09 December 2008

Deluxe, a recap

This last weekend, I had my big craft show of the season. Its name is Deluxe, and this was its first year. The organizers did a fabulous job of well, organizing and promoting. Crowds were steady, as were my sales (yay!). Selling things always makes for an enjoyable craft fair, but beyond that, it was just plain fun to be in a room with 40 other people who do what I do.

Photos of my booth:

Norman was nice enough to be my brute labor and booth-sitter all day. And he did a bunch of homework.

Me (and Bun)! The Knitting Cowboy is the guy sitting behind me. Also, fun tidbit -- behind me, behind the Cowboy, across the aisle is where the roller derby girls were wrapping presents for donations! We're an eclectic bunch, apparently.

I was privileged to sit across from the girl who won the booth decor contest. She is totally cute. Check out her shop and her blog. I also sat behind the "Knitting Cowboy", as he's come to be known among the Disciples of Etsy. Nice guy. He raises his own sheep, and then spins and dyes their wool. Talk about DIY!

So, all in all, a great Saturday. Those of you who failed to show up for whatever reason totally missed out. Not to fear, though! The organizers are already whispering about a Spring Deluxe! (Which I will most likely not be vending at -- Bun is due to escape in the spring.) But you should go anyway!

04 December 2008

The Giving of the Thanks

This year for Thanksgiving we went up to Minnesota to visit the 'rents and the brothers and the future sister-in-law and the nephew. (Whew!)

So, as we all know, I blog better in pictures, so here we go:

Norman at a Steak n Shake in Kansas. Oh. my. gosh. I had been looking forward to eating there for at least a month. Sooo good. Hamburger (with the crispy edges!), cheese fries, and a (small) chocolate malt. Yum.

Also, gotta jump in here and tell you about the thing I should have taken a photo of, but didn't. FAIL.
We stopped in Emporia, KS, in order to buy Braum's eggnog to take with us. And we got a little lost (Google maps FAIL), and ended up wandering through town (it's pretty cute, actually). On our way through town I saw a Wendy's sign. The moveable letters said "Closed for Remodel". And I looked over at where the Wendy's building should have been, and there was nothing. Nothing but a plot of dirt. I laughed and laughed. Remodel indeed.

The fam around the table. All the best, traditional Mindeman foods. Sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, sticky rolls, and cherry jello (but in tiny fancy glasses! with Cool Whip!).

My mom and my nephew Connor. (I started calling her Grandma by the end of the week. Weird.)

This, believe it or not, is the best of the SIX photos I took of the two of them. Dad kept making faces.

This is my parents' Christmas tree this year. It's like they just... gave up. It's precisely as depressing as it was on Charlie Brown.

Norman, Mom, Henry, and I went thrift storing in Mankato on Saturday. Henry found this elf/gnome, and he and Norman decided to takes menacing photos of him. Then Henry bought him, named him "Green Man", and took him home.

This was the view outside our bedroom window the morning we left to go home. Norman said he would have been disappointed if there was no snow. So, Norman, this snow's for you.

And this is the pile of things I had to ship out when we got back. Going out of town for 5 days around the busiest shopping day of the year -- not the best idea ever.

24 November 2008

"Virtual Trunk Show" ...Huh?

What the heck is a virtual trunk show? Well, it's actually quite exciting and high-tech. A regular old trunk show is where a seller, or two, or five, or ten, get together at a physical location and show off their wares. Sometimes there's wine and cheese or what have you. Usually there's a sale. It's kind of like an open house, but it's usually at a storefront, and it's usually more than one person.

A virtual trunk show is where a bunch of sellers get together at a specific place on the internet to show off their wares. Which is exactly what the Etsy Trashion Team is doing this Friday. Yep, Friday. Black Friday. Although we prefer to call it Green Friday. Save your gasoline, stay home, and buy from Etsy Trashion sellers. We make stuff out of reused materials! Yay! That makes them super green and super one-of-a-kind. Double win!

You can just hop on over to the Etsy Virtual Labs on Friday at 7pm (Eastern), and you'll see the announcement for the Trashion Trunk Show. Just click on in, hang out, here us give our spiels, and take advantage of our sales! Oh, and did I mention there will be door prizes? Yep, prizes. Plural. Woot!

17 November 2008

Where I Am

I'm thinking a few dollars spent on size 16 thrift store pants sounds like the wisest path. Maybe I should go do that right now.

15 November 2008

Spiced Apple Cider recipe

The open house was on Thursday evening. It was fun! I was glad to accomplish my goal, as described previously, to share what I do with people I care about.

Unfortunately, in my frazzled attempt to set up everything and be outgoing, I completely forgot to take photos. Oops. So instead of photos, you get the recipe for the spiced cider I served. This is an oldie but a goody from my grandmother.

Hot spiced cider

You need a coffee pot. A big one. (I got my older one for $2 at a thrift store. You don't have to pay an arm and a leg.) Into it you will pour 1 1/2 gallons of apple cider (which you can find at any grocery store in the fall -- NOT apple juice). Into the basket of your giant coffee pot, you will place the following:

2 teaspoons whole cloves
2 teaspoons whole allspice
2-3 sticks cinnamon
1 unpeeled lemon, sliced thin
1/2 cup sugar

You will then plug in the giant coffee pot and let it do its percolating thing. Then you drink it (after you blow on it a little).


11 November 2008

The Open House Cometh

Weeeee! My 2nd Annual Holiday Open House is this Thursday evening, and I'm so excited. Last year we had a fabulous time -- I got to show off my crafts to my friends and family, and people shopped, and ate cookies and snacks, and chatted. It's the best party I throw all year. (That's not saying too much, but hey...)

This year will be even better -- I've invited the gals of the Oklahoma Etsy Street Team, along with the usual church friends contingent. In addition to tasty cookies, candy, and spiced apple cider (recipe coming soon!), there will be a door prize! That's at least 4 separate completely free things, and all you have to do is show up.

While this is a business venture for me, I think most of my excitement comes from letting the people I care about see what I do with my time. I don't have much in the way of a title that I can give people when they ask what I do. "Well, let's see... I'm out of school, and I don't have a job. I take care of my house, I cook, and I make crafts and sell them on the internet." The closest I've ever gotten to a decent title is "craftswoman/homemaker/entrepreneur", but that's just cumbersome. Although I love that this is what I do with my time, it never sounds very impressive when I explain it. So I'm excited to show people just exactly what I mean by "I make crafts."

If you're in the area, and you're interested in attending, e-mail me! I'll send you the address and more information.

Oh, and here's a preview of some of the goodies you'll find at the open house:


Christmas cards

Zipper pouch

08 November 2008

New Different Stockings

I forgot to mention one other thing I did during my morning sickness -- I spent a lot of time on eBay. Not just looking around, but actually buying things. Zippers, board game boards, a "prize" for Norman. Also, cutter quilts! The first result of which can be seen at the aforementioned five-paragraph essay.

Here is the second result:

This particular stocking is actually from a quilt my grandmother gave me (don't worry, it's not from "in the family"):

Available now in the Etsy shop, or in person at my holiday open house! That's this coming Thursday, so if you live in the area and didn't get invited, get in touch with me.

05 November 2008

Featured on the Storque!

Hey! One of my babies has been featured in an article on the Storque (Etsy's blog). Ironically, it's an article about gifts for NPR lovers. (The irony there is that I do not love NPR.)

Here's the article.

Here's what was featured:

03 November 2008

Homemade shipping envelopes

Being, as I am, an online retailer, I do a lot of shipping. And darned if shipping envelopes don't get expensive after a while! I reuse envelopes when I can, but I (thankfully) don't receive enough things through the mail to ship everything I sell with reused envelopes.

So I started making envelopes out of grocery sacks. (The genesis of that idea courtesy of the Etsy Labs.) I chop up the sacks and sew them (yes, on the sewing machine) into envelopes. And I still do that when I need larger envelopes.

But most of my items with fit into these new envelopes I'm making. Turns out some old books have really thick pages. Books like children's dictionaries and encyclopedias, or binders of "Wood Structural Design Data" from the OU libraries book sale.

I just pull two pages out of the book, chop one a little shorter than the other (to make a flap), and sew them together with a long zigzag stitch. Not hard, just a little time-consuming, and they are so. cute. The ladies at the post office always rave about them.

So you want some of these envelopes, but you don't have any old books, can't stand to chop up old books, or are just short on time? Well, lucky you -- I made a bunch of extras and I'm selling them! Hooray!

01 November 2008

Library Book Sale Bag Sale

So I told you all about the Library Book Sale. And I warned you that the all-you-can-fit-in-a-grocery-sack-for-$3 sale was Monday afternoon. Well, I went, I carried too much, I got a sore back, but I ultimately survived with a lovely haul.

A typing book, a pile of Gregg Shorthand books (They are my weakness. I see one, and I have to buy it. I could start a Gregg Shorthand library.), some note cards, and two film reels. I dunno. They were there. Anyone want some film reel?

Maps, children's books, and children's encyclopedias. The encyclopedias have thick pages, and are therefore perfect for making shipping envelopes. (On a side note, I still sing that song to myself when I'm trying to spell "encyclopedia".)

Atlases, sheet music, road sign stickers, more kids' books for chopping up, and 3 kids' books NOT for chopping up -- "I Hate English", "The Pigeon Has Feelings, Too!", and "The Pigeon Loves Things That Go!"

And yes, that was all to be had for $3 (OK, that's not actually true -- the Oklahoma book cost an extra dollar). And all well worth it. I have so much consumer surplus, I don't even know what to do with myself!

29 October 2008

Fabulous New Christmas Cards

It's late October. Ya know what that means -- time to start thinking about Christmas cards! I realize you might be in denial about this fact, but it's true.

In fact, I've been thinking about Christmas cards since mid September. But that's because I get to make them for you!

Here's a whole new batch of cards similar to some I made last year:

And here, for the first time in the blogosphere, are the new Christmas cards!

These are called "My Favorite Things", just like the song from The Sound of Music. They're all very 3D and adorable. These are limited edition, which in this case means I made 15 sets of these beauties and I'm not making any more. Ever. So if you fancy them, you'd best get on it!

Also, I realize that these cards are not strictly Christmas-y, but I think that's part of the appeal!

What are some of your favorite things? :-)

Mine = funky-colored corduroy, my copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, baked goods with pumpkin in them (Not quite as poetic as Maria's...)

25 October 2008


A little background: I was raised to hate cats. Cats are horrible, diseased, sneaky, evil creatures. They don't need you, they do their own things, and they'll give you ringworm. Cats bad. Dogs awesome.

Now, while I still agree that cats are sneaky, I'm not so sure about the other things. Dogs are great -- they're kind of like young men in love. Completely goofy and willing to do anything you ask of them. Cats are more like girls -- they'll never just come out and say anything, and you kind of have to chase them if you want them. I think there's room for both animals in this crazy world of ours.

That said, cats are still sneaky, so the only kind of cat I could ever see myself owning is a black one. Because then they're not pretending.

That brings us to this little guy.

This is not my cat. He belongs to the neighbor across the backyard from us. Sadly, this is the same idiot neighbor who couldn't figure out how to take the dying battery out of his smoke detector, so he just took it off his wall and put it outside his back door. In the fall -- during window-opening season.






So the cat is his, but most of the time he lets the cat loose in the backyard, and for some strange reason, the cat likes to come visit us. (And by "strange" I mean, we give him milk and play with him and pet him.)

He's been the highlight of my days for the last week. And he's growing so fast! So I took some photos.

And this is just a cat! Who isn't mine! You might want to run before the actual baby gets here...

24 October 2008

Library Book Sale

Every year the Norman Public Library has a huge, fabulous used book sale. It benefits the "Friends of the Library", a member group that supports and raises money for the library. Members get to shop on Friday night, the public gets to shop starting on Saturday morning, and the everything-you-can-fit-in-a-giant-grocery-sack-for-$3 sale starts Monday afternoon.

BUT -- little-known fact -- if you volunteer to help set up the sale, you get to shop on Thursday night! I learned about this several years ago, and for the past two years have been putting it into practice. I mean, not that I don't want to help them out -- I've been attending the sale since my freshman year -- but the early shopping time makes it that much sweeter!

So last night Norman and I ate an early dinner in order to get to the library right at 6. List in hand, we scoured the children's books and the videos, looking to fill those gaps in our collections. Here's what we came up with:

First priority for me: Lemony Snicket books. I found 4 of the 5 I didn't have.

First priority for Norman: children's movies, then adults'. Note the absolute score that is Pride and Prejudice for $5. Also, Jeeves and Wooster!

Assorted children's books, more Isaac Asimov short stories (can never have too many), plus a super-secret, fabulously-appropriate Christmas present (not pictured).

I plan to go back for the bag sale on Monday, but I'm still looking for someone to go with me. Anyone want to help a pregnant lady out?

20 October 2008

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny...

Mini journals! They're very tiny.

These are 2 1/2" x 3 1/2".

And these are 3" x 3".

Aren't they adorable? (One is here; more to follow.)

P.S. - Anyone besides my mother who understands the "adorable" reference gets 10 cool points. Post a comment to claim.

17 October 2008

What I Did During My Morning Sickness

by Jessie Maynard

Morning sickness is not any fun. And it is not only in the morning it is also at night and in the afternoon. It is all day long. During my morning sickness I did three things.

First I laid on the couch. My couch is very comfortable and the pillows are squished just right. I laid on the couch in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night. Then I went to bed.

Secondly I watched TV. First there is "Today", then there is "The Price is Right". After that Rachael Ray comes on, and then the noon news. Then there was "Law and Order: CI" but it got replaced with Bonnie Hunt and now I am sad. Then there is nothing on and I take a nap. Then there is "Jeopardy!" (The exclamation mark is part of the name.) Then there is more news. I wish I had cable.

Thirdly, and most importantly, I made lavender heart sachets. I have attached a picture at the end of this essay. I could sit and trace and cut and stitch and fill without getting up off the couch. That was the most fun thing I did during my morning sickness.

In conclusion, morning sickness is not fun. I laid on the couch, watched the TV, and made sachets. That part was fun.

The End

15 October 2008

My Mike Hat

Today is October 15, 2008. And it's finally cold. Mmmm... Cold weather is my favorite. A friend offered to bring me food for dinner, but I told her that I wanted to go out so I could get all bundled up. She thought that was weird.

I made this hat going on 3 years ago. Even though I don't like knitting, I really wanted a hat just like this, so I suffered through it and got it done.

The hat makes me so happy. Today I got it out of its drawer, put it on my head, and sighed. My head just feels better when the hat is on it. Perfect.

And now, some history.

Mike Hat Retrospective:

Engagement -- Dec 15, 2005

Christmas in Minnesota -- 2005

Pizza -- March 12, 2006

Silly married people -- Jan 21, 2008