Friday, October 28, 2011

Photo Folie - Rust, Pink, and Seaglass


Thank goodness it's Friday.  It's just been one of those weeks... Aidan had half days all week for conferences, and the kiddos have been fighting--not the best of weeks for me to try to give up coffee!  Last week we launched our Zoe fur boots {don't forget to enter the giveaway!} and so I didn't put together a photo Folie. Today I have one!

For those new to Photo Folie, I design a new pair of shoes inspired by a photo.  Photo Folie shoes are always new designs that are one-of-a-kind; they are just design practice for me, I do not sell them.  However, if it turns out that the design is really popular, there is a good chance it will end up in production as a firm-soled shoe.  {Shoes with the highest comments and Pinterest pins have a better chance of being produced.}

Today's shoes are inspired by the J Crew image above with the rust tank, seaglass scarf, pink beads, and a touch of gold.  I love J Crew, and this image in particular has long been one of my favorites.  In the spirit of fall and a recent cold front, today's shoes feature rust-colored vintage velvet, seaglass linen, and a pink ribbon.  The result are some fun fall kicks, just waiting for cozy tights:

The inspiration J Crew photo used to inspired the color palette in these shoes:

Happy Friday!  TGIF!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

DIY Quick Felt Flower


Happy Wednesday!  I can't believe it's the middle of the week already and that it is almost November!  I have been so busy that today's tutorial is quite simple.  Instead of a lot of photos, I have a video tutorial for you.  I think I talked way to much in it--ha!  And I don't have any fancy video editing software, so it's pretty basic.  But, hopefully you will still get the gist.  If Mia and I do another, I promise I will be more succinct or find a way to edit it.

When Mia get's home from school today, I will add a photo of the clip in her hair.  Hope you enjoy!

P.S.  Anyone know how to get Project Playlist music to default as off, so people have to press play to start the music?  I can't figure it out!
Friday, October 21, 2011

WIN a pair of Zoe Fur Boots


Our Zoe boots are available for purchase on our website!

You can also enter to WIN a pair!  

To enter to win a pair of our Zoe boots, available in size 3-14 simply click share on this link, then leave a comment so we know you did it.  That's all you need to do!  Entries will be open now through October 31 at 11:59 pm CST.  The winner will be announced Wednesday, November 2.
Good luck!!

Please note that you must click share in order for your entry to be considered {we can see who does this} and leave a comment on FB as well, to let us know you entered.  If the winner already owns a pair of our Zoe boots, then another pair of shoes or boots may be chosen instead.  Prize is not redeemable for cash.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

DIY Wednesday - Funky 15 min Hat

I put together a funky little hat pattern for DIY Wednesday.  You can see it on my daughter Mia with her constantly playful expression whenever the camera comes out!  Please note this hat is described as funky for a reason.  It has an usual little shape {a little bit knome-ish} which was actually what I wanted.  It really will only take you 15 minutes, even if you line it.  Or, if you want the hat to have stretch, you can skip the lining part. I intentionally created a pattern that could be hand sewn easily, though if you use a machine it is faster.Photobucket
So here is what you need:

fleece or felt {I used eco-spun heathered tan felt}
wonderunder or fusible webbing
cotton print fabric
2- 18" pieces of ribbon

needle and thread or sewing machine

First, print and cut out the pattern.  Click HERE for the free pattern.  {Download the image, then print it.}

Portion one piece of enough felt, fusible webbing, and cotton so you can cut out 4 pattern pieces.  {In the picture of the one my daughter, I used polka dot fabric.  In this example, I just used red linen.}  Line felt on the bottom, then webbing, then cotton on top.  Like this:

With the iron on wool setting and lots of steam, fuse the cotton to the felt.   Next, cut out two fabric pieces with the pattern right side up, then flip it over and cut out two pieces pattern side down.  You should have 4 pieces, match them up in pairs with the felt touching and cotton outside, like this:

Now, the two minutes of sewing.  First, sew the outside arch of each pair of pieces, like shown above.  Next, open up the two pieces and sew those together.  {This is the middle edges in thh picture above.}  Your inside out hat will look like this:

Inside out, it sort of looks like a bishops hat, which would actually be pretty cute on a little baby boy.  I turned mine with the seams inside, though.  Next, sewn each a piece of ribbon on each side seam.  Don't skip this step.  The hat needs ribbon to stay on well.  Add the ribbon--that's it!  Super quick and easy little hat!

I have the how-to for the flower posted in a separate tutorial.  It is the same as the one found, only instead of yellow and tan fabric, I just used two layers of red linen.  You can see the flower tutorial here.

Here is one more photo of Mia in the funky little hat.  Hope you enjoy!! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

For the Love of the Bean


Being a mom of two and a business owner, I live on coffee.  Not only do I have it religiously every morning, I consider most things {working, talking, reading} more enjoyable with latte in hand.  I blame it on my grandmother who gave me at the tender age of 5 a special red glittered cup and saucer to sip coffee whenever she came to visit.  Most people consider coffee an acquired taste--I acquired mine at 5.

Don't get me wrong, though.  While I do love coffee, I usual only have one, albeit gigantic cup of half-caf coffee in the morning with soy milk.  I do add the occasional cup of coffee in the afternoon or quick jaunt to Starbucks on days I need a little pick-me-up.

The reasons for my ramblings on the almighty bean is that I have been thinking of cutting it out.  Given my lifestyle, it's pretty hard to be healthy, and I was reading some tips here and there on being more healthy.  Anyway, I read in an article how this gal cut out coffee and she felt so much better--lost weight, clearer skin, less headaches, etc.  Sometimes when I drink a lot of coffee, I just feel... dry or my head feels a little tight.  Ha! That sounds a little strange, but I don't know how else to explain it.  So, I was wondering, have you ever cut out a coffee habit?  And if you did, was it worth it?  I think it can take about 3 weeks just for the caffeine headaches to subside, so I would would love to know your thoughts to help me access whether or not I should take the no-coffee plunge!

Even if I kick the habit, I could always look at these super cute photo blocks by Traveling Gypsy Art. How cute are those? :)
Saturday, October 15, 2011

Photo Folie Winner


The winner of last week's polka dot shoes pictured above are the Alvord's, comment #7.  Please email the size you need and your shipping address to  As these are handmade to order, please allow 3-4 weeks plus shipping to receive your shoes.  To see the drawing used to select this winner, click here.

Photo Folie - Almond, Bows, and Sparkle


First of all, so sorry for the delay on the Photo Folie!  It has been such a long week, and one of them where it's a struggle to keep up.  I created a DIY Wednesday, but didn't get it uploaded nor the photos taken :(

I did get the photo Folie post together, thankfully!  For those new to Photo Folie, I design a new pair of shoes inspired by a photo.  Photo Folie shoes are always new designs that are one-of-a-kind.  However, if it turns out that the design is really popular, there is a good chance it will end up in production as a firm-soled shoe.  {Shoes with the highest comments and Pinterest pins have a better chance of being produced.}  Today's shoes are inspired by this photo of Carrie Mulligan in a sequins top with a funky-shaped bow. 
While I really do appreciate modern trends that have a very clean aesthetic, it's just not what my girl would go to first.  I am not sure where it comes from {probably Disney} but Mia just loves anything princess.  She is always drawn to sparkle and pink.  Given her druthers, she would wear that every day.  So, I think a shoe that captures that princess/sparkle look in a way that mom loves too and isn't baby pink and plastic-y, is a shoe I know will get a lot of wear.

That's what I was shooting for with today's photo folie.  I like the almond chiffon in Carrie's shirt, the abstract shape of the bow, and the muted sparkle.  I tried to recreate all these elements in these shoes:

The shoes are made of tan suede with pearlized silver to them.  The toes are capped with almond chiffon {which I would swap for matte leather in production} and finished with a hand-stitched glittered sequins bow and petite ruffle.

Here are the shoes and the inspiration photo side by side:

The shoes, I have to say, are really cute when worn.  The color, though unusual, goes with just about anything and the bows are really sparkly, but not over the top.


I will announce the winner of the last photo folie shoes in a separate post!
I am not giving away a pair of these, but plan to do a giveaway of one of our new fall boots instead this week!
Happy weekend!!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011



I have posted in the past about how my kids are picky eaters, especially Aidan.  Since the kids didn't have school on Monday, I tried to use this weekend as an educational opportunity about nutrition.  I took them to a local gourmet market/grocery store to talk about healthy choices and non-healthy choices.  The kids really loved it, so I thought I would share the concept... as I am sure some of you have picky eaters at home, too.

So, I took the kids to this particular grocery store because it carries mostly healthy brands of snacks, has a broad assortment of unusual fruits, offers tons of samples, and is more of an adventure than our regular boring grocery store.  Plus, they have tiny shopping carts, which the kids loved.  So, armed with their own carts, they got to pick out 4 things each--whatever they wanted--the only rule was that 3 had to be healthy and 1 non-healthy.  This store has lots of things in bulk, so they were able to try new foods, and then guess if they were healthy or not.  Aidan discovered he really likes all kinds of nuts, and Mia chose these adventuresome rosemary, nut, and raisin crackers, pictured above.  Of course, they picked candy corn and gummy worms, respectively, but it was overall a really fun way to educate the kids on moderation and making wise choices with what they eat.  It also lead to some interesting discussion, like Mia asking, "If we don't eat healthy, do we die?"  And Aidan's answer, "No, your teeth will bleed and then fall out."  Ha!  Anyway, it was a really good time, plus I got some berries and some lobster mac & cheese {a little healthy/non-healthy for mom, too!}  ;)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Photo Folie - polka, pink, burnt coral


Every *ahem, make that most* Fridays, I design a new pair of shoes inspired by a photo.  Today's shoes are inspired by New York's fashion week and a lively pairing of tan polka dots, plum pink, and burnt coral.

Similarly, today's shoes feature the same pairing of colors, combined with a likewise blue background.  One of my favorite part of the photo are the chunky bangles.  I really wanted to incorporated the punk element, but didn't feel they fit since these shoes are for a wee one {size 3.}

For those who ask, I make one pair of Photo Folie shoes.  They are not available in mass quantities nor for purchase.  However, Photo Folie shoes that get the most feedback {Pinterest pins, Facebook shares, blog comments, etc.} will more than likely end up in production in the near future.

You can WIN a custom pair of these shoes by subscribing to our newsletter here.  As these shoes are a bit more delicate, the winning pair will only be available up to size 8.  Please post a blog comment, as well, to let me know you entered or if you are already a subscriber.  {Please be sure not to skip this, as we will choose the winner from the comments, then verify the name is in our data base.}

Good luck... and TGIF!

*note: I received several emails and FB comments that people are having difficulty leaving comments, so I would try using Firefox for your browser instead of internet explorer. I have been told that works!*

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

DIY Photo Canvas

Pinterest is a beautiful thing!  For example, I am learning that you can print just about anything in a home ink-jet printer!  As it turns out, even tissue paper!  But I am getting ahead of myself.

Awhile back, I posted this tutorial on how to matte your own photos for around $40.  To be honest, this is still my preferred DIY for printing and mounting photos because of the scale--the ones in that tutorial can made large enough to hang over your fireplace, etc. 

However, I have another method for hanging photos with a DIY Photo Canvas.  I will show you how to mount your favorite photos to canvas, like the one below, for super inexpensive.

I am so sorry, but I do not have all the step by step photos because I am so extremely busy today.  But I cut last week's DIY because Mia was sick, so I wanted to squeeze in a DIY.  So, again, sorry about for the lack of photos.

Getting started, here is what you need:

canvas {must be the size of US paper or smaller}
modge podge
tissue paper
brown acrylic paint {or latex/house paint}
1 sheet of card stock

A few notes on canvases: I stretched my own.  I really like the look of a canvas that is at least 2" depth on the sides, and a lot of the ready-made canvases are only 1/2" depth.  So, for this project, I stretched my own.  I actually stretched it around a box, then covered the back with brown paper.  It looks very much like how you would see purchased art canvases in a store.  Anyhow, whatever you use, you will need one canvas the size of US paper or smaller.  You might be able to make it work to piece sheets together if you are extra, extra careful and go larger.  But, you will probably see the seams.

Select your photo that you want to mount.  Then, take your sheet of card stock, and wrap your tissue paper all the way around the paper, taping the corners on the back like a present.  The tissue paper needs to be very tight and wrinkle free.  If it's not tight, you will get wrinkles and smudges in your image when you print it.  {I had to print this picture 3 times, and finally I got one without smudging.}  It looks like this coming out of the printer--see how the tissue paper can wrinkle so easily.

After you have your photo printed to tissue, cut it off the card stock with at least an inch of overhang.  Next, brush a very think layer of modge podge all over the top of the canvas.  While the modge podge is still wet and being very careful, lay your image on the canvas, and work very quickly to smooth out wrinkles.  Be careful because the tissue will tear if you move the image a lot or press too hard.  This is what mine looked like before I started smoothing:

After the image is all smoothed out, trim the edges with scissors.  Then, cover the entire picture with a thin layer of modge podge, using care to smooth down the edges.  If you are slow, the colors will smear, so work fast and don't be too liberal with the modge podge.

Lastly, using acrylic paint, paint the edge of the canvas in whatever color coordinates with the image.  If your canvas was really tiny, you could even wrap the sides with the photo and skip the painting part.

And, voila--15 minutes later--your own photo canvas!  I will caution you, it's almost impossible not to get a few wrinkles, but the texture of the canvas really comes through!  Also, I think this would also be great to print your own artwork {like still life} for a kitchen or something because then wrinkles could add to the image; whereas with photos, wrinkles are not as desirable.

Hope you enjoy!  I think this would make a wonderful Christmas present for grandparents! ;)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ladles and Expectations


The summer after I graduated college and right before Robert and I were married, I had a job waiting tables at a gourmet restaurant in downtown Holland, Michigan where we used to live.  It was a place that I couldn't afford to dine at very often as a student, but a few times I would go there late with friends and get water and one of their amazing gourmet salads or flourless chocolate torte.  Sometimes we would catch glimpses of the owner and speculate with hushed voices what it must be like to own that restaurant.  In my naivete, I always imaged that the owner was quite wealthy and had a glamorous lifestyle.

Flash forward to post-graduation when I was working there, and one night I was rolling silverware by the bar.  While the owner closed out the register, I asked her what it was like--to start and own a restaurant.  Her answer took me by surprise.  She talked about how her parents discouraged her from opening her own place--not because they didn't have faith in her but because the lifestyle of a restaurant owner is so hard.  She also told me about how right before they opened, she took every spatula, ladle, and other utensil she had from her own house because she ran out of money putting every dime she had into just getting the doors open.  Then she spoke of some of the legal and financial challenges and moments where she wasn't sure they would make it....  quite far off from my fanciful notions of a lifestyle of wealth and grandeur.


The truth is that owning Joyfolie is not much different.  There are struggles, hardships... issues to overcome.   There are wonderful, exciting moments--for certain.  But there are many, many times where I questioned whether moving the business forward was the right thing, whether it was worth it, and whether it would be successful.  In fact, at one point last year I decided it was not the time to build a business.  My children are so little, and everyone says how that time goes by so quickly.  I didn't want to work so hard growing Joyfolie that I miss it or look back with regret.  There was one point last year where I was at a very pivotal point in moving Joyfolie into manufactured shoes.  I remember staying up one night, mulling over this big step forward, and speculating, "Why now?"  The children were young {2 and 5 at the time}, and I figured I had the rest of my life to go to the next level producing the shoes.  Maybe, I rationalized, I don't even need to have employees anymore.  Maybe I just handmake shoes myself for extra money here and there.  When the kids are in school, then I will grow the business and produce firm-soled shoes.  And I did what I do at all critical junctures in my life: I prayed.  I prayed that God would speak to me about His purpose in Joyfolie.  I laid forth my resolve to wait a few years to take the shoes into manufacturing, but added the caveat, "Lord, if this is not Your plan, if You don't want me to stop and You want me to move this business forward... let something amazing happen.  Let lightning strike.  Send something so irresistible, that I will know for certain I should move Joyfolie forward."  It's such a funny thing about prayer.  I often send them out like hot air balloons into an expanse of blue sky--not really expecting anything to come back.... by now I should know better.

The next day, I opened my email box and was pretty amazed at what I found: an email from one of the buyers of Anthropologie--issuing Joyfolie a sample call.  It took a year and a half to bring all the details together, but I am excited to announce that Joyfolie children's shoe will be available at Anthropologie this holiday!

Most significantly, though, this opportunity marks a pivotal moment in my life.  Not only was it one of many countless times over that I have felt God urging me to move the business forward, but it once again affirms that God hears and answer prayer.  Whatever your Monday brings you, I hope that brings you encouragement.

"Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly."
Psalm 5:3


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