Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sneak peek: hair accessories for the holidays!

I am giddy-excited to give you a sneak peek of these festive hair accessories! It was so fun to shop for the supplies, create the designs, and assemble these sparkly, colorful pieces. I wore one that I made for myself to work yesterday and received TONS of compliments. I can't wait to get these into our Etsy shop and see who gets to own and wear them this holiday!

I'd love to hear from you, what color scheme is your favorite to wear? What makes your hair and eyes sparkle? Or what would you absolutely HAVE to buy as a gift for that special girl/lady in your life?

posted by Christa

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book review: Start Something That Matters, by Blake Mycoskie, Chief Shoe Giver at TOMS

As an official participant in TOMS' "Books for Bloggers Program", I read Start Something That Matters, am telling you what I learned, and am giving a second book away (along with a handmade item from my Etsy shop), FREE! Find out how to win the free book below.

I am impressed with Blake's background (he has been described as a serial entrepreneur - how cool!) and his tenacity (figuring out how to make shoes in another country and then ship them to the US to market them, with no background in manufacturing, fashion, or anything else related to his mission at TOMS - that takes drive!). It just goes to show that if you have an idea and are willing to find the right people and ask them to help you, you can make any dream come true. At first, Blake just wanted to help kids, but this became so big that it's now his full time gig!

More than once I was brought to tears (read the story about Pam on page 49, and the section on Trust). Blake's parents obviously taught him to think with his heart AND his head, and to be guided by his soul. As a new parent, that's something I hope to teach my kids. The stories about his family also helped me remember how dear my family and friends are, and that they are truly my greatest treasures.

I've been inspired to take action! My sister and I have a small business where we re-purpose materials into something new and usable. We want to do more, so this holiday we are donating $1 for every purchase to Make a Wish Foundation. We hope to make a small difference now, and make this idea grow.

Want to read the book and be inspired?? Enter to win a FREE book, & a FREE SophiaFredricka item!!

How to enter the contest:
1. Visit our online shop
2. Post a comment to this post (below) with a suggestion for a NEW ITEM IDEA
3. The winner will receive a copy of "Start Something That Matters" AND the first edition of the item they suggested

Forward this to others who would like to read it and enter the contest!

See what others are saying about the book:
Helen's Book Blog
Wall Street Journal
Huffington Post
LA Times

SophiaFredricka "Start Something That Matters" contest rules:
  • Comments must be posted to this blog post by midnight November 30th, Central Time.
  • Winner will be chosen and notified by Friday December 2nd.
  • Winner needs to respond with shipping address and whether they'd like their name shared by Sunday December 4th, 2011 or they forfeit the book and their item. A new winner will be selected.
  • Winner needs to have a valid shipping address. 
  • Winner will be announced on the SophiaFredricka blog on Monday December 5th.
  • Prize will be shipped via FedEx by December 12th, 2011 using standard shipping.
  • All rights to the new ideas are reserved by Christa Haeg, Christa Bahr, LLC., and SophiaFredricka with no obligation to acknowledge or pay any type of fee to the contest Entrants or Winner. 
  • No cash value.
  • Void where prohibited.

posted by Christa

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Great gift ideas for kids

Sometimes it's easy to find the perfect gift [or gifts!] for kids. But sometimes you're looking for something special and it can be a challenge! I poked around Etsy and found great gifts available this holiday season!!

Check out my favorite gifts for sweet little girls ...
and my favorite gifts for busy little boys !
by ArmadilloDreams

While you're at Etsy, check out the latest in our shop: SophiaFredricka! We have lots of new items for the holiday and free shipping on your second item. Happy shopping!

posted by Christa

Saturday, November 12, 2011

'Still Life With Iris' Costume Renderings

I am working on an exciting project with Yellow Tree Theater in Osseo, Minnesota. Yellow Tree Theater was started three years ago by Jason and Jessica Peterson, University of Minnesota Duluth alumni and my classmates. They invited another fellow UMD alum Andy Frye to direct a show this season, he chose the magical play Still Life With Iris, and asked me to be the costume designer.

This is a big undertaking me being in New York and all the actors, other designers, and theater in Minnesota, but I love the play and my friends so much I couldn't turn it down. Still Life With Iris opens in February 2012 and runs from the 3rd through the 26th Thursdays-Saturdays 7:30pm and Sundays 2pm. If your in the area you need to check it out!

I am sharing some of my costume renderings I did for the play and you can check out all my costume renderings in my online gallery here.

Now, Still Life With Iris is a fantasy children's show with a dark twist. There are three worlds that I decided to design vastly different.

Nocturno is a land where everyone who lives there works during the night to create things we see in our everyday life. For example there is a Flower Painter, Rain Maker, and Thunder Bolt Bender. Each person wears a coat that holds their memory, if they get a rip in their coat they will forget something and if they take it off they lose their memory completely. I designed the coats with DIY handmade style and my family in mind, cozy, colorful, full of little details, trims, and buttons.

The Goods are the rulers of Nocturno and they get what they want. What they want is the best of everything. So this means the best chair, the best shoe, the best little girl and so on. They are dangerous, mentally unsound, and intoxicatingly sexy. They wear formal high fashion garments that are sleek and a bit off putting.

The Tunnel of the Unwanted is where everything goes that no one wants. This includes three colorful characters Captian Also, Third String, and Ray. They each have a sad story of how they came to the tunnel and hold a nasty grudge against anyone they meet. They wear their most prize possesions on their back and resemble horders with their collections of unwanted items.

posted by Sarah

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Something special about handmade: yo-yo quilts, wall quilts, and tablerunners

There's something special about handmade items for the creator and for the recipient. These items often hold special meaning and energy. And I think the more time and skill required, the more special they are!

Our Mum creates amazing handmade quilts using her own imagination, patterns, and ideas from others. She has a few of her items for sale on Etsy. The most popular right now are the yo-yo quilts and you can see why! Yo-yo's are so fun and playful!

Closeup of Mum's floral tablerunner
 Posted by Christa

Friday, November 4, 2011

DIY furniture: give a table a new look

I recently bought this table at a local garage sale for $3. It is in great shape and was made locally in Minnesota. I think the curved drop-leaf sides give it great character and I couldn't resist it even thought I thought the wood was terribly boring. I brought it home and got to work on changing that!

I disassembled all the hardware and put it in an old cake pan. Then I wiped down the sides of the table and leaves. I sanded the surfaces I planned to paint (basically everything except the bottom/inside. Then I painted it a medium yellow (I almost painted it red, but was painting some cabinet doors yellow, so I used the same paint). After I painted everything and gave it a chance to dry for a few days, I got to work on antiquing the table. It's really simple - I just added a black walnut stain with a clean cotton rag, let it dry for a few minutes, and wiped it off. I let the stain dry for a few days and put the table back together (Joe helped with this part).

I'd love to know what you think! Would you take on this project or like something like this in your home? It's totally our style. I'm curious how unusual that is!