Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Celebrate The Holidays!

This time of year is one of three major holidays, my favorite, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  If you're like me, you love to decorate for these festive times.  I found some unique and creative handmade items to do just that!

Halloween Flying Bats Metal Sign by Refined Inspirations
Candle Hat Ghost Candle Holders by Augusta Wynde
Pumpkin Hat by SolHeritage
Spooktacular Halloween Yarn Wreath by SolHeritage

Small Ceramic Jack O Lantern by Pottery Heaven

Thanksgiving Candy Dish With Pumpkin Topper by MJoys

Red and Green Striped Christmas Stocking by Precious Knits

Snowman and Christmas Tree Lapel Pin by Wyvern Designs

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Countdown to Christmas 2014

 Julie and Blu from Blue Morning Expressions are again hosting the famous Countdown to Christmas on their blog.  I missed the first three weeks but finally got my act together and participated in week  4.  I encourage anyone who can, to visit and participate.

All that's required is that you have a shop somewhere on line.  You can post three of your items but you  Must promote all the items in the countdown, either through twitter, face book, pinterest, and/or wanelo or your blog.  Pinterset and Wanelo are recommended because everything is displayed in one place.

It's a fun way to get to see what other artists are doing and to help each other out.

Countdown to Christmas Week 1
Countdown to Christmas Week 2
Countdown to Christmas Week3

Countdown to Christmas 2014 Week 4
Countdown to Christmas Week 5
Countdown to Christmas 2014 Week 6
Countdown to Christmas Week 7
Here's Countdown to Christmas Week 8
Blue Morning Expressions Countdown to Christmas Week 9
Countdown to Christmas 2014 Week 10
Countdown To Christmas 2014 Week 11
Countdown to Christmas 2014 Week 12

Friday, October 10, 2014

Holiday Cheer

Yep, the holidays are fast approaching. And while I know some of you out there think it's a bit early to start shopping or even seeing Christmas items anywhere, now that I'm selling things,  I realize why retailers need a long lead time.  Especially those of us that sell hand made holiday  items.

So this year, I started early and here are a few of my holiday items.

This Lapel pin is made from felt and polymer clay button.  His eyes are French knots and his face and "coal" buttons are hand painted.  I love the tree with its French knot "ornaments!
Snowman With Christmas Tree Pin

I've been toying with the idea of making polymer clay fairy cottages since I saw a neighbors fairy garden.   This one is only 2" tall and has a loop at the top for hanging on your tree.
Fairy Cottage Miniature Ornament
Button Snowman Pin
Here's another Button Snowman pin, minus the tree.  He has his little felt arms raised in joy for the coming winter season!

Penguin Ornament
This little gal is made from a recycled light bulb and is hand painted.   When I was through painting her, I thought she needed something else, so I crocheted an elf cap out of fuzzy white yarn, complete with jingle bell.

 This ornament is also a hand painted light bulb.  He exudes the essence of Christmas, from his "snow" covered top hat, to the bright red ribbon hat band.
 Snowman Ornament

 Happy Snowman Felted Pin
Another felt snowman lapel pin.  I seem obsessed with felt and snowmen this year!
This one is  hand felted on a purple wool backdrop.  He has a jaunty top hat and jute twine arms.

 So I want to wish you all a Merry, albeit, early Christmas.  Although, I'm sure I'll be writing about this holiday again before it's all over.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Color Black

The color black is a fashion essential from the little black dress to a touch of jet or ebony at your ears or wrist.  Black seems to set other colors off, giving them a pop that they would not possess on their own.  Here are a few items from around the web that I found and loved.  Hope you love them, as well.

Snowman Earrings by Shadow Dog Designs
Focal Bead by Blue Morning Expressions

Shaving/Drinking Mug by Pottery Heaven
Black Bat Necklace by Fantasy Clay Store
Baby Beanie by TL Yarn Crafts

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Yellow Jacket Alert!

Today is a cool rainy Wednesday in Massachusetts and I decided it was time to update my blog.  The past month has been unseasonably dry, actually the whole summer since July has featured very little rain here in central Massachusetts.  While that's wonderful for vacationer's, it puts stress on the vegetation. 

I live on the edge of a patch of woods.  The dry weather has killed off a lot of the usual weeds and low growing foliage.  The usually verdant ferns that grow with great abandon around my house have been turning yellow and brown much earlier this year.  Even the trees are stressed by the dry weather.  Maple leaves are turning brown and falling off early and litter my yard with their debris.  So it's not surprising that I didn't notice that a colony of yellow jackets had burrowed under a tree root at the edge of my yard.

Every day, weather permitting, I take my Lab mix, Finn out to run around in the yard.  He loves being unrestrained by a lease and he loves playing fetch and chasing an old basketball around the yard.

 One day last week I took him out as usual.  We had been outside for about 20 minutes and he had just gone to the edge of the yard to retrieve his toy, when all of a sudden, he jumped about 4 feet straight up in the air.   When he landed he started shaking his head and pawing at his ears.  I saw something moving on his head and assumed it was a nasty horsefly that are a major nuisance during the summer months.  He ran over to me and I saw more insects on him.  He was jumping and shaking and pawing at his head.  That's when I realized that the bugs weren't horseflies but yellow jackets! 

I, immediately, ripped my sweatshirt off and swished it over him to dislodge the stinging insects.  I dragged him up on the deck and ran my hands over his belly to get any yellow jackets hiding on his underside, but even after doing that, a few still made it into the house. 

Of course, I immediately went on the internet to see what treatment was appropriate for venomous insect stings in dogs.  Icing the stings was recommended but as he had 10 to 20 bumps where the wasps had stung him, that wasn't feasible.  Benadryl was also mentioned but as I don't as a rule keep that in the house, he was out of luck.

The only thing to do was call the vet.  Luckily, I've been taking my animals to him for a long time and even though he had been planning to leave, he stuck around until I could bring Finn in.    A shot of cortisone an $70.00  later, Finn was back to normal.

Even though I don't usually use any pesticides in my yard, I went out and sprayed the hell out of that nest!  I'm just lucky it wasn't my grandson out there playing when the yellow jackets decided to attack.

So this is a cautionary tale.  In the Fall, all manner of creatures are looking for somewhere to spend the cold winter months.  Make sure you check your yard for these insects that like to burrow in the ground and take appropriate action when you do.

Here's a picture of Finn with his best human bud.