Kitchen Mixer T-Shirt from Caustic Threads – Erica Voges, the wonderful lady behind this shop, drew up the design herself and then screen printed it on the shirt. She makes every item as the order comes in, so it’s made fresh, just for you. Voges is a mama in New Mexico, who wanted to screen print for a long time, and finally got started in 2010. The shirts are all dyed by her and she screen prints everything by hand.

Image belongs to Eat Say Love

Image belongs to Eat Say Love

Pyrex art print from eat.say.love. – Ashley, who is the owner and designer at eat.say.love, is a graphic designer in Boston, MA. She individually prints each print on archival paper and ships them off herself. There are a lot of other cute prints like this in her shop, such as “Fork It, Let’s Get Takeout,” a conversation that has been shared many times in this house. And if you follow her on Instagram under @eatsaylove, you can get exclusive deals and giveaways!

Image belongs to Pretty Things For You

Image belongs to Pretty Things For You

Baking is Happiness Large Digital Vintage Image from Pretty Things For You – This Etsy shop is full of digital vintage images that can be purchased for a really good price. This print is only $2 and is available for immediate download. You can use the images on all of your crafting projects. The image can be sold as a finished project, or if it was digitally layered and flattened. It cannot, however, be sold as is. That’s just not cool.

Image belongs to Little Ink

Image belongs to Little Ink

Made with Love Wooden Stamp from Little Ink – Suzie, who runs this online store, mixes her love of natural fibers and material with her love of bold colors to come up with her designs. This stamp is $30 and measures 32mm x 25 mm. It’s mounted with a beautiful black wooden handle and also comes in a cloth pouch. You can use this design for all of your homemade goodies, and any clothing you make by hand. That would be so cute!

One of my favorite things about blogging is finding hidden treasures like these. I want each and every one of these items, and will work on purchasing all of them when I can. Like I’ve said before, I promise to never share anything with you that I wouldn’t get for myself. Do you know of any cute baking-related items? Share them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #favoritefridays. Follow me on Pinterest for more of my favorites!

Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favorites

I have something I need to admit. I have never been a huge wreath fan. We always had them hanging up for Christmas when I was little, and I liked ours, but that was about it. It’s the same reason that I can’t eat grocery store cookies or mac & cheese at a restaurant. My mom totally screwed all of that up for me. Lately, though, I have discovered a love for succulent wreaths. I want to hang up one million of them all around my house, and I’m hoping to create some myself. Here are some amazing succulent wreaths from some amazing Etsy sellers.

Image belongs to L Watson Design Co

Image belongs to L Watson Design Co

Succulent Wreath from L Watson Design Co

(12 inches in diameter)

Image belongs to Succulent Succotash

Image belongs to Succulent Succotash

Succulent Wreath from Succulent Succotash

(12 inches in diameter)

Image belongs to tobieanne

Image belongs to tobieanne

Heart-Shaped Succulent Wreath from tobieanne

(13 inches in diameter)

Image belongs to Succulent Salon

Image belongs to Succulent Salon

Succulent Wreath from Succulent Salon

(made on a 9 inch frame)

Image belongs to Peacock Taco

Image belongs to Peacock Taco

Small heart-shaped succulent wreath from Peacock Taco

(10 inches in diameter)

Do you make succulent wreaths and want to share with us? Please post in the comments and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #succulentwreath. You can also find more succulent inspiration on my Pinterest. I want to use Fridays are for Favorites primarily for sharing more awesome Etsy shops, so if you have one in mind, please feel free to let me know. I love hearing from you! Happy Friday, everyone!

Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favorites

I’ve had my blog for over a year now, and it has been through a lot of design changes. Some were made public, and some just didn’t make the cut. The blog design I have right now is by far my most favorite design. I think it’s super cute and extremely user-friendly. However, I want a more personalized design. At some point, I want to design my own blog and websites, but for now…I need to leave the creativity in someone else’s hands.

Anytime I see a cute blog that I like, I always look up the theme and/or designer, if the blogger employed one. I used to keep a list, but that list has since disappeared. So, I did what any sane person would do, and looked up blog design on Pinterest. It’s kind of insane all the stuff that’s out there. I’ll be talking about blog design more in the future, but for now…these are some of my favorite designers.

Image belongs to Maiedae

Image belongs to Maiedae

Maiedae was founded in 2010 by Jenny Highsmith and Savannah Wallace and became a co-ownership in 2011. They are best friends who met in college and ultimately decided to start their small business together. At first, they offered handmade items, but decided to go the design route, and now they offer web design, blog design and branding packages. They recently launched the Maiedae mixer – a networking event in the southeast region – and The Brand Market – a workshop for creative entrepreneurs. I think I love them.

Image belongs to Deluxemodern

Image belongs to Deluxemodern

Deluxemodern is the beautiful brainchild of Christine, who had this to say about starting her own design company: “if you’re not obsessed, forget it.” I think that can be said about anything that takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but is totally worth it if you love it. She offers both one-of-a-kind and starter logos, branding, blog kits, social media kits, backgrounds and kits. So, basically anything you want.

Image belongs to Smitten Blog Designs

Image belongs to Smitten Blog Designs

Smitten Blog Designs is out of Portland, OR and is comprised of seven lovely ladies who all happen to be designers. They started offering free blogger templates in 2008, and after receiving so many custom requests, they started designing custom blogs. They not only offer templates for both wordpress and blogger, but they also offer logos, print design and even free printables. Right now, they have a special going where returning customers get $5 off their purchase of $50 or more. You can follow their blog for more specials and updates.

Image belongs to The Weaver House

Image belongs to The Weaver House

The Weaver House was founded by twin sisters Kelty and Hannah. So, here is everything they offer, from what I can tell. I’m kind of information overload right now. They have an online shop where they sell vintage shoes, jewelry, paper and dresses. I think they make the prints by hand from vintage magazines and images they have found. They also offer photography and graphic design services, where they will either create the entire graphic design project for you, or do small custom projects, whichever you fancy. In their off time (as if they have “off time”), Kelty runs Working Theory Farms with her husband and Hannah makes funny holiday videos with her husband. Got all that?

To say that this little journey has been inspirational would be a huge understatement. The way I felt looking through all of the portfolios has proven to me that I took the right step in attending design school, and that blogging is what I am supposed to be doing. I’m so amazed that there are some many creative people out there, and that a lot of them live in Portland, apparently. I’ve been wanting to visit Portland for so long, and now I feel like it’s a necessity. But for now, I’m going to take a nap. Do you have an amazing blog design that you want to share? Perhaps you’re a blog designer and want to show off your portfolio? Post in the comments and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #blogdesigns. You can find more of the blogs that inspire through Pinterest.

Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favorites

Yesterday was the opening of football season. Pumpkin spice lattes are back at Starbucks. Pinterest is already on Halloween overload and comfort food is kicking the summer salad out of the way. This can mean only one thing. IT’S BOOT SEASON!

I have a boot for every occasion. Short black fake cowboy boots, tall brown fake cowboy boots, lace-up Doc Martens, gray boots. But this does not mean that I will stop window shopping for new boots every chance I get. Since I’m trying to be more conscious about where I shop and what I buy (note: trying), I am on the lookout for some cute vegan boots.

I also try to stick with buying handmade and/or from small businesses when I can. However, I have found that with shoes, the handmade part can be a little tricky if you are looking for a really good quality boot that you can wear for years to come. I once wore a pair of cowboy boots until the heel wore off, literally. While I was out. It was super fun. I digress.

Luckily, I was able to find some vegan boots that are not only cute, but also reasonably priced. I know. It’s crazy.

Image belongs to Wanted Shoes

Image belongs to Wanted Shoes

Glasgow boot from Wanted Shoes $49.99

Image belongs to Alternative Outfitters

Image belongs to Alternative Outfitters

Madden Girl Gamer Vegan Boot from Alternative Outfitters $59.00

So, Alternative Outfitters is a vegan boutique that I just found through Pinterest.Yet another reason why I love Pinterest so much. They offer vegan shoes, clothing and beauty supplies. They have a pretty legit Sale/Clearance section and they are also offering a 10% off coupon on their Twitter account right now. So go follow them!

Image belongs to GoodLuxe Vintage

Image belongs to GoodLuxe Vintage

Vintage Lace Up Boots from GoodLuxe Vintage $24, sz 8.5

Since these are vintage boots, there is only one size. They are made with all man made materials and they’re at a really good price. If they were my size, I would buy them in a flash. This Etsy shop offers a whole bunch of cute vintage clothing and accessories, and they too are offering a 10% off discount right now.

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Image belongs to Lu Lu’s

Georgia 72 Black Lace-Up Combat Boots from Lu Lu’s $38

There are plenty more where those came from

Another great website for vegan shoes is Planet Shoes. I had a hard time finding a photo of the Blowfish Razmitten for $44 that would be good for this post (they’re all super small), but that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about them! I was able to find some cute boots for under $50, and they also have a bunch of running shoes and loafers. They are an eco-friendly footwear supplier, and they also offer an opportunity to offset the carbon emissions from your shipping. Pretty neat, eh?

I promise to never blog about anything I wouldn’t purchase – I would get all of these boots today if I could. I will never suggest buying anything that is out of my budget, because I know that a lot of us are in the same boat. I’m sure there are plenty bloggers that write about high-end fashion, that’s just not what I’m about. If you come across a lovely pair of vegan boots, feel free to share them in the comments and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #veganboots. You can also find more vegan boot inspiration on my Pinterest.