Friday, October 30, 2009

Personalized Ipod or Phone Cozies!

Well most of you know I love to do embroidery and felt applique. I had a customer request personlized ipod cozies for her family last week and I finished the first one today. I thought it turned out so cute! Pictured is the finished item for the mom, I am making a little girl's and boys too, I haven't done the boy's but the girls is partly done. Her embroidery and the lining is pictured.. These are big enough for ipods, iphones, blackberrys, even some cameras. This design could be easily adapted for a glasses case too. Interested in one for a gift or yourself? Click here. Thanks, and have a great day, Jamie.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Entertaining, Wine Gift Tags

I think during the holidays more than any other time we open our homes to entertain others. As the guest my grandmother always told me never to arrive empty handed and while handmade cakes, pies and cookies are wonderful most of us don't have the time for that. A bottle of wine is a lot of people's go to hostess gift. But what about those floppy fabric gift bags though, I mean do you really think you are disguising what it is? I came up with a solution I like better, the wine gift tag.
I took about 9 inches of an elasticized trim I had that was in fall colors. I sewed the ends together and added a handmade gift tag that coordinated with the trim. Add a personal message and you are ready to go! I'm not adding these to my etsy shop but if you would like a custom listing of them for the holidays email me, .
Sneak Preview I will be having a book giveaway next month to celebrate the holidays, Check back or follow my blog to make sure you don't miss it! Thanks, Jamie.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Awesomeness of Craigslist

Craigslist has gotten somewhat of a bum rap with all the scamming, adult services and the infamous craigslist killer getting lots of publicity. You don't often hear great stories from there, but, I have one....
Sunday I was browsing the FREE STUFF. You would be amazed at what people give away for free. For some reason there are always 3 or 4 toilets in there, Hmmmm. But an ad caught my eye, Ebay Sellers, Boxes, no longer selling. So I called. Left a message. I got a call back from a very nice woman who said she was had opened an accounting business and it was going so well she was getting out of ebay and she wanted to get rid of her shipping supplies. We arranged for her to leave them on her porch yesterday and I picked them up. Wow! I would have paid a lot for these and now I have great boxes and mailers for the holiday season!
Thanks to Next Step Financial Services for a real blessing in boxes and mailers! (I don't even know her name.)
So I guess the moral of the story is be careful on craigslist but it can be useful!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Holiday Napkin Rings

A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture on Facebook of some felt embroidered leaves I made. I loved them but was at a loss as to what to do with them. A friend of mine from high school that I talk to on Facebook, Ronnie Applewhite, suggested I somehow make them into napkin rings. Well I finally got the time to try it out, here is my result.

I also thought it looked good as a wine glass wrap. The how to? Super Simple. I make the leaves from three layers of embroidered felt, you could machine stitch them or even use silk floral leaves. I then attached them to a piece of bias that that I had inserted floral wire into. I twisted buttons onto each end of the floral wire so that they couldn't poke anyone or get stuck on anything. I sewed them onto the bias tape but they could be glued just as easily. So there you go Ronnie, Napkin Rings!

What do you think? Let me know via comments. Have a great week! Jamie.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Couples Retreat, at the Movies!

My husband and I went to the movies without the kids yesterdayl, a small feat for us, usually they go to a movie that coincides with ours. This was nice just the two of us for once! We are huge Jon Favreau fans and love Vince Vaughn so we decided to go to Couples Retreat.

The rest of the cast was great too, Jason Bateman, Kristen Bell, too many great people to list all! The buildup for this movie was huge so we went in hoping for a great show, but not expecting too much. The first thing we noticed were the huge numbers of couples there! Not only was the movie about a couples retreat, it was one!

But back to the movie, it lived up to the hype, it was funny, touching and like all good movies was rooted in the reality of everyday life. There was a little bit of something for everyone, and while it was an adult show, it had no gore, nudity, or bad language. So for a great time with your significan other, go to the "Couples Retreat"!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Don Draper, the Anti Metrosexual

I'm a picky television watcher but a serial one, once I get hooked on a series I'm devoted. Sex and the City, Sopranos, Entourage, they are all shows that my husband and I have been hooked on . I recently checked out Mad Men. I watched all the edisodes that On Demand had and I must say as a lover of vintage I was impressed. They styling both of the sets and wardrobe is fabulous. It may not all be authentic, but it is so stylized, it is perfect.

Recently Don Draper the main character was named by as the #1 influential man in America today. Any of you who watch the show may be shocked. He drinks constantly in the office, at home, in the car (yet almost never seems drunk). He smokes almost as constantly. He cheats on his wife. None of the attributes you would want influencing your man. Yet being the age I am and growing up in a very traditional southern area of the United States he is exactly what the men around me then were expected to be. He is chivalrous to women, he is hard working, ambitious, knows when to keep his mouth shut. He wants his word to be law in his house, even going as far as dictating "how things happen" to his father and brother in law. At the same time though he shows a tender deference to his wife and you know he is totally devoted to her even though he is a serial adulterer. He tries to do activities with his kids, he tries a lot of stuff. He seems manly, in control, doesn't wear makeup, doesn't talk about the way he feels, doesn't cry and in general comes off as pretty admirable. He is the antithesis of the metrosexual, comittment fearing, lotion using, weinie of a guy that has been around lately.

Anyway, take a peek at the show if you can, it isn't for the kids, so don't make that mistake. It is worth it for the wardrobe and decor alone! If you don't already watch it and think you might try an episode or so this wiki link will give you a little of the back story.

Thanks for reading and for vintage goods like the Mad Man-esque tie above, check out my vintage shop .

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Things You Gotta do to Have the Flu

I have just been through a week of sickness with my husband and daughter.

Husband comes home sick last week "ohhhhh, arrrg I don't feel good" rolls around bed making moaning noises, coughs on everyone, in general is a miserable human being, I was so sorry for him, but with time and care he is now back at work (thank goodness).

Sunday night daughter starts with the moaning, face hurts, fever.... ugh.

Our General Practice Doctor retired last year to do pro bono work at the county clinic, I applauded her for it. She is a fabulous doctor and we loved her. That doesn't help me find a new one though. After many calls to area doctors I gave up. No one, especially during flu season would see a new patient. I wasn't even sure it was the flu. Chloe acted like it was a sinus infection, something she has had in the past but her fever worried me. So it was off to the Take Care Clinic at our local Walgreens. We were on the waiting list for TWO Days! Eventually when we got in the doctor told me she did think it was the flu. One of the strains this year presents as a sinus infection. She did the swab and Yes, it was the FLU. She managed to get us the Tamaflu and wow it is fantastic! Dear Daughter is much better and asking when she can take her flu medicine again!

Well the flu is nothing to mess around with so try to be better prepared than I was! Make sure you have a doctor or clinic you can go to and even if you don't think it is the flu, go to the doctor, drink lots of vitamin C fortified drinks and other fluids, keep happy and healthy this Fall ! A few tips I got while there, I'm sure you have heard most of them.

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat or bathe ).

3.*Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but *blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.

5.*Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6.* Drink as much of warm liquids as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

Tips Compliments of Dr. Vinay Goyal

Friday, October 2, 2009

Twitter and Branding, Casual Cottage

First of all Thanks ! to all of you at Creative Bloggers and your lovely posts regarding my blog last week. For those of you new to blogging it is a great group that really helps you out in the "blogosphere".

Next I'd like to talk a little bit about twitter and promoting your craft business. I just visited Marilyn's blog Cottage Reflections . Her current post is about her revamped website, Casual Cottage. The new graphics are super cute, but the first thing I noticed is that her twitter avatar matches the graphics on her website. She also is promising a revamp to her blog, so I bet that will match too! What does that have to do with twitter? Well she is being consistent in her marketing, I immediately made the connection between her, her website, her tweets and blog, it is a nice clean, consistent presence that is not confusing. Every time you see her avatar you are being reinforced with an image that will lead to familiarity, comfortability and hopefully more clicks and sales. So while it is essential on tools like twitter to give back to your audience, really we are all there to create our own brand, something that Marilyn is well on her way to doing and something yours truly needs to work on!