Sunday, October 31, 2010

Giveaway Winners for the Purple Possom #6

Thank you so much to Emily from the Purple Possom for last week's prizes!  I love these items so much!  I can't wait to share pics of baby O in his/hers after I know what it is and order them of course :)  

This week's winners are....

#45  mrs.newby said...i follow your blog!

#39 Olivia Renn said...I'm a follower!

Congrats to you both!!!

Please email me at and I'll pass along your info to Emily!

and in case the adorable pictures from last week didn't suck you in I'll post a few more and let you ooh and aah again :)

Don't forget she can customize with just about anything you want...including your favorite sports team!

When I order stickers for baby O I'll have to get some for Sawyer...does it matter that he'll be 18 months when I start finally not being a slacker on this?

Now, go check out Purple Possom and order right now!  You know you want to!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The ever gray area of copying vs. inspired by

So I think I started a bit of a firestorm when I brought up pattern copying. I truly didn’t mean for things to explode, for people to feel paranoid or uncomfortable or for anyone to feel I was accusing them. I received a lot of emails and convos from people very worried that I thought they were copying me or that they weren’t giving credit where credit is due. That is not the case! I promise!

I want to be very clear that I ENCOURAGE all of you to sell as many items made from my patterns as you’d like! I actually refer buyers to plenty of shops on a regular basis when they come to me looking for items. I honestly do not even ask or expect you to credit me for the pattern on your finished item listings. We all work very hard to drive traffic to our own stores so I would never expect you to then link them away from it!! If you do leave it, great! If not, no worries! I also don’t care if you use my patterns and tweak them to what you are looking for and sell the hats from that. I am truly pretty easy going on just about everything.

My only concern is when someone takes the majority of one of my patterns (or anyone’s for that matter), tweaks it a tiny bit and then turns around and sells it as their own. Some people will say that there is no protection as a pattern creator, but that is not entirely true. Not to mention even if creators had no rights it is ethically and morally wrong to do it.

I had a handful of people also email asking how a basic beanie pattern can differ from another…it really can, a little or a lot. The item that was brought to my attention wasn’t just a beanie. Even if it were I still would find it a bit too coincidental when the yarn recommendation, hook size, stitch type, and all the rows are exactly the same. Sure it could happen BUT in this case I am doubtful. It’s even worse when the layout and wording is the same.

You can ask 10 different people the rules and laws in regards to copying patterns, the legal right to sell items made from those patterns, cottage licenses, copyright, trademarks, etc… and you will get 10 different answers…ok maybe not 10 but a lot. If you have any concerns in regards to your own business I would suggest being very careful about what you find online as nothing is really clear. Your best bet is to meet with a lawyer to be sure you are protected. Lucky for me my brother in law is a lawyer ☺ Your local SCORE office/chapter can be an amazing asset as well for most of your small business needs and they are FREE!

I don’t want to seem like a hypocrite or give the impression that I think I am Miss Perfect. Things around us inspire us all. I have seen hats in stores and on photographer’s websites and been inspired to create a pattern. I do my best to be sure and search high and low to assure that no one is selling a pattern for the item. After seeing a knit hat and wanting one for my new babies photo shoot I created one. I have yet to release the pattern I am referring to at the moment and in light of this situation am debating not releasing it. Crochet patterns for hats made from thick and thin handspun merino are next to nonexistent out there. I guess I’ll just have to make the decision to release said pattern for myself. Is using a knit hat as inspiration to create a crochet pattern fair?? I am not directly competing with another, but if people were to make hats from said pattern for sale than they may be competing with the knit cap seller. Is that ok? Did that person create the idea? Probably not, but I hadn’t thought of it until I saw it. Another example would be when I have buyers ask me for a particular pattern to be created. Let’s say someone says, “Can you make a pattern for crochet flip flops for a baby?” I know there are other patterns out there, they can go buy those patterns, but what if they don’t like them or the way the pattern is written?? Do I just say sorry out of the fear of making a similar pattern or do I create it?? These are the gray areas that I do get a little stressed out about so I try to avoid them!

My best advice to those of you that emailed in regards to worrying that you would copy a pattern if you someday tried to write your own: if you feel you are doing something wrong, you probably are. If you are retyping another pattern…obviously you are doing something wrong. We all get that feeling inside when we know we are walking a fine line and perhaps step over it. We all know right from wrong.

I really hope that this clears some worry up! My buyers are great! Without you I’d be lost and I hate to think that I hurt anyone’s feelings!

37 weeks with Baby O

Congratulations! You've got what is officially considered a full-term baby, even with three weeks to go. That doesn't mean he's finished growing — in fact, he's still packing on about a half pound a week (at this age, the average fetus weighs about 6.5 pounds). That makes it a little crowded in your uterus, so he’s probably not kicking as much, though he’s probably stretching, rolling a bit, and wiggling (all of which you’ll be able to feel!). Right now, your little superstar is busy rehearsing for his big debut, inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid (to get the lungs ready for that first breath), sucking his thumb (to prepare for that first suckle of milk), blinking, and turning from side to side.

Not much changes in these last weeks other than Baby O chubbing up a bit!  I am really exhausted with pregnancy.  I have had a great pregnancy and feel bad for even complaining, but these last few weeks my body is just exhausted.  My cankles have returned and my ligaments feel like they can't support my body :)  I am ready to feel better but not really ready to be mom to THREE!!!  Not sure if that even makes sense but that is where I am!  I have wrapped up most of my house projects, but I have a few still in limbo.  Today, I am hoping to get the carpet cleaned in the babe's room and all the infant stuff washed and ready.  I am not bothering with the clothes...if it's a girl I won't need them and if it's a boy I'll deal with a few loads of laundry when we get home!  I am so excited to see what this little one is!  I actually set up a little online thing if you want to go over and enter your guesses for sex, size, etc...
click below to play:

I went to the doctor yesterday and had my first internal (blah) but I was happy to hear I am almost dilated to a 2!  I am very realistic that this doesn't mean anything.  I could sit at a 2 for another month or go into labor today.  I am honestly hoping I go into labor on my own about a week early (as long as baby O is ready of course!)  Baby O's heartbeat was 150 and other than the swelling I am healthy as a horse!  Now we just need to name this kid!  Poor nameless child!

Did any of your kids remain nameless at the time of their birth?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wanna Make It Wednesday

With the holidays fast approaching I am (once again) tossing around the idea of a handmade Christmas.  I hate how commercial and greedy the holidays can become. Every year I say that we are going to fewer gifts, make some items, draw names, start an ornament exchange, and just really soak up and enjoy the family time. Every year I still spend $1,000's on things no one needs or probably even remembers a few days later. I love, love, love giving gifts. Especially when I know it is just what they will love. I always wonder what people think about handmade though. My guess is that some people really can love and appreciate it while others prefer store bought. I also don't think people realize that handmade doesn't always mean cheaper. In fact sometimes I think it's cheaper to just buy an item than make one. I have really never given many handmade items for gifts. I have given them yes, but more as a just because gift; for birthdays and holidays not so much. If I do give handmade for a holiday I still will usually buy something as well and then of course I have spent twice as much! I did make my 2 little cousins superhero capes for their birthday and they seemed to love them (so did the adults) maybe handmade is ok? I am going to challenge myself to make a few items this year. Attempt to simplify life and my budget. Having a baby in the middle of November does present some challenges and probably means I should get started though! So anyone with me? I know I could go back through past Wanna Make It's and find tons of inspiration and probably a few gift ideas to get started!

When I saw this purse I thought it was so cute. The fabric is a bit busy for me but I love the big floppy bow and think it would be an adorable purse and a great gift! In fact my sister Kate loves purses so maybe this will find it's way under her tree this year?
The pattern is free over at so the only investment is fabric and your time. Sounds like a good place to start!  You can find the post here.

I also think this little baby skirt is so precious.
 New baby in the family, you could whip a few of these up and even pair them with these little jewelry onesies. So sweet.
The skirt is a tutorial from Homemade by Jill that she shared at Kojo Designs and the onesie is from Lynette at Get Your Craft On.

Just Another Day in Paradise shares the patterns/tutorial for all of these great hand puppets! They are so cute, super inexpensive to make and a great gift for you handmade holiday list! I am in love with them. Seriously. Head over to see Larissa at Just Another Day in Paradise to get the patterns yourself.

The Boy Trifecta shares her tutorial for this amazingly adorable purse!  

She has it broken down into a 2 part tutorial. 
Part 1
Part 2

She also (like me) procrastinated just a bit too long and is now challenging herself to making 1 handmade item for Christmas a week.  Go read more about it and join in with her.  She even has a fun button to steal for your blog!  Enjoy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Welcome Purple Possom! Giveaway #6

Happy Monday and Happy Giveaway #6

When I saw these it was one of those “why didn’t I think of that” moments!  They are something so simple but so smart and useful!  I had great intentions (like I often do) of appliquéing a onesie for Sawyer every month to take his picture in.  Yeah, it happened once.  I am terrible I know. 

Emily of the Purple Possom has the perfect solution! 

For the little ladies....

and even some JUST for the boys!  Us moms of boys know how often they get forgotten.  Purple Possom has a ton of options just for the boys (of course the girls and even gender neutral stuff as well).

for all you owl lovers she even has them

Month stickers!  They look super cute and get the job done quickly!  I totally love them!  She has a ton of designs available and can also work with you to create just what you are looking for.

I also love this idea!  No need to buy those expensive Onesies for that 1 photo op in your living room :)

Help me welcome Emily.

"My name is Emily Lopez I started creating Onesie Stickers for friends, family members and of course for both of my children, Izabel who is going to be 3 soon and my little man Kingston who will be 9 months soon. The stickers are a fun way to document how fast your little one grows from month to month throughout the first very special year of their lives. My stickers are one of a kind and I love to do custom orders to match the baby’s nursery, daddy's favorite sports team, or anything that might be special to the family.  I look forward to helping you document your little ones growth."

Want to see a few in action??

I really wish I would have seen these 36 weeks ago!  What a fun little 'just because' gift to give a new expecting mom!

Ready to win some stickers for your little one??  Remember if you don’t have a little one these would still make a great new baby gift or to pass along to someone with a little one.

This week will have TWO winners each winning a $15 gift certificates to Purple Possom! 

1.  Go check out Purple Possom; come back here and tell me what you would order with your winnings!

2.  Post this giveaway or a shout out linking to Purple Possom on your facebook (leave a link to your post here)

3. Post this giveaway or a shout out linking to Purple Possom on your Twitter (leave a link to your post here)

want an extra entry??

5.  Follow the Oxford Family Blog

Please remember to leave a separate comment for each entry so that you’ll have those extra chances to win!  Don’t just leave 1 comment telling me that you did all 5 unfortunately it will only count as 1 entry instead of the 5 you worked for!

Thank you Emily for donating this week's prizes!  Now, go check out Purple Possom you won't be disappointed!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Connie's Crochet Winners! Giveaway #5 and #5.5

Winner, Winner, Winner!

Sorry to post so late in the day...
I KNOW you have been stalking this all day waiting to see if you won ;)

First I have to show you a few pics of the boots I told you I ordered for my kids...

aren't they adorable! I can't wait to force the little ankle biters to wear them for a PJ Christmas pic and for Christmas morning! I love, love, love them!

Connie also just got a few new pics that I had to post. They are ADORABLE!!!! What a great hat for your next photo shoot or to have on hand if you are a photographer! I love it!

Aren't they so pretty!

Ok, now for what you really want to see...

Giveaway #5
The photography cocoon goes to
#6 Cortney said... I follow the blog!

Giveaway #5.5
The $25 gift certificate to Connie's Crochet got to...
#67 elexis_love said... i follow connie crotchet's blog!

Ladies, please email me at and I'll get you in touch with Connie!

Thank you to everyone for participating! Remember if you didn't win you can still head over to Connie's Crochet and order. Her prizes are great and her work is amazing! The holidays are coming so get your orders in soon!
Connie's Crochet on Etsy
Connie's Crochet on ArtFire
Connie's Crochet Facebook

Thanks again to Connie's Crochet for donating the prize items this week!!

Check back tomorrow morning for the next one!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Natural Cleaning?

I am going to preface this post with an apology for the endless and sporadic rambling that is about to occur….

You see I have this little voice that constantly talks to me and wants me to be more natural. I love the idea of being a more natural, green, granola, tree hugging, call it what you will type of person. Some aspects of natural living I am really good at and some I feel I am just not dedicated enough to take the leap and get used to the adjustment. My sister will be the first to point out that I drive an SUV which is clearly not Earth loving... but I love my Explorer and have no intention of swapping to a more Earth friendly vehicle. My goal is to do what I can but more than anything to keep my family as healthy as possible.

I have been tossing around the idea and desire to switch my house to more chemical free zone along with a million other things I need and want to get done but never seem to actually get around to following through with. It’s not that it’s difficult and honestly it is cheaper than buying the nasty chemicals from the cleaning aisle. It's just the matter of getting it done.  I do have this weird hang up with needing that chemical smell to feel that it is really clean. On the flip side of that every time I do a good clean I have a horrible headache and truly feel ill the rest of the day. I am not sure if it’s the cleaner itself or if I am mixing things that I shouldn’t. I tried to tell Chris that I am probably just allergic to cleaning but he doesn’t seem to be going with that one so it’s time for me to find a solution.

A friend of mine recently posted her plan to take the leap into cooking healthier and more regularly for her family (this is also on my goal list) and it inspired me to put my plan out there and expose my dirty little secret and my plan to overcome it.

You see I am a slob. No truly I am probably one of the messiest people you will ever meet. I think the only thing I seem to keep organized is my business and the rest of my world sort of gets limped along. Eventually I break down and scrub the house form the top to bottom…typically before someone is coming over. Do not ever just drop by my house. I will be humiliated and you will likely be uncomfortable! I don’t want to be that person anymore! I want my house to be tidy and inviting all most of the time. I do realize I will never be perfect, but I really need to step up my game in this department. Like most things I want to do right now I probably am crazy committing to lifestyle changes at 36+ weeks pregnant but there will always be some reason to put it off.

I think I just take nesting to the extreme and since I am finally motivated I really, really need to take advantage of the surge in motivation! Here is what I have accomplished so far: I swapped Karly’s room and got the babies’ new room as set up as I can for the moment. I installed shelves in my hall closet for more storage and overall organization. Purged Karly’s bathroom cabinets. Helped Chris clean out the garage. Now I am working on the craft/laundry room. This room is moving along the slowest and it’s insanely frustrating. I am really surprised at how much faster I get tired now than just a week or 2 ago. I gave myself the goal of having it done by tomorrow and at this point it’s going to be close! The shelving is installed in the closet and the majority of the stuff is put back. The room is only half painted but I have high hopes of really getting it done tomorrow. THEN the normal people nesting is on! Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. I hope with the newly installed organizing stuff will help. Our stuff just doesn’t seem to have a space and none of us seem to put ANYTHING away when we are done with it.

So now that I have pretty much gotten my big projects done it’s time to convert to green! I have started researching the most common, best, easiest cleaning mixtures. There are so many great websites and blogs out there to that make it feel like my goals are attainable and totally worth it.

My current cleaning products
Lysol Kitchen
Mr. Clean sponges
Toilet bowl cleaner
Swiffer wet jet
And I think that’s about it but I could be forgetting some

My new cleaning products
Baking soda
Tea tree oil

I will also probably still use Mr. Clean sponges…I am addicted. I seriously never used them until about 6 months ago because I was worried about the chemicals, but they are impressive! I swear those little bastards can clean anything! I am going to try to do without them but can’t promise I won’t go crawling back to them ☺ My last thing and the one that bothers me the most is the Swiffer floor cleaner. I don’t even think they clean well, but they do the limp along trick pretty well. I feed Sawyer on the tile so my floors need to be mopped daily but probably only get it every 2 or 3 days. The solution coats my floors and makes them slippery and sticky if that even makes sense. All I can think of is that it is pure chemical that my family and I are sliding around on. A lot of people swear by the Shark mops but after reading reviews on Amazon I think I am going to try this steamer

It was recommended on my business page, and overall the reviews seem good and I love, LOVE, LOVE that it can do more than just floors!  It is on my wish list...until then I guess the Swiffer and I will just have to keep hanging out together.

Sooooo needless to say, if you are still reading this you are my hero.  If hard feelings ;)  

I'd love to hear your input or links to your favorite sites!  

Here are a few websites I have been referring to for ideas, recipes for cleaning solutions, etc...

Charity Guide:  this one has a lot of the negative issues that arise from normal household cleaners

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wanna Make It Wednesday...on Thursday

Wanna Make It Wednesday may pop up on Thursdays for the next month or so until the baby shower giveaway is complete!  If I have a giveaway on Wednesday it will be Thursday, if not it'll stay on it's usual day :)

Is anyone else ready for the fall flavors??  I love pumpkin any and everything and look forward to October so I can feel ok about eating and making pumpkin foods.  I think these Double Kissed Pumpkin Cookies from Picky Palate look absolutely delish!  My favorite things...pumpkin kisses and chocolate chunks!  How can they not be good?!?!  I bought the ingredients the other day but really need a new cookie sheet or two.  I am thinking of trying those silicone things.  My cookie sheets always look crappy really fast!  I actually tend to just use parchment paper on top of the skuzzy pans but maybe one of these days I’ll upgrade.  

I have linked back to I Am Momma Hear Me Roar more than once but we are going there again!  I love this upcycled scarflette and can’t even tell you just how easy it is!  Seriously anyone can make this!  It’s the perfect project for sweaters you may no longer wear or that thrift store find.  I love the color and the HUGE buttons!  

Also if you don’t follow I Am Momma yet, you should…but if not go check out these cute bowties!  If you are looking for a new pattern she recently released one for the retro pointed bowtie and it is just TOO adorable!!  I think Sawyer could totally sport it!  You can go buy the pattern here at her Etsy shop Roar...and then make and send me one or five ;)

The bow ties are seriously so cute and she has about a million other ADORABLE pictures of these cuties!

Next up…Just a Girl shares her craft room renovation.  I love the hutch she redid and this pegboard.  The hutch won’t be happening here, but the pegboard just might!  I love it so much I am trying to think of what I could use it to organize so I can justify making it!  Ha ha!  If you want to make one yourself head over and get the quick run down, looks pretty simple to me.   I am thinking Goodwill for a frame, Home Depot for pegboard and I'm set!  Just to decide what to put on it!  Hmmm...scissors, hooks, I mean I have tons of stuff just not stuff I need all that often.

Now, what do you want to make???

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Want to win $25 to Connie's Crochet???

Welcome to Baby Shower Giveaway #5.5 :)  Yep...2 in 1 week AGAIN!  

Connie of Connie's Crochet has generously offered up a $25 gift certificate to her store!!!

Pretty awesome right?!?!

and just in case you needed the pictures again to remind yourself of how much you want to win here you go....

YES  those ARE baby fireman booties!

The prize for this weeks giveaway is....
a photography cocoon (pink and  green pics above) in whatever color you choose!

YEP!  A custom made cocoon just for you!  Perfect for photographers, new moms and shower gifts!

Ready to enter??

1.  Head over to Connie’s Crochet on ETSY or ARTFIRE and come back and tell me which item you would use the gift certificate for.
2.  Follow Connie’s Crochet on Facebook or tell me if you already do
3.  Follow Connie’s Crochet blog or tell me if you already do

As always you can earn extra entries by telling your friends and family about this giveaway!
4.  Earn 1 extra entry for sharing on facebook
5.  Earn 1 extra entry for posting a blog about this

6.  follow Inner Hooker on facebook
7.  follow the Oxford family blog

Yes, 7 ways to enter this one!


Contest closes Saturday at 11:59p (central) October 23
Winner will be chosen by and announced October 24