Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Have you had your hug today? FREE GIVEAWAY for baby!

Have you had a hug today?  You can always find one at Quilted Hugs Bibs http://www.etsy.com/shop/QuiltedHugsBibs !  Meet Barbara Dannenfelser creator and owner of Quilted Hugs Bibs.  Her shop is a collection of quilted bibs and accessories for infants and toddlers.  All of her items are individually quilted and finished with coordinating cotton backing/binding. Barbara began quilting when her granddaughter was born in 2009.  She says, "I turned my love of quilts into making her (granddaughter) quilts, soft toys, and quilted bibs.  I got a great response and after many, "You should sell those", I decided to do just that."

Being a Grandma, I asked her if she had any good advice for us moms with lil ones.  She said, "Just be yourself.  Use your best judgement in the decisions you make (where they can go, what they are capable of doing).  Don't spend your life second guessing yourself...it can drive you nuts!!!" Barbara...I say you start a Grandma Gives Advice Blog.  :)  

Barbara has been a quilter for over 35 years!  Now that is some experience!  She says she loves traditional quilts and nature and/or landscapes.  She loves the freedom of creativity in the medium of quilting.  In regards to this artistic freedom, she says, "You start from the basics and you can go anywhere from there."

I asked Barbara how she chose her shop's name.  "This was probably the hardest part of starting my business.  I know from being in marketing for over 25 years, before starting my own landscape design business, that branding is very important.  Choosing a name was very intimidating!  My husband is also very creative, so I started talking to him about what we should name the shop.  We spent several days thinking about quilts; the warm feeling you get from snuggling with a quilt and how they could be linked to my bibs.  We finally came up with Quilted Hugs Bibs."

As for what is new in her shop , she says, "That old expression....so many quilts, so little time...is so true.  I've designed a new line of bibs, coming in the Spring.  I'm currently working on bibs that use the same patterns as the quilted ones that have the NO PVC waterproof liner and binding.  These new bibs are not quilted, so I can offer more price points for shoppers."

Barbara says she likes being on Etsy because being in the "Etsy Community" one can reach more people than you could alone.  She says she believe participating in an Etsy Team is key to getting your shop out there.  She says having a shop on Etsy gives her "the freedom to make whatever I want without being forced into a mold."  She says her Niece and some of her quilting friends go to Etsy when they are looking for handmade, OOAK (one of a kind) gifts for others.  The Etsy world is so vast!








Speaking of teams...Barbara and I are both on the Etsy Kids Team.  I asked her to name four of her favorite Etsy Kids Team member's shops.
Dragonfly Bowtique http://www.etsy.com/shop/dragonflybowtique  


Also one of my favorites...good prices too.












I know for myself, I LOVE fabric stores!  I love the patterns and the colors.  I find myself being drawn to certain colors and patterns and have to make myself choose other things at times because I know I get in a rut at times.  I asked Barbara if she was drawn to certain colors and patterns at the fabric store as well and she said, "Well I used to go for the blues, reds, and black and white.  I say used to because now that my Granddaughter has come along I am all in girly pink.  I love Batiks and hand dyed fabrics."

I have never made a quilt myself, so I was curious as to how long it takes to make one.  Barbara said, "I hate to say this, but it depends.  I have been making my 25th anniversary Baltimore Applique quilt for 25 years!  I love hand applique and quilting, but I don't always have the time.  I guess I'd say that if I machine piece and quilt, I can make a twin quilt in about three weeks (allowing time away from it to run my landscaping design business)."


I asked Barbara if she could be a kid again what age would she be and why? "Wow! I never really liked High School so I'd have to say 5.  You're old enough to do things yourself, but not old enough to worry too much!"  I agree!  Great age...that is why I taught Pre K for 8 years...4 and 5 year olds are GREAT! 
GIVEAWAY
ADORABLE!
Barbara has been kind enough to giveaway this cute lil quilted bib!

We will do this pretty simply.  As always, please follow my blog before you enter and when you comment leave your email so I know where to reach you if you win.
To enter this giveaway all you need to do is:
-heart (favorite) her shop 
-And favorite (heart) your favorite item in her shop
-Come back and comment on this post and let me know your birthday.  
**This giveaway will be drawn, at random, by random.org by random date....if you have the same date as another person on the comment list and you both win, we will flip a coin on random.org.

The giveaway will end Dec. 8, 11 at 10pm Eastern Time



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Are Your Pockets Full of Posies?? They Could Be...NEW GIVEAWAY


 I always like to do my interviews a bit different each time...this one is straight forward and easy to read.  Let me know what you think...or do you prefer my other format of interviews better which reads more like an essay.
Name: Sarah “Caitlin” Schanaker                 
Shop name: Posies by Cait
Brief description of your shop: My shop is an array of handmade fabric and button accessories and home decor. My main and most abundant items are headbands, earrings, and rings.
 Tell me a little about yourself: I grew up in a small desert town called Casa Grande, in Arizona. I love it there. I am a part of a wonderful Christian family with loving and hard-working parents.  I am the only girl! My three brothers are wonderful and talented men. I went to California Baptist University in Riverside, CA for my undergrad and was an English major and Art minor. I met my husband in High School, and he transferred to CBU our sophomore year.  We got married on New Year’s Day of this year (1-1-11). We are now in Lynchburg, Virginia while he attends law school at Liberty University. I just turned 23 and am working full-time at the library here at Liberty.


When did you start making these items and why?
I started making “Posies”, as I began to call them, about two years ago. My sister-in-law, Erin, told me about a craft night that her and some girlfriends had, where they made these fabric yo-yos into headbands. That Christmas, she showed me how to make them – and I was in love! I began coming up with new and different ways to apply the concept to other accessories, and it was an instant outlet for me to express my creativity and love of arts and crafts.

What inspires your art? There are so many things that inspire me..colors, seasons, even books and movies! At one point, I had a “fairy tale” series, where I made headbands and jewelry inspired by fairy tale characters. I did Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, The Ugly Duckling, Thumbelina.  I suppose if I really think about it, the thing that most inspires my art is language and literature (words and stories that I love). I get a word in my head, like “romance” or “enchantment”, and aim to make something that captures that.


How did you go about picking your shop name? I knew I wanted something short and sweet. I went through names like “Petals”, or anything floral. Finally, it was the rhyme “ring around the rosie, a pocket full of posies” that brought Posies to life for me.  -Interesting side note you may or may not know...this nursery rhyme some believe was written about the Great Plague in England in the 1600s or the Black Death.  A rosy rash was a symptom of the plague.  Posies of herbs were carried as protection and to ward off the smell of the disease.  Sneezing/coughing was a final fatal symptom.  'All fall down'...well I don't have to explain that.  The line Ashes, Ashes is claimed to refer to cremation of the bodies. - Nicolette
How do you juggle life in general with your shop? My shop is my favorite outlet for relaxation and creation. I use it as a way to settle down next to my husband while he works on homework late into the night. I sew while catching up on my favorite shows or while drinking coffee and listening to music. I believe that this is a rare and wonderful time in my life -- I have just graduated college, and have free time in the evenings to cook, craft, and have time to myself. We don’t have kids yet and have just moved across the country to our first real home together as husband and wife. It’s been challenging, but a pretty exciting time for the two of us. It’s a wonderful adventure, and the time for my shop is one of my favorite parts. ----oh my gosh...is that not the CUTEST and SWEETEST thing????  - Nicolette


What is coming up that will be new in your shop?  Any new avenues? I have just stretched my Posies into home d├ęcor, which I am thrilled about. I just started making thumb tacks, magnets, decorative mirrors, and frames. I also just got my very first sewing machine and finished a Posie apron; made from scratch! I am very proud of that. I hope to always be searching for new products to share with you.

 


Can you tell me 4 of your favorite Etsy Shops? 
Chelsea Girl Designs http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChelseaGirlDesigns  - gorgeous, high quality jewelry
ooohhhhh just added her shop to my faves - Nicolette
 Supplies from Me to You http://www.etsy.com/shop/SuppliesFromMeToYou - 1 dollar button packs – she’s wonderful!
 Scented Luxuries http://www.etsy.com/shop/ScentedLuxuries  -her Pink Sugar Kisses is my favorite!
pink sugar kisses




Blue Bird Heaven http://www.etsy.com/shop/bluebirdheaven  - I’m dying to buy one of her printer drawer jewelry displays


Why do you like being on Etsy?
I love it because it allows you to instantly be a part of a community of talented and creative people. It’s an instant boost to set up your shop account and know that you’re heading in a direction with your passions. It takes a lot of work, but I have found an overall sense of encouragement and inspiration from the hard work and kindness of my fellow Etsians.

Do you feel that your Etsy Shop is a hobby, or possibly a long term venture? I hope that I will be able to continue on a long-term basis. At this point, I’m not sure what that could entail – but I hope to be able to have Posies by Cait be a serious side business for my family. My dream is to have a studio room in our future house dedicated to crafting and making lovely things on a daily basis.



Is your Etsy shop helping support you through college? Although I am finished with school, my husband is not – him being in law school means that I am the only one working.  My shop helps us out with bills and everyday living...and occasionally a night out together! 

Person you look up to most in your life and why? I would probably have to say my mom. She is dedicated, passionate, and has been working a most successful business for many years now. She is a horse trainer; she works harder than anyone I know. Our relationship has gotten better and better every year.  She is a wonderful mother and friend. She is so creative, and has taught me so many things about God, life, love, relationships, truth, and creativity. 

GIVEAWAY
Cait has been so sweet to offer us two pairs of earrings for this giveaway with her famous lil posies!!!  They are both so cute!

 Here are the ways you can enter this giveaway....as always...first follow my blog and always leave an email so I know where to reach you!
For each thing you do below you will get one entry.  If you do all  4...you will get 4 entries! 
*Favorite (heart) her shop  http://www.etsy.com/shop/PosiesbyCait AND heart (favorite) your favorite item in her shop
*Follow her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/posiesbycait
*Follow her on Twitter  http://twitter.com/PosiesbyCait
*Comment about the format I used for this interview versus prior interviews.  Do you prefer my prior interviews that are more conversational and article like or do you prefer this one....question/answer...straight to the point.  Thanks...helps me a lot!
Giveaway ends Dec. 7 at 10pm Eastern time

Mermaid Dolls Giveaway Winner!!!

 Will the person with the lucky number 
32 
please stand up!!!!

I believe that is ANGIE ALFORD!!!!!!


 WOOT WOOT!!!!

Angie you have won these two adorable mermaids from Toegee
http://www.etsy.com/shop/Toegee

Please contact her via convo on her Etsy shop.

I HIGHLY recommend these dolls!!!  Great gifts....great stocking stuffers!!!!  The detail in the dolls is amazing and they are such a good price!!!!  Very affordable for hours of fun for your lil ones.



Here is how Random.org choose a random number 1 - 100.
Here are your random numbers:
32 98 74 95 53
13 51 9 70 23
32 35 61 58 33
94 25 85 8 77
29 75 72 7 72
26 85 89 67 28
58 78 77 45 61
61 79 31 48 5
33 17 81 2 55
16 70 1 9 37
96 93 59 53 90
44 93 39 97 21
11 88 57 50 75
55 34 13 67 95
77 67 28 41 80
24 9 16 32 62
41 90 29 83 69
93 66 60 10 100
100 60 15 96 64
8 20 16 27 8
Timestamp: 2011-11-29 14:07:29 UTC

Sunday, November 27, 2011

One of a Kind Necklace Giveaway!!!


As a celebration of my new shop that just opened called Upcycle My Closet http://www.etsy.com/shop/upcyclemycloset , I am offering a giveaway from my new shop.  In my new shop i will carry one of a kind designs featuring: upcycled vintage jewelry, upcycled, eco friendly children's clothes, upcycled and updated vintage purses, and some new jewelry pieces.

A little about me....
My name is Nicolette. I am a very artistic stay at home mom with two lil girls (6 and 4) who inspire me daily. I am a retired Pre K teacher of 8 years. I am a singer/songwriter by trade, but singing jazz at clubs in the evenings or being in a musical is not very child friendly at the moment. My creativity which includes: singing, acting, and art has morphed into my design shop. I am now inspired to get my fashion design degree at the Academy of Art. Anything Artistic and creative is so me...uh, just don't ask me to dance! lol  Oh and don't ask me about the time I was in a Hawaiian Show Choir in Hawaii called Kannikapila.  My dance moves were to be desired.  lol  I recorded a CD while living in Hawaii a few years back.  http://www.myspace.com/nicoletteblount   http://youtu.be/cHwF2x_hVpU 



My husband was in the Army Surgeon for many years and during that time we lived in San Antonio, Texas, Hawaii for 6 years (where both of my kids were born), Savannah, GA, and now have settled in New England....hopefully for good.  We did not move as much as most military families, but it is hard.  Sick of the moving.  I am originally from Southern CA, but I actually enjoy the cooler weather here in New England, the four beautiful seasons, and all the arts out here.  Many of my designs have been inspired by these areas in which I have lived.  I am waiting for the colder climate inspiration...as you can see in my Lil Lollipops Design shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/lillollipopsdesigns...most of my things are spring and summer like things.

I really don't make a profit with this shop...maybe someday. My husband says I am my own sweat shop. lol Every year when we do taxes this shop is in the red, but I love doing it and bringing joy to others. It keeps me in touch with my creative side.  Maybe someday I will up my prices, but for now...I do it for the love of creating. :)

My oldest daughter has a rare form of Spina Bifida and so that is near and dear to my heart. Spina Bifida is the number one birth defect in children. It causes children to be in wheel chairs or have leg braces, can cause water on the brain and damage, and affects a child's ability to urinate or void. Part of the proceeds from my sales will go to Spina Bifida Association and to the American Cancer Society. Why the Cancer Society too? Within 6 months cancer took my father in law and my father. They were both young and healthy. So donations will be made to these charities in their honor at the end of the year from a percentage of my sales.

 So that is me.



 Here is the...
GIVEAWAY



 In this giveaway I will be offering this lariat style eclectic necklace.  I designed this necklace and it is the only one of it's kind.  It is not for sale in my shop.  The necklace has a swarovski crystal lady bug on a silver filigree flower with a pink rhinestone in the center.  Hanging from the necklace are two baubles and one strand of swarovski crystal beads.  Sweet lil necklace for you or a friend for Christmas who loves ladybugs!

Here is how to enter:
As with all giveaways please make sure you follow this blog and always leave an email in your comments so if you win, I know where to reach you.

1 entry - Heart (favorite) my newest Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/upcyclemycloset
2 entries -  Heart (favorite) one of your favorite listings in my shop and come back and let me know which one. This will be so helpful to me for the direction to take my shop.  It helps to know what people like.  :)
3 entries -  Post this giveaway page on your twitter or FB. http://lillollipopsdesigns.blogspot.com/2011/11/one-of-kind-necklace-giveaway.html

Do all of them and that will give you a total of 6 entries!
  Giveaway ends Dec. 5, 2011 at 10pm Eastern Time


WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!!

Well with thanksgiving and all I am a bit late posting this.  Hope you all had a GREAT holiday with family and friends. 

The winner for the Mad West Designs crocheted flower hat is ....

MEAGAN MORIN!!!!!!
YAY!!!!!  Convo Marie at Mad West Designs to claim your prize!  :)   http://www.etsy.com/shop/madwestdesigns

A BIG THANK YOU to Marie for her generous giveaway!!!  Check out more of her designs and get them for Christmas presents!!!  :)


Here is how Random.org pick the winner:

List Randomizer

There were 24 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
  1. Maegan Morin4
  2. shannon1
  3. VintageQueenGF 1
  4. Bee W Bedard 2
  5. mvegan1
  6. Mlle Slimalicious
  7. Elizabeth turner1
  8. mvegan2
  9. passions
  10. Bee W Bedard 3
  11. Maegan Morin1
  12. Robin 3
  13. shannon3
  14. Bee W Bedard 1
  15. mframe
  16. Trisha1
  17. Robin 2
  18. shannon2
  19. Maegan Morin3
  20. VintageQueenGF 2
  21. trisha2
  22. trisha3
  23. Elizabeth turner2
  24. Robin 1
Timestamp: 2011-11-27 17:15:49 UTC







NEW SHOP!

I just opened a new shop, in addition to my Lil Lollipops Designs.  The new shop is called Upcycle My Closet.  I will be adding new items every few days.  I have upcycled, one of a kind outfits for kids.  These outfits are eco friendly and made with recycled materials.  Also in the shop are upcycled vintage jewelry pieces and new jewelry pieces as well.  Here is one of my outfits just in time for Christmas for your lil one in green velvet.  You can see more in the shop by going to http://www.etsy.com/shop/upcyclemycloset or you can look at my lil shop widget to the left below my Lil Lollipops Designs Shop Widget.
Please take a moment to check out my shop and favorite your favorite items.  Thanks!



Thursday, November 24, 2011

New @ Lil Lollipops Designs

New in the boutique today....Thanksgiving!
Grimms Brothers Fairy Tales  Series  Part I
Lil Red, Hansel and Gretel, and Snow White 
Find them or buy them here:






 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lil Lollipops Designs: Interior Designs from England NEW Giveaway

Lil Lollipops Designs: Interior Designs from England NEW Giveaway: Looking for some great presents and stocking stuffers for Santa to give come Christmas or maybe you need some Hanukkah gifts? Meet Diana H...

New Winner picked...Congrats to Lisa!!!

Back in September we had a giveaway for a Handprint Christmas Ornament that was being given away from The Handprint Lady http://www.etsy.com/shop/handprintlady  Here is the post:
http://lillollipopsdesigns.blogspot.com/2011/09/blog-post.html

Unfortunately, our winner we chose never responded.  CHECK YOUR EMAIL  and more important....LEAVE YOUR EMAIL so we can contact you!  :) So after a months of waiting....we are picking a new winner....here goes!!!! 

LISA HENDERSON YOU ARE THE WINNER!!!!!!!!!!!

Please convo The Hand Print Lady ASAP  at her shop to claim your prize before the holiday season gets to busy for her to fulfill it!
There were 54 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
  1. Lisa henderson
  2. Lisa henderson4
  3. gustosa giveaways 8
  4. oksana 3
  5. Lisa henderson6
  6. gustosa giveaways 2
  7. oksana 7
  8. rachel2
  9. oksana 6
  10. oksana 5
  11. shooting stars mag3
  12. rachel6
  13. Lisa henderson7

  14. gustosa giveaways 5
  15. rachel7
  16. Lisa henderson9
  17. Robin9
  18. Maegan Morin3
  19. Lisa henderson8
  20. gustosa giveaways 10
  21. rachel10
  22. flyergal824
  23. rachel8
  24. Lisa henderson2
  25. gustosa giveaways 6
  26. oksana 8
  27. flyergal823
  28. shooting stars mag
  29. Lisa henderson5
  30. Maegan Morin2
  31. gustosa giveaways 7
  32. oksana 10
  33. gustosa giveaways 1
  34. Lisa henderson10
  35. shooting stars mag2
  36. gustosa giveaways 4
  37. Jamie Adkins
  38. rachel
  39. oksana 2
  40. rachel5
  41. Kristen Fritsche~
  42. gustosa giveaways 3
  43. Maegan Morin1
  44. flyergal821
  45. rachel4
  46. gustosa giveaways 9
  47. oksana 1
  48. oksana 4
  49. Lisa henderson3
  50. rachel3
  51. flyergal822
  52. oksana 9
  53. rachel9
Timestamp: 2011-11-23 19:53:34 UTC

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

These Shoes Were Made for Walkin....GIVEAWAY!

Let me introduce you to  Sharon Quak from Quak's Originals.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/QuaksOriginals .  I am so excited to interview someone from my background and culture.  I am dutch and Sharon is straight out of the Netherlands!  She makes and sells Dutch wooden shoes "with a twist"  She describes her work as "extraordinary and unusual. Mainly for children, but I love to make them for adults too."


Sharon is 33 years old and lives in the center of Holland.  She says she lives in a small town with lots of creativity and many talented people.  She tells me, "For the past 11 years or so I have been a full time Shop window decorator. It is a wonderful profession, but the hours are long It’s quite stressful and I was stuck in traffic most of the time. I realized I wasn’t really proud of what I was doing anymore.  I was sick and tired of the routine. Whenever you decorate in a shop, the things you make are always temporary. I came to a point in my life where i wanted to create things that last, something honest. I do have plans to work for a wooden shoe maker and learn to make the actual shoe itself. 
Wooden shoe making is a very old traditional profession, I've always had a passion for tradition and wooden shoes are a heritage that the Dutch can be proud of. It is unfortunately a tradition that is almost extinct.  That made me want to give a new twist to them, bring them into the 21st century and explore all sorts of new uses for them gradually.  Unfortunately, it’s not possible yet to make a living out of the wooden shoe business.   I need to get my name out there more, that is a slow and sometimes difficult progress. So early mornings I work for a restaurant , this way I have the rest of the day to work on the business."  I will say one thing I have learned from my Dutch friends is that they are hard workers and fiercely independent and entrepreneurial.  Guess it is also in my blood as it is in Sharon's.

As for her creations and when it all began, Sharon says, "It started 10 years back when someone asked me to paint two pairs of wooden shoes for a Dutch couple living in America who just became parents to  twins. After that, I did some more as baby gifts once in a while, but never heaps of them.  It wasn’t until last year that I gave up my job as a shop window decorator and made it my business." 

Sharon says she has many inspirations for her art.  She gets her inspiration from everything. 
"I mainly get inspiration from materials. Browsing through second hand shops and flea markets or just an amazing color that pops up somewhere, a string of ribbon and my granny’s old button jar. The trick is putting it all together and making it look great."


I asked Sharon about how she chose her shop's name...."Well that was quite a thing! I struggled hard coming up with something. Then my friend said I should just use my last name. But I just wanted something cool and really catchy. It was not until she designed a logo with my name it it, that I finally agreed with her. My name is quite cool and catchy!"  HAHAH that is what I thought when I first found your shop.  It is really catchy.  Although, I keep wanting to spell it Q.U.A.C.K. like a duck's quack.  :)
 








 I asked Sharon what is new and upcoming in her shop.  She replied, "These shoes are not just made for walking but also just have a very fun and iconic appearance.  Christmas is coming up and so I am developing a line of Christmas tree ornaments now. A sweet little fun way to show off some Dutch heritage!"  I must add here...I just bought some for my tree!  Whether you are Dutch or not, these are the cutest lil ornaments!!!  
Sharon says, " There are a lot of idea’s going round in my head. But you have to be careful to not want to launch all them at once. So they are all being written down in a little booklet and will remain secret until the time is right."  

I asked Sharon to share with us her favorite Etsy shops from the Netherlands, but she said, 
"I must be honest. I love Etsy cause it’s international. So my eye is usually on what happens abroad."  I can totally relate.  I search for things abroad for inspirations.

 Mikodesign. "They sell kits for making your own rag dolls. They look really cute."

Harriet Damave. "Makes wonderful contemporary hand painted  Delft Blue ceramic items. Like I said I have a weakness for traditional Dutch crafts."

http://www.etsy.com/shop/HarrietDamave

Red Stitch Lab. "All sorts of things that will make a girl like me very greedy, things you don’t really need but just WANT . Love their style. Crazy about their cool cuff bracelets and wood slice brooches."

http://www.etsy.com/shop/redstitchlab


 
Kim’s Little Monsters. Very cool simplistic illustrations on anything. Cards ceramics, pendants.  But the thing I love most are the boxes of instant comfort. You’d have to see for yourself. They’d be the perfect gift for anyone who can use a little TLC, and let’s be honest, don’t we all?" http://www.etsy.com/shop/kimslittlemonsters


 Support our heritage and BUY DUTCH!!!!  :)


As far as being on Etsy, Sharon says she has learned "heaps" on Etsy and finds a lot of inspiration.
 "I just think it has the greatest collection of artisans in the world, the diversity is massive. It’s not impossible to not find anything you would like, usually you’ll like close to a hundred. As a shopper, I’m totally addicted. As a shop owner : it’s easy, it’s friendly , it’s making my product look beautiful and it works! I love the international customers. So far I’ve had shoppers from the US, the UK, France, Spain and even China! That would never happen unless I had a shop on an Amsterdam High street."


I was wondering why some people loved wooden shoes and asked Sharon about wooden shoes in comparison to regular shoes.  She said, "It is a shame that wooden shoes became a rarity in Holland and are now mainly produced for tourists and farmers. There are still some wooden shoe fanatics who wear them on a daily base. Others will just wear them for work, since they are great safety shoes. I must admit i wear them only on special occasions. I have been wearing my new model, the ones that look like boots, to town. People do have to look twice to see that I'm actually wearing wooden shoes. And then when they realize they actually are wooden shoes they just give me a big smile.
The great benefits are that they are cheap, they keep your feet warm and dry and in my opinion they can still look cool. They just need to lose the old fashioned image. That’s where I come in." That is so awesome.  It is sad that many of the Dutch do not wear the wooden shoes as much.  That was unique to the culture of being Dutch.  

Sharon was kind enough to entertain my questions on the Netherlands below:

What is the weather like in Holland at the moment? 
"The weather here is not sure if it wants to be a little summer still or fully autumn. So we have a bit of everything. I’m going for a walk in the morning sun right after this interview before autumn rain takes over the day."

If I were to visit your country...what places would you encourage me to not miss while visiting?
"De Efteling, without a doubt! It is a fairytale based theme park in a forest and it’s just amazingly decorated. I’m in love with the place, it’s just magical."  WOW!  My kids would love that!  There is a place her in Pennsylvania...where we have many dutch people...and it is called Dutch Wonderland.  :)  I did do a little research on this place for my readers. Here is the website: http://www.efteling.com  And below are some great pictures I found of this magical and whimsical place.  Do I dare say it is better than Disney's Fantasy Land???? 



Is there anything interesting you can share about your country that we Americans may not know about?
"We don’t actually all walk on wooden shoes and live in windmills. Also we don’t only eat cheese or smoke weed instead of normal cigarettes. Ok that’s silly but some people really believe we do! 
What can I tell you about the Dutch? We are very clever with water, more precisely, to get rid of it. Most of Holland is below sea level and wouldn’t it be for the clever solutions we came up with throughout the years, our country would be even smaller than it already is. Most of our biggest and most important cities would not exist.  The world has always called in the Dutch if there were problems with water. I think it’s something we can be proud of!"

 In closing, can you please tell us how to say "I love you", "hello", and "goodbye" in Dutch? So I can teach my kids and my readers can teach theirs?  (silly I know...but just had to ask. :) )
I love you: Ik hou van jou
Hello: hallo
Goodbye: officially it would be “goedendag”, but we all prefer “doei!”
It’s actually quite similar when you look at it written down!

I think we should all try some wooden shoes.  Clogs are still in the stores and these are much cuter than some of the clogs I have seen in stores.  And no offense if you wear Birkenstocks, but these are WAY cuter than those!!!!  I am sure Sharon could whip a pair of grown up wooden shoes for you if you convo her!  http://www.etsy.com/shop/QuaksOriginals



GIVEAWAY!!! 
 Sharon was sweet enough to offer my blog followers a gift straight from Holland!!!  She is offering a set of adorable wooden shoe key chains.  Great stocking stuffers!!!!

Here is how it will work, as always, make sure you follow my blog to enter.  Always include in your post your email so I can contact you if you win.

1 entry EACH -
*Favorite her on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/QuaksOriginals
*Go to her website, which is in dutch, yes, and click around.  Come back and tell us your favorite pair of wooden shoes that are not featured in her Etsy shop.  www.quaks.nl   I encourage you to check it out!!!  She has some ADORABLE designs on there!!!  LOVE!
*Follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Quaksoriginals  if that doesn't work you can just search on twitter for Quaksoriginals

Complete all four tasks and get four entries into the giveaway!

Giveaway ends 11/29/11 at 10pm Eastern Time (USA)