September 30, 2011

Before: Reupholstery Project


It has been, oh, 2 years since I have had the time or need to reupholster a piece of furniture. But now the girls' room needs a cozy chair to cuddle in and read books, so I scoured Craigslist to find some sort of armchair in need of some TLC.

Let me tell you, in Arkansas (at least in my experience) it was really hard to find a chair with decent lines! but I finally lucked out with this lovely 1960's low profile lounge chair. Sure, the fabric is in really bad shape (the previous owner had paid a bundle to have it recovered, only to have their pet destroy the fabric).



I am planning on recovering this in a heavy weight lemon colored fabric. No pattern, as the girls' room already has a large chevron rug, so I don't want the room to be too busy.



I have less than 2 months until Lucy arrives, so *hopefully* I will have this project completed within a few weeks time and share the results with you!

Wish me luck :)

September 29, 2011

A Special Pillowcase



So I have been thinking a lot about what to bring to the hospital when I deliver Lucy. The last go around with Violet, I literally packed a change of clothes and that was it!



Recently, someone suggested that I should bring my own pillow for comfort, but be sure to get a snazzy pillowcase so that it doesn't get mixed in with the hospital's supply. That's when I turned to Etsy to find the prettiest vintage pillowcase!

I found this one from seller ErikawithaK. I LOVE how sweet the floral print is.



After Lucy is born, I want to make her a little dress or skirt from the fabric. I think it will be a special reminder of the the day she was born ;)

What do you think of that idea?

Stacie

September 27, 2011

Artist Admiration: Nora Aoyagi


I have an affinity for printmaking, and have long admired artist Nora Aoyagi's patterned and dark silkscreened prints. She is an artist based out of Berkley, California. According to her Etsy bio, she is influenced by children's book illustrations, Mexican folk art, and vintage circus advertisements. I adore her work and long to purchase a print for myself :)


She has a "fondness for fairytales and fearsome creatures" (quoted from her website). I especially love her Little Red Riding Hood themed works. Please, do yourself a favor and explore more of the works from Nora Aoyagi :)

Links:

September 24, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes


recipe and image from Annie Eats (found via Creature Comforts)

Guess who just happens to have a can or two of pumpkin puree and espresso powder burning a hole in their pantry? That would be me, and I am making this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes this weekend :)

Don't they look devilishly decadent? 

Stacie

September 23, 2011

Now Available: Little Foxes Calendar


2012 Little Foxes Calendar (Available for Purchase Here)

The Little Foxes have arrived! 12 months of the cutest illustrated foxes to keep you company as the year rolls by :) I hope that you love it as much as I do!



My favorite months are October and January! Which months do you love?



September 22, 2011

31 Weeks Pregnant


Hello 31 Weeks. Surprisingly, I feel better physically this week than I have in about a month! Lucy is currently wedged behind my ribs, doing a happy dance, baking for a few more weeks :)


I Really am happy for the fall weather, because I can still wear some loose dresses and throw on some tights and boots! I've had this dress FOREVER and it seems to grow and shrink along with my body.

Love you, floral target dress.


I am trying to be a pensive expectant mom in this photo. I was probably thinking about cloth diapers. That's right. We registered yesterday at a local shop for a stash of cloth diapers, and I am a little intimidated by the sheer prospect of using cloth diapers.

But, my mom used cloth on me, and lots of my friends do. And it will save tons of money. So wish me luck!

9 weeks to go!

Stacie 

September 21, 2011

Pregnancy Craving: Pasta Please


Mama Mia! Lucy and I are hungry for some pasta ;) Okay, enough cheese.... but seriously, all can think about is a giant fork wrapped in spaghetti noodles dipped in a rich creamy sauce.....

Pasta was my go do pregnancy food when I was carrying Violet. Seriously, I would wake up at 5 AM and caramelize some onions, reduce a white wine cream sauce, and indulge in some whole wheat pasta goodness.

Now this craving has resurfaced, and any of these recipes will do nicely (found via Pinterest)


I think that I am gonna make the Lemon Garlic Spaghetti tonight. 

Tell me, what looks like a winner in your book? Do you have any favorite pasta recipes?

September 19, 2011

Sneak Peek: Fox Calendar 2012 (So Excited!)


Okay, I am going to give you a little preview of the brand spanking new 2012 Gingiber Fox Calendar!!!

I am really really really REALLY excited about this little 4x6 calendar. It is filled with 12 brand new, original Gingiber Fox illustrations, lovingly designing and painstakingly colored.

I should have it listed in the shop by the end of the month Now available for PRESALE! Click Here to purchase.

So if you haven't yet purchased a calendar for 2012 and have an affinity for foxes, please keep this one in mind :)

Yippee!

Stacie

September 18, 2011

30 Weeks Pregnant


Howdy! I completely missed last week's pregnancy photos, but since I am now 30 weeks, I am going to try to post one every week (for my own records).

As you can see, I am looking mighty pregnant. Believe it or not, I can still fit into 2 pairs of my pre-pregnancy jeans, but none of my old tops! I feel really really big. But my midwife tells me I am looking good, so I am going to believe her :)

Anyways, I got a nice report from my midwife that ALL of the pregnancy concerns that they had for me and the baby have cleared up, so it is smooth sailing from here on out!

That's all,

Stacie

September 17, 2011

Little Shop Update





Added some new loot to the shop. A new print, pillow cover, and improved tote bags (featuring a larger owl for your bird enjoyment!)

Check out these items and more in the old Gingiber Shop :)

September 16, 2011

Pregnancy Craving: Savory Soups


I Went to the doctor on Wednesday for a baby checkup. The good news? I am 30 weeks along and have only gained 18 lbs! This calls for a food celebration of sorts, don't you agree?

I have never really been a gal who cooks soup. It has always intimidated me for some odd reason. But the weather has been cool and crisp in the 70's this week, and all I want is a warm bowl of soup :)

Check out these recipes to get your mouth watering found via Pinterest :)






Mama's hungry :) Which soup looks like a winner to you?

September 15, 2011

DIY Headboard

Hey friends! I wrote a guest post for the lovely Candace Todd of SparklePower! It is my handmade chalkboard headboard for Violet's bed :)


Thanks, Candace, for letting me share with your readers, and best of luck today as you have your baby!!!!

Stacie

Happiness is Homemade


"Hello! Hello! How are you today?" This is a song that my Violet sings everyday. That girl loves to make up words to songs. And paint. and cook breakfast with her mommy. Do I have a little handmade maven waiting in the wings? Perhaps :)

I love homemade. Children's clothing made from vintage sheets. Quilts, like the darling yellow one that Nathan's grandmother made for him when he was a baby. Baking and taking time to create a cake from scratch. I often feel like the investment of time that goes into creating a handmade gift is a gift in and of itself.

As I have been preparing for Lucy's arrival, I have been trying as hard as I can to fill the girls' room with items that I have made for her and Violet. Handmade pillows and curtains. A thrifty little headboard. Doodles and mobiles and handmade bedding. I hope that someday they realize that making things for people is how I show love.

And I love my girls so.

Tell me, do you love to give and receive homemade items?

September 14, 2011

The A to Z of Me



I've seen lots of these sweet little questionnaires on various blogs, so thought that I would share with you the A to Z of Me! Maybe you already know all of this about me?

A. Age: 25
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore that you hate: Ughh, yard work
D. Dogs: 2. Wallace (my snuggle bunny) and Schroeder (my pee machine)
E. Essential start to your day: French Press of half caf coffee
F. Favorite color: Recently it has been a golden shade of yellow
G. Gold or Silver: Silver. Especially around the holidays. Silver bells all the way
H. Height: 5’9
I. Instruments you play: I used to play the piano in Jazz Band, as well as the Clarinet. Those days are long behind me :)
J. Job title: Administrative Support Supervisor by day, Creative Director of Gingiber, LLC by night
K. Kids: Did you know I have a daughter named Violet (not that I talk about her much here) and another girl on the way in November? I kid, I kid....
L. Live: Arkansas
M. Mother’s name: Pam
N. Nicknames: Lucy, Sweet Baboo, Babe
O. Overnight hospital stays: When the kid was born I stayed overnight in the hospital
P. Pet peeves: Chewing gum. It makes me ill to see it, smell it on someone, think about it, etc.
Q. Quote from a movie: I don't know... something from Dumb and Dumber about our pets heads falling off?
R. Right or left handed: Right handed
S. Siblings: Yeppers! Older brother, Steven, and Older sister, Angie
U. Underwear: Huh? I do wear underwear. And I like it.....
V. Vegetable you hate: I am not really a hater of veggies. I am an equal opportunist when it comes to these types of things :)
W. What makes you run late: My daughter wants me to hold her all morning, which means I never look put together and am usually 5 minutes late
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Teeth and back  
Y. Yummy food that you make: I make really really good quiche
Z. Zoo animal: I think that my favorite zoo animal is a baby panda bear! Très cute!

You should blog about the A to Z of your life and link to it in the comments section below!

-Stacie

September 10, 2011

Saturday Blur


Hello weekend! Our fun started Friday after work, when Nathan and I had friends over to our house for the 1st time (you know, aside from out of towners and family)! Pizza and cupcakes were the go to food, followed by an attempted episode watching of Mad Men while the kiddos tried to play nicely in the other room.

Today, Nathan let me sleep in (YAY) and I awoke to he and Violet cooking cinnamon toast together in the kitchen :) I spent most of the day working on a DIY headboard for Violet's bed while Nathan went to band practice. There was also ample sampling of cupcakes between Violet and myself :) The kiddo and I colored, blew bubbles, and left the front door open so that this PERFECT pre-fall weather could invade our home!

Finally, we took V over to her grandparents house for some swimming and popcorn. Definitely a successful weekend thus far!


Oh, and I got a haircut! What do you think? Pardon my make-up free face in this photo!

How has your weekend been so far?

P.S. THANK YOU for all of the "Lucy" love from the last post!

September 8, 2011

L is For.....


L is for Lucy. The name of our daughter. Due in on November 25th. 

She is currently nestled in my tummy, listening to Stars through the headphones resting on my belly. And I am so in love with her already.

As a child, a family friend gave me the nickname "Lucy" from the Peanuts, because I was rather grouchy and loud :) 

I have always loved the name, though. The day before Nathan and I found out the gender of this little one, I was walking around the University of Arkansas campus, hoping to come up with the perfect name if our child was a girl. The entire walkway of the UARK campus has the names of every graduate etched in the cement. I looked down, and there was the name "Lucy" jumping out at me. I immediately called Nathan and ran the name past him. He LOVED it!

Violet and Lucy. My girls. Amazingly, months after we had chosen the name, we had a bit of an ancestral discovery: my great great aunts (who were sisters) were named Violet and Lucy! I had no idea of this family link. Kinda cool and freaky all at once, eh? Destiny, I suppose :)

This past weekend, My mother and I were antiquing, when I put my hand down on a table for support, and noticed that my hand was resting on this red aluminum "L".  It was $4, and the perfect addition to the girls' room.

Lucy Emmeline.

That's my girl!


September 7, 2011

Business Basics: Holiday Prep

As a small business owner, the 1st few years are filled with a considerable amount of trial and error. Especially when it comes to the holidays and appropriate preparation. And, as I have learned, it is never too early to start thinking about the rush of holiday sales :)



As Gingiber is now entering its 3rd season of holiday sales on Etsy, I thought that I would share with you 3 tips that I have learned and put into practice that have made me feel like I am working smarter, not harder :)

First here's a little recap of my first 2 years of selling:

2009- I was still creating the Gingiber brand. I still had not focused in completely on Nursery Decor, so my product offerings consisted of reindeer holiday cards (check out this old blog post about them!). I eagerly waited for the sales to come pouring into my shop, but by the end of the season, I had sold only 1 set of cards! Talk about a sad face :(

2010- I realized I needed to have a few signature Gingiber Holiday items: a Calendar and a Handmade Stocking. Having had a dismal preceding holiday season, I cautiously printed 6 of my Gingiber Owl Calendars and sewed 4 Gingiber Reindeer Stockings. I remember telling Nathan how thrilled I would be if I could sell what I had on hand..... who would have known that by the following January, I would have sold 200+ calendars and 30 handmade stockings, plus a countless number of prints!

So what happened between year one and year two?

1. Better Product Photography
Product photography is not one of my strong suites. Let me show you a product photo from my 2009 holiday products (I am so ashamed! Poorly lit and a bad angle!):



The next year, I almost made the same mistake!

After seeing my product images, my smartypants hubby suggested I retake the photos outside in natural daylight. He was right! Within a day, product began to sell! And by golly, it never let up again until the following January!

Now I still have TONS to learn about product photography. But at least now my photos are slightly more attractive :)

2. Stock Up on Shipping and Production Supplies in Bulk
I was so thrilled with Gingiber's holiday success! Yet I was constantly playing catch-up: Waiting to produce product until it was ordered. Paying extra on the shipping of paper and ink and packaging supplies to keep up with the demand. etc. If only I had simply dreamed bigger and ordered my supplies in bulk! I would have saved hundreds of dollars for rushed shipping on packaging and production supplies.

These are my favorite online suppliers for purchasing in bulk:


This year, I set a business goal of increasing my holiday sales by 40%. So I have already purchased enough paper, ink, print sleeves, backing board, bubble mailers, and business cards to help me reach that goal. Often the Unit Price is much less expensive the more you purchase. And, by only paying for shipping once, I am already saving some moolah! (Plus, a lot of these stores run great discount codes that can help with the bottom line).

And if I don't sell as much as I had hoped, I am still stocked up on business essentials to help me through the rest of the year.

3. Start Holiday Production Early
Etsy sends out a "Holiday Boot Camp" e-mail to help stores get ready for the rush of holiday sales. And every single e-mail says the same thing: Start Early!


I have been working on designs for this holiday season for a few months, and even have a "Holiday Preview" section in my Etsy Shop already. My goal is to have all my my holiday items photographed and listed in my shop by the end of September. That way, product is available for the thousands of holiday guides that are being put together both online and in print magazines.



I also have been mass producing and prepackaging and putting away as much product as possible. My office looks like a factory right now! Since I am having a baby in November, my ability to produce product on the go will be greatly diminished. Hopefully (fingers crossed) by working ahead, I will be able to simply drop my product in an envelope and ship it! Great time saver :)

Hopefully these tips will help you feel more prepared for your own holiday rush!

September 6, 2011

Weekend

Hi everyone! I hope that everyone here had a fantastic 3 day weekend. I don't know about the rest of the midwest, but in Arkansas, the weather was picture perfect :)

Here's what I did this weekend:
  • Took Violet for a Mommy/Daughter walk around the neighborhood
  • Baked Cupcakes with Nathan
  • Antiquing with my Mom
  • Drank my 1st Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season
  • Date with my handsome husband
  • Fantastic coffee date with my friend Amber Perrodin
  • Spent Monday in the back yard landscaping while Violet played and finger painted
  • Worked on Gingiber orders
The weekend was filled with hints of fall weather, laughter with friends, and thoughts of thankfulness. Blessed to have a mom who would drive up from Springfield and spend one of her only weekends off of work with me. Blessed to have a not only a partner in Nathan, but a best friend who is a constant source of encouragement end support. Blessed to have friends who think well of me, even when I don't think so well of myself. Blessed to have a sister who is planning a baby shower for me, even though she lives a state away :)

Tell me, what was the best part of your weekend?

September 2, 2011

Pregnancy Craving: Maple Anything

Maple has been on my mind. I have these vivid memories of a Maple Strussel Muffin that Starbucks served around 2006 to accompany their Maple Latte. The latte was a total dud, but by golly if I don't dream about that slightly nutty, extremely buttery, cakey muffin wrapper of heaven on a weekly basis!

I went a-searching for a recipe similar to the aforementioned Starbucks Maple Muffin on Pinterest, and found myself in the midst of a Maple-palooza!


I find myself in awe of these photographs. How does one make food look so mouthwateringly decadent? Must look away from the screen.... I think I gained 5 pounds via food lust ;)

(p.s. you can follow me on Pinterest, if you feel like it!)

September 1, 2011

Prepping Violet for Big Sisterhood

Last night I was watching an episode of Mad Men. It was the episode where Sally is scared of her new baby brother, Gene, and begins to act out. She has nightmares, screams when she sees the baby, etc. 


Perfect timing, no? You see, ever since we found out that we were going to have another baby, I have worried about Violet. How will she handle not being the only child? Will she feel secure? How will she do sharing a room? What if she acts out? My thoughts could go on and on.....


Now on Mad Men, Sally turned out to be scared of her baby brother because he reminded her of her recently deceased grandfather with the same monkier (oh Mad Men and your mid century drama). We don't have any haunting dead relatives for Violet to worry about. Yet Violet has been extra clingy ever since talk of the baby started back in March. So, I have really been trying to spend more time with Violet and talk to her about her new sister.  I want her to be really excited and really involved! 


I have taken Violet on special mommy daughter yogurt trips. We wake up early together and put our aprons on and partake in our daily ritual of making cinnamon toast (she loves to sprinkle that cinnamon sugar mixture).


Violet and I talk daily about baby sister. She feels the baby kick my belly. She wants to go on stroller walks with her once she is born. I tell Violet all of the time how she will be momma's big girl helper once the baby arrives. And Violet wants to be a big girl so badly! She is almost 3, and to see this fiercely independent little girl attempting to do little things all on her own, like brushing her own teeth or picking out her own clothes, reminds me how quickly time passes. Not too long ago, she was that little newborn that I cradled in my arms :)


I know that no matter how much we prep Violet, change is coming. Transition is tough, and, as my husband put it yesterday, our world is going to turn upside down yet again!

Moms, do you have any suggestions on how you prepped your children for a new addition to the family?