Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Traditions

Even in this day of e-cards, instant messaging and photo cards, I still enjoy making my own Christmas cards. So when the Etsy bloggers team asked about holiday traditions, I quickly snapped some pictures of this year's edition. I've been taking a card class with a Stampin' Up dealer, and the ornament punch, border punch, stamps, embossing tools and a series of new colored papers inspired me. They were great fun to make, and I loved making use of the unusual colors for Christmas. Hope the recipients liked them, too!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Special Christmas Designs

Scrubbies are always a best seller for my shop, so for Christmas I've designed them in a wreath shape. Once the bow is removed, they serve for all kinds of scrubbie uses, from cleaning pots and pans, to exfoliating heels, to getting bugs off car hoods and windshields. What's also neat about this style is that they can also be used for stocking stuffers or package tie ons, saving on ribbons and bows or for mailing flat packages. They're also available in two shades of green. They'll last long beyond the holidays!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Memories of Santa Fe

Even though I'm a little late in doing so, I still want to thank Divine Designs Jewelry, for some fantastic memories. She was the November EtsyBlogger of the month and these exquisite earrings are only one of the lovely items that make her shop so well worth visiting.
But especially precious to me were the memories this particular set have brought me. I had the joy of visiting Santa Fe several times and experiencing its unique culture, architecture, art and lovely people. If I weren't so happy living in Kohler, WI, Santa Fe would certainly be my next choice! So thank you, Divine Designs, for the memories as well as the visit to your Etsy shop!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Walk Begins

On Saturday, October 31, a group of us participated with "Team Margo" at the track of Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, for the American Cancer Society. The four miles were challenging but we were able to finish in less than an hour and a half. Mike McGill, a Road America photographer shot this photo at the starting line...and of course, there I am in the center, talking! The lady who organized the team is right in front of me. She also provided us with pink fleece scarves which were a godsend on the cool, damp morning...Next to me is my friend, Judy, and several other team members are behind us, including Margo, our aerobics teacher (the one waving). Best of all, she is in remission from cancer and we were able to raise a great deal of money for that most worthy cause!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Just Splendid!

Our Etsy blogger of the month is Rita, of Splendid Little Stars. She has two Etsy shops, in which she features jewelry and which has fun and fabulous tie-dyed items. I'm especially liking her snowman socks and long sleeved T which you see pictured here. Wouldn't they make a darling set for either a boy or a girl? In fact, she even will do special orders in colors and sizes that you want! Please take a moment to visit her shops and her blog for more information about her and her creative process.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


No, you're not seeing things!! Those are apples to the right. However, the latest Etsy Bloggers Carnival has asked us to tell about a favorite fall activity. We just happened to extend it past the wonderful Lapacek Apple Orchard in Poynette, Wisconsin, where this first shot was taken, to...are you ready for this...the one and only (perhaps thank goodness) National Mustard Museum!!

That's right, folks, inside this seemingly unimposing building lies a true treasure, for you mustardholics that is! It truly spices up the lovely town of Middleton, Wisconsin. Here you can learn about (and sample) hundreds of mustards amidst the "tongue in cheek"...after you stop sampling mustard...displays orchestrated by the museum's official curator.

A good example is a visit to the Poupon U book store where you can gobble up t-shirts, books, and even diplomas! My fav was the "Doctor of Diddly Squat" degree. You can also take mustard quizzes, view more types of mustard than seems possible, and pay a visit to Mustard Piece Theatre to view a film that will have you salivating as you laugh. Not really a pretty picture!!

After exploring and sampling many mustards on such delicacies as mini-hotdogs and pretzels, we made our purchases. We send our thanks to Barry Levinson, the curator (and sometimes preacher) and his staff for a smacking good time.

If you're ever near Madison, Wisconsin, it's worth a visit. And be sure to sign up for the occasional newsletter from the curator or visit the website!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Bride Wore Black

On Christmas Eve almost 97 years ago, my grandparents were married in a simple home ceremony. The bride wore black. It was quite a surprise to me the first time I heard it until she explained that it was the custom in her city at the time. Besides, she added, she would wear the dress again.

So it seemed quite natural to me when my husband and I were married four years ago to do the same thing, especially because it was not the first marriage for either of us. We were married in a simple ceremony in our home, by a dear friend, an Episcopalian priest. The bride wore black, of course.

When the topic, weddings, was chosen for the Etsy Bloggers Carnival, it was a story I had to share! The photo above is from our wedding, but as I look just like my grandmother, it was almost a step back to that simpler time, 97 years ago. I guess that happy marriages do not come from the color of the wedding, white, or any other color!

What about you? What color was your wedding dress?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Apple time!

As I write, the wonderful smell of home made apple sauce is wafting through the house. It is definitely apple time in Wisconsin!

My daughter, son-in-law, husband and I recently toured the Lapacek apple orchard near Poynette, Wisconsin. I snapped this pix on the right of the three of them at the highest point in the orchard while on their "scavenger hunt tour"!

The orchard is a delight from the apple trees in full fruit to the pick-your-own raspberries to the wonderful craft shop. There are great activities for adults and children alike, and you can even meet friendly animals, such as Mac 'n Tosh, the emus pictured below.

But the most fun was meeting Kim and her mother-in-law, absolutely splendid folks! You can see me with my daughter and Kim below, too. You can tell us from the emus, can't you? ;) Kim actually is an Etsy seller as well with fantastic quilts and many other items. Please check her out at

Kim was also kind enough to put some of my apple scrubbies in her shop, so if you are in Columbia County in Wisconsin, you can see them at the orchard. Whispering Orchards here in Sheboygan County also offers my apple scrubbies, so there's opportunities to purchase them there besides my Etsy Shop.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reunion; Sweet Reunion

How swiftly 50 years pass! Last Saturday evening we were fortunate to spend time with more than one hundred of my former classmates for our 5oth high school reunion!

It was a perfect celebration, from the tastefully done table decorations to a wonderful meal and exquisitely planned party. My heartfelt thanks to the organizers of the event, especially my dear friend, Kathy Diehl High, whose superb organizational skills enabled her not only to find every single one of our graduates, but with the help of her sister, produced an updated "yearbook" with delightful autobiographies. They cleverly used the design of our first yearbook (on the left) to produce this memorable new addition (on the right). Incidentally, "WAMAGO" stands for West Allis Maroon and Gold.

Our graduates came from all over the US and it was such fun to catch up on their lives. We all have had great joys and tragedies in our lives; some have remained in West Allis and some have been world travelers; all have made wonderful contributions to their families and their world. One of our members even took pictures of as many of us as he could so he could send digital copies to our former exchange student in Germany!

It was a great honor to see so many of them again. I am so proud to have been a member of the graduating class of 1960 and I wish each of them the best in their golden years. They deserve it!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Presenting: PatchFirst

Who of us can resist weddings, especially the gorgeous white bridal dresses and accessories? The Etsy Blogger of the Month makes exceptionally lovely jewelry that she sells at: This stunning necklace is just one example. She even has a wedding planning blog at And for those of you into vintage, she can also be seen at In addition this multi-talented lady has a supply shop at I am absolutely in love with her origami flowers made from post it notes...of all things! Please take a moment to visit her shops and her blog. You'll be glad you did!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Back To School

Back to school time was always special in our home, so it is easy to write this post for the Etsy Bloggers Team Carnival with that theme.

My mother taught school and she always made this time fun for me and my sister. Because I was a teacher as well, it was always an exciting time, and now my younger daughter is a third generation educator! To us, the year begins in late August or early September instead of January!

The most precious moment for me at this time of year was taking my older daughter to school for the first time. She was the only child in the class who did not cry, and I was the only mother that did!!

The alphabet note cards are available for sale in my Etsy shop, and would be a perfect set for any teacher!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Garden Glory

Saturday, amid the raindrops we had a spectacular experience at the Christopher (of Pampered Chef fame) farm and gardens, just north of Sheboygan, WI, along Lake Michigan. More than 50 acres of the 400 plus farm are devoted to gardens, including a Japanese garden, koi ponds, a fishing pond, par two golf hole, a long arbor of grape vines, and its own railroad complete with crossing, tunnel and station! Plants are largely those that flourish in our area and this lovely property is beautiful in every season. Generally it is not open to the public, but the Christophers invited the public for this special garden walk day. What a treat!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Presenting: sykin

From the shadows of the Twilight saga, to the beautiful shores of the Pacific Northwest, Missey of the Etsy Bloggers Team has you covered. For the photo to the left and many more spectacular shots, please visit Those of us who have visited these incredible shores can certainly relate to the views she has captured for us and those who have not may catch a glimpse of its beauty.
And for those of you Twilight fans, there's an entire shop devoted to it at What a variety of talents Missey has!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Italy comes to Kohler

It's always been a dream of mine to visit Italy, but it came to us instead! The Italian Experience was celebrated last weekend less than a mile away from us. Italian flags graced the parking lot, sand sculptures had an Italian theme, there were gondola rides on the lake, Ferraris to view, and, of course, many Italian foods to sample. What fun!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Presenting: Beaded Tail!

Sharla, of Beaded Tail, has always been one of my favorite Etsy Bloggers, and this month she is the Blogger of the Month! Much of her life is dedicated to animals and the proceeds from her shop go to animal causes. You can see some of her cat earrings to the right and can find many more cat and dog themed items at

Her blog is just as much fun as she features her own pets giving their point of view of the world around them. All pet lovers should check it out at Our Katydid and Kirby read it regularly!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Goals in small (and large) steps

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade". How often have we heard this adage? Well, I'd like to make a slight change to: "When life gives you dirty dishes, use this lemon-aid"! It's all part of one of my small goals, to sell many more of these dish scrubbies on Etsy. Of course my long term goal is to be the Scrubbie Queen of Etsy, but I learned long ago that most goals are accomplished in small steps, so I thought I'd share that with you as part of an Etsy Bloggers Challenge.

These scrubbies, in various forms, have been part of my family's helpers for years, and recently I designed these in a lemon shape. Many folks I know are kind enough to say these are the best dish scrubbies ever. Not only great in the dishpan, they can be used to clean many surfaces, because not only are they tough, they will not scratch glass surfaces. So go ahead and use them on glass stove tops, bathroom surfaces, or even your windows. A friend of mine love these for Pampered Chef pans and another even uses them to clean her parrot cage! My husband finds them most useful for cleaning the windshield and hood of the car and has recently taken to cleaning golf clubs with them.

They clean up over a peg in the dishwasher or a bag in the washer and air dry in a snap, leaving no odors.

You'll find them in my Etsy shop along with many other styles, including my original apple scrubbies. Certainly some of life's little problems are curable with these "lemon" aids!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Presenting: HandmadeBySandi

In honor of Memorial Day, I decided to choose these two patriotic items from our Etsy Blogger of the Month: HandmadeBySandi. She has quite an interesting variety of items in her shop at Her items range from jewelry to adorable baby washcloths to many delightful crocheted items which, as a fellow crocheter, I can tell you are artfully done. Congratulations, Sandi, for being the Etsy blogger of the month, and for having a birthday this month as well! I have only one important question for her: Is that candy included with the bowl????

Friday, May 21, 2010

New Perennial Garden

My wonderful daughters provided the first perennials for our new backyard garden as a gift for Mother's Day: seven gorgeous columbines, three of which you see here. The garden idea was the result of our adding an addition to the house last winter. Our contractor backfilled around the addition and built us a small raised area shown below.
Today we selected and purchased the rest of the plants and tomorrow is planting day. Because it is a sunny area, we tried to choose flowers with color who love the sun, including black eyed susans, shasta daisies, salvia, blanket flower, and pinks. Check back tomorrow and throughout our summer growing season for for the completed project!

Friday, May 7, 2010

M.........other's Day Camping

For quite a while now, Mother's Day Weekend has always meant camping with my older daughter and son-in-law. Their tent camper is roomy and comfortable. This year will be extra special because my younger daughter and sil will be visiting from Boston, and will join us. It should be extra interesting with our latest weather forecast. I took this picture of the camper last weekend which was gorgeous and warm. This weekend we're slated for rain and cold with possible snow! Good thing it has a heater. Can you say "games" instead of "hiking" and "chili" instead of "hamburgers?" No matter what, we'll have a glorious time!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

T.........he Gift

On Saturday morning a slim volume arrived in the mail, a gift from a former student. I had known that something was in the works, but the result was one of the most precious gifts I have ever received. It is a copy of the doctoral thesis in philosophy written by a very fine young man that I had the privilege to teach more than 15 years ago. As you can see, the dedication claims that it is partly my fault! However, I'm accepting none of the praise or blame because even the title is daunting: Spacetime Gaps and the Persistence of Objects Through Time. It will take much thought and study on my part to even begin to understand it! He was even so gracious as to mention me in his thank you section. I've always felt that teachers want their students to surpass them and he has truly proved this theory. Thank you, Tom.
You may also be interested in checking out the charitable organization that he helped found and for whom he works: a most useful and valuable group that fills a unique niche in the world of charity.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

P.........resenting MagdaleneJewel and Knits!

This month's Etsy Blogger has inspired me more than she knows. Her delicate work is not only evident in her jewelry such as the gorgeous necklace that features a polymer clay flower and crystals shown below, but in her knitting. As a fellow knitter, I can tell that her workmanship is excellent. The baby mocs shown to the right are just one of the sweet items in her new shop . And that's where she has been an extra inspiration to me. In a couple of weeks, I'll be opening a new shop as well to separate my baby items from the other crafts. Stay tuned for the update! Meanwhile, please check out her shops, both knit and jewelry. The second is at . You'll be glad you did!

Friday, April 23, 2010

H..........appy birthday to all of us!

In response to an Etsy Bloggers Carnival, I began to think in depth about birthdays. Even though I've had 67 of them, I've never really found them to be memorable; not because others haven't made it a joyful event for me, but because they've all been a joy. I guess I am one of the lucky ones who can appreciate every day and every birthday. Besides, I'm happy to have made it this far!

And as all mothers, the birthdays of my two fabulous daughters were much more memorable. But perhaps the most notable birthday of all was my husband's first birthday after we were married. I really wanted to make it special: I had made him a beautiful sweater, I had purchased a new book he had wanted, I had made a special card, and had even baked his favorite carrot cake. If you ask him now, however, he will remember none of these things. What he will remember is that I passed out and he had to call 911! Even though after a quick trip to the hospital proved it was due only to dehydration and a bad sinus infection, that's how he now remembers his birthday!

The photos represent our zodiac signs, Gemini and Aquarius, as well as our love of cats (this drawing looks remarkably like our two), and a gorgeous ring, appropriate for an Aquarius. The are both available at Etsy!

Monday, April 5, 2010

R.........odent Control

The friend who first introduced me to computers was incredibly patient, but she still got a good laugh over my dealing with the mouse. She just claimed that I had trouble with "rodent control".

Until today, more than 14 years later, I had made great strides with the little critter. Then we purchased a new laptop computer and with its pad, EEK!, it's back to square one! I really want to master this one, so even though I know we can connect our traditional "rodent", we're not going to fall into that "trap".

Guess I'll send her this blog post so she can start laughing again.

The darling plush mouse that you see here is from He is eco-friendly and "upcycled"!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

S.........nakes and snails and puppy dog tails...

Is that really what little boys are made of? I hardly think so, but it does seems that it is easier to find patterns for cute sweaters for baby girls. When I found this pattern, however, it was fun to tailor it to be a little more on the masculine side. I added a brightly colored stripe and made the tie interchangeable in both the cream and bold color. Can't you just see bringing a little guy home from the hospital in one of these?