Sunday, March 30, 2014

Treasury Thanks

Each week I like to extend a big


to Etsy treasury curators who featured items from my Etsy shops, Pasque Flower Creations and Aunt Pheba's Vintage, in their treasuries during the past week.

Although it is officially Spring according to the calendar (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), many of us are still experiencing cold, gray days.   One treasury this week embraced that grayness to create a beautiful treasury in gray tones, but most of the treasuries used bright colors and Spring themes as a temporary escape from the cold and drab.

Valentina Zhurbich of ItsyBitsyBabyToes (you guessed it -- she makes ADORABLE handmade baby booties) featured my Spit Happens baby bib in her treasury, April Baby Showers - Boy.  I just had to share these precious baby girl ballet booties with all of you.

Nantia of prettyobject embraced the grayness of a cold, cloudy morning in her treasury, Good Morning!! She featured my gray and white chevron oven mitt -- one of my best sellers.  Who knew?!  I love this little crochet coin purse in gray and pink:

Edi Royer of memoriesforlifesb featured my green chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Spring Greens.  Edi has added many new engraved wooden wedding invitations to her shop.  Here's a sample of some of her laser artistry:

Sylvia Swasey from SSDestash featured my orange chevron oven mitt in her bright and cheery treasury, Seeing Orange.  My beading buddies will want to check out Sylvia's shop.  She has a wonderful assortment of beads, like this Happy Orange variety pack of 40 beads.

Lana Moes of LanasArt featured my yellow linen retro-inspired bow clutch in her pretty treasury, Spring Time.  Lana is such a talented artist!  You can see that for yourself in this beautiful watercolor fashion illustration.  This one reminds me of a 60s-era flower child, and the lyrics to an old song performed by the Cowsills, "flowers in her hair -- flowers everywhere."

Deniz Deniz of natureandpaper featured my poppies on teal oven mitts (in short supply as this fabric is out of print), in her treasury, Spring, Love, and Poppies.  This pine wood handmade journal is a sample of some of the wonderfully handcrafted pieces you'll find at natureandpaper.

And last, but by no means least, is a beautiful treasury by Kim Huff of hhprint, in one of my favorite new color combinations, Mint and Coral.  Kim makes incredible personalized iPhone cases, like this lovely case in coral.

As some of you know, I REALLY want to purchase an iPhone before the fall craft fair season begins, so I can take credit card payments with The Square.  And if when I do, I just may have to visit Kim's shop to find the perfect cover. I'm afraid the budget can't stretch to buy one before my first Spring craft show on April 26.  (Yikes!! That's only 4 weeks away!)   In the meantime, I still have 16 more days (not counting today) until the end of tax season....and counting!

Today promises to be a truly gorgeous Spring day!!  My brother from SD drove down this weekend to watch college baseball, and he treated us to dinner out on Saturday before he headed to Omaha to watch more college baseball today.  It SNOWED on Friday night, but the game went on --- and my brother NEVER leaves a game until it is over, even when he's freezing his skinny butt off!

That's probably because one of our most vivid memories as kids was seeing Harmon Killebrew of the Minnesota Twins hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the 9th inning at a stadium which has since been demolished to build the Mall of America.

Our dad (who died of a sudden heart attack on March 28, 1968 at the age of 43, when we were 13 and 14 years old) was a huge baseball fan.  We could actually earn a "bye" from doing evening livestock chores if we would keep a scorebook of the radio broadcast of a Twins game so Dad could see a play-by-play recap.  He also helped start the first Girls 4-H Softball league in our county.  I played for the Farmington Farmerettes back in the day.

My brother, Jeff Larson, is just as passionate about baseball.  He ALWAYS keeps score when he attends baseball games, and he has kept every score book since he was 9 years old (that's 50 years' worth!). He has visited every major league baseball park in the US, and almost all minor league parks, and he regularly attends the College World Series.  He and his college roommate take an annual week-long baseball pilgrimage, also visiting Civil War Battlefields and now National Parks along the way.  

It's a much-needed reprieve from the stress of being a criminal defense attorney. He has six pending homicide cases, including a death penalty case.  His super-talented paralegal, Kara Duncan, was my star student when I taught Criminal Justice and Legal Studies night classes at Kilian Community College in Sioux Falls in the 1990s.   I gave her a glowing recommendation when she applied to work at the Minnehaha County Public Defender's Office, and she and Jeff have been working together ever since.

Temps are already above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and I should be able to leave the tax office by 3:30 pm today, so I'm hoping to take a walk in the sunshine!!  I hope you also have a chance to enjoy some time outdoors in the lovely Spring weather.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Treasury Thanks

Each week I like to pay it forward by featuring an item from Etsy shops whose owners have added items from my shops, Pasque Flower Creations and Aunt Pheba's Vintage, to treasuries they've curated over the past week.  So to those curators, let me say:


First up, my Blogging Business Artisans teammate, Duni of PeriDotbyDuni, featured my blue woodlands baby bib in her treasury, Dazzling Blue.  If you're looking for a new accessory to freshen up your Spring wardrobe, consider this beautiful pastel pink floral infinity scarf:

Margaret of SplendidLittleStars featured my roses oven mitt in her pretty Spring treasury, Longing for Flowers.  And speaking of Spring accessories, here's another pretty option, a silk scarf with flowers from Margaret's shop.
6-pocket tract wallet

Jamie Niebergall of PoppyHillCreations featured my yellow chevron oven mitt in her sunny treasury, Here Comes the Sun.    This pretty watercolor hibiscus clip art hearkens sunny days ahead.

Candice of keepeweclean featured my orange and gray Lotta J baby bib in her treasury, Gray and Orange for ALL.  Candice is also a sewist.  I love this pretty 6-pocket tract wallet with the roomy pockets. (Mine
is splitting at the seams.)

Lesley from ClayIsMyArt featured a green and blue vintage lotus scarf from my Aunt Pheba's Vintage shop in her treasury, Cool Blue . . .  This cool blue coffee mug and plate caught my eye.  Perfect for a little treat while reading on the deck some future sunny day.

Patti Marko of PattiStuff featured my teal and brown fabric covered notebook in her treasury, Teal Is Real.  Patti says, "Teal is happy. Teal is Spring.  Teal is fresh."  I couldn't agree more!  Patti is an Etsy newbie from Canada who just opened her shop on February 4, 2014, so please stop by and give her shop some Etsy love.  You won't be disappointed.  I particularly like this Licorice Regaliz leather bracelet.
Linda B. of lindab142 featured my yellow linen bow clutch in her treasury,  It's Spring - Be Happy!  And I AM happy it's Spring.  Even though it is cold and blustery here on the prairie, I know that Spring cannot be too far away.   I would love to wear this turquoise wire-wrapped necklace from Linda's shop with a new Spring outfit. How about you?

Nantia from prettyobject featured my Peeps baby bib in her adorable Easter treasury, Easter.  Nantia is a crochet artist.  I just love this cute little crochet coin purse!

Kim Huff of hhprints featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in her treasury, Color Therapy.  Just looking at this pretty mint feather phone case leaves me feeling calm and relaxed.  And I can almost hear Paul McCartney crooning, "Let it be. Let it be. Let it be. Let it be.  Whisper words of wisdom, let it be."  Not to be morbid, but I think I'd like that song played at my funeral -- hopefully not anytime soon.

I REALLY would like an iPhone so I could have internet on the go, and use a Square to collect credit card payments at craft fairs.  But it's Sunday, and Lent, so I'll remind myself once again, "Thou shalt not covet."

Brittany C. of PreciousBowtique featured my aqua chevron oven mitt in her cool, refreshing treasury, Aqua and Mint.  My youngest granddaughter is growing out of her doll stage, but isn't this 18" doll cap just the cutest?

Madeline still likes glitter and bling, though.  Thanks to DIL Carrie for posting this photo of Madeline (far left) and her friends at last night's Father/Daughter Ball in New Hampshire. (Note the fairy wings -- re-purposed from Halloween.)  They must have agreed to be totally teal.

The grandkids are growing up so fast!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

National Quilting Day Redux

Last Saturday, March 15, I had the opportunity to attend National Quilting Day festivities at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska.  The museum had opened a new exhibition, Design Dynamics of Log Cabin Quilts.  Although flash photography is not allowed in the galleries, Nebraska quilters had decked the stairwells with homegrown log cabin quilts:

I love Maralee Meyer's scrappy log cabin set in the barn raising design.  The traditional small red square in the center of each block symbolizes the hearth in the log cabin.

Sheila Beans chose 1930s reproduction prints based on feed sack fabrics for this adorable crib quilt.  Each of the "logs" in this log cabin is 1/2" wide.

At the top of the quilt-lined staircase I found part of Shelly Berge's antique toy sewing machine collection:

And sponsors' booths - the Studio Art Quilt Association had a wonderful display of miniature art quilts.  And this beautiful feathered star quilt was the backdrop for the Aurifil Thread booth:

I wasn't able to take flash photos in the gallery, but I was able to get a picture of this Quilted Robe, possibly made in Syria circa 1900.  These robes originated in Levant, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.

This closeup shows some of the exquisite hand quilting that has survived for over 100 years.

The robe was part of another exhibition currently on display, Expanding the Collection: Recent Acquisitions.

A favorite quilt from that exhibit was Event Horizon by Joy Saville (USA 2008).  Joy is a UNL graduate who is now a widely-acclaimed textile artist.  The quilt depicts her emotions mourning the death of her husband.  Her son named the quilt.  He described an Event Horizon as "the surface of a black hole when light and objects can pass through ...but no light can come out."  You can take a virtual tour of that exhibit by clicking on the Exhibitions Link - Current Exhibitions on the IQSC home page at

You can also take a virtual tour of past exhibitions.  Two of my favorites were Quilts In Common, the premiere exhibition, and a tribute to Jean Ray Laury, Getting It All Together.  The IQSC also has several quilts that can be viewed online through the Google Art Project.

Leaving the museum, I was happy to see sunshine dancing off the metal "threads" in this sculpture.  To cap off a pleasant outing, I treated myself to a dish of Scarlet & Cream ice cream at the UNL Dairy Store, and brought home a half gallon of Raspberry Chocolate Chip to share with my scrap cutting hubby.

All in all, a pleasant afternoon off on one of those "teaser" days that made us thing Spring might be here. We had another blast of Winter this week, but, at least on the calendar, Spring arrives today.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wedding March

This LIFE magazine illustration from the 1960s is one of the great vintage paper items in my cousin Lise’s Etsy shop, Dusty Digger Lise.  (By now that couple could have celebrated their 50th anniversary!) And I thought this vintage gem would be the perfect lead-in to today’s Shameless Commerce Tuesday post.

Although the "peak" of wedding season is noy until June, plans are clearly underway! I was pleasantly surprised to find my oven mitts turning up in Etsy wedding registries last year.  And this week I had orders for three custom oven mitts in ---- ummm ---- interesting wedding colors.

Coral and Deep Purple
Coral and Navy
Black and Tan

These custom mitts are still works in progress, but here’s a peak at the fabrics. 

Coral and Deep Purple

 Coral and Navy

Black and Tan

I bought extra yardage of the Michael Miller black and tan chevrons and dots.  I can think of a zillion things I’d love to make with those fabrics!  And the coral (Riley Blake medium chevrons in rouge) is a gorgeous color in real life (not so much in the photos--taken at 1:00 am with no natural light).  It has bright peachy pink undertones.  

Fun as these orders have been, I tend to have a love-hate relationship with custom Etsy orders.

LOVE fresh perspectives, the challenge of creating something totally unique, and the joy of co-creating a project – often as a special gift.

HATE the incredible amount of time and energy custom orders require – the search for special fabrics and coordinating threads—countless convos to try to get the specifications worked out, and sometimes totally unrealistic demands. 

It’s that HATE list that makes me seriously consider changing my Etsy Policies to add a 10-20% surcharge for custom orders - OR eliminating them altogether!  But I  don't want to totally stifle reasonable custom requests, even though there are (many) days when I'd like to say, "What you see on my cyber shelves is what you get.  Like it or lump it."

I’m happy to say these wedding registry mitts were a relatively non-stressful custom challenge and the customer has been a joy to work with.  

Any tips on navigating wedding registries on Etsy?  Or custom orders?


Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day - A New Take on Corned Beef & Cabbage

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

My hubby and I celebrated a day early, because I'll be working on the real St. Patrick's Day.  He/s 31/32 Finnish and I'm half Dane, but I'm a wee bit Irish, thanks to my paternal grandmother Pheba, who inspired my Aunt Pheba's Vintage shop on Etsy.

Hubby is a meat and potatoes kind of guy who hates veggies and tolerates fruit. He loves corned beef and cabbage and Reuben sandwiches (corned beef and sauerkraut).

This year I decided to mix it up a bit.  Instead of traditional corned beef and cabbage, I made Atlanta Brisket in the crock pot, using a recipe from Family Circle magazine:

photo by Family Circle

Atlanta Brisket

2 sweet onions, sliced
1 beef brisket (about 3 pounds), trimmed
1 packet (1 oz) dry onion soup mix
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 can of cola (12 oz.)

Coat the bottom of the crock pot with nonstick cooking spray. Place onions in the bottom of the slow cooker.  Season the brisket with the dry onion soup mix and place on top of the onions.  Combine the ketchup and cola and pour over the brisket.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove the brisket to a cutting board and allow to cool 10 minutes.  Slice against the grain.

Instead of cooked cabbage, we had coleslaw with mashed potatoes and rye bread on the side.

Hubby gave it 5 stars, and he reminded me that brisket will go on sale after St. Patrick's Day, so perhaps I should buy some for the freezer.  I'm not a fan of brisket, but hey-- it only took about 10 minutes to make.  And I need to keep the hubby well-fed and happy so he'll keep whittling away at my scrap heap.
He's made incredible progress, cutting a couple of hours every day while I'm at work!

Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Treasury Thanks

Another week closer to Spring!

It was a relatively quiet week on the Treasury front, but I want to extend a big thank you to the curators who included items from my Etsy shops in their treasuries this week.

TSBPhotoProps featured my Lotta J gray and yellow floral bib in the treasury, Blooming Sunshine.  Wouldn't this baby boy Irish Donegal newsboy cap be the cutest for baby's first St. Patrick's Day?

Charlotte from TheMidnightShop featured my gray chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Chevron.  I'll be sewing a LOT of gray chevron mitts today ---trying to finish 8 before the last mail drop on Monday.  This printable wall art  piece from Charlotte's shop caught my fancy.

Stiopei Carla Cristina of scarlacristina featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in her treasury, Poppies.  I love the intricately beaded items in scarlacristina's shop.  This peyote poppies bracelet would feel right at home in the Poppies treasury:

Sarah Beth of MagnoliaSurprise featured my green chevron and dots bunting in her St. Patrick's Day -themed treasury, The Luck o' the Irish.  These sage green crochet coasters would be a nice place to rest your green beer-- or tea.

And there you have it!  I survived the Ides of March.  Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!                                   


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Me and My Peeps

It's Shameless Commerce Tuesday, and today I'd like to share a cute little reversible baby bib.  The colorful little chicks fabric was an impulse buy -- too cute to leave in the store.  The little birds reminded me of
Peeps -- a traditional Easter candy in the US and Canada.

Peeps are marshmallow candies, shaped into chicks (and now other animals), made from sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, and various food dyes.  They've been around as long as I have.  According to Wikipedia: 

Peeps are produced by Just Born, a candy manufacturer founded in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, by Russian immigrant Sam Born. In 1953, Just Born acquired the Rodda Candy Company and its marshmallow chick line, and replaced the painstaking process of hand-forming the chicks with mass production. When founder Sam Born would display a sign for his freshly-made candy, he would title it "Just Born," playing off of his last name and the fact that he made his candy fresh daily.

Peeps are no longer made fresh daily!  I think that's one of the reason they were never my favorite Easter candy.  Cadbury Eggs are my fave, hands down. Peeps always had a strange chewy texture.  But they were cute, cute, cute!

The reverse side of the bib is a beautiful oval elements fabric by Art Gallery Fabrics:

It's a busy week in my little Etsy shop!!  I've already had more orders in the last 5 days than I had during the entire month of February, and 3 custom orders in the works.  I'm working 8:00 am - 8:00 pm at my day jobs the next two days, so there'll be lots of late night and early morning sewing.  Grateful to be busy, though.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Treasury Thanks

I'd like to extend a big


to the Etsians who featured items from my Etsy shops, Pasque Flower Creations and Aunt Pheba's Vintage, in treasuries during the past week.  Signs of Spring Fever were evident in many of the treasuries!

Linda B. of lindab142 featured my poppies on blue oven mitt in her treasury, Flowers and Bright Colors for Spring.  I love all the pretty colors in this Faith bracelet from Linda's shop.  For those looking forward to Passover, Linda also has an impressive line of Judaica jewelry.

Gonulk featured my baby boy sports bib in her blue and gray themed treasury, March (09).  Gonulk's shop has a number of stunningly beautiful art photos.  I am ready to bid farewell to Winter, so this winter photography caught my eye:

Gonulk also fetaured my orange ribbon feather key fob in her treasury in shades of orange, gray and black, March (13).  Here is another emotionally evocative photo  from Gonulk's shop.  This one inspires hope of Spring. 

Lana Moes of LanasArt featured my St. Patrick's Day bunting in her treasury, Spring Colors.  This gorgeous pink peonies watercolor showcases one of my favorite late Spring flowers:

Lana also featured my olive, orange and gray on white oven mitt in her treasury, *****infinity*****.  Here is another pretty pink peony watercolor bouquet.  

Ahh -- back to winter.  Eva Miller of KapKaDesigns featured my aqua chevron oven mitt in her
chillingly beautiful treasury, Polar Bear.  Eva has more than 370 beautiful jewelry pieces in her shop – so it was hard to pick just one to feature.  But I fell in love with this unique fox necklace.

And I have another treat for fox lovers!  Verena V. of VereV featured my black and gold fleur de lis baby bib in her treasury, Saturday Night.  I just love this foxy little coin purse from Verena's shop!

 Back to Spring!  Clarita Dinfeld of PUNCHIK featured my St. Patrick's Day bunting in her treasury, Green Gift Ideas for the Sweet Ones!!  This cute boy's hooded poncho is just one of the adorable handmade items in Clarita's shop.

Nitzan Linton of bellegemsjewelry shows her artistry in her use of color in the many treasuries she curates. Her treasuries this week included a feast for the eyes in soft peach and beige tones, Everyday Things.  One of my Acoma Pueblo pottery bowls from Aunt Pheba's Vintage was included in this lovely treasury.  If you love amethysts and statement jewelry, you will love Nitzan's shop.  Nitzan also featured the Art of Chokin trinket box from my Aunt Pheba's Vintage shop in her treasury, Flowers Everywhere.  Here is one of Nitzan's amethyst beads necklaces.

Mira (Pinki) Krispil of MIRAKRIS makes wonderful items from polymer clay.  She featured my black and gold fleur de lis bib in her treasury, Lovely Day.  I love this whimsical bird from Mira's shop.

Susan A. of DejaVuHomeInteriors featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in her treasury, Great Gifts for Mother's Day.  This set of three vintage lotus bowls would be a thoughtful Mother's Day gift.

Thank you for stopping by!