Saturday, October 31, 2009

Market Update - Happy Halloween!

I am being a Halloween grinch again this year by leaving my light off. We have so few little kids in our neighborhood, it is just not worth enduring the big kids with pillowcases full of candy asking for more, so I grinch. "Grinch" is now officially a verb. ;-)

So I started today's post with the following picture becaaaauuuuse ....

... when my posts hit FaceBook (it's an automatic thing I set up, and the ONLY thing I post to FaceBook), the first pic in my post is put up at the top for everyone to see, and I did not want that pic to be this:

Purple Sweet Potatoes. I cleaned these guys, and you can see they are purple on the outside, and ...

... REALLY purple on the inside. And you can also see there is potato blood all over my cutting mat and knife. These things are like beets, but the red washed off much nicer than beet blood does.

ANYway, the point of these pics was to do a controlled study on the Before and After color of these 'taters. Farmer Mike told me that they get darker when cooked, so I wanted to see. Just because he told me they get darker does not mean I believe him. You see, he also told me his jalepenos were not hot. M-hm. I rest my case.

So I sliced these guys really thin and baked them. Unfortunately for this controlled study, I managed to overcook the buggers to just this side of ashes, so no After pic was taken. But they WERE good. I may get a few more next week and try just baking them whole. Less of a chance of me making blackened 'taters. I'll report back on that.

Now let's get to today's market. Today was a very slow day, so I will hit you with a lot of nonsense pics. Be forewarned. By the way, next week is my last market of the season. ;-(

As I was unloading my car, these little ladies (sisters) were being so good waiting for their Mom. They are about 1 1/2 years old, and totally neglected. No one EVER gives either of them any love at all. They were really sweet.

This. Well, this was, I THOUGHT, a joke. That little lady (sorry, the pic is fuzzy, but I was laughing) is our knitter, and the guy works the bakery. Turns out he actually ordered this Reindeer hat. Seriously.

Remember my What Is This and The Reveal from last week? This is the same tree this week - totally different! This is the back ...

... and the front. Very different. Have I mentioned it was a slow day?

Gourds. I do not ever remember seeing these green ones. The only goose-neck gourds I've seen have been that tan color. This ignorance on my part led to the Lesson Du Jour from Farmer Mike. The green gourds are beyond the eating point. This is where you would set them aside, like in a barn, to let them rot. The mold and bacteria will consume all the flesh, leaving a hollow shell, and when they have finished their work, the mold and bacteria either die or move to a better neighborhood. Then the next year, the dried, brown, hollow gourds are painted and finished and sold. The End.

This, my friends, is an Asian Pear. Notice the weight? Almost 2 lbs of pear. This is a $4 pear, people! There were also normal ones in the box, but I'm just sayin'. Did I mention today was a slow day?

Big. Black. Dog. OMG, this guy was big. But sweet and obviously well-mannered. His Dad took off his leash and told him to stay, and he did! Good dog! What a beautiful animal. Notice the white spots on his face? He had a boo-boo when he was younger and the Vet shaved a few spots so they could apply the medicine. The hair grew back all white. How does this happen?! Inquiring minds want to know!

These are Clumber Spaniels. Big dogs, too. I had to look them up to see how to spell it! I wanted to pet them, but their Dad said they jump. I asked if it was the nature of the breed, to which he chuckled and said, "Well, at least these two." They have exhausted two trainers already, with no luck. I think he's accepted his fate and just warns people way.

Then I mosied on over to MaryBeth's booth and picked up this flair for my hair! I bartered product so we could each say we came home with less than we left with. I also picked up another one for my Holiday shows. Have I mentioned today was slow?

At one point Farmer Mike stopped by and wanted to know what this could buy him from my table. Uh-huh. The fact Mike left his station is a significant sign that there were no people buying anything. Mike never leaves his station. Oh, and since he works for a living, that is not real.

This little cutie came through about mid-day. What a face!

Here is our regular handsome fellow. Can you tell I just love this dog? This was the first sign of photo-ops to come.

Here the lad is looking longingly at a piece of chicken jerky, aka: dog treat. What a good boy! And I am not sure if you can tell, but that forehead is truly like silk. I will miss this face over the Winter.

Here is my friend's Shar Pei, all dressed up as a bumble bee. She (the dog) kept shaking her head cuz she hated that hat, but the rest of the costume did not seem to bother her too much. My friend slipped the hat up a little for this photo op, but she did not bother to put the dog's ears through the little slits in the hat. TOO CUTE!

Then this guy and his sister came though. His cape says Lil Devil. Look at the horns on his hat! (Yeah, he was moving ... gimme a break.)

Here is his sister - a Lil' Monster. People and their pets. And a card vendor with too much time on her hands.

That's it for the market.

In other news, please notice the blinkie at the top of my right side-bar. I am participating in a Blog Hop on Monday for a really worthy cause. If you'd like to participate, or just read more about it, please stop by here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 30, 2009

I Am DSL-Less

Whine, whine, whine - I know! But people, I have been reduced to blogging FROM MY PHONE! I KNOW! This is serious!

Just to show you I have actually accomplished something this evening, I am almost done with half of a Special Request order from one of my Tweeple. I made a few extra for my Holiday shows while I was at it. (See evidence of stamping below. Or above. Or whever that attachment lands.)

I hope to get to the other half of her cards this weekend. Plus, there's the Stamp Camp cards to design. And a special card I plan to make for a Blog Hop that's happening on Monday morning. Yeah, a few irons in the fire.

I sure hope my DSL comes back! :-)

Thanks for stopping by!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Should Have Gone To Bed

Tonight I was determined to finish packaging my Tea Bag/Candy holders that I made in a frenzy earlier this week. In fact, I think it is ALL I have done this week. Getting old, it is, getting old. I needed to finish it, though, or I had no room to do anything else!

What made things a bit easier this evening was my camera's memory card was full and I could not take any more photos. You see, I had not decided which ones to post in my etsy store and which ones to take with me to my holiday craft shows, so I planned to photograph all of them and decide later. WELL, when your camera is full and you do not want to take time out to unload it and risk losing your rhythm, you make executive decisions. My executive decision was to not photograph any more tea bag holders, which meant all the remaining ones were coming to the shows with me. Easy!

Here they are - all my good little soldiers:

All the ones not already listed in my etsy store will come to my shows with me. If I find a chunk of time in November (HAHAHAHA! Oh, my gosh, I crack myself up!) I will take some pics and put more of them in my store.

Did you notice the handsome carrying case? Yeah, that is the top of an empty box of printer paper. I saved the box and its top from a certain recycling death at work with the intention of re-purposing it into a shadow box studio thingie to take hopefully better pics. I failed, but I still have the top of the box, which is PERFECT for transporting these lovelies.

Then, I STAMPED. We are approaching my November Clean Sweep, so I decided to use one of my un-inked stamps so I could put it away in good conscience. I made this:

There are several things about this card that are very different, for me, anyway. One: it is square. I do not often make square cards to sell, because they require additional postage. Why is it square? Because that is one tall image, and I wanted to layer it, of course.

Wait, that did not make sense, did it? Let me try again. Well, I was going to do something different on the front with layering, or something (I forget), and it would have needed a square base. But then I got distracted and changed my mind a bazillion times and ended up with this, which does not require a square base, but I did not think about that until I'd already finished the card, so it has a square base. Now aren't you glad you do not live in my head?

So what do you think of my grass? I debated with myself (I do that a lot) how to make the grass, then I just started making little lines with one of my Copic markers, and this is what came out. I kinda like it, even!

The second thing about this card that is different:

I stamped on the inside! I DID! In addition to the Flopsy image being rather large, I also feel the sentiment is rather large, which is why I did not even attempt to smoosh them together on the front of the card. This move, of course, now requires me to package this card differently, because I need to stamp the sentiment on something to include with the card. And I need to remember to tell people it has a sentiment on the inside.

Okay, maybe I won't sell this one.

So now I can say I stamped something, and finally go to bed. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Because I screw up enough for more than one person, part of my responsibility is to share with you so you can ALL learn from my mistakes.

Remember this lovely card?

Pretty, huh? and it was loads of fun to make, especially since I got to play with some new stuff.

But after I showed you this card the first time, I attempted to get it into an envelope, and this is where the lesson was learned.

I'd call this officially a 'tight fit'. Uh-huh. Lookie:

Look at the size of that knot! Okay, I had already decided this was too fat for regular postage and I was going to slap on two stamps (which I eventually did), but first I needed to get it into the envelope. The problem: the knot was too close to the edge of the card. If I'd tied it just a bit to the right, it would have been less of a struggle.

So today's lesson is: If you are going to tie a big, honkin' knot on a card that you just KNOW is going to cost you extra postage to mail, at least tie it AWAY from the very edge of the card so you stand a chance of getting it into the envelope without tearing said envelope.

Lesson complete.

I hope to be back later today with something more interesting for you. I hope.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Tale of Tea Bag Holders

So where have I been and what have I been doing? C'mon, I know you are curious, am I right?

Instead of working on the several custom orders I have in the queue (yay!), I decided to start making more Tea Bag Holders. I do not know what came over me, but I went into the Craft Room and started hacking into card stock. I took a partial pack of textured Rich Regal 12x12 and cut them into 7.5"x3" sections. Then I scored each and every one of them at 3.5" & 4", and this is what resulted:

Yeah, it was a few.

Then I rummaged in my cabinets for papers that coordinated with the various colors of card stock. After a while I figure I'd pulled out almost 25 sheets of 12x12 papers, and cut those down to size. I knew I did not have enough for every base I had, but it was a respectable start.

And I set to work. I went through the bases and patterned papers and matched them up, and just set aside the ones without pretty papers. I'll address them another time or re-purpose them, or something.

Then I counted: 55. Uh-huh. I had 55 of these Tea Bag/Candy Holders to assemble. What was I thinking?! Apparently I was not.

Here's my first few bases + pockets:

Lemme tell you: I went through a few rolls of red sticky tape. Phew!

Here I have a few of the folded-but-not-taped pockets for those blue bases. That roll of red sticky tape is a "mega" roll I got at Angela's, and it is about half gone. You use a strip to hold the pocket together, plus a strip to hold the pocket to the base. Times 55.

Here's the next set waiting in the wings. I decided to break up the work by base color, just to keep me from going insane. Plus, it kept the papers with the bases, and that actually made it a bit easier.

Here's all 55 of the bases + pockets. Was I done, oh no, no, no, no. Next I had to figure out what the heck to do for the fronts. What, you think I had a PLAN or something?

But I did get a brilliant idea, if I do say so myself. As I have mentioned before, no matter what I do, people at my markets and craft shows ask me what things are, what is in them, how much are they, etc., and it makes no matter how much information I include with my signage.

So my brilliant idea was to use the remaining pieces of the patterned papers to decorate the outsides of the folders, thus showing everyone what the inside paper was. PLUS, this would use up a few more square inches of all that paper. Brilliant, yes, I know.

So all I did was punch a scalloped square from the remnants of the pretty papers I had used and called that my 'design' for the front. I decided this would make the project actually completable (if that is not a word, it is now). Whatever I decided to do needed to be done 55 times. You can appreciate my thought process, can't you? ;-)

Next I took a 100-yard spool of cream ribbon, laid it across each and every one of those folders, taped it down with more red sticky tape, then used my trusty ATG with 1/4" adhesive to anchor the scalloped square over the ribbon on the front. You will see all of this in a moment. But first:

Ta-da! My stack of 55 be-ribboned folders. You'd think I'd call it a night after all this, right? HA! Not. Look what I did next:

I took most of a package of 12x12 Kraft card stock and cut out - you guessed it: 55 Top Note Die shapes, then scored them all at the half-way mark. These would become the toppers for my packaging. Ah, yes, the packaging. It has turned out to be about as much work as making the folders!

How about we look at a finished product? K?

Here is the burgundy base with its pretty paper pockets. In the left pocket I have a Spiced Chai Tea Bag, and in the right pocket I have a piece of chocolate.

Here I show that a gift card would also fit in one of the pockets. No, the gift card is not included, though at least 4 times I managed to tie the folder closed with the for-display-only gift card instead of the tea bag.

This is what the outside looks like when it is tied closed for packaging. I left the ends of the ribbon long so the purchaser can open it to put in a gift card and still have enough ribbon to easily re-tie it.

I decided plain was good, because this way it is not specific to any one holiday or occasion.

Now, let's talk about the packaging.

I put each folder into one of my clear bags I use for my cards. In the back (I'll spare you the photo, plus, I forgot to take one) is a picture of the tea bag and chocolate so people will hopefully figure out what is in them, but they'll ask me anyway. That is okay, because as a craft vendor, I am here to serve.

The scored Top Note Die shape became the topper (yes, this one is crooked). I decided to take a 1 1/4" punch and add a swatch of the base + paper colors so people rifling through my stuff at the shows can get a quick look at what's in each bag. Plus, I had no better idea how to do this times 55 that would work for every color.

On the back of the topper will (eventually) be a clear label describing what it is and what's in it, just in case anyone wants to read it. Or the sign. But they'll ask me anyway.

So I am packaging these two at a time so I can take the photos of each one. My big plans are to add some of them to my etsy store and take some to my holiday craft shows - kinda spread it around. Plus, I know I will never fit 55 of these into my car, so the ones I post to etsy can stay home.

And all along I'll bet you thought I had a plan or something. Sheesh. I had planned to do something else, but with 55 of these buggers taking up all available space, I have no choice but to finish the packaging this week and get them out of the way. THEN I can do my custom orders, hopefully by the end of the week.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

I thank you for stopping by!

What Is This? (The Reveal)

Yesterday I asked you what you thought this is/was:

Here is another shot of the same object:

Any ideas? No? Are you ready for the Reveal?

Ta da!!!!

It is a tree. This tree was parked next to my car (HA!) I parked next to this tree on Saturday at the market, and after I was done loading up the vehicle I noticed this tree. Funny what we see sometimes, or look right past.

So who thought it was a tree? Anyone? ... helloooooo ...... tap, tap...this thing on?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What Is This?

Welcome to my latest edition of What Is This? So, what do you think this could be:

Go get some caffeine, and get those brain cells moving on this fine Sunday morning! Let me know what you think this is!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Market Update (Mostly Wet)

Today started OUT okay. I saw this across the street when I went out this morning to load up the car.

Pretty, huh? Rain or shine, I was determined to go to the market this week, if only to take the ribbing about not going last week.

We had a little rain overnight, but nothing was falling from the sky when I arrived. So pretty! I love this time of year!

It stayed mostly windy, except for a bit of what I call 'spit', where it's just a fine mist falling. You know, just enough to coat everything in a spray and make your business cards curl. Fortunately I have my cards in plastic sleeves and boxes, and I just kept wiping them off all day long.

Then this happened:

We had a bit of real rain. Enough to collect in Farmer Mike's tent and splash off the ends, which caused no end of entertainment. We are so easily amused.

On to the veggies. I know you want to see them! :-)

Purple sweet potato. Not your regular purple potato, but a purple sweet potato. See:

I got a few since Farmer Mike told me they get twice as dark when they are cooked. I am looking forward to that!

The gaggle of geese. I love these guys! And yeah, yeah, yeah, I know - the sign says "Cooking Pumpkins". Those other things are the cooking pumpkins. And an amazingly large number of people still cook their own instead of buying the canned.

And our Shirt Du Jour. This guy came by as I was snapping pics of Mike's veggies (oh, that sounded bad), and I had to talk to him about it. He is a physicist, and took great pleasure in explaining the equation to me. I thought it was just E=MCsquared, but he proceeded to tell me otherwise. The equation within the brackets tends to be near 1 (or was it zero?). However, it is never exactly 1 (or zero). As mass increases, so does the amount of energy it takes to increase its velocity, so as Beta in the equation approaches 1, the divisor approaches zero, and we all know what happens when you divide by zero, right? He said "it explodes".

To translate for me, since I had not had my coffee yet, he said nothing but light can truly travel at the speed of light. It is a physical impossibility. We can approach it, but never actually achieve it. It's all about that mass & velocity & energy thing. I believed him.

Meanwhile, his wife was shaking her head at me. She said she lives with him and never asks him questions like that because he loves it so much he will talk and talk and talk about it. I guess it's different if you live with the guy than if you just happen upon him at a farmers market. So I's what I do.

I guess his dog has heard it all before, too.

Speaking of dogs, check out this one. What a big boy! Look at those feet! We asked him what it was, and he shook his head and asked us to let him know if we figure it out. Apparently not even their vet is sure. They think it's part Norwegian something (big). And naturally, the dog is a big sweetheart. The guy's wife said the dog does not know he is too big to be a lap dog.

More veggies. These are pretty pumpkins. I think. Or maybe squash. But since pumpkin is squash, either way I am right, right?

Eggplant. Numbers are dwindling. I took home a few of these to make eggplant fries, which several of my tweeple have made with much success. I think I'll bake mine instead of actually frying them.

Bell peppers, numbers also dwindling, but still soooo pretty.

Poblano peppers. Again, small quantity. I took home some of these, too. NOT to make poppers, but to actually stuff like peppers. I combined canned chicken (why I never bought that stuff before this year escapes me) + cream cheese + fajita seasoning. The stuffed peppers were then wrapped in - you guessed it - BACON. OMG, this house smells divine. However, my tummy is not too happy about what I just fed it, so I anticipate another round of nightmares and fitful sleep tonight. I'll never learn.

Kohlrabi. Big 'uns! This is a different variety than I bought from the other farmer two weeks ago, and these get BIG. I thought they were huge already, but two different farmers told me, "NOPE, those are SMALL for that variety." Oh, my goodness.

Basil. Unclaimed and unloved. But it smelled oh so good!

Really small squash. He said people just cut them up and put them in salads.

That's it for the market. I got home just in time for the skies to open up, so that was good timing. It rained and rained and rained some more. Ugh.

Then I STAMPED. I did! Lookie:

I broke out a new set of Unity stamps (the trees), and I used some of my winnings from a blog contest at Angela's (the round shiny things) to put in the circles on the trees. I stamped the center tree twice and cut one out so I could pop it up. (I have gone through some serious Dimensionals supplies here lately.) I stamped the little deer (from, then I drew the lines with a brown Memento marker for the 'hills'. I sponged blue for the sky and green for the grass. The yellow base and ribbon are Crushed Curry (SU).

That's it for this evening. I have one or two things waiting in the wings, including a What's This pic for tomorrow. So y'all come back, now, ya hear?

Thanks for stopping by!