Thursday, December 30, 2010

Purple Reins!

Yay! It's about time purple gets its well earned recognition. Oh the time we could have saved if only someone had asked my opinion about it years ago...  :-) You can imagine my joy when I read the following article.  (Taken from

Purple reigns as the new neutral
No longer considered edgy, the royal color has gone mainstream in home furnishings.

Move over, beige, there's a new go-to hue for the home. Purple's reign started on the fashion runway a few seasons back, then in small doses on the homefront. Now it's front and center -- on pieces big and small.

"It started as an accent color," read on

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

That's what my Grandma and my mom always used to say. Is it true?  I don't know. But I most always believed what they said.

This year for Christmas, I made each of my family members a pair of handwarmers. Just simple little cozies filled with rice to warm in the microwave.  But even if their hands got warmed up - I know they would still have warm hearts!

I made the warmers just the right size to fit into the pockets of their winter jackets on our cold Wisconsin mornings!

Boys - plain. Girls - flowers...of course!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Etsy in the News

Since I'm a seller on Etsy, I love to see good stories about it.

It's just plain nice to see positive stories about it and it's also a great way to help new people discover the many amazing things Etsy has to offer.

This morning I read this article about Etsy in the online New York Times.  Check it out! Three cheers for Etsy!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Greetings

Happy Holidays to all!

Seems like we just asume that some things have been going on forever. Take holiday greeting cards for example. It feels like they've always been sent to family and friends. With today's electronic world, I hope that age-old tradition doesn't get lost. I, for one, love getting holiday cards in the mail. Yes, the US mail.

Below is the first commercially produced greeting card. I don't know what year it was - because the Huffington Post didn't tell me!  But I did think it was darn cute!

Taken from

Happy holidays to all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wrapping Presents

I spent a good part of Monday night wrapping presents. I used plan brown kraft paper and my oddly colored dyed recycled t-shirts strips.

All in all, I guess they didn't turn out as bad as I thought they might (meaning the odd colored strips).

I like wrapping presents and tend to do most of them at the same time - but I also find that doing that, I can get a little sloppy towards the end. Let's just hope that I wrapped the favorite presents first!

Who's There
Donut who?
Donut open until Christmas

Monday, December 20, 2010

House and Home

I made wool house keychains for some of my friends this year for Christmas. Thirty-five houses. That's alot of houses! :-)

They ended up being a little different than what I originally planned - but at this point, I don't know if I even remember what I originally planned!

I also made little gift tags that said "Happy Holidays from My House to Yours" and attached them to the key chain with plain old-fashioned string. I began house distribution today in hopes I get them all delivered - whether in person or US mail - by Christmas. I have a feeling that the US mail ones will be a little late (haven't addressed or mailed them yet!).

Houses, houses, and more houses!  Happy Home Holidays!

Dye 101

No, I'm not going to try and teach you about dying fabric. I believe I need lessons.

I've dyed lots of things in the past (heck, look at the stains in my sink if you need proof!), but my latest dying project didn't turn out quite how I had hoped.

I wanted to dye reclaimed t-shirts (red and green) and then cut them into strips for strings to tie on my Christmas packages (wrapped in plain brown kraft paper).

When I had them in the dye bath, they looked like great, bright colors of red and green.  After drying, they appeared more like orange and a blah.

But you know what?  I'm going to use them anyway.  When put together, they look a little more festive than orange and blah.

Strips cut - pulling into cord.

Rolled balls of orange and blah cord ready for wrapping!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Busy Like An Elf

I took the day off from work last Friday to do my Christmas shopping. Surprisingly, I was able to get most everything I one afternoon! I can't believe how organized I was on my plan on attack. (Generally, I wing it - and don't often prepare ahead of time....who knew?)

Of course, I am also making a lot of gifts (as I often do). Sometimes I think that my friends and family must tire of my handmade gifts - but this year is pretty financially tight - so it's most economical for me to make gifts. So they're getting my hand work again!

Since last Friday, I've been busy, busy, busy with shopping and final preparation of gifts. However, I still have to wrap EVERYTHING! But I think I'm pretty darn prepared for that step.

I'm too darn tired right now - so I'll take some photos in the morning and share a few of them with you in the upcoming days.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Don't Forget the Kitties

My son and his girlfriend have two cats, Lucy and Leo.   I sure can't forget about them this Christmas.

Since they love to play, I decided that they might like some little wool play toys.

Do you think they'll keep them occupied until New Year's?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Recycled Wool Blanket

I've been wanting to make a recycled wool blanket for some time now. I just haven't gotten to it. But one of my projects for a Christmas gift was a lap blanket for my son and his girlfriend.

I finally got it done this weekend!

Many of the pieces came from an 2XL men's wool trench coat. I had originally seen it at one of my local thrift shops for $15.00. I, being quite cheap, was tempted, but didn't want to spend that much on a coat.

One day last week I went into the shop and everything was 1/2 off!  I grabbed the coat as soon as I saw it. Nice deal!

My son is partial to darker colors, but I wanted to make sure that I added one spot of nice purple (upper left corner of the first photo).....just so he could see it and always think of his mom.  :-)

PS. Don't worry - they don't read my blog - so they won't see this before Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

How to Properly Shop for Recycled Wool Sweaters

Need I say more?  :-)

No, this isn't MY van - but it cracks me up! This is taken from one of Jill2Day's Facebook entries. Honesty is a good quality.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm Wholeheartedly Touched

I was just browsing through my friend, Brene' Brown's website, Ordinary Courage, to see what new and fun things she had going on that I might be missing out on. (Heavens....I wouldn't want to miss a darn thing that Brene' does!)

I was very surprised and touched when I happened across a pillow that I did for Brene's blog last year! On that link, she was talking about the authenticity movement that has been started by many and that continues to grow. She wanted to create a space on her website to honor some of the work that has been done and continues to be done to encourage the movement.

It literally brought tears to my eyes to see that I was included as part of that phenomenal occurrence.

I can't tell you how much I respect and admire Brene's work and the encouragement she gives to so many people.  Bless you Brene'!

A pillow that I made and donated to a drawing held through Brene's website during 2009.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hotel Comfort

During my recent trip, we stayed at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza in downtown Chicago. The hotel really amazes me.

It's not just the very nice, clean and updated rooms. (Which I believe that travelers so often take for granted.) PS. Free wi-fi.

It's not just the beautiful view from my 22th floor window.

It's not just the lovely, tastey, ewwy, gooy pizza happily and promptly delivered to my room on Saturday night after two long days of running a conference. (Although this was definately a great highlight!!)

Nor is it just the lovely lobby and dining area on the 15th floor.

But it is the same wonderful staff that greet us year after year. Many of the folks that we get to see each year, as we hold our conference in their beautiful meetings rooms, we have seen for many years. They range from the wait staff in the main dining area, the banquet staff that constantly behave as if we are doing THEM a favor by making all our needs met, to the bell hops that greet us with a grand smile as they wave and say "Welcome back!".

They indeed are people who believe highly in customer service. . . and it shows.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Home Again, Home Again and the One of a Kind Art Show

I was just in Chicago. During my trip, I was able to take some time and attend the One of a Kind Art Show in Chicago. My, what fun.

There are over 600 vendors who attend the show. Their incredible talents are anything from fiber art, reclaimed clothing, fine art, and pottery, to fused glass, handmade candies, and sculpture.

I attended the show by myself - which actually worked out quite well. I was able to play the part of an excited human ping-pong -bopping from side-to-side, stopping at what would catch my fancy and able to bypass those artists that my immediate attention didn't want to go.

I collected alot of business cards and flyers and can't wait to spend more time online investigating the many talented artists work online.

This is the second time I've been able to attend this event. Without playing favorites, I couldn't help but immediately determine my winner of the "favorite booth award" from me this year. It was an extremely talented glass artist - Alison's Stained Glass. Her work was so creative and well done - nearly breath taking for me. I stood looking at her pieces with my jaw in dropped position.

Below is one of her works. I have to say that the photo doesn't even begin to do the piece justice. It is so much more amazingly brilliant in person. Oh, if I had a million dollars. . . 

Photo taken from