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!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Feature No. 38 -- Featuring Happy Haven

It has been since January since we've had a Friday Feature! WOW! Time flies when you're havin' fun, right? Well, hopefully we are going to get back in to the swing of thing, starting with Becky, from Happy Haven.

I love to randomly take little jaunts through Etsy to find new shops that I like, or haven't seen before. I happened upon "Happy Haven", and loved the bright colors, and great photos, so I contacted the shop owner to see if they wanted to be featured on our blog. Becky wrote me back, and here is what she had to say, in answer to my questions:

TDB: How did you start crafting?
HH: I was bored and depressed and needed something to take my mind off my twin sisters failing battle with cancer. I had already lost my older sister and grandma "my best friend" to cancer and now my twin sister Barbara "Bubby" was dying too. It was more than I could wrap my mind around. I started with scrapbooking, putting together my sister "journey" pictures from the beginning of her battle up to date. My mom is a Breast cancer survivor, diagnosed 2 months after Bubby was diagnosed with breast cancer, and it was a rough Fall that year to say the least. So I was making my mom a journey book too. I became obsessed with it. I have always been a talented writer but thought that was were my creativity ended. I learned with the journey books that I was actually creative in other ways too.

TDB: What made you choose to start creating your pendants?
HH: After the books I needed something else to make as I was sad to see the books end. I made all together with mom and Bubby’s about 10 journey books. Then I made my son some books then I couldn't come up with anything else to scrap so I had to find something else. I started making picture frames, not sure why though. That lead me to scrabble tiles, I was decoupaging the frames I thought the tiles would be a cute thing to glaze. I found the instructions on line gathered the material and was off again on another obsession. Fortunately this one pays for itself. I sold a few frames but not nearly as many as I made. I have a few boxes of them here in the house collecting dust. Not sure what to do with them.

Who has been the most positive influence in your life and why?
HH: My grandmother because she loved and liked me no matter what I put the family through and no matter how much she disagreed with me she never let it interfere with her ability to listen and take interest in what I had to say. She ate up my words like candy and it felt so good. She liked to hear me talk about my life and experiences and I needed that. She has this way of making you feel like you were the only thing that was on her mind and for someone as insecure as I was that was fulfilling. She believed in me and made it a point to let me know. She thought I was amazing and that made me feel amazing. When she died it was horrible, I felt like a part of me dies too and I never fully got over it. I don’t think we ever do.

How do you balance your Etsy shop and being a single mom?
HH: Not so well. I spend way too much on my shop and not enough focus on my son. At least I am aware of it and making changes to better it. For example, abut a week ago I started “family hour” It starts at 7 every night ad we do whatever Keegan wants to do, within reason of course. Mostly he wants to play connect four but we have made pendants together and fixed the VCR as well. One night I had several orders that I needed to work on as I fell behind, I made the mistake of canceling family hour thinking he would rather play with the neighbor boy anyway. He started crying and I realized that family hour was very important to him, more than needing it, he wanted it. I did not know he wanted to spend time with me like that. It hurt so badly and I felt like such a horrible mother. Of course I put the shop on hold and we had family hour that night and I will never do that again.

If you had three wishes, what would they be?
HH: To have more time, to be a better mother, to have a cure for all cancers.

If you could spend a day with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?
HH: My grandmother because there are some many things I never got to ask her. I want to know more about her. It pains me when I think of all the time she took to listen about me and I never matched her time to listen about her. I will credit myself with listening more than the average person does to their grandmother as I ate her words and history up too, I loved this woman so very very much, but I never matched her time and that I would like to do.

What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
HH: The best advice I was ever given will easily have to be to “Fake it ‘till you make it” -that means to imitate confidence so that as the confidence produces success, it will generate real confidence. - Wikipedia

Thank you Becky, for sharing a piece of your life with us. And thank you for having a giveaway for us to give away!

Becky is giving away the winner's choice of any one premade pendant from her shop ($5.50/$6.00 value--excludes photo pendants or custom graphics), along with a 16"/18" petite silver ball chain.

To enter: Simply visit Happy Haven and then come back here and comment on your favorite pendant. Please make sure you have a valid email address attached to your comment or Blogger account. You do not have to have a Blogger account to enter.

This giveaway is open worldwide. Deadline to enter is Thursday, April 30th at 11:59 PST. We will draw the winner on Friday, May 1st.

To earn an extra entry, please blog about this giveaway. Leave a separate comment with the link to your blog post.

To earn an additional extra entry, please tweet about this giveaway on Twitter. Please include "@dwntownboutique" in your tweet.

Have a great weekend!

An Overwhelming Response

Thank you to ALL of you who entered to win the gorgeous rocking chair from Black Mountain Furniture! We had 253 comments! Congratulations to Laura D., who was randomly selected as our winner. Be sure to keep watching for more giveaways!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Custom Set

I bought these earrings last year, from Hazel Designs. I loved them SO much, that I asked her to make me a matching necklace, and she did. I told her what I was looking for in a necklace, and she did exactly what I wanted. I basically "designed" it, by drawing a sketch. I sent it to her, and she sent me a beautiful necklace.

Look how beautiful the set is! I hope that you'll go check out Hazel Designs, and let her know that I sent you. There are some beautiful pieces of jewelry in her shop.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A "Rockin'" Giveaway!

You may remember last year, when we did a feature on an AWESOME furniture company out of the state of Georgia....Black Mountain Furniture. Reginia and her husband Craig, generously gave away a 24" wooden bench to add to their home decor. I got one of those benches too, in black, and I LOVE it. So does my 2 year old...he loves to climb on it!

Well, Reginia wrote me and said that she would love to do another giveaway if I was willing. I didn't hesitate for a second to write her back and say YES! You really need to visit their website. They have GORGEOUS furniture that is handmade by Craig, and a crew of guys who work with him. The website can be found at Black Mountain Furniture Company.
Here's what Reginia says about herself:
I am Reginia Boling and I am proud to run Black Mountain Furniture with my talented husband Craig. While Craig & the shop guys work on building the pieces we have sold, I am the "inside-gal" sitting at my desk all day(and into the evening more times than not) doing the sales/webwork/emailing, etc. and getting them more orders to work on. Friends ask me all the time how I do it, being alone most of the day (well except when out in the shop or out to lunch with the guys). It is actually a good thing because I am super-easy to distract and when I am alone I can accomplish more(or at least feel like I do). I am a self-taught computer "nerd" and am happiest when learning a new program or software.
On the business side of things, I get a kick out of being able to take an idea and watch it go from pencil drawing, to a 3-D sketch, then into a actual piece that will enhance someone's home for years to come. It still amazes me when people get a look of awe on their faces when they realize that the furniture we sell is something that we actually build ourselves, not something that is imported in on a ship.
I won't lie, it is tough running a business, especially in today's economy. Sure there are perks, like not having to punch a time-clock at 8:00am every morning, not having to wear slacks and heels-- jeans and flip-flops are my daily "office attire", being able to juggle things if I need to be at the kids school, or if one of them gets sick. However, there is also the other side, having to work 7 days a week at times and late at night to be sure everything gets finished on time(no 9-5 schedule here!), not being able to call-in-sick when I have the flu, or people thinking that "I am spoiled" because I own a business. (That is my FAVE to dispute)
Despite everything, I LOVE it and couldn't imagine doing anything else. It is a Blessing to be able to something I love and I look forward to seeing where it takes me each day. God has given me a loving husband, 2 fabulous kids, a house that is totally "US" and is allowing us to run a business that we enjoy, what more could a woman ask for?
What do I do for fun? Normally if I have any "free time" you can usually find me curled up somewhere with a good book. I also love to scrapbook and seriously need to make time to do it more often. As a family we love to go Jeeping, camping, or even just riding around in the mountains. I admit to a slight Facebook issue (I refuse to call it an addiction) and playing the Hatchlings game there is my #1 mindless-fun lately.
What is my life like?? A custom ice-cream sundae... some days you get plain ole vanilla with chocolate syrup with a cherry on top and some days you get chocolate & strawberry with peanuts, caramel syrup and sprinkles!! It is always changing daily and it keeps me on my toes!

Today, Black Mountain Furniture is giving away this absolutely wonderful "Chesapeake Bay Rocking Chair-High Back", valued at $225. The winner may choose which color they want their rocker to be.

And just for reading our blog, Black Mountain Furniture is offering 30% off on ANY order placed!

All you have to do to enter to win this beautiful rocking chair in the color of your choice, is to go and visit the website, and come back here to comment on your favorite item.

Due to shipping costs, this giveaway is ONLY open in the USA. If you live outside of the USA, and you have someone IN the USA who will ship this to you, feel free to enter, but you will be responsible for shipping charges from your friend's house to yours.

You must leave a valid email address to win. Or you must have one attached to your Blogger account. You do not have to have a Blogger account or even a blog to enter. Just an email.

Giveaway ends on Thursday, April 23 at 11:59 PST. Winner will be contacted within 24-48 hours after end of giveaway.

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

For another additional entry, please Twitter (as often as you want) about this giveaway and leave one separate comment, letting us know you Twittered (only one additional entry will be given, no matter how many times you Twitter about it, so please only leave one comment.). Please let us know at @dwntownboutique that you Twittered!

For another additional entry, we'd love for you to "Follow" our blog by clicking on "Follow This Blog" up at the top left. Please leave a separate comment, letting us know that you're a new follower.


A New Sponsor

We have a new Etsy Mini Sponsor -- Kathryn & Olivia G. This Etsy shop specializes in unique jewelry for the bride, the every day, and the unexpected. I hope you will visit their shop and check out their creations.

In the meantime, if you want to be an Etsy Mini sponsor, just click HERE to find out how you can purchase the ad space.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tie One On

Check out these FUN and FUNKY ties from My Bella Bows on I don't put ties on my little guy, but I might have to make a change, because these are TOO CUTE!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009