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, January 31, 2013

Giveaway for Valentine Day 2013

Your Journey begins on the Share and Like Shop Hop at Shweet Potato Dolls Etsy Shop Grab a pen and paper and make sure to write down all the shops in the order that you visit them. 

Search each shop you visit for the Heart Graphic like the one shown here and follow the link to the next shop. At the end of your journey you will find the email address to send your list to. 

Be sure to include your Complete Name and email address to be eligible for the Prize Drawings. There will be 2 prizes given away. This Shop Hop Begins on February 1 and Ends at midnight February 8th (will let you know if we decide to extend it to the 9th) We want to declare winners in time to get the items shipped and received by Valentine Day.

Just in case the email doesn't get delivered or ends up in your spam box, check back here for the names of the winners on February 8th. You will have 48 hours to claim your prize.

~~Now Hop on over to Shweet Potato Dolls on Etsy and let the Journey Begin.

Here are pictures of the prizes.  

Or you can choose 3 lip glosses

This one comes with a small one also

Any two bars of soap


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Almost February Funnies

Really? No way

Just like human siblings

Is that kissing?

Why don't we love one another like some animals do?

What kind of cat does that look like?

Hey, can I hitch a ride

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Today I am featuring the Craft Cafe shop called Enika Treasures and Design.  Here are the questions she answered and some information she added as well.  Now you can get to know her a bit as well as her wonderful talents.

The first question was, what is the difference between knitting and crocheting.
The difference between knitting and crocheting are the stitches and the feel of the texture. I think it depends on the project you are working on if knitting or crocheting takes longer. Also one person is faster knitting and the other crochets faster.

 I also asked if she had any plans to grow her kitchen section of her shop.
My plans for my kitchen section are making potholders, dishcloths, baskets and small handy items. For toys I am thinking in the line of small dolls, animals, and for other items I am looking to find other craft items, like maybe cards, small items made out of wood, anything other then knitting and crocheting.

Of course we all want to know a bit about the shop owner/artisan's background.
I come from Germany and I have been here in the US since 1983. I have lived in several different states (I used to be an Army wife for about 12 years) and now live in North Idaho. I am a christian mother of 2 grown children, both married and I have one 8 month old adorable grandson. I have a loving husband, who supports me in every way.

I always liked art and enjoyed working with my hands. My father and his father used to paint with oil, watercolors and acrylics. My mother loved to sew, knit, crochet and embroider. I guess you can say that it is in my genes. lol I had many teachers, my dad, my mom and my teachers in school. I also learned a lot by trying new patterns out of magazines and other sources. I usually give away my finished products, just because or for special occasions and I was told to try selling them. Very seldom would I try to sell one of my items, but couple years ago I played with the thought to actually do so

My wonderful husband Michael supported that idea. Since I cannot find work, I decided last year to start my hobby business. Actually my daughter Kristen stumbled over Craft Cafe and liked it. I checked it out and loved the idea of opening  a shop with Craft Cafe, but at first I just signed up and kept checking all the other shops. I compared with Etsy, Ebay, but always was drawn back to Craft Cafe. I started saving my handmade items and finally started building my shop, which took me quite some time. In December of 2012 I prayed for blessings over my shop, which I named Enika Treasures and Design (Enika comes from my middle name Erika, which was misspelled on my GED) and activated it. I hope that my work will please my customers and that they will return for many years to come and that they will recommend my shop to others.

You can find Enika Treasures and Design at any of the below links.

craftcafeenikatreasuresanddesign at the Craft Cafe

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Keywest by Palms soaps on Craft Cafe

I visited a few Craft Cafe shops and decided to have a talk with a few of the shops owners.  Here is the questions and the answers from the shop known as KeywestbyPalmssoaps.

Is Nag Champa a brand name, or what?
Nag Champa is a warm blend of patchouli and sandalwood with citrus and lavender that many people describe as calming, warming, and moist. For some, the scent is reminiscent of jasmine or magnolia flowers, the forest, or even tea.

How many different types of soap are there besides glycerin?
Cold process and hot process and some do what is called rebatch.

Are your loofah bars very popular?
Loofah bars are one of my best sellers. I have customers from all regions but people who live in humid climates (and wear sandals a lot) really appreciate them the most for dry heels. The loofah bars are awesome because you can exfoliate and moisturize all at the same time.

Is there a particular reason why you choose to make only glycerin soaps?
I chose glycerin soap making because I did not want to mess with lye and with the glycerin soap making I can create unique shapes and bright vibrant colors that is very hard to create with other processes.

Your bubble gum glycerin soap is so cute, where did you get the idea from?
I try to make something for everyone; men, women and children. I started making the bubble gum fragrance with the children in mind but found out that adults and even the men love this fragrance. The style I chose just reminded me of bubble gum!

Are you planning on doing any embeds for children's soaps?
I make duck ponds in sweet fragrances (sugar cookies, bubble gum, cotton candy, etc.) that the children love. It is a plastic duck (that squirts water from its beak) in a round pond shaped bar of soap. Right now I have princess ducks for the girls and monster ducks for the boy but during the year I change these up also.

She also has many soaps for the horse lover in you.


You can contact her or follow her using any of the links below.

Craft Cafe - keywestbypalmssoaps
Email address:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Funnies on a 7 degrees (F) day- cold cold

This image is so adorable, I wonder how old this pup is.

Sometimes doggies need coats too

Do you celebrate your doggies birthday?

Good Advice

Now that is what I call a smile

I really think that one is funny cause it's so true.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


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,

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

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Information about some essential oils

Here is some very important information that is known about essential oils. However, I must state that even aspirin isn't effective for everyone nor is it equally effective for those who take it because it is some what effective for them.

So yes results will vary not only by person but also by the quality of oils. Yes it is common practice to mix lower quality oils with higher quality oils or even adulterate them with other cheap oils such as grape seed oil.

What qualifies an essential oil as high quality you may ask. Well there are several factors one of which is the growing conditions in the country of origin for that particular plant, the other can be the specific species of the plant and the distillation method used can also make a difference as well as the length of time spent distilling the plant and the heat applied as well. High heat is quiet destructive to many chemicals. The amount of heat that is too high varies with what is being distilled.

Mandarin Red is considered safe for use with children and has been known to have a calming effect on children.

Myrrh is known for helping cracked skin heal.

Palmarosa is known to be good for those with sensitive skin and as a cellular regenerative oil (scars).

Looks like green onions, doesn't it?

Peppermint is known to be stimulating and good for the digestion.

this is what peppermint looks like

Sandalwood is awesome for aged skin.

Tea tree is known to be beneficial for fighting acne and certain fungi.

Vetiver is know for being deeply relaxing.

Ylang ylang is both an aphrodisiac and known for being helpful to those who have high blood pressure.

Not the prettiest of flowers

Both cardamon and ginger are are beneficial for the digestion including nausea and gas plus can be beneficial for constipation as well.

Cinnamon and ginger are known for being stimulating and warming (improves circulation).

Even though this is not a very well known fact, there are various types of Lavender and they should not be confused with each other. There is lavadin, lavender spike, lavender 40/42 and of course "true" lavender which is generally French Lavender but I have heard that at times English lavender is just as good or better. It really depends on what the use is.

Lavender is one of the most complex molecules and also one of the most versatile essential oils. It is most well known as being relaxing. It is also well known from the story about the French chemists to be excellent for skin burns. I have used it for bruised flesh when I was in a car accident (along with ice), plus it can also be beneficial for acne, skin cuts, scars and headaches.


I will write more about essential oils sometime in the future.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Funnies for mid-January 2013

Wonder if I am ever going to run out of funnies to put on this blog?  Well your guess is as good as mine.

Do you want to say hello fat cat?

This is just too stunning not to share.  I never heard of a white peacock.

Don't they look like they are arguing about politics?

Now this is a really long tongue. 

I wonder who this little fellow is supposed to be?

Sorry just have to throw in an old foggey one every now and then.

This one really killed, is that photo shop or did they really put that dog in there like that?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

SewKlassic Fiber Arts Part II

Most of us are very brief and not very detail oriented when we write, but Karen is a very detailed person and probably could be a writer if she wanted to write a novel or two.  I did ask her some other questions that I did not put in Thursday's blog post because I have always heard that it is best to keep blog posts fairly short.  So here are the answers to the questions that I asked Karen.

How much time per week/month do you spend looking at materials to get ideas for new creations?
I spend 8-10 hours a week looking for ideas for creations, mostly through online views. I love the Pininterest boards which let me choose things I love and organize them so I can return later, either for shopping or for inspiration.

How much time do you devote to creating something new?
Once something is in my mind to create, then the hours vary by complexity of the item in order to design and produce a prototype then test it in service and then refine the item and products needed to create the item. From long interest in fiber, I know where to search and have suppliers now, so the actual finding of material doesn't take as long as it used to.
An example of a recent product is the little purse in my shop. It took about a week along with my daughter to design, shop for materials, and create. Then the prototype was used by my daughter during a trip to see how the item fitted the need that she had for a small wallet to tuck into her luggage, tote, or pocket. Also, we could see how the materials and structure held up. During this test time, people who see the item may make comments about it, such as, whether they like it or not and ask where they can find one like it. It's a good time for us to evaluate whether we should try to make more of them.

What types of items take the longest to make?
Items with lots of detail take a long time and good technique to make. An example in the sewing realm is a garment with many pockets or several zipper closures for pockets, a large number of buttons or pocket flaps. In the realm of knitting and crochet, a crocheted (creating fabric with a single hook and yarn) dishcloth takes less time than a knitted dishcloth (2 sticks and a string). However, when it comes to making sweaters or dolls with clothing – whether sewn, crocheted or knitted, these items require many hours.

Which types of items are the fastest to make?
Sewing an item on a sewing machine is the fastest way to make many things. And items without detail and small projects are faster to make – such as hats or mittens, baby items that are small in size are also faster to make.

Are there some things you enjoy making more than others?
I love making baby sweaters, clothing, hats, and shoes.  I also love making dolls and doll clothing.
Right now I'm enjoying making knitted items. I also enjoy hand sewing.
It was fun to make a a tea towel recently that featured silver metallic cord as an edging for an embroidered snowflake. Even more fun was to use a new tool to heat-set swarkovski crystals onto the snowflakes to make them sparkle.

What are stitch markers for? I have never heard of them before so I am sure some others have not either.
Stitch markers are used in knitting or crochet to mark the beginning or end of a location in the work where stitches might be added or a pattern might be repeated. Some stitch markers need to pass from one needle to another in the work and move through the work as it is knitted or crocheted. These stitch markers are closed loop. Some stitch markers need to be placed in the work and remain until the item is finished, such as the marking at a certain row for the application of a pocket or the joining of another piece to the work. These markers have a split ring, so they can be slid around a thread and stay in place,  then removed easily when the piece is finished.

Many items are in my mind, but it would take several lifetimes to complete all of the pieces I would like to make. Right now, there are women's hats, and shawls in the shop. At one time I had a beautiful cardigan sweater in the shop, but it sold last year. Sizing to fit with some garments makes it impractical to create very many if at all for sale in my shop. There is the expense of purchasing the materials, and many hours required to make say a sweater, and then the risk of not having it sell after so much investment because the person who would want to buy it is a different size or wants a different color than the creation made.