Sunday, July 18, 2010

Interview with Embraced Babies

Meet Heather of Embraced Babies

Who are you?
I am a Jersey born beach loving, Florida girl, who is honest, dependable, quick witted, loyal, creative and a little obsessive compulsive.

What do you create?
I create what makes me happy at the time. Some days it is an applique that I sketch out and then find the fabric that will bring it to life. Or maybe my daughters need new hair accessories for an outfit. Other days it is something someone requests me to design for them, like my chapstick cozies. These were created for my sister who loses EVERYTHING. She called me up one day and said "I probably own 15 chapsticks and I can't find any and I have severe chapped lips. HELP ME!" So I sat down and made a few prototypes until I was happy with the end result. I thank my sister all the time as these have become my best seller.

How did you come about your store name?
I had just had my daughter and since I am a baby wearing mama I was thinking of something that would incorporat my parenting style. Plus who doesn't love to embrace babies??

What is the crafting utensil you cannot live without?
A sharp pair of scissors! And a measuring tape. This is where my OCD comes in. I have to measure everything multiple times to make sure it is EXACT!

What is your life like outside of Etsy?
I am a stay at home mom to two beautiful daughters and I have an amazing husband. We enjoy spending time with family and great friends! My children make me stop and realize that we need to make the best out of whatever is thrown our way! So we try to laugh often and live in the moment. We try to do something creative every day. Some days we only have time to make up silly songs other days we break out the art box and begin crafting.

What do you enjoy "window shopping" on Etsy on your free time?
Oh boy! This is a hard one....I can get lost on Etsy for hours and hours searching for all sorts of things. If I see something I like in a store I search Etsy first to see if I can find it handmade. I usually can and most of the times it is better quality at a better price! Most recently I have been "shopping" for vinyl quotes and designs for my daughters bedroom.

Is there an online "tool" that you like to use?
I like using my Facebook Fan Page to let people know about some new projects I'm working on. But I have to admit I need to really work on it more. If only there were more hours in the day!!

What other interests do you have?
I love to travel. Since having children we have been mostly traveling in Florida. But that is ok with me as there are many beautiful places to explore here. I also love the water. So whether I am out on our boat, in our pool, or relaxing on the beach I am happy! My husband and I also love to snorkel and we are very excited to be taking our oldest (4 year old) to Molasses Reef in Key Largo this summer to show her where her daddy grew up and where her mommy fell in love with him and Florida.

Where in Florida do you live?
I live in Vero Beach. I have been here since 2001. My husband and I moved here from Key Largo where he was born and raised. I moved to Key Largo in '97 for what was supposed to be 6 months. I fell in love (With my hubby and the state) and never returned to New Jersey. Vero Beach is a great place to raise a family! There are many things for families to do with their children. From Children's Story Hour to the Theatre to an Art Museum there is something for all ages. Plus the beaches here are beautiful!

Could you recommend a fun activity near your Fl home that other members might enjoy?
Hmmm....Let's see....I have 2 little ones so that is how I spend my out and about time. The Vero Beach Children's Book Center is an amazing place to spend an afternoon. It is filled with a wide array of books, unique toys and games. There are train tables and doll houses for the kids to play with while the parents shop or read a book from the 2nd floor bargain book section. Every Friday Miss Julie reads to the kids during Story Hour. Once a month they have pajama story hour. And everyone is encouraged to wear their PJ's. Plus they have many author appearances for book signings. And every holiday is celebrated with a special event. My husband just took the girls there for "Donuts with Dad"! I could go on and on so just come to Vero and check it out with your kids or grandkids!

What animal would you like to be for one day and why?
My house cat! Because she always has her meals and beverages provided to her at the slightest meow. Plus I think she gets to sleep more than the 18 hours most cats sleep. And being that I haven't slept through the night in over 5 years I could really use 18 hours to catch up.

What “super” power would you like to have and why?
I would like to be a mind reader. I think it would be awesome to get into someones mind and see what they were really thinking and not what they thought others wanted to hear.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Our July Handmade Challenge Entries!

Can't believe another month has zoomed by, and it's time once again for us to vote for our favorite entries. This month's themes are Ruby (July's birthstone) and It's a Charmed Life. Anyone can vote up until the end of July. Click on the picture to go directly to the etsy listing. Have fun checking out our FEST team members shops!

Red Mosaic Bud Vase by Nuccynthia

Broken China Heart Pendant Charm by magartsypartycrafts

Sienna Sparrow Domino Pendant by QuirkyDolls

Wine Box Elder Rollerball Pen by norskwoodshop

Acorn Necklace by ManoCelebrates

Nicole Clutch VHS by purplerozelisa

Sound of Music Charm Bracelet by AudreyGardenLady

Lavender Flax Neck Wrap by AquarianBath

Ruby Meditation Cushion by eclectricarmadillo

Triple Ruby Red Glass Earrings by LittlePeachFuzz

Ruby Red & Cream Lace Baby Socks by beautifulanodyne

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

FEST Summer Sizzler Blog GIVEAWAY

Summer's heating up and it's time for the Fest Summer Sizzler BLOG GIVEAWAY. We have two wonderful options from Amber Moran of West Palm Beach Florida for you to choose from. The first, a Custom 8 x 10 inch Watercolor and Ink Portrait. Amber works mainly in watercolor and here's a fabulous example of her work. Just provide one or two photos to produce your portrait and Amber will do the rest.

The second option, an Original Watercolor and Ink Red Snapper Painting actual 9 x 14 inches - 11 x 15 inches including its border.
Amber is an accomplished artist whose work is largely influenced by nature, family and music.

HOW TO ENTER: Enter to win ONE of these lovely original Watercolor options by visiting Amber's Etsy Shop at Amber Moran or any of the FEST Team Members listed to the left on this page. Find your favorite item, share it with us and tell us why you love it. Remember to leave your email or contact info so we can reach you if you're the winner. Winner picked on August 31st.

Monday, July 5, 2010

It's Challenge Time Once Again! Win a one month promo of your etsy mini here on our blog OR an interview! Make a new item with one of two themes:

It's a Charmed Life
So, FEST members - get your fingers a workin! All entry links should be posted on our July Challenge forum post by July 15th at midnight:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Interview with Pinky's Pet Gear

Meet Sunde of Pinky's Pet Gear!

Who are you?
My name is Sunde Farquhar and I have a shop on Etsy called Pinky’s Pet Gear. I live in Safety Harbor with my husband, our dog, Daisy (self-appointed ruler of our household and the nicest Chow Chow in all of Florida) and a motley trio of cats. We are proud to have adopted all of our pets from animal shelters in the various states where we’ve lived.

What do you create?
I make collars for dogs and cats, leashes, pet toys and sometimes pet clothing, too. What makes my products unique is the colors I use. They are always fun and bright colors that remind me of living in Florida.

How did you come about your store name?
There is actually a cute story behind my store name. My husband and I are both journalists, and one day he came home and said he interviewed a red-headed woman named Pinky. My husband thought the name sounded cool and he started to call me Pinky. (I also happen to have red hair!) When I decided to start selling my dog and cat collars, I wanted to incorporate my nickname into the business’ name and that’s when I created, “Pinky’s Pet Gear“.

What is your favorite crafting utensil you cannot live without?
My brain!

What is your favorite material?
I love fabric. There are so many types, in so many patterns and colors. Fabric is a feast for the eyes! I love buying vintage fabric, too. I always wonder what the story is behind vintage fabric, where it was made, what was going on in the world when it was made, who bought it before me, what that person planned on making with it, and why they never got around to making anything with it!

What is your favorite feature on Etsy?
I LOVE the “Recently Listed Items” feature. I could watch all of the newly-listed items pop up on the screen all day…it is so hypnotic. This feature also makes me realize the amount of talent on Etsy. I see so many unique and beautiful handcrafted items, some are so astounding, they just blow me away.

Is there an online tool that you use?
I am a big fan of Google Analytics. I wish I knew more about how to use Analytics, I probably use about 5% of the features. I love the map feature and being able to find out what cities my store’s visitors are from. I also like being able to find out the days and hours that I get the most traffic in my store, and checking out the search words that people use is really fun, too.

Could you recommend a fun activity near your Florida home that other members might enjoy?
I am so lucky to live in the Tampa Bay area, there is so much to do! Top on the list is our beaches and parks. My personal favorites are Clearwater Beach, beautiful white sand, there are plenty of places to shop and restaurants to eat at, it’s also a great place to relax and people watch. FYI---there is no oil from the BP spill on Pinellas County beaches, so come on over FESTers!
I also love Ft. De Soto Park. It’s a seven-mile long waterfront park in the southernmost part of Pinellas County. You can do just about everything at Ft. De Soto Park… swim, bike, hike, camp, picnic, fish, bird watch, canoe, wind surf, launch your boat, and there’s even a beachfront dog park.
Tampa also has a lot of other cool places to visit including Busch Gardens and Lowry Park Zoo. St. Petersburg is home to the Dali museum and a new permanent Dale Chihuly exhibit and center will open there in July. You can check out the Historic Sponge Docks at Tarpon Springs. Clearwater Marine Aquarium is home to “Winter” the dolphin. The folks at the aquarium took care of Winter after she became tangled in a buoy line. Winter lost her tail as a result of the accident. The staff at the aquarium raised money to have a prosthetic tail made for Winter. Now, Winter is a source of inspiration for people who are overcoming disabilities, a movie about her is in the works, and she is becoming known around the world.

What animal would you like to be for a day?
It would be fun to be a bird. You would get such a different view of everything from way up high, plus, it would be fun to be able to fly… you would never get stuck in traffic!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Our June Challenge Winner!!!!

19 votes makes honeybelles our winner this month, with her lovely
Honeybelles' motto is
"Sweet little things for everyday"
and this is certainly one of them!
Congratulations, honeybelles!