Sunday, August 31, 2008

Oh man, I love my fellow FESTersand Etsyians :) :)

Ok, so I'm seriously on a buying kick lately. I'm buying for gifts, buying for surprises and simply buying for myself. I'm eyeing a huge picture for my living room, I've already purchased a few soaps from LaveMeSoapCo ( and a few embroidered items from AuntiFranni (

But the best of the best (sorry, Franni) are the things that NothingLikeIt ( is making for myself and my family.

It all started out innocently enough... "Hey, I like her Corky elf coaster and the Rudolph coffee mug... that'd make a great gift for my MiL" ... then it became "Hey, I'd like a set for myself." ... then I wondered "Hey, I wonder if she could make me a Great Dane coaster for my mom and dad" ... *then* it became "Hey, I'd like a coaster for year-round use... I wonder if she could make a cool thing like Lord Voldemort, the Joker or Darth Vader.." Seriously, it's spiralled way, way out of control... and I'm LOVING it. She's done the doggie coaster and I love it -- you should check out the pictures on her blog -- and she's working on Darth Vader.

I can't wait. Seriously. I do feel bad, though, because I feel like I'm usurping all her time... then again, I will pay her ;).

Anyway, check out all three shops. They really are fantastic shops, fantastic people and amazing crafters/artists.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Alligators, Snakes and Mosquitoes -- Oh MY!

Just in case you weren't aware, we in Central Florida are being inundated. Snakes, alligators, fire ants, mosquitoes -- all things that are standard Florida fare have morphed into ridiculous problems. A man died yesterday because fire ants floated into his Seminole county home and stung him into anaphylactic shock -- bet you didn't know that fire ants count swim, huh? National Guardsmen are watching alligators float down state roads (!!) and snakes are having field days... apparently even the squirrels and rabbits are angry.

But the worst, the worst of the worst, are the damn mosquitoes. I'm literally a captive in my home. It doesn't matter what time of day I go out, even 2 pm in the hottest sun of the day, I get swarmed by about 25 mosquitoes. They swarm in my home, in my porch, and now we're even fighting them off on the inside. I hate them. Where is Orange County? Why aren't they spraying for mosquitoes -- we're drowning in them out here. Thank god all my animals are on Heartgard because my poor puppy has about 100 mosquito bites on her back... when this is all said and done we'll be lucky if we have any blood left. I haven't even gone jogging in a week -- so much for running a 10K this weekend... I'm lucky if I can finish my 5K in 30 minutes.


Well, thankfully, being stuck inside does have a mini silver lining. I've cleaned my house from top to bottom, read my son about 1.3 million books (well... not different books, just the same damn ones over and over again until I can recite them by heart...) and worked on stuff for the business. Sometimes it's really tough to get anything done since my entire work station is a small, old computer desk sitting in the middle of my already-crowded office. I can't just shut the door in the evenings when Mr. Made By Moms is playing with our son. Anyway, I've actually overcome the house and the toddler enough to do some actual work! WOO HOO!!! My sewing tends to go in trends -- one week I'll sew all blankets, the next all bibs... I call this period my "onesie opus"

I've recently fallen in love with Joel Dewberry and his Aviary line -- especially the almond/orange/brown. I've made up a onesie and I'll be adding blankets, pillows and even a bib to the line, so look out for that. This onesie is done... I'm thinking about trying to find brown onesies, but even the bulk outlets because of the sheer number of onesies I'm working on.don't seem to have a nice shade of chocolate brown... I'll keep looking because a long-sleeved brown onesie or infant shirt would look FAB with this fabric.

I'm also working on holiday onesies... I've included a few work-in- progress ones... The candy canes are done in white felt, hand painted with red paint and stitched with a silver metallic thread. They are ADORABLE. The pumpkin and reindeer will be finished by hand embroidering around the outside and filling in some details on the inside. I can't wait to add the ornaments dangling from the reindeer's antlers!!! The pumpkin was a little difficult to do because I cut out individual ovals to create the ridges and getting them all to fit together nicely has been a chore... but I think it's turned out very cute -- perfect for the fall season. In addition to these, I'm working on an adorable ghost (my favorite, right before the reindeer) and a gift-wrapped present. I might even add some mistletoe to my list, but I'm not sure if that's Christmas overload.

Last but not least, I'm making political onesies to go with my bibs!!! A donkey and elephant made in red, white and blue felt, stitched with red and blue thread and then hand-embroidered with white thread as a finishing touch. They'll be AWESOME for the election year and even after (when you want to show which pony you backed!!). I'm even thinking about embroidering Obama and McCain's names on there (perhaps even "NObama" as one of my friends says).

Thanks so much to everyone for reading my blog! It's been fantastic growing our business and trying to get it off its feet. We just sold a hand-embroidered quilt on Etsy and we're looking forward to more purchases in the future!!!

Thank you, also, to all the members of Etsy FEST and the Orlando Arts Team for being wondrously supportive and fantastic people. I can't wait to meet you all!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Why I hate rural living....

Ok, so seriously, someone help a sister out here.

Look at these pictures and tell me...

Is it Lyme Disease or is it ringworm? ARGH!

Let me give you some background...

Today I was doing a bit of gardening -- we received something like 15 inches of rain from Fay and I wanted to try and help my beleaguered garden out by weeding a bit and draining some water away from the beds. I went to brush some water from my face (raining again!) and brushed my left arm with my dirty glove. I felt a small sting and scratched my arm when I noticed a small rash with what appeared to be two small bite marks inside. I assumed I had gotten bitten by something -- spider, bug, whatever -- because I was digging around in mud. I went inside, washed it off, put Neosporin on it and covered it with a bandaid.

Later, Shannon told me he thought it might be ringworm because of its semi-circular shape and raised appearance. .. but it's not itchy and it's not in a place normally associated with ringworm. Plus, I've heard that ringworm glows green in black light and this does not glow green.

Once I did the black light test, I went on the internet to find ringworm look-a-likes... and viola... Lyme Disease. I have had recurrent headaches, chills and stiff neck pain for the past three or four days, but I passed it off to sleeping poorly for the past week or so.

So, what is it? Lyme Disease? Ringworm? Neither?



Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why I love rural living...

My husband always laughs at me because, when it comes to where I live, I'm either hardcore city or completely rural. I either want to be living in a condo in the middle of the hubbub or I want a few acres by myself in the middle of nowhere. Suburbia? Not for me.

Because Orlando isn't really a huge city with an awesome metropolitan scene (sorry) we decided to live outside of Orlando in one of the soon-t0-be-extinct rural areas. We have over an acre and we love the quiet, the scenery, the lack of conflict (no Homeowner's Association, yay!)... and I'm constantly reminded why I love living out here.

Today I got that reminder in the form of a young doe. I was organizing my fabrics into more boxes (gosh, have I outgrown three already?!), looked out my office window and saw a deer grazing in our yard just feet from my window! Sweet! I ran to get my camera and this picture emerged. Sadly, a passing car scared her away... but what a great pick-me-up. I love wildlife, with the lone exception being the Cottonmouth snake we found in our pond one day, and I must say it's great to live out in the middle of nowhere!

Anyway, seriously... go check out our new website! I made it myself!

New website is... DONE!

Woo Hoo! Here is the link, go check it out! Check out our products, check out our design!

Let us know what you think!



Monday, August 11, 2008

New Website....

So, a little bit of background about me... In college I was an engineering major for close to three years... I took all those fun classes that taught me computer programming and all that fun stuff. I used to build websites for my friends, play with Photoshop and alter pictures, work with html, java and javascript, but that was neigh on 8 years ago. I haven't written a website in almost a decade.

Why am I tell you this?

Because I'm finally getting around to building our OWN website! We're still going to be on Etsy and WinkElf, but now we're going to have a completely independent store that will have its own PayPal shopping cart and everything!

Yay! :)

Anyway, it's not done yet but I have the bones of the structure up. Please check it out and give me feedback on what you like and don't like -- honest, ok? Are certain things hard to read? Is the format ok? Do the frames break down?

Thanks guys, love you all!


PS: The website address is:

Monday, August 4, 2008

Just checking in...

We, in Jen's household, have been so busy lately that we haven't really been taking time for ourselves. This weekend we said "To heck with the lawn" and decided to go to the park and go bowling. What fun! It got everyone out of the house for some good family bonding, watching trains go by, chasing squirrels up trees and watching our two-year-old try to bowl with a six-pound ball. Let's just say the poor guys who worked at the bowling alley knew us, pretty much, by name. That's the little guy to the left, climbing a tree and subsequently falling out of it. If he doesn't have one broken bone by the age of five I'll be shocked.

My son, being the grown-up little toddler he is, decided he didn't want mommy having all the fun and taking all the photos... so he stole my camera and started taking pictures. Judging by this picture, he'll probably be about as skilled as I am with a camera. We did manage to get away to see The Dark Knight a few days ago and if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you do. Then again, I collected Batman comic books for most of my life so I might be a bit more predisposed to liking that movie than many others.

So what have we, at Made by Moms, been up to? Essentially getting ready for the HUGE Southern Women's Show, held from October 9th - 12th at the Orange County Convention Center. We've been beefing up our hand-drawn designs to start making more appliqued onesies, we're buying fabric to make quilts, large and small, AND we're branching out in what we're offering as far as crocheted items go. Now, in addition to our blankets, we're offering christening gowns and these adorable little capes! We've updated our Etsy store with a TON of new items (check them out, they ROCK), and more will be coming this evening or tomorrow, and I wanted to pop in to our blog to post a few pictures of what's coming up!

In our bright and bold department, we have a new style of crocheted blanket and the beautiful cape (though I can't, for the life of me, find anything nice to hang it on. We're also entering the political arena (though we aren't choosing sides!) with our Republican and Democrat bibs. We'll be offering our hand-drawn versions of the Republican elephant and Democrat donkey on onesies soon! Our holiday selection is starting to beef up with Halloween bibs and onesies, and Christmas will be right behind with burp cloths, bibs, onesies, blankets, and decorations (oh my)! I'm not joking when I say we've been working fingers to grindstone to bring our newest and BEST products to the market.

We've also been working on things like a press kit and we're trying to get some good publicity and PR going for a smashing fall season. We want this Christmas to be one to remember! I have to run and pick up my son from his grandma's house, but I wanted to thank everyone for reading my blog and taking the time to care about us at Made By Moms! Have a fantastic day,

Jen :)

Playing in the park and taking pictures....

I just wanted to pop in and tell all my loyal readers (all 1 of you) that I'll be popping up with some fun and exciting new items on our blog and Etsy later today.

Definitely check back this evening :)