Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Features No. 3 -- Hide N Seek

Congratulations to Stacey Moore of All Because Two People Fell in Love for winning the 2008 fabric covered datebook and matching keychain wallet from Mrs. Kwitty's Cottage! Thank you so much to all of you who entered, and left such sweet comments about Mrs. Kwitty, and about our blog.

Happy Friday! It's good that it's Friday, because it has been a pretty long week for me. I am excited that it's Friday for two reasons: #1: hubby is taking me clothes shopping tomorrow! and #2: The Downtown Boutique has an awesome new "Friday Feature"!

Today we are featuring Hidden Eloise (as she calls herself) of Hide N Seek. Eloise hails from Yorkshire, England, where she says, "...There's a seven year old inside me that never grew up and takes over ....she makes me relive my childhood by playing the game of Hide n Seek." I fell in love with Eloise's artwork when I first featured her on my other blog last November.

I've asked Eloise some questions that will give us a glimpse into her life. Let's hear what she has to say.

TDB: How long have you been selling on Etsy?
Eloise: I've opened my shop exactly 3 months ago, almost to the day!!Although, I didn't even realize how those 3 months went by! I remember only snapshots in time, like the “grand opening” time, the celebrations on my first sale a day after and since then....nothing! The clock has stopped and it only ticks when I literally tick something off my never ending to-do list.

TDB: When did you start your craft?
Eloise: I've been drawing ever since I realized the world didn't come in the colours I wished. Since childhood, I wanted drawn creatures and colour everywhere...Slowly my drawings migrated from paper to desk and then the floor, the wallpaper of my childhood home and every surface “compatible” with ink or crayon. It was sort of like a “pandemic” that surrounded me and was spread everywhere I went, as long as I had the proper tools, pencils and fantasies. Someday, it came to my attention that there is a way for me to guide my artistic “merit” towards mainly paper and canvas instead of every poor living or non living thing around me. So I attended an arts school for a year in my late teens, but it took many years of unsatisfied sketchbooks, drawing woman's eyes on my partner's eyelids while he was sleeping, and painfully studying Architecture, to realise that I enjoy drawing most of all !

TDB: What inspires you?
Eloise: I get inspired by silent creatures, faded memories of childhood, childish scribblings, monochromatic lithographies, repetitive mechanical sounds of bizarre gadgets with no apparent use and vintage illustrations from children's books. I find irresistible old retro logos and fonts and love waiting for a rainbow to appear after the endless rains here in England.

TDB: If you could learn some new skills, what would they be?
Eloise: I'm always working to improve my drawing skills and I am currently very much dedicated to my Japanese language lessons. I've been studying for a few years now and I have a long way to go still. I'd love to refresh my Italian and piano skills which I both learned when younger and they are fading dangerously. I love music and languages, so you'll always find me experimenting with something.I've recently been looking to buy a telescope as well, so I can learn at least a few dozen different stars by their name and be able to point them at the midnight sky. Up until now, I've given them only my own names! I'd also love to teach a cute white owl to be my follower...I admire those skills that are almost forgotten and sometimes obsolete, in the modern clockwork cities we live. Among others, I want to learn how not to kill most of my poor flowers n plants. I think I love using my retro watering can too much:) Mail me with suggestions :D

TDB: What are your favorite materials to work with?
Eloise: For a while now it has been paper and pencil. Of the simple white and black variety respectively. I find nothing more fulfilling as a pass time than letting some thoughts travel on a piece of paper via a lonely pencil. Also you can sharpen some pencils and make paper airplanes out of some pieces of paper, both quite fulfilling activities in their own right :)

TDB: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?
Eloise: A trip to Japan has been eluding me for some time now. It seems one circumstance substitutes the next and I still haven't found myself there. It's not as if it's next door as well.... :) It will also have to be in spring to enjoy the cherry blossoms and I will have to make sure I have a return ticket in case I get “stuck” there...

TDB: What other things do you enjoy, besides your artwork?
Eloise: Forest animal shaped cookies, rainy days, pecks on the cheek, soft pencils, old vintage dresses, crafty things with paper, making my own bread, staring at the moon, England's low clouds, watching seasons change, green tea, fantastic worlds that are real in my mind, reading books with not enough light, my partner's company, woolly patched socks, the melodies of old music boxes, small umbrellas, trying to feed only with strawberries and peaches, the kindness of strangers, surprises, the yellow pages of old books, miss-delivered letters, empty birdcages, mechanical automata, giant watermelons, paper windmills and watching snails kiss. Among other things.

Hide N Seek's (Hidden Eloise) Giveaway

Eloise is generously giving away this 8.5x11 print of "Is Miss Ladybug made out of poppies or the poppies made out of Miss Ladybugs" AND this lovely 4x6 "Hide N Seek" greeting card with a matching ivory envelope. Enter to win these treasures now, by leaving a comment below. Be sure to check out Eloise's wonderful shop on for more amazing artwork!
The Not So Small Print: This giveaway is open worldwide. To be entered to win this fabulous giveaway, please leave only ONE comment. Multiple comments from the same person will be deleted. Please make sure that we have a way to get ahold of you (e.g. valid email address). If you win, and we can't get ahold of you, another winner will be chosen. We will draw for the winner on Friday, March 7th.

If you are interested in being our next Friday Feature, and are willing to give away one of your awesome products, please contact me.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Sneak Peek

Here is a sneak peek of who will be featured on Friday, for our "Friday Features".

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Toys on Tuesdays No. 3

Congratulations to as nossas tralhas (bijuterias e acessórios), who was randomly selected to win the embroidered bunny from appleandeve! If you entered the drawing for the bunny, and would like to receive a discount from appleandeve, please use the code "appleandeve" when purchasing from her shop.

Happy Tuesday! Today's "Toys on Tuesdays" feature is all about crocheted toys. I have searched all over Etsy, and there are SO many crocheted toys! The thing I love about these toys, is that they are soft, and they are QUIET! There are so many toys out there that make noises, and blink, and are probably highly entertaining; but I think there is still something so simple and wonderful about soft toys that don't make a sound.

Of course, we have a fun giveaway today; Pixel, the IT bunny from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She comes to us through She has multicolor "pixels" on her lavender color fur. She's been lovingly crocheted from a wool acrylic blend, is stuffed with polyfill, has safety eyes, and is full of Love and computer advice to give. Pixel is approximately 9 inches tall.

To win this cute little bunny, please look in Silly Kitty's toy shop and then leave a comment about your favorite critter in her shop. This giveaway is open worldwide. Please leave only ONE comment. Multiple comments from the same person will be deleted. Please make sure that we have a way to get ahold of you (i.e. valid email address). If you win, and we can't get ahold of you, another winner will be chosen.

Be sure to take a look at these other great crocheted toys too!

Don't forget to scroll down and check out the "Friday Features" giveaway, from Mrs. Kwitty's Cottage.

Have a great day!

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Ultimate Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

Are you attending????

"We hate to be exclusive, but sorry boys… this the party is for women bloggers only. All women bloggers are invited regardless of parental status, religious affiliations, etc. This party is about having fun with friends and meeting new people."

Some of you might have seen the UBP (Ultimate Blog Party) button on the right hand side of my the bottom, and wondered, "What is the Ultimate Blog Party?". Well, as stated by Susan and Janice of 5 Minutes for Mom, it's simply a party for women bloggers who are wanting to meet new people, make new friends, and promote their blogs. I fall into those categories, and so I decided to join the party, being held March 7-14, 2008.

To make this a real shinding, I'm looking for 10-15 people who want to give something away! It can be something as simple as a Starbucks gift card, or something that you make and sell. It can be as big or as little as you want. It does not have to be handmade, nor does it have to be expensive. Please be prepared to mail your giveaway to the winner (not to me) within 2 days after March 14. I am opening the entries to people worldwide. I will say that I will be giving away a few things myself!!!

We ask that your giveaway would be a minimum of $10, however. I do reserve the right to choose what I want to be given away during my blog party. I will not accept anything that is not family-friendly. For example, nothing offensive (I know, it's subjective), vulgar, or pornographic.

If you are interested in giving something away here at The Downtown Boutique's Ultimate Blog Party, then please email me, using the wording "Ultimate Blog Party" in the subject line (so we know it's not spam). Please respond by no later than Sunday, March 3rd, so that everything can be put together for the party.

Have a great week, and don't forget, we will be giving away the embroidered bunny from AppleandEve tomorrow morning! We will have a new giveaway tomorrow.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pippalily Baby Sling Giveaway!

I have quite a few favorite of them being Laura William's Musings, where I found Seven Dogs and A Baby, who is giving away a very cool and stylish Baby Sling from Pippalily! Whew! That was a long sentence!

Ok, so here's the deal: Go to Seven Dogs and A Baby, and read the directions (in red text) to see how you can win one of these gorgeous baby slings! I followed the directions, and left my comment, to see if I can win one for my sister-in-law who has an almost 6 month old baby girl. So if YOU would love to win one, get yourself over there and check it out!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Features No. 2 -- Mrs. Kwitty's Cottage

Good morning and Happy Friday to you all! I'm very excited to announce that we have a winner from last Friday's giveaway (earrings from Veronica Willingham). The number that gave us is #2, and the winner is Lisa K. of XSBaggage & Co. (AKA bagladiesinpa)!!! Congratulations Lisa!!!

Now on to our Friday Feature, featuring Karen of Mrs. Kwitty's Cottage (AKA misseskwittys). Have you SEEN her things??? I love her style...a little cottage, a little shabby, a little vintage. Let's hear from Karen, about who she is and what she loves to do.

TDB: How long have you been selling on Etsy?
Mrs. Kwitty: I discovered Etsy mid-April 2006 and fell in love!! I listed my first item about 3 days later. It was a big step for me because I was actually very new at the computer and had only been on the internet for about 3 months by then!

TDB: When did you start your craft?
Mrs. Kwitty: I've been crafty since birth. *grin* Well, maybe not THAT early! My Mom made the most amazing Barbie clothes and would let me help pick out the fabrics and what little bits of lace and buttons to use for each outfit, learning to stitch things by hand at a very young age. She sewed and crocheted and knit and painted and gardened and canned and all those wonderful home crafts and enjoyed teaching me as she went about her day. I asked for (and got) a REAL sewing machine for my 11th birthday.
Crafting and sewing are a part of who I am in the very center of my being. I started crafting as a business when my children were babies and I began to work craft fairs on the weekends while my husband could be home with the kids.

What inspires you?
Mrs. Kwitty: Oh, so many things! I am inspired by vintage linens, the beautiful handwork and time that was spent making ordinary household items beautiful. I love all the fabrics from the 30's and 40's. The lovely colors and patterns from that era are inspiring. I am inspired by the women from that era who had the war hanging over their heads and life was tough, but they worked so hard to make their homes colorful and pretty in many little ways. Color is exciting to me! I love to mix colors and patterns in pretty ways.

TDB: If you could learn some new skills, what would they be?
Mrs. Kwitty: I would like to learn to knit socks. Oh, and I'd love to spend a day with someone who is really talented with mixed media collage and soak up some of the techniques used.

TDB: What are your favorite materials to work with?
Mrs. Kwitty: Well, if you could take a little peek down in my crazy, packed-to-the-brim craft room it would be very easy for you to figure that out! lol Old buttons, feedsack fabrics, rick rack, vintage embroidery patterns, linen, anything that brings you back in time.

TDB: Are you on any Etsy street teams?
Mrs. Kwitty: Yes!! I LOVE my street teams!!
1) Cottage Style Street Team (CSST)--vintage, shabby chic, cottage style--all that and such a wonderful and warm bunch of people! Love them!
2) Old World Shops (OWS)--traditional crafts in today's world. Very talented bunch of people who are keeping the past alive!
3) EtsyMoms--the greatest bunch of ladies, stay-at-home-moms (SAHM) and work-at-home-moms (WAHM)--just creating beautiful things while the kids are sleeping or at school! lol

TDB: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?
Mrs. Kwitty: I would love to take a trip to the Holy Land--see the places I have read about in the bible and walk in Jesus' footsteps. It would be good for the soul. Also, I'd love to go out to Arizona and see my Dad, I haven't seen him in 12 years and I miss him so. As soon as I make my first million on Etsy--I'm going! lol

TDB: What other things do you enjoy, besides crafting?

Mrs. Kwitty: Well, I enjoy my family. I have a wonderful hubby and 2 great kids and I enjoy being with them. I enjoy movies--old movies and new movies. I enjoy going treasure hunting--thrift shops, antique shops, second hand stores--you know, that sort of thing! I enjoy the rich online community--blogs, Etsy, Flickr--I've met so many great people this way!

You can find Mrs. Kwitty on Etsy or on her blog!


Mrs. Kwitty's Wonderful Giveaway:

Oh how I love the combination of sage and red! Mrs. Kwitty has generously offered up this set for our giveaway. The set consists of a fabric-covered 2008 datebook and matching keychain wallet, which retails at about $24.00.

The Not So Small Print: All you need to do to enter is leave one comment, along with a valid email address (we need to be able to get ahold of you if you win!). One entry per person please. Duplicate entries will be deleted. This giveaway is open worldwide. We will draw for a winner on Friday, February 29th.

Don't forget, the giveaway for the sweet Apple and Eve bunny is still open until Monday February 25th at midnight PST.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Toys On Tuesdays -- No. 2

This giveaway is closed for entries. Thank you to all who entered!

Happy Tuesday! Today's "Toys on Tuesday" post features toys that are perfect for Easter! Don't forget that Easter is next month--March 23rd.

Just in time for Easter, Apple and Eve, out of Germany, has generously offered to give away this (updated bunny) darling personalized, hand-embroidered bunny that you see above. All you have to do is leave a comment with a VALID email address, and you will be entered to win. Giveaway is open to anyone in the world. Please only enter one time, or your entry will be deleted. Deadline: February 25 12:00AM PST
If you love the items made by Eva at Apple and Eve, and you have commented on this post, she would love to give you a discount to use when purchasing from her shop. Please email me if you are interested, and we will let you know how you can get and use your discount code.

Here are some more fun Easter toys that I found on Just click on each photograph, and it will take you to that person's shop.

Don't forget to scroll down and check out the "Friday Features" giveaway from Veronica Willingham Jewelry.

Have a great day!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Features--Veronica Willingham Jewelry

Good morning everyone! Today is our first Friday Feature, and today we are featuring Veronica of Veronica Willingham Jewelry. Veronica has a home studio in Aurora, Colorado, with customer all over the world. Veronica has been generous and gracious to offer a wonderful pair of her earrings as today's giveaway (see the bottom of the post). Let's get to know a little more about Veronica now.

TDB: How long have you been selling on Etsy?

Veronica: I have had my jewelry line at Etsy since April 2007. I also have a bead site ( on Etsy as well, which I started after the fantastic success of my jewelry site.

TDB: When did you start your craft?

Veronica: I began handcrafting my line of jewelry back in first a hobby it soon turned into a full fledged business. "You can only wear so much jewelry yourself", my husband would say. So I guess the natural progression would be to make it a business. So I did.

TDB: What inspires you?

Veronica: I wish I could nail my inspiration down to one consistent thing, but to be honest I really work in the moment most times. Be it I get a vision in my head of a partial piece that I have to work up into a finished piece; or I see a shape, a color, an article of clothing, heck the architecture of a building...I have always had a need to create, so maybe overall it's the need to create that inspires me most.

TDB: If you could learn some new skills, what would they be?

Veronica: Woah, you ask excellent questions. I plan on attending the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), to further my skills in jewelry design using CAD and other methods. While at GIA I also plan on getting my Graduate Gemologist (GG). To be around more gemstones and persons skilled in the gem/jewelry trade than I have ever have been; just the idea of it all, it makes me swoon.

TDB:What are your favorite materials to work with?

Veronica: Gemstones, gemstones, gemstones and more gemstones;) I have always had a passion for semi precious and precious gemstones every since I could remember. From ruby sapphires, emeralds, kyanite, kunzite and everything in-between, I don't think I could live without them. I remember back to the day I first discovered gems. I was just a teenager at a school outing at Six Flags and I went into one of those old mining towns. Back in the corner of the general store was an old barrel full of a mix of stones and there I dug my hands in and there I stayed, until I was dragged away. Gems are more than just a shiny pretty for me I feel a true connection with them.

TDB: Are you on any Etsy street teams?

Veronica: I am not currently on any Etsy teams. As I have been in the process of focusing on branding my company, my time is very limited. Focus and attention to detail is crucial to me...I feel it important to put our hands in only as many fires as one can handle.

TDB: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?

Veronica: I have always had a dream of traveling to anywhere in the world that gems are mined. So as you can imagine, I have a lot of traveling to do. To Bangkok and beyond, baby!

TDB: What other things do you enjoy, besides creating jewelry?

Veronica: Wow you are really assuming I have a life outside of jewelry ;) As sad as it may sound I really don't. My business is run out of my home studio; so I am able to have my daughter and husband close to me. My husband Rodney helps with jewelry design, casting and assembly. My thirteen year old daughter Taylor will soon be helping me with wax carving. They are both amazing artists in their own right.


Veronica's Giveaway:

These earrings are sea foam chalcedony with 14k gold filled accents and earwires. They are valued at $42.00. And as always shipping is complimentary at

The Not-So-Small Print: To enter for your chance to win these gorgeous earrings, please leave a comment with a valid email address and your name. Only ONE entry per person please. Any duplicate entries will be deleted. This contest is open to anyone in the world. This giveaway is now closed, and we have drawn a winner!

I can't wait to get my very own Veronica Willingham Jewelry, which I ordered yesterday! Did you see that she has FREE shipping???

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Quite Possibly Better Than Valentine's Day!

Get ready for's almost "Friday Features" time! We have a wonderful feature planned for you, as well as an AWESOME giveaway! Here's a little peek at what you can expect:

You're not going to want to miss this one! In fact, you better tell all your friends! Because I am pretty sure, they're going to want to see it too.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Look What I Just Purchased on Etsy!

I love shopping on I have so many favorites, that I think Etsy may cut me off from "hearting" items and shops soon!

I just recently bought this soap from MagicHands (which I JUST got today in the mail, and it smells heavenly! I can't wait to use it! She also sent me two sample slices of other soaps.):

And today I purchased this YUMMY looking Body Frosting and Lip Balm from SpaTherapy:

I can't wait to get the Decadent Chocolate Body Frosting, because hubby and I will be getting a weekend away for his birthday in March!!

What have you purchased from Etsy (or another "handmade" website) recently that you are excited about?

Need a Birth Announcement?

Check out these great birth announcements that can be found on

Let's hear which one is your favorite!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Toys on Tuesdays

What is "Toys on Tuesdays" you ask? Well, I have decided to make this blog even more fun, by featuring handmade toys every Tuesday. If you make soft toys, wooden toys, metal toys, dress-up items, baby toys, etc., then we are looking for you!
We are also hoping to have 1-2 toy giveaways each Tuesday, so if you are interested in giving one of your toys away, please leave a comment. You must be willing to ship internationally if you want to participate in the giveaway.

Here are some examples of some great toys that I have found on

Leave a comment, and let us know which is your favorite! Or if you have a favorite place to shop for handmade toys.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Very Cool Contest from EGCG Etsy Street Team

Be sure to run on over to to find out how to win this HUGE collection of wonderful handmade bath and body products. I found 7 of the letters so far. I DO have to get something done today, at some point, right?
Have you found all of the letters? I went through all of the shops and only found 13. Now I have to go through them all again! Drats!

Perfect Valentine's Day Gifts

Valentine's Day is this week. Well, it's this week on our calendar anyways. In my house, it feels like Valentine's Day is year round. My hubby would not hesitate to buy me whatevery my pretty little heart desires, if money weren't an issue!

Check out some of these great Valentine's Day finds from If you look closely, some of these are offering FREE Priority shipping, so that you can get it by Valentine's Day! But you have to order today.

Click on each picture, and you will be taken directly to the listing for that item.