Blog Envy

Wow!  I've been looking around lately at all the amazing beautiful blogs out there and I have a bad case of blog envy.  So I've decided it's time to spruce up ol' Deeds and Petunia's blog as part of my general "time to spruce up the business" plan.  Tell me what you think!  There is EVEN a poll.  Keep in mind, it is a work in progress.  The header needs some work, I would like to put in some fancy buttons and page dividers, etc. but I think this new look reflects my style a bit better.  Plus it's Fall, so I wanted something more orange-y.

Here are some of my new favorite blogs.  A feast for the girly-girl senses.  So pretty!
Dottie Angel
Simply Hue
Sweet Eye Candy Creations

Blogs sure have come a long way.  There is even a publication called Artful Blogging that I'm very interested in checking out (but it's pricey!  So I may just have to browse it at the store...)

What are some of your favorite blogs?

Happy Halloween!!!  Enjoy!

And how could I forget Meet Me At Mike's???  I love this blog for so so so many reasons, the biggest being I shall conquer the dreaded CROCHET thanks to the video tutorials!!!  But there is so much there.  Go check it out.



It's been so long!  I promise this won't be a downer of a post!  In fact, that was a grunt of relief.  I've had two very big custom projects to complete, one of which has been completed and shipped off (should arrive today!  Eek of excitement!)  and the other which is 75% done.  I have three big craft events coming up (listed below), and I've also been working on some pieces here and there for the holidays, filling Etsy orders, restocking local shops and trying to keep up with life in general (and the gutters falling down and the broken fireplace and the cat that has been using my dining nook as her private powder room...)  But life is good!  Busy, but good!

Here is some of the custom work I've done recently:
Father of the Bride, Father of the Groom, Grandfather's Boutonnieres with vintage watch parts

Groom, Best Man, Groomsmen Boutonnieres

Grandmother's Corsages with tiny sprockets at the end of the curled copper wire

Bridesmaid's Fascinators - Maid of Honor is far right

Wedding party - a nature/steampunk-light theme

Custom hair fascinator to sit above the left ear, paired with a bandeau style veil.

Fascinator with a single red rose, vintage black velvet millinery leaves and black satin ribbon

THIS is why Etsy is great!  Anything you can imagine can be made for you.  You can post requests using the Alchemy feature and take bids from sellers, or contact sellers directly to see if they'll work with you to make custom items.

If you need a custom order for fascinators, bridal hair accessories, bridesmaids gifts, boutonnieres, corsages, veils, etc. made from feathers, silk flowers and interesting vintage pieces, I'm your gal.  I'll work within your budget and try to create something very special and unique.  These pieces were all painstakingly crafted.  What can I say?  I love a challenge! 

My dad was impressed with my custom items, so that made me feel extra good about them.  Here are some of the items you'll see at the upcoming craft shows!
Vintage poodle pin, french veiling, white maribou and pink goose feathers

Vintage findings are featured in these pieces

Wedding fascinator with something blue and a little white dove

Reconstructed flower, Czech glass bead center and forest-y feathers

Christmas fascinator, flower made with feathers and vintage finding
And here's the list of where you can get up close and personal with my flowery, feathery goodies!  Come try them on!  Get all your holiday shopping done early this year!  And don't forget how important it is now more than ever to BUY HANDMADE!!!  :)

Artisan Sale "Creativity From Our Home to Yours"
Featuring local artists and crafters
November 13th, 10 AM - 4 PM
University Place, WA (message me for the address!)

Tacoma Is For Lovers Artist Craft Sale
Featuring local artists and crafters
November 14th, 11 AM - 3 PM
Kings Books, Tacoma, WA

Queen Anne Artist Trunk Show
Holiday Artist Craft Sale and Fundraiser to benefit Sweet Pea Cottage Preschool of The Arts
November 20th, 11 AM - 4 PM
Queen Anne Community Center, Seattle, WA

Stay tuned for potential event dates in early December.  They will be posted here if they come about!

Whew.  November is going to be CRAZY!  Crazy awesome.  But let's just say Mama will welcome the big break at Christmastime.


Growing a new business and Blog Hop (hope this works...)

Things have definitely not been slow around here, which is great!  I'm very glad to be busy.  I'm still learning how to perfect my craft (working on efficiency), stretching my creativity and finding the balance between work and life (the biggest struggle I face working from home.)  I'm also learning that networking and promoting my business is a big priority as well.  So this week I'm trying some new things, including posting on the Etsy forums to connect with other sellers and doing a Blog Hop (which I really have no idea how to do, I'm following the directions I got from http://moonangelnay.blogspot.com/, who's post I saw on the Etsy forums!)

I'd encourage readers to check out some of the blogs below!  Hopefully their readers will do the same.  ;)


Why I'm taking the handmade pledge

I'm taking the handmade pledge.  Well, my version of it anyway.  In 2011, I will only buy items new if they are handmade (preferably by a small business in the USA, just like my own), and everything else secondhand.  There will be times this is impossible - if I need to grab something last minute, not all of the materials I work with are handmade (let's see if we can change that in 2011!), and I realize that, but I will make a conscious effort to do my best.

My reasons would be the belief that recycling is important, American consumption has gotten out of control, and there is no accountability for the manufacturing processes overseas, causing an outrageous toll on our Environment and threatening our health.  I won't get on my soapbox today (sort of too late for that), but you might want to consider watching The Story of Stuff, which is short, highly entertaining and informative, and also visiting the Handmade Toy Alliance to see why small business owners are at risk due to the unrealistic standards of the CPSIA and mass manufacturing corporations who have found loop holes and been permitted exemptions to these outrageous testing standards (an independent testing groups recently found toxic toys are STILL on the shelves in Target and Wal-Mart stores despite the CPSIA and it's new legal limits on lead levels.)

The bottom line for me is that I don't trust these faceless corporations anymore.  Their bottom line is money.  I am responsible for the health and well being of my family, and I believe we have lost touch with what's really important in life - each other.  So I'm going to support my community of small business owners, the people of Tacoma in particular.  I'm going to cut back on the amount of future landfill crap that comes through my door.  I'm going to look for items that we need instead of want, and if I do find something I want, it will have a story, a history, and even a little bit of meaning.

And I'm happy that I'll have more excuses to go to thrift stores and antiques shops!

The other thing I would like to share with you, my dearest reader, is that you should check out Etsy.  Etsy is a site dedicated to sellers of handmade items, supplies for crafters and makers of hand made items, and all things vintage.  It's full of beautiful pictures, stories and descriptions about the items you're purchasing, and there is something for everybody on the site.  There are many many beautiful and well-crafted items.  Here are a few shops I've purchased gorgeous items from and that I have received gifts purchased from these shop (thank goodness my husband is an Etsy convert!) in the past:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/beehivekitchenware?ref=seller_info - Heart Measuring Spoons
http://www.etsy.com/shop/ZayneeDesigns - Custom Scarflette (love!)
http://www.etsy.com/shop/yardia - A lovely card sent to a friend
http://www.etsy.com/shop/mamaroots - Custom Give, Save, Spend tags for my girls

I've been hearing a lot of people lately express their fear of using Etsy.  They may have been overwhelmed by choice in the past, or have not had luck with finding exactly what they want.  I'll share in my next post why you should give it another shot and I'll walk you through doing a successful search, requesting custom items (the best way to get exactly what you want!), and all the wonderful hidden gems Etsy has to offer that you never even knew about!


What an exciting week!

Here I was thinking I would get some time off to rest and relax before the big holiday rush.  Nope!  The best news is that I was featured on the front page of Etsy last night!
I had been so busy during the day, I was doing a late night daily check on my Etsy shop.  I pulled up the home page and there she was!  My gorgeous friend Teresa wearing my Fall Harvest Fascinator.  It made my day.  It's nice to see that my efforts are being noticed and the hard work is starting to pay off after these many months.  Over 1400 hits that day and 19 new shop hearts.  Wowser.

I tend to think Etsy has a formula, and once you figure out how to play the game, you can have great success.  I'm still learning all the ins and outs of the formula, but feel I have the basic necessary components to have a great shop.  I love my shop, I love what I make and Etsy has been a great resource for me getting a business started.  Even with the thousands of other sellers, many of them selling the same type of product, I feel like I get a chance to stand out and shine from time to time, like when I'm included on a great treasury, or even on the front page!  That's a very rewarding feeling!

In other news...

Some new goodies I'm working on:

Puffball veil with flower fascinator featuring vintage jewel finding.

I have been gearing up for a wine tasting event/trunk show this Friday the 8th at Azarra Salon & Wine in Downtown Tacoma from 5-7:30.  Come see me, drink some wine, shop for a new a purse, some jewelry or a fascinator!  What more could a girl want on a Friday night?

I am pleased to announce that I have very low stock right now, and need to kill myself this week to make as many new fascinators as I can, because they're selling like hotcakes!  Stay tuned and my Etsy store should have some new stock in next week.

Or if you can't wait and you can't make it to the event on Friday, visit Orange on Sixth in Tacoma where you can find Deeds and Petunia fascinators, vintage button bobby pins, corsages, and dish towels!  You really should visit this store anyway.  Laurel the owner is completely adorable, along with everything she sells!  Some super great items here, so you need to check it out.

Lastly, I had the honor of being part of the Tacoma All-Star Backup Choir at the Columbia City Theater this past weekend at the Best of The New Showcase.  My wonderful and talented friends Luke Stevens and Holly Campbell, and Kirsten Wenlock of Elk & Boar performed, and asked me to sing along on a song during each of their sets.  Kirsten and Holly looked amazing in their D&P fascinators!!!  Ironically, I forgot mine in the car!  It was a magical evening and so many talented musicians.  Thanks guys for making me feel so special and share your wonderful talented spotlight for a brief moment!  Pictures to come.