About Me

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Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
I am a single mother of an adult son and a teenage daughter who are my world! I love life and try to make ech day better than the one before. I love to create beautiful things and spend time with my loved ones! I am "designing to make life beautiful"!

Monday, November 15, 2010

What Does It Take to Succeed in a Small Home Business?

I love to talk with and share ideas with others who are starting and running a business from home.  In today's troubled economy, working from home can be an answer to challenges many of us face.  It can also be a great way to be at home with your family...with your children by your side.  I recently found a wonderful lady who shares daily Home Business Succes Tips and Motivation! Check her out at http://www.facebook.com/HomeBizTips.  She recently posted an article that I really like! http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150124282388136&id=676499674&ref=mf.  Success CAN be yours if you are willing to put in the time and sacrifices necessary.  Let's enjoy the journey along the way!

Have a great day!
~SimplyMelissa Designs

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm on Artfire!

I have been selling on etsy.com for awhile now, and I'm loving every minute of it!  I plan on staying with etsy! In order to broaden my horizons, I have also opened a new shop on artfire!  I look forward to working with both shops and reaching even more customers.  If you'd like to check out my new shop got to
http://www.artfire.com/users/SimplyMelissaDesigns.  I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions.

Well...I took down the halloween decorations today and am thinking about Thanksgiving.  I must admit that I am REALLY thinking about Christmas decorations, but I know it's not time yet.  I woke up to some wonderful, crisp, cool weather this morning.  I have to say that I love it!  It was a very HOT summer here in Charlotte, NC this year, so the cooler weather is welcomed.  I do hope that we don't have another extreme winter! I hope we get a month or so of nice fall weather first!  I hope you are all having a wonderful week!  I am working on custom orders and getting ready for my first craft fair coming up on Nov. 13th.  Here is the flyer. If you are in the area, I'd love to have you stop in and see me!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Cozy Designs

I guess you have all seen my candle cozies by now.  I love dressing my jar candles up for the seasons and different occasions!  I just couldn't stop there!  I have also designed a cozy for votive candle cups and mason canning jars.  The mason jars are designed for crafting and make great storage containers for things such as cotton balls, q-tips, pencils, crochet hooks, candy, etc.  The jar cozies come with a mason jar upon purchase, and the votive cozies come with the glass votive cup!  I just can't wait to create cozies with different colors and embelishments!!  I hope you like them!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My New Snowflake Candle Cozy Design

I love candles! I love the delightful fragrances that fill my house and the warm glow they add to a room! I love the peaceful, calm mood that they set.  I love to sit down in the evening to watch TV...light all the candles and turn down all the lights. Somehow it just helps the stresses of the day melt away!!

Sometimes I have wished that my jar candles were just a little prettier or that they matched my decor a little more. Since I am an avid crocheter, I decided to design a cozy that I could use to accomplish my wish. Little did I realize that the cozy would also create a nice accent in the evening when the candle light is shining through! 

My candle cozies are hand crocheted from thread to create a nice hug for your standard size jar candle. This cozy has a crochet snowflake attached to add some winter/holiday cheer. Cozy can be stored and reused...and changed for the season.  I guarantee they will be noticed by all who enter your home!
I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Beautiful Daughter's Homecoming Dance!!

This past weekend was my daughter's homecoming dance!! The football team (which is undefeated...YAY!) won the homecoming game Friday night!!  Stephanie was so excited!  She really gets into football!!  Then Saturday, she spent the day painting her nails, doing her hair, getting a beauty nap, and finally dressing for the homecoming dance!  And I must say...she was stunning!!  She danced the night away and had a blast with all her friends.  What a great high school experience!!  This is her sophmore year, so there will be many more dances to come!  Here are a few more pictures.  I hope you enjoy them! : )

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spirit Week

It is spirit week at my daughter's high school...complete with homecoming this weekend.  Today was Wacky Tacky day...where all the kids have a chance to dress crazy and get away with it.  Here is my daughter on her way out the door to school this morning (and our boxer, Rock, trying to get into the picture).  Check out the socks!  I presonally think she looks beautiful as always, but she will be feeling pretty wacky today!! haha 

Tonight is her powder puff football game.  I will be taking pictures, so be prepaired for another post tomorrow!! : )  Have a great day!

Melissa ~ SimplyMelissa Designs
Desinging to Make Life Beautiful!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I won! I won! I won!

I feel like a kid at Christmas!!! LOL  I just won this beautiful pair of earings for being the 300th fan over at "Wares Tracey" - facebook busines page:  http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/WARES-TRACEY/137023776324461
I can't wait to get them and put them on my lobes!! : )  They will be beautiful with my fall outfits that I will soon be able to pull back out of the closet!!  Stop by Tracey's page and check out all her beautiful handmade jewelry.  She is very talented!

Monday, October 11, 2010

My first time featured in an Etsy Treasury!!

I am excited and honored to find out that I have been chosen to be in a treasury on Etsy!  My little candy corn hat is part of "Orange you glad it's October"!!!  What wonderful fall colors and beautiful items.  I'm so happy to be included with such talented artisans!!  Here is the link to the treasury:

This comes on a day when I was looking for motivation, and I am so grateful! I have created several new candle cozies today and a few dozen snowflakes...all of which need to be beaded tomorrow (which is really cool since I LOVE to bead).  While working on these items, my mind was racing around thinking of new things I want to include in my shop.  So many creations...so few hours in a day!  Here is a small wish list of things I want to get around to doing:  Beaded embroidery, crochet wrist warmers, leg warmers and scarves (and matching hats), some hand stamped holiday cards (for Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year), beaded crochet items (perhaps crochet beaded jewelry), and more crochet Christmas items.  Whew!  I also made a new fall candle cozy cozy today with fall leaf buttons. 

I hope you all find some time in your day to get those creative juices flowing!! It's a wonderful thing to create something beautiful!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tobacco Twine Designs

Hello, everyone!  I hope you are all having a wonderful, relaxing weekend.  Happy Thanksgiving to my Canada friends!!!  I have had a very productive day today.  I have completed, photographed and listed 5 new candle cozies and a set of 12 thread snowflakes.  All of these items are made from tobacco twine.  Tobacco twine was once used in the harvesting process of tobacco.  It is a 100% cotton twine just a little thicker than the beadspread weight crochet thread you find in craft stores.  Tobacco twine is a little difficult to find now and is quite often used for crocheting, tying garden plants with, etc.  My mama gets our tobacco twine from Delmus Hardware in Goldsboro, NC.  My mama and I use tobacco twine to make beautiful beadspreads (as did my great grandmother).  I look forward to designing more items from tobacco twine.  Check out all my candle cozies and snowflakes in my etsy store:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/simplymelissa  

I am also excited to be working on some hats, scarves, wrist warmers and leg warmers using baby alpaca.  Pictures will come as I complete them. 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New snowflake hats in celebration of cooler weather!!

It looks like the hottest part of summer here in North Carolina is finally over.  I have to admit that summer is normally my favorite season...flip flops, running out the door without adding additional layers of clothing, soaking in the sun, hearing the children play outside until dark...these are all things that I love.  Having spent this summer without air conditioning in my van, I am glad to see the cooler temperatures!  Fall would probably be my favorite season if winter didn't follow so closely behind!  Regardless of what I like, winter will be here soon...and the holidays (which I DO love).  I also enjoy making soft, cozy winter hats.  Here are two that I made this week in celebration of cooler weather.  I hope you enjoy them! 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Shout out to Designs of the Heart

I just have to share this with everyone!  I was catching up on some blogs that I follow and was delighted, and surprised, and honored, and excited (lol) to discover that I have been featured on Designs of the Heart's blog!!  I am very new to blogging and facebook fan pages and twitter and am just beginning to get my SimplyMelissa Designs business off the ground.  So being featured on an awesome crafter and artisan's blog is the ultimate compliment to me.  I'd like to give her a shout out and thank her!  Visit her blog and check out her other pages as well. 

I hope you all have a wonderful day!  I will be posting some new pictures and projects very soon!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Holiday Boot Camp

I took a big step today as a relatively new artisan, and pledged to participate in the Etsy Holiday Boot Camp! It is a boot camp designed to help etsy seller get geared up, excited and ready for the holiday selling season.  It's purpose is to give sellers assignments and tips to help us...but even more importantly, to have a support group where we can help and encourage one another.  I know it will stretch me and bring me out of my comfort zone...and I need that!  I'm excited to be a part of this boot camp.  If you are participating in this program, I would love to have you follow my blog (and I will follow yours) so that we can motivate and encourage one another! 

My first assignment is to post my pledge for myself and others to see.  I have taped it to my desk where I read it every morning.  Here is my pledge:

I, Melissa Hurlburt, pledge to participate in the Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp to the best of my abilities.  I vow to check in every week, do my homework and support my fellow Holiday Boot Campers.  I will read the weekly newsletters and blog posts, check in on the weekly forum thread, read the weekly blog post, check off the checklists and salute the mascot.  I promise to share what I've learned with those who need it, support my fellow Etsy indiepreneurs and, most of all, have a positive and persistent attitude.  I understand that together we can spread the word about our handmade and vintage goods, making this holiday season a more unique and meaningful one to gift givers and give-ees everywhere!

I am enjoying working on my first week's assignments and am indeed feeling very motivated!  If you are a boot camper or would like to know more, leave me a comment, and I will be glad to share more!  I hope you all have a very happy Wednesday!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Candle Cozies

Some days I like to take a break from hats and design other things.  In my home, we LOVE candles!!  Sometimes, I think the candle labels are a little unatractive and just don't go with the decor.  I decided to design a crochet cozy that will cover that label and make the candle a part of the decor. 

I love beads, and this is a great way for me to use pretty beads!

I can't wait to try different colors and add holiday themed beads, etc.  I can picture me changing my candle cozies each season! 

I hope you have all had a great day!  I have been visiting fellow artisan's etsy shops and facebook fan pages today.  There are sooo many talented people out there.  I think I will try to spotlight a few of them occasionally here on my blog! : )

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day of Design

Today I have accomplished much!  I completed four new hats...such as this pretty pink baby hat.  I also completed one in white (just like the pink one) and one in blue...for those baby boys out there.

Since my personal favorite accessory color is black (and at the request of a dear friend), I also made an adult size hat in black!  Black doesn't photograph very well, it seems, but the stitch pattern is the same as the little blue one.

I have also designed and completed 3 neckwarmers in pretty fall colors.  I only need to purchase and add the buttons before I can photograph them.  In case you don't know, neckwarmers are mini scarves that you button around your neck...keeping your neck all warm and cozy! 
Upon the request of one of my beautiful nieces, I have designed a pair of arm/wrist warmers (also known as fingerless gloves).  I intend to photograph these when my daughter's lovely hands are available to modle! 
I'd say that so far I have had a beautiful day in yarn heaven!!  I hope you have done something that you loved to do today!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My beautiful daughter!

OK...so...this is my second post today, but I just had to share this.  My daughter got her sophmore pictures back today...and they are just beautiful!  She is loving 10th grade and is making all A's so far!  She has Visual Arts, French I, English II, and Civics and Economics.  I think Visual Arts and Civics and Economics are her favorite classes.  She is quite the artist and loves anything history related.  She has signed up to play "Powder Puff Football" and starts practices this week.  She is also joining the "Interact" club, which is a club based on service.  They go to Walter Bickett preschool to give the children Chrismas/Holiday gifts, they organize two blood drives, and they host the school's Special Olympics.  She will be in her element with this club as she loves to serve!  She wants to do track in the spring and maybe join the Reading Club (because her English teacher gives extra credit to Reading Club members who read the books).  She loves going out to support the football team...(who is undefeated so far this year).  She also cannot wait until Homecoming.  I can tell she is going to have a busy and fun-filled year!!  And that means that I will too!  =D 

Light out of darkness...

My daughter and I were enjoying some time together on the road this weekend, when we saw the most beautiful thing...the sun coming from behind a dark cloud.  Since my daughter drives everywhere we go now, I was able to take a minute to capture the moment on "film", well actually on her cell phone.  To me, it was just breathtaking, and as I pondered why...I realized that it reminds me of my life.  Having come through some dark times the past few years, I finally feel as if there is now an abundance of light in my life coming out of the dark.  I have often heard that we should be thankful for our trials, as they help us to grow and to appreciate the good.  I have struggled with this concept these past few years.  Perhaps this wonderous scene was placed there just for me to see. Pondering this beautiful picture has made me realize that I now appreciate beauty and blessings so much more than I ever have.  Because I have seen dark days, I now rejoice in the good days.  I am so thankful for my many blessings and for my Heavenly Father's love for me! I look forward to much more light out of darkness and to my future.  I hope this small post may give someone the hope that it has given me! 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Here I go...

Well, it seems that everyone is blogging these days. I enjoy visiting others' blogs...reading their stories, looking at their beautiful photos, and keeping up with their lives. It allows me to stay in touch with loved ones that I would otherwise lose touch with due to distance and time restraints. I also know that writting is a great form of therapy and is good for the mind and soul. Trust me, I could use a good dose of therapy most days! Sooo...I've decided it's about time for me start a blog. Better late than never, right? I can't garantee that it will be exiciting, or even interesting...ok, I can probably garantee that it won't be! haha I am photo challenged and need to start keeping my camera with me so that I will be able to capture all the precious moments in time! I have so many things that I want to share on my blog, but I know it will take time for me to figure out all the technical stuff that will allow me to do so. Most of all, this will take discipline for me, in that I will need to make a routine for myself that will help me remember to blog!! I hope you will enjoy your visits to my blog. If you have a blog that I could follow, send me the link!! Here I go...