Scramblin' Spiders

Posted Tuesday, September 27, 2011

These creepy crawlers never looked so cute! Snag one up for your munchkin to enjoy all month long!

School Days with AveryLane

Posted Saturday, September 24, 2011

Guest post from AveryLane.

For parents, the start of a new school year usually prompts shopping trips for crayons, pencils, and notebook paper. For many it stirs memories of their own feelings of anticipation and excitement: first day of school outfits, lunchboxes, and backpacks. For me, one family tradition was our special trip for new school shoes. Every year the kids would scramble into our VW Microbus and head out to the Stride Rite shoe store, a thirty minute car ride. It was usually hot, but this was a trip no one ever seemed to fuss about.
Red shoes, so unpractical, but for our special new school shoes, we were given much liberty in our choice. The signature oblong shaped balloon completed the transaction and mesmerized me all the way home. Exultantly, I would save my shoes for the anticipated day, for when the group of neighborhood kids gathered on the sidewalk and walked in groups of twos, threes, or more toward the school building 3 blocks away. Ecstatic was I to discover no one else had shoes like mine. The feeling of bounding in new school shoes has never been forgotten or too distant in my long term memory.
Traditions are a big deal to my kids today. Among the many traditions we have, we do the new school shoes thing, but I fear it does not hold the same special distinction that it once held. We usually go to Nordstom, where my little one is treated as though the multitude of other shoppers do not exist (once our number is called). Waited on by a courteous attendant, she tries on anything her heart desires and chooses her shoes according to her fancy. The balloon may or may not come at the conclusion of the event, but she does wait eagerly until the first day of school to feel the shoes on her feet again.

Things have indeed changed. Bargains supersede quality. No longer does a parent need to physically go to a store to shop. Online shopping has taken away the burden, or merriment, depending on how you look at things. Adaptation is invention’s twin sister.

Since hand-me-downs are the bulk of our new school clothes wardrobe, a tradition I have created with my little girl is to pick one or two special outfits. She is my biggest fan and helps design a dress or outfit for me to sew for her. She chooses the fabric and style. She watches as my hands cut and stitch together her mind’s creation. As the clothing comes together, I can feel a part of her going into it. I think about her as I work the seams and topstitch the details. Trying on the partially completed new designs to personally fit them to her unique shape, I can see these are special to her. She asks questions and remarks about her excitement for the first day of school; she wonders who will be in her class, or who her teacher will be. It’s clear we are both personally and emotionally invested in her new garb, making it more special. You can’t buy that and it’s not possible to mass produce this.
We've carried this ideal into other traditions, like buying handmade school supplies. I feel strongly that thoughtfulness and caring goes into the product from those hands that personally create the product, something worth supporting. As a little part of the creator goes into the creation, the creator shares herself with others. Here are some thoughtful choices for ethical back to school shopping from some talented and caring Etsykids members:
A sweet pink backpack (right) from ChildishThoughts is sure to help build fond memories this fall season that will last. Or if monsters are the thing that drives them wild, this backpack (left) from TheSewingLoft will have them doing flips.
Accessories for little girls are plentiful on Etsy and EtsyKids sellers have some of the best quality and styles available, from bows to jewelry. I allow my daughters to browse the EtsyKids shops and select their own. We sit together and enjoy reading about the designers and artisans. We love it when we find a seller in our home state of Oregon, so we can do our part to boost the local economy. Help teach your kids about the ethical and helpful choice of shopping local the EtsyKids way, by using the shop local feature on etsy and then use the key words: “EtsyKids Team.”
Here are some of our favorite shops for bows and hats:

Beanie Hat, Scandie Design

Newsboy Hat

Football Pig Tail Hair Bows
Rosette Headband with Feather
Sustainable choices are a must for our family. When you do the math, those disposable baggies and juice boxes add up in unnecessary waste to the environment and exuberant cost to the family budget. Here are some lunchtime alternatives that make sense and that the whole family can feel good about. Even teens and parents can get into the Etsykids act, after all they eat lunch, too.
I have learned many EtsyKids Team members will happily take special requests for modifications and specific fabrics.
BrooksBoutique offers a beautiful collection of reusable sandwich bags and snack bags from which to choose. Love this baseball print reusable snack bag from GrannyZann, or a Yogi Bear print. MamaMade has an enormous selection of eco-friendly products, including large and sandwich sized reusable bags. And NanaBrowns offers a custom design listing for a zipper topped lunch tote.
The coolest thing in the modern lunch box has got to be the crochet apple sack. Perfect for the teacher on the first day of school! IrishHooksAndYarn has one listed that she can ship out in about a week.

Brooks Boutique
Brooks Boutique, snack bags

GrannyZann, snack bags

IrishHooksAndYarn, fruit sacks

MamaMade large & sandwich size bags

nanabrowns insulated lunch sack
If you are like me and create handmade wardrobe or supplies for your young ones, there are many supplies to be had on Etsy. From fabric to patterns, DIY can be a snap with the help of Etsykids sellers. MonkeyAndFriends offers fabric and patterns at great prices, and you'll find a wonderful hat patterns at palomiux.

With a little planning, back to school shopping can be fun and memorable for the child. Your choices can be ethical and your selections can be as unique as the child you are shopping for. Don't be in hurry for the next stage of childhood, take the time to enjoy your child today, who she or he is right now. Don't forget to just quietly watch as they walk through the wonder years.

AveryLane the Blog.

EtsyKids Design Challenge: It's time to Vote!

Posted Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's time to vote for your favorite item! Voting will be open through midnight EST, September 27th. This month, EtsyKids members were challenged to create an exciting new item based on a theme "Harvest Time". 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. jjkgirlythings
  2. mamieco
  3. BusyMomDesigns
  4. Bella Shade Baby
  5. MonthMarkers
  6. sweetpetuniabowtique
  7. Flatoutfunky
  8. amelieandatticus
  9. alaApron
  10. aunttscloset
  11. babygraceprops
  12. babswool
  13. wallcojr
  14. kangacoo
  15. craftybeever
  16. That's The Cutest Thing
  17. jillybeanjar
  18. boygirlboygirldesign
  19. TutuGorgeousGirl
  20. petitefish
  21. RagsNRibbons
  22. SueSpecialtyShop
  23. apple n amos
  24. sunnybrookfarmdesign
  25. Handprintlady
  26. Scarlett Daisies Creations
  27. thecrazyelephant
  28. bebbyjumpers
  29. kyandkin
  30. MegOri Girls Boutique
  31. lillollipop
  32. yourmomdesigns
  33. quiltedhugsbibs
  34. Corinna's Creations
  35. sweetchildofmine7
  36. Joe Bangles
  37. wildthingsdresses
  38. TheFeltedPear
  39. Tickled Toes
  40. DarceyLaneDesigns
  41. busylittlehands
  42. Lullaby Mobiles
  43. kendrasred
  44. tzburps
  45. SewBrookstone
  46. byohfiddlesticks
  47. RedKoalaArt
  48. thevoodookitten
  49. bisongirl
  50. pickledbeads
  51. Annalie's Baby Boutique
  52. littlepearlquilts
  53. LilyBugBoutIque
  54. BaaBaaBabyBoutique
  55. stewey75
  56. crocheting4baby
  57. Handmaiden Canada
  58. My Lovebug Baby
  59. Stitchinnetka
  60. TheRoyalDetails
  61. cutieflair
  63. Adrianascloset

Meet Tenderblue!

Today we introduce you to EtsyKids Team Member Susana of tenderblue

  • what motivated you to start your shop?

I want to show the world my creations and when I discovered Etsy I thought it was the best way to do so.

  • what is the story behind your shop name?

I love blue and I work with tenderness.

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

I love many shops on Etsy, some of them are anapinatellier, Susana Tavares, Tamar, Carambatak, Kraplap and many others.

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

The Etsy community and the users relationships.

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

To capture people’s attention to my work.

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

Create modern baby clothes without loosing the traditional methods of manufacturing them.

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

Calm, sensible, patient, a little bit shy but friendly and tender.

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

I love Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Katie Melua, Eddie Vedder. In general relaxing music.

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

I'm a dedicated mother.

  • please tell us a little about the children's items market / handmade movement in your Country?

In Portugal, the handmade products, mostly those for children, aren't valued that much, other then by a small group of people.

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

I'd like to say that discovering Etsy was very important for me.

Top it Off Right!

Posted Saturday, September 17, 2011

Have you come to learn, as I have, that sometimes all you need to make or break a really great costume is a fabulous hat? These sellers certainly have! Check out all of these fun and creative hats that will turn a simple top and bottom from your closet into a full blown well planned out costume!



EtsyKids Design Challenge for September: Harvest Time

Posted Thursday, September 15, 2011

(images via Flickr: 1. Wheat Crop Harvest; 2. Harvesting Rice; 3. Pumpkins; 4. Blue Door;)

Each month EtsyKids Team members are challenged to create a unique item within a chosen theme. "Harvest Time" is our challenge for September, picked by our last month's winner BoyGirlBoyGirlDesign. We'll be featuring autumn decor and fashion for kids, with farm, rustic and woodland motifs.

EtsyKids members will have until September 19th to submit their entries, and voting will be open to everybody from Wednesday, September 21st to Tuesday, September 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!

Meet PetalPetal!

Today we introduce you to EtsyKids Team Member Brianne of PetalPetal
  • what motivated you to start your shop?
My first official line of children's apparel was PetalPetal, a line of flower girl and occasional couture mix and match tops and skirts. I started the line soon after helping my sister-in-law shop for a modern flower girl outfit. We came home with your typical sparkly silky dress which just didn't match her natural outdoor wedding and which her flower girl, Ella, has never worn again. A week after her wedding I came up with the Biggest Flower skirt on a whim and she immediately said, "Why didn't you make that before the wedding? It would have been perfect for a flower girl!" Then the designs just kept coming! Eventually, they flowed over into my new line of vintage-inspired everyday wear for the modern child, VintageChild:Modern.
  • what is the story behind your shop name?
Well, flower girls are known for tossing petals down the aisle, and I think the word "petal" is a great word, so I just used it twice. Really, I don't remember thinking through the name, it just came to me and I ran with it.
  • do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?
So many! I love paper, so RubyRedDesignStudio and imeondesign. I stalk Coldfish because I love her vintage finds, but have yet to buy. HazelVillage has little creatures so incredibly full of personality and they are just as gorgeous in person. I want everything from Nadinoo and OhhhLuLu. I could go on and on, but I'll stop there!
  • what surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
How connected I would become with my customers, especially the brides I work with through PetalPetal. I LOVE when I get photos back from them that they just have to share with me because they loved their flower girl outfits so much! I have been known to cry over thank you notes.
  • what do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
Again, how connected you become with people. Anyone who pours their heart into their work takes a risk. It is a vulnerable spot to be in. I have built great relationships with my customers, but the handmade business is never just about the tasks of designing, sewing and marketing. It is about getting to know people and working to bring their dreams to life.
  • what's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
I love things that are playfully sophisticated. I don't like things stuffy or that have no life to them, but I do love structure. I think the designs from PetalPetal have an almost architectural feel to them, but are still perfect for twirling and running and being silly. My philosophy for VintageChild:Modern has been clear from the beginning. I love the quote from Leonardo da Vinci that "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." And yes, I do think sophistication and childhoods can go together beautifully!
  • how would someone (other then yourself) describe you?
Hmm, well I would love to be described as a playful, free spirit and I think there is definitely that side to me, but I think that during this time in my life as I work to build my two new lines, I think that my friends would say I have become a workaholic, often late and very focused. But I am working to bring more balance into my life right now and I think that I have a deep love of life and of joy and of play that shows through in my work and will hopefully show through in my everyday life again soon!
  • what music do you have on while you are creating?
Well, I often like to work in quiet as sewing has its own rhythm to it, but whenever I am working on editing photos or doing other computer work, I love listening to The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Cat Stevens, The Hollies, Roberta Flack, Peter, Paul and Mary, etc. on my record player and Fleet Foxes, Andrew Bird, The Felice Brothers, Arcade Fire, etc. etc. on my iPod.
  • what do you do when you aren't working?
I feel like I am always on call with work, but I try to squeeze in some meals and coffee dates with friends and I adore the fantastic live music that can be found all over Portland. I also have a deep love for everything that has ever been produced by the BBC, good, bad or ugly.
  • anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
Before beginning PetalPetal I worked for a nonprofit focused on eradicating human trafficking. It opened my eyes to how few opportunities women have around the world so while I love to design and sew, the greater focus of my business has always been to build a company that helps support other women entrepreneurs. Almost all materials from fabrics to buttons to business cards I use for PetalPetal and VintageChild:Modern are purchased from other women-owned businesses and 5% of all profits from both lines are invested in microloans for other women entrepreneurs through Kiva.

A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man-Meet My Artsy Baby

Posted Monday, September 12, 2011

Molly Wagner discovered Etsy in 2008 when she was looking for unique baby items for her 5th child. He would be sharing his parents' room for a bit, so she was looking for nursery pieces that wouldn't make the bedroom look like a preschool. She wanted it to be special and artsy without compromising their adult space.

Browsing through Etsy, not really finding exactly what she wanted, she figured she would just paint her own art for his space. It was then that she realized that she should try to open her own shop and sell the type of children's art that she was already painting for baby shower gifts.

My Artsy Baby was opened in April that year. Four months later, her son Isaac was born. It seemed from the moment he had coordination to hold a crayon, he has been his mother's shadow. He loves to paint and create with mommy, more than any of her other children did. He is completely happy staying in her "Art Room" (sometimes for hours) while she works on orders. He has his own little easel set up in one corner, and just about every coloring book he owns (which is A LOT) has been watercolor painted or colored in.

Once the older kids get home from school, they require all of their mom's attention, leaving Molly no time to work. By having Isaac painting in the same room during the day, it keeps him occupied while she works. It also still gives them quality time together. He is a quick learner, so she tries to incorporate age appropriate lessons (mixing colors, painting or drawing shapes, animal colors, etc) into their time. When he isn't painting, he might be on the floor playing with playdoh, or dancing around the room using crepe paper streamers as ribbons.

It seems as though Molly's Etsy shop was appropriately named because, as Molly says, "He truly is My Artsy Baby." Who knows, maybe he'll grow up and open his own Etsy shop some day. To his Mom, his precious little paintings already are priceless .

Meet Rosirouge!

Posted Thursday, September 08, 2011

Today’s installment marks the beginning of a new feature here on the EtsyKids Team Blog, a get to know our members opportunity -
Today we introduce you to EtsyKids Team Member Rosi of rosirouge

  • what motivated you to start your shop?
Once I found out about Etsy, I thought it was perfect for my line of baby blankets and infantwear since my items are really one-of-a-kind. I use vintage fabrics and trims and sometimes it's not possible to make duplicates. Etsy is an outlet to show that ONE item.

  • what is the story behind your shop name?
My shop name is rosirouge. I used to blush a lot when I was shy. My BFF coined the nickname (Sad to say it is few and far between now and my rouge comes on with a brush!) I really should have started with the name Hanky Blanky which is the name of my line, but Etsy does not let you change names, once you chose one.

  • do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?
Yes, She's a collector as am I...I feel as if I'm at a great flea market!
  • what surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
I am always surprised when I make a sale. I was surprised when I learned about the many teams that help further promote the Etsy community

  • what do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
What is most challenging is keeping up with new listings. The photography, the promotion, devoting time to keep the shop fresh.

  • what's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
I am inspired by vintage things that I have found combing through flea mkts and antique fairs. In making my blankets and things for baby, I want to recapture the innocence of days gone by, a simpler time...using the all-natural fabrics from those eras and re-using/re-cycling sweaters for my plush and a new line of baby sweaters and sock-moccasins. It's important to me to re-cycle and re-purpose these hankies, fabrics, sweaters, buttons and trims.

  • how would someone (other then yourself) describe you?
I have been described as having boundless energy, a doer/pro-active, responsible and a girl who likes to have fun.

  • what music do you have on while you are creating?
Minneapolis radio: (I live in NYC)

  • what do you do when you aren't working?
I grow flowers and vegetables in the summer, I love to mosaic things like birdhouses, table tops or frames and vases in the winter

  • anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
Besides sewing things for my Etsy Shop, I have a full-time career as a costume-maker for Broadway and Film. I needed to keep myself busy during the down times and that is when I started to quilt the hankies into blankies, and designing all the baby clothes with my collection of vintage fabrics.
For the local shoppers, everything is made here in New York. Come visit and get a hands on experience:
Sunday October 2nd at the Atlantic Antic- between Boerum Place and Smith.
October 9th @ Nyack's Famous Street Fair
Oct 15th @ Crafts in Chelsea (W. 21st St, btwn 8th-9th)
And my full website showing many more products is:

A Space of Her Own: Mom N Mia Quilts

Posted Monday, September 05, 2011

Today we stop in Grand Rapids Michigan for a tour of Mom N Mia's Quilts. Maria Klesney makes everything from quilts to bibs and her signature Art Buckets in her studio, which takes up about 1/3 of her basement/lower level. She only shares it with her stacks of fabric!

She used to take over the entire kitchen and then some for sewing. As her business (and fabric stash) started to grow, they decided to finish off the basement so she could have a space dedicated to her work. The open floor plan (only 3 walls) allows the kids their own play room on one side, while her husband has an office on the other side of her studio space. They can all converse and see what the others are doing all the time. The space is a large daylight basement, with a great casement window above her sewing desk for lots of natural light.

Even though her studio is part of a larger shared area, her family knows not to mess with "Mom's Stuff".
The kids occassionally raid her notions drawers for ribbons, buttons, etc., but they are generally hands off. Her 5-year old loves to help her pin fabric together in prep for sewing. She tries to keep it pretty organized, but still manages to misplace things . . . like the piece of fabric she special ordered for a custom's in there somewhere!!

In The News:: Westmama Designs

Posted Saturday, September 03, 2011

Magazine editors have caught on to the treasure trove that is Etsy. When BabyTalk Magazine, contacted Kimberly, owner and designer of EtsyKids Shop, Westmama, for a product sample, she never dreamed it would end up on the cover of the September 2011 issue!! Congratulations Kimberly!!

Love the shirt? See all of Westmama Design's T-Rex shirts here.

Westmama Designs Etsy Shop.
Westmama Designs Blog.
Westmama Designs on Twitter.
Westmama Designs on Facebook.

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