Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cyber Monday Deals

I have been busy these past few days creating, photographing, and listing items in my shop.  I now have around 100 items and am hosting some Cyber Monday deals.

Until the end of the day Monday, enjoy free U.S. shipping on ALL hairpin sets.  Also, until December 18th - order a headband from my Heritage Line and you will receive a free gift!

Come and browse Acute Designs for your holiday shopping will be fun, I promise :).

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Thanks for reading and following along with all of my endeavors.

{Photos courtesy of Design Sponge, My Home Ideas, and Sweet Paul}

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Give Thanks

I know the standard: family, friends, health, a job, an education, etc.  Those are all amazing things and I am thankful for each of them, but....I am also thankful for  less momentous things this Thanksgiving week.

-These boots.  My size is out of stock on the UO website.  Luckily, I was able to find them at my local store. I had to go to two stores, but they were worth it.

-Pumpkin Muffins.  They are so good, slightly healthy, and I am making some tomorrow.
-A working heater.  Even though I live in sunny San Diego it has been in the 50s at night and my body has forgotten what real, midwestern cold, feels like.
-DVR. I watch a lot of TV and am not quite sure how I managed it before DVR.
-Cheap wine from Trader Joe's. Since quitting my job I am on a budget and the cheap wine at Trader Joe's is such a deal.  Who am I kidding?  I bought the $2 wine long before quitting my job...

-Palm Springs - I am going there Sunday with my entire family.  I've never been and we are staying a week!  And, the house my parents rented has a pool.  My dogs can't wait to swim,

What {slightly superficial} things are you thankful for this Thanksgiving week?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dog Accessories

Anyone that knows me, knows I am obsessed with my two puppies.  I have been planning on expanding my Acute Pet line for a while and finally got my act together last weekend.

I am making simple felted flowers {with or without bling} for you and your pet.   You know you want to match your dog....

{Gordita and I discussing possible designs...}

{Such a pretty girl!}

{Handsome boy!}

These Doggie-Human Winter Blooms will be up in my shop later this week.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Much Love Monday - Killing + a Vintage Sale

This weekend it rained.  A lot.  And since I am now a Southern California weather wimp, I didn't intend to leave the house.  Sadly, my front porch was attacked by 90 trillion ants {sick}.  I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep while aware of the nastiness on my front porch so I had to go to Home Depot and buy an economy size jug of eco-friendly insect killer.

Then, I stood in the rain in my raincoat and wellies killing ant after ant.  It felt strangely liberating.  I hope I don't have bad karma now.

I figured after all of that trauma, I deserved a trip to a local vintage shop that I frequent.  Lucky for me and my tiny bank account, they were having a big ass sale {A Huge Frocking Sale is what they call it} and I bought so many wonderful bits for just $60.

I love a deal.  Especially a vintage deal.   The power I felt after killing 90 trillion ants + my vintage finds  = a wonderful weekend {despite the awful weather}.

What are you loving today?  Blog about it and link up over at Much Love Monday.

{Just a small handful of the lovelies I bought}

Christmas Ornaments

I love looking at the all the Christmas decor that has been popping up in all my favorite shops these past few weeks.  When it comes to decor in general, Anthropologie always gets it right in my book and they did not disappoint with this year's holiday collection.

{All images courtesy of Anthropologie}

Saturday, November 20, 2010

This weekend I'm grateful for...Rain

This Saturday, I am grateful for rain.  It rarely rains here in San Diego, but when it does it is a great excuse to hole up inside the house and gets things done.  Since I have another show in 2 weeks, I could use some indoors-all-weekend time to finish several designs.

Plus, my house is a mess and I have a Thanksgiving menu to plan - all good things to do on a rainy weekend.

I am also grateful for photo editing - I use both Picasa and Picnik.  I am not the greatest photographer and my pics would be completely useless without these two wonderful programs.

{Heritage Line here to purchase}

What are you grateful for today? Blog about it and link up over at Maxabella loves...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Small Business Saturday - November 27th

Next Saturday, November 27th, American Express is sponsoring the first ever Small Business Saturday.  They are doing a $100 American Express Card giveaway as well as other incentives to shop small businesses.

Why Small Businesses? 

As you may or may not know the health of small businesses directly impacts our economy. 

Small businesses employ over half of all private sector employees and a majority of the new jobs created in our communities was made possible by small businesses.

When you support small businesses, money returns to the community. It is imperative that we shift our buying habits.  The cheapest priced good is always enticing, but consider the overall positive effect of supporting a small business.

How can you get involved? 

You can buy from {shamless personal plug!} my small business, Acute Designs or any of the other sellers on Etsy or similar sites.

If you have some holiday shoping to do this weekend, try a local botique.  You might be surprised at the number of unique, well priced, and interesting items for sale.

And for every $100 that is spent at a small business, 68 of those dollars return to the community.

It's pretty much a win-win situation.

Check out the Small Business Saturday website and Facebook Page for more info.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How to be interesting

The other day I was perusing the archives on CopyBlogger {one of my fav blogs on blogging} and cannot stop thinking about one of the posts I read - How to Be Interesting.

I have an ok blog following, but would like a great following.  One way to get that following is to write interesting posts and engage readers.  I think I am doing an ok job, but ok isn't good enough for me.  I would like to move from just ok to pretty great and I think the tips form the CopyBlogger post are a great help.

Out of the 21 Tips in the post, I think these are to be the ones I can most effectively put into action:

1. Be wrong: The world is full of people trying to do the right things. It’s become so common that many of us are bored by it. We long for someone that is willing to do the wrong thing, say the wrong thing, be the wrong thing. If you have the courage to be that person, you’ll find lots of people paying attention to you.

4. Do something: Everybody online is trying to say something important, but very few are trying to do something important. If you want attention, dare not to just give advice to others, but to live that advice yourself. Then blog about it.

6. Make people laugh: Bloggers are far too serious. We’re so busy trying to teach that we forget to entertain. As a result, large portions of our readerships fall asleep. And what’s the best way to wake people up? Humor. Public speakers have been using it for ages, and as long as it’s appropriate for your audience, humor can wake your readers up and get them paying attention again.

17. Disprove the proven: For a long time, everyone thought you had to be the best to be successful. Then Chris Anderson came along and turned the world upside down with The Long Tail. He disproved what a lot of people held to be true, and it made him (even more) famous. Granted, it’s hard to engineer a breakthrough, but if you run across one, people will talk about you for years.

21. Put your readers first: Yes, you’re the blogger. Yes, you’re the one with talent. Yes, you’re the one working your tail off. But it doesn’t matter. The one and only thing of consequence is your reader. You can rail against this fact for as long as you like, but as long you do, you’ll never be interesting.

What do you to to maintain a strong blog following and interest?  How did you grow your blog?

Gift Guides for Everyone!

Over the past week or so, I have posted a few gift guides to inspire your holiday shopping {Little People Guide and Boardwalk Empire Guide}.

I recently teamed up with Chic n’ Cheap Living and created a Kitchen Gift Guide.  My guide is part of an overall blogger gift guide - filled with stylish finds for anyone of your list.

Check out the comprehensive Blogger Gift Guides: Part I and Part II {which is where you will find my guide}. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Heritage Line

For the past few weeks, I have been hard at work creating a new line of headbands.  I am calling this line Heritage because each piece was named after a woman in my family.

Please check out the look book I put together here

All pieces will be up in the shop this week.  Some are one of a kind and some are very limited, so if there is one you cannot live without - don't hesitate!

Boardwalk Empire Inspired Gift Guide

Have any of you been watching the new HBO show, Boardwalk Empire?  I am pretty much a sucker for any period drama, especially the ones done by HBO.  {I would kill for HBO reinstate the Rome series.  I have seen it at least three times and am dying to watch it again.}

Boardwalk Empire takes place in Atlantic City and Chicago during the Prohibition years.  It is all about bootlegging, government corruption, and gangs {Al Capone is one of the reoccurring characters}.  It is a little like Sopranos set during Prohibition.  It is totally my kind of show and the style is simply beautiful. 

I put together this gift guide with items inspired by Boardwalk Empire:

1. Blouse, Modcloth
2. Clutch,  Francesca's
3. Vintage Style Camera, Urban Outfitters
4. Barware Set, Target
5. Pearl Necklace, Urban Outfitters
6. 1930s Cocktail Book, Anthropologie
7. Newsboy Cap, Ruche

Monday, November 15, 2010

A little Ikea love

Last week I went to Ikea armed with a list, but a few non-essentials crept into my cart.  It is just one of those things that seems to happen at Ikea.

One non-essential item was these glasses and tray (I got the navy blue one). 

I picked them up, decided I didn't need them, put them down, walked away, turned around, walked back, decided I could spare the $10ish, and put them in my cart.   

I love the Nordic snowflake design on both items and feel very festive when I drink from one of the glasses.  They will be perfect for an eggnog cocktail on Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Much Love Monday - Christmas Shopping

I am one of those people who love Christmas - the decorations, shopping, baking, cooking...all of it.  I find so many people dread Christmas shopping, while I look forward to it {probably because I always end up buying myself a few things}.

My family is having an early Christmas this year and I need to ship my in-laws gifts to Ireland before December {no room in my suitcase for gifts} so I did almost all my shopping this weekend.  I dragged my husband along which was both fun and annoying at the same time. 

{Some items my husband picked out for his niece at Old Navy.}

Have a wonderful Monday everyone!  It is my third week of working for myself and I am loving every minute of it.  No more Sunday night blues, life is good.

What do you love today? Blog about it and link up over at Much Love Monday.

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Etsy Secrets and Observations: 100 Sales + 1 Year

One year ago tomorrow, I opened my shop {Acute Designs} on Etsy.  It was a bumpy road at first considering I knew absolutely nothing, nada, zero about selling online.  {Or about selling in general.}

I quickly realized that just making beautiful products wasn't good enough.  I read everything I could find on Etsy, blogs, and other forums about online selling, selling in general, customer service, running a small business, motivational tips, and so on.

My biggest takeaway is to never stop learning

I will never know everything {even though at times I pretend to know it all} and am open to constructive criticism any day.

My second big lesson of the past year is this  - Focus on what is useful to believe. 

Is it useful to think that I will fail? Even if it is a possibility, what purpose does it serve to think about the possibility? 

I believe in being an optimistic realist.  Being realistic of my shortcomings and optimistic that I can overcome them.  Being realistic that it is really hard to successfully run my own business and optimistic that I will be a success story.

Focus on what is useful to believe. 

It is not useful to dwell on my shortcomings, mistakes, failures.  It is useful to focus on what will happen when I succeed.

I posted my "secrets" in the Etsy forums.  Click here if you are interested.

Are you running your own business {either full time or on the side}?  If so, what have you learned?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Must Have Kitchen Gadget Gift Guide

Today's gift guide is one for any cook or foodie in your life.  Last week, I was hard at work curating a list of Chic Kitchen Gifts for the blog, Chic n’ Cheap Living.

To see more details and where to buy each of my finds - check out the Chic n' Cheap Living post here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Little People Gift Guide

I just realized it's almost the middle of November.  This month is flying by and I am acting like I have all the time in the world, when in reality I SO do not.

I am leaving town the week after Thanksgiving and again December 18th through January 4th.  Therefore, I have about 4 weeks to pack in all my holiday shopping, Thanksgiving menu planning/cooking, and preparing for two different holiday shows + stocking up the stores I sell at + finishing my holiday/winter line.

I all of a sudden feel overwhelmed.....

Since the holidays are so close, I am going to put together some gift guides to help with shopping.  I will try my best to keep the items affordable, unique, and cute.

First up - Gifts for the Little People in our lives.

1. State of Ohio Teething Toy, Little Sapling Toys on Etsy, $12
2. Teddy Bear Onesie, Boden, $50
3. Farm Animal Puzzle, Melissa and Doug, $19.99
4. Toddler Drum Kit, Flying Peas, $50
5. Lego Ipod Speaker Dock, Land of Nod, $12.95
6. Baby Girl Holiday Dresses, Tea Clothing, $39-$85
7. Felt Toy Sushi Set, Bug Bites Play Food on Etsy, $14
8. Zoo Animal Crayons, Design a Crayon on Etsy, Unknown
9. I’m Kind of a Big deal Onesie, The Retro Baby, $19.95

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Lands' End - Who Knew?!

I randomly received a Lands' End catalog in the mail last week and was beyond impressed.  Since when did they go from boring parkas and fleece jackets to moderately priced, super cute clothes that I actually want to buy?  They are like a tame and less expensive J.Crew. 

These images kind of make me wish I lived in a snowy climate.

{All photos courtesy of Land’s End}

Monday, November 08, 2010

30 things I will do this year - the list

Here is my list.  The original inspiration for this list can be found on Scoutie Girl.  I read this post a few months ago and was inspired to write my own.

It was really hard and I got stuck here and there, so excuse the lameness of a few.  Overall, this was a really fun exercise.  I forced myself to come up with 30 things as quickly as possible - it can always be amended.

What do you want to do this year?  Is there anything I missed?

  1. Make at least half of what I made at my day job. I can live off half, but more would be nice!
  2. Do more guest blogging.
  3. Invite others to write guest posts for my blogs.
  4. Try new recipes and post more of them on Taste {instead of just eating the same things over and over}.
  5. Exercise at least 4 times a week. {Why is this so hard to do? It is on every resolution list I ever make.}
  6. Stop biting my nails! What 30 year old bites her nails? {This is harder than keeping #5.}
  7. Write an E-Book.
  8. Sell a few copies of this E-Book.
  9. Submit a proposal for a non E-Book.
  10. Create enough inventory so that I always have at least 125 products in my Etsy shop at all times.
  11. Expand my Acute Pet Line.
  12. Expand my Acute Jewelry Line.
  13. Start an Acute Home Line.
  14. Open a shop on my own website and direct traffic there, while keeping the Etsy shop for the occasional stopper by.  {Etsy fees do add up, so it would be great to eventually graduate from solely selling the site.}
  15. Continue to improve my photos.
  16. Hire a photographing student intern.
  17. Follow through on the projects I start.
  18. Make my bed every morning.
  19. Brush my dogs’ coats every week. {There is way too much dog hair in my house and I hear this is one way to cut down on that.}
  20. Try Vietnamese food. {We have a plethora of Vietnamese restaurants in my neighborhood and I have never been. New foods scare me.}
  21. Buy a bike and train my crazy puppy, Finn, to run alongside me.
  22. Create at least 10 wholesale accounts for my products.
  23. Spend more time doing and less time thinking about doing…this one is so hard for me.
  24. Participate in 10 craft/art shows. Hopefully some in other cities.
  25. Visit family/friends in Chicago.
  26. Visit friends in Cincinnati.
  27. Start a mailing list and create a newsletter.
  28. Read more books and less internet. Don’t get me wrong, I love blogs, Facebook, and Twitter…but sometimes I get lost in reading all of these and forget about great books. Books are what made me fall in love with reading and in today’s world of information and entertainment everywhere I look, it has become a little easy for me to neglect all the books piling up on my library list.
  29.  Take a sewing class. I love to sew and am better than the average person, but I would like to be really good. And I would like to be able to make clothing.
  30. Create a look book for the 2010 Holidays. {I should probably stop internetting and get started on this...}

30 things I will do this year

Last week, I turned 30.  It is kind of a milestone age, but I am not sure why.  Is it because it marks another 10 years? Or because it is the age when we should be an adult, should have life figured out. 

You know those essays they used to make you write in school - the ones along the lines of "Where will you be when you are 30?"  Or in the case of my generation- "Where will you be when the new millennium hits?"

I remember writing one when I was in maybe the 4th grade and I remember saying I would have about 4 kids.  FOUR kids?!  Who the hell wants that?  Not me.  When you are young, 30 seems so old that it seems normal to have a few kids, a career, and a spouse.  Now, 30 seems like the beginning, not like a year somewhere in the middle of adulthood.

Since I have just made a big life change of quitting my soul sucking day job and going full time running my business, I thought I would mark this first week at 30 with a list.  Kind of like a New Year's resolution list, but I will call this list:

30 things I will do this year

Do you have a birthday coming up?  Or a major life change?  If so, what do you want to accomplish this year?

Since this post is already kind of long and rambling{and I don't have the list written yet...I had a long weekend of partying with good friends who came in town for my birthday} I will post my list later today or tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Last week a tiny package arrive for me.  I was a little confused as I was certain I hadn't ordered anything...or had I?  {Do you ever online shop and then forget about your order?}

Inside was this necklace, but in an "R" for Regina.

{Necklace by E. Ria Designs on Etsy}

I have been admiring this necklace for a while and apparentlyy, my sister noticed and ordered me one for my birthday {which is today}.  Thanks Beka! 

Monday, November 01, 2010

First Day

After my first day of working for myself I noticed....
  • It is fun to make a schedule, but hard to stick to it.
  • I have a lot less time aimlessly sitting in front of a computer, therefore I have less time to pour over my favorite blogs, gossip and news sites, emails, etc.  This is both good and bad at the same time.
  • My husband truly thinks that part of the "work for myself" description means helping him with every little thing.   This might get annoying....
  • I have this feeling of dread in my gut that I have to go back to work tomorrow or next week.  It hasn't really sunk in yet that I never have to go back again.  I really hope this goes away soon.  It is a nagging little feeling in my head that keeps saying "Ughhh, I am not looking forward to...." and then I think "What am I dreading?"  And a few seconds later realize, nothing.  Nothing.At.All.  That is one damn good feeling.

{There is little that I love more than a dog in costume - Prince Finn and Princess Gordita look beyond adorable.}

Designed by Jackie Ayr