Wednesday, December 31, 2008

From The Downtown Boutique

Wordless Wednesday Featuring The Bumble Bee Studio

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sweet Tweets

Sweet Tweets is the name of a shop on that I just happened to stumble upon on the very front page of Etsy. And isn't this the sweetest little Russian doll from their shop? I love it!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Have a "Mommy Blog" Now!

I went ahead and did it. I have had some fun reading some of my readers blogs..."Mommy Blogs". So I decided, since I am "Mom" to one and "Mama" to another, I would start a "mommy blog" of my own. It's called "Mama Bear Gets Chatty". I hope you will go and visit and let me know what you think. Just click on the image above, and it will take you there.

Like the design on the new blog? I did it! Need a re-design on your blog? Just let me know! The first two people who comment on the NEW blog about wanting a re-design on your blog, will get a new design from me!

Have a great week!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Do You Have What it Takes?

We are quickly coming up on our one year blogiversary! I can't believe it's been nearly a year already. I want to make a few changes to our blog; I hope you like them.

One of the big changes we will be making, is that we are looking for more authors to help with the posting. If you love to write, and you are creative and a lover of handmade products, I'd love to hear from you. I am looking for about 5 more contributors to the blog. Wanna give it a go? Email me!

Have a wonderful Christmas!


Newbie Tuesday -- I'm Only One Day Behind!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Have You Seen My Favorites?

I've been looking for them everywhere! Well, at least on Etsy, anyway. Have you noticed the 12 favorite items on the right? I'm looking for ideas of what to feature. Have a favorite color you want to see featured? Have a favorite "theme" you'd love to see? Let me know about it!

Hey! There are also seven Etsy Minis over there under the 12 favorites. I pick those based on GREAT looking photos, and products. Do you know someone who should have their Etsy Mini featured? Please let me know. Well photographed products is a must...and colorful helps too!

We're gearing up for some new Friday Features too, for the new year, and the new calendar. If you want to be featured, leave a comment, and we'll get back with you.

Have a great evening!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Great Fashion Find--"Peek-a-Boob Strips"!

So I was checking out my followers on Twitter tonight, and I found out that there is someone named "Peek-A-Boob Strips". I didn't catch that last "b" at first, until I clicked through to their website. Can you imagine what I found? I found these VERY cool strips that are "double-stick", to take care of those unsightly gaps in our fitted button-up blouses. But they don't just do that. They take care of hiding bra straps, holding up strapless tops, and more. And the little tin just tucks right into your purse!

Would You Buy This?

Take a look at this absolutely FUN Travel Tic Tac Toe Button Magnet Game from Mole Baby Buttons! Would you buy it? Why or why not? I'll tell you what. If you have an Etsy shop, or another website, where you sell handmade items, and you purchase this Tic Tac Toe Game, I will feature something from YOUR shop! Easy as pie. Any takers?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Must See Holiday Movie

While it is still fresh in my mind, I wanted to share with you a movie that we just finished watching; Christmas Child. It is "a story of coming home". At the eve of the finalization of our little guy's adoption, and with adoption so much on our family's heart, just about any movie or story with an adoption theme can make me bawl like a baby. This movie was no exception. The story is set in the life of a big-city, Chicago reporter, and his roots in Clearwater, Texas.

I highly recommend this movie as one to watch during the Christmas season. It is a story of love, and of forgiveness, in more ways than one. We found this at our local RedBox unit. If you click on the link of the movie title, in the paragraph above, you can find out where to purchase the movie.

This Max Lucado film stars Steven Curtis Chapman, Megan Follows (for all of you "Anne of Green Gables" fans), and William Moses.

God bless!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Honey, Can I Do Some Christmas Shopping?

I want to go Christmas (window) shopping...for me! My husband and I promised each other that we would not buy for each other this year, for two reasons: #1, we just don't have the money. #2, we would rather give to help with the Crisis in the Congo, or Hands at Work. This year we are just feeling so fortunate to have all that we have. We have a little tiny apartment (but much larger than most third world country "homes")with electricity and running water. We have an abundance of food and clothing, to the point of our closets and cupboards being stuffed to overflowing. My husband still has his job, despite pending layoffs across the country at various corporations. We have our health. We have two great vehicles, which are both VERY close to being paid off. We have two wonderful children. We have a WONDERFUL family. We are truly blessed. I really can't ask for more.

But....if I were to ask...if I were to do some shopping, I might get something like these:

What can I say? I love sparkly things! :-)
Have a great day!


Is This How Your Life Looks?

If this is what your life looks like, I hope that you will take some time off this holiday season, and just relax, and spend quality time with your family. No one says you HAVE to go to a jillion parties, and no one says you HAVE to bake 12 dozen cookies for your friends and neighbors. Enjoy the little ones (and the big ones) while you still have them. You can never get that time back. I am realizing that more and more as I see my 15 year old turning into quite the young man.

I know that I spend way too much time at the computer. With a 2 year old at home, and a 15 year old at time is divided. There's always going to be laundry, dishes, computer work, vacuuming, meals to cook, floors to mop. Think about what is most important to you, and go there! I hope your family is more important than your housework or career. I'm going to carve out some wonderful time with my family this Christmas, and start some new traditions.

By the way, the print above is called "Kitchen Mess" and was painted by Tali Naveh of "Talchen" on She hails from the same "neck of the woods" as I do...the SF Bay Area.

Have a blessed weekend!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday Featuring Go Monkey Design

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Newbie Tuesday

A Not So Random Featured Guest -- Jesse Jane's

This feature was supposed to go up last Friday, but we have had a pretty sick little guy, who has wanted nothing but to sit in mommy's lap. This doesn't allow me to get much done, but I will not complain too much. It is all too soon that they no longer want to snuggle. He is starting to feel much better, so now I am finally able to do this feature.

Today we are featuring Jesse Jane's, a shop that is FULL to overflowing with some fantastic pendants, and more. I asked the owner of Jesse Jane's to share a little bit of randomness about herself, and here is what she shared:

TDB: If you could picture one celebrity wearing your pendant, who would it be?
JJ: Oprah, because she has such a huge following...
TDB: Anything special you watch or listen to or eat while you are creating?
JJ:I usually have the tv going in the background while I work- Stargate re-runs, Doctor Who, Torchwood and other DVD's...
TDB: What is your favorite item to create?
JJ: My favorite items to create are the one of a kind bracelets I create for various challenges.
TDB: Who is your favorite Etsy seller, and why?
JJ: I don't know that I can choose who my favorite etsy seller is.. I'd have to pick several: sheltie19, southamptoncreations, cornerstore, and many more.
TDB: If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
JJ: For a new skill I'd love to learn how to do stained glass work.
TDB: If you had a super power, what would it be?
JJ: For a superpower I would love to be able to teleport wherever I wanted to go.
TDB: What's the most difficult lesson you've ever had to learn?
JJ: My most difficult lesson was when I had to learn that life isn't always easy...

Hey, I'm with ya on the teleporting! Then, I'd get to see my family who are out of state, much more often!!

Please go and check out Jesse Jane's on Etsy. They are offering a great deal on all of their pendants: BUY 2, GET 1 FREE!

On top of that, Jesse Jane's is giving our readers a chance to win not one, but THREE of their great pendants!

To enter: Go visit Jesse Jane's, then come back here and comment on your favorite item from the shop. Please make sure that you leave a valid email address, or have one attached to your Blogger account. You do not have to have a Blogger account to enter.

For an extra entry: Please blog about this giveaway. Leave a separate comment with the link to your blog post.
For another extra entry: We'd love to have you follow our blog. Please click at the top right, where it says "Follow This Blog". Leave a separate comment letting us know you're following.

For another extra entry: Tweet about this giveaway. Put "@rioosodesigns" on your tweet, so I know you tweeted. Leave a separate comment letting us know you tweeted.

Giveaway is open worldwide. Deadline to enter is Monday, December 22nd at Midnight PST.

Don't forget to scroll down and enter to win a Photo Greeting Card Design
from Photo Greetings on Etsy!
Have a GREAT week!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Need to Make a Quick Run to the Market...Lilly Market, That Is!

I've mentioned before that I'm always finding neat things because I subscribe to blogs, and I find these neat things through articles on these other blogs. Well, today's post is not exception. If you haven't heard of "The Girl Indie Blog", you're missing out. It is always fresh and funny, with several contributing authors, including Lisa and Bobbie, who started the blog. They share many zany life stories, along with great "reviews" and giveaways. They also showcase some gorgeous handmade products, kind of like we do here!

Anyway, they have this post called "Big Ol' Box of Food", and of course that piqued my curiosity. So I followed the link from my email, to The Girl Indie Blog, to Lilly Market, where I found the most beautiful and delicious looking food I have seen in quite some time. Well, not really FOOD per se...but it IS felt food! And it's beautiful!

So now I want the Big Box O' Food. You can see it just below, so you'll know what I mean. We have a two year old little guy who is not much into regular toys, but give him an old cell phone, some measuring spoons, a plastic cup and bowl, a cardboard shipping box; and he can have imaginative play for most of the day!

I hope you'll go take a quick run to Lilly Market. They have lots of wonderful foods, and they even have instructions for making it if you feel so inclined! Have fun! And thank you for supporting the small toymakers and crafters!

Have a blessed Sunday!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's Not Too Late...For a Giveaway!

Have you procrastinated when it comes to Christmas cards? Do you always? I do! I'm picking up our "proofs" at Costco today to see how they came out. Hubby wanted me to create a "Charlie Brown Christmas" style card, and I wanted to create one that was more "subtle", and a little more "sweet yet elegant".

Here's what I came up to decide...I will probably give in to hubby, because he usually goes with whatever I want...I want to return the favor.

And here are more examples of cards I've created.

The great thing about our photo greeting cards, is how easy they are for YOU!

1. Purchase the desired design.

2. Email me a high resolution photo (300dpi or higher for best results).

3. I'll send you a proof.

4. Once your order is completed, you can "test print" one photo, to make sure it comes out the way you wanted. Then once, you're satisfied, order the rest.

We recommend that you use the "luster" finish when ordering, as it will have a much nicer look.

They are for sale at Rio Oso Designs and Photo Greetings, both on Etsy.

In fact, I'm going to have a giveaway right now. One blessed reader will win their choice of photo greeting card design from either our Photo Greetings shop or our Rio Oso Designs shop.

We offer more than just Christmas Photo Greeting Cards! We also offer Birth or Adoption Announcements, "Save the Date" Announcements, Birthday Invitations, Shower Invitations, Graduation Photo Announcements, "In Loving Memory" Photo Cards, and whatever else you can think of! We do custom orders!

How to enter: Simply visit either shop, then come back here and let us know which is your favorite Photo Greeting Card Design. Please make sure that you have a valid email address available for me, either in the comment, or attached to your blog account.

For an extra entry, please blog about this giveaway, and leave a separate comment along with the link to your blog post.

For another extra entry, please Tweet about this giveaway, and use "@rioosodesigns" when you comment/Tweet. Please leave a separate comment letting us know you've done this.

Deadline to enter: Thursday, December 18th at Midnight PST. Giveaway is open worldwide.

As an added bonus, if you purchase any photo greeting card design from either of our shops, and you mention "The Downtown Boutique", you will receive 20% off of your premade design; good through December 31st.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday Featuring British Cream Tea

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Newbie Tuesday

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Feature No. 34 -- Featuring Tootie's Bubbles

It's Friday! Do you have your Christmas tree yet? We're working on it. I kind of think I might want hubby and I to secretly get it on Wednesday, and surprise our teenager when he gets home from school. Hubby's off that day, so it would be perfect!

Well, today we are featuring someone who has some fantastic stocking stuffers...Lauren from Tootie's Bubbles. Let's get to know Lauren a little better.

TDB: When did you first get into soapmaking?
Lauren: About one year ago. My mom said one day, "We should learn how to make soap. Why don't you research that?" And what she really meant by that was, "You should learn to make me homemade soap." I started with melt and pour and decided I wanted more of a challenge. I was on Craigslist one day and saw that a lady pretty close to me was selling "The Perfect Set for a Beginning Soaper" and I thought, hey that's me! I drove to Grapevine, TX, got my first set of supplies and haven't stopped!

TDB: Do you have any mishaps you want to share? Maybe something that you learned from?
Lauren: The first time I did cold process, I was unaware that if you use a plastic mold it should be lined or sprayed down with vegetable oil. Whoops. I ended up scooping them out with spoons once they were really hard. Needless to say they were used by my family only!

I've learned from all my beginning mistakes like most soapers do. My first experience with hot process was almost a disaster that I'm not sure the kitchen would've recovered from. Oh, and I also know now that ALL liquids should be cold when you are adding in lye. And if you have to do it inside, make sure those windows are OPEN! That stuff is dangerous, it's not messing around.

TDB: I love your photos! Do you do them yourself? Have any secrets?
Lauren: My biggest secret really isn't a secret; I make it well known on my blog and all my listings. I have a fabulous boyfriend who is a professional photographer (he received his degree in Photography two years ago!) and we set up a mock studio in my dining room for all the pictures. We share creative control over the photography but I'm not sure I could do it without him! I'm a lucky girl.

I always have a specific picture in my head that I want to create, and we usually get it just right. He's amazingly talented, no matter what he does really, and I could just as easily leave it all to him and trust that it would come out right. But I like to have my touch on the photos as well. You can check out his other work at his website,

TDB: What inspires you to create?
Lauren: The culinary arts have been VERY inspiring for me. I want all of my bath products to be good enough to eat. I have always loved cooking, so soap was a natural hobby to pick up. Soaping is very similar to cooking; there are recipes and steps to follow. I'm working on some tomato basil soap that uses real tomatoes and dried basil in it. The cupcake fizzers were inspired by my love of baking. My icing skills came into play when I decided to try my hand at that!

I also get inspired by my friends and family. I try and make every single one of my products something that they would love.

TDB: Please share a little about your family.
Lauren: I have one of the most supportive families ever! I am a full time college student (in my last year, hooray!) and I live with my parents. They let me turn the house upside down when craft shows come around. For my first show my mom stayed up with me all night getting last minute things done and she stays with me at all the fairs, I don't even have to ask. She is also my gift wrapper; no one ties a bow quite like she does. My aunt and my dad have both networked for me to get sales. My family members have all placed orders for Christmas too to help me generate more sales for the holidays! My aunt is very artistic and is always coming up with new ideas for me as well.

I couldn't do any of this without them. When I was nervous about a craft show once my dad said, "Hey the worst that could happen is that you don't sell any and we never have to buy a bar of soap ever again."

TDB: What is your greatest passion?
Lauren: Oohh, that's a tie! Creating and teaching. Ever since I was little, when my mom and I were out at stores and saw something neat, usually the first thing out of my mouth would be, "I could make that." Even if I had no idea how I would. I'm always making things, whether it's a cake, a birthday card, soap (mainly soap!), scrapbooking, crocheting, painting, ironing pearler beads, ANYTHING, I have to get my creative energy out and keep my hands busy!

Teaching is what I will be doing after I am finished with school. I am sociology major and I can not wait to teach full time. To me, teaching is one of those things that I feel I was put here to do. It feels so natural.

I've thrown around the idea of teaching a soap making class here locally. That would be great because it would combine BOTH of my passions!

TDB: If you were told you only had one year to live, how would you make the best of your time? What would you do? How would you live?
Lauren: I would live the same way I am now, but I would spend much more time with my family and friends. I would try and arrange to see The Rolling Stones in concert; my mom and I would get to be on stage with Rod Stewart during a concert, my dad, brother and I would fly with the Blue Angles, I would never turn down dessert, I would hold my baby cousin a lot more, I would probably hug my boyfriend way too much, I would never turn down opportunities to do anything, and I would take in every single moment.

Now for the GIVEAWAY!

Lauren is giving our winner: two bars of soap (winners choice of soap from her etsy site) an organic brown sugar scrub, a honey almond body butter, some honey almond bath salts, and a bath sponge! Each of them will be wrapped individually too so if you would like to pick soaps for gifts it will work!

To enter: Please visit Lauren's Etsy shop, then come back here and let us know what your favorite item is, and/or which two bars of soap you would choose if you won. Be SURE to leave a valid email address, if one is not connected with your Blogger account. You do not have to have a Blogger account to enter; you simply need to leave me an email address.

For one extra entry: Blog about this giveaway on your blog. Leave a separate comment with the link to your blog post.

For another extra entry: Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter. Use "@rioosodesigns" when you tweet about it. Leave a separate comment letting me know that you've done this.

For another extra entry: Follow our blog by clicking at the top right, on "Follow This Blog". Leave a separate comment lettting me know that you're following us.

This giveaway is open worldwide. Deadline to enter is Thursday, December 11th.

ALSO, for any Downtown Boutique readers that make a purchase from Tootie's Bubbles from DEC 5th through the 12th, will receive 15% off of their entire purchase.

Just let Lauren know that you heard about her on The Downtown Boutique!

Have a great weekend!


Would You Buy This?

Click Photo to Purchase.

Take a look at this DARLING Organic Onezee from Baby Ray Boutique! Would you buy it? Why or why not? I'll tell you what. If you have an Etsy shop, or another website, where you sell handmade items, and you purchase this Onezee, I will feature something from YOUR shop! Easy as pie. Any takers?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday Thumbnail -- Featuring Bealoo Kids

Hey there! Happy Thursday to you. I hope you are enjoying December. I just hope that it doesn't fly by like November did! Do you have your Christmas shopping done? No? Well, I don't either, so don't feel bad. Maybe this next giveaway will make a wonderful Christmas gift for someone you know.

Today, we are featuring Bealoo Kids.

Bealoo Kids was developed by a collective of Mom artists in an effort to provide beautiful, unique, high-quality fine art at an affordable price. Our mission is to create art that will stimulate the imagination and decorate little one's spaces with style. Our signature products include: Ready to Frame Original art prints created in standard frame sizes so that inexpensive frames can be purchased from a variety of local housewares, art & craft stores; Canvas stretched art that gives the look and feel of an original painting; and canvas growth charts to measure a little one's important growing stages. Bealoo Art can be purchased through

Bealoo Kids is giving away a Ready to Frame 8x10 Original Print Set. You can choose from the three sets shown below:

To Enter:

One Entry: Please check out Bealoo Kids, then come back here and let us know which is your favorite item from their shop. Please be sure to leave a valid email address, if your email is not linked to your Blogger account.

Another Entry: Please post about this giveaway on your blog. Leave a separate comment with the link to your blog.

Another Entry: "Follow" The Downtown Boutique. Click on "Follow This Blog" at the top right. Leave a separate comment to let us know you are now following us.

Another Entry: Tweet about this giveaway on Be sure to put @rioosodesigns when you tweet about it so that I know it was you. Leave a separate comment letting us know you Tweeted about us.

Deadline to enter: Wednesday, December 10th at Midnight PST. Giveaway is open worldwide.

Have a great rest of your week!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wordless Wednesday Featuring Little Alouette

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Newbie Tuesday

Would You Buy This?


Take a look at this DARLING pillow! Would you buy it? Why or why not? I'll tell you what. If you have an Etsy shop, or another website, where you sell handmade items, and you purchase this pillow, I will feature something from YOUR shop! Easy as pie. Any takers?

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving from
The Downtown Boutique!
We'd love to hear from you about what you are thankful for this year.
Please leave us a comment or two.
God bless you and your family this Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday -- Featuring Party Place

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Newbie Tuesday

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Monday Mini -- Featuring Ellembee

Happy Almost Thanksgiving! The Downtown Boutique is working on getting as many featured guests in, as we are able to, before Christmas. (I apologize, but I have been under the weather with a yucky cold, so I just haven't gotten the chance or the time now, to do the in depth gift guides that I started doing.)

So today, we're featuring Ellembee, a shop which I found on Etsy, by doing some looking around in the Time Machine. This shop has clothing that is TOTALLY my style! I just love the designs on Lisa's products. Here's her Etsy Mini so that you can see what I'm talking about:

I asked Lisa to share a little about herself, and here is what she shared (adapted from another blog interview in which she participated):

TDB: How long have you been screen printing and working with clothing, and how did you become interested in it?
Lisa: I just started screen printing about 5 months ago. I was a bedding designer in California for the past 4 years, until I got laid off in January. I moved back to Michigan, where I grew up, and had to find a way to make some money! I had taken a screen printing class in college, so I knew the basics. I looked at some how-to videos on Youtube, and read a few books on the subject, and just sort of fumbled my way through figuring out how to do it!

TDB: What is your personal favorite of your collection and why?
Lisa: I have a love/hate relationship with lacy indigo. The design that I originally thought of for that shirt looks totally different. I sort of happened upon the way it ended up looking, and I think it turned out great. That shirt is my best seller, and I think it's the most original in my line, but because of the bleaching process that I do, and the intricacy of the design, I mess up a lot of them that can't be sent out, (that's the part I hate!)

TDB: Things are tough these days, especially for many of us "starving artists". What do you do to stay positive in such a difficult field?
Lisa: I LOVE working for myself! I love the fact that how much money I make is completely up to me; I take full responsibility for my income. With amazing places like and the local craft fairs that I do, the sky is the limit. I find myself working 14-hour days, 6 and 7 days a week, and it doesn't even faze me, because I love what I'm doing! I love my job!

Ok, now for the FUN part! Lisa is offering a wonderful giveaway to our readers...the WINNER gets to pick one item from Lisa's shop. Yes, you heard right, you have your choice of what you want if you win!!!!

Here's what I would pick if I were eligible to enter:

How YOU can enter to win your choice of item from Ellembee: Please visit Ellembee, then come back here and let us know what you would choose if you won.

For one extra entry: Please blog about this giveaway and then post the link to your blog post in a separate comment.

For one more extra entry: For Bloggers only, you can "Follow" us by clicking on "Follow This Blog", up on the top right hand side. It doesn't count if you are already following us. Please leave a separate comment if you decide to become a "follower".

For one more entry: Add our blog to your blogroll. Please leave a separate comment with the link to your blog.

For one MORE entry: If you TWEET about this giveaway, you can earn an extra entry. Please put "@rioosodesigns" at the beginning of your tweet, so that I can see where you tweeted. Then come back here and leave a separate comment about your tweet.

WHEW! Ok, deadline to enter is Sunday, November 30th at Midnight PST. You MUST have a valid email attached either to your blog account, or to your comment. This giveaway is open worldwide.

Have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Feature No. 33 -- Featuring Jenny Karlsson

Well, it's late, and I have a toddler, who just got up from his nap crying, sitting in my arms. Please forgive me if there are typos that I don't catch.

You might have noticed that we have not had a Friday Feature for the past two weeks. This is much my fault because I sent out my reminder emails a little too the day before! I have been sick, and so has our little guy, so things aren't getting done as well as I had hoped.

Today, we are featuring Jenny of Jenny Karlsson Design. Jenny lives in Sweden, and is one of a very few featured guests who live outside of the USA! Jenny's shop is a delightful display of cozy items, such as crocheted flower brooches, unique (and numbered) handbags, and more.

Here is a little interview with Jenny:

TDB: When did you first get into crafting, and who taught you to craft?
Jenny: I think it must have been my mother at some time. She used to make some of our clothes when we were younger, and also some soft toys. I remember getting a simple little loom that you could weave scarfs & such in.. At least I know that now - back then I made mats for my dolls' house :) But I have always been interested in making things, the creativity have always needed to come out somehow. I am mainly self-taught I guess..

TDB: From where do you get your inspiration for your crafting?
Jenny: A lot of it comes from nature, flora and fauna. Some times it's things that I see that inspires me, most times though I think it is that the things that brings me energy is the things that I get inspiration from. The will to make something must be there. Then I also love beautiful magazines, children's books, art, history, times past. I like a lot of old things. They have feeling to them.

TDB: What is your favorite thing to create?
Jenny: I like variation. Simple and complicated. I do love to do embroidery and such and would like to have time to make more intricate things. It is easy to get caught up in the 'must make & sell'- circle.. Then again one of the best things with handicrafts is that it must take its time, and then it turn out best. When I have made something it has filled its purpose for me somehow. It's the making that I like, and I don't have trouble parting with my work. I rarely keep something for myself.

TDB: Please tell us a little about your family.
Jenny: There's my beloved one, mom, dad, two brothers and Lilly the dog. I live on my own but I talk to my parents really often and one of my brothers lives in the next door house :) I talk even more often with my beloved one, we live about 300 kilometres apart at the moment..

TDB: If you had 3 wishes granted to you, what would you wish for?
Jenny: Tricky question.. Hm.. I think I would have to be a bit materialistic and ask for 1. 'never have to worry about money', you know - so you have enough to get by and a little more. 2. For my loved ones to be happy and live well. 3. Being able to teleport myself all over the place (would be very practical).Hm, that last one might change a bit, but the other two will stay the same. :)Then again, you gather wisdom all your life by living & learning.

TDB: If you could travel back to any time period in history, where would you go, and why?
Jenny: I have thought about this sometimes.. and there are a few options.. victorian England, 1920's, beginning of the 19th century and perhaps Egypt. These are a few of the time periods that fascinates me and I find a lot of inspiration in. I guess it is also down to The Pre-Raphaelite movement, Arts & Crafts, Arthur Rackham-Edmund Dulac-Walter Crane ( illustrators), The House of Eliott (series) & Jane Austen.. Oh and Charles Dickens.. I do like times past. I can get quite nostalgic about periods in time that I haven't even lived, but am longing for somehow.

TDB: Please share 3 random, little known facts about you
* I was in a youth circus when I was younger. Doing simple acrobatics dressed up as a native american (in a shirt & pants made out of brown flanell that my mother had made, and with red & white stripes in my face).
* I really like playing computer games, especially where you get to chop around with swords and such..Guns works too :) .. There must be a plot though, adventure and excitement. My favorites are Monkey Island x 4, Morrowind, Fable, Half-Life and NoOneLivesForever.. Those are the ones I've played the most. I think...
* I have never smoked a single cigarette. Er.. Oh well, I couldn't come up with any other fact just now.. :)

Thanks Jenny! It was great to find out a little more about the woman behind the designs!

The Giveaway: A $15.00 "Gift Certificate" to Jenny's shop on

To Enter: Please visit Jenny Karlsson Design, then come back here and leave a comment about either your favorite item in Jenny's shop or what you would spend this gift certificate on, if you are the winner. Please be sure to have a VALID email address attached to either your comment (like this: downtownboutique (at) sbcglobal (dot) ne), or your Blogger account. You do not have to have a Blogger account to enter, as long as you have an email made available to us.

For one extra entry: Please blog about this giveaway and leave a separate comment with the link to your post.

For another entry: We'd love to have you follow our blog! You will get updates in Blogger with each new post. Yes, you must have a Blogger account for this one. No, it doesn't count if you are already following.

Deadline to enter: Thursday, November 27th at Midnight PST. Giveaway is open worldwide.

Have a great weekend!

As some of you may know, we are in the process of adopting a little boy who is now 2 years old. He came to us six months ago tomorrow! As far as we know, the adoption finalization process will begin in the early part of December, which means that the adoption will most likely be finalized in mid to late January! We are SO excited!

We are trying to raise money for the adoption fees, and so we are offering an adoption special in our Rio Oso Designs shop right now. From now, through the end of December, you can receive 20% off on anything in the shop. Your discount will come in the way of a Paypal refund after you have completed your payment.

Your dicount code is ADOPT20. Please mention this code in your "Notes to Seller", when you are checking out.

Thank you!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Thumbnail -- Featuring Crocheted Little Things

Today we are featuring one of our Project Wonderful advertisers, Crocheted Little Things. Lu makes some wonderful crocheted items, including Christmas ornaments, baby booties, and more.

Let's hear from Lu herself:

Hi, My name is Lu and I'm the owner of "Crocheted Little Things" under the nick name of piccoladonna2006. I come from Italy, and in Italian "piccola donna" means "little woman" and that's where my shop name come from. I'm a 26 yo stay at home busy mom of 2 wonderful kids and I have this big passion for crochet. I learned how to crochet when I was 9-10 from my mom who is a "doilie maker". It was something I liked to do during summer breaks, but never thought I could use it like I'm doing now! My biggest inspiration is the enthusiasm my kids share with me when looking at my new creations ot comes from little daily things....the necessity of a warm garment, the willing of embellish my house...I do not consider this like a job simply because I really enjoy crochet each and every piece!


A Giveaway from Crocheted Little Things: This darling set of four Crocheted Cupcake Christmas Ornaments.

To enter: Please visit Crocheted Little Things, then come back here and comment about your favorite item from Lu's shop.

Deadline to enter is Wednesday, November 26th at Midnight PST. Giveaway is open to everyone worldwide.

I've Been Featured on "Simply Sentimental: the Blog"

Hurry! Go! Rush on over to find out what Sydnei has said about me! There's even a giveaway with TWO winners!!! CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday Featuring Sew Much Detail

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Trading List

Back on November 3rd, I mentioned that I would put together a list of Etsy shops who are open to trades for Christmas shopping. Well, I am now coming through on that "promise", so here are those shops, in no particular order:
Clean Rinse (natural cleaning products)
Avary's Alyns (Sci-Fi inspired clay creatures)
Sweet Side (fabric, zippers, and supplies)
Holly Rose (jewelry and supplies)
Poppy Raye Studio (jewelry and artwork)
Sha Sha Ann (artwork for children)
Mon Ami Greetings (paper goods, greeting cards, etc.)
Zady Ball (baby toys)
Twilight Knits (hand dyed yarns)
Simply Just Minerals (mineral makeup)
Inu Inspirations (goodies and accessories for dogs and cats)
Camphor Creations (handsewn items)
Silver Nebel Jewelry (handcrafted jewelry)
Love Always, XOX (paper goods and handsewn items)
Bead Creations International (handcrafted jewelry)
Erin's Corner (handmade items for pets and kids)
Azhure Jewels (handcrafted jewelry)
Boston Bag Lady (paper goods)
Dragonfly Stitches (handmade quilts and vintage wood puzzles)
Lucy's Postcard Quilts (handsewn and crocheted goodies)
Beaux Bijoux (handcrafted jewelry)
Pixie Hollow Enchantasies (handpainted goodies)
The Brass Hussy (handcrafted jewelry)
Montana Hatter (hand crocheted hats and accessories)
Renee's Fashions (handsewn goodies--many Christmas items)
Renee's Soap (handcrafted soaps)
Chasing Lilies (handcrafted jewelry and chalkboard/memo boards)
Julian Wysocki (website design)
Snowberry Lime (handspun yarns)
Brandye's Beads (handcrafted jewelry and yarn goodies)
Sweet Irie Originals (wristlet key fobs)
Rio Oso Designs (digital designs)

Newbie Tuesday

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A FREE Photo Book From Inkubook

What a fantastic gift! Did you take some great Fall pictures this year? Have another reason for NEEDING a free photo book? I think I will get this free photobook to use with our little guy whom we are adopting, to help him learn his words. He has developmental delays, and has some speech issues. We also want to do a book for him to help him identify the special people in his life.
Here's the site:
Here's the promotion code: PBK266
Follow the instructions to sign up, start your book, and invite your friends (they’ll get a promotion code, too!)
Create your photo book within 30 days of joining.
All you have to pay is shipping!
The book is free! ENJOY

Now scoot! You've got to place your order by November 30th!!

Thursday Thumbnail -- Featuring Candies Jewelry Design

Today we are featuring Candie's Jewelry Designs, from Sylvania, Ohio. Take a peek into Candie's Jewelry Designs, and you will find some pieces of jewelry that will make perfect stocking stuffers from wives, moms, daughters, aunts, grandma's, cousins, nieces, friends, teachers....well, you get the picture. Candice, the owner of Candie's, has this to say about herself and her jewelrymaking:

I am absolutely in heaven when I'm creating with all my jewels and findings! I love creating something new, I get so darn excited, I sometimes think my family thinks I've totally lost it, lol! I think I dream jewelry, in fact I know I do! My new found love is vintage findings and brass, especially "vintaj" brass findings! Really, I just love it all!

Candice is offering to give away this perfectly sweet pair of earrings (valued at $21USD), which would make a FANTASTIC Christmas gift (stocking stuffer) for yourself or for someone you love.

To Enter:

1. One entry: Please visit Candie's Jewelry Designs, find your favorite item, then come back here and comment about it. PLEASE be sure to leave a valid email address, or have one attached to your Blogger account. You do not have to have a Blogger account to simply must leave me an easy way to get ahold of you.

2. One additional entry: Please blog about this giveaway, then leave a separate comment, with a link to your blog post.

3. One additional entry: We'd love to have you follow us (if you have a Blogger account), so if you leave a separate comment after you have signed up to follow this blog, you will gain an extra entry.

Deadline to enter is Wednesday, November 19th at Midnight PST.

Giveaway is open worldwide.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday Featuring Clayful Creations

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Newbie Tuesday

Friday, November 7, 2008

Project Wonderful

We've finally reached the 21st century...we now have Project Wonderful ad space available! If you look on the left hand side, and scroll down just past the Etsy Mini Ad Space, you will see our Project Wonderful ad space. Interested? Click on the link just under the ad space to place your bid!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thumbnail Thursday -- A Little Late

We have had SO many people who we want to feature here on The Downtown Boutique, and we can't fit them all in on least not before Christmas, so I wanted to throw in a few extra features and giveaways here and there. We're going to be featuring a "thumbnail sketch", as well as a mini-view (a shortened interview) with each artist.

Today we are featuring That Funky Boutique, and its owner, Angie.

That Funky Boutique's owner and designer, Angie Eisman is pleased to offer an eclectic array of products including unique children's wear and soft toys as well as accessories for the whole family. "I've recently launched a new line of winter hats that I'm thrilled about. Inspired by my kids' mismatching of their clothes, I've made these hats with a whimsical mismatched style. And blended in my green, eco-friendly sensibilities by making them with 100% recycled wool and cashmere!" Each hat is one of a kind and hand made with care in the western mountains of North Carolina.
Available at
Wholesale inquiries welcome!

3 random facts about Angie.

1. I'm a homeschooling mom. A brand spankin' new one. I'll be honest—some days are a complete blur! Others a complete joy. During both types of days I'm constantly reminded just why I'm doing what I'm doing...more precious time together that I know I'll never regret.

2. My favorite artistic endeavors: illustration and wheel thrown pottery. Sadly I haven't found time for much of either lately. Soon. I hope. Very soon.

3. I love Greek food! olives, seafood, feta, bread. yum!

Angie's Giveaway: Recycled Wool Felt Owl Hat for a Boy or Girl, Age 2-6

Enter to Win:

1. Visit That Funky Boutique, and comment about your favorite item in the shop. Please leave a VALID email address with your comment.

2. For another entry, you can choose to follow this blog. Just let me know in a separate comment that you are now a Follower.

3. For another entry, you can post about this giveaway on your own blog. Please leave a link to your post in a separate commen.

Deadline to enter is Wednesday, November 12th at Midnight PST. Giveaway is open worldwide. Winner will be chosen via If you have no email address attached to your comment or your Blogger account, and you are chosen, we will choose a new winner.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wordless Wednesday Featuring MoonMum

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Newbie Tuesday

Monday, November 3, 2008

Wanna Trade?

Do have an Etsy Shop or a website and you're willing to work out trades for your products? Are you doing some Christmas shopping, and would love to know who works in trade? Please comment here and leave us your info. I will be putting together a list of shops that are willing to take trades. This might just be what we all need, what with the economy doing strange things right now.

UPDATE: WOW! I'm so excited by the response both here, and in the Etsy forums where I posted about this blog post. There are LOADS of people who are open to trade, and thanks to MagicIsland on Etsy, I have been notified of a blog that is specifically a list of those who are willing to trade. Check it out here: Etsy Traders.

Getting To Know You

Here's a little game that I actually got from my sister in an email some time ago, but saw it again on the Pink Lemonade blog. I thought it would be a little fun to do this.

The rules are that you can only answer each question with one word - not a simple as it sounds. Here goes...

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse

2. Your significant other? Michael

3. Your hair? Brushed

4. Your mother? Compassionate

5. Your father? Working

6. Your favorite thing? Family

7. Your dream last night? Forgotten

8. Your favorite drink? Tea

9. Your dream/goal? Acreage

10. The room you're in? Dining

11. Your fear? Infertility

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Acreage

13. Where were you last night? Home

14. What you're not? Techie

15. Muffins? Blueberry

16. One of your wish list items? Camera

17. Where did you grow up? USAF

18. The last thing you did? Lunch

19. What are you wearing? Clothes

20. Your TV? Elmo

21. Your pet? No

22. Your computer? Work

23. Your life? Happy

24. Your mood? Chillin'

25. Missing someone? Mom

26. Your car? Ford

27. Something you're not wearing? Shoes

28. Favorite Store? Target

29. Your summer ? Family

30. Your favorite color? Sage

31. When is the last time you laughed? Today

32. Last time you cried? Yesterday

33. Who will/would re-post this? Others

a) Church
b) School
c) Target
d) Lucky's

a) Hubby
b) Sister
c) Caresse
d) MIL

a) Dreyers
b) Chocolate
c) Shrimp
d) Cheese

a) Kauai
b) Bed
c) Branson
d) Victoria

So here's the tag part....if you feel inclined to post this little game on your blog and tag yourself or others, please leave me the link to your blog in a comment so that I can get to know you too!

Have a great week!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Feature No. 32 -- Featuring Chick 9 Clothing

Happy Friday, and Happy Halloween! I hope you're doing well today. We're finally getting some moisture in the SF Bay's been a long time coming!!!

Congratulations to Michelle, who was randomly selected as the winner of the two 8x10 prints of her choice from Nesta Home. Michelle happened to find us here, because I featured her Etsy shop over there on the right hand side...her shop is Yoopers.

Today, we're featuring Krysta from Chick 9 Clothing...a company specializing in athletic themed clothing for girls. "Did you know that girls who play sports do better at math and science, as well as having better body images and self esteem?" Hmmm...maybe I should have played sports!!! I was/am horrible at math!

Here's a little more about Krysta and Chick 9 Clothing.

TDB: Please tell us a little about Chick 9 Clothing
Krysta: I started Chick 9 Clothing because I found it nearly impossible to find cute sports themed clothes for girls and I think it is so important to encourage girls to play sports. I have played sports my whole life, including playing volleyball in college, and I think a lot of my successes can be traced back to what I learned from being an athlete and teammate. Now that my friends and former teammates are starting to have their own kids, I really think it is important to make sure that girls feel encouraged to get started playing sports. When I was writing my undergraduate thesis on how participation in sports affects the self-esteem and body-image of high school girls I learned that playing sports also helps girls do better in math and science.

TDB: What is the one thing in life you are most passionate about and why?
Krysta: Besides sports, I am most passionate about travel! I am fearless in my travel plans and I am always willing to go somewhere new. I love learning new languages, trying new food, and just absorbing new cultures! Besides traveling throughout the western United States, I have lived in Ireland and the Czech Republic and traveled to Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Austria, Mexico, and Venezuela. I think my next trip will either be to Norway to see family, or to somewhere new in South America.

TDB: What is one dream that you have, and how do you plan on making it come true?
Krysta: I have lots of dreams! But right now I am focusing on making Chick 9 Clothing as successful as possible in hopes of one day being able to quit my day job. I like my day job (I work for a textbook company) but I LOVE working on stuff for Chick 9! I can sit at my desk for hours on end designing new shirts and I won't even notice that time has passed. I wish my day job was the same way! So I am starting to do as much research as I can and lay all the ground work before I make the leap to full time.

TDB: What is your typical day like?
Krysta: I have a Shiba Inu puppy, Lola, who needs constant exercise so I am usually up by 6 am at the latest to take her on a run. Then I work at least 8 hours at my day job, come home, run again, make dinner or go out with friends, and then I spend a few hours a night working on shirts to ship, coming up with new designs, writing on my blog, or thinking of ways to promote my store without spending money! If I am really busy with Chick 9 stuff, my mom will usually come over on the weekends or one night a week to help me prepare the shirts and get orders ready to ship. My parents are my biggest supporters and have sold a lot of my stuff to their friends and coworkers! Right now I am actually getting ready for my first trunk show, so I am putting in more time making shirts than normal! Luckily one of my best friends has agreed to work at the show with me...partly for moral support and partly to keep me from spending all my money at other people's booths!

TDB: Please share with us a little about your family.
Krysta: I am very very close to my family! My parents live about half an hour away so I see them at least once a week depending on our schedules. They are both former college athletes and coaches, so they can easily relate to why this is so important to me. My parents have always been so supportive of everything I have done and always encouraged me in my sports when I was younger...they would have made great customers! I'm single, no kids yet, but I do have my adorable dog and one cat. They are my fur babies!

TDB: If you could teach anything, what would you teach?
Krysta: Well, I coached volleyball for a long time, so maybe I will go back to that someday when I have free time. I had planned on getting my masters in education to teach high school social studies, but my life took a different turn and I ended up doing my MBA instead. So maybe I could teach some business classes. I have also taught ESL to kids and adults and I will probably get back into that soon, even if it is just helping teach my mom's ESL classes. I come from a long line of is our family business! Really, I would prefer to go back to school and get a masters in political science or history. I love taking classes...I am a total nerd and proud of it!

TDB: Please share 3 LITTLE KNOWN facts about yourself.
-I must make the bed everyday or I can't go to work. I even make the beds in hotels. I'm a tad OCD. If I know the bed is not made, I will think about it all day until I can go home and make it.

-I love to grocery shop and often spend over an hour wandering around the store looking at stuff. It is one of my favorite things to do in other countries because the foods are so different. I once considered starting my own business to do other people's shopping.

-I strongly dislike birds and have a fear that I will be attacked by them. In Venezuela, I was very afraid of the parrots and I was convinced I would lose a finger to one. I didn't. My brother and I are not allowed in the lorakeet enclosure at the San Diego Wild Animal Park and got in trouble teasing the birds. Yes, I realize this does not exactly make me a good person, but the birds are aggressive there!

Thanks for the great interview Krysta!
By the way....all of Krysta's designs are available in all sizes! Krysta is also offering FREE SHIPPING during the month of November to anyone who commented on this post. All you have to do is reference your comment when you purchase from her, and your item will ship for free.

Now for the fun...Krysta is giving away any item from her shop...your choice!

To Enter:

Please visit Chick 9 Clothing and then leave a comment about your favorite item from Krysta's shop. Please leave a VALID email address, or you won't be in the running to win.

For one extra entry: We'd love to have you follow our blog! Click on "Follow This Blog" up there at the top right, and become a follower (You must have a Blogger account to do this). Please leave a SEPERATE comment if you do this.

For one extra entry: Please share with us what sport or sports you played or play, and why you think they have been a benefit to you. Please leave a SEPERATE comment.

Deadline to enter is Thursday, November 6th at Midnight PST. This giveaway is open worldwide.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Tomorrow is Halloween, and we will be doing our regular Friday Feature with a great giveaway! We will also be announcing who won the Nesta Home giveaway. Tomorrow is also the LAST day to enter my Photo Greeting Card giveaway. I hope you have entered both of these giveaways!

But tonight, I just had to share with you our sweet little Batman. Daddy is the 'real' Batman (shh!! Don't tell!), so we had to get our little guy (who we are adopting, and who is turning 2 in one week!) a Batman costume. Check it out! Isn't he a cutie??!!