Friday, April 30, 2010

Funky May Holidays!

Can you believe it's May 1!! Where did April go? Here I thought the weeks were dragging by and all of a sudden it's May!

I went searching for something to post today, and found this cool site with all the different weird holidays for each month of the year. Here are some of the ones for May.

MONTH HOLIDAYS

Borderline Personality Disorder Month (applies to everyone doesn't it?)
International Audit Month
National Smile Month
Sweet Vadalia Onions Month (what?)

Get Caught Reading Month

Gifts from the Garden Month

National Salsa Month
International Victorious Woman Month (every month should be this)
National Barbeque Month
National Hamburger Month (son 2 will be all for this)

National Salad Month
Teen CEO Month

Weekly Holidays

Bread Pudding Recipe Exchange Week (1-7)
Flexible Work Arrangement Week (2-8)
National Hug Holiday Week (2-8)
Intimate Apparel Market Week (3-6)
Salute to Moms 35+ Week (9-16)
National New Friends, Old Friends Week (16-22)

National Backyard Games Week (17-24)

Daily Holidays

Join Hands Day - 1
Loyalty Day - 1

National Home Brew Day - 1

National Play Your Ukulele Day - 2

World Laughter Day - 2

National Two Different Colored Shoes Day - 3

Respect for Chickens Day - 4
Totally Chipotle Day - 5

No Diet Day - 6
No Homework Day - 6

No Socks Day - 8
Stay Up All Night Day - 8
Eat What You Want Day - 11
Frog Jumping Day - 13

Straw Hat Day - 15

Turn Beauty Inside Out Day - 19 (are we ugly then?)

National Wig Out Day - 22
World Turtle Day - 23

Cellophane Tape Day - 27

Hope you have a wonderful May and Party when you can :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Recycled Clothing

I found this wonderful new shop on Etsy that recycles! ZurdaCrafts has some wonderful bags, scarves and more made from recycled clothing! Check it out :)

*Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am originally from Needham, MA. I went to college at Macalester in Saint Paul, MN and currently live in Somerville, MA.

*How did you decide on your shop name? Why did you start your business?
My own name was taken, so I had to get creative. My shop name comes from the Spanish word for left-handed ("zurda"). It combines two things about me, because I am a left-handed crafter and speak Spanish.

I started my business in the hopes of developing an outlet for my creativity. I am the sort of person who always needs to be creating something. This craft I discovered as a great way to be creative and "green" at the same time.

*What got you started in recycling?
My first experience with making crafts from recycled clothing was for a community service project I did at Goodwill. It got me thinking about all the interesting fabric there is in used clothing that often goes to waste. After that, I just had to find a good source for fabric and learn the felting process.

*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?
The best fabrics for what I do are natural fibers. I particularly like merino wool and angora because they are very soft but not too bulky. But because I get my fabrics second-hand, part of the fun is seeing what is available on the particular day that I go hunting.

*What motivates or inspires you to create?
I enjoy transforming something old and unwanted into something new and beautiful. Seeing that transformation takes place is probably the most exciting part of the process for me.

*Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?
I really enjoyed making the patchwork scarves. They have the most different kinds of fabric in one piece of anything I've made so far, and figuring out how to fit these pieces together was a lot of fun.

*What is your favorite shop that uses recycled materials, and/or your favorite blog about recycling?
There are many, many crafters on Etsy that are doing great recycled work. Some of my favorites that I've come upon so far are:
BookEndDesigns who makes purses out of recycled books,
YAVAglass who makes glasses out of old bottles, and
ccstar, who makes things out of vintage neckties.
However as I said, there are a lot of good ones!

I recently created a google group, so people who are interested in my store can also join the group by visiting http://groups.google.com/group/zurdacrafts
or emailing zurdacrafts+subscribe@googlegroups.com


Happy Birthday to Me!


Yes - today is my birthday, and hubby just left for work and forgot all about it :(
Son 2 gets up in a few minutes - we'll see if he remembers, though probably not.
I purchased some soaps for myself late last night - my birthday present to myself!
If you are having a Birthday today, or this week - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week:

"Hitchhiking usually carried with it the promise of random personal encounters and conversations made more intense by the certainty that their durations would necessarily be limited. Not this time"
page 326, "Nothing to Lose" by Lee Child

This is the first book I have read from this author. So far it's really good, and keeps me wanting to read more :) This is a series about a man who is walking across the US and all the "trouble he finds". The book isn't the first in the series, but it doesn't seem to matter. Will be looking for more books by Lee Child after this one!

UPDATE:
I got this post all ready Monday morning, but ended up finishing the book in the evening - just couldn't put it down :) Off to the library this afternoon to get another Lee Child's book!!

Mish Mash Monday

It is getting increasingly difficult to find things to post. I feel like I'm always running and have so much to do, but nothing to post about. How does that work? Well I did manage to find a couple of things this week.

1) My home town is the Sunflower Capital of Canada. Why you ask? Well it had the largest sunflower oil processing plant in Canada many years ago. Now the plant is used to process flax oil and canola oil. But the local book store has some of the most wonderful postcards for our town & Sunflowers, so I've been trying to figure out who I could mail some too. I found a postcard swap!!

Playing by the Book is hosting an international Family Postcard Swap!! So I've joined, and then I can mail 5 wonderful families a postcard from my home town!! Can't wait to see where they are going :) You have until the 30th to sign up!! Let me know if you do :)

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2) We have a wonderful Tea House in town. I manage to get there once a week with friends :) Quite often I'll have breakfast there after my bus run with friends. Suzi (owner) makes some wonderful breakfasts, lunches and desserts. Once a week she makes crepes filled with ham, scrabbled eggs, onion, pepper and mushrooms covered in Hollendaise sauce. I've made it at home and we really enjoy it.
Sorry the picture isn't that great, lighting in the dining room isn't that good.


3) Joke:

A little girl runs into her Grandfather's hospital room.
Girl: "Grandpa - croak like a frog!! Croak like a frog!!"
Grandpa: "What?"
Girl, excitedly jumping up and down: "Croak like a FROG!!"
Grandpa: "Why?"
Girl: " Grandma said as soon as you croak we are going to Disney Land!"


4) With living in Canada it's hard to find affordable B&B products on Etsy. Actually the product prices are ok - it's the shipping that is a killer! I went searching the other day for some new soaps to try and found a wonderful shop with the most amazing soaps at affordable prices and also very affordable shipping rates.

LolliLuscious has some of the cutest little soaps I have ever seen - and off course I ordered some :) She also has a sale on body washes right now and my niece happens to love fruity smelling body washes so I ordered 2 for her birthday. Here is a picture of one of the soaps I ordered:



If you have time - check out the shop, she really has some amazing soaps!

Hope Everyone Has an Amazing Week!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Inspirational Sunday - Three Things

I received this in an email from a friend! Thought it would be appropriate for today's post :)


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Recycled/Upcycled

When I put out the call for recycling shops wanting a feature - I never thought I would get the response that I did. Who knew that there are so many amazing shops that use recycled materials. It's actually quite inspiring! My Hobby Shop is another wonderful Etsy shop that uses recycled and upcycled materials.

*Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Lily Robinson. I was born in South Bronx, NY but moved to Columbus, OH when I was 9 years old. I am married to a wonderful and supportive husband and we have three children ages 14, 12 and10. I work full time, go to school part time and am actively involved in several volunteer youth organizations.

*How did you decide on your shop name? Why did you start your business?
When I was 13 years old my mother taught me how to crochet. She was an artist and always had some type of project going on. I inherited her passion for art. I love to do everything and anything that requires creating something by hand. It’s been my hobby every since I was young. As I got older my friends would tell me I should sell my item. When I heard of Etsy I decided to sign up and give it a try. I thought it would be a great way to share my hobby with the rest of the world and that’s how MyHobbyShop was born!

*What got you started in recycling?
I am always searching the internet to see what the latest trends are. I came across an article about making plarn. Plarn is making yarn out of plastic shopping bags! I was intrigued and made some of my own to crochet coasters and other items. They were a huge hit at a local craft show. So I started looking for other ways to incorporate ordinary household items into my crafts. My latest item is using large tubing and scrap fabric to create bangles and napkin holders. I love how each item is unique in its own way.

*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?
YARN! I am absolutely addicted to yarn. It doesn’t matter what color. I just love yarn. I have to force myself to stay away from the craft store unless it’s absolutely necessary. However, since creating my recycled bangles I have started collecting cardboard tubing of all shapes and sizes, along with scrap materials, even old t-shirts that I hope to use to in my designs. At this point I have 3 - 30 gallon plastic tubs full of every type of craft material know to man. Need feathers, pine cones, spray paint, I got it all!

*What motivates or inspires you to create?
Creating is something I truly enjoy. I love seeing my ideas evolve to become an item that someone might use. At work I am constantly thinking of new ideas. So much so that I keep a notebook with my at all time so I can jot them down. I would like this hobby to be a business that would allow me to be at home with my children more often and that’s what motivates me to keep creating.

*Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?
My recycled bracelets are my favorite items right now. I love making them. It’s messy and fun! I enjoy being able to create beauty out of something that would have otherwise been trash.

*Are there other places on the net we can find you?
My Blog: http://myhobbyshopblog.blogspot.com/
My FanPage:
http://www.facebook.com/MyHobbyShopFanPage
Flicker: http://www.flickr.com/photos/myhobbyshop1/

*What is your favorite shop that uses recycled materials, and/or your favorite blog about recycling?
I love “window shopping” on Etsy and I actually have a few favorite shops that do wonderful things with recycled items. Here are just a few.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/ivyteakettle
http://www.etsy.com/shop/Crochooley
http://www.etsy.com/shop/arnym

I've been spending Money :)

Sometimes you find things on Etsy you just have to have!! I came across The Beaded Pillow while searching for shops to feature. You can see her feature HERE. While working on the feature I was admiring her amazing Mug Mats and had asked about possibly doing a trade. When she got back to me with a YES! I was totally thrilled and knew exactly which mug mats I wanted :) Aren't they beautiful? They might just be to beautiful to use :) The photo just doesn't do them justice.

About a month ago I hosted a give away for Sugarville, and wonderful Candle shop on Etsy. With every give away I also do a feature - you can see that HERE. Candle tarts are my new love :) Hubby always said that scented candles bothered him, so I decided to experiment. The tarts aren't quite as bad, so I'm beginning to think it's the smoke from the candle that is his problem. Sugarville had some wonderful tart melts that were just calling to me! Since I've closed my shop until my craft room is done - no trading this time.

I purchased the Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie tart melts, Red Velvet Cake Bites, and two Delectable Breakaway Tart melt cubes in Almond Crunch Butter Cookie and Chocolate Raspberry Truffle! MMMMMMMMMMM!!!!

Please check out these two amazing shops! You just might find something that is calling out to you :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My Teaser for this week:

"Maybe the killer was a magazine editor or writer who had visited Bobb that weekend. Or he or she had a house our here and had managed to slip Bobb the mushroom at some event that weekend."
page 161, "If Looks Could Kill" by Kate White

Haven't been reading the book for very long, so I'm not that far yet - but so far so good :)

HAPPY READING!

Mish Mash Monday

Well - I'm at a loss as to what I should post this week. Nothing terribly exciting has happened lately.

1)
I've managed to paint the ceiling in the craft room yesterday. I hate painting ceilings!!!!! I used paint with primer in it - sure cuts down on the coats of paint needed.
Walls - this week!


2)
Blog of the week!
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This is a wonderful blog, so much fun to visit :) Every Friday she posts pictures of herself from years ago with the story behind the picture. You also get to see weekly items she's making, beautiful pictures she's taken, and once a week or so she has a guest post on another blog - but links to it so we can read that too. This is definitely a blog you should check out - never a boring moment!!

3) I love to read! Finding the Tuesday Teaser meme was wonderful. Now every Tuesday I can see what other people are reading and get great ideas for summer books. The only draw back is that my list to read is way longer than my summer will be :)

I had been writing all the books down in a notebook, but then I noticed a widget on one of the other blogs that I just had to have. It's from
Goodreads. Every time I find a book I want to read - I just go to the site, search it and add it to my "to read" list and it shows up on my blog!! Now I don't have to worry about loosing the paper I write them down on!

4) The trees are finally starting to bud and my rhubarb is coming up nicely!! Can't wait to make some rhubarb pie, muffins, rhubarb crisp etc!!


HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYONE!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Church Squirrels

Now I don't care who you are, what religion you are, where you live, or how old you are.........this is funny!


There were five houses of religion in a small Florida town: The Presbyterian Church, The Baptist Church , The Methodist Church, The Catholic Church and The Jewish Synagogue...

Each Church and Synagogue was overrun with pesky squirrels.

One day, the Presbyterian Church called a meeting to decide what to do about the squirrels. After much prayer and consideration they determined that the squirrels were pre-destined to be there and they shouldn't interfere with God's divine will.

In the Baptist Church the squirrels had taken up habitation in the baptistery. The deacons met and decided to put a cover on the baptistery and drown the squirrels in it. The squirrels escaped somehow and there were twice as many there the next week.

The Methodist Church got together and decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God's creation. So, they humanely trapped the squirrels and set them free a few miles outside of town. Two days later the squirrels were back.

But......The Catholic Church came up with the best and most effective solution.. They baptized the squirrels and registered them as members of the church. Now they only see them on Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday and Easter.

Not much was heard about the Jewish Synagogue, but they took one squirrel and had a short service with him called circumcision and they haven't seen a squirrel on the property since.


For all who appreciate the outdoors, this is the rarely photographed South Florida Squirrel .


Life is too short for drama & petty things,
Laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly.
Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.

Friday, April 16, 2010

5 Gallons of Laundry Detergent - $2.00!!

My sister-in-law gave me some laundry detergent to try, that she had made herself! I was pleasantly surprised to see how well it worked, and had to ask her what she did. Well - she got the recipe from a cookbook her sister's church put together. The recipe makes 5 gallons of detergent - that should last me a little while :)

All you need are these three ingredients and water!

It looks a bit like runny jello, or maybe more like lemonade with lots of pulp, but all the little jelly parts dissolve in the wash.

Here is the recipe:


HOMEMADE LIQUID LAUNDRY SOAP
4 cups hot tap water
1 Sunlight soap bar
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax


Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted. Fill a 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispensers. Shake before each use (will gel).

Optional: You may add 10-15 drops of essential oil/2 gallons. Add once soap is cooled.

Recipe cost approximately $2.00!!
Top Lad machine - use 5/8 cup per load.

Front load machine - 1/4 cup per load.


I have a large front load machine, and I'm using about 1/3 cup per load (do really large loads). I also managed to find enough containers at the local thrift shop to put all the detergent in :) Didn't want to be scooping out of the 5 gallon pail, or have someone bump it and have it tip over! There is a slight lemony scent when you first open the container the detergent is in, but once the clothes are washed - you can't smell anything. Try it!! It's amazing how well it works and how little it costs!

Addition: I should mention that my sister-in-laws Dad is a mechanic and gets his clothes quite dirty some days. She lets the stains soak in a bit of detergent for a while before she throws them in the wash. Apparently it works as well or better than SHOUT!


The recipe does call for filling containers 1/2 full with detergent - then adding enough water to fill the container. Everyone I've talked too didn't do it, thought the detergent was to diluted then. I did end up adding a little water to mine, just because it was almost the consistency of jello and hard to get into containers with small openings (using milk jugs, they fit nice into the washing machine drawer)

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

the Clever Crafter!

Aren't buttons fun? :) While looking for recycling shops I found Clever Crafter who makes wonderful button bracelets and earrings from guitar picks! I also just found out yesterday that she is having a give away on one of my favorite blogs - Christie Cottage! One lucky person will win their choice of button bracelet from the shop!! Please go and enter AFTER you have read the feature on this wonderful recycling shop :)

I'm from Lansing, Michigan and I've been crafting since I was 5 or 6 years old. I have a cat, Lily, that loves to "help" me while I work on projects and a wonderful and supportive boyfriend.

Once I started experimenting with different projects I always got the same reaction from people: "How clever!" Naturally, I decided this would make for a good shop name... Clever Crafter. I've had my Etsy shop for a couple of years with occasional sales, but I've just recently made it official with my DBA and State Sales Tax License. For the last couple of weeks I've noticed an increase in sales, and it's been great!

To be honest, my first thought was not in recycling for my projects, but rather in using things out of the ordinary to make unique jewelry. I think the first project was a bracelet made from puzzle pieces. I bought a puzzle from Goodwill and when I was almost done with it I realized that there were pieces missing. I decided that I had to find a way to use the puzzle instead of throwing it away. From there I've always looked for a different way to use items.

At the moment my addiction is buttons. I can't stop looking for new buttons in different colors and textures! I've also been looking at jump rings in different colors as I think about trying my hand at chain mail jewelry!

I like making the guitar pick earrings because they're all so different. Finding stamps small enough for the picks is a challenge in itself sometimes, but I like matching the stamps to the pick sizes and colors. Sometimes it seems that the colors just speak to me!

I can be found on twitter at www.twitter.com/cleverscorner and have a blog with regular features at http://cleverscorner.blogspot.com. I also have a shop on another site, www.zibbet.com/clevercrafter.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Extreme Birdhouses!

Hubby and I were watching Animal Planet last week and they featured this amazing guy who builds the worlds biggest birdhouses! Wouldn't you know it - he has a web site: Extreme Birdhouses.
Get a load of these!

Just so you can see how big some of them are -


You can see all the ones he's built HERE
!
HAVE A GREAT DAY!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesday



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My Teaser for this week:

"Five minutes later he returned and held the door open for her. She looked at it fearfully, as though if she walked through it she would never be coming back."

Page 166, from "First Family" by David Baldacci

This is the 4th book in a series about two people (Sean & Michelle) who start an investigation company after leaving the Secret Service. I've really enjoyed this series and I'm sure I'll love this book too :)
Just started it yesterday!


**If you are joining Teaser Tuesday, don't forget to go to Should Be Reading and add your link!

HAPPY READING!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mish Mash Monday

1) Well the craft room is coming along. I'm hoping to paint the primer by the middle of the week. Have to be at a school bus driver's inservice all day today. We are doing the re-certification for CPR etc.

2) I've joined another swap :) This one is a "Garden Swap". We will be sending anything garden related - seeds, tools, gloves etc. Today is the last day to sign up! You still have time to join.


3) As I'm getting older the skin on my face is getting more sensitive and dryer. Some days after a shower I think it would crack if I smiled! So I emailed my friend Cara to see if she had something that would help, of course she did :)She sent me the link to her Udderly Botanical Facial Lotion.

When I saw that a 4oz jar was $14 I almost fell off my chair! But I bought it any way and I'm not sorry!! It's amazing! All I have to do it touch the lotion with my finger and I can do 1/2 of my face. This little jar of wonder stuff will last forever!

4) Blog of the week:


Stacey's blog is so much fun to visit! She has tutorials, features and a wonderful place to list your crafty blog! You can check the links and add yours HERE! And check out her ongoing party at:


5) Do you make your own pie crusts or by them in a box? If I'm doing a fruit pie with 2 crusts I make my own. But if I'm making a cream pie I cheat and buy the crust :) For Christmas I had a Pie Weight Chain on my list. There is nothing worse then buying a crust, poking holes in it but having it shrink to 1/2 it's size. Brad thought the chain was a little weird, but I wouldn't ever bake a crust without it again.


Once the shell is full of chocolate pudding - you can't see all the little indentations :)

HAVE A WONDERFUL MONDAY!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Are You a Cracked Pot?

I received this in an email and thought it was the perfect story to show that we are all special in our own way :)

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a
pole which she carried across her neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked
pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water..

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.


But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.

'I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.'

The old woman smiled, 'Did you notice that there are flowers on your
side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?'

'That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.'

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For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.

Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty
Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

SO, to all of my cracked pot family & friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!
 

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