Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Featuring Etsy Shop - BarbaraCrochetStudio

I became aquainted with BarbaraCrochetStudio when I decided to submit a recipe for an Etsy cookbook. It seems that recipe submissions were taking longer than the cookbook editor had originally thought. So a few of us began bumping the thread trying to get the recipes needed for the cookbook . One just can't help checking out another's shop when posting back and forth on a thread, and that 's when I saw this sentiment in Barbara's shop announcement:

"Every time I work on a project I think about the potential Customer who will be using it, about his/her personality, age, etc. Just like every handmade products, crocheted ones are loaded with a ton of heart and warmest feelings, which the crafter wants to convey to Customers."

I wonder how many of us in our day to day creating rush stop and give this much thought about who will end up with our creative endeavor? Is it any wonder why I wanted to learn a little more about who was inside of this unique store?

What is your favorite item in your shop? It's hard for me to choose, I love them all. However the thread crochet are the closest to my heart. Please feel free to choose your favorite. :)
I chose these Heart-Shaped Crocheted Doilies because they had a heart of gold in them, and I suspect that they were made with lots love in mind.

What inspires you to create? First of all the people - my family, my friends and my customers. And then the world around us - seasons of the year, Holidays, special events. I'd like to make people joyful and happy with my creations. I like to make special orders because this brings me closer to the recipient of my creation and lends a "personality" to my product.

And do you have any inspirational advice for other artists? Life is beautiful - expose it in your art!
Do you create in more then one medium? I do crochet and can knit. Recently crocheting has taken over knitting. I find crocheting more expressive. I like to crochet with thread the most (doilies, jewelry). But I also use other fibers - cotton yarn, acrylic, wool.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? And why? San Francisco, CA - location, weather, atmosphere, and the architecture. I would also consider my beloved hometown Krakow, Poland.

What is your favorite food? Strawberry ice cream with fresh fruits and chocolate syrup.
Favorite animal? Dog, I'm amazed with their fidelity and intelligence.
Favorite color? Blue, any kind of blue!

Do you have a favorite quote you'd like to share? "We may affirm absolutely that nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion."- Hegel
Thank you very much Barbara for taking the time to do this interview and share a piece of yourself with us. Be sure to visit BarbaraCrochetStudio where you'll be sure to find some very special creations from someone who truly cares about each piece she creates.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's the weekend again

Boy the time is flying by for me! It's already been over a week since I last posted. I'm still out looking for a job, but since I live in such a small rural area, the possiblilites are limited. I went and took the test for a Census taker. In order to pass one must score 10 out of 28. I scored a 27 and thought "oh boy, I'll be first in line for job pickens". WRONG! I called the office 2 days later and was told that the positions were filled weeks ago...WTH???? Why did they even have us taking tests? But, they said, my name will go on the list for the Sept. openings they expect to have...yeah , like I'm gonna hold my breath waiting for that job.

We got more paperwork from Social Security this week wanting to know more info about hubby. They wanted to know what he does from the time he gets up to the time he goes to bed. How long does it take for him to shave, shower, and comb his hair? how long it takes him to get dressed? does he do any househhold chores or repairs? does he cook for himself? does he have any hobbies? how many times he picks his nose? OK I'm exaggerating on that last one, but I felt like telling them I even have to do that for him!
He used to have hobbies- gardening, his roses, video games, woodburning... Here is a couple of pics of his woodburning. He made these with the intention of selling them to a place called 'The Cowboy Club'. It is a restaurant/bar down the street from us. They are woodburned on oak toilet seats (yes we went out and bought oak toilet seats just for him to woodburn!) and they would be perfect for the bathroom doors at the Cowboy Club. He's not sure if "they're good enough". You tell me, I think they are great, but I'm biased, he says.

Thankfully, his migraines have eased up a bit in the last couple of days. The insurance co. will not renew his migraine meds until May something. Apparently, the rule book says that one can only have so many migraines a month, and he is over the quota. aaarrrggghhhh, I hate medicine by the textbook! Not everyone gets sick by the 'rulebook'. He is still having headaches, but not migraines and he says he can deal with a headaches
And we got a call yesterday from the pulmonologist. We are now being sent to a specialist...huh? I thought a pulmonologist WAS a specialist. But I guess there is someone higher up in the field. We are supposed to get a call on Monday for the appt. He is no longer on the meds that is suppressing the disease's progress and he says he can really tell a difference. Says he can tell it's getting worse each day. Wonder what the new Dr. is going to do?
So that's the update on our life this week....things just keep getting better and better, huh? Just a reminder, in case you missed it in my previous post- All you wives out there, that think you will get a Gov't check if your husband passes on...think again. You only get his Soc.Sec. surviving benefits AFTER you reach full retirement age (66).

Friday, April 17, 2009

Featuring Etsy Shop - JanEleven

I first came to know of JanEleven when I began posting on the threadkiller threads on the Etsy forums. Jan brings us the 'news ' every morning-quick one liner's encapsulating the day's postings on the threads. She is inviting and always open for a chat, and genuinely cares about the people and the shops she reports on. JanEleven's shop is a mixture of vintage and antique items and also showcases her watercolor paintings and ACEO's, which are inspired by many things...literature, the ocean, and fantasy. I began to understand even more about this artist when I interviewed her:
What is your favorite item in your shop? My personal favorites are the abstract paintings.

Jan let me pick my favorite and it is called "Under the Blue". I love this painting and I spent hours one day gazing at it; it takes me to another place in my mind where things are calm. The most fascinating thing I found about it, was that I saw so many images in it, no matter which way I looked at it. Since it is an abstract, it can be turned around and framed either vertically or horizontally.

What inspires you to create? I am inspired by many things - nature, fantasy, something I read or see.

And do you have any inspirational advice for other artists? I believe everyone has a gift and all gifts are equally special...the important thing is once you have found your gift, use it and work to make it the best you can.

Do you create in more than 1 medium? I paint in watercolors and I also like making collages.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? And why? I have always had an affinity for Japan - I absolutely love the architechture and the refined sense of beauty. I also think the kimono is one of the most beautiful articles of clothing ever designed for women, and I have a collection of them.

What is your favorite food? Everyone knows I love cucumber soup! For some reason I don't seem to have a sweet tooth at all - I would much rather have some macaroni and cheese than cake and ice cream, although I can eat the icing with a spoon.

Favorite animal? I love most animals and think it's amazing how they all fit into Creation.

Favorite color? I love Chinese red, but I use it most often in decorating - many of my paintings have the blues and greens and purples which I also love.

Do you have a favorite quote you'd like to share? One of my favorites is in my shop announcement:

If, of thy worldly goods thou are bereft
And to thy store one loaf of bread is left
Sell it, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul - Edna St. Vincent Millay

I also like what Judge Judy says - "Don't pee on my shoe and tell me it's raining."
Thank you so much Jan for taking the time to share a little about yourself with us. Be sure to visit JanEleven on Etsy for vintage treasures and beautiful one of a kind watercolor abstracts.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hubby's Health

Since it has been a bit since I blogged about the hubster's health, I figured I would give you all an update. As I blogged before, the pulmonologist started him on a drug called Imuran - it attacks the immune system. This is supposedly the only hope we have of slowing down the progress of the lung disease. It also will make him susceptible to every cootie out there. He can't even treat a cold now without calling the pulmonologist. Within 3 hours of taking the first dose (which was 1/2 pill) he began having migraines. So the next day we called the pulmonologist-and doc says "it's not on the list of possible side effects, and no other patient has complained of headaches". yeah and so what? everybody's not different? sure seems coincidental that the migraines started immediately when the pill arrived in his system!
Another day goes by and now he is getting 2 migraines a day (approximately 12hrs apart). And he has run out of supply of Imitrex nasal spray, which normally stops the migraines dead. So we went to family Dr. who prescribed Imitrex and tell her the same scenario - and she says "it's not on the list of potential side effects". She gives us a prescription for an anti-depressant, which will hopefully open up constricted blood vessels and another Rx for Imitrex. Also tells us we can go to emergency room, for Demerol shot to break the migraine cycle if it keeps up. She also told hubby straight to his face that he cannot go back to work, to go and apply for disability, and yes, he would be on oxygen for the rest of his life. Hubster is finally coming to terms with the reality of the situation. He kept holding out hope that maybe someday he would be able to get off the oxygen. He is not handling it well.I went and picked up prescriptions, but it did little to control the migraines.

We did go and apply for disability. What an eye opener that was! As long as hubby lives we will get SSDI (soc.sec.disability inc.)...after hubby dies I get nothing til I reach retirement age (still 14yrs to go)...if he dies before the disabilty starts, I get a one time $255! I wonder how many wives read that Soc. Sec. report every year and think they will be ok if their other half passes. It's misleading if you don't realize that the surviving spouse HAS to reach retirement age before they get any benefits. Oh and here's the real kicker- SSDI can take up to 2.5 years before starting! Best case scenario will be 3 months! I wonder how many people in these times have 3 months or better of income saved up? We were told because he is terminal, it MAY not take the 2.5 years, but no guarantees.I was flat out told to go and get a job, and not to wait until he dies. She said she has seen too many women in my position sit around and think that it won't happen to them, and them BAMMO! So now at 51, I am trying to enter the workforce again.

Migraines continued to the point that he was having 3 within a 24 hour period. Even when asleep, he was woke up with them. The Imitrex is only helping temporary, like only an hour or so; and it can only be taken 2x within a 24 hr period or he could have a heart attack.

I walked in one day and he had collapsed in the bathtub having one. How am I supposed to go out and look for a job knowing that he's going to need help every few hours? Better yet, how am I supposed to be able to concentrate on learning a new job if I do get hired? I am in a catch-22 situation. Not to mention the migraines aren't the real problem; remember he is dying of Interstital Lung Disease! I could come home to a dead body. How am I going to handle that?

So I called the family Dr. who prescribed the Imitrex (for migraines)...and yes all the Dr's are in touch with each other, so they all know what is going on. Anyways, the Dr. is out of the office and I get overly excited in trying to make the offfice worker understand the anti-depressant isn't doing the trick either. She must've thought I was yelling at her, because later that evening, hubby answers the phone and it's the Dr. explaining that she isn't a miracle worker and that I can't be yelling at her staff. She also ordered ANOTHER drug; this time a blood pressure medicine, and says these meds can take up to 2 weeks before working. At least hubby told her I wasn't yelling, and I also didn't know he had called the office before I had even came home. Dr. also recommended that he go to the emergency room if the cycle continued.

The next day I happpen to come home from job hunting and a migraine had just started, so I took him to the emergency room for the Demerol shot. The emergency room Dr. listened to us when we said that the migraines started when he began the Imuran. He suggested stopping the med for a week and see if the migraines stopped. He said just because migraines wasn't on the list of side effects doesn't mean that wasn't what was causing them. Hellooo...Thank you Doc for not being a text book Dr.!
The Demerol shot stopped the migraine, but not the cycle. By the middle of the night he was up with another one. And the intensity was getting worse, and now he was having 4 within a 24 hr. period. He would barely be able to get a little food on his tummy and MAYBE get a nap before the next one hit.

Before I left for job hunting 2 days ago, I called the pulmonologist and left message that he is now throwing up bile. Asked hubby if he is taking any meds at all and he says "I'm about ready to quit taking everything". Talk about a heart sinker; the migraines have almost gotten him to the point of not wanting to live any longer. The pulmonologist called back while I was gone, and told hubby to stop taking the Imuran for a week. It had already been 5 days since he had stopped.
I went to the store and saw a product called HeadOn. If you have ever seen their commercials on TV, you know how annoying they are. But I bought the one for migraines, and miracle of miracles he was migraine free for 48 hrs! I was bragging up this product all over the place, and then this morning, as soon as he got up...the migraines are back.

As I am typing this now he has dozed back off to sleep, but for how long this time?
It's terrible to have to keep checking on him to make sure he is still breathing. :(

Just as I was getting ready to post this, I got a call for a job interview...*keeping fingers crossed*

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Featuring Etsy Shop - KayzKreationz

KayzKreationz is one of my friendly threadkiller rivals on the Etsy forums. I first became intrigued with her shop when we began vying for a pincushion giveaway-{which, I might add, she still refuses to believe will be mine someday :) } Kay loves working with glass-whether it's mosaics, or fused or stained glass. She also loves gardening, nature, anything Texas, and has recently added a new section to her shop to feature her Mom's beaded jewelry. I had no idea her works could be found in so many places on the web. More about that later, but first, let's learn more about her:

What is your favorite item in your shop? Probably my mosaic birdfeeder. I just love making all my glass, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. What inspires you to create? I love nature, gardening and such. So usually when I look around at my yard, other’s yards or gardens, I see things I would either like to try to make in glass or to enhance by making something in glass to fit in/beautify it.

And do you have any inspirational advice for other artists? Just do what you love. Don’t worry about what others think about your art. The only thing that matters is what you think and what you need to do to make it your own. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you do, but there also will always be someone who does. Just make yourself happy.

Do you create in more than 1 medium? I have had a lot of hobbies in the past. Mainly I stick with glass now, although I do add some beadwork to my things. I also still love macramé (which I started as a teenager, while visiting family in California) so I still do some of that. I made a macramé guitar strap for my youngest son, who plays guitar, that he just loves. So then I made him a stained glass guitar with a mini macramé guitar strap for his graduation that he also loves and pictures his favorite pastime. In fact, I added my macramé to my glass work with the “Ocean Meets the Sky” suncatcher, which has a macramé hanger with some of the same seashells that are in the glass work.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? And why? Still in Texas, but closer to San Antonio. My hubby and I both love San Antonio and the riverwalk. We also really enjoy the Spanish/Mexican culture. And there we would be in a place we enjoy and with a culture we enjoy. In fact, we’re both working on our Spanish to improve it and be able to converse easier, since there are so many Spanish speaking people here in Texas.

What is your favorite food? Chocolate-if there was no chocolate, I wouldn’t have to watch my weight.

Favorite animal? Horses first (we recently had to sell our horses and I really miss them) and then dogs. I love my Blue Heeler, Cheyenne. She’s a great dog, but not quite sure what to do with herself, since we sold the horses, so she tries to round up us, our cats, the deer, you name it, she rounds it up. They don’t always appreciate it however.

Favorite color? Red or purple. I find most everything I do tends to lean towards those 2 colors or shades of them.

Do you have a favorite quote you'd like to share? Either ‘Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder” because it only matters whether we like it or not. Or-"A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else." John Burroughs Because it reminds me we all need to take responsibility for ourselves and what we do.

Now for all the diffferent places you can view Kayz current and past works plus other wonderful pictures of her life in Texas:

http://kaysglass.com/ Although my website just shows pics of things I’ve done or already sold. I’m getting ready to take a class on making websites so I can redo it and sell from it.

http://kayzkreationz.blogspot.com/ I blog about my family, glass, our Texas wildlife property and other great Etsy shops I find.

Thank you Kay for taking the time to do this interview and share a little more about yourself. Be sure to visit KayzKreationz on Etsy and see what favorites you'll find there. My personal favorite is the Pyramid Beach Sandscape .

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Featuring Etsy Shop - Inkwear99

inkwear99 is another one of those shops sponsoring a threadkiller prize on the forums of Etsy. The prize for killing inkwear99's thread is your choice of a pair of shoes from their shop...and I have heard they are absolutely awesome! First thing in the morning I can usually find inkwear99 posting her Good Mornings to everyone on the Etsy forum threads. The good mornings are always positive and cheerful. One can tell that they enjoy what they do, and I wanted to share a little more about them with you:

What is your favorite item in your shop? My favorite item in my shop is the old school Panther and Dagger shoes.

What inspires you to create? We started Ink Wear because my step daughter, who is 12, wants to be a fashion designer when she gets older. We thought it would be a great thing for her and for us to do things with the whole family. The kids have a lot of input on the designs for the shirts and the totes. They actually wear some items to school and try to sell them to the other kids. We have a tattoo shop and were purchasing shirts for that, so we figured if we made them, it would be easier and much cheaper. We also get some people who don’t want a tattoo on their body, but do like the designs, so we thought what a great concept, tattoo inspired clothing for people who want to wear tattoo designs, but not necessarily have a tattoo for life. That is a huge commitment. There are so many different ideas that we keep coming up with and can’t wait to put the ideas on a pair of shoes or a shirt.

And do you have any inspirational advice for other artists? I think as an artist, you have to keep your mind open for new ideas and thoughts always. Some of our tattoo artist’s, seem to get in a rut of only wanting to do certain tattoos, although they can do anything. I really think any artist has to keep themselves inspired by what is around them in their lives and learning experiences.

Do you create in more than 1 medium? We create our art mostly on canvas, but not just a piece of canvas, the shape of the shoes can be difficult to work with sometimes. The canvas totes and cotton tshirts are fun to work on with the silk screen process.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? And why? If I could live anywhere I wanted, I think it would be somewhere by the ocean. Here in Colorado, we obviously don’t any big bodies of water and I love the ocean. Although, I really do like the changing of the seasons.

What is your favorite food? chocolate, any kind of chocolate. Favorite animal? Panda Bear, they are so cute. Favorite color? pink.

Inkwear99 can also be found on

Thank you so much inwear99 for taking the time to do this interview and share your family business with us. Be sure to visit inkwear99 on Etsy and see all the tattoo inspired items they have.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Featuring Etsy Shop - YaffaDreams

YaffaDreams is the sponser of a 'threadkiller' thread that I follow on Etsy. A thread killer is one who posts a comment on a forum thread and then no one answers or posts a comment back. It can be a very lonely, crickets chirping, you just hitch-hiked yourself into a conversation without being invited, no one wants to talk to you kinda feeling. I know that's how it makes me feel, and I sure was happy to find the threadkillers on the Etsy forums.

When I say YaffaDreams is the sponser of this thread, it means she has offered a prize if you kill her thread. In order to 'kill her thread' you must be the last one to post a comment and no one posts after you for 24hrs. It doesn't happen very often when there is a prize involved. Mostly all of us posting are getting to know each other little by little everyday. Since YaffaDreams is offering the prize of any piece of jewelry in her shop, I suspect this thread will go on for quite some time. So I thought I would give us all this opportunity to get to know her a little better:

What is your favorite item in your shop? I really don't have a favorite. I love everything! Every piece is unique! So, I got to pick whatever item I wanted to feature, and I chose these beautiful peace sign fire red guitar pick earrings.
What inspires you to create? Perusing the shops and blogs helps me be creative. I don't copy work, but seeing all the talent out there makes me want to be creative. Usually, I just get an idea while sleeping and wake up and go create something from that idea. What I end up with is nowhere near what I start with!

And do you have any inspirational advice for other artists? Visit Thursday Sweet Treat blog. Every Friday the blogger posts a theme for following Thursday and you can create something and submit it to be posted. Really gets you thinking!

Do you create in more than 1 medium? I mainly create jewelry, but have been known to paint bags, jeans and t-shirts.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? And why? I would live right here in Dunnellon, Florida. It is awesome here. Very small town and everybody is sooooooo nice. I live in the country and want to spend the rest of my years here. For more info on this great place, look here: I Love Dunnellon

What is your favorite food? cheese! Yum, yum, yum and for that reason, I could never be vegan!
Do you have a favorite quote you'd like to share? I have many - almost all of my listings have quotes in them. But this one is one of my favorites: "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." ~~~ Albert Schweitzer
Is anything else you would like to share about yourself or your shop? The name Yaffa Dreams means Beautiful Dreams. My daughter's Hebrew name is Yaffa. I wanted to somehow name the shop after her, because of the joy she brings to me. And she is a beautiful dream come true. She has a section in my shop called "Fantastical Awesomeness". She creates the items and the money earned is spending money for her.

YaffaDreams can also be found at the following places:

Thank you YaffaDreams for taking the time to do this interview and share a piece of yourself with us. Be sure to visit YaffaDreams on Etsy and see what other treasures she has in store.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Featuring Etsy Shop- Quiltingdiva

I came upon Quiltingdiva one night in the Etsy forums just minutes before the site was to close for maintenance. She had me ROTFL as each of us was trying to get the last word in before we got shut out completely. After the site was closed down that night I wondered if I would ever see her again in the threads I visit. Happily, I have seen her nearly everyday.

Quiltingdiva is a self professed fabricaholic and says she visits the fabric store almost daily during her lunch hour. She quilts with bright, cheerful fabrics, loves coffee fabrics and anything beachy. Her shop is filled with wall hangings, tote bags of all sizes and colors, and of course Quilts + so much more! She has enjoyed quilting now for over 10 years. She loves quilting, and it shows. Here's more about her:

What is your favorite item in your shop? My favorite would have to be my "fun in the sun" wall hanging. I have made about 12 of these in all different color schemes. I am a huge fan of anything beach, sunshine, yellow/orange, flip flops and of course quilting, so it's absolutely all my favorite things represented in one project. I should name it "the Stacy" lol

What inspires you to create? I just love to sew. I love bright colors, so often I will see one fabric and think it would be great in a tote bag or as a border for a cute wall hanging, so "voila" - inspiration!!

Do you have any inspirational advice for other artists? Do what you love! When your hobby turns into a "job" then it stops being fun.

Do you create in more than 1 medium? Yes!! I use mostly fabric for my projects, but have been getting into glass magnets, I made some flower pens for work, I just purchased my first "teach yourself to crochet" so I love anything that I can have fun and create awesome stuff :)

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? And why? I would live in Florida and now I do!! I lived in Maine for 29 years and recently moved to Tampa, Florida. It's the best thing I ever did. I still pinch myself every day (literally). I am so happy here

What is your favorite food? pizza

favorite animal? dog

favorite color? ORANGE!!

Do you have a favorite quote you'd like to share? Go for it! I know it's not too original, but I have to say that if you want to do something don't wait. We decided to jump in when we had our son and duh... that's the best decision we ever made. As I discussed earlier, I wanted to move to Florida since I was 5 and finally at 29 made the move. If you want something bad enough - make it happen :)

Can we find you anywhere else? My flickr name is quiltingdiva ...and my twitter account is quiltingdiva76.

Thank you Quiltingdiva, for taking the time to do this interview, and sharing your wonderful, fun quilted items. Be sure to visit Quiltingdiva on Etsy, to see all the colorful and fantastic items she has!