Monday, December 31, 2007

As 2007 Ends

My holidays were different this year. For the first time in 31 years I was away from Jim on Christmas Day. He was in Arizona and I was in Utah with children and grandchildren. Of course the one thing I didn't pack was a camera and I don't have any of the picture files that others took yet. Spending the day with the grandkids was fun but I did miss Jim.

I got home the day after Christmas and have spent the time reading constantly and trying to get over a cold and fever that I brought home with me. The fever has broken but the head cold is still there, better but still there. I am proud of the fact that I am coming up on my one year anniversary of not smoking. That means this cold so far has not turned into a cough and I really like that.

As the year ends I don't really have a lot to say. I am still turning over what kind of goals I will set for myself in the coming year. I want them to be realistic but I tend to get a bit grandiose and plan more than I could possibly do and then frustrate myself into doing nothing at all.

Thanks for reading. Comments are always welcome.
Kathy

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Birthday to Tammy


Shhhhhh.....don't tell her that I told the world she turns 31 today. She still claims 29, however I happened to be in the hospital 31 years ago today rather than at my sister's wedding so I should know.

This is Tammy. She is my oldest daughter, wife to Jason and mom to 2 great kids. (inserting shameless mother's plug here) She sells Avon products and if you are interested there is a link to her Avon shop in my left sidebar.

I get to go see them all in Utah along with the families of my son and youngest daughter very soon. It looks like it will be a white Christmas up there. That makes it a good thing that I saved some of my winter clothes when I moved to Arizona.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Starting a New Decade

Our oldest grandchild turns 10 today.

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Kaycee,
Happy birthday to you.

She and I have spent quite a bit of time together although not since I moved to Arizona. We both love to play card games, read a lot and create.

I knew she had the life of a crafter in the making a few years ago when we were in Joann's and she insisted on getting a bag of pompoms and glue. Like many with crafting ADD she has also tried watercolor painting, paper crafts, beading, crocheting and embroidery.

She doesn't know it yet but she has a surprise coming her way next week that I won't give away here.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Handcrafted Life

A handcrafted life?
Why would you want one?
Why not?

In all parts of life, luxurious and basic, you can find handcrafted items to satisfy desires and fulfill needs.

Buying handcrafted things can put you in touch with the positive energy in the object that was created by someone who is proud of what they make. You can't get that with things from big box stores when you choose a new purse, shirt or set of dishes.

Many times working with an artist or crafter is the only way to get exactly what you want. The combination of their skill and your vision can be used to create an object just for you. You know you can't just walk into a store and say "I like the hat but I would prefer it in red." With a crafter you can and you can get it.

Buying handcrafted can now put you in touch with the world. Before internet days and online shopping was a reality you had to go to the local art shows, craft fairs and festivals. Now with venues like Etsy among a growing list of others you can buy from artisans around the world.

Take a look around your home and see where you can fit handcrafted things into your life and then go shopping.

Buy handcrafted and get something from someone who cares.



This post is part of the EtsyBloggers December 3rd carnival.

Monday, November 19, 2007

More Floor News

This Guido (the disappearing floor guy) is a real ass. Excuse the language but you will understand in a minute.

Through the guy who gave us his name (thanks?) we found out where the tile we have at our house so far was purchased because he picked the stuff for us up in his truck. Jim decided we could finish this job ourselves and I was willing to help him try so off we went on Saturday to the supplier. We had a sample and explained about the abandoned job and how we needed the stuff- tile, thin set and grout - to finish the job because the original tile was purchased there but not enough for completion and we needed a match. They asked who did this to us and right away there was a reaction to the name and it wasn't a good one. It seems that even thought we gave Guido the money to buy everything needed for the job he wrote the tile suppliers a bad check. Now you get the ass part right?

The tile folks were very kind and we got what we needed at the contractors price which I thought was generous. From the customer service there I can recommend Tanner Materials if you are looking for tile or stone for your home. They are on Arizona Avenue in Chandler.

We started on Saturday and worked through last night and made quite a bit of progress for two people learning as we worked. Jim is cutting and laying tile. My job was to get the glue from the kitchen floor that adhered the old sheet vinyl. We were told thin set won't work well on top of that glue and it had to be removed. I also grouted the hallway and a couple of spot left undone in the master bath.

We won't be done by Thanksgiving but we have taken charge of the job, our home and our lives and it feels good, sore muscles, knees and all.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Last Year

Last Thanksgiving was our first in Phoenix. Jim and I were fortunate enough to have company with us last year. One of our daughters with her family and my son and his family were able to be with us. After years of cold Thanksgivings in Utah the warmth of a Phoenix November was nice. We decided to set up the meal on the patio just because we could. It was a relaxed and comfortable way to serve Thanksgiving dinner. We used tablecloths and the nice dishes as if we were inside in the dining room. Everyone easily fit around the 6 foot long table. At 6 months old Joslyn was the youngest of the group. Not being on big people food yet she still shared in the celebration by have her first baby sweet potatoes. I remember us all being amused with them ending up all over her face but she did seem to like them.

I just spent quite awhile looking for some pictures of the day on Jim's laptop when I finally remembered that they were one of our loses when his hard drive died. So I have nothing to share with you of the day except my thoughts.

This year will be another first for us. No company for Thanksgiving and we won't be going anywhere. It's okay though because I know I will be seeing family at Christmas. I am kind of getting used to this empty nest thing now. We have been talking off and on about the menu for just the two us. My goal is to downsize everything so we don't end up with too much left over. Jim has a favorite cranberry salad I have to make. We have a smoked turkey coming as a gift that I am looking forward to. I will figure out the rest of the menu over the weekend as we figure out as well what to do about our floor situation.

Maybe I will even get a picture or two. I imagine blog world, at least US bloggers, will be flooding their pages with turkey and pumpkin pie shots. Why not me as well.

This post is part of an Etsy Bloggers Street Team Carnival. You can learn more about the team here. The Carnival will be once again hosted by Stormy Designs. Thanks for doing that 2 weeks in a row!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Garage, Your Garage

With our ongoing saga of the new floors in the house there is another complication. The Guido has his saw set up in our garage. Thank goodness we have a painted garage floor. Jim is very particular about the way the garage looks and right now it is a mess. The good thing about a painted or sealed garage floor is the easy cleanup. When this project is all done and the tools and tile are all taken care of getting all the dust and mess cleaned up should be easy.

More of My Floor

I fear that this job has been abandoned by the Guido. He asked for money on Tuesday. The response he got from us was that we needed to see the rest of the materials for the job before we gave him anymore. He has agreed to this and this has been the same response for more than a week. At the beginning of the job we were told that all materials were paid for and being held in his name. We told Guido that we wanted the supplies here. Each time he had some reason why the materials won't be here today but maybe tomorrow.

At about 10:30 Tuesday morning he left without a word which wasn't that unusual to finally, I hoped, get the rest of the stuff for the job. I was expecting to see tile, grout, and thin set in my garage by that afternoon. He never returned. Jim called and left voice mail on his phone and the call was never returned. He didn't show up yesterday or so far this morning. The living room is about 2/3 done. The hallway has tile down but no grout or sealer. The kitchen has not been worked in at all. This should be a Thanksgiving to remember and laugh about but the way I feel about this right now it won't be for a few years.

Are you a Stephen King fan?

I am a fan. The first Stephen King novel I remember reading was Salem's Lot. I was terrified by it but couldn't put it down until the end. I don't usually go out of my way to read or watch movies that fit in the category of horror. Because Salem's Lot was so frightening for a long time I didn't read any of King's work.

Years later I rediscovered his work and loved what I found very much. I read the novels Misery and The Stand along with Delores Claiborn and Rose Madder. I found out that I could read Stephen King and still sleep at night. There is no denying that the man is a master storyteller and every chapter in any of them just made me want to keep going even in the 3 inch thick paperback of The Stand.

His collections of short stories were the books that I really enjoyed. The Shawshank Redemption which was a great movie came from the collection titled Different Seasons. The other collection I read was Skeleton Crew. This set of short stories includes The Mist by Stephen KingIt had another story that I remember which was Word Processor of the Gods. I don't know if I am strange but most of the time I like to read a book before seeing it in a film. The written work seems to help me put depth to the story on the screen and make it a better experience for me. If you like to do the same thing and read The Mist, Skeketon Crew was published in 1983, however I'll bet you can find it in a library or bookstore.

What I find exciting is that the same director that did The Shawshank Redemption also directed The Mist. To me that means a well crafted movie that I look forward to seeing even if it does scare me to death. If you want to know more than I can tell you here follow the links to the movie site. You can find trailers, downloads, a director's interview and more.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Handmade = Heartmade

I would like all of you to consider buying somethings handmade for the upcoming holiday season. I know that may not be possible for every gift you purchase. Each of you will have on your list a few who will insist that they receive what will make giant retailers rich and 3 of every 5 on this planet will have on Christmas morning. Please remember however that when you give or receive a handmade gift that it comes from the heart of the creator every time for every item. All handcrafters know that realistically they will never get rich but struggle with design and creation anyway. It is a drive from within that flows out to the world with high hopes and much love. I ask you to consider some of the things I have found on Etsy.com that I think would be well received by many on your gift giving list.


This bird feeder was hand thrown on a wheel from porcelain clay. The roof lifts up to fill with seed. It was high fired so will withstand most of the harshest winters, which is when the birds need help with food the most. Chickadees and titmice love 'em. Our cardinals try, but they are too big. This is my first bird feeder to feature my original hand made decals. Click the image for a detail look at the designs. If you have concerns with squirrels, try safflower, squirrels don't like it. The best feature of my feeders is that they are dish washer safe. When they get moldy and cruddy, pop them in the dishwasher and they come out brand new!
The bird feeder is by khphillips.etsy.com

Morgan Street soaps are all handmade from scratch using the cold process method. They contain all their naturally occurring glycerin. Glycerin is so important because it is a humectant, it draws moisture from the air and brings it to your skin where it is much needed – can you say bye-bye dry skin? This bar has DOUBLE shea butter in the recipe & poppy seeds for exfoliation! This one's definately for the GUYS! __________________________________________________________ PATCHOULI & BAY RUM: A combination of mood calming Patchouli essential oil and Bay rum essential oil. Bay Rum has a sweet spicy aroma that helps calm the mind. Patchouli possesses a warm, mellow, earthy scent that was especially popular in the 1960’s - a popular stress reliever. This one's a definate manly man scent!
_________________________________________________________
Handcrafted for you by morganstreet.etsy.com

You may ask yourself why buy from JPATPURSES?
I take an extra step that no other Etsy Shop does that makes my handbags, purses and accessories unique. Due to my special bat quilt interfacing technique that I developed, each item has structure, strength and stability yet are still so soft and comfortable to carry. An original JPAT is quality you can carry!!!




Again handcrafted love and quality by jpatpurses.etsy.com.


These are just three of the sellers and treasures I have found browsing etsy. There are literally thousands and thousands more sellers and products. I truly believe that you could find something for everyone and I challenge you to try and let me know how it turns out.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Why oh why?



Why oh why do I do what I do? First of all what I do falls in the category of needle arts - knitting, crocheting mostly with bouts of quilting, tatting, embroidery and needlepoint. It all comes with a love of making something from simple tools and a bit of string.

I run that Barbara Mandrell song through my head sometimes "I was knitting when knitting wasn't cool." About ten years ago I was in a craft store buying a set of needles probably to start a new project and the size I wanted was in a closet with a UFO on them. Anyway, when I went to the register to pay for them the young clerk(late teens I think) said to me "I think it is so cute that some people still knit." Within a couple years everyone discovered knitting and she was probably a member of a Stitch and Bitch Group.

My first memory of something knitted was a pair of slippers from my grandmother one year for Christmas. It was the first time I realized the value and beauty and in a way honor receiving a handmade gift brings to life. I thought it was so wonderful that you could take yarn and knitting needles and create something that provided comfort and warmth in other words coziness. Now you see the reason for my shop and blog names.

The start of my knitting began on the front porch of a neighbors house. Sylvia and I were in about 5th grade and she knew how to knit. My mom didn't know how and the slipper grandma was in Kansas and I lived in California. Anyway I got my hands on a small skein of Red Heart and a pair of needles and she patiently got me through it. Casting on, garter stitch and binding off and I was hooked. I was going to make the world cozy with blankets, potholders and slippers. Never mind that she was right handed and I am a lefty by the end of a couple afternoons I could knit. If by any chance in this crazy internet universe she should ever read this, thank you Sylvia Lerma who lived 2 doors down the street in Oxnard.

My first big project was an afghan. I bought a skein of every color the local drug store had. This was in the days before the big super saver acrylic monsters. I think it was about two ounces which was just enough for a square of knitting before I got bored with a color. I made garter stitch strips that I later crocheted together with black yarn to make the blanket. I think my mother still has that afghan in her home more than 40 years old now and last I saw it all in one piece.

Over the years knitting is a craft I have picked up and put down. I picked up other skills and techniques through books always having to reverse all the hand references in the directions. There is always a knitted UFO somewhere in my life and it has been that way for about 40 years. I don't see this ending anytime soon either. As long as my hands and eyes hold up I will continue to learn and create.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Such Beauty



I am still in awe when I see some of the wide open spaces in the western United States. On our trip to Utah in October we came home using a route that I had never been on before. From Salt Lake we went through Zion National Park to Kanab. From there we took 89a to Sedona. Coming around a bend on 89a to see a new vista open up before us took my breath away several times. This picture was taken on the Vermilion Cliffs Highway. There was mile after mile of these stunning colors and cliffs along the road. If you ever get a chance, take the drive from Kanab, Utah to Flagstaff, Arizona on 89a. Be sure and take your camera along. You won't regret it. Click on the picture to see it larger for the full effect.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Floor Continues

Well the bathroom is all grouted and the toilet is back in place. The tiles still need to be sealed. That I am told should happen tomorrow when the grout is completely dry.

In the meantime my family room and kitchen haven't been done at all. I am sure I will love it when done but getting there is going to make me crazy.

The Guido had to leave today at 2 to pick up his van in the repair shop. Why this should cut into a workday he was hired for is more than I can understand. Oh well.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Guido

Well he came about 10 a.m. yesterday with a box of grout mix. The plan was baseboards in the bathroom and grout so it could be sealed and done today. So much for plans. He had to leave at 2 p.m. for a dentist appointment because a filling had fallen out and he was in pain. I am sorry this happened to him but once again frustrated by another day basically lost.

The baseboard wasn't finished so no sealing today. He keeps wanting me to acknowledge what a hard worker he is but that is just a joke. My husband is at work before Guido gets here and isn't home until he is gone. You tell me who works a longer, harder day. One day Guido said to me that he would work late so he could get a lot done. Guess what his idea of late was- only 5:30. Jim got home from his job more than an hour later than that after a work day that started at 6:00 a.m.

I am just so frustrated by this process. I know quality work takes time but this just seems unreal.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More on My House

I don't know about this Guido guy. The work he has done so far seem high quality but so slow. Once again yesterday he told Jim he would be finished in 2 weeks. I just don't understand how that can happen. The master bath is not complete yet and tomorrow is the end of the first week. He still has hallway, family room, kitchen, fireplace and entry to do. I am afraid this guy will be here till Christmas. I don't know how he can make a living with the amount he bid the job at.

I am finding it difficult to get much done as well. The guy is afraid of dogs so I spend a lot of my day keeping my dog and him apart. Patches has always been a house dog and is wondering why I keep throwing him out in the backyard all day. Even with food water and treats he cries and barks to come in and can keep that up for hours. I started taking crocheting projects outside and sitting with him. Does this sound silly-trying to keep a dog calm and quiet? If I come in the house then Guido wants to start talking which keeps him and me from getting anything done. I would rather he go faster and I stay with the dog and crochet. Besides I like my dog better.




The picture above is Jim not Guido taking out the kitchen floor. Removal and hauling away was supposed to be part of the job. At this point I think Jim will do anything to speed up the process so we pulled carpet, laminate floor, vinyl, baseboards and tack strips and hauled it all away. Patches didn't mind because he got to watch this part of the job.

God I hope this doesn't turn into the disaster I am afraid it will be and please let the Guido be done and gone by Thanksgiving because I am not silly enough to think that 2 weeks is going to happen.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Update on the Floor

CURRENTLY BLOGGER IS HAVING TROUBLE LOADING PICTURES. I WILL EDIT THIS POST LATER AND PUT IN THE PICTURES.
Over the weekend things moved along. Jim can't stand just watching so he got busy taking out the laminate floor and the sheet vinyl in the kitchen and dining area. Guido continued in the master bath. This morning there are a few pieces left to do in there and then grouting and sealing. After that the living area and hallway work will start. Yesterday we watched football games on a small tv in our bedroom. It feels like we are living in a studio apartment.

Happy Monday!
Cozy

Mini Monday

What is a Mini Monday? Well a mini is a tool that Etsy sellers have to make small photo versions of their shops or the shops of others. Every other week I will be featuring an Etsy seller using an Etsy mini on the Etsy Bloggers Team Blog.

This weeks featured team member is Sixth and Elm and you can take a look at the post by using the blog link above. Go on take a look and let us know what you think. We love comments.

Friday, October 26, 2007

My House



This is my house as of 9 pm last night. Carpeting is gone in the master bath, family room and hallway. The laminate floor in the kitchen and dining area is going too. Replacing it will be a travertine tile floor. I and very excited about this however I may be living this way for as long as 2 weeks depending on how the job goes. The tile work in the bathroom started this morning. A guy named Guido is doing it. He seems to be doing beautiful work and sets each tile in place like a diamond in a ring. That is good for quality but may not be so good for speed. I will keep you informed about progress and my sanity as this goes on to hopefully and happy completion.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Why I Went to Utah




I was away from home earlier this month for about a week and a half. The reason was a new grandson in Utah. His name is Kaleb James. He certainly is a peaceful little baby although I am sure he has his moments. Babies just never seem to get to upset around grandma's though. Do you think that might be inborn instinct? Anyway here are some pictures of him from a visit with grandpa and grandma.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sources of Inspiration

I have more than one book I turn to when looking for inspiration. The book depends on what I want to do that hour, that day or that week. I collect reference books for knitting, crochet and quilting. I use them when I am feeling bored with what I am doing. Going slowly through the pages of this type of book, with my stash of yarns and fabrics in mind can lead to lots of new ideas. My oldest "craft bible" is the red Knitting book published by Abbey Press. I bought this book more than 30 years ago when I wanted to do more with knitting than garter stitch. It is starting to fall apart but I still love it's patterns, pictures and accurate instructions. It has followed me through getting married, living on Guam, in Vallejo, San Diego, Murray, Stansbury Park and now Apache Junction. With all the moves there was never any thought that this book would be given away with all the others I thinned out each time I needed to pack.

I also make use of some of the newer books in my collection. I have 2 of Vogue's Stitchionaries and I have found them to be a lot of fun. As you can see here I am using the chevron rib to make the red scarf that may end up in my Etsy shop. Then again I may just keep it for myself. Everyone needs a bit of power red in their wardrobe. I haven't finished it so I haven't decided. The pattern is a 16 row repeat so it is a bit more complicated than I usually do but the resulting texture is very pleasing and worth the effort and concentration I think.

Quilting, like knitting and crocheting, has been a part of my life for a long time. I got started on it by watching Georgia Bonesteel's PBS series. I have a few of her books. Her one block at a time method fit my life at the time with apartment living and three small children. I also made use of the "Quilt in a Day series when I helped a Navy wives group make a raffle quilt each year to help support communities events for kids like a breakfast with Santa Claus. I have shown in the top picture my latest quilt block book. Just looking through it puts me in idea overload.

I know the blog carnival topic was "Craft Bible" but I am a Gemini with crafting ADD so I just have to share more than one. Thanks for reading. If you want to read more posts on this topic from other bloggers you can use the blog carnival link on the left to take you to them.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Saturday Soccer Game

This is my oldest grandchild at a Saturday morning soccer game. She is the one with the ponytail and black headband. Kaycee started playing soccer this year and seems to be enjoying it. I like the idea of kids in sports. Learning how to play within the structure of the rules of a sport and as part of a team can be a positive experience for a child. I had been hearing about her practices and games for awhile now when we chat online. I was happy to be able to be at a game to cheer her on.


When I am not there the pictures below show her regular cheerleaders. They are mom Tammy, brother Tristan and dad Jason. Even with the cloudy sky and little bits of rain it was a fun morning being all together to see Kaycee and her teammates play even if Tristan's face isn't quite showing that.



Next family post - the new baby.
Cozy

First of the Travel Pictures


These pictures are of my daughter Cindy's children. We stayed in a trailer behind their house during our visit to Utah. It was like having our own little apartment. The kids slept in it with us one night so mom and dad could take a short anniversary trip to Wendover. These guys are a lot of fun to be with and I enjoyed every minute with them. Hunter (running in the red plaid shirt) is 4 years old and in preschool. He seems to enjoy school and comes home from it with something new learned every time. Joslyn (aka Posie) is amazing. When we chat on a web cam set up she seems to really know she is communicating with the picture on the screen. For 17 months old I think that is pretty good.

Until Later,
Cozy

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Back Home

We got home from our trip to Utah yesterday. It was wonderful to see all our kids and grandkids. Meeting the newest grandchild was the reason for the trip and well worth it. On the way home we took our time and drove through Zion National Park and then to Sedona and then home. I took lots of pictures of people and places and will start posting them tomorrow. I came home with a cold and today I am very tired.

Until tomorrow,

Cozy

Thursday, October 4, 2007

So Peaceful


I don't think there is anything on this earth that looks more peaceful than a sleeping baby. Of course we have a new person in our family to show off with a picture to illustrate this theory of mine. I hear he has lots of hair under that hat.
Comments are welcomed, appreciated and looked forward to.
Grandma Kathy

Kaleb James

Born at 8:56 pm, 8 lbs. 8 oz, 20 1/2 inches long.
Isn't he cute. This is from a phone camera and I have been promised more pictures.
I just love grandkids. All of them (6 now) are so much fun!


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

He is Here

I don't have pictures but we just got a phone call that our newest grandson is here. He is Kaleb James, born this evening weighing 8 lbs. 8 oz. His father, my son James, tells me that mother and baby are doing well. Jim and I will get to see him this weekend along with a visit to my daughters and their families.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Love Digital Photography

Digital photographs have saved me from a life with no pictures. Jim and I owned several film cameras years ago. Our big failure was getting the film developed. I just never seemed to get done. It makes me sad to think of all the shots that turned to garbage on rolls of film that were never developed.

When digital cameras came along I was so excited. I could have pictures! They could be printed by myself or professionals or used on a computer to email or have screen savers of my life that were just fun to sit and watch.




As an example of memories, the picture above is one. That is my granddaughter in her first big girl nightgown and slippers. She was so fascinated with the slippers! She kept looking down at her feet all morning. She loved them and I hear it may have started a thing with her about shoes. My daughter tells me she wants her shoes put on every morning when she gets dressed.


The picture of the scarf was taken inside with flash. 

Not counting cameras in phones we have owned 4 digital cameras. One Kodak, a Casio and two Nikons. Of those four the Nikons are my favorites. We have a Nikon Cool Pix which is slim, lightweight and great to take along on a trip for snapshots. The other is a Nikon D70. It is a heavier digital SLR camera. I use it a lot on a tripod for product photos for my online products as you can see in the photos above. It has a wonderful flash system that does well for inside shots. However I have learned that the best pictures are still outdoors in natural light which we have plenty of here in Arizona. I learn something new every time I use it. Nikon has a new camera. It is theNikon D300which I think may be worth checking out since I have been so pleased with other Nikon products.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Showing off Favorite Pumpkins

I belong to Etsy Bloggers Street Team and it is a great group. The goal is to spread the word about Etsy and the artists and crafters found there. This post today is themed for Halloween and gave me another reason to spend quite a bit of time cyber window shopping to pick out the items I wanted to show off today.

When I started thinking about this project the first symbol to come to mind for the fall season and this holiday was the pumpkin. In true creative Etsy fashion there are hundreds of pumpkin items all different, unique, and as I like to say about myself, created by people who don't know how to stop.

The earrings are by candysart.etsy.com. Aren't they beautiful? Not your typical Halloween earrings are they? These could be worn any time of year.

artTherapy.etsy.com made the Psychedelic Pumpkin. If you purchase one of these you know you are getting a one of a kind item. Can you tell I tend to like nontraditional things? What about you?

As for nontraditional what about Pumpkin Panda by GlassDragonBearsEtc.etsy.com? I don't think the part of the world he comes from celebrates Halloween but that certainly doesn't take away from how cute he is. The things in the picture with him (tree, jack o lantern basket and polymer clay candy corn) are included with him to make a complete display.

You can learn more about the Etsy bloggers by clicking here. You can see this carnival and others by clicking on the bloggers carnival info in the sidebar to the left. You can learn more and explore a wonderful handmade world by clicking here.

As always, if you have any, comments are welcomed.
Kathy

Thursday, September 27, 2007

So Honored

I discovered tonight that my headband "Points of Blue" was included in this beautiful treasury on etsy.com.
Many thanks to twolefthands for including my work.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Newest Headbands


My newest headbands to be listed have a soft rather delicate look to them. The first is named Calico and Lace. The earthy peachy, coral flowers are cooled down with touches of blue and green. I see this as wearable with a swirly skirt and peasant style blouse for a great look. The other headband I named Points of Blue. Of course with blue you would think of wearing it with anything denim from jeans to skirts and jumpers. I am sure you could come up with some great looks.

If these soft colors aren't your style keep an eye on the shop. I will soon be listing some tropical colors, some red and some bold black and white. I am lining them up so I can try to list something each day in my etsy shop. Any extras that I make will be listed on blujay or ecrater. The links to all these are to the left.

Thanks for taking the time to look. Comments are always appreciated and looked forward to.

Monday, September 24, 2007

With a Little Help


What a beautiful morning it was! The temperature was cool and it wasn't so breezy that my things were blowing all over the yard. With the help of my usual friend and supervisor I photographed and listed 2 new items in my etsy shop and on blujay.

I really like etsy the best as a place for handcrafted sales but have decided to branch out a bit for more exposure. I have heard many times that it is best to have your things out in more than one place. I have opened shops on blujay and ecrater. (8/8/2013 not on blujay or ecrater any longer but I still have an Etsy shop) I chose the last two mostly because the listings are free and introvert that I am they don't have such a great emphasis on the social network aspects. I know those kind of sites have their advantages but I don't do well with who likes who and how many friends connected to you today kind of places.

I want to create and sell things I am proud of to people who will enjoy them. I have decided that when I create multiples of an item the first listing is on etsy and the other places get the rest. If an item sells on etsy I can relist it from products on the other sites if there are any.

With all that said below you see what I listed today. It is the same fabric for both headbands. I couldn't decide which color I preferred for the edge so I did both. That way the customer can decide. If you are ready to go shopping there are links to the right that will take you to my shop.

Thanks from myself and Patches for taking the time to look.
If you have any, comments are always welcome.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Just A Silly Memory

I was just thinking a minute ago about something Jim said long, long ago. It was in the early years of our marriage (it's been 31 years so far) and I believe he thought it was a compliment. He was commenting on my housekeeping skills and said, "At least you never let us run out of toilet paper." Maybe that could go on my tombstone. What do you think?

Friday, September 14, 2007

OMG!


This has been such an exciting day!


I woke up to an email that said I had sold the scarf I listed yesterday. I was so excited because it is my first sale on Etsy. I have sold at craft shows for years but I am a beginner to selling online. I had some errands to run and since the wonderful buyer paid at the time of purchase I mailed it right out. Then it was on to the bank and then the car wash. The car wash puts your license plate in a database of some kind and keeps track of you. It said that it was my 10th wash so it was free! The day gets even better because when I come home and check in to let my buyer know the package has been shipped another sale comes through! This time it was for the bandana. I don't know if it seems silly to you but I turned right back around and went to the Post Office again. I knew tomorrow would be busy with other things and I didn't want to wait until Monday. I know it won't be like this everyday. I don't have enough stuff listed yet to do that anyway. But for today I am grateful. Thank you buyers. Thank you etsy.

One other note for today. It is my sister Karen's birthday. Happy Birthday to You, Sis!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Jason's Birthday

Happy Birthday Jason!

(my son-in-law, married to oldest daughter Tammy and father of Kaycee and Tristan)



Jason is shaking hands with Kasey Kahne. He also got him to autograph a car. This picture was taken at PIR, the Phoenix International Raceway in November of 2005. Jason came down to Phoenix from Utah to go to the race with my husband Jim. This driver is one of his favorites. He and his family are racing fans. I, however, am not and had to look up the driver's name so I would know for writing this up.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Me and Exercise

Way back in my archives you will see posts about my struggle to quit smoking. I think I have become a nonsmoker now. I feel good about that. However I gained about 20 pounds since then and it is really bugging me. I really don't think I changed my eating habits. I have heard that your metabolic rate changes when you don't have nicotine boosting it all the time. I have no idea if this is true. I just know what happened to me.

I am trying to get serious about getting back down to a weight I was before. I was using some exercise dvds from Prevention the past few months about 3 times a week and they felt pretty good. Doing the same routines in front of the tv every morning can get kind of stale though. I picked up a walking dvd by Leslie Sansone the other day. I am really glad I did. I feel more energized with the walking routines than I did with the Prevention exercise dvds. My goal is to do the 4 fast mile walking routine every weekday morning. I figure if I can increase the calories I burn each day and watch what I eat something has got to happen. I will let you know.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Soon To Be In My Shop




These two scarves will be in the shop soon. I need to measure them and get descriptions written. I wanted to share their pictures with you today.

I am feeling better about my pictures lately. A lot of that good feeling comes from using tips found in the etsy.com forums. I have a nice Nikon D70 camera and am learning new things about how to use it every time I take pictures.

When my husband bought the camera he got an extra light to go on the top of it. When I first started taking pictures for etsy I used that light source inside because he said it would be all I needed. Somehow those pictures were never ones I was really proud of.

Over and over I kept reading that the best shots were taken outside in natural light. I tried this on the last several things I have photographed and have seen a huge difference. To tell the absolute truth, I am not really happy about needing to go outside though. You see, I live in the Phoenix area and it is so hot all summer that it is not much fun going outside. Even early in the morning it can be closing in on 100 degrees by 9 or 10 am. When it gets cooler in the fall and winter I am sure I will be more enthusiastic about it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I thought you brought it....

Jim and I seem to do this all the time especially with cameras. We have three nice ones and never seem to have them with us at the right times. We have a very nice Nikon but it is big and heavy. It is wonderful for taking my online product pictures and posed shots of visiting family and friends here at home. We have two small slim cameras that do a good job of touristy snapshots away from home. It is these cameras that we never seem to have at the right time.

We took a trip to Lake Havasu City and were there from Thursday to Saturday and of course had no camera with us. One of the slim easy to use ones was at Jim's office. The other was at home and we talked about taking it. It ended up that each of us thought the other would pack it and of course neither of us did. This trip to Lake Havasu City could mean changes for us soon. We will know more by the end of the week.

On Sunday my brother came through Phoenix on his way to Long Beach from Houston. He and his girlfriend Leslie will be back at the same address again and they stopped to see us on the way back with her car and the last of her things from her Houston condo. It was nice to see them. We had a good visit and meal at Saute. Of course I told them all about Etsy. Leslie is a jewelry maker and may be looking for online selling opportunities some day. It would be nice to have an Etsy buddy in the family.

I showed her some of the thing I make and she really liked a ladder yarn shawl I made. They are some of the most dramatic things I make. She wanted one in the colorway you see below to be made as a gift. I have the knitting done and now need to get the fringe on it which is my least favorite part of creating one. That is today's project and the goal is to have it done by noon which should happen unless I spend too much time messing around online. (As if I would ever do that!)

I sold a lot of these in Utah in many different colors. I haven't made them to sell on Etsy yet but I suppose I should. They are a great way to dress up that basic black outfit. I sold many of them to people who go on cruises. They will pack very well without taking up much room and are a good accessory for formal night.

Off now to do a few chores, exercise, get dressed and get the shawl fringed. Have a fantastic day.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Craft and Art Helpers

I belong to the Etsy Bloggers Street team and it is such fun. The team has been hosting weekly blog carnivals. We are given a theme and then members create a post to go along with it. This week it was about who or what helps you in your crafty or artistic world. You can find links to all the entries here--
http://norabella-baby.blogspot.com/2007/08/this-weeks-blog-carnival-who-are-your.html

If you sell on Etsy and would like to join and get weekly blog inspirations go to Etsy Bloggers.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Everyday Companion



This guy is always a big part of my day. His name is Patches and he follows me through the house and lays down whenever I stop to do something. Even as I am writing this he is in the doorway of the room ready to go for whatever we do next. Maybe you can tell he is a great listener. With his one up one down ears and a tilt of his head I get positive reinforcement from him every time.

More seriously I think, like a lot of crafters and artists, that the inspirations come from all of our environment. Color and texture impressions come from all directions. I think we take a lot of this in without actually realizing it. It can be as simple for me as seeing the clothes for a new season on display in a store or the piles of fabrics or yarns in your favorite store.

One of my favorite things to do is spend an afternoon or evening going through my collection of knitting, crocheting and quilting books and magazines. I really don't do it very often because I would go into idea overload. They are great however for planting the seeds for new projects with colors, shapes or stitch patterns. I keep notebooks around for jotting down ideas as they come to me. Flipping through these notebooks can help me make new lists of ideas.

On a final somewhat silly note, one of my biggest pushes to create comes from housework avoidance. After all if I am spending an afternoon on an idea or project that may eventually be for sale online or at a craft show that is work right? To me it is and that certainly beats dusting or folding laundry in my book.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Audio Books

I discovered something about myself recently. I used to think that I wouldn't enjoy audio books. I am a visual learner and listening to a book in times past didn't appeal to me. As needlework, mostly crocheting and knitting, fill my hands and time this has changed. I have listened my way through television and movies for years while concentrating on the latest project. After listening to Kelly of Knit picks in her podcasts talk about audio books I thought I would give it a try. The Phoenix library has helped me out here with audio books available for download if you have a library card. I am so happy to have discovered a way to enjoy my two favorite things, reading and needlework. Getting the software needed which was easy to download from the library. My first book is by Michael Connelly and I am looking forward to more.



Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Jordan is 5 Today!


Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday Dear Jordan,
Happy Birthday to You.
Jordan's 5th birthday is today.  I hope he has a great day!


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Camera Struggles


I really like the pictures I took here when my daughter and her family came for a visit. The kids were outside enjoying a morning rain here in Apache Junction. The picture of Joslyn and her Dad I think is charming. It wasn't posed and they aren't looking at the camera. They are watching Hunter catch raindrops. They are very comfortable together and you can sure tell they are related.




Hunter was having a great time catching raindrops. I am glad the camera caught the splash so you know what he is doing.

I think a lot the process is - first be there with camera and second take a lot of pictures. That way you will be sure to catch some great ones.

I am still struggling with photography so I am not sure I have much in the way of useful tips to share for this carnival. Some days I take pictures and am proud and on other days the shots I have taken all get deleted. I think people are easier than products. After all, for me how many ways can a scarf or headband pose? I want good shots that will sell and I know the best way to get there is to practice, practice, and then practice some more. I guess I should be glad that my practicing doesn't include film developing costs.

I have a lot to learn about photography and will keep trying.I am leaving you with the Etsy Minis of 2 of the photographers I admire the most on Etsy. Clicking on a picture or their name will take you to their shops to experience more of their work.








Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Books on the Way

Knit Picks is one of my favorite online stores. I read the blog, listen to podcasts and get the emailed newsletter and snail mail catalog.

They are having a sale on books until tomorrow. All books are 40% off. I have had some stitch libraries on my wish list for some time now so I went ahead and ordered three of them. I am sure with my crafting ADD I will be driving myself crazy when they get here. I can see myself looking through and making up a million projects that I don't have enough lifetime left to do. Part of that is the point though, to have the pattern library as a reference to make my own designs and projects. I like making things that are useful but that doesn't mean they can't have style and beauty.

I am so looking forward to getting these books. There are 2 more that I really want that are not available until the 29th of August so even more dreaming and planning will be going an all fall.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Pleasant Distractions



We are done with a fun visit from a granddaughter that lives in Utah. You can see her here having fun at the hospital grandpa works at. We went and had lunch with him one day and got a tour before his afternoon meetings started.

We also got to the Pinetop-Lakeside area for a bluegrass festival last weekend. It was a small event but the music was enjoyable. Kaycee made a kaleidoscope at a childrens craft workshop. Between that and some snacks she enjoyed it even if she didn't really like the music like grandma and grandpa did.



I had hoped to have many more pictures of the time spent with her but we had some camera battery issues. Replacements have been found and those things will be fixed. Jim always does a great job of tracking things down and getting things working again.

My plan is to get back into blogging regularly now that summer visits are done. I also plan to get a lot of things up for sale online. I would like to have quite a bit ready to go as the fall sellling season starts. So it is time to get off here for now and get to work.

Until later.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Grandkids


I have no idea who said it first but "If I had known being a grandparent was so much fun I would have done it first". So true.


These guys brought their parents for a visit a couple weeks ago and got to stay for about a week. The picture shows them enjoying a morning rain. I don't know how anyone could make it through a Phoenix summer without the monsoon rains. I sure enjoyed having them here. We just did simple things spending time together. We took a dinner cruise on Canyon Lake, went to an old mining town and took a drive up to Roosevelt Dam, down to Miami and the back to Apache Junction.

Today another grandchild is arriving for a one week visit. She will be here this evening and I don't know who is more excited her, Grandpa, me or the dog. I am looking forward to lots of card games, book sharing and shopping. I'll try to keep up with adding pictures as the week goes by.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Only Pencil



I saw this etsy artist featured a while back on another blog and really enjoyed looking through the shop. It is so inspiring to see something come from such humble tools be so glorious. If I had money to burn I would start shopping here today. You can learn more about this artist from his own words found in the profile section of his shop.

"My medium of choice as you can see is pencil. I have always been fascinated with black and white images and pencil has that look that i love. I'm also a big fan of lighting and textures which pencil provides. Pencil is not a medium that gets the respect that it deserves, but i want to show people that it can be up there with more classical mediums such as oils and acrylics. If used correctly, it can produce incredible images that not only look beautiful but are so full of life. Well i hope you enjoy my artwork and hopefully one of my prints or originals can become part of your home or office."

If you would like to go shopping at the Only Pencil shop on Etsy.com clicking on the etsy mini for the shop will take you there. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It's Been A Week

It has been a week since I posted Tristan's Birthday. I have no silly excuses for why I haven't posted I just didn't. I would walk by the computer and think, "I am not going near that thing." It (the computer) has a habit of sucking up hours of my day and then I feel guilty for not getting anything more constructive done.


I did quite a bit of knitting this week. I was trying out ideas that had been floating around in my head. These were just little product and pattern ideas that you need to try to see if they work. Some of the ideas did and some didn't. In the end I came up with pattern stitches and sizes that I am happy with.


In an effort to get away from so much mass produced stuff in our lives I was thinking you need to start with the basics. What is more basic than being clean and shiny? So thinking along this line, I have come up with some pattern ideas for cotton wash cloths and dish cloths. I know these aren't new ideas but if we are going to get away from mass produced it will take a LOT of knitters and crocheters to make these things.



Enough for today.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tristan

Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Tristan. Happy first birthday to you.

This little guy was born a year ago today on free Slurpee Day at 7-11 stores. No he wasn't born at a 7-11 but they have free slurpees today. Grandpa and I got to see him walking on a web cam last night. Both the baby grandkids are walking now and it is so cute to see them together.
Happy Birthday!

Monday, July 9, 2007



Aren't the paintings above beautiful? This artist was my inspiration for doing my nest themed treasury. I am also very pleased to say that the painting from Kellydesigns in the previous post has sold.

I just love taking these little quick quizzes. I don't know that I will make any great life altering discoveries about myself but who cares? Thank you to Reflections of Myself blog for the link.
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