Friday, September 30, 2011

Check It Out! {Sponsor Love}

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Now that it's October, I guess I better introduce you to the lovely ladies who's ads have graced my sidebar for the past month!  These gals have great shops, I'd love for you to visit them and leave a comment!

{Sponsor Love: Check them out!}

My name is Chrissy and I blog over at Hoot Designs and I also have a photography blog called Hoot Photography.  I'm a fairly new blogger and have enjoyed getting to know all the crafty and talented artists out there in blog land. I enjoy all kinds of crafts and I'm always jumping from one craft to the next.  After mentioned my crazy all over the place self I learned there were others like me so we started a blog called Scatter Girls.  We blog about all things handmade with tutorials, fun Wednesday linky's and we love to have our friends guest post for us to share their talents.

                                                                   I have a shop on Etsy with a few things for sale.  
The key chains listed are by real "Indie" business and if your interested just send me a note and let me know you came through Melissa with SoChick Handbags and I'll ship for free!!Come visit Hoot designs, I'd love to meet you!

Hoot Designs on Facebook  |  Blog:  |  Twitter: @Chrissy217

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Hello everyone! My name is Tara and I blog over at The Small Town Mom and am also the owner of June. The Shop. I am currently living in a small town just south of the Twin Cities, Minnesota with my husband of 3 years and my 20 month old daughter. And let me tell you, it is fun! I've always pictured myself as a stay-at-home-mom and although everyday isn't easy, I wouldn't trade it for anything!

I am inspired by so many things, it can be the gathering of a dress, or the pop of color on a wall! The support of my family and friends is always an inspiration to me and I am always looking for inspiration in the things that surround me. My go to place is the ever addicting, Pinterest!

When I'm not singing off key toddler songs or hanging out with The Hubs, I love to craft. I'm a fan of anything DIY and enjoy creating for others! And when the weather is right (I'm one who pretty much hibernates during the winter months) I also love to sight see around Minnesota! 


Website:  |  Shop:  | Twitter: @MNTara

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Hey there!  
I'm Dawn from Eventually Cottage, where you can usually find me crafting my heart out or working on frugal home decorating projects.  My Prince Charming {partner in crime} and I bought his childhood home about 7 years ago.  It was formerly the carriage house for a large estate.  We have been working non-stop turning it into a cozy home for our two teenagers, three rescue dogs, and two rescue kitties!  When I'm not hard at work on our home or in my Eventually Cottage shop, I can be found answering 911 calls for our county's Department of Emergency Services.  It's a crazy life, but I wouldn't change one thing about it!  <3

Website:  |  Shop  | Twitter: @EventuallyDawn

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Jana is the chick behind Giggles, Glitz and Glam, where she talks about crafting, hosts a Tuesday Glam Party, and makes adorable little tutus and accessories... which is perfect since she and he hubby are expecting a little girl very soon!  Lean more about Jana, HERE.

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Be sure to check these gals out, and sure, you can tell them SoChick! sent you!

If you would like to become a Sponsor or work with me, be sure to check out my Networking page for more info!

XxOo~ Melissa

Thursday, September 29, 2011

DIY Halloween "Wreath" & Decor (No Sew, No Glue) [Inspiration Workshop]

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I really love Halloween... growing up in Sleepy Hollow, NY, with legends and stories, it's almost impossible not to get excited about this time of year...

So, yesterday, my little chick and I went out to get some supplies to make a Halloween & Fall wreath.

I bought a wreath for Fall and was going to use it for Halloween as well... but, I found this broom at the Dollar store... how perfect, right?!

{Supplies Needed}
Halloween Spray Decor {$2.50}
Straw Broom {$1}
Foam "Haunting Season" Sign {$1}
Black Puff Paint {Already had}
Ribbon {Splurge $8}...
 (I'll have plenty of ribbon left over for other projects)
Total {$12.50}

First, let's decorate the foam sign with puff paint... 

Remember to protect your table! 

I simply dotted paint around the letters... 

Filled in the bat...

And the Spider...
The best part of Puff Paint is that it adds that 3D effect to your project!
Set your foam aside to dry.

Now, we'll cut the ribbon for some bows...
my ribbon is pretty wide so I folded it down some:

Then, I tied the pieces, alternately, on my broom handle...
trimming to size: 

Next, I bent the stem of my Halloween spray 
and stuck it into the base of the broom 'handle': 

Fluff and arrange the spray: 

Finish off with a small cut of ribbon, folded...

And pinned (see, no glue here),
to the center of the spray's 'bow'...

Which I think looks like spider legs, 
just not as creepy.

I also added a final tie of ribbon for the streamers at the base of the broom! 

Once the Puff Paint had dried to the 'Haunting Season' foam
I took a Kabob skewer and stuck it up the middle of 
my sign to make a 'stake':

Which I then used to Stake 'Haunting Season' 
into my new mums: 

Here's my finished DIY Halloween 'Wreath' and porch display!

I am linking up with Gussy Sews' Inspiration Workshop and Scatter Girls today!
Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!
XxOo~ Melissa

Coming Soon [Fall Collection 2011]

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The SoChick!Newsletter went out last week... have you signed up yet? On the right side-bar there is a little Subscribe button... get on it! *wink*

Newsletter subscribers also get special discount codes and savings!

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SoChick! Fall Collection
is Coming!
October 2011

"Everyday Chic for Everyday Chicks."

This Fall, SoChick! will be featuring 100% cotton prints from the 'Heirloom' Collection by Joel Dewberry for Westminster/Free Spirit Fabrics.  You may recognize the 'Citirine' colorway from a past Fabulous Fabric Friday post I did... I. . this. fabric!  

These prints will be great as accents to the lush velvet and micro-suede fabrics that will be the base for SoChick!'s larger bags this fall... think smokey gray, rich chocolate and caramel colors!

Smaller SoChick! accessories will still boast fun and fresh all-over print fabrics, with a new product (or two) thrown into the mix...

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey a few weeks ago... I love your input and feedback!!

XxOo~ Melissa

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Fire [Keeping my head up...]

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I'm not one to give-in.  I aim to please.  I don't settle for mediocre. I'm a plan-for-the-worst-hope-for-the-best kind of gal... because if you are prepared for worst case scenario, anything but is a step up, right?  Probably that is why I have a hard time accepting that I need to step back when things happen that are out of our control...

{Hurricane Irene}
The girls, pups and I, followed by my Dad and Stepmom, went to my in-laws house in GA to stay safe during the Hurricane.  We anxiously watched the weather channel and news updates to see how the coast was faring through the storm.  That Sunday we made our way back to NC, so blessed to not have had any major damage to our homes, others were not so fortunate... the major headache at our house was that the power was out, the least of some folks' worries.

Sleeping that Sunday night was miserably hot; we were all tired and cranky trying to get as comfortable as possible in our living room where it seemed coolest the least miserable.  Needless to say, a good nights rest was had by none.  Monday morning I took the girls and dogs down to my Dad's place so we could all stay cool... my friend called me later in the afternoon to tell me the power had come back on. *Woo Hoo!*

{The Fire}
Happy to have air conditioning, a running refrigerator (though empty due to everything spoiling while the power was out for 3 days), and clean laundry, we all went to bed for the night... ready to get a well deserved good night's sleep.

About an hour after going to bed, my husband and I woke up to such loud beeping which we realized was the smoke detectors in our bedroom and upstairs hall.  In a daze we went downstairs trying to figure out why... we didn't see or smell smoke, yet.

It happened so fast after that... realizing our dryer had burned (was still burning), my husband going to get a fire extinguisher from our neighbor, me running up to get our girls out of bed while grabbing the phone to call 911 when we got outside.  Honestly, it didn't seem that bad... until I had my 2 year old in my arms while trying to walk my sleepy 8 year old down the stairs and we walked into a wall of smoke.... the only way we could see out of the house was by following the glow of the front porch light through the smoke and out the door. [Yes, scary.]

Once outside I called 911... then my dogs... Conrad came from the back of the house and sat at my feet, thinking back, I am so amazed at how he knew what to do.  Our smallest dog, Marilyn, was still in the house and ended up being rescued by a firefighter ~my hero!~.

I am so thankful we were all safe!  Aside from smoke damage to the downstairs of our house and the loss of our laundry room, everything in the home is okay.  After the fact, I was also so grateful that the door to my studio was closed and all of my fabrics, my machines, etc. were neatly put in the closet... after all, I had prepared for the worst from the Hurricane; doing whatever I could before heading out of town to ensure that our valuables, including my business, would be safe should anything major (like broken windows, leaking roof, etc) were to happen.

My hubby turned the dryer on before heading to bed so that we'd have clean, dry, clothes in the morning after the crazy weekend... I can't tell you how many times we have done this, that I have done it!  Never again.

{Gotta keep my head up}
I have been doing my darnedest to maintain a normal flow for everything, my family, my business, etc.. but it's starting to catch up to me as I prepare to ship custom orders, deal with the Insurance company, prep for fall product launch, Farmer's Market & festivals; schedule contractors to do repairs, blog, tweet, email, bring my chickie to gymnastics, and drive our laundry to my Dad's house for the next few weeks.

After talking to my hubby about it (mostly for some reassurance that everyone won't think i'm a failure), I have decided to take a break from my blog and the Farmer's Market while dealing with repairs to the house;  to allow myself time to focus on my current orders and build inventory.  I feel that by narrowing the things I have to focus on, the more I can ensure quality in my work without feeling stretched too thin... like I've always said, "quality outweighs quantity".

~I have some posts already scheduled for the blog, so you won't be completely lonely while I recoup. *wink*

~I will not be at the New Bern Farmer's Market this weekend, but will return for Mum Fest, October 8 & 9, with new products in tow!

~Fall product launch is scheduled for the weekend of October 8th!

I really feel that this is going to help me to better distribute my time and energy to keep us all happy.  I thank you, my customers and readers, for your understanding.

"Only rainbows after rain
The sun will always come again.
And it's a circle, circling,
Around again, it comes around again."

XxOo~ Melissa

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Inspiration Workshop [Family Room]

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I took a few weeks off, but today I'm back to linking with Gussy over at Gussy Sews for this week's installment of Inspiration Workshop.

The Prompt {Family Room}

This prompt couldn't have come at a better time since we are currently in the process of re-doing the downstairs of our Townhouse, thanks to the fire in our laundry room.

Our home isn't huge, but it works for us.  Our Living Room IS our Family Room.  We have two little chicks, two dogs and a cat, so space as well as functionality is big for us.  It's also important that we are able to tidy up the day's chaos to allow ourselves to relax in the evening... here are some of my most recent Pinterest Pins with my family room inspiration.

Gray walls with white trim & slipcovers 
(which I plan to make for our sectional):

Source: via Melissa on Pinterest

I love the navy thrown in the mix here...
with the casual, yet crisp, feel of this room:
Source: via Melissa on Pinterest

We have a living room wall that has a funny angle b/c of the stairway;
I plan to make it a Gallery wall:
Source: via Melissa on Pinterest

Love the dark, but not too dark, wood floors in this room...
just like what I've been looking at:

Also, would love to add fun items, like this subway board,
to add more casual-ness to the gray/white scheme:

Finally, this is my fabric inspiration for the Family Room/Living room:
(the plan is to make roman shades with this Amy Butler fabric, flanked by white/ivory linen drapes)
Source: via Melissa on Pinterest

I really love Pinterest for making this whole re-model thing a little bit easier!

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

XxOo~ Melissa

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday [Feeling like Fall]

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Linking up with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday {aka WIWW}.

Quick recap: Lindsey started the WIWW link-up party as a way to keep herself out of lounge wear and more accountable for her appearance.  Working from home comes with the temptation to bum it out, often... you know, wear jammies and sweats all day, no make-up, etc?  But, this really hampers productivity (in my opinion)... so I try to limit uber casual days to once every few weeks.

* * * 
I'm a summer gal, I like warm weather... my ideal temperature, however, is 72-80 degrees... yes, I will wear a light sweater when its in the 70's and rainy... especially when I just bought new ones for the season... and why not?!

I couldn't decide which self-photo-pose I wanted to go with...
so I chose both...

Remember these shoes from last week? 

{Sweater} $4.00 from Target; Yay Clearance!
{Necklace} Gifted
{Arm Bangle} From Crazy 8... yep, it's my kid's
{Cami} Target
{Jeans} Several years old... maybe from Target?
{Pumps} TJ Maxx

* * * * * * * * *
Okay, if anyone has tips on a one-handed-self-photo with your iPhone,
please clue This Chick in... I can't figure that out.

{Shades} Kenneth Cole from TJ Maxx
{'Boyfriend' Sweater} Target
{Cami} Target
{Jeans} Another old pair
{Flip Flops} Cobani

Okay, supposed to be warm and muggy this week, so back to the summer wear... I enjoyed my two almost-fall outfits this week!

I could live in jeans and tank tops... whats your most comfy outfit?

XxOo~ Melissa

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up [Lowcountry Therapy at Fripp Island, SC]

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It's been intense in my house lately, to say the least.  School is in full swing as is Gymnastics and Girl Scouts for my 8yr old (Though we missed our first meeting... for shame!), I am enjoying the New Bern Farmer's Market, which I will be attending bi-weekly so that I can keep up with supply; I also have more custom orders coming in, which makes me, and the recipients, very happy!  All of this would be fine if a dumb house fire wasn't thrown into the mix a few weeks ago...

Our dryer caught fire while we were in bed the same night our power came back on after Hurricane Irene.. oh the irony.  After waiting for insurance paperwork and whatnot, we are finally at the point where we are able to start working on the re-model of our downstairs.  This has been a bit of a headache as you can imagine, which is why our weekend away to Fripp Island, SC was well needed, and well deserved!

Nothin' like the Lowcountry to calm your soul...

Here is my Weekend Wrap-Up in Instagram (and iPhone) photos:

Frippin' 2011
We typically spend a week at Fripp in early August, but this year we went in March and took a mini-trip to Savannah, GA.

This weekend was to celebrate my Hubby's 31st B-day, which was Friday, Sept 16th.
Frip is Flip Flops & Golf Cart rides!
My Birthday present from my Mother In-Law: Stitch Magazine and Amy Butler's Style Stitches book... woot! (She's a sewing geek like yours truly. *wink*)

Johnson Creek Tavern... yum.

The Hubs and I

 Fripp Island is also a Wildlife Sanctuary...
Got Buck?

Old Sheldon Church

Cotton... before becoming the fabric of my life.
All of the cotton fields are blooming here in North Carolina; I love driving past the fields and seeing the Cotton Gins.  I really love explaining to my 8year old daughter that these fields and Gins are the starting point for all of the cotton products made in the USA... the fabrics I rely on in my business, rely on these farmers and they rely on us... {that gives me goospebumps}.

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The first SoChick! Newsletter went out this week... have you subscribed yet? (Enter your e-mail in the little 'Subscribe' box to the right.)

XxOo~ Melissa

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What I Want To Wear & Polyvore

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I'm linking with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday aka WIWW, with the exception that today I'm not showing you What I wore, rather what I Want to wear...

I bought these fabulous shoes on Monday...

... Now, if the weather would cool down so I can actually wear them, 
that. would. be. great.

{Shoes} Chinese Laundry at TJ Maxx $34.99

So, armed with new shoes, but without the right weather conditions, I went to browse Pinterest  and started pinning some cute fall outfits... then I went to Google for more inspiration.

Enter: {Polyvore}

Have you seen this site?!  

You can build your own style boards, from clothing to decor, using all of the latest items and trends...

Now this is a site that will suck a lot of time from my day if I'm not careful... but it's Oh So Fun!!

While daydreaming about wearing my new shoes, I came up with this outfit:

What I Want to Wear via {Polyvore}

I couldn't find my SoChick bags on Polyvore... so I went with the Valentino handbag... *wink*

I this outfit!! (I named it 'Vintage Romance')  Enjoy exploring Polyvore and leave a comment telling me if you've been on it so I can check out your collections!  You can keep up with mine: HERE

P.S.~ Have you participated in my Fall/Winter 2011 Feedback Survey? I'm looking for your input for SoChick!'s newest collection... check it out!  If you've already filled it out.... you Rock! Thanks Bunches!!

XxOo~ Melissa
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