Archive for December, 2008

eight years, five people, three babies and my one really big crush.

Eight years ago today was the best day of my life up to that point. I got to marry the man of my dreams! Tall, dark and handsome. Spontaneous and full of energy. Smart and ambitious. Wildly talented. A man convinced that love makes it all better. Hilariously funny. Deeply concerned about my own happiness and willing to take the longest ride of his life. So far, it has been nothing but WONDER.FULL! I am crazy about you BABE! It just keeps getting better!

Today, We got the best anniversary present. I got to hear the heartbeat of the littlest member of our family. YES!!!! WE ARE HAVING A BABY THIS SUMMER (I am 12 weeks along) and it has been the hardest secret to keep: especially to those that know me. I have been one big ball of yucky since September! I actually was pregnant in early September, and then miscarried, only to get pregnant immediately after, which essentially added an extra month to what I have classified as full-blown-yucky-land. Morning, noon and night of hovering over the toilet. Thankfully, I am starting to feel better and now I am really starting to show. (Ok, in actuality, I was showing since day one…as this is baby #3, my belly doesn’t stay little anymore…as you can clearly see in the picture above!)

But all is well and we are THRILLED to be adding a new addition to the family!!! Addie and Ian are thrilled, and talk to my belly constantly. I absolutely love that they can be apart of this! Addie and Ian are 12 months apart, so Addie was not even aware of Ian coming…which was just fine! I had enough concern for both of us! But now, the two of them actually get to be part of this whole process, and I love it! Addie even got to hold the stethoscope!

We are still in the throws of moving. I will hopefully have pictures soon of our new place. Right now we have no phone, TV or internet and I am actually loving it. Like, REALLY loving it. It makes my world smaller, but more full. I nearly feel like we live in a cabin away from it all. And what a better way to celebrate an anniversary. And a new heartbeat. And Christmas. And life.

Happy holidays to all! Enjoy your family time! Can’t say when I will be in again…Internet will be out for a while. In the mean time, I am reading some REALLY great novels…between cat naps of course! Baby on board makes mama pretty sleepy these days:)

xoxo
Sarah Jane:)

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Happy Site Friday: Pandora

I have been hooked to PANDORA for a year. I can’t think of a better way to get a mix of music and at the same time find new artists and songs you have never been introduced to. I.love.pandora. Almost as much as my ipod. Currently I am listening to my “college of king’s choir christmas” mix. Get’s me in the mood. But Feist and A Fine Frenzy are getting my going when I need a break from holiday music. What is your favorite Pandora mix? What comes out of your secret box?

12/12.
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oil love.

We are in the middle of it all at the moment…moving I mean…and though I love the idea of being out, I am not loving the idea of living with boxes and junk everywhere. I do love that I have been able to uncover some things that I have had to put away for a while. My oil paints. After Addie started walking, I realized that I would have to find another way of making merry…thus my present photoshop addiction. But it is in oils that I first started my painting adventures. Sure, drawing is always first. But I was lucky enough to start private art lessons at the age of 10, and after one painting in acrylic, my teacher let me switch over to oils, and I have been hooked ever since. The smell, the feel, the sheen…oil paint is honestly sacred to me:)

I haven’t painted since 3 years ago today when I finished my first and last portrait painting. It was a Christmas present for my husband. I can still remember Addie crawling at my feet while I painted this!

I think that this other painting was also done that same month, my last landscape painting since the day I put my paints away.

And today, when I pulled out my paints from storage, I was wishing I could get my hands dirty again. Messy and DIRTY. Someday! Small space living allows room for the most important things…and someday, this will be important again. But right now, I would rather have my babies crawling at my feet…but oh, the smell of these tubes did give my heart a flutter!

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newsworthy news.

At the moment, I truly wish I was doing a little of this right now. Or sewing stockings. Or decorating for christmas. Or baking gingerbread.

Instead, I am packing boxes and bedding and bags full of our HOUSE!

Yes. We are moving. This week. Yes, crazy for sure. Thankfully we will be with my parents for Christmas which means Addie’s tears about the lack of a christmas tree will be soothed very soon. But in fact, they are just excited about the move right now which is a good distraction at the moment.

We are moving into my Grandmother’s ‘guest cottage’ I guess you could call it. When My grandparents built their house years ago, they built a second smaller house for my widowed and blind great-grandmother.It has since become the home of my uncle and his family, but they just moved out this weekend. and we are moving in for the time being. We couldn’t be more thrilled. Mostly to have change, a yard, single family living and to be neighbors with my now widowed grandmother. My children love her to pieces, and I do too. We will also be 3 blocks away from my widowed grandfather which makes this a doubly great set up. Combined with the honor of living in the same dwelling that my late grandfather built by hand, and my Great grandmother lived and died in…a woman I don’t have any memories of…is the best Christmas present ever!

So, with the chaos of moving in the middle of the busiest time of year (and my anniversary, um…let’s celebrate in January my dear!) There are just a few things you can expect in my shop:

NEWS:

**My LAST ORDERS WILL SHIP DEC. 15th. The end. Period. Taking a break until the new year:) And hopefully you will be done with your Christmas shopping then anyways:)

**I have 15 more calendars and 5 sets of card packs left in my shop. When they are gone, they are gone!

**I will be working through the move, but will not have internet for the upcoming weekend. Orders will ship on time.

Other news:

I was featured in my local paper this morning, along with some other local ETSY artists. So honored to be featured! And so excited that my local community is catching on to the complete coolness of ETSY. Love it. Read the full article here.

I can’t wait to show you pictures of our new dwelling. Hope I can show you soon! I will be in and out of the blogging world this week, so see you around…and thanks for being so wonderful. Truly. I am wishing I could throw a house warming party for you all! hmmmmmm….wassail anyone?

xoxo

sarah jane

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Happy Site Friday: Danielle Thompson

 Is it really that  bad to want to be someone else for just a day? I will be totally honest with you. I want to sit in this woman’s house and soak up her inspiration. Danielle Thompson is oozing with more talent than humanly possible. Photographer, designer, decorator, crafter, artist, business owner, mom. Her colors pop and her art has so much life. I LOVE that I just found her blog and her website. She has created a design team for her products that she sells her crafty goodness on her ETSY site and she also sells her digital kits on Two peas in a bucket. She is brilliant. And I just feel happy when I see her images. How can you not? Total eye candy.

Visit her blog

Visit her shop

Visit her Flickr

Visit her other shop

Happy Friday! Enjoy!

4/12.
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A bit of Biz: Press Kits

OK. It has been too long since I started a dialogue about the nuts and bolts of having a creative business. Sometimes I don’t really feel like I have much to share, since I learn so much everyday myself. So really, today I want to share some great blogs/write-ups on the topic of PRESS KITS AND PRESS RELEASES.

I am currently working on getting a press kit out, so this has been on my mind lately.

So here is the PR 101

What is a PRESS RELEASE? A written release of news worthy information sent to journalists or media personnel to encourage a story or a write up about the product or event. The release features the who.what.where.why and how of your company in a compelling way and should have some kind of urgency to it. (“my company teaches kids how to make their own dolls” vs. “Teach your child to make their own christmas gifts!”)

**An elevator pitch will help you here!

What is a PRESS KIT? A packaged set of merchandise for members of the media for promotional use. Things to include in your Press Kit:

  • Background info on your and your company
  • Fact Sheet listing specific features, statistics, or benefits
  • Biography of you and other key executives in your company
  • Past Press Coverage
  • Photos of your products and people involved (high res photos)
  • A press release (mentioned above) detailing the current news the media kit is sent in reference to
  • Media contact information
  • A CD or DVD if it is appropriate for your company
  • relevant advertising material, such as: postcard, flyer,etc.

WHY ARE THESE IMPORTANT?

  • enables press coverage in a wide variety of magazines and newspapers
  • reaches diverse readerships
  • possible to get you into really big features
HOW DO YOU GET YOUR PRESS KIT OUT?
  • Mail them out to editors of major magazines and news personnel that match your product.
  • Most magazines need products and info 6 months in advance. Think Christmas in June.
  • Find a PR Rep with good contacts. Jeannette Mulvey of PR COOKBOOK is a fantastic source. She can get Kits together for you.
Here are some recent articles/blog posts I have read this week on the topic:

Jaime Lentzner wrote on her blog today about the very topic: PR. She has some great tips about getting your products out there in magazines and other media. It is too good to sum up. read it here:

Bell and Boo mentioned yesterday about how she is busy getting press kits out and mentions to make sure you always follow up, and make phone calls to ensure your products are getting seen.

Startup Princess is chalk full of great marketing resources for Press Releases.

  • Here is a fantastic article with inclusions you need to consider in a Press Kit.

At the last Startup Princess Retreat, I learned some new ways to get your Press Release out on the web. Here are THREE big ones:

PR WEB: get your Press Release out to the WWW. Here is more about how it works. It costs a bit, but allows for Maximum distribution to major newspapers, magazine, online distributers, etc. Have yet to try it, but I have heard nothing but rave reviews.

RAMBO:(stands for Reach a Mom Blogger) allows you to pick a category and see if companies have posted an interest in featuring a product and/or service similar to yours. Great way to send samples to magazines and blogs that will feature and your product! Feature of Twittermoms.com

BLOGS/TWITTER/FACEBOOK: Social media outlets there are so many blogs that feature new products daily. Find blogs whose readers would be a good match for your product and offer to send a free sample or offer a discount to the readers. One of the best ways to get your name out there to people who buy online. TIP: blogs run by real people with real interests. Don’t oversell yourself. Twitter and Facebook are a great way to mention updates in your shop that can potentially reach more people than your normal readership. Find the medium that works best for you. I am big on reducing excess computer time. Blogging is my thing, but I am dabbling in others and have been able to make contacts with people I wouldn’t normally get to!

Well folks, there is more. Oh so much more. When I get my press kits done, I am happy to share how they look. Details are everything…and so I am taking my time. But in the meantime…if any of you have anything to add to the discussion, please do! There is so much out there on PR for business, but not a lot on PR for CREATIVE business. Any other tips? Make a comment! Have questions? Leave a comment!

Happy press making!

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You really need to be here.

Last year I participated in the Beehive Bazaar. Possibly the coolest place in Utah for picking up retro, handmade, classic, funky, amazing stuff for you and everyone you feel like spoiling this christmas. really. you are in for the biggest decision making moments of your life. Like, “Do I want this amazing necklace or do I get the retro apron instead?” Or “If I get both, do I have enough cash to get this killer print for my boys room?” Be ready for serious dilemmas. And be early. There will be a line no doubt before opening. I didn’t participate this year for which my husband kissed me a million times over for (these kinds of bazaars require many sleepless nights to get ready for) but I warn you…if you go, you won’t be disappointed!

Some of my favorite artists will be there. One of which is the maker of this cat. Will someone please buy her up? Do you remember these? My kids have one each…and they are attached at the hip with these blastoid cats. Susan has ONE MORE in her shop…and if no one grabs her, I am so tempted to adopt another. But I really shouldn’t. 2 is even. 3 in the house would only cause a fight. Been there. no good.

See you at the bazaar. I am going to be there bright and early!

2/12.
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All is well on the western front.

Hello Friends!

I am sitting here at my computer feeling like I am strangers with my blog! Thanks for stopping in while I have been gone. We had a WONDERFUL trip to California for a really long break! Thanksgiving day was a fun day for the kids complete with last minute costumes: Ian was an Indian with a paper bag vest, but ended up just going around naked most of the day (appropriate I guess) and Addie was a pilgrim. I asked her “What do pilgrims do?” and she replied “chase turkeys all day.” So that is what we did. We hid turkeys in the garden and had the kids hunt for them. Someday they will learn the true process, but not from me!

We even made our first ever road trip with the kids. Two days each way driving wasn’t so bad, until Addie couldn’t battle her car-sickness any longer and shared it with the entire back seat. But these are details I will gladly spare you!

So we are back in the throws of the Christmas season! Having a shop open during Christmas is challenging my creativity at the moment to get in the full spirit of things. But right now I am listening to the King’s College Choir sing In the bleak midwinter and all is well. Christmas presents this year are coming together great, and though I can’t share most of them (my family reads my blog too!) I can share some gifts for my kids!

For Addie: 1. Meeebee Shoulder bag and sewing packet. She will go crazy! I am going to fill it with fabric that she can make doll clothes out of. We are trying to sew more together, but not nearly as much as she asks me to! Aren’t these darling!!?!?! I found Meeabee on ETSY and I am thrilled. “All that is cute from Japan” is her motto. Handmade and wonderful! Japanese fabrics i love!! She even threw in an extra little pencil case! Made to perfection!

For Ian: 1. Meeabee: this toddler bag (he is always wanting to wear a purse like Mama or Addie!) complete with orange robots. Orange is his favorite color, and robots are a big trend with him right now. little boy apron as well. 2. Vintage Bethany: vintage puzzles. I am going tack the pieces in and hang them up in his room. I am loving the colors…especially in the chapel piece. To me Toys are art as much as they are toys!Are you seeing an ETSY trend? I am a devout believer:) 3. Green Clean Toys: Loving this fisher price fire truck. Bell and all. I remember pulling this toy around as a kid. He’ll go crazy over it!

A few more handmade items coming still! But for now…I am off to printing and shipping! Thanks to all of you who patiently waited over the holiday break! All items are shipping today and tomorrow! I will be back soon with more creations in the works….but for now, I am needing to get back to printing printing printing!

Cheers!

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