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Posts Tagged ‘etsy’

I’m back . . .

. . . and do I have a lot to share.

First, this post is cross-posted on my NEW website and blog!  I’ll cross-post for a little while but please visit me over there and subscribe to my new blog so you can continue to find me!

I certainly didn’t intend to have such a long blogging hiatus but it happened anyway. It started with my summer from hell. Soon after the lovely birthday party, summer camp started. Lots went wrong- mostly database issues resulting in registration issues and unhappy parents mad at me- but also 3 staff members quitting in the 1st 2 weeks of camp for a variety of (mostly) understandable reasons and it all made me want to go home and not come back.

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Oh, it wasn’t all bad. In the end almost 1000 kids had a great time and my cool-on-the-outside-freaking-out-on-the-inside demeanor served me well and resulted in what everyone said was the best summer of camp ever. Yay me. In the midst of that, I had no energy left to write and once I stopped it was hard to start back up. I’ve probably written 25 posts in my head but that does you no good.

DSC06932Since I left you, my garden grew and grew and we canned a whole lot of delicious produce. We planted giant sunflowers and now have so many seeds!

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Buffy, Oolong and Wynonna grew up and started laying delicious eggs. One hen tried to fake us out by laying 14 eggs in a secret spot before we found them! Then last month, sadly and suddenly, Wynonna died mysteriously, and seemingly peacefully, overnight. So we got 2 new hens- Matcha (an Americauna) and Brown Betty (a Welsummer) but they’re not laying yet and I don’t have any pictures of them yet. Now Oolong is molting so she’s not laying either so we’re down to one laying hen. For now.

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After camp was over we took an fun, relaxing camping trip to Paradise Creek in the Gifford Pinchot Forest in Washington. We relaxed and explored, ate smores, hiked on a path to nowhere and admired the pretty colors of the volcanic rocks that were all along the creek.

I’ve only really been knitting in the past couple of weeks but I have plenty of projects that will show up here in the next few weeks. The same goes for spinning.

I renamed my business and moved everything over to a brand new shop and website. The story of why will come soon. I love my new name and logo and am gearing up for the busy shopping season.

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That’s the quick and dirty lowdown. I’ve got to start small. It feels good to get some words out there and I’ll be a little more detailed in my next posts.

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News Flash

I’ve survived the toddler birthday extravaganza, complete with another cake and more celebrating on June 2, her actual birthday.  The summer camp I direct starts in a week and a half and I’ve been busy getting ready for it.  I finally had a weekend to relax last weekend and it was so nice!
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With the sunny weather, and little bit of rain, we’ve had, our garden has really taken off!  I love watching the plants grow and Sesame loves to pretend to kill slugs with her shovel and to inspect the “babies” as she calls the plants.  This morning she even pulled up a chair and just sat and watched the garden for a while.

DSC06141So far we’ve eaten broccoli from the garden and will have fava beans and snap peas soon.  We’re also growing lettuce, garlic, leeks, a million onions, kale, spinach, kohlrabi, 3 types of tomatoes, purple string beans, 2 types of shelling beans, japanese eggplants, jalapeno peppers, gypsy peppers, carrots, 2 types of potatos, basil and a few other herbs.  Whew, that’s a lot!  I’m really excited about having so much fresh produce right in my backyard!  We also have raspberry, strawberry and blueberry plants.  We’ve been enjoying the strawberries for about a week now and I just ate my first ripe blueberry this morning.  Delicious!

bird press coverI’m getting ready for some fun craft shows and art fairs this summer and have been working on a new product.  I have this french press cover listed in my shop and several more will be for sale soon.  Mike and I tested it out and it definitely keeps coffee warm longer and it adds some style to a french press.

Like my other items for sale, it’s made from a recycled wool sweater.  This one is actually a wool/angora blend so it has a little extra softness.  I tried some different methods of closing it and finally settled on these beaded ties.  They wrap around the buttons so it can be closed as snugly as you’d like.  It makes the cover a little adjustable so it’ll fit different brands that may be slightly different sizes.

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Etsy is having a “yart sale” today through Sunday.  It’s like a yard sale, but with art.  I have a whole section of specially discounted items and you can search for “yart” on etsy to see what other good deals are out there.

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I Feel So Official

I have a brand new website!  I decided that I need a more official web presence so I bought my own domain name – ThinkingMamaDesigns.com– a while back.  I’ve finally finished building my website (with lots of help from Mike) and it’s actually up on the web!  My blog will stay here for now but eventually we’ll get it integrated with the website as well. Please go check it out and let me know what you think!  So far only a handful of people have seen it so I’d love some honest feedback.  Here’s a screen shot of the home page.
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Adding to my feeling of being an official business, Etsy picked one of my baby hats made from a green recycled sweater to grace its front page on Earth Day.  I’m in a screen shot mood so here’s a picture of that.

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I’ve been neglecting my blog.  I have a lot of projects in the works and my job has been keeping me busy- not to mention little Sesame who is learning a new word a day now and is often too busy talking to go to sleep.  Here’s what’s been going on in the last month.

  1. The weather has been nuts.  It’s spring-like one day and hailing the next.  It’s confusing but we still manage to get outside and enjoy the sun, even if it is a bit chilly.
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    (Why yes, that is my clapotis you see in the bottom of the stroller.  The bright rainbow blanket was crocheted my one of sesame’s many great-aunts.  We rarely leave the house without something handmade.)DSC05149

  3. We all got the flu.  Thankfully not the puking kind, but the fever,chills, lay on the couch and feel like you’re going to die kind.  Oh, and it lasted forever.  I’d feel better and think I was getting over it when suddenly the 102 degree fever would come back.  We freaked out about Sesame’s temp of 105 and took her to the doctor but there was nothing they could do so we came home and slept for a week.  The only nice part was that my busybody toddler finally snuggled with me.
  4. My mom came to visit and Sesame called her grandma for the 1st time (well, technically “gam-pa” but we knew what she meant) and it was nice to see them have so much fun together.  The hysterical toddler screaming “GAM-PA” through her tears as we drove away from the airport was heartbreaking though.  She is no longer welcome on trips to the airport to drop off visitors.
  5. I made a ton of cashmere hats and I’m getting them all listed in my etsy shop.  they’re made from recycled sweaters and have cute springtime designs on them.  Just in time for Easter!
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  7. Sesame decided she was done sleeping in a crib and decided that the best way to tell us was to fling herself over the edge in the middle of the night.  Thankfully her only injury was a bit of rug-burn on her cheek.  We got a toddler bed the same weekend and she loves it and sleeps really well in it, though the actual putting her to bed part is nightmarish.
  8. I’ve been knitting and finished a pair of socks but don’t have any pictures yet.  You’ll just have to trust me that they’re gorgeous.
  9. I made an awesome find at Title Wave, the bookstore that sells library cast-offs.  All these relatively current knitting magazines for $1 each!  That’s the best $5 I’ve spent in a long time.
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  11. Mike and have planned an awesome garden for this summer and have started planting some cool stuff.  I’ll share it all with you as soon as I get some pictures.  We’ve stopped being members of our CSA, even though we love it and it’ll be sad to not be supporting Laura, “our” farmer anymore.  I hope she understands.  It’s just too much money right now so we’re going to grow a bunch of our own veggies this summer.  I’m really excited!

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Our tree has been down for a while, the decorations dismantled and the 12 days of Christmas ended yesterday so why am I still blogging about it?  Well, I got some fabulous handmade gifts and want to share them with you and give a little shout out to their super talented makers.

I was a vendor in Crafty Wonderland‘s Super Colossal Holiday Sale in December, which was a success despite freak Portland snow and ice.  In case I wasn’t sure before, I am now convinced that Portlanders are nuts about handmade stuff.  I love love love this city.  Due to my underemployed status and Mike’s of being laid off, I had no money to spend and it would have been sad to spend all day among such fabulous handmade goodness if it weren’t for the fact that my mom just happened to be visiting that weekend.

These were the goodies we found under our tree on Christmas.  (Thanks Mom!)
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First up, a completely adorable onesie for sesame from B Hive Designs.  In case you’re thinking, hey I’d wear a shirt like that, you can.  I’d totally buy it, except for the money thing and the fact that I’m not into matching mother-daughter outfits.  It was cool to get a onesie from B Hive because the lady behind those cute prints bought one of my hats at Crafty in October and was nice enough to mention it on her blog.
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This is not really a cupcake (though sesame was super proud of herself for climbing up to the table to get it and was caught eating the sprinkles off the top).  It’s a bath fizzy from MeMe Cosmetics and it really does smell like summer.  I also got some coconut lip balm that I love because other than feeling nice on my lips and being all natural, sesame likes to take it and swipe it across her cheeks.  What’s not to love about a toddler who smells like coconut?  I could just eat her.
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Adorning my bare wall in my new tree-house office I have this fabulous calendar.  I’ve admired Sweet Bonny online and am super excited to have 12 awesome designs to put up on my wall!
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Not to be left out, Mike got this nice notebook with a beer theme made by Two Guitars.  Fitting, no?  Beer and guitars are two of Mike’s favorite things.  Now he can write down all his thoughts on beer.  Or something.

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In other (etsy) news,I’m starting to make more water bottle covers made from recycled sweaters and I love them all.  Sesame wanted to keep this one for herself.  I can’t say that I didn’t want her to have it but it was a custom order so off it went.

One of my hats made it onto the front page of Etsy again just before Christmas!  There’s my cashmere hat in the 2nd row.  I was excited to see it there.  That little navy blue one is actually still for sale.  It could be yours!

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In the last week we’ve had snow and ice and lots of overreacting byt weather forcasters but this weekend the storm really came!  We have about a foot of snow and it’s still coming down.  This is Portland, people!  We usually get a little snow and some ice but this is nuts. The first pictures are from yesterday when, with chains on the car, we could get out and go to a Christmas party.DSC04463

DSC04482Today there’s no leaving the house but we can sure play in the yard! Sesame liked “sledding” until she fell in the snow and her hands got really cold. I realized that I am a failure as a knitter because my baby has NO MITTENS! Really- how long would it take me to knit some? Maybe an hour? What is wrong with me?

Those pants she’s wearing are her Noro pants I knitted her last summer. I don’t think I ever blogged about them. I love them and wish I could knit myself an adult pair! Her cute blue hat is one of my recycled sweater hats that I sell on Etsy. I loved that one and had to keep it for her. Unlike last winter, she likes wearing my hats now and that makes me a happy mama. A similar hat actually made it onto the front page of Etsy on Friday. I just happened to see it and it made me feel a little like a celebrity.  Do you see it?  It’s the blue hat near the bottom of the screen.

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water bottle coverswater bottle covers sideI know I said I would blog about what I knitted this summer (it was surprisingly little) but I want to share this project first.  I had a custom order on etsy to make water bottle covers for a Sigg bottle and a child’s Klean Kanteen and they were so fun to make!  I love how they turned out and I had had a hard time sending them off.  I wanted to keep them for myself.

Yesterday they were featured on Craft Magazine’s blog!  You can see the post here.

water bottle bottomSo I think I’ll start making water bottle covers like this regularly and make them available in my shop because I loved making them so much. If you’re interested in one, let me know.  I love custom orders and would be happy to make one with the design of your choice.

That thought leads me to my next piece of news.  I’m starting a Thinking Mama newsletter!  You can sign up here and I’ll periodically send out info on new products and special deals just for subscribers.  There’s also a link to sign up on my sidebar.

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