Poochy Couture: I am a lover of ALL dogs. We have a house full of dogs (2 danes Tiny & Daisy 1 pug Zoey). I’ve been designing jewelry forever and on Etsy for a couple of years (girlygirlstudios.etsy.com) Well my husband had a tada moment and said I should make dog tags…Well I did and they’ve been selling like crazy!! I really wanted to keep my jewelry and pooch accessories seperate…so PoochyCouture was born.
I really enjoy making the custom designs (like the request for the mushroom dog tags).
I use all natural dyes and earth friendly leather products.
I think every dog lover wants the best for their pooch, so I will offer really colorful fun designs at reasonable prices.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been missing the Seasonal Handmade column, so you can imagine how happy I am to announce that Jennifer Simoni is ready to take it on! (She’s obsessed with tags too :) Here’s her first column, full of love for cold winter weather. Welcome her in the comments, and let her know what your favorite seasonal activities are.
Everyone’s so down on winter. True, it’s cold, icy, and dark. But there are so many fabulous reasons to love winter, I think its time to give it another chance. Here’s a few reasons why I’m such a fan.
What other time of the year do you get to sport your favorite ski sweaters, hats, gloves and scarves? I love scarves. I try to wear the lightweight ones in the summer, sometimes, but it doesn’t work. It’s hot. So as soon as it gets cooler, I have a scarf on always. They’re cozy, they keep me warm, and sometimes, I’m just more comfortable with one than without. The Blue Birds and Blossoms shop has great hand-knit scarves to satisfy my craving for something cozy, new, and blue.
Another great thing about winter is that good feeling you get when you walk into your home after being outside in the cold. Or when you wake up on a Sunday morning to a snowy, blustery, blizzard-y (I made that word up) day. You’re ridiculously happy to curl up on the couch with a book, magazine, old movie and just stay put. (Maybe if you’re motivated, stir up a little soul-warming chili or soup.) This scene is even more perfect with a cozy, warm blanket like this gem from the Two Seaside Babes shop.
Dry skin can be an annoyance during colder months. My hands age 100 years every winter. But instead of cursing the scaly skin, I use it as an excuse to buy luxurious soy lotions. The Scents in Soy shop has many different scents using aloe, shea better and soy. (I am also a big fan of soy candles, which help give my home a more homey feel. ) While on the subject of dry skin, my poor lips are crackly all winter long. I’m incredibly addicted to chapsticks that are extra moisturizing in different flavors, like these from Long Winter Farm. I leave them in coat pockets, purses, jeans pockets, because to be without, even for a few hours, is horrifying. Holly Berry Designs has an ingenious, adorable solution I recently came across for chapstick-addicts like me. A little zipper pouch that attaches to my keys.
That’s just the beginning of my list. There’s a million reasons winter is so cool–pardon the pun. Are you ready to embrace winter and give it another chance?
I handcraft pirate treasure maps and pirate treasure kits for all the little pirates of the world. I prematurely age a sheet of canvas and lay the artwork down with inks and hand letter everything. they make very unique gifts for those who like their kids to engage in creative play at least some of the time. Video games and tv are fine if they are balanced with creative and imaginative games that all children are capable of.
I also make notebooks out of vintage record album covers and various types of boxboard (like cereal boxes). The remnants of what I cut from cereal and other dry goods boxes are hand punched to make little scalloped shaped tags for gifts or price tags etc. It is a great way to recycle and people think they are cool ideas.
I have also been making and selling primitive hang tags for years.
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
I have always been creative and willing to try new things. I have not, however, always been successful. I failed horribly at knitting for example. I did mosaic art for quite a while, cutting all of my own pieces from vintage dinner plates. I really loved the 70’s retro colors but did a lot of cottage chic type of pieces because they were hot sellers at that time.
I did some work with digital graphics for a few years as well during that same time. I then had my son and those two things were just too demanding on my time.
I transitioned into some recycled projects, the primitive hang tags and my latest passion for the pirate treasure maps.
Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
Maya is the name of our family dog. A border collie. I started an ebay account years ago and called it mayasmomma, that transitioned into a store and then I started selling on Etsy and I decided to stick with the name to make it easier for customers to follow me.
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
I work alone for the most part on the crafts. My husband helps when I need him to but he is the biggest help indulging my son at those moments when I really need to get work done. My dad is a constant help to me with the primitive hang tags. He is in charge of stringing them up for me which just takes time that I do not always have. He loves to be able to help me and I usually need it!
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
I sell mainly online.
I do a few craft shows per year around the holidays.
I like the interactions with the Etsy members. So many creative minds in one place is very empowering and motivating.
Do you have any favorite handmade shops or sellers you’d like to recommend?
My favorite for quality, handmade knit items: The PunkyToe Co.
What inspires and motivates you?
I am often motivated by others. I am encouraged by friends and family because they think I have a talent for being crafty-licious in general. I try many things and when I can make one work I focus on it until I feel it is something that others would covet.
What do you wish I had asked you?
“Did you ever attempt a new craft that you could never get the hang of?”
I once had this idea to learn to knit so that I could make and sell “matching people and pet scarves”…I really wanted my fur child and I to be wearing matching scarves when we went for walks. FLOP. I couldn’t learn to knit to save my life. I did find someone to knit matching scarves for me.
Snort. I think that’s a great idea even though my crazy dog would just eat her scarf ;) Thanks Anne! And if you would like to be interviewed next, just head over to DIY Interview.
One Girl Circus offers delightful, versatile designs you won’t find anywhere else for girls and boys. Every day is a special occasion for your little ones; they should dress the part!
I make all clothing items to order with my own two hands, and it is important to me that each piece is as beautiful on the inside as the outside, as well as being comfortable and durable for everyday adventures.
All of my clothing is washable and crafted with care, so that even the most sensitive little ones don’t feel scratchies or itchies. Seams are entirely enclosed where possible, any exposed seams are professionally finished to prevent fraying, and tags are stitched down for comfort.
Handcrafted with heirloom-quality construction means that these are the clothes you will save for your next children, or the next generation of children.
I’ve been a fan of Nikki McClure for some time. Her exquisite paper cuttings are simply wondrous in their detail. She uses an exacto knife to create her beautiful images, each from a single sheet of paper. The painstaking detail. The complexity. I find her work enchanting and perfected suited to children’s illustrations. Her collection of books are available at Buy Olympia, along with a lovely assortment of notecards, gift tags and other paper beauties.
Mama Is It Summer Yet? is a heartwarming tale of a little boy who asks the same question of his mother, again and again; a theme familiar to mothers who try to satisfy the curiosity and eagerness of their little ones, and to children for whom waiting a few weeks might as well be a few decades.
The First 1000 Days is a baby journal unlike most. Parents have long enjoyed chronicling their children’s early days of life, but Nikki’s illustrations elevate the experience to a creating a work of art that will be eventually passed on to your child. There’s lots of room for notes and such, and tons of her beautiful work to inspire to more than a record of the order that solid foods were introduced. This journal makes you want to write something wise and eternal. My children are six and three and I’m thinking about buying two of these, just because they are so beautiful and poetic.
“The Great Chicken Escape is a true story, or as close to truth as I could ascertain from the chickens themselves.” These are Nikki’s own words about this book. And judging by her illustrations of nuns wrangling chickens, this will probably be one of those books that your child requests over and over.
Nikki is a self-taught artist who has been making paper cuts since 1996 and who produces her own merchandise. You can find Nikki’s books, t-shirts, notecards and other merchandise, as well as her original paper cuts on Buy Olympia.