Sunday, November 23, 2014

Holiday Host/Hostess Gifts

So you are going to a holiday bash.  Are you really going to show up without a host/hostess gift?  (That's a facetious question by the way.)

Take some wine.  Just not naked wine.  Dress that business up in one of our holiday wine bags.  We've got lots to choose from.  Sure, you could just hand over the bottle, sans outfit, but you might as well leave it in the paper bag with the receipt for as tacky as that is.  

Our wine bags are a much better choice.

Penguin Wine Bag


The bags are handmade and totally reusable.  So it's like you are giving two gifts in one. Wine, and a cool bag that they can reuse.  

Just don't give the wine bag by itself... if you do it just looks like a weird sock. 

Oh, what's that?  Your host/hostess doesn't drink?  That's cool.  Take them an aromatherapy pillow.  When they lay their noggins down to have vision of sugar plums dancing in their heads, the herbs in these pillows help them relax more and have more vivid sugar-plum dreams.  

Aromatherapy Dream Pillow - Lime Green Lattice


The pillows are too "new-age-y" you say?  Okay, we've STILL got you covered!  Get your hostess an apron (we even sell the oh-so-appropriate HOSTESS apron - how ya think it got it's name??!!).  
Table Talk Hostess Apron

We've even got aprons for the host!  Pair these hot little numbers up with a cookbook and you have just become their favorite guest on the invite list!

Reversible Grill Apron

We've also got owls, jewelry satchels, and lavender eye pillows!  If you are looking for something personalized or in a particular pattern, message us and we will do what we can to help!

Happy Holidays!

~Sam

Friday, November 14, 2014

Support *TRUE* Small Business

The shopping season is now upon us (well, according to my down-the-street neighbor who has already put out Christmas decorations).  When you are out-and-about doing your thing, think about supporting small business.

Many small business owners run their shops out of their homes and sell their goodies at shopping parties, craft fairs, or online through venues like Etsy.  We do all three.  While re-evaluating inventory and preparing for shows, we like to scope out the competition.  We have noticed something quite prevalent and disturbing.

BLANKS.

What is a "blank"?  A "blank" is something that a shop can embroider or print on, and then sell it as their own.  Now don't get me wrong - I've got no problem with blanks as long as you know you are buying a blank.  In fact I love to purchase items made on blanks because I can get them personalized exactly how I want them.

But here's the problem.... some of these shops are selling their "blank" items at a much higher cost than truly handmade items.

Take our wine bags for instance.  I make these in my home.  They have two layers of fabric - the outside print, and then the inside lining.  I gusset the bottom so they stand.  I string the ties through and add bells or whatever to them.  These are truly handmade.  (Well, except for the actually making the fabric, thread, and ties... but you get what I mean.) The Sapphire Key sells these for anywhere between $6 and $10.


Our aprons are the most time-consuming item.  As with all of our items (except the owls - Cathy makes those in her house!), these are made in my home.  I create the patterns, I pick the fabric and trim, cut it out, make the ruffle, pockets, put it all together, add buttons, whatever.  These sell between $29-$37.50.



Now I've seen other shops selling wine bags and aprons for MORE than what we charge. Let me tell you about these items.  They are "blanks" that were bought quite cheaply (just check out the workmanship for yourself), and then a screenprint image or an embroidery pattern is added by the shop.  Better yet, just do a quick internet search for "apron blank" and see if anything looks familiar to you....

Understand that using blanks is perfectly acceptable.  As I stated, I love buying items made on blanks because they can be personalized exactly how I want them. Also, some items - like glasses, rubber keychains, tshirts, etc. - are a little more difficult to be made by hand.  

My point is:  Just know what you are buying.  The "small business" might not be that small after all.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rest / Relax / Rejuvenate with an Eye Pillow

"What the heck is an eye pillow?" you ask.... well, it's a pillow.  For your eyes.

It looks like this:


The scent of lavender helps to relieve headaches and stress (raise your hand if you are immune... yeah, thought so!) as well as serving to be a natural anti-depressant (I think everyone could use that once in awhile!). Just lay it over your eyes to block out light and provide a gentle weight on your face.  I sleep with my eye pillow every single night.  And for the times when I have a bad headache, I'll put it in the freezer, get it nice and cold, then lay it over my eyes.  Not only does it do wonders for tension headaches, it also helps to relieve allergy-induced headaches.  Another use: Eye pillows can be placed in the microwave for a warm muscle relaxer!  

Our eye pillows are made of satin, silk, or silk brocade (depending on what we have in stock), and are filled with organic flax seed and lavender buds.
   
Want one of your own?  You can order HERE.  Don't see the color you want?  Message me and I'll find it for you, or keep checking back... these sell very quickly so the inventory changes constantly!

Here are some of the reviews we've received on our eye pillows:

"This orange eye pillow is well made and smells terrific. It's just the right weight to apply a slight pressure on my eyes."   – Julie

"Love it... I use this for yoga. It is the perfect weight. Smells great and the fabric is soft and beautiful. Would totally order more from this shop."  
– Cheryl

"Very comfortable and smelled delightful!"   - Jill

"I bought that one before and I loved it! Took it everywhere with me until I left it behind at a hotel :) Amazing product!  I will be ordering eye pillows from you forever!"   - Claudia

And eye pillows are not just for girls... my husband also has one that he cannot sleep without either!  

~ Sam

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

Charlotte's Room - After

So I am finally getting around to posting the "after" pictures for Charlotte's room.  Before I do that, however, I have to acknowledge right up front that this kid has WAY TOO MANY toys!  She went through them during the transformation and tried to "thin the herd" - but that's some hard work for a five-year-old.  Anyway...

To start, here she is painting her table (which was covered in crayon, marker, stickers...).  She fell in LOVE with the 2014 Pantone color Radiant Orchid.*  

"I always strike a pose while I paint...
don't you?"
Next up is the "during" which included her helping out by doing some original artwork.  You can also see the first of two (yes, two) coats of Paint.  As you can imagine, painting over the squares was time consuming.  

*Cameo appearance from Cole Cat
Here is the empty room with the new purple/lavender walls:


Some of Charlotte's artwork:

Left: "Butterfly"
Right: "Tent"
This is the view looking in from her doorway:


The view above reversed to look the other direction:

This bed is da-bomb.  That bottom table
area converts to another bed!
Corner-o-toys:


"But wait," you say.... "Where are the rainbows?"  Yes, good question. The wall where her bed is in the picture is where the rainbows were supposed to go.  She called an audible - at the time - and indicated she wanted her bed on that wall.  Now, however, a few months down the road, she has reversed her decision.  We will soon be moving the bed to another wall and getting the rainbows.  With a unicorn.  Flying through the clouds.**

We still have a bit more to do in here.  When and if the unicorns ever show up, I'll let you know!

~Sam

*This is not a sponsored post.
**This is all assuming I can get someone to paint it for me!!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Carpool for Office Supplies!

I loathe driving alone to get office supplies...
anyone want to carpool?  
We'd get our own special parking spot:


~Sam

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sweet Dreams - We Can Help!

Herbs can not only heal the body, but they can help guide your sleep at night.  You can assist yourself in having a more peaceful or restful sleep.... or enter a world of romance.... even wake up with your creative juices already flowing!  



Have you ever noticed that you have odd dreams when you travel or sleep in a new bed?  A peaceful or restful blend can help.  How about getting one for your guest room to assist your guests in having a more restful sleep?

Kids having bad dreams?  A restful blend can help with that.

Hit a brick wall where your creative juices are concerned?  Creativity blend can help.

Want to spice up your night while you sleep?  Romantic blend is for you.



Our pillows are approximately 6" x 4" x 2".  The herbs are nestled inside of soft fiberfill and then sewn into a cotton "packet" which slips into a washable removable case of your choosing. Your pillow will include a resealable plastic bag for you to store the pillow in while not in use.

What do you mean "Not in use?"  We recommend that you only use your pillow for about three days, then store for another three in the resealable bag.  We also do not recommend that you use more than one pillow at a time... each blend has a specific mixture of herbs to aid in a particular type of dream.  

Listed below are the four dream blends that we offer.  Take a gander. Then click HERE to see our pattern selection and order your own!


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RESTFUL DREAM BLEND
Are you having some bad dreams that leave you feeling stressed when you wake up?  Could a few restful nights of sleep be what you need?  This blend will help you have restful sleep.  (This blend has also been used to help children who have "scary" dreams at night.)

The following herbs are in the Restful Dream Blend:  Roses (peacefulness, clairvoyance); Mugwort (visions and prophetic dreams, aids in remembering dreams); Sweet Marjoram (eases nervousness and restlessness, adds warmth, safety, and comfort to dreams); and Hops (induces relaxation and peacefulness).

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PLEASANT DREAM BLEND
Feeling a little out-of-sorts when you wake up?  Could a few pleasant dreams and peaceful sleep be what you are looking for?   This blend will help you have pleasant dreams for a peaceful sleep.

The following herbs are in the Pleasant Dream Blend:  Roses (peacefulness, clairvoyance); Mugwort (visions and prophetic dreams, aids in remembering dreams); Lavender (peaceful sleep and clairvoyant dreams); Sweet Marjoram (eases nervousness and restlessness, adds warmth, safety, and comfort to dreams); and Mint (vivid dreams).

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ROMANTIC DREAM BLEND
Would you like a few romantic dreams brighten up your night?  Slip one of these Romantic Dream Pillows into your own pillow before you go to sleep at night and drift into a world of love!   This blend has been known to encourage dreams of your special someone in more evocative and spicy situations.

The following herbs are in the Romantic Dream Blend:  Roses (peacefulness, clairvoyance); Mugwort (visions and prophetic dreams, aids in remembering dreams); Rosemary (avoid nightmares and headaches); Spearmint (enhances clarity and vividness); Cinnamon (adds warmth and spice to dreams); and Cloves (adds a "spicy" feeling to dreams).

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CREATIVITY DREAM BLEND
Have you hit a mental roadblock and feeling bland?  Could you use a little assistance in getting your creative juices flowing?  This blend has been known to encourage vividly adventurous dreams yet also enhance sleep. 

The following herbs are in the Creativity Dream Blend:  Roses (peacefulness, clairvoyance); Mugwort (visions and prophetic dreams, aids in remembering dreams); Lavender (peaceful sleep, clairvoyance); Rosemary (avoid nightmares and headaches); Pine (gives dreams outdoors texture); Mint (vivid dreams); Cloves (adds a "spicy" feeling to dreams).


~Sam