Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday Sale!

Sale still going on! Great bargains to be had! NO crowds, just you and the computer! Shop at your own pace! Etsy's shops are packed to the brim with unique items ready to ship right to your door. Many shops provide gift wrap, if you ask. Come take a look!

Knitting needle carriers that accommodate circular needles by pruitthandcrafts

Bath Bombs in Champagne by spottedcowsoaps

Sweet Birdie Necklace by pruittdesign

Pink and purple earrings by lindab142

Lots and lots more on SALE! Enter "Cyber Monday Etsy" ( and any other search parameters you prefer) in the search box on Etsy and find lots, and lots of bargains.

Hurry today is the last day!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday Musings--The GIFT of Family

The best thing in life is FREE! . . . Family!

I have the most wonderful family and I was reminded of that fact on Thanksgiving, with 30 of us gathered at my son's house. Even though my son had just been in a car accident the week before and was still uncomfortable, he hosted his chaotic family! It's because of unconditional love that these gatherings are so memorable and enjoyable . . . . . and such a work of cooperation!
Each of us are different--and that's the way it should be--even when we all come from the same parents. Some of my clan are givers, some are authoritarian administrators, some are teacher-like in personality, some have great compassion, some are perceivers, and some are various combinations of traits all rolled into one lovely person! How do we all get along, with all the differences? We love each other! UNCONDITIONALLY!

Unconditional love is a decision and takes work! We have to overlook a fault, bear one another's burdens, and enjoy what we can (what we PURPOSE to love!) In our family, we have a prankster, a cynic, a "you should have", a cryer, and a bossy one. But each of these loved ones have some very enduring traits too! The prankster would do almost anything for you if you were in need. The "you should have" loves the children and has a great sense of humor. You get the picture.

I know, some of you may have had a dysfunctional family situation, but there are good things in everyone and good memories to look back to, if you try. Memories are wonderful; and they sometimes, with time, gloss over the pain, that makes them wonderful!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Yesteryear Pie

Monday was a work day and a day that everyone, here, spent worrying about the commute home due to a snow storm rolling in. Temps dropped drastically! So, I stayed indoors today, Tuesday, preparing for thanksgiving travel and making pies for our family celebration!

Now, it's Tuesday evening and I wanted to share a recipe for a 'Yesteryear' type of pie!

Yesteryear Mince or 'Mincemeat' pies were traditionally done at the end of the harvest season using lots of leftover garden items, including raisins, apples and candied fruit, and sometimes dried meats. I usually make a mince pie from a prepared mix that I buy from the store, but this year I had planned to make my first ever, late harvest season pie with my own ingredients. I got my chance today! I still had a tomato plant on the patio with a few ripe tomatoes and lots of green ones. Last night I picked all the tomatoes, since there was going to be a hard freeze anyway. A friend had given me a recipe for a mince pie that uses green tomatoes! Here's how it turned out:

Green Tomato Mincemeat (Old fashioned recipe)

3 quarts chopped green tomatoes

1 1/2 quarts peeled, chapped tart apples

2 cups raisins

1 cup currants (I did not you use these in my recipe)

1/2 cup diced candied citron, lemon or orange peel (I used lemon peel)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups brown sugar, firmly packed (I did not use this much)

3/4 cup vinegar

1/4 cup lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a large heavy pan. Cook mixture slowly until it is tender and thick, about one hours or more. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. This usually makes about 5-6 quarts of mincemeat. Can in jars using the boiling water bath method and store for future use.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekend Musing

I usually do a "Saturday Musing" article but yesterday I was at an Autumn Bazaar all day, so I have opted for a "Weekend Musing."

The Craft Bazaar was enjoyable and beneficial. The school where it was held benefited, I got sales, and others fully enjoyed looking at every array of cuteness and whimsy that my fellow crafters could think up! I enjoyed the process, working with my grandchildren--Taylor and Kayleigh; and seeing other family members enjoy the bazaar---going away with their belly's full of pizza, kettle corn and treats as well as treasures and designated gifts for Christmas giving--all a delight to watch.

But as you can probably tell by my own use of the words: "enjoyable" and "beneficial" and "process", I am of a more practical mind. It wasn't a particularly thrilling or giddy experience; it is "work" for me. The culmination of a LOT of work at the sewing machine and the bead board. Don't get me wrong! I enjoy crafting and sewing! But shows and bazaars, while a necessary selling venue, are sometimes exhausting! There's all the hauling and carrying and setting up. Then there is the "being on your best behaviour" attitude. I enjoy talking with the shoppers, but person after person can get a bit rote, after awhile. Vendors around me can be cheerful and friendly, but this particular day, they were busy and aloof. And to top it off, I don't necessarily eat well on show days. Then, when it is all over, there's the break down, packing and hauling again!

But--all in all--I did OK, my pocketbook is happy and I had a "beneficial" day!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Fence Post sans post

The wind is a powerful force. This leaf was woven into the fence without the help of man. I love the look of it with the rain drops on it's surface. Sometimes we need to look closer to see the incredible and the everyday wonders!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

current project

This current project is just for me!

I have shown this project in process and in pieces before in this blog, but finally it is all together--well, I'm just finishing the hand quilting around the edges! It's a wall quilt that is approximately 36 by 36 inches. It will eventually hang over my dark leather couch.

I just love the wheat motif in the center of the piece!

I started it when I was staying at my daughter's house. I had lots of scraps and decided to use them up! Obviously, you never 'use up' all your scraps, but I had always wanted to try crazy quilting. Actually, I do my signature quilt with a crazy block, but it doesn't have any embroidery on it. I really like embroidery and enjoy doing it. I can do a little here and there, between other projects, because it's not like you 'have to finish' this kind of project. With Crazy quilting it is difficult to decide when you are finished! It's all in the eye of the beholder!

Anyway, What inspired me was a book that I bought from my book-of-the-month club on ribbon embroidery. I'm sorry the pictures are not very good or you could see that I tried a different ribbon embroidery technique on each block. I also used beads for accents. And I love that nothing has to be symmetrical in this type of project! Overall, this has been one of my greatest accomplishments to date!

Monday, November 15, 2010

What's fun on Monday??

I was vegging at the computer last night, thinking about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. I spent some time looking thru Etsy for some things that could spruce up your home for the holiday. We all like something new! Visit these shops for some lovely surprise items that are just a little on the primitive side! Here's what I found:
Entry Hall hanging (Welcome) pillow by MockaMooseMarket

Cute apple coasters by woodbine

Great minimalist country prim coat rack by TRwoodworks

Fall color Table runner by dragonflyrealm

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Musings

I've decided to keep writing this little column on Saturdays. As always, you can read or not read, that is the question.

I am a person of strong emotions and opinions. I'm not intending to be political in these little writings on Saturday; I'm not into politics that much. It tires me to listen to all the spin and hype and promotion. I will not take one side or the other, for politics' sake. But I do have opinions about 'people' topics and relationship issues and about life in general that I hope will be interesting to read.

After last weeks start (earlier post) to this series, I had an experience with a co-worker that had to do with NOT listening. So, maybe I had better NOT speak up again--it seems you get what I "asked for" or, what I wrote about! . . . NOT! I'll still keep musing and speaking (blogging), because that's just who I am.

Anyway, in a small gathering of co-workers, I heard one person make a statement that slightly offended me and that I believed was . . . well . . . no judgements or politics, now! So, at a later time. I asked that person if I could talk with them about it. I explained my hurt feelings, mostly because the statement related to a previous emotional hurt of mine. I was hoping to get a "I hear you saying . . . . " and, then, get an opportunity to discuss the matter. But instead, that person was defensive of their position/thinking and placed a judgement on me! Ouch! That hurt! Agreement was not what I wanted--nor judgement! All I wanted was to be heard! And considered. Enough said about that.

So, a skill that I would like to present and that might help promote listening, is to acknowledge that you heard what the other person said whether you agree with it or not. This skill, after actually listening, would be to say: "I hear you and I think that you are saying . . . ." Response and restating what the other person said, helps them feel like they are NOT talking to a wall. This lets the person know that you, indeed, heard what they said and opens the door to discussion. Using this little skill will go a long way to creating a sense of well being and understanding for everyone.

Just saying . . . .

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Yesteryear - Pillow Case Edgings

Time was--in a more romantic era in my estimation--when ladies of the household didn't have all the choices that we have in linens today, and they chose to crochet edgings to their pillowcases. These delicate trims added fanciful detail to plain cotton cases. They used approximately 150 yards of a fine mercerized cotton thread to make approximately two yards of edging using a number 7 steel crochet hook. And when they were finished with that project, they might be known to edge their handkerchiefs, baby blankets, or tablecloths!
Here are two examples of the kind of work that was done. One is light and airy and the other a little more full. Either way, I wish I had learned to crochet. I would have done my all bedding with this edging. But then, I tend to like my bedding simple and in a plain color, rather than the sometimes loud, geometric or flowery designs available today! This former era would have suit me just fine!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday blues in Red

I was working all day, and went to a concert after work. Tired when I got home, and felt like vegging at the computer and this is what I found: Lovely crocheted flower for Christmas by AnnieDesign

This beautiful red Christmas card by PaperieBlooms

And these lovely red and white beads by Lynda'sBeadDreams

Ya think, maybe, I am longing for Christmas to get here soon, with all this red?!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Musings

Caution: Not my usual blog genre. It varies from my usual pattern and may be a little more overt than you might want to read. That's OK. I just need to be honest today.

My daughter has a blog that she calls "Musings." She talks about her life--plainly--and honestly. It's not a blog for everyone, maybe just an outlet for her. She doesn't publicize it. Most of us in the family know it is there, but it is not a place that we can't wait to get to. It's a bold thing to do--exposing one's thoughts--because most people are just into their own lives and really are not that much into what you, as a blogger or a person, are thinking and going through. It's a superficial world out there.

So today, I want to write a 'musing' of my own. I am seriously thinking about writing something like this every Saturday. A risky move. I know, this blog thing is supposed to be an upbeat thing. Sometimes a vehicle for social networking and/or marketing, and, heaven forbid, we get downright personal or honest. I know, we are not supposed to reveal to much of ourselves here, because it is a scary world out there. So we wear blog masks. We talk about how we make blogs, how we wear them, how they function, all the while giving only little glimpses of the real person behind the blog.

My musing (soapbox, if you like) for today: We don't listen. We don't listen enough to what others are really saying. Hearing what others think takes listening. Most of us are busy thinking what we will say in response, instead of listening. We are conditioned to NOT listen with so much superficial chatter going on around us. When someone does get honest, we are a little uncomfortable. We seem not skilled enough to deal with reality.

As creative bloggers, we are all into 'doing' and learning how to 'do'. In the blog world, there are treasuries, tutorials, and pictures but not much deep thought. We call ourselves "peeps" and not writers. I'm resolving, a little early--Not New Years yet!--to listen. This will mean, in the blog world, that I READ more, not just look at who is responding to my blog. In all this, I am hoping to find some honest stuff that will inspire friendships that will go the distance.

Just saying . . . .

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Fence Post #2

Over the back fence from the neighbors yard, come a few Camellia's. It always brightens my day!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Holiday Tips for Etsy Sellers

Well, the holidays are almost here! I can't believe that it is almost Thanksgiving! I can't wait!

Anyway, the estybloggers carnival topic that I have chosen is to write something about my good working tips for holiday sales! I guess that we all need good tips. I'm not so sure that I have any that will turn on light bulbs in other Etsysian's heads, but I will share what my disciplines are.

First, I did an over view of my past sales to see what were my frequently sold items. I found that I have sold more jewelry than I thought that I had. It moves slowly, but more of it moved than my other individual items. This surprised me! I guess my focus has been on my fabric items and I just didn't notice. So tip #1 is: see what you have been selling the most of. Be ready to have more of that item on hand.

Tip #2 Can your frequently sold items be customized at all? Buyers like custom handmade items. Can you change colors, personalize or customize? If you can, change your descriptions to reflect that! I have this popular item that can be done in several colors and I'm offering it accordingly.
Tip #3 Make sure you have good shipping policies. If you shop on a certain day, say so, and stick to it! The customer needs to be able to expect the turn-around time that you have promised. Look over your policies and determine what you can safely say that you CAN DO with certainty. I ship on Tuesdays and Fridays. I strive to get my orders out earlier than that. If I can get the order out on, say, Monday or Wednesday, then I am ahead and my customer is happy. Happy customers may become repeat customers!

These are just a few of my suggestions (tips). I hope that this helps someone. Also I am looking forward to and excited to read other seller's tips!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Yesteryear at Aurora Colony

Recently I was privileged to show two of my quilts and one of my mother-in-laws at the 38th Annual Aurora Colony Historical Society Quilt Show. See previous post. I promised that I would do a post about the historical museum. So, I have decided to do it as part of my "Yesteryear" series that posts on Tuesdays.

The mission of the historical society is to promote interactive lifelong learning by inspiring curiosity about the heritage of the Aurora Colony. The Colony was established in 1856 when the people of the Bethel Colony in Missouri decided to try to find a utopia in the West. The people, under the leadership of Wilhelm Keil, had all things in common, including lands, houses and monies. Nearly 600 people, almost all German and Swiss emigrants, established and lived in the Aurora Colony, a Christian communal society, from 1856 to 1883.

The houses and buildings from the Aurora Colony represent one of the largest concentration of structures built by German craftsmen in the Pacific Northwest. Several remaining structures are part of the museum and can be viewed as part of a walking tour. We especially enjoyed the carpenter shop and the blacksmith shop.

The colony members supported the lifestyle through agricultural production and the application of their manufacturing skills. They made most of their own products including furniture, textiles and baskets. They also had a wonderful band that played at the community fairs, much to the delight of everyone!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pirates Afoot!

O'hoy thar, matey!

Me blogger mates have asked for pictures of our Pirate Party at our church! My camera is still broken--arrrgh! But several other shipmates took pictures. Pictures are not that clear, but I think you can get the idea. (Another mate is a pretty good photographer, maybe I can get show some of her pictures later!)

Shiver me timbers, thar be the "crew" above and my hubby on the left.

My daughter, Elaine, the Family pastor and the "Captain" of the event! Another with the crew members of the church staff.

Then thar was my other daughter and her family. She's a wonderful seamstress -- HerApronStrings on Etsy. They are wearing the costumes that she designed. She said she was the "dread pirate Roberts." Pretty cool, huh?