Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What To Do With All Those Relatives....

Got a crowded house this Christmas? Wondering how to keep all those relatives busy and out of trouble? Try this this idea, which you may remember from this blog entry during last year's Christmas season.

Cut some strips of paper paper, scrapbook paper, any colors will do.... Set out some pens, pencils, crayons (take your pick). Prompt them with these two phrases:

"It's just not Christmas until...."


"You know it's really Christmas when...."

Tell them to finish those sentences, writing whatever they come up with on the strips of paper. (They can also list favorite Christmas memories, favorite presents, etc.) Then take all the strips of paper and paper chain. Hang it where everyone can read it ...then stand back and enjoy the flood of memories and laughter that will follow!

Here are a few that I came up with that first year:

A Charlie Brown Christmas on TV

Steve & Eydie on the radio

Red & Green wrapped Hershey's Kisses

Aunt Becky's Christmas Toffee

I tried this one year and it's been a tradition with us every since. Oh, we don't always make an actual paper chain, but not a Christmas goes by with out us taking note of things we could add to one. It keeps us counting our blessings instead of bogged down in all the Holiday Hoopla. I hope it does the same for your family!

If you haven't read it yet, you should go back and read the whole story.

Here's a picture of my original "Christmas Memory Chain":

Monday, December 15, 2008

Custom Christmas Buttons

I've already told you about my Christmas buttons, but I neglected to mention that I can easily customize these buttons for you.

Give me a list of all your gift recipients and I'll make buttons for each of them. You can even have them as re-usable tags, when I add a ribbon (like I've done for my Pocket Mirror Christmas Ornaments). Just loop the ribbon around the bows and ribbons on your packages to let them know who the gift is for, then re-use them year after year. Leave me a comment here or send me a convo on and I'll fix you right up!

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Mirror On Your Christmas Tree

I came up with a fun thing to do with my pocket mirrors this Christmas...hang them on your Christmas tree! Here's the front and back of one that's my original design:

I've saved a few special, one of a kind, images I'm recycling from vintage magazines published around Christmas and they'll be perfect for these. Here' my first two:

I have more vintage Christmas ones still to come, as well as something special for collectors of vintage cameras or guitars, or for you favorite computer geek (because I like those things, too). Here's one I made with a picture I took of the Miranda G 35mm slr I got years ago from my dad (I blogged about this camera rehere):

I'll be happy to make you some custom pocket mirror ornaments to hang on your tree. I can make you one that says Merry Christmas to someone special or use your photo to make one. Just leave me a comment here or a convo on Etsy and I'll fix you right up!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Which Came First...the Story Or The Bead...?

I'm still in the middle of the big Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales that a lot of Etsy sellers are doing this weekend. I'm in several different street teams that are participating and you can read more about those in my shop announcements.

One of those street teams is the very active EtsyBloggers Street Team and one of our most active members is the featured seller for the month of November, Storybeader.

I've mentioned in a previous blog entry that I'm not much of a jewelry wearer, but she makes beautiful beaded necklaces, bracelets, and all kinds of fun stuff and they're all so interesting. You should really take a few minutes to browse her Etsy shop and see what I mean.

Be sure you look at the necklaces ...the description for each one starts with a haiku she wrote especially for that necklace!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Merry Christmas, Darling!

With Thanksgiving becoming a memory we can now officially turn our eyes toward Christmas. I've been wallowing in Christmas for weeks now, working on a large order for my Mini-Puzzle Ball Christmas Ornaments.

Here's another series of projects I've been working on. These are just right for using as tags on your presents, adding to your package's ribbons as decorations, include them with your Christmas cards, or pin one to your lapel to make someone smile. These are a few I've come up with so far, but if you have other ideas, feel free to leave a comment or send me a convo on Etsy if you'd like to order Custom Christmas Buttons this year.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Mom's Thanksgiving

I think I've mentioned before in this blog that my mother out-Martha Stewart-ed Martha Stewart long before anybody ever heard that name. She was an artist and her home was her canvas. (I'm not sure if her kids were her masterpieces or if we were the dollops of paint splattered along the way, but that sounds like another blog entry!)

While my firstborn was home from college for Thanksgiving we sifted through a pile of old snapshots from her childhood and I found a few that I just had to share with you tonight, before the day gets away from us.

This is the centerpiece on my mother's dining room table one Thanksgiving Day years ago. Nothing special, mind you, just something she'd put out when the season was right whether company was coming or not. Being the snap-happy photographer that I am, I had to preserve it for posterity. I'm glad I did.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

She Almost Made It to 101

Well, she almost made it to 101. My grandmother passed away last Friday and was buried yesterday. Just a simple graveside ceremony...she never wanted to be any trouble to anybody. Her 101st birthday would have been December 4th.

She was doing really well and living in a nursing home just a block away from where my father and step-mother live, so they could visit her regularly. It's the town where my husband and daughters and I lived for 11 years, too, so I knew all the folks at the church who would be checking up on her, and that was nice.

Grandma was 98 before she gave up living on her own and finally moved to a nursing home. She was still getting around pretty well with her walker until a few weeks ago.

She was ready to go, though, and had lived a long and happy life. So although I'll miss her terribly, I know it was her time. And I know where she is now.

For years, my grandmother and "Granddaddy Cy" ran a hamburger stand in Temple, Texas on South First Street. When my father was a ministerial student at Baylor University, he introduced many of his classmates to them and got them hooked on the specialty of the house, the "Cyburger". As these students scattered to preach and lead revivals in many small town churches around central Texas, they knew they could always get a burger on the way back to the campus. And help was always available if they had a flat tire or needed a tow. When my husband was a student at Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth I met many of my father's former classmates and they'd get a little twinkle in their eye and say "I remember those hamburgers!" Later, when my husband was a campus minister at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton one of our students was doing her student teaching at a school up the road in Temple. I had told her stories of my father's roots in that area, so she knew just what the teacher was talking about when she mentioned the wonderful hamburgers they used to make at a little hamburger place on South First Street.

Here's a picture of her (undated) with a baby that I think is my older sister, her first grandchild. I've started to digitally clean this one up some, because it's got a lot of spots and creases on it. It'll take a while to finish that project, though, so I'll go ahead and share it with you as it is because I love her smile in this one.

Friday, November 21, 2008

What's Next...?

I'm currently trying to finish up that large order of Mini-Puzzle Ball Christmas Ornaments that I've mentioned before...I'll start #14 of 15 tomorrow...but my thoughts are already turning to what's next.

The calendar says the next big thing is Thanksgiving, which is always fun for me, because my husband is the chef in this family. It'll be a big family day with lots of food, football and fun. But before the day is over I will turn my eyes eagerly toward Christmas, my favorite time of year.

I think I figured out why I've always enjoyed Christmas so much. It's because that's the one time of year my mother would let herself be silly. Mom was very practical, efficient, thorough and out-Martha-Stewart-ed Martha Stewart long before anybody ever knew that name. She was always working on something, and there was plenty to be done around Christmas time, that's for sure. But I loved hearing a childish giggle and a shout of "You can't come in here!" from behind a closed door when she was wrapping presents, or a conspiratorial "Wanna see what's in this bag?" when she was planning surprises for someone in the family.

I come from a very imaginative family so we always had lots of special little things to make the holidays fun. I'm working on something I'll be listing in my Etsy shop soon that may be just the touch of fun your family and friends need this holiday season. I'd show you what it is, but I don't want to spoil the surprise....

I'm also checking my supplies to make sure I have enough on hand to make lots of custom promo buttons for my fellow Etsyians, so if you need some drop me a convo on Etsy and I'll be glad to help. (Check my Sold items to see ones I've made for others.)

In the meantime, I've been playing around with a re-designed banner for my shop and reorganizing my sections, too, so it'll be easier to browse through all the fun stuff you can find there. Take a look and leave a comment and let me know what you think. And be sure to check my shop on Black Friday to see what's on sale!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Aunt Fiesty's Camera

One thing I've learned how to do since opening my Etsy shop is to take pictures of the things I make. I worked as a freelance photographer for several years, so I have experience in journalistic and documentary photography and black & white darkroom work, too. I also used to do a lot of casual portraits. But product photography was new to me.

In a couple of other posts on this blog I showed you how I take my pictures using window light and reflectors (see "Taking Pictures" and "Taking Pictures Part 2: Reflections") so I won't elaborate on that here.

I decided to apply those techniques to my collection of vintage cameras. One of my most recent acquisitions is this Argus C3 35mm rangefinder camera.

This particular camera once belonged to my Aunt Fiesty. That wasn't her real name. We just called her that because she was. I heard that the nickname came from my grandmother, a classmate of Aunt Fiesty's in college, but that was before she married my grandfather, Aunt Fiesty's brother. My grandfather's nickname was "Speedy". Yeah, it's that kind of family!

My family is aware of my fascination with vintage cameras, so when my Aunt Fiesty passed away, they knew I would give this camera a place of honor in my collection. It was kept in a leather case that barely had a mark on it. I thought if the case was that pristine, what must the camera inside look like! And I wasn't disappointed.

As you can see from these pictures, it looks almost like brand new.

If you'd be interested in getting a photo of this Argus C3 camera, I have it available in my Etsy shop as a 5x7 photo and an ACEO.

If you've had some experience with the Argus C3, leave a comment and tell me about it. And if you have an "Aunt Fiesty" of your own, I'd love to hear from you, too!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sale Time!!

The Capital Region Etsy Street Team, CREST, is holding its first group sale this week, starting today, Monday, October 27, 2008. All of us live and create in the Washington, DC area. We have many talented artists and crafters offering you special deals to get your holiday shopping started right.

Please visit the following etsy shops and read their shop announcements for further sale details. You can also run a search on etsy for the tag "etsycrestsale" to view just some of the items being offered.
If you have any questions, please contact the individual shops.
Happy shopping!


Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
10% off all items in my shop and a Thank you gift will be sent with each order. Attn Buyer: please mention "Crest" or "EtsyCrestSale" in "note to seller" and please wait for a revised invoice.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
Most items will reflect 20-50% discounts!
Free pair of hair pins on orders over $25 when you write "CREST" in the notes to seller section!

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
10% off all week, wait for invoice.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
15% off all Holiday Cards, Tags, and Stickers

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
20% off all items

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
10% off all items. Sale prices are already marked in each listing.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
15% off select items. Free shipping on two or more items.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
In honor of my 1st year anniversary in DebbyAremDesigns (October 30th) I'll be giving away 1 free bookmark for all orders $15 and above (one offer only per customer).
10% off total sale -not including shipping.
Please leave "etsycrestsale" in note to seller and wait for a revised invoice as prices in shop do not reflect the discount.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
25% off all puzzle balls and photographs in my shop. Buyer's should wait for a revised invoice before paying.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
20% off Cotton Emery Pincushions and Pincushion Rings.
Sale prices are not marked. Please put "CREST" in note to seller and wait for a revised invoice.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
20% off everything. Refund or wait for adjusted invoice.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
10% off plus free shipping for two or more items.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
10% off total sale -not including shipping.
Please leave "etsycrestsale" in note to seller and wait for a revised invoice as prices in shop do not reflect the discount.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
15% off items in a special Sale section.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
15% off everything.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
15% off everything.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
In addition to a 15% discount for purchases over $20, I will throw in a set of "wine glass jewelry" for any purchase over $50.00. The wine glass tags are a set of fused-glass baubles to help your guests keep track of their wine stem at your party.
Please put "CREST" in note to seller and wait for a revised invoice.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
20% off everything

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
10% off all week. Revised invoices will be sent.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
15% off all items. Please leave "crestsale" in note to seller.
Items are not discounted, please wait for an updated invoice.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
15% off all purchases for the entire week! To redeem the discount, just add your LMNOProducts purchase(s) to your cart, begin the checkout process, and choose "Other" as your payment method. In the Buyer's Note box, mention that you would like to take advantage of the EtsyCREST Sale discount. I will then send a revised PayPal invoice reflecting the 15% discount.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
During the sale period, FREE additional painting! With every custom painting order receive an additional painting at no additional charge ($90 value)

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
25% off all items.
Type "CREST" in the message to seller section and wait for a revised invoice.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
20% off all items(free shipping on purchase of more than $50)!!!
Please leave note to seller on message box.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
Enjoy 20% off my entire collection of hand crafted sterling silver chain and gemstone jewelry.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
10% off sale on everything.
Prices will be adjusted in the listings, so there will be no waiting.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
Purchase any variety our our organic dog treats through our Etsy shop and receive a dozen Fleas Navidad treats free. Just mention "CREST" in the "message to seller" section.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
15% off select items. Free shipping on two or more items.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
10% off all items. Prices already adjusted in the listings, so no need to wait for a revised invoice.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
10% off of most items. Items will be tagged EtsycrestSale. The item prices reflect the sale prices for the duration of the sale. Sale items labeled EtsyCrest Sale.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
10% off. Wait for a revised invoice.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
10% any purchase and free shipping on two or more items, including custom orders.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
15% off entire inventory. ATC free gift with the purchase of a photographic print.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
Along with 20% off everything, I offer the following to those who mention etsycrestsale in notes to seller:
- Above the $10 level, *International customers* will be given an additional 5% off. Please wait for a revised invoice and request shipping to your location before you pay and I will revise the listing for you.
- *U.S. customers* will be offered a choice of free items from my shop starting at the $10 level.
- Above the $20 level my U.S. vintage buyers will be given free insurance and delivery confirmation to go with my actual shipping. Overages will be refunded.

Monday, October 27th through Monday, November 3rd
10-15% off of most items. Items will be tagged EtsycrestSale. The item prices refelct the sale prices for the duration of the sale. Item descriptions also indicate price reduction.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Christmas is Still Coming!!

Still working on that custom order for my Mini-Puzzle Ball Christmas Ornaments. I figured I'd post some pictures along the way so you can see the progress I'm making.

These pictures were also a fun way to try out my new updated version of my old one, which makes the learning curve manageable. I can tell I'm gonna have fun with this one! Click on this picture and the one in my previous post and you'll see the difference, too!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Summer/Fall projects

A cool breeze is blowing at my house today and fall is definitely in the air. But this project I just completed for an Etsy customer reminds me of summer.

When she first contacted me she said she wanted a special pocket mirror to give to her daughter. She said she loves pink and elephants and butterflies and glitter.

Two thoughts occurred to me:

1. I'm knee-deep in a custom order of 15 Mini-Puzzle Ball Christmas Ornaments and don't have a lot of time for graphic design brainstorming right now.

2. "Girly" does not describe me. I'm about as "tomboy" as you can get and have been so for all of my 50 years on this planet.

I decided to call in reinforcements.

I told the CafeMom Etsy Moms Street Team about this because I knew several members are talented graphic artists who might be interested in this project. After gathering some designs from the ladies and submitting several to the customer, this one was her favorite.

I pressed it by hand with my professional button machine and materials and covered it with mylar and turned it into the pocket mirror pictured here.

You should check out the Etsy shop of the Cafemom Etsy Mom who helped me with this project, mamaslittlemonkeys for some great stuff for babies, kids and their mamas. She's also opened a second Etsy shop, fleurdeink, for some really special flower pens she makes:

If you're a member of and also an Etsy seller, stop by and see our CafeMom Etsy Moms Group sometime.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm a Winner!

Today I discovered another benefit of being a member of the Etsybloggers Street Team. I visited one of my fellow member's blogs and left a comment on one of her posts. She had shared a photograph she'd taken with a question about the best way to crop it, seeking comments from her readers. She planned on picking one of those who left comments to win some of her vintage photo greeting cards. Contests are always fun and I really liked the photo, so I left a comment.

And I won! So, thanks to TheFabMissB!

Maybe I'll have a contest of my own here on my blog. I might give away some of my vintage buttons, magnets, thumb tacks, pocket mirrors or tie tacks.

What do you think? Leave a comment about what you'd like to see me give away from my Etsy shop.....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Christmas is Coming!

I got a big order for 15 of my Mini-Puzzle Ball Christmas Ornaments! That's the good news. Now the challenge will be finding the time to make them all!

So good!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

You know loved him....

This seems an appropriate post to follow up "Childhood Memories".

Bill Melendez died Tuesday, September 2nd. You may not recognize the name, but you know his work well. He was the animator of Peanuts and the voice of Snoopy. He also worked on Disney's Fantasia and Pinocchio. His work for Warner Brothers included Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.

Here's a link to a story about him:

Friday, August 29, 2008

Childhood Memories

My dad used to tell me that he hoped I didn't grow up and write a book someday. He often noticed me quietly observing the crazy show that was our family and shuddered to think of what I might remember and what stories I might tell!

It's true that I remember a lot of details about my childhood. I can tell you which friends lived in which houses on every block I walked between my house and my school. I can tell you where each of my homeroom classes were in that school and all of my teachers names.

I told my sister once that I could close my eyes and tell her exactly what we kept on each cubbyhole in the closet of the bedroom we shared when we were kids, and I closed my eyes and began to list them for her. She dropped her jaw and said "How can you remember all that?!" That's when my brother-in-law interrupted and said "WHY do you remember all that?!"

I don't know why my head clung to so many little details back then and yet now I go into the next room and forget why I'm there. Funny how our minds work once we turn 50.... But it seems many of my most enduring memories are about Christmas holidays.

I've been thinking about Christmas holidays lately because I just got an order to make 15 of my Mini-Puzzle Balls. I'm surrounded by candy canes and holly now and I'm already looking forward to the season!

Every year I make my Christmas Puzzle Balls and every year I make what I like to call My Crazy Aunt Becky's Famous Christmas Candy. She won't mind if I call her least I hope not, because I think she reads this blog! I think most people who have known her for any length of time and become acquainted with her sense of humor have used the word "crazy" to describe her, at least once.

This toffee that she made, and taught me to make, is so simple to make and so delicious it's dangerously habit-forming. I could give you the recipe, but it's really something you have to see demonstrated. You have to know just when to take the candy off the stove and pour it into the pan. My aunt watches for the color to change to a deep golden brown with darker brown streaks. I watch for that, too, but the real key for me is how it smells. It's an art...really.

Anyway, I thought of that toffee when I saw this item in the shop of Tulip's Treasure Box, one of my fellow Etsybloggers:

She's a jewelry maker and you should really check out her shop. Now, I'm not one who wears much jewelry, but I'd like to see what these are made into someday! Looks like the toffee is just about ready!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Remarkable Day

I just watched my local evening news from a TV station in Washington, DC. The reporter was standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, getting comments from visitors about the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, which he gave from that spot 45 years ago today. Some he spoke with were too young to have been there that day, but shook their heads in amazement to think that a black man, may be our next president.

There were also comments from others still living in the DC area who were there to hear Dr. King's speech live that day. They spoke eloquently about the changes in our society from that day to this as they shared their personal stories of how far we've come. Some said they never expected to see something like this in their lifetime.

Regardless of your politics, you must acknowledge that, as one woman who was interviewed put it, "It's a dream come true."

Monday, August 25, 2008

Custom Buttons

I've been staying busy with custom button orders lately and I love doing those. Sometimes a customer will give me their artwork ready to go and sometimes I'll adapt their shop's banner to a 1 inch buttons (pin-back or magnet).

Whether I'm coming up with something original or them or simply adding their shop's url to their art, I love knowing that little samples of my work are going out to their customers literally all over the world.

Here's one of my custom buttons that featured on TheWildfire's blog, "Wax Dribbles and Melt Pools"":

Here's one order that's going in the mail today:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Just One More Day....

Just one more day for our Etsybloggers 1st Anniversary Sale!

If you're looking for a unique gift for babies or children, take a closer look at my Puzzle Balls. I sew these by hand (no sewing machine involved) and they're very hard parts at all, very soft. You can even throw them in the washing machine when they get dirty.

I make larger sizes that make great toys. Because these are actual puzzles that come apart in three pieces, they can even be taken apart and packed flat for travel, then assembled for play once you arrive at your destination. I love doing custom orders, so if you'd be interested in a particular color or fabric, don't hesitate to leave a comment here or send me a convo on

I make these in smaller sizes to use as Christmas ornaments. These can be great for kids, too, who are often warned not to play with the delicate, breakable ornaments. Give them one of these to put on the tree and they have a special ornament of their own to take down and play with. Kids love showing grown-ups how the puzzle works, too!

Friday, August 15, 2008

EtsyBloggers Rock!

We're mid-way through the big EtsyBloggers 1st Anniversary sale and I've been a busy little girl! I've sold a few of my pocket mirrors and I've gotten a few custom button orders, too, which I think is due to the increased exposure due to the sale.

I love doing custom orders. It reminds me of when I worked in bookstores and customers would be looking for that perfect gift for a special someone but they didn't really know what they wanted. I was pretty good at asking just the right questions and making just the right suggestions, and I loved it when their eyes would light up and they'd say, "That's it! That's perfect!"

When doing a custom order for an Etsy buyer, I can't see their eyes light up, but I do enjoy working out the details with them. Taking their vision they've described to me or adapting the shop's banner and fine-tuning the design till I get their buttons just right and they convo me with "That's perfect!"

So, when I found out the Blog Carnival topic for this week was "your favorite tool" I thought about my button machines. But I recently finished sewing a Blue Jean Teddy Bear and I decided to go in a different direction....

My favorite tool (this week) is my needle:

This particular needle is a quilting between, although it's been a few years since I've made any quilts with it. Mostly I'm using it to make my patchwork Puzzle Ball toys and Christmas ornaments or my Teddy Bears that I've blogged about before.

As I was finishing up this latest bear I decided to take a quick picture of my needle as I was completing the last step, attaching the head, so I could show you this favorite tool of mine. If you look close you may notice this needle is a little bent. It's the same needle I've been using for years on these projects because it's the perfect size for making the tiniest stitches the way I like to. I think it's bent just right because I can work really quickly with this one.

My daughters are used to seeing a half-finished Puzzle Ball or Teddy Bear parked on the table next to my rocking chair because I've always got something in the works. When my firstborn told me she had chosen me as her subject for a class photo essay assignment I told her it wouldn't be very exciting since I was just sitting around the house, sewing a Teddy Bear. She said that's just what she wanted. I've seen the pictures and I have to say, I was impressed. She got an A on the assignment. Here's my favorite:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Etsy Bloggers Sale Time!

The official announcement is up! It's time for the Etsy Bloggers 1st Anniversary Sale!

Visit these EtsyBloggers shops from Wednesday 8/13 thru Sunday 8/17 and celebrate our team's 1st Anniversary with us!!
Digital Illustrations, Photography and Note Cards
Free Shipping on all items
All items except custom orders:
Spend $10-19.99 save 10% on your order
Spend $20-29.99 save 20% on your order
Spend $30 or more save 30% on your order
Free domestic shipping (US) on all orders over $50
*If paying with PayPal, I will refund your savings after purchase.
20% off everything!
Specializing in Custom Photo/Art Magnets and Pendants
Handcrafted Limited Edition Jewelry
But One, Get One 1/2 half off (of equal or lesser value - no custom items, please)
Soaps, Lotions, Skincare, The Works
20% off any order

Jewelry for animal lovers!
10% off all items (excluding shipping) with code "Bloggers sale!"

Breastfeeding jewelry, necklaces & bracelets
Free priority mail shipping on orders over $25
20% off everything!
Unique Artisan Jewelry
See sale section for specials.
Free shipping on all orders
A free gift with all orders over $10.00 (before shipping)
25% Most Items
Pillows, Cases, Cards and other Fabric Goodies

I will refund 20% of purchase price to all sales from August 13th to August 17th.
(excluding shipping which is flat rate fee by Priority Mail no matter how large the order)

250 free business cards with a pre-made or custom design package.
All buttons $1.00 a piece and lowered shipping prices!
Free shipping and an extra 10% refunded if you mention that you heard about the sale from etsy bloggers!!
All Pocket Mirrors and Puzzle Ball Toys & Christmas Ornaments
50% off
Unique handmade lampwork beads
FREE SHIPPING on all purchase...
Special SALE section with already Reduced Priced items

Natural dolls and playthings
10% off items in sale section
Inspiration and supplies for the homeschooling family
Free shipping on all items
Accessories, Luxury Lounge Travel Wraps
10% off all items with code Bloggers10%
See special sale section in my shop
See Sale section in my shop

Super cool baby and children's onesies, monster jeans, Ankle Biters...
FREE SHIPPING plus 10% OFF everything in our shop!!
"Handmade Items for Everyday Use."
See My Special Sale Section.
Many items on SALE now, plus get FREE SHIPPING on orders of $40.00 or more.
(Custom orders not included.)
25% off in SALE section, free shipping on orders of $50 or more using promo code EB08 in notes to seller!
Take $2.00 off any boxed blank note or thank you card set!
See SALE sections in my shop for all the designs to choose from
Jewelry, Vintage, Supplies, Crochet
Buy any 2, get the 3rd half off
"Fraternal earrings" and dragonfly suncatchers
Free priority mail shipping on orders over $25
Buy one Custom Name/Word Album, get $5 a second album.
Buy two Custom Name/Word Albums, get $15 off a third album.
10% off everything in my shop, to be refunded through paypal.
Passionate Jewelry
free shipping
Hand Stitched Paper Art for You and Your Home
Free Shipping!
Vintage inspired clothing for children and their dollies
Free Shipping (Sale items included)
Gemstones, beads and more!
Free Shipping on orders over $20
Free Shipping and 10% off - jewelry.
10% off on all orders.
Discount will be refunded or you can convo to have price adjusted prior to checkout.
cute fingerless gloves
free shipping!
Handcrafted soaps & toiletries, Crochet Bath Accessories, Soy Candles & More
Check out our sale section for reduced price items.
Special EtsyBloggers 1st Anniversary Sale
Great jewelry and beaded items, ½ off regular price
Look in Section: Anniversary Sale

FREE shipping on orders of $10 or more.
Your choice of a FREE pair of earrings with order of $20 or more.
baby shower items, wedding items, tutus, pillowcase dresses, tote bags
10% Off All Items in my shop!
Find Your One of a Kind!
Free shipping on all vintage and original greeting cards for the Etsy Bloggers Team Sale!
See sale section for specials
Free shipping on all orders
Original art, photography, hand painted bags, and more..
Free shipping during sale!

Free domestic and international (Australia, Canada, Europe) shipping on orders $40.00 and more.
See my EtsyBloggers 1st Anniversary Sale Section§ion_id=5417430

Free shipping on all items
Specializing in all things zany for babies including: blankets, bibs, stuffies and clothes.
Boutique Baby Essentials, Blankets and Baby Carriers
Buy one item, get the 2nd of equal or lesser value for 50% off!!!!
See special sale section in my shop
I have an assortment of items on sale, including purses, totes, wristlets and clutches.

♥ The above shops are participating in the SALE. But you can always find the beautiful items from our team members, at any other time, by going to Etsy and searching for "etsybloggers team":

We also have a "Buy N Replace" TREASURY open to everyone - so come join the fun!

We've got all kinds of Etsy sellers on this team so take your time checking out each of the shops listed there.

As for me...well, I've got all my Pocket Mirrors and Puzzle Balls (toys and Christmas Ornaments) on sale 50% off. The sale starts tomorrow, 8/13 and goes through Sunday, 8/17, so get 'em at that price while you can!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Two Treasuries!

It's always nice to know somebody appreciates what you do! A couple of items from my Etsy shop are currently featured in Etsy Treasuries. Here they are:

This one is a Treasury of items from members of the Etsy Bloggers Street Team. We're having a team-wide sale this week, August 13-17, so keep your eyes open for some good deals on those days! (I'll say more about this later.)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Spotlight on "Spotlight"

I just found out something I made has been featured in another blog:

The writer of this blog has an Etsy shop herself and here's a link to it:

I love her vintage photo notecards! You'll want to stop by and take a look around her shop.

Here's the item I made that she featured...2 1/4 inch button magnets made from a recycled magazine:

Thursday, July 31, 2008

CafeMom and "The Storque"

Etsy has been doing a series of articles on their blog, "The Storque" called "Handmade Kids". As part of that special emphasis, I was contacted about submitting an article on the CafeMom Etsy Moms Street Team because I'm one of the leaders of that team. So, I compared notes with the founder of our group, rockerchic and we thought about who we are and why we are and what we do and then put it all in an article we submitted. Our article became part of the Etsy article and you can read it for yourself, here:

Handmade Kids: An Insider's Review of

If you want to take a closer look at the CafeMom Etsy Moms, check out our CafeMom profile or our CafeMom Etsy Moms blog. You can also check my sidebar for a scrolling list of CafeMom Etsy Mom's blogs. And if you'd like to see what all these talented moms do, just go to and search "Cafemom team".

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Taking Pictures Part 2: Reflections

I've written before about my creative solution to taking pictures of small products, like the buttons and small crafts I sell from my Etsy shop. I know a lot of Etsy sellers use a light tent for this, like this home made one. But anything I do has to fit in my tiny townhouse so setting up a light tent and finding a place to keep the equipment when not in use didn't seem to be a viable option for me.

Instead, I use a couple of foamboards, scored and folded and set up as both backdrop and reflector. When not in use, these are folded flat and stored behind a bookshelf, conveniently out of the way. I made another makeshift reflector out of half of a large can, too, which works very well for small objects.

It's all about the light...where it's coming from...and where you want to put it.

One challenge for me was controlling reflections, since the buttons I make have a shiny surface. A little maneuvering, a slight change of angle and a healthy dose of trial and error can make all the difference.

But pocket mirrors were a particular challenge not only because of the shiny surface of the button, but also because of the image reflected by the mirror. After all, you want to show the mirror, not what the mirror sees. In this photo the reflection of my reflector (a foil-covered piece of foamboard) can clearly be seen:

That's not a photo I'd want to post in my Etsy shop, even after cropping out the edge of my background and the reflector set up on the left side.

Sometimes the best solution is the simplest. Here's what I did to fix that:

By tilting the angle of the folded piece of foamboard that was serving as my background, I made sure that the only thing reflected in my pocket mirror was the white surface of the foamboard.

Since I'm using window light, which can vary according to the time of day or weather, I usually tweak the brightness and contrast of these product shots with graphics software. (I use an old version of Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop Elements to do this, although free programs like Gimp or Picasa are favored by many Etsy crafters.)

Here's the final result:

By the way, the pocket mirror I've used in this example isn't available in my Etsy shop. It's a personal project for some friends of mine. But you can check out the Imaginary Bitches website and a very funny new web series written by Andrew Miller and starring Eden Riegel, Elizabeth Hendrickson and some other familiar faces from TV. It's getting some great attention from the press., including raves from People Magazine and TV Guide. Better yet, go to their YouTube channel and watch all the webisodes for yourself and if you enjoy it as much as I do, subscribe and share it with your friends.