Friday, January 30, 2009

It's my Etsy-versary today!


I almost forgot, but I'm glad I remembered...

Today, I am celebrating two wonderfully fun years on Etsy. I was kicking myself for not joining sooner, but at the time I was doing a lot of local shows and didn't think that I had enough inventory. Opening my shop on Etsy soon made me a workaholic. I am constantly working on something new, something fun, something different to list in my Etsy shop. My work has evolved a lot since I started and so have my photography skills. Some product shots are better than others. It depends on the weather and time of year, or whether or not I have a suitable model for a particular item.
I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you.

This shawl is the very first item that I sold on Etsy.


Followed by this afghan. It's actually the only full-size afghan that I've ever made. I always say that I'll start one, but it's so time-consuming.

This cape is the most expensive item that I've ever sold. It was one-of-a-kind and I've had a few requests for more like it.

Last, but not least, is my favorite purse. This is the only item that has sold the very day that I listed it. I loved it so much that it was hard to list it and see it go so quickly.

Well, thanks for the memories. I hope that I can continue to be creative enough to keep a fully stocked shop. I love Etsy! Thanks for browsing LazyTcrochet.Etsy.com!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Grand Giveaway

Fellow Cleveland Handmade artist, Valerie Tyler Designs is having a Grand Opening Giveaway with the introduction of her Retro Collection. Visit her shop at valerieoutlet.Etsy.com and enter to win this Gothic Pearl Necklace on her Art Addict Blog!

Blizzard '09


We got a lot more snow yesterday...over a foot! I am tired from skiing, but happy that I didn't have to do the shoveling.

Here's my contribution to the Winter X Games Hat Fashion that I blogged about earlier. I love the big, slouchy styles they are sporting this year. Aptly named Blizzard 09 since it was snowing so hard that it was difficult to get a good picture. Big, bulky and warm wool. Stop and see what else is new at LazyTcrochet!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bloggers Unite Over CPSIA


Today is an international day of awareness as bloggers worldwide are voicing their opinions over the CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act). I blogged about it recently HERE and showed how it would affect small businesses that make handmade children's items. Originally intended to stop the mega-toy manufacturers from importing lead-tainted toys, this law comes into affect on February 10th and will affect anything and everything pertaining to children's items, including your local library, second hand stores, and antique/vintage shops.
While there is talk of excluding certain items, these exceptions to the rule have not yet been approved. The details are confusing, but it affects us all, especially my friends who love all things handmade.
If you'd like to decipher this for yourself, there's a direct link to the new law HERE.
To keep up-to-date on new developments, I suggest following along with BuyHandmade.org's blog HERE.
Don't forget to support handmade sellers at Etsy.com. Many may be closing their shops soon if the law is put into effect as written. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Testing Unknown Fibers


I found this big cone of earthy tweed at a garage sale last summer. The only tag says "Charred Earth." As much as I was hoping it was wool, it has a scratchy acrylic feel to it. I tried the burn test on it today. It did smell like burning plastic vs. the burning hair smolder that it would have if it were wool. While there's no way to tell for sure, it may be a blend of acrylic, nylon, or polyester. Oh well. At least its nice and chunky. Perhaps I'll make a rug with it....or two.
Have an unknown fiber or fabric you'd like to identify? Check the chart HERE.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Winter X Games - It's all about the style

Today is the final day of the Winter X Games 2009 from Aspen, Colorado. I admit that I watch it. I don't care much for the snowmobiles, but holy cow... a double back flip on one?!
So, yeah, I watch the crowd mostly. When the shredders take their helmets off, it's exciting to see what funky hat they're wearing this time. For me...it's all about the hats.
Handmade stands out from the crowd. When I see something that's obviously handmade, I can't help but wonder who made it. Did they make it? Did their girlfriend or grandmother make it? That's another thing...with knit and crochet, you can't always assume that someone's grandmother made it. These days LOTS of people are working the needles themselves. It is thrilling to see (for me anyway)!
Of course there aren't very many pictures posted of the crowd or "hat fashions" from the games. If I had been there, there would be.

(Photo by Doug Pensinger-Getty Images North America)
Here's one I found of Hannah Teeter, sporting the popular big slouchy beanie look. This one is from Burton.
It's hard to tell what will be fashionable next season. Visor beanies have been around for a few seasons now. Burton makes an earflap hat with earbud/headphones attached! For the X Games crowd, individuality, funky style, and will it fit comfortably under their helmet is what matters.
Oh yeah...and I do take custom orders. Contact me at LazyTcrochet.Etsy.com!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Featured EtsyBlogger for January - RoseWorksJewelry

I find it hard to keep up with Ruthie, from RoseWorksJewelry! She's a very active member of the EtsyBloggers Team!

In her Etsy shop, you'll find beautiful beaded designs. I love the woven designs. The tiny bead work is so intricate.
Ruthie is also active in Etsy's BDC (BigDamnCrafters) and Pluggers United teams. You can listen-in to her Artisan Spotlight radio show on Blockhead Radio every Thursday at 9 pm Eastern and can sign in to chat and join the fun!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Depression Chic

I was looking through the Spring 2009 Shopping Guide on Style.com and was curious to see a category titled "Depression Chic." The designs have a lot of silk and ruffles, with flowing Bohemian styles from designers like Nanette Lepore, Burberry Prorsum, and Louis Vuitton. Burberry describes their Spring line as "gentle, relaxed, romantic and about a quiet, beautiful sense of luxury." Have a look at their new collection here.

I was searching Etsy for "boho clothing" and cocoricooo's designs were catching my eye more and more.

Cocoricooo.Etsy.com has a wonderful collection of pants, blouses, skirts and more, many are hand-embroidered. Visit their blog for beautiful pictures from their Thailand studio.


Be sure to check out HerbanDevi.Etsy.com. Designer Jennifer LaPeire boasts "sexy cuts with sweet silhouettes made from sustainable textiles. ... sneaker and high heel friendly for women with eclectic style." Comfortable styles in pants, dresses, tops, and even a jumpsuit!

For simple, fun accessories, check out these recycled fabric bracelets from BellaChicks.Etsy.com.
I think I'm going to like "Depression Chic" with a flair for simple, flowing, and even retro-vintage styles.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More Notes from the Trail


Went for a quick ski yesterday at Chapin Forest Reservation in Kirtland, Ohio. Ski rentals are available at the Pine Lodge Cross-Country Ski Center. The cold and whiny one was not in the mood, so we didn't stay very long. I knit a cowl for my son, but he said he didn't need it. I was so glad that I grabbed it. It kept my neck and ears perfectly toasty! Here are a few pictures.


I put a make-shift milk jug bird feeder up yesterday and the birds found it right away. There were blue jays, cardinals, tufted titmouse, chickadee, sparrows, and one that I didn't recognize. It is a Junco, which is a "snowbird" that is occasionally spotted at feeders in the Northeast. This cold, poofy robin was a rare sight as well.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Notes from the Trail



It's been awhile since I've done a trail post. It is hard to believe that I was running on this trail just a week or so ago. We've been doing a lot of skiing in the fields and woods behind our house. That's where we discovered the boat - out in the middle of nowhere Ohio.
We went to the trail to ski yesterday. It was getting a bit warm.... 35°F is a bit warm for skis. But we enjoyed the day and took a few pictures. The temperature first thing this morning is a balmy 0°F. That will make the trail nice and crunchy.
I need a day off though. Four times in three days and I am quite sore. Skiing cross-country, or Nordic skiing, is amazing exercise. It gets you all over! I have an old Nordic Track ski machine that works, but it gets so boring. You don't get the same workout as you do on real skis.
Anyone who has read previous "Notes from the Trail" posts may remember me talking about my Nike+ shoes that track my running distances and times. I found myself wishing I could put the Nike+ gadget in my ski boots. I'd love to know how far we have skied this season.
Here's a fun ski treasury I created. Enjoy the snow!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Caught in the Crossfire...CPSIA

It saddens me to see that so many shops selling handmade items for children are going out of business because of the new lead testing requirements set by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. I have been keeping up with the articles as best I can, but keeping a back seat to it all because it didn't really pertain to me. I don't normally make baby items, but it was always an option...until now. I was trying to stay informed, yet wait for it all to be sorted out by the deadline of February 9, 2009. It can be very confusing and I am not at all qualified to explain it here, but there are many people getting fired up over this issue. Here are some links for more information...
Consumer Product Safety Commission Information Page - http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html
Etsy-related Storque articles - http://www.etsy.com/storque/search/title/cpsia/
This is a great blog article CPSIA - Confusion and Chaos - http://learningresourcesinc.blogspot.com/2009/01/cpsia-confusion-and-chaos.html

I came across this Etsy shop and all of this really hit home. YadaYadaYada has a big "Going Out of Business Sale" banner up in her shop. Here's what her shop announcement says....

"Due to the stricter CPSIA regulations requiring lead testing on all items for children under 12, I will not be able to afford to stay in business after Feb 10th. With sadness, I am retiring all my adorable characters and closing my children's line."

Yada Yada Yada is a husband and wife design team bringing embroidered childrens' clothing and accessories to you. Asher is primarily responsible for our adorable little animals with attitude. Hilary brings his drawings to life through digitizing and machine embroidering.

While YadaYadaYada is one of hundreds of Etsy shops affected by this law, just think of the thousands of small businesses that will be closing across the country. Part of the reason I chose to represent this seller is that they are a local seller near me in Ohio. My husband has been laid-off due to a bicycle accident that left him half blind. As difficult as it has been for him to find work in this economy, I can understand the frustration of small businesses being forced to give up shop.
What can you do? Support handmade in any way that you can! I encourage you to keep up with this legislation and contact the CPSC with your concerns here: http://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/newleg.aspx

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Two New Blue.....Who?


It has been snowing all day here...and I love it! I hope to do a little cross-country skiing this afternoon. Can't drive anywhere. Might as well ski out the back door!

The bright snow makes for fabulous lighting in my back bedroom. I was able to finish two new items and get them photographed today. I normally take photos outside, but, as I said, the lighting was just perfect, so I went for it.

I've been wanting to make a long, looped scarf for a long time. One that can be wrapped around and around, or worn long and lovely. I got this fabulous curly mohair yarn from CrashIntoEwe.Etsy.com. I fulled it for a soft and fabulous look.

I'm still in love with the chunky yarns from Lion Brand. This sky blue capelet is fashionably warm...and washable acrylic/wool blend.

So there's my Two New Blue....Who? Made by me, LazyT.

Friday, January 9, 2009

What's for Lunch?


I wanted to show you one of my favorite pans. I bought it for my husband last year at Christmas and I use it quite often. This Panini pan is like a non-stick grill pan, with a "lid" that you use to press the sandwich. It makes for a tasty grilled cheese. My favorite is turkey, roasted red peppers and provolone. You put the lid on the pan while it heats up, place your sandwich and press down with the preheated lid. Cook until browned, flip and press again. The kids like theirs squished a lot. LOL
If you're concerned about the calorie count of butter on the outside of the bread, just go easy with it. A little goes a long way. Butter is much better than fake margarines, but you could also brush the bread with olive oil for a tasty treat.
There are a lot of expensive Panini presses and heavy cast-iron Panini pans available also. While they may be nice, I am quite happy with the one that I found. (And I think I found it at a discount store. I can't remember exactly.)
I see I'm not the first to blog about Paninis. Check out Panini Happy for great recipes and tips. My favorite tip from there is to bake your own bread. Good, thick, crusty bread is my favorite for Paninis!
Don't have a Panini pan or press? Don't fret, just make yourself a fancy grilled cheese and flatten with a spatula if desired.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The New New



I knit this funky new cowl and I'm so glad my daughter agreed to model it for me! I tried it on the dress form and displays and it just didn't work. It does look great on her. And when she put it up on her head like a headband, she said how soft and warm it was. Of course she wants one of her own now too!
I have more colors and designs in the works as I recently picked up some soft and colorful yarns. Stop and see what's new at LazyTcrochet.Etsy.com!

Friday, January 2, 2009

How Now Spotted Cow?


I was so behind on blogging toward the end of the year that I almost missed out on the Featured EtsyBlogger for December - spottedcowsoaps!
Her soaps are amazing. I loved the scents that I have tried. What I really want to try is this cool Loofah soap. My feet are in desperate need of this! Stop by and visit spottedcowsoaps and pick your favorite today!

New Year, Thank Goodness!

My holidays were spent with my family, cooking, playing games, cleaning, and lazing about! I was tempted to post a "Good Riddance to 2008" rant, but opted not to. Those of you who know me know what a crappy year it has been. But...we've made it through to yet another year and, since beggars can't be choosers, we'll just have to make the best of it!
The break away from creativity was a good one. I kept up with the holiday packages until the rush died. Since I was taking a break anyway, I decided that I'd start again when the ideas started again. I was beginning to worry that I wouldn't have the desire to design anything new. I was enjoying my time off....and then it struck me. I have to get the Christmas decorations put away, and get through my daughter's sleep-over tonight, but I've got a fabulous design down on paper. Now to find that stash of red tweed....hmmmm. Guess I better clean out my yarn bins first.
So, my resolution for the new year is to be better organized. That sure sounds a lot easier than the standard weight-loss!!
Have a wonderful New Year everyone!
Here's a sample of what's now ON SALE at LazyTcrochet Boutique! Stop by and see the entire collection at LazyTcrochet.Etsy.com.

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