Monday, October 31, 2011


Not sure what has happened, here. Can't believe it's been two weeks since my last post. (Almost sounds like confession - "Forgive me readers, for I have failed y'all...")

Seriously, I do know what happened. We went on vacation and my scheduled posts just didn't post. (I generally only have about a 60% success rate with advance posting.)

Okay, that explains the first week. The second week? Just don't know where that time went! Chose not to simply back-publish the missed posts. I'm probably the only person who really missed them, anyway!!

Be careful out there tonight. Halloween trick-or-treating can be so s-p-o-o-k-y !!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chores and a friend's give-away, too!

I've been quite busy the last few days and have had trouble finding time to sit down to post. I've been scrambling to produce merchandise, fill a few orders and keep up with our daily lives in general.

Don't you often wonder who really wears all those clothes that end up in your hamper each week? I sure do. Seems laundry takes a disproportionate amount of my time. While we're wondering, who actually dirties all those dishes, too, and where on earth does all that dust come from? And now, we need to start thinking about holiday shopping, too!!! I need more hours in my day!!!!


Only a couple days left
to enter my friend's give-away featuring NINE (yep, 9 !!) great items for both your sweet little one and Mommy, too. (Did I tell you one of those prizes is a turkey apron from my shop? You can get it to fit either your little gal or Mommy.) Just take a gander at all that loot -- (ALL of it goes to ONE winner!!)

I told you about this one a few days ago and, at last check, the odds of winning look pretty good. There haven't been that many entries, yet! Can you believe it? One of the blogosphere's best kept secrets, I guess!

Entering is really easy.

Just go to Brianna Bean's blog here and follow the easy steps to get your name in the running.

Talk about getting a leg up on Christmas shopping!!!

Hurry!!! The last day to enter the Give-Away is October 15th!!

Don't miss this great opportunity!

Monday, October 10, 2011

All kinds of goodies - coming and going

So, have you all wondered what exactly was in the Mystery Gift Basket for Stitchers that Charlotte won on this blog last week?

Charlotte is one of those gals who has done just about every form of stitching out there (and is pretty good at all of them, too!) but she predominantly knits and spins. Yes, she spins her own yarn!! I tweaked the contents of the basket a little (just a little) to add some items very specific to Charlotte and her interests.

This is what she's getting:
Included in this pile of goodies are a baseball cap designed especially for a knitter, 2 fridge magnets (both about knitting), a 2012 pocket date book with a stitching quote on the cover, a plaque about stitching, 2 mini-counted cross stitch kits and a plaque I made specifically for Charlotte as a spinner! I hope she likes her prize!!

(I was prepared to specifically customize the contents to go along with the special interests of any stitcher when the winner was chosen.)

x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x . . . x

I, too love to receive gifts in the mail so I was thrilled the other day to get a package from my swap partner from a craft forum I participate in. The swap theme this time was "Fall." Here's a pic of the beautiful hand knit scarf Monica made for me:

Isn't it pretty? (Soft, too!)

I can't wait for the next swap. The theme for the next one is Christmas ornaments. We have different partners for each swap and most of us know quite a bit about our swap partners so the gifts are almost always designed to suit the recipients interests and style. I'm already giving my contribution there much thought.

I'm proud to belong to and I miss chatting with my friends if I don't stop by often. We chat about our craft work, our family, friends, and life in general. Stop by and check us out there. You just might find a place you'd enjoy hanging out, too.

I have met some fantastic crafty friends online. Do you participate in any forums out there? What are your favorite sites?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Do you have "Family Heirlooms"?

Most of the items in the vintage section of my shop have come from all the various nooks and crannies around the house. No buy and resell here. Nope! Just loot from all those corners of the basement. While the term "vintage" varies from site to site, Etsy (where my shop resides) defines "vintage" as items that are over 20 years old.

That means just about everything in our homes qualified as "vintage." A friend and I recently looked around my living and dining rooms and pointed out the items that had been with us for what seemed like "forever." She noted my Boston Rocker, stating she remembered that from my Mom's living room years ago. I declared "That's a 'Family Heirloom', not just vintage."

So, what separates Family Heirlooms from your run-of-the-mill vintage pieces?

I believe it's the emotions they evoke and the stories that bring about those emotions.

That Boston Rocker brings me comfort. It reminds me of that living room in Mom's house, too. It brings back fond memories of the family sitting around together watching TV. It was my Grandmother's seat of honor most evenings. She wasn't much for super soft upholstered seats and she really did like to rock when she sat. I can tell you exactly when that rocker came into our lives, too - Summer, 1965!

My sister was getting married that summer and was out shopping for furniture for their new apartment. Mom, Grandmother and I went along for the fun. (The groom really didn't want to be dragged from store to store so he left this up to her.) One of the big furniture stores near us had a wishing well just inside their main entrance and invited all who entered to fill in a little slip of paper with one particular piece they would love to win just for the "wishing." Every month, a slip of paper was selected and the winner was given their item of choice. Well, Grandmother didn't really want to participate but we forced her. She had commented on the beautiful design painted on the top of the rocker's back. (It was kind of a standard design back then!) She listed the rocker just to make all of us happy and dropped her slip in the wishing well. She wiped it out of her mind minutes later.

A few weeks later, Mom happened to answer the phone while visiting my grandmother. it was the furniture store. Seems they'd been trying to let Grandmother know she'd won the most recent drawing and find out when they could deliver her new chair. She'd brushed off several prior calls by telling them she simply wasn't interested in buying furniture. What can we say? She'd never won anything before and really thought it was just some sort of sales pitch.

They soon delivered it. I think it was "Love at first sit." When she moved in with us a few years later, it became a prime seat in the living room. Years later, long after Grandmother's passing, it came to live with me when my mom moved in with my brother. It now sits in my over-crowded living room where it still remains a favorite spot to sit (and rock). I must say, I always think of Grandmother as I take a seat there - and, they ARE very GOOD thoughts.

I've considered refinishing it from time to time. The arms are actually worn to the point of showing the natural wood tone as opposed to the black lacquered finish. Parts of the design at the top are faded almost completely away. Then, I think of those "flaws" as part of the rocker's story. Most of the younger members of the family were rocked in that chair, I've read many a good book there and my friends have spent many hours sitting in it chatting with me over the years. Who would want to refinish those memories? Not I.

These days we keep an old crocheted afghan tossed over the back of the chair as it sits in front of a large curio cabinet. The afghan is there more to protect the glass front of the cabinet from the chair but we've all come to think of them as a pair. The afghan is also a family heirloom, thought not quite as old. Nothing special when it was made, it is still not much to show off but it was made by someone no longer with us and it holds a special spot in our hearts.

The good news is, the next generation has already laid claim to the chair "when we're ready to give it up." D says she wants it for "all the same reasons" I love it. It's just one of the many family heirlooms around here. (She's also put "dibs" in on quite a few other items around my house. Is it a bad sign when they start making such statements?)

So, what wonderful family heirlooms do you have lurking around your homes and what stories do they tell?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Check out my friend's October Give-Away!!

My friend over at Brianna Beans Boutique is running a fantastic October Give-Away on her blog The Best of Etsy! One lucky winner will walk away with a bunch of prizes from nine (9) different shops!! (My shop is one of the contributors.)

My contribution to this prize package is a Thanksgiving Turkey Apron (either in a child's or adult's size - you choose) Other prizes include a sock monkey hat, a flowered hair clip, baby leg warmers, earrings, a fancy headband, a mini hat, a pendant, and a wipes case/set.

Stop over and take a look at the loot and see how easy it is to win this one.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I had pumpkins on my mind today. I guess the colder temps and football on TV for hours made me feel like Fall. So, I baked a pumpkin cake.

All the time I was working on the cake, I was singing this childhood song to myself. I was really surprised that I remembered the words AND the little hand movements that went with it ! Did you sing this one as a child?

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate, (Hold your hands up)
The first one said "oh my its getting late,"
(Put your hands on cheeks)
The second one said "there's a chill in the air,"
(Hug yourself)
The third one said "but we don't care,"
(Shrug your shoulders)
The fourth one said "we're ready for some fun,"
The fifth one said "lets run, run, run,"
(Run in place)
So woo went the wind, and out went the lights,
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight
(Sit down).
I know there were a bunch of other songs we sang each Fall. I just can't remember them at the moment.

Do you remember any other Autumn songs you sang as children? Have you taught them to your little ones, yet?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Last of the BBQ ...

The winner of the Needleworker's Mystery Basket Give-Away is Charlotte. Congratulations Charlotte!! I'll be emailing you privately as to shipping. (I will post a picture of the basket contents after it is shipped. I want Charlotte to be surprised by the contents.)

Took a break from all things craft related today and went and judged at what I think will be our final BBQ competition of the 2011 season. This was a second tier contest in the Sam's Club National Barbecue Tour. Unlike the regular KCBS circuit competitions, the Sam's Club events are a special tournament-style series of competitions.

Sam's held 40 local contests around the country beginning in March. The contest today, in Laurel, Maryland, was a regional event featuring winners from a number of those local contests. Today's winners will go up against the winners of the four other regional events, in two weeks in Bentonville, Arkansas for $100,000 in prize money. The entries today were first rate, as expected. A great way to end our competition year.

Mother Nature cooperated a bit in that it didn't rain until after the event. (Remember it has rained daily for the last 8 weeks or so.) When we left, it was only a light drizzle. I only hope the competition teams were able to pack up before any heavy rain came down. The temperatures weren't helping though. We suddenly got chilly here last night and it never went above 53 during the contest today. Even prepared for it with appropriate jackets, I got cold. We spent 4 hours simply sitting in the cool, damp wind so I was completely chilled through by the end of the judging. It has taken me hours to warm up.

I know in the realm of things, the mid-50s are not all that cold. They won't be once we get used to it but it came as a shock to our systems today when we were in the 70s yesterday.

I find little things like this depressing as it just tells me winter is coming and I absolutely despise winter. On the upside, I do love the smells of Autumn and when we got home, I found it comforting to smell that someone in the neighborhood had a fire in their fireplace. Now, if I just had some mulled cider to drink this evening...