May 5, 2011

Tornado Damage

Well, we got our power restored Sunday evening. Nearly a week without power was about enough to make me want to send my husband elsewhere, lol.  Finally getting back into the swing of things and catching up on orders so staying very busy. Guess my post a day project is going to have to wait for a little bit anyway as I get caught up.  I'm still posting items in Simplie Girlie on Etsy and on my Facebook fanpage so come on over and check things out! 

For those of you wanting to see just a fraction of the damage in my area, you can see photos in this album here
I am still torn over being thankful that we were so fortunate while neighbors less than 1/4 of a mile from us have lost everything, and to think that our neighbors in MS and AL recieved so much more that this just makes me very sad. I can tell you one thing though. We used a neighbors shelter, but our own will be going in as soon as possible! This was just way too close for comfort, IMO.

April 27, 2011

Spring storms

The last few weeks have brought more rain and storms then I care to think about. Monday night, my neighborhood was hit with a tornado and things have been pretty crazy around here. I live in Black Oaks Ranch Estates which has been shown on even national news channels as most homes here have been completely destroyed. We all have Conway addresses, but since we are in the Vilonia School District and are on Vilonia's water system, we are considered a part of Vilonia. We are still without power and who knows when it will be back on. We have had a good friend bring us a generator but they lost power in the storms that came through last night so we will be taking it back to them if they don't have power back on today. We were one of the few very fortunate families out here in that we had very minimal damage. We have been extremely thankful for that fact, but our hearts are breaking for those who have lost everything. My kids have many friends here who have lost everything. I hope to have some pictures up for everyone soon but feel my time is best spent helping my neighbors in their time of need. I was trying to post every day and will still attempt to do so. However, they will be very short. 

April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone had as great a day as I did yesterday.  After hearing a wonderful sermon at church, we came home to finish up getting the house ready for family to come over. Things were a bit delayed, which is usually the case in our family, lol. Luckily, though, the severe weather that Arkansas had yesterday managed to go just to the north of us and we had a beautiful day.  We did get a few sprinkles and a small shower, but nothing that lasted very long.  Instead of the traditional Easter feast including ham, potatoes, etc., we had a family BBQ and I really enjoyed that. I had some left over BBQ nachos for lunch today even - YUM!

I made a sweet little shirt for Jesse and dresses for the girls, though my oldest daughter's dress did not get finished in time for church. I had told her that this year she would be helping in the process and had reminded her daily all week that she needed to cut out her fabric. She didn't cut the last piece out until Easter morning and, while we were very, very close to finishing, we still needed to attach the bodice to the skirt and put in the zipper but ran out of time. I did finish it that evening after most of the family had left, however, and it turned out really nice. I still have those pictures to edit but will hopefully have them for you tomorrow.

I did promise pictures of some new items I have listed on Etsy, so we will do those today. Some of these I just listed today even.

First up is a girls size 6 T-shirt with an appliqued Eiffel tower. I used the frayed applique technique on this one and I believe it turned out very cute. I couldn't applique to the middle of the front of the shirt as it had a gathered neckline, but I think the placement makes it unique and fun. The shirt style also is great for those girls who aren't necessarily your more slender body type. I can make these in 4-6x and even in a couple of diferent colors. If you like this one, you can purchase it here.

Apparently, I have Paris on the brain today because I also listed this super cute Viva le France pillowcase dress today. I made this for the secretary where my husband works as she wanted one for her daughter. Since I was making one, I figured I might as well do a few more!  So, this is available in a 6m, 12m, 18m, 2T and 3T ready to ship. I have more fabric, so making other sizes won't be a problem. You can purchase the 6m or 12m version here and the 18m, 2T or 3T version here.

I'm  really excited about the fact that I now have size tags to put in all my custom creations. Now my customers will no longer have to guess at what size their handmade item is - yeah! These are woven tags, not stamped, screen printed or a ribbon tag with the size painted on it with fabric paint. This means no matter how many times you wash it, you will always know what size it is. :)

I have also added a completely new item to my shop, a Lovie (aka tag-along or security blanket). I have actually had them for nearly a year now, but have just now taken the time to get them listed. They are made with minky on both sides so they are super soft and awesome at resisting staings. I bind them with grosgrain ribbon so they stand up great to those active toddlers! You can find the giraffe one pictured below in my Etsy store here. I can make these in all sorts of patterns and colors so send me an email ( if you'd like one custom made. :)

Besides the custom birthday short sets that I have already talked about in my last two posts, I am working on getting several short sets listed and ready to go.  These are also going to be available at Monogram It! in downtown Arkadelphia for those of you in that area. I have several plaid versions in the works and some other cute boyish fabrics. There are actually about 10+ pair that I have serged already and just need their elastic casing and hems done and they will be ready to list. Of course, I am also working on some orders in the meantime so it may take me a bit to get them finished up, though I plan on having them done by this weekend for sure. I did list this Boogie Monster set Saturday. I have them in 2T, 3T and 4T. You can choose red, blue or white for the shirt and I will add your little monsters initial or age to the front of the shirt in the same fabric as the shorts. Super cute! Find it here.  

I also listed this adorable Peace sign appliqued t-shirt, tutu and hair bow combination. The bow is made by my friend Anessa Burgard of Vilonia. She does an awesome job and this bow matched the outfit absolutely perfectly. I only have this in a 12month. I do have one more shirt like this in a 3T so I can made you an outfit that size if you'd like. You can find it here.

There are several other items I have listed in the last couple of weeks. I figure for today, you've probably seen enough, lol.  You can visit my online store Simplie Girlie Designs on Etsy anytime day or night. You can send me messages there as well and I try to anwer them ASAP so just send me a note if you have any questions. You can always send me an email to as well or visit my fanpage on Facebook.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderfully blessed day!

April 23, 2011

Jesse's 3rd Birthday

Woohoo!  Two days in a row, can you believe it?  LOL  Can't get too excited yet - better wait until I've done this for at least a week to do that!!

Anyway....I promised photos of Jesse's third birthday including his cake (my very first 3D cake ever btw) and the outfit I made to make his party theme, so here we go. :)

My son loves the Disney movie Cars so we went with a Cars theme this year, which turned out to be really fun. He was very much into the entire process helping me pick out party ware at Party City in Little Rock. Everything was "Wighning MaGween" LOL I heard it everywhere every single time he saw that little red car on anything! He wanted his "MaGween Pardy" everwhere we went. For days he'd come to me (several times a day in fact) and ask "MaGween Pardy?"  This lasted even after the party because every time someone opened the fridge he'd see his cake in there and he'd start asking for a party again, lol.  Think maybe he liked his party?

So, I made him his own special McQueen outfit complete with shorts and an appliqued t-shirt to match. They turned out really cute.

After posting this on Facebook, I had a friend ask me to make a set for her son and had a few comments from people when I'd run into them in person so I decided to list it in my Etsy store. If you'd like one for your own little munchkin, you can find them here.

I didn't manage to get a picture of the entire outfit on him. That boy of mine is one active little booger so most pictures wound up too blurry to use even when using the sports setting. I am going to have to find some time to learn how to use the manual settings so I can get better action shots. I did manage to snap this picture before the festivities officially began.

And this one after he opened one of his presents.

 For every birthday, I search the internet for pictures of cakes in the theme of the party or, in my older girl's cases, the colors they want their party. Of course, I found all sorts of Cars cakes. In my search I ran into a blog that gave a tutorial on how to do a Cars cake in the shape of the car. I must say that it looked rather intimidating to me, but we love to go above and beyond for our little squirts so I decided I would give it a go.  Honestly, I thought several times of coping out just going with something more simple simply because doing this cake intimidated me so much. I had already posted a photo of the proposed birthday cake on Facebook, however, so I couldn't very well back out, lol. Gotta show 'em I can do it, right? ;)

This cake took one 9x13 cake pan and one 8x8 pan. The first hurdle was to sculpt the cake by cutting pieces of here and there and then adding cake to spots to get the basic shape of the car. I thought this part was going to make me pull out my hair, but I made it!

So, now I had to cream coat the entire thing and put it in the fridge to chill. After that I covered the entire thing in red fondant. I decided to make my life a little easier and get already made and colored fondant and I ended up using some buttercream fondant by Duff from Ace of Cakes. While fondant is not known for its flavor, I must say that this fondant was much better than the Wilton fondant I have used in the past. Of course, fondant isn't used so much for its flavor as it is for its visual appeal (imho). So, here we are after the fondant has been applied.

Now, fondant isn't the cheapest stuff in the world by any means when you are buying already made stuff so I opted for using buttercream to do the detail work. I still have a lot of my cake decorating things in Arkadelphia so I didn't have all of my bags and things and naturally didn't think about this until after I had been to three different stores to get everything I needed and was back at home - figures. So, i had one bag, ring and couplet which meant I could only ice with one color at a time. I also didn't have any vodka handy to use with my gel color so that I could paint the color onto the lightning bolt and the numbers, so mine looked more striped instead of fading from one color to the other, but no one seemed to mind (except me of course). Also, if you noticed in the first photo, the wheels fit beautifully. Umm...not so much after the fondant was put on the car and the wheels, lol. Oh well, the birthday boy loved it so I can live with that. ;)

I must say that for my first 3D cake I managed to impress myself, lol. It's far from perfect but I managed to keep my cool during the whole process, which is a miracle all its own (just ask my husband, lol). I think after doing this one, I can actually do one of those topsy turvy cakes I've wanted to do for a few years but have just been too intimidated to try. Thanks to The Fabulous Cake Lady for posting the tutorial for this on her blog. If you want to make one of these, you can find her instructions here.

In keeping with the Cars theme, I took a break from making things for customers and for my shop and made a quilt and pair of pillows for my son. Since he is quite a bit bigger than he was when I made his last set of blankets I decided he needed something much bigger that he could use for a while. Sure his baby blankets still cover him, but only if he stays perfectly still, lol.

Here is side one of his new pillows

And side two

And here is his new quilt/blanket. The back is a solid piece of black minky dimple dot so it's super soft and cuddly. (oh, and these pics are taken after it has already been washed twice)

To give you a better idea of size (it's roughly 50x60 inches), here is a picture of my son on his blanket. He's 40.5 inches tall.

Well, that is the post for today. My plan is to be back tomorrow with some more new items in the store and a new pillowcase dress I made yesterday.  Until then, I hope you have a wonderful and blessed day!

April 22, 2011

Busy Beaver

As usual, things have been super busy around here. Since my last post I have been busy with my normal transcription work, finished up on a few custom orders, added some fun new things to the shop, purchased more fabric than my husband would care to think about, had a birthday party for my now 3year old son and am getting things ready for a family BBQ at our house this Easter Sunday. Oh, and we've been busy with softball practices, games and tournement (well at least the ones we have been able to get in with all the rain we've been having - ugh!).

With all of that, I have quite a few pictures to share with you. I will try to keep my comments to a minimum lest this end up being the longest blog post ever, lol.

First up, I have a screen shot of my Etsy shop.  In the last week, I have been trying to add at least one product a day, usually two, in an effort to get my online inventory up.  Etsy searches apparently like shops with a lot of stuff listed so I am trying to work up to having at least 100 items in my store at any given time. I have the inventory but lack the time to take and edit good photos and write up new descriptions but I've set my goal and hope to acheive it soon. Image is linked directly to my store front so feel free to click away and check it out.

Up next are some custom orders I've finished lately.  Lots of cute stuff!

I didn't have time to clean up the round table we have in the barn to get a better picture of this set, but this is a 90-inch round table cloth with a grosgrain ribbon border and a 43 inch square butterfly topper for the table. I hope my customer sends me a pic of this on her little girl's table. I bet it looks so cute!

This is a set of initial bracelets each with their corresponding tin. The beads used are the recipients birthstone color as is the color chosen for the initial on the tin. These were ordered as hostess gifts for a baby shower.

This is a close up of a spa wrap that is being given as a junior brides maid gift. The band at the top is black with white polka-dots so I appliqued a heart and cross bones in matching fabric and then took the wrap to my local embroiderer and had her put the girl's name on it.  My 11-year-old daughter was in love with this wrap. Maybe I will have to do something similar for her.

One of two OU blankets for a local customers not-yet-here baby boy.

A orange and hot pink tutu made to fit a customers bull dog! This was definitely a fun project. I made this tutu to where there is no tulle in the very bottom so that it doesn't interfere with tee-tee time and it features a snap closure so it's easy to put on and take off.

A very sideways view of a large custom made quilt for a local customer. I'm not sure why it loaded sideways or how to change that even, lol.  Anyway, this was part of an entire bedding set done for a 1 y/o made specifically to be able to be used when her crib is converted to a full size bed.  The blanket was made roughly 50x60 inches so that it can be a throw on her bed later.

Here is the bumper made to match, shown here how it would look in toddler bed mode with the front removed.
I made two valances to match the bedding and love the way they turned out. I didn't get a picture of the bed skirt on the crib, but it matches the valances. The really cool thing about the bed skirt is that it is pleated and fits the baby bed, but it converts to fit a full size bed!

OU Blanket #2. Blogger flipped my picture again.

This blanket was done for a customer for her to give as a shower gift to a friend. I love the way this turned out. Her friend is more tomboy-ish so we tried not to be too girly but still feminine. Hope she likes it. :)

Another flipped picture...grr...They are not on my computer this way. You'd think that there would be a way for me to rotate the pics if necessary. If anyone knows how to do this PLEASE let me know.  Anyway, my final picture for today is a custom made birthday outfit. I did one of these for my son and decided it would be a great item for my store. I'm very glad I did as it has turned out to be quite a popular item. If you want one of your own, click here for infant sizes and here for toddler sizes. I make them up to a child's size 8 but haven't made the listing for the larger size yet.

I'm going to leave you with those for today. I have pics of the outfit and cake that I did for my son's birthday and pics of several new items for the store but I figure this post is long enough, lol. I will do my best to be back tomorrow with some pictures from Jesse's 3rd birthday. Until then, thank you for reading and may you all have a wonderfully blessed day!

March 28, 2011

Back again

Hopefully this time for good and hopefully this time I will stay active. I find it increasingly hard to balance the need to promote my Etsy shop and its items as well as make said items, keep my transcription done, keep up with my now nearly 3 y/0, etc., etc. There is so much to do these days that I often wish each day had more hours in it, lol. I am in the midst of taking an E-course on promoting my Etsy shop through the use of various social media including this blog, so hopefully that will whip me into shape and show me ways to get my items recognized by the public while taking up as little of my day as possible. So, be on the lookout for postings about new items, relisted items, etc. I hope that I will also find the time to post a bit about myself and family to try to keep this blog more personal and not so much just "here's my stuff." I know that my customers like to know who exactly it is behind the product, so I'd like to use this space to be more personal. If you have any tips for being consistent in your blogging, please feel free to share! I need all the help I can get, lol. You may wonder what else has kept me so busy that I have not made the time to post. Well, since my last posting, we have purchased a house in Conway and naturally moved. The entire process was extremely nerve racking. We put in our original offer in August and did not get to the actual closing until nearly Christmas. Four months of back and forth, round and round and all because underwriters are so very hard to deal with any more. Paperwork that was filled out and/or submitted magically disappeared from their desk and had to be resubmitted. All the gov regs have made it a much larger hassle to purchase a house, that is for sure. I hate to see what hoops we are going to have to jump through to sell our house in Arkadelphia - ugh! I am still working on getting walls painted and rooms just how I want them. I do have my office painted and nearly completely set up and our bedroom is painted with new curtains hanging. I have purchased a new headboard and am waiting for my husband to have the time to go pick it up. I will have to do a post about that with before and after pics of my bed. I absolutely hate the bed we are in now for quite a few reasons including the fact that it clashes terribly with the bedding and overall look of the room. You'll see what I mean when I blog about it. I found this lovely dark wood headboard completely by chance while searching for a long, tall sofa table for our living room. It is absolutely georgeous and fits the look of my bedroom perfectly. It also was an absolute steal at $100! I can't wait to get it set up and in use. I will have to wait until my husband can build the platform for our mattress though, so it will be a while before I actually have my headboard in use even after we get it home. The girls are dying to get their rooms painted and I am trying to choose a color for my kitchen. I want to go with a sage green for my kitchen walls but my husband is really not liking that idea because he hates green, which is funny because his eyes are green - go figure, lol. Anyway, I must get back to the world of transcription and an order for a little girl's bedding that needs to be done by Friday. You simply must see this bedding. It is SO cute. I can't wait for it to be done and put together in her room. I haven't had as much time to sew as I would like lately as my transcription work has greatly increased. I love the extra paychecks but I really wish I didn't have to work as many hours at my "real" job and could focus more on my hobby. Oh well, that is the point of all this blogging and posting my things to social media websites - so I can increase traffic and viewing of my handmade items and eventually make it my full time business. Hope you have a wonderfully blessed day (what's left of it at least).