Monday, January 19, 2009

Advertising On The Downtown Boutique Blog

You've always loved working with your hands. As a child you delved into Play-do like it was the clay of a master crafter. Your dolls had their own special wardrobes, designed by you. Even the sandbox was a medium for imaginitive and masterful creations. You would have wire-wrapped and bejeweled the family pets if they had let you. Everything you touched needed to be "crafted". If this sounds like you, and you are now selling your creations, then The Downtown Boutique is the place for you.

The Downtown Boutique is a unique community, comprised of an eclectic smorgasbord of handmade arts, crafts, gifts, etc. You can find toys, jewelry, accessories, artwork, pottery, clothing, baby items, bath and body products, handbags, and much more at The Downtown Boutique.

Look for our "Friday Features" and our "Toys on Tuesdays" posts. Those feature a particular crafter or artisan, and will even include a fabulous giveaway! We currently have TWO giveaways going right now!

If you are interested in being featured, please leave a comment here, and we will take it into consideration. We ask that our featured artists and crafters be willing to do a giveaway, that is open to anyone in the world (meaning that you would ship anywhere in the world).

If you are in a spot where you want to advertise, we can help you there too. You don't have to be a crafter to advertise with us. You just need to have a family-friendly shop or website. We have three different advertising possibilities for you. In just 5 weeks, we have had over 2300 visitors to our blog, from over 25 different countries in the world. We average about 50-80 visitors a day, give or take. We have the ability to track when someone clicks out to your shop or site.

#1: Small Banner Sponsor Listing -- This spot goes for $7 per month or $18 for three months, and is for a 125x125 banner, linking to your site. We have 10 spots available at a time for this ad space.

Ad Listing Durations

#2: Large Banner Sponsor Listing -- This spot goes for $10 per month or $27 for three months, and is for a 125x250 banner, linking to your site. We have 5 spots available at a time for this ad space.

Ad Listing Durations

#3: EtsyMini Ad Spot -- This spot goes for $10 per month or $27 for three months. Shows up to six items from your arrange which ones are shown!

Ad Listing Durations

If you need to have a banner made, please contact me through my Rio Oso Designs Etsy shop, and I will be glad to create a banner for you for $10.

***All advertising is subject to our approval. We reserve the right to refuse service to any shop or website that contains vulgar, offensive, or pornographic items in it. The Downtown Boutique is a family-friendly environment, and we would like to keep it that way.

To check out The Downtown Boutique for your yourself, just click now.

Have a great day!

Monday, November 24, 2008

What are Your Holiday Plans This Year?

I normally wouldn't post something like this on my "handmade showcase" blog, but how can I help but share? I must warn you, that I will not paint a pretty picture here, and some of the information that you are about to read, will be graphic and full of awful, unthinkable scenes, that are not scenes out of Hollywood, but scenes out of the lives of people a world away.

Please allow me to set the stage: Our family lives in a fairly affluent area of the SF Bay Area of California, although we are not considered "well-off" by the standards of the demographics here. We live very happily in a small apartment that is only 5 minutes from my husband's place of work. Things are pretty tight for us financially right now, and the other day, we were lamenting about the fact that we wouldn't be able to buy the kinds of, and quantities of Christmas gifts for our family members like we have in the past years. We hear every day about what the "best Christmas present" is, and how if only we had "THIS CAR", we would be full of joy. "There's nothing that will bring your family together this holiday season like ___________." People are concerned with the big game, or the gas prices, or if their 401K is going to survive. While I realize that some of the fears we face in this economy are legit, I don't think we're really feeling the squeeze quite yet.

But compared to the MAJORITY of the world, our little family is RICH! Comparatively speaking, we are millionaires! My husband has been praying lately that God will "break his heart" for the things that break God's heart. And God has been answering that prayer. Lately, we have heard only small snippets of news stories, or read small clippings about the things that are going on in Africa: Congo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and other African nations. There is war going on that is devastating the lives of many. 30,000 rapes have been reported each year for the past four years, just in the Democratic Republic of Congo alone, and the actual number is thought to be four times that high. Children are going without food and good drinking water. Schools are being raided and young boys are being kidnapped and are forced to train as soldiers. Yes, you might have seen this on "24" the other night, in a "make-believe" country, but this is REAL. "Increased violence has created massive new population displacement in North Kivu. The fighting and insecurity has made it difficult for humanitarian organisations to deliver assistance. Large areas of the region are inaccessible, as many roads have been cut off." (Quoted from HERE.)

My husband showed me a video today that had me in tears, with my heart just breaking over what is going on in the DRC. I hope that you will watch this video, and that your heart will break enough for you to want to take action.

I know that, if you are like me, you are probably thinking, "But what can I do?". It seems so hopeless. We're so far away, and what we send might not even arrive there in time to help, or even arrive there at all. But there is one thing that you can do. You can pray. God hears immediately, and will intervene. We may never hear of it...we may never see a result...but He is sovereign, and He will intervene. I hope that you will think about this over the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and general holiday season. I hope that your mind has been filled with turmoil over the pain and suffering that these people are enduring. I hope that it is enough to make you want to get on your knees and cry out for these people. I know that we will be interceding at the throne for these people.
While we are definitely moved by what is going on in the DRC, and the rest of Africa, and we as a family will be giving what we can to help give aid to these people, it is not our intent to solicit donations to any specific charity. However, if your heart has been moved by what is going on over there, and you would LIKE to be able to help financially, there are several relief organizations with "A" or "A+" ratings (via or, that are providing relief by way of clean water, food, medicines, shelter, etc., such as Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, and Save the Children. Each of these sites have ways for you to donate directly to ongoing relief efforts in the Congo.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas, and remember to praise God that you are alive and that you are so richly blessed with all that you have. Please don't forget to pray without ceasing.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Adoption Process

As some of you may know, we are in the process of adopting a little boy who is now 2 years old. He came to us six months ago tomorrow! As far as we know, the adoption finalization process will begin in the early part of December, which means that the adoption will most likely be finalized in mid to late January! We are SO excited!

We are trying to raise money for the adoption fees, and so we are offering an adoption special in our Rio Oso Designs shop right now. From now, through the end of December, you can receive 20% off on anything in the shop. Your discount will come in the way of a Paypal refund after you have completed your payment.

Your dicount code is ADOPT20. Please mention this code in your "Notes to Seller", when you are checking out.

Here are some of the things we currently have for sale in our shop:

Photo Greeting Card Designs
(You can print them ANYWHERE you get your photos printed! Even at home!)

Birth Announcements and Adoption Announcements

Custom and Premade Etsy Banners and Blog Banners Custom Business Cards
PRINT YOUR OWN Christmas Gift Tag Sheets
Have a wonderful weekend and a fabulous Thanksgiving!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Harvest

I love's one of my favorite times of the year. I love the Fall colors and the wonderful smells, and the way the sunlight changes the view of sometimes the most ordinary thing. Here are some items from that speak volumes about Fall Harvest. Click on each picture to take you to the Etsy listing.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Gotcha! Nope, it's not's not even October...for that matter, it's not even fall, well at least not until Monday the 22nd!

But we have some very cute Halloween Photo Greeting Cards for sale in our Etsy shop. I hope you will take a peek.