February 2012 EtsyKids Desktop Background

Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Here is the desktop calendar for February 2012! This month it is all about the love with feature items in red and pink and full of hearts! You can see a treasury of all these items here.

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Homemade Spice Blends

Posted Monday, January 30, 2012

Today we have a guest post from Sweet Child of Mine.

I love cooking and trying new flavors, so I have an extensive variety of spices. As a way to save money and avoid MSG and sugar, I decided to put together my own spice blends. Having my own spice blends on hand is definitely a time-saver too. I just make enough to fill an old seasoning container, then when I need it for a recipe, I just shake the spices in. Here are my recipes for taco, ranch and poultry seasoning.

Taco Seasoning:
  • 6T chili powder
  • 5T paprika
  • 4.5T cumin
  • 2.5T onion powder
  • .5t cayenne pepper
  • 1T oregano
  • 1T coarse salt
  • 1T garlic powder
Mix all of these into an empty spice shaker, ziplock bag or airtight container. Use in any recipe that you'd normally use a pre-packaged taco seasoning.

Ranch Seasoning:
  • 4T parsley
  • 3T pepper
  • 4T season salt
  • 2T garlic powder
  • 1T onion powder
  • .5T thyme
  • 3T chives
  • 3T dill
Mix all of these into an empty spice shaker, ziplock bag or airtight container. Use in any recipe that you'd normally use a pre-packaged ranch seasoning. Mix into sour cream for a delicious dip without all of the additives of store-bought dip.

Poultry Seasoning:
  • 4T salt
  • 2T paprika
  • 1T cayenne pepper
  • 1T onion powder
  • 1T thyme
  • 1T white pepper
  • 1T garlic powder
  • 1T black pepper
  • 1T curry powder
Mix all of these into an empty spice shaker, ziplock bag or airtight container. I use this on all of the poultry that I cook. It makes a nice rub for chicken and turkey, and I also shake some over boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

EtsyKids Design Challenge: We have a Winner!

Posted Saturday, January 28, 2012

Congratulations to the winner of our January's challenge, Valentine's Day Bow - Kisses for Sale - Layered Boutique Bow by LittleTrendsBoutique!

This lovely Etsy boutique features the latest styles and trends for children in headbands, pacifier clips, hats, and a large variety of bows.  All are handmade to order just for you.  You can visit LittleTrendsBoutique right here.

Introducing Melon Dot

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012

Today we introduce you to Sarah from Melon Dot!

Q: What motivated you to start your shop?
I started my shop after inheriting my gramma's sewing machine. She was a master crafter of all kinds. I wish I would have learned my from her.

Q:  What is the story behind your shop name?
My shop name came from brainstorming. I listed lots of different things/words that I like and tested out combos. Melon also represents some of my favorite colors: pink and green.

Q:  Do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?
I do not have one particular etsy shop that I am a fan of. I have been doing a lot of looking in shops that feature wall art recently looking for items to add to the walls in our new home! A shop called rookies also has some seriously scrumptious looking desserts.

Q:  What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
I really enjoy having an etsy shop. My favorite thing about running my etsy shop is meeting so many people and crafting something unique just for them or the little one in their life.

Q:  What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
The most challenging obstacle in being an etsy seller is staying on top of everything. I create extra work for myself when I am not organized because I double and triple check myself. Now that I have my own workspace and am not constantly clearing projects from a family space it is much easier.

Q:  What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
My personal philosophy behind my shop and products is to be open and honest. I love providing options and being confronted with new ideas from buyers.

Q:  How would someone (other then you) describe you?
Someone else would describe me as caring, positive, and strong.

Q:  What music do you have on while you are creating?
 My kids provide all the music in our house! Usually my sewing time is calm time.

Q:  What do you do when you aren't working?
When I am not working, I am with my kids helping them create. They have projects galore to do! They go through a lot of glue and felt and string.

Q:  Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
I am in awe of all things etsy.

Curling up with a good book

Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Today we have Posies and Petals guest posting with us!

Winter is a great time to curl up with a great book. I relish that quality time with my kids and recently we've had quite alot of it. So I asked Will to bring me his two favorite books, I wasn't surprised that he couldn't stop at two. First he brought me these two....


then these....

and lastly this one.

They are all fantastic books that I have enjoyed in my classroom as well as my living room. Today we spent a little extra time with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. We made a tree and used our letter magnets to retell the story. First Will and I, then Will and his dad, then lastly Will told the story to his sister Caroline, who sat and watched in amazement.

Then we just happened to have some animal crackers shaped like letters, so we acted it out again over snack! I love when things work out like that. Tomorrow, we will look for number magnets to act out Chicka Chicka 123.

What are your favorite books right now? For yourself and your kids? I always love hearing new titles!

Chinese New Year - Lantern Printable

Posted Monday, January 23, 2012

Today is Chinese New Year!! 2012 is the year of the dragon

To celebrate I have a fun printable to share with you! Chinese Paper Lanterns

Download in black & white
Download in colour

1.  Print out the lantern. You can print off the black and white version if printing onto red paper, or if you want to make a fun colouring activities with the kids.

2. Cut out the lanterns. Cut along the solid black lines, and fold along the dashed black lines.

3.  Starting at one end of the lantern, glue or tape each of the tabs onto the next panel of the lantern. Keep going all the way around the lantern, for the top and bottom tabs. When you reach the end, glue the last tabs onto the first panel.

4.  Punch two holes at the top of the lantern (where indicated with black dots). Thread the lanterns onto some string, or onto some fairy lights like I did. Do not place a flame inside the lanterns.

EtsyKids Design Challenge: It's time to Vote!

Posted Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's time to vote for your favorite item! Voting will be open until January 27th. This month, EtsyKids members were challenged to create an exciting new item based on a theme "Love & Kisses". We received a bunch of fantastic entries from some talented people. Please vote for your favourite item from the list below.

Salt Paintings

Posted Friday, January 20, 2012

By: Cori of Peace, Baby! Batiks

Winter hasn’t snowed us in yet in Maryland (we’re still waiting!), but we have had several windy, chilly days that have kept my son and I inside and looking for things to do. A couple of days ago, I found directions for salt painting in a science activity book I bought my son (he’s 4) for Christmas.

Man, did they come out cool!

Here’s what you need:

Paint (I used poster paint)
Heavy paper (I used cardstock)
Large-grain salt (I used Kosher salt)

First, pick a couple of paint colors. We used purple, yellow, green, and glittery red, but I’d recommend darker colors so the effect of the salt shows up well. (It got lost a little on the yellow.) Then, water down the paint so it’s fairly thin.

The instructions I had showed dragons, so my son decided he wanted to make dinosaurs. We drew our dinosaurs in pencil on the cardstock and painted over them. We didn’t worry about staying inside the lines; I cut them out after they were dry. Put a lot of paint on your drawing. You want lots of liquid for the salt to soak up.

While the paint is still wet, sprinkle lots of salt all over your artwork. Set aside to dry.

When the paint is dry, brush off the salt grains, and you’ll see that wherever there was a salt grain, you’ll see a darker patch of paint. If you’d like, add detail to your drawing with a marker. We cut our drawings out and mounted them on black construction paper.

Here’s the science bit: The salt crystals absorb the water from the paint around it, leaving dark spots where the crystals were because there was more paint there and elsewhere on the paper. Try larger-grain salt for bigger dark spots!

Introducing Booger & Tash!

Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012

Today we introduce you to Vickie from Booger & Tash!

Q: What motivated you to start your shop?
I first started my shop when my youngest daughter (my middle child) was 2 1/2, I was looking for children & baby items that were cute, but also trendy & unique, and I just wasn't able to find that in the stores/ malls. I knew that I could make the things that I wanted & I figured that others were probably looking for the same things too, so I opened my shop.

Q: What is the story behind your shop name?
My shop - Booger & Tash is named after the nicknames that I call my daughters (Brianna - Booger, & Natasha - Tash)

Q: Do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?
Oooh, there are so many great shops on etsy! A few of my (non-child related) favorites are http://www.etsy.com/shop/JennifersJewels where I get my labels, http://www.etsy.com/shop/goosegrease so cute!, http://www.etsy.com/shop/sunshineceramics made the most beautiful christmas ornaments for me a couple of years ago, http://www.etsy.com/shop/PolishedProductions?ref=ss_profile makes lovely frames, http://www.etsy.com/shop/shopsaplingpress her stuff just makes me laugh!, http://www.etsy.com/shop/scratchandsniff?ref=ss_profile Lou made me a very cherished silhoutte of our late dog & of course, my sister's new shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/MissVeraVintage?ref=ss_profile for vintage barbies

Q: What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
Custom requests! I always find it surprising when someone requests something that doesn't really fall into a catagory of my shop, I recently made a couple of pairs of suspenders for a bride's fiance for their wedding, & a minky pillowcase/ sleepingbag for a puppy to sleep in!

Q: What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
Shipping costs & delivery times. I live in Canada, shipping from here is very expensive & often takes 2 - 3 weeks, especially if the order has to cross the border.

Q: What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
I want to make items that are modern & hip, but also will stand the test of time. I want the customer to know that I take pride in every item I make & choose the best supplies, from the fabrics to packaging.

Q: How would someone (other then you) describe you?
People I know, would describe me as calm, patient, even tempered & kind.

Q: What music do you have on while you are creating?
I don't, usually just the hum of the sewing machine & the sound of my son snoring in his highchair beside me :)

Q: What do you do when you aren't working?
Well, I have 3 young children (2 girls & a boy) so, when I'm not working, I'm usually driving them to school, library storytime, gymboree or playing with & taking care of them.

Q: Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
I love that I have found Etsy (& EtsyKids Team) A place where I am free to sew/ create & meet new people. I love hearing about how customers use the items that I create, the stories behind custom requests & the pictures that customers share with me.

How to make cupcake toppers tutorial

Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Today April of kidEprints has a lovely tutorial to share with our readers. kidEprints sells a variety of lovely printable tags including a lovely collection of valentine themed ones!

April has written a really useful tutorial on how to turn printables into cute cupcake toppers.

The first step is to print your digital file. If printing with a JPEG image, treat it like a digital photo and try not to use any margins. Photo printers are the only printers that will allow for borderless or no margin printing. If you need to use margins, use the smallest size available (usually 1/8 inch).

Next, using your paper punch, centre the image and punch out a topper, repeat for all of them.

Place one topper face down and glue a lollipop stick to the centre back. The best glues are thick and acid free, or you can use a hot glue gun. You can find lollipop sticks and most major craft stores.

Add a bit of glue around the outer edge of your topper and stick a second topper on top so your cupcake topper is double sided. Place in your cupcake and you're done!!

EtsyKids Design Challenge for January: Love and Kisses

Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Scattering Petals for Your Valentine" via here

"Love & kisses" is our challenge for January, picked by our last month's winner thatmoxiegirl & bisongirl.  With Valentines day quickly approaching what a perfect theme for this months design challenge than love and kisses!

EtsyKids members will have until January 20th to submit their entries, and voting will be open to everybody from Friday, January 21st to Friday, January 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!

Introducing FiestaKids Boutique!

Posted Thursday, January 12, 2012

Today we introduce you to Laura from FiestaKids Boutique!

  • What motivated you to start your shop?
I had always been searching for a "venue" to sell my crafts on-line and had tried others but then I found Etsy and thought I'd give it a try; my first item sold within 24 hrs and that was two years ago.

  • What is the story behind your shop name?
Fiesta means a celebration, a party, something that everyone enjoys and little kids are always excited about.

  • Do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?
Many, many shops, it is hard to choose one, but one of my favorites is http://www.etsy.com/shop/wendymarsh I have bought several items from her, 100% beautiful.

  • What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
That I get to meet and connect with people from all over the world, that is so fantastic!! I love so much what I do, that I found my true passion in life!

  • What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
Being unique, everyone is so talented!!

  • What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
To make items that I would use on my own kids, if they were little or I had grandchildren :o) or that I would love to receive as a gift. I try to keep happy clients so they feel confident with their purchases and come back again and again.

  • How would someone (other then you) describe you?
Witty, always creative, hard working and very passionate about her business.

  • What music do you have on while you are creating?
Depends on the "day of the month" (LOL!!)

  • What do you do when you aren't working?
I actually don´t call it work, I would do this even if I had not opened a shop. The few hours of the day that I am not doing anything related to my shop, I work on my garden, I visit my family or friends, I also love working on new projects for my home; cooking at our family gatherings; watching the CA sunsets!!

  • Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
These last 2 years have been so awesome for me, I have met so many wonderful people, have learned a lot about networking, joining a team, maintaining a business, etc that I only wish for more of the same and to anyone who is not sure if the time is right for them to try it, I can only say JUST TRY IT here on Etsy!

Kim Siebold Studios steps into the publishing world

Posted Saturday, January 07, 2012

As far back as I can remember, I have always been interested in drawing and illustrating. I remember many days of coloring with my crayons, writing stories, illustrating and creating books. I recall wining poster contests in grade school and actually getting in trouble for focusing on “only the art”. So it was only natural that I went to college for a B.F.A. in Graphic Design and also picked up a B.A. in Communications. I always knew that art, drawing and design was my passion. After college, I pursued my career working at many ad agencies, design firms, owning my own businesses and always dabbled in my enterpenurial spirit whether I was working full-time for myself or for a company. As my children grew older and didn’t need as much “parental attention” (code phrase for wanting to hang out with their friends more than their parents), I fulfilled my extra time with illustrating and creating art.

I learned about Etsy in early 2009 and thought this would be a great way to showcase my work and make some extra money is the process. I opened my shop (Kim Siebold Studios) in November 2009 and within a few weeks, I had been contacted by a wonderful woman who is now my literary agent. She was inspired by one polar bear drawing on my Etsy shop. Shortly thereafter, I was offerred a book deal based on this illustration. Over the course of 2010, I learned about the exciting world of publishing and worked on finalizing the illustration for Starry Night, Hold Me Tight. The final book was release in October of 2011. It is so exciting to see my book in stores such as Barnes and Noble and Pottery Barn Kids, as well as many of the .com shops such as Amazon and Target.

Starry Night, Hold Me Tight is a book written for ages 4 and up.
Gather your little cubs and snuggle up for bedtime with Starry Night, Hold Me Tight. It is a story full of humor, love, and motherly wisdom, intermixed with wintry activities such as sledding and making snow angels. In this charming picture book, Baby Bear learns how to share with friends, put away his toys, and that throwing snowballs at Momma Bear is not polite! With warm, lovable verse and simplistic, adorable illustrations, this book will turn nighttime routines into treasured time together.

You can read more about this book and download colorsheets and activies at starrynightbook.com! Follow me as well on Facebook.

So my Etsy success story didn’t just end with one book, but two books! My personalized alphabet animal illustrations resulted in a second book offer. ABC Now You See Me will be release in March/April 2012. ABC, Now You See Me is a padded-cover introduction to the alphabet features a sequence of endearing animals that peek out from beneath interactive flaps and correspond to the letters they accompany, including an Alligator, a Bunny and more. I cannot wait to see the final product! It is available at this time for pre-ordering on many .coms such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. As it comes closer to the release date, I will find out which stores will carry it. You can follow this book for the latest information on Facebook. Wouldn't a personalized print and a copy of this book make the best present ever?

I welcome you to check out my website and see how Etsy has inspired my work, and my successes. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook. I am now working as a freelancer in the design community while focusing on my illustrations. I have several projects in the works and am open for more opportunities to come my way. Thanks Etsy!

January 2012 EtsyKids Desktop Background

Posted Friday, January 06, 2012

I don't know about you, but I like to change my desktop background all the time! I love to see something different every month, and I also love to find ones that have a calendar on them as a quick reminder.

So I thought what fun to have an EtsyKids Team calendar desktop background!! Each month featuring 20 items from our members!!
We have it available in a couple of different screen resolutions. Download the one for your screen below

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Future calendars will be released on the 1st of each month, so be sure to come back to see what we have for February!

Introducing Applesauce Crafts!

Posted Thursday, January 05, 2012

Today we introduce you to Amber from Applesauce Crafts!

  • What motivated you to start your shop?
I started sewing dresses and blankets for my daughter. When I posted some pictures up on Facebook, a bunch of friends said how cute they were and that I should sell them. So I made some things and started a shop. It's been two years now.

  • What is the story behind your shop name?
I was trying to think of something cute and it was just not coming to me. Then I started writing a description for my bibs and there was something about "does your kid have applesauce all over?" (something my then 1 yr old had on her all the time!) It just clicked--Applesauce Crafts!

  • Do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?
My favorite non kid etsy shop is probably Sweet Shop Vintage or Matte Art

  • What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
It surprised me that I was good at it. I have never played an instrument or a sport, I never had a hobby or anything. So to actually have people like my stuff and buy things from me made me feel really awesome!

  • What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
For me, it's challenging balancing motherhood with being a shop owner. I would love to sit and drink coffee and sew all day long, but I have to go in spurts between breakfast, school run, nap time, sick kids, etc.

  • What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
My philosophy is that babies don't need babyish things. I do buy some things in the kid section, or made for kids, but mostly it's just by what looks good, what I like to look at. I let the fabrics jump out at me and I know if I love it, someone else is going to love it, too.

  • How would someone (other then you) describe you?
I think they'd say I'm a loud, bossy, sassy lady that has cute kids that always have a mess on their faces :)

  • What music do you have on while you are creating?
I usually have the Bloc Party Pandora station on, but sometimes my daughter will request Abba.

  • What do you do when you aren't working?
When I'm not working I'm taking care of my almost one yr old Otis, and my 3.5 yr old Ingrid. They keep me super busy, but luckily they both are used to mama being in front of the sewing machine or having a pile of fabric out. In fact, the other day my daughter had some of my scraps and was playing fabric store. I'm totally rubbing off on her!

  • Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
I am just so thrilled to be part of a DIY community! I love that I have made friends through etsy, people I've never actually met but we connect online and trade ideas or whatever. Having an etsy shop has really given me something other than just being a mom--I know so many people lose themselves in their kids and I am glad I have something to call my own and give me a purpose other than wiping up snot :)

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