Santa In October? But I Just Want To Be A Burrito!

Autumn is my favorite season. I think I write that sentence in a blog post every year around this time. My reasons change a bit each year, but my love of the season is mostly about boots,  food — butternut squash, brussels sprouts, warm apple cider — and the free pass to snuggle indoors. #hyggelife

As a human person who wants nothing more than to read under a quilt by the fire without worrying about ice dams on my roof, I never want autumn to end.

Image Credit:
As a small business owner, autumn is something entirely different. It’s when THE HOLIDAYS are meant to be start. No, not Halloween or Thanksgiving. Autumn marks the beginning of Christmas and Hanukkah and gift-buying and gift-giving (my favorite part). So instead of wrapping myself like a book-loving burrito by the fire, I’m supposed to be thinking of snowmen, gift wrap, and eggnog.

And each year, I rebel against The Holidays coming so soon — even as a business person — because my human-burrito side just wants all the autumn all the time! And if I can’t have it all the time, can I just have it during autumn? Pleeeease!

This year, the answer is no. No I can’t. pen&thimble is starting The Holidays “early” this year. Which is really just “on time” with all the other shops. Holiday items have been made and photographed and are just waiting for me to finish one last bite of an apple to be listed on my Etsy shop.

This year, I’m offering a gift wrapping option too!  Bright hand-stamped (by me) stars and a gift note wrapped in twine. It’s already designed and photographed and waiting to go live as an option soon! But first I’m going to slide on my boots and crunch up some leaves and maybe start a fire in my fireplace and read a bit.

Post Update: Holiday Items have rolled into the shop. Gift wrapping option coming soon! 

A Long Goodbye, A Sale, And Time Travel. All In One Short Blog Post!

So… This post is difficult to write but also exciting. That’s what growth is a lot of the time I guess… difficult and exciting?

Saying Goodbye

I’m saying goodbye to the baby items in my Etsy shop. Goodbye, bandana bibs! Goodbye, teething toys! It was a difficult decision, but one I’m super excited about. Did I say excited? Hear me out!

Exciting Thing Number One: 30% Off Sale

Yes! Same pen&thimble quality and care at a clearance-sale price! Super absorbent bandana bibs are now $7 each. Teething toys that crinkle and snap onto an organic maple wood ring are now $9.10 — that’s nearly $4 savings!

Baby sale items can be conveniently found in the Baby Bibs + Toys 30% Off section in my Etsy Shop. No coupon codes to worry about at checkout. The sale price is already applied!


Exciting Thing Number Two: More Time To Make More Of What YOU Want

As your kids have grown, and my kids have grown, so have the offerings in my shop. But now I have so many different types of things for different ages and I find I’m struggling to keep them all stocked.

And I still want to be the sole-maker in this business — to know that quality and double-checks and care have gone into each item that I create and sell. And I still want to play with my family on the weekend. I want it all.

While trying to figure out how to get more time, I did write down “time travel.” They say to write EVERYTHING down when brainstorming! Haha!

So to make more of the things YOU want– which is overwhelmingly napkins, placemats, zipper pouches, and crowns (restocking this week!) — while upholding my quality and and care standards, I’m saying goodbye, a long goodbye, to bandana bibs and teething toys. And if one of my daughters invents a time-travel machine… we’ll revisit this!

This drooly baby was the best bib and teething toy tester!

Meet Aya at the pen&thimble playdate!

It’s time for another pen&thimble playdate! Today we’re going to meet Aya! I’m so excited that Aya agreed to share her Q&A here because Aya represents one of those awesome moments in handmade business–when a customer becomes a friend! Thank you, Aya!

Also, I’m afraid of birds too. I wish someone had invented video phones when I was at Piazza San Marco in 2001. Me + Hundreds Of Pigeons = Lots of Silent Screaming (because I didn’t want to be that obnoxious American but totally was).

Let’s Meet Aya!

image2Name: Aya K. 

Region: Midwest

Age of kids? 1.5 and 4

What do you do? Full time mom, freelance journalist and educator

What is your hope for your children? To grow up to love and respect everyone around them regardless of faith, belief, race, socioeconomic background.

What is your biggest fear for your children? That they’ll face discrimination or bigotry.

What is your favorite activity to do with your kids/family? Going to the park, reading and baking.

What is your biggest challenge being a mom? Lack of sleep. Life would be easier if they slept well.


Self-care: What do you do to relax/decompress? Netflix, going to the gym, and talking to good friends.

What, if anything, do you wish people knew about you? I have a fear of birds and escalators.

How did you become a pen&thimble customer? I came across the  Instagram page a couple of years ago and never looked back.

What is your favorite pen&thimble product? The bibdanas for sure!

Raising caring kids
See some of Aya’s work here:

PS. To score some of the bandana bibs that Aya loves CLICK HERE!

PPS. Did you meet Carly at our first pen&thimble playdate? Meet this military mama HERE!

How The Best Baby Gift Ever Started As a Handkerchief


One of my favorite parts of my job is collaborating with a customer to craft the perfect gift! And I just have to share this recent collaboration with a repeat customer and fellow hand maker. (Check out what she does with foraged wood here at her Etsy shop). Amy had the most thoughtful idea and I got to help find the right fabric and create her vision! What an honor!

Custom Bandana Bib Request

Fabric Selected

She chose the red bandana print, because it doesn’t get more perfect than her original vision. And I ordered those other prints too for my Etsy shop, because I fell in love with this country cuteness and wanted to share it!

Just For Baby

Here’s the final product! Thanks for letting me be a part of your special gifts! It means the world to me to add to the smiles in the world!


If you ever want me to help you make your perfect gift vision a reality, don’t hesitate to contact me! It would truly be an honor!