Saturday, December 27, 2008

crickets

That's the term we use around our house when everything goes silent. Like when you tell a joke and everyone just stares at you waiting for the punchline. And kind of like this blog lately. Like all of blog-world this week, really.

My poor shop and blog have gotten almost no attention since we departed nearly two weeks ago. But for just cause. And that's what I'm here to prove...for about 30 more seconds, that is.

I try not to talk too much about the family on this blog. That gets taken care of here. But see these smiling faces? I am proud to say that I was there to share in and capture on film each and every one of these moments...and thousands more.

So, while I'm feeling guilt about neglecting my craft and my blog, I am also relishing the last two days of a much needed vacation. I hope you got one too.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

change.org & the cpsia

Here is yet another forum, driven by the handmade toy alliance, that allows you to voice your opposition to the cpsia. Remember, this is not just about toys. This law effects ANY product targeted towards children 12 years and younger. It only takes a minute. Please join the vote...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

why didn't I think of that?


If you have children and are anything like me you have a house FULL of artwork. In our home, the current strategy is to assign each child one large plastic bin per year. Two kids. Ages 2 1/2 and 5. Hmmm...how long can this truly last?

Now the thought of actually tossing anything still makes me terribly anxious but tonight I came across such a fabulous idea. It was clearly one of those, "duh, why didn't I think of that?" moments.

The suggestion was to scan the kids work into the computer and send it to snapfish or kodak gallery, or whichever photo company you prefer, and have them bound into a book for preservation. Think of what amazing Christmas gifts they would have made for the grandparents! Sorry guys, I missed the boat. There is always next year.

You can checkout fellow blogger Tilt's original post...and my inspiration here.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

off to see the wizard...



All images are courtesy of a darling jewelry shop on Etsy called Mootsie's. From her bio, she is "a mixed media artist that loves to create with a variety of materials, including vintage and found objects." Her assortment is whimsical, unique and her prices are right. Zuzu would simply fall in love if I gave her access! I'm thinking I may have to grab a few while I can and store them for birthdays to come...

Support Mootsie's and the thousands of other artisans creating new handmade wonders every day on Etsy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

i'm going to disney world!

Yup. We're taking the plunge. Kids first trip to Disney World. If you have any super useful advice, please, leave it here! But do it soon...take off is in about 15 hours.

Although I'm sure I'll find it hard not to document our time over the next two weeks I am going to do my best not to. Hopefully you will find me only infrequently popping by for a brief update but trust me when I say...I will be back!

The zuzu girl handmade shop is open for shopping...but not for shipping. Any purchases made between now and 12/30 will ship on 12/30. No exceptions. Just not possible.

Have a lovely holiday season...and I hope you may enjoy your loved ones as much as I intend to enjoy mine.

Cheers.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

trimming the...trees?



Pac-Man, Ladder & Upside Down Christmas tree images are all courtesy of Toxel. Follow the link and check out some other novel ideas including a tree made of books for a library and one made of empty bottles. Wonder how long that one took.

Now if I had any inclination to erect a tree in our home it might look something like this Plywood Eco tree also courtesy of Toxel. No mess, no ornaments, works with our decor and it's "80% more environmentally friendly than a traditional fir or spruce." (don't ask me how they got that statistic...that's why it's in quotes!)

Friday, December 12, 2008

"the witching hours" on blockhead radio

I must credit The Copper Cauldron with most of the words you are about to read...

Who?
Blockhead Radio is an internet based radio show hosted on Blogtalkradio. Blockhead Radio is all about introducing artisans of all types to the world: independent music artists, independent authors, independent artisans who specialize in handcrafted goods.

What?
"The Witching Hours" (hosted by agoodwitchtoo) is just one of the many fabulous shows on Blockhead Radio (for a list of shows and what they are all about visit the website). "The Witching Hours" is focused on bringing the concept of the Handmade Movement to listeners and thus potential buyers.

It is designed to spotlight the Saturday Night Sales that many Etsy shops run on Saturday Nights.

Also, every week there will be a Treasure Hunt of 15 participating shops (and zuzu girl handmade is one of them this week!) The Treasure Hunt's theme will be one of "Follow the Yellow Brick Road..." (very fitting if you know anything about Zuzu). The Treasure Hunt is designed to get people browsing through shops, clicking and looking through each shops listing for the picture that will let them know the next link is contained in the item description. The first one to call in or email agoodwitchtoo with the complete list of participating shops will be the winner.

When?
Every Saturday Night from 5pm until 7pm EST "The Witching Hours" coincides with the beginning of a long standing promo thread started by Willowglass. You can read more about this Saturday Night Special portion by going to Etsy's SNS blog.

Where?
Why from the comfort of your very own homes! Get yourself a beverage of choice and wear your favorite pajamas.

Remember, you will need to sign up for an account at www.blogtalkradio.com to be able to join us in the chat room. The call in number is (646) 649-1320.

Why?
We're dedicated to getting the message out to the world that Handmade is where it is at! There is no better way to stimulate our economy than by directly supporting small businesses instead of lining the pockets of the already wealthy corporations. Not to say we discourage shopping with the big corporations. But where else are you going to find quality wares, excellent customer service, and be able to support artisans?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

macaroni & glue



These card images are courtesy of a lovely little Etsy shop called Macaroni and Glue. (And how cute is that shop name??) She offers a wide selection of vintage inspired, kitchy hand-crafted greeting cards.

She's still got Christmas cards available too. Check out this Santa card. Doesn't it make you smile? I think it's just fabulous!!

Learn more about macaroni and glue by visiting her Etsy shop or the Macaroni and Glue blog.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

grab your button...

to say no to the cpsia
buttons are available on my sidebar or this flickr account.

etsy open letter to the cpsc

Seems Etsy has finally come out to support the team. By team I am referring to the tens of thousands of Etsy artisans that sell product made for children and have no idea whether or not they will still be in business on February 10th when the new safety improvement act goes into effect. So now we wait and hope that the Ombudsman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission will join the Etsy community in a webchat to answer some of our many questions. Until that time...stay informed and positive. You can read more about what Etsy is doing here...

pizza...petit appetit style


I wish this had been my idea. But alas, the custom pizza party was courtesy of my friend Lisa from Petit Appetit. I wish I'd had my real camera to photograph the preparation and the meal because the pizza was definitely better than the mobile phone pictures!

The kids rolled and formed their own homemade dough and then topped the pizzas with their choice of sauce, cheese, olives, artichokes, prosciutto & oregano. As you can see they all came up with different combinations. The sophisticated eater that she is, Zuzu made hers with sauce only. Lisa's daughter topped hers with cheese only but added olives after the pizza was cooked. Either way they were all yummy!

Checkout the Petit Appetit website and the Organic to Be blog to which Lisa contributes for other healthy, organic and most importantly fun food ideas for babies & kids.

wordless wednesday

making music with zuzu...
video

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

meet julia emily



Julia Emily is a lovely little Etsy shop with a small selection of handmade jewelry and accessories. In addition to her dainty charm necklaces like the one shown above, Julia Emily offers some incredibly unique crocheted copper jewels and accessories. You must see it for yourself. Visit her charming shop and her delightful blog to learn more.

Monday, December 8, 2008

not me monday

I am NOT, I mean NOT, sitting next to Zuzu, twittering, as she watches a Shrek DVD while eating Shrek condensed soup. That would be terribly lazy parenting and twitter could certainly wait an hour until nap time.

What are you NOT doing today?

cpsc saga continues...

As anyone reading this knows by now, panic is spreading like wildfire throughout the Etsy community in regards to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act that goes into effect February 10, 2009. As it has been explained to me, it will be illegal to sell any products that may be used by children without a government approved safety test and certificate for every single item.

Fortunately, we have legal council in the family so I solicited some advice. I'm still not entirely clear as to what the fate of zuzu girl handmade will be come February but the little information that I did receive is definitely worth sharing...

Apparently there is still some question as to how direct to consumer goods will be handled as opposed to manufactured goods. These are the two responses I received. It's an email conversation between two different, extremely qualified trade lawyers. Clearly, there is still room for discovery even from these professional points of view so I'm not having any fire sales just yet...

Laywer One: "Looking at the Act, it would appear that these folks (meaning etsy artisans) would be subject to its provisions. These are consumer products and they cross interstate lines. There is no de minimus test here on value. This having been said, can they rely on the testing that would have been done by the retailers from whom they purchase their supplies. I am not quite sure how the CPSC would deal with this."

Response from Lawyer Two: "The CPSIA conformity certificate only applies to importers and domestic manufacturers. It appears her business does neither, so she would not be required to certify anything. Moreover, the importers and domestic manufacturers are required to “furnish” the certificate to retailers and distributors, not to ultimate consumers. It appears that these businesses sell to individual consumers, so they would not have to “furnish’ a certificate either."

I'll publish more as I get it in case you are interested in this point of view...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

tweet, tweet?


I love learning new things...and I can get oh, so frustrated in the process! I have officially joined "twitter". Apparently it's THE social networking site and certainly can't hurt shop traffic! Now I just need to figure out how in the world to get around as the site is definitely made for people who spend their time on computers. If you twitter, or have desperately been longing to, please come find me on my new, fairly blank page. And if you happen to know what you're doing there...please share some advice with the newbie!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

i love you more!


"I love you more!" is a phrase you will hear my children and I chant quite frequently. That and, "I love you THIS much!" (You have to open your arms real wide to get the full effect.)

This image comes to you courtesy of Kristen's Custom Creations. Kristen is a fellow EtsyMom, MomDot(dot com) mom AND lucky enough to be featured on MomDot(dot com) right now! Check out MomDot(dot com) to learn more about Kristen's Custom Creations or to participate in the giveaway. If you are into free stuff, that is.

Friday, December 5, 2008

i need your help!

I'm a Virgo. I like things to be very well organized so much so that I change my mind rapidly and frequently.

In March I started a blog for my family called and the beat goes on.... I try to blog there daily about what's going on in our home. Personal stuff. Pictures of the kids, random stories and whatever occurs to me.

In July, I needed somewhere to exercise my creative juices (and my shopping addiction) so I started a new blog called it's beautiful here. This was a fun blog that I spent lots of time on...posting about my latest shopping experiences & retail finds. But, it took less than three months for me to realize that it was too hard to keep up both blogs and keep them differentiated enough so I went back to one.

Then, in October, I opened zuzu girl handmade on etsy...and what's a new retail company without a blog? Yup, you got it. I started my third blog. Well, really my second since I had just retired one. You follow?

Where am I going with this you may ask sleepily? Well, I'm second guessing the two blogs again. I mean, I do believe that zuzu girl handmade needs some love but is it boring? Is it more fun to hop on over to and the beat goes on... and hear stories about my two year old cursing or are you good with a craft/retail only blog? Is my family life too personal to share with the general public or does it make zuzu girl handmade more endearing?

Inquiring minds want to know.

How do you blog? What do you like to read? And why are you still here reading this???

who doesn't love whimsy?





How cute are these dolls? These are just a few of the beautiful designs you can find at The Whimsy Patch on Etsy. And if none of the dozen or so designs in the shop suit your fancy then you can custom order one of your very own. I'm sure the time line is getting tight for Christmas but what little girl wouldn't want a custom designed doll from Santa? Support Etsy Moms and buy handmade...and please remember that "all dollies and creatures in the Whimsy Patch shop are designed by Kimmie K and are protected by law".

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

wordless wednesday

for no apparent reason...

and the obligatory chocolate...

so what now?

truffles? oysters? I'll take both!


Oh my handbags.

Anyone still looking for holiday gift ideas...for me? Willing to spend $100 on a drop dead, handmade bag from Amsterdam? Look no further than Morelle. She offers a few signature styles in a handful of linens & leathers and I have spent so much time staring at her products that I could have made two headbands by now.

I heart Morelle. Just in case you were unclear.

thought for the day...



Can you guess what one of our favorite things to do when we're bored and stuck inside? Blow up balloons. Minimal investment. No helium required. Tons of fun!

Our favorite game is volleyball. If it's warm enough we go into the garage and draw a "court" on the ground with chalk. If not, we use the sofa as a net. Did you know that one of the best ways for a little one to learn how to catch and hit a ball is with a balloon? Now, that's strictly from my opinion bank but I'm quite certain it's true!

Bored of volleyball? How 'bout tennis? Have a paper plate laying around? A ruler or wooden stick (we use the fairy princess wand dowels)? Tape the stick on to the back of the plate. Ta-da. Racket. We even draw pretty faces on our rackets. Give it a whirl. The lack of speed that the balloon provides makes it nearly impossible for a toddler to miss a shot and they feel so rewarded.

Rainy days are a comin'....

bag lady



I blogged about these awesome, reusable bags by Baggu in March on my other blog...you can find the original article here. Needless to say I went ahead and bought SIX which I use constantly. The colors are fabulous and they are so easy to clean. Then, I received this in my retail "junk" in-box this morning. How clever are they? I mean, don't you just love how they wrapped the presents in their bags? Clever! Check them out. Baggu.

Monday, December 1, 2008

hot for teacher

5 hand folded Mini Accordion Books, $20 from little put books...


Scrabble Journal, hand bound with tiles Love Life, $22 from little put books...


altered decorated clipboards, $15 from kute klipboards by amy...


hand painted eco-friendly tote bags, $25 from carry me away...


Struggling with gift ideas for the teachers this year? Not getting real excited over the idea of giving another Starbucks gift certificate? Then check out these lovely etsy sellers. Prices range from $15 to $25 for all items pictured. Don't forget the teachers...and buy handmade!