Busy day ahead filled with lots of work, and of course, another OB appointment. Excited to get many new products listed on my website. Also have tons of ideas for necklaces swimming in my head and I'm itching for a calm moment to sketch them so I don't forget them! Not much to talk about so far, it's a Monday.
However, if you need a Monday pick-me-up, I just entered in this awesome blog giveaway for a chance to win a necklace by the amazingly talented 3squares (she also happens to be a fellow JET team member!). The giveaway is hosted by Catherine on Olive Bites (on etsy you may know her as uncorked or polarity). Click here to enter!


Halloween 2009

I wanted to be a good girl and post this ON actual Halloween, but I was too busy buying last minute candy for the trick or treaters. Then my husband and I took our 18 month old on her first trick or treating trip! She did fantastic and walked A LOT. We tried to get her to say "trick or treat" but once she figured out that people were giving her food she just held her hand out and said "Mmmm!!"
I have so much going on right now that it feels like November just snuck up on me! Dealing with a difficult pregnancy, never ending doctors appointments, a very talkative ad energetic toddler, and trying to come up with new ideas and stock up my inventory- it's no wonder that the months are just flying by!
I'm very excited about a couple of things this month:
  1. A super fun giveaway will happen on my blog
  2. Will be introducing a new Christmas ornament line
  3. Doing a fun holiday tutorial on my blog
  4. Working on an ornament exchange just for fun with some girls, including Danni and Jessica (she's hosting the exchange)


Alina, 10 random reasons I love being your Mom.
(in no particular order)
  1. When you held my face in your hands and said "Pretty Girl" to me.
  2. Your random hugs, cuddles, and kisses are the sweetest.
  3. Because so many mornings the first sound I wake up to is your singing over the baby monitor.
  4. You love books as much as I do.
  5. You're delight in the simplest of things brings me so much joy.
  6. You inspire me to be a better human every day.
  7. You make me see the world through a child's eyes again.
  8. Your laughter and giggles make my heart melt.
  9. To me you are the most amazing little creature that ever lived.
  10. For deodorizing the carpet with an entire bottle of baby powder...how sweet of you. ;)


This is what happens when I turn my back for 60 seconds.
She decided to decorate our new living room with an entire bottle of baby powder.
Well now that I'm back from my blogging hiatus, I'm super excited to start posting again! I've had lots of exciting things happen since the last post. We moved (again) into a bigger house on base. With the new baby coming we qualified for a larger housing, and although the moving process is so tedious I couldn't be happier with the new place. I finally love and adore our home.
And best of all- I finally have a craft room. Not a corner. Not a spot. An entire room as my studio. Granted it's tiny, and isn't considered a bedroom (more like a very very large storage room) and it has no windows. But, it's my own room and I plan on making the best of it.


Coming Soon: Fall 2009 Products

I've got many new products in the works, just in time for the Fall/Winter 2009 season. Above and below are previews of products that will be introduced in the coming weeks. I'm also working on a fabulous collaboration with a fabulous Etsy seller- but for now I'm keeping it a secret until the product is ready to launch. So lots of exciting new things headed your way, and I'm enjoying the flood of creativity urging me to create new things for the holiday shoppers.
Also- my loyal blog readers will be in for a treat very soon. I will be offering special coupon codes as well as hosting another giveaway, so stay tuned! :)


happy friday.


i will...

{ always }

- put my family, especially my children, first

- hate people who hurt animals, distrust those who don't like animals

- love pandas, and cry when i see them in person

- believe in God, no matter what happens

- be a Carolina girl at heart, regardless of where i may live

- want/need/crave art in my life

- need my Mommy

- pray, and trust that miracles happen

- love books and have millions of them

{ sometimes }

- need my hubby to feel sorry for me on my bad days

- like my hair, but not often

- like living in california, but not often

- wish i were rich

- be way too stressed, way too anxious, and way too paranoid

- cry, because i cannot believe how much i love my babies

- want more and more pets

- want more kids

- wish i could sleep longer

- wish i had a bigger office + studio

{ never }

- regret marrying young & having children young

- live without an animal in the house

- disown or stop loving any of my children, no matter what they do

- stop trusting in God

- live in California if given the freedom to choose

- live in a place that snows, i can't tolerate the cold

- give up, because admitting defeat doesn't sit well with me


( thanks to Jessica + Danni for this! )

Baby Panda Salad Recipe.

Since I recently found out that I am expecting again, I have been trying to eat a lot healthier for the sake of the little growing baby panda. I'm also always starving, so I eat much more often during the day and need stuff that I can make quickly (otherwise I turn into an evil monster somewhat resembling the Incredible Hulk). So I decided to start incoorporating more salads into my meal plans. I have no idea if this salad is an actual recipe already- nor do I care. I call it my Baby Panda Salad Recipe, because it was so good and I was proud of myself for throwing it together.


{ what you need } *feel free to substitute stuff*
- white vinegar
- olive oil
- 1 small tomato
- 1 large red radish
- 1/4 cup of green olives
- Half of 1 small onion
- 2 tbsp feta cheese
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
- 1/4 cucumber
- salt
- pepper
{ instructions }
1. Chop up all the veggies
2. In a salad bowl, mix your olive oil and vinegar, adding salt + pepper to taste. (taste it, if it's too tart for you, simply add a dash more olive oil)
3. Drop everything into your salad bowl and stir until it's nice and covered in the dressing.
4. Grab a fruit and a drink, Enjoy!
Easy. Peasy. Yummy.


ABC's of Me

"Mein Haus" - Original Mixed Media Art Block, $28

ABC's OF ME: (courtesy of ArmyWifeBlogger)

A-Age: 22

B-Birth date: December 1, 1986

C-Chore you hate: Vacuuming, Dishes

D-Dog's name: His name was Rocky (r.i.p. baby)

E-Enter or Exit: Enter

F-Favorite color: I have a few. Pink and brown are obviously among them.

G-Gold or silver: Silver

H-Hair color: Dark Brown

I-Instrument: I played the Viola

J-Job Title: Artist & Designer Extraordinaire, Owner of Sugar Panda

K-Kids: 1, and another on the way!

L-Living arrangements: Base Housing

M-Monkey or Moose: Moose. Monkeys are ugly and annoying.

N-Nicknames: Anthony calls me Val. Alina calls me "Mam or Mama"

O-Odd thing about you: hmmm...I don't know

P-Pet Peeve: People who chew with their mouths open or make any kind of nasty mouth noises when they eat. It makes me homicidal. I think I need therapy for it, it's beyond a pet peeve for me.

Q-Quote from a movie: I suck at remembering stuff like that.

R-Right/Left Handed: Right

S-Siblings: 1 younger sister, 1 younger brother

T-Time you wake up? Between 8:30 - 9:30 am

U-Underwear: always

V-Veggie you dislike: I love them all.

W-What makes you run late: kids

X-X-Rays: Teeth, foot, chest, back, neck, left knee, head

Y-Yummy food you make: Spinach Lasagna from scratch and Schnitzel

Z-Zoo Animal: Panda!


Renegade Craft show in L.A.

So yesterday, Jessica and I headed up to L.A. for the Renegade Craft show to meet Danni from Oh, Hello Friend. The drive up was nice, the traffiic wasn't too bad and there were lots of laughs on the way. It was the first time we got to meet Danni in person, up until yesterday we had only talked online. Meeting new friends is always exhilirating and it was a very pleasant experience. I'm usually very shy and introverted until I get to know someone, so actually meeting people isn't always easy for me. We also met Steppie, she was sharing a booth with Danni (and she has super ridiculously cute stuff!).
The spoils of my Renegade Craft show shopping experience. I went with a very strict budget of $25 and I stuck with it. I came home with these goodies though, and love love love them all! The postcard by Oh, Hello Friend was free, but it's so pretty I'm gonna frame it and hang it up in my studio/office.

This thing was hilarious. A lady sat inside with a microphone and once you slid in $2 she made all these sound effects while she "processed" the money and you chose which kind of postcard you wanted...it was cute, and she definetely got a lot of attention! Jessica gave Danni money to see what the Postcard Machine was all about.

Danni's brother brought his Photo Booth machine to the craft fair so we couldn't resist taking pics. Mainly we couldn't stop giggling long enough to take a decent picture, so in 99% of them somebody is making a funny face. :)

Etsy had a booth set up there as well to promote the website. I got a free sticker and a button. =)
You can see more pics of yesterday on my flickr.


summer, new friends, and news

Summer is my favorite season of the year. Hands down. I love the heat, I love the sun, I love the beach...so it's no surprise to me that summer puts me in a happier mood and gets my creativity back on track.


We took Alina to the beach over the 4th of July weekend, this was only her 2nd time. She's finally old enough to enjoy it, so this will have to occur much more frequently. I got some great shots of her playing in the sand, some make me all teary eyed because of their cute factor.


I can't remember if I've mentioned it officially on my blog (but nowadays I can't remember much of anything), hubby and I are expecting our 2nd child in January 2010! This was a total surprise baby, but we're happy and hoping for a healthy baby and pregnancy. Thankfully, we won't have to worry about finding a larger place because we qualify for a 3 or 4 bedroom house on base now. We'll be moving again as soon as one opens up. Weird, moving only after living somewhere for 6 months...oh well, part of military life I guess.

Oh, and how could I have forgotten to mention: I met JessicaJane on Etsy over a year ago, and we've been talking regularly online and texting for a while. Her husband recently got stationed at the same base as mine, so we finally met in person! It's weird, how I was super nervous on my way to her house, but once I got there it wasn't nearly as scary as I thought. It just felt like reuniting with an old friend. I guess it helped since we talked online so I already knew what to expect from her. It's such a wonderful treat to not only meet someone as talented as Jessica in person, but to finally get to hangout with someone who is a Marine wife like me, artsy, and business owner! I finally feel like I've met someone that has the qualities I've been really missing in a friend, and it's a great feeling.


This Saturday, Jessica and I are driving up to L.A. to meet Danni from Oh, Hello Friend! I've only talked to her online, so this will be exciting too! If you haven't already, you should really check out Danni's blog. It's wonderful, pretty, cute, inspirational...a very addictive read! :)

Sorry for the long long blog post, but it's been a while and I guess I had a lot to get off my chest.

Happy friday
xoxo valerie


A Giveaway!

Enter to win this Sugar Panda bookmark!
To help launch my new line of bookmarks, I'm having a giveaway! Enter to win this Sugar Panda bookmark!
many ways to enter:
- Leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address!
- Share: tweet about it and leave your name, email address, and twitter address in a comment to this post.
- Blog about it! Just blog about this giveaway with a link to my blog, come back and give me your name, email address, and blog address!
You can enter up to three times if you do all three!
giveaway ends Monday night!!


busy, busy, and even more busy.

I've been so ridiculously busy, from dealing with a sick (and teething) baby, catching a cold, to drowning in custom order requests. I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water! However, I've managed (by some miracle) to get some new ideas and products started, like the bookmark set above.
I also have been neglecting my website, but ina sudden burst of energy dusted off the cobwebs and got to work listing new things yesterday. I even switched up the slideshow, which can be seen on the home page of my website.


Buy 2 Get 1 Free sale!

  • -Buy 2 pendants, get 1 of equal or lesser value FREE!
  • -This special only applies to scrabble and wood tile pendants
  • -REMEMBER: Tell me which pendant you would like for free in "message to seller" during checkout! :)


Spring Fling Sale!

As a very proud member of the Jewelry on Etsy Team, I am happy to announce that Sugar Panda is participating in the Spring Fling Promotion with our very own sale! For super low prices on select Spring related items in my shop, click here!

You can also win FREE jewelry by entering our giveaway all weekend in our Spring Fling promotion thread! For details on how to win free jewelry visit our team blog by clicking here.


Spring Fling Sale

click the banner for more info
Just in time for the first day of Spring, the Jewelry On Etsy team is having a huge promotion. I will be offering 20% off specially marked pendants in my shop. You can find all the sale items in the "Spring Fling" section of my shop. Prices will be adjusted on Friday.
I am also offering buy one get one 50% off in my accessory shop, Palomina.


DIY Lightbox

My finished lightbox...raggedy looking? Yep. Ghetto? Probably. Does it work? YES.

Recently, I stumbled upon an interesting tutorial for a DIY light tent. It seemed simple enough and the material costs were sooo cheap that I just had to try it. I got so sick of having to rely on a perfect day to take pictures of my pendants and even more tired of having to adjust so much using my photo editing software. I figured it wouldn't hurt to try to build one, especially for rainy days.

I got to work on it, and my hubby helped me out a little as well. Although I made some slight adjustments to my lightbox, I pretty much did what the tutorial said and my box yields some pretty good pictures! It does take some fiddling around with your camera's white balance settings to find what works best for what you're photographing. Best of all, it only took 2 hours to make!



New product! These gorgeous 100% silk flower pins are available on my website. Cut, singed, and sewn by hand.

They're the perfect accessory to so many things! Blouses, jackets, purses, canvas totes, scarves, gloves, bookbags, etc. I'm working on hairpins and haircombs as well, which will be a must-have for brides and bridesmaids!


Happy New Year!!

Happy 2009 everyone!!
Yay! I'm super excited to ring in the new year. Out with the old, in with the new. I'm probably going to have a clearance sale soon in my etsy shop of discontinued designs. I will also be introducing many new products and designs in the coming weeks.
I learned a lot in 2008 about e-commerce and what it takes to run a successful business. I've definetely learned (late and the hard way, lol) that I need to utilize the paypal shipping features. So, as part of my new year's resolutions, I will be doing so beginning today.
Wishing you a very happy, healthy, and successful 2009!