Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Was a good year...

January: Snow on Inauguration Day
February: Sweet Tu-Tu for Valentines Day
March: Weekend at Shell Island

April: Layla turned 2 years old



May: Quality family time

June: Vacation in Tampa

July: The 4th at Fernandina Beach
August: Bryan deployed to Afghanistan
September: Last days of Summer in NC
October: I found Picnik...

November: Honeymoon Island with Noni

December: Our Darling Gee-Gee, we will see you again!

This year has been full of ups and downs for us. Layla has grown out of her baby stage into a beautiful, spunky little girl. Bryan spent half the year in a foreign country. I opened my wings and started my etsy business. We lived, loved and learned. Here's to another wonderful year with many great things to come!

I wish you blessing and luck in the new year!

Sneak Peak!


This little beauties will be in the shop on Friday when I re-open! Get excited!

Its been a long few weeks around here... and the next few promise to be much longer...
But Im still here! And working on getting back on track! Thanks for sticking around!
-Gretchen

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A New Venture


I have no idea how mnay days its been since Bryan left by the way....

I've been making Layla dresses for a while now. Sometimes she will wear them. Sometimes she refuses. It all stemmed from wanting her to wear cute things, but not wanting to pay $50 for something she will outgrow in a month.


So here is her Thanksgiving Day dress. I tried a different pattern this time. It came out pretty well I think!

And Im thinking about adding them to my shop... Maybe a couple Christmas dresses for right now to see how they do. I will make them available in sizes 6months-4T.

Im also making my nephew a quilted jacket for Christmas... More on that later!

Hope everyone is doing well!

-Gretchen


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Seek and you shall find...




Last night, I was helping my mom redecorate the shop part of her B&B/resturant/gift shop. I started digging around under an antique buffet and found these little lovelies.


Apparently they were bought for my nephew as a gift and no one liked them! Are they crazy! I love the look of Jadeite and to find something similar in this awesome blue color is just insane! After some research, I found out that they are Delphite with cherry blossom design. It seems they were designed to be kids cups between 1930 and 1939... but I'll have to look into it some more.




How neat! Just goes to show, you can find the coolest things in the weirdest places....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Works well under Pressure




So I got an IM today from a photographer friend of the family's saying that she will be taking pictures of me and Layla and Calen and Mason. And I need to have Layla's Halloween costume.




Well, anyone who knows me knows that I loooove to procrastinate... so I dont have her costume yet. But I did get a wild hair and made her two dresses for the shoot. And they came out pretty nice if I do say so (with some silliness in between)...

I would normally protest having my picture taken but Ive come to realize that this is LIFE! I would be more upset if I had no pictures at all.

Plus... on Wednesday I started going to the gym every day for at least an hour and eating nothing but SpecialK, SlimFast and veggies... Guess what....

I've lost 3 pounds so far!!! If I keep going at this rate, I will be down alot by Christmas! And to my goal weight by the time Bryan gets home on R&R!! Yippee!

I hope you are all having a lovely week... and get inspired to DO SOMETHING!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Giveaway Winners!!!!


Hello Everyone!


I'm so sorry I'm a little late getting the winners posted... being without internet while moving has proved more difficult than I imagined... But an end to the wait!!!



I used random.org to generate the winners!!! Each will get to pick a Grace Clutch or Wallet Clutch from my shop prettylittlepearl.etsy.com!!!!! For free!! Winners have till Friday night to claim their prize or I will pick new winners.


The winners are.....CHERRY BLOSSOMS and JEX!!!!

Congratulations!!!!


Winners: Please contact me either via email at gstaley27@yahoo.com or through my etsy shop with your choice of a Grace Clutch or Wallet Clutch and your mailing address!


To all the rest of you lovelies.... Thank you so much for joining me in the fun! I've learned alot about what you are looking for and look forward to getting some new things made!!!!


Stick around for future giveaways, advance notice of sales in my shop and my crazy life!


Thanks again... from the bottom of my heart... I appreciate it!

-Gretchen

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Survey and a GIVEAWAY!!


GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED!!!!


In honor of my shop hitting 100 sales this week and the coming Holiday season... I'm having a giveaway!!! 2..yes..2 lucky people will win their choice of any Grace Clutch or any Wallet clutch from my shop!



OK entries are as follows:

3 Entires- Take my survey to help me find out what you are shopping for this Holiday Season! Its fun and only takes a minute!
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=LxrmuBoovVcu7_2bPZ6qleQw_3d_3d

2 Entries- Go to my shop and tell me 1 good thing and one bad thing about my shop.
http://www.prettylittlepearl.etsy.com/

1 Entry- Follow me on Twitter
1 Entry- Tweet this giveaway (leave the link)
1 Entry- Blog about this giveaway (leave the link)
1 Entry- Suscribe via Rss to my blog
1 Entry- Post this giveaway to another Social networking site of your choice! (leave the link)


Please leave a seperate comment for each of your entries! Giveaway runs now until October 10th. I will draw a winner on October 11th at 11am EST and Post the winners here! Winners will have 72 hours to claim thier prizes or they will go to someone else.
Have fun and GOOD LUCK!!!
-Gretchen

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kids... Cover your ears...23

Im sorry... I saw this one someones blog and couldnt help myself... I had to share! I'm seriously about to pee myself from laughing so hard!! But... no its really not funny... but maybe it is! You decide!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

19 Back to my girlhood


When I was little, my sister and I used to sit around for hours braiding and knotting little friendship bracelets. My mother would french braid our hair before a long, lovely day at the beach.
Now, embroidery floss is no longer for friendship bracelets, but for embroidery. I've learned how to french braid my own hair and my daughters after her bath. Funny how things change when you "grow up".
So how about some "grown up" Braiding? I came across a tutorial for this necklace this morning and thought I just had to give it a try. It came out well. I think I will try making one thinner and longer. I know some people LOVE the chunky jewelry thing. I never jumped in on that.
Anyways, all you do is cut 3 long peices of jersey fabric and braid them together! Give it a go!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

13-17 My creative space is moving to GA!


A couple months ago, I had decided to stay here in NC while Bryan was gone. No point in spending all that money to go home and turn around to do it again in a year right??

Well, apparently, I was trying to have bigger britches than I actually have. So Im going home.


Its a last minute decision so I have alot to do. Finding a place to live, pakcing boxes, setting up utilities, cleaning... ahhhhhh... all of that on top of getting my shop ready for Christmas. Oh joy!

So Just wanted to let you all know that Im trying to keep up with my blog. I will continue to try. Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

12 New

Why is it that when I want something... I can never find exactly the right thing.

I was looking for a clutch that would hold all my things. Small, to carry around easily and put inside a bigger bag if needed. And big enough to hold the cards, cash phone and keys.

Why get someone else to make what I want when I can do it myself? Good question.


This is the answer.

I made myself one.. and some to go around. And I think I will give one away when I hit 100 sales on Etsy... very close!

Friday, September 11, 2009

7-11 Rearranging



Do you remember what its like to have your own room?? Its lovely!


I figured that I have a year to make things they way I want them. When Bryan gets home, we can decide if it should stay this way.



So I switched the Master Bedroom and the Office around. Our bed and Bryans dresser is now in the 3rd bedroom (where the office used to be).
I decorated pretty girly. When I have a man to take care of, I dont want it to be too fru-fru.





And I put all the office furniture in the master bedroom.

Theres more space here for me to work. I can consolidate all the "work" stuff to this room... including laundry.



And now we have a pseudo guest room again! yay!




Am I boring all of you with my constant rearranging??? Well, it should stay like this for a bit. Should...




Shop talk: I'm working on a design for a new clutch wallet. Tweaking and making a few to show you tomorrow.

Free shipping this weekend too!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

4..5..6 Strength and Courage


Ive been very busy the past few days. But I have learned alot.



1. A power of attorney will not allow you to cash savings bonds in your husbands name.

2. Don't wait so long to make the call.

3. Washable Crayons are a MUST! Especially when they are used to "decorate" the beige sofa.

4. Having a Sale does not guarantee sales.

5. I need to start stocking up for the Holiday season.

6. I have it in me to create.. I need to have the courage to be myself.

7. My mood is dependant upon how many days since I've heard from him.

8. Layla wipes off my kisses when Im not looking.

9. God always pulls us through... sometimes He just waits till the last minute so you know its Him.

10. This song is beautiful, heart breaking, moving and my new favorite. Listen to it.

Full of Grace-Sarah Mclauhlan

Friday, September 4, 2009

3- Glutton for Punishment



Yesterday, I stupidly agreed to watch my friends kids. She's a single mom and is working as much as she can to pay her bills. She just lost her babysitter so I figured I would help her in a pinch. We have been friends for a long time now. I have watched her kids many times. Each time, I end up wondering why Im not prompty escorted to the looney bin! She has a five year old son and a two year old daughter.
Well, the girls didnt have a nap yesterday so that was the makings for disaster. They fought over toys, cried, screamed, whined for juice/snack/anything and cried some more. They made my house look like a tornado touched down, and I cleaned before they came!

On the other hand, if she needed me to do it again, I know I would. Im just a glutton for punishment.

In good news, I was featured in Etsy Finds Weekend Deals again!
Unfortunately, I dont have any more of the fabric for the bag they featured, and it sold out. So I lost my place in the gift guides. But Im still in the Storque.



After I lost my spot, my sales came to a screeching halt. But I did have about 8 sales and a custom order request. So thats pretty dang good! And Ive been on the front page several times this week... as pictured.

Well Im off to finish the bags I need to get out today, wrap them for shipping and make a little trip to Joann.

Have a GREAT DAY!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

2 Total Revamp...

I've recently had many people tell me I should raise my prices. hmmm... got me thinking.

I've been wanting to upgrade my packaging. Before they were pretty but kind of plain.
So I made a bunch of new tags. Stamped them by hand. Got some gorgeous ribbons.


Stamped my mailers...
and ended up with this.... I like it better.

Notice anything different about the bags??? Look closely....

Labels!!!! yay!

So that being said... I think I will raise my prices to $26 tomorrow... and see how it does. I will be having a 20% Off sale this weekend so we shall see!

Off to bed! Have a great night!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

1




Well.. Last night went better than expected. No boohooing for me. I'm just trying to stay busy and not think about things. Theres no use in sinking into a deep dark hole over something you can do nothing about.

So I had many phone calls today: Mom, Stef, Stef and Andrea, Calen, Andrea again, Cindy. Guess I'll have to call Noni tomorrow.. She's probably waiting with baited breath.

And I started moving Bryans stuff to the closet. I cant bring myself to Put his clothes away just yet... maybe a few more days.

Not much to write about today... its just trying to sink in I think. Layla asked where Daddy was today. How do I explain this to a toddler??


This weeks projects:
1: Potty Training!!! (that should keep me busy)
2: Working on some new clutches... my shops looking a little bare.

Off to bed...Goodnight


-Gretchen

Monday, August 31, 2009

The wait...


I'll leave you with one of the good photos we took the other day... while I go get dressed to have dinner at Boston Market. That's what he wants... sorta a last meal kinda thing. So I indulge.
Today is not technically day one yet... Hopefully I wont be a complete bawl bag like my mom is already. She just emailed me a letter... I'll wait till later to read it... Not that brave right now.
Well... see ya'll later... Off to start the walk towards the inevitable.
-Gretchen

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Creative Space...

My Space is being a little neglected today. I do have a couple custom oreders to fill but Im waiting till I finish cleaning first.


This is where I keep the things that make me happy or that need attention. It is my antique birds eye maple baby dresser! I love it! On top is a copy of one of the most gorgeous Marie mags Ive seen, and a couple vintage tea cups to match. An ACU bag that I made for my self that I need to remind hubby to get me some patches for, a bag that I need to put away and a cactus garden that probably needs a smidge of water. Oh yeah, those dangly blue things are some awesome Twisty Tee's from theriveriseverywhere on Etsy. I love them! And of course... the pile of lovely fabric just waiting to be cut up and turned into something fabulous!


But all these things need to wait.. just until later.... Either I have lost my sanity or I'm having a brief earth shaking change in my life.

The Catalyst....


If you are a mom... Im sure you know what this is. If youre not... let me explain. This is our lifeline... the sanity keeper... the very thing that keeps prying toddlers out of chemical cabinets and in this case, my pantry. Well, the stupid thing broke last night!


So, Im in the process of finding the other latch I know I have somewhere and the kids start getting into the TV stand and pulling out all the DVDs and Wii remotes... OH hell no! So I abandon the latch for a different cabinet lock for the TV stand. As I'm on the floor screwing the locks to keep them out of the DVDS, it becomes Iced Oatmeal Cookie Free-For-All in the pantry! AHHHHH!!


So I've decided to have a makeover. If I havent used it since Christmas.. its gone. Clothes, linens, toys, kitchen items.. you name it. I want nice things. And I want a nice home. But I can have it with all the clutter and stuff I hold onto... Im done! I gave a friend and big bag of sheets and they will be buying our Futon for $50 tomorrow. Thank God I can get that thing out of my living room!


Anyone have the urge to clean??? Slough off the excess? Exfoliate your life? Let me know! We can do it together!


Back to work! Good luck everyone!


-Gretchen

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hold on out there!

I know my blog has been leaving much to be desired...
Its due in part to me working my butt off on listing new items in my shop...
And in part to Bryan getting ready to leave. It seems that the stress of the situation is getting out of hand. He's lost 10 pounds, I found it. He doesnt have time to eat, I eat constantly. My "monthly thing" decided to take a 2 month vacation, which only adds to it! yikes!
Anyways, his family is coming up on the 20th and I start watching Anthony again from 630am to 1230 on the 17th. So this next week promises to be more hectic. And of course, I know the day Bryan's flight leaves, but due to OPSEC, I cannot post it here. Just know that it is soon.
Amidst all this, I have decided that, starting the day he leaves, I will blog everyday. Kinda like a year in the life thing... Even if some days its a post just to say," hey Im alive" I will do it. Sound like fun?
Well, heres to today and getting some work done, hopefully!
Have a great day!
-Gretchen

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Heres my room key...

So I told you all I was redecorating my bedroom.. Heres the before...

What a mess!!!
Here are the after pictures...


The bed set is from Target. I got it last year right before Bryan got home from Afghanistan. It seems a little weird that I put it back on right before hes about to leave again. Oh the irony.

Anyways, I think the set is on sale at Target right now. Of course the deco pillows and sheets are extra, but its a cool set. Oh yeah, those are black velvet curtains... yummy!

Thats all for now... Have a great day!

-Gretchen