Monday, May 30, 2011

Low Entry Giveaway Ending Soon - Sweet Headband in Memory of a Lovely Lady

 When I first approached Van about doing a review from her shop, Pink Clouds Designs, her cute designs were what caught my eye. However, as I got to know her a little more, my enthusiasm for reviewing her shop and her headband went beyond that....her purpose and cause for creating the "Remember Helen" line hit close to home. Her aunt passed away from cancer suddenly, much like my own father did in 2001. All of the proceeds from her headbands go to the Dana-Ferber Cancer Institute, so I hope you will support her cause. 

I will let Van describe her store, her mission, and herself in her own words:  
     "Hi, my name is Van, but it's pronounced Vung kind of like bun but with a "V." I am a stay at home mom to two children and a wife of a goofy and supportive husband. We currently live in Massachusetts.
     How did paper crafting start? I started scrapbooking when my husband told me that he wanted me to make him an album with pictures of us for his birthday. I sarted off doing very basic collage type of work, but quickly got bored. So I went online and youtubed "scrapbooks" and ended up on a page about "mini albums" and I fell in love. Since then my husband would occasionally joked that he regret ever asking me to make him something because I kept going and going and that meant spending more money!
     Then not too long into my addiction to scrapbooking, my daughter asked me to fix some of her hair bows that were coming undone and asked me to make her something for her hair. I put it off for a while and finally gave it a try and just like scrapbooking, I couldn't stop. It became another hobby and now I am on a mission to sell some of my latest creations.
     I find both paper crafting and making hair accessories relaxing. It is also very rewarding when I recieve some honest opinions and positive feedbacks.

About the Remember Helen headbands:
1. Why a carnation? 
My aunt in law loved all kinds of flowers, but I chose to create a carnation for this headband because it reminded me of a conversation we had together about flowers. We both like carnations and agree that it last much longer than roses.

2. What significance does the butterfly have? 
There are many symbolic meanings associated with a butterfly. The most obvious is transition. However, I added the butterfly because it represents faith. It reminds us to keep our faith as we go through good and bad changes in our lives. This is what the butterfly represents to me.

3. What's up with the colorful fabric choices?
I wanted to use bright and cheery colors and something to signify "Spring," a time for rebirth and renewal. For me, it's a time to reflect and in a sense give birth to new values and priorities in my life.

4. Reason(s) for creating this headband.
I wanted to create something in my aunt's memory. Although she was fighting breast cancer, her sudden death took us by surprise. She was in stage 2 cancer with a high survival rate and was going to the doctor religiously. Helen, passed away on April 18,2010, which is why I picked that particular date to launch these headbands. All the money that I make from this collection will be going to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Visit to purchase a "Remember Helen" headband on the 18th.

5. What other ways can you help? 
You can make a donation directly to mine and/or my daughter's donation link here:

Thank you for your generosity and help. Every bit brings us closer to a cure." 

     In this economy and this culture, where we are all trying to make money, find success, and buy the things that we want, it's good to meet people who do things purely for others, to remind us of what's truly important. Not a day goes by that I don't think about my father, but even I haven't done anything to help the cause of finding a cure for cancer. It seems that more and more frequently, I hear of someone diagnosed with cancer. If we don't find a cure soon, it will become an epidemic. I am so thankful for people like Van, who mix their talents with good causes. The headband Van sent me is adorable, and every time my daughter wears it I will remember Van, her aunt, and my father. 

     Van has generously offered an item of her choice as a giveaway, and I wish you luck as you enter. However, please help this cause and purchase one of her Remember Helen headbands whether or not you enter/win. The cure for cancer will come one of these days, and this small step will aid in saving countless lives, perhaps even one of your own family member's. 

Mandatory Entry:
1) follow my blog
2) like Van's facebook page "
Pink Clouds Designs"

Extra Entries:
1) follow Van's blog: A Scrappy Dream
2) like my facebook page "
3) go to Van's etsy store "Pink Clouds Designs" and comment about your favorite item
4) go to my etsy store "
AnnelynDesigns" and comment about your favorite item
5) create a treasury including an item from "
Pink Clouds Designs"
6) create a treasury including an item from "
7) go to one of my sponsor's stores (buttons on the left hand column) and tell me your favorite item

I will choose a winner via on Friday, June 3, 2011. Good luck!

Low Entry Ending Soon - Carry Your Money and Phone in Style

     I haven't carried a purse more than once or twice in almost a year now....I am bound to a diaper bag LOL. I am a fan of huge bags but have never liked huge wallets, and when popping out for a quick trip I prefer to grab a wristlet or small pouch with just my credit card, driver's license, and phone. Since switching to a diaper bag, I've only had one small pocket to carry my essentials in since the rest of the bag is for baby. I've had trouble finding the right accessory to carry my things in....until I found Christa's Triple Pocket Case through her Etsy store, The Fig Leaf. She makes all things leather, from hair clips to iPad cases. 
Here are a few of my favorites:

A little about Christa and her shop:
     "I live in the mountains of North Carolina on a small farm with around 25 chickens, 3 geese, many ducks, 6 bee hives, several vegetable gardens and lots of woods where the deer, bears, and other forest friends roam (yes, I said bears!). I live with my husband and 2 children who keep me very busy... but happy. We are trying to become more self sufficient in our ways of living, by using less, recycling, and being all around better stewards of what God has given us. After having children my perspective on these things has changed much, and now they are more important to me. One thing others would never guess about me is that I come from an Amish background: my mother grew up Amish and much of my extended family still is Amish, living in Indiana.
     Since I was little I've always liked to make things. I remember taking a leather class in school and really enjoying it. I don't know if I would consider myself an "artist" but rather just someone who really enjoys making things with their hands. I think the label 'Artist' is a little beyond me; I am just a plain jane who happens to like working with leather.
     I find inspiration from the animals and natural beauty around me, and an appreciation of this can be seen in my items. I also receive insight from my co-workers and friends on what products are useful to them, and how each can be made more functional and appealing. Often my family also helps give advice in the design of my products. I recently had both of my children design their own mini leather zipper pouch, which is where they can now keep their Chapstick and coins. I hope to be able to teach my children how to work with leather someday."

Christa made a special Triple Pocket Case for me in a light green color with a cute little bird detail:

     I love the color and the fact that the branch detailing wraps around the back of the case. I was a bit worried that it wouldn't fit my Blackberry, but wanted it made to fit an iPhone since I will be switching over in June. The Blackberry fits just fine, and I think just about any smartphone would fit as well, although Christa can also make a custom size if you'd like. The case is very well made, there are no raw edges at all - the leather so soft and buttery. I also like that she stamped her store name on the edge. I can tell it will hold up to all of my abuse, and am really happy with it. Now I can easily store my necessities in one case to slip into my pocket. I am currently eyeing her wristlets, as they would be perfect for a night out....whenever that happens LOL.
Christa is offering a $20 gift certificate as a giveaway!
Mandatory Entry:
1) follow my blog
go to Christa's etsy store, "The Fig Leafand comment about your favorite item

Extra Entries:
1) like my facebook page "AnnelynDesigns"
go to my etsy store "AnnelynDesigns" and comment about your favorite item
3) create a treasury including an item from "The Fig Leaf"
4) create a treasury including an item from "
5) go to one of my sponsor's stores (buttons on the left hand column) and comment about your favorite item

I will choose a winner via on Friday, June 3, 2011.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Low Entry Giveaway Ending Soon - The Perfect Go Everywhere Bag!

     I love big any given point my purse weighs at least 15 lbs. Having a baby was the perfect excuse for me to carry an even bigger bag, which now weighs more than my 11 month old. I am the kind of person who brings things "just in case", uses every square inch of a box when packing (regardless of how heavy it ends up being for my poor husband to carry), and never buys a suitcase unless it has an expandable option (I love the challenge of fitting the most stuff into the fewest number of suitcases). 
     I am always looking for the perfect bag that I can throw everything into when I'm on the go. I am picky about prints, love pockets, and have to be able to machine wash everything I use. When I came across Brigette's Etsy store, Pursemafia, I thought, 1) Awesome name, 2) Awesome prints, 3) Awesome bags!

Here are a few of her designs:

     Brigette went to school to become a fashion designer, and worked for designers after graduating in 2005. She quickly realized working for others was not for her, and started Pursemafia in 2006. After working for a few years as a personal stylist and making bags for her shop on the side, she and her fiance started a construction business. In January 2011, Brigette's Etsy store flourished, due to her new wine tote and bag lines. Her goal is produce bags that are functional, yet unique and artistic. I can tell Brigette has a true passion for what she does and it shows in the quality of her work.
     I was able to pick out the prints I liked in the Jackson Tote design to review. The package came wrapped like a present, card and all. The Jackson Tote measures 17.5" x 13.5" x 6". It's huge, comes with lots of pockets, and has a divider in the middle. The fabrics are gorgeous and complement each other perfectly. In addition to a diaper bag, it can also be used for so many other purposes, including the beach, travel, work, gym, or a picnic (the outer side pockets fit a wine bottle)! Her care instructions say to hand wash (which I suggest to keep colors from fading), but I always wash everything before I use it. It came out good as new after a tumble in the washer and dryer. I can't say enough good things about this bag. I love it - love using it, love looking at it. I've used it quite a few times in the past month for travel and trips to the park with my hubby and baby. It is incredibly well made, durable, and holds everything I need. Buy one!


Brigette has generously provided a $30 gift certificate to her store, Pursemafia, as a giveaway. 
Mandatory Entry:
1) follow my blog
2) go to Brigette's Etsy store "
Pursemafia"and comment about your favorite item

Extra Entries:
1) like my fanpage "

2) like Brigette's fanpage "Pursemafia"
3) go to my etsy store "
AnnelynDesigns" and comment about your favorite item
4) create a treasury including an item from "
5) create a treasury including an item from "

I will choose a winner using on Thursday, May 26.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cupcake Cuties!

I like originality, and Elsy's Cupcake Cuties are just that! Elsy hand-makes a variety of these cupcake keychains, along with bunny plushes, animal design hats, crocheted necklaces, and t-shirts. Here are a few pictures!

Here's a little info about the creator of these cute little things!
"I am an independent toy designer. I've been making plush cupcakes for about 3 years now. I like working with fleece and I mostly make plush. I like mustaches, that's why most of my toys have them. My shop / brand name, ChelsyBear, is a nickname my boyfriend gave me, and is something that has inspired a lot of what I do for my shop. Cute animal hats, crochet bear and bunny necklaces, and cupcakes too. Now I am working on getting into the large craft fairs while going back to school for another design program. I want to create and learn as much as possible."    ~Elsy

All of Elsy's Cupcake Cuties are embroidered on super soft fleece and decorated with glass beaded sprinkles. They measure 4" x 4" and come with a 4" metal chain so that you can attach them to your keys, backpack......anything!                                 
Elsy sent me her most popular design - Mr. Mustache - in the royal blue color to review.

It clearly states in the description that these cupcakes are 4" x 4", but I'd totally forgotten.....or maybe never realized....this detail. So, when I received this cupcake I was surprised and impressed by its size. Elsy sells these Cupcake Cuties at an amazing price of $6, given their well-made construction, attention to detail, and large size. His little mustache is adorable, and the chain easily attaches him to my keys or bag. He is soft and plush, and would be a cute accessory for any of you!

Elsy is sponsoring a giveaway of one of her Cupcake Cuties. The winner can choose from any of her cupcake designs! You can enter in a few easy steps (please make sure to leave a comment and email addie for each entry):

Mandatory Entry:
1) follow my blog
2) go to Elsy's Etsy store "ChelsyBear"and comment about your favorite item

Extra Entries:
1) like my fanpage "AnnelynDesigns"
2) go to my etsy store "AnnelynDesigns" and comment about your favorite item
3) create a treasury including an item from "ChelsyBear"
4) create a treasury including an item from "AnnelynDesigns"

I will choose a winner via on Sunday, May 22, 2011. Good luck!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Low Entry Giveaway - I Love Pigs!

Those who know me well know I have a weird affinity for pigs. It all stems back to the fact that I am born in the year of the boar according to the Chinese zodiac. I also love cute stationary.....another Asian attribute....however stereotypical that may sound. When I came across Shirley's store, For Any Occasion, I thought, "what cute cards!". I looked around a little more and saw her handmade pig's so CUTE! It is hand-punched from 100 lb card stock and measures 3" x 2". I received it in a cellophane bag and bubble envelope for protection. This little guy would be perfect for scrap booking, card making, or as an accent on other paper goods. His little tail can be twirled to stick out, creating a cute 3-D effect as well. 

Here's a little about Shirley and her store:

"I have loved creating things since I was a little girl. I was always sketching, painting, cross-stitching, and imagining. I remember once when I was about 9 or 10, I used the white edges of my school photos to make a flower.

I always loved paper. The best thing about going back to school for me was that I would get a binder full of brand new lined paper - filled with possibilities!

I discovered card making in 2008, and my love for paper crafts went deeper when I paired it with stamps and ink. I absolutely love designing cards and seeing the faces of the people who open them - handmade makes a huge difference!

I originally started "For Any Occasion" to make some money on the side with my card designs. But as I have delved into the handmade community, I have discovered a passion in me to open people's eyes to the wonderful world of handmade items. Every Monday morning on my blog, I post a feature of an artist on etsy whose handmade work I love - it doesn't matter where they are from. I see people all around me who go to the franchise stores to pick up the least expensive item or card for the people they love. My dream is to have more and more people recognize the value in handmade items, and support artists and artisans.

My goal is to make "For Any Occasion" a full-time business, making paper crafts for people all over the world."

Shirley has agreed to give away a set of her handmade mini-notecards. These would be perfect as gift cards, thank you cards, or just to write someone a note.  

Mandatory Entry:
1) follow my blog
2) go to Shirley's Etsy store "For Any Occasion"and comment here about your favorite item

Extra Entries:
1) like my fanpage "AnnelynDesigns"
2) go to my etsy store "AnnelynDesigns" and comment about your favorite item
3) create a treasury including an item from "For Any Occasion"
4) create a treasury including an item from "AnnelynDesigns"
5) tell me how you found my giveaway - giveaway linky, blog hop, etc.

I will randomly choose a winner on Monday, May 9! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Low Entry Giveaway Ending Soon! The Perfect Crocheted Hat to Make Your Cutie Look Even Cuter!

So I'm the typical mom who thinks her child is the most beautiful thing God's ever created. There's nothing that could make her look even cuter, right? Oh, but there is.....

When I first browsed Jennifer's shop, Petunia and Ivy, I loved all of her designs, from her owl hat to her diaper covers. I contacted her about doing a review and we discussed what design I would like for my daughter. She had some great ideas and came up with a custom hat for me that incorporated all of my favorite components. Before I get to my review, here's a little info about Jennifer and a few pictures of her creations:

"I am a part time stay at home mother to my adorable 4 year old daughter. I began crocheting four years ago after reading a how to book. Untill now my work has really been created for my daughter as well as my niece and nephew. They inspire me to be more creative and to keep crocheting new things. Family and friends have encouraged me to sell my items since I began. It wasn't untill February 2011 that I finally took their advice and opened up my shop on Etsy. I am thrilled to introduce you to my shop, Petunia and Ivy, and share my work with the rest of you! Enjoy!" - Jennifer

It bugs me that I can't figure out how to crochet....I've tried watching videos on tv and online but they go too fast and I have no idea what they're talking about! So it's really impressive to me that Jennifer was able to learn how to crochet so well just by reading a how to book. 

Here is the hat I received to review:


When I received the hat I was thrilled. Not having a picture to look at of the exact item I was receiving, all I could do was imagine what it would look is SO much cuter than I'd imagined! I think it's such an adorable combination with the bear ears, rosette, and earflaps in....of! The hat is very well made and has stood up to a lot of abuse from my daughter, since she likes to tug on the tassels when it's on her head, and yank and pull on all parts of it when it's off her head. None of the crochet work has come loose at all. It can be worn to keep your little one's head warm during the winter, but airy enough to wear during the spring too. This hat would be great for photo shoots or for everyday wear, and can be made to fit your child's head. Choose a design from Petunia and Ivy, or ask Jennifer to make you a custom!

Jennifer has agreed to giveaway a replica of the hat she made for my daughter....although I'm sure she'd be willing to tweak the design for you too ;) 

Mandatory Entry:
1) follow my blog
2) go to Jennifer's Etsy store "
Petunia and Ivy"and comment here about your favorite item

Extra Entries:
1) like my fanpage "AnnelynDesigns"
2) go to my etsy store "AnnelynDesigns" and comment about your favorite item
3) create a treasury including an item from "Petunia and Ivy"
4) create a treasury including an item from "AnnelynDesigns"

The winner will be randomly chosen on Friday, May 6. Good luck!