Friday, January 29, 2010

Florist Friday: Wedding show pics, part 1

It's picture time!  As I had mentioned in this post, we did a big wedding show a couple of weeks ago.  I've got lots of pictures to share, which I will be doing over the next couple of weeks. This week I'm going to start with the most vibrant, colorful bouquets and boutonnieres that I made, so get ready for some eye-popping color!

Gerber daisy are quite possibly the most cheerful flower.  With their wide array of colors, from soft pastels to super hot pinks and oranges, and their simple yet fun shape, they just seem so happy.  And what more joyous occasion than a wedding!   

This bouquet of hot pink and orange mini gerber daisies is accented with green hypericum berries for an extra punch of color.  This is a really fun bouquet, complete with lime green swirled wire in the centers of the orange gerbers, as well as wrapped around the stems.  And of course, there's a matching boutonniere:

And for those fall weddings, the firey shades of red, orange and yellow are so warm and rich.  It's no wonder that autumn is such a popular time of the year for weddings!

This autumn bouquet features golden sunflowers, bright red gerber daisies and roses, circus roses, and orange ranunculus.  The dried chinese lanterns and lotus pods give it a touch of natural earthiness.  The stems are encased in magnolia leaves, with their soft, velvety back sides exposed, and the gold wire adds a touch of shine.

The coordinating boutonniere features a single miniature sunflower, paired with an orange ranunculus bud.  The two are accented with a dried magnolia leaf, then wrapped in a galax leaf and gold wire.

That's all for this week!  Be sure to come by next week for a more soothing palate of blues, greens, and purples.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Theme Thursday: Sharing the Love

As we are wrapping up the spring issue of Modern Handmade Child, I thought I'd take a moment to give a little shout out to some of the gals that have contributed to the issue. We come from different parts of the world and different backgrounds, but the one thing we all have in common is our love of the handmade lifestyle. These talented ladies have been generous to share this love by writing articles for the mag, so for this week's theme, I wanted give back and share the love with you. It's all about the love, baby!

Thanks, ladies!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shop Talk Tuesday: and now a surprise for you!

I've done it.  I've been contemplating doing it for awhile now.  It's something I've thought long and hard about, weighing the pros and cons, and recently decided to just go for it.  What have I done, you ask?  I've opened a second Etsy shop, and will be moving all of my swirled wire jewelry there in the coming weeks.  I wanted a name that was similar to the name of my main Etsy shop, The Clever Kitty, but with a twist (pun intended).  So I present, The Curly Kitty:

Before I move all of the swirled wire brooches, rings, and earrings over into the new shop, I've decided to work on my product photography a bit.  Now that they will be in a separate shop, I feel like I have more flexibility in the look of the photos, as I'm not trying to make them fit in with all of my colorful and fun felt stuff.  Here's a couple of sneak peeks at the new look:

Be on the lookout for these and more in the new shop soon!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Little surprises of Motherhood

Being a mom, your life is often full of surprises.  Sometimes they're good, sometimes they're not so good, and sometimes they're...well, just plain odd.  For instance, when opening a kitchen cabinet to retrieve a pan for cooking dinner, you don't expect to find this:

Baby dolls in the cabinet?  Hmm...certainly didn't expect that one!  :D

Friday, January 22, 2010

Florist Friday: A dozen roses, half a dozen ways

Being a florist, it's hard not to think about roses this time of year. We know all to well that Valentine's Day will be here soon, and we will be creating many, many arrangements of one dozen roses. But Valentine roses need not be red, and they need not be arranged in the traditional way. With so many amazingly beautiful varieties of roses available today, and so many different ways you can arrange them, there are plenty of options for those who want to send roses, but don't want to be stuck with the same old same old. So today I'm going to show you half a dozen ways to give a dozen roses, which is really just the tip of the ice berg. Your options are truly only as limited as your imagination.
Sweet Unique is a medium head pink rose with a lighter pink on the outside and a brighter pink on the inside. Here one dozen Sweet Unique roses are arranged in a topiary, complete with polka dot grosgrain bows. Sweet and unique!

Milva is a large, ruffled petal orange rose. Its combination of vibrant color and subtle tones of orange, peach, and a touch of pink make it one of the most stunning roses. Here one dozen Milva roses are tucked down into a large square vase, and sprouting up out of the top along side pussy willows. A perfect hint of spring!

Gelato is a new variety we've discovered at the shop. It was love at first sight! A warm peachy-pink accented with a splatter stripe of cream in it, this rose simply couldn't be any prettier. Here one dozen Gelato roses are nestled into a a bed of plumosa ferns, accented with white birch branches. Delicious!

Circus is one of the most vibrant roses I have seen. With its bright yellow petals tipped in in a lively orange, it really packs a punch of color! Here one dozen Circus roses are arranged in a low dish, accented with gold wire and feathers. Fanciful and fun!

Black Magic is a luxurious deep red rose. Photographs of this rose never quite do it justice. You really have to see it in person to appreciate the velvety texture and the rich dark red of the petals. Here one dozen Black Magic roses are arranged in an upward spiral, which is echoed with silver aluminum wire. Gypsophila (Babies Breath) is nestled in the center, and a handcrafted wire and rhinestone heart dangles from the top. Simply elegant!

Of course, you can always just do the traditional dozen red roses in vase:

But wouldn't you rather give or receive something a little more interesting? I know I would!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Theme Thursday: Snow, Sweet Snow

 We've been getting a lot of snow up here in Maine, and when I look out the window, everything I see is covered in white.  It really is quite beautiful.  There's something about a fresh layer of snow that makes everything seem so calm and peaceful.  Here's some sweet snowy items from my fellow Crafting in Color Teammates:






Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Celebrating 4 years on Etsy

This Friday marks my four year anniversary of having a shop on Etsy, or as we Etsians like to say, my four year "Etsyversary". When I joined Etsy in 2006, I immediately fell in love with both the marketplace and the community. Although I haven't yet had thousands of sales like some other Etsy shop owners, I still consider my time on Etsy as a success. Etsy has inspired me and given me hope that one day I too will be able to fulfill my entrepreneurial dreams. I've learned a lot about myself, grown considerably since I discovered Etsy 4 years ago, and have made a lot of great friends along the way.

I've taken on a lot of side projects over the years, such as the EtsyKids Team and Modern Handmade Child, and I definitely want to continue those. But I also want to start focusing on my shop more again. Last year things got a little crazy, and I was not able to spend as much time creating new products and updating my Etsy shop as I would have liked. So this year, I'm going to make it more of a priority. I have a whole slew of ideas for projects just waiting to get made, and I can't wait to get started!

In order to make my shop a higher priority again, I'm going set aside a certain time each week that I will focus solely on creating. That means in that segment of time, I will not touch the computer, as it's far too easy to get distracted. I'm also going to start blogging more about what I'm working on, which will hopefully keep me motivated to really be working on something fabulous! So be on the look out for my new "Shop Talk Tuesday" posts. (My past "Toddler Tuesday" posts will be switching to "Mom Mondays"...after all, she won't be a toddler much longer!)

Monday, January 18, 2010


The snow has arrived. We got a foot of it today, and little g was so excited to go out and play in it. After it stopped snowing, that is. She never wants to go outside when it's actually snowing, because she doesn't like the snow hitting her face. Such are the idiosyncrasies of a toddler.

After a good while of outdoor play, I told her it was time to go back inside. And of course her reply was "No, 2 more minutes!", which has been one of her favorite things to say for awhile now. So I give her 2 more minutes, then I tell her that "her 2 minutes is up", to which she now replies "No, 2 minutes is down!" I have to conceal my chuckles at her reply, while also wondering how anyone ever learns the English language. After all, that would seem a perfectly logical response!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Theme Thursday: Hearts of Maine

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, hearts are popping up everywhere! From soft wool hearts, to dainty metal hearts, and everything in between, there's surely a handmade heart out there for everyone! Here's some of my favorite hearts from the Etsy Maine Team:

Tiny Needle Felted Wool Hearts by Moon Dog Farm

Labor of Love Vessel by Kreatus

Brooch with Vintage Button and Heart by Quench Metal Works

Click here to see more beautiful hearts from the Etsy Maine Team!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Growing Up

Since my husband and I recently both had a few days off in a row, I decided to take some time to finally finish editing home videos and creating photo slide shows to make a dvd of my daughter's entire first year. It has been a lot of fun to look back on her early days, and makes me realize how grown up she is already. It seems that nearly everyday now she is reaching new milestones. It's hard to believe that only a year ago she was just learning to talk and communicate. Now she's telling us stories, talking about her day, and even attempting to boss us around!

While all these changes are very exciting, they can be overwhelming at times too. I think we've reached an age where she really finds in more enjoyable to go to daycare than to stay home with me. She definitely benefits not just
from the activities at daycare, but also the social time with her friends too. It can be challenging to balance her needs with mine, and to squeeze everything into a day. Especially on a day like today, when I have a lot on my to do list, and she decides she does not need to nap. And it's often too cold these days to play outside for very long, so it's difficult for her to burn off all that extra energy she has. (I can only imagine how much I could do if I had half of the energy of a 2 year old!) Ah, the struggles of motherhood. Here's to hoping for a short winter!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Florist Friday: recovering from the holidays

Working at a florist can get a little crazy at certain times of the year. December is always a busy time for us, making holiday centerpieces, decorating for parties, and delivering poinsettias. Then January is usually pretty quiet and calm, which can be kind of a downer after the holidays, but it does at least give us a chance to rest up before the Valentine's Day rush hits. And it gives my dry, cracked, pitch-covered, holly-scraped hands a chance to heal just in time to be scraped up by all those rose thorns. Maybe this year we'll get lucky and get roses with very few thorns. We shall see.

In any case, this year we have 3 wedding shows to do in January/early February, so that should keep us busy. I love doing wedding shows, as they give me a chance to really be creative. Our first one is this weekend, so I should have some pics to share soon!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Theme Thursday: Carnations

January is here, and it's time to showcase the birth flower for this month, the Carnation. Carnations have been cultivated for over 2,000 years, and have a history rich in symbolism and mythology. Each color has a different meaning, red being admiration, white being innocence, and yellow being rejection, to name a few. Pink carnations are perhaps the most significant in that it is believed that they first sprouted up where the Virgin Mary had shed tears as Jesus carried his cross, and they are hold the meaning "I will never forget you" as well as a mother's unending love.

Flowers are Blooming Headband by Clementine's

Sweetness and Light Fine Art Print by Alice B. Gardens

PS: I know it's not quite Thursday yet, but I just snagged a treasury to featuring these carnations and more! Click here to view it. Expires Friday at 11:00am!

Monday, January 4, 2010

365 Declutter Challenge

As part of my New Year's resolution to simplify, I'm going to buckle down and focus on decluttering my home. Anyone who has seen my house knows that we have a lot of stuff. And now that we have a child, the stuff seems to be rapidly multiplying! The thought of trying to sort through all of the stuff in our house is pretty overwhelming. So I've decided to tackle it one day at a time, one piece of clutter at a time.

I had been thinking about starting a 365 Declutter Challenge for awhile, the idea being that each day you get rid of at least one piece of clutter. So that's at least 365 things that would be leaving my home over the course of a year. Yay! A couple weeks ago, I thought 'why put off until tomorrow what you can do today?', and started a 365 Declutter group on facebook, where each week I've been posting a different area of the home to work on decluttering. So if you want to declutter your home, feel free to come join us. If we stick with this for an entire year, doing a little bit each day, just think how nice our homes will be for the holidays next year!


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