Giveaway / Novica

Novica Fair Trade Beaded Bracelets on Lost and FawnedAt Novica, the mission is simple… Spread Happiness.  They strive to create happy artisans by providing fair prices, no binding contracts and the opportunity to build a sustainable business with their craft.  Novica also creates happy customers by unique gifts at great prices.  They connect with artists and craftsmen around the world to bring together an amazing collection from jewelry to home decor to amazing sweaters and apparel.  You can read more about their mission and their process here.

Novica Free Gift Wrapping on Lost and Fawned

Novica Fair Trade Bracelets on Lost and FawnedEach gift comes gift wrapped… for FREE!  That’s right!  The wrapping you see in the photos above comes standard!  Some items are wrapped with materials from and in the style of their native country.  You can also pay a little more for deluxe gift wrapping if you want something a little more special.  This is a HUGE time saver during the busy holiday season.

Each item also comes with a booklet that tells you a little about the piece you receive and a message from the artisan.  On the website you can find more detailed profiles for each and every artist and craftsman.  It makes the whole buying and receiving process that much more personal.

Novica Fair Trade Cream and Sugar Set on Lost and Fawned

Novica Fair Trade Silver Earrings on Lost and FawnedThe team at Novica was kind enough to send me some of their beautiful products to experience the buying process myself.  I could not be happier.  After ordering, my items were shipping quickly and arrived in no time.  They were so beautifully wrapped.  These were a treat for myself after a very tough month, and it was so fun to open each package.

First up, these beautiful Sterling Silver Minimalist Square Hoop Earrings from an artist named Pichaya in Thailand.  Her silver jewelry ranges in style from very sleek and elegant (like these earrings) to more ornate and traditional.  I really needed something classic since I don’t have much silver in my jewelry collection, but these were also very tempting.  See more of her work here.

Next… more jewelry.  These Unakite and Jasper Beaded Bracelets are  from an artist named Tiraphan Hasub.  Each one is beaded by hand by the artist and the closure is the tiniest brass bell.  She has so many gorgeous beaded bracelets in her collection and it was very difficult to choose just one set.  They would look awesome mixed and matched and stacked.

Last but certainly not least, this Pig Cream & Sugar Set might be my favorite thing ever.  It celebrates the traditional art celadon ceramic glazing in a really fun and contemporary way.  The soft green color and fine cracks in the surface of the glaze is unique to this process.  Of course when we have guests they will be integrated into our breakfast table, but for now I think I’ll probably use them as little bud vases in the kitchen.  Find more ceramic pieces by Duangkamol here.  I’m smitten with this pair of celadon horse ornaments right now.

GIVEAWAY Novica Fair Trade Gifts on Lost and FawnedTo get your holiday shopping off on the right foot this month, Novica is offering one lucky reader a chance to win $75 for Novica.  Get yourself some beautiful holiday decor or a great serving piece for your christmas feast.  Or get some beautiful gifts for someone on your list.

It’s quick and easy to enter.  Please use the widget below to enter.  If you can’t see the widget, please click here to go to the page.  Giveaway ends on December 5rd.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A huge thank you to Novica for generously sponsoring this post.  Good luck to all who enter!

Instaweek / 11.18.14

My Instaweek 11-18-14 on Lost and FawnedWinter is here in full force now.  It’s bitter cold and miserable today, but yesterday we woke up to the most magical snowy landscape.  Now the snow is brown and slushy but the cold has really set in.

I decided to try something new-ish this holiday season to get me in the spirit.  When I was a kid, I picked up cross-stitch a couple of times and never really finished much.  I have had my eye on the adorable patterns at The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery after I saw some friends on Instagram posting their progress.  I saw their Christmas Celebration Sampler starting (the pattern is sent to you in pieces over the course of a month) and hopped on board.  I started a little late since I needed to pick up a couple of supplies, but I’m going to be busy catching up this afternoon once I tackle my list.  It’s adorable and relaxing.  Plus in the end I’ll have a really sweet holiday piece to put in a frame or on a pillow cover.

Our holiday cards arrived from Minted!  I can’t wait to share them with you.  I’m planning to get them posted next week, along with one last gift card giveaway.  They are so pretty.  I even got to splurge on pre-printed wrap around return address labels.

Logan is doing a million times better.  It’s amazing how fast he has bounced back.  I’m so thankful for the amazing team at our local vet who have been so kind and helpful.  If your dog ever gets a foot injury, seriously look into vets that do laser therapy.  It really sped up the healing process.  Finnick has been attached to my hip since it started getting cold.  I don’t think he’s a huge fan of winter.  I don’t blame him.  Going outside is a lot less fun when the air hurts your skin.

I have another new giveaway starting tomorrow!  This one is a part of my Gifts that Give Back series and is perfect to kick start your holiday shopping!  Stay tuned!

Meet Studio 255

Meet the Team Behind Studio 255As you know, I strive to help you find the perfect gift for just about everyone during the holiday season.  Today I have found you something for any newlyweds, new home owners or growing families.  When I choose to go off registry from a wedding shower, my go-to gift is a custom address stamp.  Not only does it celebrate their union, but it also cuts down on tons of time when they go to address those invitations and thank you notes.

Studio 255 has a beautiful collection of customizable address stamps that range in style from elegant to playful.  If you need to shop for a book lover, they also have an amazing collection of custom bookplate stamps.  How beautifully old fashioned (and useful!) is this gorgeous stamp?  Not only do they provide a meticulously designed, high quality stamp, but you couldn’t support a sweeter family.

Studio 255 Address StampSydney and Mike took a few minutes to answer some questions to better get to know their work process, backgrounds, how they work as a team and give some advice to new small business owners:

What are you top three necessities when working/creating?
MIKE:
1. Coffee…or beer. Depends on the time of day.
2. Sydney at the computer (she is way better with the Adobe Suite)
3. That’s really it. I try to keep it simple.
SYDNEY:
I’m pretty minimalistic when I’m designing – after spending 5 years designing for a busy marketing agency – the only thing I need is some peace and quiet. The only exception being if Mike’s home and decides to keep me company/contribute to the designs, that’s always more fun than designing alone. If I’m assembling wedding invitations or some other task involving my hands, then I like having plenty of company (to help/chat with) or a good TV show on to enjoy while I work.

 

What’s your perfect Saturday?
MIKE:
A motorcycle ride with my dad and brother in the morning. After the ride, we get brunch and I eat a huge skillet (victory pancakes included) and a lot of coffee. Then Sydney, Luke and I go for an afternoon outing to the Arboretum, or some other nice outdoor space. End with grilling out on the new deck and enjoying a beer.
SYDNEY:
I’m totally in agreement with Mike for the after-brunch portion of the day that he described, I love when we can do stuff like that as a family. But instead of going for a motorcycle ride (I’m too chicken!), I’d rather be playing with Luke until it’s time for his first nap, then heading upstairs to my office to knock things off of my to-do list. That way I can spend the rest of my day footloose and fancy free!

 

What’s the soundtrack in your studio right now?
MIKE:
Mostly pop punk music from the early 2000s.
SYDNEY:
Usually the only time I listen to music while designing is over the summer when I have to start working on our holiday line – then I need a good loop of Christmas music to get me into the right mindset.

 

As the team behind Studio 255, do you divide the duties of your business or take on everything together?
MIKE:
A little of both. We collaborate on some of the design stuff, but for getting orders filled and out the door, we divide and conquer.

 

 Your best tip/advice for new designers/craftsmen:
MIKE:
Being a successful creative type takes a lot more than just being great at your craft. You might make the best hand-knit kitten mittens in the world, but if your website is confusing, no one will find your product.
SYDNEY:
Persistence, patience, and problem solving. It takes a lot of time to make that first sale, be found by bloggers, and develop a customer/fan base. You’ve got to just keep creating and coming up with new ideas, and then getting those new ideas in front of the right people. And eventually if it’s not working, it’s imperative that you look at the situation with a critical eye and make course corrections. Thanks to the internet, there’s someone out there who wants what you’re making, you just need to find them.

 

Studio 255 Stamps - Stationary - SuppliesA huge thank you to Sydney and Mike for taking the time to share with us while they prepare for a busy holiday season.  Be sure to visit their shop for amazing gifts and cards.  For more Studio 255, you can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

This post is sponsored by the wonderful people behind Studio 255.  All opinions and words are my own and I only include products and artists I truly love.  If you would like your own in-post feature, please visit my sponsor page for details.

IKEA Soft Toys for Education

Ikea Foundation Soft Toys for Education 2014Today’s post kicks off my Gifts that Give Back series that will run through the holiday season.  My love of art was nurtured all throughout my upbringing by teachers, mentors and my peers in school.  In 6th grade one of my teachers entered one of my drawings into a small local art competition, and when I won just an honorable mention, it gave me the confidence to pursue a life in the arts.  Without a complete and well rounded education though, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

It’s easy to forget how lucky we are when it comes to something we feel is so basic, like sending our kids to school.  We have so many choices… private, charter, Montessori, public, etc.  But for many children in developing countries the chance to learn and play in a safe and protective environment is still out of reach.  The IKEA Foundation is working to change that.  They believe every child has a right to a quality basic education, and that’s why they started their IKEA Soft Toys for Education program.  From November 9th to January 3rd, for every soft toy or book that is purchased from IKEA stores, they will donate $1.00 to Save the Children and UNICEF.

Ikea Foundation Soft Toys for Education - DonateThe IKEA Foundation has been running this program during the holiday season since 2003 and results are being felt in many countries in Africa, Asia and Europe.  Since 2003, more than 11 million children have been impacted through 99 projects in 46 countries with a total amount donated at $90.4 million (67 million euro).

In Mozambique, thanks to the IKEA Foundation’s contribution of IKEA Soft Toys for Education campaign funds, 55,000 children in 88 schools were reached with the five components of the Child-Friendly Schools approach: education; protection; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and social mobilization. Children in these schools also received physical education and were trained in important life skills (HIV awareness, awareness on gender issues, and preventing violence and sexual abuse).

Ikea Foundation Soft Toys for EducationTo find out more about the good work the proceeds from IKEA Soft Toys for Education is doing around the world, visit the IKEA Foundation.  Even if you don’t have any little ones on your list this year, spread the word by pinning or sharing some of the images above and linking back here or to the IKEA Foundation.  We can make a difference for children around the world together.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Holidays 2014 / Gifts that Give Back

Gifts that Give Back - Holidays 2014It’s almost here!  The holidays are my favorite time of year.  I love the food, the family and picking out gifts for loved ones.  As usual, I’ll be featuring a series of gift guides tailored to everyone on your list.  This year I will be adding a little something to it.  This year’s gift guides will include many “Gifts that Give Back”.  I have selected a few special shops that not only have an amazing collection of gifts, but also give back to the world in some way.

Not all of my featured gifts will fit into this category, but highlight which ones do by highlighting them in green and flagging them with a little green snowflake in the collage.

Please share your favorite places to shop that give back to the community in the comments!  I’m still putting together my collections.

The Trip / The Outfit – Home for the Holiday

The Trip - The Outfit  -  Home for the Holiday Weekend

We are trying to get our holiday plans lined up.  We might be going away for the weekend to visit family for Thanksgiving this year.  Here in the Midwest, you have to prepare for any type of weather this time of year, so layers are important.

I like to look feminine and semi-formal, but comfortable on Thanksgiving.  I included versatile pieces in this collection that can be worn in multiple ways.  That sweater is perfect for dinner, or to throw over your PJ’s for breakfast.  I always like to pack a pair of pretty slippers for a weekend trip.  I also included an adorable duffel and take-along dish so your sweet potato casserole arrives nice and warm.

  1. Minnetonka Slippers  –  $38.95
  2. 4-Piece Easy Grab Pyrex Set  –  $34.55
  3. Herschel Supply Co. Duffel  –  $53.60
  4. 2-Pack Opaque Tights  –  $14.00
  5. Lucky Basel Boots  –  $121.56
  6. House of Harlow Locket  –  $58.00
  7. Talk about Texture Dress  –  $49.99
  8. Cross my Hearth Sweater  –  $54.99

Instagram / October

Insta-Fall on Lost and Fawned

It’s been a weird month.  If you follow me on Instagram you have probably seen the whole story unfold.  If not, I figured I would share some highlights.  I’m looking forward to a (hopefully) less exciting November.

Rows from left to right, starting at the top:

  1. It’s tea season!  I have been craving strong, black tea like this Stash Double Bergamot Earl Grey.  Jared’s been hooked on Stash Licorice Spice for almost a year now.
  2. We didn’t buy any pumpkins this year, but we did go to Pumpkin Palooza at Heritage Farm in Peninsula, Ohio.
  3. Before the craziness started, we squeezed in one last hike at Happy Days Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
  4. We went to a little martini bar to see a friend play Gypsy Jazz with her band, The Help on a cold October night.
  5. More tea and TONS of quilting this month.  The colder weather has me on a roll.  I am determined to finish a few projects on my shelf this season.
  6. My new paint by numbers (from the local flea) found a home on my sewing table.
  7. I’m thinking of having a fabric de-stash on Instagram later this month.  I have a big bag of fabric that needs to go to make room for all the new stuff I purchased.
  8. Logan has had to go back to the vet’s a few times for a check-up and a little more time with the laser.  He looked so cool in his protective goggles.  He is going back today to take a look at it again.  I don’t think his foot will ever be quite the same.
  9. More tea… out of my day-job mug from Starbucks.
  10. My favorite new book collection with covers by Rifle Paper Co.  Get your own here:  1  –  2  –  3  –  4

Fall Flea Market / Hudson, Ohio

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetMy Saturday morning was productive (though counterproductive toward my resolution to save money).  I found so many treasures at the final flea market of the season in my neighborhood.  Our local flea isn’t huge but with over 40 vendors and shops, it’s not hard to find a few things that are to your taste.

The pennant flags and marquee numbers were a steal and have been on my wishlist for awhile.  The numbers are 8-15 (our anniversary) and have found a temporary home on top of the hutch in our bedroom.  The pennants will most likely end up downstairs in the living room or dining room.  The adorable paint-by-numbers of a deer couple was also super cheap and goes really well with the big one we have in our dining room.  I might actually hang it in the bedroom or leave it on my sewing table.

The apple picking bag was a splurge.  It was too cool to pass up though.  I used my negotiating skills (is use the word ‘skills’ loosely, I’m a terrible negotiater) to bring them down by nearly half.  I have no idea when I’m going to do with it.  It’s hanging on a hook in our bedroom right now.  It needs to be cleaned up a little since it looks like it’s been hanging in a garden shed for 40 years.  Jared says he will use it to harvest the beans next year.

There were tons of things I loved that I couldn’t bring home.  Here are some of my favorites.

Card Catalog at Flea Market in Hudson, Ohio

Fall Flea Market Finds in Hudson, Ohio

Vintage Red Stools at Hudson, Ohio Flea Market

Note the adorable heart shaped leaf that snuck into the photo above.

The rest of the day was spend relaxing and quilting.  Jared made a detour while running errands and brought some pumpkin donuts home.  I’ll be having another one with a cup of tea shortly.  Nom.

Pumpkin Donut on Lost and Fawned

I hope you are having a lovely October weekend.  Enjoy the beautiful weather while it’s still here!  We will probably be up to our knees in snow in a month.

Vibrant Comfort

Vibrant Comfort on Lost and Fawned

This morning the sky is bright blue and the leaves are in their most vibrant stage, and all I want to do is eat a grilled cheese and tomato soup and wrap myself up in a blanket by the window.  That is what inspired this week’s coveted collection.  Simple comfort in vibrant and unexpected hues.  Enjoy!

  1. Kate Spade Carlyle Watch on Amazon  /  $168.75
  2. Grilled Cheese Print by Kendyll Hillegas  /  $25.00
  3. Pinky Promise Print by Emily Rickard  /  $32.00
  4. Writers Block Journal from Amazon  /  $12.30
  5. Full of Blithe Dress from Modcloth  /  $49.99
  6. Hunter Original Tour in Peacock from Zappos  /  $148.00
  7. Myth Perfect Jewelry Holder from Modcloth  /  $59.99
  8. 14k Stacking Rings from Andrea Bonelli Jewelry  /  $268.00
  9. Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Foods from Amazon  /  $22.13

Il Capo by Yuri Ancarani