Tuesday, August 31, 2010

still here...

It's been a while since my last post. I've just been keeping VERY busy sewing, sewing, sewing. :) Still working on a few new things for the shop, and yesterday morning I listed a new Lens Pet design! I googled an image and adjusted it a little to bring in even more color. The end result... Toucan Dan! ;) 

(I LOVE his blue legs)

I've also been brainstorming about how I can assist customers who need help choosing which size Lens Pet to buy. I've had a few people ask which one would fit their specific lens but I don't have access to anything other than my own 28-80 lens. My first thought was to buy an inexpensive/non functioning lens or two on Ebay. I don't need it for pictures since I don't use my SLR anymore, but it would be great for modeling the Lens Pets! Until I can get that worked out I decided it would be a good idea to ask customers who have purchased the Lens Pets (both sizes) to share what size lens they use them with. So if you're reading this and you have one or more Lens Pets, let me know in the comments if they're the standard or large size Pet and what size your lens/lens hood is. I figure if I put a list together it will be much easier to share with current and future customers. :) AND if you have a picture of your Lens Pet on your camera that you'd be willing to share, I'd love to see it! You can upload them to the fan photos section of my FB page. (sock monster pictures welcome too, I always love to see them in their new homes)

That's all for now folks... back to the sewing table. I'll have a handful of custom sock monster orders to share in the next couple days though so keep an eye out for those! :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Shop News...

First of all, I just wanted to touch base with everyone on a couple things regarding the shop. I know many of you are waiting on orders and I want you to know that I am sewing just as fast as I possibly can. I realize a lot of times when you're shopping online you don't really think about what goes on behind the scenes. But just so everyone is knows, MandeeFranee Designs is a one woman show! :) Just one crafty, busy, single mom of three boys. Every Lens Pet™ and sock monster is 100% hand sewn (except the scrunchies I use for the LARGE Lens Pets™, those I sew myself but I use a machine). I do spend hours and hours sewing, every single day, well into the night and next morning most days. I hope to move the wait time up eventually, but right now with the sheer number of orders I am working on, things are shipping at almost exactly the six week mark. 

I know most of you already knew that, but I thought I'd throw it out there again just so everyone can rest assured, the orders are coming! :)
Now, in other news... I'd like to let you guys know about the newest ADD ON that just went up in my shop today! :) 
Available for LARGE Lens Pets™ only due to the size, this musical button plays the tune Old Macdonald Had a Farm. Just like the squeaker, it will be inside the Lens Pet™ so just a quick push of the button starts the tune up. Battery lasts up to 10,000 plays! Another great idea for capturing the attention of your fidgety little subjects! ;) More tunes may be available in the future, but for now this is the only one I have.
If you already have a pending order for one or more large Lens Pets™ that hasn't shipped yet, feel free to add one of these now. There is no shipping attached to the listing so you can purchase it for just the price of the button and add a note when you check out that you would like it added to an existing order.  As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

and an INFORMATION sneak peek... there will be a super fun new addition joining the Lens Pet family very soon! Not only new Lens Pet designs (which I always have in the works, just need more hours in the day to make them) but a completely new product that will (hopefully) appeal to a larger variety of customers. I'm excited about this addition so keep your eyes peeled for an official announcement. Until then, feel free to take a stab at guessing what it might be, here in the blog comments. ;)

Thank you, to all of my customers and friends for all of your support over the last few months. It's been a heck of a whirlwind and I'm having a blast! :)

and the REAL winner is...

After 10 days with repeated posts on Twitter and Facebook my winner did not appear. :( Sadly she forgot to leave an Etsy or FB name or some way for me to contact her in her reply and I was unable to track her down!

But the random number generator has chosen a new winner and she DID leave an email address! PERFECT!! So GRETCHEN... come on down!! You're the next contestant on the Price is... oh, wait, wrong line. ;) Gretchen won the giveaway and now she gets her choice of either two standard Lens Pets™ or one large sock monster! Congratulations Gretchen!!

AND because things were delayed in finding the winner, I am also extending the discount I offered for everyone else. :) A special discount good towards your next purchase of any Lens Pet™ or sock monster. You'll receive 10% off your order by entering the code in the notes section during checkout on Etsy. The way the cart there is set up, you'll have to pay the full amount, but as soon as I receive your order I will refund 10% of your purchase price. If you'd like to use the discount towards a custom order of one or more sock monsters, just message me on Etsy to let me know what you want, we'll work out your details and I'll give you the adjusted price. :)

Here's the code: MFD-10off
But use it soon, the code will expire on September 10 (3 weeks from today)! 
Thank you again to everyone who entered my giveaway!! :) We're already over the 700 mark for FB fans and the next giveaway will be when we hit 1000 fans, so keep sharing MandeeFranee Designs with friends and family and photographers and teachers and anyone else that you think might like my Lens Pets™ and sock monsters. ;) The sooner we hit 1000 fans, the sooner you'll have another chance to win!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

10 things you might not know about me...

I started this list up after I was given a blog award by a very kind blogger (Cat over at Budget Blonde, thank you SO much) a couple weeks ago. I tried to come up with 10 blogs to pass the award on to but I just couldn't seem to find the time to track down links and emails and getting it all together (too much sewing to do). BUT I still love learning these kinds of things about other people, even if I don't know them all that well. Makes me feel like less of an oddball outcast! ;) So I thought I'd post my list anyways, even without the award.
  • I'm not a fan of sugar-y sweets. No cake, or cookies or candy (unless it's VERY SOUR, then I'll make an occasional exception... example: SOUR Nerds, we're having a love affair. ♥ It's serious. They are SUPER hard to find but I recently scored EIGHT boxes and I have them hidden from the children in the trunk of my car.) and I really don't like chocolate. I'd much prefer to munch on some fruit or raw veggies! or sour nerds...
    • The name I use for my Etsy shop and most website log-ins these days (MandeeFranee) comes from the combination of a childhood nickname that no one but family and old friends from school even uses anymore (Mandy) and my middle name (Francis). My ex-husband actually used to call me Mandy-Franny just to bug me. :p
      • I have 3 tattoos and a tongue piercing... and I'm probably one of the most straight laced, boring people you could ever meet. I would totally love to get a couple more tattoos someday and I'd like to eventually cover/change the one I have on the inside of my wrist.
      • I LOVE animals! ♥ I would have hundreds of dogs and bunnies and cats and guinea pigs and chinchillas and ferrets and even lizards and snakes and frogs... if I had the space. and if I could afford to have someone clean up all that poop. It's the only drawback.
        • I HATE bugs. I'm especially terrified of the flying, stinging kind. I tell my kids to stand still when a bee is nearby but I usually run squealing in the other direction. I know, bad mom. It's an uncontrollable impulse, I just can't stop myself.
          • I am abnormally frightened of natural bodies of water. In 9th grade I went to Hawaii with my dad and didn't do more than get my toes wet on the beach. In my head I know it's likely nothing will happen... but I just can't get past the fear that a shark or a jellyfish or something equally monstrous and terrifying will bite/sting/DEVOUR my feet. I refuse to go in lakes or oceans. I used to be okay with lakes... that's a more recent addition to the fear.
            • I absolutely have OCD, heavy on the obsessive side. If I get one item that has other coordinating items/pieces of a set... I NEED them all. In every available color. and size. and style. RIGHT NOW! And no matter that I know I don't REALLY need them, and that I totally HATE clutter, I can't stop until I have them all. Things like books, pens, stuffed animals, bookmarks, movies, trading cards, magnets, calendars, notepads, t-shirts... there's no rhyme or reason. If it catches my eye and it comes in multiple designs there is no way I will EVER be able to choose just one and be done with it. It's a real pain in the a$$.
              • I've always wanted to work in medicine... I have no desire to be a doctor or a nurse, but I think I might like to go back to school and become an EMT and ride around in an ambulance someday. Maybe when my kids are grown. :)
                • I am a movie fanatic! I love all kinds of movies, and even enjoy the not-so-great ones other people give bad reviews to because there's always enough entertainment value of some sort to keep my attention (even i f it's just in laughing at the terrible acting). But at the top of my favorites list are horror/thriller and romantic comedies. I can watch a movie I like over and over and over again. Long after everyone else is already bored with it. My kids hate that about me. Of course this ties into my OCD a bit, I have a pretty large movie collection and I never miss an opportunity to add to it (swapadvd.com is practically my best friend). And I keep them all in alphabetical order. My kids like to move them around just to drive me bonkers. :p
                  • I say 'dude', 'totally' and 'like' more often than a 34 year old mother of three probably should. I use too many emoticons when I "talk" online, I capitalize to emphasize A LOT and I completely abuse the ellipsis... and the exclamation point!! ;)
                    So what about you??? I'd love to learn more about my blog readers. Post a list like this about yourself on your own blog and then share the link here with me! :)

                      Monday, August 9, 2010

                      and the winner is...

                      After HUNDREDS of entries, the random number generator has chosen a winner! :) But before we get to that, I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who took the time to take a peek around my shop, comment on my blog, visit and 'like' my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter! :) I appreciate every single one of you!! To show how thankful I am for all of my new friends, I'd like to offer to everyone who entered the contest a special discount good towards your next purchase of any Lens Pet or sock monster. You'll receive 10% off your order by entering the code in the notes section during checkout on Etsy. The way the cart there is set up, you'll have to pay the full amount, but as soon as I receive your order I will refund 10% of your purchase price. If you'd like to use the discount towards a custom order of one or more sock monsters, just message me on Etsy to let me know what you want, we'll work out your details and I'll give you the adjusted price. :)

                      Here's the code: MFD-10off

                      And now the moment you've all been waiting for. ;) The winner is... Amy from Colorado. Amy commented and said "I heard about the contest through the maternal lens and think your work is so creative. I love the crazy face but once I saw the red monster I knew he was the one for me!"

                      CONGRATULATIONS Amy! Unfortunately you didn't leave any contact information in your reply... so if you're Amy, please email me (m.zelenka (at) hotmail.com) with your prize choice(s) and mailing address! Remember, you can choose any TWO standard Lens Pets, or one large sock monster.

                      Our next giveaway will be held when we reach 1000 fans on FB! With less than 300 to go before we get there, it shouldn't be too long before you could have another chance to win!!  :)

                      thanks everyone!!

                      Sunday, August 1, 2010

                      Matthaei Botanical Gardens

                      I'm a few days late posting this but I wanted to share anyways... on Thursday (07.29). I took a few hours off and went to a friends house. We had a delicious lunch then went for a walk at Parker Mills Park. There was a nice winding boardwalk all the way through, lots of HUGE trees and dragonflies... and mosquitoes but I'm refusing to acknowledge those pesky little critters. On the way home we stopped at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and it was just as beautiful as I remembered it. The same friend and I went there last year. I am just a total sucker for a pretty flower. Can't get enough of them! Nature photography is a passion for me. I absolutely adore getting up close and personal with flowers and trees and bugs and birds! It's definitely been too long! I've been so busy sewing for the last couple months I haven't done much else. It was very good to get out for a few hours. :)

                      Here are some of my favorite shots from today... beware, I had a hard time narrowing it down. :)

                      love how you can see right through his wings!

                      he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me...


                      adore these super teeny tiny little blossoms

                      PINK! LOVE!!

                      check out that bug hanging out from underneath the petal... peek-a-boo!


                      garden serpent

                      I think this one totally looks like a painting!

                      baby sunflower :)

                      fuzzy wuzzy

                      these hibiscus' were AMAZING!!! I don't think I've seen one in real life before and I didn't realize how HUGE they could get! they were as big as a dinner plate!! and just GORGEOUS hot pink! they didn't even look real (but I got VERY close, they were definitely real)

                      stars! so pretty and delicate

                      I know, not actually a flower but I LOVED the texture on the leaves! so cool!

                      flower have layers... like an ogre... or like an onion. but they smell better! ;)

                      more layers!

                      this was the last shot I took as we were walking out. it was a tiny little flower sitting all by itself screaming LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME in that bright orange coat. plus that tiny bud right next to it totally looks like a little gnome hat! lol

                      and now it's back to sewing. ;)