Welcome!

Enjoy your visit and be sure to leave a comment to let me know you dropped by. I hope you have a blessed Spring season with those near and dear to your heart.

Toile Tales at Etsy {review & giveaway}

I currently don’t really have the time to learn how to knit or crochet all the hats I would love to make for my children because being a full time home maker keeps me on my toes.  That’s why I look to Etsy for adorable knitted hats and other accessories to keep my kids looking their very cutest!

While searching for knitted hats, I came across Toile Tales and fell in love right away! They have a large selection of hats for everyone in the family and you can fully customize each style to your liking for no additional charges…music to my ears!

I was able to review an adorable Crocheted beret brim beanie in ecru in size 2t to 4t for my daughter Melody.  This hat looks fantastic as is but there was also the option to add one of the many beautifully crocheted flowers to accent the hat and I choose to go with one in the color of purple. This hat is multifunctional as it looks great paired with jeans as well as my daughter’s collection of dresses!  We love this hat. It’s made well and my daughter will be able to wear it for quite sometime!

I’m a huge fan and will be making an order in the future once I know the sex of my second child, which will be in about a week! As I mentioned before, there’s something there for everyone in the family!

I really enjoyed getting to know more about the people behind Toile Tales with my Etsy meet and greet questions and hope you do too!

1.Why did you decide to start doing this on Etsy and how long have you been?

We made an etsy store because we were constantly creating. Although we have 8 children combined, you can only make so much for each child. We’ve had an etsy store for about 2 years, however, only in the last 6 months have we put forth time and effort into making our business more successful.

2. What do you enjoy the most when creating your products?

So much of what we do as mothers is overlooked and under appreciated (although the utmost of important jobs). Creating something from nothing …a random thought or idea…gives us the opportunity to fulfill personal aspirations that get lost in the shuffle of motherhood. To have random people stop you and complement your hat/flower is humbling and encouraging.

3. Apart from creating things, what do you do?

{Lori} With 5 children, there is always someone who needs to go somewhere. We have church, gymnastics, soccer, singing lessons, co-op preschool…..that leaves little time for me to do anything else (but crochet will travel). A little nerdy I know, but I love all things Jane Austin. I have read her works several times and get lost in their simplicity of life and integrity. The downside of reading, is that it is sooo hard to crochet at the same time! {Amy} With 3 girls, there is so much going on at the house. We are constantly having spend the nights and play dates. I also sew… clothes, curtains, slip covers… you get the point. We have also been making a family lifestyle change to eat better and exercise. Biking riding and taking family walks have helped us get closer and shape-up. I wish family Wii night counted as exercise because we have a blast!

Other joint passion is photography! We starting taking classes and practicing to revamp our Toile Tales etsy store! If we had a choice of what craft to choose, it would be a close call. Seeing life through the eye of a lens makes you look at things differently. What is seemingly dull and unimportant can come alive for you through your camera. Everywhere we go, there is a constant scanning of the environment for a picture spot. Sometimes you find the most unexpected beauty amongst the weeds.

4. What inspires you?

Honestly, Amy and I find inspiration in each other. Okay, maybe the word is competition…a friendly competition. We are constantly trying to outdo each other for birthdays present creations. So many of our new products have come from just that. The new Toile Tales shelled headbands came from me {Lori} creating something original for Elora’s 8th birthday, whereas, the Aviator hat was something created by Amy for my 6 year old Cadence.

5.In five years you’d like to be…?

In the next five years, our patterns (having our crochet patterns tested as I write) will be the staple of what we sell. We see our photography business expanding in the next few years as well. Hummm, maybe we will even have a place to create outside our perspective craftrooms.

You can follow Toile Tales on Twitter and “like” them on Facebook here.

Win It!

Lori and Amy have generously offered one of my blog readers a $30 gift certificate to their store!

To Enter: Visit Toile Tales and let me know what you love! (Mandatory: Leave the url of the item)

Extra Entries:

1. Visit Toile Tales on Etsy and favorite their shop!

2. Blog this giveaway, link back to this post. (2 extra)

3. Follow on Twitter @erinlowmaster & Tweet (daily entries available)

4. Post this giveaway on a Giveaway Linky/Site and let me know where!

5. Email a friend(s) about this giveaway. (Leave name of friend)

6. Subscribe to my blog by RSS or E-mail (Feed Burner) and let me know!

Giveaway running till 09/18/10 . Winners will be notified shortly afterward by email. Please respond within 48 hours or you forfeit your prize to another participant. Giveaway is open to USA & Canada Only.

I received this product free of charge for review on my blog. No other compensation was received. The views and opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Oh to Be Creative! My First No Sew Fleece Blanket

No Sew Fleece Blanket (August 2010)

I wanted to be able to make a blanket for my children but alas I didn’t want to have to go out and purchase a sewing machine. I had seen and heard about no sew fleece blankets from a few people  so I thought I would try my hand at it and was thrilled my results!

A few weeks ago Joann Fabric was having a 40% fleece sell so that time was more than perfect to try my hand and blanket making. I wasn’t sure exactly what size to make for a baby/toddler so I went with a two yard blanket.  I figure more was better at less at the time. My 2 yard blanket is way too big for a little baby but is great to lay down on the floor for crawling on, snuggling up on the couch, or throwing over a twin bed.  Once I know the sex of my baby at the end of August, I’m going to make another no sew blanket and this time go with a 1 yard to a 1 1/2 yard blanket instead.

These blankets are easy to make but a little bit time consuming, especially if you make a two yard blanket. They’ll be lots and lots of cutting! I found the tying part much easier and faster.  Overall if you want to make a fun personalized gift for a friend or baby shower, these are so simple to do.

What You Would Need

  • A pair of sharp scissors
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Two coordinating pieces of any fleece . . . for a baby or toddler, purchase 1 to 1 1/2 yards,  for a child, purchase 1-3/4 yards (in each of two fabrics, for a teen or adult, purchase 2 yards (in each of two fabrics)

Directions

  1. Trim the salvage from your fleece.
  2. Lay your two pieces of fleece on top of one another with the good sides facing out.
  3. Make sure your two pieces of fleece line up, if not trim accordingly.
  4. Cut a 5×5 square from a piece of paper. Use this piece to cut out all four corners from your fleece.
  5. Cut the tassles. Make each cut about an inch apart. Make sure you cut through both pieces of fabric on all four sides of the blanket.
  6. Start tying off the tassels. I started by doing every other one. Once that is done flip the blanket over and tie off the rest.  You can do either double knots or overhand it totally depends on personal preference.
  7. You’ve just made your very own no sew fleece blanket!

I finished my blanket in a day which for me was approximately two hours with breaks here and there. I can’t wait to make a few more in various sizes. I’ll be posting my results  here on my blog so be on the look out!

Blog Tour: PJ Sugar Licensed for Trouble

About Licensed for Trouble: PJ Sugar receives shocking news that she’s inherited the Kellogg family mansion. Though she has no idea why, the timing is perfect-PJ has clearly worn out her welcome at her sister’s house. Unfortunately, the mansion is in shambles, and PJ is short on cash. Rescue comes in the form of Max Smith, a mysterious handyman willing to trade his services for PJ’s investigative skills. But PJ already has a full docket with cramming for her PI license and nurturing a growing romance with her boss, Jeremy Kane. Can she take on Max’s case without dropping the ball?

Find out more about book one, Nothing But Trouble and book two, Double Trouble.

About Susan May Warren: Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-four novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year.

Susan’s larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!) A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at: www.susanmaywarren.com.

My Thoughts…

If anyone knows me personally, they know I love every Susan May Warren book I have read to date! And when I found out Susan was releasing another book in her Pj Sugar series, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it!

This book has done nothing but impress me from the beginning to the end! I was captivated once again by the rich story and all the quirky but quite real characters! I was on the edge of my seat throughout and excited to see how it would end.

I love how deep and yet light hearted this book could be at times. The PJ Series is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it if you love mysteries and romance along with life changing messages! I can’t wait to see what Susan has planned next. 

Enter PJ Sugar’s “Sweet” Giveaway

Enter PJ Sugar's

Licensed for Trouble, Susan’s brand new PJ Sugar novel, is in stores now! To celebrate the release, we’re giving away a Kindle!! You can enter using Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail using the icons below.

One Grand Prize winner will receive a A SWEET Kindle prize package that includes:

  • A brand new Kindle (Free 3G, 6”, Latest Generation)
  • The entire PJ Sugar series by Susan May Warren

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest.

Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on September 2nd.

Be sure to check out the blog tour here or purchase a copy of Licensed for Trouble here!