Friday, December 5, 2008

All Packed and Ready To Go!

OK! I am ready! Well, at least as ready as I am going to get. The BIG Craft Sale is tomorrow in Minneapolis. No Coast Craft O Rama actually starts today, but for logistical reasons, I only participate on Saturday.

I have all my junk (I am too modest to say Treasures) packed and ready. Grampy and I are heading up to my daughter's house today and then we are all making the trek from Eau Claire to Minneapolis early tomorrow morning. Grampy serves as the grunt to help with the heavy lifting and my daughter is my sales assistant. I could not do this sale without either of them! I am grateful that they are willing to give up a weekend to indulge my hobby. And I cannot forget the other daughter - she is the co-founder of this successful annual craft sale! If she was not so involved with this sale I doubt I would even make the trip to Minneapolis to participate.

It is with a little mixed emotion that I prepare for this sale. For reasons that I do not want to make public right now, this is probably the last year that I will be taking part in this sale. I think I will really miss the excitement of the event. But I probably will not miss the pressure of getting enough product ready each year to make it worth it for me and my family to to make the trip.

Without the pressure of having to have such a huge stockpile ready, I think I will be more inclined to do some experimenting with new and exciting items to sell at my etsy and my madeitmyself on-line shops. I have wanted to get into some other things that are maybe a little more adventurous and creative but have been reluctant to take the time.

More importantly, however, is that I feel that I never have time to sew for my grandchildren. They are the whole reason I got back into sewing in the first place after a 10-year lapse! So, now perhaps I will have time to sew for them more often AND to keep up with my shops and still have some semblance of a life!

Anyway, wish me luck tomorrow! I will post again to let you know how it all went.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Getting Ready for the Big Craft Sale!

As many of you know, I participate in only one craft sale a year. it is NoCoast Craft O Rama in Minneapolis. Besides being a super wonderful sale, I take part is this one because my daughter is one of the co-founders. She and a group of wonderfully bright and talented gals started up this annual event 4 years ago. It keeps growing and growing and is fast becoming one of the "must do" Holiday events in the Minneapolis area.

My other daughter has always gone with me to be my sales assistant. And believe me - I could not do this without her! The second year of this event I had made us some vendor aprons to keep our money, pens, and other misc. items in during the sale. They worked ok but they were not great. I had just slapped them out with some fabric I had laying around and, other than serving their purpose, they did not have much appeal.

But this year, I am taking it up a notch! I found these great vendor aprons made by MyLittle who has a great shop over at Made it Myself (referenced in my last post). She embroidered my shop name on them. How classy is that!

Here they are. If you need vendor aprons - give this shop a look-see!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Wow! This was a great Hallowe'en for Granny and Grampy! We went to visit with our granddaughters and go out Trick or Treating with them. The weather could not have been better! And the kids were out in huge numbers. I mean the streets were loaded with goblins and witches and spidermen and bunny rabbits and all kinds of fun and interesting creatures.

I love going to visit my grandkids at this time of year. They always have the most creative costumes that they put together with the help of their very creative mom. And the people in this small community really go all out. Lots of the grown ups wear costumes, they houses are decked out with some of the most creative and fun decorations I have ever seen!
Here are a few more of the creativeness we saw on Halloween night:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Still Trying to Learn the New Camera

So I got this new camera a while back and am having mixed success in learning all the ins and outs of using it. It is a Canon Rebel. I like it because it is a digital camera but has features that Grampy and I missed when we gave up our 35mm manual camera - the ability to take lots of shots without the delay you get with a digital, having a zoom lens and focusing ability. One of my favorite settings in the "Sports" setting which allows me to just hold the button down and the camera will take about 5 or 6 rapid shots. This is especially useful when trying to get photographs of my grandkids when they are riding their bikes or doing gymnastics.

The above shots are not very good, I admit. I was trying to get some good shots out my patio door of the birds at the feeder. I was trying to catch some in flight using the Sports setting. The lighting wasn't very good and the darned birds were just too quick for me most of the time. I sorta just stood there with the camera aimed at the feeder and was trying to catch some as they were flying in. Unfortunately, they were already landed before I started clicking - bummer!

But, I will keep trying. So along with the pictures I posted some time back of the Red Tailed Hawk that adopted us, I thought I'd post a couple of my not so hot bird pictures here and maybe we can see how I progress as I post some more in the future. Winter should be a good time for getting some great bird shots!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

BiFocals Suck!

As if the wrinkly skin and aching bones wasn't enough, old age had to further make itself known to me by requiring that I now needed to wear bifocals! Yuck!

Actually the adjustment from my prescription reading glasses (which I have worn for years) to bifocals was not that difficult with one major exception. I did not have the problem many have with going up and down stairs or with reading. Thankfully, I quickly found the right head position for machine and hand sewing. What I could not master was seeing the computer screen!

No matter what I did; no matter how I held me head; no matter how I tried to adjust the location/position of the screen it was just a big blur and kind of made me sick to look at it. I finally gave up and went back to see the eye doctor. Well, it turns out that the bifocals probably will never work for me when working on the computer and needed to see the full screen. You see, I have what is called a "lazy eye" and usually only use one eye (the left one) when looking straight forward. So finding that mid-range "sweet spot" for looking at the computer screen becomes much more complex and often impossible.

There is a solution, however. Per my eye doctor I am now using my old prescription reading glasses for computer work. Because the prescription for these is the same as the close range prescription in my new ones, she assured me that I am not doing any harm to my eyes by switching back and forth. She cautioned me, however, to only use the readers for the computer so that I continue to perfect my ability to use the bifocals.

So old age continues to creep up and play nasty little tricks on me. I am trying to fight back as best I can. I just got a new bike and am taking up bike riding after more than 20 years. I am having a little problem adjusting to the new-fangled bikes. I did get one that is made especially for people like me who learned to ride on the old fashioned biked that did not have the seat up so high and the handle bars straight out. That seems to be working pretty good for me but I still have to adjust to the skinny tires. Wish me luck and pray that I don't break a leg!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

WWWG Street Team Finds

As I was browsing through the listings of my fellow etsy Wild Wise and Witty Grandmamas of Etsy Street Team members, I must have been thinking flowers! Maybe it is because summer is beginning to come to a close and the flowers in my garden are fading, the blossoms are getting smaller and everything seems to be preparing itself for the winter that lies just around the corner.

Whatever the reason, all three of my picks to feature this time all have a flower theme. So, although they are diverse items, they all speak to my love of flowers.

Stormeejean is the maker of this wonderful jacket. The soft, subdued colors are perfect. I think this jacket is so versatile that it works for the office, an evening out or even with a nice pair of casual pants for a walk around the Farmer's Market!

When I came across this beautiful Fused Dichroic Glass Pendant made by Firefly Glass Design I fell in love. Her shop is full of wonderfully designed pendants and deserve a closer look if you are in the market for a unique piece of jewelry for yourself or as a gift. Check her out and I am sure you will love what she has to offer and find her prices quite reasonable.

I suppose part of that "fading summer" mood I was in this morning is one of the reasons I was so drawn to Kelseys Korner because she has some of the most beautiful Christmas Ornaments I have seen in a long time! This Victorian Rose is so delicate! And she has many more to choose from, so please give her shop a look over! You will be glad you did.

So if you are like me and get a little sad when you think of the flowers fading and summer coming to a close, check out these lovely shops and find a way to have the flowers in your life all year around!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More Great Finds From WWWG etsy Street Team

I have been busy looking through all the shops of my fellow Street Team members and find that the variety and quality of items my fellow "old gals" are putting out on a daily basis is astounding! Here are three more sellers that deserve a closer look: has a wonderful shop with a wide variety of items. If you are looking for some really beautiful Barbie Doll clothes, you really need to check her out! She has lots of these wonderful reversible dolls. I remember my daughter having one of these when she was little and she loved it - this is another great seller! She has tons of vintage stuff, including buttons, patterns and Christmas items. Take a look - you will love it. And interspersed throughout her shop listings you will find some great handknit items for baby! - in keeping with her shop name, this seller seems to have a Scottie on everything in her shop! These cute little craft aprons, bibs, t-shirts and a whole lot more. So, if Scotties are your thing - you have got to check out this shop.

So enjoy checking these shops. If you would like to check out the other grandmama's who are nat letting the aging process interfere with the creative side of life, you can check out all the Wild, Wise & Witty Gramdmamas Street Team by entering wwwg team in the search bar at the top of the etsy page.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wild, Wise and Witty Grandmamas Street Team

I recent joined a Street Team on etsy. For those of you who are not familiar with the inner workings of, one of the feature in place to help out the sellers is the ability for sellers to form teams to provide each other with support and community. Teams get together and give each other advise, find ways to promote each other shops and just build a sense of community.
I have been an etsy member for 3 years and have never really felt compelled to join a team before. But the title of this team - Wild, Wise and Witty Gramdmamas - kind of caught my eye. Although I am not Wild (well, one night I stayed up until 10:30!), any wisdom I once had is long gone and my wit is often described by my children as being a little on the sick side, I thought that at least I qualified as a Grandmama!
So one of the goals of any Street Team is promotion! Today I am promoting three excellent Witty Grandmamas that are on my Street Team.
First, there is This is a wonderful shop that features many different types of items. I am drawn to the wooden toys because I now have a grandson. One of his latest tricks is to point to the sky when an airplane goes over - thus I love the helicopter!
Ah! Then there is! Her jewelry is to die for! Please check out her shop and see the wide variety of things she has to offer. And, remember - Christmas is just around the corner!
I have always had an affinity for pottery. My house is full of it, so naturally I am drawn to I am in love with this bowl! And her shop overflows with so much more! You really have to take a look-see!
In the weeks to come, I plan to feature more of my fellow street-teamers here. I hope that you all will take the time to check them out and find out all the treasures that are out there waiting for you. You could have all your Christmas Shopping done before Hallowe'en and tons of time to bake cookies!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Introducing a New Product on etsy

This is a new product that I designed and am going to be selling at my shop on etsy.
While it probably looks pretty much like all the other Needle Organizer Rolls that I have been selling this one is designed to serve a different audience. This Needle Roll is for holding Interchangeable Needle Tips and Cables. Many knitters have switched from buying all sizes of Circular Needle to just buying several cables and different size tips. It probably comes out being cheaper in the long run. And, I would assume that it makes it much easier to switch needle size in the middle of a pattern.
This bag features twelve slots that are 1 1/2 inches wide to hold the tips. And there are six slots that are 3 1/4 wide for holding the cables and other knitting accessories. As always, I have included a flap that comes all the way down over the tips/cables to prevent slippage.
My only problem with the product at this time is that I do not own any tips/cables so I was unable to photograph the bag filled. Buyers are better able to visualize how they will use the bag if they can see this. So, if I plan to make and sell a number of these, I will have to run out and purchase some needle tips and cables. I am sure that I will use them myself once I have them on hand.
So, I what do you think? Am I on to something here? Any suggestion on how to improve this item? Because I don't currently use the tips/cables I have to rely on those who do to tell me what they need or want in this kind of storage bag. Thanks!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

In a Funk..........

Wow! I have not posted anything here in a long time. For some unknown reason, I have been in kind of a funk lately. Unable to get too excited about much of anything and highly unmotivated. This is not like me at all - I am usually pretty upbeat and my body has a hard time keeping up with my mind as I always am overflowing with ideas about what I can/should do today.

But I took some minor little steps yesterday to see if it will get my juices flowing again and get me to move ahead. I joined an etsy Street Team. For those who do not know, Street Teams are groupings of etsy sellers who come together to promote each other, converse with each other and share tips and ideas. They usually consists of groups of people who something in common. Jewelry makers, polymer clay people, knitters and so on and so forth.

I joined a team called WIST which stands for Wisconsin Street Team so it is all people who live in Wisconsin and you have swear that you love cows and cheese! I am thinking of joining another that is called Boomers - this group consists of persons 5o and over - I more than qualify for that!

And I spent quite a bit of time the last 2 days cutting lots of stuff out to sew for either selling in my shop on etsy or taking with me to the Craft O Rama Craft sale in Minneapolis. When I have a pile of stuff already cut, that usually will get me going!

Grampy is going away tomorrow and will be gone for a week. Therefore, I think I will be able to get myself busy doing what I love most and that should chase this darn funk away! Sure hope so!

Oh, and the garage sale was a great success and we got rid if all the junk. Our garage and basement storage area never looked so good! Now we just have to schedule an auction and get rid of the non-junk stuff and we are all set to go!

So wish me luck on my quest to "junk the funk" so I can put something in this blog of interest!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Grampy and I decided it was long past time to start getting rid of some of the junk we have been saving up in our basement for years and years and years. We pulled the family together and said "Let's have a Big Ass Garage Sale!"
So in a couple of weeks our three families are going to put all our collective junk out in the driveway and hope that someone else wants it. You know the old saying - "There's a sucker born every minute" - we are hoping that a few will show up at our garage sale and save us from this clutter.
I have been working out in my mind (yes, I do have one!) the ad that I will be placing in the newspaper as bait to draw in the unsuspecting. How does this one sound?..................
"OK folks, we have all this junk in our basement that is just taking up space and gathering dust. Why not stop by our 3-family garage sale and see if there is any good stuff here that you could take home to take up space and gather dust at your place for a while. We have a wide variety of stuff, with something for everyone. Old pots&pans, old fishing equipment, ice skates, all kinds of mismatched dishes and glassware, tools and so very much more. I mean, really, we could hardly walk through our basement so there will be a boat load of stuff for you to browse through! Come early because if, by chance, there are some hidden treasures, they will go fast!"
Actually, I will probably break down and write a more conventional ad. It is just fun sometimes to say (write) the truth of the matter just to see how it plays. So, if you are not doing anything on June 13 or 14, mosey on over and check my junk!
If you click on the images at the top it will enlarge the image so you can get a good look at it (if for some reason you really want to) and remember, this is just some of it - yes - there's more!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Found Yet Another Great Etsy Shop!

Look at this great Soap Dispenser Face Jar that I got on etsy. I got this from Amanda Moon's Sunfire Shop on etsy. She does some wonderful work and you really should take a look!

This little guy is just the perfect size to hold my liquid soap dispenser that is ever-present on my kitchen counter.

If you haven't discovered etsy yet, you really need to check it out. What ever you are looking for can probably be found there. If not, you can do an Alchemy request and find someone to make exactly what you want. You will probably get so many bidders that you will have a hard time deciding which one to pick! And while you are browsing - please take some time to check out my shop (link to it over there on the left size of this page).

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

This is a Hoot!

I was in Minneapolis this past week end to celebrate my granddaughter's 5th birthday and my ??th birthday with my daughters and grandchildren. We had a wonderful time. We decided to check out a Craft Sale in White Bear Lake. It was wonderful and I was happy to see so many etsy sellers there.

While walking around checking everything out, I was really drawn to the table of Popsie Daisy. She makes the most adorable little creature knitting bags for holding your small knitting projects. I had picked up a card with every intention of checking her on line shop when I got home.

Well, somehow (probably when I was filling my face with carmel corn!) my hubby and the kids sneaked away and purchase this adorable Hoot Owl Bag for my birthday. I was thrilled when I opened it later that day!

These bags are just the perfect size to hold your yarn when working on a small project like socks or small purses. It is nicely weighted at the bottom so that it does not tip over when you are using it. It has a zipper in the back for easy access to your yarn. But, the BEST feature of these little creatures in the hole in the back to thread your yarn through!

If you need a project bag or you need a super and unique gift for a knitter in your life, check out Popsie Daisy's shop. She has wonderful creatures and the price is quite reasonable!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Need a Baby Toy?

If you are looking for a toy for a baby/toddler, please let me recommend you check this shop on etsy. She makes the most wonderful soft toys for the little ones.

I purchased several things from her, including the ball pictured here. It is a perfect size for small hands and comes with a little bell inside. It is soft and easy to handle and her fabric choices are wonderful whether you are buying for a boy or girl.

She makes these balls in several sizes. She also makes great little animals that are just perfect for wee ones to hang on to and chew to their hearts content. And you can feel very comfortable that there is none of that naughty stuff you have to worry about these days.

My grandson was here to visit this week end and he seems to just love his ball! I was amazed at his ability to play catch at 9 months old. I am sure that this colorful, easy to handle ball had something to do with why he was so good at it - but mostly it is just because he is a genius!

So if you are in the market, give her shop a look. I think you will be please with what you see.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tried Something New

One of my best clients at my shop on etsy Custom Ordered these bags. She plans to use them as Sock Knitting Project Bags. They are about 8 inches high and have a 6 inches across the round bottom.

When she placed the order and requested the special fabric, I was very excited to work out a pattern to make the bags to her specifications. After several stops and starts, I finally got them to come out ok. I tell you - the round bottom thing was not as easy as I thought it was going to be! I am sure there is a secret formula somewhere is sewing land with tricks on how to make this application easy. But, I don't know the secret so I struggled to have the circumference of the upper bag match the circumference of the circle bottom.

Anyway, I am thinking about making a few more in various sizes and giving them a try on etsy. There are other people who also make them so I am a little hesitant about stepping on toes. But my fabric choices usually are a little outside the norm so maybe I would be appealing to a different audience.

Let me know what you think of the bags and about my listing them on etsy. More importantly - if you know the "trick" to easy application of the round bottom - PLEASE SHARE!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another Backyard Friend

Anyone who knows us, knows that we seem to have a wildlife sanctuary going on in our backyard. Like most of you, we have a large bird feeder on our deck that we keep filled for the many birds that frequent our woods. Grampy keeps building and adding more birdhouses of various types so those birds that build in a house have several to choose from.

However, our wildlife extends way beyond birds. We have a grouping of FLYING SQUIRRELS that comes to visit us every night. They are nocturnal so they come around after dark. Grampy has built them special feeders and we buy special food just for them. What a treat they are to watch. We have a couple of raccoon that visit every so often. They come up on the deck and try to eat the squirrel food. We also are visited by a friendly possum - again, he is looking for any tidbits of leftover squirrel food he might find.

In the winter we feed a herd of about 13 deer every night. We see them infrequently during the summer. But, they do treat us at least once a summer by bringing their fawns up for us to see. We also have turkey (not often but enough to make it exciting), coyote, rabbits, woodchuck and an occasional pheasant.

We have a pair of mallard ducks that comes back every year. They spend their lazy summer days swimming around in our fish pond and relaxing in the shade of my flowerbed. Unfortunately, they have never brought their babies to our pond for us to see and enjoy.

This hawk is our newest addition to the backyard zoo. He started hanging around and seemed to show little or no fear of Grampy when he got up close to him once when he was eating something on the ground. So we threw out some venison we had in the freezer that had been there way too long and needed to be disposed of anyway. So now he hangs around all the time waiting for us to throw some more goodies out for him.

I told Grampy that we are never going to be able to move - we have way too many creatures depending on us!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I Found a Great New Shop on etsy!!!

Ok - I found this great shop on etsy and I wanted to share it with you. If you are looking for quality wood toys, this is a great place to start your search! Amazing! I have put a link to this shop over there on the left under Places and Things I Like.

Now, I can't actually show you my purchase. Shhhh! it is a secret! Just suffice it to say that I have a grandson that is going to be very, very happy come his birthday or Christmas or just when I can't stand it any longer and give it to him just to see his smiley little face!

Just a note to all you toy buyers out there - etsy is a wonderful place to find toys for all ages. There is a wide variety of stuff for all ages and interests. Here is where you can find that special, unique gift. I have had a real struggle buying toy-type gifts for my grandchildren because it is becoming increasingly difficult to find something different AND something that you feel comfortable giving - knowing full well that the first place it is going to go is in the mouth!

Anyway, The Countree Toy Shoppe should be your jumping off place for exploring the wonderful world of etsy toys!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Something Old is New Again

About 15 or 20 years ago I saw this little child's chair at an auction and fell in love with it. I fell further in love when the owner told me the story of the chair. She was around 80 at the time and told me that her father had made the chair for her when she was five years old.

I bought the chair and brought it home. I did not have small children anymore and did not yet have grandchildren, but the chair had a special place in my home from that day forward. After time, the seat split and it was no longer safe for little behinds to sit on. By now I did have grandchildren, so I kept a plant on the chair so my granddaughters would not sit on it and get pinched in a very sensitive area!

Ah! If this chair could talk! The stories it could tell. I look at it and imagine that father from long ago carefully handcrafting this chair for his beloved daughter. I can envision him in my mind carefully selecting, cutting and sanding the wood for this gift to his daughter. I can almost see him lovingly running his hand over the seat with that special smile that father's have for their children making sure that it is smooth and perfect. I imagine the pride and joy in his eye as he presents his precious child with this gift on a Christmas morning or maybe a birthday. A true gift from the heart.

Obviously the daughter loved the chair. She kept it long after she could no longer sit on it or have tea parties or do her embroidery or any of the other wonderful things she did on her special chair.

She kept it and passed it on to her children. My minds eye sees her children sitting upon this chair reading, having tea parties, or using it at the "kids" table at family gatherings. And then they too outgrew the chair.

But still she kept the chair. And then another generation of children used the chair - her grandchildren. Again, the old chair her father had crafted so many years ago hosted the games of childhood. Again the old chair was brought out and used to bring a little love and joy to the play of childhood. And perhaps there were great grandchildren - yet another generation to benefit from this wonderful gift from a father to his child.

Now the chair is going pass on to a new generation and a new family. Grampy has lovingly restored this chair to close to its' original condition. He took it apart, re glued, sanded, stained and varnished it so that it is once again beautiful. I watched as he lovingly ran his hand over the seat to make sure it was smooth and perfect. And, he had that special smile that grandfathers have for their grandchildren.

This chair is going to our grandson. We hope that he will find hours of fun sitting at this chair reading a book, drawing a special picture for mommy or daddy, or just sitting at the window watching the birds hop around in the yard. And who knows, maybe someday he will lovingly run his hand over the chair as he contemplates giving this chair to HIS child - and he will have that special smile..............

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The UGLY Bag

OK, so I made this bag and listed it in my etsy shop yesterday. It is a Large Farmer's Market Bag. I think it is a nice bag that features a heavy duty cotton canvas lining which makes it extra sturdy.

I sent a picture of it to my daughter. I always send her pictures of some of my new ideas just to get her feedback. I like to use her as my sounding board because she is very honest and does not just say stuff to make me feel good.

Her response to this bag? She said it was "lame"! She liked the concept but hated the fabric. What is wrong with me? When I saw this fabric it just shouted "Farmer's Market" to me. Do you think it is an age thing or is it really bad and I have really bad taste?

I have a feeling that this bag might run its' course on etsy and then become my own personal Farmer's Market bag. And when that happens, my daughter will just have to pretend she doesn't know me when we go to market. :)

I have another daughter and I am hoping that she will still go to market with me! I am pretty sure that my granddaughers will still walk around the market with me - they are 4 and 6 - what do they know about high fashion?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

If You Need an Evening Bag........

you might want to check my etsy shop! I recently started listing some hand knit evening bags. Some of these I made a couple of years ago and had stuck them in a drawer and forgot about them. The small pastel clutch I made last week.

I see these bags as "special use" type bags. They are for when you need a special bag for an evening out. If you carry as much junk around in your everyday purse as I do, these bags are probably a little too small.

Anyway, give them a look see. And keep checking back to my shop as I have some more "found" bags and I have been working on some more of the small clutch-styles and will be listing these from time to time. Thanks!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Milestone of Sorts

Yesterday I reached a milestone in my etsy shop. I reached 800 sales! For me this is a great achievement. When I started this endeavor, I never expected it to be as successful as it been. I knew it would be (at least I hoped) a satisfying experience. But I never envisioned this level of success!

But getting up into this area of total sales puts me in a rarefied atmosphere on etsy except for those sellers who sell commercial supplies. So I am feeling good about myself and felt the need to pat myself on my back. pat, pat, pat.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

On Growing Old

We all know that there are many things about growing old that suck! "Support Bra" takes on a whole new meaning, headstands and cartwheels are but distant memories, there's only about 3 things left on any menu that you can eat and "taking a risk" can be something as simple as walking to the mailbox down an icy driveway.

But, I thought about at least one thing this morning that is good about growing old! I now have a built in excuse for every stupid thing I do and dumb thing I say! I just shrug and mumble "Let's just chalk this one up to old age!" and I am off the hook! Everyone just shakes their heads and say "Yeah, the old gal is getting old - Alzheimer's must be kicking in."

I now have a ready excuse for forgetting important dates likes birthdays and anniversaries. I just pull out the "I'm getting old" thing after I spend 20 minutes looking for my glasses that are resting on the top of my head. I no longer have to explain why I came home from the corner grocery with 27 items - none of which are the one I went for in the first place.

So my boobs may now be closer to my knees than they are my chin, my face crinkles have become full blown wrinkles and I take a one hour nap in my chair every night before bed but I smile with a small touch of joy when I realize that my days of being accountable for my daily foibles are diminishing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Something New in My etsy Shop

I have been making headbands for adults for some time now. I have now decided to give headbands for little girls a try. I sifted through my fabric supply to find some that I thought would work for children. I did not have a bunch but did manage to find a few things that I think are cute.

I really like these headbands because they are so comfortable to wear. At least that is what my buyers tell me. I have real short hair so I don't use them myself. They are all made with cotton with elastic on the back the does not show under your hair.

So far, I only have two little girl headbands listed in my shop. I have 4 or 5 more cut out and will be listed them next week. Let me know what you think - I really could use some input on these.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A while back I posted a blog about my youngest granddaughter and her first knitting project - the monkey hat!

Well, now I need to brag about my oldest granddaughter and her first SEWING project. Look at this wonderful MP3 player tote bag that she made! Can you believe that she did this? Six years old!!! I mean - check out that stitching! I cannot believe that she sewed so straight!

I am so proud of my grandchildren and their interest in doing these kinds of things. It is so wonderful to watch the learn and appreciate the joy of doing things yourself. And, I have to give most of the credit to my daughter who has nurtured this love of creativity, curiosity and joy of learning in her kids. It just warms an old Granny's heart!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

On Seeing Old (and Dear) Friends

Last night I had a wonderful evening out to dinner with a couple of my old gal pals that I had not seen in a long time. We have been trying to get together for months and something just kept getting in the way - family obligations, weather, health. So finally last evening we all were able to meet and catch up on the comings and goings in our individual lives. What fun!

We, of course, gossiped. We got that out of the way first! These are gals I used to work with before I retired and I just had to know all the juicy stuff - and there was plenty of it! But then the talk progressed to sharing things about our families, what we have been up to lately and what we hope to do in the near future. We even made plans to get together again soon for a long afternoon. Wow! I sure hope that happens.

I had forgotten how very important it is to keep in close touch with friends. I think you get something friends that you cannot get from family. It is not to say it is better - it is just different. It was great to be wrapped in the warmth of friends and I promise that I will not let that much time go by before we get together again! Thanks gals for a wonderful evening!

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Rose Pink Tote Bag!

This is my latest listing in my etsy shop. I have made and sold a few totes on etsy in the past but have made one for quite some time.

I have had this fabric laying around for some time and really was not sure what to do with it. Well, this morning it just shouted out to me "Make me into a tote bag!" So - here it is!

This bag measures 13 1/2 by 12 and features a 28 inch strap, buttoned flap closure and inside pocket for the cell phone, keys or whatever.

Let me know what you think. Do you think I should spend more time making them? Feedback is welcome!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

How I Spent My Cold, Cold Morning

Wow! It is really, really cold outside today! Too darned cold to go anywhere. Fortunately, Grampy and I got our necessary errands done yesterday.

So, this morning I decided to make a few more Needle Bags to post in my etsy shop. I still had a little of this Funky Sock Monkey fabric left so I whipped out a 12-Pocket Circular Needle Organzier. I also did three others from some other fabric and listed them all this morning.

For me, week ends are usually a little quiet on etsy and I do not normally lists things. But, geez! With this weather being so extreme all the time, I am beginning to get a touch of "cabin fever"!

Maybe I will just do some on-line shopping at my favorite source for fabric - CraftyPlanet! It either than or clean the house - and CraftyPlanet wins hands down!

Friday, February 8, 2008

It is the Policial Season and Things are Going Crazy

While I have no intention of making this a political blog (I can hear my children's sighs of relief!), I just can't let this nutty season go by without some kind of comment.

I guess it is just a little depressing to me that we have a country filled with talented, highly intelligent, commited people and we have come up with such a sad slate of possible presidential candidates. I imagine that part of the reason for this is because what used to be healthy policital debate with ones opponent has become "search and destroy". It is no longer enough to defeat your opponent in the political arena. Now days one does not consider themselves to have truly won unless they have totally destroyed the person on the other side, their family and all their friends. So many folks have just decided that it is not worth it and choose to find another way to serve their country.

So, we are left with people willing to run for high office who are power hungry, egotistical, and tainted with corruption. I think our current crop of candidates all, without exception, fall short for one reason or another.

I don't care if you are a lefty, righty or somewhere in the middle - no one can be brimming over with pride and enthusiasm with their choices this year. No one can truly feel that they are about to choose between the best of the best.

So I guess we will buck up, make our choice and keep our fingers crossed that whoever wins will do the right thing at least part of the time and not muck things up so bad that we won't recover for 25 years.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Trying Something New on etsy....

So I decided to try something quite different (for me) for etsy. I love making the Needle Bags, wallets and tissue holders, but sometimes you just need to do something different. Knitting is fun to do in the evening when I am sitting in front of the TV. If I don't do something while I am sitting there, I fall asleep.

I like doing these because they are quick and fairly easy. I also have made some up that are quite similar in size and pattern but are used as dishcloths. I have a couple that I use and I really love them!

I listed my first bibs today and it will be interesting to see how many folks look at them and if they are sellable. etsy is always an adventure and unpredictable!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Granny Has to Brag a Little!

It wouldn't be a "Granny" blog without a "Granny Brag Book" so here is my brag. Maggie, my beautiful, talented grandchild made this hat! She is FOUR YEARS OLD! Can you believe it!??? She got a wonderful knitting machine for Christmas and look at her go!!!
I am the most fortunate Granny in the world because I have such talented Grandchildren. Maggie's sister Lizzie is also a creative, talented little girl. She is aged six. She got a sewing machine for Christmas this year and I am looking forward to seeing some of her finished projects. We did a little sewing on the machine while she was here over the holidays and I think she is a natural!
I also have a very talented Grandson. He is aged 5 months and he already shows signs of being a wild and crazy guy! While he probably won't do much sewing and knitting, I am sure that his Dad and Grampy will show him the ropes around woodworking and other such creative outlets.
Getting back to the sewing, I am currently on a mission to put together some easy-sew kits for my girls. I am working on creating some of my own and/or finding some to purchase. I would love to have some pre-packaged kits to take with me on my next visit so I can work with the girls to create some satisfying finished projects. Any suggestions?
It makes me feel really good to know that so many of these things that I thought were becoming lost arts - sewing, knitting, crocheting, beadwork are making a strong comeback with the young people. It makes me feel especially good that my children and grandchildren are so interested in the creative crafts and have an appreciation for doing it yourself!
So please check out the hat. Maggie was positively bubbling over when she called me to tell me that she had made it. Thanks Maggie for making your old Granny so proud!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

etsy and me

I started selling handcrafts at about 2 1/2 years ago. My youngest daughter told about this site and thought it might be interesting to me. I had recently retired and I think my kids were worried that I would become bored or spend way too much time learning the ins and outs of being a couch potato!

Wow! etsy has been a wonderful outlet for me. It keeps me busy, keeps my mind working and keeps me in touch with people.

The main thing that I have been selling on etsy has been various kinds of Knitting Needle Organizers. The one pictured here is a bag designed to hold circular knitting needles. I also make organizers for straight needles, double pointed needles and crochet hooks. I also do a pretty good business making custom order organizers. Some people like the concept and my workmanship, but they have some specific wants for their bag. I try as much as possible to assist them with design and configuration so that they are pleased with the end results.

Just to keep it interesting (and to use up all my scraps), I also make and sell lots of small Coin Purses and Pocket Tissue Holders. I recently started knitting some dish cloth/face scrubbies but it is too early to see if these are going to be a hot item. I have made tote bags, plastic bag dispensers and other items. But it seems that I can't make enough of the needle organizers so most of the other items take a backseat.

I recommend etsy for anyone who makes handcrafted items and is looking for an outlet for their creativity. It is also a nice source for some extra income. Check my shop, check other shops and see if perhaps etsy is the place for you!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I Liked It Better When SPAM Was Something You Ate

This is just a short rant about SPAM! Jeez! It is really starting to bug me. Everyday, several times a day, I have to go through my email and delete, delete, delete. My finger is getting tired, for crying out loud!
No, I am not interested in saving 95% on my Viagra. Can't say that I really care that one of my long, lost mates has sent me an eCard. I believe that all my body parts are about as big as I want them to be. And those four hot chicks that want to meet me? Well - tough!
Oh, and if you can't spell "mortgage" correctly, I probably don't want to do business with you.
There! I feel better now.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Multiplying Balls of Yarn

So Grampy & I have been on this tear lately to go through our house and get rid of all this stuff we have acquired over the years that just seems to be taking up space. It is proving to be an interesting endeavor and probably worthy of a whole blog entry about it. But I will leave that for another day.

During this process, it came to my attention that I had a boat load of little balls of yarn left from previous projects. You know those little leftovers that you diligently roll up and tuck away knowing that someday you will use? Well, it appears that I had been rolling and tucking for quite some time and never did come up with a plan for these multiplying balls.

Then one evening while I was snuggled into my favorite chair watching a little TV, I started to noodle around this idea of making some kind of thigamajig for carrying my cell phone. This is what I came up with. What do you think? I think they are kind of cute. I have listed a couple of them in my shop on etsy and, so far, they are just sitting there! So maybe I am the only one who thinks they are kind of cute.

So, it is back to the drawing board to come up with another good idea for using up those little balls of yarns. Heaven forbid that I would consider for even a moment tossing them out!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Reflections of My Childhood

I don't know if it just a natural part of growing older or it is because I am retired now and have more free brain space, but I often find pictures and memories of my childhood running through my mind.

From out of nowhere, a picture from that long ago past, a name, a place, an afternoon game will all of a sudden float through and (usually) bring a smile to my face. I truly enjoy being able to retrieve these things from my past that I had thought were gone forever.

I grew up in a sleepy, dusty town in Wisconsin. Sleepy, dusty towns in the 40's and early 50's were truly that - sleepy, dusty and isolated in a cocoon. We had no television or Internet to connect us to the rest of the world - or even with that town 30 miles down the road. For those of us under 12, our whole world was what happened within our own town borders. In my case it was in a little place called Winneconne.

I remember swimming in the Wolf River. I remember the walk home when we would all pick apples from a tree along the route. We always stopped at the grocery store and bought a Popsicle. They were a nickle and we could split them. Sometimes we were able to splurge and buy a dreamcycle. They were only a nickle too, but we did not split these so you got to have it all to yourself.

I remember playing Annie, Annie Over across the roof of our old, tattered garage. I remember long afternoons of Jacks, Jump Rope and Uncle Wiggley. I remember Jane, Margie, Mary, Lucille and all those other wonderful "best friends forever" from my childhood. I know we can't go home again (well we could but it just wouldn't be the same now that we are all grown up) - but sometimes I think it would be nice to go back in time for just one day and once again feel that warmth and freedom and innocence of being 10 in small town America.

So, thank you Winneconne for hosting my childhood and filling it with such wonderful memories and providing me with a venue in which to just be a kid. Thank you!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Let's get acquainted

So this is my first attempt at creating a blog. I haven't figures it all out yet. Gotta figure out that picture thing - will probably need to call one of my children!

Anyway, I am hoping to use this blog to write down some of my musing and thoughts about life - looking back and looking forward. As I find myself aging (and not yet figuring out a way to stop that) I like looking back over my life and thinking about things from my past, things that have come and gone, things that truly impacted how I have lived my life and looking forward to what the future may have in store for me.

Right now I am busy being the best granny I know how to be, celebrating the wonderful adults my children have become, thanking myself for picking a perfect husband with whom I can still share and enjoy life, and building a small on-line business to keep my juices flowing.

So, going forward in this blog I will be sharing some of my life-lessons and reflecting on them, talking about my children/grandchildren and telling you about my on-line store. I will tell you about the store not to try to get you to buy something from me but to tell you about how having this endeavor has proven to be such a great thing for me in keeping me alive, vital and content.

Going to sign off now and see if I can figure out this picture and link thingy.