Monday, December 29, 2008

Need something to pamper yourself with in the New Year?

Sparkling Champagne Soap
Sparkling Champagne bubble bath

Sparkling Champagne body lotion parfait

What a way to ring in the New Year with a champagne pampering, accompanied by a glass of bubbly too! You can get these lovelies from Spotted Cow Soaps at Etsy. It is a wonderful shop full of handmade soaps and other luxuries to pamper yourself with, and is based in the hills of Vermont and run by the lovely Linda. She is the well deserved featured Etsyblogger of the Month, and you can visit her at her shop, or her blog to learn more about the lovely lady herself, and also more about the benefits of handmade, phthalate free, soaps.
I can attest to the wonderful scents she creates, as I bought some soap, and an organic cotton bath puff, for a holiday gift - it smelled yummy! I think I may need to buy some of the Vanilla Whipped sugar scrub soon for myself, it really looks good enough to eat!!!!
So, do yourself a favor, and go visit Linda soon!
Happy New Year!

a winter song for you -

Winter song by Sara Bareilles

Friday, December 26, 2008

Gifts for the birds

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, we did. It was a beautiful low key family day, and the kid's got everything they wished for, and more!
But, we didn't forget our feathered friends either, and gifts were made for them also.
We started with three fir cones, slathered them in peanut butter, rolled them in wild bird seed, and hung them out for our friends.We had some seed left, so we sprinkled it all over a small table on the deck for our other neighbor, the red squirrel.
Did you do something for the creatures of the wild too, let us know what it was, we can always use more good ideas!
Happy Boxing Day!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snow, snow, snow!

So, after dealing with the accumulated 3ft of snow, which makes for a very beautiful winter landscape, just in time for Christmas, they give us the next forecast! Tomorrow is supposed to start with freezing rain (yuk!), which ends in the afternoon, turning into plain old rain when the temps go into the 40's - what a mess it will be! I hope it doesn't ruin our Christmas snowscape too much, what weird weather we're having!
Have a Happy Christmas Eve all the same!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Winter Solstice!

Winter Solstice Moon
Originally uploaded by gus dizerega

our beautiful new snowflakes

So, after being totally inspired by the wonderful Resurrection Fern blog, I knew we had to make her beautiful lace and ice snowflakes to decorate the deck outside. I had already spied a bunch of lace doilies at my local thrift shop, but wasn't sure at the time what I could with them, then I read the this, and ta-da! I flew back to the thrift shop as soon as it opened again, and the kids and I tied yarn hangers on to the doilies, put them in round pans and added water. We set them up outside to freeze overnight, and this morning out they came, and stunning they are, what a genius idea! We will be able to use them over and over, year after year, who could ask for a better eco-friendly idea in the midst of a very commercial holiday, thanks Resurrection Fern!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

January knittting project?

I would like to start a knitting project in the new year, that is a blanket made up of knitted squares, or possibly crochet if I can learn as I go. But which blanket to make? This is my dilemma!
I love the "barn-raising quilt" (pic#1) from the Knitalong book, by Larissa and Martin John Brown, but it sounds quite complicated, and I was thinking of something fairly mindless that just required a lot of repetition to make the final product.
I also love the "mitered square afghan" (pic#2) from Knitting at Knoon.
How to choose? There's also tons more possibilities obviously and I would love to hear any suggestions or advice that you have, please leave a comment and/or a link.

Monday, December 15, 2008

lace and ice

lace and ice
Originally uploaded by

I found the most beautiful project idea today at Resurrection Fern - an icy snowflake made with lace doilies to decorate yor house with!
I was originally going to try and make, or buy, kissing balls to hang under the deck, but then I saw these! Wow, they're just amazingly beautiful, and simple to make too! My children are going to love being involved in making these beautiful ornaments.
So, if you feel the same way I did when I saw them, here's the link to Resurrection Fern's tutorial, how talented she is!!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

my hometown!

Xmas Card
Originally uploaded by sfryers

Here's a beautiful photograph of my hometown, York, England in the UK.
It looks like they actually had a little snow, which is fairly unusual lately. It seems funny now that I live in the northeast of the US, and just had 6" of snow, with a couple of inches of ice on top for good measure and will still go to work later, that over in the UK that dusting - 1" will bring the town to a stand still!
Mmmm now which would I prefer?

decorating for the holidays -

Great Etsy finds for decorating your holiday home!
Rudolf, the scandinavian tomte, is soo cute, with his embroidered belly - I love him!
he's from the shop of Syko at -
The deer Christmas ornament is done in the traditional Ukrainian pysanky method of decorating eggs - certainly not just for easter! So beautiful!
it can be found at the Carlton Art Factory - at
The peace dove ornament is awesome, it's actually a seed card, so it can be planted in the Spring and sprout beautiful wild flowers, how cool is that?
It comes from the think tank of Recycled Ideas at -
The beautiful "Elle and the Snow Dove" art postcard is from the super talented Belle and Boo, how pretty would that be on the mantle. It can be found at -
Today we have a snow day, so it's a great time to decorate, eat cookies and drink hot chocolate - Have a happy holiday season!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

waiting for the school bus

waiting for the school bus
Originally uploaded by miesmama

Okay, so it's still the calm before the storm! We're supposed to get about a foot of snow, it must be waiting for tonight to really kick into gear! My children can't wait to get out the sleds, start making snowpeople and throw snowballs!!!!

Mushroom Fairy House

Mushroom Fairy House
Originally uploaded by poshplushies

How cute is this?
A posh plushie indeed! I can imagine hours of imaginative play with this and a couple of wee fairy folk! Do you see a theme in what me makes me say wow!, only last week I was blogging about a toadstool house cake, mmmm!
If you can't resist, or just want to check out more posh plushies, you can visit her shop at

winter fern bowl

winter fern bowl
Originally uploaded by miesmama

I think I may use this fern shape a lot more in the future, I love it!
I'm drawn to the shapes and themes of nature, and this is a particular favorite. Today it's snowing, and we're supposed to get quite a bit, in the region of 8-12", we'll see! its coming down pretty good already, but my daughter's school bus doesn't get home until nearly 3pm - I'll take a picture to show you later, for all those of you who don't live in the northeast!
I also made a bowl in the same winter white, but with no applique, sometimes it's nice to just be simple!
Have a great Thursday, may it be sunny and bright, or snowy and white!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Window Stars

Window Stars
Originally uploaded by tiltaworld

I need some stars for my windows!
I'm waiting to get some transparent paper so we can make some cute window stars, it'll be a nice family project. But how pretty are these lit stars? I love them!
It's been so busy around here that we haven't had time to decorate yet, although I do have some beautiful new decorations that I got at the Waldorf school sale last week, I can't wait to share those with you - and my household too, of course!!!
Have a happy advent season!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

snowy stone wall

snowy stone wall
Originally uploaded by miesmama

It's snowing here again today!
Of course, it would start on the day of my first open house, when I have lots of things to do to get ready, and didn't need to have to negotiate bad roads also! Oh well, it's the peril of living in the north east, I guess!
Today will be so much fun, getting together with like-minded and creative friends, for an afternoon of talking, eating, and maybe a little selling! Here's to artisans!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Waldorf's Annual Firefly Sale

I'm so excited, today I'm going to check out the Waldorf school's annual sale from their firefly store - and this year they are having it right on Broadway in Saratoga Springs.
It promises to be full of hard-to-find traditional natural toys from Europe and the US, as well as art and craft supplies - I need kite paper for the lots of window stars we plan on making! - games, natural fiber dols, books, and gifts.
My wish list includes, but is not limited to, a star money book and silhouette lantern; many art postcards from artists like Ruth Elsaesser and Gabriela de Carvalho; wooden frames to hang on the wall........I'll let you know how that works out!
If you're in the area and need info and directions, check out their website at

Thursday, December 4, 2008

even the birds are decorating at my house

even the birds are decorating at my house
Originally uploaded by knitalatte11

I love this artist!
Her work is beautiful, and if you only use a few of her ideas to decorate your house you'll be a very happy person.
She has an amazing blog that provides lots of inspiration, but also lots of tutorials. I discovered her through the Crafty Crow blog, and I'm so glad I did.
So, check out her blog at and she also has an etsy shop at
Also, if you haven't checked out the Crafty Crow blog for daily kid's projects, you must, it's wonderful. (click the button for the Crafty Crow on the right of my page to get there)

Toadstool House Cake

Toadstool House Cake
Originally uploaded by ShamsD

I have cake envy!
I'm not a fancy baker by any stretch of the imagination, but how cool would it be to be able to decorate cakes like this. Not only that, but to receive one would be amazing too!
This confectionery fancy was made for her son's class, WOW! The most I can manage are pretty standard cupcakes, oh well one day maybe.
Now, I'm off for a cup of tea and a lowly muffin!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Holiday Open House

On Sunday December the 7th at 1pm to 5pm we are having a collective open house at the Bacon Hill Inn an Massage Therapy in Schuylerville, NY.
So if you're in the neighborhood come visit with us and finish all Christmas shopping.
Katie, the owner of the Inn, will be hosting and offering gift certificates. She specializes in Swedish, Hot stone, and Shiatsu massage, truly a wonderful gift for many on your list, and probably most af all yours! You can check her out, and get directions, at .
Also featured are many local artists, including -
Kirsten from Three Dancing Magpies, will be showing beautiful jewelry including scrabble tile pendants, and mongrammed silver pendants including cute Mom and Daughter gift sets, you can preview her work at .
Doug Klein of Doug Klein Pottery will showing his beautiful work, which is just stunning - check his work at .
Tisha from Aprilsongstress will be there with some new embroidery pieces, check her out at , and also her mother from JustaDuck with some quilted items, check out her amazing old world Rondac Santa's at .
There will be some other special guest artisans I'm sure, and of course myself!, so come and be pleasantly surprised!
We will be providing hot cider and cookies for you to enjoy, so please visit for a chat and browse all the goodies!
For directions , please go to -

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Oh deer!

Can you see what I see?

I had just sneaked in to take a picture of Suki, my cat, when she started to do a little ducking and diving - and when I looked up to see the leaves, or chipmunks, I thought she was watching, there is a young doe! A very lucky moment to have camera in hand.

So inspiration in hand I decided to make a keyring for the guys -

not quite a doe, but inspiration strikes in strange places! Does, stags and cats, oh my!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

huge thanksgiving weekend sale!

My shop is offering free shipping to anywhere in the world and a free surprise gift - and there are another 49 shops featuring beautiful handmade products and great sales. Why go to the mall when everything you need to finish your list is right here on Etsy?
Gifts you can truly feel good about giving, when this amount of love and caring goes in to making these, it really shows in the finished product!
So, go and check out the sales and get some great deals, hey you can even shop in your pj's!!!!
The full list of participating shops can be found in our team shop -

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

a thanksgiving poem

"Thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us;
thanks to the rivers and streams and their waters;
thanks to the corn and the grain fields that feed us;
thanks to the herbs which protect us from illness;
thanks to the wind and the rain for their cleansing;
thanks to the bushes and trees and their fruiting;
thanks to the moon and the stars in the darkness;
thanks to the sun and his eye that looks earthward;
thank the Great Spirit for all of his goodness."
-adapted from an Iroquois address of thanksgiving to the Great Spirit.

our thanksgiving nature table

Last week we had a big house cleaning, moving things around, one of which was this bookcase that came downstairs. So, taking advantage of the new space which is right in the main living room, therefore getting a lot of exposure, I put together our seasonal nature table. It features a Fall angel, gnomes, pumpkin and gourd, acorns and fir cones, two little Fall oakmen, one of my Fall leaves felt garland and a beautiful Ruth Elsaesser card depicting the harvest feast.
I'm very happy with how it turned out, it is a wonderful idea that keeps a seasonal picture going, and forever changing, for children to remain connected with the outside world and nature even though they may be inside. You should give it a try, as the kid's love collecting things for the table as well, it's really great fun!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

feedback -

I love getting, and reading, the feedback in my etsy shop, but this is hands down the best ever kind of feedback. I received this from a customer who bought the fall leaves felt garland (seen above hanging over the bookcase) and wanted to let me know how much she liked the garland, and how she was using it - as a seasonal accent in her children's reading corner. How fantastic is that? Pretty darn fantastic if you ask me, she really made my day! I simply can't imagine a better place for my garland to be, thank you.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Since, I'm from York in the UK originally, I don't have any traditions of this holiday until fairly recently. I love the whole getting together with the family; eating a big, delicious meal; watching movies; and being incredibly lazy, that sounds wonderful to me!
I don't like american football, I will never understand it, nor be willing to watch it for the endless hours it seems to take to finish the game!
But, one tradition at my Mother-in-Law's house that I love the best and embrace wholeheartedly is the New Skete Cheesecake!
It is the most delicious cheesecake known to man, if you haven't experienced it then you have to!
It's made by the nuns of the New Skete monastry at Cambridge, NY -
and the flavors are amazing, like amaretto and cream (pictured above), apple walnut, chocolate amaretto, eggnog, irish cream, kahlua, key lime, raspberry ripple, pumpkin and white chocolate!
Or you can get a sampler cheesecake and try a nibble of each!
So, although I love all the brown paper bag turkeys, graph paper native american bead belts, construction paper feather headdresses, I guess what I'm most thankful for (apart from my family, friends and good health obviously! ) is cheesecake!

featured etsyblogger of the month is......


Deborah is the owner of this beautiful Etsy shop. It is a shop full of truly unique and amazing jewelry, but what really sets her apart are the haiku's that you receive with your work of art!
For example, the haiku that goes with the stunning Tipi Treasure necklace (pictured above) is -
“Doves Rising”
The young woman looked
Out the tipi towards the white
Doves and rising sun.
- Deborah Baroff, the Storybeader
How beautiful! So pay her a visit at her shop -
or, her blog -
I know you'll love checking in with her, as much as we do! A friend indeed!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

wordless wednesday!

Well, maybe only a few words! I took this picture last month while on vacation to Maine, it is on Peaks Island, which is another stunningly beautiful part of this state, that house could be my dream vacation home, at least in location if nothing else!

tuesday's treasury - for the guys!

Great ideas for the holidays, for the guys in your life, young and old!
I love the nature boy drawstring bag (they make one for nature girl's too!), would be great for my son to carry on a nature walk, somewhere to collect all the goodies to be found!
This year I want to make everyone on my list a cowl - I think they look great and are also easier to wear than scarves, nothing to tuck in, and no space to let the cold air in - also, it helps that they knit up much quicker than scarves and can be done on my favorite thing, a circular needle!
The soap sounds fantastic, here's the description from the shop -
"This rendition of this majestic fragrance which was originally created by the House of Creed for actor Cary Grant and also a favorite of Prince Charles and many actors like Richard Gere, Nicolas Cage and Robert Redford. It's also a favorite of many women. It has notes of Mysore sandalwood, ambergris, violet leaves, French verbena and Florentine iris. It's very fresh and it is AWESOME!" - doesn't that sound like something you want your guy to be using?
And, the cuff Ipod case is just too cute, a wonderful accessory for those hard-to-buy-for people on your list!
Here's the list, so go shopping!
Aiden right cuff from Rumah Kampung's shop -
Man Cowl Scarf Thing by Moo Cow Hand Knits -
Green Irish Tweed Type Soap by Spotted Cow Soap -
Nature Boy Drawstring Bag by Design Night -

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday Treasury -

Here are some little lovelies for your wish list -
the sweet little handstamped heart necklace is from Three Dancing Magpies -
Burroughs the Owl is from The Quirky Corn Crib -
the silver acorn necklace is from the Shy Siren -
and the dandelion wish necklace is from Lulu Bug Jewelry -