ch ch ch changes...

jenn pierce, charlotte nc photographer

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!

to connecticut with love...

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. i can't quite remember who wrote it or exactly how the words went, but the sentiment is what keeps coming into my head over and over, and it brings me to tears every time. it was a thought really, the thought of coming home one day to your childs "things" knowing that your baby would never be there amongst them again. i can't imagine how these parents are coping with it... it's impossible. so for the past few days, and from here on out, i'm going to cherish every single sweet moment i have with this family of mine. i'll hold on to every tiny hug, and slobbery kiss, and though i know i can't protect her from everything, i'll do my best to make her world filled with a little less sadness, and a lot more magic. we owe our children that at the very least... jenn pierce, charlotte nc photographer

holiday sale to kick off the season!

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!!!

autumn love...

yesterday was the most perfect of autumn afternoons. it was about 77 degrees, and the huge tree in our front yard was doing its yearly raining of leaves that i love so much. this particular time was made even more incredible by seeing it through penny's big blue eyes for the first time. we took a cozy blanket outside, laid down on our backs, and let the leaves land on our faces. it was one of those moments i'd like to keep bottled up on a shelf to take down when we hit somewhere around those teenage years...

a lil' something new...

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!

you can get a closer look HERE...

is anybody there?

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!

also, my blog isn't going anywhere and i'll still be posting here when time allows :)

shop update

finally! i've been able to bust my buns and get some brand new stitched goodies up in the shop...
jenn pierce, charlotte nc photographer
jenn pierce, charlotte nc photographer
jenn pierce, charlotte nc photographer
jenn pierce, charlotte nc photographer

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...

jenn pierce, charlotte nc photographer
and here they are in action! photos from a wedding featured on Ruffled blog...
jenn pierce, charlotte nc photographer
jenn pierce, charlotte nc photographer
jenn pierce, charlotte nc photographer

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!


there has been some serious silence over here on the ol' blog, and for that i apologize! thing are getting to the home stretch of this pregnancy and i've been taking it easy these past few days. i was actually told that my blood pressure was a bit high at my last check up, so i was given orders to drink water like a camel and kick up my feet whenever possible. so that i did, and at my check up yesterday all was back to normal... thank goodness!
so here are some peeks at what i've been up to in between the water, the resting, and the rewatching of lost from the very first episode...
*a wee bit of decorating for christmas*

*sipping warm beverages from my new santa mug*

*eating delicious noms*

*a little trip with the mr to a local general store*

*baking sweet vegan treats for a christmas gathering*

*lunch with friends and their adorable kids*

*snuggling pups... lots of snuggling to be exact*

*realizing that this is our last christmas with just two stockings. next year we'll have a wee one to share it with*

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!

the big crafty holiday edition

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!

crochet school

over the years i've discovered one very important trait about myself. i need to learn a new skill at least every year. my body actually craves it, like a drug, or perhaps like a chocolate chip cookie when i'm pregnant. i find myself drooling over crafty blogs, until i settle on the one thing that just MUST be learned. (you may recall, last year it was embroidery)
well i was in one of these moods recently, and i set my target on crocheting. i've lusted after enough snazzy etsy ladies items (namely 1, 2, 3, and 4), to know that i just finally needed to get myself a hook, some yarn, and dive in! 
so yesterday i sat myself down in front of this here computer, and started with lesson one of the craftyminx crochet school. if you've ever thought about learning, i definitely recommend this series. it's a video turtorial for each day of the month of october. they're super easy to follow, and they start from the very begininning. for someone who has never even held a crochet hook, this was a must!
here are my very first stitches. one little length of chain stitch, and i was happy as a pig in poo!
and here is my first swatch. i was practicing the single crochet here. my edges are a bit rough, but apparently that is something that just gets better with practice.

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 :)


after days of computer issues, i've finally got the Monkey & Squirrel shop makeover going on in full effect! i invite you to take a little peek at what's there so far and let me know what you think...

i've still got lot's more brand new goodies to share, so be sure to check back in and see what i've been up to :)

another sneak peek for ya...

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!

sneak peek...

hello monday!
after last nights late night photo shoot, i thought i would stop in for a bit just to give you a quick little peek at the new look of Monkey & Squirrel. i've got so many more exciting new items to share, but i took this little shot with my phone and i just had to share. can't wait to show y'all the rest!!!

closed for business...

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...

happy sunday friends!

giveaway score, and stuff...

EEEEEP... i couldn't possibly be more stoked about this giveaway i won last week. this super cozy doily blanket arrived in the mail today, and was awarded to me by the ever fabulous Goodknits who was doing a giveaway over on The Dainty Squids blog. ya enter these things never thinking you'll actually win them, and then surprise surprise... sometimes ya do!

the package also came with the sweetest little goodies inside. two little pins and an adorable mini journal too! i've been pleased as punch all day because of this!

hope y'all have a fantastic weekend! it's supposed to be lovely here in charlotte, and we've got family coming into town, so it's sure to be a fun filled time here. see ya monday!