Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The title of this blog post describes the week I have been having especially yesterday. Joe says I've lost my crafting mojo this week hehe.

It has felt like everything I have tried to do or make this week is just going wrong. I guess everyone has those weeks though.

The handmade presents are almost done. I wish they were done but its not the case. The alligator is all finished and hiding in my closet waiting for his debut. He turned out so cute. My only complaint about him is that alligators are suppose to have long tails and this one kind of had a short stubby tail. I would like to make this pattern again and adjust the length of the tail. This one was the patterns fault and not mine so I can kind of live with that. Joe says Victoria will love him anyway. He is going to get a big red bow and a tag and he is ready for giving. I did not want to attempt to wrap him.

The lamb is getting to the almost finished stage. I should be working on it right now actually. She may end up needing to wait on her cardigan until after she is given but Im pretty sure she will be finished on time.

The Llama pictures are in their frame and it turned out so cute. I was kind of annoyed that I bought a frame that fits 3 4x6 photos and had to trim them down because they wouldnt sit flat in the frame. But I guess that is what you get when you spend $2.50 on a frame. That was the start of my troubles.

I went to finish Megans pillow with the glass cutting board. I figured this would be a quick project to finish and get out of the way. Hmmm not so much. I finally got a pillow just how I wanted and its going to work great. I finally own a glue gun, pity even though its brand new it doesnt work. Yep I went to use it and it doesnt work. I think it melts the glue stick but no matter how many times you press the trigger nothing comes out. So that is going back to the shops and hopefully the next one will work. Hopefully there will be no other problems when I try to do this project.

I am making some red mittens for my father in laws girlfriend. I am cutting these from a felted jumper. The first mitten came out ok and I should have stuck to the way I did that one because the second one is not so great and I managed to cut my hand with the scissors in the process of doing it in this dumb way. I am now trying to stitch around the outside in hopes of improving them but this quick project is taking longer than I wanted it to and not looking like I want it too, Grrrrrr.

Victoria and I had been planning to make Gingerbread cookies for her class Christmas party treat for months. I found a good recipe the other day and we managed to get all the ingredients ready. The party is today. I looked at the recipe yesterday afternoon only to find out that it has to be chilled for at least 4 hours. Ive never made gingerbread before. There goes Victoria's chance to help make them that she was all excited about. I was trying to get the mixture made before she got home so she might get a chance to help. I was babysitting Lily at the same time. I got distracted and ended up putting in to much butter than I was suppose to and realized this when the mixture was way to sticky. GRRRRRRR! I had to throw the whole lot away and Joe went and got some more ingredients because I was out of some stuff. Well it was impossible to get the mixture done with Lilly there and they were late picking her up so the dough didnt get in the fridge until 6pm. So 10pm I am making gingerbread cookies. The first batch came out great. Things were looking good but then it went down hill. Every batch I cooked just kept getting more and more burnt and I couldnt figure out why. I was trying different things and it wasnt working. So out of the 78 gingerbread cookies I made only 32 were actually edible and able to take to school. The rest had to be thrown away. Its enough to make you cry isnt it. I apologized to Victoria and felt so bad when she left for school today with her meager amount of treats to share. There's not much I can do about it now.

Now today we have to go out in the craziness and finish up our shopping for the Christmas Eve dinner and get a few more presents all before the girls get home from school. After that its super crunch time to get the house cleaned before tomorrow. All my attempts to get ahead of the game in cleaning this week were thwarted by a baby named Lilly and her need to be held or fed all the time. Its lucky she's so cute hehe. Im sure we will get it done. Joe is on holidays, Victoria loves to help, Megan is capable and she has her friend John coming over today and I may have to put him in charge of some cleaning too hehe.

I apologize to anyone who came to read my Favourite Etsy Shop Feature last week. I had an interview all set up, sent the questions out and never heard back from the person despite messages sent. I am assuming the holidays got them busy. I wont be having a feature this Friday because I just figured it would be to much for someone to do this close to Christmas. I will try to have something else for that day. Oh my gosh that will be Christmas Day. I cant believe its so close.

Well I have some presents to attempt to finish and we are off shopping in about an hour. It should be interesting.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Its The Real Santa!

The real Santa came to our little village on Saturday. Who would have thought that he would take time out of his busy schedule for us? We took a short walk up the street from our house on Saturday night because Santa had arrived. We were all rugged up but it was still really cold. We got in the line to wait our turn. As we learned last year when Santa came to our village, he will spend long quality time with each child so it was going to be a wait. Luckily they have free hot chocolate, hot cider and tons of cookies to eat while you wait in line and watch the kids have snowball fights.

We saw many people we know in line and could hear kids anxiously waiting their turn. Victoria being one of them. She was most excited to see the reindeer who we found out was Dasher. This was Victoria's third visit to a Santa but she concluded afterwards that this was the really real Santa because he had a reindeer and looked like Santa. Her little eyes lit up as she realized that she had just talked to the real Santa.

Victoria even got to pat the reindeer and in the next photo you will see that this reindeer took a particular liking to her as well. He kept getting closer and closer to her looking like he wanted a big old reindeer kiss which made us all giggle. Victoria kept pulling her face back because I dont think she quite wanted the reindeer kisses. She kept saying that she thought his nose was going to be all wet but it was nice and furry. After chatting with Santa he gave her a small bag of goodies with activities, crayons and other surprises.

Once we were done visiting Santa we took a walk down the street to the Firehall where they had free chili, hot dogs, chips, coffee, lemonade, cookies and brownies. Victoria also got another present which turned out to be a tub of playdoh.

We had a great time, it didnt cost us a thing, it was right up the street from our house and we have some lovely Christmas memories of when Santa came to town. There are some great things about our small little village.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature


1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Paula and I live in Florida in a historic bungalow with my husband William and my cocker spaniel named Teddy Bear. I am a hospice nurse and a thread bear artist. I love to collect handmade art and antiques.

2. What made you open your shop and why Etsy?

I knew other thread artists on Ebay, who also mentioned that they had Etsy shops.

3. Do you sell your bears anywhere else?
I also sell my bears on Ebay under the seller ID Crocheteddybears.

4. What are your favourite things to do?

I enjoy reading, watching movies, cross stitching, antiquing, collecting, and crocheting bears.

5. What inspires you?
Shopping for threads, yarns, buttons, and ribbons. I love luxury fibers like angora, mohair, and suede yarns. When I see a ball of thread or yarn, I am already envisioning a new teddy bear.

6. Are your bear patterns your own original patterns?
Yes, the bear patterns are my original patterns.

7. Which bear was your favourite to make?
Each bear is my favorite as I am creating him or her.

8. Why do you think handmade bears are so appealing, even to adults?

I think that teddy bears evoke an emotional response from us. I can't help but smile when I look at the bears that I have collected.

9. Which handmade possession given to you do you cherish?
I love the quilts that were made by my grandmother. She taught me to crochet, but didn't teach me sewing or quilting.

10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.

1. Binkys: I love her knitted dragons.

2. Quiltville: Fabulous quilts.

3. Blackcrowprimitives: Beautiful hand painted cloth dolls.

Thank you so much to Paula for being my favourite Etsy shop this week. How can you resist these little guys? Just look into their eyes just pleading to be brought home. I love how they are one of a kinds with each one having their own personality. Having made knitted bears before I know how tricky it can be getting the faces to look so expressive and cute and she manages to do both with each and every bear. When you take a look at this shop dont forget to check out the sold section so you can see other bears that have been adopted, just so adorable.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Let The Christmas Knitting Begin

Now that the craft sale is over and done with I can concentrate on my Christmas knitting. Every Christmas the girls get something handmade by me. It doesnt necessarily mean its knitted because I like to try other crafts as well. Victoria's present does involve knitting. In fact I could knit a ton of stuff for her and she would be happy. The two things I have chosen for her are an alligator and the knitted lamb that she asks me if I have started a couple of times a week. I have already begun the alligator. I got the pattern from Lion Brand. This is no small alligator let me tell you. Here is the link if you want to check it out Pond Alligator
I am making Victoria's alligator out of the Homespun. The main colour is Olive Green and the belly and scales colour is Apple Green. I have finished the top body part and Im now questioning whether I have my colours around the right way. It may be tricky to see his eyes on the Olive Green when he is all done. I will just have to soldier on and hope for the best.

With the knitted lamb I have been given specific instructions. She is to be dark orange and dark pink with a different pink coloured jacket. Luckily I have all those colours from unraveling one of Megan's old jumpers a long time ago. She wont take me very long so I am saving her for last.

Megan's projects are not knitted this year. She got her panda hat so she is happy. Megan is big into Llamas at the moment. I am going to take 3 pictures that she and I took at the zoo of her favourite white llama and print them out and put them in a frame. I think she will be happy that I used her very own photos because she is into photography alot and they are good photos. This is going to be an easy present to put together. The other one which should be easy in theory is proving tricky. I saw a craft program where they hot glued a glass cutting board to a pillow so that you can use it on your lap and write. I found the perfect pillow being just the right size and I didnt get it because I didnt have the cutting board yet and wasnt really sure it was going to be the right size. I am kicking myself because there was only one of these and it is becoming difficult to find the right type anywhere else. I have been on a pillow hunt for the last two weeks. My only hope is if I go back and they have more of them or no one has bought the one I saw otherwise I will have to settle for some other pillow that is not as good. Dont you hate when this happens? I am determined to do this project for her because I think she would really like it and use it alot when doing homework. We shall see what happens with that one.

Are you curious what happened with the craft sale? Well it was kind of a bust. I worked on items for about 3 months and ended up selling one scarf. I had my business cards there so you never know a future sale may come out of it one day. This just confirmed to me that I hate doing craft sales. This was my second one and it just reminded me that they are not for me. I can chalk it up to experience and know that I should not really do one again because my heart just isnt in it. It confirmed my love of Etsy and how much easier it is to sell online. I guess now I have alot of extra things I can add to my shop that didnt sell. This will be a week of taking photos and adding new things. If you would like to see what I had made for the craft sale stay tuned to Knitted For Ewe as will be on an adding frenzy.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

Fairy & Fantasy Art by Rachel Anderson

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I have been fascinated with the world of fantasy since I was little. The idea that you could fall down a rabbit hole and enter a strange magical world took hold of me and inspired me to create my own characters and stories through drawing and painting. Eventually I discovered online communities of artists and was introduced to the medium I currently use, which is digital painting. I create my paintings using a pressure sensitive tablet and pen in photoshop, mainly using the brush tools in a similar way to how one would work with oil paints.

2. What made you open your shop and why Etsy?

I knew other artists who had Etsy shops, so I started poking around the site a bit. Of course I got sucked in right away by the huge variety of cool handmade items. I signed up in January of 2008 to save the user name that I usually use online, but didn't actually start listing until late July of that year. And then I was inspired to create some new items for my shop, like the jewelry and pocket mirrors which feature my artwork.

3. Do you sell your items anywhere else?
Yes, my main website is

4. How did you choose your shop name?

I've been using silverstars or twosilverstars as my online user name at other sites for many years now, so I figured I would use it at Etsy as well. If silverstars is taken (which it usually is) I add the "two". The name doesn't really reflect what I sell in my shop, I just thought it was pretty.

5. What are your favourite things to do?
Well, my artwork is not only my career, but it is also one of my favorite things to do. It's nice to be able to do what you love for your job. I also love baking and reading. I often listen to audio books while I'm painting.

6. What inspires you?

I have a chronically overactive imagination so I'm never short on ideas for my artwork. Even little things like listening to music, watching a movie, or just seeing a certain colour can all inspire ideas for new paintings. I love nature and how peaceful and magical it can be walking through a forest. So I try to reflect that in my artwork.

7. Of all your fairy pictures, which one is your favourite?
Hmm, this is sort of like trying to pick a favourite child... I think right now I am most satisfied with Sweet Dreams. I have felt a bit "stuck" as far as skill advancement goes, and I think maybe I made a bit of a breakthrough with this one. Hopefully...

8. Which product is your most popular?

As far as products go my prints are definitely the biggest sellers, and pocket mirrors are probably a close second. As far as paintings go, Lily of the Valley and Sweet Dreams are probably my biggest sellers.

9. Which handmade possession given to you do you cherish?
I've been given a lot of jewelry from etsy sellers that I really love. I think my favourite is a pair of hand made glass twist earrings that my mom gave me Glass Twisty Earrings

10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.

Oh wow, it's hard to pick just three!
Sweet Fritsy

Thank you to Rachel Anderson for being my favourite Etsy shop for this week. Aren't these fairy pictures just amazing. I dont know any little girl who doesnt love fairies. Even my Victoria who likes alot of boy type things, loves fairies. I dont think that the love of fairies ever goes away either. I know I still find them beautiful and fascinating. How wonderful that Rachel has incorporated her wonderful paintings on items that you can take with you and show off so you will always have a fairy with you. You just have to check out her other pictures and the other products you can purchase with these pictures on them. There is something for every fairy lover.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Meet My New Buddy

This week I have started my babysitting adventures. This is Lilly Mae my new niece. Isnt she just the cutest thing. So far I have had her for the last two days and its been so much fun. Today she is spending the day with her Grandma. Apparently Grandma needed some Lilly time but she will be back again tomorrow.

As you can see here our kitty Ringo is quite intrigued by our new visitor and all her baby smells. His nose goes into overload when she is here. I didnt think Victoria would care one way or the other if Lilly was here because she hasnt really been around babies before but she looooooves having Lilly here. She loves that she is here when she wakes up and is here when she gets home from school. She told me that she wishes Lilly were here all the time and is always asking me when she leaves when she will be back. I dont know if she has gotten over the fear that Grandpa instilled in her about touching her but hopefully she will get better in time ( grrrr to Grandpa).

I seen Lilly several times and have yet to hear her really cry. She kind of fusses a little but never really fully cries. I have heard it happens and Im sure I will hear it one day but she just generally likes to snuggle, eat, play and sleep. Here she is fascinated by our Christmas tree that we just put up and decorated over the weekend. The lights werent even turned on at this time and she was still loving it. You should see her face when you turn the lights on hehe.

Is this a little dimple I see with this cute baby smile. This could be a real smile or it could just be gas hehe. You never know at this stage. I like to think of it as a smile. Needless to say I am having alot of fun being a babysitter and its so very nice to be able to hand her over in the afternoon and not have to do the night shift.