Monday, August 31, 2009

One BIG Thank You and a Giveaway!

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Well, it's true... it really was a pretty exciting shopping experience, and unlike anything I've experienced before. My blackberry was ringing like mad with sales for nearly for 2 hours. I can't get over it. So many moms worked really hard to nab a pair for their little ones, so I think mom deserves a little something. So, to say thanks for the success, I'm having a giveaway. The winner can choose either a magnolia brooch or a mini fabric necklace. To enter, just leave your name, which you prefer {brooch or mini-necklace} and a way to contact you {blog site, email, etsy name, etc....}* Thank you, again, to everyone for all your kindess and encouragement. Sorry this is short; I obviously have a lot going on at the moment. If you nabbed a pair, but didn't get your first choice, see the comments in the previous post. Thank you again!

CONTEST IS CLOSED!
Thank you to all who entered. The winner will can be found HERE.

*Contest closes Thursday, September 3 11:59 pm CST. If you become a follower through blogger, you get a double entry and can post twice in the comments. Please allow 2-3 weeks plus shipping to receive your prize. The winner will be annouced Friday, September 4.
Sunday, August 30, 2009

Holy Toledo!

Well, that was a pretty exciting night! 65+ sales in a little under two hours! Wow! I'm still reeling in the aftermath a bit and want to post a few follow up notes here.

1) If you missed out on a pair, I'm really sorry! I had no idea I would sell everything. I already have fabric to make more of the Summer Soiree shoes. You can see which ones I will remake in the post below. However, me being me, I have fabric for new projects, too. {Why can't I just relax... I think there is something wrong with me.} Anyway, I need at least a week before I list more SS shoes. When I do, I will offer the Belle in pink first.

2) If you were able to make more than one purchase, you probably were not able to buy them all at once and get combined shipping. I'm really sorry about this! It's a hassle for you and me. You will be issued a shipping credit. I am going to wait a day or two until all payments have cleared and then go in and issue credits. If you do not see a credit by Wednesday, please contact me! Also, please kindly respect my policy and make your payment within 48 hours, especially since some people who really wanted shoes were not able to buy them in time.

3) I almost took a picture of my blackberry as proof, but didn't... I received 147 emails between 9:30 pm and now. I will answer your email, but it might take me a day or two, perhaps longer if it is not about an order but just a general question. If you have an urgent matter, please don't hesitate to send me a second email or convo.

Thank you to everyone for such unbelievable success! I had no idea.... !

The Summer Soiree Collection

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Way back when, I blogged about design maven Paula Prass sending me some of her fabric from her lovely Summer Soiree Collection. At long last, they are finally finished! So, I have a nice long post for you with styles, availability, and prices.

I will list all items in the set at 9:30 pm CST.
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Here are all eight styles....
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Top left to right: Audrey, Abigail, Sabrina, Molly
Bottom left to right: Lauren, Belle in pink, Roxie, Belle in Blue

Prices and Sizes Available:
Audrey* $24, Size 2, 3, and 4
Abigail* $28, Size 4 and 7
Sabrina $28, Size 3-7
Molly* $26, Size 2-7
Lauren $26, Size 2, 4-7
Belle in Pink $26, Size 3-7
Roxie* $32, Size 2-7
Belle in Blue, $26, Size 2-7

In all styles I do not currently have any multiples; one per size only.
*indicates limited edition styles

For additional pictures of styles you haven't seen in previous posts....
Lauren... this color blue looks really lovely on little girls. Little pearl bead in the center of the flower.
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Belle in pink, very bright and girlie...
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Abigail, only two of these! little pink buttons and stitching on the leaves....
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And now for the accessories.....

Belle Headband in Pink $18 (5 available)
Belle Headband in Blue $18 (2 available)
Molly Headband (2 available)
Belle Alligator clips in blue and pink $8 each

Belle Headband in Blue, flower colors are pink, blue, and white
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The Molly Headband: blue stripey ribbon, red silk dupioni, cerise taffeta. What's not to love? Really fun for mother or daughter, I will make more but ran out of supplies
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Additionally, I made scarves like the one Mia is wearing in the picture above. They are made of either a light-weight knit or jersey. They have are ruffled and have a raw edge. I tried "finishing" them more, but I just loved the way a simple ruffle draped. They included a flower brooch {not shown, it's a Belle clip in the pic below.} I have yet to finish these, and may not have them listed until later in the week. They are coming in three colors: espresso, dotty green, and cherry blossom pink {not pictured.}
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I did sneak in an extra item that is not exlusively Paula Prass fabrics. Some of you, as I know personally in some cases, are avid gift givers or have an abundance of baby showers stretching out before you. This listing is created with you in mind!
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It's called the "Gift Givers" set and it includes 5 pairs of shoes and 3 clips for $82. This ends up being about $15 a pair, which is a great price point for a handmade gift. The catch is that the selection of shoes are carte blanche; i.e., my choice. The shoes are made how I used to make all my shoes: with a raw edge and suede soles. Girls shoes have little flowers and boys have a circle applique. I have two of these sets. Here are a few of the shoes I have made.
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Can I just say, phew, I am tired! Between sewing, packaging, and photographing everything, it's been a very big project. In fact, there are a handful of shoes I am still finishing. Because of this, please give me 4-5 business days plus shipping to receive your order. Also, Etsy is not an ideal venue to sell items that get gobbled up quickly. Please be patient with me as I relist! Also, please, PLEASE, specify size in the notes to seller. This is very important.

One final thing, for you mothers of boys, here is a sneak peak. I hope you enjoy the shoes. They have been a labor of love. Thanks, Paula, for providing the fabric and inspiration!
Friday, August 28, 2009

Paula Prass Shoes ~ Sneak Peak IV

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So, I know... the Roman numerals are getting a little ridiculous. The great thing about having fabric sent to me is that it forces me to work out of my typical color scheme. I would never make a shoe out of gray of my own volition; in fact, I almost opted out of using it. But I love these and they will match virtually any color. They are called Molly. If you ever want to know, I give my shoes names because after making hundreds of styles, it is a way I can remember to keep them straight. Most shoe designers name their shoes, actually.

Stressed

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This is how I feel trying to find a time to post all the new shoes. I received easily a half dozen emails and convos from customers requesting that I pick a different day than Saturday. So, I am going to move the time to Sunday at 9:30 pm. I am hoping this will create less conflicts :)

As for the picture above, it's a really old one taken with a point and shoot camera. {Btw, I have plans to post more photo-editing tips like this one and this one soon.} Aidan was actually laughing and just messing around when I took it. As for changing the time, I am a little relieved actually, as it was 11:30 pm last night, and I was telling Robert, "I need to pull an all-nighter." He says, "No, no you don't. You have tomorrow." {We have this conversation at least 3 times a week.} Anyway, I can use the extra day! I will post additional pictures, but not until late in the afternoon because I have meetings through the whole day. I hope you are have a lovely Friday, friends!
Thursday, August 27, 2009

Miakins

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Okay, so it's not the best picture of Mia {it's more like a picture of the headband} but doesn't she look angelic? Ha! Don't be fooled! She's a little spitfire already. It's been just the two of us in the mornings, since Aidan started one of his schools this week. Let me tell you, it couldn't come soon enough! I read on someone else's blog that she shed tears--of joy!--as her kiddos boarded the bus. I must confess, it was like that me for me! Anyway, so back to Mia being a spitfire, she ate an entire Lindt chocolate bar for breakfast on Monday. It seems one of my vices is not only leaving coffee cups littered about the house, but chocolate bars, too. In my defense, it was unopened and on a very high shelf. But, she caught a glint of the foil wrapper and... Well, I got out of the shower to find a trail of gold wrapper peelings that started in the kitchen and went all the way up the stairs and into Aidan's room. I finally found the remaining chocolate--all that was left was a quarter-sized piece that she couldn't get out of the foil.

Mia has also taken to playing with things in the dishwasher. She loves forks and spoons, so she pulls *shudder* dirty ones out of the dishwasher and leaves them in random places like my closet and in the trunk of her fisher price car. *ick, ick, ick* Just this morning, Robert asked her to throw a napkin away, and she looked at him and said in the sweetest voice, "But I don't want to." I forgot to put up the gate to my studio one morning, and I found her crunching on seed beeds like nonpareils. She jumped when I caught her, then gave me a toothy smile and said mmmm and asked for more. She also loves little handled shopping bags {and really, what girl doesn't.} So, she totes her blankie, some of her random favorite shoes, and her pink sun glasses about the house in a Starbucks bag. She is truly a riot, and I thank God every day that He gave me the little girl He did.

Here is a pic I took awhile ago of another fabric necklace I made. No crazy get-up this time! Okay, off to have at it!
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Oh, I almost forgot to say: some of you have sent me the most kindest emails! Truly, they are so kind I could cry! With the start of school, the wholesale order, etc. it is taking me awhile to reply but only because I'd like to send a thoughtful reply :)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Paula Prass Shoes ~ Sneak Peak III

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For the little future fashionista who is wild at heart.

So now you have seen 3 of the 8 styles of shoes made from Paula Prass's Summer Soiree fabric. I am going to try to post pictures of the full collection on Friday along with notice of when I will list them {I will give you at least 12 hours notice.} Some styles are limited edition and available only in a few sizes. However, I did anticipate that some styles would be more popular than others, and for those I have already ordered additional fabric. I anticipate that the larger sizes especially will sell out fairly quickly as I did not make multiples in any sizes. All pictures, available quantities, etc. coming soon.... really, just as soon as I can.
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Friday, August 21, 2009

Paula Prass Shoes ~ Sneak Peak II

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Coming Soon.....
Thursday, August 20, 2009

What's Fun about Normal, Anyway?

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I did a bunch of things I never do today: wear red lipstick, put on more than one scarf, and take pictures of myself in my front yard, to name a few. Remember, it was YaYa's birthday yesterday, and I thought of the perfect accessory for her or any gal who is a little more fashion courageous. I have seen really funky fabric necklaces popping up everywhere. I saw a dynamite one at Anthropologie with a price tag to match. The great thing about having a studio is that I have an infinite number of creative supplies at my disposal. Make, not buy is usually my motto. Thus, a super bright fabric necklace was one of YaYa's gifts. But, pictured by itself, it might look a little ridiculous, so I thought it would help to see it worn. Thus, all my unusual exploits in the front yard mentioned above. In fact, when the mail man and the neighbor's lawn crew were all watching with raised eye brows, I almost stopped because, surely, they were thinking I wasn't normal. Then I laughed out loud and thought, well, what's fun about being normal anyway?

So, here is my crazy morning picture, so you can see the necklace....
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It is made of simple cotton fabrics with little beads tucked in here and there. They tie with vintage seam binding. I gave YaYa the blue one below, but I made just one extra {the one above} if one of my blog readers wants it.Photobucket


I tried to make even the back of them interesting and eclectic looking. Like my shoes, I packaged them in a labeled fabric bag.

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I only have the one necklace, so if the paypal link is gone, that means it sold.


In addition, I thought you might like my "You Will Thank Me Later" cake recipe. What seems like an era ago, I worked as a pastry chef. I suppose the term "chef" is arguable, since I am not classically trained. Whatever label I was, I made lemon mascarpone cakes, flourless chocolate tortes, cappuccino creme brulee, and tirimisu by the truck loads. {To this day, I still crack and open an egg with one hand.} All this preamble is to let you know that, despite the "homey" ingredients, it produces gourmet results--promise. It will be you go-to birthday cake.

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Vanilla Bean Ricotta Cake

1 package white cake mix
1 pint whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
1 vanilla bean {optional}
1 egg plus whatever eggs are called for in cake mix
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant cheesecake pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 container frozen whipped topping, thawed or real whip cream
Fresh Berries and mint {optional}

Prepare cake mix as directed on box. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and whisk into cake batter until evenly dispersed. Pour batter into 9 x 13 x 2 inch greased baking dish or two 8 inch cake pans. Set aside. Combine ricotta cheese, sugar, and egg. Blend well. Drop mixture by large spoonfuls into pan evenly and swirl with a knife to mix. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 75 minutes if using a glass baking dish, 90 minutes if using a metal pan. After cake has cooled, blend pudding mix and milk until thickened. Blend in whipped topping. Spread over cooled cake. If desired, top with fresh berries and mint sprigs.

I'll be waiting to hear your rave reviews :)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009

YaYa

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This is my grandmother. The kids call her YaYa, which I think might be Greek for "grandma," though we aren't Greek. YaYa is 82 years old today and just as fiesty as ever. She is hip on all the fashion trends, and she wears animal prints, purples, and kelly greens. She shops like a mad woman and loves high heels, wedge heels in particular, which she calls "wedgies," despite my repeated attempts to tell her that it means something completely different. YaYa also is on email, Facebook, MySpace, and she Twitters. I don't even Twitter. Oh, yeah, she also has a blog, which she calls "Sprite Lady."

This got me thinking about the ways we connect and the many relationships {professional or otherwise} that have been created through social media alone. I find myself talking about "my friend who has a vineyard in Napa" or "my friend who lives in Fresno" and then I realize that I have to say, "Well, she's my internet friend, you see I haven't actually met her." Then I saw this video and realized this is the way our world is turning.




Finally, I have a few random images from my parent's beautiful yard, where I took Ya Ya's picture. Their pomegranate tree...
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...and the fountain in their front yard.
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So, I am off to make a cake... Happy 82nd Birthday, YaYa!!!! Love you!!!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Paula Prass Shoes ~ Sneak Peak

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I know what you are thinking: what is taking her so long to make those shoes? Well, a wholesale order for 100. It is slowing everything down. A company in London made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Plus, I still have the kiddos full time until Aidan starts school next Monday. When I list the Paula Prass shoes, I will be offering the entire collection at once--around 6 styles with some fun new accessories. Pictured are the Belle shoes in blue. Don't worry; I will give plenty of notice before I list the collection. :)
Thursday, August 13, 2009

Privacy: errr, huh?

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Is it just me? Am I the only mother in the world to be washing my face in the shower, only to open my eyes and find one fully clothed and fully wet little child suddenly pressing up against me? The love of a child knows no bounds.... nor boundaries, nor closed doors.
Monday, August 10, 2009

Little Heads Up

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Just wanted to post that I will be listing the Chloe shoes at noon today, as soon as I make some more matching headbands. I also have these little orange poof headbands and will list those, too! As for the Chloe shoes, I only made two in each size 2-7.
Saturday, August 8, 2009

Water Babies

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I have gotten quite a few emails lately asking about the Chloe shoes and understandably so, as I said I would list them well over a week ago. The truth is, despite considerable effort, I have not been able to find childcare for the kiddos,and some days are just maddening bouncing back and forth between caring for kids and trying to sew.

Thus, I decided to throw caution to the wind and try to make it a fun day for the kids. So... beach day! It was a little sandy and quite a bit of effort to get there, but well worth it to see Aidan's little dimple pop out when we drove over the bridge, and he saw the sun glimmering on the ocean.

It was hot and sandy, but we had a great time.
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Buddies.... so cute!
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And then their eyes met, he he....
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Thanks, Kelly {pictured below}, for practically coercing me into going--I'm so glad I did!
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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Soiree Swoon

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If you have ever purchased designer fabric, then you know the name Michael Miller, one of the leading national fabric companies. Well, I was absolutely tickled pink when design maven Paula Prass of Michael Miller asked me if she could send me some of her fabric from her new line, Summer Soiree to make shoes.

The prints are vivid and the colors inspiring; in fact, I am brimming with ideas for some super saucy new shoe designs. For now, though, they exist only in my mind's eye and in some really bad sketches on random scraps of paper. I can't wait to offer a whole new collection of limited edition shoes made from Paula's designs. In the mean time, I have two pictures to entice you and give you a little sneak peak at the color pallette. The picture below is of my little niece, Ella, who has gorgeous blue eyes that she would not let me capture; as it was, she was stuffed with mouthfuls of Lucky Charm marshmellows just to be still enough so her head wasn't blurry. So, if any colors jump out at you, start putting in your sizes requests now.

Heraclitus said, "The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts." I love this sentiment, and it makes me think just as we should fill our mind with brilliant hues, it doesn't hurt to look at bright colors in tandem. A couple scraps of Summer Soiree is all your need to be thinking cheery! Thanks, Paula!
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Monday, August 3, 2009

Essential

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What you are looking at is a lock on our pantry--something I highly recommend for anyone with children under the age of 5. I know, at first blush, it might seem controlling. But, let me tell you, after waking up to peanut butter smeared into your Pottery Barn area rug or your son eating an entire package of Oreo's while watching Saturday morning cartoons, you will start to see the brilliance in it.

In additional and likewise unexciting news, band-aids are the hot item dujour. When given the choice between some super cool Spiderman sun glasses and band-aids, Aidan chose the later. Now, all his toys lie wounded and strangers think he is horribly abused. *sigh*
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In general, summer is just as hot and crazy as ever. We do what we can, in the Houston heat, to keep ourselves entertained.
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As for new styles of shoes, I have so much on the docket, but the things I hope to list the soonest are the Chloe shoes, boys shoes, and the dresses. Bear with me.... everything takes longer than I want it to.

Finally, I have an interesting offering for you. Several months back, a customer said that she guessed I had never heard it before, but she wanted to buy Mia's used shoes and/or clothes. That was the first time I was asked, but oddly enough, I actually have gotten several requests since then. You would think my little girl would have a closet of old Mia Joie shoes, but the truth is she does not. Part of the reason is because she often gets the proto-type, which undergoes moderate improvements before I offer them on Etsy. Futhermore, in attempts to give you the most durable product possible, Mia wears her shoes everywhere: sand boxes, mud puddles, play grounds, etc. You name it, she has probably stepped in it wearing her shoes. However, I found these little green damask shoes {size 3} I made for Mia. They are hardly worn and could be yours for a mere $5. I took this picture just today, and they come packaged in a bag and with a matching barrette. I also had enough fabric for a wee little pair of Dotty Rose Leg Warmers. I'll be honest, they are so short at a mere 6" that they barely look like leg warmers, but *trust me* they will be super cute on a wee little baby--and the price is right, as the only cost is for shipping ;)

So, back to the pantry lock, please tell me: do all children need this kind of barricade to eat a moderately sensible diet? I swear, Aidan would live off of slim jims and pretzels. Any advice?
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The paypal link for the shoes is below. If the paypal logo is gone, it means they have sold.

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