Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cool Moms

It's Shameless Commerce Tuesday and today I am SO EXCITED to announce that my yellow chevron oven mitt was featured in the Cool Mom Picks Mother's Day Gift Guide.  The founders of Cool Mom Picks hunt for cool finds and them share them with a huge group of followers.  Their motto:  We find it.  You flaunt it.   And let me tell you, these young gals get around!  They've even been on The Today Show and Martha Stewart.  And they have a staff -- editors, even!

As of Monday night, April 29, 2013, that Mother's Day Gift Guide had 29,500 Facebook Shares, 3.2K Facebook Likes, and 4639 Tweets.  That's a lot of free exposure!  Granted, you have to scroll down quite  ways to find my little oven mitt -- but it is there!!  It hasn't increased traffic to my Etsy shop nearly as much as my Etsy front page feature, but I am SO grateful to have been included!

So, to celebrate, I'm offering a COOLMOM15 coupon code from now until May 15, 2013, good for 15% off any purchase (not limited to oven mitts) from my Etsy shop, Pasque Flower Creations.

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Treasury Thanks

Spring has finally sprung, I think! There were certainly many Spring and Mother's Day-themed treasuries this week. I want to extend a huge THANK YOU to the curators who featured items from my Etsy shop, Pasque Flower Creations over the past week.

A brand new Etsy shop based in Portland, Oregaon, theFloria, featured my gray chevron oven mitt in a Mother's Day Gift Ideas treasury.   This hex nut blue leather bracelet would be a perfect gift for the young at heart mom or a favorite teen or graduate.

Abigail Jayne of AbigailJayneArt  (Linda Pruitt’s alter ego) featured my grunge pillow in her BBA Treasury, Mom's Day Ideas.  I love the color purple, so I just had to share this beautiful embellished plum pendant:

Ayla from Eyelah featured my large shoulder bag in her pretty treasury, Peach Pink.  This pretty pink lace zipper pouch would be a perfect Mother's Day gift -- or bridesmaid clutch!  

Sarah Beth of Magnolia Surprise also featured my large shoulder bag in her treasury, Flowers and Butterflies for Mom,  This cute, cute strawberry pin cushion  would be a wonderful gift for a mom or grandma who sews.

Anne from FreeRangeCowgirl featured my prairie sunbonnet in her treasury, Prairie Blue Bird.   You'll find some truly unique items in Anne's shop, like this French cowboy book -- Who knew?

Patty Harrington from Fern Hollow Finds, a Baby Boomer teammate, featured my rainbow chevron oven mitt in her treasury, April Showers Bring Spring Flowers.  Check out this pretty yoga mat bag from Patty's shop!

Pam of VintageCocobytheLake featured my aqua and green Spring table runner in her pretty treasury, Cool and Collected.   Pam has some incredible vintage items in her shop.  I just love this 1981 Royal Copenhagen Mother's Day plate!  (My great-aunt Dot collected Royal Copenhagen plates.)

Maude from BitsandBarley featured my red chevron oven mitt in her bright red and cheery treasury, Hot Momma,  My Mom's favorite color was red.  This small silver and gold wreath is such a pretty little piece!

Katie from EdensWake featured my navy chevron oven mitt in her cool navy blue-themed treasury, Navy.
Katie has some wonderful fold-over clutches in her shop.  One of my favorites is this pretty pink on mulberry clutch.

CeramicistaTO of RakuLabFly featured my green chevron oven mitt in her treasury, One of the Colors of Summer.   These wonderful ceramic square buttons are so unique!  They would be a perfect embellishment for a bag or pouch.

Judy from MisterPenQuin featured my large shoulder bag in her treasury, Walking the Pink and Lavender Path.  Such pretty and feminine colors!  This wonderful sewing notebook is such a clever way to keep track of stitch combinations for sewing projects!

Happy Spring!

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Thursday, April 25, 2013


“It was such a pleasure to sink one's hands into the warm earth, to feel at one's fingertips the possibilities of the new season.” 
― Kate MortonThe Forgotten Garden

The Blogging Business Artisans team challenge for the month of April comes from Margaret of Splendid Little Stars.  The challenge is to create a project using any medium that honors a spirit of RENEWAL.  

As a former farm girl, gardening (or crop growing) has always been a vivid metaphor  for renewal.

The soil is tilled, the seeds are planted, the garden or field is tended, and then comes the harvest.  After harvest, the ground lies fallow through the Winter, waiting for the warmth and sunshine of Spring to awaken the ground and start the growth cycle once again.

I'm not a very good gardener.  I didn't acquire the "green thumb" gene. I love to plant and harvest, but I hate to weed.  I still like to study the seed catalogs.  My imaginary garden is SO much nicer than the real thing.  I placed my order on Earth Day for a few favorites, but it is still too cold to plant.

We'll pick up tomato plants and green pepper plants at the Farmer's Market, rather than starting them from seeds. I hope the rabbits won't think my garden is a free salad bar for bunnies this year!  But I digress.

Back to the BBA Challenge:

I didn't venture far from my comfort zone this month in choosing my medium -- fabric.  I created this tote using a bold vegetable-themed 100% cotton fabric designed by Martha Negley.  

I added Warm & Natural cotton batting to both the outer layer and the 6 roomy inside pockets (water bottle, sunscreen, sun glasses, keys, wallet, and ... a spare!).  The lining is a solid medium seafoam 100% cotton fabric. 

The bag is padded, semi-insulated, and able to stand upright with a 4.5" squared base.  

I summoned my inner Vera Bradley and added batting to the shoulder straps for comfort.  

The bag could be used to carry gardening tools, or to haul in produce at harvest time, but I think its best use would be to ROCK the local Farmer's Market!  We have several farmer's markets in Lincoln.  My favorites are at the Haymarket downtown, and the Old Cheney Farmer's Market, closer to home and not quite so crowded.

I plan to list this bag in my Etsy shop, Pasque Flower Creations.

Thanks for stopping by!

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Was I Ever That Young?

April 26 is my son Tim's 37th birthday.  He was born on the first day of finals week my second year of law school. I graduated #2 in my law school class, but I guess I flunked family planning (but in a GOOD way).

We've come a long way since this picture was taken in June of 1977.  We were standing in front of the mobile home where we lived at that time in Pierre, South Dakota.  I was working for the State of South Dakota as a rookie Assistant Attorney General in the Appeals Division.  Was I ever that young?

Today I am reminded of the beautiful Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac) song, Landslide:
Stevie Nicks - Landslide - The Soundstage (2009)

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Mmm, I don't know. 
Mmm, mmm.

Well, I've been afraid of changin'
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older and I'm getting older too.

Happy Birthday, Timmer!

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Look At Him GO!

As some of you know, my retired librarian hubby is also a quilter.  Yup.  He's a card-carrying member of the Lincoln Quilter's Guild.  So he doesn't complain when we visit our local quilt shops (much).  In fact, the proprietors all know him on a first name basis.

But his love of fabric had somehow not translated into a love of helping out with my Etsy shop, Pasque Flower Creations.  Now, don't get me wrong, he's a great cheerleader. He never ceases to be amazed at the number of international orders we get.  And he doesn't complain about the large cutting mat taking up half the kitchen table pretty much every day.

And I never could have launched my little shop if he had not taught me the basics of uploading and editing photos.  I still rely on him to change toner in the printer, and call our trusty computer repair guy when necessary.  I've kidded that he's my IT Department.

But this week something changed.  Without any prompting (or nagging), he foraged through the basement, which houses stash overflow fabrics, and began cutting 2" squares (1.5 inches finished)!

We had purchased this Accuquilt GO! Baby fabric cutter at The Quilted Kitty over a year ago, and it quickly became his new toy.  But it hadn't seen much action lately --- until this week!

Just look at him GO!  What an impressive pile of red, white and blue squares!  These will be perfect for doll quilts or patchwork zip pouches, or for hexie projects, or .....  the possibilities are endless!

He can cut six perfectly-sized 2-inch squares with this die!  Such a deal!

So I've promoted him --- to Vice President for Scrap Management!

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring Table Runners

It's Shameless Commerce Tuesday, and today I'm featuring one of my newly-listed Spring table runners.
Table runners are an inexpensive way to celebrate the change of seasons or add a pop of color to your casual dining area.

The runner shown above was made using Deco Flowers fabrics designed by Henley Studio for Makower UK. The table topper measures approximately 42" in length and 14" in width. The print features colorful art deco flowers on a creamy background. The borders, triangular end pieces and reverse side are a coordinating lacy cream on blue 100% cotton print, also from the Deco Flowers fabric line.

The table runner is 100% cotton fabric. There is no batting and it is not quilted. The table topper will provide a flat surface for centerpieces and serving dishes. Vintage art deco buttons in cream secure the triangular end pieces to the center panel.

To view more table runners, visit the Kitschy Kitchen Stuff section of my Etsy shop, Pasque Flower Creations.   As we get closer to the holidays, I'll be adding more seasonal table runners to the Buntings, Holiday Items section of my Etsy shop.

Thank you for stopping by!
LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Treasury Thanks

It has been a tragic week on so many fronts, but life goes on.  And I would like to thank the talented curators who featured items from my little Etsy shop, Pasque Flower Creations in treasuries this week.


Charlene of JewelryMakerCharlene featured my Spit Happens baby bib in her fun treasury, April Showers.  This aqua blue necklace resembles rain drops, don't you think?

Rose of randomcreative featured my red chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Red and Gray for Spring.  I just love Rose's button jewelry, including this button charm bracelet in red and gray.

ArtHarmony featured my poppies on blue oven mitt in her treasury, Gifts for Mom.  ArtHarmony makes polymer clay silver plated accessories and amulets.  This striking red kaleidoscope necklace caught my eye!

Melissa Mika from PAGEFIFTYFIVE featured my green chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Fresh, Beautiful and Happy!   This Like Mother Like Daughter card made me chuckle.  The inside message is:  "It could be a lot worse."  I hope my daughter would agree.

Natashalh of StalkingTheWildSnark featured my Boho peasant top in her treasury, Vacationer.  Natasha is recently back from a vacation in the South Pacific.  This sterling silver square knot sailor ring is one of my favorite pieces from Natasha's shop:

Duni of PeriDotbyDuni featured my orange chevron oven mitt in her Monday Mood Board blog post. Duni's shop may be on vacation mode for a few days, but she makes expertly sewn items in pretty shabby chic pastels, like this pretty sleep set.

Ignas Butenas of butenasPhotography also featured my orange chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Geometric in Orange.  This sea landscape photo is breathtakingly beautiful!

Samansha Wu of fallinlovebags featured my green chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Mother's Day is coming . . ..  This gorgeous mint colored leather shoulder bag might be on your mother's wish list!

Anne of FreeRangeCowgirl featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in her treasury, Terra Cotta Gone Wild.  Anne's love of horses is evident in many of her fine art photographs.  But I especially liked this  Be Like a Bird photo, with a quote from Victor Hugo.

On that inspiring note, I'll sign off.  Gotta fly!

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Day Trippin'

Because I work all weekend every weekend during tax season, and because I have a bad case of Spring Fever / Cabin Fever, and because it is the first weekend of the 15th Annual Nebraska Shop Hop, my hubby and I decided to hit the road and head out of Lincoln.

First stop was the Spring Bling Craft Fair at Trinity UMC.  I don't do Spring craft fairs, but it's always good to do a little scouting to see what's out there, right? During my little reconnaissance mission  I was dismayed by the underpricing!  But I picked up a couple of neat underpriced items -- a catnip fish toy for Tux the cat ($1.07), and a handmade dish scrubber ($2.00).  I was going to take a photo of the cute little catnip toy, but Tux quickly squirreled it away under the recliner -- his favorite hiding place.

My own craft fair buyer behavior reinforced what I have learned over the past 3.5 years --- always bring some low priced and/or kid-friendly items for "impulse" buyers.

I also found an enterprising local college student at the craft fair who is teaming up with a friend to start an alternative online crafters' marketplace - Locabal.  No monthly fees. No listing fees. No credit card fees.  Direct deposits 7 days after sale.  7.5% commission + 30 cent fee at the time of sale.  Based here in Lincoln. I'm definitely going to check it out!  I plan to stay on Etsy, and Etsy will continue to be my primary sales venue, but I need to explore some ways to branch out -- other venues, wholesale, gift shops, etc.

Then, fueled by fresh coffee, we hit the road -- aptly named Nebraska Highway -- and headed east about 30 miles to the little town of Syracuse, NE, home of the Common Threads quilt shop:

I scored some great reproduction fabric for prairie sunbonnets, some of my favorite thread, and a cute bundle of  forty 2.5" reproduction fabric squares that I plan to turn into a cute little doll quilt.  I know.  Buying more scraps!?!  I already have LOTS of scraps...But not repro fabric scraps :-).

This was a shop hop warm-up.  One down and 38 shops to go!  Not really.   There ARE 39 shops participating, but I will only visit a handful. I hope to head out with one of my quilt buddies for an all day shop hop trip on April 26, so stay tuned.  Have a great weekend!

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gearing Up for Fall Craft Fairs

I know it is Spring somewhere -- even though it is still snowing and blowing in Nebraska.  But Fall will be here before we know it, and this year I have vowed to be ready with MORE inventory for fall craft fairs and the Etsy holiday rush. I have some new product lines I hope to develop.  And I am "gearing up" with some new display pieces.

My child-sized coat rack was damaged beyond repair during my rainy and windy outdoor craft fair "learning experience" last summer.  (Never again!!)  But I found an even better kids' coat rack at SwirledPatina on Etsy.  I chose the purple one, of course, with pretty pink and aqua base pieces.  Although some assembly was required, my dear hubby rose to the challenge, with only a little grumbling:

I also found this versatile craft show display ladder at Wudls Woodshop on Etsy.  I love that it is collapsible AND it has lots and lots of hooks.  It is 4 feet high and 21" wide when fully extended.  Wudls has many, many display rack / tray options for displaying all types of crafts.  High quality. Reasonable prices.  Custom orders are welcome.  (For example, I could have substituted pegs for the hooks -- or specified a spacing preference.)

I am very happy with these new purchases which will show up on my 2013 depreciation schedule when I file my Schedule C next year.  (I can't help it -- I still look at the world through my Tax Lady glasses, even though tax season is over.)

I completed my early application for the Silver Hawk Fine Arts & Crafts Fair, a juried show.  I was only allowed 3 photos, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.  I have never applied to a juried show before.  In the Comments section of the application, I provided a link to my Etsy shop.  If accepted into that show, I will revise my product line somewhat to accommodate a younger crowd with some teen-friendly items.  That show is an annual fundraiser for the Southwest High School theater department.  It has a solid regional reputation and it hosts 70 vendors in a very nice facility.  An added bonus--the high school theater students are on hand as helpers.

I also received an invitation to the Faith Lutheran Craft Fair in late October.  This will be my fourth year vending at that show.   I'm hoping to be invited back to the Crestwood Craft Fair (early December) as well. That was my best craft fair EVER.

Every time I send in the craft fair booth fees, I can't help but think how many 20-cent Etsy listings/renewals I could buy with that money!!  Weather is always a gamble after mid-October in the Midwest, and the Huskers football schedule can also wreak havoc with Lincoln craft fairs.  But the late Fall timing is good (before Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays).  My seasonal items have done well, as have have my stocking stuffers and gift items.  And I get to hand out lots of business cards with my Etsy link.

I've already created a tentative products / pricing list for the Fall shows.  Now I just need to keep sewing new inventory while keeping up with Etsy orders AND sewing Erin's graduation quilt! Yikes!  Graduation is NEXT MONTH!  How did that happen??!  I REALLY miss my "good" sewing machine :-(.

Do you participate in craft fairs?

LeAnn aka pasqueflower

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Heavy Heart

Tax Season (TS13) is officially over.  I'm exhausted and my brain is mush.  My "good" sewing machine is back from the repair shop.  I should be celebrating -- or sleeping in.

But the horrific bombings in Boston have left me with a heavy heart.

My brother qualified for the Boston Marathon for three or more years after he turned 40.  My kids have been spectators.  I thank God that they were not there this year to witness the carnage.

Although it is Shameless Commerce Tuesday, I have decided not to display cheery Spring items.  Instead, I will share with you this patriotic bunting.

Americans will not be paralyzed by fear.
We will not be silenced by bombs or box cutters or threats or random acts of unspeakable violence.
Terrorists will NEVER defeat us.

God Bless America!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Treasury Thanks - What A Week!!

It was a banner week for my little Etsy shop, Pasque Flower Creations!  My poppies on teal oven mitts made Etsy's front page, so my page views and favorites spiked to new highs.  Heady stuff!  But I also wish to thank ALL the treasury curators who featured items from my shop over the past week. The spirit of collaboration and teamwork on Etsy is amazing.  I am so grateful to be a part of that community.

Monique Low of Toasted Glass featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in her treasury, Flower Bomb.  This beautiful poppy vase would be a colorful Mother's Day gift:

Timothy Adam of Fanpageology featured my orange chevron oven mitt in his treasury, Fanpageology Featured Items: Orange and Blue.  He received over 1400 submissions, so it was a real honor to be one of the 16 chosen for this treasury, which was #1 for 5 hours.  I subscribe to Tim's Handmadeology blog, which I have found to be a fabulous resource for Etsy sellers.  In Tim's words, “Handmadeology exists for the purpose of teaching artists how to successfully sell their handmade goods online, and to feature the newest handmade, vintage and supply items found on Etsy.”  Tim offers free advice on the blog, and great resources reasonably priced -- like his new Facebook guide, Fanpageology: Where Etsy Meets Facebook -- and now there's an APP for that!  Tim's Etsy shop has dozens of downloadable resources, like this Etsy Relevancy Strategy guide:

Ragay Jewelry featured my leaves on periwinkle oven mitts in her pretty treasury, Periwinkle and Polka Dots.  I love periwinkle -- a pretty color and fun to say.  This beautiful pink opalite necklace set is a beautiful   shade of periwinkle:

Magdalena of BlurryBerryBasket featured my rainbow chevron oven mitt in her treasury, A Pastel State of Mind.  Magdalena is an Etsy newbie.  Her shop is only one month old. She offers beautiful fine art photography, like this lovely cat in lavender photo:

Boriana Marinova of GermanistikArt featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in her treasury, Just Poppies -- Al Around You.  I love the bright flowers on this handmade quilling card from Boriana's shop:

Suzanne Leutscher of GoudsmederijHerfst  featured my aqua chevron oven mitt in her gorgeous treasury in shades of aqua, navy and gray, Mother's Day Gifts.   This Mom necklace would be a thoughtful Mother's Day gift that any mom would wear with pride.

Maria from BolstersMills, a vintage shop, featured my yellow chevron oven mitts in her Mother's Day treasury, Mom's DEFINITELY Got the Look.  This pretty vintage cup and saucer from Maria's shop is just my cup of tea!

Barbara Seelen of BHiveDesigns featured my pink elephants baby bib in her whimsical treasury, Pink Elephants.  And speaking of PINK, don't you just love this modern floral clutch with hot pink lining?

And now - the BIG ONE!  Gino Rizzi of GinoRizziPlasticien  from  Antwerp, Belgium featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in her beautiful FRONT PAGE treasury, One Flower A Day.  Such an honor!  Gino's shop specializes in upcycled items like this unique upcycled plastic bottle lamp.

giZZDesigns, a wearable art shop, featured my gray chevron oven mitt in her beautiful treasury in gray tones, BEST MOM EVER.  For these chilly early Spring days, this pretty pink neck warmer would be a lovely Mother's Day gift for Mom or Grandma.

Edi of memoriesforlifesb featured my Spit Happens baby bib in her Friday Features - April Showers blog post.  Edi is a laser maven who can turn an ordinary glass or piece of wood into a work of art.  I just love this woodland photo album.  Wouldn't this be a lovely baby shower gift?

newhopebeading featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in her bright and cheery treasury, Poppy Red.  This wonderful personalized mother's necklace would be Mother's Day gift, sure to become a keepsake.

Leena from LeenaVilaDesigns featuerd my Spit Happens baby bib in her treasury, April Showers --- well, you know . . . . You could pamper your pet with this soft velveteen pet bed duvet cover from Leena's shop.

And last, but not least, Tammy Angle of TwiceAsNiceBaby featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in her bright and sunny treasury, Orange You Pretty!  As a farm girl who much preferred driving tractor to doing household chores, this adorable pink tractor baby girl's shirt made me smile.

Well, I need to sign off and get to church.  Then I'm off to the tax office for a busy, busy afternoon.  T minus TWO DAYS and counting until the end of tax season!!

Thank you, as always, for visiting my blog.  Wishing you a great week!