Friday, August 29, 2008

Childhood Memories

My dad used to tell me that he hoped I didn't grow up and write a book someday. He often noticed me quietly observing the crazy show that was our family and shuddered to think of what I might remember and what stories I might tell!

It's true that I remember a lot of details about my childhood. I can tell you which friends lived in which houses on every block I walked between my house and my school. I can tell you where each of my homeroom classes were in that school and all of my teachers names.

I told my sister once that I could close my eyes and tell her exactly what we kept on each cubbyhole in the closet of the bedroom we shared when we were kids, and I closed my eyes and began to list them for her. She dropped her jaw and said "How can you remember all that?!" That's when my brother-in-law interrupted and said "WHY do you remember all that?!"

I don't know why my head clung to so many little details back then and yet now I go into the next room and forget why I'm there. Funny how our minds work once we turn 50.... But it seems many of my most enduring memories are about Christmas holidays.

I've been thinking about Christmas holidays lately because I just got an order to make 15 of my Mini-Puzzle Balls. I'm surrounded by candy canes and holly now and I'm already looking forward to the season!

Every year I make my Christmas Puzzle Balls and every year I make what I like to call My Crazy Aunt Becky's Famous Christmas Candy. She won't mind if I call her least I hope not, because I think she reads this blog! I think most people who have known her for any length of time and become acquainted with her sense of humor have used the word "crazy" to describe her, at least once.

This toffee that she made, and taught me to make, is so simple to make and so delicious it's dangerously habit-forming. I could give you the recipe, but it's really something you have to see demonstrated. You have to know just when to take the candy off the stove and pour it into the pan. My aunt watches for the color to change to a deep golden brown with darker brown streaks. I watch for that, too, but the real key for me is how it smells. It's an art...really.

Anyway, I thought of that toffee when I saw this item in the shop of Tulip's Treasure Box, one of my fellow Etsybloggers:

She's a jewelry maker and you should really check out her shop. Now, I'm not one who wears much jewelry, but I'd like to see what these are made into someday! Looks like the toffee is just about ready!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Remarkable Day

I just watched my local evening news from a TV station in Washington, DC. The reporter was standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, getting comments from visitors about the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, which he gave from that spot 45 years ago today. Some he spoke with were too young to have been there that day, but shook their heads in amazement to think that a black man, may be our next president.

There were also comments from others still living in the DC area who were there to hear Dr. King's speech live that day. They spoke eloquently about the changes in our society from that day to this as they shared their personal stories of how far we've come. Some said they never expected to see something like this in their lifetime.

Regardless of your politics, you must acknowledge that, as one woman who was interviewed put it, "It's a dream come true."

Monday, August 25, 2008

Custom Buttons

I've been staying busy with custom button orders lately and I love doing those. Sometimes a customer will give me their artwork ready to go and sometimes I'll adapt their shop's banner to a 1 inch buttons (pin-back or magnet).

Whether I'm coming up with something original or them or simply adding their shop's url to their art, I love knowing that little samples of my work are going out to their customers literally all over the world.

Here's one of my custom buttons that featured on TheWildfire's blog, "Wax Dribbles and Melt Pools"":

Here's one order that's going in the mail today:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Just One More Day....

Just one more day for our Etsybloggers 1st Anniversary Sale!

If you're looking for a unique gift for babies or children, take a closer look at my Puzzle Balls. I sew these by hand (no sewing machine involved) and they're very hard parts at all, very soft. You can even throw them in the washing machine when they get dirty.

I make larger sizes that make great toys. Because these are actual puzzles that come apart in three pieces, they can even be taken apart and packed flat for travel, then assembled for play once you arrive at your destination. I love doing custom orders, so if you'd be interested in a particular color or fabric, don't hesitate to leave a comment here or send me a convo on

I make these in smaller sizes to use as Christmas ornaments. These can be great for kids, too, who are often warned not to play with the delicate, breakable ornaments. Give them one of these to put on the tree and they have a special ornament of their own to take down and play with. Kids love showing grown-ups how the puzzle works, too!

Friday, August 15, 2008

EtsyBloggers Rock!

We're mid-way through the big EtsyBloggers 1st Anniversary sale and I've been a busy little girl! I've sold a few of my pocket mirrors and I've gotten a few custom button orders, too, which I think is due to the increased exposure due to the sale.

I love doing custom orders. It reminds me of when I worked in bookstores and customers would be looking for that perfect gift for a special someone but they didn't really know what they wanted. I was pretty good at asking just the right questions and making just the right suggestions, and I loved it when their eyes would light up and they'd say, "That's it! That's perfect!"

When doing a custom order for an Etsy buyer, I can't see their eyes light up, but I do enjoy working out the details with them. Taking their vision they've described to me or adapting the shop's banner and fine-tuning the design till I get their buttons just right and they convo me with "That's perfect!"

So, when I found out the Blog Carnival topic for this week was "your favorite tool" I thought about my button machines. But I recently finished sewing a Blue Jean Teddy Bear and I decided to go in a different direction....

My favorite tool (this week) is my needle:

This particular needle is a quilting between, although it's been a few years since I've made any quilts with it. Mostly I'm using it to make my patchwork Puzzle Ball toys and Christmas ornaments or my Teddy Bears that I've blogged about before.

As I was finishing up this latest bear I decided to take a quick picture of my needle as I was completing the last step, attaching the head, so I could show you this favorite tool of mine. If you look close you may notice this needle is a little bent. It's the same needle I've been using for years on these projects because it's the perfect size for making the tiniest stitches the way I like to. I think it's bent just right because I can work really quickly with this one.

My daughters are used to seeing a half-finished Puzzle Ball or Teddy Bear parked on the table next to my rocking chair because I've always got something in the works. When my firstborn told me she had chosen me as her subject for a class photo essay assignment I told her it wouldn't be very exciting since I was just sitting around the house, sewing a Teddy Bear. She said that's just what she wanted. I've seen the pictures and I have to say, I was impressed. She got an A on the assignment. Here's my favorite:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Etsy Bloggers Sale Time!

The official announcement is up! It's time for the Etsy Bloggers 1st Anniversary Sale!

Visit these EtsyBloggers shops from Wednesday 8/13 thru Sunday 8/17 and celebrate our team's 1st Anniversary with us!!
Digital Illustrations, Photography and Note Cards
Free Shipping on all items
All items except custom orders:
Spend $10-19.99 save 10% on your order
Spend $20-29.99 save 20% on your order
Spend $30 or more save 30% on your order
Free domestic shipping (US) on all orders over $50
*If paying with PayPal, I will refund your savings after purchase.
20% off everything!
Specializing in Custom Photo/Art Magnets and Pendants
Handcrafted Limited Edition Jewelry
But One, Get One 1/2 half off (of equal or lesser value - no custom items, please)
Soaps, Lotions, Skincare, The Works
20% off any order

Jewelry for animal lovers!
10% off all items (excluding shipping) with code "Bloggers sale!"

Breastfeeding jewelry, necklaces & bracelets
Free priority mail shipping on orders over $25
20% off everything!
Unique Artisan Jewelry
See sale section for specials.
Free shipping on all orders
A free gift with all orders over $10.00 (before shipping)
25% Most Items
Pillows, Cases, Cards and other Fabric Goodies

I will refund 20% of purchase price to all sales from August 13th to August 17th.
(excluding shipping which is flat rate fee by Priority Mail no matter how large the order)

250 free business cards with a pre-made or custom design package.
All buttons $1.00 a piece and lowered shipping prices!
Free shipping and an extra 10% refunded if you mention that you heard about the sale from etsy bloggers!!
All Pocket Mirrors and Puzzle Ball Toys & Christmas Ornaments
50% off
Unique handmade lampwork beads
FREE SHIPPING on all purchase...
Special SALE section with already Reduced Priced items

Natural dolls and playthings
10% off items in sale section
Inspiration and supplies for the homeschooling family
Free shipping on all items
Accessories, Luxury Lounge Travel Wraps
10% off all items with code Bloggers10%
See special sale section in my shop
See Sale section in my shop

Super cool baby and children's onesies, monster jeans, Ankle Biters...
FREE SHIPPING plus 10% OFF everything in our shop!!
"Handmade Items for Everyday Use."
See My Special Sale Section.
Many items on SALE now, plus get FREE SHIPPING on orders of $40.00 or more.
(Custom orders not included.)
25% off in SALE section, free shipping on orders of $50 or more using promo code EB08 in notes to seller!
Take $2.00 off any boxed blank note or thank you card set!
See SALE sections in my shop for all the designs to choose from
Jewelry, Vintage, Supplies, Crochet
Buy any 2, get the 3rd half off
"Fraternal earrings" and dragonfly suncatchers
Free priority mail shipping on orders over $25
Buy one Custom Name/Word Album, get $5 a second album.
Buy two Custom Name/Word Albums, get $15 off a third album.
10% off everything in my shop, to be refunded through paypal.
Passionate Jewelry
free shipping
Hand Stitched Paper Art for You and Your Home
Free Shipping!
Vintage inspired clothing for children and their dollies
Free Shipping (Sale items included)
Gemstones, beads and more!
Free Shipping on orders over $20
Free Shipping and 10% off - jewelry.
10% off on all orders.
Discount will be refunded or you can convo to have price adjusted prior to checkout.
cute fingerless gloves
free shipping!
Handcrafted soaps & toiletries, Crochet Bath Accessories, Soy Candles & More
Check out our sale section for reduced price items.
Special EtsyBloggers 1st Anniversary Sale
Great jewelry and beaded items, ½ off regular price
Look in Section: Anniversary Sale

FREE shipping on orders of $10 or more.
Your choice of a FREE pair of earrings with order of $20 or more.
baby shower items, wedding items, tutus, pillowcase dresses, tote bags
10% Off All Items in my shop!
Find Your One of a Kind!
Free shipping on all vintage and original greeting cards for the Etsy Bloggers Team Sale!
See sale section for specials
Free shipping on all orders
Original art, photography, hand painted bags, and more..
Free shipping during sale!

Free domestic and international (Australia, Canada, Europe) shipping on orders $40.00 and more.
See my EtsyBloggers 1st Anniversary Sale Section§ion_id=5417430

Free shipping on all items
Specializing in all things zany for babies including: blankets, bibs, stuffies and clothes.
Boutique Baby Essentials, Blankets and Baby Carriers
Buy one item, get the 2nd of equal or lesser value for 50% off!!!!
See special sale section in my shop
I have an assortment of items on sale, including purses, totes, wristlets and clutches.

♥ The above shops are participating in the SALE. But you can always find the beautiful items from our team members, at any other time, by going to Etsy and searching for "etsybloggers team":

We also have a "Buy N Replace" TREASURY open to everyone - so come join the fun!

We've got all kinds of Etsy sellers on this team so take your time checking out each of the shops listed there.

As for me...well, I've got all my Pocket Mirrors and Puzzle Balls (toys and Christmas Ornaments) on sale 50% off. The sale starts tomorrow, 8/13 and goes through Sunday, 8/17, so get 'em at that price while you can!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Two Treasuries!

It's always nice to know somebody appreciates what you do! A couple of items from my Etsy shop are currently featured in Etsy Treasuries. Here they are:

This one is a Treasury of items from members of the Etsy Bloggers Street Team. We're having a team-wide sale this week, August 13-17, so keep your eyes open for some good deals on those days! (I'll say more about this later.)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Spotlight on "Spotlight"

I just found out something I made has been featured in another blog:

The writer of this blog has an Etsy shop herself and here's a link to it:

I love her vintage photo notecards! You'll want to stop by and take a look around her shop.

Here's the item I made that she featured...2 1/4 inch button magnets made from a recycled magazine: