Saturday, July 31, 2010


Sunday - Coffee and Cake
weekly musings, articles and mostly babble...

You can catch my previous Handmade Spark articles here:
* Product Photography 101

#Amemoryyoucantforget is currently a trending topic on Twitter and has left me inspired for this post. Especially as my entire week so far has literally been spent collecting memories of my children on my DSLR. I can be quite crazy when it comes to my camera. We are permanently glued at the eye/eye piece? Lol! I love my camera yet until now I've only just noticed that for a change I have recently been a lot more purposeful with my kiddy photograph taking. I think it's because of my son who is the equivalent of Hammy the squirrel on soda. He just doesn't keep still for even a fraction of a second, so I end up taking as many photos as I can in the space of minutes just to achieve at least one good picture lol! It's bizarre as I take so much care with my nature photography, even when the winds blowing I will have the patience of a true artist and will remain for as long as i can. I do take many images even then to be honest. I think a lot of photographers do as it's always good to be able to find the images you want in a selection. You never know when what you think is the perfect picture, has actually been bettered by the one taken afterwards. I don't know, maybe I'm more concious of it with my kids as it does seem like much harder work photographing moving targets! Lol! Yet... this week I've been able to achieve more with purpose and less work! Hurrah!

Photographing my daughter for me has been special for obvious reasons, but it's also been of a challenge to try and take a step backward to think about the photo's from a business point of view. I want to get myself out there by the end of the year taking portraits as a business, and although I know I can capture good photo's and work well in post production I have never actually tried to work on a planned out schedule. If I were to go into people's homes I would have to consider that a: their kids are THEIR kids and not mine. I will need the patience of a saint to make a successful shoot in a short space of time. b: TIME! I will have 2 hours at most for a baby to try and work something successful so I need to be certain of how to manage that time as I go along, taking into account that babies are unpredicatable and will more than likely need to be handled frequently by the parents for soothing! Then c: the business plan outside of the shoot, besides getting paid for my time, I will need to look at prices for prints, images on disk, web slideshows etc. OK one more d: legalities... ie: insurance etc... the biggest gripe for me at the mo!

This stuff is forever on my mind so one of the days this week I tried (with my son jumping on my back... fun...) to treat the situation with a shoot for my daughter from this perspective. Concentrating on the first two concerns primarily I tried to treat the situation objectively and professionally which suprisingly lead my kids to behaving wonderfully for me. Maybe it was confidence in asserting myself as a business person/loving mother that did it, but it's the best they've behaved for me whilst capturing shots which allowed me to assess my environment a lot better and take better pictures. Not only that but this has worked wonders for my post production of this weeks selection of images and my first batch a couple of months ago. Being clearer in my head has allowed me to look at my images more closely and therefore produce better edited images. Great stuff if you ask me! Of course it'll be handy in the long run working with strangers, which was the whole point of me giving a bit of role play a go! So in all of that I have captured the sweetest pictures of my daughter ever, and in the process have beautiful memories to cherish forever that will help me with my business. Hopefully for her in the future it will show that mommy loves her very much and that we both had a wonderful time gathering beautiful moments to always remember. I think I have finally managed to set myself the groundwork for my portrait buisness as I think this is exactly what all moms will want to achieve out of their childrens photoshoots.

Recent Photography Posted to

That's it for now. Have a great weekend all!

moonangelnay x

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Friday Finds... HIPpadBaby

Interview # 36

HIPpadBaby on Etsy is a wonderful and innovative store by Phoebe, an enthusiastic mom from California and founder of the HIP Pad baby changing mats you'll see throughout the store.
I am a mom myself and know just how awkward a change can be at home or in public when a giant mess is on the way and you only have a slippery plastic changing mat at hand, or even only a few terry towels to place under your baby. Besides being colorful and stylish HIP Pads sound like the perfect idea to cope with those moment you need to leave your baby diaper free for a moment, to contain any potential explosions that usually ensue when your back is turned! Please check out her interview and visit her store also for all of your needs or if you know any new moms that wish to have that perfect gift for a baby shower!
I must must must give Pheobe a big thankyou for her patience with me as I was supposed to put her interview up yesterday, the true day for my Friday finds interview, yet having earned the title "computer destroyer", after crashing my own PC permanently at the start of the month I some how managed to blow the power supply to my other halfs PC last Tuesday!!! So without any guarantees of my return I had to close my store temporarily and also halt this interview. For that reason I made a promise to re-post this interview so Pheobe may enjoy the exclusivity she missed out on. A First for Friday Finds! It's a wonderful interview so I will be glad to hold it strong on the blog for the next week.

(Just click the images to go direct to the listings)

-- Tell me a bit about you! (Name, Age, Location, and give us a random fact whilst you're at it.) I’m Phoebe, the mom inventor of HIP Pads. I’m a native Californian, now in San Diego, but I grew up in the Bay Area. I’ll be hitting the big “4-0” at the end of the year. Random fact: I’m also a woodworker (furniture-making).

-- What is your business about then? My business is about bringing an innovative and so-useful product to parents. I invented HIP Pads when my daughter was a baby out of sheer need: it seems like every baby just waits for you to pull the old diaper away to let something out, doesn’t it? I had the big changing table cover, but it was such a pain to remove when it got a mess on it, and bulky to wash. I had some small lap-pad kind of things that were leak-proof, but the material was either scratchy or plastic-y. And everything was light- or pastel-colored which became stained in one or two uses; I spent way too much time in the laundry room trying to scrub gross stains off of things. HIP Pads solve all these problems: the soft flannel is double-sided, and has natural absorbency – there’s no need for the bulky layer of terry cloth that most of the things made for babies have – and the most innovative part of HIP Pads is the leak-proof inner layer. It’s the first product of it’s kind that’s both soft & comforting AND stops leaks. HIP Pads are easy to put under and remove without moving the baby. They’re so easy to just toss into the wash, and even if you go through a stack a day, you create a minimal amount of laundry. The fabrics I select for HIP Pads are purposely darker or bright, camouflaging patterns. Not only are they cool and fun, but they conceal the stains, which means you spend less time scrubbing laundry; no chemical stain-removers near the baby! They pack small, travel easy, and come in handy at home or on the go. I started out just making them for myself, and then for friends’ baby showers. Everyone kept telling me how great they are, and I should sell them. So, I gave it a go! And the feedback has been really positive.

-- How did Etsy come into your life? I started selling on Ebay, but it was just the wrong venue for my product, Etsy was a more natural fit. And I love being part of a community of artisans. The fact that Etsians support and buy from each other is so great.

-- Are you working a day job too? Yes, I am a full-time mom and also a long-time graphic designer. I’m so lucky that I get to be with my daughter the majority of most days, now while she’s small. And I’m also very fortunate my schedule is flexible, allowing me to work on developing the HIP Pad Baby line.

-- How long has the artist in you been 'unleashed' for? My whole life! I can’t think of a time I was not involved in multiple arts and crafts.

-- What has been the inspiration behind your business? The real inspiration is the challenge of creating something that fulfills the function in every-day life, but is also cool and fun looking. There’s no reason things can’t be practical AND good-looking! My other inspiration has been receiving the feedback from friends and now other customers who use HIP Pads – there is just a need for them in the world!

-- If you could describe your products in three words, what would you tell me? Useful, innovative, stylish

-- What would an average working day for you be like from dawn til dusk? Every day is a journey, here! My usual day starts with taking care of my daughter, she is my #1 and favorite job! Once I get her squared away with the morning basics, I usually take new photos if I need to (the morning light is the best), then check email, facebook and etsy pages. Then it’s time to work – ha, ha. Measuring, cutting, sewing and shipping, all with a 3-year-old in tow most of the time. Usually I reserve the night hours for design work, when I have the most quiet and creative juices flowing.

-- What's your favourite material and techniques to work with? Flannel is the perfect fabric for HIP Pads: it’s all natural, and is so soft against the baby’s skin. It’s not bulky, but it’s very absorbent, and holds up well through endless washes.

-- What is your ideal vision for the future for you and your work? My vision for HIP Pads is to expand the line, and to branch out into distribution around the country. I’m currently developing more products to go with the original HIP Pads: a longer, full-body length version, bibs, burp cloths, and some fun baby diversions for those extra-wiggly times! I’ve gotten a lot of interest from boutiques (it’s so exciting that the boutiques are finding me!) and I’m now in talks with vendors about wholesale. Ultimately, I envision a Babies-R-Us mass merchandising, but that’s further down the line.

-- Away from work, what do you like to do for fun or to wind down? I’m a big live-music enthusiast. I love cycling. Coastal hikes with ocean-breezes are pretty nice. I like to squeeze in the occasional movie.

-- What are you likely to search for on Etsy? Gifts for family/friends, I love to support other artisans. Also, out-of-the-norm crafts, it’s always so cool to see people who are successful doing something totally original! Here are two I just discovered yesterday that are fab: and

-- Any last words? Sure! If you’re a new parent or have a baby shower coming up, keep HIP Pads in mind – they make a great gift, and they’ll be used right up through the potty-training years. You can “like” on facebook for special offers and discounts: ... And, keep creating!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I ♥ Accessories


No.20 Here are some of my favourite handmade items, from the kind artists that have featured some of my work in the past 2 weeks. Im a bit behind after the PC rashed so this is going to be brimming with wonderful handmade goods.

My favorite treasury! 'Don't you just love it?' by 'expressions123'


Item - Butterfly Dance Applique Quilting Book
Etsy seller - dashton4 Ashton Publications Quilting Books
Treasury East - Green Tomatoes

Item - Spool Dollies Large Gal New Spool
Etsy seller - ericadaley Spool Dollies
Treasury East - Thoughts of Autumn

Item - Colorful Stripes Button Earrings
Etsy seller - lacethread Hand Sewn Fabric Treasures
Treasury East - 12 Hour BnR Treasury

Etsy buyer - LovelyTiffy
Treasury East - Electric Boogaloo

Item - Giraffes Glass Tile Pendant Necklace
Etsy seller - watercolorsNmore Watercolor Paintings
Treasury East - Elegantly Pink

Item - Colorful Delight
Etsy seller - ramneek Original OOAK Paintings
Treasury East - Passion for Red

Item - M2MG Cowgirls At Heart Bottle Cap Graphics
Etsy seller - blessedbydesigns Jewelry Making Graphics
Treasury East - Fall Is In The Air

Item - I LOVE CATS Fridge Magnets
Etsy seller - expressions123 Scrapbooks Note Cards, Fridge Magnets and Table Decor
Treasury East - Don't You Just Love It?

Etsy Buyer - GutterVamp13
Treasury East - Wishing For Fall

Item - The Daisy - Crochet Flower Head band
Etsy seller - yourstrulydear Baby and Adult Hair Accessories
Blog Feature - BESTeam Feature

Item - Pink And Yellow Chiffon Rosette Flower Tank Top
Etsy seller - comeshoppinklemondade Flower Tank Tops and Beaded Necklaces
Blog Feature - BESTeam Feature

Thanks again for the features everyone :)

moonangelnay x

Monday, July 26, 2010


Tuesday - BESTeam Mosaic
weekly shoutout to the dedicated workers that like to help other handmade artists...

owlsomegifts on Etsy
... You have just got to love owls! And a visit to owlsomegifts on Etsy won't leave you disappointed for there is a wonderful range of owls in abundance from jewelry to even pillows! The cute owl inspired gifts are an inspiration derived from owlsomegifts' college days, and their sorority Chi Omega is an owl! Having gained the expertise in interior design owlsomegifts found a home on Etsy to create owls galore after not being able to find full time design work and seems to be enjoying every minute of the time spent selling on Etsy's marketplace :)
owlsomegifts' Blog... owlsomegifts' blog focuses a lot on more owl treats yet also the work of other sellers! Well worth a look in when you want a cute overload :)

All items are clickable and will take you directly to owlsomegifts' listings...

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Monday Magic... Cats!



Introducing my 41st installment of my weekly feature, Monday Magic! These sellers all share something special... Fabulous work! Yet, somehow like many sellers on Etsy are wondering where all their admirers are! So this is where I feel it's time to showcase the undiscovered talent of Etsy, on Monday each week so they have a chance to shine like the best of Etsy do :)

All of the sellers names can be typed into the navigation bar on your browser followed with "" (dot etsy dot com) to take you to their stores. Otherwise click on an image to go directly to their listing!

I am now taking requests for next weeks Monday Magic Expo. If you would like to be a part of it, you are required to have 0-19 sales in your Etsy store, and the theme is 'Dogs' Contact me via convo @ to send in your requests, plus a link to your suitable item :)


Sunday - Coffee and Cake
weekly musings, articles and mostly babble...

HandmadeSpark NEW FEATURE POST...

My photography feature on Handmade Spark is up!

Photography Spark - Mystical Green

You can catch my previous articles here:
* Product Photography 101

Bang! Firstly I want to give a big big BIG thankyou to sellers yourstrulydear and HIPpadBaby whom have this week been extremely patient through my unfortunate computer problems when they have both needed some form of input from me for various things. As you know from yesterday, HIPpadBaby had finally received her blog interview! I was worried it wouldn't happen for a lot longer but I'm glad it was only just a day lost and no more. Then yourstrulydear having received my answers to her own interview questionnaire on Tuesday was left a bit confused when finding my store in vacation mode the same day. I literally had no choice but to abandon Etsy and my blog... well... everything infact because I had destroyed my second computer this month! I say mine, but I mean my partners LOL...

After I had completed yourtrulydear's interview I was enjoying my lunch and break from my sleepy children watching a program on 4oD when BANG... everything just went off. I thought that maybe it had over heated because earlier in the morning my partner and I could smell a slight burning going on, and over heating normally just needs a bit of time to settle down before being able to run again. So I waited for a while and tried switching the computer back on, and of course nothing happened. After freaking out a bit (my daughters new photos had only recently been uploaded eek!), I resigned to the fact that I only had the mobile internet to work with for however long, and had to start contacting people to let them know what had happened.

Luckily for us a work friend of my partner knew some excellent technicians which fixed the computer on Friday at a cost which wasn't as huge as I had imagined and Saturday meant that I could return and pick up where I left off. But what an ordeal! I was mostly frightened of losing my baby girls new pictures as I had JUST started deleting them off of the camera when this happened. Everything else fortunately was backed up. But I'm glad I dont have to start again like I had to when I lost my own PC earlier this month when the effects of the Norton Registry Cleaner wrecked it to the point of no return.

So big thanks again to HIPpadBaby and yourstrulydear for putting up with my troubles!

So what did I do with my free time this week? Well! I honestly had NO idea just how busy I make myself between my kids, the housework AND my alter ego of moonangelnay online. The latter being so much of my persona that without it I actually became aware of both time and space like I had been reborn LOL. Seriously! It was a wake up call. I had NO idea what day of the week it was as my blog normally does the job of informing me, I actually twiddled my thumbs some of the time, and I got to do more housework than ever in any one day. How rubbish am I? lol! In a good way I mean ;) I am one busy bee as some in the handmade community always comment about. And I enjoy being busy as it's just part of my nature, the same way I love feeling like I can be helpful to people. I can quite easily do the amount I do plus have a normal family life without feeling like I'm burning out because there isn't really a need for me to worry about things like partying, lounging around or travelling for example. Having 2 young kids makes those things difficult anyway! So rather than sit around in my free time, I like to devote it to my photography, knitting, painting and the handmade community. Yet despite losing the ability to involve myself with the latter properly for a few days, I found it was nice having a little break from the screen. I didn't get much knitting done as the kids made sure of that lol! And I got to visit my dad in Wales without needing to be paranoid about promoting things yet brought back my son and his new found family of head lice in the process (fun... urgggh). It was the usual kind of crazy stuff to happen when you know you have a bit more time to do things, yet I enjoyed it! The lice are dead, I have managed to start a new project and the PC is back to life. It can only get better! :D

Recent Photography Posted to

That's it for now. Have a great weekend all!

moonangelnay x