Nov 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you are all enjoying your Thanksgiving, I know I am.  I made the boys a yummy breakfast of pancakes and bacon this morning, a treat they all enjoyed! I thought, as many others have, I should reflect on all the blessings in my life.

I am thankful for my wonderful family; a husband who is very patient and supportive through all my career changes (though I'm sure he wishes I'd make up my mind!), two beautiful active boys, and all my wonderful extended family who love and support me unconditionally.

I am also thankful for all our friends.  We live very far from the rest of our family, and we have a wonderful church family and a few non-church friends that always include us if we would be alone over the holidays.

During these holiday's we should remember all those who are away from their families so we are protected and have peace. Remember all of the service men and women past and present who help protect our great country.

And thank you, my loyal readers, for bearing with me as I try to balance life as a mother, blogger, and WAHM!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 23, 2009

My First Craft Show

Saturday, as some of you know, I sold some of my hand-made crafts for the first time. It was a dreary rainy day, so the turn out wasn't as good as last year. Even with the weather, it turned out to be a great day for me. I had a lot of interest in my products. I was selling produce bags, fabric gift wrap, and linen tote bags. The produce bags ended up being the star of my table. Everyone seemed to love the idea and the bags sold quickly. I ended up selling out of the produce bags and taking orders for more; sold half of the gift wrap with orders for more in different patterns/sizes; and I sold two tote bags which were my high ticket item. My table looked pretty pathetic around 1 o'clock because it was so barren, but what a great problem to have! So my Etsy shop will have to wait a little longer, as I don't have anything to sell yet. I probably will not be able to post anything there until after the new year considering the custom orders I need to fill. I'll keep you posted on my progress!

My table all set-up and ready for customers!

I have learned a lot from this experience, and I want to share some of it with you - just in case the crafting bug bites you too! (I'm including some observations for setting up a table as well)

  1. You'll probably be surprised by what your most popular product will be.
  2. Make sure you label the price of the item (or a have a price list on the table). Some people, like me, don't like to have to ask for a price - they'll just leave!
  3. Make sure your table covering doesn't compete with your product. Example: I saw a table covered with black & white polka dots, and a hot pink print, I think the product was kids pillows & blankets but I was so overwhelmed by all the patterns and colors that I really didn't pay any attention to what they were selling.
  4. Be creative with your display, and don't forget your vertical space. Try garage sales and discount stores for unique display items. Don't be afraid to re-purpose an item like a door or window to add to your display.
  5. If your interested in taking custom orders, let people know with a sign. A customer might like a product but want it in a different color, and they probably will not think to ask if you can make it for them!
  6. Be prepared for little sleep the night before the show. I was up until 1 am putting the finishing touches on items, packing things up, getting everything together. Then when I was in bed I was mentally running over everything to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything.
  7. Have fun and talk to lots of people! This is when you need to put on a smiling face and say "Hello" to anyone who looks your way. Being personable could help you make a sale - just don't go overboard!

Do you have any tips for selling at craft fairs? If so, I would love to hear them as I plan to do more in the future!

Nov 18, 2009

Crafting Fun...

Here are some of the items I'm going to be selling this weekend at a craft show. Speaking of that...if you happen to be in Houston on Saturday stop by and say hello! I'll be at the Pilgrim Festival from 10am until 4pm, click here for the flyer.

Some jewelry bags I started...not so fond of how the 1st one turned out, so we'll see if I finish them.

Produce bags in three sizes, and one set packaged up.

Fabric gift-wrapped shirt box, I have a lot more of these to make!

Linen tote bag, came out much better than the first one - interfacing made all the difference!

Another view of the bag so you can see how it doesn't collapse on itself.
I've got two more days with crazy amounts of sewing to do...unfortunately not enough time to finish everything I was hoping to. Oh well, at least I'll have some things to sell!

Nov 16, 2009

My Child Has What?

I had to bring little Logan to the doctor's office today. On Friday he was bitten by a mosquito and it seemed to be healing fine, then this morning there was a red spot around it about 1.5" wide. The bite got infected, but that was not all. I had noticed a couple of red blister like bumps on his diaper area and thought it was just diaper rash. The he got one on his ankle and the bottom of one foot. Then one appeared on his wrist not to far for the mosquito bite. According to the doctor he has Impetigo. I'm not really surprised, as another little boy at his day care recently came down with it. The doctor broke one of the blisters and sent it for culture just to be sure, but he is now on a really gross smelling antibiotic and an anti-bacterial cream.

Because he has the blisters on his diaper area I have to put the prescription cream on then a layer of diaper rash ointment. Not great for keeping him in cloth diapers. I've had to use disposables for three days now and feel that is long enough. I went out today and picked up a package of flushable diaper liners so I can go back to the cloth diapers I love so much. Even my husband was anxious to get Logan back in his cloth.

Lets hope the liners work so I don't end up with diapers that repel!

Nov 12, 2009

Bringing Down the Blogging Wo(man)

If you are a blogger or own a company involved in social media for advertising (ie. Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, etc) you are probably aware of the recent changes that have been inacted that make things a little more difficult for us.  Last night I was able to join the tail end of a Twitter Chat on the new FTC regulations that have a significant impact on bloggers. If you are interested in seeing a easy to read break down please visit 3 Green Angels; in that post they also have a link to the actual FTC guidelines that go into effect December 1st.

The second piece of information important to us bloggers and social media (specifically Facebook) users is Facebook's new (updated November 4th) policies regarding Promotions.
Section 4. Publicizing a Promotion on Facebook

You do not need our prior written approval if you are publicizing a promotion that is administered completely off of Facebook. However, we may remove any materials relating to the promotion or disable your Page or account if we determine that you violate these Promotions Guidelines, the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities or any other of our policies. If you publicize a promotion in any way on Facebook, in addition to the other terms and conditions contained in these Promotion Guidelines, without limiting your other obligations you agree to the following:

4.1 You will not directly or indirectly indicate that Facebook is a sponsor or administrator of the promotion or mention Facebook in any way in the rules or materials relating to the promotion.

4.2 In the rules of the promotion, or otherwise, you will not condition entry to the promotion upon taking any action on Facebook, for example, updating a status, posting on a profile or Page, or uploading a photo.
I find section 4.2 a little tough to swallow.  One of the best ways we have of encouraging readers to spread the word about a giveaway is through social media, and I believe this will limit the potential reach we have.  I can't tell you how many blogs that I faithfully read, found only by seeing a friend post something about a giveaway on that site.  Anyway, if you are interested in reading all of their Promotions Guidelines (which I would suggest if you have Facebook involved in your giveaways in any way) you can access it here.

So what do you think? Are these good policies put in place to protect consumers or are they there to protect big business? I'd love to hear your take!

Nov 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

I love BabyLegs & Flip diapers, too cute! (Oh, and ignore the red line at the top - cameras dying :-( )

Nov 10, 2009

EcoStore USA Cleaning Product Reviews

Maggie from EcoStore USA was nice enough to send me a box of their Front Loader Laundry Powder and a bottle of Toilet cleaner to try out.

For the past week, all of my clothes and cloth diapers have been washed in the Front Loader Powder.  For convenience, the powder comes with a measuring scoop made from easily recyclable #2 plastic.  According to the product label: the laundry powder has no synthetic dyes or perfumes, no optical whiteners, and no enzymes in it. It is made from biodegradable plant and mineral based ingredients from sustainable sources - so it is kind to the earth.

I was delighted with the cleaning action of this powder.  Our clothes came out clean and smelling like...well...nothing! I even gave a sniff to the armpit of a previously sweaty and stinky workout smell.  Next was the real test: the first load of cloth diapers.  I ran my normal "Stain Wash" cycle with a cold prewash with no soap, followed by a hot wash with soap, and an extra rinse for good measure.  After the diapers were dried in the dryer I pulled them out and gave a good sniff to a cover then tends to hold urine smell in the liner - no smell. Then I sniffed one of my stank prone microterry inserts...again no smell.  I just about died from happiness!  I even handed one to my husband and asked him to smell it and he agreed that there was no smell - I wasn't crazy! In a household with a heavy wetter and ongoing diaper stink issues this was an amazing revelation.  This will definitely be on my list of cleaning products to buy when I run out.

Next up was the toilet cleaner.  I have a 3 year old boy that uses the potty. If you have boys, you understand what that means for the state of your toilets! Anyway, he's great about using the potty (most of the time, he is 3 after all.) What he's not so great at is flushing after he's gone. Our toilet will get pretty yucky in a short period of time, so this toilet cleaner will get a good run for its money.  So I applied as directed, waited a very minutes, scrubbed and flushed. Clean. An amazingly white clean.  It didn't remove a hard water stain, but I really didn't expect it to.  It does have a bit of an odor to it, so I would suggest having the exhaust fan on while it is in use.

Disclaimer: Please use caution when working with cleaners, even if they are made from natural ingredients. Make sure to read the directions and precautions on the label before use. Always keep cleaners away from children and pets.

I have not been paid for this review but I did receive the test products free of charge. I am in no way affiliated with EcoStore USA and this review is my personal thoughts on the products after using them.

Nov 9, 2009

No, I Didn't Fall off the Face of the Earth

Sorry I have been MIA. Life has gotten in the way of my blogging, but things should get better (at least until the holiday season gets into full swing!) This past weekend I sang in Faure's Requiem at my church. This required our normal weekday rehearsal, plus rehearsal all Saturday morning, then singing during the morning service Sunday, then rehearsal again before the concert, the concert, the reception, then cleaning get the idea that I needed a little down time. Ha! Stay-at-home-Mom's don't get down time! I am going to try my best to get a couple items posted on my Etsy shop this week, and get some blog posts done. But if it doesn't happen it doesn't happen and I'm not going to stress over it.

Anyway, tomorrow look for a review on two Ecostore USA cleaning products!

Nov 4, 2009

This is Why I'm Late Posting (and Missed Posting Yesterday!)

Fabric cut and ready to go...


Adding the handles

Finished product: lined embroidered linen tote bag with two side pockets

Another view of the finished product, next time I'll need to add interfacing to make it a bit firmer.  I think it was a successful first try, even though I won't be able to sell this one (another bag for me to use)!

Wordless Wednesday - Halloween Edition!

Nov 2, 2009

The New "Ice Cream" on the Block

If you are lactose intolerant, like I am, you will know how hard it is to find a great tasting ice cream substitute.  I usually end up getting a regular "light" ice cream, taking some pills, and hope for the best.  Well, I don't think I have to do that any more.

While shopping last week, I swung by the non-dairy frozen section to see if they had anything new.  To my surprise I saw a shelf full of new products!  The non-dairy frozen desserts were made from coconut milk instead of soy (which I find to have a not-so-pleasant aftertaste).  The brand is Purely Decadent made Coconut Milk by Turtle Mountain.  I bought the Mint Chip flavor, and found it to be wonderful.  You do get the coconut flavor, so it ended up being a lovely coconut mint flavored dessert with yummy ribbons of crunchy chocolate mixed through.  They had several other flavors that look promising as well; I think the Cookie Dough will be my next trial.

I also love that this dessert is made with organic agave syrup instead of high fructose corn syrup (yuck!) Some of you might be happy to learn that it is certified vegan and is free of gluten, soy protein, dairy, and nuts according to the label.  It does run about the same price as the soy pints, so it will be an occasional treat (like any dessert should.)  Now that I have found this, am looking forward to my next treat!

Have you tried any of the other flavors?  If you have, please leave a comment telling me the flavor and what you thought of it. I'm VERY interested to know what other people think!

Image from  This is not a sponsored review, and I am not affiliated with Turtle Montain in any way.  This review is my own thoughts and opinions of a product I purchased.