August 31, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist - Gretchen of S & G Hulett, Made in Wyoming

I have had the honor of getting to know Gretchen over the past few months through our Etsy street team - FAM - and she is definitely all three things that fit her into the team.... Fabulous, Artistic and a Mum. Now it's your turn to get to know her a little better.

Tell us all about yourself and your craft?
My name is Gretchen and I am a mother of 3 kids. Allie my oldest is married and expecting baby number 1 in Oct, so will be first time grandma soon. My son is 10 and going into the 5th grade and my youngest is 8 and going into the 2nd grade. We home school and will be starting our 5th year in Sept. I am married to my sexy husband Steven and we reside in Laramie, WY and have for the last 14yrs.

I learned to crochet when I was 5 from my maternal grandmother and then went on from there to just freestyle crochet. I taught myself to knit in 2004 and have been sewing since 1995. I love to just pick up a hook or needles and start to create but sewing is more of pattern piecing to get a fun and function look.

How long have you been creating your craft?
I have been on Etsy since Aug 2007 and prior to that on and off on eBay.

What is one of the biggest lessons you have learned about your craft & selling it?
I have learned that I am my biggest critic and what I think about my work isn't what others think. I know my items are good but I need to just chill and let others see what I have and not be to eager to sell to everyone.

Which of your items did you have the most fun creating & why?
I would have to say the winter crocheted dress that is currently in my store. It took me about 3 weeks to complete and 4 skeins of yarn. I like to see a big project accomplished and on display.

Is there a basic 'household' item you use when creating that seems to work just as good if not better than the actual 'tool'?
Well you know, I do have some favorite crochet hooks that I prefer using over another and I just love bamboo knitting needles. I have a serger and a sewing machine but I prefer my serger for most sewing and then the sewing machine for just top stitching.

What is your favourite candy bar & why?
Oh my gosh is there any right answer on this one??? I think any candy bar with chocolate covering or solid chocolate will do me just fine. But if I had to choose just one I think it would have to be a chocolate or strawberry Charalson Chew. The chocolate covering and the nugget middle is just a wonderful mix.

If money, responsibilities, and time were no issues where in the great wide world would you go & why?
Well, I would have to say a cruise with my husband. We got married in 1994 and with my oldest being little we really didn't have a honeymoon except my parents having my daughter with them for the night. We moved a month later and joke that, that was our honeymoon driving 1200miles with a little one.

Stop past Gretchen's mother and daughter run shop at and take a moment to browse her gorgeous range of over 80 items! We feel pretty comfortable when Gretchen says "Make your self to home and have a look around. Remember if you don't see something please let me know and we can set up a custom order for you" and with nothing but 100% positive feedback you know you'll come away a happy customer!

August 27, 2008

I wouldn't of asked but there are so many generous people out there who convinced me to.....

As you may have read in other posts or chats, I've started I'm planning a fundraiser to help us with program and life costs for our 7 year old Felicity who has sever Autism.

Felicity was diagnosed at 12 months of age and we were told by the doctors and professionals she would never talk and would forever stay in 'her little world' with no hope of us contacting her - ever! They said put her in a 'special school' and maybe they could teach her to 'cope' with the world.......
As any parents, or anyone with a child in their life would know - that just wasn't good enough for us so we searched for a better option and have finally found an amazing program - The Son-Rise Program run by The Autism Treatment Centre of America.
We have been working with Felicity in The Son-Rise Program™ for 2 years now and for the first time in her life she is using words and wanting to engage in social activities with those around her - it's so exciting to watch. She called my hubby Dad for the first time in 7 years just a few weeks ago!!!! take a look HERE at Felicity now. Playing in the backyard with her dad and using her new word 'UP' over and over!
My family and I live in Sydney, Australia and sadly this amazing program is not available here, so we must travel to the United States for the four separate training courses and further development of Felicity's program - but as I'm sure you could understand this is expensive.

We, along with two other families with Autistic children, Hannah and Blake, are holding a HUGE, Masquerade Ball fundraising event - Behind The Mask Of Autism - in mid November this year and would love if we could get your help!
We are asking that you please consider donating something in the form of a item that we can include into a themed (kids, ladies, men's etc etc) hamper/basket from to be auctioned on the night and help us in creating a night 'not to be missed' for our special children.
We have built a web site, with further details on the event, the children you would be helping and their Program for you to understand exactly what an amazing gift you would be giving.
Your stores will be mentioned on the night and will be in a 'take home' pack that all who come will receive as well as being mentioned in local papers who are doing both pre and post articles about the event.
Please feel free to contact me with any further questions.
All of the three families and I thank you in advance for your consideration.

Yours Sincerely,

Ta Dah....... What do you think???

What a difference a new header and shop banner can make! I love them both and just love popping into my shop now it's so colourful and cheerful!
I must say a HUGE thank you to Amanda of henryrabbit who designed it all for me - she has done an amazing job! I just sent her a photo of my business cards and stationary and asked her to possibly match them to the new banners and add some flags and make the font bigger and keep the polka dots scattered and, and, and, and.... I bet Amanda was glad to be finished in the end!
I've also had made matching custom order graphics and I just can't wait to be able to use it for the first time!

For those of you who didn't see or can't remember the old banner here it is,

fun I know but I just wasn't in love with it, here is the new shop banner

...... now I love the look of both my shop and blog and I hope you do too!

August 26, 2008

Coming soon...........

I've decided it is time for a change! I'm only days away from having a brand new fancy Giggleberry Creations shop banner and matching blog header all made by an amazing, talented and friendly fellow Etsy seller - henryrabbit
The design has all been cleverly designed to match my Giggleberry Creations staitonary and although I've only seen the 'drafts' so far I'm happy to say they look fantastic!!!
So keep your eyes on this blog and my shop HERE for the great "new look" arriving soon!

August 22, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist - Mona of Sewing Granny - Handcrafted Gifts & Quilts

This week we have the pleasure of getting to know Mona - the Sewing Granny herself. Mona not only has her Etsy shop packed full of gorgeous handmade items but says "I do custom orders all the time - so please feel free to contact me! I’d love to work with you on style, pattern, color and materials. Everyone has their own style and you deserve to show it off!"

Tell us all about yourself and your craft?
I am a mother of a 28 year old son, have a 7 year old grandson and have been with my partner for 30 years! After working for a long time as a laborer I returned to college and became a correctional officer. I love to sew and quilt ...this has lead to my opening my shop on Etsy...I do alot of custom work and have my crafts in a number of craft shops on consignment. In the future, my dream is to have a shop of my own and craft full time!

How long have you been creating your craft?
I started quilting when I became a correctional officer 13 years ago and that lead to sewing other items.

What is one of the biggest lesson you have learnt about your craft & selling it?
You never know what will sell....what I think will not does.... enjoy making it and if you do not then do not do it....LOL...I am not going to get rich at it!!!

Which of your items did you have the most fun creating & why?
My favorite would be the blue sampler quilt I made for myself but never finished in time to use...I changed my room decor before I was done hand quilting. There is a picture of it on Flickr HERE, My best friend and I did it was our girl's night out!

Is there a basic ‘household’ item you use when creating that seems to work just as good if not better than the actual ‘tool’?
I use a wooden spoon to help turn things inside out for example my oval placemats....and when I get started sewing there is not a surface in my home and out (decks, patio table, clothes line) that does not get used!

What is your favorite candy bar & why?
Well, chocolate is not my thing but do not put a bag of Ruffle chips in front of me...yummm...and the saltier the better.

If money, responsibilities, and time were no issues where in the great wide world would you go & why?
I am not a traveler but I would love to go to Nashville and see some of my favorite country and western stars!

Stop by and say hi to Mona at and I bet you'll find that next gift you were looking for. Oh and Mona is so organised she has started listing items for to make your home that little bit more festive for the Christmas season HERE.

August 20, 2008

Wow - What a Find!

I have found the perfect place for all your gift ideas for kids and you just know it's a fun place by the name Monkeytail and Wellington!. We all have sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, God sons and daughters, siblings, neighbors, grandchildren, friends - the list goes on and on and don't just think Christmas but the whole year round! Phew makes me tired just thinking about it. Luckily with Monkeytail and Wellington I can sit in the comfort of my home - a HUGE bonus when you've got kids and little time to walk the stores of your busy local shopping centre - and poke around this colourful and fun website to find the unique and gorgeous items that will make the gift giving days and events extra special!
The items range from sweet lounge sets and other clothing to toys and dress ups right through to fun ways to decorate your little ones room. All your purchases can be gift wrapped and sent straight to the intended receiver in your choice of gift wrap or a deluxe suit case gift box - now how easy is that!
You just can't help but stop by and support this SAHM run business who also supports others in the same situation and with a motto like "Celebrating Kids Being Kids" I'm hooked.
Pop by and visit Vicki some time at Monkeytail and Wellington and why not join the VIP list and get 10% off your purchase?!

August 17, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist - April of Apple Blossom Designs

Thank you to April so much for chatting with us, your pieces are gorgeous and as April states "each jewelry item is made to be unique and will not be duplicated" so you know you are getting a truly one of a kind item!

Tell us all about yourself and your art?
My name is April, I'm a SAHM to 2 girls, ages 6 and 2. I've been married to my DH, Eric for almost 9 years. I love to cook and bake (mostly bake), and I really want to go to culinary school. I have 5 tattoos, and I'm just getting started!! I make beaded stuff. You'll find everything from necklaces, bracelets and earring to key chains, zipper pulls and hair accessories in my shop. I'm currently planning on adding Swarovski initial bracelets for kids and some "different" bookmarks to my shop.

How long have you been creating your art?
My sister-in-law got me hooked on beading on a visit to her house around 5 or 6 years ago. I was hooked in an instant! I started out making things mostly for myself, or as gifts for my family. I just decided around the beginning of this year to take the plunge and attempt selling.

What is one of the biggest lesson you have learnt about your art & selling it?
I'm still learning the selling part, as far as not getting discouraged my slow/no sales. It's very hard to stand out in the vast sea that is jewelry on Etsy. As far as creating, most ideas just kind of unfold. Most of the time they work, other times I've got to try more than a few times to make something come out the way I intended.

Which of your items did you have the most fun creating & why?
I have to say the kids' bug necklaces were the most fun to create. My mom had a page of a magazine torn out with large beaded bugs that were garden stakes. I thought the idea was cute, but didn't groove on the whole garden stake thing. So, I figured scale it down and make it a charm for a kids' necklace. I give each one a personality and a "B" name.

Is there a basic household item you use when creating that seems to work just as good if not better than the actual tool?
It's not very exciting, but I use a plastic spoon as my bead scoop. I also have found that a clean plastic mushroom container makes a great "garbage bowl" (for those familiar with Rachael Ray) for waste wire and stuff.

What is your favourite candy bar & why?
That's a hard one. I love chocolate. I would have to say the dark chocolate Snickers. Who doesn't love a good Snickers bar, and well everything is better in dark chocolate.

If money, responsibilities, and time were no issues where in the great wide world would you go & why?
Italy, no hesitation. I would move there tomorrow if it was possible. My dad's family is from Naples and Ferraro. I've been dreaming of going since I was in High School and almost got to go as a foreign exchange student. I'm determined that someday, somehow I'll make it!

Pop on over to April's shop and if you are quick all purchases over $10 for the month of August have free shipping - what a deal!
I'll be keeping my eye on her shop for sure...... I just can't wait to see what Aprils next kids bug necklace is named.......

August 16, 2008

Are you on Facebook??? Giggleberry is........

Hi all,
I just wanted to let you know Giggleberry Creations has it's very own 'Fan Page' on Facebook. If you have a Facebook profile or maybe you have been meaning to start one for a while drop in and say hi - it's a great place to see the latest items Giggleberry has to offer and even the custom orders that have been completed which might spark some inspiration..... or if you have a Giggleberry item you can even leave a product rating.
Just click on the link HERE and you'll head straight there.

See you all there,

August 12, 2008

Bits and Peices.......

Those who know me know I love the delete button..... I am what ever is the complete opposite to a hoarder is - if it's broken I throw it out, if I haven't used it in a while I'll sell it on ebay, If I've read it I'll delete it from my emails, if I haven't worn it since last season I'll give it to good will, if my kids have out grown it I pass it down the line to a niece or nephew etc etc but for some reason when it comes to fabric I just can't bring my self to part with it. Even the tiniest scraps are kept.
Which got me thinking.... I'm a practical person and I know I wasn't just keeping these gorgeous 'off cuts' around just to collect dust in a corner of my house but I just couldn't find anything to get me motivated enough to create with them. Until a day I had some spare time - rare I know - to sit down with my big bag of scraps and my sewing machine. I just started to sew pieces together. After a little while I realized I actually now had one huge and growing piece of fabric and there was my lightening bolt moment - I'll make a quilt!!!!

I now had my inspiration and motivation. I just wasn't quiet sure how to get to that finished product so since I've never actually made a quilt before in my life I took a photo of the large piece I had already and sent it to my mum on the email who has made many 'traditional' quilts of different style and sizes so I figured she could help point me and my scraps in the right direction.
Now because the scraps are of every shape and size you can imagine, the piece I was gradually building on was slowly becoming less and less flat so good old mum suggested I cut it into squares and then re-sew these squares together until I have the size I wanted or I ran out of off cuts to add.
So I have done just that and over the past few weeks any chance I've had I have added a little more to my quilt until last night when I was full of energy and decided it was time to finish it! I've padded it up nice and soft with wadding and used super soft polar fleece for the backing and TaDah - Giggleberry's first Scraps Quilt!

It took allot of flag making to build up enough of the beautiful scraps I used for the quilt but I figure it won't be long before I have another big bag to play with and maybe these quilts will start to make an appearance every few months in the Giggleberry shop???

Now all I have to do is come up with a name for them....... 'Scraps Quilt' just doesn't sound right - any suggestions???

August 7, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist ~ Michele, of both Pandy's & Griffin Gear

Thank you to Michele for letting us get to know you and your businesses a bit better and for being Giggleberry's very first featured artist.

Tell us all about yourself and your craft?
I am currently a stay at home mom with 2 wonderful, albeit energetic and curious, children, aged 4 and 5. This is something that I never, ever planned on. I originally was going to be an equine veterinarian, I went to UNH, earned by BS in Animal Science, but decided vet school really wasn't for me. I worked as an equine surgical technician for 6 years, then worked for an insurance company in the claims department. That was not exciting enough for me. I then earned my MBA and was working in the financial married, then, after the birth of my daughter, decided to stay home (yes, me who was never having kids became a stay at home mom)  I have always done something crafty, rubber stamping, cross stitching, candle making...sewing wasn't at the top of the list until about 10 years ago.

My mom has always been creative, we made Christmas ornaments every year, sewed clothes for me, my dad, herself...I remember being in second grade and having my first "store-bought" winter jacket. Her mother was always sewing, too. My grandmother's nickname was Pandy, hence one of my store names.

How long have you been creating your craft?
I have always known how to sew, but never really pursued it. About 10 years ago, mom and I started getting into more textiles and soft sculpture with our craft fair inventory and decided on the name Pandy's. It was short, easy to remember, didn't limit us to one particular thing, and was a great tribute to my grandmother. GriffinGear, my second shop, was started after I started making clothes for my son, as there is a severe lack of "normal" clothing for boys.

What is one of the biggest lesson you have learnt about your craft & selling it?
Mistakes aren't always a bad thing. The first time I try something, it's usually a disaster.....but in the process, I have come up with shortcuts and new ways to try something. I have a hard time with pricing. I'm my own worst critic and never think my quality is good enough.

Which of your items did you have the most fun creating & why?
I get overwhelmed in a fabric store, so periodically, I get a "scrap bag" from a local quilt shop....they will send me random 1/4 yard cuts of fabric. I never know what the fabric will inspire me to create. Right now, I am working on an art type quilt. It's fun so far, and a stretch for me. I have to have everything balanced and even, so something rather random with no rules is fun, but was hart to start.

Is there a basic ‘household’ item you use when creating that seems to work just as good if not better than the actual ‘tool’?
I used to work for an equine surgeon and would NEVER be without hemostats or needle drivers. Hemostats can poke corners, help turn narrow tubes, hold strings-they lock so you can attach them, lock them and walk away. Needle drivers are great, too. I am tying beads onto the art quilt I mentioned above, using clear thread. I just make surgeons knots, pull and snip with the scissors built into the needle drivers. Much faster and easier than trying to tie myself, then cut.

What is your favourite candy bar & why?
I'm not much of a chocolate or candy fan, but I do like Baby Ruths. The combination of caramel and peanuts isn't too sweet and it sort of cancels the chocolate taste.

If money, responsibilities, and time were no issues where in the great wide world would you go & why?
I am not sure....there are so many places that inspire me. I love history, I love bustling cities and quiet, open spaces. I'm happy in the mountains and happy at the lake. I guess I'd go everywhere, as there is always something new and exciting around the next corner.

Visit Michele today at either http// or http//:Griffin where not only does she have a huge range of great handmade items to choose from but will happily work with you on a custom order and if your purchase is going to be a gift? 'Convo' Michele the details and she  can wrap your purchase, include a note with a handwritten message of your choosing and send it directly to the recipient at no extra charge.

August 6, 2008

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you...

So I've decided that rather than give you my personal opinion on some of the awesome fellow Etsy sellers I'd do a weekly interview with these amazing people.
I'll be letting you in on the little things about their craft/art that make them so individual - and I'll throw in a couple of pic's for those of you out there that, like me, need visual stimulation.
I've come up with seven questions that will not only help us get to know their products and themselves but I've managed to ask the 'hard hitting' questions too like " what's your favorite candy bar?" ........ riveting stuff I know.
Stay tuned as the first feature will be early next week - and you never know, you may learn something new or find that perfect handmade item from a truly unique person.

Oh and incase you were wondering my favorite candy bar is a Mars Bar - chilled of course!

August 4, 2008

And the winner is......

Again a great big thank you to everyone who voted for Giggleberry Creations in the 2008 Designer Chick Contest. The votes have all been counted and posted on the Girl Indie blog. Sadly even with over 260 votes from you wonderful supporters, Giggleberry didn't come in first, this time.
You can see all the entries and their information HERE. There were some awesome entries which made it a stiff competition and a big congratulations to Lily Pottery who not only won the Children's Accessories section but was also the Grand Prize Winner!
It looks as though Girl Indie will be making this competition a yearly event and you can be sure that Giggleberry Creations will be back next year!