Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Social Networking do I feel about this whole online networking crap? Well, it's crap. Your'e damned if you do and damned if you don't. It's a pain in the neck but would we survive without them? NO.

I have had for a while now...

personal facebook
business facebook
blog um...your on it...duh.
and now finally...I stooped and made a myspace.

Not sure how I feel about it, but we shall see. It's just so much to keep up with all these pages and sites and online photo albums. What if my status' don't match up! Eek! On one site I could be cooking dinner and on the other a trip to Hershey Park. That's not even possible. I just hope the social networking gods don't catch on and ban me. Lord knows small online business' can't survive without them. What a tragic day that would be.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

In A Funk

I have been so upset lately. And I honestly have no idea how to get out of this terrible mood I'm in.

I haven't blogged in a long case you haven't noticed. But I need to vent.

I have a part time office job, 3 days a week. It used to be full time until shortly after my second child was born and my mom (babysitter) decided she wasn't up to watching 2 small children full time anymore.

I went part time, and it was sooo much better. My relationship with my mom, and my kids improved a ton.

Still tho, I wish I could stay home with them full time. lately it's been really hard to get up and go to work.

I don't understand why I have to have an office job. I mean, I know I need income, cause we do have bills....but (no big head here) I'm a pretty talented person.... you would think I could find income doing something I enjoyed.

It's just frustrating, that my kids are doing things without me......

Friday, March 6, 2009


A couple of weeks ago my little girl told me she wanted an orange cat name Lucy.

So, I looked around online. My first thought was to get one from the humane society. I'm forever hearing how over populated they are. So I checked it out. $115 for a kitten! Wowza! But then I saw that they needed some foster homes for some mama cats with kittens. So I was thinking I could foster the cat and just keep one of the baby's. Nope, still have to pay for the kitten. And they wonder why they are overpopulated.

Anyway, I searched for 2 weeks. And I finally found two little lovies on craigslist. We decided to get both, so they can keep each other company when we aren't home. Plus we didn't want the kids fighting over the cat.

We did get a girl who is orange, but my daughter ended up naming her Lilly.

Lilly's brother was named by my son. His name is Rocky. :)

Welcome to the family Rocky and Lilly!!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Proud To Be - Handmade in PA!!! (Blog Carnival!!)

As a new business owner, and creator of awesomeness..ok maybe I don't create 'awesomeness'....but the things I make are pretty rad......I am very proud of my Pennsylvania home!

I grew up in PA and thanks to my mom have been able to visit and experience tons that the commonwealth has to offer. She was forever taking us to museums, Amish farms, parks, festivals, you name it!

Now as I am working on my own Pennsylvania based business I have become a member of some other great communities in the area. Including, and local craft shows, as well as the worldwide handmade online venue at (

I have done only one craft show so far. And it was the coolest experience. It has been so awesome getting to meet all of the amazing people who are doing the same thing I am trying to do...her in PA.

Aside from the business aspect, I think Pennsylvania, or more specifically the small town I live in is a wonderful place to raise my children. We can walk to the ice cream shop on hot summer afternoons, go for bike rides to the playground, and make snowmen in our backyard in the winter.

From now until March 2, 2009 I am running a special in my shop for my blog readers. FREE SHIPPING FOR US RESIDENTS!!!! Just enter "HIP Blog Carnival" in the notes to buyer as you are checking out. Click HERE to go to my etsy shop!

Please take the time to check out some of these other great Pennsylvania Artists!

Kristen from WatersGirls - Enjoy 30% off your purchase!

Koco from MissKoco - Get a FREE lavender sachet with your purchase!

Lynn from UnaOdd - Enjoy FREE Shipping!

Rosie from RosiesWhimsy - Enjoy FREE Shipping!

Kerry from ALittleSparkle - Enjoy FREE Shipping!

Marissa from MarissaJoannaRojas, MJRojasPhoto, and YayforFidgetArt - Enjoy FREE Shipping!

Dana from WiredDesign - Get a single FREE "Never Enough" Sterling Silver stacking ring with your purchase!

Kimberly from ChezSucreChez- Enjoy 10% off all items in her shop!

Sarah from SweetSallysSoaps - Get 3 bars of handcrafted soap for $15!

Melanie from SpreadtheLove - Enjoy FREE Shipping!

Erin from Ruju - Enjoy FREE Shipping!

Hillary from Antebelle - Enjoy FREE Shipping!

Patty from ArtfulMommy - Enjoy FREE Shipping!

Emily from disCARDS - Enjoy FREE Shipping on orders over $5!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ghost Stories

I have been asked so many times about my ghostly encounters. And to be honest I'm getting a little tired of telling the same stories over and over. So, I am going to put them here, then I will be able to refer anyone who is interested straight to this spot....

My first experiences started when I was pretty young, maybe 11. Whenever I would be alone for a good amount of time...with no noise, or distractions, just me focusing on what I am doing. Honestly the majority of the time it happened was when I was in the bathroom, at my parents house, straightening my hair (this takes a VERY long time).

So, I would be in the bathroom, for at least 20 minutes before it would wasn't just hit fast. In my head I would hear I was standing in a crowded train station. Loud voices all around me, talking, yelling, mumbling. Even when I was interrupted my someone or something in the house, mom calling for me, the phone ringing, etc.....the noises would continue and everything going on in the real world would seem to be in fast forward and slow motion at the same time. From me picking up the straightening iron, to the phone ringing....everything seemed not real. My hand would move in slow motion, then seem to speed up really fast.

These strange occurrences have not happened to me in a I don't know if it was something about my parents house/bathroom, or if it is just because with a husband and 2 kids I am rarely alone long enough for it to begin.

When I was about 12 a good friend of mine who was an older woman passed away. When I was young (about 3) my family lived next door to her and her 2 sisters. I used to stay over night at their house, paint easter eggs with them, etc. In the evening Dot would pay me a quarter to sit behind her in her chair and scratch her back. From the time she died everynight as I laid in bed, I would feel slight scratching on my back.

The next thing I can remember happening was when I was 18, fresh out of high school I moved to Philadelphia to work in my aunts law firm. Eventually I ended up renting a bi-level 2 bedroom apartment on the 2nd and 3rd floor above a hair salon with a coworker. Our apartment was right around the corner for Rittenhouse Square, and we spent a lot of our time in the park people watching.

One evening after work we went to the park. It started to get late and my roommate decided she was going to head home. I stayed in the park a bit longer. As I was sitting there she came flying back to me. She looked a mess, like something very bad had happened. I had asked her what was wrong and she told me that when she got home she noticed light coming from under our door. So, being the brave tiny girl that she was she put her key in the knob and soon as she turned her key the lights flipped off. She took two steps into the apartment and heard what she described as silverware scratching on a plate. Then she started to hear furniture being moved around above her. That's when she left and came back to me.

I don't know what she thought.....if someone was in our apartment, or if it was a ghost. Either way we both made our way back to the apartment to investigate.

Things seemed normal when we got strange noises, no lights on that shouldn't have been. We went upstairs to find her dresser drawer that held her checkbooks and pajamas pulled out, with the contents spewed about her bedroom. Still sounds like an intruder came in and was looking for something....

A few days later, when we returned home, the drawer was in the same state. Maybe it was just a loose drawer that somehow slid out on its own we thought. So, she moved her things around and put her PJ's and checkbooks in the bottom drawer.

A few days later, same thing with the bottom drawer.

By this time roomy and I were pretty freaked out. I called my grandad (he is a retired priest). He came up and blessed my apartment. While he was visiting I asked him to help Dot. He laid his hands on my head, said a little prayer, and I haven't felt her since. I know Dot was more of an angle than a ghost, but I also know that she is needed somewhere else. So I was happy to help her move on.

After I had Ruby I lived with my parents for about a year. One day my good friend and Ruby's god mother came over to visit. Ruby was sleeping in her crib, and my friend and I thought it would be fun to play with a Ouija board. NOT FUN. As soon as we started playing we were contacted, the board told us a name, which I will never speak or think again. While we were 'playing my mom called us down to eat. We were sitting at the table eating when Ruby woke up screaming bloody murder. Ruby was a very happy baby, and never woke up crying. I went and got her......

My friend left, and was on the phone with her boyfriend telling him about our 'game'. As soon as she said the name her phone turned off. The call was not lost because of poor reception...the phone literally turned off. She turned it back on, and called me...said the name, both our phones turned off.

We never talk about it.

This is by far my least favorite experience.

After I met my now husband we rented an apartment in Myerstown. It was a big brick building, that sat right next to the railroad tracks. Our apartment was on the second floor.

As soon as we moved in I knew something was fishy. I am pretty sure that the building used to board men who either worked on, or traveled on the railroad.

My first and most frequent experience in that building was in the bathroom. After a few months of living there I could not even take showers unless noel was sitting in the bathroom with me.

There was a man, he seemed to be 7 feet tall, but I never notice any feet on him, so he could have been floating. (?) He dressed in a well fitted black suit, with a white shirt, no tie. He had black short hair, and black eyes. I don't know how to describe his eyes very well...but there was no white. His entire eye was black. He was pale skinned, but all of his features were black. He used to watch me shower, over top of the shower curtain. The shower curtain rod would rest right around his nose, so all I could see was from his eyes up.

He also used to watch me sleep. There were many nights in that apartment that neither noel or I were able to sleep. Me out of fear of this man, and noel because I would cry hystarically all night and keep him up.

He would sit on my side of the bed, about here my knees were, with his face pressed up against the bed so that all I could see was from his eyes up, just like in the shower.

Noel used to get up and go to work very early. So when I had to get up for work it was just me and Ruby in the house. Ruby was about 17 months old at the time. I would get myself ready, and then wake her up and get her dressed. One morning was sitting on her bedoom floor, putting her shoes on. And I said to her 'ready to go?'. She looked at me and said 'do I have to say goodbye to the man mommy?' I said 'what man baby?' and she said 'him' and pointed to her closet, the doors were open....I didn't see anyone. I quickly scooped her up and left.

After living in that awful apartment for a year, we purchased our first home on the other side of the county. It was a fixer upper, and we had 30 days from the time we bought it, to the time we had to be out of our apartment. We would work from the time we got off of work into the wee hours of the morning each night.

One night while I was scraping the rubber back carpet off of the stairs I looked up to see an older woman, standing at the top of the stairs. She had her hair pulled back in a bun and was wearing a dress that bottoned down the front, was tight on top, then poofed out at her waist. She had on a white apron...the kind that ties around your waist, and does not have a bib.

She had a sad and confused look on her face...almost to say 'what are you doing to my house?' I glanced into the kitchen to see if noel was near by so I could see if he saw her, he wasn't, and when I looked back up she was gone.

In our home I am aware of 2 people dieing in the 80's or 90's. A brother and sister...both stayed in the living room, in hospital beds (which we found in the garage). I haven't gotten the whole story yet, but a neighbor tells me they died about 3 years apart.

Sometimes if you sit just in the right spot on my sofa, there is an overwhelming smell of poop. It is disqusting, but usually passes fairly quickly.

Two different people, my husband being one, and his brother being the other have told me (not knowing the other ones story) that when they fell asleep on the sofa, they woke up and were unable to move. They each described it as feeling like someone was holding them down.

This has never happened to me, or anyone else, so I can only assume it is a male thing.

In our bathroom, which is on the second floor across the hall from our sons bedroom, there is tons of what I can only describe as playful activity. Sometimes when I am showering the shower curtain will fly in at if someone punched it from the other side. Once when I got out of the shower, the sink water was on full blast. And other times the tempature of the water in the shower would go from hot, to freezing to scoulding in record time.

The attic door is in our bathroom. I'm pretty sure our bathroom used to be a bedroom, before the time of indoor plumbing. Sometimes the attic door will bang, like someone pushed it from the inside. I keep it locked tho, so it has never opened on it's own.

This one goes along with number eight. Noel tells me that once when he was in the bathroom standing at the sink he saw ruby fly up the stairs and into our sons bedroom. He went in to see what she was one was there. Then he remembered, Ruby was not wearing a white dress that day.

The playful activity in the bathroom and the little girl that noel saw I believe are the same person. She seems to be about the age of 4 or 5...and just wants someone to play with her.

All of the things that have occured in our home have sparked my interest in learning about the history of our house, and who lived there. No one knows when my house was built, the records were destroyed in a fire...and it is not on any old postcards that I have found of the town. I have looked up the deeds, and thru research discovered that one member of one of the familys who lived there was name Phianna. She is on a census report from 1860, being age 7. No other information can be found about her anywhere. I'm wondering if maybe she is the little girl.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The People That Live(d) In My House

Recently I have become obsessed with trying to find out any information on the people who used to live in my house.

Here are my steps I am taking:
1. Get names from deeds at the court house, in the recorder of deeds office
2. Go to the library, ( and look at census reports, etc.
3. The internet. google archives - search for names, address, etc.
4. The historical society
5. Talk to neighbors

1. I went to the court house and got all the deed information. Most of it was easy, cause it was on a computer...but the house/land was owned so long ago that more of the older info had to be looked up in the ginormous ancient books. The problem with all of this is I have no idea when the house was actually built. One of the older deeds said something about the land being well over an acre, when ours is only .19. I'm thinking it was part of a group of homes, or a bigger hunk of land. Which means, that deed may not even belong to my house....?

On the 2nd to oldest deed the house was given to a daughter of the owners who passed away. When she died the house was to be sold and the profit would be split between her 5 siblings. The siblings all died before her, so she sold it to a couple. It actually said on the deed that if that couple died before she did, the house would go back to her. Insane!

2. So, now I have names...what's the next step? I went to the library and got myself a card, went online and searched. I came up with some info, but it is still very confusing because of the family from one of the first deeds passing the house around among each other.

3. I did some searches, and came up with nothing.

4. Next I will go to the historical society, but their hours are so strange it will be a while till I am able to get there.

5. I talked for like 2 seconds the other day with my neighbor, and he said the guy that lived in my house in the 60's/70's is still alive and around somewhere....

SO! Here are the names. If anyone reading this knows any info on any of these people PLEASE contact me! Leave a comment on this post and I will email you!

From oldest to most recent:

George & Catherine Grumbein/Grumbine (didn't write down dates/sometime in 1800's)
The name Grumbine/Grumbein is recorded in different places spelled different ways..... ?

Lucinda Grumbein (1800's)
Never married/no children (?)

Edward and Elizabeth/Eliza Dissinger (1873-1936)
Minnie (married Jacob Reifsnyder)

Their is a gap in dates here, which might be when the land was split, house was built?

Kate and Irvan/Irwin Good (1941-1963)
No Kids (?)

Frederick & Marilyn Louise Shank (1963-1974)
No Kids (?)

Lester & Ethel Stover (1974-1975)
Kids (?)

Naomi Cole (1975-2005)
No Kids
Mother and Uncle lived and died in home

If anyone knows any info on this ... please help me out!!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Help me! I can't stop!!!!!

I hit pounce 3 new shops pop up. Pounce again ... 3 more.

Sometimes I am so amazed by what I see, I can't stand it...I must pounce again.

Pounce...pounce... WHAT'S THAT!?!?!

The colors, the shininess. I can hardly contain myself! Click

I'm in the shop now. The UNDISCOVERED SHOP of Robin Kittleson. How are you undiscovered? How has this shop not yet been seen?!?!

I browse for a while, actually finding myself sucked in by the colors.....ack...must pounce more!


Food! There is food on etsy?!?! I knew about the whoopie pies, the cookies, and the cupcakes. But this is food! It's green, it's crunchy, it grew from the earth! I must enter!!!

Is it?! It is!!! It's everything I imagined it would be! Leaves in the banner and all!!!!
TheLiveFoodist .... clever and practical. A website too!

Even my favorite food of all. Hummus. Oh how I do love me some good hummus! What's this? Cashew hummus?!?! Torture, this is pure torture!!!

It's taking everything I have in me not to lick my screen!!! "The strawberries taste like strawberries. The snozzberries taste like snozzberries."

I must go. I bid thee farewell scrumptious morsels of tummy delight. My addiction is calling my name.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

FeatureMe - Paperelle

Creativity, originality, quality, uniqueness, what sets you apart from everyone else on your online selling venue?

I started a thread today, to find out who felt they made unique items. In a matter of minutes the thread exploded with responses and it took me a really long time to read it all and be current with the posts.

Several of the uber cool shop owners who posted stuck out to me. This is a link to the original thread, if you would like to browse thru all of the shops who replied.

I found one in particular pretty darn cool. I actually said out loud "wait....she MAKES that?"


A Little Bit About Paperelle

Lauren is the brains and creativeness behind Paperelle. She hand makes these fantastic little origami stars out of old (about to be thrown away) paper and creates one of a kind jewelry with them.

ME: Origami stars huh? Is this an old origami folding technique? How did you learn about it?

LAUREN: Yes, it's a relatively simple origami technique. (It must be simple, if I can do it!) I saw it on a craft blog and thought it was pretty cute, and wanted to give it a try. I found a tutorial online, cut some paper, and gave it a go. I didn't want to spend any money on this, so I used some scrap that was in the recycling bin. I've heard that if you fold 1000 stars and give them to someone you like, they'll fall in love with you. I've told my husband to take care, as I've sent well over 1000 stars into the world!

ME: Yay for inexpensive crafts! Money is the main reason I haven't pursued other crafts.

ME: Are they coated in something? Do they squish flat?

LAUREN: Yes & yes! They squish flat, the last step in folding them is the puffing part. It's actually useful when you're teaching someone else, because they can practice the puffing step on a star that's already done to get the feel for it. I tend to fold them in really big batches, pick out the ones I want to make into jewelry, then coat those with an acrylic varnish. It makes them very tough, I field-tested the cellphone charms and never managed to squish one.

ME: That is so awesome! I see in your item descriptions that they are water resistant. I wouldn't expect that.

ME: How long does it take for you to fold each star? I would think that it is a very tedious job.

LAUREN: Folding is relatively quick, it's sourcing and cutting the paper that takes the most time. I cannot draw or cut a straight line unassisted! My guillotine paper cutter is an absolute must, and even then I can cut crooked. It took a lot of practice to figure out how to center an image on a finished star, and I'm still not 100%. Plus, each type of paper folds differently. Junk mail and catalog paper can be really thin, and need a very long strip for a good solid star, wheras the manga can be super thick, needing maybe half the length. If you use too long a piece it'll be too thick to fold, too short and it won't hold the shape.

Um, so to answer your question, it's under a minute to fold! I usually do large batches while I'm watching a movie, much to my husband's chagrin. I'm never looking when something important happens, so we have to rewind or he fills me in!

ME: the folding is quick, but that cutting, measuring, and checking paper thickness sounds like a lot of work. My least favorite part of sewing is measuring/cutting the fabric.

ME: Is etsy currently, or are you striving to make etsy your full time job?

LAUREN: No & no. I actually really like my day job, I'm a science educator for a park. Plus it uses my biology degree, which I'm still paying for. Selling on etsy really branched out of my seemingly endless creating, and a need for a place to put it! I'm awful, as soon as I have a few sales I turn around and buy stuff from other etsians. If it can be self-sustaining and make a little spending cash, I'll be happy. It's also really fun to trade, I just got an awesome bracelet and pair of earrings that way.

ME: That's great that you spend your earnings on other etsy shops! We have to stick together and support eachother!! (I do the same!)

ME: Where is your favorite hang out?

LAUREN: On the beat-up futon, with my husband and our chinchilla, Momo.

ME: Same here, total homebody. . . minus the chinchilla.

ME: When you aren't making your jewelry, what other thing do you enjoy doing?

LAUREN: On the weekends I usually try to see some friends! Although, if my best friend comes to visit we just make jewelry together. She made the sushi polymer clay beads on these earrings.

I'm a video game addict, Rock Band 2 is getting a lot of play in my house right now, and I play my Nintendo DS on the train. I do a lot of other crafts too, like knitting, gocco, collage, a little crochet, painting, etc. I tend to try things that look interesting and have a low start-up cost.

ME: Oh, I want a wii soooo bad!

ME: Of all the fancy flash tools on etsy...pounce, tm2, colors, etc. Which is your favorite?

LAUREN: Pounce! I like the undiscovered option. Before I had a sale I kept pouncing to see if my shop came up! I've never quite figured out the time machine.

ME: Same here! I could pounce for hours!

ME: Do you sell on other venues? Either online, or B&M?

LAUREN: Yes, I sold at New York Anime Festival last year in their artist alley. All of the positive feedback lead me to open the etsy shop. I've joined the {newnew} etsy street team, and that has opened a lot of local selling opportunities too.

When you purchace any of her gorgeous jewelry not only do you get a one of a kind masterpiece that you can wear, but they come gift wraped in a hand folded origami box!

Handmade In PA

A few weeks ago I stumbled apon this amazing new site.

It is run by a crafty young mother who lives in Reading PA. Tara, the creator of the site is so awesomely fantastic I can't stand it!

If you live in Pennsylvania and are looking for a way to meet other Pennsylvania crafters or just love handmade you should stop by.

And, don't forget to sign up for the forums where great advice, news, craft show hook ups, and everyday chit chat is discussed.

Anyway, Tara hosts great giveaways from local artisans. Right now there are some fabulous earrings up for grab by JericasJewelry. The only catch for the giveaways is you have to live in PA.

So, all of you PA people, come join the fun!!!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009


Who woulda thought it would be that hard to add a column to my blog?!?!

That took up 2 hours of my life I will never get back...

My Exciting Weekend

This weekend went by way too fast!

Even tho I only work my 'real job' monday - 4 day weekends are always over before they start.

Wednesday night my bff came over, along with a good friend from high school who I haven't seen in about a year. We drank pina coladas, and then gave each other sharpie tattoos....and then documented our awesomeness on film.

The next day I stayed in bed until 5:30. I was just sooooo tired. Complete waste of a day.

Friday I cleaned a little and took some donations to the thrift store, ended up spending $30 there....but left with some fantastic stuff. I was really upset tho because they had a rockin' dress form behind the counter that wasn't for sale. I'm sure they are going to use it to display some ugly worn out clothing. What a sad way for that poor dress form to carry out her life. I named her Lucile....I'm sure she would have loved to live at my house with Roberta (my dressform), instead of being stuck there doing a job that she was not created to do.

They also had a vintage singer sewing machine. I think it was #221-1, if memory serves....they had it priced at $425. I looked online, ebay has quite a few selling around $100. That really gets me annoyed that thrift stores do that, any price would be profit, they got it for free right?

Sunday we went to moms for memaws birthday party. I gave her a card holder that I made. Like this, different fabric tho of course.

(Click the pic)

We ate chinese. My fortune cookie said something about meeting up with old friends. Which is crazy cause just the day before a good friend came over who I was not speaking to for a few months.

Now it is monday. And here I sit. Guess I should get to work.....

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's Official - President Obama

President Obama...has a nice ring to it!

In celebration of such a wonderful day in our history I have compiled some fantastic products available on etsy!

I did a search with the keyword 'Obama'. To my surprise (good surprise) there were 147 pages of awesomely handcrafted Obama items. Amazing. Click here to see all of the results in etsy
(Since I posted this it jumped to 152 pages. WOW!) are a few that really caught my eye!

Wanna purchase one of these great items for yourself? Here is where you can find them!: (click on the name to go straight to the shops!!)

Row 1
1. Presidential Evolution T Shirt -

2. Pen & Ink Illustration -

Mama Likes Obama Button -

Row 2
Coffee Sleeve -

Yes I Did Vote Button -

Earrings -

Row 3

7. Collectable Bracelet -

8. Hope Necklace -

9. Rocks My Socks Bag -

Monday, January 19, 2009

How Do They Know?!?!

Do the people who air reruns know what is going to happen in my life the next day and then run an appropriate show that night?

I watch one of 3 TV shows at night as I'm falling asleep. Either, That 70's Show, Will & Grace, or Seinfeld. My husband can't understand why I watch shows over and over that I have seen a million times...but they are just that good.

Whatever happens in the show seems to happen to me the next day. It's almost like that new movie with Adam Sandler.

I can't think of any other examples, so I will give the one for today...and update when it happens again.

So last nights show of choice was Seinfeld. It was the one where George's phone line gets crossed with some woman who everyone thinks is Chinese, but really she just changed her last name and wanted to be Chinese (great episode).

This morning I get to work and 2 people are talking about how they got each others voice mails. WTF!? Are you serious?!?

In closing, I think it is not santa who is's the cable programmers.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Heart Breaking Story

A New Face For RuJu

My two small children mean the world to me. My entire life revolves around them. As I'm sure it does for most moms. But their are times, when they can be soooo bad...and do things they REALLY REALLY shouldn't, that make me SO mad.

I, much like most of the people in the US, don't have very good insurance....and vision is not covered at all. I have terrible vision. I can't see squat if it is more than a foot in front of me. I NEED my glasses.

I usually wear contacts during the day, in the evening I wear my glasses. And I actually do sleep with them on my face. I'm so paranoid that I'm gonna wake up to an intruder and not be able to see him.

Anyway, my (almost) two year old son got his grubby little fingers on my glasses. Snapped them right in half. So, husband drilled holes into what was left of the nose piece, and twisty tied them back together. Then I wrapped some tape around it.

So...great. Works fine. Not good if a contact tears and I have to leave the house in them, but good enough for now till I scrounge up some money for new ones.

Ha! Thats what I thought! A few weeks after the initial break my kids were playing in my daughters room. I went up to check on them to find a completely trashed room. So, I started cleaning it up. And what do I find on the floor under a mountain of toys?!?!?! One eye frame from my glasses...lens still intact...but missing other half and arm! Ugh!

I cleaned the rest of the room and managed to find all the pieces to my poor little glasses except for one arm.

I reassembled them as best I could...but without an arm glasses are really next to no good. I needed to be able to see, it was the eve of three kings day and I was wrapping presents for the kids. The right side of my glasses kept flopping forward....pulling the rest of them off my face.

WTF! Stinking kids!

Like I said, I was wrapping presents, so the tape was right, I did what I had to do and taped them to my face.

I did this for another week.

(below is a picture....I wasn't going to include it....but Jen and Gir encouraged me to do so)

Finally I couldn't take it anymore and made an appointment for new glasses. I opted to go to America's Best....cause it's cheaper right...? WRONG! My glasses were NOT 2 for $50. They were $350!!!!! I will not make that mistake again. Granted a lot of the cost is because I had to get 'special' lenses, otherwise I would have been walking around with 6 inch thick glasses.

They are really cute tho.

My Baby Phats. These will not be worn anywhere near children. They are strictly for times when my contacts hurt or whatever and I need to wear my glasses out. (they were $300 of the $350 total)

...and the cheaper of the two pairs. I don't even know what brand they are, they just say 'made in china' on the inside. Cute still, black and pink with white stripes at the sides.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

FeatureMe - Mattsart

A little bit about Mattsart

I spend a lot of time in the etsy forums. I go in to kill time, have some entertainment, give advice, etc. Usually I aim to spend about 10 minutes in there, but I ALWAYS get sucked in and end up being in the forums for at least an hour.

In the millions of hours I have spent in the etsy forums, I have come across several threads, and noticed the trend myself....their just aren't very many male sellers in the land of etsy.

Then I came across Mattsart. He responded to my thread about possibly doing features on my blog. How could I resist doing a feature about a male seller on etsy? Especially when is art is this gorgeous!!!

Me: Wow, a man on etsy! How do you feel being among the minority in the etsy community?

Mattsart: I don't know that I am the minority anymore - but honestly, either way, it's fine.
There was a time about a year ago where I stupidly thought that my being a man was affecting my sales, but like I said, I was just pretty new here, and extremely stupid. Being surrounded and overwhelmed by all the ladies' items just got to me (sort've the man in the lingerie department thing - you know how THAT is), and for a while I was feeling very "out of place", but I'm over it now. There are a LOT more guys on Etsy these days, and honestly, that helps me to feel a bit more at home.

Me: I hear ya. I try to buy gifts on etsy whenever I can....but I have such a hard time finding guy stuff.

Me: So you have a full time job, and an etsy shop full of gorgeous paintings. Where do you find time to do it all?

Mattsart: I make the time, but I never sacrifice quality, because that's what I'm all about.
I am a hopelessly addicted painting junkie, and it's as simple as that. There's an old lyric that goes; "I can't stop for nothing, I'm just playing in the band", and it's exactly the same way for me, only with painting.

Me: Ah, making time. Something I know all too well. Having 2 kids and a 'real job' does make it hard to make the time to create. But the end result is so worth the lack of sleep.

Me: What is the inspiration behind your paintings?

Mattsart: I have no idea. I just do what I do, and the winds, spirits and juju take it from there. God inspires me, other artists inspire me, color and spirit inspire me, books, music, etc. EVERYTHING inspires me.

Me: My sons nickname is juju. Thanks for freaking me out for a second. lol!

Me: Lollipop Trees, Lanscapes, Abstracts, and Customized Paintings....which is your favorite to create?

Mattsart: All of the above.

Me: That's great! You love every single thing that you do.

Friday, January 16, 2009

This is new

I did a search a few weeks ago for a desk organizer on etsy. 3 pages of items came up. 3!!! That's it. I was shocked. To my surprise most of them were round type pen holders. I was not looking for that type of organizer.

You know those cheap plastic things that fit in a desk drawer.....that's what I was looking for, but pretty.


So I had a mission. To make one of these things. It'll be easy right? Well, yes, it's easy. Lots of measuring ironing, cutting, folding, hammering. VERY time consuming. But relatively easy. So here she is.

Click on her if you wanna buy her. :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

FeatureMe - JulieMeyer

Today is Wednesday, and my awesome week continues! I decided yesterday, after receiving so much love that I would really like to be able to 'pay it forward'. If you have a shop you know how awesome it is to be recognized for all of your hard work.

So here we go, time to give someone else a little recognition and let them feel special for a while! :)

Here is how it's gonna work. I asked Julie a few question, and being an opinionated person...had to include my impression of what she has to say. Please feel free to comment on this post, and give your opinion as well!

A little bit about JulieMeyer

Me: Where did you get the idea for your 'clean in style' gloves?

JulieMeyer: I was cleaning my basement, wearing my cleaning gloves, and when I moved a pile of oilcloth I had to make bibs, I realized that it would be perfect trim for gloves. I had seen ribbon-trimmed gloves before, but knew the oilcloth would be a fun, sturdier choice.

Me: Oh the basement, I have to start that this weekend. Thanks for reminding me. (ugh)

Me: You sell bibs and lunch bags, are you worried about the new law that might effect shops selling items for children? And do you think this law is fair? (click here to see what YOU can do)

JulieMeyer: Since I only have a few oilcloth bibs in my shop, I'm not worried about business once the new lead law takes effect. I agree that better testing needed to happen to protect children, I worry about how quickly this law was passed without really understanding the whole effect. I really feel for the shops that specialize in children's items, especially the ones that already use all natural materials.

Me: Personally, even tho I don't make much kids stuff, this law really gets me going! Last time I checked the issues we had with childrens items were not from handmade toys. It's the mass produced stuff that needs quality control.

Me: So, your are a mom? How do your children affect your ability to create? Do they ever 'assist'?

JulieMeyer: Being a mother of 3 does pose it's challenges to create. Without them though, I'd be sitting in an office all day with very little chance to create the things I make. I've learned to work when I can. I used to work late into the night when the kids were in bed, but since I'm not a night person, never really liked this arrangement. I've learned to prep my materials during the day, then try and go to be shortly after the kids. I'm able to get up between 4-5am and work for a few hours before everyone gets up. There are times though during the day when I have a toddler sitting on my lap while I'm sewing. When it's time to ship items, my 10 year old loves to find out where in the world the packages are going.

Me: Ack! 4AM!?! No way! I'm the opposite of you. I like to stay up until I can't move my arms anymore, then sleep in. Good point on the fact that without kids you would be stuck in an office, never really thought of it that way. I'm 25...not 10, and I'm still amazed by all the places in the world that are connected thru etsy.

Me: I see you have made over 100 sales in less than a year! Congrats, that is quiet and accomplishment! What advice can you give to some of the newer etsy sellers?

JulieMeyer: I think the key to making consistent sales is to try and create and list something new every day that you can. I try and spend some time each week in the fun Etsy Forums to learn something new or help someone with a question. I've done a couple of Free Shipping Sales on weekends and that seems to help too.

Me: Yay! The etsy forums! One of my favorite ways to spend my day (and where I met you!) Trying to list a new item everyday is hard, but it really does help, and I have to agree on that bit of advice!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

So Much Love For RuJu

Wow! What an amazing week I am having, and it's only Tuesday!!!

Yesterday I was featured on a blog!!! ( It's a fresh blog that is just starting out. The blogger plans to feature a new etsy shop each week. And I was lucky enough to be chosen for this weeks feature!
Read it here

And to top off my Monday I got 3 sales!!!! WooHoo!!!!

Oh! And my new earrings came in the mail! I was so excited about them I put them on in the post office parking lot. hahaha!

These are my gorgeous new earrings made by a fellow fantastic etsian! Check out her shop

Well, today is Tuesday, so technically more good can still happen. But even if it didn't I would be totally cool with it cause it has been so fantastic already!

I logged into my etsy this morning to find another sale!! Sweet!

Then I checked one of my new favorite sites ( To find that Tara (the person who runs the show) wrote a fantastic article about my shop!!!!
Read it here

I seriously could not feel anymore fantastic than I do right now!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Project: Create Space

As a mom of two little children, my house looks more like an overstuffed toy store than a home. My husband and I would like to buy a bigger house, specifically because we have way too much stuff for ours. But, that just isn't gonna happen right now. So, I did what I could.

Project 1: Create playroom in semi-finished attic.

Our attic has panel walls (the cheap ugly fake wood kind). Only they were not put up correctly. Whoever put them up kinda just nailed pieces to the walls to kinda make it look finished.

This is the mess I refer to as my attic.
Our basement is creepy, and I do not like it down there. The walls are old stone and it stinks. So I keep everything stored in my attic.

So, what needs to be done?
1. Clean out everything. Put it in Totes and move it to the basement.
2. Get rid of the make shift shelves and oil cloth flooring
3. Do something about the walls/ceiling
4. Paint some furniture so it is inviting for the kids

Here is the finished product. I know the walls/ceiling isn't professionally done, but hey, it works.

Oh, and the other half of the attic remains my studio...just a little cleaner. :)

So now the important part. COST.
Paint and fabric was free, we had that stuff laying around. Carpet was also free, it was remnants from when we had our house carpeted. And the lovely futon cushion was also just stuffed in our attic being stored as we had no where to put it.
The only thing that cost me money was the totes. They were $7 each, and I got 5 of them. Best part is they are made from 99% recycled plastic. And they were cheaper than the other brands!

Project #2: The basement (coming soon)

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