I Accept Your Challenge

While setting up for the fair tonight, my sister so lovingly pointed out that an Etsy Street Team leader should have promotional items about the team. This was after we had met Chris Massingill and talked about how we should have promotional materials. I think the exact line was "Yeah, and you're supposed to be the team leader".

That was a challenge. She might have well pull out her glove and smacked me in the face with it, because it was on.

Well, thanks to some images that Etsy provides the world on their website here.

I was able to create the simple promotional pieces you see here. One side is all about Etsy and the other side promotes shopping with artists from Arkansas on Etsy.

I'll set them out with my business cards and hope that they will lead someone to the wonderful items AREtsy has to offer. In fact, I'll go one step further. Shop with the Arkansas Street Team here.

On your mark... get set...


In just about 30 minutes I shall begin my 2nd to least favorite part of the craft show hullabaloo and that is the set up process. For 6 Hands (my mom, sister and myself) that involves the following:

Wait for person with larger vehicle to come pick you up (usually my mom)
Drive to work to get the 3 tables that will make up your display area
Load those tables into the van
Get back in the van
Get stuck in Friday "getting of work early 'cause there's a football game tomorrow" traffic
Get to the fair grounds and remember why it's your favorite ('cause it's beautiful)
Find the check in tent
Spend minutes upon minutes in line waiting to get your booth assignment
Go find spot #5 (yeah, we know our assignment because my sister rocks like that)
Pull out the tent and look at it for a few minutes
Spend the next hour setting up a tent that would normally take 10 minutes to set up but I live in NW Arkansas, land of many boulders just under the surface of the ground making driving stakes into the ground nothing short of impossible.

The rest of the stuff is fun. I love making the table look nice, trying to figure out where to put things and such... LOVE IT. I just hate the stuff leading up to it. Each time I do this I think "we should just pay a tent company to come set one up", but then I price it and change my mind. I'm sure I will think that again tonight.

Tonight will be spent finishing up the last scarf before the fair start bright and early tomorrow morning. I'll probably finish a few more over the course of the weekend because knitting in the tent somehow leads to people buying scarves. I suppose it reassures them that yes, our booth is actually all handmade.

The picture seen above was an indoor show we did last October that we will NOT be doing again this year. Not all was lost at that show, I came up with my ladder display piece. Tacky? Yes. Fun? Of course!


Advice for an 18 year old

I live in a college town... no, not the college town I went to school in, but a very similar, albeit smaller, town. This time of year brings hoards of students back into town. New students, old students, and students who are just along for the ride. They are all back and I wish I could be with them.

I'm not sure what it was about school that I loved so much. The hardest days of my life took place during those 5 years (I'm sure I'll have other hard days in the future). You'd think I'd be done with it and want to put it all behind me. My college days didn't even include crafting or gardening. How on earth did I survive and why on earth do I miss them? I miss band, I miss my friends, I miss the campus life, I miss my dad sending me a rent check once a month for my apartment, I miss staying up until 2 in the morning watching Center Stage with Barbara and Cynthia only to end the night with that fateful cup and pair of pants (you two know what I'm talking about). It was fun, it was sad, I grew up a lot and I learned a lot. College was important.

In the style of a couple of those friends from school and fellow bloggers (For Once in My Life and So Mellifluous) I bring you a note that I wish I could read to my 18 year old self.

Dear Erin of 9 years ago:

Welcome to the first "real" day at UT. I'm sorry the past two weeks have sucked for you. Trust me when I say be glad that you didn't make LHB this year, you wouldn't have liked your section leader and the timing is not right for you. You'll go on to show the world at PASIC next year that you make a damn fine section leader when your cymbal section brings home 1st place at the drumline floor competition. Good things come to those who wait. Anyways, your grades will rock and your bassooning will be quite impressive because you don't have to spend your time on the football field this fall.

If you could only see the road ahead of you right now, I'm sure you'd be terrified. Please know that everything that happens, is for the best. You'll soon feel that UT isn't the right place for you. Don't stress about that thought - it's not the right place for you right now. You need to go back home, you need to have accomplishments elsewhere to prove to yourself that you are just as amazing as you were in high school. But please, do well while you are here, because, believe it or not, you'll find your self roaming this campus again when you decide that UT is the right place for you. Confused yet?

That's right, you'll come back to UT after spending a few semesters elsewhere. Hey, guess what? You'll make the cymbal line. Guess what else? You'll meet someone pretty nifty that will rock your world for a couple of years. Guess what else? You'll make some amazing friends in the process. Those friends will still be with you after college, traveling with you, supporting you, and making... uh... inviting you to be in their wedding. See, people at UT aren't so bad.

Just to warn you, not all is peaches and cream for you when you venture back to Austin. Once you meet that guy that will rock your world, you'll discover that your high school crush is not for you. Please be clean when ending that. Do not draw it out. Tell him goodbye and cut off communications. You'll wish you had when you are sitting at his funeral wishing things hadn't ended like they had.

Also, just to warn you, that future guy that is going to rock your world will only do so for a couple of years. So don't plan your life around him. Galveston, TX isn't that great of a place anyways and you'll start to see why you're thankful he only rocked your world for a couple of years.

Do what your heart tells you to do. It will take you far. When it says go home, go home, when it says to call your mom, call her, when it says to sit in your bed and cry, for goodness sakes, sit in your bed and cry.

You're just 18, the road is rocky and long, but it's worth it. See you on the other side.

Love, your 27 year old self.

Best Day for Mail EVER

After spending a day at a retreat with my coworkers, I came home to find this little jewel on my coffee table.

Denise Felton is a fellow crafter from Arkansas and a member of the AREtsy Street Team. I love her work and have kept my eye on her shop for almost a year. Because of all of the other artwork I own, wall space is hard to come by, so I was waiting for the PERFECT piece for me. I needed a piece that sang to me, that represented me, that told the world how awesome it was, and that rocked. Today Denise put that piece into my hands.

I had dared her to do a bassoon piece a while back not thinking anything would come of it (that's not saying anything about Denise, just about the bassoon), but sure enough, here it is. My little, tiny bassoon wonder.

I think more than I love the bassoon, I love the expression on her face. Judging by the expression, I'm sure that her conductor just told her she would have to double on the contra-bassoon part for a few songs at the next concert. That's never easy for a lady, especially a lady in a skirt.

Run over and get your own amazing piece of art from Denise's shop here: Denise Felton


Shopping on Labor Day Weekend

I took this from the AREtsy Team blog because I wrote it and I can. That's allowed... right?

Just when you think cooler weather and changing leaves will never get here, you turn around and there they are. The cooler weather means the start of many a fall/holiday craft fair here in Arkansas.

Northwest Arkansas provides craft fair shoppers and fans with plenty of opportunities to spend some money and time browsing. Besides the big weekend of fairs the 3rd weekend in October (does War Eagle ring a bell with anyone?), there are many other fairs that dot the calender leading up to Christmas.

The first one that comes to mind is The Clothesline Fair in Prairie Grove at the Battlefield Park (park seen above). This is a fair steeped in many, many years of tradition, 57 years, in fact. I've been told that artists used to display their goods on clothelines that were strung between the trees and their tents. This would make sense, seeing as how it is call The Clothesline Fair. Those days are long gone, but the fair is still going strong.

My sister, Punkinhead, my mom and I will be hanging out under our tent at The Clothesline Fair, so come on out and say hello... unless you don't live near by, that would be a long drive.

If shopping for crafts isn't your thing (and shame on you if it isn't) there are plenty of other activities for you or your family members to do. You can visit the Latta Barn for some tasty turkey legs or burgers. There is a play ground for the kiddos and a short hiking trail with lots of Civil War history along its path. There is also a museum that is free to the public that has the history of the battle that took place on that very spot. So come on out, do some shopping, learn a bit of history, and enjoy Labor Day weekend in Northwest Arkansas at The Clothesline Fair.


Subu is having a give away and this one is FABU!

Hey you - do you love this bag from Apostrophy Designs as much as I do? If the answer is "yes" then head over to Subu's blog for your chance to win it.

A Few of my Favorite Things

Whether or not you'd like to admit it, the Holidays are just around the corner. In fact, there are only 122 shopping days left until Christmas. This is music to my ears for a few reasons. I love Christmas. I love the family, the spirit of the holiday, the decorations, the baking (oh the baking), the gift giving, the cold, winters days, and the smells. I love everything about it.

My family is made up of some amazing gift givers. Thought and creativity goes into everything. However, sometimes you draw a blank on what to give someone. Because of this, I have maintained a pretty good Amazon wish list for the past 7 years or so. It's great for the books, music and movies that I want (Sopranos season 4 - 6 is at the top of that list), but the greatness ends there.

In steps Etsy with their list of favorites. With Etsy, I'm able to add things to my favorites list, which creates a sort of "wish list" for those who know their way around Etsy. However, many people do not which is where the Etsy mini comes in handy. This is the perfect way to send your favorites list out to everyone on your Christmas giving/receiving list. I wish more people would open Etsy accounts and add things to their favorites list. I'd much rather buy from Etsy than the mall.

You can see a few of my favorite things at the right of my blog under, you guessed it, "A Few of my Favorite Things".


Me want, me want!

Found today at Craftzine.com:

This is BRILLIANT. All I need are some shelves and guess what I'm doing to the guest room? Yup, making it into a yarn storage heaven.

I currently store my yarn in bins under the bed. Every time I pull it out to get another skein out, I gasp at the beauty the yarn hides in the bin. The colors are vivid, the textures are amazing, and it's the loveliest thing in my crafting collection. However, would displaying my yarn leave me feeling ashamed for the amounts of acrylic yarns that I have? I do have a lot of wool, handspun yarn, but sometimes you just want something cheap... and easy.

Okay, so maybe I won't do this project. Any other suggestions for storing yarn?

RIP LeRoi Moore



You Will Be Missed

I received a phone call this afternoon from the husband of an Etsy friend. She has been sick lately and I didn't want to call him back because I knew what the news would be. I did call him back though, he asked me to, and the news was as expected. Julie Anne of DiamondMeenuh Creations passed away yesterday. She was one of the most spirited, bright, positve, friendly, warm, cheerful, and interesting people I have met... ever.

I had the pleasure of meeting her this past May when she had a gathering at her place for some local Etsy members. Not only did we get the chance to meet her at the gathering, but also her birds and Elsie, her cow car. It was one of those moments that really puts the word "community" into perspective. We didn't know each other away from Etsy and the internet, but she invited us into her home and made us some of the most delicious food and some handmade goodies.

Her presence in the Etsy forums and in the AREtsy group will be greatly, greatly missed.



Lunchtime is usually (if I'm good and thinking ahead) when I plan dinner for that evening. Lunch time is a good time to pull something out of the freezer, if necessary, or run to the store, if desperate. Since moving into the new place, our goal is to eat at home as much as possible.

Eating at home is often much tastier than going out. I love to cook and create new things and often get cranky because I'm not cooking more. I'm constantly glued to Food Network via the tv and the internet. I have shelves full of cookbooks and magazines full of recipes.

Today, at lunch, I was craving the Ravioli di Portabello from Olive Garden. Seeing as how we're void of going out money until payday (a week and a half away), I would have to create this dish at home... and with stuff I had. Thankfully, I had some baby bella mushrooms left over from this weekend, pasta (always on hand), a jar of Alfredo (not sure where that came from) and some chicken tenders I cooked up last Friday because they were going to go bad otherwise.

The mushrooms got sauteed with some onions and garlic from the farmers market. A few secret ingredients (i.e - whatever seasonings you like - I chose Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and a bit of nutmeg) were then added. Then I added the chicken in to heat it up. The Alfredo sauce went in next, then cooked pasta (I used rigatoni). After I mixed it up quite nicely, I poured it into a casserole dish, topped it with a mixture of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and fresh, diced tomatoes. Into the oven it went to melt and brown and boy was it delicious.

Fattening, yes, tasty, YES.


Now Presenting: My New Kitchen

I suppose I overestimated my abilities to unpack and get situated into the new house. I had plans of having the kitchen completely finished by the end of the first weekend. We're staring the 3rd weekend in the face right now and I still haven't organized my pantry. I did manage to clean off the counters this evening. I don't know if I've mentioned this yet (and I'm too lazy to go back and check) but I love my little kitchen.

My kitchen at my first apartment in Arkansas was not small, but it's work space was almost non-existent. That apartment was built into an upstairs bedroom and the attic of a very old house. The kitchen/dining area and the bedroom were built into the attic and the other room (yes, that's all it had) was surely an original room in the house. Anyways, back to the kitchen, because it was in the old attic, its roof was very sloped and a bit on the short side. Prepping food was always interesting as the counter sat under a roof line that was 4'5" high (I'm 5'7", see the problem?). I managed to do all of my prepping and mixing on the top of some Elfa shelves with a top. Yes, small, but functional.

The kitchen in my 2nd place in Arkansas was HUGE. Probably the biggest kitchen I've ever had. The counter space plenty, the cabinets vast, I thought I had died and gone to kitchen heaven. I quickly learned that a large kitchen = a large mess. It was hard to keep clean as it took quite a bit to clean it. I didn't exactly need all of that space and as we became disenchanted with the house, we became disenchanted with the kitchen (and its noisy window unit AC).

This kitchen is back to small BUT the ceilings are of normal height. So far I've been able to cook meals of all kinds in the space and it works just fine. Sure, I have to put the microwave on top of the fridge and the toaster has to get moved to the plug when I need to use it, but it's plenty big and I love it. Plus, the counters are a nice shade of burnt orange. Not a color I'd pick for my dream kitchen, but a nice color considering I have a Texas Longhorn background and all.

The true test of the kitchen will come this weekend when the Sweet Boy's mom comes for a visit. Can I cook for three people in that space? We shall see.

Oh, I do have a hooser cabinet to create an extension of my pantry. It lives in the back sun room (pictures to come much later) and will house my baking stuff and my pans.


Slightly Embarrassed

I must say that I'm slightly embarrassed and completely ashamed that I did not keep up with a garden of any kind this year and didn't even take pictures of my sad excuse for one. I keep telling myself it is because I knew, deep down inside, that the Sweet Boy and I would be moving mid-season. That's a lie. I didn't know that. It was chance that we found a house far superior to where we were and chance that we even got it.

I need to stop the lies.

Sitting in my new front yard is a collection of potted peppers, eggplants, hostas and herbs. I did manage to get some of the herbs into the ground the other night, but I stop with the mint. The peppers seem to be happy enough in the cheap, plastic Wal-Mart pots but I know they'd be happier in the ground, where they belong. The hostas also seem quite happy in buckets, pots, and cans, but again, I know that they would much rather be in the ground.

We've had a VERY mild past week or so. I'm not sure where August went, but it hasn't been over 84 degrees in days. We sat for two weeks right around WAY TOO HOT, and now it's quite nice and Septembery. Odd. Odd that the weather is so nice and odd that I'm not taking advantage of it and working on my new garden space.

Instead I disected the drawer on my vintage sewing machine cabinet that I've had for well over a year. The drawer had been peeked at before, but never emptied and examined. I found many good things to distract me from my garden. There were vintage buttons aplenty, needles, spools, bullet casings (?), and prescription medicine labels from the late '60s. Yes, I had plenty to distract me from my garden and now it's too late to go outside. I've been successful once again.

Oh, and I've been neglecting unpacking the last 4 boxes from the move. We'll have company in two nights, I suppose I should go work on that. Enjoy my sewing machine drawer pictures.


Thank You!!!

The TransCanada Etsy Team recently held a scavenger hunt of sorts in their shops. There were a series of questions about the sellers and you had to find out which one it was by searching through their shops. I always love looking through the shops that make up other teams, so, for fun, I joined in on the hunt.

Lucky me - I won!

Team Canada is made up of some wonderful shops who sent some of the neatest things to me. A search for "Team Canada" on Etsy pulls up their shops and their wonderful items. The items you see in the picture came from the following shops:

Pinkfire Designs
Laura Bucci
Tanis Alexis
Enthral Designs
Starry Eyed Studios
My Hand Bound Books


I hope I included everyone that contributed to the giveaway in this post. If not, please let me know!!!

Take a few minutes and check these shops out. You won't be sorry!

(and just because this little bunny guy is the sweetest thing ever, here's a close up - from Puncezilla)


For you Texas Fans...

I made this necklace, just for you Longhorn fans out there.

Soon to be found in my Etsy shop. And for those of you who root for a team a bit more local to where I am, once I find supplies, you'll have your necklace too.



After many months of eyeing these retaining/retainer (not sure which it is) rings, I finally broke down and rewarded myself for not purchasing anything on Etsy for a month. I think they were well deserved. They sat on my desk for about a week until inspiration hit.

I think they fit well into my shop and I'm quite happy with their outcome. Now, provided I can find a good spot to photograph my jewelry tomorrow, I'll list them in my shop by tomorrow evening. I only have two things working against me - my camera has died and I'm using The Sweet Boy's camera (note the learning curve) and I've moved away from the PERFECTLY worn window sill that I was using before.

Picture taking may never be the same.


In Preperation

I received good news from one of my best friends yesterday. My roommate from college, Barbara, will be coming up in September to watch the Texas vs. Arkansas game right here in Fayetteville. They are playing in Austin, but getting tickets to that game is impossible so I convinced her to come wear some Texas gear here in the Ozarks and help me root for our team.

That is when the panic set in. I don't have any Longhorn shirts that were not from my time in Austin. They are old, some have holes, and most have stains. Thankfully, the University Co-op makes it easy to do a bit of shopping online and new shirts were purchased. Crisis avoided. This is one of the two I bought -

The other one is navy blue, which looks super with burnt orange. I cannot wait for game day on Sept. 14. Hook 'em Horns!


Cuttin' it up

I've been toying with the idea to get my hair cut for a few weeks now. I took the plunge today and called the only salon that was open (I'm sure there were more, but so many of them are closed on Mondays). They had ONE appointment available with a guy named Brandon. Let me tell you, Brandon at The Pink Papaya is AMAZING. My hair looks just like the picture.

Just like it.

And I lurve it.