Monday, March 1, 2010

One good turn

The house has taken on a familiar smell of maple and walnut and the sawdust is piled high in my husband's workshop. You see, now that he has a week's vacation, he is like an inspired energizer bunny and creating some real masterpieces in wood. By the end of this week there should be about 30 new additions to his etsy shop.

I love watching him work and so does our daughter who will sit at her workbench at one end of the shop with her own wood blocks and tools while singing to him as he is turning pens. I cannot wait to see what he brings upstairs tonight!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Poetic pictures

So many photographers are able to capture the beauty that surround them and I can name hundreds that I would love to add to my collection. Then there are a few that are able to capture something else. An essence of life, a novel in photograph, a moment of complete refuge from the world. Ajawin is one of these photographers. If you haven't seen her images yet, here is a chance to enjoy a select few of them. Many more can be found in her shop.

Monday, January 4, 2010

All wrapped up in Lesha's Workshop

While the weather was still warm and winter wear was the last thing on my mind, I came upon this shop on Etsy called Lesha's Workshop. There was an instant longing for winter growing in me and I knew I simply had to have one of her scarves. My husband finally gave into the constant "hinting" (it took me putting it in his favorites in his etsy shop!) and gave me my favorite scarf for my birthday. I don't believe I have left the house this winter without wearing it. Well it turns out the creator of this beautiful shop is one of the most interesting and smile inducing women I have come across in a very long time and I am very lucky to count her among my friends. I hope you will enjoy her goodies as much as I do. My scarf, well one that looks very much like it, is available by clicking the photo of me and my handsome furry friend. Trust me, if you have room for one more scarf or a pair of ultra cool spats, this is the knitting goddess you want to talk to!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

A home for the gnome

My husband had a special surprise for me on Christmas Eve, come to think of it, it was actually the 23rd because he couldn't wait to give it to me. He often finds the most beautiful pieces of wood in the wood pile for some of his larger bowls but this time he found a piece of wood that reminded him of something else. It turned into a Gnome Home! It has a carved sign and carved door with a bucket and doorknob that he turned on the lathe. Once the Christmas tree is out of here (possibly tomorrow) it is going right next to my jewelry making corner. Our daughter has already made it clear that she would love one too, not for a gnome but for Tinkerbell. I included some photos of our very own snow angel.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Going somewhere?

So maybe you're not going on a month long hiatus to Bermuda but we all need something to put our "can't live without items" in for a day or weekend trip. Here are a few quality bags to chose from that will hold your wares in style.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Spotlight on The Barefoot Weaver

I first came across Cait Throp's shop on Etsy this spring and fell head over heals in love with her woven magic. She has the ability to capture rainbows and glowing rays from the sun and weave them into a scarf or cuff. Here is Cait's story. Enjoy it and make sure you pay a visit to her shop that is filled with her beautiful creations.

About me...

Grew up in southern Connecticut--third oldest of 8 (5 girls, 3 boys). My Dad was a woodworking teacher in our High School and my Mom (now 88yo!!) stayed home. One of my favorite memories is of sitting on a stool in our cellar watching my Dad create furniture, toys, whatever—feeling privileged to hand him a tool or just sit quietly listening to classical music on his radio while he worked. There were 8 of us, remember, so parental attention was prized!

I don't remember having a choice about making things...It is such a part of me I can't imagine not being able to work with my hands! I've been making things for as long as I can remember—in grade school I had an entire room full of paper furniture inside my desk—dresser drawers that opened, refrigerator with working door, table, bed, etc. (we didn't have tape in our desks but we did have scissors so I had to put everything together with tabs and slots). This was peopled with my own tiny paper dolls with clothes. I found school very boring and my imaginary home in my desk much more alluring! I've worked with quilting, batik, drawing, collage, macramĂ©, knitting, felting, crocheting and sewing and wood turning during my life and now weaving and dyeing for the past 16 years. I first saw a girl weaving in Brattleboro, VT in the early 70s and fell in love with this discipline immediately! Though it took until 1993 for me to actually get a loom and learn to weave!

I live on an old farm in upstate NY shared with my wonderful husband, Gary, any or all of my three boys (Noah 18, Alex 20, Adam 29), two beloved horses, 4 cats (ok, one cat belongs to Adam and fiancĂ©e Alicia—but they are in Hawaii for a couple of years), and a dog!! I have to say I grew up without pets of any kind—I think my Mom thought we were quite enough! So I have made up for that lack!!! My youngest brother used to entice dogs to follow him home but Mom always made him bring them back!! :)

My favorite piece?

—hmmm. That changes depending on my mood but right now I think I would pick the Red, Red Rose Wrap. It has everything I love—that WOW red, wonderful texture and drape, fits everyone, and gives a soft glow to the face!

How did I learn to weave...

I learned how to weave at our local museum in one weekend but my weaving education will never be over! There is no end to the different texture and color combinations you can achieve with weaving. While I now have many, many bookshelves full of cones of thread and weaving books and boxes of novelty yarns in my workroom, I started out with very little. I bought a 22” Norwood loom and a box of various colors of cotton yarn on cones from Webs in Northampton, MA and I was in weaving heaven! I wove cotton towels (among other things) for 15 years and used them also as color studies. I have also woven with sewing thread creating tiny, miniature, overshot coverlets and rugs most of which I have framed. I love weaving and dyeing and the warping process is magical to me—For the most part I'm designing somewhat spontaneously on my warping mill and weaving in plain weave and I love seeing my looms all dressed and full of potential!!! Looms multiply so be careful—I have 4 and they have totally taken over the house!


Wow, anything can inspire me from someone's garden, our beautiful sunsets, an unusual color combination in magazine pictures, TV, what people wear, Etsy treasuries!! I am always looking at color, anywhere, anytime! And then I look for the texture in my yarns.

Materials of choice:

I love working with rayon and cotton. I started weaving with cotton instead of wool (don't remember why) and I like rayon because of its' sheen, weight, drape, and the way it takes dye! Over the past several years I have been adding more and more novelty yarns to my work. They have yummy texture and I love mixing all of these up in my pieces!

How do I promote my shop?

I am still somewhat new to Etsy and grateful for the amazing Etsy friends I have made for putting me in their wonderful treasuries and blogs!!! And I love making treasuries, too! I have also advertised in the Accessories Showcase, though haven't done that in a while and I have a blog. .

My favorite shops?

KnotOriginal, theBeadAerie, SeaPinks, KneeDeepOriginals, loveartworks, theNightjar, Studio Serra (my oldest!!) ImagineStudio, mistflowerphoto, moonovermaize, birribe, katsaraYarns, Sigmosaics, GollyBard, joojoo, merritthyde, humblebea, fancypicnic, warpeDesign, pidgepidge, catherinereece, aforfebre, bstudio, ginnyhuber, NiuTaller, taylorseclectic, alibi, amberalexander, crankbunny, Geninne, penguineandfish, vilte, bellstudios, lauratrevey, barbdunshee, lori411, XannasJewelryBox, betsybenson, MagpieMagic, WildWomanJewelry, LaTouchables, 3squares, RoughMagicCreations, kathiroussel, PianoBenchDesigns, jennreese7 and of course lauraslocumpainted and the whole Etsy Project Embrace team!!!

Would I buy handmade?

YES, yes, yes!! Please buy my weaving so I can buy more handmade! I am constantly amazed (wow'ed really!) at the expertise, creativity, professionalism, craftsmanship and sheer beauty displayed by Etsy artisans! Plus I am totally dazzled by the photography on Etsy!!!

Thank you so much Cait for sharing a little bit about you!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday - Cyber Monday Deal

I figured I'd do my part in helping you avoid the mall this weekend by offering a great deal.


Among the almost free items are my Live, Love earrings

My husband is offering free shipping on all his key chains and many of his pens
If you haven't visited his shop yet, this is the time to do it!