Meet Etsy Seller AuntMsCreations

Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Today we would like to introduce you to Marilyn
and her Etsy shop Aunt Ms Creations

Aunt Ms Creations has been selling on Etsy since November 2010, she sells practical, functional, and fun for children and adults. Today they are sharing a little about their shop and selling handmade items.

15 inch CUDDLE BLANKET. Frog Ultra Cuddly. Red Minky. Ribbon tags - AuntMsCreations HIDDEN TREASURE bags. I Spy bags. FARM animals theme edition. - AuntMsCreations 18 Inch DOLL SLEEPING BAG only. - AuntMsCreations HOODED TOWEL. Light Blue. Polka Dot Ribbon. Sailboat button. - AuntMsCreations

What motivated you to start your shop?
I started out by making hooded towels for baby gifts. I realized that those who received them loved them so I thought why not try to sell them? Then I added other items for children as I thought this would make my shop more cohesive. As I create and add items it often leads to another idea. I have plenty more ideas of products that might be added in the future!

What is the story behind your shop name?
I am privileged to be the aunt of 26 nieces and nephews (17 on my side and 9 on my husband's side). The oldest ones starting calling me Auntie M. When I was looking for a shop name I wanted something that could be remembered easily, reflected who I am and what I have for sale. So I thought that using Aunt Ms was great and added Creations so I could be open ended to what all I include in my shop in the future.

What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
That people like what I have for sale and are excited about my products. I love creating items that people need- things that are practical, functional and yet fun.
I also love the feedback I receive from my customers online and at craft shows that I attend. It's so confirming when you hear the enthusiastic responses to seeing my products and the desire someone has to purchase something- or when someone has a hard time deciding what to buy because they are interested in lots of things.

What is your favourite creations from your shop?
I would have to say I like to make everything that I offer in my shop or I wouldn't offer them. But I love the Hidden Treasure bags that have the different themes.
I was an early childhood teacher for many years and would have loved to have these bags to use to teach concepts such as letters, numbers, shapes and colors. They offer a fun and unique approach to teaching little ones basic concepts. My second favorite items are the doll sleeping bags- they bring smiles to young girls faces which brings a smile to my face in return!

What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
It is extremely difficult to get noticed when there are so many shops and many selling similar products. I offer the best product I know how to create and try to entice potential customers with great descriptions, good titles and the correct tags so my items are found in the search.

What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
Sell products that I love to make. Offer great customer service. Stand behind my products. Show integrity and be appreciative of every inquiry and every sale and every treasury that I am included in. Bring delight to my customers when they open the package, see the items wrapped in tissue paper and tied with ribbon with a hand written thank you note!

How would someone (other then you) describe you?
Organized. Joyful. Dependable. Creative.

What do you do when you aren't working?
I love to read, hang out with my husband and daughter as well as with extended family and friends. I also am very active in my church and lead a weekly Bible study for women.
Sewing to me is not work but fun and relaxing!

Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
I really enjoy running all aspects of my business- from creating to packaging and all the steps in between! My husband is my biggest cheerleader and my daughter is so excited whenever I have a sale!! I couldn't do this without their support!

RE-USABLE BAGS- Set of 2- Rainbow Stripes - AuntMsCreations DOLL SLEEPING Bag and Pajama set. Brown fleece. Pink Striped Flannel. American Girl and other 18 inch dolls. - AuntMsCreations Eco Friendly RE-USABLE BAGS- Set of 3- Cupcakes - AuntMsCreations SAVE when you buy 4. YOUR CHOICE of 4 Theme Hidden Treasure Bags. I Spy. - AuntMsCreations

15 Back-to-School Books to Read with your Kids

Posted Monday, July 29, 2013

The First Day of School is around the corner for many of us, and if your child is anything like mine, they are nervous, excited, anxious, worried, thrilled, and many more emotions! My 5 year old is downright "NOT GOING TO KINDERGARTEN" which he announced loud and clear in the checkout line at Target. As a Reading Specialist, I decided to purchase some books that may help calm my little one's fears and worries about school. I've put together a collection of what I believe are the best 15 books that can help your child deal with a variety of emotions about school. 

Little Critter books are recognizable and a favorite among many children. Little Critter is nervous while getting ready for school, and he anticipates all the things he'll do while at school. But, there's a lot he has to do before he can get ready for school. This book can help your child see that he/she can help with the school preparations too. Plus, this is a "Lift the Flap" adventure book about all the things in store for Little Critter at school.

Splat the Cat is another recognizable character that children love. When Splat gets to school, he gets homework on the first night! His homework assignment is to pick just one of his favorite summer activities to share with his friends. What will the best part of his summer be? You'll have to read to find out!

This book is great for calming any fears about Kindergarten because it shows the readers both sides of getting ready for school. It shows the kids getting ready for school, as well as Miss Bindergarten preparing her classroom. What also makes this book great is that it's a learning tool! Miss B. has 26 students in her class--and their names each begin with a letter of the alphabet. Their names are also the names of animals, Adam is an Alligator, Brenda is a Beaver, etc. What a great way to get some alphabet practice in while reading!

I love these books because they are rhyming books. Plus there are other titles, such as "The Night Before Kindergarten", etc. This book is all about the realities of being nervous for your first day of school, so it gives kids a perspective on what to expect at school. It's a great book for conquering first day jitters!

This book is a collection of all the manners and behaviors that are appropriate for school. I think this book is great for any age just as a refresher on what's appropriate for school, because all children get a little relaxed on manners during summer vacation. This book covers topics such as sharing, picking up after yourself, taking care of friendships, and many more! This is a great book for teachers and students alike. 

This book is geared toward all ages as well. I feel that this is one of the more important books that should be read before going back to school, and even as a refresher in the middle of the school year. With all the bullying topics in the news today, this book can really address how students should act toward others. This book helps kids see that not everyone has the latest fashions, and that not everyone is as trendy as their neighbor. This book teaches the difference between "want" and "need", and addresses the topic of accepting others for who they are, not what they may or may not have. 

Ok, who can resist Amelia Bedelia? I put this book in the collection because of the comic relief Amelia provides. She's goofy and funny, and will make the children laugh. And sometimes laughter is all we need to calm our fears. Amelia's excitement for school just explodes through the story, and it can really help your child become excited too! "Hooray for School!"

If you haven't read any Llama, Llama books, you should! They are fantastic! This one is particular is great for addressing separation anxiety. Llama goes to school for the first time, and is devastated when his mommy leaves. His friends help him see just how fun preschool can be. The day goes by so fast, that Mama is back before little Llama knows it. It's important for our younger children to realize that we will ALWAYS come back. 

For all the new Kindergarteners out there! This is the perfect countdown book! It's a counting book that counts down form only "10 days left till school". We all know that one of the expectations of going to Kindergarten is learning how to tie your shoes--and this book addresses that. The cat in the story also provides a lot of comic relief. This is also a great book for parents to see that issues that we think are minor can cause much anxiety for our kids.

In this book, Sam wants to be the class "hamster helper" but his turn is taking a long time to come. Unfortunately instead of being patient, Sam takes matters into his own hands one day while his class is on a field trip. This is a great book about patience and how important it is to follow the rules. Because it's an "I can Read Book" many 2nd graders may be able to read this one on their own.

I included this book in the collection, because the "if you" series from Laura Numeroff are downright funny.  If you take a mouse to school, he'll ask for your lunchbox. When you give him your lunchbox, he'll want...This book is an adventure all throughout the first day of school. This book is also great for teaching a very important reading skill: Prediction. Before you read the next part, let your child tell you what he thinks the mouse will ask for next.

Not all of our children are going to grade school for the first time, some are going to preschool this fall. I included this book because Maisy is an old favorite of mine. This book talks all about playtime, snack time, potty time, nap time, and more! This book will take your child through the day in the life of a preschooler. It's a great book for showing your child what to expect on their first day of preschool. 

This book portrays a little boy's first day of school. What I love most about this book is that it includes a parent/guardian section for adults on how they can help prepare their children to greet the first day of school with enthusiasm, confidence, and excitement. This book touches on a wide variety of feelings your child may feel on their first day, until everything becomes more familiar. 

This book is hilarious! This book is about Sarah and how scared she is to start over in a new school. She has a pit in her stomach and her nervousness consumes her, until she finds a new friend. Sarah finally pulls it together and goes to school to conquer the first day. The exciting twist? Sarah is Mrs. Sarah Hartwell, a TEACHER! Your kids will love the surprise of knowing that Sarah is actually a teacher who is feeling just as nervous as the students!

These "Follow The Line" books are just great all around. First, the illustrations are VERY well done as each picture is created by one single line that carries on and on throughout the whole book. This is a fun and interactive book that will quiet your child's fear for just a moment while they explore this story. It's unique, interactive, and engaging text takes children on an adventure through the whole school--from the classroom, to the library, to recess, to the science corner, and more!

That wraps up my collection! I hope you found some books you can pick up to read with your children before their first day of school. Don't forget to read with your children at least 30 minutes a day. It's crucial to their cognitive, social, and emotional development, and very important for their developing reading skills--you don't always have to be the reader, let your child read to you too!

Until next time, 

Erica's shop eLeMeNO-P Kids offers toys for the learning child. 
Follow her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and her Blog. You can also shop her Website.

Treasury Challenge #14 - Christmas in July

Posted Saturday, July 27, 2013

The theme for the EtsyKids Team treasury challenge #14 was "Christmas in July". Our team members created lots of beautiful treasuries featuring some amazing items, but the winner with 110 views is...

Thank you Kassie for creating such a lovely treasury!

Meet Etsy Seller ThatsTheCutestThing

Posted Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Today we would like to introduce you to Vicky
and her Etsy shop ThatsTheCutestThing

ThatsTheCutestThing has been selling on Etsy since March 2011, she sells knit & crochet photo props, clothing & accessories. Today they are sharing a little about their shop and selling handmade items.

Christmas Photo Prop Hat, Elf Stocking Crochet Red and White Striped with Tassel, Newborn Size (Item 764) - ThatsTheCutestThing Photo Prop Flower Bonnet, Crochet Pink Petals with Green Leaf Ties, Newborn to 3 Month Size (Item 635) - ThatsTheCutestThing Rose Pink Crochet Bonnet, Wool Cashmere, with Flower and Ties, 6 to 12 Month Size (Item 872) - ThatsTheCutestThing Purple Baby Cloche Hat with Cream Flower and Vintage Button, Newborn to 6 Month Size (Item 876) - ThatsTheCutestThing

What motivated you to start your shop?
My loyal customers and my curiosity were my major motivations for opening my Etsy shop. I'd been selling crochet and knit children's clothing and accessories at an annual large craft show since 2005, and every year my returning (and new!) customers were more persistent in asking for contact information, my business website, and custom orders. It took me two years to persuade myself to turn my hobby into a business, but I did so as I was curious to try it and grow from the experience. I opened my Etsy shop on March 16, 2011.

What is the story behind your shop name?
Every creative person has their own style, and what I find myself making are more "classic cute" items. My business was "The Cutest Thing" in earlier years. That name was taken when I first registered on Etsy, so I expanded it to "That's The Cutest Thing" based on my first customer at my first craft show. As soon as I'd opened my craft booth in the early morning, she ran into my booth, grabbed a toddler sweater that was hanging on my display, held it up for her friend to see and said, "Isn't that the cutest thing you've ever seen?!" The name seemed to be the perfect fit for my style and my customers, so I kept it.

What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
I wasn't a seller that believed that simply listing an item would make a sale, but I'll readily admit I wasn't prepared for the ENORMOUS amount of work it takes to establish and maintain your shop! My first year alone was spent making inventory. Shipping profiles, teams, Facebook, taxes, marketing, photography, advertising, treasuries, accounting, RTS sales, graphic design, spreadsheets, wholesaling . . . my learning curve has fallen off the chart over the past two years to say the least. And it still continues . . .

What is your favourite creations from your shop?
I love the current popularity of bonnets! I love dressing little girls, and I find bonnets so much fun to knit and crochet. It's also nice for my business that they appeal to both my target populations: family members and photographers.

What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
Organization--something I used to be very good at doing before opening my shop, but not so much anymore! A small business is a never-ending task, and it has infiltrated all aspects of my life. I always feel I'm one season/photo shoot/month BEHIND all the time. Summertime is catch-up and stock-up time for me, so I'm hoping this fall I'll be in a better place.

What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
I believe that parents and photographers should have access to unique handmade clothing and accessories for their children and clients that are cute, beautifully colored, comfortable, durable, easily cared for, meticulously finished, and safe to wear. All of my creations are made with the mindset that they will become family heirlooms, just as my grandmother's handmade items for her grandchildren did. It's so much fun (and quite a compliment) to see photos of others using and enjoying what I made for them. And I love the idea that something I lovingly crafted will be treasured by someone on the other side of the world!

How would someone (other then you) describe you?
Caring, independent, meticulous. I think I'll stop there as any additional becomes quite . . . colorful! ;-)

What do you do when you aren't working?
In addition to my shop, I work full-time as a pediatric and neonatal critical care nurse. Believe it or not, I do manage to squeeze in fun things around the two jobs! Another passion of mine is serving as a nursing volunteer on international (11 and counting!) and domestic missions and in a local community low-cost clinic for children and adults. I also love antique shopping and collecting, baking, photography, traveling, gardening, and watching movies.

Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
My best tip for my fellow Etsy sellers: Search locally for resources you need for your shop. In 2011, I needed to find a photographer for professional model photos of my items. Rather than employ a modeling service that would take a lot of time, shipping, and logistics, I did a "local" search on Etsy to find a photographer that other local sellers were using. Right away I found beautiful photos in Vintage Pretties by EMA's shop ( by Elizabeth Alexander. When I contacted Eliz Alex Photography (, I was blessed to find out that she was happy to do model photography for me, and that Vintage Pretties was her shop as well! Working with her over the past two years, my shop photos have been completely transformed into a cohesive gallery of my creations. I'm supporting local business, a fellow Etsian and small business owner, and I made a great friend in the process!
In the same vein, I met fellow Etsian Julia McPherson of Innerspace Marketing, LLC (, through a local Etsy team. She has been my "go-to" person for a new logo & graphic design, ad buttons, and marketing and advertising materials for my shop. Julia is wonderful to work with, always responds rapidly to my requests, and she's transformed my brand and made my business endeavors much more professional-looking on a daily basis.

I'd love for you to become fans of my Facebook and Pinterest pages!

ThatsTheCutestThing is offering 15% discount for our blog readers! To use the coupon visit her etsy store and enter code "ETSYKIDS15" at checkout, valid until August 31, 2013.

Monkey Hat, Photo Prop Crochet Earflap Brown with Braids, Newborn to 3 Month Size (Item 830) - ThatsTheCutestThing Newborn Photography Layering Set, Crochet Prop Bonnet Mint Green, Fuschia Pink, Newborn Size (Item 880) - ThatsTheCutestThing Newborn Button Cloche Beanie Hat, Knit in Pink Mint Green White, Newborn to 3 Month Size (Item 884) - ThatsTheCutestThing Knit Earflap Hat, Braids Blue Purple Multicolored, 6 to 12 Month Size (Item 676) - ThatsTheCutestThing

Natural and Eco Friendly Summer Activities For Children

Posted Monday, July 22, 2013

At our home we are always looking for new activities in the summer time, especially ones that are natural and eco-friendly.  Summer is a time to explore the world around us and what nature has to offer.  Here are some eco-friendly and nature inspired activities we have done with our family late spring and early summer. At the bottom of the post I have also included a list of 5 blogs/sites that have great ideas for families. Have a safe and green summer!

Taking a hike

Participating in a 1 mile kids run

Growing our own veggies

                                                               Feeding giraffes at the Zoo
Building a fairy house

  A camping trip

Visiting a petting zoo

Dorinda's shop, Raising Green Kids, offers eco-friendly products for your family. Follow her on Facebook and twitter and at her blog.
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