Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Two for Tuesday, Part Two! Except now it is Thursday!

Today's giveaway find is especially exciting for me! Since I was about 5, I have had a special place in my heart for buttons. I grew up on a small farm in rural Southern New Jersey and one of the really big deals was to be able to climb up into the haymow! And if you were lucky, you got to swing out over the hay and drop in front of the 2nd story door where the hay was thrown out for use on the farm. I think I have especially fond memories of these times because we normally only did this when my cousins were over (everyone knows that as a kid, you only got to do things you normally wouldn't have been able to do when you are with your cousins) or when one of the farm cats was missing because she had kittens!

In addition to storing hay for the horses, our barn had an upper level to the 2nd story for storing farm items and for a brief period in time, we also stored some old family chests that belonged to my PopPop's mother. It was the early 1960's and she was in a rest home and her trunks had been put up there until room was made in the attic in the house. It was during one of those special "cousin" visits that I came across Granny's sewing trunk and it was that find that helped to shape my love of sewing!

And not so much sewing, because I was a Tom Boy and I hated all things domestic, but my love of all those rare vintage goodies that were lovingly stored away into that treasure trove of an old trunk. Imagine being 5 and coming across a large round tin full of vintage buttons! These buttons were antiques, so you can only imagine how beautiful they were. To me, they were every bit as precious as Pirate's Gold! Unfortunately, I don't have that tin and I don't know who does. I think it may have been sold at auction when my family moved when I was in High School - lots of things that were no longer deemed important to my parents were let go that day. I still remember feeling the sorrow of loss watching other people bid on the very possessions that filled my childhood days; but I also remember those beautiful buttons. Gold ones, silver ones, bone, shell, Mother of Pearl, and glass. Oh, the glass buttons were my favorite. They were all like little gems to me!

I still possess some of the small things from that trunk and I even used some of Granny's old antique snaps on a custom sweater pattern I made for my first grandchild 4 years ago! Granny's family Bible had also been stored in that old trunk and I gave that to my oldest son and his wife several years ago when they reaffirmed their dedication to Christ. Somehow, through all the years, and all the moves and all of life's changes, and although I was very young at the time, I was able to recognize the importance of these gifts and was able to hold on to some of them, although they are few.

If you are still with me, I think it is time to share this week's favorite giveaway. Had you already guessed that it might be related to buttons? Well, Amy Barickman of Indygo Junction is having a fabulous giveaway, but you need to enter by Dec. 6! The reward for your time? How about a copy of her new Buttonware book, TWO of her Buttonware Kits and a full pound of JHB buttons. Oh, be still my heart!

Click here to enter!

Two for Tuesday, Part One!

I love holidays; all holidays! Who doesn't love giving or opening a gift! Especially, one that is is beautifully wrapped and tagged! If you want your gifts to be especially pretty this year and find yourself running short on time, why not visit Debbie LaRue at Vintage Tags for Days - this week's On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan - and let her help you get the job done! It's so simple!

This weeks Featured Artisan is Debbie LaRue - Vintage Tags for Days! Gorgeous tags in a vintage
style to give a unique look to your gifts! You can find Vintage Tags for Days on:
Debbie also has a shop called Flower and Bud Jewelry on Etsy too!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Two for Tuesday Part Two!

This week's On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan:

This weeks Featured Artisan is Kalyene Sue Bacon - Jardin de Lillian. Truly unique
jewelry designs! You can find Jardin de Lillian on:

Two for Tuesday Part One!

Today I have two great things I want to share. The first is a great giveaway From Kim at Everything Etsy and Red River Paper and the second is our weekly On Fire For Handmade Featured Artisan!

Drum roll....................

Re-posted by way of
I love to print pretty stuff! Don’t you? It’s just so rewarding to be able to create beautiful cards, labels, wall art, and photography without ever leaving home or paying anyone a dime to do it for you.
Since I’ve started blogging, it’s become even more fun because I’ve learned how to create pretty graphics, I’ve found ton’s of free printables, and I’ve discovered Red River Paper!
Red River Paper has been advertising here on Everything Etsy for almost two years now and during that time, I’ve had the chance to use a wide variety of their products. I can’t really over-state how great everything I’ve tried has turned out.
The Red River website says that their papers “meet or exceed” the quality of big name brands. My experience has been 100% “exceed”.
Red River produces all sorts of inkjet printer papers from photo paper, to notecards, to everyday use paper. The selection is vast and you really should check it out.
As they’ve done a number of times before, Red River Paper is generously sponsoring a giveaway that will provide for a very nice holiday bonus for two lucky Everything Etsy readers.
Two Winners Will Receive the Following:
Canon iP4920 Photo Inkjet Printer
Plus the following supply of notecards and envelopes:
  • ImageGlossy note cards 50 sheets
  • Matte note cards 50 sheets
  • Linen note cards 50 sheets
  • Supply of envelopes
We’ve done a number of projects with the Linen Note Cards. They are beautiful!

Here’s how to enter…
  • Leave a comment here about what you would use these printer to create. {1 entry}
  • Visit Red River Paper here and subscribe to the helpful newsletter. {1 entry}
  • Spread the word of this fun giveaway by Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or blog post. {1 entry each}
  • Keep up with the latest specials by following Red River Paper on Facebook. {1 entry}
  • If you subscribe to Everything Etsy, follow me on Twitter, or Like us on Facebook…you rock! {1 entry each}
This awesome giveaway ends December 5th at midnight. Please leave a separate comment for each entry so it can be counted.
Good Luck!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Life on the Lawn

As a follow-up to my Halloween post I thought I would share a video they released today of the Trick or Treaters and one of the Lawn occupants.
 Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Giving thanks on Thursday

I can't believe tomorrow is already Friday! I love Thursday because it means I have made it through the work week - for the most part - and soon I will get to spend 2 full days on the farm!

Speaking of the farm, I haven't done any farm features for a while, so I think it is time for a share. Today I want to introduce you to the Chica girls, my lovely hens that were no bigger than a tennis ball just 5 months ago. They are now full grown and we hope we will have our first eggs any day now! I was really hoping to have fresh eggs by Thanksgiving to use in my egg noodle recipe. Homemade egg noodles are one of my families most special holiday traditions. It is a very simple recipe - one egg and one teaspoon salt to one cup of flour and a few tablespoons of cold water just to moisten. Our family has grown to the point that I am now up to 6 cups of noodles for Thanksgiving dinner and those noodles are always everyone's favorite. The fun part about the noodles is rolling out the dough and hanging that piece of dough until it is almost dry, then cutting them into strips that make the noodles. Add some wonderful turkey gravy and a side of cranberry relish and you have the makings of the beginning of a very special meal!

So back to the hens, here are some photos from the past few months since they came on June22.

1st week of July after moving in to their new digs!

2 weeks later
Growing like weeds!

2 weeks later in August and my little sweeties came to see them again!

Just starting to come out at the end of Aug.

They sure are getting pretty!

They sure do love to scratch in the grass.

Papa's painting the hen house.
One of our beautiful Dominicks
1st week of October
Are you going or should I?
 I'll go!

First time out to free range on Oct. 15
My early Trick-or-Treaters - the butterfly is already out of her wings.
 They always want to go out to see the Chica girls!

These are some of the things I am thankful for today. I hope you enjoyed the share. 

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tuesday's On Fire for Handmade Artisan Treasure

Yes, I know it isn't Tuesday, but it has been that kind of week and I am really trying to get my Blog posting act together! This week's On Fire Artisan is Sarah from Finding Charm. Sarah hails from Kansas City, MO and she makes lovely, affordable, handmade jewelry! Please take a look at Sarah's pages and show her some love!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Who doesn't love a quilt!

Seriously, do you know anyone that isn't comforted by a beautiful quilt? Especially one that is old and worn. So worn, that the cotton is so smooth it feels as soft as a baby's cheeks? That is my favorite kind of quilt, but to get one like that, you either need to buy an antique or spend a few years breaking in a brand spanking new one. And that leads me to my story today. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had the pleasure of seeing some quilts that I would love to spend some years breaking in and in the process do some snuggling with my favorite people; my sweetie and grandchildren come to mind.

The quilting friend from my knitting group is Sandra and she has a very special talent for working with color. She loves color and it really suits her. Her sewing room overlooks a lovely garden patio and is washed with the most wonderful light, so much light, she calls it her beach room because she feels like she is at the beach while she works.
One of Sandra's bag patterns. That is her in the red dress!

This would make a beautiful Christmas quilt.

Sandra creates a unique tag for the back of all of her quilts.

I don't know why this wants to be upside down. :^(
What she calls a simple pineapple print!

A lovely beach inspired sand castle.
A fun quilt with Bees!

This was by far my favorite. Such a a wonderful use of batiks to create a coral reef!

There were lots more to see, but mostly I wanted to give you a sneak peek into my "knitting" friend's world. And now that I have you all thinking about quilts, how would you like to win a quilt from another wonderful quilter? Yesterday, I came across the blog of a lovely lady named Tammy from The Stitching Coop. She has been making rag quilts for 11 years now and she is graciously offering to give one of her quilts to a lucky winner. The quilt she is giving away would be perfect for my granddaughter so I would be kidding if I said I wouldn't love to win it. Please head over to her blog and follow and even though it will water down the pool, enter to win this little lovely!

Click here to enter!
Later in the week I will be sharing some fabulous Advent Calendars by my crafty little sister, so make sure you check back. You might want to order one so it will arrive in time for December 1st!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sharing my blessings on another beautiful fall weekend!

The weather here in Central Virginia has been outstanding this fall and today was no exception! We have had cold nights and warm days and the leaves have been giving us a show for over a month now!

On my ride to work the other morning.

This past August I was lucky enough to be invited to join a lovely group of ladies for their knitting group that meets in Crozet, Va at a place called Trailside Coffee on the 1st Saturday of every month. Not everyone knits, but most do so they call it a knitting group. One of the ladies does bead work and one of them is a quilter. Yesterday, after our time was done, we were all invited to the home of the quilter to see some of her wonderful quilts - more about that tomorrow. She lives about 2 miles from where we meet and on the drive from the coffee shop to her house I saw one of the most stunning scenes I have witnessed this fall so I had to turn around and go back to take some photos. Crozet is nestled in the foot hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains about 5 miles east of where the Skyline Drive meets the Blue Ridge Parkway and from almost any vantage point you have fabulous mountain views.
A Red Maple ablaze with the Blue Ridge Mountains as its back drop.

Another place I have been enjoying the fall foliage display is at Thomas Jefferson's University - better known as The University of Virginia. I am blessed to be a part of this great community and as I was walking around campus the other day I captured some of the gorgeous "grounds" where I spend my working days. I say grounds because that is what they call the campus here. The central campus area has 1,160 acres and fifteen libraries (the overall size is 3,340 acres, with 529 buildings) and I am lucky enough to be able to walk these hallowed grounds on a daily basis.

Path leading to the West side of the Rotunda.

One of many serpentine walls leading to one of the Pavilions that line the Range on The Lawn.

And last but not least for today is our girls; the chickens that is. Their lovely home is all finished and they seem very happy. If you remember, they came to live with us on June 21 and they are all thriving in their new home. We let them out to free range about an hour before dark each day so nothing has time to get them and they are all quite beautiful and happy. They are very friendly and quite inquisitive and should start laying very soon. I am hoping they will start laying just before Thanksgiving so I can use our own organic eggs to make the noodles for dinner!
8x10 hen house with run.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I hope you had a fun All Hallows Eve! Mondays at my job at the University of Virginia are pretty busy and today was no exception. I usually have a couple of meetings around grounds and it is nice to be able to get out and see what is happening. In my old position I'll bet I left the building maybe once every 3 or 4 months. But, with the new position, I get to do a lot of walking to go to a lot of meetings and I hope that translates into some weight loss! Another privilege of my new position is a corner office with two large windows that give me an excellent vantage point to view the happenings around grounds.

Today's was U.Va.'s Annual 'Trick-or-Treating on the Lawn' — U.Va.'s trick-or-treating tradition was initiated in the late 1980s by the residents of the Lawn, and is open to all local community members. Children are invited to wear their costumes and take part in trick-or-treating at each of the 54 Lawn rooms. Candy is donated and distributed by more than 70 student groups and other organizations.

The Rotunda and lawn today before the crowds. 

The students are quite the tricksters and they often dress up the numerous statues around grounds. I may be partial, but I think these guys look just as good with the Halloween masks. What do you think?

Well Hello, Clarice.

This was the view outside my office window at around 4:30 this afternoon. I just couldn't stop smiling seeing these little ones in all their Halloween grandeur!

I hope your day was as good as mine! Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

This Week's On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan

This week's featured artist is the fabulous teacher turned artist Barbara Rosenzweig! In her own words Barbara "is a most imaginative watercolorist and photographer who is driven by an incredible passion for self-expression through art. Her works are often noted for their unique style, elegance, and technique." In short, I would say her work is beautiful to the eye! and worth a peak! Watercolor has always been my favorite medium for painting and hopefully, I will soon have the opportunity to enjoy one of Barbara's works of art in person.


This week's featured artisan is Barbara Rosenzweig - Watercolors by Barbara. Beautiful creations to add to your home! You can find Watercolors by Barbara on:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's Wednesday!

I LOVE decorating for Halloween! It just makes me feel young again and it brings back so many memories of my childhood. I grew up in a rural farming community and when I was a kid Halloween was a magical night. The world was still a safe place for kids and on that night, we were allowed to wander the streets and roads of our small town alone without our parents and bonus, we got to do it wearing a disguise. Very magical indeed. And we dressed up as characters like Popeye, Woody Woodpecker, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Tweety Bird and Sylvester, oh the list goes on!

In the spirit of old time Trick-or-Treating I wanted to share a Halloween themed giveaway today. I came across a great bog called The Old Cupboard Door and the lovely owner is giving away a fun little Halloween Treat! Willa Croft and her family live in the beautiful Shenandoah Hills of Front Royal, VA and after reading her story, I think she is probably living a perfectly inspirational life. Drop on by her blog and enter to win 2 of these Jack-O-Lantern Pokes! Good luck everyone!
Click to enter here!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Find of the Week!

I love all the blogs I follow, because I really only follow blogs that I enjoy reading. And yes, I read all of the posts on all of the blogs I follow through Google Reader late every night! That is usually my late night light reading!

The best part about blogs and social networks is all the people that you "meet" from all parts of the world! I have made cyber friends in virtually every corner of the world and I have learned that no matter how different our cultures, we are all basically the same.

This morning I came across a wonderful bog from Overland Park, KS called Taking the Scenic Route. That is sort of how I feel about my life, I have definitely taken the scenic route and glad of it! Taking the Scenic Route is the blog of Roberta from Cottonwood Lane Primitives and she is giving away one of her wonderful works of art for fall.

Click here to enter Cottonwood Lane's Giveaway

If you just love her work and would like to purchase one of her pieces, Roberta can be found HERE.

Good Luck to you all!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Looking for a Great Fall Decoration?

Well, look no more! The Barn Hollow is having a lovely little fall giveaway and it could be just what you are looking for!

All you need to do for a chance at this neat door piece designed by Tennessee Ridge Primitives is Follow Her blog!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Empty Nest is Having a Fabulous Giveaway!

Last year I came across the blog of Janet Metzger from Warrenton, Va. She is the owner of a wonderful Etsy Shop and creator of a blog called The Empty Nest. Since then, I have enjoyed every single post about her numerous crafty ventures and I have also picked up a few yummy recipes along the way!

Late last night I was working my way through the daily list of blog posts from my favorite blogs and I came across a posting from Janet about a wonderful fabric giveaway she is hosting with SkyReve Fabrics and Kim from Everything Etsy ; another couple of very talented ladies.

Would you like a chance to win some yummy fabrics?

You can do just that if you are the lucky winner of a gift certificate worth $50.00 to spend in Natasha's SkyeReve shop!! So run, don't walk over to Janet's Blog for all the particulars on how to enter and good luck to you all!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This Week's On Fire for Handmade Featured Artisan

We do a feature every week with the On Fire for Handmade Artisan of the week, but to date, no one has been as interesting as Vaudeville Gypsy!

Vaudeville Gypsy specializes in re-purposed Vintage jewellery, collectable Vintage pieces and Tribal Fusion Belly-dance costume accessories using antique and vintage components including: vintage Swarovski & Austrian Crystals; vintage West German & Czech glass beads; vintage fabrics and recycled leather. Simply put, her work is stunning and original!

You can find Vaudeville Gypsy on:
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