Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Stress is something that I am sure that we all face. Many of us wear different hats throughtout the day: mom, wife, friend, employee, boss, artist, marketer, and the list could go on and on. Sometimes we are so busy taking care of others or business that I think we forget to take care of ourselves and that can lead to us feeling stressed and irritable. So for today I thought I would talk a bit about what we could do to help relieve stress and pamper ourselves a bit.

First up is exercise. Did I hear a collective groan and sigh here? Seriously, exercise is a great stress reducer and I'm going to spend a little time on it because it's something that I know a bit about. I used to be an avid exerciser, operative word here used to be, I've let it slip to the wayside since I've become involved in opening and promoting my studio. I've been thinking lately that I really need to get back into it because when I was doing it regularly my mood was improved, I had more energy, slept better and it did help relieve stress. I've somehow convinced myself that I don't have time for it but deep down I know that's not true, I have to make time for it. There's always time for a short walk or after working at our desks or computers take a few a minutes to do some yoga poses or simple stretches, we just have to have make the time.

So what are our options as far as exercise goes? I've already mentioned taking a walk and doing some stretches or yoga and of course there's the gym but I know many of us don't want to take the time out of our busy days to go to the gym so what else is there? One option that we have is to exercise at home, if you have cable that offers FitTV there are some great exercise programs available throughout the day or Fit on Demand offers a wide array of exercise shows at your fingertips at your convenience. There's also a great variety of exercise dvds on the market and this is something I know a bit about because my collection extends to well, let's just say, a lot of them. There's something for everyone from yoga to kickboxing, beginner to advanced, weight training to pilates, you name it and there's probably a video or dvd for it. Too rainy to walk outside, try a walking video! You can find exercise dvds at almost any brick and mortar store but the variety can be limited, particularly for advanced exercisers. For some great online resources that I've personally bought from and had great customer service try Collage Video, Total Fitness DVDS, or Advanced Workouts. All of these sites offer clips and reviews so you can really check them out before you buy. A great consumer site for home exercise is Video Fitness. I've been a member there for several years and it's a great place to find reviews written by consumers and the forums are filled with great ladies and gentlemen who are always willing to offer advice and help someone out.

Sorry if all that came across as an advertisement but it's something I was once very passionate about and have come to realize that I miss it in my life but enough about exercise and back to the topic on hand which is ways to reduce stress. What are some other ways that we can relieve stress in our lives? A quick rundown would include getting enough rest, laughing with friends and family, doing something you really enjoy, learning to say no to others, prioritize your time, set up a home spa, treat yourself to something sweet, keep a gratitude journal. Of course a few of our Artfire Cafemom Team members have some wonderful products to help you reduce stress.

Please check out our other Artfire shops for more great items and feel free to post any comments or suggestions for your favorite ways to reduce stress.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekly Contest: Easter

This week the Artfire Cafemom Team is holding the first of its weekly contests. The theme this week is Easter!!!

So ACT members please submit your Easter items on our thread for this contest found here on Cafemom.

All entries will be voted on by ACT members. The winner will get their Artfire Rapid Cart on our blog for a week!

Looking forward to seeing those Easter theme entrys!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Our first giveaway winner is...

Congrats Tanman0107 for winning a beautiful nursing cover! She choose this brown and green floral nursing cover! Thank you Jemz for putting your item into our ACT giveaway!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mom behind the Shop: Spirit Essence Art

This week's Mom Behind the Shop is Spirit Essence Art , aka Arlene. Arlene is sponsering a giveaway of her Green Glass pendent here.

Here we asked Arlene some questions to get to know her:

What kinds of items do you sell: Fused Glass Jewelry and Art Creations, as well as oil paintings

Who are you ??? I am happily married, have a married son, wonderful daughter-in-law, and 3 beautiful grand-daughers. I have had several careers before I decided to become a full-time artist, though when I started out, I was doing stained glass as a hobby. Now I am teaching stained glass, creating fused glass (that is formed in a kiln), and more lately oil painting and watercolor painting.

What made you get into your craft: I started by taking a stained glass class in a hobby shop for fun. I loved it so much I have been creating with glass for over 25 years now in one form or another. I started painting and drawing after I took a drawing class and then painting class so that my stained glass designs would be better. I just love working with color and that has kept my interest for so many years.
Tips for online businesses: I am not an expert, but I do know that it is helpful to be persistent, consistent, and to keep doing all you can do to perfect your craft, and to let people know what you have to offer. It is important also, in my opinion, to stay positive and keep believing that you can have all you want to have. Just love what you do and be enthusiastic. That will take you far.
Tips for moms : I know it is not always easy to pursue your art while you have young children at home. However, I feel it is important not to feel guilty for taking the time to do something for yourself, when it is appropriate. Your children will learn self-respect from you because of this. Of course, your loved ones come first, but don't leave yourself out either!
What is your favorite place to visit: Right now, it is to see my grand-daughters! I love being around them - they are so natural and you always know where you stand with them. My husband and I moved here to Pittsburgh to be close to them, and I am enjoying this opportunity so much. I never want to take that for granted.
Your comfort food: Only one? Well, I have a few: Chocolate is very high on the list! Also, I love home-made soups and a good loaf of bread. Then, of course, after having lived in the Southwest for 10 years, a bowl of hot, spicy chili is very delicious and satisfying.
If you were able to do anything in the world , what would it be and why: Travel! I love seeing different cities, different countries. I had the opportunity to live in New Zealand for 10 years and it was wonderful. There are so many interesting places in the world to visit, that I would travel a lot more than I am able to right now.
Click on the photos to see some items from my shop:

Arizona Agave Oil Painting

Red Starfish Dichrotic Glass Pendent

Fused Glass Sculpture

Friday, March 27, 2009

Giveaway #2: Spirit Essence Art

Welcome to our second blog giveaway!

The shop behind this giveaway is Spirit Essence Art.

"My shop is called Spirit Essence Art, which means I go to spirit for my inspiration for my art creations. I create fused glass (kiln-fired) jewelry and art objects, as well as paintings (oils and watercolor). "

She is giving away a Green Dichroic Glass Pendant.

About the item: Glass pendant with pale green background and accent pieces of gold and green Dichroic glass fused in the middle and on top. Silver bail ready to take your own chain or cord. This is for the pendent only, a chain or cord is not included.

How you enter:

Go to Spirit Essence Art's shop and find the item that catches your eye! Copy and paste the URL here in the comment section. One entry per person. If you want a second chance to win this beautiful pendant- you can blog about it. Be sure to include photo of the pendant and a link to the ACT blog. When you have blogged about the giveaway, all you need to do is post a link to the blog in the comment section. You can do this all in one comment and it will still count for two entries. Please leave your email address since this is the easiest and most efficient way of contacting the winner!

The giveaway will run from Friday 3/27 to Thursday 4/02. One winner will be choosen by random. We will contact the winner to get a valid shipping address. Please reply within 48 hours or a different winner will be chosen. Item will be shipped via USPS First Class or Priority Mail within one business day.

Good luck!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Welcome to ACT!!

Here's a special welcome to our new members!! I visited 9 new members at their artfire studios and shine our spotlights on 1 of their goodies each!!

~*~*~*~ Everyone say H! ~*~*~*~

Ps; I am running a special blog giveaway at my own blog.. There are 3 free, pretty and functional handmade zip pouches to be sent for free via international registered airmail!! Check it out at http://djstoreroom.blogspot.com

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Crafting Fun at Arfire Cafemom Team!

Though the weather may still be a bit up and down in temperature, here in the Northern Hemisphere there are definite signs of Spring coming! Perhaps some daffodils popping up, a few days of warmer weather and sunshine, and just that nice "feeling" of spring-fever that is in the air.

With Spring comes new energy, longer days, and a feeling of anticipation. Feeling an urge to do some new craft projects by your self or with your kids? I thought I would bring you some ideas and links to some fun, new spring craft projects. In fact, in searching for new ideas I started getting excited and wanting to do some of them myself!

Here are some of the fun things I found when I searched today. To view instructions, click on the images below, and these will take you directly to them.

There were lots of Easter craft project ideas, of course, and here are a couple of them. An Easter Bunny decorative egg table ornament:

A cute Easter chick made from an inexpensive clay pot:

How about a simple decorative votive candle glass cover you can make to spruce up your decor? Try this one:

What do you think of when you think of spring? For me it is the beautiful flowers that start blooming this time of year. Even if it is still a bit too early to plant or cut fresh flowers, here is a way to bring some into your house anyway!

If any of you are into Artist Trading Cards, which are 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" cards that can be saved and traded (and are fun to create!), here are some ideas for ones that definitely have a Spring feeling to them:

Here is a great site that has lots of crafting ideas and projects ( http://www.creativity-portal.com ), and I am sure if you navigate to its home page you can find lots of new juicy crafts ideas to sink your teeth into. However, there were a couple that caught my interest.

For those of you who dabble in writing, whether it be a personal journal or your own blog, this one looked interesting for finding some inspiration for spring topics to write about:

Collages - all kinds and hints and ideas on how to put them together:

Well, if these don't get you going with some new projects to get your creative juices flowing, I don't know what will! I hope you enjoy these and can have some fun with them.

Come back and comment here (with photos, of course!) with some of your own art creations and suggestions. It's great to share and we can learn so much from each other.

Happy Spring Crafting!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

For today's feature I thought I would spotlight one of our members yummy recipes for a sweet treat. This recipe is brought to you from Stacey from SWDesigns to check out her other creative side visit her store at http://www.swdesigns.artfire.com/ where she showcases her fabulous jewelry creations. Without further ado here is the recipe:

Cooking Spray
24 Oreo Cookies
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
12 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup strawberry or raspberry preserves warmed

Whipped Cream
Chocolate Shavings (we used crushed chocolate chips)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put standard size foil or paper baking cups into 12 muffin/cupcake pan. Spray the cups with the cooking spray.
3. In a blender, or by hand in a large bowl, crush the Oreo cookies. Add the melted butter. Continue to crush the mixture until fine crumbs form.
4. Spoon the crushed cookies into the bottom of each sprayed baking cup. Gently press down.
5. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
6. In a medium sized bowl beat the cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with a hand mixer, until smooth. Add the eggs and the vanilla and continue to beat until well blended.
7. Spoon the cream cheese mixture into each of the baking cups.
8. Bake for 15 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven and spread one teaspoon of the warmed preserves on top of each cheesecake. Put the muffin/cupcake pan into the freezer for 15 minutes.
10. Remove pan from freezer and mini cheesecakes from muffin/cupcake pan. Gently peel off the foil or paper baking cups. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Sounds delish and my stomach is rumbling now! Enjoy and thank you SWDesigns for the yummy recipe!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Colors That Make Me Think of SPRING

Friday was the first official day of spring, but here in SC, it hasn't felt like spring much. Woke up this morning to temperatures in the 30's. Not as bad as people more north, but still, it was unusually cold for this time of year here, so I thought that I would find some colors that remind me of spring!

These flowers make me think of springtime!

Shamrocks always make me think of spring!

Click on the pictures to see more from these wonderful ACT members and don't forget to look for "Artfire Cafemom Team" whenever you are at Artfire!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Our first Giveaway!!!!

Artfire Cafemom Team is having its first giveaway!!!!! Enter to win a Nursing Cover for the stylish mommy who wants to breastfeed descretly.

Our guild leader, Jenn from Jemz is giving away one FREE nursing cover! Your choice, choose any design from her current selection in her shop at http://www.jazzyjemz.artfire.com/

Heres how you can win:

Go to Jemz shop and find the item you can't live without! Copy and paste the URL here in the comment section. One entry per person. If you want a second chance to win this FREE nursing cover- you can blog about it. Be sure to include photo of the nursing covers and a link to the ACT blog. When you have blogged about the giveaway, all you need to do is post a link to the blog.

The giveaway will run from Friday 3/20 to Friday 3/27. One winner will be choose by random. Our bloggers will contact the winner to get a valid shipping address. Item will be shipped within one business day via Priority Mail.

Good luck!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Mom Behind the Shop- DJStoreroom

Today we get to learn about another one of our team members. The Mom featured this week is DJStoreroom- Diana. Here answers are so honest and funny too. Thanks for being our Mom Behind the shop this week !

What kinds of items do you sell in your shop: Antiques, e-Tutorials for Handmades, Handmade Bags and Purses, Vintages, Collectibles, Serviette Art Designs and Old Documents.

Tell me a bit about yourself:
I am 26, married with 1 child. I had first-hand experience dealing with Antiques, Vintages, Documents and Artifacts as I have been helping my dad out with his own business since I was 16. When I was 12, I started sewing during home economics and stopped after 4 years. While staying in France, I went back to sewing after my kid was born when I was 23. That same year, I took up serviette art techniques as it was a very popular art in France. Plus, I took up a Penn Foster distance learning course on Dressmaking and Design and graduated from that too.

What made you get into your craft:
Back in Singapore, I went in search for a job and got it. 1 year after, I was too unhappy and decided to leave the job. I started off with offering handmades and e-tutorials at Etsy.Com. And when I read about ArtFire.Com, I went ahead and got myself verified at the site. I decided to make that my main site as I agreed with the overall environment. I dreamt and eventually registered my own business, so that I could tap on my own experiences with all the elements mentioned earlier. And, I started and run it all by myself, with the support of my hubby and family.

Tips for online businesses: Stay happy, healthy and work hard. Success will soon come your way. Be prepared to be firm, professional and friendly.

Tips for moms: If you need to leave your kids some place, while you spend the time working on this business, do it. Get help. Childcare is actually readily available. Try to get neighbors, friends, or even relatives to help for 2hours a day. It can do wonders for you!

What is your favorite place to visit: I miss France!! The place is really beautiful. We could just pack for the weekend, and drive off to other little towns for a holiday anytime. Here in Singapore, we don't do that as it's only a small island.

Your comfort food: Chocolates.

If you were able to do anything in the world, what would it be and why: I want to be 21 years old, every year. That is the loveliest time, where I had the energy and mood to work hard for everything and anything!

Here are some of Diana's favorite items:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Recipe for Busy Moms

Rather than this blog being only about promoting our members' art (which we will certainly be doing frequently because we have such talented Mom-Artists), our blogging team decided we would also write about other topics of interest to busy moms. Our desire is to make this blog a place for lots of fun and interesting ideas we'd like to share. Consequently, in the future look for articles about Family Life Tips, Tutorials (How-To articles), as well as spotlighting our Cafemom Artfire Team moms and their work and special events.

Another topic will be wonderful recipes that are both delicious and time-saving. We all know how tough it is sometimes to be a mom and family member, homemaker, wife / partner, and still have some time leftover to create! The recipe I am sharing below is one of my family's very favorites and it is certainly easy to put together, as you'll see.


Delicious and easy recipe. You basically throw everything together in a casserole dish and your family will ask for more every time!

1— 1½ lbs. ground beef, browned in skillet and drained
1 chopped onion
3 cups raw macaroni
1 can tomato soup + ½ can water
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ cup catsup
½ tsp salt and dash pepper
¾ cup cheddar cheese, cubed

NOTE: Can substitute ground turkey or even chopped veggies or TVP soaked in vegetable stock instead of ground beef, for the health conscious or vegetarian moms out there.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (moderate oven). Combine remaining ingredients in bowl, and add cooked, drained ground beef and onions to bowl, mixing well.

Put all in greased, covered casserole dish for 1 hour, or until macaroni is cooked.

Try it and let us know how you like it. Feedback is always welcome here.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Feeding your studio and blog to twitter...

Hi ACT Members,

Do you know that you can rss your new blog posts and new product listings directly and automatically to your twitter account?? This means that your twitter account will have a new message, everytime you publish a new post on your blog and everytime you add a new product to your artfire or etsy shop. This allows you to reach your twitter followers without having to login everyday to post them all over again!!

Fellow ArtFire Artisan NinjaJenn has a fabulous tutorial on this.. Its really easy and simple to follow through. Do it now!!

Here is the link... http://ninjajenn.blogspot.com/2009/03/twitterfeed-and-your-artfire-studio.html!!

Artfire Cafemom Team Suppliers

Happy St. Paddy's Day everyone! Hope everyone is wearing a bit of green, perhaps something from one of our studios, in order to avoid pinches today.

Since we've already highlighted green, I thought for today's feature that I would highlight some of our wonderful studios that help make our shops possible with supplying us, well with, supplies.

First up is pinkflamingo61 who carries sewing supplies, vintage, and new unusual supplies for the altered artist and steampunkers. I found this adorable typewriter charm embellishment while browsing her shop.

For all you resin lovers out there ResinObsession supplies us with all our resin needs, including resin of course, moulds, bezels, sealants and more. I love these jewel frames and can imagine many different ways to incorporate them into something crafty.

Iheart carries decor tapes , stamp kits and paper supplies for various crafting needs. These cute stickers would look adorable in any scrapbook.

At matsbeads you will be able to get tools, thread, beads and findings. I found this tool there that I never knew I needed but of course want now.

Spiritbearbeads supplies us with a beautiful array of beads and zuni bears. While browsing I fell in love with these cute little zuni bears.

This is only a handful of suppliers from our wonderful Artfire Cafemom Team Members to check out the rest visit http://www.artfire.com/. Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Featuring ArtFireCafeMomTeam....

Beautiful handmade creations, by ACT artisans. Click on the item to find out more.. And, the best thing is they are linked to ArtFire's Rapid Cart. Rapid Cart allows you to make your purchase online, without setting up an account and all the hassles!! Check them out right now!

Ps; ACT Members, please remember to tag your products with "Artfire Cafemom Team" to be featured here and everywhere!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

St Patrick's Day

Since St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner, I thought I would highlight some team items that feature the color green! Click on the photo to get to their shop.

This green glass plate crafted by SpiritEssenceArt would be the perfect item to get your house in the green spirit! It measures 5.5"x5.5".

This is the perfect St Patrick's Day outfit for your little one! This outfit was cleverly crafted by StitchNLove. It is sized at 3T and made out of adorable nursery rhyme fabric.

This is a beautiful stained glass clover by ByCoco. It measures 6"x6" and would look beautiful hanging in your window!

This is a beautiful bracelet crafted by JewelryByJanzia. This bracelet is made with Czech fire polished emerald beads and crystal rhinestone rondelles. This would be the perfect accessory to your St Patrick's Day outfit!
This is the perfect burp cloth set for that modern mommy! These burp cloths were crafted by JazzyJemz and measure 10x18 inches. The underside is made from terry cloth which makes is extra absorbent and helps keep the cloth in place in your shoulder.

This is a cute mini korker set crafted by BowsforBaby. They are attached to an alligator clip and all come with a no slip grip. How cute would that small green korker look holding your little ones hair back?

Thank you so much for taking a look at all of our items. There are a lot more items on Artfire made by the wonderfully talented Artfire Cafemom Team (ACT). If you would like to see all of items, just search for "Artfire Cafemom Team". We offer a wide variety of items that appeal to every individual!

Bows For Baby

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New membership

I am very excited. Our Artfire Cafemom Team guild on Artfire is growing by leaps and bounds. We will have 150 members soon!

Here are some more awesome items from our group of moms. Please click on the photo to visit their shop:
Sterling Silver Necklace with Clear Beads
So Soft Baby Blue Afghan
Vintage Spring Cherries Medium Zipper Pouch
Brown & Orange Wool Baby Boots- Toddler Slippers

Thanks for looking!!! Remember to search "Artfire Cafemom Team" on Artfire to find more fabulous products from our talented guild

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Did you know?

That Artfire just released its new online newsletter?

You can subscribe to it via RSS.

It is all from Artfire buyers and sellers. So if you want to be spotlighted in the newsletter you need to submit your information. Its still in its testing stages, but go check it out:


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Behind the shop - Stitch N Love

Today we have our first Behind the Shop look at one of our fabulous members!!

Stitch N Love is one of our pioneer members and has the most adorable clothes for infants, toddlers, children. She also has priceless mommy must haves for our kids. Saving us time and frustration- which every moms knows is necessary when running a household.

You can see her shop at http://www.stitchnlove.artfire.com/

Here is the question and answer session with Christie, the mom behind the shop.

Tell me a bit about you: Mom to total of six :19 (ss), 16(ss), 14(dd), 12(ds), 3(dd) and 16 months(ds). Proud miltary wife. Have a master's degree in Technology in Education and a bachelor's in Early Childhood Education. Love to create all kinds of things when not spending time with the family or on the computer.

What made you get into your craft?: My mom taught me how to sew when I was a teenager. Made a few things and stopped. When I had my first child, I started sewing to make her simple things. I think my first thing was a Halloween costume for her and a cousin. She was a cow. Then I would just sew for costumes and kids clothing. Stopped when I started teaching. Would sew like once every so many years. In 2004, started costume sewing again and then in 2008, started making some quilts after my grandma offered to buy me a long arm quilting table. Every week, it grew to more and more sewing of things. I see it and if I think I can, I will try to make it.

Tips for online businesses: Be organized. I wasn't the first few months. Write everything down in one or two spots so that you can find it. Save EVERY receipt.

Tips for moms : Don't let your job consume you. Take time for your family everyday. Sleep when you are tired!

What is your favorite place to visit: Right now? I love to visit my husband's family in CO. We live near the ocean, so it's different. Plus his family is very loving and have embraced me and my two oldest kids into the family in the three years that we have been married. I love to wake up and see the mountains, but I love to go to in the river at home too. I want the best of both of my worlds!

Your comfort food: C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E and Peanut Butter

If you were able to do anything in the world , what would it be and why: lol, own a sucessful shop and enjoy my life that I have. To be able to create clothing, nap mats, or anything else that brings such smiles to the faces of others is awesome. My family is a blessing from up above. Sometimes I lose sight of that, get hung up in the day-to-day stresses of life, but I would not trade anyone in my family or anything that has happened to me so far. I wouldn't be who I am. I have to always remember that.

Christie's favorite items in her shop- you can visit the item by clicking the photo

3T Girly Skulls Three Piece Peasant Top, Dress and Bottom

Christie says she absolutely loved making this item since it so versatile!

Ice Pop Finger Savers

"They are a Godsend"

Ribbon Key Fob

"These are just the right size to be found in the bottom of a purse and actually fit around my hand! And I am not a dainty person!"

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Welcome to Artfire Cafemom Team

Welcome to our new blog. We are a brand new guild on Artfire.com Our guild presently has over 100 members !

All of our members are wonderfully talented in their crafts. We will be spotliting our members and there products over the next few weeks.

You can see our members products by going to artfire and searching for "Artfire Cafemom Team"

Here is a sneek peak. Visit the store by clicking on the photo:

Amethyst Pendent by Creations With Heart

Light Cream Toddler Beanie with Hair Bow by Bows for Baby

Pink and Brown Toile Tote bag by Francisbel

Black Dichronic Sushi Set by Spirit Essence Art

Please support our new guild and its members as we all have wonderful handmade items!