Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Feature Shop: Little Tadpole Designs

Happy Wednesday! It's time for another shop feature, and this week I'd like to introduce you to Heidi of Little Tadpole Designs! -Cori of Peace, Baby! Batiks

What is your name?

Where are you located?
Eastern Ontario, Canada. We've got a small log house on five acres of woods ... but we'll soon be moving to cottage country for my husband's work and have our hopes up that we'll be getting a place with more land or on the water.

Tell us a little about yourself.
My husband and I have been married for nine years and have two beautiful children. Our son just turned 2 and our daughter is 6 months. We also share our home with a bit of a menagerie, including our first "big baby," our 8-year-old Great Dane, four kitties, three snakes, a turtle, plus mice and fish. It's a pretty "lively" place!

Before becoming a mom, I did outdoor education and law enforcement. We always intended that when we started our family that I would be a stay-at-home mom, and I'm so glad! I'm a Christian, love babywearing, use cloth diapers on both my kiddos, and am completely addicted to sugar! I look forward to taking on homeschooling when the time comes, and we'd like to have a little hobby farm.

Squishy Soft Chenille Cuddle Blankie - "Checker Spots"

What type of merchandise will shoppers find in your shop?
My shop is geared mostly toward babies and toddlers. The items I make are inspired by my own children, and because they are just babes themselves, that's what fits for now! I love doing custom orders whenever possible ... and make clips for soothers, mittens, and nursing covers or bibs that people can choose from about 50 different ribbons. I also make hair clips that can be custom designed as well! It's fun seeing what people will choose when given the freedom to create for themselves.

Some of my favorite creations are my Snap Belts for preschoolers because they are just so practical and effective for kids like my son who has no bum to hold his pants up and my Cuddle Blankies, which are squishy soft and absolutely adored by my own children.

My newest creations will start to be listed in June as I make them. I've been working on something very special for my baby girl. I'll give you a hint: they have little hands and little heads, are cute and crocheted and colourful, and no little girl should be without one!

Custom Binky Leash SPECIAL - "Buy A Pair"

How/why did you get started?
Initially it was because I needed a soother clip for my son and couldn't find one that I really liked, so I bought what I needed and made it myself (along with enough ribbon and clips to make LOTS more!). Next, I made him a blankie out of chenille because he loved the texture. And the rest, well it all followed along the same lines of needing/wanting something and just saying "I can make that!"

How long have you been crafting?
I've always liked making "things." I love drawing and painting and doing crafts. As a child I would create stuff for myself, like cutting "food" out of paper and string for my pretend restaurant, or making a "fireplace" out of tissue paper and a flashlight to have inside my blanket fort. Let's just say that through the years I've graduated to more complex items, but at the heart of it I'm still just enjoying "makin' stuff."

I like variety and I don't have a lot of patience (or time for that matter!) for big intricate things right now, so my focus is really on making things that are basically simple and practical, but with a bit of flair and extra thought and professionalism that makes them "different" from other things you can find out there. I anticipate that as my children grow, so will the range of things that I create, and that is an exciting thought! I actually like very much to sew and paint and hope eventually to add some of that to my creations.

Snap Belt for Preschooler- "StopLight"

What is your favorite thing to make?
Absolutely my Cuddle Blankies! They are just SO soft and wonderful and I've never seen any others like them. The chenille is thick and lovely and each and every one I make makes me think about the baby that will get to snuggle with it, and who can't think about snuggling babies without smiling!

What inspires you to create?
Definitely my children. Because I first make the items to meet their specific needs, I really find that even the simple creations deserve a lot of thought. Little features like the placement and usability of the snaps take on extra meaning when you are creating something for your own.

What is one thing you need to have with you while you craft?
Oooo... that's a tough question! I want to say something practical like a candle for sealing ribbon or a measuring tape... but I think what I really need with me is "noise." Whether the tv or radio, I like to work to the sound of something in the background (preferably not the "Cars" movie for the six billionth time, but sometimes you take what you can get!).

Cuddle Blankie & Binky Leash Baby Boy Gift Set

How do you balance mothering and running a small business?
It's a challenge, definitely. I try to do as much prep work at once as I can. Cutting and sealing ribbon and elastic, organizing buttons and embellishments so they are quick to grab, rolling yarn, and even cutting the chenille so it's ready for the sewing machine. I find having those things done ahead of that actual order really helps a lot. I'm still working on balancing my time with the business online, but trying to keep to a schedule is a step in the right direction. Naptimes help, especially when the little ones sleep at the same time, and my husband is a big help too in the evenings after our son is in bed and he takes care of our daughter so I can get some things done.

What is your favorite thing to browse Etsy for?
Right now I love looking at clothes for my daughter, especially crocheted sets! Toys are another favorite: wooden toys or crocheted or felt/fabric. Lots of fun to look at and see all the creativity! Some of my favorites in both those categories of items are right here in the SAHM of Etsy team!

Crocheted Baby Doll "Marcy"

When you're not crafting, what are you doing?
With a two year old and a six month old AND both in cloth diapers? Laundry.

Where can we find you?
"The Little Closet" Consignment Store in beautiful Merrickville, Ontario.

What is your favorite shop (not yours) on Etsy currently?
Definitely CozyTeaTreasures! This shop is run by a young, Christian girl who is a very talented seamstress! Her tea cozies are absolutely beautifully made and she is a true pleasure to work with! I ordered several for Christmas gifts last year and, honestly, I try to think of more people to buy one for because I loved them so much!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the feature! I'd love for everyone to check out my shop... and as an extra "thanks"... use coupon code BLOGLUV5 to get 5% off for the week!