Check Out Kiser Krafts!! Featured Store This Week!


Kiser Krafts

Have you ever wondered how it would be possible to stay at home, raise your beautiful children, do what you heart and soul desire to do, and still contribute to the household runnings?!  Well my friends, Kelly Kiser has don’t just that!  Kelly has developed a wonderful home-based business doing what she absolutely loves to do, crafting!  Kiser Krafts produces a multitude of craft item geared mostly at children, but has a little something for the big kids too!  Check her out here! We asked Kelly a few questions to learn more… Here’s what she had to say!

Tell us about your business…

“Kiser Krafts – making useful sock playful since 2012

HI! My name is Kelly, the owner of Kiser Krafts and the maker of all the products. Kiser Krafts is filled with handmade, eco-friendly, items for the young and old to play with or use. Socks are the center of my work. I love socks and the ‘tell’ me which animal they were meant to be. Penny Pets are sock animals ready and safe for children of all ages to play with. Each animal is stuffed with recycled fibers along with fiberfill to help keep useable items out of the landfills.”


What is your favorite product that you make?

“I love making Sock Lion Penny Pets. They are so fun and playful!”

How do you balance your family/personal life with the business?

“I write things down, make lists, and let the ‘kid card’ trump everything else when it is needed…and drink tons of coffee…coffee keeps everything flowing smoothly.”

When did you start your business and what made you decide to start it?

I started Kiser Krafts with the urging of a dear crafting buddy, who fell in love with my sock lion and sock bunny creations, back in November 2012. She really has been an encouragement to me to follow my crafting heart and crafting dreams. And my husband has been a constant encouragement to me and he refills my coffee mug often while I am working. I love that I can share my love of socks with others through selling my sock creations.

What is the goofiest thing you’ve ever done? (We want the details!)

“I am goofy everyday…I do anything from funny faces, dancing, wiggling, singing (on key & off) weird noises with my mouth & tongue to bring smiles to my kiddos faces. I have even tripped on nothing to see them smile or turn tears into cheers. I do anything to bring smiles even if my hubby laughs at me. I didn’t think that was goofy but according many others it is.”

If you could have a store anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

“I think it would be closer to where our whole family lives: Northern Illinois; Southern Wisconsin. So we could be closer to family and to share the sock love to those is cooler weather. :D They need to know socks are not just for warming your feet – but your child’s heart.”

Do you have any tips for folks who want to start their own business?

Plan. Think it out, write it down, and have patience. It takes time and loads of hard work. And never compare your beginning with another’s middle or end.

What is your favorite quote?

“Don’t stand so long looking at the closed door, you miss the open window.” – Margie Mae McCorkle (My late Grandmother)

How did you come up with the name for your business?

It is a play on the letter “K”. I mean really, I am Kelly Kiser who crafts. After talking with my husband, we came up with Kiser Krafts, giving me room to add any ‘craft’ I make.

Is there one product you use daily that you couldn’t live without?

Does coffee count?? I can’t live without my coffee but I really cannot live without my crochet hook and yarn. Crochet is not primary in my shop but it is primary to my everyday life. With Crochet, I remember important things: my husband and my children. I am blessed each day.

You can find everything here:


What’s Blooming Over at Violet’s Buds..Featured Shop

We wanted to try something a little new around here!  We will be featuring a shop on the blog to let you in on all the hidden gems we find!  This week’s feature is Violet’s Buds, owned by Melanie Gipson.  Melanie is a mom on a mission with a passion for fashion!  She works from home designing, hand-crafting, and selling beautiful hair accessories.  We caught up with Melanie to get the scoop on all the goodies and sneak a peak at the life of a busy wife, mother, and small business owner.  Check it out…


Tell us about your business.
“I make hair accessories for all ages, including clips, headbands, fascinators, & bobby pins. I also make newborn/infant crowns & halo tie-backs good for photo props and baby shower gifts. I accept custom orders for maternity sashes, and wedding hair pieces.”

Princess Laura cream lace & taupe yo yo tiara newborn crown photo prop hair accessory RTS

What is your favorite product that you make?

“My favorite pieces to work on are those that incorporate vintage jewelry. I love to find unique jewelry pieces and be inspired by them to create a hair accessory.”

Sparkling Snowflake kanzashi style hair or clothing accessory clip OOAK Christmas or Wedding

How do you balance your family/personal life with the business?

“It is a difficult thing to balance being a stay at home mom with running a business. Often, my business takes a back seat to the needs of my family. My goal is to get better at time management so I can maximize the time I do have to work on creating & business tasks.”

When did you start your business and what made you decide to start it?

“I started Violet’s Buds in 2011. I loved buying my daughter cute hair accessories, but had a limited budget. I decided to give it a try and really fell in love with the creative process. After months of making gifts for friends & family, I was encouraged to open a shop.”

Sophisticate ruffle and rosette collage in yellow and gray Dolly & Me set of 2 accessories

What is the goofiest thing you’ve ever done? (We want the details!)

“Probably dancing around singing silly songs to get my daughter to laugh. Good thing she was the only one watching! (I hope!)”

If you could have a store anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

“I would love to have a shop near a beach in a warm climate. When traveling in the Caribbean I enjoyed the eclectic seaside shops and wouldn’t mind having one of my own!”

Do you have any tips for folks who want to start their own business?

“Plan to dedicate as much time, if not more, to business tasks as you do creating. I was surprised at how much time it takes not only to list items for sale, but also for marketing & networking.  Also, find a group of like-minded small businesses that are dedicated to helping each other succeed. Communities like Daft Crafts really help handmade businesses make an impact.”
Baby Blue chiffon infant tie back halo crown photo prop hair accessory RTS

What is your favorite quote?

“Cake or Death?” – Eddie Izzard

How did you come up with the name for your business?

My daughter is named Violet (after my great-grandma), and since I started creating hairbows for my daughter I wanted the name to reflect that. The name Violet’s Buds has two meanings– my daughter’s friends (aka buds), and the flower blooms on the violet plant.

Is there one product you use daily that you couldn’t live without?

Lip Balm!! I am a lip balm addict. My favorite is the coconut lip balm from Peace, Love, & Bath products


Well, there you have it!  We absolutely adore Melanie’s products!  We hope you love them as much as we do! (We know you will!)  Be sure to stop by and check out her blog here!
Twitter: @VioletsBuds

Popcorn & Pajama Party! — Real Party


Popcorn Bar Table

Popcorn Bar Table

Months and months of planning went into this party. Ok. I’m lying. I did have it planned out for awhile though. And it wasn’t easy considering the birthday girl kept changing her theme. I finally convinced her that a popcorn and pajama theme was the way to go. The kid LIVES in her pajamas. The moment we walk in the door, she is running upstairs to get in her pj’s. And popcorn?! She would eat it for breakfast lunch and dinner if I let her. (Last night, I actually caved and let her have it for dinner. Sometimes its just not worth the fight, ya know?)

popcorn and pajama party invitation

popcorn and pajama party invitation

For the invitation, I wanted something that would POP. (Get it?? haha!) I chose the color scheme pink, blue and yellow because those are the colors Quinn says is her favorite on a regular basis. I gave the idea of a popcorn “box” that the invitation information slides out of and gave the job to one of my designers. Want some for your own party? Click here: Popcorn and Pajama Party invitation.


candy coated popcorn


chocolate drizzle popcorn

The popcorn was such a fun and cheap element!  I had four jars I found at Target for around $8 a piece. Inside, I added candy coated popcorn (think candy apple) chocolate drizzle, caramel and plain jane popcorn. I found the recipes here: homemade . I do need to add that I have never made caramel popcorn before. When you add the baking continues to cook!! My first batch had a burnt taste and my second batch didn’t get caramel-y enough. I must admit I finally had my mom make the third batch. It turned out great. Go figure.)

popcorn & pajama party


The popcorn I put in the cones though, was by far the best! I got it from a friend of mine a couple days before the party, and I must say, I am so glad she gave it to me!! Quinn also loves marshmallows so I had to add it to the party. Here it is for your enjoyment:

1 bag microwave popcorn (I used 3 cups fresh popped popcorn)

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 1/4 cup mini marshmallows

Pop popcorn and empty into bowl. Remove unpopped kernels. Set aside. Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Add brown sugar and marshmallows. Stir until popcorn is evenly coated. Once cool, store in airtight container.

I didn’t add anything else, but I’m sure it would be great with peanuts or mini m&m’s!

popcorn and pajama party


I got these adorable popcorn boxes in the theme colors from shop sweet lulu. I also go the popcorn funnels and the paper frill for the backdrop there as well. LOVE that website!

The kids filled up their popcorn boxes with their choice of flavored popcorn and their choice of mix-ins.

popcorn and pajama party


I bought bags for them to take it home in but I must say not a lot of them had any left ;)

Popcorn and pajama party


Sneaking some goodies!

popcorn cake pops


The only other thing I added to the popcorn table were custom made “popcorn” cake pops. The popcorn was marshmallows! So stinking cute.

popcorn party favors

popcorn party favors


popcorn party favors

For favors, I used the same image I used for the invitation and put their names on the inside of the circle for a customized look. I changed the boys popcorn bucket to blue. I didn’t see them going for a pink pillowcase.

I also ordered the girls these cute slippers in the party color theme and attached a tag that said: “thanks for poppin’ on by! Love Quinn”. The girls loved them!

popcorn and pajama party


popcorn and pajama party


I set out fabric markers and let the kids color away on their pillowcases. They doubled as favors and an activity. Win win.

popcorn party cake


The final element was the cake. I had a friend’s mom who is ahh-mazingly talented design this cake after the invitation. The popcorn on here was marshmallow as well! So cool and Quinn LOVED it! So much so that she snuck into it about twenty minutes after I brought it home!

popcorn party cake

See the bite missing on the top?? LOL. Crazy kid. Not only was this cake super cute, it was the best tasting cake I have ever purchased! If anyone is in the Dayton/Cincinnati area, you MUST have Carla make your cakes. (She also made the cake pops I put on the table.)

Popcorn and pajama party

She seriously couldn’t keep her hands off of it!

popcorn and pajama party


She had so much fun at her Popcorn and Pajama Party! Happy birthday baby girl! I can’t believe I’m a mom to a four year old!! Time flies!





Off to the Races (A Derby Theme Birthday)

My little man turned two last Sunday. He’s getting a mind of his own and finding things he loves. One of his new found loves are horses. Everything is “horsey” (or how he actually says it: “hor-he”) So for his second birthday, I wanted to include his favorite animal. I didn’t want the normal cowboy and horses party, although I first started in that direction. I also did not want to have the normal browns that are associated with a horse party. The only other horse thing I could think of was the Kentucky Derby. Bingo! The colors I chose, royal blue and red, would be the inspiration for everything made.




The invitation to prepare the guests for party. The First Place Trophy!

Trophy invitation



I raised the trophy off of the paper backing and placed the banner on top of that, raising it also. It gave it a nice 3D effect.

The centerpiece I made for the small table in our kitchen was the Winner’s Circle. It included fake grass, a white picket fence and the Winning Circle horses. All of these details were found at Michael’s Craft Store (yes, even the horses!).

Winner Circle Horses

Winners Circle Horses

I seriously searched high and low for kid friendly derby food. If there is such a thing, I couldn’t find it. So instead, I just named the food after past Winner’s of the Kentucky Derby.

Eat Like A Horse

I couldn’t help including this little pun as a last minute detail. However, looking back, I should have put “Eat Like a RACE horse”. Oh well. Hindsights 20/20 right?

derby food

The peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were in the shape of horse heads. I luckily had the cookie cutter on hand. Sometimes spontaneous purchases pay off down the road ;)

derby food

The cupcakes!

derby food

The dessert table was the fun part and the part I am most excited to share with you!

The derby party table

derby party table

Cute, right? Boyish and includes horses but not so many that you want to gag. LOL

derby party table

derby party table

I ordered these ADORABLE cookies from Not Betty Cookies. I am completely impressed by the talent of this lady. I couldn’t have asked for better.

derby party table

I made these oreo pops by dipping the tips in melted white chocolate and sprinkled some red sprinkles on top. Voila. Easy peasy. Just the way I like it ;)

derby party table

I made kid friendly mint juleps using Junior Mints. I wanted to add sprigs of mint leaves but my local grocery store didn’t carry it. :( I adorned the middle with these miniature trophies I got from Lulus Cupcake Boutique

Derby party table

I made the cake myself, but please don’t look too closely. I have decided that I need to leave the cake portion up to the professionals. It just isn’t my thing.

kentucky derby party

party favor bags

The party favor bags included all things horses from Oriental Trading. I put them in red chevron bags I purchased from Shop Sweet Lulu. It’s the same store that I purchased much of the decor for the table from.

I had only one activity for the kids and that was to decorate their own stick ponies. Derby party

Derby party

Derby party

Derby party

derby party

derby party

Happy birthday Little Man!

Want to see more pictures of this party? Visit our Facebook page:

WANTED for incredible cuteness..

Oh let me tell you how much fun I had creating this birth announcement! My little guy needed something to make his birth stand out from all the others. He is, after all, my third child and knowing how the third child can sometimes be forgotten (although if you talk to my sister, she swears as the middle child, she always got overlooked), I wanted to make sure, everyone knew he was here.

Years ago, I had seen a birth announcement done in an FBI Most Wanted style. As much as I would love to take full credit of this awesomeness, I can not. The dad created it for his little one and I can remember he didn’t make invitations or anything of the sort, but that’s all I can remember. I tried to find the link when I found out I was pregnant with another boy, but I couldn’t. So, I had to come up with what to do for it all by my little lonesome. But that’s made it more personal and I always love a challenge ;)

FBI birth announcement


I started off with a mini file folder and stamped on CONFIDENTIAL in bold red. I also added his full name to the tab portion of the folder to make it look more official.

FBI birth announcement


My original thought was to only insert the picture with the black and white striped hat to keep it with the theme, but this kid came out with so much hair that I had to include one without something covering his luscious locks. So I inserted those on the left with a paperclip and some glue.

On the right, I included the perps (is that even how you spell that?! I’m not down with all the cop lingo.) I included his aliases to show that he isn’t alone in the house of criminals. We even included the Bunny who is wanted for pooping a lot. (Seriously! Have you ever had a rabbit?? That’s all this one does is eat and poop–way worse than a baby because they never outgrow it!)

FBI Birth announcement

So there you have it. What I have been working on for the past two months and now that most people have received there’s, I was FINALLY able to share it with all of you. Wow. That one was a hard secret to keep. I gotta run now…the little convict is demanding attention….


PS…Like the hat?? Check out: Mad About Color   It’s where I got William’s and I LOVED it!!


Ice, Ice Baby

Oh this little one wanted to make an entrance, that’s for sure. He had us running to the hospital the Monday before he was born only to be sent home and told the contractions weren’t helping me dilate. I knew as soon as I got there, my contractions would stop but I have this fear of not getting to the hospital in time and being told it was too late for an epidural. Crazy afraid. Lol

So Tuesday night, when the contractions started and kept me up all night, I figured it was another false alarm. I was right. Wednesday night was a repeat of the two previous nights. Contractions kept me awake from 2am to roughly 7am–just in time for my other two to wake up for the day. It was getting quite old at this point and I just wanted to cry.

Thursday night, I decided to take Benadryl to help me get some sleep. I kept going back and forth about taking it. What if I didn’t wake up and they were the real deal this time? What if I had to pee and didn’t wake up, resulting in me peeing the bed and waking up to think my water broke? My sister assured me I was being silly and I would wake up if it were the real deal. I swallowed the pills at 7:30pm and was asleep by 8:30. Around 9:00pm, I woke up to a stabbing pain. I wanted to cry and punch something about the same time. I couldn’t believe that I took Benadryl and it STILL wasn’t helping me sleep. I was looking at another sleepless night.

I gathered up my pillows and went into our spare bedroom to wait it out. I figured my husband could at least get some sleep instead of waking up to me tossing and turning and groaning.

I downloaded an app on my phone that helps you time your contractions and keep track of how far apart they are. I figured it would be pointless to try and time these suckers again because it was just going to end in a few hours but I decided to do it anyway just to kill time. Fast forward a few hours and still the contractions were about 8 minutes apart. I was having them where I would have a big one that would make me want to cry with two little ones that weren’t so bad in between. I was timing the big ones that lasted for about 50 seconds. Was this the real thing?

I jumped in the shower about 12:30 to see if that would ease the pain. When it didn’t, I called my sister to head on over  to stay with the kids while we made our way to the hospital. I was sure they would tell me these contractions weren’t close enough or weren’t doing anything to help the process and send me home again but I thought maybe, just maybe, they’d give me something to help dull the pain.

My husband, still half asleep, went to warm up the car and came in to tell me it would be a few minutes because there was ice covering the car. He kept telling me to be prepared, that it was going to take longer to get to the hospital because the roads were icy. He kept talking to me like I was a four year old and couldn’t comprehend what he was saying. It was annoying the hell out of me. “Yeah. I get it!” I kept saying to him in a not so nice tone.

He called the hospital on the way to let them know of our impending arrival. He acted like I was a gunshot victim when he talked to the doctor and told her he was running red lights. Apparently, the roads were bad, I just didn’t care enough to pay attention and running the red lights were helping make up the time we were losing in having to drive slowly. I just kept thinking how the nurses and doctors were going to laugh at us when we got there and tell me  I wasn’t in active labor.

Finally, in what seemed like forever, we arrived and I walked the mile long hike from the ER to the L&D floor, arriving around 1:30am. They were getting ready to check me into Triage but a nurse came in and said she had a room ready for me. Apparently Joe freaked them out enough to make them think this little guy was going to come out at any second. (And I found out later, that a woman had delivered in the parking lot of the hospital the night before, so I think they were trying to avoid another crazy delivery like that)

Once I got into the room and up on the table, they checked me and I was already dilated to 7. It was real. He was coming. I was relieved and nervous. More about the knowledge that a needle was going to be put in my back. I wanted the relief of the epidural but I didn’t want to actually go through the process of getting it. I’m a wuss like that.

But I got it..and it helped. I tried to sleep but a sharp, stabbing pain running from my belly button down kept me from doing that. I was little peeved the epidural didn’t get rid of ALL my pains. But that was just the sleep deprivation coming out.

Around 4:20, the nurse checked me and I was complete. She called in the doctors and with a few pushes, William Grant arrived into the world just as perfect as could be. And now that I type this, I realize in my tired, zombie like state, I have been telling everyone he was born Thursday morning when in actuality, it was Friday morning. Oops. ;)



William birth day

His hair is what amazed everyone. Our other son was bald until well after his first birthday. So to see this little guy with locks of golden hair, surprised us. He’s so amazingly cute. We decided to keep him ;) IMG_0155William Grant

2/22/13 @ 4:40am

7 lbs 10 ounces 20 inches


Valentine’s Day Breakfast Table


Valentine's Day Breakfast Table

I gotta tell ya…I kinda slacked on the Valentine’s Day breakfast table this year. By the time I actually thought about it, I was too tired to thoroughly think it through. I am hoping once this baby comes, I will get a renewed burst of energy. (yeah right!)  But I also have to mention, that none of the kids cared. They still thought it was great. Kids are so easy to please :)

For the centerpiece,  I used a red feather boa I had in stock and used foam hearts I had from a Valentine’s Day party I had for the kids a couple of years ago. (I still had fishing line on them from when I hung them from the chandelier and I didn’t even bother to remove them. I told you–major slackin’.)

Valentine's Day Breakfast Table



I found these cute little buckets in the dollar bin at Target. So I got one for each kid. I filled them with shredded red paper and of course, Valentine’s Day candy.


Trey loved his Valentine’s book….until he noticed the candy.






And Quinn was too tired to really focus. (Could it be that it was because she woke up three times in the night calling out for one of us?) but she said thank you so I guess that’s all that really matters. LOL


And last but not least, I made the simplest breakfast ever–canned cinnamon rolls in a waffle iron that I then cut into a heart shape. Cute..but neither kid ate it. Good thing it was simple.


Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!


Party Planning Free Printable

I guess it’s not hard to imagine that I love planning parties almost as much as I like designing invitations. As of right now, I am planning my son’s 2nd birthday and my daughter’s 4th birthday. All while waiting for the arrival of our second son. So organization is key.

As I was planning today, I thought about how I divided things up and how I made sure I was staying one step ahead of game. Then, it dawned on me. Maybe other people would like a cute printable to help them too. So I designed a fun and colorful chart to share with you.

party plan organization chart partyplan

Would you like the pdf version? Just click here: The Party Plan Printable

Do you like this? Would you like more printables? Just let me know!

Bear Hibernation Party — Real Party!

It was  a cold, blustery, January day and…oh’s Ohio…it was actually a 60 degree day… and I was throwing a Hibernation Party. Humph. Just my luck. I wanted to throw a party for the kids to be able to get out and mingle with their friends. You know, since cabin fever should have set in by then, but the weather is crazy here in southern Ohio and it didn’t cooperate with my theme. Oh well. It was still a successful party.

Bear invitation


The invitation…inspiration for the whole party :)

luxury bear invitation

Each invitation came with a stuffed bear in wither light or dark brown and a customized invitation stating the fun to be had at the Winter Hibernation Party.

bear hibernation dessert table


I kept the dessert table simple. We only had eight kids come so I didn’t want to overdo the sugar load before nap time ;) Chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cupcakes and lemon flavored cupcakes (not exactly kid friendly, but this pregnant woman had a craving).

As decor, I used a couple of teddy bears and little tiny pine trees. I got the fabric from Carousel Designs. I have a slight obsession with fabric so you can imagine how I swooned and almost fainted when I got an excuse to use this fabric.

Bear hibernation dessert table

I used cake plates I have owned for quite a few years. I bought them at a Home Goods store and I must say, I have gotten my money out of them. THe centerpiece with the bears and a couple more pine trees I just covered in matching wrapping paper.

 bear dessert tableI added a little tree to the middle of the cupcake platters and surrounded them with the yummy cupcakes. (Yummy boxed cupcakes, I guess I should mention. But the cookies I made from scratch!!)


cupcakes hibernation bear partyClose ups of the cupcakes with matching orange sprinkles.

bear hibernation party

I bought the cupcake liners and sprinkles from Bake It Pretty. I absolutely adore that website. If you haven’t visited, you must.

hibernation bear party activity


One of the activities I had was to have the kids make a Bear themed trail mix. I used the same fabric, bears and trees to decorate the table. I put the goodies for their trail mix in square jars with light blue spoons to scoop out their goodies.

trail mix bear hibernation partyI used cinnamon, chocolate chip and honey flavored Teddy Grahams (get it? bear themed..anyway…). My daughter is an avid marshmallow fan so I figured other kids probably are too, so in another container I had mini marshmallows. And of course, M&M’s had to make it into the trail mix. You have to have chocolate!

bear hibernation trail mix


I got the bags from Bake It Pretty also and made matching seals to hold their little goodies in place.

bear hibernation party trail mixI think they liked the extra take home treats :)

bear painting hibernation party

Our last activity was painting bear banks. The kids loved it! Overall, the party was a huge success and I had so much fun planning it!


Invitations and Baggy Seals: When & Where Invites

Fabric: Carousel Designs

Mini Trees: Factory Direct Craft

Cupcake Supplies: Bake It Pretty





A Pool of Pink Luxury Lollipop Invitation

Baby blue and Pink lollipop invitation



Here is another first birthday invitation I created for a mother who wanted something girly…but not all girly. She wanted pink but not all pink. Insert A Pool of Pink Lollipop Invitation. Sweet and elegant but not too much ;)

Every time I create a new invitation, I think that I have just created my favorite. And this is no exception. I love the way the soft blue and pink mix together. What do you think?


Interested in this invitation? Check it out here: