Friday, December 30, 2011

Ringing in the new year

Christmas at our house is all about celebrating with family.  But when it comes to the new year, friends become the center of the holiday.  Each year we look forward to going out to dinner with a large group of friends at a favorite local restaurant.  That is followed by a late night party and another one the next day, so it is really a two day New Year's celebration.  One year I even overheard one of our friends claim that it is the best 48 hours of the year!  Happy New Year to all our friends and family!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Presenting: MagdaleneJewels

 This priceless little baby cocoon and hat is just one of the items that the multitalented MagdelineJewels presents in her two Etsy Shops, and   As a fellow knitter, I can attest that her work is lovely and her jewelry is stunning, both for the holidays and in all seasons.  Please take a moment to visit the shops of this fabulous Etsy Blogger!

Etsy Bloggers are Natural Authors!

The Etsy Bloggers Team is discussing book writing in one of their blog carnivals this month and asking if we were ever tempted to write a book.  After many years of longing to do so, I finally did!  Of course, it's about crafting.  In "Confessions From A Crazed Crafter", I expound on the ten reasons why I craft.  Some are serious:  some are rather silly such as confessing that it takes precedence over housework! 

I'd encourage all bloggers to try this.  It's easy and fun to do with one of the "vanity" publishers such as Blurb.  I'd look forward to some of  your efforts!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Tomorrow is the big day;  will try to post pictures!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Two to go

 and it's panic time!  Now that we've heard how many are planning to attend our big craft fair this weekend, we're worried that we won't have enough merchandise!!  Actually, that would be pretty nice, now, wouldn't it?

Tonight I'm baby sitting and will try to finish these darling baby Santa hats:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wow!! Only Three!

Now I feel like the White Rabbit....I'm late, I'm late for an important date in just three days.  No time to post a picture, just say that most goals were made, and I'll get done what I can tomorrow!  Hopefully then there'll be more of an update!  Off to bed!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Just Four More

days until the big sale   We did even more promoting today so we hope lots of folks stop in on Friday and Saturday to see some neat crafts and visit with us.  We plan to have fun!
This morning brought a great sale, but that means I had to complete an amigurumi lion today along with the scrubbies and tagging and tomorrow means a giraffe along with more scrubbies.  What fun!  Here you can see the little giraffe and lion that went to Missouri today:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Down to Five Days

and there isn't going to be enough time!  I'm sure I'll still be finishing set up and even an item or two on Friday morning, the day of the sale.  Today the elephant and five double scrubbies were completed.  The only complication, and a pleasant one at that, was that three orders came in, so that takes away several items and there will be packing and shipping tomorrow.  So, in addition to that, my goals are more double scrubbies , beginning the tagging, at whipping up a new hat.

Here's one of the items that sold today.  There won't be time to remake these!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Just six days...

One of the very practical products at our upcoming sale is a set of unusual jar openers.  The soft, rubbery centers are very gentle on hands and offer a great grip.  They're also available individually at just $2.00 each.
Goals for tomorrow include finishing the amigurmi elephant, cutting the final 8 yards of netting and starting the double layer scrubbies.  Hope I'm as successful tomorrow as I was today!

Friday, November 11, 2011

One more week!

Whew!!  Just finished a hippopotamus!!  He came on the heels of 12 scrubbies and a new beanie all but some organization was completed today.

Above is a thank you note that will be offered at the craft sale next weekend, but it's also to thank all of you who have been following this series of blog posts.

Tomorrow's challenge is another dozen scrubbies, the organizing that should have been done today, and the start of an elephant...big tusks...oops...tasks (can you tell I'm getting sillier by the minute?)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Just Eight More Days!

One week from tomorrow is the first day of our craft show here in Kohler.  Publicity is continuing, projects are being completed, and we're staying positive about the weather forecasts!
Goals set yesterday were completed about an hour ago I'm focusing on three items for tomorrow:
10 scrubbies
                                    Sorting completed crochet projects
                   Making a hippopotamus

Fortunately the hippo is only about 10" long.  He's shown with his pachyderm buddy in the photo above.  Both are part of an amigurumi zoo that will be on sale next week.  They both were completed but sold last week!

See you tomorrow evening!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nine more days to go!

Wow, time is flying!  Happy to say that yesterday's goals were met and after a "WigWam" shopping trip tomorrow, I hope to make 10-12 more greeting cards, finish another baby hat and  complete another dozen scrubbies. 
The "Thinking of You" note cards and some similar thank you notes will be available at our show in nine days.  We're hoping for better weather than we had today, which included a ton of rain and at least an inch of snow!
Until tomorrow! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ten More Days of Challenge

I'm happy to report that my goals for today have been met, even though it means some very sore fingers!  The scrubbies I made today are all the plain round ones, but here are a couple of wreath scrubbies that will be for sale at our sale next weekend and in my Etsy shop.  They make great stocking stuffers or package tie ons.  They're made of the same tough nylon net and just as good for cleaning up everything from dishes to car hoods once the decorative ribbon is removed.

So for tomorrow the new goals are:  12 more scrubbies, 20 greeting cards and finishing the baby Santa hat.  Unfortunately, as hard as I try, this will not be able to excuse me from doing some cleaning...there's never an end to that!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Eleven more days of challenge!

Here's the first update!

Today was busy, but things worked out well.  All goals were accomplished except for 2 jar openers.  In addition, the friend that will be adding her jewelery to the sale stopped over to show me the cute earrings that she and her daughters made.  She'll also help with publicity and make the outdoor signs we'll need.  That will be a big help!

So for tomorrow I'll aim to finish a dozen scrubbies while I'm baby sitting...above you'll see the little cutie modelling one of the baby hats that will be in the sale.  Also, I hope to pick up some last minute supplies and continue working on the Santa hat as well as finishing the last two jar openers.

See you tomorrow night with the progress report!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Twelve Day Challenge

In just 12 days, my friend, Judy, and I are hosting a craft show here at our home and the challenges are looming!  We've begun to publicize, we are amassing our completed crafts, and are finishing many more.  So I'm setting goals for each day.  Let's see how I do!

First, to keep me more organized, I'll post about this time each evening until the big event, November 18 and 19.   My efforts became a little more complicated due to several Etsy sales.  I'm certainly not complaining, but now it means I'll have to make an extra amigurumi elephant and rhino as well as a baby Santa hat.

Today I had aimed to finish some quick shopping at Joann's for fabric, card stock and ribbon.  The latter were easy, but I had to order the fabric at a greater cost.  That was the only setback, however.  My goal of 24 scrubbies to complete sets such as shown above were accomplished thanks to many uninterrupted hours as we watched pro football (Go Packers).

Tomorrow, the following items are on the docket:

Make 10 more scrubbies.
Mail packages.
Edge six jar openers.
Design several greeting cards.
Start a new baby Santa hat.

Of course, all this is in and around our regular Monday schedule.
Wish me luck!  I'll update tomorrow!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy Haunting!

One of my favorite Halloween traditions is painting pumpkins.  This year I painted one for my darling little "pumpkin" next door and her mom and dad.  Here are all three completed designs at their back door.  The candy corn theme seemed appropriate and does not include a single calorie!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Inspired by Summer

The glorious summer garden flowers actually inspired me to add to my ever increasing scrubbie selections on Etsy and when Etsy Bloggers asked us to share a summer craft, I chose these flower scrubbie sets.  They come as a set of six as shown in these photos, and also in sets of two.

For those of you who crochet, here's a quick how-to for the flower scrubbies:
Cut 8 yards of nylon netting into 3" strips.  You'll get quite a few out of 8 yard pieces in two colors.

With a J or K hook, Ch 3, join with slip stitch.
Row 1:  Work 6 sc in loop.
Row 2:  Work 2 sc in each sc.
Row 3:  Work 2 sc in each sc.  Join with sl st.
Row 4:  Ch 3, skip next sc, sc in next sc around.  Finish off.

For anyone who crochets, it's super simple!  With a little expert help it's even a great beginner project.  Enjoy!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Summer Time in Bookworm Gardens

The Magic School Bus welcomes young and old alike to fabulous (and free) Bookworm Gardens located just a couple of miles from us near the University of Sheboygan Campus in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  My dear neighbor and her darling daughter accompanied me on a sweet visit last week.  The school bus can be "driven" by the children.  They can also open and shut the doors, read a copy of the book inside and even look through a kaleidoscope at basket of flowers as the young man in the photo is doing.

Bookworm Gardens was conceived by a local landscape designer and master gardener and is constantly expanding due to a huge contingency of volunteers and community support.  More than 25 children's books are illustrated in individual garden settings and thanks to generous individuals, corporations and public service groups, more is being added.  Several stone pillars hold copies of laminated books that children can read or parents or volunteers can  read to them around the gardens.

They can read Is Your Mama a Llama? in both Spanish and English, and enjoy Jack and the Beanstalk near a metal and natural bean stalk in front of Hansel and Gretel's cottage.  The cottage also serves as a visitor's center.  My neighbor couldn't resist sitting in Papa Bear's chair. It was vacated by Papa Bear as he and Mama Bear try to coax Baby Bear out of a tree.

So many more books are illustrated that it will take several more visits to experience them all.  If you're ever in the area, don't miss Bookworm Gardens!
                                                                  Is Your Mama a Llama?

                                                             Jack and the Beanstalk
Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Finally...a finished bathroom!

I wonder if we are the only people who ever planned a bathroom around a sink.  When our old, ugly bathroom (scroll down on this blog for the before pictures) needed remodeling, our dear neighbors gave us a gorgeous Kohler lav to use as a starting point.  It is a relatively new product designed by Kohler artists and we were thrilled to receive it.

You can see the completed lav set into a new vanity set.  Also there are photos of the bathtub and tile resoration, one of the taping job before the spraying and one of the completed work.  There are also two photos of the remodeling process, one of the vanity area, and one of the new floor being installed.  Other than dealing with an impatient husband during the three month process, the greatest challenge for me was photgraphing in such a small area.  I hope I've done it a little justice!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July Fourth Traditions

As another July fourth has flown past with its parades, picnics and fireworks, I'm amazed at how little our  personal traditions have changed.  In most ways, I take comfort in these celebrations.  It is with gratitude that I enjoy the company of family and dear friends on this joyous occasion.  But in another way, with each year's closing fireworks, I reflect on the true sacrifices made by so many others that allow me to have such lovely experiences in such a safe environment.  The flashes , bright lights and booming noises that fill the skies seem more and more like battlefields in my mind.  And though I continue to enjoy the day, there is also a sadness and longing for a world more at peace.  Although I will not see that in my lifetime, it is my sincere hope that those who follow will catch a glimpse of that world.
The Esty Bloggers team asked us to share an item in our shop that reflects Independence Day.  The best example I have is in my peacoxtoo shop...a flag afghan with a large yellow ribbon gracing the blue field instead of the stars.  It is in honor and  memory of those who serve and have served this most blessed nation.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fiber Art

Fiber art has always seemed daunting to me, but in the skilled hands of Tammy, of it come alive with color, texture and style.  She creates dolls, jewelry, bags, clothing, and much more from largely upcycled fiber materials and offers them in her Etsy shop.  She loves the challenge of unusual materials that most of us would not think of combining to form lovely, original design pieces such as these fiber heart charms in shades of pink, white and green.  They're 1 1/4" across and have a ring at the back so you can add them to a necklace or bracelet.  They would also be darling as a pin on a hat, coat or sweater.  Take a few moments to browse her shop;  you'll be glad you did!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summertime...time for smoothies!

Although smoothies are great any time of year, they're a real hit at our house during the summer months, especially for breakfast.  So when the Etsy Bloggers asked for summer time recipes, it was a no-brainer!  This is a very flexible recipe, so the amounts are approximate.  You can add or subtract as you like.

2 cups of yogurt in the flavor of your choice.
1 sliced banana
1 1/2 cups of juice in the flavor of your choice.
1 cup frozen fruit

Blend well and enjoy!  This makes about a quart of mixture.  Actually, this morning I invited my aerobics class for a smoothie party.  We had three choices:  mango/peach,  strawberry/mixed berry, and vanilla/blueberry.  There were no complaints!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Great Bathroom Remodel...Part 1

For several years, now, we've needed a bathroom remodel and have finally almost finished the project.  Although we were supposed to be finished before Easter, the final date is finally June 16, so I'm glad I waited to blog about the project!  Here are some photos of the disaster we were experiencing before the work started.  The photos do not do the horrible state of affairs justice, so you'll just have to believe me that I was embarrassed to have guests in it!  At any rate, these were shot in April when we could still use it.  The true remodel story will start tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Must Love Dogs

What could be cuter than a beagle puppy, even if he's snatched a calla lily from the neighbor's yard?  This little guy is actually a polymer clay bead made by Nancy of  He's shown here in a bracelet with other beads as an example of how he might be used in your own jewelry.  The detail on this bead is amazing!  Please visit her shop for this sweetheart and other breed of dogs and puppies.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Parade

We've never been so close to a Memorial Day Parade before!  Our little village always has a small parade, but we thought it was scheduled for later in the morning.  As we were driving earlier down our main drag, the police pulled us over to the side so that the parade could pass!!  Now, you must realize that our parade consists of two squad cars, the high school band, the Girl Scouts and Brownies, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, a Color Guard, three village officials and two fire engines...a total of a five minute parade.  Nevertheless, it was an up close and personal experience that exemplifies the true spirit of small town America.  God bless the USA!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dreaming of Down Under

The Etsy Bloggers team carnival is featuring a "down under" theme.  It is a place I've always dreamed  of visiting!  Isn't it funny how we romanticize far away places?  But I have the feeling that the southern hemisphere offers much more than I can imagine!

Right now, as we move
 into the spring and summer months here in the northern US, they are preparing for the winter season.  So, I'm featuring some of my fingerless gloves which ship free...even to "down under"!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


There's something special about pearls and something extra special about this ring of pearls found at .   You'll find a wealth of individually designed and crafted jewelry in her shop at very reasonable prices.  What also strikes me about her shop isthat she designs not only for a variety of tastes, but also people of different faiths.  What a joy to see her bring folks together with lovely items!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Library Love

For as long as I can remember, libraries have been one of the great joys of my life.  From my first picture books in the children's section to the stacks of the University Libraries and far beyond, they have enriched my life more that I could have ever imagined.  The Etsy Bloggers challenge to write about public libraries has also given me the opportunity to tell about my latest read which, of course is available at your local library.  And in a nutshell, run, don't walk to your nearest to your nearest public library to get your hands on The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  If you must download it to your electronic device, do it as well!  It is a fascinating read that will make you smile, giggle, cry and become angry all at the same time.   And it will leave you wanting for more.  It's the best book I've read in many years!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

There's something "mystic" here...

Generally, jewelry is not my passion, but there is something about the creations of Karen at that speak to me in a poetic way.  Her passion for designing and making each individual piece in her shop is evident even at first glance.  The ring that I'm sharing with you here shows an incredible elegant simplicity.  Please visit her shop for the piece that speaks to you.  Whether your taste is floral, ethnic, fantastical, whimsical or spiritual, you'll find something that you can't resist!  You'll be pleasantly surprised at her reasonable prices and free shipping as well. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Diamonds are forever... least according to James Bond!  As we can look forward to April, the month of diamonds, I thought I'd share a different kind of diamond with you:  the diamond stitch.  Not long ago, a bride contacted me to commission a pine needle basket which will carry the Stefana (Greek wedding crowns) at her approaching wedding.  After some research, I found that the number three is important in many Greek ceremonies, including a wedding.  The center of the basket begins with two walnut slices tightly joined to symbolize the bride and groom.  Then three circles of stitches surround them, two in chain stitches and the center in the diamond stitch so that the sparkle of their love will always be chained together. 

After she received the basket, she was gracious enough to send a photo of the basket with the stefana inside.  These stefana are especially precious to her as they were worn by her parents as well.  I've included her picture as well as one of the basket before it was mailed.   I'm thrilled that she is so pleased!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Ready for St. Patrick's Day

Are you one that "wears the green" on March 17?  If so, here's just the perfect new addition to your jewelry wardrobe!   From the shop called Faerie Garden Fancies, this polymer clay sparkled shamrock is sure to bring good luck whether you wear it or use it as a bit of decor.  You can enter this delightfully eclectic shop at  Enjoy!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Going green

As the green movement becomes increasingly important in our world, the Etsy Bloggers Team has asked us to tell how we are participating in this vital initiative.  In our home we recycle and reuse as much as possible.  Hopefully our efforts will help preserve our fragile planet for ages to come.
In my Etsy shop, the pine needle baskets, such as the one shown here, are another example of recycling.  All the pine needles used in this art are harvested after they fall and would otherwise have been burned or put in land fills.  This 4" pot is an original design and a great example of going green.  Even the broom corn that accents the rim has been dyed green.  It is available in my Etsy Shop,

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Joy" to you and me!

Here's great news for those of you who like to print your own greetings.  Just visit for absolutely adorable original art designed for you to purchase and then use with your own computer and printer.  The example I've chosen to the right is one of her precious Kokeshi Doll designs, but there are so many more from which to choose.  She'll even help you personalize the items.  Take a chance on looking soon;  you'll be glad you did!

Monday, January 24, 2011

"Moo"vin' on to the Super Bowl

It was impossible to resist!  But it was impossible to find a cow with a cheesehead in a Packer Jersey!  We in Packer Nation (aka most of Wisconsin) are always proud of our dairy industry and our green Bay Packers, but today we're udderly full of pride and milking it for all it's worth.  Our Pack defeated the Chicago Bears yesterday to earn a place in Superbowl XLV.  So on February 6, the Pack will face a very worthy opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers.  GO, PACK!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

What do you think?

My Etsy Bloggers Team has asked what business goals we have for 2011 and I'm torn. My first inclination was to say I want to be the "scrubbie queen" of Etsy, but I can't let go of wanting to really promote the pine needle baskets.
Certainly, the nylon net scrubbies are great sellers: they're practical, inexpensive, and kind of cute. You can see two of the apple scrubbies here with a small basket.
But if you check out the second picture, I wonder if you agree with me that the baskets are a greater art form. Even though they are practical, they are pricey, and far fewer folks know about this type of basket.
Which are you more likely to order? Have you tried the scrubbies? Do you know about pine needle art? Any ideas or thoughts would truly be appreciated!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Color My World

What child, no matter what the age, doesn't love a new box of crayons? It's just hard to keep that bulky box handy. This is the soloution: a crayon keeper that won't "bug" you! In fact, the bug with her polka dots and cheery colors would make a great way to carry those lucious crayons. This one is by Just click the link to see her many fun fabric designs and enjoy your walk through her great shop! I know I did!!