Elegant Whimsy

By Laura Bray

Did you ever notice that whenever you come up with an idea that it suddenly appears everywhere? I believe it’s a sure sign that I’m in the creative “flow”. This very thing happened to me recently. I got my invitation to join LolliShops and, when I was filling out my application and saw that one of the categories was Elegant Whimsy, I nearly fell off my chair. I blogged about a new concept I thought I had invented called Elegant Whimsy in mid-July! (You can read about it here: Elegant Whimsy) As my mom says there’s nothing new in the world! When I told Sadie Lou about this coincidence, she kindly invited me to be a guest blogger to discuss Elegant Whimsy with you.

So today, I thought I would give you my take on the Elegant Whimsy lifestyle. I often come across people who say they like my artwork a lot, but are afraid it’s “too childlike or whimsical” for their décor. Then I explain that you can include whimsical in the most austere of rooms. The only rule? You have to be brave enough to do it. Haven’t you ever walked into a person’s house, saw something that seemed out of place, but it ended up being the thing you liked most about their house? Wasn’t that object what you remembered years later? That’s Elegant Whimsy. It’s sparkle and whimsy on the least expected item. It’s using old teacups as curtain tie backs and salt & pepper shakers as tassels. It’s having peanut butter & jelly sandwiches on your wedding china. Even the picture of me on this blog post, is an Elegant Whimsy story. I was at an upscale restaurant and after dinner they brought a bowl of cotton candy with the check. I’ll always remember that restaurant because of that whimsical touch.

So here’s my challenge for you. I want you to blog about living the Elegant Whimsy lifestyle. It can be something in your house, it can be something you do, just make it elegant and make it whimsical. I can’t wait to see all the great ideas! Be sure to post a comment so we can all come and visit.

To further celebrate Elegant Whimsy, I’m giving away a set of my Elegant Whimsy note cards. Simply leave a comment with a link to your Elegant Whimsy tip and we’ll draw a name on September 10th. These note cards will be in my LolliShop once the candy store opens!

If you want to read more about me and my creative journey, visit my website at Katydid Designs

With Elegance & Whimsy,

Laura Bray

katydid designs

Thanks Laura!
So just to clarify, after you read this post–you can leave a comment just to talk about what Laura said here, and you can also come back and leave a comment when your post is ready in order to be entered into the contest and so we can visit your blog. Only comments with links will be entered.
~Sadie Lou


One of the questions I receive quite a bit is:

“What can I being doing while I wait for LolliShops to open?”

There are a lot of answers to this:
Join the Forums
Enjoy the swimming at the Flickr Pool
Keep stocking up your inventory so that you can open with a full & exciting shop!

But I think the most important and helpful answer for your business’s growth and success is:

Work on those photos!

I can say, without a doubt in my mind, that the photos are the biggest help or hindrance to your shop. It took me a long time to learn this and I didn’t even think of this on my own!
A sweet person sent me a private message on Flickr one day and basically told me that my Betsy Ornaments are so cute and gorgeous but my photos are awful! After looking at them today, I can’t believe anyone bought them from me! Here’s a sample:

I was seriously photographing them in my bathroom! Look at how yellow and dark it is! I remember thinking it gave it some antique charm but my goodness… it was just awful.
The sweet person that was honest with me also gave me some tips–like photographing the Betsy Girls in natural lighting. So I have been ever since:

Well, photographing outside is all well and good for the summertime, but what about when it’s grey and cloudy?
The Homemade Light Box is the answer!
Here is the link for a great tutorial I found:
Light Box Tutorial

I admit, I haven’t made one of these yet but I’m going to. I encourage all of us to get moving on this and get it done before Fall & Winter creep up on us.
By the way, you don’t have to stick with the all white background. I find that Cottage Style, Whimsical, Romantic items look better and sell more when the items are set into a Theme. You can still do this with the light box. You can make a little “set” inside the box with a cute, patterned backdrop, some throw pillows, bits of lace or pearls…
You’re not locked into the “white out”.
If anyone gets going on their light box right away, take some photos of it and email them to me and we’ll all learn from your experience!
I hope this motivated everyone, I know it was inspiring for me!
~Sadie Lou

I decided that every weekend, we will spend some time with a LolliShops vendor. Our very first weekend will be spent with Toni of Sugar Cookie Dolls.
I found Toni’s creations on Etsy quite some time ago. I hearted her shop. When I came up with the idea for a froufrou friendly marketplace, I instantly looked up Toni and contacted her. Toni’s creations are exactly the kind of sweet creations I think of when I think of “Elegant Whimsy”.
Glittery:: Delicious:: Frilly:: Foofy:: Sugary:: Desserts:: Pink:: Feminine:: Sweet!!
Here is a darling photo of Toni in her studio…
Doesn’t that look like an inspiring place to create?

I told Toni to pick out her three favorite pictures of her creations…

Toni says…

Hello to you from the magical world of Sugar Cookie Dolls!
My name is Toni Kelly & I handcraft a variety of whimsical fairies, angels, elves, bunnies, etc. – depending on my mood. I love to make pumpkin fairies for October. I always attach a rhinestone pink ribbon charm to those b/c Oct. is breast cancer awareness month & I’m a breast cancer survivor. I make it my business to remind as many women as possible to get a mammogram.

I am proud to call Toni a friend, fellow artisan and LolliShops Vendor!
I look forward to seeing more delicious goodies from Sugar Cookie Dolls!
~Sadie Lou

New Web Team!

August 20, 2008

Do you want to hear a big scary secret?
I’m willing to tell it now because we are in the clear and we’re safe… but guess what?
The first web programming team I was working with and I, parted ways last Thursday.
I was really freaking out for about half of the day on Thursday but I prayed for a miracle and I got one–or I should say *WE* got one.
I am a stay-at-home mom with three children and I have a husband that I *LOVE* to spend time with so searching for a new web programming team sounds way too overwhelming and time consuming. In other words, it was like looking for a needle in a giant haystack.
I called some local programmers and left some messages and my husband called our web design friend, Mike, to see if he had any contacts.
Well, we both got the same answer:
So I called them.
Their office is seriously, 5 minutes up the road from me.
They answered the phone! (this is original in the programming world)
I got a face-to-face meeting with them on Friday!!
It went swimmingly! I *LOVE* the whole team at Velocity 7! I want to make them all into little dolls and stick them in my pockets and have them with me forever!
So, the BIG SCARY SECRET was that LolliShops was without a tech crew for about 24 hours but miraculously… LolliShops has one again. I met with them again yesterday and everything fell into place. (They have GIRLS on staff too and they are beyond excited about working with me-they love LolliShops too)
We lost some time, girls.
Let’s not put all our eggs in one basket and count on a Halloweenish deadline, OKAY?
Let’s just keep making delicious goodies with the anticipation that LolliShops is going to be SOOOO worth the wait and in the meantime, we get to get to know each other through the Guild and we get to get our photographs better and learn some new techniques and we get to go through this together!
I will say this: We are shooting for a launch *BEFORE* Christmas.
The Beta Testing group will be on even *BEFORE* that, so we’re not that far behind schedule.
*big hugs*
I’m actually now ready to hear your feedback…lay it on me!

Thank You: The Winner!

August 20, 2008

Thanks Lori of the The Scrappy Shack! You won the very first LolliShops Giveaway! Please email me at lollishops@gmail.com with your address to claim your prize!

It also goes with out saying that even though I didn’t do an official tally of the votes–I’m pretty sure Polka Dots is the winner as well!
Thanks for all the comments and all the LolliShops Love! You are the best of the best–the cream of the crop!
You’re the Polka Dots on my Cupcake!
You get my drift.

Thank You!

August 18, 2008

It’s only been 3 weeks since I first released the Application for LolliShops. Since then, I have received over 600 applications and we have close to 400 approved vendors!
I credit most of the buzz to my faithful friends and contacts who instantly added the buttons to their blogs. They didn’t stop there! You guys posted about LolliShops, you talked about it to fellow artists and you joined the LolliShop Guild where you continue to invite your friends and generate buzz!
I want to thank you!
You guys are an amazing group and I am daily inspired, grateful and impressed!
So I’m going to have my first LolliShops Blog Giveaway. All you have to do is post a comment. Since just posting a comment isn’t all that exciting, I will have you answer a question. The question is:

“What do you love more: Polka Dots or Stripes?”

Just answer that question in the comments to win! Here are the photos of the prize…

You get a vintage card box full of handmade cards, vintage greeting cards, vintage buttons and trims, vintage rickrack, a Best Friend Award and some vintage wrapping paper samples!
(That’s a lot of vintage!)
Thanks again!
In the future, LolliShops will be offering lots and lots of awards and prizes! Here are just a few ideas…
1. Rewards and Prizes for vendors with the most sales for one month
2. Rewards and Prizes for vendors with the most listings for one month
3. Rewards and Prizes for referring new buyers and vendors to LolliShops
4. Rewards and Prizes for contests: Most Creative use of Rick Rack…etc.
You get the idea!
Sometimes, LolliShops will be buying items from Featured Sellers and giving those away as prizes too! *excited*
I have some more posts coming this week so stay tuned!
~Sadie Lou

Artistic Elements
Definition: Who knows what artists need BETTER than fellow artists? This category is for artistic inspiration! You’ll find gorgeous, well composed art kits and collage packs. This is the category for supplies such as special glue, ribbons, trims and fabrics!

I am soooo excited about this category. I LOVE to buy my artistic elements online because you just can’t find these things anywhere else! I couldn’t go to Estate Sales every weekend for a month and come away with as many goodies as I could get in one hour on LolliShops (when it’s ready).
These artists (because they are artists and suppliers to artists) really know how to pull together a bunch of odds & ends and package them in such a way that I just HAVE to have them!
Not to mention all the creative talent that goes into handmade supplies like Heidi’s Crepe Paper Ruffles! Do not settle for any other crepe paper ruffles–Heidi’s are the original!
My next giveaway is going to be an artist’s supply kit! Coming this Monday so come back Monday to leave a comment to win!!
~Sadie Lou

I also have some exciting news coming next week about the LolliShops website!

Vintage Treasures
Definition: We love Vintage and Antiques! In this category, you’ll find treasures for your home and studio as well as all those Vintage Supplies like Seam Binding, Glass Buttons, Trims, Millinery, etc. A wide variety of one-of-a-kind and hard-to-find!

An interview with Tiffany of Shabby Scraps Boutique

LolliShops asked…
“So many of us are mommies and wives and take care of our little families, when do you find the time for creating? Where do you go?”

Tiffany replied…

“Since I have two daughters age 9 and almost 13, finding time to create can be difficult. My favorite time to create is in the morning after everyone has left for the day. I quickly get my morning “household” duties accomplished, then I steal away upsatirs to my lovely craft room. I am lucky enought to have a space of my own, since we just built onto our house. When the children are out of school in the summer, like now, my time to create dwindles, but I still find snippets of time to make something. I leave my current projects out and at hand so I can work on them inbetween swimming lessons , laundry and playdates!”

LolliShops asked…
“I asked you to make a Flickr Mosaic of what is inspiring you right now: Can you tell us a little bit about where you draw your inspiration from? *Because I just love your jewelry!

Tiffany said…

“My inspiration really derives from two things : Texture and Color. I think these are the two most creative elements in a project. Of course I love anything that is vintage or has a vintage feel to it, so I try to incorporate that into whatever I am doing. I just love Flickr, because I am such a visually inspired person, I think photos are as much art as the artwork themselves!”

Click on the image to see the artists

Click on the image to see the artists

LolliShops asked…
“What are your three most favorite words? Not necessarily words you use the most but words that evoke something for you…”

Tiffany replied…

“serendipity, faith and shiggle. Since the first two are self explanitory, I think I need only explain the third. It is a combination of the words “shake” and “wiggle” and my daughter made it up at the age of four. We have used it in our vocabulary ever since, and everytime I do, I cannot help but laugh and smile, it is my happy word.”

LolliShops asked…
“What is your favorite room or corner in your house and why…

Tiffany answered…

“You would think my obvious answer would be my craft room, but it isn’t. Although I love that room dearly, I have to say my master bedroom is my favorite room in the house. Through a happy accident during construction, it ended up being double the size we planned with a lovely sitting room off of it, with french doors and a view of our garden. I have decorated it in soft creamy whites and have some of my favorite vintage treasures housed there, including Nadia, my dress form! My bed is a towering marshmallow of downy comforters, and I always feel calm and relaxed and comforted in that room. “

Finally, LolliShops asked…
“Lastly, what excites you the most about LolliShops (shameless promotion here on my part)…”

To which Tiffany gracefully replied…

“For me the most exciting part of Lollishops is the concept of uniting like minded sellers and individuals in a “frou frou friendly” atmosphere. The web can be huge (afterall, it isn’t called world wide for nothing!) and it can be very difficult to find things sometimes. You have to wade through page after page of things before you find what you were looking for. Having the Lollishops collaboration is like sitting down with your favorite magazine, each page you flip you know you will like what comes next.”

How sweet was this interview? I am looking forward to meeting Tiff at Silver Bella this year!
I think she is a perfect example of the wide range of creations, supplies and vintage that would fall under the category…
Vintage Treasures
~Sadie Lou
You can visit Tiffany on her BLOG

More creations from LolliShops’ soon-to-be-vendors!

1. Paris her way…, 2. Oh So Sweet, 3. Raspberry Walnut Creme Fraiche, 4. Mini Notebook, 5. 1st Birthday Gift….., 6. Circle of Roses Dishcloth/Doily, 7. SpringTime collage, 8. It’s Still Me, 9. Explore Dream Discover, 10. A plate of pink and cream crochet applique, 11. white rabbit small.jpg, 12. Faux / Fake Fancy Frosted Cookie and Cupcake, 13. Needlefelted Magnolias, 14. Bebe Doux (Sweet Baby)~Gossamercreations~, 15. Christmas Annie, 16. Siren song, 17. 2008_05010109, 18. Lace Cake – listed on my Etsy shop, 19. Soldered night light…Humpty Dumpty, sat on a wall, 20. Keep Out – Not too shabby, 21. Queen’s Bouquet, 22. Pink Taffy Art Candy Embellishment Pack, 23. DSCN4597, 24. Home Sweet Cupcake Home, 25. Green Polka Dot Bird Pot Holder, 26. Painter’s Roses, Henri Matisse ~ Original Gouache Painting, 27. The Cupcake Lady, 28. pretty in pink, 29. VERSAILLE, 30. Blue Vintage Baby Shoe, 31. Milla Wool Felt Posy Hair Clip, 32. Bubblegum Machine, 33. Hansel and Gretal, 34. sweetly, 35. The Sweet Shoppe, 36. Untitled

Romantic Inspirations:
Definition: Marked by expressions of love or affection; timeless. A particular influence of ephemera; of days gone by–a wistful approach to design that inspires a sense of “beauty with age”. Artists who claim specialty in this category will appeal to your emotions through their use of antiques, vintage elements and a Victorian color palate.

I just love the aged, timeless beauty of the creations that fall into the Romantic Inspirations category. As I was browsing the various images of creations, I felt like I was shopping in one store–the qualities of this particular category flow so seamlessly together. I can’t wait to browse this category on LolliShops!
~Sadie Lou