Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ms. Moo's Spa Line

I love promoting Etsy sellers, and when I shop on Etsy, it's usually when I'm buying beads or supplies for my business or a gift for someone else. I caught a glimpse of SpottedCowSoaps' (or Ms. Moo as the EtsyBloggers Call her) Lady Bug Soaps and Lotion on her Facebook fan page, which I decided would make a nice Mother's Day gift for my lady bug loving mother-in-law. I had recalled seeing her spa line a while back, thinking maybe I would treat myself to something. So.... since something was being shipped to me anyway... Wow! Her whipped sea salt scrub in tranquil spa is awesome!

It leaves my skin feeling smooth without the oily film that other scrubs can leave behind on your skin. I got a free gift from her too!

Not only does she make great soaps, but she keeps me constantly challenged playing Bejeweled! I'll be sending some Bejeweled smacktalk over the Green Mountains to you, Ms. Moo!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

At the Mercy of an Ash Cloud

I have been ignoring my blog and Etsy shop lately, not out of disinterest, but more from distraction. My husband and I have been planning a trip to Ireland so I've spent most of my evenings researching the Emerald Isle, reading about culture, and of course places to see. It wouldn't surprise most people that know me that I have a spreadsheet with daily itinerary including links from the itinerary to the attraction's most relevant website, as well as what time we leave, how long it will get there, how long I expect to stay, the phone number if available, and each day has a linked Google Map from one stop to the next (*crazy...*). At least I can joke about my obsessive compulsiveness.

We're renting a car and my husband will be doing the driving on the other side of the road and we'll be sleeping mostly in bed and breakfasts. I'm half packed, trying to go lightly, and yes I have my vouchers, passport, umbrella, phone cards, camera, camera, video camera (thanks Diane!), backup camera and backup batteries for the backup camera. I have my house and cat sitter all lined up. Actually, the only thing we need is for the ash cloud to stay far away from our transatlantic route until we have safely landed in Shannon. ("Here she goes about the volcano again," says anybody that knows me.) I'm not too concerned about the flight home... I won't whine if we get stuck over there a couple extra days!

Fortunately the ash related flight regulations in Ireland have eased up and the cloud is not over Ireland as of right now, but it really depends on which way the wind is blowing on the day we take off.

This month marked the 30 year anniversary of the eruption of Mt. Saint Helen on May 18, 1980 and I was reminded of a necklace I had made a while back called Mt. Saint Helen. The howlite
pendant, wrapped in sterling silver wire, and the howlite beads are white and gray like ash. I actually already have blogged about the piece, but here is one more picture link of it.

Perhaps after my trip I will rename it Eyjafjallajökull, or simply the Iceland Volcano of 2010 as some refer to it. And then I promise I will never talk about the volcano again...


Meet Sandi, from Handmade By Sandi on Etsy. Her items are soft and full of love, touching, much like her story as to how her hobby became a business.

Her mom taught her how to crochet when she was a little girl. Scarves, hats, and stuffed animals for children were her specialties. In 2006 she began chemo treatments for breast cancer, inspiring her to knit caps and hats to keep warm. After her recovery she started crocheting chemo caps for cancer patients, as well as scarves, hats, and chokers for everyone - warm items that make you feel hugged!

Her talents don't stop there, she also sews and makes jewelry. The entire store is 50% off until the end of May, and in addition, you will be entered into a drawing for a gift certificate.

These are just some of the great finds in her shop:

Her Pink Ribbon Earrings raise awareness for breast cancer, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to breast cancer research.

This Shamrock Coffee Cozy would be perfect around a cup of Irish Coffee, no?

How about this Lacy Crocheted Shawl?

This is one of her famous hats - Crocheted Hat with Flower.

Sandi has a second shop, Sandi's Stash, where she sells fabric and supplies. Read about her crafts, favorite books, and other Etsy sellers on her blog.

Friday, May 7, 2010


I've gone through several phases in my Etsy shop. I've done beading, wire crochet, wire wrapping, ceiling fan pulls, fly fishing lanyards, decoupage, glass tile, bottle cap upcycling, I have even made my own polymer clay beads. As far as beading, I've used glass beads, natural stone, clay, and pearls. After all of this, I must say that my favorite material to work with are glass beads and large, bulky pendants.

The great thing about glass beads is that there is such a variety to chose from. I have made many items with Czech glass and particularly like the looks of fire polish, faceted, and table cut Czech glass.

This bracelet, Margarita, has some beautiful table cut Czech glass beads in it, as well as fresh water pearls, probably a close second in the line up of my favorite types of beads.


Box of Crayons is another favorite of mine. How cool are those table cut beads?!

Box of Crayons

It's a little late for jelly beans, but these Green and Gold Jelly Bean earrings have small faceted green and gold colored faceted Czech glass beads. The different cuts of the bead reflect light nicely.

Green and Gold Jelly Bean Earrings

These Lily Pad Earrings are made with lampwork beads. These came from a craft store, however, there are many sellers on Etsy that make really cool lampwork beads. Lampwork glass has a really interesting look to it as well, and you only need a couple beads in your piece to give it enough flare.

Lily Pad Earrings

I love a big whopping pendant in the center of a necklace. Murano style glass pendants are probably my favorite, but the right design on a resin pendant can make a piece look great as well.

Glamorous is made with a wire wrapped Murano style glass pendant. The pendant on Metallic Twist is pretty wild, and it's currently on sale in my shop, though the Foil Coil is my favorite, by far.


Metallic Twist

Foil Coil Choker Necklace

What do you like working with the most?