Easy Last-Minute Halloween Party Ideas

Posted Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! Cori of Peace, Baby! Batiks here. After Christmas, Halloween is probably my favorite holiday to decorate for and celebrate. We started our festivities on Sunday with a little party with our friends. (We wanted an extra night to show off my husband's crazy decorations and fog machine!) For a few weeks before the party, I kept my eyes open for cool, quick ideas (Thanks, Pinterest!). Here are a few of my favorites that I used over the weekend:

(Ran out of time to bake? Modify store-bought cake, cupcakes, or brownies!)
We'll also give bobbing for apples a shot and filled the house with the smell of mulled cider. And, everyone enjoyed the cool witches' brew punch. I love this time of year!

Halloween Personal Pizzas

Posted Saturday, October 29, 2011

Looking for a fun snack for a Halloween party or an easy dinner to serve Halloween night?  These personal pizzas are yummy, cute and simple to make.  Here's what you'll need:

1 recipe of quick pizza dough (see below) - makes ~20 - 4" pumpkins pizzas
Pumpkin cookie cutter, we used a soft grip one from Wilton
pizza or tomato sauce
mozzarella cheese
small paring knife

Roll out pizza dough to ~1/4" thick.  Cut with cookie cutter, and transfer to prepared cookie sheet.  Leave a little space between each to allow for the dough to rise and spread while baking.  

Spread each pumpkin shaped piece of dough with sauce and sprinkle which cheese.  Cut a few piece of peperoni into smiles and eyes.  The picture below offers one suggestion for how to cut the peperoni.  Place peperoni pieces on each pumpkin pizza and bake for 5-6 minutes at 450 degrees, or until crust is done and cheese is melted.   

If needed you can carefully reposition eyes or mouths right after they come out of the oven.  Cool on a cooling rack and serve.  They can be made a head of time and warmed in the oven before serving.  Refrigerated biscuits or pizza dough from the freezer section, could also be used. 

Quick Pizza Dough Recipe 

1 pkg. quick rise dry yeast (aka 2-1/4 teaspoons)
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey
2-1/2 cups flour (1 cup wheat + 1-1/2 cups white)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Mix yeast in water in glass measuring cup or small bowl.  In a medium size mixing bowl, combine other ingredients.  Once yeast is dissolved, pour over other ingredients and mix well by hand.  Let sit in bowl 5-10 minute, or use immediately.  Flatten on greased pan.  For pumpkin pizzas, flatten using finger tips on floured counter for cutting.  Add toppings and bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes.

Introducing Woolly Boo!

Posted Thursday, October 27, 2011

Today we introduce you to Selma from Woolly Boo

  • what motivated you to start your shop?

Actually, it was my neighbor and a good friend, Rachel. She loves our bedding, and she thought it would be a great fit and a transition from the craft show circuit. This was back in 2009. I had two small kids, and having to travel for craft shows with them was taking it's toll on my sanity.

  • what is the story behind your shop name?

The name was actually my husband's idea. We were brainstorming what to name this new business and we wanted to make sure that it has branding capabilities. Unfortunately, all derivatives of wool and baby were already taken. Then he said to call it "boo", because that was my term of endearment for him and our son. I was pregnant with our daughter at that time.

  • do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?

A few, actually. I love jewelry by FiligranaGallery and Metalicious, accessories by MontclairMade, stained glass by peaceloveglass, wall decals by WilsonGraphics, home accessories by MaidenLove, and the list goes on and on...

  • what surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?

The biggest surprise was how many different people liked our products. And their geographic location. Then it was how much work it takes to network and sell on Etsy. I didn't like that part. It ate up my nights and all my free time with very little effect. However, I have to congratulate Etsy on the new improvements to the search options. It has catapulted us exactly where we should be in search results, and our views/likes/hearts skyrocketed. According to Google Analytics, we get over 500 unique visitors each week, and that is amazing.

  • what do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?

Well, selling. We fill a very distinct niche in the baby bedding market, toddler bedding to be exact. And since we offer eco-luxury product, that narrows the market even further. Also, our use of organic wool has some people on the fence, because they are not familiar with the material. All of these melt away once people see our product in person, so we had to take to the road again.

  • what's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?

We set out to make the experience of healthy and peaceful sleep available to all children. Our products might require an initial investment, but that is an investment that will pay out long term dividends. Because, there is nothing more wonderful for a parent than knowing their children are sleeping safe and sound. And creating healthy sleep habits for the children will help the children as they get older. This is what our products provide. We have two ingredients: organic wool and cotton. Not too much explaining and definitely no excuses. If you don't like it as it is, than it is not for you.

  • how would someone (other then you) describe you?

Assertive, passionate, and hopefully empathetic and caring.

  • What music do you have on while you are creating?

That depends on a day. The easiest to write to is classical music, but when sewing I love to listen to a whole range of styles, from hip-hop and R&B to heavy metal and alternative rock. Yesterday it was Mumford & Sons, and today it's Black Eyed Peas. I like good music, so I try not to limit myself to English-speaking artists. Buena Vista Social Club albums are on a regular rotation, as well as Tinariwen.

  • what do you do when you aren't working?

All my free time is dedicated to my family, my husband and my kids, just because there is so little of it. The kids are at that amazing age where everything is "why?", and I absolutely love it.

  • anything else you'd like to tell us or share?

We would like to say thank you to all the wonderful EtsyKids members who have supported us over the years by making us their favorite and including us in their treasuries. We love the community feeling that has been created and we congratulate everyone, especially the team leadership, on the amazing accomplishments.

Halloween Wreath DIY Times Two!! by The Sewing Loft

Posted Monday, October 24, 2011

The cooling night air is starting to settle in which means the leaves will soon turn and the fall season will be here soon! To prep for the change of seasons and Halloween I thought it was time to add a wreath to the door. This super simple craft will transform your front door in no time flat! You just need to pick- will you make it spooky or sweet?

This project is for sewers or all levels.
Skill Level- 1 Button

  • Wreath form (I picked up a 14" straw wreath from my local craft store. $3.99)
  • 1/2yard muslin
  • Colored Tee's (I used cream, orange & black)
  • Straight pins
  • Scraps of fabric
  • Sewing machine or needle & thread
  • Optional- Sequins or buttons
Basic instructions:
  1. To cover the wreath form I ripped the muslin into 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" strips. Just clip the fabric at the selvage and rip from side to side. This will create a frayed effect and help create the "mummy" look. (no ironing is needed!)
  2. Using straight pins, pin the end of muslin on the back of wreath. (I even left the plastic on mine. This way it will not breakdown from the elements of mother nature!) Wrap the muslin around and around, pin in place.
  3. .Repeat until the wreath is covered. (You could use hot glue but I like the option of "reusing" the wreath!)

4. Cut your tee shirts and scraps into strips of 1 1/2" wide. (Note, I made one black strip 3" wide. It created the big flower.) If you would like to use printed woven fabric for this step be sure to fold it in half, wrong sides together and then stitch. This will give you the print on both sides.
5. Using your sewing machine on a basic straight stitch - longest length, stitch down the center of each strip. Be sure not to backstitch and leave long tails at each end.(**If you do not have a machine, this step can be done with a needle and thread.)
6.Pull one thread of long tail to create gathers in each strip.
7. One strip at a time, pin to form at the stitch line. Wrap the strip around center and continue to pin in the center. Do not worry, the fullness from the fabric will hide the pins. When flower is desired size, trim strip and pin down behind fabric.

8. Alternating fabrics, continue to create flowers around form. I applied flowers to the lower portion of the wreath.
9. Once you have applied the desired amount of flowers you can create a "hanger" from the strips of ripped muslin . Just take one strip and create a loop at the top edge. Pin in place at the back of wreath.

Now, if you want to make your wreath a bit more spooky, you can add a spider webs and a few friends.

  • a few plastic spiders (I used a few rings from last year)
  • bits from an old worn out wig (again, from last year)
  • spray glitter
  1. Cut a few thin sections of the wig from the underside. Tuck the strands in between the flowers. Pin if needed. Wrap the strands under and over until you have desired web. (Note- you can also use a store bought web.)
  2. Since my web is black the spiders did not pop. So, I found a can of spray glitter in the art closet and added some sparkle! A few blasts and they were all set. Just simply tuck in place.
So, which one do you like better? Please share photos on my facebook page!

Happy Crafting!

Be sure to visit The Sewing Loft and  her creations at:
 Etsy Shop

What Every Breast Cancer Survivor Needs ~shared by GigiCreations

Posted Sunday, October 23, 2011

One of our EtsyKids Team members, GigiCreations, shared this post of her volunteer experience at The Little Pink Houses of Hope Retreat who provide breast cancer survivors and their families some much need R& R.  Thank you Stephanie ~ GigiCreations for sharing this wonderful place with us.
A couple of weeks ago, I was given the unique opportunity to volunteer at a Little Pink retreat. This one was held in Nags Head, North Carolina and it was my first trip to the Outer Banks. Little Pink Houses of Hope provides beach retreats for breast cancer survivors and their families. This is an emotionally-charged week with an outpouring of love like you, quite possibly, have never experienced in your life.. seriously. Little Pink has sponsored 7 retreats this year, with plans to offer more in 2012. If you're interested in a domestic mission trip like no other, you can apply to volunteer with them directly on their website.

One of the activity highlights from the week was hang gliding at Jockey Ridge State Park in Kitty Hawk with Kitty Hawk Kites. Amazing day! Seeing these survivors enjoy their families doing things they had yet to experience was sheer delight. We giggled and cried a LOT that evening and loved the gorgeous sunset over the bay in the distance. Truly a day to remember :)
I thought you guys might enjoy seeing our view from Nags Head :) Here are quite a few photos!

The village where the LPHOH Volunstar House was located..


See the crab below?
Hiking the sand dune to get started gliding!!
People on another dune looked tiny!
That was ME with a perfect landing, thank you very much!!
It felt really amazing to be out there.. so beautiful.
The instructors carried those gliders back up the dunes over 50x.. I can't imagine doing that all day long!
One of the LPHOH Volunstars with our Kitty Hawk Kites instructors.

Our smallest glider getting locked in.
Take off!!
To infinity and beyond!!!
One of our instructors
Another Volunstar conquering her fear of heights and the unknown.
Sunset over Jockey Ridge
Hope you guys have a super week!!

EtsyKids Design Challenge: It's time to Vote!

Posted Friday, October 21, 2011

It's time to vote for your favorite item! Voting will be open through midnight EST, October 27th. This month, EtsyKids members were challenged to create an exciting new item based on a theme "Pumpkins, Skulls, Pirates Oh MY!". We received a bunch of fantastic entries from some talented people. Each participant was assigned a unique random number. Please note your favorite from the list below and place your vote. You can also view each entry in detail by clicking on links provided at the bottom of this post or HERE

(If you can't view the voting poll above, please follow HERE to vote.) 
  1. ladesigns2
  2. handprintlady
  3. Embroidered Treasures
  4. angelswan81
  5. CreartivityDesigns
  6. marykaren
  7. TheRoyalDetails
  8. TriedAndTrueDesigns
  9. MyLovebugBaby
  10. SweeterThanSweets
  11. SimplySublimeBaby
  12. Sweetiebugs
  13. littlepearlquilts
  14. That's The Cutest Thing
  15. AddieKaeSnaps
  16. Crafty Beever
  17. StoryBuilderToys
  18. mamieco
  19. bebbyjumpers
  20. felted kitten
  21. Lil Noodle Bug
  22. FireflyBlankets
  23. QuiltedHugsBibs
  24. Ana's Baby Couture
  25. YourLittleCupcake
  26. auntierobin
  27. lovebugsbyemily
  28. Upsy Daisy Creations
  29. atutudes
  30. OriginaliteeToo
  31. Petite Fish
  32. BabyChicCreations
  33. TheDragonflyPrincess
  34. leighandmichael
  35. RedKoalaArt
  36. ScarlettDaisies
  37. tinystitches
  38. thatmoxiegirl
  39. maxandmagnolia
  40. Mysticmoor
  41. SultrySplendor
  42. Cuddlehugs Boutique
  43. IrishHooksAndYarn
  44. Cutie Flair
  45. onceuponahook
  46. Zookies
  47. audreyroseboutique
  48. graceparks
  49. SewBrookstone
  50. BuggleandBoo
  51. aunttscloset
  52. ThisNThatBoutique 
  53. cortsthings
  54. Trendylilmonkey
  55. dragonflybowtique
  56. tagd
  57. MorningTempest
  58. alaapron
  59. SadieBloomDesigns
  60. TheFeltedPear
  61. prettybowtique
  62. creature crawlers
  63. SugarPlumFairyBows
  64. mypoplin
  65. puzzledone
  66. tenderblue
  67. abcchildren
  68. sweetchildofmine7
  69. babswool
  70. tzburps
  71. thevoodookitten
  72. AdrianasCloset
  73. RockerByeBaby
  74. yourmomdesigns
  75. westmama
  76. tinyroseboutique
  77. boutiqueluckystars
  78. thepolkadottotspot
  79. kendrasred
  80. corinnascreations
  81. Bibmababy
  82. kangacoo
  83. vivyscloset
  84. MyArtsyBaby
  85. fabricfunetc
  86. thomaspark

Introducing Hazelrah - Plain Folk Crafts!

Posted Thursday, October 20, 2011

Today we introduce you to Sarah of Hazelrah - Plain Folk Crafts

  • what motivated you to start your shop?

When my first son was born back in 2005, I went back to work after six months, but after considering how much we spent on daycare versus my income we made a decision that I would stay at home and I've been ever since. However, I've never been one to sit still and I began looking for way to make a little something from home to keep myself busy. I had previously been considering a career in illustration, but unfortunately that took far too much time and then I started tinkering with cloth dolls. I remembered how much I loved my rag dolls as a child and I started working on creating soft dolls that incorporated that love combined with my interest in pioneer life and clothing. I also have much admired the Amish culture I grew up around in New York and, living in Oregon at the time, wanted to make their wonderful dolls available for those who may be many miles from an Amish settlement. My children motivated me to incorporate the children's clothing, as I became more confident in making clothes for them, I ventured into new territory and now really enjoy using vintage patterns and the challenge they bring.

  • what is the story behind your shop name?

When I started the shop I simply wanted something that alluded to the content of the shop. I have heard of the Amish people referred to as the "plain people" and this inspired the name "Plain Folk Crafts". Not wanting to limit myself to just dolls, I included the "crafts" part because at the time I was also creating gourd birdhouses as well as prints of various illustrations I had done prior to opening the shop.

  • do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?

Well, even though this one is arguable, I absolutely love the illustrations here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/HidenSeek While they are based in fairy tales and folklore (a personal passion), there is certainly a dark twist that caters far more to adults than children.

  • what surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?

I think the thing that surprised me the most initially was that anyone bought anything! Mostly though, the biggest surprise, and the most pleasant, has been the feedback and wonderful e-mails I have received from my buyers. I know that my sales are comparatively low to many other shops, but those people whom I have had the pleasure of working with have really become the primary reason I continue to do this.

  • what do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?

The most challenging issue I think I've had is pricing. When I really take inventory on how much time I spend on an order or a ready-made item and then figure in fabric costs, gas, etc. I know I'm coming up behind. But at the same time, I want to be affordable, it's a tough call sometimes. The other challenge I've had is not being able to afford an adjustable mannequin, as I know it would be a nice touch and give a bit of continuity to the shop images, someday!

  • what's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?

Simply, to make a product with the kind of craftsmanship I would want to receive, at a reasonable price.

  • how would someone (other then you) describe you?

I think they'd say I was pretty driven, perhaps trying to do too much, but definitely passionate about all the hats I wear.

  • what music do you have on while you are creating?

When I work, the music needs to be soft and mellow, so I mostly listen to soundtracks or instrumentals. Discovering Pandora has been a Godsend the last year! I have always been an artist so the music I listen to now is pretty much the same music I worked to at 12!

  • what do you do when you aren't working or volunteering?

My three children (6, 4, and 1) keep me busy 24/7! And I’ve recently added school to that, as I attempt to finally finish up my bachelor's degree. I also try to volunteer as much as possible at my sons' school, and this year I'll be helping with Cub Scouts as well...phew, is that enough?

  • anything else you'd like to tell us or share?

I'm just really glad for the opportunity to answer these questions and share a little bit about me and my shop. I look forward to reading everyone else's responses as well, during nap time of course!

Free Printable Owl Invitations from Westmama Designs

Posted Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Are you ready for some super cute owl fun?  
Westmama Designs has made up these great FREE Owl printables for your child's next Birthday Party Invitations and Thank You Notes!
Take a peek here, but be sure to visit Westmama Designs to download and print them.

For more great items form Westmama Designs please visit her

EtsyKids Design Challenge for October: Pumpkins, Skulls, Pirates Oh MY!

Posted Tuesday, October 18, 2011

(Via Flickr:  halloween, pirate, spider, moon, pumpkin, ghost)

Each month EtsyKids Team members are challenged to create a unique item within a chosen theme. "Pumpkins, Skulls, Pirates Oh MY!" is our challenge for October, picked by our last month's winner Cranky Cat Studios (TheVoodooKitten).  Halloween decor, games, treats, fashion and costumes!

EtsyKids members will have until October 19th to submit their entries, and voting will be open to everybody from Friday, October 21st to Thursday, October 27th. So, be sure to come back to the EtsyKids blog for a new post on the 21st to see all of the entries and VOTE! In the meantime, please click here to get a sneak peek at some exciting entries so far!

In The News: Nini's Handmades

Posted Monday, October 17, 2011

What exciting new from a fellow EtsyKids Team mate!  Nini of  Ninis' Handmades was contacted by Parent Guide News and was told her Glitzy Pumpkin Hat  was chosen to be on the front cover of the October Issue of Parent Guide News!!   Nini sent them the photo taken  by Kimberly G Photography and patiently waited for October to come.  

Congratulations Nini on your item being featured on the cover!

Be sure to visit Nini and her adorable creations

Fall Toss Game for your Haloween Party DIY by The Sewing Loft

Posted Sunday, October 16, 2011

The leaves are starting to turn and it is time to pick apples, carve pumpkins and have fun in the corn maze with friends! Sounds like the perfect combination for a fall party! Which means, activities. This super simple game is perfect for Halloween parties, fall festivities and even class room fun!

This project is for sewers with basic skills.
Skill Level- 1 1/2 Buttons
  • Box
  • Box Cutter
  • Ruler
  • Marker or Pencil
  • Paint & Basic Supplies
  • Heavy Weight Fabric
  • Fabric in Contrast Colors
  • Heat & Bond Ultra
  • 1 2lb bag of Black Eyed Peas
  • Thread, Sewing Machine, Iron
**Note that I used old jeans for the base of each bag and old tee shirts for the leaf pattern on the front. (No fabric was purchased.)
Basic instructions for Box:
  1. To create the angle on your box measure 3” across the opening at one edge. Then up 1” from the bottom. Take your ruler and connect the lines. Repeat to other side. Connect lines across the side. (This is your cutting line.)
  2. On the bottom of the box, sketch out your design. Have fun here. (I just used a bowl for shape.)
  3. It is best to cut the design first. Then the sides. Please take care when cutting.
  4. Paint box in your desired color. I painted mine brown. I just used craft paint I had on hand.
  5. Set aside to work on bags.
Basic instructions for Bags:
  1. To create the base for the 6 bags cut 12 squares 5 1/2" large.
  2. For the leaf pattern I looked to Mother Nature for the perfect pattern. (That’s right, not need to reinvent the wheel here! Just take a stroll outside and look in the trees.) I outlined my leave to a piece of cardboard and cut out. This is your templates for the top of bags.
  3. Apply Heat & Bond to wrong side of each fabric for your design. Draw & cut out shapes.
  4. Following the directions on the Heat & Bond package, peel the backer away and apply design to the front side of your bag. *Be careful, not to iron on the wrong side of fabric. Once in place, the bond is strong and it will not come off. To create the vines in the leaves, I used my sewing machine and applied a straight stitch in a contrasting color.
  5. To join the bags together, line up the front and back of bags right sides together. Using 3/8" seam allowance and the straight stitch on your sewing machine, stitch bags together. Start 1" in from the edge of one side and stitch all around the bag and stop 1" after the last corner. Be sure to back stitch for strength at start and stop. Clip corners and turn right side out.
  6. Fill bag with approx 3/4 cup of Black Eyed Peas, fold under the seam allowance and stitch the last side closed. ** Do not over fill. You will not be able to stitch the last seam closed.
  7. Clip all loose threads for a finished look.
Now, I know that I was super loose with the photos on this one but if you click here (and check out pages 6 & 7), you can see the Halloween Smash Game DIY with full pattern I made for Green Child Magazine... Super Cute right!! I am so doing this for my daughter's Halloween Class Party!! Be sure to drop me a line or share on the facebook page photos of your Toss Game!

Happy Crafting!

Be sure to visit The Sewing Loft and  her creations at:
 Etsy Shop

Crafting for a Cure

Posted Saturday, October 15, 2011

Breast Cancer touches the lives of so many. My grandmothers were survivors, my mother is a survivor, many good friends are survivors. 

October is a month filled with pink ... pink to remind us of the devastation that Breast Cancer brings to each man and woman whose body it attacks and the importance of supporting amazing charities that provide essential research funds, moving us closer and closer to finding a cure. 

Three amazing EtsyKids team members are Crafting for a Cure, donating 25-50% the sale of their item to a well deserving Cancer Charity.  Make your dollar do double duty and purchase one of these items.  You will not only receive an amazing handcrafted tooth fairy pillow, blanket or print, but you will help researchers find better drugs and treatments, better methods of detection, better preventative practices with the portion of your purchase going to worthy charities.  

Tooth Fairy Pillow, Miss Petunia Pretty Pants by kookycritters
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, $5 from the sale of this Critter will go to nationalbreastcancer.org.

No Monkey Business - Find a Cure Activity Blanket & Plush Toy Set by myminimocs
50% of the proceeds from the sale of this limited edition blanket & plush toy set will go to a Breast Cancer Awareness Charity. 

Believe in Yourself, 5x7" Print, Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month by ZavalickDesigns
During October, $5 of the sale of these prints (pink design only) will be donated to the American Cancer Society

Introducing Kendrasred!

Posted Thursday, October 13, 2011

Today we introduce you to Kendra of Kendrasred

  • What motivated you to start your shop?

When one of my best friends was married a few years ago, she hired gourmet taco trucks for her reception dinner. To support this amazing choice, I silkscreened an 'i love tacos' onesie for my baby to wear. It was a hit, and I began making them for friends, their friends and more friends' friends. My first listing was this silkscreened onesie (http://www.etsy.com/transaction/53264802), and my Etsy shop has evolved dramatically for me since.

  • What is the story behind your shop name?

'Kendrasred' was my first email/screen name from back in the 90s, so I went with it again for consistency. But once I began taking my business more seriously, I referred to my shop as 'Big Bridge Studios' (though it remains 'kendrasred' on Etsy) -- not only do I marvel at the Verrazano Bridge everyday, and feel inspired by it, but Big Bridge is also a metaphor for bridging a gap, and finding my way to the 'other side.'

  • Do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?

I have several, but I've been a long-time fan of www.nervoussystem.etsy.com and www.ashhilton.etsy.com -- both have exceptional jewelry. I also send my misprints to the upcyclers at www.citymade.etsy.com, who turn my botched tees into super cool bags and scarves and other great stuff. As far as business advice and inspiration, I always look to my super-savvy and super-talented friend at www.metalissa.etsy.com.

  • What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?

That so many people would love what I love making.

  • What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?

Getting my name out there, finding ways to get more clicks, wanting like crazy to get on the front page and get featured and so on, but not sure/not confident about how to do so.

  • What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?

I've realized that if I'm not entirely confident about every single part of my product -- whether it's the fabric, the brand, the make up of the ink, the packaging, my business cards -- I feel uncomfortable, I lose gusto, and it stalls my success.

  • How would someone (other than yourself) describe you?

I think I come across fairly confident and creative. Hard-working. Reliable.

  • What music do you have on while you are creating?

Much to my husband's chagrin, I really love putting on the Music for Aardvark's channel that I created on Pandora. It's upbeat, unintrusive, and, like the smell of gingerbread, reminds me of how much joy being a mom has brought to my life.

  • What do you do when you aren't working?

I'm a SAHM of a three year old boy, and we spend a great deal of our time at the numerous parks in Brooklyn and on walks along the Hudson River.

  • Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?

Even though I had worked several years in Manhattan in the graphic arts and in printmaking, it wasn't until I had my son that I started creatively 'winging it.' A gigantic high five to Etsy for providing me (and so many others) the opportunity to give my ideas a shot and put them out into the world.

Tutorial:: Blow Your Nose

Posted Tuesday, October 11, 2011

This is a super easy project that anyone can do! With allergy season hanging on for dear life, and cold and flu season right on our heels, we thought we'd help you cut some money out of your budget and some extra paper from the landfill, and share TheCrazyElephant's tutorial for making your own fabric facial tissues.

Michelle (TheCrazyElephant) says, my favorite fabrics to use for facial tissues are flannel, which can be 1 layer, or t-shirt material. This is a great way to use old shirts or other clothing items.

Once selecting your fabric, decide how large you would like them to be. I either use an actual kleenex as a pattern or work with the size of my fabric. Next you sew 1/4" from the edge and then cut around the square using pinking sheers.  And you are ready to use your fabric tissue. I like to use 1 layer of fabric for heavier materials like flannel, but do 2 layers for lighter materials.

We just switched to fabric last year and I am very happy! None of us got the crusty, red, dried out noses that we always got with paper. It was a very comfortable winter.

TheCrazyElephant blog.
TheCrazyElephant on Etsy.

World Smile Day!

Posted Friday, October 07, 2011

Happy World Smile Day!!

"Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile"!

"As is well known by now throughout the world Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts created the smiley face in 1963. That image went on to become the most recognizable symbol of good will and good cheer on the planet.

As the years passed Harvey Ball became concerned about the over-commercialization of his symbol, and how its original meaning and intent had become lost in the constant repetition of the marketplace. Out of that concern came his idea for World Smile Day®. He thought that we, all of us, should devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world. The smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion. Harvey’s idea was that for at least one day each year, neither should we. He declared that the first Friday in October each year would henceforth be World Smile Day®. Ever since that first World Smile Day® held in 1999, it has continued every year in Smiley's hometown of Worcester, MA and around the world.

After Harvey died in 2001, the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation was created to honor his name and memory. The Foundation continues as the official sponsor of World Smile Day® each year.

This website was created to provide information about World Smile Day®, Harvey Ball and Smiley. Browse the archives to learn more about past World Smile Day® events, Smiley and his creator - Harvey Ball. And be sure to join the celebration this year on Friday, October 7th, and "Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile"!"

This and more about World Smile day can be found on the World Smile Day Website http://www.worldsmileday.com/

Enjoy these EtsyKids Team items that will put a smile on your face.

Meet TheTrendyTot!

Posted Thursday, October 06, 2011

Today we introduce you to EtsyKids Team Member Jen of The Trendy Tot

  • what motivated you to start your shop?

I've worked for many years in product development and consumer products marketing but gave it up to stay at home after my second child was born. Somewhere in between changing diapers and running to soccer practice, I re-discovered my creative side. I taught myself to sew and started making clothes for my daughter. People started taking notice and asking where I got her clothes and if I would make them for their kids. I loved the idea of having a small home-based business that utilized both my business background and my creative side, but I could still have time with my kids. I had been a buyer on etsy and loved the community. It was relatively low risk to set up a shop there, so I jumped right in and never looked back!

  • what is the story behind your shop name?

I was looking for a name that conveyed I had cool things for little ones. I had a bunch of names and this one cleared my trademark search so I picked it.

  • do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?

Oh this is a tough one, I have so many shops I love! Aside from the obvious fabric shops, I love reiter8's recycled sail pillows and bags, tinybully's fingerless gloves and my most favorite etsy purchase of all was a whale from MorningStarDesign.

  • what surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?

Honestly? How much work it really takes to get started. That first year was like having a new baby--I don't think I slept that entire year.

  • what do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?

Believe it or not, the business end is not the most challenging for me. I have a business background and MBA, so that part comes easy. The sewing was the hardest thing for me. I had never sewn anything other than a button until 3.5 years ago. I didn't even know how to thread a machine, much less a serger. I often found it frustrating that I couldn't execute the designs I had sketched out. I've really had to push myself out of my comfort zone and learn a lot about fabric, technique and equipment in a short time while others have been perfecting these skills for a lifetime. It requires lots of patience and focus. Thankfully I learn fast, and I practice A LOT. I've also become friendly with several other etsy sellers like Kiki from The Measure, Jayme from Lillipops and Julie from Zozobugbaby and they have taught me quite a bit!

  • what's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?

I love making unique, bold, colorful, fun clothes kids love, but that are practical for mom and every day life. I despise those handmade clothes that can't be machine washed and dried. Who has time to hand wash or dryclean kids clothes? Clothes need to work for active kiddos who crawl, run, jump and get dirty. I use the highest quality materials in everything I do. I test all products on kids and in the wash before I sell them. If it doesn't hold up--it doesn't get sold. Happy Clothes for Little Ones. That's what it's all about.

  • how would someone (other then yourself) describe you?

I think other people would describe me as creative and resilient. I'm a big believer of when a door closes a window always opens. Tomorrow is always another day to be and do something new.

  • what music do you have on while you are creating?

My musical taste is kind of all over the place. I think the only type of music that I *don't* have on my ipod when I'm creating are rap and country music. I could be listening to Van Morrison one minute and old Cure albums the next. I also find classical music very stimulating to have on in the studio when I'm working.

  • what do you do when you aren't working?

When I get free time to myself I enjoy interior design, reading, sailing, playing with my kids and hunting for the perfect find at local antique stores. ...And wishing I had more free time!

  • anything else you'd like to tell us or share?

I always tell my kids at bedtime (especially when it's been a challenging day for them and me) that tomorrow is a new day--and a chance to start fresh. Take that opportunity!

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