Monday, November 30, 2009

Must-Have Monday: Cyber Monday Edition

It’s finally here. The long awaited BIGGEST online shopping day, Cyber Monday. Many of us Etsians have been busy stocking up our stores full of holiday delights and setting up great deals for the season. But I had to take a minute away from being an Etsy Shop Owner, and stepped into Christmas Shopper-mode. These are my must haves for the special treasures to be presented under the prominent Christmas Tree all from Homefront Team shops.

My 7 year old daughter is pretty easy to choose for. She is ALWAYS cold, and wearing hats in the house. This Charcoal Buckle Beanie from Two Seaside Babes is stylish and functional. And Raspberry White Scarf from Kristyns Kreations is a perfect accompaniment for those chilly winter days! Of course, being a good mom that I am and all, I can’t forget that she also is in LOVE with her American Girl Doll, so will stop by Camelot’s Treasures for some great doll fashions!

For my 3 year old son, I’ve been eyeballing Baby Love Blankies’ I Spy Bags. The only problem it’s too hard to just choose one; although the Dinosaur I Spy Bag, is among my favorites. And because no kid can have enough cuddly animals, The Q Store has the cutest little “Q Friends” around like this Puppy Q.

My husband is a bit harder to shop for, especially since whenever he wants something he just goes out and buys it. However The Deployment Ring from A Heron Design is perfect for a man constantly on his way to new adventures! And although, maybe not just for him, this cute Navy Snowman Ornament from Art Whims would be a perfect addition to our family Christmas Tree to memoralize our service to the military forever.

There were so many great ideas for Christmas gifts for my Mom, but I had to narrow down the list to a couple of my favorites. The Taffy Box’s Charming Children Sterling Silver Charm Bracelet is a perfect fit for the charm bracelet I’ve always wanted to give to my Mom. Or the Apple Studel Homemade soap from Smokey Mountain Scents would bring memories back from her childhood of her mother’s favorite recipe. And this Holiday Album from Paper on Parade is a perfect way for Mom to showcase our Families’ holiday photos.

My Dad and 3 brothers are always the most difficult to shop for, and equally hard to please. But I think any delectable treat from Nicole’s Handmade Treats are sure to please any guy’s belly. These Beer Mug Coasters from Hungry Hippie are a great reminder for them to keep their glasses off the table! And the iPhone iPod Case/Sleeve is a perfectly functional piece, with a hint of individuality from Sugar Lumps Designs.

With all this holiday shopping for everyone else, I found several presents for myself. This Sterling Silver Itty Bitty Tree of Life Necklace is a beautiful find from She’s All That. Rhapsody Creative’s Custom Photo Christmas Cards would be perfect for sending out holiday wishes to all our friends and family. And Home is Where the Family Sends Us is a perfect sign for our family’s lifestyle from Word Board.

There are so many wonderful gift ideas from all the wonderful shops on Etsy, so be sure to check them out when you are ready to fill your Christmas wish lists.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Simply Red

As one of our favorite colors for obvious reasons, red is always a bold statement. Just like in these items from the Homefront Team:

Simply Fall Earrings from HeartfeltCreativity

Christmas Lil Man Tie Bodysuit by NoahBabyBoutique

Scarves by LevansPhotography

Red Barn Dishcloth by Needlepointnmore

Warbonnet Earrings by winddancerdesigns

Bistro Style Apron by Terryann

Christmas Photo Album by Paperonparade

Sweater Ornament by MayRayCrochetnKnit

Cinnamon sticks soap by SwanMountainSoaps

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happenin How To: LEAF PRINTS!

I am so very excited to have one of MY favorite HOW TO Blogs: Skip To My Lou graciously guest post for us today!

Cindy is amazing! Her site is chalk full of anything and everything you could possibly imagine...from paper and sewing amazing and yummy easy recipes....Her site is a one stop shop for anything creative!

One of my favorite tutorials she has...which is fabulous for Fall and the Thanksgiving Holiday is her Leaf Print Tutorial!

The following is Cindy's Tutorial in her words!

We were inspired today by the beautiful colors of fall. Our leaves are amazing so we decided to preserve a bit of fall with some leaf prints.

We used acrylic paint in bottles, lots of wax paper and a brayer (our fingers worked just as well, but my 3 year old had fun with the "special roller") You could also use a cup or bottle with smooth sides as your "roller."

My daugher painted the back of the leaf. My job was to check and make sure she painted to the edges and smooth out any globs of paint. You don't want too much paint, just a nice even coat. The amount of paint varies also by what your are printing on---the fabric took a bit more paint than the paper.

Place leaf paint side down on what you want to print. We printed a canvas bag we had and a kitchen towel (not pictured). Cover leaf with a piece of wax paper. I held the wax paper down over the leaf (to keep the leaf from flying around -remember my craft partner is 3) while she used the brayer to smooth out the leaf. I told her to press hard. We had good luck using our fingers to press the leaf onto the surface also.

Remove your leaf and you have a beautiful print. After a few tries you will get the hang of how much paint to use.

If you are printing on fabric iron after the paint dries (with a press cloth) to set the paint. If my child could write I thought it would be cute for her to write "I am thankful for you" and I would embroider over her letters. It would make a cute gift for a teacher or someone special. Maybe it will have to be in my handwriting this year.

We also printed some gift tags for some November baking we plan to do.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Featured Artists - SugarLumpsDesign and Quiltmaker2006

As November nears an end, we find ourselves in an emerging holiday season that seems to keep all of us on our toes. But before the man in the red suit can come down the chimney, we find ourselves reflecting on all that we are thankful in our lives. These are two members of the Homefront Team, that we are thankful to have enriching our community.

First up is Davida Chatman from Sugar Lumps Designs, which features an eclectic mix of jewelry and home décor treasures.

Tell us a little about yourself:

My name is Davida Chatman and I reside in Round Rock, Texas. I have a home based business that I provide virtual services from and I am an avid crafter and photographer. I have two children, my daughter Sydnie is 12 years old and attends an International Baccalaureate middle school in Austin, Texas. She is an artist like myself and loves to make t-shirts, jewelry and also enjoys cake decorating. My son Sheldon is 16 years old and is quite reserved, he is the calmer of the two and is an avid reader, musically inclined and adores the game of poker. He is a self taught juggler, pianist and is intrigued by magnets. My Husband is a disabled Navy Vet and a self proclaimed geek in his own right. He collects action figures and comic books. I am happy to say that we will be attending Comic-Con for the first time this year. We have been connected to the navy for over 15 years and love the community. We all watch after our own because we all know the sacrifice that is involved, and how precious our lives are and the lives we protect.

I am artistically inclined and it is so hard to contain - all mediums intrigue and it is so hard to contain me so I do dabble, but I currently make jewelry, and home décor items …like mosaic frames and painted glassware. I have some accessories like iphone cases that I will be adding. I sell stock photography, so I will also be branching off in that area as well.

Why did you open up a shop on Etsy?

I opened up my Etsy store, because I wanted to have an avenue to share my art with others who enjoy homemade items and the love that goes into each piece.

What is something you can’t live without?

I can’t live without sweets. I truly have a sweet tooth and I guess that had something to do with the name of my store Sugar Lumps Design. I can’t do without sweets and sweet designs for me to wear and for my home.

When you’re not busy with your store or family stuff, what do you like to do?

I love to get out and photograph the world around me, beauty just pops up in the most unsuspecting places and just throws you for a loop. I love the quote “Your whole life can change at a moment’s notice…and the moments you notice can change your whole life.”

How do you balance being an Etsy store owner, taking care of your family and any other important things in your life?

I think that balancing home life and store is a lot easier, due to the fact that I also work from home virtually. I t also doesn’t hurt that my family is behind me in everything and they will dive in and help if I need them.

How has being a part of the military influenced your craft and your store?

I think that being a military family has influenced my craft by allowing me to be more open minded and accepting of not only my art but others as well.

How has being a member of the Homefront Team helped you as an Etsy store owner?

I enjoy seeing the trials and tribulations of the homefront team through email. I love the safety net you feel when you have an issue or a question or just need to comment. It helps with sanity and knowing that you’re not alone.

Our last November Featured Artist is Michelle from Quiltmaker 2006 who offers unique quilts, stylish bags, and a myriad of baby items.

Tell us a little about yourself:

My name is Michelle Ronicker and I am currently stationed with my family at Offut Air Force Base in Nebraska. I have 2 boys – a 4 year old and an 18 month old who love to play together and are the reason I started making a lot of my items. I was a military brat for 16 years, and then joined the Ohio ANG for 6 years, and now my husband is serving in the Air Force.

What is your favorite item in your store and why?

My favorite item is the birthday cake quilt because every one turns out different and is one of a kind. They take about 24 hours from start to finish to make.

What is something you can’t live without?

My faith and my family.

When you’re not busy with your store or family stuff, what do you like to do?

I love to be outside, now that my kids are getting older I look forward to taking them hiking and camping.

How do you balance being an Etsy store owner, taking care of your family and any other important things in your life?

I have a very supportive husband and he loves to take the boys out to do “man things” so I can have a break to sew.

How has being a part of the military influenced your craft and your store?

I love anything Red, White, and Blue.

How has being a member of the Homefront Team helped you as an Etsy store owner?

I can get feedback on what others think I can do differently to help with sales.

Be sure to check out next month for our new Featured Artists.

If you are a member of the Homefront Team and would like to be featured artist in the future, be sure to have somewhere in your announcement or profile that you’re a member of the Homefront Team!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Nothing to Be Blue About

Some beautiful wintery blues from the Homefront Team. Enjoy!

Find these featured items at the following links:

mrsdstahl Freezin' for a Reason

blueroomgems London Blue CZ Teardrop and Silver Earrings

camillam Space Alien Bear Set

creativedragonfly Boutique Striped Bowler Hat

jenscraftcorner Retro Dots Key Fob

sygnetcreations Neck Nest

astonesthrow Loretta Pleated Tote

candjjewelry Winter Wonderland Snowman Bracelet

tinystorm Lucky Number Seven Bracelet

theyarnchick Breezy Brimmed Beanie

Monday, November 9, 2009

Homefront Facebook Fan Page Giveaway!

The Homefront Team is having yet another giveaway, this time, it is for the Grand Opening of the Homefront Facebook Fan Page. The is the largest giveaway in the Homefront Team history of giveaways, a large amount of items will be given away to many different winners. The giveaway items value nearly $250 and guess what, the items will be shipped to the winners absolutely free! So, here is how it works.

-Simply sign into your Facebook account.
-Go to the Homefront Facebook Fan Page: or you can go to the Homefront Team Fan Page on the side bar of this blog.
-Click become a fan!

Please Note: Homefront Team Members will not be entered into the giveaway and will not be allowed to win.

It is that simple and you are automatically entered into the giveaway!

Grand Prize will win a box of handmade Homefront Member items valued at $100
First Place Prize will win Handmade Homefront Member items valued at $50
Second Place Prize will win Handmade Homefront Member items valued at $25
Third Place Prize will win Handmade Homefront member items valued at $15
Valued Fan Prizes will vary anywhere from $10 and under.

Now that you know how and what the prize values are, now check out the items!

3LittleBowsBoutique has a set of 2 hair bows and a ponytail bow valued at $10. Also comes in this lovely purple box ready for gift giving.

Creative Details is giving away this unique frame valued at $16, a lovely way to add a modern feel to any room.

The Yarn Chic is giving away one of her unique Knick Knack Keepers valued at $10. She is also currently selling the pattern for these for $4. Make your own gift this year for Christmas!

Papers On Parade has given her one of a kind design photo albums valued at $15. Her own design and a creative way to show off the kids!

Sue Runyon Design is featuring a elegant pair of Fresh Water Pearl and Copper Earrings valued at $10. A classy touch for any outfit!

The Q Store is giving away this adorable Autumn Q Pumpkin valued at $13. Perfect decor for Thanksgiving!

Lilac Ave has given this lovely Christmas tin candle valued at $3. The scent is a AMAZING smell of Bayberry, help bring in the spirit of Christmas with this candle!

Moose Threads has given one of her lovely Ladybug hats valued at $26! This item is one of her signature appliques along with subs and airplanes!

Teri's Treasure is giving away this unique reusable gift pouch valued at $8.99. Resizable and reusable year after year and a easy way for gift giving.

Teri's Treasure has given a set of Gift Tags for your gift giving needs valued at $5. A Christmas signature item for Teri in her shop.

This adorable bracelet could be yours from C&J Jewelry valued at $20! Such a unique piece for wearing or gift giving!

Fray Baby Bibs and More has given this adorable Asian bib valued at $7.50. The minky on the back is so soft and a pleaser for the baby!

Two Seaside Babes has given this amazing, high quality Taupe Scarflette valued at $31! She sells many items to keep you warm this winter with lovely colors to boot!

Paper Perfections is giving away this pack of Preppy Panache Holiday Cards valued at $6. A great way to top off your Christmas gifts by a handmade card by Sarah!

jen harruf has is giving away this adorable Cherry Half Apron valued at $25. Her shop is a must see, starting with her lovely aprons but a smile with the models!

AHeron is giving away an amazing set of Dainties earrings valued at $30.

Creations Anew is giving away 2 paper weights featuring her amazing photos valued at $20.

nikid has given a $20 gift certificate from her mouth watering chocolates and edibles shop! A gift certificate will be emailed to you and you can pick any item up to $20! YUMMY!

A BIG THANK YOU to the shops that have given their items to make this giveaway happen!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fabulous Finds: Warm and Fuzzy

With frost on the pumpkin in the mornings, and a nip in the air at night...Now is the time to think about all those fabulous fuzzy and comfy things that keep us warm and snug! There are some Fabulous Finds all across Etsy that will definitely help keep the chill out!

Included in this Treasury are Some Amazing Homefront Shops!

Teri's Tresures

Creative Dragonfly

Two Seaside Babes

Kristyns Kreations

Lilac Ave

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happenin' HOW TO's: Easy Applique

Probably one of the easiest and most versatile craft projects you can do is to do an easy applique on fabric. The fabulous thing about Applique is that you can customize it to fit whatever it is you are wanting to make....Say you want to make a fabulous Holiday Tea can totally do it....A Beautiful Butterfly T-shirt for your daughter....easy peasy lemon squeezy!

This is a Fun, Fast and Easy Tutorial on how to make your own applique for any occasion!

Before you Begin, You'll Need the Following Items:

Fusible interfacing of your choice -- I use double-sided fusible web
Computer/printer (or you could draw your design freehand)
Water soluble fabric marker
Fabric scrap
Item you wish to Applique - Towel, T-shirt, Onesie, etc

I highly recommend prewashing all fabrics before working with them. Not prewashing could lead to pulling and puckering later!

1. Step One - Pick Your Design

Google Images or clip art is a good place to start looking if you aren't wishing to do a free hand piece. If you are looking for letters, you can either use your font types on your word program, or you can google: Alphabet Coloring pages, which has some good easy examples.

Print image in the size you would like to use!

You can also just be creative and do it freehand....which I think makes some pretty fabulous appliques!

Draw the design you would like to use. I like to use heavy weight paper or cardstock to help keep it from bending.

Cut out your desired design for your template.

2. Step 2 - Transfer Design

Now take your template and trace the design onto the double sided fusible webbing. Make sure you trace on the sticky side of the webbing. (the sticky side will stick to paper when peeled back). Cut Out a Square around your new template. Peel one side of paper back and place sticky side on WRONG side of your fabric scrap.

Cut Out your design again!

3. Step 3 - Finishing

Attach your applique to your base fabric (tshirt, towel etc) make sure you play first so you know where you want it. Once you have it in the desired location, use a hot iron and press down for 10-15 seconds until it is firmly bonded.

Now you will finish by sewing around the edges of your applique. You can use either a straight stitch or zigzag stitch. I prefer zig-zag for durablilty and style!

Once you are done sewing, re iron your garment/piece and voila! You have a fabulous Appliqued Piece!

This Happenin' How To: was taught by Noah Baby Boutique: An adorable shop that creates Sassy and Chic Items, for Sassy and Chic Babies and Tots!