Thursday, March 26, 2015

Random Acts of Kindness

I'll confess to being a little addlebrained lately.  I'm hoping it's just late tax season fatigue, and not early onset Alzheimer's!  

Today I attended an early afternoon staff meeting at East Campus Union -- a quiet retreat during Spring Break.  As I prepared to leave my day job to head to the tax office for back-to-back tax appointments, I realized I was missing my purse.  After a moment of sheer panic, I retraced my steps since returning from the meeting.  No luck.  I realized I must have left it hanging over the back of a chair at the Union.

First Random Act of Kindness

My boss, the Director of the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic, volunteered to drive over to the Union.
He's been working on a big project, and had a presentation to give this evening, but he took time out of his busy day to help me. 

I called the tax office to alert them I might be a few minutes late, and my coworker looked up numbers for East Campus Union, to alert them my boss was on his way.

Second Random Act of Kindness

When my boss arrived at the Union, he found the note shown above.  He went to the Bookstore and retrieved my purse.  He then sent a text, telling me to meet him by my car. He handed me my purse and the note--and I made it to the tax office three minutes before my first scheduled appointment.

Only after I returned home at 8:30 pm, did I look inside the purse to see if anything was missing.
EVERYTHING was there; an uncashed paycheck for freelance legal research and $23 in cash, my credit/debit cards and photo IDs!  God bless you, kind person!!!

If the person who wrote the note would have left contact information, I'd have been more than happy to pay a reward.  SO-- to my patient boss and to my unknown guardian angel --THANK YOU for these random acts of kindness!

I hope I have an opportunity to pay it forward soon.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Treasury Thanks

Happy Spring!

Each week I devote my Sunday post to extend a THANK YOU to the curators of Etsy treasuries who featured items from my Etsy shops, Aunt Pheba's Vintage or Pasque Flower Creations, over the past week.  Spring is in the air, and this week's treasuries mostly centered around Spring-y themes. Enjoy!

Phyllis from RosyDaysScarves featured my pink and red hearts baby bib in her treasury, Spring Pinks...  This pink crepe silk scarf is one of the gorgeous scarves you will find in Phyllis's shop.

Natasha of NatashaArtDolls featured my green chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Green Spring Ornaments .  I absolutely love this boho art doll from Natasha's shop!  It reminds me of my quilt teacher and local quilt shop owner, Roxann O'Hare of The Cosmic Cow. 

Linda Pruitt of PruittSupply created a sunny treasury, with hints of sunny yellow in every listing -- BBA Sunshine.  Linda is a teammate on the Blogging Business Artisans Team.  This yellow mix of handmade yo-yos is one of the unique sewing supplies you will find in Linda's shop.

Dana Facinelli Whalen of CreativeEarthJeweler featured my rainbow chevron key fobs in her treasury, No Grey Skies Here .  This tie dye agate necklace is one of the upscale boho jewelry pieces you will find in Dana's delightful shop.  And, of course, I LOVE the colors!!

Pauline Clarke of polsknitsnstuff featured my azalea oven mitt in her treasury, Thank You.  Wouldn't this pink knitted bunny toy be cute nestled in an Easter basket?

Duni of PeriDotByDuni featured my pastel pink floral oven mitt in her treasury, Shades of Pink
This cottage chic laundry bag is one of pretty pastel items you will find in Duni's shop.

Natasha of NatashaArtDolls featured my lavender floral oven mitt in her treasury, Fresh Finds .
I love this redheaded cloth doll - complete with freckles - from Natasha's shop.  It reminds me of my daughter, Allison, who has always hated her freckles.  Her grandma gave her a tiny wooden sign that said, "A face without freckles is like a sky without stars." 

Kelsey Wiley of WileyAtHeart featured my pink chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Shades of Pink .
This long turquoise necklace is one of my favorites from Kelsey's shop -- and I'm seeing a lot of aqua and turquoise lately.

Susan McAnany of McAnany featured my elephants on green baby bib in her treasury, Hilly Billy Goes Green for St. Patrick's Day .  This treasury was a TEMPT Team Motivation Challenge treasury.  (TEMPT stands for Terrific Etsy Members Practicing Teamwork.)  The Motivation challenge picks one item from a team member's shop, and invites team members to create a treasury incorporating that item.  This week, the challenge item was a wood carving by MADellingerCarving.

But I digress... The item I'm featuring from McAnany is this sunset glow landscape photo, which reminds me of the green, green grass of my girlhood home in Lake County, South Dakota.  I've driven and biked many dirt roads -- parallel ruts, my Uncle Bob called them.

Kim Cole of BeachDaisyJewelry featured my bears in the woods baby bib in her motivation treasury, Into the Woods.  I love the beachy colors in this beautiful necklace from Kim's shop. 

Natasha of NatashaArtDolls featured my yellow chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Spring Holidays.  It's Spring Break at UNL next week.  Yay!  Here's another adorable freckle-faced doll from Natasha's shop.  This one reminds me of Pippi Longstocking, one of Allison's favorite fictional characters as a child.

MaxUniquities featured my gray and tan industrial look pillow cover in his guy-friendly treasury, Mix by MAX Man Stuff - TEMPT Team Treasury .  Max repurposed an old treadle sewing machine base to create this unique and useful industrial table -- perfect for a craft room  Just sayin'. 

Sandy Rowley of MarketingShopSales featured one of my two beautiful coral and cream Acoma pueblo pottery pieces from Aunt Pheba's Vintage in her treasury, Pueblo Pottery.  This treasury was brimming with beautiful  pottery pieces, sure to provide a stunning accent piece to a Southwestern décor. 

Sandy has authored several e-books designed to help online sellers, which she markets as downloads in her shop.  This title caught my eye -- Ninja Etsy Marketing.  Couldn't we all use a little help with SEO (search engine optimization)?

Laura DeCamp of DeCampStudios featured my lavender floral oven mitt in her treasury, Beautiful Etsy Gifts.  Mother's Day and bridal showers are coming up!  Laura specializes in paper wall art. I love this adorable, colorful jungle print wall border - perfect for a nursery or child's room.

Liz of LittleEmptyNest featured my brown chevron oven mitt in her motivation treasury, A Day with Bubba -- By Land and Sea!  Liz has recently added several beautifully-crafted 1/12 miniature doll quilts, pillows and afghans to her shop.  (Those are some teeny tiny quilt blocks!!)  This is one of my favorites. 

Valerie of NandysNook featured my lavender floral oven mitt in her treasury, Spring Frolic!  These crochet mini gift baskets would be perfect for Easter or May Day -- or for party favors. 

Raena of LovelyKnotsBoutique featured my red floral oven mitt in her treasury, Red by Tempt.  I just couldn't resist sharing these adorable crochet bunnies!   

Kathy Read of DixieVintageShoppe also featured my lavender floral oven mitt in her treasury, Inspired by Nature .  Kathy has some truly unique vintage jewelry pieces in her shop, including these white enamel teardrop clip earrings

Cassie of CassieVision featured my diner oven mitt in her trip down historic Route 66.  Cassie's shop is a mix of unique jewelry, her mother's intricate beadwork, and stunning photography.  Today, I chose to feature this Pacific Northwest stream photo.  As some of you know, I would love to retire to a tiny house by a babbling brook -- but hopefully in the Northeast, closer to some of my kids and grandkids.  There's something so soothing about the sound of a water dancing over rocks.

Kellee and Dorian Thomas of MoreTheBuckles featured my tigers on purple baby bib in their treasury, All About Spring.  This vintage men's leather money belt would be a great gift for a dad or grad. 

Warm up your coffee or tea --- there's MORE!

Patsy Bechtold of PatsysPressedFlowers also featured my tigers on purple baby bib in her treasury, Grab Your Joe and Let's Go TEMPT Team! This lovely pressed flowers forget-me-not bookmark would be a lovely gift, sure to become a keepsake.  (And I love her listing photo.)

Mike Kraus of MikeKrausArt featured my daisies on blue oven mitt in his treasury, Saturday Salute.  This lavender farm in Provence artist's trading card would add a tiny bit of color to a workspace.  I can almost smell the lavender!  I plan to make some lavender sachets for next craft fair season.

Kellee and Dorian Thomas of MoreTheBuckles featured my pink roses oven mitt in their treasury, Blast Off Thank You.   If you love vintage, you MUST browse this shop!  Here is a lovely carnival glass serving dish.  My Grandma Larson would have loved this!  It "matches" her pink carnation china. 

Rossiter Lisa of PNLJewelryDesigns featured my spit happens bib in her treasury, Today's Picks .
Lisa has this 5-pack crystal earrings set on sale.  It's not too early to start stocking up on stocking stuffers!  I started my 2016 gift list yesterday, when I purchased a book for my SIL. 

Barbara Gross of benjaminajewelry featured my pink and red folk art baby bib in her treasury, The Child in All of Us.  This is a BEAUTIFUL treasury in reds and pinks.  Barbara crafts original contemporary jewelry.  I just love these colorful long leaf aluminum dangle earrings!!

Kathy and Wayne of Rocks2Gems2Wire featured my baby elephants on green bib in their blue and green themed treasury, Bluegrass! TEMPTing Music for the Soul!  This unique wire-wrapped petrified wood necklace is one of the lovely pieces you will find in their shop. 

And last, but certainly not least, Rossiter Lisa of PNLJewelryDesigns featured my spit happens bib in her treasury, TEMPT Team Treasury.  I love the simple elegance of this opal pendant.  Is it modern, or is it art deco?  No matter.  It's beautiful!  (Lovely photo staging, too.)

So there you have it!  Another week of wonderful treasuries.  Team spirit is alive and well. 

Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Book of the Month - March 2015: The Invention of Wings

I made a promise to myself (aka New Year's Resolution) to read at least one good book each month and blog about it.

This month, I chose The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.  I'd loved this author's first best-selling novel, The Secret Life of Bees, and I generally enjoy Oprah's book choices, so when I saw a large print edition at the library, I decided to make it my book of the month for March 2015.

The book is one of those rare reads that will leave a haunting, lasting impression -- like Gone With the Wind or Dr. Zhivago or The Thorn Birds, to name a few.

The book is historical fiction, based on the story of two real-life abolitionists and suffragettes, Sarah and Angelina Grimke.   According to historical accounts, Sarah was given a 10-year-old slave girl, Hetty aka Handful, as a present for her 11th birthday.  The two became friends, and Sarah taught Hetty to read.  The real Hetty was punished so severely, she died shortly after her beating.  But in the fictionalized account, Hetty/Handful lives another 35 years. 

The book is written in sections -- slices of time between 1803 and 1838, and it is set mostly in Charleston, South Carolina.  First person narratives alternate between Sarah and Handful.   Although their lives appear on the surface to be vastly different, the author manages to find striking parallels as she weaves common threads through the tapestry of the book.   Both were enslaved in some way by societal restrictions.  Both suffered abuse.  Handful and her mother, a gifted seamstress slave named Charlotte, were physically and verbally abused. Sarah suffered emotional abuse which caused the eloquent abolitionist to stutter as a child. 

As a sewist, I was intrigued by the vivid descriptions of the clothes and household linens hand sewn by Charlotte, and later Handful, and by the story quilt constructed by Charlotte, which combined African legends and her real life events.  Little black triangles sewn on Charlotte's and Handful's quilts symbolized the urge to fly away.

Both Sarah and Handful are on a lifelong quest for freedom and equality.  Both find their voices, and their metaphorical wings, but they put themselves in great danger to do so.

I found this to be a captivating read, and I would highly recommend it.

The Invention of Wings
Sue Monk Kidd
Viking (2014)
ISBN-10:  0670024783
ISBN-13:  978-0670029780


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Green, Green, It's Green They Say

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


It's Shameless Commerce Tuesday, so I've decided to showcase some GREEN items from my Etsy shop, Pasque Flower Creations.   I currently have 24 key fobs listed in my shop, and I'll be making more before craft fair season next Fall.  Key fobs are handy little inexpensive gifts.  Here are two of my favorite green ones:


It's time to start filling out my early bird registration form for the Silver Hawk Fine Arts and Craft Show next October.  Last year was my first time vending at this show.  It was a very good experience, AND I got to meet my Etsy teammate Edi and her mom in person!! 
The show is a fundraiser for Lincoln Southwest High School Theatre, and SWHS's school colors are green, black and white:

School colors key fobs are fun little teacher gifts, graduation gifts, or gifts for young teens ready to make the big leap into high school -- or getting their first driver's license. 

T minus 29 days until the end of tax season ... and counting!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Treasury Thanks

Each week I devote my Sunday post to extending a big THANK YOU to the curators of Etsy treasuries who've featured items from my Etsy shops, Pasque Flower Creations and Aunt Pheba's Vintage, over the past week.  This week's treasuries trended toward Spring-y themes.  In my part of the Midwest, Spring has sprung!!

Marcia from ImagineThatBaby featured my green roses baby bib in her treasury, Etsy Finds 2015 - Spring Green and Yellow .  These adorable crochet baby booties in soft yellow would be perfect for Baby's first Easter.

Katie R of TweetandHootPaper featured one of the beautifully-crafted coral and cream Acoma pottery pieces from my vintage shop, Aunt Pheba's Vintage, in her treasury, Coral and Cream.  Several of the guys in our family (big and small) have Spring birthdays, and this whimsical mustache birthday card from Katie's shop made me smile.

Sheena Ingram of GoldiesNaturalGems featured my tomatoes and herbs oven mitt in her treasury, Farm Living Is the Life for Me -- A TEMPT Team Treasury

Sheena crafts incredible jewelry pieces.  This chrysoprase coco necklace is one of my favorites.

Susan McAnany of McAnany featured my green golf carts key fob in her treasury, Small Green Wonders .  Her kitchen wall art - peppers would add a splash of color to a kitchen.

Rose of RandomCreative featured my gray and yellow baby girl bib in her treasury, Early Spring , where she artfully captured the Nature's seasonal combination of neutrals and soft pastels.  This beaded bracelet in Spring green showcases the vibrant greens of mid-Spring.

If you are in awe of Rose's incredible product photography, as I am, you may want to check out her PDF e-book, Jewelry and Other Small Table Top Object Photography: Tips, Tricks and Advice to Help You Take Stellar Product Photos.

Liz from TheLittleEmptyNest featured one of my prairie sunbonnets in her treasury, Country Love.
This lovely blue and brown necklace is one of my many favorites from Liz's shop.

Lauren Yoder of MyPrettyPaper featured my green and white chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Spring's Best TEMPTing Finds.   I love this exuberant Yay! birthday card from Lauren's shop.

Cassie of CassieVision featured my aqua chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Aqua Mist.  This turquoise and aventurine ankle bracelet would be perfect for barefoot days on the beach.

Iryna Klimove of mymomsshop1 featured my little lambs baby bib in her treasury, New of Color.  This gorgeous and feminine knitted pink shawl is one of the beautifully made accessories you will find in Iryna's shop.

Valerie of NandysNook featured my Nature pillow cover in her treasury, Tempting Home Decor by TEMPT Team .  These adorable crochet mini baskets are so perfect for Easter treats--or May baskets.

Liubov of PhotoMood created a beautiful treasury in shades of purple and blue, Wondering-9 , and she included my lavender and blue baking motif oven mitt.  This incredible photo wall art perfectly captures my tax season escapist fantasy!

And last, but not least, Kathy Read of DixieVintageShop included my brown textured pillow cover in her treasury, Motivation.  I know some pink lovers who might love to sport these vintage Avon pink earrings.

And there you have it!  Another great week for treasuries.  Thanks, again to all the Etsy curators who, in the spirit of mutual cooperation, help promote the items of other Sellers.

Although I have the urge to go outside and play, duty calls.  I have four tax appointments this afternoon.  Last Thursday, one of my coworkers suggested our staff meeting be held outside -- and my boss not only agreed -- he suggested we "talk as we walk" to the UNL Dairy Store.  We held our meeting at their outside café jotting notes between bites of rich, creamy ice cream!  What a nice treat!

There are only 31 days until the end of tax season . . . and counting!  And we have plane tickets to fly to AZ the end of May to visit the three grandsons there.  So, in the not too distant future I WILL have a chance to play outside.


Monday, March 9, 2015

From Bump to Baby - Big Win!

No – there are no storks circling over the homes of my kids (that I’m aware of).   I just had to share my BIG WIN in the Bump to Baby Blog Hop!

The hop promoted From Bump to Baby, a delightfully whimsical and colorful fabric line from Moda Fabrics, designed by Gina Martin.   And here is a snapshot of the fabrics included, from an Etsy listing for a charm pack (5” squares of fabric) posted by BresQuilts. 

From Bump to Baby Charm Squares from BresQuilts on ETSY
Here is a photo of the fat eighths bundle I received in the mail!  A fat eighth is a 9” x 22” piece of fabric.
So much colorful cuteness -- and tied with a bow!!

From Bump to Baby Fabric designed by Gina Martin for MODA Fabrics

Since it’s Shameless Commerce Tuesday, I must tell you that I plan to make some pretty new baby bibs and maybe some coordinating burp cloths to list in my Etsy shop, Pasque Flower Creations, soon-ish.  (Nothing happens quickly during tax season.  But the end is in sight: T minus 36 days and counting!!)
Here's a fabric combo that I plan to use for a future listing:

And with new babies come grannies who love to rock babies in rocking chairs!  Here is my newest listing from my vintage shop, Aunt Pheba's Vintage.  It's a 5.5-inch vintage rocking chair pincushion made of a very early molded plastic called Bakelite.  Items made of Bakelite have become collectibles.

I re-covered the original cushion with reproduction fabrics.  There's a little recessed well under the cushion, just the right size for a spool of thread and a thimble.
Isn't that cute?