Sunday, August 31, 2014

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night....

Sunday, August 31, 2014 -- It truly was a dark and stormy night.  We'd been under a tornado watch most of the afternoon--and we'll remain under that watch until 9:00 pm.

These photos were taken from our front yard at approximately 6:10 pm CDT.

Storm 1

Is that a funnel?  I hope not!!  No sirens yet...
but I think I'll head to the basement just in case!

Not quite so scary from this viewpoint.

Ummm.  That definitely looks like a wall cloud!
Time to sign off and head to the basement!!!


Treasury Thanks

Each week I like to say THANK YOU  to the curators of Etsy treasuries who have featured items from my Etsy shops, Pasque Flower Creations and Aunt Pheba's Vintage, over the past week.  This week, most treasuries focused on Fall themes, as we say farewell to Summer and look ahead to Autumn.

The first treasury, however, seems to be clinging to the blue skies and beaches of Summer.
The Haases of HasseHandcrafts featured my aqua chevron oven mitt in their treasury, Pops of Blue.
The Haases create unique handcrafted home dec and storage items.  I just love these honeycomb storage shelves.

Margaret of SplendidLittleStars was also clinging to Summer in her treasury, Eternal Summer Shall Not Fade.  This silk velvet scrunchie includes some of my favorite Summer colors - green grass and blue lakes (or ocean beaches).

Lana Moes of LanasArt curated a beautiful treasury in shades of yellow and gold, Artistic Touch.  I was honored to have my yellow linen bow clutch included in this collection.  Lana's London travel watercolor includes beautiful golden tones of Autumn.

Tatiana of tanche featured my bright leaves oven mitts (the ones that were used in a New York TV commercial shoot last Fall) in her treasury, ...but Fall is around the corner!  This beautiful decorative pillow in shades of brown, gold and orange would add a touch of Fall color to your home décor.

Becca Koopmans of wearlovenow featured my yellow chevron oven mitts in her cheery chevron-themed treasury, You Can't Keep Chevron Quiet.  That's true!  But I love the bold and energetic look of chevrons.   Becca adds her own designer touch to upcycled clothing.  Take a look at this wonderful  upcycled mustard cropped cardigan from Becca's shop would be fun to wear on a chilly Fall day. And while you're there, browse some of the other unique garments at wearlovenow.

Mari Givens of GlitterZombiess featured my daisies on blue oven mitt in her treasury, Tanya Burr: English Chic.  Mari creates beautiful headwear (I'm thinking outdoor weddings).  I especially love this royal flower crown that could make anyone feel like a princess.

Anne of plumcreek22 featured my Royal Copenhagen mermaid plate from Aunt Pheba's Vintage in her treasury, Mermaid and Fairy.  My granddaughter, Madeline, is very into fairy houses.  She would love this treasury.  If you are looking for unique hair accessories, Anne's shop is the place to visit.  I especially loved this orange flower glass bobby pin

Judy of MisterPenQuin featured my orange pencil-shaped pencil pouch in her treasury, Autumn a la Orange.  Judy has added a new line of address books to her shop.  This pretty citrus snowdrops address book would be perfect for updating your addresses.  (My kids moved a lot during their college years, so I have pages with more cross-outs than addresses in my tired old address book.)

And there you have it -- another great week of treasuries!  Thanks, again, curators! And thanks to all of you who stopped by.  If you are in the USA, enjoy your Labor Day Weekend! 


Monday, August 25, 2014

Card Wallet Prototype

It's Shameless Commerce Tuesday (almost -- this will probably be posted late Monday night), and today I'm giving you a behind-the-scenes look at a new item I intend to test market at Fall craft fairs, and possibly as part of my holiday stocking stuffers line on Etsy -- unisex card wallets.

Here is my prototype of the card wallet (this one will be an early birthday gift for hubby, because it is not quite ready for prime time, but he loves houndstooth fabrics and he is forever misplacing his debit card).  He also likes to leave $1.00 coins as tips.

It could also be used a classy but guy-friendly gift card enclosure for the holidays -- or a unisex coin purse.

After scoring 40 samples of faux suede fabric for just 25 cents (YOWZA!!) at this year's Hillestad Textiles Gallery Textile Sale, I was determined to find a project for those great little pieces of luscious texture and rich, earthy colors. 

Given the size restrictions, card wallets seemed the perfect solution.  I bought a special sewing machine needle designed to sew through leather, and I purchased some antique copper (shown above), antique brass, and antique silver capped metal snaps for the closures.

I am not sure I will pair the nubby houndstooth (also a fairly thick fabric) with the faux suede for future wallets.  If I do, I think I will ladder stitch the side seams by hand, because it was very difficult to topstitch through all that bulk. (And that's why this little wallet is not quite ready for prime time.)

I'm more inclined to use the other houndstooth prints for wallets and pair them with a cotton lining.

I also scored these great striped fabrics at the Hillestad Textile Sale.  I love the colors and the texture!  I think they'll make cute casual card wallets.  I'm thinking of adding key rings to these.

I plan to use a larger woven striped piece from this stripe series to make foldover zipper-topped clutches using a new pattern by Michelle Patterns.  (More on that later --still a work in progress.) 

I've been a fan of Michelle Patterns since she began her PDF pattern business as Keyka Lou.  She generously allows users to sell items made from her patterns so long as the listing (or tag) references Michelle Patterns.

I love that it has an outer back pocket with a cute little tab- just the right size for a phone or pocket calendar or notepad--

and there's a roomy inner pocket as well!

Hmm -- 55 card wallets cut out and ready to sew. And those new foldover clutches in the works.  I'd better get crackin'!  Thankfully, granddaughter Erin is a pro with the SnapSetter tool, so she will help pound in some of the snaps for those wallets some Saturday before craft fair season hits full force.

So many little time!!!!!!!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Treasury Thanks

Each week I like to take the opportunity to extend a huge THANK YOU to curators of Etsy treasuries who featured items from my shops, Pasque Flower Creations and Aunt Pheba's Vintage, over the past week. 

This week, back to school and the transition from Summer to Fall were recurring themes.

Natasja Nikolic of NatAcademy featured my orange and white chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Pumpkin Orange.  Natasja hand crafts exquisite miniatures, like these tart and strudel miniature cakes.

Marcia of ImagineThatBaby featured my gold leaves on red accent pillow in her treasury, Fall Colors.  I just love this adorable pumpkin baby hat from Marcia's shop!  Wouldn't that be the cutest for baby's first Halloween, or an outing to the pumpkin patch with older siblings or cousins?

Sara of CuteZPrints featured three of my items in her treasury, Local Finds.   So a huge thanks to Sara, first for featuring my vintage cribbage board, olive and brown on cream oven mitt, and my Fall table runner!  And an even bigger thanks for making me aware of other Lincoln, NE sellers on Etsy.  I was able to visit and Favorite their shops, and I will look for them at local craft fairs this Fall.

I just love these birch tree wedding invitations from Sara's shop:

Cathy Christine of SugarNotes featured my green chevron oven mitt in her colorful treasury, A Rainbow of Color for Lisa.   As some of you know, I have six grandsons, so these cute lunch box notes for boys caught my eye.

Patty Harrington of Fern Hollow Finds, a Baby Boomers teammate, featured my reversible table runner in her treasury, Lazy Days of Summer.  These summer breeze cloth napkins from Patty's shop would be great for a summer picnic at the beach (with sunny yellow and ocean blue stripes) -- or for a taste of summer all year round. 

Alexandra Rolfe of EmouYumo featured my brown textured pillow cover in her treasury, "Seasons of a Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness . . ."  I just love Alexandra's unique jewelry designs!  This beautiful oval ring is just one of the stunning pieces you will find in Alexandra's shop:

Patricia and Rebecca of NorthandSouthShabby featured my colorful grunge dorm décor pillow cover in their CIJ (Christmas in July) treasury, Be It Ever So Humble . . ..  Their vintage shop is a GREAT place to browse, particularly if you are looking for shabby chic or cottage chic vintage items.  I just love this beautiful vintage pink plate.  (And their photography is stunning, too!)

Lil Fenstermeyer (buyer only) featured my pastel floral oven mitt in her treasury, Beauty and the Baker! Look your cutest in the kitchen!   THANK YOU, Lil!  Buyers like you help to make Etsy a creative and thriving community.

Alexis of MyUrbanCabin featured my Lotta J baby girl bib in lavender and dark green in her treasury, Baby Meets Green.  With more and more expectant parents waiting to learn their baby's gender until birth, green, yellow and gray are becoming "safe" shower gift colors.

Alexis features vintage home décor and housewares in her shop.  I love this chartreuse metal leaf serving tray. 

SewSaysYou featured my peeps baby bib in her cute treasury, Gifts for Baby Girls Under 10$.  This adorable baby girl carousel bib is one of the super cute home sewn items you can find in her shop -- and it's on sale!

And last, but not least, Neta Gov of NGTAcreations featured my aqua chevron oven mitt in her refreshingly calm and tranquil treasury, Aqua.  Neta's handcrafted jewelry often incorporates a unique combination of materials, as in this leather and pearls necklace. 

And there you have it!  Another wonderful week of Treasuries!  Thanks, again, to all the curators who helped to promote my shops by including items in your beautiful treasuries.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Back to School

It's Shameless Commerce Tuesday, and today I'm featuring my newly-listed pencil-shaped pencil pouches. These cute and colorful padded pencil cases would be a fun for back to school, but they would also be great stocking stuffers.

The pouches were made from a tutorial by Gwen Littler of, and I am a licensed seller.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Treasury Thanks

Each week I like to extend a huge THANK YOU to the curators of Etsy treasuries who feature items from my Etsy shops, Pasque Flower Creations and Aunt Pheba's Vintage, in blog posts over the past week.  This week, because I was on vacation last week (read last week's 3-part blog series for highlights), I am including TWO weeks' worth of treasuries. 

The treasuries tended to celebrate the last sunny days of Summer -- or look ahead to Fall -- as we prepare for a seasonal transition.

Unexpected Treasure featured my green chevron oven mitt in the CIJ Team treasury, Gorgeous Greens.  This zippered bag set from Unexpected Treasure would be great for back-to-school organizing -- or a thoughtful gift.


Edi Royer of memoriesforlifesb featured my yellow chevron oven mitt in her sunny treasury, Eternal Sunshine.  These engraved wooden buttons with a sunburst design celebrate sunshine year-round.

Paige of TheRoomKit featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in her treasury, Summer Colors.  Paige's shop offers design consultations for fresh, modern interior design at affordable prices. I love her use of color in this listing for a custom dining room design.

Carole O'Brennan of TheDishandSpoon also featured my poppies and teal oven mitts (now in scarce supply as the fabric is out of print -- I should have hoarded more!) in her treasury, Poppies.  This lovely spoon ring is just one of the unique creations you will find in Carole's shop.

Carole Russell from AwfyBrawJewellery featured my retro-inspired red linen bow clutch in her treasury, Wedding Clutch Bags -- What every woman wants!  (In fact, my red linen clutch WAS used as a wedding clutch -- it was express shipped to France last year during the holiday rush, and I am happy to report it arrived on time for the wedding. Whew!)

If you are looking for a beautiful necklace for someone who loves purple, check out this plum pink fire leopard china agate necklace.

Ayla of Eyelah featured one of my pencil-shaped pencil pouches made from a tutorial by Gwen Littler of (I am a licensed seller), in her back to school treasury, School Year Is Starting . . .   Good luck to Ayla as she begins her year of teaching!  This wonderful handmade zipper pouch would be great for back to school -- or a thoughtful teacher gift.  You'll find a great selection of pouches in Ayla's shop -- she's been sewing up a storm this Summer!

Jessie Noah (buyer only) featured items from my shops in TWO treasuries this week!  My purple and gold fleur de lis baby bib (LSU Tigers colors) represented Lousiana in her treasury, State.  Jessie Noah also featured my yellow pencil-shaped pencil pouch in her treasury, Bee Costume.  I'm guessing there's a story behind that treasury name.  You can follow Jessie Noah on Facebook at
Bonnie and Abby of AidforAbby featured my aqua chevron oven mitt in the treasury, Bullseye - On Target for Success - Treasury List #647.  The treasury is a celebration of aqua -- cool and refreshing on a hot Summer day. 
AidforAbby features artwork by a child with autism, language disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Proceeds are used to defray medical expenses.  This miniature original oil painting with easel is only $9.99.  I'm thinking this would be a lovely accent piece for my teammate Edi's new studio (she loves pink).

And last, but not least, Boomer Baby Upcycles featured my red linen retro-inspired bow clutch in her treasury, I Love Fall.  

I couldn't resist featuring this Mad Men vintage pheasant cocktail set from this wonderful vintage Etsy shop!  In my home state, South Dakota, the ringneck pheasant is the state bird, and pheasant hunting season is a HUGE attraction.  All my uncles were avid hunters.  My brother and dad were never in to hunting, but I always admired the pheasant feathers, often used to adorn ladies' hats back in the day when women wore hats to church -- before hats gave way to lacy little chapel veils, and ultimately disappeared entirely after Vatican II.  The church leaders apparently decided St. Paul's admonition that women should keep silent and cover their heads in church should not be read quite so literally, and eventually even the stiff-necked Episcopalians followed suit. 

But I digress ....

And there you have it!  I'm all caught up --- at least with my Treasury Thanks!



Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Trek East - Part 3: New Hampshire

The final leg of my journey brought me to rural Goffstown, New Hampshire, to visit my son Tim and his family.  Their acreage includes a cozy house,

a horse pasture for horses Harley and Lucy,

a great little climbing tree,

a deluxe treehouse, a few acres of woodlands, and (my favorite part), a beautiful babbling brook.


Our first outing took us to the Robert Frost Farm near Derry, New Hampshire. 
I have always been a fan of Robert Frost’s poetry – Mending Wall, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, and The Road Not Taken are some of my favorites.  The grounds at the farm include a wonderful hiking trail through meadows and woods.

And here is the stone wall (one of many in New Hampshire) that inspired the poem Mending Wall – “good fences make good neighbors.” 

The grandkids enjoyed the old climbing tree.  I was a tree climber as a kid, too.  One of my favorite spots was a comfortable cranny in a big old weeping willow tree at the edge of our garden.  It was a perfect, shady place to read on a hot summer day--and I loved the soothing sound of the wind in the willows.
I got the kids a beautifully illustrated paperback compilation of Frost’s poetry, which they enjoyed.
We lunched at a wonderful Mexican restaurant, then headed to Goffstown to see Garrison’s elementary school (1st grade) and Madeline’s Mountain View Middle School (5th grade).  There really is a mountain view!

The next day we took a longer road trip, heading northeast to Hanover, New Hampshire, where the kids played on the Dartmouth campus green. 
We also toured a lovely art museum and ate a fantastic lunch at EBAs (Everything But Anchovies).  
Then we crossed the river to Norwich, Vermont, and visited the King Arthur Flour Company’s bakery and visitor center.  The flour mill has been in operation since 1790.  

After that we headed East into New Hampshire’s beautiful Sunapee / Lakes Region, near the foothills of the White Mountains. 
The kids took a chilly swim in Newfound Lake, where the water was crystal clear.

The next day, after hugs all around, Tim went back to work, the grandkids headed off to Melody Pines Day Camp for their end of summer camp “Olympics,” and after a lovely brunch and a trip to the library,  DIL Carrie and I went  to the airport, where I began my trek home to Nebraska and my transition back to the workaday world.