Friday, November 28, 2008

Holiday Sale at My Etsy Shop

i'm having a holiday sale at my Etsy shop. 15% off everything in the shop and free shipping on additional items purchased after the first item. take a look. do ur shopping online at Etsy -- shop handmade and don't fight the mall crowds! plus, u'll be helping to support some really wonderful home-based businesses with ur purchases. Check out my Etsy shop!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

a thanksgiving story

i tell this story every once in a blue moon -- usually around thanksgiving time because that's when this happened. and usually i get teary-eyed when i think about it. here's my best thanksgiving day story.

first off, u have to know that my mom was my best friend. i could talk to her about anything -- and i did. and she was the best cook i know. it was mostly self-taught coz her mom (my grandma) was a lousy cook. so my mom learned how to cook by watching other ppl and asking questions and reading cookbooks. she was an amazing person. she also, most of the time, made up recipes in her head and there they pretty much stayed. she rarely measured anything -- she just knew by looking if it was the right amount. and her food always was great. scalloped potatoes -- always the same consistency. she also felt this was a way to give something of herself to other ppl -- by gathering them around her table to feed them. it was her way of loving on us.

the other neat thing about her was that she always had an open door to anyone -- and i mean anyone -- she even let me bring home the hobos from the train station that wasn't more than half a block from our house -- to have dinner with us. she never showed any sort of disgust at the way they might appear -- she just invited them in and sat them down and fed them like they were family -- coz to her -- they were.

with all this cooking that went on, u would think that i would have gotten some sort of culinary ability -- but see even though i sat in my mom's kitchen and watched and sometimes she'd let me help, my brain never really paid all that close attention to what she was actually doing. i guess there was some part of me that thought i'd have mom forever so why did i need to learn to do it.

so u can imagine when my mom died when my son was just 3 months old how lost i was without her. i even said to my dad, how am i gonna learn to be a good mom now without my mom to show me how. and he said -- "she already showed u how -- by her example". still -- i missed my mom -- and when that first thanksgiving came around and we wouldn't be spending it with her and my dad (he went to my brother's in texas), i was lost.

i said to my then husband that i wanted to do thanksgiving like mom would have -- thinking it might ease my grief. little did i know what an impact that statement would have. i didn't know where to begin. a turkey and some stuffing seemed like a daunting enough task, but the big thing would be my mom's sweet potatoes. see my mom had her own way of doing sweet potatoes and there was no written recipe in any of her cookbooks for them. what i knew was that she always made them in an electric skillet and she always put apples in them. but beyond that, i really didn't have a clue. so my husband suggested i get the things i needed to make the meal, and at the grocery store i had a keen sense that i was to get 5 sweet potatoes and 3 granny smith apples. i didn't know y that ratio was important, but that's what i felt i needed.

the day came to make the meal and of course i have a 9 month old to tend to as well as make the dinner. after putting the turkey in the oven, i stood in the kitchen for what seemed like forever staring at those sweet potatoes and apples thinking, lord help me i wish my mom were here. suddenly i felt like i was being told -- in my head -- what to do. put the butter in the pan, a little more, good. peel and cut up the potatoes, and put them in the pan with the melted butter, good. now peel and core the apples and cut them into chunks, and put them in the pan with the potatoes, good. okay now add some brown sugar -- a little more, that's good. and don't forget the king syrup -- ok a little more -- good. ok now just let it all cook for a while and stir it occasionally. it was like my mom was there in the kitchen with me, telling me what to do, looking over my shoulder -- it was comforting and odd at the same time.

when it was all said and done, i was afraid to try them. i mean i still had the taste of mom's potatoes in my head -- it wasn't a memory i wanted to lose by trying someone else's. so i told my husband to try them and he said they tasted just like my mom's. then i tasted them and they did taste just like my mom's. that first thanksgiving with my son and without my mom -- was a turning point for me in the grieving process. my son had his first taste of my mom's sweet potatoes -- and i learned to live without my mom.

i would like to believe that papa god let my mom be there in that kitchen with me helping me that day. her one last blessing. because ever since that day those sweet potatoes have become a staple in our home. i make them every thanksgiving and christmas. sometimes i even make them just for the heck of it. whenever we go to my dad's he asks me to make them, and his girlfriend has gotten the recipe from me to make them as well. idk if my kids will ever carry on this tradition in their own homes, but i'd like to think that that little piece of my mom would carry down from generation to generation. that and her love for her family and all ppl. thanks mom -- u truly were the greatest mom and i still miss u!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

get out of the boat

on sunday a friend came up to me at the end of the service at church and announced that papa told him to tell me that i'm supposed to "get out of the boat". i told him to shut up. its not that i don't appreciate the message -- its that i hate the vagueness of it. later he told me that i was supposed to read Matthew 14 -- the part where jesus -- who is walking on the water -- asks peter to come to him and basically tells him not to be afraid and to keep his eye on jesus. but for me -- this word, seems vague and its a tad annoying and irritating when what i'd rather have is solid answers. it would be better for someone to say, "papa says get out of the boat and go do such and thus." but that NEVER happens.

this is just one of the myriad of reasons why i started to hate prophets speaking over me and just one reason i stopped going up for a word during church for a long time. there is so much left open for interpretation and yeah, here it comes, mistakes to be made in the vagueness of it all. even when i hear for myself i have to wonder, is that really god and am i really interpreting it correctly. i questioned (and still do) myself all the time. and after revisiting my old church, it became clear to me why papa had me leave there -- because others were questioning me too -- actually others just felt i wasn't hearing from papa at all -- so he had to get me out of there so that he could speak to me clearly and not have me questioning or have others questioning. because when others questioned, it convinced me that i wasn't -- and he needed me to be convinced that i was.

so sunday evening, monday throughout the day and even already this morning, i keep hearing all these "messages" about not fearing. i didn't think i was -- but maybe i am. i thought i was already out of the boat -- not walking on the water -- but certainly keeping my eye on papa. and maybe he's just reminding me to keep doing that. idk maybe the worst isn't the now, but is left to come and i just need to focus on papa during this time -- maybe its a warning. maybe its an instruction to go and do -- and i'm missing it. see there is just too much room there to make a mistake on what i'm supposed to do with this "word".

i appreciate this friend a lot. sometimes it seems we're both at the same place -- we're not because he's so much farther ahead in the spiritual arena than i am -- but there is some commonality there that we can reach into and communicate about (fears, frustrations, etc.). and i feel really badly that i told him to shut up -- he doesn't understand how i take these "words". i apologized, but it doesn't stop me from feeling badly about it all. and instead of feeling good about getting a word from papa through someone else, i'm left wishing i didn't have to think about any of it because this is when i could (have) drive myself crazy just thinking about all the "what if's" that go along with it -- all the mistakes i could make trying to interpret it -- ugh!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

new things

today i made two new pieces with the help of my friend Frieda over at Deer Mountain Creations who cut out the original hearts. u can catch up with her blog here:
Deer Mountain Creations Blogspot

and u can check out her esty creations here:
Deer Mountain Creations Esty Shop

when she sent them to me i had originally thought i would take a different approach than what i ended up doing, but my original idea wouldn't fly. so i had my neighbor (who has this really tiny drummel drill) drill little tiny holes in them just big enough for an eye pin and i did a wrapped "bail" sort of thing on them. i really like the end results and u can view them here:
Heart Necklace Set #1

Heart Necklace Set #2

Thursday, November 20, 2008

owl's this for focusing on what papa is doing ...

so some not so good stuff happening right now -- but i'm not gonna dwell on that and i'll explain in a moment.

but some great stuff happening too. i got an email yesterday evening telling me i was in an Etsy treasury. and then come to find out this morning that i was in two treasuries. they don't last long -- but here's the url's for now.
Treasury One
Treasury Two

its pretty exciting and this is my second and third treasuries on Etsy. both of the treasuries were put together by ladies on the CASTeam that i'm a member of. wonderful bunch of ppl.

so the reason i'm not dwelling on the bad stuff anymore is that i watched this video interview on YouTube that Bill Johnson did and he basically said that we're supposed to concentrate on what Papa has done and is doing and not keep a list of what he hasn't done because that's fuel for unbelief. i really believe its true. so i'm choosing to see the blessings i've been given by Papa and ignore the stuff that hasn't come. someone i know actually keeps a blessings journal -- and writes in it every time she and her family r blessed in some way. very cool!!!

on another note, my dd made this wonderful little soapstone owl in her art class. then her teacher nominated her as one of only a handful of juniors to put it at the local art gallery. her teacher told her that her sculpture is the only one she would have recommended because it was so well done. one drawback was that the art gallery could sell it if dd agreed to that -- but they were taking a 40% commission!! i was like, this is so wrong because she's a high school student and they have to know these kids want to go to college and would need the cash. so i told her that she could sell it if she wanted to, but i'd rather see her keep it because i was her first sculpture in soapstone -- and also because my mom loved owls and it reminds me a lot of her. she can do with it as she pleases but i told her she should consider making something else and entering it to sell. i still think them taking 40% is wrong, but w/e.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

surprised dishwasher!

so pretty much my meeting yesterday was a wash and i'm no more ahead than i was before and if anything, i'm more behind. but w/e. its too hard to discuss here, and maybe i'm not meant to talk to anyone but papa about it.

today is wednesday and its the day that my daughter goes to be with her dad. i get her this weekend and one could argue that i have her just about every night of the week except one so what am i complaining about -- but honestly, i think i hold tighter to her because i never got a grip on her brother.

so last night i would have liked to have stayed put -- coz it was cold and windy out and it was her last night with me before going to her dad's and she was going to make banana bread. but the housing authority has this "cooking night". and sometimes they give us things to take home (like a blender and a glass baking dish with a lid and a really great sharp chopping knife), and there is always food to take home. so i go. not because i need cooking instructions -- because i don't -- i've been cooking on my own for years and i know how to stretch a chicken (which was last night's topic). i mean, i know how to make a roasted chicken meal, and then use the leftovers for chicken salad, chicken noodle soup, chicken suiza (although they made chix enchiladas with cottage cheese and just the thought of that gags me).

at any rate, dd had said i should stay home because i knew how to do that and so i thought about it, until they came knocking at the door. usually, i end up doing a lot of chopping at these things. idk y they think i'm a good chopper or what, but i hate it. so i talked dd into going with me. and then she decided to leave because there really wasn't anything for us to do (except dishes, and we know how much i hate doing that). and she came home to make banana bread (a double batch). i stayed for a little while to chat and was told we would all get chix to take home, but that never appeared and when 8pm rolled around i left with recipes in hand.

i come in the door and dd has not only made the banana bread -- but she's doing the dishes. praise the lord!! i was so happy i didn't have to do them! and she was listening to music on her computer (which she had planted on the counter). she turns to me and says, "washing dishes isn't so bad if ur listening to music, mom. u should try doing it listening to music." to which i replied, "i listen to music all the time on my ipod and its still not fun."

at any rate, this is just rambling. but i was just wanting to rave about the fact that my dd did the dishes -- and this was the long way 'round version ...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

tuesdays with benny

that title is benny's fault because when he emailed us all (whoever us all is) on sunday his subject line was Tuesday with benny – which reminded me of the book Tuesdays with Morrie. when i said that to him in the reply email, he wrote back and said he wondered if anyone (but me) would get the connection. sometimes i think i read too much and think too much.

so this morning when i was done reading my yahoo email, i checked out the news headlines and clicked on one that said that in the year 2007 nearly 700,000 americans went hungry. so then i had to go post that on my facebook. and then i got to thinking about how many ppl could we have fed with the $333,500 that has and will be spent on fixing up the church (i mean $70,000 to renovate bathrooms built in the 70's that still function very well seems like an excess to me). $300,000 is really a drop in the bucket and we did need to have the roof redone and the siding, too. but honestly, this whole thing is making me sick to my stomach. i feel like i need to express my feelings to someone other than the two ppl i know r as upset about this as i am. and here's the thing – my other church (where papa won't let me go anymore) was all about buying the land and the buildings and how much money were they going to spend??? its crazy to think that this is the way to “build the church”. building papa's idea of church is to feed the hungry, house the homeless, clothe the naked. i love the song “I Believe” by Don Potter because it says “his church will NOT be built by hands”. its not a physical structure. when will ppl get that through their heads. will they ever. its great to have a building to come to and gather in and worship together. but the building is NOT church. and the emphasis should NOT be on that.

honestly, idk what papa wants me to do here because on the one hand i keep hearing about yielding to the authority of the house and that would be the pastor and whomever else is “in charge”. but how can i when i feel so much like this is going against what papa wants there? and my friend made a good point, more and more ppl r coming every sunday – the place is becoming packed – is the building what is attracting them – i would hate to think that's what it is. i would love to believe that its the spirit there. ugh.

papa tell me what to do – speak out, stay silent and pray. idk is this one of those times when i'm supposed to take papa's strength and stand up for this? or is this what papa wants -- to attract ppl with a shiney building and then once they r in there he floods them with the holy spirit. too many questions -- like i said -- i do too much thinking.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


today is sunday. i like sundays because i get to go be with church (yeah, u read that right -- church is the ppl, not the building). at any rate, it will be a nice change from yesterday.

as u might recall i had dishes and laundry to do. well things got off to an ok start. but then i dropped a glass bottle of make-up foundation into my daughter's laundry basket by accident and it broke -- which made a big mess to the basket and floor. thankfully, i had already removed the clothes -- although now that i think about it, if the clothes had been in the basket the bottle would have been cushioned by them and probably would not have broken. at any rate, i got that cleaned up and decided to just buy her a new laundry basket (they r the cloth mesh kind so cleaning this up was nearly impossible).

while the laundry was going i did the dishes. there were so many of them that i had to put them not only in the drainer, but on a tea towel scattered across my tiny counter. but at least they were done.

after the second load of laundry was finished drying, i went out to the kitchen (where my washer and dryer r) to take the stuff out and put the third load of laundry into the dryer. what i found was a flood from one end of my kitchen all the way over to the outside door. here's the problem, i live in an apt. and my kitchen butts up against another tenants kitchen and if we both do laundry at the same time, one of us (or possibly both of us but since we're on a downward slope its usually me) gets flooded. the drain pipes feed into one major drain pipe, which isn't large enough to handle two washers draining at the same time and so it overflows. usually i try to listen to when she is doing laundry and time mine so that it isn't draining at the same time or not do mine at all until i'm sure she's finished. evidently, the same courtesy is not being afforded to me.

so i spent the next hour or so on my hands and knees cleaning it up with a sponge and a bucket (because i own a swifer mop that is useless in these situations). after i got the majority of it up, i turned on the fan to help dry things out further, but the mat in front of the door is still soaked and i'm not sure what to do with that since its rainy outside so i can't hang it up. the other issue is that it was running out from under my dryer, washer, and stove (since they all sit next to each other). i was alone so its not like i could move them myself and clean it up. what a mess...

on a bright note, i got to talk to someone who is going to the school where i want to go. i wish i could talk to them more in depth, but their time online is limited and there is some history there that i'm not at liberty to talk about right now -- so it makes for a some what awkward chat. and i did manage to go get my daughter a new laundry basket, all the laundry (except the towels) was washed and dried and folded, and i felt some sense of accomplishment. oh and at the end of the day i sold a scarf on etsy. so the day actually ended on a high note thanks to papa. so i will go be with church now and praise his name!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


my daughter just left to go to her dad's for the weekend. i have a double sink piled high with dishes on both sides and probably at least 3 loads of laundry to do. how is it that i get stuck doing this stuff by myself all the time!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Radio broadcast, (Oct. 1, 1939) Winston Churchill

i sometimes think i'm a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. some ppl think they know all about me because of some or other statement i've made. recently i was pegged as a right winger -- wow, i've been an independent all my life and suddenly i'm pegged as a right winger. probably because i made a stand on abortion -- specifically partial birth abortions. oh yeah -- if u stand against abortion u have to be a right winger... does that person understand that i'm not in favor of the war -- that would make a left winger. i mean i wholeheartedly support the men and women who r over there fighting, but as a general rule, i hate war, i hate killing, i hate violence. can u put me in a category based on that? and where do i stand on gay rights -- can u peg me based on that, too.

ppl think they know me -- i'm so much more complex than the issues i believe in. there's a reason i register as an independent -- when i vote -- oh yeah, let's go down that road. i don't vote unless i feel there is someone worth voting for. so what does that make me -- i know, coz i've been called that -- unpatriotic -- anti-american. excuse me???

and don't expect that just because the person i voted for (this time around) didn't win, that i'm gonna curse the person who did -- because that's not what i'm about either. sometimes u have to look past all that "surface" stuff to see what's really there -- underneath.

just because a person's beliefs lean in a certain direction doesn't necessarily mean that u can label them accordingly. watch what u say. make sure u know before u put someone in a box and mislabel them. i don't fit in those boxes. because as we know -- i'm weird....

Monday, November 10, 2008

slipping through my fingers

i hate mondays -- especially the mondays after i've had my daughter for the weekend because i know she's going to be going to her dad's almost as soon as she gets home from school. yes, i'm firmly attached to my daughter. i readily admit that when she goes off to college i'll be an emotional mess, unless papa finds something else for me to do.

my problem has always been that i put my heart and soul into my kids (well, first it was my marriage and we see how well that ended). and of course, when i got divorced one of my children decided to live with their dad -- and i rarely saw him. even when he was supposed to be here for dinner or a weekend, he wasn't. it was really hard. then he went off to college and i had an even harder time.

my daughter was dating at that point and i could see her slipping through my fingers and it reminded me of that ABBA song.... but at some point in the last two years i have come to realize that once she's off to college, i'll have no life -- well, none that really counts for anything. lately, i've had a feeling that i should go when she leaves for college, but when i talk about it, it upsets her. yesterday we talked about it and her main objection is how will she visit me if i'm so far away, what will she do for holidays -- split her time between her father and me?

idk what to think anymore -- i'm so confused and sometimes scared about what life will be like without my children to mother. i'm already learning what that's like because of her brother and in some respects, when she goes to her dad's its a reminder of what it will feel like. i don't suppose that dads ever go through this sort of identity crisis. their identities rn't wrapped up in being fathers to children -- its usually wrapped up in what they do for a living...

at church yesterday i was holding a baby and someone said something to me about looking very comfortable and i said i would take a dozen babies any day... that's an exaggeration, but it reflects how much i've loved being a mom and loving my kids... that i would do it and do it and do it, all over again -- until i was too old to cradle a baby or chase after a toddler. and without that it makes me wonder who i am -- where do i belong and what is my place in the world. i know papa has a plan for me -- i just don't know what that is and sometimes the not knowing leaves me fragile and a bit scared.

i would never not have a place in my life for my children. its unthinkable. but how can i stay here when they won't be here... idk... who knew when i said i wanted to have the same kind of relationship with my children that my mom and i had that letting go would be so hard ...

Slipping Through My Fingers Video

oh and i wanted to insert this video so u could just click on it and watch it -- but evidently my html knowledge isn't strong enough to allow me to do that ....

Friday, November 7, 2008

i'm in a treasury!!!!

i'm in a treasury -- its my very first one and Anatasia (aka:mattscraftywife from etsy) just convo'ed me to let me know -- i'm so excited. i've never been in a treasury before. she picked my angel on my zipper pull item to put in the treasury! go check it out!!

mattscraftywife's treasury

too much to do, so little time ....

so i have a ton of stuff to do -- 8 manuscripts that need to be counted and a scrapbook for dartmouth college to do. i haven't begun the manuscripts because i've been in and out a lot since i picked them up on tues., and they really require large chunks of time. its hard when i get interrupted in the middle of counting them. the scrapbook i started yesterday but didn't get very far before i had to go out to pick up three more pieces of memorabilia that needs to be included. i don't want to work on that in the evenings when i'm tired because that REALLY takes a lot of concentration -- everything has to be perfect for them and must go in a certain order and be precisely spaced on the pages, etc. so, yeah.

at any rate, in the evenings i just like to crochet and veg in front of the tv and i've been making more of the queen's lace scarves for etsy and finished the third one last night. i wasn't really up for starting another one, and so i made some scrubbies -- see the photo. idk if i'll make matching dishclothes to go with them and sell them at etsy or if i'll give them as gifts at christmas. i have a feeling this christmas is going to be a sparse one and probably once again i'll be making a good deal of the things i give. i have a huge pumpkin to cook laying out in my kitchen that i'm planning on making pumpkin butter with -- but i need to get the maple syrup and sugar first and i'll probably need to get more jars from what i can tell. plus, i need to get my canner out of the storage and that entails washing it down as well. i need to make my applesauce first because the apples r just sitting there staring at me.

i got a turkey at the store the other day and plan to make that this weekend -- if it thaws in time. yeah, i know its not thanksgiving yet, but its a small bird (12 lbs) and the meat was cheap (59 cents a lb.) and my freezer won't hold much more. i figured i could cook it and break the meat down into meals and freeze some and make pot pie and soup and turkey salad for the next who knows how long.... u do what u gotta do to survive -- u know. if i had a big freezer, i could have gotten a couple of them, but i don't so yeah...

at any rate, i'm looking at all these "projects" and feeling like i'm neglecting my work on promoting my etsy shop at the most important time of the year -- but at least two of these other projects will generate a known income -- which is important right now since the rent hasn't been paid yet...

on that note -- off to get some of this stuff going ....

Thursday, November 6, 2008

dead fish

ok so the last couple of weeks my daughter's beta fish -- whom we have had for over a year -- has been looking a little -- well, idk how to put this -- lethargic. and a couple of times i have said to her that i think her fish isn't long for this world -- trying to prepare her for the inevitable. she had cleaned his tank on tues. evening, and he really looked bad after that and so yesterday before she went to her dad's i said, i think ur fish is going to die on my watch. it was just a feeling i had -- and sure enough -- last night before i went to bed i checked on him and he's dead. really dead. not just laying there -- but DEAD!!

what u have to know is that she's had three fish in her lifetime. one lived a little while, one lived three days (i think he was sick when she got him) even though she'd read the bible to him every night, and then benji (yeah that was his name) who lasted the longest. she's almost 17 -- she can handle it -- but honestly, i hate that it happened while she wasn't here and i'm wondering if i should dispose of the remains while she's gone or wait for her to come home this afternoon. he's kind of "falling apart" -- if u know what i mean...

on that note -- i think i'll go work on something ....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


so i voted this morning. and what u have to know is that i have never voted in a major election before. i voted once, a long long time ago when bill bradley was running, in a primary election, but i never voted in the major election. ppl often ask me y and i tell them because i was exercising my constitutional right to withhold my precious vote from anyone i didn't feel was worthy of the position of president.
so today i voted, and essentially, my son and i cancelled each other's votes. but hey, its ok. i did my civic duty and voted. and it wasn't as complicated or as painful as i thought it would be -- which is a good thing! so if ur hesitating -- go vote...

Monday, November 3, 2008

just the way i am

so i caught the tail end of a movie i actually own -- Bridget Jones's Diary -- on the lifetime channel tonight. i love the part where mark darcy tells bridget that he likes her very very much -- just the way she is. and then it hit me -- that i'd like a mark darcy to tell me that he likes me very very much -- just the way i am. and then something else hit me -- its a darn good thing i have papa god in my life because he LOVES me very very much -- just the way i am.... thank u papa!!

blessings r abundant today

i just got featured in a blog!! its an interview i did a while ago and had sort of forgotten about. papa is so wonderful!! check it out!!

My Interview


well i sold the scarf below this morning -- the Queen's Lace One -- its probably a good thing i'm making another -- although the new one will be in snow white. i'm so excited -- i actually sold something after what seems like an huge amount of time since the last item i sold. thank u papa god! u r soooooo good!!

i've also got an order for some bracelet like lengths of beads to attach to watch faces. i'm so excited -- u would think i was a little kid. papa is so very faithful!!! thank u papa!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Interview with Ruth's Creations

I recently stumbled across Ruth's Creations on etsy (she also had an ad here at my blog) and I was intrigued by the fact that she is donating a portion of her profits to a couple of charities. So I decided it would be a really cool thing to interview her and share that with you all. Please consider visiting her etsy store and purchasing some of her items. The money she raises will go to worthy causes -- as you'll read below.

ME: We'd like to know the basics. What is your name, your Etsy shop name, shop url, blog url, and what you make, do you have a family, pets, etc.?
RUTH: I’m Ruth Kubierschky, my Etsy shop is Ruth’s Creations at Ruth's Creations Etsy Shop. I’m currently blogging at Ruth's Creations Blogspot and Ruth's Creations Twitter (I’ve got more posts up on Twitter at the moment). I crochet, most of what I’ve been doing is baby blankets and hats but I do keep an eye out for ideas to expand my product line. I have two teenage children, a 13 year old boy and 17 year old girl, who are developmentally disabled (my son has ADHD/Asperger‘s and my daughter is, for lack of a better word, retarded).

ME: How long have you been doing your craft? How long have you had a shop on Etsy? Do you do crafts shows and fairs as well as Etsy? Where else can we find you to buy from you?
RUTH: I first learned to crochet when I was a kid. Back in 2000 or 2001 I made a couple baby blankets for a friend whose two daughters were pregnant, at the time everyone who saw them raved over them and said I should try making more to sell. I started out on eBay but found that my blankets weren’t selling there. From what I’ve heard since then, eBay isn’t generally a good market for handmade goods to start with. I’ve had my shop on Etsy for over two years now, will be three in June. I haven’t done any craft shows yet, as I have Epilepsy and can’t drive and transportation tends to be difficult. I don’t have any other online venues yet but I am considering branching out and am researching other websites.

ME: Who/What inspires you in your craft?
RUTH: The reason why I do it or how I decide on patterns? For patterns I have loads of pattern books where I find things to adapt, changing stitches or yarn types, that sort of thing. An example of this is the Cotton Candy Cowls I have listed right now, the original pattern was rounds of single crochet and I made them using a shell stitch I found in a blanket pattern.

ME: What do you like least about your craft? What do you like the most?
RUTH: What I like least? My hands get sore too fast sometimes and I have to take frequent breaks. This actually kind of worries me in terms of how long I’m going to be able to continue doing this as a business, my mom used to knit a lot and she can’t do it any more because she has arthritis in her hands now and it hurts too much. What I like the most? It’s fun! Crocheting is so enjoyable and relaxing it really doesn’t feel like work at all, sometimes I think my work time looks more like most people’s idea of leisure time.

ME: What’s a normal day like for you?
RUTH: I don’t really have a typical day. Some days after I get the kids off to school I work on my crochet for a few hours while the morning talk shows are on & then work on the computer blogging and listing after lunch. Other days I end up on the computer most of the day and work on my crochet in the evening after the kids go to bed. I’ve had a few occasions where I lose track of time and end up crocheting most of the night! When that happens I usually take a long nap the next day while the kids are at school, just to catch up on my sleep.

ME: What advice would you give other Etsy sellers or crafters just starting out?
RUTH: I don’t really know, I haven’t done nearly as much as I’d like in terms of sales so sometimes I feel like I’m still just starting out myself. Just do everything possible to keep learning and improving yourself and your craft, I guess.

ME: I see that your are donating a percentage of your profits to some charities -- can you tell us a little about them and why you choose to do that?
RUTH: My kids and I have been fans of Daniel Radcliffe ever since the Harry Potter films first started coming out. My daughter and I actually went to see him in Equus on Broadway in NYC in September. I’d recommend anyone to go see it, Dan himself and the production in general were absolutely brilliant! Demelza House Children’s Hospice is an organization that Dan has supported and promoted for several years, they provide hospice care for terminally ill children. As I understand it they’re run mostly through donations, clients who can’t afford to pay for their services don’t have to. Children’s Hospital in Boston and Camp Allen are organizations that my children’s godmother had services from, she got all her medical care at Children’s and went to Camp Allen, which is a summer camp for people with physical or developmental disabilities, for several weeks every summer. She passed away earlier this year and I wanted to have a fundraiser for them in November in honor of her, since her birthday was in November.

ME: What is your workspace like? Do you listen to music when you are making your items? If so, what kind?
RUTH: Crocheting is wonderfully portable, I don’t really have a special work space. When I’m home a lot of the time I’ll crochet while I’m watching TV or listening to a podcast on the computer (usually the FlyLady Channel on I also always bring a project along when I’m traveling; there have been many times that I’ve worked on a project during train rides into Boston for doctor’s appointments, for instance.

ME: What is one of your best moments as a crafter? A fond memory?
RUTH: I love all the positive comments from people who have bought or even just seen my work, it’s a good feeling that people enjoy it so much.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


its sat. and my daughter is off with her dad and i'm doing laundry and working on some things. i just finished a new scarf -- its called queen anne's lace and i did this one in soft white red heart yarn. it looks almost like snowflakes -- which seems rather appropriate for the weather that is coming. i would list it on etsy, but evidently the category and items searches r "down" -- so i'll wait till things get fixed again. i had 399 ppl look at my wedding dress on etsy due in very large part to the thread about it. one person questioned the listing because it was neither vintage nor handmade (according to them). well, they got the not handmade part right, but it is over 20 years old (which is etsy's criteria for vintage) and its even over 25 years old which is the criteria for antique in the real world. and since etsy allows vintage, idk that there is a problem anywhere in there.

i've been thinking a lot about ways to increase my sales off etsy and drive more ppl to my etsy shop as well. its a lot of work. i need to redesign my business cards and make some labels for packaging purposes. i should be working on that but here i sit, writing this blog. i also picked up two estimates on thurs. that i need to count. but the motivation just isn't there.

i scared away two Obama campaigners from my door. this is the second time they have come to my door. frankly, if mccain ppl came i would probably scare them away, too. i'm not overly thrilled with either candidate right now and i'm not sure for whom or even if i will vote this time around. isn't that exercising my constitutional right to withhold my vote from ppl i think rn't the right person for the job. at this point, after listening to all the ads on tv -- i'm more inclined to think Mickey Mouse would be a better choice. i know i shouldn't voice these sentiments and i'll probably get grief from someone for saying the things i do. but i'm nothing, if not honest... my feeling right now is that i will pray that papa god steps in and takes control because without papa god -- we're all doomed. that's one thing i am really sure about!

i was reading linda's blog the other day and she cited James 1:2-3. i had to go back and reread it -- its actually underlined in my bible. however, i've underlined all the way through 8 because i feel that strongly about it. i'm trying to keep the joy in my heart even though the rent is late and i'm staring at a stack of bills and the laundry detergent is running out and we have no milk in the fridge. i know that papa is growing me through this -- i was made for such a time as this... and it will help me later when things get rough. papa has kept me from throwing a fit or crying my eyes out or running away -- i know without him through all of this i would probably be locked up somewhere. thankfully his mercies r new every day and he knows all our needs -- even before we do -- and meets them.

i think on that positive note, i'll go back to the laundry and start working on my business cards. blessings to u all.