Archive for the 'MyEtsy' Category

The Landlocked Sailor’s Celebration of Summer

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Yes, I know, Spring is just barely arriving in most of the US, but that means summer is right around the corner! (And besides, I grew up in Southern California, where it’s already 70+ degrees.)

With the sunshine comes renewed energy and enthusiasm, and I personally have been trying to eat better… that is, to actually cook and eat whole foods instead of prepackaged, overly processed, or “fast” foods. I’m also stocking my Etsy shop with Nautical Flag knits, starting out with Nautical Baby Bibs. So cute.

Summer always reminds me of sailing (I know, everything reminds me of sailing), but summer probably reminds you of the beach and ocean too. So, in celebration of all things nautical (and of cooking meals full of fresh ingredients), I’m introducing my second giveaway. It’s not from my Etsy store; it’s another book… a cookbook this time. The Williams-Sonoma Beach House Cooking. It’s full of wonderful things like Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Chives, Ancho Chile-Rubbed Flank Steaks, and classic spicy dishes like Jambalaya and Jerked Chicken Grilled Under a Brick. I think my favorite part is the introduction, which is all about setting up the environment and creating the Beach Vibe.

Here are the rules: Stop by my Etsy shop, have a look around, then come back and comment on this blog post about what your favorite item is and why. Leave your Twitter @name or email address in the comment so I can contact you. One winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, 11 April 2010. Winner will be announced via Twitter and . If prize is not claimed within 48 hours, another name will be drawn. Happy cooking!

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When Two Wrongs Do Make a Right

I hate throwing away yarn. In fact, I never do it. When I go through my stash and find an “Oh my goodness what was I thinking” yarn, I set it aside to donate. I might even get around to actually donating it.

But this week, I was going through my cotton yarns, and I found a whole lot of an odd brown color. My first thought was, “Yuck, What was I thinking?” Upon closer inspection, I realized that the “odd” brown really looked like seine twine, or fishing net. It could even be seaweed. Hmmm… sounds nautical. Maybe that’s what I was thinking when I bought it. On the next shelf was a big cone of variegated cream/light brown cotton with an almost pink shade to it. It just barely missed the mark of being pretty. Again, “What was I thinking?”

Then I had an idea: I wonder what these two weird yarns would look like if I worked them together? So I turned on my favorite old Clark Gable movie and went to work. Voila! I LOVE the effect! What do you think?

Two yarns worked together.

Link Love – Blog Love?

So if any of my fellow Etsy sellers have participated in link love on Facebook and Etsy, you know that it can be a powerful thing.

However, have you noticed how few people seem to follow your blog if you’ve posted one? At first, I was fanning everyone on Facebook, on Etsy (unless I really hated their stuff-doesn’t happen often), on Twitter if their timeline didn’t look like spam, AND on their blog.

It’s easy enough to follow a blog with Google Friend Connect, stick it on my iGoogle page or in Google Reader, and glance through everybody’s writing each day.

Then I realized, although I had followed quite a few blogs (which were not bad reading), no one had followed mine. Maybe I’m too boring. Maybe my RSS button is too hard to find. Maybe one of my recent Theme changes through everybody off.

So, link love people, what’s up with the lack of blog love?

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“It is the East, and Juliet is…the Letter J.”

I’ve mentioned before that I really love the many meanings of nautical signal flags. Once you catch on, some combinations that were probably meant to be randomly decorative become really funny. For example, the combination Mike-Golf-Victor, or “MGV,” means “Patient has foreign body in the nose.” If your initials are MGV, it might be helpful to know that before using nautical flags as your monogram.

The idea for this R+J bag, though, simply came from the idea that Romeo+Juliet would make a cute combination. The red side is the “Romeo,” flag, which can be interpreted as simply the letter R, or if at sea, “Preparing to Replenish.” The blue and white “Juliet” flag, or letter J, means “I am on fire and have dangerous cargo; keep clear.” Looks like Juliet is running away from Romeo!

I thought I’d better look up the meanings of R & J together, and this is what I found: According to the International Code of Signals, R+J means “You should keep your engines ready,” whereas J+R means “I expect to refloat,” that is, after having run aground. So, nothing too embarrassing if you happen to carry this handbag in the presence of a medical officer who happens to be well-versed in the International Code.

As a practical matter, there are SO MANY combinations of signals that mean so many things, especially the very specific medical emergency code; it is unlikely that anyone has actually memorized the entire thing. Unlikely, but not impossible!

If you’d like to order your own custom bag, contact me through my Etsy shop: or the big red Etsy button at the bottom of this page.

Whadd’ya think?

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Romeo and Juliet

I really love the many meanings of nautical flags. One of my favorite combinations is Romeo + Juliet.

One version of the meaning of Romeo, or the “R” flag (the red one pictured here) is “The way is off my vessel. You may feel your way past me.” Juliet’s response? “Fire on board. Keep your distance.”

This combination of Romeo + Juliet is made from up-cycled sweaters, and will soon be a handbag.

Whadd’ya think?

Quitting My Day Job, Opening New Doors

I’ve been working as a preschool teacher for the past year, and I love it so much that I decided to back to school and get some credentials. So lately, my job description has been “full time student.” My major is Early Childhood Education. I’ve been able to explore different aspects of the field, and I’ve learned more than I thought possible in just a year’s time.

Then, a few months ago, I had the opportunity to work full time as a co-teacher for three months. I learned even more during that time, and I consider myself very fortunate to have been given the opportunity. However, one of the most important things that I learned from that experience is that I do not want to be a full time preschool teacher. My interests are in anti-bias education, teacher training, and family-teacher partnerships. Still, I’ve known for years, perhaps decades, that a 40-hour workweek on someone else’s schedule is just not for me.

All of this brings up the question: What am I still doing in school? I already have the education and experience to become a CDA (Child Development Associate), which is more than enough for me, and I am running a little Etsy shop that I am very excited about. If I am going to pursue my “own thing” in earnest, forcing myself to wade through these classes with no goal in sight is just a complete waste of my time.

I realize that the Etsy thing might be a long shot, and there is, of course, a chance that it won’t amount to much. But either way, a degree in Early Childhood Education is simply not pointing me in the way of my dreams.

So there you have it. Bye-bye, College!
Grab it! Open it!

At Last!

Instruments of the Art
I have always wanted to sew.

When I was little, my mom had this great sewing machine that was hardly ever used. Well, I don’t know if it was actually great, but I thought it was AWESOME because it would *pop* right out of the sewing table and be ready to use. I sold that sewing machine at a garage sale to raise money for a preaching expedition when I was 16 or so, having never learned to use it.

In my early 20s, I got on a sewing kick and learned how to read patterns. I got busy sewing (by hand!) a simple dress for a little girl I knew, but my stitches seemed like they’d unravel if you just looked at them too intensely. I gave up.

Now, 13 years after selling that crazy pop-up contraption, I finally have my very own Pfaff 296, which I hear is a great machine. I can’t wait to start playing with it. I’ve always had this fear that if I used a sewing machine, I’d sew right through my fingers. I’m determined to get over that terror.

Ironing is another thing that has always been a mystery to me. My mother never let my sisters and me buy any clothes that would need ironing. The only way we knew to get wrinkles out was to spray the item down with water, and throw it in the dryer. The end. Wrinkles magically disappeared. Unfortunately, as a knitter, I need to block my knits, which often requires ironing. (I have also been terrified of irons– I always thought they would burn me and stick to my skin and I would die.)

Last week I did all my blocking on the floor, on top of a thick towel. Imagine me there with my head on the floor trying to make sure not to touch the knit fabric as I steamed it. Hmmm… I thought. So this is why people have ironing boards! If blocking didn’t take so long to dry, I’d use my kitchen table. But, come to think of it, it’s already covered with random things including a rigid heddle loom.

It’s going to be difficult to complete sewing projects without an iron. So last night, I was at Jo-Ann Crafts and I saw the COOLEST ironing board cover! It’s marked up with a sewing guide– 1″ grid, bias lines, measuring tape… It’s wonderful! I bought it, and then decided I’d better go get an ironing board.

So, here I am, all ready to go. I’ve got my sewing machine, my tomato full of pins, an iron, an ironing board, some fabric remnants that struck my fancy, and no idea how to operate my sewing machine.

One step at a time.

My Etsy Shop