Contest and Special Sales sign up

If you would like to receive notices of when I have or know of a special sales (Handmade artisans only) or when I am having a contest or know of one that any of my friends are having, please use this link to sign up for those notices.

Friday, September 28, 2012

September Zbox sampler box

Zbox is a sampler box program for Zibbet shops.  You may get samples of bath and beauty products, earrings, charms, candles, or many other handmade and creative items.

There are still 11 (at last count) Zboxs left for sale.  Once they are gone there won't be any more until October 15th. Get yours right now.  To see what a Zbox looks like, just visit the Zbox sample shop

One month I am going to have bath bomb samples that are shaped in the form on miniature trees and another month I will prepare samples of some of my essential oil perfumes.  I think either of those would make great but inexpensive Christmas gifts.  You will recognize my samples by the pretty little organza bag that I put them in and of course I will include a business card (so you will know where to find me).

Here are a list of shops that have been or are participating in donating samples or coupons in the most recent Zbox:

Body & Soul Bath & Beauty Products (Becky)
Rebecca's Jewelry ~ RWest Designs (Becky)
Through My Eyes Photography Shop (Becky)
Texas Eagle Gallery (Norma)
Xquisitely Lady M (Marguerite)
Breath of The Dragon (Sunfire) Connie)
Nicole's Visions (Nicole)
Spanky Luvs Vintage2 (Rhonda)
ABC Birdhouses (Sissy)
JuJu Bee Jewelry Designs (Julessa)
All About The Buttons (Barbra)
It's My Thing Designs (Wanitta)
LOC Design Studio (Vicki)
Dancing Rainbows (Adrienne)
Custom Candy Creations (Summer)
Handmade Fuzzy (Frauke)
Delightful Scents (Cynnamon)
Enchanted Craft (Nicole)
Knits Yours Knot Mine (Sabrina)
Portable Graffiti (Judy)
EyeSeeSage (Jenny)
ArtiSoap (Lola)
Botanicals For Beauty (Laura)
Sewmantra (Martiel)
LuvNCrafts (Christie)
Dean Designs (Tracie)
LMR Photography (Lynne)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How many funnies can you find in a week?

It's hard to help the fact that at least to me, the ecards are not as funny as the animals. LOL
Just another point of view

How many of you feel like this?

Such a small kitty to have such an attitude

I know people like this, don't you?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sticky Wrappers - Original Candy

Sara, the owner of the sticky wrapper is the mother of a very active 4 year old boy.  We live in Washington state.  Both my husband and son are very supportive of my business and both help out as much as possible.

Question: How long have you been selling online?
Response: I have been selling online for almost 2 years.  I opened my Etsy shop on January 2011.

Question: What got you started making such wonderful treats?
Response: When I was laid off a friend of mine told me about Etsy.  I came up with the candy idea because it's fun, versatile and fairly easy to ship.  The only problem would be the candy melting in the hot months.

Red Velvet marshmallows

Question: Why did you decide to sell your treats on the web?
At first I played with the idea of doing lollipops.  I ordered a sample pack of flavorings and the pack came with lemon oil.  My other flavorings come from a local shop that has larger sizes that are a little more affordable plus I don't have to pay for shipping.

Question: How much does it take to make your treats?
It takes about 4 hours to make most of my treats.  The butters don't take as long.

Question:  Your lemon/lavender caramels state that you added the oil of both lemon and lavender.  I have never heard of those ingredients before, can you tell me what they smell and/or taste like?
Response:  The tastes and scents of the oils are very similar to regular extracts but are slightly stronger and can be used in chocolates as well.

lemon/lavender caramels

Question:  How long have you had an interest in specialty candies?
Response: I have always loved specialty candies and will try anything once.

Question:  Where do you get your ideas for some of those wild treats, like the maple bacon caramel or balsamic strawberry marshmallows?
Response: My ideas come from family and cooking in general.  There are so many choices out there and I want my items to stand out.

Question:  Do people really love those unusual types of flavors?
Response:  The bacon flavors are pretty popular as well as the spicy caramels. The other flavors seem to sell at certain times.

Question:  Are any of the items in your shop the result of a request for a custom product?
I have not had any custom requests yet.

Lime in coconut caramels

Maybe no one has made any requests because she has 67 items to choose from and such a great variety.

Question:  Do you add new items on a regular basis or at least try to?
Response: I try to add items as often as I can to keep my shop fresh and add variety.

Question: What do you use to wrap and package your treats when preparing them to be shipped?
I used FDA approved packaging.  I heat seal it, I recently found some self sealing ones and can't wait to try them.

Question:  Do you use molds or your hands to shape your goodies?
My caramels and marshmallows are all made from scratch.  They are cooked on the stove and then poured into molds so I can keep them as uniform as possible.

Love tiramisu

Become a fan of thestickywrapper or invite your mouth to drool over those special candies

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

All animal funnies

I know these are supposed to be funnies, but this one is so heart warming that I wanted to share.

Don't you dare even think about it.

You won't really get this one unless you have been a parent of a grown child.

Can dogs laugh?
Can you believe that's comfortable?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Featuring Hollyknitter

Question: How long have you been knitting and crocheting?

Reply:  I have been knitting since college and crocheting for over 50 years.  My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was only 8 or 9 years old which is a memory I treasure.  I love to knit and have really enjoyed creating since I retired almost 3 years ago.

Question: Why did you decide to call your business Hollyknitter Creations?

Reply:  Holly knitter creations is named after the area we live in (east Texas).  Holly Lake Ranch is about 2 hours east of Dallas and has the trees and green landscape that reminds us of the east coast where I lived as a teen as that is also where my husband grew up.  Plus we are close to our children and grandchildren.  There was a coffee shop called HollyPerk in our nearest town and I played on the use of Holly from Holly Lake with my knitting.

baby Christmas hat

Question: Do you use different types of yarn as well as different colors of yarn?

Reply:  Wash cloths and dish cloths need absorbency - so I use 100% cotton for those.  There are some differences so my baby wash cloths are made with a very soft cotton and the dish cloths have a little different texture in the cotton yarn.  I like to use cotton for my towel toppers but do resort to acrylic when I have to match a specific color because cotton tends to "run" and acrylic is color fast.  My baby hats can be made in either cotton or acrylic, whichever the customer wants or whatever catches my eye.

Question: What has to be done differently to get the embossed look on your wash cloths?

The embossed look in the "picture" cloths is created with knit and purl stitches.  I just ordered a tree house pattern to make for my grandkids for a Christmas present that will go into their stockings.  It is always fun to figure out a special cloth for each grandchild's personality.  One year it was skateboards, Ninjas and ducks.

Motorcycle cloth

Question:  Where do you find your ideas for creations to make?

The towel pattern with the knit ties is my own creation because I hate to sew.  So I created a handknit topper for the dish towels that use ties rather than traditional buttons.  I also use patterns I have purchased or found online from several designers.  I feel copyright is important to respect.  Some designers have given me permission to make items from their patterns and I give them credit as the designer.

Simplify sentiment hanging house towel

Allison Barren has beautiful quilt patterns that are knitted.  The designers I use are very gracious when I order patterns and send them in MS Word format so my computer can read the lines to me audibly with a screen reader as I am legally blind.  It is awesome to have that kind of technology to be able to accomplish what I want to do as a knitter and as a business woman.

Question:  How long did it take you make and list 100 items?

I have been selling my creations on Artfire for 18 months now and I just reached 100 items a short time ago.  

Other info about Hollyknitter Creations:  I also belong to a charity knitting group and we make hats, scarves, baby items and prayer shawls for missions and local charities.  The group is called Chicks with sticks.  The group meets once a month and makes some of the most beautiful afghans, shawls and sweaters.

You can find Sharon (aka Hollyknitter) using the below links.

hollyknittercreations on Artfire
find her on pinterest
and on twitter

Thursday, September 13, 2012

About more crafting blogs

Here is a blog that has free downloadable images that you can use when making handmade cards.

Here is a site that gives you rankings for craft blogs by several different criteria,

If you want to craft something as a gift on a small budget or decorate a room, this blog has lots of ideas and many tutorials, plus giveaways.

If you are interested in crafting with recycled and upcycled materials, than this blog is for you.  She also encourages her readers to submit tutorials to be posted on the blog.

This one also features various artisans, they also have contests plus categories for both card making and baking and treats.  You will also find green and floral crafting plus much more, including craft projects for specific holidays.

You can find crafting ideas for mom and dad to do with the children at this blog.

If you are dedicated to crafting then this blog would most likely interest you.  It list crafting resources, surveys and polls, discussion groups, plus of course projects and "craft happenings".

This isn't a blog, but it's a pininterest account listing images from craft and decorating blogs.  I think there has been a great deal of confusion with pininterest.  I know at first I thought the images would be a live link, but they are not.

This blog is specially for those into paper crafts.  Paper crafts is more than just cards and cut outs.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Do you ever do this?  Or do you also have a spell check that helps?

Look at that color combination isn't this bird, just fantastic?

I thought some of you might like this ecard.

I never thought of these cartoons in this way, but it does make sense.

Really a bad position for a cat to be in.

I can't believe this dog stayed still for this.

Hope every one enjoyed the pics.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Almost 50 posts - Time for a giveaway

Now that this blog has almost 50 posts and over 1,200 page views I want to start doing a giveaway.  I haven't yet decided how often, but I am hoping to do so once a month.  Below please see a review of other giveaways.  I will announce my give away and the dates plus qualifications below the reviews.  This is in lieu of doing  blog reviews.

Here are the links to other give aways sites.

biglistofgiveaways Current giveaways run the gammet from frozen meals, to labels to a $50 Amazon gift card and more.

bloggiveaways The giveaways listed here stay at the top of the page until the giveaway closes.  The latest giveaway includes coffee and a coffee mug.  Some other giveaways have included tickets, pest repellent, Stevia and a cute cat purses plus one was a gift certificate.

byhandgiveaways The value of the prizes on this blog run from $10 up to $100 and all of the prizes are handmade items.

It looks like many giveaways require you to leave comments on a blog post or follow the blog, there could be other requirements for entry but these seem to be the most common.

This one is for those who Live in Canada only they also have freebies, contests and some other types of events listed.

I only looked at the first page of this web site and it looks like they are all US or Canada contests but their list is over 900 pages.  Maybe they don't delete the old ones when they are over.

It looks like all of these giveaway listings have a huge variety of prizes.  Here is another one to take a look at doubleprizes

It looks like this blog has not listed any new giveaways since June 15 of this year.

This one lists current giveaways on the right side of her posts.  There are 18 more for me to list, so I am just going to list them rather than reviewing them, you can check them out at your leisure. (cute name HUH)

I am sure there are probably at 100 of these on the web.  I often wonder if at least 1/2 the population on the planet isn't doing something on the web.

Starting today and ending on September 30th, my giveaway will be any two wrinkle oils you choose or one of my perfumes that retails for no more than $15 at my craftcafe shop.  The condition is your choice either leave a good comment or follow my blog and you will be entered into this contest.  The winner will be chosen on October 1st using either rafflecopter or

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

More FB wall animal funnies

It really stinks that blogger's image up loader is not working, but I am still sharing the links to these images.

this isn't the way most dogs get comfy

How can you not like dogs, oh I guess if one bit you

Wish this one was bigger, the pic that is

Ever seen a dog flatten out?

You might need a sec to get this one

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Wirewrapped jewelry and more

Today's post is an interview with AussenWolfDesigns who creates jewelry and love wire wrapping.

Laura:  Are all of your jewelry designs wire wrapped?

Judy: Not at all.  I also do bead stringing and pearl knotting and sometimes I get out my hammers and do a wee bit of sheet metal work.

Laura: How do you get your ideas for designs?

Judy: This is a difficult question to answer as art and beauty are all around us.  An idea can pop into my head when I am looking at a beautiful piece of fabric and the combination of colors and texture fascinate me.  Most often my ideas come from working with the stones.

Laura: How do you come up with names for your creations?

Judy: Sometimes a nickname will pop into my head when I am working on a piece such as the cameo necklace first cotillion cameo.  While making that piece I kept imagining a young girl preparing for her first formal ball.  Frequently however, naming a new creation is a family project.  My husband and daughter are great assistants in that department.

  Laura: How did you become interested in making wire wrapped jewelry?

Judy: Years ago I saw the incredible work of an artist named Sharilynn Miller.  I was amazed how she could take a simple piece of wire and manipulate it into a work of art.  At the time I thought it was far too complicated of an endeavor for me.  Than Sharilynn taught a class at our local bead store and I decided to give it a try.  All I can say is "WOW!".  Sharilynn is an accomplished teacher as well as an artist.  After that first class I wanted to learn everything I could about wire wrapping, thank you Sharilynn!

Laura: How long have you been creating jewelry?

Judy: Since 2002, but at the time everything I made was for either family, friends or myself.

Laura: How long have you been doing wire wrapping jewelry?

Judy: Since 2006, after taking that first class with Sharilynn Miller.

Laura: Why did you decide to sell your jewelry rather than just give them out as gifts?

Judy:  After moving to Idyllwild, CA in 2006 I began frequenting the local bead store.  On several occasions the owner of the store complimented me on my designs.  One day she asked me if I had ever considered selling my jewelry and offered to include my pieces in her shop...and that was the beginning of AussenWolfDesigns.

Laura: Do you have any goals or aspirations for your business?

Judy: AussenWolfDesigns was founded on the idea of offering quality handmade jewelry to women who want unique accessories to express their individuality.  As such I want to continue exploring the multitude of avenues for crafting quality jewelry to offer my clients a wider variety.

Laura: Is finding wire difficult or expensive?

Judy: While we no longer have a bead store in Idyllwild, finding materials is easy with internet shopping.  However, the precious metals market is very volatile right now.  When I started wire wrapping in 2006, I was purchasing sterling silver for around $8 an ounce.  Now it sells for around $31 an ounce (which is down from the $44 an ounce that it was up to a few months back).  It is one of the reasons I began investigating the use of copper wire as an alternative to sterling and gold.

Laura: How time consuming is wire wrapping?

Judy: That depends entirely on the project.  A wrap on a cabochon can take any where from 40 minutes to a couple of hours if it involves more intricate weaving or embellishments.  The wolf pendant takes any where from 8 to 10 hours.

Laura: How often do you create a new item?

Judy: As often as I can sneak away to my studio. Even when I am not physically working on constructing a new piece, I am often considering new projects while doing other things around the house.  My husband and daughter have frequently teased me about getting that "glazed" look in my eyes which they call my "working on a design" mode.

Laura: Is there any other type of wire used besides copper?

Judy: Absolutely! Wire can run through a whole gamut of metals including copper, brass, bronze, sterling and gold.  In the past few years I have seen a number of beautiful jewelry pieces using aluminum and steel as alternative to sterling silver.  I haven't tried those metals yet but will soon.  One of the wonderful things about working with metals is that each one has its own unique properties - both in color and physical attributes - that carry over into the actual artistic presence of the piece being created.

Laura: Is there anything you would like to add to this interview?

Judy: I would like to thank you for allowing me to share my craft with your readers.  I tried to add images of her work, but Blogger doesn't want to cooperate.  So I am going to publish this and promise to add the pictures as soon as possible.

You can find Judy on or and of course you can look at all of her items or contact her through her Artfire studio