Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tempting Tuesdy - RAIN

Oh it is SOGGY! The rivers are rising and the lawn is soaked... but if we can just hold on until Thursday the sun should come out and spring will appear. To make the best of a bad situation, today's theme is, you guessed it, rain!

1. These cheerful coasters will help you chase your rainy blues away - 4.25"x4.25" with slight variations and cork backing, these coasters from littlecoastergnome come in sets of 4.

2. If these soaps from asliceofdelight smell half as good as they look, you'll be singing in the shower! Hawaiian Rain Salt Bar soap is scented with frangipani, white ginger, plumeria and weighs between 4.0 and 4.5 oz.

3. I love the mood created by this artwork - I also adore the illustrative quality. Get your very own 11"x14" print from Kecky.

4. Brighten up the day with this vibrant reversible rain jacket from BeckyDrolen! Vintage, flirty, and did I mention reversible?

5. It wouldn't be a rain collection without an umbrella, so here is a prime blue example from vintageboxofdelights. Made in England with a great classic handle!
6. This beautiful tile was hand made by MichelleProsek. It is a wonderfully atmospheric, and just the thing to cap off our rainy day collection!

Stay safe, warm and dry, and thanks for tuning in!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tempting Tuesday - Spinning!

Time for the second installment of Tuesday Temptations! This past weekend I attended a great drop spindle hand-spinning course at the Webs store in Northampton, MA. Highly recommended for any New England dwellers who can make it!

Before we get to spinning fun though, let's have a moment of serious advice and warning. (disclaimer- although I am a licensed vet I am not YOUR licensed vet. This post has general advice and is not meant to diagnose or treat your pet.) All you folks with cats? Lilies are poisonous to cats! Very poisonous! Now is a good time to start thinking about this since Easter and spring are almost upon us. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE lilies. They are beautiful, elegant, and smell great. However, they also cause kidney failure in cats. It doesn't have to be a lot of lily either- chewing on a leaf, petal, or even grooming pollen off of their fur have all been shown to damage the kidneys of a cat. Some cats are more susceptible than others but it is impossible to tell how your cat will react. Which lilies cause problems? This quote is directly from a Consulting Veterinarian in Clinical Toxicology at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Tiger lilies (lilium tigrinum) can cause renal failure in cats, similar to easter lilies (lilium longiflorum), stargazer lilies (lilium orientalis stargazer), and oriental lilies (lilium orientalis).Day lilies (hemerocallis sp) can also cause renal failure in cats.

"Lilies" such as peace lily (spathiphyllum sp) and calla lily (zantedeschia sp) are not in the lilium genus, and while they do have insoluble calcium oxalate crystals in them (which cause oral/GI irritation), they do not cause renal failure.

So stay safe this Easter season and don't risk your little feline's life! Now back to your regularly scheduled spinning temptations.

1. The drop spindle. Obviously a necessary tool for spinning with a drop spindle. They can be made out of every conceivable type of material and in many different shapes, but all have a whorl (the round disc bit) and a shaft (the long part you wrap the yarn around). Here is a simple, beautiful spindle good for spinning many different weights of yarn, made using reclaimed wood from aspinnerslair. This happens to be the type of spindle I have and the folks I bought it from. Lovely!

2. Roving is the second ingredient to spinning. This is the cleaned and carded version of fiber- all the strands line up. First up is an alpaca/silk blend from bluemoonranch that just begs to be touched. The color is glorious and you even get to meet the alpaca (Sophie) in the Etsy listing. Visit their blog for a chance to WIN an alpaca fleece!

3. If wool is more your style there are quite literally endless options. Here is a vibrant example of merino roving from SpinningAwesomeGood. I really don't know whether it should be spun or just hung on the wall to admire! Ok, ok, we'll spin it...

4. Not enough fiber yet? How about spinning from bunnies?! I have heard that you can spin directly from the rabbit- someday I will try this and report back. Here we have an English Angora Rabbit named Dexter from SevenAcreWoods. He has some angora for you - how can you resist this guy?

5. This is a nostepinne. Basically it is a tool that lets you wind a center-pull ball with relative ease. Mostly I like the name. This nostepinne from WoodElements is made from Zebrawood and is striking all by itself.

6. The finished product! This is yarn that has been spun, plyed, and set... This is a beautiful DK-worsted yarn named Sea Glass. It was created by artemisiaink - my handspinning teacher!

Whew! Finally, here is my first attempt at handspinning.... kinda chunky, kinda weird, but I'm proud of it. Now what should I knit???!!! I've got about 17 yards of bulky...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Learning and Features

A weekend full of gardening, fiber and learning. Heaven!

I've also been fortunate enough to have a few featured items in fellow blogs!

Here is a GREAT and SCRUMPTIOUS list of knitting goodies from

a thoughtful life

and here is a link to the Underhill House Handmade feature from TagsandButtons


Thanks so much all - there is so much great inspiration out there!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Patty's Day Special

FREE shipping on items with GREEN in the Etsy shop, one day only :o)

Tempting Tuesdy - Green!

We're trying a new thing today - Tuesday Temptations! I'll find some lovely items from our Etsy friends to share with the blogosphere and we can all be tempted together. Just click on the photo to go to the item's page.

This Tuesday's theme will be green for gardening, St. Patrick's Day, spring... did I mention that our daffodils are coming up? And today was partially spent tending to the blueberries... but that is for another post. On to the temptations!

1. Since we are mostly in the planning stages of gardening here in New England, how about an Eco-Friendly Garden Tools Journal from disconsolator in which to keep your musings, sketches and plans? Best of all, this journal is made from materials produced with wind power - how cool is that?

2. Farmer's Markets are starting soon as well so you'll need a nifty bag to carry home all that produce. The TomaTote from EarthCadets fits this bill perfectly with a great sassy tomato style. This tote is also made from recycled materials, including soda bottles!

3. Once we get around to actually planting, we'll need labels for those tiny seedlings. These Herb Signs from sierrametaldesign are adorable, functional, and just the right amount of funky. Use them indoors, outdoors, and year after year!

4. So let's actually plant something! How about Mammoth Long Island - a heirloom dill seed from myvictorygarden. Dill can be used in many ways - salads, veggie dishes, dips, and my favorite - with new potatoes! Use the seed heads to make delicious pickles as well!

5. Need something to put your plant in? Are you more of an indoor gardener? Then this adorable Love Bird heart shaped planter from DariellesClayArt is for you. A beautiful glaze job, drainage holes and precious details... I'm thinking this is a perfect Mother's Day gift!

6. Last but not least, we in the Northeast will be watching the clock a little longer before we can get into the garden full time. Why not watch an amazing clock? This handmade Flower Garden Ceramic Wall Clock from lurearts is just the thing.

Feel inspired? Me too! I'll prove it - see the colors I've been working with lately?
Stay tuned for a useful post about your feline friends - until then, happy St. Patty's Day!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Planning the growing season

If I haven't updated the blog as recently as we might have liked, blame the weather. It is unseasonably warm and lovely, filling my head with dreams of this summer's garden.

Since we recently moved into our home, this season is the first to start painting on the canvas of our property. While a little lawn is nice (impromptu croquet anyone?) on the whole I would rather have flowers, vegetables, fruiting shrubs, etc. Accordingly, I've been surrounding myself with gardening books, catalogs and websites to decide what should replace the ragged verge (Voles. Whole separate problem).

We have a little patch of sun (square foot vegetable garden), a patch of mostly sun next to the blueberries (raspberries, possibly semi-dwarf apple trees), a sun/shade hill (native plants, prairie plants, lilies), and an area of shade (lilies-of-the-valley, ferns, bleeding hearts). In front of the house are a few warm sunny spots where the herbs will go.

I think my most exciting experiment will be trying a few Honeyberry trees. They are native to Asia but reportedly grow well here, have elongated blueberry like fruit that ripen before strawberries, and grow well in partial shade! They grow 6-8' or 3-4' tall depending on the variety and you need more than one plant to have mature fruit... I'm think a hedge of 4 right now.

The craft show last weekend went swimmingly - met some great folks, sold a few items, and got the year started out right! Thanks to JenDederichPhotography for the great pics!