Monday, May 30, 2011

Giveaway #13: Princess and the Frog Bow

I had the pleasure of meeting Dominica and her beautiful daughter at the library one day. We struck up a conversation and became friends. Her products, custom hair bows and more, are beautiful! She has graciously offered to give one of her Princess and the Frog hair bows to a lucky blog reader.

My name is Dominica Acord and I have been married for 9 years this June. I have a 3 year old little princess named Madalyn. Before having Madalyn, I was working to obtain my bachelors in Elementary Education but now I am a stay at home mom and enjoy every minute of it!

I started making bows as soon as I found out I was having a little girl. My husband oftens jokes that when I was pregnant he would wake up in the middle of the night to find me making hairbows. :-) I just recently in the last year started making bows to sell

I make all different types of bows for little girls. I love to make bows to custom match an outfit. I also make custom wipe cases, ribbon skirts, and bow flip flips. I just recently purchased an embroidery machine so hope to add custom shirts here soon also.


You can visit her shop here.

GIVEAWAY ITEM: Princess and the Frog bow.

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 Dominica's 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 June 3. A winner will be posted on June 3. The winner is responsible for contacting Dominica to claim her prize. Special thanks to Dominica for supporting kids of all colors by making beautiful products!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Guest Blogging

If you would like to write a guest blog post, I'd love to hear your ideas! Leave a comment on this post stating your name, your website (if you have one), and your blog post idea. Blog posts need to be adoption-related, detailed, concise, and interesting. I can't wait to hear from you!!

Art Winner

Melissa!

CONGRATS!!! See the original post on how to claim your prize.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Guest Blog Post: The Heart of This Adoptive Parent



By: Holly

I used to be naive, so naive. I used to see only the good in adoption. Granted, this was long ago. Then when we began the adoption process for the first time, (and even the second, if I'm being truthful), I had a bit of a "savior mentality", or the idea that I was somehow saving my girls from an otherwise undesirable life. (I won't lie and say they would have just as much physically or socially if they were not with me, but these are small, maybe moderate benefits that do not compare at ALL with the losses they have had to endure). I patted myself on the back a little bit and though I felt uncomfortable when folks sang our praises for what an amazing thing we were doing, I too believed that ultimately we were on a noble course.

Now, I want you to know that my children are by FAR the GREATEST blessings in my life. My love for them runs so deep and true. I would be beside myself should anything happen to any one of them... should anyone hurt my babies. The truth though is that they have been hurt. And though it is not my fault, at least it was beyond my control... and believe me, my husband and I have dealt with the misplaced guilt of taking our children away from their first families, cultures, countries.... my very adoption of them plays a role in their loss.


I didn't think too much about what my girls were losing; I acknowledged it in some sort of way, but I looked to the poster children of international adoption, the older adult adoptees who claimed that adoption was great, that they didn't think about or miss or grieve any part of their roots. And these adoptees exist, and their point of view and their spin on it all is valid. It is! But the more I read and the more I talk with people, the more I realize that there is also a large crowd of adult adoptees that speak candidly about their hurts, about their losses, about the things that cannot ever be reconciled. Even after reunion. Even though they love their parents; both sets.

And I see my girls in this second group. Not because I'm pinning it on them, not because we "talk too much about adoption", but because it's real. They feel deeply, they tell us when they are hurting. They talk about Korea, about Ethiopia. They talk about the people who are missing from their lives and how that makes them feel. They love us and we love them... but love, here on this earth... is not enough to heal earthly wounds. My love is good. My love is never-failing. It is a mother's love. But it can't replace the love that should have been. I'm learning to be okay with that. The reason it is hard is not because I *want* to replace that love with mine, but because I know the heartache it causes in them. My babies. And when they hurt, I hurt. When Bereket says "I miss my mommy!" as she lays in her bed at night, I know what mommy she is talking about... it hurts me... not because it's not me in that moment, but because it hurts her... because life isn't fair. When Ellie says "I miss my Korea family" I know that even though she has no memories of them, she is speaking honestly about that which is missing from her life... people who are *supposed* to be present.

I know the truth... I know that if we hadn't adopted our girls then someone else would have. I know that my *not* adopting them wouldn't have enabled them to stay where they were and certainly wouldn't have enabled them to return to their first families... too many social and economic problems and not enough support w/in their country systems. What does God think about all that??? (a post for another day!) And yet I realize, humbly, that their being with me specifically (vs. another adoptive family), is somehow meant to be... that for some unknown

reason, God decided to knit us together as a family... out of hurt, out of loss, out of circumstances that humans created and nurtured because we are human and we will continually miss the mark.


If I could give advice to parents who are thinking about adopting internationally, I would say this:

Listen to the voices of adult adoptees; take their words to heart. Ponder them carefully and absorb and acknowledge the truth that your children will experience multiple losses that will affect them their entire lives. I'm not saying they can't and won't live fulfilling and happy lives... make no mistake... but the losses are real and they cause pain. Don't be afraid to talk about them with your children. So many folks are incredulous or amazed that my girls have shed tears (esp. the one that came to us at just 6mos of age) and expressed sorrow over their losses. Even fellow adoptive parents... the thing is, if you don't start the conversations with your children, they may never feel that it is okay to talk about these things and they will bury or stuff them. Christian parents must be especially careful, as the Christian community in general is quick to tell the adoptee how very blessed they are. There is nothing shameful in feeling sorrow over loss and the adoptee is no more blessed than the bio child. Your children will take their cues from you, so be proactive.

You can read more by Holly at her family's blog.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It Dawned Upon Me...



that sometimes I am so focused on learning about adoption and race issues that I forget what matters most: that my children grow up doing God's will in their lives, not fitting into or out of a box based on their adoptions or the color of their skin. Ultimately, their lives are in God's hands, not mine or society's, thankfully.


I hope today, no matter your circumstances, your hangups, or your fears, that God gives you "daily bread" and helps you see the bigger picture.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Giveaway #12: Princess Art

I discovered Erin's work on Etsy last month. Her art is unique, colorful, and imaginative.

I live in Maplewood NJ with my husband and daughter (about to turn 5). It is a culturally and ethnically diverse community (like our family) only 15 miles from NYC. My husband and daughter are my joy, art is my passion, cooking, enjoying, and sharing gluten-free (my dedication), and gardening (my challenge - I think I missed the green thumb gene). I work from home and am dedicated to making a success of my art and illustration business. I now sell my towels and cards wholesale to stores and am enjoying that piece of my business.

Erin Go Paint is my Etsy shop name. A play on my name, Erin, and Erin-Go-Bragh (which I heard every imaginable lingerie version of while growing up), and it is my mantra. I love to draw and paint, and need to do it to feel whole, centered and connected. If I get unfocused or cranky (sometimes it happens) then I tell myself "Erin, go Paint!"

I work mostly in watercolor creating illustrations and fine art pieces. Vibrant colors are my favorite. My subjects include shoes, animals, architecture, still lifes, and children. I paint quite realistically but often use unexpected colors or angles. I love working with a strong light source for the contrast it creates.

I sell original paintings, matted prints and natural flour sack towels printed with illustrations.

I opened my Erin Go Paint in December 2008 to create an online presence to sell my work. I had just re-dedicated myself to creating and painting again on a regular basis and thought the shop would help keep me motivated. It worked. I started with just 4 listings and now have about 120. The goal has been to create enough income from my art to give up my day job, work from home and have more time with my daughter. Slowly working its way in that direction.

My daughter loves fairy tales. Loves Fairy tales, fables, myths – you name it. Books, stories, videos, movies, toys. The fantasies and characters are ever present in our home and in her imagination. I was inspired to illustrate her as the princesses and heroines of her favorite stories so that the big "D" wouldn't be her sole source of how a princess can look. Especially as an adoptive mom. She doesn't look like me or so many of the princesses in mainstream books, movies, etc. So I was inspired and driven. She loves to pose for me - and loves them all hanging in her room. And, I am so happy other girls of color are enjoying them too. I continue to add to my collection of Princesses of Color.


GIVEAWAY ITEM: One 5x7 Princess art print of the winner's choosing.

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 Erin'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 29. A winner will be posted on May 29. The winner is responsible for setting up an Etsy account and contacting Erin to claim her prize. Special thanks to Erin for supporting kids of all colors by making beautiful products!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Real Sisters?



If I'm asked one more time if my girls are REAL sisters, I might lose it. While on vacation last week, we were asked this multiple times. Our answer is always, "Yes."

Of course they are REAL sisters. They have the same parents, fight and make up, kiss, and play, just like REAL sisters do. They have moods and girl drama (yep, even in infant and toddler-hood), just like REAL sisters. Baby E pulls at Miss E's afro and Miss E says "ouch" while smiling (because she truly loves the attention and touch), just like REAL sisters.

There is nothing un-REAL about our family or my girls' bond.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sweet Doll Pair Winner...

Holly!

Refer to the post for directions on claiming your prize.

Are Your Married to Your Kids?

I was reading an article the other day that talked about the so-so marriage: the one that makes it day to day without too much turmoil but is more like existing instead of living. The author goes on to say that one reason many marriages are so-so is because many people are "married" to their kids instead of their spouse.

Interesting.

I'm temporarily a stay-at-home-mom. When Baby E was born in November and we got the call for her two weeks later, I had already started planning my next semester's curriculum. After a few discussions with my husband and some deep thinking, it was obvious to me that it would be best for everyone if I took a semester off to be with my two daughters. So I did.

And now my job is to take care of them: all day, every day. My life is centered around their needs, their tantrums, their moods, their bouts of illness, their desires. My days are filled with feedings/meals, diaper changes, play dates, naps (lack of naps), baths, outdoor fun, indoor fun, and then occasional "me" moments like a shower, a workout, blogging time, a flip through a magazine.

So when my husband gets home around 6:00 each evening, I am hardly in wife-mode. I've probably just cooked dinner (which may or may not have gone well). I'm probably holding one of my two kids while stacking dishes by the sink or loading the dishwasher. I may be returning a phone call, picking up toys, or cleaning spit off both myself and my infant.

This is SO not like the life we had when dating and then newly married. We would travel, kiss and hold hands all the time, eat dinner out, visit family for the weekend, watch whatever we wanted on TV, and plan our next vacation. It's true that having kids changes everything.

When the author of the article I read asked readers, "Are you married to your kids?", I felt 100% guilty. I do feel married to my kids. I give them nearly all my affection, time, and energy. I excuse this by saying, "But it's my JOB."

I do believe, deep down, that we should first love and honor God, then our spouse, then our kids. But my life is totally the other way. 1: Kids. 2: Husband and God (somewhere....sometime....someday.....).

I guess it's because my kids are right in front of me (or on top of me, or under me, or beside me) ALL the time. There is no, "Hold on, honey. Mommy has to read her Bible and pray quietly" moments. Conversations with my spouse are interrupted at least ten times. Though we are teaching our toddler to say, "Excuse me" when she wants to speak to us, that's hardly fixing the problem.

Experts often talk about scheduling dates and intimate times...blah, blah, blah. That takes money (to pay a sitter AND go out), time, and immense planning (for food, fun, etc. while we are gone and the sitter has to take over my duties). But I know, deep down, it's necessary and worth it.

And our lives will just continue to get busier as our kids get older and get involved in more activities, attend birthday parties, etc.

I just don't know sometimes how to get started and how to stay motivated when I know today I have six errands to run, dishes to do, and babies to care for.

I have an amazing husband, by the way. He's a great provider. He's a hands-on dad. He is present. He runs errands, helps with chores, and gets up for almost all the middle-of-the-night cries. I feel that I drastically under appreciate him. But I'm just too tired or unmotivated to do anything about my appreciation.

So sad.

I don't want to be married to my kids.

I just, like all women, have to find that balance between all the roles we are to play. And play them all well. :)



So....

Are you married to your kids? Your job? Something/someone else besides your spouse?

What do you love about your spouse?

What makes the two of you happy together? Travel? A picnic? A bike ride?

Schedule a date to do something you love.

Work your kids' schedules so that the family and the pair of you have some down time.

Turn off the TV.

Put the kids to bed early.

Hire the babysitter.

As Nike says, "JUST DO IT."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

PERFECT


I have created a monster.

During the past month, Miss E has been exclaiming, "Perfect!"

I usually gulp.

I am a type A lady---organized, determined, structured. I always have a plan. I like things how I want, when I want, where I want. Period.

I think part of my personality stems from being an oldest child. Another part comes from my diabetes---because without calculated moves (from when I exercise to how much I eat to when I test my blood sugar), my blood sugars get out of control. And that can be bad. Really bad.

It's no surprise I'm a teacher---which basically means part of my job is to be in control, to hold the power to move my students forward in their writing abilities.

My personality type has its perks. I am easily able to verbalize what I want in life, and I go for it 100%. I also can put together dinner parties, small events, lesson plans, and play dates with ease. I am able to monitor and control my blood sugars, plan family meals, keep my house clean, and stick to an exercise routine.

BUT....my personality can be incredibly annoying, persistent. It is its own beast. I am easily annoyed, impatient, and disappointed. I can't tolerate people who can't put on "big panties" or pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Drama? No thanks. And I know I can annoy other people with my resilience.

So yes, when Miss E says, "Perfect!" I get a little nervous. I guess I wonder, will she be as high-strung as her mother? I hope not.

So what is the point of this rant?

My heart has been pulled toward the children waiting to be adopted from the foster care system. But there are so many "what ifs"---way more than with domestic infant adoption. There are more things to check on that horrid checklist---scary things. There's age range, abuse history, neglect history, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental issues, drug exposure, failed placements, siblings, .... The list goes on and on and on.

My personality SCREAMS at me to not have faith. To not trust anyone but myself and maybe my spouse. Even though I am a Christian, I continuously battle the need to control everything, including God. HAHAHA. Control God? Right. I know. Ridiculous.

BUT, I have never been more faithful than in our adoption journeys. Why? Because adoption renders a person hopeless. There is sometimes nothing you can do, say, think, or pray that will control an adoption situation. Thank God for that.

I have attempted to read The Whole In Our Gospel and RADICAL twice (they are always due back to the library before I can read them). Both are popular Christian books that talk about letting go of the American dream and taking care of business---the needs that are right in front of us. That's what Jesus did. He stopped for a drink and had a conversation at a well that changed an outcast woman. He told his disciples to take a chill and let the kids come to Him....even though he was SO busy. He prayed alone in a garden.

I think what I'm getting at is that life isn't meant to be "perfect." And what we decide is "perfect" for us is hardly what God has in mind.

I strive to be balanced and controlled every single day, so considering foster care is totally against my personality. I know it's messy business to go into foster care. I have dear friends who are foster parents and adoptive foster parents, and they will tell anyone that it's a rocky ride that doesn't take a break. Their lives aren't perfect.

But they are beautiful.


And they are doing something that so many people simply say they cannot do because "those kids are just too messed up." Or those who believe taking care of the kids in foster care is someone else's job---someone younger, more experienced, more financially stable. Whatever.


Even after you make a decision to say yes to foster care or foster care adoption, there's still room for doubt, unfaithfulness, and fear to creep in. "Oh, I could never take an older child." Or a child with a disability, or a history of abuse, or a sibling or two or three or four. Or. Or. Or.

I know this because I am already thinking what I will and won't accept in a child who might come to us through foster care.

But God probably has other plans. And I pray I have the strength, courage, and conviction to do what is right,

not what is easy.

Monday, May 16, 2011

GOOD STUFF


Many of my posts focus on adoption issues, but my new "GOOD STUFF" posts (which will be published occasionally) will be full of fun tips, activities, and ideas that focus on family.

So, here's your good stuff for May:

---Try almond flour instead of traditional white or wheat flour. Almond flour is slightly higher in calories, but it's full of healthy/food fat and protein. It also makes baked goods more dense and moist (yum!). It's pricey if you buy it in the 1 lb packages (such as Bob's Red Mill), so trying to find it in bulk is wise.

---Give up one wasteful item in your home. Model for your children that going green is important (because God cares about the Earth; I mean, the Creation story in the Bible is elaborate!). This past month, I ran out of paper towels, and as I was on my way down the designated aisle at Wal-Mart, it dawned on me that I really could give them up. Now I'm using rags to clean my bathroom and random spills. Last year we gave up paper napkins and only use cloth. What can you give up to make a difference?

---Get outside! I discovered a new book at my library called Fifteen Minutes a Day: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect With Your Kids. I have always struggled with the "great outdoors." Unless I'm in a pool or reading a magazine in a lawn chair or taking a purposeful walk, I don't love being outside (bugs and heat are not my friends). This book is inspirational!

---Out of lotion? Do not, I repeat, DO NOT purchase lotion that contains water. It dries out your skin. Instead, use the olive oil you already have in your kitchen. I have a Pampered Chef oil sprayer that I use to spray my kids and myself with olive oil. Brilliant! If you feel you MUST have lotion, I recommend purchasing one of these. This is a USA company that discloses ALL its products ingredients. I LOVE the vanilla almond organic lotion.

---Hit delete. Go through your DVR and delete any shows that you don't truly love. I love an occasional mindless show, but do you really need to watch every geographical region's version of Real Housewives? It's empowering to say "no" to toxic nonsense.

---Find local markets and start shopping! Buying local is good for the environment and supports local farmers. It's also a great learning and exploring experience for your kids. I love seeing what's new at our local market every year!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Doll winner...

Melissa!

Congrats! View the giveaway post for directions on how to claim your prize. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Adoptive Mamas of the Metro

Hi, readers!

I facilitate an adoptive moms group in my area. We have our own page (see pages on the side of my blog) if you want more info and live in the St. Louis area.

If you want tips on how to start an adoption support group, let me know! :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Giveaway #11: Doll

I had the pleasure of "meeting" Jessica on Etsy after discovering her shop and all of its beautiful dolls!

My name is Jessica Near. I live in Ellettsville, Indiana (just outside of Bloomington- home of Indiana University). My husband Mike and I were married last June after dating for 3 years. We met through mutual friends, which is wonderful because together we now have a great group of friends we call family! Our little home is full of love with our two dogs- Milo and Bruce, and a kitty- Frankie and we hope to add children to our little love nest as soon as we can! We are trying to get pregnant and we are also planning to adopt in the near future!

A little about me and what I enjoy doing: I love to sew, knit, embroider, draw, paint, and build. I feel inspired and creative everyday! I basically love all types of crafting and creating. When I am not in my studio creating dolls or some other piece of art, I enjoy being outside- gardening, walking, hiking, playing with my pups, and reading while lying in my hammock! Above all else, I love spending time with my husband, pets, family, friends and their children.

I have spent most of my professional life working with children. I have worked as a kindergarten teacher, Nanny and Preschool teacher. I love working with children- they teach us more about life and living than any adult could! I most recently worked at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis as a Research Assistant. Now I am working on recovering from 2 back surgeries while pursuing my dream of making toys, accessories, and clothes for children full- time!

My Etsy shop is called Opposite of Far. The shop name is in honor of my new last name. When I first met my husband, Mike Near, I asked, “Near, as in opposite of far?” Now we use that phrase to “spell” our name all the time! I wanted my business name to be clever and playful but also a little sophisticated- so it would appeal to both children and adults. Check out my shop.

Right now I am focusing on making dolls. I make girl and boy dolls in unique fabrics. I use white toned fabrics for Caucasian & Asian dolls and brownish fabrics for African American dolls. Each doll has hand embroidered eyes, nose and mouth. I add fun little accessories and details to make every doll special. Some of these details include hand knit scarves, bow ties, hair bows, pockets, kerchiefs, ruffles, buttons, and more! I scour fashion blogs and magazines for ideas and I am constantly sketching new outfits.

Other items I make include stuffed owls, bunnies, elephants, rhinos, and many other animals in various sizes, child-friendly paintings, mobiles, bows ties, and hair bows, and some clothing and other accessory items. I will be adding some new and different products to the shop this summer! Be sure to keep checking in for new items.

I have been making and selling toys for children for almost 4 years now. Until opening my Etsy shop, I had only sold my products at art markets and local stores. This winter I was ready to expand onto the internet, and being a huge fan of Etsy, I was excited to become part of that artist community! I will still continue selling at art markets and independently owned stores. I would like to expand to stores in other parts of Indiana as well as some neighboring states. Art markets are so fun because I just love the interaction with children and adults that fall in love with my pieces of art! It warms my heart to know that something I made is being hugged and loved somewhere! Expanding to Etsy means sharing my art with even more people- in the U.S. and even abroad!

I make African American dolls- which the reason I was found by Rachel and featured here on her blog! Another reason my shop is unique is that I make boy dolls which are not easy to find. I consider my shop unique because I strive to make one-of-a-kind items that will last a lot of loving from little kiddos! I completely design my own patterns and I use different fabric combinations for every single doll and animal. I spend time shopping in flea markets, garage sales, and thrift stores to find unique vintage fabrics, buttons, ribbons, and other materials. I also use clothing, napkins, tablecloths, sweaters, sheets, and I shop fabric stores for remnant fabrics. With a collection of fabric like mine all of my dolls and stuffed animals truly are one-of-a-kind!

I will soon be adding accessories for the dolls. This collection will include clothing pieces, purses, costumes, and jewelry. I try to add little details to each doll to make him or her extra special, but soon little doll owners can dress up their dolls to suit their own styles.

I would like to mention that I am willing to make custom dolls. The specifications I can accommodate include gender, hair, skin and eye color, and basic clothing colors, and accessories (pockets, hair bow, bow ties, etc). Because my fabric is an eclectic mix, I can usually accommodate a general color combination but possibly not exact. For example, I can take a request for denim shorts/pants/leggings/skirts and a certain colored top. Another example would be “an outfit in pink and greens-skirt and top and a hair bow”. Please send me a message at oppositeoffar@gmail.com or at my Etsy shop if you are interested in a custom doll!

GIVEAWAY ITEM: One doll of the winner's choosing.

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 May 13. A winner will be posted on May 13. The winner is responsible for setting up an Etsy account and contacting Jessica to claim her prize. Special thanks to Jessica for supporting kids of all colors by making beautiful products!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Doll Winner....

ROBIN! Please see giveaway post for info on claiming your prize.


Happy Mother's Day, readers!

Friday, May 6, 2011

11 x 14 Print Winner....

ERIN!

See original post for info on claiming your prize.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Giveaway #10: Custom (Boy or Girl) Doll

Meet Angel---a future adoptive mother and Etsy seller, who makes BEAUTIFUL, custom dolls in many colors. :)

I am a stay-at-home mom. My husband Nathaniel and I have three great children: Elijah, age 8, Malachi, age 6, and Lydia, who just turned 2. My boys are in elementary school, and I stay home with Lydia. We live in a small town in Kentucky. I love to read, write, and do crafts. My family volunteers on Sunday evenings at church to teach English to Spanish-speaking people. (Well, Nathaniel and I teach while our kids play with the kids of our students.) I love that my whole family can come together to do this volunteer work, and it is especially gratifying to me because I speak Spanish and feel that this is a way I can really help people. I have been working with the preschool director at our church on maybe offering a bilingual preschool class next school year, but we will have to wait and see if and how that all falls into place.

My Etsy shop is named babychickie. I make sleeping bags for 18" dolls and Barbies, and I make Waldorf-inspired dolls, which are stuffed with wool and made of natural materials.

I opened the Etsy shop to earn some money toward adoption. I have always wanted to adopt, and there are so many children who need homes. We are looking at international adoption right now, but the cost is substantial, and we haven't saved enough to start the process yet. I continue to save, pray, and hope that we are getting closer to the day we bring home a little one.

My dolls are all handmade and so are one-of-a-kind. I love using different skin tones, eye colors, and hair colors. Plus, sleeping bags are really popular with kids, and they are not something that are easy to find. I offer lots of colors and prints. I work hard to make everything durable and affordable.

GIVEAWAY ITEM: One 12 inch doll, boy or girl ($40 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 Angel'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 8th. A winner will be posted on May 8th. The winner is responsible for setting up an Etsy account and contacting Angel to claim her prize. Special thanks to Angel for supporting kids of all colors by making beautiful products!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Giveaway #9: Customized 11x14 Print


Three cheers for Lori, an Etsy seller who creates beautiful, custom prints for kids of all colors!

My name is Lori and I have been creating art for children for about 8 years now. I am a wife and mother of 4 children ages 2 to 12. So, between my art business and chasing children I stay pretty busy. I live Florida and love it here. My family loves spending time together bike riding, going to the beach or visiting cousins. I enjoy painting, running, sports, and decorating.

My ETSY shop is London Bridge Children. I started selling my Art on ETSY in 2009. I sell a wide variety of art for children which I personalize by adding a child's name or initials somewhere in the art. I also change hair color and skin color for no additiional charge. I offer all my designs as either prints or on canvas. My prints are economically priced and make a great gift for baby showers or birthday parties. I also sell my designs stretched on high quality gallery wrapped canvas. The canvas comes ready to hang on the wall and does not need to be framed.

I found out about ETSY from a friend and loved what I saw and thought my art could sell well on this site. I ended up getting so many more orders on ETSY that I no longer sell elsewhere.

I think that the art I offer is unique because it is personalized for each child and I also do lots of sibling groups in my art. I offer multiple sizes and options for my customers to choose from.


GIVEAWAY ITEM: One 11x14 customized print.

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 May 6. A winner will be posted on May 6th. The winner is responsible for setting up an Etsy account and contacting Lori to claim her prize. Special thanks to Lori for supporting kids of all colors by making beautiful products!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Necklace Winner...

Gretchen! CONGRATS! See the original post for information on claiming your prize. Giveaways continue....
 
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