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Tag Archives: Handmade

New in my Etsy Shop – Garden Markers and More

If you are a fan on my Facebook Page, you may have seen that I’ve been a busy little beaver posting new items in my Etsy Shop.

Here are a few little tastes for you.

First, I added a new kind of scarf ring to my women’s accessories section.

PicMonkey Collage

Just like my original faux Mother of Pearl Scarf Ring, this Faux Turquoise scarf ring is made with a special polymer clay technique.  These make a great addition to any new or vintage scarf.

I’ve also been adding new leaf jewelry, like these earrings.

Made with polymer clay, and mica powders, using hypoallergenic ear wires.

Made with polymer clay, and mica powders, using hypoallergenic ear wires.

You’ll also find some new travel jewelry, like this Compass Necklace.

Compass Rose Necklace

There are plenty of other new items in my shop and more to come including some really fantastic rainbow cloud jewelry that I am super excited to get listed.

The thing I am most thrilled about is that I FINALLY listed my one of a kind garden markers in my shop.  Take a peek, tell me what you think and tell a friend about how cool they are.  I’d also love to hear what you are planning to put in your garden this year.  Please, please, please tell me in the comments.  Yes, I’m begging you to leave a comment!

One of A Kind Garden Markers designed and made by hand.  ~ Mandy from McCloud Designs

One of A Kind Garden Markers designed and made by hand. ~ Mandy from McCloud Designs


Feel Good Naturals Laundry Soap

Do you love laundry?  Yeah… me neither.

I’m ready to start enjoying my laundry though because I’ve found Feel Good Naturals.  

I met Lindsey, the owner of the shop, and a fellow Omaha Metro Maker, because she worked with my brother.  She has now “quit her day job” and is running her shop full time.  She was kind enough to walk me through the super simple process of turning her natural laundry soap bar into a liquid soap that works in all machines, including high efficiency machines, like the one in my apartment.

Here are some photos of the process.  These are strictly process shots and don’t include photos of the fantastic time we had.  Normally this process is really quick, but we turned it into an all evening event including chinese food, fawning over her new felted soaps and dreaming of homemade paper with flecks of silk.  Any other crafty geeks out there?

Here are the laundry soap bars before we started the 5 easy steps.




Feel Good Naturals Laundry soap

Aren’t they pretty?

Our first real step was to gather everything together.  Here is what you’ll need.

  • laundry soap bars purchased from Feel Good Naturals Etsy Shop
  • water (32 oz or more for a 4 oz. bar, we did 8 oz., so we used 64 ounces of water, got it?)
  • container to hold the amount of water you are using (perhaps an old laundry detergent container)
  • food processor or cheese grater
  • pot that holds the amount of water you need
  • funnel


Now that we have everything together, here we go!

Step 1 (Prior to step one I hope you took a chance to admire the beauty of these laundry soap bars.)

Grate your laundry soap bar with a food processor or a cheese grater.








Step 2 (Wasn’t step one easy and fun?)

Heat up water in a deep pan on the stovetop. Use 32oz. or more of water for each 4oz. bar and it is best if you use the container that you are going to store the liquid soap in.  That way you know for sure that you won’t overfill it.

Add water

Step 3 (Is it step three already?)

When the water is near boiling remove the pan from the heat or turn it to a very low setting.

Step 4 (Hold up!  There were no pictures of step three because it was so easy?  Yep, that’s right!)

Add the shredded soap to the water and stir.

IMG_1333 IMG_1334 Add soap to water and stir

IMG_1337 IMG_1338 IMG_1339 IMG_1340 Add water and stir

You can see that within just a few minutes, the shredded soap bar has completely dissolved into the water. If only I could take a picture of how good this process smells…

Step 5

Allow your liquid to cool and then transfer the soap into your container using a funnel.  This is a good time to have a glass of wine, play with your children or pets, buy more laundry soap from the Feel Good Natural Etsy Shop or watch an episode of Downton Abbey.

That’s it!

I’ve liquified some of the soap that Lindsey and I shredded, but when I shred the next bar on my own, I’ll post some pictures of me completing the process by myself.  Everything is easy when someone is teaching you how to do it, but I imagine this will be easy with help or not!

Lindsey is curing some new laundry soap bars right now, so they will be available in her shop very soon.  In the meantime, follow her on Facebook and try some of her handmade soaps!

Get ready for some clean, soft clothing!

All over Etsy it’s Christmas in July

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A few days ago, I announced my own Christmas in July sale on Etsy, but I wanted to make sure that you are aware that there are many, many more Etsy shops that are offering Christmas in July deals from discounts, to free shipping to BOGO deals and more.  Visit Etsy and search cij or christmasinjuly to find everything.  Add extra keywords to narrow your search.  For example, type in “cij monkey” to find monkey related handmade and vintage items on sale.

This morning I made a treasury with only shops with Christmas in July sales going on.  Enjoy!  Make sure to visit them all.

‘The Many Colors of Christmas in July’ by mcclouddesigns

Here are just a few.

Christmas in July S…




fine art flower pho…


CIJ 20%Lily pad coa…


Longtail Seamoth F…


Braided Necklace Ch…


CIJ SALE – 30% OFF …


On Sale Hand Knit N…


CIJ 6 Pastel Rainbo…


Peach lavender flow…




Fold Form Gold Cuff…


Yellow Green Star C…


Pastel rainboots in…


CIJ SALE 115 yds So…


ChristmasinJuly Pin…


Treasury tool supported by the dog house

Christmas in July Sale!

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First… a small apology for about 3 months in missing posts!  I finished up my Master’s Degree in May, and I guess I just needed a break.  The month before graduation, I was doing so much writing I thought my head would explode and I figured that it was better to keep my brains intact and return to blogging when it felt right.  Thanks for not unfollowing me in the mean time.

Now for the excitement.  It is time for McCloud Designs Biggest Sale of the Year!  July 12-22, loads of Etsy sellers (including me!) will be reducing prices.  This is the first time that I am participating in the Christmas in July Sale and Boy, am I excited.  So excited that everyone will have access to 15% off all items in my shop and my Facebook fans will have access to close to 25% off!  That is right… I said 25% off*.  If you are not a McCloud Designs Facebook Fan, head over there now so that you don’t miss out on the extra discount.

*Here is how it will work.  All items in my shop will be marked down the 15% tomorrow (7/11/12), late, late at night which may involve some sort of energy drink on my part.  Anyone can take advantage of those discounts.  As a special ‘thank you’ to my Facebook fans throughout the sale, I will post a coupon code for an extra 10% off which will bring your savings very close to 25% off.

What does this mean in terms of handmade jewelry for you or your loved ones.  Here is an example.

This lovely handmade Lapis Lazuli Necklace normally sells for $98.00. With the normal 15% off it is down to $83.30. With the extra coupon code for Facebook fans this necklace would be only $74.97 (plus very reasonable shipping).

This means that just by being a Facebook fan you can save $23.03 on this stunning necklace.  All you have to do is click a little button that says “like” at McCloud Designs Facebook page and then watch for my posts and that $23.03 is yours to keep.

Let’s try another one…

These spunky Green Glass Earrings are normally $10 (already a super inexpensive handmade gift, right?) With the 15% off it brings them down to $8.50, plus with the coupon code from Facebook, you’ll receive another 10% off for a total of $7.65 (plus shipping).

If you’ve purchased those two items, you’ve saved $25.38.  If you like saving money, leave a comment on this post with ideas of what you can do with an extra $25.38.

Still need more encouragement…

These stunning Polymer Clay and Sterling Silver Leaf Earrings regularly sell for $25.00. With 15% off it brings them down to $21.25. Then enter the 10% off coupon code that you get just for being a Facebook fan and they will cost you only $19.13 (plus shipping).

Now you’ve bought three gifts or three additions to your own jewelry collection and have saved $31.25.

Here are some of my suggestions for what to do with that $31.25.

*Purchase more great McCloud Designs.

*Purchase sale items from other great Etsy shops doing Christmas in July sales (visit Etsy and search for CIJ or Christmasinjuly to find other participating shops)

*Put it in the bank.

*Save it for a fun trip.

*Donate it to your favorite charity.

*Get a pet turtle (or several pet turles, perhaps).

What would you do with an extra $31.25?

Sale starts July 12, 2012 and will end at midnight on July 22, 2012.  Visit my shop now to pick out your favorite Handcrafted Motivating Jewelry.

You Sly Fox, You!

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These cute little foxes sure look hungry.  Enjoy your lunch and Happy Wednesday!

‘Sly Fox’ by mcclouddesigns

No small animals were harmed in the making of this treasury.

Specimen Collection…


Little Embroidery H…


Peek – Grey and Bro…


Red Fox Figurine by…


four wee tea or esp…


Jumping bunny rabbi…


Fantastic Fox Hat


Sweet Antique Bron…


Fox Art Watercolor …


Pet Rat Photograph …


Farmer’s Daught…


SALE 20% off – Bird…


6pcs Wooden buttons…


Fox Finger Puppet S…


reproduction huntin…


ON SALE, Organic CH…


Treasury tool by Red Row Studio


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Happy Pi Day!  Here is a refreshing Etsy Treasury that I put together this morning after a walk to the post office.  It’s amazing what a little fresh air can do for you.

How is March weather treating you so far?  What is your favorite thing about the change from winter to spring?

‘Refreshing nap with the window open’ by mcclouddesigns

I am so excited that it is beautiful outside where I am. These are some of the things I might dream of while taking a nap on the couch with the windows open. Imagine the wonderful spring smells and birds chirping in the background.

Bird Birdcage Heart…


Natural Linen Dress


Eco-Friendly Herb B…


ACEO ATC Art Giclee…


Mandarin Sunset Sea…


Amber Hoop Earrings…


Serenity Linen Cus…


Embroidery Hoop Art…


Silver Necklace Or…


PRINT Fine Art Mini…


bird silhouette in …


Family – grandpare…


Whimsical Boutonnie…


Bubbly Champagne Ea…


Kraft Cardstock Eco…


Fruit Orange Art Or…


Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

The Solo Hike

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This weekend, I went out on a solo hike.  I have done a few solo hikes, but usually my husband and I go together.  Although he is patient with my obsessive and fairly inept picture-taking while we hike, I always rush it because I know he wants to keep moving.  This time, I hiked and hiked, but stopped whenever I saw something that caught my eye.  I am always fascinated when there are funny textures, interesting lines, or bright colors in the post winter scenery.  I guess we are officially still in winter, but there was so much new life “springing” up that I have mentally changed seasons.  Here is a little Spring for you.

A few little leaves curling out of the ground.

Here are some of the beautiful lines and textures that I was referring to.

I love the curve of the trail where it meets the horizon. The tree branches also seemed to flow like electricity into the sky.

I just love fuzzy plants.

One of my favorite things on the path reminded me of a quote that I just used when I posted some new purple earrings.

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”  – Alice Walker, author

These reddish-purple stems were all over on this particular trip.  They look more red in the photos, but in person, there was much more purple.

In person, this looked like a purple twig fountain. Does anyone know what these reddish-purple plants are?

I’m so glad that I chose to go on that inspirational solo hike.  It shouldn’t be a surprise to you to see some new nature inspired designs in my etsy shop over the next few weeks, months, years, etc.  I think that it is an endless source of inspiration.

What inspires you?