Elvis had a personal crest of sorts; a lighting bolt emblazoned with the letters TCB. It stands for Taking Care of Business. Since reading Peter Guralnick’s monumental two part biography of The King, TCB has become part of our household lingo. We’ve even created our own complementary phrase, TAB, which stands for Taking A Break. Eric and I like to joke that we’re always doing one or the other.

For my 30th birthday, Eric presented me with a sterling silver replica ofElvis’s own TCB design. The necklace is my secret good luck charm and I love to wear it under my clothes on days when I know I need extra stamina. There have been lots of those days lately. I feel like I’m moving at top speed from place to place, ticking task after task off my to do list. It makes me feel like Superman.

Do you have any household lingo? Or a little trick to make you feel invincible on days you know you’re gonna need it?

This Etsy Portrait is for my dear friend Kristin who loves to get her heart rate up, whether she’s training for a marathon, sweating through a bikram class or teaching geometry to high school sophmores. She loves bright Hawaiian sunshine (she calls it Vitamin D Therapy), making beautiful beaded jewelery (look for her on Etsy soon!) and a killer batch of caramel corn. Here are some Etsy finds I think she’d love. (See the treasury live on Etsy here!)
This flocked Bead Board would make it easy to plan out her ever more elaborate jewelery designs without committing right away.

This fabulous Bird Watercolor is an original, just like her.
This throwback I-phone cover is the perfect ironic, yet nostalgic nod to her 80’s childhood.
This Poster seems like it could be her personal mantra.
This Spicy Cashew Caramel Corn looks heavenly. I love the idea of adding a bit of heat to something so sweet, salty and crunchy.
I love the relaxed, simple look of this Draped Bamboo Top. It would go perfectly with anything in her wardrobe of clean, all American sportswear.

A giant Pleated Carryall in a shocking color with delightful ripples of texture is perfect for a girl who can’t seem to leave home without carrying along a few bottles of soda, a couple of apples, some gummy worms, a few books, her i-pod and workout gear. (Key word, GIANT.)

How’s your Christmas Shopping coming along? I’m about half way there and loving the internet more and more with each passing day. Crowds, I don’t miss you one teeny bit.

With Christmas on it’s way, I thought I’d reinstate my “Etsy Portraits” series from last year. It is so much fun to comb through listings with someone special in mind, don’t you think? This collection was inspired by my dear friend Gwen who loves gnomes, the ocean and an exquisitely made cup of coffee. It was also featured on Etsy’s front page recently!

this rather macabre Sailor Hand Clock has just the right combination of whimsy and dark humor.
Gwen loves to be outside in the sunshine and saltwater, so this print would be perfect in her house.
As a devotee of all things miniature and woodland, this Handmade Hobbit Hole would be awfully fun to play with. Plus, it’s small and pretty enough to display on her desktop! (The seedpod bed is my favorite part.)

This stunningly Beautiful embroidered hat reminds me of folk art and the sweet acorn top shape calls up the woods perfectly. A bit impractical for Hawaii perhaps, but pish posh. It would be just the thing to wear on her fantasy jaunt to Scandinavia.
What could be better than serving perfectly made cappuccinos in this Stripey Vintage Coffee Set
with sugar cubes and tiny cookies on these Handpainted wooden dishes?

This handwoven nautical doormat would be the perfect welcome to her home overlooking the water. (She has an amazing view of the Hawaiian sunsets!)

And I couldn’t resist this Gnome & Deer Photograph– it’s just about perfect.
What are you wishing for this Christmas?

This month’s Giddy Giveaway combines a few of my favorite things: Travel, Color, Whimsy and Smelling Good.

These wonderful little oil cloth make-up bags are from Emmilee Designs. Be sure to check out her cute shop, especially with Christmas around the corner. (Who can’t find a use for a waterproof zippered bag?) She generously sent along a few extras to giveaway to y’all. (Thanks Emmilee!)
I filled them up with travel sizes of some great products that I hope you’ll enjoy on your next trip- or on a stay-cation spa date with yourself! I love small sizes because you can try something new without committing to a whole bottle (there is probably a Zsa Zsa Gabor-esque one liner in there about ex-husbands if you care to hunt for it.) And with travel sizes, you can carry on- no small thing for a jet setter! Preparation and Ease are the jet setter’s secret weapons. How else could one emerge from the cattle cart of coach unrumpled and unmussed?

To enter, please do leave me a comment describing a travel moment that made you feel like a Jet Setter (or at the very least, a glamorous Air Hostess circa 1965!) Don’t forget to include your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you are a lucky winner. Please leave a thoughtful entry since I’ll be picking my favorite comments to win. There are 6 fabulous prizes, so don’t forget to tell your friends!
For bonus entries, you can follow me on Twitter, join my Facebook fan page and or visit my Etsy Shop and let me know which item is your favorite. Please leave a separate comment letting me know about each entry.
Thanks for being members of my little blog. I love hearing from each of you and these contests are such a fun way to get the conversations rolling!
Madame B

Before: Plastic Baby Shower Swans- perhaps intended for holding candy favors wrapped in tulle?

After: A Coat of antique gold spray paint and an overflowing bouquet of paper millinery flowers. Still kistchy, but hopefully more Jeff Koons than Precious Moments. This pair decked out in Celery and Apple can be had right over here.

I’m having lots of fun with spray paint lately. Have you done any make overs recently?

Darlings, don’t ask why, but I’ve had Pinatas on the brain in a big way. A little Etsy searching yielded many results, but this Audrey Hepburn Pinata from Whack (inspired shop name, no?) was the clear standout. It gives me the giggles. I love the kitschy homage to Madame Muse of Givenchy and Preternaturally Elegant Fashion Icon we all adore. I think this would be the perfect addition to a bridal shower or birthday “bash”. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.) Have you stumbled across anything amazing on Etsy lately? I’d love to hear all about it.

My dear Nelson family is welcoming a brand new baby thanks to Brent and Alison. I’m so excited to see them become parents because I know what an amazing job they will do. Sadly we won’t be there for the happy moment, but we’ll be there in spirit thanks to this little mobile I created for the baby’s room.

I created the first Little Bo Peep and her Pipecleaner Sheep Mobile for Sarah and little baby Norah- that Bo Peep was dressed in blue.

I love that Norah looks at it every time she gets into her little bed. And it’s wonderful that even though we are so far apart, I can be represented in the new baby’s daily life in a small, noticeable way.

I think the bell on the “head sheep” is my favorite detail of this entire sculpture. I’d love to find a way to make the whole thing chime sweetly as it spins.

If you’d like me to create something like this for a new baby in your life, don’t hesitate to e-mail me! They are such fun to make.
Are you welcoming any babies into the world soon? I’d love to hear all about it!

First I Gathered all the yellow goodies from my stash of supplies…

Then, I got busy snipping away and working out a composition.
I didn’t have quite enough yellow to “make it work”…
So I did a bit of dying in the sink.
Then I let the bits of lace dry in the sunshine…
Finally, I stitched it all together and strung it onto some pretty glass beads to create an extravagant statement necklace.

The finished product is available right over here. What are you working on lately?

Here is another photo from a satisfied bride! She saidThe cake started to shift with the hot weather, but the wedding cake topper kept it looking cute.” I also love the tiered cupcake display in the background. Are those cherries on top? Yum! Thank you Melissa for sharing this photo with us. Wishing you a lifetime of sweetness with your new husband. Congratulations!