Monday, November 30, 2009

Running for a Cause!

My name is Tommy and I’m a Bear In Training. That’s why I am wearing my scarf – to keep myself warm for all those early morning runs. I’m running to help my friend, Kathya, earn some money for a really good cause!

50% of the proceeds for each animal sold in the “TNT” category (minus shipping cost) will go towards Kathya’s fundraising efforts for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as she trains for a half and full marathon with the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Team In Training (TNT). I am the first TNT friend in “freckles & friends” shop and my fellow TNT buddies will be joining me soon! You can find Kathya’s beautiful photography here ~
And to learn more about Team In Training ~
Thank you so much for your support!

My sister was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma a few months ago, so I am more committed than ever to help Kathya raise awareness and funds for this cause!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Naoko Stoop's Whimsical World

Once in awhile you come across art that just steals your heart. That is what happened to me when I discovered the whimsical, sweet and inspiring images created by Naoko Stoop I discovered Naoko’s art on Etsy even before I started creating my little friends. The little red knit cap girl and her companion, the white bunny, made me smile and filled me with … I don’t know ~ maybe hope?

There is something in the innocence of her images that I love. Anything that can bring endless smiles is something I will keep in my life and share with those I love. I bought the two bird prints for my daughters-in-law for their birthdays last year. The red umbrella image ~ well you know how I love a good umbrella and a bunny ~ so that was a no-brainer. I had to have it. Recently I purchased the set of note cards which I plan to frame and hang in my home.

If you need a smile check out Naoko’s Etsy shop Thank you, Naoko, for putting so much happiness and love out into the world.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holidays are Approaching!

It's beginning to look a little more like Christmas in my Etsy shop! Slowly but surely. I've been swamped with local orders ~ all word of mouth ~ so have had little time to devote to my online shop. Yay for sales, but boo for not being able to update online!

At any rate, these three pups ~ Candy (she sports candy canes on her coat), Avery (that means Christmas elf) and Lumi (that means "snow" in Finnish) are in the shop! I'm hoping to have many more holiday creatures there soon ~ especially in time for my featured spot in the Etsy Toy Showcase on November 27! Stay tuned. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ringo the Ring Bearer!

This little guy just got invited to a December wedding. One in which he will play a major role.

I received an Etsy notice yesterday that Ringo here (appropriately named as it turns out) will be carrying the bride and groom's wedding rings down the aisle! The bride said she wanted something other than a boring ol' pillow for her ring bearer to carry. When she found Ringo she decided he was a perfect alternative because he looks just like her real dog.

I can't stop smiling. One of my little pups is going to be in a wedding. I absolutely LOVE hearing the stories of where my animals go and the lives they live when they leave me.

And why I love waking up each morning! It's all about the smiles.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Another little guy now residing with the Ladies of Cedar Place. Miles was so popular one of the Ladies placed an "emergency" order for his twin to be delivered this week. They're just too cute. The Ladies I mean. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

That One Idea.

This being my first real experience with a retail business (or at least one that is consistent), I knew the holiday season might be busy. I have exceeded my expectations. Which is wonderful and overwhelming all at the same time. It truly is a good exercise in organization, balance, work ethic and efficiency. I just keep telling myself next year will be easier.

And the fact that I'm even assuming there will be a next year surprises me. I've only been at this since June and since that time have seen the days go from "Hey!!! I've got an order!!" ~ to ~ updating the order list each morning to be sure I'm meeting my deadlines.

That's the first time I've actually stated that so seeing it in writing both terrifies me and makes me very, very, happy, with just a smidgen of pride ~ all in the same breath.

I've never been one lacking for ideas or interests (thank you, Mom, for passing that energy on to me); nor ways to implement them (thank you, Charlie, for being such a positive influence and a heck of a good brainstormer). But this is the first idea ~ creating these little creatures that I love so much that each one, honest to god, gets a good, long hug from me before I send them off to their new homes ~ that I really believe in. And that is why I know there will be a next year.

Maybe I've had too many ideas in the past. This is different. This is my one idea.

"Take up that one idea. Make that idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves - every part of your body - be full of that idea and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success."

*Swami Vivekananda*

I don't remember where I came across that quote but when I began this journey with my friends I made it my mantra.

And it is working.

Monday, November 9, 2009

For the Ladies of Cedar Place.

This is the cutest story ever.

In September my Mom turned 91. For her birthday I, of course, sent her a freckles & friends long-eared bunny. I mean, what else would you give a 91 year old? My Mom has been a coffee-lover her entire life so I found some fabric that would suit her taste ~

Mom lives in a lovely retirement community. Apparently she loved the bunny (dubbed Coco) so much she carried it to her afternoon coffee with the girls. And then to a birthday party. And then to Bingo the next day. You get the idea ~ Mom's a great saleswoman.

It only took about 10 days before she sent me a little slip of handwritten orders for 17 animals ~ all different shapes and sizes and breeds and colors and designs.

I have since sent my Mom business cards that say "Vice President of Sales, Midwestern Region."

It took awhile to complete the project (especially because my 35 y o sewing machine died mid-production), but they were all bagged (gift bags), tagged (named and a little story about each one) and shipped last Friday. Following the tracking numbers, I do believe they arrived today.

I cannot wait to hear their reaction...

Friday, November 6, 2009

She Was Worth It.

I've always said I really dislike working with chenille because it is so messy ~ it sheds so there is lint everywhere when working with it. (I'd post a pic of the floor of my studio, but it's embarrassing!) Lint in my eyes. Lint in my nose - a lot of sneezing ensues. Lint all over my black knit pants. I know. Don't wear black knit pants when working with pink chenille. Duh.

So I had sworn off chenille until I got two special requests for chenille dogs. A sale is a sale, so I although I left them till the very end of the large order, I forged ahead ~ lint and all. A baby blue chenille dog came to life and then came this little sweet pink one. Too much cuteness. I can't stand it. She's in her gift bag here, waiting to be shipped off.

Once I surrendered to the lint and just ignored it, well, it wasn't so painful after all. Next on tap ~ I'm going to make a chenille puppy (or bunny) for myself! I realized the other day I don't have any of my own animals and these chenille ones just call to me!

Cuteness. :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth

No, not Disneyland. My studio/office. :) Especially this time of year.

I realized that when I turned around to grab my phone and saw this scene. I'm surrounded by pix of my family and friends ~ photographs taken by friends (fabulous photographers all!) and given to me as gifts, my little animals and a mess that I'm learning to let go and not obsess about.

Here come the holly-days! YAY!