Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving from
The Downtown Boutique!
We'd love to hear from you about what you are thankful for this year.
Please leave us a comment or two.
God bless you and your family this Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday -- Featuring Party Place

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Newbie Tuesday

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Monday Mini -- Featuring Ellembee

Happy Almost Thanksgiving! The Downtown Boutique is working on getting as many featured guests in, as we are able to, before Christmas. (I apologize, but I have been under the weather with a yucky cold, so I just haven't gotten the chance or the time now, to do the in depth gift guides that I started doing.)

So today, we're featuring Ellembee, a shop which I found on Etsy, by doing some looking around in the Time Machine. This shop has clothing that is TOTALLY my style! I just love the designs on Lisa's products. Here's her Etsy Mini so that you can see what I'm talking about:

I asked Lisa to share a little about herself, and here is what she shared (adapted from another blog interview in which she participated):

TDB: How long have you been screen printing and working with clothing, and how did you become interested in it?
Lisa: I just started screen printing about 5 months ago. I was a bedding designer in California for the past 4 years, until I got laid off in January. I moved back to Michigan, where I grew up, and had to find a way to make some money! I had taken a screen printing class in college, so I knew the basics. I looked at some how-to videos on Youtube, and read a few books on the subject, and just sort of fumbled my way through figuring out how to do it!

TDB: What is your personal favorite of your collection and why?
Lisa: I have a love/hate relationship with lacy indigo. The design that I originally thought of for that shirt looks totally different. I sort of happened upon the way it ended up looking, and I think it turned out great. That shirt is my best seller, and I think it's the most original in my line, but because of the bleaching process that I do, and the intricacy of the design, I mess up a lot of them that can't be sent out, (that's the part I hate!)

TDB: Things are tough these days, especially for many of us "starving artists". What do you do to stay positive in such a difficult field?
Lisa: I LOVE working for myself! I love the fact that how much money I make is completely up to me; I take full responsibility for my income. With amazing places like and the local craft fairs that I do, the sky is the limit. I find myself working 14-hour days, 6 and 7 days a week, and it doesn't even faze me, because I love what I'm doing! I love my job!

Ok, now for the FUN part! Lisa is offering a wonderful giveaway to our readers...the WINNER gets to pick one item from Lisa's shop. Yes, you heard right, you have your choice of what you want if you win!!!!

Here's what I would pick if I were eligible to enter:

How YOU can enter to win your choice of item from Ellembee: Please visit Ellembee, then come back here and let us know what you would choose if you won.

For one extra entry: Please blog about this giveaway and then post the link to your blog post in a separate comment.

For one more extra entry: For Bloggers only, you can "Follow" us by clicking on "Follow This Blog", up on the top right hand side. It doesn't count if you are already following us. Please leave a separate comment if you decide to become a "follower".

For one more entry: Add our blog to your blogroll. Please leave a separate comment with the link to your blog.

For one MORE entry: If you TWEET about this giveaway, you can earn an extra entry. Please put "@rioosodesigns" at the beginning of your tweet, so that I can see where you tweeted. Then come back here and leave a separate comment about your tweet.

WHEW! Ok, deadline to enter is Sunday, November 30th at Midnight PST. You MUST have a valid email attached either to your blog account, or to your comment. This giveaway is open worldwide.

Have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Feature No. 33 -- Featuring Jenny Karlsson

Well, it's late, and I have a toddler, who just got up from his nap crying, sitting in my arms. Please forgive me if there are typos that I don't catch.

You might have noticed that we have not had a Friday Feature for the past two weeks. This is much my fault because I sent out my reminder emails a little too the day before! I have been sick, and so has our little guy, so things aren't getting done as well as I had hoped.

Today, we are featuring Jenny of Jenny Karlsson Design. Jenny lives in Sweden, and is one of a very few featured guests who live outside of the USA! Jenny's shop is a delightful display of cozy items, such as crocheted flower brooches, unique (and numbered) handbags, and more.

Here is a little interview with Jenny:

TDB: When did you first get into crafting, and who taught you to craft?
Jenny: I think it must have been my mother at some time. She used to make some of our clothes when we were younger, and also some soft toys. I remember getting a simple little loom that you could weave scarfs & such in.. At least I know that now - back then I made mats for my dolls' house :) But I have always been interested in making things, the creativity have always needed to come out somehow. I am mainly self-taught I guess..

TDB: From where do you get your inspiration for your crafting?
Jenny: A lot of it comes from nature, flora and fauna. Some times it's things that I see that inspires me, most times though I think it is that the things that brings me energy is the things that I get inspiration from. The will to make something must be there. Then I also love beautiful magazines, children's books, art, history, times past. I like a lot of old things. They have feeling to them.

TDB: What is your favorite thing to create?
Jenny: I like variation. Simple and complicated. I do love to do embroidery and such and would like to have time to make more intricate things. It is easy to get caught up in the 'must make & sell'- circle.. Then again one of the best things with handicrafts is that it must take its time, and then it turn out best. When I have made something it has filled its purpose for me somehow. It's the making that I like, and I don't have trouble parting with my work. I rarely keep something for myself.

TDB: Please tell us a little about your family.
Jenny: There's my beloved one, mom, dad, two brothers and Lilly the dog. I live on my own but I talk to my parents really often and one of my brothers lives in the next door house :) I talk even more often with my beloved one, we live about 300 kilometres apart at the moment..

TDB: If you had 3 wishes granted to you, what would you wish for?
Jenny: Tricky question.. Hm.. I think I would have to be a bit materialistic and ask for 1. 'never have to worry about money', you know - so you have enough to get by and a little more. 2. For my loved ones to be happy and live well. 3. Being able to teleport myself all over the place (would be very practical).Hm, that last one might change a bit, but the other two will stay the same. :)Then again, you gather wisdom all your life by living & learning.

TDB: If you could travel back to any time period in history, where would you go, and why?
Jenny: I have thought about this sometimes.. and there are a few options.. victorian England, 1920's, beginning of the 19th century and perhaps Egypt. These are a few of the time periods that fascinates me and I find a lot of inspiration in. I guess it is also down to The Pre-Raphaelite movement, Arts & Crafts, Arthur Rackham-Edmund Dulac-Walter Crane ( illustrators), The House of Eliott (series) & Jane Austen.. Oh and Charles Dickens.. I do like times past. I can get quite nostalgic about periods in time that I haven't even lived, but am longing for somehow.

TDB: Please share 3 random, little known facts about you
* I was in a youth circus when I was younger. Doing simple acrobatics dressed up as a native american (in a shirt & pants made out of brown flanell that my mother had made, and with red & white stripes in my face).
* I really like playing computer games, especially where you get to chop around with swords and such..Guns works too :) .. There must be a plot though, adventure and excitement. My favorites are Monkey Island x 4, Morrowind, Fable, Half-Life and NoOneLivesForever.. Those are the ones I've played the most. I think...
* I have never smoked a single cigarette. Er.. Oh well, I couldn't come up with any other fact just now.. :)

Thanks Jenny! It was great to find out a little more about the woman behind the designs!

The Giveaway: A $15.00 "Gift Certificate" to Jenny's shop on

To Enter: Please visit Jenny Karlsson Design, then come back here and leave a comment about either your favorite item in Jenny's shop or what you would spend this gift certificate on, if you are the winner. Please be sure to have a VALID email address attached to either your comment (like this: downtownboutique (at) sbcglobal (dot) ne), or your Blogger account. You do not have to have a Blogger account to enter, as long as you have an email made available to us.

For one extra entry: Please blog about this giveaway and leave a separate comment with the link to your post.

For another entry: We'd love to have you follow our blog! You will get updates in Blogger with each new post. Yes, you must have a Blogger account for this one. No, it doesn't count if you are already following.

Deadline to enter: Thursday, November 27th at Midnight PST. Giveaway is open worldwide.

Have a great weekend!

As some of you may know, we are in the process of adopting a little boy who is now 2 years old. He came to us six months ago tomorrow! As far as we know, the adoption finalization process will begin in the early part of December, which means that the adoption will most likely be finalized in mid to late January! We are SO excited!

We are trying to raise money for the adoption fees, and so we are offering an adoption special in our Rio Oso Designs shop right now. From now, through the end of December, you can receive 20% off on anything in the shop. Your discount will come in the way of a Paypal refund after you have completed your payment.

Your dicount code is ADOPT20. Please mention this code in your "Notes to Seller", when you are checking out.

Thank you!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Thumbnail -- Featuring Crocheted Little Things

Today we are featuring one of our Project Wonderful advertisers, Crocheted Little Things. Lu makes some wonderful crocheted items, including Christmas ornaments, baby booties, and more.

Let's hear from Lu herself:

Hi, My name is Lu and I'm the owner of "Crocheted Little Things" under the nick name of piccoladonna2006. I come from Italy, and in Italian "piccola donna" means "little woman" and that's where my shop name come from. I'm a 26 yo stay at home busy mom of 2 wonderful kids and I have this big passion for crochet. I learned how to crochet when I was 9-10 from my mom who is a "doilie maker". It was something I liked to do during summer breaks, but never thought I could use it like I'm doing now! My biggest inspiration is the enthusiasm my kids share with me when looking at my new creations ot comes from little daily things....the necessity of a warm garment, the willing of embellish my house...I do not consider this like a job simply because I really enjoy crochet each and every piece!


A Giveaway from Crocheted Little Things: This darling set of four Crocheted Cupcake Christmas Ornaments.

To enter: Please visit Crocheted Little Things, then come back here and comment about your favorite item from Lu's shop.

Deadline to enter is Wednesday, November 26th at Midnight PST. Giveaway is open to everyone worldwide.

I've Been Featured on "Simply Sentimental: the Blog"

Hurry! Go! Rush on over to find out what Sydnei has said about me! There's even a giveaway with TWO winners!!! CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday Featuring Sew Much Detail

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Trading List

Back on November 3rd, I mentioned that I would put together a list of Etsy shops who are open to trades for Christmas shopping. Well, I am now coming through on that "promise", so here are those shops, in no particular order:
Clean Rinse (natural cleaning products)
Avary's Alyns (Sci-Fi inspired clay creatures)
Sweet Side (fabric, zippers, and supplies)
Holly Rose (jewelry and supplies)
Poppy Raye Studio (jewelry and artwork)
Sha Sha Ann (artwork for children)
Mon Ami Greetings (paper goods, greeting cards, etc.)
Zady Ball (baby toys)
Twilight Knits (hand dyed yarns)
Simply Just Minerals (mineral makeup)
Inu Inspirations (goodies and accessories for dogs and cats)
Camphor Creations (handsewn items)
Silver Nebel Jewelry (handcrafted jewelry)
Love Always, XOX (paper goods and handsewn items)
Bead Creations International (handcrafted jewelry)
Erin's Corner (handmade items for pets and kids)
Azhure Jewels (handcrafted jewelry)
Boston Bag Lady (paper goods)
Dragonfly Stitches (handmade quilts and vintage wood puzzles)
Lucy's Postcard Quilts (handsewn and crocheted goodies)
Beaux Bijoux (handcrafted jewelry)
Pixie Hollow Enchantasies (handpainted goodies)
The Brass Hussy (handcrafted jewelry)
Montana Hatter (hand crocheted hats and accessories)
Renee's Fashions (handsewn goodies--many Christmas items)
Renee's Soap (handcrafted soaps)
Chasing Lilies (handcrafted jewelry and chalkboard/memo boards)
Julian Wysocki (website design)
Snowberry Lime (handspun yarns)
Brandye's Beads (handcrafted jewelry and yarn goodies)
Sweet Irie Originals (wristlet key fobs)
Rio Oso Designs (digital designs)

Newbie Tuesday

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A FREE Photo Book From Inkubook

What a fantastic gift! Did you take some great Fall pictures this year? Have another reason for NEEDING a free photo book? I think I will get this free photobook to use with our little guy whom we are adopting, to help him learn his words. He has developmental delays, and has some speech issues. We also want to do a book for him to help him identify the special people in his life.
Here's the site:
Here's the promotion code: PBK266
Follow the instructions to sign up, start your book, and invite your friends (they’ll get a promotion code, too!)
Create your photo book within 30 days of joining.
All you have to pay is shipping!
The book is free! ENJOY

Now scoot! You've got to place your order by November 30th!!

Thursday Thumbnail -- Featuring Candies Jewelry Design

Today we are featuring Candie's Jewelry Designs, from Sylvania, Ohio. Take a peek into Candie's Jewelry Designs, and you will find some pieces of jewelry that will make perfect stocking stuffers from wives, moms, daughters, aunts, grandma's, cousins, nieces, friends, teachers....well, you get the picture. Candice, the owner of Candie's, has this to say about herself and her jewelrymaking:

I am absolutely in heaven when I'm creating with all my jewels and findings! I love creating something new, I get so darn excited, I sometimes think my family thinks I've totally lost it, lol! I think I dream jewelry, in fact I know I do! My new found love is vintage findings and brass, especially "vintaj" brass findings! Really, I just love it all!

Candice is offering to give away this perfectly sweet pair of earrings (valued at $21USD), which would make a FANTASTIC Christmas gift (stocking stuffer) for yourself or for someone you love.

To Enter:

1. One entry: Please visit Candie's Jewelry Designs, find your favorite item, then come back here and comment about it. PLEASE be sure to leave a valid email address, or have one attached to your Blogger account. You do not have to have a Blogger account to simply must leave me an easy way to get ahold of you.

2. One additional entry: Please blog about this giveaway, then leave a separate comment, with a link to your blog post.

3. One additional entry: We'd love to have you follow us (if you have a Blogger account), so if you leave a separate comment after you have signed up to follow this blog, you will gain an extra entry.

Deadline to enter is Wednesday, November 19th at Midnight PST.

Giveaway is open worldwide.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday Featuring Clayful Creations

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Newbie Tuesday

Friday, November 7, 2008

Project Wonderful

We've finally reached the 21st century...we now have Project Wonderful ad space available! If you look on the left hand side, and scroll down just past the Etsy Mini Ad Space, you will see our Project Wonderful ad space. Interested? Click on the link just under the ad space to place your bid!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thumbnail Thursday -- A Little Late

We have had SO many people who we want to feature here on The Downtown Boutique, and we can't fit them all in on least not before Christmas, so I wanted to throw in a few extra features and giveaways here and there. We're going to be featuring a "thumbnail sketch", as well as a mini-view (a shortened interview) with each artist.

Today we are featuring That Funky Boutique, and its owner, Angie.

That Funky Boutique's owner and designer, Angie Eisman is pleased to offer an eclectic array of products including unique children's wear and soft toys as well as accessories for the whole family. "I've recently launched a new line of winter hats that I'm thrilled about. Inspired by my kids' mismatching of their clothes, I've made these hats with a whimsical mismatched style. And blended in my green, eco-friendly sensibilities by making them with 100% recycled wool and cashmere!" Each hat is one of a kind and hand made with care in the western mountains of North Carolina.
Available at
Wholesale inquiries welcome!

3 random facts about Angie.

1. I'm a homeschooling mom. A brand spankin' new one. I'll be honest—some days are a complete blur! Others a complete joy. During both types of days I'm constantly reminded just why I'm doing what I'm doing...more precious time together that I know I'll never regret.

2. My favorite artistic endeavors: illustration and wheel thrown pottery. Sadly I haven't found time for much of either lately. Soon. I hope. Very soon.

3. I love Greek food! olives, seafood, feta, bread. yum!

Angie's Giveaway: Recycled Wool Felt Owl Hat for a Boy or Girl, Age 2-6

Enter to Win:

1. Visit That Funky Boutique, and comment about your favorite item in the shop. Please leave a VALID email address with your comment.

2. For another entry, you can choose to follow this blog. Just let me know in a separate comment that you are now a Follower.

3. For another entry, you can post about this giveaway on your own blog. Please leave a link to your post in a separate commen.

Deadline to enter is Wednesday, November 12th at Midnight PST. Giveaway is open worldwide. Winner will be chosen via If you have no email address attached to your comment or your Blogger account, and you are chosen, we will choose a new winner.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wordless Wednesday Featuring MoonMum

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Newbie Tuesday

Monday, November 3, 2008

Wanna Trade?

Do have an Etsy Shop or a website and you're willing to work out trades for your products? Are you doing some Christmas shopping, and would love to know who works in trade? Please comment here and leave us your info. I will be putting together a list of shops that are willing to take trades. This might just be what we all need, what with the economy doing strange things right now.

UPDATE: WOW! I'm so excited by the response both here, and in the Etsy forums where I posted about this blog post. There are LOADS of people who are open to trade, and thanks to MagicIsland on Etsy, I have been notified of a blog that is specifically a list of those who are willing to trade. Check it out here: Etsy Traders.

Getting To Know You

Here's a little game that I actually got from my sister in an email some time ago, but saw it again on the Pink Lemonade blog. I thought it would be a little fun to do this.

The rules are that you can only answer each question with one word - not a simple as it sounds. Here goes...

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse

2. Your significant other? Michael

3. Your hair? Brushed

4. Your mother? Compassionate

5. Your father? Working

6. Your favorite thing? Family

7. Your dream last night? Forgotten

8. Your favorite drink? Tea

9. Your dream/goal? Acreage

10. The room you're in? Dining

11. Your fear? Infertility

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Acreage

13. Where were you last night? Home

14. What you're not? Techie

15. Muffins? Blueberry

16. One of your wish list items? Camera

17. Where did you grow up? USAF

18. The last thing you did? Lunch

19. What are you wearing? Clothes

20. Your TV? Elmo

21. Your pet? No

22. Your computer? Work

23. Your life? Happy

24. Your mood? Chillin'

25. Missing someone? Mom

26. Your car? Ford

27. Something you're not wearing? Shoes

28. Favorite Store? Target

29. Your summer ? Family

30. Your favorite color? Sage

31. When is the last time you laughed? Today

32. Last time you cried? Yesterday

33. Who will/would re-post this? Others

a) Church
b) School
c) Target
d) Lucky's

a) Hubby
b) Sister
c) Caresse
d) MIL

a) Dreyers
b) Chocolate
c) Shrimp
d) Cheese

a) Kauai
b) Bed
c) Branson
d) Victoria

So here's the tag part....if you feel inclined to post this little game on your blog and tag yourself or others, please leave me the link to your blog in a comment so that I can get to know you too!

Have a great week!