Monday, June 22, 2009

Military Musings

Once a military wife, always a military wife! And as a (retired) military wife I enjoyed reading the musings of Amanda, author and owner of the blog: Confessions from Household6. As soon as I read her subtitle, "life from my quarters to yours" I felt a connection. (For those of you that aren't military, our "quarters" are our homes especially when living on base in military housing.)

I don't know Amanda personally, but many of her stories made me smile as I reminisced about the good ole days when our kids were still living at home, and our life was full of moves, TDY's (involuntary separations due to Temporary Duty assignments), and ways to have fun without spending much money like BYO (Bring Your Own) meat BBQ's and neighborhood street parties.

Even though, because of PCS' (Permanent Change of Station), friends came and went as if through a revolving door, the friendships we made with other military families have lasted through the years and long absences just make the cherished reconnections by phone, email, facebook, and real life visits all the more precious.

If you'd like a glimpse into military family life that's told with a sense of humor, and yet smacks of a reality show, you might want to grab a cup of tea, stop by her blog, and settle down for a good read. But if you only have time for a quicky, I suggest her one (1) paragraph story entitled "Busted". Amada is a creative and disciplined blogger who takes her digital scrapbooking seriously and posts a new article virtually everyday.

Families of our military also deserve our thanks and our support. You can give her a boost, by leaving a comment under one of her blog posts. As a fellow blogger, I can tell you that it's always nice to know that someone read what you spent time writing. And, if Amanda ever turns her musings into a book, you can say you were reading her stories even before she became famous.

And speaking of supporting the families of our military... The next time you are in need of a present for a special occassion consider buying something handmade from a Homefront Artist. Homefront is a support community for the artistically talented military spouses of active duty, reservist, or retired United States Service members who are selling their artwork on Etsy, Artfire, or 1000 Markets.

I'm a member of the Etsy Homefront Street Team and our motto is: "We keep the homefires burning for our uniformed service members worldwide." To learn more about this group of artists, visit their blog by clicking here.

When you make a purchase from a member of Homefront, you are supporting a military spouse. Most Homefront Etsy artists have tagged their items with the words "Homefront Team" in order to facilitate a search for their items. However, the quickest and easiest way is to just click on one of the buttons below.

To Shop for Homefront Artists on

To Shop for Homefront Artists on

To Shop for Homefront Artists on 1000

And, if you know of another Homefront group, please leave their link in the comments below.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Extraordinary Work Space

While out cruising the web this Sunday afternoon, I saw something that made me stop and take a second look. A couple of weeks back, Kim, of The Polka Dot Press, gave us an inside glimpse of her workspace and cited the source of her inspiration as the magazine "Where Women Create."

I'm not usually the jealous type, but seeing her space made me think about revamping my own. I could take my ordinary space--a studio with a cement floor like a basement or garage and lots of shelving and flat counter tops made of plywood--and turn it into something extra ordinary.

July sounds like a good month for that type of project. Maybe I'll take some before and after pictures to share. Maybe I should get a copy of that magazine and read it first. Or at least I should dream about it for a few days... I sure would like to work in an environment that was comfortable, esthetically pleasing, and inspiring rather than just utilitarian or functional. Thinking cap on...

How about you? Any ideas??? Don't hold back. I may just incorporate your suggestions into my revamped space. So open up a comment box and tell us about the best feature in your workspace? Is there anything about your space that motivates or stimulates your creative process? Do you have a unique organizational system for storing your supplies or finished pieces?

Petty Cash Box photo courtesy of TippleandSnack of Etsy

Felted Pencil Cup photo courtesy of CozyCottageCreations of Etsy

Monday, June 15, 2009

Writing for

I highly recommend as a great resource for both buyers and sellers in the world of handmade. It's a comprehensive site, with a dynamic staff of columnists and editors writing for 14 sections or departments including:

Main Feature
Craft Techniques
Guild & Teams
Just for Fun
Craft Trends
Business Tips
Green Wise
Featured Artisan
Item of the Day
Crafty Kids
Front Page
Most Popular

This site was launched on June 8th and is quickly growing in popularity. Some of the articles I've found most interesting include:

Create Your Own Seed Paper
An article about making seed paper that you can write a note on and
then the recipient can plant it rather that put it in the trash

Vetrazzo-The Ultimate Example of Trash to Treasure
An article about a company who makes gorgeous counter tops out of recycled glass
that competing as an elegant alternative to more expensive granite

Snow Globes For Any Occasion
These would be a great craft project for kids--even teens, a fabulous table decoration for a fundraiser or as a wedding favor or a get well present for someone stuck in bed.

Sock Coffee Cozy: A Craft Supply Challenge Project
You don't even have to be crafty to do this project. All you need are a stash of lonely socks who lost their partner to the hungry monster in the washing machine or dryer.

Recrafting Yourself in the Second Half of Life

Some of you may not be there, but at 50+ and in the second half of my life, all I can say is, "Amen!"

That's a sampling just to whet your appetite. New articles are published every day in each department. Now that I'm a columnist in the Guild & Teams department, I don't have as much time for perusing. So, why don't you go to and read an article for me. If you really like it, use the comments below to recommend it to the rest of us.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Nature's Best and Giveaway #5

I'm intrigued by the NaturalKids team on Etsy. They have their own blog and their own store front where you can shop by category. But I had never heard of them until I read about their giveaway on a blog called Woolies-Woolies. The specific prize was not announced, but browsing through their items, I'd be happy to win anything.

To enter, all you need to do is visit two of their members' etsy store and pick a favorite item from each and mention them in a comment at the end of the Natural Kids Giveaway #5 article. Hope you have as much fun as I did.

One of their members named Sara is the author of Woolies-Woolies. She is an artist and avid knitter who has two shops on Etsy: Woolies & Buster and Boo. She creates knitted shawls, baby items, stuffed animals, as well as jewelry and accessories.

Here is one piece from each or her shops to whet your appetite. (Click on the image for more details.)

Diamonds for Your Shoulders

Photo courtesy of Woolies

Vintage Typewriter Key Necklace, the letter H

Photo courtesy of Buster and Boo


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Is Life Art?

I have no clue which Ernst Fisher gave us this art quote of the day, but his words could have been my words:

“I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.”--Ernst Fischer

I believe there is an art to enjoying life. No one ever gets to live a fairytale life, for each of our lives is full of “curve balls” and every once in a while we are dealt a bad hand. I’ve come to realize that the secret to life is not in getting the right cards, or even the best cards, but it’s in how we play our hand.

A good poker player can beat three of a kind with a pair of deuces. I saw that happen once. And, I’ve heard a friend who lost their job tell me that he and his wife decided to take an evening stroll instead of their usual Friday night dinner at a fancy restaurant, and ended up having a wonderful time. They took lemons and artfully made lemonade.

Life is art, when we enjoy the people we love and the beauty that surrounds us. My life is living art when I take the time to sit with my husband at the edge of a lake, and we open our senses to the natural beauty that is before us just waiting to be noticed.

As we sit there, we soak in the beautiful changing colors of the sunset. The dazzling diamond like sparkles of light bouncing on the rippling water mesmerizes us. We are lulled into a relaxed peacefulness by the soft lapping sound of baby waves. A hint of pine from the forest just behind us fills our nostrils as we breathe in slowly and purposefully. We are caressed by the feathery touch of the gentle breeze. Two birds frolicking in the air just above our heads provide entertainment, and we giggle over the frog that has perched himself on a nearby log and watches us with curiosity. We share the secrets from our day intermittently with moments of intimate silence. We experience life as a taste of heaven and life becomes art.

Unfortunately we can’t stay at the edge of the lake forever. But we can continue to live our life in an artful way. A good artist uses their medium to create a piece of art that stirs our souls into seeing something in a new and appealing way. We become the artist of our lives when we not only look for beauty in every person and situation but when we open ourselves to really take in that beauty and experience it in a new way.

Please leave a comment about a time when you experienced life as art…