Monday, December 29, 2008

Su Lin, we love you!

I love that even at 10 p.m. California time, Su Lin is still eating her bamboo:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Fabric and Friends

I went to Treadle Yard Goods in St. Paul with Jenna today. Fun! Treadle's fabrics are awesome. They could have more roving, but all's well, since I get mine from Cedar Wool Farms anyway. :-) I have my eye on some wool that would make a cute skirt! 

Sewing projects I would like to do, as a still-beginner at sewing:
1. Make purses!
2. Make my own clothes! 

I especially want to learn how to make clothes using my existing clothes as patterns. They have a class on how to do this, but, shockingly, I'd like to figure this out on my own or *cough* *ahem* have a friend help me learn to do this! 

These goals are above crochet and above Frustration-Knitting, but I definitely want to learn to crochet this winter.

Jenna and I had delicious salads and pizza at Green Mill. Yum! 

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Independent Toy Makers and the New Law

Minnesota Public Radio featured an excellent article on the so-called Consumer Product Improvement Safety Act here. This law will require all toy makers, from Hasbro to the one-person wood shop worker, to conduct expensive testing on toys they sell. Why does this fall to the independent crafter? It's gigantic companies who were importing inexpensive, lead-ridden garbage in the first place, and the law needs to focus on them. I love what PeaPods Natural Toys store owner Dan Marshal said about the law: "And the way this enforcement was put together, it makes sense for large companies, which were the ones making this problem in the first place. It doesn't make sense for small-batch companies."

My comment on the article: "As a crafter and maker of handmade goods myself, I completely agree with Marshal that the bill makes sense for the irresponsible huge companies who caused the problem in the first place, not for small companies or, especially, individual toymakers. This should not be a one-size-fits-all solution."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Help hedgies in need

At Christmastime, many of us like to give donations to worthwhile organizations that help improve lives. Today I would like to remind you about the Hedgehog Welfare Society, a wonderful non-profit organization dedicated to helping hedgehogs in need. There are no paid positions in the Hedgehog Welfare Society--all donations go directly to caring for hedgies who need to be re-homed and rescued. Donations go toward care packages for hedgehogs who are on their way to their forever homes. Please feel free to contact me, or the HWS directly, with any questions. <<<<>>>

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bailout, Smailout

What the frell?

American big business interests have always insisted on minimal government interference. The political camps  and good old boys' clubs that support them say government should stay out. Social welfare, sorry, you just need to work harder. Right.

How the tables have turned! It's revolting how they're all lining up to receive ridiculous bail-outs from the federal government--that's you and me, friends.

How does this make sense? It doesn't.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Apples for the Squirrels!

We put apples outside for the squirrels (it is very cold and snow here in Minnesota, U.S.) and on Sat. I saw a squirrel carrying one in its mouth while it scurried along! The apple is almost as big as he is!!! (After taking this shot, we sliced up the rest of the apples.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What day is it, anyway?

This is a clementine, used to explain time zones and the mind-boggling concept that It's Already Tomorrow in Australia. Or, put less American-centric, it's *yesterday* in the United States. So, relatively speaking, is today really today, or tomorrow? Wacky!!! 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Rummage Sale Scores

At the rummage sale at the Theatre de la Jeune Lune in Minneapolis... I purchased this awesome gigantic book prop! it's made of foam and board, and looks like a real book.

The photo above shows how big it is--it's leaning against a lamppost and you can see a car in the background. It's humungous! 

When I go back to elementary teaching, which I definitely will at some point, I know the kids will love it.

I also scored a gorgeous trunk (we had to bring a flashlight to see in all the nooks and crannies where the props were held! 

It's sad to see a local theatre closing. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rodney Loves Us!

Rodney is our friend from Cedar Wool Farms. He was sweet enough to feature us on his blog
Thanks, buddy! We'll be in touch when we use up all of our roving from you again!!! :-)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Images/Motifs I do not understand!

There are some imagery/motifs in the art and crafting world I really do not understand.

1. Dunce caps. What is with all of the altered art, collage, ACEOs, where the people are wearing dunce caps? I do not understand.

2. Doll-head-with-nails-in-it. You see this all over the place in altered art! I do not understand. 

Anyone care to shed some light on this for me? 

I'm not being facetious or sarcastic. Whether or not I like these types of imagery is not the issue--I'd really like to understand it.

¡Gracias! Sarah :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Etsy share--NeedleFelted Alice in Wonderland by LuckyD!

Oh, I am just freaking out over this Alice and her Friends Felties set, handmade by LuckyD of the Feltiverse!

I love Alice in Wonderland so much. Do you believe how cute and intricate these needle-felted treasures are? 

The set includes Alice herself, as well as the White Rabbit, the Queen--holding a flamingo/putter!, the Mad Hatter, cheshire cat, and the "grumpy hooka-smoking caterpillar"--lol! Her caterpillar makes me crazy! 

As a needlefelter myself, I know this set must have taken hours and hours and hours and hours to create. I am in awe! While you're in her shop, be sure to check out LuckyD's other very cute needlefelted works! Hamilton the Hamster practically has me in tears, weeping from the cuteness.

Thanks, Joanna, for lending me your pics! 


I'd like to take a moment here to say: 
President Obama! President Obama! President Obama! 

That's right!

Yes, we can...

Yes, we did!!!!!!!!

I love America again!!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vote! Vote! Vote!

ONE WEEK 'TIL ELECTION DAY! (Yes, I'm shouting, because I'M EXCITED!) 

I will be making calls for Obama this week, to hopefully motivate people to get out and vote. 

My question is: how do you convince people it's important in light of the electoral college (er, dare I say 2000)? In the electoral college system, as we know from the embarrassing 2000 election, the electoral vote (by the privileged few, and how are these people chosen, anyway?) and popular vote (i.e., the votes of individual Americans) don't have to line up. It's an insane system, and as much as people talk about changing education, reforming health care--why don't we hear about re-evaluating this archaic voting tradition? So, it seems that an individual's vote doesn't count--but it really does, right? 

One response to this rationale that I love, and have to remember when I get discouraged about the actual importance of voting, is that given by Michael Moore in the commentary on the Roger and Me DVD. Moore makes the case that, basically, you can say that voting doesn't count--but do you really want to go down that road? What follows, in that frame of mind? We shouldn't vote?? And what then....?

Comments on voter motivation welcome!! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy News for Cozy Corset Cuff!

Very good news for the Cozy Corset Cuff girls, Jenna and Chelsey: Cozy corset cuffs are now available in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area at LocalDish! They've also been accepted into LolliShops! These are two very imaginative and crafty gals and I know their success will only grow from here! Congratulations!

More cool news: I will be sharing a booth with the lovely Jess of Milton and Margies, at the Handmaiden Mpls./i like you's Rocktober craft show, October 12, at the Uptown VFW! Yay!

Also, I got my wool roving from CedarWool, yay! I got the bird's nest pack, which has a bunch of different colors of roving that Leslie suggests putting out in bits in your yard to see which ones get incorporated into a bird's nest (I'll mainly be using it for needlefelting, but I might do that as well!), and red and orange. I now have all the rainbow colors, minus light green. 

I am finding it sooo tricky to make an animal's body shape--a barrel-type shape. I tend to do the felting pretty intensely, and I end up flattening everything! But I think the shape that usually results when I try to make a hedgehog actually looks a lot like a turtle, so I will probably end up making some little turtles!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Baby Panda in Atlanta!!!!

Look at the stick-of-butter-sized baby panda born to Lun Lun at Zoo Atlanta! She makes Zhen Zhen look giant! I love you, little tiny baby! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Love this button!

I love this button!!!! Thanks to Amy of ButtonEmpire for letting me use the image of her awesome button! 

This is from the item description... "My Mom used to say "Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying...In that spirit we present this cheery and witty 1 inch pinback button.
Why not treat yourself to gas or groceries with your stimulus money? 
And maybe, with careful budgeting, you'll have a couple of bucks left for this 1 inch handmade pinback button." 

I love it! Makes me laugh... and cry... but then I laugh again.

Friday, September 5, 2008

We're on DaWanda!

Hooray! I finally posted something on DaWanda! I wish it was easier to upload photos to this blog and I'd show you how cute our little shop looks over there! I ship internationally often, so it's a good fit! Please visit us at!

20 q

I am loving this site: It's 20 Questions that you play on the computer. 

Now, I can't get into most online games. Same with video games; not really my thing unless it's real, and I mean  old-school, Ms. Pac Man, Frogger, or, in a pinch, Donkey Kong. 

But I do love this site, It works on some kind of computer-logic-artificial-intelligence cool thing, and narrows down possibilities based on the answers you provide. 

And it's freaky!!

I like playing in Spanish and Portuguese just for fun. So far it guessed canela/cinnamon; boton/button (after only 13 questions!); chocolate; cafĂ©/coffee; and venado/deer. 

How does it do that???

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

RNC is out of control

The Republican National Convention is out of control. Half of downtown St. Paul is cordoned off; we went down there yesterday to get a bite to eat at Cossetta's--big mistake and got caught in traffic forever. Here (above; I am still unable to intersperse text and photos in blogger) are some of the many safety measures that are being enforced. The shields and sticks scare me. Yes, some protesters get out of hand--but most of them are simply exercising their constitutional right to free expression. 

One of the things that bothers me most is that the Republican National Convention expected local schools, including Wellstone Elementary, to accommodate them. This means not only bus re-routing (in the works for months, because Kellogg Ave. is closed), but no outdoor recess because there might be snipers. Yeah.

I really am liking Obama more, though.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Baby Bunny

Okay, it's Bigfoot-esque, but this photograph shows the little baby bunny who has been visiting me!

He's so cute! 

Speaking of Bigfoot reminds me of how much I love Bigfoot lore, and how much I love these now-legendary Bigfoot and Abominable Snowman magnets from PearsonMaron


They are hand-painted and kiln-fired. I love how they are in the classic Bigfoot on-the-move pose. I totally heart them!!

Thanks, Adam and Quincy, for letting me use your photos! :-)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Love this Etsy shop!

Set of 4 Magnets - Altered Bottle Caps - Victorian Flowers and Butterflies    Bamboo Domino Pendant - Vibrant Orange Daisy   Altered Collaged Bottle Cap Necklace - BELIEVE - Tiny Faerie  Bamboo Domino Necklace - Gorgeous Dark Red Butterfly

Hello, friends! 

I'd like to introduce you to my new Etsy friend, Angela, aka RetroGirl66, and a fantastic life-project-goal she and her husband are working for. 

They are going to adopt! (Cheers and applause--congratulations!!!)

Angela and her husband are planning to adopt a baby girl from China. 

Do you know that to wait for the Chinese government for the referral of a child in need of adoption takes 2 to 2.5 years? That's a long wait, but I hope it will be sooner for this family. She says, "We're dying to become parents and begin our family." Isn't that sweet??

Support the (ahem, costly) adoption process by stopping by her shop, Creative Joose, aka RetoGirl66. 

Find Retrogirl at: - my main blog -- my art/crafts blog -- my photography 

"Summer Is" Mini Chipboard album    Summer Mini Chipboard album  Pg 1-2

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Barack This Site

I don't love Obama. I loved/still do love Hilary. But I do love this site:

Check it out! It's so sweet and cute it made me (truly) lol.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Featured Artist: Regal Beads

I have a soft spot for all things Canadian. My latest Canadian "discovery" is a wonderful Etsy shop I want to tell you about: RegalBeads. Kim hails from Thunder Bay, not far from Minnesota's Grand Marais and a very lovely place.

Kim has immense patience: Look at the gorgeous bracelets she weaves from thousands of tiny little seed beads! (Those pesky beads roll everywhere, as you might well know!) She also uses fire-polished crystals.

Kim says, "have loved doing crafts for most of my life (in fact, my dad loves to tell an embarrassing childhood story on me about this passion ;))
Both of my parents are quite creative, and passed this down to me!  I started beading over five years ago and took to it like a fish to water.  I love the feel of the beads in my hands, the challenge of a new pattern, and the joy of a completed piece!"

Kim is a member of Etsy Beadweaver Street Team and I love her generous spirit and readiness to promote her teammates' shops: She says, "If you are wanting a style that I might not make, but know you have seen made with seed beads-CONVO ME [via her Etsy shop] !! I know MANY seed bead artists, the street team I am in is quite diverse, and I can probably help you find what you are looking for!!"

Be sure to visit her Etsy shop and take a look around! 

Custom? Yes!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Watching and reading...

Currently watching: 

Smilla's Sense of Snow--I highly recommend this movie. It's serious, thought-provoking, sad, unique.

Grand Hotel

Gilmore Girls

Brothers and Sisters, Season 1

Yes, it's an eclectic selection, my Netflix queue.

Man's Search for Meaning--I've been meaning to read this forever.

I'm making some prints of my collages to list in my Etsy shop soon. Yay!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Leaf-Blower Ban, Please!

Can somebody please make leaf-blowers illegal in Minnesota?
They are hideous, noisy, and they use tons of energy. And it's everybody's energy, people!
I think they are already illegal in L.A.... or maybe I am thinking about how it is illegal to hose down your driveway (also drives me nuts!) there. 
Please, pick up a rake, my friends! 
Thanks in advance!


Getting Crafty This Summer!

Please check out my article on Getting Crafty This Summer on the Etsy Minnesota Street Team--aka TeamMN's blog, on our TeamMN blog.

Thanks to Jenna for help with graphic design for that post!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Love Whale, Whale Love

Oh... Cuuuuuuute shop name, GypsyRabbit, and cuuuuute whale necklace! It's copper enameled. It's totally cute! Remember, the blue whale is the largest animal that has ever lived. Wow.

Sarah, aka GypsyRabbit, explains, "Enameling is an ancient art that involves firing powdered glass and metals at high temperatures to fuse them together."

I have a total soft spot for anatomical hearts and where you can see the heart inside the animal. So sweet! 

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cupcake Saturday Becomes a Reality

Today I took Ericka up on her invitation to Cupcake Saturday at Letterbox in Uptown Mpls. Sheela makes amazing cupcakes! I had the Mexican Hot Chocolate (above), of elbfoto fame. It was sooo scrumptious! (I admit that I probably couldn't be a food writer because main adjectives are soooo good, soooo delicious, and sooo scrumptious. I don't deny it.)

The frosting was all piled up and it was sooo scrumptious and the cupcake was moist (I really detest that word but it's the only one that fits) and chocolatey and spicy and deliiiicious. Sometime I am going to get 6 and eat 5 in quick succession and savor one. I also have try the Raspberry Lemonade, and Creamsicle, for that matter.

Happy Cupcake Saturday 1 year anniversary!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Please, San Diego Zoo!

I received this in a newsletter from the San Diego Zoo, of which we are members (yes, all the way from Minnesota): Summer Fun and Savings
You're invited join Joan Embery for a members-only special preview of Nighttime Zoo presented by Frazee Paint, on Friday, June 27. Everyone receives a 20% discount on food and beverages throughout the evening, and the first 1,500 members at the premiere of Talamasca, a lively cirque-style show, will receive a free, reusable Zoo shopping bag with valuable coupons. And don't forget to enjoy an evening at the Wild Animal Park this summer—Park at Dark begins June 21.

I'm sorry, but I don't want food or beverages or a circus show or a reusable shopping bag! I just want to hold that baby panda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

What to do w/shredded money?

Do you have bags of shredded money just sitting around? 

Me, neither. But if you do come across a torn or otherwise damaged bill, here is some incredibly random information from the U.S. Treasury

"The Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, redeems partially destroyed or badly damaged currency as a free public service. The Office of Currency Standards... uses experts to examine mutilated currency and will approve the insurance of a Treasury check for the value of the currency determined to be redeemable."

How is that for a job title? Mutilated Currency Expert.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I want to share with you one of my new favorite Etsy shops:

Aysel (such a pretty name!) lives in Turkey, and makes absolutely adorable items that are out-of-this-world cute! 

She works mostly with felt, and her shop offers a delightful variety of items, ranging from sweet barrettes to this fantastic play scene, "Pinky is a Book-Nerd!" (third photo from the top--I'd like to move it right here but Blogger's not letting me... Suggestions, anyone?)

I love that her play scenes and accessories are as cute as--no, cuter than--the Groovy Girls accessories--and it is handmade! Her little deer are to-cry-for!!
Aysel says, "I love all colorful, cute, shiny and kawaii crafts to brighten my life. My items are combination of felt, beads, sequins, buttons and all hand-sewn, hand-embrodiered, made with heart, great care, lots of details on. I hope what comes out of my heart will reach your hearts too." Isn't she sweet?

She ships to all over the world, and welcomes custom orders! Visit her land of cuteness on Etsy at

Monday, May 26, 2008

Lilacs and Hailstorms

It has been a beautiful Memorial Day weekend, for the most part, here in Minnesota. The lilacs--my very favorite--are in full bloom and gorgeous. And yesterday we had a hailstorm, and a tornado touched down not far away (in the northern suburbs), wreaking a lot of damage, unfortunately. The photos and videos I've seen of this event are breathtaking (and not in a good way).

TeamMN happenings: The event at Blick last weekend was a lot of fun! We got to hang out with friends Jenna of ArtisticEdition, Ericka of ELBfoto, Jess from MiltonandMargie's (that's her cool candle in a repurposed mug, above!), and meet some new friends, also. It was great of Blick to host us. We'll get some good mileage out of the discount cards! I've been poring over the catalog and thinking about the possibility of making my own resin molds. 
I also found out that if you go to, you'll get Stanley Security Solutions' site. Random! So for Blick, you have to go to

I did some soldering this weekend, and I really need to get a new iron. It's very hot but the heat isn't transferring. It makes for frustrating work! 

Nancy Drew: Mystery of Crocodile Island

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Saturday EtsyMN Event

Come visit us at the Blick Art Materials in Minnetonka, Saturday, May 17, from 12:00-4:00 p.m.! We will be at the Meet and Greet and we will be demonstrating some craft techniques!

(Thanks to Courtney/JustAnotherDay for the cool flyer design!)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spring Fling is coming!

Get out your formal wear... it's time for Handmaiden Minneapolis/I Like You's Spring Fling! 
Come visit us this Sunday at the Indie Craft Formal, at the Uptown VFW!

We will be right next to our good friends from Silver Pear Designs/The Cozy Corset Cuff, and it promises to be smaaashing, dahling!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Hello, friends.

Today's theme is a thumbs-up, thumbs-down feature. 

Let's get the negative stuff out first: 

Thumbs down: 
*Gas prices... $3.45/gallon here in Minnesota. We know the oil isn't legitimately costing the oil companies more money... you can't fool us! (Although you can, and will, raise gas prices all you want, because you have a monopoly.) Hopefully, what goes around, comes around; karma, and all that.
*Overcast April: Come on! We're loyal Minnesotans. We've weathered the winter. Give us some sun! Please, please!
*Building crack/near-collapse? in White Bear Lake, MN. What happened? I hope everyone stays safe.

Now for the good stuff!

Thumbs up: 
*Robins in the yard today! Also some chickadees. And a super-brilliant-red cardinal. I was never into bird-watching before, but I'm not sure why. I'm still not hard-core, like with a binoculars or something. But that's certainly a good idea. You can see all their cute little features so much better.

*Cozy Corset Cuff and Silver Pear Designs at Craftstravaganza, in St. Paul at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds, Saturday, April 26, 9-6. I can't wait!

*Yours truly, CreativeSundries and CuriousSundries, and CozyCorsetCuff/SilverPear Designs, and the Handmaidens of Minneapolis' Spring Fling, May 4 at the Uptown VFW. More info to come! 

Monday, April 14, 2008

Go see this play!

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of seeing Stitch, Bitch n' Die! in Minneapolis with Artistic EditionDanger Kitty, and Corbie. Fun!!! It was an amazingly original idea--a knitting murder-mystery-- and a fantastic performance! Written by Joseph Scrimshaw and directed by Craig Johnson, this play had us laughing non-stop! My favorite part was its "craft-literate" writing (like the agony of "frogging" your knitting project), which was right on!!!

The show starred Kevin McLaughlin, Valerie Rigsbee, Laura Salveson, Jen Scott and Joseph Scrimshaw (in a double role). Ingenious writing and a wonderful cast with great energy. It's showing for two more weeks at the The Bryant-Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater in Minneapolis.

The advertisement said it was "B.Y.O.K."--"Bring Your Own Knitting"--so I did bring some needlefelting to work on, but it was pretty dark in the theatre. No problem, though: concentrating on a project would have detracted from my enjoyment of the performance--and possibly dangerous (think sharp, barbed needles) besides! I'd recommend bringing actual knitting that you can do without looking at it too much. Now I just have to learn how to really knit! 

Now I want to see Scrimshaw's Adventures in Mating!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Winter Storm Warning... and Buds on the Trees?

Yes, you've got to love Minnesota (and I do!)!

Tonight we have seen: 

snow...with thunder roaring in the distance! ... and fat little red buds on the maple tree!

It's crazy!

And it's home. 

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Random Facts

Hello, friends. I've been having fun with the free labelmaker the kind folks at Acme Labelmaker have created. The mini-banner above is Dot Matrix with an orange background. 

Today's post is all about random facts! In random order, too!

1. I saw someone riding a unicycle today. Fun! How do they get on and off those things, anyway?

2. Jenna, Chelsey, and I, along with three other friends, are working on a very fun project--more details to come! That's all I can say at this time! Ooooh, mysterious!

3. In my always-random Netflix queue: 
Gnomemobile (vintage Disneyana, yes!)
Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
The Fugitive
Notorious (although, I just can't seem to get into that movie!)
Bewitched, Season 4, Disc 2...

and many more! Have a great day! Netflix recommendations welcome, as always. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My mouse door arrived!

Awww! So cute! The mouse door I ordered from Cedarwool arrived today! Isn't it so sweet? It's an original design by, and I absolutely love it. I always used to love how in cartoons, mice had their own little door leading to their little mouse abode. Now I have one! 

I also ordered some wool roving from Cedarwool. They have their very own farm in Maryland and so the wool I received came right from the sheep! Isn't that cool? In her Etsy profile, Leslie explains, "Our farm is located in northern Maryland. We raise mostly Romney and Border Leicester, some crosses with Australian Bond and a Merino (he's blue !)." Lesli sent me an extremely generous amount of wool for the price I paid! They are gorgeous colors, too: pink, brown, and white--Neopolitan! I'm definitely inspired to do some needlefelting. Be sure to check out Cedarwool's Etsy shop--she offers knitting needles, gorgeous knit felt hats, and homespun yarn in addition to the so-sweet mouse doors. Thanks, Leslie!