Monday, May 18, 2009

Its Mid May Already?

Wow how time flies! Its been a while since I've posted on this blog, but being busy is good.
I've got some new Summer items I'm working on and hope to have a few new items to show off very soon. I am bringing in some more baby items and expanding my pillowcase line. The skirt sets and boys sets are still going strong and my newest favorites are the halter dresses. Both the "Old Jeans, New Dress" and the "Halter Case" are fun touch of something new and different. Keep your eyes open for some "Flip N Switch" my newest flip flop style.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Have Been Blessedly Busy!

So I've noticed that I haven't put a post up for a month now! WOW and Oops! I would like to introduce a few of my newest items; Bibs for boys and girls with some super cute bug bibs!

Gift sets available for boy and girl or gender neutral and although not pictured baby bonnets are available! Please take a minute and check out the newest items at the etsy shop (coming soon to Hyena Cart, 1000Markets and Artfire)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Children's Book Review

It is Tuesday and once again time for the Children's Book Review. Sorry guys, this one is really mostly for the young ladies and moms that live vicariously through their little girls.

The Princess and the Snarls
by Patricia R. Eubank

This is a fabulously fun book in so many different ways. First, it includes a boudoir style dressing table with a mirror in the front of the book. Second, it has a paper doll (attached as a book mark so you won't lose her) with paper doll clothes and a little wardrobe to keep them in. However fun all these items are, the best part of this book is the story which is why we read books after all. The Princess is gifted lovely long locks by the local faeries and through some misfortune is unable to keep the snarls out of her hair. The story is a great read about friends you may meet in the most unlikely places.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Superhero Tips from "The Green Girls" - Saving the Planet One Lightbulb at a Time!

There are a number of ways to save water, and they all start with you!
  • When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  • Some refrigerators, air conditioners and ice-makers are cooled with wasted flows of water. Consider upgrading with air-cooled appliances for significant water savings.
  • Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
  • Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
  • Choose shrubs and ground covers instead of turf for hard-to-water areas such as steep slopes and isolated strips.
  • Install covers on pools and spas and check for leaks around your pumps.
  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food waste instead and save gallons every time.
  • Plant in the fall when conditions are cooler and rainfall is more plentiful.
  • Monitor your water bill for unusually high use. Your bill and water meter are tools that can help you discover leaks.
  • Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation.
For more tips on how to save water please check out this web site.

Hope you enjoyed my Green Girls Tips for this Thursday and remember We have only one Earth, let’s treat it with respect so our children can learn from our example and have a great place to raise their children.

Designs Etcetera now has a BLOG

This is my mom's business and blog. She will be offering interior design tips and hints, recipes (hey, who do you think taught me to cook?) and local restaurant reviews. Please take a moment and check it out. Feel free to comment on either blog as we'd love the feedback!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's mom like me.

What kind of a little girl was your mom?
1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Superhero Tips from "The Green Girls" - Saving the Planet One Lightbulb at a Time!

Shopping: The Simple Steps as taken from the green book (hey, its a great resource!)

Try to buy products with minimal to no packaging. If just one out of ten products you bought had little or no packaging, it would eliminate more than fifty pounds of waste per household per year. This small reduction could also save you at least $30 annually, as $1 of every $11 that you spend at the supermarket pays for the packaging of the products you buy. If every household did this, 5.5 billion fewer pounds of waste would enter landfills. This is enough garbage to cover all of New York City's Central Park to a depth of twenty-seven feet.

I pulled the packaging picture above from the site mentioned and was pleased to find a link to green packaging.

Hope you enjoyed my Green Girls Tips for this Thursday and remember We have only one Earth, let’s treat it with respect so our children can learn from our example and have a great place to raise their children.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I'm So Pleased!

I can't help myself. I am so pleased with this one that I just HAD to show it somewhere. Since it is a Mickey Mouse fabric and I am NOT licensed this is NOT available for sale (so sorry), it was made as a gift for my friend's grandson. I had so much fun making it, AND I found the up cycled shorts at my friend Ginger's shop. Don't they just match perfectly?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Superhero Tips from "The Green Girls" - Saving the Planet One Lightbulb at a Time!

The Many Uses of
Baking Soda

OK, I grew up thinking Baking Soda had one use only. To sit open in the fridge for undetermined amounts of time with no apparent reason. (Sorry Mom, its true) So as a teenager I discovered that it could be used to whiten the teeth if I could only stand the taste... and the fact that it had absorbed months of fridge odors probably enhanced the taste.

As a mom and a somewhat environmentally friendly one I've discovered that Baking Soda has many uses and sometimes when nothing else works thats when Baking Soda comes to the rescue once again. So, in honor of one of the "old fashioned" house cleaning remedies here is a list of household uses straight off the Arm & Hammer Box!

Uses in the Kitchen (for scratchless cleaning)
- Sinks, Counters, Ovens, Refrigerators, Coffee Pots, Microwaves, Pots & Pans, Stainless Steel, China

Uses in the Bathroom (will safely remove stains, and lift off dirt and soap scum)
- Sinks, Counters, Tubs, Showers, Toilets, Tile, Grout & More

For Household Deodorizing (absorbs & eliminates odors on contact)
- Garbage Pail, Carpets, Disposals & Drains, Litter Boxes, Dishwasher (between uses)

For Pure & Natural Personal Care
- Relaxing Bath (add 1/2 cup into your tub for a refreshing bath or foot soak)
- Fuller, More Manageable Hair (add 1 tsp to your shampoo once a week)
- Invigorating Yet Gentle Facial Exfoliant (after washing face, apply a paste of 3 parts Baking Soda, to 1 part of water in a circular motion. Rinse for a fresh, clean face).

Visit for more baking soda tips and spacial offers!!!!!

Hope you enjoyed my Green Girls Tips for this Thursday and remember We have only one Earth, let’s treat it with respect so our children can learn from our example and have a great place to raise their children.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Children's Book Review

Learning How to Work My Control Panel
by Jamie Lee Curtis
illustrated by Laura Cornell

Quote from book jacket
"It's hard to be five. Just yelled at my brother. My mind says do one thing, my mouth says another."
"Its fun to be five! Big changes are here! My body's my car, and I'm licensed to steer!"

This book is fabulous! My little one is just now five and this not only helps her to understand the big physical and emotional changes that are going on, but it truly helps me as well. When we have a "Hard to be 5" day; one of us remembers the book and we talk about how it is hard to be five, how it relates to the problem at hand and what we are going to do to change it and make it a "Fun to be 5" day. I highly recommend this book to the parent of any toddler (plan ahead it will be worth it) or Pre-Schooler. Now if I can only get my husband to read it and realize how it applies in our 5 year olds daily life...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Newest Items!

First I must apologize for not posting my recipe today, things just didn't flow in the right direction for that to happen, I'll do a real doosie next Sataturday to make up for it.

Now, drum roll please (parumtumtumtutmtutmtutmtum)
I have finally made a boy item. For all of you who have been asking me for the past year when am I going to come up with something for the boys? Well, here it is! The first of many (ok, well lets be realistic I'm only one person so the first of several boy styles). Let me know what you think, I thought the fossilized dinosaur was pretty cool personally.
The puppy onesie is a 0-3 month that was a local custom order.
It is SO tiny!

Also, here is another of the other items I do, an up-cycled shirt dress. I take a shirt and make a dress out of it, it really is as simple as that. Some have a matching appliqué as my Christmas one did and others seem to look best without. I just take my cue from the shirt and fabric that I'm using as to how to do it. Some have a drop waist and others empire. If you would like me to make one of these custom shirt dresses, just drop me a line and I'll give you a quote.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Easter Toile Dress

I am just so very proud of this one that I wanted to blog about it. It has been rolling around in my head since early January, and its SO nice when it turns out just like I envisioned it. Thanks for looking and for checking out my blog. Recipe will be up Saturday in the afternoon in case anyone was needing idea's of what to make for Valentine's Day dinner.

Superhero Tips from "The Green Girls" - Saving the Planet One Lightbulb at a Time!

I have to admit I'm feeling a little weak on the Green Post this week, so I'm just going to offer a few quick tips from my favorite book, the green book.

Toy Manufacturers
Try frequenting shops that sell locally made toys. Of all toys purchased in the United States, 80 percent are made overseas, and 71 percent are made in China, where environmental laws are weak. If you support locally produced goods, you could reduce the pollution and fuel costs associated with shipping products across the Pacific Ocean.

Avoid Crayons made from paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum. Instead, try using crayons made from soybean oil, which have the added benefit of being nontoxic. America is the largest producer of soybeans in the world. From this we could product well over one trillion crayons - without tapping oil supplies.
These chunky crayons made my "MonsterBug" are made from Crayola crayons which are non toxic (and I'm still researching to see if they're soy).

If you buy crystal, choose lead-free varieties. The lead content of a beverage stored in a standard crystal decanter can be 130 times higher than the EPA standard for lead in drinking water. Not only is exposure highly toxic to humans, but the environmental effects of lead mining can last for millennial. Groundwater supplies in Wales, famous for its crystal making, continue to be polluted by lead mines excavated more than two thousand years ago.
WHAT??? THIS ONE BLEW MY MIND!!!! I never thought of that!

More next week! Hope you enjoyed my Green Girls Tips for this Thursday and remember We have only one Earth, let’s treat it with respect so our children can learn from our example and have a great place to raise their children.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Children's Book Review

"The Dream Jar"
by Lindan Lee Johnson
Illustrated by Serena Curmi

Well, first I must say that I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason and only just when its supposed to. That being said this book is exactly what we needed and when exactly we needed it. So we have had a rash of bad dreams lately that have caused this mommy to not have a solid night's sleep in well over a month. This book is looking to be the perfect cure for her bad dreams AND without looking too deep you can see that there are simple directions to follow to teach your own bad dreamer The Secret of how to change their bad dreams to good ones.

I can't say enough about how much we enjoyed this book. We read it twice in a row and prepared our own substitute "Dream Jar" until we can make a proper one as our craft project tomorrow. The illustrations are fun, quirky and rich with color and deep with definition. This is a definite must purchase since it came from the library we'll have to return it and look for a copy of our own to have.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Yes, I am finally bringing back my weekly recipe posts.
This one is for a homemade version of Pizza Pockets. It comes straight from this month's issue of Cookie Magazine. It is relatively easy to make and fun to involve the kids. It wasn't until after the whole dinner was made that I remembered to take pictures, so I'll post the recipe with a finished product.

I will also list their recipe and my modifications since I never do anything "by the book."
Cookie calls for: (what I used will be in parentheses)

1 16 ounce bag store bought pizza dough (Jiffy Pizza Dough mix - not too bad but a little more effort)
6 TBSP fresh or jarred marinara sauce (Pre-made Pizza Sauce, generic brand)
6 store bought turkey meatballs (6 store bought frozen beef meatballs)
6 TBSP shredded mozzarella cheese
1 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese (I didn't use it, I forgot)
1 egg
1 tsp milk (I didn't use it)
(canned sliced mushrooms, we LIKE mushrooms)
Muffin Pan

-Since I used a different dough style I had to modify my oven temp - recipe calls for 375 and Jiffy Mix called for 425 so I cut the difference and heated my oven to 400.
-They call for the dough to be rolled out about 1/4" thick and cut into eighths (noting that a little has to be wasted). Since I had to make the dough, I basically patted, smacked and flattened it out to something close to 1/4" and cut it into 6 even(ish) pieces.
-Grease muffin cups - I used good ole' fashioned butter flavor Pam, but so long as its greased I don't think it matters how. Line each muffin cup with a piece of dough letting some hang over the sides.
-Fill each with 1 TBSP of sauce, 1 meatball, (mushroom slices) and 1TBSP of shredded cheese.
-Gather each bot of excess dough up around the filling, pinching it together at the top.
-Whisk the egg with milk (oops I forgot the milk and it didn't really matter) and brush it onto each pouch.
-Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes (I went for 20 with my oven well preheated).

TIP - Pinch of some pizza dough, hand your toddler a rolling pin, and watch him/ her lock in.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I'm being featured!

WOW! If you'll look to the left you'll see the "I've been featured on Dashin Fashion" button... well as a matter of fact I AM BEING featured currently. If you haven't seen it, please click on the bright pink Dashin Fashion button to your left. Halfway down the page right in the middle is a lovely feature of Maddie & ME, Handcrafted Children's Couture. I'm also currently in the top spot on the Dashin Fashion blog. I'm very proud to be in such company as those others on this lovely website. If you haven't checked it out, take some time and bump around Dashin Fashion and see what all you can find. Lovely items for children from all over the globe, who knows you just might find something you can't live without!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Superhero Tips from "The Green Girls" - Saving the Planet One Lightbulb at a Time!

Well as a handmade clothing designer it seems a little awkward to to recommend this Green Girls Tip, but in the long run this is definitely the way we do things!

Quoted from the green book
Secondhand Clothing: Give secondhand clothing a chance. The average American purchases forty-eight articles of new clothing per year. If just one of those articles were purchased from a secondhand store, the energy equivalent of more than half a gallon of gasoline could be saved, because of all the energy used to manufacture and transport new clothes. If one in every ten Americans substituted his or her next purchase of one new garment with a vintage one, the energy saved could fly every resident of Hollywood to New York for Fashion Week.

We shop at several Resale Shops in our area not only for children's clothing, but also for items to up-cycle for sale. As a children's clothing designer I know the value of what it takes to make an item, even if I'm not mass producing on Mega Store scale. If I can get some resale items and up-cycle those to make something different and keep yet one more item out of the land FULL then absolutely I will do it.

Also in my area it is the resale shops that allow me to sell my boutique items on consignment and have some local customers in addition to my loyal following from the internet. Please take a few minutes and check out your local resale shop by going to the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops NARTS shopping guide. Here are links to my local shops that I frequent most Gingerly Dressed and Jack N Jill.

I'm sure you too can find some fabulous items at your local resale shop, and save the planet while saving money.
We have only one Earth, let’s treat it with respect so our children can learn from our example and have a great place to raise their children.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Introducing The Collection

So here is my grand introduction to The Collection! A friend of mine, her mom and I have gone in together and started a new line of children's clothing called The Collection. Some of these items will cross over into Maddie & ME, but not many and not often. The Collection is more about stock items for local boutiques than custom sized couture.

We officially launched during a Ladies Conference at a local church and have already dispersed our items among several local boutiques.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Few Oldies and One New...?

Well I am happy to announce that beginning in February I will be bringing back my old weekly posts. Tuesday will again be the day for the Children's Book Review, Thursday will see a comeback of the Super Hero Set, "The Green Girls - Saving the Planet One Lightbulb at a Time" and Saturday I will again be offering a Weekly Recipe. These are all the "weeklies" I used to do that were quite popular and running two businesses got in the way of them. Since I am no longer going to keep up Mommy's Little Helper in full force, I expect to have the time to devote to these favorite posts.
And as for something new, I am so very excited to announce that I am now listed with some of the finest Children's Shops on Dashin Fashion. Please take a minute and check out that site, they have MANY wonderful children's shops in addition to mine. I'm listed under the handmade tab, but there are so many wonderful places to look on this site. Also, look around the globe and see what other countries are offering in the way of Children's Products. As I've said before be darned the CPSIA I am continuing my business as planned, I WILL NOT let that law scare me out of business!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Newest Product for Spring

So here they are, a bit earlier than the rest of my spring line 2009, but I couldn't help myself. I just had to go ahead and introduce the "Shabby Chic Skirt" for spring

These skirts are fun, easy and go with tights while its still cold. They'll work well through the summer and are great for play time as well as casual dress up. They come in the fabrics pictured and more are being added all the time. The floral ones are only available as is, the Laura Ashley up-cycle and the Summer Stripes are available in other sizes as requested.

Small, 2/3 is approximately 10" long
Medium, 4/5 is approximately 13" long
Large, 6/6x is approximately 15" long

All styles have elastic waist that is quite liberal in the size child it will fit. If you need more description or dimensions please contact me and I'll be happy to oblige. All items include clothing tag with care instructions and as of the current CPSIA requirements are compliant.

I'm happy to announce that I've already sold one skirt and have been featured in a treasury! These skirts are currently available in my shops on etsy and 1000Markets and will arrive in the America's Handmade Homefront on Hyena Cart very soon. Take some time and check out all that I've been up to and please note that more is coming soon!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blogging on 1000Markets

Well my 1000Markets shop has a blog as well so I will be doing occasional duplicates when the need arises... and it has arisen. I wanted to share this with all my viewers so I am putting a copy of the post from the 1000Markets Blog here as well. Thanks and enjoy.

OK, well this shop is coming together slower than expected, but it IS coming together. The challanges I've faced are those listed above.

Time, yes time. No its not an excuse, but its all I've got at the moment. Running 5 e-stores, working part time, being a wife and mother and I've just not been able to devote the time to setting up this shop as I'd hoped. That being said, I am still setting up slowly and doing it that way because I want this venue to be fabulous and it will be when I'm done.

CPSIA, yes anyone who is familiar with this issue is aware that we who create products for children have been painfully aware of the "impending doom" that this law will bring. Not so, says I. I am going to move forward cautiously all the while keeping in line with the guidelines that have been set forth to date. I can assure all my current and potential customers one thing for sure, whatever the CPSC decides to set forth in restrictions are for our children's best interest and as such will be adhered to by Maddie & ME with the utmost attention. (ie. I'll follow the rules and all products will be properly labeled).

Production, well with this new year I've decided to make some changes to the way I've done things both in the local boutiques that I work with and on the internet venues. The way this should work is that in every internet venue I'll have the same items offered, the same lead times and occasionally each venue will get a one of a kind special listing that the others don't have just to keep it fresh. I've also been working on producing as much spring stock as possible for my local boutiques to have in February. In the past I've offered a more one of a kind style and came up against a road block of someone always wanting whatever it was I'd produced in a different size. That doesn't bode well with one of a kind work so now I am offering fewer styles in multiple sizes, we'll see how that plays out locally as well as here on the internet venues.

And finally, for those of you who know me you know that I also have Mommy's Little Helper, Bath & Body for the Soul and have announced that I will be closing that shop and moving a select few of the most popular items over to Maddie & ME. That will also happen here on 1000Markets, so please keep your eyes out for some new items in the bath & body collection COMING SOON!

Monday, January 12, 2009

It is Official

Yes, Mommy's Little Helper is getting rather empty. I am planning on closing up shop and transferring some of the most popular items over to I have labored over this decision and in the end it is what I have to do for my family and to keep my sanity. Running two shops last year taught me many things and ultimately it taught me that I over extended. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or bulk orders before I close up for good. Thank you and remember that I am still here with the children's clothing.

Duck Tales Inflation Lesson


Please note that all designs sold by Maddie & ME, Children's Handcrafted Couture AND Mommy's Little Helper, Bath & Body for the Soul are the intellectual property of the owner and are subject to all Copyright protections as provided by law.