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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Let Me Buy You Something Winner!

Congrats to blog commenter, Abi for winning herself 20 bucks to purchase her item at a Window Into Whimsy! Yay!

Contact me Abi so that I can PayPal you your money to make your purchase!

SStargell Designs Giveaway

Another giveaway!

Thank you to SStargell Designs for allowing us to present you guys with a giveaway from their shop this morning. These earrings titled "Ice" are simply stunning. 8mm clear Swarovski Crystals adorn modern 14K gold fill wires that are hammered, forged, and shaped to accentuate these gorgeous crystals.
They are valued at $23.00!

You can win these my simply wandering over to SStargell Designs and taking a peek at their shop and coming back here to link me an item there that caught your eye and why you liked it so much. Winner will be picked tomorrow morning.

Black Friday Bonanza - Bad Economy?

Is the economy to blame?

After such an amazing summer for The Little Black Box I was sure that the Black Friday event was going to knock 'em dead. The only thing dead around here was traffic and sales. People really aren't shopping. I spent sometime on the Etsy forums over the weekend and I even read the threads from people who were having amazing sales and they didn't get one sale either. It's so depressing. It's scary. Even more scary was that our July event had WAY more traffic and sales then this event and this event was advertised much better. I spent a bunch of money on banners and ad placement. I sent out 40 media boxes and I networked my little heart out but it seems like the economy got the best of me this year and I HATE feeling like I didn't do a good enough job for my businesses.

I watched the Etsy shops that participated and can see who did well and who didn't. I'm surprised! About 10 of the businesses who participated did very well, some got 1 or 2 sales and the rest didn't get one. I feel terrible because I treat each business I work with like they are my baby. I want success for them since this is the business I adore and love. I shout from the roof tops on a daily basis how much I love what I do.

I'm very happy for those that had a great Black Friday Bonanaza but I feel like I need to do something for those that didn't and I will.

Our Black Friday weekend isn't over quite yet. Run over and check it out if you haven't already. Make someone's day by supporting their shop! Tell your friends about the event if you purchased something already. Support Indie and all that it's worth!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Always Amy Giveaway

Another one of my most favorite businesses, Always Amy, has donated a item for our giveaway this weekend. This one is special in that if you win you can pick any pair of stud earrings from her shop and they are yours! Yep, you don't have to take the tacos like pictured. I just happen to think that those are very neat. You can can ANY stud earrings.

These studs are valued at $4 and can be yours if you hop on over to Always Amy and link me to which pair of stud earrings you'd like to have.

Here's a tongue twister for you - as always at Always Amy, buy any 4 items and get a surprise gift!

Winner will be picked Monday morning!

Let Me Buy You Something Giveaway

This one is going to be fun because you actually get to pick what you want to win! Head over to our Black Friday Bonanza and drool over what's being offered by the varies businesses participating and find something valued at $20 before shipping (US Only!). Head back here and link me to it. I'll pick the winner tomorrow morning while the sale prices are still valid so that you can take advantage of the sale. I'll then PayPal you in return $20.00 to make your purchase.
Now this is on an honor system and in return we only ask that you email me proof that you shopped with one of your wonderful Indies!
Easy as pumpkin pie!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Chic-Covers Giveaway

Ok mommies and people who know people with toddlers. I actually just laughed out loud because who doesn't really?

I've got a real treat for you! Chic-Covers has graciously given us this Apples and Pears Pink toddler car seat cover that fits a Britax Marathon car seat. It made in top notch quality with reinforced top stitched seat belt holes. The seat belt holes align perfectly with car seat. Also 10 oz's of batting is used for a extra comfy ride for the toddler. Most importantly it's 100% cotton!
This item is valued at $50 and can be yours after you head over to the Chic-Cover website and take a peek around finding an item there that you would also consider purchasing and linking it back to us.

Winner will be picked Monday morning!

Bijoutiful Giveaway

Good morning ladies!

Wanted to start off our giveaways in a fun way! Bijoutiful contacted me yesterday after finding a review that I had written about their shop almost 2 months ago and wanted to send me something in thanks of the wonderful publicity. I'd love to get a little something but I thought of you guys first and decided to offer my gift to you instead!

Bijoutiful is giving away this Mariposa Cocktail ring valued at $34.00 today! This lepidoptera is made from new yellow brass, created from original tooling & dies that date back to the early 1900’s. It is securely and permanently soldered to a slender band of sterling silver--slightly askew to add interest & a "natural" feel. The 3mm wide sterling band is brushed lightly, and the butterfly is oxidized and sanded to make the details really stand out. Butterfly measures approx. 1" x 1.25" (2.54cm x 3.17cm).

To win simply find your way over to Bijoutiful and tell me which item there catches your eye and then comment back here with a link to it. This ring would make a wonderful addition to your jewelry collection or even an amazing gift for a loved one this holiday season.

All giveaway winners during our Black Friday Bonanza will be announced Monday morning.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Black Friday Bonanza

Tomorrow morning marks the start of our Black Friday Bonanza which takes place over on the The Little Black Box website. Be sure to check this blog regularly all weekend long for amazing giveaways which have been donated by our wonderful Indies.

Congrats to blog reader Monica! Earlier this month I posted a blog asking people to link our Black Friday Bonanza info on their own blogs in hopes of winning a $25 dollar cash payment via PayPal to shop with over the weekend. It was a totally simple request and Monica won! Contact me to redeem sweetie!

Don't miss out!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm sitting next to one of my sweet boys. He actually has his arms around me and we just turned on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Husband's cleaning up the kitchen from the night before (woot!) and also complaining about how the parade shuts down the city each year. Wah! He's from the area so he's bitter about it. Kinda funny. I asked Connor what he's thankful for and his reply was his mommy and his family. Too cute! It's fun watching the boys get older because they become more aware of what's going on around us. I think this is the 1st year that they finally get something is going on today. I was even just reminded that after Thanksgiving is Christmas. Smart kid. :P

Tiime to show off some of the Thanksgiving tagged items in honor of this day! Be safe on the road today and have a GREAT dinner!

Pumpkin Spice Shea Butter Soap by The Pig and the Peacock

Turkey Rubber Duck Glycerin Toy Soap by Ducky Soaps

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Colorado Catnip Toys

I purchased an amazing kitty quilt from Colorado Catnip Toys this morning. It was a custom order for me and Jana, the owner, created it specifically for me using the earth tone colors my home consists of.

I adore the photos of it and I can't wait to get it here for my baby Coco to start enjoying it. There's many premade quilts available in the store front but you can simply send a convo to Jana and ask her to make one matching your home colors and she doesn't have a problem doing that either.

The quilts are 100 percent cotton and each square has quilt batting stitched in it for extra fluffiness. A catnip toy is attached to give your cat the extra workout before drifting off to dreamland. Another bonus is that it's machine washable. Simply detach the toy and pop the blanket in the washer and dryer. Do you know a cat that deserves to live in the lap of luxury? Check out Colorado Catnip Toys!

Do the mashed potato?

I've been holding onto this recipe for about 2 weeks ago - waiting for the perfect time to post it. Can you believe only a day separates us from turkey day? Many of us have family flying in for this food fest and I'm sure the grocery stores are completely full of crazy women running around in search of the perfect ingredients for that stuffing or dessert.

I purchased one of those Pillsbury recipe guides at checkout and inside was an amazing mashed potato recipe. Check it out!

Slow-Cooked Garlic Smashed Potatoes (Crowd Size) - No peeling, no boiling! Just add potatoes to the slow cooker with the other ingredients, and mash them a few hours later! You'll need:

3 lb small red potatoes (2 to 3 inches)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chives-and-onion cream cheese (from 8 oz container)
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk

Halve or quarter potatoes as necessary to make similar-sized pieces. Place in 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add garlic, oil, salt and water; mix well to coat all potato pieces.

Cover; cook on High setting 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours or until potatoes are tender.

With fork or potato masher, mash potatoes and garlic. Stir in cream cheese until well blended. Stir in enough milk for soft serving consistency. Serve immediately, or cover and hold in slow cooker on Low setting up to 2 hours.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Jamie B Designs Giveaway

Yay! Let the giveaways begin!

Up this week is Jamie B Designs who's bringing us this amazingly colorful freshwater pearl bracelet. The color is a vibrant red color and is just perfect for Fall. Win this baby and you'll have something just in time to wear to all your holiday parties.

It measures 8", (including the clasp) and is finished up with a tiny antiqued silver plated toggle bar and clasp.

You'll have a little bit of everything in this shop and everything is priced very reasonably. You won't go wrong with Jamie B Designs.

To win this this wonderful bracelet you should wander on over to this shop and link us back to your most favorite item available for purchase in a comment. If you happen to make a purchase comment again with a link to your purchase and you'll be entered twice! Winner will be picked bright and early Wednesday the 26th so stay tuned!

Do you have an item you'd like to have featured on this blog? Simply send me an email to kim@thelittleblackboxes.com

Friday, November 21, 2008

One Big Post - Christmas Ornaments

I'm going to be a busy little beaver today so I wanted to have some fun and do a post on Christmas ornaments that I've found over on our favorite site. A few months ago I posted about how I collect an ornament for each child each year. Usually the ornaments that I purchase have something to do with a vacation, or an event we were at. Because of our tradition it's a lot of fun the day we decorate our tree because we get to walk down memory lane for a few hours. In return the kids feel like they have a special task putting up their own stuff. I highly encourage you new moms to start a tradition like this for your new family members. It's a ton of fun!

Ok, off to my amazing Etsy ornaments I found!
Stained glass snowman by Handcraft Cottage

Sequin ornament by Dulcet

Christmas cactus from Signature LeiLei

Owl ornament by Evelyn X

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Who would have thought? Stop shopping in those large department stores of fun panties! Bullfight is putting up a fight of their own in the lingerie market and from the looks of it they'll do pretty well!

If you like fun, funky, and funny Bullfight will have a pair of panties that match your personality. Each design has a hilarious name. Who wouldn't want to wair a pair of Car Alarm or Double Dutch undies?

The fabrics are completely crazy and such a mis-match! Nothing goes together which makes these totally uber. Wake up in a funky? Throw on a pair of Bullfight panties and make the best of your day. Very cool!

Michael Aelarras

Logged into Etsy today to start my blogs and the most amazing end table was on display on the front page. As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted it. Of course I can't afford this unique table from Michael Aelarras but I sure as heck can dream about it with all of you.
I have a pair of sterling silver earrings that look just like the design of this table. For $350 this one-of-a-kind cocktail/coffee tables is made by joining together pieces of birch plywood into one whole table top. Each segment is connected to the others with strong mortise-and-tenon joints, and coated with a durable, water-based, semigloss finish.

Each table is custom made and can come in a variety of stain colors to match your home. Can you picture this in your home? Who's saving their money now with me? Dang this economy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Looking for Giveaways!

Do you want to be featured on this blog? How about a giveaway! Readers love them and we do too! The sky is the limit! Send me an email to kim@thelittleblackboxes.com and let's chat about when you'd like to be featured for a giveaway here. I'm open to any date - any time!


I'm still on the hunt for the perfect stocking for my husband. Haven't found it but in the meantime I have found some pretty great shops that might be perfect for someone in your life and I thought I'd share one of these fabulous shops with you today.

MissMosh is a one woman show creating extrodinary out of this world stockings in vibrant colors and patterns. I adore these fresh, funky, and oh so fun stockings in bright pink and orange. Maybe you like this style but prefer it in a different color? No worries, custom orders are easy as pie! Just send this seller a convo and see if she can handle your request.

Loves it!

Black Friday Bonanza

Wow, it's almost here! Next week is our gigantic Black Friday Bonanza! It starts bright and early next Friday, November, 28-30th. Yep, a whole weekend long!

Spots are all full and the businesses have been super duper busy packing their websites and store fronts with many of new items so that when the sales are announced. Many many businesses have asked to not be mentioned until the morning of the sale but a few have requested to be put on the Black Friday page to get you all a little excited for who may be participating this year. Check out the page and see a tease of who's joining us!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kindred Spirit Sweets

Have you been talked into bringing cookies to an event this holiday season? I know that I was at the store yesterday and all the holiday baking goodies are out so I know many of you are planning your attack. I don't bake. Nope. I won't. Just not me. I know on the other hand, that the woman that created me will be baking her little heart out. My mom is the bomb and her peanut butter balls are to die for!

Since I won't be baking I will be looking for cute little treats to bring into the home in place of lack of skills. I found Kindred Spirit Sweets yesterday and I knew automatically that I had to share this gem with you. The decorating on these is so great! The owner is very talented. I wouldn't be able to do that so that's while I'll pay the best to do it for me! Think about the compliments you'll be getting when you arrive with treats from this shop. What a wonderful way to spread the word about Etsy all at the same time.

You'll find a mix of both Christmas and Thanksgiving themed cookies available. Between you and I, the snowman cookies, are so mine! Although there's only 8 of them I think my boys would love them and my husband too. Check Kindred Spirt Sweets out! I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Whimsy and Spice

I shouldn't have done this to you guys so early in the morning because if you're anything like me you're starving. Today is going to be food day on my blog. I encourage you to purchase everything I write about so that I don't. That's an order!

First I just have to drool over Whimsy and Spice with you. Keep in mind that if you are planning on order from this shop that all orders must be placed by December 15th in order to make in to your homes by the 25th of December. Also equally important is that this shop is licensed for food making meaning that it has through inspections to insure safe food is leaving it's kitchen.

The item from this shop that got my attention and drew me in is these totally amazing Chocolate Butterscotch Bars. I mean, whoa - make it's the awesome photography that makes these babies look out of control. I love chocolate. I love butterscotch. These are mine, baby!

There's also plenty of Coconut Five Spice White Chocolate Cookies to go around. I'm such a sucker for sweet stuff!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Starry Designs

I purchased one of these rings many years ago when Etsy first became popular and I recently stumbled upon the site again so I just had to rave about it to all of you.

Starry Designs is one of the most popular shops on Etsy. No worries though if you aren't familiar with how to purchase from them on Etsy though, because they also have their own website to purchase from.

How about these uber cool sterling silver wire earrings that have been coiled to form a geometric shape. Truly a unique pair of earrings, great for everyday use. All accents are sterling silver too which I totally love. They are only $21.50 too! My other favorite item in this shop is these gorgeous amazonites are wrapped in sterling silver wire to form a pretty pair of robin's nest earrings. Wow your friends, even strangers, wearing these! An excellent addition to any wardrobe.

There's not one miss in this shop! You'll be the envy of all those around you when you a make a purchase from Starry Designs!

Laugh Out Loud Candles

About 2 weeks ago I placed an order at Laugh Out Loud Candles because I had been reading all the amazing reviews on a candle forum I belong to. I just couldn't refuse any longer. I had sampled them before from candle swaps I was involved in and the time had come for me to place an order of my own.

It arrived yesterday and I was blown away by the generous samples and the suckers that were included for the boys. Now THAT'S customer service! The first wickless candle that I whipped out of the box to put on the candle burner was Dole Whip. This scent is described as mouth watering pineapples, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream & wafer cookie. It was amazing! Dole Whip is totally a reorder! I love it!

Check out the extensive scent list and the large range of products that you can get in your choice of scents. You won't go wrong with Laugh Out Loud Candles!

Friday, November 14, 2008


I was totally giggling out loud when this business contacted me wanting to be in the boxes a few months ago. I wasn't sure how well it'd go over in the boxes but once the promos arrived from DippyLulu I just knew that people were going to giggle just like me.

Show this shop some love! Where on the internet can you get a pack Farty Lites? I mean, really? Farty Lites offer an ingenious solution to awkward situations. Farty Lites provide a double defense. First, igniting a Farty Lite releases counteracting gases into the atmosphere to neutralize the offending pheromones (they really do work!). Second, they can also be used to turn your emissions into a spectacular pyrotechnic display (according to my fraternity informants, this also works). Dazzle your friends.

You can customize your match boxes to pretty much say anything creative and raunchy at the same time. It's pretty hilarious and absolutely creative. These would make super silly stocking suffers and would be the most amazing gag gift at your office party. Perhaps the holidays will be spent at your home this season - make sure these are available in your bathroom and this brilliant Etsy find will be the talk of the town.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Prim Pantry

Are you looking for 100% natural soap containing no detergents, surfactants, or sulfates? Then the Prim Pantry is your place!

Last month this shop spoiled us with their craftiness and sent in these really large yummy bars of soap for The Little Black Box. When I opened the box I couldn't stop sniffing them. It was one of those things where I wanted to keep all of the bars for myself. Being the nice girl that I am though I decided it would only be fair to put them out in the November black boxes.

The coolest thing about these bars of soap is that they look like something you could eat! Check out these delicious Key Lime Pie bars! This luscious bar has an oatmeal crust and is topped with a whipping of soap and garnished with a lime slice . 5.4 oz of pure bliss, packaged and ready to give. Oh my! Don't get me started on the Pumpkin Souffle ones either. It's described as smelling like a piece of delicious pumpkin Souffle topped with fluffy whipping cream and sprinkles of cinnamon! This bar is a large 6 oz bar and will come to you wrapped with love.

Hold me back! This shop is calling my name!


I love it when I find an utterly amazing business located in a different part of the world. Then when someone compliments me on my earrings and I tell them that they are from Finland, France, or Germany they look even more interested in where I got them.

My most recent find is located in Spain. Iomiss is something you most certainly don't want to miss. There's a special uniqueness to the jewelry offered here and the vision is one of someone funky, different, and cool. I'd want to be friends with this artist just because I can tell that Iomiss is quarky.

I'm love this wooden black and green chain necklace. If you've been following my blog for a long time you'll know that I'm nuts for long necklaces as an accessory. I have quite the collection of longer necklaces and this one would fit in just fine.

Another really fun item in this shop is the rattan ball earrings. They are made with a tinted ball of rattan, a natural material, and silver hook which make these ultra light weight. They look like wound up colored rubber bands. Pretty nifty!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ms Belle

I found a really cool jewelry shop called Ms Belle with one-of-a-kind & ltd. edition pieces using high quality gemstones, precious metals, pearls, crystals & more. I won't leave the house without a pair of earrings on these days. I find myself purchasing all of them in my favorite shops and lucky for you I'm willing to share a few of these. Now don't go snagging any of my favorites or I'll hunt you down!

Check out these freshwater coin pearls. They possess a deep rich burgundy (maroon) wine color that seems to change depending on what light they are in. They have a superb glossy luster with overtones of gold, copper, and cranberry throughout. I think these are absolutely fabulous for Fall - completely perfect to purchase now and wear to Thanksgiving!

I'm also a big fan of these petite Labradorite Briolette earrings in sterling silver. For those of you who love labradorite and its awesome flash of color, these are your earrings. These are a classic, must-have pair of earrings for your wardrobe. Wear them every day with jeans or dress them up. If you want a petite pair of labradorite earrings with lots of flash, look no further!

Whatever your taste is Ms Belle will have something to impress you and won't let you down as far as quality is concerned. You're sure to find something in your budget and taste. I wouldn't disappoint you like that!


Buttonhead is one of my most favorite shops on Etsy. I stumbled upon Ali and her fabulous shop during our Christmas in July promotion. I was hanging out in the chat rooms and that's when the start of a wonderful relationship was started. She contacted me wanting to provide The Little Black Box with a video review service on YouTube and I'll be honest, I wasn't sure what to think of it. I'm thrilled that I decided to take her up on her offer because I LOVE the videos she provides. Head over to YouTube and you can enjoy all the videos Buttonhead and the rest of the Indie 5 put together.

The night I met Ali I also made a few purchases in her shop. How can you not? You'll notice that one of the coolest thing she offers in her shop is the ability to purchase your own custom video for your shop! You too can have videos created just like The Little Black Box! She's a delight and the videos will totally increase traffic to your site and also aid in promotiong your business better!
You can check out our media page and also the Indie 5 channel to see all the videos that she's created for us. I love Buttonhead!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Black Friday Bonanza

Our big huge Black Friday Bonanza will be taking place in just a few short weeks. Mark your calenders - November 28-30th. I'm so pumped! I need some bloggers help though! Take the follow banner and post it in a blog entry letting your readers know about our special event. Then come back here and post a comment with a link to your entry.

Every single person who posts this info on their blog and comes back here to comment will be entered to win a 25 dollar direct cash payment via PayPal to shop with during the promotion. How fun!
What's this event all about?

Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States, where it is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season. Since Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, Black Friday may be as early as the 23rd and as late as the 29th of November. This year it falls on November 28th. Black Friday is not an official holiday, but many employers give the day off, increasing the number of potential shoppers. Retailers often decorate for the Christmas season weeks beforehand. Many retailers open very early (typically 5 am or even earlier) and offer doorbuster deals and loss leaders to draw people to their stores. Typically the sale last all day on Friday but many retailers hold sales that last all weekend in order to really pump up shoppers for the holiday shopping season.

During our special event the participants are offering sales such as 50% off or free shipping or even buy one get one! Many are having special contests and door prizes. It's going to be a blast and every single sale is a door buster type sale! Believe me when I say that you won't be able to resist this sale.

Many participants want to keep their participation in the event very hush hush as a surprise but some want to share their excitement with you! Here's a tease of a few of those participants!

Christmas Of Dreams: Over $1000 In prizes (Nov 28th)

On November 28th, MomDot will be pulling ONE winner to win prizes from all of these amazing sponsors (details coming soon, still working on huge, mega post about the prizes themselves) to help you celebrate a Christmas of Dreams at your house this year. You must have your entries in no later then the evening of Nov 26th.

There are a few requirements:
1) You MUST be a blogger. If you are not a blogger, your entry will not be considered.

2) You must post about the Christmas of Dreams on your blog and include all the sponsor links (to give back and toss linky love to all the wonderful prizes that are being generously donated), while also linking back to momdot. Additionally, we want you to pick out your top 5 favorite sponsors and let us know your favorite things on their site. This ensures that you check out all the great stuff they have to offer, we always have to give back to the sponsors! And you may find something you really like for your christmas shopping!

3) You must have a MomDot Banner or a MomDot Link in your blogroll

Sponsors are (and subject to be adding more as the month goes on):

Post your answer in THIS blog post at MomDot to be considered for this. Read the rules again to double check that you are doing everything correctly. This is one amazing giveaway and I think you all have good juju since afterall you are MY blog readers. :P

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tips On Shopping Etsy - By Wickedly Chic

My good friend Liz, of Wickedly Chic, fame sent me a link to her Etsy shopping guide and I wanted to post the article for you.

Okay…so what is Etsy and why is it so much fun?

According to Wikipedia, “Etsy is a website which provides the general public with a way to buy and sell handmade items. The site follows in the tradition of open craft fairs, giving sellers personal storefronts where they list their goods for a fee. It has been compared to “a crafty cross between Amazon and eBay” and “your grandma’s basement.”

Eh…personally, I think it’s way cooler than that. There are over 262,000 sellers on Etsy as of right now & if you’re looking for one-of-a-kind items that not everyone has, Etsy is a fun place to shop. Each seller has their own store and does their own pricing. So it’s like tons of little shops under one roof. Each shop has its own style. Some are more sophisticated & some are more country-style. And many fall in between. One of the things that I love the most is just browsing through and watching trends & checking out what’s out there.

What I would do to start out is to head on over to Etsy, http://www.etsy.com and click on the Register button in the upper right hand corner. You must be a registered member of Etsy to make purchases. Don’t worry. It won’t cost you a dime. It’s all free. You will create a user name and a password. Then you’ll enter your email address. And click on submit and you’re in. Now you’re ready to buy.

So now you’re ready to purchase. What are you looking for? Nothing? You don’t know? You want to treat yourself but don’t know what you want? Well…when you click on the Buy tab, you’ll be taken to a series of options. You might choose Local Sellers. Maybe you live in Pittsburgh or Kalamazoo and you want to check out local vendors. You can look through Categories if you know, for example, that you are looking for a bracelet. You can even search by color. Maybe you want a peach bracelet or a blue purse. You can search by items that have recently been listed. Or you can simply go to Sellers and find items from sellers as soon as they are listed.

If you’re looking for jewelry, artwork, cosmetics, bath & body, clothing, hats, vintage items, candles, accessories,you name it, you can find it while browsing through Etsy. Sometimes you’ll see things that you’ve just gotta have. Right now. And if you are a crafty designer yourself, you’ll find plenty of shops selling stones, beads, yarn, fabric, etc.

Each shop is an individual store, so to speak. When you see an item that you want and you click on it and you’ve read all about it and you must have it or buy it for someone else, I would first make sure to read the shop’s policies. Each shop has their own policies so make sure that you read up on them before making a purchase. Most of them are self-explanatory.

Check the seller’s feedback. 99.9% of the sellers on Etsy are honest and fabulous. There are few exceptions. Make sure you read the feedback from both buyers and sellers. Yes, Etsy sellers purchase from each other too! After you make your purchase, your seller will leave you feedback and you are expected to leave feedback for them once you receive your item.

Now you’re ready to buy. Yay! What you will do is to click the green button that says Add to Cart. This will take you to the next page to confirm your added item and you’ll see an option of two buttons to click. One will say Checkout (this means that this is the only item that you are going to purchase from this seller’s shop) OR the button below says Keep Shopping. Click this button if you want to add more items from this PARTICULAR seller’s shop. Otherwise mosey yourself along and click Checkout.

At this point, you’ll enter your address (or the address that you would like your item(s) shipped to). Because you must create an account and sign in, Etsy will store your address information once you make a purchase. Don’t worry. You can always change your address on subsequent purchases.

Click Next Step and now your item(s) will show up. This is the last chance to change your order before submitting. Change your mind? Just click the remove x right next to your item. Your shipping and item price will be confirmed in this step. Keep in mind that shipping charges will vary from seller to seller. This is important to note! Very important. You’ll find that some sellers will offer free shipping and others will charge varying prices. As a general rule of thumb, if you are stateside, you’ll find that shipping costs are lower from state to state. The same goes if you are in the UK or in Canada or Spain. Shipping within your own country is likely to be less than shipping from another country.

BUT don’t let this stop you! Choose items based on what you like and not where they come from. So you pay a few dollars more. How cool is it that you can buy from all over the world? One of my favorite pairs of pants (although my husband doesn’t think they’re so sexy) came from a shop in Thailand. They’re thai fisherman’s pants and they’re awesome. Got ‘em on Etsy. If you want to know more about them, I’ll send you over there. Let me know.

But wait…do you have a Paypal account? If you do, great. If not, you can pay through Paypal using any major credit card without having an account or exposing your information to the Etsy seller. Using Paypal is free whether you have an account or not. Some of the sellers are taking what’s called RME payments but I don’t have an RME account so I have to skip over that. If anyone has any info, feel free to share it.You might see something on Paypal mentioning low fees…don’t worry. That’s only if you are a seller. For instance, I take advertising payments on Wickedly Chic through Paypal and I pay the fee. So when you purchase something on Etsy, you aren’t paying any fees and you can simply pay with a credit or debit card. On the other hand, if you want to pay strictly with a credit card and do not want to set up a paypal account, that’s not a problem.

Once you make your purchase, you can always sign in and go to Your Etsy. Once there, you log in and you can see the status on your account. Most sellers will mark that payment is received or the item has been shipped. But sometimes they forget and you can always send them a convo to ask about it. What is a convo? It’s Etsy-ese for conversation. Let’s say that you see a necklace with a blue stone. You might think…“I love that necklace but I’d like to have a pink stone.” Well…send the seller a convo and see if that’s possible. Most sellers are very accommodating and love to do what they can to please their customers. You might also send the seller a convo if you have questions about ingredients in bath items, etc.

Another reason that you might need to send a convo to a seller is regarding payment. There are some buyers who prefer to pay through a check or a money order. If this is your situation, you will need to contact that seller to make sure that will be acceptable. Some will say yes and some will say no. You’ll want to make sure and not take any chances.

You will receive a confirmation to your email account once you make a purchase. And chances are, you’ll hear from the seller too. You might not…but don’t worry. Most of the sellers are very busy making one-of-a-kind items (OOAK) just for you!

There’s an entire Etsy world out there with amazing sellers who have things that you just can’t buy anywhere. It’s easy to begin and I have to admit…very addicting.

OH! One of my favorite features on Etsy is that all of your information is stored in your Etsy. That means that years from now, you can see the actual listing for each item that you have purchased even if that particular seller has closed shop. Sometimes we buy things and then forget where we purchased from. This isn’t a concern with Etsy. ALSO, let’s say that you are just browsing but don’t want to make any purchases. But you see a store that you like. Go to the bottom right of the seller’s shop where you will see Page Tools. You’ll see that you can click to Add Seller to Favorites. That way, next time you go to Etsy, you have your shop already stored without having to grab a pen. You can even add an individual item to your favorites but beware…next time you come back…it might be gone!

Jim Jenkins Designs

I had an utterly amazing weekend. After basically working myself both physically and mentally to death the past month I had to literally walk away from my computer this weekend and focus on the family until this morning. Saturday night I had a little dinner party at our home. The kids behaved beautifully. The wine flowed and the company was great. Last night we treated the kids to their 2nd ever NHL hockey game. My husband and I go every weekend but we only bring the kids once a month because it's pretty expensive and they get bored half way through the 2nd period. The fights and the constant action can't keep them tuned in. We won so it was a pretty exciting game for everyone there.

This morning I just have to rave about Jim Jenkins Designs. He was featured on the front page of Etsy a few weeks ago and as soon as I saw the feature I bookmarked it so that I could share it with all of you.

I think featuring this artist is important because I don't feature men too often here. There's just few and far between on Etsy! It's ultra cool when I find one that has items that I wish I could afford! Everything you see in this shop is designed and constructed by Jim (with some help in the sanding and finishing portion by his wife). Particularly, I'm nuts for this jewelry box titled, "Big Shot." I think it's brilliant, like all of his work, and wish I could afford to purchase it for myself.

If you're in the market for a special jewelry box for yourself or a loved one this holiday season check out Jim Jenkins Designs and wow yourself with all of the design this man has created. I'm floored!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Little Black Box LOVES Spoonfudge!

I only have time this morning for one blog but I'll be back this afternoon to blog my little heart out. Today is the last day of box packing before our holiday boxes go on sale tomorrow. To say it's been busy would be an understatement! I also still have about 4 more businesses to add to the site that arrived late yesterday and I'll be all caught up.

The exciting thing about our November box is that the participants have all be competing for a prepaid 100 dollar Visa or MasterCard voted on by the box buyers themselves! I'll be adding details about that to the site today! The business with the best presentation of their samples will win! Lots of really cool packaging that I left out of the photos on the site because I want it all to be a huge surprise.

Something else extra cool about this month is that Spoonfudge by Glutenada is back! It's been over a year and a half since this delectable treat was in the box. I tried my first Spoonfudge last night and you better believe I'll be placing an order.

Shhh.. I just bought 4 - 5oz jars of this stuff using my special Little Black Box coupon code that was included in the samples for gifts and er, myself too! I can't wait for this to arrive!

Stay tuned Monday for our Black Friday Bonanza announcement! This year is going to be a blast! All the sales are door busters and nonrefusable! You better start saving now because once your black boxes arrive and the bonanza begins you'll be shopping like a madman!