Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Feature No. 32 -- Featuring Chick 9 Clothing

Happy Friday, and Happy Halloween! I hope you're doing well today. We're finally getting some moisture in the SF Bay's been a long time coming!!!

Congratulations to Michelle, who was randomly selected as the winner of the two 8x10 prints of her choice from Nesta Home. Michelle happened to find us here, because I featured her Etsy shop over there on the right hand side...her shop is Yoopers.

Today, we're featuring Krysta from Chick 9 Clothing...a company specializing in athletic themed clothing for girls. "Did you know that girls who play sports do better at math and science, as well as having better body images and self esteem?" Hmmm...maybe I should have played sports!!! I was/am horrible at math!

Here's a little more about Krysta and Chick 9 Clothing.

TDB: Please tell us a little about Chick 9 Clothing
Krysta: I started Chick 9 Clothing because I found it nearly impossible to find cute sports themed clothes for girls and I think it is so important to encourage girls to play sports. I have played sports my whole life, including playing volleyball in college, and I think a lot of my successes can be traced back to what I learned from being an athlete and teammate. Now that my friends and former teammates are starting to have their own kids, I really think it is important to make sure that girls feel encouraged to get started playing sports. When I was writing my undergraduate thesis on how participation in sports affects the self-esteem and body-image of high school girls I learned that playing sports also helps girls do better in math and science.

TDB: What is the one thing in life you are most passionate about and why?
Krysta: Besides sports, I am most passionate about travel! I am fearless in my travel plans and I am always willing to go somewhere new. I love learning new languages, trying new food, and just absorbing new cultures! Besides traveling throughout the western United States, I have lived in Ireland and the Czech Republic and traveled to Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Austria, Mexico, and Venezuela. I think my next trip will either be to Norway to see family, or to somewhere new in South America.

TDB: What is one dream that you have, and how do you plan on making it come true?
Krysta: I have lots of dreams! But right now I am focusing on making Chick 9 Clothing as successful as possible in hopes of one day being able to quit my day job. I like my day job (I work for a textbook company) but I LOVE working on stuff for Chick 9! I can sit at my desk for hours on end designing new shirts and I won't even notice that time has passed. I wish my day job was the same way! So I am starting to do as much research as I can and lay all the ground work before I make the leap to full time.

TDB: What is your typical day like?
Krysta: I have a Shiba Inu puppy, Lola, who needs constant exercise so I am usually up by 6 am at the latest to take her on a run. Then I work at least 8 hours at my day job, come home, run again, make dinner or go out with friends, and then I spend a few hours a night working on shirts to ship, coming up with new designs, writing on my blog, or thinking of ways to promote my store without spending money! If I am really busy with Chick 9 stuff, my mom will usually come over on the weekends or one night a week to help me prepare the shirts and get orders ready to ship. My parents are my biggest supporters and have sold a lot of my stuff to their friends and coworkers! Right now I am actually getting ready for my first trunk show, so I am putting in more time making shirts than normal! Luckily one of my best friends has agreed to work at the show with me...partly for moral support and partly to keep me from spending all my money at other people's booths!

TDB: Please share with us a little about your family.
Krysta: I am very very close to my family! My parents live about half an hour away so I see them at least once a week depending on our schedules. They are both former college athletes and coaches, so they can easily relate to why this is so important to me. My parents have always been so supportive of everything I have done and always encouraged me in my sports when I was younger...they would have made great customers! I'm single, no kids yet, but I do have my adorable dog and one cat. They are my fur babies!

TDB: If you could teach anything, what would you teach?
Krysta: Well, I coached volleyball for a long time, so maybe I will go back to that someday when I have free time. I had planned on getting my masters in education to teach high school social studies, but my life took a different turn and I ended up doing my MBA instead. So maybe I could teach some business classes. I have also taught ESL to kids and adults and I will probably get back into that soon, even if it is just helping teach my mom's ESL classes. I come from a long line of is our family business! Really, I would prefer to go back to school and get a masters in political science or history. I love taking classes...I am a total nerd and proud of it!

TDB: Please share 3 LITTLE KNOWN facts about yourself.
-I must make the bed everyday or I can't go to work. I even make the beds in hotels. I'm a tad OCD. If I know the bed is not made, I will think about it all day until I can go home and make it.

-I love to grocery shop and often spend over an hour wandering around the store looking at stuff. It is one of my favorite things to do in other countries because the foods are so different. I once considered starting my own business to do other people's shopping.

-I strongly dislike birds and have a fear that I will be attacked by them. In Venezuela, I was very afraid of the parrots and I was convinced I would lose a finger to one. I didn't. My brother and I are not allowed in the lorakeet enclosure at the San Diego Wild Animal Park and got in trouble teasing the birds. Yes, I realize this does not exactly make me a good person, but the birds are aggressive there!

Thanks for the great interview Krysta!
By the way....all of Krysta's designs are available in all sizes! Krysta is also offering FREE SHIPPING during the month of November to anyone who commented on this post. All you have to do is reference your comment when you purchase from her, and your item will ship for free.

Now for the fun...Krysta is giving away any item from her shop...your choice!

To Enter:

Please visit Chick 9 Clothing and then leave a comment about your favorite item from Krysta's shop. Please leave a VALID email address, or you won't be in the running to win.

For one extra entry: We'd love to have you follow our blog! Click on "Follow This Blog" up there at the top right, and become a follower (You must have a Blogger account to do this). Please leave a SEPERATE comment if you do this.

For one extra entry: Please share with us what sport or sports you played or play, and why you think they have been a benefit to you. Please leave a SEPERATE comment.

Deadline to enter is Thursday, November 6th at Midnight PST. This giveaway is open worldwide.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Tomorrow is Halloween, and we will be doing our regular Friday Feature with a great giveaway! We will also be announcing who won the Nesta Home giveaway. Tomorrow is also the LAST day to enter my Photo Greeting Card giveaway. I hope you have entered both of these giveaways!

But tonight, I just had to share with you our sweet little Batman. Daddy is the 'real' Batman (shh!! Don't tell!), so we had to get our little guy (who we are adopting, and who is turning 2 in one week!) a Batman costume. Check it out! Isn't he a cutie??!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday Featuring CD Childs

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Have Fallen In Love!

I have already found and married the love of my life, so no, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about Lilly Ella...a jewelry shop on Etsy! Their jewelry is just so beautiful and there's something a little organic and romantic about each piece.

Don't you agree?

Newbie Tuesday

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Fall Bloggy Carnival Giveaway

Well, after entering MANY, MANY giveaways over at "Don't Try This At Home's Bloggy Carnival Giveaways", I still have TONS to enter. I'm thinking "Christmas shopping!" here. Ya know? Ok, so now I've decided to give away my own prize too.

I will be giving away a photo greeting card design worth $15 each, to TWO different winners. You can browse our designs in our Etsy shop: Rio Oso Designs . The great thing about our photo card designs, is just's the design only. That way, you can take it to wherever you get your photos printed (Walmart, Costco, Target, Snapfish, Shutterfly, etc.), and print however many or few you need!

Here are some examples of what we have. If you click on each picture, it will open up so that you can see it a little better.

All you have to do to enter is this: Please visit Rio Oso Designs and then leave a comment, telling me which photo greeting card design is your favorite. We have over 30 designs and are adding more on a regular basis.

For one extra entry, please share your favorite Fall/Winter holiday memory or tradition. Please leave a separate comment.

For one extra entry, you can sign up to "follow" our blog, by clicking over there at the top of the right hand sidebar. Please leave a separate comment.

For one extra entry, you can blog about this giveaway on your blog. Please leave a link to your post in a separate entry.

This giveaway is open worldwide. Deadline to enter is Friday, October 31st at Midnight PST. Please make sure you leave a VALID email address so that I can find you if you win.

Have a wonderful week!


PS...Don't forget to scroll down and enter to win two 8x10 prints from Nesta Home on our Friday Features Post!

Win a $50 Gift Card from Mom of 2 Dancers

If you visit the "Mom of 2 Dancers" blog, you can enter to win a $50 Gift Card. Once again, who couldn't use one of those, with Christmas just around the corner?

Win a Sterling Silver Mommy/Daughter Bracelet Set

This set from Emmie Kate would make a GREAT Christmas present for someone you know. Go over to A Blog Of Goodies to enter to win.

Win a $50 Gift Card from Unexpected Bliss

Could you use a $50 Gift Card from I know I could, especially with Christmas coming! Head over to Unexpected Bliss and enter to win. Be sure to read the rules!!!

Fall 2008 Bloggy Carnival

Hey! You should head on over to "Don't Try This At Home" and see the LOADS of people who have giveaways going on during the Fall 2008 Bloggy Carnival. There's some pretty sweet prizes, so I hope you'll check it out.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Fabulous Giveaway!!!!

I love to look in on the blogs of my commenters, followers, and sponsors. In doing so, I stumbled upon this great giveaway from RHB Designs. You can choose which necklace you would like to win!!! How fun is that?!

My favorite necklaces are these:

I've been tagged!

I'm really not that good at this kind of thing, but I'll do it anyways. I don't have seven people to tag back because Michele (Sweet Irie Designs), who tagged me, took my people!!! Hmmm, let me see...who can I tag? I'll keep thinking. Meanwhile.....

The rules are:
1. To link the tagger and provide the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

Alrighty facts about me. Have I done this before? It seems so familiar!

1. I met my husband on, and we knew we wanted to be married before we even met in person.

2. I spent three years as a teenager, in Okinawa, because my Air Force dad was stationed there.

3. I am a SERIOUS an addict...really. Well, you could even say I'm addicted to sugar!

4. I have a teenage son, and a toddler son. We are in the process of adopting the toddler.

5. I sang the National Anthem at a minor league hockey game in New Mexico.

6. I love to read, and am currently reading "True Light", the third in a series from author, Terri Blackstock.

7. I love to watch shows like "24", "Without a Trace", "Cold Case", and "Prison Break", but would probably have never watched them before I met my hubby.

WHEW! That was kind of tough!

Ok, well, I thought of a couple of people I could tag:

Beki from Pampering Beki (or Desperately Avoiding Housework)
Nona from Nona Pearl
Dena from The Sugar Shop

There you have it! Sorry, but I could only come up with three. If you want to be tagged, leave me a comment, and I'll be glad to tag you!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Feature No. 31 -- Featuring Nesta Home

I know, in some parts of the world it's already Saturday, and I haven't gotten to my Friday Feature yet! Well, I'm on California time, so I still have a few minutes before it's no longer Friday. I hope you will all forgive me for posting this so late!

After drawing three names and having to keep moving because of no email addresses, we have a winner from the Smile Moon feature. Congratulations to Helen, who won the pair of swords and the puzzle cube from Smile Moon! Thanks Jeffrey, for a great interview and giveaway! I'm so happy to see that more of you are following our blog! Woo hoo! I hope you noticed the "Holiday Photo Contest" in the next post down. I want to see your great photos!

Today, we are featuring Nesta Home, a shop on Etsy with some wonderfully eclectic finds for your little nest. Tandie is the owner of Nesta Home and was featured on Etsy's "Storque" in an article called "Quitting Your Day Job". So with that, let's get to know Tandie a little better.

TDB: Where did you get your start in "crafting"?
Tandie: I've always been involved in designing and making things... When I discovered Etsy I nurtured those ideas and brought more of them to life.

TDB: What is your favorite medium to use in your crafting?
Tandie: I love the camera. In college I wanted to go into film. It took my love of photography to a whole new level. The choreography of images, sound, and motion allowed for so many possibilities to tell a story.

TDB: What is your best-selling item?
Tandie: My Alone in the City Series Prints. They are inspired by the time in my life I lived in London. The experiences I had while living and working there make up a huge part of who I am. I think these pieces really connect to that.

TDB: What do you do aside from selling on Etsy?
Tandie: I don't do much outside of Etsy at the moment. I pick up a few side projects here and there but I’ve been lucky to of had some great opportunities selling on and off of Etsy.

TDB: If you suddenly came into a million tax-free dollars, what would you do with it?
Tandie: I know I should say 'Give it to charity' but... I'd love a house on the beach?! Who doesn't right?

TDB: What's the inspiration behind your work?
Tandie: A lot of my inspiration comes from my travels and from my studies. I studied Sociology, Art and Film Studies in college (I couldn’t make up my mind) and always was interested in different cultures.

TDB: Please share three random facts about yourself.
Here we go:
1) I spent almost 15 years of my life playing Volleyball. I actually know Misty May really well and competed against her a lot growing up. Our high schools competed against each other in the California State Volleyball Championships. (she won of course).
2) My college mascot was an Anteater. Zot Zot Zot! (that’s the sound and Anteater makes apparently)
3) My business name comes from Bob Marley’s middle name. Only close friends and family know this… Shhhhhh!!!
Well, that was fun! Now for some more fun. Tandie is giving away TWO 8x10 prints of your choice!

To Enter: Please visit Nesta Home and then come back here and commet on what your favorite item in Tandie's shop is, and why it's your favorite.

Only one comment per person please. Be SURE to leave a valid email address or another good way to get ahold of you.

Deadline to enter is Thursday, October 30th at Midnight PST. Giveaway is open worldwide.

Holiday Photo Contest

It's almost Christmastime, and I am working feverishly on some photo greeting cards to put in my Etsy shop, Rio Oso Designs. But there's something that I need...PHOTOS! I am looking for some GREAT photos that you will give me permission to use in my designs. If you have portrait studio photos or candid photos that you think would be perfect for holiday photo greeting cards, I want to see them. By the way, by entering this contest, you are giving me permission to use your family photos.

What's the prize? If your photo or photos are chosen, you will get to choose your very own photo greeting card design (holiday or non-holiday) from my Rio Oso Designs shop. When you choose a photo greeting card design from Rio Oso Designs, you can be assured of a high quality design, that you will be able to take to wherever you print your photos (Walmart, Costco, Target, etc.), and have them print as many or as few photo greeting cards as you need!

So email me your photos! You may also choose to post a comment with a link to your photo hosting site, such as Photobucket, Picasa, etc. I will post the winning photos at a later date.

This contest is ongoing, and is open worldwide.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Great Gifts for Wintertime

As usual, I have been perusing through pages and pages and PAGES of to find some Christmas gifts for family. I'm determined to at least get 1/3 of my gifts from Etsy if I am able. That way, I know that I'm helping out someone's small business, rather than just stuffing corporate pockets, so to speak.

So, as promised, here are some more great finds that I think would make fabulous Christmas gifts. Just click on the pic, and it will take you to where you can purchase the item.

This cute scarf from Buffalo Nerd Project really makes me think of winter. I'd definitely buy it for ME! The back of this patchwork scarf is fleece, so you know it'll be super cozy for those cold winter days and nights!

I love the blues and whites in this whimsical "Winter Owl Tree" print from YumiYumi.

How gorgeous is this "Winter Chill" bracelet from Princess By Design?!?!? You simply MUST check out this shop, because there are some beautiful items for sale, and at VERY reasonable prices too!

Alright, I had to add this "Dead Ninja" scarf from Nowhere Land, because it is just TOO funny! I could totally see my teenage son wearing this! My husband would probably wear it too, because he has this great sense of humor.

Well, there ya have it. Be sure to let these folks know where you found 'em if you end of purchasing any of these items, or anything else from their shops!

Have a good one!


Wordless Wednesday Featuring Rings By Marie

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Newbie Tuesday

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Feature No. 30! -- Featuring Smile Moon

WOW! This is our 30th Friday Feature! That's pretty exciting! Thanks for all the wonderful comments and giveaways to all who have participated. We're not done...we're going to keep going as long as there are people who are willing to give something away, and people who are willing to enter to win those giveaways.

Congratulations to Crystal, who won her choice of block print from Little Sparrow's Nest. Thank you to Michaela Dawn for such a great giveaway!

Today, we are featuring something that is near and dear to me. I know I've gushed about this before, but I just LOVE woodworking! I took shop class as a 7th grader, and actually made a cutting board (woo-woo!), a set of salt and pepper shakers, and something that resembled a shelf, but never got hung up. I was pretty good at it, and even made a cute bear toothbrush holder when I was an adult. If I could, I would probably have a little woodshop, where hubby and I could work at it together, but I don't think our apartment managers would let us set up shop.

Anyway, today we are featuring Jeffrey, from Smile Moon on Etsy. Jeffrey is a guy with a great sense of humor, who doesn't mind last minute communications from people like me! He has been woodworking for....well, let me get on with the interview, and you'll find out more about Jeffrey...
TDB: When did you first get into woodworking, and who taught you?
Jeffrey: I first got interested in woodworking about 20 years ago, just before my oldest daughter was born. My record collection (remember LP records?) had outgrown the plywood boxes I'd slapped together when I was a kid, and I thought it'd be nice to build my own stereo cabinet. Of course, before tackling a piece like that, I decided it'd be wise to make a few "practice projects" to learn my way through. Over the next several years, I ventured to make a blanket chest, a cradle, several different artist's easels, kitchen & bathroom cabinets, bookcases, and plenty of smaller crafty things. To this day, however, I still have not made my stereo cabinet.

Most of what I've learned has been through experience (read: mistakes), but I've picked up a fair bit from reading books, watching Norm Abrams on TV, and sometimes taking the advice of a host of more experienced woodworkers along the way. I wish I'd taken high school woodshop classes when I'd had the chance. At least I've still got all 10 fingers!

TDB: I'm many children DO you have? (If you read Jeffrey's Profile in his Etsy shop, you'll understand why I asked this question.) Do you plan on teaching them woodworking?
Jeffrey: I've got six kids, ranging in age from 5 to 18. [This past summer saw us attending orientations for college and kindergarten in the same week.] They've each got their own pair of safety glasses for when I'm running tools, and they all know they're welcome to join me anytime I'm in the workshop. Some of them show more interest than others, but I rarely turn any of them away if they want to build, say, an airplane from scraps of wood and a few nails (there's a small fleet of planes in there already). I want to make them feel welcome without the pressure of forcing them to learn if they're not up for it.

TDB: What is your best selling item?
Jeffrey: At this point, it's a toss-up between the balancing wine bottle holders and the toy swords. I've only been selling on Etsy for a little more than 6 months now, but I'm definitely noticing that some items have a 'season'.

TDB: If you could teach ANYthing, what would you teach?
Jeffrey: Anything? Probably, I'd like to teach geometry and trigonometry. I'm such a math geek, but I couldn't do my woodworking without at least a basic understanding of it, and so much of what we depend on (computers, transportation) relies very heavily on math-related studies.

TDB: What is the best piece of advice you ever received (any subject)?
Jeffrey: I believe it was my father who told me that everybody's got something to teach you.

TDB: What are three of your life dreams, and have you accomplished any of them?
Jeffrey: This is tricky, because for the most part, I'm a go-with-the-flow kind of person. That said, I always wanted to fly an airship. More realistically though, I've always wanted to marry someone I love and who loves me back, and I'm glad to say I've been able to accomplish that. Beyond that, every day our kids stay healthy and out of trouble is another good one for me!

TDB: Please share three random facts about yourself.
Jeffrey: I dance like a spastic with his arms caught in the ceiling fan. I eat ice cream combinations that make my poor wife ill to think about. I have a unibrow - they're all the rage.


Alright, what little boy (or big boy for that matter!!!) wouldn't LOVE a pair of wooden swords??? Need some great Christmas gifts for some adventurous little boys? What better thing to stimulate a wonderful imagination in this world obsessed with Wii? So here's your chance to win this pair of swords AND one of Jeffrey's wooden puzzles.

To Enter:

Please visit Smile Moon and let us know what your favorite item is, OR let us know your favorite childhood toy that did NOT require batteries, but made for HOURS of fun.

For an extra entry, you can become a "Follower" of The Downtown Boutique blog. Just click on the right where it says "Follow This Blog". Please leave a separate comment to let us know you are now following our blog.

Deadline to enter is Thursday, October 23rd at Midnight PST. Giveaway is open worldwide. Please make sure you leave a VALID email address. If there is no visible email address, you will not be entered into the giveaway.

Have a great weekend, and if you get a chance, go rake up a pile of leaves and jump in it, or visit a pumpkin patch, or go pick some apples! Enjoy the Fall weather, no matter what you do. If you're in the southern hemisphere, have a gorgeous Spring day!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Great Handmade Christmas Gifts For Kids

Since I have been doing a LOT of looking on for some fabulous Christmas gifts (I've already purchased THREE things!), I thought that I should naturally just share my finds here on The Downtown Boutique. So, if you're looking for some great gift ideas, we'll be posting a few of these gift guides here and there, so you'll be ready for Christmas.

Click on each photo and it will take you to that listing in that particular shop.

Check out this FUN jean jacket from Lions and Lambs. My 15 year old son would've LOVED this jacket when he was much younger!

And how cute is this little bracelet from A Passion For Fashion?! What tween girl wouldn't love to have this around her wrist? The great thing is that you can ask them to do a CUSTOM bracelet or necklace in your child's favorite colors or school colors! How do I know this? Because I custom ordered a necklace with my son's school and orange, and with his mascot name. It's very cool, and even though he's 15, he LOVES it!!!

Who can possibly resist Pink Lemonade Frosted Sugar Cookies and Chocolate Cupcakes with pretty flowers on top. Especially when there are no calories!! I think just about any little girl would love to have these pretty and sparkly felt foods from Sugar Chic Baby. I want some!

Ok, I TOTALLY want one of these for our little guy when he's ready for something like this! It is SO COOL! A little playhouse that fits neatly over a card table. Remember making tents out of the dining room table and a king sized sheet? Well, Miss Pretty Pretty has really kicked it up a notch with these fun Card Table Playhouses!!! How imaginations would soar with a fun playhouse like this little fire station. Don't miss the other playhouses in this shop!

Well, I'd better get back to work! Hubby is coming home soon, and I need to get the dishes done, and get supper going. Browsing Etsy is just too much fun! I hope you enjoy these little gift guides I will be doing. Don't forget to visit our sponsors' shops, as well as the featured Etsy Mini shops over there on the right hand side of the page!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday Featuring Hint

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Laundry Day

One of the chores that I actually do enjoy in our home, is the laundry. Hubby and son clean the bathrooms, son vacuums, dusts, and takes out the trash, hubby helps with the dishes, and son even puts the clean dishes away! I have loads of wonderful help with the chores. But the one I really don't mind doing, is the laundry. Look at these cute "laundry" themed items I've found.

How fun would ironing become if you had this ironing board cover from Hestia Houseworks over on!!!

I love this clothespin bag from Mountain Ash Design on Etsy.