Redirecting... please be patient

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tunes While I Sew

"What do you listen to while you're workin', Shey?"

 I don't have a play list that I listen to.  But I MUST always have music playing while I'm working.  It helps keep me motivated.  And I can't listen to anything slow or else I get sleepy, and we can't have that, now can we.  ha.  Music that makes this girl sleepy is anything country or anything classical.  I don't like country anyway, so that's not a problem.  I do like some classical, but I save that for times when I don't mind nodding off.

I have always loved rock music.  Always.  So it should be no surprise that rock is what comes out of my speakers most of the time.  But, I do love me a few rappers too.  Rap music is a hard one, because there is so much of it that I just don't like.  As far as pop goes... sure, I listen to some. But you'll never hear Lady Gaga or Ki$ha coming out of my speakers.  Bleh.

Here are a list of artists/songs that are on my iPhone right now:

Now or Never from the High School Musical Soundtrack. {don't judge!  I like it!} haha.

Glen Hasard {the ONCE movie soundtrack - fabulous!}

Baby by Justin Bieber


Linkin Park

Timbaland Shockvalue II

Daughtry {his latest album is seriously awesome!}

I am specifically in love with these songs... you can click play to listen if you want...

Call Your Name:

Ghost Of Me:

Open Up Your Eyes:

Pretty much any song from Daughtry's new album {Leave this town} is played all day long!  Been playing every. single. day for a few weeks! 

I also LOVE Timbaland's newest album {shockvalue II}  Here are just a few I like:

Morning After Dark {Featuring Nelly Furtado & SoShy}

Long Way Down {Featuring Daughtry}:

Timothy Where You Been {Featuring Jet}:

Undertow {Featuring The Fray & Esthero}:

What do YOU listen to while you're working/sewing?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bloggin & Tweetin

A couple of weeks ago I asked my followers on Twitter why they tweet.  I got a lot of responses.
Some were solely to advertise, some were to advertise and "meet" new people, some were just for fun, and so on.  Then I was asked why I tweet.

Well, here is my answer.  I don't tweet to just talk about my business.  I don't tweet to make you feel like you need a product from me.  I don't tweet because I feel like I am super cool, cuz... I don't think I'm that cool.  More nerdy.  ;)  I tweet to connect with others.  Whether they're mothers, readers, business owners, single mothers, crafty or not.  I love Twitter.  It's a great way to connect with people around the globe.  I have Twitter friends in Australia, the UK,the Netherlands.  And friends all over the U.S.
I remember my husband nudging me to try Twitter 2 years ago, and I thought he was crazy.  I remember wondering why in the world I would want to write in 140 characters what I am doing throughout the day.  But, I ended up caving.  And I am SO glad I did!!!

I have met the most amazing people on Twitter.  And I have become very good friends with several woman from Twitter too.  In fact, I talk on the phone to these girls almost daily.  And I love it!  Who knew that Twitter could do that for me.  When I need to vent, or get advice, or bounce ideas around, or just talk mindlessly, I will call at least 1 if not all 3 of them sometime during the day.

My twitter friends are amazing in the way they live their lives, the way they support me and everyone else they are twitter friends with.  It's really just become an amazing community, and I love watching it grow everyday.  If you haven't signed up for Twitter yet, you should!!  It's free, and it's fabulous!!

In the same day I asked why my followers tweet, I also asked why they blog.  I got pretty much the same answers from them as I did to why they tweet.  I think that's pretty interesting, and pretty consistent.  I also blog for the same reason I tweet.  To connect.  I find all of you to be super encouraging, fun, supportive, and just down right awesome!  This blog would be nothing without all of you!!!  And when you leave me a comment on here or when you reply to my tweets it literally makes my day.  I smile or laugh... sometimes cry.  I share my life with everyone, and when everyone shares their's with me... well. That just makes my day.  I don't find myself interesting or better than anyone else.  I just find myself as a stay at home mom working a full time job for herself and loving the connection I feel to so many with just a simply interaction.

So... if you don't tweet... why not start now?  Cave in... come connect with us!!!  :)

If you tweet.. why do you?  And if you blog ... why do you?

Goodnight my friends.

exoh exoh!

P.S.  See this?

Yep!!  *Shey*[B] is now making guitar strap covers!!!  And this specific guitar strap cover... well... click here to check out why it was made.  :)  I will be making them in more fabrics, and if you want to request a fabric, contact me!  Would love to do one in any fabric for you!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Latest Couture!! And Giveaway Winners!

First... let me announce the giveaway winners!!

The winner of the Curly Birdie giveaway is TUTU!  You are so lucky!  These shoes are so darling, and so well made!  Enjoy!  Email me to claim your winnings.  shealynn AT

The winner of the Addelyn giveaway is Sarah AKA MamaCanon!  LUCKY!!!  Email me to claim your winnings!

Now go check out these ladies' shops!!  They have amazing things any child would LOVE to have!  Who doesn't love to doll up their kids?  I know I do!

OK... Now.  Here is the newest Couture!  It's in my shop... but there is sort of a waiting list for them.  LOL!  So it might be sold out by the time you see it in my shop.  But here it is on the blog first.  ;)  SOLD!


And there there is this new one too!  The Chic!  :)  Fun!!!  What do you think?  SOLD!




Something with more substance is coming soon!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Weather here is different than most other places around other states.  While others are enjoying 40+ degree weather in the Spring, Arizona is currently having 80 degree days.  While everyone hates their winters, I revel in ours.  If you even want to call it winter.  The coldest I have ever seen it in the morning is 38 degrees, but that rises quickly to 50 or 60 within a few hours.
That is when so many say they are so jealous of Arizona's weather.

Fast forward to the end of April when *you* are enjoying your 70 degrees and we are in the high 90's.  So, for now... we're enjoying the weather.  In which case, I think this evening would be a good time to take some pictures outside.  Soon, though, we will be banished in the house due to extreme heat conditions.

Happy Spring!!!


I released the newest Couture... but it sold yesterday before I could share... but I wanted to share it anyway.  There will be another one soon!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

: Book Review : Spells By Aprilynne Pike

In case you are new here, I read books.  I love to read.  Anyone else?  I haven't had much time for reading lately, but I am hoping that will change very soon!  I not only read books I pick up from Borders, but I read books for certain publishers as well.  I mainly read Young Adult/Teen Fiction novels.  Because, I just love them.  They're addicting.  You'll often come here and find me talking about a book I have read and I recommend.  So get your paper ready for some book recommendations in the coming weeks and months.

Today I am reviewing the book Spells by the lovely Aprilynne Pike.  Spells is the sequel to "Wings".  Now, I don't like spoiler reviews, so I do tend to keep my reviews on the books vague.  OK.  Here we go!

: Spells :
By: Aprilynne Pike 

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English


Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger--and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever.
When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable?

My Thoughts:
Friends.  Let me tell you that I adored this book.  I read it in a week, which for me is a LONG time to read 1 book.  But as you know, my business has been keeping my time pretty limited lately.  I was just glad to finish a book!  And man was this book good!!  It hight exceeded my expectations.  Like I said, I really liked Wings (so did Stephenie Meyer, by the way), and really hoped that Spells would be just as good.  Of course I had to request Spells ASAP from HarperTeen!  Getting on with it... 
Spells wasn't just good.  It was great!  It had a lot more action, a lot of nail biting moments where I was literally standing and pacing while reading.  I even found myself yelling at Laurel a few times.  haha!!  Books like Spells really remind me why I love reading so much.  I felt like I was watching the story unfold before me as I read.  
I will say that I was a little frustrated with Laurel, though.  She is indecisive and naive.  I want her to make a decision already!  And stick with it.  But then I get mad when the decision she makes is not the one I want her to make, or the one I think she should make.  :)  I am funny like that, what can I say?  Laurel is wishy washy and that drives me crazy, but at the same time, all of those things are what makes her endearing and easily lovable.  She thinks a lot about her actions before she acts on them, which is a great character quality.
The events in Avalon were beautifully descriptive.  I want to live in Avalon.  
Be warned!!!  Spells ends with a ginormous cliffhanger!!  One that will make you yell and scream "WHAT?! NOOOO!!!"  "Aprilynne!  How could this be?!"  haha!  That is exactly what I said out loud when I realized that is was true.  That was THE END, and I have to actually wait for the next one!  But, let me tell you.  She has left me wanting more, and when that 3rd book comes out, I will be waiting impatiently for the store to open so I can grab it up immediately.  
Way to go Mrs. Pike!  Spells sucked me in just as fast as Wings did.  What a great fast paced, intriguing,  book that was full of so much wonderful! 

Spells gets a 5 out of 5 stars from me!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So I've Been Thinking Of Starting A Business... Part 5 - "How Do You Do It All?"

Oh the big question!
"Shey.  How do you do it all?!?!"
I can't tell you how many times you all have asked me this.
Want to know the answer?  Let's keep it real!  All of these photos will prove that I am keepin' in real!  ;)

I don't.  I can't!  *gasp*  Yep!  I just admitted it!  I can not do everything.  Not even close.

When I first started my business, I really had no idea what to expect.  I thought it would be a fun way to support my fabric addiction (which has gotten worse over the months. but I don't care. I love fabric!).  I also thought it would be great to offer anyone who takes photos a little extra comfort while doing so.
Fast forward from then (August 2008) to now, March 2010.  Wow!  Just wow is all that I can say.  My business has far exceeded my original goal!  How wonderful.  A true blessing.

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Now.  Back to that question.  And my answers.

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There is positively no way I could ever clean my house, take care of my kids all throughout the day, spend time with my husband, read, make dinner, lunch, breakfast, care for the dog & cat, do the laundry, shower, sew, take time for myself, etc etc so on and so forth all by my lonesome.  No way NO HOW!

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How does it all get done?  The answer is simple.  I ask for help.  Isn't that all we have to do really?  Just ask?  Well, it should be.  If help was never asked for by me, then my house would look like these pictures I took a couple weeks ago 24 hours a day 7 days a week!  In fact, it would look worse.  Because I really have no time to clean the house lately.  What did I do to rectify this huge problemo?  Well, I made the decision to hire a housekeeper.  She comes once a week and cleans my house all sparkly clean.  And I will spot clean here and there throughout the week.

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Now.  I KNOW not everyone can get a housekeeper.  So why not challenge yourself to stop what you're doing and clean an hour every day?  Make yourself a chart that assigns yourself and other family members a duty.  Even though I have a housekeeper, I have to clean up stuff in between times she comes.  My entire family contributes.  My oldest girl does the dishes and cleans up her and sissy's room. Zoe is assign small things, and I keep a close eye on her to keep her on track.  She is only 3, so of course she isn't able to do much, but she loves to help if she can.  My sweet lovely amazing hard working husband does ALL of the laundry.  ALL of it.  I know.  He is simply swoon worthy.  :)

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(Celeste! Look at all those Coke Zero cans! haha)

As far as dinner goes.  I go as easy as I can.  My husband works late a lot, so I have to think about things I can make quickly for my children and myself.  I do not do gourmet often.  So many times it's spaghetti, soup, grilled cheese, breakfast for dinner, etc.  Sometimes, like tonight, it's McDonald's.  But I try not to do greasy fast food too much.  I like dinners made easy and fast.  No matter what it is.

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I also realized something as a busy business owner.  I CAN NOT DO IT ALL there either!  2 assistants later and I think it will be much easier for me.  I will be able to have more time off!  I need some nights off, my friends.  And hiring people to help me will enable this.  Hallelujah!  I might be able to read again!  :)  My assistants come 2-3 days a week, work 2-4 hours every time and everyone is happy.  Realizing you can't do it all in your business is a big step.  But a bigger step is getting help so you can achieve what you need to faster.  Take time off for yourself and your family... you'll be amazed how much more enjoyable creating can be!

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Don't choose the stressful, prideful road like I have done.  That just ends in breakdowns, crying and the grumps.  I am not superwoman or supermom or super anything. I am just me, and I can only do so much.

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So, my friends.  I am keeping it real.  I, Shealynn Benner aka SheyB aka The Camera Strap Girl, fully admit to you that I can not do it all.  Nor do I try.

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So go ask for help now!  You deserve it!

P.S.  Scroll down for the current giveaways!!!  You're going to LOVE them!!!

P.P.S.  The winner of the Burlap Camera Strap Slipcover is ERIN!!!  Congrats!  Email me your address.  shealynn AT gmail dot com

P.P.P.S.  The winner of the Two Little Tots Giveaway is NATALIE!!!  Congrats!  Email me your address!  Visit Two Little Tots today to get your little ones something fantastic!

P.P.P.P.S  The Couture Camera Strap Slipcover has been SOLD!!  Another Couture coming soon!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Couture!!!!

It is finally here!  *Shey*[B] now has a Couture line!  These are 1 of a kind.  They are sold only when listed.  They won't be made to order.  There is only 1 in my shop at this very moment!  Whatcha think?  :)

:: Sponsor Giveaway :: addelyn

Please welcome Jenny!  She has just opened up her store, and she wanted me to announce her GRAND OPENING right here on Sheyb!  How fabulous.  I have known Jenny on Twitter for a many months.  She is an amazing seamstress!  Whatever she can think up she can make.  It's amazing.  Just ask her about her kids' Halloween costumes!  Amazing!

Here is a little more about Jenny...

I am a on the go Mom of 2 beautiful girls, Ashlyn (7) and Adyson (2). I have a great supportive husband, Adam. We moved to the Pacific Northwest 4 years ago from Phoenix,AZ to be close to family. I was a retail manager for 10 years and mostly loved it. I didn"t love the hours though! When we moved to the PNW I became a stay at home mom and I LOVE it!

I began making twirly skirts almost 2 years ago and have given them as gifts at many parties. Then I started getting requests for them so I decided to take a leap of faith and start a little business. That is how my new store "addelyn" was born. 

And thank goodness addelyn was born!  Because I can't get over the cuteness!  Your little girls, granddaughters, nieces, friends' daughters, etc. will be so adorable in addelyn apparel!!

Jenny is offering the winner of this giveaway A TWIRLY SKIRT of their own!!  How extremely fantastic!

Here is how to enter:

Go to Jenny's shop, addelyn.  Come back here and leave a comment telling me what your favorite item(s) is/are.

For extra entries:

Blog, Tweet and/or Facebook this giveaway
Follow Jenny on Twitter (you won't be sorry you did).
Make sure you check out Jenny's blog too!  Follow her to be inspired!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

:: Sponsor Giveaway :: Curly Birdie

Surely you've heard of Curly Birdie.  She only makes the most adorable crocheted baby/toddler mary janes known to man.  But wait!  She also makes cute tank tops, crocheted hats and MORE!  She has had professional photographers take pictures of her products, which makes you want to buy them all the more.  Great pictures of your products definitely makes a huge difference.

Let me introduce you to Maria. She is the mastermind behind Curly Birdie . . . here is a little bit about who she is:

I'm a Momma of 3 girls Isabella is 5, Havana is 3 and Mia is almost 1. I am married to my high school sweetheart. I still live 15 minutes away from my parents and I love it that way.

Me and my husband have a family owned donut shop (crazy....I know) so most of my mornings are spent there. I've been crafting ever since I was little, my grandmother would always make handmade cards or oil paintings or macrame. She was always making some sort of a craft. So really I didn't have a choice, it was always around me. Many of my clothes as a child were handmade. We even had our Barbie clothes handmade!

I started crocheting because I wanted to make a blanket for my oldest when I was pregnant (still to be completed, she is now 5). So I started playing with different patterns, and ended up trying to make shoes for my youngest girl and really enjoyed making them. I got a pretty good response from the shoes so several tries later, I decided to start an etsy shop with baby shoes. And what do ya know??? It became this little wonderful business!

Recently I've been trying to do a balancing act of Momma and Wife and Curly Birdie fits in between there somewhere. I'm stll trying to figure out some sort of balance. Right now it is spent up many many late nights.
I love making these shoes! Especially when customers contact me and they are buying a pair of newborn shoes to bring their babies home from the hospital, that's the best!

I usually start with several skeins of yarn and I'll put several combinations together to see what match I like best. Then the shoes are made. I do like to play around with flower size and placement. I'm always trying something new. 

She is truly an amazing woman!  I love meeting other creative mothers.  Especially ones that have their own businesses.  It's great to talk about how they do it all.  You all always ask me how I do it all.  :)  We'll get to that at another time, though!

Want to know what Maria is giving to one lucky Shey b reader?  I do too... let's find out now.

One lucky winner will receive 1 pair of Curly Birdie shoes!  ANY STYLE!  Now.  If you don't have any kids or kids that will fit in these adorable shoes... surely you know someone that has a little girl that can fit in them!  So, enter anyway!!

I am changing how giveaways work on Shey b as to make it easier and less time consuming for you all!  Oh goody goody gumdrops.

Here is how to enter:

1.  Go to the Curly Birdie shop.  Come back here and tell me your favorite pair or pairs of shoes.

2.  Follow Curly Birdie on Twitter.

3.  Tweet and or Facebook about this giveaway for an extra entry as well.
If you're going to tweet, then you can cut and paste the following:

Win a pair of @curlybirdie's darling crocheted baby/toddler shoes over at @sheyb's blog!

( yes.  I changed my twitter name from @shealynn to @sheyb - just FYI )

Good luck!!  
Giveaway will end sometime next week!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Want a discount?

Today is my husband's birthday!!!!   Happy 34th birthday MY LOVE!!!  Last night Mike and I had a date night.  :)  We went to dinner where he wanted, CPK [California Pizza Kitchen] and then we headed on over to the tattoo parlor.  We both got a tattoo and I went really nuts and got MY NOSE PIERCED!  I'm crazy like that, I guess.  Pictures to come.  I am pretty sure it was a good birthday present for my hubby.  He likes tattoos.  And he looks hot with them!!

ANYWAY!  In honor of his birthday, I am giving all of YOU a 10% discount.  For today ONLY!  Just enter BIRTHDAY at checkout!  Click here to go to my store.  The discount applies to EVERYTHING in my store... including THE BURLAP!  :)  Discount ends tonight at 11:59pm Mountain Standard Time.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

So I've Been Thinking Of Starting A Business... Part 4

Advertising.  That is the number one question I am asked about.  Now, please understand that I am no expert.  I just have my opinions, and once again, these things are what have worked for me.

Here we go.

When I look at a place to advertise, I look at a few things before I decide to definitely advertise.  The cost of the advertising is the last thing on my mind most of the time.  So, for example.  I hear about a blog that's offering advertising.  What is my process before my decision?

I look at their layout first and foremost.  You do NOT want to advertise with someone who doesn't have their advertisers as close to the top of their blog as possible.  If they're putting advertisers even half way down their blog, I likely will not consider them.  The goal in advertising is to get a lot of views on your site, and hope those views get you sales.  If their list of sponsors/advertisers is at the bottom... views are going to likely be bad.  I learned this the hard way.  If views are bad, this means sales will be bad, which also means you've likely just wasted some of your precious hard earned money.

Next I look to see if they offer giveaways.  As I've said before.  Giveaways are THE best form of advertising a blog can offer.  It's that 'In Your Face' form of advertising.  Think of it this way.  You're looking through a magazine.  There are TONS of magazine ads in them, right?  But I bet most of you at least glance at them if not read them, right?  The only difference to me between a magazine ad and a blog giveaway is that the magazine isn't offering something free... usually.  :)  And obviously, most magazines get more views than your average blog, but that's beside the point.  haha.  Anyway.  Magazine ads are 'In Your Face' advertising too.  Most of the time, you find yourself looking.  A giveaway will tell you if that site was worth advertising at or not.
Now, I not only look to see if giveaways are offered, I look at that blog's past giveaway comments.  You'd ideally like to see a lot of comments there.  A lot of comments is totally your opinion.  Everyone is going to think differently on what's a lot and what's not.

Now, if giveaways are not offered, then I will ask the blog owner if they at least announce their new sponsors.  If they do not.  I will not advertise there.  Not usually anyway.  If the blog owner doesn't offer giveaways, and isn't even willing to let his/her readers know about the new advertisers, then it's not worth it to me.  My goal with advertising is ultimately to get sales.  And since nowadays so many people subscribe to people's blogs via Google Reader, Bloglines and other places, the ads are not seen all that often.  So, at least by announcing advertisers and doing giveaways, your store will get the attention you want.

This brings me to the most popular question in the advertising category.  How do you know when to pull your ad down?

There are a lot of different opinions of this out there.  But, since you're on my blog, here is my opinion.  If after 30 days you notice you're not getting many views even after your giveaway, and your sales from that site are pretty low.  PULL YOUR AD!  Sorry for the caps, but I feel like this is so important.  So many people think that leaving your ad up for multiple months is the only way to get sales and get yourself known.  I could not disagree more!  Why spend your money on a blog that's only giving you maybe 1 sale a week and is not bringing you many hits/views?  The first month of advertising is key.  That is when you will normally do your giveaway, be announced, etc etc.  That's when you're "fresh meat".  Sorry for the lame term, but it's true.  ;)  Now, if you're still getting several sales a week and quite a few hits  a week several days/weeks after your giveaway, then make your decision from there.  I will pull my ad after 30 days without a thought if my views and sales are bad with that site.  It's business, and you have to think about what's best for you.  Plus, you'll be able to try another place to advertise.  Also remember... Hits on your site don't mean much of anything if they're not generating sales.  You could be getting 50 million hits on your site, but getting 0 sales.  So to me, hits are a great way of knowing how many are visiting, but that doesn't mean sales are going to happen.

Now, once you've established or feel you've established yourself with advertising, do you stop?  No way!!  Keep on advertising!  There are an endless amount of places to advertise out there.  The sky is the limit.  Now, if you want to keep your business at a slow pace, definitely don't go advertising at a ton of different places at once.  Slowly branch out to new places as you feel comfortable.

So go on... advertise yourself!  You'll likely be glad you did.

Friday, March 5, 2010

:: The Burlap ::

Giveaway Is Now Closed.

I designed a new camera strap slipcover the other night.  Whenever I design one, I always have inspiration from something.  But for the life of me I can't remember what inspired The Burlap.  But I love it just the same.  What do you think?

Let's give one away!!!

All you have to do is:

1. Leave a comment
2.  Tweet and/or Facebook it for an additional entry

Good luck!!

The Burlap is in my shop now.  :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Lovely Little Girls.

Pictures of my girls have been severely lacking.  My parents would likely agree.  They live in North Carolina.  Quite a ways from Arizona.  Today I swore it was time to take my 2 bundles of sweetness out front and do a little photo shoot.  So, mom and dad.  Here is your grandchildren fix!  Enjoy.

We had a great time playing together in the front yard.  Dandelions are a big hit.  Always.

I look at my oldest daughter.  And I can't believe she is going to be 8 in a couple of months.  She isn't my little girl anymore.  Where does the time go?

She said, "Mama, I have wings, so I can fly!"  :)  And she did try by flapping her arms.

Have a great night... or day... whatever time of day it is that you read this.  ;o)


Please welcome the newest SheyB blog sponsor: Curly Birdie!!!  She sells the CUTEST ever crocheted items!  

Please also welcome our other newest SheyB blog sponsor: Cocoa Dreamer Designs!!!  She sells some GREAT pouches, and baby items!

**If you're interested in becoming a SheyB blog sponsor, please email me at: shealynn AT gmail DOT com {spaces are limited}.