as many of you already know, google reader is going the way of the dodo tomorrow. so if you'd like, please feel free to add Monkey + Squirrel on Bloglovin'. i just made the switch (everything last minute, as always!) and i'm already enjoying the new setup. change is good!
as i said in this previous post, a Monkey & Squirrel shop overhaul was in the works. well finally, after a number of late nights, and long kiddo naps, i've got the ball rolling. i've done away with all the refinished iron pieces, and am now focusing solely on one of a kind embroideries.
this change has been some time in the making. embroidering is where my heart is these days. i can't even say how special it feels to create something for one person to give to another, usually on the most momentous of occasions. anniversaries, weddings, birthdays... these tend to be the days when the most thoughtful gifts are given, and i'm honored beyond words when my creations are purchased as such gifts.
who knows where this change will lead me, but at this moment it just feels right.
this is something i've been thinking about for quite some time now, and folks who have followed along with Monkey & Squirrel since its early days may have even seen this change coming. it's in regards to my etsy shop, and some changes that are in the works. i'll start at the beginning...
when i first began Monkey & Squirrel back in 2009, i had an idea to refinish these cast iron pieces that i had been seeing around some salvage/antique spots. i did my homework and researched etsy to make sure that no other sellers were doing just that. i found none, so i set up shop, and my etsy journey began. fairly quickly i started doing rather well, there was a market for it, and i was the only one doing it. that's all it takes! well anyone who is at all familiar with etsy, or the handmade market in general, knows that once people see something doing well they tend to copy it. my market quickly became saturated. i put so much work into the photographing, description writing, and designing of my items, and folks were just coming along and stealing it... literally. i even revamped my entire shop to put a new modern spin on my items, with color blocking and gold leaf, and shortly after i saw other shops doing that too. like same exact color choices, and selling it for a few dollars less just to steal the sale.
it been a really frustrating process, and my heart is no longer in it. it's a battle i've fought, and can't seem to win. so i'm bowing out. i'm saying adios to the cast iron (with the possible exception of a few special pieces), and focusing solely on embroidery. you'll see many new and custom designs coming in the next few weeks, and i'm really excited to feel inspired again.
perhaps another new little something you may have noticed is the focus on photography going on 'round these parts. i've found another love, and it's in capturing all the beautiful moments of this crazy life. i've been lucky enough to have some opportunities to do some great shoots lately and it's definitely another facet that i'm excited to add to the Monkey & Squirrel line up.
and now the good news. to help me clear out the cast iron in my shop i'm offering up a 25% off coupon code to be used on any of the iron items that are left. just use the code FRESHSTART at checkout to receive 25% off. it's my little gift to all those that have been by me this whole journey, and for the new faces that will be along for the next step. thank you!
putting into words just how i feel about fridays horrible events hasn't been something i've found easy to do. i can say though that it has gotten to me. right to my insides and shaken me up like i haven't felt since i can remember. maybe it's that the victims were all so very innocent, or perhaps it's that i have i child of my own, but even september 11th didn't jolt me like this, and i was living in new york city at the time.
in honor of black friday/small business saturday/cyber monday (how long ya think until sunday gets a name?) i've got a snazzy little holiday sale going on in my shop. just enter HOLIDAY2012 at checkout to receive 15% off your entire order. time to get that shopping out of the way and make more time for hot cocoa, christmas movies, and tree trimming... man i love christmas!!!
i've recently added a new little goodie to the ol' shop and i'm pretty darn happy about it. these custom initial embroideries make me happy as a clam while stitching, and even happier when they're off to their new homes. sweet little flowers, and dainty little leaves... not to toot my own horn, but i love 'em!
well hello there friends, long time no chat! as you may have noticed, lately i just haven't been able to keep up with this little corner of the internet that i've carved out for myself. i feel pretty bad about it, but my days are quite busy, and something had to give. obviously it was this. but good news is that you can keep up with the daily adventures of our little lady HERE. so come on over and say hello if you like!
and here's a little something i'm really excited to be offering up these days. custom hand stitched table numbers for weddings, or any other special day really. these can be done in any color palette to match your occasion...
it really feels so good to be able to get those creative juices flowing again recently. since having penny it's been really tough to find time to feel inspired. ya know, sleep deprivation, dirty diapers, and a lack of regular showers tend to not make a gal feel her most artistic. but look at me, getting back in the swing of things. i didn't realize just how much i missed being productive until i actually was. i NEED to create things to really feel like myself, and being a fulfilled mama makes me a better mama! so these days i look forward to every single nap, when i can bust out some hoops, needle, and thread, and get on down to work! so sleep well little girl, and if all goes as planned, these shop updates will be a more regular occurrence!
i can't believe that today is christmas eve eve. i've never had a christmas away from my fam in NY, so it's feeling pretty odd not being with them this year. it just doesn't feel like christmas. thankfully evans family is here, and more are coming into town, so we'll be spending the next few days getting some quality time with them... and waiting for penny's arrival of course!
this past sunday evan and i toted all of my handmade goodies over to asheville, nc for the big crafty holiday show. i was so super stoked to be a part of it this year. i've done the summer one a few times, but this was the first year i was accepted to the holiday one, and let me tell you, it was worth the wait!
at 35 weeks pregnant i was a bit apprehensive as to how i would hold up at such a busy craft show, but penny cooperated perfectly and the day went smooth as can be. i took all of your basic preggo precautions, drink lots of water, sit and relax at any down points, and be sure to snack on all the vegan nibbles that were being offered up there. no joke on that last one. we started by having breakfast at the green sage cafe which has my most favorite breakfast burrito on the planet. with a green monster smoothie on the side, it was quite a way to start the day! we then moved on to snacking on goodies from the firestorm cafe. they were actually at the show and were walking around to each vendor with trays of snacks to choose from. so smart... and certainly appreciated guys! we got a brownie and a blueberry muffin and each made for a happy baby belly! as if that wasn't enough, we then celebrated a successful day with some chocolate shakes from the hop. we were happy campers...
the only bummer on the day for me was that i didn't get to walk around the entire venue to see all the vendors. what i did get to see was amazing, and it's probably best that i didn't get to browse. it would have been so very easy to spend all of the days profits in no time. aside from that though, it was a perfect day full of crafty goodness, great nibbles, and fabulous people. i've said it before, and i'll say it again, i love you big crafty!
i really just want to make granny squares all day long, but i guess i have to crawl before i can walk. any crochet folks out there with some tips and tricks, feel free to leave them here for this newbie. i'm just a beginner, but i'm already in love :)
just wanted to give one more little glimpse at what the new Monkey & Squirrel will be bringing to you later today. brand new embroideries, wooden jewelry hangers, and a whole new take on my cast iron pieces will all be introduced very soon. eeeeep... can't wait to share everything!
*update* of course our computer decided that today would be the best time to go on the fritz, so now the full shop revamp will have to wait until tomorrow. a few goodies made it in today, so feel free to have a peek if you like!
Monkey & Squirrel (the shop) is officially closed for the next few days for a complete overhaul! i'm so excited about the new look, and all the new goodies i'll be sharing once i reopen. i'll be sure to post a few sneak peaks here to share what i've been busting my buns on... but the official reveal will be Wednesday Nov 2nd. now back to work for me...