Sunday, July 31, 2011

Blog Feature Sunday - Get to know Emily @ The Crafty Geek

Click HERE to enter TheCraftyGeek!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

-My name is Emily and I am a Legal Administrative Assistant by day and a crafter at night. I make decorative tiles, glasses, picture frames, car decals, and many other things. I also like to read, watch movies, shop, and scrapbook.

Name three words to describe yourself.

-Quiet, optimistic, and creative.

Name three words to describe your Etsy shop.

-Modern, assorted, and goofy.

 How long have you been creating? How long have you been selling on Etsy, and what made you take the plunge to sell to others?

-I've been crafting since I was little. I've been selling on Etsy since July 2010. Ever since I was little I have been making items to sell to others. I finally decided last summer to take the plunge though and to join the Etsy Community after seeing how much it has helped others grow their business.

What are your other passions?

-I also like to scrapbook, make jewelry, and learn new crafts. I just started getting into repurposing items for new uses.

What are your two favorite items from your shop, and why?

-My zombie coasters and my "my stache" money jar. My zombie coasters were a custom order that someone ordered for a friend who recently got married and the couple really liked zombies. I just loved making them because they came out so cute and fun and the couple loved them as well! My mustache jar is one of my favorites because it's such a fun item!

My husband loves anything "zombie", I know he would love those!

What are some of your favorite Etsy shops?

-Some of my favorite shops include RBK Creations, they have the prettiest button and felt bouquets for weddings and just every day use! I like them because it is something unique and that you don't see every day. I also like Phenome Gnome, I love gnomes and she makes the coolest ones ever!

Those Gnomes are SO cute, I too love them.

Lastly, what is some advice that you would offer to those interested in starting their own Etsy shop?

-Owning your own Etsy shop and being successful takes a lot of time and effort but what you put into it, is what you will get out of it.

Now it is my favorite part, I am going to share a few of my favorite things from Emily's shop! :)

I love Owls, and these coasters are really cute.

These decorative tiles would make a great housewarming gift!

Thanks so much for your time, Emily! I have really liked getting to know the "face" behind the business! I really love your creations, and can't wait to get my order!

Thank you for the tile donation to the Mega Giveaway!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I LOVE Custom Orders!

This post is for all of my lovely customers, and customers-to-be; I absolutely LOVE custom orders. In fact, I thrive on custom orders. Every once in a while I will get an email or convo asking if I do custom work, and each time I am sitting at home emphatically shaking my head "YES!".

First of all, I really love when my customers (new and repeat) come to me and ask me to create something special for their birthday party, Christmas, weddings, etc. It really is an honor to create something special, and I treasure each and every custom request.

Second of all, I have a blast looking for matching fabrics, flowers, trims, and crystals that will make the special hair piece truly one of a kind.

If you're interested in placing a custom order, I welcome all requests! Just email me at RobbinsNest102(at)

Here is just a little bit about the custom work process, please don't be doesn't take long at all!

Most custom requests begin with an outfit; the customer will send me a picture of an upcoming event outfit and we can decide on the color scheme.
Color schemes are important because using a picture over the internet can sometimes be hard to match perfectly. Don't worry, my hair pieces have always matched. ;)

Secondly we discuss style, most people have a preference over the types of flowers that I offer; some really love the Blossoms because they're unique, some really love the look of Silk Flowers, and sometimes Rosettes add the perfect amount of class to a hair piece. If you do have a favorite, then we will just build around that. If you do not have a favorite, then we will discuss different options that fit your vision.

A lot of times I will brainstorm once I see the outfit and then present the customer with a few options.

Just a few more notes on custom work:

**Prices do vary based on the complexity of the hair piece, and materials used.
**If you see something in the shop that you LOVE, but wish that it were different colors, that is also custom work; and I am happy to accomodate those wishes.

Now on to some pictures of custom work that I have completed in the past, enjoy!

Custom Headband for a little girl's birthday. I was given a picture of a Salmon colored dress and the Mom wanted the following : Lace headband, White feathers, Pearls, and Netting.

Birthday headband, M2M a pink flowered dress.

Birthday party headband, M2M a Black/Purple Romper.

This was actually my first custom corsage order. It was M2M a beautiful Pink prom dress. The customer wanted different types of flowers and shades of pink. The Boutonierre was a Hot Pink (single) Blossom.

Again, I LOVE custom orders! :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Favorites

Can you believe that it is Friday already!? I feel like my weeks are flying by...and I cannot fathom that it is almost August!!

Last year around this time I was waiting for baby Anastasia to reach full term and come into the world. My sister and her family were in town, and we were very busy.

Here is me LAST August:
August 15...34 weeks pregnant with Anastasia.

And the August before (look how young my babies were!!!!!):
Evie and Jon

Sweet little Bubba
Let's move on to this weeks favorites, I am REALLY into

Pinwheels! I love them, they are so fun! We are using them as favors for Anastasia's party! (Oops, another spoiler!) These sweet little earrings can be found HERE.
Lilies! Okay, so I confess..I am not just loving these this week, I love them ALL the time. I actually have a Lily tattoo on my shoulder. <3

Trendy bags...isn't this one awesome?! You can find it, along with a lot other gorgeous bags, HERE.
Thai Food. Delicious! I had actually never eaten Thai before a few months back when Jon took me. Now I am addicted. If you've never tried Thai it! And then let me know what you think. ;)
Butterflies! (I also have a Butterfly tattoo, on my ankle. See how much you're learning in this post?!) I have always loved Butterflies, and I collect Butterfly "themed" items. 

Yesterday we actually went to a local Butterfly Farm with my Mom's Groups. They raise Monarch Butterflies. Here is a picture from yesterday:

I love cupcakes. One day I would LOVE to take a cake decorating class. Aren't these awesome?! Who doesn't love Mario Bros?
 When looking for some cute cakes to share, I came across some NOT so cute ones.

Like this guy...
What in the world?! Is the baby doll actually IN the oven!? Would that not melt it? there a special "baking baby" that you can use in this instance? CREEPY.

And then I came across this gem...really?
Ooh, Michelle, I am not sure I would want to serve this..anywhere.

 I can't leave you on a creepy baby cake note, so I will leave you with my last favorite of this week:

Ballons! My kids can entertain themselves forEVER with ballons.

I hope that you've enjoyed my weekly faves, join me next week for some more favorites. :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Blog Feature Sunday - Get to know Kayla @ My Bella Baby

Click HERE to enter My Bella Baby!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

- I am a wife to an amazing and supportive husband. We've been blessed with a beautiful daughter, Eliana, now 4 months old. I love the simple things in life, like spending time in nature with my little family.

Congrats on baby Eliana! :) Baby girls are so much fun.

Name three words to describe yourself.

- Wife, Momma, Child of God (sorry, more than 3)

Name three words to describe your Etsy shop.

- Stylish, Boutique, Affordable

How long have you been creating? How long have you been selling on Etsy, and what made you take the plunge to sell to others? 

-I actually didn't know how to sew 3 years ago. I taught myself and eventually began to love sewing for babies! I started my Etsy shop in September of 2010 because I felt like my products would make great gifts for new moms and sweet babies.

That is awesome! I also love sewing, it is so fun! I also think it is a lot easier than people think. You shouldn't be intimidated by the sewing machine. :)

Tell me a little bit about your creative process? 

-Well, I try to have some organization, but having a 4 month old makes that hard sometimes. I usually try to have all of my fabric cut and ready to sew so things go smoothly, but some days I do both, cutting and sewing.

Can we see your work space? 

-At the moment my work space is my dining room table (which I'm embarassed to admit), but I had to move it there so I can work at night while my baby is sleeping. Life revolves around her, you know!

I work at my dining room table too, actually, my dining room IS my "Craft Room". ;)

What are your other passions?

-I love photography. There's nothing like capturing the perfect moment with a picture.

What are your two favorite items from your shop, and why?

-Hmm. Probably my Little Washies because they are unique, a creation of my own. Also, my baby shoes because every baby needs some cuteness on their feet!

I have to chime in here, the Washies are genius, I love the sets that I have! And all my Anastasia wears are My Bella Baby shoes, they are SO cute and well made.

What are some of your favorite Etsy shops?

-Oh, I have so many! I love Little Nurslings, The Sunshine Stitch, Little Sapling Toys, Hope Ink...I could go on forever!

Those look like some great shops, I can't wait to look over them more!

Lastly, what is some advice that you would offer to those interested in starting their own Etsy shop? 

-Be passionate about what you do, take great photos, write thorough descriptions and be patient. Sometimes sales don't come right away. Try to connect with other sellers. It's great to meet new people and be inspired by others.

That is good solid advice.

Now it is my favorite part, I am going to share a few of my favorite things from Kayla's shop! :)

This onesie is SUPER cute!

I love these little corduroy shoes, we actually own a pair! ;)

Kayla, thanks so much for stopping by! I loved getting to know more about you, and My Bella Baby! I know you're busy with the new little one, so I appreciate you taking the time for this feature.

Thank you for the generous gift certificate to the Mega Giveaway!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Favorites

So this is something new that I am going to do every Friday, it is going to be some of my favorite things that I am loving that week!

Let's get to it!

First is something that I am shamelessly addicted to..the FX tv series "Sons of Anarchy". If you've never heard of it, get on Netflix and start season one NOW! (Or watch it online here, if online watching is your poison: SAMCRO)

You will love it. We watched Seasons 1 & 2 on Netflix in a matter of days, and then I was so anxious for Season 3 that I BEGGED and PLEADED with Jon to buy Season 3 on Amazon. FYI, Season 3 comes to Netflix the beginning of August...but I just couldn't wait that long.

The time to get caught up is now, because Season 4 starts on FX in September. Eeeek.
Basically it is a tv show about a motorcycle club, most of who are felons; and their relationships.
If my riveting plot synopsis doesn't get you; maybe this Jax, the main character of Sons of Anarchy. Usually I am not a fan of long hair..I prefer NO hair (think Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, my husband); but Jax works it. ;)

Let's not completely switch gears...yet! Tell me what you know about these fellas?

Yes, that is the NKOTBSB (New Kids on The Block/Backstreet Boys)

Depending on your gender...and the year you were born; I am sure one of these guys made you swoon at some time or another.

For me?! I call first from the left (Donnie Wahlberg), and fourth from the left (Nick Carter). I grew up on the BSB (I am a little too young for the NKOTB), and I have always been a pretty intense fan. My Dad took me to see them when I was 14..and guess what?!

(Sorry, I usually have a strict no sentence in caps rule, but I can't help it!)

N.C. and D.W....I will see you tomorrow. Sa-woon.

Alright, switching gears...look at this puppy!! Sqeeeeeal. I love puppies..all puppies, big and small; short and tall; white and get the idea. This little gal is a Chihuahua, which will be my next puppy. (Light years from now if Jon has his way.)

Seriously cute.

Now I mentioned earlier that FIRST birthday party planning for Goose is in full swing, and a lot of days I think about it ALL the time.

Isn't this cupcake tier lovely!? I would love to have one of these for the cupcakes...but the almost 100.00 dollar price tag makes it a non contender.

The party theme is "Vintage Nursery Rhymes" (Spoiler Alert!!), and a lot of the decorations are Red and White Gingham.

Would it be ridiculous of me to track some of these down!? I seriously am in love, and they would just be so perfect. I am thinking I could wear a flowy white sundress, or even a white flowy top and jean capris.

No worries that the party is outside at a park...I can kick 'em off, right?

Someone, please, find these for me! Size 7.5. ;)

And the last thing that I am really loving this week?! Party decoration Pom Poms. These things are just so cute. I am thinking that I need some in Red/White/Dk Blue for the party. Does anyone know how to make these?! Or can direct me towards a Pom Pom tutorial?!

Alright, I hope that you enjoy my favorites of the week.

Now it's time for you to tell me, were you a NKOTB or BSB fan?!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Blog Feature Sunday - Get to know Mary @ Jazzy Custom Creations & HeartsRWild

Click HERE to enter Jazzy Custom Creations
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
-Hello! I am a mother of 2 wonderful children a 11 year old daughter and a 5 year old son. I teach part-time at a local university and spend the rest of my time crafting or with the family. I have 2 Etsy shops, JazzyCustomCreations which sells bath and body items, most notedly my lotion candles; and HeartsRWild, which sells party supplies such as hand sewn party favor bags.

I can vouch for the Lotion Candles, they smell delicious and are a GENIUS idea!

Name three words to describe yourself.
-I am a crafty and loving, perfectionist who enjoys working with a variety of materials to make unique and amazing items.

Name three words to describe your shop.
-For my first shop the 3 words that I would use to describe it is Unique, Luxurious, and Scented.
The 3 words I’d used to describe my second shop would be Unique, Fun, and Party.

How long have you been creating? How long have you been selling your product, and what made you take the plunge to sell to others?
-I have been creating since 2008 as a means to spend time with my physically disabled mother and my then 8 year old daughter. We began making jewelry, which I sold to coworkers and friends. I opened my first Etsy shop in April of 2009 and listed all my jewelry. Unfortunately it never sold well on Etsy and I thought about closing up shop and calling it quits. In 2010 my mother and I wanted to try something new- bath products- so I placed my order for some supplies. I began making bath and body supplies in August of 2010 as a means to cope with my mother’s death. My kiddos are my crafting partners now. I’ve tried to get back into making jewelry but just cannot do it anymore. Too many memories I guess…

I opened my second Etsy shop June of 2011 as another creative outlet for me. I always make items for my kids birthday parties so I don’t break the bank so to speak. In April I made my daughter’s luau party bags and began seeing a lot of requests for party favors on various team discussion boards. So I thought “Hmm…maybe I should try to open a party supply business.” In May I began creating my handmade party bags and by June I had enough items to start another shop. I like crafting these items when it is nice and quiet in the house as a way to relax.

I am sorry to hear about your Mom, I am glad that you were able to have those memories with her, though! I admire your ability to run two shops, I don't think that I could keep it all straight! :)
Tell me a little bit about your creative process?
-For my first shop, I try to determine the lotion candle scents that I sell based on customer requests and my preferences. I strive to make all my items unique and high quality for my customers. I am learning how to make various other bath and beauty items right now and hope to get some cool new items out soon. Some items I hope to add are bath fizzies, personalized soaps, lip gloss, and perfume. I am open to suggestions or requests :o)

My second shop allows me to let the kid inside me come out and play. I create hand-sewn party favor bags. I also plan to sell party favors such as lollipops and other candies, cake balls, and cookie pops. I plan to create crayons to match my party bags, as well as party themed games and more. It is just taking me a little time to get it all together right now. I am open to suggestions or requests that you would like to see in my party supply shop!

You have a lot of good ideas! I cannot wait to watch both of your shops expand and grow! I would love to see some Sugar Scrubs! :)

Can we see your work space?
-Hmm…Would you really want too? There’s really not a set work space for me- the whole house is my work area. My kitchen and bedroom double as my primary work spaces and my closet is my supply storage. I keep bugging my hubby for a work area, but nothing yet. My thoughts are if I take over the house with my crafts maybe he’ll get started on clearing me a work area LOL!

I like the way that you think! :) I also use my entire house, it is hard to confine it to one area.

What are your other passions?
-When I am not crafting for my shops or working at my part-time job, I enjoy reading, spending time with the family, and shopping. I am a real BIG book worm. I take my Kindle with me everywhere I go and read at every opportunity. Right now I’m reading the series of “A Game of Thrones” by George RR Martin.

I also enjoy a good book! Let me check into that series, I am curious about it now.

What are your two favorite items from your shop, and why?
-My lotion candles and my Oatmeal and Shea butter soap are my 2 favorite items from my first shop. I LOVE all my lotion candles and use them often because they make my skin feel smooth and smell good too. My Oatmeal and Shea butter soap is my favorite face soap because it does not over dry my skin and helps reduce the redness on my cheeks.

In my second shop I would say that my Owl and Jolly Roger are my favorite so far. I have more creations in mind, so only time will tell how long these will stay my favorites. Honestly though, it really just depends on the mood I’m in because I really LOVE all the items in my shop- If I didn’t they would not be listed!

I have to agree, the Lotion candles are fabulous!! And that Owl is seriously too cute!

What are some of your favorite shops?
-I favorite shops that make items I cannot make myself such as hair accessories, crochet, and food items. Here are a few of my favorites. I could have listed more but thought 6 was probably pushing it :o)

Sams Crochet
She makes really cool crochet items. My favorites are the headbands and the laptop cover.

Crumbles Cookies
She has the best sweets ever! Homemade Marshmallows…YUMMY!

The Sewing Fool
I bought my son the CUTEST shirts from her. They are unique and fun.

LOVE the headbands- I wear them everyday.

BeeblesI bought my nieces and nephew some personalized urban graffiti jewelry from her. Talk about original!

Stained Glass Addie
I got some personalized memorial items of my mother for Christmas from her. She was great to work with!
Thanks for the shout out! I am so glad that you love them. :) I can't wait to check out these shops!

Lastly, what is some advice that you would offer to those interested in starting their own shop?
My advice would be make what you love and work hard on your shop every day. It is hard work to be successful on Etsy because there are so many talented people here. It helps to think ‘outside the box’ and make something that is completely new so you can stand out in the crowd.

I agree, it definitely helps to have a really stand out product!

Now it is my favorite part, I am going to share a few of my favorite things from Mary's shop! :)

These lotion candles smell SO good!

How darling is this Butterfly favor bag?
Doesn't this Apple soap look good enough to eat?!

Mary, thanks so much for spending the time with us and for letting us learn so much more about you and your wonderful creations! I have thoroughly enjoyed it, and I wish you the greatest success with both of your shops! :)

Thank you for the generous donation of the Lotion Candle and Party Favor bag for the Mega Giveaway as well!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Oh hey, Cake Pops!

I tried making Cake Balls a LONG time ago and I failed miserably. It was a spur of the moment decision, and I had the wrong type of Chocolate.

They ended up being gooey, too sweet, and UGLY little things! Of course, that didn't stop my Lover from taking them to work with him the next day and they were devoured! Those poor starved Engineers!

I decided to give it another go, and while they weren't perfect, they tasted better, and actually resembled a Cake Pop this time! I am seriously debating making them for Annie's first birthday party as favors...

Want to learn how?! I am NO pro, and I didn't create the idea of a Cake Pop. (although I kind of wish that I had)

Here is what you need: Lollipop Sticks (AC Moore/Michael's/Hobby Lobby), Meltable Chocolate (I used Milk Choc., also available at the above mentioned stores), Cake Mix (I used Betty Crocker Devil's Food), and a can of icing (Whipped!) You can definitely use a scratch made cake and/or icing, but for the sake of time boxes work for me!
You will need the following for your cake mix: Water, Egg/s, and Vegetable Oil.
Mix your cake as per the instructions. You can use a mixer for this, but I just always use a wisk and my strong arm for box mixes.
This will be your BEST friend if you're a baker. It's butter spray and flour all mixed into one can...genius!! Spray a 9" by 13" baking dish, and pour in the cake batter.

Let that bad boy cool on a rack until it is COMPLETELY cooled. I got a little over anxious, hence the missing chunk. I should have let it sit before I dumped it out. LOL

When it is completely cooled throughout, put it in a large bowl and take a wooden spoon to it. Break it up really, really well. You want it completely crumbled.

Remember this guy? BTW, I usually turn up my nose at packaged icing, because I make an amazing home made Cream Cheese and Buttercream...but this Whipped Betty Crocker stuff is seriously yummy!
Combine the cake crumbles and icing until it is thoroughly mixed together.

Next take a small amount of the cake mixture and form small balls, about the 1" by 1". Sit them on a shallow cookie sheet that you've lined with parchment paper or wax paper.
Next, take your little balls and pop them in the freezer for a good 45-50 minutes. The cooler they are, the better! If they're too warm when you dip them in the hot Chocolate, they will be a crumbly mess. Take them out of the fridge 10 at a time, and prep them for the Chocolate by sticking the lollipop sticks in them,
Now, get your Melting Chocolates in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave them at 50% power for 30 seconds, then stir, 30 seconds, then stir...until they are completely melted. You can also use a double boiler...the instructions for melting the Chocolate are found on the back of the package.
Delicious melted , gooey, sweet Milk Chocolate. (They also have Dark Choc, White Choc, and several different variations of colored White Choc.)
Dip the Cake Pop into the melted Chocolate, and Voila! You can cover up the ENTIRE Cake Ball, but I like to leave a little bit of cake exposed on mine. ;)

Oh yeeeeah, they approve. ;)

And if you're loving the Green, Yellow, and Blue Washcloth that you saw in a lot of the pictures, you can find it here: MelissaGHollis.