Sunday, December 16, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Goodbye to girls brown tees!

I'm going to be replacing the girls brown tees with another color (either lavender or lemon, what do you think?) because the rhinestuds that I used on the brown tees are discontinued and I can't seem to find a suitable color that I like as a replacement. So sad but don't worry, I really think a pretty lavender or lemon yellow will be darling :)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Feeling under the weather...

Well, I managed to catch my son's cold and it really knocked me for a loop today. We did manage to scramble us all to a much anticipated "Nutcracker Ballet" that we bought tickets for 2 months ago with the homeschool group. It was fantastic! The talent was amazing ~ it's always so inspiring to see someone so passionate about their art.

After that, though, it was back to bed for me. I slept most of the day and now I'm awake to do a little Christmas shopping online. I'm trying to stick to my pledge of buying only handmade. It's been easy for my in-laws. I finished them up with some clay ornaments that you can scent with essential oils ~ very cool. I bought a very neat gift set for my oldest daughter featuring...zombies...yes, zombies. Check out etsy for some cool zombie's that's your thing ;) My two younger ones, it'll be a little harder buying handmade. They're into k'nex and board games.

I've been very blessed this holiday season with a flurry of orders last week (thank you!). This week was a little slower but it's been nice since I'm not feeling so great. Slow times are also a great time for me to think of new ideas, try out projects that I get in my head and MUST get out and make them materialize. Sometimes they work (like my new Braille Alphabet Tiles), sometimes they don't (well, we won't mention those ;)

Here's a pic of the kids that I put on our Christmas cards. I think it looks darling. (I made it black & white though for the cards. I LOVE black & white photos) They're all smiling and gee, you would never know that 5 minutes before, they were fighting! Ha!

That's all for now.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Braille Tiles preview

Ok, so here's a little preview of what I've been working on for Bitty Braille.

I had this idea that kids would love to work more with their hands with Braille, to learn the letters (by site & feel for sighted children, by feel for visually impaired children) so I designed these tiles/manipulatives. Great for adults wanting to learn Braille too! They feel great in your hands and moving them around to form words is so satisfying.

I've only made a few sets so far and I'm thinking of sending one to my friend who is a teacher at a Blind School to get her opinion. But don't worry, I'll get them on the website soon. I'll also consider pre-orders for the holidays. I'm thinking a little intro sale is in order, no?? Retail price will be $26.00 per set (26 letters plus cloth drawstring bag) but a special offer to my blog readers will be....$22.00.

So, drop me an email ( if you're interested in a set and you must have it NOW! Don't forget to include coupon code: BrailleTileIntro

Oh, and there will be a warning tag on the set to keep away from small children as the small red dots may pose a choking/swallowing hazard. The dots are very securely attached and I did use all non-toxic finishes/glues on these so that's not a concern but still, I would not want a little one chewing on these.

I'm off to work on some more tile sets and finish up some orders. Two days to Thanksgiving and I still have to get my ingredients together to make my famous sweet potato casserole that I must bring or I will have to suffer the consequences ;-)

Happy Turkey Day!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I took the handmade pledge!

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

So far, my holiday handmade purchases are:

For sis-in-law: hand crocheted cotton washcloths (from etsy) and 3 bars of handmade soap (local craft show)
Mom-in-law #1 (yes, I have two;) - gorgeous wreath in shades of pink with natural twig (local craft show)

Still have the other mom-in-law to shop for and she is impossible!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Get your Limited Edition Holiday tees!

I'm about to launch my Holiday Tees over at Bitty Braille. Special price of only $25 and a limited supply ~ so get them while you can.

The tees are really adorable. If these do well, I think I'll consider other holidays as well ~ just imagine white tee/red studs for Valentine's, green tees/white? studs for St. Patrick's Day, black tee/orange studs for Halloween, etc. I get so excited about this stuff!

There is also another product in the works that I've had in my mind for awhile. I finally picked up supplies to make a prototype and I think it'll be a fantastic idea. Pics to come soon.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I came upon this contest to win two reusable grocery bags from and well, since I've been trying to go more "green", I entered! I'm so hoping I win. You can enter too - here's the link: Crunchy Domestic Goddess reusable bag giveaway.

Here's another contest I just had to enter!

" How would you like to win $50 to spend in a vintage children’s store? Kailani of An Island Life is holding a giveaway to Warm Biscuit Bedding Company. Stop by before September 28th for all the details."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Long sleeves are Here!

My long-sleeve tees are now in stock just in time for these gorgeous, crisp Fall days. 100% cotton and super soft. I still have some samples for a photo shoot coming up this weekend so by next week, they'll be more pics of the long sleeves.

Other big news is that Bitty Braille now carries up to size 6. I had many customers requesting larger sizes so for now, at least, I have up to size 6, maybe 8's will be in the near future :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

BIG SALE!!! 25% off all short sleeve Bitty Braille Tees

I'm having a big sale right now on short sleeved tees. I'm ready for Autumn (I know, some of you hate to see summer end but...I LOVE Fall!) and I want to stock some long sleeved tees. I'll be ordering them soon and should have some samples made up by mid-September.

So, it's a great time to stock up on the short sleeve tees. They will still be available through the Fall & Winter but NOW is the time to get them on SALE :)

I've also added the Bitty Blankies and Hair Clips to the site. I'm so happy with both of these new products.

Anyway, go check out the big SALE and the NEW goodies :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Calling all girly girls...

Some new fabulous hair clips with your very own initial in Braille. Great for bitty girls AND big girls too :)

These hair clips came out just like I pictured them in my head (and I'm always so pleased when it works that way!). I'm very happy with them and once I get some pics of these babies in use and looking adorable in my favorite model (*cough* neighbor), I'll be adding them to the Bitty Braille website.

They feature the new faceted rhinestuds and all four colors match perfectly to the tee colors that I carry for girls. (now to come up with an item just for boys!)

A tee and set of clips would make a great gift, I think. So, if you have any birthdays coming up, you now have the perfect gift idea ;-)

Friday, August 3, 2007

Important Notice posted at Bitty Braille

I just finished posting a notice on my Bitty Braille site about my switching over to faceted metal studs for the girls shirts. There has been recent concern over the lead content of Swarovski crystals so to be on the safe side, I will be using the new faceted metal studs. They are not quite as sparkly but are equally adorable. I'll be making up some samples soon and will switch the photos over to the new tees. Stay tuned....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bitty Blanky Sneak Peek

Ok, so here's a sneak peek of my latest product, currently in development. I think I've worked out all the kinks and now it's just a matter of getting some good pics of the blankets.

They are a lovey size (approx. 17" square) with super soft fine wale cream corduroy on one side, plush minkee dot on the other; then one corner has a polar fleece rectangle with blanket-stitched felt dots in the pattern of baby's first inital. I also embroidered the letter on the rectangle. So, what do you think??? I gave one to my neighbor and she loves it.

The great thing about these blankets is that there is lots of different textures that baby loves. I'm so happy to be offering this new item soon. Be sure to check the website soon.

Oh and how do you think I should spell blanky? Blankie? Blanky? Blankey? Blanket? Help!

Friday, July 13, 2007

New product in the works at Bitty Braille!

I'm so excited to be working on a new Bitty Braille product. It's SOOO cute and I think it will be well received. I've been making up prototypes, working out all the kinks. I finally settled on a great design and gave my finished sample to my neighbor who just had a baby boy.

Now, I'm going to keep the suspense up for a little and not tell you what it is...but here are some clues.

1. Ok, well the first is that it's obviously for a baby (seeing as I mentioned my neighbor's new sweetie)
2. It's super soft and lovable
3. It's monogrammed in Braille

Ok, that's it. I'll post more later as I make up more samples and take some pics. You're gonna love it!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New charms at Bitty Braille

I decided to sell my Braille birthstone charms over at Bitty Braille as well as my etsy shop. They are a good fit for the collection seeing as they have to do with children. I've had a great response from people who have ordered them. They make a unique gift and were very popular for Mother's Day.

Friday, June 8, 2007


You'll notice some color changes on my blog...they are to reflect the fact that I'll be posting about my newest venture, Bitty Braille, and I thought it deserved to have some of its' colors shown here too.

I thought about starting another blog just for Bitty Braille but it's just too many blogs for one person! (I have Indie Diner that get's posted to every day and Finding Wonder, my homeschool blog) And since, officially, Bitty Braille is really just a collection under the julie*ann handmade goods name, it shouldn't really have it's own blog. I feel like Bitty Braille is taking on a life of its own and maybe it should be it's own entity but for now, it will stay under the safety of the julie*ann umbrella :)

I've really been focusing most of my energy to getting this collection out there and I must say, it is paying off. I've had a number of orders and many compliments on the concept. You can click on my little logo over there to the right to head straight on over to the Bitty Braille shop.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Bitty Braille has launched...

Ok, so I'm a little late in posting this...Bitty Braille launched on May 15 with a very special Grand Opening. I am offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders placed in May as well as a couple of contests. Win a free tee of your choice when you either a) make a purchase or b) sign up for the monthly newsletter. Winner will be chosen at the end of get on over to Bitty Braille and sign up!

I'm so excited to get this collection off the ground. It's been fun experimenting with the tees, crystals, etc. and I'm so happy with the final product. I also love my packaging...but I won't tell you how cute it'll have to order a t-shirt to find out ;)


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Big Sale Going on at PurplePinkandOrange

Sad news for PurplePinkandOrange but good news for all you bargain hunters out there...A big going out of business sale is happening now until they close at the end of May...Savings of up to 40%. Now's the time to get some hip designer goods at a great price. So...get on over to PURPLEPINKANDORANGE and support your favorite indie designer!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I was featured...

Jen of the new indie shopping blog, Product of the Day featured my braille name pendants. What a nice surprise. It made my day. Thank you JEN!!! Read about it here.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

it's been tooooo long...

It's been ages since i've posted and I know that's no way to keep readers reading my blog. So, shame, shame on me ;) but I do have an excuse...i've been working on a new product that I hope will be well received. Because I love making my braille pendants SOOO much and I love the response I get when customers receive something personal as well as charitable (a portion of every sale goes to the American Foundation for the Blind), I decided to expand the line and design infant and toddler tees with simple braille words on them. They can also be personalized.

I've been hard at work in R&D, ordering various brands of tees, testing different ways of attaching rhinestones/studs, embroidering and working on a website.

I first ordered Rabbit Skins tees but decided they weren't quite the quality I was looking for. I'm going for boutique quality I decided on American Apparel. Not only are they high quality, 100% cotton, they are sweatshop free and Made in America!

So, with a few tees in hand, I set to making some samples and I must say, I LOOOVE making them as much as the pendants, maybe even more. They are SOOO cute and something unique and again, charitable as I will again donate a portion of every sale to the AFB.

And since these tees are so special to me, I decided they needed their very own website. You can check out the work-in-progress website... Slowly but surely, this new venture is taking shape and I'll soon be placing a large order for tees, making up more samples and having a professional photo shoot with an adorable bunch of baby models (well, ok, they are my friends children, but hey...they ARE cute!)

So, there you have it. My's a good one, no??? Oh, and because you are a faithful reader, I will be offering a secret special, super-duper discount on my new braille tees as soon as the site is up and running at full speed, OK??

Saturday, March 17, 2007

My latest work...

I am lovin' this new design and plan on making a whole fun bunch of them! They'll all be a little different but the same basic style. The orange one has a stamped "hand" in brown, then mixed with shades of orange cat's eye beads and silver tone beads. I then added chocolate brown suede cord. It has a very bohemian feel but it's really very elegant as well. Oh, happy :) The other one is in tones of gray and black with an Asian feel to it. Love it as well. More to come soon...

Friday, March 9, 2007

Finally Friday

I haven't posted in awhile as I've been really working at getting my new indie designer feature blog, Indie Diner, off to a roaring start. It's going great so far and I'm getting fantastic feedback. It's funny how it came about, really...I was laying in bed one night not being able to sleep for all of the ideas swirling through my I was hungry and then the words came to me..Indie Diner. I loved it and couldn't wait to get started, which of course, led to more restlessness! Take a peek when you have a moment and let me know what you think... Indie Diner.

On other notes, more ideas for pendants and charms have been working their way into my head too. I sent for a very cool mold of angel wings. I've made one pendant so far with it and I just love how it came out. Now it's just a matter of getting better pics of my pendants. My mom just bought a new camera, a really nice one, so I may have to borrow it. Scanners just don't capture the dimension and texture of some of my items.

My press release went out back in February for my new braille collection. Gosh, I just realized I never even talked about them here! Well, that will have to wait until another day as my beef stew is calling my name and I must attend to dinner preparations :) Hugs to all who even bother to read my blog ;-)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Yum, yum dessert

Here is my latest collection of pendants being sold at my etsy shop. They were inspired by tasty desserts. I was up late one night, not being able to sleep (again) due to ideas flowing throught my head. I almost wanted to get out of bed and start sketching these. On the top row, we have: Rainbow Sherbet, Strawberry Cheesecake and Spumoni. Bottom row, we have: Watermelon Sherbet Pie, Mississippi Mud Pie and Key Lime Pie. Ok, are you drooling yet??? Bon appetit!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Find my sin charms at relish at home...

I recently sent two sets of my deadly sins charms to Kelly at relish at home. They don't sell online yet but they have an awesome brick & mortar boutique in Berkeley, CA., so if you're in the area, please take the time to stop in and say hello.

From J. Lynne Cosmetics....

J.Lynne Cosmetics Anniversary Sweepstakes 2007

Happy Anniversary! To celebrate the beginning of our 3rd year in business, we're inviting everyone to sign up for our 2007 Anniversary Sweepstakes, featuring prizes worth over $1000.00 in J.Lynne Cosmetics products!

Check it out here.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

New Year, New Look

See how I changed the colors of my blog? Well, it's to reflect the awesome new banner design that the lovely Keri of Paper Maven made for me. You must check out her etsy shop here.

Monday, February 5, 2007

The Wonderful World of Huggaboos

I'm so pleased and excited about this new venture with my daughter. My 9 year old has been bugging me for awhile to help her sew some stuffed animals that she could sell on etsy. So, I sat down with her and we figured that she was capable of making the cute little plushie "things" that are popular now.

She eagerly set to designing some. With sketchpad in hand, she showed me three designs. I brought out all the fabric that I've been holding onto and all the other accoutrements that we would need. I let her pick the fabrics, embroidery thread colors and anything extra she wanted to add. She went even further and added personalities and a little secret message sewn into each one.

We set to making her first one, Goonie, and the world of Huggaboos was born. I have to say that because she is homeschooled, we get to spend hours of our day working on her little Huggaboos. I couldn't be more pleased. This is what makes my day :)

Find her Huggaboos in my etsy shop here.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Sending my goodies out into the world...

I'm trying to get more interest in my etsy shop and I know one way to do that is to send out freebies to be included in swag bags and giveaways. I don't mind doing this as I think it is a wonderful way to get your items out there in the world so everyone can see how amazing my stuff is :)

I recently sent two necklaces to Modish for their monthly goodie box giveaway. They are my favorite designs, very simple and bold and I LOVE the color combos.

I'm also sending out 25 little cupcake charms to The Sampler to be included in the March sampler. I've always wanted to do this but never did. Now, I am very excited to be involved in this awesome concept. I love my little cupcake charms so much. I'm wondering if I should offer them for sale at my etsy shop or have them be a sampler only special. What do ya' think??

And then, of course, I recently sent off my Valentine hearts to Haute Market.

If anyone knows of more ways for me to get out there, please let me know.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Valentine's Day and my bowl full of little cuties :)

The cute little charms in the bowl were sent off to a Haute Market event in Kansas City to be held Feb. 11. They are going in the swag bags. It was so fun to make them and exciting to send them out into the world (well, Kansas:). Check out the event here Jennifer seems to put on some awesome events - maybe some day I'll get to one!

If you're still looking for some sweet Valentine's Day gifts, check out my shop for the sweet braille LOVE pendant and the pink & red heart pendant.

I'll also be posting soon about some new pendants similar to my braille initial pendants, as well as some *new* and *improved* initial pendants :) I'll keep ya' posted.

Friday, January 12, 2007

I've made some goals for 2007

So, I'm really trying to start this year off right. I'd really like to do more marketing this year and promotions for my etsy shop. I'm getting involved in some fun promos & swaps and am having a good time challenging myself daily. Ya' know...reaching deep down into my creative mind, dusting off the cobwebs and coming up with some great new, inspiring designs for this year. Just keep your eyes peeled.

My latest idea stemmed from our homeschool study of Helen Keller and the braille alphabet. My 9 yr old daughter was fascinated by braille and we quickly delved into the study of it. Braille initial pendants are the result. We are donating $2.00 from each sale of a pendant to the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). This will further the homeschool study of braille as my daughter helps make the pendants, keeps track of the proceeds to benefit the AFB and takes pride in doing charity work. Other braille pendants are in the works.

Right now, I'm off to knead some clay to make pendants for the Happily Handmade Giveaway...this is my first time participating and I'm nervous/excited :)

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

My first post

I'm starting this blog to help my customers keep up with the goings-on in my studio. You'll be able to see what will soon be listed in the ole etsy shop :) I will also offer occassionaly "secret sales" Shhhhh, don't tell anyone, these are just for YOU!