I'm stuck on Duct Tape!

Sorry I've been MIA for a while here. Working to find balance in my life when it comes to kicking off my own business. Turns out, there aren't enough hours in a day for everything I want and need to get done... go figure!

Anyways, I'm still working on painting items, but I've begun to venture out a bit, too... check out these photos for a look at my latest creation!!
starting off - a roll of purple duct tape and some really bright fleece (look familiar? its the same stuff my biz card holder was made of!)

check it out! a duct tape wallet that can hold a checkbook?! AND has fabric lining/accents?

room for FIVE credit/gift cards and an ID slot with window (i don't have the ID pushed all the way down, its actually straight, i promise!)

see... ID window :)

cash pocket with fleece lining behind credit card slots

wait, you need another pocket in your wallet? okay, here's one behind the checkbook too ;)

checkbook and its fancy cover with fleece lining

nifty pocket for the back of the checkbook to slide into!
Soooo what do we think?! I'm totally digging it and used it today. Its very user-friendly and held up well in my satchel of a purse. So far I've gotten feedback that these wallets need some sort of change area, which i'm working up a solution for. I'm also thinking of creating a small clutch purse maybe with a matching mini wallet - perfect for going out with, right?! ;)

Basically, this was a BLAST and a half. omg. I was SO into it. I measured every piece of my current wallet to figure out dimensions and was shocked that it all worked on first try! I pretty much used half a roll of duct tape, because I didn't plan things before I started, so I ended up having to cover some spots a few times, but I think I'd be able to whip a few of these bad boys out in no time.

Also, in non-etsy/little champ related news... we got a new kitchen table and I love it. Here's a photo of our crappy one from Ikea that only 2 people could sit at - and it has plastic chairs...

and now the pretty new homey one:
SUCH a difference, right?! its great. we're getting rid of the fish tank and that other table in the background this weekend. Is it weird that a table makes us feel like grownups? ;)

Alrighty, time to think up my next duct tape creation, and watch the BLACKHAWKS kick some butt!!
Have a Champ-tastic weekend!!
**just a quick edit** its flannel, not fleece that i used. i'm not sure WHAT i was thinking when i wrote all of that! ooops!


A Storms a-brewin'...

No need to take cover, though... its just some brain-storming that I've been doing lately. :)

I already have a few items that I've been working on that haven't been posted on my Etsy Shop yet, but I'm always trying to think of new items. Mostly, I'm trying to think of items that don't need to be custom/special order only.
One of my ideas is to come up with some sort of "card" (I use the term loosely since I have no clue what I mean by that ha!) that I can do up every letter of the alphabet a few times over and customers can just purchase the letters they like. This would obviously be better at craft shows rather than for online selling. But I'm just trying to think if its even possible or desirable.

Also, a coworker of mine gave me the idea of making some of my canvas blocks without letters - peace signs, soccer balls, etc. I really like that idea. I think it'd be really cute to do an initial and a non-letter block on either side. Something like: [soccerball] [R] [football]; [peace sign] [A] [heart]; [baseball] [B] [baseball glove]
I really think these would be pretty popular. It'd also be good for older kids, who may not want their whole name on their bedroom walls.

In other, non-craft related news - ITS HOCKEY SEASON! :)

The Blackhawks unfortunately lost their season opener, but tonight is their first home game, so I have faith that they'll rock it. I love this sport so much!!

Hope you're having a Champ-tastic weekend!!


Linkity Link-Links!

Okay, so I'm pretty new to this whole "blogosphere" but I'm learning a lot and having a lot of fun - especially when it comes to visiting and reading OTHER blogs! Another person's blog entry can do so much for you - you can learn something new, share a laugh, build a connection with the blogger, or even be inspired to write in your own. Up until about two weeks ago (that's when I started this blog, right?) I didn't *get* blogs. I thought bloggers all just whined about the world in their blogs and expected to change the world that way. Thank goodness I was wrong!
I have no clue where that misconception came from, by the way, its just one of the reasons I've avoided blogging for so long - maybe it goes back to the days of livejournal and know that myself and many others DID use that as a place to just whine and moan about the world ;)

Anyways, I'm pretty picky about the blogs I'm choosing to "follow". Not like I put them through some sort of test or anything... I just want to make sure I'm going to ENJOY reading that blog if I follow it. So, I'd like to share some of my blog-findings with you!

Chasing Cars / Troll Bridge Studios
Crafty Critter: My Art and Craft-obsessed Musings
Designing Impressions - Confessions of a Compulsive Creator
Etsy Business Tips
Julie Ellyn Designs
Lovin' TheGoodOleDays - brand new blogger! give her some love ;)
Make Me Feel Good, Etsy
Megs Crochet Jewels
nerd JERK - Comics, Geekery and Junk
PinkyCrafts on Etsy: Diary of a Crafty Gal
Ponder & Stitch
SassyBelle's Spotlight
Stuff No One Told Me (but I learned anyway)
Vegan Craftastic

What do I like most about all of these blogs? One thing - they do their best to update regularly but not too much. I think that's one of the important things in blogging  life. Finding that balance between being TOO unavailable and being TOO in your face. I'm still playing around with my blogging style and posting times, but hopefully I'll find a good balance one of these days!

Well since I just shared a bunch of links, I'm going to share a few more - these ones are all me though!
Photo Catalog
Etsy Shop

Well that was fun - and I hope someone found a new blog or two to check out! :) Please feel free to leave links to your own or favorite blogs in the comments! Let's just make this post a big ol' mess of links to click!!

Have a Champ-tastic Friday and awesome weekend!!


Busy Busy Bee!

As of this afternoon there are officially TEN new items for my shop! WOW! :)
Only one is listed at this point, but the rest have edited photos and everything, just waiting to list them so they're spread out a bit. But I know you want a sneak peek at what's coming, don't you? Well okay, you twisted my arm... check out these photos:

traffic jam

sports bag

sweet notes

wild flowers
Team Beer Mug - $10.50

NFL Team Ornament - $5.50
available in three accent colors: black, red, green
Personalization available!

"They are like the angels, they are God's Children" Luke 20:36
Berry/Wine color theme - customizable!
Bride and Groom - shoes and Berry/Wine Glass Foot
Bridal Gown and Groom's Tux with coordinating sash and boutonniere
Tomorrow brings me back to the toystore after a week off. I'm ready to go back, as much as I've enjoyed my time off. I've been living, breathing and eating Little Champ stuff for this week, and I'm ready for a small break from it - before it begins to feel like work!

Please keep checking back with my online shop to see when these and maybe even some other great items are available! 
As always - custom orders are welcome!!

Have a Champ-tastic afternoon!


Better than Yesterday...

There was something not quite right with me yesterday. I still can't put my finger on it.. all I know is that its GONE! Which means I was much more productive today - woohoo!

I now have:
FOUR bulletin boards painted and ready for their photo shoots.
1 "Bears" beer mug ready to be baked, photos, and its actually already sold!
1 "Bears" ornament already sold, but needing photos
1 pair of Tuxedo and Gown wedding champagne flutes to bake, photo, list
3 angel ornaments to photograph and list

phew! I also FINALLY figured out a solution to my bulletin board issues. I didn't realize I had SEAL the cork before painting on it. Too bad I didn't realize that until after I used up a few paint pens. oops. Live and learn! Now I know for the future and I can crank these bad boys out like crazy now.

Also, here's a few treasuries for you to check out:
Here Come the Hawks - Chicago Blackhawks themed collection - made by me!
In Loving Colour - Colorful LOVE themed collection - featuring my bright mini wall hanging!

Have a Champ-tastic night, everyone <3
Tomorrow is the last day of my "stay-cation" from the toystore. I'm getting tired of being home, sure, but its been really nice, too!


And the Winner is....

So the time has come to do my random drawing! To be 100% fair I used www.random.org to help me pick my winner - no biases here! I numbered the comments in the order they were received as 1-7 and the winner is...

*dramatic pause and drum roll*


Little Princess Pea said...
I of course would love to win the Chicago Blackhawk's ornament! Who wouldn't want the 2010 Stanley Cup Champs hanging on their tree this year!

So "Little Princess Pea" is the big winner! WooHoo! Congrats to her!

Little Princess Pea will be getting the Chicago Blackhawks ornament - personalized just for her! yay!

Thanks to everyone who entered - I'll be sending you each a special message, too, so keep a look out for it. :)

Have a Champ-eriffic night, everyone. Back to work for me - been cranking things out tonight, so excited to show you what I've done!


They like me, they REALLY like me!

It's so exciting when we can reach goals we set for ourselves, isn't it? Honestly, I didn't know if I'd EVER reach 100 facebook "likes." It just seems like SUCH a high number of people!
How touching that 100 people want to support me enough to link themselves to my shop on their facebook page! yay!

To celebrate, I'm going to be hosting a give-away! Yup, that means YOU can win something for FREE - can't beat that! Here's all the info about it, so pay attention:

  • First you need to visit my Online Shop (www.littlechampart.etsy.com) and look at the ornaments I have listed for sale. 
  • Then, come back here and leave a comment saying which ornament you'd like to win - keep in mind, they can all be personalized!
  • All entries must be received within 24 hours of this original post - so by 6pm central time 10/6/10.
  • Don't forget to leave your name so I can find you on Facebook if you win!!
Easy enough, right? 

If you haven't already joined in on the facebook fun - check out my page!
Thank you so much, everyone, for your support! This is so exciting!

Have a Champ-tastic next 24 hours! ;)
-Ash (aka - the little champ)


Experimentation... please turn into Motivation!!

I have all the time in the world right now - no work until Friday for me!
I have a huge stack of things I can be playing with and painting on!

And I have no inspiration or motivation.

However, I have these amazing procrastination skills that I learned in college, and I've been putting them to good use. Actually, I feel like these little creative experiments will help me find the motivation to work on the stack of worthwhile projects. :)

Here's a business card holder that I made out of some flannel I had laying around:

I don't own a sewing machine, so this bad boy is held together will just Tacky Glue. I'm pretty proud of it,though! The edges are straight and smooth, the cards ACTUALLY fit (bonus!) and this is a way better solution for carrying my cards around than the crumpled sandwich bag i was using.
No plans of making any more of these, except maybe one for Mama Champ to carry my cards in, too.

Speaking of my biz partner, there, she asked if I could draw tuxedos on champagne flutes for weddings while we were out shopping yesterday. So I thought I'd give it a try. keep in mind, this is scribbling coloring on a plastic flute. Its just something I did to play around...
I love the little shoes at the bottom! ;)
So of course I had to make a bride, too - which I actually just did on the opposite side of this one. I'm so sneaky, I know. The bride didn't come out as cute I don't think... but there's also a giant crack running the length of the cup, too.
I think these came out acceptable... I just don't feel like they're really MY style. Who knows though, I might give them a try one day...

Oh! I also started working on one of the mirror ornaments. Still not sure how that's going to turn out. Its shaped like an angel and I found a cute little bible verse to put on it. I'm not overly religious, but I felt an angel needed a little something along those lines ;)

Well, maybe a shower and some lunch will help me find some motivation... or will at least help me put it off for a while longer.

Hopefully you're having a motivated and inspired champ-tastic day!


Yay! Shopping!!!

Just a quick note for this afternoon...

I REALLY REALLY love shopping. Its probably about the most fun EVER. I miss the days of being a kid and having ten dollars meant I could buy the world!

Anyways, went out with Mama Champ today and she helped me LOAD up on inventory for Little Champ. It was SO much fun to go around and try to find NEW things to make my own! We both found some great new items - and I'm SO excited to get going on them. I know you're dying to know what kinds of things are in the future for this little shop, so here's a list:
  • Bulletin Boards (look for them at Learning Express, too!)
  • American Girl-sized Doll Bed
  • Smaller wine glasses :: the ones I currently sell are gargantuan. in fact, the recipient of one recently said he felt like a "king" holding it! ;)
  • red glass ornaments
  • shaped mirror ornaments
We're also throwing around some new ideas, too. Oh man, some of the items we thought of over our "business lunch" (Houlihans... mmm) today just automatically spark inspiration for me!
By the way, Mama Champ is OFFICIALLY a business partner in the Little Champ venture now! Congrats to both of us on that one - ha!

Okay, there's a mountain of laundry to put away before I can begin playing with all these fun new items, so time to get crackin' so the fun "work" can begin! woo!

Have a super Champ-tastic Night!
Oh, PS - thanks to the ETSY D-LISTERS TEAM for all their kind words on my blog lately :) Makes me all warm and fuzzy and extra smiley :D


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

That's right, folks... 82 days until Christmas, and I'm in full swing holiday-mode already! :)

Check out some of the holiday items that are coming to Little Champ's Art very soon...
chicago blackhawks ornament

pet ornament

personalized pet ornament

personalized soccer ornament

personalized golf ornament

personalized basketball ornament

snowy chicago ornament
(please excuse the horrible quality of the last two photos - didn't get to edit them yet, but still wanted to share!)
Many more ornaments should be making their way into the shop over the next few weeks, so keep checking back. As always, custom orders are more than welcome - I really find it more enjoyable to create with someone in mind, rather than just making up samples. Its almost like a rush for me... is that weird?

I've been gathering information on several CRAFT SHOWS for the holiday season! OMG! I didn't think I'd be jumping into these until 2011, but look at me, will ya? Basically, I feel like maybe my items (mostly the letter blocks) just don't show well enough online. Who knows - maybe will some new photos they'll do better, too.

Well, just a quick photo sharing post - off to bed! Mama Champ and I are headed to IKEA tomorrow, and that requires a very good night's sleep.

Have a Champ-eriffic Week!


Featured Artist - Tonya from Totally To The T

Hey hey hey! Let's take some time to meet Tonya from Totally To The T in Little Champ's FIRST EVER Featured Artist!!
Handmade Porcelain Ceramic Donut Pendant Festive Holiday Lights by TotallyToTheT on Etsy.com
"Do what you have a passion for. Don't do something unless you feel passionate about it. I think finding a creative outlet has made me more passionate about everything in life. I want to make every minute count."

Tonya has been interested in clay and ceramics for a long time, but finally took the plunge to learn about making them herself about two years ago. Texture is what truly drew her into this craft, as she enjoyed seeing how the clay changed throughout her creating. She also uses found objects in her own garden to press into the clay to give it one of a kind textures and designs.
Tonya proudly posing with her Rosemary that she nurtured from a seed.
Totally To The T is currently based out of Western North Carolina, even though Tonya grew up in South Bend, Indiana (woo hoo Midwesterners!). North Carolina has been a good fit for Tonya over the past 7 years, especially as she's grown her crafting business - "I find it most inspiring to be here. There are many other ceramic artists. North Carolina has a very STRONG clay tradition. And because I am close to Asheville, there is a creative funky vibe that runs through everything where I live."
Handmade Ceramic Porcelain Pendant Red Dancing Hearts by TotallyToTheT on Etsy.com

Let's all make ourselves one of Tonya's favorite sandwiches (Roast Beef and Provolone or Mozzarella and a little each of yellow mustard and mayo, on a croissant, a fresh piece of basil and tomato from the garden) as we learn a little more about what inspires this great artist...

What's your favorite season?
Autumn. I love the cooler weather and the changes that take place in nature. This is often my last chance to find good leaves and other natural pieces to press into clay
If you won the lottery or hit a jackpot RIGHT NOW - what's the first thing you'd do?
Don't tell my boss- but I would quit my day job so I have more time to play with clay! I would go on a trip to Japan to explore the ceramics tradition and Japanese culture, and I would buy a really BIG kiln. I would make my husband go back to school to become an ichthyologist- it was his childhood dream. Also, the rural high school in our community has a limited clay program, but they don't have a lot of the more expensive equipment, like throwing wheels. I would definitely outfit their program with everything they need to encourage our local artistic clay tradition. 
What is your most favorite thing about creating?
Spontaneity and seeing what I imagined become reality on clay.
Do you have any kids or pets? Tell me all about them!
Whew! No kids, but we have fur babies and a scaly baby. Our two dogs are Gidget, a Corgi mix, and LeeLooDallasMultipass (LooDog), a Yellow Lab/Boxer Mix. They are the sweetest and love to go hiking with us. Our cats are all rescues and are as follows in order of adoption: Fluffenpooge, SwissMiss, Twinkie, Schnurrenpooge and Zipper (we call him Wood Pile and Hole in the Head, related to his adventures as an outdoor cat before he let us bring him in)
"LooDog" is one of the mascots of Totally To The T!
Support systems are a very important part of these crafty business ventures - who is the single person who constantly inspires you to keep going?
My husband. He has been very patient and understanding about all the time I spend trying to improve my craft skills and hone my business acumen. He is very supportive of anything I want to jump into but also gives thoughtful critical advice when I need it.

If her enthusiasm isn't proof enough that she LOVES what she's doing... I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up (even us grown ups can dream still!) and her response? "A clay artist."
Handmade Lace Impressed Milk and Honey 6 inch Round Plate Ceramic Stoneware Cream Creme Beige Khaki Wobbly Rustic Shabby Chic by TotallyToTheT on Etsy.com

textured buttons and a few pendants freshly cut from a slab this morning and drying in the breeze and morning sun on the front porch.
Thanks to Tonya, for letting me hound you with tons of questions! It was great getting to know you through our emails - and I wish you the best of luck in the future!

Don't forget to check out all of Totally To The T's great stuff all over the internet:

Remember, if you'd like to be a featured artist - just let me know! There's no shame in self-nominations ;)

Have a Champ-tastic Weekend, everyone!