Monday, October 29, 2007

Take the Handmade Pledge

Fight the Big Box syndrome -- take the Handmade Pledge this holiday season.

The pledge says: "I pledge to buy handmade this holiday season, and request that others do the same for me." I am hoping to make a lot of gifts myself, but also plan on doing some fun shopping.

Of course, there probably needs to be an exception for the teenager in my life. Unless I can figure out how to knit a gas gift card, that is.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Well, I've done it. I've started a shop on Etsy. The official address is

I set it up a few weeks ago and finally added my first items this morning. I'm really overwhelmed with swaps right now and won't have time to do much more right away, but hope to add more items soon.

So far I've added some wine-related notecards (sewing on paper), my infamous Hogwarts/Harry Potter bracelets, and a one-of-a-kind pumpkin bracelet.

Stop by and visit soon!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Lucky Parcels

I love making these little packets! They're regular swaps with the FAA (Fabric Addicts Anonymous) group on Flickr. The idea is to make up parcels for three swap partners based on the current theme. Sometimes the theme is a color, sometimes a subject. As you might suspect, the theme for the top photo is Apples. Usually I use opaque plastic Asian takeout containers (from Target). They're cute, inexpensive, and lightweight. However, I found the little baskets and thought they'd be appropriate for the Apple swap. The baskets contain fabric, a button card I made with apple buttons, apple-scented goodies (candle, lip gloss, etc), and wooden apples (most are hollow).

This is more typical of my usual "Lucky Parcels" (I love the name -- makes me think of a dessert at a Chinese banquet.) The theme was "Black & White." The parcels include fabric, ribbon, buttons, and a bunch of other fabric-related notions.

What I find so fun is the way the parcel itself is the best part of the swap -- everyone does them differently but they're always cute and clever.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

And now a word from our sponsors....

Every once in a while, reality breaks through.... and right now it's harvest time at the winery. That means more than just harvesting grapes and making wine. It also means that everyone starts thinking about wineries. So we're busier in the wine cellar and busier in the tasting room. ...and it doesn't help that I've opened our seasonal tasting room in the Dexter Cider Mill. Whew!

The photo above is from our Dexter tasting room.

Cute Hats!

I started this hat last week while staying at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. I'm on the board of a nonprofit and was there for their annual conference. I had imagined myself sitting on one of the rockers on the front porch, knitting away. Unfortunately, I had to spend a great deal of my time working and only knitted on the porch for about an hour on the last day. But it was lovely...

Anyway, I thought I'd get more knitting done (I want to make some Christmas gifts) and only got this one mostly completed. It's a cute hat and very easy. I made it from double strands of a lovely alpaca yarn I purchased in Grand Rapids a few weeks ago. The pattern is from Hip Knit Hats (there are quite a few hats in the book that I'd like to make).

Perfect for situations when you don't want to have to think much about what you're knitting.

This one's for the October Coloriffic swap -- the theme is Orange & Blue. I hope my partner likes it....

Monday, October 1, 2007

My Yarn Stash

I love hoarding things, and knitting and sewing seem to exacerbate my condition. It's just lovely to look at a mound of gorgeous yarn waiting for me to find the perfect project... Here is a photo of the organized part of my stash -- the stuff that's appropriate for the public to see.

Of course there's also the seamy underbelly to my stash -- odds (some are very odd) and ends scattered about the house. Many that I'll probably not use again... Although my nieces (Lani & Pauline) want to learn to knit. Some of those odd bits of yarn might be perfect for that use...