December 30, 2008

Sunset

As I walked through my living room on Sunday I noticed that everything had an orange hue. This is what the sky looked like out my back door.

December 29, 2008

New Year’s Resolution 2009

Well, it’s that time of year again. It is time to reflect on the year that has passed and think about what I would like to change. I know that, without a doubt, the personal problem that I would love to tackle, and win, is procrastination. I am a world class procrastinator. My main form of procrastination is the computer. Hanging out in different forums is a main source of time consumption for me. The tool that I am going to use to help me combat this problem is the microwave timer. I will allow myself a certain amount of time online each day and when the timer goes off I will be done. This will include listing items in my Etsy and Artfire shops, blogging, Flickr and reading email. Wish me luck!

What are your resolutions?
Leave me a comment; I would love to hear them.


PROCRASTINATE
v.i. delay action

December 19, 2008

It Pays To Ask

Quite a few months ago I put an iPod case in my favorites. I thought that it would make a great gift for my 13 year old son for Christmas. It had a place for the ear bud wires to come out and a clip so that he could attach it to his backpack, duffel bag, etc. When I was ready to shop I saw that it was sold. No big deal, right? I'll just go to the shop and find one there. Well, there wasn't one listed and it looked like there hadn't been one listed in a while. OH NO! It's not being offered any more! I sent a convo to Tenthstreet and within minutes I got a convo back asking what color I would like. The next day I got another convo saying that there was one listed if I was still interested. It was exactly what I wanted. It arrived in plenty of time for Christmas and it came with a freebie - a pink coin pouch. Had I just looked in the shop and moved on when what I wanted wasn't there I wouldn't have this great case for my son



and
cute pouch for myself.


.
Thanks Tenthstreet - you rock!

December 9, 2008

Featured Etsyblogger for December


This month's featured Etsyblogger is Spotted Cow Soaps. If you like to pamper yourself and luxuriate in a nice hot bath, this is the place for you. The photo above shows the Chocoholics Unite Bath Fizzies. I don't know about you but I couldn't imagine anything better on a cold winter day then a nice warm bath surrounded by the aroma of chocolate. Two of my favorite things at one time and in one place...ahhh!

Spotted Cow Soaps, located in Vermont, not only makes soap, but bath accessories, candles and more. They will also include a free sample in every order.

If you would like to learn more, or even join, Etsybloggers please click here.

November 26, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

I live in New Jersey and lately it has been feeling more like winter then fall. It has been way below freezing the past couple of nights and I can't seem to get warm. This week I am featuring these great coasters from Elle Quilts. They have marshmallows wearing earmuffs on one side and the other side has pretty dots. Couldn't you just imagine these with a steaming hot cup of hot chocolate on them?

November 25, 2008

The Million Dollar Bracelet

There is always a lot of talk on the Etsy forums about making sure that you get paid for your time when you are pricing your item. Well, I'm sure that we have all had item like my black, gray and red bangle. It is bead crocheted which entails stringing all the beads in order on thread and then crocheting them into a tube. The tube is then joined with an invisible seam to create a bangle. This is how it went:

Attempt 1 - Crocheted all the beads. Did invisible join. Knotted and knotted some more to make sure it was secure. After closer inspection I found that the stripes didn't match up evenly. Once a bangle is securely joined it cannot be taken apart, so it meant cutting it a part, restringing and starting over.

Attempt 2 - Crocheted all the beads again. Did the join and it lined up perfectly. Went to slip it over my hand and there was no way it was going to fit. Since I'm an average sized women I couldn't imagine it selling too quickly at the size it was. Cut apart and restring, again.

Attempt 3 - Crocheted all the beads again. Did the join and it lined up perfectly. Tried it on before doing the final knotting to make sure that it fit me loosely so that it would also fit someone slightly larger. Photographed and listed.

If I actually charged for all the time I worked on this bracelet I would have to charge an exorbitant amount. Since all time spent was due to operator error it is being offered in my shop for $28. Hopefully it will go to a good home to someone who appreciates it.


November 23, 2008

SALE! SALE! SALE!


The EtsyBloggers Team is having a sale from Black Friday, 11/28 through Cyber Monday, 12/1. For a list of the 50+ shops participating in this sale click here.

November 19, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

This Wednesday I was feeling a little nostalgic. I was thinking about the holidays when I was a child and that led me to thinking about the dog I had as a child. I was petrified of dogs when I was very young. It seems that a relative’s dog jumped into my playpen when I was an infant. Fast forward a few years. I adored my grandfather and he got a dachshund named Fred. He assured me that Fred wouldn’t hurt me and because he was Grandpa I knew that it must be true. So for my 5th birthday I asked for and received a dachshund of my very own. I asked for a brown one since my grandfather had a black one. I named him Peanut and he was my pal for over 16 years.





This leads me to this Wednesday’s wonderful find – a polymer clay Doxie pin made by Kritter Krazed. Dachshunds aren’t the only dogs she has available. There are also Labs, Boston Terriers, Pugs and more. Wouldn't this be a great Christmas gift for the dog lover on your list?


November 12, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

I decided that this week I would use the Pounce feature on Etsy to discover a shop with nice items that has not had a sale yet. It was love at first sight when I saw this baby sand pail hat by Crackerjack Knits. This hat is made from merino wool and lined for baby's comfort.




I usually only post one picture, but I couldn't resist this face.



November 7, 2008

Tagged Again

I was tagged by two people from the Etsy Bloggers team last month and in the past two weeks I have been tagged twice again. Since there is not a whole lot left to tell you can read about me here.

I was tagged by some Etsians with fabulous shops. I would love if you would pay them a visit.
You've Got Maille
Lil Bees

November 3, 2008

Etsy Bloggers Featured Member for November

This month Deb aka storybeader has been chosen as the Featured Etsy Blogger for the month of November.
Not only does she make beautiful jewelry, but every one of her necklaces comes with a personally written haiku.



The gorgeous red magnesite and Turkish silver necklace pictured above, for example, comes with this haiku:


The workers shot large
Cannonballs into the hills
To draw out silver.
- storybeader

Give her shop a visit - you won't be disappointed!

What I'm Working On

The Etsy Bloggers are blogging about what they are working on. I usually don't do holiday themed jewelry, but when I saw this Santa Claus button I just had to have it. I rummaged through my seed bead stash and found the perfect candy cane colors. I first thought of using the Santa as the toggle part of a toggle and loop closure, but I'm now thinking that he may make a better focal. This bracelet most likely won’t end up in my shop. The beads I used are very varied in size so there are places where they do not lie properly. I think I’ll just keep it for myself and wear it to get in the Christmas spirit.


October 29, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

It's that time of year again - tea time. I drink coffee every morning all year, but when the weather starts turning colder I love an afternoon cup of tea. So I did an Etsy search for teapots to get an idea of what is out there. There are hundreds of wonderful pots, but this way by far my favorite. According to the description this pot was inspired by a trip to France. Take a peek at lawatson's shop for more fabulous, funky finds.




October 25, 2008

Etsy Bloggers Treasury

I haven't made a treasury in a very long time. I finally snagged one in Treasury West and thought I would make one that showed my love of blue, my love of jewelry and my love of my new team - EtsyBloggers. You can find it here for a few days if you would like to click and comment.

October 22, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

I love wood, especially when different kinds/colors are used together. That is why I love these books made by Postindustrialist. Wouldn't they make a great Christmas gift?



Please visit her shop to read more about how she makes these fantastic works of art.





October 16, 2008

Family Hike at Bear Mountain

Last weekend we went on a family hike to Bear Mountain State Park in New York. With 6 adults and 7 children ranging in age from 10 to 16 we set off on a 3.8 mile hike. You would think that with 13 fairly intelligent people this would be no problem. But, 4 hours and many, many miles later we finally made it back to the parking lot - in a completely different place then the map indicated. It was a beautiful sunny 65 degree Fall day with not a cloud in the sky - we had a great time!










Woodpecker holes.



Salamander


October 15, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

A few weeks ago I posted a find that reminded me of my black cat, Stormy. I don't want to play favorites, so this week I went looking for something that represented Emma, my tabby. I found this cute candle holder in memekiwii's shop. Her tag line is "Funky Folk Art Pottery + Whimsical Art Works" and that is exactly what you will find here.


October 14, 2008

Survival of the Fittest

My husband came in through the front door and called us to come out and see the Praying Mantis on the door frame. I hadn't seen one in a very long time and ran to get my camera.

The next morning as we were heading out my son noticed that the Praying Mantis was still there - this time enjoying its breakfast. Poor Daddy Long Legs!

October 8, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

Earlier in the week as I was reading a forum thread I came across an avatar and shop name that piqued my interest. I visited the shop and was delighted in what I found. So this week's Wonderful Wednesday find is Butt Freckle. Here you will find the most adorable little plushies that I have ever seen. Just when I think I have chosen a favorite I find another. Below are just a few - check out the shop for yourself and pick your favorite and while you are there be sure to read the story behind them.


Grape Bonkers

Marvin Moss

October 6, 2008

My Other Job

The Etsy Bloggers team been given the assignment to post about their job when not on Etsy.

I was a stay at home Mom for 16 years when I decided to return to the workforce part time. I found a job that I love. I work in a gourmet chocolate and gift shop.
The store that I work in is family owned and they are some of the nicest people I have ever met. I also work with another mom my age and a retired woman. Later in the day some college and highschool girls come in.

The store itself is in a very large old house. The front of the store contains tons of candy and gourmet food. The room in the back is the Vera Bradley room. Upstairs you will find Life Is Good apparel, pewter, ceramic, baby items, candles and lotion.


Our customers are great and a lot of fun. I couldn't have asked for a better re-entry into the workforce.

October 3, 2008

October's Featured Etsyblogger

This month the Etsy Bloggers Street Team has chosen bfbeads , also known as Jen from Baby Friendly Beads. Jen makes beautiful single strand nursing necklaces that are adjustable and don't require a clasp. Check out Jen's shop and you will find a wide variety of styles and colors along with nursing reminder bracelets.


The photo above shows her Custom Birthstone Baby Friendly Beads Nursing Necklace (3 stone design). This is a one of a kind necklace that features Mom's birthstone and the stones of other children or family members. Give Jen a visit - you won't be disappointed.

October 1, 2008

I've Been Tagged

So I joined the Etsy Bloggers Street Team and my very first day I was tagged by 2 different members. First by Manderlyrose and an hour later by HumanTouchDesigns.

I was hoping that joining the team would encourage me to be more active with my blog and it sure is.


Since I've been tagged I'm supposed to tell you 6 things about myself that most people don't know and then tag 5 other people. So, here we go:

1. I can write in script so it looks like you're looking in a mirror without even trying.

2. I love looking at office supplies and storage bins and such.

3. I can play classical guitar, but haven't had time to really do it since I had my kids.

4. When I was growing up my family used to make fun of me and call me a miser. It's a joke in my family that I would come back from vacation with more money then I went with.

5. It's very, very hard for me to buy things that aren't on sale or without a coupon even if I have the money for it. (see #4)

6. I hate calling people on the telephone, but if you call me I'd have no problem yakking away with you for hour.

Now I would like to tag:
TiLTcreations
Leakymouth
Molly S
Littlepaperdog
Felt Artistic

Wonderful Wednesday

Here is my cutie pie Stormy.



Here is my Wonderful Wednesday pick from fing. Need I say more?

September 28, 2008

I'm Gold!


My son told me about this fun personality test. His Social Studies class took the True Colors Personality Test in school to find out what kind of learners they are. I'm gold, and when I read the description I wasn't surprised. So, what color are you? Click here to find out.

September 24, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

This week I went way back to one of the first shops that I hearted as a favorite when I joined Etsy. Arny Designs has an eco-friendly shop where I found these great earrings made from plastic grocery bags.

September 22, 2008

Fingerless Gloves

I've just completed my second crocheting project, sort of. I decided to make fingerless glove and went in search of a pattern. Most of the patterns were out of my understanding and with my crocheting friend away for the weekend I was on my own. After looking at many I realized that crocheting a rectangle and sewing up the side, leaving a space for the thumb, would work just fine. And it did as you can see from the photos below. Now that my friend is back I might have her show me how to add some rows by the thumb hole.

September 10, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

I love this hand turned wooden bottle stopper from pjturner. It sure beats my plastic and rubber one.


September 9, 2008

I'm Learning To Crochet

My mother taught me to knit many, many years ago, but I never learned how to crochet. She had tried to teach me, but I never caught on. Last week I was talking with a friend who crochets beautifully and she convinced me to give it another try. Well, I found some step by step instructions online and I LOVE it!



Here is my first try. Please don't look too closely. I know that I have a long way to go.


September 6, 2008

Homemade Pizza

Quite a few years ago I inherited a bread machine. I used it once in a while to make bread, but not often. Then I found a pizza dough recipe and dinner at our house changed. We now have homemade pizza once a week, usually Friday or Saturday nights.


I throw all the ingredients in the bread machine and hit start. In an hour and a half I have pizza dough.


I stretch it out on a pan, add sauce, oregano, grated cheese, mozzarella cheese and then bake for about 20 minutes. My family loves it.

(Please excuse the photos - it seems I can't take decent pictures anymore without my lightbox and natural light.)

September 3, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

I thought I would start something new on my blog. On Wednesdays I will post something wonderful that I have come across. My first is this cell phone pouch from PitBullLadyDesigns. I love that it is made from a pair of jeans that have the decoration felted on them. Please visit here shop to see more great things.

August 29, 2008

My Helper, Again

I have blogged in the past about my cat, Stormy, and how she thinks the printer is a very fun cat toy. Well, I thought we had gotten past that as she had not shown interest in quite a while. Obvisously I was wrong. I had coupons I wanted to print and I had to get my son to soccer. So I hit the print button and walked out the door. This is what I returned to. It seems that my helper thought she had to help the paper out of the printer and then kill it for me. Oh well, so much for saving time. She's just lucky that she's cute.

August 21, 2008

I'm In 2 Treasuries This Week

This week I was in 2 treasuries that were created by members of a new Etsy team called Chainmaillers Guild.

To find out more about this great team of chainmaillers please visit our blog.

August 12, 2008

Fringe Bracelet Tutorial



Here is a tutorial on how to make a fringe bracelet, also known as a cha-cha bracelet.
I hope these instructions are clear as I have never written a tutorial before.

Supplies: Beading wire such as Beadalon or Softflex
Beading thread such as Nymo or Fireline
Size 6 seed beads
Various size and shapes of beads in color/colors of your choice
Size 11 or 15 seed beads in complimentary color
Crimps
Clasp
Beading needle

Cut a length of beading wire long enough to add a clasp at each end. Since this is a hefty bracelet make sure that your finished size is about 1 inch longer than your wrist size. For example, my finished bracelet measures 8¾ inches, but fits well on a 7 inch wrist.

Let me see if I can explain this part clearly. You are going to string the size 6 seed beads on the beading wire like you are making a bracelet. You will add one part of your clasp to each end and crimp as usual. The only difference is that you want to have about an inch of the wire not covered by beads when you are done adding the clasp and crimping. You will need room between the beads to add the fringe.


Attach your beading thread to one end of the wire using a square knot with a dot of glue. Needle under the first seed bead. Pick up a combination of 2 or 3 beads ending with an 11 or 15 seed bead. Go back down through the beads you have just strung on, but do not go through the seed bead again. Needle under the next size 6 seed bead and continue to the end.

At the end make a knot and come back through all the size 6 seed beads again, adding beads between each as you go. When you get back to the other end you can either knot and end there or know and turn around and add fringes of beads down the length of the bracelet again depending on the fullness that you want. The bracelet in the photo has 3 fringes between each seed bead.

I apologize that I don’t have any photos showing the steps. Next time I make one I will definitely take some as I go and post them here.

Please feel free to email me if you need clarification on anything at
maryann726@gmail.com

July 28, 2008

Beading Daily Reader' Gallery

Beading Daily is a great website for beaders and all jewelry makers. They have free patterns and projcets along with ones that you can purchase. They have great, informative articles, polls and a readers gallery.

The call went out a few weeks ago for submissions for a readers gallery that would showcase combined techniques. I submitted my bead crochet bracelet with copper end caps and clasp and it made it into the gallery along with a lot of other great pieces of jewelry.




Click here to view the entire gallery.


July 12, 2008

Simplicity


Sometimes I like the simple things the best. I made 2 pairs of these earrings - one pair for my shop and one pair for me to wear. I wear mine all the time.

June 22, 2008

Square Stitch

I am out of wire at the moment so that means no chainmaille making for now. I have been doing some bead crochet and some beadweaving. I had never tried doing square stitch. I don't know why since it isn't difficult at all. I looked through my bead stash and found some glass cube beads that I forgot I had. I also came across a great pewter button and this blue bracelet is what I came up with.



June 8, 2008