Thursday, July 31, 2008

Busy keeps coming...

A lot has happened in the past couple weeks, but namely I'm happy to announce that my etsy shop is finally up and running. I introduce MADE Baby & Lifestyle. I will be listing more & more varied items over the next few weeks. Having the shop up and running has surely got the creative juices flowing, I have so many ideas I need a week alone in a room with my singer! oh yeah, I had my first paying customer! yay! and have received lots of great feedback about my Paci-Savers pacifier clips. Also I'm officially a contributing editor to Tchochkes. Tchochkes is an Israel based Interior design blog, Feel free to check us out! Also sadly we have to move again... but on the bright side hopefully we can stay in our new place until we decide to take up a permanant residance somewhere and it's a great oppurtunity to redecorate!! (there's a lot more space!!) I've been drawing playroom sketches on bits of scrap paper and napkins... every chance I get. Ever since seeing Amy butler's studio I've been quite envious, but now I can create my own studio in one of the spare rooms!!

Sneak peak: This sweet little guy is named Gerald the Giraffe and he's a softie and a rattle, perfect for little hands! sewn from this fab Amy butler material he's already a hit! he's received Baby L's seal of approval; chew worthy! we'll be keeping the prototype but others just like him will be available at my shop. I'm already thinking Gerald just might be interested in meeting a Geraldine.... stay tuned

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Busy Bee!

I've been quite busy lately trying to work on stuff for my shop, learn how to knit... (well sort of..) complete my assignments for school; I got to design a chair, a lamp, and packaging for spaghetti! and I'm currently drawing up plans for a duplex conversion, all while still taking care of my little pookie, whom by the way is growing up way too fast... and oh yeah! I'm an Aunt! My sister in law had a son, my first nephew! last week.

So I've designed and ordered labels for my etsy shop wares, and I'm anxiously waiting for there arrival! I've even figured out what was causing my sewing machine to fly out of whack....(cracked engine case...) and have designated some time towards my sewing. Here are some things I've been working on lately;

This is a bib I made for my daughter, I just love polka dots especially in some of my favorite colours, red and white! with some brown thrown in for good measure! it still needs some final stitches but all in all I'm happy with its outcome!

These are the pacifier clips I'm working on for my shop, "Preppy stripes", there were more but we're using some and others I gave as gifts... I hope to finish them up as soon as the labels get here and start listing on my shop!

Speaking of gifts, these toy blocks will be a set of three for my nephew, made with some of my favorite Amy butler and Joel Dewberry fabrics! I think they work great together! I'm also making another set for friends, hopefully after that I'll have some time to make some for my shop...

I was asked to help decorate the tables for my nephews Bris, the theme was green and blue, so I made these "Gift box" centerpieces....

Lastly these are some Cath Kidston fabric swatches I plan on turing into a "Shabby chic" block set for my own little girl, gotta love Cath! I'd seen and heard of her stuff before but I really became a fan after purchasing a "Letter pillow" from Yvonne of Yvestown with my daughters initial. Yvonne is totally gaga for Cath, check out her home on flickr, it's like an ode to Cath kidston!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Comfy Bibs

As I've mentioned in previous posts my little one and I have ventured into the new and exciting world of solid feeding!! I'm proud to say that we are slowly but surely expanding her repetoire and have even included Gasp! vegetables! which brings me to the topic of how to save all of her precious little outfits from green, brown, orange, etc. blobs of would be airplanes that never made it into the hanger.... while still pregnant I bought tons of cute little bibs with sayings like "Mommy's little girl" and "Daddy's little Princess" they fit the bill for spit up protection but were falling short of encounters with "real food", the princess one had an unfortunate encounter with some banana.... (note to self: Banana stains badly... even if you're quick to wash it out...) so I started to look for a bib that would be stain proof, water proof, yet still comfortable enough for an infant to wear around their neck.

I've been coveting Built NY's line of Bottle holders and Lunch Bags for some time now and was delighted to see that they make bibs out of the same Diving suit material, Neoprene that they use for the rest of their products. After several days of using their bibs, I can honestly say that they might very well be the best bibs ever!! definitely out of all I've seen. They are soft, flexible, waterproof, stainproof, and brightly coloured, have great side velcro closure which makes for easy on/off wear, they wash like a dream, even just in the sink, and are quick to dry to boot. The bibs were designed by Built designers Aaron Lown and John Roscoe Swartz when they couldn't find any products to meet their own parenting demands. We got the Comfy bib which is intended for babies 0-12 months, but they also sell the Tidy bib which has an added crumb catcher intended for 1-2 yr olds. I give this product my two thumbs up and will definitely be buying a couple more. Luckily they are available here too, we got ours through but I've seen them sold at Artlook,Dyada, and other premium baby boutiques.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A safer alternative

The fact that I'm head over heals for Etsy is old news, but there's a newcomer on the scene that has me watching, Dawanda. Dawanda is an untapped new source for Handmade goodies! Dawanda, though smaller scaled then Etsy, and with prices noted in Euros, is a great place to find unique goods with that oh so chic euro flair. Most of the sellers are european and many manage Etsy shops as well. The majority of my etsy shopping revolves around handcrafted safe toys for my daughter. I too have taken the pledge to buy handmade and I do whenever possible. There is really something special about contacting the creator of a product directly and receiving the custom made treatment, it also feels great to be supporting a fellow artist or designer, many of them SAHM. There seems to be a whole movement out there of parents who are demanding more responsibly made playthings for there children, be it lead free, hand made, phthalate free, organic, fair trade, waldorf or montessori inspired, etc. If you asked me it's about time! toys aren't just toys anymore and it's up to us as parents to monitor what is suitable for our children to put in their mouths, cribs, strollers and rooms. The daily recalls issued against those heaps of mass produced plasticy things is mindboggling, sure it's great to get a bargain, but when manufacturers start cutting costs, you have to think who's paying for it. Don't just take my word for it though, try reading The Walmart Effect. PBS recently ran a story on toxic toys in the US, specifically Phthalates in rubbers and plastics, check out the video here. I'm not saying all mass production is evil there are lots of great manufacturers out there, though quality generally has it's price. Enter sites like Etsy and Dawanda where you can get quality handcrafted wares priced without the overhead of regular retailers. It's worthwhile to check and compare prices though, I've seen the same listings on Etsy for $25 usd listed on Dawanda as 25 Euros!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Girl Tools

I'm a little bit of a girly girl at heart, not the frou frou type just a little love of some good pampering and SHOES don't get me started on shoes! but nonetheless growing up I climbed trees, went fishing and camping and hung out with the boys. My dad had a construction company so I'm proud to say I also know how to use power tools and enjoy the occasional DIY at home. One of the classes I enjoy most in my course covers electricity, audio/video, lighting and air cooling systems, not exactly fluffing pillows! I hope to raise my little girl in a way that will evoke balance, (I'm not crazy about Barbie dolls but heck I grew up with them, played with them longer than I'd like to admit, and I came out pretty o.k.) so I plan on doing my best to introduce her to as wide a scope of activities as I can. There probably aren't many men who grew up without a toy tool set as boys except of course maybe my dear hubby... but I haven't seen any tools geared towards little girls besides those horrid pastel plasticy fisher price sets.
I was so excited by these new "Girly" tools that I just had to have them! we're not talking girly tools that you hide deep at the bottom of your purse, I have a few years before I need to explain those, rather these awesome tools by Fiona of Fede.

Hand crafted out of a mix of new and vintage fabrics these tools are tres chic and every baby can use a little sophistication, even if she's just drooling on it! These are already ours, sorry...but you can order your own through her etsy shop and she'll happily do custom orders, and there's a great selection for the other little builders in your life too.

Sitting Pretty

My little one has reached the ripe old age of six months and has started to eat solids! actually her maiden voyage with "real" food started with some mushed up banana at exactly five months old, which she gobbled up, problem is nothing since seems to compare, we've tried apples, pears, avocado, carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash.... we're not even talking the yucky green stuff that even I won't eat! I hadn't planned to start weaning her till the text book six months but she'd been so vocal and teary eyed every time we ate in front of her that we just gave in. If she was eating she was going to need a place to sit so we started looking for a highchair, I'll admit that I was biased to start with, I've always had a thing for wooden highchairs and I've scrubbed down enough crusty baby food leftovers out of traditional plastic highchairs to know that that probably wouldn't be the route I'd take, not to mention I think they're plastic monstrosities! I refuse to have plastic baby gear take over my life and cramp my style so imagine my joy at spotting the Stokke tripp trapp early on in my pregnancy. I love the concept of your child being at table height and how it encourages us to sit and eat as a family, it's great for babies posture and it blends in great with our existing table and chairs. We opted for the natural finish but it comes in ten vivid colours/finishes.

It will definitely put a dent in your wallet but unlike other highchairs which cost quite alot here anyway you won't have an urge to banish it to storage or give it away, after just a couple months of use. Turns out this chair was designed by a like minded dad who designed the prototype for his son over 30 years ago! there's something to be said of scandinavian' design relevance spanning over decades.

I must say that I did do a little market research before making my final decision and I tried giving some other chairs a chance, we checked out the Bloom Fresco available here at Shilav, it looks really cool and modern in a "Jetsons" sort of way but my main turnoff was when I attempted to snap the tray on at the store it pinched my hand resulting in a rather unsightly bruise that took weeks to go away! that and the arm and a leg price tag! it also has a rather large foot print and cannot be folded.

While visiting that Shilav we also came across the Inglesina Zuma, it looks like a Fresco/tripp trapp Hybrid. It comes equipped with a two layered seat pad and a removable tray insert. It appears Inglesina is branching out into the world of Baby "Interior Design" with it's new line M'home, awash with metallics and primary brights It's a little too Hi-techy for my liking and even designer plastic is still plastic.

It was Mies van der Rohe who announced less is more, and I couldn't agree more, I love the simplicity of great design and who knows maybe my grandchildren will be proud to use this great piece of "vintage" design in the years to come!

Friday, April 25, 2008

life happens....

It's been just about two months since my last post and I'm feeling rather guilty for not posting anything recently. I had an exceptionally long semester break from school and I'm having a hard time getting back into the rhythm of things, it seems the weekdays just fly by, and before I know it, it's Thursday. I find it hard to sit indoors and concentrate, when the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, and everything is so green! besides for that I've had both of my grandfathers in the hospital, one thank g-d is out of harms way but unfortunately had to cancel his trip here to meet my daughter his first great-grandchild for the first time! the other we are still praying for daily.... As for my etsy shop many things have been put on hold as more important things have taken their place, I have a pile of binky clips I've been working on and I'm quite pleased with their progress, if only I could just find the time to finish them up. I came across a great etsy store called While she naps and couldn't help but chuckle, my problem is if she does nap it's usually pretty short and there are so many pressing things to tend to first! Like starting to feel like me again, I'll be the first to tell you that I take spit up, dirty diapers and sleepless nights in stride and I'm truly enjoying motherhood it's just that the other day my old self called this "mommy" and requested her groove back! some days it's hard to find that "other" person when I dare to peak in the mirror. I vowed long ago never to be one of those moms wearing a tracksuit and a ponytail, that I would always make ME time, and how a good mother is one that takes care of herself as well, that's all nice in theory a little harder to implement in reality though... baby steps.... I put on real clothes every morning, and a little perfume brings a smile to my face, don't get me wrong I adore the smell of my little ones rice cereal....but honestly nothing compares to Chanel! I've always been one for a good pedicure, so on the topic of pampering I'd like to recommend another little etsy store called Morgan Street, all handmade bath and body products made by Sharon, I just got her foot scrub and salve, not only do her products work great the smells double as a little aromatherapy! ahh peppermint!

I have a couple posts on the backburner so stay tuned, I know it's a little early to be renewing my vows but I did start this blog as a little something that I could do that's just for me, so because life is always "happening" It's all the more important to step back and do those little things for your self... I think that's what living is all about.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Here come the Russians!!

Okay, well sort of...Matryoshka's AKA Russian nesting dolls seem to be all the rage right now and I have to say that even I have been taken by their eclectic charm and design appeal. These dolls sure aren't just for kids anymore, they're turning up just about everywhere and on everything! So as promised here's a roundup of my favorite etsy finds for the category:

These are Ravenhill's "Scandinavian Matryoshka's". I love the whimsical fabrics and their unique look, they can be found at her Etsy shop, here.

I'm totally loving Fambee's Matryoshka cellphone/mp3 "poppets" great for making a statement on the go. With a handy clip handle these can be strapped onto a diaper bag or stroller. They can be found at her Etsy shop.

All the way from Canada! This is just one of Modisteme's plush Matryoshka dolls in a great hugable size. Buy one at her etsy shop.

This adorable fabric from starlitnest's shop could be great framed or stretched over canvas, cut some out for a one of a kind embellished onesie! available in several cuts, buy some here.

These doll's are even showing up as ever popular wall decal's. Available in a wide range of colours, check out Holly's version here.

Sewsewsuckurtoe's offering Mommy and Baby Matryoshka set's. The "baby" fits in the mommy's pouch! Available at her etsy shop.

Enna's matryoshka dolls wrapping paper is almost too pretty to use. Wrap your matryoshka gift's in it, frame it for insta-art, cover a book, the options are endless! get some here.

I'm anxiously waiting for the arrival of these Babushka's at Rosehip's new Etsy shop! sign up for the early bird notification on her blog.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Etsy an intro

I'm totally gaga for etsy, but for those of you that aren't familiar with it, I think it's only fair that I share. Etsy is what I have dubbed the ebay of homemade. This website is home to thousands of crafters, artists, etc. from all over the world! selling the most unique, trendy, one of a kind, made with love handmade wares you'll ever find! and most interestinglly (at least to moi...) is they ship to Israel! each user receives a yourname/ address and the fun begins!! I'm so convinced that I've decided to start my own shop!! but more on that to follow... I have a favorite list that could fill a novel but I will showcase a select few of my favorite finds in a weekly segment, stay tuned. I must warn you that etsy-mania is highly infectious so be warned... I've got it bad...

Monday, March 3, 2008

This I know

ok, since the arrival of our little bundle of joy, yours truly hasn't been able to get out much, thus my new found obsession was born> SHOPPING ONLINE. Actually in all honesty it started while I was pregnant, heavy, tired and heat sensitive, I surfed the net endlessly searching for the perfect little anything and everything for my little girl. Much time has been devoted to this now pastime and I've collaborated an impressive list of shops that will deliver precious little anythings and everythings right to your door. I have taken it upon myself to share these important finds with you! and will be showcasing some of my favorite buys and things I still covet. You're invited to leave comments and share any tips, links, articles, etc. that might be relevant! TTFN!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

In the beginning...

My aim in starting this blog is to bring insight into the world I now call my own. This world merges my love for great design and my new found status as yup, a Momma! Becoming a mom has given me a redefined sense of self and has empowered me to seek my goals in this world more confidently. I believe that people flourish when they are surrounded by beauty and so I strive to do just that. I invite you to join me on this journey of self and motherhood, I promise to share what I know, feel and find to be both useful and aesthetically appealing!
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