Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Random Tuesday!

It was Christmas at the post office the last few days!! WOOHOO!! First I won 2 give aways lately and they both came, and I ordered some items from a shop on Etsy that is part of a BNR that I'm in (link to follow), and they came today! So here we go:

1) I'm part of a BNR on Etsy.
( http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6192615&page=1 ) Luckily there are only two Bath & Body shops in this BNR or I'd be broke!! LOL I've made purchases from both shops and one of the packages came in the mail yesterday!! I ordered 2 Warm Vanilla Sugar Soaps and Peppermint Foot Butter from Luscious Lather. (the foot butter is on my feet as I type this). Diane added some extra goodies!! One little container of Body Souffle with Goat Milk & Honey and another little container of Foaming Body Scrub in something Almond. She also added a crocheted face scrub. Peppermint is not my favorite scent but all the foot butters seem to come in it. This one isn't too overpowering and actually reminds me of the round white peppermints my Grandparents always had in the chicken dish at their house. It sure feels nice though!! Love the soap and scrub and souffle too!! OH NO!! I just checked and the souffle comes in VANILLA!!! Help!

2) I won this beautiful pendant necklace from HJM Art Gallery. It's bigger than it looks in pictures. It measures approx. 1.5" x 2". Isn't it beautiful? Helen also has the most amazing art in her shop!! These would look great on my livingroom wall: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=20920948 You really need to check out her BLOG. Helen always has interesting posts.

3) I won these awesome MaryJane Slippers from Broken Hallelujah. I got to pick the size and color - so obviously I picked red!! I did take a picture of them on my feet, saw the pic and wished I had cute little feet. Hmmmm.

4) Anyone interested in another swap? I had so much fun with the bag swap I'd like to do another one, but what? Or do you know of one happening right now?

5) Bought this bug lotion from Bovine Bubbles and Hog Wash. It works really well, has no deet and actually smells pretty good. Regular bug spray/lotion usually gives me a headache, this didn't. Hubby even thought it smelled ok.

6) I won some lipbalm from
Latherati Soap Foundry, and so I went to check out her shop and ordered some soap too!! This is the one I bought: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=27136129 Julie is offering Free Shipping right now during her Grand Opening!! I'm her first sale!! Who will be her second? ( I really need to quit buying soap! LOL)

7) We had 3-3.5 inches of rain Fri-Sat. The creek is up again. The beavers can probably swim from the pond to the creek right now. The pond is the water on the left of the trees - the creek is on the right. The water in the front with all the reeds on it is actually on our lawn.

8) If you have some blueberries in the freezer and don't know what to do with them - here's a great recipe for blueberry sauce. Made it on the weekend and had it with pancakes. Yummy!! http://themuddymoose.blogspot.com (they have really great soap too LOL)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Olive Street Studio june 29

Olive Street Studio is a wonderful mother/daughter shop. They design the cutest baby items and dresses for little girls. They have a wonderful BLOG.

Olive street 1

#1. How did you decide on your shop name?
The shop name is very simple – I live on Olive Street and adding the “Studio” sounded very catchy!

While the shop name is “Olive Street Studio” and I use that name for my little handbags, we actually have separate labels for all our baby items….”Emilia Anne Designs”. We chose our baby business name to pay homage to the amazing women in our lives: Emilia is my maternal great-grandmother and Anne is my maternal grandmother. I was lucky enough to know my great-grandmother as she lived until 92, and my grandmother is now 90.

It has been fantastic to work with my mom. And now my three-year-old daughter climbs onto my lap to watch me sew – maybe we have a fifth generation sewer in the making?

#2. When did you start sewing? Who taught you to sew?
I remember Christmas morning when I was about 10, and coming downstairs to Santa's gift of a blue Brother sewing machine in a beautiful white wood cabinet with flowers on the outside. I was overjoyed! I started sewing basic doll clothes and little 9-patches. But, for as long as I can remember, my mom sewed everything. She started me sewing the baby quilts – she gave a multi-color pastel chenille quilt to my sister-in-law for her baby shower. That gift kicked off a number of other chenille quilts to her friend’s daughters or daughter-in-laws for baby shower gifts. When she started getting requests to sell them – she called me up and said “would you like to sew baby quilts with me?” and that was it – she got me back in the sewing room and I love it. THANKS MOM!

olive street 2

#3. Are there other crafts you would like to try?
I would love to sew myself some clothes – I have a dress pattern and my goal is to make it for myself by the end of the summer.

#4. What or who inspires you?
My mom is a great inspiration to me – she can sew anything – from slipcovers to pillows to clothes (she used to make us matching outfits when I was a toddler) to both my prom dresses. She also knits great sweaters. I have several in my hope chest that I will pass to Ryan when she’s big enough to wear them. I hope they are in semi-style so that she does!

#5. Do you have a day job?
Oh yes…I work for the Federal Reserve. My commute is a CRAZY 90-minutes each way. Three hours a day is a lot of time to give up, but I do read and nap, and it is the only time I get to myself, so in a way, it is much-needed downtime. I’d love to have this little side business enable me to work part-time – maybe one day!

#6. What is the item in your shop you enjoy making the most and why?
Hmmm, that is hard. I like making everything, but I guess I’ll say the new girls sundresses because I can choose great cotton fabrics for them….and the chenille quilts and bears – the bears are a chore to make because the fabric is so think, but I love the way they turn out.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Inspirational Sunday

Thank You, Lord
by: Author Unknown, Source Unknown

Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes; we have plenty of food to eat.

Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry; we have plenty of nice clothes to wear.

And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds; they were so warm and comfortable last night. I know that many have no bed.

My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom, complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy, grimy towels and dirty lavatory; they are so convenient.

Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs defrosting so badly; It has served us faithfully for many years. It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals.

Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today. It has baked so many things over the years.

The whole family is grateful for that tall grass that needs mowing, the lawn that needs raking; we all enjoy the yard.

Thank you, Lord, even for that slamming screen door. My kids are healthy and able to run and play.

Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says You have richly blessed my family. I shall do them cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Upcycling/Recycling 4

Deb's Designs began as an effort to work through my fabric scraps. I have been sewing since 8th grade, and I now carry an AARP card, so I have quite a stash! Due to my short attention span, I gave up quilting and sewing for weddings. I get much more excited about projects that I can finish in a day or two!

Growing up in a "thrifty" family, I learned early to repurpose--baby food jars were used for storage in my dad's shop, scrap wood was used to make toys and clocks, outgrown clothes were used for quilts and pillows--it was a challenge to see how to use an item for something other than its original purpose. I've never quite gotten past the concept of re-making instead of replacing, so now I enjoy upcycling potential trash into useful and unique accessories. I'm happy to know that now I'm in the mainstream that is catching on to the idea of recycling /repurposing /upcycling. It's so much more fun to create something original than to purchase something mass-produced!

Loose Buttons is another wonderful shop that Up Cycles. Here are her comments on her shop.Blessed with a creative mother, I began sewing at the age of 7 years. I have to credit my sprit of reperpousing clothing and other items to my mother. My mother raised us alone, so we learned how to survive stylishly, with what we had. That ment learning how to sew.

Mom, taught me how to take an old garment and give it new style and life. She would say, what you save in redesigning (todays term, Upcyling) you can buy a new pair of shoes to go with the design. Wow! Party Bounus in our house. New Shoes!!!!!

Upcyling really isn't new, it has been around for along time. Mom would tell us stories about WWII when everything was rationed. She and her sisters would take their old cloths and rework them, tearing a used garment apart sleeve, yokes, collars etc. and re work them, sometimes making a new garment. Fabric wasn't plentiful in those days nor was the selection great. You had to use your imagination.

Starting a shop at Etsy was a turning point for me in my creative life. While I enjoy many creative crafts, I don't care to keep everything I make. I needed a way to move the items I create. Wha La! Etsy to the rescue. My pricing at Etsy is built to move the items that I create. I still work a day job, Etsy is more of a hobby for me, but what I earn allows me to stay well supplied in materials. I love Etsy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm Back!!

It's so good to have the internet in my home again. It's like finding a long lost friend! Having access to the internet only 3 hours a week sucks. I've only entered 3 give aways, responded to a few emails & not been able to visit some of my favorite blogs for 3 weeks now!
I finally had to make the decision to change high speed internet providers. I've heard really good things about thie company I'm with now - so keep your fingers crossed. Having the internet costs $5/month more now - but at least I have it!!
So how has everyone been? It's been relatively slow here for the most part, whick is good. Logan is finished Grade 11 now, and has to have his finger in the splint for another 2 weeks, it's not healing as fast as they had hoped. Luke is still enjoying designing parts fro Fire Trucks. Brad is working long days, and tired when he gets home. So weekends are time to catch up.
Two beavers built a lodge on the side of our pond during the winter. Rascal likes to pounce on it until one of them comes out. Then she barks at it. The beaver will swim up to her, turn around & splash her. It's quite funny. They can play like this for an hour some days.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Papillon Jewelry

Papillon Jewelry is an amazing jewelry shop. Tho Dihn is from Vietman and has had her shop on Etsy since the beginning of May. Tho uses wonderful beads to make earrings, bracelets, necklaces and more. She also has a BLOG that she updates daily.

#1. How did you decide on your shop name?
"Papillon" means "butterfly" (French), which symbolizes "CHRIST'S RESURRECTION" in Christianity. Hence, this shop was named "Papillon" to celebrate this joyous event and my new life in Him. This name came to me around Easter time, when I was sitting in my parents' garden and saw a beautiful butterfly. Also, my preference for eco-friendly packaging also reflects this "resurrection" theme since by making recycled envelope and card, and use fabric wrapping, I "revive" the material and enables my customer to do so, too.

#2. When did you start crafting?
For as long as I can remember, I've tried every craft I could get my hands on. Origami, painting, scrapbooking,card making, flower arranging, crochet, knitting,etc. However, I only came to acceptance and appreciation of my artistic side later in college when the overwhelming amount of schoolwork made me realize how my craft was truly my oasis and my creative outlet :). Since then, I took my craft more seriously and eventually started PapillonJewelry.

#3. Are there other crafts you would like to try?
I would definitely try soap making. I'm very thankful for soap makers. Their products are amazing "pick-me-up" which not only smell great and make us feel clean and fresh but also look like a true work of art!

#4. What or who inspires you?
Fruit and Flower. Living in a tropical country with tons of wonderful fruit all year round, I enjoy observing many vibrant color combinations, different textures, shapes and forms of the fruit (beside eating them. Yum! :) Plus, since I love flower arranging, I also have a keen ideas for flowers, it different shades of color, the well-balanced structure and lots of delicate detail. Those are the things that inspire me a great deal in jewelry making.

#5. Do you have a day job?
My "day job" (with no pay!)is being a junior hair stylist, meaning I'm still in school for hair styling for another 6 months. I'm all about making a woman beautiful, can't you tell? :)

#6. What is the item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?
I enjoy making my "A trip to the wood" Necklace the most. Here it is:
It is not necessary difficult to make. Its vibrant color combination is really fun, and there are lots of movements and textures as well. Plus, it is both sophisticate and almost childlike at the same time. I'm still a child at heart, and making this necklace really brought back lots of beautiful childhood memories.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Valeries Gallery

Valerie's Gallery features handmade felted wool vessels and handknit accessories. This shop carries handbags, wallets, bowls, vases, and more. Valerie is from Boonville, NY - A small town with population around 2,100. This town has 2 traffic lights and a lovely 'old time' feel. Valerie also has a wonderful BLOG. I would love to watch Valerie make her felted products. Still don't quite understand how it all works. Aren't these slippers just the cutest you've every seen?

#1. How did you decide on your shop name?
I don't have a knack for naming things and initially I was toying with the idea of Kessler's Kozy Knitting Kottage, but my sister suggested Valerie's Gallery and it was a hit. I am very glad I went with her idea! And even though we live on opposite ends of the US, I will sometimes send her a picture of one of my pieces and ask her for suggestions for names. She always comes through for me and we have fun throwing ideas back and forth.

#2. When did you start crafting?
I learned to knit and crochet as a child from my Mom and then during my 30's I was quilting up a storm. I love everything made with yarns and fabrics. It wasn't until one of my daughters went to college and joined a fiber arts club that I was exposed to felting. She showed me the principles of felting and I applied what I knew about knitting and crochet and it has been a happy marriage since then! I try to mix classic with hip, representing both my mother and daughter.

#3. Are there other crafts you would like to try?
One day, when I have some extra time, I really want to try weaving. My sister-in-law recently sent me her lap-loom with the instructions and I can't wait to give it a try. I've also tried basketmaking but mine come out a bit wobbly, so I'll leave that to the professionals!

#4. What or who inspires you?
I feel most inspired by nature. I am lucky enough to live in a beautiful area in Central NY State that provides a beautiful visual mix of wonderful colors. I like to believe that my work reflects that beauty by combining colors, shapes and texture.

#5. Do you have a day job?
I just celebrated my 20th anniversary working for MetLife. My current position is that of Vendor Management Consultant. It is interesting work and I have had a rewarding career there. But when business is over at the end of the day, I love coming home to put my creative side of me to work!

#6. What is the item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?
I really enjoyed making this White Lily bowl as I am playing with making my vessles more dementional. I like to experiement and try new techniques and I really like the way this one turned out. I already have ideas swirling around in my head for more, and I can't wait to give them a try.http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=24671206

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Inspirational Sunday

The Optimist Creed

Promise yourself...

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best and expect only the best.

To be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

TO forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievement of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Friday, June 19, 2009


The winner of the $15 Gift Certificate
for Recupe Fashion is:

Dalkullan Jewelry!!

Congratulations Heather!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Quick update

Well my internet access is limited to one hour a day, 3-4 days a week, or whenever I can get to the library. I've contacted my internet provider and they don't seem too concerned, so I've been checking for an alternative. Found out there are 2 other companies in my area & one is willing to come down in the next week or two and see what they can do for me. WOOHOO!!! So it looks like I'll be changing providers in the next while.

Don't know how quickly it will happen - please be patient and check back once in a while. I did manage to get some features & give awys redy to post, so when I get to the library I will be updating my blog.

I hope you are all having a great spring/summer. It's hot enough to be summer but I guess officially it's still spring.

Please check out the shop mini's on the side bars - I've changed many of them. Hopefully I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tile Me Beautiful



Tile Me Beautiful is an amazing shop on Etsy! I would love to be able to create such beautiful items. Michelle is from Spring, TX and has been on Etsy since March. She has an really lovely BLOG that she updates daily.

#1. How did you decide on your shop name?
I was thinking really, really hard about it and I couldn't think of anything good enough. It went on for days. Then one day I was being sarcastic and mouthy about something (imagine that...) and I said, "Well color me surprised." And it just popped into my head. Tile Me Beautiful. See? Sarcasm serves a very important purpose! :)

#2. When did you start crafting?
About 2 months ago. This just kind of happened all at once and I threw myself into it.

#3. Are there other crafts you would like to try?
I like working with beads also. I'm not good at coming up with jewelry concepts, but I make beaded serving utensils. Beads and tiles are two things I could stare at in the store forever.

#4. What or who inspires you?
Anything I can stick tile on inspires me. You'd be surprised how many things could actually be tiled. I tile just about everything in my head. Not sure if anyone but me wants to live in a completely tiled home, but hey, maybe I'll find my tiled soulmate :) Also going to the tiles store and looking inspires me. I love to see all the colors, patterns, and designs. Seeing all my options makes things come together.

#5. Do you have a day job?
Not at the moment. Getting close to the point when I'm going to have to get one though. Hopefully not for a few more months. I'm a good budgeter!

#6. What is the item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?
Probably my first piece. It was a serving tray done in browns and bronzes. I was so proud of myself because it came out wonderfully. It was the moment I realized that I could actually be good at this. That's a moment that sticks in your head.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Random Tues

I know that it's only Monday - but my internet is working for a few minutes. Thought I'd post this in case I don't get to the library till tomorrow afternoon.



1) Found a new site where you can "play" with your pictures Picnik. Tried it out on the picture of my ornamental tree. The tree needs to be pruned - it's getting a little wild.

2) If you are Canadian and have a shop on the internet - here is a free place to advertize: Indie North

3) Son 2 starts exams on Thurs. They have them Thrus/Friday, and Mon/Tues. I never did like exams, glad I'm done. Logan will be quite happy when they are over.

4) Hubby needs to sell this truck. Anyone need/want a 1998 Dakota RT? It goes really fast!!

5) Apparently my internet works when it's windy. So could everyone blow this way please?

6) Made rhubarb pies on the weekend. What a mess. They leaked in the oven.

7) Please check out the etsy mini's on the sidebars. They are all NEW shops!!

8) Also please enter the Give Away mentioned above.

9) Have you been to this blog?

10) I bought this awesome trivet from Desert Sky Quilts. I love it and will display it on my table for all to see! Donna did an awesome job!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Inspirational Sunday

Apparently my internet works when it's windy. So I've been working on all my posts for the next couple off weeks trying to get them ready so I can post at the library on calm days. My - this is quite frustrating. I have found out that the tower we get our signal from is shorter than the neighbors trees 1 mile away, and right between us and the tower. Obviously I will have to start calling and emailling my internet provider.

Ok - now for an inspirational story. I've heard this one before, but have always liked it. Sometimes being kind does pay off.

Circle of Love!
by: Author Unknown, Source Unknown

You know, he almost didn't see the old lady, stranded on the side of the road. But even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe, he looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt.

It was that chill which only fear can put in you. He said, "I'm here to help you ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan."

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt. As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid.
Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. She asked him how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She had already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped.

Bryan never thought twice about the money. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way. He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance that they needed, and Bryan added "...and think of me".
He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The cash register was like the telephone of an out of work actor. It didn't ring much.

Her waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn't erase. The lady noticed that the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude.

The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan.

After the lady finished her meal, and the waitress went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, the lady slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. She wondered where the lady could be, then she noticed something written on the napkin under which was 4 $100 bills. There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote. It said "You don't owe me anything, I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do Do not let this chain of love end with you." Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day.

That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard. She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, "Everything's gonna be all right; I love you, Bryan."

Hope you all have an awesome Sunday!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Quick Note

My internet is down again. Apparently there are some trees in the way of my house and the tower the internet company has in our area. Hopefully we can figure out a solution in the next week or so. But until then I am limited to using the internet at the local library. So everything will be on hold for a while.
Please enter the contest below!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Recupe' Fashion Give Away

Recupe Fashion is an shop that Upcycles. This is what Nathalie says about herself and her shop. Look for details of a Give Away at the end of the post!!

I have been recuperating ever since I can remember. I taught my children the importance to do so and they will teach their children the same I am sure. My first shop ''Recupe Fashion'' is an earth friendly shop. I take old,unwanted and end of the line products and turn them into new and beautiful items for my customers. You will find up cycled handmade sewn and crocheted items, jewelry nd paper goods. I can never stand still cause my brain is always brewing something new, and my hands are always working on or with something. If I have an item that I won't be using I try to find someone that will use it, if it isn't in my immediate surrounding, then I find that someone on Etsy that will.

That is where my second shop comes in ''Recupe Fashion n Stuff''. You will find destash beads, findings, vintage fabric, normal fabric, little fun bags, PIF's and other goodies that I come up with for people like me that could use them, that would other wise end up in the landfills for nothing. So now I'm working hard for this shop to get known so people can take advantage of it, it's also good for different children activities too. So be sure to visit both of my shops and look good with Recupefashion.

Nathalie is offering a $15 Gift Certificate to one lucky reader!! All you have to do is go to one of Nathalie's shops:Recupe Fashion and "Recupe Fashion N Stuff, pick the item/items you would spend the $15 on, and come back here with the link. Easy!! The winner will be drawn next Friday, June 19th in the morning.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sew Suzanne

Suzanne from Kinderhook, NY has the most wonderful shop on Etsy, Sew Suzanne. This shop has the cutest pillowcase favors, belts, bags, pillowcases, and sheets. There are many items for sale in her shop right now - just check for the sale section! I actually found Suzanne through her amazing blog - At Home With Sew Suzanne. I love to read this blog and she updates almost daily.

#1. How did you decide on your shop name?
Well, I just liked the way it sounded. I think someone once said something about a bag being so me - and I thought huh, SoSuzanne, which became SewSuzanne! I really like it. It's Sew me!

#2. When did you start crafting?
Well, always I think! I am the last of 6 kids, and the 4th girl. My mom has been a crocheter and knitter my whole life, and we have always been crafty. All my sisters have something that they are really good at doing in the craft world.

#3. Are there other crafts you would like to try?
Hmmm. Not really sure. I have tried and done so many. Sewing and creating have always been a passion for me. My sister and I even hand made my senior prom dress!

#4. What or who inspires you?
Another tough yet easy one. My mom first and foremost. All 3 of my sisters. And truly other moms who are giving their all while raising their kids. I always say, if they can do it then so can I!! And mostly from the love of an amazing husband who has made all my dreams come true. And some I didn't know I had!!!

#5. Do you have a day job?
Well, I am a stay at home mom with 2 daughters 6yr and 4yr, 3 dogs 1-100lb, 2 50-60 lbs 3 25-30 lbs, 2 cats. I home school the girls and help my husband with marketing and such for his job as a loan officer. I am head cook, house cleaner, laundy fairy and all around go to girl. But no, I don't have a day job :)

#6. What is the item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?
Oooh good one. Um, I guess the bags. Beacause they always take on a life of their own while I am making them. That is why I haven't created one in awhile. They are a bit time consuming. But I have alot of ideas in my head that I'd like to get to work on.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Random 10 Tuesday

1) I got these wonderful dish cloths from Handmade by Angie. I've used them already and love them! She also sent along this wonderful Olive Oil soap. This is the first time I've tried olive oil soap - it's really nice!! Angie hopes to get it into her Etsy shop soon. She is also offering free shipping on any orders this week! Just mention "audrey's country crafts blog" in the "notes to seller" portion of checkout.

2) Have your read "Vision in White" by Nora Roberts? It's a really good summer read, and part of a quartet series about 4 friends. The next book comes out in Dec., my that is a long time to wait. What are you reading this summer?

3) I finally put some new recipes on my recipe blog Audrey's Favorite Recipes. They all have rhubarb in them.

4) Our dog found this baby robin hopping around on the lawn. Luke rescued it after we tied up Rascal and took some pictures.

5) Looks like we will have record breaking low temperatures again this week. What happened to Global Warming? Who ever came up with that does not live in Manitoba Canada!! We also had the coldest winter on record.

6) Please enter the new give away for: Soap & Lotion

7) Only 3 more weeks of school!! The local high school has their last exam on the 23rd, the elementary schools go till the 30th. I am really looking forward to summer holidays.

8) Got the garden tilled last week and planted the asparagus. We plant the rows far enough apart that we can till with the 5 ft tiller. I really don't like weeding. These are my 3 rows of corn and the tractor with the tiller.

9) Is anyone going on a trip some where this summer with the family?

10) That's it. I had started a list on Friday for this post - was up to #8 - lost the list, had to start again. I know I'm forgetting something. Hmmmm.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Jennifer Labella Art

Jennifer Labella Art is an amazing shop on Etsy. Jennifer is from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, only 1.5 hours north of me!! She has the most wonderful book that she has had published and actually won an award in NY!!

" I am very pleased to announce that my book, A Polar Bear Night of Stars and Light, has won a silver medal in the category: Children's Picture Book (all ages), in the 2009 Independent Publisher Book (IPPY) Awards. There were over 4,000 books entered in this competition, and my book's category had one of the largest number of entries! The awards were presented on May 29, 2009 in New York City during Book Expo America. "

She has made prints and cards from some of the illustrations in the book, and is selling them in her shop. May have to get this book for my nephew for his b-day in Oct. He loves to read and this book looks amazing!!

1. How did you decide on your shop name?
I wanted to use my name because as an artist, that is how people know me.

2. When did you start crafting?
I have been painting and drawing all my life- as long as I can remember.

3. Are there other crafts you would like to try?
At the moment, working on getting better at watercolor techniques keeps me pretty busy!

4. What or who inspires you?
All other artists inspire me, including crafters and I marvel at all their unique abilities.

5. Do you have a day job?
Being an artist is my day job, as well as landscape designing which is more seasonal work.

6. What is the item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?
My children's picture book, A Polar Bear Night of Stars and Light. Writing the story, doing the illustrations and putting it all together took me close to a year. And the icing on the cake is finding out yesterday that it won a silver medal in a big international book awards competition (The IPPY Awards)in the children's picture book, all ages category.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Inspirational Sunday

Creative Choices

Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"
He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"
Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, 'Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.' I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.""Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.

"Yes, it is," Jerry said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live life."

I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center.
After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?"
I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. "The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.

Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, 'He's a dead man.'

"I knew I needed to take action."
"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. " She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breathe and yelled, 'Bullets!' Over their laughter, I told them. 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."
Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

"When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that in itself is a choice." - William James

Friday, June 5, 2009

Upcycling/Recycling 3

Harriete Estel Berman

As a recycling evangelist long before curb side recycling or the current trend to thinking “green,” I would collect all my newspapers, bottles, cans, etc. and find places that would take them back. Magazines can be taken to magazine distributors, hangers can be taken back to the drycleaner, and strawberry baskets can be returned to the store or farmer’s market. This all encompassing concern about excessive waste and its effect on the environment lead me to choose non-traditional materials for my artwork.

My work made a big change in 1989 when I decided to use recycled tin cans instead of purchasing new materials. I had been collecting tins for years, especially tins with unique images or advertising on them. Now they became my primary material for fabrication, although at that time it was kind of embarrassing to use “trash” to construct my work. Eventually, it was gratifying and an amazing revelation to be invited into the first shows focusing on recycled materials.

At this point, my studio is overwhelmed with tins from floor to the ceiling. People send tins from the East Coast and West Coast, from the depths of basements and attics, from friends, my children’s’ orthodontist, curators, and total strangers.

The tins are organized by color, pattern, or subject matter (such as standing women, sitting women, words, candy, chocolate, tea, and crackers, to moth balls, etc.). But it is not just about recycling; the tins also make a statement about our consumer culture and how branding and marketing affect our identity. These are recurring themes in my work. Sometimes the images are very familiar and people can identify the brand even if only a portion of the image is visible.

When I am working on a new piece, I’ll have heaps of “inspirational tins.” It can be overwhelmingly difficult to make all this eclectic found material work into one coherent piece. Successful work comes from being able to edit and simplify; integrating layers of meaning so that the audience is enchanted at every level.

Debby Arem Designs

My husband and I started our business "Three Ring Circuits" in 1992 and like to joke that we were ' green ' before it was really a movement!At the time, my husband had a company that manufactured PC's. Having a degree in Fine Arts and always having had a vivid imagination, I went nuts when I saw the inside of a computer and a circuit board for the first time in my life. I remember thinking " WOW - what fabulous jewelry you could make using these!" I initially tried creating jewelry using boards that had the components on them but found it near to impossible to remove the chips so that the boards would be smooth enough to use.

But then, by a very odd coincidence, we discovered that we actually had a neighbor who at the time manufactured circuit boards and remarked one day that she had to dump the ones that had defects. These were all mainly prototypes for testing before they went into mass production. They had never been stuffed so were as smooth as could be! Rather than see them end up in a landfill, we stepped in and obtained them and that's when our business was launched. One of our first big accounts was the Smithsonian's Air and Space museum gift shop here in the D.C. area. We now can be found in other museum shops across the country such as the Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry and the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Since 1992, our business has expanded way beyond jewelry to include many green office products such as clipboards, pencil boxes, key chains, rulers, business card holders and bookmarks. We also sell a number of home decor products such as magnets,clocks, picture frames , sun catchers, and fan pulls.

We're always adding new items! We welcome wholesale accounts as well as custom orders as we always love the challenge of trying to create something new. Knowing that we've saved so many circuit boards from being destroyed and knowing that we've succeeded in 'repurposing' them into something new ( decorative, functional or both! ) has been very rewarding. Over the years, the response from the public has been wonderful! And seeing the looks on peoples' faces when they realize that what they're holding was once destined to be a circuit board in a PC, is always a kick!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bag Give Away

While going through my storage room, I came across a box of scraps from my quilting days (well - I had plans of quilting). After looking through the box I decided to make a bag from all the red scraps. After I was 1/2 way through I noticed to small boo-boo's.

1) The small polka dot square was supposed to be in the middle.

2) the edge of the fabric is showing - you know that part that you should cut off or at least hem deep enough it doesn't show.

So here is the plan. I've started a thread on Etsy and the person to make the 1000 comment on that thread wins the bag.
Oh - measurements!
Bag: 13" x 12"
Strap: 3 feet end to end
It has one pocket inside.

Here is the thread to enter:

Honest Scrap Award

I picked a whole bunch of rhubarb yesterday. Seems my plants grew like crazy the last 5 days. Does anyone have a really good Rhubarb Muffin recipe they would like to share?

My blog has received the Honest Scrap Award. A big thank-you goes out to Dip Your Toes and Bluebird Country Crafts for this award.

There are a few requirements and they are as follows:

- I must thank the person who gave me the award and list their blog and link it
- I must list 10 honest things about myself
- I must put a copy of The Honest Scrap Logo on my blog.
- I must select at least 7 other worthy bloggers & list their links
- I must notify the bloggers of the award and hopefully they will follow the above three requirements also.

10 Honest things about me:
1) I do not enjoy cleaning
2) Love to watch plants grow in the garden
3) Don't like weeding
4) Addicted to handmade soap and lip balm
5) Love to read
6) Really enjoy entering give aways
7) I think that driving a school bus is the best job!
8) The colors red, yellow and green are my favorite.
9) The daisy is my favorite flower.
10) Love Love Love reading Blogs!!

Here are the blogs I'll be passing this award too.
Please visit these blogs - they are all amazing!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Isla Luna Gifts

Regina has a wonderful clothing shop on Etsy called Isla Luna. Regina has had her shop since November. She was born in California, but raised in California and the Phillipines.

1. How did you decide on your shop name?
I've always wanted to have my own brick and mortar shop. Every once in a while a name would pop into my head and I'd write it down. When I started Etsy, I "manned-up" so to speak, and chose one; IslaLuna. I decided to add the word "Gifts" to the end of it, because I LOVE shopping for other people, and giving friends and family gifts when they least expect it.

2. When did you start crafting?
I started crafting at a young age, but it would always come and go. I'd get really excited about a new project, but when I finished it, that was it. Kaput! No urge to create until I got bitten by the craft bug again. When I started my Etsy shop in November 08, and started sewing and creating my own designs, I knew that that was that. The joy I felt from designing my own clothes and then presenting them to the Etsy community was overwhelming. I am now a full time crafter!

3. Are there other crafts you would like to try?
While other Etsyians inspire me with their fabulous jewelry, paintings, and home decor pieces (you name it, it's on Etsy!), I prefer to stick to clothing and fashion accessories.

4. What or who inspires you?
This might sound like a copout, but really everything inspires me. I'm one of those people that gets completely distracted in the fruits and veggies section at a grocery store. All the colors, textures... everything stimulates my brain, and if I'm lucky something as trivial as the oranges next to the applies will inspire a new design!

5. Do you have a day job?
I graduated in May 08, and finished an internship with a designer here in NY in January. After that it was clear that the types of jobs I was interested in were going to be few and far in between because of the economy. So! I decided to take this year off instead of earning minimum wage at a job I didn't really enjoy.

6. What is the item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?
The Nicole Skirt is so far my favorite thing to make. There is something very gratifying about pleating stripes and a wave!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Random 10 Tuesday

Not so random this week. All about camping this last weekend!!

1) We've been going to the same campground the last weekend of May for the last 4 years. Meet people there and go riding on the ATV's.

2) Have fun making breakfast over the fire in the mornings. Why does the food taste better when it's made outside?

3) Getting ready to ride - one son with a broken finger, one son with a sprained ankle. Hmmmm. Because Luke's ankle was sore he got to ride with Brad on Sat.

4) At one point we split up for a few miles. Had to decide between mud or dry. I chose dry - thank goodness. Brad & the boys didn't. HEE HEE!!

Dad - I need some help! Why don't you get it out of here for me!! (Yeah for Dad's!)

Ok - that didn't work quite the way it was
supposed to. LOL

Logan to the rescue!!

Maybe we should just stick to the dry trails?

5) We go riding with friends, have lunch on the trail by a cute warm up shack built by snowmobilers.

6) There were 16 quads (atv's), a dirt bike and a side-by-side.

7) Had a potluck supper sat. after riding. Used our 24 ft trailer to hold all the food. The only complaint heard was "I ate to much!".

How will we ever finish all this food?

Apparently it wasn't that difficult. There was hardly anything left!

8) Lots of friends new & old to visit with. Most of these folks we only see this time of year.

9) Went riding on Sunday, just the 4 of us. Used athletic tape on Luke's ankle so he could ride too. Some of the scenery -

10) We had an awesome weekend - hope you did too!

Design by Custom Blog Designs/FreeStyleMama Creations