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It’s going to be a cherry red merry holiday

Many of you know I have “hopped” on the Etsy bandwagon! I guess being a designer I love to find new and creative things for my home. I also spend lots of time scrapping and crafting and giving away my crafts as gift to friends and family. A few years ago I started making topiaries and my friends and family who I gave them to loved them so much I decided hmmm maybe I should try and “set up shop.” So that is what I have done.

I’m proud to announce the “grand opening” of my etsy shop. I have showcased several topiaries which are examples of some of the type of themes I can create; I can make topiaries for the holidays, trees as well as ornaments, to show school spirit, team spirit, or to go with your home décor. I would be happy to work with you to create your perfect “untraditional topiary.”

In honor of opening my new shop, I’m holding a giveaway of this “Cherry Red Christmas” ornament. I just love this one, so red and cheery!

To enter you must be a follower of this blog and “the untraditional topiary” blog and leave a comment. You must be a follower of the untraditional topiary to enter!
For extra entries:

• Follow the untraditional topiary on twitter
• Tweet about the giveaway up to once a day! and leave a separate comment with the twitter link.
• Follow me on twitter
• Visit the untraditional topiary and post your favorite item
• Post about this giveaway on your blog
• Add the untraditional topiary’s button to your blog

Contest Rules:
• You must reside in the United States and have a United States address.
• Contest ends Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 11pm Eastern Standard Time.
• Winner MUST either have their e-mail address on their profile, or leave their e- mail address with their comment.
• I will announce the winner of the giveaway on November 23, 2009 on this blog as well as through e-mail to the winner. If I do not receive a response within 48 hours, I will randomly choose a new winner.

It’s the little things that make a house a “home.”

I’m not sure that you may know this but I went to college, “o so many years ago,” to study Interior Design and Landscape Architecture. I have always had a love for “rearranging” things in my habitat. This love started at an early age when I used to take everything off of my bookshelves and move it around. My mother would not let me move around the furniture because a designer had laid out the yellow Ethan Allen furniture to perfectly fit into my room, so it was all my books and knick knacks that got changed “seasonally.” I also had a little doll house that I would do the same thing with and I actually “made” wall paper and put it up on those wall. So you can see I have always had a love of color and for “changing things around.”

Over the last few weeks I met a new creative friend Melissa who was happy to “share” some wonderful things she purchased on Etsy. If you don’t know Melissa you should stop by and check out her blog and let her know I said “hi!” I never knew what Etsy was and one day followed the link from Melissa’s blog to see what other things this particular crafter made. And that is all it took! I am an Etsy addict now. My husband comes home every day and “hunts” to see what the “new purchase” of the day is. But I love it because the stuff is so unusual, you could never find personalized homemade things like this in one store. And I also feel that in this economy, where money is not so loose, it is nice to support people who craft things themselves because I know even though it’s a little bit I’m helping someone.

I’d like to take you on a little tour and show you some of my wonderful new things and introduce you to some very talented people. Enjoy and if you stop by let them know that I sent you, they are all extremely nice woman who love their crafts. I look forward to having a long relationship with them all, although not so sure about my husband. LOL

My grandmother was also an Interior Designer and had a wonderful flair for color, (I suppose that is where I inherited my love of color and design) and she had a beautiful Chinese Rug with plums and greens and for years I had this in my living room and when we recently renovated I moved it upstairs into my bedroom. I am always looking for plum or violet accessories for my bedroom and that is how I met Peggy of ‘Letter Perfect Designs.’ Peggy creates the most wonderful pillows with unique buttons! Peggy is a 40-something married mom to two kids; a 7-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She is a life-long resident of Washington, and she grew up north of Seattle and lived all over the state before settling in Seattle with her husband. After nearly 20 years working as a T.V. news producer and writer, she retired two years ago to be a full-time mom. The schedule demands were finally too much! As a longtime collector of fabrics and buttons — both vintage and new — she started ‘Letter Perfect Designs’ in August of 2007. Peggy told me, “It’s been wonderful and I’ve met so many lovely people! I love making pretty things for the home and hope each and every design will become a treasured part of someone’s life.” Peggy has generously agreed to offer a 10% discount to my followers if folks mention my blog in the buyer’s notes at the time of purchase. She has graciously offered the same discount for a custom order as well.

A few months ago I saw what I thought was a very cool new type of “wall art.” I naturally looked it up and found out that it is a type of vinyl that when applied looks like someone hand calligraphied on the wall, or drew a cool picture. Naturally it peaked my curiosity and I found myself thinking of zillions of things I could do with this. That is when I met Jen from ‘Tree-House treasures’not only does Jen have the coolest selection of wall art in phrases but she also has them that she makes on wall hangings. I was a little nervous about applying the lettering but Jen had wonderful directions included and I was done in no time at all.

I’m always interested in how people became interested in starting their shops and Jen told me that as a child Jen she always trying to find a way to make people happy through a business opportunity. This desire never did go away and today she is thrilled that she has the opportunity to brighten homes everyday through her’ Tree-House Treasures’ vinyl lettering designs. And if you get a chance to stop by ‘Tree-House Treasures’ before the month is up, Jen has generously offered a 10% discount if you mention that you are a follower of “I’m still standing.” She has so many wonderful choices be prepared to ponder!!

Being a lover of nature I love bringing the outdoors in and found a new way to do this with “tassels.” The first cutie I ordered was for Ainsley’s room and it was from Angela at the ‘tassel house‘. Angela called it a Whimsical tassel, Ainsley and I think it looks like a whimsical ladybug and it is so cute! Each tassel that Angela creates is handmade with love and has wonderful attention to detail, this way they are each unique and each have their own personality.

A ‘home’ is created in the details. Tassels are wonderful details that help to create a home, not just a house! Tassels look beautiful anywhere: on lamps, doorknobs, armoires, cabinets, and can be used to pull back curtains and drapes. Tassels also make wonderful gifts for the woman who already has everything! Don’t know what to give as a gift, why not give a tassel! Wonderful, unique, special! As a thank you to “I’m Still Standing” followers Angela has generously offered to give a 25% discount off any regular priced item. (discount does not apply to sale items) All you need to do is leave a message when purchasing that they came to the shop from Shelley at “I’m Still Standing” and she will refund you the 25%.

My next tassel purchase was the sweetest little yellow bird which hangs proudly on a floor lamp in my living room. It comes from Miss C Alexandria’s shop. Miss Alexandria’s shop is made up of romantic and creative jewelry and vintage treasures. She has a lot of lovely items for sale and she will give my followers a discount on more than one item, all you have to do is convo her first and let her know that Shelley from “I’m Still Standing” sent you.

Not only do I love things for my house but I just love bags, I cannot have enough bags, it is like a joke in our house, I have bags for needlepoint, bags for the gym, bags for my kids stuff I carry, and of course I need my monogrammed bags for everyday running around. So naturally I went on Etsy and met Karen of ‘go threads.’ Karen is a wife, mother to 2 young men, and grandmother to 1 beautiful 1 year old granddaughter and resides in Lakeland Tennessee. She became a WAHW (Work at home women) in 2005 when she started a monogram and embroidery business. In addition to her Etsy shop she also sews for two local boutiques; a children’s boutique and a gift shop. Karen has a beautiful selection of Damask print bags, which I love, and you name it, she has a bag for just about every occasion from Diaper Bags to Quilted Duffle Bags.

Those a just a few of my fabulous new creative friends, I will be spotlighting new crafters as I meet them and hopefully introduce you to a few you might like as well so your husbands can form a, “what did my wife purchase today? Club” with mine! LOL enjoy!

Introductions, Introductions new friends deserve Introductions

Apparently last Monday, August 3rd, 2009 was International Friendship Day. I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you who follows I’m Still Standing, you have all been a wonderful and supportive community and I look forward to sharing my family’s story with you over time.

In the mean time I thought I would take a moment to introduce you to two of my new crafty friends: Kandio from Kandio Design Jewelry and Silvia of Silver Rose blogs.

Kandace a.k.a Kandio is what I would call a true “fashionista” she attended The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. She managed a high end fashion design company called Su-zen for 17 years, and then transitioned into developing single family homes, creating luxury interiors and exteriors. And now she creates and designs a unique line of jewelry. So I suppose one could say she is a true “fashionista” of the arts!

Naturally she has an Etsy store where she showcases her beautiful pieces. She works with 14k gold filled, argentium, anti-tarnish sterling silver and copper wire, and joins them with Swarovski crystals, Czech glass beads, fresh water pearls and other natural elements, creating truly unique design statements.

I know that Rebeka would love to have these adorable earrings which Kandace calls “Like Jolly Rancher Candy.”

They are made of lime, orange, grape and cherry Czech glass teardrops which are threaded on a14k gold filled pear loops.

I just love this colorful necklace, it would go with so much! Don’t you just love it?

It is made of grape, orange, lime and ice blue Czech glass drops, plum iridescent fresh water pearls and cotton candy Swarovski crystals, which are threaded on a 14k gold filled 18” wire round.

Understanding the importance of giving back to our community I was very impressed with my next friend, Sylvia of the Silver Rose family. Silver Rose is a family owned and operated jewelry business that has specializes in fund raisers for over 30 years, they have raised a phenomenal $355,000 to date for charitable and non-profit organizations.

The Silver Rose family is focusing their fund-raising efforts through eBay’s Giving Works and the Red Cross. They believe that as technology and communications improve the world becomes smaller and smaller and through eBay, buyers and sellers can find each other in every corner of the world and they are able to reach out to those in need both near and far. I commend them on this and thank them for all who they have helped and touched!

Ok, so I’m sure that Geoffrey would find this a tad bit funny, I went and visited their site and admired so many pieces of jewelry but of course which one did I choose to fall in love with?

ONE RARE NATURAL RED DIAMOND Faceted Bead in an 18K Gold & Diamond PENDANT!

A faceted exquisite 11.86 carat Genuine Red Diamond & 18K Gold Pendant!!! The11.86 carat red diamond briolette is set in and 18K gold bezel with twelve 0.1 ct white diamonds in it. The total carat weight is 18.7 carats and it measures 24x11x8mm (nearly one inch in total length).
And how much does this beautiful piece cost you ask? Ooo a mere $6,270.00 yup, how typical of me. There are sooo many beautiful and very affordable pieces of jewelry and I gravitate to this one! Oh it is just darn typical!

I also do love Fresh Water Pearls and love this 16″ temporarily strung strand of extremely high luster which are almost round freshwater pearls.

These natural colored pearls that have not been enhanced or altered in any way. The background color of these pearls is a luminous satiny creamy white! (Absolutely incredible!) The nacre is thick and smooth has very few blemishes. And these can be yours for $199.99

Silver Rose has great tutorials on their site and I also stumbled upon this chart which I found interesting since I know what my birthstone is but never can remember anyone else’s.

I invite you to visit both of these wonderfully creative women and if you do let them know Shelley from I’m Still Standing sent you. And I leave you with one little thought from a sweet little bear named Winnie the Pooh:

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together. There is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you…”

Get Your Preppy On Fabulous Giveaway!

I had so much fun hosting my first giveaway I’m jumping at another! In honor of my post on “Rush” and keeping with the “preppy school spirit,” I would like to introduce you to our friends at “Perfectly Preppy.”

Who is Perfectly Preppy? Kimberly is a wonderful Etsy designer who is “Perfectly Preppy.” (I just love meeting creative people on Etsy, don’t you?) Perfectly Preppy features unique handmade accessories and gifts designed to show off your perfectly preppy style. She has everything from her signature belts, (love them!) bracelets, pendants, and even gifts, there is so much to see! It’s no wonder her tag line is “get your preppy on!” Everything is so bright and adorable!

These are just a few of the things I just love! Of course with the name “Shelley” you know I’m a big Shell lover… LOL but I just love this belt, don’t you?

And of course one can Never have tooo many tumblers! LOL I have found these to be great gifts for everyone from Rebeka’s friends to Ainsley’s teachers and therapists.

Buy It!
You need to go over to her site to check out all of the wonderful goodies she has there. She has generously offered I’m Still Standing’s readers a 20 percent discount on all orders of $50 or more. And to boot she also offers a free gift with any $50 purchase. In order to get the discount all you would need to do is enter Voucher Code: STILLSTANDING at checkout. This offer is generously being extended thru the month of August.

Win It!
Perfectly Preppy has generously offered my readers a chance to win this preppy and adorable Lilly Pulitzer Flamingo Pink Taboo Glass Pendant!!! I know…its soooo cute!

1 entry- Follow this blog, if you are already a follower leave a message as to what you enjoy about “I’m Still Standing.”

1 entry- Visit Perfectly Preppy and come back and let me know what your favorite item in her shop is.
1 entry- Grab I’m still standing button.

1 entry- Follow me on Twitter ( and leave a comment that you are following on twitter.

1 entry-Tweet about this giveaway. Up to once a day! get your preppy on! fab giveaway please RT!
and leave a separate comment here with the twitter link.

1 entry-Subscribe to my feeds

1 entry- Favor my blog on Technorati

1 entry- Blog about this giveaway and include a link back to this contest

1 entry- Post on Facebook: adorable Lilly Pulitzer Flamingo Pink Taboo Glass Pendant Giveaway, leave a separate comment here that you posted this on Facebook and a the link.

Contest Rules:
• Contest ends Tuesday, August 18th at 11pm Eastern Standard Time.

• Winner MUST either have their e-mail address on their profile, or leave their e-mail address with their comment.

• Shipping will be coming directly from Perfectly Preppy.

• I will announce the winner of the giveaway on August 19th on this blog as well as through e-mail to the winner. If I do not receive a response within 48 hours, I will randomly choose a new winner.