Monday, November 23, 2009

Gifts of Nature

I intended to post this blog before I left to visit my family for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is truly my favorite holiday, I get to see all my family at once and we get to connect with each other again even if it is just for a short period of time. This year was above and beyond what I expected. My family has been affected by illness, arguments, and difficulties all year long. Yet on Thanksgiving day we all came together, like we haven't in years. We ate, of course, we visited, we played games, we laughed, we shared memories, the younger cousins made new memories with a sleepover, it was one of the best visits I can remember. The one thing I didn't do? I didn't shop Black Friday sales. I will do some online shopping, but I am resolute for that shopping to be on Etsy.

With all that being said, I want to bring you the next installment in my gift guide. I have picked lovely gifts for the outdoors, nature, earthy, type gift needs. I have picked things for your yard, garden, patio, even some live gifts! I hope you enjoy and I hope you will visit these shops and see all they have to offer. I feature only one item from each shop, but they all have so much more to offer.

First up is a great item for those on your list who are eco friendly as well as a bird lover. This interesting bird feeder is made from a recycled street light. A wonderful and unique idea this will be a great conversation piece at the next backyard gathering. Not only are you providing a wonderful gift for the bird lover on your list, but two dollars from your purchase is donated to the Nature Conservancy. You can find this great gift at

Our next item is perfect for an evening garden party or a patio accessory. A lovely twist on the same old, same old candle holder; our artist calls these "Mood Lights". Crafted from a plum tree and fit with tea candles, this listing is for 3 mood lights in varying sizes. These lights are sure to strike the mood for your next outdoor gathering. Find this shop at

I love windchimes, in fact I was surprised I was able to keep it to just one windchime item....but I restrained myself. This particular set of windchimes are different from any that I have ever seen. They are made from pottery pieces crafted by the shop's artist, which would give them a lovely and unique sound. Made in a lovely monochromatic color scheme, very natural and lovely! You can find this great shop at

The next item on the list is a beautiful addition to your yard, stained glass house number panel. As you will find out about me by reading my blog, I pick things that I think will appeal to everyone, but I mostly pick stuff that I love. I adore stained glass, I think it is classic and beautiful and I love to see the sun shine through it. This panel sports your choice of colored glass numerals set in a background of clear glass mounted on solid brass legs this panel can be driven into the ground a good 3 inches to make it secure. Find this lovely shop full of wonderful stained glass options for your yard at :

Looking for a departure from the plastic hummingbird feeders that hang outside your windows? So are your hummingbirds! They crave variety and beauty as much as you do. So banish the old plastic standby and find a great new option for your yard. This feeder is a fused glass piece, the lovely little dragonflies are fused into the glass during the firing process which makes them a permanent addition to the feeder. The artist suggest that these look really nice in groups. Go take a look at the wonderful variety that this shop offers at:

Staying within the bird theme, I have a more classic bird house for you. A folk art piece in bright yellow, it looks ready for someone to move right in. This would look great hanging on your porch, or sitting on a shelf. It is a perfect replica of a little cabin, complete with little red chimney and farmhouse plank door. This shop has a lot of great bird houses to choose from, go check them out and pick one for the bird lover on your list.

Don't you love a good hammock? The simply rhythmic motion of swinging above the ground, looking up into the bright blue sky, watching the clouds drift by and the birds circle overhead. There are few things in life that can relax you like a hammock. Whether you live in the woods, beach, or even have a small backyard in the city, it is a perfect gift. This shop offers handwoven hammocks made from quilted cotton. Large and comfy and would make a perfect family gift. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, so go pick yours!

Next up we have a very interesting lighting fixture. This shop features mostly one of a kind lighting options. Taking cast off chandelier, lamps, night lights, etc and completely refacing and restoring them; then adding beading, small sculptures, and all sorts of other additions. The result is a fabulous one of a kind lighting fixture for your garden, living room, bedrooms, etc... The item I am featuring today is a chandelier in a cage style with small dragonflies mounted around the outside of the cage. Lovely aqua, green, and white beads hang from the bottom, in the center a medium size pillar candle for a wonderful glow.

Find more by this great artist at
Then I found this lovely shop which specializes in stained glass, fused glass, stepping stones, windows, etc. There were so many wonderful things in this shop that I wanted to show you the whole thing.... but I contained myself and picked one item that I thought was bright and beautiful. This will remind you that spring and summer are right around the corner and fill you with joy and sunlight! This item is a fused glass item which means that the glass is set then the concrete poured around it. You can find this item and a huge amount of other perfect gifts at : My final item is a truly unique item that is the perfect item to help bring the outdoors inside this holiday season, and can last all year long. A living decoration that is low maintenance that is beautiful and unique. Clear ornament balls filled with a living terrarium, there are several style to choose from, but whatever you choose you can't go wrong with this gift. You can find them at :

I hope that you have enjoyed this edition of the gift guide, and had a great time browsing the shops I have featured. If you don't have a nature lover on your list, stay tuned there are more categories to come! I still have plans for a children's addition, women, and lots more in mind.
I found this week as I visited family they would say.... now what is this Etsy thing? If you are unsure, here it is in a nut shell. Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade items! It is that simple, craftspeople around the world come together in one place to bring you beautiful, wellmade, unique, functional, fun items. We are passionate about the handmade movement and want to provide you with great customer service. Most of us offer customization of our items to fit your needs, and we love to work with you the customer. If you have questions or aren't sure how to navigate Etsy, email me or post a comment and I will walk you through it!
Happy Shopping, whatever your need is!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gifts for Men --- All found on Etsy!

If you read my last blog you will recall that I am on a mission to convince people to buy handcrafted items instead of mall and mega store shopping this year. Handmade items are not what you remember growing up. This is not Granny's sweater that is too big or a dress where the seams don't match. These are quality, handcrafted items that anyone would be proud to have! Etsy has millions of items and they cover everyone on your gift list. There is even a place to request custom made items if you can't find what you are looking for through a search.

Since the quest to expose you to great handmade items for your shopping needs has consumed me, I am starting today by showing you gift items for the hardest on your list to shop for.....MEN!!! So without further delay here are some of the great items that I found for the men in your life.

We start with this chunky brown scarf, very simple and masculine! Aptly named "The Dude Scarf", it is made from 100% wool and is a chocolate brown. You can find this item at :

Next on our list is cuff links! Interesting cuff links are great conversation pieces and fun to wear. Every man needs a unique pair of cuff links in his accessory wardrobe.....just don't tell him they are an accessory! These are very cool. Made of authentic buffalo nickles with each one showing one side of the nickle, and mounted on silver links, this is a great gift item. If these aren't quite what you are looking for, this shop boast 90 different pairs to choose from. You can find this great shop at:

Next up we have a simply gorgeous leather wallet, "Genteel Whiskey Brown Leather" this is handcrafted 100% leather and sports a wonderful antique key! What a lovely item and a great departure from those department store standards. This is a one of a kind item and sure to make the men in your life very happy. You can find this item at :

For the hunter in your life we have another wallet/card holders with a bit more "hunteresque" personality. The " Woodland Buck Leather Wallet Card Case" is a wonderful representation of a large buck which will remind the hunter in your life what he is really after on those cold mornings in the woods. This is a smaller version of the traditional wallet, but is wonderful for business cards, folded cash, atm cards, or even a very pretty gift card package. You can find this item at:

Are you one of those gift givers who has no idea what to get so you always go with a tie? Well this year you don't have to feel guilty about giving the same old boring tie..... You can give a fabulous handcrafted, beautifully designed tie that will be the envy of all the guys in the office or at church. Your man will be happy to wear this wonderful 100% silk hand rolled and hand sewn tie. This tie is white silk with a sailboat blue print pattern, a terrific gift for the sailor in your life. You can find this item at:

This next item is the most expensive that I picked for this blog. However if you have a knife collector on your gift list, it is a must have. It is a unique and beautiful piece that would be a joy to give and receive. Engraved a marlin on one of the bolsters, the other bolster features elegant engraving around the Rough Rider logo. I don't know enough about knives to do this shop justice but I would strongly suggest you go take a look at the spectacular workmanship! You can find this item at :

Have a chef in the family? The next shop features all type of very nice aprons, it was very hard to pick which one to feature in this guide. There are deer aprons, bbq aprons, hunting dog aprons, and the one I finally settled on, "Hot Pepper" apron. You can find all these aprons and more at :

I found all of these shops by going to the Etsy homepage, searching "all items", and using the description = men, man. It is that simple! Hundreds of thousand of results are returned and they are all great. I picked things that would appeal to the men in my life, but I am sure that if these don't strike your fancy you can certainly find something that you will love. I hope that you will at least take a few minutes to visit each shop and see what they have to offer. You can visit Etsy by going to!

Of course you are all welcome in my shop as well :)

Happy Shopping! Let me know if I can help you find something. I would gladly help you find something to keep you from shopping mega store!

Next time I will be doing the nature lovers on your list!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Holiday Gift Countdown

I don't get an incredible amount of comments on my blog. This I understand because I don't comment much on the blogs I follow, but I would like to know what you think of this blog, what I can do differently, etc. I get lots of great comments about my shop, but don't make a lot of sales, so I would love to hear from you guys to let me know what I could be doing differently.

In September I was really good about blogging a good bit. I choose a new shop every day and blogged about the artist some, about the work and the items, shared pictures etc.... So I was thinking to myself what could I do get back into the swing of blogging and finding new artist that I love. What can I do to bring attention to the vast talent that Etsy has to offer and show everyone how buying handmade items can be just as easy as going to WalMart or the Mall. How you can find anything that you are looking for, something for everyone on your list.

So everyday between now and Christmas I will be showing you some of the great handmade items on Etsy. And..........since men are the hardest to shop for, I am going to start with them.

Now I have some browsing to do! So stay tuned and watch for these great gift ideas!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Life has gotten in the way

How many of you have felt this way? NOW WAIT don't get me wrong..... I am wonderfully happy that my life is so full of fun and wonderful time spent with my kids that it is getting in the way of my crafting. BUT>>>>> I have been so busy with homeschooling, scouts, camping, working fundraisers, clogging, cleaning, and seeing friends, not to mention that pesky little part time job that really helps pay the bills; that I haven't had time to craft.

I did cut out 3 pair of leg warmers 2 weeks ago and managed to sew up the legs, but haven't gotten the elastic in them yet. I also put to use the cute little felted flower I made by felting it directly onto one leg of the leg warmer I am very excited about that set. I have about 2 hours before we have to leave for clogging class so I am hoping to go make use of some of that time to create a few things.

I am also exploring new options. I am really fascinated with the Waldorf dolls which I discovered when blogging last month, and my needle felting is a growing interest. So many options, and I am still trying to find my niche.

I hope you will all share that journey with me. It will be fun, full, and always something new!

Happy Crafting