Monday, March 30, 2009

Carvel Soaps

Carvel Country Soap is brought to us from Carvel Alberta Canada! Krysta has had her shop on Etsy since 2006.

#1. How did you decide on your shop name?
Being from the tiny hamlet of Carvel, located just west of Edmonton, Alberta, I thought it only natural to include my home in my shop name. Carvel Country Soapworks is all me and I am so proud of where I am from.

#2. When did you start crafting?
Though I do not consider myself a crafty person, I have always had an interest in learning different crafts. I have taken classes on and completed projects in scrapbooking, painting, cake decorating, sewing and I began making bath and body products just over a year ago. Making soaps and other bath and body products are by far my most favorite.

#3. What or who inspires you?
My children inspire me. In the words of Anne Tyler, "It seems to me that since I've had children, I've grown richer and deeper. They may have slowed down my writing for a while, but when I did write, I had more of a self to speak from."

#4. Do you have a day job?
Having went to school to be an optician, I am now a full time mom to 3 kids who are growing so fast. My daughter is 5 1/2 and in kindergarten and my twin boys are almost 4 and in preschool. Though I would love to create during the day, it's almost impossible without having "helpers" so most of my creating is done after hours.

#5. What is the item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?
So hard to pick just one. I truly love making everything listed in my Etsy shop but my monkey shaped goat milk soaps scented with monkey farts fragrance oil always put a smile on my face whenever I am making them.

Audrey's Accolades:
I love handmade soap!! Was introduced to it in Dec. and haven't looked back since. Krysta has a wide variety of B&B products and an amazing choice in fragrances. She carries everything from Shea Butter Soap, kids soaps, goat milk soap, lip balm, bath salts and one item I would love to try: Body Butter. These look awesome!!

Scented with Green Tea fragrance oil, this ultra foaming bath butter has a super fluffy texture and is a wonderful alternative to your daily soap, shaving cream or shampoo! Use a small amount on a bath puff or washcloth and you are well on your way to super soft, sweet smelling skin.


Leah Lee Designs

Leah Lee Designs has been on Etsy for 6 months now. Kara lives in Oklahoma.

1. How did you decide on your shop name?
My shop name (LeahLee Designs) is actually my middle name and my last name put together. Of course, with the middle name Leah (pronounced Lee), I fell in love with and married a man with the last name Lee! All my friends think it's hilarious, and the name just kind of stuck-LeahLee!

2. When did you start crafting?
I started crafting when I was sixteen, but seriously, when I was twenty.

3. What or who inspires you?
Everyday life inspires me. I love ordinary objects, and I love to make them pretty! I love cards too, because if I can help brighten someone's day, it makes spending the time and money to make the card, totally worth it.

4. Do you have a day job?
I do have a day job. I work Monday through Friday from 7:00-3:45, or a four day work week from varies. I hope to do this full time one day though!

5. What is the item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?
The item that I have enjoyed making the most in my shop is the decoupaged clothespins. I had never made any of these before, and I really had fun with it! Who would have thought that you could turn clothespins into a designer item?!

Audrey's Accolades:
I was introduced to card making by a friend and have been hooked ever since. Kara has the most wonderful cards, note cards and tags! And a nice selection of supplies too. This is my favorite card in her shop:

This card is made with textured cardstock and high quality scrapbook paper. The funky floral paper compliments the bright polka dot paper perfectly! The inside of the card has been left blank so that you can write your own personalized message. The "Thank You" is made of an acid free sticker.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sunday Update

It's amazing how dependent we are on electricity. When I was pregnant with our youngest (17 years ago) the hydro was out for about 36 hours. Back then we had a wood stove in the livingroom and could heat part of the house with that. Actually heated up soup and made hotdogs on the stove too!
This time however we didn't have a wood stove but do have a very nice BBQ! We put it in the garage out of the wind, rain & snow and managed to have warm meals. Didn't realize how often in a day I would use the microwave to heat up my coffee till I couldn't do it anymore! Can you say "withdrawl"?
We do have a small generator so we did have a few lights, could watch T.V. and run a small heater. Kept the kitchen/diningroom/livingroom area at about 15C (59F), the rest of the house got down to 11C (52F).

Since I couldn't be on the computer or do laundry or vacuum (bummer LOL) and school was cancelled for those two days - I got some cards made. I need to put something in the middle of these yet.

I read two books and started a third.

1) Not to bad. Took a little while to get into, but it picked up about 1/4 of the way through.

2) I'm quite enjoying this series. It has some suspense, dead people, tiny bit of sex (or implied), and can be quite funny at times. Will definitely finish the series.

3) Almost finished this book. This is the first book I've read by Kay Hooper. Luckily I picked the first one in a trilogy! Usually I'll pick a middle one by accident. It's really good! Features a FBI unit with psychic abilities. Already have the next two at home. Should finish this one tomorrow while hubby sleeps through the nascar race, and get another one started!!

What did you do for excitement during the week? We have spring break this week - YIPEE!! We were planning on going to Fargo ND for 3 days - but they are worried about flooding this week - so I'm not sure what we'll do.

Friday, March 27, 2009

This Gal is Sew Crazy

This Gal is Sew Crazy is a wonderful shop with bags! This shop is brought to us by Theresa who lives in Whitehorse, Canada.

#1. How did you decide on your shop name?
My shop name for Etsy, thisgalissewcrazy, came about because I am 'crazy about sewing'! I do have another name which came about after, HBT Designs. HBT means 'handcrafted by Theresa'.

#2. When did you start crafting?
Oh my ... I can't really remember! I've always loved doing crafts, creating things. My mom wasn't very crafty, but my Grandma was. My first 'real' recollection is when I was about 7 or 8, my grandma taught me how to knit and crochet and I haven't stopped creating since. I remember the initial excitement while I was learning ... and you know, I feel that way to this day about anything I make! I'm continually trying new things. My first venture into marketing my crafts and the goodies I made was about 12 years ago. I sold baby clothes, blankets, ornaments, etc. at a local craft fair. When I couldn't find a nice smelling candle, I learned to make candles which eventually expanded into bath and body products. I made this into an on-line business, Making Scents by Theresa. While this business was successful and I loved doing it, it got to be a little too much. I couldn't 'walk' away from it when I needed to as I made everything from scratch ... or more appropriately put, when my kids needed me as they were all fairly young. I eventually sold this business (my recipes and stock). I've always sewed but became more serious about it about 7 years ago. I started out making quilts and eventually ended up to where I am now. I love it ... and the best part, it allows me the flexibility of being there for my kids.

#3. What or who inspires you?
My kids and husband inspire me. Everyday I look at them and marvel at the fact that I am doing what I love most ... being a wife and mom to them firstly and then, secondly, sewing. My little Etsy business allows me to do both! I have a 'silent' satisfaction knowing that I'm helping my husband out a little financially. While my business doesn't pay for 'everything' it does help with those little extras that come about ... this is also an inspiration for me.

#4. Do you have a day job?
Yes. Being a mom and crafter. I stay at home with our kids (we have 5 kids, ages 6 to 14) so during the day, I sew for my shop. During the evening and weekends, I'm a mom. I also volunteer! I'm usually at my kid's school 2-3 times a week helping teachers. I'm also the treasurer for my son's hockey team, on school council, help out with the high school yearbook, as well as anything that crops up that needs volunteers.

#5. What is the item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?
I LOVE to make pouches and mainly sell those. It give me the satisfaction of working with a variety of beautiful fabric and making an item that is used in our daily lives constantly, by both kids and adults. I do enjoy making tote bags though and hope to add more of those into the shop soon.

Audrey's Accolades:
Another amazing shop with bags!! Would love to know where Theresa finds this amazing fabric. This shop has a wonderful selection of bags, different types of pouches & much more. Spring has been on my mind quite a bit lately - so I have picked this bag as my favorite. Love the flowers on black.
The Selena Tote is fully interfaced for durability and lined with a coordinating black twill. Nice sized pocket inside. Coordinating cotton webbing straps in black (21" end to end with a 8.25" drop). A sweet Japanese fabric depicting beautiful flowers in soft pink, blue, yellow and green. Inside, I coordinated with a black twill and a cotton pink fabric for a small credit card sized pocket for the perfect touch. Strong magnetic closure.

Fantastic Finds

Oh - it is so nice to have the computer back!! I was starting to drive my family nuts. At least I had a couple of books to read.
Here are the next 6 "fantastic finds" from my list of followers! Can't believe how many awesome shops are out in blog land.

Mama Mayborne Designs is an amazing jewelry shop on Etsy. She has earrings, bracelets and necklaces in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and styles.

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Magick Moon Soap Wurks is a wonderful Bath & Body shop. They have a "Soap of the Month" club, and an amazing variety of soaps & lotions.

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Book Wormz has wonderful book marks that are impossible to loose. With all the reading I've been doing lately - I might have to get one!!

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Oodle Kadoodle Prim is a gathering of patterns & time worn treasures from the past, that have come together, from days of old and sweet simplicity. I think I might beable to fool the family with this pie!!

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Hand Sculpted Jewelry has a wonderful collection of hand made jewelry. Very unique pieces!

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Ashley Pahl Designs has a wide variety of cards, gift tags and stationary. These cards are amazing!

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It's Back!!

Ok - we have power back.  Got it around 2pm yesterday afternoon.  However didn't get the internet back till this morning.  Will post "Fridays Fantastic Finds" after I'm back from driving the school bus and picking up groceries for the weekend.  IT FEELS GREAT TO BE WARM!!
Thanks so much for the great "warm" wishes!  I was starting to go through computer withdrawl! 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Out of Power

Ok - I am at the local library to send a quick post. We have been without power (hydro) for almost 2 days now. Lost it on tues. at 2:30pm. The weather started on tues. with rain, turning to ice pellets (coating everything in site) and ending with snow during the night. It's still snowing and blowing, school was cancelled yesterday and today. Talked to a couple of Hydro workers on our way to town and they hope to have hydro at our place this evening. Hopefully this happens as it is getting quite chilly in the house. I was supposed to have posted a feature yesterday (wed.) but will post it on Sat. instead. Hope everyone is dry and warm where ever you are!!

Monday, March 23, 2009


Macri Photography is a wonderful shop from Northern Virginia. Bess takes amazing photo's and has been on etsy for 1 year now.

#1. How did you decide on your shop name?
hee hee...well, this one was mighty UNinventive of me. :) Macri is my last name. when first began selling my photography and taking family portraits, it was recommended to me by another professional photographer to use my own name in my business there you have it.

#2. When did you start crafting?
I've always loved having a camera in my hand. for years it was a disposable camera or a $25 kodak. then about 4 years ago something sparked in me.. Ican't really explain what it was but all of a sudden a bought a few books on photography and a *slightly* nicer camera. things have kinda gone from there. I am completely self-taught so as I've learned more, my book collection and camera pick has evolved.

#3. What or who inspires you?
I absolutely love to take photos of children. they are uninhibited, unlike most adults, and make the most amazing photographic subjects. I also love to work with kids so it is an awesome challenge to me when I get hired to take family portraits that will include is really fun to see the progression of how kids are shy with me (as a stranger) at first and then, by the end of the shoot, they are posing for the camera and asking me to take pictures of them! :) I'm also inspired simply by the everyday beauty of life...I have come to see the world around me in terms of how it would look as a photograph and am constantly mesmerized by things I formerly considered commonplace.

#4. Do you have a day job?
yes...I work for the government.

#5. What is the item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?
I most enjoyed taking "new" ( those are the teeny tiny toes of one of my god-daughters when she was only 7 weeks old and was taken the first time I ever saw her. I remember marveling in the perfection of her itty bitty-ness and, now that she is one and growing like a weed, I am so happy that I'll always remember that day.

Audrey's Accolades:
This is the first Photography shop I'm featuring. I was drawn to the amazing variety of subjects that Bess covers. You don't see only flowers & trees in this shop (not that flowers & trees are a bad thing). I can barely take pics of the items in my shop. Bess has obviously mastered the art of photography. I just love this pic:

Saturday, March 21, 2009

New items

It's been a long week - the first 5 day school week in probably 1.5 months. We've had 6 days of cancellations since Christmas, plus holidays, and PD days. Oh well - only one more week till Spring Break!!

I did manage to get some sewing done this week and made 2 raggedy bags and some coasters. They are so much fun to sew, once all the cutting and assembly of squares is done.

Brad had a meeting in the city yesterday. Got to spend time at Michaels while he was at his meeting. It was so nice being able to be there for 1.5 hours without someone asking me if I was done yet, or saying "do you really need that"? "How much more do you need?" Then - "I'll go wait in the truck - take your time." But you know the "take your time" part isn't what he really means. This is some of the stuff I bought.

The wool I'm going to bring to my Grandma and see if she can knit me a scarf. She is 93 years old and still knitting. Thought it would be a good idea to get a scarf now. She isn't getting any younger. Oh- Grandma is also blind (not from birth).

This is the creek this morning - have picks of it on tues. post. It's on the lowest part of the yard now. The shed in the one pic is on the neighbors yard. I pick up the neighbors children on my bus run. Now I have to drive 8 extra miles to get to their house. Crazy!!

Hope everyone had a great weekend so far!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday's Fantastic Finds

Have decided to do something different with my Friday posts. I'm still going to show you awesome shops that are on the net (not necessarily all on etsy). But instead of choosing shops I find during the week - I've decided to feature the blogs and shops of the people who are following my blog! So I wrote down each one on a piece of paper, put them all in a box and will pick 6 new ones each week. Here are the first 6 in the order they were picked:

Monkey Baby Creations. This shop has something for everyone. Jewelry, buttons, shoes, purses, glassware and lots of vintage items.

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Bag Ladee is a shop full of wonderful bags, pouches, brush holders, and brooches using amazing fabric!!
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PJ Turner is an amazing shop with hand turned wine stoppers, pens, key rings and more. I love wood!! Who knew you could make it so many colors, or get it to look like this!!

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RDG Designs has the most awesome glass pieces. Hubby won't buy me flowers because they die - will have to show him this one!!

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Whimsy Wire and Wool has been on etsy since Christmas Eve! Welcome!! She is having a Grand Opening Special right now!!

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Kid'n Around Creations is a wonderful shop. She sells handmade products for children and the young at heart. In this shop you will find everything from bibs, burp cloths, stuffed toys and quilts.

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Please go and check out all the shops to see all their wonderful items!! Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Don't have anything specific to post about today. So I thought I'd update on some other posts that I've done.

This is a pick of what my garden looks like today. I have my seeds - the asparagus roots are apparently coming closer to planting time. Will try and take pics of the garden as the summer progresses and post them.

The snow needs to melt, though it's been quite warm the last few days. (+6C tues.) Today's high is supposed to be -4C. It's still freezing at night - which is a good thing - don't want the snow to melt too fast and have flooding. Manitoba gets a lot of water from North Dakota and they have a lot of snow!! We have a creek that runs past the west side of our yard. This is what it looks like today.

The water should be on the lower part of the yard in a day or two. In 1997 we had to sand bag the house to keep the basement from flooding, hopefully that won't happen this year.

A few people suggested reading the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, when I did my post on books. So I went to the local library. The happened to have it in - so I read it. The book was actually quite good and now I'm waiting for book 2, "Two for the Dough" , book three came in tues., "Three to get Deadly". If they are as good as book one - I'll probably read the whole series in the next few months.

I'm almost done "Into the Fire" by Suzanne Brockmann. This is part of her "Trouble Shooter" series. I've read all the others and found out there are 2 more coming out this year!! WOOHOO! Can't wait!

My birthday is in April. There will be two give aways on my other blog - but I'm thinking of doing something on this blog too. Something just for my followers. What would you like to see? Something I've made or a gift certificate for my shop? Any ideas? All ideas are welcome!

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