Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Once a Mommy, Always A Mommy

When I was a little girl I used to play "mommy" and plan out how many kids I was going to have (two girls and one boy) and give them all cute little names (Kendra, Eliza, and Colin). Then I was a teen and a young college woman and even a young wife. The last thing on my mind was being a MOM! But that all changed the moment I realized I was pregnant the first time. I cannot imagine myself as anything but momma to these two beautiful boys. How does that happen? I don't know but it is a special miracle.

I created this tribute to all you mommas, mommies, mums, mothers out there who will always be matter how old our children grow to be.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mother's Day Scavenger Hunt and Promotional Code

All you mom's out know who you are....the one's who work from son up til son down (and usually well into the wee hours just to keep caught up). Or maybe you know a mom just like this who deserves a little pampering.
The SAFEteam of Etsy has put together an amazing pamper basket just for MOM filled to the brim with bath and body products from 16 talented soapers . You could win it by finding 15 rubber ducks hidden in team member shops. Visit the team blog for further details on how to participate.

Because at Soap Scent-sations we think Mom deserves to be treated special we are offering 25% off all Cold Process Soaps. Now through Mother's Day (May 9th) use promotional code: MOMsoap25 when pampering Mom (or yourself). Let us know if you would like to have your package shipped directly to your mom. Gift wrap and personalized note available upon request for an additional fee.

Have a Very Happy Mother's Day!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Missouri Mondays - Earth Friendly Missourian

Earth Day falls this week and my Missouri featured artist knows there is no "monkeying" around when it comes to creating Earth friendly products. Not only does she talk the talk, but she walks the walk when it comes to eco-friendly baby products. I met Jolene through my local team and enjoy many of the same local art/craft events. I had the opportunity to get to know Jolene of locoMOmomma a little better this week and hope you enjoy our conversation.

How long have you lived in Missouri?

We moved here from St Paul 8 years ago. We had just started a family and wanted to raise our kids in a smaller community. Columbia was ideal since it has the arts and entertainment of a big city yet the quaintness of a small town (plus, you can drive across town in 30 minutes or less!) My brother also lives here, and we always enjoyed visiting. Almost instantly after we decided we wanted to live in Columbia, my husband found a job, we found a house and church to call was as if we were meant to be here.

What is something you love about living in Mid-MO?

I really enjoy the sense of community here. People here honestly care about their neighbors and help each other out.

How did you get started in your craft/art?

What things around you inspire you to create?I taught myself how to crochet over 30 years ago to fend off boredom (I grew up with two older brothers on a dairy farm in Iowa.) My grandma and mom also taught me embroidery, latch hook, and macrame.

What is your favorite craft tool to use?

For "coolness factor" I like my crochet hook that lights up. It's great in low light situations and takes the stress off of my eyes.

What things around you inspire you to create?

Yarn or crafting websites like Ravelry can suck me in for hours. Other Etsy artists inspire me to no end. I have always loved amigurumi and Amy Gaines -- her patterns are so sweet. Another shop I recently discovered was Prim and Plush, which is a perfect mix of science geekery and amigurumi -- I was a Microbiologist in my former life. Of course for my designs, I like to put an earth-friendly, baby-safe spin on everyday toys.

Earth Day falls this week. How do your products and lifestyle reflect the ideals Earth Day stands for? How does Etsy allow you to promote these idea?

I only use 100% organic cotton to crochet my baby toys. Some of the yarn is color-grown, so no dyes are used; and the yarn I use for my teething rings is grown, spun and dyed according to the Global Organic Textile Standard (the highest in the textile industry). My plush items are stuffed with natural kapok fiber (from the kapok tree, which grows naturally in the rain forest). Kapok is: moisture-resistant, quick-drying, resilient, buoyant, lightweight, completely hypo-allergenic, dust mite and mold resistant and odorless. Also, chemicals are not needed for this crop to grow. Nor is the ground tilled, which keeps the rainforest alive and healthy, and provides sustainable jobs in the rainforest. I use clean recycled packaging materials when I send my Etsy orders and I encourage my customers to "close the loop" by reusing/recycling the package. I belong to the Etsy Earth Team, which is committed to sustainability, aware of current eco-issues, taking responsibility for making the best, well-balanced choices with the safety and quality of their products in mind.

Why did you choose Etsy to sell your products?

I chose Etsy because it had a large following, even back in 2007. Also, you can list an item for pennies!

What is one thing you can tell other artists to help them keep moving forward with their aspirations?

I think surrounding yourself with creative people and carving time out of your schedule to create motivates most artists.

Ok, I have to ask this one: Cardinals or Royals? ;) sorry--Twins or Cubs.

You can find locoMOmomma products on Etsy and on Facebook!!/LocoMOmomma?ref=ts

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Let the Sun Shine Down

I do this every anxious to get my hands in the earth, to feel the warmth of Spring sun on my skin that I forget my skin is pale...pastie even and NEEDS coverage. After a day of yard work, removing dead foliage, trimming wild stems, turning soil, and starting fresh new seedlings into the ground my bare arms and neck were a nice shade of pink.

I know this is not good for me or my skin. I do know that in the long run that it is better for me to "cover" up with a commercial sun block, but I would much rather use something a little more natural. I did a little research on "natural" sunscreens that I thought I would share with you.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that sun block should have an SPF of at least 15 but higher numbers are suggested for longer lasting protection. SPF is not the only factor in providing protection of course. Ingredients are a very important aspect. Ingredients that provide the most UVA coverage are avobenzone, ecamsule, and zinc oxide.

The Daily Green has a list of top ten Natural and Organic sunscreens that were tested by the EWG as being safe and effective.

Other measures you can take include wearing dark or UV protected clothing, broad brimmed hats, and of course limit your exposure in general to the sun.

Of course if you are like me and forget to apply sunscreen those first Spring days out whether it be sunny or cloudy, you can help replenish your skin with a good dollop of natural aloe vera gel or liquid and stay out of the sun for a few days.