die-cut business cards

Sponsor Giveaway: Die Cut Business Cards from UPrinting

UPrinting – a leading online printing and marketing company has offered to sponsor a giveaway for theshopbug readers.  If you are a business owner or a Solo Entrepreneur, this giveaway is perfect.

You can win 1 package (250 pcs) of die cut business cards from Uprinting.  To join, all you have to do is check out Uprinting’s website, then please come back here and leave a comment, telling us which business card shape you like best.

Die cut business cards have unique shapes and styles like the ones shown here.  You can try to create your own design from scratch using ready-to-use tools available from the website or you can simply upload an existing business card design from your file.  You can also request for a free sample.

The winner will be picked via random number generator on July 25,2011.

die-cut business cards

Prize details:

250 pcs Die Cut Business Cards for one winner

2 x 3..5″ Rounded Corners, 2×2″ Rounded Corners, 1.75×3.5″ Rounded Corners, 2×3.5″ Leaf, 2×3.5 Rounded one corner, 2×3.5″ Half Circle Side, 2×3.5″ Oval, 2.5″ Circle

14pt Cardstock Gloss / Matte / High Gloss (UV), or 13pt Cardstock Uncoated,

6 Business Days Turnaround *Free shipping

* die-cut business card templates available for download

Limited to *US residents, 18 years old and above only.

This business cards giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given for hosting. The chosen winner must NOT have won the same print giveaway from UPrinting in the past six months. For more information about online printing services, please visit

Miansai Frienship Bracelets

New Blog Banner, Frienship Bracelets & a Giveaway from Miansai

Finally, my connection is back.  How is everyone? I miss the blogging community so much.  I hope everyone’s doing great and I am looking forward to new blog reads.

BTW, if you noticed my blog has a new banner, thanks to an awesome, talented friend.  I’m going to be posting more of his works soon.  What do you think about my new banner?  I personally think it is soooo much better than my old one but still wanted to get the opinion of my readers.  Please, if you have time, kindly share with me your thoughts or suggestions 🙂  It will be so appreciated.

Meanwhile, Michael Saiger has created new styles of friendship bracelets for Miansai‘s Fall 2011 collection and Refinery29 is hosting a giveaway.  You can join here.

Giveaway Winners

Announcing the Giveaway Winners

Finally, here are our giveaway winners:
The winner of the Shabby Apple Giveaway is miekentoshfairie!
The winner of the Bluebird Bijou Giveaway is Rebecca.
Congratulations to our winners and I am so sorry for the unexpected delay with the announcement.  Thank you so much to everyone who joined.  I hope you continue supporting these two fabulous shops and theshopbug. There will be more giveaways and exciting posts to come!

Fab Dress Giveaway from Shabby Apple

I’m so excited that Shabby Apple asked me to host a giveaway for them. Isn’t it a fantastic way to start the month?

Yes, one reader will win this beautiful 24k satin dress from Shabby Applewhich is worth $98.00. This metallic dress has a shirt collar, two hidden pockets and empire waist so it’s very forgiving for all body types.  (Please, read the rules at the bottom of this post on how to enter).

Shabby Apple is owned by partners Emily and CK. Their mission? To offer women one-piece outfits that are stylish, simple, comfortable and does not require any addition to complete (tank top, cardigan, long slip, camisole, etc.)
This clothing store offers apparel and accessories for women and children and has been featured in popular blogs, websites, and magazines such as Marie Claire, People, Teen Vogue,Southern Living, Pregnancy and Newborn, just to name a few.
It is also in partnership with Unitus-a non-profit organization dedicated to life-changing financial services for those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Shabby Apple sources many of its textiles from India and donates 5% of its net sales to support work there.
If you can’t wait to win and would like to purchase from their shop, you can enjoy a 10% discount. Just use the code shopbug10off.

I personally can’t get enough of the black & white ensembles.  Classic and feminine.  I also love their swimwear collection!  The bathing suits are tasteful and not too revealing at all.  And if you’re a mom to be, check out the maternity collection.  Now, for my favorite pieces.

Black & White:

You must do these two simple steps:

1.  “LIKE” Shabby Apple on Facebook and enjoy exclusive promotions and discounts.
2. Leave a comment and tell us your favorite piece/s from the shop. Please leave a comment for your entry to be counted.  If you don’t have a blog or website, don’t forget to include your email address so I can contact you if you win.

Extra Entries:
(Please leave a comment for each additional entry)
Be a follower of this blog (click on the FOLLOW button on the right sidebar).
Post this giveaway on your facebook.
Post this giveaway on your blog.
You have until March 15th to enter the giveaway.  The winner will be chosen by March 16th. Due to shipping issues, only US residents can join. (I’m so sorry to my international readers, I’ll be finding giveaway opportunities for you soon). Thanks in advance to everyone who will participate:)
Shop of the Week Laughing Taffy + Giveaway

Shop of the Week: Laughing Taffy + Giveaway

I am guilty of not posting last week but I intend to make up for it with a series of fabulous posts this week. And because it is Monday, I am happy to introduce you all to our Shop of the WeekLaughing Taffy Designs, a shop where you can find an assortment of home decor items like photo frames, decorative coat hooks, trinket organizers, gift tags and coasters.

Jennifer not only answered questions for us but also offered to giveaway two items from her shop: a set of coasters and a picture frame. Thanks Jen:) To enter the giveaway, just read the interview and leave a comment. (Pls. read details for additional entries below the interview.)


coasters and frame giveaway

What’s the inspiration behind your shop’s name?

As silly as it might sound, my shop’s name, Laughing Taffy Designs, came to me as I was watching my cat Taffy play. Taffy is a large, lovable cat who’s constantly happy and smiling and that’s where the “Laughing” part of the name came from.


Plus to me, laughing taffy conjures up images of fun,bright colors, whimsical scenes and people just having a good time. Hopefully that’s what my frames and home decor pieces bring into someone’s home, a sense of fun and color.


laughing taffy cat
 Taffy, the cat

How old is your shop?

Laughing Taffy Designs is a little over a year and a half old. It’s growing slowly and I am learning a lot along the way and growing with it.

What inspired you to start your own home business?

What inspired me, several things inspired me. One inspiration was finding Etsy. I was amazed to see everyone’s creations on there and to see similar items to the ones I made for my friends and family, and then amazed even more that those items were selling. But it was my boyfriend that really talked me into it. He had great confidence in my craft and what I did and pretty much forced me down at the computer to open up a shop on Etsy. I am so glad he did that!

etsy handmade coasters

Can you give us a peek on the creative process involved in your craft?

My creative juices start flowing when I see a fabulous pattern or bright colors on fabric or paper or take a single step into a craft store. When it comes to my frames or other decoupage items, I tend to start with a patterned paper I love. Then I look for a complimentary pattern or color that’s not quite as loud to go with the primary pattern. The paper is then cut down to size, placed on the object at hand and then all the edges are sanded down to give the piece a nice worn, loved look.
As for the coasters, I look for stamps that I can add something to to make it unique. As for the papers, I look for styles/patterns, that after going through the gel transfer process, allow for the character of the tile to show through the pattern of the paper.
When I get stuck and can’t think of anything to do or start to get a little bored, I try something new. That’s how I started making the coasters and handmade flowers. The new projects tend to spark my crafty side and I am no longer bored with any type of project.


work station
Jennifer’s work station

What was the toughest challenge you faced so far?

After getting over the challenge of putting myself out there and seeing if people would actually like what I made, the toughest challenge has been finding the time and space to do what I love. I am a nanny full time for 3 great kids, which means almost 12 hours of my day, Monday through Friday, is devoted to the family that I work for.

I also live in the family’s home in what could be considered a studio apartment, so space is something that is very precious and comes at a high price for me. And it is space that I really need when working on my projects since I really like to lay everything out in front of me before putting it all together.

work desk

How did you get over it?

I have overcome these challenges though by coming up with creative solutions. I will do parts of a project when there is a little down time in the day’s schedule or I’ll get the kids involved and let them do a project for their parents or to sell at a craft show, while I am working on my project (they love that!).
I have found that there is always a way to find time, even if you don’t think there’s any left in the day. As for the space situation, I have had to think of alternate ways to store items, so they look nice and are easy to get to. The newest solution I came up with (just a few days ago) was keeping all my pads of paper in plate drying racks. Those racks have made a world of difference in storing my paper and making it super easy to see what I have.

Please Name:
the things you do when you’re not busy in your shop

Well when I’m not busy with my shop, I am usually being a nanny for 3 great kids, an 8yr boy, 15yr girl and a not so little soon to be 18yr boy 🙂 But when I’m not working in the shop or being a nanny, I can be found reading period based novels, playing with my two cats, hanging out with my boyfriend, going to movies, and really, just trying to relax.

stuff inside your bag you can’t leave home without

hmmm… the stuff I can’t leave home without are my cell phone, mints, dental floss, hair tie, kleenex, and the newest item I can’t leave home without is my new camera I just got, I love that thing! 🙂

your favorite shops

A couple of my favorite shops on Etsy are, Hadly Hutton, Mojo Spa Style, Maries Corner, Art Cult, and I could go on and on, but I’ll stop with those four.

your top 3 favorite picks from your shop

Asking me to choose my top 3 picks from my own shop is like asking me to choose between my two cats, they are all my favorites, I put love into each one. But if I had to choose it would be the Happy Birds-Set of 4 Coasters, the Lollipop Flower Frame, and A Sweet Trinket Chest.
laughing taffer home decor

What tips would you want to share for aspiring home based entrepreneurs like you?

I would say choose something you love doing and just go for it. It takes time, patience and a giant leap of faith, because no one ever got anywhere by just standing still. I would also say don’t get discouraged. If you believe in and stand by your product then others will too, it just takes some time. Networking is also huge in trying to get your name and items out there, and it’s something that I am still working on.


shop owner and designer
 Jennifer, owner/designer of Laughing Taffy Designs

Any message to your customers and the people who support you?

To those that have been to my shop and stopped by my booth at craft shows, I thank you so much for your support. Meeting new people, making those connections at the shows and seeing the smiles my pieces give you makes the shows, running my Etsy shop and website so rewarding to me. And to my family, friends and especially my boyfriend, I really can’t thank you enough for all your support and really pushing me into doing something that I really love doing.

To enter the giveaway:


1. Leave a comment about the interview. 
(irrelevant comments will not be counted) (1 entry)

Additional Entries:

2. Become a follower of my blog by clicking the FOLLOW button on the sidebar.
Leave a separate comment that you followed. (1 entry)
3.  Twit or Facebook about this giveaway.
Leave a separate comment.
(if you Twit, please tag it as @theshopbug) (1 entry)
4 Blog about this giveaway.

Leave a separate comment with your blog’s URL.  (1 entry)

The winner will be picked via Random generator and will be announced on Monday, September 20.


Thank you so much Jennifer for this great interview & giveaway! 
Shop of the Week Joom

Shop of the Week: Joom

I have featured one of Joom’s pillows last month on my post, beautiful blue things. Joom Klangsin graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts in Silpakorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.  Then in 1996 she studied graphic design at the Academy of Arts College, California.  She personally creates pouches, bags, pillows, print and artwork with bird designs from her home in San Francisco.

As our Shop of the Week, Joom is giving away one of her signature pouches to one commenter.  This lovely pink coral cotton canvas with a Cardinal on Agapanthus screen print.  You can read details on how to join after the interview.

What’s the inspiration behind your shop’s name?

Joom is my nick name which is short and easy to remember.

Read the entire interview on Beautiful Handmade blog.

Shop of the Week: Maneggi + a Giveaway

I am terribly sorry for not properly posting last week but I am happy to start this week with another Shop of the Week interview.  Nikki Ainscow is the owner of the new Etsy shop called, Maneggi. It is always a pleasure to help out new shops so thank you Nikki, for writing me and for being part of this segment.

Nikki is also generous enough to giveaway this grey Abbeliska petite ruffle necklace to one commenter.  (You can read the details on how to enter after the interview 🙂

What’s the inspiration behind your shop’s name?
I found it so hard to pick my shop name, I knew what I wanted just couldn’t find the right word, that’s when I began searching other languages to find the right name. I have a slight obsession with Italy ever since I holidayed there some years ago, so the Italian language seemed the perfect place to look. Maneggi – is the Italian term for handling/doing something with your hands which seemed to fit perfectly. I instantly fell in love and it stuck.
How old is your shop?
Maneggi is still in it’s first year and has developed dramatically since it began. I have tested what works and what doesn’t and ultimately am creating the things that make me happiest, at the moment that is my jewellery and accessories but this could change again as I progress. It’s really exciting.
What inspired you to start your own home business?
After I graduated I knew I wanted to create I just didn’t know what or how. I exhibited my portfolio and final year collection, it was then that people commented that I should turn my pieces into jewellery and embellishment. This got me thinking and I began developing my ideas. I have always been creative and always dreamed of having my own ‘design’ business but was unsure what form this would take. For many years I wanted to be an interior designer, it was only after my degree in textile craft that I found my passion for accessories.
Can you give us a peek on the creative process involved in your craft?
I begin by surrounding myself with materials and supplies (this gets quite messy) then refer to my notebook for my latest ideas and sketches and just begin to manipulate and experiment until I am happy. I work and rework ideas until I produce the finished product. I like to work on a few items at once so I am forever surrounded with half finished necklaces and brooches then move on to another item before I go back and complete it.
What was the toughest challenge you faced so far?

Managing my time has been the hardest part of running my own business as I work full time at the moment, I have struggled to find the right balance.

How did you get over it?

I still haven’t managed to work this out, I seem to spend all my spare time sewing and creating but this is what I love to do and I know ultimately it will allow me my dream of quitting my day job. One day . . . .

Please Name:
the things you do when you’re not busy in your shop

drink cocktails, shop, watch rugby, cycle, read, eat out

stuff inside your bag you can’t leave home without

•    Notebook (also referred to as my Bible)
•    Iphone
•    Camera

your favorite shops

This is soooo hard as I love so many shops on etsy but I think my absolute favs are:

your top 3 favorite picks from your shop
Abbellisca Petite Ruffle Necklace – So cute and feminine
Abbellisca – Black Spiral Necklace – I love this necklace I wear mine all the time it adds a little bit of glamour to an ordinary outfit
Maneggi Me . . . Nautical – These brooch sets are so easy to wear and customise anything
What tips would you want to share for aspiring home based entrepreneurs like you?
Never give up, it can be very frustrating when sales are slow or you don’t seem to be getting anywhere. I use times like these to get organised and develop new designs. I have really learned to improve my photography and this has seen an increase in sales and features in treasuries and blogs. I am still learning so much and read everything I can get my hands on to help me improve.
Nikki Ainscow, owner/designer of Maneggi
Any message to your customers and the people who support you?
A Huge thank you to everyone who has supported Maneggi. The customers are what make a handmade business so enjoyable as the feedback and comments I receive are worth all the effort I put into my items. I would also like to say a big thank you to my family who have been so supportive and are behind me all the way.
To enter the giveaway:
1. Hop over Maneggi. Then come back here and tell us your favorite piece from the shop. (1 entry)
Additional Entries:
2. Become a follower of my blog by clicking the FOLLOW button on the sidebar. (1 entry)
3.  Twit or Facebook about this giveaway. (if you Twit, please tag it as @theshopbug) (1 entry)
4 Blog about this giveaway. Please leave your blog’s URL in your comment.  (1 entry)

The winner will be picked via Random generator and will be announced on Monday, August 23.

Thank you so much Nikki for this great interview & giveaway!  
All the Best to Maneggi!