Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Spotted Tuesday: Turtles


Did you know the first turtles crawled about on earth more than 250,000,000 years ago?

Spotted Tuesday this week is inspired by our new turtle pets. In the new year day, we got Ethan a couple of turtles. It was not really planned. We planned to spend the new year with in-laws including a trip to a mall. We stopped at a booth (not really a pet shop) selling mice, porcupine, fish and turtles per Ethan's request. He loves animals! Seeing him so happy seeing these animals, I asked DH if it would be a good idea getting  a couple of turtles. Perhaps that it is a good time now to teach him to be responsible in taking care of animals....somewhat! I will be the one who clean their tank on a daily basis (add that to my chores list!) but he will be responsible to feed them. As of today, he's been doing a great job!

Last week, we bought a bigger turtle and a bigger tank at an actual pet shop located at a mall close to where we live. We have 3 turtles now and I put a stop on that. Lol. Ethan named the 2 little ones: Lupy and Gupy. The bigger one is Bupy. Lupy is the smallest among three and Ethan said it's a "she". She is calm and pretty shy compared the other two. Ethan said Gupy is a "he". We really can't tell their gender at this point because they are still too small to be identified. But Bupy is a male turtle.

I personally find it enjoyable looking at these turtles. They sometimes act funny, like this one for example: Gupy is on top of Lupy and they do this a lot lately.



Here are beautiful handmade products found at Artfire and Storenvy

http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/product_view/elisabeth_77/6934528/digital_crochet_pattern_the_original_turtle_cuddle_cape_not_item/design/patterns/crochet/hats

Digital Crochet Pattern The Original Turtle Cuddle cape from Calleigh's Clips

http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/product_view/atti/6550028/cute_turtle_tortoise_sea_animal_pearls_and_rhinestones_stud_earrings/design/jewelry/earrings/shell_pearl

Cute Turtle Tortoise Sea Animal Pearls and Rhinestones Stud Earrings by Atti

http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/product_view/bluemorningexpressions/3485258/turtle_and_bluebells_counted_cross_stitch_pattern_xstch-00168/design/patterns/needlecraft/cross_stitch

Turtle and Bluebells Counted Cross Stitch Pattern by Blue Morning Expressions



http://dzasv7x7a867v.cloudfront.net/product_photos/7569555/oct_20041_original.JPG

Sea Turtle set of clips from Violet's Buds


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=710747205626311&set=pcb.710747698959595&type=1&theater
Crocheted Turtle by Unique Creations by Tracy



You do not really see a turtle on these gorgeous handmade jewelries below, but I love to give them a shout out. I am pretty sure that they were not created with a turtle in mind, but they do capture what I was looking for in preparing this post.

The spiral dichroic earrings from Shadow Dog Designs and the bronze and olive necklace and earring set by Craftofthepast have the turtle's yellowish and greenish colors.
http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/product_view/ShadowDogDesigns/8279921/spiral_dichroic_glass_handmade_earrings_green_yellow_black_onyx_unique/handmade/jewelry/earrings/glass

Spiral Dichroic Glass Handmade Earrings Green Yellow Black Onyx Unique by Shadow Dog Designs



http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/product_view/craftsofthepast/8400384/designer_made_original_bronze_and_olive_necklace_and_earring_set/handmade/jewelry/sets/polymer_clay

Designer Made Original Bronze and Olive Necklace and Earring Set by Craftofthepast


This orange carnelian necklace has somewhat remind me of how the plastron, lower part of the shell looks like.
http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/product_view/ShadowDogDesigns/8375340/orange_dichroic_pendant_carnelian_handmade_necklace_swarovski_jewelry/handmade/jewelry/necklaces/gemstone

Orange Dichroic Pendant Carnelian Handmade Necklace Swarovski Jewelry by Shadow Dog Designs

Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Giveaway from Little House of Crafting: $10 Gift Certificate

Are you ready for another fantastic Giveaway?



This time Toni from Little House of Crafting is giving away $10 Gift Certificate to be spent on her Storenvy Shop.

If you an anime fan or know someone who is, you want to enter this giveaway.

Get to know Toni a little bit more. Read the yesterday's post of Saturday Artisan.


http://littlehousecrafting.storenvy.com/products/1526690-keep-calm-and-write-on-1-25-inch-pinback-button-magnet

http://littlehousecrafting.storenvy.com/products/3142134-orange-black-halloween-colored-perler-bead-bowl


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest starts now and ends on February 8th, 2014. Contest opens to worldwide. Don't forget to leave me a way to contact you. Entries without contact information will be disqualified. Entries that do not follow the rules will be disqualified. Contest winner will be drawn on Sunday, February 9th. Winner must respond within 48 hours after being contacted otherwise another winner will be randomly selected. Good luck, everyone! 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday Artisan: Little House of Crafting



Happy Saturday!
This week Saturday artisan is Toni! She is the creative person behind Little House of Crafting.
It's the perfect shop when you are looking for something geekery, handmade with love.




Tell us a bit about you and what arts/ crafts that you make?



Hello! I'm Toni, owner of Little House of Crafting!
I'm a happily married 20-something geek that loves to watch Doctor Who, play videogames and of course, craft!

Little House of Crafting came about in early 2013 when my friend, and partner in crime, Lilly Inverse of Lilly Inverse Designs began making and selling art in Artist Alleys at anime conventions. I decided to join in the fun and created a line of pinback buttons. Later, I added perler/pixel art (also known as drawing with plastic) and now offer pinback button designs in magnet form!

Each product is made by me in my adorable 650 square-foot home in southeast Michigan. Every fandom and activity featured at Little House of Crafting is dear to my heart. Great pride is taken in ensuring that you are able to share your geekery with the world at large!



What is the story behind your shop name?  

The story behind my shop name is that my products are handmade by me in my little 650-square-foot house. I take over the kitchen table!

Who is your target market?

My target market are those that attend anime conventions and those looking for geekery to collect and squee over!





Which part of creation process that you enjoy the most?

The part of the creation process that I enjoy the most is designing custom pinback buttons and magnets. I love getting in the zone of designing and sending Facebook messages and emails of proofs for approval before sending out the final product! :)



For us who love to travel, could you share a bit about your beautiful town/ city?

Even though I live in a township, those who live in my area don't pay attention to what towns they are in as our cities are so small. I live on the border of two other towns. It's so wonderful as the town I live in doesn't have a movie theater. We go 5 minutes down the street to the next town! The other town I border has a fantastic tavern that my husband and I frequent very often. The staff are great and will sit down at the table and talk with you!


Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?

I organize my products simply. Each pinback button design is stored in a ziplock sandwich bag and then are collected in a gallon size ziplock bag. I need to be able to find my designs quickly during an anime convention so I have my button designs organized by color and type of text or picture. Choose a method that works and is efficient for you!




How does your day go in general?

My day depends on whether I am working or not. I work part-time at Jimmy John's. Regardless, on the weekdays, I wake up at 7am for a 20 minute work out. Then I get some online work in for my shop before going to work. Typically I'm catching up on social media, preparing orders for shipping, etc. After work I catch up on social media again and work on convention prep, designing new products, completing new shop listings and photographs, etc. One thing's for sure is that every day is different!

How do you balance your personal and work life?

I make sure to have family time every day. This is very important as it's easy to get preoccupied with completing orders and making new products. I also make sure to have scheduled alone time every week. This allows me to recharge and have some quiet time so that I don't burn out.

What inspires you?

Everything inspires me! Be it a conversation with a friend or a loved one, TV shows or movies, a book I've read, a videogame played..my inspiration comes from everything!

What is your best seller?

My best seller is my Soul Eater Moon pinback button. That design is hand drawn using my Wacom tablet and GIMP. I am so proud of it!


What is your goal for 2014?

 My goal for 2014 is to reveal a new shop mascot and launch two new product lines!

Any advice for others running their on-line shop?

The advice I would give in running an online shop is that you can't please everybody. Make the online shop you and yours and reflect your passion behind it. It will show! Also, limit the amount of stock you make for new products until you have an idea of whether it will sell or not. If you do find yourself having too much product see if you can donate it to giveaways that benefit charities or to charities themselves!

Saving money is important; tell us one thing that you do to save money?

I research and shop online as much as possible. I also try to purchase from handmade and local shops as much as possible so as to support small business. That balance can be a hard line to walk but typically you can shop online for the supply purchases and shop handmade and local for the freebies included in online orders. For example, I shop at Washi Mall for my washi tape that I embellish my "Thank You" message with.

So where can we get in touch with Toni?

Blog
DeviantART
Facebook
Pinterest
Tumblr
Twitter

Stay-tuned for tomorrow's giveaway!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Giveaway from Violet's Buds: Hair Accessories Mystery Gift Set

Here is another Fantastic Giveaway! You could win a Mystery Gift Set filled with hair accessories worth $35+, sponsored by Violet's Buds!

The winner can specify up to 2 preferred headband sizes, and favorite colors. Shipping will be free to the US.


Learn more about Melanie, the artist and shop owner, here on yesterday Saturday Artisan post.


Take a look at these gorgeous handmade hair accessories. Aren't they exquisite? The colors are perfectly combined.


http://violetsbuds.storenvy.com/collections/218833-crowns-photo-props/products/1336136-silver-flair-tiara-newborn-crown


 http://violetsbuds.storenvy.com/collections/220261-headbands/products/1322812-beachfront-ruffle-rosette-fascinator-headband 

 


 http://violetsbuds.storenvy.com/collections/220226-bobby-pins-barrettes/products/4477870-sushi-novelty-hair-clip 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest starts now and ends on February 1st, 2014. Contest opens to worldwide (free shipping to the US). Don't forget to leave me a way to contact you. Entries without contact information will be disqualified. Entries that do not follow the rules will be disqualified. Contest winner will be drawn on Sunday, February 2nd. Winner must respond within 48 hours after being contacted otherwise another winner will be randomly selected. Good luck, everyone!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saturday Artisan: Violet's Buds

Happy Saturday!

Meet our Saturday Artisan: Melanie, the artist behind Violet's Buds shop at Storenvy.

I truly love her flowers. They are all so beautifully made. Recently, she has added a new line in her shop: the hoops arts!



Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?



I am a happily married SAHM with an energetic preschooler. When my daughter was 6 months old I decided to try making her some cute hair accessories. It quickly became an addiction, and I began making clips and headbands for my nieces and friends. After encouragement from friends and family I opened Violet's Buds in March of 2011. I started by selling headbands and clips for young girls, and have expanded to include hair accessories for all ages, fabric jewelry, photo props, newborn crowns, and holiday ornaments. I also make custom maternity sashes and wedding accessories upon request.
Currently I am starting a new line of hoop art decor that uses the same fabrics and flowers as the hair accessories.





Which part of creation process that you enjoy the most?

I enjoy matching various colors and patterns of fabrics, along with buttons and beads to create unique pieces. 



For us who love to travel, could you share a bit about your beautiful town/ city? 

I was raised and still live in a suburb of Kansas City, MO.

Our city has a growing artistic community, lots of beautiful sites, and amazing barbecue. Kansas City was recently named a top travel destination for 2014! 



Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?

Currently, I organize all my stock by color. My shop is organized by accessory type. I am often seeking new methods of organization to see which works best.



What is your best seller?

Since the majority of my pieces are one of a kind, I don't have a single best seller. Lately, the button hair pins have been quite popular.


How do you balance your personal and work life?

Balancing work and personal life is a constant challenge for me. One of my goals for 2014 is to become better organized, both in business and my personal life, and stick to a schedule to prevent burnout.


What inspires you?

I greatly enjoy the creative process and the therapeutic outlet that crafting gives me. I've always been drawn to art, photography and crafts. I am inspired by the fabrics I use, my daughter and her style, and by brainstorming with other crafters.




Any advice for others running their on-line shop?

My biggest piece of advice is to plan on spending the same amount of time, if not more, on marketing, advertising, and networking as you do on the actual creation of your pieces. It takes sometimes months for customers to find you and your products.
Also, never be negative! No matter how discouraged you might be, never post something negative on your social media-- its likely to drive customers away.

Don't give up, just keep plugging away. Find a group of like-minded businesses that can help give tips and encouragement. A great support system is so very important.




Saving money is important; tell us one thing that you do to save money?

The majority of the fabrics used in my pieces are either remnants, or are upcycled from clothing & linens. Beads, pendants, & buttons in Violet's Buds accessories come from old & sometimes broken costume jewelry, old clothing, or scouted out at flea markets. This allows me to reduce waste, and give new life to otherwise forgotten items. Additionally, the majority of Violet's Buds pieces are one of a kind.


So where can we get in touch with Melanie? 

Reach her here:


Stay-tuned for tomorrow's giveaway! You don't want to miss it!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Giveaway from Pelhuaz by Red: A Turquoise Owl Charm Necklace

http://dpegb9ebondhq.cloudfront.net/product_photos/10295437/WP_20131215_032_original.jpg

This awesome giveaway is sponsored by Pelhuaz by Red. Get to know Zei, our Saturday Artisan this week. Learn about this artist  on yesterday post.

Win a Turquoise Owl Charm Necklace (White)

The perfect bracelet for your Casual Evenings Out, a great addition to your jewelry collection. Bohemian beaded stretch bracelets that look lovely by themselves or when stacked with other bracelets. This darling bracelet has an owl carved from manmade turquoise, and handsome glossy beads with intriguing matrix.






a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest starts now and ends on January 25, 2014. Contest opens to worldwide. Don't forget to leave me a way to contact you. Entries without contact information will be disqualified. Entries that do not follow the rules will be disqualified. Contest winner will be drawn on Sunday, January 26th. Winner must respond within 48 hours after being contacted otherwise another winner will be randomly selected. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Saturday Artisan: Pelhuaz by Red

Welcome to the first 2014 Saturday Artisan! 

I'm pleased to introduce you to Zei, the artist behind Pelhuaz by Red. Zei is such a friendly person! I had a pleasure making custom label tags for her and she was a delight to work with! I am sure that she is an awesome shop owner and will make sure that you are satisfied with your purchase.

My favorite from Pelhuaz shop is this Druzy Necklace in pink with sterling silver chain. Isn't this gorgeous?

http://pelhuaz.storenvy.com/collections/296901-necklaces/products/2339820-druzy-necklace-pink



Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?

My name is Zeide Rojas. I'm a Telecommunications Project Manager that love making crafts and most of all jewelry. I create modern bracelets, and necklace made with beads, semi precious stones, glass and charms.

What is the story behind your shop name?  

The name Pelhuaz by Red actually came from my nickname. Everyone called me "Pelua" -which is the Spanish word for "Tangle" -like Brave-Merida-Curly-Hair. That's me, Zei the Pelua. After playing with the idea and my fascination with owls (translation in Spanish is buhos), the name was born. Was something like Pelua + Buho + Zei = Pelhuaz. The "Red", well is just the translation of my last name.

Who is your target market?

My target market is the modern woman who likes to look modern but by using simple accessories. Sometime less is better and with a bracelet or necklace your outfit will shine.


Which part of creation process that you enjoy the most?

I love looking for new beads or charm. After I found one that I love, I start imagining how it will look as a bracelet or as a necklace. Then is just the assembling process.


For us who love to travel, could you share a bit about your beautiful town/ city? 


I live in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico, officially known as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

Puerto Rico is a little island that measure only 100 miles long by 35 miles wide, making it the smallest island of the Greater Antilles. Puerto Rico (Spanish for "rich port") have an exquisite weather that invite you to explore. You can find local exotic hideaways, miles of white sandy beaches, mountains and valleys, and many other natural wonders.


Could you share on how your organize your products, we all can use a little tips here and there in this department?


As soon a s I have a new creation, I assign it a number. That number is used as the inventory control number that I use at the store for listing, and the inventory matrix. Using plastic storage boxes, I organize the items by such number, saving a lot of time when a new order arrive. I just have to look for the item at the storage box and deduct it from the matrix.

What is your best seller?

My best sellers are the bohemian beaded stretch bracelets that look lovely by themselves or when stacked with other bracelets.

http://pelhuaz.storenvy.com/collections/283230-bracelets/products/4504348-buddha-turquoise-lotus-bracelet-available-in-7-colors

How does your day go in general?

As a mom, a project manager, a wife and an entrepreneur; my day goes a little fast. In the morning, I have to prepare and take the girl to school and pick her up in the afternoon. While she's at school Mama is working as a Project Manager. After picking her up, is all about homework's, tests reviews and school projects. Then the regular Mama stuff related to fixing food, house chores, etc. When the girl is ready to sleep, then I can start working with Pelhuaz -pre arranging the post, processing any new order or making new items. 

How do you balance your personal and work life?

I'm trying to organize everything in a way that I can work on the store just few hour a day, leaving the rest of my time to family. Some time is a little complicated, but for me family is always first!

What inspires you?

Love, my girl, my Hubby. This are the things that moves me, and keep me alive. 

What is your goal for 2014?  

Pelhuaz by Red is practically a new. I opened it on June 2013, and it's being a great journey. I plan to have a total 50 sales, participate in 2 shows, being featured at few blogs -just like yours, start using my Nikon for the items photos, and work with the improvement of my marketing channels.

Any advice for others running their on-line shop?

Build a great community with people that share your same interest and are willing to help you. This is not a thing that can be done by yourself. Help is always needed. Don't be afraid to ask. If you met the right people, they will be willing and able to help.

Saving money is important; tell us one thing that you do to save money?

Don't over spend in materials. Buy only what you need and when you need it!

So where can we get in touch with Zei? 

Reach her here:


  Stay-tuned for tomorrow's giveaway! You don't want to miss it!


Friday, January 3, 2014

Valentine's Tags to Support Because I am a Girl Campaign

One of my New Year resolutions for 2014 is to actively involve in charity works. To be where I am in life, I feel blessed. Sure there have been challenges and road blocks in the past years (particularly in 2013) and there will always be but I am sure there are people out there that were unfortunate than us.

In the past years, I donated to non-profit organizations that rescued animals. This year, my focus is to help vulnerable and disadvantaged women and girls.

I've created these Valentine's Tags with giving a hope in mind. These sweet Valentine's day favor tags have a pretty butterfly and hearts.  Gotta love the chevron pattern too! I find pink and gray colors work well together.

50% of the sale price will be donated to Because I am a Girl campaign . 

http://adorebynat.storenvy.com/collections/240007-favor-tags/products/4708786-butterfly-and-heart-valentines-favor-tags-in-chevron

Because I am a Girl is Plan’s global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty.

It is a fact that girls are disadvantaged because they are young and female. They are more likely to live in poverty,  be denied access to education and more likely to be malnourished. Studies show that investing in girls will benefit the whole world.

Did you know?

  • 70% of the one billion people living in extreme poverty are women and girls.
  • Girls are 3x more likely to be malnourished than boys.
  • Globally, 65 million* girls do not attend primary or secondary school.

There is an urgent need to stand up for the rights of millions of girls. In the poorest regions of the world, girls face double discrimination and unique barriers to survival and development, simply because they are young and female.

But when girls attain their basic human rights, they will:
  • Be 6x less likely to be married as children
  • Have 2.2 fewer yet healthier children
  • Increase their contributions to household income by 18%
More information can be found here.

Get ready for Valentine's day! Spread the love! Give the gift of hope, support a charity and make the world a better place to live. Every dollar counts.