Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Day Brooch


Another in the $2 Giveaway Series--The Happy Day Brooch. Pin it to your t-shirt, your toddler, your tote... wherever you need a little extra happiness. {I have 2, please only one per person.}

If you're a new visitor, you can read more about the $2 Giveaway Series Here. So, tell me, what made you happy today?

***Both brooches are sold***
Saturday, September 26, 2009

Some Things I've Learned

I'm not a great photographer and I'm not a professional--I'll be the first to admit it. However, figuring out how to market a product line, I have learned a few things about taking a picture. Before, I used to just tote around a camera after my kids and hope for good pictures. Not surprisingly, after snapping several, there might be one great one. That's getting lucky. Getting a good picture, just like anything else, takes thought and planning. *rats* Not to say that some of my most favorite pics haven't been candid moments, but some times there is something to be said for creating a more interesting picture.
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Sometimes it's fun to add a few additional elements: green grass, bag of rose petals, a little basket and--voile--interesting photo op. Granted, it's slighty trite, but still really sweet. Another thing I learned is experimenting with angles, like tilting the camera left or right, standing up on a chair, and lying almost on the ground like in this pic.
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Implemeting my new found photography skill set, I tried to take pictures of my little niece, Ella. Emphasis on try because, for the life of me, she would not smile.
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I sang songs to her.....
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twinkle twinkle little star...
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the wheels on the bus....
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if you're happy and you know it...
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and...
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nope
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Gave her snacks...
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cheerios...
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star puffs...
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even marshmellows....
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and....
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nope
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tickled her belly...
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blew her kisses...
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laughed big belly laughs...
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and...
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still no.
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Even had Aidan come out and make funny faces...
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and...
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still...
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no dice.
I think you'll agree, though, she is still one pretty little girl! So, those are my photog tricks. Now any tips on getting a baby to smile??
Thursday, September 24, 2009

And to Think, I Hardly Ever Win Anything

Things have been changing over here, and if you haven't noticed... Well, then it's time to grab that second cup of coffee. Yes, my blog has gotten a nice little overhaul. Earlier this month, I won a blog makeover by the lovely Timi of Cinnamon Girl Studio. Timi was asking me what I had in my mind's eye, and I really wanted a slideshow banner, especially with how quickly my items are getting snatched up these days. After some considerable effort, Timi found a way to make it happen! The two of us have been toiling into the wee hours of the morning for the past week collaborating on a fresh new design.

I have to say, I am thrilled with the results. So, mill about, listen to the new song on my playlist, watch the slideshow, and make yourself at home! I am so glad you're here!

Oh, yes, I almost forgot, as the links above indicate, this is not my only big project in the works. Some of those other things are quite a ways out, but it will give you a good idea of what is coming. Thank you so much, Timi, for all your hard work; I couldn't be happier!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another $2 Giveaway!


Another Mia Joie $2 Giveaway. I have a bunch of these fabric bags and use them for all sorts of things: make-up, snacks, little toddler lunch bag, etc. Fun and functional! Washable--of course! Each bag is roughly 7.5" square. Only one per person please!
***ALL BAGS ARE SOLD OUT***
Monday, September 21, 2009

Little Bella and Editing

A long time ago, I was inspired by the Pinoneer Woman to post a couple before and after pictures on photo editing. At the time, I received several emails saying they were fun and I should do more. Well, six months later {he, he}... here we are!

These pictures are of one of my regular customer's daughter. Angelica first purchased shoes from me way in the beginning, maybe even before I was putting them in fabric bags. Thanks, Angelica, for letting me share little miss B's lovely face with everyone.

So, this is the picture SOOC {straight ouf of the camera.}



I have to say, it's an amazingly great photo just as is. But, we can make it better... Let's start with a color boost. I use Nicole Van's. Or click here BEFORE and AFTER



Next, smooth the skin a little, lighten the bags under her eyes {even little kiddos have them}, and remove any redness.... It's really important to GO EASY. I look back at some older pictures and Mia looks like the first baby to ever have an eye lift. Subtle is best. Can you see the difference?



Finally, brighten her eyes with an "eye pop" filter and sharpen everything just a little.


So... BEFORE





I'm not done playing, after all, who needs to be dressed before 10 am anyway? So, let's try Pioneer Woman's "Seventies Filter," but only at 50% opacity... more vintage-looking, love it...


Or, Pioneer Woman's "Lovely and Etheral" and run an extra color pop. Love this, too.



Isn't this fun? Editing pictures can completely change the look of a photo. I use photoshop, but there are some decent free editing programs out there. You can see the links in this post. {I look at those pics and think, Ewww. Too yellow. I've gotten so much better.}


Okay, one more....
BEFORE



AFTER {removed the doors in the background and reduces the saturation of everything except the shoes, flowers, and cheeks}



Thanks, Angelica, for letting me share photos of your little miss! She's a doll! Happy Monday!
Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ella's Party


Nearly a month ago now, my little niece Ella turned one! I have some lovely pics from her birthday party to share with you. Ryan and Sunni, I am sorry it took me so long! She's so adorable! Those Asian features and blue eyes!

At the party, they had a diving for donuts contest {my kiddos loved that}, a monkey piñata that was beaten half to death and still wouldn't give up the goods, and three--count them, three--birthday cakes.





Why three cakes? Because one was just for Ella...






My Miakins was so happy about all the sweets. Oooo, I just want to smooch her when I look at this picture :)



Cousins giddy with sugar...






We tried so hard for a family pic, but miss Ella, who had just learned how to walk, had a different agenda. Ryan and Sunni were in good spirits... I wish I would have taken more pictures of other family members--next get together!
Friday, September 18, 2009

Boys, Boys, Boys


I can and have made items for boys. Really, I swear! In fact, I have some organic fabric in a boyish print and a half finished pair of boots that have been sitting on a table in my studio for weeks now. Sometimes, though, I feel a little psychofrenic with new projects, design ideas, and everything floating around in my mind. So, if you have a little boy and would like to see boy items, this is time to let your requests be made known!
Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another $2 Giveaway


Ever been at a party and accidentally took a sip of someone else's drink? Well, now your little guy or gal can avoid this awkward sitation. I'm totally kidding of course. Toddlers can't read, are clueless about germs, and good naturedly swap wet kisses and half eaten snacks. However, I was getting tired of writing Mia's name on top of her cup with a sharpie when she goes to school. So, I have another $2 Giveaway. While my sippy-cup-wine-charm of sorts in the picture has a Mia Joie label {since it's Mia's name}, yours will be personalized with your child's name on printed fabric in coordinating colors. I am giving away a boy set and a girl set of labels because I know I have been neglecting boys for a long time now. {Something I am working on--really--I swear!} If you don't snag one of the sets I am offering here, you can purchase personalized rubber sippy cup labels here, vinyl personalized lettering here or order eco-friendly personalized cups here. Have you found any ingenious products that make your weekdays a little easier?

If the paypal link is gone or brings you back to this blog that means that both are gone! Please, only one set per person. Thank you!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Introducing the $2 Giveaway Series


I said I had several fun little freebies to giveaway... and here they are. Well, I take that back, they are $2 giveaways, so not exactly free. I decided that it would be a heck of a lot easier for me to ship them if I didn't have to send email correspondence about the mailing address, etc. So, over the next two week I have several fun little $2 giveways, including some items for boys or even mom.

The first of the $2 Giveaway Series are these fun little stripey leg warmers pictured with the Lauren shoes and this little corduory dot dress from Target. {Though I prefer to refer to Target in a French accent: Targèt.} These are very simply made leg warmers, and I use the term "made" loosely. Nonetheless, they are really bright and fun and will fit babies, infants, and young girls alike. I only have two for the bargain price of $2 including shipping. Please only one per person. Hope you are well, friends!

If the Paypal link is gone, that means so are both pairs of leg warmers.
Monday, September 14, 2009

Twitter

Who needs another form of social media? Apparently I do. It's the easiest way to drop a line or two about when I am going to list things, which is why I opted to join. Thus, you can see updates here:

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Etsy was down last night, so I couldn't send emails or print shipping labels. I know I said I would list more dresses today, but Etsy being down has made me behind, so I want a day to catch up. As I mentioned, I am hoping Twitter will be an easy venue to drop a line or two about listings.

So, I am curious, do you Twitter? Yes or no and why? Do you think we are social media crazed?

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Just to clarify, you do NOT need to join Twitter and become a follower to get listing updates! I joined only so I can use it to preview what I will be listing, which you can find on my right side of my blog w/o logging into Twitter, becoming a Twitter follower, yadda yadda yadda...
Sunday, September 13, 2009

On The Hunt

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"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts."
~Rachel Carson

One of the things that sustains me in life is the beauty in every day: the ray of sun coming in the window just so, a flower in perfect bloom, a small little pink mercury vase I found at a home store. I know, it might seem trite or even silly. But, heck, when you are home raising children, life is about the mundane; thus, finding beauty in it makes the journey more joyful or in some cases, just palpable. As LaDawn wrote in a previous comment, it's a way of, "making the journey it's own reward."

So, I love scouring stores for interesting and beautiful materials, especially if they are unique. On our trip to Austin, I was able to spend a little over an hour at just such a place. It was stocked with beautiful silks....
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unique vintage buttons....
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...in a variety of shapes and sizes... I didn't photograph the sparkly ones with gems and rhinestones... *swoon*
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...odd and quirkly little displays.....
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But most importantly, it's filled with all kinds of inspiration. I spent an arm and a leg on some amazing little gems. I'm not going to show you any pictures, lest I give away too much, but I will say that I found some amazing vintage silk shantung in a sea glass color. {There's your hint.} It has a ticking stripe, and the owner told me she bought it personally from a boutique owner in France. I also purchased some rhinestone and aurora borealis buttons, either in German glass or from European flea markets. I just love items with a history. I don't think I ever mentioned this, but my wedding ring is a 4th generation antique. I like vintage things {used in a fresh and modern way} because in a corporate, big box world, it's becoming more rare to have something with a history... something that is one-of-a-kind. Anyway, that's how I see it. I can't wait to make what I have in my mind's eye... but you know me, I say "in a week," but who really knows for sure. Hope you had a fantastic weekend!
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Oh, forgot to add, I have a friend scouring bazaars in India for hand-dyed organic fabric. How fun is that??
Friday, September 11, 2009

Little Organic Dress

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I have had so many blog posts composed in my head this week and no time to write them! Anyway, here are a few pictures of a the organic linen dress I had purchased fabric for months ago, and I am just finally listing now. I thought I missed the season for it, but 2 of the 3 have sold already. I have one more dress left, but I still need to finish it. I also cut flowers for the rose dresses months ago, but I finally plan on listing only 2 of those on Monday.


Mia is getting to be such a good model! I told her, "Put your arms up," and, well....
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She's so sweet, and her hair is getting so long.
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This is a very quick post because we are flying out the door to visit our friends in Austin. The guys are golfing in the morning, and the gals are going to the spa in the afternoon. I am also planning a special scouting trip for some fabric for women's items. What are your weekend plans?

Oh, almost forgot to add that I have a bunch of little fun random things to giveaway when I return.
Friday, September 4, 2009

And the Winner Is....

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The Winner of the Big Thank You Giveaway is Katie {ttureid@yahoo.com}. Congrats to Katie! Please email your address to miajoieboutique@yahoo.com, so I can mail you your prize. Katie chose a mini-fabric necklace. I know, you were probably thinking, what's up with the "mini" part. Well, I was thinking the same concept, just a bit smaller. So, I came up with this:


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It is made of organic linen with two hand cut satin leaves and just a few ivory pearlized beads. The beads were sequins off of an old flapper dress. I bought them at this amazing store in Austin called the Silk Road. Anyway, the necklace is actually much nicer than the pictures show. It's a great way to give any plain t-shirt an Antropologie edge. Wear it with a little tailored herringbone jacket with some skinny jeans tucked into riding boots. At least, that's how I would wear it, were the weather actually chilly... :)
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This one is definitely my favorite so far. I made three, one for Katie, one for me, and one to sell here. Just one! If you have priced out fabric necklaces, it's actually a very good deal. You know the drill, if the paypal link is gone, it means it has sold.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First Day of School

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Not only has it been a banner week here at Mia Joie, but the kiddos also had their first fay of school.... er, sort of. Aidan goes to two schools, one for his high functioning autism, and another is a private regular preschool. Both kiddos started school today. Mia's school is more like a church-based day care called Mother's Day Out, but we call it school.

The lovely Simone Howell {whose clutches are tdf} said that if you are a designer, you don't send your kiddos to school in store-bought clothes. It's so true! Though in my case, it's store-bought shoes. So, I made Mia a pair of faux leather, extra sturdy shoes. They are designed for every day and have 3/8" cork filler in the foot bed. They are stiff and sturdy. To be honest, I can't believe I made them, they look so much like a "real" shoe. Have you ever created something and felt so pleased with the outcome that you just want to look at it and look at it. Well, that's how I feel about these shoes. At least, until the next new project... :)
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When I send the kids to school, they need a million things in little baggies... bags for lunch, bags for snack, bags for a change of clothes. This year, I made all reusable little sacks that open and close with velcro. This is Mia's lunch bag, which I made out of a shower-curtain {better for stains, etc.} In fact, I made one extra {it has a pear on it} for the first person to leave a comment in this post saying they want it. Photobucket


We ran into some friends at school. Kelly's little daughter... {Mia's not so sure about the school thing in this pic}
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And her handsome little man....
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Brother and sister....
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Handsome Aidan. His teachers are giving glowing reports about him. To quote one of them, he "is a joy in the classroom." It makes a mom's heart melt. We are very much hoping he will go into regular kindergarten next year.
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Ah, yes... not so crazy about pictures, is he.
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Finally, if you placed an order on Sunday, I have an update. I went in and combined all the orders for each customer and will issue shipping credits later tonight. Shipping costs are as follows: $3.99 for one item, an extra $1.99 for a second item, $0.99 for each additional item there after {not including barrettes--those have free shipping.} Please keep in mind that there is a cost not only to the actually shipping, but packaging supplies, as well, and it does cost me more to process an order individually rather than several items bundled. I went into paypal to print labels and none of the orders from 9/30 are loading... don't you just love it! Please say a prayer about that. If I have to go in and load addresses manually... oh, mercy! Don't forget to enter the giveaway below if you haven't already!

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