Sunday, November 30, 2008

New This Week ~~

Sunday Morning is the morning when I look back at last week and evaluate what I accomplished and determine what direction I want to go in next week. For me, Sunday is a connector... from week to week.

My work is done in cycles ~ I first crochet / knit the item, then I put it through the felting process and then the items dry for a week.

Right now, I have a set of cool nesting bowls and 4 new bangles that have dried through out this past week. I plan to embellish the bangles today and will get some pictures taken if the sun comes out. You can see these items added to my shop throughout the coming week.

And here is what is new in my shop this past week ~ all available for purchase and truly make wonderful gifts.

Deep in the Ocean ~ Felted Bowl:

Classic Cables Knit Scarf ~ Peaches and Cream:

Teddy Bear's Picinic ~ Felted Booties:

Woodlands ~ Felted Bangle:

Overall, this past week was productive and included a good variety. I think it was one of my better weeks! Stop in and see how I measure up next week...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Who Wants to be a Buttonaire?

Yes ~ I am a crafter. And as most crafters will confess, I too, have stashes of fabrics, threads, yarns, beads and buttons.

When Tennekka posted a promotion about an upcoming challenge using her gorgeous buttons, I jumped on it. The winner gets 20 of her fabulous buttons! Oh, what I could do with those buttons!

This challege is sponsored by Tennekka ~ A great etsy shop that makes the most incredible buttons. Each entrant was sent a random button and was asked to make something featuring the button. I couldn't wait to receive my button and get started!

Here is my button:

I kept the button around for 3 days, just looking at it trying to decide what to make of it. Each time I looked at it, it reminded me of the North Star and the North Star has always been a directional point for sailors. So, I created a felted vase titled: North Star at Sunset ~ depicting a ocean scene just as the sun is going down with the North Star just popping out.

The voting is open now through midnight December 1. Please jump over to wEtsy Behind the Ears at to cast your vote!

Friday, November 28, 2008

FAM Friday Feature ~~ TooAquarius

Amazing color and beauty are the words I would use to describe tooaquarius beads. Sometimes romantic, sometimes whimsical.. but everytime amazingly beautiful!

Here is a snippit from her bio that give some insite to where these great ideas originate from:

"I'm the odd mix of technical and crafty. I love my sparkly, shiny beads in nifty colours but I'm equally charmed by careful mixing, repeating patterns and precision. My inspiration comes from a variety of places - science fiction and fairy tales, flowers and the wind in the trees, news stories and nursery rhymes are just a few".

.(¯`'•.¸(¯`'•.¸ * My Technique *¸.•'´¯)¸.•'´¯)

Most of my work uses a technique called millefiori. This allows for pictures to be created in logs or canes of clay where the pictures can be pretty much whatever you dream up. Flowers are a favourite of mine, as are faces and insects. A complex cane can take hours to design and make. It is then reduced (sometimes teeny tiny) and thin slices are taken and placed on blank beads to make a collage style design.

Beads are then properly cured and finished as needed by sanding, buffing or varnishing. I have been working with clay for nearly ten years and I still feel like I'm in the honeymoon stage!

Come visit tooaquarius for all your bead needs.. you will be pleasantly surprized!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving ~~

Today I am cooking the traditional turkey dinner, as I have done for the past 28 years. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy..... the works.

The only difference this year is that only my mother and husband will be here to eat it! And after so many years with a hectic holiday, I think I may enjoy the slower paced, quiet dinner.

I am truly thankful that my children have grown up to be productive, self sufficient and caring people. And I am quite proud of them all! And each one so different from the other, it is a wonder they were all raised in the same home. But I can see that each one have grown into wonderful, caring adults and it warms my heart.

I will miss them this holiday, but will be thinking of them all day long.

And just to add some humor in the midst of all seriousness... my wonderful, single, living alone, 22 year old son called several times yesterday.

First Call: " I don't have a roasting pan.. how can I cook a turkey?" - Oh, your cooking a turkey?? (I almost died) "Yeah, we get a free one at work". Very nice, just go get an inexpensive aluminum pan.

Second Call: "How do you cook a turkey?" I went through the steps... cleaning it, taking out the bags of 'stuff', preparing it, etc. "That's too much work! What if I just......?"

About 2 hours later:

Third Call: "How do you defrost a frozen turkey quickly?" Ha! you don't have it defrosted? "No, I just went out and got it..... "

I will check in during the day with him today to see how it all turned out, but I am sure that he will find a way to make it work.

And here are some pictures taken from my dining room window for your pleasure. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hooker Spotlight ~ My String Theory

This week's hooker spotlight is shinning on a fellow felter ~~ well, technically fuller, but we accept felting.

mystringtheory has an amazing eye for color combinations and designs when making her jewerly and accessories. I would call her work fabulous, fun and funky! She teaches the strings by day and hooks strings at night... Come read more about her from her profile:

"I am a violin teacher by day, and a crocheter by night. And morning. And afternoon. And sometimes my lunch break. I began playing with yarn as a reward for completing my first year of graduate school, and it has grown into a fullblown obsession. After buzzing around practicing and teaching all day, I can't wait to get home to my yarn! It's my favorite daily unwind and meditation activity.

And here is her discription of felting (or fulling):
A Note About "Felting"
"Felting" or "fulling" is a process that shrinks crocheted or knitted items that are made of 100% wool. If a description says that one of my items is "machine felted" that means that I threw the product in the washing machine to shrink it. If it is "hand felted," I scrubbed the item over the stove in hot soapy water (with gloves of course!). A purse that has been felted does not need a lining because the shrinkage and agitation makes it pretty hard for keys and pens to poke through the fabric. On the hand felted items, stitches are still visible, but the item will still be sturdy enough to hold all of your goodies.

Definately take some time to visit her entire shop as her work is incredible. Each item is very unique and keeps you looking around the corner to see the next one!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Preparing for a Fresh New 2009 ~

I have so many fresh new ideas jumping around in my head right now! My brain feels like a bag of popcorn in the microwave... each kernel a band new product just trying to get out. So I have been jotting them down, writing descriptions and starting to plan for a fresh new 2009.

I plan to actually close my shop down for a week or two after the Holiday Season and have a grand re-opening in mid January. Meanwhile, I am working on creating an incredible stock with new designs and fantastic accessories.

Part of that preparation, is cleaning out the old to make room for the new. So I have marked several items with a clearance price tag that range from 50 - 70% off. This is a great opportunity to get a truly unique gift for your loved ones at a very reasonable price.

Here are a few examples:

Super Soft Hand Knit Scarf ~ Sweet Pea
This scarf is incredibly soft and sweet! Original Price was $25 - Marked Down to $13

Yellow Treasure Pot ~ Wonderful Gift
This treasure pot is perfect for your jewelery, buttons or anything small. Orignial Price $18 - Marked Down to $10

Set of Two Felted Bangles ~ Original Price $15 - Marked down to $7
What a unique and fun gift for the gal who has it all!

Right now there are 24 items marked down. So grab a cup of coffee and come on in and browse around a bit!

Monday, November 24, 2008

EtsyForCharity ~ Artist of the Week

EtsyForCharity is a team of etsians that donate items to be sold in the EtsyForCharity Shop. All proceeds of the sales from this shop are donated to a charity of the month. November's charities are National Alzheimer’s Association and Feed The Children

Please be sure to check out EtsyForCharity as it has a great variety of items and you will be sure to find something for someone on your holiday shopping list!

This weeks EFC Artist of the Week is LolaLynn

Lolalynn's use of color is fabulous! Her designs and style are truly unique and LolaLynn's ACEOs can be enlarged to fit into 5x7 or 8.5x11 inch frames. (Please allow one week for special orders).

Lolalynn also supports Abandoned Wild Babies Animal Rescue (AWBAR) when you purchace items that are specifically indicate that proceeds will go to that cause.

Come on in and check out all the goodness in her shop!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New This Week ~

I've been a busy lady this past week ~

Here are the newest of new items available for purchase at my etsy shop:

Set of 4 nesting bowls that will brighten up any room in your home. They can also be used as an educational toy for toddlers to learn stacking, sorting and colors:

This softer than soft knit scarf makes a wonderful gift for women and teens. The colors remind me of a mixed berry sorbet! And it is just as soothing!

Here is a lovely felted coin purse made with a handmade button from thebuttonshop. This would make a lovely gift for the hard to buy for lady on your list!

Come visit my shop and see all the latest... and don't forget to comment on the entry below to win one of the newest line of felted bangles.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Felted Bangles ~ and a raffle

It really surprises me that I have evolved into a "morning person". I remember when I was young, my mother had such a hard time getting me out of bed every day. I was the classic sleepy head. Now after several years of struggling to get my own children out of bed, I found that I just love being up and about in the early morning hours ~ Simply to enjoy the quietness of the house and a bit of time to myself.

This picture of the sunrise was taken yesterday morning when everyone in my family was fast asleep. I am so sorry they missed it, but it is just another of my treasured morning moments.

Morning is also a time that I have some of my best ideas. My lastest involves a new and improved felted bangle pattern that I have been testing the past few weeks. I am using plastic bottles as the base and honestly, cutting them up with a nice straight edge is probably the most challenging part! My husband tried helping by using the table saw... which totally turned out to be a disaster. Scissors are not the best, either. I found that a nice sharp razor blade works the best after measuring the lines on the bottles with a sharpie.

I cover the plastic with knit or crocheted designs and then put them through the felting process. Soda bottles work well for smaller wrists (2.5 - 2.75 inch inside measurements) and flavored water bottles work best for larger size wrists (2.75 - 3 inch inside measurements). My plan is to list these on etsy in the $10 - $14 price range (depending on design, materials, etc)

Here are a couple of my prototypes that are not listed on etsy. Both of these are size small and I am going to raffle them to two lucky winners on Monday December 1. Please leave a comment with what colors and designs you would like to see in the future. Include your etsy or e-mail address so I can notify the lucky winners.

Good luck to everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2008

FAM Friday Feature ~~ GardenCris27

Bags, Pouches and Aprons ~~

Today's FAM (Fabulous Artistic Moms) feature showcases some of Carissa Black's fantastic pouches. Her work is fabulous and is appealing to young and (ahem) slightly older women. I know because I bought one a while back for myself, but when it arrived in the mail, my 18 year old daughter talked me into giving it to her! Her stitiching is impeccible and her fabric choices are amazing.

From her profile:

"I started sewing, as most people did, as a kid in home economics. I hated it! I hated following a pattern and I hated following directions. I wanted to do it my way, my way was better! What got me into trouble then, has helped me to grow a successful business. I never use patterns and love to come up with new designs. I am also the mom of two, very active, little boys. On the weekends, I am an intensive care unit nurse. I love my sewing as it gives me a wonderful outlet for creativitiy. I also think every woman and mom should have something that they do just for them and no one else."

Visit GardenCris27's shop to see for yourself!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Winner of Last Week's Mini Raffle

Thanks to everyone who commented on my blog with ideas for felted nesting bowls! I have already started making a set in primary colors that can be used for bowls or very cool stacking /sorting toys for toddlers.

ARTISANNE is the winner and I just wanted to take a moment to share her shop with you as she has a very unique shop!

This is from her profile that describes her work ~~
Naturally recycled gems! Bottles, vases, automobile windows, glass from shipwrecks... in fact, anything made of glass that's been dumped in the sea and tumbled and turned for many, many years becomes Sea Glass. The longer it's swirling around, the purer and more perfect it becomes.

All Sea Glass & Pottery from ARTISANNE is 100% genuine & natural, tumbled by the sea, not by me! Every piece is collected by me from beautiful Scottish beaches!

Alzheimer's Research - I have an item in my shop at all times with 100% of the sale going to this worthy cause which will affect many of us one way or another.

Stop in and give her a visit... you will love what you find.

And Anne ~~ Enjoy your pin! Thanks again for participating ♥

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hooker Spotlight ~ AnnieDesign

This week's Hooker Spotlight is shinning on AnnieDesign who specializes in unique hand crafted crochet accessories and applique.

Annie live in Ireland ~ the place that I have been dreaming to visit one day!

Her work is absolutely beautiful and knitters, hookers and all fabric artists can find a use for her nostaligic work. She has a way of mixing up colors perfectly and her designs are stunning! Come visit her shop to view more.

Etsy Hookers are a team of Etsy sellers who are passionate about crochet. We encourage creativity and uniqueness in our techniques and styles.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Snow Covered Berries ~

My newest bowl arrives just in time to celebrate winter as Central New York woke up to over a foot of snow yesterday morning.

Yes, I did say over a foot...

Here is a picture taken Sunday morning and the same area taken on Monday morning ~~

And here are a couple shots just to give you a reference for the depth:

But this one is my favorite.. one of the old apple trees:

And so I dedicate my newest bowl to snow. I love how it clings to every tiny branch and blankets nature for the winter. The design on my bowl reminds me of a forgotton berry bush sprinkled with the white stuff deep in the woods. I hope you will enjoy it as well!

Available for purchase at