Winner of Mama Hoot Designs Giveaway!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered this giveaway!

The winner was chosen via Random.Org:

And entry #2 was from Jessica or Amy from Baby Cakes and Makes!

Please contact me to claim your $25 Gift Certificate!

Giveaway Extended...

Hi readers!

Due to my being out of town and being a procrastinator, I've decided to extend the Mama Hoot Designs GIVEAWAY until THIS FRIDAY, December 3rd at 11:50pm EST.

Winner will be announced on Saturday, December 4th 2010

Thank you!

Cyber Monday Free Shipping

Just a quick post to let you know I am offering
on Cyber Monday, November 29, 2010 on ALL ORDERS!

Happy Shopping!

Let's end November with a GIVEAWAY (sponsored by Mama Hoot Designs)!

I introduce to you...

Charity from Mama Hoot Designs!

Charity specializes in Quiet Books, Diaper Bags, Personalized blankets and banners.  Charity contacted me back in June to let me know how much she loved my shop.  She was so sweet.  We've agreed to feature each other on our blogs, and... 6 months later, HERE SHE IS! 
(Check out her blog to read her feature on ME)

We did a friendly swap and look what I was blessed to receive!! 

I absolutely LOVE what she was able to create for me.  Joshua needed some "cushion for his tushy", as well as a place to attach his sippy cup.  So I picked the fabric and put Charity to work (THANKS, friend!).  I absolutely love it (and so does Joshua)!

ALSO, another gift I got! 

Fabric Alphabet
She creates these wonderful Alphabet Sets, perfect for different projects you might have in mind:  a kiddie quilt, simple pillows, an ABC banner, or simply to have your little ones learn the Alphabet.  I personally haven't decided what to do with my set, yet, BUT... I'm REALLY open for suggestions.


Charity and I also agreed to "interview" each other, so our readers could get to know us as well. 

Our Question/Answer:
How do you describe yourself?
Christian, work-at-home wife and mom, Army veteran, knitter, cyclist,

How did you get started selling on Etsy?
It was actually a really slow decision, especially compared to how I normally do things. It was just this little idea that started back in 2008, before my daughter was born. The idea faded since we had enough going on at the time (baby, moving, changing jobs, college graduation, etc.). But then after she was born and things started falling into place in our new home, the idea started to grow a bit, so I mentioned it to my husband and we still decided to hold off. Then came Spring and my sewing machine died, when we looked at getting a new one the idea came back to us again, this time we decided to take the plunge and Mama Hoot Designs opened in May 2010!

How do you get the inspiration for your designs?
It varies widely - I am still searching for my niche. Sometimes I see something my daughter needs or would like and I make it then think, hmmm...other kids might like this. Other times it is something in nature or just the fabric itself.

What are your other hobbies?
I honestly don't have time for much else. I like blogging and love reading other crafter's blogs. I am addicted to Ravelry (a knitter's Facebook). I still love to knit but I find that I don't have as much patience for it as I used to.

What is your favorite thing that you've made recently?
A quiet book for a new baby, Karson. I wasn't sure about the main fabric at first and some of the designs were new but it was really fun to create the new animal designs. It was also the most interactive book that I've done - the kangaroo had a little pocket, the rabbit had big floppy ears, the owl had soft, flappy wings.

How do you find balance?
I don't - that's why I'm constantly polling others. I pray for balance daily. I tend to be an all-or-nothing kind of person so it has been a real learning process for me to just put down a project while I tend to a new priority. My husband helps me to schedule my day and determine when it's time to relax, but I still struggle every day to fit in all my "want-to"s and "to-do"s.

What is your favorite thing about the Christmastime?
I love almost everything about Christmas. We do a pretty good job in my family of not getting over run with the commercial aspects nor letting Santa steal focus so it is truly just a time to celebrate the birth of Christ!

Anything I should ask but didn't?
I am starting to add craft fairs into my schedule. I added a tab on my website and will be filling it soon for 2011. In the meantime, I will have Mama Hoot's Virtual Craft Fair starting just in time for Christmas. And don't forget to stop by for Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales!

(Check out her shop, as she will be posting Black Friday - Cyber Monday sales on 11/25/10)
Some of Mama Hoot's creations:
Let it Snow Banner

Custom Multi-Pocket Diaper Bag

Here's to the GIVEAWAY!!!
Charity has generously offered a $20 Gift Certificate to her shop, to a randomly chosen winner. 
How to win:
1.  Become a Follower of my blog. (1 entry)
2.  Become a Mama Hoot Designs blog follower. (1 entry)
3.  Visit Mama Hoot Designs Etsy shop and tell me what you would get with the $20 Gift Certificate. (1 entry)
4.  Facebook, Twitter, Blog about this giveaway (1 entry each)
5.  Visit Helen's Corner and tell me what your favorite item from my shop is. (1 entry)

You have up to 7 chances to enter!  What are you waiting for!
Giveaway will end on Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 at 11:59pm EST.

Winner will be announced on Thursday, December 2nd.

Family Devotions

Every night...

Joshua's bath,
teeth brushing,
and a quick sip of water
Joel and I
sit Joshua down
for a quick "Family Devotion".

... we read a few Bible verses...
... pray...
... say "I love you."
... then LIGHTS OUT.

We're reading through Micah...
"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
Micah 6:8

Pen Pals

Calligraphy Envelope Addressing by ArtfulCelebrations

Ask anyone born in the last 2 decades what a PEN PAL is, and they'll say "a pen what??" 

With our current daily lives bombarded with the fruits of technology and desire for instant (or almost instant) gratification, we got used to settling our communication styles to...
1. Texting
2. Facebooking
3. Tweeting
4. Blogging
5. Skyping
6. Emaling (even this one... becoming obsolete?)
7. Convo'ing (on Etsy terms)
8. blah blah blah...

What happened to good-old-fashioned LETTER WRITING???

Return Address Stamp-Flower by Primele

Handmade Envelopes Set of 20 by lkdDesigns

Set of 4 par avion via air mail Envelopes by LiSolanoD
When I was in elementary school, I used to write letters to my camp friends, camp counselors, church friends, even cousins and distant friends.  I remember collecting cute stationary and having a blast picking out colored pens, markers, and stickers to decorate my letters.  The thrill I got from getting the mail and finding a letter JUST FOR ME was unmeasureable! 

Nowadays, the only reasons we would send someone "something" in the mail, is if they have a birthday, or you're sending someone an invitation, a thank you note, a Christmas picture/card/letter, or a check (haha).  NOTHING WRONG WITH ANY OF THESE, by the way!   All I'm saying is... I MISS receiving and writing letters.. just because. 

I read this verse this morning during my time with the Lord: 
"I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, SO THAT OUR JOY MAY BE COMPLETE". 2 John 1:12 

How beautiful is that?  There is an asumption that the only reason we wouldn't WRITE to someone, is because we will see (or plan to see) them face-to-face soon. 

challenge for myself: 

What about YOU? 
Did you used to write letters?  Did you have pretty stationary paper like me? 


If you would like to become my distant pen pal, leave me a comment with a way to contact you (email, etsy shop), and I'll make sure we swap mailing addresses.  It would be so fun to bring back this wonderful tradition. 
PS:  Check out these wonderful items from Etsy! 
Click on each link below the photos and show them some love!

Moving on...

It's so hard to admit when I'm wrong. 
 And it's harder to admit that I have to break a promise. 
Last week I PROMISED  that I would blog and post pictures from our Western Party!  I was so excited during the party that I neglected to get my camera to shoot some photos of our guests.  We had 17 people in our house... 8 of them children...  We ate a lot of chili, chips and salsa, and apple pie!  YUMMM!!

AND, we even had my husband give the children (and some of us grown ups) a "hay" ride around the woods by our yard.  It was bumpy and cold, but very fun! (...wishing I had some photos of that, too)

Anyway, I must move on...

I am excited to be posting some of my new designs on my Etsy shop.  Check these out and spread the word out!  Are you already thinking about that meantinful Thanksgiving treat or Christmas gift??  Here's just a few of my new designs.  I should have them listed by the end of the week.

I am also working on a few "extra" items... bags, pouches, scarves, boy gifts, etc...

Sharing my love for "Miss Paige"

Ok, you know I usually don't show favoritism. 

But today I want to share my love for "Miss Paige" of Simply Handmade by Paige

She is a 14 year-old clothing designer!  She rocks!  Recently she blogged about some cool finds she scored at a thrift store, and shared a picture of a beautiful ring.  Today, she posted a cool GIVEAWAY by one of her sponsors, and I am hoping to win one.  If you want to get a chance to win it, too, check it out here

Flying a kite continued...

Flyin' a kite

When my sister and I were younger, my dad would buy all the necessary stuff to make our own kites.  We got the special "tissue-like" paper in the colors of our choice, the thin wooden sticks, and string.  In my eyes, my dad was the best "pipa" maker around.  After making our kites ("pipas" in Portuguese) we would fly them at the beach.  It was THE thing to do on our vacations at the beach. 

Last week I was once again reminded of how much I miss that.  So we decided to get a kite (didn't have the guts to attempt making our own).  We went to a local kite shop, and chose a simple, yet colorful one.  We thought Joshua would like the colors of this one.

And he did!
(see next post for video)


Suggested reading:

by Khaled Hosseini

A very powerful story of friendship, family, courage, and redemption. 

Making Memories in South Carolina

I've had a well-deserved "time off".  Some people call this "time off" period a VACATION, but... to be honest, I see it as a way to spend some extended time with my son and husband.  Joel, Joshua, and I were graciously invited by some dear friends to spend a week in N. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  I had never been to SC before, so I was very excited! 

The drive was absolutely beautiful!  Especially during this time of year... I LOVE LOVE LOVE Autunm!  The changing leaves in these parts of the country are absolutely gorgeous!  Dumb me... failed to get some shots of the beauty along the way (I think I was too busy entertaining a toddler and enjoying the sights...).  We stopped a few times to let the boys stretch... Joshua, Nehemiah (our friend's 14 month-old), and the grown men... Can you see how much fun they were having?

It was a blessing to have some "time off" to unwind, enjoy each other's company, take in the sights, and create some memories. 

this is one of my favorite pictures :)

It was also Joshua's first time seeing, smelling, feeling, and experiencing the ocean.  He didn't quite become a big fan of the beach... it took him 3 days to get used to the water.  He didn't mind the sand as much, and by the time he 'forgot' the water was so evil, it was time for us to leave.  Isn't that how it always happens??

I praise God for allowing us to get away for a week...  It's been hard to get back into the groove of things.

While I was gone, I was reminded that the things that often overwhelm and consume us are the temporary things of this world.  And the things that last... family, friendship, relationships, breathing the fresh air, enjoying God's creation, enjoying each other, and resting in the Lord... these sometimes we put off on our back burners.  And we wonder why we often times find ourselves tired, anxious, and stressed out?  Hmmmm... something to think about...

 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:25-27, 33-34

A sneak peak

I've decided...

I am retiring...

No, wait...  not me...

I'm retiring some of my designs... 

So, if you've been wanting to snatch some of my current designs now on Helen's Corner,

I can't guarantee they'll be there next month!

But here's a sneak peak of what's to come...


Is it wrong to dress up your son's buddies?  I adore this monkey and he looks so handsome with my new WONDERFUL onesie!  Stay tuned, everyone!  I am very excited about my new line!  NEW... in November 2010!

Last week in review...

OH MY GOODNESS....  It's been WAY too long since I last posted anything. 


This last week (and maybe longer) was full of different experiences.  Well, some different, some new, some old, some of the same daily stuff.  But all in all, I would have to say that God has been AWESOME! 

Some of you know that Joshua had to have a "routine" surgery last Friday (9/17).  He went in to have a dermoid cyst removed.  The pediatric ophtalmologist was confident that it was "just a cyst", nothing malign, and that it would be a routine procedure to have it removed.  The big question was whether we wanted to do it now, or later, when he's older.  I guess the hesitation to the latter was that if Joshua grows older, the cyst could've possibly ruptured inside his skin (since he is SO active and could bump into something at any moment), possibly affecting his vision.  So we chose to have the procedure done now.

The surgery was a success... Joshua woke up from the anesthesia hungry and thirsty... had some crackers and apple juice!  When we came home from the hospital, he was ready to play!  Kids are so resilient... I wish some of the adults I know could be as resilient as the little ones. 

Here's Joshua the day he came back from the hospital (poor guy) - eating his graham cracker:

And here's a picture I took this morning (11 days later):

He's healing really fast.  The stitches are almost all gone, and he hasn't complained about having any pain.  Praise the Lord!

Then this past weekend I got to celebrate my BIRTHDAY!  And with that... a LOT OF EATING!
On Friday, our work staff went out to lunch for a little "staff retreat".  We had a fabulous time at Cilantro, a fairly new Thai/Sushi Bar restaurant in downtown Akron.  The food was fantastic!!  It wasn't a birthday work celebration, yet... (read on)

My actual birthday was Sunday.  My dear husband Joel led me to believe that all he was doing for my birthday was getting my Sunday paper.  Hmmm... some of you know that I've been couponing, right?  Well, by getting my Sunday paper, it meant I didn't have to go out and get it myself... BUT... "that's all", I thought to myself.

The day went on... and no plans were being made by my husband. 


I decided to look through my Sunday Paper (remember?). 
Joel had made up a sheet of personal coupons (free day - no responsibilities, diaper change- nasty one, free dinner, and one that would entitle me to an amount from one of his tractor sales).  WOW!  I was so happy!  Then he arranged one of our high school girls to babysit that night, while we went out to dinner (thanks, Hallie!). 

We had dinner at Thai Origins, a local Thai/Sushi Bar restaurant... Another one?  Yep... I LOVE Thai AND Sushi!  Perfect combination for me!!  Thank you, Babe!

Anyway, THEN, on Monday, my co-workers treated me to lunch at Crave, a very cool/hip restaurant in downtown Akron.  Love that place!  Thank you, ladies!

I felt so blessed.

Anyway, in the midst of Joshua's surgery and my birthday, here were a few of my other "random" experiences this past week or so:

1.  Lost my cell phone.

2.  Made some shirts.

3.  Cared for a sick husband.

4.  Found my cell phone (in Joshua's diaper bag...)

5.  Played with my Silhouette.

6.  Worked on a few custom orders for Helen's Corner.

7.  Continued to read The Help by Kathryn Stockett (LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!)

Free Shipping is BACK!!

September is going by SO fast!
I can't believe this is the THIRD week of my September Specials! 
 I'm excited for what's still to come!
(especially next week... birthday week starts NEXT Sunday!!)

But for now.... I'm bringing back...

Happy shopping!
God bless...