Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Is Feedback Important?

I'm really a statistics junkie. Though I thought my "stats" class in college was sort of a drag, I'm very dedicated to checking my on-line statistics every day on Google Analytics, checking my Ebay comments, checking any Etsy comments, checking my e-mails, reading blog comments (I don't miss any comments--they all get read) and seeing if there are any more followers, etc. Each follower is very important to my on my blog--I'm extremely thankful, not to mention honored, for each and every one of you who care at all about what I have to say. Every heart is appreciated on Etsy. Every comment on Ebay sales is read. When I sell something on Ebay or Etsy or Lollishops, getting a response...a communication of any sort by the very important. I can learn a lot from feedback. Does anyone else crave feedback? I feel that if someone DOESN'T respond, that they didn't like what I sent or there's a problem, and they don't want to tell me. I'm really trying to make sure that I communicate with buyers and sellers of items on line, particularly those "little shops" out there where people take the effort and time to create what they sell. Perhaps feedback fills in the gap that is missing in on-line sales--of not physically going into a shop, seeing the shop owner, and communicating with him/her through body language or verbally about the shop and the items in it. To all who have commented on the things I have sold them--THANK YOU! I appreciate the time you take to do so. I'd also like to encourage those who don't give feedback to little shop owners like myself, to do so. The little bit of time you take to give feedback is more important that you think--and appreciated.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Did you hear? Do you metal detect?

Do you have a metal detector? Have you used it? Did you find anything exciting and/or valuable? Yes, I have one (it was given to me). Yes, I have used mine several times. Valuable? Exciting? Well, if you call a quarter valuable and exciting, then, yes, I have found something valuable and exciting. I have found many pennies, more nails, and a few nickles and dimes, and even fewer quarters. The thrill of the hunt is what gets me out there again--preferably at a place where there happens to be a fishing spot close by so that my ever-so-patient husband can do something while I metal detect. I know...all of my dear, sweet friends in Britain already know about all of this and are probably tired of hearing about it, but I just found out about the Stafforshire treasure uncovered on a farm there last July by a man with a simple metal detector. What a find! If you'd like to read all about it the website to go to is The Staffordshire Hoard. I always thought it would be exciting to metal detect in Europe--all of that wonderful history over there; and this story is amazing. If you'd like a good read...or perhaps a little inspiration to get your own metal detector or actually USE the one you already have, this site would be a fun read. It has been to me!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Crowns, the book by Pamela Claussen

Due to the amazing generosity of someone dear and kind, Pamela Claussen's breathtaking book, Crowns, arrived in the mail this past week. I had really, really wanted the book actually--had pointed it out to my husband even...then someone (not my husband) sent it to me. I'm so thankful...tickled pink...jumping for joy...very grateful. Talk about inspirational! If you need inspiration on embellishing, this book will fill that need...and then some. You know I love embellishment of all kinds and have the philosophy of "If three beads can be placed in a particular spot...why not put seven?" Sometimes, however, I find it hard to find the line between embellishment and over-embellishment, between looking classy and being tacky. I don't ever want my things to look tacky. Pamela amazingly goes right up to that line yet never, ever crosses it. Her work is truly beautiful. If I were royalty in anyway--which I'm not other than being a child of God, the King of Kings--and needed a crown or piece of sparkle made...I'd hire Pamela for sure. Check out the book sometime. It's on Pam's lovely website, Glam by Pam. Thank you again, dear friend, for the book. I will enjoy and treasure it for years to come.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Vintage Rose Treasury

I had fun putting together another treasury--this one featuring vintage rose things. Check out the treasury if you'd like at this link>>>Vintage Rose Treasury.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Designers' Marks on Vintage Jewelry

There is something exciting about going to a yard sale, picking up a lovely piece of vintage jewelry, bringing it home, then upon closer inspection discovering a designer mark on the back. Some are well known like Monet and Coro and others are not so well known like A&Z. I was trying to figure out a designer's mark on a brooch to sell on Ebay and came across a super website with great pictures of designers' marks that are then identified. While it is not comprehensive, it is a wonderful reference if you're trying to figure out the mark on the back of that brooch or earring set. The site is by Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry which also features and sells beautiful things. However, I really like it when a site gives a little information too--smart idea since I will probably visit the site more often if it is a valuable resource. Here is the link>>>Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry.

Sorting Buttons

So, what do I do when there are many things to do and I don't want to do them? I sit down and sort my buttons, of course! This satisfying form of deviation from all necessary work is highly recommended. I'm not totally sure what came over me. Perhaps it was the fact that I had some buttons that needed to be put away. Perhaps it was because I found some very pretty ones and wanted to look at and handle them a little longer. Whatever the case, I made a huge mess on our rug putting the buttons in colorful piles and admiring the ones I found to be especially pretty--ones with rhinestones, that are made of shell, that have little flowers on them, that are in the shapes of hearts and know. I put all of my special pretties (see the plate above) in their own bag for future use as inspiration strikes. I'd love to tell you that I put all of the sorted buttons in sparkling crystal canisters for display on an upper shelf in my studio...but I don't have such pretty canisters and no studio. So, into the Ziploc bags and up on our closet shelf they went. I can confidently say now, though, for all who by chance would come through my doors for a visit and ask me (no doubt the first thing you would ask anyone you visit) that, yes, I have neatly sorted buttons.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fancy Shoes Treasury

I had fun last night (up way too late doing it...but I got one in--yippee!) putting together this Etsy treasury featuring fancy shoes. Here is the link if you'd like to look at the shoes up close and in detail--Fancy Shoes.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Tea Time Tidbits" Special Posting #10

I love little cottages--in all shapes, sizes, and forms. Perhaps it's an extension from the '80's when they seemed to be very popular. Whatever the case, I am gathering a little collection of them on my mantle. Unfortunately a mantle is only so wide and so long...because I'm running out of room! I have a clock and a plate and a thimble...(sounds like a good topic for another post)...and, of course, some cottage teapots and this cottage tea mug which are absolute necessities for this tea lover! The tea mug is from the Allyn Nelson Collection. The two teapots are James Sadler designs. I LOVE James Sadler's teapots. The timbered one is "Anne Hathaway's Cottage" (No, not the actress--Shakespeare's Anne ...though I bet she wishes it were her house), and the other one is "Rose Cottage".
There is a "Wisteria Cottage" out there that is lovely and I'd like to get someday. The detail on these teapots is truly amazing--little animals, profusions of flowers, lifelike additions. These little tea related cottages are pleasant and pretty, and I really enjoy them (one reason why they're up on the mantle!). If you're going to have tea, it might as well be in something pretty, pleasant, or personal. Then the entire experience will be the best it possibly can be.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Having a Sale!

Yes, I am having a fall sale and have cut the prices on almost all of the items in both shops--in Lollishops and in Etsy. Feel free to click on or to visit the shops and have a look at what the new prices are. You know, times are a little tight for us all, and having a sale is a way to help, I feel, with the expenses of the upcoming gift-giving times.

Mini-MOO to Big-MOO? Oh, Boo Hoo!

There are times when I prove to myself how very technologically challenged I really am, and the day I set about to order some Mini-MOO cards was one such time. I couldn't for the life of me make a Mini-MOO card! The little cards are adorable. I like all that I've seen. I had seen the three-picture Mini-MOO card that Tina of Tiny Bear fame created and absolutely loved it. Well, forget three pictures...despite manipulating, re-sizing, re-doing, re-everything... NONE--not one, let alone three--of my images would fit into the Mini-MOO frame (if anyone has any suggestions for next time, I'd gladly and eagerly accept any and all advice). Frustrated yet determined as I was, I DID create these regular-sized business MOO cards out of my favorite pictures. The quality is exquisite, and I was pleased despite them not being small. Boo, hoo! Hope you like them!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

If You Like Craft Store Coupons.... to Hobby Lobby, Michael's, JoAnn's, etc. and sometimes miss the coupons in the paper like I do (well, okay, I almost always miss the coupons), then a visit to this helpful blog is for you. I love to use coupons--why pay $6.99 for a gold leaf pen needed for my Lollishop or Etsy project when I can pay $4.19? If I can save a buck, I will, and I know there are plenty of other people out there who would as well. Visit the blog before you head off to the craft store to see if that store has a coupon for the week, weekend, and/or day. It works--I have printed off the coupons and used them (the stores really do accept them!)--and have fun saving money!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thank you, Kelly from Blondheart!

I won this little trinket from Kelly of Blondheart. Isn't it darling? Check out Kelly's blog and her adorable creations and other pretties on her Thank you, Kelly!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

At the Farmers' Market

You know, I love the idea of going to a farmers' market. I truly appreciate all of the hard work that goes into having a large garden (especially because I have allergies that make weeding miserable for me) and then the work that goes into harvesting early in the day, setting up a little booth, and sitting there for hours selling your things while someone two booths over is trying to sell the exact same things. I don't go to them often, sadly...shame on me! I really never think of it--you know...we shop at a grocery store every payday for groceries that last us for two weeks until the next payday. That's our budget, and unfortunately I don't think "outside the box" very often to check the times and places where the local markets may be. I love the idea of buying local and supporting a "little guy" trying to make an extra buck.

We had to mail something at our post office this past Thursday, and low and behold a farmers' market was set up across the street. I must never go to the post office on Thursday afternoons in the summer, because I had no idea this was there and had been there all along. Mmmmm, guess I need to get out more. We had a few extra bucks in our pockets (rare these days); my husband and I looked at each other, shrugged, and said "why not?". So after getting our stamps, we sauntered through the local farmers' stands. What great stuff! What great prices! Obviously, I need to change my ways. Honey was much cheaper than the bottle I had just bought at the grocery store the Friday before. We bought three huge green peppers for $1.00, a bucket of "dent and scratch" apples for apple pies for $2.00. The fresh corn on the cob looked delicious, and we bought some. The flower lady had buckets of beautiful blooms and was kind enough to tell me some varieties that I thought were beautiful and didn't know the names of. I went back to her stall and with my last $5.00 bought this large, lovely bouquet. Can't get this in Walmart!

Obviously, I need to go to these more...and, if you don't, I encourage you to take a saunter through a local farmers market. It feels good to get healthy, wisely priced items and support a neighbor too.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Singing Some Praises...

"Praise God, from whom all blessings flow: Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav'nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. A-men"

This is otherwise known as Doxology--written by Thomas Ken to the tune by Louis Bourgeois and quite often sung today rather ritualistically--unfortunately. It's a simple song really, but the message is clear and precise...and today, I'm just bursting with praise...this song is truly in my heart. Can't help it! After months of some not-very-positive news and situations, this week and today have brought blessings.

We had a flat tire last weekend upon coming out of the grocery store--which was a blessing in disguise because they were all really bad (like bald, rippled, and little chunks out of the rubber). Thankfully my husband was there too, so he changed it. Then, the Lord provided the money from an unexpected source to pay for the tires. We didn't have to put the new ones on the credit card...AND I wasn't stranded on the Interstate somewhere with the kids trying to fix the tire myself!

My sister-in-law got a VERY last minute spot due to a cancellation as a vendor for her Starwhiz tools in the Quilt Expo in Madison (connected with Nancy Zieman productions-- held this weekend. I'm just amazed and thrilled for her to be able to get in (and in the first 20 minutes she sold two!), and I hope she does really, really well. She volunteered to display some of my jewelry out on one of her walls which is sooo nice of her.

Then my father-in-law who has been a builder for over 40 years and who has been out of good, solid work other than little jobs here and there for a few years now, just found out today that he got a big job to last him many months--through the winter. This is a definite answer to many months of prayer. It's just great to know that their needs will be met.

I'm just so thrilled with our blessings and the many blessings of others (the encouragement is definitely contagious)--needs have been met and things have come together in truly miraculous ways. It can only be God. "Praise Him, from whom all blessings fall..."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Romantic Homes "Detail Work" Feature

You know how I love embellishments--especially vintage ones. I like to embellish my home, my little , me, things I make, food, presents...well, you get the idea. (...though, I DO leave my hubby alone!). So, anytime I read something about embellishing, my antennae go up and I can't wait to devour the words and pictures. The October 2009 issue of Romantic Homes has a wonderful article entitled "Detail Work" about Nancy Jamar and her shop, Gilding the Lily...a boutique that sells vintage embellishments and also gives classes to create beautiful things. Check out the website>> While you're at it, she has an interesting blog as If a person can make something pretty, embellishing in some way with a little glitter, a bit of ribbon, a rhinestone or glass bead--even just a little bit or a few--can make a world of difference in how it looks. Thanks, Romantic Homes, for such a pretty and inspiring feature!

Monday, September 7, 2009

"Tea Time Tidbits" Special Posting #9

My husband and I were reminiscing just a little bit this past weekend that it was 10 years ago next month that we went on our whirlwind trip (5 days, 4 nights) to Paris. We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary (which is in January) a little early and went over for Sweetest Day weekend the October before that milestone anniversary. I remember coming upon a kitchen store--I love kitchen stores...I suppose a kitchen store to me with all of its rows of necessary things is like a hardware store to my husband--one day while there, and this little sea foam green teapot was sitting on a shelf just waiting for me. It was love at first sight, and now it sits on the hutch in our dining area among all of my other tea treasures. It is a 2-cup pot trimmed in gold and says "Yves Deshoulieres" on the bottom which unfortunately I couldn't pronounce if my life depended on it. It's a beautiful, cheery reminder of that fabulous trip, and I think of Paris every time I look at it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Having Guests--Putting Roses in Their Room

We are having my brother and his family stay at our home this week--how wonderful! It has been great to catch up with him and visit with my sister-in-law and their children. I haven't seen her and two of their children for almost five years! (It's pretty expensive and quite a trip to get to and from New Zealand.) But, just where does the time go? Yes, we can call and e-mail, but there is nothing like a face-to-face visit with plenty of hugs. My brother is the preacher and Bible institute teacher, and they have been living in beautiful New Zealand for almost 20 years now.

For some reason I'm convinced that a guest room should have fresh roses (and maybe a little dish of chocolate, too). I know I really enjoy fresh flowers in a room (and chocolates--*wink*). So, I went around our house yesterday picking some of the last beauties of the summer to put in their room (see above). These were the best and prettiest--and only the best will do for our honored guests.