Let's Accessorize!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I feel that I've reached a milestone in terms to where I want to be and the direction I want to go with my shop.  I'm very content with the design of all of my items (except for the clutch, but we won't go there okay).

I've carried over the same angled flap design from the clutch, to the notepad/passport holder and now onto the card holder/clutch.  I am happy because I find that this is a signature look for elliven and that is something I've been trying to focus on for a while now.

So now that I have all of the designs finalized, my next step is to begin embellishing these items.  Not every listing, but a few.  I want to offer options and a wider selection to suit all tastes.

I've had embellishments sitting in my sewing room for some time now.  Some have been waiting ever so patiently for months, others for a few weeks.  I love sparkle, I love feminine, I love classic.

Here is a peek of a few of the embellishments that I currently have on hand:

There will also be other lovely textures added such as tulle and felt, just to name a few!

Look for these new pretties to be added to a selection of my designs.

I'm excited about this and hope you are too!


And Here It Is

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I managed to list just one of the redesigned card wallets/clutch.....here it is!

You can find it here.

How is it different from the old style you ask?  I simply added some length/width to it and redesigned the flap closure.  It now features the same angled design as the Notepad/Passport Holders and clutch.

I apologize for the absolutely short post (unless you like it), things are a little hectic around here today.  Hoping things return to normal tomorrow (pretty please!).


Two?! Oh My!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Months until Christmas?! Oh my!  Guess I should start thinking about what I'm going to get everyone huh?

I enjoyed such a lovely weekend! Saturday my husband returned home, which is always a treat. The older two kiddos seemed to have had a tough time with my husband leaving for this past trip, which meant, it was a tough week for all of us.   Moods flying at you left, right and center, no cooperation and short fuses.  It's hard, because you know they are just hurting, and missing their dad.  So trying to figure out how to deal with it and make them happy when the only thing that can truly make them smile is the to have dad home isn't easy.  But! We chugged through and all is well now phew!

Sunday I got together with five lovely ladies for lunch.

It was a-w-e-s-o-m-e!  

What a treat to just hang out and chat without having to worry about what the kiddos were doing.  We have to do that more often (okay ladies?!).  I also spent part of yesterday shopping......for myself!  It was fabulous.  I'm so happy to have a few new items to add to my wardrobe!

Shop news.....well, I hit a little roadblock this weekend which I wasn't too happy about.  I'm having to rethink the design of the clutch, which really frustrates me because I am no longer sure if I will have them ready for the show at the end of November.  I think I should still be able to do it, but it's just so frustrating to have to take a few steps back.

Due to the frustration that the clutches were causing me, I decided to put them aside and continue on with another project.  I need to get things done and sitting at the table, not being productive isn't going to get me anywhere.

so, with that being said......

I'm launching yet another new item!  Well, it's not totally new, it's something I used to sell in my "Always Inspire" shop and that I never carried over to elliven.  I've tweaked the design a tad and am thrilled with the results!  I hope to list some either today or tomorrow! Yay! Wanna see the old design?  Okay, here you go:

Okay, let's get this day started!


Would Love Some Opinions...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

So I'm about to launch the newly redesigned Notepad/Passport Holders in the shop! (insert happy dance here).

Before I do though, I wanted to ask you lovely folks for your feedback.

Let's say you were in the market for a Notepad/Passport Holder would you like:

  • the notepad to be included
  • the pen to be included
  • both the notepad and the pen to be included
  • neither the notepad or the pen to be included

Would absolutely love to hear what your preference would be!

Thanks in advance....hope you all enjoy a lovely weekend!

Be sure to check out Blair's lovely blog for your chance to win one of the many items in her celebration giveaway! (including an elliven ruffled card set!)


Another Chance

Friday, October 22, 2010

In life in general, you don't always get second chances, to redo something that wasn't exactly as you had expected/hoped it would be.  I might be getting just that, and wow, I'm beyond grateful.

What am I talking about? Let me share.  

So remember this past summer, I went to Hawaii for a week to join my husband who was there with his squadron for work?  Well, it was absolutely an amazing experience, I am so very thankful to have had the chance to visit Hawaii, I am lucky.

Now about second chances....you see, we were really excited because to us, this was going to be the honeymoon that we never had (we've been married for 7 years now).  We didn't go on a honeymoon because my husband was supposed to leave for football training camp the Monday after the Saturday we were married (we were married in May).  A year later came little M, then 9 months after M was born, we moved away to Moose Jaw where my husband continued his military training.

A honeymoon was the last thing on our mind.....just the way things go.  We were never bitter about it, it's just something that never happened.

Okay, back to the story of second chances.  So I get to Hawaii, it's absolutely amazing, gorgeous, such a beautiful place.  I relax, I take in the lovely atmosphere, I enjoy.  Only problem is that my husband is nowhere to be found most of the time.  He's there for work, work consists of 12 hour days.  So our so called honeymoon wasn't exactly....well, a honeymoon.  Truth be told, he was there for work, not for pleasure, so this is totally understandable that he wouldn't have loads of free time, but disappointing none the less.

That brings us to now....the end of October, and unbelievably amazing friend (I miss you!) and incredible cheap flights to the lovely island of Oahu!  Oh my goodness, really? Could it be?

a second chance?

We're still in the early stages of planning, but there is a chance that we may end up going back to the exact same hotel for a week at the end of November!


I'm giddy (literally I am), I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about this potential trip....I'm thankful, so very, very, thankful.  I can't believe I may get to see this view again

So here's to second chances, generosity, amazing friends, and loveliness!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Fresh Look!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


So in my quest to bring elliven to the "next level" I'm in the process of making some changes.  Some big, some small, some now, some later.  I am taking it one step at a time, or maybe two or three steps at a time.  I'm looking over my entire line and picking items that I feel I can improve.

This probably isn't the best time to be doing this since I have a deadline to meet with the craft show in about a months time (eek....really, I'm always so scared that I won't have enough product, how do you know how much to make?!  I've never done this show before, should ask around to folks who have to see what the traffic is like.  I'm making 40-50 of almost every item I sell....enough? Please say yes!).

okay, back on track Julie.  

Yes, I've been tweaking a few designs, and bringing in a few new items (the clutch and one more to come, not sure when the next item will debut).

One of my current designs that has been tweaked is the Notepad Holder.  I recently discovered that it would be so wonderful if the holders could fit a passport and a pen.  I made one for myself to take with me on my trip to Hawaii.  I just removed the pen slot so that the pocket could fit a passport.  I found that when it came time to fill out my customs form, digging through my purse to find a pen was quite a pain.

it would have been very handy to have one right there in the holder  

So soon after my return home, came the tweak to the size of the holders and redesigning the closure.  I love the angled tab, but I also really love the look of the clutch flap so I thought I'd test it out on the notepad holders.

Love the new look!

Here is the new design:

New elliven Notepad Holder!

Square flap closure

Increased side pockets are now large enough to accommodate passports!

still perfect for carrying a notepad!

Now that I have the new design, I will batch produce a bunch starting tonight!

I really do apologize for the poor selection of items in my shop I really am trying to get things in there as quickly as possible.  Still hoping for the clutches to debut at the end of the month, fingers crossed!

Have you been making many changes lately?


Momentum Shift

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oh my, what a wild couple of weeks it has been at our house.  I mentioned before that after my husband returns from a trip, we usually spend time trying to catch up.  The kids need family time, he needs to spend time with us, all the while we try to keep up with our daily schedule, tasks and routines.

When he's home, he still has to go in to work at the squadron, so it's not like when he's away he's away and when he's home, he's home.  He can be home, but still have to go in to work.  Anyhow, the last couple of weeks we have been finishing up projects around the house such as painting, caulking the bathtub, reorganizing a few rooms and shopping for new pieces of furniture and art.  It's been b-u-s-y!

I was in such a great groove in regards to the shop and preparing for the upcoming craft show, but things have come to a halt due to all of the work we've been doing around the house.  I'm not behind, but I'm not as far ahead as I'd like to be.  I don't have much left that I have to sew, but I'd like to be done everything sooner rather than later you know?

I'm also in the process of branding my shop.  This has been something I've been working on for months now.  Months because I'm trying to come up with the perfect look for elliven.  I want the logo to be transferable....I want to be able to use it in my ads, on my blog, in my shop, for my labels, in shipping products,

I want to use it everywhere.  

I want people to see it and say "oh yes, that's elliven" rather than "ooooooh that's elliven?!".  I think I've finally figured out what it is I want to design, but I'm no pro when it comes to working with illustrator or photoshop, well, I'm a rookie, I'm totally and utterly lost!

(I know I just used this photo, but I think it's perfect for this post, that's how I feel at times....lost, not sure which way to go)

So I think reaching out for help will be the way I'll be going.  Right now I'm jotting everything down, searching for the perfect font and trying to best describe what it is that I want my logo/look to look like.  Phew!

Well, with that being said, I hope you are enjoying a lovely Saturday! We will be relaxing today, not doing too much, which I think we are all fine by.


Lucky You, Lucky Me

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm absolutely loving this song! It reminds me of my husband and I. We really and truly do feel lucky to be with one another and to live the life we lead and to have such an amazing family. Even though we are apart (sometimes more often than not) due to his job, we still feel lucky and wouldn't change a thing.


I hope you enjoy a lovely weekend!


A Fun Time

Thursday, October 14, 2010

This past weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada.  We enjoyed a lovely weekend.  Our entire family was here (yay) and we took in every moment of the absolutely fabulous weather!  On Saturday we went to a local corn maze, oh it was fun!

the owners have done such a great job creating a fun, family friendly atmosphere!  

The kids enjoyed trying to lead us out of the corn maze (took some time, and we did leave the same way we went in, but at least we made it out).  After the corn maze confusion, we went on a hay ride which was pulled by two Clydesdales (love Clydesdales!).  That was followed by the kids climbing to the top of a pyramid made out of hay bales and we finished the day by taking a walk around the petting farm.


Here are some pics from our weekend adventure!


Share The Love

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The lovely Emily over at the Anderson Crew is in the process of adopting a beautiful little girl from Ethiopia.  In effort to raise some funds for the adoption, she is throwing "Share The Love Week" on her blog.

There are five themed bundles that you can win.  Each bundle is worth over $300!  I'm thrilled to have donated a Receipt/Coupon Holder and matching Mini Wallet to the accessory bundle!

Please head on over to Emily's blog to check out all of the fun and bundles!  You won't be disappointed! (this post explains all of the details)


Dream a Little Dream

Saturday, October 9, 2010

So I've been waiting for a few supplies to arrive to begin sewing together the clutches for the craft show.  In the meantime I've been sketching out a few different styles, I would like to offer a few design options (ie. changing the position of the ruffle, adding a strap, etc).  I had this nagging feeling though.....that I could think of another closure option.  I love the designs I already had/have, I love the look, so I couldn't exactly figure out what it was.

Then last night I had a dream of a new closure design for the clutch.  I tested it out today and yippee, voila!

that's what I was looking for!

Here is a peek at the new closure  (this is just a prototype and I apologize, I know it's probably hard to see the detail due to the busy fabric).

Okay, here you go:

(front of clutch) 

(view of the wrap around flap) 

(back with snap closure)

The flap is approximately 2" wide and is adorned with a 1" wide ruffle.  It wraps around the entire clutch and fastens closed at the back.  I used a resin snap on this one, but will test out both magnetic snaps and metal snaps.  I am also contemplating adding a second snap to the back of the clutch for when you have a little more to carry around, so that you will still be able to snap it closed.

Hoping to also list some in the shop by the end of Oct!

I hope you are all enjoying a lovely weekend!  Off to the corn-maze we go!


New Loveliness

Friday, October 8, 2010

What a fabulous feeling to finally have new items in the shop!

Here is a peek at just a few of the new listings:

Look for a few more new listings in the next couple of days.

This weekend we are planning to go to a local corn maze.  This place is amazing, I can't wait to spend the day there with the family.  The weather is supposed to fabulous too, should be fun!

I hope you all enjoy a lovely weekend!  Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!


Giveaway Winner!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Time to announce the winner of the stationery giveaway!

Drumroll please........

The winner is lucky #2!  The lovely Miss K from The RikRak Studio!!!

Look for an email from me today!

If you haven't already, please do visit her blog.  You will find loads of inspiration, amazing giveaways and fun themes and posts!


Thanks a bunch to everyone for entering the giveaway, I'm so happy to see so many new faces.  Do remember with the holidays fast approaching, I'm sure there will be at least one more giveaway.


In 30 Short Minutes

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Last night was the kids first swimming lessons.  M had taken a few lessons when he was really young, but after we moved due to a few different reasons we didn't sign him up again until this session.  For our middle guy R, this was his first lesson ever.

I was nervous for them and for me.  

I wasn't sure how they would handle the pool since they never took lessons and they only recently began putting their faces underwater in the bathtub!  Then for me, I was nervous that I didn't put them in the right levels, I didn't want them to be lagging behind all of the other kiddos, and this was a first for me (swimming in this city) I'm always nervous going to new places when I don't know what I'm doing (truth).

Class started (our kids are in different levels, but their classes are at the same time in the same pool, works out well).  R went in the water no problem (his class used the steps), so I went to go and watch and support M.

His classmates all jumped in the pool.  M stood there with absolute fear and doubt.  My heart sank a little, I was unsure that he was in the right level.  Class continued on....R was having a blast, other than swallowing and coughing up a few gallons of water, he was doing well.  M, not so much.  He was gripping holding the side of the pool, fingers were turning white he was holding on so hard.  His classmates were doing the rocket, were floating on their fronts/backs, it was obvious that they had all taken swimming lessons before, M was the only one who hadn't.

He looked up at me, mouthed "Mum.....I can't".  Oh goodness....

my heart sank.  

His eyes were slowing welling up with tears, he was trying to figure out how to climb out of the pool and he continued to look at me with complete desperation in his eyes.  He wasn't panicking, he just wanted out, but my heart sank even more.  I knew that there was no choice in the matter, he HAS to take swimming lessons, but I worried that he was in the wrong class, I worried that this was going to be a huge uphill battle.  The deck supervisor happened to walk over just then, me = thankful.  I made sure that I had registered M in the right class (I had), I asked what I should do, and if this was normal, yup.....okay then.

Big sigh....I gave him loads of encouragement and support, but he still wanted out.  I gave him a pep talk, I encouraged some more and then.....I walked away, told him Dad would come in.

This was the first time that I'd ever felt like this.  My heart wanted to yank him out of that pool more than anything, my head knew that he had to stay.  I went to get my husband who was watching from behind the glass wall.  I couldn't take it, I knew I was going to break, I myself was near tears.

By the time my husband made it to the poolside, M was splashing away having an absolute blast!  A complete 180.

Goodness, sweet relief.....thank you

He wouldn't stop talking about what he learned the entire way home, he did it.  I was proud, he was proud, and we shared this moment of overcoming fear.

A long story yes, a point, yes.  Even when you doubt yourself and want to run away.....

stay a little longer and believe.

Kids are amazing, and I find I am learning so much from them about perseverance and strength.  They don't always know that they can do something or that they aren't going to fail, but they still give it a try.  I admire this, I admire them, I admire their way of thinking, or perhaps it's that they aren't really thinking about it,

they just do.


PS I bought not one, not two, not three, but FOUR pairs of shoes yesterday! And all for less than $75!  Three pairs of flats and one pair of fancy sandals/flip flops.  Will post a fashion show once they all arrive!

Home Sweet Home....

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hello Monday!  I hope you all enjoyed a lovely weekend!

So we didn't exactly tackle the family photo shoot.  Instead, we finished painting the main entryway/hallway to our house.  It's been sitting 3/4 finished for the past...oh, 3 years!  You see, the entryway is two storeys high, so it's a challenge to paint all the way up to the ceiling.  Then there is a large window above the front door, which is above a small ledge.  Tricky to paint to say the least.

Finding out that we will be living here for another two years instead of being posted and moving in the spring made me want to make this house feel much more like a home.  So this weekend was filled with ladders, paint and painting supplies.

I'm so beyond thrilled to FINALLY have the entryway 100% complete.  I surprised myself by being able to climb that ladder all the way to the top to finish the trim along the ceiling, it's much higher than it looks!

Next is to repaint the upstairs hallway and then our master bedroom.  After that, we're all done painting! (I think!)

It's such a race to the finish when my husband returns home.  We have a list of all of the things we need to get done and we rush to finish it all before he leaves for his next trip.  With winter weather looming, we are indeed rushing to complete some household tasks.  Next on the list is to re-caulk the bathtubs, put away the patio/summer furniture/outdoor decor and then it's time to tackle the basement reno (hip hip hooray!).

We're getting there....and boy, is it ever a great feeling!

are there any home projects that you are currently working on?

In shop news: Do you remember this post?  Well I've taken a good look at the items that I currently sell and have been sketching updates to the current designs.  I've decided to redesign the iPhone/iPod sleeves and Notepad Holders.  Look for the new design in the shop in the next little bit!


Our Plan....The Weekend

Friday, October 1, 2010

my own photo

This weekend we will be taking our yearly family photo to use for our holiday cards.  We plan to take it outdoors at a local park, with loads of trees in the background.

I love fall.

I honestly can't believe it's October....I think I'm in denial.

Next weekend is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, I love cooking a feast for our family....

do you have any big plans for this coming weekend?


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