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.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lip gloss flavors contest

I want to start offering flavored lip glosses in January. Most of my items are all natural from some type of plant. These flavors will be synthesized and highly popular flavors. My problem is there must be at least hundreds of them and with a limited budget I can't afford all of them, so I would like to pick out the top 10 flavors according to my visitors.

Here are the flavor oils that I am considering: cherry berry, cinnamon supreme, French vanilla, coconut milk and peaches, grand marnier and apricot, cappuccino, blackberry pomengrante, black cherry, butterscotch, champagne, chocolate cream, coconut, Island delight (very popular), margarita, vanilla orchid, peppermnt, pina colda, raspberries and cream, root beer, strawberry swirl, vanilla banilla, chai tea, blueberry, brown sugar, creme de menthe, green apple, hazelnut, dill pickle, pink lemonade, pistachio ice cream, pizza, red velvet cake, sangria, watermelon, white chocolate, wild red cherry, zucchini bread, peanut butter, mango peach, pineapple and tangerine, nutmeg and caramel, ginger snap, lemon cheesecake, lemon pound cake, lemon drops, malted milk balls, mango lassi, mint truffle, caramel and orange sorbet.

CONTEST AND VOTING ENDS SUNDAY December 9th.  Winner to be declared the following morning.

Don't worry the list is on a poll so all you have to do is place a check mark next to your choices.

LIP GLOSS CONTEST POLL This is the link to the poll, no need to leave a comment with your choices.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Post Thanksgiving funnies for 2012

A few funnies in honor of the upcoming Christmas Holiday.  I just can't help that I love the animal pics that are so cute so I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and some of them are pretty funny too.

That's so heart warming

How often do you see ducks?
It's not only dogs that think each other are pillows
Do you agree?
Ever thought about that one?
Wouldn't that be a wonderful gift?
It would depend though on how quickly it grows money and in what denominations.  LOL

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November's blog contest winner

The winner has now been declared (selected randomly at and is Alinga Buttadauro who has been contacted by email.  Congratulations Alinga!!

All prizes will be mailed invidually by the artisan who donated that particular prize.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bead making and working with glass

Today I have a guest post from my friend Sonja.  She is sharing a bit about how she works with glass to create various types of beads.

This is my story of why  I make beads and how I make them too.  lol.

I actually started out as a jewelry designer (and still am) and one of my goals was to learn to make as many of the parts of my jewelry as possible, in an effort to make as much of my jewelry handmade as possible. I finally took a beginning lampwork glass class and was hooked in less than five minutes lol.

The basics of lampworking are pretty simple although actually making a round isn't as easy as you would think. I currently use a dual fuel torch, that mixes oxygen and propane as it comes out of the tip of the torch. The beads are made on a mandrel, which is a rod of stainless steal. I cut mine to a length between 9-11 inches. The size of the hole in the bead is determined by the size of the mandrel. The tip of the mandrel is coated in bead release ( a clay type mixture) to keep the glass from sticking the mandrel. Without bead release, the bead will never come off the mandrel. The glass comes in rods about the diameter of the pencil or a bit larger and about 12-18 inches long. The rod of glass is put into the flame and wrapped around the mandrel. How much glass you put on determines how big the bead is. Once you have your base bead you can start to decorate! This is the fun part lol! Dots, squiggles, lines, and lots of color! Once you are satisfied with your bead, it gets popped into the kiln to anneal. This takes about 7-9 hours. This is one of the most important parts, because annealing the beads takes some of the stress out of the glass that was created by manipulating it in the flame. This makes the beads less prone to cracking and shattering. Once the beads have cooled all the way, you have to take them off the mandrel, and clean the bead release out of the holes. Voila! The beads are finished!

Beads in a kiln

I find lampworking to be very relaxing, there is a high level of concentration involved and it tends to push everything else into the background. It has the added benefit of creating beautiful things!

Think pink

blue ribbon beads

red and white daisies
You can communicate and/or learn more about Sonja by visiting any of these links:
Silverriverjewelry blog
Silverriver pin boards
Facebook for fans

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A home daycare Christmas story

This story is brought to you by Judy Giffith of Juniquegoods on

A few years ago one of the children from my day care was watching the Christmas Parade  in our town.  When Santa came by he saw him and yelled, “I will see you at Ms. Judy’s”.  Others around him were asking “do you really know Santa”?  Puffed up with pride, he got over his speechlessness, and said “Of course, don’t you”? 

Each year at Christmas we have Santa come, talk to the children, give them each a gift of something they like (we furnish the little gifts of course) and have lots of photo ops. That year when Santa came in he looked straight at the child and said, “I told you I would be at Ms. Judy’s”.  One of the others piped up and said “I told all of you the real Santa came to Ms Judy’s”. 

What wonderful things happen to children all the time and this is one the children still talk about because he still comes and still rides in the Christmas parade.  Some of the older graduates come on the day he comes and always get tickled because Santa is always the same.

3 of the children Judy takes care of

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving tribute from mother nature

I wish you all a happy thanksgiving and moments of family and love.  Please enjoy some of these images from mother nature.

Peanuts covers every occasion

gorgeous pink bird

beautiful rainbow

shore lines

Fall leaves

water falls

A loving moment

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pumpkin butter and some new items

A friend asked me if I had anything that was good for dandruff, well technically I can't say that anything is good for dandruff because believe it or not the FDA considers dandruff to be a medical issue.  So I replied that I would do some research and get back to her with something that was effective for dry and itchy skin and good for the hair as well.

It turned out that both pumpkin butter and camellia seed oil are great ingredients for hair care products, and a bonus too is that camellia seed oil is also great for hardening the nails, can be used as a makeup remover plus it is reputed to refine mature skin, nourish the complexion and is easily absorbed as well so there will not be a greasy feel.  It revitalizes and rejuvenates both the hair and the skin,  Pumpkin butter is great as an all day lasting moisturizer which also softens the skin for an incredible feel.  It is also soft and very spreadable so a very little goes a long way.  I have also read claims about how great it is when making pomades or hair conditioners.

My Facebook group has inspired me in more than one way to do research for new and interesting products.  Beyond the hair care I am looking into lip glosses with flavors, pot pourri, possibly sachets and/or bath teas.  Plus they asked if I had any roll on perfumes that had a spicy rather than floral scent.  So we came up with the name of Exotic Spice for a roll on perfume that contains the essential oils of cinnamon, ginger and cardamom.

There are so many flavors out there that it would cost me a fortune to purchase one ounce of each and every one of them, so I will be doing a poll soon and I hope I see enough votes that I can whittle the list down a bit.  I only visited two sites that had flavors for lip gloss and I picked out 60 flavors that I thought might be interesting, so that means there were many more than 60 choices.

botanicalsforbeauty - all natural and all vegan bath and beauty products at reasonable prices - high quality and satisfaction guaranteed.

Here are some examples of flavors that I thought people might like:

black cherry
butter scotch
bubble gum
island delight
vanilla orchid
chai tea
root beer
dill pickle
nutmeg and caramel
mango peach
lemon drop
pizza (they do just about everything)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A German Christmas Legend

I thought that it would be great to start sharing some Christmas stories since Christmas is will be here in one month plus 10 days.  So here is the legend behind the Christmas Spider.

A long time ago in Germany a mother was busily cleaning for Christmas.  The spiders fled up stairs to the attic to escape the broom.  When the house became quiet the spiders slowly crept downstairs for a peek.  Oh what a beautiful tree !  In their excitement they scurried up the trunk and out along each branch.  They were filled with happiness as they climbed amongst the glittering beauty.  But alas by the time they were through climbing the tree, it was completely shrouded in their dusty grey spider webs.

When Santa Claus came with the gifts for the children and saw the tree covered with spider webs, he smiled as he saw how happy the spiders were.  But he knew how heart broken the mother would be if she saw the tree covered in dusty webs.  So he turned the webs into silver and gold,  The tree sparkled and shimmered and was even more beautiful than before.

That is why we have tinsel on our trees and why every tree should have a Christmas spider in its branches.

The famous Christmas tree spider

Please thank Judy at juniquegoods and you can even purchase your own spider for only $8.00.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tigger says it all with Tuesday funnies

It's that time of the week again, Tuesday.  Time to share some images that might give you a giggle or even a warm heart.

What a fun mission

For those of us who don't like to clean

He has a mean look, doesn't he?
I can't resist pics of dogs laying flat

Awww, what else can you say?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Shweet Potato Primitive Dolls

Today I am introducing Shweet Potato Dolls and Patterns, she makes collectible dolls that are very different than the traditional dolls you find at toy stores.

Here is her very interesting response to the question if she uses any special techniques in her work.
I am self taught so the only special techniques i use are if i try something and it works out, I write it down in a book. That way i know to do it that way the next time I am wanting to make something the same way.

When asked how long have you been doing this craft she had another interesting response.
I have been "crafting" as long as I can remember. My mom and grandmother both sewed and I was one of 8 kids so we made our own things because my parents did not have the extra funds to buy things for us. I hand painted shirts for my brothers and sisters growing up and that I guess continued on as I grew older. In college I did needlepoint and ornaments for sorority sisters and boyfriends. I hand painted quilts for my baby brother who is 20+ yrs my junior as well as both my girls. Later when I was recovering from major surgery I picked up a paint brush to keep from going insane and started painting again. After i became disabled I taught myself to sew and kind of put all my "crafts" together.

How long have you been selling on the internet?
I started selling online in 2003. 

Where do you get your ideas for new items from?
My ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. I have a line of dolls and ornaments  I call my Shweet Potato Dolls and most of those dolls are based on graphics by Shweet Potato Designs. The graphic designer has granted me permission to make her graphics into physical items and sadly she is no longer drawing graphics. Wonderfully I think I own every graphic she ever created. I do create other dolls and ornaments that are inspired in that "Shweet Potato " way.  Now that I have a grand daughter I see many more designs and patterns coming that Zoe would love to play with.

Are there any tools that you use and can you give a brief explaination of their use?
My tools are my sewing machine, card stock, pencil and long doll needles.  I draw all my patterns using pencil onto card stock. From there I will trace and sew using a sewing machine. All hand work is done using a 6 inch doll needle and crochet thread. I use very little if any glue at all on any of my creations. I want my dolls to go out the way I want them to come into my collections. 
How did you learn your craft?
I am self taught. I am dyslexic. that means I don't read the same way most of the world reads or understands. So the basic pattern out there is like foreign to me. Really explains who Home Ec classes in high school were so hard to me. I discovered a wonderful community of women Prim Mart who were so kind to teach me via the internet to sew. First it was by hand, then I learned to sew using my daughter's machine. Yes, I do purchase patterns from the primitive world now and I also create them myself. I think being dyslexic makes me a better pattern designer as I make sure to explain every thing so I can understand it.

How long does it take you to make some of your creations?

I never know how long it will take me to create something. If I am using a purchased pattern from a designer I know, an ornament might take a day. But I never make just ONE ornament. If I am making up an ornament I will make at least 6. I mean why make up just one little something make up more and have lots of pretties. None will every look exactly the same. Dolls take longer. Last year I had 3 strokes and add my fibromyligia, sjogrens and other auto immune ailments and sometimes I can work for hours and sometimes only minutes at a time. 

Creating Is My Therapy. I love it. It is my Life Line.

Image and links will be added shortly.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hopeful Treasures - a new shop

 Hopeful Treasures is a brand new shop found on Etsy, and Chanaye makes all of the crocheted items.

In October, I started Hopeful Treasures on Etsy.  I named my shop Hopeful Treasures because I hope that people will treasure the items that they buy and be able to keep it for a very long time. My goal is to make the things that I like to wear and use! Being original, creative and unique is what I hope will keep Hopeful Treasures around for a very long time. I design everything around my love for color. I love to incorporate a lot of strong, bold colors into all of my designs and many of the things I make are one of a kind. 

 I started Hopeful Treasures because of a friend. She encouraged me to think about my own unique talents and skills, be willing to not over think my goal and to start small. When I moved to New York, I was already wondering if I should start a business, but really had no idea what it would be. The friend learned that I crochet and that I’ve been crocheting since I was in fourth grade. She would come to me with questions on how to design an item or get ideas on a cool new stitch I found – lately I’ve been in love with the crocheted cable stitch. It became a sort of challenge to see what new things I could come up with and share with her. She even talked me into going to show my designs to a major department store during an open call for designers. I was super nervous. But that experience was a big push to learning that I just might be on to something.
An example of the basket weave

Crochet is a medium used to put yarn together, or anything that can be made into “string”. For example, I’ve used plastic grocery bags, old clothes, and cotton rope to make some really cool things. To make a crochet item is a series of stitches that are combined to make a whole product. I think of crocheting as a small handful of basic stitches combined with a little bit of technique change that makes something amazing. The possibilities are endless really.  Some stitches are best for creating flatter pieces, like if you want to make a wash cloth for example. In that case, you might use a single stitch or a Tunisian stitch. If you want to make a heavy blanket, you might use a cable stitch or shell stitch to help provide warmth. Every stitch has its uses and can be used in a variety of ways and combinations, it’s just a matter of the aesthetic you are seeking.

Really nice fall colors

Last Christmas, I decided to make all my gifts- every single one of them. I made scarves, blankets, muffs, gloves, cowls, pillows, hats and bags. You name it, I made it. I was busy looking for whatever caught my fancy. I would see a pretty picture then figure out how to make it. I made something for everyone - cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles, even for my coworkers. After a busy Christmas, I realized that I love crocheting for other people, but I love to crochet the things that I think would make them happy. It was my handmade Christmas and all of the encouragement from my friend that got me thinking I could make a small business out of this.

Since I live in one of the fashion capitals of the world, there is always something cool or interesting that I find inspirational. One designer incorporated the basket weave into her design and I loved it and made my own basket weave cowl. Incorporating texture is also something that keeps me excited about a design. Some crochet stitches are bumpy like a popcorn stitch, while others are thick and chunky like a modified shell stitch. Factoring in color selection and selecting the proper texture for the string or yarn I’m using is part of the fun of designing. To think about color and texture, I find inspiration by looking through crochet patterns, paying attention to street clothing trends and following different bloggers to get inspiration for a stitch or combination of stitches that I can work with.

The items that are in my shop now are primarily made of wool and wool blends – it is wintertime after all! But I will soon be adding cottons, cashmeres, merinos and a few other surprises to the collection. My goal is always to have unique and eye catching items in my shop, and maybe surprisingly enough, most of the items take about two hours from start to finish to make. Maybe I just have fast fingers, but as with most things, practice makes perfect. Most of the time, I am experimenting and want to try a new design that I have thought about for a while. It’s with my great desire for bright and bold colors and my love of texture that brings people to take a second look at what I have in my shop.

Hopeful Treasures, while new, is adding and growing every day and I’m excited to see what the future holds!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Take a break from politics with Election day funnies

Some of these are funny and some are cute and some are heart warming but I just list them all as the funnies for this week.  I do a funnies on every Tuesday and put captions on them also.

Are you a little crazy until you have your coffee?

If you want to be beautiful it takes work or/and money

You don't love people because they are perfect

Just because Pandas are so darn cute

There isn't really such a thing, even if you just
enjoy the company, that's self  interest

Saturday, November 3, 2012

November blog contest

Want to earn some incredible prizes?  Check out these fantastic shops by clicking on their product pictures below.  Keep track of your favorite shop's name.  Don't forget the shops on page 2!  When you are ready, hop over to our "Poll" page and vote.  It's that simple!  The prize package will be awarded to one lucky winner by random drawing on November 26, so be sure to fill out the contact form on the Poll page.

The prize pack consists of 12 different items,  all of which are listed on the gift guide in the form of  a slide show on the page entitled Prizes.

This contest will be announced on several sites that list contests and give aways.  The contest is now started and entries will close at midnight ET on November 25th.  Good luck to everyone and thanks in advance for your participation.


Here is the link to the Gift Guide Site  .  The poll and list of prizes are also on this site. Repeated voting is not allowed.  Vote for up to 3 shops and than your voting is completed.  DON'T FORGET for a second chance to win choose to leave a comment.  You must fill out the form with both your name and your email address, that is the only way we can declare who the winner is and contact them for an address to ship the prizes to.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

The creativity of Juniquegoods

Judy is the owner and creator of Juniquegood, a shop that has a variety of handmade items in it.  She is one of those people who can't just make one thing, she has to challenge herself and do all kinds of crafts and she is even licensed for day care in her home.  These are the questions I had for her, along with her answers.

I never heard of a Christmas spider before, where did the idea come from?

I understood from my mother that the original legend came from Germany. When researching years ago, found the German legend and that's the one I include with each spider.

Each one takes me about an hour to do each one. I no longer think they are difficult. Once I got the design to do what I wanted it to do, I can do them easily now. Can't claim they are original with me since I saw a picture of one and adapted it to suit me and my way of working.

What made you decide to do awareness angels?

The awareness angels came about because a friend had breast cancer. Made her a pink one. She has been cancer free for 4 years now. My daughter had a friends whose mother had brain cancer. Researched the color representing that cancer and made some for her. This gave me the inspiration and idea to do them for other cancers. I also like to think of myself as a very caring person.  All my angels have names as you see. Some are my original creations, others have been adapted from pictures I have seen.

Believe it or not am I not sure what a snap clip is.  Can you explain, is that for wearing as a pin or in your hair or what?

A snap clip is a little different than a barrette in that it snaps open and shut. The ones shown are mostly for the hair but have sold a few for clipping on gift packages.

Are the beads on the Christmas ornaments secured (so that won't fall off)?

All the beaded ornaments are very secure. The ones using beading thread have been woven through the item several times and tied off. The wire ones have been twisted well to secure.

When I asked you a few general questions about your shop, you mentioned that the woven God's eye, etc were made by some children.  Can you tell me more about the children?

I have a licensed in home child care facility. All of the children involved have been in my care since they were babies. They know I have an online store and wanted to start earning some money to buy their parents Christmas presents. Of course I agreed immediately. Thought that was so sweet that they wanted to earn the money themselves. It took a while to make this many as there was homework to do etc.  They boys and girls, ages 6 to11. Each one had several practice runs before they got the right tension for the weave. Each one made up their own color pattern and chose the colors they wanted to use. I had lots of DMC Perle cotton and decided it was a good weight for them to use also.

Where do you come up with your ideas for those lovely Christmas items?

As for my Christmas items, I see something, get an idea and go for it. I cannot work in only one medium as my interest goes down hill after a while. My Mini Stump Santas and my Mop Angels are the items that started me crafting about 17 years ago. My daughter, then 15, and I took a class at the local recreation center. We did a big stump Santa as the first project. He was about 10" in diameter and 18" tall. When we had to cut down a crepe myrtle tree I asked my husband to cut the straight branches into various lengths - Mini Stump Santa and Mini Snowmen, etc.

Juniquegoods on Artfire
find her at pinterest