Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Humor Found in a Normally Solemn Area

As some of you know, I have some hobbies that do not coincide with the normal jewelry, crochet, chainmaille fun that I like to partake in. It is something that I take seriously, but not many people enjoy doing.

Prior to having Haylie, I found that the local cemeteries were in some disrepair, and that many of the headstones were becoming illegible. Since I am a serious genealogist, I found this disturbing, as soon, many generations of our relatives would be lost forever. I began photographing and transcribing local cemeteries, with my goal being to eventually complete all 100+ cemeteries in my county. I can be a mentally challenging
and often sad task.
This being said, you have to see the humor in some of our work.  So, I
present you with a few photos that you might find humorous.

If you all would like to see where I put my work for future generations, it is called FindAGrave.com . On the left side of the page is 'famous' people's graves and memorials. On the right side of the page, is a place to look up names of common people. All work on this site is totally free and contributed by volunteers. You can find millions of memorials for the no longer living, and if you can not find who you are looking for, you can make a request for specific areas, and people in that area will do their best to find your relative. If they find them, they will take photos if they have a headstone.

Volunteer in something that you find helpful. Find something you like, and donate some time. You will be glad that you did!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Struggle with Gossiping

I have struggled with gossiping through out my life, and it is one of the faults that the Bible discusses in length. I know that it is hard to overcome this habit. Why do we find it so easy to start blabbing what we know. Is it to do harm, to make us look good, who knows?

I came across a great site that has many thoughts about this subject, 10 Bible Versus About Gossip.  I am including the verses that they cite, but please check out their other cited verses on subjects that affect us all.

10 Bible Verses About Gossip

Proverbs 11:13
- #1 Bible Verses About Gossip- Trustworthy

He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.
Proverbs 16:28- #2 Bible Verse About Gossip- It separates friends

A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends.
James 4:11- #3 Bible Verse on Gossip- God is the only true judge

Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother, or judges his brother, speaks against the law, and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge of it.
Philippians 4:8- #4 Bible Verse about Gossip- Dwell on things worthy of praise

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.
Ephesians 4:29- #5 Bible Verse About Gossip- Watch what you say

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Titus 3:2 - #6 Scripture Verse on Gossip- Be gentle

to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.
Proverbs 15:1 - #7 Bible Verses about Gossip- Be careful not to stir up anger

A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
1 Timothy 5:13- #8 Gossip Bible Verse- Gossips and Busybodies
And at the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.

Luke 6:31 - #9 Bible Verse on Gossip- The Golden  Rule

"And just as you want people to treat you, treat them in the same way.

James 3:5-7 - #10 Bible Verse about Christians and Gossip- Control the tongue

So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by the human race.

Friday, November 5, 2010

What Makes a Mom?

To me, being a mom is so much more than just the 'normal' preconceptions. I think that this lady has the right idea.  Give it a read through, you might get something out of it.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

2nd Sneakerversary Update

Second Sneakerversary Giveaway in full swing! Look at all the awesome items you can win. Go to the HandmadeMovement's web site to sign up for the drawing, and look at all the extra ways to get bonus entries!

Photo and write up on the HandmadeMovement site are courtesy of Stockannette.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Two Year Sneakerversary is August 25th!

This year's Anniversary for the HandmadeMovement's Sneak Attacks, is August 25th.  Last year's one year celebration blog.

What will those sneaky Etsians be doing to celebrate? Well, take a look at StockAnnette's article below:

August 25th: Two Year Sneakerversary!

That’s right, Sneak Attacks are about to turn two years old!  The first Sneak Attack happened on September 24, 2008, and we’ll be celebrating the second annual “Sneakerversary” – two years of giving new/undiscovered Etsy shops a kindly boost – on Thursday, September 23, 2010, with a special Sneak Attack and a BIG giveaway of items generously donated by Etsy shop owners.   This is where you can enter to win!
Earn one entry for each of the following :
  • Leave a comment here… maybe share how you felt when you got the first sale in your Etsy shop, or tell us about your favorite item you’ve spotted during a Sneak Attack.
  • “Like” the Handmade Movement on facebook.
  • Follow the Handmade Movement on twitter.
  • Write a post on your own blog about the Second Annual Sneakerversary Giveaway, with a link to this blog post.
  • Share this blog post as a link on your facebook.
Ways to earn even more entries:
  • Tweet about the Second Annual Sneakerversary Giveaway on twitter, making sure to include “@Sneak_Attacks” and a link to this blog post.  You can earn one entry per week for additional tweets between August 26 and 3:00 p.m. Eastern time (we are GMT-5:00) on Thursday, September 23.
  • Purchase an item from the Handmade Movement’s shop on Etsy (sales in the shop help offset the cost of this website’s upkeep), then post a link to your transaction here.  Multiple purchases will earn you multiple entries.
  • Purchase an item in a Sneak Attack between August 26 and September 20, then post a link to your transaction here (if, for example, you make purchases in the August 26 and September 13 Sneak Attacks, posting your two transaction links here would earn you two entries).
Each thing that you choose to do to enter this giveaway must be posted as a separate comment here.  Please be sure to leave your contact information (like your email address or Etsy shop link) so you can be notified if you are the lucky winner.
Last year was a great party (you can read about the one-year Sneakerversary celebration here); please feel free to join us in our regular discussion thread anytime, and stay tuned for details about the goodies to be included in the Sneakerversary Giveaway!   Thanks for a wonderfully Sneaky two years!

Remember, don't post your comment for the giveaway on this blog.
Go to StockAnnette's blog on the HandmadeMovement and post your comments, purchases, and various other forms of entries, to be in the drawing for the big giveaway!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Meet an Awesome New Artisan: Katie of KtOriginals

Katie, the owner of KtOriginals, is an awesome lady! Meet her today, and check out her shop.

Who are you? Describe yourself. 

    My name is Katie and grew up, and currently live in the Greater Cleveland area. I love to sew and I love creating bags and purses. I love those "must have" items that make you feel great, and I like to think I capture some of that in my handmade goods.

Floral Hobo Bag
What do you create, and possibly a few words to describe your art?

    I create anything that I can figure out how to make!  But sewing is my true love. I never went to school for fashion design, and the only sewing knowledge I have is from 8th grade, home, etc. So, I've learned from a lot from trial and error. I still don't have clothing conquered yet, but I have the purses and wallets down!

What inspires you, or turns on that creative light inside of you?

    I'm very easily inspired by friends, nature, fashion, and even my mistakes! I'm always brainstorming with friends on ideas that they think would be good for a bag. For example, after a long night of laughing and hanging out with my best friend, we may have been a little delirious, and we came up with the idea for the angry turtle. His face has popped up on a few wallets, zipper handle bags, even a few hoodies and a pair of pants!

Tell us about your style?

    I'd like to think that my style is girly and natural. I use a lot of earth tone fabrics and earthy themes, but still like to keep things girly and cute.

Mint Green and White Handbag

Is everyone in your family artistic?

    Both of my parents are very artistic. I was always drawing and doodling throughout elementary school and high school. Once I hit high school and had a little sewing experience from Home Ec., I started making purses and things out of old jeans. I would always sew on and off, but art was always my main focus. It wasn't until my first year of college that I realized fine art was not the way I wanted to go. I still kept sewing here and there, but I wasn't very serious about it. A friend of mine had asked if I knew anyone that was good with a sewing machine who would be willing to make purse and pouches for his store. I mentioned that I could sew but I was not a professional by any means! He gladly took my poorly made bags (poorly made at first, they very quickly improved!), and little by little, they started to sell. That was just the kind of motivation I needed and now I'm making things that I never thought I would be able to make.

What is unique about your products?

    Most bags that I make don't have a pattern to them (some do, like my tote bags and my zipper handle bags). With those bags, every one is different, so you're getting your own unique design. Some of the patchwork I do has no pattern to it, so each one of those are one of a kind.

Flying Bat Wallet

How did you come up with your shop name?

    Well, my niece use to live with me until she was about 3, and she would run around the house yelling "KAAAATTTTTTTTIIIEE!!!" at the top of her lungs, over pronouncing the "T" in my name. My sister started doing that to me all the time, and that turned into me putting K.t. on all of my price tags when I was vending at shows. Etsy doesn't let you use punctuation in you shop name, so the name somehow turned into KtOriginals.

What is your real world job? 
      SEWING!  =D

What are a few of your favorite pieces?

    One of my favorite wallets that I've ever made (was a) Hand Drawn Vintage Octopus Wallet. A friend asked if  I could make him an octopus wallet and it turned out to be one of my favorite designs!

    The Angry cloud tote is another one of my favorites. Angry Cloud Lightening Bolt Tote My best friend and I came up with the idea for it at 2 am during a thunderstorm where there was no rain. I free hand the cloud and lightening bolt, so no two angry clouds are the same.  

What has been your biggest challenge in developing your business?

    Staying on top of things and on track. I'm bad a sticking to my own schedules, so there are many days that I don't get anything done when I should. It's hard to stay motivated when you work from home and there's so many other things around to distract you.

Where do you see your work going in the next year?

    For now, I just take it day by day, trying to finish more items and list as many things on Etsy as possible. I want to have so many things made that I won't know what to do with it all, besides sell it!

What is your one tip for being successful at your work?

    Be confident in yourself and what you make. If you don't believe that your work is awesome, your customers won't either!

What is your one marketing tip for Etsy?

    TAKE GOOD PHOTOS!! I always try to keep in mind that my customer can't pick up my items and turn it around to see all angles, pockets and zippers.

I'm Seeing Stars Zipper Handle Bag

What are some other sites to find out more about you and your art?

    I have FaceBook with pictures of just about everything I've made and links to my Etsy. I also have a blog that I just started and am still getting use to.

What other interests do you have?

    I LOOOOOOOVE to cook! I love talking about food, making food and eating it.

Is there anything that you would like our readers to know about you, or that you would like to brag about?
    I am awesome.

What was you worst crafting disaster?

    I think when I tried knitting again (I haven't done it since I was about 5). I think I might be the only person in the world that can actually get anxiety from knitting!

What “super” power would you like to have and why?

    To fly, duh! Who wouldn't want to do that? 

What was an embarrassing moment in your life?

    Well this will be hard to pick since I embarrass myself everyday...

Girlie Pink and Black Spider Wallet 
Where would you go if you had a time machine and why?

    I would go back to when my parents were about 19- 21 (1960's- 1970's). I heard that they were hippies back in the day and I would love to see what they were like back then! And maybe steal some of my mom's clothes!

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
    I've gone skinny dipping in my best friend's kiddie pool a couple of summers ago. That was just hilarious. I don't even think the water reached our knees.

What makes you laugh?
    Everything! I'm amused but little things all the time.

Take a minute and check out Katie's shop on Etsy, and browse through her sold items also, you will be glad that you did!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Another Great Treasury from StockAnnette!

I have been featured in a treasury curated by the treasury queen, StockAnnette. It's a treasury with a cause, as Sunday, June 27th, is National HIV/AIDS Testing Day.

Check out StockAnnette's awesome treasury:  I love you. Get tested. What a great cause. Annette brings so many new ideas to those that follwer her, including myself! Thanks Annette for this treasury!

Don't forget to check out Annette's Etsy shop StockAnnette. You can also find her blog at stockannette.blogspot, and her FaceBook

Annette is an awesome artist, and is talented in so many areas!


She is not only a sneaky Sneaker, but she also is known for yarn bombing! (If you don't know what it is, it's well worth your time to look it up!)

I have yet to meet anyone that can multi-task better than Annette. She can handle any curve ball thrown at her. I strive to be as good as she is, when I grow up!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New Additions to LaRue Fashions!

Good morning everyone! I thought that I would let everyone know that I have started adding my destash supplies to my Etsy shop, LarueFashions

I have nearly 40 new supply items, with hundreds more to come! This Beautiful flower pendant is just waiting for your creative imagination to make it into something awesome!

How about a gorgeous lampwork glass pendant in silver, green, and blue
with a fluted edge.

 And if you love sterling silver jewelry and hand blown lampwork glass, these are simply stunning! These are my Midnight Wisteria Bloom earrings. 

For my blog readers, I have a special sale going. Simply type in 'blog' in the message to seller box when you purchase an item, and I will give you 20% off your order!  This blog special is good through all of June! If you see something that you like, get it quick, as it may not be there later! 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Never A Minute of Boredom

Mom to 11 earthly kids & 2 heavenly kids (1/26/84 & 4/8/08)
and expecting our first daughter in law June 12, 2010
"While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about."
~Angela Schwindt

I have often made the mistake of thinking that I just do not have enough time. However, upon looking over the life of today's featured artist, I realize that I just do not know how to budget my time wisely, and that I fail to appreciate some of the smaller things in life. 
Marlene Grahn is a virtual super hero, as she juggles 11 children, numerous goats and various other animals, plants and grows her own garden and cans some of her food, and also makes her own wine! Oh, did I mention that she also home schools her children? On top of all of that, Marlene finds the time to run an Etsy shop Country Soaps by Marlen . In my book, this is super hero material!
Marlene has granted me an interview, and I would love for you to get to know her!
Who are you?
My name is Marlene, proud mama to 11 amazing kids…on the side I make goats milk soaps.  

What do you create, and possibly a few words to describe your art?  

I make cold process goats milk soaps.  While waiting for them to cure I enjoy making lotions, shower gels, lip balms, solid perfumes, bath bombs and teas.  What does cold process mean?  It means that I keep the temperature of the oils and lye solution below 100 degrees.  You might now wonder how it is possible using lye.  Anyone that has tried to unplug a drain knows the hiss that comes from the drain cleaner.  I can’t use drain cleaner because of the aluminum they have added due to the increase of meth labs around the country.  I use pure lye.  The goats milk has to be frozen before the lye can be added to protect the delicate proteins found in goats milk.  That’s how I keep the temperatures low.  Goats milk soap naturally moisturizes and exfoliates the skin leaving it naturally soft.  It’s great to use on young and old, body and face.                

What inspires you, or turns on that creative light inside of you?  

Sometimes I read an article or someone on my facebook fan page will suggest something or maybe just the name of the fragrance will help me determine what I will do. 

Tell us about your style?  

My soaps have a rough rustic country look to them.  Many of my relatives before me made soap and they used it just the way it was cut.  I don’t bevel my edges or polish my soaps.  They are cut, cured and boxed.

How did you get started? Is everyone in your family artistic? 

I actually got started years ago while watching my oldest daughter make melt and pour soaps.  Then she drifted away from the art and our daughters next in line got some nanny goats.  We made cheese, ice cream, yogurt and then soap…it was about the last thing on our list and it stuck. 
Our kids are artistic in the way of music.  I come from a long line of musicians so the piano comes natural to them along with the guitar.  Blooming Tulips Goats Milk Soap

What is unique about your products?  

My soaps are 100% goats milk…no added water.  Some people start off making soap using distilled water then add some goats milk right at the end.  I use all goats milk.  There are a few bars that don’t have goats milk in them and I’ll do that to experiment. 
What is your real world job?  

Like I said earlier, I’m mom to 11 great kids.  We have home schooled them for the past 13 years.  My husband and I live on a dairy farm in southern Wisconsin.       Almond Cocoa Butter Lotion

What is your educational background, as it relates to your work?  

I’ve been making soap for the past 7 years.  It’s been a lot of trial and error.  The errors end up into laundry soap.  The first few batches were horrible and then I stopped for a few months, did more reading on the internet and books.  Then I gave it a try again and I actually had some soap!!!  So, I guess you could say, I’m self taught with the help of lots of great soapers on the internet. 
What has been your biggest challenge in developing your business?  

Trying to sell scented items over the internet.  Some people have suggested a scratch and sniff screen but I don’t think that’s in our immediate future.  J  
                                                               Bubble Gum Goats Milk Soap

Where do you see your work going in the next year?  

I’ve developed a wool wash bar for washing handmade wool items. (This doesn’t have goats milk)  I want to expand that line.  I’ve been asked about doing fundraisers, so I’m looking at that possibility.  

The next 5 years? 
As the kids get older, I would like to expand into some local shops.  My dream would to actually have my own dot com business.  New Born Baby Goats Milk Shower Gel

What is your one tip for being successful at your work?  

Don’t give up…I’ve heard that it takes at least 2 years to get off the ground selling on line…I’m just celebrating 2 years.  I admit to mistakes and put them in my specials. 

What is your one marketing tip for Etsy?  

Don’t be afraid of chatting in the forums…they are your direct link to possible customers.  Use twitter…excellent tool to add for your business.  Use the fan pages on facebook and link your shop(s).  Selling on line is a lot harder work than I ever imagined but don’t be afraid or give up. 
                                                                                                       White Cherry Blossom Goats Milk Soap
What are some other sites to find out more about you and your art? 
What other interests do you have? 
I do lots of canning from our garden.  I also love to sew, crochet and knit.  Sometimes you might find these items mixed in with my soaps.  We remodeled our kitchen 5 years ago and I’m so in love with it…so you’ll usually find me working on something in there. 

Who are some of your favorite artists? 
I don’t want to personally name people because I’ve met so many great people/artists online and in real life.  I’m easily intrigued by quilters and woodworkers.  Probably because I like to dabble with that too! 

Is there anything that you would like our readers to know about you, or that you would like to brag about? 

I make soap for my family and yours.  I’ll do lots of reading on ingredients before I proceed.  If you have any special needs regarding your soap please contact me and I’ll do my best to help.  

What was you worst crafting disaster?  

When I added lye to coffee to make my coffee soap…it was like a volcano!!!  I didn’t let the coffee cool enough before adding the lye
Where would you go if you had a time machine and why? 

I would go back to the late 1800’s.  I would love to meet Laura Ingalls Wilder…actually I think her mom and I could be great friends. 

What makes you laugh?  

My kids…there is never a dull moment in our house. 

I will just bet that there isn't a dull moment in her house!  

And if you aren't totally in awe of Marlene, or you can't find something that you just love in her shop, then I have nothing else to give you! Keep up the great work Marlene!