Thursday, October 30, 2008

Back Into the Amy Swing!

Back into the swing of things, I offer you the next featured Amy:

Think kitsch and harajuku, think fabulous and unique - think Wonderland Boutique

Looking for colorful fabulousness this season? Take a journey through the Etsy looking glass into Wonderland Boutique! Bold, vivid prints meet ribbons and bows. There's flair in every detail on Amy's totes and coin purses - you'll love 'em!

Amy is a new member of the Amys in the Arts Team, and has been on Etsy for only a few months. She adds a bit of love to each handcrafted accessory. I love her mixture of color and print, and the little additions like buttons and charms that make her items so eyecatching. Each piece has a truly original look. Check out her shop, and browse through the lush images of bags and accessories you'll definitely want to use day after day to bring yourself a bit of sunshine. Amy looks forward to making uniquely-yours, custom totes in whatever size, style and look you're going for - contact her today! And keep an eye on this talented seamstress in the future to see what else she brings to the world!

Personally, I adore the Liquorice Delish Mini Tote. I love allsorts, and carrying this tote would just make me smile from ear to ear. Having one of Amy's matching coin purses to accompany it would keep me very happy! If you're looking for an outstanding, stand-out bag, then this is your shop.

WonderlandBoutique.Etsy.Com - Spread the Wonderland word.

Happy Thursday! Amy

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Great Blog to Check Out Daily

I was recently contacted by Robin of Life Is Like Champagne to participate in a giveaway. After checking out her blog, I immediately agreed to the giveaway, and was also immediately hooked on her blog! Everyday you'll find some new, great product and shop to explore, as well as a special nugget from her daily life.

On her blog today, you can enter to win a Teensy Case from Cascade Lemonade! And check out Life Is Like Champagne on November 17th for your chance to win your choice of one of my zip top bags or drawstring handbags!

I know once you start entering Robin's giveaways you won't be able to stop! Check it out today!

Happy Wednesday! Amy

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Button Zipper Pull

I thought I'd share something new with you today. For months I've been trying to come up with a good-looking and durable, but inexpensive zipper pull I can use on my purses with zipper closures. In the past I have attached a split ring and a charm. This worked great, but I couldn't decide on one particular charm that I could use repeatedly that would be identifiable with SewArtsy. I tried beaded zipper pulls, but I'm terrible at beading, and I don't want to spend the money outsourcing zipper pulls.

I noticed a couple of days ago that the covered buttons I was making fit perfectly between thumb and finger (I mostly use the 3/4 and 7/8 inch size, but they come in a variety of sizes), and if I could figure out a way to attach them securely to the zipper they would always coordinate perfectly with the purse I was working on. Here's what I came up with, and lo and behold it worked!

What you'll need:
*covered-button assembly in desired size
*coordinating cording in desired length, 1/8" width fits through the hole in a Coats and Clark zipper

Step 1: Cut fabric twice the size of the finished button.

Step 2: Place fabric right side down over the button maker and then put the button face down on top of that. Push both pieces into button maker using the "pusher" (blue part). I trimmed my fabric just a tad to reduce a bit of the bulk.

Step 3: Cut cording to desired length and slip through hole in zipper - long enough to fit into button housing, but not so long that it has too much give once the button is done. Play with it and find the best length to suit you. (Mine was just over 2")

Step 4: Gather the two ends of the cording and lay them on top of the button maker. Place button backing on top.

Step 5: Press down firmly with the "pusher". Push as hard as you can until you clearly hear it go into the back of the button (the cording adds bulk to the back of the button, so you really need to push hard to make sure the back goes all the way in and the back won't pop off after removing the button).

Step 6: Pop the finished button out of the button maker, and voila, your perfectly coordinated zipper pull.

You can do this step before or after sewing in your zipper. And it will work on any zipper - try adding one to your child's windbreaker - it will make zipping up a jacket easier and much more fun! Have fun trying it out!

Happy Tuesday! Amy

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Props to my friend, Kirsten, who found this image. My girlfriends and I get together once a month for what used to be "book club". Now we refer to it as a "suggested reading book club". We all SO need a time to get together and just hang. I know I would go crazy without it! I love hanging with my girls :o) Go book club!

Attention: An Amy Giveaway!

Head on over to the NC Triangle Street Team Blog, and enter the giveaway to win something from one of my Amy teammates - Amyzo! You won't want to miss it!

Happy Wednesday! Amy

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Revamped Nursery

So, you know I love to sew. You may know that I love African things. What you may not know is that I love artist Julia Cairns' prints! I think I have made, and am currently making, several things from each of her fabric lines over the past few years. Of course I've made totes for friends, but I have kept a few of my bigger projects because I just cannot bear to part with them!

Earlier this year I ordered her line for Quilting Treasures called "Radiance", and revamped our nursery, and I LOVE it! The colors are unexpected for a baby's room, yet are still soft and calm. And best yet - because it is not a baby print it will hopefully be well-loved for years to come by #3!

Included in the redecorated nursery are wall hangings I made using Anna Maria Horner's painted silhouette technique;

a gorgeous photo frame trio made by Fabrications By Lindsay;

Vinyl wall decals of birds in orange from Ceejay77;

and made by me from the Radiance line are:

a new valance,

a covered pillow,

a do-it-yourself lamp

a small wall hanging/cloth mini quilt,

and a lap quilt, into which I added some soft peach and green subtle prints from Moda.

I'm just so happy with the way everything turned out! What do you think?

I would love to know if you enjoy Julia Cairns' work as much as I do, and if you've made anything using her prints? Also, I have a fair amount of fabric left, and wonder if you have any wonderful ideas for nursery decor or baby/kid items to share?

Currently, I am also working on a new panel for a wall hanging from her "Sunset Safari" line. I'm trying a new quilting technique or two, so I'll post on that once I finish the project. And I'm soon going to be purchasing a stash of her newest line "Joyful Days" - I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Happy Tuesday, Amy

PS - the symbols I used in the silhouettes represent: peace (dove), wisdom and creativity (adinkra spider's web), charity (heart in hand), love safety and security (adinkra fence), trust and faith in God (adinkra stalk).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Waiting Game Continues

So we're still in a holding pattern for baby #3, but one thing we know for sure is that each day brings us closer to her arrival. We are surely ready! We've pulled out everything from storage we can think of that this baby will need, and we've stocked up diapers, wipes and formula. Now, what are we forgetting?!

In the meantime I'm trying to get everything in my inventory reposted into my Etsy store. Stop by and check out what's available in my pre-made stock. Also, enjoy free shipping (within the US) through December 20th. It's my way of helping out with your holiday spending!

Until next time - I'm stockpiling my sleep hours, and spending as much time one-on-one with the boys before their sister makes her arrival!

Happy Wednesday! Amy

Friday, October 10, 2008

Amys in the Arts October Challenge - go vote!

Please head over to the Amys-in-the-arts blog, and check out the items we all entered in our very first team challenge! We all made something in our own medium that was inspired by the following Emily Dickinson poem:

“The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on."
- Emily Dickinson, Nature 27 - Autumn

Checkout all the amazing pieces we Amys came up with, and vote for your favorite. Tell your friends and have them vote, too!

Happy Friday! Amy

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Getting Ready

We found out earlier this week that our birthmom start having contractions over the weekend! She's at home on bed rest right now after having been sent home from the hospital Monday night. Please keep her in your prayers, if you would!

While we still might have a few weeks to wait, we busied ourselves over the last couple of days to get ready to welcome our new bundle of joy home, whenever she arrives! Since I've already made some purchases for the occasion, I thought I'd share them with you.

Having welcomed two boys into our home, this little girl is going to be quite a change for us. Instead of spending money on a new infant car seat, I decided to recover the navy blue and gold seat we already had. This set is from, called Buttercup Bouquet. I don't like pink all that much, but this print mixed with yellow and green grabbed my attention - especially the incredibly soft butter yellow minky it is coordinated with. The set is $59.00 when purchased alone, and comes with the canopy and seat cover. I went ahead and purchased an extra seat cover ($32) made in the print so that I can easily change it out when I need to wash it. And a matching travel blanket ($19) for chilly trips to the bus stop! Additionally I could have also bought coordinating strap covers. Purchasing the set plus the 2 additional pieces at once saved me $11 - full set cost is $99.00.

Also waiting by the door, ready to be grabbed when necessary, is our bag-o-baby-stuff! Included here are the necessary newborn diapers (oh-so-tiny!), wipes and creams, pacifiers, onsies, and a new girly sleeper (well as girly as I've gotten so far!). I also have a new set from Susan's Treasures - a small lovey, burp cloth and bib featuring a Crayola print. I just love crayons!! A while ago I made my first Etsy trade with her for an adorable purse, and just couldn't pass up the Crayola print and red minky :o)

So for now we are in waiting mode again, yet trying not to act like we have a few more weeks, lest we get caught off guard - as babies tend to do to us!

Happy Thursday! Amy

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Featured Amy: Amy Esther Ceramics

The next Amy in my Amy series:

Amy Esther Ceramics

I find that I instantly warm up upon entering Amy Esther's Etsy store. Warm and rich pieces of wheel-thrown pottery adorn the walls of her shop. Take a browse and you'll see what I mean!

This 25 year old from Rochester, NY who currently lives, writes and throws in Philadelphia, spends her evenings creating her beautiful pottery pieces with her own modern take on ancient African designs. Time spent studying abroad in Botswana led her to an apprenticeship which would instill a love for pottery she brought back to the states with her. You'd expect to find bowls, cups and vases in a shop like this, which you will, but you can also find gems such as pendants, magnets and votive holders. The deeper you look, the more you'll fall in love!

Having a love, myself, for all things African, I just adore the Elegant Gold Vase. I love the authenticity of the design, and the peaceful feeling I get looking at it. Amy is presently accepting custom orders for the holidays until October 20, so act quickly! Her pieces will make great gifts for any occasion!

Checkout Amy's Etsy profile to learn more about her, and check out her blog, too, In the Night Kitchen!

Happy Wednesday! Amy

Friday, October 3, 2008

New Baby Wish List!

Some of you know that Josh and I have once again taken the adoption plunge (#3!), and that we are now excitedly awaiting the birth of our daughter :o)

We don't need much in the way of baby items except girls clothing, but I love Etsy (of course!) and all the handmade goodies to be found for little ones. Since I have taken the Handmade Pledge this year, I took the liberty of making a list of items that tickled my fancy for welcoming a new baby.

Check out these items, and the stores that go along with them. Have fun imagining a new baby and all the joy she (and some would of course work for little hes, too) would receive from these fabulous items made with love by artists' hands! Nina Doll
I love everything about this doll - my favorite orange and green! - not too frilly - squishable! This shop sells a wide range of fabric dolls and doll patterns Electromagnetic Gamma Ray Bursts
Fabulously unique! Who wouldn't want to stare at this all day! Find all sorts of goodies made with these hand folded Moravian stars at The Star Craft. Stitch-A-Wish Cloth Ball - Cinnamon Dots
I imagine hours of fun with this cloth ball - I love the great fall colors. Super cute owls in this shop as well! Owl Onsie Duo
I think owls must have moved onto my favorites list! These adorable onsies just look so soft :o) Cuddly owl blocks and other great baby gifts in this shop as well. Sock Monkey/Baby Safe
Oh, it's my favorite blue! Oh, it's a monkey! Oh, right, it's not for me :o) What a great friend for baby...Ahhhhh, sock monkeys!

 Lola Freedom
I can't imagine a more precious print hanging in any little girls room!
It was hard to choose just one print from this fabulous shop!
 Mod Penelope Bird Watching Over It's Nested Eggs Art Print
Perfectly playful print! I love this color combination, and the motif of the mother bird watching over her yet-to-be-hatchlings. Find other fabulous art prints and baby items at Icing On the Cupcake! Everythings Coming Up Roses Fabric Journal
A great idea for writing down special baby moments, and later on for special girly secrets of her own! Moxy has beautiful journals for girls, boys, men and women alike. Funky Denim Heart Pillow
I've admired this pillow for a while now, and I think any girl (any age!) would be happy to snuggle this, and find special notices inside! All sorts of goodies to be found at The Recylcled Jeans Co! Lotus Baby Set and Felt Mary Janes
I love the coordination, and the green and orange Amy Butler print. Amazingly cute sets, and the shoes in this shop are spectacular! Kiwi Lil Hoot
I know, I know, again with the owls! But who wouldn't fall in love with this little guy! Check out all the different combinations of fabrics on these lil hoots! CSL Boutique My Best Friends at Recess Custom 2 Pack Choose your Size and Sleeve Length AND CSL Boutique Javalicious Bib
The little girls in these prints look like they're having so much fun! I love all the designs at Candy Stick Lane - fabulous clothing, bibs and more! Mini Baby Snap Clip Bows - Fall
Bows are one thing I've missed out on so far. These little numbers will stay in even fine baby hair, so I'm sure to stock up on many different designs! Personalized Necklace
And what mother wouldn't love to wear their children's names next to their heart? I can't wait to order one of these! Check out the unique and simple designs in this shop - your sure to find lots to love! Elephant Onsie in Esprit Stripes
I loved this stylized elephant, and the rustic colored stripes would be suitable for boys and girls. There are many prints to choose from at this store! Red Hawaiian Paradise Baby Bib with Soft Minky/Minkee
Adorable and brightly colored bib with a snap closure! Practical and stylish at the same time. You can find a wonderful assortment of bibs and other baby items at LydibugDesigns!

Hope you enjoy looking half as much as I enjoyed the hunting!

Happy Friday! Amy

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Just Hear Those Sleigh Bells Jingling?

Are you thinking about holiday shopping, and all of the handmade goodies you need to start looking for to give your friends and loved ones this year? You should be!

Having made the "handmade pledge" for this holiday shopping season, and being the big nerd that I am, I've already started scouring the pages of Etsy and making some purchases. It's fabulous fun, but be prepared to spend a good amount of time trying to make decisions among many wonderful handmade items!

I'm decking the hall's of my Etsy shop with lots of lovelies for Christmas stocking-stuffers, Chanukah gift boxes, and gifts to make December birthdays really special. And just to keep those holiday shopping costs down I am offering free shipping from now until December 20!

For those special ladies on your holiday lists, what about a beautiful new tote or purse! (Hint: hubbies and boyfriends, take note! A pretty bag is both a fun gift and practical!) Even better, if you would like to choose your style and fabric, then a custom item is even more of special gift. Right now the last date to request a custom SewArtsy item is November 20. That date is subject to change if I get a whole lot of custom orders, so do please inquire early if you want something made specifically for you or a loved one.

One Christmas gift everyone on our list will be receiving this year is a Christmas card from Amyzo's shop, Handmade by Amy!

Happy Wednesday, and Happy Holiday Shopping! Amy