Changing the focus of BCBB

I just wanted to make the small announcement that I will be changing the focus of my shop. Currently I have no focus, as my husband pointed out. He said it might be a little easier for me to organize myself if I only concentrated on making a few things instead of doing 50 different things. Sometimes, my husband is the smartest person I know. I was on the verge of giving up because sales aren't popping off like I hoped. But, he told me to stick with it and keep up the faith and maybe organize my shop slightly different. So, I looked around etsy and looked around my physical area and the thing that will never go out of style is babies. People will always procreate. People will always have babies. I realize there are number of baby shops on etsy, but I don't care. I'm not going to attempt to reinvent the wheel I don't suggest you do it either unless you've got a really good idea in which to invest. I would say that even though I feel like i'm selling out by doing the baby thing, I don't care because it's still mine. It's still something that's going to let me create. And, it will help me make a little bit of profit instead of having my shop that's all over the place. People are finnicky. They also, for the most part, like things to be organized for them. It's much more of a feasible idea to organize your shop for your shoppers than for them to have to look around your shop and not know specifically what your selling. I know that when I go look at a shop or search for a product, I search by product. it's very important that you allow your shop to shine through your SPECIALIZED products.
     Although my focus is changing, my goal for this blog is NOT going to change. I will still be featuring etsy sellers as often as time permits when life doesn't get in the way of my creativity. lol. I will still post some of my crafts. My next goal is to start posting other people's crafts that I absolutely LOVE. There's just so many. I find sometimes that I get a case of craft envy and want to give up all together because people have the ability to make such wonderful things with their hand. But you know what keeps me going? Just thinking about how many people are out there looking at my stuff thinking how awesome my stuff. Heck...my stuff might be posted on another site as we speak.


tomato soup, grilled cheese, and a winter day.

Best cure for any snowy winter day? I'd say it's the classic grilled cheese sandwich with a side of tomato soup. I don't like to grill my sandwiches persay. I acutally bake them. But their just as good if not better and you know exactly how much butter your putting on each sandwich. And, for someone who is watching/not really watching her weight, it's good to see those things.

Just to let a few of you in on a secret. I just recently gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Following that, it's been next to impossible to keep my formerly nonexistant sweet tooth at bay. I used to be able to walk into walmart without even taking a second look at the food section. Now I find myself checking out the cakes at every visit and not leaving before I've bought one no two candy bars that will be added to endless supply of food storing itself in my hips for the winter. ARRGGG it's maddening. The sad thing is I don't know what to do about it. I throw myself in my crafts, as you all have seen over the past few days. But I still nibble. I think it's a triumph if I can eat ONE fattening thing a day. I used to only treat myself once a week. Now I'm treating myself every day.
I guess I'm going to have to let this phase pass. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I'm breastfeeding. After all, for the past nine months, my taste buds weren't my own. Why should I expect any differently now. She's still using me as a food machine (i.e. milk mama), so why wouldn't she want a little sugar in her tea.
I also like eating tuna fish sandwiches with tomato soup. In fact, tomato soup goes well with most things in a cold day including the one you love.
take that as you will :)

Blogger Love Hate Relationship

I love blogger and have for years although I never really blogged as prolifically before now. I'm actually making a concentrated effort this year as a fulfillment of one of my many new years resolutions. But, my relationship with Blogger has almost been like a "two strangers passing in the night." I thought I knew it until I KNEW it after I began using it on a semi regular basis. Now that me and Mr. Blogger are on a first name basis and out of the honeymoon stage, I have discovered that blogger does have it's faults after all including the annoying fact that you cannot upload more than one picture at the same time. Another thing i hate is that you cannot see how your pictures will really appear once their up. For instance, the other day when I was trying to post stuff for feature on decorating the son's room, I had the pictures nicely placed to where the wording was going to show up just under the picture. Publishing the post, on the other hand, was a different story. I found that all the pictures were either bunched together in a digital massacre, or that they were spaced out like I had just posed as my 5th grade self. I'm sure there are better computer savvy genius out there who have figured out how to coexist with blogger. As for me, it's still a shot in the dark and I'm officially a blonde to computers until further notice (no insult to blondes out there).

xox me


Pillow Top Napkins: Remodel your Pillow Cases for Next to Nothing.

Today, I was ripping up some old pillow cases and decided, Hey why not make some napkins!! It was actually really fun. This project can be done for free as long as you have two old pillows. You cn also use scraps to embellish. I chose to use a little bit of zizag embroidery to get my inspiration. I reccomend that you all try this.  And boy did I! Here is how my pillow to napkin project turned out. These napkins are available for sale. They are not posted on my etsy site If you're interested, just email me or leave comment and I'll post it on etsy for you to purchase. Tak a look at the pic below.

the white pillow cases were cut apart and ironed. I made sure to cut of the serger sewed seams. 

a nice neat stack

here is the pillow sham i tore apart and ironed

here are the napkins after I used the white pillow cases as the back side and the brown backings from the shams as the front of the napkins.

Redecorate ANY room for $40 dollars or less: Remodeling of My Son's Room

This blog is going to be apart of a 4 part series that will include my son's room, my bathroom, my living room, and my kitchen. Stay tuned for the tutorials on everything that I do which will be thrown in there every so often. Two days ago, I decided it was time that my son's room got a makeover. This decision was a long time approaching. Here a few pictures from before....
The first picture is a shot of his bed. It's an air mattress that was there until we got our new bed. Keep in mind that the new photos will have him with a single bed. The single bed will not be there next week once our new bed. So imagine his new setup with a queen sized bed.
This is a homemade bulletin board. At the time, it seemed like a great idea. But after a few weeks of looking at it, it really got on my nerves.
This is his organization spot. This has been moved to the laundry room to become a towel rack. This is his tool box to give you kind of a placement of the room. the Room has four corners, so you're looking at the third corner and the clock is above that corner.
Basically, the room was just BLAH. I was tired of looking at it and I can't stand disorganization. So I decided to start this series on remodeling. I will have tutorial on each of the projects in his room .Unfortunately, I can't really take pictures of ALL my processes because I haven't an extra person to take the pictures while I actually make them. SORRY. maybe one day.
Now...here are the new pictures....

Notice the homemade bunting hanging over his bed to give it that creative look. I coordinated everything in his room around this bunting. Although his comforter is red, I decided RED was best. Included in that, i made a cover for his toychest out of an old paint drop cloth. To tie it together with the theme of the room, I added a piece of fabric that matched his bunting (Michael Miller, LOVE HIM). To make it almost look like a window sette, I added a couple of pillows and a homemade white pillow to make it look stylish.

Look at the mirror. Every kid loves a mirror. Also look at the bulletin board. I think that a bulletin board makes a kid feel special when they have something to post on it. Although Phoenix's board is empty, it won't be for long. He loves drawing his pictures and displaying them. Just make sure that that board is secured. For the time being, although you can't tell, it is not secured.

I got rid of the big storage shelf and replaced it with a smaller bookshelf (which will be replaced with another bookshelf to match his room better). Above his shelf, again, I'm trying the theme together with canvas pictures. I bought painter's canvas and decoupaged some cut fabric to them to make it look like they were drawn. I will have a tutorial on that at a later date. Stay tuned.
All in all, I loved doing this room. It took me the better part of a day to get it exactly the way that I wanted it. When my husband came home, the living room looked like a tornado hit. Even so, it was great to walk through the mess and see the organization that came out of it.


bunting: 1.50

cover: free

mirror: 9.00

cork bulletin board: 9.00

canvas boards: 10.00 for two
final price: 29.50

Day of Love Fast Approaching



StayingatHome-ism and Laundry

I abhor doing laundry.

I abhor washing laundry and drying it. Not that it's my obligatory duty to handwash the laundry followed by a three day session of me standing over the laundry blowing it with a hair dryer. I just don't like the act of separating, putting in the washer, and then transfering to the dryer. It's annoying. On the other hand, i LOVE folding. It's relaxing and I love how the messy turns into an organized pile of beauty.

I don't know what it is about this staying at home full time thing, but i feel like one of my major neverending tasks is laundry. As soon as I've emptied the laundry room, it's full again with another round of clothes. It's almost as if my husband and son wear three outfits a day. WELL, actually, my husband technically does sometimes. He's in the military. And for those of you unfarmiliar with the military, you have to do Physical Fitness in the morning which requires you to wear a uniform for that, then change for work. When we were BOTH in the military, I did laundry every minute of the day because me and my husband when through at least four uniforms a day. That's a lot of water. HAHA..the governement will never be GO truly Green.

Even now, As I revel in the fact that my husband has granted me the rare opportunity to become a stay at home mother until I so choose to go back to work (Like Neva!), I am struck with how much work it really is. It's not just the laundry. It's the struggle to create my hours. It's the struggle to climb out of bed...to work out...to stay motivated. I never thought how hard it was to be at home, but it can be a very lonely job.

On the other hand, it can be very fulfilling spending the day doing laundry knowing that there's someone else out there listening to some person bark orders at them all day. Instead, I'm barking orders at myself...and my son of course. "GET OUT OF BED. DON'T EAT THAT. EAT YOUR FOOD. DO THE LAUNDRY. CALL THE POWER COMPANY. DO THE LAUNDRY. FEED THE KIDS. CHANGE THE SHEETS. DO THE LAUNDRY."
     So, although I hate doing laundry. I enjoy the fact that I have all day to do it instead of doing it almost everyday over the course of the week (that's when I had a job of course.
xo Tiff xo


Featured Etsy Seller of the Day: Linda B's Beaded Jewelry

All photographs and endorsements have been used with the permisson of the owner. All images in this article are under copyright and may not be used without owner's permission. Copyright Linda B's Beaded Jewelry 2007-2010. All rights reserved.

Bumblebees, Bottlecaps, and Bracelets, OH MY! Linda B's got an array of interesting jewelry pulls at the hearts of anyone's creative tendencies. This self proclaimed "designerchic" has been happily beading jewelry for five years. She prides herself her creative bottlecap creations as well as creative beading techniques. And although her husband and cats are hip to her obsession, her one special friend and pet (her co-conspirator and creator), Buddy, likes lending her  a helping paw by beading and listing items. This Etsy creator based out of "Chicagoland" Illinois takes pride in her Etsy craft and flaunts it despite the competition. This bead and gemstone maven has taken beadcraft to another level with her interesting endeavors.
My blog is http://linorstorecom.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/linorstore
Twitter: http://twitter.com/lindab142

Why did you start selling on Etsy? My passion is designing hand beaded jewelry. I went to a gem show – talk about eye candy! I start making more than I could wear. A co-worker told me about Etsy.
Is Etsy a full-time job or is it something you dabble in? I have a full-time job and work Etsy in my “spare time.”

How do you keep yourself motivated to keep on selling even if times are slow? I read the forum threads on shop improvements, take new photos, write blogs and get beading books to look for new items.

What medium to you use on Etsy? I don’t understand this question.

What are your biggest goals for 2010? Keep working on photos, continue to feature sellers on my blog, at the end of the year, I hope to redesign my blog, oh, and find the elusive answer to the right item and price for my target market.
What advice can you give to those who sign up for Etsy today? Join a team and be active. Have fun.
What is your favorite item you sell in your store? I love my turquoise teardrop necklace http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10344011. It’s an attention getter.
What is your most popular (either by most views or most sales)?

My Bumblebee pendant has 1,485 views – it was featured by TimothyAdams designs http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vl_other_2&listing_id=11813781

What is your favorite shop on Etsy?

If I had to pick just one, today I’d pick my EtsyTwitterTeam mate Handmade by Sandi http://www.etsy.com/shop/HandmadeBySandi

OK, I can’t pick one: Crochetgal is another teammate and she has given me tips for success

When Slow is slow: What to do!

To say the least, things have been painfully slow...including my shipment of posties that I order from my prized printer. *sadness*. I think I might actually have to refund for my valentine's day postcards recently purchased because this ice storm has had collateral damage. But it's ok. I'm still hopeful. If I get negative feedback, it will be a learning experience. These are the times that you use business trials to your advantage. You use these slow opportunities to reflect on what is important. It's easy to give up when things get slow...to throw in your hat when you look at other shops or sellers doing much better. But let that be your fuel. I love Etsy. But if there's one thing I've noticed, it's that for every original thing you find, there's always going to be 50 more people trying to mimic the same thing. That's when you make the decision to try to do something original and reel them in. Originality was the original concept of Etsy. And, although Etsy is not perfect and has many flaws, the goal is still there. Keep that goal in your mind's eye as you create. Stay motivated. Try to create one new thing a day. Invest...Buy...Do what you must to keep that passion for creativity alive. Frankly, my passion is what keeps me writing on other Etsy sellers and what they're doing.

In short, when things are slow, Follow these 7 Steps....

1. Create Create Create
2. Plan your strategy
3. Buy: To stay inspired or stay motivated.
4. Examine: Examine what other successful sellers (on Etsy or any site for that matter) are doing to make successful knock on your door.
5. Invest: Invest time or money into what your doing to keep your love alive.
6. Stay Passionate: Keep the passion alive. Don't give up.
7. Read success stories: Reading success stories keeps me motivated...especially this week when I've been a creativity wreck.

What do you feel like your in a creative slump? Feel free to leave suggestions or read some of the etsy seller features. Take cues from them because some of them are doing quite well!

ALL of them are successful in their own right. Leave some advice...Share the wealth.


The Calm AFTER the Storm

Our town looks awful. Trees are knocked down. And, the ones that aren't knocked down look like they should be knocked down. While everything is thawing out, the electric company is scrambling to restore power all over our area. To tell you the truth, I'm extremely happy to be back up and running because now I can begin to fill the two orders I got while the power was out. I just hope that I don't get a negative rating. :(  Either way, I'm feeling very fortunate to have power back finally. I also got my chenielle in the mail (YAY!). It was a lot more than I thought it would be. Very happy. If you guys have any ideas for chenille besides scraves, let me know.

Anyhow, today when I got in my house, despite the fact that I left a clean house, I still had a laundry list (literally) of things that needed to be done:

Do 121 loads of laundry
Bring in the food that's been chilling outside. BTW, if your power ever goes out due to ice, put your food outside so it won't go bad. We only had one casualty instead of all perishables.
Unpacked the car.
Cleaned my dirty children.
Paid Bills
Checked and filled my Etsy orders
Caught up on a blog.
Started on Featured Etsy seller of the Day

There is nothing more comforting than knowing that I'm getting to sleep in my own bed, type on my own computer, lounge around in my pjs all day,and finally be in a room that separate from my husband and my son. Love them to death, but there's only so much time I can spend with them in one room.



Featured Etsy Seller of the Day: A Nichelle Designs

 A Nichelle Designs specializes in handmade whimsy styled dolls. This "up and coming" folk artist is based out of Colunbia, South Carolina. Her colorful creations beg to placed in your child's bed; whimsical in mood reflecting the true nature of this artist. She accurately describes her creations as "compact, cute, and travel-friendly." I'd have to second that adding that their versatility do a great job in reflecting this artist's true inner creativity.  I would recommend this shop to ANYONE because she makes something, that even on Etsy, is  hard to find...Pure Originality. I dare you to check our her shop!
name: A. Nichelle
business name: A. Nichelle Designs
Email: anichelledesigns [!at] aol.com
So tell me a little about your shop and what you sell…
I have been making stuffed toys for about five years now. None of the dolls and stuffed animals I create are the traditional, everyday toys that you would find in stores. I’m a doodler. Whenever I’m on the phone, bored or simply passing time, I doodle or sketch images. One day I thought it would be neat to bring some of those images to life and that’s exactly what I did. What you see, is the end result.
Why did you start selling on Etsy?
A few years ago there were very few handmade sites on the internet. When I came across Etsy, I thought it was the next best thing to sliced bread. It was incredible! There were so many talented artists who created such amazing things - I’ll admit, I was a bit intimidated. It took me several months to gain the courage to open my own Etsy shop but when I did, I’ve been on cloud nine ever since.
Is Etsy a full-time job or is it something you dabble in?
My Ultimate goal is to one day turn my craft into a fulltime job. But for now, it’s considered a hobby.
How do you keep yourself motivated to keep selling even if times are slow?
My motto is, “If you keep sewing, they will come”. ..All jokes aside, I enjoy my designs whether they sale or not. I create them because I simply love the process. I figure, patience is a virtue. If you work hard at what you do and ENJOY what you do, the sales will come.
What are your biggest goals for 2010?
I have a stack of sketches that I haven’t yet made patterns for. Although I know I can’t get to all of them, my goals for 2010 is to introduce a new line of dolls and animals. Also, the greatest asset in any business is one’s time and marketing strategies. Another goal I hope to accomplish this year is to get more traffic into my Etsy shop is by way of networking and promoting. I plan to take advantage of every opportunity and resource that comes available.
What advice can you give to those who sign up for Etsy today?
If you are solely creating for a “buck”, you won’t be successful on Etsy. There are a lot of ups and a lot of downs while selling on Etsy-especially for new comers. I know this sounds cliché but if you love what you do and work hard at what you do and promote and network consistently, the downs don’t seem as painful. As long as the new shop owner stays loyal to his/her craft, the sales will follow.
What is your favorite item you sell in your store?
That’s a good question. ..Ha-ha. I love all of my creations BUT if I had to chose “one”, it would be the Rabbit-Less Things - simply because they are compact, cute and travel-friendly.
What is your most popular (either by most views or most sales)?
As of now, my most popular item is an even split between the Pugs and the Dachshunds. Every few months the popularity shifts to something else but now the spot light is on the pug and the dachshund.
What is your favorite shop on Etsy?
There are SO MANY talented artists on Etsy. I have so many favorites-there is no way I can single out a specific artist.


Featured Etsy Seller of the Day: Lar1203 or A Little Birdy

This part-time stay-at-home mom became inspired the very way so many other Etsy sellers do: by other Etsy sellers. While her son napped, she taught herself how to sew and spent time creating one of many of her popular etsy best sellers, CUP COZIES. Eco-friendly and committed to making a difference in creativity, A Little Birdy, is cute, friendly and inspiring. I hope she inspires you to create as much as she has inspired me!

So tell me a little about your shop and what you sell...
I opened my shop about a year ago. Since then, it has evolved from just baby and toddler appliqued t-shirts to a lot more. Such as crayon rolls, custom appliqued dog t-shirts, reusable cup cozies, and wristlet key fobs. 

Why did you start selling on Esty?

A friend saw one of my appliqued t-shirts and thought it was so cute, she suggested that I open up shop.

Is Etsy a full-time job or is it something you dabble in?Etsy is something I dabble in. I have a full-time job as a mom to Devin, 20 months. I also work part-time as a Hair Stylist. 

How do you keep yourself motivated to keep on selling even if times are slow?

I like to keep trying new things to see what customers are interested in at the time. 

What medium to you use on Etsy?

I use mostly designer fabrics and felt.
What are your biggest goals for 2010?
To get the word out about my Esty shop in order to start profiting. I feel good when my shop is doing well. It's just a personal fulfillment for me.

What is your favorite item you sell in your store? Hmm. That's hard. I feel very proud of some of the t-shirts I have made, so I guess I would say appliqued t-shirts.

What is your most popular (either by most views or most sales)?Reusable cup cozies! I love making these. They are a fun way to use small pieces of pretty fabrics.

What is your favorite shop on Etsy?

I have made most of my purchases here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/GudonyaToo and I love fabric shops that sell designer and Japanese import fabric.

Follow me on Twitter - http://twitter.com/lar1203

Flickr photostream - http://www.flickr.com/photos/39997014@N05/

Proud Member of:

Georgia Etsy Street Team (GaEtsyTeam)


EcoNest Team! - http://teameconest.blogspot.com/

Become a Fan on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/A-Little-Birdy/163606254003?ref=nf

-- Lauren


Winter Storm

Due to the winter storm, I was not able to post for the past few days. I'm now fortunate enough to be staying in a "booked to capacity" hotel because the power at our house has yet to be restored. Friday night, while I was resting next to my two year old listening to her coos and watching her smiles, the power went out. I thought that for a moment it would flicker on. It did but only for a couple of hours before cutting right off again for the next four days. Since then, we've :

1. Built 1 huge circus tent of a fort in our bedroom that housed our family of four for two and a half days.
2. Burned over 100 tea lights and candles in order to keep our home warm since all stores were out of heaters...and we couldn't afford a generator.
3.  Migrated  180 miles Northeas to Tulsa to stay with family who were fortunate enough to not loose power.
4.  Txted approximately 65 times to keep from dying of boredom.
5.  Took 5 pictures on the phone as proof of what happened.
6.  Avoided 3 power lines that lay strewn across our neighborhood street.
7.  Cooked on our propane grill that is usually reserved for camping.
8. Ate 3 crumbled pancakes and 5 bowls of chili all cooked on our propane grill.
9. Thanked over 10000000 lucky stars for the safety of my family and children for making it through two blizzards this winter.
10. Wrote out 10 points that got me through this ice storm.

That was my icestorm 2010. How did you guys fare? Sorry...no stories of craft miracles this time. Maybe next time:)
xoxo tiff xoxo


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