kindness of strangers

When I first joined Etsy I was hesitant to post in the forums, but I went ahead and posted for the first time on November 19th asking for advice for my shop. The response was overwhelmingly positive (and a much needed ego boost!) Since then I’ve gotten more and more comfortable posting in various forums on Etsy, and I really enjoy it. I’m continually amazed at what a kind, supportive community it is, how quickly everyone responds to questions and how eager everyone is to help.

Yesterday I posted in a forum where everyone was critiquing each other’s shops (my favorite topic!), and I received an incredibly uplifting comment from a fellow Etsian. She said, “…your stuff looks like something out of a designer baby catalog (like Pottery Barn Kids) and somehow including your style in your shop might help link you to buyers. i love it–classic colors and simple elegant pictures/graphics.” It was such a thrill to hear someone compare my designs to Pottery Barn Kids – exactly the look I was going for!

some Etsy favorites

I’ve been meaning for a while now to post some of my favorite things on Etsy so far. One of the first shops I came across when I started on Etsy that I fell in love with right away was Belle and Boo. This is one of my favorite prints, which I purchased for my daughter’s bedroom:
The artwork at Sarah Jane Studios has a similar feel – both artists do such an amazing job of capturing the sweet innocence of childhood. I’d like to purchase one of these prints, too, but I haven’t been able to decide on my favorite yet.

Yesterday I came across a shop called Nest Pretty Things that sells all kinds of beautiful whimsical creations including paper goods, bags, jewelry, dream catchers, magnets, and fairy crowns (my daughter will need one of those for her 3rd birthday for sure!) Here’s a lovely fabric wreath:

Tamar, the artist behind Nest Pretty Things also has a blog where she’s posted some photos from her house. Her house is so full of artwork and beautiful colors – VERY different from my style, but exactly how I’d like my home to look if I could just empty out my house and start all over.

And then there are these little needle felted animals. I can’t even begin to explain how much I love these (or why!?) The first time I saw them was on Martha Stewart when a woman named Jenn Docherty was demonstrating how she makes them. She has a shop on Etsy, as does Lauren Alane who made the ones below, but so far I haven’t seen any of their creations for sale because they always sell out as soon as they’re posted.

the big move

We’ve spent the past few days clearing out the playroom, buying office furniture, and finally moving everything out of the “cloffice“. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be out of there! I converted the closet in our dining room to a workspace in 2005 to have somewhere to keep all the computer stuff away from the kids, the idea being that I only used the computer occasionally to check email and pay bills.

It worked out great for a while, but this 3′ x 5′ space became way too cramped when I started spending more and more time in there working on Sarah & Abraham.
So we converted what used to be a playroom into an office with workspace for me, workspace for my husband, who also does a lot of work from home, and a crafting area for the kids. I love how it turned out!

decoupage artwork

I came across a shop on Etsy yesterday called Wee San Francisco that sells beautiful decoupage artwork:

I’ve had something like this in mind for a long time (to illustrate Bible story scenes using paper cutouts), but had never seen anything like this before. So this has given me new inspiration. A while ago I found these QuicKutz shapes that I could probably use for a few different stories:I’d like to use a die cutting system if possible so I don’t have to charge as much (the woman behind Wee San Francisco cuts every shape by hand and charges $100 – 200 for the artwork above). So I need to find out if there’s any problem with selling products made with QuicKutz, but right now their website is down for maintenance.

In the meantime, please leave a comment and let me know what you think of this idea. Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I asked my son, Jack, this morning what he’s thankful for, and his answer was, “All the beautiful colors that God made for flowers. And dogs and cats and birds and condors.” I thought that was such a great answer, and it really gave me a lot to think about. I get so wrapped up in things that don’t really matter and never stop to appreciate the small things like “all the beautiful colors.” Thanks for the insight, Jack!

if only I could sew

These are some examples of the many other products I’ve found online that I’m consistently drawn to. I’d love to be able to make these types of things, especially if I could relate them to maybe Bible stories or religion in some way. But alas, I think I’m better off, for now at least, sticking to paper and printed materials. I’ve never enjoyed sewing or working with fine details, as much I wish I did.

Wee Wonderfuls:Jenn Docherty:
Summer Salt Designs:

Jakc Designs:

Modern Nursery:

the original idea

My original idea was to create religious-themed wall decor for nurseries and children’s bedrooms that would fit in with the modern “Pottery Barn Kids look”. These are some of the nurseries that served as inspiration for me:
In the early days I spent almost every day creating new designs, and scrapping most of them. But lately I’ve been so consumed with administrative stuff and logistics (incorporating, insurance, accounting, website domain, Etsy shop, marketing, etc.) that I’ve completely stopped creating new designs. Now that the operational stuff seems to be mostly in place and running smoothly, I’d really like to get back to creating some new designs.


For the past several months I’ve been working on starting up a new business, Sarah & Abraham, and now it seems the time has come to start a blog. I’ll try to post regularly – please check in from time to time, and don’t be shy with your comments. I’d love to hear from you!