Thursday, January 31, 2008

TEA TREE OIL IS YOUR FRIEND

Tea tree oil is quite possibly the greatest thing to grace our planet.
This oil is good for so many different things it is ridiculous. In fact a giant (successful) MLM corporation has tapped into the beauty of it, exploited it to their advantage and now have women all over the country throwing Melaleuca parties.

TEA TREE : Melaleuca Alternifolia. A native plant of Australia, this plant has a zillion uses and benefits.

Tea Tree Oil is an antiseptic. It is also anti bacterial, anti viral, anti inflammatory and anti fungal. It is an immuno booster as well. It has been used to treat everything from cuts and burns, to athletes foot, thrush, measles, chickenpox, cold sores to scabies, hemmroids, carpal tunnel and warts. It is especially good with coughs, having a wonderful camphor like property. Scientists are currently resarching the use of Tea Tree Oil in the fight against HIV and AIDS.


HOW TO USE TEA TREE OIL:


Vapor Steam. Put some drops in a bowl of boiling water, put your head close, cover with a towel and breathe in the vapors. Or try a few drops in a vaporizer. Works wonderfully as an expectorant when inhaled. Try with bronchitis, croup or whooping cough. The camphor like properties really loosen mucus and help get the productive cough started.

In the Bath: Add 8 to 10 drops of Tree Oil into your bath and enjoy. A natural disinfectant, this is great for people with skin diseases or infections. My youngest suffers from chronic big toe infections from an ingrown toenail. I tried everything. Finally I just stared putting tea tree oil in his bath 3 times a week. It cleared up within the week and has not returned.
My oldest son has CP with a weak left side. His left thumb had a lesion that got infected and pussy and would not heal. I tried all the traditional salves and ointments etc. Finally I cleaned it with diluted tea tree oil, put it in his bath as well and it cleared right up and has yet to return.

Gargle: great for sore throats. Cut off strep before it has a chance to start. If you feel a tickle coming on, gargle well with 5 drops in a glass of warm water. Do that 2 -3 times per day and combat a season of sore throat.

Massage: In 1 ounce of carrier oil(such as grapeseed or sweet almond), put 5 drops. Massage into aching muscles and joints once daily to combat arthritis and rheumatism. Try it on hands and wrists for carpal tunnel. Or try massage once a week pre surgery to boost your immune system. Tired? Immune system low due to stress or fatigue? Try tea tree oil. It is a natural immuno booster.

Cleaning: If you have pets or kids you dont want to mess with harmful bleachy chemicals. Tea tree oil is your new best friend. In a large squirt bottle add 16oz warm water, 1/4 cup white vinegar and about 5-6 drops tea tree oil. (the vinegar smell will not linger on countertops) If you like it sweeter smelling you can add some lemon juice or some essential oil of your choosing. I like Bergamot or Grapefruit. The vinegar and the tea tree oil will kill virtually every germ in your kitchen. It is kid and pet friendly and keeps the planet clean and green.

Bathtubs and Toilets. Mix together 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let it foam and bubble. Then add 2 cups warm water, put in large spray bottle and shake well until all combined. Add 5 or 6 drops tea tree oil. GREAT for toilets and bathtubs. The baking soda is a natural abrasive without being harsh. The tea tree oil will kill the nasties. Again clean and green for the environment. What would you rather have running down your sink or toilet?? All natural Bicarb and tea tree oil?? Or bleach and chemicals that have to be used in a well ventilated area??

cosmetics: soaps, shampoos, lip balms, foot balms, lotions, acne treatments, toothpaste and more. Try it added to your mouthwash. 2-3 drops added to your gargle will leave your breath fresh and the bad breath bacteria gone.
Try a lip balm with tea tree oil to help combat dry chapped lips and cold sores.

Laundry: try adding a few drops to your washing loads. This will disinfect anything nasty lurking in your sheets or bedding, dirty underwear or socks.

Pets: You can use this safely on pets for fleas, ticks, mange, infections from scratching, ringworm, sprains, boils and more. Great for combatting bad breath as well. Always dilute and never use full strength on pets.

Air Deodorizer and sanitizer: in a atomizer or fine mist squirt bottle, mix 1 part vodka to 2 parts distilled water. Add 8-10 drops tea tree oil and a few drops of your favorite citrus essential oil, like Bergamot or Orange or Grapefruit. spray at will to make a room smell sweeter!

Here are some shops on etsy that offer Tea Tree Products in a variety of uses:


http://www.mymysticmuse.etsy.com/. This yoga mat spray is a wonderful use of tea tree oil. After a sweaty yoga session, spray your mat down with the mat spray. Keep your yoga gear fresh and clean! I know when I go to Yoga, we are in a small room and those sweaty mats can get a little "gag me". What a refreshing alternative to the chemical based disinfectants they have at the gym.





http://www.oliveessentials.etsy.com/ Facial spray. Keep face refreshed and young and help fight acne all at the same time!






www.thebalmshoppe.com/
This cuticle balm is from my shop. It is great for women who have their nails professionaly manicured. This cuticle balm has tea tree oil which will help keep nail beds and cuticles in tip top shape and help keep those little nicks and cuts from our manicures from festering or getting infected. I use it also on rough spots on my fingers and on my writers callus.





http://www.bathlife.etsy.com/ Natural deodorant from bathlife is all natural with tea tree oil which helps kill the bacteria that cause B.O. I am totally buying some of that! No Aluminum, just all natural ingredients to keep your pits smelling sweet and keep the skin dry and soft.





http://www.moxy.etsy.com/
Vegan friendly tea tree oil soap. looks so super and gentle to your skin. try this for a little all natural anti bacterial soap action in your shower.





http://www.bolosoap.etsy.com/
This doggie spray will work wonders for your pets coat and keep him fresh and help keep fleas at bay!





http://www.spartasoap.etsy.com/

all natural lip balm with tea tree oil. Try this bad boy for cold sores, chapped lips and other lip conditions.




I really hope you can appreciate the beauty and wonder of Melaleuca Alternifolia. With so many uses and medicinal properties, I am amazed it isnt more in demand. Hug A Tea Tree Today! Or at the very least go buy some tea tree oil** and try it in one of the many uses listed above.
please feel free to leave me comments about how YOU use tea tree oil. I am always loving new tips!
**tea tree oil is available at most health food stores, some craft stores in their candle/soap making section and online at various essential oil sellers. (any soap making site should sell it. try majestic mountain sage, brambleberry, camdengrey, pvsoap, chemistrystore etc) you can always google "purchase tea tree oil" and a jillion sites will come up. Make sure you get 100% tea tree oil. No blends.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I WILL be crafty this week!

So I have a joyful find at the fabric store this week. This little beauty to the left. A crisp white cotton with beautiful turquoise blooms and brown stems and leaves. Very cool, yet almost retro looking, My gandmother had fabric kind of like this back in the 70's. She had a pillow made of something fairly similar as I recall.
I was at my local fabric store, taking advantage of the 50% off quilting fabrics when I stumpled across this sweet little guy sitting in the remnants pile. How no one had bought him in the past 6 months is beyond me. There is a full yard and a half + of this remnant. So his original starting price was $10.99. Then he was reduced to $7.99. Then slashed again some time later to $4.99.
Yesterday, when I snatched him from his life of lonliness, he was reduced to a pitiful 1.29.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? $1.29 for this gorgeous piece of fabric?? I picked him up, dusted him off, gave him a hug and a squeeze, and named him "Old Blue".
He is now sitting in my pile of fabrics, happy and content with his millions of brothers and sisters, all contemplating when exactly they will be used to their full potential, instead of sitting around in their bins screaming "pick me! pick me!" everytime I walk by..
I have decided to use Old Blue first. This week my goal is to make Old Blue into something useful and beautiful-A simple totebag. A large sac base with two sturdy handles. Something I can take to the market, take to church, the beach or the pool. I am very much looking forward to carrying Old Blue around with me wherever I go. He makes me happy. His blooms never wilt, and he is always glad to see me.
So my goal: I WILL be crafty this week. I WILL use Old Blue for something useful so I have less mouths to feed in my fabric drawer. Too bad I cant claim Child Tax credits for all my babies!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

LIFETOUCH STRIKES AGAIN

One of my favorite blogs to read is http://listoftheday.blogspot.com/
A week or so ago he had a blog about the worst Olan Mills pictures out there.
I laughed so hard I was crying. This guy has a wicked sense of humor, and his captions were just so hilarious. Here is the link:http://listoftheday.blogspot.com/2007/09/great-olan-mills-photos.html

Well he has since advertised for more bad pictures. Apparently he has been approached by a publisher to create a whole book of these bad pictures with captions and has asked for submissions from the public. Now I think I may have a pretty good shot at getting into the book with any one of the followiong 3 photos.


This was 1982. I loved this shirt. It was shot through with threads of gold and the ruffles down the front really made my day. I had the typical early 80's haircut. I was growing out my Dorothy Hamill and had sprouted wings on the sides of my head.

I was not yet self conscious of my teeth, which were bucked AND gapped. My BFF Lindsey dubbed them "scissor teeth".

Apparently my school in central Ohio is in the middle of the mountains in this photo.







I am in 2nd grade in this photo. My mother took me to Shotteinsteins to get my outfit. This STUNNING striped turtleneck and matching green pants. My teacher, for some unknown reason, decided to comb all of my hair forward, giving my shag a helmet look. Still not quite conscious of how bad my teeth were...or how hideous this turtleneck actually was.


4th Grade. 1985, by this time I had become more aware of my teeth and tried not to smile with my mouth open. I had a haircut that I now refer to as a "shaglet"
It was a shag/mullet mix. I was trying really hard to NOT smile(see my dimple chin?). The photographer was trying to make me laugh and making my eyes water. All around it is a stellar example.



Now I realize I will get made fun of. I accept that. I can make fun of myself...then go eat a pan of brownies and drown my sorrows in chocolate.
Seriously though, I am going to submit one of these and hope for the best. Wouldnt that be awesome to be in a book? As I said in my very first blog 2008 is the year I go for my dreams. If I dont try I will never know. Just imagine, my bad pictures could be preserved forever and ever! My kids and grandkids and great grandkids could have that book and show their friends "Hey want to see how ugly my grandma was when she was little?"
ahhh, The glory of fame.

Monday, January 28, 2008

My Name is Jake..and I pick my scabs


This is Jake. Jake is a 2 year old Pit Bull/Boxer/whateverelse his mother slept with mix.
Jake is a compulsive scab picker.
Jake doesnt know the meaning of the word STOP!
Jake now has a cone to deal with.
A few weeks ago we noticed whenever he would scratch his ear he would start to whimper. So I called him over and took a look. He was getting bald patches and oozing wounds on his ear.
So we took him in, got it cleaned out and a cone. We put Salve on it every morning and every night. His ear looked like it had finally cleared up. So we took the cone off. The next morning it was oozing again, and he had blood on his toenails. So I washed and salved his ear and put the cone of humiliation back on. Day in and day out he waddled morosely with that cone. I could tell that his ear was itching so badly, but he could do nothing about it....but he tried! I would hear "thwump, thwump, thwump" of his back nails against the plastic cone. His thwumping would get more and more frantic, but I refused to take off that cone.
So Jake, in his infinite wisdom, decided to get that cone off come hell or highwater. He would walk too close to the walls, or deliberately hit his cone on the way out the door. By the end of day 2 the cone lay with 2 giant cracks in it. Now most people would throw it away and start over with a new cone. Good think I am a redneck. Nothing a little duct tape wouldnt fix!! Fast forward to day 7. The entire cone was covered in tape. THE ENTIRE CONE. I kid you not. Multiple fractures and splits, cracks and crevices. This dog DELIBERATELY tried to get out of his cone. But I stood my ground, adding more tape as every new fissure appeared.
The other morning I let him outside to do his business and when he came back in, there was no cone around his head. Somehow he had gotten out of it while he was out in the backyard. I think his little basset hound friend next door was a conspirator in this. I found the cone near the fence of Toby's house, while Toby was out in the yard near the fence, where he waits for Jake to come out and play. A coincidence?? Perhaps. All I know is that even duct tape couldnt fix the cone after he was done with it.
Oh well, the scratching seems to have stopped(mostly). I have my trusty squirt bottle and I follow him around and if I hear him scratching and if those nails go anywhere near that ear, he gets a shot right in the face. Maybe I should just duct tape his ear to his head.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I want my NBC!


Get Fuzzy is Copyrighted. Artist: Darby Conley (freaking hilarious Darby Conley)





So my television viewing pleasure has been completely destroyed by this writers strike.
All of my very favorite television shows only have 1 or 2 episodes left, or have already exhausted their run until this strike is settled.
What the hell am I supposed to do now?? Pay attention to my kids?? Clean my House?? Cook Dinner?? Sheesh. Darn writers!! Make me actually have a life and be productive. Just who do they think they are?? I am left with reality TV (Project Runway, American Idol, Ghost Hunters, The Soup and Best Week Ever) which really isnt so bad. I can always watch the BBC America. At least their programs arent affected by our disgruntled sitcom writers.

Networks, just give the writers what they want. All this family togetherness is pushing me over the edge! And for the love of all that is good and holy, STOP putting on pilot episodes of crappy shows that you knew would never go anywhere in the first place. You are just embarassing yourselves. And writers, be willing to give a little in return. By the time this strike is over Americans will have forgotten what TV is and you will be out of a job!!
So in memoriam of my favorites, here are some etsy finds that I enjoy in their Place.


HOUSE: not exactly the pithy, mean spirited casuting Gregory House from Fox-TV but this sparkly little ACEO of a house makes me remember the good times.






Bones. (Get it skull and crossbones). Dr Brennan and Agent Booth keep me on the edge of my seat everyweek. So in their honor I present these "Bone-i-fied" baby booties from http://www.prettylittle.etsy.com/




I am not embarassed to admit that I Love FamilyGuy. Brian the dog and Stewie the devil man-child crack me up. "So uh, Brian, hows that novel coming along for you??hmmmm?"

so in homage to Family Guy and all that is hilarious and sacreligous at the same time here is Brian the Dog from http://www.sparkleme.etsy.com/




30 Rock my be one of the most HILARIOUS shows ever to hit television. Alec Baldwin and Tracey Morgan and Tina Fey make me laugh every Thursday night. Now this was the closest I could find to rocks, but I think it is awesome! http://www.steppingstones.etsy.com/



On Friday nights, I like to unwind with a little Ghost Whisperer. I am so glad I found this artist on etsy. She is amazing. http://www.divineimages.etsy.com/

A wonderful reminder of one of my favorite shows!





Thursday nights, The Office. It is my very favorite show all week. Dont get me wrong, I dont mind watching reruns, but I NEED some more Dwight! This painting of Stanley really cracked me up. His tired smirky expression was just perfect. He just looks so used and abused and tired of Michael Scott.

Elloh has the whole cast on canvas!
Oh The Office, how I miss you.



My newest show to premier this season was Pushing Daisies. I thought it was so original and cute and I just love the tension between Chuck and the Pie Maker. Olive Snook thrown into the mix makes this wacky and zany show much missed in my home.

Thanks to http://www.stationerystop.etsy.com/ for bringing a little daisy into my life!




Do I REALLY have to make the disclaimer that television does not consume my life?? Yes I watch a lot of TV, but only after housework, dinner, and kids are in bed. Thank goodness for DVR!! So no hate mail please.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Etsy Favorite finds for the week Jan 26

As many of you know I LOVE the color pink. I do not tolerate pink, I do not like pink nor would I say that I love pink. I would say that I LOVE pink. I adore everything and anything that is made from this color. (heck I even accidentally dyed my hair pink once!)
I believe that all Little girls should be forced to wear pink. Any other color is not acceptable.
I will buy anything breast cancer related and promote breast cancer awareness, because they picked such an awesome color! (just kidding, my mother is a breast cancer survivor, I was just being flippant. No hate comments please)
So this week, in honor of my pink obsession, everything on this list is PINK.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Banners, Avatars ,Business Cards (Oh My)

If you own an etsy shop (or in some cases, several)- You know how important it is to have a great banner and avatar. Your Banner is what you want the world to see about your shop.
Your banner identifies who you are as a person and a seller. It tells the public who you are, what you are about and why they should shop from you.
Your banner is like the Macy's window display. It is what people see first before going into shop.
Just like in reality, people who are virtual shopping will choose a shop which presents itself a little nicer. Kind of like the mall. You will generally choose a shop that has a nicer window display. Your banner is your window display.
You would NEVER see the Disney Store, or Macy's or Marshall Fields have a window display that is less than perfect. Your shop should never be less than perfect!

TIPS FOR A GOOD BANNER:

Be careful about using colors that contrast too much. They are a visual assault on the eyes. Example :

It is almost dizzing. If you are going to have a dark color as your background make sure you have a lighter complimentary color as your writing. (see below).

Now on the opposite end of the Color Spectrum, make sure your writing is dark enough. I cant tell you how many times I have stumbled across a banner where the print was too light a color to really see well.


Good Grief! Can you even SEE that?? (Squint REALLY hard)

Watch the Uber- funky fonts. They are kind of hard to read sometimes. If you have a little bit of a difficulty seeing exactly what it says, maybe you should pick something a little clearer.
Also, make sure you use the enite 760x100 space you are given. It fills the page better, and looks more uniform.

Good tips to making your own banner on photoshop:
www.etsy.com/storque/section/howTos/article/skill-share-making-a-banner/641/

If you dont have the time to learn photoshop, the money to purchase photoshop or just are in a creative slump, try these beauties on for size. Here are some of my favorite Banner makers on Etsy.





http://www.whitewater.etsy.com/.

Her banners are custom made. She has made banners for several people on etsy and is super easy in her pricing. Lindsey has done most of my banners. tell her what you want and she wont rest until it is delivered!
Her Balm Shoppe and Blue Boy Gifts banners were gifts to me and I just love them.




http://www.babyjewels.etsy.com/

She is a professional graphic designer and does both custom and prefab. Her banners include an avatar as well.

Don't you LOVE the Hey Lady! Banner??

Very creative and unique, I love babyjewels.










http://www.callista311.etsy.com/

her collage version banners are really cool and the colors are beautiful. I love the backgrounds and distressing and all the stuff she packs into her banners without them looking overdone.


I love the Cara Di Bella Jewelry Creations Banner.











www.thebannerqueen.etsy.com/

custom and prefab banners, great pricing and will work with you until it is right.

The Madelyn Smoak Metals Banner is a really great example of a great "window display". It tells all about the shop and what you can expect inside.





http://www.strumpfkunst.etsy.com/

cool and eclectic banners, great colors, spacing and more. these banners are relly cool, and she makes them within 24 hours. Her layouts are really cool.

I am enamored with the Sour Tang banner. Those colors match my business cards!













http://www.armorgan.etsy.com/


these are perfect to spice up your shop on Valentines!

I am a huge fan of changine my banners for the seasons or holidays. That Candy Hearts Banner would be a great Valentines addition to any shop!


AVATARS

As for avatars there was a fantastic article in Storque the other day about the importance of your avatar.
The article is here:http://www.etsy.com/storque/section/howTos/article/i-heart-marketing-my-etsy-shop-and-you-will-too-part-1/11/

I quote:
Avatars! Create a memorable avatar. The avatar is your face on Etsy ...I find that the best avatars are one of three types:

Faces. I love to see your face in your avatar. If you are your brand, then this is totally the right way to go. I love to see the person behind the craft...

Item avatar. Make sure your avatar is an item that you actually have for sale in your shop and it is a good photo with a light background...

Brand identity. I feel strongly about not changing your avatar too much, except for when you are switching between a series of avatars that are on a theme or that reinforce your brand identity...
end quote.

I agree. If you have a pet avatar, make sure you can distinguish it from the jillion other pet avatars out there. (I find a good example is Pussdaddy) Take it to photoshop, crop it at a unique angle, give it a funny phrase. Dress it up. Anything. If there are 10 avatars with a black dog on it I know I will remember the black dog that is wearing a clown wig (for example)
Many of the banner makers will also make a matching avatar in their price.
Now your banner doesnt have to match your avatar. I think your avatar should be your personality, your Face on etsy. Your banner is your shop, your avatar is the person behind the shop.

BUSINESS CARDS
Now onto the MOST IMPORTANT thing of all.(IMHO) Your Business Cards. Yes, it is vitally important that you have business cards. You MUST MUST MUST have them. I cannot stress it enough.They are your signature, your calling card. They are a physical, tangible reminder of your items and product. ALWAYS carry business cards with you. Give them out at every opportunity. When I go out to eat and the server brings me my bill and I give her the credit card, I leave a business card with my tip. I send out 2 business cards with every transaction. One to keep, one to give away.
There are many places you can go to get Business Cards printed.

1.You can buy the cardstock at your local office supply shop and do a home print job. This takes a lot of ink and a lot of patience. I dont recommend it. Especially if you have a printer that is kind of older and the printing leaves a little something to be desired. But if you are lucky to have a great printer, try it out. It may be cheaper in the long run.

2. You can have them printed at an Office Supply shop, or a quick print or Mr Speedy. All price ranges depending on what you want and usually done in a few days and you dont have to pay shipping! Typically a little more expensive going this route, but quicker nd the convenience of having them in hand and not being at the mercy of the Almighty USPS.

3. Online. Try Vista Print. Overnight Prints. 123print. You can upload your own design, or create one from scratch or from a template. Great pricing, easy to do, and you have a hard copy online and can easily reprint more. You do have to pay shipping. TIP: DONT fall for the "quicker shipping" trap. Pay the cheapest amount in shipping. If you pay "slow shipping" they claim 2-3 weeks. I always pay cheapest shipping and my cards are usually mailed out within a few days. I have never had to wait more than 7 days to get my cards.

Now as for the design, the online option means you will have the same business cards as many others in your field, especially if you use a template. If you can design your own and upload, then wonderful. If you dont have the right program to design and upload your own card, then try these shops for your next batch of cards. They will send you the file for you to upload to your printer of choice.



http://www.bitsycreations.etsy.com/



Her business Cards come in e-mail form that you can upload to your favorite online printer.

Or you can opt to have her print them off. Her cards are bright and chipper and very cool.


She also does the vertical cards as well.




If you loved her banners, you will probably love her business cards as well!! Custom made templates.




http://www.pixelbypixel.etsy.com/

Arent these the COOLEST? If these arent eye catching, then I dont know what is.











www.littlecrabdesigns.etsy.com/


These vertical cards are so unique and brilliant. In these cards Little Crab uses the Chiyogami paper as a background.

She also has mini cards and
other styles of cards..










Enjoy your shop. Promote the heck out of it. Just make sure you have the right tools! With the right banner, avatar and business cards you can etsy with success!

thank you to all the wonderful etsy sellers who let me profile them!

The Joy of Cross Dressing...I mean Stitching. The Joy of Cross Stitching!

When I was 11 years old I went to Girls Camp for Church. Daily, we swam in the lake, went hiking, learned surivial skills and even had arts and crafts time.
During this period I learned how to Cross Stitch. My friend mom was up there for a few days as a leader and was in charge of the Cross Stitch and needlework. She was very patient in explaining to me the basics and then sent me on my way. It started very Simple. A square. A parallelogram. A heart. within a few days I had a little house that said "Home is Where the Heart Is". I gave it to my leader as a thank you. She seemed genuinely pleased with it. When I got hom I told my mom I learned to Cross Stitch. She took me out to buy me Aida Cloth and some DMC thread. She pulled out some old xerox copies of Cross stitch stuff she had, a few old books that were falling apart and let me go to town. I made my Grandmother an Ornament with her Initial on it. I made a candy jar cover. I made a bookmark. I made my other grandmother a bird picture which she kept up in her living room.
Eventually I moved on to bigger and better things, more difficult projects. Every Christmas I used to make my parents a Cross Stitch. Eventually they ran out of room to put them all, so I quit making them. They have a pillow on their bed, several on their walls and even a few nautical themed ones in their beachhouse. As I have gotten married and had children I have made them each little pillows or pictures and have made them for friends who have had babies.

I just love Cross Stitch. I love the ease and the methodical counting and the repetitive motion. I love how little X's in random places can turn into a beautiful picture.

I recently went through my closet in the craft room and found my giant Cross Stitch Tote with all my DMC threads(I have every color ever produced), the 30 pounds of cross stitch phamplets and books and patterns and the stash of Aida cloth in every count and color. I have decided to get back into it, but I will tell you my eyesight isnt what it used to be!! I found myself hunched over squinting desperately at the tiny holes in the Aida cloth, yelling at my husband to "Fix this damn light! It is so dark in here, no wonder I cant see anything!! Arent there any brighter bulbs you can use??" My kids are now wearing sunglasses indoors to combat my failing eyesight requests. The hump on the top part of my spine (The widows hump my mother inlaw calls it) has been paining daily since my reemergence of cross stitchery. My fingers are getting tender from wielding the tiny needle. Cross Stitch isnt as much fun as it used to be. I dont remember it causing this much physical discomfort and agony!

But I stick to it because I love it. I love the result. so until I actually complete something else, I will just have to enjoy the beauty of others work.


I hate to admit it(No, I dont. I readily admit it) I LOVE Spamberly.

http://www.spamberly.etsy.com/.
her cross stitch is rauncy, funny, sexy, hilarious, dirty, irreverent and more.
I first found Spamberly when she posted in the forums her Pair of Breasts Cross stitch. It was brilliant. If my breasts looked that good you darn well know I would be strutting down the runway for Victorias Secret!
I really liked this magnet she has listed "What Would Crispin Glover Do?" (Hey you! Get your damn hand off her!)






http://www.slavetobeads.etsy.com/.
She only has 5 finished cross stitch listed but they are beautiful. I LOVE this one. It is so intricate and stunning.
She also has Tea and Roses which is beautiful, but I am pretty partial to the more vintage looking patterns.










http://mlcboutique.etsy.com/ Has this beautiful little pansy greeting card!. Bright and cheerful, it makes me happy. I know that if someone sent me a greeting card that had been Cross stitched I would be thrilled. What great idea.











http://www.artgal36.etsy.com/ She has some great pieces she did back in the 80's. This one reminds me of Fourth of July. Actually when I look at it, I think of The Music Man. Very nice.











http://www.meersbaby.etsy.com/ Now this piece is just the chart, not the actual cross stitch. But this pattern is something that I would TOTALLY buy and make for my own home.

















http://www.costureraloca.etsy.com/ This tea time sampler reminds me of my Cousin. She has lots of sweet country things in her house. I see this and I think of spending time with her and her family and the good times we used to have.













Happy Needleworking everyone!
Thanks for reading, and please feel free to leave comments!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Give me Diabetes now

1 Cup Corn Syrup
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Peanut Butter
6 Cups Rice Krispies
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine corn syrup and sugar. Stir occasionally until it starts to come to a boil.
Take off heat to stir in Peanut Butter
Add peanut butter, stir well until completely incorporated. Put back on burner andbring back to a boil. Let boil for 30 seconds or so, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour over Rice Krispies- toss well to coat evenly.

Press into sprayed 9x13 pan.

Over the top sprinkle the chocolate chips and Butterscotch chips. Place in a warm over until chips have started to get soft and gooey. Take out of the oven and with a knife spread the melted chips over the top of the treats.

Cool Completely and cut into squares.

My grandmother used to make these around Christmas time. She would make a huge array of treats and snacks and goodies, then set them out in tins for us to snack on when we would visit her. I remember rummaging through the various tins, eating ONLY these treats.

I promise you they are simply irresistible, and you can polish off a pan in about a day. My kids LOVE these, even Peter who is usually NOT a sweet tooth.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Confessions of A Yarn Junkie

My name is Sarah, and I am a yarn junkie (Hi Sarah).
When I was about 7 years old my grandmother decided I needed a hobby for when I came to her house. Apparently she didnt want me playing on her organ, following her around, bugging her to play ping pong, running around scaring her birds or pestering my grandfather to take me for a ride on their tandem bike. She sat me down with a skein of squeaky, scratchy, acrylic yellow yarn, a crochet hook and taught me the basics of the craft. Chain. SC. DC. HDC, Trbl. The more I hooked, the more addicting it became. That econo yarn was itchy and squeaky, but by golly I made a chain about 14 miles long and practiced my stitches. They became more uniform, more evenly spaced and by the end of the week my stitches were perfect. Eventually I advanced to granny squares and lacy patterns. I was mostly self taught, learning what I could from books and pamphlets, using what I had always used SQUEAKY ACRYLIC YARN!
One day, I decided to make my parents an Afghan for Christmas. I was in College at the time, so I went to the local fabric store and picked out the booklet I wanted with the patterns, the hook and then wandered over to the yarn section. Now many fabric stores have a limited yarn selection. But I was living in Utah, home of the handicrafts. I was AMAZED at the selection. Beautiful colors. SOFT yarns. Yarns that didnt squeak when you ran the hook through their series of movements. Yarns that ranged from the subtle to the vivid. Cottons, wools, mohair blends, alpaca blends, acrylics that didnt leave a film on your fingers. I was in heaven. I never knew such a world of yarns existed.
After that, I tossed out my economy acrylic yarns, and I have never looked back. In my craft room I have boxes and boxes and boxes of it, waiting to be used. My husband gets quite irritated wading through the room and through the maze of Rubbermaids! (If he ever goes missing, I expect to find him tangled in a spiderweb of yarn, like a desperate fly.)
Cottons, handpainted, homespuns, suede, eyelash, alpaca, mohair blends, wools. It doesnt matter. I know i dont NEED more yarn. I WANT more yarn. Want ALWAYS outweighs need when it comes to yarn. I am a junkie. I cant get enough. I will drive 10 miles out of the way JUST to stop by my favorite yarn shop, just to look. My "just to look" usually turns into a $30 field trip. If I could, I would put all my yarns on the floor and roll in them like Demi Moore rolling in money in Indecent Proposal.
Thusfar I have been able to resist the allure of the yarns on etsy. But it hasnt been easy. I look...every day. Then I start to drool and feel the twitch and I know a full fledged yarn withdrawal is upon me. Good thing I will be getting a tax return soon-then I can come to my faves and get my fix!

ROVING: This is the cleaned material(wool) you use to actually spin into yarn. If you have a spinning wheel, or if you have a spindle to spin your own yarn, give these sellers a try


http://www.maryjanesattic.etsy.com/ She has some beautiful roving, samplers and more. Gorgeous colors, even plain roving for natural yarn.
this listing is called Water Hyacinth

Can't you imagine spinning yarn from this GORGEOUS wool?? I can see a bright and cheerful winter hat.



http://www.hobbledehoy.etsy.com/- her yarns and rovings are really unique and cool. Not your typical straighlaced yarns. Splashes of color and lights and darks and daring color combinations. I LOVE these merino wool fiber batts. It is called Constellations.






http://www.theranch.etsy.com/ This may be one of the greatest etsy shops for roving and batts. They have all sorts. wools, mohairs, alpaca and more. They have handpainted roving, or you can get natural colored roving as well. they also do handspun yarns, but I love their rovings.

This is called Palmdale superwash merino
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=9077962






HAND SPUN YARNS

If you arent lucky enough to have a spinning wheel or a spindle, try out these beautiful handspun yarns from other etsy artisans. Handspun wool is usually a little thicker, nobbier , uneven and very unique. I LOVE handspun wool. It has character.

http://www.seejayneknityarns.etsy.com/ - her colorways are beautiful and her yarns look simply amazing.
this yarn happens to be Teal-Liscious corriedale wool









http://www.pancakeandlulu.etsy.com/ They have both handspun and dyed, but their handspun yarns are breathtaking.
This skein is called Moonwalk









www.fuzzyfibers1960.etsy.com this shop has some of the coolest handspun yarn! beautiful colors, great spinning.
This skein is Vortex art yarn
I dont know exactly what I would do with it, BUT I know that I Love it, and I must have it.





HAND PAINTED YARN
Hand painted yarn is usually thinner,commercially spun natural yarn that has been dyed in stripes, blobs, patterns or whatever. I love the colorways of some of the following handpainters.

http://www.skeinqueen.etsy.com/keinqueen.etsy.com/. Oh how you tantalize me with your beautiful colors and vibrant hues!
This lovely purple skein is a Damson superwash merino called DIVINE. yes, it is.






http://www.lovesyarn.etsy.com/- I really like some of the vivid handpainted yarns she has in her shop.
This is called BE Mine and is a merino/nylon blend




http://www.fearlessfibers.etsy.com/ she is quite possibly the best yarn seller on etsy. with over 4400 items sold and 100% positive feedback you know she is good at what she does.
She has every color of the rainbow available too!
This is Meadow Colorway sock yarn.





her colors are pretty vibrant and bright in general. They make me happy just looking at them.

This is merino Sock yarn called Rose Garden




Yarn is beautiful in any way shape or form. Especially etsy yarns!
so excuse me while I browse through some more and slobber in longing at the beauty on my computer screen.