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?