Saturday, May 31, 2008

Monthly Newsletter Giveaway

As you know, I am trying to grow my business and along that train of thought, I would like to start offering a monthly newsletter to my customers and readers. This newsletter would include monthly specials in my shop, upcoming designs, pre-order of seasonal collections, some of my favorite finds from the handcrafted world, as well as a monthly giveaway. I promise to protect your privacy and not sell your information to any third party.

The only thing you have to do is sign up once in the NotifyList subscription box in the sidebar. You will only get a newsletter once a month - no bombardment. Signing up once will be your entry into each monthly drawing. Sign up today! My first email newsletter will be published in July.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Planning Ahead!

I went shopping today for Fall Collection fabrics! Oh it was very exciting! I know summer isn't even here yet, but you know we fashion designers have to be a few seasons ahead. I do handcraft after all :) Since Fall is my favorite season, it is doubly exciting for me. I got suedes, tapestry paisleys, plush stripes - in browns, olives and plums. Mmm, chocolate corduroy!

Already on drawing board, I have a very roomy messenger bag that can function as either a laptop bag, book bag, or diaper bag. I have visions of a decadent tote, a plush clutch, and maybe a trapezoid bag. Sugar plums dancing in my head :)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Blaise's Birthday Celebration

Blaise (pronounced 'blaze') is my second son and he will be 11 on May 29th. You've already met Max; well, Blaise is the opposite - personality wise. He is funny, in that Beavis and Buthead sense, sort of always looking up to big brother but wanting to come up with first. He loves the Hulk with an amazing passion! I mean like he watches the series with Bill Bixby and knows various Marvel comic Hulk stats and soaks this stuff up like a sponge. He's a good student, no real problems understanding stuff, but I think if I could get the Hulk to say "Clean your room and do your English!" - he might actually do it!

He loves history, thanks to Ray over at who supplies us with all our Horrible History books. If you ever have a child who reluctant in history - go there, life will change. Blaise knows quotes, kings, timeframes, revolutions, and pop culture - all because he wants too! I started homeschooling at the end of 2nd grade, so it's been 3 regular school years. He's doing 7th grade work now, and not so much because he's brilliant but because he's dedicated. He works consistently every day - plugging along. I'm proud of him :)

He's our family historian and back up chef. He and I watch Top Chef and Hell's Kitchen together, critiquing technique and offering our opinions to Chef Ramsey and Chef Colicchio at the top of our lungs! I've passed on my love of Star Trek to him - heh heh :) He thinks he's a closet Vulcan. Which I think is interesting because he is probably the least logical in the family - maybe it's what he aspires to be. I think he's more of an Andorian. I personally am a Klingon, Commander Takmela, loyal to Chancellor Martok of the High Council. Max says he's Denobulan :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Introducing my Headband of the Month Club!

The feedback on my No Hurt Reversible Headbands has been awesome! I have decided to offer a Headband of the Month Club in my Etsy shop. Subscriptions are available in 3, 6 and 12 months. This is a great little surprise for yourself each month or they can be given as a gift subscription. It's the gift that keeps on giving!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Time Flies When You're...

a freakin' busy homeschooling mom of 4 trying to start up an online business!

I have been having a little trouble getting the store part working on my new website - so lots of inventive words! I've also been at the drawing board with graph paper and new designs for upcoming Fall collections. Still working on what I will have available.

Kids have Spring Fever and don't want to do any school work and I don't want to fight with them over it. So it's been half and half. Max has been gearing up for the start of his college summer session next week. The price of used college textbooks is ASTOUNDING! Four books for 2 classes was going to cost 2 weeks worth of groceries! Used! What a racket - I went to Amazon and got them for half that.

So if you don't know what to do with your stimulus check (probably redirected to a paper check like ours), feel free to click on the RME button in the side bar or send money through Paypal to help fund the Fall Semester. Max will be sure to mention you at his Noble Prize winning speech when he thanks all the people who made his education possible.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Catchin' Up

The show was not as expected - there was a race and parade which had the roads right around the venue closed for most of the day. As soon as the roads were re-opened, a rush of people came in but there was only an hour left. It was nice to meet new people and I did make my cost, so it wasn't a total loss.

I'm in the process of opening my own storefront online and that has been consuming a lot of my time. This is why I haven't written much or done any giveaways. I have been busy busy revamping my business plan and putting many things into action. So please bear with me and keep close. I hope to have everything up and running smoothly by June 2, so stay tuned!

Hope all the mamas had a Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I just wanted to remind you to check out this week's giveaway over at EAOC. I will be bringing back my giveaways in just a bit. I am focusing this week on getting everything ready for the show this weekend. I am looking for some feedback though on what YOU like, so please take a moment to fill out this week's Poll in my sidebar.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I Will Be at May Fair This Weekend!

I'm very excited! I will be doing my first show for this year on May 10th in Northern Virginia. So if you are in the DC Metro Area, please be sure to come check me out at the May Fair sponsored by Virginia Craftinistas at the Clarendon Grill. Parking is NOT an issue! I know, I know - you can hardly believe it, you DCites! But it's true, it's across from a Metro Station and it has it's own ample parking. It will be indoors, so weather will not be an acceptable excuse for staying away.

I will have lots of One Of A Kinds! There are several items I am bringing that are not even available in my shop - so come, come, come. If I can swing it, I will borrow a laptop so that I can take Paypal and RME payments right there. Otherwise, it will be checks or cash only.

Ooo! I will also be offering as a Show Special, Free Shipping on all custom orders placed with me at the show. It's a great way to get your unique item ordered and not have to pay extra for shipping. So bring yourself, your sister, your neighbor, your mother-in-law, anyone and come shop. Don't forget Mama's Day! Hope to see you there :)

Monday, May 5, 2008

My New Craft Room!

Sorry I haven't been writing or giving things away but I was in the midst of renovation last week AND managed to get sick for about 4 days leaving me with "medicine head" and very unclear thoughts. So, I'm back in the swing of things and want to get you caught up :)

Here is a picture of my former classroom for the kids:

I had already taken out all the books, furniture and stuff before I remembered to take the Before shot! First, let me tell you how my kids had begged for a room to do their studying in. I even put a loveseat in there for them to lay down and read so they could be comfy. They had been using the dining room table for schoolwork, but kept griping about someone making noise, or humming, or clicking, or kicking, or singing, or whispering, you get the picture. The classroom was my solution. Two non-fighters could study in there while the other 2 stayed at the table. Um, I think that worked for 2 weeks. Over the past year, it has turned into Max's study room/trash can to dump all books not being used.

During that time, as my dedication to crafting has picked up, my dining room was slowly being taken over by piles of fabric, trims, scraps, half-completed projects, a sewing machine and the new serger. If I was heavy into a project, we would have to go out and eat because I didn't want to disturb all my hard work going on at the table. It soon became clear to me (as my husband was picking pink thread from his stew) that The Trash Can would be better utilized as a Sewing Room. So I started laying down plans. I was going to need new flooring - can't have threads and fabric scraps on carpet. I would get rid of the posters and paint a different color. The couch would have to go so I could have room for the ironing board and a sewing table. Oh! 'Sew' much to do!

After 2 days of moving, sanding, ripping up floor, put down floor, painting, moving, and reorganizing - here it is:

Now you can imagine me crafting away here, slaving over my hot iron making beautiful handmade aprons and accessories for you, my lovely customers, dear friends, and fabulous family! You are all worth it :)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Market is Open! The Market is Open!

Imagine me skipping around in circles! The market is open! OOOOhhhhhh! I can't begin to tell you all about the wonderful farm goodness that was surrounding me on Tuesday. The lovely people over at Victory Farms have been hard at work and God has been kind with the weather and fabulous farm foods were available for pick up at the Byrd Street Market.

It was a beautiful afternoon, not too hot or muggy. We had just had a couple of days of downpours and the sun had started to poke just after lunch. I debated on whether or not go, "the ground was wet and muddy and the market is in a field", "it's still early in the season - they only have lettuce", "the parking frightens me", etc. It just so happened that my daycare child was sick that day and didn't come, so that was one less child to chase around over there. So I did it and boy, was I glad!

We got there about 15 minutes after it opened and I found a parking spot right away! First hurdle overcome :) It was a little chilly and the ground was a little squishy and muddy, but oh well. Victory Farms was the first tent as we walked in and OH! the beautiful veggies stacked in nice bins and perfectly laid out. We looked around the table - Miranda and Ronan wide-eyed at the feast available. "Is this our farm?!" one of them said. "Look at all those beautiful green vegetables for salad!" said the other. "What should we get?" I asked. Little fingers pointed here and there and whispered "Look how BIG that is!" "What is that?! Let's get some!"

So we picked and we chose, we sniffed and we smiled. My market bag was full and there was still meat to get. So we checked out - Gina was lovely and explained to the kids how they would get to come every week to pick out their veggies. They were impressed to say the least.

We moved onto Faith Farm Foods for our exceedingly tasty pasture-raised beef and pork. Oh yum! Visions of burgers and briskets and bacon in my head, I looked and I chose. Linda tallied. I threw blessings her way and lamented about what a long horrible marketless winter it had been. She chastised me for not knowing that they could deliver all winter - oh fool am I. I signed up immediately for the email newsletter, never to be left out of critical farm news again.

We did a final pass around the market and found an old favorite - Mary Kroll from Wild Heaven Farms was there with her locally famous goat milk soap. We toured her farm once as a field trip and the kids wanted to keep all her kids! (I mean the goats!) Had to get some of those too and finally is was back home we went. We rushed in the door and started unloading everything we bought.

There was 5 lbs of ground beef, 2 lbs of brisket, 2 lbs of hot sausage, carrots, radishes, spinach, romaine, kale, Russian kale, green onions, salad mix, goat cheese and soaps. It was beautiful! That night we had burgers and sausage on toasted Italian bread and a salad that amazed everyone. The Market is BACK baby! Let the feasting begin :)

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Visit Callidora's

Put even the plainest woman into a beautiful dress and unconsciously she will try to live up to it. - Lady Duff-Gordon

Please visit my online shop, Callidora's, for clothing and accessories. I'm adding new items all the time and I'm always happy to do custom work in any price range. You can email me with any requests and we can create your unique, handmade item together.

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