Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Finds....Grease Monkey

I bought some fabulous soap from Syracuse Soapworks. This Grease Monkey Soap has pumice powder in it and reminds me of the old Lava soap that was always on the utility sink when I was young. What makes the Grease Monkey Soap extra special is the obvious handmade quality and the fabulous citrusy scent. My husband is always getting greasy while wrenching on his bicycles and he loves how well this new soap works.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Martha's Yarn Show on Monday!

National Crochet Month continues!
Lion Brand will be featured on the Martha Stewart Show on Monday, March 23rd for a special episode dedicated to YARN. You'll see the Design Department go through the entire design process, a Lion Brand fashion show, and interviews with staff.

Visit their blog at the Lion Brand Notebook to see behind-the-scenes footage and photos!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Time to Vote for the Spring Challenge

Stop by and vote for your favorite in the Cleveland Handmade Challenge: Welcome Spring! There are 17 entries to choose from. Vote before March 20th!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tempting Traditions begin with St. Patrick's Day

I've been on a health kick lately, trying to destress and burn some calories at the same time. It's been a good month since the Valentine's candy, yet another cycle of traditional foods follows, starting with St. Patrick's Day. I did buy a corned beef and will have our traditional dinner, but I am not making the Irish Soda Bread to go with it. I blogged a delicious recipe last year HERE. It's an easy version, and, in moderation, it isn't bad for you. It's just that my husband and I would eat the whole thing...with butter.
The same goes for my Mom's Easter Bread. The recipe makes a LOT. I always say we'll freeze some, but it's so delicious plain or toasted....with butter of course. Here's the recipe that I blogged last year. I highly recommend trying it. I love anise and this has anise seed and flavoring. I used to pick out the raisins, but now they are just delectable. So, find the Easter Bread recipe HERE, if you dare.
I think I can handle foregoing the breads this year. It will be a tradition that I can put off until some other year. But the Easter cheesecake, which the family is counting on and it wouldn't be Easter without the regular, no low fat anything recipe....I'm not so sure. I can say no, if you want cheesecake, you'll have to make one. I don't know if I can, especially since my kids love it too. So, I may keep the cheesecake tradition, for now, and just have a sliver with lots of berries. For the classic recipe that we've made for years, visit my previous post HERE. (Yes, mine cracked that time...oh well.)
Happy St. Patty's Day and if you have any food traditions, I'd love to hear them!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rob Zombie Kicked My * * * (AKA Notes from the Trail)

The ice is off the trail finally and I was so happy to get out for a run. It was tough. I haven't been out in a long time. I tried to push myself and ended up going almost 4 miles. There are some songs on my playlist that really keep me going. Rob Zombie kicked my butt today with "Superbeast." I was kicking the dogs butt just to get her back to the car. She's not used to 4 miles either LOL.

I thought I'd share a recent favorite that I added to my playlist. This is such a feel-good song from the Dropkick Murphys "The Meanest of Times" album. I discovered this through Bruce Springsteen's Featured MySpace playlist, then bought the single off iTunes. Enjoy!

"Never Forget"

...When you got love and we got family
Keep 'em close and don't forget
To hold them right there in your heart
When you got love and family

(Whoa!, Whoa!)
(I'll remember you today)

To all the single parents
Who keep holding down the fort
To all you sons & daughters
Be thankful for what you've got
To everyone with no one
May good fortune turn your way
To everyone whose had someone
Remember them today

When you got love and we got family
Keep 'em close and don't forget
To hold them right there in your heart
When you got love and family

If it doesn't play, click it again to listen at YouTube. Awesome song!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Friday the 13th

I'm not a superstitious person. The kids always keep track of how many Friday the 13ths there are in the year and make a big deal out of the bad luck that will ensue. It doesn't really bother me. Now, if it happens to be a crazy day, or full of gloom and doom, then, yes, I may attribute it to being because of Friday the 13th (after the fact).I started a new job this week and the training has been intense. Here is a shot of what I see when I look out the window of the library where we're working. The towers of the nuclear electric plant aren't working at the moment. It sort of bothered me having them looming over my shoulder every day. I remember refusing to look at houses for sale in this neighborhood because of it. Today I discovered that one of my co-workers worked there for 30 years and is now retired. He insists it is very safe. But still...kind of creepy to me.
So, here's hoping that tomorrow is just another day. (Knock on wood!)
knock on wood ring - lovinganvil

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Green Gallery at Cleveland Handmade

New to - a Gallery of Green, just in time for St. Patrick's Day!
Click to visit the clickable links and jot down our local show schedule too.
Thanks to virtuallori for making the site spectacular!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring Rain

I have one cat that loves being outside. Mojo only spends time inside in the winter. It's been unseasonably warm the last few days and is raining now. Time for mud season. Oh joy!
Coco couldn't quite understand why she has to go directly to the basement when she comes in, but the muddy cat can curl up on the futon.
Here are some Spring selections from the EtsyBlogger Team!

Cherry, a Springtime Kitty from FaerieRebecca...

I love this Forever Spring Necklace by ladeebee...

BeadedTail's Berry Baby Beaded Cat Bracelet...

and beckykazana's Irene the pipe cleaner dancing girl makes me feel like dancin'...yeah

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Google Shopping

Here's a screen shot example of how you can get your Etsy shop items to appear in Google Shopping search results. I typed "flower cloche" in the Google search box and there's my item, right next to one at Bloomingdales! I guess it's hard to see, but if you click on it, you'll see that it says Shopping results for "flower cloche."

Adding your items to Google Base can be confusing. You don't have to understand how it works, or how the RSS feed works to do this. Here are some links to tutorials and information to help you figure out how to set it up. Once it is set up, you don't have to do it again. You can set it to automatically update on its own.

The best online tutorial for this is on GoTo's blog:
Be sure to read the comments under the post as well. Now that Etsy's RSS feed works with Google Base, it's much easier to schedule the data feed to update automatically. I have mine set to update once a week. If you are loading many new items every day, you may want to set yours to update every day. If your items aren't changing that much throughout the week, then once a week should be fine. I think Google may have an issue about updating your feed too often if it's not necessary.

Don't be intimidated by all this. Sign up for a Google account, if you haven't already, and go to Google Base. Open a new tab or page to have access to your shop's main page. And open another tab or page with the tutorial instructions. Then you can go back and forth while you are working on it.

There is more information in the "Storque" article here...

Etsy posted instructions there, as well as in the selling FAQ's here...

Once you have it set up, it may take Google awhile to process the information. You can check back and make sure that it says that it was successful and that your items are "published and searchable." There may be certain keywords in your listings that they may find objectionable and a scheduled upload may "fail" even though it has gone through successfully many times before. Just check in once in awhile to make sure that all is well.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wearin' O' the Green

I think I'm yearning for a sign of Spring. Here are a few new designs in green...

Seaweed Scarf, soft, net-like, long knitted scarf

Spring Greens shoulder wrap or big scarf

Fresh Sprouts - off-white with bits of green

Monday, March 2, 2009

March is National Crochet Month

Ever since I taught myself how to crochet, I've been reading about the CGOA - the Crochet Guild of America. Now that I've graduated from an occasional few projects to working constantly on many projects and running a successful business, I think it's about time I applied to become an official member of the guild. What better time to join than National Crochet Month?
I've been trying to spend more time on Ravelry, an online community for knitters and crocheters. I joined a few new groups - the CLF (Crochet Liberation Front) and the Party for Crochet Month on Ravelry! It looks like I'll be meeting some fun, new people there!
The CLF is hosting a Mystery Shawl Crochet-A-Long and I thought that sounded like the perfect project for me. To Crochet-A-Long (CAL) visit Tracey's Fiber-habit-enabling Blog HERE. It's not to late to join. The first part of the pattern was just released, with more instructions each week.
There's so much going on on Ravelry. It's fun to see so many people with a love of all things fiber!