Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Lucy's Christmas Milestone



There's my 6-month old daughter Lucy Belle, sitting up all by herself right after Christmas...and her aunt reaching out in case the little one starts her slow slide downwards! :)

Merry Christmas everybody! And best wishes for a joyous and blessed New Year!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Blessings!

What a fun month it's been, getting geared up for Christmas! I'm so excited to see what my daughter Lucy thinks of all the boxes and paper this year.  I made her a few things and bought some books, but I know better than to go nuts with gifts at her age. My son Zach will probably lose it when he sees his presents! It's going to be a blast. :) 
 
My shop will be on "vacation" until 2010! And this is probably my last post until the new year. Hard to grasp that this year is nearly over! Since I'm not doing a Wednesday Crafty Wrap-Up tomorrow, here's a shot of the new hair bow holder I made for my daughter's room. 



I made it out of an old picture frame, after the glass broke. You can get a similar effect by attaching fabric over a layer of batting to a piece of cardboard.



 I just pinned the ribbons to the underside of the cardboard before reassembling the photo frame. In fact, everything is pinned so I can easily switch out fabric or reconfigure the ribbons. I like to keep things flexible! :)

May you all be blessed this Holiday Season and may the *real* meaning of Christmas remain ever before us!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday Crafty Wrap-Up: Butternut Squash Soup

Is cooking a craft? Absolutely, undeniably, it is. Although my husband makes dinner most every night (lucky me), I'm cooking more and more now that we have two kids. I've just started making baby food for our 6-month old daughter, and what a cost savings for minimal effort!! Here's a recipe I concocted last weekend for butternut squash soup that will please the whole family--kids included.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday Crafty Wrap-Up: Crafty Faves Part II

You might already be aware of the fact that I live in Minnesota, which is known for turning into a frigid wasteland at least 6 months out of the year. That being said, it is SNOWMAGEDDON 2009 outside right now! Wind, ice, cold, snow...ugh. So let's stay inside and knit, sew, scrapbook...play on our computers...you name it.

As promised in last week's installment, here are even more fun and helpful links for those who love to craft, knit and sew. There's nothing like the all-hours, multi-media convenience of online resources to help you in your crafty pursuits...so here are some additional favorites of mine!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Shop Notes: 12/8/09

First of all...let me say a big Happy Half-Birthday to my daughter Lucy Belle, who turns 6 months old today! :) :) :)

My shop, Fancybelle Boutique, is looking a mite sparse suddenly! It's actually pretty exciting in a way, because my sale on Baby Belle cloth dolls was so successful over the Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Cyber Monday shop-a-thon.

I'm now old hat at shipping internationally...it's just incredible to think someone in Japan has a set of my ponytail holders!

Please note that I decided to remove my listings for most of my made-to-order handknit items until after the holidays. This is due to my own time constraints through Christmas. I have lots of family gifts to make!! :) 

If you are looking for handknit baby legs that are ready to ship, I have three pairs that will be posted later this week. My grandmother, an incredible knitter, prepared these for the shop and added a darling little picot lacy edge to each! So cute.

Also keep an eye out for two roll-up knitting needle cases, designed with 10 pockets for 7" double pointed needles. Ideal for that knitter on your Christmas list. Bigger cases for longer knitting needles are in the works as well, for those of you with many different sizes to accommodate.

Oh, I almost forgot!! Folks have been contacting me about more Baby Belle dolls and I have about 10 ready to sew, so please let me know if there's a particular doll you're interested in. My own daughter is getting a set for Christmas and they really do look adorable peeking out of a Christmas stocking!

Okay, take care and have an awesome week--more project photos and part II of my Crafty Faves is coming up this Wednesday. :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday Crafty Wrap-Up: Crafty Faves Part I

It's Wednesday again and time to wrap up this past week in crafts! To help you in your crafty pursuits, I've also put together an assortment of my favorite websites to find knitting and sewing patterns. All of these I have bookmarked or know by heart for quick reference! More useful links will be showcased next Wednesday during my second installment, so keep an eye out. :)

First off, let me introduce you to my son's Christmas stocking.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Not Me! Monday: Goodbye, Thanksgiving



This holiday, I totally did NOT wait until the last minute to decide I'm making a turkey, then spend all of Thanksgiving Eve submitting said turkey to cold water baths just to thaw it out in time.

No way, I never procrastinate like that!

I also did NOT

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday Crafty Wrap-Up: Gobble, Gobble Edition

Welcome to my Thanksgiving Week wrap-up! There are so many blessings to be thankful for this year, especially when I look back to last Thanksgiving. Now we are a family of four and have a beautiful baby girl who will be celebrating her very first Thanksgiving with us. :)

Here are some crafty highlights for you to gobble up (har!) before the craziness of Thanksgiving weekend descends on your house!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Not Me! Monday: Oh Dust




Not Me! Monday! was created by MckMama, so we can share a few minor imperfections and get some laughs out of our similarities. If you want to join in, head over to her blog and link up there!

I most certainly did NOT neglect to dust the house for at least 3 weeks, and then finally notice once I moved a pile of knitting needles that sat on my vanity for that same length of time because I was definitely going to use them AT ANY MOMENT...so best to keep them at arm's length in case inspiration strikes during my 5am baby feeding wake-up call.

I did NOT also trip over a gigantic laundry basket right next to my bed this morning because I always hang our clean laundry the instant it gets out of the dryer. That being said, my clothes are NOT ever wrinkly from sitting in a pile for a week to 12 days. Ooops! :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday Crafty Wrap-Up #1

I'm starting a new weekly feature: the Wednesday Crafty Wrap-up! Just another way to chat about my recent projects and crafty adventures before I forget the details. With two kids, a husband in night class and a day-trip to Wisconsin, it's been a hectic several days around here. I can barely remember what I had for lunch yesterday, much less what happened a week ago. :)

In all the chaos, I managed to

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Items Coming Soon!

The holidays are fast approaching and I'm hoping to get a few new items stocked in my store before "Black Friday", aka the day after Thanksgiving. For sure I'll have four new pairs of Baby Belle Handknit Baby Legs in pink and purple colors and a new set of Girly Girl Baby Blocks listed in the next week. Also, I plan to make several knit hats in toddler and baby sizes for those chilly winter days ahead.

I'm super excited to announce a new line of items geared to the crafty--knitters and sewers!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Week 1: 30-Day Giving Challenge Recap

I seem to remember hearing back in my days of Catholic school: faith without works is dead. When I heard about the 30 Day Giving Challenge, I felt right away that this opportunity should not be turned down. It was one of those moments when I was alert to God whispering in my ear to pay attention and take action.

Friday, November 6, 2009

20 Sales!

My teeny-weeny shop that started from nothing just a couple of months ago has now hit twenty sales!

YIPPEE!!!


I actually need to replenish my inventory on a few things, and that's a great step forward. My new sewing machine will be getting a workout in the coming weeks, but it's definitely up for the challenge. I've been trying it out on a few small trials and it's a revelation. Love it.

Over the next week I'll be working on

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Organic Yarn Choices and More

I'm so proud to announce that Fancybelle Boutique is also featuring three shades of gorgeous organic yarn for all handknit items--almond, strawberry and khaki. I'm using Nature's Choice all-cotton organic yarn, grown and spun without the use of pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals. Not only is it super soft, the dyes used to color this yarn are certified organic as well!


I also have some new yarn color choices for my Baby Belle collection of handknit items--including baby legs, baby hats and ballet booties.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Yay for Sales This Weekend

It was so exciting to have three items sell in my shop over the weekend! My set of 3 baby blocks featuring cars, elephants and birds are off to a new home. :)


And I'll be doing lots of knitting this week because I sold a custom order of handknit baby legs AND a pair of my new organic yarn baby legs. Love knitting these!


I've already started

Sunday, November 1, 2009

30-Day Giving Challenge

I'm excited to participate! Check out the details here

This month I'm making a commitment to give in some way everyday and write about it here whenever I can. Write down the blessings that come your way each day, too!

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galations 6:9



Friday, October 30, 2009

My New Baby...er...Toy

Let me introduce you to my new baby....

Yes, I have gone computerized! Now that I'm the proud owner of brand spanking new Singer Confidence Quilter, I can know the joy that is a 98 stitch capability. Free motion and walking feet, people! Drop and sew bobbin! 13 needle positions!

I'm like a kid in a candy store. CANDY....drool...drool...

In other news, I've dusted off my old embroidery circle for some light decorative needlework on a pair of fleece baby legwarmers for Lucy Belle and, eventually, Fancybelle Boutique. Butterflies. That's all I'll say for now. ;)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beyond Cute Baby Ballet Slippers

I am getting close to perfecting my new knitting pattern for baby ballet slippers. You see, Lucy Belle is going to be a ballerina for Halloween. She has the tutu already, but what self-respecting ballerina could go without beautiful lace-up toe shoes? So I've made her a pair of the yarn variety. Darling!

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have a listing up for your choice of custom knit ballet booties. Also coming soon...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Baby Belle Doll Sale This Weekend

Just this weekend I'm running a 20% off sale on my Baby Belle dolls! So, if you've had your eye on one, it's a great chance to purchase.

The boys have left for WI and it's just me and Lucy Belle this weekend. I'm excited for some "girl-time" together! :)

Take care and have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Contest Winner Announced!

What a morning! First, one of our cars got towed. Another annoying thing about living in a larger city. Second, it's raining like crazy outside--booo.

Still, I somehow remembered to post the winner of this month's Facebook fan rewards giveaway! Check it out on the Fancybelle Boutique fan page.

I was excited to see another purchase at my store this morning, this time for the ladies Fusion Swirl ponytail holder. :) Yippee! I'm currently working on 3 pairs of custom knit Baby Belle leggings, each one in pink. Simply gorgeous.

Scored a ton of terrific fabrics at Joann yesterday--I'm hoping to make several half and full aprons to list at Fancybelle Boutique in the coming weeks.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Special Sale Next Week

I've decided to offer a special sale price on my Baby Belle cloth dolls next week. I'm thinking perhaps 20% off! I just love making these sweet little dolls and picking out new fabric combinations for each. In fact, there might be a few new dollies to choose from in the very near future!!

In the meantime,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Knitting--Bring it On!!

My sweet baby girl, Lucy Belle, playing with her new set of Girly Girl Baby Blocks! Here is the set that is listed in my store: Girly Girl Baby Blocks in Designer Fabrics.

We really went to town playing with Lucy's set of blocks over the weekend. My son Zach kept throwing them at us and saying "think fast", ha! Good thing they are ultra bouncy and soft...so it was kind of like a tiny pillow fight! Even though the blocks are very cuddly and squishy, they retain their square shape surprisingly well. So we can call these baby blocks kid tested, mother approved! :)

Looks like I'm going to be

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Coming Soon to Fancybelle Boutique

Sometime next week I hope to run another contest for blog followers and Facebook fans. This time I'll be giving away a cloth doll from my Baby Belle Cloth Doll collection. Excited!!!

I'm also planning on adding a few handknit "babylegs"-style leg warmers to my shop by the end of October. I just finished a prototype pair to try out on Lucy Belle and I think I have my design perfected at this point and ready for the viewing public!


Next up to Fancybelle Boutique will be

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm Featured on Handmade Highway!

Fancybelle Boutique is now featured on Handmade Highway, an awesome directory of handcrafters that I'm really excited about.

Check out our post here!

Handmade Highway is a living, dynamic directory of handmade sellers giving users 1-click access to handmade shops, products, pictures, location, seller contact info, and availability. A totally terrific resource for people that enjoy buying unique handcrafted merchandise!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Girly Girly Baby Blocks Available Today!


These have been a long time coming. I started them a month ago and just couldn't bring myself to sew all of those hidden closing seams until today. So glad I did--they look fabulous!

I just listed one set of 3 baby blocks featuring petite jingle bells on the inside, for a light twinkling noise when shaken. There is one more set that I'll be listing later this month without jingle bells, but I assure you...I'm annoyed easily by noisy toys and these are not too loud, not too soft--just right!

The blocks are made in a combination of popular designer fabrics, and although I made 3 sets in total (another jingle bell set for my own daughter Lucy Belle), no two sets are exactly alike. A perfect, one-of-a-kind gift idea for the next baby shower you're invited to!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Who Wants a Pretty Wrist Pin Cushion?

Although I'm still perfecting my design for this item, I hoping to offer a few wrist pin cushions for sale at Fancybelle Boutique in the coming weeks. Looks like my spinal fusion surgery is on hold until the end of the month so I'll have a bit more time to concentrate on fun projects!


You can see a little peek of the jumble that is my workstation in the above photos...I didn't feel like straightening up! I do all of my work on an old library table desk that is totally piled full of sewing notions, project pieces and even a folio of scrapbooking items.

Today I got closer to finishing a sewing machine cover for my trusty sidekick, my Grandma Lucy's Riccar sewing machine. I'm experimenting with some zig-zag stitching on the storage pockets...I think it's going to be super cute!

Next up at my store: Amy Butler girly-girl baby blocks and a listing for Baby Belle custom handknit baby and toddler leg warmers. Some listings on Etsy for "babylegs" are just ladies knee-high socks with the foot cut off. Since I always feature custom items of my own design, my shop could offer no less than the same for babylegs!

Later this week I'm expecting to receive a pattern for toddler training pants that I'm more than a little excited about! My son Zach is 2 years old and about 75% of the way towards being potty trained. Some days we run through an ungodly amount of pull-ups, so I'm thrilled to eventually own a non-disposable yet waterproof option.

I love Twittermoms! Check out all the fun blogs posts on this entry or at my right sidebar. Enjoy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Shop Notes & Free Shipping Offer!

So excited that my little unicorn horse baby toy and a slim reversible car seat handle cushion have both sold recently! I had so much fun making both and I'm happy to send them on to new homes. :)



I'm offering free shipping on all car seat handle cushion through October 23rd. Please take advantage if you are interested. I also have free shipping on my baby blocks right now, and hope to add my Amy Butler girly-girl baby blocks to my store this week!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It's Tutu Time!

Wish me luck, I'm thinking ahead to Halloween and about to start my first baby tutu!

Yes, Lucy Belle, my 4-month old daughter, is going to be a baby ballerina...decked out in layers of pink tulle--hot pink, medium pink and light pink. All tied around a fuschia grosgrain ribbon.

At least, I think I bought some ribbon. It's hard to remember in the haze that descends over me when I'm at Joann Fabrics (my fave store) clutching a 40% coupon in one hand and a scribbled list that's invariably missing one semi-important item in the other.

Anyway, the Amy Butler baby blocks are on hold temporarily so I can satisfy the tutu urge...but the 3 sets I'm making are at least 90% complete anyway and I'm hoping to get them listed by the weekend. :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

My New Project: Amy Butler Baby Blocks


I've got the fabric cut and ready to sew for a set of girly baby blocks....in Amy Butler's Midwest Modern fabric. Just gorgeous and ultra-pretty! I can't wait to finish these. :)

The accent fabric will be Michael Miller's Dumb Dot in cocoa...a dark brown fabric with light pink polka dots. Love it!! Lucy Belle and I might have to keep a set for ourselves.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Contest for Facebook Fans! Ends Oct 3rd




If you become a fan of Fancybelle Boutique on Facebook, facebook.com/fancybelleboutique, you'll be entered to win a set of 3 ponytail holders in a football-themed fabric! When I saw this fabric, I just couldn't resist--it really reminded me of my recent obsession with the show "Friday Night Lights"!

The prize includes one large ponytail holder and two small sized ponytail holders, all in matching fabric. Perfect for mother/daughter or big sister/little sister!

Contest ends this Saturday October 3rd at noon!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Emma Belle Doll Featured at Blog Doll Guide

Fancybelle Boutique has a new collection of Belle Baby Doll cloth dolls for babies and girls

I'm just so excited to have my Emma Belle doll featured on Gold Crest Bags recent blog post: A Doll Guide--For Every Pocket!

I want to thank Miriam of Gold Coast Bags for including one of my new dolls on their lovely post!


Each old-fashioned cloth doll is made from retro paperdoll fabric by Sherri Marquez and meant to be played with and given a lot of love by a very special little girl! Just the right size to be carried anywhere, tucked into pockets or tossed into any sized diaper bag.

Check out my store for details and more photos!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Follow Fancybelle on Twitter!

I made the jump to Twitter, and I have to say...it's kinda exciting! You can follow me at twitter.com/fancy_belle. I hope you can join me. :)

Coming this weekend to Fancybelle Boutique...

Three types of infant carrier handle arm cushions...you can chose from light, medium and plush thickness...boy or girl patterns.

Seven new cloth dolls...so sweet and just the right size for little hands to hold and love!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Item Preview!

New handcrafted items to be available on fancybelleboutique.etsy.com by 9/25/09!

The extra-plush Groovy Guitar infant carrier handle cushion---made from designer Michael Miller's Groovy Guitar & Dumb Dot fabrics,with blue grosgrain ribbon fasteners



Totally reversible!



My baby model, Miss Lucy Belle, shows off one of my latest products!



The medium-plush Dandy Damask infant carrier handle cushion---made from designer Michael Miller's Dandy Damask fabric in black,with white grosgrain ribbon fasteners



The reverse side:




Lucy Belle's new cloth doll...such a sweet vintage-style plaything for little girls! This is just an example of 6 other cloth dolls on their way to fancybelleboutique.etsy.com



Each doll is stuffed with premium poly-fill and backed in a unique coordinating fabric



I can't wait to get these items listed and ready to go! Thanks for visiting! :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Baby Belle Cloth Dolls on the Way!



I just finished a set of sweet little cloth dolls made from fabric printed with old fashioned 1930's-style paperdolls, as shown above. My own Lucy Belle loves the dolly I picked out for her...just the right size for tiny hands to hold and love! Each doll is stuffed with premium extra-soft poly-fil and backed with cotton, flannel or fleece fabric. Perfect stocking stuffers for your own girly-girl!

Six unique cloth dolls will be available for sale at Fancybelle Boutique's Etsy store by the end of this week. Please check them out! :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Check Us Out on Facebook!!

Fancybelle Boutique now has enough fans on Facebook to register a username, so if you're a fan of my shop, please let your friends know how they can be fans too! Just go to facebook.com/fancybelleboutique to sign up. Thanks!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fancybelle's 1st Etsy Sale!

Thanks again to debby444 for being Fancybelle Boutique's first Etsy sale!! What a rush...I couldn't be more excited and I can't wait to send her the awesome items she ordered!

Store news:

I've just made a bunch of new button ponytail holders in an assortment of gorgeous fall colors. They should be posted for sale by the end of this weekend.

Also, several new infant carrier handle cushions will be available for sale by Monday. One features blue and aqua guitars on a black background, another is in a beautiful black and white damask pattern...and the rest, well I haven't decided yet! There are so many amazing designer fabrics out there, it's hard to choose. But I want you know that I'm 100% dedicated to offering a mix of gender neutral designs as well as items geared specific to boys or girls.

Monday, September 14, 2009

On the Way This Week


I just finished an adorable new carseat carrier handle cushion perfect for little boys in "Groovy Guitar" designer fabric by Michael Miller and will have it for sale at fancybelleboutique.etsy.com later this week.

I just love this fabric!



If you have an infant car seat or travel system, then you know how much that handle can dig into your arm when you're carrying baby around. My carrier handle cushions are designed to fit any infant car seat and have just enough "squish" to protect your arm without interfering with any of the carrier handle positions. The cushion is attached quickly and easily by beautiful coordinating ribbons. I've been using mine for over 3 months now and it's never come loose from the carrier handle.


Here are some photos of my own pink Kleo cushion that we use on a daily basis. Now that Lucy Belle is getting older and paying more attention to her surroundings, she loves to look at the colorful patterns on her car seat cushion!























Also on the way this week, a cuddly tag blanket for the little car lover in your family. One side is soft light green minky fabric and the other is "Traffic Jam" designer fabric by Alexander Henry. Hopefully I'll sell it before my vehicle-obsessed toddler steals it away!
















Finally...available for purchase by 10/1/09: a set of soft baby blocks made in designer fabrics from Alexander Henry and Michael Miller. Colors include turquoise, dark red, yellow and rich chocolate. This set is perfect for either a toddler boy or a girl...or even a delivery surprise baby on the way!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Hair Tie Collection and Stuffed Unicorn Toy

Over the weekend I just listed several new button ponytail holders made from designer fabric and a sweet little stuffed unicorn toy with a grosgrain ribbon mane. Here are a few photos!


















These button hair ties are an affordable and easy way to add a lot of style to a simple ponytail or braid.

Prices range from $2.75-$4.00. An affordable way to indulge your sense of style.















My new stuffed unicorn toy would be an adorable accent piece for a nursery decorated in an oh-so-trendy pink and brown color scheme! And it's even machine washable, if your child ends up using it as a teething toy.

A cuddly little horsey like this is perfect for a cowgirl-themed nursery or even a shabby chic floral adult's room. On sale now at fancybelleboutique.etsy.com for $15.95. Larger and smaller versions will be available by 10/1/09.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Items Available Now!

Today I'm posting on Etsy a few of my sweet little creations from my baby hat collection! Take a look, and I hope you enjoy them. All of them can be customized with different colors or special yarn, just let me know. I love making new things. My handcrafted items make really special, one-of-a-kind baby shower gifts...no one is going to show up to the party with the same gift as you!

Coming soon...I hope to post some arm cushions for infant car seat carrier handles. I couldn't live without mine. Well, that might be a bit of an overstatement, but this is one of those items that you don't realize you need until get it and use it yourself.

I've been using mine for 3 months and no more hard plastic digging into my arm when I carry my baby around in her car seat. And Lucy Belle has something fun and colorful to look at as well! Ours in Alexander Henry pink kleo fabric and I'll be listing several in a variety of designer fabrics for both girls and boys.

Also coming soon...an adorable stuffed unicorn horsey with a ribbon mane, available in designer fabrics. Perfect for little and big kids alike!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Welcome!

Welcome to Fancybelle.com!

This site will display handcrafted items for babies, children and their mommies that will be available soon at fancybelleboutique.etsy.com.

I make car seat carrier handle cushions, strap wraps, knit hats and toys for girls and boys. I'm learning how to make fabric blocks, baby Bjorn covers and fabric hair accessories. My own two children have inspired these creations. In fact, this store is named after my precious and lively infant daughter, Lucy Belle! But I won't forget about the boys in your life. Being a mom to a 2 year old son that is "all boy", I know the importance of quality products that can withstand plenty of washings.

The majority of the profits of Fancybelle Boutique will help supplement my family's income as I transition to being a stay-at-home mom. Please come back and check my site often to see new products that will be added. Thank you so much for visiting!

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