Thursday, December 31, 2009

P.........resenting: CalKat

The fabulous Etsy Blogger of the Month is CalKat, a combination of Kathy and Carrie, makers of exquisite jewelry such as the starfish necklace shown on the right. I chose this piece as it reminds me of warm beaches and sands, especially appealing here in the cold of Wisconsin. You can find their shop at
They use only the finest materials and offer many OOAK items such as this beauty. Right now there's even free world-wide shipping!
Please also visit their blog at where you'll find much more info about them and be able to get monthly discount codes and enter free monthly drawings. Congratulations, ladies on being the Etsy Blogger of the Month and on making such spectacular jewelry!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

M.........aking progress!

Despite several weather delays (a very rainy October) and a recent blizzard), progress is being made on our addition. We estimate that it will be mostly done by Christmas, but I'm not holding my breath!
These are shots of the exterior work; interior shots will follow in the near future. The masons are shown laying the block in the first picture which also shows a very clever yellow contraption that made sure everything was level. The next picture is of the addition of sand and earth around the masonry.
The next pictures show our contractor removing bricks from the back and roughing out the walls. The final shot is of the addition from the back, ready to have the windows put in and the siding applied.

Needless to say, we continue to be very excited about this project, despite the mess we're living in. Of course that gives me an excuse not to cook or clean!

Friday, December 4, 2009

C.........hristmas in Mexico

One of the topics for the Etsy Blogger's Team monthly carnival, is Christmas in other parts of the world. I've had the privilege to spend much time in Mexico, including over the Christmas holiday, and have so enjoyed the spirit of Christmas there as well.

Christmas itself is a very holy day beginning with midnight mass followed by a large family meal. Although more and more Mexicans are exchanging gifts on Christmas, many families give their children gifts on January 6th, the day of the Three Kings, instead. To me that makes much more sense as they are commemorating the traditional day that the Magi presented the first "Christmas Presents" to the Christ Child.

Their are many other festivities around Christmas such as the Posadas that celebrate the nine days it took Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem. So, it seems that Christmas runs for almost a month!

Perhaps your family would like to celebrate the holidays with a pinata, such as the very clever lollipop that I found here on Etsy by Birchangel. Search "pinatas" here on Etsy to enjoy many was hard to choose one!

Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

T.........reasury Queen

This weekend, 11 of my fellow Etsy Bloggers Team and I were lucky enough to be featured by the true Etsy Treasury Queen, Vicki Diane, in one of her famous "Exposed Treasuries". To the right you will see our pictures, most of us with an item we have for sale in our Etsy Shops. If you need any information about Etsy, the premier site for handmade goods, please ask!

The true credit goes to Vicki Diane herself and if you have not visited her shop, you're in for a treat. Her striking jewelry is equaled only by her more striking personality and her delightful sense of humor. Please take a moment to enjoy

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

O.........riginal Holiday Art

How about spreading Christmas cheer this year with a card or cards with original artwork! Our Etsy Blogger of the Month, Becky aka "The Fab Miss B", presents her Christmas Cookie card for 2009. A reproduction of her original drawing, primitive style cookies that we all remember so fondly, dance across this card whose message reads, "Eat, Drink and Be Merry!" She'll even personalize them if you order certain quantities. Why not take a moment to visit her shop to see this card and other cards and unique ornaments, and, if you're into vintage, her other shop at Nice work, Becky!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

T.........ime for Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving for me has always been about family. As in many homes, my mom was always the center of that family. This year, we are particularly grateful, as our 95 year old mother is making a recovery from some serious falls and a relatively long hospital stay. She's pictured here a couple of years ago with her first great, great grandchild. She continues to bless us with her spirit and caring so this Thanksgiving will be extra special!

Friday, October 30, 2009

P.........ractice safe eating. Use condiments!

Two of our friends are known for their creativity and sense of humor. At no time of the year is that so apparent as Halloween when they create their new costumes. This year they've outdone themselves and decided that this would also be the picture on their Christmas card, (I think they may have a different sentiment on that card than their present "theme") and we were invited to take the pictures. You'll see them in full regalia to the right. With the help of the manager at our local JoAnn's store, they whipped these up much more quickly than you would imagine.

Then they insisted that I try on the mustard costume, so I'm in the second picture. DH insisted that he couldn't put on the ketchup outfit because he had to hold the camera....right....sure!

We're tempted to send these photos on to the Mustard Museum right here in Wisconsin. The "curator" there has a great sense of humor as well.

The photo shoot was done with much quipping and laughter, especially when the wind adjusted the mustard costume and their was some reference to Mustard Gas.

We feel blessed and certainly happy to have these dear friends!

Monday, October 26, 2009

S.........eeing Pink Elephants!

Amigurumi, small crocheted animals and other objects is one of the fortes of Melissa from She's the Etsy Blogger of the Month and it certainly is a great month to visit her shop! Besides darling amigurumi animals, such as this pretty pink elephant, and other beautifully crocheted items, she features hand made jewelry, including Halloween items. Besides, she's having a terrific sale on the "spooky" items, just in time for your celebration. Please take a minute to enjoy her shop; it's great fun!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

H.........appy Haunting!

Halloween has always been one of my favorite times of year. It is, for the most part, a light-hearted, even humorous holiday, and I find it inspires universal creativity. So when the Etsy Bloggers Carnival suggested telling about Halloween at our house, I thought I'd show one of my greeting cards, an original design, just for this occasion. Here I made use of inky black silhouette paper for the carved pumpkin, with a base of other colorful jack-o-lanterns. My favorite part is the little spider hanging in the upper right hand corner. Hope you receive many cards, treats and a few chuckles this year!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

T.........he Big Dig

Bang!! Bang!!! Bang!!!! I jumped about three feet at 7:30 am. I knew that construction workers had arrived but didn't know they needed to take a sledge hammer to the bricks on back of the house that soon. Our new kitchen had begun! After I had picked myself up, we ran out to see the first steps which included ther use of some very large and interesting machines. How they maneuvered that power shovel in such a small space was amazing and here you can see the first scoop and the finished trench. The last photo is of the workers beginning to frame up for the footings. The only glitches were a few unusual pipes that came up during the dig, which had long been out of use. Will the new kitchen/crafting area be done by Christmas? Stay tuned for more construction updates!

Monday, October 5, 2009

T..........he Scrapbook

Although my sister and I have always been close, distance makes it hard to get together as often as we would like. So I was thrilled when she invited me to her house for a few days to help her assemble a scrapbook of pictures from her retirement party. We had a great time laughing and cropping and laying out pages and you can see us with the results to the left. She's the younger, prettier one! Now we not only have memories of the party, but the joyful memories of making the book. Thank you, Jeannie, for this opportunity and for being my sister!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

P.........resenting: designsbyvanessa

This month's featured Etsy Blogger is the multi talented Vanessa of
She makes some of the most elegant jewelry that I have seen on Etsy and some delightful greeting cards, one of which is shown here. This particular card is one in a set of three, and each in this set makes use of the same color palette but in different prints. Although this set features cupcakes, she also loves birds, and they are prevalent throughout her work. I hope you take a moment to visit her shop soon to see all that she has to offer!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

L.........onging for a studio

For a new blog carnival, we were asked to show a picture of ourselves or of our studio. Since photos of me are common in this blog and in my Etsy avatar, I was left with a dilemma: no studio!

So if the mess to the left looks like a dining room table, that's because it is! Today, I was making greeting cards, decking baskets with red lace for display at my next show, and getting ready to cut nylon netting for more scrubbies.

It does play havoc with meal time, however, so I am delighted to say that the problem will be partially solved very soon. There will be an area for my crafting in the new addition to the house that starts next week and I'm so excited! To be sure, pictures of that will follow!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

C.........ombo crafting

Because there are so many different kinds of crafting (and it's hard to choose which one is my fav), I love to combine them. This time, the new greeting cards combine card making with crocheting. A delicate crocheted Irish rose is the centerpiece for these new note cards. It seems to fit with many different colors and papers. Gently dotted ribbons complete the look. Wouldn't someone treasure receiving one on these with a hand written message?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

S.........aving the best for last

This final episode of our trip to Glacier Park features the very best: the Going-To-The-Sun-Road. The first time I took this trip many years ago, I remember asking the driver (or Jammer) of the red bus, "Why do you call it that?" He replied simply, "You'll see!", and, of course he was right.
This time was only slightly different in that it was later in the season and there was less snow and more of the other spectacular colors of nature. Here are only a few pictures of the indescribable scenery. The top picture is of the cascades of Hay Stack Creek.
The other shots are of David and me in the red bus with Lake McDonald behind us, and looking back at one of the few glaciers in the park.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road makes more of the glories of Glacier accessible to all. I hope some day you all get to experience "The Crown of the Continent"!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

T..........wo Medicine Lake

Although we thoroughly enjoyed our journey to and our stay at Glacier Park Lodge, there was nothing that could compare to the magnificent scenery of Glacier Park itself. We took advantage of a "Red Bus" tour to Hidden Valley which encompasses Two Medicine Lake. You can see us posing with two dear friends who traveled with us. The red buses are actually 1930's touring cars that have been refurbished and carefully maintained and are a favorite means of transport in Glacier Park. The delightful drivers (nicknamed "Jammers" because they used to have to jam the gears on the mountain roads) provide a great deal of information and lively commentary. We also were treated to a boat ride on the crystal clear lake.
Quite near Two Medicine Lake is Running Eagle Falls which seems to rush out of a gap in the rock. It was named for a woman Blackfeet warrior who gained acclaim for her bravery and daring. The Blackfeet now live just east of Glacier Park and are descendants of early peoples in this area.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

R.........ustic Luxury

We had been told that Glacier Park Lodge was rustic and not expect great luxury, so when we entered this almost 100 year old masterpiece, we were pleasantly surprised. Although the rooms are small, they are clean and comfortable and the rest is spectacular. The huge lobby that features the tremendous 800 year old tree supports is most comfortable and features live piano music or Native American programs nightly.

From the large windows or balconies, you can enjoy spectacular sun rises and sunsets over the mountains, or take a couple of hours to play the beautiful nine hole golf course.

We would stay there again...and hopefully will soon!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A.........rriving at Glacier Park Lodge

Our relaxing train ride took about 27 hours from Columbus, Wisconsin, to East Glacier, Montana. Even though I had been to Glacier before, I was delighted (and the others were amazed) to be greeted by a red shuttle bus that transported us to beautiful Glacier Park Lodge. A carpet of flowers lines the way from the depot to the Lodge. It was also a joy to see the mountains again. The week before the weather had been cold and rainy, but we were treated to sunny skies and warm weather. More pictures of the Lodge and Glacier Park will follow in a couple of days...stay tuned!

Monday, August 24, 2009

T.........raining it!

Last week, dh and I began a new adventure. We traveled from Wisconsin to western Montana on a train! My daughter snapped this picture of us boarding the Amtrak in Columbus, Wisconsin, on a sunny Tuesday afternoon. As it was a 27 hour trip, we chose to travel in what they call a "roomette". The seats were generous and comfortable, and as you can see, had a bunk that folded down into a bed as well as the seats making a second bed at night. Our sleeping car attendent greeted us with champagne and escorted us to our cabin on the second floor of the coach. All of our delicious meals were served in the dining car, and we also had a wine and cheese party there on the second day. The motion of the train rocked us to sleep at night. We've decided that "training" is an ideal form of travel for us!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

P.........resenting: memoriesforlife

Scrapbooking has always been one of my favorite past times, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover the etsy shop ! Edi creates all kinds of unique scrapbooks in her studio and they're perfect for the beginning and expert scrapbooker alike. Her "word" scrapbooks, such as the one on the left are stunning. Each chipboard letter opens a new page with perfect spaces for your pictures. She'll even make custom "name" books.
My favs are her "pet" scrapbooks. Even Kirby and Katydid wish that I had known Edi before I made their scrapbook.
Her work is quite professional and she does some work with real power tools! (My family gets nervous when they see me with a scissors and a crochet hook!)
Please visit her delightful Etsy Shop to see more of her great work and perhaps order one for yourself. They also make great gifts!

Friday, August 14, 2009

W.........onderful "Hay Fever"!

Although our actual summer vacation begins next week, we've been luck enough to take several "short" vacations as well. Last week it was our annual trek to beautiful Spring Green, Wisconsin, to visit The American Players Theatre where classical and semi-classical productions are staged all summer long. On a perfect summer night we sat with my daughter and son-in-law under the stars to see a delightful version of Noel Coward's "Hay Fever".

The photos are of this theatre in the woods, and a close up of one scene from the play that features nine characters: four zany members of the Bliss family, four guests they invite separately without telling anyone else, and one unflappable housekeeper. The merriment that ensues in their English country house in the first half of the 20th century is contagious.

What a perfect mini-vacation. Who knew that hay fever could be so much fun?