A camping we will go...

Posted Sunday, June 28, 2009

Seriously, I had to boot my husband off of the computer so I could get to work. What I love about working is the part of getting to look through all of the wonderful EtsyKids' finds! Well, as the husband closed his search on pull-behind campers, I myself stumbled upon a camping find of my own!

I really really want to be a kid again!

Kids Play Tent by Babypop!

Design Challenge for June...and the winner is

4. Camo Critters Puppy Tee and Camo Shorts by BellaParis

Congratulations to the winner of this month's challenge - Camo Critters Puppy Tee and Camo Shorts by BellaParis (aka Sweet Dreams Designs)! Sweet Dreams Designs is a lovely store selling unique handcrafted kid's clothing that are bright and fun. You can visit them at bellaparis.etsy.com or check out their other site at www.sweet-dreams-designs.net

We had an EXCELLENT selection of entries this month and a close race. Cheers to all of you that participated!


Posted Saturday, June 27, 2009

Good Morning Divas!!!
I hope everyone had a fantastic week, despite the tragedy's in the entertainment world. I know all three deaths impact almost the entire worlds population. It makes you see that even people we grew up thinking were untouchable....well, aren't - and we should cherish each moment we have with our loved ones and live life to the fullest.

Today I would like to share a small piece that my boyfriend (for you Sex and the City fans - he's my man friend - LOL) sent to me and I got it yesterday.

People share so much in common, yet are so magnificently different. They think differently; they have different and sometimes competing values, motivations and objectives. Conflicts naturally ark out of these differences. Society's competitive approach to resolving the conflict and differences tends to center on 'winning as much as you can' Though much good has come from the skillful art of 'compromise', where both sides give on their positions until an acceptable middle point is reached, neither side ends up truly pleased. What a waste to have differences drive people to the lowest common denominator between them!!! What a waste to fail to unleash the principle of creative cooperation in developing solutions to problems that are better than either party's original notion!!!

This, of course is true with your significant other, work affiliates and kids, it is true in almost any situation. It feels extremely uncomfortable at first (for a professional arguer like myself) but once you get in the habit of really listening to the other opinion instead of just 'thinking of what you'll say next - once they shut up'. I can personally vouch that this does, indeed work!

Enjoy your weekend! Me and my crew are off to the pool!

Featured Shop

Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009

Each week I have decided to feature an etsykids shop - there are so many talented people within the etsykids team that I thought that it would be great to highlight some of the great talents I find along the way.
The first shop that has caught my eye is Butterfly Baby Place.
Butterfly Baby Place was established in August 2008 from the inspiration of children and butterfly kisses. You will find something for both sexes including lovely old fashioned boys rompers, beautiful girl's dresses and aprons for both sexes, I even saw a great chef's hat!

Butterfly Baby Place ships worldwide and loves creating custom orders.
One thing that I particularly love about about this shop is that there are a wide range of sizes to choose from starting at 6mths and working up to 10 years!
You can visit the blog here to get updates on fabric choices and sneak peeks!
Why not stop by and show her some love.......enjoy!

Kids in the Kitchen

Posted Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Each week I hope to bring you some inspiring - or just plain ol' fun - recipes, activities and ideas that you can do with kids...in the kitchen! I'll try to feature and shine a spotlight on some related shop listings from our EtsyKids members as well (the best shop owners on Etsy, right?!?!)!

This week on EtsyKids' Kids in the Kitchen...let's talk about PICNICS!
I'm pretty sure that every single child on the planet loves eating their meals outside! And now is the perfect time to pack a lunch and head outside for a little food and fun in the sun! Here are some helpful tips and healthy ideas for your picnic lunch with the kids!

  • Pack your picnic basket with what you need 1st on top such as a tablecloth or silverware on top.
  • Keep cold food cold and warm food warm to prevent spoiling. Don't place warm food in your cooler. Wrap the dish in towels.
  • Store any uncooked food (if you are grilling) separately from cooked, prepared food.
  • Freeze a few juice boxes to help keep things cold and for a cool drink later in the day.
  • Place your food in zippered baggies and then on top of the ice in your cooler. This keeps food from getting wet once your ice starts melting.


Picnics are all about fast, easy to handle & easy to store menus! That's why kabobs are so much fun to prepare and take along on picnics! Forget about the kabobs you toss on the grill...you can make fresh and healthy "mini-lunches" on kabobs any time...and kids will love them! All you need is simple wooden skewers (you can find them at your local grocery store) and an assortment of healthy foods easy for skewering!

Here are some great ideas for making delicious kabob skewers to take along on your next picnic:
  • Great Snack: Cheese and ham cubes
  • Fruit Salad on a Skewer: Cut fresh fruit into one inch cubes or chunks: watermelon, pineapple, grapes, strawberries, cantaloupe, honey dew melon, bananas, & apples - to keep the fruit from "browning"...toss the cut fruit in a small amount of lemon juice before skewering. Also...freeze the fruit kabobs for an extra special treat on a hot summery day!
  • Salad on a Skewer: Cut up chunks of fresh veggies for your children to use to create their own fresh salad kabobs - cherry tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, broccoli florets, cauliflower florets & carrot chips. You can also pack small containers of hummus, ranch dressing or your child's favorite dipping sauce too!
  • For a fun dessert kabob: Go to your favorite local donut shop and get a variety of donut holes. Have your children skewer donut holes onto the wooden skewers for a yummy treat!
Here are some great shop listings from EtsyKids Members to help you pack a perfect picnic lunch...just click on the images to go directly to the shop items!

Insulated Cool Sak from Naturally Felt, Reusable Sandwich Bag from MamaMade, Travel Bib from Odannysgirl

If you have an idea for an EtsyKids' Kids in the Kitchen blog post or would like your "Kids in the Kitchen" related shop items to be featured...just email Nicole, owner of Lil Boo & Co., at ncpnkr@aol.com Subject Line: EtsyKids Blog

Just Nod and Smile

Posted Monday, June 22, 2009

When I first got pregnant with my daughter Peri, I was adamant that I wanted a drug-free labor and I was bound and determined to make it happen. I did my research and Jim and I attended Bradley Method classes with 2 other couples. We were all set to go, armed with our information, my coach of a husband and my own personal relaxation techniques. I was going to do it.

The only mistake we made, was telling other people. This is one of those new parent instances, where as someone experienced, you should just nod and smile and say, "That's great! Good for you." We all have our ideals and the nicest thing you can do is to let people hold onto their delusions. Instead, I was constantly met with negative comments; "It's going to hurt. You'll want the epidural," "Why in the world would you do that," "No one's going to give you a medal."
My response was usually, "Really? Have you tried it?" To which the answer was ALWAYS "No." Hm, so I guess you can't knock it 'til you've tried it, right?

Well, anyone that knows me should know that telling me not to do something, will only make my decision even more resolute. And guess what? I did it. Oh yeah, drug free, baby! Not once, but twice. I labored and delivered twice with nothing but my determination. And I'd do it again, dagnabit!

In fact, shortly after having Peri, there was a request in FitPregnancy for readers' responses to whether or not they wanted drugs in the delivery room. Of course I had to write in and share my personal experience and lo and behold, they contacted me to tell me they were printing my response.

"I didn't want anything to do with pain medication. I knew that if I could work with the pain, rather than against it, I would be fine. Yes, it was the worst pain I have ever felt, but looking back, I wouldn't have done it any other way."
April/May 2005 Fit Pregnancy Issue

As if that weren't cool enough, they sent me an Evenflo ExerSaucer SmartSteps activity center. Those things are around $100 and they were sending me one for free just for printing my response! How cool was that?!

And so, to all those naysayers who told me I "wouldn't be given a medal," I say, "Are you kidding?! I got the best medal ever! And both of my kids got a lot of use out of it." Once they figured out the toys were on top, that is. :o)

Originally posted 6/8/09 here

Happy Father's Day!

Posted Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dads come in all shapes and sizes and can be our natural fathers, stepfathers, fathers in-law, friends, however they've come into our lives they are our heroes - Happy Father's Day Dads from EtsyKids!!!

fantastic hand painted canvas sign from imnotspoiled designs!


It's time to vote for your favorite item! Voting will be open through midnight EST on Saturday, June 27th.

This month, EtsyKids members were challenged to create an exciting new item based on a theme "My Pet!" and as usual, they did an outstanding job. Please be sure to check out the entries below and VOTE!

Fabulous Entries:)

1. 2. 3.
4. 5. 6.
7. 8. 9.

1. Run Bunny Run Dress Little Girl Jumper by thetrendytot
2. Crochet White Kitty Cat Hat with Earflaps by amotherscrochet
3. Mommy's Little Monkey Hair Clips by Emmaleesboutique
4. Camo Critters Puppy Tee and Camo Shorts by BellaParis
5. Natural Child Friendly Crocheted Cotton Amigurumi Turtle - OOAK by sabahnur
6. Big Belly the Turtle - Weighted Stuffed Animal by cuddlebugkids
7. My Pet Pony-I Love Horses Bottlecap Charm Pendant Necklace by craftyaddictions
8. Cat Kitten Face Yellow Purse by SewSoNancy
9. XL Here Kitty, Kitty Flannel Baby Blanket -DOUBLE SIDED by cuddlebuddies4kids
10. Crayon Roll Up - Dalmations by DancingKat
11. Personalized First Birthday Bib by sewsosweetboutique
12. Puppy Bath Mitt - Toy or Washcloth by crochele
13. Doggie Blue Beanie Newborn by NinisHandmades
14. Ale's Pink Pet Elephant Hair Clip by CuzItClipz
15. Atomic Doggy Reversible Bib by babycheeks
16. Photo Prop Puppy Dog Cocoon and Hat for Newborns by BurryBabies
17. Little Bunny Tutu with yards of soft pale pink tulle by piggytailsboutique
18. Pinkie the Horse on Pink and White Tee by plumtreestudio
19. Upcycled Recycled Felted Wool Striped Plush Cat by woodponddesigns
20. Woof Dog Applique Onesie by TheRoyalDetails
21. Little Goldfish Hair clip by happygrandma402905

Recycling Tutorial

Posted Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's been a while since I did a how to - and since Ive been up to my neck in The Jump Off this week I though it appropriate to share the process - so you can start experimenting!

I start with a fabulous Tshirt - I wash and dry it and give it decent pressing.

Then I cut off the sleeves, the hem, cut the side and shoulder seams. Im very careful to cut strait so I dont damage any of the design space on the tshirt.

I put the sleeves and hem trim into my stock pile - I hoard up every tshirt I can get my hands on and even if I cant use the logo or if the shirt has holes, I can still salvage the sleeves and trim and I use the body of solid shirts to make the skullys to coordinate with the onesies/dresses.

From that fabulous stash of sleeves and such I find great coordinating sleeves and trim for the project Im working on.

Next, I find the center of the design - not the shirt - With tshirts, you don't match the edges because when you take them apart the edges stretch out of shape so the shirt edges are not accurate for centering. This step is crucial - b/c if your off the onesie image will be off center.

Now I take my handy dandy patterns that I made from taking apart actual onesies and making sketches (which took years :D - but it was worth it)
You can just take apart a oneise or a dress that you have at home and use it for a pattern.

After the pieces are cut out I take this opportunity while the sleeves are still flat to attach my rock out label for the Jump Off.

I then, take the hem trim and sew it with a zig zag stitch on the the front and back neck edges of the garment.

I cannot stress how important pressing is to your sewing projects. A good press job can save you tons of time. Don't skip this step - Pressing makes the difference between a 'home made' look and a 'professional' one.

The same can be said for pinning. The only thing is you must be careful with pins b/c they can warp your machine needle and ultimately break it if your not careful.

So, I pin the front and back together, centering the two pieces to create an overlapping shoulder seam as on a traditional onesie and then I center the sleeve and pin it so I always know where the center is.

Ok - this is the tricky part (as with all set in sleeves). Set in sleeves are larger than the 'hole' they fit into, this gives your arm room to move. So the key is to 'ease' the extra fabric into the 'hole' with out getting any tucks or pinches into the seam. Do you see how much more blue fabric there is than the cream. The key to set in sleeves is, sew them in before you sew the side seams up and then make sure the sleeve is on the bottom so the
feed dogs can ease the extra fabric in for you. This happens because the feed dogs pull the bottom fabric more than the top because it is touching the bottom piece, thus pulling it through at a faster pace.

OK - sleeve in, no tucks or pinches...off to the serger.

The Serger simply gives your sewn seam a finished professional look. You can use sergers for tons of different things, but for my things this is what I use it for. You can totally skip the sewing machine for construction and only use the serger - which will save you a step. I choose to use both because Im selling my item and the process I use give me peace of mind that nothing will come apart on the customer!

See how nice the finish seam looks? If you dont have a serger, you can certainly zig zag the edges, or actually - in this case - you can just leave the seams alone since knit doesnt ravel :) Im a little anal though - so I finish mine.

Okie Dokie Sleeve number 1 is in and pressed! I repeat for the other sleeve and then I sew the side seams and run them through the serger. The last step is to take the other piece of hem trim and put a colorful edge along the bottom edge of the onesie or dress in this case.

And now you have a totally rockin wearable for your little rocker girl to sport alone or with jeans, tights or leg warmers! If I were making a onesie instead all the steps are the same. I would just put the trim around the leg and crotch edge in one swoop and then apply snaps to the crotch. I hope you enjoyed getting to see all the fun I have making my wearables - make sure you stop by the shop sometime~ XOXO
and get to sewing! Make something today!

Im off to the pool! Smooches Divas!
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