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The Handmade Highway!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Moody Bee


Almost a year ago I had the pleasure of working with Moody Bee out of beautiful British Columbia, Canada. The box buyers were absolutely spoiled with their vanilla & peppermint beeswax lip balms. These were probably some of the best tasting and long lasting balms I had got in the door in a long time. I hope again this year we will be blessed with more samples of the balms but until then let me tell you why I liked these so much.

My son Dylan always gets the worst chapped lips. They get super chapped this time of year and when I picked him up from his friends house they were so red they looked like they were on fire. I searched high and low and low and behold I found a brand new Moody Bee lip balm in my bathroom drawer and gave it to him to use. Within hours his lips looked much better and they no longer looked inflamed and irritated.

As soon as I saw how well the balm worked I just had to run to my computer and make a special weekend post about these bragging to you all to make that purchase. So what if they are in Canada? This purchase would be money well spent!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Under the weather and in bed

Man, I had two fabulous things I wanted to write about today and over night I got pretty ill. I've been laying in bed all day wondering why the powers that be aren't trying to take it easy on me.

Needless to say strep throat and a sinus infection are NOT fun.

Boxes will still go on sale Friday. I'm resting today to work my buns off tomorrow. Thanks for all your patience and understanding.. oh the website will be updated tomorrow as well or this evening as I see fit. I might grab the laptop and haul it into bed with me.

*Kisses*

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vegancraftastic


I found the cutest little Vegan shop on Etsy and marked it last night and wanted to share it with everyone today. I only wish I had found it last month so that I could have shared it in the spirit of the Vegan Little Black Boxes but alas I didn't and here I am now.

Vegancraftastic is all Vegan all the time.. I mean obviously the name says it all! I absolutely adore the little drawstring bags that are being offered. When I first saw them I was hoping they were wet bags that are perfect for moms to throw soiled clothes in or swim trunks but they are not. Still these are perfect for all those other great mommy things. Maybe me mentioning the need for a great wet bag will light a fire under the shop owner and she can whip up something special for me.

The prints for the bags are pretty cute and there's a different print offered for pretty much everyone's personality. I love it when things are offered in a variety of different styles so that you're always sure to find something that feels like something YOU would want to be seen with. Loves it!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Have It Sweet Confections


A box of delish smelling caramels arrived on the doorstep today from Have it Sweet Confections. Got to love it when you a flat rate box full of ooey gooey goodness calls your name and you have to stop yourself from taking just one.

Yep, that's right! I'm holding out and refuse to snag even one because I want to share all the goods with the box buyers that pick up a February box this Friday! I was most impressed with the fact that each little package of treats had a variety of different flavors for you to sample. Box buyers are spoiled rotten!

You know I just had to go straight to their website to take a peek at what other goodies they were hiding from me. You'll find delicious caramels and yummy marshmallow treats in a variety of flavors. My mouth waters when viewing the assortment of items. The price is just right too!

Gems by Jerri


Would you like to receive one of these lovely pairs of earrings each month?

Here's how it works. Every month for three months, Gems by Jerri, will ship a new pair of earrings to you. They will be shipped between the first and the fifth of each month. Your first pair will be shipped within two days of payment on your order.

You could receive any of the earrings pictured or a completely new design that have been made. It will be a surprise each time your package arrives. Kinda like Christmas!

All earrings are either gold plated or silver plated. Some will be earhook and some are earpost.

This is a three month subscription which costs $30 making each pair worth about $10. I love that it's like getting a little surprise each month. You never quite know what you're going to get. Give this shop a look!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nova Designs


I've been trying to stay off the forums on Etsy because of all the negativity lately. Well, since mid November. I think the economy is hurting so much that people are miserable and taking their misery out on anyone and everyone. It's kinda of annoying and I figure if I don't have anything nice to say that I shouldn't say anything at all.

I did however read a few posts and in the process was introduced to Nova Designs and their success. This business hasn't even been open 7 months and already has nearly 250 sales. It's absolutely encouraging considering they are a jewelry shop trying to make head way in an oversaturated market.

The piece that caught my eye right from the begining was this beautiful brass locket. This vintage brass heart has a splash of patina on the front of it and then is sealed to keep it looking fresh. Now, on sale too! It's been marked down from $29 to $19 which is totally affordable.

Cozy Moments


It was brought to my attention today that one of my most favorite handmade businesses, Cozy Moments, is going through a major crisis right now and I wanted to write about it so that we can all keep Michelle and her husband Darrell in our thoughts.

This message was posted in her shop annoucement today via a friend kind enough to update for her:

Hello,
I am writing for Michelle. She is going to issue anyone who placed an order today a refund since her husband was rushed to and admitted to the hospital this morning and is fighting for his life. She said all orders prior to todays have been shipped. Michelle asked me to close her Etsy shop and to send convos to anyone who placed an order today explaining this since she is not going to be able to fill any orders obviously. I am not really sure how to do the convos so I am just putting the note here.If you know Darrell and Michelle please, if you pray please pray for them. This is not looking too good.

Thank you.

I'm not sure on the details of what is going on but this doesn't sound good at all and I can't imagine what she's going through. This is just another example of a wonderful business person, who although is going through some sort of turmoil, took the time to keep their customers up to date on the emergency. Everyone should take note - This is grade A communication.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mi Spa


My gal Mimie Wong shot me a message via twitter reminding me of the awesome 4 day sale her shop is having and well, I'd be out of my mind for not passing the juicy info on to you all.

Mi Spa has been around for such a long time. I can't even remember how long it's been but it's been many many years and it's so great that they are still up and running successfully. Lots of bath and body companies come onto the scene and then disappear rather quickly and it's good to know that Mimie has kept her dream alive. Also refreshing is that us customers are still thriving on Indie during this messy economy. You go guys!

Now, back to the sale info - right? 40% off when you buy 2 or more of any mi-lotion and/or 4 oz tin candles, mix-&-matching is ok. Exclusive to mi*points members. Register today! (you must sign in as mi*point members to view this special offer).

Don't be foolish. Support Indie!

Cowgirl Cookie Co.



This stuff is the real deal. No fancy machines plopping out dough in perfect round shapes or huge ovens that bake your goodies on conveyor belts. Nope, that’s not this at all. At Cowgirl Cookie Co. they believe in doing things the tried and true way. And its what makes their goodies simply delicious.

I've had the pleasure of getting my hands on these babies and it's been too long. I was reminded of their goodness today when I was sent their monthly newsletter and it took so much stinkin' will power to not cave in and place an order.

Currently on the site they are offering their Valentine's Day Collection which will be retiring on February 22nd so you better act quick if you want to take advantage of the eye candy. Why oh why do the Sweet Cowgirl Kisses have to look so amazing? Hook a girl up!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Ferris Wheels


Welcome to The Ferris Wheels - home of the "comfy" cozy hot/cold therapy pack. Their goal is to try to keep you feeling good from your head (our sinus/migraine packs) to your toes (our comfy cozy footwarmers and slippers). Particularly serving those suffering with fibromyalgia, arthritis, carpal tunnel, migraine headaches and other pain related issues.

I love that there's a variety of shapes and sizes available to fit pretty much everyone for any sort of issue they may be having. This is totally one of those feel good shops on Etsy which leave me feeling like I've done something worthwhile after I've shared the wealth with all my readers.

I spend so much time on my laptop working that I have my eye on the Executive Cozy Combo. The keyboard wrist rest and mouse wrist rest are filled with rice and flax, so for additional relief, you can heat them in the microwave. The coordinating cup cozy is great for your coffee cup, drink can, water bottle or even a pencil holder!

J.Lynne Cosmetics


Who says you can’t have two left feet and still enjoy the drama, passion, and cha-cha-charm of ballroom dancing? J.Lynne Cosmetics, an indie beauty company offering all-natural, cruelty-free cosmetics, introduces the Latin Rhythms Mineral Blush collection, filled with six lush, luminous colors inspired by Latin ballroom dancing.

J.Lynne Cosmetics gives their all-natural, eco-friendly mineral makeup a unique, spicy twist with the introduction of their Latin Rhythms Mineral Blush collection. Inspired by the growing popularity of Latin ballroom dancing, these pure mineral blushes range from sheer to sultry, and have been created with J.Lynne’s trademark all-natural ingredients and skin-complimenting colors.

J.Lynne Cosmetics is a vibrant indie beauty company offering chic, high quality products that are eco-friendly, cruelty free, and 100% all-natural. Their full product line includes mineral foundations, powders, blushes, eye shadows, eyeliners, lip colors, and brushes. Full size jars are available for $9.00 each, and sample jars are available for $1.50 each.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Time For Another Change

I'm trying to get back into my old ways of blogging in the morning. I'm trying to get into bed earlier and I want to get back on track. I'm going to try going to bed before 10 this week and then blogging 1st thing in the morning.

Wish me luck! See you in the morning!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Revisions Design Studio


Sometimes it's a real struggle to find things that I want to share with you all and sometimes it's pretty easy. I have a ton of favorite shops and items linked and bookmarked in all sorts of places on my computer. Then out of nowhere I'll get an email from someone suggesting that I take a peek at a whole new shop and I'll find something I've never seen before and fall in love all over with something completely new and amazing. There's so much out there that I would never stumble upon if it wasn't for all of my cool readers.

I found Revisions Design Studio today and immediately fell head over heels these translucent porcelain shell votive egg candles. The porcelain is so thin that it literally glows when you light the tealight inside and looks so beautiful. These are sure to be an enormous hit at your home when you light them and have guests over. It's a great way to spread the word about handmade because people will take notice of them.

You will get a set of 6 of them and also a little birdie for the low price of $26.95. I think this is such a steal! They even come in their own cardboard egg carton which is perfect for gift giving.

If these don't catch your eye then your eye will directly go straight to the highest priced item in the entire shop. If you have 13k laying around you too can have this extremely expensive Anna Marie Chandelier. A little bit pricey but pretty neat if I might say!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

J.C. Jewelry Design


Valentine's Day is literally like oh a minute or two away - or day or two and some of us haven't even figured out what we are doing for our significant other.

I have an idea for your music loving guitar hero. Those of you with actual guitar players will adore my latest find from J.C. Jewelry Design. You can personalize this guitar pick by writing your favorite song lyrics, a special message, names, anniversary dates or anything your heart desires!

This sterling silver guitar pick is hand cut, hand stamped, filed, sanded and lightly polished to achieve an organic semi-matte finish. Measurement is 1.25 inches X 1 inch or 30mm X 25mm. Thicknes is 22 gauge, .81 mm. Edges are very smooth for a quality sound. It comes in a beautiful satin pouch as well.

Adorn Jewelry


I found the most strange and random item on Etsy last week and I'm so intrigued with what I found I had to bookmark it so that I could come back later and share my find from Adorn Jewelry.

This shop is best known for their moss themed items. Faux moss is easy to maintain as it doesn't require either sunlight or water. It's pretty cool! You just know that people will want to touch your jewelry to see if it's real or not and what a perfect conversation starter too. Yes, that really is moss growing out of your earrings! Or.. so they'll think until they touch it. I actually thought it was real moss too!

Check out this large moss pendant. A hand-cut piece of faux moss made of latex sprouts backed with foam has been "planted" into the bezel setting of this sterling silver pendant. The moss earrings are totally cool too. Man, I don't know if I could pull them off but I'm sure one of my favorite blog readers could. Take a look at all this cool stuff!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Black Mountain Candles


Like the shop annoucement says, Welcome to Black Mountain Candles - where you can find candles that TICKLE your nose and DELIGHT your senses.

My senses are totally delighted by the sight of the delicious candles being offered at Black Mountain Candles. I've had this shop bookmarked for awhile but it wasn't until recently when I got to take a really good look at exactly what was being offered.

There's over 120 scents to pick from and you're to find something really special to tease your nose I'm sure. I'm loving the grubby soy melts that are being offered. Both the blueberry and the cinnamon roll grubbies look very drool worthy. I need some of these stat!

Maybe wickless candles aren't your thing? You'll find 8oz soy jar candles for sale too. There's lots of scents to pick from for only $6.75 each plus shipping. That's quite the steal!

Good times!

Back in the saddle again.. doot doot doot!

Emails answered. Happy inbox. Happy Kim. Things are looking up again. Happy to have talked to mom about Disneyland in March. She makes me smile. I love her.

Need lunch. Belly angry.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Rosie's Broadway Kids


I'm so excited to bring you this one!

I was browsing one of my most favorite gossip sites the other day and someone pointed out that Rosie O' Donnell was on Etsy. I couldn't believe it because well, it's Rosie. Secondly I couldn't believe that Etsy was getting a HUGE shout out!

The shop, Rosie's Broadway Kids, is an arts education organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children through the arts. Using professional teaching artists, Rosie's Broadway Kids provides instruction in dance and music and a professional theater experience for children who might otherwise not have the opportunity.

If you check out the items sold in the shop you'll see that each items is actually created by Rosie herself and boy are they selling like hot cakes! It's for a good cause and you'll get something from a celebrity that cares. You must certainly need to support this handmade artist.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Oops!

I forgot to pay my web hosting bill!

No fear it's paid now and should the site should be up and running shortly! No fear!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Thoughts To Ponder

How's that saying go? Excuses are like ____. Everyone has one.

You can fill in the blank.

I've heard them all over the past 2 years. My dog ate my samples. I forgot to address my box and it was returned. My supplies didn't arrive and usually I just roll my eyes and figure that The Little Black Box wasn't important enough to be taken seriously to them and move on. Now I'm faced with my own issues.

I sit here in a gloomy mood because I feel now it's my turn to offer an apology or an excuse as it may. I'm sure maybe even people have noticed that I've been blogging super late at night. I haven't been sleeping well and actually went to the doctor a few weeks ago so that I could cope with all the anxiety I had been feeling. Lots of stuff has happened over this past month that I was trying to work though on my own. I was reminded today by email of the many hats us women wear and I really have been wearing my fair share since about Christmas time.

Basically the cliff notes version is that I've been worried sick about my mother. My mother got terrible news in December which has left her having to make major life decisions quite quickly. I've tried to be her rock and it seemed like on a daily basis more bad news was placed on me. I guess when it rains it pours? I've been worried sick about what I could do for her to make things better and trying to be there for her. I mean, she even thought that I was upset with her or ignoring her because I was so upset with all the news that I didn't know how to handle it properly. I love her to death and wish I could always make her problems go away. It's my nature. I'm her daughter. On top of this my mother in law came down with Bell's Palsy which has been hard to watch. She's miserable and I cross my fingers each day that it will just go away. Then once again my father's new truck was stolen, and to make matters worse of all of this my husband has been dealing with stresses at his job. Everyone knows how the economy is and he works for UPS. If people are buying then people aren't shipping stuff which doesn't allow for him to work all that much.

It's been like one thing after the other. Unfortunately, because of the mass loads of drama going on I also neglected a few of the work things I should have been more on top of. It's no excuse! I should have found a balance but I allowed life to take over and tried to carry the world on my shoulders.

I would like to personally apologize to The Vegan Etsy team members. Especially Treaded Smiles and Uber Duper Creations for leaving them off the Who's In The Box page even though their items arrived on time.

I had many emails this morning from concerned team members who thought that maybe their items hadn't been used in the boxes and I can assure everyone that if they sent in their items and they are on the site now that their items were used. Anything left over always rolls into the following month and nothing ever goes to waste. You will hear that from many businesses that I have worked with.

We are all human. We all make mistakes and life does take over once in awhile. I personally wanted to take the time to let everyone know that I acknowledge the mistake that I made this past month. I'm often asked by people to post lists of people who don't follow through with their items and I'm thankful that I've never resulted to that because I know we all deserve a free pass in life when things take over. I hope that all of the kind hearted people that sent in items for January will accept my apology and see that I've been extremely humbled by this situation. I'm sorry for any grief I may have caused. I'm back in the saddle again and ready to rock this February.

Thank you for listening. Comments appreciated.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wickedly Chic


It's hard to believe that it's been nearly 3 years since the launch of Wickedly Chic and it's still running proudly. It was an exciting part of my past but the best part of it all was that I was able to work with a great woman named Liz Nonnamacher.

After only a short while we parted ways and in the meantime the site has grown to be one of the best Indie sites on the net. I remember when Liz used to have no idea what was going on and now she's a savvy website owner. Yay!

Currently over on Wickedly Chic they have up their Valentine's Day gift guide. On the gift guide you'll find everything from bath and body items to paper goods! Thankfully my husband is easy and not all that into holidays so a card and some kisses will do me just fine but if you have a hard to shop for person in your life you better get with the times and wander over to take a peek.

While you're there check out the giveaway from Caterpillars Candles. Too fun!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sandmaiden Sleepwear


When I'm home alone working for the day I don't tend to crawl out of my comfy clothes. Maybe I'm lazy but honestly it's just much more relaxing to lounge around in stuff that is comfortable then spending an hour or two getting ready for nothing.

I'm a fan of the yoga lounge wear and I found the coolest shop called Sandmaiden Sleepwear which offers some pretty impressive clothing. Also interesting is that 95% of the fabrics and materials used in this shop are eco friendly and fair trade! Yay!

I'm so completely digging these jersey lounge pants with wide leg and fold over waistband. These are very much me! Also equally important to all woman of different sizes and shapes is that any item in the shop can be custom ordered in sizes XS-XXL. Can I get a high five to that?!

Man, this shop needs a showroom and I need some more spending money!

Open Sundaes


If you're super duper girly like I am or know someone super girly then I've got the bath and body business for you.

Open Sundaes has been around for awhile and I've been watching them grow steadily throughout the years. I've been plotting any order for awhile now but I'm one of those people like almost instant results and they are in Canada so I hadn't made that purchase. I don't want to wait a few weeks for my goodies! If you're patient when it comes to shipping though then you should really considering giving them a whirl.

Their Glossy Lip Toppings are almost too much for me to handle! Look how devine they look and who'd know they are handmade with love!? The Vanilla Sundae one just about has me won over. I also love the look of Neopolatin Sundae dessert candle. My mouth is watering! Dang this whole shop is off the hook. Time to whip out the debit card!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Great News From Tiny Cravings!


Just got an email from Tiny Cravings and have I have share with you this exclusive news!

To my dear friends and lovers of all things tiny and cute, sweet and smelly, exquisitely detailed, handmade and baked to perfection......
I have heard your cries, and you are shouting with overwhelming clarity..."we want CUSTOM cupcakes...cakes...and all other things of an irresistible and savory nature!!" I cannot let these pleas continue to go unanswered, and thus, have come at last to offer a solution and hopefully satiate those tiny cravings. *(at least temporarily)

So...what exactly is available? Everything on the front page! Yes you heard correctly...custom swirly cupcakes, birthday cupcakes, buttercream cupcakes, even those elusive spring and summer smoothie cupcakes!! Now take a deep breath, for amidst the sweet smells of cupcakes, cookies, and pie slices...as well...

I hope you will enjoy my brand new Silver & Rhodium Lockets with adorable tiny handcrafted and scented scenes inside, completely OOAK and unique to Tiny Cravings Jewelry! ENJOY!!

Rachel Ann Designs


I'm reminded of my childhood with these amazingly cool Pac Man Earrings. Actually Spring Break of third grade we went to Disneyland and in the hotel lobby there was a Pac Man video game that my brother and I spent most of our free time playing. Gotta love that, right?!

Rachel Ann Designs is the brilliant creator of these darling silver pieces. Both earrings are hand pierced and hammered with a brush finish. They hang from silver plated chains on a sterling silver french ear wire. They are super light weight and have a great swing making them both subtle and extremely adorable!

If you have any custom orders or ideas send them an email. I'm sure the possibilities are endless!

Valentines Craft Night at the Etsy Labs


Have plans on tonight? Well, you do now! Join us for our weekly Craft Night at the Etsy Labs in Brooklyn. Craft Night occurs every Monday from 4-8pm EDT at 325 Gold Street, 3rd floor in Brooklyn, New York.

This week, on Monday, February 2, 2009, we're making valentines! This year, Etsy is teaming up with Citymeals-on-Wheels to bring nutritious meals, handmade greeting cards and companionship to thousands of home-bound elderly New Yorkers. Join us for an evening of crafting valentines to contribute to this wonderful cause. Read more about Etsy's Valentine's Day project here.

Julie will also be demonstrating how to make woven heart valentines.. This paper project is perfect for storing secret love letters, candy, and little tokens of your affection. Not in Brooklyn? Join us for a live broadcast and demo from Craft Night online in the Virtual Labs.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Reintroducing Beautiful Twists by Ella Dean


My kids are obsessed with stealing all my Ella Dean lip balms. Like.. super obsessed. I can't even have one on my desk without someone trying to take it. Sorry boys - mits off. These are mine!

I wrote about Beautiful Twists by Ella Dean last October when all the Halloween themed lip balms were out and I was surfing last night and saw that now all the Valentine's Day themed ones are now available and I just about made a purchase but stopped myself when I remembered I only have 10 dollars in my paypal account and about a million bills to catch up on.

Darn that Ella Dean!

Thankfully for both you and I Ella Dean has signed up for the February Little Black Box and will be making a huge splash. Beg people for enough to supply you all! These balms are fabulous and so cute. You don't want to miss out on getting one for your own.

Go Go Vegan Boxes!


The Vegan boxes went on sale on Friday and are just about sold out. Yay! Lots of people were hooked up with them and it was very exciting to put together my first theme box. Boxes will start shipping out tomorrow and Tuesday. It was a big weekend with Super Bowl so I was not able to work over the weekend.

I want to thank those who followed through and stepped to the plate for this box. I wish things would have worked better for those that did participate because they were most certainly shafted by those that didn't follow through. I'll never understand why people do this but alas they do and shame on them.

Thankfully those that did send in stuff sent in really neat stuff which will save the boxes! I loved working with each of you and I hope the box buyers really enjoy them. Unfortunately I do not think I'll be doing a theme box again. I couldn't accept any outside stuff because I wanted to follow through with everything being Vegan so there wasn't much I could but I just know that the buyers will love what WAS included just as much as I did and because of that I thank you all!

Such a great cause!