Bella Blu Designs

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Workin' for the weekend

...Finally! It's here: The 3-day weekend! And just in time, too. I was going insane this week trying to caught up on orders. I've got so many new holiday items I want to get listed and I can't wait to have a day or two to play around with some new designs (including some super cute baby shower favors) and get my act in order.

I am trying not to think about the back log while I am out for two weeks in Ireland... which, by the way, is coming up in 3.5 weeks. Woo hoo! Thankfully my dear mom is going to help respond to emails & re-list while I am away (thanks, Mom!).

This weekend also marks the start of the college football season. While I am not a hug sports fan, I do love my Buckeyes and enjoy cheering them on periodically. I was looking around the OSU website and came across this research study that found that stress and anxiety can make allergy attacks even more miserable and last longer. I chuckled as I read it because I have the WORST allergies on earth - and have since I was about 9 years old. Perhaps working 90+ hours a week has something to do with how bad they've been lately?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Is it Friday yet?

I must really be in need of a 3-day weekend because I keep wishing this week were shorter than it actually is. Is it Friday yet? And will I ever get caught up on orders?

I can't believe how many orders I've filled for Christmas gifts! The holidays have a bad way of sneaking up on me and I swore this year I'd start preparing early. I actually just filled an order of Christmas gift tags. Yikes! I'd better start getting my holiday cards and gift items ready.

I did manage to create some new totes and listed a couple last night/today. The first is this English bulldog in a yummy espresso and light blue damask:

The second is this pug in a pink water lily print (from Sandi Henderson - love her fabrics):

I have several more (including a lab) so now that I just realized Project Runway isn't on, I guess I have no excuse not to get them listed in my shop.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tote bags galore

I've had a few very large orders over the course of the past week and I've been working some serious hours to get caught up. Aidan keeps me company on her bed in my work room and I took this photo of her while I was snapping some shots of the new tote bags I'll be listing in my Etsy shop over the next few days. I couldn't tell if she was laughing or yelling at me...

It's kind of scary if you click on the image to enlarge because you can literally see every piece of hair in great detail (thanks to my new Canon Rebel XSi).

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sundy morning secrets

If you've never visited the PostSecret blog, you're missing out on some juicy secrets! PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard. It's updated each Sunday morning and it's the first stop I make after brushing my teeth. Some of the secrets are funny, others are hard to read because they sound so... painful. Here is my favorite from today's post:

A close second is:

Looks like it's going to be a busy Sunday. I was up waaay too late designing my holiday gift tags and I am slow moving today. I've got 40 baby shower favors to crank out and several onesies to sew. Things have finally slowed down a little since my ep of Martha re-ran and I hope to be caught up this week.

Friday, August 22, 2008


In honor of my main man Stitch (a.k.a., Big Tuna), I bring you some of my favorite tuxedo cat items from around Etsy:

Tuxedo Cat Print from Etsy's resident illustrator extraordinaire, John W. Golden:

Tuxedo cat print by O'Reilly Ink:

Tuxedo Cat Art Signed Print by Ron Krajewski
from Dog Art Studio:

Black cat fabric
by Middleburg Folk Art Studio:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Don't forget to enter to win

Don't forget to visit On the Dot Creations for the chance to win my leap frog onesie and burp cloth set. All you have to do is add a comment under the item and you'll automatically be entered into the drawing. There are many other adorable items but don't wait because the give-away ends tomorrow!

I'll also be sending some special offers to my email list at the end of the month so don't forget to join by entering your email address on the right navigation area of my blog if you'd like to be included.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

decor8 - Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Today I was featured on the lovely decor8 blog by guest blogger Julieann of Jace Interiors, a design firm in Cambridge, MA. Julieann is also the interior design blogger for the Tastemakers over at Stylefeeder. Today Julieann is sitting in for decor8's Holly Becker and wrote Etsy Take Five Tuesday.

Julieann was gracious enough to include my Wiener dog 3-piece baby gift set in modern mahogany prints.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

1,000 sales

I just made my 1,000th sale on Etsy and I still can't believe the year I've had since I set up shop in late June 2007. I really didn't know what to expect when I started selling and I wasn't even completely sure what I was going to make and sell. This whole thing just took off before I really had the chance to figure it all out. It's been such an incredible experience and I've *met* some of the coolest people as I've sold and made each item by hand, one by one.

I am so appreciative of all of my buyers and the support of the Etsy community (not to mention my friends and family and the patient understanding of my husband). It's been a wonderful year and I can't wait to see what lies ahead for BellaBlu designs!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Special offers

I'm going to be sending some special offers to my mailing list this month so enter your email address on the right navigation bar if you'd like to be included. (I promise I have no time to spam nor would I ever consider sharing your email address!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm re-running!

When I last talked to Martha's producer back in the spring she told me my episode would re-run this summer, but she wouldn't be able to warn me since they're on hiatus over the summer. So I've been checking the website each week and looks like my episode is scheduled to re-run on Friday. Since I wasn't blogging back in February when it originally aired, I thought I'd share some photos from my trip to NYC.

This is the craft workroom across from Martha's studio in Chelsea where all of the pre-show magic happened. The day before my show I stopped in to be sure all details were in order and all of the 'swaps' were ready for production.

This was my dressing / freak-out room where I was quarantined for the first 30 minutes of the show before it was my turn and for the last 15 minutes of the show:

My aunt Sally, me, and my sister Kathleen - shopping in Chelsea the night before the show:

After the show we enjoyed a celebratory lunch in Chelsea - Kathleen, Corinne (my mother-in-law), me, Mom, Aunt Sally, and my sister-in-law, Nicole.

The whole experience was so fun and I'm excited to be re-running on Friday! I guess I'd better get to work!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Very sweet tea

Today at lunch I popped into a little boutique before picking up lunch at Panera and by chance I tested some of the most delicious smelling perfume. It's called Sweet tea and it's by elizabethW out of San Francisco. Lord knows I don't need any more perfume or beauty products and I was able to resist the purchase in the shop. But by the time I got back to work I was totally hooked on the scent and had to order.

The only thing sweeter than the scent is their customer service. I was having some issues with the online order form so sent them an email and got a call back minutes later. The man who called was so pleasant and genuinely interested in how I had found their shop. He explained that they are a little perfumery out of San Francisco and offered to send some samples of their other products. Now that's customer service!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday night

Sunday nights can be a little depressing at times, but tonight I feel a sense of accomplishment for all that we got done this weekend. We've been chipping away at replacing all of our interior doors and today we finished the remaining 3 bedroom doors (and by we I mean Andy). They're not painted yet - that's my job - but they're in place and trimmed out - and they look fabulous. We also finished the baseboards in our hallway that have been missing a few pieces since April or May (time flies!) when we got our new floors. It's all coming together!

I gave in to my recent obsession with all of the great graphic prints at Pottery Barn and picked up some new throw pillows and a set of nesting end tables in a tomato red:

These tables come in red, orange, and a grass green and they're metal frames with a lacquered wooden top - gorgeous! I almost bought the orange but chickened out when I found the red set and I am glad I used some restraint. Lately I've been feeling like our family room needed a punch of color but I think orange might have been a little too much.

I love the way the tables look with the new throw pillows I got for the couch - it even makes the rug and the lamp more tolerable (I've been meaning to replace them both for months but can't make up my mind).

Nothing like a little punch of red to breathe some new life into your decor.

Well, it's late and I am off to bed before another marathon week...

Friday, August 8, 2008


Julie over at On the Dot Creations has been gracious enough to feature my work on her adorable spotty blog several times so I was more than obliged to join the fun when she approached me about her upcoming give-away celebration. Her blog is turning 6 months old and in honor of her “blogiversary”, Julie will be giving away free polka dot goods between August 18 - 22.

Visit On the Dot Creations starting August 18th and you could win my new leap frog onesie and burp cloth set:

Julie always features the cutest things on her blog so I have no doubt her give-away will be fabulous - don't miss it!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Armadillos freely roam the streets and yards of Austin and as a result, often litter our streets and sidewalks as roadkill. This must be their mating season or something because they've been out in full force lately. I thought this little gold armadillo brooch by Tiny Minds would make a nice tribute to Austin's most distinct wildlife:

Speaking of armadillos, remember the great armadillo cake in Steel Magnolia's? What a great movie.

49 days and counting

This has turned out to be a rather busy summer for me but when things get really hairy, I remember that in 49 short days I'll be on my way to the Emerald Isle.

Lucky Me Little Girls Ponytail Holder Set by The Magpie's Nest.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Floral necklaces

I don't think I'd describe my personal style as vintage but I do love some of the beautiful vintage-inspired floral necklaces that have been popping up all over Etsy. I particularly like the floating beads with side hanging floral pendant design - here are some of my favorites:

Minni vintage glass beads by Candy's Art designs:

Mandarin Blossom by Luxe Deluxe:

Orange Burst Necklace by Magpie Collections:

Coral Floral Summer Sterling Silver Necklace by LuLu CoCo designs:

The Savannah by RachelleD:

Wildflower luxe by Lula Boutique:

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fabric banners

It's probably because I grew up in a household where birthdays were a big deal (and always decorated as such), but I just love the idea of a reusable fabric banner to celebrate a birthday, shower, party, or just because. I've collected a few of my favorites from across Etsy.


Meringue designs:


Jilly Bean designs:

Exclamation point after enthusiasm

I found Amanda Robicheaux on Etsy today and I think I am so drawn to her work because it reminds me of my former friend and studio mate from OSU - Jodie Boerke Lawrence. Jodie and I lost touch a few years ago but I believe she had a baby last year (congrats!). At any rate, both Amanda and Jodie have similar aesthetics and I love the nod to the exquisite corpse in this piece Exclamation point after enthusiasm - reminds me of intestines or some beautiful portion of innards. It's acrylic on canvas and it would look great in my office.

Here's another piece I quite like - entitled Everything Floats Away:

And finally, here is one of Jodie Lawrence's recent paintings - Entitled Glenwood Avenue, No. 1:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Jump for joy - new onesie

Yesterday I received a request for a custom onesie and pant set for someone who loves fire belly toads. I just finished the onesie and I am so happy with the final product. It was tough to navigate the little fingers and toes but the extra time and effort is well worth it - It's adorable. I used two frogs to give the wrap-around design a little more movement. I hope the recipient loves her gift!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Super sweet illustrations

The featured seller on Etsy this week is Sarah Jane Studios and her illustrations are absolutely adorable. In the interview, Sarah talks about what first made her want to become an artist:

"I have always been an artist. I think every child is an artist…I just never grew out of it. Some of my earliest memories are following behind my mother at the department store, playing with the little plasticky-thingies that fall down from the hangers. I would make little people out of them, and my mother could shop for hours because I was so content! I was constantly making something out of nothing, and by third grade, I was a self proclaimed artist. I dreamed someday of owning my own 'art shop' and selling my creations. It amazes me that I am following the dreams of my 8 year old self!"

I can definitely relate to this sentiment and I applaud Sarah for remaining true to her inner eight year old. Her work is just lovely:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin