Happy Birthday Mom!

Today’s my mom’s birthday! We’re going to meet up in a little bit, but I wanted to share one of the crafts I made for her this year: an upcycled cigar box with her birth year on the top! I wasn’t planning on giving my mom a cigar box jewelry box, but when I saw 1961 on the top, I had to get it for her. Here it is:

Anywho, I’m off soon to have an early lunch with her and give her the presents. I made this upcycled cigar box, a plant hanger thing she’s been on my case for a while about and also a DSW gift card because a woman can’t have too many shoes!

And even though it’s not her birthday, call your mom up and say hello! She’s wonderful and deserves some love, I’m sure of it! 🙂

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Etsy Store of the Week – katherinejlee

This week’s featured Etsy store is katherinejlee! Katherinejlee has a line of environmentally friendly home goods and decor ranging from tea towels to pillows. Besides being good for the environment, her designs have a sense fo whimsy which make her beautiful and simple designs that much better.

As is the routine, the item that I want the most from her store is… and oven mitt! Oh, I just heard groans of boredom everywhere! But have no fear when katherinejlee is here! She has created a beautiful organic cotton oven mitt with a great mandala/flower pattern. And we really could use a new one since the one we have now is well… gross and burnt!

handmade organic cotton oven mitt by katherinejlee

The next item is a close second (and only lost because of the actual need of the first), and showcases that whimsy I was telling you about. And I love the picture too, I just want to curl up and read a paper in it! Isn’t the lighting just magical?

hippo pillow shams organic cotton by katherinejlee

Katherinejlee has some other great designs for pillow covers for the rest of the house too. The first repeats the design from the oven mitt and the second is the cutest little owl pattern. You could really add some beauty to a living room with these designs!

organic cotton handmade pillow cover by katherinejleeorganic cotton handmade pillow cover by katherinejlee

Katherinejlee‘s shop is cute and practical – and I’m in love! Check out the rest of her items now!

Goodness Gracious!

Bean, the chihuahua, cuddling up for a nap

Bean asking, “Are we done?” after a long walk and just a short nap.

Goodness gracious I’ve been busy lately! I’ve just started with a new software for Lucky Mutts that is completely online. Cloud software if you will. It keeps track of almost everything and lets both me and the employees check schedules anytime. Also, customers will be able to book online, receive automatic confirmations and pay online too! I’m so excited about the convenience that this is going to bring to me and my clients!

Yes, that may sound dorky, but I’m a young business woman! Most of my interests are inherently dorky!

On another front, I also am taking classes in order to be a tax professional again with H&R Block for this upcoming season. You can come and see me at the H&R Block on 4th and Keystone once tax season starts up! That is if I get hired back. Every season we have to take and pass classes in order to even be considered for rehire. I’ve taken 15 hours, but need at least 24 hours total. I’d also like to test up in certification from the basic Tax Professional to Tax Specialist 1 or 2. We’ll see! I only have a few more days to take and pass all the required exams.

Plus I’m trying to keep up with Etsy and my cigar boxes! It seems that when I don’t have time, I want to work on them. And when I have plenty of time, I’d rather not! Darn me!!

Oh, before I go! I forgot to mention that I’ll be planning a Poop-Scoop-A-Thon to help clean up Horseman’s Park and the Steamboat Ditch Trail as a part of Lucky Mutts‘s continuing community outreach commitment. At the event I’ll be collecting donations for The Humane Society of Northern Nevada as a part of my Presents for Pets campaign (which is part of the larger campaign put on by NAPPS).

More details about all of this should be coming out in the next few days – especially all the stuff relating to Lucky Mutts! I’ve been able to get a lot done for LM and plan on doing more.

Ok, well. It’s 12:16 and now Wednesday morning. I should get to sleep in order to be rested for my dog walking clients! Have a bark-tastic night/day! 🙂

(Addendum: That was a lot of links to add!)

Etsy Store of the Week – VerreEncore

This week’s Etsy store is VerreEncore who offers a variety of beautifully made enamel and metal jewelry. Her line of jewelry is colorful, modern and quite artistic.

Before I point out my favorite item in VerreEncore‘s Etsy store (hint: it’s a pair of earrings!) I want to apologize for being so late today!  This weekend was crazy fun! Friday night, Roger, Jocelyn and I along with some other people went to Fallon’s Corn Maze. Had a blast, ran into some friends from high school and met their significant others and got a cookie once we completed the maze! Yum! Then Saturday Jocelyn and I went to the best ever wine tasting party! And not only did I stay up late, but drank from 5pm to 2 in the morning! So… I did not wake up until about noon… and then I promptly did nothing. So that’s why I’m late – sorry all! Anywho, back to the wonderful jewelry by VerreEncore!

The first item is, of course, my choice! I love the quiet, understated look of these modern earrings. VerreEncore offers this style in a variety bright colors and considering their reasonable price, must be one of the best sellers in her shop.

Rustic Dark Grey Enamel Earrings from VerreEncore

This next pair is what I would love to get for my mom for her upcoming birthday. They are just gorgeous and I think mom would love the colors!

Turquoise enamel earrings from VerreEncore

VerreEncore doesn’t just offer gorgeous earrings in both stud and dangle, but other jewelry too including wonderful necklaces. These two designs show off VerreEncore‘s artistry and style.

Moshi Moshi Enamel necklace from VerreEncoreNouveau red enamel necklace from VerreEncore

So go over to VerreEncore‘s shop now and check out her line of affordable and beautiful handmade jewelry! She also has a wonderful line of silver jewelry at her other Etsy shop: SoundsofSilver.

Etsy Store of the Week – Alis

Alis is this week’s featured Etsy Store! She offers beautiful and comfy-looking t-shirts with a wonderful feminine appeal.

My favorite feature on Etsy is the scrolling recently listed items that is found here. It’s how I end up finding new items to purchase while drinking (oops on Friday night, but I’m excited about getting those things in the mail!) and also leads me to new sellers to feature. And this shirt is how I found Alis. I love how simple the lines and colors are and also the organic feel of the design. I also LOVE that Alis has sizes and measurements to further explain what the sizes in her store are. As a larger girl, with larger boobs, t-shirt buying online is a scary thing! I don’t want to get stuck with a tent, but I would like to not show every detail of my bra!

Nicole shirt from Alis

And anyone who knows me knows that I live in t-shirts. And not just because I’m a dog walker and therefore don’t have to wear suits and blouses (I hate that word) but also because cotton is freakin’ comfortable! But I have been trying to update into a more mature look since I am a business owner and would like to not look like a college student any longer. So a dressed up, artistic and feminine shirt is the way to go! Look at these other lovelies in Alis’s shop.

Florence shirt from Alis on EtsyNora 1 shirt from Alis on EtsyNorma shirt from Alis on Etsy

I think I’m also in love with the asymmetrical designs of these shirts too. They are more visually interesting that way!

For more frilly but simple, girly but modern looks, go check out Alis on Etsy! With her high positive feedback rating, and hundreds of sales and counting, this seller is ready to make your top half gorgeous! Sorry she doesn’t make pants! 😉

Oh so excited!

So today, one of the Etsy sellers lucky enough to be featured on the front page was mooshygooshies. And I was immediately drawn to the item that was shown:

Mooshygooshies's custom metal key chains with dog silhouettes

Aren’t those just up my alley? Dogs AND crafts! I couldn’t be happier. Ok, maybe if she somehow worked Fat Tire beer into the listing… 🙂

Anyway, I immediately contacted her as the rest of her stuff is just gorgeous. Clean lines, graphic prints and more dog themed items. I’ve asked her to come up with either a pit bull silhouette (I’ll forgive her for overlooking the second most common “breed” in America!) or if she could base a silhouette from Muttley’s adorable mug. I gave her the link to the picture that my business logo is based on, and quite possibly the best picture of Muttley ever. Take a look at it on the front page of my business site here. Wait, you didn’t know that I also run a successful pet sitting and dog walking business, besides my slowly (hint: quite slowly) emerging craft business? Where’ve you been?! I even have an employee! Check it out!

Anyway, enough self promotion. The cute little cards that mooshygooshies offers is what I’m ordering for my annual Thank You cards and gifts for clients of Lucky Mutts this past year. Last year I included little treats for the pets and a Belgian chocolate treat for the humans. This year I’d like to top that by a little. Nothing crazy, but everything totally adorable! And yummy too. I’ll probably be making the pup treats again this year, but maybe a little gift too? Who knows, it’s still early. Though I would like to get these out around Thanksgiving.

Why Thanksgiving and not the holidays? Am I being that politically correct? Heck no! Well, actually in a way… But the main reason is that Thanksgiving is a time to remember those you need to be thanking and for thanking the abundance in life. What a perfect time to thank my customers for keeping me fed the last year and to wish them a happy holiday season. And marketing wise, it’s pretty good timing!

Why even blow money on clients? Because they are the best! They pay me to play with their dogs! They trust me to love and attend to their most cherished ones. It’s a responsibility and a task that I enjoy doing and I’ve been able to craft a wonderful business out of my clients. My small business has allowed me to grow as a person and stretch my creative (and sometimes ADHD) mind in new ways. Lucky Mutts has allowed me to be the wife I want to be, the dog owner others dream about and quite possibly one of the happiest women on earth.

See! I’m getting on all emotional-grateful and I haven’t even ordered the thank you cards yet! Off to play one last game of mah jongg before retiring to bed with my latest marketing required reading. I hope all is wonderful in your world and that you cuddle with your fur-kid with extra love tonight. They deserve it!

Etsy Store of the Week – SoFino

This week’s featured Etsy Store is SoFino. SoFino is based in Charlotte, North Carolina (which is quite a distance from her original home of Serbia!) and offers beautiful felted soap that is affordable, beautiful and quite practical thank-you-very-much!

These soaps are so gorgeous your guests may think twice about using them, but if they don’t use the soap, maybe you shouldn’t open your soap-loving home to such dirty guests! hehe… Anyway, if this economy’s got you down, or at least spending a whole lot less on yourself, it may be time to splurge on something truly useful. And as always, my choice first!

SoFino handmade felted soaps

Aren’t those just the prettiest? And such beautiful technique SoFino has in order to achieve those perfect silhouettes by felt! Ok, I can hear some of you saying that yes, those are pretty, but what the heck is felted soap!? The felt surrounds the bar of soap to act as a scrubby, sudsy tool and allows you to use the soap to the last sliver. After the soap’s used up, the felt remains and can be filled with more soap, made into a drawer freshener (just add a drop or two of essential oil) or as a plain wool scrubbing pad. So don’t you see how practical this beautiful splurge can be?  (Can you tell that I’m convincing myself as well?)

SoFino felted soap

Perfect for the fall and entertaining those Thanksgiving guests. And yes, they’d better wash their grubby little hands before touching my turkey! And she offers some beautiful sets as well:

SoFino heart collection of felted soaps SoFino collection of pebble felted soap

I just can’t stand it – these soaps are too cute! I think everyone on my holiday shopping list may get soap this year! SoFino offers lots more options, and has some pretty spectacular artistic creations, but I can’t feature her whole Etsy shop here, so go on, go check it out!

Looking for the pertinent links? Well, ever since I got so-super-cool and learned how to link the images to their shopping pages, I’ve felt (get it, ha!) that the pertinent links section isn’t all that necessary. So get to clicking on the above links to her store, or the images themselves! See you all next week!