New Bib Design and Apple Pancake Recipe

When looking through the stacks and stacks of different material at our favourite fabric store one day, my mom (creativity partner in crime and teacher of all things I know) and I found a ton of this hilarious cotton patterned with all kinds of food items, and I just knew immedietly I had to create a bib line with them. 

Adorable new bibs, in Pizza, Bacon and Eggs, and Pancakes!

Click here to shop new bibs!
Here are the first three available! Pizza, bacon and eggs, and pancakes!

The best part is that there’s more to come – plenty of different foods to reflect your little ones favorites are coming very soon! 
Inspired by these bibs, and my own Little Deer’s favourite breakfast food, I thought I’d share THE BEST pancake recipe. I’ve added a delicious, caramel-y apple topping we’re crazy about. This recipe from Buns In My Oven blog is meant for making crispy, fluffy waffles, so be sure to try that too!

  
THE BEST PANCAKES EVER

For pancakes:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, separated 
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For apple topping:

  • 1 1/2 apples (you can use fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Mix together first seven ingredients in one bowl
  2. Mix together buttermilk, milk and oil in another bowl
  3.  Whisk egg in separate bowl until fluffy. Continue to whisk as you sprinkle white sugar inside. Mix in vanilla as well
  4. Add milk mixture to dry mixture until well combined
  5. Pour egg mixture into batter, and fold in until just incorporated. 
  6. Using a soup ladle, pour batter into pan over medium heat 
  7. When pancake(s) brown at the edges, time to flip!
  8. Repeat until you have a big ol’ stack of pancakes
  9. For apple topping, melt butter over medium heat in separate pan
  10. Add apples, let them brown slightly, about 1-2 minutes
  11. Add brown sugar, stir with apples for no longer than 1 minute
  12. Top pancakes with apples and serve!

And if that wasn’t sweet enough, I thought it’d be fun to share a coupon code for 25% off anything at Little Deer! Use code YUMMY at checkout, valid until Jan 31 2016!

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Gender Neutral Baby Shower Inspiration

Do you have someone in your life ready to welcome a tiny someone into theirs? Maybe they decided to wait until birth to find out the sex, or maybe they’re not into that whole pink or blue crap?

Here is some amazing items to inspire you to put together a beautiful gender neutral baby shower! This sunshine-y yellow reminds me of the bright spring and summer sun! These items would be perfect for a garden tea party themed shower.

     

2016 – Sappy New Year (It’s about to get personal)

When starting off a new year, the first thing that comes to mind is the phrase “new beginnings.” Not only is the statement itself totally redundant, but how cliché is it? It’s only the forth of January, but how many times have you heard it already, or thought it yourself? New beginnings… Yet I can’t think of anything that better describes how I feel about 2016. It’s a new beginning. My life feels like it’s been renewed and I have the most incredible, positive energy washed over me.

Life over the past year has changed so drastically, and I feel like now it is the time for me to flourish, enjoy it and take care of myself. The same feeling anyone gets when they’ve worked hard to build something. In my case, it’s my family.

If you’ve been reading along with me (not that there’s been much to read over the past few months) then you’ve probably read my first post, where I poured my heart out about my life. About my brand, about my struggles, about my family. I was raising my baby turned toddler on my own for quite some time. I was trying to be creative and make a few extra much needed dollars on the side. I was waiting tables for a living (I still am). At times, I felt empowered. Super mom. When the laundry was folded, Ava was fed, and money was in the bank I felt like nothing could bring me down. Other times, I felt like a hollow shell, floating through the week. Fueled by coffee, whatever groceries we had left, and the hopes of some eventual quite time, I would barely make it through a shift at work, with only the fakest of “server smiles” on my face.

A lot has changed since then. First of all, we moved. Ava and I lived in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom house by ourselves. It was over 100 years old, not very well designed, and you could tell. Although the house itself was in good shape, almost everything inside it was not. The stairs were narrow and had nails sticking out in a lot of places. The basement was partially finished, but had the only working shower and was the home to seemingly a million spiders and other bugs I didn’t even know what to call. The kitchen floor was cracked. The hardwood floors were stained and like the stairs, had a few nails I had to hammer back into place. Everything in it was totally outdated. I’m talking like 1970’s. But then the winter of 2014/15 brought forth the final straw – the house became infested with mice. There were traps everywhere, I cleaned the house from top to bottom, tried my best to sweep up every crumb Ava would drop, even got a cat (who apparently doesn’t care to chase mice at all). But it wasn’t enough. Not a week would go by without the appearance of a quick, grey critter. We had to move.

I begged my landlords (who took no responsibility for the infestation) to let me out of my lease early, and they finally did. In April, Ava and I moved into a brand new, beautiful apartment in a nice, quiet area close to the river (with a DISHWASHER!)

2015 brought another surprise (and blessing). Ava’s dad was back in our lives. Well back in my life, as he was always present in Ava’s life. Our year and a half separation was difficult, to say the least. For months prior to our decision to put the puzzle pieces of our family back together, we poured our hearts out to each other, telling each other everything. What we’ve been doing, what we’ve been thinking about, how we felt then.

The three of us have never been happier. Every morning, I think about how proud of the smart, sweet girl Ava is becoming, of how proud I am of the responsible, considerate man Nathan has become, and of how proud of myself and my life I am. To be honest, I’m so grateful for everything these past 12 months.

This year, I’ll be Maid of Honour for my amazing sister (!!!), working a new position, getting my first car, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for us.

I’m putting the brakes on the motion to obtain a DTG machine and I’m applying my creativity in other ways. Little Deer and The Starving Artist is going to join forces to become more than just an apparel brand. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.

 

Happiest (and sappiest) of New Years to everyone. May your year be full of sweet surprises.

xoxo

 

 

New Product & Bringing Back the Style

Hey all! It’s been a really stressful couple of weeks between my full-time job, planning Ava’s second birthday party, trying to construct new products to list in the shop and making sure there’s enough cuddle time and play time in between! I have come to realize that scheduling everything – including said cuddle and play time – is key! 

On that note, I’ve added a couple different items to the shop on top of the dreamcatchers. When I first created The Starving Artist, I had the intention of adding a large variety of items anyway, so continue to stay tuned!

Double-Sided Floral Heart Garland

 

DREAM Bunting Banner


I’ve added these super fun garlands and banners, perfect for parties or everyday decor. The first DREAM banner I made was hard to let go of! I want to keep it above my bed!
The floral heart garland was recently featured on the Etsy Sellers of Manitoba Facebook Page. It was posted in their Manitoba Made Weddings, which was so amazing, it looked so beautiful amongst all the other handmade wedding decor!

I’ve also had the pleasure of making a couple onesies for some pregnant friends. I love giving unique gifts that are sure to stand out in an ocean of baby shower presents! Making original onesies used to bring me so much joy, and getting back into it made me wonder if I should list some again. As some of you may know, I discontinued tshirts and onesies because the quality of the ink didn’t last (scroll to my first post to read all about it). However, the ink lasts long enough for a baby to get all the wear they can out of it, given they only wear them for a (too) short amount of time! 

Soooo…..   

And don’t forget to use code LITTLEDEERBIGBLOG to get $5 off at The Starving Artist!

Shop Spotlight – Belle Lys Decor

   

I’d like to open a new segment called Shop Spotlight with Belle Lys Decor, which translates to “beautiful Lily”, named after the shop owners adorable daughter! Belle Lys is brand new, it just opened days ago and is already filled with eye catching decor that would complete any modern nursery.

  
 One thing I just had to get was this glittery pink and gold flower canvas, it suits Ava’s room perfectly! Her room gets a ton of sunlight and she loves how it hits the sparkles. 

 

Belle Lys canvas displayed over Ava’s bed

 
 Another favourite of mine is the hand painted wooden blocks. They encapsulate Lily’s style perfectly – modern but classic. 

 

 The best part about Belle Lys (besides the fact it’s based in my hometown Winnipeg!) is that her pieces are so affordable! They have the handmade charm that is completely on trend and doesn’t burn a hole in your pockets!

Make sure you check out her growing shop here and use code WELCOME25 to get 25% off your first purchase! 

You can find her on Instagram at @bellelys_decor

The Inspiration – My Own Little Deer

Every creative process is inspired by something – or someone. Naturally, Little Deer is inspired by my daughter. 

I’ve always loved to be creative. No particular medium has been a constant in my life, there has always been intervals of different things sparking my interest. In high school, I discovered my love for painting in art class, and hours on the computer allowed me to learn a bit about graphic design. After graduation I realized how much I loved to write. Around the time my daughter Ava was born, I found an interest in home decor and fashion. All of these things stayed on my mind and in my repertoire since I’ve learned them, but was only ever displayed when I felt truly inspired. 

When I found myself tied up with work, boys, and friends, for some reason the urge to be artistic would fade. Then once Ava was born, I learned the true meaning of “muse” – and was instantly inspired in countless ways. 

One thing you’ve probably noticed about new parents is the obsession with baby clothes! And me being a new parent myself, I was no exception, and surrendered to many adorable Etsy shops selling graphic tees with ironic sayings, or printed leggings, or hair accessories even I would wear. 

One day I found myself purchasing a little outfit including a graphic tee, some cute shorts and a headband. The total came to around $55 with shipping. I asked myself why I would spend this amount, when a similar outfit at a corporate store would be a fraction of the price. I’m sure a lot of parents who frequent Etsy ask themselves the same question but the answer is obvious. The handmade feel of these items, whether it’s clothing, or wall art, or anything really, makes them so much more special. Items that you can envision yourself showing your children when they’re older, “Look at this little outfit! Can you believe you used to fit this?!” 

I really wanted to be a part of that. Becoming a parent, like many others might find in themselves, has made me realize the importance of enriching our children’s lives with love, even if it’s just an item handmade with love. 

I hope that you’ll allow us to send you something you and your children will enjoy for a lifetime. Please take $5 off any purchase at The Starving Artist Home and Nursery Decor, valid any time on any item, and please stay tuned for the relaunch of Little Deer!

Code LITTLEDEERBIGBLOG

 The Starving Artist – Home and Nursery Decor

  

My Little Deer, Ava Cathlene, age 2

A message to my followers

You’re probably reading this right now because you’ve been redirected from my Instagram or some other form of social media, and you’re curious about when, if ever, Little Deer will make its long awaited comeback. When I first decided to (temporarily) close the doors to my store at the end of last summer, I promised I’d be back in two months, tops.

I decided to create this blog to communicate with my incredible customers, followers and fellow shop owners. Although Instagram and Facebook have been excellent tools to reach out to many folks, I felt a simple post wasn’t enough. I want to express my utmost gratitude to those who supported me. Everyone who took a look, liked, commented, shared, followed, and purchased. You’re amazing!

The reason I closed Little Deer is simple. My most popular items were the graphic tees, tanks, and onesies. Particularly the Mom Life tank. I am so in love with these items and designs, and I was so proud that people were expressing just as much interest in them. However, opening the shop when I did was a poor business decision, and I’ll tell you why: I didn’t do my research. I bit the bullet and after making only a couple t-shirts, I opened the shop and created listings as I was creating designs. I had so much fun with it. Until I noticed that my t-shirts (of course I wear my own designs!) were starting to look a little dingy around the areas I printed on. And as I washed them more, some of them were even peeling. I was so embarrassed that I had products from my shop with this quality. Had I taken more time before opening, I could have avoided this disaster. I closed the store with the intention of finding a third-party printer and getting back on track within 8 weeks.

Eight weeks came and went, and I had no luck. It seemed like there were no options for what I wanted: I wanted to be able to send out quality shirts with long-lasting designs, and to not have to charge an arm and a leg. Until a few months ago, when I finally stumbled upon what semed to be the answer, a “DTG” (direct to garment) machine that I can hook up to my home computer and print out the best quality possible.

This machine costs thousands. 

One thing I didn’t consider when I began this journey was how difficult it would be as a single mom. I’ve been so happy to meet so many wonderful “mom-preneurs”, many of which, I found, are lucky enough to be stay-at-home moms or are married and sharing the financial responsibility with someone. 

I’m not mentioning any of this for any pity or sympathy, because I don’t need it. I’ve been so incredibly fortunate in so many ways. While discussing the difficulty of saving up this money, one friend suggested I start a Go Fund Me page or Kickstarter. I just can’t bring myself to do that, I feel like there are so many important programs out there on those websites much more deserving of generous donations. But I thought of something else, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner. 

I just launched The Starving Artist on Etsy, and I’m so excited! The Starving Artist is a side project I’ve created, carrying items ranging from paintings and prints to dreamcatchers, all handmade by me! I always wanted to expand the Little Deer brand to more categories such as nursery and home decor, but I didn’t think I would be doing it under these circumstances. This just works perfectly. I will be focusing on this side of the company until I can save enough money for the DTG machine!

Thank you all for having patience and sticking with me while I learn. I can’t wait for Little Deer to continue to grow, as I grow alongside it!
Www.etsy.com/shop/StarvingArtistHome

Sara