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.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Monthly Special April 2013

Since April the 1st is not only April fool's day, but also a Monday, I decided to list and start my month special today instead.  You have 13 flavors to choose from.  You can choose 1 of 3 different flavors or 3 of the same flavor or 2 of one flavor and one of another and way you would like is fine with me.

So what are the flavors?  Well here is a list along with images of the lip glosses and their picturesque labels.

lemon drops

blackberry pom


Mango peach

Margarita (non-alcoholic of course)

coconut milk and peaches

Cappuccino (caffeine not included)

strawberry swirl

pink lemonade

Pineapple and Tangerine

Island Delight

Pina Colada
Non alcoholic Champagne
Enjoy these wonderfully tasty lip glosses at this special price.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Soulshine Arts

Cat started with a little introduction about herself.

 I have been creating art most of my life.  I was always drawing as a child.  I took it very seriously towards high school and went to college intending to be an artist.  I went in a painter/ drawer but came out a photographer/ potter with a teaching degree in k-12 art.  I taught for two years in area high schools, but the economy ate my job!  I started selling my work, mostly pottery and some photos at craft fairs about five years ago.  I also started my Etsy shop back in 2009 and more recently moved the majority of my work over to craft cafe.  I think what got me started initially, is my Father who taught me how to draw trees and gave me tons of art supplies at a young age.  It snowballed from there.

Are the ideas your own or do you find patterns and ideas somewhere?

I always create my own patterns, like for the felt owls and monsters and most of my sewing projects.  I do get many ideas from Pinterest as well.  If you check out my board you can see where I've gotten some ideas.  I try not to copy ideas but to improve upon them.  The teacher in me gets excited about new creative projects and I just have to try them.

Is there something special about clay buttons?

Well, They are pretty strong and they hold up well in the wash.  I think it is just the idea of having something unique and handmade to add to a unique handmade item.  I've had other crafters buy my buttons to use on their handbags, cowls and wool gloves.  It adds an extra element to a handmade gift. 

What is bunting and what is it's purpose?

     A bunting is a decorative banner.  I first saw them being used as decorations for a babies rooms or for a party.  With the birth of my daughter, I became interested in making one for her room.  It was fun to make so I made up some to sell. They remind me of medieval castles and they bring an interesting element to a rooms decor.

Sculpture for the garden and pottery for the garden are both empty, do you have any idea when you might be adding some items into those categories?

I have so much pottery to list, but with three kids and a house to clean, I don't have a ton of time to photograph everything.  I also run a vintage site on Etsy with my Dad.  It is that part of my business that has got me to the point I am at now.  I am trying to inventory and organize my stock so it is easy to pull things when they sell.  I guess having a third child has forced me to organize my house better.  I am slightly obsessed with it, but I am finding that I am already more productive in the last few weeks because of it.

What you may like to know is that I have a few bird baths and bird feeders to list in the pottery for the garden section.  The other section is for my sculptures which I plan to start making this fall.  I plan to make fairy houses, toad houses and more bird houses, feeders and baths.  I love the garden and I love creating unique pieces for it. 

How long did the bowl take you to make and what makes it black on the inside?

What I think your asking is more about the process of making a piece of pottery.  It starts as a wet lump of clay.  I work in my basement studio.  i take the clay and plop it on my pottery wheel.  Throwing (not literally, just the term we use) a bowl on the wheel does not take too long, maybe between 2 to 20 minutes, depending on the size.  Once it is formed, I have to let it dry about halfway, which can take a few hours, then I flip it over and trim the bottom.  Once trimmed, it must dry overnight completely, then it is fired once in my kiln.  A kiln firing is between 8-12 hours, then it has to cool down. one cool, it can be glazed and re fired.  Glaze is the black part of that bowl.  The red is the actual color of that clay.  Clay comes in many shades.  The whole process takes about 3-5 days.  Its quite the process, but I love every part of it. 

Now that you know the process of creating a piece of pottery, picture sitting for hours making tiny things like buttons and pendants and then having to fire them all, glaze them all and then tag and carry them to shows.  It is exhausting and Ive found they don't sell well at craft shows.  I also have a large kiln.  If I had a small one, I would probably continue to make small things, but until I can afford one, ($400-600) I will hold off making more small objects.  I have also gotten myself into making too many different items and I feel the need to limit it.

What types of materials is used creating pottery?

Pottery or ceramic items are made from clay.  I use the term pottery for items that are thrown on the wheel.  Ceramic tends to refer to items made from a manufactured mold, which I do not do.  I use both terms though.  Clay comes from the earth naturally and comes in different colors and strengths.  I use an electric kiln, which is like a big oven to fire the clay to make it hard.  Once clay has been fired once (bisque ware) you can glaze it.  You can paint, spray or sponge it onto the surface.  Glaze is a mixture of compounds in water which reacts to the heat in the kiln and forms the glass like coating on the surface of the piece of pottery.  Glazes can be handmade, which I hope to do someday or can be bought from a manufacturer. 

How long has your shop been open?

On Etsy, since 2009. I started very slow.  It took me a long time to truly figure it out and decide what I was doing.  On Craftcafe, I signed up before it opened and was set up for day one.  I have had my business name since 2006 and have been doing craft fairs here in Maine since then.

One important thing to know about me and my shops right now, is that I am at a crossroads.  I have a new vision for my pottery.  I got a little overwhelmed by what others thought that I should be making, mostly at craft fairs.  I took some time off from making new pottery while I was pregnant with my daughter and worked on my plan as well as all the felt items. 

 I plan to continue making some felt items as well as fabric ones.  I am gearing my Craftcafe site towards child friendly items.  My new pottery line will be on Etsy.  Or so that is my thought this week.

Are all of your social site links listed as part of your shop?  If not, please include them, along with the url(s) of any images that you would like me to use with the article. 

I updated them today.  I do have two blogs. 

Feel free to include a bit of personal info about yourself and your background if you would like.

My name is Catherine or Cat Rolfe.  I am 33.  I have three kids, Trafton, age 5, Sawyer age 3 and Lillian age 6 months.  I live with my partner Mike, our kids, our yellow lab Luke and cat Zues in a small house in the woods in southern Maine.  I am a stay at home Mom, artist, crafter, organic gardener, and going vegan for good.  My life is busy and crazy and fun!

Craft Cafe

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

2013 spring fling funnies

I know not everyone can identify with this, but I know many people personally who can.

Comment Amen if you can identify with this one, LOL

Probably a much better idea than fighting

We call many things facts that are actually our prespective

We could all use some comfort at times

Why not dream big?

Sure looks like one spoiled kitty

Saturday, March 23, 2013


I thought it would be interesting to learn about artisans that work with felt, so I contacted two shops on the Craft Cafe that have various items that were created with felt.  One of these shops has items created with both felt and burlap and the other also has pottery items plus ceramic buttons and jewelry (her shop will be featured on Thursday).

The shop I am featuring today is BowsGaloreandMore, the artisan/owner's name is Melanie.  Here are the questions I asked with her answers:

How hard is felt to find in various colors?
Felt isn’t that hard to find if you take the time to research different suppliers to get it from. There are several types of felt to use, so there are a ton of suppliers to choose from.

How hard is it to cut into shapes or to sew felt?
The felt isn’t hard to cut. It just takes time to do it. Since I am so picky, it takes me a little longer. I do not like the felt to have fuzzies, so it requires A LOT of trimming. Your hands can get really tired and sore from all the trimming. I usually put a movie on when I am trimming them so that the time goes by faster. Felt is very easy to sew whether you use a sewing machine, embroidery machine or choose to hand sew.

Do you use some sort of backing to make the felt stiff?
I use a stabilizer that is made for embroidering to make the felt stiff.

How did you get that little heart shape on the felt elephant’s ear? It’s so tiny that it looks like it would be very challenging to get it right.
The heart on the elephants is ear actually built into the design. So it doesn’t require me to do anything except change the color of thread on the embroidery machine.

Did creating the girls owl (white one) felt hair clip require several steps? It looks so intricate with all the different colors which may look like they are from stitches and not on the material?
The “Tropic-Owl” is a two step process. It requires that one layer of felt be sewn to another then             trimmed. The different colors on the owl are actually part of the design that is printed on the felt that I use. It has a really pretty tropical floral pattern on it.

How did you get those black eyes on there and the white stitching around them?
The black and white eyes are part of the design of the owl so the embroidery machine actually                 does the work. I just have to change the thread out.

What does the term burlee mean?
Burlee is a term that I use to refer to my Burlap Door/Wall Décor. I thought it was much cuter to               call them a Burlee than to just call them burlap door décor or burlap wall décor.

Did you have to buy patterns to make your bows and burlees?
No. All of my bows are made by hand. They are all hand sewn so that they can be washed in a washing machine on the delicate cycle and come out clean and in one piece. The burlee designs are many of my own designs that I have come up with. I actually hold copyrights on many of my designs because they are based on many of my own original sketches. I am currently working on having many of my sketches converted to files to be used in embroidery as well.

How hard and how much time did it take you to find so many colors of materials to make all of the various items that you have in your shop?
 It took me many months of researching in trying to find the best and highest quality materials to use in my items. I want my items to last many years down the road. I want my customers to know that they are purchasing a quality item that they can enjoy for a long time.

Which is the easiest/or fastest item to make and which takes the longest?
 My bows are by far the easiest to make…..That being said they are still difficult. Each bow is hand sewn then treated with a stiffener and then baked so that they will hold their shape.

My burlees are the hardest and take the longest time to make.. Each one is hand cut, sewn by me and then hand painted. This takes MANY hours because each has several coats of a paint mixture that gives it shape.  Then they are sealed with a special sealer. They also take many hours to create because I do a lot of custom orders with A LOT of detail. So they are made to customer specifications, whether that is making them to match a certain décor in a certain room or to match outdoor décor. 

When did you get interested in working with felt and burlap and why did you decide to make bows?
I have always crafted….since I was a kid. My mom taught me when I was very young to make     candy, cakes, sew….You name it, I have probably done it. I have also won many awards for paintings that I have created. So my crafting spans many different mediums. Bow making started for me when a friend wanted to buy some ridiculously priced bows at a craft show. I told her that I could make them for her and so I got the materials and made her a bunch of bows at a fraction of the cost of the few bows she had wanted to purchase. That is why most of my bows are inexpensive compared to other boutiques.  My bows are also hand sewn and not glued together. They are made to last. I decided to work with burlap because it is such a wonderfully versatile material. It literally can go with any décor and is natural.

How long have you been making these types of items? Did you start with something else? Are there other craft items that you started out doing first?
 I have been making these types of items for 5 years now. I started with bows but it began with a             love for crafting and creating unique and beautiful things very early in my childhood. 

How long have you been selling on the web?
 I have been selling on the web for 3 ½ years now, but have just started to really keep a good selection of items. I am always creating new designs though.

Tell us a little about you.
First and foremost, I am a mom to 3 beautiful boys and a wife to a wonderful husband. He is so wonderful in fact, that he totally and completely supports my love for crafting. This allows me to be a stay-at-home mom. He is in the process of purchasing a building that will become my shop/studio.  I began crafting very young…..I come from a LONG line of crafters and artists. I have a degree in early childhood education and a minor in art. I love the outdoors, having family BBQ’s, cooking, painting, writing……pretty much anything that has to do with creating something. I am from Alabama and California.  I say this because I was born in California and spent most of my life there but moved to Alabama when I was 15. This is actually the longest I have ever lived anywhere. I went to 11 schools by the time I was a freshman in high school.  I have always been the type of person that could see something while out and about and was able to re-create it.

Craft Cafe

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Special Saturday Post

Today I am doing the funnies post early.  I will not be doing a Tuesday post as I will be getting ready for major surgery on Tuesday.  Therefore it may be a few weeks or so before I start posting again.  I see that my readers really enjoy the funnies and the contests.  I am going to try to keep them coming and I truly hope that some of you will give me some feed back and let me know if there are any other things that you might enjoy.

Are your pets this spoiled?

Animals and kids, right?

Can horses really sort of smile?

Is this wishful thinking?