Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Fall -- One of my favorite times of the year.

"Patisserie" Paneled Peasant Top by Ginger Louise Clothing

It's true, I can't stay away. I won't be posting a ton, and I won't be doing giveaways (at least not many), but I will still showcase some of the gorgeous, wonderful, and amazing items on and other handmade marketplaces.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Sincere Apologies

Hello everyone. It has been awhile since I have posted here, and I apologize. My life has just been so busy since we now have a teenager and a toddler. There are classes to go to, PT/OT to go to, so many things that fill up my schedule so quickly. I have not been able to give this blog the attention that I had hoped to. I must say with many regrets, that unless I can get 50 people to comment, and let me know that they still want me to keep going, I will have to do away with The Downtown Boutique. It has been a good run, but I am having to rearrange my priorities. Thank you all for all of the wonderful comments. Thanks to everyone who has advertised with us. A HUGE thank you to all of the amazing artists and crafters out there, who have so generously offered up some amazing gifts to give away during our Friday Features. I have come into contact with so many truly gifted people, and I am so grateful to have done this blog, even for the year and a half that I was able to keep it up. We are looking for our next child to adopt, and so I imagine life will get even more busy. I can multi-task, but I can not leave my family behind for the "crafting" world. I'm sure that you understand.

God bless you all!

Thanks again,


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Art + Yard Sale = A HUGE YART Sale!!!! is hosting a YART Sale. Search for the term "Yart" or "Yart sale" to see all the shops participating in this worldwide sale! June 10-14, 2009. Starts tomorrow!

I'm participating with my Bear River Photo Greetings shop. You can get $2 off of any $15 premade photo greeting card design. Or, if you check out the YART CLEARANCE section, you can get those designs for just $12.50.

Here is a small sampling of what I have to offer:

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fork It Over

The perfect Father's Day Gift from a teenager!

"Fork It Over -- Money Clip" from SpoonerZ

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who Turned Out the Lights?

Turning the lights on and off will become fun with light switch plate covers like this one from 3ZArt on Check out more light switch plate covers HERE and HERE.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fresh Flowers Go Here

Crystalline Glaze on Porcelain -- Find it HERE.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday Treasures -- A Giveaway and a Feature

Friday came and went, and I never got to the Friday Feature, so we are doing it today. Today, we are featuring a shop I found when I was searching for earrings: Heather Berry -- Handmade Jewelry.

Let's hear a little bit about the owner and jewelry maker, Heather.

TDB: When did you start making jewelry, and why?
HB: I started making jewelry almost five years ago after buying a little bag of pretty beads at the Milwaukee Public Museum. My stash has been growing since that day.

TDB: What inspires you when you create?
HB: The components inspire me. Often my designs come as a result of an impulse purchase of some supplies and the figuring out how to make something from it.

TDB: Aside from creating jewelry, what else do you enjoy doing?
HB: I love to cook and eat interesting food. I also love gardening and outdoor activities in general. Most summer days I hit the trail with the double stroller or bike and trailer with my two little ones in tow.

TDB: How did you hear about
HB: I was at my first craft show (where I sold nothing) and a neighboring vendor suggested I try Etsy. I sold my first item about 20 minutes after I listed it. I was so excited. Selling online is far more fun for me than shopping online!

TDB: What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
HB: I get great advice from my husband. He has been my biggest help and supporter. He told me to "just keep going". Starting a business can be tricky and involves a lot of learning as you go. He advised me not to be intimidated by what I didn't know but rather to keep moving forward gleaning knowledge as I went.

TDB: What are three things about you that you LOVE?
HB: This is a hard question!
1. I love that I can cook by instinct. I can't carry a tune, draw a straight line or write an interesting story, but I be creative and successful in the kitchen.
2. I can sleep through a bomb going off.
3. I love that I sometimes surprise myself. I have never considered myself a creative person, so when a new idea pops into my mind and I am able to create it and it looks good and it sells I am usually shocked. Also, many of my creations are romantic and girly and I am a pretty big tomboy. I just love to play and dig in the dirt, so some of my own ideas surprise me.

TDB: If you were given a million dollars, what would you do with it?
HB: I grew up in a house with an income below the poverty line, put myself through college, and my husband ran his own business for the first few years of our marriage, so I have spent much of my life pretty broke. If I were given a million dollars I would probably put it in the bank until the shock wore off then I would:
1. Tithe
2. Buy my husband the jeep he has always wanted.
3. I'd put a huge chunk away so he could retire early and be all mine.
4. Buy a small house in the peaceful Bahamian Out Islands and live happily ever after.

Now for the fun. Heather has graciously offered to give away a pair of earrings. You can enter to win these Aqua Quartz and Sterling Silver earrings from Heather Berry.

How to Enter:
1. Visit Heather Berry and then come back here and comment on your favorite item. Be sure to leave a valid email address!
2. For another entry, please blog about this feature. Leave a separate comment with the link to your blog post.
3. For another entry, Twitter about this feature/giveaway. Twitter to @dwntownboutique. Leave a separate comment letting me know that you Twittered, along with your Twitter username.
4. For another entry, we'd love to have you follow our blog. You can become a new follower by clicking on "Follow This Blog" up at the top left. Leave a separate comment letting me know that you are a NEW follower.

Deadline to enter is Monday, May 25th at 11:59pm PST.
Giveaway is open worldwide.

Have a great week!

The Winner of the Onesie or Tee from Very KIKI is...

Sherry S. Congratulations Sherry! Thank you to all of you who commented.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Winner of the Pendant from Sugar Fly Designs....

Congratulations to Lisa G., who was randomly selected as the winner of the personalized pendant from Sugar Fly Designs. Thanks to all of you who commented on the products in Michelle's shop.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Feature No. 39 -- Featuring Very KIKI

Today's Friday Feature is all about the kiddos....and cool things for kids! We are featuring Kristen from "Very KIKI" on Kristen has a shop that makes you wish you had little munchkins, if you don't. Her children's clothing line is so fun and very cool!

Without further ado, let's hear more about Kristen and her shop:

TDB: When did you first start making kid’s clothing, and why?
Kristen: I started making kid’s clothing a little over a year ago. I began by making gifts for family members. One day I put a few items on Etsy to see how they would sell and people seemed to like what I was making so it really just took off from there.

TDB: What inspires you to create?
Kristen: It changes all the time. Sometimes random ideas pop into my head. Other times I’ll come across a fabric I’ve never seen before and I can’t stop thinking about it until I make something with it.

TDB: When you’re not creating, what are you doing?
Kristen: I’m a Middle School Social Studies teacher by day and I run my Etsy shop evenings and weekends. If I have any free time I usually spend it with friends and family. I also can usually be found watching baseball, reading sewing books, drinking coffee, and walking my dog.

TDB: If you had three wishes, what would they be?
Kristen: 1. Good health for my family and friends.
2. For veryKIKI to turn into a full time business.
3. To be able to eat all the cake I want without gaining weight!

TDB: To what do you think you can attribute your Etsy success? (Besides of course, your gorgeous products!)
Kristen: I think that I’m offering a quality product at a reasonable price. Also, pictures are key. People can’t hold your product in their hands so you have to represent it as clearly as possible in your pictures. I find that my pictures come out best when I take them near a sunny window.

TDB: What are three random things about you that people might not know.
Kristen: 1. I like hard-boiled eggs in my salad.
2. I love getting up early in the morning.
3. I am obsessed with ironing every article of clothing that I have.

TDB: What is your best-selling item?
Kristen: The owl and the necktie are definitely the most popular.

Now for the fun part. Kristen has generously offered to give away any one item from her shop! If you want to enter to win, here's what you need to do:

1. Go visit "Very KIKI", then come back here and leave a comment about your favorite item from Kristen's shop. Please make sure you leave a VALID email address with your comment.

2. Earn an extra entry by Twittering about the giveaway. Please Twitter to @dwntownboutique. Come back here and leave a separate comment about your Twitter.

3. Earn another extra entry by blogging about the giveaway. Please leave a separate comment with the link to your blog post.

This giveaway is open worldwide. Deadline to enter is Thursday, May 14th at 11:59 PST. We will announce the winner at some point on Friday the 15th. Don't forget to leave that email address!!!

Have a great weekend, and Happy Mothers' Day to all you wonderful, wonderful moms out there!


Greeting Card Central

I have found the BEST place to find some wonderful and unique greeting cards. No, it's not the Hallmark store. It's on Etsy, under the search term "Etsygreetings". Etsy Greetings is a street team that consists of all greeting card shops. You will find such diverse styles from all over the world!

Whether it's for Mother's Day (which is on Sunday, in case you forgot!), or a graduation congratulations, or holiday greeting cards, this group has some of the best! And the cool thing is, that they have accepted me into their group! That's right, Bear River Photo Greetings is now a part of Etsy Greetings.

If you look at the right hand column over there ------------->, under "Featured Favorite Shops", for about a week or two, you will be able to see a good display of what you can find if you search "etsygreetings" on

Here are some of my favorite individual cards or card sets:

And here are a couple of my creations, which are photo greeting cards, that don't necessarily even have to have a photo:

Next time you're looking for greeting cards, I hope you will search "etsygreetings" on


Monday, May 4, 2009

Sugar Fly Designs -- A Giveaway

Today, we are doing a special feature on a Non-Etsy shop, but an online shop nonetheless, with some GREAT handmade goodies in it! That shop is Sugar Fly Designs, and I have asked the owner Michelle, for a little interview and giveaway. Of course, she said yes.

TDB: Please tell us a little about yourself and your business.

SFD: Although I’ve always been somewhat of a dreamer of bright lights and big cities, but fate brought me back to my small town roots several years after I graduated college with a degree in marketing. It really is true that God has bigger dreams for us that we can dream for ourselves. I’m happily married to the cowboy of my dreams with two amazing children. Along with Sugar Fly Designs, I also teach technology on the high school level at the same school where my children attend. Sugar Fly Designs started as a hobby several years ago but has turned into a fabulous collection of unique jewelry designs and styles that compliment the inner gypsy-cowgirl in us all. I’ve always thought of Sugar Fly Designs as my own little type of self-therapy. I have a small shop at my home where I design and create my items. I also have a large support system of friends and family that help out when needed. Its so relaxing to spend time creating items and doing what I love, and I have a fabulous time when my girlfriends and family come to the shop and help! We spend most of our time laughing and just enjoying each others company.

TDB: How did you come up with the name "Sugar Fly Designs"?

SFD: I’d love to say there was a fantastically interesting and exciting story behind the name Sugar Fly Designs but really there’s not. I just came up with it on a whim basically. Originally I called my business The Buckle Bunnies and focused primarily on handmade buckles. However, over time I started to venture out into more unique ways of expressing my style through t-shirts, flip flops, and accessories. I didn’t want potential customers to be limited from my items because the name Buckle Bunnies sounded purely western…so I thought about it and came up with Sugar Fly Designs. I think it sounds fun and allows me to showcase other items.

TDB: Who does all of the creating for the items on your website?

SFD: I pretty much design and create everything on my site with a few exceptions. The crystals initials, cake toppers, yard art, and ornaments are made by a very gifted friend in Texas, and the t-shirts are purchased wholesale.

TDB: How do you balance creating and family?

SFD: Very carefully!!! I value my time with my family and try to ensure they never feel neglected because of my business. I encourage my children to come to my shop and help in whatever capacity they feel most comfortable. Sometimes that means my 6 year old may string beads, or my 11 year old may help with inventory…anything I can do to help them feel included. I feel very fortunate to have the support of my husband and extended family as well.

TDB: If you were given three wishes, what would they be?

SFD: To live to see my children grow up and become successful

To have my grandparents back so I can spend more time with them.

To grow old with my husband and be able to look back on a life well lived without regrets.

TDB: How long have you been creating for "Sugar Fly Designs"?

SFD: I started in 2006 and hope to be doing this for many more years.

Here are some of the goodies you can find in Michelle's shop:

And here is what Michelle of Sugar Fly Designs is giving away: A Personalized Pendant, which Michelle will personalize with any name or phrase (whatever you want!) and create in the colors you want.

Here's how you can enter to win your own personalized pendant. Simply visit Sugar Fly Designs, then come back here and leave a comment, letting us know your favorite item from her shop. Please make sure you have a valid email address somewhere in your comment, or attached to your Blogger profile.

Deadline to enter is Monday, May 11th at 11:59 pm PST. This giveaway is open worldwide. You MUST have a valid email, so that I can get ahold of you if you win. If you don't, I'll move on to someone else.

To earn an extra entry, we'd love it if you would follow our blog. Simply click "Follow this blog" up there at the top left, and then leave a separate comment, letting us know you're a new follower.

Want another extra entry? Twitter about this feature & giveaway. Then leave me a separate comment with your Twitter ID. Please Twitter to @dwntownboutique.

Ok, I'll allow another extra entry. Simply blog about this giveaway, then come back here and leave another separate comment with the link to your blog post.

Have fun!

The Winner of the Pendant from Happy Haven is...

Casi! Thanks to everyone who commented. Congratulations Casi.

Class of 2009

I'm always intrigued by the amazing confections that are created by Bakerella. Check out these FUN Graduation Cap Pops that she has made. There's the easy version, and then the more time-consuming version. Either way, they look pretty yummy to me! How perfect for your graduation party!

And speaking of graduation parties, do you have your invitations made? Check out these Photo Graduation Announcements and Party Invitations from my Etsy shop, Bear River Photo Greetings:

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Summer Blues

Summer is just around the corner. The weather is getting warmer in most places. Nail salons are busy with women getting pedicures. Sandals are being brought out of the closets again.

This Pleated Collar Dress from Amanda Archer
is the perfect summer dress. You can dress it up for an evening out, or wear some flip-flops and your hair swept up for a more casual look.

On a slightly lower budget? No problem! Check out this fun Floral Summer Dress from Piece Unique for just $37.00. The maxi dress is back. A sexy slit, and a lower cut back neckline make for a fun summer dress for any occasion.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

On This Day in History -- April 30

Louisiana became a state on April 30, 1812. In honor of that historic moment, here is something that says "Louisiana".

"Louisiana Brown Pelican" by L. Young Studios

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Let's Do Lunch!

"Mylarkey Lunch Bag" by Cascade Lemonade

With SO many CUTE lunch bags to be found on Etsy, think of the money you could save by not eating your lunch, but instead, taking it to the office with you! These would also make great lunch bags for your kids, yes, even your teens, to take to school for lunch! No more boring brown paper bag!