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The past two months have been SO BUSY with preparations for the Art Star Craft Bazaar in Philly. And now that it’s only 3 days away (I can’t believe it!), I’m so extremely excited for it. I have no idea what to expect which makes me nervous and excited and happy all at the same time.

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Yes, I Am Alive.

This post is going to be the mother of all updates! How long have I been MIA now? …Where to start? Ok, well, a lot of my time has been taken up by sewing. I applied to be part of the Art Star Craft Bazaar in Philly this Spring (which is a juried craft fair) and actually made it!

Art Star Craft Bazaar

Not that I’m not confident in my work but I try not to get too hopeful about things because, as much as I hate to admit it, I can let defeat get to me sometimes. I’ve been saying for YEARS that I wanted to be a vendor there. Steve and I discussed it and decided that if I really want to take the next step with this business venture of mine, the investment would be worth it. It could go extremely well or horribly wrong; I’m not really going into it with any expectations because, like I said, I let defeat get to me. I’d say I’m pretty neutral about the whole thing which I guess would sound bad to some of you but I’m neutral erring on the side of positive. Ha!

After I found out I was accepted I went on a hunt for fabrics to create all new bags for the show (same designs– with one new one to be revealed at the fair– but different colors and prints). My mom, who used to hand sew things back in the day, told me about this gem of a fabric store. Needless to say, I scored big time when we went there!

fabric warehouse

I’ve been working on the new pintuck bags and bow clutches to get all of the smaller stuff done and out of the way.

Pintuck pouches

Le Petit Hoot tags getting sewn on

I’ve made a decent amount of progress but boy is it HARD trying to prepare for a craft show with a (nearly) 15-month old who is now interested in walking and is zipping around the house and getting into everything. Suffice it to say, I get pulled away from projects midway through to tackle him down before he dumps the cats’ water bowl all over the floor or unrolls the entire roll of toilet paper.

Sewing progress for craft fair

Because it’s becoming harder to cut fabric and sew during Caleb’s waking hours, I’ve been allocating that time to work on smaller, less involved things. Like displays for my booth, which is number 62 if you’re planning to stop on by.

Tissue Tassels

I’m sharing my booth with the lovely Sarah-Maria from Meerwiibli. I can’t wait to meet her in person, she’s been so lovely to speak to through email. She makes super fun clothing and you should check out her site. She’s also from Switzerland, which has THE BEST chocolate in the world and just makes her even more alluring than she already is on her own.  😉

The Art Star Craft Bazaar is taking place on Mother’s Day weekend at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia on May 12th and 13th from 11am to 6pm. If you live in the area, or will be visiting the area that weekend, stop by! It’s truly an amazing fair and literally gets better and better every year. Come stop by booth #62 and introduce yourself! I’d love to meet you.

ASCB photo via. All other photos are from my Instagram feed; if you’d like to follow me as I microblog my adventures, my username is lepetithoot.

Newly Revamped Shop

I’ve been working hard since 9am this morning with very few breaks (except of course to feed, change, play with, and otherwise take care of the wee little one). As far as my own needs go…I didn’t eat my first meal until 7pm. I was a busy, busy little bee today. I’ve been working on photo concepts for some time now for my Etsy shop and I finally came up with a look that I love! And also one that I feel is versatile and I can grow with. But, because I’m such a perfectionist, I didn’t want to start with my new products. I wanted the whole shop to have a cohesive look so I retook photos of ALL of my inventory. Then I had to edit and also fiddle around with my Etsy banner. Then, I felt like my blog and shop should kind of coincide so I worked on my blog a bit. But there are greater plans for the future of my blog ::wink:: so I didn’t go all out. Here’s a little screenshot of what the shop is looking like:

Le Petit Hoot: New Look

I’m like that book…If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Except it’s like, If You Give a Jill a Project. And I said on Twitter almost an hour ago that I was going to relax and watch Downton Abbey. So, now I am. Nighty night, folks!

Spring Color Palette

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably noticed that I posted a little sneak peek of what’s to come for Le Petit Hoot come Spring. In case you didn’t see it…

Le Petit Hoot Spring Collection

Think soft blues, tangerines, chartreuse, soft pinks, and fuschias. I can’t wait! Coming February 2012.

Overcoming Comparisons

The internet is an amazing thing but it also has the potential to bring a person down. One of the things I’ve been struggling with since trying to grow my blog and Etsy shop is comparing myself with others. I follow some amazing blogs and often put a lot of pressure on myself to be where they’re at and have the same success. The thing is, a lot of these bloggers have been doing this for years. And here I am just starting to blog (somewhat) consistently since July and I’m expecting myself to have the same place of authority in the blogging world. They’re not kidding when they say you need to be patient when trying to grow your readership.

This comparing has also seeped into my creative mindset. I find myself second guessing things I’m doing and once loved. Losing confidence in the things I was once so excited about. But when I step back from the computer for a bit, not worry so much about what others are doing but what I’m doing to make this dream of mine come true, I find my confidence restored. The blogosphere is a great place for ideas, inspiration, and instruction, but it’s so important to not get caught up in it all and let it hinder your personal and creative growth.

Do What You Can With What You Have Where You Are

source.

Am I nervous about sharing these thoughts about my handmade journey and making them available for all to see? You betcha. But it’s inevitable to have these moments of weakness. The question is: do I get sucked in to comparisons and crash and burn? Or do I learn to step away to enable myself to grow and to learn? I’m shooting for the latter.

Welcome to the Year 2012

Welcome, 2012! I have high expectations for you. Or maybe it’s that I have high expectations for myself. This is the year to not let myself down. Or let you down, 2012.

New Years 2012 Fireworks

Image found via Pinterest

Two years ago, a friend told me a statistic about New Years resolutions that I had never heard before. I forgot about it for a while until I was thinking about what I’d like to accomplish this year. He told me that if you share your resolutions with others, you subconsciously get a feeling of accomplishment and, in turn, don’t complete those goals you had set for yourself. So, in essence, they say that if you keep your resolutions to yourself, you’re more likely to succeed in completing them. I can sort of see that. But at the same time, I also think that if you share your goals with one person, or a few select people, they can keep you accountable. I’m struggling with these two perspectives and not really sure how specific I want to get with sharing my goals.

I’m excited about the goals I’ve set for myself this year. So, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll share them albeit rather vaguely. So, 2012, this is what I’m hoping to get out of you:

Grow in my relationship with God, with Stephen (spend more quality time together), and with Caleb

Learn to be more organized and more efficient

Grow my Etsy business

Grow this blog and extend its reach beyond friends and family

Make healthier eating choices

Exercise more frequently (and this and the above are not the typical “I’d like to lose 15 pounds” goal; this is to be a lifestyle change)

Within each of these goals, I have a list of specifics but probably will not share what they are until I’ve reached them. Very mysterious, no? Welcome, 2012! I’m excited to see what you bring to the table.

A Little Christmas Trivia and Christmas Break

I know I’ve been sort of absent the past couple of weeks. It’s getting crazy busy with Christmas coming up this Sunday. Steve and I are hosting dinner for my side of the family and we are working on a VERY ambitious project at the moment (painting our cabinets). Everything in the kitchen is torn apart (almost literally…but it is a HUUUUUGE mess) and we want to get it done by Friday. So that I can use the kitchen properly on Saturday to prepare food. Plus, there’s last minute errands to run and last minute gifts to pick up. So, it’s been keeping me away from the blog. Unfortunately.

Because of this, I’ve decided to take a break from the blog until after the New Year. From my family to yours… Have a very, merry and blessed Christmas and Happy New Year! And to that, I will leave you with this fun Christmas trivia found at Casey’s and Katy’s blog (and originally found here by Casey)…

Our Woodland Christmas Tree

  1. Eggnog or hot chocolate? Most definitely hot chocolate! Eggnog is so filthy. haha! It’s so thick and it coats your throat. Gross!
  2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Oh, everything is wrapped! And not just with paper and a tag. I go all out with tie-ons and everything! (I’ll have pictures from this year on the blog after my holiday break.)
  3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? We have white lights on the house. And on the tree we have…red and white! We’re a little unconventional.
  4. Do you hang mistletoe? We don’t but I was thinking this year that I really wanted to but never got around to looking for it. Is it easily accessible?
  5. When do you put your decorations up? We usually put them up the weekend right after Thanksgiving. However, we were a little late this year; we only put them up about 2 weeks ago. First year with the baby kind of threw us for a loop. We’re still learning how to be efficient while having to constantly watch him. Or at least I am.
  6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Oh, hmm. I don’t know. Probably stuffing. I love bread. But I also love the dark meat from turkey (no white meat, thank you very much!). Oh! And probably crab cakes on Christmas Eve at Steve’s aunt and uncle’s house.
  7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Probably when I got a pair of “high heels.” I was about 10 and the heel was probably only half an inch but I was ecstatic!
  8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I actually learned about it by accident, despite the fact that I was a HUGE sneak and would seek out my presents EVERY YEAR (usually in the huge shed in our backyard or under my parents’ bed). I walked into the kitchen just as my mom was telling my older brother that Santa didn’t exist. And I think I told her that she was wrong! Ha!
  9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Never! You have to save that for Christmas day!
  10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Our tree has a woodland theme so all of our decorations go along with that. We got them at Target the first Christmas we were married. 6 years ago now. Wow! I can’t believe that. Oh, but we love our tree.
  11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Love it when it’s around Christmas-time but not into it when it’s late January/February. I usually find it kind of depressing around that time.
  12. Can you ice skate? I manage. I’m no Olympic skater but I don’t fall down. I used to be able to do figure 8’s and go in circles. My grandmom used to take us every year. Not sure if I’d be able to do the “tricks” anymore. It’s been a while since I’ve ice skated.
  13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I have a very, very generous family. Too generous, in fact. I’ve gotten quite a lot of favorite gifts.
  14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? Spending time with family (since it’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day), eating, and being reminded of why we celebrate. That God came to save mankind from sin.
  15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Any and all desserts. Seriously, I have no preference. I’m a dessert/sugar fiend! This year I’ll be making Pumpkin Meringue Pie. This’ll be the first time. Can’t wait!
  16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Crackers and cheese at the end of Christmas day. Although, this year we won’t be able to make it because the little one will need to go to bed before it starts. I’m a little (ok… a lot) sad but that just means a new tradition at home will have to be born!
  17. What tops your tree? A distressed, woodland-styled star.
  18. Which do you prefer: Giving or receiving? Oh, giving by far! I LOVE giving to others. Especially if I can make something handmade to give. We can never give enough but I love that we’ve been blessed to at least be able to give a little. I always wish we could give more because we certainly receive so much.
  19. Candy canes: yuck or yummy? Yummy!
  20. Favorite Christmas movie? A Child’s Christmas in Wales. A must watch if you haven’t seen it before.
  21. Saddest Christmas song? I don’t listen to sad Christmas songs. There’s enough sadness in the world so around Christmas I try to focus on the positive.
  22. What is your favorite Christmas song? Instrumental: Winter Solstice by Michele McLaughlin; Religious: Oh, Holy Night; Secular: Silver Bells