Friday, September 26, 2014

All the Happenings

I haven't done this yet because I haven't had enough going on to justify a whole post. Since I do now, this is what's happening-

I've got a billion things going on with Down with Plumes right now, so I thought I'd share some current sales and deals!

Down with Plumes- Tiny top hats, jewelry, scarves, boot cuffs, hair accessories, clutch purses and more!

- On Etsy, use code DWPBLOG for 25% off!
- On Facebook, check out the Clearance Album.
- ALL orders placed between now and October 15th come with a FREE spider hairpin!
- ALL orders come with FREE shipping!
- The Etsy One Big Sale Day is October 4th, so watch for that! There are over 92 shops across Etsy participating! The code will be OBSD4OCT2014

If you're looking for something different, these shops also have special offers running!

- Handmade Moms, LLC- 15% off all orders placed by tomorrow (9/27) night! Use code 500LIKES15.
- The Creative Jewelry Box- Everything on sale for $5!!!

- Weil'd Hair and Accessories- GIVEAWAY!!!!- Multi-vendor giveaway with Nourishingly Natural.

- Camille's Charms (jewelry) and Sweet Pea Designs by Dee (children's apparel)- Auction!!!

- Picots & Mimosas- Starting tonight (9/27) through 9/30, 20% off EVERYTHING!

- Adore by Nat- Giveaway ending October 3! Plus, order these adorable Christmas tags and 100% of the sale price is donated to Because I am a Girl- a global initiative to end gender inequality.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Crafter- Kyzu Dolls

Welcome again, my craft-loving friends! Here I sit, in the wee hours of the morning, finding that impulse shopping is much, much harder to resist on only a few hours sleep. This works to shop owners' advantages, but will undoubtedly result in me spending money I don't need to. Ah, the problems of a sleepy shopaholic.

This is especially problematic when faced with these incredible Kyzu Dolls. Haven't heard of them? Well, boy-oh-boy, I hope you're ready.

Natasha (and her daughter Kylee) are the creators of Kyzu Dolls. They are amazing little hybrid dolls- a mix of Waldorf doll techniques and fantasy inspired details. They have little ears and tails, personalities bigger than you can imagine, and heart to spare. 

Kyzu dolls were inspired by Kylee, who never had much interest in playing with regular dolls, but always seemed to be wearing a pair or ears and tail. She loves drawing and sculpting creatures and creates little fantasy worlds full of whimsy. 

Here's the kicker- Kyzu Dolls are made from all-natural materials. As Natasha explains, "The Head is rolled with wool and tied using Waldorf techniques. Then needle felted to bring out their own personalities before being covered and features embroidered with cotton. They are constructed with quality imported doll skin (Dewitt Engle and Laib Yala), stuffed with clean carded Eco wool, scented with Lavender, and some are weighted for a nice comforting feel. I use either wool blend yarn, locks, mohair weft, TLS, or mohair fabric for hair. For ears and tail we use mohair fabric and TLS."

Occasionally, Natasha finds herself making a human Kyzu doll or a fuzzy creature stuffed with premium polyfil. You know us crafters... We do what we want!

With these amazing dolls, it's hard to imagine Natasha could choose a favorite, but she did! She loves creating the Kyzu Runties, which are about nine inches tall and perfect for little hands and backpacks!

Natasha loves selling her creations because other people love what she makes. Her customers know they can trust what she's making them, as the dolls are made from all natural materials. No plastics or un-pronounceable chemical names make mommies and daddies happy people :)

When I asked Natasha what set her shop apart from others, she kindly placated my question, even though it's clearly an unnecessary one. Her answer is great and all- don't get me wrong- but I'm going to kind of ignore that for a second and focus here on what I find sets her shop apart: Every chance Natasha gets, she donates a doll to a kid who needs a buddy. There are far too many children in this world who need someone to love and support them, and Natasha sends them someone who will never leave their sides during tough times in their lives.

Kyzu Dolls, in a way, create themselves. Natasha never limits them by what "should" be, because anything can be. As the dolls are constructed, she lets them show her what details would be best, and she rolls with it. I frequently tell people this is how my tiny hats come to be, so I totally get this. Like, sooo get this.

Outside of crafting, Natasha loves photography. I guess creative minds never quit, eh?

Speaking of, all of these dolls Natasha makes are constructed late at night. If you're not personally a crafter, then you may not know that the hours between 10:00pm and 4:00am are magical, wonderful, serene hours. They are the hours where the most crafty productivity can take place, almost universally. 

"I got a great night of sleep last night!" said no crafter ever.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Quick and Easy Bracelet Refashion Tutorial

This tutorial is SO easy, it's ridiculous! I had this bracelet but it was super boring, so I added some of my own flair.

All you need for this is some embroidery floss, a hot glue gun, a bracelet (obviously) and a little bit of clear nail polish.
I chose 2 colors of embroidery floss. Starting with your first color, pick a good starting point and hot glue down one end. Wrap the floss around the bracelet, gluing as you go. I glued after every 1/4 inch to be sure the floss would stay in place.

When you've finished with your first color, add your second color the same way you started your first. I glued my second color over the top of the first color's beginning edge and wrapped the opposite direction.  When you finish with your second color, take your trusty blow dryer and give it a good blast on high heat to melt off any extra glue and all the glue strings.

When your bracelet has cooled completely, take your clear nail polish and paint on a nice, even coat to seal the strings to the bracelet. Make sure you let it dry completely before you wear it around otherwise you might end up stuck to your bracelet.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial and I would love to see your finished projects! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Halloween Must-Haves

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays to decorate for. I love all the spooky, creepy aspects of Halloween, but dazzled up with a touch of glitter or bright colors!

I love kids costumes, candy, and Halloween colors. I love the weather at that time of the year, the regular wardrobe and the approaching snow. I just love everything about Halloween.

For this reason, we have compiled a list of gorgeous must-have items for Halloween! In alphabetical order this time ;)

Halloween Cocktail Eyeball Tags - Set of 4 (for favors, gift tags or scrapbook and card embellishments)- $3.00

 BeeBee and Jack-

Jack Skellington sequin bow hair clip- $12 with free shipping

"Handful of Thanks" Fall Pumpkin Wreath- $45

Beautiful accessory to add to you Halloween costume. Going to a New Year's Eve masquerade party? This mask is the perfect finishing touch to your costume!- $25

Darling Halloween dress. Peasant style dress with sash that can be worn either tied in the back or tied in the front. The fabric has Boo written throughout with a hint of sparkle. Sizes available 2t-6

Personalized Iron On Transfer for Halloween Trick-Or-Treat bag. With hundreds of characters to choose from this DIY project will complete the "look" for your child this Halloween!

Halloween-Inspired Child-Sized Chunky Stretch Bracelets - $8 each. (Best fit ages 1-5, depending on child's wrist measurement)

Feel free to stop by the shops and take a peek at their other items ;) Halloween is coming soon, but that doesn't mean it's the only reason to shop!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Easy and Yummy Crock Pot Chicken

 Are you looking for an easy dinner? What's easier than throwing 4 ingredients into a crock pot?

For this you'll need:

  • A crock pot (obviously)
  • Chicken breast (thawed)
  • BBQ sauce
  • Pineapple chunks
  • About 1 cup of water

 Step 1 - Place your thawed chicken in the crock pot. I only defrosted 2 pieces of chicken since I'm only cooking for my husband, son and self. Use as many pieces of chicken as you need.
 Step 2 - Mostly cover the chicken with barbecue sauce. What's nice about this recipe is that you don't have to use a ton of sauce. I probably used less than 1/4 cup for my 2 pieces of chicken.
 Step 3 - Add your pineapple and the juice in the can along with a cup of water. I used about 1/4 of the can for the 2 pieces I cooked.
Step 4 - Cover and cook on high for 4 hours and then low for another 2-3 hours or until your chicken is completely cooked.

I hope your family enjoys this recipe! Mine sure did :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

15-Minute Lace Pocket

Alrighty, ladies and gents. We're back for another quick craft.

WalMart had these plain V-neck tee-shirts for $3 each, and since I have a sick compulsion to buy everything that's a good deal, I got two. In different colors. That justifies it, right?

It's cute... I mean, its fine. Boring. 

So, being that I am the nit-picky person I am, I couldn't leave it alone. But what to do? It's kinda stretchy, light fabric, so nothing too dramatic. 

Then it hit me. Pocket! I have endless amounts of lace, so I knew I had to have a complimentary color. I came across this and thought it was good- 

So, if you'd like to do this, too, here's how:

You'll need lace (or fabric, whatevs) about 5" wide. You want the finished pocket to be 4" wide and 2-ish" tall.

Sew up one side, but leave a little bit undone. This way, when you sew up the bottom, you can get the ends of the threads to meet at the corners.

To make the corners nice and smooth, fold the corner of the edge in like so-

And then over again, like this-

Sew up the bottom, then pin in place on the shirt. You want it to be 4" from the middle shoulder and 2" from the middle front of the shirt.



<3 Bethany

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Quick Way to Cover Unwanted Logos

So I have this hat that I absolutely love but I have never actually worn it. Mostly because of the logo but also because it was kinda manly looking.

 I wanted to make it look a little more feminine and cover up that logo at the same time, so this is what I came up with.
 I found the pattern for these flowers here: What I really like about these flowers is that they work up quickly and you can adjust the pattern to make as big or as small of flowers as you want. I made 1 large flower and 1 small flower, both with leaves.
 I knew trying to sew these flowers on would be a pain and would take forever, so I heated up my trusty hot glue gun and gave each flower a good layer of glue, making sure all the edges were glued down and the leaf was glued down as well. When I finished gluing everything down, I took a hairdryer and hit it with a quick blast of hot air to get rid of all the glue strings.
 I can see myself wearing this a lot more now that I'm not a walking advertisement :) I hope you find this tutorial useful and I would love to see what you come up with!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Crafters' Top Picks

Hellllooooooooo Tuesday!

This week, we have something a little different for you ;)

Ten fantastic handmade shops came together and chose their favorite items from each others' shops. We took all of the favorites that were chosen and put them to vote, with one winner from each shop. On this list, I'll show you all the winners.

Before we get into the items on the list, I'm going to say a few things about this shop. If you read my posts, you should be used to this by now.

I'm a spur-of-the-moment person. If I think about an idea and it seems like a good one, I'll act on it. Life is too short to always be saying "I'll do it [enter future timeframe here]."

With that said- all these ladies pulled this list together in lightning-fast time. Each one took time out of her busy, hectic schedule to look through each others' shops, think about the items they were choosing, link them back, then choose favorites all over again.

In a few (very short) days, we had ten totally awesome products picked out. These are chosen by people who make stuff for other people, so it's kinda like a food critic telling you what to eat. Just sayin'.

Anyway, on with the list, in reverse alphabetical order-

Jodi from Weil'd Hair and Accessories is a fun, go-get'um kinda gal. She doesn't pass up an opportunity to help others or participate in something fun. She makes these absolutely gorgeous chunky bead necklaces (which I've mentioned in past posts, and have two of myself). This was her highest voted item:

Bubblegum/ Chunky Necklace

Racheal from Sweet Pistol Rose is an amazing artist and a total doll. She's so easy to work with and very kindhearted. Her shop offers an amazing variety of items to suit all themes beautifully. For this list, her super cute and unique "Clever Little Girls" printable was the top pick:

Printable Wall Poster

Denise from Sweet Pea Designs by Dee is a lovely person and a very hard worker. Facebook or the internet (or a combination of the two, which is a serious bummer) was giving Denise a tough time with this process, but she prevailed. I don't think anyone else had as much trouble with it as she did, but she totally toughed through it and participated every step of the way (on time, too, which gets extra bonus points). Denise makes the cutest children's clothing, but most of all, perfect dresses for little girls. Everyone loves them, and here is the one that made the top of the list:

Little Girls' Dress

Kelly from Picots & Mimosas has reminded me of Ms. Honey from the start. If you haven't seen Matilda, please stop reading now and do so. You can thank me later. I'll wait.

Kelly gets along so well with everyone, supports other crafters, and makes amazing creations herself. She has two shops, the other being Blueberry Corner Quilts. For this list, her bright, fun and adorable butterfly garland was voted as the Crafters' Top Pick:

Butterfly Garland

We chatted with Nerdtastic recently as a Featured Crafter, which was a blast! Amanda is a bright, spunky and fun lady with creativity to spare. Her shop is full of little nerdy odds and sods, but we're focused on this piece here, for today. This Captain America BFF bracelet set was our top pick, and I think you'll see why:

Captain America BFF Bracelets

We also had a meet and greet with Bryce from Handmade Moms LLC pretty recently. Bryce is a very active member of the crafty community and is always sharing with others. She's a really good soul, and her and her mother create unique and fun items, mostly for decor. These amazing crafters had a peek through her shop, and this was deemed the top pick:

Handful of Crayons Wreath

Meeeeee!! I'm awesome!! Just kidding. I do make some pretty cute little hats, though. The lovely group of crafters we're working with chose this little hat from my shop:

Victorian-Inspired Tiny Top Hat

Camille from Camille's Charms is very sweet and really creative. Her shop is full of amazing jewelry, so I'm really surprised we could even pick a favorite! She has really creative bracelets, awesomely adorable necklaces, but this was our pick, and we love it:

Vintage-esque Anchor Ring

My partner in crime. The other half of my brain and The Gangstress Ladies. Also- super creative, fun, bright, happy and caring. Belinda from BeeBee and Jack is a fantastic person to know and work with. For this list, we genius crafters chose her little baby shoes, because who can resist teeny tiny shoes?!:

Baby Converse

Last, but certainly not least, we have Natalie from Adore by Nat. She may not know this, but I watch her shop quite closely. I'm truly amazed by her poise, professionalism and shop. She does great work, shows and markets it well, and still takes the time to be a huge helper within the crafty community. She has so many amazing items in her shop that I'm again shocked we could come to a consensus. Here's what we chose:

Tea Party Favors

Well, now that you know our favorites, tell us yours! Visit any or all of the links in the text and comment your favorite item below :) There's lots to be found, so don't be shy! This just might make your holiday gift shopping a whole lot easier ;)