Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Thank You Giveaway!

I cannot even believe that in two years I have reached over 1000 fans on my Facebook Good Little Things Page. When I listed my first item to sell on Etsy, I was skeptical that anyone would want to buy something that I had made. I mostly did it to quiet the people who had been "yelling" at me for years to sell my stuff. (You know who you are. :-)

And now here we are. And the only reason is because I have amazing people like you, supporting me, encouraging me and spreading the word. So, of course, it's only right that I say a great big huge THANK YOU! And some of my crazily talented friends have offered to help me do so. Let me introduce you to them.

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First up, we have Jutta from The Lucky Elephant. She makes positively beautiful wrap bracelets with a sweet elephant charm for luck on every design. I am so in love with her most colorful wraps. Jutta is giving the winner a single wrap bracelet, and you get to choose the color. Lucky indeed! Then we have Lee Ann from Clawfoot Bathworks. Oh my gosh. Lee Ann's soaps are amazing. And the winner gets three bars, Lily of the Valley, Vanilla Grapefruit, and Key Lime. Can you even imagine how good those must smell?

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  Also generously contributing is Lauren of Ellsworth Designs, whom I love like a sister. She's my graphic design guru, my creative sounding board and a generous soul. She is giving the winner a home decor print. And you get to choose your favorite quote and color.

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    And then we have Laura from Simply Paperie. I have loved Laura's designs for a while now. She's a dream to work with coming up with custom creations just perfect for that special someone. She is gifting a pack of these adorable nautical note cards.

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  And finally, from me, the winner will receive a Sole Hope ring, with $10 going to Sole Hope in their honor, AND an orange leather flower necklace, so shimmery and pretty.

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  So that's pretty exciting right? The giveaway will last from 3/11-3/15 and the winner will be announced on Monday the 18th. There are lots of chances and ways to enter. Good luck! And did I mention, "Thank you!"?

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 21, 2013


Unless you are extraordinarily blessed in some way, it's safe to say that if you are a female, you struggle with self-perception at least from time to time. It's been a very up and down journey for me over the years. I find myself struggling again, and if it's alright with you, I thought I might work out some of my thoughts about it here. I am in no way seeking compliments or assurances that I am "beautiful." I simply want to be honest for a moment. Because I am sure that I am not alone in these thoughts or feelings.

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This is me as a little girl. From around this time through to the summer between my 9th and 10th grade years, I suffered with a lot of self loathing. I don't mean self-consciousness, I mean loathing. I used to yell at myself and throw things at my image in the mirror. I would tell myself I was ugly, and stupid and no one loved me. I had a very loving family and an incredibly close family, so I have no idea where these feelings came from. I have no dark memories. But, I was convinced that I was unlovable. 

 The summer between my 9th and 10th grade years, I came to a different understanding about who I was. I began to feel and believe that God had created me, exactly as he had planned. And for me to hate who I was, was to question his design. I also believed that Christ had died for me, out of love, exactly as I was. And if he had found that much worth in me, then I needed to begin accepting myself. Somehow, I was released from the bondage I had known for years. For the next few years, I lived with a confidence I had never known before. And because of that confidence, I started to feel beautiful. I had never felt that way before. In college, where I was studying fashion design, I did some modeling.

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  And while I had irregular features, my confidence made me a decent runway model.

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This is how I felt about and saw myself for the next ten years or so. Then I started having children. Oh how that will challenge your perception of your physical self. I didn't know how to dress myself for my new life. Spit up, and crawling around and chasing after little ones don't lend themselves to heels and dresses and, you know, daily showers. 

 Not only that, there is reconciling yourself to your new body. Even though I lost weight quickly after my first two, nothing was the same, and nothing, therefore fit the same. After my third child, my daughter, I couldn't ditch the weight and I just look more tired and worn out. Frankly, that's because I am. With some health issues that cause sleep to be illusive, a booming little business, and three kids who take turns waking me, I. Am. Tired.

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Still, I manage at times, to feel like this (the pictures below). A photo shoot taken this past year for my business.

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 Most of the time, these days though, this is how it plays out in my head. (I took these pics a couple of days ago as a sort of therapeutic test.) 

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 I look at the picture and am okay with the results. Then I look again and feel an uneasiness. Then I look a little closer and things start to shift and all I can see are the fact that my eyes aren't even, and my skin is ruddy, and I have the Putnam double chin. I see time leaving its mark all over my face. And then I try to stop there and realize my face says a couple of things about me. The lines between my eyes are deep, from too often furrowing my brow. And my smile lines are deep as well. So, apparently, I feel deeply and often. I am okay with that story. 

 I am sure my self-perception will continue to evolve.  But, I am hopeful that I can maintain the winning edge over it. I want to reclaim the confidence I had. I want my sons to think their mom is pretty. And I want my daughter to have a healthy understanding of beauty. Part of that comes with taking care of myself. Most of it comes with continuing to be close to the one who created me and getting my worth from him. Throw in the fact that I have a husband who tells me daily that he thinks I am beautiful, and my chances are pretty good.

Thanks for letting me get that out. If you have any thoughts to add, I would love to hear them. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

A New Bridal Design

You know those Project Runway Episodes where the designers have to work in teams? Every one groans and they fight the whole time? Well, making these shoes reminded me of that, only there was NO fighting, I promise.


Lauren, who commissioned these shoes is a graphic designer, so an artsy type in her own right. And she was ordering these shoes as a gift for another artist friend of hers. So, here you have three different artistic tastes to consider when making these shoes. They are for her friend's wedding day. Seriously, I was excited to finally get to them. And they were a pleasure and a joy to make, even with the artistic tug-o-war.


It got to a point where Lauren had a nightmare where I refused to show her the final design, and she ended up not liking them, and I got mad at her that she didn't like them. I assured her that would never happen!


We went through bows, flowers, button choices, one flower or two. We agreed that what we ended up choosing made no sense at all at face value. But, clearly, it works. And the bride has the shoes and loves them. And another mutual friend said they were "SO her." That's a success!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Little Collaboration

I am so excited about these shoes! A month or so ago, a fellow Artisan shared a picture of my shoes on her business page and mentioned that those shoes would make a good match with the dresses she was having made for her daughter from Heartmade Creations. So, out of curiosity, I checked Heartmade's page out. Oh. My. Gosh. The cuteness. So, I mentioned on Heartmade's wall that someone thought we would make a good match.

To my delight, Cassandra of Heartmade, agreed and actually extended an offer to me to collaborate. Swoon! What fun to work with another designer, especially such a talented one, to make a one of a kind design! I couldn't wait to get started.

Cassandra let me know what fabric she was going to use for her fall line. And can we just say, gorgeous?! I was even MORE excited, and my mind went straight to a remnant I have had for about a year. A sunny yellow lattice design, perfect to compliment such a pretty floral.


So what do you think? Aren't they just a perfect match without being too matchy matchy? I used my favorite silk remnant for the bow, and paper millinery flowers for the center. I usually make all of my flowers by hand, but this pair seemed to call for something a little extra special. While they are paper, they are coated and very sturdy.


They are a little "more" than I usually design. But, this is a perfect occasion for something like that. Something a little extra special. Besides, they have to hold their own paired with the adorable Heartmade Dress they will be worn with in the photographs. I can't wait to show you the results.


Incidentally, I made two pairs of shoes for this project. Along with the yellow, I made a pair in green suede, just in case. Since, the yellow turned out so well, the green pair are without an owner. I have listed them in my Etsy shop and hope they find an owner soon.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Holiday Shoes

Repeat customers are awesome. Especially when they are people you love already. It means you made them happy. And if there is anyone you want to make happy, it's people you love.

I told you last year that Mrs. Faber was like a second mom to me through high school. She lived right across the street from us, had a daughter my age who ensured that I was not lonely when we first moved in and she and my mom still are good friends. So it was humbling last year when she ordered holiday shoes for her only grandchild. Here is last year's design.


And I am thrilled that she ordered another pair this year.

She gave me a black and cream color scheme and told me to run with it. What a gift to be given free reign design wise with your favorite color scheme as your only direction. Bliss!


It was hard whittling down all of the ideas and possibilities. This is what I finally landed on. Black linen mary janes with tiny cream colored flowers. I'm so pleased with them, and thankfully so is she!


In fact, she's already put in her order for Easter shoes! My 2013 wait list is filling up so fast! So, what do you think? Perfect little shoes for meeting Santa?

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Less than two years ago, I sold my first pair of shoes. In May of that year, I opened shop on Etsy. Since that time I have sold more pairs of shoes than I can remember or count. I find that incredible. When I started out, I was doubtful that people would actually want something that I made with my hands. Boy, have you proved me wrong!

A couple of weeks ago, I temporarily closed up shop for the rest of the year, planning to catch up on my wait list and focus on family traditions and gift giving. I did this last year, no problem. This year, in the two weeks I've been closed, I have received numerous e-mails asking me when I will be taking orders again. So many, that I felt the need to come up with a solution to offer. 

This left me with something of a dilemma though. Given the overwhelming and increasing demand for my shoes, I feel the need to hire a helper in the coming year. This will hopefully enable me to fill more orders a month. It will also, hopefully, enable me to not stay up sewing until 2 in the morning. But in order to hire someone and in order to cover the long hours that I spend working on these one of a kind shoes and designs, I need to raise my pricing.  

Along with that, I have experienced a problem with people asking to be on my wait list, and when I get to them, I either never hear from them again, or they politely tell me they have changed their minds. I have had to turn customers away based on my wait list, only to find that I could have taken the order. That's very frustrating. So, in order to address this, I have a new policy. In order to secure a place on the wait list, a customer will now need to place a $10 non-refundable deposit per pair of shoes ordered. The deposit will go towards the purchase price. And payment in full, as before, will be due before work begins on the shoes.

With raising my prices, I will be offering returning customers a 15% off discount as a way of saying "Thank you so much for supporting me and helping me grow this hobby into an actual business, you are the best!" This offer is good for orders placed through March. Just contact me to place your order, or order a wait list deposit listing and the discount will be applied to the custom listing I send you for the rest of the payment. Unfortunately, I can not extend this discount to gift certificates because of the way that shipping is included in the price of them. 

And speaking of gift certificates, they are now in my shop and ready for the holiday season. There are two amounts available, $55 for baby and child size shoes and $85 for women's sizes. Not only are you giving them the gift of custom designed handmade shoes, but they get the gift of being a part of the design process from start to finish. How fun!

 If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact me. I thank you again so much for helping me get to this amazing place! I am humbled beyond words.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Another California Gifting

I have gifted shoes to a handful of celebrities. This week I will be shipping another gift of shoes to someone fabulous out in California. Di isn't a celeb in the regular sense of the word, but I have, since I started this business, wanted to use it to bless people who really deserve to be blessed. Normally, I wouldn't mention anything about it, not letting your right hand know what your left hand is doing and all that. But, I want you  to know about this amazing woman and her beautiful family, and hopefully be inspired by them. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce you to her.


I met Di years ago when she and her husband moved from Ohio to our little neighborhood. They moved in a few houses down from some good friends, and we all had dinner together and got to know each other better. Di is this fantastic raven haired beautiful woman, married to a very loud almost equally as awesome red haired man. And they were just fun and fascinating people to get to know, all on their own.


But, we met them shortly before their lives were about to forever change. They had been trying for years to have children. When they moved they went through the foster to adopt program, and shortly after we met them they got a phone call offering them, not the one or two children they had signed on for but a sibling set of three, ages 18 months, 3 and 5. Two boys and a girl. They had a very tiny window of time in which to answer the question, "Will we take these kids in, or will we not?" They made the decision that would change the lives of 5 people forever.


Imagine going from having no children to having three of them overnight. Imagine that they are not sweet little innocent and mostly quiet babies, but rather three growing, loud and nearly wild children, who have their whole lives been taught not to trust anyone. Who have been neglected and abused and removed from homes not once, not twice, but three times. Di and JR were overwhelmed, yes, BUT determined to be the ones who CHOSE to love those kids and keep them safe. I watched in amazement as they began to get to know their kids, to find their footing as parents, to fight FOR the kids that they were given. To show them over and over, we are not going anywhere. We will not abandon you. We will not hurt you. And we will not let others hurt you. In short, to teach them the love of God lived out on a daily basis.


It has been a long and incredible journey for this family. They moved to California years ago, and nearly broke my heart. I miss them and their transparent honesty in my life so much. I miss each one of their kids and their distinct and amazing personalities. They each have so much to over come. But, when you see how far they have come. It's a testament to the love of God and faithful hearts. The barriers that have come down around these little hearts. The freedom they walk in compared to what they knew before. It's just so beautiful. It's not perfect, and it's not finished, but it's one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed in my life. Because the best kind of beauty is hard fought and covered with the marks of imperfection.


My husband and I went through the foster to adopt program. It's hard. It's hard to hear what children sometimes go through. Hard to search yourself and decide whether you have it in you to be what these children need. We ended up getting pregnant before we made it through the program. But, watching the crazy and wonderful Mahon clan, I know how terrifying and beautiful it can be to take in and adopt a foster child. It's still something we're praying about for the future.


So, anyway, Di ordered a pair of shoes from me. We went through the process, and she chose a blue green floral fabric. It was one of those pairs of shoes that I start on somewhat blindly. I didn't really know what I was going to do for a flower, since Di isn't a bow person. (Had I had my way, a navy bow would be sitting on those shoes.) But, it was one of those pairs of shoes that I enjoy so much, because as I meander down the creative process with them, a vision starts to form and I end up happier with the result than I ever would have imagined.


The flowers ended up like little navy pansies, which happen to be one of Di's favorite flowers. I love them bunched up in a little bouquet. And when I was digging through my beads trying to find beads for the center, I found perfect little turquoise ones.


So soon they will be winging their way to California. And I hope that the will bless Di a fraction of how much knowing her has blessed my life. I love you, Di!