February is for (mask) LOVERS!

I felt a collective sigh of relief among all my friends and family when January ended and February began. It’s funny what a day can do- one day it’s dark + dreary January, the next it’s sunny + hopeful February…even if it is colder outside! I’m feeling fresh and new too, somehow. And with this new month of love and adoration comes some fun with Opposite of Far!

I am loving the Mask of the Month Club– it’s exciting to look forward to designing new masks here & there and collaborating with my talented friends is even cooler! And I love the thought of kiddos getting a little something special in the mail each month too! This month brings a new design that I’m especially happy about: the W A L R U S   M A S K !

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It’s not too late to order your subscription to the Mask of the Month Club! When you order you’ll receive all the previous months within 1 week- the masks + the special gifts! Or, you can order the Walrus mask by itself for a discounted price ($11!!) in my shop. Win-win!

Also on SALE ($11!!) this month (since I’m feeling all lovey-dovey!): the R O Y A L   F O X   M A S K S ! You can get one in red or pink- they’d make a darling gift for your special little kiddo on Valentines Day!

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And don’t miss your chance to W I N a FREE Royal Fox Mask on Instagram!

IMG_4573Pink Royal Fox

IMG_4572Red Royal Fox

(heart background can be found at Caravan Shoppe – the Chalktastic Backgrounds and other printables are so much fun!)

Don’t miss your chance to add these awesome masks to your kiddo’s dress up collection!

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Brickyard Buffalo + Nat the Fat Rat

I feel SO honored to be one of Natalie Holbrook’s guest editor picks on Brickyard Buffalo this week! I’ve been reading her blog for a couple years now. She’s funny & real… I just can’t get enough! Natalie writes about being a mama to Huck, fake eyelashes, food, infertility, New York City and being in love with her red-headed husband. I love her sense of humor and feel like we’re kindred spirits when it comes to “taste”- from her obsession with chocolate cookies & other sweets to her love of antlers, arrows & animals! Seeing her & Huck in my masks was really something special this morning! Thanks, Natalie for thinking my masks are cool & for choosing Opposite of Far to spotlight this week! And thanks to the gals at Brickyard Buffalo for hosting a space for handmade businesses like Opposite of Far to be showcased & supported!

Nat the Fat Rat*not only do I feel immensely cool for being chosen by Natalie…look at my fellow artists up there!! –

Yarn Bombed Antlers, Eleventy-Five, Boogy Boos, Squackdoodle, Aramelle Jewelry & Minetter + Milo

Thank you again, Brickyard Buffalo + Natalie!

 

blog love.

i’m ready to share some of the great things happening with Opposite of Far lately…and there’s more to come too!

a few months ago, i was approached by a pair of sweet sisters who were starting an online subscription box business. (have you heard of these? you buy month-to-month or annually and every month you get a box o’goodies in the mail! how wonderful is that?!) well, this particular business is called little fox, so we knew we were meant to be partners! for the month of january the 0pposite of far orange fox mask will be accompanying  Blabla‘s beauregard the wolf doll and a few other special goodies in the box!

JanPack-little fox

i am so happy to be pairing up with little fox for this month. we’re already chatting about our next venture together too, so stay tuned…and go subscribe!

(in case you were wondering, these clever ladies inspired my idea for mask of the month club!  i love getting mail, especially extra fun & “surprise” mail, and i bet you love and lots of people you love do too! so…have you purchased yours yet?!)

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i recently paired with brickyard buffalo, small fry blog & lots of other fantastic etsy/local sellers to offer 6 bloggers a sweet little gift basket for being awesome! i’ll share more from these bloggers as they share their meeting with the small fry ladies! i was so happy to be part of this project & hopefully more to come in the near future!

brickyard-basket

check out these awesome shops for more:

Left to Right: Dream Catcher Baby dress / Kelsey Bang bowties / Opposite of Far animal masks / SquackDoodle custom branded clock / Eleventy-Five tote / Cavalcade powder-coated serving spoons / Fletcher & Fox arrows / Hello Hi Apparel tees & leggings / Armelle jewelry /

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in other big blogland news, opposite of far’s raccoon mask was featured on *Design Sponge earlier this month! that one had me squealing with excitement!

raccoon mask on design sponge

even little fox posted about it! thanks ladies! 🙂

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and last but not least, Opposite of Far was chosen as one of Textile Trolley‘s favorite etsy shops! thank you for the shout out! Red Fox Mask

 

 

 

the long awaited return to blogland.

the last 4 months were crazy. i expected to be busy, but i underestimated the meaning of the word “busy”! it was all good-busy though, so no complaints (not really). Opposite of Far is growing leaps & bounds i can’t wipe this silly grin off my face! i am so grateful and proud for the growth of this little business. and guess what…i still LOVE what i do every single day!

2013 has some pretty big & exciting things in store for Opposite of Far. planets started aligning back in october with some amazing opportunities for the new year. this stuff has been in the works for awhile now!  well, it’s already january 8th and those doors are standing wide open, inviting us in with tea & cookies. i have been given the opportunity to work with some blog-famous & fabulous women and i think you’ll all like what we have in store!…but it’s all still under wraps for the time being! i’ll share as they come, don’t worry!

something i can share right now is a very special offer for imagination lovers everywhere…something i’ve been working on that is really quite special. (drum roll, please):

Mask of the Month Club- FINAL

presenting: the Opposite of Far Mask-of-the-Month-Club! With either a 12 or 6 month subscription you will receive one mask every month for all of 2013! 8 of the 12 masks have never been offered before, these are exclusive masks! But it doesn’t stop there, with a subscription, you will also receive a very special, very exclusive handmade gift from other artists i know & respect! this would make an amazing birthday or holiday gift for any child! need more details? check out the “fine print”: Mask of the Month Club-back

if you have any more questions, please feel free to email me! would you like to order this amazing year-long subscription? you can find it right HERE for 12 months and HERE for 6 months!!

i would love to hear what you think of this new endeavor!

 

kids in masks are cute.

Halloween may be over, but I never get tired of seeing little kiddos in Opposite of Far masks!

I have had some incredible photos sent to be by my lovely customers & I just can’t get enough!!

*I also want to note that I am completely in love with the Instagram community! I have met, found, and happened upon some truly lovely people. It’s amazing to share and bits & pieces of my life as well as see others in a safe and supportive space. Many of the people below are IG “friends”- if you are on on IG, do follow them! If not, I urge you to join in on the fun! you can follow me too: @oppositeoffar*

I love this sweet family of foxes in san diego (see dad’s red fox mask? it’s on his hat!)  Jamie also happens to be a very talented photographer- check out her blog!

(@desertfete on Instagram)

Casey & her family currently reside in Scotland, but still celebrated Halloween this year. Her oldest son requested a giraffe mask + tail for himself and a purple hippo for little brother! check out her blog too!

(@cabaudoin on Instagram)

this little sweetie found her super mask at wholly craft in columbus, ohio. check out her dad’s photography website.

this cute couple spent a day at the zoo posing in Opposite of Far Panda Masks!

kati dimoff is a brilliant photographer and her littles make some pretty fantastic foxes, don’t you think?! i love that they re-created the grocery store scene from the movie, fantastic mr. fox!

(@kdimoff on Instagram)

another fantastic photographer and IG friend, Isabel has two little guys who like wearing masks too!

(@ifurie on Instagram)

my friend Candice‘s little one dressed as a bundled up raccoon for Halloween!

(@cordialkitten on Instagram)

This is Phaedra & Niko- he wanted mama to be the Rat King (from The Nutcracker) for Halloween, Opposite of Far happily obliged!

and last but not least, I let out a happy squeal when I saw this photo on Instagram- posted by Photojojo!
(@photojojo on Instagram)

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*If you have photos of you and/or your littles in Opposite of Far masks, please send them my way!*

email: oppositeoffar@gmail.com

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/oppositeoffar

Instagram: @oppositeoffar

costume time!

Opposite of Far has been HOPPIN’ these last several weeks! I’ve been sending masks + tails all over the country (and to Paris & Scotland too)! These masks + tails are great for kids…but they aren’t JUST for kids!  I’ve actually had more requests for adults masks + tails this year! They make the perfect easy + cute costume for adult Halloween party-goers.  And because they make the perfect adult Halloween costume,  I’ve been featured on a few blogs in recent weeks, check it out!

The Etsy Blog featured Opposite of Far’s Adult Red Fox Mask + Tail Set for a Fantastic Mr. Fox Costume!

Handmade for the Holidays Blog featured Opposite of Far’s Adult Red Fox Mask + Tail Set  in an adult costume post!

And of course, Opposite of Far masks are great for kids any day of the year, so I love to see my kids masks on blogs too! {our nest in the city} blog is offering a giveaway for one FREE Opposite of Far mask!  Check it out for a chance (or 5 chances!) to win!! Emily’s sweet daughter, Lily loves the Snowy Owl mask best!

it’s almost halloween!

if you’re planning a halloween party…or any party for that matter, you need to know about lulu’s etsy shop! she makes the most impressive detail-oriented parties i have ever seen! check out her facebook page for even more fun party photos!

i’m here today though to share with you the photos she sent me of her adorable children modeling opposite of far owl masks while enjoying a spooky party in the woods! i love photos from customers, but these are just ridiculously cute! don’t you want to join this party??

not one detail is overlooked! have you ever seen a cuter owl??can you just imagine how fun this party would be?

order your owl masks today then hop over to lulu’s to get all your party supplies!

all photos by kendy schimmel photography

<thank you lyndsey for sending me all these lovely photos, i can’t get enough!!!>

home studio.

the other day i ran into our sweet old neighbors at the grocery store. we don’t see each other often, but when we do we always share updates and tid-bits about out lives. i have never seen them “in public” before, so the dynamic was slightly off and a little awkward (why is that?). the first thing they asked was “so, kid, when ya goin back to work, huh?” they must know i don’t leave the house often, because my car is almost always in the driveway. i replied by saying “oh! i do work! i just work from home!” i tried to explain what i do, how i spend my days, but they seemed confused. “so, you make crafts….? but when will you go back to work?”

i struggled with this for a long time- feeling like i wasn’t doing enough to justify staying at home to work. i don’t feel like that anymore. i am BUSY! i work everyday, all day- often too long! i do sometimes wish for a studio outside of home, only because it would justify my “job” somehow. it would also force be to be home when my work-day was over. working from home is challenging- not only the part where you have to convince people you actually are working your butt off, even though you don’t leave the house- but also the organization of your day, ignoring the distractions, prioritizing, and giving yourself a break!
i’m finally settling into some sort of routine, after a year of operating Opposite of Far from my little studio down the hall. there are some key “rules” i have set up for myself to keep me on track, because working from home is hard! it’s distracting- it can sometimes be really hard to say no to that couch calling my name!

my tips for working from home:

*my tips/rules may not work for everyone, but they work for me!*

1. set a schedule

– i started with a really specific and structured schedule and realized (after 1 week) that wasn’t going to work for me. i have played with several different types of schedules- doing specific things on the same days each week (didn’t work), allotting time blocks for certain tasks (didn’t work). then i realized having rules, but not being strict with the layout of my day was key. rules such as- shower before 10, get dressed in real clothes, no tv unless my hands are busy, house chores can wait until i’m “off”. this is a schedule i can work with! i need rules, but also flexibility!

2. get dressed. every day.

-for me this is KEY! i make sure i am showered everyday before 10 (giving me time in the morning to have a little breakfast, check my e-mail, etsy shop, facebook and catch up on bogs while still feeling cozy and relaxed).

once i’m showered, i restrict myself from wearing sweats or pajamas. most days i just wear my favorite jeans and a tank or t-shirt but some days i wear a dress or skirt (if i’m feelin’ fancy)! i also put my hair up (or at least brush it!) and wear a little make up and some jewelry. this makes me feel more “work ready”, as if i were leaving the house to go to work. i try to pretend my studio is in the outside world, and so i must get dressed to go to work! this greatly helps my mood and motivation.

3. take breaks.

-just like if i were at a workplace, i take breaks. this could be a break to chat on the phone with a friend, check my e-mail/instagram/facebook/etsy, to sit outside and read a chapter of my book, to stretch or get a snack. sometimes i even use these breaks to wash the dishes or start a load of laundry because sometimes those things wear on me if i know they need to be done. doing them during my breaks allows me to feel relaxed about the house chores without detracting me from work. breaks are important because they keep you going! my fried swears by the pomodora technique.

4. EAT!

it can be easy to stuff your face all day long in order to avoid work, but it’s also easy to forget to eat if you’re on a roll! i have a full 24oz bottle of water on my work table at all times-staying hydrated keeps the headaches and drowsiness at bay. it also keeps me from stuffing my face all day long! 🙂 i often take time to prepare a mindful lunch for myself, i find this to be very important for my personal productivity. i stock the house with things that are quick and healthy to prepare and  snack on so i don’t spend 20 minutes trying to talk myself out of a not-so-great snack or lunch.

*want some lunch & snack suggestions? i’d love to hear yours too! send me a message so we can share!*

5. pick an end time and try to stick to it.

this is hard for me. once i start working it is really difficult for me to stop, especially if i have a stack of orders to finish. sometimes i’m guilty of making a quick dinner then running right back to my studio to work until midnight! these last couple weeks, though, i have been trying to reserve the evenings for relaxing and spending time with mike. i try to wrap up my work by the time he gets home so we can visit, cook dinner, then spend the evening together.

6. keep your area clean & organized!

i have made it a habit to pick up/put away/clean my area every day when i’m finished working. this makes it so much easier to start working in the morning! it also keeps the energy in the room open and creative rather than hectic and restrained. for me this includes being stocked up on all my supplies. if i am running low on something, i put it on my list and purchase it as soon as possible, even if it isn’t something i will need immediately. having what you need on hand keeps your work flowing! i also thrive in “pretty” spaces…or at least spaces filled with inspiration. i love my studio- the light, the colors, the organization, and the inspiration surrounding me! i often take pictures while i’m working because i love my space so much! keep your space beautiful, it’ll make you want to create!

…and some things i need to work on

*i need to get better at treating this as a “real job”…i know, i demand others see this as my real job, but sometimes i talk down to myself and don’t respect my work enough. i’ll have to work on that!

*saying “no” to daily adventures with friends because i really should be working! it’s so hard though, i mean i have the freedom so why not? i just need to moderate the weekly outings a bit better!

*internet distraction. i can spend SO MUCH time “taking a break” without even realizing it! yikes….

*still working on the working 15 hours a day issue…sometimes i just have to!

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if you work from home, i hope this helps you! or maybe you already have an incredible balance…how do you do it? any tips you’d like to share with me would be most welcome!

most of all i feel incredibly lucky to be able to do the work i love from the comfort of my home. how cool is that? it was literally a “dream” just 2 years ago, and here i am now, typing this blog post from my couch, in my pajamas! and when i sign off, i’m headed to my little studio down the hall to make masks- lots of them- because people from all over the world want them! pinch me!

panda baby!

did you hear? the panda, mei xiang, at the national zoo had a cub on sunday!

here’s a video of the mama and cub, you can’t see the cub yet, but you can sure hear it! you can watch them LIVE on panda cam via the national zoo website!

and to celebrate the new panda cub, you can dress yourself and your baby or kiddo as a pandas!

opposite of far panda mask

update: panda mama, mei xiang lost her cub. it was a sad day at the zoo.

flying out the door!

As Halloween gets closer & closer the masks & tails fly faster & faster through my sewing machine and out the door! It’s crazy busy over here in the OoF studio, but it’s the best possible busy I could ask for! Stores are being stocked, orders are being shipped, connections are being made…here’s what’s new:

I am making a very special delivery tomorrow!

…little Zeke is getting a new friend! Zeke’s parents, Amanda & Neal run Homespun in Indianapolis and they really wanted their little guy to have a special doll made just for him, so I did just that!

(look for a big ol’ “making of the doll” post coming soon!)

**would you like a custom one-of-a-kind doll like this for your special little one? contact me at oppositeoffar@gmail.com for more details!**

The Green Nursery!

TGN in Bloomington is now *officially* carrying Opposite of Far Masks, Dolls & Wee Owls!

BabyCenter.com L.O.V.E.

The Raccoon Mask by Opposite of Far is featured on the Baby Center website today as one of 14 simple & adorable masks & hats for Halloween! Check it out!

and speaking of babies…

*NEW* Baby-sized Super Hero Masks!

Kids as superheroes are adorable…but babies? oh me, oh my! every baby should have an Opposite of Far Super Hero Mask,don’t cha think?

…and did you hear…

Opposite of Far is in Fargo, ND?!?

If only I could go all the places my masks go!

Unglued– has already sold through their first batch of OoF masks and will soon be getting their first re-stock! Thanks for loving my work, Fargo!

and speaking of going places

Opposite of Far is going to Paris!

(not me, just the masks…but I’m still SO excited!)

La Truite Enchantee, check out Ines’ blog, or just pop in if you happen to be in the neighborhood!

(dream.come.true.)

New Friends of Opposite of Far!

I received this sweet photo of a little birthday girl “Ruby Riding Hood” & her mama from Queensland, Australia!

You know, I LOVE getting photos of kids & adults wearing Opposite of Far masks!

Do you have some photos you could send my way? It would sure make my day, if you did!

and last but not least…

don’t forget to order your mask + tail from opposite of far for Halloween!!!

not only can you get a FOX tail (in any color you want), you can also order mask + tail sets for: raccoons, skunks, beavers, kitties, and more!

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And in other news…

I’m LOVING this Fall weather and all that a change of season brings to the table! What are you doing to enjoy this new season? I’ll share more about my Fall soon!