Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Little Shameless Self Promotion

Scrabble Tile Brooch--Mt. McKinley

One of my favorite Forum topics on Etsy is “A Little Shameless Self Promotion.” I will often read this section because it is one of the best ways to get acquainted with newly listed items. To reach the forums once you are on the Etsy site, click Community, then, click Forums. If you have an Etsy account (this is free see posting for April 15, 2009 “Oh but I want that…Etsy purchasing made easy” for instructions) you can even participate in the Forum and share your opinions with buyers and sellers alike.

A word of caution, prepare to stay for a while. Once you are in the promotions section you will find quite a few reasons to stay there.
Above please find our own examples of “A Little Shameless Self Promotion.” This is a new item in our shop, Scrabble Tile Brooches (STB's for short). STB's are customizable. Have a favorite picture of your son, daughter, husband, wife, or pet? Send us your "Conversation" and your .JPEG for a one of a kind STB. As always we never charge extra for custom items so the price you see is the price you’ll pay.

Until next time,

Friday, May 29, 2009

Amanda's Amazing Journey

A few weeks ago, my niece (Maggi’s daughter) moved to the Big City, New York City to be precise. This was a move we had been expecting since she dropped the “BOMB” on us in November of last year. However, we always viewed it as an “empty threat,” one of those things that “she’ll soon forget,” and last but not least she’ll “change her mind about 1,000 times before May gets here.” Well May came and Amanda was not swayed, and on May 9th, true to her hopes and aspirations, Amanda moved to NYC.

Although it has been painful for all of us, especially for my sister (her first to leave the nest) I have to say how much I admire Amanda for staying true to her dreams. At nineteen, few people have such a keen vision of what they want to do. Here’s to an admirable young lady, who has no idea how much she is loved, missed and admired. May your dreams all come true and may every road for you be paved with joy and happiness. I know it will be if you have anything to say about it.

Aunt Carmie

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Heidi’s Handmade Soaps Review

At Sumpin Else, we are always on the lookout for an amazing product, an item that would be of use and interest to our customers. Most of the items we present here are listed on Etsy. The reason for this is that as Etsians we know and understand the quality of the goods listed there and the professionalism and pride that goes into making these items.

One of our favorite soapmakers on Etsy is Heidi’s Handmade . Starting with customer service all the way up to your first encounter with her soaps in the shower, it is an amazing experience.

I first “convo’d” (short for conversation a feature that allows buyers and sellers to communicate during the transaction and beyond) Heidi in early January. I was looking for a rich lathering soap with no vitamin E and something that would be “kind” to my middle age skin. After reading the description for several of Heidi’s soap I decided on her Lavender Lemongrass Glycerin Soap (shown above). I sent a convo to Heidi to check on whether or not the soap in question had vitamin E to my amazement my response was almost instantaneous.

Being the skeptic that I am, I decided to purchase one bar and give it a test drive. That was over 4 months and repeated orders ago. I have never gone back to store brought and have no intention to even try.

While producing some of the most amazing lather I have ever experienced, Heidi’s soap has been gentle to my skin. The scent (which you can choose, I happen to love lavender and lemongrass together) is unbelievable. From the moment you open the envelope it arrives in to the last little sliver in the shower it is a feast for your senses.

You can check out Heidi and her amazing soaps at Although Heidi is currently on vacation please go back and visit once the shop reopens, it is well worth the click! Thank you to Heidi for allowing us to review her soap and her shop.

Until next time,


Monday, May 25, 2009

Reflections on Memorial Day

Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored. ~Daniel Webster

Memorial Day 2009, we laughed, BBQ'd, chatted with family, watched our children swim and squeal with joy as water wings and floatties filled our pools. For most of the country it was a pleasant day, warm enough with just the right amount of rain, blue skies above us for the most part. No complaints from the adults or the "peanut gallery."

A world away our young men and women continue to fight for our freedom. Did they have enough to eat today? Are they rested as we are? Was there a pool or a swimming hole where they are? Did they have the opportunity to chat with those they love?

If you have not done so already, in the last hours of Memorial Day 2009 give thanks to those young men and women who have defended and continue to defend our home land. We are a country built on a foundation that believes in fundamental rights. The most important of these is freedom. Thank you to all who have served and have given their lives so that we can continue to live free.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wedding Rememberance

Customize with your Wedding Colors
Customize with your Wedding Colors

I often see questions from brides to be about how to remember loved ones who have passed. They want to honor those who have gone from our sight but just don't know how to incorporate that into their special day. The most common suggestion is to place a rose or other flower on the empty seat where they would have sat.

As I read the suggestions I always think to myself is there more that they can do if they chose to. What other wedding rememberance options are out there? Here are just a few:
  • Single flower on seat
  • Single flower with loved ones name placard on seat
  • Photo, single flower, loved ones name placard on seat
  • Single flower per family member to place on seat
  • Single flower per family member with loved ones name placard on seat
  • Photo, single flower per family member with loved ones name placard on seat
  • Prior to the ceremony the bride or groom could assign a family member or friend with a special relationship to the deceased to collect the flowers, place them in a vase and bring them to the reception. A side table close to the gift table could be set up for the vase and photo (if there is one).

Remembering loved ones does not have to stop at the church door.

Until next time,


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sumpin Else Reviews and Features

Reviews, they are often a topic of discussion on Etsy. Too many times, unfortunately, sellers are misused, with multiple requests for "free product to be reviewed on my blog." At the risk of alienating others I feel I need to put this out there. How unbiased can you be when you are receiving free product from a vendor? How many "samples" does one person require to provide a good review?

At Sumpin Else we believe in using versus sampling what we promote. Although it would not seem like there is a difference using requires us to take a deeper look at the product and believe in what we are promoting when we do. There is no trade off and no influence because it was not acquired "gratis." All products reviewed are purchased and used by us.

Whenever you see a review in this blog please know that the following caveat applies. We will not review any product for our readers and customers which we have not used ourselves. When you see a Sumpin Else review we have a "history" with that product.

Features on the other hand are our attempt to "expose" you, the reader, to many artists, craftsmen, etc. to assist you to increase your purchasing horizons. Features are not reviews, nor are they endorsements. They are mini-catalogs that lead to endless possibilities with a mere click.

We take great care when choosing artists for our features and although it would appear random it is quite a process! Artists are chosen based on the particular type of feature that we are considering. Their Etsy (or other) feedback is read carefully and an item is selected. Once this is done, we ask the artist for permission to feature them on our blog. Only when we have their approval do you see their items featured here.

We take great pride in our blog, our artist friends and their amazing products. We also take great pride in bringing our customers fantastic items.

Until next time,


Monday, May 18, 2009

The Silver Lining

There's always a silver lining . . . sometimes it's just more obvious than others.

I'm sitting here at my computer . . . and it is pouring outside. Great weather if you're a frog, and from the sound of it, the frogs are absolutely loving it! Thank goodness I didn't have much planned for the outdoors today. (Tomorrow + outdoors = a different story.) So, today I sit at the kitchen table plowing away at the accounting - YECH! Don't get me wrong, I love numbers (algebra, calculus) . . . I just hate credits, debits, and balances. The Silver Lining - we could really use all this rain because of the wildfires we've been having here in Florida, plus I'm forced to stay inside and catch up on my work.

Back to tomorrow and the outdoors . . . my youngest is going on a field trip with his first grade class and guess who volunteered to be a chaperone? You betcha! Not only that but after spending the day at the zoo with the entire first grade class, I get to spend the evening with the Cub Scouts! Yea, me! The Silver Lining - I know that he'll remember these "special" times that Mom came along with him on his field trips.

So if you can't see the silver lining, stop and take a good look. Maybe the silver lining isn't about you or your situation, maybe it's meant for the frogs.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Gift for You . . .

I'm sitting here working on a "special" gift. (I've been working on it for a couple of weeks to be exact). I still have plenty of time to work on it, so I've been working on it here and there. I love working on things to give away. I especially love to watch the recipient's expression when they open it.

This past Christmas I made my mom and dad an album. My mom had a favorite song that reminded her of my dad. She said it made her cry when she heard it. I switched the words some, so it would pertain to the two of them and added pictures! Lucky for me, my mom had pictures of the two of them back to when they were dating in Cuba!

So the last present handed out this past Christmas was the album. All our family sat around as they opened it - the two of them sitting in one chair - going down memory lane. My dad cried. My mom cried. The kids cried . . . I clapped - because this was the exact reaction for which I had hoped. This meant that they not only liked it - they loved it!

So, as I work on this "special" gift, I hope I receive another "tear-filled" thank you! That way, I know for sure they love it!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What's In Your Wallet?

You are probably wondering what could she possibly have been doing that prompted this post. Simple, I was cleaning out my purse and decided to extend it to my wallet. Silly little thing but necessary.

As I started the task, I went through the usual credit cards, licenses (had 3 RN licenses in there, the current one and two expired), driver's license (awful picture, stopped and pondered WHY they are always awful pictures). Then it happened! I found my favorite THINGS in all the world my current collection of fortune cookie fortunes and my lucky dime.

My lucky dime is my reassurance that all will be right with the world. It started shortly after my brother in law passed away. When we went to close up his home shortly after he died, my husband found a dime in the exact place where he was found. I had been vacuuming and found multiple dimes throughout his home. When we returned home I found a dime on my husband's chair in our dining room. No one had been in our home, neither one of us had change in our pockets, and no one had sat in my husband's chair. We both looked at each other and said "Jimmy's telling us that he's ok!" The dime from Jimmy's house became my husband's lucky dime and the one from our house became mine.

In the years since Jimmy's death, during our hardest times, there has always been a dime to be found. He has always reassured us that no matter how bad things are it will all work out. I have a large collection of dimes that I've found but the one that I carry in my wallet is still the first and the most meaningful of all. Today I was reminded that all will be right with the world if I give it half a chance and believe.

What's in your wallet?

Until next time,


Monday, May 11, 2009

As Promised--New Line--Tweoples

A few weeks ago I shared how I finally broke down and joined Twitter. Well little did I know that I would not only enjoy it but that I would learn to speak a whole new language.

For those of you familiar with Twitter you know all about the Tweeps (Followers), the Tweets (the little messages you send) and the Twibes (the groups with similar interests that our connected by that interest). Got all that? Really very cute if you stop to think about it. It's like high school only global. What more could I ask for?

Well, I kept wondering what would some Tweeps look like if you did them in beads for all the world to see. I became fascinated with the idea (it really doesn't take much for me to entertain myself). So if you are wondering what those pictures up top are, meet the first of the Tweoples, Leila and Redmond.

Until next time,


Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Stages of Being a Mom

I remember when my oldest was born. I could barely contain myself the first time he uttered "Mama." Life was good, he was small. I controlled his world and he controlled my heart.

Soon after that my daughter was born. I had changed in my son's eyes and became "Mommy." To her I was "Mama." The sun rose and set in their eyes. I watched them revel at the world and found new meaning and joy in the simplest things that life had to offer. Their joy was my joy, their challenges caused me pain. It was the happiest time of my life and the most stressful. If I could have stopped the world to shelter them, I would have.

About the time my daughter transitioned to "Mommy," my youngest was born. There would still be "Mama" in my life but it came with the realization that this would be the last go round of "Mama" for me. For my youngest I never became "Mommy" somehow I evolved into "Mommom" a name that he still uses today.

As I was sitting in the family room this evening with my three adult children gathered around me I realized how fleeting the time that we have with our children really is. I also realized how much I miss "Mama" and "Mommy." I recalled the pain of being called "Mother" in anger or embarassment when they were teenagers or "the Mom" when they were in college. As my mind was rambling, my youngest turned to ask a question. His first word was "Mommom" and I heard nothing else. I was back in another place, another time, with toddlers and juice and toys all around.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you out there. Relish those moments no matter how bad or how good. Children are gifts that reassure us that the world with all its craziness is still a beautiful place and that life goes on.

Until next time,


Thursday, May 7, 2009

...and how have you been?

This week found me away from home on a regular post day. Try as I might I could not connect to the internet. I was sitting in a hotel room cross country trying to connect using dial up. Dial up! I have never used dial up and I don't know that I would be as addicted to the internet if I had to use it on a regular basis. For those of you who connect in this manner every day, my hat is off to you--you are amazing.

I did manage to get on once and stayed on for all of about 20 seconds before I got booted off. Patiently I went through the process again. Finally after about 30 minutes and the loss of all the patience I could muster, I gave up. I called the Front Desk and after 15 minutes with them, I gave up (again) ordered a brownie and a glass of milk and called it a night. Sorry I short changed you but the brownie and milk were delicious.

Maggie is preparing for Amanda's move to the big city. All of her boxes have been shipped and the big day (Saturday) is right around the corner.

We have been "cleaning" and prepping our Etsy shop to roll out new products. We have been diligently working on some projects and are excited to complete, photograph and list them. For right now it's a surprise but I will share that it is quite different from our regular shop items. We are hoping that our friends and customers will enjoy these "little ditties" as much as we are enjoying making them.

Until next time,


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Your Momma Shops Etsy 9 and 10 of 10

Wow, it feels like we just started this journey through Etsy and here we are at the end of the ride. With more cases of H1N1 (Swine Flu) being reported and interruptions of normal expected services, I have combined 9 and 10. Hopefully this is just over planning on my part BUT I want to insure that any purchases made from these wonderful Etsians arrive to you in time for Mom.

Until next time,

Friday, May 1, 2009

Your Momma Shops Etsy 8 of 10

Getting down to the wire here with only 2 more installments of Your Momma Shops Etsy after this one. Our last post for this feature will be on May 5th, just in time to squeeze in a Saturday delivery for those of you who like to live dangerously.
Hope you enjoy tonight's features. Tried to give you a little bit of everything including chocolate chip cookies (Father's Day is coming up next month--pick up two orders from Kristy's)! If Mom loves a roomy purse HautTotes' Geisha may become her favorite purse. Tissage's Sara necklace is the perfect piece for someone who likes classical with a slight twist, asymetrical yet beautifully crafted and perfect for any outfit or occassion. Don't quite know what Mom would like and want to keep it simple? Try Sumpin Else's I Love You Fortune Cookie!
Maggi has been extremely busy this week preparing for Amanda's (her baby girl's) Bon Voyage Party. She's put all her skills to use making invitations, party favors, centerpieces, and well just about everything for this one is handmade. She did cheat however, and ordered a cake. It's fun planning a party but tough watching them leave. This is her first one to fly away from the nest. Her departure for the Big Apple is scheduled for the following Saturday.
Until Sunday, be good to each other,

designed by sharnee