Sunday, November 30, 2008

Manic Monday #144

It's "Cyber Monday" today, the ceremonial kick-off of the holiday online shopping season in the United States. I can't believe it is December, but it is...and it is the last day of the sale in my Etsy shop. If you want to shop with me, be sure and send me a message before paying to get the 10% off and free shipping over $50.

Do you do much online shopping, holiday or otherwise?
I do shop online, just bought two major gifts for my son and daughter in law on line. However I believe in re-using, so I buy used whenever possible. I would prefer to shop at a thrift store than a regular Department store.
Are you a Mac or a PC user? Why?
Definitely PC, just always have been. It's also what we have at work.
What website do you spend more time on than you care to admit?
Etsy, Bloglines, Flickr to name a few.

25 years and counting...

Counting and counting....I estimate that I started this Christmas stocking back in 1983, that's the year the kit was published. It was going to be a stocking for my son. The counted cross stitch ended up being very tedious for me. I have done a few projects in the intervening years, most notably the "Seasons" picture that is hanging in my living room and the "Hearts' picture that is in my kitchen. I also made a cute Christmas angel hanging that I'll try to remember to photograph when I get the holiday items out for the year.
Now that I have a grand daughter and she will be celebrating her first Christmas, I had renewed motivation to try to finish this project. I'm now involved in a sprint to the finish because I'd like to take it with me when I leave for a visit with them on Tuesday. Everything has to be finished my Tuesday (that's the day after tomorrow, yikes!)
Last night I finished the "jumper" I was making for my daughter in law. The pattern comes from Cleckheaton Merino Spun #953 and the yarn I selected was Cascade Sierra. I wanted something that would be appropriate for So. California weather. I'm not too pleased with the yarn, it is very pesky to weave in (and particularly to have it stay after washing) and I ended up with zillions of little fuzz balls on the sweater after washing which I was able to remove, but I wonder what it will be like after she washes it the first time. I do love the design of this sweater in spite of the interminable stockinette stitch and ribbing for the collar. The photo shows how the pattern is supposed to look. Mine is much more slouchy or sloppy looking in the Sierra yarn, but I hope my DIL will find it to be a comfortable wear anytime sweater.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

New and renewed

I've listed a few new items in my little shop and renewed some others. The "new" are these little bags that I finished felting in October, but just finished embellishing, photographing, and posting.
Just as a reminder, through Monday in my shop all items are 10% off and there is free shipping for purchases over $50. This is part of the Etsy Blogger's Sale. Just send me a message when you purchase (before paying) to get the special pricing and I will send a revised invoice.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday, Black Indeed

On the way home from my half day of work around 1:00 pm today, I stopped by my local fabric store to pick up some buttons during their 50% off sale. The store was swamped even though the early bird specials had already ended. I can't imagine what the crowd was like at 6 or 7 am. The line to have fabric cut was huge.

I usually avoid going to any retail establishments on "Black Friday" entirely, but I made an exception because I hate to give $3.00 for two buttons and I need a supply of them for projects in the works.
On the way home, listening to NPR, I heard a reporter talk about the folks who had waited since 10 am on Thanksgiving Day (giving up their Thanksgiving dinner) in line at a Best Buy store. It seems that most of the people she interviewed were actually in line to buy things for themselves, not others. One of them said "why would I stand in line this long to buy something for someone else".

Upon arrival home, I read the story of the Walmart employee who was trampled to death when a New York area Walmart store opened early this morning. Shoppers had been lined up for hours outside to get the best bargains and when the worker opened the doors, an "out of control" crowd of shoppers rushed in and trampled him. He was 34 years old. When the store announced what had happened and asked people to leave the store so they could close, many refused to do so and kept shopping.
I just read another headline about a shooting in California at a ToyR Us store, taking the lives of two individuals. We don't know the circumstances of the shooting yet, but do you think it could have been an argument about who would get the desired item on sale? It seems at least possible that is the case.

How far have we come from the original spirit of the season to this. It's sad indeed.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Today's a day for being thankful for all we have and as I thought about the day, my first thought was my family and friends. My second thought was how fortunate I am to be at a place and time where I have many choices or alternatives in my life. This wasn't something that was a given for women who were our predecessors, the times dictated a narrower set of choices for women in my mother's and grandmother's eras. That led to some predictability and durability to the family unit that doesn't exist today, but also, I'm sure, led to some dissatisfaction and downright desperation in women's lives.

I think of my Grandmother, who left England alone as a young woman and traveled by ship to Canada. We don't really know what prompted her to make that trip, but no doubt she was a rebel in her time for this one action. Afterwards, she settled down with my grandfather in British Columbia and chose to be a "homemaker" for most of their adult lives (as did my mother after her) , to raise children, play bridge, participate in church and civic activities, and support their husbands as they succeeded in their chosen careers, and as civic leaders in their community.

I didn't have to choose children or career (though sometimes I felt the balance was precarious at best) and I was able to choose to end a marriage that wasn't working. Those choices alone make my life vastly different than theirs. That isn't to say mine is by definition better, just filled with more alternatives than they had.

I've spent the morning preparing a Thanksgiving feast and I thought about alternatives as I did that as well. Our dinner is just the two of us, so there is no requirement to have things we don't like even if they are traditional. I've never liked cranberry sauce, so I made Cranberry Wobbler instead which is a jello salad (one of the few I like) with fresh cranberries, orange, walnuts, and seasoned with cinnamon and cloves.

And I never liked the traditional sweet potatoes, so we are having mashed potatoes. And next year, I just may have to try this wonderful sounding recipe for butternut squash from Mrs. G.
And, I am not a big fan of pumpkin pie either. Put enough whipped cream on it and I can eat it but I like my Pumpkin Pie Squares better because they have an oatmeal-cookie type crust and crunchy pecans and brown sugar on top. The turkey is smallish (11 1/2 lb) but it easily looks like we have enough food for 10. Good thing we like leftovers!

Oh in case you want to try my alternatives next year, here are my recipes:

Pumpkin Pie Squares (pictured above)

1 ½ cup flour
¾ cup quick cooking rolled oats
¾ cup butter
Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, butter in mixing bowl. Mix until crumbly with knife or pastry tool. Press into ungreased 13x9 pan. Bake at 360 for 15 minutes.
2 ½ cups canned pumpkin
2 eggs
2 C evaporated milk
½ c brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp salt
Combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, salt, and spices in mixing bowl. Beat well. Pour over crust. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes
¾ cup chopped pecans
½ cup brown sugar
2 T flour
2 T butter or margarine
Combine topping ingredients, sprinkle over filling Bake at 350° 15-20 minutes. Cool and serve plain or with whipped cream.

Cranberry Wobbler (recipe from a Jello add years ago)
A Thanksgiving tradition instead of cranberry sauce.


1 1/2 cups Ground fresh cranberries
1/2 cup Sugar
2 pkgs (3 oz ea) Orange or Lemon flavor jello
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 cups Boiling water
1 1/2 cups Cold water (I use ice cubes to speed up the process)
1 Tbs Lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Cloves
1 Orange, sectioned & diced
1/2 cups Chopped nuts
Combine cranberries and sugar and set aside.
Dissolve gelatin and salt in boiling water.
Add cold water, lemon juice, cinnamon and cloves.
Chill until thickened.
Fold in cranberries, orange, and nuts.
Spoon into a 6 cup mold. Chill until firm, about 4 hours.
Unmold. Garnish with crisp salad greens, if desired.
Makes about 6 cups or 12 servings
HINT: To unmold, loosen edges with knife dipped in warm water. Dip mold to rim in warm water for 10 seconds. Shake slightly. Place chilled moistened plate over mold; invert.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I was included in a feature "Once Upon a Bag" on the BBEST (BBEST=Boomers and Beyond Etsy Street Team) blog. Thanks to Google Analytics to alerting me.

Ruby Tuesday (on Wednesday)

I created this lovely selection of items, called a Treasury on Etsy last night, however I was too tired to post it then. It's up for another day and a half on Etsy here if you want to see it in it's natural habitat.
Not sure what made me think of the Rolling Stones tune, but it was Tuesday....

Yesterday don't matter if it's gone
While the sun is bright or in the darkest night
No one knows, she comes and goes

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

Don't question why she needs to be so free
She'll tell you it's the only way to be
She just can't be chained to a life where nothing's gained
And nothing's lost, at such a cost

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

"There's no time to lose", I hear her say
Cash your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time lose your dreams and you
Will lose your mind, ain't life unkind?

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Etsy Bloggers Holiday Sale

Take note, the Etsy Bloggers holiday sale starts on Black Friday, November 28 and goes until December 1. Wow, I can't believe it is almost December! I need to put up some new listings in my Etsy shop. I did list this and relisted my Christmas stockings here and here plus a few other items but I have lots of other things to post.

Want to know more ab0ut the origin of the term "Black Friday"? Check here.

During the sale, I'm offering 10% items in my Etsy shop and there are many other shops participating. Check here for all participating shops. Here's a few oldies but goodies that are part of my sale:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Manic Monday

I think I probably will have a truly Manic Monday. I have to work all day and then I'll be teaching a knitting class from 6-8 p.m. On my lunch hour, I have errands to run. My day at work promises to be manic as well, lots to do.

So, on to the Manic Monday questions of the week:

Do you ever talk to yourself out loud? What do you talk about? Does talking to my cat count? I do that often. I think I'm more of a silent talker to myself.

What stresses you out? I manage to stay fairly stress free. I don't much like speaking to large groups or on TV, that tends to stress me out when it has to happen. Also, the current economic situation definitely stresses me out. I'd like to retire some day.

What are your secret talents? Baking...maybe it's not so secret. :)See the 4 loaves above which I baked up for co-workers this weekend. I decided to "gift early" instead of waiting for Christmas this year.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Covering the small and LARGE human

I'm simultaneously working on two knitting projects (well actually more, but two I'll admit to in this post). One is a cute baby sweater with teases of fair isle (that's about all I can handle of fair isle). I decided to knit the 18 month size, but it's looking way bigger than that. I guess I deserve this because I didn't exactly knit a swatch; I can get lazy about doing that. This one is being knit with Plymouth Encore DK which is a lovely, economical yarn (about $3.50 per skein). I chose some great heathery colors, so mine will turn out different from the photo I posted a couple of days ago. No worries about it possibly being a smidge large, it will fit the grand daughter at some point in her future life.

In case you are wondering , Fair Isle is also known as "stranded" knitting, where you use more than one color. In traditional Fair Isle, only two colors are used on any one row (thankfully!). When you knit across the row, you knit whichever color is needed for the pattern, and carry the other color loosely across the back of the knitting. Fair Isle is worked in stockinette stitch and the back of the work has a distinctive look due to the strands being carried. The instructions are usually given in a chart with each square in the chart representing one stitch. It can be challenging to read and follow the charts, which are much like counted cross stitch. I'm thinking if I do much of this type of knitting that I need to order one of these for myself. Fair Isle knitting can be done on two or four needles, or a circular needle. I believe it would be far easier to do on a circular needle because you wouldn't have to deal with purling while stranding.

Traditional Fair Isle knitting patterns come from Fair Isle, a small island in northern Scotland. I was impressed to read that families there memorized unique knitting patterns and handed them down through the generations.

I can't imagine doing this, but I did find these great resources about knitting Fair Isle which may be helpful to others:

Fair Isle Knitting by Knitting Daily

How to Knit with two colors at a time

Two Handed Color Knitting

Weaving in Floats with a video

The Basics of The Two Handed Fair Isle Technique

The other project, a sweater for my dear daughter in law also wasn't exactly swatched. (I knitted a few rows and casually checked my gauge with what I had knitted) and I'm worried now it may turn out to be enormous. I may have to find someone larger to gift this one to. I do love the color of this cotton/wool yarn. This one is from the Cleckheaton Merino Spun book 953 (now discontinued), it's called simply "Jumper with raglan set-in sleeves, shawl collar, and side splits" . Most of it is knit in a simple stockinette stitch. I'm knitting it in Cascade Sierra, which is 80% pima coton, 20% merino wool .

I'll be posting photos of both of these creations when I get a little further along.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chocolate lovers take note-Nanaimo Bars

These are a Canadian favorite, named after Nanaimo, B.C. My mother would make these with green frosting for Christmas. I just may have to make them this year. Here's some more information on these scrumptious bars from the I know this accounting isn't exactly accurate, because I've been enjoying Nanaimo Bars more than 35 years myself, I first remember eating them in the 1950's.

Nanaimo Bars (or N.B.s for short) are one of Canada's favorite confections. The beautiful City of Nanaimo, British Columbia lays claim to these squares, telling us on their website that it all began when a Nanaimo housewife entered a recipe for chocolate squares in a magazine contest some 35 years ago. She called her recipe 'Nanaimo Bars' and when she won the contest, not only did her dessert become popular throughout Canada, so did the town they were named after. Whether this story is true or not, we will never know, but what we do know is that these bars are delicious; a three layered square with a crumb base, followed by a layer of light custard buttercream, that is topped with a smooth layer of chocolate.

½ cup butter 2 cups graham wafer crumbs
¼ cup sugar 1 cup coconut
5 Tbl cocoa ½ cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla 1 egg

Place softened butter, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and egg in bowl. Set in a dish of boiling water. Stir well until butter has melted and mixture resembles custard. Combine crumbs (28 single graham crackers) coconut, and nuts, blending well. Add to cooked mixture. Pack evenly in a 9 inch square pan. Spread with icing.

ICING: Cream ¼ cup butter. Add 3 Tbl milk which has been combined with 2 Tbl vanilla pudding powder. Blend in 2 cups confectioners’ sugar. Put icing on top of previous mixture.

Let stand 15 minutes to harden slightly.
Melt 4 squares of semi-sweet chocolate with 1 Tbl butter and frost top with this.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Eye Candy

I got a load of new "eye candy" today, a shipment came by USPS and I also visited my LYS and found yarn for a new project. The alpaca on the left is for neck warmers which frankly have become a bit BORING, however I do have one I need to make as a custom order. The coral cascade yarn (80% cotton and 20% wool) is for a sweater I plan to make as a gift. I just don't know where to start. I'm also excited about making this, isn't it adorable!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pet Peeve-Spam in Many Forms

What are your pet peeves?  We all have them.  At the top of my list recently are all the television ads promoting products that we never would have seen on tv in my youth. (incontinence, E.D. etc.)  I don't care to hear about how to be "ready when the time is right".

Call me old fashioned, but I'm glad I don't have to answer questions from my children like "Mommy what is ____" (you fill in the blank). I may still get these questions from my grandchildren. 
I recall the days when "spam" only meant a can of something vaguely similar to ham.  My email spam filter thankfully catches most of the junk email I receive promising to "enhance" my life experience in some way along with the ones promising to fix my credit problems.  I was saddened this week to find a spammer had been posting items in my blog comments that I find offensive.  I believe I've removed them all, but please let me know if you come across any here.  I have turned on comment moderation for the older posts on the blog just to try to cut down on the possibility of this happening.  I may have to make other changes if these issues persist. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cool Tools for Etsy Sellers

I just learned about another useful 3rd-party application for Etsy sellers from an Etsy discussion and then read about it on Unofficial Etsy News (UEN). Featsy is a simple RSS or email notification system for front page or gift guide appearances, plus some site stats.

Featsy is short for “featured Etsy”. The site tracks featured items and users on Etsy’s front page and gift pages.
Featsy has two pages. The Search page is where you can enter your shop name and email address, and be notified by RSS or email when you appear either on the front page or in the Gift Guides. The Stats page lists the top 5 sellers appearing on the front page or Gift Guides for the past day or the past week.

If you are a seller on Etsy and haven't checked out Featsy or UEN, be sure to do so. Also, another great site for Etsy sellers is the "heartomatic" which is now hosted on (it previously was on and which easily allows sellers to check their views and hearts.

Missed your moment of fame on Etsy's front page and want to see what it looked like? Here's a Flickr group for posting front page treasuries.

Etsy for Everyone, a blog with some good information.

Squidoo lens on Etsy tools.

Then there is EtsyHacks which was created by an Etsy spouse. The hacks consist of Greasemonkey scripts that can be run with the Firefox browser.

I also discovered "LetsEts" which provides a suite of free tools to make the lives of Etsy sellers easier, including a formatter for Google Base. LetsEts is also working on these features which sound very exciting:
Statistics to help you analyze your sales and listings
Dashboard and Yahoo widgets to monitor new sales.
A bulk lister

PS If you look closely in the photo above, you can see that this week, I achieved 150 sales on Etsy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Manic Monday, er Tuesday

Do you believe people are basically good?
Yes, I do, though I am occasionally disappointed.

If you could change the custom of shaking hands, what would you replace it with?
I like the traditional Japanese forms of greeting and a head nod would suffice in many cases...
from Wikipedia:
Bowing is the act of lowering the torso and head as a social gesture in direction to another person or symbol. It is most prominent in Oriental cultures but it is also typical of Nobility and Aristocracy in many countries and distinctively in Europe. Sometimes the gesture may be limited to lowering the head.

What is something that you enjoy that is a chore for most other people?

Cooking (at least 80-90% of time I don't see it as a chore)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Featured Blogger: Storybeader

Storybeader is the Blogger of the Month for November for the Etsy Bloggers Team. Storybeader is a very active member of our team with this shop on Etsy, and her blog.

Her name says it all, for with each necklace she sells, a story (actually a haiku) accompanies it. What a wonderful idea! Here's one from her shop I particularly like:

Natural nuggets
Setting off on the path to
The sea, you and me.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


And the winner of my giveaway is......the very talented Heather of Winemakers Sister, recent new member of Etsy Bloggers Team, but my Flickr contact for much longer. See the lovely cards she made on the left! she also has unique rubber stamps in her Etsy shop. Congratulations, Heather, I will be in touch to find out which pendant you want to receive.

Which reminds me, I was tagged by Heather not too long ago and due to being ill at the time, I completely forgot about responding. So this seems a good time to do so:


*Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.

*Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

*Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their name as well as links to their blog.

*Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
1. I've lived in Idaho longer than anywhere else and I love it here, but I hate the winters (and more with each passing year).

2. I'm a first time grandma (3 months) and am loving it. I finally understand my other "grandma-centric" friends.

3. The best part of traveling to Boise for work, which I frequently do, is the vast array of interesting restaurants there to choose from. We just don't have many interesting options where I live.

4. My favorite places to shop: thrift stores, yarn shops, followed by (distant third) office supply stores.

5. One of my goals is to develop additional knitting patterns. I ventured into pattern making almost a year ago and have sold 125 of my cabled neck warmer patterns. I'm teaching my third knitting class soon. I never imagined myself a knitting designer or teacher, but I've loved it.

6. I'm quite prone to losing things, could it be that all the clutter around me contributes to this problem?

7. I've never been much of a rule breaker, but I'll let you readers self select if you want to participate...if so, consider yourself tagged.

Oh, and I love coincidences like this one...I was included in this lovely treasury yesterday by none other than Heather herself:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

This Day in History

It's my birthday so I got to do some things I wanted to do, which included trips with my best friend to a couple of favorite thrift stores this morning. I couldn't seem to find much, but did manage to buy a nice knitted sweater for felting and a whistling tea kettle for $1 that needs just a little tlc to bring it back to prime condition. I can't wait to make my first cup of tea of hot chocolate and hear it whistle.

Berlin's Whimsy, a blog I read, led me to Garrison Keillor's website with the day's poem and links to a few authors that share November 15 as a birthday.

This is a fun link to This Day in History from the History Channel.

Here's the NY times link to This Day in History. I enjoyed learning that I share my birthday with the painter Georgia O'Keefe.

Those were the Days includes not only events of the day, and famous birthdays, but links to hit songs. November 15, 1962 (I was in junior high school) these were the hits:

He’s a Rebel - The Crystals
Big Girls Don’t Cry - The 4 Seasons
All Alone Am I - Brenda Lee
I’ve Been Everywhere - Hank Snow
Thought for Today: "What was once thought can never be unthought." — Friedrich Durrenmatt, Swiss author and playwright (1921-1990).

If you like oldies and want to enjoy a blast from the past, listen to this:

PS tomorrow I will announce the winner of my giveaway, post a comment now to be in the running!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Finding Joy in Small Pleasures

The Man In The Moon, originally uploaded by GmAn-Photography.

Today, I had a couple of wonderful reminders about finding joy in small pleasures. I was at a two-day training institute in Boise (happy to say I'm now home) titled "Implementing Evidence Based Practices in Early Childhood Intervention in Idaho". That's a big title, but the model is all about finding ways to support families to promote child participation in the context of family-based activities. It's really about finding interests and activities of the child/family and then using those as opportunities for learning. It's not rocket science, since it's how young have learned for centuries. But it's so easy to forget the simple things.
Here's a You-Tube video they showed in the training that illustrates how children learn in the context of their every day life experiences. I guarantee it will make you laugh though I have to say Dad could have done better at removing obstacles.

On the drive home, the moon appeared on the horizon, it was glowing, orange, and appeared huge, like a "harvest moon" although it was mid- November and about 39 degrees. The details were so striking, I could clearly see the "man in the moon" face that I remember from my childhood. Well, I guess he didn't really have glasses!

After arriving home, I discovered another small pleasure, I was inlcuded in this lovely treasury on Etsy.  Click on the photo for a larger view, my item is, of course, the neck warmer. 

Speaking of small pleasures, don't forget to comment on my blog by the end of tomorrow (November 15) for a chance at winning my giveaway (see November 9th post). Be well and remember to embrace the small pleasures life has to offer.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Color Me Warm

I just finished 3 alpaca neck warmers for customers who ordered them at the craft show this weekend, I have a few more to go. I love the colors and the feel of the alpaca as I knit. I also love choosing buttons for each one as I finish it. There is great satisfaction in creating with my hands something that will be both useful and beautiful.

(Note: Photos were delted by Flickr when my account was deleted, sorry!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I've been thinking about blog giveaways since I have one currently in process here. That got me thinking that I should look around and see what others are offering in theirs.

Kalurah (While They Play) is offering two $50 gift certificates to her Etsy shop to celebrate her One Year Etsy Anniversary. During that year she's had an impressive 432 sales. Drop by her shop and then her blog to enter this great giveaway.

Headband giveaway on the Orange Plum

Raghouse International is offering a a "body knit" in their giveaway which you can read about here on Etsy. You need to add yourself to their mailing list to enter.

Giveaway: Alice in Paris, two prints.

Here's a whole thread about giveaways on Etsy.

Blog about Blog Giveaways (new posts daily). You may want to bookmark this one.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Preparing for the Holidays in my Shop

Striped felted stocking
The Etsy Bloggers Blog Carnival this time instructs: Pick ONE of the following subjects to write about:
1. What is your favorite tradition for the Thanksgiving holiday?
2. How are you going to prepare your business for the holiday rush?

Since I've just finished two local craft shows which took an incredible amount of preparation, I haven't even begun to think about preparing my business for the holiday rush, but I should, so this is a good reminder to do so. Here's what I plan to do:

  • List items left from my craft fair that haven't been listed on Etsy yet. I started with this one today:
Blue neck warmer
I have several bags and a few odds and ends to list over the next few days.
  • Go through my expired items and determine what I want to re list for the holidays. I know for sure I will be listing 4 felted Christmas stockings I finished last year which didn't sell yet.
Felted stockings (3)
  • I'd love to find the time for a few new creations. I have planned for a while to make some pillows from felted wool, some more arm warmers, scarves, and more, however, I have more ideas than time these days.
  • I ordered a bunch of lovely alpaca yarn and plan to make 6-8 more of my popular neck warmers for the shop. First I have to complete about 6 custom orders.
  • I think I should put some type of holiday greeting in my Etsy shop.
I'm sure I should do more, but that's all I have the energy to think about for the moment.

PS Post a comment by November 15 to enter my giveaway. See my post November 9 for details.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Alphabet Soup

How about some soup for lunch?

Alphabet Soup treasury

Manic Monday

Manic Monday #141
What was the first thing you thought when you looked at yourself in the mirror today?

I am laughing just thinking about this again because my first thought was "Woody Woodpecker" because my hair was totally standing on end much like Woody's.

Do you have a recurring nightmare? If so explain.

No, I'm happy to say that I seldom have nightmares.

List three foods you can’t stand:

brussel sprouts, beets, and sea cucumber (which was served to me in Japan and which I never want to have again, it's like a giant sea slug).

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Time for a Giveaway!

I have a birthday coming up and I have hit (or will hit) a number of milestones:

  • Completing my 365 day Crafting project via Flickr Crafting 365
  • Participating in my first "real" craft show (Friday)
  • Completing 150 sales on Etsy (I'm at 147 at the moment but I'm confident I will make those 3 more soon, my pattern is selling pretty briskly)
I'm also well on my way to completing a month long of blogging in November (this is day 9 so I have some confidence in achieving that goal as well)
SO.....drumroll....I think it is time for another bloggy giveaway. I had so much fun with the last one. I will giveaway one of my little scrabble pendants to a lucky commenter. Comment on any post from now until November 15 and you will be entered into my contest. Be sure you leave a link or way for me to get back to you if you win. You'll get to pick which one you would like for your own. As it gets closer to giveaway time, I will post an updated photo as I sold some of these critters at my craft shows this week.

Crafting 365, Day 345, Our first scrabble tiles

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Aren't these Etsy items inspiring?  Click for a larger, more dramatic view!    I created this treasury with some copper and blue favorites.  You can find it here until about 6 pm Eastern time today.   

Friday, November 7, 2008

First Craft Show

My first craft show was a definite success. I sold about 25 items and took a few custom orders. My alpaca neck warmers and scrabble tile pendants were my biggest sellers.
It was great to spend the day with two other SE Idaho Etsy sellers, Kate of KatieBlairDesigns and Shannon of MyTaylorMade, pictured in the photo. My "stuff" is primarly on the wooden tables to the left in the photo.
I learned several things that will help me be better prepared next time and found I did use many of the items I brought from my Craft Fair checklist. I got a bit better organized as the day went on but started in a bit of panic because I had just enough time to price my remaining items. I was up to midnight last night and just couldn't finish...partly because I decided I needed this which I was sewing after 10:00 pm:

It's a money pouch/craft apron, only about 12" long and 8" wide which I made from sweater remnants. There is as small pocket for business cards, a pen/pencil slot, and two large pockets for money with Velcro closures. It is made to be worn on a belt (loop at top). I was very happy not to have to use a cash box or worry about where my money was.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Preparing for a Craft Show, Part 2, Dress Rehearsal

Yesterday afternoon/evening, I took all my items and arranged them as I think I may display them at the craft fair Friday. I actually had to try several different arrangements and ideas. I highly recommend doing this before setting up at your first fair as you will discover as I did some need for changes, revisions, rebuilding etc.
This isn't a great photo, but you can get the idea of what my setup will look like from the dress rehearsal in my family room.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Preparing for a Craft Show

Oak "pieces" for my craft show display

Now, that I'm home again, I need to gear up for the two craft shows this Friday and Saturday. The Holiday Fair at Idaho State University (ISU) is the first "real" craft show I'm doing. (I was in a friend's boutique last November.) I've spent some time lately researching set ups for craft shows, craft show check lists, and the like.

I've been busy making product for months. I've made lots of neck warmers and scrabble pendants and an assortment of other items. I could use much more time just for creating, but with only two days to go until the show, I think I'd better concentrate on my preparation: pricing items, making signs, printing business cards, and the like. My friend Jerry has been making a couple of oak pieces for me to use to display my items and I'm excited about how they look.

If you are going to be in a craft show, you may find some of these resources I've found helpful:

Flickr group of craft show photos: This is a great place to get ideas about how to display your work.

Some blog links about craft shows:

Craft Show tips
Craft Show Checklist
Craft Show Display
Essentials to Bring
Tips for Selling at Craft Fairs
Etsy search for "Craft Show Tips"

Preparing for Craft Shows

Riz Sedek posted a great craft show checklist on her blog. I've adapted it quite a bit and made my own version which I'd be happy to share if anyone is interested.

Check back later in the weekend or early next week and I'll post some photos of our craft booth (I'm sharing a space with two other Southeast Idaho Etsy team members for the ISU fair) and a report on how it went.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I almost forgot, my items are featured in a couple of treasuries on Etsy. The first one is all Idaho sellers and the second one is Etsy Bloggers!...ny two favorite Etsy teams.

Find of the Week---Photo e-cards

I know it's election day, but how about something to take your mind off politics?

Thanks to paperfields, a member of the Etsy Bloggers Team for this neat idea. You can put a link on your Flickr photos that allows you/others to make a free E-card with your photo.

To do this, you add a little html to your photo description.

Once you click Save, it appears as "Create Free E-Card" in your photo's description. Folks can click into your pic, then in your description they click Create Free E-Card and it takes them to another page where your photo shows as an e-card. They can personalize it and send to friends.

Very cool, don't you think? I added the link to a couple of my fall color photos. Here's one so you can see how the link looks.

By the way, the link might not show your photo for a while. There is a small lag time between putting in the html and them being able to pull up your photo.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Manic Monday, Truly Manic, Day 3 of NaBloplomo

Manic Coffee, originally uploaded by Jen Chan.

What an appropriate title for the day's post! I am truly "manic" at the moment. I'm preparing for two craft shows this week having only done one small "boutique" before in my life. I am also driving to Boise this morning for a day and a half of meetings related to my "day job". That's a distraction I really don't need at the moment. It also means I'll be away from on Election Day, so I've already voted. Don't you forget to do so! I've posted an election result widget on the right side of my blog so we can all see the results as they come in.
Manic Monday: Manic Monday #140

How many hours of TV do you watch per week? Do you feel that's too much, not enough or just right?
I watch very little TV though I have been watching a bit more the past few weeks. Still, I would say I watch les than 10 hours per week. We like to get dvd's of tv different tv series to watch (just finishing up Northern Exposure), does that count?

Which of the 5 senses do you feel is your strongest sense?
I guess I would say sight, thought I can't imagine being without any of them.

What's the wackiest belief you held as a child? I thought there was something scary (monster?) under my bed. I would turn off the light at the door then take a flying leap to the bed so I didn't have to touch the floor. I thought something might snatch me from under the bed.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Front Page "News"

Well, Monday was a slow news day in Pocatello because I made the front page of the local newspaper. It's a feature story about Etsy and our local Southeast Idaho group. I was hoping it would have more focus on all the members of our group, but it's actually primarily focused on me.

Unfortunately, the local paper's stories aren't viewable by folks who don't subscribe, so I've uploaded it to Google Documents so it can be viewed here.