Friday, April 29, 2011

SWEET DOLLS winner...

is....

THE TEACHER!

CONGRATS!

Refer to the post for directions on how to claim your prize.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Giveaway #8: Custom Necklace




I had the honor of conversing with Jessica in Etsy world recently, and she graciously offered to give a customized adoption necklace to one blog reader.

My name is Jessica Call and I live just outside of Boise in Eagle, Idaho. I am the mother of four children. I have three boys ages 11, 7, and 2 and one daughter age 9. My husband and I just celebrated our thirteenth wedding anniversary.

I am a stay-at-home mom and have been so excited to find a passion that I can pursue from home and to be able to bring in some extra income doing it! I try hard to keep my work hours reserved for "naptime" each afternoon and the occasional evening when my husband can work with me. It is very important to me that my kids and husband know that they come first and that I am readily available for them.

I have a few other hobbies that fill my spare time, besides making jewelry and keeping up with a young family. I love to exercise, especially running. It is not uncommon to find me running through our neighborhood early in the morning when the sun, and my family, are still sleeping. I also love reading and cooking. I love a good challenge of "tweaking" a new recipe until it is as healthy as possible but still appetizing to my sometimes picky youngsters. I exercise and cook healthily so that I can enjoy all of my favorite desserts! I also keep busy with my involvement in our church and chauffeuring my children to their activities. As a family, we recently bought five baby chicks and are trying our hand at "urban chicken farming" which has been so fun!

My Etsy shop is named JessicaBe. I make hand stamped jewelry and specialize in Mother's Necklaces. I had been wanting a Mother's Necklace of my own but was waiting to purchase my "splurge". I grew impatient and decided to attempt hand stamping on my own. With practice, I found a hidden talent. I opened my Etsy shop as a way to grow my business. I found success in my local market and have enjoyed making these pieces of jewelry so much that I wanted to make more! I love thinking of the mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends that receive my jewelry as gifts. I love hearing the stories that are behind their special custom creations.

My Etsy shop is unique because my background is unique. I have taught myself all of the skills that I have with hand stamping and jewelry making. This gives my jewelry a simple, yet elegant, look. It makes my jewelry "real" and I feel like that is a quality that reflects the real women that my necklaces are made for.

It is my pleasure to share my story with you and offer one of my hand stamped necklaces as a give away on Rachel's blog. Please enjoy!


GIVEAWAY ITEM: One of three necklaces (pictured above)---customized. (Approximate value: $21.00)

WAYS TO ENTER: 1: Becoming a blog follower and leave a comment telling me you did so. 2: Post about the giveaway on Facebook and tell me you did so via a comment. 3: Post about the giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment telling me you did so. 4: Visit Jessica's Etsy shop and tell me what your favorite item is.

WHEN, WHERE, and HOW: Enter up to four times on this blog post from now until noon on May 1. A winner will be posted on May 1. The winner is responsible for setting up an Etsy account and contacting Jessica to claim her prize. Special thanks to Jessica for supporting adoptive families!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fabulous Autobiography: Transracial Adoption Included!

You may have seen The Blind Side. If you want to learn more about Michael Oher, the young man who was adopted by the Touhys (transracial adoption---I might add) and then became a pro football player, check out Michael's autobiography entitled I Beat the Odds. Michael speaks of a subject close to my heart---foster care adoption.

He says (p 70):
"There are a huge number of kids in America who feel helpless and need stable homes right now. You can take action by choosing to help just one child. The ripple effect of that action can end up touching many lives and even generations."

I love Michael's straight forward, honest approach to life---work hard, don't let your past decide your future, and JUST DO IT (change someone's life, especially a child's, by adopting from foster care).

For more thoughts on this topic and book suggestions, read here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Giveaway #7: Sweet Doll Pair




I am so happy I "met" Dawn on Etsy and have the pleasure of sharing her work with you. She sent Miss E a darling doll---a new favorite in our household! Dawn is giving one lucky blog reader a pair of dolls. (See photo above).


My name is Dawn, I am married to my high school sweetheart. We have three wonderful kids, two boys ages eleven and five and a little girl who is almost two years old. I enjoy the simple pleasures of being a mom. Taking tons of pictures of my lovely family is one of my favorite things to do. The boys love cookies, so we bake cookies together. We also do a lot of crafts together. I feel truly blessed to be their mom. We live in sunny Tampa, Florida.


My Etsy shop is called Sweet Dolls. I love making dolls and creating art for my shop. I started making these dolls a few years ago, after selling custom orders for awhile; I decided to give Etsy a try. I think it’s going well; balancing everything is a juggling act that hopefully gets better over time.

I have to say I think my shop is very unique; my dolls are available in many skin colors, and hair colors. You can also find adorable baby rattles, and cute toys in my shop. When inspiration strikes I put it in my sketch book, which is over flowing with ideas and doodles for dolls and toys I want to make. My art is all hand painted with acrylic on ready to hang canvas.

You can check out lots of pictures of my sweet dolls on Flickr.

Custom orders and questions are always welcome just send me a convo.

GIVEAWAY ITEM: A pair of dolls.

WAYS TO ENTER: 1: Becoming a blog follower and leave a comment telling me you did so. 2: Post about the giveaway on Facebook and tell me you did so via a comment. 3: Post about the giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment telling me you did so. 4: Visit Dawn's Etsy shop and tell me what your favorite item is.

WHEN, WHERE, and HOW: Enter up to four times on this blog post from now until noon on 29. A winner will be posted on April 29th. The winner is responsible for setting up an Etsy account and contacting Dawn to claim her prize. Special thanks to Dawn for supporting kids of all colors by making beautiful products!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Giveaway #6 Winner...

HollyMarie!


CONGRATS!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Giveaway Winner: 5x7 print

From Monday's giveaway, the winner is...

SUSAN!

See original post for details on how to claim your prize.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Top 5 Things Not to Say/Do When You Meet My Family

I've been a mom for nearly two and a half years now. My family looks quite different than the average family; we are multicultural and multiracial. We've had numerous encounters with strangers. Most have been positive, but a few things keep happening that really grate my nerves. And might I add, these apply to friends and family members, too! So....please, do not,


1: Touch either of my girls' hair. They are not puppies. I know you are curious about black hair, but they are people, not pets. And I worked a VERY long time to get their hair styled. HANDS OFF! In general, you shouldn't touch a stranger's child. It's weird. And creepy. And even if you know me and my family, I don't appreciate the head-petting. Would you like me to pet your head randomly?


2: Ask if I'm sure my daughters are full African American or ask if they are "mixed." Yes, I'm sure I know the race of my kids, and they aren't a cup of coffee or a dog breed---so the "half and half" comments are not necessary. I don't ask you if you're sure the guy you call "dad" is actually your father or if your mom perhaps had an affair with the milkman or the pool boy or whomever. We just met. I mean, really?


3: Say or ask about their birth parents such as, "Why did they give them up?", or "Why didn't they love them?", or "How old are they?" My oldest daughter is two and a half. She understands and repeats much more than you think. My children's stories are private. You probably don't want me asking you what position you used to conceive your child and how good or bad the sex was. Some things should just be left unsaid. Especially when we are strangers who just happen to be standing in the same check-out lane or dining at the same restaurant.


4: Say multiple times, to the point where we are all uncomfortable, how beautiful my children are. It makes it seem like you are covering up some sort of prejudice. My girls are beautiful, but they are also smart, funny, and so much more. Say it once and move on.


5: Make any sort of comments about how your kids are driving you nuts and you've thought about placing them for adoption. Not funny. Period. The loss biological parents face is absolutely no laughing matter.

Now before I get 1,000 comments on how horrible I am or how I need to quit being so PC, there are things I don't mind...

1: Saying my kids are cute. (Just say it once, not 100 times like a weird-o). I think they are, too.

2: Asking if we are an adoptive family. That's ok. But beware that walking around asking families that is like asking someone who looks a little thick in the middle if she's pregnant. This might bite you in the butt one day.

3: Asking for more adoption information. Sure. :)

4: Laughing (because it's so cute) when my daughter says, "I'm adopted!" to you when we're standing in the check-out line. She's pretty proud. She recently went up to THREE strangers at Hobby Lobby to tell them she's adopted. Good for her. You go, girl.

5: Commenting on having a family of girls. Yep, I can relate to those challenges and joys!

Yes, we adopted. And yes, our transracial family stands out. And yes, my girls are pretty adorable. But we are first and foremost a family consisting of people. So remember good social graces----no petting, no nosy questions, and no rude comments. Let's all be on our best behavior, get our groceries, and go home. ----- I hope I haven't scared anyone off from adopting transracially.


I recently wrote an article for adoption.com on the subject of people saying no to black kids because of the top three most common fears. I hope you'll check it out!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Giveaway #6: Wall Art

Continuing on my (forever) quest of finding illustrations that mirror my brown girls, I discovered Mary's Etsy shop and this beautiful print.


Hello! My name is Mary Sievert. I graduated last year from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and then moved back to Minneapolis (where I'm from) to pursue a career as a freelance illustrator. Next fall my boyfriend and I will be moving to the East Coast where I'll be starting grad school for Costume Design. A few years ago I attended a symposium in Chicago about multicultural children's literature. At the time I was working at the Salvation Army Emergency Lodge in Milwaukee and it got me very interested in the role of multicultural illustration for children of different backgrounds. I plan on continuing my illustration career while in grad school. Take a look at my work . I would love the opportunity to work on children's books. I contact hundreds of publishing companies a month and play a waiting game. I am hopeful someday I will get my first book project! As far as hobbies go I obviously love to paint and draw (this takes most of my free time), I enjoy walking the dog around the wonderful Minneapolis lakes in the summer, and knitting hats in the winter. I am looking forward to moving to a new place and starting a new adventure soon!


My Etsy shop is a place for me to sell prints of my illustrations. I work in a combination of watercolor and ink. My shop features a variety of work made over the last year. I try to keep adding new work as often as possible so make sure to check in frequently!

I opened an Etsy shop after my senior thesis last Spring. I did six illustrations of what represents beauty to women in different cultures. I made the portraits into stationary and decorative pillows. I wanted a place to sell the prints, cards, and pillows. As I started working on promo pieces I added them to my Etsy as well so now I have a number of prints available in multiple sizes. I am desperately trying to raise some money for school so know that any purchases made at my shop go to a good cause!

I hope that people find the colors and style of my artwork appealing. I like drawing situations that show kids in a unique way whether it be interacting with an oversized animal or sledding full speed down a hill. I think that people who order from my shop really feel that they get professional quality artwork that can make any child's room look beautiful!

GIVEAWAY ITEM: 8x10 print of the winner's choosing ($25)

WAYS TO ENTER:
1: Becoming a blog follower and leave a comment telling me you did so.
2: Post about the giveaway on Facebook and tell me you did so via a comment.
3: Post about the giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment telling me you did so.
4: Visit Mary's Etsy shop and tell me what your favorite item is.

WHEN, WHERE, and HOW: Enter up to four times on this blog post from now until noon on April the 24th. A winner will be posted on April 24th. The winner is responsible for setting up an Etsy account and contacting Mary to claim her prize. Special thanks to Mary for supporting kids of all colors by making beautiful products!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring is Here!

Our Easter craft! Inspired by a Parents magazine article, we created eggs to match our family. My husband had the idea of buying brown and white eggs! This is such an easy craft. All you need is a few Sharpies (to match eye color), yarn (to match hair color), and craft glue. Hard boil the eggs, cool, and then decorate.





Easter decor: An Easter tree, bead-coated eggs, and a Welcome sign.




Some of our favorite spring and Easter books.




I love these little fuzzy chicks---especially in unnatural rainbow hues!




Blossom, spring!!! And the sunshine is a major bonus.




Baby E's toes. She's in baby-swing bliss.




Miss E giving Baby E a toe kiss and then a push. Our new backyard playground is AMAZING.






Weird Midwest weather warrants a Peep in hot chocolate bath. Winter meets Spring.












I hope you have a blessed Easter full of praise to God for all your blessings and, of course, lots of chocolate!












Monday, April 18, 2011

Giveaway #5: Art Print (5x7)

I cannot say enough about the beauty of Am's artwork, including pictures of brown kids! Meet Am:

I am a mom of four living in central Illinois. My husband and I have a blended family- I have two girls and he has two boys. Aside from drawing and painting I love photography and reading in my spare time. Though with four kids, there isn’t an enormous amount of ‘spare time’ in my life.

The name of my shop is The Extent of Silence . It actually started out as just charcoal, pencil drawings, and portraits. Over time my art has evolved into a more colorful and ‘illustrative’ style. My first love is charcoal drawings and portraits, but illustrations are way more fun! Also, illustrations do not require the precision and perfection that portraits do so it is much more relaxing and less stressful.

Even though I always wanted to be an artist, I was originally a Psychology major in college. I thought that this would allow me to have a ‘steady’ job while doing art on the side. However, when I finished college and landed an ‘office’ job I realized it wasn’t for me. Being in a cubicle all day was so boring and weekends were spent cleaning my house and running errands. I soon realized that a forty hour work week just didn’t leave any time for art. After about four months in an office I decided that I had to give ‘Art’ a try. I wasn’t sure ‘how’ I was going to do it, but I was determined to find a way.

After quitting my office job I spent quite a bit of time researching different ways to sell your art online. I ran across another illustrator’s web site (Stephanie Fizer) and she had a link to her Etsy shop. I had never even heard of Etsy before, but after checking it out I really liked what I saw. I sent Stephanie an email and asked her what her experience had been, and she had a lot of positive things to say. She was very helpful and patient with my million questions! It hasn’t always been easy. There have been times I thought about giving up, but I just have to keep trying!!

My Etsy shop is unique because my illustrations are my own personal style. Some of my work is cute and colorful and happy, and other pieces have a lot of ‘mood’ and are more wistful. I often draw on my own childhood. This is especially true with my illustrations A Whisper On the Wind and Take Care, We May Never Pass This Way Again.


GIVEAWAY ITEM: One 5x7 of the winner's choice.

WAYS TO ENTER: 1: Becoming a blog follower and leave a comment telling me you did so. 2: Post about the giveaway on Facebook and tell me you did so via a comment. 3: Post about the giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment telling me you did so. 4: Visit Elizabeth's Etsy shop and tell me what your favorite item is.

WHEN, WHERE, and HOW: Enter up to four times on this blog post from now until noon on April 22. A winner will be posted on April 8th. The winner is responsible for setting up an Etsy account and contacting Am to claim her prize. Special thanks to Am for supporting kids of all colors by making beautiful products!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Beautiful Blog Post

A new blogger friend of mine shared her thoughts, and I think you'll be blessed by her words.

Hope Bracelet Winner...

AMBER!

CONGRATS! Contact the Etsy seller and let her know you won. :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Open Adoption Interview


I was recently interviewed for the blog Production Not Reproduction on the topic of open adoption. :) Read the interview here.

Open adoption is a topic I'm passionate about. You can find books on the subject in my Amazon store.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tutu Winner...

PCOSChick!

Congrats on winning a Princess and the Frog Tutu! Please see the original post for directions on how to claim your prize.


The winner of the HOPE adoption bracelet will be announced Sunday.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Giveaway #4: HOPE (adoption) Bracelet



I met Tracy, owner of JUNKPOSSE on Etsy, last year when I won one of her jewelry pieces off a blog giveaway. I got so many compliments on my darling angel wing!

Meet Tracy:
I am Tracy Hanson. I am a Mom to 4 Kiddos. Some of them are Adopted & some not. I am also Grandy to Four Amazing little ones. (Some adopted some not, too.) I live in a teeny town in Colorado. My grand children are my fresh air, and I so enjoy spending time watching them grow. They love indoor picnics on blankets around my coffee table & being pulled around a Magic Carpet on my hardwood floors.

I love to go to vintage & flea markets & tag sales. I probably need a Craigslist 12 step program. I like to surround myself with imperfect, fun friends that I can laugh with.

My jewelry designs
are my passion with a purpose. Adoption and support of orphans inspire me to do what a love each day. My Parents were both artists. I still use many of my Dad's jewelry tools, and one of my treasures is my Mom's can of paint brushes. I have learned so much from them, and many art & jewelry classes that I continue to enjoy. I create my jewelry by hand with love to support many non-profits and families that are adopting.

Adoption really is my heart whether you are bringing home a baby from your town or a teenager from across the world. I am so inspired by the many people I meet that choose to make the difference in a child's life. "One Matters"---it really does.

GIVEAWAY ITEM: HOPE bracelet ($65.00 value)

WAYS TO ENTER:
1: Becoming a blog follower and leave a comment telling me you did so.
2: Post about the giveaway on Facebook and tell me you did so via a comment.
3: Post about the giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment telling me you did so.
4: Visit Elizabeth's Etsy shop and tell me what your favorite item is.

WHEN, WHERE, and HOW: Enter up to four times on this blog post from now until noon on April the 17th. A winner will be posted on April 17th. The winner is responsible for setting up an Etsy account and contacting Tracy to claim her prize. Special thanks to Tracy for supporting adoptions!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Excellent Blog Post

I love how this adoptive mama pours her heart out. Check out her latest blog post, and feel free to comment on what you wanted vs. what happened in your life.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Giveaway #3: Princess and the Frog Tutu

I love finding new Disney Princess and the Frog items or look-alike items for my girls. Pamela, an Etsy seller, makes beautiful tutus, including a green and purple one that is truly fit for a princess!

Q: Tell me about yourself!
Well to start my name is Pamela but mostly go by pampam. My current "JOB" title I guess would be stay at home mom. I have a very active 2 year old named Melody Christine. She loves to play with dolls and loves to dress up (she has a tutu in every color) lol. She loves her Daddy and spends lots of time with him in the mornings while I make tutus. My hobbies as of now include tutu making, fleece knot blankets and begining to learn the basics of digital design. We currently have been living in Las Cruces, New Mexico for about 2 years now but we have lived are whole lives in sunny Los Angeles, California. But by the begining of 2012 we will be in Phoenix, Arizona (we miss the city life).

Q: What is the name of your Etsy shop? What sorts of things do you make?
www.etsy.com/shop/pampam84 Tutus, Onesies and Kids Shirts, Banners and Avatars for Etsy shops.

You can follow her on Facebook. :)

Q: Why did you open an Esty shop?
Well I first started out as a shopper. I loved buying handmade unique items for my daughter. Then Halloween came along and was dressing my daughter as Minnie Mouse. So decided to make her a tutu. Once I saw how much she loved it, I was like every little girl should have one, and that's how Melodys Mama began to sell tutus for all.

Q: What makes your Esty shop unique?
My Etsy shop is unique because I can provide high quality boutique tutus at not so boutique prices.

GIVEAWAY ITEM: A Princess and the Frog tutu ($13.00 value)

WAYS TO ENTER:
1: Becoming a blog follower and leave a comment telling me you did so.
2: Post about the giveaway on Facebook and tell me you did so via a comment.
3: Post about the giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment telling me you did so.
4: Visit Pamela's Etsy shop and tell me what your favorite item is.

WHEN, WHERE, and HOW: Enter up to four times on this blog post from now until noon on April the 15th. A winner will be posted on April 15th. The winner is responsible for setting up an Etsy account and contacting Pamela to claim her prize. Special thanks to Princess Pamela for supporting kids of all colors by making beautiful products!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Winner: Homemade Doll

Erin!

Refer to the giveaway post for details on how to claim your prize.

CONGRATS!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fabulous Book on Adoption


Dear Readers,

I highly recommend that all members of the adoption triad---biological parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees---check out the revised and updated version of Adam Pertman's book Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming Our Families---and America.

Here are a few excerpts from the book that had me cheering, thinking, and considering:

"As a society and as individuals, we deluded ourselves for generations into thinking that the simplest way to make the uncertainty go away, and to ensure that we would never even have to consider competing for our children's love, was to make their birth parents disappear. Or, if that couldn't be accomplished, at least to turn them into lesser beings who couldn't possibly be the objects of anyone's desire." (p. 144)

"It's yet another example of the ubiquitously detrimental effect of money on adoption. Biological parents pray for perfect babies but love whomever they get; it's unhealthy for adoptive parents, nearly all of whom would have been thrilled to accept whatever children resulted from pregnancy, to conclude that they suddenly deserve perfection because they've plunked down their hard-earned dollars." (190)

"Ethically challenged adoption practitioners, child-hungry adoptive parents, and distraught pregnant women have always engaged in questionable activities, of course, but there have never been so many opportunities (and implicit invitations) for them to do so before [the Internet]." (p. 240)

"After Congress enacted a $5,000 tax credit for adoption sin 1997, some practitioners raised their charges about $5,000---and they've been escalating ever since as the size of the tax credit has risen. Subjecting children to the pressures of the free market almost guarantees they'll be treated as commodities." (p. 241)

"If America travels as aimlessly into the new procreative universe [such as IVF, designing babies, etc.] as they did the world of adoption, there's no telling where the unintended consequences will begin---or end." (p. 286)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Winner: Princess Hair Clippies...

MANDI!

See guidelines on how to claim your prize in the entry post. CONGRATS!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Giveaway #2: Homemade Doll

I found Laura's Etsy shop, IDK Kids, one afternoon and was pleasantly surprised to find that she made dolls that represent various ethnicities, including African American and Asian. Laura is an adoptive mother and also loves the earth (pitter patter goes my heart!).

Q: Tell me about yourself!
My name is Laura Ducommun. For 14 years I worked as a youth pastor at a local church. This last August I quit my job to work full-time as an artist and stay at home mom-a crazy thing to do in this economy! I love being able to stay home, create things, and live a less stressful life. We have a little girl, Baby Z, adopted from Ethiopia in 2008. She is now a healthy, happy, talkative 3-year old. We are currently in the process to adopt again from Ethiopia. Our dossier is in Ethiopia and we are just waiting for “the call.” This time around we have felt led to request a special needs child. It is amazing to me to see how God has taken our lives in a direction we knew nothing about.

Q: What is the name of your Etsy shop? What sorts of things do you make?
I have two ETSY shops. http://www.lkddesigns.etsy.com/ : quilts, recycled fabric items, aprons, reusable bags, headbands, scarves, totes, and other misc. fabric items. http://www.lkdkids.etsy.com/ : quilts, onesies, hair clips, headbands, reusable snack bags, ethnic dolls, plush toys, and lots more!

Q: Why did you open an Esty shop?
I opened my first shop to see if there was an interest in modern Quilts. It has grown from there to include many other products. I love hand-made products. Etsy is an amazing place that is a true community of artists. There is something special about a hand-made item that is unique and one of a kind. Sure you could buy similar products for cheaper at a mass-product store, but it does not come with the human touch that Etsy items have.

Q: What makes your Esty shop unique?
I think there are several things that make my shops unique. First, I donate 5% of all of my sales to an organization called Rapha House (http://www.raphahouse.org/). Rapha House rescues, loves, and rehabilitates children sold into slavery in Asia (the majority of these children are coming out of the sex slave trade).

Second, 100% of the sales of my rag dolls found in my lkdKids shop are currently going toward our adoption expenses. Once we have paid for the adoption, 10% of the sales of these dolls will go toward an organization called “LifeSong for Orphans” (http://www.lifesongfororphans.org/), a non-profit who helps provide grants to adopting families and focusing on giving money to special needs adoptions.


Third, I create several items that are adoption related. In addition to my dolls, I also make onesies and t-shirts for adoptive families.


Finally, I try to use recycled and repurposed fabrics for all of my projects. I love to find old vintage fabrics and use them to create something lovely. My goal is to mix both the old and new to create something fresh and fun. When it comes to living green, I want to be a part of the solution rather than the problem..


GIVEAWAY ITEM: A Rag Doll of the winner's choosing. ($35.00 value)

WAYS TO ENTER:
1: Becoming a blog follower and leave a comment telling me you did so.
2: Post about the giveaway on Facebook and tell me you did so via a comment.
3: Post about the giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment telling me you did so.
4: Visit Laura's Etsy shop and tell me what your favorite item is.

WHEN, WHERE, and HOW: Enter up to four times on this blog post from now until noon on April the 12th. A winner will be posted on April 10th. The winner is responsible for setting up an Etsy account and contacting Laura to claim her prize. Special thanks to Laura for supporting kids of all colors by making beautiful products, including rag dolls!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Giveaway #1: Hair Clips

I am pleased to introduce you to Elizabeth, one of my newest favorite online Etsy sellers. I have a difficult time, like many of my readers, finding African American inspired items for my daughter. When I found these hair clips, I fell head-over-heels.

Q: Tell me about yourself, Elizabeth.
A: I am a stay-at-home mom of two girls (ages 4 1/2 and 2). I'm married (9 years this summer!) to a wonderful husband who's a local OB/Gyn in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. By education and "profession," I'm actually a pharmacist, but after five years in the retail world I hung up my white coat last summer so that I could be home more with my girls. Somehow I found myself falling in love with making pretty things and soon made too many to keep for myself, so about a year ago I started a business selling them. It's been a really fun challenge to turn my hobby into a real business. When I have spare time (ha! what mom has much of that?!) I like to work out at the Y, read books while I'm jogging on the treadmill, blog on my family's blog, and just relax with my family. But somehow whenever I do have a few free moments... I always seem to find myself trying out some new technique or playing around with something fun and new in my little "secret lab" in our basement. :)

Q: Can you tell me about your Etsy shop?
A: My Etsy shop is called My Little Pixies. The link is mylittlepixies.etsy.com. I named the shop for my girls, who have always been just tiny little things- we joke that they are our "pixie" children- especially since their cousins are way on the other side of the growth chart! I sell many different types of hair clips and headbands. I've never been great at deciding which things to focus on because I love it all, so I have a pretty eclectic mix of bows, crocheted flower clips, posh satin and organza flowers, applique clips, butterfly bows, felt rosettes and posies, and a new fancy line that I'm currently developing for special occasions and photography sessions. One of the things I am looking to do as I develop and expand as a business is to incorporate a multicultural flair into my work and into my photos, so I am always looking for input from other ethnic communities as to how I could better meet the needs of all kinds of families.

Q: Why did you open your Etsy shop?
A: I started my Etsy shop as an outlet for excess creative energy. And I hoped when I started it that it would be a source of enough revenue to cover my growing appetite for craft supplies! But God has blessed this venture through many wonderful people who have come together to support me and to allow My Little Pixies to become a "real" business! Like all moms, I struggle with finding the balance between work and family and housekeeping and downtime- but I am learning a lot through it. I still love my work as much as I did when I first started playing around with ribbons! One of my favorite things about this business is connecting with clients- I LOVE custom orders because then I get to make exactly what someone wants! I have a Facebook group at www.facebook.com/mylittlepixies and a blog at mylittlepixiesblog.blogspot.com and every week I post a new giveaway, so this is a great, risk-free way to have a chance to try some of my favorite styles out for free!

Q: What makes your Etsy shop unique?
A: I like to think my Etsy shop is unique because of all the many different styles of products you can find there. Just about anybody can find something they'd like. I really like being able to offer a wide variety of items to people because I like a lot of choices myself :) I carry items all along the spectrum of price points as well, so it's not hard to find something that fits into the budget- though if you want something snazzy and posh, I can provide that as well! As I've grown on Etsy, another element I have really begun to value is the combination of creative processes. I love it when I find something out there, made by one of the many talented and creative people who work the "supply side" of this business, and I can add their products to my ideas to make something new. I use home-based and Etsy vendors for my materials whenever possible.

GIVEAWAY ITEM: 2 Princess Hair Clips

WAYS TO ENTER: 1: Becoming a blog follower and leave a comment telling me you did so. 2: Post about the giveaway on Facebook and tell me you did so via a comment. 3: Post about the giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment telling me you did so. 4: Visit Elizabeth's Etsy shop and tell me what your favorite item is.

WHEN, WHERE, and HOW: Enter up to four times on this blog post from now until noon on April the 8th. A winner will be posted on April 8th. The winner is responsible for setting up an Etsy account and contacting Elizabeth to claim her prize. Special thanks to Elizabeth for supporting kids of all colors by making beautiful products!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Etsy Coupon Codes

Some Etsy sellers are generously offering coupon codes to my blog readers for the month of April. These sellers make diversity-minded merchandise, which I love! Happy Shopping and Browsing!

The Dreamy Giraffe: whitesugarbrownsugar (20% off) My favorite item: is this picture.

Purple Blossom Studio: SUGAR20 (20% off) My favorite item: is this piece. Wouldn't this make a great gift for a new adoptive mother or a biological mother?

Emboundart: SUGAR10 (10% off) My favorite item: this foster-care picture.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ready? Set? WIN!

Dear Blog Readers,

I'm happy to be doing two giveaways a week for several weeks starting now! Generous Etsy sellers have offered a variety of merchandise including (but not limited to): a Princess and the Frog tutu, little girl hair clips, jewelry for moms and kids, dolls for boys and girls, and children's clothing.

You can enter to win by leaving up to four comments per giveaway post:

1: Becoming a blog follower and leave a comment telling me you did so.

2: Post about the giveaway on Facebook and tell me you did so via a comment.

3: Post about the giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

4: Visit one of the featured Etsy shops on the post and tell me what your favorite item is.

(Note: A few giveaways will have additional/altered ways of entering).


How it works:

Giveaway winners will be posted on my blog upon the giveaway's deadline.

Winners are drawn at random, but of course, increase your chances of winning by entering up to four times per giveaway.

It is the winner's responsibility to contact the seller on Etsy and claim her prize. You will need to set up an Etsy account in order to claim your prize and shop on Etsy.

Additionally, some Etsy sellers are offering special discounts to my blog readers during the month of April. I'll post those discount codes in the coming weeks.

You might be asking, "Why all this great stuff?" I scoured Etsy to find sellers who either have a fab story (many adoption related) and/or offer merchandise that represents diversity and beauty. I hope you enjoy the variety of merchandise, the seller's stories, and of course, FREE stuff!
 
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