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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Second Round of Winners

I had a lot of fun hosting & reviewing these fabulous finds for our Blitz Give-Away, but am very much looking forward to getting back to the usual of bringing you great parenting info, toys & more! I'll particularly be on the look-out for some festive finds, as the holiday seasons (starting with Autumn and Halloween (whoo-hoo! those of you in the midwest and new england may not be happy this time of year, but we in the southwest can't WAIT for some nice weather...finally!!)) is starting to dawn upon us....

So, without further adieu, here are the final winners...

8. BewBew Designs - Courtney Rae
9. White Mouse Design - Jen Bridgham
10. Belly to Baby - Jennette
11. Caramel Diezel - Michaela
12. Katsu Designs - TZel
13. Tiny Toppers - Jamie
14. Auntie Jill - Yoshi

Thanks again! Hope you all enjoy!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

First Round of Winners

Thank you to all who participated in our Give-Away Blitz over the past month! It was a lot of hard work, but I hope you all found some great little shops, and that the businesses get some traffic, sales and great feedback from this!

Here are the winners for the first 7 give-aways!!

1. Life Events - Sarah
2. Garden of Holly - Monkey's Mama
3. My Organic Breast Pads - Hailey
4. Mel's Fun Suds - Dawn
5. Little Lily Bamboo - J Fo
6. Bully Design Co. 4 Kids - Jamie
7. Mama Vada - Digital Misfit

The shop owners will be contacting these winners via email shortly. As for the last 7 drawings, those winners will be posted tomorrow!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Blitz is Drawing to a Close...

Whew! What a whirlwind that was! I know that these past weeks have been overwhelming with all the give-aways and new businesses brought to your attention, so I'm just going to give it another week for people to read over them, check out their businesses and enter for the give-aways. So, the good news is, if you're just checking in, you have 14 give-aways to enter by September 13th! Then I'll draw and post the lucky winners around September 14th! Good luck!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Give-Away #14: Auntie Jill

So, I recently received one of the trademark minky snuggle bunnies from a dear little shop, "Auntie Jill" on Etsy, and what can I say? It's an adorable, luxuriously soft plush bunny that would make a fabulous addition to any baby shower gift or nursery. I can just imagine a newborn snuggling up and fawning over one of these... Actually, it reminded me of a bunny blankie of my own that I grew up with.... This wasn't an actual stuffed animal, it was just a small "lovie" blankie shaped like a bunny, and with satin ears. Can I tell you how frequently I sat sucking my thumb, rubbing those satin ears? Let me tell you...what a comfort. So that would be my suggestion for buying one of these...get one, and have it designed with satin ears!! They are available in an assortment of colors, sizes and fabrics not to mention other animals beyond just bunnies. The best part? If you're one of those "personalization junkies" you can get them personalized with your child's name for just $5 ~ a truly custom gift.

Here is a bit more about Auntie Jill and her business...

How did your business start and when?

I officially began on January 1st, 2008on Etsy. I had began making toys for friend’s babies and nieces and nephews and everyone encouraged me to make them for sale. So it was my new year’s resolution to take the plunge – two months later I lost my job and decided it was a good time to work on my toys full-time.

How did you come up with your business name?
My nephew insists that my real name is “Auntie Jill” (not just Jill), and I thought that it would also convey the loving touch I try to give all my toys – I’m not just making random batches of stuffed animals like a big company – I’m making love-filled creations for your child specifically.

How long have you been making your creations?
That’s tough to figure out – I learned to sew when I was four or five years old, and have been creating ever since. The snuggle bunny was designed in late 2007.

What medium/s do you use to create your products?
The softest fabrics possible – I go through the fabric store like a blind person, just touching fabric and not looking at it so much – then if it feels right I’ll check it out in more detail. I primarily use minky and only the highest end minky made – not what you can buy at Jo-Ann Fabrics.

Are your products located in any brick-and-mortar stores? If so, where?
Yep – I have my work in Portsmouth, NH at a darling boutique called “Tulips”, as well as a new one in upstate New York this fall, “Tula & Tupi” in Florida, “LivingPlaying” in MA, and “Organic Beginnings” in Ontario, Canada.

What sets your business/products apart from others that create similar items?
I think my fabrics are softer, they are made to last a lifetime, and the hand sewn faces add a special touch – just like a signature I feel that no one else in the world would sew the face on their stuffed animal exactly like I do. I don’t use templates for the faces or when I hand sew the names on the ears, so no two could ever be identical. I also base my designs on observations of what babies and kids prefer – I can’t always tell you why they like my toys (or anyone else’s) but I can sometimes tell what they prefer in a toy and design accordingly.

Any other comments, feedback or otherwise you’d like to share with our blog followers?
I love making custom made toys, so if you want a special color or an entirely new animal - I am more than happy to design a new pattern for you or order a new fabric. I recently invented an elephant for a customer based on their baby shower invitations, for example, and it was a lot of fun!

Now for the give-away...see details below for how to win one of the minky snuggle bunnies with brown & white polka-dot ears! This is perfect, as it's gender-neutral and really would be the addition that's the icing on the cake for a baby shower gift.

Here is how to win it!!
*Visit Auntie Jill to find your treasured plush toy,
then come back here to comment on it.

Additional Entries
*Follow our blog.

*Subscribe to our blog.

*Tweet about this give-away and include link (comment must include link to tweet).

*Blog about this give-away and include link (comment must include link to blog).

Remember, one comment for each entry, and include email!!
Winners to be posted early-mid September.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Give-Away #13: Tiny Toppers

Tiny Toppers is a little place to find all fine handknit hats & booties for baby. They specialize in what I consider to be their "trademark" bear hat, which is a tiny knit hat with two cute little ears - perfect for some newborn pictures! Another adorable option is their hats with earflaps! Of course, I don't really think I'd actually need that for a baby in metro Phoenix, but...they are adorable, so I myself who lives in the desert would even break it out (or for just some amazing photos ops!).

So I was honored to receive this Carmel Stripe Bear Hat last week, and it was love at first sight. Well, okay, maybe not love, but you get my drift.... What I found extremely fascinating was that my 2-year old son who normally HATES hats (with a passion!), actually wanted to wear this hat (he managed to squeeze it onto just the crown of his head, as it was sized up to 6 months!) when he saw it...he was totally in awe of the two little ears it had! Amazing! So there's an idea for any child you have who doesn't like hats...just find one with ears! The knitting was done superbly, and it was absolutely adorable, so "bravo!" to Tiny Toppers on a job well done!

Beyond stripes & ears, Tiny Toppers also offers other iconic details you can choose from, such as sailboats or birds, which is something I haven't really seen on any other similar hats. Also, they do offer organic knits, and you can even choose your own styles and colors for a completely custom look, if you like.

Here is a bit more about Tiny Toppers...

How did your business start and when?
My business started when my son was about 3 months old, in October of 2008. I was looking for a way to make extra money since I had recently left my job to be a stay-at-home Mom. I started with the idea of onesies, but I have always loved to knit, so it wasn't long before the hats took over.

How did you come up with your business name?
My sister actually thought of it. I started my shop at about 11:30 pm one night, and I just used it because I needed a name to get my shop started, and I couldn't think of anything I liked better. I planned to change it later, but it stuck! Now I think it really fits.

How long have you been making your creations?
I have been knitting since I was about 8 or 9 years old, when my Grandma taught me. I only started hats when my shop opened, though. I did a few practice ones before I listed anything and went from there.

What medium/s do you use to create your products?
I love cotton yarns, but use mostly blends of cotton, acrylic and wool, since thicker yarns are better for making the bear styles. I have recently discovered the best little yarn shop near my house, so I am hoping to star using some of their really nice quality yarns for the new winter styles.

Are your products in any brick-and-mortar stores?
I am actually in the process of doing my first order for a store! It is a cute boutique in Michigan, which sells only products made from organic or recycled materials. I am really excited to get started on it!

What sets your business/products apart from others that create similar items?
Each hat is hand-knit by me, and I put special care into each one, mkaing sure it is special, and of the quality that I would expect as a buyer. I also like to think that my designs are somewhat unique - there are many Etsy sellers who make hats, but I try to keep my personal designs and style through the collections, so they are a little different from the rest.

Any other comments or advice for our readers?
I would just like to recommend Etsy, or similar types of businesses to any other moms out there who love crafts. There is an ever-growing demand for handmade products, and it is so much fun to do something I love! It helps me keep in touch with "myself" when the rest of my life is dedicated to being a wife and mother. I love that I can do something creative and at the same time make something useful and special for someone else.

Leanne has graciously offered this carmel stripe bear hat (in size of choice) to one lucky Haute Tot reader!

Here is how you can win it!!
*Visit Tiny Toppers to find your favorite item,
then come back here and comment on it!

Additional Entries
*Become a follower of this blog.

*Subscribe to this blog.

*Tweet about this give-away & include link to it (comment must include link to tweet).

*Blog about this give-away & include link to it (comment must include link to blog).

*Copy Adam's Blankie Couture blog button onto your blog (comment must include link to blog).

Be sure to post a separate comment for each entry, and include your email!!
All winners for Blitz Give-Away to be posted early-mid September.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Give-Away #12: Katsu Designs

Have you ever tried to find just the right night-light to go in your child's room? They can be so difficult to come by...especially one that goes with the theme of the room. And they do become somewhat of a necessity (with certain kids at least!) when the unsettling fear of darkness starts to take over your child's wild imagination... And, amazingly, sometimes just a little flicker of light is all that it takes to bring relief and rest. This is a good thing. Easy solutions, right?

So to help you with finding the perfect nightlight is "Katsu Designs," a company run by Stuart Morrow, who handcrafts each nightlight with intricate detailing. They are saw-cut from an aluminum sheet and then formed into their different, unique shapes. Some also feature colored glass or flickering light bulbs for an even greater affect, along with different paints and textures. They are works of art, to be sure. As Stuart aptly puts it, "The end result is a decorative piece of wall art by day and an animated silhouette by night."

We recently received a guitar night-light in the mail -- it's for my son, of course, who has a guitar-themed room, so he was quite delighted to be able to add another to his growing collection. Anyway. It came packaged carefully with lots of packing peanuts, which is always a good start to any breakable being mailed long-distance. And once we opened it up? What a gem! The colors are brilliant, and the details are superb. No corners are cut in the making of these, I assure you. It puts out a nice warm glow at night, not to mention it adds a nice artistic touch on the wall during the day.

Now the part you've been waiting for...Katsu Designs will be giving away one night-light from their collection to one lucky Haute Tot reader!

Here is how you can win it!!
*Visit Katsu Designs to find your nightlight of choice,
then come back here to comment on it.

Additional Entries
*Become a follower of this blog.

*Subscribe to this blog.

*Tweet about this give-away and include link (comment must include link to tweet).

*Blog about this give-away and include link (comment must include link to blog).

Please leave a separate comment for EACH entry, and include email!!
All winners for Blitz Give-away to be posted early-mid September.