When I got home from town today there was a huge box sitting on the bar with my name on it, and my heart skipped a beat. I got a silly grin on my face and a little skip in my step. For, you see, inside was one of my favorite things ever. My mega sized sample box from The Sampler Village had arrived! Oh happy day!! For those of you who don't know what sample boxes are, they are wonderfullness all wrapped up each month and sent to your door! To be more technical, all kinds of handmade businesses send in samples of their work and then the sample box owners put them all together and sell the boxes. It's a great way to try out new handmade products without having to commit to full sizes, etc., and many of the businesses include discount codes to use in their shops so you can get some great deals on things you've already tried and know you'll love! Most of the participating businesses are bath and body shops. But there are many jewelry, tea, paper goods, and candy companies, along with others, such as myself! I sent in a really cool "Learn to Embroider" kit, along with a discount card to use in my shop.
When I was a kid I absolutely loved mystery grab bags. I could go to the dollar store and spend at least 10 minutes mulling over each one, picking the one I thought felt the heaviest or had the most interesting shapes. And half the time the contents were not as grand as just the feeling of excited anticipation. But I loved them all the same and always kept going back for more. When I discovered handmade sample boxes the little girl in me did a happy dance and I eagerly awaited my first box. The first sample box company that I discovered was The Little Black Box.
When it arrived at my front door I couldn't wait to rip it open and see all of my goodies. It didn't disappoint. I got many soap samples, quite a few pairs of earrings, and much more (it's been over a year, so forgive me, I can't remember all of the great items I received!). I was hooked. It was a while before I was able to order another box, but I eventually did and was just as excited. A few months ago I discovered The Sampler Village.
I was even more stoked because they offer two sizes of their boxes, the regular and the mega. Umm, I'm sorry, did you say MEGA?!?! Yes, ma'am, yes I did. If there is anything more awesome than a box of special goodness, it's a MEGA box of special goodness. So I just had to indulge. I ordered a regular size for my mom for her birthday and a mega size for me, cause I'm greedy. Guys, Oh. My. Gosh! This box was jam packed with so much great stuff, it's not even funny. I mean, look at this thing!
(This is a picture of this month's box, which is already sold out. But there are regular sized ones left!)
It took me literally almost an hour to go through it all. And I'm such a fanatic about my boxes that I even have a ritual when I open them. I wait until everyone else goes to bed, fix myself a nice drink and snack, turn on a crappy Lifetime movie or something equally embarrassing, and go about exploring my box uninterrupted. Ahhh, it doesn't get much better than that.
I have this amazing box sitting in my closet right now, unopened, and it's about to kill me! I'm torturing myself by not opening it now and saving it to take on vacation with me next week. Yes, I'm that dorky. Though I won't feel so dorky when I'm sipping my wine slushie (oh yeah, I said wine slushie), sitting on my condo balcony overlooking the ocean, and going through all of the great handmade goodies in my box. In fact, I think I will feel quite wonderful!
So if you are looking for a really fun gift for yourself and you love handmade stuff, especially bath and body items, please check out The Little Black Box and The Sampler Village. You just may discover a new favorite handmade shop inside:) And they make great gifts for other people, too! My mom loved her box, so much so that when she saw my box today she got just as giddy as if I had gotten it for her. I actually had to slap her hand away from reaching in when I gave her a sneak peek. Yes, you read that right, sample boxes are so good they'll make you slap your mama!
So, it just so happens that the winner of the laptop cover giveaway is the same neat Catherine as the Catherine who won the Jenuine Jewels giveaway. Lucky lady! She so graciously offered to pass the prize on to someone else, but since I have no rules against winning more than once I assured her that the cover was hers. But I just so happen to have another super cute laptop cover that is awaiting a home, so I decided to pull another lucky winner! And that person is commentor number 50, The Prickly Pinecone! I'll be contacting you shortly to get your shipping info :) And here's a picture of that cover, I hope you like it! (It's not the best picture, but you get the idea. It has cute cherry blossoms hand embroidered on it.)
Ahaha, that image still cracks me up.....Oh, back to business.... the winner of the BleuRoo laptop cover is post number 19, Catherine!! Congratulations Catherine, I'll be contacting you shortly to get your shipping info! Thanks to everyone who entered, we had a great turn out this time :) I won't be posting another giveaway today since I will be on VACATION next week!! Yeah, just a tiny bit excited. But I'll be back the next week with another one, so stay tuned. And if you have an Etsy shop and you would like me to host a giveaway for you just contact me at email@example.com and we'll get it set up!
Well, one of them anyways. I've been rearranging my work room the past couple days and thought I'd snap a few pics to share. It's not grand by any means, and no where near as cool as some of the super awesome craft rooms I've seen online. But at least it's all mine, functional, and it keeps people's mitts off my stuff. Here's the corner where most of the action takes place.
Helga, my mom's dressform. She's purely for decoration at this point.
My awesome artwork that my friend Kelly got for me for x-mas. She got it on Etsy, but I'm too lazy right now to find out where. I'll update when I do :)
My sweet little terrarium I made, with moss from Teresa's Plants & More. I got the bottle from a thrift store, a huge bag of old spice bottles for like $2.
A sweet little sparrow I also got at the thrift store.
And the most important part of my work room (well, except for my own two hands!), my trusty sewing machine.
So, there you have it, where most of the magic of BleuRoo happens ;)
Though at almost 3 years old, he's not really much of a baby anymore.
Yes, I waited until his hair was an unruly puff of curls before I finally caved and let my mom trim his hair a little. And it really was just a little. I couldn't bear to do any more than that. She basically just trimmed off the ends of the few longest curls. I know there were probably a ton of people who saw his hair all crazy like and thought "Geez, that kid needs a haircut!". But they can bite me. I mean, he's a kid, he's not supposed to have GQ perfect hair. It's supposed to be wild and cute and free, like him. I was just not ready for that big milestone, getting rid of the beautiful hair that I waited for so long to grow. He had such short hair for so long! Then he started to get his dad's curls and I was so super excited. When I would picture what my kid would look like long before he ever existed, that hypothetical child always had beautiful curly hair. Now I'm so afraid that he will outgrow them! But his dad still has curly hair when it grows past a certain length, so maybe they will stick around.
And yeah, we totally had to bribe him with candy so he'd sit still long enough. That's my boy.
Okay, okay, so it's not really Tuesday, but just humor me. This week I'm giving away a laptop cover that I made a while ago.
It actually features the awesome bird from my logo :) I've sold a few laptop covers over the past year, but they just weren't where my attention was and so they fell by the wayside. But I have a few left over just collecting dust, so I thought what better way to find them a new home? This particular cover is lined with blue fleece to give it a bit of padding. And it has a bit of a different closing, folding over the end of the computer like a box flap almost, with two pieces of velcro to hold it closed securely.
It measures approx. 8 1/2"x 11 1/2", so it would be great for a smaller laptop. You could even use it for file folders for work or school, or whatever you want! It's just a really cute bag that I hate to see laying around with no purpose. And as always all embroidery was done by my own two hands!
So if you want a super cool handmade laptop cover then this is what you do!
Now, how to win. I know you're probably used to the normal routine of having to tweet about giveaways, blog about the giveaway, etc. But I'm doing things differently. It's not your job to promote me, that's my job! So this is how it's going to work:
Sorry, giveaway open to US and Canada residents only!
Each of the following counts for one entry, please leave a separate comment for each one!! And please leave your email address in the comments so I can contact you if you win :)
This one is mandatory :) Follow my blog.
Subscribe by email to my blog (on the right side, right over there!--->)
Are you doing anything special for St. Patrick's Day?
Do you like corn beef and hash?
Do you want to do bodily harm to the people who have the nerve to pinch you if you don't have on green?
One lucky winner will be chosen at random next Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010.
Also, if you have an Etsy shop and would like me to host a giveaway for you just send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you're like me and just have some random cool stuff sitting around collecting dust and it needs to find a new home, that's cool too! Just contact me and we'll go over specifics :)
So sorry, guys. I was totally supposed to list a new giveaway today and I completely just did not have the time. I was out and about with the folks all day, and then had some other work things to attend to. I hang my head in shame :( But I will totally make it up to you tomorrow! Please forgive me?
Yesterday the boy and I went out to the beach to watch a very cute bass player and his band. Okay, so I'm a bit biased, I'll admit it. My husband and a couple of his friends have been playing together for a few months now and they had their first real gig (they've played an open mic a couple of nights) at a restaurant on the beach. It's just a side hobby thing for them, they all have played music forever and are super excited to be getting back into it. The Mr. and the guitarist in this band used to have a band with another friend when we were teens and played at a few places around town all the time. Then we moved away when we got married and he didn't play with other people for most of the 9 years we were gone. I'm happy he's able to get back to his first true love in life, playing music.
The Mr. is the one in red (yes, that is a pool outside of the restaurant! I sooo wanted to jump in, but did not want to freeze my arse off so I refrained)
I swear there were some other people outside of the picture's view here!
It was insanely windy
Their two best songs are "Yer Blues" by The Beatles (which I had never even heard before my guy started practicing it) and "The Bends" by Radiohead. I don't have video of them performing, so enjoy the real thing. They sound just like that, I promise ;)
I love/hate finding new websites that just suck you in and make you click around for waaayyyy too long. So here's a new total time suck website I found, Young Me/Now Me. It's a project by Ze Frank where he asks people to recreate a childhood picture. Simply find a picture of yourself as a child and then recreate the pose and facial expression as best you can. I totally got sucked into clicking through the photos for quite some time. This is my favorite so far. How much sweeter can you get? And I love this one, too funny. If I could figure out how to get my piece of crap scanner to work, and find an old pic of myself, I would so totally submit one. I'll be randomly bringing you more time suck websites, cause I want you to waste as much time as I do. You're welcome ;)
We have a large deck in the backyard that is built around an above ground swimming pool. There is an area that used to be a shower space but we no longer use it, and it already has a floor and a frame around it that I want to use to make a small playhouse for the boy. I've been looking online for some pics of playhouses to give me some inspiration, though I think they are having the opposite effect on me. They are making me feel quite inferior and I need someone to just come build one for me. Look at these things!
Man, now I just want my own playhouse. A nice place to go and sit in a comfy chair, with a nice hot cup of coffee (cause my playhouse has a coffee maker), and can just embroider and sew to my hearts content. I can dream, right?
First off, I don't have a giveaway going this week, sorry! Since we were out of town freezing our asses off camping this past weekend I just didn't have time to get one going. But if you are a shop that would like for me to host one for you, just let me know and I can get it together :)
Now, on to the review. Before Christmas I was looking for some stocking stuffer items for my boy, and I came across WeeKnit on Etsy.
I love the name! If ever a shop name captured the essence of the shop perfectly, then this one is it. WeeKnit creates the coolest little knitted finger puppets, ever.
I actually ended up using them in an advent calendar I made, they were the perfect size and my boy loved adding each one to his collection over the month. The prices are great, especially compared to what I found in the stores for similar sets. And the details in the faces are awesome. The owner of the shop was amazingly great to work with, I love finding cool shops not only with great products but with great customer service to go along. These would also make great favors for birthday parties! So check out WeeKnit for a fun and imaginative gift for the kids in your life!
My husband and I are going camping this weekend with a group of friends from our old 'hood. I'm super excited as we haven't seen our friends in about a year, and we have a grand time on our mostly annual camping trips. But it's still freaking cold! And of course we can't find our heater for our tent, and the store we went to last night didn't have any more, seeing as it's March in Florida. So I'm still on the hunt for one, but I digress. In honor of our trip I decided to scour Etsy for anything camping related. So just envision yourself in front of a crackling fire toasting marshmallows (and enjoying an adult beverage or two, or 20) and enjoy Etsy camping!
Click on each picture to view the shop :)
Cup of Joe Stud Post Earrings
7 Tents Fine Art Print- Limited Edition
Upcycled Army Surplus Duffel Bag Screen Printed with White Tree
Happy Camper T-shirt
Wish me luck in the whole not freezing department. It would be greatly appreciated ;)
I'm not a candle girl. I'm a tart girl! I absolutely LOVE my tart burners. Candles pale in comparison to me. Their scent throw is just not as good usually, and buying a whole candle is so much more commitment than just one single tart. For the price of one candle I could get 10-12 different scents and change them every few days! Yeah, I love variety and options. I also love that there are a billion different burner styles out there, again a one up on candles. I currently have 5 different burners, each a different style. I enjoy walking from one room to the next, leaving one delicious scent and then entering another. My nose loves me :) So, that's why I've chosen Whiff and Sniff Candles for my review today! Although the name is kind of misleading, considering I've just spent the first few lines downing candles and I chose a company with candle as part of their name. But Whiff and Sniff actually sell wax tarts, or as the owner Kim calls them, "Scent Shooters". They come in small plastic cups that you just pop out right into your burner.
Tarts are also referred to as "wickless candles", hence the candle in the shop name. I just refer to them as "aroma awesomeness". I've tried tons of different wax tarts over the years, and I can honestly say that Whiff and Sniff are my favorite, by far. They have a long lasting life and just amazing scent power. I use my tarts 3-4 separate burns, which for me is approximately 4-5 hours each burn. That's a lot of life! How long the tart lasts really depends on the scent. So far, my absolute favorite scent ever is "Angry Aphrodite", which is a Whiff and Sniff original. Kim's description of Angry Aphrodite is "A sweet musky bouquet of mandarin orange, bergamot, and tangerine enhanced by hints of fresh peaches, strawberries, raspberries, cotton candy, and sugary caramels. Love Spell and Pink Sugar basically had a baby and we named it Angry Aphrodite." It's seriously one of the most delicious scents I've ever burned in either tart or candle form. I also enjoy "She's My Cherry Pie" and "Dee's Dessert". Kim also puts together different packs of 12 different scents. Right now she has a Slammin' Summer Pack that I believe will be my next indulgence. Every single scent sounds amazing and right up my alley. I love fruity, clean, and sweet scents. The newest scent offering is a fabulously Easter inspired scent called "Pink Peep Cupcakes". And there is also a charity scent, Blueberry a la Mode, in honor of The American Cancer Society Relay For Life®. 100% of the proceeds made off this scent will go towards Kim's relay team's goal. The price of the wax shooters is great for the amount of life you get out of them. Single shooters are $1 each, with the special 12 packs priced at a great $10 each. To find out more about wax tarts and Whiff and Sniff in general, check out their FAQ page. If you are looking for a way to make your home smell amazing, or for a great housewarming gift, I highly recommend Whiff and Sniff Candles!