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Amazon’s New Handmade Items

 

Hello it’s been a long time! Second baby later and over a year writing for Baby Bullet blog I am back because of this new opportunity to share an amazing new feature for my favorite shopping site, AMAZON!

 

Amazon features an amazing new category of Handmade Items, many which are made to order! It’s like adding Etsy to amazon’s service that you have already come to know and trust. This really inspired me to write a post because I LOVE AMAZON already and want to support this handmade movement.

 

It’s so easy since I automatically go to Amazon for just about everything; now I can find all of these unique one of a kind items at the same time! (Instead of ordering something cheaply made in china).

 

Amazon requires that all products be made entirely by hand, hand-altered, or hand assembled by companies with 20 or fewer employees or collectives with less than 100 people.

 

I am an Amazon.com affiliate and below are some of my favorite Handmade items curated by me. If you’re inspired by what you see please use those links.

 

Or just go check it out yourself and support all of these amazing artisans!

 

 

Salvaged Walnut Slab Coffee Table
by Oat Foundry

 

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This is an exquisite made to order salvaged walnut slab coffee table, with two live edges. But it doesn’t just have to be a coffee table, when placing your order you have a choice of table length and leg height giving you the option of ordering a salvaged walnut dining table! Now if I could only afford it!

From the craftsman: Made by hand from salvaged Pennsylvania Black Walnut. We hand pick the wood slab, cut it to size, plane it, sand it, and add bow ties to keep the table strong. The hairpin legs are made from welded steel, capable of supporting several hundred pounds.

 

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Here is a bold patterned quilt that will brighten up and warm up the coming dark winter days.

Baby Girl Quilt Modern Big Block Whimsy by Carlene Westberg Designs

I have two boys so I don’t often indulge in admiring the cute girly things; but this year we became aunt and uncle to the first baby girl in the family. Now I can buy things for her!

 

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“Planty” Art Print by Leah Duncan

 

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Update your home with a trendy yet affordable art print!

One of my favorite colors is mustard yellow, but it looks terrible on my skin tone; so I am always ecstatic when I see home decor and art that incorporate that ochre color!

 

 

Bedding and Pillows are a little addiction of mine.

 

Wildflower Organic Cotton Sateen Pillow Sham
by Whitney Elizabeth

 

Wildflower Organic Cotton Sateen Pillow Sham
I love the vintage hippie vibe of this fabric.

 

The palette could go with almost any color bedding or add a pop of color to your monotone decor with coral, pink, periwinkle and yellow. The artist says it was inspired by an old wildflower book she came across in Rye, England. Remember it is sold as 1 sham, so order two for a set!

Banded Pillow in Stone/Chalk
by Fig and Bella

This hand dyed pillow was lovingly made in their Hudson Valley Studio and very “in” at the moment.

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This pillow can look great in both traditional and modern decor; Slate blue fades to white on this cotton linen blend.

 

 

Wooden Kitchen Utensil Set
by Old World Kitchen

 

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Too beautiful not to feature, but completely out of my budget. They do sell individual pieces that would make exquisite wedding gifts!

 

LOEWY | tribal necklace by Diamonds are Evil

 

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This statement breastplate necklace is made of sustainable birch wood and can be worn by teens and mature ladies alike. It appeals to this thirty something, but most of the time I still feel like I’m in high school…until I remember that I’m a mother of two. It reminds me of a sci-fi or fantasy princess necklace, however, it is called “tribal” by the designer.

 

Please ENJOY!

Happenings in my creative life

Hello to whoever reads this. I’ve been MIA lately. Oliver is growing up fast!

Here is a little of what I’ve been up to. I had two holiday designs chosen for the minted holiday collection this year and one holiday party invitation; they’re now up for sale.

Herbs and Vegetable Wreath

herbs and vegetable wreath now available at minted

assembled set of herbs and vegetable wreath now available at minted

Joyful Watercolor

Joyful Watercolor now available at minted

Skinnywrap label and Liner of Joyful Watercolor now availabale at minted

Candy Cane Watercolor Stripes Invite

Candy Cane Watercolor Stripes Party Invite now available at minted

Skinnywrap label and Liner for Candy Cane Watercolor Stripes now available at minted

Also available in shades of blue for Hanukkah parties!

Blue Hanukkah version of Candy Cane Watercolor stripes available at minted
 

for sale on zazzle

I’ve also had a number of designs featured on zazzle’s selections of holiday cards.

 

 

 

 

 
And one of my personal favorites

Joy Red Art Deco Holiday Greeting Card
Joy Red Art Deco Holiday Greeting Card by beckynimoy
 

Check out my my zazzle store for more holiday cards, invitations and more.
Browse more Holiday Cards at Zazzle

Hand Lettered Art Print – “First Edition” by Jennifer Wick for minted.com

Jennifer Wick is an amazing designer! Her lettering is always inspiring…top of the line! Please go check out her work on minted.com

"First Edition" by Jennifer Wick for minted.com

“First Edition” by Jennifer Wick for minted.com

Vote in Minted.com’s ‘Oh What Fun’ Holiday Card Challenge

My first submission entitled “Peaceful Green Watercolor” and a few other of my favorite designs.

Cloth Diapers are Easy with All in Ones AIO

I’ve been wanting to write this post for some time, but thought I’d wait a while to see how our cloth diapers hold up. It’s been almost a year and we are all happy campers; it also seems fitting to post this topic on Earth Day. So here it goes.
 
We have loved our cloth diapers thus far! Our son is almost 1 year old and they have held up great. It is easier than anticipated. This may sound tedious but you know how trying new things can be; once you do it a few times it will become your new normal. From other blogs I’ve read and estimates on diaper usage you can save about $2000 per child; and don’t forget about the wipes.
 
We started with Kissa’s Newborn All-In-One Diaper (they are all in one with a poly outer and fleece inner). (You’ll see in a second we could have skipped this newborn type all together)
 
We also tried Kissaluvs Cotton Fleece Fitted Diaper with an extra cover by Thirsties, but weren’t impressed.
 
bumgenius-all-in-one-cloth-diapers-snap-orange-sassy-gender-neutral
 
From about 10 pounds on we have LOVED our BumGenius all in one diapers; some people call them AIO. You can see that there are 2 liners sewn into the cover (not removable). We bought almost everything online at amazon, but I think they now sell BumGenius at “Buy Buy Baby” if they have one near you.
 

bumgenius-all-in-one-cloth-diapers-inside
BumGenius should fit up to 35 lbs so until potty training, fingers crossed! There have been no problems with the snaps or elastic after 11 months. Very thrilled. They leak occasionally but that is usually when we accidentally leave a portion of cotton sticking outside the elastic or don’t have it flat against his belly when he’s sleeping on his stomach.

 

We bought 24 bumgenius (or received almost all from friends and family from our baby showers) and that has been plenty. I wash them every other day with the rest of his clothes.
 
Here is the rundown:
 
1a. I keep them folded, or usually thrown, in these bins. Change him and put them in the laundry basket. We use Charlie Banana Reusable Organic Cotton Wipes. I don’t recommend a warmer. We tried one, and they got mildew-y the first night. If he’s fussy I just wet them in the bathroom with warm water. When he was a newborn I kept a thermos of warm water next to his changing table.
 
bumgenius-all-in-one-cloth-diapers-charlie-banana-wipes
 
1b. If it’s a number 2, we rinse it with our sprayer that we installed on the toilet and put it into a Planet Wise Wet Bag that hangs on the back of the bathroom door. (very easy). This large one is by planet wise called green meadow, and we have a smaller one by Fuzzi Bunz for his diaper bag when we’re out. We’ve never had a problem with odor! 😉
 
wet-bag-planet-wise
 
If it seems like it might stain I spray the liner with Biokleen Bac-Out. I get large Gallon refill jugs on amazon or soap.com, so I don’t have to buy a sprayer every time.
 
When he was purely breastfed I could do a pre-rinse in the washer with the poopy diapers and it was perfect.
 
2. Every other night before I go to sleep I put all of his laundry in, clothes and diapers. We have a dual washer/dryer combo by LG so that makes it easier not having to transfer to a dryer. For the most part I use generic unscented dye free detergent.
 
I’ve used a few brands, seventh generation, 365 from whole foods, Tide and Rockin’ Green. Powder form seems to work better for our front loading washer. Always add an extra rinse cycle for diapers just to make sure all the detergent is out. And never use fabric softener. If I remember before the dryer cycle I throw in these Wool Dryer Balls they help dry more quickly and soften naturally.

 
cloth-diapers-done-dryer

3. Every few washes I’ll add Rockin’ Green Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer to a pre-rinse cycle to strip the diapers of ammonia and odors. It’s a little expensive but goes a long way. It’s also great for sweaty work-out clothes!
 
rockin-green-laundry-detergent-wool-dryer-balls-cat
We also like their Rockin’ Green Cloth Diaper & Laundry Detergent (Hard Rock, Bare Naked Babies). It’s great for our hard water. (they make different combinations of scents and variations for your water type).

 

4. BumGenius recommends drying in the sun every once in a while to bleach them and strip them but I have yet to do that…so far so good.

 
I hope this is informative and can encourage more parents to look into cloth diapering! You can save a ton of money and help out the landfills a little.
 
BumGenius Cloth Diaper
P.S. For emergencies in the car we have Nature Babycare Diapers and wipes.

***UPDATE DECEMBER 2013***

Our front loading washer was having problems of its own with odor but after a little research into cleaning it with bleach and vinegar like you should occasionally with all front loading washers, everything is back to normal.

Our son is in his 19th month. The diaper absorbency is still great, but it looks like if we plan to use these same diapers for baby number two we may have to have the elastic replaced. They are just starting to show signs of wear; they still fit him great but for a newborn they may be too loose. I’ll put an update later.

***UPDATE MAY 2014***
Our son is two now and still wearing his BumGenius All in Ones. There are about 2 diapers (of 24 total) that look like they need a little sewing repair on the cotton interior; I even just tried them on our 6 week old and they didn’t leak; the leg elastic is still tight around his tiny legs… a little bulky but still functioning like they should. Planning to use them for our new son once he grows out of the Kissa’s Newborn All-In-One Diaper

Hand Lettering Practice this Weekend

This weekend I got to spend time practicing some lettering and refining some designs in photoshop and illustrator.
 
I started out working on”happy birthday” because it was our friends birthday friday. I wasn’t able to complete it in time for his party however, so you can see what I made below instead.
 
happy-birthday-hand-lettering-beckynimoy-2013

 

After I made my happy birthday sketch in pen I scanned it in and used my Wacom Cintiq in photoshop and made edits and touch-ups with the brush tool.  First with a red brush on a new layer to show where I wanted to change my scrolls and flourishes, then refined switching between a black and white brush.

 

Here is the final happy birthday lettering.
 
happy-birthday-thumb-lettering-beckynimoy-2013

For our friend tim’s birthday card I used an idea I had for a beer tasting party invitation and ended up turning it into the birthday card.

 
tim-bdaycard-becky-nimoy-2013

 
For the birthday card I created the elements in illustrator based on the sketch and ended up reworking it into the final composition. (With the help of my husband). Thanks honey. 

The final card is printed on watercolor paper. I laid it out in the lower right corner of an 8.5 x 11 page so that i could trim and fold it properly. 
tim-bday-card-sketch-to-print-beckynimoy-2013

Donate Hair to Locks of Love

Whenever I feel I need a fresh start I cut my hair. I haven’t been to a salon in years and I just go at it with a pair of scissors. This not only makes me feel great but I can help someone else feel great as well by donating my hair.
 
locks-of-love-pony-tail
This will be the 4th time that I’ve mailed my hair to Locks of Love. If you are interested in donating your hair, make sure that it is at least 10 inches in length and not bleached (coloring and perms are okay). Find out more on their FAQ page
 
locks of love pony tail
This has a extra special meaning for me in that I lost my mom to breast cancer. I remember that losing her hair was one of the most traumatic events of her battle with cancer.

Free Textures – High Resolution Photos

Free textures for personal and commercial use! (Files are not for redistribution)
 
Click here to download the zip file. Please enjoy!
 
free-textures-thumb
 
More to come!

My Feelings in the New Year

Hello to anyone who reads my blog! I’m feeling a little stressed about not having time to post anything since before the holidays! I have this sense of failure that I don’t post regularly, even after having tons of recipes and photos prepared for this very scenario. It doesn’t help when you don’t turn on your computer for over a month. I really only have time to check email/facebook for a few minutes at a time on my husbands’ laptop. The rest is spent being a full time mom!
 
Of course I got sick after all of the back to back parties and get-togethers and am still not quite over it. Also as our baby grows and becomes more mobile much more of my undivided physical attention is needed and I go back and forth between feeling guilty about taking time for myself to do something creative and spending every minute with him.
 
A snowflake on my glove:

 

snowflake-beckynimoy-2012

 

A few highlights of the past month:
 
1. My brother, his wife and 5 month old son came to visit for the first time; the cousins finally got to meet!
2. Our baby boy, now 8 months saw and felt snow for the first time!
3. My husband and I had 2 hours to ourselves while the grandparents watched the baby for us. We started to organize our garage. (So far we only have boxes for “toxic waste” “donations” “cabin decor” “trash” and “recycle”. It was a great once over and we got all of our floor space back.
4. The best news of all: Our son has slept 11-12.5 hours the last 4 nights!

 

A photo of grandma with the 2 grandsons:

 

grandsons-grandma-beckynimoy-2012

 

Daddy and Baby in the snow:

 

first-snow-becknimoy-2012
 
Phew, I feel a little better already just with a little sharing. Also one last thing to get off of my chest! We are feeling the squeeze this month as our property tax, homeowner’s insurance, fire insurance (or is it earthquake?), car insurance & health insurance are all due at the same time!!! WHY?

Catalog Choice Top 10 Tips for Holiday Waste Reduction

I received the below email this morning from Catalog Choice. I thought I’d share their holiday waste reduction tips and let more people know about how awesome they are. They are a free service that will help remove you from unwanted mailing lists like catalogs and other spam advertising. Over about a year I was able to stop getting almost all “snail” junk-mail. Their site saves your address and name permutations to make it easier for you. You can check up on the status of whether or not they were successful in contacting the companies or not. Please check them out! Catalog Choice
Catalog Choice
 

Catalog Choice Top 10 Tips for Holiday Waste Reduction
 
1. Reuse foam peanuts. Most packaging materials for shipping can be used more than once.

2. Compost your leftover food. It’s easy and makes for a great fertilizer!

3. Wrap creatively. Use comics, old maps, sheet music, fabric/wallpaper scraps. And use fun tins and food boxes you crush and recycle for gift containers.

4. Make festive recycling bins. They’re a great addition for your holiday party and a great activity for kids.

5. Give the gift of time or talent. Take someone to a play, concert or movie. Make your own gift certificates. Offer your talents like photography or financial planning.

6. Help your friends go green. Give planet-conscious gifts like compost bins, can crushers, water timers, programmable thermostats, rain barrels, bird feeders, light timers or bat house.

7. Buy outdoor light strands that are wired in parallel. If one bulb goes bad, the others still work, so you won’t be throwing away entire “bad” strands.

8. Keep it simple. One thoughtful gift is better than six wrapped packages of unwanted gifts.

9. Don’t wrap oversized gifts. Hide them and give clues. Make gift-giving into a treasure hunt.

10. Plan previously-loved or homemade gift exchanges. Books, a restored piece of furniture or a rebuilt bike can be cherished for many years and by many people.

Some tips are very do-able. As far as our household goes, we are doing great on creative wrapping. I don’t own any wrapping paper rolls. I have one roll of recycled brown craft paper, but most of the time I wrap gifts in reused bags I’ve received, fabric scraps, old scarves, paper bags or some other reused paper. Be creative! It’s fun and beautiful to add a piece of vintage ribbon or a fresh flower.