Monday, December 31, 2012

Time To "Ring" It In....

Its THAT time of year again. Time to start fresh, make changes....


Usually, on New Year's Eve, I come up with a few "Resolutions".  As I started to do that this morning (in haste, as usual) I stopped to think about the changes I was considering. I then realized that my resolutions had more to do with others, than they did myself. 

After reflecting on the past year, I realized maybe my resolution SHOULD have a little more to do with me.  Several things happened this year that led my thinking in this direction.

Early in 2012 I was diagnosed with Lupus(SLE). The diagnosis wasn't a huge surprise, as I had been noticing signs of it for some time and I know its very common to develop Lupus when you have Rheumatoid Arthritis. However, it adds a whole new set of doctor appointments, some new symptoms, more bloodwork, and more to worry about in general.

During the summer of 2012, I found out I needed surgery on my right elbow to repair some damage caused by RA. After finding out, I decided to close my Etsy shop(Shelby's Enchanted Bowtique) so I could start preparing for surgery. I had a partial elbow replacement in September, 2012(yes, at age 33 the joint replacements have already begun). Here is a picture of my new elbow:


The day after my surgery, my English Bulldog, Bubba, passed away suddenly(he was 7 years old). Those who know me well know how much I loved him. He was like a child to me.


One week later, my cousin's 18 year old son died in a horrible car accident. Over the last few months several members of my family have been diagnosed with cancer as well.

Taking all of this into consideration, I realize now how much I need to cherish every moment of every day. I need to cherish my children who are growing up way too fast! I need to take better care of MYSELF and my health(and not feel guilty about it). And I only need to worry about those people who are supportive of all these things.


Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it wasn't too depressing;) What are your plans/goals for the New Year??

Stay tuned...I will start a new blogging "schedule" next week. Hopefully that will get me "here" more often:)


Best Wishes! 

Kelly


 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Introducing....Handmade By Cosmo!


This week, I have another FUN Etsy shop and owner to introduce you to: Cindy Friend from Handmade By Cosmo. Cindy creates handmade critters...some of the cutest critters you've ever seen:)


Each of Cindy's Critters is HANDSTITCHED! She has many different critters to choose from...and each can be customized. Their sizes range from Big to Bitsy and Itsy. You can customize your critter by choosing your color. 

Wouldn't these make the cutest gifts??? And the smaller critters would look SO cute peeking out of the top of a Christmas stocking! But, they aren't just for kids. Put one on your desk at work, on the dash of your car...or wake up to one on your nightstand in the morning:)



Cindy (creator of Handmade by Cosmo) answered a few questions for me...check out her answers below to get an idea of who is creating these cute little critters:) There is a very touching story behind her Etsy Shop.

1. Tell us a little about yourself


 I am a 53 year old girl that can't believe she is 53, but I LOVE the age I am. I am old enough to care a little bit about what people think of me, but not enough to change who I am to please them. I have lived long enough to gain some wisdom to not make  the same mistakes I've made before, but still young enough to want to try new things.

2. What drew you to working with felt? 



I have been a seamstress since I was 13, but I have been doing hand sewing since I was 9. I find the intricate stitches of making my felt Critters very pleasing to my eyes, and to my psyche. I love making them.

3. Where do you find your inspiration?



Where do I find my inspiration? My inspiration to start making my felt Critters came from a friend of mine on a blog site called Xanga. She is a wonderfully hardworking, loving woman who would do and did anything and everything for her children. She was diagnosed with Cancer in one of her kidneys. I made her a Unicorn, had a good long talk with God on my front porch one day, and she got well. Her husband was diagnosed with Cancer, I made him a deer. He got well. I truly believe that the prayers I say when I'm creating Critters carry over to the one receiving. That gives me hope, and makes me strive for the most perfection. 

4. Which of the items in your shop do you most enjoy making?



The Critters that I enjoy making the most are the ones that I know someone wants. I love creating something that I know they will love. While I am confident that what I make for them, they will love, it's always nice to get a good feedback. I'm always relieved that they love what I made for them.

5. What do you enjoy to do when you aren't creating?



When I'm not creating...seems like, at this particular point in time I'm always creating...but what I love to do, besides creating...I love to go to dog shows, agility and obedience are my favorite, I used to show my Great Dane in obedience...I love going to craft shows and flea markets, and I love staying home in my jammies, creating more felt Critters. If I had one wish, I'd wish that my sweetheart would enjoy going to things like that with me. 
***I just want to include that I so much enjoy and love my friends in the Artists Loft group. 


Thanks for stopping by!

-Kelly




Friday, November 2, 2012

Introducing....Flowertown Originals!


Since the Holiday Season is quickly approaching, I have decided to share some of my favorite Etsy shops with you over the next few weeks. I love to "shop small" (small businesses) when I'm looking for gifts. There is SO much variety on Etsy! Handmade products are better made, better quality and many are one-of-a-kind. Etsy is a great place to look when you are shopping for that person who has everything!


The first shop I would like to introduce you to is Flowertown Originals. I came across this shop when I first started selling my products on Etsy. The owner-Kathy Porter Koontz makes beautiful products out of polymer clay. She also does some work with hemp(macrame and beading). After I ordered my first set of handmade buttons from her, I was hooked! Here is a set of hair pins I made using the buttons:



One of my favorite items from her shop are her polymer clay pens! I have rheumatoid arthritis...so writting can be difficult at times. By covering the pens in polymer clay, they are more ergonomic and much easier for me to hold on to. You can view her pens here.


I conducted a short interview with Kathy to help you get to know her better:)


Q: Tell us a little about yourself.A: I am married and a Mom of 2 teenagers. I have loved crafting ever since I was a little girl. I have always had craft supplies at home that included paints and markers, embroidery thread and cross stitch patterns, beads and wire, sea shells and lots, lots more.

Q: What drew you to working with Polymer Clay?A: I came across polymer clay in 1995. I was actually looking for beads at the time. I saw the packages of polymer clay and decided I would make my own beads. I love it because of it's endless colors and uses. It's hard to become bored with it, there's always a new technique to learn.

Q: Where do you find your inspiration?A: I love looking at other art work; mosaics, tapestries, paintings and even fabric. Anything bright and colorful and full of patterns.

Q: Which of the items in your shop do you most enjoy making?A: I enjoy it all! But what I get the most satisfaction from is upcycling. I love taking something that most people would throw away and giving it a new purpose. ***I LOVE this answer****

Q: What do you enjoy to do when you aren't creating?A:When I'm not creating I enjoy reading, working in my yard and baking. I also like going to antique shops and visiting historical landmarks and graveyards. And I can spend a lot of time in a library or bookstore!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you will keep checking back for more about FlowertownOriginals as well as some other shops I will introduce over the next few weeks.

-Kelly
My Etsy Shop: S&G Inspirations
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We're Back!!

To all of my previous followers....this is the shop formerly know as "ShelbysEnchantedBowtique". I took a long hiatus, due to some health issues and a surgery. But now I'm back, and I have teamed up with my husband, Craig. 

We have made some changes, including the name of the shop.We have a lot of new and exciting products to share with you. I'm so glad to be back.


Check out our new shop here: S&GInspirations

Friday, May 18, 2012

Awareness=HOPE

Awareness=HOPE



In addition to making accessories, I also make products to help promote awareness of various disabilities/diseases/illnesses. As an RA and Lupus warrior, I know all too well how little is known about these issues-yet so many are affected by them. Below are some of the awareness items I sell in my Etsy shop. I donate 25% of the proceeds to charity.
(DYK=Did you know)


Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness

DYK:

1. RA is NOT an "old person" disease!! Over 300,000 children in the USA alone have been diagnosed with Juvenile RA. *I was diagnosed at age 15, but started showing symptoms at age 6.
2. RA isn't just about achy joints. It is an autoimmune disease...meaning the immune system sees your joints/cartilage/tendons/synovial tissue as invaders(like germs) and attacks them. This causes fatigue, pain, weakness, and damage(just to name a few).
For more info go here.
***Also, if you have RA I highly recommend following "RA Guy". Great information and support!
Find him here.



Lupus Awareness

DYK:

1. Lupus is another autoimmune disease. It can cause damage to ANY part of the body (skin, heart, kidneys, lungs, eyes)
2. Lupus effects more than 5 million people world wide.
For more info go here.


March of Dimes/March for Babies

DYK:

1. Over half a million babies are born prematurely each year.
2. Money raised by MOD  supports programs in the community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies.
For more info go here.


Breast Cancer Awareness

DYK:

1. There will be 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer (includes new cases of primary breast cancer among survivors, but not recurrence of original breast cancer among survivors).2. There will be 63,300 new cases of in situ breast cancer (includes ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), of those, about 85 percent were DCIS). DCIS is a non-invasive breast cancer and LCIS is a risk factor that increases the risk of invasive breast cancer. Learn more about DCIS and breast cancer risk. Learn more about LCIS and breast cancer risk.3. There will be 39,510 breast cancer deaths.


This info and more can be found here.



Autism Awareness

DYK:

1. Autism now affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys
2. Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
3. Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases


This info and more can be found here.





  
Please pass this information along to help bring awareness to these important causes. If there is a cause you would like me to feature on my blog or in my Etsy shop, let me know by commenting below or you can email me at ShelbysEnchantedBowtique@gmail.com.

Here are a few more Etsy shops helping to raise awareness:
Knot Creations
Metal Stamped Memories
Livvy Lou's Boutique
All Ribboned Out
Sweet Designs By Maryum
Chronic Badass


Thanks for reading!!



Monday, April 23, 2012

What is SEB???

What is SEB???

Its hard for me to pick one word to describe my products. I try to make a variety of accessories-for babies, young girls, teens and women. Some are girly, some funky, and some are simple. I take most of my inspiration from flowers...I love all types of flowers(roses are my favorite). I also love fabric! I'm always on the look out for unique patterns and color combinations...Japanese cotton and linen blends are my favorite. I also like to work with felt, organza and chiffon. 
One of my most popular hair accessories is the Peony Hairclip. This Peony was created with multiple layers of coral chiffon(love this color!!). The petals were hand trimmed and the edges were heat singed.

I recently added a new line of embellished bobby pins to my shop. I love these...great for any age and they are really fun to make!


The last featured item today is my personal favorite...The Rolled Rosette! These can be made with just about any fabric. I like to let the edges fray a bit, adding a "tattered" look...no flower is ever perfect. Each petal has its flaws, and thats what makes them beautiful(IMHO).


Next week I will feature some of my felt products(with felt...the possibilities are endless!!).
Thanks for stopping by<3


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A New Challenge...

I opened my Etsy shop(Shelby's Enchanted Bowtique) back in September of 2011. It  was a big step for me and something I was very nervous about. There is a lot more to selling on Etsy than meets the eye. Aside from making, photographing and listing all my items...I had to learn how to market them. I created a Facebook Fanpage (find it here). I made a Twitter account (here), and started utilizing Pinterest(here) and Wanelo(here) to promote my business as well. While I used all these platforms on a regular basis, I didn't feel like I was using them the best way possible. I needed something to give me a little push...some motivation...some guidance.
A few weeks ago, I was offered a spot in business development Bootcamp! The bootcamp is lead by the amazing and talented Debbie Nowicki @Growing Phases Farm. I was honored to take part, and felt that it was just what I needed to kick my business into high gear.
Today is DAY ONE! I have already discovered that I have a lot to learn and a lot of room to grow:) I will post updates every now and then in regards to my progress:)
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Enough with the procrastination....

OK, here we go! I created this blog page about two weeks ago. I was so excited and ready to get started. But, then I realized, my first post should probably be about me, who I am, what I do, etc. I don't know why, but I detest writing about myself. I have procrastinated long enough, so here it is. Bear with me...and I promise after today my blog will be much more interesting;-)
My name is Kelly. I'm a wife(to my amazing husband), mother(to my 2 amazing children), creator(at Shelby's Enchanted Bowtique), and I do these things while managing Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Lupus (SLE).


My daughter, Shelby, is the inspiration for Shelby's Enchanted Bowtique. She is a ALL girl! Quite the opposite from me...I was a total tomboy:) Shelby loves to accessorize.  While shopping for her(locally), I found things to be overpriced, poorly made, and everything looked the same. So I started making accessories for her. I loved everything about it...the whole creative process, working with Shelby to make things she liked, watching her excitement as she saw me create, the stress relief it brought to me....
With the help and support of my family and friends(you know who you are) I was able to take my creativity a step further. In September 2011 I opened an Etsy shop. I have also done several craft shows and lots of custom orders for my friends. I have also started sewing again, and making accessories for teens and women.
In the future, I will share more stories about my journey, items I create(and what inspired me to make them), other amazing items I find through Etsy(if you aren't familiar with Etsy-I highly recommend checking it out!), articles I find,and eventually some tutorials! Thank you for reading this, and I hope you come back and visit again:)