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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday

Wow, how fast a week rolls around during the holiday season! Well, sure enough it's Weight Loss Wednesday, but I'm just not feeling it. Are you? It's hard to stay or get motivated for weight loss when there are so many goodies around. So how about weight maintenance? Is it even possible?

Well, sure it is! People do it all the time. They exercise, eat sensibly, and save their splurges for the special occasions. I've added a new blog to my blog list and encourage you to check it out. It's the Dish on Dieting, written by Carolyn O'Neil, a registered dietitian, whose very informative articles on healthy eating appear in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Her tips are so sound, practical and doable, and often remind me of many of the things that Weight Watchers encourages for its members.

As for Weight Loss Wednesday, this feature is going to take its own holiday break and will be back on January 7 with a renewed commitment to weight loss, and a giveaway from one of my friends on Etsy. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Spotted Cow Soaps, Featured Etsy Blogger

Linda, the brains behind Spotted Cow Soaps, is December's featured Etsy Blogger. She is one busy woman, working as a school food service director during the school year, and running Spotted Cow Soaps in her "spare" time. She creates marvelous soaps, bath fizzies, and lotions. She also crochets bath puffs and wash cloths.

Get this sparkling champagne soap to ring in the New Year!!

A yummy candy cane whipped sugar scrub. This one is for a limited time only. Linda offers great seasonal products!

You're sure to find a color you love!

Read her blog and you'll learn about life in Vermont and the special offers in her shop.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Get Momentum with Weight Loss Wednesday

If you've read the About Me, or my profile in my shops or some of these very posts, you know that in addition to having an Etsy shop, I am a Weight Watchers Leader. This week marks the launching of Weight Watchers' 2009 plan which they have named Momentum. A merging of the plans formerly known as Flex and Core, Momentum harvests the best from each of these to form one exciting new plan. That's really all I can say here, but check out their website for more information or to find a meeting near you. Sign up now and beat the rush from all those making the same old, same old resolution!

In honor of the new launching, I want you to feast your eyes on this digital print that I found in the etsy shop, Orangepulp. Audrey is a digital artist who creates wonderful and whimsical illustrations of oranges. This one is entitled, appropriately enough, Momentum. According to the description in her shop, it's about the physics of oranges. I'll have to take her word on that!


Oranges are wonderfully filling and will give you a great start to looking and feeling fine in 2009! And the oranges you see at Orangepulp have no points at all!!

Monday, December 08, 2008

O, Christmas Tree! O, Christmas Tree!

It seems late to be decorating this year, and I suppose we only have the calendar to blame. I bought the tree on Friday, and starting thinking about the decorating. Do you, or know someone who always has a different theme every year? Or changes up the decorating scheme? When I was growing up, my mom did that periodically, mostly due to the size and/or shape of the living tree that my dad had purchased.

So, this year, I gave a passing thought to having all silver ornaments, or all gold, but it was only a passing though. The trees I decorate just have to have some ornaments on them every year, theme or no theme. It occurs to me that the theme on our family tree is family history.

I want to share some of my favorites, that always grace our tree:

The angel on the left was made by me when I was in Girl Scouts back in 1971. The baby boy on the right is part of a Joan Walsh Anglund collection of ornaments. I have several (and the dolls to match).

Snoopy is from a collection issued by Hallmark in the mid-70's. I also have a Woodstock, Linus, and another Snoopy.

We have several ornaments that represent places we've lived. This one is the Jefferson Memorial surrounded by the blossoming cherry trees in Washington, D.C.

The little felt cat was made by my great aunt. I'm not sure how I acquired it. The Georgia football player represents my daughter's university, and my husband's law school alma mater, and the gourd with the chilis painted on it was purchased in Santa Fe, during a trip there to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.

This is just a small selection of the types of ornaments that just can't spend a holiday season packed away in a box. Do you have favorites that just must be on YOUR tree?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

My Favorite Brownies

Well, just forget all about my previous post. This one is about brownies!! The latest Etsy Blog Carnival's topic is your favorite brownies in honor of National Brownie Day that is apparently December 8. Who knew?

This is so easy for me. I don't bake a lot, though most of my favorite dessert recipes come from my late grandmother, Wilma Lawton. There were always baked goods waiting for us upon arrival at her Seabrook, Texas home which we visited at least once or twice a year from my childhood home of Dallas. It's hard to pick a favorite among all of the delectable goodies she baked, but the brownies are easily in my top 3.

Brownie Maker Extraordinaire
Wilma Lawton

Mint Stick Brownies, as they were known by my family, have a thick, soft, slightly fudgy bottom brownie layer. On top of that is a powdered sugar frosting, flavored with peppermint extract, and colored a pale green with food coloring. This has to be cooled completely, and the final layer of 2 squares of bittersweet baking chocolate is melted and then drizzled over the top. Mmmm, they're so good!

I considered making a batch so I could take pictures, but decided against it. Maybe for a Christmas dessert, though...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday

It's December already, and the holiday season is upon us. But this year, we have so much more to be worried about. There's recession, bailouts, layoffs, and cutbacks, oh my! We can be thankful that the elections are finally over, but where do we turn for comfort. Before you head to the freezer for the Ben & Jerry's, or the pantry for the oreos and chips, head outside for a walk, grab a rake (or a snow shovel), play tag with your kids. Get more activity to ease the stress, and burn off some calories.

Add some humor and whimsy to your life to lighten up things. There is enough bad news, so look for places to have fun and laugh. Maybe even do some inexpensive decorating. The Freckled Hound has amazing vinyl wall art decals that are easy to apply, and so cute. This one is particularly appropriate:

That really says it all, doesn't it!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Happy (Belated) Birthday to Early Bird Creations

The final November birthday tribute goes out to Kylie, the brains and talent behind Early Bird Creations and Lil Egg Jewelry. Kylie, a jewelry maker since she was 14, creates a unique collection of necklaces, earrings and keychains made primarily with resin beads. You will see more fresh water pearls and glass beads in her Lil Egg collection. She's been seriously making jewelry for about 4 years, and making those wonderful resin creations for two.

Fen, of Bead Flora Jewels, gave Kylie the invitation to join the Challengettes when they were both participating in an upbeat business topics thread on the Etsy fora, and we're so glad she did.

Kylie is our girl Down Under, living in Forster, New South Wales, a beach town about 4 hours northeast of Sydney on the east coast. So when I asked her where her favorite place in the world is, it's no surprise that it's somewhere exotic! She says, "The first is Kota Kinabalu in Malaysian Borneo. I visited there earlier this year and it is the most magical place. Possibly because it has very little in the way of tourists and the fact that the people are just spectacular....oh and the beaches and resorts are awesome...Tequila Sunrise - that's all I have to say! The other favourite place is my local main street. It is really beachy with some gorgeous cafes and clothing shops. Lucky for me I get to spend a bit of everyday down there when I do my mailing and errands." Of course, we would all love to go visit her!!

She loves to try new foods, and her favorites are what she calls "picky" foods, "like antipasto platters, with goats cheese and sundried tomatos and marinated mushrooms." Yum!!

Kylie has three great tips for Etsy sellers... list every day so your visibility stays high, constantly work on your pictures, and finding some etsy buddies to ask questions, bounce ideas off of, and generally get support. With 100 sales just short of her Etsy anniversary (on Dec. 14), I would say that she knows what she's talking about!

I own one of her resin necklaces and it is beautiful! Check both her shops out and her blog!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

StoryBeader, Featured Blogger

November's featured Etsy Blogger is Deb of Story Beader. This Oklahoman makes unique jewelry, often with a southwestern look. But you get more than just jewelry from her. This lover of words writes a haiku for each piece.

Deb's delightful blog is called Stroll through Storyland. Be sure to check out her shop and her blog!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Birthday to iWunder

The third November birthday challengette is Jennifer of iWunder and iWunderVintage. She actually celebrated last weekend, so I'm a little late here! Jennifer knits, crochets, and finds amazing vintage deals to pass on to the Etsy community. In her "spare" time, she is a graduate student, studying science-y stuff. She's our resident expert on all things science.

Jennifer joined the Challengettes in July when she was recruited by Celeste of Cricket's Creations. Both members of the etsyfast (fiber arts) street team, when Jennifer commented that she wanted to list things every day, Celeste pointed her in our direction. And we are so happy that she did!

Her grandmother taught her to crochet when she was 7 and she taught herself to knit when she was 21. She says she has "kinda always been doing it, making something, hoarding yarn around the house, so when I found etsy it gave me a source for all the projects I have going with no intended recipient."

And Jennifer's favorite places in the world? It's a toss up between the salt marshes of southern Georgia or the Grand Teton mountains of Jackson, Wyoming.

Jennifer will always try new foods, but that was not always the case. She's "learning to eat dang near anything the older I get. Currently, my favorite food is any really good kind of German sausage on the grill."

And finally, her best tip to fellow etsy sellers... list something every day, and learn to take good pictures without the flash.

It's been so great getting to know Jennifer! Check out her shops for adorable scarves for both men and women, cute crocheted flowers for embellishing, and some surprising vintage finds!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving Traditions

"What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?" That's the question posed by the Etsy Bloggers for the current blog carnival. I have so many, and over the years they have evolved, but my all-time favorite tradition has always been the taking of the Christmas card photo!

from 2003

But what about the lessor traditions? Well, looking back on my married life (for the past 25 years), of course there is always the turkey and trimmings. There has to be mashed potatoes, and pies. When Laura and Kyle were elementary school age, we lived in Prague, so the tradition was to find a group of Americans and have dinner with them. Back stateside, one tradition we have now is the remember when... as in, "remember when we were in Prague, and we had a traditional Thanksgiving... goose!" Or, "remember when we were in Prague and we had to take Kyle to the hospital!"

When we were back in the States and living in Maryland, we rarely had family visitors, so we always went out. For several years in a row, it was dinner at the Stone Manor Inn in Middletown, until it was closed due to the death of the owner. I'm happy to see that it is now back in business as the Stone Manor Country Club.

Since we moved to Georgia in 2005, we have had no shortage of guests, from daughter's boyfriends to grandmothers to a mini Behm family reunion this year. And on tap for all our Georgia Thanksgivings so far... going to the University of Georgia/Georgia Tech football game! We're still gathering tickets (also known as buying them on ebay) for this year's game... it may prove to be a nail-biter!

Go Dawgs!!!

Family, friends, food and fun... the best traditions of all! And Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers too!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday

Just a week and a day until Thanksgiving, and the start of abandoned diet season. How can you possibly stay on track when there are so many goodies around? There's a little bit of help... be thankful:

T hink First
H ave a plan
A cknowledge special foods
N otice how often you eat
K eep portions in check
F ocus more on people
U se smaller plates and utensils
L et yourself enjoy the day

It's not too early to get in the right frame of mind for all the holidays. And remember for Thanksgiving, "It's a holiDAY, not a holiWEEK!"

And while you're at it, why not get this great necklace to remind you of the really imp
ortant things in life (from my friend, Joanne, now on sale in her etsy shop, Jjewelry1).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday to go2girl

Lots of birthdays in November for the Challengettes, and next up is Kila of go2girl and copperlocks boutique. Kila is a stay-at-home mom of 2 who loves to make jewelry. In copperlocks she also makes hairclips, and refurbishes vintage pieces into new jewelry. And you can see how copperlocks got its name in the picture below of the water lily barrette.

This southern California girl stumbled upon the Bittersweets Challenge thread, and felt right at home with all the optimistic, warm and friendly girls already there. We have certainly enjoyed getting to know Kila, and are so glad she joined us!

Kila is a mostly self-taught artist, beginning her crafting "career" during her summers spent with her grandmother. This pictured bracelet is one she made when she was about 11, and she still wears it. Recently she has really tried to focus on developing her own style and has steadily worked on her wire wrapping techniques, among others. Still self-taught, she looks to the library and online sources for help.

While Kila would love to have the opportunity for wider travel, her favorite place in the world is the central California coast that includes Big Sur, Monterey, Morro Bay, Cambria and Carmel. She says, "Nothing is as beautiful, fresh, invigorating and full of inspiration in my eyes as a long drive up Highway 1."

This go to girl is quite the adventurous eater, and will try all kinds of things. Though she has tried escargot, it's not included in her list of favs. This list does include "tried and true staples" like "chocolate, coffee, popcorn, wine and veggis." Mmmm, I love that chocolate is first in the list.

Her tip for new Etsians is to have fun because if you love what you do, it will show! "You will want to tell everyone about it. Your shop will beam with the same excitement you feel!," according to Kila.

I've certainly enjoyed getting to know Kila, and I hope you have to. She is also a member of Etsy Bloggers and you can read her blog here.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Happy Birthday to the Gaudy Goddess

In my ongoing series of birthday features of the One a Day Challengers (also known as the Challengettes), I want to introduce you today to Deborah Croskey, the Gaudy Goddess. One of the original Challengettes, she saw it as a way to get more motivated. Deb says, "Joining the challenge made me feel productive at a time when i felt like i was getting nothing accomplished....and when i felt like no one was interested in my stuff, i found a whole team of people cheering me on!"

Deb is definitely a multi-tasker and you will find two shops in one when you visit. (She also has a second shop, Shop Envy, where she de-stashes her supplies.) I can give a firsthand review of the body cream and shower cream that she markets under the label Ophelia's Apothecary. It is wonderful! I am a repeat shopper, as are many of the Challengettes. Once you try it you will be sold. She does offer a sampler set.

She also makes beautiful jewelry, and pictured here are her signature recycled glass pendants, and one of her beautiful necklaces. Deb is completely self-taught, and says that she inherited her crafty spirit from her father, who turned a hobby into a full-time business when medical issues forced him to quit working. Deb has found herself in the same position, as she battles cancer.

When I asked her where her favorite place in the world is, it was no surprise that she says, "My favorite place in the world is anywhere i can find peace....and balance. ... i really try to be happy just where i am....i love a good quiet room...stillness in the backyard....a calm rustle of fall leaves. ... now i've learned that happiness can be found anywhere if you let yourself find it."

For the lighter side of Deb, I learned that she is a very picky, unadventurous eater. She is one of those people whose foods canNOT touch on the plate. She does love to bake, and is telling us all the time about the yummy treats that are coming from her oven. Her all time favorite food is fried chicken, which she tries not to indulge in too often.

The Gaudy Goddess has lots of tips for new (and old) Etsy sellers! They include knowing your vision and sticking to it, find a supportive "pack" that will give you unconditional love and tough-Etsy love at the same time, have super pictures, and to please spend time working on making your shop better instead of wondering why you aren't selling.

Get to know the Gaudy Goddess and you won't be sorry. She is the most positive, upbeat person I think I have ever met. She has started a new team called Create Ability Team Etsy, and is also writing a blog for them. Click on the links to learn more about this team. She has her own blog, as well, which you can find by clicking here.

Friday, November 07, 2008

I'm Working On...

Blog Carnival time again, and I've decided to share what I've been working on. It seems like my sewing machine is always humming, and I've had several custom apron orders through Down the Street. When I'm not making those, I've mostly been working on coasters for Elle Quilts! I've got two styles, one with a no slip, waterproof base, and the other I'm calling Coffee Mug Coasters, which are reversible. They would make great gifts!

The other thing that I've had on the back burner, and is just in the planning stages, is a table runner that I'm making from a Charm Pack of squares from the Winter fabric line from Moda Fabrics. I love these fabrics, Moda in general, but the Winter line in particular. The traditional reds and greens are there, but so is a pretty, light blue. I've just laid them out in the picture, and the order is definitely subject to change, probably several times, before I finally sew them together. I'm hoping to get this finished this weekend.

It's great to actually look at the picture and seem how the colors play against each other. I can already see some squares I'm going to move around before they get sewn together.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday

I decided to combine 2 of the things I love in one feature! Etsy, and losing weight. Well, ok, I don't really like the losing weight part because it's really hard work. But, I AM a Weight Watchers leader, and today is the day I have all my meetings. And I do love Etsy, so there will be a fun item to go along with the message.

This week's topic in WW meetings is Vote YES for Yourself! That goes along with the Helpful Habit of taking care of yourself, which is something I, personally, will always need to work on. I found this adorable card at colespic's shop:

colespic has also been a featured etsy seller! You can read more about her here!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday, Rainy Day Art

In an effort to get to know all the One a Day Challengers, also known as the Challengettes, I'm featuring each one during their birthday month. Except, oops, somehow I missed Melissa's birthday on October 30, so here is her feature. You can find Melissa at Rainy Day Art, where you'll find all sorts of fiber arts, and some other goodies like magnets and mirrors, a scarf pattern, and even a stoneware vase.

Sunshine Cotton Lace Scarf (Pattern available, too)

Melissa was one of the original Challengettes, and she joined because she wanted to list more often and it seemed like a good way to accomplish that goal. She had a busy summer, changing jobs and moving from St. Louis to Chicago, so we don't see her as much any more, but she still keeps in touch.

Aviation Chart Magnet -- Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

She started knitting when she was a child, and is mostly self-taught. When she was in college, her interest in fiber arts deepened, and she read lots of books about knitting and crocheting, and took classes in spinning and felting. She liked spinning so much she bought her own wheel and continues to experiment. You can check out her blog, to learn more about Melissa and her craft.

Stormy Weather Pin Cushion

A couple of fun facts... Melissa does not have a favorite place to vacation, but really likes the Pacific Northwest. And she is not a picky eater. She loves sushi, and Italian foods.

Her best tips for a new Etsy seller... take the best pictures you can. An expensive camera is not as necessary as paying attention to your lighting. Melissa also suggests having different payment options, and really organizing your sections well, so that buyers can find what they're looking for.

There are 4 more Challengette birthdays in November, so stay tuned for more features, plus the Etsy Blogger featured seller, StoryBeader.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Eat the Frog List

Kylie, of Early Bird Creations, has been giving the Challengette group some marketing and business tips recently, and one that has really struck home with me is something she's been calling "Eat the Frog". Maybe you've heard of this, but the best definition is from Nike... Just Do It. You know, if you have something unpleasant to do, or something you've been putting off, it's time to just get on with it and... well, eat that frog! The cute frog in the picture is from Carapace's shop.

And, well, I am a classic procrastinator, especially with things that seem difficult or unpleasant. So I've taken this advice to heart. In running my business, I find marketing to be the hardest part, so generally speaking, I don't do it. This week, however, I renewed my Project Wonderful ads, and even added PW ad boxes to my blog. There they are... over in the right column. I emailed cuteable to try to get my coasters featured. And, I joined twitter, and added the widget over there on the right column, just under the ads. I've been trying to keep my blog updated more often, and comment more on other blogs, as well.

So, I'm feeling pretty pleased with those frogs. I do have a couple of other frogs still hopping around my house that I hope to get eaten by the end of November (don't want to be too ambitious, lol). The first is getting a fabric inventory spreadsheet up and running. The second is not business related, but I'm putting it out there for all to see... my Cooking Light magazine collection needs to be cleaned out with favorite recipes pulled out and put in a binder. That looks pretty bad, and I've deliberately made the photo blurry (ok, it was just a bad photo).

Do you have any frogs that you need to eat?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

In honor of Halloween, I've gone pumpkin orange! I used to love making costumes for the kids and taking them to parties or out trick-or-treating. Those days are long gone, but take a trip down memory lane on your way to all the good candy, and check out my favorite costumes, that I made. The year was 1992. Kyle was 2, Laura just turned 5.

There's nothing scarier than a shark with a pacifier! But Belle has the situation well in hand.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sad News for the One a Day Challengers

This evening we all learned that one of the original Challengettes, Corinne (Cori) Portalatin, ccdesigns, passed away Monday morning, October 27, from a brain aneurysm. This is such sad and shocking news, and she will be dearly missed. Cori always had a positive word for us all, and offered her expertise in many areas. She made beautiful jewelry, and freely gave tips to us, both in our team thread on etsy and on her blog.

Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this sad time.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Baby Friendly Beads, Featured Blogger

October's featured Etsy Blogger is Jen, of Baby Friendly Beads and Mama's Magic Studio. Self-professed domestic goddess, she makes necklaces and bracelets for nursing moms and their babies. In her own words, from her profile,

"Baby Friendly Beads are the original, adjustable-length, one-piece design for nursing necklaces. Because there is only one, continuous piece of cord used in my necklaces, there is no risk of the pendant breaking off and scattering beads everywhere."

Nursing Necklace and Bracelet Reminder Set

In Mama's Magic Studio, she makes the cutest fraternal earrings, earrings that are "like fraternal twins...not identical, but definitely a pair."

Knit the Knot Known Fraternal Earrings

Read more about Jen, her family, and her creating in her blog, Mama's Magic Studio.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Coaster Giveaway Winner

I did the drawing tonight, as promised. There were 21 entrants (one was through a convo on etsy), and I used to choose. The winner was a fellow Etsy Blogger member, Tote N Tots. Congratulations!

She is donating the proceeds from her October sales to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, so be sure to check out her shop. I love this elegant tote that was recently listed! (I am way past the diaper bag phase, lol.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Coaster Experiment Update

Well, thanks everyone for your ideas and opinions after reading about my coaster experiment. The final votes are not in, but the majority thought having some waterproof capability is important. There are a number that really like the idea of reversible coasters.

So, I've decided to make both! I'm calling the reversible coasters, Coffee Mug Coasters, to let everyone know that these are best for hot drinks! I've got some great Christmas fabric and winter fabric that will be fabulous to use when you make that hot chocolate. Don't forget the marshmallows.

The coasters with the waterproof bases will be simply coasters with waterproof, non-slip bases. Check back in the shop often, because I'll be trying to list 1 or 2 sets a day.

And the contest is still open, so if you want to comment on whether you like reversible or waterproof coasters better, you'll be eligible to win a free set (your choice of any in the shop). The contest ends this Thursday at 10 pm, est.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Coaster Experiment and Giveaway

I was so excited! First of all, making quilts, even small ones, takes some time. And they are expensive to buy. I'm always looking for something quick to make, that has a lower price point, to give my shop some diversity. And I found it. I thought. Made these great coasters that are reversible.

Reversible 4" Coasters

But then reality struck. I started testing them out. And since they are cloth, even with two layers of batting, they get wet and eventually soak through. So what to do? I decided to test different types of layers. I tested adding a layer of insul-brite, a batting used in hot pads that has mylar woven through it. I tested a layer of vinyl. I bought a waterproof crib mattress pad, and tested that. And finally, a layer of that grip stuff you line your shelves with made by Con-tact.

Here's what happened with all of them: when enclosed between the fabric and batting, the liquid will soak through the top, and wick around to the bottom, eventually soaking the bottom, and getting your table wet (or at least damp).

Con-tact sheet on left

The final thing that I tried was to sew the con-tact grip sheet directly to the bottom. Voila. Success. The problem here is that now the coasters are not reversible. How important is that anyway?

The bottom line, no pun intended, is that the coasters as originally made, are fine for hot drinks, acting like a small hot pad. But I'm considering adding the waterproof capability to make these little gems more versatile.

What do you think? With or without a waterproof bottom? Let me know in a comment and you'll be eligible for a free set of coasters from Elle Quilts (your choice). Right now, there is only one set, but, hopefully, by next week there will be more choices. I will draw a name using Just be sure to leave your email (you can email me if you don't want to leave it, or a link to your etsy shop.

The drawing will be on Thursday, October 23, at 10 p.m. EST.

And thanks for your help!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday's Musings

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~Mark Twain

Happy Columbus Day!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Blog Carnival -- Working for Weight Watchers

It's Blog Carnival time again for the Etsy Bloggers, and the 2 topics we have to choose from deal with work or play. I've decided to write a bit about my current employment (other than etsy, of course). Actually, for most of my adult life, I've multi-tasked... for the last 18 years, I was (mostly) stay at home mom to 2 wonderful kids. But I always seemed to be busy with other things as well, often volunteering, going to school myself or working at a part-time job of some sort.

So, running two etsy shops, in addition to another job really suits my style. And, just what is this other job. I am a Weight Watchers leader. My sister wondered why I would want to tell people that's what I do, because then they would know I had been fat. (One of the requirements for employment with WW is to have been a member, and been successful at weight loss.)

So, yeah, it took me a long time, but I lost 20 pounds. Not a lot of weight, but I struggled and had the same difficulties that people that have much more to lose. I currently run two meetings for the Corporate Solutions side of WW, meaning once a week, I go into a place of business, and run a meeting for their employees. Working for WW sometimes feels like a volunteer job, as the pay is, well, nothing I'm going to get rich from. But giving people the support they need, and educating them about healthy eating has been very rewarding.

I have some awesome members, that often thank me when they lose weight. But really, they have done the hard work themselves. Because, as the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. And that is the flip side that can be frustrating. For every successful members that I have, there are 3 more that find themselves unable to make the necessary changes.

Sometimes I wish I had a magic wand that I could wave over every person that wants to lose weight and, Poof!, they were thin. But if I can help a few find the motivation within to make changes and lose weight, then the job is worth it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

I'm really thrilled in an odd kind of way, perhaps, for a woman of my age, but I've been tagged by fellow blogger purlyshells to divulge 6 secrets about myself. So what don't you know? Well, probably pretty much, but here goes...

1. I love to be part of the group! Which I guess explains why I'm thrilled to be tagged to do this little blogging exercise. There is a down side to this little characteristic, in that I tend to be a people pleaser, putting myself at the end of the line, but that's another topic. But to paraphrase Sally Fields from her Oscar acceptance years ago, "You like me!" OK, you don't really even know me, but that's beside the point. :)

2. I love maps! I have loved poring over maps since I was a little girl, and about 8 years ago, I earned my Associate's Degree in Geography. I hadn't really intended to get the degree, but just wanted to see if I liked going back to school enough to get my Master's. (I already have a Bachelor's degree in psychology.) Well, never got the master's, but got the Associate's.

3. I've lived in Prague. From 1993-1998, Roland and I and the kids packed everything up and the cat, and moved to Prague. Roland worked for an American law firm, and I held down the fort, managing the kids, the navigating, and the shopping. I spoke Czech very badly, but could make myself understood. Scary at times, but 110% rewarding. I recommend living out of the United States, for at least a short time, for every American citizen. Dobry den!

4. I've won ribbons for smocking at the State Fair of Texas. One was an Honorable Mention, and one was Third Place, as I recall.

5. I attended an elementary school reunion last month. It was held the same day as my 30th high school reunion. Sounds kind of strange, and while I had not seen this group of people in at least 30 years, and probably longer, we all reconnected, and had a great time.

6. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and while I have been fortunate to not have had this disease, like many people, my life has been touched by those women who have. In 2000, in honor of my turning 40 that year, I walked 60 miles in the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk, from Frederick, Maryland to Washington, DC. It was one of the most meaningful events that I have ever participated in.

And now, tag!, you're it...

the gaudy goddess
Bead Flora and Jewels
Sleepy Mama Times
Rainy Day Art
Tulip's Treasure Box

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Heather

I've decided to feature Challengettes in their birthday month, and before September ends, I want to introduce you to Heather of BeadifulBaublesSC, and wish her Happy Birthday! Heather is one of the jewelry makers in the One a Day Challenge Team. She joined just this past July, and shortly after she joined made a move from Michigan to California, so she has been one busy girl. She has 2 small children and a husband with a budding country music career, so life can be hectic, but she finds time to make some beautiful pieces. Here's a couple to tempt you with:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Joey & Aleethea, Featured Blogger

This month's featured blogger for the Etsy Bloggers is Sandra of Joey & Aleethea. What is her shop all about? In her own words, from her profile, "Joey & Aleethea™ is a super cutesie boutique for baby boys, baby girls and their peeps!"

And cute it is! Check out these favorites from her shop!

Besides making adorable things for babies and their peeps, and taking care of her own family, Sandra is the Admin and Team Leader for the Etsy Bloggers. She also gives back by donating a portion of her profits from Joey & Aleethea to the March of Dimes. If you want to read more about Sandra and her busy life, check out her blog.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Midnight Blue for the Evening

I've decided to do a second Blog Carnival for the etsy bloggers this month, they are always so fun and thought provoking. The topic I'm choosing is to pick a favorite color and show it in your work.

Probably the color that I always answer in the "favorite" question is blue. I really love just about any shade of blue, but in honor of the high school reunion I'll be attending this weekend, the showcased "blue" will be the midnight blue that was the color of my '66 Mustang I drove my senior year. OK, disclaimer... when I bought the car for $600, it was a lovely bronze-y color. My dad and I repainted it ourselves the said midnight blue. Sadly, no picture of it here, but it's pretty darn close to the color of this little evening bag. (The golden butterflies are a pretty good representation of my car's former color.)

What high school reunion is this? There are a couple clues in this post, and maybe in other posts... can you guess?

Note (added 9/16/08): Went to my 30th high school reunion over the past weekend. The 66 mustang was very used by the time I bought it in 1978. I think my clues were much too subtle, lol.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Quiltsy Team Trunk Show Sept. 22

I've just recently joined the Quiltsy team in an effort to give my new second shop some more love (and well needed promotion). This team includes a busy bunch of gals who are so talented, and make so many different kinds of quilted items. You can find quilted postcards, handbags and tote bags, pot holders, wall hangings and, of course, the most beautiful quilts of all sizes.

They are participating in an etsy trunk show on September 22 at 7:00 p.m. ET, and I want to help spread the word to some of my friends that might not know too much about quilting. I'm not totally sure about how this all works, but check out the post here from Originials by Lauren. She explains it so much better than I can. And definitely check out the shops of Quiltsy that are listed in one of her more recent posts.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Blog Giveaway

What? A blog giveaway? Well, not here, though I've been thinking about doing one. Maybe later this month. But over at my friend and fellow One a Day Challenger, Cori's blog. Cori has her shop, ccdesigns, filled with gorgeous jewelry, and she is giving away a pair of earrings. Head over to her blog, Designs by Cori, and post a comment. She wants you to take a look in her shop, too, and give her a little critique. Not too much to ask for some free earrings.

Here are a couple pieces that I love that are in her shop right now: