Weekend Project: Valentine’s Day Cards for Kentucky Foster Children

foster kids valentine cards
Give your love to foster kids this Valentine's Day!

Thanks to my current obsession with social media, I got to participate in a really great project yesterday- and you can too!

Wednesday night a Facebook friend re-posted a status update from For Jamie’s Sake– a non-profit organization advocating for foster children throughout the state of Kentucky.

The status update was calling for volunteers to create handmade cards for more than 6,000 foster children in the state of Kentucky. I had to help out- and if you’ve got a few free hours this weekend- you should too!

I made 30 Valentine’s cards in approximately 5 hours. It really shouldn’t have taken that long, but I had to tear sketch book pages out (because I was out of loose card stock), cut and fold them and cut out 30 or more foam hearts. You could save a ton of time by getting foam stickers or hand-drawing all of your cards. You could even get your kids- or your nieces, nephews, kids you babysit… etc, to make some cards. It’s a lot of fun and a very joyful experience – the entire time I was making my cards, I kept thinking about the kids’ faces as they opened their cards and read what I wrote inside.

You really should do this! You can get rid of some craft supplies you’re not using for anything else (supplies that are taking up space on your craft room shelves) and put a smile on the face of a kid that doesn’t yet have a forever family to spend Valentine’s Day with.

C’mon and do it, here’s what you need to know:

The Guidelines

  • Cards should measure no more than 8.5″ by 11″
  • Sign cards with your first name only – preferred.
  • Mail cards to:

For Jamie’s Sake

1544 Winchester Ave. Ste. 804

Ashland, Ky 41101

kentucky foster kids handmade valentine cards
Here is my stack of 30 cards, tied up and ready for delivery.
  • Submission Deadline: Feb. 3rd – That means you should mail cards out on Monday to ensure delivery by next Friday!
  • All cards MUST be HANDMADE. (Because handmade means you put your heart into it; that you care enough to put your time into brightening someone’s day!)
  • You DO NOT have to be a Kentucky resident to participate – just make sure your cards are postmarked in time to make it to office headquarters by next Friday, February 3rd.

Let us know if you plan to participate, and if you want- share photos of your cards with us on Facebook- we’d love to see what you come up with!

I’m Dreaming Of a New Work Shop .

My kitchen table, piled with craft supplies.

If you’re paying attention to us on Facebook and Twitter- we’re occasionally posting about being “in the workshop”. So, I thought I’d let you in on a little secret- our workshop is our kitchen. I bet other crafters – both hobby crafters and craft business owners – can relate to that situation and agree that it’s unfortunate. My kitchen table is typically covered in little baggies and containers of clay, tools and design sketches – and it all has to be packed up and moved or pushed out of arrangement every time we sit down to eat.

So, enough is almost enough. It’s time to get my own, private workspace.

Unfortunately the only room I have in my home for a workshop is currently the “junk room”. So, I’ve got a lot of work in store to transform that hot mess into a space for making my creative messes.

craft room remodel, home remodel, work shop remodel, studio remodel
Seriously, where did we get all this junk and why do we still have it?

Until then, I’ve managed to move things around in my house to find extra storage space- but for the most part, it will just have to continue to look like an artist/crafter lives here. Actually, I think it needs to look more like an artist lives here- I need brighter walls, more colorful curtains, some art work with more pizzazz. Hmm..maybe the whole house is in store for a remodel.

But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves- let’s see how the workshop goes first.

I hope you like remodeling projects and interior designs, because I’ll be sharing some decorating ideas and progress photos here as I’m working on the shop remodel. I’d love to get your ideas, feedback, and suggestions. In fact, you can connect with me on Pinterest and view my board: For My Office/Workshop to see some photos I’ve clipped to use as inspiration when decorating and organizing my new creative space.

And if you’re also in the mood to remodel your work shop or craft room- be sure to check out my Treasury List: The Perfect Workshop/Craft Room on Etsy for some handmade products to organize and decorate your own studio.

Give me some recommendations!

And check back here on the blog tomorrow for an opportunity to help some less fortunate kids this Valentine’s Day!

Until tomorrow,

Stay Groovy

-Sarah

Give From the Heart This Valentine’s Day, Buy Handmade

valentine gift guide
Photo credit: Michal Marcol

Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day is a short 3 weeks away. If you haven’t got your sweetheart a present yet, why not consider a handmade gift? What could be more “from the heart” than something skillfully and lovingly created by an artisan?

So this Valentine’s Day, buy handmade.

Need some ideas?

We’ve created a bee-inspired “Bee My Valentine” gift guide treasury list on Etsy to help you find a bee-themed gift for your honey this Valentine’s Day.

And you’ll likely be happy to know that we’re offering a V-Day sale in our shop!

That’s right! Order your sweetheart an item from Hip Earth Designs before Jan. 31st and receive 10% off using coupon code BEMINE2012 at checkout in the Etsy shop. You’ll also receive free shipping (okay, that’s available 365 days a year- but still, we thought we should mention it again).

So, don’t forget to buy your Valentine a one-of-a-kind, handmade gift and tell us, what are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

Handmade Spotlight: Meet a Breast Cancer Survivor Crafting for a Cure

handmade arts and crafts
Brown and Cream Braided Yarn Scarf by Fritzie Froodles on Etsy

Hope your Monday is going well. We intend to spend the day in the work shop – what better way to start the week, right?

Today, with this post, we are also beginning our “Handmade Spotlight” series – to bring you some of our favorite creations, artisans and crafters in the handmade world while showing our fellow handmade artists a little link love.

We’re very excited to start this series by introducing you to our new friend, Bridget Swinney-Kajzer, of Fritzie Froodles on Etsy.

Bridget is a mother, elementary art teacher and breast cancer survivor from Indianapolis, Indiana.

Faced with her unfortunate diagnosis, Bridget decided it was time “to grab life by the horns” and dared herself to do some of the things she was previously afraid to do- one of those things was opening her Etsy shop. Not only did making the hand-crafted accessories in her Etsy shop give her company during her treatments, it also allowed her to put her heart into something (other than her family) that gave her joy, despite her situation.

Bridget creates many beautiful, bohemian chic scarves, necklaces, bracelets and hair clips from yarn, fabric and found materials. We found her shop earlier this week and included her Brown and Cream Braided Yarn Scarf in our Etsy Treasury: Bundle Up. (Check that treasury out for a collection of handmade accessories we recommend to help you stay warm out there this winter.)

Stop by her shop and have a look around. Better yet, make a purchase and Bridget will donate $1 for each item you buy to breast cancer or multiple myeloma cancer research at the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center.

What do you think about Bridget’s accessories? Leave us a comment!

Our Etsy Shop Is Open

Whew! What a week it’s been! We’ve been super busy.

So busy, in fact, that my husband pondered yesterday evening how I was still awake after the long days I’ve put in since the shop opened just 9 days ago, on Jan. 11.

polymer clay pendants
A few pendants we designed this week

We’ve spent the hours since our virtual shop doors opened creating a handful of new products and designs. But a larger chunk of our time has been spent doing that one “little” thing that is necessary to turn a hobby into a business – marketing.

Through our marketing efforts we’ve had a chance to make several crafty new friends and discover many beautiful and inspiring products among our creative peers at Etsy. If you use Etsy, don’t forget to log on and like our shop and add us to your circle– we’d love to see what products you dig at Etsy. And you can connect with us on Pinterest too!

However, we’ll warn you…we’re nuts about all things handmade, so you’ll see lots of indie arts and crafts on our Pinterest boards. And if you’re a fan of bohemian and eclectic decorating styles, you’ll love my “Dream Home” and “Dream Garden” pin boards.

Until next time,

Stay groovy!

-Sarah

Welcome and Shop Policies

polymer clay artists
Groovy, nature-inspired accessories for you and your home.

Greetings!

We’re so glad you took time to stop by our blog. We’re literally just getting started – we haven’t even opened our shop yet. But, we’re hoping to get set up on Etsy later this week.

We decided to go ahead and start sharing our designs on Facebook to get feedback – and it seems that we’re not the only ones who think our designs are groovy.

So, while we’re working out the kinks on our Etsy shop’s grand opening, we wanted to tell you a little about ourselves and what we do.

About Us

First, let me introduce myself. I’m Sarah – the daughter-part of this artist duo and the creative entrepreneur who dreamt up Hip Earth Designs. I needed a career change and I’ve always loved creating arts and crafts, so opening my own shop just seemed like the best thing to satisfy my urge to create.

And all that creativity was hereditary – a gift from my mom, Shelia – the other half of Hip Earth Designs. Shelia (I prefer to call her “mom”) is retired from a career in nursing and has a lot of free time and some really cool ideas – so I talked her into helping me out (don’t let her fool you, it didn’t take much convincing). 😉

Our Products

Our medium of choice is polymer clay, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see us using other materials in the future. But, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the medium – polymer clay is a man-made, clay-like material consisting of polymer plastics. It starts out as a sort of rubbery substance – something like a mix between Play Dough and Silly Putty. Then, we condition it, sculpt it, shape it and craft it into a mini-artwork. Then, we fire each piece (or bake it) and the polymer plastics harden to a texture and consistency mush more easily recognized as plastic. Finally, we paint and add finishing touches to the design and coat each piece in a protective sealant.

So far we have a small inventory of wallets, cigarette cases and votive candleholders, but we’re adding new items and new designs very soon.

Our Shop

We’ll have our Etsy shop up and running later this week, but we can also process orders through Pay Pal – or hand-deliver if you’re nearby Grayson, KY.

Items listed in our Etsy shop are finished items ready for immediate shipping- expect delivery within 1 to 2 weeks after placing your order.

However, we also accept custom orders, which you can place via our Etsy shop or by messaging us on Facebook or Twitter – simply by sending an email to us at hipearthdesigns@gmail.com

Our Blog

Here on the blog we’ll be keeping you updated on new designs, recommending other artist and crafters we dig and sharing crafting instructions you can do yourself. Check back often and join in conversation with us in the comments, or on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks again for stopping by, we’re looking forward to getting to know you!
-Sarah