Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Feature No. 15 -- Featuring Across The Pond

Happy Friday! It's been kind of a long week, as we have been adjusting to having an 18 month old around. We are still going to bed at our normal time, but I think that's going to change soon! I've just been wiped out during the day! My hubby is the best hubby in the world though, because he has been taking care of things like doing dishes when they start to pile up on our little tiny counter. I'm so blessed, because he already does SO much for me! He took the little guy with him, when he took our 14 year old to his jujitsu class on Tuesday. He knew I needed a break. Isn't he wonderful??? We've been buying a lot of meals "out" lately too. Like fried chicken and potato wedges from the grocery store deli. Or Papa Murphy's pizza. I'm trying to get better about getting a "real" meal on the table, and I actually did it today! I made teryiaki chicken thighs, steamed rice, and cumin roasted broccoli. And we actually sat down to the table together as a family (sans the little guy of course) and ate together. Amazing, I know!

Ok, so we have a winner for our giveaway from Threaded Nest: blueviolet. Congratulations! Andrea, thank you so much for being a featured guest, and for doing such a great giveaway!

Today's feature is going to look a little familiar. Hubby said he likes the big individual pictures, instead of the EtsyMini, so I'm going to try going back to that. It's a little more time-consuming, but we're going to see how it works. Let me know what YOU think, will ya?

We are featuring Casey from Across The Pond. Casey isn't literally from "across the pond", but her husband is, and she has a passion for London. Here is my interview with her:

TDB: How and when did you get started crafting?
Casey: My mom has always made things, and I picked the crafting bug up from her at a young age. I've tried my hand at just about every craft there is over the course of my life so far! I've been really into photography since high school, scrapbooking since my daughter's birth 8 years ago, and jewelry for about a year.

TDB: I see from your profile that you are a teacher. What do you teach?
Casey: I am an elementary school teacher and I taught 4th grade for seven years. My son was born last August and I am staying home with him right now, but I am teaching writing classes for kids and tutoring privately on the side.

TDB: What started your passion for London?
Casey: I spent half my sophomore year of college in London for a study abroad program. I met a lovely English gentleman in a train station shortly after my arrival. We were inseparable from the very beginning. Right before I left London to come back to the States, he asked me to marry him. Eight months later, he moved here and we tied the knot. We've been married ten years now and we have two beautiful children, and we go to London to visit his family often. It's like a home away from home for me, and so many wonderful things got started there, so I wanted acknowledge that with my newest endeavor at Etsy!

TDB: Do you sell anywhere other than Etsy?
Casey: Not at the moment, but I'd love to start doing craft shows in the near future.

TDB: If you could learn something new, what would it be?
Casey: Although my husband is from London, he also comes from Turkish heritage. It is a beautiful culture, and I would love to learn to speak the language. I attempted in the past and let it fall to the wayside. Maybe I'll try again soon!

TDB: Who or what is your inspiration in crafting or in life?
Casey: I get a lot of my inspiration from other artists! Seeing the wonderful things people create awakens my own creativity. I'm also inspired by the materials I'm working with. I just love gorgeous paper, fabric, ribbon,'s almost like an addiction. I love planning my creations through and seeing it all come together.

TDB: What is your all-time favorite movie?
Casey: Hmmm...I'm not much of a movie buff. I'll have to go with Forrest Gump. :-)
Casey is giving away this fun Aralie Gardens Carved Rose Ring (Retail value=$13), in the winner's choice of color.
To enter: Simply visit Casey's shop, and come back here and comment about your favorite item in her shop. One entry per person please. This giveaway is open worldwide. Please make sure we have a valid email address or other way to get ahold of you. Deadline for entry is Thursday, June 5th at Midnight PST.

PS...If you are interested in being featured in a Friday Features or Tots on Tuesdays segment, or you know someone who SHOULD be featured, please email me and let me know!

No Holes for your Photos

I stumbled upon this great find for photos. These are called MagTacks, and they allow you to pin photos up (with a thumbtack), without putting a hole in the photos. Pretty cool, huh?!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Birdies All Around on Spool Sewing

I stumbled upon these fun birdies on Spool Sewing, a blog about sewing a quilting. There's even a pattern so that you can sew these sweet little birdies yourself.

Wordless Wednesday Featuring BlueSaphire

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tots on Tuesdays No. 14

Happy Late Tuesday. How was your Memorial Day weekend? Ours was fairly quiet. Hubby worked on Saturday, then we went to church on Sunday. It was our new little guy's first time and he was a little overwhelmed, but he did very very well. So many people wanted to love and hug on him, because there are a LOT of people who have been praying for him to come into our lives for a LONG time now. Yesterday, we went over to the in-laws to spend some time. It was a nice time, and the little guy is getting more and more used to being over there.

Well, I don't have a featured artist or shop for today's Tots on Tuesdays segment, because I've run out of people on the calendar! So, if you sell great and fabulous items for little ones, and would love to do a giveaway and be featured, we'd love to hear from you.

For now, I will feature a few of the items that I have been loving from Etsy shops, as I look for things for our new little guy.

We bought this darling giraffe from Cookie Dough, and were her first sale on Etsy!

This slouch bag from Punky Kidz makes a great looking diaper bag, and can be used as a regular carry-all purse or bag after the need for a diaper bag has passed.

I just love Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum from Redmag.

How fun is this onesie from Relly Beans??!!

I adore this fun little nautical shorts set from Silly Pants.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Want a Great Shopping Bag?

Look no further than Show Pony. (If you click on "shop" inside her website, it will take you to none other than an Etsy shop!) These great "vintage shoppers" are perfect for a quick trip to the grocery store. Just click on the pointing fingers to see the other designs.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Features No. 14 -- Featuring Threaded Nest

Happy LATE Friday! We have a little one around our house now, so things have changed a bit around here. We had two winners for the giveaway from Lovely Little Lovelies' "Tots on Tuesdays" feature on the 13th. Congratulations to the two winners, and thank you Liz, for the great giveaway.

Our featured artist today is Andrea of Threaded Nest. Andrea is the mom of a teenager and a toddler (kind of like me now!), and has had an Etsy shop since the beginning of the year.

Here's a little more from Andrea:

TDB: How did you get started crafting?
Andrea: Both of my parents were artists and everyday crafters, so the idea of handmade has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. They weren't the type to buy lots of store bought toys so I had to be creative in my childhood. I'm pretty grateful now because it's taught me to be creative in my adulthood as well. I still would have liked that Easy Bake Oven though!

TDB: What is your favorite item to create?
Andrea: Custom items are my absolute favorite. I love wedding items in particular. I love building that relationship with someone as we work to get something just right. I have made some wonderful friends through custom requests. I am thrilled when I can make someone happy through my crafts.

TDB: With a teenager and now a toddler (both boys), I can totally empathize...where do you find the time to craft?
Andrea: I don't! There is never enough time. I work in bits and pieces while my daughter is happy playing. My son helps out alot. I bring my "to go" box of supplies when we go anywhere as a family so I can utilize the time in the car. I have even carried my laptop in the bathroom during my daughters bath! Balancing what makes me happy and my family life is the hardest part. You have to dedicate time to be successful but I have so many people asking for my time, you know? Lots of late nights I guess!

TDB: What is your idea of the perfect getaway?
Andrea: I think I am lucky in this regard. We have a little beach shack and just relax for a week or so every year as a family. No stress allowed. The best part for me is I get a week to work on whatever I want instead of what I need to get done for my shop or a show. This year I am bringing jewelry supplies I have been stockpiling! I cant wait.

TDB: How did you find out about Etsy?
Andrea: A magazine I think. Wow, what a world it opened up! I'm very happy there.

TDB: Tell us 3 interesting or quirky things about yourself that you might not normally disclose to a group of strangers.
1. I'm secretly obsessed with Johnny Depp.
2. I wont eat or drink blue things, they're just weird.
3. I teach yoga.
Okay, those were lame! Sorry, maybe I'm not that interesting or quirky! Or maybe I'm just not telling!

Andrea has a GREAT giveaway that lends to wonderful imaginative play. She is offering to give away a Faerie Crown, and will custom make it to match a party dress or dress-up outfit for the little girl in your life. Please go and visit Andrea's shop, Threaded Nest, and check out the gorgeous and fun products that she creates.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment about what you would love to have if Andrea creates a Faerie Crown for the little girl in you, or for your little girl. Only one comment per person please. Be sure to leave a valid email address, so that we can get ahold of you if you are chosen as the winner. This giveaway is open worldwide. Deadline to enter is Thursday, May 29th at Midnight PST.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Very Cool Indie Blog

So, I'm doing just about everything except what I should be doing. In doing so, I was checking out the Etsy forum thread for today's "blog love", and I found this very cool blog:

If you haven't already, be sure to check them out. And when you do, be sure to let them know that The Downtown Boutique sent you!

Have a great day!

A New Concept in Home Decorating

We don't have concrete floors in our apartment, except underneath the carpet, but if we did, this concept would be SO cool! I happen to prefer hardwood floors myself, but these floors are just gorgeous! I found this article while Stumbling.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Going Bananas!!

Yes, I've officially gone bananas. Just kidding. I wanted to congratulate Hazel and Susan, who both were winners in the drawing for the $10 worth of goodies from Lovely Little Lovelies.

I didn't have a Friday Features segment last week, or a Tots on Tuesdays segment (which I would love to find a co-author for!) this week, because we were on vacation to Disneyland. Let me tell you, when it's 96 degrees with a humidity level of over 50%, Disneyland is NOT the happiest place on earth! It really took a toll on us, so much so, that we didn't do a whole third day, even though we had tickets for three days (you want to get your money's worth for spending that much on tickets, right?), we went into the park at 6pm on the third day, and stayed until closing. It was so much nicer because it wasn't as hot, and wasn't as crowded (it was Sunday). It will be a few years before we go back, now that we have a little one, so maybe by then, I'll be able to deal with Disney again. :-)

Alrighty, I just had to tell you why I named this post "Going Bananas". It doesn't really have to do with crafting at all (but then, I guess most of this post isn't about crafting), but I Stumbled Upon it, and thought it would be great to let others know about. I found this great article of sorts, on bananas, and why they are good for you. If you love bananas, you will love them even more after reading this article. If you don't, maybe you will learn to love them because of the article. ENJOY!

Wordless Wednesday Featuring Jenni B Originals

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wordless Wednesday Featuring ttgart

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tots on Tuesdays No. 13 -- Featuring Lovely Little Lovelies

Happy Tuesday evening. Yep, I'm getting a little later at getting things posted these days, but generally it's because I've been spending time with our new little guy. We have visitation right now, but in about a week and a half he will be with us for good! Then who knows where my time will go?

Today we are featuring one of my customers, Liz of "Lovely Little Lovelies". Liz is a "professional hairbow artiste" and her shop is full of sweet little lovelies for girls of all ages.

Liz enjoys:
-turning candy canes into spears
-books about carnage
-blueberry muffins
-paint by numbers

Lovely Little Lovelies can be seen in:

Dimples Baby, NY
Sprouts Kids, OR
Little Urbanites, OR
Mommy and Me, GA
The Classic Crib, online
Celebrity Baby Blog

For today's giveaway, Liz is giving two lucky winners the opportunity to go shopping in her shop and they each get to pick $10 worth of goodies from Lovely Little Lovelies.
All you have to do to enter is head over to Lovely Little Lovelies, and look at all the goodies. Then come back here and comment about what you would like to win if you get chosen.
One comment per person please. This giveaway is open worldwide. Deadline for entering is Monday, May 19th at Midnight PST. Please be sure to leave a valid way for me to get ahold of you if you win. If I can't get ahold of you, I will have to choose another winner.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday Feature No. 13 -- Only on Saturday

Yes, it's Saturday, and I apologize for posting our Friday Feature late, but this week has been SO busy for us, getting to meet our new little boy. We met him on Wednesday, took our 14 year old son to meet him on Thursday, and then visited again yesterday, meeting the adopted children of our little boy's foster mom. So we've been pretty busy, and have a little bit of tunnel vision.

Congratulations to countryhunny89, who won the $20 gift card. Thank you to all of you who commented and participated by blogging about the giveaway!

Once again, my Friday Feature artist/crafter fell through. They were having some major computer problems and were not able to get back to me, so I am just going to feature some of my favorite shops again.

I would love to hear about your favorite place to find handmade treasures, whether it's an Etsy shop, a website, or a brick & mortar shop. Please comment and let me know where you like to shop.
Don't forget to scroll down and enter to win one of Little Beanz' get to choose whichever print you want!

Have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wordless Wednesday Featuring B Charmer

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

You Can Win an Ad Spot! A $50 Value!

Check it out! An Island Life is sponsoring a giveaway for an ad spot on The Downtown Boutique! This is for a BIG ad spot that goes right above all of the posts, right in the center column.

Go to An Island Life to find out how you can enter to win!

Tots on Tuesdays No. 12 -- Featuring Little Beanz

It's late afternoon here in California, and I am only just getting to our Tots on Tuesdays segment today. It seems like my posts just keep getting later, so I apologize. We have been so busy getting ready for our little addition to our family who will be joining us around the end of the month. We're so excited! You can read more about it at An Archer, A Fair Queen, and Two Knights.

Congratulations to Terri, who has won the $20 Gift Certificate from Vintage Sweet Peas! Thanks Lisa, for being so generous with your giveaway. Thank you to those of you who commented.

Today we are featuring an Etsy shop that I have just adored for some time now: Little Beanz. Crystal, of Little Beanz, creates some of the cutest art prints for kids, that I have seen!

Here's a little background on Little Beanz and Crystal:
I am an artist/animator turned work at home mother, of one incredibly awesome little girl, named Avie. Since her birth in January of 2007, my main goal was to restructure my career so that I could work from home and maximize the amount of time spent with my "little bean." I've always fancied anything even remotely fact, I should have a head full of cavities due to the amount of which I adore "sweetness." I've worked on several different children's animated series as an animator and character designer and children's illustration has always been right up my alley. I thought it would be interesting to create a series of little kids, each with their very own look, personality and charm, allowing the viewer to find something endearing and familiar in at least one, if not more, of my little beanz. Some have a muse behind them, and some are created purely from my imagination. I have a long string of ideas so expect to see many more little darlings as the weeks go on.

Crystal, I only wish that I had half the artistic talent that you have! You have been blessed with some great ability!
Today, Crystal is offering up one of her gorgeous prints for our giveaway. The great thing about this, is that you get to choose whichever print you want! So go look at Crystal's shop, Little Beanz, and come back here and let us know which one you would choose if you won!
To enter, simply visit Little Beanz, choose which print you would get if you won, and come back here and leave one comment about it. Please make sure we have a valid and easy way to get ahold of you. This giveaway is open worldwide. Deadline to enter is Monday, May 12th at Midnight PST.
Don't forget, you can enter to win a $20 gift certificate from us here at The Downtown Boutique! Just click HERE.
Have a great day!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

We're a Finalist in the 5 Minutes for Mom Photo Contest!

My photo of my son was chosen as one of the 15 finalists in the 5 Minutes for Mom Photo Contest! Please help us out by going and voting for the Rio Oso Designs Photo of my son! Scroll down below the photos, and click to vote for us!

Thank you!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday Feature No. 12

Happy Friday! It's been a very happy Friday for us! We had a meeting with our caseworker, and two other caseworker in regards to a little boy who is getting placed with us for concurrent foster care. Provided that all goes well, we will be able to adopt him. He is a DOLL! We haven't met him yet, but we were given some photographs. It's funny, because he looks a LOT like my husband's side of the family! Pretty amazing, huh?!

I wanted to say congratulations to bunny b, who won the Polychrome Cuff Bracelet from Tilley Jewels. Thanks Meredith, for the giveaway, and for the great interview! Thank you to those of you who entered to win!

Well, I had someone lined up to feature today, but I didn't hear back from them with the answers to the interview questions, so I will be featuring a couple of EtsyMinis for shops that I really like. So enjoy!

Did you think I'd go without a giveaway on our Friday Feature segment? No way, Jose! This time, I will be giving away a $20 Gift Certificate.
To enter: Please visit any and all of these shops, and then come back and tell me what your favorite shop or favorite item is. One comment per customer please. This is open to anyone worldwide. Deadline to enter is Thursday, May 8th at Midnight PST.
If you would like to blog about this giveaway, and our blog, I will give you one extra entry to win. You MUST leave a link to where you blogged about us though! And I must have an easy way to get ahold of you, or I will re-draw a new winner.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

An Off Topic Post About Mothers' Day

I have entered this photo into a contest on 5 Minutes For Mom. I'm hoping to win the $1000!
This is my wonderful son, who is now 14, but was 12 in this photograph.

I'd love to hear a wonderful Mothers' Day story, or just a mom story from you!