Sunday, January 31, 2010

Giveaway: Extraordinary Women Notebook

As promised, it's time for another giveaway! For my first giveaway of 2010, I'm giving away a composition notebook decorated with some of my original collages. It would make an awesome Valentine's Day gift for any free-spirited woman you might know... yourself, perhaps?

I'll draw the winner around 9am EST on Friday, February 5th. That means if you really do want to give it to someone for Valentine's Day, it has a good chance of getting to you before then, at least if you live in the USA.

This is a composition-sized notebook. It measures 9 3/4" (24.7cm) x 7 1/2" (19cm) and has 100 wide-ruled sheets (200 pages). You can write a lot in one of these! I use this size of notebook a lot myself because it can hold so much, and because it lays flat pretty nicely.

The front cover is a collage of pictures of six vibrant women, some of them famous (Halle Berry, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Shakira) and some not. It also has the words "extraordinary" and "decadent."

The back cover features more bold women, from Charlie's Angels to Catherine Zeta-Jones to Courtney Love, and more. The back collage also bears the words "exotic" and "playful."

Both covers are covered with clear contact paper to protect the collages from wear and tear.

I sell this size notebook for $19 in my store. How can it be your for FREE? As always, there are three ways:

+ 1. Leave a comment here listing your favorite item from my store, , and either your email address or your blog so I can contact you if you win.

+ 2. Follow my blog. Leave a comment here letting me know you're a follower, plus either your email address or your blog so I can contact you if you win.

+ 3. Post about this on your own blog. Leave a comment here with a link to your blog post, plus either your email address or your blog so I can contact you if you win.

This means you can be entered up to three times!

Giveaway ends the morning of Friday, February 5th when I draw the winner, announce who it is here, and contact them to get their mailing address. Good luck!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Huggermugger Hats, Babies, and Friends

At last, I've created a hat worthy of the title Huggermugger! Ever since I opened shop, I've been wanting to make up a hat pattern that I could call the Huggermugger Hat because wearing it felt like a hug for your head. And I've finally done so! I have four in my shop at the moment, all adult/teen sizes, but I'm working on making a child size.

The Huggermugger Hat is crocheted from two strands of yarn held together, so it's extra thick and extra warm. I'll be adding the crochet pattern to my shop soon as well.

In other news, I'm 36 weeks along in my pregnancy today. I had a midwife appointment this morning, and the baby is head-down, in perfect position for birth, so I'm praying it stays that way. I haven't really mentioned being pregnant much here, and that's because there's rarely anything to say -- I'm having a very ordinary, normal, uncomplicated pregnancy, so what's there to write? I've gained 26 pounds so far, the baby's growing nicely and has a strong heartbeat, and I'm pretty much ready for it to arrive any time now :-)

Speaking of baby arrivals, my best friend Julie, who runs the Etsy shop This Cosy Life, had her third child this week, a healthy baby girl. Hooray!

Up next: another giveaway! Don't touch that dial ;-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Want to be a Rock Star?

The Etsy Trade-a-holics team has started doing a monthly design challenge this year, and the first one has the theme "Rock On." You can go here to view all the entries, or just search Etsy for the tag "tradeonjan10." Then if you go to the team blog here, you can vote in the sidebar for whichever store's entry was your favorite.

This is my entry. I call it the Rock Star Notebook. I covered it in pictures of musical artists from Elvis and the Beatles to Creed and Shakira, plus a few others.

This notebook is bigger than the journals I've been selling before -- it's a composition notebook, the kind some schools require. It's 9 3/4" (24.7cm) tall and 7 1/2" (19cm) wide, and has 100 wide-ruled sheets (200 pages). I'm going to be adding more notebooks this size to my shop soon, so stay tuned for those.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Featured on Cassia's Kitchen Blog

The Cassia's Kitchen blog is featuring an interview with me today! Go here to read it. The interview is part of an ongoing series featuring women entrepreneurs, and the previous interviews she's posted are really interesting and informative too.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"By Myself" by Lauren Bacall

I've been a fan of Lauren Bacall since the first time I saw her in a movie, which was To Have and Have Not (1944). I saw it in high school, when I was probably seventeen or eighteen -- only a year or two younger than Bacall was when she made that film. I've seen her in nine or ten other films since then, and my admiration has grown with each viewing. Her characters are cool, sophisticated... and yet, they always have a sweet vulnerability that keeps me from getting annoyed by her.

So when I found her autobiography, By Myself, at a used bookstore, I couldn't resist it. And I'm happy to report that it has enhanced my admiration of her, not tarnished it. The book traces her life from growing up in a single-parent family in New York City during the 1930s through her fantastic burst on the Hollywood scene, her marriage to Humphrey Bogart, and her life post-Bogie as she struggled through other relationships, raised her three children, and made a place for herself on Broadway.

This is a poignant, honest book, with a measure of soul-searching that I'm not accustomed to in autobiographies. As she says toward the end of it, "When I plunge I do plunge; halfway is not my way." (pg. 358). Throughout this book, she shows how throwing herself wholeheartedly into everything, be it a film or stage role or a personal relationship, has both its advantages and disadvantages.

My only disappointment with this book is that it ends before Bacall makes The Shootist (1976) with John Wayne -- I would love to have heard her thoughts on an older, ailing Duke, as she had some kind things to say about him when she discussed making Blood Alley with him in the '50s. But Bacall has written two more autobiographies, and I'm sure she covers the making of The Shootist in one of them.

If you're a fan of Bacall's, or simply of classic Hollywood, this book is an enjoyable read that feels like a chat with a friend over a cup of coffee or two. Thoroughly engaging, even in the sad parts.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Twist of Fate Treasury

I made a treasury today. I was supposed to be going to see Avatar, but Daniel protested taking his nap for so long that I ended up missing the movie. So instead I made this treasury, which I call Twist of Fate:

You can go see it here, and if you're an Etsy member, I'd love it if you commented on it!

I didn't actually plan to do a blue theme, but after choosing about half of these yarns, I realized I was being drawn almost exclusively to blues, either because of the blue characters in Avatar or because I was a bit blue about not going to see it today. Or maybe just because I love the color blue. Anyway, I think this is the prettiest treasury I've made yet.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Lisa over at the Alterity blog tagged me in this rather fun meme full of random stuff about me -- and since I've got nothing else in mind to blog about, here goes:

Your hair Brown, long, and straight.

Your favorite food Chocolate. That's a whole food group, right?

Your favorite drink Coca-Cola.

Your dream/goal To have a book published.

Your hobby Crocheting, collage-ing, photography, writing fanfiction about the 1960s WWII-based TV show Combat!, baking, playing Scrabble on Facebook....

Your fear Failure. Also, seeing someone I love plummet to their doom off a high cliff while I stand helplessly by.

Where were you last night Here at home.

Something you say all the time I have this habit of ending sentences with "so...." I'm trying to break myself of that.

Something you are not Unpregnant.

Wishlist item
The Australia soundtrack.

Last thing you did Went to Daniel's room to remind him he's supposed to be taking a nap, not carrying on both sides of a conversation about his toy semi truck.

What you are wearing Jeans and an over-large black t-shirt (that still fits over my 33-weeks-along tummy) that says "Let's hunt some Orc."

Your pets None at the moment, alas.

Friends I've got four best friends in California, Minnesota, and North Carolina, and other friends everywhere from Connecticut to Australia.

Missing someone Larry, who won't be home from work for three more hours.

Something you're not wearing Shoes. I hates them, Precious.

Your favorite store Michael's, Barnes & Noble, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Suncoast, Borders, FYE.

Your favorite color
Purple, blue, and green. And grey.

The last time you cried Tuesday.

The last time you laughed About 15 minutes ago.

One place that you go to over and over Church, the library, the grocery store, and Walmart -- our regular weekendly destinations.

Where do you eat In the kitchen. Or at a restaurant now and then.

I'm not going to tag anyone -- play if you want to!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tale of Woe

How's the new year been treating you? I'm hoping yours is going better than mine.

Daniel, my two-year-old, came down with a cold back on December 17. I got it the next day. I shook it off in a little more than a week, but his nose just stayed stuffed up, though by Christmas he was acting pretty normal. But then he started to cough. At first, it was just one of those post-nasal-drip coughs, kinda dry, which is what I had too. But on New Year's Eve, it turned into a wet, chesty cough. He ran a low fever that evening for a while, though thankfully that went away by bedtime. But he woke up coughing several times that night and for the next couple of nights. Which means I woke up too, because I'd hear him over the baby monitor. One night, he and I were awake for over an hour -- every time I (and probably he) would just about doze off, he'd cough again.

So I took him to the doctor yesterday, and they said that although we can't hear it, his lungs are wheezing again. Last winter, about this same time, he had a cold that went into his chest and he was wheezing audibly, so I took him to the doctor and ended up renting a nebulizer for a week to give him Albuterol treatments. Well, although we couldn't hear him wheezing this time around, the doctor could via the stethoscope.

And so yesterday's trip to the doctor at noon turned into a four-and-a-half-hour ordeal involving lunch, renting a nebulizer at a medical supply store, two trips to the pharmacy, and a parking ticket for spending 40 minutes at the Post Office for what should have been a 15-minutes-tops stop to mail a package.

The good news is, the nebulizer does seem to help him breathe better, and he slept for almost 11 hours with no coughing last night. The not-as-good news is that the medicine they gave to loosen up the mucous in his lungs makes him hyper, but it also lowers his immune system, so we're supposed to avoid contact with other germs as much as we can, ie, I can't take him out in public places to run off his excess energy.

And my husband came down with the cold at the end of last week too.

So, that's my tale of woe. I'm praying it's not a portent of things to come in 2010! And I hope you've been having a much better year so far :-)

EDIT: They haven't diagnosed Daniel with asthma, however, so that's a blessing. If this happens again, then they would probably diagnose him with "asthma-with-colds," meaning he's prone to having bronchial problems when he gets sick.