Blog Crawl Winners!

A big thanks to everyone who participated in the Shop Til You Drop Blog Crawl! It was so much fun getting to know some great new bloggers and awesome Etsy Shops! I know you are all anxious to see who won the fabulous prizes, so without further ado…drum roll please!

The winner of the Belle Rose Designs giveaway is ElfRenee

The winner of Delightful Designs is Valerie from My Two Cents.

The winner of the pink tutu from Sew Determined is Tanya!

The winner of the $20 gift card to Sweetly Made is Confessions of a “Stay at Home Mommy

The winner of the Dodu Baby Carseat Canopy is Lauren

The winner of Free Stay Calm Cupcakes is Karina

The winner of SuckersbySteph's free Zebra Print Pops is Samantha Faith!

Blog Crawl Day 8

Hello there!  Thank you all so much for joining us on the Shop Til You Drop Blog Crawl!  
My name is Nikki, and I am a graphic designer, as well as a newlywed and mom to 2 dogs Buddy and Scout.  I love to create fun, unique graphics for blogs, etsy shops, and businesses!  I worked at a magazine as Creative Director for a year and a half, and then decided to start my own little business Delightful Designs.  I hope to someday be able to work full time on my design business.  

The giveaway:
The winner of the giveaway will receive a blog header and blog button or etsy shop header and avatar.  

How to enter (leave a comment for each):
  1. Follow Delightful Designs 
  2. Like Delightful Designs on Facebook 
  3.   Follow Delightful Designs on twitter @nikkihodum
  4.  Blog about the Shop Til You Drop Blog Crawl  (leave the link too)

Blog Crawl Day 7

Welcome to Sweetly Made (Just For U)! Thank you so much for visiting my shop. I have been knitting since 2005 which doesn't seem like a long time, but, I am now addicted to the creative art. My grandmother taught me so I could carry on the tradition of Christmas stockings. I also have a blog so check it out and leave me a comment. 

Sweetly Made (Just For U) is the perfect place to find custom knitted Baby Beanies, headbands, women’s hats, PDF knitting patterns and personalized Christmas stockings. Any item can be customized or changed to make it perfect for you, your little one or your family! If you see something you like but prefer different color combinations let me know - I love custom requests!

I will be giving away a $20 gift card to my Etsy shop. That means that you could buy two of my knitted headbands or two PDF knitting patterns or one women’s hat. If the amount exceeds $20, the winner will need to pay the difference through Pay Pal. Also, shipping is free.

I am booked till June 2011. The spots fill up fast! If you are interested in purchasing a personalized Christmas stocking for 2011, please let me know. I hope that I can sweetly make a traditional Christmas stocking just for you. Thank you! 

How to Enter:
Mandatory-Become a follower and tell me what their favorite item is on my blog.
Extra entries-Like me on facebook
follow the other blogs hosting (1 entry per blog)
browse through my Christmas stockings and let me know what your favorite sock is.

Make sure to head over to Emilee's blog to enter the giveaway!

Blog Crawl Day 5

Hi! My name is Jill. I am the cupcake obsessed mastermind behind “Stay Calm, Cupcake Shop”. Thanks so much for joining in on this fun “Shop til you Drop” blog Crawl. Let me tell you a little bit about myself then I’ll share a fun giveaway with you!

 About Me:
I am passionate about creating inventive, delicious, and entirely homemade cupcakes for all of my customers. I opened my shop in 2010 with the hopes of sharing my baking talent with others and making a few extra bucks along the way. To my delight, my Etsy shop has turned into a much greater business venture than I ever anticipated. Thanks to the support of my wonderful fans and customers, I recently made it to my 105th sale! I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love and share my passion with other sweet treat enthusiasts!
My dream is to one day soon open up a store front and have my own cupcake truck. In my world, a sweet little cupcake can fix almost any situation. Just add a little frosting and a gloomy day is turned sunny again. Stay Calm Cupcake Shop was born out of the simply philosophy that all of us need to slow down a little bit and enjoy the sweeter things life has to offer. I truly love what I do and am looking forward to where the sweet smell of sugar takes me!

Time for Free Stuff!!
I will be giving one lucky winner a “Cupcake Love” Cupcake Kit. This yummy kit includes 6 cupcakes of your flavor choice, a piping bag full of frosting, and a cute little pack of sprinkles. Simply pipe the frosting onto your cupcakes, finish with sprinkles, and enjoy! Perfect for any cupcake lover out there!

How to Enter:
Follow Me on Twitter @StayCalmCupcake
Comment on my blog  and tell me you are following on Facebook and Twitter

Thanks for entering and good luck!!
Stay Sweet ~ xoxo
Stay Calm Cupcake Shop!

Make sure to head over to Jill's Blog to enter the giveaway!

Blog Crawl Day 4

I'm so excited to participate in the Shop Til you Drop blog crawl and of course for the giveaway of a
Dodu (doh-doo) Baby car seat canopy!!

I started making these car sear canopies when I needed to protect my new baby Nina from the harsh weather conditions of Chicago, but couldn't find any covers with fabric that I was willing to carry around...AND so was the start of Dodu Baby. 

A dodu is a fun and stylish car seat canopy that protects your little one from the elements (wind, sun, GERMS, noise, etc) while maintaining a safe and cozy environment. Easy to attach and detach to any standard infant car seat, a can also be used as a colorful blanket for your munchkin to play on
How Do I WIN?
1. "Like" Dodu Baby's facebook page and leave a comment on the wall! 
2. Visit the Dodu Baby's shop and choose your very favorite car seat cover...
then come back to the Dodu Baby blog and 
leave a comment about which item you want to win.
3. Become a follower of Dodu Baby
That's it!! 
Just 3 easy steps!
The winner will be announced May 20th!

Make sure to head over to Josi's Blog to enter the giveaway!

Blog Crawl Day 3

Born with an overactive imagination and a passion for sewing, I have always enjoyed creating pretty and feminine items.   I started sewing when I was around 10, out of desperation to fix my favorite bean bag doll that had been vigorously loved. I have been hooked ever since.

So what inspires me?  Ruffles, polka dots and vintage fashion. I am addicted to beautiful fabrics and colorful ribbon.  I can never leave a pattern how it is. I must always change something. It’s just how I am.  It is so fun and challenging to make it my own.  
I started my sewing blog, Sew Determined, just a few months ago as a New Year’s challenge to myself to really step up my sewing skills. I also wanted to encourage other time crunched gals like me to take up the art and see how much fun creating can be.   
 One of my other goals I set was to make a complete wardrobe for myself by the end of the year.  While on this quest, I decided “Why not share some of these fun outfits with others?” That’s how Call Me Cordelia on Etsy was started.  There is something so amazing to wear something that was made just for you by a real person you “kinda” know and not some faceless person in a factory. I just love that about Etsy.  It’s a place where super talented people come together and sell amazing things.

I am so excited to be participating in this blog crawl giveaway! I am happy to announce that I will be giving away from my Call Me Little Cordelia collection, a fuchsia pink, super fluffy tutu! This tutu is sewn, not tied, with yards upon yards of fluffy pink tulle.  The waist band is a cute pink and green grosgrain ribbon with 1” wide elastic encased within for a no-itch waist.  Playtime should be fun, not itchy and uncomfortable.  This tutu has a waistband that measures 20 inches with a stretch up to 24” and is 14" in length.  Good luck and I hope you win!

So how do you enter this fabulous giveaway? Glad you asked.  To enter the Sew Determined child’s tutu giveaway you simply need to:
  1. “Like” Sew Determined on Facebook
  2. “Follow” me  on my blog Sew Determined
  3. Leave a comment on my blog.
  4. Go to my Etsy shop Call Me Cordelia and heart your favorite item!
Doing all four of these things will enter your name 4 times for a chance to win the super-duper cute tutu skirt!

Make sure to head over to Sew Determined to enter the giveaway!

Blog Crawl Day 2

Hi, my name is Stephanie and I am so very excited to be involved in my first ever blog crawl!  Thank You to Nikki and Jill for putting this together!  I am a mother of two busy little girls and we live on a farm.  Life around here is never boring!  We have horses, cattle, dogs, bunnies, and chickens.

I will be giving away a bow of your choice!  Pictures can be seen on facebook, my blog, and my etsy shop.

I started making hair bows after my first daughter was born because I saw all the bows in the boutuqies and they were too expensive.  My friends saw them and started asking me to make some for there little girls.  This has just evolved from there.  I also make custom bows and hair peices for weddings and formal events.  I am in LOVE with all of the diffrent ribbon designs and the many many diffrent things that can be done with it.

To enter this drawing (leave a comment for each of the following):

Follow my blog Crafty FL Cowgirl

Like Crafty FL Cowgirl on Facebook

Heart my etsy shop        

Make sure to head over to Stephanie's Blog to enter the giveaway!

Blog Crawl Day 1

Hi I am Stephanie the owner of SuckersbySteph!  My shop was the first shop to be featured! I am happy to give away 1 dozen zebra print round white chocolate lollipops with custom tags a $30 value.

I started making these lollipops after seeing them at a local craft show.  I fell in love with them and wanted to make them for my family for the holidays and one thing led to another and here I am.
It has been a crazy ride and one that I am happy to take with such a great community.  My single life allows me to pursue many passions one of them being SuckersbySteph.

I stay busy and after my normal 40 hour a week gig; I am always up for a great giveaway that keeps me up to wee hours in the morning making chocolate!  I love custom orders and personalizing.
If I don't have the lollipop you are looking for chances are I can make it just send me a message!  My lollipops are great for favors at any event!

To Enter the Giveaway:

Make sure to leave a comment below stating that you liked me on facebook to enter the giveaway!

Blog Crawl

Hi fellow blog enthusiasts!  I am going to be involved in a blog crawl the first week of May and wanted to give you a heads up.  This will be something we can all anticipate.  If you own an Etsy shop and have a blog this would be a great way to get some traffic.  If you are a blog reader this will be a great chance to win a lot of free quality items!  So stay tuned this is going to be fun for all.

Obviously my Etsy shop SuckersbySteph will be doing a giveaway.  Leave me a comment with some suggestions on what I should giveaway from my shop!

Also if you are an Etsy shop owner and have a blog and would like to enter leave a comment below and I will get you some more information.



I do realize Easter was two days ago but as you will soon figure out, I am late for everything!

This was supposed to be my Sunday Easter post, but here goes….

One year and two days ago Easter, before I had even dreamed of SuckersbySteph, my only brother and his three amazing children and I had family pictures taken.  A high school friend, Amanda, who was starting her own photography business volunteered to take them and she was perfect!   Except for these huge bright hot pink lollipops she brought for pictures.  I cringed when she pulled them out!  I could just see the mess all over my niece’s precious Easter dresses, that I had just purchased.

 Amanda said, “Oh they make wonderful photos!”  Uh huh, yeah right, I am thinking a wonderful mess!  Now one year later I realize some things ironically are meant to be.
We could have not taken any better photos even if we had known!

So fast forward a year now I am running a lollipop business and starting a blog and I needed a picture of me.  So I am searching my computer and up pops this one!  Do we look happy?  I mean seriously I can’t remember a better time than what I had that day with the kiddos!  My brother has Joe, the most grown up boy I have every met full of honor and over- flowing with character at the ripe age of 10.  Sammie (pictured) is 4 and has the softest most tender heart and the best little helper and finally Jessie who is 2 and going to be one smart and stubborn young lady one day!  I sure hope when I have children that I well love them as much as I love these precious little people!  Oh I can't leave out the part creator of these amazing little people my brother Spencer, I am scared I won’t be half the parent he is, what an amazingly strong person!  See more family photos here in my about me section!

I guess what I am trying to say is that these big bright hot pink lollipops brought this happiness to the surface!  I mean seriously is that even possible?  Yes it is, and I hope you can experience the same happiness we had that day when you enjoy some of my homemade chocolate lollipops with your loved ones at your special occasions!

Easter Blues

Well Easter came and went like an Oklahoma wildfire!  I am sad to see all the excitement go!  Lots of firsts happened.  First feature on Etsy Finds, hired first helper, made first 100 sales in my shop, and first month I will be over 1,000 lollipops shipped.  Wow!!  Deep Breathe, yes I am still alive and with only one shipping malfunction!  Not perfect like I had hoped, but pretty close.  Now it is time for customer service follow ups and feedback.  I sure hope the feedback reflects all the hard work!
Sales have been slower the last couple of days and even though I have mixed emotions about the slow down, I was ready for the break.  The break is also good for you because it will allow me to post some new items like these music notes!  These primary color notes are a definite change from my soft pastels of April.  I made these for a wedding shower here in my hometown.  
 The bride and groom’s wedding shower colors were blue, yellow, and red.  I was shocked as well!  There theme was notes and Lego’s.  So I attempted to make my own unique mold for Lego’s and even though it is really cute I think the Lego’s will not be listed in the shop due to imperfections in the mold. 

I did manage to pick up a copy of the book I had previously talked about reading!  Boundaries, When to say Yes, How to say No to Take Control of Your Life, by Henry Cloud.  I am certain you will not be surprised when I tell you, that is as far as I have made it.  Hopefully soon you will check my blog and I will have a post regarding some of my readings!

These are a few items that are coming soon to my shop!!
Music Notes (Pictured), Pirate Flags, Pirate Hats, Puppy Dogs, Frogs, and three different Princess Themed Lollipops!!

To all you shop owners, leave me a comment on how you get your customers to leave feedback on Etsy, and for all you buyers let me know what encourages you to leave feedback.

Borders and Boundaries

How do I find the balance between work, lollipops, personal life, and my four legged daughter Roxy?  My Etsy shop has only been open since November and I am already scrambling to find balance as the orders grow, my interest grows and everything else - well is just that, everything else.

It seems like all I want to do these days is work on my shop and make lollipops.  Thank goodness my boyfriend is easy going and supportive, but my laundry isn’t!  Even though Steve, the boyfriend, has been exceptional great, he still wants to know how Roxy made the "About Me" section and he didn’t!?  So I am introducing you to Steve. His favorite part about my Etsy shop is there is never a lack of chocolate around the house.

A co-worker at my day gig suggested I read this book, called Boundaries, When to say Yes, How to say No to Take Control of Your Life, by Henry Cloud. She said it has transformed her life and wished she had read it in her 30's, so I will be picking up a copy as soon as possible.  Let’s read it together!  I will read as much as possible this weekend and I will post about it on Monday.

I have the hardest time saying no, because in all reality I do want to do it all!  I am coming to grips with the fact that I can't!  Between my normal 40 hour work-week, Etsy, recreational softball, and volunteering in a youth sports program, I am learning very quickly that I will have to say No and soon!

Don’t forget pick up a copy of the book and let’s read it together it will be fun!
Please leave a comment and let me know what you do to create balance in your life?

Spring is here!

Easter time is so fun on Etsy! Lots of great shops and gift ideas. Below are some of my favorites for the season!

Easter Egg Cupcake Toppers

Hand Knit Bunny Baby Hat

Easter Cupcakes

Rabbit Puppet and Board Book Set

Yellow Colorful Easter Egg

Easter Bunny Rabbit Crayons

Please tell me your favorite Easter/Spring finds in the comments below! I don't want to miss out on anything!

Most Awesome Feature Ever!

When I got an email from Etsy asking for some pictures of my owls I was thrilled but cautious about getting too excited. Then when I heard I would be featured on I had to look it up. I decided I was getting too excited and convinced myself I probably wouldn't be featured at all. The email saying I was going to be featured first thing Wednesday morning didn't even convince me. So at Midnight Wednesday morning, I checked. And there it was - A front page headline leading to my Owls. Did you hear me screaming?

Autism Awareness Month

I found these puzzle piece sucker molds and just loved them. They were so cute and fun to make. Then I learned about the connection between puzzle pieces being a symbol of Autism Awareness when a customer ordered them for a fundraiser. 
This month, in collaboration with Stephanie Lynn from Under the Table and Dreaming, I am hosting a giveaway! 
Please head over to her blog and enter to win today! 

Etsy Finds Found My Owls!

What an exciting day this has been! I noticed yesterday I had a lot more inquiries than usual so I looked at Google Analytics and saw my Hoot Owls had over 1000 views! That is more than double was standard weekly views on the entire shop. I knew I had been featured somewhere but it took me a while to find it.
My heart is racing I'm so excited!

Go here to see  - I'm about 1/2 way down under Sticky Sweet! 

I Want More Sales!

A lot of shop owners have a misconception about Etsy. They believe “If I build a store they will come!”

Unfortunately that just isn’t true. Etsy is essentially giving you a store front. Most people know that Etsy is the best neighborhood to shop in, but no one knows about your shop.  It’s up to you to tell people about your unique products, your exceptional service and your fantastic prices!

Silk Scarf by Whitemoth
 I bet you joined a BNR or a team and you get a few sales. But that’s it. Where are the customers? Why do similar shops have 100’s of sales and you only have 11 – three of which were from your mom?
This is not a very sexy answer – but they are successful because they are working for it. Probably every day.  
Unless you are lucky enough to be featured on the Today Show, it takes good old fashioned elbow grease.  And I am not the expert on getting the most sales for sure (I have only reached 50 sales) But what I am an expert at - is finding answers from the people who DO know.

Soap with Soul by Sacredsuds
I have compiled a list of resources to help get you started on making your shop envied by all in this little Etsy neighborhood.
1.       Etsy has several great ways to help you out. You can sign up for newsletters and read their daily posts but the very best is the Seller Handbook and I suggest you read it beginning to end. These are people who have been at this longer than you – they know the inside scoop. 
2.       Do you know what SEO is? If not, you need to be schooled NOW! When you set up your shop you should utilize ALL of the free tips and tricks that you can find. Etsy has also put together a post about utilizing your tags, headlines and descriptions to their fullest extent. Your SEO can get you on Google – and who searches with Google? Millions of people- Connect with them today!
3.       Go to the front page of Etsy. What do all of the featured shops have in common? Beautiful photography! It doesn’t matter if it’s a band t-shirt or a baby’s burp cloth, it looks like it came out of an editorial magazine. Now look at your pictures. Do they need some umph? A little pizzazz? Concentrate on your pictures and read these great tips from people who know. Great pictures help get you featured in treasuries, or on someone’s blog, which reaches even more people.
4.       The final and probably most important step is to build relationships with your customers. There is no excuse for you to not have a Twitter. Tweeting is fast and easy and it can build traffic to your shop quickly. With traffic come sales, especially when it’s targeted to people who like you! There is also Facebook, and even setting up your own blog! There are so many ways to network and grow relationships with your customers.  Also, when you follow tweets, ‘like’ a fan page on Facebook or follow a blog – you will now be privy to their insight. Learn the tricks of the trade from those shop owners!

Wooden trunk boxed - Number and Sign Stamps by Karaku
I am sorry there is no magic pill. And this is just a starting point. If you have any questions or specific topics you want covered on a future post, please comment and I will do my best to help.  

Sammi is a creative starter who loves to help others do the same. She always has several projects going at once and loves to boss people around. So she had three children. You can find her on freckleLips or Love2Upcycle or on a soccer a field in middle America.

Let's Play Ball

I'm ready to start my blog after much prodding from fellow Etsians. The only way I know how is with a feature of my favorite baseball themed picks!

1995 baseball book
Baseball Hinged Tin

Vintage Sears Roebuck Baseball Mit

Baseball Baby Beanie