Saturday, October 9, 2010

How to Make Monster Eyes

Get at least 5 pieces of black poster board for two average windows. Measure twice, cut once! Measure the size of your windows, we were just in luck and the poster board fit top to bottom in each pane, but not the width. We had to cut the 5th poster board to make up the difference for each of the 4 "panes."

Cut a large triangle out of two of the four poster boards.
Use a plate or something of the like for a template and cut black circles out of the piece that you've cut from the triangle as pictured.
Tape the eyeball to the poster board making sure that the bottom of the circle is even with the bottom of the poster board.

Use yellow and orange tissue paper to cover the cut out triangle (I put yellow down first, then orange behind it to make it a dark yellow).
Tape into windows and have a happy Halloween!

Look for crazy eyes coming soon!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Back to School Sale

The Homefront Team on Etsy is doing a Back to School sale in August. Each shop that is participating has their own sale, Maddie & ME is having free shipping the entire month of August for any purchase over $30.00! Go to Etsy and search *homefrontbts* to see all the great shops having sales. Support the military buy from the Homefront!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I thought about how much I cherish the members of the Homefront Team. I wanted to show them just as I see them; beautiful, talented, creative, hard working, supportive, sweet, funny, quirky, caring, and loving. Above all they love their families and they love their country. Thank you for being the Homefront Team with me.
-Maddie & ME
Featured in Order: CharmingLadies3, CreationsAnew, LilacAve, TwinkleLight, TwoSeasideBabies, AStonesThrow, AutumnLetters, MonsterBugBlankets, SugarLumpsDesign, JrzyGirlPhotography, MrsDStahl, Mommieof4Munchkins, SygnetCreations, TheModMenagerie, HomemadeZen, and WonderousStrange

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Children's Book Review

"Different Like Coco"
by Elizabeth Matthews

This is a definite favorite. We've enjoyed this book enough to have checked it out no less than 3 times in the past few months. This is a kids version of a genuine biography.
Taken from the book jacket:
"Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel was always different. She was poor, skinny, and orphaned, yet she held stubbornly to the belief that she was just as good as any of the wealthier, well-bred girls of Paris. ... With a talent for sewing and creative mind, Coco began inventing clothing that suited her (and her pocketbook). A new generation of independent working women fell in love with the comfort, simplicity, practicality, and freedom they found in Coco's innovative clothes."

Coco is my inspiration and role model. I picked up this book when my daughter was too young to enjoy what it was really about. Now we love to read it over and over and both identify with it. She loves to point out that Coco worn her scissors on a long string of pearls "just like you do mommy!" I will eventually have to tell my little one that Coco was the original on that idea. We also identify with Coco being skinny as my little girl is very thin and no matter what, there are some things that just don't and won't fit her no matter how we try!

All in all this is a wonderful book that we both love for our own reasons. I recommend it to anyone who has a little girly girl - not the best for boys or tomboys - but lovely if your daughter aspires to be a fashion designer (or even if you are the aspiring fashion designer). This book is a biography and so has a time line of Coco's life and works and a Bibliography. I'd say it would be a great choice for a elementary age girl having to do a book report!

"Elizabeth Matthews makes her chic picture-book debut with this lovely and inspiring look at a woman who was so much more than the legendary inventor of 'the little black dress.' She was and is a role model for people everywhere who dare to embrace their uniqueness and to dream big." Excerpt from Jacket

Monday, July 26, 2010

Customer Appreciation Pictures

These photos bring a new meaning to "Customer Appreciation Pictures" because once you view these pictures you'll see why I am so appreciative of my customer for sending them. Without further ado here are the photos I received that left me speechless.

The feedback she left me? Oh my I was blushing!

"I am so thrilled with this purchase, I do not know where to begin! After searching high and low in retail stores and on the internet for sweet and simple, cotton nightgowns, I purchased two good night princess nightgowns for my toddler and a matching bubble for her baby sister. Kristina was wonderful to work with. Each item was custom made to each of my daughter's measurements."

"When the pieces arrived and I tried them on my daughters, I was amazed by the craftsmanship. The fit was beautiful and the quality was excellent. Kristina is a very talented designer and seamstress. I could easy convince my family and friends that I bought these pieces at a high-end children's boutique. In fact, I think they are nicer than many higher priced items that I saw in local boutiques. The value for the money is really unbelievable! Turn-around time was excellent, considering the pieces were custom made. They were well worth the short wait!"

"I look forward to being a long-time customer of Maddie & Me. Thank you so much!"

Saturday, July 24, 2010

skirts, skirts and more skirts

I love the length!!!!!!!!!!!! Most of her skirts were getting so short! :) And most today are made shorter, too. They are GORGEOUS! I am in total awe!!!!! Plus--she'll get to wear it probably into next yr!!!!

I completely adore it! The material was superior quality, the stitching perfect, and most of all my daughter loved it so much she had to wear it the next day! Thanks...we'll be back!

Oh --got the skirts this afternoon-- They are AWESOME!!!!!! I was pinging--hubs thought I was nuts! They are very well made!!!!!!!! Love em!

I am in awe of your skirts--you do a very, very good job on them! I could see your whole shop being full of them!

My daughter adores these skirts!!! And I love them because they aren't mini skirts! Great lightweight/quality fabrics that wash well.

Too cute! My niece is going to look adorable in it! Thank You!

Very cute! Just as pictured. These will look cute for summer with a little tank top! I'm glad I got 3 of them!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Coming Soon!

Coming soon! Maddie & ME, Children's Handcrafted Couture is introducing a line of Jersey Knit skirt sets. Comfortable and fun, easy to care for
and great for back to school.

Here is a sample of the style and look for more coming soon!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Believe in the Dream

This too is from my new daily meditation book, Hours of Power, My Daily Book of Motivation and Inspiration by Robert H. Schuller.

"Success begins once we start to believe in the beautiful dream that God sends us. How marvelous that our response was positive and not negative. How remarkable that the simple dream was not dismissed offhandedly as an impossibility, when in fact the moment was a meeting of a human mind with the dream of the Creator - God!"

"Blessed are those whose dreams are shaped by their hopes, not by their hurts."

Photograph graciously provided by "Creations Anew" at

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

You Can Begin With Nothing

"Dreams cost nothing, Do you have a dream? Are you facing money problems? Remember this: all great projects begin with a dream. Projects can be started without a single cent! The most valuable things in life are free. An idea, an hour in the early morning, a friend who encourages, the freedom to sell your idea, an article in the newspaper. All of these are free! So is talk. If you have a need-filling, God-glorifying, humanity-inspiring, imaginative idea, share it with trusting Possibility Thinkers and you will at least give the dream a chance to come alive. Truly, the most valuable product in the world is an idea. Good ideas magnetically attract support from unexpected sources."

This was my morning reading for July 12. Cool huh? Yeah, I think I'll keep reading this book. Thanks Mom and Dad for giving it to me.

My first flier and logo - yes I designed the logo using MS Paint.

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Introduction

Maddie & ME is introducing a new product that will branch all seasons and all designs. This accessory is the most wonderfully simple hair adornment that spices up any outfit. It can work for any girl from infant to adult just select the right size and color for your outfit and voila an instant accessory.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sneek Peak

Here is a peak at some of the back to school / early fall offerings from Maddie & ME.
More to come at

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How to ... a step by step guide to approaching a retail shop

This is a re-up of a previous blog post. I decided to do this not because I can't do it again with fresh pictures, but because the comments in this original post were also very informative.

OK this is for any handmade product e-commerce shop owners. I've been asked to do a blog post on how to approach a shop to have them carry your line. Having run a retail shop (my mom's) for over 5 years, and successfully gotten my items in several local stores is the ONLY expertise I have. I don't really know any other way to do this except step by step, so that's what I'm going to do.

1) SCOPE IT OUT - Visit said shop, see if they carry similar items, whats the price range, are they already full of the items you want to sell there?
2) PLANT A SEED - If the shop looks like something that would be a good place to sell your items, briefly mention to the person at the counter about your items, leave a business card.
3) BUY SOMETHING - Make a purchase in that shop, if you won't buy something why would they sell your items?

The First Three Can Be Done In One Visit!
4) STAY VISIBLE - Come back for a second visit within a week when the owner is there (call ahead). Usually in any small shop the owner is the ONLY decision maker, any one else just passes the info along with their opinions and recommendations.
5) SHOW YOUR PRODUCT - Bring something you make as a gift for the owner. If you deal with children's products OR if the owner has kids (many times they kids would be at the shop with them) be sure to bring a little something for the kids and don't forget to have one for each kid to prevent sibling arguments.
6) BE POLITE - Ask the owner if NOW is a good time to discuss the possibility of them carrying your line. If they say they are covered up -Southern term for really busy, they ask WHEN is a good time. Don't leave without a time scheduled to come back.
7) BE PROFESSIONAL - If scheduled, be sure to call one day ahead to confirm - its good business, they'll know you're serious AND you'll know they'll be there and not blow you off.
8) BE READY - Come back with items in hand ready to leave there for a trial basis.

-Most consignments in my area are on a 70/30 basis so be prepared for that and don't expect them to sell your items for you at 90/10. They have overhead, rent, advertising, etc. to pay and are doing all that for you if your items are in their shop.
-If they ask you to keep up with your inventory be sure to have all items recorded before you bring them in. Most shops have computerized inventory, but not all so be ready for that as well.
- Be prepared to rotate inventory, if items sit too long people will over look them. If the shop keep allows it, ask if you can come in at least once a month and move your items around. Some prefer to do it themselves, others will appreciate the help and outside perspective that you'll offer.
-Promote the shops you work with, you'll all make money if you work together and promote each other. Word of mouth is still the strongest advertising I know of. People go places that others recommend.
-NEVER offer to sell straight off your site or circumvent the shop to any of their customers. If someone wants a special order it should still go through the shop and they should still get their cut. WHY would they continue to carry your items if you're going to cut them out? I've seen this happen and I personally find it sad and very unprofessional. If I meet a customer as a result of a particular shop, then the sale goes to that shop REGARDLESS, its just good business.
-Take care of your brick and mortar stores and they'll promote your items more, direct customers to your product and in short take care of you.
Remember it might take a month to get your first sale in a brick and mortar shop just as online. Don't give up, work with them, be available and be flexible. GOOD LUCK!

*** Please be sure to read the comments section of this post. There is a bit of dialog in there that is important as well to the topic ***

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Maddie's Computer Art

Here is a picture that Maddie did on the computer
with the mouse and "Paint" program!

Just for fun I thought I'd share it, when she has actual crayons she finds her art much easier to do what she wants. I thought this was pretty good for using the computer program.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Pictoral Blog

Here are some fun, beautiful, creative, cool and sweet
listings from my Homefront Team mates.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Feature - Baghdadbum

This week's feature is on another of my Homefront Team members. His shop is called Baghdadbum and is full of lovely items to spoil any woman, which seems to be his goal. He has some fabulous bath teas like this one made for muscle relaxing - something this seamstress needs after a long day working at the sewing machines. He also has some great candles, gift baskets and even a bit of jewelry. A little something for everyone at Baghdadbum's Etsy shop. So without further ado here is my interview with Joe of Baghdadbum

What is your favorite item you've ever made?

Ok the favorite item I ever made? My daughter :) She is a blast and is such a great kid. I couldnt ask for anything better. But as for with my hands it would be the first necklace I made for my wife. It was wooden beaded with silver accents and she wears it still. It is what motivated me to open an online shop.

What keeps you going when your creativity wanes?

Creativity waning? Starbucks. But if that doesn't work I like to look to a notebook I keep nearby. Whenever I dream or think of something I try to and at least write some short details about it. That way if I lose my bearing I can look back on that book for inspiration. Although only 2 things have ever come from it.

If you could do anything what would it be?

If I could do anything. Well I already am. I served in the Us Army for 11 years as a Field Artillery crew chief. Now I have the opportunity to be a stay at home dad, husband 24/7 and be able to make things I enjoy with my hands. I think any soldier would agree that coming home after a deployment, field exercise or just being on leave is the best feeling in the world. Well I get that all the time now.

Who gave you the best advice and what was it?

The best advice I ever received was before our push into Baghdad in 2003, My 1st sergeant told all of the Non commissioned officers that the following hours would be the toughest thing we would ever face in our lives. To strive to bring all of our soldiers back from the mission safe, and that if we made it through then just about anything else that we faced would seem simple in comparison.
So even though I stress from time to time. I always remember that conversation and it brings me back to the here and now.

If you could have super powers, what would you have?

As for super powers, I'm not really sure I want any. For example Superman is super and all, but that brings with it responsibilities like saving Lois Lane, and fighting with Lex Luther. Or Batman, attempting to avenge his family, but all of the sudden all of these super villains show up. He has to work out of a cave and save the city all the time.
So what would happen if I had super powers? I think some villain would pop up somehow always wanting to fight, The city would look to me to save everything from a cat in a tree to some sort of disaster that only happens when a super-hero is in town. So to keep my city safe and quiet and keep my schedule free of villain fighting and city saving I would forgo any super power at present. Besides what would I be, Stay at home, middle-aged, slight bald-spot average dad :)And one last thing, he is having a give away contest in his Etsy shop. Here is the information to enter, do it quick before July 2!

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.