Tuesday, August 14, 2012

An Interview with Nellin Shoppi, Polymer Clay Animal Jewelry & Bookmarks

Welcome to today's feature! I am featuring an awesome Etsy shop that specializes in polymer clay animal jewelry, bookmarks, and so much more! This shop is pages full of the cutest handmade polymer clay items that I have ever seen. Meet Nelli, the owner of Nellin Shoppi. She is offering a discount to new customers on top of her excellent prices! So be sure to check out Nellin Shoppi today! Here is her story..

About me: I am 27 years old and I live in Helsinki, Finland. So yes, I live in the country of snow, cold and Santa. Me, my husband and our dog Kaveri (Buddy) live in a lovely neighborhood on the western edge of Helsinki. Kaveri is a rescue dog from Russia and he is so sweet! We have some relatives in San Diego, CA too.

I have always loved doing things by hand. Since I was a little girl, I made things from clay and drew a lot and enjoyed it. I continued that all the way through school, so now I have a Master of Art degree in Applied arts. My favorite material is clay, but at home I use polymer clay to make my creations. I don't have my own studio yet. I also collect handmade coffee/tea cups and my biggest one is as big as a cereal bowl!

I started my shop about a year ago when I heard that Etsy is a great place for handmade items. I have had my shop a bit over a year now. First six months I didn't really do anything in Etsy and I think I got like one sale during that time. My first items were all handmade earrings from recycled or upcycled materials. I didn't know anything about promoting etc. so the summer was really quiet for me. When the fall came I started to read the forums and getting more items in my shop; I also started using polymer clay as my material. After graduating I took a job that wasn't creative at all so I really needed to blow off my creative steam. That's why I started looking for a material that's close to clay so I can put my hands in it. Polymer clay is perfect for making things at home.

I used to work fulltime in a broadband company. I quit that job and I'm now looking for a new one. I have to admit, that working fulltime does take off the time from Etsy. I'm still hoping that miraculously I will start getting so many sales that I don't need that new job. I would LOVE to make my stuff 24/7 and it's what I've been working on lately since my new spare time.

I love to make items that become a part of a story when you wear them or use them. My earrings will definitely get some comments for you, and start some discussions. Many times people comment on my animal earrings, that they want to give them to a friend who is in need of cheering up. That's just perfect! The first cute pair of animal earrings that I made were some penguin earrings with hats on. That's how I decided to make other animals and birds as well, because the penguins melted some hearts. I do most of my sales through Facebook because Etsy isn't very big in Finland and only a few people know it (or use Paypal).

I also want to recycle as much as possible, so I offer some jewelry with recycled materials too. One day I hope to come up with an idea where I can add polymer clay to my recycled jewelry in a fun way. I'm always looking for new ideas and ways to make my items so if you have any suggestions please contact me. :)

I have many favorites in my shop all for different reasons. Some of my cute bird earrings are so nice that I had to struggle to put them on sale (but I realise I can't possibly wear them all myself!). For example, this pair:

Then again I really like my bookmarks, as they're not so cute but they're actually really awesome looking and useful too. I like items that I can use somehow. And the black cat bookmark is my alltime bestseller so far.

I get my inspiration from the world around me; animals, sounds, smells, colors, patterns. I took part in a one year pattern design project and after that I see patterns and repeat patterns _everywhere_. My trips to Japan are the source of my cute animal earrings inspiration. Randomly I meet an animal so cute I want to recreate it, but they usually don't end up in Etsy. I just think that everyone should have a pair of funny, cute earrings so they can wear them and be a little less serious that day. That's what I do! (and it works!)

Lately I have been working on creating an exclusive collection with more high design and handmade factor to them. So far I've made three unique necklaces and I am in the process of making at least one more.

My biggest accomplishment is getting a few regular customers who always return to my shop when they need some gifts for friends. It is so nice to have them trust me and order something new from me too! Happy customers make me happy.

Check out these other cute items from Nellin Shoppi! And don't forget to check out her special discount code located below!

Here is a special coupon code for the blog readers: 15% discount with coupon code NEWBUYERS1

Here are my links:

(this is new, I need some followers :) )




Thank you so much Nelli! What an adorable shop you have!

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Guide to the Different Types of Candles - Guest Post by Lily Fox

A Guide to the Different Types of Candles
Written by Lily Fox

There are many different candle types to choose from, all of which can provide different uses and aesthetic appeals. Candles may be used within the home or outdoors, and may be used for purely practical reasons, or as part of specific design decisions. Most candles come with scented aromas, and can be used as part of homeopathic aromatherapy treatments. The following list details some general types of candles and their main benefits, and also indicates which candles are best for the environment:

1 - Scented Candles

Distinctive scents are typically added to a candle during its initial melting and pouring production process. Scented candles can come in different forms, from votive candles in small containers to tealights, which represent smaller moulds that can be arranged as part of a set. Scented candles can typically be bought as part of gift sets, with popular smells including
violet, lavender, vanilla, coconut and jasmine. Larger pillar candles can also be scented, and help add to the atmosphere of a room.

2 - Pillar Candles

One of the largest type of candles, these burn for an extended period of time, and are usually free standing. Pillar candles come in scented ranges, and are large enough to be personalised through motifs, names, and other forms of decoration. Pillar candles are often used as strong sources of light, and as part of table decorations.

3 - Aromatherapy Candles

Used for their soothing qualities, candles made from natural ingredients, and using scented ranges, can produce vapours that help to reduce the effects of colds and the flu, while stimulating appetites and helping to relieve stress. Yiang Yiang candles are particularly recommended for their aphrodisiac qualities, and for instilling confidence in the use.

4 - Natural Wax Candles

Often made from soy and plant mixes, the use of natural wax candles represents an excellent way to contribute to the environment. Natural wax candles are also recommended in scented types, with sandalwood, orange and geranium smells typically popular. While most types of candle are not dangerous for the environment, natural wax and soy candles are particularly recommended for their biodegradability, and their ability to be cheaply sourced and used alongside more general types of candle.

5 - Votive Candles

Smaller candles that use containers, votive candles are often arranged in lines as a more understated form of lighting.

6 - Garden Candles

Hanging and torch candles for outside spaces include tealight candles for ponds, as well as garden flares and lamps. Many outside candles can burn for up to 30 hours, and can be combined to create distinctive lighting schemes across a garden.

7 - Hurricane Lamps

Housed in glass votive containers, hurricane lamps are a safe way to generate large amounts of light, and are usually found in straight, free standing units.

8 - Christmas and Decorated Candles

Advent candles represent pillar candles that can be decorated to suit the season. They can also be found as tumbler candles, and can be tailored for different parts of the home. Similar levels of decoration can also be achieved for Easter candles, as well as always popular birthday candles. Decorations can be added once the candle has cooled during its heating and melting process, while the surface of a candle itself can be manipulated when still soft to create patterns.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

An Interview with Ava's Purple Paislee, Unique Bows & Headbands!

Welcome to another great feature! As a mother of three adorable daughters, I am especially excited about today's feature. Speaking of adorable, can a girl ever have enough bows? No!  I am pleased to introduce you to Linzy, the owner of Ava's Purple Paislee on Etsy. Ava's Purple Paislee is your one stop boutique for bows. 

Hi there! My name is Linzy Herron and I own a shop called Ava’s Purple Paislee where I sell unique baby and children’s hair accessories and photo props. I married my high school sweetheart the month after I graduated high school and we are happily married eight years later! We now have three children: Ava, who is five and twins Paislee and Graedy, who just turned one. I am a work at home mom and I love what I do!

I started making headbands for my two girls Ava and Paislee (hence the name of my shop), when the twins were born last summer. My children are definitely my number one inspiration. I love being able to create fun things that match their outfits. As you will see from my shop, I love using bright colors in my creations!

My favorite piece:

Its so hard to name just one thing as my favorite piece! But, if I have to, I would say this trio rose flower headband would be my favorite. I love this piece because of the colors I used in it. I think its really fun for summertime and it photographs great because the colors really stand out! This headband, along with all of my headbands, can be made in other colors at no extra cost!
As you can see from the pic above, one stop in to Linzy's shop will have you saying "awwww!" Not only are the accessories absolutely fantastic and unique, the babies are so adorable!! Here are some other treasures you can find at Ava's Purple Paislee...

What are you waiting for? Head over to Ava's Purple Paislee now and shop her many aisles of unique accessories and cuteness!!

You can also find Ava's Purple Paislee on facebook : www.facebook.com/AvasPurplePaislee

Thank you Linzy for sharing your wonderfully adorable shop!


Back to school is right around the corner for many children. There is excitement in the air!
But this excitement can be lost on the younger child(ren) in the family. 
This Giveaway has been put together with those older toddlers and preschoolers in mind. 
Do you have a young child in your family who would like some great art supplies, games, and an educational DVD? Would you like some learning activities to work on with your child? Well read on to see what you could win!
Tots and Me along with my co-host Baby Costcutters and a bunch of great bloggers are excited to bring you this great giveaway.
First of all there are going to be 
5 winners!!
The Grand Prize Pack is worth $368 and includes all these great prizes:
Crayon Rocks has graciously supplied a 16 Count Bag of the winners choice.
  Feel and Find
For Small Hands is donating a 3D Feel and Find Wooden Game.
You can read my review of Rock 'N Learn's Dance with the Animals here, and their brand new DVD Sight Words 2 here.
Rock 'N Learn is letting the winner choose which DVD or CD they would like.
Additionally, you can head over right now and use this coupon code JQ7711 for 25% off DVD's or CD's on the Rock 'N Learn Site.
Sticky Mosaics
The Orb Factory will give the winner their own My First Picture Maker.
Blue Orange games is graciously supplying both Tell Tale Fairy Tales and the Wooden Game CooCoo the Rocking Clown.
Blue Orange Games CooCoo The Rocking Clown Game
Early Expert Spanish is offering a 1 full year subscription of their interactive Spanish.
Endless Games is supplying the winner with their very own A Bee C Matching Game.
Teach My is offering the winner their choice of All-In-One Kit.
You can choose from Teach My Baby, Teach My Toddler or Teach My Preschooler.
There are so many great personalized gifts to choose from and the winner will get a $40 Gift Card to go shopping at frecklebox.com.
The Creativity Institute has offered this same set to the winner.
Learner's Lane has offered to give the winner a copy of the book and the CD with the music and rhymes from the book.
Doodle Roll Logo
I have not yet received the Doodle Roll due to some unforeseen circumstances. I will review it as soon as I can.
But you can check out their site to learn a bit about them. I have heard they have a new product out, which is the item I was going to be receiving for review and giveaway.
Doodle Roll is supplying one of their new Doodle Roll Products.
Starfall.com is offering a 1 month free preview of more.starfall.com
I will be doing a review of more.starfall.com soon.
My girls have used it for a year and a half and they love it.
Additionally these wonderful bloggers have donated some great prizes to the Grand Prize Pack
Leetle Baby has donated School House Rock Earth DVD
Mommy Bear Media has donated a $10 Gift Code to mommybearmedia.com
Additionally I would like to extend my thanks to the following bloggers for helping to supply a $25 Gift Card 
(store to be determined)

But that's not all! Some of these great sponsors have offered to supply additional items toward a 2nd Place Prize Pack.
Crayon Rocks is offering a 8 count bag of Crayon Rocks.
The Orb Factory is offering Magnetic Mosaics Metal Jr. 
Blue Orange is offering Spot It! Jr animal.
Doodle Roll is offering another new Doodle Roll
Teach My is offering a single Teach My Preschooler Kit.
Learner's Lane is offering an additional copy of What Children Need to Learn to Read.
Early Expert is offering an additional 1 yr subscription.
More.starfall.com is offering another 1 month free preview.

3 Additional Winners will also receive a 1 month Free Preview of more.starfall.com

To enter this giveaway just complete the tasks in the Rafflecopter below. Good Luck!!

Please make sure you actually complete the task if you say that you do as I will be verifying. This giveaway will run until August 25th at 11:59 pm and is open to US residents 18 and over. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

An Interview with Paige & Penelope and September Willow

I am excited about today's feature! It covers two Etsy shops with one owner! Meet Tami, the owner of Paige and Penelope and also September Willow. Read on to learn more about Tami's amazing creativity and her exquisite shops.

Hi my name is Tami Cicale and I run Paige and Penelope and September Willow on Etsy.

Paige and Penelope, where growing up is optional- vintage inspired hair pins and accessories.

September Willow- modern jewelry with a timeless feel- one of kind or limited edition modern jewelry with gemstones, crystals and metals.

I am married with two boys, 15 and 5. I work full time as a police officer and part time at a local community college where I teach Police Report Writing. Before Etsy, I constantly re-decorated and re-painted my house as a way to express all the ideas and creativity I had running through me. Now with Paige and Penelope, I can work with tons of color and textures and put together combinations that others would love as well.

My favorite order is working with brides; coming up with matching colors to their wedding scheme. I also love doing birthday favors for sweet 16 and Quinceanera parties.

I look at current color and wedding trends, nature, vintage tones and seasonal themes to put together my sets.

I love seeing my hair pins on my customers- with three boys in the house, no one here will model for me!

Business Goals
1. To grow both of my Etsy shops over the next few years so that when I retire, I can devote myself full time to them.
2. To see either of my shops in print magazines- I would love to open a magazine and see my creations.

Personal Goals
1, To spend as much time with my family as possible
2. To pursue the other things in my life that are also important to me; reading, baking and decorating

Three of my favorite items

Etsy shops
Paige and Penelope

September Willow
I started a blog recently and would love to have some new faces stopping by:

Pinterest Account




Wow! Thank you so much Tami! Your hairpins are absolutely adorable!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

An Interview with Vintage Chic Finds, Antiques and Vintage

Meet Jessica, the owner of Vintage Chic Finds on Etsy. VintageChicFinds specializes in shabby vintage chic antique style finds. Her shop is lovely and if you love vintage, please stop by her shop. Take a trip down memory lane as you stroll the aisles :)

Tell us about yourself and your shop.
I started my Etsy shop VintageChicFinds on June14, 2012. I love shopping at thrift stores, garage sales, and flea markets to find items to put in my Etsy shop. The thrill of the hunt excites me the most! I just love vintage and antiques.

My favorite item from my shop is a pair of vases:

Here is a taste of other fine items you may find in Jessica's shop!

I am loving that teapot!! I collect teapots :)

Jessica's personal blog is vintagechicfinds.blogspot.com  

Thank you so much for sharing! I enjoy featuring shops with such beautiful and unique items.