Here are some photographs I took while walking behind my parents' house. There wasn't quite enough snow to ski the trails, but it was a gorgeous scene. The woods are smaller now with some visible buildings in the distance. You can see Ramsdale's Rocks through the recently thinned trees. The pond I skated on when I was a kid. It was the perfect size at the time. I skated for hours, dreaming of Dorothy Hamill. There are markings along the trail, I assume from local cross-country teams. It was odd to find this face amongst the quiet beauty of the woods that day. It is no wonder that I love snow. Peace - It does a body good.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
It's that time of year
When the world falls in love
Every song you hear seems to say,
"Merry Christmas, may your New Year
dreams come true!"
Take some time out of your busy schedule to enjoy the peace of the season!
My Etsy friends have been so busy! SatinDollCo has created a beautiful Holiday Gift Guide on her blog. There are some gorgeous handmade gift ideas there!
Also, stop by and visit my Clevey group at ClevelandHandmade. We are all festively decorating our show booths in anticipation of a busy shopping season. Visit our blog for a complete show schedule and to view the lovely gallery!
EtsyBloggers are working together to offer a Fun Holiday Sale the week of December 1st through 8th! (Thanks to StormyDesigns for putting this together for us!)
The cute little santas above are the work of my brother, Chris. He handmade the ceramic faces and painted them, adding the chenille to replicate the vintage-style Santas of yesteryear! Aren't they cute? They'll be on my table at the Garrettsville Holiday Social, but please ask if you are interested!
Also, three cheers for my daughter, Sarah, who impressed a lot of on-lookers at my last show. She is crocheting her own little scarflettes for her Webkinz! Well done Sarah! Hazzah!
Not-So-Mean one Grinchy Scarflette!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Busy Busy Busy!
I must clean house and get ready for the feast! What a busy time of year it is. I love show season and this is the first year I've had my Etsy shop open at the same time! So far, so good. I just love the Etsy community. There are great groups, like ClevelandHandmade and EtsyFAST. Plus lots of wonderfully unique and creative people.
I've been making lots of new items to keep up with inventory. Here's a selection of neck scarves. I called them scarflettes and my husband giggled every time! Call it a cowl or button scarf...whatever you will. I like them because they are comfortable and I don't have the long ends to deal with. Pair one with some fingerless gloves and you're all set!
I'll be donning the fine china this week to make things extra special this year for the kids. This is the first year we're staying home and not going to my parents' house. It will be relaxing, I hope.
Take care and stay happy and healthy this holiday season! I'm hitting the yoga mat today : )
Thursday, November 8, 2007
I am loving my new Black and Gold Scarflette! I made one for me and one for my Etsy shop. It's an elegant way to sport your Steeler colors! Looks great with a Steeler shirt, or with a dress! My Mom would wear one to the club. I'd love to send one to someone special. Know any Steelers' wives? LOL
Friday, November 2, 2007
If you're local and you would like to browse, I have a table set up in Mantua for the Rotary Club's Tour of Homes. Look for signs on Main Street in Mantua. It's an old school which is currently under construction. It will be open this weekend and next (through November 11th). I'll see you in Ravenna on the 16th and 17th for Christmas in the Woods at Maplewood and November 24th and 25th for Christmas Crafts at Yankee Lake. And don't forget to take the Buy Handmade Pledge.
I listed these two new pieces to Etsy. This chunky cowl started out as a hat, and I still may make one. When it got to the cowl stage I thought it was pretty cool and comfortable. It also makes a great dread band!
The arm warmers are snuggly baby alpaca from a discarded sweater. Tag it upcycled, recycled, reclaimed, you name it....poor baby!
On a craftier note, don't you just love it when things fall into place. I started working on a crocheted freeform cuff. It was pretty boring and I got busy making other things. Well, I jazzed it up with some red rick rack and it turned out to be a pretty start to my Christmas colors. These white berry button beads are calling me. I happened to spill some yoyos and thought these red and white ones could work together. I'm still thinking on that one.
Meanwhile on the other side of my desk there's a Baby Ruth wrapper, my pink ribbon mug with a red fuzzy from the rick rack, buttons upon buttons that just happen to perfectly match the yarn I'm going to make a cell pouch out of.....how handy!
So, everything's falling into it's place....so far. May your days be merry and bright! Cheers to the kickoff of a most joyous season!!
Good luck and best wishes to all of my friends at ClevelandHandmade! Visit our website and click around. Check out the Gallery, Shop on Etsy, and Team links! We are creative Cleveys!
Friday, October 26, 2007
In an effort to encourage consumers to consider the source of gifts they'll be purchasing this year, there is a new promotion that has been launched that asks people to take the Buy Handmade Pledge. BuyHandmade.org has been created to promote the awareness and importance of buying non-commercially produced items and supporting local artists.
"We encourage all consumers to be aware of the social and environmental implications of their purchases."
"Buying handmade is better for people, better for the environment, and better for giving truly special and well-crafted gifts."
I couldn't have said it better! Please take time to visit BuyHandmade.org and take the pledge!
And do consider buying handmade items throughout the year.
Friday, October 12, 2007
There's a fun new contest starting today at ClevelandHandmade.com!!
The Show Cleveland Some Love contest is scavenger hunt throughout participating Cleveland-area Etsy shops. One lucky winner will win a $65 gift certificate to spend in any of the participating Etsy shops (including, but not limited to my Etsy shop : )
So, check it out and Show Cleveland Some Love! The deadline to enter is noon EST on October 26, 2007 and the winner will be chosen on October 27th!
Tell your friends and don't forget to enter!
Monday, October 1, 2007
It's that time of year again! Time for the Huntsburg Pumpkin Festival!
I don't have a complete schedule for the weekend's events, but there is a parade and pancake breakfast, lots of food, games, crafts and fun.
This will be my third year as a vendor at this event and it just keeps getting bigger and better. I am looking forward to being able to promote my Etsy shop this year and introduce my customers to the concept of buying online any time of the year. I'm sure it will be a great success.
Visit me, LazyT, October 6th and 7th in Huntsburg, Ohio.
I'll be sure to post photos!
Monday, September 24, 2007
Excluding a few crochet designs that need the ends worked in and a knitting project on the needles somewhere...here is what I have started and set aside.
This large sweater purse has been hand-sewn and I am working a blanket stitch around and attaching long bamboo handles. I am not sure how to line this one, but I think it would make for a better carpet bag look. I also have many ideas for the remainder of the sweater...headbands, cuffs, and maybe a doggy sweater?
The crochet-topped towels are a crafter's tradition at local fairs. No one can resist hanging one on their oven or refrigerator door....especially if they are cute and well-made. I have more scarecrows, grapes, and leaves to finish, but I hope to embellish the dark orange ones with jack-o-lantern faces of some sort. I'm thinking primitive, but it will all have to be done by hand.
I purchased this gorgeous fabric from GoneToPieces. I have always wanted to combine fabric and crochet, other than purse linings : P
I've seen some great fabric scarves in fashion magazines and thought that this gold yarn would make a great crocheted edge. Now to find that awl..... I can't crochet until I have a proper tool.
I'll have to finish up some pumpkins, bats, and spiders. I have sewn bats with felt wings that are waiting for me to fill them with homegrown catnip!
My favorite items of all are shawls. I have hoards of yarn, enough of which to make approximately 15 or more shrugs, shawls, jackets, vests, etc. At this point it's just a matter of what I'll have time for.
My first actual holiday show starts November 1st!! Yikes! I need to finish scarves, hats, and mittens, decide what, if any, baby items I'll be making, and start thinking Christmas crochet.
I'm glad I don't work with thread or I'd be stuck making snowflakes!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I StumbledUpon this craft blog with a tutorial of how to make roses from maple leaves and thought I would share. Here is the original blog post. It appears to be in Russian, but I'm not sure.
I found the English version first and thought I'd like to try to make a bouquet. Waiting patiently for the leaves to turn!
How to Make Roses from Maple Leaves
Oh and I found this post that says, to preserve the leaves' colors, just soak them in glycerine as long as you can stand it!
Monday, September 17, 2007
Anyway....it felt so good to get out again. All the stresses of the past few weeks just seem to disappear for me when I go to the trail. I hadn't even charged my iPod since June! I was so glad I remembered to do so this morning. It's unbelievable how easily my mood is uplifted by exercise-induced endorphins. Don't believe me? Check out this article, which is one of many available online on the subject. I will definitely try to get out more often!
One of the many groups I belong to in my craft-loving world is EtsyFAST or Etsy Fiber Arts Street Team. Every month we have a challenge and try to focus our talents on a particular subject. The theme for September is "apples." Since Fall provides a beautiful color palette to choose from, it's no surprise that there have been many amazing submissions for this project already.
Iryna is from the Ukraine and made this romantic beaded choker....
The Sour Apple hand-dyed falkland wool roving is made by Flawful Fibers/tisjewelart and is enticing enough to make me want to learn how to spin! And the handwoven Apple Grove towels are the creation of Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio.
My submission for this challenge is this Caramel Apple Tote. It is crocheted with large strips of fabrics, making a structured and sturdy fabric. Here are some pictures of the process and the final bag.....which is available in my Etsy shop. All of these items and more can be found by searching "SeptemberChallenge" at Etsy.com.......click here for a direct link to all of the September Challenge entries. Be sure to check back often because there are sure to be more entries. For more information about our next challenge, visit us at www.EtsyFAST.com.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I have been canning a lot of tomatoes. Our garden always does well and back-to-school usually means a lot of canning for me. We enjoy spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, and tomato soup. Here's a great recipe for tomato soup:
Cut up approximately 12 quarts of tomatoes, you can leave the core, just cut out bad spots and stems. (I usually use my large stockpot that has quart markings on the side.) Add 2 large onions, skinned and roughly chopped, 2 large green peppers, cored and chopped, 3 cloves of garlic, crushed, and 2 or 3 stalks of celery, chopped. Bring this to a simmer, being careful not to let it scorch on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the celery and peppers are soft. Process the mixture in a food mill or tomato strainer (mine is a Villa Ware vegetable and fruit strainer). I usually put my spices in a piece of cheesecloth tied with string so I don't have to strain them out later. I use about 4 whole cloves, 2 or 3 bay leaves, and 3 or 4 whole peppercorns. Cook down in a heavy-bottom stockpot for a few hours or so, stirring often, just to reduce some of the water. Remove about 1 cup of the juice to cool. Add approximately 1/4 cup of salt, to taste. Mix together 1 1/2 sticks of butter and 1 cup flour, rub it together with your fingers. Add approximately 1/2 cup of brown sugar and mix well. Add the cooled tomato juice and mix well. Whisk this mixture into the hot soup and stir. Cook for awhile, stirring to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Taste it and see if it needs more sugar or salt. My daughter likes a sweet soup. If it doesn't taste like canned, or better, then she won't eat it. A general rule of thumb for this is, if it's too salty add a little sugar and vice versa. This can be altered to your tastes. The exact amount and type of tomatoes can alter the taste as well. Most of my tomatoes are Romas.
So, canning and soccer seasons have left little time for my crafts and creativity. I have started a new scarf from my own pattern. I am also writing the pattern in pdf form to copyright and sell the pattern. I'll let you know how that turns out. I have some holiday designs I need to write down as well. In the meantime, "Root, root, root for the home team!" ... and take your yarn with you!
Monday, September 3, 2007
Welcome to the September 3, 2007 edition of etsybloggers. The theme this week was "Back-to-School." Apparently lots of EtsyBloggers were busy with back-to-school since we only had 3 blog posts submitted to this carnival! September can be a busy time for all of us. I do hope we can get more participation for future carnivals!
Sue Wickham writes about artistic freedom and how back-to-school allows more time and opportunity to expand your artistic abilities. She lists some of her favorite web sites and blogs that offer online tutorials. Visit An Artistic Look at "Back to School" posted at The Lily Pepper Blog.
Alicia Mae also writes of freedom and how this time of year has changed for her. She has broken away from her usual routine and is finding the time to create in a new light. Visit It's that time of year again posted at AliciaMae's Xanga.
Visit A Quiet House posted at LazyTcrochet.
Friday, August 31, 2007
Although, there are times when I blast the stereo too! Lately I've been enjoying listening to a local commercial-free alternative rock station 88.9 WSTB. The kids come home from school and ask if they can turn it down! LOL
So, it doesn't really matter whether I opt for a quiet day or a loud one, I still have been loving my time alone. Back-to-school time allows me to get caught up on projects I've set aside, organize supplies, and plan for the busy Fall/Holiday season.
Here are a few Back-to-School fashions available in my Etsy shop. New designs and lots more to come!
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I made this lovely Raspberry Beret and some Heather Rose fingerless gloves. Both are hand-spun and hand-dyed wool - from sheep to shawl (or hat, gloves, etc.).
Occasionally I require the help of my kids to hold the skeins while I wind them up into a ball. They see me playing with yarn and run and hide sometimes! My daughter's friend thought it was fun....at first. After awhile it can be a chore though.
These gorgeous bright colors are working up into a lovely openwork shawl. Look for it soon in my Etsy shop.
Monday, August 20, 2007
It's even a soggy day today, so I'll have to work/Etsy instead of catching up on camp laundry!
In keeping with the theme....I searched EtsyMom Camping and found a few cool items!
Here's a cute tshirt for your little one from miniblisscakes:
And hugsandkisses has this sweet camping outfit too:
All of my sisters' friends had their shawls on and were perfectly snuggly in the inclement weather. I, however, have never made a shawl for myself!
I'm always giving them to friends or selling them. I think I need to make myself a shawl like this one (haven't decided on the color yet)
Reminder! There are lots of sale items in my shop still! Great deals. To check them out, click here: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5057519
Then you can search SALE in my shop to see those items.
Thanks for stopping by......have a great day!
Friday, August 17, 2007
Many thanks to my sister for this wonderful gift of Handspun/Handdyed wool!
I know her shop is on hold at the moment, but do visit Snowwaterwoolworks.Etsy.com to see what she's listing this Fall!