Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Have a wonderful time this New Year's Eve, no matter how you choose to spend it!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Give Someone a Compliment

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Best Friends: New and Old

My best friend, my husband, has recently become a little jealous about the time I spend with my laptop. Part of that time has been spent on "work" as an Etsy seller, but a lot more of that time was spent trying to deal with a slow outdated computer and troubleshoot problems related to having an almost overloaded hard drive. So for Christmas he got me a new laptop! Isn't it lovely? It came with a printer too, I haven't hooked it up yet. Click the image to meet my new best friend:It has a lot more memory and is faster than my old one. It runs with Windows Vista which I haven't used yet so I'm slowly figuring out the differences between Vista and XP. This laptop has a lot of features I've never had, like a built in web cam, so I'll be spending some time in the near future learning how to use them!
Now the kids are fighting over who will claim the old laptop; little do they know that neither of them will have it for their own. We think the family computer should be out in the open where the sites they visit can be easily monitored. Luckily they are too young for now to be on MySpace or on chat sites. The worst they've seen so far has been YouTube which can show you things you don't expect even when doing an innocent search. Our oldest (10) uses it occasionally for homework, either for research or word processing. Our youngest (nearly 7) likes Webkinz and a few PC games she has on disk. I dread the day that we have to worry about them connecting to the sinister outside world! I wish they could remain innocent just a little bit longer. But then again, our oldest starts middle school next year so he'll get more of a real world experience soon enough. In our part of the county, the middle and high schoolers share the buses, so he'll be a 6th grader riding with kids through 12th grade. I'm hoping they are allowed to bring iPods on the bus so he can listen to music instead of listening to the older kids' chatter! Any advice?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wednesday Welcome: Miss Daisy Designs

Each week I'm using Etsy's Pounce feature in order to discover new items "from undiscovered shops waiting for their first sale" as the Etsy site states. This week's welcome is extended to Miss Daisy Designs in Arizona. Daisy's handmade journals are covered with a variety of batik fabrics; no two are alike! From blank journals to training and food journals, you are certain to find something that fits your needs. Here is just a preview of her offerings:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tutorial: Recycled Paper Bows

I found this one on EcoEtsy where it had been submitted by Pouch from the UK. Click here to view the entire tutorial on Craftster. It looks like I could handle this level of difficulty :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Espresso For Ears?!

YES, If you're talking about these earrings I just won :) They are made by Sofia Masri and they're called Espresso Swirl Earrings.

I'm feeling very lucky that I was the randomly chosen winner of these beauties in a giveaway offered by April of SecondSister Jewelry. April's blog is called Suaviloquy, meaning "sweetness of speech". She must also be sweet of character to have arranged giveaways of TEN of her favorite things! THANKS April and THANKS Sofia~ I'm looking forward to wearing these earrings! Sofia was Etsy's featured seller this time last year, you can read her interview here.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cookies Behind, Gifts Ahead

Whew! The second and final cookie exchange was a lot of fun. I always enjoy visiting with my friends and neighbors but I'm glad the baking is done. THANKS to Diane for hosting! With all of the great treats I picked up at the two cookies parties this past week; the cookies are literally "behind" me. And on my thighs and belly too, not just my behind I'm sure...

The gift giving season (not the true meaning of the holidays, I do realize) is upon us. Ours is a family of mixed religious beliefs so we get to celebrate Hanukkah AND Christmas. Last night we brought in Chinese food from a very good local restaurant called Pen's. We had a huge dinner with Rob's sister, her husband, their adult son who was visiting from NYC, their daughter and her husband and 1 year old son. If was a fun night and when they left after dinner it was nice to know that we'll see almost all of them again on Christmas Day in Gettysburg, PA. My parents took part as well since they were here visiting from Maryland this weekend. We said goodbye to them this morning after a big brunch at home complete with potato latkes. The kids got some Hanukkah presents and have begun speculating about what might be under the tree on Thursday morning. Tonight we'll start lighting candles on a menorah. Between the flames of the candles and the lights on our tree, we'll have a bright holiday season for sure!

The CREST group has already started celebrating by taking part in a gift exchange set up by Mary Ellen. I sent a purse made of Joel Dewberry's red and black manzanita fabrics to Mandie of Dear Sophie. Sophie is her cat/assistant, they make nice jewelry together.
The gift I received came from Judy Kaplan of Silver Dot Jewelry. She made me a wonderful pair of everyday earrings that are just my style. They are made with vintage Swarovski crystals and they'll go with everything. A BIG THANK YOU goes to Judy for this generous gift! In addition to visiting her shop, you can see her talking about her jewelry on Good Morning America Now. Just click here for the link. Oh, she and I also noted the fact that my maiden name is Kaplan.
With a Hanukkah/Christmas card in the background I took a photo of them:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I just got home from cookie exchange party #1 of 2. The next one is Saturday morning, here in my neighborhood. Tonight I brought home a collection of yummy treats plus I enjoyed chatting with old friends as well as new ones. THANKS to Kristin for hosting this fun event!

In other news, I received my new ring from Firefall Studios today. They re-sized it for me and it fits perfectly! This is the ring I wrote about wanting back in October and now thanks to my parents for funding most of it as this year's gift; it now belongs to me. It has the birthstones of our two children which happen to look great together. Here's a photo in case you didn't memorize the image when I posted months ago...
The other neat thing about the stones in this ring is that there is one peridot, the birthstone of our 1st child and there are 2 amethysts~ the birthstone of our 2nd child. Get it?

I just finished making 6 dozen of these for a cookie exchange. They're quick, easy, and really good as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea or coffee! Click to view:

Click to play Pecan Roll-Ups Recipe

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Welcome: Lotus Life Art

Each week I'm using Etsy's Pounce feature in order to discover new items "from undiscovered shops waiting for their first sale" as the Etsy site states. This week's welcome is extended to Lotus Life Art in Boston. Here is what the artist, Tammy Ricker, says about herself on her website:

I do not consider myself a painter of one specific subject matter but in my work I find myself using shapes that remind me of fragments of nature - leaves, flowers, water, sky. I am fascinated with abstraction as a visual expression, a means of expressing a range of feelings and ideas through color and composition. As I begin each piece I do not always know where it is going. Sometimes I begin with a rough idea, other times I work the surface applying layers, letting each piece assert itself as I work around it. Glazing over layers of applied paint provides me with texture and depth, a surface to immerse myself. Cave drawings, ancient art and Miro are timeless sources of inspiration. Bringing clay into my studio this year has led me to explore even further with glazes and building forms that evoke traces of nature yet leave space for individual interpretation. By painting and sculpting I am not only able to express ideas and feelings, but also to communicate with people and, with any luck, strike a chord within them. My goal is to evoke a state of reflection, through which the viewer is transported momentarily, and then returns enriched.

Her works include original watercolors, oil paintings, and ceramic tiles. This piece, titled Abstract Watercolor 10, is made up of 2.5" squares. It is a detailed, colorful collection of original watercolors on handmade paper. Click on the image to visit Tammy's shop!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I won a yard of fabric today! Nathalie Brault, shop owner of Recupe Fashion, hosted a giveaway on her Women-prenuers Galore blog earlier this month. I found out today that I'm the winner of a yard of Alexander Henry fabric donated by Dawn Hansen, shop owner of MsFabric. So tonight I'm sending out a big THANK YOU to both of them~ and I'm looking forward to getting my prize so I can put it to good use! If you get a chance, please check out their shops :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday is an awful way...

Monday is an awful way... to spend 1/7 of your life!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

DIY Paper Ball Ornament

DIY Paper Ball Ornament
This is a fun looking project I plan to try this week. I discovered the post on Design*Sponge which is a fun place that I did not know about until today. This project was posted by Derek & Lauren who co-own The Curiosity Shoppe. Yet another cool place that I just found by accident today! You can read their blog here: Smarts & Crafts.
Click on the photo to get the instructions. If you give it a try, let me know!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Favorites

One of my favorite things to do with my "me time" is to read. I like fictional books; the stories within are often so unlike real life that I can forget my own everyday issues and focus on the drama surrounding the characters. Once in a while I'll stumble across a story that does remind me of some part of my real life, and that can be thought provoking. Would I act or feel the same way as the character? Did this author experience the same situation in his/her own life and decide to write about it? What would I do if what follows in the story should ever happen to me? Yes, books can be food for thought.

Care to recommend any good books? Post 'em here!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Whine and Chocolate

This morning I wrote (whined) on Twitter that I would rather nap on my comfy couch than go to exercise class. I'm sure you'll all be relieved to know that I did the right thing and went to Jazzercise. It really is fun and a great workout, I just find it hard to leave home sometimes when facing a 30 minute drive in the rain to get there. So in addition to feeling a bit more energized from class; I also was the lucky winner of a randomly drawn door prize. THANKS ROBIN!

Now we all know what Santa does in his spare time!
I'll confess that there was more candy in the bag, but it mysteriously disappeared while I was driving home; I see only empty wrappers littering the car. Hmmm...
Now I'm heading upstairs to shower with my new body wash~ it smells great!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday Welcome: Strawberry People

Each week I'm using Etsy's Pounce feature in order to discover new items "from undiscovered shops waiting for their first sale" as the Etsy site states. This week's welcome is extended to Strawberry People of Berkeley. This shop showcases paintings that were created "using the elements of sacred geometry". All paintings are originals. Each painting is carefully thought out using a compass, ruler & easily erasable pencil. Then each one is filled with color using watercolor, gouache, and acrylic paints.
This is "No. 1" from the Gold Series; it was created with a compass and acrylic paint.

Also for your viewing pleasure, I've chosen "No. 3" from the Singular Multiplicity series. It was created using a compass, ruler, pencil, and watercolor pencils.

And just in time for this holiday season, another acrylic called "Candy Cane Kaleidoscope". Of course you can use it year 'round, you know!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Need A Hand?

Need A Hand?
Or maybe just some feet...
My latest treasury list!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cup Cozy Madness!

This is by far my most popular item to date. And now you can take advantage of this great offer:
~~END OF THE YEAR SPECIAL at Maggie Sue Designs~~
Buy three cup cozies and get the fourth one FREE! Please pay as you normally would and I'll refund you via paypal. You can take advantage of this more than once, and can purchase additional cozies as you wish (e.g. buy 6 get 2 free and so on). Offer ends when 2008 ends (Eastern time). ENJOY!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Blogging will resume early next week when I am through with the craft show.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Do you like free stuff?

Would you like to be one of two winners of over $750 worth of handmade goodies? If that sounds good to you, speed on over to Emily's Busy Mom Blog and enter the contest "An Etsy Christmas".
The contest ends Saturday, December 6th at 9:00 pm so don't delay. Two winners will be randomly chosen and the prizes will be equally divided.
By the way, I'm one of the sponsors who is offering a prize in the contest. You could win a cup cozy and coordinating Tame Your Mane ponytail holders from my shop :

So enter now and GOOD LUCK!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday Welcome: Art Bridge Studio

Each week I'm using Etsy's Pounce feature in order to discover new items "from undiscovered shops waiting for their first sale" as the Etsy site states. This week's welcome is extended to Art Bridge Studio of Columbus, OH. As I was pouncing from shop to shop the colorful birdhouses from Art Bridge Studio caught my eye.
Here is the bio from their shop profile:
The The Art Bridge Studio is a program of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Ohio. We work with people of varying capabilities and desires. The program emphasizes the growth of the individual through the vehicle of art. Unlike the usual approach to a piece, which begins with the challenge of design, UCP participants begin by asking how they will meet the physical challenges imposed by their disability. They may need a headpiece, mouthpiece, a mat to lay on, or they may even use their feet. Participants in UCP’s Art Program do many group projects, learning how to work together, including community projects with school children. They also attend outings to museums and art exhibitions, and many individuals have had their works displayed in galleries and shows in our city, Columbus, and in cities throughout the country.
Oh~ I forgot to mention that you're also helping the birds AND the environment! These are fully functional weather-coated birdhouses with a roof that comes off for easy cleaning. Each one is made of reclaimed wood, scrap which was headed for a landfill. So enjoy looking at these and then add this shop to your list of favorites!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Show Prep

This upcoming weekend, December 6th and 7th I'll be a vendor at the Annual Holiday and Hometown Arts and Crafts Show in Leesburg, VA. This will be my 3rd year at this show and I'm really looking forward to greeting old customers and to meeting new ones. This year for a little added fun, I'll put out my button rings. They're adjustable and colorful and once they're gone, they're gone.
Also new in my booth this year are the Cup Cozies. These have been just FLYING out of my Etsy shop. A cup cozy paired with a coffee shop gift card is the perfect gift for anyone because it is not overly personal, it is good for the environment, and can be used even if you're not a coffee lover~ get tea, apple cider, or hot chocolate! Here are a few of the newest designs:
If you're planning to be near Leesburg this weekend, click on the banner below to get directions to the show, admission is FREE and it is INDOORS! Hours are Saturday 9am to 4pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm.