Friday, July 9, 2010

Frolicking with Fairies


For the past two weeks I have been frolicking with fairies....and cupcakes and flowers. These fun crowns were created for two special little girls.

Every custom order presents me with new and exciting challenges. These crowns were no exception! Sometimes the fairies refused to cooperate and were a bit fussy about how they wanted to be created. I can't tell you how many times I had to re-cut their arms and heads to get them just right. Picky fairies! :)

But in the end, the greatest challenge with this crown was in its final construction. Each piece had to be attached to the crown in just the right order so that the crown came together with a clean and professional look. I don't know if I've ever held my breath so much while making a crown! But in the end it all came together beautifully. Careful planning definitely payed off!

No fairy is complete without a magic wand. I decided that these fairies needed sparkly wands! They are all set to grant lots of wishes!

In order for the girls to be able to tell their crowns apart, I added their first initials to the inside of the crowns.

Two adorable crowns ready for fun and mischievous play! It's going to be hard to see these cuties go, but I know they are headed to a good home! Enjoy little ones....enjoy!

Handmade Pick--Little Lion Designs


It has been awhile since I last featured another crafter/artist, and this time I've chosen a very special shop not just for the beauty of the art, but also for the beauty of the story behind the art. Stephanie with Little Lion Designs creates the most amazing repurposed fabric and textile art. When I first came across her shop she won me over with the fact that she's concerned about the carbon footprint she is leaving on the Earth. She uses scraps of fabric from thrift stores and quilters, makes her own starch, and uses child safe glue. When I hear that someone is trying to keep things out of the landfill and use environmentally friendly products in their art/craft I do a little happy dance! Then I took a look at her shop. I was blown away! See for yourself.

But just looking at her art wasn't enough for me. I had to read her profile too. This is where the story behind her art moved me so deeply that I knew I had to feature her work here. You see, Stephanie lost her infant daughter, just 34 days old, to Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. As a parent, there is nothing more heartbreaking than reading about the loss of a child. Oftentimes I can't bring myself to read these types of stories because they are so deeply saddening, but this one time I couldn't stop myself from reading on. That's when I came across this very special blog post by Stephanie. It is a tribute to her daughter, Kaia on the one year anniversary of her death--her first angelversary as Stephanie called it. It is truly the most beautiful and touching thing I have read in a very long time.

Stephanie's story is one of a mother who loved and lost and then never stopped loving. And as we all know as mothers, our love for our children is boundless. It was through the death of her daughter that Stephanie was inspired to create again. And her work speaks volumes about the beautiful inspirational spirit behind it. I couldn't make it through Stephanie's tribute without tears streaming down my face and I couldn't keep my eyes dry for hours afterwards. And although I felt deep sadness for Stephanie's loss, I also felt a sense of peace and admiration for the human spirit. Even in the face of tremendous loss peace, beauty, and love can still grow.

I hope that you will take the time to visit Stephanie's Etsy shop and facebook fan page. She is an amazing artist and a true inspiration! Thank you Stephanie for sharing your story.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Memorable Year

(The very first crown I sold on Etsy)

So, my official first Etsy Anniversary has come and gone. This past year has been amazing, fun, and exhausting all rolled up into one. If you had asked me 15 years ago what I would be doing today, I most certainly would have never guessed that I would be making felt crowns! But, I'm here and I'm so very grateful for it. Really crafting has been a part of my life since I was a small girl. I remember sitting down with a big box of craft supplies and fabric scraps and just creating whatever my heart told me to create. Later, I became fascinated with embroidery, and in high school I focused on drawing and painting. I took a long break from doing anything crafty through college and during my early career as a Physical Therapist and later a stay-at-home mom. It was such a long break that I nearly forgot how good it feels to be creative. So, when I really think about it the journey to this day has been in the works all along. I know that not everybody believes in fate or destiny, but I can't help feeling that all along I was meant to be right where I am.

Taking pieces of felt and bits of thread and turning them into something beautiful and fun brings me joy and inner peace. There is no greater feeling than creating with my hands and then stepping back to look at a finished crown....always in amazement. It's a moment when a smile spreads across my face and I let out a little sigh. I think to myself, "I created that and it will soon bring joy to someone else". "How cool is that!" And it's not just anyone it's bringing joy's bringing joy to the most amazing creatures on Earth--kids.

So why do I stay up until the wee hours of the morning? Why to I push myself to create the very best product I can? It's because I love what I do, I have the very best customers on Earth, and all along I have been destined to be right where I am.

It's been an incredible year. I've learned more than I ever thought possible, I've made more friends than I ever imagined, and I've grown my love for all things handmade twofold (maybe threefold!). I have to thank my husband and daughters for their amazing support and encouragement. They are my source of inspiration....along with my color and design consultants! Thank you also to all of my fans, friends, and supporters. You keep me going and spur me to continue creating.

Here's to a great first year! I hope to bring you many more fantastic crowns and products for kids during my next year on Etsy!