February 24, 2011

Photo Contest Winner and Dream Big is Online!

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

~Dr. Seuss. 


Wow, what an awesome week this has been!!  I've learned so much this week...about you guys, your kids' personality (and whoa do they have some!! ;), about working my tail off for some greater good, for my appreciation of family time (sadly I had too little)...the list goes on and on! 

The Kids personality Contest was a massive hit, and soooo fun!  I look at these photos so much and think about how cool our kids are.  How lucky are we??  And now it's time to announce the winners of the contest!!!

We have a clear winner in the fan favorite category.  With 111 votes (wow!!) our winner is......

There was no caption on this one...but, as a psychology experiment (or, you know, just for the fun of it), I decided to get a caption from each member of my family. :)  I asked them each "What do you think this girl is thinking?  My answers.....

Mr. SLD: "I think I can get some more of that candy over there."

Me:"Oooooh, I hope Mummy doesn't see the big box of cereal I just dumped into the washing machine....."

Finley: "I think there was a dinosaur in the house"


So, congratulations to Gabby and her mum Kimmy!  It just so happens that Gabby is wearing SLD...how cute is that dress on her!  Gabby is the winner of $40 in SLD store credit.  :)

Now, when it came time to selecting our 2nd place and 3rd place winners of $10 in store credit, there was no clear winner.  You would think we were deciding on who to award the Nobel Peace Prize to, based on our debating about the potential candidates.  :)  
But, after some significant time and thought, the panel of four selected the following two winners:

Congratulations to Karsten and Michelle's little girl!! We really were totally digging how these kids embraced their individuality and personality! 

Winners, email me at shari@sorenlorensendesign.com!!

Thank you all so so much for playing, and I'll hope you will head over to my Big Cartel Shop where at 7pm PST/10pm EST I am releasing the Dream Big Collection!  You can read more about the collection here.  90% of each sale from Feb 24-March 6th will go to help fund a micro-loan for a sewing business.  Fun, aye?

Happy One year birthday to me!!  I cannot wait to see what's in store next!!!


February 22, 2011

Dream Big Release is coming up....

So, I've been talking lots about my one year anniversary of Soren Lorensen Design (February 24th!!) and wanted to do something REALLY special!!!  Soooooo.........I am so so excited about this.  The clothing is almost secondary to me right now when I think about how great this can be. :) 

I've always been a fan of micro-loans.  I don't care so much about the repayment aspect (which is about 98% if you can believe it!) But what I just adore about this concept (and am so thrilled it's become a popular method of giving) is the fact with considerably little you can help empower someone else around the world in massive ways.

We all have different needs, and most of us are lucky enough to be able to take care of them without too much hardship.  But there are some folks, for whom $50 may make a massive difference in their lives.  It could buy them a sewing machine to start a new business.  A woman, somewhere around the world, just needs a sewing machine to help her family and empower herself.  It's a beautiful thing, because I happen to know where I can find $50! Yipppeeee!   :)

I am going to sell my new screen print titled Dream Big to help raise funds toward a sewing micro loan for women around the world.   When you shop the Dream Big Collection (Will be released in my Big Cartel Shop initially) between February 24 and March 6th, 90% of each sale (before shipping) will go toward funding a loan at Kiva that benefits women in the sewing community.  Yay!!! :)

Each and every garment in the Dream Big series is exactly like your child, and the rest of SLD; one of a kind and fun!  I may add a few screen prints to blank tees and onesies later if there is interest...but the initial offering will be of one of a kind, ready to ship garments sized up to 5/6 (please let me know if there is interest for larger sizes and BOYS garments!).
Giveaway alert: Also, as a bonus, on March 6th I will randomly select two sales from the two week period, and refund them completely for their purchase! :)  Just as my way of saying thanks!  So it's possible that your purchase will be free :) Fun!!!

So, get ready to preview  the Dream Big Collection on February 23rd in my Big Cartel shop, and then see it's release in Big Cartel the following day.  Pieces will then be moved to my etsy shop after three days.

Thanks for helping me make this happen!!


The Kids' Personality Contest is ready for voting!

I am OVERWHELMED by not only how many entries I received, but also how CUTE your kids are!

I realized something that I think was the true purpose of this contest.  It's not about how pretty their hair is styled, or how colorful their clothes are, or even a professional photographer or brilliant lighting....  Instead, these photos SHINE because it's a moment captured where your child is simply being him or herself.

I absolutely love seeing the photos, and being able to think "Oh my, My Finley is EXACTLY like that!" or "Whoa, my Finley would NEVER dream of doing that!" because it means that each picture touches a nerve, something that you can relate to with your own childhood, or your child's.  Anyhow, I think it's pretty cool! :)

There are terrific entries of kids showing their own unique sense of self, and I encourage you to look through them all and share with your friends!  I hope to make this an annual contest because it's pretty fun.  Although staying up until past 1am was not quite as fun as it used to be when I was 18 ;)  LOL.  Next time I'll make the deadline a more 'awake' hour ;)

Here is where you can find the album....and here are just a few random shots from it that I think are so cool :)

I love this one because it was described by her Mum as her daughter being stubborn because she didn't want to take her picture and stand on the bridge.  So instead she took her skirt off and threw it in the air!  (I wonder if it landed in the water?)  I love it because I bet you anything this is something I probably did to my parents when I was little!  LOL.  (Um, Sorry Mum and Aba!)

This one is so so awesome.  It's pure happiness captured doing something so simple...jumping on the bed.  But it makes this little boy SO happy, and I think the moment is captured so wonderfully!  Can't you just hear him!!!?? :)

And this one makes me smile so much, because I can tell that this little girl is so comfortable here and just pleased as punch about something.  She looks carefree and at the same time maybe cautious to let it all go? Who knows, I'm not trying to play psychologist or anything, LOL, but just imagining the moment in time captured.... :) 

In fact, in my home, a smile that looks this amazing, usually means there is often a breakdown following close behind. My little one gets overwhelmed by big emotions!!

So head on over to my Facebook page to vote (by 'liking' a photo) and please chime in with comments on the photos.  I bet the happy and proud moms and dads would love nothing more than to hear what you think! 

Share the love :)


February 20, 2011

Changes....Memories...and Going forward......

I love reminiscing.  I love old books and vintagey junk items that other people would just walk right past.  SO, although none of these pictures or memories have that same flair by any means, it's still a great moment for me to reminisce on the past year of SLD, and our own lives.

A year ago we lived in sunny, hot La Quinta, CA.  Worlds away from where we are now.  Golf courses abound, sunshine, manicured lawns and a large geriatric community. ;)  I had some wonderful friends there that I miss dearly...but there was always a proverbial  cloud hovering over us in such a sunny place.  Even the start...Moving into our new home there and my water breaking that night, 5 weeks early, surprising us early with beautiful little Finley, even though we didn't even have gas to our house yet!  Surprise!!

We struggled with a lot of sensory issues with Finley, who was going to weekly Occupational Therapy and Child Psychology and the whole thing just bummed us out.  That memory remains a dark cloud over us in California.  We remember the day we had to admit Finley in the hospital when she was 14 months for strange 'zone out' and 'seizure like' behaviors.  Yet we received no answers....

We remember her refusing to play with other kids, or go to the playground, or run screaming from group events and so on.   And we still got no tangible answers.  We just had to deal with daily meltdowns and avoiding public places and hanging out on our own lots.  And lots of alone time does not make for a happy family.

The decision to move back to our home in Jackson Hole did not come easy, but somehow, it did come quite naturally, five years after moving to California.  My husband lost his job at a prestigious golf course in CA because they went into foreclosure and the entire staff was let go.  I had just started SLD and had no clue where it was going....so we knew it was the right time for us to consider moving out from under that cloud that persistently followed us....  We always worried about changing up Finley's routine...but she embraced the move with open arms.  Here she is walking up to our WY home the very first time....

It was the best decision of our lives.  Not only was it easy to move right back into our old home, but it was even easier to move back into a neighborhood.  One full of friends we had left behind, with kids all over the place knocking on our door asking if Finley could come and play.  It was as though I was back in Israel, living on a Kibbutz.  There was camaraderie and friendship from the instant we stepped foot on Wyoming soil again.

And Finley flourished.  We had 'warned' some friends that we were having some 'issues' and that it may take a while for Finley to warm up and play.  But something happened in this mountain air...it was like she got out from under that cloud, and could feel the sunshine again.  She flourished in ways we never expected, and are completely still in awe.  She relished in all the new seasons she never grew up with (It was basically summer year long in CA).  She grew out of her shell.  She made friends easily.  We didn't recognize our child.  Now it's our turn to feel ok about not having answers.

And the growth my little business took also surprised us.  I used to have a little corner of a room, where Mr. SLD helped cut fabric for me.....

I grew into my very own room, and expanded my stock of fabric.....

I am always in awe when I get ready to pack up sales for the day and think that there is a kid, somewhere, whether it's in Arizona, Connecticut, Italy or Norway, that is going to be getting a package in the mail soon....and then be strutting their stuff in SLD!  I often get emails that go something like this:

"The dress came today! It's so gorgeous!!! Kinda freaking out over it." I read each and every single one of those emails to Mr. SLD.  It NEVER gets old!!! :)

A year has taken us to SO many incredible places; personally and professionally.   I can't wait to see what changes are in store for Finley and me and Mr. SLD. :)  I can tell you now, there are a few new styles coming for summer (think: halter!!!) that I CANNOT wait to share!!!!!

Thanks for coming along for the ride.....


February 19, 2011

Last night's lame trivia question answer is.....(and Giveaway details!)

Yup, the accordion.  I took three (count 'em, 3) accordion lessons.  What were my parents thinking??  LOL.  Congratulations to our winner.....Tami!!  You get $5 off in the shop :)

To be quite honest, I kind of wish I had stuck with it (yes, even though it's an accordion, LOL!)  I never learned how to play an instrument, and think that would have been something neat.  Now I can make my daughter live out my dreams.  LOL...can you just see it:


So, it's now 5 days until my anniversary (have I ever mentioned that in my house we do Birthday Week, it's not just a day.  We celebrate for a week ;) so I am thinking it's time we get a giveaway started.  Here's the idea.....

So, when you think SLD....what do you think about?  It's not much more than a bunch of patchwork knit.  Seriously....  That's all it is.  BUT, that's NOT what SLD is all about.  It's always, always been about your kid showing their unique personality.  That's why my tagline is "handmade, upcycled and quirky.'  :)  It's the 'quirky' part that interests me.  We all have our own thing; our own personality, our own PERSONAL STYLE.... now is your time to show your kids' off....for a chance to win some great prizes :)

Yup, I'm having my First (possibly Annual?;)  Show Your Kids' Personal Style Photo Contest. (whoa, that's a mouthful!)  To enter, you need only submit a photo of your child (see complete rules and details here) showing what makes them who they are;  their unique style and personality.  They need not be wearing SLD, I just want you to capture them in a photo, personality and all! :)

One winner of a $40 Gift Certificate to my shop will be selected based on Fan votes.  Two additional winners will be selected for $10 gift certificates based on judging.  So there are three spots to win!  You have two days to send your photos to me at shari {at} sorenlorensendesign {dot} com and then I will post them in a Facebook album to share.  Then we'll have two fun days of voting (and more lame trivia!) Check out all the details here.

I cannot wait to get your photos of your ADORABLE kids!!!!!


February 18, 2011

Really, a year is only 365 days....

We always say, "where has the year gone," or "it's just flown by."  This year has been different for me.  Nope, I'm not talking about our calendar year, but the SLD year.  The year that's come, gone, yet I think I can remember pretty much every single day... that year. 

I started SLD nearly a year ago.  February 24th, 2010 was my first listing.  And sale.  :)  THRILLING day for me. 

This is what I sold:

 There was pretty much no way I was ever going to start a shop had my friend not urged me on.  I am so so grateful to you Ashley that you did. :) Ashley, is the brilliant mind behind the adorable clothing label Lil Blue Boo

Yup that's my Finley wearing some classic LBB.  Pretty stinking cute :)

And when the next day I put up another listing.  And had another sale, well, you pretty much could say I was jumping through the roof with excitement.  Really????  You're buying my stuff??  You like it??? WOW. 

Here are a few of my very favorites from that first week:

And check out how this:

 Became this:

(Well, there's one thing that hasn't changed in a year....LOL....my product photography was never very good, and look how much better it looks ON!)  I hear that ALL the time!  LOL

Well, I've been saying 'wow' pretty much everyday ever since :)  Seriously.  WOW!!!!!!  I cannot believe how far we've all come!!!  Hello, remember my unwilling model, my dear Finley, just a year ago?

And now...hello!  The changes she's gone through a year too is outstanding!!!

So, it's time to celebrate and commemorate!!  For the next six days, leading up to my one year anniversary, I'll have some exciting stuff going on....including a giveaway via Project Run and Play, some Facebook fun, and a release of my new anniversary screen print.  Sounds pretty fancy, aye?  ;) 

I'm going to be releasing a new print which will grace tees, skirts and dresses, and a HUGE amount of each sale will go toward funding a woman in a third world country, and EMPOWERING her with a micro loan to start a SEWING business!!  She is SLD in the making.  :)  Not like I'm massive hot stuff or anything, but what I am doing is living my dream!  I'm supplementing my family income, thus providing more for our family and my dear daughter.  The exact same things this woman is reaching for in her own world, under her own different circumstances.

Anyhow, here is a sneak peek:

I am so excited to share it and help get you some cute clothes and raise money for another woman just like me :)  How cool is that??!!!  Yay :)

So, stay tuned...check back here, and on my facebook page...for some fun this next six days.  And I promise some lame trivia too!!!

Thanks for seeing me through these 359 days.  You ARE awesome :)


February 15, 2011

Valentine's......it's just another day around here.....

Yesterday was Valentines day.  We had such a nice day.  I'm still recovering from being wickedly sick, but all week long Finley and I worked on making Valentine's for her class.  She even made a little mailbox to hold all the Valentines she gets from her classmates :)

We made these Heart Flakes (found the tutorial on Family Fun website) and can I just say.....?  They could use more clear instructions!  Or it was the fever...but I must have screwed it up at least 4 times before getting it right! ;)  Ah well, they came out cute when we got it.  And most importantly, Finley loved them :)

We woke up to the smell of pancakes.  Mr. SLD snuck out of bed early and surprised us with breakfast :)

And I can't say enough about how romantic Mr. SLD is.  Here is my Valentine's card from him.  Oh man oh man I looooved it.  I was cracking up AND I just know he's the perfect man for me after reading his poetry!! ;)

Then Finley presented me with her Valentine's Day card she made me.  As always, it involved her stealing fabric from my fabric stashes ;)  She also donned her SLD Valentine's dress.

All day I worked on new dresses for the shop and summer art fairs.....  This is the new dress style I named after Finley.  It's got some serious throwback style that feels vintage yet fresh to me. 

Worked on some dresses for St. Patrick's Day.....

And some customs......

I couldn't wait for Finley to come home from school.  I wanted to introduce her to 'my' new Bamboletta Doll!  Well, she's technically supposed to be Finley's Dolly, but while Finley's away, the mouse shall play ;)

Finley loves anything GIRLY, while I like a bit of rock star spunk....but I decided to make a dress for Finley to love on her new doll......to encourage Finley to play with her doll.  Because really, she gets very excited over small things like toilet paper roll inserts instead of big things like handmade dolls!

I haven't taken a photo of it in a while, but let's put it this way, we can no longer close the lid to her step stool.  Yup, it's out of commission because it is so FULL of toilet paper rolls and serger spool cones.  Remember this?

So I made Loren the doll this outfit to encourage her playing with her.

 And then I gave Finley Loren......

Yup, Happy kid eh?  But I must admit, the solar powered dancing plastic flower I bought her at the dollar store was her favorite gift of the night.

Seriously.  This morning, she RAN right over (and on top of) Loren, to show me her dancing flower on her windowsill.  Ah well.  That just means I get to play with Loren more without her being jealous. ;)

We finished the night with takeout dinner on the couch and watching trashy tv shows.  It was a perfect day, but really....just another day in the life.  See, this is why I never blog anymore, a simple day is always SO FULL and I never know where to start and finish :)