We Have A Winnah!

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Well, the $10 Rare Bird Boutique Shop Credit Giveaway is officially over and now it’s time to announce a winner:

Congratulations to Yasmin! She will get to use her store credit shopping in my Etsy shop or my Instagram shop. Yasmin’s $10 credit expires a year from now, so she can shop now or wait for that special something. Always check back and see Rare Bird Boutique’s new listings and sales.

Thank you again to Yasmin and everyone else that participated. These giveaways are so much fun. I will definitely have another one real soon… so stay tuned!

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Who’s That Lady?

After just scheduling some strategic tweets about my current giveaway, I realized I need to schedule some blog posts too. Can’t be blogging a couple of times a week, when I have time… BORING! But, while I have you and your attention, I think I am going to introduce myself, aka blogger/seller/human.

See that profile pic off to the side? Yep, that’s me, Melanie. You know I love design/art/decorating/animals/vintage, just as it says. To be more precise, I will go into detail:

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ART. Art has been a big part of my life. I took it throughout middle school and was in AP Art in high school. Continuing on into college, I graduated with my BFA in Art from the University of Texas at Arlington. I enjoy painting and collage as creative outlets, but really can’t seem to get invested in doing them anymore. I took a painting class at the AMOA Laguna Gloria last Spring and fell right back in love. It’s still there… when I find inspiration and time.

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DESIGN. My last year in college though, I decided to focus on graphic design. I dabble in a little bit of it now with my job creating the company weekly sales newsletters, but I’m no logo/branding creating genius. I just admire all of that from afar like packaging/illustration/typography.

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DECORATING. Geez, obsessed much? Just look at my Pinterest board. My style in a nutshell: Modern Eclectic (modern mixed with antiques/vintage). Decorating has been in my blood since I was a kid though. My room was always pristine and decorated. I collected Barbie’s, but I also asked for and bought decor & furniture for my room. Embarrassingly enough, in high school, I even had a sign on my bed to not sit on it. Everything was in it’s perfectly staged place. Who I was trying to impress, I don’t know, but it sure makes me laugh today. Creating your happy place is serious business, folks!

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ANIMALS. Where do I begin? This is my weakness; they are my heart. I go right into “baby” voice mode when I am around pets and other animals, even on screen like Pinterest. My friends laugh at me as I gravitate towards someone’s dog on the street or talk to the cows as I drive by… I am a sucker. But with this love comes sensitivity. I get absolutely destroyed hearing about animal abuse or seeing shelter dogs. I freak out when I see a dog on the loose. Can’t tell you how many times my husband and I have stopped to help out a lost or dumped dog. I even stop the car and move turtles out of the road. I could go on and on. I bleed (and brake) for animals.

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VINTAGE. This all started in college just by perusing the antique stores in Grapevine, TX. I started collecting some odd pieces for the apartment, mixing it into the decor, and it became an instant hit with friends. In 2007, I decided to open my own Etsy shop to sell my handmade and vintage wares. And over the past couple of years, I started to “rescue” vintage by thrifting and going to estate sales for inventory. I love vintage Pyrex and other glass bakeware, children’s books, barware, furniture, kitschy ceramic planters… But all of this shows because I sell what I love.

Hope that helps a little more, getting to know who is behind the “Hand on Hip” blog and Rare Bird Boutique Etsy/Instagram shops.

More to come!

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PS: My $10 Rare Bird Boutique Shop Credit Giveaway ends today at midnight CST. Be sure to enter soon!

 

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Back To The Basics

As I am writing this, Aaliyah’s “Try Again” lyrics are playing through my head:

It’s been a long time 

We shouldn’t have left you

Without a dope beat to step to…

Well, it’s Timbaland rapping, but you get the picture. I’ve neglected this blog. I feel pretty rotten about it, but things got busy, crazy, and now slow. I can refocus again. Let’s see, I need to catch you up!

1. Rare Bird Boutique is no longer featured in Cherry Tree Creative or Little Liberty’s in downtown Taylor, Texas. Just wrapped things up there this Spring.

2.Instagram sales picked up on my other account at @rarebirdforsale for a while, but eerily, they are slow now.

3. I hosted my 2nd Vintage Market at my home in April. Bad idea to host the day before a holiday, but nonetheless, it was fun! My friend Kristin of After While Crocodile Vintage vended with me again and we also had a mini garage sale.

4. I took everything off Etsy at the beginning of the year and now I am slowly adding items back on. Free shipping in June, folks!

5. Did I mention that I went back to work last September as well? No more sabbatical. I am back to my marketing gig, part-time for a former employer.

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Sadly, I came down with the flu, fast & furious after this picture was taken at my 2nd Vintage Market.

 

So as you can see, things are slow and in a rebuilding process. I had branched out in so many ways with Rare Bird Boutique, that the blog had suffered. In these times, I can come back, regroup and write when inspired. Times like these make you reflect and wonder why things are slow. It could be that I need to reconnect with an audience again therefore, it’s “Back to the Basics”.

Hope you’ll stick around to enjoy the blog and more! I look forward to this down time to reintroduce myself, the blog, my shop and lifestyle to the reader.

Best wishes,

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Don’t forget! I am hosting a $10 Rare Bird Boutique Shop Credit Giveaway until 6/24. Details in this post.

Rare Bird Boutique Giveaway!

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Rare Bird Boutique, my vintage shop, is having a giveaway for a $10 shop credit. You can use the credit in my Etsy or Instagram shops! Contest runs 6/15 through 6/23/2014, ending by 6/24.

Click here for more details and to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway.

Good luck!

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“Sharing the Love” Surprise Giveaway Winner Is…

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**Ding ding ding! We have a winnah!**

Congratulations to Chasity B. for entering my giveaway and earning a $20 shop credit to Rare Bird Boutique. Have fun shopping!

Also, I want to thank you all for participating in my contest, following my FB page, Grateful Pets Rescue‘s FB page, my Twitter and for all of the feedback. You deserve something in return. Please be sure to use discount code THANKYOU10 for 10% off your next purchase at checkout.

Now, stay tuned for more contests in the near future. SHaRinG the LoVe is what I do!

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Surprise 2012! I’m having a Giveaway…

    ***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries***

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Ends at midnight on 7/25 (EST). Get a jump start by entering now!

Yep, I decided to “Share the Love” by giving away a $20 credit to my shop, Rare Bird Boutique. I am also sharing the love by promoting my friend’s page: Grateful Pets Rescue. You can gain extra entries in the contest by visiting their page! See contest details…

CLICK THE FOLLOWING TO ENTER

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

OR

go to my Facebook page and click the “Giveaway” app, up top.

I know it’s been quiet this year, but for the sake of the animals, I wanted to promote the pups and get the word out. It can benefit you by earning a chance to win a $20 credit towards some great vintage.

Good Luck!

A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words Giveaway Winners!

As of now, the ” Picture is Worth a 1000 Words” Giveaway has ended. Thanks so much to Gary at Photoz by Gary for sponsoring my summer giveaway. I really enjoyed reading all the lovely comments from our contestants. I also wanted to thank everyone for reading my blog, checking out Gary’s Etsy shop and especially for playing! And now for the important part of the giveaway: announcing the winners! That’s right, Gary has graciously decided to award a second and third place prize of any high quality digital image in his shop.

Custom Enhancement of Your Photographs

Love at First Sight

To recall this past week, you had a chance to win 1 out of the 6 Custom Photography Services available from Photoz by Gary by 1) going to Photoz by Gary and picking out your favorite item, hearting it, then commenting with the name of the item here, 2) following Gary on Twitter and leaving a comment letting me know your Twitter name and that you followed him, OR 3) commenting on the post with the words “A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words”. And that lucky winner is… drumroll please… Laurie Graybill! Laurie entered the contest by choosing option #2. Congratulations, friend!

*And now for the extra bonus of a second and third place winner. They will both get their choice of any digital image in the shop. TA-DAAAAH! Second & third place goes to… Crystal & Juniper Grace! Congratulations, ladies!

From me and Gary at Photoz by Gary – Enjoy these special photo prizes!

To the rest of the Hand On Hip audience, keep reading and stay posted for more giveaways in the future.

A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words – Giveaway

***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries***

Summer is almost over and there has not been one giveaway! Have no fear, one is near… like starting today!

Thanks to Etsy shop Photoz by Gary, my father-in-law by the way, he will be sponsoring this summer’s only giveaway. Gary’s shop offers “a variety of digital images and photography services” plus as of recent, has now expanded to include vintage items. Now, on to the prize! You will have your pick of 1 out of the 6 Custom Photography Services available – all at a $10 value. You will receive a high quality digital image to print as many times as you want, anywhere you want. This would be great for Save the Date & Birth Announcements, Custom Greeting/Christmas Cards, Photo Restoration, and more!

(See contest rules at the end of this post.)

Photo Restoration

Custom Announcement – Birth, Save the Date, Your Choice!

Even though I know my subject quite well, I did a Q&A with Gary so you can find out more about him and Photoz by Gary.

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MELANIE: Welcome to “Hand on Hip” Gary! Why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself.

PHOTOZ BY GARY: I’ve been doing photography and photo editing for about 12 years now. I’ve worked professionally as a portrait and sports photographer. I like all kinds of photography; portraits, nature, landscapes, sports, etc. I love catching that unique expression in people and animals that tells the character and mood of the subject.

MELANIE: How did you get started in photography?

PHOTOZ BY GARY: I got started with photography as an outlet to the stress I have in my management career. The more I did, the more I found it to be relaxing and a way to refocus my mind on something other than work.

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MELANIE: What is your inspiration/motivation for taking pictures and editing them?

PHOTOZ BY GARY: In photography, my goals are different depending on the type of work I’m doing. When taking/editing portraits, my goal is to show the subject in a way that shows their personality; someone’s expression, their smile and most importantly their eyes. When doing most other types of photography, I’m telling a story about the scene or image in a way that draws the viewer into the picture. I always try to encourage viewers (with the photograph) to linger when looking at the image. Something about the image must draw and keep their attention.

MELANIE: Give us a brief description of your Etsy shop and what it offers.

PHOTOZ BY GARY: My shop offers a variety of photography styles and services. Shoppers can buy one of my images or allow me the privilege of creating, enhancing or restoring their photograph(s). I have vintage post cards which can be customized to meet anyone’s needs; birthday, anniversary, party invitation or announcement of a new baby arrival. In addition, I’ve recently begun to offer a variety of vintage items as well; books, albums, china, furniture, etc. I love to find deals and share them with my customers. One of my pastimes is antiquing. I love seeing the craftsmanship and differences in style.

I hope you enjoy my Etsy shop, Photoz by Gary!

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CONTEST

Thanks again to Gary, my father-in-law and shop owner of Photoz by Gary! Be sure to check out his other photography, custom cards & invitations as well as his vintage items too. Now that you have kindly read the interview, here is how you can enter the contest to win 1 out of the 6 Custom Photography ServicesYour choice at a $10 value!

There is ONE way to enter, choosing from options 1, 2, OR 3:

1) Go to Photoz by Gary and pick out your favorite item, heart it, then comment with the name of the item here.

2) Follow Gary on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know your Twitter name and that you followed him. (I will check. So please, no cheating!)

3) Comment on this post with the words: “A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words“.

…and be sure to show your Etsy love and support by adding this seller to your favorite shops list! Easy as that.

This giveaway will begin as soon as this is posted (8/22/11) and will end on 8/29/2011 at 7 pm CST. One winner will be selected using random.org and will be announced in a post at the end of the contest. One entry per person is permitted. Prize ships anywhere in the world! *Email addresses are appreciated so that I can contact a winner!

Happy shopping, have fun, and good luck!

“Purrfectly Pleasing” First Place Goes To…

As of now, the “Purrfectly Pleasing” Giveaway has ended. Thanks so much to Karen at Meow Boutique for sponsoring myfourth contest. I have really enjoyed reading your comments about my mom-in-law’s shop! I also wanted to thank everyone for playing, reading/subscribing to my blog, and checking out Karen’s delightful shop. Now it’s time to award the prize to one lucky Hand On Hip contestant, selected randomly using random.org.

Black Satin Evening Bag 

To recall this past week, you had a chance to win a stunning black satin evening bag fromMeow Boutique by 1) picking out your favorite item from the shop and posting it on here, 2) subscribing to my blog “Hand on Hip”, OR 3) commenting on the post with the words “WE ARE SIAMESE IF YOU PLEASE”. And that lucky winner is… drumroll please… Lola Malone! Lola entered the contest by choosing option #1 and said, “My favorite item is the apron with ruffled red and white trim. Super cute!!!”

Congratulations to Lola! From me and Karen at Meow Boutique – Enjoy a night out on the town with your new gorgeous evening bag!

To the rest of the Hand On Hip audience, keep reading and stay posted for more giveaways in the future. It’s been real! Real fun!

Purrfectly Pleasing To The Eyes – Giveaway

***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries***

Okay, so I decided to have one more contest! How could I say ‘no’ to my future mother-in-law? Thanks to Karen at Meow Boutique, she will be sponsoring my fourth giveaway. Karen’s shop features everything from her very own creations, “artistically altered or embellished” items, vintage pieces, gift baskets, and more. Now, you will have a chance to win a beautiful, black satin evening bag embellished with a white satin flower. (See contest rules at the end of this post.)

Black Evening Bag

Even though I know my subject quite well, I did a Q&A with Karen so you can find out more about her and Meow Boutique.

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MELANIE: Welcome to “Hand on Hip” Mom… Um, I mean Karen! Why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself and where your creations come from?

MEOW BOUTIQUE: I was an Air Force brat and have lived in many places as a child. I was born in Ontario, Canada, while my father was stationed there. We moved to Denison, Texas, when I was in the 6th grade, after my dad retired from the Air Force.  My husband and I have lived in quite a few places in the U.S., but we call Texas our home.

Black Top with Hot Pink Trim and Torn Rose Brooch

MELANIE: When did you get started “artistically altering and embellishing” your items?

MEOW BOUTIQUE: I have been altering and embellishing items for about 5 or 6 years now. I can never find exactly what I am looking for in stores, so that I add to it or change it into what I think looks good.

MELANIE: Let’s talk about one of your own creations, the vacuum cleaner cover.

MEOW BOUTIQUE: My vacuum cleaner is big and bright yellow and I did not have a place to store it out of sight. It was such an eyesore sitting in the corner of my living room where everyone could see it. The first vacuum cleaner cover I made was out of recycled curtains that I had made and wasn’t using anymore. I had asked my son what he thought of it and he commented that you don’t even notice that it’s sitting in the corner. That made me think that maybe other people had the same problem with storage and I decided to make and sell the covers.

Black Purse with Black & White Polka Dot Fabric Flower

MELANIE: What else can you tell us about your shop?

MEOW BOUTIQUE: I chose the name “Meow Boutique because of my love for cats and because I like things that are sweet, soft, special, etc., hence the addition of lace and fabric flowers on my clothing items. In regards to my vintage and antique items, I try to find things that I think someone would want to have in their home. I shop for things I would personally like to have. The benefit is that I can enjoy the things that I buy for a time before I sell them.

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CONTEST

Thanks again to Karen, my future mother-in-law and shop owner of Meow Boutique! Be sure to also check out her ongoing sale and free shipping on certain items in the shop. Now that you have kindly read the interview, here is how you can enter the contest to win the glamorous, black satin evening bag!

There is one way to enter, choosing from options 1, 2, OR 3:

1) Go to Meow Boutique and pick out your favorite item, then post the item here.

2) Subscribe to my blog “Hand on Hip” and leave a comment letting me know (I will check. So please, no cheating!)

3) Comment on this post with the words: WE ARE SIAMESE IF YOU PLEASE  (Any “Lady and the Tramp” fans out there?)

…and be sure to show your Etsy love and support by adding this seller to your favorite shops list!

This giveaway will begin at 5:30 pm CST 7/5/2010 and will end on 7/11/2010 at 5 pm CST. One winner will be selected using random.org and will be announced in a post at the end of the contest. One entry per person is permitted. Prize ships anywhere in the United States! *Email addresses are appreciated so that I can contact a winner!

Happy shopping, have fun, and good luck!