Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Meet Kathy and Carrie, the artists behind 4 etsy shops and 2 blogs!  When asked a few questions, they replied, "Thank you, we'd love to be featured on your blog." 

How did you two meet?
"We met back in 2001 at our sons' first day of Kindergarten. We became friends instantly and found out that we both love to be creative and decided to put our creative minds together."

Do you make some things separately, some together?
"We really enjoy collaborating on projects and 99% of the time we give each other input on separate projects. We each have our own styles and techniques."

Who manages the shops and blogs?
"We get together every week day and collectively check the shops, fill orders, brainstorm, blog, twitter, Facebook, add ourselves to search engines and most importantly hunt for MoNsTeR bOxEs."

When chosen as the etsyblogger of the month, this was said of CalKat:  "CalKat is Kathy and Carrie.  They're wonderful members of our team -- and have been for the past couple of years. You've probably seen them around -- they've been supporting our team, teammates, and team events and volunteering, too, whenever they can!"


CalKat the Jewelry Junkie

They just love to have giveaways!  As a matter of fact, I won one of their giveaways back in June!  See it HERE and HERE.  It's a beautiful signed sunflower print by Laura Zollar.  Here's Laura's website.


PS: Happy Birthday this month to Kathy!

photos by me and CalKat © 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

wishing you...

a very merry, happy, wonderful, blessed, joyous Christmas!
photo by me © 2005

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

chasing rainbows: SkyWatch Friday

chasing rainbows while on vacation in Blanchard, Idaho
This is actually a double rainbow which you can see better in the second photo.
This post is for SkyWatch Friday.  See more wonderful photos HERE.

This edition was hosted by Squirrel Queen, aka Judy of The Road to Here.  This blog and her other blog, Through Squirrel Eyes are favorites of mine.
photos by me © 2008

Friday, December 18, 2009

a favorite Christmas

Apart from all the hoopla, commercialism, gifting, partying, there IS a deeper meaning to this season.  The esty bloggers' carnival this month asks the question:  Holidays - Christmas, Hanukkah & Others, what was your favorite gift received? Was it handmade?  This recalled to mind a Christmas long ago when my husband and I had little money and a small child.  Although we gave gifts to him, we gifted each other with mostly "coupons."  This remains my favorite Christmas gift experience.
a cookbook and coupon for cooking sessions together
Another special Christmas was two years ago when my mother went into the hospital just days before.  On Christmas Day, my husband's family was here and we were just sitting down to eat when I got the news my mother was being released.  I hurried to the hospital and brought her to my house in time for a meal and family fun.  Everyone was so happy to see her and spend time with her! 
 my son and I long ago
HERE is where the carnival will be posted sometime on Monday, December 21 by LindaB.  Check out Linda's  etsy shop, too!

photos by me © 2009 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Homemade Candy, a Christmas Tradition

 At Christmastime, in our household, it is a tradition to make at least one kind of candy.  Oh the deliciousness of homemade candy!  We eat some (of course!) and we give some away, wrapped festively.  Over Thanksgiving, my daughter, her boyfriend, and I made this delicious brittle.  Sadly, it is all long gone.  So we will have to make more to give away.

This is how it looks at just before 250 degrees.  This process takes a while, so be patient.

Now it's ready! 

4 C chopped nuts
1 C butter, cut in slices
1/4 C water
1 C brown sugar
2 C white sugar
1/2 t baking soda
2 t pure vanilla extract
10 oz chocolate (your choice)

Pan is off the fire.  Adding the soda and vanilla.

Roast nuts in oven @ 350.  Chop. 

Cover a long pan with wax paper or parchment paper.  Spread 1/2 the roasted nuts on the pan.  (We made half the pan almond, half pecan.)                                                                                           In a saucepan, mix together sugars and water.   Add butter.  Stir.

Slowly (on medium ), heat to almost 300 degrees.   Do not stir.
When this temperature is attained, remove pan from heat.  Stir in baking soda and vanilla.  Pour over nuts and spread with heat resistant spartula.  (see photo below.)
Now carefully spread the chocolate on top.  We used bittersweet baking chocolate, chopped, and semi sweet chocolate chips.  Us the spatula to spread evenly.

See how the chocolate melts?
Now spread the rest of the nuts on top and press them in a little.
WAIT!  Oh, this is the hard part!  You can hasten the cooling process by putting the pan in the freezer.
YUM!  We made our own maple syrup ice cream and mixed in some of the finely chopped candy.  Garnish the top with more candy, voila, nirvana!
Ice cream ingredients:  2 C heavy whipping cream, 2 C whole milk, 3/4 C pure maple syrup  (That's all!)   Process in ice cream maker.   

This post is for the etsy bloggers' carnival,  hosted this time by Erika of Nico Designs.
THIS is where Erika blogs and where the carnival will be published on Monday, December 7.   
And here,  in her SHOP, is where you'll find her wonderful creations!

photos by me © 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

a frosty treasury!

a treasure trove from talented artists along with one vintage item!

Row 1:
Row 2:
Row 3:
Row 4:
see the treasury HERE for the next few days. 
PS Most items here are from the etsy bloggers' street team.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kitties Who Came to Play

Tigra and Edward Bunk came to play at our house over Thanksgiving!
cute, adorable, bouncy, gallopy, friendly, curious, loving, purry, fresh, fun, hilarious, jumpy, entertaining, sweet, playful

Tigra munches a Casbah felted ladybug!

Bunkie loves his CasbahKitten catnip jellybean! 

My daughter's sweet kitty Cy disappeared a few months ago (Asheville Kitty).  She adopted these two kitties from a shelter about a month ago when they were about 8 weeks old.  We had so much fun with them!  Oliver and Earnest, our 8 year old cats were not thrilled by their visit, but were polite for the most part.

CasbahKitten:  wonderful kitty toys!   I learned about these toys from Beaded Tail, who blogs about her kitties and dog.

photos by me © 2009

dreaming of snowmen treasury 2!

Link to the treasury is HERE.  However it will expire in about a day.
row 1 (across): 
Little Miss Create

row 2 (across):  


row 3 (across): 


row 4 (across):  

photos  © 2009 by individual shop owners.  all rights reserved.
NOTE:  Once again, blogger is being persnickety.  What I see when writing this is NOT what you see here on this post.  However, all content is present. 

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Fab Miss B!

This month's featured etsy blogger is The Fab Miss B!

"I've always loved to paint, draw and make things with my hands. My art is inspired by travel and adventure, fairy tales, Roald Dahl books, every color on earth, Christian Dior, street fashion, humor, old timey music and Marilyn Monroe. I have lots of fun making pipe cleaner ornaments, illustrations, greeting cards and banners every single day."
Becky's two shops are just brimming with fun!  Look at this lovely vintage brooch packaged in a hand made box from The Fab Miss B!

Becky Kazana makes vintage inspired chenille pipe cleaner ornaments one at a time, just for you, such as Corine the pipe cleaner dancing girl.  

Be sure to visit Becky's BLOG which is " is a sketchbook I fill with the inspiration I find around me everyday."

Becky Kazana

photos by Becky © 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Two little kitties have come to play at our house for Thanksgivng!  Meet Tigra and Edward Bunk.  They are adorable 3 month olds who love to gallop about the house and jump everywhere.  My two cats are very skeptical of these visitors.   The little kitties will run up to them and touch noses--very cute. 
...wishing everyone a most wonderful Thanksgiving!
photo by Cara Freije © 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

dreaming of snowmen treasury!

This treasury contains beautiful and amazing creations You really must see for yourself!
Link to the treasury is HERE.  However it will expire in a couple days.
row 1 (across): 
Little Miss Create
paintingfromthe heart
row 2 (across):  
row 3 (across):  
row 4 (across):  

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Thanksgiving is the most wonderful celebration!  It is a time of family love and togetherness.  It's my family's favorite holiday.  This year, we might:

Besides Thanksgiving fare, my family loves to cook.  We'll spend many happy hours in the kitchen creating, talking, laughing.  (photo of vegetable soup)

hike in the woods  (behind my backyard)

play games
Check these links out!
1.  Yehuda-Top Ten Board Games 
2.'s Top Ten Free Board Games includes links to more games
Nectar Collector by Animal town Game Company was independently published in 1978.  Have fun while learning about honeybees. Maybe you will become the "Super Beekeeper!"  We played this game with our children when they were young, and brought it out again a couple years ago.  We had the most fun, laughing and laughing! 

have our own wine tasting
go to a movie
visit friends
go on  a photography shoot (Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park)
rest and play with kitties

This is for the etsy bloggers' street team

photos by me © 2008-2009 (except for photo of board game)
PS  Blogger is being very persnickety, and will not let me place elements where I want them!

1.  I'm featured on Linda Pruitt's blog!  (angel earrings)  
2.   I'm in  a treasury, too, thanks to The Goblet!       See it HERE! (holiday cheer earrings/3rd row down on left)
3.  I'm in another treasury!  This one is by Irina Photography.   See it HERE!   (T shirt, bottom right) 

Thanksgiving in the USA is always the 3rd Thursday in November.  This year it is November 26 which also happens to be my brother's birthday!

Monday, November 9, 2009

card for Jaimie

It is very painful to even write about the events that happened to Jaimie.  It hurts my heart just to think of it.  Here is a little bit of information. 
Mont Vernon is a very small town in new Hampshire.  On the night of October 4th, 2009, Jaimie Cates and her family went to bed.   Four local teenagers armed with knives, broke into their home and brutally murdered Kim (Jaimie's mother) and seriously injured 11 year old Jaimie. They chose the home for no other reason than its location, and for no other purpose than to bring harm to the occupants. It was a senseless, random crime that shook the small town and much of the state.
More information and links to a news article:
(scroll down to near the end of the entry) 
and HERE
Erin and Denise are raising cards for Jaimie!

my card (click to enlarge and see detail)

cardstock:  hot pink, black
handmade paper
Stampin' Up stamps:  Kanji, Bamboo
DP Artworks stamp:  swirl background  online shop  blog
a little note:  I have personally met Deena a number of times over several years.  In addition, our booths have been next to each other at a yearly November craft show.  I will also vouch for the high quality of her stamps!

opaque pigment gold ink
black ink
gold metallic thread

cuttlebug textile on black paper, over-inked and edged with gold
The words--tranquility, harmony, love, and wisdom (inside) express my wishes for Jaimie.

Virginia's card
To read about this project and 3 other special projects, see my blog post HOPE.
PLEASE:  Click on the Spread the Love button on the right side side of my blog for more information and to send Jaimie a card. 
photos by me © 2009
PS  I am featured on a BLOG for comments on blogging.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Idaho:SkyWatch Friday

LINKS to past SkyWatch posts by me:
Pagosa Springs Colorado
Glacier Skies Montana
Sunset Over Cupecoy St. Maarten, NA

For more skies, visit this blog,  and do join in!

photo by me © 2008

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Echinacea: Today's Flowers

Echinacea purpurea (coneflower)

Named for the prickly scales in its large conical seed head, the herb resembles the spines of an angry hedgehog.  Echinos is Greek for hedgehog.

See more of Today's Flowers HERE.

▪ attracts bees, butterflys, birds
Native American medicinal plant, used to treat upper respiratory tract infection.  Echinacea contains several chemicals that play a role in its therapeutic effects--polysaccharides, glycoproteins, alkamides, volatile oils, and flavonoids. (Science is not in complete agreement on its effectiveness.)
perennial which blooms mid-summer through early Fall, zones 3-9, full sun to part shade  (I grew mine from seed, and it has very slowly self-seeded over time.)

photos by me © 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Through the wonderful world of blogland, I have "met"  people who are sharing their talents, love, and hope with others----  all through hand~made goodness!  Here are 4 of them:

Early on in my blogging life (late January this year), I met Sinclair through her blog Nature With Me, a wonderful blog about nature, homesteading, family life, crafts, and green living.  Now Sinclair has begun a new blog, Sharing Our Gifts:
"I am so excited to finally launch the real purpose of this blog... I want to help at least one charity in each of the 50 states. I want to offer quality handmade goods to people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to purchase or have handmade. I want to help charitable organizations and people at the same time."

Project #2 is about to begin!  Go to Sinclair's blog to find out more!

Project # 1 was hats and slippers for Veterans at the Southern Oregon White City Rehabilitation Center. 

(Sinclair's hat on left/hat made by my friend Virginia below.)


"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." --Gandhi
So reads a quote on the next website:

Craft Hope is currently working on project #5 (deadline November 15)--quilts for homeless children.  HERE is the organization being benefited.   
"This project is easy.  We are calling this quilt pattern HOPE SQUARED.  Make a quilt out of squares.  Any size, any number, any color.  If you are new to quilting and don’t know how to finish and bind a quilt or if you have limited time, you can construct the top of the quilt (the squares) and send that to them and they will gladly finish the rest for you."   
more information and 2 quilt patterns are  provided on the website. 
Here are some photos from past projects:

 sock monkeys for Little Heroes Burn Camp

blankets, booties, and beanies for NEWBORNS in India

Oh, there is more!  To find out and see some wonderful photos, go to the website!

Scrap, Stamp, and Be Merry is "raising cards for my 13 year old neighbor who recently had her arm amputated after a boating accident."
♥ news article   
Here it says they've run out of room for flowers and stuffed animals, but cards are welcome.  Erin says, "Well my family and I really want to do  something and I thought amazing cards from all you wonderful ladies would be just what would cheer Paige up.  She is one of those girls who ALWAYS wears a smile." 

♥ read about the card drive HERE and HERE. 
♥ There is also a link to a digital stamp that was created by Denise just for Paige.  Proceeds  will go right to Paige's medical fund!!
♥ UPDATE from Paige's mom
♥ email Erin @ for the address to which to send the cards.

 Here is the card Erin made using Denise's stamp.

Stamp Something...for Jaimie is a new blog begun by Erin and Denise, dedicated to sending support to Jamie and her family.

"Four local teenagers armed with knives, broke into their  (Jaimie's) home and brutally murdered Kim Cates and seriously injured 11 year old Jaimie. They chose the home for no other reason than its location and for no other purpose than to bring harm to the occupants. It was a senseless, random crime that shook the small town and much of the state (of New Hampshire)."

"After receiving a grief filled email from my friend asking for help for the family, I knew I needed to help however I could. I asked my fellow stamper, New Hampshire gal, and long time friend Denise Lynn for ideas. Together, and with the artistic talents of Ann Vento, we came up with the idea of an international blog hop and this blog to raise awareness of the crime. We are hoping to shower Jaimie with wishes of love and hope from around the world to help her recover some of what was lost."

"The hop starts at 10am ET on Monday, November 2nd and will include over 60 talented stampers, donations from fabulous stamp companies and lots of love. We are asking everyone to make and send a card to Jaimie as quickly as possible. If you are unable to make a card or wish to do more, please visit our sidebar and click on the donations link." ~Erin

"There will be prizes but most of all...appreciation for anyone who can help to brighten a little girl's day...even for just a second :o)" ~Kim from Paper in the Works
"I hope the many, many cards she receives puts a smile back on her face, and that she can at least peek at the future ahead of her as she its going to take a long time to recover and will forever morn her Mum!" ~Kimmi from Poppy Petal designs
For more information, and an address to which to send the cards, go HERE.
Start the blog HOP HERE.
news article  
Denise helped organize the Spread the Love blog Hop along with Erin.  See her website Stamping With Denise  HERE.

photos © 2009 by the above entities  all rights reserved.