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  • Archive for October, 2012

    Things to Do When the Power is Out

    Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

    It has been a heck of a week on the Eastern seaboard. Hurricane Sandy knocked the stuffing out of New York City, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, even stretching up into Canada! Incredibly low pressure systems, winds, rain and snow devastated wide swathes of land, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses. was just one of them.

    While everyone tries to pick up the pieces, there are still many people affected by the storm. Power has returned to many, but some folks are still sitting in the dark waiting for the lights to come back on. This post is for you.



    • Get a head start on wrapping your Christmas Gifts

    This beautiful letterpress personalized “Holiday dots” gift wrap is truly luxurious. This personalized gift wrap is a distinctive and meaningful way to decorate the exterior of your gift with any wording of your choice. Personalized wrapping paper is the perfect way to gift wrap holiday gifts, birthday gifts and baby shower gifts. It is different from others as a unique nine step stamping process is used to produce each roll.

    • Read a book snuggled under a warm blanket

    Our favorite new blanket, measuring a generous 36″ x 53″, this features classic blocks and initials throughout. Perfect for cuddling in a chair or just about anywhere – even for an adult room. Perfect design for a baby girl or boy and can be designed in any color combination you wish. With a wide range of colors and fonts to choose from, this blanket can be ordered in either easy to care for soft acrylic or luxury cashmere. The acrylic fabric never fades or shrinks, is very long lasting and is available in 18 colors. The cashmere is simply heaven and is available in 9 colors. and 6 fonts. (Antique Roman font only). Sample shown in Sand/Bleach White and Antique Roman Font.

    This 100% Palm Wax Monogrammed Candle is hand-poured in Vermont. Each Vermont made, hand poured candle slowly melts (tunnels) into itself as it burns, creating the perfect holder for a tea light. The carving actually illuminates as it burns down! Our signature tunnel burn means the carved candle is yours to enjoy for years to come. It’s the perfect keepsake!

    • Play an old-fashioned board game, minus the electronics!

    This set is super chic and quite clever, if we do say so ourselves!!! A colorful backgammon board that is personalized with the icon, font and text of your choice. In four color combinations with candy-colored game pieces and dice that resemble small ice cubes, this is a chic take on a classic game, certain to make cocktail hour fun! There are also 7 different colors available for the gaming pieces. Please note that the turquoise & coral pieces are opaque and the white & light blue pieces are frosted. The rest of the pieces are clear jewel tones. Available in pink & green, coral & turquoise, navy & kelly and blue & brown [not shown]. If you want a different color combo for the board other than what is shown, we can customize the colors on the board to coordinate with any of the game pieces for a $25 set up fee. Set includes glossy game board, 30 plastic game pieces, pair of crystal clear dice and ivory organza storage bag. Board measures 9” x 12.5” inches.


    And for those of you unlucky enough to be missing out on trick-or-treating tonight, due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, we feel for you. Why not tell spooky ghost stories tonight by flash light? Hmm, unless you have had enough of a fright already this week, then why not a feel good story like this one to cuddle up to as we all reflect how important togetherness and family time truly is.

    personalized child’s book – who loves me

    Weathering The Storm

    Monday, October 29th, 2012

    Winds are whipping
    Rain is pouring
    Sandy is on the way.

    Storm is surging
    Streets are flooding
    We hope not to get carried away.

    afk fine art carried away by the wind

    Please excuse our lack of care
    Today’s a day we wouldn’t want to share

    The weather is wicked
    fit for neither man, nor beast
    our office is closed
    Hoping to re-open later this week

    So bear with us
    as we weather this storm
    we’ll be back again
    as soon as we’re back to the norm

    ~~~ hopes that all their friends, family & customers stay safe during Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. We hope to re-open our office Tuesday or Wednesday depending upon power and the state of things. Thanks for your understanding.

    What a Girl Wants

    Friday, October 26th, 2012

    What does a girl want? I am not talking about Christina Aguilera’s take on what she needs here folks. I am thinking about a younger set of girls; infants, toddlers and little girls. What is it that they really want? Christmas is coming and I am sure there are a few folks out there that still need an idea or two to help them along. has a few suggestions.



    Oh, you shouldn’t have! But this is exactly what all little girls want – a hint of pink with a few flowers thrown in for good measure. Our precious Ashley dress by Bella Bliss features 100% cotton feather wale corduroy with contrast print fabric along the middle waist. Features buttons up the back, empire waist with attached sash and zips on the side. Elastic scoop neckline with elastic “puff” cap sleeves and scoop neckline, this dress is easy to wear and comfortable. 100% cotton corduroy; machine wash.


    Don’t forget the accessories for her hair! She won’t want to be seen without them! Finish off any little girl’s outfit with one of these adorable custom embroidered headbands. This embroidered headband is made with a 1 1/2 inch wide grosgrain ribbon, ric rac trims the edges. There is a plastic insert sewn inside. Embroidered on the headband is your little one’s name in your font choice.


    One other accessory that she will love to own is a very special necklace, all her own. Stella & Dot has the perfect thing – the Kristin Charm Necklace. This silver plated chain comes with 3 charms to change as you please. Pink enamel flower accented with a ladybug, white enamel flower accented with a tiny flower and a sparkly pave ball. Look who’s sophisticated now!

    Little girls can never get too much pink, so grab her this hot pink apron. She will wear it with pride while she helps Mommy in the kitchen. This fun hot pink children-sized chef apron and hat set will be enjoyed by any little girl in the kitchen. Girls will enjoy dressing up with these and helping Mom and Dad. Personalize it for the young chef!


    What about a doll to dress up in pink too? The Ballerina Pal Knit Doll is the perfect thing. She is just the way to enjoy a playdate too. The adorable ballet dancer is decorated with a hand knit dress complete with fun tutu. So soft and cuddly, this Sweeters Pals can be personalized and done with brown or blond hair. A great companion for any girl.

    What else could your little girl want?

    Mary Had a Little Lamb

    Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

    sleep sheep

    Mary had a Little Lamb
    little lamb, little lamb
    Mary had a Little lamb
    and its fleece was white as snow…

    That little ditty was written by Sarah Josepha Hale and she was born today, October 24th way back in 1788. Happy Birthday Sarah! You brought one of the most beloved nursery rhymes to the world and we certainly appreciate that at


    pull along sheep – wall art

    And everywhere that Mary went
    Mary went, Mary went
    everywhere that Mary went
    That lamb was sure to go…

    Maybe this was the kind of lamb that Sarah was thinking about when she penned this poem? Pull toys have been around since 2000 BC with evidence of simple pull toys being used in Ancient Egypt and Greece. While that is plausible, in actual fact, the poem was based on true events.


    farm dale boing sheep

    It followed her to school one day
    School one day, school one day
    It followed her to school one day,
    which was against the rules…

    Indeed this story is true! Young Mary (nee Sawyer) in fact did have a pet lamb in Sterling, Massachusetts.  On the suggestion of her brother, she decided to take it to school one day. I’m not sure what the rules were at your school when you were younger, but mine certainly did not allow sheep. My daughter might have gotten away with a stuffed sheep on show and tell days, but it seems that the rules have always been – no animals allowed at school! And so it was in Sterling then too.


    personalized sheep baby plate

    It made the children laugh and play
    laugh and play, laugh and play
    It made the children laugh and play
    to see a lamb at school

    Surprise, surprise, but the presence of a lamb at school caused chaos. I cannot imagine how a child would even get a lamb to school in today’s day and age (certainly not on the school bus), but I am sure that young Mary did not repeat that little faux pas. The story tickled Mrs. Hale enough to pen a poem about it though and it now lives on in popular culture today. I believe I just might have the nursery rhyme singing through my head all day now!


    Before we blow out the candles on Sarah’s cake, we should mention one other thing that she is famous for. Through her petitions and campaigns over a period of 17 years, she finally convinced the American government to declare Thanksgiving a National holiday. By 1863 it was so and in a little under a month from now, we will get to celebrate her victory over plates of turkey, mashed potato and stuffing.

    Way to go Sarah! And Happy Birthday to you!!

    Planes, Trains and Automobiles

    Monday, October 22nd, 2012

    Transportation – doesn’t every little boy fall in love with it from the word go? They watch planes flying overhead, trains zooming by them and ride in automobiles pretty much from the word go. Before long, they seem to want to be pilots, train drivers (or engineers for the older set) or race car drivers. How many dinky cars litter your floor? Model airplanes never seem to go out of style and you can still find Thomas the Tank Engine on TV. knows that. We’ve been around a boy or too in our time. Even when the planes turn into space crafts or superhero vehicles, they still hearken back to the humble toys of a boys youth.

    And has plenty of all of them.



    Get your little boy flying high from an early age with these fun nursery designs. This peel-and-stick wall art is perfect for boys with flight envy. Included in one set are 12 reusable soaring planes in fun primary colors (ranging in size from 10-12″), plus 36 puffy blue clouds for them to weave around (ranging from 4-12″). As with all Wallcandy stickers, the front side contains UV ink that’s both durable and cleanable; the back adheres to the wall with a static adhesive, leaving no residue should you decide to move the panels once, twice, or twenty more times.

    Have your little guy take a ride on his first train, via this personalized train puzzle stool. You child’s name is engraved directly onto the puzzle piece of the train! Imagine the fun your child will have solving this hand-crafted train puzzle stool! Not only will this stool look nice in your child’s room but it will also be a helpful tool for teaching colors, sequencing, and hand/eye coordination. Each stool stands 9 inches off the ground, stool top dimensions are 9 x 12 inches.
    If having their own car is what your little boy dreams of, then encourage those dreams with a nifty quilt that is right up his alley. This Cars and Trucks Quilt by Whistle and Wink is a fun way to decorate your little boys room. Memorable vintage cars glide across the handsome quilt. Each car is detailed with handcrafted embroidery. The quilt is soft and made from 100% cotton. Machine wash and tumble dry for easy care. This quilt will add a lot of charm.


    Having images of cars, trucks, trains and planes is one thing, but having your very own transportation to step into is a completely different scenario all together. Speed is the thing that drives that initial love and that is what your young man will get when he jumps into his very own pedal car. Don’t worry too much though Mom, as it only goes as fast as his legs will pedal him! Now your little man can buzz along in their own Lil’ Red Train. Everyone will know he’s coming with the working headlight and ringing bell. The Little Red Train features an all steel construction, lead free powder coat paint, authentic steel cattle guard, high traction non slip tires, three position adjustable pedals and a padded seat.


    So sit back and enjoy the ride folks, as your little man has fun exploring his planes, trains and automobiles!

    The Weekend Awaits!

    Friday, October 19th, 2012

    Time for the weekend. Just in time, too! I could use some downtime. How about you? What does your weekend look like? Are you at the arena at 6am for hockey practice or lying in bed until the crack of noon? Do you casually sip coffee over the morning newspaper or are you busily preparing a stack of pancakes a mile high with the kids? Put some blueberries in my pancake, if you are making them! I will need it to fuel all the running around that the weekend entails in my world. Groceries, dance lessons, music practice and more. Or was this the weekend that we were going to remodel the dining room in anticipation of the upcoming holidays? Time to check my planner, before tossing it into the desk drawer at 5pm. Bring on that weekend!



    First things, first; how about a cocktail to help unwind after a long week. Hand over that martini in my personalized cocktail glass please! Say goodbye to the pantyhose for the weekend and hello to fuzzy slippers for the rest of the night. Now that’s the way to start a lovely evening with maybe even a romantic fire to set the tone. Nice!


    Depending upon how many cocktails you had, AND of course the demanding nature of your children, might determine what time you roll out of bed in the morning. No one would blame you for wanting to stay in bed all day though, when you have this comforter to snuggle underneath. The Pearl Crescent Classic Comforter can only be described as billowy clouds of softness. It’s unique baffled honeycomb design keeps the soft down interior aloft, even after being used as a sleeping bag in front of a roaring fireplace on Christmas Eve. Hypodown 800 will surround you in coziness, while it’s breathability is unmatched in the Classic weight category. It combines two of nature’s most unique fibers to give you a tranquil, restful night’s sleep. Our Hypodown blend is four parts white goose down and one part Syriaca clusters, a fiber from the milkweed plant. The two work hand in hand to give you the best of their natural abilities: warmth and comfort. The 330 thread count cotton and satin piping billows over the bed so thickly that one can’t be sure where, if anywhere, lies a sleeping person. To create the ultimate in a luxury bed, add Ogallala pillows. Definitely the stuff dreams are made of…


    But not for you this weekend! Grab your coffee to go and head out to face the day. Good thing you’ve got your Clairebella personalized travel mug handy. Just the thing you need to keep your brain sharp when you’re making the decision between the colors “Blanched Cranberry”, “Uncle Ray’s Salsa” or “Rose Chablis”. You just might need that extra caffeine. This is adequately insulated to keep drinks and beverages hot especially during chilly winter mornings or long visits to the paint store. The 18 oz mug can be utilized to perk up the mornings with a filtered hot coffee. Choose from wide array of patterns, fonts and personalization styles to add a personal touch to the mug. It also makes a perfect souvenir item for friends, family and co-workers.


    After the rollers have been put down and the paint cans resealed, it is finally time for a little downtime. I know the perfect thing too; super-sweet snuggles with your sweetie, as you read stories before bed. What better way to reconnect with your child after a busy day, than by reading their brand new book all about them! The newest book from I See Me, ABC What Can I be is an exciting, whimsical and educational storybook, in which your child explores all the different careers in the alphabet that he or she can be – from an Astronaut to a Zookeeper. The book is personalized throughout with your child’s name showing what he or she can be. A fun way to bring about your child’s aspirations.


    Now to dreamland. Maybe tomorrow you can stay in bed all day…

    Chocolate Cravings

    Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

    I have a craving; a need that demands to be filled. Nothing else can sate it. Its huge and no amount of distraction will make it go away. I have been here before. I don’t doubt that I will walk this path again. And I bet its safe to say that there are a few other ladies out there can relate to me and my state right now. Helpless…

    Any guesses as to what I need?

    heaven sent faux chocolate chair

    My urges are strong, but my thoughts revolve around me. I don’t need a man, if that’s what you think. Although he might be handy for my cause. I could send him to the store, as I put my feet up to wait…



    chocolate brown corduroy longall

    No one else can fill this need either. Hugs are delightful from the kids, but this urge is stronger right now. The sparkle in their eyes has got me hungering all over again. Whatever shall I do?



    chocolate flower folded notes

    Perhaps read a book? Maybe write a note to the children’s teacher, thanking them for their thoughtfulness in taking care of them? Now I am right back where I started from…



    mod chick on chocolate wall art

    I am getting desperate now! I must get what I crave! I see it everywhere around me, from the floor to the walls! Am I getting sick? Is it that time of the month? Did I get enough sleep?

    Does it matter?



    I’m feeling much better now! Amazing what a little chocolate craving does to a girl. :)

    Hope you have a super-sweet, Chocolate-covered, uber-great day!

    Queen For A Day

    Monday, October 15th, 2012

    As soon as your baby girl is born, she becomes the Belle of the Ball, the Apple of your Eye, indeed the fair Queen among Princesses. Nothing can compare to that little girl wrapped up in your arms and the feeling of love that is shared between you. Your little princess deserves only the very best. She is royalty in your world, and deserves to be treated like a queen! specializes in helping your little girl feel like a Queen for a Day – or everyday, for that matter!



    The first thing that any regal queen needs is a crown! This personalized crown pattern cap sleeve tee shirt will look adorable on your little girl. Designed with parrot green and fuschia crown print, it is classic and unique. This shirt features shorter cap sleeve and is a more feminine look for girls and less boxy than our classic tees. Made from 100% cotton and easy to care for. It comes in sizes 2T-12 in white, pink or red, depending on what your princess prefers. Of course she might also prefer short or long sleeve lap tees, short or long sleeve tees, a baseball tee or tanktop. has anything your royal girl desires!


    To entertain your royal highness, how about this topsy turvy fancy prancy princess doll? It is just perfect for your little girl. This doll is really two dolls in one, which should please the pickiest princesses around. One side has a brunette princess dressed in a golden gown. Flip the doll over and a blond princess in a deep blue gown appears. Hours of entertainment for the queenly amongst you.


    When playtime winds down, a royal snack is in order.  Present her highness with a delicious treat on this handpainted castle baby plate.  It makes a wonderful gift for any girl. The plate is decorated with a pretty castle in the middle and has flowers along the sides. The plate can even be personalized with your baby’s name. Your little princess will enjoy this plate for years to come.

    After a hard day ruling her world, every queen needs somewhere special to rest her head. What could be more special than this gorgeous crib? The Corsican Canopy Princess Crib is a beautiful addition to any nursery. Beautifully handcrafted by talent craftsmen to meet current safety standards. For more than 40 years Corsican Furniture has manufactured iron furniture and accessories with a commitment to quality and attention to detail. Skilled craftsmen uphold a tradition of hand-crafted beauty and attention to detail. The cribs have steel tubing, iron rods and aluminum castings and are some of the finest cribs available.

     Hope your little Princess feels like a Queen all of her days.

    King of Kings

    Friday, October 12th, 2012

    Doesn’t every little boy want to be the King of kings? Of course he does! so how can you help him to realize those dreams? Surround him in lavish royalty from


    King of Kings

    How can you not wake up feeling regal in this beautiful bed? The Art for Kids King Size Regal Bed is timeless and elegant. The new design features beautiful craftsmanship combining the Art for Kids signature woodwork with luxurious fabric design. Available with any of the Art for Kids fabrics or with your own this bed takes style and glamour to a new level. The Regal bed will enhance your decor and make all feel special.


    What should you dress in, but something that speaks of your royal birth. How about this adorable onesie! Treat your little boy like a king in this whimsical, playful, and soft 100% white cotton, one piece outfit. It is made in the USA and comes in short or long sleeves. Each garment is beautifully packaged in a white tulle bag, tied off with white chiffon ribbon and a fun Coochie Coo gift card! Great for shower gift or welcome home baby gift.


    Every king needs a mode of transportation to get around his kingdom. How about one of these fabulous Sky King Tricycles? Clear the road and sidewalk as your child roars down them on this sleek tricycle. Your child will be able to see clearly on the path they are during evening and night time rides as well with the working headlight illuminating the way. This model features an adjustable seat with spring for comfort, a working headlight for when playtime runs into dusk, and solid rubber tires for whatever terrain the day may bring. With solid rubber tires and handle grips, lead-free powder coat paint and reflectors to go with the functional headlight, this handmade tricycle will be a favorite toy for your little king.


    At the end of the day, send them off to dreamland with a little inspiration from this Oopsy Daisy “Knight and Castle” mural banner. It brings the mysterious world of castles, kings and knights into your little one’s room. This canvas mural banner is easily wiped clean with a soft, dry cloth. This is the ideal surface for kid’s room as there is no glass to break! This comes ready to hang with the decorative nails and grommets in four corners. You may also choose to decoratively display your Oopsy daisy canvas mural banner with our fun ball hooks (set of 4) available in blue, white or pink. The backplate mounts on the wall and ceramic knob unscrews to allow you to easily remove the art from the wall. Makes a wonderful addition to any child’s room or playroom. This mural banner is designed by Donna Ingemanson. The biography of the designer is included with each piece.

    Wishing you a Great Weekend your Majesty and also to your servants!

    Preparing Your Home For Winter

    Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

    ~ “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” ~ Benjamin Franklin

    Brrr, you can certainly feel the nip in the air now! How many of you have turned on your furnaces and pulled out your cool weather hats? Adding sweaters to the wardrobe isn’t the only way to prepare for Fall and the quickly approaching winter weather. Now is the time to prepare your home for cooler weather too. A little bit of prep now, saves a few degrees, and maybe even a few dollars, in the depths of winter. Here are a few suggestions from on how to prepare your home for winter;



    • Insulate windows and doors to keep heat in and drafts out
    • stella gray curtain panels

      Remember to open your curtains during the day and shut them at night to keep your home as warm and comfortable as possible. Curtains help to lessen heat loss at night, as well as warming up your home aesthetically.

    • Have your furnace cleaned and inspected before cold weather arrives to stay. No need to have it die on you during the coldest day of the year!
    • Clean leaves, branches and other debris from eaves troughs and down spouts to ensure proper drainage
    • Dwell Studio Rosette Blossom Rug

      Avoid cold toes on icy floors first thing in the morning by warming up your floors with area rugs. Remember that your baby spends most of their day on or close to the floor and they feel the cold more than adults!

    • Clean and fill your humidifier to ensure your home stays comfortable despite the drying effects of winter air
    • Santa personalized long sleeve tee (youth)

      Inspect and have your chimney cleaned to prevent chimney fires (Plus, you don’t want Santa getting any dirtier than necessary when he comes a’calling!)

    • Complete any exterior painting, before it gets too cold
    • personalized adirondack chair

      Store outdoor furniture and decorations

    • Ensure that any exterior exhaust ducts (dryer, bathroom fans, kitchen range, etc.) are free from obstructions
    • Put in a store of firewood, so that you can enjoy long, lazy evenings in front of the fireplace this winter

    Keep warm this winter!

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