Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We got a puppy!

Our Lady Tripper

My husband and I got our Christmas gift early this year. Lady is a 16 week old Australian Shepherd / Labrador Retriever mix (also known as a Shepador).

We just got her on Monday, and already she is doing very well with the 'house breaking'. Raised on a cattle farm, she loves the outdoors and has a lot of respect for other larger animals and vehicles. Now if only our Leo, the cat, would be able to become friends with her. Since our other cat Smokie went missing a month ago it has seemed a bit lonely in the house. That is certainly not the problem now!

Isn't Lady the most adorable puppy ever?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Repurposing Toys for your dog or cat

One thing that makes me sad is when I see people throwing out stuffed plush toys. I know, we are all very careful of the toys we allow our children to play with, and once the child no longer plays with their stuffies, what are we to do with them?

One thing you can do is if it is in perfect condition, you can give them away to a child who has very little. But sometimes they are just thrown in the trash because they are missing an eye or other part, and most people do not have the time or ability to fix the toy.

This is where I decided to rescue some of the toys in my house. Rather than just tossing them, I took the ones in really good shape, and repurposed them. I washed them, removed any potential harmful bits such as ribbins, jingle bells, plastic eyes, and unknown stuffing etc. I then repaired any rips, embroidered on new eyes/noses and replaced the stuffing with new poly quilt batting. The ones that are to be used as dog toys I added a small squeaker.

Now are these not just adorable?

I can also leave out the squeaker if your dog does not like those, or add catnip to them so that you can give them to your cat.

To see more available dog toys, please feel free to visit my studio!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Grocery shopping bag holders

Do you keep your grocery shopping bags for using later? I know I do. I also know it can be a pain to try to find places to keep them, and get so tired of them taking up space in cupboards or closets.

Years ago I had made a bunch of fabric tubes with elastic at the top and bottom, and loops at the top for storing these bags in. I had given a bunch to family and friends and they loved them! Recently I started making them again and put them up for sale in my ArtFire studio. I now have quite a few of these grocery bag holders available in a variety of sizes and prints.

They make wonderful gifts, and you can keep on in each room of your house such as your kitchen, hallway, laundry room, nursery, garage or even in your car. If you are an artisan/crafter and participate at craft shows, they are a great way to transport and store your bags in for your customers.

Here are just a few of the ones I have available in my ArtFire studio right now.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Creepy Crawly Spiders, oh my

Creepy Crawlies

It has been a banner year for those icky creepy crawly spiders here, in fact I think I have seen some new ones. Or at least ones that I have not seen often enough before to make an impact on me. I need to make it clear that I Do Not Like spiders, in any way. In fact, I usually scream when I see them. It all comes from a couple of incidents when I was a young child. One was being bitten a spider. The bite swelled up and was extremely itchy. The other incident was actually multiple times, and no I was not bitten. However, we did not have a basement, we had a crawl space under our house. That was where we kept our vegetables such as potatoes, onions, carrots, and the wonderful jams and pickles my mom made. That crawl space was Loaded with spiders, and whenever I had to go get stuff I would cover myself head to toe with clothing. I had nightmares about it for years.

When I was a teenager, about age 19, I was living in a cottage on the north mountain in Nova Scotia. That one summer I remember clearly the cottage was covered in these huge black spiders for a couple of days. The kind of spider that screamed 'taranshula' in my mind. No, they were not, but still. Nasty icky things.

The ones that have made an impact on me this year are not the tiny furry black things, but the huge fat bodied ones that are like a mosaic. Apparently my son was actually feeding a couple in our garage! One of them is so huge now, it's body is the size of a shooter marble! It has now changed colour from the normal black and grey to an almost brilliant orangey yellow shade. That change happened over a couple days. My husband tells me it is due to the fact that she is ready to lay her eggs. I do not know why, but I do know that her colouring is just perfect for Hallowe'en and it is actually quite stunning.

No idea why, but I felt compelled to take some pictures of a few of this type of spider we have around our property. Turns out we have two in the garage, one hanging from the roof of our porch, and two in the front flower beds. I am certain there are lots more I have not seen.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Organic Rose Hip tea and jelly

My rose bush is finally big enough to produce an amazing harvest of rose hips!  I am very excited as I love rose hip tea, and want to make some rose hip jelly. 

After the first frost, I will be harvesting these lovely fruits, and some of them will be dried in preparation for my winter supply of tea.  The rest of them will be used to make some wonderful jelly.  If it turns out I will let you know and provide my recipe.

Aren't they gorgeous??

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Prepping for Winter

We have needed to fix our roof for about a year now, and it is finally getting done this weekend!  We had purchased the shingles last fall, but ran out of time (it snowed a couple weeks too early), and then of course as soon as spring came the guys we were going to get to help us had already started working. 

Yesterday, we were able to get things organized enough to start the process, and I have to admit, I am very pleased. They got the first side of the roof already done (stripped, new boards put down, plus shingled) and today it looks like they will be able to do the other side.

Now, one thing I have to keep in mind is that our house is over a hundred years old, and used to be a church.  So, the roof is extremely steep, and Not a fun job to do.  I do believe it was about 20 years ago since it was re-shingled, and there was some damage caused by pesky hornets nesting under the boards. So all in all, it is quite amazing how much they accomplished yesterday.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The best online selling venue group deal ever!

Have you been thinking of opening up your own website, or looking for that perfect yet affordable venue to sell your handmade goodies, vintage items or supplies? Artfire is going to be shortly exiting their beta stage and want to share their excitement by offering this awesome Artfire group deal. It is only available for a limited time so sign up now, you definitely not want to miss this!!

For $5.95 a month, you will receive a studio with tons of tools such as :

Rapid Cart
Global Pay
Market Hub
Google Boost
Fusion Studio
Shop Sort
Total View
Artisan Blog
Picture Gallery
Studio Widgets
Facebook Kiosk
Global Editor
Etsy Importer
Sticky Cart
Artisan Guilds
Artisan Councils
Maker Bio
Artifact Awards
Sales Booster
Coupon Codes
Gift Certificates
Promo Labels and more are always being developed!

And the best thing is, there are no final value fees, no commissions, and no extra charges for pictures (in fact, you can use up to 10 pictures per listing!).

You will not be charged unless the minimum is met, so why not sign up for a free basic studio, and you can opt in to be included in this group package, and when Artfire has reached the minimum 20,000 sign-ups it will go live! The cap has been set for 50,000 so you do not want to wait too long, or you may miss out.

For more details and For the Terms and Conditions, click here.

Want more details about Artfire itself? Well, they are not 'just a venue' they are actually a 'hub' where you can provide links to your other online websites (whether they are selling venues, Facebook, personal blog, twitter, flickr, even your Etsy shop). You can learn all about SEO, how to take better pictures, a 45 day guide to success and pretty much anything else you could ever want to know about running your own online business. And, your customers Do Not have to be members of Artfire to purchase from you!

So check it out, and see what you think. You will be glad you did!


IF THE DEAL IS NOT ACTIVATED your card will not be charged $5.95 or ANY OTHER AMOUNT and your current account status will not change.

Which Witch is which?

Are you ready for Hallowe'en yet?  If you are still looking for some decorations for your home and yard, why not check out these awesome handmade Hallowe'en creations.  Now if only dear hubby would let me get some more!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Wooden it be good!

As you already know, I am very partial to things made of wood.  The look, feel, even the smell of it....

I put together this collection of favourite wood products, all handmade from my fellow artisans on ArtFire, and all of these are basic (free) studios.  Come check them out!