Monday, January 26, 2015

Sprucing Things Up

I spent a little extra time at The Looking Glass last week 
and spruced up the Amy's Monkeys space a bit.
The shop owner has such a great eye for merchandising...
I have learned so much!

Anyway, the entire shop has a fresh look for the new year and I love it!
Having a permanent space is so different than the weekend boutiques.
You have time to tweak and fluff and move things around.
It really is a lot of fun! 
In the end that's what it is really all about!

Friday, January 23, 2015

On Being Brave

Yesterday I was brave with something that most people would probably think is silly...
yesterday I wore leggings and riding boots together for the first time.

Here's why that was me being brave...
I am scared to death of fitted clothes because this gal has gained wait that just won't come off.

I don't know if it's the going to be 39 body, or a health issue, or life has been crazy, but the weight is there.

I finally decided I'd make it work after a little prodding from a great friend.
I see cute people in all kinds of sizes every day.
What's to say I can't rock it too?!?

Nothing...because I did.
I felt cute and comfortable all day.
Trendy and stylish.
A hot mom.
Yup, that was how I felt.

The weight is bugging me and a doctor's appointment next week will hopefully help me get some answers.
Until then I'm going to enjoy my new super sale boots, my jeans that set in the closet for a year, and my scarf collection because everyone needs to feel cute!

Enjoy your Friday loves!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Makers Gonna Make

I'll let you in on a little secret about me...
I cannot spend money on something I know I can make myself.
It's kind of funny because now my hubby just grins when he sees me dragging supplies into my studio.

No "What are you making now?" No "Why?" 
Just the grin and the knowledge that I must have seen
something somewhere that sparked the maker to come out!

That's a bit of what happened this weekend.
I am on a little laundry room spruce up kick after finding these amazing baskets at World Market.  
(If you want them, be patient and wait for a sale to come around again!)
I am in the laundry room so much it should be a place that makes me smile!

I wanted to add to the pictures above my folding table.  
I found a bunch of cute things online, but when I saw them in person they weren't as cute.

I knew what I had to do.  I took a combination of ideas and came up with a design plan.
A 3-foot board for above the other pictures.  
wash * dry * fold * repeat

If you want to make your own gather these supplies:

1~ 1"x6"x36" pine board
1~ printed saying 
1 piece ~  carbon paper
dull pencil
paint brushes 

Step one:
Prep your saying.  I printed my saying at 165 point font.
I then trimmed it and taped it together to make sure it would fit the board.
Step two:
Paint your board.  I love acrylic paint because it dries so fast.  
I did many, many coats to get the coverage I wanted.

 Step three:
Paint the back of the board.  
I like things I make to have a finished feel, so I always try to make sure the back is painted too!

Step four:
Align your saying on your board and loosely tape the ends with painters tape.
Slide a piece of carbon paper under your saying and begin tracing the outline of each letter.

Slide the carbon paper down until you have traced every letter.

Remove the paper and praise the wonder of carbon paper!  

Step five:
Use the paint you chose for your letters and begin filling in the words.  Be sure to use a brush with a nice, crisp edge.  Add coats of paint until your letters are the shade you want.

Step six:
Add additional colors for depth or distress your board or do both.
I dry brushed aqua and white paint across the surface and then distressed around the edges.

Step seven:
Add your hanging hardware.

Step eight:
Use a level to measure and mark the spots for the nail holes. Seriously, the level is a game changer!
Hang your new sign and smile!

A perfect new addition to my well used space for less than $10 and a couple hours of time.  
Not a bad price for something that adds so much cuteness to the laundry room!
Now I need to repaint the embroidery's a vicious cycle...hehehe
*All the links are for you!  I don't get anything from the companies for sharing, 
but I would not be above accepting perks from any of them...can I get an amen?!?

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Looking Glass

Did you know Amy's Monkeys has a great little space in a beautiful local artisan shop?!?
We are so excited to be a part of The Looking Glass family!

The Looking Glass is a collaboration of local artisans working 
together to build an amazing shop filled with wonder.  
This shop is chalk full of local handmade, hand-crafted, and homemade gifts and treasures.
I am so proud to have my creations be a part of such an awesome group of people!
My space has been so much fun to create and then maintain.

Figuring out new and cute ways to display all my goodies.

Keeping the space filled can be a challenge, 
but I think I have a pretty good system 
in place after working so hard over winter break.

I love coming up with new ideas to bring into the shop.

It's been a blast finding balance keeping true to 
what I see Amy's Monkeys as representing 
and building a cohesive feeling within the entire store.

I hope my space feels creative and fun and whimsical because that's ultimately 
how I want Amy's Monkeys brand to be remembered.

This little family business is about doing what you love 
and finding a way to get that out to others to enjoy too!

I want people to remember us for having great quality items 
displayed beautifully in an amazing shop.

It has been amazing to be part of The Looking Glass!  
Our family gained a hole bunch of amazing people 
when we became part of this community of artisans!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Shop Update

I started making things to sale about five years ago now and I still love it! 
Seeing the smiles when people buy my goodies for a gift or hearing about how someone reacted when they got one of my packages is the best!

My little brand is growing and that makes my heart so happy.  
As a family we've all had a hand in building this business, so that makes it even more awesome.

I spent a lot of time last week making new items and then a bazillion hours getting photos and listings up on the shop website.  It's so cool to see everything looking so cute online.

Here's a peek at a few of the things available!  
Cuteness overload to follow...

I can't even begin to explain how amazing it is to see everything coming together so well!  
Five years is a long time, but so much has been learned and so many improvements have been made!  
It really is the best!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Back to Reality

The Monday coming back from winter break is hard on me and it's super hard for the kiddos in my classroom.  Routines have been off for three weeks, bedtimes wonky, and little people generally getting to do whatever they want whenever they want.  So today will be all about grace for myself and for them.

This is not my first rodeo, so I set up a regular, normal, nothing is unusual day for them (and for me).  We'll go over the classroom rules about a million times.  We'll talk and write and share about all that we did over break.  Then tomorrow we'll be back in our routines and ready to conquer the last half of second grade together!

I know the rest of the school year is going to fly by.
 Ready to be awesome together!

Time to get to it!

Happy Monday ;)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Work Hard, Play Hard


This week has been all about restocking the online inventory of the shop.  The holiday season was crazy, so the cupboards were a little bare.  Don't get me wrong it is a seriously good thing!  My winter break is three glorious every minute after the holidays I need to do my best to be productive.

 This week I rocked it and busted it and my wrists and back are wow sore.  It's all good because now I have lots of baby gear to add to the shop!  I play a game with myself to get through it.  Music on and rocking while the sewing machine whirls.  After I get a certain amount of items done I take a Netflix break.  Most of my shows are 40ish minutes, so I chill and snack and regroup for the next round of work!

 I really believe setting some sort of daily goal is super important to a maker like me.  I need to have a plan to keep me going when I just want to stop and take a nap!  Biggest motivator (besides going back too work) was the fact that we have company coming Sunday!  I knew I had to be done so I could get our disaster home straightened up for the weekend.  Having and end goal is the best way I know to keep myself pushing through! (Seriously, it is exactly how I pushed through college with little ones at home!)

 In the end I wound up with so much cuteness and great products for my customers. That's my favorite part...seeing other people enjoying all the goodies I work so hard to get out there!  Smiles make the achy back and wrists totally worth it!

Now to get the house out of refugee mode and back into cute and fun mode!

Until next time,
Amy Lynne

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hello...Let Me Introduce Myself

I always like to know a bit about the people 
behind the blogs I read so I thought maybe you all like the same. 

I'm Amy, unless you're my mom or my auntie or I'm signing something, then I'm Amy Lynne. 
  •  I am the oldest in the family.  Typical type A overachiever, people pleasing girl.
  • I love lists.  Crossing things off makes me super happy.
  •  I have three amazing boys and a husband that thinks it is his job to make me laugh.  Oh, how I appreciate that every day!  My boys are giants and they love to eat good foods.  Leftovers are a thing of the past around here!  
  • We homeschool all three boys now.  Best decision ever!
  • When I was first in college I was pre-med.  Add a baby coming to the mix and I had to make some big decisions.  I had boy #2 in the last semester of college.  That was interesting!  Boy #3 was about 6 months old when I started working on my credential and Master's degree.  Thank goodness for online courses.  That seriously was the only way I could have finished and been a mama at the same time.  I chose teaching to give me more time with my boys!
  • I have been teaching for 10 years.  Most days it is awesome, but the hard days are hard!
  • My boys call me OCD Mom.  I like things the way I like them and that's just how it is. :)
  • Amy's Monkeys was started when my hubby lost his job and running around shopping was no longer a good hobby.  I had sewn things for years, but making things to sell was a bit scary.  Now I have an online shop and a space at a great local consignment store.  It's a good release for me after being in the classroom all day! 
  • I chopped off my hair 2 summers ago.  It went from my backside up to my chin.  Dramatic much?!?  Now I am letting it grow back. I miss my pony tails and messy buns! Thankfully, my hair grows like a weed.
  • I love the color blue in any shade.  My home is starting to reflect that more and more!
  • Anything else you'd like to know?!?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

One Little Word

I've had one little word to define my hopes and dreams
for a fresh start for a few years now.

This year is no different, so many possibilities are awaiting all of us in 2015.

After not knowing what I wanted my word to be it just hit me out of the blue.

There is a huge potential for lots of amazing changes for my crew in 2015. 
 My job right now has to be to keep focused on the things I can control
without letting the what ifs sneak in and sidetrack me! 
Continuing to raise amazing boys, making our home work better for us, 
and loving my hubby are all things I can set my focus on this new year.

I want to focus on growing my little shop,
 helping The Looking Glass become more known in the community, 
and working smarter not harder in my classroom.

If I set up smart goals and work the plans I come up with I know 2015 will rock.

Do you have a word for 2015?
 Please share...I love hearing about how other people choose their words!

Until next time,
Amy Lynne