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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Holiday Decorating Ideas - The Tale of the New York Snowman

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there was a little girl who was a "Bluebird" (the CampFire Girls version of "Brownies" for those Girl Scouts out there). One day, at a December Bluebird meeting, the little girl's troop leader announced that they would be making snowmen to decorate their Christmas trees. The little girl clapped her hands with delight as she loved to craft, even though through the years to come many art teachers would tell the little girl she was artistically-challenged.

As the little girl and her friends gathered around the large wooden work table, filled with a delightful assortment of colorful supplies, she could feel the excitement and energy of what must be the artistic muse filling the room. Dozens of hands reached across the table through scattered lace, sequins, styrofoam, and pipe cleaners, everyone laying claim to the perfect pieces for their own snowman sculpture. But, the little girl had a different idea has she quietly scooped up two lone gray styrofoam balls, pinned them together with paper clips, and began adding scraps of red and white lace and netting, pipe cleaners, and sequins to her creation. As she neared completion, the troop leader suddenly took notice and asked, "Why, dear, here, we still have some regular styrofoam balls left. Don't you want to use them?" "No, " replied the little girl, quietly, still gluing and positioning her lace, "this is the snowman I want to make." The troop leader continued, "But it's gray." "I know," answered the little girl, and simply smiled as she finished gluing the final piece of lace into place.
The little girl took her snowman home that night and hung it on the highest branch that she could reach of the family Christmas tree. Her mother smiled and told her it was a wonderful snowman, but it was her father that gave it the name that has lasted all these years. He took a very long look at the gray snowman and said, "Oh, I get it - it's a New York snowman!" And he laughed a very long time. The little girl didn't understand at the time why he was laughing, but she was glad that the snowman made her father happy.
Over the years, the New York Snowman always came to have a place of honor on the family Christmas tree, and yes, as the little girl grew there came a time that she did understand why her father laughed and gave the snowman its name. She laughed with him as she thought of pure white snow made dirty by the exhaust and travel of city traffic.
And then one year, her first year alone at Christmas and many, many miles away from family, the little girl received a package. Inside was a carefully wrapped bundle with a note in her father's handwriting ~ "It's time for him to go on your tree now." The New York Snowman had come home to the little girl.
The little girl has grown up, married, and has a growing family of her own now. Yet, every Christmas, one of the very first ornaments still placed on her tree, in a place of honor, with heartfelt memories of what it means to create with love, to share with family through the years, is the New York Snowman. May your holiday decorating be filled with love and sharing!

~Post Script #1....the "little girl" has just now noticed that New York Snowman is "Scarlet and Gray"! How fitting ~ GO BUCKS!
~Post Script #2...when the "little girl" made this "Scarlet and Gray" New York Snowman, she was living in Michigan ~ how ironic! GO BUCKS! (and this week, we are also saying, GO OKLAHOMA!) :-)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Peace Corps Update ~ Where in the World Will Andrew Be?

Andrew arrived home Wednesday evening from school for Thanksgiving break with the news that he had received a call enroute from Chicago. His Peace Corps recruiter called him to let him know that Drew had been accepted officially (received a nomination) to a new Corps project operating in Sub-Saharan Africa in the area of crop expansion. Andrew was thrilled and accepted the nomination which means he will be leaving in June, one month after graduation.
He will learn more ~ like exactly WHERE he's going ~ later this spring as the area itself is rather huge (you can see the map below!!). But, to "narrow" the area down a bit....the Peace Corps is only active in countries where it is welcome/invited (not all countries in the region are active Corps countries obviously) and Drew was also told that most of the coastal countries are French-speaking so he probably would not be sent to one of those.
It is a very exciting time for him as this is something he has worked very hard for ~ at the same time, for all of us, it is a time for us to realize that these special times ~ Thanksgiving, Christmas, his birthday after Christmas... ~ will be the "last" ones that we all share together for a few years...WOW! That part is hard to fathom.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Featured Artist - Mommy and Me Boutique

I don’t know about you, but as I get ready for Thanksgiving this week, I have to admit my apron supply is looking a little shabby – and I don’t mean “shabby chic!” It’s too bad I didn’t stop by the Mommy and Me Boutique earlier!

Mommy and Me works with designer fabrics, beautiful trims and ribbons to create incredible aprons for adults and children and specialty children’s items, including toddler skirts and baby gifts. These are clearly “not your mother’s aprons” and are designed with loving care and personal expression so that today's mother and child can show off their unique sense of style.

Whether you are cooking or entertaining, looking for something fun, funky, traditional, or vintage, Mommy and Me Boutique is the shop for you. I know I better stop there before Christmas rolls around ~ how about you?

You can find Mommy and Me Boutique at:
Etsy: MommyandMeBoutique
Blog: TheMommyandMeBoutique

Monday, November 19, 2007

Featured Etsy Artist - Creative Sundries

What better pick-me-up on a Monday morning than a “stroll” through a delightful, fun-filled shop like Creative Sundries. Around every corner are new vintage surprises, wonderful memories, and lots of smiles! What more can you ask for than to start the week on a bright note?

Creative Sundries is Sarah and Carol, a mother-daughter/friend-friend team. They clearly have a passion for creating and for discovering unique vintage items. At Creative Sundries, you’ll find not only vintage treasures and unusual ephemera, but also wonderful handmade ATCs, notecards, crocheted cuffs, and jewelry.

This unique Etsy shop is a treasure, indeed, and may be an ideal spot for finding the perfect gift for someone on your holiday gift list. Stop in and get your smile today!

You can find Creative Sundries at:
Etsy: creativesundries
Blog: creativesundries

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Featured Artist - Kala

Artwork on Etsy continually amazes me with me its beauty and creativity. So, I was clearly not disappointed when I visited Karen Jinks’ shop ~ Kala, a wonderful collection of artwork, prints, cards, and gifts.

Karen, a professional artist and illustrator from the UK, works in mixed media and does so delightfully. She has an illustration degree from the Norwich School of Art & Design and is a mother of two. Specializing in stationery, gifts and accessories for weddings and christenings, Karen also loves designing and working with collage, illustration and textiles.

Karen has also opened a second Etsy store with Larissa Robinson Joice, Up with the Lark, featuring her crocheted crafts and jewelry.
You can also visit Karen’s main website where she sells her stationery and gifts for those special moments in our lives!

You can find Kala (Karen) at:
Etsy: Kala
Etsy: Up with the Lark
Blog: ChalkHillStudio

Friday, November 16, 2007

Featured Artist - Personal Treasures

Allow me to introduce you to a fascinating Etsy artist, Phyllis Mufson, of Personal Treasures. Phyllis is a gifted jewelry artisan and an inspiring creative career and small business coach.

Although she first started making jewelry while directing the Locks Career Center at Moore College of Art & Design, Phyllis now enjoys working in her sunny living room where she can meet with clients and have all of her jewelry supplies nearby. She finds inspiration in her 23-story “bead condo” – clear, stacking sectioned boxes filled with her color-coordinated gold and silver, gemstones and pearls.
Phyllis’s earlier work as a textile artist still influences her designs. She is attentive to how jewelry drapes and moves with the body. She also draws inspiration from her customers. In addition to her ETSY stores, Personal Treasures and Mufi Jewels, Phyllis markets through private jewelry shows, giving her the opportunity to see how women respond to her jewelry. She enjoys discovering what interests them, and finding out which designs they find particularly flattering to wear.
If you like Personal Treasures, but are looking for something more casual, stop by Phyllis’s second Etsy shop ~ Mufi Jewels.

Want to know more about career and small business coaching and how it might benefit you? You can learn more about Phyllis’s coaching practice at
You can find Personal Treasures (Phyllis) at:
Etsy: PersonalTreasures
Blog: Personaltreasures

Does your creative muse need a "nudge"? Perhaps those creative juices need a little jump start to get flowing again.....then, I highly suggest a leisurely visit to Wanderlust N Pixie Dust! This delightful, creative Etsy shop is filled with an assortment of vintage, eclectic, and altered items ~ some "ready-to-use" (jewelry, clothing, gifts) and some "ready-to-be-used" (cloth, supplies, and one of my favorites - glitter in beautiful colors!).
This Etsy seller loves antiques and everything vintage - clothing, jewelry, linens, textiles, anything beveled, books, ephemera, you name it. In her spare time she enjoys all things crafty.
Her interests run the gamut from antiques, history, world music, female adventurers, flea markets, to early music, Arabic dance music, reggae, DEVO, and Johnny Depp. Wanderlust n Pixie Dust is an adventure I encourage you to take!
You can find Wanderlust n Pixie Dust at:
Etsy: Wanderlustnpixiedust
Blog: Wanderlustnpixiedust

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Coming SOON ~ etsyBEAD Thanksgiving Weekend SALE!

Mark your calendars NOW! One week from tomorrow (Friday) is the next BIG etsyBEAD sale - the THANKSGIVING WEEKEND SALE! Over 50 terrific Etsy shops will be participating, offering 10% off all weekend long, November 23rd - 25th, AND either FREE or discounted shipping - check the individual shop announcements for shipping details.

I'm participating, of course, and will be offering FREE domestic (USA) shipping and 50% off on international shipping for the sale.

This discount and free/discounted shipping only apply during the sale dates, Friday, November 23rd, through midnight, EST, Sunday, November 25th.

Orders must be from individual shops; orders may not be combined from different shops to receive a discount.

Make your shop selections and put "etsyBEAD THANKS" in "Notes to Seller" at checkout and WAIT for a revised invoice before making payment. Only one discount code may be used per purchase.

If you have any questions, feel free to convo/email me and happy Thanksgiving weekend shopping!

Featured Etsy Artist - AdrienneN ~ Personality Plus Boutique

One of the great things about Etsy is always being able to find great gift ideas and today’s feature artist, AdrienneN of Personality Plus Boutique, has some wonderful ones!

PersonalityPlus Boutique is actually a mother-daughter team (Charlotte, Mom; Adrienne, Daughter). Charlotte has worked as a seamstress for many years with over 15 years in commercial embroidery. Adrienne, a preschool teacher, especially loved to customize gifts for family and friends which opened the door to this venture.

Charlotte and Adrienne are dedicated to bringing you unique, quality embroidered gifts at an unbeatable price! In keeping with her first interests in custom work, Adrienne loves to customize orders so if you want something specific she welcomes the request and will let you know what she can do.

All orders are completed in a smoke free, pet free home where the Personality Plus Boutique team will give your items their highest quality treatments.

You can find AdrienneN~Personality Plus Boutique at:
Etsy: AdrienneN
Blog: Personality Plus Boutique

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Featured Etsy Artist - Mineral Magic Cosmetics

This is a new daily feature and I’m pleased to be starting with MineralMagic as I am one of her very satisfied customers! Read on – try her products – you will be, too!
Kellie carries a complete line of vegan mineral makeup, skin care, fragrance, bath and body, and aroma products.
Mineral makeup are pure, crushed minerals from the earth, providing an SPF of up to 20, depending on how much you apply. It is an anti-inflamatory for your skin, as well. This makeup does not contain bismuth oxychloride, which is akin to arsenic, and is most likely the reason for skin irritation. Another plus -since these minerals are 100% pure, bacteria cannot be supported which means, there is no expiration date. Also, there is virtually no allergy risk and the makeup will not clog your pores.
A licensed cosmetologist, Kellie attended Rutgers University for purchasing and finance, and Manatee College for radiography. She and her family live in Pennsylvania. Her nine-year-old son, Timmy, has joined her in the store with his own line of products to bring awareness to autism.

Kellie takes great pride in her makeup line and guarantees 100% satisfaction. You can find Mineral Magics and read more about Kellie at

Monday, November 12, 2007

EtsyBloggers' Carnival - "Christmas Gift Ideas"

The EtsyBloggers' Carnival is "up"....Stormy Designs is the carnival host and the posts are great! You can read all of them (including MINE, in case you missed it below :-)! ). The topic was "Christmas Gift Ideas" - really interesting to read everyone's ideas, perspectives....check out the "carnival" for yourself!

Want information on how to join in on the next "carnival" - check out Miss Malaprop's FAQ's about EtsyBloggers' Carnivals.

Let's Start the Week with a Good Laugh!

Gotta love OSU-Michigan Week and the age-old rivalry it brings! Here are some great Michigan jokes -- and posted above is a poll so you can VOTE on your favorite!! Check back on Saturday to see which one wins out!

Q: How many University of Michigan freshmen does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None, it's a senior course.

Q: How do you get a UM grad off of your porch?
A: Pay for the pizza.

Q: What do you call a good-looking girl on Michigan's campus?
A: A visitor

Q: What do you get when a groundhog sees his shadow in the Big House?
A: Six more weeks of bad football

Q: How do you make University of Michigan cookies?
A: Place in a big bowl, beat for 3 hours. is MONDAY....and I think you probably guessed that I just have to do something JUST BECAUSE....

۝ 15% off all OSU items in the shop

۝ FREE domestic (USA) shipping on OSU items in the shop

Remember, put "JBM" ("Just Because Monday") in "Notes to Seller" at check-out and WAIT for a revised invoice. Only one discount code per purchase. "JBM" is ONLY announced here and ONLY on Monday. This JBM expires Sunday, November 18th, midnight, EDT....just because!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Stunned, Yes, But, Still Ready for BIG Game Week!

Buckeye Nation was stunned, no doubt, yesterday by the outcome of the OSU game, but being the true Buckeye fans that we are, in the light of day (ok, drizzle here!), we regroup, refocus, and are ready, yes, ready...because it is the one week that really counts......Michigan week....and there is no doubt today that our Buckeyes are still #1 in our hearts -- and will head north ready to WIN for the BIG TEN championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl. GO BUCKS!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Christmas Gift Ideas - Handmade, Not Recalled

I'm giving a try at the EtsyBloggers' Carnival (where different bloggers all post about the same topic and then a "host" gathers the links for the blogs)....we'll see how it goes!

The topic is "Christmas Gift Ideas" and at first I must admit I shied away from posting because my thoughts were about what I actually might be planning for gifts. So, why would I want to post the "surprises" here where the recipient might discover them before Christmas morning?

But, in light of the increasing recalls on children's toys and a conversation I had with my mother regarding "big box" retailers vs. independently owned toy shops and the upcoming Christmas season, my "Christmas Gift Ideas" headed in a different direction. My daughter, a preschool teacher, asked me if such recalls were common when she was a child, and I said, no, not to the extent that we are experiencing now. I told her that I had recently discussed the situation with her grandmother who reflected that she believed small shops, which carried traditional, "made in America" toys, and offered personal assistance/information regarding products would no doubt do much better this holiday season than some of the "big box" retailers given the widespread recalls. I must agree.

In fact, just today, I was thrilled to hand-deliver a new baby gift that I purchased from an Etsy seller, GreenBeanBoutique, knowing that it was handmade with safe, quality products - and the new mom was equally happy and impressed with this new source of handmade, quality items. I know that I've willingly taken the "buy handmade" pledge for this upcoming holiday season. And given the current condition of our commercial toy market, I would encourage all of us to share this option with everyone we know. BUY HANDMADE ~ not recalled!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Milestone - Listing #100! The "Deep Forest" Collection

Hard to believe but I hit a milestone yesterday - I listed my 100th item in the, of course I hope I don't stay at 100 very long - meaning I hope that perhaps some sales will bring the number of listed items down, but it is a nice even number and I am SO excited about the "collection" that brought me up to the magic number.

~Deep Forest Necklace................... ~Deep Forest Bracelet................... ~Deep Forest Earrings
Deep Forest Necklace Deep Forest Bracelet Deep Forest Earrings

So, now the dilemma...designed an awesome new necklace today (probably to be joined by some earrings tonight) and got some wonderful new lampwork beads in the 100 the limit or do I just keep listing? Hmmmmm......something tells me, I won't stop! :-) Stay tuned!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Fall Y'all Giveaway Winner! Congratulations....and It's Monday!

Congratulations to Elysa of Musings from Graceland for winning my "Holiday Pearls" earrings in the EtsyMom Fall Y'all Giveaway...Elysa was selected at random from 183 (!!!!) comments left for the earrings at the EtsyMom blog. Be sure to visit Elysa at her blog (link above) - she has a wonderful story to share.

If you left a comment and are still interested in "Holiday Pearls," they are available NOW in the shop - in holiday red and green - so stop by and check them out!

Yes, it's Just Because I'd like to move out some almost ready to expire listings -- here we go....BOGO (buy one, get one 1/2 off -- higher price applies) on the following listings only:
~ERIN earrings
~WILDFLOWER earrings
~TIGER LILY earrings
~SUMMER ROSES bracelet
~ROSE PETALS earrings
~CHINA ROSE earrings
~SEA TREASURE bracelet
~SEA DANGLES earrings
~FALLNG IN LOVE bracelet
~NEW LEAF necklace

Remember to put "JBM" in "Notes to Seller" at checkout and WAIT for a revised invoice before making payment. Only one discount code per purchase. Just Because Monday specials are ONLY announced here, only on Monday. This JBM will expire Sunday, November 11th, at midnight EST....just because!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A "NEW" Look for the Shop - Thanks, Kimma!

I know, I know....2 posts in one day! But I have to share with you about my "Featured Etsy Artist of the Week" - Ohkimma. She is a terrific graphic artist designer on Etsy and is the "brains" behind my shop's "new look" (my awesome new banner and my new avatar).....she was such a joy to work with - terrific communication, patience, and details - I can't praise Kimma's work enough! If you are an Etsy seller looking for an update, you really should check out her shop - she has lots of options for you and is willing to work with you! Thanks again, Kimma!! :-)

Wickedly Chic!

Got a very exciting email yesterday with a link to an online magazine telling me that a pair of my newest earrings, "WINTER ROSE" (just listed them yesterday, in fact!) was being featured in the magazine's section called "Daily Ditties" . Wickedly Chic is based out of Chicago and is an online magazine with a focus on "independent shopping for the wickedly fashionable." The site has loads of quite cool contests, give-aways, and awesome shopping ideas for you or gifting! And...just what is a Daily Ditty? Well, according to Wickedly Chic,
"Daily Ditties should be your first stop every day to check out the newest, most chic & unquestionably fashionable indie items on the web. So don’t be a ditty, read the Daily Ditties!"

You can also sign up for the Wickedly Chic newsletter so you can get updated every week on their great contests and giveaways - don't miss out on this great online indie shopping opportunity!

Friday, November 2, 2007

WOW! Fall Y'all Give Away HUGE Hit -- Hurry and Sign Up NOW!

EtsyMom is having a terrific giveaway promotion called "Fall Y'all" at their EtsyMom blog - one great item has been featured each day starting this past Monday and ending today. The deal is - if you find something you like and would like a chance at getting it - all you need to do is make a comment on the item you are interested in by noon, TOMORROW (Saturday). One person will be selected at random from each item's set of comments to receive the item FREE (no shipping charge either!). Whatta deal! And yes, you may comment on more than one item!

My "Holiday Pearls" earrings are the featured item for Day 4, and I'm so excited that they seem to be big hit! Other awesome giveaways are an outfit for an 18" doll (American Girl-type), holiday cards and tags, button magnets, and a wool felt brooch. You can see all the items and make your comments at the EtsyMom blog - remember, deadline to comment for the giveway is NOON tomorrow!