Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thinking out Loud

Hello there, interwebs!

I know that I can't possibly have any loyal readers out there, as I am very un-loyal to actually writing.  Since the last time I was here typing...

1. I canned over 400 jars of various sundries, and filled the pantry to explosion potential.

2.  Following the three months of putting up food from the garden, I experienced a run on Harry Potter Sweaters of monumental proportions.  Over 100 sweaters were embroidered by hand and sent out into the world in the months of October through January.......

3.  I also experienced a small run on custom handknit sweaters, which I believe each deserve their own beautiful snapshot........

Melissa Leapman's Fabulous Cabled Turtleneck Pattern in Malabrigo Maxima

Heavily Improvised Cropped Version of Amy Miller's Gradient Pullover

Beautiful Silk Wedding Bodice from Stephanie Japel's Gorgeous Simple Knitted Bodice Pattern
A Classic Lopapeysa
A Downton Inspired Cardigan from an antique 1920's pattern
Downton Inspired Lace Pullover from another antique pattern
4.  And, finally--- I got caught up in miles and miles of roving, and put together giant blankets and scarves for sale in the shop--- one of which was to be seen on a little old runway during NYC Fashion week.  You know, no big deal.  *runs around flapping arms like an albatross and screaming like a hyena*  Totally cool.

So.... that's my excuse.  I literally had not the time, nor the finger strength, to type anything.  To let you know how I was doing.

But turns out..........I'm doing just fine.  I'm ready for the spring let down.  It came, like the weather, a little later than last year.  But I'm all caught up, and ready for a month of hibernation before the seeds go in the garden.

My two seedlings are doing wonderfully, and the hubster is out for training in California for a month.

I'll try and write regularly until..... well...... I run out of time again.  Being seasonally self-employed is tough on time management skills.  :)


ETA:  I'm available here, here, and here for your purchasing pleasure.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

How to Cast on Stitches for Knitting : Learn to Knit Series - Video 1

Do you want to learn to knit? Knitting is not just for grandmothers anymore! Knitting is a hip art form of expression through our love of fiber, and it has been on the rise for about ten years in the younger generations. I learned to knit about five years ago, and I want to teach everyone I know how to knit. I was really excited to learn to knit, as I fell in love with the yarns first. The plentitude of beautiful fiber out there will sway you, it’s guaranteed.
Some benefits of knitting:
1. Knitting is meditative, calming, and stress free- once you get the basics down.
2. Knitting can be done anywhere. I earned my B.S. in Biology from the University of Michigan, and if you ask anyone who knows me, I knit during lectures, riding in the car on long road trips, while I was studying, in the dentist’s chair….. literally anywhere. No worries about hauling huge supply suitcases- just two sticks and some yarn, and you’re ready to take your art project with you anywhere!
3. Knitting is VERY EASY. There are only two stitches to learn, and then you can knit anything under the sun. Everyone I teach is always shocked at how easy it is to knit.
4. Knitting is FUN.
5. Knitting has been passed down from generation to generation, and is one of the oldest textile based art forms in the world. Think of the Irish Aran sweaters used to identify sailors washed up on shore. Crazy history behind this art form, and you’re about to become part of that history!
The first basic is casting on. Learning how to knit begins with a simple slipknot and this step of getting the stitches ON the needle before you can jump in and begin knitting. So watch with me, pause as you go, and get busy!
Let’s Knit!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How to Create a Facebook Page and Banner for your Business

 Hello darlings! Have you seen the Facebook pages everyone has made for their business, and want to know how to set one up yourself? Let me walk you through the 4 minute FREE process to set up your business on one of the biggest social networking platforms out there!

Setting up a Facebook page for your business is free, it's easy, and in this short screencast, I'll show you not only HOW to set up your Facebook page, but also a fast and free way to create a professional looking banner for your page.

You'll first have to go to your personal facebook page, open up the "like pages" option, and choose the green "create a page" button! Facebook will walk you through the process from there! I'll also show you how to use the free photoediting and collage site PicMonkey to create a professional looking Facebook banner for your business page.

Now go out there, and start collecting likes on your new Facebook page for your business or cause!

Find me here:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How to on Etsy - Opening a Shop, Fees, and Listing

How do you open a shop on Etsy?  How much does it cost?  How do you list something on Etsy?  I've created a great How To video for you to learn these "how tos" on Etsy.

Do you make something handmade?  You can sell it on Etsy!  Have a ton of vintage dresses?  Sell them on Etsy!  Like to make papercrafting supplies, but could never use them all?  Sell them on Etsy!  Etsy is a user friendly online storefront that allows independent business owners to sell handmade, vintage, or craft supply items through their marketplace.  There is no better place to start your eclectic shop than right on Etsy!

This video is a screencast how to video.  How to open a seller account on Etsy.  I go through and explain the basics, including how the fees on Etsy work, how to list an item, and some tips and tricks for stocking your Etsy storefront.  It's great fun, and I'd love to be the one to walk you through the basics today!

First off, I'll show you how to login or register, and open up an Etsy seller account.  After we do that, I'll explain the fee schedule behind Etsy which is as follows:
Listing: 0.20 /four month listing + 3.5% transaction free + 3% + 0.25 credit card fee.

After you get a basic understanding of how the fee schedule works, I'll walk you through a new listing- beginning with choosing your category of handmade, vintage, or supplies.  Reselling of commercial items on Etsy is strictly prohibited. 

After you choose your listing category, you'll then choose an item category!  Then it is a simple process of adding a title, description, pricing, and shipping cost!  Voila- you've just listed your first item, and for the low cost of 20 cents: started your very own internet storefront.

Finally, I'll show you some great examples of successful Etsy shops- in all three categories.

Best of luck, and have loads of fun!

Monday, July 8, 2013

What is Etsy???

Want to know what Etsy is all about? Curious as to HOW to use the site, or WHAT you can find? Many folks have asked me- "What is Etsy?"  This video is a short tutorial, showing navigation of the Etsy site, how to use it, what you can find, and how to narrow your searches.  Give it a shot, and find a great one of a kind item!!

Etsy is a great site to find fabulous handmade, vintage, and craft supply items, and this tutorial will help you answer the question of "What is Etsy?"

Take a gander with me through the screencast of how to navigate the Etsy site!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Gastronomically speaking.....

I've been cooking up some delicious little bits lately.  I've spoken alot about gardening, knitting, sewing, and general craftasticness, but these last few meals, including some fresh goodies from the garden, were worth a share! :)

I made this tonight:

Lightened up "Lasagna" in 20 minutes:

Rustic Tomatoes/Sausage Sauce
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage (if you can find a turkey variety, this will lighten up the recipe even more)
fresh or canned diced tomatoes
2 cloves sliced garlic
1 cup mixed fresh herbs (I mixed in some fennel seeds with some fresh basil, thyme, and oregano).
Salt and Pepper

Serve with:
1/2 lb. orzo pasta- cooked to al dente
Low Fat Ricotta
Freshly grated Parmeson

I also made a couple recipes from the latest Cooking Light:

Potatoes with Garlic and Kale

Cucumber Salad with White Wine

Penne with Tomatoes, peas, and fresh herbs

I couldn't help but share!  Are you drooling yet?  I was.  And then I went back for seconds.  and thirds.  If you make it yourself, there are no calories, right?  Don't worry- I worked it off with all the P90X I've been doing for the last two weeks!

Seriously.  You'd laugh if you saw me walking around with my sore butt and trying to lift my shoulders.  The workouts are working, I'm eating clean, and I'll be donning my Wonder Woman outfit in no time flat.  :P

Call me crazy.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Digging in the Dirt. Garden Update #2!

I've planted, weeded, tilled, weeded some more, thinned......and still I'm only halfway there.  But here are the June 13th pictures of the garden so far!  I'll let them speak for themselves, because I have a tomato/pepper/onion bed to dig, a melon bed to dig, a corn bed to dig..... and all of those to plant.  :)

Happy Gardening!!!!!  Mine's not perfect in appearance, but the plants are happy and thriving, and there is work to be done!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Digging in the Dirt : Garden Update #1

Is there much to update?  At the moment, nothing really.  Mostly plans.  Loads of plans.  Insanely optimistic plans.  Plans, that, in my head, look just like this:

Martha Stewart Perfection

They include something like this:

Pole Beans, Martha Stewart Style.

And even this!!!

Not me.  I'm not that perfect.  Trust me. 

So far, I've planted these organic seeds:
1.  Kale
2. Spinach
3. Beets
4. Kohlrabi
5. Lettuce
6. Bok Choi
7.  Peas

 One small hurdle.  Did I mention I only have a corner lot within city limits?  That's me.  So, in between the Cedar, magnolia, and pine, and spruce trees on the property, not to mention a house, garage, and driveway smack dab in the middle of everything, I need to make big garden veggies in various smaller beds that I've reclaimed from the lawn.  My secret weapon this year?

My Earthwise Eco Friendly PLUG IN Tiller. 

This thing chops.  It dices.  It tills.  It cuts through grass and sod like butter.  Excepting the hauling of a big orange extension cord, I couldn't ask for more.  It is lightweight, and I don't have to figure out how to put oil or fuel or mixes of the two.  (Which is why I still have yet to use my weed whacker.)

I'll take photos.  The peas and Kohlrabi are already sprouting.  I'm expanding the garden space to reclaim about 4000 feet of lawn to use for my corn, melons, peppers, and tomatoes this year.

I'll either end up this season as a bad ass guerilla gardener, or a complete and utter laughingstock of the neighborhood.  Wanna take bets?

Watch this space.  Good or bad- I'll share my story.

Organic Gardening Tip of the day:::  RABBIT REPELLANT
Cute and adorable?  Yes.  Nibbling on my lettuce.  Nope.

1.  Go to local Barber Shop.  Ask for their hair.  I'm not kidding.
2.  Dump a cheap spice bottle of cayenne pepper into bag of hair.
3.  Sprinkle this (to rabbits) noxious mixture around seedlings.  ESPECIALLY your bean seedlings.  They can devour all your work in one night.

I swear.  They won't nibble.


ETA: 3 hours after publishing this post, I managed to till up 5000 square feet of veggie beds.  I also managed to get the tiller wrapped up in chicken wire (which it took 30 minutes to cut apart from the tines), get a big 'ole rock wedged in the tiller (which I beat out of the tines unceremoniously with a shovel), and got stung by approximately 14 ants.  Like I said, not quite as glamorous as I seem.