Friday, October 31, 2008

EtsyBloggers Feature: BFBeads

This month's EtsyBloggers featured seller is Baby Friendly Beads. She is a breastfeeding Mommy who creates jewelry with the breastfed baby in mind, but you probably wouldn't have guessed this great jewelry has a purpose other than being a sweet accessory, check out all those colors:

Her reminder bracelets are designed to easily be moved from wrist to wrist through out the day as a reminder of which side to nurse on next. And the nursing necklaces give baby's curious fingers a place to land and hold their attention (ask any nursing Mommy... a distracted baby while nursing can make things a little complicated!).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Haunted Doll House

A couple months ago, in my Growing Up Crafty post, I talked about my parents cultivating my creative side when I was younger. Even though my 2 brothers and I are all grown up now, my parents still indulge their own creative sides every now and then. I talked to my Mom the other day and she said she had picked up a doll house for Elle but she and my Dad decided it wasn't exactly what they wanted for her after all, and they were in the Halloween spirit, so they made it into a haunted house with bits and pieces they had around the house. Check this out:
Orange tissue paper over the windows gives the house an eary glow when the lights are dim and it's back lit. Popsicle sticks painted black were used to board up the windows and words of warning on the unpainted ones are posted all around. Tissue paper ghosts haunt the porches. The front door is off it's hinges and spanish moss lets you know these little dollies abondond this house long ago.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Place

For those of you wonderful Elle Belle blog readers who are also keeping up with the Handmade Holiday Bazaar blog , you rock! So I apologize that I'm reposting (is that sort of like re-gifting??). Karrie at Fiberologie is hosting Handmade Holiday Bazaar so it was just the excuse I need to write about what a little slice of heaven that shop is. So here you have it:

Some people's happy place is the beach or a quiet spot in their garden. I'd like to propose that if you quilt, sew, craft, love fanciful prints, or even just appreciate the feel of crisp cotton that you stop by Fiberologie in St. Pete... it could be your new Happy Place!

I happened on Fiberologie completely by accident while doing a google search for designer fabric. The Fiberologie website is super cute, but I wasn't prepared for the wonder of this shop. I stepped onto the quaint little front porch one morning and Karrie, the owner of Fiberologie, was having a cup of coffee. She opened the door to the 1920s house and amidst the beautiful white wood work, built in shelves, and brick fireplace was bolt after bolt of amazing fabric. Textiles from lots of top designers like Amy Butler and Heather Bailey, as well as really unique finds like some imported Japanese prints.

Not only will you find the newest designer fabrics in the industry, Karrie also supports local crafters by featuring some handmade pieces in her store as well as some of her own handiwork.

If you're not already a fabric addict, Karrie will help you along with the many classes she hosts. In addition to classes, you can stop by for a quick make-n-take project, or donate your time to a charitable cause by participating in one of Fiberologie's charity days. I recently spent a morning at Fiberologie making "pink" beanies for the Susan G Komen foundation. I couldn't think of a better way to spend a leisurely morning than sewing away, in great company, for a good cause.

I'm beyond excited that Fiberologie is our host for Handmade Holiday Bazaar! Come to the bazaar to shop the vendors and discover Fiberologie... it's yet another reason to love St. Pete!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Buc's Pumpkin

We are a crafty/artistic bunch here in the Whittington household. My Doug never took his artistic ability too seriously because he didn't like being confined to the limitations set by an art class... so his biggest claim to fame is several promotional t-shirts he drew for his Fraternity in college (which he didn't have the foresight to save... silly boy!). He doesn't stretch his artistic muscle that often but got inspired by a pumpkin carving contest we had with my Dad and brothers while on vacation last week. He was in pretty creative company, but he blew the competition away with this Bucaneer's logo pumpkin.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What to Wear What to Wear

The banner and avatar in my Etsy shop are my Halloweeny one, so I thought this was as good a time as any to take a little poll to get a consensus on which of the Elle Belle "looks" I've had in the past is a favorite. So here are your choices, please take a second to vote for the one you like best by using the anonymous (if that matters to ya ;)) poll thingie in the right margin. Thanks!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Atomic Holiday Bazaar

Atomic Holiday Bazaar is an uber hip totally rad craft spectacular held in Sarasota 3 years running now. I had a blast last year at the show and am so excited about being a part of it again this year on December 14th. Adrienne, the AHB organizer/promoter extraordinaire, gave Elle Belle shout out on her MySpace page... in her "as only Adreienne could put it way" (I luv ya girl!) check us out:

This sling earned Elle Belle a spot in the finals of the Etsy Handmade Kid Contest! That's a huge deal, I mean there are thousands of us on Etsy so kudos to Stacey!

1, 2, 3, 4 who loves to count even more? I do. However, I can count up to ten these days so I don't need these bags but what a fun gift for that kid in your life who is learning to count and learn their colors; or maybe you can buy a set of these for that dippy friend who is always shortchanging you when it comes to splitting the bill. Or maybe you can pass these bags off as change while shopping since these beanbags are probably way more valuable than our U.S. dollar-roonie.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


My little piece of Etsy has been up and running every day for the past 22 months. Our official vacation doesn't start until this weekend, but I wouldn't have been able to fill any orders received between today and Mon. the 27th, so I put my shop on vacation. I'm having sort of a strange reaction to my shop being empty... it's spooky! I hadn't thought about it like this before, but the shop is a compilation of all our little bits of handiwork, it's full of my favorite fabrics, items that were and some still are really useful to me as a new Mom, and they're all gone. Okay I understand they'll all be back with just a click of a button, but still... it's creepy... I don't like it!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Vendor Feature: Flying Zoo

I've been writing features for the Handmade Holiday Bazaar blog on the vendors who will be at the show. I found the Flying Zoo a while back when I was just surfing Etsy and was pleasantly surprised to find that she's local. She was also a finalist in the Etsy Handmade Kids Contest, so I've been keeping my eye on her and am really glad that she has a spot in the show! Because this is one of my personal favorites I thought I'd share with you here as well... in case you're not keeping up with the HHB blog :)

I'm so excited about having the Flying Zoo at the Handmade Holiday Bazaar! I'm particularly fond of wood toys. There's something about the simple aesthetic appeal that owning a hand crafted wood toy can bring. All those flashing buzzing singing plastic toys just entertain/distract children... wood toys are engaging, they're really playing, using their imagination.

Monika started making these wonderful mobiles more than 15 years ago.

Come out to the Handmade Holiday Bazaar to pick out a meaningful toy for the little ones on your Christmas list. After all, do you think they're really going to be passing that Sponge Bob video game down to their own children some day?!

Friday, October 10, 2008

1 2 3, 4 5 6, 7 8 9, 10 11 12 Ladybugs Came to the Ladybug Picnic

It was actually more like 35, but who am I to mess with a classic?!I always have so much fun planning Elle's birthday parties and this year was no exception! I try to do as much of it handmade as possible, so here you have it, the handmade bits from Elle's Ladybug Picnic party:

BNDesigns made some super cute invites! Elle's were a little different than these, they didn't have the circles on the background and were printed on crisp white linen paper with the moss green envelopes. She also made some matching thank you notes.

Lil Bug Clothing made this halter and short set. It's very well made, I am really happy with it. She even sent a scrap of the short material with it so that I could embroider/applique the ladybug on the top.

Mom and Dad have to get in on the party fun too and it was the only excuse I needed to pick up one of The Funky Felter's rings... a ladybug of course! She was so sweet to include a little red felted ball clippie as a freebie with my order, which Elle wore in her hair.

Not sure if this is technically handmade, but we got Doug's ladybug crossbones shirt from Cafe Press. This was the first year the kiddos did a little craft. I picked up some little bug jars with magnifying tops from Oriental Trading, the kids decorated them with stickers. We did a ladybug release and they took some home in their little jars (One of the party guests took the majority of the ladybugs home for their rose garden... in case you were wondering :))

You can't really see it in this picture, but I made picnic blankets (a yard and a half each of polar fleece), sewed ribbon on the back to tie them with when they're rolled up, and embroidered a ladybug on each one. I sent those home with the parents after the party.

Our favorite local bakery, Cakes by Carolynn made yummy cupcakes with piped ladybugs and you can also check out Elle's shoes in this picture that My Wee Feet custom made and liked so much that she carries them in her shop now.

I met the girls of Cloud Nine Design at a craft show I went to long before I started planning Elle's party and knew then that I had to figure out a way to incorporate their super cute bubble wands into the next party I planned. So I bought some handmade glass ladybug beads from Beauty with the Beads and Cloud Nine Designs incorporated them into these adorable bubble wands that we gave as favors.

I don't remember which online party supply site I bought the favor boxes from. I found some wooden ladybugs at JoAnns, wrote the kids names on the back with a white paint pen, Doug drilled holes in them for me so I could tie them to the boxes.

I got some clear screw top jars from a seller on Ebay and my Dad designed the labels for them. We have a great recipe for bubbles so I made a big batch divvied it up and waalaa!

Everyone seemed to have a good time at the picnic, and Elle hasn't stopped talking about it since, so I count it a success! Thank you all you wonderful handmade crafters you who helped make this a special celebration! Until next year...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Handmade Holiday Bazaar Flyer

Check out the awesome flyers Kitty Crossbones made for the Handmade Holiday Bazaar! As a vendor run show, we're doing some really vendor centric things, including showcasing some of the fab wares you'll find at the show in the advertising.

Top row: Modern Bird (L) Elle Belle (R) Middle: Stray Creative (L) Create It Cottage (R) Bottom: Bungle Bear Designs (L) Sew It's For You (R)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy Birthday my sweet little inspiration!

Being Elle’s Mommy has been a wonderful experience for so many reasons! Just one reason is that she inspired my passion for sewing. I’ve been sewing lots of projects for Elle’s 3rd birthday party and finished her birthday banner yesterday while she was taking her nap. I had it hanging in the living room when she woke up. She was all groggy from her nap still, her hair in a big messy pile on top of her head, blanket in tow. When she saw the banner she dropped her blanket, ran over to it, and said “Is this for my birthday?” I said “yes, it says happy birthday. We’ll hang it up at your birthday party.” She started jumping up and down singing the H-A-P-P-Y song, then mid-note ran over to give me a big hug and kiss and said “Thank you Mommy! Thank you for making me something special!” Someday she’ll understand what a wonderful gift she gave me!

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